Commondreams.org

Farmers Mobilize around the World A...

Farmers Mobilize around the World Against Free Trade Agreements and for Food Sovereignty

"Don?t Trade Away Our Future!" Prot...

"Don?t Trade Away Our Future!" Protesters Call on Congress to Reject Trade Promotion Authority

CAIR: Arizona Muslim, Interfaith Le...

CAIR: Arizona Muslim, Interfaith Leaders Condemn Harassment of Mosque Worshipers

5 Years After Deepwater Horizon Dis...

5 Years After Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Obama Pursues More Offshore Drilling

NPPD to Cease Burning Coal at Sheld...

NPPD to Cease Burning Coal at Sheldon Coal Plant Unit 2 Outside Lincoln

Court Allows Challenge to Execution...

Court Allows Challenge to Execution of Pakistani Convicted as Juvenile

Democraticunderground.com

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...

Liberalvaluesblog

SciFi Weekend: Orphan Black; Outlan...

SciFi Weekend: Orphan Black; Outlander; Roy Leaving Arrow; Oliva Munn, Super Hero; Gotham; Veep; Daredevil; The Americans; Sopranos Ending Explained; Jon Stewart On Why He Is Leaving The Daily Show

Orphan Black returned on Saturday, beginning with a fun scene for the fans. It was another scene with Tatiana Maslany playing multiple seestas at once in Helena’s dream of perfect baby shower, reminiscent of  the clone dance party scene last season. The theme for the season is girl clones vs. boy clones, which sort of […]
Marijuana, Needle Exchange Programs...

Marijuana, Needle Exchange Programs, And Clinton?s Cultural Conservatism

Following recent posts about Lincoln Chafee talking about running for the Democratic nomination I began looking to see if there are any other issues where the two have major differences besides Clinton’s support for the Iraq war, which he has been attacking Hillary Clinton on. which he has been attacking Hillary Clinton on. I was pleased […]
Report Clinton To Oppose Iran Deal ...

Report Clinton To Oppose Iran Deal & The Politics Of Tipping

The Hill is running a story that major Clinton contributor Haim Saban is hinting that Hillary Clinton will come out against the Iran deal. Clinton was often more hawkish than others in the Obama administration, and had criticized Obama for his plans to negotiate with Iran during the 2008 campaign. She had claimed that the […]
O?Malley Scores Point Against Clint...

O?Malley Scores Point Against Clinton On Same-Sex Marriage

  “History celebrates profiles in courage, not profiles in convenience.” Martin O’Malley has demonstrated the benefits of having a liberal in the race to compete with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. He has been jabbing Clinton while campaigning in Iowa over her position that same-sex marriage should be decided by the states. O’Malley has […]
Left And Right Agree On Why Hillary...

Left And Right Agree On Why Hillary Clinton?s Views Are To The Right Of The Democratic Mainstream

Timothy Carney, a columnist at The Washington Examiner, has a conservative attack on Democrats of the very worst kind–an attack in which he is correct. Cerney criticizes Democrats for supporting Hillary Clinton, pointing out that Clinton represents everything Democrats say they oppose. He looked at Clinton’s foreign policy record, her relationship with K-Street and lobbyists, […]
Clinton Failed To Answer Questions ...

Clinton Failed To Answer Questions About Use Of Private Server Two Years Ago

The cover-up continues to look bad for Hillary Clinton. The New York Times (not Fox for those Clinton-apologists who try to pretend this is a right wing attack) reports that Hillary Clinton Was Asked About Email 2 Years Ago and failed to give an honest answer: Hillary Rodham Clinton was directly asked by congressional investigators in […]

OpEdNews

Why CAF Is Opposing And Marching Ag...

Why CAF Is Opposing And Marching Against Fast-Track Trade Legislation

Fast Track is part of a process that rigs our democracy and the global economy, resulting in trade deals that are written to benefit billionaires and giant multinational corporations at the expense of 99 percent of us. The flawed trade deals coming out of this rigged process have resulted in enormous and continuing trade deficits that drain our economy of jobs, devastate our communities and increase inequality.
Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater H...

Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater Horizon Killings

The military whistleblower's 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster. Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig -- despite Chelsea Manning's effort to save their lives.
Republicans and Obamacare: Admittin...

Republicans and Obamacare: Admitting they're wrong? Not!

Republicans Silently Admitting and Surrendering their efforts to repeal Obamacare
Pakistan's first Prime Minister Lia...

Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America

Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan's first Prime Minister, was assassinated on October 16, 1951 while addressing a public meeting in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. His assassin, later identified as Saad Akbar Babrak was shot dead on the spot. Saad Akbar Babrak was an Afghan national and a professional assassin.
SC Strikes Down Gag Law (But My Wif...

SC Strikes Down Gag Law (But My Wife Isn't Thrilled)

Supreme Court of India strikes down gag law, and my wife isn't too happy about it.
Book Review of David Ray Griffin's ...

Book Review of David Ray Griffin's Unprecedented, Can Civilization Survive The C02 Crisis?

David Ray Griffin's Unprecedented underscores the necessity for mass mobilization now, to combat the threats of human-caused Global Warming.

Dailykos.com

We won't be calling it Obamacare in...

We won't be calling it Obamacare in 2045. How about 'Americare'?

Sign saying
A rose by any other name....
Let's get a couple of things straight. I'm not talking about a new name for Obamacare because its actual contents are more popular than the name itself, which is what Kathleen Sebelius (remember her?) said last December when she suggested that the program needs rebranding. I'm simply thinking long-term.

Who knows what our healthcare system will look like in 2045? I'd like to think we'd have some form of single-payer, universal coverage. But let's say we don't, and that we still have some version of the healthcare exchanges, the premium subsidies for lower-income Americans, and the other basic elements of healthcare reform contained in the Affordable Care Act. Could you imagine, 30 years after President Obama left office, that people will still be talking about getting health insurance through "Obamacare?" Anyone who has read my posts knows that I think this president has had a strongly positive impact on our country's direction, so it's not like I'd be offended to do so. It would just be, well, odd.

There is a part of me that would like to see the name continued, if only to remind people just who is responsible for the benefits they are receiving. But to be realistic, having a program in 2045 whose name references a president first elected in 2008 would just sound dated, old-fashioned, like yesterday's news.

In the 2012 campaign, on the other hand, I thought it was brilliant for the president to reclaim the name Obamacare from his Republican opponents. For example, a month before the election, he turned the tables on them, declaring: "They call it Obamacare? I do care! You should care, too," and later the same day adding: "Folks go around saying Obamacare. That?s right?I care. That?s their main agenda? That?s your plank? .... Making sure 30 million people don?t have health insurance?" He was rightfully proud to embrace his signature domestic policy achievement.

President Obama has said that he has "no more campaigns to run." So the question becomes what makes sense in terms of the program's name going forward. Here's what I propose:

Americare Got you thinking? I hope so. Please follow me beyond the fold for more.
Thomas Edsall is wrong: Obamacare d...

Thomas Edsall is wrong: Obamacare did not make Americans more conservative

New York Times contributing op-ed writer Thomas B. Edsall wrote an incredulous article titled "Has Obamacare Turned Voters Against Sharing the Wealth?" that is worth reading. After reading one should understand the cyclicality of right-wing misinformation. Edsall starts with a bold statement: With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, the share of Americans convinced that health care is a right shrank from a majority to a minority.

This shift in public opinion is a major victory for the Republican Party. It is part of a larger trend: a steady decline in support for redistributive government policies.

Edsall bases that statement on a couple of studies, specifically "How Elastic Are Preference For Redistribution? Evidence From Randomized Survey Experiments." The paper is well-written and even provides the test that participants took. The conclusion from the experiment: The General Social Survey shows there has been a slight decrease in stated support for redistribution in the US since the 1970s, even among those who self-identify as having below-average income ....

Standard models predict that support for redistribution should increase with income inequality, yet there has been little evidence of greater demand for redistribution over the past thirty years in the US|despite historic increases in income concentration.

This is a far cry from Edsall's assertion that some sort of victory was won by conservative ideology. It is much deeper than a win or lose for any party?Republican, Democrat, or otherwise?or for any ideology. It is really about a misinformed populace.

Follow below the fold for more.

The submerged state: Welfare for th...

The submerged state: Welfare for the well off

1040 tax form, pencil, paper clip, eraser
The wealthy and middle classes get welfare?but they don't think of it that way.
The federal government and the state of California are on the verge of paying me a fair chunk of change. I didn't do any work to earn this money. I performed no services for them. It's just free money. Even more strangely, no legislator is trying to prevent me from using this money to eat lobster. Nobody is calling for me to be drug-tested. Hell, if I lived in Kansas, I could even spend my government money on a cruise ship (if I could find one in Kansas, but that?s beside the point). And if I did, conservatives would probably celebrate me for it and say that I deserved to treat myself to whatever I liked with my no-strings-attached free ride from the state.

No, I'm not on food stamps. I'm employed fairly consistently at a decent wage, so I'm not getting a welfare check. So what's going on? Well, the government is paying me simply to invest my own money.

More below the fold.

If the 2016 GOP presidential field ...

If the 2016 GOP presidential field is so deep, why is Donald Trump beating so many of their 'stars'?

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he arrives onstage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Theiler  
Donald Trump: in the top half of the GOP field, both nationally and in pivotal New Hampshire.

Much has been made of the field of prospects expected to vie for the Republican presidential nomination. Words like "deep" and "strong" are getting bandied about with a fair amount of regularity.

One of the earliest hymns of praise about the GOP field of contenders came over a year ago, courtesy of a March 2014 CPAC post-game column in the Daily Beast by former Bush ad-man Mark McKinnon:

Contrary to conventional media wisdom, this week?s CPAC proved Republicans are likely going to put a formidable team on the presidential field in 2016?and they?ll have at least one advantage going into the election: Their primaries are going to be much more interesting, dramatic and entertaining than the Democratic primaries. McKinnon's second point may well be true?it is undeniable that, unless something dramatically changes, the GOP primary fight will get infinitely more attention than the Democratic one, and could give the eventual nominee a great deal more attention.

(Of course, Mitt Romney proved in 2012 that being at front and center in the public whirlwind of a competitive primary fight is not always an asset).

Jump below the fold for more.

The 20 percent solution

The 20 percent solution

On April 15, Congressional Republicans missed their deadline for the fiscal year 2016 budget resolution. Nevertheless, and despite their differences on defense spending and the voucherization of Medicare (absent from the Senate bill), the GOP conferees aim to balance the budget in 10 years by slashing over $5 trillion in social programs and safety net spending, including the repeal of Obamacare. (Their plans are also magically aided by $2 trillion in mythical revenues and mystery savings.) During a recent floor speech, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) described their objectives this way: "A balanced budget approved by Congress will help make the government live within its means and set spending limits for our nation. Hard-working families are fed up with [President Obama's] spend-now, pay-later policies and are closely following our effort [on] a balanced budget." Unfortunately, there is little evidence in support of Enzi's argument. As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently forecast, there is no near-term debt problem. Adjusted for inflation, federal spending is lower now than when Barack Obama first took the oath of office. As the economy has recovered, the yearly deficit has been reduced by almost two-thirds since President Obama first entered the White House. And while the national debt as a percentage of the economy has plateaued, projected yearly deficits through 2025 under President Obama's proposed budget remain at or below the 50-year historical average of 2.7 percent. That stable picture explains both why Americans' concern about the budget deficit has eased and why the Fitch rating agency this week reaffirmed the USA's Triple A credit rating.

But there's an even bigger problem for Republicans so eager to swing a heavy budget ax. Since 1965, federal spending has exceeded revenue by that 2.7 percent of GDP. Yet polls consistently show that outside of foreign aid, there is no area of government spending a majority of Americans wants to decrease. And with the inescapable requirements to provide 21st century education and infrastructure even as the population grows older, the U.S. will need to invest more money in its people, not less. All of which means that to the degree that the United States even needs to "live within its means" right now, it should do so not by spending less, but by raising more revenue.

Call it the 20 Percent Solution.

Continue reading below.

90 for 90. Getting out the vote in ...

90 for 90. Getting out the vote in Virginia

photo of Dr. Wm. F Reid
Dr. William Ferguson "Fergie" Reid, the first African American elected to the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction
While much of the media is focusing on presidential hopefuls for 2016, the state of Virginia has key elections coming up this year?elections for the Virginia House of Delegates. A primary election will be held on June 9 and the general election will be on November 3.

A unique effort is underway in Virginia to get voters registered and out to vote, not just this year, but in the election years to come. The impetus and inspiration behind this drive is a civil rights icon in Virginia, Dr. William Ferguson Reid, known to many as "Fergie," who was the first black man to win a seat in the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction.

In March of this year, Reid celebrated his 90th birthday and he is still going strong. In honor of that 90th birthday and his long history of expanding voters' rights, people are committing to registering new voters for the election. This commitment is being called "90 for 90." Each person in the campaign will register 90 new voters in each of Virginia's precincts.

"If all volunteers and candidates worked together to register 90 new voters in each of the Commonwealth's precincts, our efforts would result in a quarter million new voters for the Old Dominion."

What a birthday gift that will be for Dr. Reid and for the people of Virginia!  

Follow me below the fold for the details, more about Fergie, and how you can get involved (you don't have to be from Virginia).

Indymedia.org

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 350.org 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 ]
Global Warming impacts escalate as ...

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