'Stop Hatin' All the Time' : Obama ...

'Stop Hatin' All the Time' : Obama Slams GOP Lawsuit Vote

?They?re mad because I?m doing my job," Obama said in Kansas City.

Senate Border Bill Advances

Senate Border Bill Advances

The Senate on Wednesday advanced a $2.7 billion emergency spending bill aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Watch Live: Obama Delivers Remarks ...

Watch Live: Obama Delivers Remarks in Kansas City

President Obama delivers remarks on the economy in Kansas City.

Woman Can't Contain Herself Around ...

Woman Can't Contain Herself Around 'Handsome' Obama

President Obama meets a woman at Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City Tuesday who can?t believe how ?handsome? the president is in person.

First Read's Morning Clips

First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news of the day.

Analysis: Impeachment Talk Becomes ...

Analysis: Impeachment Talk Becomes a Cynical Game

Both sides -- Democrats and Republicans -- believe the impeachment talk is good for motivating their base.


'Die Hard' actor dies

'Die Hard' actor dies

James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career includes the movies "Die Hard" and "Flower Drum Song," died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Monday, his agent said. He was 81.
Family feud cost millions of lives

Family feud cost millions of lives

On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Over the next week, Europe's royals exchange a flurry of telegrams.
Last Enola Gay crewman dies

Last Enola Gay crewman dies

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, who navigated the Enola Gay when it dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, has died, his family says.
Hear pilot, traffic control's spat

Hear pilot, traffic control's spat

Hear the testy exchange between a Delta pilot and an air traffic controller. CNN's Michaela Pereira has more.
Body of apparent stowaway found

Body of apparent stowaway found

The body of an "apparent stowaway" was found in the wheel well of a U.S. Air Force plane that had traveled Africa before landing in Germany, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
Girl hit by plane on beach dies

Girl hit by plane on beach dies

The 9-year-old girl critically injured when an airplane struck her on a Florida beach last weekend has died, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Five Adjectives That Scream "Don't ...

Five Adjectives That Scream "Don't Vote Republican!"


There are more than five, of course, and voting Democrat may not be much of an improvement, but attaching these adjectives to the comically contemptible GOP seems more than appropriate.


In 2010 Mitch McConnell said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." He didn't mention the economy, or education, or jobs, or the housing market. Instead, the goal is to beat Obama, whatever misery it might cause 200 million Americans.

For the past two years the Republicans have obstructed proposals that would have helped most Americans. They fought the middle-class tax cut because it would only apply to the first quarter-million of income. They killed a jobs bill that was supported by two-thirds of the public. They rejected a bill to disclose information about big campaign donors. They disrupted the routine process of increasing the debt ceiling, thus triggering the first-ever downgrading of the U.S. credit rating. Most recently they've obstructed efforts to provide mortgage debt relief to American homeowners.

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Mitt Romney's Most Unexcellent Adve...

Mitt Romney's Most Unexcellent Adventure


Mitt Romney has to be more relieved than an Iowa corn farmer in the middle of a thunderstorm to be back on home soil. Arms wide. Head back. Wet face. Smile. Podium steps. National Anthem. The American electorate may harbor an ambivalent attitude towards the former governor of Massachusetts, but the reaction to his European Vacation from folks across the big pond could only be described as decisively derisive. If diplomacy were a hurdling sport, the guy stumbled over the lane chalk. The plan was for the GOP nominee to embark on a low- risk, three- country jaunt to raise his suspect foreign policy bona fides, but the seven- day charm offensive proved to be light on charm and heavy on offense. Good will hunting transformed into ill will gathering.

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BuzzFlash Commentary Will Soon Be P...

BuzzFlash Commentary Will Soon Be Posted on Truthout


In a day or two, BuzzFlash Commentary (formerly known as the BuzzFlash blog) will move to the actual Truthout site. It is an exciting step in the continued integration of BuzzFlash into Truthout.

Not only will there be the physical move of the site (and when the move is completed, you will be reading this message on the new design), but it will now allow for photographs, videos, audio and other enhancements to be integrated into BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary.

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We Wrecked Iraq, We Pulled Out, We ...

We Wrecked Iraq, We Pulled Out, We Redeployed in Anaheim


We wrecked Iraq, we pulled out, we redeployed in Anaheim.

This ain't working, guys- I mean, firing rubber bullets into anguished crowds, siccing attack dogs on moms and children. I mean, inventing enemies, going to war, unleashing state-of-the-art firepower in all directions and eventually losing, but not before we've inflicted maximum suffering on the innocent and magnified the original problem tenfold.

We lose every war we fight.

Another way to say that is: We exacerbate every problem we militarize. Indeed, militarization is as much a part of the problem - as much a threat to civilization - as, for instance, terrorism or drugs. And the recent, ongoing community uproar in Anaheim, Calif., over two police slayings of Latino males in one weekend - and the subsequent police reaction to that outrage - illustrates the terrifying ineffectiveness of a militarized, "us vs. them" approach to conflict.

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The Massive Voter Fraud of the GOP

The Massive Voter Fraud of the GOP


Isn't it voter fraud to deny US citizens the right to vote?

That is what the Republican Party is engaged in its campaign to place onerous requirements on the poor, infirm and destitute seniors, the homeless, students and others to vote.

Politico recently ran background summaries on each state that has passed restrictive voter laws in an article entitled "Voter ID laws could swing states": "At least 5 million voters, predominantly young and from minority groups sympathetic to President Barack Obama, could be affected by an unprecedented flurry of new legislation by Republican governors and GOP-led legislatures to change or restrict voting rights by Election Day 2012." Think Progress reports that "As many as 43 percent of voters in the city of Philadelphia may lack valid Pennsylvania Department of Transportation-issued photo identification, the City Paper reports. While several other forms of photo identification - including U.S. passports and many student ID cards - are acceptable proof of identity under the controversial and possibly unconstitutional new law, this statistic suggests these restrictions may provide an even larger obstacle for urban (and racial minority) communities who do not drive."

Why is the disenfranchisement of potentially millions of Americans the perpetration of a fraud? Because it would mean perhaps millions will not be able to vote due to false claims by GOP sponsors of these bills that there are massive cases of illegal voters in the United States.

In a recent Brennan Center for Justice report it is noted that Republican backed obstacles to exercise the right to vote are not limited to government-issue photo ID cards:

"Significantly, these voting law cutbacks extend well beyond the most visible and controversial step to require government-issued photo ID that many citizens don't have," said report co-author Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program and former Chair of the Ohio Secretary of State's bipartisan Election Summit and Conference. "An array of technical moves can add to significant barriers to the ballot. And it comes at a time when experience has taught us there are many ways to improve the voting process and expand access to the franchise while reducing costs."

The Brennan Center report also warns that "The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012-63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency."

Debunking the myth of voter fraud, the Brennan Center produced a study that showed in a state such as Wisconsin, where Scott Walker led the charge against "alleged" voter fraud, there were only minute voting errors in the 2004 election (.00006% of ineligible voters casting ballots in the state that year) - and that "none of these problems could have been resolved by requiring by requiring photo ID at the polls."

Writing in the Michigan Law Review in 2007, Spencer Overton bluntly lays out the facts:

The Carter-Baker Commission's Report noted that since October 2002, federal officials had charged eighty-nine individuals with casting multiple votes, providing false information about their felon status, buying votes, submitting false voter registration information, or voting improperly as a noncitizen. Examined in the context of the 196,139,871 ballots cast between October 2002 and August 2005, this represents a fraud rate of 0.000045% (and note also that not all of the activities charged would have been prevented by a photo- identification requirement)

When you balance taking away the Constitutional right to vote of millions of Americans on the basis of 89 people being charged nationally with illegal voting over a three year period, those who seek to restrict access to the ballot box are engaged in a fraudulent scheme to impact elections through the denial of the most basic right of citizenship.

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The Incredible Lightness of Being D...

The Incredible Lightness of Being Dick Cheney


On July 30, 2012, former Vice-President Dick Cheney described President Obama as one of the "weakest" Presidents, ranking even (sic) Jimmy Carter above him (1). That statement makes one wonder: what is Cheney's definition of the opposite of weakness? That is "strength." Well, let's take a look at some of Cheney's personal and political history to try to determine the answer to that question.

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Court Denies Police Unions? Late At...

Court Denies Police Unions? Late Attempt to Join Stop-and-Frisk Case, Approves Agreement to Proceed with Joint Remedial Plan

New Analysis: Dark Money Groups Dom...

New Analysis: Dark Money Groups Dominate Independent Spending in House Toss-Up Races

Congressional Representatives and 1...

Congressional Representatives and 157,975 Concerned Americans Demand that President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services Intervene in Detroit Water Crisis

"Rape of Gaza"

"Rape of Gaza"

Bipartisan Bill to Expose Tax Write...

Bipartisan Bill to Expose Tax Write-Offs for Corporate Wrongdoing Clears Committee

Historic People?s Climate Summit in...

Historic People?s Climate Summit in Shadow of Chevron?s Richmond Oil Refinery

Russia's Vladimir Putin says his ma...

Russia's Vladimir Putin says his marriage is over

Source: [b]BBC[/b] Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have said their marriage is over. The couple, who had been married for 30 years, made their divorce public on Russian state television after attending a ballet performance. "It was a joint decision, we hardly ...
Christie expected to name Lautenber...

Christie expected to name Lautenberg successor

Source: [b]News12 NJ[/b] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appears poised to name a temporary successor to the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The governor has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. news conference in Trenton. However, the announcement did not specify a topic. Lautenberg died Monday a...
George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammator...

George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial

Source: [b]Yahoo News[/b] George Zimmerman wants ‘inflammatory terms’ banned from trial The Lookout By Jason Sickles, an arrives for a pretrial hearing on Thursday. (Joe Burbank/Getty) “Profiled” “Vigilante” “Self-appointed Neighborhood Watch Captain” “Wannabe cop” Suspec...
Swimming Champion, Movie Star Esthe...

Swimming Champion, Movie Star Esther Williams Dies

Source: [b]ABC News[/b] By BOB THOMAS Associated Press LOS ANGELES June 6, 2013 (AP) Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91. Williams's died early Thursday in h...
Syria Hails Qusair Capture as Fores...

Syria Hails Qusair Capture as Foreshadowing Rebel Defeat

Source: [b]Bloomberg[/b] The Syrian governmment’s capture of al-Qusair is a “strategic turning point” marking the beginning of the end for the armed opposition, Syria’s premier said, as the army promised mercy for surrendering rebels. Retaking the city opens the door “for successive vi...
Lindsey Graham ‘glad’ NSA collectin...

Lindsey Graham ‘glad’ NSA collecting phone records

Source: [b]Yahoo News[/b] Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Thursday morning he's "glad" the National Security Agency is secretly collecting millions of telephone records from Americans in an effort to track down terrorism suspects. “We are very much under threat," Graham said on "F...


Obama Runs Against The Haters In Th...

Obama Runs Against The Haters In The Do-Nothing Congress

Republicans have the edge going into the midterm elections considering the traditional disadvantages of a president’s party in the sixth year, but considering the negatives faced by the Republicans there is still a question of whether campaigning against them will improve the outcome for Democrats. Obama spoke out against them today (video above). He criticized […]
Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“A federal judge ruled yesterday that California’s version of the death penalty is unconstitutional. Apparently the difference is California’s version has avocado on it.” ?Seth Meyers
No Signs Of A Wave Election So Far

No Signs Of A Wave Election So Far

Nate Cohn looked at the small amount of generic Congressional polling there is available and concluded, consistent with other indicators, that there is no sign of a wave election this year. The polls he looked at showed an average 1.9 percent advantage for the Democrats over Republicans. Cohn wrote: These findings bear no resemblance to […]
SciFi Weekend: Arrow; Constantine; ...

SciFi Weekend: Arrow; Constantine; SHIELD; Hannibal; Big Bang Theory; Community; Orphan Black; True Blood; Fargo; Sleepy Hollow

There’s a lot of news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con. The Arrow panel is above, followed by the season three trailer. Ra’s al Ghul  will be the main villain next season. Flashbacks next season will include characters who died earlier on the show, and will deal with characters beyond Oliver.  Thea will be back […]
Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“Marvel Comics announced that the next Captain America will be black. He has the same powers as white Captain America except he has to show ID when he votes.” ?Bill Maher
Norm Ornstein On The Republican Bat...

Norm Ornstein On The Republican Battle Between The Conservatives And Lunatic Radicals

While, as should be obvious from the previous post, I am not thrilled by the prospect of Hillary Clinton being president, any Republican alternative would be far worse. With all her faults, Clinton isn’t bat-shit crazy. Norm Ornstein has written again about how extreme the Republican have become. He described the extremists who have become […]


The Power of Nightmares, Part 2

The Power of Nightmares, Part 2

This article is important for discussion of where our foreign policy has taken us, and where we go from here. Where would you go from where we are now. Upcoming will be a summary of the 3rd part of this video. I would like these summaries to lead us to some conclusions about our present foreign policy agenda.
Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russ...

Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russia)

Let's follow the facts. Washington from the get-go said it was Putin's missile that downed MH17. They swore they had evidence. Like in "We know. Trust us." The historical record for the past 60 years at least shows they cannot be trusted. There was never any evidence. Just spin.
'When bacteria and virus can work s...

'When bacteria and virus can work so well together, why can't we?'

Setting the pace for the press conference, Dr IS Gilada, President, AIDS Society of India, emphasized that collaborative activities between national TB and HIV programmes can help maximise public-health outcomes. He said if HIV programmes do not pay adequate attention to TB, or TB programmes ignore HIV, then the progress made in responding to HIV and TB gets threatened.
Perry Imperils His Own Roadshow

Perry Imperils His Own Roadshow

He doesn't mention it on his out-of-state "praise Perry" tour, but the governor's on the brink of being indicted for corruption back home. This mess involves the governor's clumsy attempt to stop an investigation by the state's ethics office into one of his pet slush funds that funneled taxpayer money to his corporate campaign donors.
America Is Working With Israel, So ...

America Is Working With Israel, So Why Not Be Militarily Effective? Here's How

How Israel can stop killing Gazan civilians and repair its tourist industry all at the same time
Impeachment Addiction Affliction: P...

Impeachment Addiction Affliction: Pipe Dream, Meet Fool's Errand

One must seek ancient history, well before Clinton, to a golden age when impeachment was not the first, second and third war cry from bad losers. Why, all a president has to do these days is get elected and instantly one-third declares him unfit, dangerous and illegitimate. What country long survives when its majority choice is tainted as legitimate before the year is out?

Renegade New York Democrats are alr...

Renegade New York Democrats are already trying to back out of their bogus 'deal' to rejoin the party

David Valesky presiding over a session of the New York state Senate

David Valesky

Last month, the renegade Democrats who've conspired to hand control of New York's state Senate to the GOP announced with great fanfare that they'd reached a "deal" to rejoin their mainstream colleagues and return to the fold. Most of the media, a lot of labor unions, and even supposed progressive exponents like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio bought into the hype, but there were plenty of reasons from the get-go to mistrust the Independent Democratic Conference, and now we have full proof of their bad faith.

On Tuesday, IDC member David Valesky complained bitterly about the fact that two Democratic senators, Gustavo Rivera and Liz Krueger, were still supporting Oliver Koppell, who is challenging IDC chief Jeff Klein in September's Democratic primary. But that's not all. Valesky also made up a whole bunch of bullshit about what exactly the IDC's non-deal entailed:

"It's hard to comprehend why there's been a blatant violation" by members of the regular Democratic Conference when their leadership pledged that no one would support Koppell, Valesky said. Oh yes? When exactly did mainstream Democrats promise that no members would support Koppell? One of the IDC's biggest complaints is that, allegedly, Senate Democrats are dysfunctional, so is Valesky seriously expecting lockstep martial adherence to this purported pledge? Even Darth Vader couldn't successfully perform a Jedi mind trick on Ruben Diaz, Sr. (though he might want to Force-choke him).

But like Vader, Valesky is trying to alter the deal. This "deal," though, was exactly one sentence long:

"Therefore all IDC members are united and agree to work together to form a new majority coalition between the Independent Democratic Conference and the Senate Democratic Conference after the November elections in order to deliver the results that working families across this state still need and deserve." And as we noted at a time?and this is why I keep putting the word "deal" in scare quotes?this "deal" only involves the members of the IDC agreeing to work amongst themselves to reunite with the mainstream Democrats. It does not involve an actual agreement between the IDC and the Democrats. So not only is Valesky adding ridiculous, impossible, and unenforceable terms to the deal, there was no real deal in the first place!

That makes it pretty easy for the IDC to walk away from this fake deal, and Valesky's already laying the groundwork to do so. Why is he doing so? Any answers would only be speculative. But we do know that Jeff Klein is an utter snake, and Valesky just one segment of his long tail. If the IDC winds up not rejoining the Democrats next year, no one will have any reason to be surprised.

Shame on Obama for suggesting his o...

Shame on Obama for suggesting his own impeachment, says Karl Rove

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove is seen at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 27, 2012.
Karl Rove, still recovering from the excitement of covering President Obama's razor thin 4-point victory in Ohio, appears on Fox to chastise the president for suggesting his own impeachment, of all things: "[Obama] wants nothing more than Republican and conservative leaders to step forward and say, ?We agree, we ought to try and impeach him,?? Rove said on Fox News' "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren." [...] "This man is playing with the American people by suggesting a constitutional crisis where none exists," he said. "Shame on him, shame on those people in his administration who participate with him, and shame on those conservatives and Republicans who help him along." Well, I'll give Karl a tiny bit of credit for at least noting?actually, more like footnoting, with an asterisk?that Republicans are helping the president out. But even that's understating things, because far from John Boehner's claim that the impeachment chatter is a Democratic scam, as Dave Weigel reminds us: If impeachment is a scam, it was started on the right, early in the Obama presidency. It started back when Obama was appointing Republicans to the cabinet, trying to woo their support for the stimulus, and negotiating with the in good faith on Obamacare. It continues up to this very day. And now a majority of Republicans want to see Obama impeached.

So Karl Rove and John Boehner can try all they want to deny Republicans want to impeach Obama and to blame President Obama for the impeachment talk, but that doesn't make them right. In fact, in certain Republican circles, I'll bet that makes them RINOs.

More good news from the Medicare re...

More good news from the Medicare report

Elderly patient sitting beside empty hospital bed.
The annual Medicare and Social Security trustees' report released Monday showed remarkable savings in the Medicare program demonstrating, in part, the effectiveness of the reforms included in the Affordable Care Act. There a nugget in the report though, ferreted out by Vox's Sarah Kliff, that's potentially groundbreaking: the government looks to be paying less to cover more beneficiaries for hospital insurance than a year ago. Medicare's hospital insurance program ? known to wonks as Medicare Part A ? spent $266.8 billion covering 50.3 million people in 2012. In 2013, the same program spent $266.2 billion to cover 51.9 million people. These figures come from Table II B.1 in the 2012 and 2013 reports.

Medicare's hospital insurance program is gigantic; it spends more money in a given year than the entire state of Wisconsin. In that context, $600 million is not much more than a rounding error. And some senior administration officials I spoke with cautioned against reading too much into these particular figures; receipts for services rendered in 2013, for example, might trickle after the year has ended.

But what's definitely clear?and what's driving this trend?is that Medicare is spending significantly less per person than they did two years ago. And this report expects that trend to continue for another two years going forward.

If the trend is sustained, the report projects, by 2015 the program will spend less per person on hospital care than it did in 2008. The country hasn't gone backward in healthcare spending in decades, if ever.This part of the Medicare program?hospital coverage?contributed to the fact that per-person Medicare spending in the entire program did not change from 2012-2013, "a growth rate of 0 percent," as Health and Human Services Secretary Syliva Mathews Burwell pointed out.

The Obamacare reforms?like penalizing preventable readmissions of patients?are certainly part of the picture here, as are technology developments in health care that make various treatments less invasive and less costly. This shows that health care doesn't have to be the thing that could bankrupt the nation in the coming decades. But that's if we undertake more extensive reform in the entire system. Because Medicare is a government program, the law could effect the kinds of reforms that work. This demonstrates better than anything the need for the government to take a stronger hand in regulating the healthcare industry as a whole, even to the extent of expanding Medicare to cover more of the population.

Midday open thread: NSA domestic sp...

Midday open thread: NSA domestic spying costs us more than personal privacy, no hope from El Niño

Today's comic by Matt Bors is Surgeon General's Warning: NYPD:
Comic teaser panel.
Personal privacy loss is just one of the costs of NSA surveillance: There is no doubt the integrity of our communications and the privacy of our online activities have been the biggest casualty of the NSA?s unfettered surveillance of our digital lives. But the ongoing revelations of government eavesdropping have had a profound impact on the economy, the security of the internet and the credibility of the U.S. government?s leadership when it comes to online governance.

These are among the many serious costs and consequences the NSA and those who sanctioned its activities?including the White House, the Justice Department and lawmakers like Sen. Dianne Feinstein?apparently have not considered, or acknowledged, according to a report by the New America Foundation?s Open Technology Institute.

Turns out that El Niño won't save Californians from drought this year Republican joy over 2014 predictions disguises problem: There?s a downside to GOP optimism about 2014, however: it seems to be eroding healthy fears about the party?s long-term standing, beginning with the 2016 presidential election.

As recently as last year?s famous Republican National Committee Growth and Opportunity Project report (better known as the ?2012 Postmortem? report), there was a palpable sense that the GOP needed to significantly change its message and image in order to avoid another presidential defeat, and worse yet, a significant generational misalignment with young and minority voters.

FBI forensics testimony a very big mess: Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said. [...]

The inquiry includes 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s in which the FBI?s hair and fiber unit reported a match to a crime-scene sample before DNA testing of hair became common. The FBI had reviewed about 160 cases before it stopped, officials said. [...]

The investigation resumed after the Justice Department?s inspector general excoriated the department and the FBI for unacceptable delays and inadequate investigation in a separate inquiry from the mid-1990s. The inspector general found in that probe that three defendants were executed and a fourth died on death row in the five years it took officials to reexamine 60 death-row convictions that were potentially tainted by agent misconduct, mostly involving the same FBI hair and fiber analysis unit now under scrutiny

Ethnic plastic surgery on the upswing: The issues at stake are loaded: ethnic identity, standards of beauty, the politics of diversity, what constitutes race, and whether exercises of vanity can reshape it. Dean Baker: Median wealth falls one-fifth in 30 years: A NYT article reported on a study from Russell Sage reporting that median household wealth was 36 percent lower in 2013 than 2003. While this is disturbing, an even more striking finding from the study is that median wealth is down by around 20 percent from 1984.

This is noteworthy because this cannot be explained as largely the result of the collapse of house prices that triggered the Great Recession.

There's no question about it: people are judged on the way they speak. Not surprisingly, African Americans are often the ones impacted, especially when it comes to education. "One African-American high school student we spoke to said he hated how often teachers corrected him when he spoke. 'Every time you try to say something they gotta correct every line you say. It?s like ? I don?t want to talk to you now.'? And that's how you get kids to stop contributing during class. Don't think there's a stigma? How about Rachel Jeantel, witness and friend of Trayvon Martin, who according to one juror, wasn't thought of as a credible witness because of how she spoke. Subscribe on iTunes | Subscribe On Stitcher | Direct Download | RSS
Steve King manages to attack Obama ...

Steve King manages to attack Obama for birth control, rape and refugee crisis in just one sentence

U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA) talks at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Steve King blames the unholy trinity of rape, refugee kids, and birth control pills on President Obama.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa pulls off a perfect trifecta on CNN this morning: This is a man-caused disaster, and the man that caused it is Barack Obama with his DOCA policy, with his Morton Memos and the advertisement that has been such a huge magnet that have caused these families to give their daughters birth control pills and send them down a rape path all the way through Mexico, and it's a death path on the death train. To summarize, according to King: Central American families are voluntarily sending their daughters to get raped. The families are giving their daughters birth control pills so they don't get pregnant when they get raped. They are doing this because President Obama has been asking them to.

This is completely nuts. The policy to which King referred applies only to children who arrived in the U.S. before mid-2007, when George W. Bush was still president. The reason refugee children are fleeing to the U.S. is to escape brutal violence in their home countries.

Moreover, while it is true that refugee girls are vulnerable to sexual violence on the path to the United States, they are fleeing from even greater risks of sexual violence back home.

So not only didn't Obama cause this, the families of these children aren't sending their daughters to be raped?in fact, they're trying to save their daughters from being raped. And as for why in the world King thought it made any sense at all to insert birth control pills into this discussion?well that's a cantaloupe-sized question that only he can answer.

Of course, as bad as what King said was, his interviewer, CNN's Chris Cuomo, wasn't any better. Because after King dropped his "knowledge," Cuomo said:

It's horrible. You've identified the problem, so fix it. No, Chris. Steve King did not just identify the problem. He spewed a bunch of nonsensical crap, and you didn't challenge him on it.

Want to kick Rep. Steve King out of office? Help us elect Jim Mowrer.

ADP estimates 218,000 new private j...

ADP estimates 218,000 new private jobs were created in July, down by nearly a quarter from June

Automatic Data Processing, which, among other things, handles payrolls for hundreds of thousands of clients, reported Wednesday that the private sector created 218,000 new jobs in July, considerably fewer than the 281,000 ADP reported last month. The report marks the fourth consecutive month ADP has calculated that the U.S. economy created more than 200,000 new private jobs.

The ADP report is rarely a close mesh with the Bureau of Labor Statistics' calculation of new jobs. The BLS reports job creation in both the private and public sector for each month. In June, it reported 262,000 new private-sector jobs and 26,000 public-sector jobs. Its next report will be announced Friday. If the consensus of analysts is correct, it will be the sixth consecutive month the BLS has reported creation of more than 200,000 new jobs. The average for the past five months is 248,000.

Specifically, in July, ADP reported these jobs:

Goods-producing?16,000 (down from 43,000 in June) Service-providing?202,000 (down from 238,000 in June)

Construction?12,000 (down from 36,000 in June) Manufacturing?3,000 (down from 12,000 in June) Trade/transportation/utilities?52,000 (down from 56,000 in June) Financial activities?9,000 (down from 12,000 in June) Professional/business services?61,000 (down from 79,000 in June)

"Although down from June, the July jobs number marks the fourth straight month of employment gains above 200,000,? said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody?s Analytics, said, "The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market. At the current pace of job growth unemployment will quickly decline. Layoffs are still receding and hiring and job openings are picking up. If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016.?

The Hamilton Project, however, projects that on the basis of ADP's figures for the past six months, it will take until June of 2018 to return to what economists consider full employment.

Indonesian police use Shootings, ki...

Indonesian police use Shootings, killings, beatings, arrests on West Papuan independence rallies

Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.

Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.

A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".

Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla

Civil Society stages mass walkout p...

Civil Society stages mass walkout protest from Warsaw Climate change negotiations

Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.

Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan  have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit 

Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement

Canadians and Australians protest c...

Canadians and Australians protest climate wrecking policies and pipelines

The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.

The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.

Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.

Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia

Typhoon Haiyan causes death and dev...

Typhoon Haiyan causes death and devastation in the Philippines

On November 8 Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall over Guiuan, Eastern Sama province in the Philippines, destroying coastal communities with ferocious winds and a storm surge of 6-7 metres (up to 20 feet). According to Dr Jeff Masters "Haiyan had winds of 190 - 195 mph (315 km/h) at landfall, making it the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history."

Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.

Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International

Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snip...

Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snipers

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and unidentified snipers attack Mi'kmaq women and elderly who were part of an anti-fracking encampment. Support pours in for Mi'kmaq attacked by police and snipers. Today, Monday, Mi'kmaq Warrior Tyson Peters shot with rubber bullet risks losing his leg after protecting woman from a bullet. [ From Global IMC Newswire ]
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