Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ron Paul Claimed An AIDS Patient Is ‘A Victim Of His Own Lifestyle’ In 1987 Book

In recent days, Ron Paul has tried to distance himself from damaging newsletters from the late 1980s and 1990s by attributing racist and anti-gay statements to ghost writers and disavowing the most incendiary sentiments. “It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all…I think it was terrible,” Paul said of the letters, which blamed AIDS on the gay community and likened black people to criminals. “It was tragic, and I had some responsibility for it, because the name went out in my letter. But I was not an editor. I (was) like a publisher.”

$227.8 MILLION

That’s how much the National Rifle Association raised last yearthrough a complex mix of corporate partnerships, merchandizing, membership dues and anti-Obama fear mongering. A separate but affiliated organization, the NRA Foundation, distributed $21.2 million in grants last year — most of it to the NRA itself. Although some portion of the foundation’s grants went to local charitable organizations, there are a number of unexplained discrepancies between what the foundation claims it gave and what that charities indicate they actually received.

Our Weather On Steroids: The Mind-Boggling Climate Disasters Of 2011

The year 2011 brought the most billion-dollar climate disasters to the United States ever, piling history-making events on top of each other to catastrophic results. The litany of disaster included a scorching drought that rivaled the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, a tornado season twice as bad as the great 1974 tornado outbreak, and flooding worse than the the great 1927 flood on the Mississippi River. This year of disaster was the result of the unlimited burning of fossil fuels, which has trapped increasing amounts of heat in the atmosphere, disrupting our climate system.

McCain ‘Outraged’ By Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Sex Crimes Negligence

Notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing increasing fire over his office’s failure to adequately investigate hundreds of sex crimes, including dozens of alleged child molestations. Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has previously gone easy on the sheriff, joined the critics. While he stopped short of calling for Apraio’s resignation, in an interview with 3TV news in Phoenix, McCain said he was “outraged” and “astonished that there hasn’t been more outcry about the failure of these investigations.” Watch it:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

POLL: ‘Progressive’ Is The Most Positively Viewed Political Label in America

A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press out yesterday shows that “progressive” is the most positively viewed political label in America, with 67 percent holding a positive view compared to just 22 percent who view the term negatively:

BLACK STUDENTS SUSPENDED AND EXPELLED UP TO SIX TIMES AS OFTEN AS WHITES IN DC AREA SCHOOLS

Black students are suspended and expelled at much higher rates than white students in Washington, DC and its suburbs, according to a new Washington Post analysis. Last year in Alexandria, Virginia, for example, black students were nearly six times as likely to be suspended as their white peers, while in Montgomery County, Maryland, nearly 6 percent of black students were suspended or expelled last year, compared to just 1.2 percent of white students. Of course, the problem exists in school districts across the country and experts say the disparities are caused by a host of issues, including higher poverty rates among African Americans, “unintended bias, unequal access to highly effective teachers and differences in school leadership styles.” A joint effort by the U.S. Justice and Education departments launched in July to look into reforms of school disciplinary systems.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How The Housing Crisis Could Kill Any Progress On Jobs

Last month, there was finally some good news on the jobs front, as the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percentand the economy created 140,000 private sector jobs. However, the continued slow-burning crisis in housingcould easily short-circuit any burgeoning labor market recovery, as the Wall Street Journal detailed today:

ALEC-Linked Group Revealed As Major Secret Donor In Referendum On Maine Voting Rights

Last month, Maine voters delivered a major rebuke to Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the Republican-held legislature when theyapproved a referendum restoring election day voting registration rights in the state. Earlier this year, state legislators passed abill repealing the state’s 38 year-old law allowing citizens to register at the polls on election day.

Van Hollen: Republican Drug Tests For Unemployment Insurance Are ‘Insulting’

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) rebuked House Republicans yesterday for suggesting the government require drug testsof individuals seeking unemployment insurance, calling such proposals “insulting” and a “red herring” in the unemployment crisis:

93-Year-Old Tennessee Woman Who Cleaned State Capitol For 30 Years Denied Voter ID

A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that herold state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.

Thelma Mitchell was even accused of being an undocumented immigrant because she couldn’t produce a birth certificate:

The GOP’s 10 Most Extreme Attacks On A Woman’s Right To Choose An Abortion

2011 marked a banner year in the Republican war on woman’s health. Close to 1,000 anti-abortion bills sped through state legislatures as the GOP-led House led a “comprehensive and radical assault” on a federal level. But in surveying their arsenal this year, 10 bills stood out as particularly perturbing and far-reaching efforts to stymie women’s access to abortion services, birth control, and vital health services like breast cancer screenings. Here are ThinkProgress’s nominations for the most extreme attacks on a woman’s right to choose:

FACT CHECK: Ron Paul Personally Defended Racist Newsletters

Recently, Ron Paul has been subject to intense criticism over controversial newsletters written under his name in the 80s and 90s that frequently included racism, bigotry, and conspiracy theories. Over the last few days, Paul has responded that he did not write the newsletters and disavowed their contents, claiming this has been his consistent position for 20 years. Here’s what Paul told CNN on December 21:

Half Of North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Holders With Felony Convictions Keep Their Permit

North Carolina is one of the few states in the country with public records of who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm, so it provides a rare window into how such permits are handled once their holder’s criminal record proves them unfit to carry a hidden gun. The results are not pretty:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Segregated Charter Schools Evoke Separate But Equal Era in U.S.

At Dugsi Academy, a public school in St. Paul, Minnesota, girls wearing traditional Muslim headscarves and flowing ankle-length skirts study Arabic and Somali. The charter school educates “East African children in the Twin Cities,” its website says. Every student is black.

Nigeria Christmas Attacks Kill At Least 39

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Terror attacks across Nigeria by a radical Muslim sect killed at least 39 people Sunday, with the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion.

'Anonymous' Stratfor Hack Reportedly Start Of Weeklong Assault

LONDON — Hackers with the loose-knit movement "Anonymous" claimed on Sunday to have stolen a raft of emails and credit card data from U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor, promising it was just the start of a weeklong, Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets.

Friday, December 23, 2011

1.4 Million Workers To Benefit From Minimum Wage Increase In 2012

In January, San Francisco will officially be the first U.S. city to have a minimum wage of above $10, nearly $3 more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. And that won’t be the only locale in which workers will see a little extra pay in 2012. In fact, eight states will be raising their minimum wage next year, which, according to the Economic Policy Institute, will benefit 1.4 million workers:

Auto Industry Success Continues, Further Vindicating Obama Rescue

Though the economy has struggled throughout 2011, one sector that saw some significant improvement was the American auto industry. In fact, about one million more cars are expected to be sold this year than last year, and American automakers are once again claiming a larger share of the American auto market than their foreign competitors:

Ron Paul Walks Out Of Interview After Facing Questions About Racist Content In Newsletter

Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) emergence as the front-runner in the Iowa GOP primary is bringing new scrutiny on Paul’s newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s. The newsletters, published under his name, included contentclaiming that African-Americans are trying to give white people HIV, suggested that Washington, DC is “anti-white and proud of it,” provided instructions on how to murder African-Americans, and warned of “malicious gay(s)” who spread HIV.

House To Pass Payroll Tax Cut Extension Today (Update)

The House is expected to pass the two-month payroll tax cut extension today, preventing taxes from increasing for millions of Americans on Jan. 1. The Senate approved the deal Friday morning. House Speaker John Boehner caved under the enormous pressure and dropped his opposition to the extension, telling reporters late Thursday that the House had reached a deal to pass the Senate’s two-month extension deal after minor modifications, according to the Washington Post:

Global Warming Hates A White Christmas

This winter has been unusually warm, crippling ski resorts, ruining holiday traditions, and dashing hopes of a white Christmas across the northern hemisphere. While the billions of tons of greenhouse pollution in our atmosphere sometimes encourage freak snowstorms, the primary effect of global warming on winter is, well, warmer temperatures — making white Christmases less likely. Temperature increases in some regions were off the charts in November, with northern Norway about 10°F warmer than average. In Finland, snow has been replaced by rain, killing World Cup and European Cup ski races, hurting retail sales, and adding to the gloom people feel from the long winter dark. This “black Christmas” shows the “footprint of global warming“:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Study: Wealth Inequality In America May Be Worse Than It Was In Ancient Rome

The 99 Percent Movement effectively changed the American political debate from debt and deficits to income inequality, highlighting the fact that income inequality has increased so much in the U.S. that it is now more unequal than countries like Ivory Coast and Pakistan. While those numbers are startling, a study from two historians suggests that American wealth inequality may actually be worse than it was in Ancient Rome — a society built on slave labor, a defined class structure, and centuries of warfare and conquest.

What Happens To The Economy If The Payroll Tax Cut Expires?

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) threw cold water on a temporary extension of the soon-to-expire payroll tax cut that had passed overwhelmingly in the Senate on Friday. “Well, it’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill,” Boehner said, despite the fact that on Friday he had called it a “good deal” and a “victory.”

Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Brain-Eating Amoeba' Deaths May Be Linked To Tap Water Use In Neti Pots, Louisiana Officials Warn

At least two people are dead in Louisiana after officials believe "brain-eating amoebas" entered the victims' sinuses through tap water used to fill neti pots.

North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Il has died

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean television announces in a "special broadcast" that its leader Kim Jong Il has died in Pyongyang. He was 69.

AT&T, Sprint: Carrier IQ Tracking Agreed To By Customers

More than two weeks ago, security researcher Trevor Eckhart posted a video about Carrier IQ, an obscure software installed on approximately 150 million smartphones. The 17-minute video sparked a firestorm not only because it alleged the software logged numerous details about users' activities, but also because it did so without their knowledge.

Egypt Protest: Troops Use Brutal Force Against Women

CAIRO — Troops pulled women across the pavement by their hair, knocking off their Muslim headscarves. Young activists were kicked in the head until they lay motionless in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Obama 2012 Reelection Odds Roughly 50-50 According To New AP Poll

WASHINGTON -- Entering 2012, President Barack Obama's re-election prospects are essentially a 50-50 proposition, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. It found that most Americans say the president deserves to be voted out of office even though they have concerns about the Republican alternatives.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Supporting ‘All-American Muslim’ Advertisers

The Florida Family Association has managed to do a lot of damage with its All-American Muslim boycott over the last week and a half, whether by convincing companies like Lowe’s and Kayak to absolutely humiliate themselves, or by stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment against the cast of a touching and totally uncontroversial reality show. But fortunately one thing sanctimonious moralizers do well is make lists, and they’ve kept track of advertisers who stuck to their guns and either continued to advertise on the show after the FFA started its campaign.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Deal To Avert Government Shutdown Cuts Pell Grants For Up To 100,000 Students

Congressional leaders last night agreed to a $1 trillion bill to fund the government, averting a shutdown that would have started at midnight tonight. The bill reportedly dropped many of the unrelated policy riders that House Republicans had tried to insert into it.

Congress Cuts Winter Heating Aid For The Poor While Boosting The Defense Budget

Poverty in America is only getting worse, with data showing rising income inequality and the startling fact that half of all Americans are now either in poverty or considered low-income. Were it not for the government programs that comprise the social safety net, those numbers would be even worse. More than a quarter would live in povertywithout the safety net, according to one study, and Social Security alone kept 14 million out of poverty last year. Despite that, Congress — and particularly Republicans in Congress — have made cuts to various programs meant to aidthe poorest Americans.

Ohio Landlord Refuses To Apologize For Posting ‘Whites Only’ Pool Sign Because It’s ‘Historical’

In September the Ohio Civil Rights Commission ruled that a white landlord, Jamie Hein, had violated the state’s Civil Rights Act by posting a sign by the pool of her duplex that read “Public Swimming Pool, White Only.”

Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists (Why? When the folks with so much faith seem to be the one's who hate the most!)

A new study finds that atheists are among society's most distrusted group, comparable even to rapists in certain circumstances.

On Dec. 25, atheists celebrate a different birthday

Deck those halls with boughs of apples and top that tree with a finger puppet of Sir Isaac Newton.

At least that's what Robin Zebrowski does at her home in Beloit, Wis., where she and her husband, Joshua, observe the birthday of the great 17th-century English scientist and mathematician, Dec. 25, 1642.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As Public Opinions Turns Against The Death Penalty, Number Of Capital Sentences Hits 35-Year Low

A study by the Death Penalty Information Center shows that both the number of death sentences meted out and the number of state executionsdeclined in 2011 — developments which the organization says reflect “the growing discomfort that many Americans have with the death penalty”:

DOJ Uncovers Rampant Lawbreaking By Sheriff Joe Arpaio Despite His Stonewalling

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is unquestionably the most notorious law enforcement official in the country, infamous for his ruthless and illegal treatment of the undocumented immigrants under his charge. He’s known for cramming detained immigrants into outdoor “tent cities” he proudlylikens to concentration camps, and for parading prisoners around in pink underwear to humiliate them.

Three-Quarters Of Americans Think The 1 Percent Has Too Much Power

Since the 99 Percent Movement protests began across the country, multiple Republican lawmakers and strategists have announced their fear of what they claim are the movement’s attacks on capitalism and America’s free market economy. The protests and Democratic policies, some Republicans have claimed, represent a form of class warfare against the rich. And many have predicted that supporting the movement will come back to haunt Democrats.

Study: People Receiving Unemployment Insurance Work Harder To Find Jobs

A new study from Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC) debunks the prevailingconservative notion that Unemployment Insurance (UI) dissuades people from looking for a job. “On the contrary,” the report finds, “beneficiaries of federal UI benefits have spent more time searching for work than those who were ineligible for UI benefits.” “In fact, since Congress enacted federal unemployment benefits, time spent looking for a job has tripled among the long‐term unemployed who are out of work as a result of job loss,” the report adds.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Math Is Now Just As Fundamental As Reading



Poor math skills are as debilitating in the modern world as is poor reading ability.

Obamacare Extended Health Coverage To At Least 2.5 Million Young Adults

At least 2.5 million younger Americans now have health insurance as a result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age, the Associated Press reports. The Obama administration is expected to release additional data later this afternoon:

REPORT: 3.3 Million Will Lose Unemployment Insurance Under House GOP’s Payroll Tax Bill

House Republicans passed their version of a payroll tax cut extension last night, but not before adding a litany of spending cuts and changes to federal programs that they knew Democrats would never accept. The GOP, which still refuses to tax a relatively small number of millionaires to give an extra $1,000 a year to the average middle class family, included cuts to Medicare benefits and the Affordable Care Act and froze federal worker pay for an additional two years.

GOP Again Supports Radical Budget Proposal That Would End Recovery, Double Unemployment Rate

Before the Senate took up its vote on a radical Balanced Budget Amendment proposal today, Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) — a co-sponsor of the bill — called it “one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the Senate in decades.” Lee is right: the Balanced Budget Amendment he and his Republican colleagues continue to push is important, since it would have tremendous ramifications for an already-struggling American economy, throwing the country back into the depths of recession.

Thousands Of U.S. Citizens Illegally Detained In Crackdown On Undocumented Immigrants

In their zeal to crack down on undocumented immigrants, federal immigration officials have accidentally arrested and tried to deport thousands of U.S. citizens in the past year alone. Americans who find themselves in this nightmarish situation say their protests to the police fall on deaf ears, and they are denied any opportunity to communicate with immigration agents to clarify the situation.

FACT CHECK: Most Companies Not Caving To Intolerance, Will Continue To Advertise On ‘All-American Muslim’

The backlash against the home improvement giant Lowe’s is intensifying after the company pulled its ads from TLC’s showAll-American Muslim at the behest of the right-wing groupFlorida Family Association. The move sparked fury from lawmakers and prompted calls for a boycott. Today, New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger said that, “for as long as Lowe’s continues to ‘defer’ to discrimination, let’s boycott this chain.”

GOP’s Latest Radical List Of Demands May Force A Government Shutdown In Three Days

As the media fixates on the partisan battle over renewing the soon-to-expire payroll tax cut, the imminent threat of a government shutdown seems to have been lost in the mix. In addition to the payroll tax bill, Congress is far from finalizing an omnibus spending bill that will prevent the federal government from shutting down in three dayswhen its current round of funding runs out:

VERMONT FRATERNITY SUSPENDED FOR PASSING OUT ‘WHO WOULD YOU RAPE?’ SURVEY

The University of Vermont chapter of fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon is beingsuspended for passing out a survey to its members that asked questions including, “If I could rape someone, who would it be?” The university may take further disciplinary action, and women on campus are circulating a petition to have the chapter shutdown entirely that has already received over 1,000 signatures. The incident is the latest in a long series of rape-promoting stunts by fraternity members at American universities. Jezebel notes that “Sigma Phi Epsilon should know the drill, since UVM’s chapter was shut down from 1993-1997 for hazing, which included making pledges tell racist jokes and describe what they’d do with a stripper whose company they enjoyed the night before.”

TENS OF THOUSANDS MARCH ON KOCH INDUSTRIES FOR SUPPRESSING VOTING RIGHTS

This past Saturday, tens of thousands of civil rights activists marched on the New York offices of Koch Industries to protest the Koch brothers’ support of restrictive voting laws that disenfranchise millions. In dozens of states, Republican politicians have pushed laws that disproportionately keep Democratic voters, including blacks, Latinos, students, and the poor, from the polls. U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) was among the lawmakers and labor leaders who locked arms and led the march on Madison Avenue. The billionaire Koch brothers help fund the shadowy corporate front groupALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) that has modeled restrictive voting legislation.

FOR 34 STRAIGHT MONTHS, THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN FOUR UNEMPLOYED JOB SEEKERS FOR EVERY JOB OPENING

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the month of October saw 4.1 unemployed job seekers for every one available job, as the number of job openings decreased by 110,000 to 3.3 million. That month, the total of unemployed workers reached 13.9 million. As the Economic Policy Institute noted, “the fact that we have had a job-seekers ratio above 4-to-1 for 147 weeks underscores the crucial need for extended unemployment insurance benefits.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 FEDERAL DEFICIT SHRINKS TO LESS THAN $1 TRILLION

Under President Obama, the nation’s deficit will shrink to less than $1 trillion in 2012, the Treasury Department announced yesterday. The deficit in 2011 and 2010 was $1.3 trillion. Treasury projects that the budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 will come in at $996 billion. Additionally, as a result of the debt super committee’s failure to reach an agreement, an automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts will kick in over the next decade. Obama has pledged to veto any attempt to curb those cuts.

Conservatives Now Mocking Sesame Street for Fighting Food Insecurity

Fox News got all het up about the Muppets being anti-Capitalist before coming to their senses. So it seems strange that conservatives would follow up that loser of a battle by criticizing Sesame Street’s campaign against child hunger by arguing that it’s “Brought to you by the letters ‘B’ and ‘G’… for Big Government.”

Meet The Florida Family Association: A Faux Outrage Generation Factory

The Florida Family Association (FFA) has attracted national attention this week for convincing Lowe’s and other companies to drop its advertising on the acclaimed new TLC reality show, All-American Muslim. Claiming a membership of 35,000 individuals, FFA’s only paid staff member is its president, David Caton, and it is not affiliated with any national organizations.

Monday, December 12, 2011

McConnell: GOP Isn’t ‘Here To Defend High-Income People’

The number two Senate Republican, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R), last week decried attempts by Senate Democrats and President Obama to pay for a payroll tax cut extension with a surtax on millionaires. Despite the fact that payroll tax cut extension would keep an extra $1,000 in the pockets of the average American family, and despite the fact that the millionaire surtax would hit relatively few households, Kyl said he could only support extending the tax cut for working Americans if it was accompanied by massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Long-Term Jobless Eye Bleak Future As Unemployment Benefits End

WASHINGTON (Lucia Mutikani) - George Parks has been out of work for 21 months and his unemployment benefits will run out at the end of the month.

Sunday December 11, 2011 Talking Heads

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

Today, Chris Wallace interviews Rick Perry. Remember when people thought he'd be serious contender for the presidency? And then we found out that "Rick Perry" was a Farrelly Brothers movie, and everyone was all, "Oh! He brings me such delight BUT NO." I sure hope the Rick Perry who trips and falls into stacks of pies shows up this morning.

Lindsey Graham: Consumer Protection Bureau 'Is Something Out Of The Stalinist Era'

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that an agency established to protect consumers from financial fraud "is something out of the Stalinist era."

The “Man” Trying To Take Over Detroit?

The potential takeover of the city of Detroit by an “emergency manager” under a controversial Michigan law was the topic of the night on MSNBC Thursday, with the Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz shows tackling the topic.

Income Gap Widens Within The Black Community

What happens within the black community when the gap widens between the poor and the affluent? That’s one question raised by new census data showing well-off African-Americans leaving cities for the suburbs and the South while the ranks of the black poor grow larger.

ELIZABETH WARREN SLAMS KARL ROVE’S DISHONEST ATTACK AD AS ‘FACTUALLY WRONG AND MORALLY WRONG’

Feeling the heat of consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren’s lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS unleashed an extremely disingenuous political ad that insinuated Warren was responsible for the 2008 bank bailout — a patently absurd claim given that the bailout was a Republican measure and that Warren was later chosen as the head of a panel providing much-needed oversight to the program. In fact, she has been a consistent advocate for greater accountability regarding the bailout funds. Warren blasted Rove for the ad, saying, “I can’t find the right words to describe how wrong that is. Factually wrong and morally wrong.” “Karl rove is not telling the truth,” she added. “I think anyone who is not telling the truth shouldn’t be running ads in this race.”

Durban Climate Hero Abigail Borah: ‘I Am Speaking On Behalf Of The USA Because My Negotiators Cannot’

The delegates assembled in Durban, South Africa to tackle the civilizational challenge of manmade climate destruction burst into sustained applause on Thursday when a young American interrupted the proceedings to speak on behalf of the United States people. Abigail Borah, a 21-year-old student from Middlebury College and member of the youth climate delegation, spoke out in the plenary hall as US climate envoy Todd Stern prepared to address the assembled environmental ministers. “I am scared for my future,” she said, because of the “obstructionist Congress” and the “empty rhetoric” of President Obama:

Lowe’s, Bank Of America, And Others Pull Ads From Muslim Reality TV Show After Pressure

The TLC reality TV show All-American Muslim chronicles the livesof a group of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan. The show has beenwell-received for its fair and realistic portrayal of the Muslim American experience in the United States. Watch a trailer for the show here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Walmart Heirs Have The Same Net Worth As The Bottom 30 Percent Of Americans

Income inequality in the U.S. is currently the highest its been since the 1920s, with the 400 richest Americans (who are all billionaires) having as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of Americans combined. And as it turns out, just one wealthy familyhas managed to amass a fortune equal to that of thecombined net worth of the bottom 30 percent of Americans — the Waltons, heirs to the Walmart fortune, as Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, found:

Party That Won’t Tax Millionaires Proposes Slashing Unemployment Benefits In Deal For Middle Class Tax Cut

Republicans, while claiming to support a payroll tax cut extension that will primarily benefit the middle class, have cycled through a list of reasons to oppose proposals from Senate Democrats. The GOP refuses to pay for the cut with a surtax on millionaires, even as the wealthiest Americans’ tax rates have fallen to historic lows. Other GOP members have claimed the extension — which would put an extra $1,000 a year in the average American’s pocket — would undermine Social Security (it wouldn’t).

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Pulls Ad That Blames Women For Getting Date-Raped

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board provoked anenormous backlash by airing ads that tell women who are date-raped that they have only themselves and their friends to blame. The ad was part of a $600,000 campaign aimed at curbing excessive drinking.

After hearing from hundreds of rape victims that the ads were extremely upsetting, even traumatizing, the board has decided to pull them:

Jay -Z: Most People With A Conscience Wouldn’t Mind Paying More In Taxes

More and more of America’s wealthy are coming out in support of paying their fair share in taxes. Two dozen millionaires came to Capitol Hill recently simply to say, “tax me.” Now, multiple Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Jay-Z is joining the chorus. “I wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if it went to the things that really mattered,” he told CNN, adding that, if the money goes towards health care, education, and to help people, “most people with a conscience, with some integrity, and moral fiber wouldn’t have any problem paying more taxes.” Watch it:

TAKE ACTION: Tell The Washington Post To Retract Jen Rubin’s Charge That ThinkProgress Is ‘Anti-Semitic’

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin this week in two separate posts smeared CAP and its bloggers as “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel.” In her first post highlighting a recent Politico piece — which was originally titled“Liberal think tank harbors Israel haters” but subsequently changed to “Uncovering the anti-Israel enablers” — Rubin, without offering any evidence, said our “views are not merely anti-Israel, they are anti-Semitic” and that our writing is “fiction for Israel haters.” Rubin posted a follow-up story the next day, noting Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow Josh Block’srole in it and added, again without offering any evidence, that CAP bloggers promote “out-and-out anti-Semitic hate speech”:

Republicans And Business Groups Unable To Find One ‘Job Creator’ Who Opposes A Tax On Millionaires

Yesterday, Republicans again shot down an extension of a payroll tax break for middle-class families due to their objection to a 1.9 percent tax increase on thetop 0.2 percent of income earners. Naturally, Republicans are recycling their spurious claim that taxing America’s millionaires will somehow hit small businesses and stifle job creation. “It’s just intuitivethat, you know, if you’re somebody who’s in business and you get hit with a tax increase, it’s going to be that much harder, I think, to make investments that are going to lead to job creation,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

45 GOP Senators Filibustering Consumer Protection Nominee Have Received Millions From Wall Street This Year

The Senate today is scheduled to vote on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. It’s unlikely, at this point, that Democrats have enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster. Forty-five Republican senators have pledged to block any nomineeuntil structural changes are made to the Bureau that would undermine its effectiveness.

POLAR BEARS ARE TURNING TO CANNIBALISM AS ARCTIC ICE DISAPPEARS

Polar bears are now being observed by scientists resorting to cannibalism, and expect to see more as Arctic sea ice declines. In “Observations of cannibalism by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway,” published in the journal Arctic, polar bear biologist Ian Stirling and photojournalist Jenny Ross describe seeing three different killings and cannibalism of polar bear cubs by adult males, a known behavioral response to food scarcity. At the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, Ross described the kills, showing her photographs of one of the most gruesome signals of global warming.

GOP FILIBUSTERS MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT — AGAIN

A bill to extend the payroll tax holiday failed in the Senate this afternoon after Republicans filibustered the extension for a third time, preventing it from getting the 60 votes needed to begin debate or receive an up-or-down vote. The latest bill would have paid for the extension of the holiday, which primarily affects middle and low income Americans, by assessing a small, temporary tax on the top 0.2 percent of income earners. The vote was 50-48.

After Being Denied Food Stamps, Despairing Mother Shoots Her Two Children In Welfare Office

Rachelle Grimmer and her two children were astruggling family living in a rundown trailer park. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services denied her application for food stamps, saying that she did not submit enough information. Grimmer went to a welfare office in Laredo to discuss her case.

House Republicans May Mandate Drug Testing As Condition Of Continuing Unemployment Benefits

In an effort to drastically reduce the welfare rolls and make it more difficult for struggling families to receive government benefits, GOP governors and legislators have pushed mandatory drug testing laws. Not only do welfare recipients have to pass drug tests before they can collect benefits, they often have to pay for the test themselves, and will only be reimbursed by the state later if they pass.

Conservative Women’s Group Applauds Senate Decision To Deny Military Rape Victims Abortion Coverage

The Senate decided last week to keep in place a policy that denies abortion coverage for military rape victims who became pregnant as a result of their sexual assault. Female service members who fight and die for their country are not extended the same rights as civilian government employees, who can use their government-funded insurance to pay for abortion if they’re victims of rape or incest, or evenrape survivors in prison who receive government-funded abortion coverage.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Between 2008 And 2010, 30 Big Corporations Spent More Lobbying Washington Than They Paid In Income Taxes

Today, thousands of 99 Percenters will march on K Street in Washington, D.C. as a part of an action called “Take Back The Capitol,” taking aim at the lobbying firms that corporate interests use to influence the federal government.

Washington Post’s Fact-Checker Unfairly Slams Obama’s Accurate Claims About The Bush Tax Cuts

President Obama yesterday gave a major economic speech in which he took apart the conservative theory of trickle-down economics, the belief that cutting taxes and regulations spurs prosperity at the top of the income scale that then drips down to everyone else. “That theory fits well on a bumper sticker. Here’s the problem:It doesn’t work. It has never worked,” Obama said.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ALEC Deems Kids Eating Rat Poison An ‘Acceptable Risk’

As ThinkProgress has been reporting for some time, the corporate front group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been colluding with the billionaire Koch brothers to privatize government and eliminate environmental regulations that interfere with profits.

The Senate GOP’s Appalling Judicial Confirmation Double Standard

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted 54-45 to allow D.C. Circuit nominee Caitlan Halligan’s nomination to move forward — which, in the bizarro universe that is the United States Senate, is six votes shy of what she needs. Worse, this happened despite the fact that her opponents could barely even articulate an argument against her.

Alabama Agriculture Department Advances Plan To Replace Immigrant Workers With Prisoners

ThinkProgress has been reporting on thecatastrophic economic consequences of Alabama’s harshest-in-the-nation immigration law. Undocumented workers are the backbone of Alabama’s agriculture industry, and their exodus has already created a labor shortage in the state. Farmers say crops are rotting in the field and they are in danger of losing their farms by next season.

Obama on ‘Trickle Down’ Economics: ‘It Doesn’t Work, It Has Never Worked’

In 1910, former President Theodore Roosevelt gave his rousing “New Nationalism” speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, where he called for new approaches to dealing with the problems the nation faced. President Obama visited Osawatomie today, and in his own speech — his first major economic speech since Occupy Wall Street protests began highlighting income inequality and corporate greed — Obama called for a new approach to addressing America’s current economic challenges.

Bank Of America Takes Occupy Foreclosure Actions Seriously, Warns Employees ‘We Need To Be Prepared’

Today, the Occupy Wall Street movement is taking part in a series of actions they’ve called “Occupy Our Homes,” aimed at preventing foreclosures and protecting those still struggling to keep their homes amidst the lingering effects of the Great Recession. ThinkProgress’ Zaid Jilani explained one of the planned actions here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Study: Funding Progressive Domestic Priorities Creates At Least 50 Percent More Jobs Than Military Spending

Facing deep spending cuts, the Department of Defense, including Secretary Leon Panetta, and military-industrial trade associations have complained that tightening the U.S. security budget will cause greater unemployment. And even while toeing the (dubious) conservative line that government spending cannot create jobs, right wingers like Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) insist thatmilitary spending must stay high to keep unemployment from increasing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Professor Griff - Sista's, where you at???




Griff highlighting the long time trend of successful black man dating and marrying outside their race. From the 2 disc set "Art of War" available at urgodz.com $15 free shipping Here

The MLK that's never quoted (I Never Hear This Quoted!)




Why doesn't anyone ever quote these words by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

IQ Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit After Privacy Outcry

SAN FRANCISCO -- Technology bloggers are asking if our cellphones are spying on us after a security researcher said a piece of software hidden on millions of phones was recording virtually everything people do with them.

Scott Walker’s New Policy May Result In Protesters Being Charged For The Pepper Spray Used Against Them

Under a new policy unveiled late this week by the Walker administration, protesters who apply for permits to protest outside government buildings in Wisconsin may be charged for clean-up costs and the presence of police officers. “Gov. Scott Walker now wants to charge protesters for the time that the police that will monitor them and presumably pepper spray them,” Current TV’s Keith Olbermann observed last night. Watch it:

MUSLIMS COMPARED TO COCKROACHES AT ST. LOUIS ACT! FOR AMERICA EVENT

St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tim Townsend attended an anti-Muslim event hosted by ACT! for America this week where he witnessed the following remark. “They’re everywhere,” one woman in the audience whispered to her friend. “They’re like cockroaches.” Townsend concludes, “Unfortunately for American Muslims, we are about to enter a presidential election year, during which groups like ACT! for America and the Clarion Fund have historically spread anti-Islam messages that promote fear of ‘the other.’” As we explained in Fear, Inc., the hate group ACT!, founded by Islamophobe Brigitte Gabriel, has a budget of nearly $1 million and comprises over 550 chapters and 170,000 members worldwide.

PolitiFact’s Finalist For 2011 Lie Of The Year Is 100 Percent True

PolitiFact has just announced its finalists for 2011′s Lie of the Year. Oddly, the year’s most significant policy claim — theDemocrats’ charge that the Paul Ryan budget will end Medicare — made the list, even though it’s 100 percent true!

Bill would require state's unemployed to volunteer or lose benefits

Newly unemployed Georgians would have to volunteer service hours or risk losing unemployment benefits, according to a proposal submitted this week by state lawmakers.

GOP Plan: Protect Millionaires, Raise Taxes on 160 Million Working Americans

Last night, every single Republican senator except Susan Collins (ME) voted to protect the top 0.2 percent of taxpayers — just 345,532 millionaires– from paying a small surtax on their income over $ 1 MILLION in order to extend and expand the payroll tax cut for 160 MILLION working Americans.

Friday, December 2, 2011

CAIN LAUNCHES ‘WOMEN FOR CAIN’ WEBSITE WHERE SUPPORTERS ATTACK HIS ACCUSERS AS ‘JEALOUS,’ ‘HUSBANDLESS’

As allegations of sexual harassment and adultery continue to bog down GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, his campaign is trying to resuscitate his candidacy by launching a new site “Women For Cain.” Chaired by Cain’s wife Gloria, the initiative allows female supports to share their personal stories and, apparently, launch “brutal attacksagainst the women who have accused Cain.” In this section, which TPM reports “appears to be curated by the campaign,” one California supporter tells Mrs. Cain, “don’t pay attention to these pathetic husbandless women who are jealous of women like you in happy long-term marriages,” adding “these vindictive women can’t find a husband or keep one.” Another labels Cain’s accusers as “scheming women that can be swayed by money.” Meanwhile, the photo of the women supporting Cain is a stock photo entitled “four happy young women holding their thumbs up:”

After Signaling Support, John Boehner Calls Tax Break For Middle Class ‘Chicken-Shit’

Despite their stated opposition to tax increases, Republican lawmakers have been largely cool or even hostile to a proposed extension of the temporary payroll tax cut, pushed by President Obama and Democrats. Finally, this week, Republicans seemed to relent as GOP congressional leaders publicly urged their caucuses to vote for an extension of the plan. “The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn,” Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said this morning of efforts to whip GOP lawmakers to support an extension.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ghetto Siri the iphone Assistant (LMMFAO!)

Not Really Serious People But This Is Funny As Hell!

video




Former Chase Banker Admits His Bank Pushed Minorities Into Subprime Mortgage Loans

One of the most pernicious practices in which the nation’ biggest banks engaged during the lead up to the financial crisis was pushing minority borrowers into subprime loans, even when many of them qualified for prime loans. Wells Fargo had perhaps the most horrifying practices in this department, calling the subprime loans that they pushed in poor, black neighborhoods “ghetto loans.”

APPLE RESPONDS TO SIRI CONTROVERSY, INSISTS MISLEADING ABORTION ANSWERS NOT INTENTIONAL

Apple has finally responded to the controversy surrounding Siri, the voice-activated assistant of the iPhone 4s, and its misleading answers to pressing women’s health questions. According to the New York Times, the company said the inability of the program to provide information about abortion clinics was not intentional or deliberate, and “attributed the problem to kinks in the product that were still being ironed out.” But Apple did not address some of the most disturbing complaints that Siri guided women seeking abortions to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers,” and routinely offered no information about rape centers or emergency contraception. Nor did they offer an explanation for the discrepancy between this lack of information and the readiness with which the program helped people seeking escort services, Viagra, or guns.

One Percenter: Tax The Rich Because People Like Me Don’t Create Jobs, The Middle Class Does

Today in Bloomberg Businessweek, Nick Hanauer, a sucessful venture capitalist who has helped launch more than 20 companies, including Amazon.com, writes an op-ed that demolishes the myth that the rich are “job creators” and that we should never raise their taxes.

WAR ON CHRISTMAS: RIGHT-WING GROUP CREATES ‘NAUGHTY OR NICE’ LIST OF COMPANIES THAT DO NOT MENTION CHRISTMAS ENOUGH

Tis’ the Season to be jolly, or if you are the American Family Association, to construct a list of aberrant companies out to destroy Christmas. Offering up their yearly “Naughty of Nice” list, the religious-right organization is branding companies according to whether they recognize Christmas enough. If a company uses the term Christmas “on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly,” AFA says. If a company “refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium,” then they’re listed as “marginal” and are bordering on delinquency. But if a company uses Christmas “sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it,” then that company is “censoring” (or waging all out war on) Jesus’s birthday. Here is AFA’s list, updated Nov. 30:

CHART: If Congress Left For 536 Days (Like Belgium), It Could Almost Eliminate The Deficit

While Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over how to reduce America’s debt and deficits — moving from near-government shutdowns to failed super committees and opposition to both spending cuts and tax increases — the government of Belgium may have inadvertently provided Congress with an example of how to fix the problem: do absolutely nothing.

Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan President, Pardons Imprisoned Rape Victim

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday pardoned an Afghan woman serving a 12-year prison sentence for having sex out of wedlock after she was raped by a relative.

Questlove: Racist Epithets Fired At Me After Bachmann Intro Music On 'Fallon'

Once the world caught on to the sly, musical message that the "Late Show With Jimmy Fallon" backing band the Roots sent to Michele Bachmann during her appearance on the show last week, reaction was swift: some laughed, Bachmann was outraged and NBC apologized.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LA Mayor Says He Evicted Protesters Out Of Concern For Children, But City Has 13,000 Homeless Kids

Last night, the city of Los Angeles reversed its long-standing policy of mutual cooperation with Occupy Los Angeles and raided the encampment on the steps of city hall, evicting protesters. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he decided on the eviction when he learned that children were sometimes present at the camp:

Movers And Sheriff’s Deputies Refuse Bank’s Order To Evict 103-Year-Old Atlanta Woman

Yesterday, a Deutsche Bank branch in Atlanta had requested the eviction of Vita Lee, a 103-year-old Atlanta woman, and her 83-year-old daughter. Both were terrified of being removed from their home of 53 years and had no idea where they’d go next.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Congratulates Apple’s Siri For ‘Embracing’ An Anti-Choice Position

A closer look at the iPhone 4s’ voice-activated assistant Siri revealed that “she” is currently unable to provide accurate or even any information for women in search of reproductive health services. Now, one crisis pregnancy center in Boise, Idaho is simply “thrilled by the recent discovery that Siri does not promote or provide abortion information or referrals”:

After Locking Out 1,300 Union Workers, Food Company CEO Compares Them To Cancerous Tumor

For the past five months, American Crystal Sugar, the largest sugar beet producer in the country, haslocked out 1,300 of its unionized workers in Minnesota who had the audacity to demand a fair contract with the company. Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has implored the corporation to renew negotiations, to no avail — instead of returning to the negotiating table, Crystal Sugar has hired replacement workers.

JAPANESE HONDA EMPLOYEE CHARGED UNDER ALABAMA’S IMMIGRATION LAW

Asecond foreign auto worker has been charged under HB 56, Alabama’s draconian immigration law. The Japanese Honda employee received a ticket at a routine roadblock police had set up, but he was not taken into custody like a German Mercedes executive arrested almost two weeks ago. The AP reports that the man had a valid Japanese passport and an international driver’s license with him when he was ticketed. Honda employs 4,000 people at a factory in Talledega County, Alabama, and last week, the company announced it will invest $300 million in the Alabama plant. Charges have been dropped against the Mercedes executive, but after his arrest, a Missouri newspaper suggested that Mercedes needed to move its investment to the “Show-Me State, not the ‘Show me your papers’ state.”

Letter addressed to Cass Tech coach calls champion football players 'ghetto warriors'

A harshly worded letter addressed to Cass Technical High School football coach Thomas Wilcher, who led his team to victory against Detroit Catholic Central High School on Saturday, alleges that players are "ghetto warriors" bound for prison or drug addiction.

Cass Tech beat Catholic Central 49-13 at Ford Field to win the state's Division I championship, a first for a Detroit Public School.

Photos of the letter, which is dated November 28 and signed, were shared and posted across social media sites late Tuesday and caught the attention of school administrators on both sides Wednesday morning.

A transcript of the letter reads:

Is The GOP Really Willing to Sabotage the Economy to Protect the Wealthy & Hurt President Obama?

As a reminder, here’s how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) described his priorities:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is The iPhone’s Siri Misleading Women Who Need Emergency Health Services?

“What may I help you with?” So begins Siri — the unique voice-activated assistant of the iPhone 4s that promises to deliver accurate and tailored answers for your every need. Unless you’re a woman in search of health services like birth control, emergency contraception, abortion, or even mammogram tests. Then the interactive search wizard draws a blank.

GOP Willing To Raise Payroll Taxes On 113 Million Households To Spare 345,000 Millionaires From Tiny Surtax

Senate Democrats yesterday introduced legislation — as they’ve been promising to — that would extend a soon-to-expire payroll tax cut, and pay for it by implementing a surtaxon income above $1 million. Republicans, of course, are opposing the plan, reviving their false claims that taxing the very wealthiest Americans will hit small businesses and job creators.

3 Asset Managers Win $254 Million Powerball Lottery (Why would they need to Play handling millions daily?)

The lottery is full of rags-to-riches tales. Now the 1 percent has its own feel-good story.

Timothy C. Davidson, Brandon E. Lacoff and Gregory H. Skidmore, three executives at Belpointe Asset Management, an investment firm based in Greenwich, Conn., have won $254.2 million in the Powerball game, the largest jackpot in the state’s history.

Banks May Have Illegally Foreclosed On 5,000 Members Of The Military

For months, major banks have been dealing with the fallout of the “robo-signing” scandal, following reports that the banks were improperly foreclosing on homeowners and, in many instances, falsifying paperwork that they were submitting to courts. Banks have been forced to go back and reexamine foreclosures to ensure that homeowners did not lose their homes unlawfully.

7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From 'Star Trek'

by:  David Borgenicht

Let me start out by coming clean: I am a closet Trekkie.

Democrats Propose Tax Cut For Middle Class Workers, New Tax For Millionaires

WASHINGTON -- Democrats are offering a bill that would cut taxes for most families next year by about $1,500, paying for the cut by taxing income above $1 million.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Judge: Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez Competent To Stand Trial In White House Shooting Case

WASHINGTON -- A man accused of firing shots at the White House in an attempt to kill President Barack Obama is competent to stand trial, according to a preliminary psychiatric screening. But federal prosecutors filed a motion Monday requesting more extensive tests in the event that his mental health becomes an issue.

Feds Seize 150 Domain Names In Mass Piracy Crackdown

WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities have shut down 150 websites accused of selling knock-off or pirated merchandise to unsuspecting online bargain hunters.

English Woman Vents Her Frustration At ‘multi-cultural’ Britain On A Tram (Video)

British woman on London transport complaining that Britain is nothing now that ethnic minorities are in her country. She had the courage to say what a lot of white people think in similar environments. However, just like the rants you get from her southern and northern counterparts here in the states, most forget about slavery and the host of other reason why minorities will soon out number them 10 to 1!

College Students Across Florida Rally Against Gov. Rick Scott’s ‘Relentless Attack On Higher Education’

Throughout this week, Florida college students will hold rallies to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) hostility to higher education and proposed tuition hikes:

WHY WE OCCUPY: VISUALIZING THE 2012 FEDERAL DISCRETIONARY BUDGET


One reason so many people have taken to the streets as part of the 99 Percent Movement is because of the country’s lopsided priorities. The following graphic shows the makeup of federal discretionary spending in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. As you can see, the military eats up a lion’s share of the spending, while social priorities fall by the wayside:

'Comfort Sex': Is It A Bad Thing?

Have you ever gotten that craving for sex, but not for the usual reasons? After a particularly rotten date, a silly fight with one of my best friends, or maybe just one of those days when nothing seems to go my way, I tend to call a certain "acquaintance" who is more than happy to have me over for a few hours between the sheets. This guy isn't someone I'd date, or even consider a friend, but he does have a knack for taking me from forlorn to very content faster than any other remedy I've tried.

GOP Foreign Policy: Neoconservatives Looking For A Comeback In 2012

WASHINGTON -- Their ideology has been declared dead, done in by two wars that have sapped the country of blood and treasure and sent its economy and international reputation plummeting.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Being A Jerk Will Get You A Women....Do You Agree On The Bases Of What's Around You & Personal Experience ? Or Either You Don't, Cause You Don't Want To See?

If you are a man today who still knows a women who can handle that you respect and genuinely see her as a person, then you are lucky.  Fact is the basic art of treat another person how you would like to be treated has taken a turn for the worse in just the past 20 years, if not more.  However, if the person is a female whom you would like to get to know, strangely enough the less you want to know or care about her the more of a response  you will be receive back from this female.  Being a person live and doing things in my life on a principle of living in facts and reality, this is just how it is.

Sprint 4G Network Upgrade May Kill Unlimited Data Plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel may be forced to abandon the biggest advantage it has over its rivals - unlimited data services for a flat fee - because of heavy data users and a shortage of wireless airwaves.

Occupy Wall Street And Homelessness: Millions Spent To Evict Camps, While Cutting Shelter Funds

As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NBA Lockout: Owners, Players Reach Tentative Deal To Start Season On Dec. 25

NEW YORK — After nearly two years of bickering, NBA players and owners are back on the same side.

"We want to play basketball," Commissioner David Stern said.

Come Christmas Day, they should be.

Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan Asked To Sit Out Supreme Court Health Care Case

WASHINGTON -- Conservative interest groups and Republican lawmakers want Justice Elena Kagan off the health care case. Liberals and Democrats in Congress say it's Justice Clarence Thomas who should sit it out.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Global Warming’s War On Thanksgiving

Climate disasters and unregulated commodity speculation have combined to send food prices through the roof this year. Families across the United States will be struggling to put together a celebratory feast, and food pantries will be barer even as more people are in need. The American Farm Bureau Federation has calculated that a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for ten will cost about 13 percent more this year, up to $49.20 from last year’s $43.47. The AFBF survey shopping list includes “turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk.”

Hunger In America, By The Numbers

Last year, 17.2 million households in the United States were food insecure, the highest level on record, as the Great Recession continued to wreak havoc on families across the country. Of those 17.2 million households, 3.9 million included children. On Thanksgiving Day, here’s a look at hunger in America, as millions of Americans struggle to get enough to eat in the wake of the economic crisis:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The GOP’s Oath To The One Percent

You’d think the oath that mattered most to our elected leaders would be this one:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

The Average Bush Tax Cut For The 1 Percent This Year Will Be Greater Than The Average Income Of The Other 99 Percent

As Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to demonstrate across the country, congress’ fiscal super committee failed to craft a deficit reduction package due to Republican refusal to consider tax increases on the super wealthy. In fact, the only package that the GOP officially submitted to the committee included loweringthe top tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, even as new research shows that the optimal top tax rate iscloser to 70 percent.

This Thanksgiving, Many Who Once Donated To Food Banks Are Asking For Help Themselves

While some eager shoppers are preparing to wait in long lines when their favorite stores open on Black Friday, many Americans are already lining up at food banks, simply hoping to put food on the table this Thanksgiving.

After Court Rejects Discriminatory Redistricting Plan, New Texas Map Creates Four Additional Minority-Friendly Districts

After a federal court threw out Texas Republicans’ redistricting map this month because it discriminated against minorities, a three-judge panel today released a new map that will significantly boost minority representation in Congress.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FOX NEWS HOST DISMISSES PEPPER SPRAY ATTACK BY COPS: ‘IT’S A FOOD PRODUCT, ESSENTIALLY’

Last night, Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly attempted to defend a UC Davis police officer’s use of pepper spray against nonviolent protesters. “I don’t think we have the right to Monday-morning quarterback the police,” O’Reilly said, “particularly at a place like UC Davis, which is a fairly liberal campus.” He didn’t explain why the abuse of violent force might be more necessary or justified against liberal students. Kelly went even further in dismissing the suffering of students attacked by the pepper spray, speculating that it’s not that harmful because “it’s like a derivative of actual pepper. It’s a food product, essentially.” Watch it:

OBAMA GETS A NOTE FROM THE 99 PERCENT MOVEMENT: ‘WE GOT SOLD OUT’

President Obama received a note from a protester after his jobs speech in Manchester, New Hampshire this afternoon. The note tells the president to “stop the assault on our 1st amendment rights,” and “Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.” Obama addressed the movement directly after he wasmic checked during his speech, saying, “You’re the reason that I ran for office in the first place.” See the note handed to Obama:

New York College Students Beaten And Arrested For Protesting Tuition Hikes

Last night, several City University of New York students were beaten with police batons and arrested for protesting tuition hikes outside a Board of Trustees meeting:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Washington Lobbyists Crafted $850,000 Secret Plan For Bank Lobbyists To Undermine Occupy Wall Street

This weekend, the MSNBC show Up! With Chris Hayes broke a stunning story about how Washington lobbyists are scrambling to undermine the protesters on Wall Street and across the country.

German Mercedes-Benz Executive Arrested Under Alabama’s Immigration Law

Alabama’s economy is suffering because of HB 56, the state’s draconian immigration law, as workers flee out of fear. State Sen. Scott Beason (R), who sponsored the anti-immigrant bill in the Alabama legislature, once called it a “jobs bill,” but the state’s immigration law is leaving entire industries without enough workers instead.

The Richest 0.1 Percent Of Americans Make Half Of All Capital Gains

The preferable treatment that investment income receives in the tax code is one of the factors driving the income inequality and galvanizing the Occupy Wall Street movement. Because the capital gains tax is capped at 15 percent, “anyone making more than $34,500 a year in wages and salary is taxed at a higher rate than a billionaire is taxed on untold millions in capital gains.”

How Republican Tax Intransigence Sank The Super Committee: A Timeline

By now we have all heard the latest in the months-long debate over reducing the nation’s deficit — barring a last-minute miracle, the congressional super committee tasked with finding at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction will fail to come to an agreement. Cue handwringing by pundits lamenting the inability of both Democrats and Republicans to compromise.

GOP Derails Super Committee To Protect Millionaires & Billionaires

The fiscal super committee created by last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling was charged with crafting a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package by Thanksgiving. However, moments ago, the committee’s co-chairs issued a statement officially conceding that “it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.” For weeks, the GOP has been refusing to even consider new revenue, pairing modest attempts to close loopholes in the tax code with giant new tax cuts centered on the very rich that would add trillions to the deficit. The committee’s co-chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) even said the GOP would not consider “any penny” in new revenue (a statement that he later walked back). Without a deal, automatic cuts are supposed to be scheduled for 2013, but several congressional leaders have been discussing canceling the cuts, leaving the super committee the latest in a long line of deficit commissions to unable to succeed in their attempt to alter the U.S. budget.

The hate that ended his presidency is eerily familiar

Thanksgiving week is a milestone for Barack Obama, but not one that many are likely to commemorate. The president who seemed poised to inherit John F. Kennedy’s mantle—in the eyes of Kennedy’s last surviving child and brother as well as many optimistic onlookers (me included) in 2008—will now have served longer than his historical antecedent. Obama, surely, does not want to be judged against any JFK yardstick, longevity included. It’s his rotten luck that he incited such comparisons at the start by being a young and undistinguished legislator before seeking the presidency; by giving great speeches; by breaking a once-insurmountable barrier for African-Americans, as Kennedy did for Roman Catholics; and by arriving in the White House with his own glamorous wife and two adorable young children in tow. He has usually shrugged off these parallels gracefully. These days, with his honeymoon long over, it’s particularly in his interest to do so. But Obama can’t escape JFK’s long shadow, and neither can we. Another wave of Kennedyiana has arrived just in time for the holidays: three major new books, all three already best sellers. But in the second decade of the 21st century, what, exactly, are the customers buying?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The end of the world, when will mankind destroy itself?

Judging by the run of successful natural disaster films in the past few years, people are fascinated by the idea of the end of the world. In Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, a virus ravaged the UK and beyond; an asteroid was the world-ending threat in Deep Impact and Armageddon; and climate change got a starring role in The Day After Tomorrow.

Elizabeth Nichols, Occupy Portland Protester Pepper Sprayed In The Face, Identified (PHOTO)

This new shot comes just days after a photo of 84-year-old Dorli Rainey went viral, after she was pepper sprayed in the face during Occupy Seattle protests. The use of the spray has become almost commonplace during recent protests, and the method has been prominent during controversial protests in New York and Oakland.

Sunday November 20th 2011 Talking Heads!

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

There are three days until the Super Committee's deadline to save the world. So why are two of them, Jeb Hensarling and Xavier Becerra, doing on a teevee show? Shouldn't they be working? The answers to both questions is "LOL," I suspect? Maybe Hensarling and Becerra are just the two people on the Super Committee that nobody likes, and while they are away, everyone else will finally figure everything out, and when Hensarling and Beccera return, they'll be like, "Aw, darn, we really wanted to be here to help," and the other Super Committee members are all, "No, no! You guys totally helped! You brought doughnuts back and stuff! Big help!" Meanwhile Patty Murray is mouthing the words, "These guys totally suck!" to Dave Camp, who's like, "OMG I KNOW WANNA MAKE OUT?"

Super Committee Failure: Bush Tax Cuts Obstacle To Deal

The leaders of a special deficit reduction panel signaled Sunday that they will fail to strike a deal to reduce the deficit before their Wednesday deadline.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New York Churches Shelter Occupy Protesters, Now Monitored By New York Police

With Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) ratcheting up police crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street this week, the New York Times reports that several churches in New York City are sheltering protesters who can no longer stay in Zucotti Park. About 46 protesters spent Wednesday night in the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. However, instead of respecting the sanctuary, police in plainclothes are entering churches to monitor their conduct.

Rep. Deutch Introduces OCCUPIED Constitutional Amendment To Ban Corporate Money In Politics

In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

Latinos, African Americans Twice As Likely As Whites To Have Been Affected By The Housing Crisis

America’s housing crisis is one of the biggest problems plaguing the economy, as the country’s homes have lost $7 trillion in cumulative value over the last five years. Four million Americans are either behind on their payments or in foreclosure, and a quarter of the nation’s homeowners are underwater on their mortgage. Those foreclosures have driven down home values in communities across the country.

Conservative Groups Pressure Administration To Restrict Access To Contraception

In August, the Department of Health and Human Servicesaccepted the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine and issued an interim final rule requiring health insurers to cover contraception and other women’s preventive services without additional cost sharing. The rule included a caveat that allowed religious institutions that offer health insurance to their employees to opt out of the coverage requirement, but now as HHS prepares to deliver the final regulation, conservative groups are pressuring the administration to significantly expand the exemption to include all religiously affiliated entities.