Saturday, March 31, 2012

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann, Replaces Him With Spitzer Immediately, Olbermann to Sue

The New York Times’ Brian Stelter breaks the news that Current TV has let go Keith Olbermann, and will replace him starting tonight with Eliot Spitzer, denying Olbermann to give a send-off or special comment to his viewers. Spitzer, like Olbermann, also had experience at MSNBC, where he appeared as a guest anchor. Olbermann had been suspended by MSNBC for violating its rules on campaign contributions, an event that soured his relationship with the network, before his departure from MSNBC opened the door to his deal with Current. He was at one point a high-profile acquisition for the network, founded by former Vice President Al Gore to provide a more progressive take on the news. But his ratings fell and his relationship with Current quickly foundered.

Mega Failure: Why Lotteries Are A Bad Bet For State Budgets

The jackpot for the upcoming Mega Millions lottery drawing has grown to a whopping $640 million. This sky-high total has some state legislators hoping for a big payday via the tax bill that would come from one of their residents taking home the prize. “I’d love it if a Rhode Islander wins,” said Rep. Helio Melo, the chairman of his state House’s Finance Committee.

Friday, March 30, 2012

EC=BC: Emergency Contraception Is Birth Control, Not Abortion

Wednesday was “Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action!,” a day started by the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign to dispel misinformation about emergency contraception (EC), also known as the “morning after pill.” The campaign is encouraging people to post pictures with the theme EC=BC, or “emergency contraception equals birth control,” on the campaign’s tumblr page, as well as distributing fact sheets about EC and coupons for a 5 dollar discount on emergency contraceptives

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin: The 5 Key Unanswered Questions

It’s been more than a month since Trayvon Martin was shot dead by George Zimmerman. (Get a full rundown of the facts of the case here.)


The House of Representatives today passed the radical Republican 2013 budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), by a vote of 228-191. The budget would gut the social safety net, but give so much in tax cuts to the rich and corporations that it would still increase the national debt. 10 Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting no.


Just 35 percent of self-identified conservatives said they had a “great deal of trust in science” in 2010, a new report published in the journal American Sociological Review reveals. The finding marks a 28 percent decline since the first survey taken in 1974, “when 48 percent of conservatives—about the same percentage as liberals—trusted science.” According to the report, support for science has remained relatively flat amongst liberals and moderates.

Republicans Protest ‘Judicial Activism’ While Seeking It For Obamacare

There appears to be little reason for the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act. As Ronald Reagan’s former Solicitor General, Charles Fried, said after the oral arguments, the legal rationale used by opponents of the law was “beneath contempt,” but should the Justices accept it, they would be breaking nearly two hundred years of precedent and writing new meaning into the Constitution.

House Republican Budget Drives Non-Defense Discretionary Spending To Lowest Level In 50 Years

Because it doles out trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich and corporations, the budget approved by House Republicans today — authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — would increase deficits and drive up the national debt. In fact, under the plan, “deficits would never drop below 4.4 percent of GDP, and would rise to more than 5 percent of GDP by 2022.”
Those increases would come despite the gigantic spending cuts that Ryan has in mind, which would eviscerate the social safety net and non-defense discretionary spending (even while the budget increases defense spending). As the Economic Policy Institute noted today, the plan Republicans adopted would drive discretionary spending down to its lowest level in more than 50 years.

EPI pointed out that the non-defense discretionary portion of the budget includes a whole host of things, including, “spending on areas like homeland security, veterans, nuclear weapons, and foreign operations; safety net programs like housing vouchers and nutrition assistance for women and infants; most of the funding for the enforcement of consumer protection, environmental protection, and financial regulation; and practically all of the federal government’s civilian public investments.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Everyone Needs To Know About The Smear Campaign Against Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)

Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday March 25th 2012 Talking Heads


So, today, we'll have David Plouffe and Paul Ryan, so we're already off to an exciting start to a Sunday that won't bore us to tears. Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary. However, Mitt Romney managed to get 27% of the vote, so he'll eat many of the delegates that Santorum would have gotten. Romney's more than halfway to the 1,144 delegates he'll need to become the GOP's nominee.

Two Years In, ObamaCare Is Working


FLASHBACK: Two Years Ago, GOP Predicted ‘Armageddon’ If Health Reform Became Law

Today is the two-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act, which, once fully implemented will cover 30 million Americans and begin to lower the rate of growth in health care spending. Since reform passed, however, Republicans have voted to repeal or defund the law at least 25 times and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is preparing to focus largely on health care as he charts “a course for a Republican Senate in 2013 and what could be a bruising reelection bid in 2014.”

Rove-Linked Crossroads GPS Launches $650,000 False Ad Campaign On Gas Prices

This week, Crossroads GPS announced a $650,000 nationwide television ad campaign called “Deflect.” The 30-second spot falsely blames Obama administration actions for the rise in gasoline prices since 2009.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Senate GOP Wants George Zimmerman To Be Able To Carry A Concealed Weapon In Nearly Every State

Last month, African-American teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by what increasingly appears to be a vigilante “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” At the time of his death, Martin carried a a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea — his killer, George Zimmerman, armed himself with a 9mm handgun and a concealed weapon permit.

Obama: ‘We’ve Added Enough New Oil And Gas Pipeline To Encircle The Earth’

Speaking in Cushing, OK, President Barack Obama touted his administration’s record of a huge boom in the U.S. oil and gas industry, dismissing concerns about accelerating climate change:

House Republican Budget Could Cut Off Food Assistance For Millions Of Low-Income Americans

The House Republican’s 2013 budget authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would cut the social safety net to ribbons while handing trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich and corporations. And one of the bigger casualties — in addition to high-profile Ryan targets like Medicaid and Medicare — would be the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as food stamps.

Florida Senate President Rejects Calls For Committee To Review ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

Police in Sanford, Florida still maintain that George Zimmerman’s actions when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin were legally justified because of the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The self-defense law passed in 2005 over objections that it could lead to “racially motivated killings,” and now, lawmakers have asked Gov. Rick Scott (R) to appoint a special task force to look into the Martin case.

GOP Threatens Transportation Funding Shutdown That Could Jeopardize 1.9 Million Jobs

House Republicans last night rejected the Senate’s bipartisan transportation reauthorization bill and said they would instead adopt a short-term resolution that would maintain current funding levels for 90 days. With just 10 days until the current short-term authorization plan expires, that means House Republicans have made possible a transportation shutdown that could force more than 1.9 million workers off the job.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tennessee Passes ‘Monkey Bill’ To Teach The ‘Controversy’ On Evolution And Climate Science

On Monday, the Tennessee state legislature passed legislation that requires public schools to teach the “controversy” over evolution, global warming, and human cloning:

Senate Democrats File New Bill To Require Disclosure Of Independent Expenditure Funders

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s controversial 5-4 majority opinion in the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case specifically endorsed the idea of campaign finance disclosure. “Disclosure is the less-restrictive alternative to more comprehensive speech regulations,” he wrote, adding that they ensure voters are informed enough about who is speaking to fully assess the content of the political message. But with a bitterly divided Federal Election Commission unable to issue regulations to enforce those principles, many political organizations have kept secret the names of the individuals and corporations funding their advertisements.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin’s Last Phone Call, Moments Before Tragic Death, Undermines Account Killer Gave To Police

In a cell phone call moments before his death, Trayvon Martin told a teenage girl he “was being hounded by a strange man on a cellphone who ran after him, cornered him and confronted him.” The girl recounted the call, which is confirmed by phone logs, to ABC News:

The 5 Worst Things About The House GOP’s Budget

After his last attempt at a budget went down in flames last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the House GOP’s new budget this morning, painting it as a sensible plan to reform the nation’s tax code and reduce the debt while maintaining entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Yet again, however, Ryan and the GOP have the social safety net and Medicare in their sights, and yet again, they’re attempting to pass the cost of massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich off to middle and lower-income Americans.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Most Conservative Congress Ever Recorded

In the last few weeks, ThinkProgress has been documenting studies by political science professors Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal that show Republicans are both beholden to the 1 percent and responsible for the hyper-polarization of Congress. A new study by Poole has found that Republicans have moved so far to the right that the House is now the most conservative it has even been in the last 133 years.

Seller Of Racist Bumper Sticker Defends Use Of The N-Word To Describe President Obama

Racism in Your Face

 President Obama’s critics hate being labeled racists, but occasionally it’s hard to argue with the charges. Paula Smith, the owner of, is defending a popular bumper sticker that is igniting debate on race and spawning widespread condemnation.

All Major News Outlets Cover Trayvon Martin Tragedy, Except Fox News

Since his tragic death on February 26, Trayvon Martin — an unarmed 17-year-old African-American shot by “neighborhood watch volunteer” George Zimmerman — has become national news. Martin, a good student with no criminal record, was killed by Zimmerman on his way home from the 7-11. Zimmerman was carrying a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. (If you are unfamilar with the story, check out our primer on what everyone should know about Trayvon Martin.)

Martin has merited coverage by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. The story has been covered by all three broadcast networks and extensively on cable. But there is one outlet that has barely mentioned Trayvon Martin — Fox News.

Here’s a breakdown of the coverage of Trayvon Martin on the three major cable networks from the day of his death through today at noon:


After Six Months, A Look At What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished

Since its beginning, Occupy Wall Street and the protests it spawned across the country have faced critics who say it has no goals and wouldn’t achieve any substantial accomplishments. “In fact, the sum total of what Occupy Wall Street has accomplished is zero,” a New York Post columnist wrote in November. “Inspiring chat around the national watercooler is not an achievement.”

The movement turned six months old last Saturday, and a closer look at its record of achievement reveals that it has done more than spark conversation around Wall Street’s watercoolers. Occupy groups have shifted the national debate on taxes and inequality, helped homeowners stay in their homes, forced major policy issues to the forefront of debate at the state and federal level, and gotten the attention of the institutions they’ve challenged most forcefully. With that in mind, ThinkProgress compiled a brief list of Occupy Wall Street’s accomplishments over its first six months:

  • Income Inequality: The 99 Percent movement refocused America’s political debate, forcing news outlets and eventually politicians to focus on rising income inequality. While debt and deficits were the primary focus of the media before the movement started, their attention after the movement began shifted to jobs, Wall Street, and unemployment. By the end of October, even Republicans were talking about income inequality, and a week later, Time Magazine devoted its cover to the topic, asking, “Can you still move up in America?”

  • Occupy Our Homes: The movement has drawn attention to many of the predatory, discriminatory, and fraudulent practices perpetrated by banks during the foreclosure crisis, and across the country, Occupy groups, religious leaders, and community organizations have helped homeowners prevent wrongful foreclosures on their homes. Activists in Detroit are working to save their fifth home, and similar actions have taken place in cities like Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Atlanta. The movement has drawn so much attention that local political leaders and even members of Congress have stepped in to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

  • Move Your Money: On Bank Transfer Day, activists helped more than 40,000 Americans move their money from large banks to credit unions, and more than 650,000 switched to credit unions last October. Religious groups have taken up the cause as well, moving $55 million before Thanksgiving. This year, a San Francisco interfaith group moved $10 million from Wells Fargo and other groups marked Lent by moving more money from Wall Street. As a result, analysts say the nation’s 10 biggest banks could lose $185 billion in customer deposits this year “due to customer defections.”

  • Fighting For Positive Policies: Occupy groups have pushed for positive policy outcomes at both the state and federal levels. Occupy The SEC submitted a 325-page comment letter on the Volcker Rule, a regulation to rein in big banks. Pressure from protesters forced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to reverse his opposition to a millionaire’s tax, and activists fought Indiana Republicans’ union-busting “right-to-work” law, and have pushed big banks to stop financing destructive environmental practices like mountaintop removal mining in coal states.

Though many of the camps across the country have been disbanded, the 99 Percent Movement isn’t going away. Organizers have continued fighting at the state level, pushing back against banks on fraudulent foreclosures and other issues, and have now turned their attention to the 2012 presidential elections. Movement leaders in New York, meanwhile, are developing high-tech ways to organize protests and keep the movement going. Occupy is starting to assert a political influence, pushing multiple candidates and even running for office themselves — in both Maine and Pennsylvania, former Occupy activists are running for public office.

“It’s changed the language,” one protester told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s brought out a lot of issues that people are talking about. … And that’s the start of change.”

Poll: Fewer Americans Than Ever See The Supreme Court Positively

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear one of the most politicized lawsuits in decades, a new poll finds that public support for the nine justices has cratered:

[F]ewer voters than ever view the high court positively. . . . The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 28% give the Supreme Court good or excellent ratings. Nineteen percent (19%) rate the highest court in the land as poor.

Admittedly, this poll was conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a conservative polling firm with a history of inaccuracies. Nevertheless, Rasmussen’s finding is consistent with other polls showing that Americans increasingly believe that, despite the fact that the justices’ very legitimacy stems from their ability to apply the law fairly and independent of partisan concerns, the Court’s decisions are driven in large part by politics.

Certainly, the Supreme Court’s five conservatives have done nothing to disabuse the American people of this unfortunate perception. To the contrary, the Roberts Court has consistently pushed an ideological agenda from the bench — often despite decades of precedent to the contrary:

  • Citizens United: Any discussion of the Roberts Court must begin with its most significant case to date — it’s decision to unleash billions of dollars of corporate and other big dollar election spending in Citizens United. Citizens United did not simply overrule a twenty year-old precedent in order to strike down a sixty-three year-old ban on corporate election buying, it was also a huge gift to the Republican Party. Seventeen of the top twenty donors this political cycle are conservatives.

  • Forced Arbitration: Citizens United isn’t even the Supreme Court’s biggest gift to powerful corporations. That honor most likely goes to the Court’s forced arbitration decisions, which allow corporations to force their workers and consumers to sign away their right to hold the corporation accountable in a real court and instead force them into a privatized arbitration system that overwhelmingly favors corporate parties.

  • Divide and Conquer: Just as significantly, the Supreme Court effectively immunized corporations from consumer class actions by empowering those corporations to force consumers to give away their right to bring such actions before they can buy any product. Class actions, which allow multiple plaintiffs to join together in the same lawsuit, are often the only way to recoup small-dollar loses from a corporate defendant because the value of such small dollar damages is much less than the cost of pursuing the lawsuit outside of a class action. In other words, the Supreme Court gave corporate America a license to cheat its customers a few dollars at a time.

  • War on Workers: In its much maligned Ledbetter decision, the justices flouted a unanimous 1986 precedent to make it nearly impossible for women to enforce their right to equal pay for equal work. After this decision was overruled by Congress, the justices showed even deeper contempt for the law by stripping many older workers of their ability to fight age discrimination. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) recently introduced a bill to correct this second era.

So it is easy to understand why the American people are increasingly skeptical of a conservative Supreme Court that appears much more interested in advancing a political agenda than it does in applying the law. Next week, the justices can either show that they are still capable of respecting the Constitution by applying the nearly 200 years of precedent establishing that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, or they can reveal themselves to be nothing more than politicians in robes by accepting an anti-health care argument that, in the words of conservative Judge Laurence Silberman, has no basis “in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent.”

The Charts That Prove Obama Doesn’t Set Gas Prices

America produces 200 times as much oil as Germany, but our gas prices rise and fall in tandem (we pay far lower gas taxes). Source: Energy Information Administration and NY Times.

The public understands Obama isn’t to blame for high gasoline prices, as recent polls make clear. Even the Wall Street Journal and Cato Institute agree: “It’s not Obama’s fault that crude oil prices have increased.”

But as the NY Times pointed out Sunday, facts don’t stop the GOP:

The issue of gas prices has not only been misunderstood but thoroughly distorted by relentless ideological spin from industry and its political allies, mainly Republican. Hardly a day goes by that some industry cheerleader somewhere — be it Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma — does not flay President Obama for driving up oil prices by denying the industry access to oil and gas deposits and imposing ruinous environmental rules. Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, said last week that Mr. Obama should be held “fully responsible for what the American public is paying for gasoline.”

The Times put together some great charts using EIA data. They make clear 1) oil prices are set on a global market and 2) the strategy of “Drill, Baby, Drill” adopted by the GOP and President Obama has succeeded at increasing production and decreasing dependency on foreign oil — but it has unsurprisingly failed at affecting global markets.

In 2005, oil imports accounted for nearly 60 percent of America’s daily consumption. In 2010, for the first time in recent memory, imports were less than half of consumption, and last year, imports were only 45% — 8.6 million barrels a day of the 19 million consumed. Source: EIA

This is no surprise to anyone who follows oil market analysis. In fact, back in 2009, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s issued a report that examined the difference between full offshore drilling and continued restrictions. In 2020, there is no impact on gasoline prices. In 2030, US gasoline prices would be three cents a gallon lower. Woohoo!

The bottom line is clear, as the NY Times points out:

With developing countries like China and India demanding more petroleum, prices are likely to stay high. That’s reality — no matter what the Republican spinners say. Only a rounded policy mix of greater fuel efficiency, steady production and the aggressive development of alternative fuels can protect American consumers against what could be even greater price shocks in the years ahead.

Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) made this same point in a major presentation last year: “We become less vulnerable by using less oil.” Grist has a great new chart from Bingaman:

Bingaman: gas prices and U.S. oil production

We’re not going to substantially change U.S. gasoline prices through more drilling and more domestic production. We can protect ourselves and our economy from rising prices and oil shocks — and, of course, catastrophic climate change — only by reducing oil consumption.

As It Lobbies For Tax Holiday, Apple Admits Hoarding Cash Overseas To Avoid Paying Taxes

Massive sales of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers have made Apple the largest retailer in America, so big, in fact, that it is larger than the rest of the country’s retail market. The company is currently sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash reserves, and it announced this morning that it will use some of that cash to pay dividends to shareholders and buy back some of its own stock.

Growth In Government Spending Under President Obama Slower Than During Bush, Reagan Administrations

Republicans have continually decried the Obama Administration’s “runaway spending” since he took office, blaming him for growing deficits and a mounting national debt. But a quick glance at the facts show that, compared to George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Obama is actually embracing fiscal conservatism more than any other president in recent history, with the exception of fellow Democrat Bill Clinton.

The Atlantic crunches the numbers:

For all the talk you hear about Obama’s historic spree, government spending actually hasn’t increased so dramatically under this president. The stimulus was big, but it’s over. It’s been replaced by, if not austerity (which has struck our states and cities) then a hard correction to the center.
Evidence of the cost-cutting measures employed by Obama can be found in the last several jobs reports. While the overall number of jobs created has steadily increased for the last several months, those advances have all come entirely in the private sector. Public sector jobs have actually been on the decline for much of the last year as government spending on some agencies and programs have been cut.

Economics Professor Mark Thoma provides a helpful chart on his blog that puts President Obama’s per capita spending into context, comparing it with the spending of every president in the last 40 years.


That’s likely a hard pill to swallow for Obama’s critics, who have spent years hammering his administration for record spending and fiscal irresponsibility. The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson put it best: “Going by federal expenditures…it would seem that if Obama’s a socialist, Ronald Reagan is Karl Marx with an ICBM.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)

On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense. Three weeks after Martin’s death, no arrests have been made and Zimmerman remains free.

Sunday March 18th 2012 Talking Heads


Bret Baier is subbing in for Chris Wallace, and Baier is sort of talking softly for some reason. But Mitt Romney is here, and so is George Clooney, only he's with Chris Wallace. DON'T BE JEALOUS, whichever Fox host is jealous.

George Clooney, Dad Arrested At Sudan Protest

WASHINGTON — Actor George Clooney and his father have been arrested at a protest outside theSudanese Embassy in Washington.

The Fight With Flat-Earthers

The Republicans on the campaign trail continue to hit President Obama for failing to act to offset high gas prices despite several conservative groups conceding that there is little a president can do to affect short term costs. Newt Gingrich’s gimmicky pledge to bring $2.50 gallon/gas has been derided by Obama, conservative commentators, and even fellow Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who called the $2.50 promise “pandering.” Yesterday, the President criticized the GOP field for parroting the same talking points used for decades and failing to offer any real solutions to solve the price spike at the pump. “There will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing things the same way we’ve always done them,” he told supporters in Maryland, comparing the Republican candidates to “flat-earthers” and doubters of innovation. But the disconnect between Republicans and the reality of energy policy and climate science is not reserved for the campaign trail:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Republican-Controlled Arizona Legislature On Cusp Of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Arizona is the latest battleground in the conservative war on women as the state legislature appears poised to strip funding from the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood.


Speaking at the South by Southwest conference earlier this week, former President-elect (and United States Senator) Al Gore said that he is “for changing” the Senate’s increasingly unworkable filibuster rule, although he expressed pessimism that doing so is an achievable goal. Gore’s comments came in response to a question by ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Faiz Shakir. As Gore noted, several Democratic senators “tried a novel approach at the beginning of this Congress, and it was squelched.” Gore expressed more optimism, however, that social media and other Internet advocacy tools can be used to put “pressure” on elected officials to “do the right thing.” Watch it:

CHART: How The 1934 Recovery Benefited The 99 Percent, While 2010′s Benefited The Rich

In 2010, as the nation slowly ground its way from Great Recession to recovery, 93 percent of national income gains went to the richest 1 percent of Americans. As Reuters’s David Cay Johnston pointed out today, this makes the 2010 recovery quite different from the recovery that followed the Great Depression, as then,income gains were widely shared by the population, not concentrated at the very top:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SWIFT Cuts Off Iran As Sanctions Vice Tightens

BRUSSELS — Dozens of Iranian banks were blocked from doing business with much of the world as the West tightens the financial screws on a country it wants to prevent from developing nuclear weapons.

Experts Say Attack On Iran Could Mean $6 Per Gallon Gasoline

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has promisedthat if he wins the White House gasoline price will drop to $2.50 or even $2 per gallon. The former House Speaker also said that as president, he’d support (and join) an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Indeed, Gingrich said recently that “the red line is now,” referring to the point at which Iran’s nuclear program has progressed far enough to warrant military strikes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Civil Rights Activist Lanier W. Phillips Dead at 88

Lanier W. Phillips, a prominent civil rights activist who was so deathly afraid of white people that he wouldn’t look them in the eye until he was saved by a group of them in 1942, died Sunday at age 88 in a retirement home in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Due To Color Bias, Black Dogs Are Put To Sleep The Most?

Since there is prejudice toward Blacks, is it that hard to believe that this bias extends to the canine world too? According to proponents of “Black Dog Syndrome” (BDS), pet lovers are reportedly passing up Black dogs at pounds and shelters and choosing lighter colored canines, causing Black dogs to be euthanized at alarming rates.

Texas School Sports League Asks Muslim School If It Wants To ‘Eliminate The Infidels,’ Denies Its Membership Application

An athletic association of private and parochial schools in Texas declined membership to a Muslim schoolafter asking it to fill out a questionnaire featuring probing questions about the school’s views “about the spread of Islam in America” and its “goals in this regard,” as well as other incendiary questions about Islamic religion. The questionnaire is the latest issue to arise for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (Tapps), which was founded in the 1970s as an athletic organization of private Christian schools and now has more than 200 members, including private Jewish schools.

Goldman Sachs Mobilizes Rapid Smear Campaign Against Whistleblower

Today, Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith excoriated the investment bank in a New York Times op-ed, resigning due to the banks “toxic and destructive” culture, one in which the bank’s trading profits took precedence over its customers’ financial well-being. Goldman managers allegedly called customers “muppets,” and traders routinely asked how much was being made ripping off one customer or another.

E-Mails Show Assad Buying iTunes Music As His Military Slaughters Syrians

The British Guardian newspaper acquired, apparently from members of the Syrian opposition, a trove of personal e-mail exchanges from Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma. The e-mails are stunning in their breadth — covering media advice for dealing with the year-long uprising to trivial matters like how to see the latest Harry Potter movie.

Arizona Senate Committee Endorses ‘Tell Your Boss Why You’re On The Pill’ Bill

Arizona has taken up yet another draconian law for women’s health – this time replicating but broadening the federal push to let employers deny women access to birth control. The bill stipulates that, unless a woman brings in a note proving she is not using it to avoid getting pregnant, an employer can deny birth control to any woman in the workplace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reid Will File To End Seventeen GOP Filibusters Of President Obama’s Judicial Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced this afternoon that he will file cloture — the Senate procedure to break a filibuster — on seventeen judicial nominees currently being blocked by Republican obstructionism. Nearly all of these nominees were either unanimously approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee or were approved with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) as the only objection. Lee, of course, promised to block all of President Obama’s nominees and he also believes that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional.

Citizens United Has Already Doubled The Amount Of Outside Spending In Presidential Election Years

Election law scholar Rick Hasen offers a truly stunning visual representation of the impact ofCitizens United on our elections:

The Housing Crisis Pushed Black Homeownership Rate Below 1990 Level

The housing crisis created a drop in homeownership rates across the board, but the number of Black and Latino homeowners decreased at a significantly higher level than it did for white Americans. A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center reveals an astounding drop in homeownership rates among people of color. Specifically, the Black community saw levels of homeownership drop to pre-1990s levels:

Department Of Justice Blocks New Texas Voter ID Law For Discriminatory Impact On Hispanic Voters

The U.S. Department of Justice blockedTexas’ new voter ID law Monday, noting that the measure would unduly disenfranchise Hispanic voters.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

If You Saw a Thug, Bitch Slapping His Girlfriend....What Would I Do?

The is one of those topics you start with the phrase, "A large Majority of.....Just to stay socially or politically correct in Today's times," but you can almost get away with the words All, Most, or the phrase "For what I have seen," to describe this love of you know who,  the thug!

Bill Maher Defends Rush Limbaugh Again: ‘A Guy Made A Bad Joke’

Bill Maher continued to diminish Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke and attack liberals for overreacting. On his HBO show last night, Maher said that liberals should “put this in perspective… a guy made a bad joke.” He added in that in America “sometimes you’re made to feel uncomfortable.”

Sunday March 11th 2012 Talking Heads


So, the reason for all the Newt today is because he's basically doomed if he can't win those two Southern Primaries. I mean, Newt is doomed anyway, but we'll all agree to pretend he isn't. Also John McCain is here to talk about what countries he wants to bomb, and whether or not he wants to bomb GAME CHANGE the movie I didn't see that's suuposedly based on the book of the same name that I read, though the movie looks like it should be called NICOLLE WALLACE AND STEVE SCHMIDT HAVE THEIR VENGEANCE ON SARAH PALIN FOR WRITING GOING ROGUE.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Limbaugh Should Be Prosecuted For Defamation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.— A high-profile attorney is calling for Rush Limbaugh to be prosecuted on a defamation charge, saying an obscure Florida law can be used to punish him for calling a college student a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air.

Jobs Day 2012, By the Numbers

Today is Jobs Friday.

Scalia Rewrites History, Claims 5-4 Bush v. Gore Decision ‘Wasn’t Even Close’

During a speech at Wesleyan University last night, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia offered a strange revision of the time hejoined with four of his conservative colleagues to make George W. Bush president:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lead Plaintiff In Health Care Reform Suit Files For Bankruptcy With Medical Debt

The lead plaintiff in the legal case against the Affordable Care Act filed for bankruptcy after accruing nearly $5,000 in medical debt. According to the Los Angeles Times, plaintiff Mary Brown was uninsured last fall when her husband’s medical bills stacked up to $4,500. That, combined with other debt they had accumulated, led the couple to file for bankruptcy:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can A Heart Drug Combat Racist Attitudes?

Oxford University researchers have found that a commonly used heart disease drug may have an subconscious affect on altering racist attitudes.

Why Black People And Republicans Just Can’t Get Along

Farai Chideya at the Root wrote a very good articleabout the relationship between the Black community and the Republican Party. Chideya discusses the perplexing fact that African Americans are overwhelmingly Democratic, yet many millions of us possess value systems that would be a better fit for a Republican pep rally.

More Than 20 People Charged In Public Assistance Fraud

The Feds have shut down a major Palm Beach County $1 million sting operation for misusing public assistance programs. So far 15 people have been arrested for charges that range from food stamps theft to public housing authority fraud to money laundering. Police are still on the look-out for seven more suspects who have been tied to the case, reports the Sun Sentinel.

Africa’s Number One Terrorist: Joseph Kony

Meet Joseph Kony, one of the most villainous criminals on the planet. This Ugandan terrorist is founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a anti-government group that is responsible for forcing thousands girls into prostitution and turning young boys into brain-washed child soldiers for his so-called “Christian movement.”

Breitbart’s ‘Bombshell’: The President Still Fights For Racial Equality and Fox News believe that President Obama’s affiliation with the late Harvard professor Derrick Bell, as evidenced from a hug they share in a video from 1990, is some kind of “smoking gun” for his perspectives on “racial division and class warfare.” Bell was the first tenured African-American law professor at Harvard University and helped establish the study of Critical Race Theory (CRT). This morning, editor Joel Pollak appeared on CNN to repeat this claim, but Soledad O’Brien was quick to point out that he had absolutely no understanding of CRT and that the clip presented no “bombshell” for the President:

Republican Lawmaker Now Supports Obama, Says GOP Presidential Candidates ‘Would Take Women Back Decades’

Questions about women and womens’ health have dominated the political debate over the past weeks, and at least one female Republican lawmaker is unhappy with her party’s record. New York Assemblyman Teresa Sayward (R), who is retiring after serving a decade in Albany, told the New York political program Capital Tonight that she does not support any of her party’s presidential candidates, because of their stances on women.

Women’s Impact On The Economy, By the Numbers

Today is International Women’s Day, which this year is coinciding with a lot of debate on the subject of women’s rights, specifically regarding abortion, contraception and reproductive health. But it’s worth pausing for a moment to also consider the enormous contributions women are making vis-a-vis the global economy.


The number of hate groups and antigovernment organizations “in the nation has continued to grow, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” At least 1,018 hate groups were operating last year, SPLC found, while the “number of groups whose ideology is organized against specific racial, religious, sexual or other characteristics has risen steadily since 2000, when 602 were identified, the center said. Antigay groups, for example, have risen to 27 from 17 in 2010″:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Extreme Poverty In The U.S. Has Doubled In The Last 15 Years

According to the latest Census Bureau data, nearly 50 percent of Americans are either low-income or living in poverty in the wake of the Great Recession. And a new study from the National Poverty Center shows just how deep in poverty some of those people are, finding that the number of households living on less than $2 per day (before government benefits) has more than doubled in the last 15 years:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CHART: As Income For The Top 1 Percent Grew, Republicans Became More ‘Polarized’

Last week, ThinkProgress reported studies by political science professors Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal that show House Republicans are largely responsible for the ideological extremism that has occurred over the last 30 years in Congress. Another study by Poole, Rosenthal, and others finds that as the proportion of income made by the top 1 percent has increased, members in the House have become more “polarized.”

86-Year-Old Ohio Veteran Can’t Vote After Government-Issued ID Is Rejected At Poll

Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to vote in the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The poll worker rejected the ID because it did not contain an address, as required by Ohio law.

Monday, March 5, 2012

You Must Have A Job To Get A Job: The New Way Employers Hire!

If you see one of these statements in an ad, or are asked one of the following questions during your job search, you know what time it is:

  • Must be currently employed
  • Do You Have An Updated Resume
  • What Have You Been Doing With Your Time
  • Looking For Recently Employed  

Floor Statement on H.R. 3630 Conference Agreement by Congressman Sandy Levin

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today made the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of the H.R. 3630 Conference agreement:

Richest 1 Percent Account For Nearly All Of U.S. Recovery's Gains: Report

Technically, the economy has been in recovery for two years. But it turns out the rich have been doing most of the recovering.

Female Veterans Demand Rush Limbaugh’s Show Be Pulled From American Forces Network

VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a letter today from a group of female veterans calling on the American Forces Network to drop Rush Limbaugh from its programming.

Miranda Norman (who is a Senior Advisor), Kayla Williams, and Robin Eckstein, all Iraq War Veterans, and Katherine Scheirman, former chief of medical operations in the U.S. Air Forces, released the following statement:

Minnesota State GOP Rep. Compares Food Stamp Program To Feeding ‘The Animals’

Thanks in large part to the lingering impact of the recession, more than 46.5 million Americans receivedfood stamp aid last December, a 0.5 percent increase from November. According to the USDA, most households can only have $2,000 in countable resources in order to qualify, which makes food stamps a potentially life-saving part of the safety net for poverty-stricken Americans.

Former Military And Intelligence Officials Urge Obama To ‘Say No To War Of Choice With Iran’

Today during a Oval Office press briefing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama said the two leaders “prefer” to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis “diplomatically.” But the two men have not always seens eye-to-eye on how to confront Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Netanyahu has openly rejected efforts to diplomatically deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon while Obama, speaking at the AIPAC conference on Sunday, warned that “loose talk of war” is benefiting the Iranian government.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

How Access To Contraception Benefits The Economy

Rush Limbaugh has been on a several day long sexist tirade against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, who testified before Congress on the Obama administration’s proposed rule requiring employers to provide contraception coverage in their health plans. Limbaugh’s misogynistic attacks have earned him thecondemnation of 75 Democratic lawmakers and lost him the support of at least four advertisers.

Limbaugh Attacks Help Put Chevy Volt Workers Out Of A Job

Relentless attacks on the Chevy Volt from Rush Limbaugh and Republican politicians have taken their toll, as General Motors has announced a five-week suspension in production of the range-extended electric car. Conservative enemies of clean energy and the Obama administrationseized on isolated reports Volts with battery fires, calling the cars “Obama-mandated death traps.” Limbaugh even said GM was a “corporation that’s trying to kill its customers.”

How The Kochs Are Fracking America

At the Republic Report, Lee Fang details how the Koch Industries petrochemical empire is involved in the boom in natural gashydrofracturing. The right-wing Koch brothers have developed a vertical empire designed to extract wealth from every point in the hydrocarbon lifecycle. A small fraction of their profits is funneled into corrupting our political system, in order to prevent government from protecting society against the costs of the waste products.

The October 2011 issue of Discovery, the in-house Koch Industries newsletter, explains how the Koch Industries empire is profiting from the “really exciting” fracking boom:

The Myth Of NRA Dominance Part IV: The Declining Role Of Guns In American Society

In the first three installments in this series (read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I discussed the myth of the NRA’s power: how its money, endorsements, and vaunted organizing ability don’t provide anything like the electoral victories so many believe. In this final installment, I address the contemporary status of guns in America. For all the cultural weight and mythology about firearms, the truth is that gun ownership has undergone a long and steady decline. Demographic shifts suggest that in the future, that decline will only continue and perhaps accelerate. And as contentious as the gun issue often appears, there is widespread agreement that gun ownership can and should be limited in various ways. Though a majority of Americans believe in a broad right to own guns, they also support universal background checks, permit requirements, and measures to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.