GOP Rep. Mo Brooks digs in on 'War on Whites': Caucasians are only group 'you can lawfully discriminate against'
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is standing by his controversial statement on Monday, when he accused Democrats of waging a "war on whites" — and he's now saying that white people are now the truly vulnerable group out there.
"It is repugnant for Democrats time after time after time to resort to cries of racism to divide Americans and drive up voter turnout," Brooks said Tuesday, in an interview with USA Today. "That is exactly what they are doing in order to drive up their vote and they are doing it when there is no racial discrimination involved."
If anything, Brooks concluded, the problem of racial discrimination is now exactly the opposite: "if you look at current federal law, there is only one skin color that you can lawfully discriminate against. That's Caucasians — whites."
Brooks first brought up this particular phrasing on Monday, when during an interview on talk radio he blamed Democrats for allegedly turning immigration into a racial issue. "This is a part of the war on whites that's being launched by the Democratic Party," he said. "And the way in which they're launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else." Eric Kleefeld
New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced his bid for the presidency today at his high school, Livingston High in New Jersey. While having a high-profile politician making news at his alma mater might seem like a boon for the school's popularity, some teachers, as well as the school district's superintendent, are less than thrilled by his venue choice.
"All this guy's done since day one is denigrate hardworking teachers," a Livingston High School teacher, Anthony Rosamilia, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Teachers from New Jersey have gathered in protest of Christie announcement. pic.twitter.com/zvwC7A3Quv
— Erin McCarthy (@ErinMcPSU) June 30, 2015
"I don't think it's any secret that most of my political and educational views are about 180 degrees from the governor's," Livingston School District's interim superintendent, Jim O'Neill, said. O'Neill refused to attend the announcement, telling the Inquirer that he'd "watch it on the news later, like most people." He only agreed to let the school act as a host for the event out of an "obligation" to the governor, he said.
"I'm getting all kinds of hate emails," O'Neill said. Jeva Lange
On yesterday's episode of the long-running game show Jeopardy!, host (and budding hip-hop artist) Alex Trebek got yet another chance to show off his rapping skills. This time, the subject was a theme song near and dear to the hearts of anyone who watched NBC in the early 90s:
Coming just a year after the "It's a Rap" category challenged Trebek to spit rhymes from Public Enemy and Doctor Dre, it's increasingly clear that Jeopardy!'s clue writers are just curious to see what they can get Trebek to rattle off on television. Maybe try some Twista next time? Scott Meslow
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has taken a confessional turn in his new book, A Time for Truth, which reveals that as a Supreme Court clerk in the 1990s, he looked at pornography with Justices William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O'Connor.
The court was considering a case which involved internet regulation, and a demonstration of the ubiquity of porn on the internet was set up to explain the situation to the elderly judges. As Cruz, Rehnquist, and O'Connor watched, a court librarian searched for a misspelling of "cantaloupe."
"A slew of hard-core, explicit images showed up onscreen," Cruz recalls in his book. "As we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word. Except for Justice O'Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, 'Oh, my.'" Bonnie Kristian
While some colleges have ponied up more than $200,000 to secure a speech from Hillary Clinton, the University of Missouri at Kansas City wasn't willing to drop quite that much cash. After being quoted $275,000 for an appearance by the former secretary of state herself, the school opted to bring in her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, instead.
At $65,000, Chelsea's own speaking fee is considerably less than her mother's — albeit still well above the national median household income of about $52,000. For this price, the University of Missouri got a 10-minute speech followed by 20 minutes of moderated Q&A time. The Clinton camp also carefully dictated the terms of the event, from the temperature of Chelsea Clinton's on-stage water to the content of the introduction read by a local high school student.
Supreme Court Justices said Tuesday that they will weigh in on a dispute between unions and California teachers who are contesting public employees' requirement to pay union dues. The teachers believe that it's a violation of their First Amendment rights to be required to pay fees to a union if they disagree with its positions, or are not members of it.
As the 38-year-old law stands now, unions can require non-members to pay union dues for the purpose of collective bargaining costs, so long as those collected fees are not used for for political purposes. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the teachers, the power of public employee unions to collect fees would be limited, which union officials worry could weaken unions and jeopardize membership. Becca Stanek
Iran has converted "a substantial amount" of enriched uranium — a material that is crucial to the production of nuclear weapons — into a material that can't be used to make a bomb, The Associated Press reports. This reduction, which was "a key condition of a preliminary nuclear agreement" reached in November 2013, is expected to be officially announced Wednesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency, diplomats tell the AP.
Today is the deadline for a more comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran, although both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have agreed to extend the conversation as a deal draws nearer. An agreement would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for world powers lifting economic sanctions against the country. Jeva Lange
More than 500 million fan votes have been cast for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and the Kansas City Royals still dominate the American League field, with five players hanging on to spots — and that's knocked down from eight players two weeks ago.
— Jenna Pelter (@RedKillerr23) June 25, 2015
"Prepare for the apocalypse," the Washington Post warned yesterday. "We're one week closer to a Royals-vs.-the-National League Midsummer Classic."
A whole 40 million more votes have been cast for Kansas City players this year as compared to last. Bob Bowman, the president and CEO of MLB Advanced Media, told the Washington Post that, overall, 2015 could see the most votes ever cast for the All-Star Game.