Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), as expected, traveled to London yesterday and delivered a striking set of remarks, arguing among other things, "It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so-called 'no-go zone.'"
To briefly recap, far-right voices have pushed a line, amplified by conservative media, that in Britain and elsewhere, there are Muslim-majority communities in which non-Muslims -- even local law enforcement -- simply do not go. In reality, these "no-go zones" do not exist, a point even Fox News conceded over the weekend.
Jindal nevertheless continues to pretend the far-right myth is real, adding that "Islam has a problem." In his remarks yesterday, referring to Muslims, the Louisiana Republican and likely presidential candidate went on to say, "[I]t is their problem, and they need to deal with it."
After the speech, Jindal told NBC News that he supports "legal immigration," but added, "[I]n many ways, you're looking at folks that want to come and, in some ways, they want to overturn our culture they want to come in and almost colonize our countries."
In a separate interview with CNN, Jindal continued to push the "no-go zones" argument, prompting a British interviewer to say, "You have to have proper facts to back that up. I've lived here a long time; I don't know of any 'no-go zones.'" The Republican replied:
"Well, I did say 'so-called no-go zones.' I think that the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it's not here won't make it go away."
Remember, Jindal's the one who said he wants Republicans to stop being "the stupid party."
Not too long ago, a president would deliver a State of the Union address... and that was it. Much of the country would see the speech, pundits would talk about it, and either the political world would respond favorably or it wouldn't.
In the 1960s, Republicans decided it wasn't entirely fair for a president to have all the fun, and the official State of the Union response was born.
But in the Obama era, as GOP politics went off the deep end, the number of speeches on the big night proliferated. Last year, in addition to President Obama's actual SOTU, there was an official Republican response, an official Republican Spanish-language response, a Tea Party response, Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) self-indulgent response, and a "prebuttal" from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) because, well, why the heck not.
This year, the fact that Republicans tapped Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for the party's official response seemingly negated the need for competing conservative voices -- Ernst is, after all, one of the most frighteningly right-wing senators in a generation. Why bother with a Tea Party response if the Republican address will be delivered by arguably the most radical voice in the Senate?
Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) will deliver the tea party's response to President Barack Obama's 2015 State of the Union address, the Tea Party Express announced Thursday.
"2015 marks a year of new beginnings for the Tea Party movement," Tea Party Express executive director Taylor Budowich said in a statement. "These new Tea Party members of Congress are brimming with ideas to make America economically stronger with opportunity for all to realize the American Dream. We are honored to present Florida Congressman Curt Clawson, the first Tea Party Express victory for the 2014 cycle, as someone committed to making Congress deliver for the American people."
To appreciate what makes the selection interesting, consider the impression Congressman Clawson has made over the course of his brief, seven-month career on Capitol Hill.
Rachel Maddow reports on how an expanded federal hate crimes bill, signed into law by President Obama closed a loophole, allowing prosecutors to convict all ten participants in a racially motivated murder in Jackson, Mississippi in 2011. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on clean-up efforts after an oil pipeline burst, dumping tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, the second time the Yellowstone has suffered from a broken oil pipeline. watch
Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, talks with Rachael Maddow about the context of President Obama's State of the Union address, and whether the President Obama's agenda is typical of presidents beginning their seventh year. watch
Rachel Maddow reports that civil rights icon Amelia Boynton, at 103-years-old, is expected to attend the President Obama's State of the Union address as the guest of Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, a native of Selma. watch
Rachel Maddow reports that the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address to be delivered by Senator Joni Ernst is apparently not representative of tea party Republicans, whose response will come from Rep. Curt Clawson. watch
Rachel Maddow points out that while all 50 states celebrate the holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., three states, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, celebrate the birthday of Confederate general Robert E. Lee on that same day. watch
Rachel Maddow reports on the Supreme Court taking up the Fair Housing Act, making civil rights activists nervous because of the damage the Roberts court has already done to the Voting Rights Act - damage Republicans have decided not to fix. watch
Rachel Maddow points out that several politicians in office today initially voted against honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday and have since expressed regret. Rep. Steve Scalise opposed the holiday as recently as 2004. watch