Emily Atkin of Think Progress has posted seven great questions put forth by progressives — including former Equality NC director Ian Palmquist — that ought to be posed of all presidential candidates, including the five Democrats who will debate on CNN tonight:

1)“What do you think are the top three things the next president needs to do in order to make sure fewer families have to go through the pain that mine has?” – Erica Lafferty Smegielski, daughter of deceased Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung.

2) “Will you engage in aggressive litigation against the fossil fuel industry’s conspiracy of climate denial, as the Clinton administration did against the tobacco industry?” – R.L. Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote.

3) “What would you do to prevent the racially charged attacks on the right to vote?” – Sean McElwee, research associate at Demos.

4) “When you step into office, will you commit … [to use] your authority to immediately end leasing of public fossil fuels in the U.S.?” – Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth Action.

5) “What will you do to ensure that young people maintain access to critical healthcare services despite growing conservative attacks on birth control, abortion, and other services?” – MS Keifer, policy analyst at Advocates for Youth.

6) “Will they work to eliminate all mandatory minimum drug sentences? And how would they allocate federal funds and specifically design programs to prevent recidivism?” – Zellie Imani, Black Lives Matter activist and New Jersey teacher.

7) “What would your administration do to make sure young LGBT youth are getting education, not incarceration?” – Ian Palmquist, director of leadership programs for Equality Federation.

Click here to read the entire article and the full explanations of each question.


I don’t spend a lot of time trolling Fox Noise (er, ah, News) and missed this when it came out last week, so pardon me if you’ve already seen it. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, however, this commentary clearly is the dumbest in a long line of certifiably loony takes from the Murdochians.


About each other, that is.

In case you missed it the other day, John Nichols of The Nation had one of the most insightful takes on the latest developments in the GOP presidential primary battle. In it, he quotes thus far unsuccessful GOP candidate Buddy Roemer’s to-the-point tweet:

 “The two frontrunners: A lobbyist and corporate shill. Why are they on top? They have the most $$. We can do better”



Saying Newt Gingrich is the best debater in the GOP primary race is like saying an elephant does a better cannonball than a mouse – sure, it’s true, but that really isn’t the point.  The same can be said about what Newt keeps saying about President Obama: sure, more people are using food stamps than when he took office, but is that really the point?

No, it isnt’t, but it sure does get headlines. Newt’s newest attack glibly claims:

“The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history … I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.”

Aside from the fact that the president didn’t “put” anyone on food stamps, this might not be the winning argument Newt thinks it is. According to a new poll , Read More


Mitt Romney has achieved a seemingly unparalleled feat in the context of the 2012 presidential campaign: he’s united former governor Sarah Palin and President Obama around a common cause. Both have recently called on the former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital co-founder to make his income tax returns available to the public.

Thus far, Mr. Romney has broken with recent precedent for presidential campaigns and refused to release his tax returns.

The recent disclosure of the executive compensation packages of another prominent private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, together with the overwhelming, broad-based public support for the “Buffett Rule,” may shed some light on Mr. Romney’s unusual decision.

Howard Gleckman of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has written how the Carlyle disclosure has revealed new information about how multi-millionaire private equity executives are able to pay a far lower tax rate than many middle class families by taking advantage of the carried-interest tax loophole (aka “the carry”): Read More