Monday, December 31, 2012

Texas Will End Funding For Planned Parenthood Clinics Tomorrow

For most of 2012, Texas officials have been working hard to strip funding from the Planned Parenthood clinics in their state. Those officials advanced their anti-choice agenda on Monday, when a visiting judge ruled that Texas may deny funding from Planned Parenthood affiliates in the new year simply because the organization advocates for abortion rights.

Obama Signs FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program Extension Into Law

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has signed into law a five-year extension of the U.S. government's authority to monitor the overseas activity of suspected foreign spies and terrorists.

PlayStation 2's End Looms For Celebrated System As Sony Ceases Shipments

It appears it may finally be game over for the PlayStation 2.

According to Japanese tech publication Famitsu, Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan announced this week that they are discontinuing the PlayStation 2, with no new shipments going to retailers in its home nation.

The 11 Nicest Post 50 A-List Actors In Hollywood

I am nobody. I promise. But I talk to lots of somebodies in my job as a celebrity freelance journalist. I'm happily writing for The Huffington Post now, and that helps the cause but my name isn't Oprah or Katie or Ellen so it's a bit more of a challenge for me to get an interview with the A-List population of actors in the Hollywood community than it is for those high-profile mega-star talk-show hosts.

Obama Fiscal Cliff Remarks Spark Republican Threats To Blow Up Deal

WASHINGTON -- With hours remaining to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama said a deal is “within sight” and urged lawmakers to come together to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in on Tuesday.

Michigan Governor Signs Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Into Law

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has approved a controversial package of abortion restrictions that will limit abortion access for women who live in rural areas, require doctors to prove that mentally competent women haven’t been “coerced” into their decision to have the procedure, and enact unnecessary, complicated rules for abortion clinics and providers. The governor signed HB 5711 into law on Friday despite widespread protests against the omnibus anti-abortion measure.

Intelligence Bill Won’t Include Measure Mandating Report On Consequences Of Iran Attack

A measure requiring the office of the Director of National Intelligence to report to Congress on the consequences of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities will not be included in the FY2013 Intelligence Authorization Act.

Progressive Resolutions For 2013

1. Reform the broken immigration system.

Following President Obama’s re-election — supported by a large majority of Latino voters — even House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) came out in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The president is preparing to “begin an all out drive” for immigration reform in January, so 2013 needs to be the year that Congress passes a comprehensive plan that includes a path to citizenship.

Hillary Rodham Clinton Admitted To Hospital With Blood Clot Following Concussion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month.

Ten Most Provocative Black History Moments Of 2012

Over the course of the year, NewsOne has been providing our dedicated readers a variety of content that spans from politics, sports, and entertainment.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Obama To Introduce Immigration Reform Bill In 2013

President Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive immigration reform during an interview on Meet The Press, claiming that the effort will be a top goal in his second term. “Fixing our broken immigration is a top priority. I will introduce legislation in the first year to get that done,” Obama said.

Obama Pledges To Push For Gun Control Measures If ‘American People Decide It’s Important’

President Obama called the Dec. 14th shooting in Newtown, Connecticut “the worst day of my presidency,” and said during a rare interview on Meet The Press, that he will propose a package of reforms that will likely include new regulations on assault-rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips, and enhanced background checks for gun purchases. A commission headed by Vice President Joe Biden is currently drafting gun safety recommendations.

Federal Unemployment Benefits Expire Due To Congressional Inaction

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) urged lawmakers to embrace a package that could avert the so-called fiscal cliff, noting that 2.1 million Americans have already lost federal unemployment benefits as a result of Congressional inaction. “From this point on, it is lose-lose,” Feinstein explained, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “My big worry, is, a contraction of the economy. The loss of jobs, which could be well over 2 million in addition to the people already on unemployment.”

Citing Citizens United, Federal Appeals Court Blocks Access To Birth Control

On Friday, a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an order joined by two conservative Republican appointees, temporarily immunized a company from the Obama Administration’s rules guaranteeing that employer-provided health plans cover birth control. Judge Ilana Rovner, a George H.W. Bush appointee, dissented.

Senate Waters Down Privacy Protections For Online Video Streaming

Last week, the Senate quietly agreed to allow video streaming companies such as Netflix to share data on of their customers’ streaming histories to two years — after only asking their permission once. The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), had previously mandated that consent be obtained from an individual each time their video-watching history was shared, required law enforcement to obtain a warrant, court order, or grand jury subpoena to acquire that history, and prevented companies from sharing it for marketing purposes. The new bill has already been adopted by the House, and is now on its way to President Obama’s desk. Adam Serwer at Mother Jones has the latest:

India Gang-Rape Victim's Body Cremated In New Delhi

NEW DELHI -- A young woman who died after being gang-raped and beaten on a bus in India's capital was cremated Sunday amid an outpouring of anger and grief by millions across the country demanding greater protection for women from sexual violence.

Bush Tax Cuts For The Wealthy Should End

WASHINGTON -- A plurality of Americans favor President Barack Obama's proposal for the expiring Bush tax cuts over several other options, an online HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted Dec. 27-28 found.

The Sunday December 30th, 2012 Talking Heads


Well, as you might expect, we will have full-on fiscal cliff panic today, with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lindsay Graham. Hopefully they will talk about the way in which their two parties "came together" this week in bipartisan fashion to guarantee that our electronic communication will be under constant surveillance forever. That's the wonderful thing about bipartisanship, it spawns no end of terrible, irresponsible nonsense.

Fiscal Cliff Failure Will Occur If GOP Can't Say Yes

WASHINGTON -- In his first Sunday show interview since his reelection, President Barack Obama admonished congressional Republicans for their unwillingness to compromise over debt reduction and implored the media to cast aside its pox-on-both-your-houses coverage.

Fiscal Cliff: Senate Remains Deadlocked, Mitch McConnell And Harry Reid Say

WASHINGTON -- With less than a day and a half before the nation hits the so-called fiscal cliff, Senate leaders declared Sunday afternoon they had made no progress in cutting a deal in their chamber.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Florida's Long Lines On Election Day Discouraged 49,000 People From Voting: Report

Florida took center stage in the 2012 elections, when voters around the state had to wait in line at the polls for up to nine hours. Gov. Rick Scott (R) initially denied that there was any problem, saying it was "very good" that people were getting out to vote.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hobby Lobby To Deny Contraception To Employees, Ignoring Court Order

Craft store chain Hobby Lobby announced on Friday that it will ignore the ruling of U.S. courts and refuse to provide copay-free birth control access to its employees. It will do so despite whatever costs it may incur, even if they are higher than the cost of birth control itself.

What Could Have Been: The Most Important Bills Blocked By Republicans In 2012

1. A minimum wage increase.

House Democrats proposed legislation in June that would have raised the national minimum wage to $10 an hour, but Republicans blocked it. The minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, even though it would need to be raised to $9.92 to match the borrowing power it had in 1968. If it was indexed to inflation, it would be $10.40 today.

What You Need To Know About The Impending East Coast Port Strike

Unless a deal is reached with management, some 14,000 East Coast port workers plan to go on strike on Sunday, affecting ports from Boston to Miami. Here’s what you need to know about the impending strike:

Banks Paid Nearly $11 Billion In Fines In 2012

 Major banks this year paid $10.7 billion in fines for a host of transgressions, including money laundering and foreclosure fraud. As CNN Money noted, “Slightly more than half of the fines were related to improper mortgage practices.” However, those fines won’t put much of a dent in the financial sector’s bottom line, as “Thomson Reuters estimates that the financial sector stocks in the S&P 500 earned $167.7 billion in profits this year, up 21% from 2011.”

Opponents Of Filibuster Reform Offer Empty Proposal

For weeks, Democratic senators have been crafting a filibuster reform package that, if it resembles the reforms embraced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), will include reforms that prevent the minority from imposing hours of needless delay every time a new nominee is confirmed, and which will also include the so-called “talking filibuster” that requires supporters of a filibuster to speak on the floor in order to maintain it.

Quentin Tarantino, Says That ‘Roots’ Was Inauthentic (WTF)

When Director Spike Lee said that he wouldn’t be supporting Quentin Tarantino‘s ‘Django Unchained,’ my reaction was simple (and said with one raised eyebrow):

Rocket Launchers Turned In During LAPD Gun Buyback

Yesterday's LAPD gun buyback was so successful that two-hour waits and gift-card shortages were reported.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

India Teen Commits Suicide After Police Pressure Her To Drop Gang Rape Case, Marry Attacker

A 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped committed suicide after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.

Congress Almost Certain To Blow Unemployment Deadline

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives will convene on Sunday in a last-minute effort to avoid the steep spending cuts and tax cuts scheduled to take effect at the end of the year. But Sunday will already be too late for long-term unemployment insurance, which will almost certainly lapse on Saturday thanks to congressional inaction.

'Rape-provoking' miniskirts and crop tops banned by king of Swaziland with offenders facing six months in jail

Women in Swaziland have been banned from wearing miniskirts and crop tops because they 'encourage rape' - and offenders face a six-month spell in jail.

Kenya Hospital Imprisons New Mothers Who Can't Pay Bills

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The director of the Pumwani Maternity Hospital, located in a hardscrabble neighborhood of downtown Nairobi, freely acknowledges what he's accused of: detaining mothers who can't pay their bills. Lazarus Omondi says it's the only way he can keep his medical center running.

Russia's Anti-US Adoption Bill Has Putin's Support

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will sign a controversial bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children, while the Kremlin's children's rights advocate recommended extending the ban to the rest of the world.

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Dismisses Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi

DUBAI, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticised her colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.

Military Sexual Assaults In Combat Zones Happen Frequently: Study

Sexual assault of military women while in a war zone is surprisingly common, according to new research by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The 9 Wildest Things Fox (Fixed) News Said In 2012

From Geraldo Rivera's 'hoodie' comment to Megyn Kelly reporting that US farmers were being spied on by drones to Liz Trotta saying women in the military should expect they might be raped, it's been a crazy year over at Fox News.

Weekly Jobless Claims Plunge To Five-Year Low

WASHINGTON -- The average number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month fell to the lowest level since March 2008, a sign that the job market is healing.

John Boehner 'Dictatorship' Is Letting Time Run Out To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff': Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the House of Representatives Thursday of being a "dictatorship" -- albeit an extremely poor one.

Supreme Court Rejects Hobby Lobby Attempt To Block Obamacare Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court said Wednesday it will not block an Obamacare mandate that employers must provide insurance coverage for contraception. Hobby Lobby, a craft chain, was seeking an emergency injunction against the mandate after both a federal and district judge ruled against it. While Hobby Lobby can still pursue its lawsuit that claims the mandate violates religious freedom, Justice Sonia Sotomayor ruled that it could not show that an injunction blocking the mandate from taking effect was “necessary or appropriate.”

McConnell Demands Spending Cuts To Offset Unemployment Insurance Extension

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday punted negotiations over how to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” back to the Senate, but in that chamber, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now demanding spending cuts to pay for an extension to the federal unemployment insurance program that expires at the end of the year.

Thousands Of L.A. Citizens Choose Groceries Over Handguns

Thousands of Los Angeles’ citizens lined parking lots yesterday in a chance to exchange their guns for groceries in a city-organized buyback program. The event, normally an annual Mother’s Day event, was pushed up to Wednesday by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.

The Craziest Republican Legislative Proposals Of 2012

1. Outlawing the dollar.

Washington state lawmakers introduced a bill that would have outlawed the paper dollar, because “only gold and silver may be recognized as government legal tender.” This is just part and parcel of the extreme right’s continuing fascination with goldbuggery, a fascination to which the Republican party’s presidential candidates gladly pandered.

Minimum Wage Increase Hits 10 States, Boosting Pay For An Estimated One Million Workers

WASHINGTON -- New Years Day will bring a small pay bump to some of the lowest-paid American workers, with 10 states set to hike their minimum wages for 2013.

Toyota Settlement The Largest In U.S. History Involving Automobile Defects

LOS ANGELES — Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has reached a settlement worth more than $1 billion in a case involving unintended acceleration problems in its vehicles.

Brian Schatz Senate: Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor Tapped To Replace Late Sen. Daniel Inouye

Hawaii's Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz has been chosen to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).

Hawaii Democrats picked U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Schatz and Department of Land and Natural Resources Deputy Director Esther Kiaaina as final nominees for the open U.S. Senate seat. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Schatz as Inouye's replacement Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thousands Of Vets And Military Families Sign Petition Rejecting ‘Neocon Smears’ Against Hagel

Progressive veterans group has received thousands of signatures from concerned citizens, veterans and military families rejecting “neocon smears” against former Republican senator Chuck Hagel.

REPORT: Syrian Military Police Chief Defects To Join Rebels

The New York Times is reporting that Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Jassem al-Shallal — the head of Syria’s military police — has defected from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. To Hit Debt Ceiling In Five Days

The United States will hit its borrowing limit on December 31st, according to a just-released letter from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. As a result, Congress must vote to raise the debt ceiling in the next five days or “extraordinary measures” will have to be taken to avoid defaulting on our debt, but this would only buy two months. Geithner’s letter also notes that if the so-called “fiscal cliff” is not avoided, the resulting spending cuts and tax increases would add a bit more wiggle room before hitting the debt limit. Last time the country faced a fight over raising the debt ceiling, the Tea Party’s intransigence and willingness to risk the full faith and credit of the United States caused our national credit rating to be downgraded.

U.S. Mental Healthcare System Failing Patients, Advocates Say

On Feb. 9, 1844, the governor of Missouri ate breakfast, went to his office and locked the door. Then he shot himself with a rifle. Thomas Reynolds’ death rattled the state and inspired a conversation about mental illness that led to the founding of its first public mental hospital.

GOP Pollster: The NRA Isn't Listening With Proposal For Armed Guards At Schools

Frank Luntz, a top Republican strategist and pollster, said Wednesday that the National Rifle Association's recent calls for armed guards to be stationed at every school in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre suggested the organization isn't listening to public opinion on the issue.

11 Pieces Of Pro-Voting Legislation For 2013

The past two years have not been kind to voting rights. Across the country, the Tea Party wave of 2010 led to new restrictive voting measures, including photo identification requirements and cuts in early voting. In total, these changes had the potential to disenfranchise more than 5 million Americans.

Netflix Christmas Eve Outage

Those hoping to spend the holiday watching streaming video from Netflix can now get back in front of their TVs, tablets and PCs after a Christmas Eve outage.

Oklahoma Planned Parenthood Deals Can Be Terminated: Judge

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal judge on Monday denied a request by Planned Parenthood to temporarily block Oklahoma from terminating a contract with the agency to provide nutritional services to low-income mothers.

Fiscal Cliff: Obama Will Return To Washington From Hawaii To Work On Deal

HONOLULU — President Barack Obama will cut short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii, planning to leave for Washington on Wednesday evening as he and lawmakers consider how to prevent the economy from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.

Sergei Magnitsky Case: Prosecutors Drop Accusations In Death Of Whistleblower

MOSCOW, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Russian prosecutors on Monday dropped their accusations against the only person being tried in connection with the prison death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, asking a court to find a former prison official not guilty.

New York Journal News Publishes Gun Owners' Names In Westchester, Rockland Counties

A New York newspaper is under criticism for publishing the names and addresses of local gun owners on Monday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How The Gun Industry Profits From Violent Video Games

In a controversial diatribe on Friday, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, blamed lax security, natural disasters, and, most of all, violent video games for the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT that claimed 27 lives. Despite the NRA’s public condemnation of violent entertainment, the New York Times explains, the gun industry is closely entwined with the gaming industry.

The Biggest Republican Miscalculations Of 2012

1. Romney can still win.

Karl Rove didn’t just predict Romney would win beforehand; he actually insisted that Romney still may win Ohio after Fox News called Ohio for Obama. Fox host Megyn Kelly even replied, “Is this the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?”

U.N. To Reconsider Arms Trade Treaty Blocked By NRA Conspiracy Theories

The United Nations voted late Christmas Eve to once again take up a global arms trade treaty in March. The treaty would regulate global weapons exports and have no effect on domestic gun laws. Still, the US failed to ratify it in July, mainly due to conspiracy theories advanced by conservatives, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the National Rifle Association that suggested the U.N. would revoke American gun rights.

Petition To Deport CNN Host For Gun Control Support Reaches 60,000 Signatures

A petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan over his heated comments on gun control has reached more than 62,000 signatures in just 4 days, far exceeding the threshold required for a White House response. A petition must get 25,000 signatures in 30 days in order to elicit a response.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Murdered Woman’s Family Sues For Greater Online Gun Control

On December 12, 2012, the family of shooting victim Jitka Vesel sued the online gun market for the wrongful death of their loved one, who had been shot about 12 times in a parking lot in Illinois, by a gunman who had illegally obtained his weapon on the website.

The Most Important Progressive Victories Of 2012

1. Historic progress to end the war on drugs.

In passing laws to legalize small amounts of marijuana and regulate the industry in Washington and Colorado, supporters joined many local jurisdictions that have decriminalized some drug offenses in signaling their willingness to better tailor drug policy to public health and safety goals. Since the passage of the ballot initiatives, prominent leaders including Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy, former President Bill Clinton and President Obama have hinted that they will reconsider harsh criminal drug policy that has cost the U.S. both money and lives while failing to curb drug abuse.

Firefighters Shot While Battling Christmas Eve Blaze

At least 4 firefighters were shot, and two reportedly killed, while responding to a house fire in Webster, New York early Monday morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Obama Condemns Deadly Violence In Kenya

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama is condemning violence in Kenya that left at least 39 people dead in renewed fighting between farming and herding communities that have a history of violent animosity.

Lawrence O'Donnell: NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre A 'Desperate, Cornered Rat,' 'Lobbyist For Mass Murderers'

Lawrence O'Donnell condemned NRA president Wayne LaPierre for Friday his press conference about the Newtown massacre in a special edition of his MSNBC show.

Child Gun Deaths Nationwide Number Nearly 6 Newtown Massacres

Police reports about the final moments of Demetrius Cruz’s life include the kind of information that is at once difficult to fathom and yet somehow part of the ordinary but tragic tapestry of life in the U.S.

For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall

GALVESTON, Tex. — Angelica Gonzales marched through high school in Goth armor — black boots, chains and cargo pants — but undermined her pose of alienation with a place on the honor roll. She nicknamed herself after a metal band and vowed to become the first in her family to earn a college degree.

FBI Investigated 'Occupy' As Possible 'Terrorism' Threat, Internal Documents Show

According to internal documents newly released by the FBI, the agency spearheaded a nationwide law enforcement effort to investigate and monitor the Occupy Wall Street movement. In certain documents, divisions of the FBI refer to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a "criminal activity" or even "domestic terrorism."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pennsylvania GOP Revives Plan To Rig The Electoral College

Two Pennsylvania state representatives are bringing back an ill-conceived 2011 plan to divvy up its electoral college votes by congressional district. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) originally proposed the idea, which would give one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. Had the plan succeeded, Pennsylvania Republicans would have delivered 13 of the state’s 20 electoral votes to former GOP candidate Mitt Romney.

Milk Prices Likely To Soar In January After Republican Obstruction Blocked The Farm Bill In The House

House Republicans let the five-year farm bill expire at the end of September without a new law to replace the massive measure covering billions of dollars in programs, including food stamps and agriculture subsidies. The Senate passed its own bipartisan, 10-year farm bill in June, and House Democrats and farm state Republicans attempted to force the House to consider a bill to replace it. But the GOP leadership steadfastly refused to vote on it.

Democratic House Candidates Now Have A Nearly 1.2 Million Vote Lead Over The Republicans

The day after the election last month, ThinkProgress took a preliminary tally of the total number of votes cast for candidates for the House of Representatives. We found that, despite the fact that Republicans won a commanding majority of the seats, the American people cast more than half-a-million votes for Democrats. This number was based on early tallies, however, and it was especially likely to undercount many West Coast states that had less time to count ballots.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Best End Of The World Prank Ever!!!!! (Tsunami Headed Your Way, What Would You Do?)

Today is December 21, 2012, better known as the day the Mayan calendar ends. Many believe that the Mayans stopped the calendar on this day as they were predicting the end of the world. So this guy from the States decided to have some fun with anyone gullible enough to believe the world was actually ending right then and there.

Everything You Need To Know About The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre

The National Rifle Association’s CEO and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre finally broke the organization’s silence about the Newtown, Connecticut shooting at a press conference today, delivering a long indictment of the media violence and its demonization of gun owners. LaPierre will also appear on NBC’s Meet the Press this Sunday.

Teen Marijuana Use May Show No Effect On Brain Tissue, Unlike Alcohol, Study Finds

A teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health, but a teen who uses marijuana is not, according to a new study.

Boehner Budget Failure Followed Pressure From Conservative Groups

WASHINGTON -- Thursday night's failure by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to garner enough support among House Reopublicans for his fiscal cliff "Plan B" was a major setback for his role as speaker. It was also a clear example of the growing influence of outside groups over the GOP caucus.

John Kerry Nomination: Obama Announces Senator As Pick For Secretary Of State

President Barack Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for Secretary of State.

Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

NRA Press Conference: Wayne LaPierre Calls For Armed Police Officers At Every School

WASHINGTON -- The nation's largest gun-rights lobby is calling for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings."

CHEST Study Reveals Penis Size Linked To Condom Usage

While one researcher concedes the findings are "politically volatile," a recent study of gay men in New York City shows the larger a man's penis is, the less likely he is to use a condom, Pink News reports.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peter Madoff Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For His Role In Brother's Ponzi Scheme

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Peter Madoff will serve 10 y ears in prison for his role in his older brother's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, a U.S. judge said Thursday.

BREAKING: Republicans Revolt, Reject Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ (His Plan B Turns Into A Plan F!) As In F***ked)

House Republicans revolted this evening and rejected Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” which would have extended the Bush tax cuts for everyone making $1 million or less, among other provisions. According to Boehner, he canceled a scheduled vote on his plan after it became clear he could not get enough support from Republicans for it to pass. The House is now in recess until after Christmas.

How Do Millionaire Ballers And Shot Callers Go Broke

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous are often not only interesting due to the resulting glamour, but the “riches to rags” stories that come with building up a small financial empire are just as fasciniating as they are baffling–the list of millionaire sports stars who’ve gone broke would overpopulate even the largest of mansions–from Curt Schilling to Cecil Fielder to Mike Tyson to Lenny Dykstra, tales of athletes losing a whole lot of everything are the furthest thing from uncommon.

Texas Republican Suggests Falling TVs Are More Dangerous Than Guns

Following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, President Obama has named a White House task force to find “concrete solutions” to address gun violence in the U.S. “If there is even one thing we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation — all of us — to try,” Obama said.

Crime-Ridden Oakland Lays Off 200 Police Officers While Giving $17 Million To Pro Sports Teams

Cities and states have seen their budgets decimated during the Great Recession, as revenue plunged due to dropping home prices and high unemployment. They had to make some desperate choices to save funds, including laying off scores of public safety workers (or even turning off their streetlights).

House Republicans Cut Food Stamps, Obamacare, And Wall Street Oversight In Ill-Fated ‘Plan B’

House Republicans today, in addition to voting on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) so-called “Plan B” — which extends the Bush tax cuts on income up to $1 million — will also vote on a bill to replace the spending cuts scheduled for the end of the year.

Thai Restaurateur: I Don’t ‘Give A Damn About CT Shooting,’ Says Nobody Cares About Minority Shootings

Owner and chef of the Austin, Texas, restaurant Thai Noodle House (pictured) Eddie Nimibutr is being bombarded with vitriolic Facebook posts for posting incendiary comments about the 27 victims who were brutally executed in the Sandy Hook School massacre in Newtown, Conn., reports KEYE-TV.

Americans Seeking Unemployment Aid Rises 17,000

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week by 17,000, reversing four weeks of declines. But the number of people seeking aid is consistent with a job market that continues to grow modestly.

12 Items Walmart Apparently Considers More Dangerous Than Assault Weapons

Walmart sells almost everything inside its enormous stores, including guns and ammunition. But some items are just so dangerous that the retail giant doesn't dare stock them.

Apple's Luck: 'Pinch-To-Zoom' Patent Rejected By U.S. Agency In Initial Ruling

(Reuters) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple Inc's 'pinch-to-zoom' patent in a preliminary ruling that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd argues supports its request for a new trial in the patent war against its rival.

'V For Vendetta' Airs In China, Stunning TV Viewers

BEIJING (AP) — Television audiences across China watched an anarchist antihero rebel against a totalitarian government and persuade the people to rule themselves. Soon the Internet was crackling with quotes of "V for Vendetta's" famous line: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

Reported Sex Assaults At Military Academies Jump By 23 Percent

WASHINGTON -- Reported sexual assaults at the nation's three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year, but the data signaled a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations.

Happiest People On Planet Live In Latin America, Gallup Poll Suggests

MEXICO CITY -- The world's happiest people aren't in Qatar, the richest country by most measures. They aren't in Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy. Canada, with its chart-topping percentage of college graduates, doesn't make the top 10.

Rachel Maddow Rails Against 'Atrophied' Gun Regulation: The Gun Lobby Has 'Gotten Their Wish'

Rachel Maddow railed against what she described as the government's feeble oversight of guns in the United States on her show Wednesday night.

Libor Manipulation Cost Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac $3 Billion, Watchdog Says

Libor manipulation cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than $3 billion, according to an estimate by a government watchdog, who recommends the government-owned mortgage giants sue the big banks.

Republican Party Too Extreme: New CNN/ORC Poll

For the first time, a majority of Americans now say the Republican Party is too extreme, according to a poll released Thursday by CNN/ORC.

Bulletproof Backpack Sales Soar After Elementary School Shooting

Guns aren’t the only product flying off the shelves in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and 7 adults. Parents hoping to shield their children from the terrible fate that befell the kids of Newtown are purchasing armored backpack, meant to protect fragile bodies from bullet fire.

Olive Garden, Red Lobster See Sharp Drop In Profits After Anti-Obamacare Campaign Backfires

Ever since Darden Restaurants — the owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains — first announced its anti-Obamacare campaign, the company has had a tough couple of months. Darden admitted as much when it revised its predictions for latest quarterly earnings down in December, attributing the drop to “recent negative media coverage on Darden [...] and how we might accommodate healthcare reform.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Florida Man Invokes ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law After Shooting Fellow Pizza Customer

A Florida man defended his decision to shoot an impatient pizza customer over the weekend, citing the state’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” law.

Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School

If there were fewer women and more “male aggression” in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the massacre there never would have taken place, according to a contribution to a leading conservative magazine.

NRA Repeatedly Responds To Massacres By Lobbying For Weaker Gun Safety

The National Rifle Association finally broke its silence and announced they would hold a press conference a week after the massacre of 27 people, most of them children around 6 years old, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. In the official statement, gun advocates’ most prominent lobby suggested they would make “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

The President Is Time's Man Of The Year For 2012

President Barack Obama has been named Time's Person of the Year.

Managing editor Richard Stengel unveiled the magazine's choice on Wednesday's "Today." He said it was remarkable that the president won two terms with over 50 percent of the popular vote as a Democrat. He also noted that Obama took office in an economic crisis, and credited him with creating a new political "alignment like Ronald Reagan did forty years ago."

Lanza's Smashed Hard Drive Doesn't Erase His Digital Footprint, Experts Say

Before going on a murderous rampage last week, Adam Lanza reportedly took a dramatic step to erase his digital history: He removed the hard drive from his computer and smashed it with either a hammer or screwdriver.

Adam Lanza: Did Fear Of Being Committed Lead To Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting?

Nancy Lanza, the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter, was in the process of having her son committed to a psychiatric facility when he went on the mass shooting spree, a lifelong family acquaintance told Fox News.

Joe Biden To Lead Push For New Gun Violence Policies After Newtown Shootings

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amid calls for action following the massacre of 26 people including 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

India Bus Gang Rape: Outrage Spreads Over Public Sexual Assault

NEW DELHI -- The hours-long gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi triggered outrage and anger across the country Wednesday as Indians demanded action from authorities who have long ignored persistent violence and harassment against women.

World's Third Largest 'Religious' Affiliation Is No Religion At All (Something How They Put People With No Belief System With People With Belief Systems)

REUTERS - People with no religious affiliation make up the third-largest global group in a new study of the size of the world's faiths, placing after Christians and Muslims and just before Hindus.

Even The Late Robert Bork Thought The Tea Party Was Out Of Its Mind

Robert Bork, the hard right former judge and failed Reagan Supreme Court nominee, has died. Despite coming just eight senators’ votes away from the Supreme Court, Bork quickly faded into obscurity after his failed confirmation vote. He resigned his seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit shortly after losing his shot to sit on the Supreme Court, and then reemerged into the public eye only occasionally to publish books with Biblical titles such as The Tempting of America or Slouching Towards Gomorrah.

New Orleans Schools Reject Texas-Style Creationism

A Louisiana school district voted on Wednesday to ban from its schools any textbooks and school curricula that follows the guidelines of Texas’ extreme, ideological standards.

Senator Tim Scott Sought Federal Funds For Pet Projects In South Carolina ( He Also Sought Stimulus Funds, Claiming To Be "Anti Stimulus")

Like most of the Tea Party Republican House Class of 2010, Senator-Designate Tim Scott (R-SC) ran for Congress vowing to eliminateearmarks” — the system Congressional lawmakers once used to direct federal spending to their districts. But a ThinkProgress examination of public records reveals that in his two years in Congress, he instead used an even less transparent method known as “lettermarking” to attempt to secure funding for his district.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

4 Key Tax Provisions That Expire At The End Of The Year

Most of the ink spilled over negotiations surrounding the so-called “fiscal cliff” — the year-end set of tax increases and spending cuts — has covered the impending demise of the Bush tax cuts. But several other important tax provisions will also expire, some with severe impacts for the middle-class:

Elementary School Student Brings Gun To School ‘For Protection’ Post-Sandy Hook

A sixth-grader in Kearns, Utah brought an unloaded handgun to his elementary school on Monday, reportedly at the urging of his parents.

Slavery Opponent Queen Nzinga Died On This Day In 1663

Queen Nzinga a Mbande, also known as Ana de Sousa Nzinga Mbande, rose to power as the leader of the Mbundu, an ethnic group of what is known as modern-day Angola. Queen Nzinga lived during the period of the Atlantic slave trade and the rise of Portuguese traders in her region. She was known as a clever military strategist and strong opponent to the trading of slaves in her homeland and saw herself as an equal to male leaders who looked down on her because of gender.

Samsung Ban Asked By Apple Gets A Big 'No' From Judge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge late Monday rejected Apple Inc.'s demands that its chief rival in the more than $100 billion global smartphone market cease selling models a jury recently found illegally used Apple technology.

Fiscal Cliff 'Plan B': Boehner Floats Alternative Idea To Keep Taxes From Rising On Most Americans On Jan. 1

WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner is proposing a `Plan B' option to keep taxes from increasing on people making less than $1 million on Jan. 1.

Gender Friendly Easy Bake Oven On The Way

Over the past few weeks, tens of thousands of people — including big-name chefs — called on Hasbro, producer of the Easy Bake Oven, to advertise to end their sexist advertising and market to both boys and girls equally.

Anonymous Hacks The Westboro Baptist Church: Posts All Their Personal Information

Commentary – Updated | The hacking collective known as Anonymous renewed their war on the Westboro Baptist Church today. After the haters from the infamous church posted their intentions to picket the funerals of the twenty children killed in the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Anonymous responded by re-posting the personal and professional information for members of the church on the Internet. Now the general public can contact the church members directly and tell them what they think about people who would desecrate the funerals of murdered children.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Conservative Group Tells Republicans To Hold Hurricane Sandy Relief Package Hostage

Club For Growth, a conservative advocacy group, is urging Republicans to vote against the $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package that the Senate plans to take up this week, according to a statement on its web site.

Texas Gun Store Owner Is Offering Teacher Discounts

Crocket Keller, owner of Kellers Riverside Gun Store near Austin, TX, announced on local radio show KRLD that he would start offering a discount for teachers who want to carry a concealed weapon after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Friday. Keller talked enthusiastically of the need to arm teachers:

Six Extreme Policies That Prove The NRA Is Out Of Step With America

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized the American public to start taking the 48,000 deaths from gun violence per year seriously. Fifty four percent of Americans, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll, favor tighter gun control — a five year high. A Huffington/YouGov poll came to similar conclusions.

Racist's Make Hateful Tweets Over The President Speaking During A NFL Game On Sunday Night

When NBC pre-empted Sunday night’s football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots to air President Barack Obama remarks on the Newtown, Conn., shootings, it generated racist outrage on Twitter.

"Twilight Zone Post": Tea Party Group Blames Connecticut Shooting On Teachers, Unions, And Sex

A piece posted to the Tea Party Nation website yesterday, and sent to the group’s members in an email from TPN head Judson Phillips, blamed the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on teachers, unions, bureaucracy, and the presence of sex in popular culture. In a lengthy screed that’s essentially a round-up of every major cultural and policy grievance the American right holds with the rest of the country, author Timothy Birdnow cited concerns about the mental health of shooter Adam Lanza, the lack of spanking in schools, and the new movie “Django Unchained” — among other things — as evidence that American popular culture “has made murder, rape, mayhem, hatred, and violence ‘cool.’”

Meet Sen. Tim Scott: The Tea Party Lawmaker Who Wanted To Impeach President Obama And Kick Kids Off Food Stamps

Tim Scott is America’s newest senator today after getting tapped by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to fill the vacancy left by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). DeMint announced this month that he was leaving the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation, an arch-conservative think tank in Washington DC.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

President Obama Speaks To Victims’ Families At Newtown High School

Look inside

Some Are Turning In Their Guns Following Connecticut Shooting

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, some Americans are turning in their guns as part of local government buy-backed programs.

Indiana Man Arrested After Threatening To Shoot Up Elementary School

A man equipped with a 47 gun arsenal was arrested on Sunday after threatening to kill children at a local elementary school. The Cedar Lake, Indiana man had also threatened his wife:

All 31 Pro-Gun Senators Refused Invitations To Appear On ‘Meet The Press’

The Sunday morning news shows were dominated by discussion of what can be done after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, which claimed 28 lives on Friday. Several strong gun control advocates, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared on the morning shows to push for tighter restrictions and a new assault weapons ban. Their counterparts on the pro-gun side of the aisle, however, categorically refused to appear on MSNBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ to discuss the shooting.

Feinstein, To Introduce Assault Weapons Ban On First Day Of Congress

WASHINGTON -- In the wake of Friday's mass killing at an elementary school in Connecticut, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday that she plans to introduce an assault weapons ban bill on the first day of the new Congress.

GOP Rep Suggests Teachers Should Be Armed With Assault Rifles

A Republican Congressman suggested that had the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed with assault rifles, they could have prevented Friday’s massacre and saved lives.

John Boehner Proposes Millionaire Tax Hike In Exchange For Steep Entitlement Cuts

WASHINGTON -- Signaling new movement in "fiscal cliff" talks, House Speaker John Boehner has proposed raising the top rate for earners making more than $1 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said. President Barack Obama, who wants higher top rates for households earning more than $250,000, has not accepted the offer, this person said.

Obama Visiting Newtown, Connecticut On Sunday

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will attend an interfaith memorial service Sunday in Newtown, Conn., the site of Friday's deadly elementary school shooting.

Japan Elections 2012: LDP Wins Majority In Parliamentary Elections

TOKYO — Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in a landslide election victory Sunday after three years in opposition, exit polls showed, signaling a rightward shift in the government that could further heighten tensions with rival China.

Marcos Gurrola Arrested After Firing 50 Shots In California Mall Parking Lot

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- A man was arrested Saturday after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.

History: You Hate "Right To Work" Laws More Than You Know. Here's Why

Las Vegas, NV:

"From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs." 
— Vance Muse, founder of the "right to work" anti-labor campaign

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hillary Clinton Faints, Now Recovering After Concussion

Hillary Clinton fainted and had a concussion, the AP reports.

The State Department said an ill Clinton is now recovering at home after the incident, according to the AP.

Over 80,000 Sign White House Petition Calling For Gun Regulation Bill In Just 24 Hours

A petition started yesterday afternoon at the White House’s official petition site has over 87,000 signatures as of this writing calling upon President Obama to “produce legislation that limits access to guns.” According to the petition, “[p]owerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution’s intended purpose of the right to bear arms. Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.”

Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Planning School-Shooting Plot

On Friday, police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma arrested an 18-year-old high school student who was planning a school-shooting massacre plot. Sammie Eaglebear Chavez “tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut.”

Newspaper Runs Gun Ad Next To Coverage Of Connecticut Shooting

Rock Hill Herald, a newspaper in South Carolina, printed a large ad for a big gun sale in Rock Hill on the same page as its coverage of Friday’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. The ad, which touted Christmas discounts on Smith & Wesson assault rifles, ran in Saturday’s edition on pages A4-A5:

Meet The Gun Advocates Responding To The Connecticut Shooting By Calling For More Guns In Schools

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has remained silent on Friday’s tragic massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, even as gun safety advocates are publicly calling for a national conversation about limiting access to dangerous firearms. While information is still emerging about Adam Lanza — the 20-year-old who killed 20 elementary school students, 6 adults, and his mother — preliminary reports indicate that he used at least three guns: two hand guns and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle. The weapons appear to be legally registered to his mother.

Gun Sales In 2012 Set Record, FBI Data Indicates

The gun business in the United States is thriving and the tragic events on Friday in Newtown, Conn. may likely do little to quell Americans' spending on munitions.

Nelson Mandela Undergoes Gallstone Surgery, President Says

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela underwent a successful surgery to remove gallstones Saturday, the nation's presidency said, as the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon is still recovering from a lung infection.

2012 Election Showed Single Women Avoiding GOP

DENVER — Sara Stevenson spends her working hours surrounded by Republicans, namely the married men who work alongside her in a Denver oil and gas firm company. But after hours and on weekends, she usually spends her time with other single women, and there's not a Republican in sight among the bunch.

Republicans Say There's No Budget, And Use That To Stall Senate

WASHINGTON -- After complaining much of the year that Senate Democrats have not passed a federal budget, Republicans are now using the budget they say doesn't exist to block legislation.

Sandy Hook Principal, Had Just Implemented New Security Measures

Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary who died in the shootings at the Newtown, Conn., school Dec. 14, had recently implemented new security measures, CNN reports.

Adam Lanza, Newtown School Shooter, Was 'Nerd,' Honors Student (No Mention Of Mental Problems In Divorce Agreement Which Nancy Lanza Has Filed On Record))

WASHINGTON (AP) - He was an honors student who lived in a prosperous neighborhood with his mother, a well-liked woman who enjoyed hosting dice games and decorating the house for the holidays.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Five Lies The Gun Lobby Tells You

America’s seems to be in for another debate over gun regulation after the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 27 (mostly children) dead. So it’s worth reviewing five made against regulating gun ownership in the United States:

Elementary School Shooting In Connecticut

Scores of people — including children — were killed on Friday morning when at least one gunman opened fire in an Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT.

Day Before Connecticut Shooting Massacre, Michigan Legislature Passed Bill Allowing Guns In Classrooms

On Thursday, one day before the tragedy in Connecticut where at least 29 people were killed at an elementary school, the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature passed a bill that would allow people to bring guns into schools.

Obama Calls For ‘Meaningful Action’ To Prevent Tragic Shootings

An emotional President Obama spoke out against the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday afternoon, remembering the children and teachers who died in today’s tragedy. The president reflected on the nation’s high rate of massacres and called on lawmakers to take “meaningful action” to prevent these kind of massacres from taking place in the future. Preliminary reports indicate that at least 27 people, including 22 children, were killed by a 24-year-old gunman.

Mass Shootings In The US Since Columbine: A Complete Time Line

On Friday morning, 27 people were reportedly shot and killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT. According to sources, 18 of these casualties were children. This is the second mass shooting in the US this week, after a gunman opened fire in an Oregon shopping mall on Tuesday, killing 2. ABC News reports that there have been 31 school shootings in the US since Columbine in 1999, when 13 people were killed.

Crossroads GPS Claim: What Karl Rove's Dark Money Nonprofit Told The IRS

In a confidential 2010 filing, Crossroads GPS -- the dark money group that spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors on the 2012 election -- told the Internal Revenue Service that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy.

High-End Tax Hikes Would Have 'Negligible' Impact On Growth, Revised CRS Report Says

WASHINGTON -- A Congressional Research Service report that was reissued Thursday after Republicans complained about it before the elections still finds little evidence that the Bush-era tax cuts spurred growth or that hiking the top rates would have more than a "negligible" impact on the economy.

Jordan Davis Shooting: Charges Upgraded To First Degree Murder In Slaying Of Unarmed Teen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec 13 (Reuters) - A grand jury indicted a Florida man for first degree murder on Thursday in the shooting death of an unarmed, black high school student last month after an argument over loud rap music.

Samsung Chip Factory Causes Cancer, South Korea Government Finds

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean government agency said Friday that working at a Samsung Electronics factory caused the breast cancer of a worker who died earlier this year, only the second time it has recognized a link between cancer and Samsung's chip plants.

Madeleine Albright On Susan Rice's Withdrawal: 'It's Appalling What Happened Here'

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she found the treatment of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice by Republican senators "appalling," arguing that her consideration to be the next Secretary of State became a "political football" that had very little to do with her actual career and record as a public servant.

GOP Governor Responds To Popular Opinion, Voices Support For Expanding Access To Birth Control

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) managed on Friday to do what the rest of his party has been unable to: Listen to public opinion. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published in Friday’s paper, Jindal advocates for over-the-counter access to birth control, as an “end of birth-control politics.”

Public Overwhelmingly Backs Obama in the Fiscal Showdown

We know that President Obama won a mandate on the issue of taxes, but Republican leaders in Congress just haven’t gotten the message.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Speaker Boehner Doesn’t Understand The Debt Ceiling, But Takes It Hostage Anyway

The Obama administration’s initial offer to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” included a provision that would end the ability of Congress to use the debt ceiling — and thus the creditworthiness of the United States — as a hostage to demand other policy outcomes. Employing a process invented by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Congress would have to act affirmatively to prevent a debt ceiling increase, rather than having to actively increase it.

Influential Senator Hints Federal Government Should Decriminalize Small Amounts Of Marijuana Possession

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) signaled his willingness this week to consider amending federal drug law to permit possession of small amounts of marijuana, or at least exempt new state marijuana laws from the federal drug scheme.

Susan Rice Withdraws Name From Consideration As Next Top Diplomat

NBC news is reporting Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State. NBC’s Brian Williams reports that in a letter to the President, Rice said: “I am highly honored to be considered by you for appointment as Secretary of State. The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized. I am saddened that we have reached this point even before you have decided whom to nominate.” President Obama has also put out a statement reading in part: “While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment and put our national interests first.”

Tyree Johnson, McDonald's Worker, Still Makes Minimum Wage After 20 Years Of Service (Remember The Calvin Ads From The 90"s? With the line, "Calvin That Use To Hang On The Corner") This is The GOP's Utopia In Real Life!

We knew working at McDonald's wasn't the greatest gig in the world, but we didn't know it was this bad.

After 20 years cooking burgers and manning the fryer for the national chain, Tyree Johnson still makes just the minimum wage, Bloomberg reports. That's $8.25 an hour in 44-year-old Johnson's hometown of Chicago, where he works at two different McDonald's restaurants.

Beef Investigation By Kansas City Star Uncovers Serious Risks, Including Fecal Contamination

This is the origin myth of the food safety system in the United States: The beef industry was a mess, led to awful practices by the profit motives of a few major processing companies, until investigative journalist Upton Sinclair exposed many of the atrocities of the packing plants in his 1906 novel "The Jungle," which spurred the establishment of federal meat inspections, improving safety forever. Today, beef and other meat sold in the U.S. is safer than ever.

Bank Foreclosures Hit Nine-Month High In November: Realty Trac

LOS ANGELES -- U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

Banks completed foreclosure on 59,134 homes last month, an increase of 11 percent from October and up 5 percent from November last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Reason Why Republicans Can’t Propose Spending Cuts

“Where are the president’s spending cuts?” asks John Boehner. With Republicans coming to grips with their inability to stop taxes on the rich from rising, the center of the debate has turned to the expenditure side. In the short run, the two parties have run into an absurd standoff, where Republicans demand that President Obama produce an offer of higher spending cuts, and Obama replies that Republicans should say what spending cuts they want, and Republicans insist that Obama should try to guess what kind of spending cuts they would like.

Obama ‘May Decide To Go Blow Up Small Countries’ For Fun, Norquist Predicts (Pelt Down Man At It Again)

Although a growing number Republicans are distancing themselves from the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge, Grover Norquist is confident that Congressional Republicans will force massive cuts to government programs, rather than accept any tax increases. On Thursday, he vowed to stymie President Obama’s agenda so much that the administration will have nothing left to do but launch an unnecessary war.

GOP Threatens To Hold Disaster Relief Hostage To Spending Cuts — Again

The White House last week requested $60 billion in federal disaster relief to rebuild the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, but some Republicans are again threatening to hold disaster relief funding hostage unless it is offset by other budget cuts.

What Moves Conservatives On The Environment? Show Them Pictures Of What Happens Without The EPA

If you’re a conservative, this image of Cleveland from 1973 taken before the Environmental Protection Agency started cleaning up our skies should make you care about the environment:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A McDonald’s Employee Must Work One Million Hours To Make As Much As The Company’s CEO

Fast food workers in New York City briefly walked off the job last month to protest the low wages endemic to their industry. Over the last several years, fast food companies — most prominently McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell — have reaped huge profits while employing some of the largest numbers of low-wage workers in the country.

Investigation Looks For Muslim Bias In Texas Schools, Finds Christian Bias Instead

A bizarre chain email sent to district and school board officials in the Dallas area this October titled “IRVING ISD INDOCTRINATING ISLAM” inspired a recent investigation of “Islamic bias” in the district’s curriculum. Despite the outlandish claims, the district requested that an official from the organization that created the curriculum to respond. The results of a 72-page investigation done by the organization were not surprising: there’s a Christian bias in schools, not a Muslim one.

Senate Candidate Who Made Controversial Rape Comments Blames Liberal Media For Loss

Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock Richard Mourdock (R-IN) lost the election in November to Sen.-elect Joe Donnelly (D-IN) by around 6 percent. Early in the race,most polls showed Mourdock ahead, but voters seemed to abandon the candidate after he made a controversial comment about rape. “I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said, “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.”

The Filibuster: How do you talk for 24 hours straight?

The time-wasting speech known as the filibuster could make a comeback in US politics. How can anyone talk for an entire day?

US Student Loans: The Trillion Dollar Debt Trap

Jill McDevitt, 27, is well-educated and renowned in her field - but she's overwhelmed by $150,000 (£93,500; 116,300 euros) of student debt.

US Evangelicals Question Republican Ties

After an election where conservative social causes failed to convince voters, evangelical Christians are pondering their relationship with the Republican party.

Lawmakers In Three States Introduce Legislation To Expand Voting Rights

After Republicans spent the past two years passing voter suppression bills, progressives in several states are gearing up to fight back next year with legislation that would increase voting rights.

Lino Graglia, UT Law Professor, Decries Single Motherhood, Black Test Scores, And Affirmative Action

University of Texas law professor Lino Graglia stirred up controversy with his claim that black students can't compete with white students due to their upbringing.

MSNBC Anchors Laugh As Michigan Governor Claims Union-Busting Is Good For Workers

On Wednesday, the hosts MSNBC’s Morning Joe laughed off Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R-MI) claims that the state’s recently-enacted right-to-work law could protect and strengthen unions by encouraging them to show more value to workers, interrupting the governor in bewilderment as he explained his argument.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Xbox TV Apps Rolled Out As Users Increasingly Turn To Console For Watching Video

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is rolling out dozens of new apps for the Xbox 360, building on statistics that show members of its paid online subscription service spend more time on it watching video than they do playing multiplayer games over the Internet.

Rick Snyder: Right To Work Bills Signed Into Law In Michigan

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Rick Snyder (R) officially made Michigan a "right-to-work" state on Tuesday, signing into law two bills that significantly diminish the power of unions.

Clackamas Town Center Shooting: Gunfire Erupts At Portland Mall (Police Say One Gunmen Has Been Neutralized!)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Sheriff's deputies say there has been a shooting in a shopping mall near Portland, Ore.

One witness at the Clackamas Town Center told television station KATU at least two people were shot, and he saw sheets put over them.

Everything You Need to Know About the GOP’s Opposition to Protecting Native American Women From Abuse

As the last window of opportunity to pass a fully-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization comes close to shutting in the final days of the 112th Congress, many are wondering why Republican House leadership, particularly Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), are so opposed to the provisions protecting Native American women on tribal reservations. Other Republican leaders — including Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), John Kline (R-MN), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) — have proposed a reasonable compromise that protects Native women, but it puts them at odds with the Majority Leader.

How Michigan Voters Can Repeal The GOP’s Anti-Union Powergrab

Earlier today, the Michigan House passed a so-called “right-to-work” law. The anti-union legislation, which permits workers to benefit from the high salaries gained through collective bargaining without contributing to the union that negotiates those higher salaries for them, will cost both union and non-union workers an estimated $1,500 a year in wages, in addition to costing thousands of Michiganders health benefits and pensions.

PSY's Gangnam Style Hit Gets Him $60,000 In South Korea, But Guess How Much From YouTube?

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — As "Gangnam Style" gallops toward 1 billion views on YouTube, the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience has gotten richer click by click. So too has his agent and his grandmother. But the money from music sales isn't flowing in from the rapper's homeland South Korea or elsewhere in Asia.

Yet Another MTA Bus Driver Is Attacked In Baltimore (Baltimore Once Had A Theme, "Believe" It should simply say now "Behave!"

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Police release images of the suspects in a MTA bus driver attack.

Adam May has the latest on this growing problem.

Colin Powell Urges Congress To Pass Abortion Amendment For Military Rape Victims

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under president George W. Bush, urged House and Senate leaders on Monday to support Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's (D-N.H.) amendment to extend the insurance coverage of abortion to military rape survivors.

No, Don't Raise the Retirement Age: Is The President About To Cave?

President Obama hasn’t proposed increasing the eligibility age for Medicare. But would he agree to do so, in order to secure a broader agreement that raises taxes on the wealthy and avoids the automatic spending cuts set to take effect on January 1? Liberals are worried that he will—thanks in part to a pair of recent columns, one each by my friends Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein.

International Tests Show East Asian Students Outperform World As U.S. Holds Steady

The U.S. performed above average on international standardized tests in elementary and middle school math, science and reading, according to reports released Tuesday. But experts said the rankings, along with similar exams that test students at later ages, show a fundamental problem in America's education system: students tend to perform worse as they age.

At Least Seven NFL Players Turn In Guns Following Murder-Suicide Tragedy

According to a report from Sports Illustrated, at least seven NFL players have gotten rid of their personal firearms following this month’s horrific episode when Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend dead, then turned the gun on himself.

INFOGRAPHIC: We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations

The latest annual report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that the national homeless population held steady from 2011 to 2012, hardly good news but perhaps better than expected given the relatively weak economic climate.

Mandela's 'Sparkle Fading,' Says Wife

The first specifics of Nelson Mandela's condition are trickling out following the former president's weekend hospitalization, and they're both encouraging and heart-tugging. The New York Times reports that his condition has been revealed as a recurring lung infection, and he is reportedly "responding to the treatment." But wife Graca Machel spoke yesterday of the difficulty of seeing him age, reports the AFP, telling a news station, "It's something also which pains you. ... I mean, this spirit and this sparkle, you see that somehow it's fading." The 94-year-old was also hospitalized for a respiratory infection in January 2011; he was hospitalized earlier this year with stomach pains.

Monday, December 10, 2012

19 More Graves Found at Notorious Florida School

Researchers have discovered 19 more grave shafts at an infamous Florida reform school where boys—most of them black—suffered and sometimes died under brutal conditions, NBC News reports. That brings the total to at least 50 at The Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, and all of them are in an area that was segregated for black boys. "I didn't realize going in how much of a story of civil rights it was," said a professor at the University of South Florida, which conducted the study.

Atheists, Humanists Suffer Persecution World Wide, Report

(Reuters) - Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday.

Google Avoids $2 Billion In Taxes By Offshoring Profits In Bermuda

Google is the latest multinational to come under scrutiny for skirting U.S. taxes.

On Monday, Bloomberg's Jesse Drucker reported that the tech giant avoided paying $2 billion in global income taxes by moving $10 billion in revenue, or 80 percent of its pretax profit, to Bermuda, which does not have a corporate income tax. Google has nearly doubled the amount of money that it is sheltering in Bermuda since 2008.

Wounded Iraq, Afghanistan Troops Increase As Pentagon Says Afghan War Will Continue

WASHINGTON -- In a grim marker of the human cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Pentagon reported Monday that active-duty American troops were hospitalized in the United States at three times the peacetime rate -- with mental health injuries comprising the largest category.

Marijuana For Recreational Use Now Legal In Colorado

Marijuana for recreational use is now legal in Colorado.

Today, Governor John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order making an "official declaration of the vote" related to Amendment 64. The declaration formalizes A64 as part of Colorado's state constitution and makes legal the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana under Colorado law for adults aged 21 and older.

The Right To Work For Less Money

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama weighed in on the contentious labor battle playing out in Michigan, condemning the Republican push to make Michigan a so-called "right-to-work" state as nothing more than a partisan maneuver that will hurt the working class.

CHART: Corporate Profits Skyrocket While Corporate Taxes Plummet

Corporate profits are currently at an all-time high(while worker wages as a percentage of the economy have plummeted to record lows). But despite those sky-high profits, corporate income tax revenue is projected to be just 1.5 percent of GDP this year, below the recent average and far below the amount raised by the tax just a few decades ago.