Ted Nugent has lost yet another gig with a Native American casino, thanks to the rocker's various racially charged comments — this time a pair of concerts at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, which had been scheduled for August 2 and 3.
"The First Amendment gives people the right of free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here," Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe told the NBC affiliate in Seattle. "We've been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations." LaPointe also added: "I don't want to take away his right to say what he wants to say, but we don't need it here."
Among the complaints from tribe members about Nugent were the photos he has posted on his own Facebook account, in which he has worn a traditional Native American headdress. This is on top of his infamous comment earlier this year, when he referred to President Obama as a "sub-human mongrel."
In this case, sadly, the tribe told the station that in addition to complaints about Nugent, they had also received outright threats from some individuals — including one about bombing the casino if Nugent performed.
The Puyallup Tribe's decision comes two days after another tribe, the Coeur d'Alene of Idaho, canceled a separate Nugent concert that was set for early August at their own casino. Nugent has not responded well to an apparent wave of cancelations, referring to the people agitating against him in a separate case (which was not connected to Native Americans in that instance) as "unclean vermin." --Eric Kleefeld
A new study published at Political Research Quarterly indicates that many Americans who identify with one of the major parties make their electoral decisions more like a sports fan than an informed voter.
What motivates partisans to vote is "not high-minded, good-government, issue-based goals," says Patrick Miller of the University of Kansas, who co-authored the research with the University of North Carolina's Pamela Johnston Conover. Instead, "It's, 'I hate the other party. I'm going to go out, and we're going to beat them.'"
Using data from the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which identified strong and weak partisans and independents on a seven-point range, Miller and Conover's research found that 65 percent of partisans valued their team's victory as much or more than political convictions. Fewer than 15 percent of Democrats and Republicans believed their rivals possessed "core moral traits," and 38 percent of both sides were willing to "use any tactics necessary," including violence and fraud, to win an election. Rivalry increased with age, and the "more partisans are hostile and lean toward incivility, the more active they are politically." Bonnie Kristian
Though Attorney General Eric Holder has frequently criticized police brutality — and his Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released a damning report on police misconduct in Ferguson, Mo. — an investigation by the New York Times finds that during Holder's tenure, the DOJ "has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments" at the Supreme Court.
On a broader level, the Holder DOJ has generally made it easier for police to use force at their own discretion and more difficult for citizens to successfully lodge a complaint. This is nothing new, though high profile civil rights inquiries like the Ferguson report have highlighted the contradictions in DOJ approaches to police behavior.
Law professor William R. Yeomans of American University argues that Holder would face immense institutional opposition from federal law enforcement should he attempt to change the DOJ's basic pro-police stance: "The institutional interests in support of law enforcement are very powerful and very real," he said. Bonnie Kristian
The Senate on Tuesday announced an agreement to move ahead on a stalled human trafficking bill, a development that should finally result in a long-delayed confirmation vote on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.
"As soon as we finish the trafficking bill," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "we'll move to the president's nominee for attorney general in the next day or so."
Democrats repeatedly filibustered the trafficking bill due to language restricting abortions — language they claimed Republicans sneaked into the bill at the last minute. Republicans responded by refusing to hold a confirmation vote for Lynch — whose nomination has been pending since November — until the Senate finished work on the trafficking bill. Jon Terbush
A startup company wants to change the way we approach breast cancer screenings.
Color Genomics has developed a way of testing whether women are genetically at risk for breast cancer, and it's a lot less expensive than traditional breast cancer screenings. The saliva test is only $249, which is about a tenth of the cost of other genetic breast cancer screenings, The New York Times reports. The saliva test looks at BRCA1 and BRCA2, the primary genes where mutations can occur and increase the risk of breast cancer, as well as 17 other cancer-risk genes.
Traditionally, women who have family histories of breast cancer undergo genetic testing to assess their risks of the disease. But the accessibility and ease of Color Genomics' test could allow many women to be tested who may not have been able to in the past.
Some experts have expressed concern that the test could create confusion among women whose test results weren't clear, such as a test signaling a mutation, but not whether it was dangerous or benign. And Color Genomics wants the test to be sold through its website, a policy another startup took with testing in 2013, only to be shut down by the FDA, the Times notes. Meghan DeMaria
Support for ObamaCare is creeping up, and it could tick even higher if Americans were better informed about the specifics of the law, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Tuesday.
In the survey, only eight percent of adults correctly responded that ObamaCare is costing less than expected. Meanwhile, 50 percent of adults — and a whopping 70 percent of Republicans — said it was costing more than planned, while 18 percent said the cost remained unchanged, and 23 percent were unsure.
In March, a Congressional Budget Office report concluded ObamaCare would cost 11 percent less than expected.
Despite that confusion, though, for the first time since November 2012 a plurality of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the law. While support for ObamaCare bottomed out at 33 percent in late 2013 following the law's blundering debut, it rose to 43 percent in the latest survey. —Jon Terbush
The Koch brothers may not be settling on a Republican presidential candidate just yet. One day after The New York Times reported that the Kochs were getting behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a "top Koch aide" tells Politico the billionaire brothers are going to give Jeb Bush a "chance to audition for the brothers' support."
The reason for the reconsideration, according to Mike Allen: "Bush is getting a second look because so many Koch supporters think he looks like a winner."
It's possible the Kochs really are undecided. It's also possible they're doing some damage control to contain the fallout from the Times story.
Either way, David Koch, fresh off proclaiming Walker should be the nominee, walked back the remark in a statement to Politico. While Walker would make a "terrific" president, he said, "I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point." Jon Terbush
Archaeologists have discovered an incredibly rare, advanced weapon, and they found it by accident.
A Russian archaeological team was studying a sabre that was discovered seven years ago in Yaroslavl. They were only conducting a routine examination, but closer inspection revealed that the sabre was actually the oldest crucible steel weapon found in eastern Europe.
— MongolsChinaSilkRoad (@MongolsSilkRoad) April 21, 2015
Asya Engovatova, who led the research, said in a statement that the discovery was "highly unexpected," since the sabre had already been on display at a local museum for seven years. In 2007, Engovatova's team found the weapon at a mass grave site for civilians killed in a massacre in 1238. The site also yielded skeletons and household items, including dishes and jewelry.
Analysis of the sabre revealed that it was a sword made from crucible steel, a rare and expensive material. The archaeologists believe the sabre could have belonged to a wealthy warrior from the army of Batu Khan, who led the 1238 invasion. They also believe the sabre was burned during a ritual before it was buried. There's still much for historians to explore about the weapon, but for now, the sabre has returned to its display at the Yaroslavl Museum. Meghan DeMaria