Jon Stewart on Wednesday took a look at the GOP's minority outreach efforts since the Republican National Committee released a report conceding that the party needs to be more inclusive. So how has it been going? Stewart considered a few recent examples.
Recently, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) referred to migrant farm workers as "wetbacks," rising conservative star Dr. Ben Carson linked gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) compared gun magazines limits to gay marriage and bestiality.
The White House on April 9 is scheduled to host a concert honoring Memphis soul music, with Alabama Shakes, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, Joshua Ledet, Sam Moore, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples and Justin Timberlake will performing, according to a release. Booker T. Jones will be the concert's musical director and band leader, the White House said.
President Obama sang a few bars of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a fundraiser last year at New York's Apollo Theater.
This month's "Performance at the White House" event will air on PBS stations at 8 p.m. ET on April 16, according to the White House's release.
New video was released on Wednesday of James Early Ray travelling to Memphis for his trial in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., according to NBC News. The clip, compiled by NBC, also shows Ray being searched at the Shelby County Jail. Ray pleaded guilty to killing King, as the Associated Press reported, but later withdrew his confession. April 4, 2013 is the 45th anniversary of King's death.
The following converted video tapes are a portion of the material obtained by the Shelby County Register/Archives’ Office in 2011 from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Other material received at that time include logs for the period James Earl Ray was incarcerated in Shelby County and photographs of Ray as he was received by the Sheriff upon his extradition from London. Excluding this video footage, all material has previously been made available on the Shelby County Register’s website in the "Dr. Martin Luther King Assassination Investigation" exhibit.
In 1968, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office purchased a Sony Videocorder and Video Camera for the purposes of documenting the extradition, incarceration, and proceedings as related to James Earl Ray for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is believed that the personnel using the equipment were learning how to operate this technology as they recorded. As a result, the footage is not always as clear as we are accustomed to seeing today. Additional lighting is not used on most of the recordings. Audio portions are not always clear. There are inconsistencies in the video and audio tracks throughout the converted footage.
On the "James Earl Ray Arrival on Plane July 19, 1968" video, there will be video dropouts along with lighting and sound issues.
The tapes, titled "Shelby County Jail Booking Procedures 1969," "James Earl Ray Arraignment, Court Attendees July 22, 1968," and "James Earl Ray Guilty Plea, Court Attendees March 10, 1969," were apparently recorded over as each has an additional audio track that causes some interference with audio portions being captured by the Sheriff’s personnel.
On the video, "TV Report with William Bradford Huie February 6, 1969," the Sheriff’s personnel recorded a local news TV broadcast. In doing so, they recorded commercials and television programs for that day before and after the news report.
The tape "James Earl Ray Court Proceedings, Court Attendees September 30, 1968," contains portions of television programs and an additional audio track.
Another former Republican presidential candidate is open to running again in 2016: Newt Gingrich.
"I don't rule it out, but we're not spending any energy on it," the former Speaker of the House said Thursday at a National Review event in Washington.
Gingrich's comments come after former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who also failed to clinch the nomination in 2012, said he might consider another campaign. “I’m certainly leaving the door open for that,’’ Santorum said in an interview Wednesday. “I’m making no commitments at this point, but we’re not doing anything inconsistent with running in 2016.’’
He is, however, continuing to speak in the early primary states. Gingrich, a 69-year-old former House speaker, will head to South Carolina later this month. He announced today that he will visit the state from April 29 to May 2 for an energy roundtable and other events.
“I would like to be somebody who plays a role in developing a new generation of ideas,” he said. He acknowledged that a new crop of candidates will likely emerge, but he isn’t ready to leave the arena.
After failing to secure the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said on Wednesday that he isn't ruling out another bid in 2016.
“I’m certainly leaving the door open for that,’’ Santorum said on "The Steve Malzberg Show." “I’m making no commitments at this point, but we’re not doing anything inconsistent with running in 2016.’’
The 2016 jockeying has already begun. Santorum recently stumped for a candidate in the South Carolina special House election. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is scheduled to speak at a GOP dinner in May in South Carolina. And Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a GOP dinner next month in New Hampshire.
Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) announced Thursday that he will forfeit 5 percent of his salary in response to workers furloughed or laid off as a result of budget sequestration. Murphy plans to donate the money to Florida charities. He said in a statement:
"Sequestration's indiscriminate cuts are causing furloughs and job losses as well as cutting funding to many important programs in our communities, yet the salaries of members of Congress have not been affected. That is why I am going to take a portion of my salary each month to support local charities who continue to go above and beyond to provide vital services to those in our community. I am looking forward to giving back to the community and for this first contribution to go to such a special cause, to assist the family of Sgt. Morales. When our community lost a hero, they also lost a husband and father and it has been moving to see the community come together to support them during this most difficult time."
President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have also announced that they will give up some of their income in a show of support to those who have been impacted by the sequester.
Netflix announced Thursday that it will premiere the fourth season of "Arrested Development" on May 26. The new season will be released in full with 15 episodes going live at once, a release said, similar to the way Netflix released its own original production of the political thriller "House of Cards."
James Carville has teamed up with the pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee, Ready for Hillary PAC, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
A source told the Post that Carville will announce his support in an email Thursday:
“I’m not going to waste my time writing you about how great Hillary is or how formidable she’d be – you know it all already,” he will say in the e-mail, which was shared with Post Politics. “But it isn’t worth squat to have the fastest car at the racetrack if there ain’t any gas in the tank — and that’s why the work that Ready for Hillary PAC is doing is absolutely critical. We need to convert the hunger that’s out there for Hillary’s candidacy into a real grassroots organization.”
GLAAD will honor former President Bill Clinton with an Advocate for Change Award at the gay and lesbian advocacy group's media awards later this month, the organization announced Wednesday. GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz said in a statement:
"President Clinton's support of the LGBT community and recognition that DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional and should be struck down shows that the political landscape continues to change in favor of LGBT equality. Leaders and allies like President Clinton are critical to moving our march for equality forward."
At a Democratic fundraiser Wednesday in San Francisco, President Obama showered praise on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying, "I would be dishonest if I didn’t say that it would be a whole lot easier to govern if I had Nancy Pelosi as Speaker."
Obama discussed his desire to pass meaningful legislation on gun control and immigration reform, adding that he would "would love nothing better" than political opponents who are willing to meet him halfway on issues.
"And my hope is, is that we’re going to see more and more Republicans who say, you know what, I didn’t come here just to fight the President or demonize Nancy Pelosi, I came here to get some stuff done," Obama said, according to a transcript from the White House. "And they will be greeted with great enthusiasm by me and, I think, by Nancy, if we could get some more stuff done right now. But, realistically, I could get a whole lot more done if Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House."