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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Newtown Victim’s Sister: ‘It Only Takes 90 Seconds’ To Do A Background Check

One year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a 27-year-old teacher, Victoria Leigh Soto, threw herself between her first graders and Adam Lanza, taking the bullets he meant for them. A photograph of her younger sister, Carlee, receiving the news of Vicki’s death on her cell phone quickly became a symbol of national heartbreak over the shooting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1 in 5 Africans forced to pay bribes for police, health care, education

Almost one in five Africans were forced to pay a bribe in the past year just to get basic public services, a major survey said Thursday.

10 things you should know about slavery

As it expands into wider release, 12 Years a Slave seems to have accomplished an improbable feat. It’s sparking conversations on African-American history and slavery in a month other than February.

Homeowner Who Shot Girl Seeking Help At His Door Charged With Murder

A Detroit-area homeowner who shot in the face a 19-year-old girl at his door will be charged with murder, Wayne County prosecutors announced Thursday. The charges include murder in the second degree, which carries a term of up to life in prison; a manslaughter charge with a maximum term of 15 years in prison; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony or attempted commission, which carries a term of two years in prison.

Here’s How Occupy Wall Street Freed Americans From Millions In Debt

Occupy Wall Street activists have canceled nearly $15 million in consumer debt in the first year of a program called Rolling Jubilee that uses crowd funding to buy up and then void consumers’ debt. The program spent just $400,000 of the roughly $620,000 it has raised to date to buy up medical debts that were far enough past due that they were being resold for pennies on the dollar, marking a first-ever incursion by populist activists into an industry dominated by unscrupulous private debt collectors.

The People Who Care For Our Children Are Paid Terribly

While it’s become little secret that in-home nannies are paid poorly, those who work in childcare centers are also paid poverty wages.

In Somalia, The Other Natural Disaster That Nobody Is Talking About

A deadly cyclone slammed the Puntland region of Somalia last weekend to little international notice, wreaking havoc on an already impoverished population.

Hurricane Katrina, The Obamacare Rollout, And Allowing Privilege To Shape Our Politics

On Friday, the media got swept up in an unhelpful comparison between the rocky Obamacare rollout and the botched clean-up efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was probably simply inevitable; likening political fumbles to Katrina has become an increasingly common trope in the years following the 2005 tragedy. In response, commentators were quick to point out that, although the technical glitches plaguing HealthCare.gov are undoubtedly a huge problem, they won’t actually have the same impact as a deadly natural disaster.

REPORT: Apple CEO Saves Thanksgiving For The Company’s Workers

On the heels of rumors that some Apple retail locations would open on Thanksgiving Day, joining a growing number of stores that are denying workers the ability to stay home with their families and celebrate, the Apple news site ifoAppleStore reports that CEO Tim Cook cancelled those plans. The site notes, “Cook’s specific objection was that it’s important for Apple retail employees to be with their families on the holiday.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

California’s Online Sales Tax Is Bringing In Millions Of Dollars

California’s controversial online sales tax has reaped more than $260 million dollars in just one year of collection, according to newly released data from the California Board of Equalization. While brick-and-mortar businesses collect sales tax, online retailers with offices in California were exempt for years until 2011, costing the state billions in lost revenue. Capital Public Radio reports that 40 percent of the new revenue has gone to the state’s general fund, which is spent on education, Medicaid, prisons, and transportation, among other public programs.

What You Need To Know About The Severely Conservative Judge Who Just Ruled Against Birth Control

Nine years ago, the California Supreme Court upheld a state law similar to the Affordable Care Act’s rules requiring most employers to include birth control coverage in their employee health plans. The sole dissent in that case was Justice Janice Rogers Brown. Nearly a decade later, Brown got her revenge. Though no longer a member of California’s highest court — President George W. Bush appointed her to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit over the strenuous objections of Democrats — Judge Brown is now the author of a 2-1 opinion holding that religious employers can ignore the federal birth control rules. What was once a fringe view held by a lone holdout is now the law in the second most powerful court in the country.

How The NRA Made It Easier To Bring Guns Into Airports

On Friday, a gunman “pulled a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag” and opened fire on an airport. Officials have arrested the alleged shooter, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, who killed a TSA agent and wounded six others at a security checkpoint. The incident is the second airport shooting in six months.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years

Nearly 300 oil spills and 750 “oil field incidents” have occurred in North Dakota since January 2012 and none were reported to the public, according to a report released Friday by the Associated Press.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Men Go Grocery Shopping And Do The Cooking

Of 900 men surveyed by Midan Marketing, nearly half say they do at least half of their household’s grocery shopping. Of that group, more than half do all of the shopping and 46 percent say they are responsible for cooking all of their house’s food.

Over 10 Percent Of America’s Largest Companies Pay Zero Percent Tax Rates

Among companies listed on the S&P 500, almost one in nine paid an effective tax rate of zero percent — or even lower — over the past year, according to an analysis by USA Today.

GOP Official Resigns After Saying Purpose Of Voter ID Is To Suppress Votes Of Democrats, ‘Lazy Blacks’

Until Thursday, Don Yelton was a precinct chair in the Buncombe County, North Carolina Republican Party. That ended after a Daily Show interview riddled with racism and candid admissions about the purpose of a voter suppression bill enacted by Republican lawmakers in his state. Over the course of the interview Yelton admitted that he supports requiring voters to show ID, in addition to the other, many voter suppression provisions included in the North Carolina law, because “the law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.” He also denied that the law is racist during the course of an interview where he both used a particular racial slur that begins with the letter “n” and claimed that he is not racist because he “one my best friends is black.” Watch it:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saudi Arabia Surprises World In Turning Down U.N. Security Council Seat

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made the unprecedented decision to boycott the seat it had less than twenty-four hours ago won on the United Nations Security Council, blaming the body’s ineffectiveness in handling weapons of mass destruction and Syria.

How Much Will Lawmakers Cut Food Stamps In The Coming Showdown?

Amid the shutdown clamor, House Republicans finally agreed last Friday to move the farm bill into the final stage of the legislative process: going to conference with the Senate to resolve vast differences between the two chambers’ bills.

Native-Born Americans More Likely To Commit Crimes Than Immigrants, Study Finds

A Pew Research Center report released last week found that second generation immigrants have “striking similarities” to their native-born, non-Hispanic white counterparts when it comes to committing crime. In fact, when it comes to crime rates, second-generation offenders are merely “catching up” to the native-born population.

Amsterdam’s ‘Black Peter’ Tradition Is Racist, Activists Say (Newsone Cover)

AMSTERDAM – The “Black Peter” tradition in the Netherlands is under fire from opponents who believe the figure is a racist caricature and who asked Amsterdam officials Thursday to revoke the permit for a popular children’s festival because of it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ugly Stereotyping Of Adrian Peterson

At first it seemed that the death of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s two-year-old son would come and pass through the sports world as the tragedy it was, with only a little misplaced criticism about Peterson playing football just two days after the death. Less than a week later, it has already devolved into a discussion about Peterson’s fatherhood, with columnists casting Peterson as the stereotypical black absentee father who, in the words of some, shares some of the responsibility for the child’s death.

KKK Battles With Town Over Renaming School Named For Klan Founder

Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home to the fighting Confederate Rebels, is named after a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and confederate general. It has been since 1959, when administrators changed the name to show their defiance to school integration laws enforced by Brown v Board of Education. But town residents, fed up with kowtowing to racial extremists, are looking to change that.

Billionaire Koch Brothers Spending Millions To Deny Health Coverage To Low-Income Americans

Conservative advocates funded by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch have launched a massive campaign pressuring states to deny health care coverage to lower income Americans through the Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Here Is What Republicans Got For Shutting Down The Government

After shutting down the government for two weeks, Republicans appear to have secured just one concession from a Senate-crafted deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the federal government: an income verification system for individuals who earn less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line and qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry Somehow Finds Guests Who Aren't All White Guys

Yet again, a report on the Sunday talk shows finds that they're dominated by white male guests (for instance, fully 75 percent of the people interviewed one-on-one on "Face the Nation" in the past few months were white men.)

The October 13th, 2013 Talking Heads


I am still not used to the new opening sequence to this show, and it's bright colors. Luckily we got a wave of dull gray coming in the form of Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV.) -- though dull is good, in this context! These two are part of the Reasonable Caucus, generally speaking. Oh, but there's going to be Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will give us the State Of The Morlock Caucus as well. Plus there will be a panel, as usual.

Historically Small: Small Increases To Social Security This Year

WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January.

Government Shutdown Talks Move To Spending Levels As Mitch McConnell Holds The Line

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans are holding the line against Democratic demands for a framework to alleviate the across-the-board spending cuts established by sequestration as part of any deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dr. Carson's 'Thoming' again: Carson says Obama is ‘worst thing since ‘slavery’

Conservative firebrand and recent Fox News hire Dr. Ben Carson became the latest right winger to compare Obamacare to slavery at the Voter Values Summit today.

Blackfeet Elder Refuses to Be Son-in-Law Rick Reilly’s ‘Uncle Tom’ (The Nation)

Washington Redskins helmets with the iconic red-and-gold colors and logo are displayed on the field during football training camp in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

McDonald’s Worker Threatened With Arrest After Asking Company President For A Living Wage

Nancy Salgado, a McDonald’s employee for 10 years, confronted company president Jeff Stratton last week and described her struggle to take care of her family based on her $8.25 wage. A security guard quickly escorted Salgado and fellow protesters out and threatened her with arrest. Ultimately, Salgado received a citation for trespassing even though the living wage group, Fight For $15, had provided tickets for the event.

Keeping The Government Shut Down For Six More Weeks Would Cost Billions, Devastate Critical Programs

House Republicans announced on Thursday that they will offer legislation to temporarily increase the debt ceiling in exchange for a commitment to talks from President Obama and a framework for negotiations. Reports are saying that Republican leaders have presented their members with a proposal that would raise the debt limit for six weeks without policy concessions but would not end the government shutdown during that time.

Conservative Pundit Claims No Homeowners Have Been Wrongfully Foreclosed

Despite hundreds of thousands of wrongful foreclosures uncovered by investigators, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Kissel claimed that “there hasn’t been a single homeowner who has been identified who was foreclosed on who shouldn’t have been foreclosed on” in a Friday appearance on Fox Business.

Workplaces Go Without Safety Inspections During The Shutdown

When the government shut down on October 1, 90 percent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) inspectors were furloughed, according to a memo from agency head David Michaels. “Only enough staff remain now to respond to serious emergencies,” as Bloomberg BNA reports. “It puts the agency in a very precarious situation,” former OSHA chief of staff Gabe Sierra told the publication.

The Eight Craziest Things Ted Cruz Said Yesterday

The Republican Party is in free-fall, thanks in large part to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Just over a week after Cruz successfully pushed House Republicans to shut down the government in a effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found just 24 percent of the country has a favorable view of the GOP and even less think well of the Tea Party. A larger portion of Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown than the portion that blamed Gingrich’s Republicans for shutting down the government in 1995-96. If a House election were held today, Democrats would win the popular vote by a 47 to 39 margin — all but ensuring that Nancy Pelosi would regain the speaker’s gavel.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Abortion, Big Money In Elections, And Eleven Other Huge Cases The Supreme Court Will Hear Next Term

It’s become a cliché at the beginning and end of each Supreme Court term to comment on how important the term is or will be, and how the justices are hearing a myriad of major cases. And certainly after two terms featuring high profile cases on health care, immigration, voting rights and marriage equality — in addition to under the radar decisions blasting worker and consumer rights — there can be little doubt of the Court’s immense power to do harm (and its less frequently exercised power to do good).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.

Monday, October 7, 2013

7 Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For "Obamacare's"

Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.

Right-Wing Truckers Plan To Jam DC’s Major Commuter Highway, Arrest Members Of Congress

Between furloughs, car chases, and a self-immolation, the residents of Washington, DC, aren’t having a great October. But by Friday of this week, things could get even worse — and not because of the looming debt crisis.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rand Paul: Piecemeal Approach ‘Much Better Way To Run Government’

On Meet the Press Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told guest host Savannah Guthrie that the piecemeal bills to re-open the government that Republicans have been trying to pass since the government shut down on Tuesday are “clean CRs.” He went on to say that this piecemeal approach is in fact the best way to run the government.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Federal Prison Sat By While Mentally Ill Inmate Ate His Own Feces

As several news reports have recently highlighted, prisons are increasingly serving as de facto asylums for the mentally ill. The country’s three biggest jails are now its largest mental health facilities. A Wall Street Journal survey found that Oregon estimates half of its prisoners suffer from mental illness. In New York City, about 34 percent are mentally ill. “Our jails and prisons are our main place now where you find mentally ill people,” psychiatrist E. Fuller Tory told 60 Minutes.

U.S. Approves Military Aid For Countries With Child Soldiers

The White House on Monday afternoon announced that it had issued blanket waivers to three countries, allowing them to receive military aid despite their ongoing use of child soldiers despite a 2008 law to the contrary.

This Albuquerque Journal Obituary For ‘Breaking Bad’s Walter White Is Kind Of Amazing

More than you might expect for a show that portrayed it as a metropolis largely devoid of anything but meth cooks, neo-Nazis, Drug Enforcement Agency employees, and delicious, delicious chicken, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s gotten a great deal out of its association with Breaking Bad. So it’s perhaps not surprising that New Mexico resident David Layman organized fans of the AMC drama, which ended its run last weekend, to place a paid death notice for Walter White in the Albuquerque Journal:

Congresswoman Says She Should Get Paid During Shutdown: ‘I Need My Paycheck’ (UPDATED)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told a Raleigh TV station Wednesday that she would continue to accept and keep her government paycheck during the shutdown. Her reason, she explained, was that she needs the money.

Federal Judge Smacks House Republican For Demanding Exemption From Republican Shutdown

Countless lawsuits where the United States is a party are now in limbo, thanks to the fact that the Justice Department lacks the resources to litigate them so long as the government is shut down. One of these lawsuits is a nearly two year old case brought by House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) seeking to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents Issa believes will prove embarrassing to the Obama Administration.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Obama Tears Into Republicans Over Shutdown: If Americans Just Stopped Working, They’d Be Fired

President Obama tore into House Republicans for demanding policy concessions for agreeing to fund the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling during a speech at Rockville, MD on Thursday. He joked that if American workers made such demands to their bosses, they would lose their jobs.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Where Are The Anti-Shutdown Protests?

It’s no secret that the radical right has seized control of major parts of the U.S. government while the radical left remains furious, but impotent. The shutdown fight is a manifestation of this yawning gap.

Don’t Like The Shutdown? Blame The Constitution

A little more than two years ago, Canada faced a budget fight much like the one facing the United States today. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose party controlled a plurality but not a majority of the seats in Canada’s parliament, proposed a budget that was unacceptable to the opposition parties. Like the United States in 2013, Canada’s chief executive wanted one set of funding priorities, a majority of the legislature wanted a different set, and there was no clear way to reconcile these differences — except for the fact that Canada’s system of government was designed with this problem in mind. In Canada, a failed budget triggers a new national election in order to resolve the impasse (Canada’s 2011 election was technically triggered by a no confidence motion spearheaded by his opposition, but a new election over the budget was widely viewed as inevitable). So Canada held an election, Harper’s Conservatives won a majority of the seats in parliament, and the impasse was broken. Canada got a functioning government, rather than a shutdown.

How The Supreme Court Ravaged The Employment Discrimination Landscape

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the largest ever class action lawsuit, despite widespread evidence that Wal-Mart treated women less favorably then men. In so doing, it fundamentally altered the standards for suing large corporations for discrimination, and sent the message that big companies are particularly immune to challenge.

Overtaxed Food Pantries Brace For Shortages Created By The Government Shutdown

Emergency food pantries say they will have to do more with less, thanks to the government shutdown. Food banks across the country are bracing for the suspension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food assistance programs, which have become increasingly important to feed the needy.

Five Facts That Show The GOP’s Newfound Desire To Compromise Is Bogus

Since shutting down the government Tuesday, House Republican leaders have portrayed themselves as willing negotiators who lack a partner. In photo op stunts, tweets, and interviews, conservatives in the lower chamber have claimed that Democrats’ refusal to compromise with them is what’s causing the government to stay closed. In reality, Democrats have offered numerous compromises over months of dispute over the 2014 budget and conservatives have repeatedly acted to thwart such a middle ground outcome.

During The Shutdown, EPA Is Prevented From Cleaning Up Almost Two-Thirds Of Toxic Waste Sites

As the government shutdown bleeds into its second day, more than 94 percent of the 16,205 public servants at the Environmental Protection Agency are not allowed to go to work. This means that cleanup on 62 percent of the nation’s Superfund sites must be abandoned until a continuing resolution gets passed and funding resumes.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Police In China Rescue 92 Kidnapped Children In Huge Human Trafficking Ring Bust

BEIJING, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Chinese police have rescued 92 children and two women kidnapped by a gang for sale and arrested 301 suspects, state media said on Saturday, in one of the biggest busts of its kind in years.

Breaking Up With ‘Breaking Bad’ Is Hard for Albuquerque

ONE afternoon last winter, a man with a shaved head walked into Twisters, a burrito joint in Albuquerque. He was wearing a yellow helmet and Hazmat suit and carrying a gas mask. He put on the mask, struck various poses throughout the restaurant and then sidled up to the counter to buy a burrito topped with French fries, one of the restaurant’s specialties.

Nigeria College Shooting: Dozens Of Students Shot Dead In Their Sleep

POTISKUM, Nigeria -- Suspected Islamic extremists attacked an agricultural college in the dead of night, gunning down dozens of students as they slept in dormitories and torching classrooms, the school's provost said, reporting the latest violence in northeastern Nigeria's ongoing Islamic uprising.

House Republicans Really Believe Democrats Will Cave On Obamacare To Avoid A Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans may appear to observers to be pushing the government toward a shutdown, but that's not even remotely how they see it.

What The Republican ‘Compromise’ Of Delaying Obamacare For A Year Would Do To The Economy

Congress must pass a funding bill by Monday to keep the government operating after September 30. Despite the rapidly approaching deadline, House Republicans have doubled down on their strategy to use the continuing resolution as a vehicle to attack Obamacare. On Saturday night, the House passed a measure that funds the government through December 15 in exchange for delaying the health reform law for one year and repealing the law’s medical device tax.

Here Is What Will Happen If Congress Doesn’t Get Its Act Together By Monday

If Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution by Monday, the federal government will come to a standstill, shuttering “non-essential” services and operations that are deemed unnecessary for the safety of human life and national security. So while air traffic controllers will keep the planes in the sky, seniors will receive their Medicare and Social Security checks and the unemployed will continue to see benefits, other services will begin to dry up the longer the shutdown continues. Services that are not subject to yearly appropriations — so-called mandatory spending — will continue functioning and self-funding agencies like the Postal Services could still deliver mail.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

That ‘Sell By’ Date Doesn’t Tell You When Your Food Will Go Bad

Trying to decide whether that quarter-gallon of milk left in the back of the fridge is any good? You’ll probably want to check the date. Unfortunately, it probably says “sell by,” not exactly informative.

Thumb-Sized Hornets Are Getting More Aggressive — And Fatal — As China Warms

Over the last few weeks, giant, deadly hornets have killed more than two dozen people in China, the result of bizarre weather patterns there that have allowed the bugs to proliferate.

Little Miss Hispanic Delaware Stripped Of Crown For Not Being Latina Enough

Jakiyah McKoy (pictured), a 7-year-old who was crowned Little Miss Hispanic Delaware last month, has been stripped of her title, amid outbursts that she is not Hispanic enough.

War crimes court upholds 50 years for Liberia’s Charles Taylor

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands (AP) — An international war crimes court upheld the conviction and 50-year sentence of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for aiding rebels in Sierra Leone, ruling Thursday that his financial, material and tactical support fueled horrendous crimes against civilians.

How Bank Of America Neglects Minority Neighborhoods (And Why They Might Get Away With It)

Bank of America (BOA) is falling short of its obligations around foreclosed properties in predominantly black and hispanic neighborhoods, according to a complaint filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday. It is the second such well-documented allegation of discrimination by BOA from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) in the past year, but the evidence NFHA has now mustered twice in support of the charge could be rendered legally moot by a Supreme Court case that threatens to gut housing discrimination law.

Saudi Women Call For New Day Of Defiance Against Driving Ban

A group of Saudi women are planning to drive en-masse on October 26th to protest the kingdom’s infamous ban on women driving. The unique law has come to symbolize the myriad ways in which the theocratic Saudi state oppresses its female citizens.

What The Deadly Attack On A Kenya Mall Was Really About

The bloody Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall on September 21 was an act of desperation by a jihadi group beset by internal power struggles and plummeting support. It is intended to provoke a violent backlash against ethnic Somalis by the Kenyan government and Kenyan citizens. Angry and frustrated Kenyans must resist the urge to play into Shabaab’s hands.

Here’s Why No One Ever Likes American Foreign Policy

Rule #1 of foreign policy punditry: never be happy. Observers of world politics much prefer to complain about what’s going wrong than celebrate what’s going right (with some exceptions).

Nearly Four In Ten American Workers Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck Each Week

More than four years since the economy shifted from recession to recovery, 36 percent of U.S. workers always or usually live paycheck to paycheck according to a survey released Wednesday by CareerBuilder.com. Another 40 percent say they sometimes do.

Florida Court Grants New Trial To Woman Serving 20 Years For Firing Warning Shot

A Florida court has granted a new trial to a woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot during an altercation with her abusive husband.

Flesh-Rotting Drug Makes Its Way To The U.S. For The First Time, Health Officials Are ‘Frightened’

Officials at the Banner Poison Control Center in Phoenix, Arizona have announced that they have responded to two cases of people using “krokodil,” a cheap, synthetic heroin knockoff that is popular in Russia and can rot away users’ flesh.

Race, Intelligence and IQ

The information presented above suggests that African born blacks residing in western countries as a group possess IQs that are between 5 points and a full standard deviation (15 IQ points) above that of whites living in these countries. So that the median IQ for African blacks residing in the west should be about 110, if one accepts that research suggesting direct casual relationships between academic attainment levels and IQ (e.g. Gottfredson, 1998; Ostrowsky, 1999)!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Are African Countries About To Destroy The ICC?

On Friday, the African Union (AU) called an unusual meeting, set to take place on October 13th, to discuss a mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a move that could threaten both recent efforts to punish the slaughter in Syria and broader progress towards creating a global system for prosecuting genocidaires and other war criminals.

Why The Deadly Attack On The Mall In Kenya Was A Sign Of Desperation

The bloody Shabaab attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall on September 21 was an act of desperation by a jihadi group beset by internal power struggles and plummeting support. It is intended to provoke a violent backlash against ethnic Somalis by the Kenyan government and Kenyan citizens. Angry and frustrated Kenyans must resist the urge to play into Shabaab’s hands.

Congressman Exaggerates Fraud To Justify Food Stamp Cuts

Ahead of a vote for cuts that would deprive 4 to 6 million Americans of food assistance, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) tried to justify the measure by incorrectly claiming that Republicans’ cuts to food stamps amount to less than half of the program’s fraudulent outlays. Rather than compare the dollars that they want to cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to the rate of fraud in the program, Harris compared the cuts to the proportion of businesses at which food stamp fraud occurs. He used that incoherent comparison to claim that the cuts will “leave more money getting to the hands of the people who do need it.”

European Union Officials Ease Austerity Requirements

At a meeting this week in Brussels, European finance officials approved a change to budget policies that would lighten the burden of austerity requirements on many struggling European Union countries, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Low-Income Preschoolers, Cancer Patients Take Hit In GOP Budget Extension

On Friday morning, House Republicans, joined by two Democrats, passed a short-term extension of government funding known as a continuing resolution through December that continues sequestration’s severely reduced spending levels for non-defense programs while giving some relief to the defense side.

Pope Francis Condemns Economic Inequality: ‘We Want A Just System That Helps Everyone’

Meeting with a group of unemployed workers, Pope Francis abandoned his prepared text on Sunday to make some of his strongest remarks against economic inequality.

Colorado House Republicans Unanimously Support Flood Relief, Unanimously Opposed Sandy Aid

As historic floods of “biblical” proportions continue to ravage Colorado, President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Sunday — a move that was encouraged by a bipartisan letter last week from the state’s nine-member Congressional delegation. But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.

House Republicans Vote To Drop Millions From Food Stamps

House Republicans approved nearly $40 billion in cuts to the food stamps program Thursday evening in a tight 217-210 vote. Fifteen Republicans defected to vote “no” on the measure, which is projected to kick millions of people off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Complete Guide To The GOP’s Three-Year Campaign To Shut Down The Government

As the nation races toward another budgetary crisis next month, Republican leaders are using the prospect of a government shutdown and the need to raise the nation’s debt ceiling as leverage points to undermine the Affordable Care Act — just days before uninsured Americans are expected to sign up for health care coverage — and extract additional cuts to government programs.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What You Need To Know About The Funding Extension That Just Passed The House

The House of Representatives has passed a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through Dec. 15 and withhold funding for the Affordable Care Act. The 230-189 vote comes just 10 days before a possible shutdown and includes instructions authorizing the Treasury “to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the debt limit.” Rep. Scott Rigel (VA) was the only Republican to vote against the measure, while just two Democrats — Reps. Jim Matheson (UT) and Mike McIntyre (NC) voted for it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Social Safety Net Programs Kept Tens Of Millions Out Of Poverty

The official poverty rate was essentially unchanged at 15.1 percent in 2012, and alternative measures show that safety net programs like food stamps, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and tax credits for the working poor keep tens of millions of Americans out of poverty each year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

White Models Hired For 80 Percent Of New York Fashion Week’s Looks

New York Fashion Week, which ended on September 12, featured 4,637 “looks,” or outfits displayed on the runway, and white models were hired to show off 80 percent of them, according to Jezebel’s yearly analysis. Fewer than 1,000 looks were given to women of color, and women of some ethnicities, like Middle Eastern women, barely made an appearance.

Alleged Navy Yard Shooter’s Troubled Past Forced Him Out Of The Navy, But Didn’t Stop Him From Buying Guns

Details are still emerging about Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old ex-Navy officer who allegedly killed 12 people on Monday at Washington’s Navy Yard. Records indicate that Alexis had been suffering from “a host of serious mental issues, including paranoia and a sleep disorder” and reported hearing “voices in his head.” He was involved in at least two incidents involving a gun and in January of 2011 received a discharge from the Navy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mayweather dominates for easy decision win

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Canelo Alvarez proved nothing more than easy money for Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Mayweather turned one of the richest fights ever into just another $41.5 million payday Saturday night, dominating Alvarez from the opening bell and winning a majority decision in a masterful performance that left no doubt who the best fighter of his era is.

California's Condoms In Porn Bill Dies In Senate

Within weeks after several porn performers tested positive for HIV, a bill to require adult film actors throughout California to use condoms when shooting sex scenes has died in the state Legislature.

How The Birmingham Church Bombing Revealed America's Ugly Truths

On Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Ala., at 10:22 a.m., a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The blast, erupting from the church's east side, sprayed mortar and bricks, caving in the building's walls.

The Sunday, September 15, 2013 Talking Heads


We start today with THIS WEEK because George Stephanopoulos has actually shown up for work today! Mainly because they got an exclusive interview with the President. Then, there will be the Flowerpounce Roundtable with a bunch of people that ABC News booked to make cakehole noises about news. Come on, guys this will be fun.

3-Year-Old Shot Dead In Yellowstone After Congress Permits Guns In Parks

For the first time since 1978, someone has died of a gunshot wound in Yellowstone National Park. And for the first time since 1938, the victim was a child, a 3-year-old Idaho girl who shot herself with her father’s handgun this weekend, only three years after Congress legalized guns in national parks.

The U.S.’s Top Secret $52.6 Billion Spy Budget — By The Numbers

The Washington Post on Thursday for the first time revealed the breakdown of the classified $52.6 billion budget that the United States uses to finance its spying operations overseas, the latest in a series of revelations about how the U.S. conducts its tradecraft.

Greece’s Horrific Unemployment Rate Finds A Way To Get Even Worse

Greece’s unemployment rate ticked up to 27.9 percent in June, setting another record high in the middle of the country’s sixth year of economic contraction. European authorities are weighing a possible third round of bailout funds for the country, but they would come with further austerity requirements of the sort that have shrunk the Greek economy by almost one quarter since 2008.

As Many Students Default As Enroll In Programs Meant To Help Them Avoid That Fate

From mid-2012 to mid-2013, as many student debtholders defaulted on what they owe as enrolled in three programs that tie educational debt repayment to the borrower’s earnings. According to Department of Education data covering June 2012 to June 2013, 620,000 recipients of direct federal loans enrolled in the income-based repayment plans and 600,000 borrowers in the program slipped into default, the Huffington Post reported.

Americans’ Ability To Afford Basic Necessities Is Near Record Low

Americans are as unlikely to have access to basic necessities such as food, housing, and healthcare as they were in October 2011, when it was at the lowest point recorded. Gallup’s Basic Access Index, which includes 13 questions on the ability to afford basic needs, was 81.4 in August, “on part with the all-time low of 81.2 recorded in October 2011,” the report notes. The index has yet to recover to its pre-recession level of at least 83.

Barney Frank Leaves Wall Street Defenders Speechless: Why Are Bankers ‘Paying Themselves So Much Money?’

As his fellow panelists sought to sidestep criticisms of the financial industry on the five-year anniversary of the bank failure that kicked the financial crisis and Great Recession into full swing, former congressman Barney Frank asked a simple question that brought Wall Street’s defenders up short. “To your question about those poor beleaguered bankers who have been forced to do so much,” Frank said, “why are they paying themselves so much money? Where did these enormous salaries come from if they were in fact in such serious trouble?”

Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Former Football Player Who May Have Been Seeking Help After A Car Crash

Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in North Carolina is facing charges of voluntary manslaughter after fatally shooting Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player who had apparently been seeking help after surviving a major car crash early Saturday morning.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Study Suggests Southern Slavery Turns White People Into Republicans 150 Years Later

White Southerners are one of the great outliers in American politics. President Obama polled significantly worse with white voters in the South than he did with whites in swing states. One survey of working class white voters found Obama only 4-8 points behind Romney in the majority of the country, while he polled 40 points behind Romney among Southern white working class voters. And a new study by political scientists Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen suggests that there may be a simple explanation for this divide — slavery.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fewer Young Americans Are Using Drugs — But An Increasing Number Of Older Americans Are

The rate of illicit drug use among young Americans aged 12 to 17 dropped by nearly 20 percent in the past decade, from 11.6 percent to 9.5 percent, according to new data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). But at the same time, substantially greater numbers of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 started using controlled substances.

Elderly Black Americans Receive Worse Nursing Home Care Than White Americans

The nursing homes that predominantly serve black residents tend to experience financial struggles and ultimately provide a lower quality of care to their patients, according to a new study from University of Central Florida researchers. The results from the study reveal yet another manifestation of the racial disparities that persist throughout the health care industry.

Researchers Are Inching Closer To A Successful HIV Vaccine

An early trial for a vaccine against HIV signals a lot of promise, according to the Canadian researchers working on the project. A team of scientists at the University of Western Ontario just completed the first stage of human testing for their potential vaccine — one of just a handful of HIV vaccines around the world currently being developed for clinical trial — and are hailing it as a “major success.”

Economy Added 169,000 Jobs In August; Unemployment Down To 7.3 Percent

The economy added 169,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate down to 7.3 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 180,000 jobs to be added.

Watchdog Finds Zero Major Overpayments In Food Stamps, $17 Million In Farm Programs

Crop insurance and rural farm development programs issued over $17 million in high-dollar improper payments during the 2012 fiscal year, but the five food assistance programs conservatives frequently criticize as fraud-riddled issued exactly zero such payments. The numbers come from a report released Wednesday by the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Inspector General report.

North Carolina’s National Image Tanks After Less Than A Year Of Republican Governance

The wave of voter suppression laws, attacks on abortion and other hard right legislation being pushed through the North Carolina legislature has taken a considerable toll on the nation’s perception of that state. According to a new Public Policy Polling poll, North Carolina’s national favorability rating fell dramatically since the last time PPP measured the favorability of each state in the union — “[i]ts favorability has dropped from 40% to 30%, while the share of voters with an unfavorable opinion of it has more than doubled from 11% to 23%.” The drop was particularly sharp among African Americans, Hispanics and women:

Obama Nominates Voting Rights Supporter To Powerful Court — Here’s How The GOP Freakout Will Play Out

A partisan effort to keep the nation’s second most powerful court in Republican hands will flare up against next Wednesday, when the third of President Obama’s three nominees to this court faces his confirmation hearing. Yet, while next week’s confirmation hearing is likely to focus on the GOP’s effort to prevent new judges from being confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by citing misleading statistics, they are also likely to detour into a debate over voter suppression.

Iowa Debates Permitting Blind People To Carry Guns In Public

As lawmakers across the country debate gun safety laws, law enforcement officials in Iowa are split on whether the state should continue issuing guns to blind people. So far the state has already issued several such permits, though it has not tracked how many.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Florida Man Cites ‘Bush Doctrine’ As Justification For Pre-Emptive Killing At Barbecue

William T. Woodward is facing murder charges for the alleged shooting of three people on Labor Day, two of whom have now died. In his defense, his lawyer is not only making a novel legal argument that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law applies, saying he was protecting himself against “imminent death” because of an ongoing dispute between him and the men he shot. He also invoked the “Bush Doctrine,” the foreign policy Bush used to justify aggressive military intervention, to argue that pre-emptive attack can be a form of self-defense, Florida Today reports.

Top House Republican Rewrites History, Claims Reagan Stood Up To Chemical Weapons Use

A top Republican lawmaker on Thursday invoked Ronald Reagan to say that Obama was weak for not acting more directly in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, ignoring the fact that Reagan’s White House looked the other way when chemical weapons were used in the 1980s.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The One Video (And Three Charts) That Explains Why Unions Matter

The sad reality this Labor Day is that many American workers aren’t enjoying the basic tenets of the American dream: a livable wage and benefits to match. Income inequality is skyrocketing, while worker wages stagnate and more and more people leave unemployment for low-wage, part time jobs.

Dunkin’ Donuts Apologizes For Blackface Ad In Thailand

Dunkin’ Donuts has apologized and pulled advertising for its campaign in Thailand that shows a model with blackface makeup and the caption, “Break every rule of deliciousness.”

11 Other Things American Workers Deserve (Besides A Day Off)

Labor Day is meant to celebrate the accomplishments of the American worker, who spends most days on an oil rig or in an office, on the assembly line or on the docks, making the American economy run. The holiday originated in 1894, after two dozen people were killed during the Pullman Strike, a railway workers’ boycott of low wages and high rent. From there, it became an American tradition, meant to honor the accomplishments of the people who make this nation run.

Miley Cyrus white America’s biggest nightmare

The words “oral sex”, “ratchet”, “disgusting”, “raunchy” and “humiliating” were used on morning news shows this week to describe Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance.

Labor Day Sales: Where To Find The Best Store Deals And Discounts (Online Stores Are The Best)

Alas, Labor Day has arrived. Say goodbye to those white pants and say hello to big discounts from your favorite retailers. Here's a guide to some of the best deals for those of you trying to squeeze a shopping trip into your long weekend plans:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How long Do You Spend On Porn? (HuffPost Info Graphic)

We now know Alaskans love a good view (no, not of Russia). California is all about staying young. Connecticut embraces motherhood. And education always comes first in the state of Illinois.

Jailed For Medical Marijuana: Five Stories Of Why DOJ’s Pot Policy Matters

The Department of Justice announced a new policy Thursday in its approach to prosecuting marijuana offenses. While it remained committed to enforcing the federal prohibition on marijuana, it clarified that it would change its approach with respect to distributors and suppliers operating in states with their own marijuana laws. Compliance with comprehensive local laws and regulations that eliminate bad behavior, they said, would be a major factor in potential prosecution. It is unclear how much yesterday’s revised policy will change the behavior of U.S. attorneys, who retain discretion to implement the the policy as they see fit. But what is clear is that without the change, many medical marijuana providers paid the price for operating openly and in seeming in compliance with state law, and believe they were made an example of:

Banks Make Record Profits In Second Quarter

Banks marked another record profit period in the second quarter, clearing $42.2 billion after expenses in the three months from April to June. The figure is the latest confirmation that the financial industry has bounced back far faster than the rest of the economy.

Poverty Has Same Effect On The Brain As Constantly Pulling All Nighters

The mental strain of living in poverty and thinking constantly about tight finances can drop a person’s IQ by as much as 13 percent, or about the equivalent of losing a night of sleep, according to a new study. It consumes so much mental energy that there is often little room to think about anything else, which leaves low-income people more susceptible to bad decisions.

Consumer Spending Slumps And Wages Fall Because Of Sequestration

American consumers have been gradually spending more money in the recovery, but that trend took a hit in July thanks to the automatic budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year. July’s consumer spending growth was just 0.1 percent more than last month in part because government workers are facing furloughs and salary cuts.

Half Of America’s Scientists Have Laid People Off Thanks To Budget Cuts

Sequestration, on top of other budget cuts over the years, has meant that nearly half of respondents to a new survey of 3,700 scientists have laid people off or expect to soon, while more than half have had a colleague who lost a job or expects to, according to a new report.

Fast Food Workers Launch Largest Ever Strike For Higher Wages

Nine months after fast food workers in New York City walked off the job on “Black Friday,” their efforts to change the industry’s pay standards have gone national. Workers are striking in roughly 50 cities on Thursday in hopes of converting the trickle of strikes throughout the summer in cities like Seattle, St. Louis, and Milwaukee into a flood.

Media Cheerleads For Another War: Blasts Obama For Not Rushing Into Syria

The hosts of the nation’s leading political talk shows pressed Secretary of State John Kerry on the administration’s decision to seek Congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria, arguing that delaying military action undermined America’s resolve and weakened President Obama.

Friday, August 30, 2013

White Supremacist Felon Caught With 18 Guns, 45,000 Bullets And A List Of Black & Jewish Leaders

Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Suspect Who Killed A WWII Vet Say: We were buying crack from victim

One of the teens charged with beating to death a World War II veteran allegedly claimed he was buying crack cocaine from the 88-year-old and the transaction turned violent — but cops said there is no evidence to support that.

No, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Not A Republican — But Here’s What He Had To Say About Them

“Most people don’t talk about the fact that Martin Luther King was a Republican.”

That’s a quote from Ada Fisher, a Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina, that was published without qualification or correction this week by ABC News.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Josephine Baker Teaches Us About Women’s Enduring Legacy Within The Civil Rights Movement

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs, Justice and Freedom. Most are not aware, but on that hot summer day in 1963, only one woman addressed the crowd. Her name was Josephine Baker.

Conservatives Have Morphed The Word ‘Freedom’ Into Something Martin Luther King Would Never Recognize

Fifty years ago today, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. approached the podium at the original March on Washington, he carried with him a robust sense of what Americans needed to accomplish in order to become a free society. When he stood in Lincoln’s shadow and lamented the “tragic fact that the Negro is still not free,” he was not speaking about a surplus of health care entitlements. When he called for all Americans to be granted the “riches of freedom and the security of justice” he was not concerned that the heirs to their parents’ fortunes might be required to pay a share of those fortune in taxes. Dr. King did not march to get Washington off his back. He marched because he understood that the path to freedom traveled straight through the U.S. Capitol, and that what he labeled the “marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community” would amount to nothing unless the promise of equality was enshrined in law.

Bill Clinton Explains The Real Way To Honor King’s Dream

President Bill Clinton connected Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I have a dream” speech to the struggles still facing the nation during a speech on Wednesday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic address.

A Timeline Of The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga

While the White House insists in public that no decisions have yet been made, it seems increasingly likely that the U.S. will join in with several of its allies in launching limited punitive strikes against Syria for the use of chemical weapons against civilians. While the wisdom of setting so clear a trigger for action has been questioned since Obama first set chemical weapons use as a so-called “red-line,” the international norm against their use has been growing since the horrors of mustard gas were first observed in World War I.

5 Times Boehner Insisted He Would Never Use The Debt Ceiling For Political Leverage

As the Treasury Department announced on Monday that the nation will hit the debt ceiling by mid-October, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated that Republicans won’t vote to raise America’s borrowing limit “without cuts and reforms.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy

The largest battery in the world has sat quietly in George Washington National Forest along the Virginia-West Virginia border for nearly 30 years. A five-hour drive from the nation’s capital, it sits in the middle of the Appalachians, tucked behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Faith Or Science: Measles Outbreak Linked To Texas Megachurch Whose Pastor Has Spread Myths About Vaccines

The current measles outbreak in Texas — which has sickened at least 21 people in the northern part of the state — has been linked to a megachurch that encourages faith healing. The Eagle Mountain International Church has a relatively high population of unvaccinated congregants, which allowed the highly-contagious virus to spread rapidly among them.

California Prison Is A Breeding Ground For A Deadly Fungal Disease

Prisoners in California are being moved into two prisons where they will be at higher risk of developing valley fever, a serious and potentially fatal lung disease.

Almost Half Of All School Districts Have Banned Junk Food From Vending Machines

American schools have made significant progress in offering healthier food options and requiring more students to take part in physical education programs, boding well for students’ physical and mental health, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Monday, August 26, 2013

North Carolina Charity Threatened With Arrest For Feeding Homeless People

A group that for years has handed out food to the homeless in Raleigh every weekend was threatened with arrest if they continued their charity work.

It’s Not The Fault Of The Long-Term Unemployed That They Can’t Find Jobs

More than four million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, putting them in the category of the long-term unemployed, and they make up nearly 40 percent of all people who are out of work but seeking a new job. Why can’t they seem to get hired? New data shows that they look a lot like other unemployed workers except that they tend to be older, a bit more racially diverse, and actually have more education, which implies that they probably just need a better job market.

The Bank That Has Faced The Fewest Consequences For Financial Crisis

While the financial industry as a whole has faced legal consequences so insignificant as to be meaningless over the economic crisis it created, one major bank stands out as particularly lucky. Morgan Stanley has faced no charges and paid no federal fines relating to the financial collapse, according to Fortune magazine, despite being one of the largest underwriters of the mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the crisis.

Walmart CEO Claims ‘Vast Majority’ Of Workers Make More Than Minimum Wage

In a recent interview, Walmart CEO Mike Duke told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, “The vast majority of our associates are paid more than [the minimum wage],” estimating that “less than one percent” are paid at that level.

Louisiana’s Voucher Program Is Making Segregation Worse, Justice Department Finds

Louisiana school districts with a long history of racial segregation are becoming more segregated because of the state’s voucher program, according to a motion filed by the Department of Justice this week.

Killing Obamacare Is Killing The Republican Party

Don’t look now, but the Republican Party may be vanishing before our very eyes.

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is the case that the number of Americans willing to directly identify with the Republican Party is reaching historic lows. The Pollster.com rolling average of GOP party identification now stands at 22 percent and has been declining fairly steadily for the last several years. The latest poll from Pew Research Center — perhaps the most reliable of all pollsters — has the GOP down to only 19 percent identification:

More Than 50 Abortion Clinics Have Shut Down Over The Past Three Years

A barrage of state-level restrictions on abortion clinics — often, unnecessary regulations requiring them to widen their hallways, upgrade their air filtration systems, and form special agreements with hospitals — has forced a wave of clinic closures across the country. Since 2010, more than 50 abortion clinics have been forced to close their doors.

Justice Ginsburg’s Terrifying Assessment Of Her Own Court

In an interview with the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered a grim assessment of the Court where she so often finds herself leading a four justice dissent — the Roberts Court is “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Again With The Slavery Comparisons: Rand Paul, Food Stamps Are Just Like Slavery

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) equated government programs that prevent people from dying of starvation with slavery in a new profile of his medical practice published today, revealing himself to hold a view of the role of government so limited as to nearly define the state out of existence.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Four New Wind Farms In The Upper Midwest Could Power 750,000 Homes

Last week, Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy proposed its fourth wind farm in the Upper Midwest since mid-July. If approved, the 150-megawatt Border Winds Project would be developed in North Dakota near the U.S.-Canadian border and produce enough electricity to save customers an estimated $45 million over its lifetime while reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 320,000 tons.

Thanks To Budget Cuts, The Forest Service Is Out Of Money To Fight Wildfires

The U.S. Forest Service has nearly depleted its budget for fighting wildfires at the peak of wildfire season, a development which has forced the agency to divert $600 million in funds from timber and other areas to continue fighting fires.

Bobby Jindal Blames Racial Inequality On Minorities Being Too Proud Of Their Heritages

One day after thousands rallied at the March on Washington 50th anniversary demonstration, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) pitched the Republican civil rights vision…by criticizing minorities for not assimilating into American culture.

'Meet The Press' Airs Historic Martin Luther King, Jr. Interview (August 26, 1963, Peep The Hostility Towards Both Men))

"Meet the Press" marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by airing its interview with Martin Luther King, Jr., which was originally broadcast three days before his historic "I have a dream" speech.

Colin Powell: Trayvon Martin Verdict 'Questionable'

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the jury verdict that cleared the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin "questionable" and urged President Barack Obama to speak more on issues of race during an interview that aired Sunday.

Court Is ‘One of Most Activist,’ Ginsburg Says, Vowing to Stay

WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, vowed in an interview to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Conservatives Finally Announce Alternative To Obamacare: Just Go To The Emergency Room

Heritage president and former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint continued his campaign to convince Republicans to shut down the government in a ploy to defund the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, telling a town hall in Tampa, Florida that “This might be that last off-ramp to stop Obamacare before it becomes more enmeshed in our culture.” The law “is not about getting better health care,” he continued. Uninsured Americans “will get better health care just going to the emergency room.”

How Syria Has The U.N.’s Hands Tied In Investigating Chemical Weapons Use

Reports from Syria on Wednesday indicated that the Ghouta region may have seen the deadliest chemical weapons attack in decades just 15 minutes away from where a United Nations team was preparing to investigate earlier possible attacks. Numbers vary, but some within the Syrian opposition claim that as many as 1,700 people were killed in the attack. Videos and photographs of dead men, women, and children circulated the internet on Wednesday adding some credence to the claims.

Minority Students At University of Texas Attacked By An Epidemic Of ‘Bleach Bombs’

On Wednesday, University of Texas student Bryan Davis, who is African American, was struck by a bleach-filled balloon while he was walking to visit a friend in a neighborhood populated by UT students. Moreover, this attack appears to be part of a chain of similar assaults targeting students of color on the Texas campus. Last October, Austin police launched an investigation into four similar attacks on UT students, all of which targeted Asian or African Americans.

John Lewis At March On Washington: ‘I’m Not Going To Stand By And Let The Supreme Court Take The Right To Vote Away’

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) — who was the youngest speaker during the March on Washington in 1963 — delivered a passionate address about the importance of protecting voting rights at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial fifty years later, as thousands gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the historic event on Saturday.

Colin Powell On Republican Voting Restrictions: ‘It’s Going To Backfire’

On Face the Nation this Sunday, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, warned his fellow Republicans that the continuing push to restrict voting rights is going to “backfire” and harm the Republican Party:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Legal Costs For Biggest Banks Pale In Comparison To Profits, Harm Of Crisis

The biggest banks have run up a legal bill of more than $66 billion since the beginning of 2010. But considering how much money they’ve made in the same period, they would probably call that a bargain: The eye-popping sum is less than a third of what the companies have banked in profits and barely 1 percent of the most conservative estimate of what the financial crisis has cost.

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Political Goldmine

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an issue that was hugely popular with the public, fit perfectly into the progressive agenda, appealed to the white working class, and split the Republican Party right in half? Sounds to be good to be true, right? Actually, it’s hiding in plain sight: raising the minimum wage.

New York City Spends More Than $167,000 Per Inmate Every Year

New York City spends far more than every other city and state in the U.S. on maintaining their prison population, according to a new study by the Independent Budget Office. The city’s taxpayers shelled out $167,731 to feed, house and guard each of New York’s 12,287 inmates last year.

Congressman Lies About Rwandan Genocide To Argue Against Gun Safety Measures In America

In a town hall Thursday evening, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) rejected a constituent’s suggestion that stricter background checks for gun sales could have kept a mentally disturbed young man from threatening a Georgia elementary school Tuesday with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

‘A Grave Miscarriage Of Justice’: Court Tosses Out Conviction Of Man Who Spent 21 Years On Death Row

Twenty-one years ago, James Dennis was sentenced to die for a murder that he almost certainly did not commit. Police cherry-picked witnesses that seemed to implicate Dennis in the crime, while covering up witnesses that could have exonerated him. They ignored evidence that someone else committed the crime. They lost evidence. They kept silent about a document that would have corroborated Dennis’ alibi. And, after all of this, Dennis was represented by an attorney who didn’t even bother to interview the eyewitnesses to the murder. As Judge Antia Brody wrote in her opinion tossing out Dennis’ conviction yesterday, “[t]he Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has committed a grave miscarriage of justice in convicting Dennis and sentencing him to die for this crime.”

Obamacare Opponent Is Very Impressed With The Law He Hates So Much

The Huffington Post’s Jason Cherkis reports on a remarkable encounter between Reina Diaz-Dempsey, a Kentucky public health worker signing people up for insurance coverage under health care reform, and a middle-aged man who approached her booth at the State Fair. After Diaz-Dempsey explained that he will either qualify for tax credits to buy insurance through Kynect (the state’s new insurance marketplace) or an expanded Medicaid pool in October, the man seemed pleased and mused, “This beats Obamacare, I hope.”

Koch Brothers Not Buying Tribune Company

The Koch Brothers won't be buying the Tribune Company after all, the company confirmed on Thursday.

The Daily Caller first broke the news that the polarizing billionaire industrialists had decided not to purchase the struggling media giant.

Porn Moratorium After HIV-Positive Test From Performer, Cameron Bay

The adult film industry's trade association has called for a moratorium on filming Wednesday after an actor tested positive for HIV.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kendra McCray And Antoinette Tuff Reunite After School Gunman Incident

The woman who talked down a potential school shooter and the 911 dispatcher who was on the phone with her throughout the terrifying encounter reunited Thursday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

Naked Breastfeeding Yoga Mom Says That Photo Was Not Staged

Two years ago, the image of a mom breastfeeding while practicing yoga naked went viral. Now, the subject of that photo, Amy, has chosen to address some commonly asked questions she's heard since.

'Widespread and Undetected': Colin Powell Goes In On North Carolina’s Voter Suppression Laws And His Party

In a room full of CEOs and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R), former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted the suppressive voting law McCrory signed last week, saying it will make it more difficult for minorities to vote and hurt the Republican party.