Pastor's Anti-Gay Remarks Stir Inauguration Controversy, Taibbi Blasts Government Lies, and More
As expected, President Obama nominated Jack Lew to replace Timothy Geithner at the Treasury Department on Thursday afternoon. In making the selection, the president joked about Lew’s now infamously bad signature–which will adorn all the U.S. currency if he’s confirmed–saying, “When this was highlighted yesterday in the press I considered rescinding my offer to appoint him.” (Read more)
Man With a Plan: After a week of meetings with people and groups from both sides of the gun control issue, Vice President Joe Biden announced Thursday that his task force would have a set of recommendations on curbing gun violence by Tuesday. But Biden says this is merely the first step the administration is taking on the issue. He told reporters: “This doesn’t mean it is the end of the discussion, but the public wants us to act.” (Read more)
Biden, Interrupted: If all the mass shootings weren’t evidence enough that the issue of guns is one that needs to be dealt with, here’s another piece — CNN cut into Joe Biden’s presentation on curbing gun violence to report on yet another school shooting. The latest one occurred at Taft Union High School in California, where a 16-year-old student reportedly shot and critically injured another student. The suspect is in custody. (Read more)
Call to Action: During a speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Bill Clinton said he didn’t understand the resistance to gun control and said he hopes to see more action taken to decrease gun violence in the wake of the Newtown elementary school shooting. “I grew up in this hunting culture, but this is nuts,” the former president said. “Why does anybody need a … 30-round clip for a gun?” He added that he supported the idea of some schools having armed guards, but that it was “not an excuse not to deal with this issue.” (Read more)
Pastor Out: Two days after it was announced that he would give the benediction at the president’s inauguration, Rev. Louie Giglio pulled himself out of the ceremony because of controversy that erupted when an anti-gay sermon he delivered in the 1990s was uncovered. Here’s a sample passage from that sermon: “Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive moment. That movement is not a benevolent movement; it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family.” Yeah, that doesn’t exactly jibe with President Obama’s views, which include support for legalizing same-sex marriage. (Read more)
Tried and Untrue: Matt Taibbi is calling out the federal government for telling some whoppers to the public about the bank bailout. “The lie was the bailout. That was really part of the whole rescue effort, was telling the American public that all of these companies were healthy when in fact they weren’t,” Taibbi, who argues that the country’s financial system remains broken, told HuffPost Live. He added, “They [the government] just threw a ton of money at Wall Street, papered over the problems, and … waved a wand over it and said everything will be all right.” Hey, someone had to call out the lies. (Read more)
Video of the Day: Things got heated between “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Thursday, as the two got into an argument over the lack of diversity in President Obama’s second-term Cabinet. At one point, Brzezinski—who was defending Obama based on his first-term record of having appointed multiple women to important Cabinet posts—accused Scarborough of “being chauvinistic.” The former Republican congressman didn’t take it well, as evidenced by his literally snapping at her.