Sunday, June 30, 2013

Five Ways Republicans Have Sabotaged Job Growth

New numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the economy added a mere 80,000 jobs in June. That’s down from an average of 150,000 jobs a month for the first part of the year, and far too little to keep up with population growth.

Nation’s Largest Sheriff’s Department Unlawfully Profiles Minorities, DOJ Finds

The nation’s largest sheriff’s department has systematically targeted blacks and Hispanics for stops, seizures, and excessive force in two counties north of Los Angeles, a new Department of Justice investigation finds.

The 'Punk Before Punk' Band Gets Their Due: A Black Band Called Death

In the late sixties, David Hackney was a skinny teenager playing music with his brothers on instruments bought off their mom’s car accident settlement. Fast forward four decades, and the Hackney brothers are a musicological mystery: a lost punk band from a time before the genre existed. The Ramones, typically called the first punk band ever, hadn’t even formed by the time the brothers wrote "Politicians In My Eyes" in their Detroit home, a perfect punk wail. Earth, Wind and Fire was the music of choice in the Hackney's largely black neighborhood. At a family reunion, their uncles and aunts, a generally cheerful bunch, went quiet when David proudly revealed the band name he'd come up with -- Death.

Death Valley hit 130F in heat wave...They Missed highest temperature ever recorded by four degrees!

Timsomor Note: Who says there is no Global Warming! This is the term I will always use, Climate Change is too soft of a word. I actually watched a news story that showed a man's shoes melted on his feet......No Joke!

Tourists at California's Death Valley took photos of the harsh desert landscape and a thermometer that registered scorching 127 degrees Saturday as a heat wave continued broiling the West.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

CNN Tries To Have A Real Discussion On Race With: The N Word And Cr****Ker Panel

Race has been a big topic of national discussion in the last few weeks, from Paula Deen getting fired for saying the n-word to Rachel Jeantel saying the phrase “creepy-ass cracker.” CNN’s Don Lemon decided an “honest and difficult conversation” was needed, and so that’s just what he did, the end result being a very direct and honest discussion about the taboos surrounding the use of the n-word in popular culture and how it led to the firing of celebrity chef Paula Deen.

Obama’s Africa trip And Why It Matters

As President Barack Obama embarks on the first major trip to Africa of his presidency on Thursday, those of us who have been studying the continent for some time cannot help but understand just how vital this trip is to America’s political and economic future and to the securing of its relationship with the continent which is, without a doubt, on its way to becoming one of the world’s most powerful regions.

No, Conservatives, You Won’t Stop Watching Football If The NFL Markets Obamacare

News broke last week that the Obama administration had reached out to the National Basketball Association about a partnership to promote the president’s health reform law. Now, it is seeking a similar deal with the National Football League that will involve “paid advertising and partnerships to encourage enrollment” in Obamacare’s new programs, according to The Hill.

What’s Next For Wendy Davis?

After Sen. Wendy Davis (D-TX) successfully blocked an omnibus anti-abortion bill on Tuesday by filibustering it for 13 hours — without eating, drinking, straying off topic from the proposed measure, sitting, going to the restroom, or even leaning against a table — she became an overnight sensation. The hashtag #standwithwendy was trending worldwide on Tuesday night, the president tweeted out his support, Davis’ Wikipedia page was temporarily edited to declare her the “LeBron James of filibustering,” and dozens of memes in the Texas lawmaker’s honor spread throughout the Internet.

Colorado Parade Canceled After Tea Party Group Threatens Armed March

A group of Tea Party members caused fear that a Colorado town’s 4th of July parade won’t be safe to attend because they’ll be carrying weapons.

Gay And Lesbian Couples Allowed To Begin Marrying Immediately In California

On Friday afternoon, the ninth circuit court lifted its stay on same-sex marriages in the state of California, acknowledging the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hollingsworth v Perry that supporters of anti-gay Proposition 8 did not have standing to appeal a lower court judge’s ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The move, which came earlier than expected, allows gay and lesbian couples to begin getting married immediately.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Renewable Energy Closing In On Natural Gas As Second-Largest Source Of Electricity Worldwide

Renewable energy will soon beat out natural gas as the second-largest source of electricity worldwide, according to projections from the International Energy Agency.

What White People Don't Understand About Rachel Jeantel (Global Grind)

By: Rachel Samara

A predominantly white jury is not going to like Rachel Jeantel. Let's just be real here.

Enough self-pity from Paula Deen: Eugene Robinson Makes Great Points On This

By: Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist

Paula Deen needs to give the self-pity a rest. The damage to her carefully built image is self-inflicted — nobody threw a rock — and her desperate search for approval and vindication is just making things worse.

Lolo Jones Mocks Rachel Jeantel On Twitter: ‘Madea Goes To Court’ (Newone Opinion)

Track poster girl Lolo Jones mocked Trayvon Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel, on Twitter by comparing her to Tyler Perry’s alter-ego ‘Madea.’

North Carolina Republicans Drastically Cut Benefits For Job Seekers

Life gets tougher as of Sunday for over 400,000 out of work Tarheels as a set of unprecedented cuts to jobless benefits passed by North Carolina Republicans in February take effect. The bill didn’t just shorten the length of state-funded unemployment insurance, as several states have done. It also cut the level of weekly benefit payments, violating a provision of the federal unemployment insurance program and leaving the state ineligible for federal jobless funds.

Witness Makes Key Admission That He Never Saw Trayvon Martin Throw A Punch At Zimmerman

On day five of George Zimmerman’s trial for the death of Trayvon Martin, a key witness who previously claimed to have seen Martin “throwing down blows” admitted he never saw an actual punch thrown. This admission from John Good could undermine Zimmerman’s claim he shot 17-year-old Martin in reasonable self-defense.

President Obama Just Got His Recess Appointments Power Back

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office tells ThinkProgress that the Senate is now adjourned until Monday, July 8, with no “pro forma” sessions planned during the coming week. This is significant because these pro forma sessions, sham sessions where a single senator briefly gavels the Senate into session for a few minutes, are a legally controversial method the Senate uses to cut off the president’s recess appointment power. Without these sham sessions, President Obama’s power to recess appoint several officials currently being filibustered by Senate Republicans likely just roared back to life.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

African Roots In Asia (

All modern Asian people originate from Africa just like everyone else. Around 70,000 years ago, a group of Africans left the continent and migrated along the southern coast of Asia.

40 Year Old Racism/Discrimination Experiment Released (

April 5, 1968, an Ohio elementary school teacher, Jane Elliot, conducted a two day “brown eyes, blue eyes” experiment with her third grade classroom after hearing them make racist remarks about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the experiment, Ms. Elliot separated the blue eyed children from the brown eyed children and made them discriminate against each other to teach them a lesson. The experiment was recorded and made into a documentary that was aired on PBS in 1970.

Worker Sues Employer For The Death Of Her Baby

Reyna García, a 30-year-old woman who works for the California grocery chain Albertsons, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the company refused to accomodate her pregnancy, which led to the death of her baby, the Huffington Post reports.

92-Year-Old Rosanell Eaton And Others Explain Why They’ll Go To Jail Protesting Conservative Policies In North Carolina

RALEIGH, North Carolina — Over 3,000 people turned out this week for the growing Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, where faith leaders are organizing weekly protests against the state’s sharply-conservative policies that would hurt the poor, women, minorities, and the environment.

How Congress Can Undo The Supreme Court’s Attack On Workers’ Rights

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down decisions in two little-watched cases: Vance v. Ball State University and University of Texas Southwestern Center v. Nassar. Both cases erected new hurdles for those who experience workplace harassment or discrimination.

Man Flies Nazi Flag To Protest Obama

A Stratford, Conn., neighborhood is reacting to one man's decision to fly the Nazi flag outside his home. Residents say this symbol represents so many years of hatred and pure evil.

Six States Already Moving Forward With Voting Restrictions After Supreme Court Decision

Less than 48 hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, six of the nine states that had been covered in their entirety under the law’s “preclearance” formula have already taken steps toward restricting voting.

Texas’ Abortion Restrictions Failed, But Other States Are Successfully Advancing Them

After a battle that stretched throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) successfully blocked a stringent anti-abortion bill from winning approval in the Texas legislature. Davis noted that defeating SB 5 — which would have criminalized abortion after 20 weeks and forced 90 percent of the abortion clinics in the state to close their doors — represented an “incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.”

Federal Reserve Not Helping Student Loan Borrowers, Top Official Says

The Federal Reserve's efforts to help households with student debt are being stymied, a top regulator said Wednesday, preventing millions of distressed borrowers from benefiting from cheap borrowing costs and likely increasing pressure on fiscal authorities to act.

Kimberly McCarthy Executed: Texas Carries Out 500th Execution

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Texas marked a solemn moment in criminal justice Wednesday evening, executing its 500th inmate since it resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rachel Jeantel: "Trayvon Noticed A Man Looking At Him, A “Creepy, White, Kill-My-Neighbors Cracker!”

On the third day of testimony in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the prosecution called what could be the most pivotal witness of all: Rachel Jeantel, the friend who was on the phone with 17 year-old Trayvon Martin until moments before Zimmerman shot and killed him. In the early part of her testimony, Jeantel described her conversation with Trayvon, in which he notices a man looking at him, a man Jeantel says Martin described as a “creepy, white, kill-my-neighbors cracker,” and a “creepy-ass cracker,” to which she joked that he “might be a rapist.”

10-Year-Old Girl Dies In Hospital Days After Reported Gang Rape In India

A 10-year-old girl who reportedly was gang-raped in India last week succumbed to an unspecified ailment at a Mumbai hospital Tuesday night.

John Boehner, Republicans Show No Signs Of Fixing Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court left the fate of a key part of the Voting Rights Act in the hands of Congress on Tuesday, but GOP leaders on up to the most powerful Republican in the nation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), don't seem in much of a rush to take up that responsibility.

Nelson Mandela's Health Remains Critical For 4th Day; Tribal Leaders Reportedly Prepare 'For The Worst'

As Nelson Mandela's health remained critical for the fourth consecutive day, tribal leaders reportedly were warned to prepare for his death.

Republican Senator Calls For Abolishing The Minimum Wage

On the 75th anniversary of the landmark bill that established a minimum wage, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) called for abolishing it completely, the Huffington Post reports.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Congressional Progressive Caucus Launches Campaign To Expose ‘The Scandal Of Low Wages’

SAN JOSE, CA — As fast food workers strike across the country and hourly wages hit new lows, the Congressional Progressive Caucus launched the Raise Up America campaign, a multi-city tour to raise awareness of the crises facing low-wage workers. The campaign, helmed by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), will advocate for increases to federal and state minimum wages, stronger collective bargaining protections, and raise the alarm about unfair trade deals between companies and workers.

What Paula Deen And Her Sons Tells Us About The Four Ways Racists Defend Themselves

When the news first broke that former Food Network star Paula Deen was defending herself in court against allegations that she’d used the word “nigger” and fantasized about a plantation wedding that would employ an all-black waitstaff to serve white guests, one of the things I was struck by in her deposition was Deen’s sense that she was the real victim. She suggested that the media would misinterpret her plans for the wedding. She said she couldn’t possibly know what kinds of racial humor might offend people who were the target of it. It was a series of statements that suggested that Deen felt she had a right to be read in the most charitable light possible–but absolutely no responsibility to think about the feelings of others, or to consider how her words and actions might reasonably be interpreted.

Parents Can Help Prevent Body Issues By Talking To Kids About Healthy Food, Not Weight

The childhood obesity epidemic continues to plague the United States, especially since big food corporations have been so effective at marketing their unhealthy products to kids. But there’s been ongoing disagreement about how to best address the issue of obesity within the context of the U.S.’ bad track record on body issues and fat-shaming. The results from a new study give parents some guidance when it comes to bringing up the topic with their kids: instead of focusing on weight, talk about nutrition.

Two Hours After The Supreme Court Gutted The Voting Rights Act, Texas AG Suppresses Minority Voters

Just two hours after the Supreme Court reasoned that discrimination is not rampant enough in Southern states to warrant restrictions under the Voting Rights Act, Texas is already advancing a voter ID law and a redistricting map blocked last year for discriminating against black and Latino residents. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a statement declaring that both measures may go into effect immediately, now that there is no law stopping them from discriminating against minorities.

Cable News Virtually Ignores Obama’s Major Climate Speech

On Tuesday, President Obama rolled out a plan to cap carbon emissions at existing power plants, improve efficiency standards on automobiles, double the amount of electricity produced with renewables, and lead a global movement to address climate change. But the media virtually ignored it.

Three Ways The Supreme Court Gutted Voting Rights Today

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling striking down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, for the moment at least, eliminated the requirement that jurisdictions with a history of discrimination pre-clear election and voting law changes to ensure they do not disenfranchise minority voters. While the remaining provisions will still ban outright racial discrimination, those states and localities previously covered will now be able to implement changes first and victims will have to prove discrimination after the fact.

The Most Pirated TV Shows Are.....

Game of Thrones has the dubious title of being the most pirated television show this spring, with more than 5 million people downloading the Season 3 premiere alone, according to TorrentFreak. The number of overall downloads for the HBO hit was up 25 percent over last year. Interestingly, Game of Thrones' ratings increased by about the same percentage this season from legal views.

Sherrod Brown To Unveil Student Loan Refinancing Bill

U.S. households struggling with expensive student debt would be able to refinance into cheaper loans at no cost to taxpayers under legislation to be proposed by Ohio's senior senator.

Millburn, New Jersey, Home Invasion Captured On Nanny Cam; Suspect On The Run

Police in New Jersey are using nanny cam footage to track down a robbery suspect who punched and choked a suburban mom while her terrified 3-year-old daughter watched.

Female Farmworkers And Rape: Sexual Assault And Harassment Persist In Central San Joaquin Valley

Maria, a farmworker from Guatemala, says never again will she look at any supervisor with the same trust she once had.

The 40-year-old mother of three was hired last November to pick pomegranates near Huron. Her supervisor told her he would pick her up an hour earlier than the rest of the crew. She was puzzled, but needed the work.

Voting Rights Act Section 4 Struck Down By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, the provision of the landmark civil rights law that designates which parts of the country must have changes to their voting laws cleared by the federal government or in federal court.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How Affirmative Action Survived The Roberts Court

The U.S. Supreme Court punted Monday on what could have been a major ruling on the future of affirmative action. In what is arguably the narrowest ruling that could have been expected from the Court that claimed in a plurality opinion that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” the justices rejected the lower court’s approval of the University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action plan. The decision means the trial court will have to review UT-Austin’s affirmative action plan once again — this time with even more skepticism. The constitutionality of race in university admissions, however, survived.

Rusty's Return: Why You Shouldn’t Be Surprised That The National Zoo Lost A Red Panda

Rusty, the adorable red panda pictured above, escaped from Washington’s National Zoo today. While everyone is hoping for Rusty’s safe return, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the decrepit state of America’s zoo system — and what that says about America’s budget priorities.

Aide To Republican Congressman Fails To Live On Food Stamps For A Week

An aide to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) failed the so-called “SNAP Challenge” last week, just days after accusing Democrats of “intentionally buying overpriced food and shopping at high-priced chains.”

Dumbing Down Of America (

Think about how many people you can have a deep intellectual conversation with. Or are you one of the people that doesn’t care what’s happening in the world around you?

Clarence Thomas bluntly calls for end of affirmative action (This Guy Needs The Drop Squad)

Justice Clarence Thomas again urged the end of affirmative action on Monday, writing a fiery concurring opinion in which he agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision not to defend the University of Texas’ diversity program, but urged the Court to go further and simply outlaw the consideration of race in public life.

'A Slow-Motion Train Wreck': The Real Consequences of the Sequester

The Republican-led House voted to eliminate $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending through 2022 during the much-publicized sequester, causing widespread pain and havoc through American communities, the effects of which we’re starting to see. In some cases, these cuts are literally stripping the clothes from children’s backs and taking food and shelter from the needy.

The Scariest Pending Supreme Court Case That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

When the Supreme Court starts handing down decisions just one hour from now, most Court watchers will be awaiting four high profile cases — the two race cases that will decide the fate of affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act, and the two marriage equality cases. A fifth case, however, could prove just as significant as these much better known cases — and could potentially leave thousands of workers virtually helpless in the face of racial and sexual harassment.

George Zimmerman’s Lawyer Opens Trial With A Knock-Knock Joke

George Zimmerman’s defense attorney kicked off the first day of trial in the high-profile case with a knock-nock joke. Don West admitted that his approach was a “bit weird” in the context of the death of Trayvon Martin, but told jurors in his opening statement that they are the “perfect audience” for the bit:

Texas Legislator Claims Rape Kits Are A Form Of Abortion

In the midst of all the chaos on Sunday night as the Texas legislature pushed through a series of stringent restrictions on abortion and women’s health, it was easy to miss what might have been the most inaccurate and dangerous claim of the evening: One state representative tried to argue on the State House floor that rape kits are a form of abortion.

How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today

Monday was a great day for sexual harassers and for bosses who retaliate against workers claiming discrimination. The rest of us did not fare so well in the Supreme Court. While most Court watchers will likely focus on the narrower-than-expected decision in the Fisher affirmative action case, the most lasting impact of today’s decisions likely will be the twin blows struck against women and minorities in the workplace. Taking advantage of employees just became a whole lot easier.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Under GOP Plan, States Would Be Free To Take Money Away From Poorest Schools

Republicans are reintroducing a bill to allow states to redistribute federal education dollars currently targeted at the country’s poorest school districts. The A-PLUS Act, originally crafted by the arch-conservative Heritage Foundation, was first introduced in 2007, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) have revived it for 2013.

An All Women Jury Will Be Seated In George Zimmerman Second-Degree Murder Trial With No Blacks Among The Group

A jury of six women will deliberate in George Zimmerman’s second degree murder trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The panel was finalized on Thursday, after both prosecution and defense attorneys whittled down the pool of 40 potential jurors to six, along with four alternates: two women and two men.

Labor Group: Walmart Fired Five Workers For Participating In Strikes

Walmart has fired five workers who participated in strikes and demonstrations against the company’s labor practices, the labor organization aiding Walmart workers said Friday. The Nation’s Josh Eidelson reported Saturday that the workers were among the 100 who left work and went to Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters earlier this month. Other workers who participated were suspended or disciplined.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Racial Justice Issue

Three and a half million people of color would be lifted out of poverty if Congress raised the minimum wage to $10.10, according to a new report from the restaurant workers’ group ROC United. They would be the majority of the six million people overall who would be lifted out of poverty. People of color are far more likely to work minimum wage jobs, as they represent 42 percent of those earners even though they make up just 32 percent of the workforce.

Woman Was Almost Denied Citizenship For Being Atheist

Margaret Doughty, a 64-year-old British atheist, finally had her U.S. citizenship application approved on Thursday, following a kerfuffle with U.S. immigration officials in which she was told she needed to be religious in order to be a conscientious objector. The U.S. citizenship oath process requires applicants to respond either that they would fight for one’s country or to provide proof of one’s inability to bear arms, due to disability or religious belief.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Budget Cuts Hamper Background Investigations For Pentagon Contractors

Due to a shortfall in funding, the Pentagon has been forced to forgo its usual investigations to update security clearances for contractors who work on some of the most highly classified projects in the country.

Congressman Says Gays Should Hide Their Orientation At Work

WASHINGTON, DC — Following a speech at an anti-IRS Tea Party rally in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemed to blame gay and lesbian people for the discrimination they face in the workplace.

Virginia GOP Nominee: ‘Great Society’ Programs Worse For Black Families Than Slavery

Virginia Republicans’ controversial nominee for Lieutenant Governor argued on Wednesday that the Great Society programs enacted in the 1960s did more harm to African American families that the institution of slavery.

In Major Blow To Consumers, Supreme Court Protects Mega-Corporations From Liability

In case it weren’t clear already, the U.S. Supreme Court hammered home Thursday morning that it will protect the rights of corporations to force arbitration over the individuals’ access to the court system at any expense.

TV Chef Paula Deen’s Plantation Nostalgia And The Resentments Of Racists

Cooking show host Paula Deen has come under fire for pushing a version of Southern cuisine that emphasized fat, salt, and sugar rather than health, and for becoming a spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company that makes much of its profits from insulin after she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, even though her core cooking business was arguably creating new customers for diabetes drugs. And this week, Deen found herself tipped from the frying pan into the fire this week after a deposition surfaced in which she discussed her use of the term “nigger” and discussing her vision for a “southern plantation-style wedding” that would feature black servers.

145 Former Obama Campaign Staffers Urge Him To Reject Keystone XL

More than 100 former Obama campaign workers are urging the president to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, in a move that comes just days after 22 former Obama campaigners were arrested while peacefully protesting the pipeline in Chicago.

Remembering James Gandolfini For More Than Just ‘The Sopranos’

By Alyssa Rosenberg

When I got the news this evening that the actor James Gandolfini had died of an apparent heart attack at 51 while on vacation with his family in Italy, I gasped so sharply that the friend I was having dinner with thought a family member had died. In a way, he had. If you write about television, as I do, or watch it frequently, Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano on the titular show that helped remake HBO and prestige television along with it was a major contribution to the world we inhabit together. But like a good friend or good relative, Gandolfini didn’t just provide a larger context, he kept showing up, in ways large and small but always pleasant. So many of us remember Tony Soprano, but we have our private Gandolfinis, too.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Paula Deen Says ‘Of Course’ She Uses the N-Word (I Feel Another Ham Is In Order)

Paula Deen, has allegedly taken an interesting tactic in defending herself against that explosive lawsuit filed by a former employee, accusing her of racism, sexual harassment, and assault: the National Enquirer reports she’s just given a deposition in which she admits that “Yes, of course” she throws around racial slurs at work and thinks an elegant idea for a wedding might be to staff it with black men pretending to be slaves. Who doesn’t? We’re all Americans here, right?

New Republican Logic: Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), Claims People Struggling To Survive On Food Stamps Are ‘Intentionally Buying Overpriced Food’

Conservative firebrand Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) argued in a press release on Tuesday that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides cushy benefits to recipients and accused Democrats protesting proposed cuts of engaging in a “left-wing publicity stunt intended to make it appear proposed cuts to food stamps would leave families unable to feed themselves.”

Russell Brand Schools A Morning Joe Panel: This Guy Actually Made A lot of Sense, I'm Glad He Got Mika With His Funny Guy Logic Bomb

Russell Brand’s late-night news show on FX, Brand X never quite came together and has been cancelled by the network. But his appearance on Morning Joe this week to promote his new stand-up tour illustrated why, while Brand may not have been adept at hosting a full half-hour or hour of news and interviews, he’s strikingly gifted as a guest, correspondent, or columnist:

Now That Plan B Is Available To All Women, Conservatives Want To Restrict It On The State Level

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration dropped its fight to restrict over-the-counter emergency contraception for young women. Now, Plan B will be available without a prescription for women of all ages — but that move hasn’t exactly made social conservatives happy. Anti-choice groups are already trying to figure out how they can lobby for state laws that will restrict access to emergency contraception despite the Obama Administration’s position.

Teen HPV Rates Were Cut In Half After The Vaccine Went Public

Following the 2006 introduction of a vaccine against cancer-causing human papillomavirus, rates of HPV in teen girls have plummeted to nearly half, a new study found on Wednesday.

The Internal Health Effects Of Racial Discrimination: How Does It Affects African America's, Native America's And Latino America's

People of color have endured stress on various levels including that of judgement and impairment by others. As time has passed, the level of perceived equality in a societal structure has too leveled itself out to an extent. However, there are instances where psychosocial stressors, like racism, can still be seen in every day situations.

Juneteenth: A Day All African Americans Should Be Familiar With

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday of notable significance for many African Americans. June 19, 1865, highlights the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas, marking a historic moment in American history and the culmination of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that was written three years prior (the African Americans pictured were celebrating Juneteenth in the year 1900). Texas was resistant to the emancipation of slaves, but a military operation led by Union troops caused the end of slavery in the Lone Star state.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Everything You Need To Know About The 20-Week Abortion Ban Advancing In The House

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives will vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a measure spearheaded by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that would cut off legal access to abortion services at 20 weeks after fertilization. It represents the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber over the past decade. Here’s what you need to know about this attack on women’s reproductive rights — and how it fits into a broader, coordinated nationwide campaign to slowly chip away at abortion access:

Brian Banks: Accuser Who Got This Man Locked Up Over False Rape Claim Finally Gets Charged With Something!

A woman whose false claim of rape sent former prep football star Brian Banks to prison was ordered to pay a $2.6 million judgment in connection with the case.

Clarence Thomas makes rare break with Scalia — a sign of things to come?

Are U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia parting political ways? The two severely conservative judges—as Mitt Romney would call them— often see eye-to-eye on just about everything. But in the recent high court decision involving voting rights and immigration, the two men who are often joined at the hip diverged in a significant way. Could this be a preview of upcoming decisions on the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and marriage equality?

How "Obama Care's" Is Trying To Make It Easier For Poor Americans To Pay For Their Health Insurance

Officials overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act have proposed rules to require that insurance companies accept a variety of payment methods, including cashier’s checks, money orders, and re-loadable pre-paid debit cards. That’s expected to help millions of low-income Americans — many of whom don’t have access to credit cards and checking accounts — who will receive federal tax credits to purchase insurance through Obamacare’s statewide marketplaces.

Brazilians Flood Streets To Protest World Cup Spending, Government Corruption (In Photo's)

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians poured into the streets of at least 25 cities across the country Monday, blanketing the streets of major cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and climbing to the roof of the Brazilian National Congress in Brasilia, the nation’s capital. The protests, sparked last week by a smaller demonstration against fare hikes on public buses, are taking place around the Confederations Cup, the soccer tournament that began Saturday as a tune-up for Brazil’s 2014 hosting of the World Cup.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Peep The Ten Richest People In The World 2013

People who are really well off do some crazy things and support some even more radical agenda's with their worth, but you will never hear one of them say that money is not happiness! Watch this video list of the worlds richest:

New Samsung Galaxy S4, With LTE-Advanced 4G, Will Download Twice As Fast As Before

SUWON, South Korea (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co plans to sell a variation of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that will transmit data at nearly twice the normal speed, the head of its mobile business said on Monday.

Paula Cooper Free: Indiana Woman Sentenced To Die At 16 Is Released

INDIANAPOLIS — A woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 after she confessed to her part in the torture and murder of a 78-year-old bible studies teacher has been released from an Indiana prison after spending a quarter century behind bars.

What Do African Americans Think About Government Surveillance Since We Have Always Been Watched (The Grio)

The current spying controversy at the National Security Agency has caught many Americans off guard and has conjured up images of Big Brother. The NSA has secretly collected the private phone calls and internet data of its citizens, allowing the federal agency to monitor people who were not suspected of any unlawful activity.

Florida’s Governor Signs Business-Backed Bill Banning Paid Sick Leave

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill on Friday that blocks local governments from implementing paid sick leave legislation, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He made his decision quickly, only taking four of the 15 days he legally had to review the bill before he signed it.

Surprise! Justice Scalia Strikes Down Arizona Law Requiring Proof Of Citizenship To Register To Vote

In an opinion by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, a 7-2 Supreme Court held this morning that an Arizona law requiring voting officials to reject voter registration forms that are “not accompanied by concrete evidence of citizenship” conflicts with a federal law requiring states to use a uniform voter registration form for federal elections. Scalia once justified an anti-immigrant opinion with a reference to laws excluding “freed blacks” from southern states, and he called the Voting Rights Act a “perpetuation of racial entitlement. So his authorship of this opinion is both unexpected and a sign of the weakness of Arizona’s legal position in defending this law.

Bank Of America Paid Foreclosure Bonuses While Lying To Homeowners

One of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers intentionally, knowingly, and routinely falsifies paperwork and lies to homeowners in order to boot them from their homes, according to bank insiders.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Myrlie Evers: NAACP apologized for denying security detail for Medgar (The Grio)

It’s been 50 years since Medgar Evers was murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi, but the pain is still raw for his widow, Myrlie Evers Williams. In a series of interviews, she has recounted the pain of her loss, and recently walked a group of reporters, including from theGrio, through the house where she lived with Medgar and their two children, and where he died.

Angela Rye’s rant on affirmative action: How do you pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots? (The Grio)

By: Angela Rye, MSNBC

On Wednesday, we honored the memory of a civil rights icon with the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’s assassination and later this summer, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The Sunday June 16Th, 2013 Talking Heads


Ha we begin with "Today Dick Cheney weighs in on government surveillance," so you know that this interview will be more ironic than a gale of anvils, falling from the sky, onto your life. Later we will hear about how "the White House will arm the Syrian rebels," which just goes to show that Dick Cheney's White House didn't actually corner the market in dangerous idiocy.

Supreme Court Decision On Affirmative Action Looms

In post-Great Recession America, which is the bigger barrier to opportunity – race or class?

A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court kept the focus on race as a barrier, upholding the right of colleges to make limited use of racial preferences to ensure a diverse student body. But in a ruling due this month, the court is widely expected to roll back that decision. Such an outcome would shift attention more toward a less constitutionally controversial practice: giving a boost to socio-economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race.

6 Killed, 13 Wounded Overnight Sunday; 36 Shot Over Weekend In Chicago

CHICAGO — Six people were killed and at least 15 others wounded in shootings between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, police said. Other shootings Friday and Saturday killed one and wounded 16, bringing the bloody weekend tally to seven dead, 31 wounded.

Intelligence Officials Claim That NSA Surveillance Foiled Terrorist Plots In Over 20 Nations

On Saturday, U.S. intelligence officials released new information regarding two controversial National Security Agency surveillance programs. The intelligence officials claim that NSA surveillance halted potential terrorist plots in over 20 nations, including the United States. Additionally, they claim that the NSA’s database of millions of phone records is queried relatively rarely — only 300 phone numbers were checked against the database, according to the officials.

Fathers Who Care For Their Children Are Penalized At Work

Fathers who spend time caring for their children are treated worse than their peers whose family lives look more traditional, a new study finds.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Britain’s Austerity Policies Forcing Homeless People To Live In Caves

So many people have been seeking beds at shelters in central Britain that some homeless people have been forced to live in caves on the outskirts of town.

Conservative Minority Outreach Panelist Explains Voter Gap: ‘People Of Color Are Being Paid By The Government’

Minority voters are too dependent on the government to understand what’s good for them, and that’s why they don’t vote for Republicans, according to a panelist at the influential Faith And Freedom Coalition Conference’s minority outreach discussion.

George Zimmerman’s Father Says The ‘True Racists’ Are African-American (WTF)

As the murder trial for George Zimmerman begins, his father has released an emotional and highly unusual e-book, publicly opining on all aspects of the case. The book by Robert Zimmerman Sr., called “Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of my Son, George” was released today on Amazon for $3.99.

Spurs Answer Racist Response To Latino National Anthem Singer By Letting Him Sing Again

When Darius Rucker canceled plans to sing the national anthem ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs asked Sebastien De La Cruz to do the honors. De La Cruz, an 11-year-old Mexican-American, is a San Antonio resident who appeared as a singer on America’s Got Talent last year, and he didn’t disappoint.

Black Forest Fire Now Most Destructive in Colorado History, 360 Homes Lost And No Containment

At a Thursday morning press conference, officials reported that the Black Forest Fire raging near Colorado Springs is now the most destructive in state history, surpassing the Waldo Canyon Fire that ravaged the same area just one year ago.

Louisiana Chemical Plant Hasn’t Been Inspected By OSHA In Two Decades

A petrochemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana that exploded on Thursday, killing one person and injuring 73, has not been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the past two decades, according to an analysis by ThinkProgress. The Williams Olefins plant, which produces about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene, according to the company’s website, does not have any recorded inspections for plants producing either substance in OSHA’s database since 1993.

There Have Been 14 Mass Shootings In The Six Months Since Newtown

The U.S. has averaged over one mass shooting per month for the past four years. In the six months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, this trend has not relented. ThinkProgress analyzed all gun violence since December 14, 2012 and determined that there have been about 14 mass shootings.

This AP Article Is Everything That’s Wrong With Sensationalistic Obamacare Stories

Employers will struggle to comply with the new health care mandates, drop insurance coverage, increase costs, and lay off workers! Low-income employees will be subject to sky high premiums, a health care mandate they can’t afford, or go uninsured altogether!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Remembering Slain Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers

Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers  was a trailblazer for racial equality in the South, all while displaying a tireless dedication to self-improvement, education, and fair treatment for citizens in his native Mississippi and abroad. On this day 50 years ago, Evers was killed in the driveway of his home by aKu Klux Klan member who lived free for a time after the senseless murder. NewsOne takes a brief look back in the life of the late, great Medgar Evers.

Big Brother Has Been Watching You For A While: FBI Has An Eye On You, Even If You Haven't Done Anything

America’s National Security Agency has been collecting information on hundreds of millions of people. Nine major internet companies including Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, Microsoft, YouTube, Apple, AOL and PalTalk have been used by the FBI and National Security Agency to monitor photos, videos and emails.

Naked Man Goes Off And Attacks People At California Bart Station (Crazy Must See)

A naked man –who appears to be high out of his mind– entered the BART station in San Francisco, CA completely naked. He starts pushing and grabbing men and women as they walk past him. He’s doing flips, standing on top of the gates, rolling on the floor and grabbing his genitals while chasing women.

26 Lawmakers Live Off Food Stamps To Protest Republican Cuts

Twenty-six members of Congress will live off of a food stamp budget this week to draw attention to House Republicans cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program’s eligibility requirements already leave out 50 million food insecure households, but another 2 million Americans would lose access to food stamps in the proposed changes for the Farm Bill.

GOP Senators Aim To Prevent Legalized Immigrants From Accessing Health Care Benefits

Two Republican lawmakers have offered an amendment to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill that would prevent undocumented immigrants who achieve permanent legal status from accessing tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies through the Affordable Care Act for at least five years — potentially keeping millions of newly legalized Americans uninsured.

Housing Discrimination Hasn’t Gone Away, It’s Just Gone Underground

Discrimination in the housing market persists in subtle forms, according to a study by the Urban Institute on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Santa Monica Gunman Was Kicked Out Of School And Hospitalized For Threatening To Harm Classmates

New details have emerged about the mental health record of John Zawahri, the gunman who killed five and wounded several others in Santa Monica last week, raising questions about how he was able to obtain the arsenal of military-style weapons used in the massacre. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified school district confirmed Wednesday that Zawahri was removed from his continuation high school for posing a threat of violence to other students.

Democrat Dares Issa To Allow Release Of Documents That Contradict IRS Conspiracy

On Tuesday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) backtracked from his commitment to release transcripts of interviews with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents that allegedly prove how political officials in the Obama administration directed the IRS to target conservative groups applying for 501 (c)(4) status. Now, the Committee’s top Democrat is daring Issa to allow him to publicize transcripts that appear to undermine those claims.

U.S. Confirms Syrian Government’s Use Of Chemical Weapons

The United States on Thursday confirmed that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people, ending weeks of uncertainty over precisely who had unleashed the deadly agents.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NFL Commissioner: Redskins Name ‘Stands For Strength, Courage, Pride and Respect’

A top Republican messaging shop may be holding a focus group asking questions about the name of the Washington Redskins, but National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to have already developed his own justification for the name. In a letter responding to members of Congress who have urged Goodell and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change that name, Goodell said that it remains “a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect,” USA Today reports.

Will Smith Knows To Never Listen To America 'Film' Critics: After Earth' Rebounds, Leads Overseas Box Office With $45.5M

“After Earth,” the Will and Jaden Smith sci-fi adventure that has failed to take off in the U.S., is showing signs of life at the overseas box office, where it finished No. 1 for the weekend.

New Layer Of Human Eye,'Dua's Layer,' Discovered Behind Cornea

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown layer lurking in the human eye.

The new found body part, dubbed Dua's layer, is a skinny but tough structure measuring just 15 microns thick, where one micron is one-millionth of a meter and more than 25,000 microns equal an inch. It sits at the back of the cornea, the sensitive, transparent tissue at the very front of the human eye that helps to focus incoming light, researchers say.

Where Walmart Clothing Really Comes From

Since the Rana Plaza building collapse killed more than 1,100 people in April, retailers have faced mounting pressure to improve safety at Bangladesh garment factories and to sever ties with manufacturers that don't measure up.

Facebook Promises To Stop Treating Photos Of Breast Cancer Scars Like Pornography

Facebook has announced an update to its policy on images related to breast cancer, after 20,000 people signed a petition pressuring the social media giant to stop removing photos of mastectomies. Breast cancer advocates argue that Facebook’s policy has previously been too vague — allowing images depicting breast cancer scars to be frequently categorized as “pornography” — and see the company’s updated announcement as an important victory.

Aiyana Jones case: Detroit cop saw no struggle before girl, 7, shot

DETROIT (AP) — A police officer who was second through the door in a Detroit raid testified Tuesday that he didn’t see anyone struggle with another officer before a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot on a couch.

Scott Walker Endorses Mandating Transvaginal Ultrasounds And Shutting Down Abortion Clinics

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has thrown his support behind an anti-abortion measure that’s currently moving through the state legislature, saying he will sign the bill into law if it makes it to his desk. SB 206 would require women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion — which would mandate an invasive transvaginal probe for some of the women who seek early abortions in their first trimester — and force one of the state’s last abortion clinics to close its doors.

Connecticut Passes Landmark ‘Homeless Person’s Bill Of Rights’ Law

Connecticut is on the cusp of enacting a major new law to protect people who are homeless from discrimination.

GOP Congressman Channels Todd Akin: ‘The Incidence Of Rape Resulting In Pregnancy Are Very Low’

Despite Republican strategists’ efforts to keep GOP politicians from making insensitive comments about rape victims, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) channeled former Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) infamous “legitimate rape” comment during a committee hearing on Wednesday. Defending his proposal to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest, Franks claimed, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

World Health Care Satisfaction Rankings: South Korea, Argentina Most Satisfied, Survey Finds

NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - Healthcare has improved in many countries in the last five years, but patients in South Korea, Argentina and Japan are the most satisfied with their medical care, according to an Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Darrell Issa Refuses To Release Documents That Prove Obama Conspired To Target Tea Party

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is refusing to release transcripts of interviews with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents that allegedly prove how political officials in the Obama administration directed the IRS to target conservative groups applying for 501 (c)(4) status.

Top Republican Messaging Firm To Hold Football Focus Group About Whether Redskins Should Change Name

“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear,” Luntz Global, the premier strategy shop run by Republican messaging guru Frank Luntz, boasts at the top of its web site. And Luntz Global is interested in figuring out what National Football League fans are hearing.

Bank Of America Revives Deceptive Loan Advertising Practices

About six months after the government warned lenders against deceptive mortgage advertising, Bank of America is using a misleading pitch and copious fine print to sell borrowers on refinancing plans. The American Banker reported Monday that a mailer from the bank in New Jersey “sounds eerily like a sales pitch from the bubble days of 2005.”

Wisconsin GOP Is Working Hard To Shut Down One Of The Last Abortion Clinics In The State

Under an anti-abortion measure currently advancing in the Wisconsin legislature, one of the state’s last remaining abortion clinics could soon be forced to close its doors. There are only four abortion clinics left in Wisconsin, three of which are operated by Planned Parenthood. The women’s health organization has confirmed that one of its locations will not be able to comply with the proposed restrictions.

How Race Can Influence Jury Selection In The George Zimmerman Murder Trial

As jury selection began Monday in the trial of George Zimmerman for shooting dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, news reports have swirled with commentary about the race of the jury. If Zimmerman can pack the jury with “white, conservative, pro-conviction jurors,” he increases his odds of winning on a claim of self-defense, defense lawyer Jose Baez told several news outlets.

The Massive Online Surveillance Program No One Is Talking About

Much of the initial coverage of last week’s leaks about the National Security Agency (NSA) online snooping focused on a content gathering program called PRISM. But buried in the Washington Post’s original coverage were a few tantalizing details about another program code-named BLARNEY that bears a striking resemblance to the one alleged in a prominent court case over the existence of a dragnet online surveillance program.

New York Sushi Restaurant Eliminates Tipping Because It Pays Waiters A Salary With Benefits

Sushi Yasuda, an upscale restaurant in New York City, is attracting attention for its decision to get rid of tips for waitstaff. Instead of a line for diners to write in a tip amount on their receipts, Sushi Yasuda has printed the following statement: “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.”

Google Asks Government To Let Them Reveal How Many National Security Data Requests They Get

In an open letter to Attorney General Holder and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director Mueller, Google asks the agencies to let them publish aggregate numbers about secret requests for digital surveillance. The letter cites the confusing reports on the level of access tech companies allow the NSA and the FBI following the PRISM leaks last week, saying that in the absence of being able to tell the public about the number and scale of requests they receive, it’s impossible to combat them:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Local 911 Operator In Dallas Calls Black Domestic Violence Victims Animals

April Sims, a Dallas 911 operator was fired because of her Facebook status’:

Women Sicks Dogs On Reporter After Not Wanting To Talk About Her Daughters Shooting (This Was A Real No Comment Statement Here)

Abbey Niezgoda, a news reporter in Providence, RI, went to the home of Melissa Lawrence whose daughter was shot during a kindergarten graduation party. Lawrence asked the reporter to leave her home, but Niezgoda refused to leave. Lawrence then threw rocks at the camera man. After that didn’t work, she sicked her two pit bulls on Niezgoda and she was bit in the forearm.

Felon In Maximum Security Prison Thanks The NRA For Making It Easy For Him To Get A Gun

Gary W. Bornman, a felon being held in a federal “Supermax” prison in Colorado, penned an op-ed on Thursday thanking the National Rifle Association for killing a bipartisan gun bill to expand background checks earlier this year. Bornman, who is serving a 20-year sentence for bank robbery, wrote to the Hartford Courant explaining how easy it would be for him to get a gun even though he is legally banned from buying one:

Santa Monica Mass Shooter Planned To Kill Hundreds With Stockpile Of Guns And Ammo

Five are dead after a gunman rampaged through Santa Monica, CA, on Friday, ending at the local community college. The Santa Monica shooting marks the tenth mass shooting on a school campus in California since 1976.

How George Zimmerman Could Be Acquitted Of Murder

On June 10, the murder trial of George Zimmerman will begin, 470 days after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on a rainy evening in Sanford, Florida.

What You Should Know About The Intelligence Community’s Contractors

The Sunday afternoon revelation that former Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden was behind the leaks that set off the last week’s string of stories on potential overreach on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA) has led to many questions about the world he inhabited. Why would a contractor have access to such highly secret materials? What was a contractor doing at the NSA in any event? Who is Booz Allen Hamilton and why do they have such reach? Here’s what you need to know:

'Fixed News' Speculates Trayvon Martin Could Have Killed Someone With Skittles And Iced Tea (GTFOH!!)

On the first day of George Zimmmerman’s murder trial, a Fox News guest suggested that the defense may be able to establish that Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, because “you could kill probably somebody” with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

The NSA Leak And Why You Should Never Piss Off Your IT Guy

When The Guardian revealed the source of the NSA leaks Sunday, he turned out to be a twenty-nine year-old who was essentially a contracted IT guy for the agency without a background in national security policy, despite earlier claims by the Washington Post that they came from a “career intelligence officer.”

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Martin Murder Case: Trial Set To Begin In Florida

SANFORD, Fla., June 9 (Reuters) - Jury selection begins on Monday in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and then famously walked free for 44 days, triggering nationwide protests and calls for his arrest.

Military Rape Survivor: Decades Of Failure To Improve Sexual Assault Policies Has ‘Re-Victimized’ Me

As the military continues to grapple with addressing an ongoing sexual assault crisis — an issue that one Army General recently referred to as a “cancer within the force” — some veterans are re-living the pain that resulted from their own rapes. After years have passed without any improvement to the military’s sexual assault policies, one rape survivor says that she has been “re-victimized” by the military’s inability to learn anything from what happened to her twenty years ago.

"Fixed News" Host Explodes At Guest For Disagreeing With His Scandal Coverage: ‘Cut His Damn Mic’

Fox Business host Neil Cavuto yelled at producers to cut the mic of a liberal pundit who dared to say that not all of the ‘scandals’ plaguing President Obama are created equal.

Lawmakers Tear Into Obama’s Surveillance Program, Pledge To Challenge It At Supreme Court

Even before the curtain was pulled back on the National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping scandal last week, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) had been fighting in Congress to end the secrecy that defined the federal government’s program to collect the phone and online records of millions of Americans.

U.S. And China Aim To Phase Down Use Of Potent Greenhouse Gases Known As HFCs

The United States and China announced on Saturday that they will work together and with other countries to “phase down” the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are extremely potent greenhouse gases. A global phaseout would be the equivalent of cutting 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Original Model For A Teabagger Was Indeed Reagan, So Why Do People Worship Him: Bill Maher

Bill Maher differed with a consensus found on both sides of the aisle that Ronald Reagan would not be welcomed in the modern Republican party, saying that actually, Reagan would be quite welcome in the 21st century GOP because he was the forebear of a lot of the tea party philosophy. Maher called Reagan the “original pitchman for batshit,” and proceeded to tear apart the idea that Reagan was a moderate who liberals like President Obama could publicly admire.

Air Force Names Woman To Head Sexual Assault Prevention

The Air Force on Friday announced that it had named a woman to head its troubled Sexual Assault Prevention program, herself a much higher rank than the former director who was himself arrested on charges of sexual assault.

Insurers Aren’t Just Giving Out Rebate Checks Because Of "Obama Cares" — They’re Lowering Premiums, Too

Americans who bought individual health plans in 2012 saved $2.1 billion thanks to Obamacare consumer protections that limit how much insurers can profit off of Americans’ premiums, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The vast majority of those savings stem from individual health plan providers lowering the premiums they charge Americans in an effort to comply with the reform law.

Why The NSA’s Secret Online Surveillance Should Scare You

The reaction to the National Security Agency (NSA)’s secret online spying program, PRISM, has been polarized between seething outrage and some variant on “what did you expect?” Some have gone so far as to say this program helps open the door to fascism, while others have downplayed it as in line with the way that we already let corporations get ahold of our personal data.

Rich Entrepreneur: The Wealthy Aren’t Job Creators, Middle-Class Workers Are

On Thursday, entrepreneur and self-described one percenter Nick Hanauer warned Congress that rich people like him aren’t the engines of the economy. In a testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, he explained why, in fact, middle-class workers are the economy’s real job creators:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ten Crazy Things The Right Wing Did This Week!

It’s been another week of the insane, inane, and outright offensive. Here’s your top ten:

Rage and Ruin: On the Black Panthers (TheNation)

In the early morning hours of April 1, 1967, in North Richmond, California, a small, impoverished, all-black town near Oakland, Denzil Dowell lay dead in the street. The police said that Dowell, a 22-year-old construction worker, had been killed by a single shotgun blast to the back and head; they claimed that he had been caught burglarizing a liquor store and, when ordered to halt, had failed to do so. The coroner’s report told a different story. His body bore six bullet holes, and there was reason to believe Dowell had been shot while surrendering with his hands raised high. His mother said, “I believe the police murdered my son.” An all-white jury found that Dowell’s death was “justifiable homicide.” Many people in North Richmond didn’t agree.

The Latest Republican Embarrassment Of Hue That Is: Virginia LT. gov candidate E.W. Jackson (The Grio)

You heard it here first: yoga leads to demonic possession. Well, actually that’s not true, but don’t tell Reverend E.W. Jackson, the Republican running to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor.

Letter From Africa: Frosty Frontiers (Elizabeth Ohene's)

In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian Elizabeth Ohene considers the changing reception Africans receive when traveling to the West.

Author Of Patriot Act Now Seeks To Limit Government Surveillance

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who helped draft the PATRIOT Act, is exploring options to narrow a provision of the law that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to obtain telephonic metadata on nearly all Americans. The comments are the first indication that Congress may act to restrict the government’s ongoing data collection since the Guardian published a secret court order compelling Verizon to turn over its records on a “on an ongoing daily basis” and the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T and Sprint are also sending their records to the government.

Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists

The Steubenville rape case, in which two high school football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl at a party, helped spark a national conversation about consent, victim-blaming, and rape culture. The case gained national attention after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape. But it turns out that working to expose those rapists may land one Anonymous hacker more time in prison than the rapists themselves will serve.

Walmart’s Low Wages Cost Taxpayers Millions Each Year

Due to low wages and few benefits, Walmart workers at a single 300-person Supercenter store rely on anywhere from $904,542 to $1,744,590 in public benefits per year, costing taxpayers, according to a new report from the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

First Quarter Of 2013 Saw Largest Wage Drop Ever

The first three months of 2013 saw wages fall 3.8 percent – the largest drop in hourly pay in the 65-year history of that statistic – despite an increase in worker productivity. With high unemployment freeing employers from fears that their employees will turn elsewhere, the U.S. recovery has been marked by a decoupling of rising productivity from stagnant wages.

Poll Shows Latinos Want The GOP To Stay On Track With Immigration Reform

A new poll of Latino voters shows that Republicans will lose electorate support if the party does not make immigration reform into a top priority.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Seven Things You Should Know About The House’s Defense Bill

At 2:14 AM on Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), a massive $638 billion bill designed to fund all military spending and chart military policy for the for the coming fiscal year. An avalanche of amendments greatly changed the original make-up Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) presented earlier this week, eventually passing the committee with a vote of 59-2. Here are some of the provisions in the bill that you should know about before it reaches the House floor:

What You Need To Know About The Government’s Massive Online Spying Program

Hot off the heals of the revelation that Verizon has been supplying the National Security Agency (NSA) with phone records for all domestic calls, the Washington Post reveals the NSA and FBI are datamining the servers of nine technology companies, “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”

BDSM Correlated With Better Mental Health, Says Study

People who are into kinky sex may be psychologically healthier than those who are not, says a new study. Researchers found that people who were involved in BDSM -- bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism -- scored better on certain indicators of mental health than those who did not bring kink into the bedroom, reported LiveScience.

IRS Approved More Conservative Groups Than Liberal Groups Selected For Review: Report

An analysis of a list of groups approved for tax exempt status, released by the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of its admission to targeting conservative groups for heightened scrutiny, determined that of the groups approved, more than two-thirds were conservative.

Costco Resisted Wall Street Pressure To Cut Wages, Benefits: Report

Costco is one of the few bargain retailers to see success in recent months, and according to one executive, it could be even more profitable. If only the company weren't so committed to paying workers a decent wage.

Elizabeth Warren Insurance Deregulation Amendment Raises Federal Standard For Agents

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday approved new bipartisan legislation to deregulate the insurance industry, but not before Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) snagged a small victory for consumers.

Spying Operation Has Been In Place For Years, Involves All Major U.S. Phone Companies

NEW YORK — Former employees of the National Security Agency say the publishing of a court order asking Verizon to hand over all its phone calling records for a three-month period opens a new window on an operation that has been in place for years and involves all major U.S. phone companies.

House Republicans Booed As They Vote To Deport DREAMers

To a chorus of boos from the gallery, House Republicans voted 224-201 on Thursday to approve an amendment that defunds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The amendment, from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), undercuts the flexibility that allows the Department of Homeland Security to halt deporting DREAMers and instead focus on people convicted of crimes.

The World’s Biggest Coal Company Is Turning To Solar Energy To Lower Its Utility Bill

The largest coal company in the world, Coal India, is aiming to cut its own utility bills by installing solar photovoltaic panels at its facilities across the country. The coal giant is seeking proposals from solar energy companies to build a modular 2 megawatt solar plant on 9 acres of its own land. This plant could be scaled to export power to the grid.