Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In 2004, Cantor Opposed Bill Requiring Disaster Aid Be Offset With Cuts Elswhere

Treading biparistan backlash against his callous position on hurricane aid, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has pointed to hisprincipled consistency on requiring all federal disaster aid be offset with cuts to other programs.

JCPenney Advertises T-Shirt Suggesting Girls Are ‘Too Pretty To Do Homework’

JCPenney is advertising a girl’s t-shirt that says, “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.” The merchandise description reads: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.”

BREAKING: BOEHNER REJECTS OBAMA REQUEST TO ADDRESS JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS ON SEPTEMBER 7.

In a letter, Boehner says “It is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening.” You can read a full copy of the letter HERE. A Republican presidential debate is scheduled for September 7 but is not mentioned in Boehner’s letter.

With All Of Its Choppers In Iraq, Vermont Has To Borrow From Other States To Respond To Irene

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene has created not only an estimated $12 billionworth of damage, but it continues to leave many east coast residents without power and access to basic necessities.

Porn star, ex-officer targeted aspiring actresses, records show

His own online biography describes Jah-T as a heavily tattooed man from Jamaica and as one of South Florida's fastest-rising porn stars.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eric Cantor Won’t Support Any Hurricane Disaster Funding Without Massive Cuts To First Responders

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, FEMA isquickly running out of money. Specifically, FEMA’s crucial “disaster-relief fund, used to reimburse local governments and individuals for the costs of cleanup and repairs, is running dangerously low.” Already payments for some projects are being delayed. Early estimates suggest that damage from Irene could exceed $10 billion.

California Superintendent Gives Up $830K In Wages To Help School Facing Budget Cuts

Tomorrow morning, a California school superintendent will retire from his job, only to be rehired later in the day. Why? Fresno County’s superintendent Larry Powell wants to be paid a much lower wage. Leaving behind a $288,241 annual salary, Powell will voluntarily work for $31,020 — $10,000 less than a first-year teacher’s salary — with no benefits. This, Powell says, ensures that the $830,000 he would have earned for the remainder of his term will go toward the county schools’ budget for the next three years.

House Republican Bill Cuts Hurricane Monitoring Funds That Help Save Millions Of Dollars

In the wake of Hurricane Irene, which caused billions of dollars in damages up and down the U.S.’s eastern seaboard, House Republicans are callously claiming that any aid to victims of the disaster needs to be offset by budget cuts elsewhere. The savings favored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) would come from cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders.

Justice Ginsburg: If I Were Nominated Today, My Women’s Rights Work For The ACLU Would Probably Disqualify Me

In a speech yesterday at Southern Methodist University law school, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered a grim assessment of the judicial confirmations process. If she were nominated to the Supreme Court today, her background as a civil rights attorney would likely prevent her from being confirmed:

9/11 Coloring Book Influences Kids With Islamophobia

Believing that the upcoming 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 is best memorialized in crayon, Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. is publishing a new coloring book entitled “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.” In offering kids the option of coloring the Twin Towers burning, mourning survivors, or the Navy SEALs shooting Osama Bin Laden, publisher Wayne Bell insists that “the doodles represent patriotism,” a “simplistic, honest tool” to “help educate children on events on 9/11.” But many Muslims describe it as, in a word, “disgusting.”

PAT BUCHANAN DECRIES LACK OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FOR ‘WHITE MALES’

After showing selective concern for the number of white men killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan took his white man’s grievance road show to the Laura Ingraham program today, where he lambasted the Obama administration’s effort to hire more minorities to the civil service. He complained that, if anything, there are too many people of color in the federal bureaucracy as it is. Saying minorities are “inordinately overrepresented” in the civil service, Buchanan said there’s “affirmative action for women, for Hispanics, and for blacks, but none for white males.” The oppressed majority’s numbers “are diminishing, dramatically,” he warned. Listen here:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Youth Unemployment Crisis Has Longterm Implications For Teens, The Economy

As we look forward to this Friday's August unemployment snapshot from the Department of Labor, one part of the picture is already in focus: this was the worst summer on record for teens and young adults looking for work.

Porn Shutdown Over HIV Case


LOS ANGELES -- A porn industry group says an adult film performer has tested positive for HIV, resulting in a production moratorium in Southern California while the organization investigates to see if the virus has spread.
Duke declined to release the performer's name, age or gender. She also declined to tell the Times how her group learned of the case.
According to Duke, the case was found in an out-of-state clinic that doesn't report to California state officials. Duke says the performer is being retested to confirm the HIV.
The group is working to identify others who had sex with the performer.

Time for the Jewish Community to End the Sharpton Wars

Twenty years ago, race riots erupted in Crown Heights and an innocent Jewish student was murdered in response to the accidental killing of an African-American child. After the murder, the Rev. Al Sharpton came to Crown Heights and further whipped up an already incensed crowd, leaving some in the Jewish community to demand twenty years later that Sharpton be forever shunned by Jewry and criticizing my friend Rabbi Marc Schneier for inviting him to the Hampton Synagogue.

98 Percent of Welfare Applicants Pass Drug Test

Thanks to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's insistence that people on welfare use drugs at a higher rate than the general population, the state's Legislature implemented a policy earlier this year requiring all applicants for temporary cash assistance to pass a drug test before getting any help.

Bachmann: Hurricane Was A Message From God To Washington About Spending (Updated)

Joining such distinguished public policy thinkers asPat Robertson and birther evangelist Joseph Farah in seeing divine political interference in natural disasters, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said yesterday that Hurricane Irene was a message from God. Speaking Sarasota, Florida, Bachmann suggested God used the hurricane and last week’s earthquake to tell politicians to cut spending, the St. Petersburg Times reports:

Cantor: No Disaster Relief Funding For Hurricane Irene Without Budget Cuts

Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. The Washington Post reported this morning that FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm’s aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor’s comments suggest Republicans won’t authorize more funds without a fight.

ARMY RANGER’S WIDOW CONFRONTS RUMSFELD ABOUT HER HUSBAND’S SUICIDE

Security officers removed an Army Ranger’s widow from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s book signing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington. Ashley Joppa-Hagemann, whose husband committed suicide in June before his ninth deployment, said her husbandjoined the military because of 9/11, and she said “it was his (Rumsfeld’s) lies that cost my husband his life.” Her husband had been diagnosed with PTSD but had not received help despite requesting it. Joppa-Hagemann introduced herself to Rumsfeld by handing him a copy of her husband’s funeral program and blamed Rumsfeld for not providing enough support for soldiers returning home before security officers removed her and anti-war veteran Jorge Gonzalez from the event. Watch a local news report of the incident here.

JUDGE TEMPORARILY STOPS EXTREME ALABAMA IMMIGRATION LAW

federal judge temporarily halted Alabama’s extreme immigration law from going into effect on Thursday. Opponents of the law, including the Justice Department, church leaders, and the ACLU, had challenged the law, but Alabama officials said it would help the state and did not violate civil rights. U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn’s two-page order only barred the enforcement of the law, but Blackburn said she will rule on the law’s merits by Sept. 28. Her order will either stay in place until Sept. 29 or until she rules on the merits. Among other provisions, the law — the harshest in the country — requires employers to use the controversial E-Verify system, makes it illegal to transport or house an undocumented immigrant, and asked schools to collect citizenship information on their students.

LIMBAUGH: COLIN POWELL WILL VOTE FOR OBAMA AGAIN BECAUSE ‘MELANIN IS THICKER THAN WATER’

Reviving his feud with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said today that the African-American retired general will vote for President Obama in 2012 because “melanin is thicker than water,” referring to the chemical that determines skin color. Powell famously crossed party lines to publicly support Obama in 2008, but said this weekend that he’s not sure if he’ll vote for the president again. Watch it, via RightScoop:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Rescue That Missed Main Street

FOR the last three years we have been told repeatedly by government officials that funneling hundreds of billions of dollars to large and teetering banks during the credit crisis was necessary to save the financial system, and beneficial to Main Street.

Sunday August 28th 2011 Talking Heads

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

So, the hurricane, it is bad, bad enough to mandate several of minutes of coverage on the show today. Let me liveblog: there's rain, there's wind, it's wet, people are evacuating, the end.

Hinkle: I paid young man $80 for encounter, Republican Admits, But Says “I’m Not Gay”

State Rep. Phil Hinkle admitted Tuesday that he paid a young man $80 to have a good time. But Hinkle insisted he isn't gay and doesn't know why he did it.

Surgeon General Calls for Health Over Hair

The United States surgeon general has a new message for American women: It is O.K. to have a bad hair day.

Documentary Released Of Man With Hole In Head After Gov’t Testing

A promo of the film Hole in the Head is making its way around the Web. The promo features the late Vertus Hardiman, who, along with nine other children, was experimented on with radiation in 1927. The children all attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Ind., and were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital.

Irene Leaves 8 Dead, Millions Without Power

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Weaker but still menacing, Hurricane Irene knocked out power and piers in North Carolina, clobbered Virginia with wind and churned up the coast Saturday to confront cities more accustomed to snowstorms than tropical storms. New York City emptied its streets and subways and waited with an eerie quiet.

“Klan Buster” Stetson Kennedy Dies At 94 In Florida

MIAMI — Author and folklorist Stetson Kennedy, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan six decades ago and exposed its secrets to authorities and the public but was also criticized for possibly exaggerating his exploits, died Saturday. He was 94.

RON PAUL ON HURRICANE IRENE: RESPONSE SHOULD BE LIKE IT WAS IN 1900

Taking his anti-government ideology to its logical extreme, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) told NBC News’ Jo Ling Kent today that there should be no national response to Hurricane Irene, and that government responses should revert back to how they were over 100 years ago. “We should be like 1900, we should be like 1940 1950 1960,” he said. “I live on the gulf coast, we deal with hurricanes all the time.” Of course, the Gulf Coast sometimes deals with them less well thanks to a botched national response. Paul, who has called for abolishing FEMA, dismissed the organization because it is “a great contribution to deficit financing.” An example of disaster 1900-style disaster relief following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 in Paul’s home state of Texas:

JOHN BOEHNER AND ERIC CANTOR WON’T COMMIT TO HURRICANE RELIEF WITHOUT BUDGET CUTS

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is insisting that “any potential emergency disaster aid be offset by spending cuts.” Huffington Post reports that “Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring on Friday declined to say where Republicans would look to make cuts to pay for a potential storm aid package.” Speaker John Boehner’s spokesperson “ducked the question altogether when asked if Boehner agreed with Cantor’s call for offsets for emergency aid.” Boehner and Cantor’s position is “a break from a bipartisan tradition” of immediately appropriating funds to help those in need following a natural disaster.

Anti-Muslim Blogger Pamela Geller Lashes Out At Islamophobia Report: ‘Pile Of Dung Masquerading As Research’

Responding to CAP’s Islamophobia report, anti-Muslim activists David Horowitz called it “fascistic” and Robert Spencer deemed it the “agenda of the Islamic jihad.” Determined to one-up her Islamophobia network colleagues, Pamela Geller took to her blog on Friday evening to unleash a fiery tirade against the new report “Fear, Inc.”

Allen West Whitewashes MLK’s Legacy Into Conserative ‘Individual Responsibility’ Message

The historic national monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled this week in Washington. Reflecting on the history that led up to this occasion, GOP freshman Rep. Allen West (FL) — the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus — offered his thoughts on the seminal civil rights leader’s legacy to the National Journal. When asked whether King has “informed decisions in your career or personal life,” West painted Dr. Kingas if he were a conservative icon:

Georgia Professors Offer Courses To Undocumented Students Barred From Public Universities

A harsh new anti-immigrant policy in Georgia hasclosed the doors of some of the state’s best universities to undocumented students. But a group of five professors have devised a plan to give some of these students at least a taste of the education they’ve been denied by GOP lawmakers:

GOP CONGRESSMAN: ‘OIL COMPANIES PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE’

The Petoskey Newsreports that Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) recently became the latest Republican to offer his full-throated defense of the oil industry. The congressman told a public forum that Democrats “talk about raising the taxes on the oil companies. I think oil companies pay their fair share.” Despite making a whopping $36 billion in the first quarter of this year alone, the biggest five oil companies get $4 billion in tax incentives a year, courtesy of American taxpayers.

As Irene Devastates, Ron Paul Says We Need To ‘Come To Our Senses’ And Abolish FEMA And Stop Its ‘Bailouts’

This morning, nearly 2 million people are without power and nine are dead as now-Tropical Storm Irene continues to devastate the East Coast. But Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) still thinks that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to be abolished. In a lengthy anti-FEMA screed to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Paul described FEMA as a drain on the economy — a “gross distortion of insurance” that only “bleeding hearts” would support — that “just bail[s] put everybody”:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why is Mississippi so red when it's so black?

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree made history when he won the Democratic Party's nomination for governor of Mississippi on Tuesday. This makes DuPree the first African-American in modern times to receive a major party nomination for the position in the Magnolia State.

Memo To The Media: The U.S. Spends Six Times More On Military Than China

The Defense Department has just released its annual assessment of China’s military capabilities and development to Congress. The report is being covered in much of the media as a dire warning to the United States warning of the looming threat of Chinese military expansion.

News Corp Set To Air 9/11 Documentary Glorifying Bush; Producer Says He’s Not Interested In ‘Facts’

After spending over a decade promoting President Bush, the PATRIOT Act, and the Iraq War, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation appears to be up to the same tricks, this time with an hour-long promotional video about Bush’s leadershipduring the 9/11 attacks. Although News Corp. is perhaps best known for its Bush cheerleading through its Fox News subsidiary, the Bush documentary is airing on another News Corp. company with a better brand image, National Geographic.

President Obama Has All The Legal Authority He Needs To Make Recess Appointments Right Now

As ThinkProgress has chronicled at length, Senate Republicans are engaged in an unprecedented campaign of obstruction against President Obama’s nominees. As one prong of this campaign, they forced the Senate to hold brief “pro forma” sessions every three days in an attempt to cut off President Obama’s power to make recess appointments.

Cantor Says No Earthquake Disaster Relief For His Home State Unless Spending Is Cut Elsewhere

This week, Virginia experienced a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, one of the most powerful tremors on the east coast since 1897. As Virginians scramble to assess the damage, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) quickly returned from his trip in Israel to survey the damage done to his congressional district.

Fox News: ‘Facts Are Certainly’ On The Side Of Global Warming, But ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

On Fox & Friends Sunday, anchor Clayton Morris admitted that Fox News factcheckers have confirmed that man-made global warming is “certainly” real, but argued that it “doesn’t matter” because climate denial is popular among Fox News-watching conservatives. Morris contrasted Jon Huntsman’s defense of the National Academy of Sciences with Rick Perry’s claims that scientists have “manipulated data” to concoct manmade global warming:

CHART: Only 15 Americans Died From Terrorism Last Year — Less Than From Dog Bites Or Lightning Strikes

One of the topics that most dominates the nation’s political and policy discussions is the threat of terrorism. Politicians regularly warnof the dire threat of terrorism and the need to dedicate more resources to battle it.

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Lift The Payroll Tax Cap, Ensuring Full Social Security Funding For Nearly 75 Years

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was a featured speaker at the United Steel Workers 2011 conference in Las Vegas.

Astronomers discover planet made of diamond

Astronomers have spotted an exotic planet that seems to be made of diamond racing around a tiny star in our galactic backyard.

The new planet is far denser than any other known so far and consists largely of carbon. Because it is so dense, scientists calculate the carbon must be crystalline, so a large part of this strange world will effectively be diamond.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Planned Parenthood vs. The States: The Legal Battles Rage

The states launched an unprecedented avalanche of attacks against Planned Parenthood in their 2011 legislative sessions, but Planned Parenthood is battling back in the courts.

Steve Jobs Resigns: Apple CEO Stepping Down

Reuters reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down from his leadership position.

A Business Wire report has more details:

As Hotels Outsource Jobs, Workers Lose Hold On Living Wage

INDIANAPOLIS -- Maria Fajardo has been working as a housekeeper and janitor in Indianapolis hotels since 1987. The job has changed a lot in 24 years, but not for the better. The work is much more difficult than it used to be, and the pay comparatively much less.

Texas GOP Congressional Candidate Compares Welfare Recipients To Donkeys In New Ad

Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams is running for Congress on a staunchly anti-Obama, anti-government platform. He recently came out with a new video ad called “The Donkey Whisperer” that’s raising a lot of eyebrows for conflating Democrats with welfare recipients and comparing them to donkeys.

WND PUBLISHER: EARTHQUAKE WAS MESSAGE FROM GOD, BUT D.C. ‘DESERVES’ WORSE

When not mercilessly beating the dead horse birther myth, WorldNetDaily publisher Joseph Farah is apparently blaming natural disasters on America’s declining morals. “OccasionallyGod really does shake things up as a sign to us of the consequences of disobedience and indifference to our Creator,” Farah writes of yesterday’s earthquake in an op-ed. Fortunately, the “earthquake turned out to be a warning,” Farah writes, “[b]ut there will be a bigger one coming.” “Washington, D.C., deserves more than the wallop it got today,” Farah ominously concludes. Farah’s comments are reminiscent of televangelist Pat Robert’s blaming of Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti on God’s wrath, or the Westboro Baptist Church’s blaming of the gays for pretty much every natural disaster, untimely death, and stubbed toe in history.

Alabama Businesses Decry Radical Anti-Immigrant Law: ‘Farmers And Business People Could Go Under’

The nation’s most radical immigration law will go before a federal judge in Birmingham, Alabama today as the U.S. Justice Department, civil rights groups, and churches try to block Alabama from instituting its highly discriminatory, “merciless” Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act on Sept. 1. While Republican proponents insist the law will “drive illegal workers out of the state” and open jobs to unemployed Alabamians, another group is joining the chorus of antipathy: actual employers. As undocumented workers follow Georgia’s example and flee the state, employers in Alabama’s largest industries worry that they may “go under”:

Republican Running For Weiner’s Seat: Ground Zero Health Law Shouldn’t Cover Sickened Volunteers

Bob Turner, the Republican running to replace former Rep. Anthony Weiner (R-NY), said he thinks the law President Obama signed last year to provide health benefits to Ground Zero workers sicked by toxic debris went too far. In an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, Turner offered reluctant support for the so-called Zadroga bill, but said it was “too broad” in covering volunteers along with paid workers:

Marco Rubio: Medicare, Social Security ‘Weakened Us As People,’ Made Us Lazy

Potential vice president running mate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dismissed the importance of programs like Medicare and Social Security during a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library this afternoon, arguing that the initiatives “weakened us as people”:

AS GOP SLASHES WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE, STUDY FINDS MEDICAID-FUNDED PROGRAM SAVED TEXAS OVER $20 MILLION

In the latest state budget signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R), the Texas GOP gutted funding for women’s preventative health care, leaving up to 300,000 women without access to basic health services. Now a new report from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission shows just how self-defeating those drastic cuts were. The report says the Medicaid-funded Women’s Health Program saved the state at least $20 million a year and prevented over 6,700 unplanned pregnancies in 2009. Earlier this year Republicans rushed to defund Planned Parenthood and cut family planning services by a staggering $74 million in an attempt to reduce the number of abortions. Yet the Women’s Health Program does not provide abortions but does give low-income women access to breast cancer screenings and birth control. The new study confirms what experts have been saying — state-funded family planning services save taxpayers millions each year. The federal program reportedly saved $10 for every dollar spent.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Al Sharpton Officially Named MSNBC Host Of 'PoliticsNation'

Al Sharpton has been officially named the host of the 6 PM hour on MSNBC. The network announced Tuesday that Sharpton will host "PoliticsNation" on weeknights starting August 29.

Washington, D.C. Earthquake 2011: 5.9 Earthquake Hits Nation's Capital, Felt In New York

Preliminary reports are indicating that a 5.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Virginia at 1:51 pm EDT., according to the USGS.

5.9 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Maryland

BALTIMORE -- A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Maryland and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, and it was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City.

USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable?

Genna Saucedo supervises cashiers at a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, California, but her wages aren't enough to feed herself and her 12-year-old son.

Saucedo, who earns $9.70 an hour for about 26 hours a week and lives with her mother, is one of the many Americans who survive because of government handouts in what has rapidly become a food stamp nation.

CHART: On 15th Anniversary Of ‘Welfare Reform,’ Aid Is Not Getting To Those Who Need It Most

On this day 15 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s welfare system that enacted onerous work requirements on poor families before they could collect government aid. The new law fulfilled Republicans long-held desire to (in the words of President Clinton) “end welfare as we know it” by creating the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) “block grant” program.

At Town Hall, GOP Rep. Hultgren Can’t Explain How Bush Tax Cuts Created Jobs

Last week, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) held a town hall meeting in Geneva, Illinois where he was peppered with questions about the Bush tax cuts. A woman stood up and asked him to explain how the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy created jobs for Americans.

The President Should Call Some Economists

I find this kind of story somewhat disturbing:

President Obama on Monday reached out to billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Ford CEO Alan Mulally for advice as he crafts a major jobs plan to be released after Labor Day. Berkshire Hathaway head Buffett, who has become an Obama confidant, made waves earlier this month when he called on wealthy Americans to pay more in taxes in order to reduce the deficit.

Rep. Chabot Bans Cameras At Town Hall As Constituents Chant ‘Where Are The Jobs?’

Rep. Steve Chabot’s (R-OH) town hall meeting was riddled with protests last night as voters voiced their frustration with the GOP’s focus on deep spending cuts rather than providing jobs.

After Campaigning On Holding Town Halls, GOP Freshman Now Refuses To Hold Town Halls, Claims No One Else Is

Congressional lawmakers headed into this year’s August recess touting the lowest approval rating in polling history, leaving an equally low number of members less-than-eager to face their constituents. According to a No Labels survey, 60 percent of House members are not holding open town halls. Havingliterally pledged to provide a more honest and accountable government, this basic failure of openness should not sit well with the 50 percent of House Republicans hiding behind closed doors. Freshman Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), however, seems perfectly happy to shut his constituents out.

Welfare Reform Leaving More In Poverty

Sasha Mandel says she never imagined going on welfare. But her plans for a career and the independence she craved ran headlong into a pair of unforeseen developments -- an unplanned pregnancy at 18, and the worst job market since the Great Depression.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial To Be Dedicated In D.C. (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON -- This Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, marks the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech. It's also the dedication day for his memorial in Washington, D.C.

Pat Delany Resigns Over Wife Jennifer Delany's Carl Lewis Email

TRENTON, N.J. — A freshman Republican lawmaker resigned because his wife sent "an offensive and racist" email to the Democratic state Senate campaign of nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, a GOP official acknowledged Monday.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Rape Charges Dismissed

NEW YORK -- A New York City judge dismissed the sensational sexual assault case against former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn but put his order on hold while the accuser and her lawyer argue that a special prosecutor should be appointed. A decision was expected later Tuesday.

Democrats To Launch Payroll Tax Cut Extension Campaign

WASHINGTON -- Setting the stage for a more aggressive posture on taxes and jobs, the Democratic National Committee is launching a campaign to pressure Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut past the end of 2011.

Progressives Plot Ballot Initiative Strategy To Roll Back GOP Laws

WASHINGTON -- Buoyed by grassroots energy from the protests in Wisconsin earlier this year, progressives are now planning an offensive strategy. Organizers are eyeing 2011 and 2012 elections as opportunities to put initiatives on the ballot that would overturn some of the measures passed by GOP legislatures and governors. The first three states likely to see fights are Ohio, Idaho and Maine.

Fed Handed Out $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve's unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup Inc. took $99.5 billion and Bank of America Corp. $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress. Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen report on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." (Source: Bloomberg)



Monday, August 22, 2011

Black-Owned Banks Struggle To Stay Out Of The Red

After more than a century of delivering financial resources to underserved communities, black-owned banks are struggling to remain relevant -- and solvent -- in an economic environment full of pitfalls.

Balanced Budget Amendment To Get Renewed Push By Republicans In Congress

WASHINGTON -- As a "supercommittee" tries to find $1.5 trillion in new deficit cuts this fall, Republicans will be pressing a far more ambitious goal: passing an amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.

Just One Week Into His Campaign, Rick Perry Disavows His Nine-Month-Old Book

Last November, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) published Fed Up, a 240-page ode totentherism, which argues that everything from child labor laws to the Clean Air Act to Medicare violates the Constitution. As it turns out, however, claiming that America’s entire social safety net is unconstitutional isn’t a very popular position — so Perry’s now trying to take it all back just one week into his presidential campaign:

TIMELINE: Qaddafi Out After Just Six Months Of Civil War

Just six months and one week since the first anti-government protests broke out in Libya, the rebels there appear to have effectively ousted Col. Muammar Qaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Republican Corporate Chairman On Whether Tax Cuts For The Rich Create Jobs: ‘That’s So Baloney’

Earlier this month, billionaire investor Warren Buffett wrote in a New York Times op-ed that Congress has been “coddling the super-rich,” and called for higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires. “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” he wrote. “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

GOP Presidential Candidates Respond To Fall Of Qaddafi By Refusing To Credit Obama

Republican presidential hopefuls have been offering their reactions to the fall of Qaddafi’s regime, giving praise for many involved save for — perhaps predictably — President Obama, who many of them attacked for endorsing the NATO intervention earlier this year.

Facing Deadline, Kasich Refuses Millions In Unemployment Funds Because Expanding Benefits ‘Makes No Sense’

Today, Ohio faces its final deadline to expand its unemployment benefits program. If state officials choose to do so, the state is eligible for $176 million in unemployment insurance funds made available in the 2009 Recovery Act to states that broaden their unemployment programs.

NH Sponsor Of Minimum Wage Restriction Law: Young People Are ‘Not Worth The Minimum’

This year, newly-elected Republicans in the New Hampshire legislature pushed a bill to restrict the state’s minimum wage law to the lowest federally mandated amount. The bill, backed by GOP leadership, was vetoed by Gov. John Lynch (D-NH), but still passed by an override vote in both chambers. New Hampshire will continue to have the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour, a $15,000 salary for a full-time worker.

Rick Perry Compares Civil Rights Movement To GOP Fight For Lower Corporate Taxes


Besides Muammar Qaddafi, Rick Perry may be having the worst day in politics. His extremist belief that everything from consumer protection to Social Security to federal child labor laws is unconstitutional keep dogging him on the campaign trail.
Now he’s been caught on tape in South Carolina comparing the civil rights movement to the GOP’s fight for lower corporate taxes and deregulation. He could hardly have picked a worse day to fundamentally misunderstand and misrepresent the struggle for civil rights in America. Today marks the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to commemorate the great civil rights leader who died marching for economic justice for poor communities. In Rock Hill, South Carolina, a reporter pointed out to Perry that this year also marks the 50th anniversary of a historic sit-in in the town:

Businessman Behind Effort To Dismantle Health Care Hints At Campaign Against Federal Banking Regulation

ThinkProgress previously reported on the network of front groups advancing the “Health Care Compact,” a massive deregulation idea to turn over federal money used for health reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs to state governments along with the power to use that money however they see fit, even if it has nothing to do with actual health care. The idea, hatched earlier this year by a political operative named Eric O’Keefe, is designed to dismantle major safety net programs and energize Tea Party activists into the 2012 elections.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

ROMNEY TO QUADRUPLE SIZE OF $12 MILLION CALIFORNIA HOME

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who in June told voters that he was “also unemployed,” has applied for a permit to bulldoze his 3,000-square-foot, $12 million home in La Jolla, California, and replace it with one nearly four times its size. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the new home will be two stories and more than 11,000 square feet. Romney also owns a $10 million estate in New Hampshire. His campaign declined to comment on the renovation plans.

Sunday August 21th 2011 Talking Heads



FOX NEWS SUNDAY

Bret Baier is subbing for Chris Wallace today. In the meanwhile, Stuart Varney is here to yell about socialism, Karl Rove and Bill Burton are here to yell at each other, and Rick Santorum is here to yell about abortions and gay marriage. Meanwhile, the third string panels keep coming, as Bill Kristol is joined my Stephen Hayes, A.B. Stoddard, and hollowed-out lobbyist gloryhole EVan Bayh.

BILL BURTON RIPS ROVE: AMERICANS AREN’T ‘READY TO HEAR A LECTURE FROM YOU ON GOOD GOVERNANCE’

Former Obama White House spokesman Bill Burton had some sharp words for Karl Rove during their debate on Fox News Sunday. After a long rant from Rove attacking Obama on the economy, Burton shot back: “As someone who was a leader in the White House that turned a record surplus into a deficit, that got us in a war that we never should have been in, and turned the floor of the New York Stock Exchange into a casino — I don’t think the American people are quite ready to hear a lecture from you on good governance.” Watch it:

Koch Responds To Buffet: ‘My Business And Non-Profit Investments Are Much More Beneficial To Society’

America’s current tax system forces people making $50,000 a year to pay a higher rate than hedge fund managers making $2.4 million an hour. Warren Buffett penned an op-ed last week declaring that America’s super-rich have been “coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” Lamenting the numerous tax loopholes and special breaks afforded to billionaire investors, Buffett noted that in his entire career, even when capital gains rates were as high as 39.9 percent, he never saw anyone “shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.”

Church Attendance Falling Among Less-Educated Whites: Study

While overall church attendance has declined slightly in the United States in recent decades, a new study says attendance at religious services among white Americans who did not go to college has fallen more than twice as quickly as it has among more highly educated whites.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thousands line up for Black Caucus job fair in Atlanta

The third leg of the Congressional Black Caucus' "For the People" Jobs Initiative drew more than 3,000 people to Atlanta Technical College Thursday, for a day-long job fair, to be followed by a town hall with members of Congress.

As Union Membership Falls, RGA Chairman Gov. McDonnell Says There’s Been ‘More Unionization’ Under Obama

This morning, Republican Governors Association (RGA) Chairman and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he heaped praise on the policy vision of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), saying that cutting taxes will stimulate the economy. McDonnell then complained that “this [Obama] administration is doing just the opposite,” saying that it is enacting “more taxes, more regulation, more unionization”:

Allen West Calls Rep. Maxine Waters A ‘Plantation Overseer,’ Then Sends His Brother To Her For Help

Rep. Allen West (R-FL) fomented a racial controversy with comments describing African-American voters’ tendency to support the Democratic Party as a “21st-Century plantation.” Wednesday, he carried his meme even further, telling Fox News guest host Laura Ingraham that, “I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.” To top it off, West went on to claim that leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Barbara Lee or Maxine Waters were the “overseers of this 21st-Century plantation,” meant to “pacify and keep the black community firmly behind [white liberals], regardless of the failures of [their] social welfare policies.”

CONGRESSMAN MIKE COFFMAN (R-CO) INTRODUCES BILL FOR ENGLISH-ONLY BALLOTS, REPEALING PART OF CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) appears to be channeling Alabama candidate Tim James, made famous last year for his comically xenophobic campaign commercial. On Wednesday, Coffman announced a bill to that would “repeal a section of the 1973 Voting Rights Act that requires jurisdictions with large populations of nonproficient English speakers to print ballots in more than one language.” Elena Nunez, a director with Common Cause, rebuked Coffman’s discriminatory proposal in a statement to the Denver Post. “We are talking about U.S. citizens, whether they were born here or not.” English-only ballots, of course, do nothing to stem undocumented immigration or voter fraud; rather, Coffman’s bill serves only as a measure largely designed to disenfranchise Americans from immigrant backgrounds.

GOP Rep. Hultgren Draws Laughs At Town Hall With Plan To Beg, Not Require, Rich To Pay More Taxes

Earlier this week, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) held a town hall in Sandwich, Illinois, where constituents angrily denounced his right-wing policies. During one particularly amusing moment, Hultgren tried to defend his stand against raising taxes on the wealthy, drawing a round of laughs from the audience.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Bank Of America’s Director Of Public Policy Tells Rick Perry ‘We’ll Help You Out’

A top Bank of America executive was caught on camera yesterday whispering to Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), “Bank of America. We’ll help you out,” as the GOP presidential candidate attended New Hampshire’s Politics and Eggs breakfast. The executive has been identified by the financial website Zero Hedge as James Mahoney, Director of Public Policy for the bank. Mahoney is on the board of directors for the New England Council, the sponsors of the Politics and Eggs breakfast. Watch it:

Fox Viewers Overwhelmingly Think We Should Prepare For Alien Invasion Before Fighting Climate Change

A new (supposedly) NASA-funded study postulating that aliens may attack humans over climate change had all the ingredients for a perfect Fox faux controversy — it bolstered their anti-science narrative, painted their opponents as clownish radicals, and highlighted wasteful government spending on a supposedly liberal casue. Fox reported the “news from NASA” several times several times today, presenting it as official “taxpayer funded research.” A chyron on Fox and Friends read: “NASA: Global warming may provoke an [alien] attack.”

Unemployed Constituents Stage Sit-In At Paul Ryan’s Office, Ryan’s Staff Calls The Cops

Yesterday, seven unemployed constituents of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) staged a sit-in at his office in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to protest the congressman’s decision not to hold any free public town halls during the August recess. An additional 100 protesters picketed outside the office. Politico reported this week that Ryan, Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, will only speak to residents who are willing to pay $15 for access.

Major Funder For Glenn Beck’s Israel Rally Linked To Anti-Semitic Group

Glenn Beck’s upcoming rally to “Restore Courage” has run into a snag after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Ethics Committee rejected the request by a number of House members to travel at the expense of the International Israel Allied Caucus Foundation to Beck’s rally in Jerusalem.

As Bank Profits Soar, Gingrich Claims Dodd-Frank Is ‘Killing The Banking Industry Now’

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has taken up the relatively esoteric fight against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, telling anybody who will listen that it must be repealed, along the Sarbanes–Oxley Act and other banking regulations. Last night on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, he even went so far as to say that Dodd-Frank is “killing the banking industry” and offered it’s repeal as one of his top ideas for job creation:

KARL ROVE: SARAH PALIN WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT

This morning on Fox & Friends, Karl Rove predicted that Sarah Palin will enter the Republican presidential campaign. Rove said her schedule next week ” like that of a candidate” and predicted she “gets in” after visiting Iowa on September 3. Watch it:

Obama Weekly Address: President Pushes Congress To Take Action On Jobs

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — President Barack Obama says members of Congress should put country before politics, set aside their differences and find ways to get people back to work.

SlutWalk Hits South Africa, Where Rape Is National Crisis

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Women draped sexy lingerie over their street clothes as they marched through Cape Town on Saturday, bringing an international campaign against the notion that a woman's appearance can excuse attacks to a country where rape is seen as a national crisis.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black Scientists Have Lower Odds of Winning Grants, NIH Study Finds

A study published today in Science may shed new light on why African American scientists are so rare in biomedical research—and raises troubling questions about possible bias during grant reviews conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

SEN. COBURN: ‘GOOD THING I CAN’T PACK A GUN ON THE SENATE FLOOR’

 In yet another example of disturbing rhetoric from the GOP, yesterday Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) intimated that he’d like to threaten physical violence against his Senate colleagues, saying, “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.” During a tour of Northeast Oklahoma, Coburn also called his fellow senators “career elitists” and “cowards.” After the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) that claimed the lives of six people, there were renewed calls for elected officials to tamp down allusions to violence and be more cautious and respectful when talking about their colleagues, but Sen. Coburn apparently has no such concern. His cavalier remarks come only days after Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) used menacing language about the Federal Reserve Chairman.

The Real Vacation Outrage: The U.S. Is The Only Developed Country Where Citizens Aren’t Guaranteed Paid Vacation

Many political pundits and conservative politicians have seized the opportunity to criticize President Obama’s planned vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said he wouldn’t be doing the same if he were president, and the political paper Politico even consulted a group of “political strategists” tocompile a list of less politically sensitive locations Obama could vacation instead.

COBURN: OBAMA WANTS TO ‘CREATE DEPENDENCY’ BECAUSE HE BENEFITED FROM GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS ‘AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE’

Fresh off his outlandish suggestion that Medicare and Medicaid violate the Constitution, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered anequally outlandish theory about how President Obama’s race influences his priorities:

Revealed: Fake Facebook Identity Used By Military Contractors Plotting To Hack Progressive Organizations

Earlier this year, ThinkProgress obtained 75,000 private emails from the defense contractor HBGary Federal via the hacktivist group called Anonymous. The emails led to two shocking revelations. First, that an assortment of private military firms collectively called “Team Themis” had been tapped by Bank of America to conduct a cyber war against reporters sympathetically covering the Wikileaks revelations. And second, that late in 2010, the same set of firms began work separately for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican-aligned corporate lobbying group, to develop a similar campaign of sabotage against progressive organizations, including the SEIU and ThinkProgress.

Coburn Suggests Taking Care of The ‘Frail Elderly’ Is Unconstitutional Because ‘That’s A Family Responsibility’

Last week, ThinkProgress reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. Turns out, he’s not he only one. At a town hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to embrace Perry’s claim that providing for America’s seniors is unconstitutional:

Another Bachmann History Flub: The American People Are Worried About ‘The Rise Of The Soviet Union’

Of all the candidates vying for the GOP presidential nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) perhaps has the most colorful record of flubbing historical facts. Just this week, she wished Elvis Presley a happy birthday…on the day he died. But today, on the right-wing Christian attorney Jay Sekulow’s radio show, the congresswoman evinced a far more disturbing lack of basic knowledge about world history. Specifically, Bachmann said the American people are worried about “the rise of the Soviet Union.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Santorum: ‘Our Freedom’ Is Less ‘Whole Than It Was At The Time Of Our Founders’

At a campaign stop in Iowa this weekend, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) doled out a frothy mixture of revisionist history about what it was like to be alive in the late 1700s:

Rove Slaps Rick Perry: Distancing Yourself From Bush ‘Is Not Smart Politics Strategically Or Tactically’

In his early stages of his presidential campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is already fighting off comparisons to another self-assured, former Texas governor who swaggered into the White House. “Is Rick Perry too George W. Bush-y?” a headline on the Washington Post asks. Joshua Green on The Atlantic similarly wondered, “Is America Ready for ‘George W. Bush on Steroids?‘”

FLASHBACK: In 2000, Perry Said It’s ‘Almost Treasonous’ Not To Support George W. Bush

Speaking yesterday in Iowa, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) said that “printing more money” is “almost treasonous”:

RANGEL BLASTS PERRY’S MINIMUM WAGE JOBS RECORD: ‘ONE STAGE AWAY FROM SLAVERY’

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is taking issue with the “Texas miracle” myth that Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is selling. This morning, Rangel told reporters that Perry’s record of job creation isnothing to be proud of because the jobs pay such low wages that “it’s one stage away from slavery.” Today, a New York Times review of Perry’s track record concluded, “Texas has one of the highest percentages of workers who are paid the minimum wage and receive no medical benefits.” Perry has also presided over a steady, decade-long decline in his state’s employment to population ratio. He inherited a ratio of more than 47 percent from George W. Bush, but now only 43.5 percent of Texans have a job, compared to 44.7 percent of the total U.S. population.

Fox’s Bolling: ‘We’re Keeping An Eye On’ Chris Christie’s Muslim Judge Appointee

Yesterday on Fox Business, host Eric Bolling ran an entire 7-minute Islamophobic, fearmongering segment hyping the myth that Sharia law is creeping its way into the United States. As evidence, Bolling cited a Muslim American who in 2009 “ran over the daughter because of her unwillingness to partake in an arranged marriage.” Bolling also referenced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) decision to appoint a Muslim judge to the state’s bench:

Latinos To Obama: Change On Immigration Or Else

WASHINGTON -- Some Latinos around the country rallied on Tuesday against the White House's deportation policies, attempting to send a message to President Barack Obama that they may not support him for reelection if he continues to deport record numbers of undocumented immigrants.

Gallup Finds The Part Of America That Believes The Economy Is Doing Well

You know, from time to time, I have reason to opine that it seems as if Washington, D.C. -- home to your affluent, well-to-do politicians and the affluent, well-to-do political media that chronicles their escapades -- lives in an entirely different world from the rest of America. Typically, the way the economy gets covered is that it's framed as something that impacts nothing but the political horse race. Most of the country recognizes unemployment as something that impacts people's ability to "pay rent" and "get food." But on Capitol Hill, it's just something that impacts the ability of affluent political incumbents to keep their seats.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Koch Brothers And The Battle Over Integration In Wake County's Schools

The stakes in the battle over the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina couldn’t be higher.

On one side are the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, and the Tea Party and libertarian groups they fund. On the other, parents, students and community leaders who are bent on stopping measures passed by the conservative-led school board that they argue would re-segregate the county’s public schools, which had been a national model for diversity and integration.

Defense Industry Faces Profit Losses As Golden Decade Ends

NEW YORK (AP) -- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, Osama bin Laden is dead, and the federal government is deeply in debt. This spells the end of what was a golden decade for the defense industry.

New Jersey Bill Ensuring Rape Victims Do Not Get Billed For Rape Kits Still Awaiting Christie’s Signature

New Jersey state lawmakers are seeking to address a serious lapse in the criminal justice process that unduly burdens victims of sexual assault. Under current federal law, health care providers must be reimbursed for collecting forensic evidence from a sexual assault victim. While all invoices for these services are supposed to go to the appropriate government agencies for review and payment, victims“frequently receive such invoices due to administrative errors or attempts to get payment from a victim’s insurance company.”

90 DAYS PAST DUE DATE, OHIO SENATE CANDIDATE FAILS TO FILE PERSONAL FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM

Ohio’s current Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) is challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) for his seat in 2012. Running on the “tested and trusted” tagline, Mandel is failing the basic test of transparency. On April 6, Mandel filed paperwork for his Senate campaign with the Federal Elections Commission. According to federal law, a candidate’s personal financial disclosure must be filed within 30 days of declaring or after raising $5,000. But 90 days later, after both declaring his candidacy andraising $2.3 million for his race, Mandel has still failed to disclose. Indeed, the Secretary of the Senate’s office confirmed to ThinkProgress that no forms have been filed. By law, he is subject to a $200 fine. Mandel also faces a FEC investigation for violating another federal election law by using resources from the Treasurer’s office to support his candidacy.

Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh: Children Should Be Raised In A Household With A Father And A Mother

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) — who has been embroiled in a personal scandal surrounding late child support payments — suggested that gay people don’t make for good parents during a recent town hall in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The Tea Party congressman said he believes in “traditional marriage” and that children do best when raised in a home with a mother and a father:

OBAMA EMBRACES ‘OBAMACARE’


 In a sign that he may now be more willing to defend his signature domestic policy accomplishment in the run-up to the election, President Obama embraced “Obamacare” during a stop on his bus tour through the Midwest. “I have no problem with folks saying ‘Obama Cares.’ I do care. If the other side wants to be the folks who don’t care, that’s fine with me,” he said in Cannon Falls, Minnesota this afternoon. Watch it:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday August 14th 2011 Talking Heads

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

So, in case you haven't heard already, Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll, squeaking it out over Ron Paul, whose vote total was a personal best. Tim Pawlenty finished third, and everyone says he's finished. Why? He did better than expected! Well, the problem is, people aren't sure they want to give money to him. TPaw was followed by Rick Santorum, who also did better than expected, and Herman Cain -- whose moment, I think, has peaked.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Climate Of Extremes

In a speech this month at the Aspen Institute, Vice President Al Gore passionately excoriated the anti-science propaganda of the climate pollution industry. He denounced the decades-long effort by top carbon dioxide polluters to pollute the public’s knowledge of the growing threat of climate change. “There’s no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened,” Gore concluded, after rejecting the denier memes as “the same crap over and over and over again.” As the planet’s climate grows increasingly disastrous, the world’s polluters are digging in. Top multi-national corporations, from Johnson & Johnson to Walmart, fund the American Legislative Exchange Council, a lobbying front group that touts the “benefits of carbon dioxide.” The Republican candidates for president are either long-time deniers of climate science — like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) — or have cast aside their previous support for carbon cap-and-trade systems, like former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), and Tim Pawlenty.

VIDEO: Do Iowans Agree With Mitt Romney That Corporations Are People?

At the Iowa State Fair Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) took to the presidential soapbox and told Iowa voters that “corporations are people.” The next day, Romney doubled-down on his gaffe at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Other prominent Republicans also professed their agreement that corporations are people, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

Top 5 Examples of Perry’s Anti-Gay Agenda

As the hours tick down until Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announces his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, many outlets are speculating as to whether or not he will win the vote of the religious right with his vocal social conservatism. Just last month, he stirred up controversy with various Christian groups by flip-flopping on whether or not gay marriage should be legal. But Perry’s anti-gay record should speak for itself:

G.O.P. on Defensive as Analysts Question Party’s Fiscal Policy

WASHINGTON — The boasts of Congressional Republicans about their cost-cutting victories are ringing hollow to some well-known economists, financial analysts and corporate leaders, including some Republicans, who are expressing increasing alarm over Washington’s new austerity and antitax orthodoxy.

Why Minorities Reach for Bottled Water Over Tap & How Marketers Persuade Them

Research has shown that minorities consume bottled water more often than white Americans, and spend a greater proportion of their income (about 1%, compared to the 0.4% white Americans dole out) on this superfluous commodity every year. A recent study in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine confirmed this trend – finding that Latino and black parents were three times more likely to sate their children’s thirst with bottled water, compared with white parents. What sets this study apart from previous ones, is that it pinpoints the reasons why minority parents perceive bottled water to be superior, and thus a necessary expense. They genuinely believe it to be cleaner, safer, healthier, and more convenient than the stuff that pours out of the spigot (virtually) gratis. Health experts and tap water advocates heartily disagree and will produce reams of data revealing tap water to be pure, healthful, and entirely sanitary. In fact, authors of the recent study note that the reliance on bottled water may contribute to dental issues in minority children who don’t benefit from the fluoride purposefully added to tap water to maintain the nation’s oral health. What’s more, a National Resources Defense Council investigation discovered the 17% of bottled waters contained unsafe levels of bacterial loads, and 22% were contaminated with chemicals, including arsenic.

Bronx teen arrested in death of college student shot over 50 cents

A Bronx teen was charged Thursday with killing a college student who was trying to protect his little brother from a group of goons who were sticking him up over 50 cents.

It Gets Worse! Postal Service Considers Cutting 120,000 Jobs

WASHINGTON – The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is considering cutting as many as 120,000 jobs.

After 75 Years, America’s Last Public Hanging Haunts Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Kentuck — Bob Howe points to an overgrown, muddy patch of land in a cemetery in Owensboro, gesturing to where the grave of the last man publicly executed in the United States may be.

“I think it was over there,” said Howe, an 81-year-old lifelong Owensboro resident and retired county coroner. “I used to pass it on the way to school. That’s what I was told. It was over there somewhere.”

SETI's Search For Aliens In The Universe Boosted By Donations

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- An array of 42 radio telescopes seeking signs of intelligent life in the universe will continue that work after private donors raised enough money to keep them going.

Tavis Smiley: 'I Don't Get Intimidated By Haters'

There's been a lot of controversy over the last few weeks surrounding the Poverty Tour organized by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. The pair has used the nine-state, 18-city event to both highlight the struggle of the nation's poor as well as to criticize President Obama for what they say is a laissez-faire attitude toward economically marginalized Americans.

San Francisco Transit Blocks Cellphones To Hinder Protest

SAN FRANCISCO -- Transit officials blocked cellphone reception in San Francisco train stations for three hours to disrupt planned demonstrations over a police shooting.

The American People Lose Faith In The American System, But Still Insist It’s The Best In The World

According to a new Washington Post poll just 21 percent of Americans are satisfied “with the way this country’s political system is working.” 45 percent are very dissatisfied, 33 percent are mostly dissatisfied. 71 percent say Washington is focused on the wrong things. Only 10 percent say congressional Republicans “have made progress toward solving” the nations problems, and only 19 percent say Obama’s made progress. Only 26 percent of Americans have confidence “that the problem actually will be solved” when the government decides to solve a problem. 71 percent say that S&P’s assessment that the US has become “less stable, less effective and less predictable” is fair.

Super-Male Committee: Only 1 Of 12 Members Is A Woman

Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her nominations to complete the deficit super committee: Reps. James Clyburn (D-SC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Xavier Becerra (D-CA). A quick roll call of the members reveals a notable absence of an important demographic: Women. Out of the 12 principal players who will attempt to achieve an deficit agreement on spending cuts, only one is a woman: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

After Supporting Tea Party Protests, Fox News Accuses Iowans From ‘Liberal Think Tank’ Of ‘Ambushing’ Romney


Earlier today, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) faced angry questions from Iowans over his proposed cuts to entitlement programs. In an attempt to dismiss the legitimate concerns of the questioners, Fox News declared them to be liberal plants. During the segment, the conservative news outlet displayed a chyron on-screen that read, “Liberal Activists Ambush Mitt Romney At Iowa Event.”

Chase Forecloses On Home Even After Woman Scrounges To Make Up Nearly $50,000 In Mortgage Payments

To keep her home, Mardee Jerde scrambled to meet her bank’s demand that she pay almost $50,000 in overdue mortgage payments immediately. After a car accident kept her from working for 11 months, she was forced to mail in to the bank the entire settlement that she won from a lawsuit over the crash, leaving the Minnesota resident with practically nothing to live on.

Makers Of Military Drone Aircraft Gearing Up For Major Public Relations Offensive, Including Outreach To Kids

Today, National Defense Magazine notes that the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the major trade group for a whole host of robotics equipment and the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), will be hosting a major trade show in Washington, DC next week.

VIDEO: The ‘Mitt-Churian’ Candidate?

Mitt Romney is not the first of his family to contend for the GOP’s nomination to the presidency. In 1967, George W. Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, was actually leading Richard Nixon in the race for the GOP nomination. His lead quickly evaporated after an infamous verbal faux pas. During an interview, then-Gov. Romney explained that his inconsistency on the Vietnam War was the result of “the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.”

Rand Paul Rushes To Romney’s Defense: ‘All Of Us Are Corporations’

During a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair yesterday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) vociferously defended tax breaks for corporations by declaring that “corporations are people.” Though Romney’s assertion was widely mocked – corporations cannot vote, cannot be sent to prison, and clearly lack all human anatomy – the former Massachusetts governor has not backed down in the face of withering criticism.