Tuesday, April 30, 2013

100 Tennessee Inmates With Facebook Accounts, Iphones, and Street Drugs Show What Life Is Really Like Behind Bars!

YOU have to See this report to believe it!

North Carolina Under-Reported Worker Deaths And Ignored Multiple Workplace Safety Violations

The number of North Carolinians who died at work in 2012 is likely more than three times the original number reported by the state Labor Department. While the state estimated 35 worker fatalities last year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) put the number at 150.

Offshore Tax Havens: Sequestration Damages IRS Battle With Tax Evasion

WASHINGTON -- Special IRS amnesty programs for illegal offshore tax evasion have brought billions of dollars to the U.S. government and opened a wealth of new information about criminal tax fraud for investigators, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. But paltry IRS funding -- compounded by budget cuts required by sequestration -- is undermining its ability to combat tax cheating.

Two More Grad Students Claim To Find Another Flaw In Reinhart-Rogoff Research

Like Scooby-Doo villains, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff keep getting done in by meddling kids.

First, University of Massachusetts-Amherst grad student Thomas Herndon shot holes in their influential research paper, "Growth In A Time Of Debt," by pointing out several mistakes and omissions the Harvard economists had made. Now, two PhD students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City have a new paper that they say finds another flaw in that same research.

Hannah Warren, 2-Year-Old Girl, Gets Windpipe Made From Stem Cells

CHICAGO — A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.

Attorney General Holder Is On The Side Of The Boston Bombers Says Tea Party 'Caryopsis' Louie Gohnert

A Republican Congressman suggested on Tuesday that Attorney General Eric Holder permitted a federal judge to read Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights because the Obama cabinet official is biased towards terrorism. Since law enforcement officials captured Tsarnaev holed up in a boat on April 19th, conservatives have questioned why a federal judge Mirandized the suspect 16 hours after he was captured and have criticized the Justice Department for not stepping in and stopping the process.

Porn Stars Allie Haze, Nina Hartley Gratified By Study Suggesting Porn Effects On Behavior Are Minimal

Porn gets blamed for corrupting the minds of pretty much anyone who views it, so a new study suggesting its effects on young people may be minimal has many porn stars feeling, well, gratified.

Obama On Sequestration: I Can't Order Congressional Republicans To Behave

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday chastised Congress -- mainly Republicans -- for moving quickly to end flight delays caused by sequestration while leaving the other major consequences of the sweeping budget cuts unaddressed.

Governor Explains Away Poor Jobs Numbers: Most Unemployed People Are On Drugs

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is facing an uphill fight for re-election as he battles negative job approval ratings and a slow economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent, but the “number of people working in Pennsylvania tumbled by about 14,000 in March, following a drop of 6,000 in February.” Private employment has remained flat for 13 months, “growing by a mere 1,000 jobs” and landing the state “49th in the nation for job creation during March.”

Over 40 Percent Of Americans Don’t Know If "Obama Cares" Is Still Law

Despite the fact that Obamacare has been in place for over three years at this point, a lot of Americans still remain confused about the specific nature of the health reform law. Last month, a Kaiser Health poll revealed that many Americans still can’t correctly identify Obamacare’s provisions. Now, Kaiser’s most recent polling finds that 42 percent of Americans aren’t sure about whether Obamacare is law at all. Seven percent of survey respondents believed the Supreme Court overturned it, and 12 percent thought Congress had repealed it:

Monday, April 29, 2013

How ‘Mad Men’ Handled Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination With An Exploration Of White Privilege

This post discusses plot points from the April 28 episode of Mad Men.

What NBA Player Jason Collins’ Coming Out Says About Equality In Sports

Jason Collins, a 12-year National Basketball Association veteran who played the 2013 season for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, became the first active openly gay male in the four major American professional sports today, when he came out in a self-written article that will appear in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Two Critics Of Government Spending Are Forcing The Army To Build Tanks It Doesn’t Want

Congress is forcing the Army to spend nearly half a billion dollars building tanks that Army officials insist they don’t want, with money they say could be better spent elsewhere, according to a new report from the AP.

Everything You Need To Know About The Syrian Civil War

Over the last several days, the Syrian crisis has exploded back into the news. As the U.S. debates how to respond to the now two-year long struggle, here’s the what you need to know:

Two Critics Of Government Spending Are Forcing The Army To Build Tanks It Doesn’t Want

Congress is forcing the Army to spend nearly half a billion dollars building tanks that Army officials insist they don’t want, with money they say could be better spent elsewhere, according to a new report from the AP.

GOP Senator: Lawmakers Are Powerless To Prevent Terrorists From Buying Guns

A top Republican senator said that lawmakers shouldn’t act to prevent terrorists from obtaining guns, arguing that additional restrictions would only reduce “the number of firearms nationwide” and undermine the rights of law-abiding Americans.

After Casting Key Fifth Vote For Bush, Justice O’Connor Now Regrets Bush v. Gore

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the conservative retired justice who provided the fifth vote to install George W. Bush as president, is now having second thoughts about that decision:

How Austerity Is Literally Killing People

Austerity in the United States and Europe isn’t just placing an unnecessary drag on economic growth that has harmed the global economic recovery from the Great Recession. The rapid deficit reduction efforts are also making people less healthy, causing higher rates of suicide, depression, and infectious disease, according to research from Oxford University economist David Stuckler and Stanford University medical professor Sanjay Basu.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The April 28Th 2013 Talking Heads


Hey, great. Today's Fox News Sunday will be dedicated to "preventing another attack on the homeland," so that's just terrific. Joining us will be Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Representative Mike McCaul (R-Tex.) whose names are just synonymous for safety and security. Basically, "these are the best people we could book this weekend and so they will just have to do their best." Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren is also here, to tell us about the exciting opportunities now available to die in a ground war in Syria.

Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits Payments Totaled $3.3 Billion In 2011: Paper

The U.S. government paid out billions in unemployment benefits to people who were actually working, a new report finds, sparking concerns that a big share of the money meant for the jobless isn't going to the workers who are struggling the most.

Cancer Clinics: Congress Should Have Restored Our Sequester Cuts Before Addressing Airport Delays

This past week, Congress approved a measure to restore funding to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after sequester cuts to the national transportation agency disrupted airline travel across the country — but they haven’t taken similar steps to provide relief for other programs that are struggling as a result of sequestration. Now, employees at cancer clinics are sharply criticizing that move, pointing out that lawmakers should have prioritized their funding before working to alleviate airport delays.

Muslim Congressman Slams GOP’s Call For Religious Profiling After Boston

During an appearance on Meet The Press Sunday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) repeated his call for profiling Muslims in the name of public safety, stating that although most Muslims are “outstanding people,” the threat of terrorism still stems from “the Muslim community.” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), America’s first Muslim congressman, quickly shot down that line of thinking, arguing that blanket profiling doesn’t serve the needs of law enforcement and actually undermines effective investigations by unnecessarily straining public resources.

Gun Group Holds Rally With AR-15s To Congratulate Congress For Blocking Background Checks

A group of gun activists armed with AR-15s and handguns held a rally at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Indiana on Saturday to thank Congress for voting down gun safety measures, including a proposal to expand background checks for guns sales.

Making Childbirth Safer And Easier For Women

Why do some women have easy births while others have long, traumatic labours which end with an emergency delivery?

Americans Want Tougher Enforcement Of Workplace Safety Laws After Texas Explosion

In the wake of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people, a plurality of Americans say the United States’ current workplace safety regulations are not strict enough to prevent such disasters, according to a new poll from YouGov and the Huffington Post. A majority, though, said tougher enforcement of existing laws would be more effective at preventing future disasters than new laws, the poll found:

Disney World Fights Against Paid Sick Days For Florida Employees

Pressure from Disney World has influenced the Florida Senate to take a big step back in guaranteeing paid sick days for workers.

Black Voter Turnout Rate Passes Whites In 2012 Election

WASHINGTON — America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

C-SPAN StudentCam 2013 Grand Prize Documentary: Unemployment in America by Josh Stokes

This short Doc was aired, today on C-Span April 27,2013, and I thought the information and real life story was really telling. The problems of the man featured, Jeff Buggee who has been unemployed 2 years now has seem to become the the norm and accepted among those who have hiring power. This is a topic the congress does not want to address, but don't keep them waiting in line at an airport.

As Bangladesh Death Toll Exceeds 300, Major U.S. Retailers Refuse To Implement Safety Standards

The Bangladeshi garment factory whose collapse has cost 300 lives and counting never gained approval from the local development authority. In the days leading up to the collapse, with the building exhibiting deep cracks, police ordered owners to evacuate the building and workers fled to the streets. But the building’s owner told reporters the cracks were “nothing serious” and stood outside the building with a megaphone, reportedly warning workers they would be docked pay if they didn’t return to work.

Stink Bugs: The Scientific Battle Against An Insect Invasion

Millions of stink bugs are emerging from their hibernation, a sign of spring that strikes fear into the hearts of farmers across the US. Could a tiny wasp be the ultimate weapon in the battle against the foreign bug invasion?

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Federal Guidelines For Sexual Assault Cases Could Expand Rape Victims’ Access To Plan B

For the first time in the past seven years, the federal government has issued specific guidelines for the way that health professionals, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors should respond to sexual assault cases. And unlike the earlier guidelines issued in 2004, the new policy specifically recommends methods to prioritize victims’ “physical and emotional needs,” including ensuring that emergency contraception is available to them.

Mississippi High School Sued For Forcing Students To Attend Religious Assembly

A high school in central Mississippi finds itself in court after allegedly holding a mandatory religious assembly earlier this month.

12 Programs Congress Refuses To Save From Automatic Spending Cuts

After thousands of flight delays across the country this week, the United States Senate voted Thursday night to give the Federal Aviation Administration the flexibility to keep the nation’s airports running smoothly. The delays were caused by the furlough of air traffic controllers, who were rotating off the job because of sequestration’s automatic budget cuts that began taking effect on March 1. The Senate legislation, which passed the House today and will be signed by President Obama, will allow the FAA to shift the burden of its cuts around, removing the need for controller furloughs and the delays that come with them.

Members Of Congress Introduce Legislation Based On Fringe Conspiracy Theory

Two Republican members of Congress introduced legislation on Friday that would limit the amount of ammunition the government is able to purchase at a given time. The bill is a response to far-right conspiracy theories that the government is “stockpiling” ammunition, either to wage a war against the American people or to dry up the ammunition market so average citizens can’t buy bullets.

Senate Reaches Deal To Avoid Air Traffic Delays

Timsomor Note April 26, 2013:

I was listening to CBS's Charlie Rose today and he said that John Boehner was on one of those flights that was delayed. He got everyone to agree on this bill. Is this what we need to do about the job crisis by putting politicians in real world examples to get action? Ole school Arsenio Hmmm on that one. You will have your chance soon to do just that. So, I am not saying forget the article only take note that inconvenience seems to get things done or considered with some. Something to think about when you heard this guy "Yelling Where Are The Jobs" for months and did every thing in his power to stop anything related to creating jobs. But I am pretty sure in his head he thought about "Where Are The Seats!"  

Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, And Some Give Him Credit Just Because He Made Decisions?

More than three years still remained in George W. Bush’s presidency when it had already collapsed by the end of 2005. The Bush revisionism industry has thus enjoyed an unusually long period of time in which to plan out its action and predict their man’s comeback as a misunderstood, unduly maligned and — dare they say it? — successful president. The opening of the Bush museum today has opened up a flood of pent-up Bush revisionism.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Congressman Finally Takes Action To Remove Needless Requirement Bankrupting The Postal Service

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has introduced legislation to try to save the US Postal Service from its incipient bankruptcy, and he is asking for the public to help him pass it.

The NFL Is A Tax-Exempt Organization — But One Senator Wants To Change That

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) today introduced an amendment to the Marketplace Fairness Act that would end the practice of allowing professional sports leagues to qualify as tax-exempt organizations, a move that would hit leagues like the National Football League, the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour, and the National Hockey League, among others.

Boston Hospitals And Insurers Will Help Ease The Bombing Victims’ Medical Costs

The total medical costs resulting from last week’s Boston Marathon attack are expected to top $9 million — and that could be a conservative estimate, since the bombings’ injury toll has just been revised up to nearly 300 people. Fortunately, however, the city’s largest health providers are stepping up to ensure that the victims won’t suffer under the full weight of those mounting costs.

13 Reasons To Be Glad Bush Is No Longer President

The five living presidents will meet in Texas on Thursday to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And while Bush and his aides are using the occasion to soften the 43 president’s image and solidify his legacy, a recounting of Bush-era policies — from his deregulation of Wall Street to the invasion of Iraq — greatly undermine the new rosy narrative of the Bush years:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

White Golfer Goes Nuts, Attacks Black Golfers Then Threatens to Stab Them

Racism found its way onto a Long Island, New York golf course last week after a white golfer went berserk, yelled the N-word at two black golfers, attacked one of the black players with a golf club, and then threatened to stab him.

Just Four Lawmakers Show Up To Congressional Hearing On Long-Term Unemployment

With the nation’s unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, members of Congress are fond of saying that they are focused on nothing but jobs. And yet, when Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) scheduled a Joint Economic Committee hearing on one of the biggest jobs-related crises facing the United States, just four of the committee’s 20 members bothered to show up.

Avon Barksdale For Real: 13 corrections officers indicted in Md., accused of aiding gang’s drug scheme (Video)

More than a dozen Maryland state prison guards helped a dangerous national gang operate a drug-trafficking and money-laundering scheme from behind bars that involved cash payments, sex and access to fancy cars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

How Even A Terrorist Can Buy Explosive Powders Without A Background Check

The bombs used in the Boston Marathon explosion were “rudimentary” but powerful, according to experts, made using instructions available on the Internet, and readily available items such as pressure cookers, nails, and BBs. But the bombs also contained a blasting agent, likely black powder. And thanks to major gaps in federal legislation, this powder was also readily available to the bombers, whether it was obtained in large quantities from an ammunition dealer, or extracted from several low-level fireworks that contain the powder.

America's Oldest And Unofficial Terrorist Group The Ku Klux Klan Holds 1st National Meeting On This Day In 1867

White supremacist and extreme-Right organization the Ku Klux Klan began their reign of terror in Tennessee in 1865. Early on, it was a group made of largely southern Democrats who rallied against Black and White Republicans in the South and championed the suppression of equal rights for all. With many members enraged by the Reconstruction of the South after the events of the Civil War, Blacks would be terrorized by the Klan for decades to come. On this day, the Klan held its first national meeting in a bid to build structure among the loosely banded and often lawless group.

Rand Paul Clarifies Drone Position After Outcry

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) walked back comments Tuesday in which he endorsed the hypothetical killing of an armed robber by a drone, a day after he took the controversial stance.

Alex Jones Downplays Connection To “Boston Bomber”

WASHINGTON — Alex Jones is not surprised that the media is reporting that Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a fan of his Infowars website, he told BuzzFeed on Tuesday.

Paradigm Research Group Hearing On Extraterrestrials Draws Six Former Members Of Congress

Mock congressional hearings on the alien presence hidden behind government denial?

Former U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is so there.

Extraterrestrials will be the subject of intense scrutiny next week as Bartlett and five other former members of Congress preside over 30 hours of testimony just blocks from the White House.

New Bird Flu Strain Is ‘One Of The Most Lethal’ Viruses Of Its Kind, Global Health Experts Warn

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that the new bird flu currently spreading in China, H7N9, appears to be “one of the most lethal” of its kind. So far, it’s been spreading among humans more rapidly than its H5N1 predecessor, another strain of bird flu that emerged in the country in 2003.

Conservative Group Photoshops Out Minorities In Mailer Opposing Pro-Voting Legislation

A conservative group connected to Colorado’s Secretary of State has been sending political mailers — including a picture of a darker-skinned woman whose face was digitally removed and replaced with a white woman’s face — in an attempt to oppose a landmark voting bill that may soon become law.

Tennessee Lawmaker Mocks Gun Regulations, Warns Of ‘Assault Pressure Cooker’

Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) took to his personal blog Sunday to mock U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), suggesting that she and other reformers should now be focusing on a ban on pressure cookers. And when criticized for his insensitivity to the Boston Marathon victims, Campfield doubled-down on the claims, crying “double standard.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

After Demanding Senate Pass A Budget, GOP Refuses To Enter Budget Negotiations

House Republicans spent most of their time over the last three years reminding Americans that Senate Democrats hadn’t passed a budget in two, then three, then four years. It was a regular Republican talking point, a particular favorite of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s. But now that the Senate has returned to regular order by passing a budget, House Republicans are refusing to come to the table to negotiate a long-term spending plan.

Rush Limbaugh Compares Suspected Boston Bomber To Trayvon Martin, Here we go!

Conservative radio prognosticator Rush Limbaugh used his nationally syndicated show on Tuesday to try and tie Dzhakar Tsarnaev, the captured suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings last week, to murdered teenager Trayvon Martin.

Fertilizer Industry Groups Have Been Lobbying Against Safety Regulations

While it’s still unclear what caused the explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer facility last week, authorities have already ruled out criminal activity. And it is clear that while seven different regulatory agencies were responsible for overseeing the plant, and in fact five out of those seven have previously cited and/or fined it, the lack of coordination or concerted effort meant that it slipped through the cracks.

Black Customer Photos With Racist Remarks Posted On Social Media

DETROIT (WJBK) - Some Detroit party store customers were horrified to see their pictures on social media sites with racist comments. They called Fox 2 looking for answers.

Minnesota Welfare Drug Testing Debate Prompts House Members To Vote For Testing Themselves

As drug testing bills aimed at the poor and jobless have entered several state legislatures this year, one group of lawmakers decided Monday to extend the idea to themselves.

Boston Bomb Victims To Benefit From 'Romneycare' Health Reforms

The victims of the Boston Marathon bombing have endured pain and injury but they may be spared further insult in the form of huge medical bills, thanks to Massachusetts' unique health care system.

George W. Bush Approval Rating Up Since He Left Office, What!: Poll

As George W. Bush re-enters the public eye for the dedication of his presidential library, his job rating is the highest it's been since 2005, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday.

Boston Marathon bombings: How Notorious Bombers Got Caught

How do you catch a bomber? History shows it can take hours or years - and success requires good luck, good timing and good police work.

Apple blocks Google Motorola's sensor patent challenge

Google has failed in its latest attempt to convince a US trade agency that Apple has infringed its intellectual property.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How The NRA Has Made It Harder To Connect Criminals To Their Weapons

The struggle to figure out how Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev obtained their weapons began almost immediately after the manhunt ended, but very little has yet been discovered, thanks in part to policies pushed by the NRA that obfuscate how a criminal gets his or her weapons.

How Closing The Online Sales Tax Loophole Would Help Low-Income Families

The Senate will likely vote this week on legislation that would close the “Amazon Loophole,” a tax loophole that allows online retailers like Amazon and eBay to avoid collecting sales taxes on most purchases made through the sites. The loophole gives online retailers a major advantage over their offline competitors, since they only have to collect sales taxes in states where they have a physical presence.

Did African-American Slaves Rebel? What were the largest slave rebellions in America? Question Bought To You By The Root

One of the most pernicious allegations made against the African-American people was that our slave ancestors were either exceptionally "docile" or "content and loyal," thus explaining their purported failure to rebel extensively. Some even compare enslaved Americans to their brothers and sisters in Brazil, Cuba, Suriname and Haiti, the last of whom defeated the most powerful army in the world, Napoleon's army, becoming the first slaves in history to successfully strike a blow for their own freedom.

2nd Man Arrested In Sexual Assault, Torture Of 5-Year-Old, India

NEW DELHI -- A second suspect was arrested Monday in the rape of a 5-year-old girl who New Delhi police say was left for dead in a locked room, a case that has brought a new wave of protests against how Indian authorities handle sex crimes.

Unrest In Nigeria: Fighting Between Country's Military And Islamic Extremists Kills At Least 185 People

BAGA, Nigeria -- Fighting between Nigeria's military and Islamic extremists killed at least 185 people in a fishing community in the nation's far northeast, officials said Sunday, an attack that saw insurgents fire rocket-propelled grenades and soldiers spray machine-gun fire into neighborhoods filled with civilians.

The Jobless Trap By Paul Krugman

F.D.R. told us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. But when future historians look back at our monstrously failed response to economic depression, they probably won’t blame fear, per se. Instead, they’ll castigate our leaders for fearing the wrong things.

Arkansas Republicans: Shoot Lawmakers For Expanding Medicaid

Republicans in Benton County, Arkansas are not happy that their state legislators have agreed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. In this month’s newsletter, columnist Chris Nogy encouraged his fellow Republicans to utilize their 2nd Amendment rights to make sure that lawmakers — particularly Republicans who vote with Democrats — are held accountable:

Offer Ends Soon, Act Now: Keystone Pipeline Public Comment Period Closes On Monday

Worried that the disaster-for-the-climate Keystone XL pipeline will get construction approval to pump 51 coal plants’ worth of carbon into the atmosphere? Feel free to speak your mind.

Senator Told Shooting Victim’s Mother He Supported Background Checks, Then Voted Against Them

Shortly before the a crucial Senate vote to expand background checks in gun transactions, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sent a letter to the mother of a shooting victim claiming that he was “truly sorry” for her son’s death and that “strengthening background checks is something we agree on.” A few days later, he voted to kill the background checks bill.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Sunday April 21st, 2013 Talking Heads


Today Dianne Feinstein and Pete King will talk about "cracks in our national security infrastructure" and I'm sure that won't be alarmist at all! Plus, various panels of varying utility.

Koch Brothers Plan To Buy Up Eight Major Newspapers

The millionaire oil moguls Charles and David Koch are pushing ahead with their plans to purchase several news outlets across the United States, according to a detailed report in the New York Times on Sunday.

Gang Of 8 Senators: Boston Bombing Should ‘Urge Us To Act Quicker’ On Immigration Reform

Lawmakers part of the so-called Senate Gang of 8 are pushing back against conservatives who are trying to exploit the Boston bombing to slow down the legislative momentum for immigration reform. On Friday, during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on a new bipartisan immigration proposal, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that “[g]iven the events of this week, it’s important to understand the gaps and loopholes” in the immigration system and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) suggested that reform should primarily focus on securing the borders.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What We’ve Learned In The 14 Years Since The Columbine Shooting

On April 20, 1999, two teenage boys opened fire on their high school in Littleton, Colorado. Using weapons purchased from private dealers at a gun show, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and one teacher and wounded 21 others. The massacre stood as the most deadly school shooting in U.S. history until Virginia Tech in 2007. Columbine High School became forever marked as a major American trauma — and a moment of reckoning for gun policy.

Food Infections Rose In 2012, But Government Is Still Gutting Food Safety Programs

Food-related infections rose in 2012, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, as budget cuts targeted food inspection programs inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies. Despite the first major update to food safety laws in more than 30 years, budget cuts favored by both Republicans and the Obama administration hampered implementation and inspection efforts, and the number of illnesses rose 3 percent over the 2011 level, the CDC reported this week.

Why Popular Policies Die in the Senate

The problems with the current Senate rules — namely the abuse of the filibuster by Republicans — are well known. Less well understood is how the Senate by design empowers the residents of small states at the expense of residents of larger states. This fact explains why a policy like background checks that enjoys the support of over 90 percent of Americans can still be killed in the Senate through a combination of filibuster abuse and the Senate’s bias toward small states.

Muslim Woman Attacked After Conservatives Repeat False Speculation About ‘Dark-Skinned Suspects’

It didn’t take long after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday for the internet’s most irresponsible figures to begin pointing fingers — without a shred of evidence — at several dark-skinned “suspects” seen in surveillance videos and miscellaneous photographs.

What You Need To Know About Why The Boston Bombing Suspect Hasn’t Been Read His Miranda Rights

Despite initial reports to the contrary, FBI agents did not read Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights immediately after he was taken into custody. Instead, they invoked what is known as the “public safety exception” to delay reading those rights to the alleged bomber. Here’s what you need to know about this narrow exception to the Miranda rule:

Friday, April 19, 2013

After Making $2 Billion In Profits, Insurer Complains It Doesn’t Get Enough Government Money

By all appearances, UnitedHealth Group is having a stellar year. The mammoth company, which is the largest health insurer in America and the biggest manager of private Medicare Advantage plans, announced on Thursday that despite a 14 percent decline in earnings, it had still made a profit of $2.1 billion — and that was just in the last fiscal quarter. UnitedHealth also won a major policy victory at the beginning of this month when the Obama Administration reversed course on its plan to cut reimbursements to Medicare Advantage plan providers by two percent. In fact, the Administration went the entirely opposite direction and announce it would raise these rates by 3.3 percent — a swing of 5.3 percent in UnitedHealth’s favor. Apparently, that isn’t enough for the insurance company. UnitedHealth is now threatening to reduce its involvement in managing Medicare plans, claiming that its government reimbursements are still too low.

What You Need To Know About Chechnya And The Boston Bombing Suspects

After an overnight chase, the media is reporting that the two suspects the FBI identified in Boston Marathon bombers are brothers from the restive Russian state of Chechnya. Here’s what you need to know about Chechnya and why that matters.

Last Inspection Of West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Was In 1985

The Associated Press is reporting that the fertilizer plant in West, Texas that exploded on Wednesday night hasn’t been inspected by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) since 1985, nearly three decades ago. It was issued a fine on its last inspection for a violation related to storing ammonia:

Arkansas Lawmaker Mocks Boston ‘Liberals,’ Says They Wish They Had Assault Rifles

On Friday morning, Arkansas State Rep. Nate Bell (R) tweeted that “liberal” Boston residents likely wished for assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, as the manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspects continued.

Republican Congressman Condemns GOP Effort To Use Boston Bombing Against Immigration Reform

MIAMI — On Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tried to use the Boston bombings to slow down the legislative push for immigration reform. Speaking during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on a new bipartisan immigration proposal, Grassley said that “[g]iven the events of this week, it’s important to understand the gaps and loopholes” in the immigration system.

One Boston Bombing Suspect Dead, Other Still On The Loose

Law enforcement officials believe that one suspect in Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon was killed Friday morning after a shootout and car chase with police, while the other is still on the loose. NBC’s Pete Williams reports that the two are brothers, age 19 and 20, and are legal permanent residents of the United States, living in Cambridge. The first suspect was taken into custody by police and was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital at 1:35 AM. As many as nine thousand police officers are now conducting a door-to-door search for the second individual, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev according to NBC, and are asking residents to stay in their homes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brittney Griner, An Openly Gay Basketball Player In Baylor’s Sea Of Homophobia

Brittney Griner, the former Baylor University basketball star who this week became the top overall pick in the WNBA Draft, came out in a recent interview as already openly gay. Griner hadn’t been asked publicly about her sexuality before, but she told both USA Today and ESPN that she had been openly gay during her Baylor career.

Georgia Governor: Segregated School Prom Is A ‘Private Issue’

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has finally decided how to handle a campaign by four Georgia students to hold their school’s first integrated prom: just walk away. Deal, who previously brushed off requests for him to support integration as a “silly publicity stunt,” told an Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter yesterday that he thought the campaign was a private matter and not one that needed the state’s intervention:

Keystone Pipeline Will Create Only 35 Permanent Jobs, Emit 51 Coal Plants’ Worth Of Carbon

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he wasn’t touching the Keystone pipeline decision with a ten-foot pole:

House Passes Cybersecurity Bill To Let Companies Break Privacy Contracts

WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives passed a broad cybersecurity bill Thursday that allows corporations to share customers' personal data with other firms and the U.S. government, even in cases in which a company has a signed contract explicitly vowing not to do so.

Immigration Bill Opposition Building Among Conservatives

WASHINGTON -- The limits of Marco Rubio's persuasive powers and charm, and the depth of conservative reservations about immigration reform, are beginning to show themselves.

Florida Republicans Push Legislation Targeting Non-English Speaking Voters

Non-English speakers could soon find it more difficult to cast a ballot in Florida, despite federal protections for those citizens who speak another language.

West Texas Fertilizer Plant Hadn’t Been Inspected In The Past Five Years

Last night, a huge explosion ripped through West, Texas, a small town near Waco, killing somewhere between five and 15 people and injuring hundreds. While criminal activity hasn’t been ruled out, the New York Times has reported that the fire began at a fertilizer plant:

Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators

“Shame on you!” Patricia Maisch and Lori Haas yelled in rapid succession at the 46 senators who had just voted to kill a compromise amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases at gun shows or online. The women were sitting in the gallery with a large group of gun violence victims as the Senate responded to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut by defeating the measure advocates and law enforcement officials consider crucial to keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

Obama Gun Policy Agenda Comes To Maddening End

WASHINGTON -- It ended in a flash. Months of work aimed at revamping the nation's gun laws prompted by one of the worst shooting tragedies in U.S. history met an inglorious conclusion on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

Oklahoma Congressman: ExxonMobil ‘Should Be Patted On The Back’ For Arkansas Oil Spill

ExxonMobil’s recent oil spill dumped some 200,000 gallons into Mayflower, Arkansas, killed wildlife, and caused 22 homes to be evacuated. As the Natural Resources committee takes up another bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) argued at a hearing that the spill is more evidence the Keystone XL pipeline is a safe bet for Americans.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Obama’s Fury Over The Failure Of The Background Check Bill, In 7 Lines

President Obama tore into Congress for voting down a background check amendment that the overwhelming majority of Americans support. Speaking at the White House Rose Garden as the Newtown families and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords looked on, Obama stressed that he would continue to advocate for the measure, which fell four votes short of the 60-vote threshold:

How The Media Keeps Screwing Up Coverage Of The Boston Marathon Bombing

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN and several other news outlets incorrectly reported that officials had arrested a suspect in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. CNN described the (now known to be non-existent) perpetrator only as a “dark skinned individual,” and host Wolf Blitzer also pushed reporter John King to say whether the suspect had an accent.

After Company Executives Get Massive Bonuses, Regal Theater Chain Cuts Employees’ Hours To Avoid Obamacare

Several major companies in the fast food and service industries have dug in their heels against Obamacare, deciding that they would rather protect their bottom lines than provide their employees basic health benefits. On Monday, Regal Entertainment Group — which operates Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theaters, and United Artists screens in 38 states — joined the war on health reform, announcing it will cut back non-salaried workers’ shifts to 30 hours per week in order to avoid giving them basic coverage.

High Court Squelches Ability To Hold Anyone Accountable For Human Rights Violations Abroad

What started out as a case about whether corporations could be held accountable in U.S. courts for human rights abuses against foreigners abroad turned into a case about whether anyone can be held accountable. And on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the answer is, mostly, no.

The George Zimmerman Right-To-Carry Amendment

In addition to its desperate effort to block criminal background checks on gun-buyers, today the gun lobby is putting forward an amendment sponsored by John Cornyn that would undermine public safety and overturn each state’s ability to set its own laws.

Clashes at Guantanamo over hunger strike prisoners

Prisoners and guards have clashed at Guantanamo Bay as authorities moved inmates, many of whom are on hunger strike, out of communal cell blocks.

Mexico's Vigilante Law Enforcers

Insecurity dominates the lives of millions of Mexicans. Caught between the murderous drug cartels and absent or corrupt law enforcement, communities are taking the law into their own hands. In the state of Guerrero, a fledgling vigilante force has grown into an organization numbering thousands.

Media Blows It Again!

CNN found itself with egg on its face, yet again, when it reported that an arrest had been made in the Boston bombings and was then forced to walk that news back.

Suspicious Letter Addressed To The President Intercepted!

A letter addressed to US President Barack Obama containing a "suspicious" substance has been intercepted.

The US Secret Service said the letter was identified at a remote facility where White House post is screened.

Want to get hired? Did you check Black or African American on a Diversity Check list? Well see what happens once you change it to white!

I am sure someone has heard of stories like this before. But what a lot of people don't say is that it's true! Listen below to the story of a women who changed her name on Monster, after applying for several positions as Black female and not receiving a single call. Yet, when she used the same information and changed her Diversity answer to white, the calls started coming in:

Sequester Cuts Might End Long-Term Unemployment Benefits In 11 States

WASHINGTON -- States are having such a hard time implementing congressional cuts to long-term unemployment insurance that some workforce agencies might just cancel the benefits altogether.

Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and Raymond Santana on ‘Central Park Five,’ Tabloid Journalism, And Rape Prosecutions

At 9PM tonight, PBS will air Central Park Five, co-directed by Ken Burns and his daughter Sarah Burns. An adaptation of Sarah Burns’ book The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One of New York City’s Most Infamous Crimes, Central Park Five is a searing examination of the 1989 sexual assault on Trisha Meili, a crime for which five young men, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise and Yusef Salaam were convicted after coercive interrogations and wrongfully imprisoned. Though their convictions were vacated in 2002 after Matias Reyes confessed to the attack on Meili, a civil suit filed by a number of the men in 2003 is still pending, the district attorney in the case, Elizabeth Lederer, still works for the city of New York, and the city attempted to subpoena outtakes and additional footage from the Burns’ film, an effort that was just recently blocked by a judge.

Letter Sent To U.S. Senator Tests Positive For Poison

Officials at the U.S. Capitol’s offsite mail facility on Tuesday discovered an envelope that tested positive for the deadly substance ricin. Its intended recipient was U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Obama: Individuals Responsible For The Boston Bombing ‘Will Feel The Full Weight Of Justice’

President Obama pledged that the American government will find out who set off the twin bombs at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon and “hold them accountable.”

GOP Congressman Says Poor People Don’t Pay Enough Taxes

When the history books are written about the 2012 presidential election, the leaked video of Mitt Romney disparaging half of the country as a bunch of lazy, greedy, government moochers may very well have its own chapter, and yet Republicans are quick to forget just how damaging the remark was.

How The Conservative Media Freakout Over Gosnell Reinforces The Right’s Worst Biases

Unskewed polls. “Friends of Hamas.” Benghazi. Fast and Furious. The cases where conservatives have argued that the mainstream media’s liberal bias obscured the truth, but the conservative spin turned out to be irrelevant, misleading, or flat-out false, are legion. They’re symptomatic of a well-known information disadvantage among conservatives, one that’s fueled in part by the deep sense of victimhood that shapes the conservative press’ view of its mainstream peers.

Explosions At The Boston Marathon

Two bombs — in two different locations — detonated next to the Boston Marathon finish line this afternoon, about three hours after the winners crossed the line. The Boston Fire Department estimates that the first explosion occurred at 2:50 PM. The Boston Police Department says that at least 28 people are injured and 2 people are dead.

Gold Set For Worst 2-Day Loss In 30 Years

LONDON - Gold headed for its biggest two-day drop in 30 years on Monday as funds accelerated their exits from the market, and investors also cut exposure to oil, copper and grain after underwhelming Chinese growth data.

On Tax Day, Five Ways The Tax Code Subsidizes The Wealthiest Americans

Today is Tax Day, the day on which federal and state taxes are due for all Americans. Republicans have, of course, spent the year since Tax Day 2012 arguing that tax rates are too high and pushing for tax cuts for the wealthy at both the federal and state level. In reality, however, America’s tax code provides substantial benefits to the rich that working class Americans don’t get to enjoy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tax Day A Reminder Of The Gender Pay Gap: Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry dedicated a segment on her Sunday MSNBC show to discuss how tax day serves as an important reminder of the pay gap that exists between men and women.

Is 70 Percent Renewable Power Possible? Portugal Just Did It For 3 Months

Portugal’s electricity network operator announced that renewable energy supplied 70 percent of total consumption in the first quarter of this year. This increase was largely due to favorable weather conditions resulting in increased wind and water flow, as well as lower demand. Portuguese citizens are using less energy and using sources that never run out for the vast majority of what they do use.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Investigation Reveals Rust And Mold In Facilities That Prepare Pharmaceuticals

At the end of last year, a horrific meningitis outbreak prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin investigating compounding pharmacies, facilities at which batches of pharmaceuticals are prepared. On Thursday, a report showed that the FDA had found nearly all of the facilities it inspected were in violation of safety standards:

In 12 Hours, Gun Violence Victims Read The Names Of Over 3,300 People Shot To Death Since Newtown

Early Thursday morning, gun violence survivors and families of victims finally finished reading the names of all the people who have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The list of over 3300 people took 12 hours to read. The Newtown Action Alliance organized a reading at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown while other groups read outside the Capitol as a “filibuster” of the filibuster by 13 pro-gun senators that was finally defeated Thursday morning. The Senate’s gun reform plan, which features expanded background checks for gun sales at gun shows and on the Internet, will now go to the floor for debate.

National Urban League's State Of Black America 2013 Report Illustrates Mix Of Achievement And Disparity

As the country commemorates the anniversaries of several milestones of the Civil Rights Movement, including the March on Washington, one can only wonder how far have African-Americans come in 50 years?

Interesting Essence Article: Racial Slurs During Sex, But He Loves Me!

This letter is from a woman who I would not say is confused as to how one should be treated, or how a marriage should work, but clearly there must be something that keeps her from grasping right and wrong in this situation. Could it be that she is from the islands and things don't come to quick in comprehending things down there in regard to racism? Maybe, it's money and fancy trips that blind her to the fact that this is the 21st century and papers are not required to move about the country anymore. Whether real of not, this one has to be heard. But knowing some women I don't believe this is made up either:

Black Children Are Less Likely to Be Prescribed Antibiotics Than Children of Other Races

Pediatricians in New Jersey and Pennsylvania prescribed 36 percent fewer antibiotics to black children than their other patients of other races, according to a study in this week's journal Pediatrics.
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Republicans Mangle Facts To Attack Obama’s Missile Defense Budget

Republicans in Congress came out swinging against what they label as the Obama administration’s cuts to military spending in its new budget, specifically citing the threat North Korea’s missiles pose as a reason to preserve missile defense spending. A close read of the Pentagon’s weapon procurement plans, however, show an increase in spending to the missile defense programs most closely related to countering North Korea.

Missouri Bill Seeks To Coerce Business Owners Into Allowing Guns On Their Property

A bill introduced by Missouri state Rep. Caleb Jones (R) would subject business owners who post “no guns” signs to potentially costly lawsuits, while immunizing businesses that allow guns from suits resulting from those guns:

Putting Armed Guards In Schools Leads To Racial Discrimination, More Student Arrests

The National Rifle Association (NRA)’s main response in the wake of the deadly shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, other than staunch opposition to even the most minor gun law reforms, has been a proposal to increase the number of armed guards in schools. However, a deeply reported piece in today’s New York Times suggests that more guns in schools would do little to improve school safety while simultaneously increasing police harassment of students along racial lines.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Supposed" Former Party line Puller Kid Rock Having Phantom Buyers Remorse!

Kid Rock made waves by supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, but that doesn't mean he always toes the party line. In an new interview with Rolling Stone, the rocker says one point in particular had him foaming at the mouth.

Stephen Hawking: Space Exploration Is Key To Saving Humanity

LOS ANGELES -- Stephen Hawking, who spent his career decoding the universe and even experienced weightlessness, is urging the continuation of space exploration – for humanity's sake.

How Panda Express, Taco Bell, And McDonalds Rebrand Food As ‘Healthy’ Without Changing Much

As a growing number of Americans cite obesity as the most urgent health problem facing the country, the food industry is looking for a way to profit.

Elizabeth Warren Tears Into Federal Regulators For Shielding Big Banks

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) embarrassed government regulators during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday morning as she demanded to know why they won’t reveal how frequently big banks illegally foreclosed on homeowners. In January, regulators abandoned a case-by-case review of foreclosure fraud conducted by some of the nation’s largest banks in favor of a $9.3 billion settlement. Under the deal, most of the 4.4 million homeowners who were foreclosed on in 2009 or 2010 received less than $1,000 each.

Are Video Game Companies More Progressive Employers Than The Television Industry?

Over the past year or so, the discussion about the portrayal of female characters in video games, and the employment of women in the industry that produces those images has been particularly heated. But for all the challenges this industry faces, a new survey of video game producers suggests that gaming companies may actually be outflanking television when it comes to improving the representation of women in certain positions, and in making pay equitable for male and female producers.

In Just Three Months, States Proposed An Astonishing 694 Provisions About Reproduction

In the first quarter of 2013, states have proposed 694 provisions related to a woman’s body, how she gets pregnant, or how she chooses to end that pregnancy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Democrats Try To Force Republicans To Allow Vote On Pay Equity

Last summer, Republican senators filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have bolstered protections for women who are discriminated against in their paychecks and increased salary transparency to let women find out if they were being paid less than their male colleagues. The bill was filed again this year by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), with 192 members signing on as co-sponsors. Yet the Paycheck Fairness Act, HR 377, has been stalled in committee since January. DeLauro filed a petition to discharge the bill this morning, two days after Equal Pay Day. The petition would force HR 377 out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. If DeLauro’s petition gets 218 signatures, the bill will get a vote in the full House.

Nat King Cole's Brush With Racist On This Day in 1956 (Thurgood Marshall Got At Him For Ingnoring The Incident!)

Celebrated crooner Nat King Cole (pictured) faced racism for much of his career, even at his Los Angeles home where Ku Klux Klan members set a burning cross on his lawn in the summer of 1948. However, on April 10, 1956, Cole was attacked by a Klan offshoot group while performing in Birmingham, Ala. The group of men attempted to kidnap the singer, and the news of the heinous attack came to light on this day in newspapers nationwide.

Five Ways Rand Paul Whitesplained Politics At Howard University

On Wednesday morning, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) gave an address at the historically-black Howard University designed to convince black voters to support Republicans. While some of his remarks, most notably on harsh drug laws and other civil liberties issues, were well-received, the majority of the speech consisted in Paul condescendingly explaining American racial history to the audience, occasionally incorrectly, and expecting that it would open black voters’ eyes to the real Republican Party. Here are five moments that encapsulated the general problem with Paul’s speech:

Big Tobacco Already Resisting Obama’s Proposal To Fund Universal Preschool With Cigarette Taxes

President Obama unveiled his budget proposal on Tuesday morning, confirming early reports that his initiatives include an expansion of universal preschool programs by raising revenue from additional tobacco taxes. Obama’s preschool plan is winning praise from both anti-smoking advocates and early childhood education proponents, but it isn’t popular with everyone. Even before the specific details were made available on Tuesday, the proposed tax increase garnered criticism from the powerful companies that comprise Big Tobacco.

The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power

Liberals and Tea Party members alike are up in arms over the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act,” a provision snuck into the emergency budget bill that essentially exempts biotech firms like Monsanto Company from judicial review. Now that President Obama has signed the law, Monsanto may plant genetically modified seeds even if a court of law orders them to stop. While this is blatantly unethical, and possibly unenforceable, the newfound public outrage over the Monsanto Protection Act ignores the fact that Monsanto has already been above the law for decades.

What Brad Paisley And LL Cool J Don’t Understand About Accidents In ‘Accidental Racist’

I can’t decide if I’m relieved or annoyed that Brad Paisley and LL Cool J released “Accidental Racist” while I was off the grid in Mexico. But their awkward melange of country and hip-hop, and even more awkward effort at racial dialogue has produced some great writing, whether it’s Ta-Nehisi on the choice of LL Cool J to provide racial cover rather than another rapper to provide a real half of a dialogue or Alan Pyke on the song as an attempt to heal America’s racial wounds with a fist bump. What I’m actually most struck by in the song, though, is its title, and what the idea that you can be “accidentally racist”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The 10 Jobs With The Biggest Gender Wage Gap

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day of the year when the typical female worker finally catches up to the wages the average male worker made last year. Women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and though that gap has shrunk since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, progress has stalled in recent years even among efforts to keep closing it.

Working Family Tax Credits Kept Nearly 10 Million People Out Of Poverty 2011

The combined punch of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted almost 10 million Americans out of poverty in 2011, according to the latest round up of the numbers by the Center On Budget and Policy Priorities. Last year, the two programs kept almost 5 million women alone out of poverty.

How The Mainstream Media Exploits ‘Science’ To Reinforce Gender Stereotypes

On Tuesday, mainstream news outlets covered the results from a small survey in Australia that polled just over 100 women about their sexual preferences. One headline atop an NBC story proclaimed, “Science proves women like men with bigger penises.” The reporter includes a few other examples of studies that have reached the same conclusions about women’s predisposition to larger male genitalia, but only after acknowledging that the results from past research on the topic “have been disputed as sexist, or scientifically flawed, or both.”

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Republican: Conservatives Are Too Scared To Debate Popular Gun Safety Bill

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for conservative to allow a vote on gun safety legislation, telling CBS’ This Morning on Tuesday, “we have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced…I think it deserves an vote up or down.”

Key States Set for Dramatic Increases in Size of Latino Electorate

Spurred on by their historically poor performance with Latino voters in last year’s elections, some Republicans are getting on board with immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in a bid to avoid permanently alienating this key voting bloc. The so-called Gang of 8 in the Senate (four Democrats and four Republicans) could introduce an immigration reform bill as early this week. And supporters of reform including a path to earned citizenship are holding a major rally here in Washington D.C. on Wednesday afternoon.

Sarah Palin: Melissa Harris-Perry's 'Lean Forward' Ad Is 'Unflippingbelievable'

It seems as though Melissa Harris-Perry has irked Sarah Palin and multiple members of the conservative media (see update below).

Arkansas Unemployment Drug Testing Bill Passes State Senate

LITTLE ROCK, Ark, April 8 (Reuters) - The Republican-led Arkansas state Senate approved a measure on Monday that would require random drug testing of Arkansas residents who receive state unemployment benefits - a plan that the state's Democratic governor said could violate federal law.

Jindal Heeds Public Outcry, Abandons Plan To Cut Taxes On The Rich And Raise Them On The Poor

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is dropping his deeply unpopular tax plan after several weeks of outcry from advocates for the poor and business groups alike. The proposal would have abolished income and corporate taxes in exchange for a higher sales tax, effectively hitting the poor with higher taxes while giving the wealthiest Louisiana residents enormous tax cuts.

The U.S. Collects Less In Taxes Than All But Two Industrialized Countries

President Obama and Senate Democrats have presented deficit reduction plans that would rely on both spending cuts and increased tax revenues, but Republicans continue to insist that the U.S. has only a “spending problem” and that deficit reduction does not require new revenues.

Monday, April 8, 2013

U.S. Treasury Secretary Urges Europe To Focus On Employment, Not Austerity

On his first official trip to Europe as head of the United States Treasury, Secretary Jack Lew urged European political and financial leaders to rethink the painful austerity plans they have enacted to address large debts and deficits across the continent and in some of Europe’s largest economies, including Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal.

Black Women Won't Open Up To Black Men Like This During An Meeting (Sometimes): How To Pick Up Black Girls!

Ever wonder why even if you are respectful with your approach in trying to meet a sister she is more guarded and not as open if you are a Black Male at times? Ever been told you act too white by a sister then you see that same sister walking about the town with a white guy? That second question was a paradox heard by many brothers, if you are willingly to admit it. Still, this is not about choice but about approach. See how the guys at VitalyzTv do it. And I bet he got real numbers too.

Congress Ignores America's Poverty Crisis 2013

WASHINGTON -- At a time when Republicans on Capitol Hill are expressing outrage over canceled White House tours, something more deserving of outrage is taking place: tens of millions of the nation's most vulnerable are taking hits on all sides. The nation's poverty rate is frozen at a high of 15 percent. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, for the most part, aren't even talking about it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NATO Air Strike Kills 11 Children In Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — A fierce battle between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and Taliban militants in a remote corner of eastern Afghanistan left nearly 20 people dead, including 11 Afghan children killed in an airstrike and an American civilian adviser, officials said Sunday.

Bank Of America To Pay $36.8 Million To Military Members For Improper Foreclosures

Bank of America will pay $36.8 million to members of the military it improperly foreclosed on between 2006 and 2010, according to a settlement it reached with the federal government in 2011, the Justice Department announced this week.

Republicans Demand Investigation Into Beyonce’s Cuba Vacation

Two Florida Republicans are prompting the Obama administration to open an investigation into Beyonce and Jay-Z’s recent trip to Cuba, arguing that the couple may have violated sanctions against the communist country.

France Will Now Pay The Full Cost Of Abortion And Contraception

The conversation around reproductive rights in the United States has centered, in recent years, solely around the idea that such rights are becoming more and more elusive for young women. Across the country, abortion and contraception access are at risk, and might be rolled back or banned entirely. But that’s far from the case in France, where the government has just enacted a law to reimburse the total cost of both abortions and contraception:

The Food Industry’s Overuse Of Salt Contributes To Almost 100,000 American Deaths Every Year

In a new study published in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, researchers write that a 50 percent reduction in daily salt intake “could prevent approximately 100,000 deaths from heart attack and stroke in the United States every year.” Curbing salt intake by that high a margin is certainly a mean feat — but not because Americans are saturating their food with sodium. Rather, study authors suggest that the real culprits are food makers who douse their products with harmful levels of salt.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NRA Touts Bipartisan Bill To Trick You Into Thinking They Support Background Checks

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has pulled his name off of an NRA-backed bill that purports to strengthen background checks for gun purchases, following reports that the measure would make it easier for individuals who were involuntarily committed to mental institutions to obtain firearms. Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) are the two remaining Democrats still associated with the measure, which is being touted by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as a bipartisan approach to strengthening the existing background check system.

Report: Ohio Is Illegally Throwing Poor People In Jail For Owing Money

The Americans Civil Liberties Union on Friday revealed that courts in Ohio are illegally throwing poor people in jail for being unable to pay off a debt.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Judge Rules Emergency Contraception Should Be Available To All Women Over The Counter

In a victory for birth control access, a U.S. federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to remove the current restrictions on the morning after pill, commonly known as “Plan B.” Even though the FDA initially recommended that Plan B should be available without a prescription for women of all ages, the Obama Administration overruled that decision in 2011 to restrict access to emergency contraception for those under the age of 17. On Friday, citing the administration’s unnecessary “political interference” in the matter, Judge Edward R. Korman ordered the federal agency to reverse that decision.

Obama’s Budget: With Job Growth Tepid, Is Now The Time To Cut Spending?

President Obama will release a budget next week that replaces the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration with other spending cuts while also raising $580 billion in revenue and making cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The budget plan, as the Washington Post notes, is almost identical to the offer Obama made to congressional Republicans in an attempt to reach a “grand bargain” to offset sequestration at the beginning of March, and it is aimed at reaching a similar bargain in the near future.

Economy Added 88,000 Jobs In March, Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.6 Percent

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 88,000 jobs were created last month, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.6 percent largely because the participation rate dropped. Analysts had expected 190,000 jobs.

The Five Best Things Roger Ebert Said About Politics

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert passed away today after a long, public and inspiring battle with cancer. But in addition to being one of the most famous movie reviewers of all-time, Ebert was an outspoken political progressive.

Tax Dodging By Corporations And The Wealthy Cost Each Taxpayer $1,026 In 2012

America’s largest corporations have stashed nearly $1.5 trillion in offshore tax havens like Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Ireland — countries where they do little business but claim massive profits due to low tax rates. As a result, corporate tax rates fell to a 40-year low in 2011 even as profits rose to a 60-year high.

How The Right Wing Manufactured A Fake Controversy Over Planned Parenthood’s ‘Infanticide’

On Wednesday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus published an editorial lambasting the mainstream media for “covering up” Planned Parenthood’s “support for infanticide.” According to Priebus, the national women’s health organization — in addition to providing contraceptive services, STD testing, cancer screenings, and reproductive care for millions of women across the country — is also in the business of murdering live babies. He claims that a recent committee hearing in Florida proves that Planned Parenthood officials support “the right to post-birth abortion.”

The Assassination Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

The assassination of civil rights leader and clergyman Martin Luther King, Jr. rocked the nation, just as the charismatic and focused activist was rising to heights unknown.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Is The Real Threat From North Korea?

CNN reported Thursday morning that intercepted communications indicate that North Korea may be planning to launch ballistic missiles “within days,” in yet another potential escalation. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin also told a government panel on Thursday that North Korea has moved a medium-range missile to its eastern coast, possibly in preparation for either a test or military demonstration.

Jobless Claims Rise By 28,000 To 4-Month High

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level in four months last week, suggesting the labor market recovery lost some steam in March.