Republicans on a losing streak

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

Republican Presidential hopeful Scott Walker in London

If someone had told you that, in the months after the Republican Party’s historic 2014 Congressional election wins, Republicans would suffer one self-inflicted defeat and embarrassment after another, you might have told that person that he was nuts. But that is exactly what has happened to the Republican Party since last November’s elections. Here are some of the highlights, or more accurately, lowlights:

President Obama’s striking town hall meeting on immigration

Protester at 2010 immigration reform rally

Protester at 2010 immigration reform rally

Yesterday, President Barack Obama participated in a town hall meeting on immigration, hosted by Jose Diaz-Barlart of Telemundo network and held before an audience at Florida International University in Miami. The Obama town hall meeting, broadcast on Telemundo and MSNBC, was striking for several reasons:

Anatomy of Rudolph Giuliani’s racist fail

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

Caricature of authoritarian Rudolph Giuliani

The age of rapid political blowback, helped along by social media sharing, is upon us, and Rudolph Giuliani‘s racist remarks against President Barack Obama are the latest example. Here is a rough timeline of how Giuliani was hoist with his own petard:

Social media and the fall of Brian Williams

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Chris Cillizza wrote a short Washington Post piece last Friday entitled “Who had the worst week in Washington? NBC’s Brian Williams.” Cillizza’s op-ed described how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was taken down by social media. In particular, Williams was placed on six months’ unpaid suspension, and may lose his job permanently, as a direct result of a Facebook comment by helicopter flight engineer Lance Reynolds, who disputed Williams’ oft-repeated story about being on a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. The social media takedown of Brian Williams was a keen observation by Cillizza, but social media are responsible for much than just Brian Williams’ job status. The Brian Williams debacle might be remembered as the moment where social media, and the Internet itself, overtook  television.

Jeb Bush feels the heat of the campaign kitchen

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush being introduced at World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in 2012

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush being introduced at World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in 2012

Former Florida Governor John E. “Jeb” Bush has not even officially announced that he is running for President yet, but already Bush finds himself under attack. Among the early attacks against Bush are:

Disneyland, measles vaccines and the illusion of choice

Disneyland crowd

Disneyland crowd

“I went to Disneyland and all I got was this t-shirt” is now a good thing, given that Disneyland in Anaheim, California is considered Ground Zero for the current U.S. measles outbreak. This outbreak of measles has now spread to 14 states with 102 reported cases as of January 30, which is double the pace of reported cases from last year. Experts agree that the measles outbreak at Disneyland and across the United States is a result of people who have not been vaccinated. In California alone, scores of parents at some schools have refused to vaccinate their children by signing a “personal belief exemption,” which is also available in a number of other U.S. states. Some of these so-called “anti-vaxxers” unfortunately have fallen prey to thoroughly debunked false information alleging that vaccines cause autism and other scary problems.

Republicans making mischief with Israel PM Netanyahu visit

John Boehner and Republicans at September 2013 rally to shut down federal government

John Boehner and Republicans at September 2013 rally to shut down federal government

Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner‘s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vividly demonstrates that, after winning both houses of Congress in last November’s election, Republicans have no desire to work with President Obama or the Democrats for the common good. Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu is Republican political mischief-making in the extreme.

Interview with Kim Williams of Indie Media Weekly

Kim Williams during her U.S. Air Force days

Kim Williams during her U.S. Air Force days

Indie media mogul. How else to describe Kim Williams, who manages her own online network showcasing a growing roster of progressive and creative talent? Kim has had an amazing, sometimes bumpy, journey from the Reddest of states to the first Iraq War to her current position as curator of online goodness (disclosure: Messaging Matters, as well as the “Turn Up the Night with Kenny Pick” show for which the author is a co-host, are both featured at Kim’s Indie Media Weekly site). We recently caught up with Kim, and we were exhilarated by her accomplishments as well as her views. We think you will be too:

The solar energy explosion of 2015

Solar installation on Walmart store, Mountain View, CA

Solar installation on Walmart store, Mountain View, CA

Did you notice a lot more solar panels in 2014, on homes, schools, shopping malls, street lights, road signs, public lands and elsewhere? If so, you weren’t imagining things. Solar energy installations are taking off in the United States and elsewhere around the world, to the point where 2015 is shaping up to be the Year of Solar Power. Take a look at some of the recent growth in solar energy:

Republicans begin new year in extreme ways

Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise

Republicans, who won big in last November’s elections, have already trotted out extreme positions, statements and behavior for the new year. If this trend of GOP extremism continues, it could be one of the biggest issues of 2015.