Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Your Boss In Your Bedroom?

The Conservative War on Birth Control Marches On

You might like your boss or you might hate your boss, but either way there’s probably one place you don’t want your boss hanging around: in your bedroom. But that’s exactly where Republicans want to put your boss — in your bedroom and in between you and your doctor when it comes to making your own personal health care decisions.

Homeland Security Kept Tabs On Occupy Wall Street

An internal Department of Homeland Security reportobtained by Rolling Stone shows the agency was keeping its eyes on Occupy Wall Street, concerned about potential disruptions to transportation networks and infrastructure. The five-page memo from October, titled, “SPECIAL COVERAGE: Occupy Wall Street,” acknowledged the peaceful nature of the movement and made mostly anodyne observations from publicly available sources, but did warn of the potential for violence.

One Million Moms Threatens to Boycott Toys ‘R’ Us for Carrying Archie Comics

If you need any more proof that conservatives don’t just want to protect their own kids from material they find objectionable, they don’t want anyone to have any access to it, ever, check out the One Million Moms freakout over Archie Comics at Toys ‘R’ Us. They’rewriting to the chain:

GRAPH: Republicans Responsible For Hyper-Polarization Of Congress

Announcing her intention to retire yesterday, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) decried the “atmosphere of polarization” that she finds “frustrating.” While Snowe didn’t assign responsibility for the current climate of hyper-partisanship in Congress, a study by distinguished political science professor Keith Poole does. It should come as no surprise that the analysis finds Republicans are to blame for the gridlock.

After Deliberating For Three Minutes, Florida Senate Panel Approves Anti-Sharia Bill

A Florida Senate panel approved a measure to ban the use of Sharia law in the Sunshine State yesterday after deliberating for just three minutes and turning dozens away who sought to give their testimony.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black women heavier and happier with their bodies than white women, poll finds

In the pre-dawn darkness, the gym doors close, and the black women start to move. House versions of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman,” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” blare from speakers as the 30 or so women, most with curves, not angles, grab their jump ropes at the L.A. Fitness club in Capitol Heights. They double-time it as fitness instructor Michelle Gibson counts them down from the front of the class.

Analysis: Stock Returns Are Significantly Higher When A Democrat Is President

The stock market has been flirting with 13,000 for days, a level at which it has not closed since 2008. As ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes reported, Republicans havebeen at pains to explain why President Obama deserves no credit for the Dow’s rebound (even though the GOP was quite willing to blame Obama when the Dow tanked in 2008 and 2009).

Occupy DC Helps Grandmother Avoid Eviction, Stay In Her Home

An hour after Occupy DC protesters organized a rally outside Freddie Mac’s offices in downtown Washington, DC yesterday on behalf of a Maryland resident facing eviction, the mortgage giant announced that it had developed plan to keep her in her home.


Texas Republicans are taking a hardline against implementing the exchanges in the Affordable Care Act and currently have “no plans to implement an exchange” in the state. But during a House Public Health and Insurance Committees hearing yesterday, Billy Millwee, the State Medicad Director told lawmakers that “the percentage of Texans with health insurance will increase to 91 percent – up from 74 percent today – after the national health care law takes effect in 2014.” Texas — which has the highest rate of uninsured Americans — has the most to gain from implementing the law.


we’re funding energy,” Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates bemoaned at a conference on the U.S. government’s support for clean-tech research and development. Hobbled by incessant Republican attacks on clean energy, the United States is falling farther and farther behind in the race to build the infrastructure of the 21st century and help civilization survive climate change. Gates was speaking at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in a discussion moderated by CAP chair John Podesta.

BREAKING: Dow Jones Closes Above 13,000 For The First Time Since May 2008

Moments ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 13,000 for the first time since May 19, 2008. The stock market is now up over 56 percent since Obama took office. Today, the stock market was buoyed, in the view of one economist, by “job and income gains…leading to higher confidence and spending growth, in turn driving further spending gains.” Here’s how the stock market has fared under our last three presidents:

America’s Top Magazines: Still Not Hiring Women

Vida, an organization devoted to examination and discussion of the roles women play in literature, hasreleased its latest survey of the articles and reviews published by women in major magazines in 2011, and the results aren’t encouraging.

Report: Latinos Harassed, Immigrants Denied Pay, Families Live Without Water Thanks To Anti-Immigrant Alabama Law

Since HB 56, Alabama’s extreme immigration law, went into effect last fall, children stayed home from school out of fear that their parents would be deported, and U.S.-born children have been denied food stampsbecause of their parents’ immigration status. Public utility companies denied service to anyone who did not provide ID to prove they were legally in the U.S. Farmers watched their crops rot in the fields after their workers left Alabama. In all, one study shows that the damage from HB 56 could end up costing Alabama about 100,000 jobs and billions in GDP losses.

Republicans Sought Algae Research Grants From Obama, Now They’re Attacking Him For It

Following President Obama’s “all-the-above” energy speech last Thursday, conservatives have ignored the speech and instead latched onto a single point about investing $14 million in algae-based biofuel research. “Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this [algae] fuel that we can grow right here in the United States,”Obama said.

Corporate Front Group Buys Attack On Humane Society During Oscar Broadcast

During last night’s Oscar broadcast, a corporate front group ran an attack ad claiming that only a small percentage of the Humane Society of the United States’ donations fund animal shelters. Watch it:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alabama Bill Could Require Women To Undergo Invasive Ultrasound To Convince Them ‘To Keep The Child’

When a woman in Alabama seeks an abortion procedure, she already has to signthat her doctor has performed an ultrasound and that she either viewed the ultrasound image or rejected seeing it. But state Sen. Clay Scofield (R) is pushing SB 12, a bill in the Alabama legislature that would mandate the physician “to perform an ultrasound, provide verbal explanation of the ultrasound, and display the images to the pregnant woman before performing an abortion.” The physician could also require the woman to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound — “in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced” — if she or he determines it necessary.

Iranian State Media Apparently Didn’t Listen To Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar Acceptance Speech

After the Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’sA Separation (or, in Farsi, Jodaeiyeh Nader az Simin) won the Oscar award for best foreign language film, he made an appeal to the audience to get beyond the war chatter, politics, and geostrategic posturing, and appreciate Iranian art for what it is: part of the country’s rich and historic culture. His speech, which ThinkProgress’s Alyssa Rosenberg called “by far the classiest, most meaningful speech of the evening,” went:

After Voting For Tuition Hike, Arizona State Representative Tells Poor Students: ‘Welcome To Life’

Last week, an Arizona House Committee approved a bill requiring even the poorest students to pay a minimum of $2,000 per year to attend public university in the Grand Canyon State.

VIDEO: Mitt Romney’s Top 10 Out Of Touch Moments

Mitt Romney just can’t help himself. Despite concerns about his ability to connect with average voters, Romney refers to his significant wealth with startling frequency. Three times in the last three days alone, Romney has issued statements that make him seem completely disconnected with normal Americans. This has been a problem for Romney since the beginning of the campaign, and may haunt him down the road if he just can’t shake the image of being “Mr. One-percent.” Here are Mitt Romney’s top 10 out of touch moments:

Over Last 10 Years, General Electric’s Effective Tax Rate Was 2.3 Percent

The Obama administration unveiled its corporate tax reform plan last week, which would lower the top rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, billing it as an effort to help make the American corporate tax code more competitive. Republicans have long crowed for corporate tax reform, saying America’s high marginal rate stifles competition, but they have blocked efforts (including Obama’s) to close many of the loopholes and schemes corporations use to avoid paying taxes.


Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder and Right to Life of Idaho are sponsoring a bill to require women to have an ultrasound before receiving an abortion that has been introduced in the Idaho legislature. The measure does not specifically mention transvaginal ultrasounds — “in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced” — but would leave it up to a doctor and the patient to decide which ultrasound would be best. It states: “The physician who is to perform the abortion or a qualified technician shall perform an obstetric ultrasound on the pregnant patient, using whichever method the physician and patient agree is best under the circumstances.”Alabama and Pennsylvania are also considering similar laws, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has already backed away from backed away from that state’s controversial transvaginal mandate and proposed a compromise amendment.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Indiana Republican Backtracks From Attack On Girl Scouts, While Other Right-Wing Groups Continue Smears

Indiana Republican Rep. Bob Morris has become the butt of late night jokes and ridicule after he wrote a letter to colleagues claiming that the Girl Scouts was a “radicalized organization” that supports abortions and the homosexual agenda. Morris initially stood by his remarks, saying on Tuesday, “My family and I took a view and we’re sticking by it. … My girls are no longer Girl Scouts. They’re now going to join American Heritage Girls.” But now, as the pressure has mounted, Morris is apologizing for the tone of his comments, even as some pro-life groups are rallying to his cause.

Bush-Appointed Judge Strikes Down Washington Law Protecting Access To Birth Control

Yesterday, a George W. Bush appointed judge declared unconstitutional a Washington state law that, among other things, requires pharmacies to dispense birth control and emergency contraception. While it’s not impossible that the law should be blocked on very narrow grounds, Judge Ronald Leighton’s opinion overreaches in ways that could undermine many efforts to protect women’s health and potentially render religious objectors immune to the rule of law.

Oil Lobby Says Obama’s Call To End Big Oil Handouts Is ‘Discriminatory’

The oil lobby American Petroleum Institute weighed in on President Obama’s corporate tax reform that closes an array of tax loopholes, including $4 billion in subsidies for the oil industry. Not surprisingly, API is unhappy. API President Jack Gerard played victim, calling the plan “discriminatory” against an industry that “receives not one subsidy”:

Goldline Hit With Injunction, Agrees To Repay Defrauded Customers $4.5 Million

Conservative talker-endorsed precious metal retailer Goldline International agreed to a court order this week to repay defrauded customers $4.5 million and overhaul its business practices. The injunction, handed down by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, was obtained by the City Attorney of Santa Monica, California — where the company is based — who had filed 19 criminal counts of fraud and theftagainst the company last year. Those charges have now been dismissed.

Georgia Senate Majority Leader & President Pro Tempore Introduce Unconstitutional Nullification Bill

The Constitution provides that acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land” which is why states do not have the power to ignore federal law. Nevertheless, five Georgia state senators — including Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R) and senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams (R) — apparently do not believe that the Constitution applies to them. All five lawmakers introduced a wildly unconstitutional plan to have Georgia and its citizens simply ignore laws that its conservative leadership doesn’t want to follow:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More States Plan To Divert Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Money Away From Helping Homeowners

Already, three states have announced plans to divert some of their share of the $26 billion foreclosure fraud settlement with the nation’s five biggest banks away from helping homeowners (which is the money’s intended purpose), and towards other parts of their respective budgets. Wisconsin and Missouri are planning to use the money to plug budget holes, while Ohio wants to use the funding to demolish vacant homes.

Right-Wing Media Group Pledges To Strip Birth Control Out Of Health Plan After Providing It For Years

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) has offered anamendment that would allow employers to deny coverage of health services to their employees on the basis of their personal moral objections. Women’s groups warn the measure will severely limit access to needed care and now Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, is providing a sneak preview to the kind of discrimination employees will experience if the amendment becomes law.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Defends Virginia ‘State-Sponsored Rape’ Bill As No Different Than Consensual Sex

This week, a Virginia state House committee overwhelmingly approved a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound before they can have an abortion. Because the majority of abortions happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, many women would have to undergo an invasive procedure “in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced,” as Dahlia Lithwick explained last week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday February 20, 2012 Talking Heads


Is this really the "most important stretch of the 2012 race?" The part where there's nothing to do except wait for the Michigan and Arizona primaries to happen? That's what Chris Wallace contends. So he'd better not come on the teevee in the middle of March and say THAT'S the most important stretch, or else...nothing. Nothing will happen to him. There are no consequences for anything, short of making racist headlines to recap Knicks games.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Intellectual Thug: Oxymoron or Occasional Reality?

Thought and Ideal taken from: Humble Guy at the Diary of a Tired Black man Forum this was a good read, and it ask a very questions about the state, or should I say the role in the Black Community of the reversal of what's good and what's bad today. As seen by youth, men and women, and those elders who you would believe would know better. Enjoy!

Wendy William Interviews Whitney Houston On January 30, 2003. (This Is A Must Hear!)

South Carolina mother faces charges after maggots found in baby's diaper (It's Getting Worse Folks)

(CBS) ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. - A South Carolina mother is facing charges after her sick baby was taken to an emergency room and nurses found maggots in the 10-month-old's diaper.

Obama Payroll Tax Cut: President Finally Scores Coveted Win

WASHINGTON -- The $143 billion payroll tax cut won by President Barack Obama may be the last significant measure he receives from a deeply divided Congress that promises to only get more polarized as Election Day approaches.

Minnesota Vikings Set To Fleece Unwilling Taxpayers For New Stadium

In an egregious example of how professional sports can be little more than a “glorified real estate scam,” the owners of the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings are about to fleece an unwilling Minnesota public for hundreds of millions of dollars, as they push to secure public subsidization of a new stadium. A deal is reportedly “imminent.”

EXPOSED: The 19 Public Corporations Funding The Climate Denier Think Tank Heartland Institute

One in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute’s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. Heartland has issued a press release claiming that some of these documents were sent to an outsider under false pretenses and that one document in the set is a fake, but the APindependently verified their contents.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The GOP’s ‘Utterly Surreal’ Contraception Hearing

The House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing yesterday on the Obama administration’s now-revised ruling that all employers must cover contraception in their employee health insurance policies, including some religiously-affiliated ones.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Anonymous Protests ACTA, Attacks FTC And Other U.S. Agencies' Sites

LONDON -- Opponents of a controversial global copyright treaty counted three victories Friday as American government websites were hacked and the Eastern European nations of Poland and Slovenia distanced themselves from the deal.

Infant Tylenol Recall: Johnson & Johnson Recalls Medicine Over Bottle Design Problems

TRENTON, N.J. -- Recall-plagued Johnson & Johnson is pulling all infant Tylenol off the U.S. market because some parents have had problems with redesigned bottles, introduced three months ago, that the company touted as a big safety improvement to make measuring doses easier.

Harry Reid Will Ask Obama To Recess Appoint All Nominees If GOP Delays Continue

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) fired a warning shot to Republicans on Friday: Stop blocking President Barack Obama's executive branch nominees or I'll ask him to bypass the Senate and recess appoint all of them.

Santorum Sugar Daddy Foster Friess Gives ‘Gals’ Contraception Advice: Put An Aspirin Between Your Knees

Appearing of MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell today, Foster Friess, the main donor to the Super PAC backing Rick Santorum’s presidential bid, dismissed the controversy surrounding President Obama’s new birth control rule by suggesting that women should just keep their legs shut. Asked if he worried that Santorum’s Puritanical views on sex and social issues could hurt the candidate in the general election, Friess offered a more home-spun family planning scheme:

Darrell Issa Compares His All-Male Anti-Contraception Panel To Martin Luther King

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been catching flack for holding a panel today relating to women’s access to birth control that featured zero women, but Issa won’t let the fact that few Americans agree with his position deter him. Taking to Twitter this evening, he fired back with a always-appropriate Martin Luther King Jr. comparison:

CHART: Obama’s Latest Budget Would Create 1.5 Million New Jobs In 2012

The Economic Policy Institute released an analysis today of the programs in President Obama’s newly proposed budget plan which are aimed at boosting job growth. All told, it would yield approximately 1.5 million new jobs in fiscal year 2012, and around 1.3 million in 2013. This would result in a drop in the unemployment rate of 0.5 percent in 2012 and 0.4 percent in 2013, EPI estimated.

The Nation’s Most Radical Abortion Bill? Iowa GOP Proposal Would Ban All Abortions, Sentence Doctors To Life In Prison

In the escalating war on women’s rights in statehouse across the country, Iowa state Rep. Kim Pearson (R) may have just dropped the biggest bomb yet. Pearson, a freshman Tea Party lawmaker so extreme that she’s already drawn scorn from fellow Republicans and decided not to run for re-election, introduced a bill yesterday morning that would completely outlaw all abortions.

Among other things, the bill make it so a doctor that performs and abortion commits “feticide” — a Class A felony, which is punishable by life imprisonment without the chance for parole:

The Testimony About Birth Control Republicans Did Not Want You To Hear

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) held a hearing today about the Obama administration’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to their employees, but they prevented women from testifyingon the issue.

GM Defends Contributions To ‘Careful And Considerate’ Climate Denier Institute

Internal documents reveal that General Motors Foundation has contributed to the climate-denial shop Heartland Institute, giving $30,000 since 2010 for its school-privatization publication School Reform News. GM has called for mandatory climate action, in sharp contrast to Heartland’s attacks on the fact of global warming.

Jeremy Lin And The Failure Of Sports’ Racial Stereotypes

Sports fans, the national media, and even National Basketball Association insiders are wondering how everyone missed out on Jeremy Lin, the where-did-he-come-from point guard for the New York Knicks who has set the sports world on fire over the last two weeks. Lin, after all, was barely recruited out of high school, undrafted out of Harvard, cut twice by NBA teams, sent to the NBA Development League, and nearly cut again, all before emerging to score more points in his first five starts than any player in NBA history.

Virginia Poised To Enact ‘State-Sponsored Rape’ Law Forcing Women To Be Vaginally Probed Before Abortions

Earlier this month, a bill requiring women to receive an ultrasound before they can receive an abortion passed the Virginia senate, and it recently cleared a state house committee with an overwhelming majority. As Dahlia Lithwick explains, the effect of this bill would be to force most women to undergo a stunningly invasive procedure for no medical reason whatsoever. “Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

Why MSNBC Dumped Pat Buchanan: His 10 Most Outrageous Statements

Yesterday, Pat Buchanan announced that his tenure as a commentator at MSNBC was finally over, ending months of speculation about his absence from his once-frequent perch aside morning anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Calls for Buchanan’s firing by groups like Color of Change, Credo, and Media Matters had been loud and growing, following years of controversial, offensive and outright bigoted statements made by Buchanan without apology or remorse. Here is a look back at 10 of the most offensive and outrageous statements made by Pat Buchanan:

Issa Defends Denying Female Witness At Contraception Hearing: She ‘Wasn’t In Any Way Related’

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) defended his decision to not allow a women to testify at his hearing on the Obama administration’s new birth control rule yesterday, telling Fox News host Greta Van Susteren last night that the woman’s story wasn’t at all relevant to the hearing.
Democrats had originally planned to have Rev. Barry Lynn, a prominent supporter of the separation of Church and State, testify, but decided that a woman’s voice was needed, as every single other witness was a man. They tried bring in someone who has been personally affected by the issue — Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown, which is affiliated with the Catholic Church and does not insure birth control for students — but Issa refused.
Appearing on Fox News with host Greta Van Susteren last night, Issa defended the decision, saying Fluke was unqualified to speak and that her first hand experience “wasn’t in any way related” to the issue at hand:
ISSA: They then wanted a different witness, a college student, who really didn’t belong on that panel for obvious reasons. [...]
She had a compelling story, a very sad story of a classmate who developed an ovarian cyst that might have been prevented by using contraception in another way, one that by the way, the Catholic bishop and everyone else there said is fully allowed, under their faith. But it was one of those things where her story was compelling, but it wasn’t in any way related to the point of the stated reason for hearing.
Watch it:
Of course, while Issa and other conservatives has tried to claim that the birth control issue is exclusively about religious liberty, it unquestionably about women’s health as well. To silence a women with firsthand experience by claiming her voice is irrelevant is ludicrous and suggests Issa afraid to let the other side tell its story, as most Americans disagree with his position.
Catholic colleges may be okay with using contraception to treat health conditions on paper, but as Fluke’s story suggests, in reality, such a policy can still limit access and endanger women’s health.

‘Occupy Our Homes’ Looks To Save Fifth Detroit Resident From Foreclosure

This week, Occupy Our Homes, an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, successfully helped a 78 year-old former civil rights activist in Atlanta stay in her home, after she was threatened with foreclosure by JP Morgan Chase (while the bank was simultaneouslytouting its commitment to the values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). Meanwhile, in Detroit, Occupy Our Homes has successfully prevented four foreclosures and is locked in on a fifth, as Michigan Radio reports:

Rep. Ellison: It’s ‘Impossible To Not Hear The Drumbeat Of War With Iran’

While Senate hawks are pushing a resolution that some have interpreted as “creeping toward an authorization of military force against Iran,” lawmakers in the House are starting a campaign to promote a diplomatic solution to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Walter Jones (R-NC) are asking House members to sign on to a letter urging Presidnet Obama not to start a war with Iran.

Largest Private Prison Bill In History Dies In Florida Senate Despite Million Dollar Lobbying Campaign

The largest proposed expansion of private prisons in the nation will not proceed after the Florida Senate voted down the proposal on Tuesday.

Though the GOP enjoys a 16-seat advantage in Florida’s upper chamber, nine Republicans joined twelve Democrats to defeat the massive prison privatization bill 21-19. TheMiami Herald has more:

Following Progressive Pressure, Apple Supplier FoxConn Increases Wages For Its Employees

Chinese manufacturer FoxConn, a key supplier for the world’s largest technology company Apple Inc.,today announced it will be raising workers’ wages by 16 to 25 percent in response to public outcry over reports of worker mistreatment. The move comes after nearly 250,000 individuals signed a petition on demanding Apple hold its suppliers accountable for violations of fair labor practices.


After two days of contentious debate and the consideration of several amendments, the Maryland House of Delegates has passed marriage equality legislation with a vote of 72-67. One of the amendments passed delayed the date of enactment from October to January. Another created a non-severability clause, such that if the religious protections are overturned by the courts, the entire law would have to be deemed invalid. The measure still has to advance through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and full Senate, and even then, it is likely to be challenged by a referendum. Listen to the final vote:

The Best Of Anthony Shadid: 20 Great Pieces By 2-Time Pulitzer Middle East Reporter

After the news came last night that New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid had died of an asthma attack in Syriat, I started reading through the archives of his work at the New York Times and Washington Post. Shadid, who ranged widely across the Middle East in his work for several papers, was absolutely wonderful at clearly explaining the dynamics of a given conflict, and what an election, a suicide bombing, or a troop pullout meant.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Black People Who “Be Hatin On” President Obama

Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins on February 11, 2012 7:41 pm

One thing I love about “our” people is that we like to keep things simple: Since the Obama presidency began, there has been a “stop snitching” code enforced on anyone who has the audacity to ask the White House to do a better job. Tough love is not allowed, only a coddling, protective voice of unconditional, relentless support. This support must be granted with a perpetual hope that the White House bureaucrats will do the right thing. We don’t give our agenda to the White House, the White House gives their agenda to us.

Whitney Houston Dead At 48


Whitney Houston’s friend and mentor, Clive Davis, has cancelled his annual pre-Grammy party after learning of the super-star’s tragic death. “He’s not having it anymore,” Davis’ label confirmed to Just Jared. “It’s been canceled. Very unfortunate.”

Attention Ladies: Republicans Are Coming For Your Birth Control

Seriously, They Are Opposed to Affordable Access to Birth Control

Earlier today, President Obama announced some changes to his proposal to require no-cost contraception that accommodated objections by religious groups. Here’s what the policy, which is being finalized today, means:

Who Is Foster Friess? Seven Facts You Need To Know

Foster Friess, the multi-millionaire financial investor who—until recently—was practically single-handedly bankrolling Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, has a long history supporting Republican candidates and conservative causes. And unlike some of his fellow mega-donors like the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson, Friess has never tried all that hard to hide his intentions or methods.

Cracker Rappers Use "N" Word At CPAC!

Two conservative rappers, Steven Crowder and Chris Loesch dressed in powdered wigs and jumpsuits performed a pro-conservative rap, “Mr. America” in which they appeared to use the n-word before claiming that they were saying Knickers. The pun was intentional as the deejay cut off the beat as they said the word.

Duluth racism ads drive some into a rage

DULUTH - A close-up of a white woman's face confronts motorists from billboards plastered along major roads here with the message, in large, black letters: "It's hard to see racism when you're white."

Man Pleads Guilty In Plot To Kill President

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A man from Uzbekistan pleaded guilty Friday to plotting with an Islamic terror organization in his home country to kill President Barack Obama with an automatic rifle he bought from an undercover federal agent in Alabama.

First Licensed Black Female Architect Dies At 85

Pioneering African-American female architectNorma Merrick Sklarek, who helped design Los Angeles Airport’s Terminal 1 and the American Embassy in Tokyo, died Monday in her home of Pacific Palisades, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Scared Detroiters wage quiet war against neighborhood drug dealer -- and win

For about a decade, residents of southwest Detroit near Woodmere Cemetery existed in an uneasy peace with the man called Mr. Pill.

Aram Alkazoff -- known as one of the most prolific prescription drug dealers in Detroit -- was slowly destroying the neighborhood.

Jeremy Lin, Knicks Top Lakers: Kobe Bryant Can't Match Surprise New York Star (VIDEO)

Contraception Accommodation: Insurers Will Be Required To Offer Birth Control Free Of Charge

Senior administration officials announced early this morning that President Obama will announce a new “accommodation” for religious liberties in the rule requiring all employers to offer contraception coverage without additional cost sharing. Under the new policy, “all women will still have access to free preventive care, including contraception,” no matter where they work. However, if a nonprofit religiously affiliated organization like a Catholic college or hospital objects to offering birth control, the insurance company will be required to provide the coverage free of charge and the employer will not pay for it. Sister Carol Keehan, President of the US Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards support the compromise, the administration officials said.


The day after President Obama’s reelection team included Bruce Springsteen’s new single “We Take Care of Our Own” in the list of songs Obama will use on the campaign trail, the Boss released a sing-along-friendly music video for the song. Watch it:

REPORT: By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control

President Obama’s regulation mandating that health insurance plans offer free birth control is an issue that most directly affects women. And yet, the cable news chatter over this controversy has been driven mostly by men, according to a new ThinkProgress analysis.

While Digging Up 1,235 Acres For His Golf Course, Donald Trump Says Wind Farms Are ‘Destroying’ Scotland

Real estate mogul and former Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has outdone himself this time.

After starting construction on a 1,235 acre coastal golf course on rural land in Scotland that will feature two golf courses, 950 houses and a luxury hotel, Trump is now complaining that the Scottish Minister is “hell-bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline” with offshore wind projects.

Facebook’s Initial Stock Offering Will Help It Dodge Corporate Income Taxes For Years

Back in 2008, Google seemed to have set the standard for tech corporation tax dodging, using complex accounting and subsidiaries in Ireland and Bermuda to drives its tax rate all the way down to 2.4 percent. But if all goes according to plan, Facebook will be able to use its initial public offering — via the stock options it gives its employees — to not only avoid paying corporate income tax for years, but to receive a $500 million refund from the federal government, as Citizens for Tax Justice explained:

Hundreds Of Protesters March To Conservative Action Conference To ‘Occupy CPAC’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hundreds of protesters, chanting “We are the 99 percent” and waving signs decrying corporate tax dodging and other issues, marched in front of the Marriott Wardman hotel in Woodley Park, the site of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, this afternoon.

GOP Ups The Ante, Introduces Legislation To Allow Any Employer To Deny Any Preventive Health Service

Earlier today, in response to criticism from Catholic groups, the White House altered its regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide no-cost contraception coverage as part of their health care plans. Churches and religious nonprofits that primarily employ people of the same faith are still exempt from the requirement, but now religiously affiliated colleges, universities, and hospitals that wish to avoid providing birth control can do so. Their employees will still receive contraception coverage at no additional cost sharing directly from the insurer.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Foreclosure Fraud Settlement, By The Numbers

Federal and state officials today will finally announce that they’ve reached a settlement with the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ various foreclosure fraud abuses, such as “robo-signing” foreclosure documents and submitting falsely notarized documents to courts. The settlement has been in the works for several months, as a few key states — most notably California and New York — were holding out for tougher terms against the banks.

Catholic Bishops Demand All Businesses Be Given The Right To Deny Women Contraception Coverage

Catholic bishops and their GOP allies have been in an uproar ever since the Obama administration announced new rules that require employers, including most religiously-affiliated institutions, to cover contraception in their health plans with no cost-sharing. Republican candidates have accused Obama of waging a “war against religious freedom.” Rick Santorum went so far as to say Obama has put America on “the path” of beheading devout citizens.

How The House Republicans’ Transportation Bill Hurts Low-Income Minorities

House Republicans have released a transportation bill that would eliminate the government’s dedicated funding stream for mass transit, instead counting on a plan that the Congressional Budget Office found would cover just 5 percent of transit costs. The New York Times called the bill “uniquely terrible,” while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican, called it “the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service.”

Members Of Congress Benefit From Contraception Coverage, But Seek To Limit Access For Women

Republicans in Congress have gone to war over the administration’s new rule requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to women. Despite the fact that the regulation already excludes more than 335,000 entities, Republicans have introduced legislation seeking to expand the conscience clause protection to exclude even more religiously affiliated institutions from the requirement. The move, which is opposed by women’s groups, would significantly restrict access to affordable birth control by allowing Catholic colleges, universities, or hospitals to deny contraception coverage. As a result, these women would have to spend up to $600 a year buying birth control without the help of insurance.

Fox Pundit Tells CPAC Crowd That Rachel Maddow Is ‘The Best Argument In Favor Of Her Parents Using Contraception’

In the “closed circuit world on the right,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is often the subject of ugly denigrations. Whether it’s being mocked for her sexual orientation, her name, or even her education, right-wingers can’t get enough of slamming her.


Late last month, President Obama issued a new rule requiring health insurance companies to cover contraception with no co-pay. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he will do everything and anything to overturn this decision. Almost all women — including 89% of Catholics— want to make their own decisions regarding contraception. Nevertheless, you can count on the fact that your member of Congress will be hearing from a vocal minority. This is just too important to sit on the sidelines.


Mississippi State Rep. Steve Holland, a Democrat, introduced a bill in the state’s lower chamber calling for the part of the Gulf of Mexico that borders his state to be renamed the “Gulf of America.” A local Latino GOP organization called on Holland to withdraw the measure. “If this bill passes the legislature and is signed into law, perhaps it is time to rename the Mississippi River,” wrote Bob Quasius, Café Con Leche’s president, in the letter. “After all, sharing a name with a state that wants to rewrite maps out of disdain for Mexicans would be a disgrace to the rest of the nation.” (HT: FP Passport)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unemployment Insurance Maximum Duration Dropping To 79 Weeks

Nearly 30,000 people enduring long-term joblessness in Michigan are set to lose their unemployment insurance as a federal program that provides the final 20 weeks of benefits expires there.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Corporate Front Group Airs Misleading Anti-Union Ad During Super Bowl

While Super Bowl XLVI will be remembered for its dramatic ending, the issue of workers’ rights and union representation also surrounded the National Football League’s biggest game. A labor dispute nearly cost the NFL its 2011-12 season, and in the days before the game, Indiana passed an anti-union “right to work” law that led to union and Occupy protests at Indianapolis’ Super Bowl festivities throughout the week.

Georgia Judge Backs Off Pro-Birther Decision, Holds Obama Is a Natural Born Citizen

Last month, an administrative law judge in Georgia issued a widely-mocked decisionrejecting President Obama’s attorneys’ argument that the president should not be forced to testify in a case brought by several birther activists who claim that he is ineligible to be president. On Friday, however, the judge finally decided to end this charade, holding that President Obama is indeed eligible to hold his current office:

Ad Team Behind That Chrysler Clint Eastwood Super Bowl Ad

For two Super Bowls in a row, Chrysler’s been the company to watch, first dropping gorgeous art-deco spot about the revitalization of Detroit starring Eminem and a gospel choir, and this year, rolling out Clint Eastwood for an ad that sounded as much like an Obama campaign message as a pitch for cars:

Former Wall Street Trader: ‘There’s No Other Industry Where You Could Get Paid So Much For Doing So Little’

One of the problematic developments for the U.S. economy in the last several decades has been increased financialization. In the 1950s, the financial sector made up less than 3 percent of the economy. Today, it is back to its pre-recession heights of more than 8 percent. The financial sector accounts for about 30 percent of total corporate profits, which is actually down from before the financial crisis, when it made closer to 40 percent.

Bloomberg: ‘You’d Think That If A Congresswoman Got Shot In The Head,’ That Would Change Congress’ Views On Guns

Appearing on Meet the Press this morning, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed bewilderment at the many lawmakers in Washington who continue sabotage existing gun laws:

Fox And Friends Pretty Sure The Labor Department Is ‘Cooking The Books’ On Jobs Numbers

On Friday, ThinkProgress noted that Fox News appeared to be systematically ignoring the strong jobs report that day, perhaps in an effort to avoid giving President Obama any credit. The network mentioned the jobs numbers half as often as some of their competitors, and buried the big news on their website, but on Fox and Friends today, the network went a step further.

Hosts Eric Bolling, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson went beyond merely downplaying the numbers to contriving a conspiracy theory to explain them away:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kimmel Asks Whites To Name “Favorite Black Person”

Depending on your mood today, this clip will either make you laugh or work your nerves.

Muslims Demand Investigation Into NYPD Biased Surveillance

NEW YORK (AP) — Thirty-three civil rights groups from around the country complained to the New York attorney general Friday about police documents that showed the New York Police Department recommending increased surveillance of Shiite mosques based on their religion.

Five Ways “Soul Train” Changed America

The death of Don Cornelius, reported today, is an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of his iconic TV series, Soul Train, the brainchild of the legendary executive producer and host. In the past two years, there’s been a VH-1 documentary, a dance party at New York’s Lincoln Center, and yesterdaya party outside the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate the donation of classic Soul Train memorabilia (see our exclusive report here).

Soul Train Line Takes Over Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of “Soul Train” boogied down Broadway wearing afro wigs and bell bottoms on Saturday while others recounted their favorite episodes at a Harlem meeting hall in tribute to the show’s late creator, Don Cornelius.

Jobs Report: Unemployment Rate For Returning Veterans Fell 6 Percentage Points

Today’s stronger-than-expected jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also contained good news for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The unemployment rate for veterans of the two wars fell from 15.2 percent a year ago to 9.1 percent last month, while the national unemployment rate fell from 9.1 percent to 8.3 percent during the same period.

Did Fox News Ignore The Jobs Report?

Today’s surprisingly good jobs report is dominating the news, except for at Fox News, which appears to be downplaying or ignoring the news that many view as favorable to President Obama. As Politico’s Dylan Byers noted this morning, while other major news outlets gave the jobs report top billing on their websites, “bur[ied]” in a small boxwith other economic headlines. As of this afternoon, the story has been moved, but is still relegated to minor placement, and now runs with an borderline self-parody of a op-ed, titled, “The bad news behind the January jobs report.”

EXCLUSIVE: Ari Fleischer Secretly Involved In Komen Strategy On Planned Parenthood

Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, was secretly involved in the Komen Foundation’s strategy regarding Planned Parenthood. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December. According to a source with first-hand knowledge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Arizona GOP Lawmaker Wants A State Holiday To Celebrate White People

Arizona’s unremitting campaign against its Hispanic communities has certainly reached an extreme, with the state GOP initiating a spate of radical anti-immigrant laws, banning Mexican-American and other ethnic studies, and ensuring that Spanish-speakers will never hold elected office. But one lawmaker is intent on turning the party’s xenophobic paranoia into a full-blown caricature.

ANALYSIS: Obama Reproductive Health Reg Mirrors State Conscience Protections

The Catholic Bishops and their Republican allies argue that the Obama administration’s regulation requiring insurers and employers to offer reproductive health coverage at no additional cost sharing is an “unprecedented attack on religious liberties” that will force houses of worships to sacrifice deeply held beliefs. In reality, the rule, part of the Affordable Care Act, exempts houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of the same faith. But religious groups contend that its conscience protections are too narrow.


Amidbrutal violence in Syria, Russia and China vetoed a resolution before the 15-member body to support an Arab League plan to end the crisis. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave dueling speeches in Munich, Germany. “As a tyrant in Damascus brutalizes his own people, the U.S. and Europe stand shoulder to shoulder…alongside the Arab League, in demanding an end to the bloodshed and a democratic future for Syria,” Clinton said. President Obama also threw his support behind the resolution and, going even farther, ended his statement by saying: “The suffering citizens of Syria must know: we are with you, and the Assad regime must come to an end.” But Russia and China blocked the resolution. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who tweeted that she was “disgusted” by the veto, said on the Council floor: “This intransigence is even more shameful when you consider that at least one of these members” — Russia — “is still delivering weapons to Syria.”

VIDEO: Protester Struck By Police During OccupyDC Raid, At Least Eight Arrested

United States Park Police bearing riot gear and on horse back raided Occupy DC this morning and throughout the day, removing tents that were deemed to be in violation of a no camping rule at McPherson Square. Park Police spokesperson Sgt. David Schlosser said the raid did not constitute an eviction and that protesters would be allowed to continue activities at the park as long as they complied with the no camping rule.
Six protesters had been arrested as of about four o’clock this afternoon — two for crossing a police barricade and four for violating police orders — but the majority were “very cooperative” as police moved through the park, Schlosser said. Two more were arrested later, according to various reports. Park Police moved methodically through the park, closing sections at a time while the rest remained open, using riot shields and sticks to move protesters as Park Service employees in hazardous materials suits cleared and removed tents.


Yesterday, ThinkProgress exclusively reported Ari Fleischer’s involvement — dating back at least to December — with the Komen Foundation, including issues related to Planned Parenthood. Tonight, the Washington Post reports that Komen is now publicly confirming that Fleischer, a prominent right-wing pundit and former press secretary for George W. Bush, will help “on crisis communications” related to Planned Parenthood. Komen stressed that Fleischer, who is a long-time critic of Planned Parenthood, “had nothing to do with the funding decision.”

Thursday, February 2, 2012

5.6 Million Americans Have Switched Their Banks In The Last 90 Days

Back in November, the Occupy Wall Street movement inspired “Bank Transfer Day,” a day for Americans fed up with the actions of the nation’s biggest banks to move their money to a different institution. Initial estimates of the impact of Bank Transfer Day placed the number of accounts moved at around 600,000, but later estimates revised that downward to around 200,000.

Global Warming Hates Groundhog Day: Punxsutawny Phil Sees A Year Without Winter

This morning, Punxsutawny Phil came out of his burrow on aunseasonably warm, sunny day, and predicted six more weeks of winter — but much of the United States has skipped the season entirely. Punxsutawny, like most of the United States, has been experiencing a freakishly warm winter, as our planet’s climate heats up from greenhouse pollution. A record high of 59°F was set in Punxsutawny on Tuesday — the mean high based on previous decades is 34 degrees. Today, instead of the chilly, snowy 17-degree morning that was normal when the Bill Murray film was made in 1993, the crowd cheered on the groundhog at above-freezing temperatures.

Another Reason to Love the Decemberists: Their Smart Move on Susan G. Komen

The band, which has been active about fundraising for breast cancer since keyboardist Jenny Conlee’s bout with the disease, has decided to pull its support from Susan G. Komen For the Cure after that group made a clearly politicized decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s breast health work. Now, they’ll send the money they make from selling their Team Jenny t-shirts directly to Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Emergency Fund. They’re not the only indie band taking action. The Mountain Goats, who are particularly politically active, warned their Twitter followers that “Pro-choice musicians, know that Komen for the Cure is now on the side of the bad guys.”

Is Eric Cantor Trying To Kill The Proposed Ban On Congressional Insider Trading?

During his State of the Union address, President Obama said “send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress; I will sign it tomorrow. Let’s limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact.” The remark stemmed from a 60 Minutes investigation showing that House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) profited from information he received in private briefings during the economic crisis of 2008.