Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deputies: 'There Is No Poop Fairy'

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Jefferson County is kicking off a public service campaign to remind dog owners that there is no poop fairy, and owners must clean up after their dogs.

Hip-Hop Father Figures?

It's more than just music for a generation of men who grew up without strong paternal figures. For one writer, rap was like a surrogate father.

Hip-Hop Producer Pete Rock Details NYPD Brutality And Riot

New York record producer/rapper Pete Rock, rap group Smif-N-Wessun, and hundreds of their supporters gathered at in New York’s Lower East Side on Tuesday to celebrate the release of their album, “Monumental”.

Animals Getting High: New Book Explores Feeling Good In The WIld

After a long day of roaming the wild, can you blame a bird for throwing back a few fermented berries?

Perhaps not, according to author and neuroscientist David Linden, who says that wild animals will "voluntarily and repeatedly consume psychoactive plants and fungi," much like humans.

Ohio Guns In Bars Law Signed By Governor John Kasich

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a bill that allows gun owners in the state to carry concealed weapons into bars and other places where alcohol is served.

Since 2009, 88 Percent Of Income Growth Went To Corporate Profits, Just One Percent Went To Wages

After the longest recession since WWII, many Americans are still struggling while S&P 500 corporations are sitting on $800 billion in cash and making massive profits. Now, economists from Northeastern University have released a study that finds our sluggish economic recovery has almost solely benefited corporations. According to the study:

Republican Senators Defend Corporate Jet Tax Loophole

President Obama’s call during a press conference yesterday to end a tax breaks for private jet owners has been met with derision and confusion by many the right, with most Republicans lawmakersdismissing it out of hand as just another tax hike. “Republicans weren’t having it,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

On MSNBC this afternoon, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) dismissed ending the tax break as just “code for much broader, large tax increases,” saying that the jet tax break is “not the issue we’re debating here.” Watch it:

Diet soda in 'fat' shocker

Maybe next they'll conclude that water makes you fat.

Diet soda -- which has nearly no nutritional value -- dangerously bloats waistlines and might boost blood-sugar levels, according to new studies.


CHICAGO-(NNPA)-The debate about whether President Obama is doing enough for Blacks and the poor should focus on the issues, not on personalities, members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) agreed June 24 during a forum here at their annual convention.

Smartphones Now Outsell Traditional Phones: Nielsen

According to a recent Nielsen survey, smartphones now constitute the lion's share of new phone purchases.

From Nielsen:

American Homebrewers Association Names Top 50 Beers In America; Russian River Wins Again

Zymurgy magazine, the official publication of the American Homebrewers Association, has released its ninth-annual list of the 50 best beers in America. To assemble the list, its editors ask readers to submit lists of their top 20 favorite beers.

Georgia Homeowners Association Blocks Construction Of Charity House For Disabled Veteran (VIDEO)

Even after laying his life on the line for the country, and sustaining injuries because of it, Sean Gittens couldn't get the charity house he was offered.

Mark Halperin Obama 'D*ck' Comment 'Inappropriate,' White House Says (VIDEO)

His State In Record Heat Wave, Inhofe Bails On Climate Denier Conference: ‘I Am Under The Weather’

As record-shattering heat cripples Oklahoma, Sen. Jim “global warming is a hoax” Inhofe (R-OK) failed to show for an fossil-industry-funded climate denial conference. A shrinking band of far-right economists, lawyers, and a few scientists have gathered in Washington, DC, for the Heartland Institute’s sixth International Conference on Climate Change, funded, like Inhofe himself, by Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil. Inhofe was scheduled to be the denier conference’s keynote speaker, but he bailed out, explaining appropriately that he is “under the weather“:

As 750,000 Britons Strike Against Their Government, Federal Employee Strikes Are Illegal Here In The U.S.

Today, nearly three-quarters of a millionteachers, immigration officials, court workers, and other unionized civil servants in the United Kingdom are on a 24 hour strike. These workers are protesting harsh austerity policies by the right-wing British government that will ask poor and middle class Britons to sacrifice in the form of pension costs and pay cuts, but leave the rich largely untouched. Al Jazeera English interviewed some of the strikers and filed a video report about the action. Watch it:

Mass. Lawmaker Compares Bill Making Lobbyists Wear Badges To Nazi’s Treatment Of Jews

Republicans in the Massachusetts state House have proposed a package of ethics reform that include making lobbyists wear badges to identify themselves when in the Statehouse. The proposal comes after former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi (D) became the third consecutive Bay State speaker to be convicted of or plead guilty to felony charges when he was found guilty on seven counts of federal corruption charges earlier this month. He faces up to 20 years in prison.


The figure includes 801 “strike sorties.” The Navy Times reports “An Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that since NATO’s Operation Unified Protector (OUP) took over from the American-led Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 31, the U.S. military has flown hundreds of strike sorties. Previously, Washington had claimed that it was mostly providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and tanker support to NATO forces operating over Libya.”

Republican Idaho Governor Takes Credit For Obamacare: ‘We’ve Been Working On That Since ’07′

Idaho may be part of a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, but that isn’t stopping Republican Governor Butch Otter (R) from taking credit for some provisions included in the law. Otter is a proponent of the exchanges and a provision that allows young people to remain on their parents’ insurance policies and is now claiming that Democrats “co-opted” his ideas and added them to their bill :

Did The Bachmann Family Clinic Violate Its Agreement Not To Engage In ‘Religious Based Counseling’?

As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann has not been fully truthful about the government earmarks her family benefited from through her husband’s clinic. That’s not her only problem, however. A review of the government contract reveals that the clinic might have violated a provision in one of its grants, an infringement which could open the door to civil penalties.

When signing the contract, Bachmann & Associates, Inc. agreed to the following provision:


Talks between the players and owners broke down, and the basketball lockout will begin at 12:01 tomorrow. I haven’t watched professional basketball seriously in years, but I’m getting worried that between this and the prospect of an NFL lockout, which would cause me much more profound and specific sorrow, we’re not going to have enough distractions from what promises to be a long and depressing 2012 Republican primary.

Fringe Anti-Choice Group Pressuring Candidates To Sign Extreme Pledge

The conservative Susan B. Anthony list has been attempting to get GOP presidential candidates to sign a pledge committing them to a fierce anti-abortion agenda, which would include: appointing anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court, the Cabinet and the Executive Branch; defunding Planned Parenthood; and signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. A week ago, the head of Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, gave former Gov. Jon Huntsman an ultimatum:


Former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson blasted his intransigent GOP colleagues on the hill today for failing to reach a deal on the deficit. The expletive-prone co-chairman of President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal reform commission slammed Republicans for kowtowing to American for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist (“Republicans can’t be in thrall to him”) and pushed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to stand fast on the August 2 deadline. Surveying the lay of the current fiscal land, Simpson said “We’re at 15 percent revenue, and historically it’s been closer to 20 percent.” “We’ve never had a war without a tax, and now we’ve got two,” he added. “Absolute bullshit.”

Major Karl Rove Donor Ken Langone On Debt Negotiations: ‘I Should Pay More Taxes’

In Feb. 2010, Karl Rove and operatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convened a meeting of mostly Wall Street titans to fund a set of Republican groups designed to run attacks on Democrats. Ken Langone, a wealthy Wall Street investor and controversial former head of the New York Stock Exchange, was one of the very first majordonors to the Rove campaign groups, which now include American Action Network, American Action Forum, American Crossroads, and American Crossroads GPS.

Fact Checking: Has Obama Gone Where No Pres. Has Gone Before?

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama seems to have forgotten about Al Gore and the ashtray smashed to smithereens. Obama told a news conference Wednesday he was going where no president had gone before in attacking burdensome federal regulations.

Fewer Black Children In Biggest U.S. Cities

NEW YORK — A catastrophic flood emptied New Orleans of much of its black youth. Powerful social forces may be doing a similar thing to places like Harlem and Chicago’s South Side.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Health Care Law Ruled Constitutional (Again)

Decision Day: Federal Appeals Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act

In exciting (and hugely important) news that broke earlier this afternoon, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the health care law, including the key individual responsibility provision that requires everyone to purchase health insurance, as constitutional. Here’s the rundown of everything you need to know to talk about this at dinner tonight.

A Huge Breakthrough in Black Heart Disease?

Researchers in South Carolina believe they may have discovered one of the reasons behind why Blacks die from heart attacks more often.

Kansas Abortion Clinics Threatened By New State Law

A new law in Kansas that imposes strict requirements for abortion clinic facilities has made it nearly impossible for the state's three abortion providers to stay in operation. One clinic has already been denied a license, and the other two have not been able to meet the state's standards as of Tuesday, putting Kansas at risk of becoming the first state where a woman cannot get an abortion.

Boeing Overcharged Pentagon $13 Million, According To Audit: The Watchdog

Despite bipartisan outrage over Pentagon spending in the 1980s -- remember the $600 toilet seat? -- such contracting abuses continue to take place.

London UFOs: Multiple People Capture Odd Occurrence Over British City (VIDEOS, POLL)

While many of these types of UFO videos can often be easily written off, the emergence of two separate recordings of the same event could give you pause.

Federal Reserve Raises Swipe Fee Cap In Victory For Wall Street

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve delivered the punchline Wednesday to the year-long joke that has been the lobbying blitz over debit card swipe fees. Amid heavy Wall Street pressure, the Fed nearly doubled the amount it will allow banks to charge retailers and consumers under a new regulation while effectively exempting an entire class of debit card transactions from the rule altogether.


Activists delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office today to put a repeal of the state’s anti-union SB 5 law on the ballot next Election Day. We Are Ohio, the coalition leading the repeal effort, collected nearly six times the 231,149 signatures needed — more than a million extra signatures. A May poll found that 54 percent of Ohio voters want the law repealed, while only 36 percent want to keep it.

Weeks After Voting For Ryan Budget, GOP Pushing Balanced Budget Amendment That Would Make Ryan Budget Illegal

Over the next few weeks, you’ll hear a lot from Republicans about the desperate need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The Hill reports:

FACT CHECK: Documents Reveal Bachmann Benefited From And Relied Upon Government-Funded Earmarks

For a presidential candidate who declares herself to be “very sincere in what I say,” Rep. Michele Bachmann is refusing to come clean about the public money she and her husband have received.

The Los Angeles Times reported on June 26 that Bachmann and her husband received around $290,000 in public funding in between 2007 and 2011 for two projects: 1) some $260,000 in subsidies given to a farm of which she is a partner and 2) close to $30,000 given to her husband’s clinic. Asked about the government aid on Fox News Sunday, Bachmann denied she and her husband had benefited from the money. Watch it:

Govs. Rick Perry And Rick Scott Go AWOL During State Emergencies To Attend Secret Koch Event

As Texas faced some of the worst wildfires in its history and a severe drought crisis that has caused the federal government to declare the entire state a disaster area, its governor was schmoozing with well-heeled conservative donors in Vail, Colorado at a retreat organized by the right-wing industrialist Koch brothers. Gov. Rick Perry (R) left his state without notifying constituents or the press and dodged inquiries into his whereabouts. The media had to resort to tracking the tail number of a private plane owned by one of Perry’s major campaign donors. “This was an opportunity to talk about the economic success in Texas,” a spokesperson said, denying that the trip had anything to do with a potential presidential run.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) On Undocumented Immigrants: ‘I Will Do Anything Short Of Shooting Them’

Controversy has erupted throughout the state as Alabama enacted the most draconian anti-immigration legislation in the nation. Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has poured gasoline on the fire by making clear that he has no compassion for any undocumented person he encounters.

Allen West: GOP Debate ‘Scared The Hell Out Of Me…None Of Them Really Understood National Security’

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a former Army Lt. Colonel and national Tea Party sensation, is not happy with the current crop of presidential candidates in his party. During the Q & A section followinga speech he gave at an event sponsored by the neoconservative Center for Security Policy, West said none of the candidates “really understood national security”:

Report: Failing To Raise The Debt Ceiling Would Lead To Immediate Cuts To Social Security

Several Republicans have poo-pooed the need to raise the debt ceiling when the nation hits its legal borrowing limit sometime around Aug. 2. “I doubt that it would be disruptive to the economy,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said yesterday that Americans will say “well, good” if the U.S. defaults on some obligations.

Bachmann’s Husband Calls Homosexuals ‘Barbarians’ Who ‘Need To Be Educated’ And ‘Disciplined’

When trying to figure out where presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gets her stringent, anti-gay views, you only have to look as far as her husband. Dr. Marcus Bachmann, who has described himself as his wife’s “strategist,” runs a Christian-based counseling center in Minnesota that has been rumored to offer reparative treatment for those looking to “ungay” themselves.

Giuliani Promised To Preside Over Wedding Of Gay Friends, Now He Won’t Return Their Calls

When former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) was going through a messy divorce in 2001, he was taken in by gay car dealer Howard Koeppel and his partner, Mark Hsiao. Giuliani stayed with the couple for six months, during which he promised to preside over their wedding if and when marriage equality came to New York.

Obama: Marriage Should Be Left To States, But Process Of NY Passing Same-Sex Marriage Law ‘Was A Good Thing’

President Obama was asked if he believes that civil marriage is a constitutional right during his press conference this morning. Rather than answering that question, Obama reiterated his record on LGBT issues and argued that marriage is best left to the states. What happened in New York “was a good thing,” Obama said. “I think that’s exactly how things should work. I think it’s important for us to work through these issues because each state is going to be different and each community is going to be different”:

Health Care Reform Constitutionality Upheld In Federal Court Ruling

CINCINNATI -- A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has upheld President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The three-judge panel delivered a long opinion Wednesday with disagreement on some issues. But it affirmed a Michigan federal judge's earlier ruling that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage.

Obama To GOP: End Tax Breaks For Millionaires, Oil Companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a blunt challenge to Republicans in Congress, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that limiting selected tax breaks for oil companies and the super-wealthy must be part of any deficit reduction plan.

New trend? Chinese migrant workers in Africa marry black women

Over the weekend I stumbled across an interesting article on The Atlantic about Chinese workers in Africa marrying "locals." The article, "Chinese Workers in Africa Who Marry Locals Face Puzzled Reception at Home," was based on a post on the site ChinaSmack that wondered if these new marriages could be the key to solving the gender imbalances in China.

Statue of famed boxer Jack Johnson sparks controversy

Galveston Texas is home to many wood statues carved out of trees killed in hurricane Ike. The newest addition to the family of carvings is a statue of the famed boxer and Galveston native Jack Johnson. This statue is a point of contention for some Hoak sub-division neighbors, who claim that it creates too much traffic in their residential area.

Top 10 Reasons To Be Afraid Of Michele Bachmann

She may seem like another right wing lunatic, but several right wing lunatics have proved very dangerous. While her antics and gaffes may be amusing, the fact that thousands of people believe and follow her is not. That said, here are the top 10 Reasons To Be Afraid Of Michele Bachmann.

Massey Kept Fake Safety Records To Throw Off Inspectors, Mine Disaster Victim's Fiancee Says Of Latest MSHA Findings

BEAVER, W.Va. -- Federal investigators have proof that Massey Energy kept fake safety records to throw off inspectors at a southern West Virginia mine where 29 men died in an explosion last year, the fiancee of one of those victims said late Tuesday night.

Toyrianna Smith Killed Baby, Put Its Body In BabyBjorn And Went Shopping: Cops

Toyrianna Smith

Last Thursday morning, Toyrianna Smith allegedly put her three-month-old baby, Ken Blackman, Jr., into a chest-mounted BabyBjorn, and carried him around as she went shopping in suburban Chicago for several hours.

Al Sharpton To Herman Cain: 'Jon Stewart Is A Comedian, Your Policies Are A Joke' (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart's ongoing debate with Fox News sincehis interview with Chris Wallace now has another layer: Herman Cain. On Wednesday night's "Ed Show," Reverend Al Sharpton made clear how he feels about the GOP Presidential hopeful getting involved.

Abortion Providers Sue Over Kansas Licensing Law: ‘This Is Like Living In A Communist Country’

As Kansas regulators prepare to shut down the state’s only three abortion clinics for failing to “meet the requirements to get a license under a law that takes effect Friday,” doctors and clinics that perform abortions have filed or are preparing lawsuits to block the new licensing law. The measure, which was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) just last month, establishes overly rigorous standards that abortion providers must meet in order to continue operating and is part of a broader Republican effort to effectively eliminate abortions in the state.

CHART: Number Of Contractors In Afghanistan Will Surge As U.S. Troops Withdraw

The number of contractors in Afghanistan is likely to increase significantly in the next year as the Obama administration pulls back some of the extra 68,000 troops that it has dispatched there since January 2009.

While Fighting To Block SEC Investigation Of Goldman Sachs, Rep. Darrell Issa Bought Goldman Sachs Bonds

Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) raised hell last year to stop the federal government from investigating Goldman Sachs regarding allegations that the company defrauded investors. In April 2010, shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)announced a civil suit against Goldman Sachs, Issa sent a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro demanding to know if there was “any sort of prearrangement, coordination, direction from, or advance notice” between the SEC and the Obama administration or congressional Democrats over the timing of the lawsuit.


 Via Chris Cillizza: Priorities USA is up with ads in Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Colorado for the next two weeks, arguing the GOP budget will “essentially end Medicare for future retirees,” “slash education,” and “tear down the middle class”:

Abortion Providers Sue Over Kansas Licensing Law: ‘This Is Like Living In A Communist Country’

As Kansas regulators prepare to shut down the state’s only three abortion clinics for failing to “meet the requirements to get a license under a law that takes effect Friday,” doctors and clinics that perform abortions have filed or are preparing lawsuits to block the new licensing law. The measure, which was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) just last month, establishes overly rigorous standards that abortion providers must meet in order to continue operating and is part of a broader Republican effort to effectively eliminate abortions in the state.

Flesh-Eating Cocaine Hits New York, Los Angeles (PHOTO)

It seems cocaine has been behind a rash of flesh-eating disease outbreaks in Los Angeles and New York.

Cocaine cut with the veterinary drug, levamisole has apparently been linked to a number of cases of rotting flesh, according to Good Morning America. While the cases reported thus far have been on the coasts, officials have warned that it could very well be a nationwide problem.

From GMA:

Veterans Charity Fraud: Despite Widespread Outrage, Groups Continue To Abuse Public Trust

For hundreds of thousands of veterans returning home from the battlefronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, making it home alive is just the first challenge.

Uganda Lightning Kills 18 Students, Teacher After Striking School

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Ugandan police say 18 students and a teacher died after lightning struck their school in the country's midwest.

Sarah Palin Asks Why Hollywood Critics Are 'Full Of Hate' At Movie Premiere In Iowa

Sarah Palin had some stern words for her celebrity critics on Tuesday night at the premiere of a documentary on her tenure as governor of Alaska,according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Greece Austerity Bill Passes: Greek Parliament Approves Key Measure

ATHENS, Greece — Greece's lawmakers have approved a key austerity bill, paving the way for the country to get its next vital bailout loans that will prevent it from defaulting next month.

Bank Of America Reaches $8.5 Billion Settlement On Mortgage-Securities Claims

UPDATE: Bank of America Corp settled nearly all of the claims related to the legacy Countrywide-issued first-lien residential mortgage-backed securitization (RMBS) repurchase exposure for $8.5 billion in cash.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

CHART: Lower Taxes On The Rich Don't Lead To Job Growth

Congressional Republicans — during both last year’s debate over the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the current negotiations regarding raising the nation’s debt ceiling — refused to consider tax increases on even the very richest Americans. In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) blew up debt ceiling negotiations last week due to his insistence that those making more than $500,000 annually be shielded from any tax increase.

Rick Scott Tried To Disband The Florida Highway Patrol

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has launched an aggressive campaign against government services since taking office, slashing funding on everything from unemployment insurance to education to aid for homeless veterans, tohigh-speed rail, helping him become the least popular governor in America just six months into his term.

14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON -- Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

Bank Of America Nears $8.5B Settlement On Mortgage-Securities Claims

Bank of America Corp is close to a deal to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims from investors that lost money on mortgage-backed securities, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Intercontinental Hotel Attack: NATO Helicopters End Kabul Hotel Siege That Leaves At Least 6 Dead

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- NATO helicopters fired rockets at gunmen on the rooftop of a besieged Kabul hotel early Wednesday, ending a more than four-hour standoff between militants and police that left at least six dead, Afghan officials said.

Top Bush Health Officials Are Profiting From Obamacare

A funny thing is happening between the two Republicans who ran the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush and did so little to expand access to health insurance: they’re now both supporting President Obama’s health care exchanges — the new market places that will allow Americans to easily compare and purchase health insurance in 2014.

Culture Shock! NBA Going Hard In The International Paint

Looking at the buzz surrounding this year’s NBA draft, it was clear that the NBA is considered a hyper-Black, savage, and pathological space. It is marketed to this effect. For non-Black players to show the least bit of talent is considered a breath of fresh air. That being said, the hype surrounding draftee Jimmer Fredette, for example, is a little too close to hopes of Fredette triumphing as this sport generation’s Great White (American) Hope.

Boeing Overcharges Taxpayers By Up To 177,000 Percent For Army Helicopter Parts

Mega-defense contractor Boeing has been vastly overcharging the Army for basic spare parts, forcing taxpayers to pay more than twice the “fair and reasonable” price, according to an audit conducted by the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General and leaked to the Project on Government Oversight. The IG looked at spare parts sales to the Corpus Christi, Texas Army Depot for two helicopters systems and found some egregious price gouging, such as charging $71 for a metal pin that should cost just 4 cents:

SEC Financial Regulatory Powers Might Be Handed Over To Wall Street-Funded Finra

Congress may outsource the job of regulating thousands of investment advisors to an organization funded by the professionals it regulates, Bloomberg News reports.

Glenn Beck Says Family Harrassed In Bryant Park: 'It Was A Hostile Situation' (VIDEO)

Glenn Beck went to Bryant Park Monday night for a showing of Alfred Hitchock's "The 39 Steps". But that was not the only showing he saw.

Senate Committee Passes Resolution Backing Obama On Libya

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution backing President Barack Obama on Libya, despite Republicans laying into an administration official hours earlier for engaging the U.S. in military action without Congressional approval.


Moments ago in a 54 to 43 vote, the GOP-led state House passed Ohio’s “heartbeat bill,” giving Ohio “the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation.” The bill outlaws abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as “six to seven weeks into pregnancy.” There is no exception in the bill for rape, incest, or mental health of a woman. This radical viability standard is unconstitutional, flouting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that forbids states from banning abortions until the fetus is viable, which is generally around 22 to 24 weeks.

After Arizona Medicaid Cuts, Man Earns $12 Too Much To Get Coverage For Heart Surgery

Since last year, low-income Arizonans have been feeling the impact of a series of brutal Medicaid cuts that officials predict will kick at least 135,000 people off the state’s health care rolls by next year. Now, thanks to these cuts, a Yuma man may be unable to afford a heart surgery he needs to survive.

Herman Cain: ‘I Don’t Think The Current Minimum Wage Is Necessary’

Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain likes to cast himself as the only GOP presidential contender who has not held public office. “Quite frankly, I wear it as a badge of honor that I have not held public office before,” Cain hastold reporters. But Cain actually has substantial political experience: one of his most high-profile jobs was a stint as the top lobbyist for the restaurant and fast food industry.

Study: Young Black & Hispanic men likely to end up jobless, imprisoned or dead

Fifty-one percent of Hispanic male high school graduates ages 15-24 and 45 percent of African-American males in that category will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead, according to a study issued this week by the College Board’s Advocacy & Policy Center.

Missouri Gov. Nixon Cuts Help For Abused Children To Pay For Disaster Relief

Missouri is still reeling from the aftermath of catastrophic floodingand the single deadliest tornado in 60 years. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (R-MO) has pledged $50 million to help the disaster area. Unfortunately, Nixon paid for the disaster relief by cutting both education funding and grants supporting domestic violence programs — such as those that support abused women and children made homeless in Joplin:

Homeless alcoholics drink in comfort at 'wet houses'

In Minnesota, some chronic alcoholics are offered a roof over their heads without being ordered to stop their drinking.

Libya Realizes Part of Its Great Pipe Dream (Could This Lake Be The Cause Of The War In Libya?)

Libya has vast oil deposits, but this North African country has long suffered from a shortage of fresh water. That is until scientists discovered water in the most unlikely of places — the Sahara Desert.

Ohio To Consider ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Outlawing Abortion Six Weeks Into Pregnancy

The Columbus Dispatch’s Catherine Candisky reports that the Ohio House is set to vote on a potentially unconstitutional measure that would effectively outlaw abortions six or seven weeks into pregnancy — before most women have even discovered that they’re expecting:

After Taking A $10 Billion Bailout, Goldman Sachs Announces It Will Outsource 1,000 Jobs To Singapore

Less than three years after receiving $10 billion in bailout money from American taxpayers, Goldman Sachs informed its employees recently that it will fire 1,000 workers in the United States and elsewhere, shifting their jobs to the cheaper Singaporean labor market.

According to Fox Business, Goldman Sachs has quietly informed workers and lawmakers of its plan to outsource 1,000 jobs in an attempt to inoculate itself from the impending blowback:

John Quincy Adams Wikipedia Page Edited To Describe Him As A ‘Founding Father’

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann is now getting the Sarah Palin treatment on Wikipedia. In light of Bachmann’s latest historical hiccup, people are trying to edit John Quincy Adam’s Wikipedia page to reflect her recent gaffe. One edit, for example, changes his description from “John Adams was the sixth President of the United States” to “John Adams, a founding father, was the sixth President of the United States.”

Mammogram Study Confirms Lifesaving Benefits

The longest-running breast cancer screening study ever conducted has shown that regular mammograms prevent deaths from breast cancer, and the number of lives saved increases over time, an international research team said on Tuesday.

Proposed Budget Cuts To Medicaid Could Kill Jobs And Short-Change Seniors

WASHINGTON -- While the debate over entitlements is focusing on cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Senate Democrats worry that the closed-door debt-ceiling talks could instead lead to major cuts to Medicaid at a time when the joint federal-state program is under assault from cash-strapped states hoping to close budget gaps.

Eugene Hickman, Florida Grandpa, Accused Of Having Sex With Family Dog

A Florida grandfather was charged with animal cruelty after his grandson allegedly found him naked and trying to have sex with a dog.

Read More

Why Boys Are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang that we should teach our children well and feed them of our dreams, but for millions of parents of sons, dreams are only that, and boys are falling behind educationally at an alarming rate in this country. Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, Michael Gurian, author ofThe Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and in Life, and many other authors and educational experts proclaim that we have a crisis in the education of boys in this country. The media attention to this topic has been extensive in recent years, yet I do not see the systemic changes that are needed.

Dems Push For DREAM Act Without GOP Support

WASHINGTON -- Republicans showed no signs of supporting the DREAM Act at a hearing for the bill on Tuesday, with Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) pressing for more border security in exchange for their support for a bill that would provide legal status to some undocumented young people.

Humans To Encounter Aliens By 2031: Russian Scientist

A top Russian astronomer claimed Monday that humans will encounter extraterrestrial life by 2031.

"Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," the scientist Andrei Finkelstein said,according to the Interfax News Agency.

Tim Pawlenty, Reince Preibus Dubbed 'Clueless' On The Debt Default

WASHINGTON -- Republicans are clueless about the economic devastation they are courting with brinksmanship over raising the nation's debt limit, Democrats charged Tuesday.

Financial Reform Destined To Fail, Top Federal Reserve Official Says

WASHINGTON -- Reforms instituted after the financial crisis to prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts are bound to fail and will likely be weakened within the next few years, the Federal Reserve's longest-serving policy maker predicted Monday.

Inside Rick Santorum-Linked Universal Health Services Facility: Herpes, Porn and Drug Dealing

WASHINGTON -- T. entered The Pines Residential Treatment Center, located in Portsmouth, Va., needing help for his emotional disorders, gender identity issues and violent outbursts. This month, after a year and a half there, the eighth-grader left the facility with herpes.

Homeland Security Department To Help Protect Business Websites

WASHINGTON -- Businesses facing a growing threat of cyberattacks against their websites will now have more tools to protect themselves and harden their Internet sites against hackers.

The Homeland Security Department will help small companies and nonprofit groups avoid programming problems that allow hackers to get into the businesses' websites.

Forced Sex Change On Young Girls A Growing Concern In India

Sad to say, it pays to be a man in many parts of the world. In fact, in India, some parents are paying doctors to turn their young daughters into sons in hopes of improving the family’s prospects.

Wyoming House Provides Business Haven For 2,000 Companies

CHEYENNE, ATLANTA (Kelly Carr and Brian Grow) - The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Goldman Sachs Plans To Hire 1,000 In Singapore While Cutting U.S. Jobs

Goldman Sachs, the country's fifth-largest bank by assets, plans to hire 1,000 people in Singapore while laying off a significant number of workers at home, according to Fox Business News.

20 Americans Get Salmonella After Eating Sprouts, Says FDA

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration is issuing a rare warning to consumers, asking diners to avoid Evergreen Produce brand alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts because they may be linked to 20 cases of salmonella poisoning.

Office 365: Microsoft Confronts Google By Putting Office In The Cloud

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is making its biggest move into the mobile, Internet-accessible world of 'cloud' computing this week, as it takes the wraps off a revamped online version of its hugely profitable Office software suite.

Egypt 'Virginity Tests' Acknowledged By Army: Amnesty International

CAIRO -- Amnesty International said Monday that Egypt's military rulers have acknowledged carrying out so-called "virginity tests" on female protesters – the first time the army has admitted to the much-criticized practice.

Financial Reform Destined To Fail, Top Federal Reserve Official Says

WASHINGTON -- Reforms instituted after the financial crisis to prevent future taxpayer-funded bailouts are bound to fail and will likely be weakened within the next few years, the Federal Reserve's longest-serving policy maker predicted Monday.


Straight out of the gate in the 2012 presidential race, self-described “scholarly” candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has tripped over basic facts. Yesterday, she accidentally heralded a serial killer. Today, on ABC’s Good Morning America, she defended her “pants on fire” statement that the “Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery” (they didn’t) by insisting that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father (he wasn’t). After host George Stephanopoulos pointed out that John Quincy Adams — the son of John Adams — did fight against slavery “decades later,” Bachmann stood by her historical interpretation. Watch it:

Texas Public Employee Rick Perry: ‘Government Doesn’t Create Any Jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) — who has been toying with running for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination — continued his media tour today, one again attempting to talk up the Texas economy. During an interview with Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Perry made the ludicrous claim that “government doesn’t create any jobs”:

GOP Rep. Todd Akin: ‘No, I’m Not Going To Apologize’ For Saying Liberals Hate God

GOP Rep. Todd Akin (MO) came under fire this week after he declared, “The heart of liberalism really is a hatred of God.” Several religious leaders blasted Akin for contorting religious faith into a political attack. Rabbi Jim Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, Missouri scolded Akin for his “grotesque” attack and for making “a mockery of his own understanding of these liberal values and of God.” Unitarian Rev. Krista Taves of St. Louis told Akin, “You know very little about liberals, and sadly enough, you also seem to know very little about God and his son Jesus.”

Bachmann Calls The Minimum Wage An ‘Expansion Of Government’ That Needs To Be Eliminated

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) formally kicked off her presidential campaign yesterday, painting herself as a Tea Party candidate who is ready to lead the country back to prosperity (even if her former chief of staff doesn’t think so).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marriage Equality: After New York, What Now For The GOP?

After the 33rd “yes” vote was counted in New York’s Senate Friday night, it was momentous not in the least because the Legislature had passed marriage equality – the state House had already approved the measure — but also because they passed it with four Republicans voting in favor of the historic measure in the Republican-controlled Senate. New York became the sixth state to allow marriage equality, and certainly not the last as polls show more Americans now favor marriage equality than who oppose it. And many across the nation celebrated with New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the marriage equality legislation into law on Friday night.

Republican Secretary Of State Criticizes Voter ID Bill Because It ‘Excludes Legally Registered Voters’ Ballots From Counting’

Ever since Ken Blackwell’s oversight of the Buckeye State’s 2004 presidential election resulted in thedisenfranchisement of thousands of voters, the Ohio secretary of state has played an outsized role in election administration.

iPhone 5 And iPhone 4S To Be Released Concurrently In September, Analysts Claim

The days are getting hotter and hotter, and iPhone rumors are heating up too.

On Monday, the Apple rumor mill churned out more speculation about the next handset--make that the next two handsets. According to a note distributed by Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore and reported by Fortune, Apple will release a pair of iPhone models this fall.

Bernie Sanders: Don't 'Yield' On Debt Deal

WASHINGTON -- It wasn't quite a "fili-Bernie," but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a 10,000-word speech on the Senate floor launched a campaign Monday to call for eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy and protecting working people in a deficit-reduction deal.

After Calling TARP A ‘Slush Fund,’ Romney Campaigns At Bank That Took TARP Funds

At different times, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has both supported and deridedthe Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), better known as the bank bailouts of 2008. Most recently, Romney called it a “slush fund” that “should be shut down.”


Right-wing evangelist Pat Robertson is at it again. In this clip on the 700 Club, Robertson tells viewers that God will “destroy” America — as He destroyed the town of Sodom — because of its embrace of “homosexuality”:

President Of Ayn Rand Institute Says Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Is Unelectable

Many of the most visible members of both the Republican Party and the conservative media have heaped praise on libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand. For instance, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said, “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism.” Rush Limbaugh has called her “brilliant.” And both Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) are avowed fans. Nevertheless, Yaroom Brook, the current president of the Ayn Rand Institute, is seemingly unimpressed by their devotion. In an interview published today by the Daily Ticker, Brook told host Aaron Task that no one in the GOP field is a true follower of Rand’s philosophy and, in an unusual moment of clarity and honesty, said anyone who was “wouldn’t be electable” in American politics.

Fox News Ignores New York’s Historic Same-Sex Marriage Law

The New York Senate’s vote in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday established New York as the largest state to recognize marriage equality and more than doubled the number of Americans living in a state that recognizes gay and lesbian unions. But you wouldn’t know that from watching Fox News.

Danziger Bridge Trial Opens In New Orleans For Police Charged In Katrina Shootings

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans police officers decided to "shoot first and ask questions later" when they gunned down two unarmed people and wounded four others on a bridge in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, a federal prosecutor said Monday during opening statements for a trial spotlighting one of the epic storm's most notorious episodes.

NASA Set To Launch Defense Department Satellite Aboard Air Force Minotaur 1 Rocket

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- NASA is preparing to launch a Department of Defense satellite from the Wallops Flight Facility at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.

Diabetes Doubles Worldwide In 30 Years

LONDON -- The number of adults worldwide with diabetes has more than doubled in three decades, jumping to an estimated 347 million, a new study says.

Much of that increase is due to aging populations – since diabetes typically hits in middle age – and population growth, but part of it has also been fueled by rising obesity rates.

With numbers climbing almost everywhere, experts said the disease is no longer limited to rich countries and is now a global problem. Countries in which the numbers rose fastest include Cape Verde, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea, and the United States.

"Diabetes may well become the defining issue of global health for the next decade," said Majid Ezzati, chair of global environmental health at Imperial College London, one of the study authors.

He noted the figures don't reflect the generations of overweight children and young adults who have yet to reach middle age. That could create a massive burden on health systems.

"We are not at the peak of this wave yet," he said. "And unlike high blood pressure and cholesterol, we still don't have great treatments for diabetes."

Still, in Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe, despite growing waistlines, there was only a slight rise in diabetes. Experts weren't sure why and said there could be several reasons, including worse detection of the disease, genetic differences, or perhaps the Europeans were better at getting heavy people to reduce their chances of developing diabetes.

Women in Singapore, France, Italy and Switzerland remained relatively slim and had virtually no change in their diabetes rates. Numbers also stayed flat in sub-Saharan Africa, central Latin America and rich Asian countries.

Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and is often tied to obesity. It develops when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to break down glucose, inflating blood sugar levels. The disease can be managed with diet, exercise and medication but chronically high blood sugar levels causes nerve damage, which can result in kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

For their estimate, Ezzati and colleagues examined more than 150 national health surveys and studies that tracked Type 2 diabetes in adults older than 25 in 199 countries and territories. They used modeling to estimate cases for another 92 countries.

They calculated there were 347 million people worldwide with diabetes. In 1980, there were 153 million. Their figures come with a big margin of error, ranging from 314 million to 382 million. A previous study using different methods estimated there were 285 million people with diabetes in 2010.

The new study was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization. It was published Saturday in the journal Lancet.

Doctors warned the higher susceptibility of certain groups like Asians, blacks and Hispanics to diabetes could dramatically boost future rates. "Other ethnicities don't have to be as obese as people of European descent to get diabetes," said Dr. Aaron Cypess, a staff physician at Joslin Diabetes Center. He was not linked to the Lancet study.

"It may be, for example, that Indians and Chinese store their fat in more dangerous places, like a pot belly," he said, theorizing that kind of abdominal fat can send out hormones to speed up diabetes.

But Cypess was optimistic the trend might be reversed, citing first lady Michelle Obama's fight against childhood obesity in the U.S. as an encouraging sign.

Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes U.K., said the bigger challenge was simply to persuade people to adopt healthier lifestyles. "We have a fair idea of how to prevent Type 2 diabetes – you have to move more and eat less," he said. "But putting it into practice across a wide population is another question altogether."

Blagojevich GUILTY: Jury Convicts Rod Blagojevich On 17 Of 20 Counts

CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich, who rode his talkative everyman image to two terms as Illinois governor before scandal made him a national punch line, was convicted Monday of a wide range of corruption charges, including the incendiary allegation that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's Senate seat.

U.S. Casualties At 2-Year High In Iraq, May Spike If Administration Pledges To Stay Longer

Two American troops were killed in northern Iraqyesterday while “conducting operations.” The New York Times reports that the military “did not elaborate, but that terminology is usually meant to indicate the deaths were caused by enemy attack.” And earlier this month, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group attacked and killed six U.S. soldiers. Now, total U.S. combat deaths in Iraq in June has reached 11, the most since May 2009. But despite the fact that Americans are still dying combat related deaths in Iraq, President Obamaannounced last year that the U.S ended hostilities in Iraq and said as recently as last week in his speech that America’s combat mission there was already over:

New Pro-Romney Super PAC Run By Operative Behind Racist Willie Horton, ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Ads

The Washington Post reported last week that a new “Super PAC” — a political committee that can accept unlimited corporate contributions — has been set up by Mitt Romney supporters to run ads for the 2012 election. Restore Our Future PAC will be led bygambling lobbyist Charles Spies, former American Crossroads operative Carl Forti, and veteran GOP ad-maker Larry McCarthy.

Bachmann Personally Benefited From Earmarks, Then Falsely Claims She Never Did

Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially kicked off her presidential campaign this morning in Iowa, right after the latest state poll shows her surging and only a point behind front-runner Mitt Romney (R-MA). But as she becomes a more prominent and viable candidate, Bachmann is facing fresh scrutiny over her past remarks and positions. The Los Angeles Times recently released an investigative report showing that she and her familypersonally benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars in government aid.

'Senseless' killing claims college-bound teen

A college-bound Queens teen who dreamed of being a teacher was gunned down in cold blood when a hooded thug inexplicably opened fire as the youngster and three friends walked home from a party early yesterday, sources said.

Is the US in denial over its $14tn debt?

Is America in denial about the extent of its financial problems, and therefore incapable of dealing with the gravest crisis the country has ever faced?

Wisconsin GOP Defunds Planned Parenthood, Denying Preventative Health Care To At Least 12,000 Women

Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a budget that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood, after pushing the measure through the state Legislature without a single Democratic vote. Planned Parenthood denounced the decision to choke off state and federal funding to nine health centers in small communities that will deny preventative health care to 12,000 women who don’t have health insurance:

Despite Obama’s Repeated Claims That Combat Has ‘Ended’ In Iraq, U.S. Casualties At Two-Year High

Two American troops were killed in northern Iraqyesterday while “conducting operations.” The New York Times reports that the military “did not elaborate, but that terminology is usually meant to indicate the deaths were caused by enemy attack.” And earlier this month, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group attacked and killed 6 U.S. soldiers. Now, total U.S. combat deaths in Iraq in June has reached 11, the most since May 2009. But despite the fact that Americans are still dying combat related deaths in Iraq, President Obamaannounced last year that the U.S ended hostilities in Iraq and said as recently as last week in his speech that America’s combat mission there was already over:

Charles And David Koch Of Koch Industries, Conservative Political Donors, Hold Semi-Annual GOP Business Retreat In Vail, Colo.

Sunday began a 4-day semiannual private retreat in the Vail area for wealthy conservatives and leading Republican politicians. The event is organized by two of the most powerful conservative political donors, Charles and David Koch of the private energy company Koch Industries.

Research Calls Data-Driven Education Reforms Into Question

Two new reports on standards-based accountability and incentive systems should end the current thrust of U.S. education policy.

Major Corporations Oppose Rule Comparing Pay Of CEOs To Workers

Corporate America would rather not say how much it pays typical workers.

In a lobbying push that adds to the slew of attacks on last year's financial reform law, an industry group is fighting to hide a number that would put chief executives' pay packages into perspective: how much the other workers make, the Washington Postreports.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Law But Leaves Public Financing Intact

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court struck down a controversial Arizona public financing measure on Monday by its usual 5-4 margin -- but it resisted the temptation to gut the legal underpinnings that support provisions such as presidential matching funds.

McConnell Warns Obama Ahead Of Deficit Meeting: No Tax Hikes

WASHINGTON -- Hours ahead of his first meeting with President Barack Obama aimed at jump-starting stalled deficit talks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is already drawing a line in the sand for the president: No deal if tax increases and stimulus spending are in the mix.

Candidate Says She Is Running Against Rep. Ellison Because He Is A ‘Radical Islamist’

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (MN) became the first Muslim to serve in Congress. Ergo, he has become a lightning rod for anti-Muslim bigotry. Last Thursday, right-wing independent Lynne Torgerson announced on Tea Party Nation that she will — once again — run against Ellison. The impetus for her public service? Ellison is a “radical Islamist”:

HIV Testing: 11 Things You Wanted To Know

June 27, 2011 is National HIV Testing Day -- and you know you should get tested for HIV in order to get early access to life-saving care.

But how? And where? And is it painful?

Gaza Flotilla Journalist Ban Dropped By Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) – The Israeli government on Monday dropped a threat to issue lengthy deportation orders against journalists aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla, in an attempt to scale back a crisis with the international media.

Samuel Jesse Battle broke NYPD's color barrier 100 years ago

One hundred years ago Tuesday, 44 men reported to the New York Police Department's majestic old headquarters on Centre St. to be sworn in as rookies.

Only one was black - 6-foot-2, 240-pound Samuel Jesse Battle, who became Greater New York's first African-American cop.

Al Sharpton: By Courting The Black Vote, Newt Gingrich ‘Assumes That We’re Stupid’

Newt Gingrich’s latest outreach effort to the African-American community is not going over so well with some of the louder members of said group. On MSNBC yesterday, Rev. Al Sharptonargued that for Gingrich to even attempt to court the black vote as a Republican candidate was “an insult” intended to “cover up the fact that his campaign is falling apart,” and an actually an underhanded attempt to suppress the black vote.

Dr. Boyce: BET Has Become The New KKK

I just spent the week in New Orleans, the powerbase for one of the most talented, powerful and destructive forces in the history of music: Lil Wayne. I’ve admittedly bopped my head to the tunes of Lil Wayne in the past, feeling the same guilt that any man might feel if he were to enjoy a crack pipe or shot of heroine, knowing how these drugs destroy families, individuals and communities. In other words, I consider myself to be a Hip-Hop insider, and I simply hate the idea of being labeled as a hater. But as a father and Black man who has seen too much death and devastation in my family and so many others, I had to say that “enough is enough,” leading me to candidly discuss my decision to walk away from certain styles of Hip-Hop music.

In Response To Prosser Choking Allegations, Fox’s Van Susteren Calls On Female Chief Justice To Resign

Over the weekend, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Justice David Prosser “grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources.” Bradley laterconfirmed the report:

Kansas’ Stringent New Licensing Law Shuts Down Abortion Clinic, Others Fear ‘We’re Doomed’

Kansas is now down to just two abortion providers, after one clinic failed to meet the rigorous licensing requirements established by a new state law. Abortion advocates see the new regulations — which require abortion clinics to obtain a state license to continue operating past July 1 — as an effort by opponents to chase abortion providers out of the state. Kansas’ remaining clinics worry they could be next“:

Sharia and the Lives of Muslim Americans

You might have seen a government-required sign at a McDonald's restroom telling employees to wash their hands. Muslims do this as a part of living their faith, which is called sharia in Arabic. The Prophet Muhammad also encouraged Muslims to wash their hands before and after eating. Muslim parents raise their children on many such manners. The first chapter in almost all books on sharia is about morals and manners of cleanliness, which Prophet Muhammad said is half of the faith. God's peace and blessings be upon him.

Citigroup: $2.7 Million Stolen From Customers As Result Of Hacking

After a cyberattack hit Citigroup, exposing over360,000 user accounts, the bank has come forward to reveal just how much money's been lost.

U.S. Nuclear Plants' Surrounding Populations Soar While Dangers Increase: AP Investigation

BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- As America's nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural areas around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Facebook Hires Hacker George Hotz, iPhone And PlayStation 3 Jailbreaker: REPORT

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em--or, in Facebook's case, hire 'em full time.

According to TechUnwrapped, Facebook now employs George Hotz, the young hacker who has drawn the legal ire of tech giants Apple and Sony. Hotz, who also goes by the online handle "Geohot," is said to be working at Facebook, possibly on asecretive new iPad app.

Nancy Pelosi: 'The Republicans Are The Incumbents'

WASHINGTON -- In the lead-up to the 2012 elections, both President Obama and Democratic leaders will likely argue that the continued economic malaise the country has experienced is owed to the inflexibility of the Republican Party.

Jared Loughner Will Be Forcibly Medicated By Prison Officials, Says Defense

PHOENIX -- Lawyers for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect say federal prison officials have decided to forcibly give him anti-psychotic drugs.

Supreme Court Violent Video Games Ruling Expected Today

WASHINGTON -- Is it unconstitutional to ban the sale or rental of ultraviolent video games to children?

The Supreme Court plans to answer that question Monday with a ruling that could profoundly affect a multibillion-dollar industry.

Jim Sensenbrenner Backs Off Medicare Plan

WASHINGTON -- One of the most conservative veteran Republicans in the House, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, backed away from the GOP's controversial Medicare plan at a town hall in his Wisconsin district on Sunday, according to a report from the local Brookfield Patch.

Gaddafi Arrest Warrant Issued By International Criminal Court

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants Monday for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son and his intelligence chief for crimes against humanity in the early days of their struggle to cling to power.

Afghan Girl Tricked Into Carrying Bomb, Officials Say

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents tricked an 8-year-old girl in a remote area of central Afghanistan into carrying a bomb wrapped in cloth that they detonated remotely when she was close to a police vehicle, the Afghan authorities said Sunday.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kyl Defends Taxpayer Subsidies For Richest Oil Companies

Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) argued that budget talks should not include the reduction of oil and gas subsidies. Kyl, who abandoned budget negotiations with the White House this week, claimed that eliminating $2 billion in annual subsidies for the richest oil companies — instead of slashing programs that feed the poor and protect the middle class — would “hurt the American consumer”:


Earlier this month, a constituent asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) why, if he sends his kids to private school, he thinks it’s fair to cut funding for public schools. Christie made headlines when he rudely told her it was “none of your business.” While on Meet the Press today, Christie was asked if this was an appropriate way to respond to a constituent. Christie said that it “damn right” was. Watch it:


Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain did surprisingly well in a new Des Moines Register poll of Iowa Caucus goers, coming in third in the widely-watched poll. But when CBS’ “Face the Nation” discussed the poll today, their graphic completely ignored Cain, yet made room for candidates who did much worse, including Tim Pawlenty. Why did they leave out Cain?

While Trying To Disprove Fox News’ Bias, Chris Wallace Invokes ‘Obamacare’ And Doubts Climate Science

Fox News has been under increasing scrutiny this week after Daily Show host Jon Stewart appeared on Fox News Sunday last weekend where he came prepared with research to tear into the network as an “ideological organization” that “gets marching orders” to promote conservative ideology.

George Soros: Country Leaving Euro Currency 'Probably Inevitable'

VIENNA - Billionaire investor George Soros thinks a country will eventually exit the euro zone and urged policymakers on Sunday to come up with a "plan B" that could rescue the European Union from looming economic collapse.

Sunday June 26th, 2011 Talking Heads!


Michele Bachmann is going to chit-chat up Chris Wallace this morning, and also, DEFICIT PANIC WITH JON KYL. And panel discussion. And more on the Chris Wallace-Jon Stewart interview? Calm down, Chris Wallace! That happened a week ago! That's when I will be using the washroom.

Afghanistan War: A Decade On, No Clear Answers

KABUL, Afghanistan -- For 10 years, ever since the towers fell, the United States has fought a war in a distant land – in hopes, it says, of protecting American interests and making the world safer from terrorism. Now, as President Barack Obama plans to end U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan by 2014, the question remains as muddy as ever:

Young scientist who became drug dealer is shown leniency as he 'could be useful to society'

A young scientist who became a cocaine dealer walked free yesterday – because his talents could benefit society.

Diabetes on upswing worldwide

The last quarter century has seen a such an explosion in the incidence of diabetes that nearly 350 million people worldwide now struggle with the disease, a new British-American study reveals.

Stanford: Menthol cigarette marketing is ‘predatory,’ aimed at black kids

A Stanford School of Medicine study says tobacco companies cut prices of menthol cigarettes and boosted advertisements for them near California high schools with lots of black students.

Women In Power: Ann Marie Sastry Races to Create Next-Gen Batteries -- Khosla and GM Bet She Can Win

A special series profiling trailblazers in energy innovation and champions of the environment. See previous stories here.

LulzSec Hackers Retire? Group Claims It's Finished After 50 Days Of 'Mayhem'

The unpredictable hacker group known as Lulz Security may be throwing in the towel after 50 days of almost constant cyberattacks.

On Saturday, LulzSec posted what it claimed to be "our final release." (They also tweeted a link to what may be their very last data dump.)

From the post:

For the past 50 days we've been disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could. All to selflessly entertain others - vanity, fame, recognition, all of these things are shadowed by our desire for that which we all love. The raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy. It's what we all crave, even the seemingly lifeless politicians and emotionless, middle-aged self-titled failures. You are not failures. You have not blown away. You can get what you want and you are worth having it, believe in yourself.

The group has claimed responsibility for hacking websites of government-run organizations like the CIA, FBI partner InfraGard and the Arizona police, as well as entertainment companies like Sony--all while brandishing the slogan "Laughing at your security since 2011."

The group has repeatedly claimed that their primary goal for hacking has been simply "for the lulz." However, LulzSec's apparent retirement statement noted the group's commitment to "Operation Anti-Security," a collaboration with politically bent hacktivist collective Anonymous.

"Again, behind the mask, behind the insanity and mayhem, we truly believe in the AntiSec movement," LulzSec's Saturday statement read. "We believe in it so strongly that we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we've gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don't stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve."

Is this really the end of Lulzec?

Joe Biden Warns Republicans On Debt Ceiling Talks

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday the Obama administration wouldn't let middle class Americans "carry the whole burden" to break a deadlock over the national debt limit, warning that the Republican approach would only benefit the wealthy.

Bachmann Supports New York’s Right To Enact Marriage Equality Law

Late Friday, the New York legislature passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the state’s same-sex marriage bill into law, marking a major victory for equal rights. Today, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked notorious anti-LGBT rights presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) what she thought of the new law, given her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Despite her right-wing view on marriage, Bachmann said she supports New York’s right to institute marriage equality because, under the 10th Amendment, the state has a right to do so:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Business, Free Speech Cases Top Supreme Court Term

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court's conservative majority made it harder for people to band together to sue the nation's largest businesses in the two most far-reaching rulings of the term the justices are wrapping up on Monday.

FDIC Chair Sheila Bair: Government, Banks Suffer From 'Short-Termism'

Sheila Bair, outgoing chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said on Friday that the American government and financial system are in danger of forgetting the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The GOP’s Plan for (Un)Shared Sacrifice

What the GOP Really Means by ‘Shared Sacrifice’

Yesterday, we covered the GOP’s temper tantrumas the New York Times called it, in which Republican leaders bailed on negotiations to avert a default on our obligations — a default that is only on the table as a result of the GOP’s willingness to keep paying the bills we started racking up as a result of Bush-era policies. While GOP infighting certainly played a role in yesterday’s shenanigans, the core issue is the GOP’s unwavering devotion to protecting (and even expanding) tax giveaways for the wealthy, Big Oil, and other special interests. These giveaways have been put on the national credit card, and now the GOP wants to forward the bill to the rest of us or simply not pay it at all. (Good luck getting a decent loan for a new house, a car, or a student loan if they go down that road.)