The rent is too damned high. For us. Not for you. [Shorter Question Everything]

If Republicans can’t take care of their own finances, why should they get to screw with the financial security of everyone else?


State GOP served with eviction papers for its St. Paul office space: The debt-plagued Republican Party of Minnesota is getting kicked out of its party headquarters near the state Capitol. Massachusetts-based Hub Properties Trust filed paperwork in Ramsey County on Wednesday to evict the state GOP for failing to pay more than $96,000 in rent over the last year….The eviction action follows a series of revelations last winter regarding debts accrued by the party during the reign of former RPM Chairman Tony Sutton. In December, an internal review of finances revealed that the party owes $1.23 million to creditors, plus more than $700,000 in legal fees accrued during the 2010 gubernatorial recount, and is facing possible fines from the Federal Elections Commission for undisclosed debts. The party is also currently being investigated by the state campaign finance board. [politicsinminnesota/Paul Demko and Briana Bierschbach/23 Apr 2012]

The Idiotic New Sting Operation Against Planned Parenthood: Over the last few weeks, Planned Parenthood locations across the country have been visited by becostumed actors pretending to be women desperate to know whether or not their baby is a girl so that they can abort it. The similarity of the incidents combined with the strange series of questions asked by the visitors suggests that this may be the work of Live Action, a group known for staging “stings” that attempt to make outrage-inducing videos of Planned Parenthood employees acting like how conservatives imagine Planned Parenthood employees act, all shifty-eyed and bloodless. According to the Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett, the mysterious visitors have made stops at Planned Parenthood locations in at least 11 states, and the similarities between visits have led executives to believe that they’re part of a coordinated effort to create more misleadingly edited sting videos. And at the top of the lists of suspects is Live Action. [jezebel/Erin Gloria Ryan/23 Apr 2012]

Etch-A-Tweet: Mitt Romney spokesman deletes 800 tweets critical of women:
New York Daily News:

A Romney aide is rewriting history — his own.
Richard Grenell, a former Bush official, removed hundreds of Tweets and comments from his online profile this weekend after reporters zeroed in on his penchant for snarky comments about women in politics.
“Hillary is starting to look liek (sic) Madeline Albright,” Grenell wrote on his Twitter page, comparing current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the the first female secretary of state, who served under Bill Clinton.

In total, according to The Daily News, 800 tweets were erased. As I wrote on Friday:

Given his boss, it’s pretty fitting that within his first few hours on the job, he had to whip out the old Etch-A-Sketch.

[Daily Kos/Jed Lewison/24 Apr 2012]

Romney Spokesman Under Fire For Tweets Also Edits His Own Wikipedia Page: Last week, we noted that Mitt Romney’s new foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell had a colorful life on Twitter, often dispensing biting comments about political opponents, and women in particular. Grennell has since scrubbed much of his online presence, deleting over 800 tweets and taking down his person website. Now, Buzz Feed’s Andrew Kaczynski points out (on Twitter) that Grenell edits his own Wikipedia page. The edit page shows that most of the edits have to basic biographical information, such as his job history. But the editing suggest someone concerned about their public perception online, and thus someone who should probably have known better than, or saw nothing wrong with, making derogatory comments about MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s femininity, for example. [thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/23 Apr 2012]

Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm: Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet. It can be found in public company reports hosted on mainstream media that Monsanto scooped up the Beeologics firm back in September 2011. During this time the correlation between Monsanto’s GM crops and the bee decline was not explored in the mainstream, and in fact it was hardly touched upon until Polish officials addressed the serious concern amid the monumental ban. Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination” could be very advantageous for Monsanto. In fact, Beelogics’ company information states that the primary goal of the firm is to study the very collapse disorder that is thought to be a result – at least in part – of Monsanto’s own creations. [NaturalSociety/Anthony Gucciardi/23 Apr 2012]

Afghanistan and US Agree on Strategic Pact Text: Afghanistan and the United States on Sunday agreed on a draft of a long-awaited deal that will define the scope and nature of a U.S. presence in the country for up to a decade after the pullout of most NATO combat troops in 2014. The U.S. Ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker, and Afghan national security adviser, Rangin Spanta, initialed copies of the agreement, paving the way for President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, to review it….It spells out the framework for a future U.S. role in Afghanistan, including aid assistance and governance advice. But it will not specify whether a reduced number of U.S. troops – possibly special forces – and advisers will remain in the country after NATO’s 2014 withdrawal deadline, with that issue to be covered in a separate status of forces agreement. Negotiations on the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) were delayed for months until U.S. negotiators agreed to Karzai’s demands to hand over operation of American prisons in the country to Afghan control and to hand over leadership of night raids on homes to Afghan forces. [Reuters/Rob Taylor/23 Apr 2012]

Renewed Fighting on Sudan Border Near Disputed Oilfield: Fighting has broken out on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, shortly after the South pulled out of a disputed border town. South Sudanese military officials say they repulsed ground and air attacks. Sudan confirmed there had been clashes, which come after 10 days of fighting over the oilfield town of Heglig. On Monday, a Sudanese warplane dropped bombs near the South Sudanese border town of Bentiu, killing at least one person, eyewitnesses said. Satellite pictures of the Heglig area released on Sunday suggest key oil installations were badly damaged in the fighting and are no longer operating. The pictures were analysed by the US-funded Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), which says it is impossible to know who was responsible for the damage. [BBC News/23 Apr 2012]

Fukushima air to stay radioactive in 2022: FUKUSHIMA — A decade from now, airborne radiation levels in some parts of Fukushima Prefecture are still expected to be dangerous at above 50 millisieverts a year, a government report says. The report, which contains projections through March 2032, was presented by trade minister Yukio Edano Sunday to leaders of Futaba, one of the towns that host the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The report includes radiation forecasts for 2012 to 2014, and for 2017, 2022 and 2032, based on the results of monitoring in November last year. It was compiled to help municipalities draw up recovery and repopulation programs for the nuclear disaster. [japantimes/23 Apr 2012]

2 Marines to Be Dismissed for Lying About Haditha Killings: SAN DIEGO — The Navy on Thursday initiated dismissal proceedings against two Marines from a squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005, saying they lied to military investigators after the massacre. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus made the decision, and Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz and Sgt. Humberto Mendoza were notified of the move Thursday, said Lt. Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman. The two Marines could not be reached for comment. [Associated Press/Julie Watson/20 Apr 2012]

Congress mulls $680M for Israeli Iron Dome: Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may be at odds with U.S. President Barack Obama but the U.S. Congress is expected to hand Israeli $680 million to pay for more batteries of the Iron Dome counter-rocket systems to shield the Jewish state. That’ll be the second time in a year that the Americans have stepped in to underwrite the system developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Iron Dome is the bottom layer of a planned four-tier, anti-missile defense system. It’s also on top of the $3 billion in military aid for Israel by the United States as well as billions more in loans and grants. [UPI/23 Apr 2012]

Trying to Score Birth Control in 2012: Shortages and “Against Our Policy” to Refill: It seems that there is a shortage of birth control at my university affiliated health clinic. There is an 8-week backorder on many popular birth control pills and diaphragms are not carried at all. I asked her why this was happening. She told me that in all the years she had been practicing medicine, she had never seen anything like it, and that she was deeply concerned. [DailyKos/Flying Squirrel/23 Apr 2012]

Missouri GOP Senate Candidate ‘Not Sure’ What The Violence Against Women Act Is: Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican now hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said recently that she was unfamiliar with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark anti-domestic violence legislation whose re-authorization is now stalled in the Senate….A video released today by the Missouri Democratic Party shows a man asking Steelman about VAWA at a campaign event. Steelman replies, “I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.” He asks again, “you haven’t really heard about it?” And she confirms, “no, not really.” [thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/23 Apr 2012]

Anti-Woman Politician Refuses to Debate Congresswoman Because She’ll Make Him Say Dumb Things: Fed up with the nonstop anti-woman crap emanating from Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman’s mouth, State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys offered to debate him one on one, mano a womano, in public. Unsurprisingly, he turned her down, saying that she wanted to “to gain further platform to misrepresent the Republican position on a variety of issues,” which is coward code for “my views are so terrible that not even I am capable of representing them in a way that doesn’t make me sound like an asshole.” [jezebel/Erin Gloria Ryan/23 Apr 2012]

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