Friday, August 30, 2013

White Supremacist Felon Caught With 18 Guns, 45,000 Bullets And A List Of Black & Jewish Leaders

Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Suspect Who Killed A WWII Vet Say: We were buying crack from victim

One of the teens charged with beating to death a World War II veteran allegedly claimed he was buying crack cocaine from the 88-year-old and the transaction turned violent — but cops said there is no evidence to support that.

No, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Not A Republican — But Here’s What He Had To Say About Them

“Most people don’t talk about the fact that Martin Luther King was a Republican.”

That’s a quote from Ada Fisher, a Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina, that was published without qualification or correction this week by ABC News.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Josephine Baker Teaches Us About Women’s Enduring Legacy Within The Civil Rights Movement

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs, Justice and Freedom. Most are not aware, but on that hot summer day in 1963, only one woman addressed the crowd. Her name was Josephine Baker.

Conservatives Have Morphed The Word ‘Freedom’ Into Something Martin Luther King Would Never Recognize

Fifty years ago today, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. approached the podium at the original March on Washington, he carried with him a robust sense of what Americans needed to accomplish in order to become a free society. When he stood in Lincoln’s shadow and lamented the “tragic fact that the Negro is still not free,” he was not speaking about a surplus of health care entitlements. When he called for all Americans to be granted the “riches of freedom and the security of justice” he was not concerned that the heirs to their parents’ fortunes might be required to pay a share of those fortune in taxes. Dr. King did not march to get Washington off his back. He marched because he understood that the path to freedom traveled straight through the U.S. Capitol, and that what he labeled the “marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community” would amount to nothing unless the promise of equality was enshrined in law.

Bill Clinton Explains The Real Way To Honor King’s Dream

President Bill Clinton connected Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I have a dream” speech to the struggles still facing the nation during a speech on Wednesday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic address.

A Timeline Of The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga

While the White House insists in public that no decisions have yet been made, it seems increasingly likely that the U.S. will join in with several of its allies in launching limited punitive strikes against Syria for the use of chemical weapons against civilians. While the wisdom of setting so clear a trigger for action has been questioned since Obama first set chemical weapons use as a so-called “red-line,” the international norm against their use has been growing since the horrors of mustard gas were first observed in World War I.

5 Times Boehner Insisted He Would Never Use The Debt Ceiling For Political Leverage

As the Treasury Department announced on Monday that the nation will hit the debt ceiling by mid-October, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated that Republicans won’t vote to raise America’s borrowing limit “without cuts and reforms.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Story Of The World’s Biggest ‘Battery’ And The Future Of Renewable Energy

The largest battery in the world has sat quietly in George Washington National Forest along the Virginia-West Virginia border for nearly 30 years. A five-hour drive from the nation’s capital, it sits in the middle of the Appalachians, tucked behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Faith Or Science: Measles Outbreak Linked To Texas Megachurch Whose Pastor Has Spread Myths About Vaccines

The current measles outbreak in Texas — which has sickened at least 21 people in the northern part of the state — has been linked to a megachurch that encourages faith healing. The Eagle Mountain International Church has a relatively high population of unvaccinated congregants, which allowed the highly-contagious virus to spread rapidly among them.

California Prison Is A Breeding Ground For A Deadly Fungal Disease

Prisoners in California are being moved into two prisons where they will be at higher risk of developing valley fever, a serious and potentially fatal lung disease.

Almost Half Of All School Districts Have Banned Junk Food From Vending Machines

American schools have made significant progress in offering healthier food options and requiring more students to take part in physical education programs, boding well for students’ physical and mental health, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Monday, August 26, 2013

North Carolina Charity Threatened With Arrest For Feeding Homeless People

A group that for years has handed out food to the homeless in Raleigh every weekend was threatened with arrest if they continued their charity work.

It’s Not The Fault Of The Long-Term Unemployed That They Can’t Find Jobs

More than four million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, putting them in the category of the long-term unemployed, and they make up nearly 40 percent of all people who are out of work but seeking a new job. Why can’t they seem to get hired? New data shows that they look a lot like other unemployed workers except that they tend to be older, a bit more racially diverse, and actually have more education, which implies that they probably just need a better job market.

The Bank That Has Faced The Fewest Consequences For Financial Crisis

While the financial industry as a whole has faced legal consequences so insignificant as to be meaningless over the economic crisis it created, one major bank stands out as particularly lucky. Morgan Stanley has faced no charges and paid no federal fines relating to the financial collapse, according to Fortune magazine, despite being one of the largest underwriters of the mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the crisis.

Walmart CEO Claims ‘Vast Majority’ Of Workers Make More Than Minimum Wage

In a recent interview, Walmart CEO Mike Duke told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, “The vast majority of our associates are paid more than [the minimum wage],” estimating that “less than one percent” are paid at that level.

Louisiana’s Voucher Program Is Making Segregation Worse, Justice Department Finds

Louisiana school districts with a long history of racial segregation are becoming more segregated because of the state’s voucher program, according to a motion filed by the Department of Justice this week.

Killing Obamacare Is Killing The Republican Party

Don’t look now, but the Republican Party may be vanishing before our very eyes.

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is the case that the number of Americans willing to directly identify with the Republican Party is reaching historic lows. The rolling average of GOP party identification now stands at 22 percent and has been declining fairly steadily for the last several years. The latest poll from Pew Research Center — perhaps the most reliable of all pollsters — has the GOP down to only 19 percent identification:

More Than 50 Abortion Clinics Have Shut Down Over The Past Three Years

A barrage of state-level restrictions on abortion clinics — often, unnecessary regulations requiring them to widen their hallways, upgrade their air filtration systems, and form special agreements with hospitals — has forced a wave of clinic closures across the country. Since 2010, more than 50 abortion clinics have been forced to close their doors.

Justice Ginsburg’s Terrifying Assessment Of Her Own Court

In an interview with the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered a grim assessment of the Court where she so often finds herself leading a four justice dissent — the Roberts Court is “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Again With The Slavery Comparisons: Rand Paul, Food Stamps Are Just Like Slavery

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) equated government programs that prevent people from dying of starvation with slavery in a new profile of his medical practice published today, revealing himself to hold a view of the role of government so limited as to nearly define the state out of existence.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Four New Wind Farms In The Upper Midwest Could Power 750,000 Homes

Last week, Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy proposed its fourth wind farm in the Upper Midwest since mid-July. If approved, the 150-megawatt Border Winds Project would be developed in North Dakota near the U.S.-Canadian border and produce enough electricity to save customers an estimated $45 million over its lifetime while reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 320,000 tons.

Thanks To Budget Cuts, The Forest Service Is Out Of Money To Fight Wildfires

The U.S. Forest Service has nearly depleted its budget for fighting wildfires at the peak of wildfire season, a development which has forced the agency to divert $600 million in funds from timber and other areas to continue fighting fires.

Bobby Jindal Blames Racial Inequality On Minorities Being Too Proud Of Their Heritages

One day after thousands rallied at the March on Washington 50th anniversary demonstration, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) pitched the Republican civil rights vision…by criticizing minorities for not assimilating into American culture.

'Meet The Press' Airs Historic Martin Luther King, Jr. Interview (August 26, 1963, Peep The Hostility Towards Both Men))

"Meet the Press" marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by airing its interview with Martin Luther King, Jr., which was originally broadcast three days before his historic "I have a dream" speech.

Colin Powell: Trayvon Martin Verdict 'Questionable'

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called the jury verdict that cleared the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin "questionable" and urged President Barack Obama to speak more on issues of race during an interview that aired Sunday.

Court Is ‘One of Most Activist,’ Ginsburg Says, Vowing to Stay

WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, vowed in an interview to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.”

Conservatives Finally Announce Alternative To Obamacare: Just Go To The Emergency Room

Heritage president and former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint continued his campaign to convince Republicans to shut down the government in a ploy to defund the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, telling a town hall in Tampa, Florida that “This might be that last off-ramp to stop Obamacare before it becomes more enmeshed in our culture.” The law “is not about getting better health care,” he continued. Uninsured Americans “will get better health care just going to the emergency room.”

How Syria Has The U.N.’s Hands Tied In Investigating Chemical Weapons Use

Reports from Syria on Wednesday indicated that the Ghouta region may have seen the deadliest chemical weapons attack in decades just 15 minutes away from where a United Nations team was preparing to investigate earlier possible attacks. Numbers vary, but some within the Syrian opposition claim that as many as 1,700 people were killed in the attack. Videos and photographs of dead men, women, and children circulated the internet on Wednesday adding some credence to the claims.

Minority Students At University of Texas Attacked By An Epidemic Of ‘Bleach Bombs’

On Wednesday, University of Texas student Bryan Davis, who is African American, was struck by a bleach-filled balloon while he was walking to visit a friend in a neighborhood populated by UT students. Moreover, this attack appears to be part of a chain of similar assaults targeting students of color on the Texas campus. Last October, Austin police launched an investigation into four similar attacks on UT students, all of which targeted Asian or African Americans.

John Lewis At March On Washington: ‘I’m Not Going To Stand By And Let The Supreme Court Take The Right To Vote Away’

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) — who was the youngest speaker during the March on Washington in 1963 — delivered a passionate address about the importance of protecting voting rights at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial fifty years later, as thousands gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the historic event on Saturday.

Colin Powell On Republican Voting Restrictions: ‘It’s Going To Backfire’

On Face the Nation this Sunday, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, warned his fellow Republicans that the continuing push to restrict voting rights is going to “backfire” and harm the Republican Party:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Legal Costs For Biggest Banks Pale In Comparison To Profits, Harm Of Crisis

The biggest banks have run up a legal bill of more than $66 billion since the beginning of 2010. But considering how much money they’ve made in the same period, they would probably call that a bargain: The eye-popping sum is less than a third of what the companies have banked in profits and barely 1 percent of the most conservative estimate of what the financial crisis has cost.

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Political Goldmine

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an issue that was hugely popular with the public, fit perfectly into the progressive agenda, appealed to the white working class, and split the Republican Party right in half? Sounds to be good to be true, right? Actually, it’s hiding in plain sight: raising the minimum wage.

New York City Spends More Than $167,000 Per Inmate Every Year

New York City spends far more than every other city and state in the U.S. on maintaining their prison population, according to a new study by the Independent Budget Office. The city’s taxpayers shelled out $167,731 to feed, house and guard each of New York’s 12,287 inmates last year.

Congressman Lies About Rwandan Genocide To Argue Against Gun Safety Measures In America

In a town hall Thursday evening, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) rejected a constituent’s suggestion that stricter background checks for gun sales could have kept a mentally disturbed young man from threatening a Georgia elementary school Tuesday with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

‘A Grave Miscarriage Of Justice’: Court Tosses Out Conviction Of Man Who Spent 21 Years On Death Row

Twenty-one years ago, James Dennis was sentenced to die for a murder that he almost certainly did not commit. Police cherry-picked witnesses that seemed to implicate Dennis in the crime, while covering up witnesses that could have exonerated him. They ignored evidence that someone else committed the crime. They lost evidence. They kept silent about a document that would have corroborated Dennis’ alibi. And, after all of this, Dennis was represented by an attorney who didn’t even bother to interview the eyewitnesses to the murder. As Judge Antia Brody wrote in her opinion tossing out Dennis’ conviction yesterday, “[t]he Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has committed a grave miscarriage of justice in convicting Dennis and sentencing him to die for this crime.”

Obamacare Opponent Is Very Impressed With The Law He Hates So Much

The Huffington Post’s Jason Cherkis reports on a remarkable encounter between Reina Diaz-Dempsey, a Kentucky public health worker signing people up for insurance coverage under health care reform, and a middle-aged man who approached her booth at the State Fair. After Diaz-Dempsey explained that he will either qualify for tax credits to buy insurance through Kynect (the state’s new insurance marketplace) or an expanded Medicaid pool in October, the man seemed pleased and mused, “This beats Obamacare, I hope.”

Koch Brothers Not Buying Tribune Company

The Koch Brothers won't be buying the Tribune Company after all, the company confirmed on Thursday.

The Daily Caller first broke the news that the polarizing billionaire industrialists had decided not to purchase the struggling media giant.

Porn Moratorium After HIV-Positive Test From Performer, Cameron Bay

The adult film industry's trade association has called for a moratorium on filming Wednesday after an actor tested positive for HIV.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kendra McCray And Antoinette Tuff Reunite After School Gunman Incident

The woman who talked down a potential school shooter and the 911 dispatcher who was on the phone with her throughout the terrifying encounter reunited Thursday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

Naked Breastfeeding Yoga Mom Says That Photo Was Not Staged

Two years ago, the image of a mom breastfeeding while practicing yoga naked went viral. Now, the subject of that photo, Amy, has chosen to address some commonly asked questions she's heard since.

'Widespread and Undetected': Colin Powell Goes In On North Carolina’s Voter Suppression Laws And His Party

In a room full of CEOs and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R), former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted the suppressive voting law McCrory signed last week, saying it will make it more difficult for minorities to vote and hurt the Republican party.

Walmart Workers Arrested While Protesting Unjust Firings, Low Wages

Ten former and current Walmart employees were arrested at a rally in front of the retail giant’s offices in Washington, DC Thursday afternoon. The workers were blocking the door to the DC office to demand the company give them their jobs back and raise wages overall.

The Senate Only Responds To Rich People’s Problems

The Senate as an institution is much more responsive to wealthy constituents’ views than to middle- and low-income voters’ policy preferences, according to political scientist Thomas J. Hayes of the University of Connecticut. In research first published in 2012 and released in print on Monday by Political Research Quarterly, Hayes demonstrates a chronic neglect of non-rich Americans by the upper chamber of Congress.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8 Real Spies And Actual Bad Guys Who Got Shorter Sentences Than Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning received a 35-year prison sentence on Wednesday, punishment for leaking troves of classified intelligence to the website WikiLeaks in 2010. The former Army private first class faced a maximum of 90 years in prison, and the prosecution was pushing aggressively for at least 60 years, meaning the final outcome was less harsh than it could have been.

Bradley Manning Headed To Prison, While Those Who Authorized Torture Go Free

FORT MEADE, Md. -- Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday for releasing 700,000 documents about the United States' worldwide diplomacy and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Cayman Islands Agree To Help The U.S. Hunt Down Tax Cheats

The law that’s driven crackdowns on American tax evasion via Swiss bank accounts is coming to the Cayman Islands as well. Banks in the Caribbean archipelago will be subject to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) when the law goes into effect in mid-2014 under an agreement struck between the U.S. and Cayman governments in August.

American Workers Have Seen A ‘Lost Decade’ In Wage Growth

American workers have suffered a “lost decade” of stagnant or falling wages. Despite productivity gains of nearly 25 percent from 2000 to 2012, “wages were flat or declined for the entire bottom 60 percent” of the workforce, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Most Students Of Color Fall Behind White Peers In College Readiness

According to new data, less than half of African-American, Hispanic, or Native American students met the ACT’s college readiness benchmark when taking the test in any subject area: English, reading, math, or science. African-American students were the least likely to meet all four: just 5 percent did, compared to a third of white students.

Top Conservative Pundit: If I Were Starting from Scratch, I Would Outlaw Alcohol and Allow Marijuana

“If I were starting a society from scratch, I would outlaw alcohol and allow marijuana,” conservative columnist and pundit Charles Krauthammer said on the O’Reilly Factor Tuesday.

More Louisiana Republicans Blame President Obama For Hurricane Katrina Response Than Bush

Timsomor Note:  Keep in mind this was 3 years before the man became President and was just elected as a Senator! 

According to a Public Policy Polling survey, 29 percent of Louisiana Republicans say President Obama is more to blame for the botched executive branch response to Hurricane Katrina while just 28 percent blamed George W. Bush. A plurality of 44 percent said they were unsure who was more responsible, even though Hurricane Katrina occurred over three years before Obama entered the presidency when he was still a freshman Senator.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Conquer Body Odor Naturally!

Body odor: It’s an embarrassing topic, but we’ve all been there at some point in time.

Body odor is a common problem. Commercial chemicals and artificial-scent sprays may be a temporary way to control body odor, but they often don’t address the underlying cause. And they certainly don’t always do so with your health in mind.

The Tesla Model S Is The Safest Car Ever Tested, And It’s Because It’s Electric

The electric car company Tesla Motors announced on Monday that one of its cars had received the highest safety rating ever awarded to a vehicle, and that it’s largely thanks to the fact that it’s an electric car.

Oil Billionaire Weighs In On Wind Turbines: ‘Once They’re There, They Haunt You’

Shale oil billionaire Harold Hamm said in an interview this week that clean energy doesn’t deserve federal subsidies in part because windmills are haunting to look at.

Why Utilities Are Afraid Of Rooftop Solar

The solar industry is booming across the U.S. and the numbers are staggering. Residential solar installations in 2012 reached 488 megawatts — a 62 percent increase over 2011 installations. And according to GTM Research, a solar photovoltaic (PV) system is now installed every four minutes in the U.S.

Regulator Wins First Admission Of Guilt From Financial Firm Since Policy Shift

A hedge fund manager who manipulated bond markets and misused investor funds has admitted his guilt and accepted a five-year ban from the securities industry. It is the first settlement to feature an admission of guilt since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in June that it would reexamine the common practice of so-called “neither admit nor deny” settlements.

How Changing Bankruptcy Laws For Student Loans Could Revitalize The Economy

By tweaking bankruptcy and student loan laws, Congress could neutralize one of the most harmful features of the growing load of student debt. A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) argues that bankruptcy should allow borrowers to get out from under loans that have unreasonable repayment terms or were borrowed to attend schools whose graduates struggle to find work.

Koch-Backed Group Rallies To Oppose Extending Health Care To Low-Income Virginians

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, sponsored a rally on Monday to stand up against extending Medicaid coverage to nearly 400,000 low-income Virginia residents. Hundreds of people gathered at the state capitol building during a meeting of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission to oppose expanding the program under Obamacare.

The Remarkable Slowdown In Health Care Costs Since The Passage Of Obamacare

A new survey of health care premiums for employer-sponsored health care coverage shows that health care inflation is slowing, further undermining critics’ predictions that costs would skyrocket in the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act.

Monday, August 19, 2013

In Texas, Oil Is Big But Solar Is Cheap

Despite foot-dragging by the state’s leadership on solar policies, residential solar installation prices recently hit $3.90 per watt in Texas, lower than anywhere else in the nation. It’s part of a nationwide plunge in installation prices for the smaller systems — generally 10 kilowatts or less — used for individual homes. According to a new report out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, that national price fell from around $12 per watt in 1998 to $5.30 per watt in 2012.

Domestic Violence Victims Face Choice Between Calling Police Or Staying In Housing

As cities and towns across the country adopt new “crime-free housing” ordinances, many domestic violence victims face the choice between calling the police on their abusers or getting evicted, as the New York Times reported over the weekend. That’s because landlords can kick out tenants who have a certain number of visits in many communities.

Court Blocks Pennsylvania Voter ID Law, As Six Other States Revive Their Own

For the third consecutive election, Pennsylvania’s controversial law requiring photo identification to vote will likely not apply, after a state court blocked the law again Friday. The court held once again that the law is arguably unconstitutional, and cannot be applied until a trial determines once and for all if the law is valid.

Nine Term North Carolina Senator Resigns To Fight New Voter Suppression Law

North Carolina state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D) announced today that she is resigning her seat in the state legislature after 17 years of service. Instead she will work full time to reverse the blizzard of right-wing legislation enacted by Republicans since they took over the state government last January. In a message posted on her website, Kinnaird wrote that a major focus of her post-legislative work will be “a grass-roots project to make sure everyone in the state has a proper voter ID so that no votes are denied, even though” a recently enacted voter suppression law “is aimed at exactly that – repressing the vote.” Kinnaird’s replacement will effectively be chosen by Democratic officials.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

History on the “Black Statue of Liberty” (

The original statue of Liberty gifted by the French to America was not the stern-faced green Roman looking woman that you see today holding a tablet and a torch. The original and first Statue of Liberty was a Black woman holding the broken shackles of slavery. She was refused on the notion that the black statue would be a constant reminder of the liberty that the slaves earned, from successfully fighting in the American Civil War. The true Black Statue of Liberty remains rejected, forgotten and lost in broken fragments of Black history.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

March on Washington was far from popular in 1963

As the 50th anniversary of the March on the Washington for Jobs and Freedom draws nearer, so does the nostalgia. In an effort to be on the right side of history, the naysayers and obstacles are often overlooked.

In a small Illinois town, a history of failed, ignored rape investigations and hundreds of untested rape kits

Rosa Pickett was 17 when she was raped in her hometown of Robbins, Il. on September 3, 1977.
She was walking to a party at night in the nearly all-black village of Robbins located in the Cook County region that also contains the mecca of Chicago. After being rescued by a stranger who found her in a ditch, he took her home. Her mother barely recognized Pickett’s face, which was swollen from receiving repeated punches during her assault.

White Is the New White

By:  Aura Bogado

Slave narratives became most fashionable among abolitionist circles in the mid-nineteenth century. These narratives remain deeply powerful, yet each one is framed by a white introduction, which authenticates the black experience. The white practice of verifying the lives of black fugitives who were skillfully plotting their own liberation has changed in circumstance and in medium—but the role of white people at its center has not. Today, its latest manifestation is playing out in the Netflix hit series, Orange Is the New Black.

Most Large Companies Fail To Comply With Rules About Diversity In Boardrooms

In 2010, new rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) went into effect that required companies to disclose information about the consideration of diversity when they select their boards, the first rules or regulations to directly address the dearth of women on corporate boards. But a forthcoming research note from Columbia Law School student Tamara Smallman finds that three years later, most companies are failing to comply. Meanwhile, diversity in boardrooms remains stagnant.

10 Ways Republicans Have Blown Their Own Minority Outreach Strategy

The Republican National Committee had what seemed like easy advice for the rest of the GOP after the 2012 election: Stop inflaming racism and expand the voter base beyond male, white America. After a disastrous few months since the RNC autopsy report, they tried again Thursday, with an event celebrating the “rising stars” in the Republican Party.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

34 States Are Directly Funneling Money To Right-Wing ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ That Lie To Women

Well over half of the states in the country are directly funding “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs), right-wing groups that pose as nonpartisan health clinics while advocating for an anti-abortion agenda. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, 34 states currently have policies that funnel money toward CPCs:

World’s Largest Correctional Association Calls For Elimination Of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Last week, the conservative corporate-backed group that advanced Stand Your Ground laws reversed its previous support for mandatory minimum sentences and endorsed reform to curb their use. On Monday, the country’s top law enforcement official said he would order all of his prosecutors to avert mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders.

Snipe Hunting GOP Style: Exactly Zero Of The 17 Suspected Voter Fraud Cases In Boulder, CO Exist

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) announced last month that he had found a whopping 155 possible illegal voters in his review of the November 2012 election — out of the more than 3,050,578 voters in the Centennial State. But a review by a Boulder County prosecutor found that of the 17 names from his county that were forwarded by the “election fraud” crusader, every single one of them was a verifiable U.S. citizen.

The Cost Of Raising A Child In America: $241,080

The costs of raising a child from birth to age 17, including housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and other expenses, will come to $241,080 for a child born in 2012, up 2.6 percent from the year before, according to new data released by the Department of Agriculture. The annual cost for a child in a middle-income, two-parent family ranges from $12,600 to $14,700.

No, Lending To Poor People Did Not Cause The Financial Crisis

Despite the multiple times the right wing’s arguments have been debunked, they are once again repeating the false narrative that the financial crisis was caused by government policy and lending to low-income borrowers. The latest to weigh in is former-Senator Phil Gramm. On the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, he trots out the idea that government regulators used the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to force banks to make loans to undeserving poor people and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased doomed subprime mortgage backed securities to meet the affordable housing goals. This, he says, was the main cause of the crisis. But this idea has been thoroughly discredited.

Even Many White-Collar Jobs Won’t Pay The Rent

In many major metropolitan areas, being an urban planner or a bank teller is not enough to secure a comfortable living, according to new data comparing earnings with housing costs.

This Restaurant Banned Tipping And Made More Money

Jay Porter, the founder of Linkery (previously of San Diego but currently closed to move to San Francisco), eliminated tipping in the restaurant’s second year, instead applying an automatic 18 percent charge for service to all dine-in checks. Writing in Quartz, he explains that the move brought in more money. “Our service improved, our revenue went up, and both our business and our employees made more money,” he says.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Achievement Gap Widens For Native American Students Amid Progress For Other Groups

Native American students, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, have seen virtually no improvement in their academic achievement gap at the same time that other minority groups have experienced improvements, a new report from The Education Trust finds. The gap between these students and white students has actually widened.

Three Republicans Who Opposed Sandy Relief Now Demand Disaster Aid For Arizona

Arizona Republicans Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. John McCain, and Rep. Paul Gosar all voted against emergency relief funding after SuperStorm Sandy ravaged much of the New Jersey and New York area earlier this year. Now, following an Arizona wildfire, the same trio is vocally complaining that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not doing enough to aid their state.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Western Superhero Stories Could Learn From ‘Burka Avenger,’ A Pakistani Superheroine

We’ve been seeing trailers for a while now for Burka Avenger, a Pakistani children’s cartoon about a young female teacher named Jiya who turns a burka into a superhero costume, and for whom books and pens are both mental and literal weapons. Now, we finally get to see the first episode:

‘Breaking Bad’ Recap: Blood Money

Post discusses the August 11 episode of Breaking Bad.

In this ninth episode of Breaking Bad’s final season, it’s often hard to see Walt directly. Hank, after his ill-fated browse through Leaves of Grass walks down stairs to meet his brother-in-law newly enlightened, but before the speak, Hank can’t help but see Walt in the warm light of an Albuquerque afternoon, his image gentled both by his young daughter in his arms, and the gauzy curtain that falls between the two men. The juxtaposition between that image and what Hank believes to be the reality, the glimpse he’s caught of what’s really behind curtains that remained opaque to him for so long, is enough to throw the rest of the world out of focus for Hank, who like Tony Soprano before him, has a panic attack.

The Ninth Doctor, The Tyranny Of Conformity, And The Future Of ‘Doctor Who’

“It’s a bit dodgy, this process. You never know what you’re going to end up with.” -The Doctor

It’s summertime, which means it’s the perfect occasion to do things like introduce one’s significant other to Doctor Who, starting with the rather nifty arc of the Ninth Doctor, played with melancholy charm by Christopher Eccleston, and overseen by Russell T. Davies. And when we came to the end of “The Parting Of The Ways,” the climactic episode in which the Doctor sacrifices his ninth incarnation to save Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), the shopgirl turned galactic traveler who seized his offer of a different kind of life and endangered herself to keep the example he set for herself alive, I realized precisely why I was so disappointed by the selection of another white guy as the Twelfth Doctor, and showrunner Steven Moffat’s comment to those who would have liked to see a female Doctor that “I would like to go on record and say that the Queen should be played by a man,” a slap at Helen Mirren’s expression of interest in the role.

5 Eye Opening Findings From The Federal Ruling That Held NYPD Racially Profiles

On Monday, the New York Police Department’s aggressive approach to stop-and-frisks took a major blow, with federal judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that the Department engages in unconstitutional racial profiling. The decision incorporates statistics showing that 87 percent of those stopped in 2011 were black or Hispanic, and testimony from more than 100 witnesses in reaching a number of alarming factual and legal conclusions about the sweeping, discriminatory, and insidious nature of NYPD stop-and-frisks:

Republicans In Arizona Already Working On 2020 Gerrymander Plan

Unhappy that an independent redistricting commission devised maps it deemed too independent for the 2012 elections, Arizona Republicans are already scheming to rig the redistricting process after the 2020 elections to be more favorable to their party.

92-Year-Old Who Once Faced Literacy Tests Sues North Carolina Over New Wave Of Voter Suppression

When Rosanell Eaton was 21 years old and living in segregated North Carolina, she became one of the first African Americans in her county registered to vote, after successfully completing a literacy test that required her to recite the preamble to the Constitution. But now, at 92 years old, she faces new obstacles under the voter suppression law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) Monday. For one thing, she may not qualify for the voter ID card required under the new law, because the name on her birth certificate is different from the name on her driver’s license and voter registration card. Reconciling this difference will be a costly and time-consuming administrative endeavor. For another, she has participated in early voting since it was instituted in the state. Now, it’s been cut back a week.

New Fraud Evidence Shows Trillions Of Dollars In Mortgages Have No Owner

Thanks to forged documents, banks can’t prove that they own trillions of dollars in mortgages, according to recently unsealed court documents relating to a lawsuit the government decided to settle out of court for $95 million in 2012. The evidence gathered by Lynn Szymoniak, a Florida resident who fought off a wrongful foreclosure after three years of legal wrangling, could invalidate ownership claims to the homes in question. Yet foreclosures based on these documents continue to be approved.

Unpaid Senate Intern Uses Crowdfunding To Subsidize Internship

Crowdfunding has been used to launch all kinds of projects, from films, to struggling independent bookstores, to the world’s largest Rubik’s cube. But now, an intern for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is using it to fund something a little more basic: her unpaid internship.

It Keeps Getting Cheaper To Install Solar Panels In The U.S.

Americans who want to install solar panels on their houses are having to pay less than ever before, a new report has found.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Worst Prisons on Earth....(From Likes)

#20 Diyarbakır Prison

Diyarbakir Prison in southeastern Turkey was built in 1980. Since then it has imprisoned many of that nation's most violent criminals which is why it is one of the worst in the world. This prison is known for dishing out not just physical torture to it's inmates but mental as well. The are two sections within the facility; the E-Type which has a capacity of 744 prisoners and the D-Type with a 688 capacity however both currently hold more than it should.

Florida woman shot at Starbucks by friend who forgot gun was in her purse

Police say a loaded handgun in a Florida woman’s purse accidentally discharged when she dropped it in a St. Petersberg’s Starbucks on Saturday. The bullet from 51-year-old Pamela Beck’s gun struck her friend, 38-year-old Amie Peterson, above the knee. The wound was not serious and Peterson was released from the hospital late Saturday night.

Dying Teen Is Being Denied A Heart Transplant Because He’s Had Trouble With The Law

Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes has less than six months to live unless he receives an emergency heart transplant. But his family has been told that Anthony doesn’t qualify for the transplant list because he has a “history of non-compliance” — partly due to his history of earning low grades and having some trouble with the law.

Henrietta Lacks: Justice Comes Too Little, Too Late For This Black Woman (Seriously This is "Just Us" not "Justice")

NEW YORK — Some 60 years ago, a doctor in Baltimore removed cancer cells from a poor black patient named Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or consent. Those cells eventually helped lead to a multitude of medical treatments and laid the groundwork for the multibillion-dollar biotech industry.

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed

This year’s second quarter saw a massive surge in solar panel shipments, with three of the four largest manufacturers outdoing projections by as much as 32 percent, Bloomberg reports. Much of that was due to rising demand in Asia, where China and Japan could soon make up half the global demand for solar — with China in particular planning to double its solar capacity to about 10 gigawatts this year, and increase it by five times by 2015. According to Stefan Linder, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), that swelling demand should soak up much of the oversupply solar manufacturers were recently struggling under. At the end of July, BNEF reported recovering solar stocks as well.

How Global Warming Is Affecting 16 Of Most People's Favorite Things

When people talk about “climate impacts,” the images that usually come to mind are broiling heat waves, drought-parched creek beds, dangerous storm surges, the slowly-but-surely rising sea. These things can seem distant and unlikely to affect most people’s day-to-day lives, but there is growing evidence that the reality of climate change will strike close to home.

How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West

This week, to see how climate change will pull a nasty water surprise on the desert Southwest, you only need to look at one river.

How One Congressman’s Bizarre Reading Of The Constitution Would Literally Cause Miners To Drop Dead

If Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) has his way, America will return to an era when workers routinely died on the job and federal officials were powerless to do anything to stop these deaths. At least, that’s the implication of a novel interpretation of the Constitution Mullin offered at a town hall meeting last week in Afton, Oklahoma — the same town hall where he came out as a birther.

Missouri State Fair Apologizes After Announcer Mocks, Threatens Rodeo Clown In An Obama Mask

Officials from the Missouri State Fair are busy putting out fires after the organizers of the fair’s bull riding exhibit brought a clown in an Obama mask into the ring and goaded the bull into chasing him around the enclosure.

Judge Declares Baby’s Name Unchristian; Orders Parents To Change It

Tennessee child support magistrate Lu Ann Ballew unilaterally decided to rename a seven-month-old boy “Martin” because she objected to the parents’ selection of “Messiah.” Her reasoning, she explained, was that, “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

U.S. Attorney General To Ease Impact Of Harsh Drug Sentencing Laws

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce a major shift in prosecution of federal drug crimes Monday, recognizing the injustice of draconian mandatory minimum sentences, and an exploding federal prison population.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sean Hannity and His Two ‘Black’ Friends Are Mad At Oprah (Newsone)

By: Michael Arceneaux

Sean Hannity’s expressed hurt feelings over comments Oprah Winfrey made about the George Zimmerman trial and Trayvon Martin.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pictures of an Amazing Bride with Vitiligo goes viral!

Usually videos go viral. You know the ones that feature a couple’s unique first dance, an adorable baby doing something extraordinary or a well-planned marriage proposal. Photos don’t go viral as often, but over the last few weeks a beautiful wedding photo has done just that. This photo belongs to Nicole and Brandon Wylie, who recently celebrated their 6th year wedding anniversary.

Obama signs student loan deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a measure restoring lower interest rates for student loans, pledging the hard-fought compromise would be just the first step in a broader, concerted fight to rein in the costs of a college education.

Please Mark Your Calendar For These Must See PBS Documentaries This Fall

PBS may enjoy touting their ratings thanks to the runaway success of shows like Downton Abbey. But while their other programming may not have the sexy frisson of seeing Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew finally get over themselves and admit they’re nuts about each other, PBS also boasts an incredibly strong lineup of documentary and documentary series this fall. If you’re craving a deep dive into the relative advantages of shooting on film or digital, the first American Masters to focus on a sports figure, or the best documentary about a an after-school activity you’ll ever see, you should mark your calendar for these ten films and series, coming soon to a PBS station near you.

FCC Agrees To Cap Exorbitant Prison Phone Rates

After a protracted battle to end inordinate charges for phone calls from prison that exceeded $17 for a 15-minute phone, the Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to cap the rate for interstate calls at 25 cents per minutes, meaning 15-minute calls could no longer cost more than $3.25.

The Fashion Industry’s Race Problem: Models Of Color Rarely Get Hired

The fashion industry got a wake up call on race five years ago amid complaints that many shows and magazines only featured white models. In response, Vogue published a long article on race in fashion, Italian Vogue published an issue with only black models, and a series of panel discussions were held on the topic. There was a “notable increase” in the hiring of black models, the New York Times reports. But today they still face low odds of being hired in the fashion industry – and things have gotten even worse.

Congressman Claims Widespread Fraud Because He Saw ‘Physically Fit’ Couple Use Food Stamps

At a town hall in Welch, OK on Thursday, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) called for the outright elimination of aid programs for low-income Americans, claiming that he has witnessed food stamp fraud firsthand. Mullin said he would like to “do away with a lot of these programs” because they allow people to slack off.

The Company With Lower Prices And Better Benefits Than Walmart

WinCo, a small, employee-owned grocery store chain based in Boise, Idaho, is able to beat Walmart’s prices on goods while providing its employees with good benefits.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

PBS Series Looks Back At 5 Centuries Of Black History

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — After a tragedy like the Trayvon Martin killing, calls routinely arise for a conversation about race.But Henry Louis Gates thinks the more direct way for structural change is through schools and their curriculum.

Reuters poll: 40 percent of whites have no friends outside their race

NBC News – A new poll on whether American relationships are segregated found 40 percent of whites and 25 percent of non-whites do not have any close friends of other races.

‘I don’t support changing one damn comma’: Gop Rep on The Stand Your Ground Law

Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach), the Florida representative tasked with chairing the “Stand Your Ground” hearings, said he doesn’t “support changing one damn comma” of the law.

Reformed Bank Robber Scores Coveted Federal Judicial Clerkship (I want to be judged like this in my job search)

Fifteen years ago, Shon Hopwood walked out of a Nebraska bank with a pile of money he’d just taken at gunpoint. Ten years later, he completed his sentence in a federal prison having achieved something few lawyers ever accomplish — convincing the Supreme Court to hear a prisoner’s case and then winning the case by a 9-0 vote. Next year, he will walk into a federal courthouse to sit at the right hand of one of the most powerful judges in the country.

NYPD Agrees To Purge Names Of Those Stopped And Frisked

The New York Police Department will erase hundreds of thousands of names and addresses it has collected of those stopped and frisked, in a settlement announced Wednesday.

Nearly 80 Percent Of Students Work While In School

A new survey from Citigroup and Seventeen magazine finds that almost 80 percent of students take at least a part-time job during the school year.

Greek Unemployment Hits Another Record High

The unemployment rate in Greece was 27.6 percent in May, marking yet another record high for the country. That figure is up from 26.9 percent in April, which was also a record, but even that number has now been revised up to 27 percent. The country’s rate is more than double the average rate across the euro zone.

The Majority Of Fast Food Workers Are Not Teenagers, Report Finds

In April of this year, Andrew Moesel, a representative of the New York Restaurant Association, went onto MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes to argue that low-wage fast food jobs are just an entry level starting point for American workers. “The restaurant industry is a launching pad,” Moesel said. “And, yes, there are some low wage jobs, entry level jobs for young people and others, but it actually creates an opportunity for people to go on and live the American dream.”

Being Unemployed For Over Nine Months Is The Same As Losing Four Years Of Experience

There is reason to believe that the long-term unemployed face discrimination when they try to get a job. Now some Swedish economists have tried to quantify exactly what that penalty looks like. They found that for someone applying for a medium or low-skill job after being jobless for more than nine months, interview requests drop by 20 percent, which is about the same as losing four years of work experience from their resumes. While the research was conducted in Sweden, the authors argue that they likely apply to the U.S., which has a somewhat similar job market.

Minority-Owned Small Businesses Get Stiffed On Federal Contracts

Of the $98.2 billion in federal government contracts awarded to small businesses last year, minority-owned businesses got a proportionally small slice of the pie, according to Bloomberg News. Hispanic-owned companies netted just 8.4 percent of that total, or $8.21 billion, despite making up 17 percent of the population. Businesses owned by black Americans won about 7.2 percent, or $7.1 billion, even though they are 13 percent of the population.

Asia’s Biggest Retailer Signs Bangladesh Safety Upgrade Plan

Fast Retailing Co Ltd, the biggest retailer in Asia and the owner of Uniqlo, signed the Europe-led and union-backed safety upgrade plan for Bangladesh’s garment factories.

Voters Confront Congressman For Trying To Repeal Obamacare: ‘We’ve Got To Have It’

In Washington, D.C., Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) issues countless press releases boasting about his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, insisting that his constituents in North Carolina are clamoring for relief from the law. But during a town hall in Swannanoa on Wednesday, voters confronted the five-term Congressman with an entirely different sentiment: they demanded to know why Republicans would take away the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions without offering any credible other alternative for reforming the health care system. One grieving mother, who spoke to reporters before the event, said that her son was denied insurance because of a pre-existing health condition and eventually died of colon cancer.

Corporations Are The Ones Deciding Whether The Additives They Put In Your Food Are Safe

Public health advocates have long been waging a war against the food industry for its rampant overuse of salt, sugar, fat, and other additives that can harm Americans’ health when consumed in excess. That’s largely due to the conflicts of interest in America’s food regulation system. A new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine finds that food and beverage corporations have “undue influence” in determining if the substances they put in food are actually safe.

After Decades Of Trying, Researchers Are Finally Getting Closer To A Malaria Vaccine

U.S. researchers say they’ve successfully tested a malaria vaccine on a small group of people, an important breakthrough in the effort to develop a vaccine that can be used on a wide scale. There’s currently no vaccination against malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that kills about one million people each year — mostly children — and sickens more than 200 million.

Virginia’s Right-Wing ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ Caught On Tape Lying To Women

An new undercover investigation into Virginia’s right-wing “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) exposes the blatant misinformation about women’s health, as well as the shame-based messages surrounding sexuality, that their employees typically impart to patients. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia — which has been working for years to expose the dozens of CPCs in the state — caught the lies on tape and released their findings on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

No Homicide Charges For Teen Who Shot And Killed A Man With An Illegal Gun, Thanks To Stand Your Ground

Florida prosecutors said Tuesday they would not file homicide charges against a 17-year-old who fatally shot a community choir director in the face, citing the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

These 6 States Want To Allow Health Insurers To Deny Coverage To Sick People

Officials in Texas and five other GOP-led states are refusing to oversee even Obamacare’s most basic — and popular — consumer protections and insurance market reforms. That includes the law’s ban on denying coverage or charging more because of a pre-existing condition and discriminating against women on the basis of gender. The decision could present major hurdles to Americans who buy health insurance through federally-run marketplaces in the Lone Star State, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Jazz Legend George Duke Passes

GEORGE DUKE, a GRAMMY-Award winning composer, arranger, producer and keyboardist has passed. He succombed to chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Anti-Obama Arizona protest turns racist (Seriously, I bet there were a few who woke up feeling that way even before they got there!)

A protest against an appearance by President Barack Obama in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday was marked by several instances of racist language directed at Obama, the Arizona Republic reported.

Coney Island’s Jackie Robinson statue defaced with ‘die n*gger’ and swastikas

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) hate crimes task force launched an investigation on Wednesday after a statue of African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson was vandalized with a racial slur and other graffiti.

The FLOTUS had a vision: Obesity declining among low-income preschoolers in some states

The fight against childhood obesity is beginning to show results, say government researchers.

After rising for decades and then stabilizing somewhat in the mid-2000s, the obesity rate among low-income preschoolers declined by small but statistically significant amounts in 19 states and U.S. territories between 2008 and 2011, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday.

Florida allows researchers to exhume bodies from secret graveyards

The notorious reform school Arthur G. Dozier in Florida underwent deep scrutiny late last year after 19 grave shafts were discovered on the school’s grounds.

A Debt-Free College Education (The Nation)


Katrina vanden Heuvel 

Last Wednesday—almost a month after Congress failed to prevent student loan rates from doubling—Democrats and Republicans reached a compromise that will keep rates low, at least temporarily, for most graduates.

Prison Attorneys Claim 14-Year-Old Inmate Wanted To Get Raped By Her 40-Year-Old Prison Guard

A Louisiana parish is trying to get out of paying a 14-year-old who was repeatedly raped by her prison guard, with lawyers arguing last week that the girl wanted the sex.

Why Young Women Are Still Using The Outdated ‘Withdrawal’ Method To Try To Prevent Pregnancy

About one-third of young women are relying on the “withdrawal” method — trusting their male partner to pull out before ejaculation — in order to avoid pregnancy, according to new research that will be published in an upcoming issue of the Obstetrics & Gynocology journal. Those women are opting to use that old-fashioned method even though it’s much less reliable than other forms of birth control.

America Still Isn’t Rid Of The White Economic Supremacy That Drove The March On Washington

When Americans talk about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington, they often neglect to say the event’s title in full: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Senators Take Action On Postal Service’s Congressionally Induced Woes

Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) have introduced a bill in the Senate that seeks to save the Postal Service from financial collapse by restructuring the needless requirement that the agency pre-fund 75 years’ worth of employee health benefits, a requirement no other businesses or institutions face. The bill would also allow for a gradual end to Saturday mail service if financially necessary, as well as general door-to-door service, but would not mandate either steps.

Republicans Do Damage Control On Their Party’s Vow To Shut Down The Government

After 40 failed votes to repeal Obamacare, several Republicans are threatening anew to block government funding unless the health reform law gets defunded. This threat is nothing new; Republicans have repeatedly demanded that every appropriations bill include a provision to repeal Obamacare since the law was passed. Tea Party lawmakers in 2011 emphasized how dire the situation was, calling for a “blood oath” to “choke Obamacare.”

Obama On Jay Leno: President Discusses Embassy Closures, NSA Surveillance On Tonight Show

BURBANK, Calif. -- President Barack Obama says the threat of an imminent terrorist attack against Americans is, in his words, "significant enough that we're taking every precaution."

September Issue's of Ebony will include Several 'Trayvon' Covers with: The Martins, Spike Lee, Boris Kodjoe, Dwyane Wade and Their sons.

Ebony magazine is doing its part to honor the life of Trayvon Martin; to keep the conversation about race in America alive; and to explore “Stand Your Ground” laws with a special edition of its September issue.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Everything You Need To Know About President Obama’s Housing Speech

President Obama will present a plan for reforming the housing market in a speech Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona. The inner workings of housing finance are complicated, and how the market is reformed will be crucial to the country’s economic future. In particular, the future of so-called “government-sponsored entities” (GSEs) has serious implications for housing policy, availability, and affordability.

The Majority Of New York’s Care Workers Earn Poverty Wages

Over 90 percent of domestic workers and 60 percent of home care workers in New York City earn less than $25,000 a year, according to a new report from the Alliance for a Greater New York. Even worse, nearly 40 percent of domestic workers and 30 percent of home care workers earn less than $15,000.

WebMD Launches An Online Guide To Teach Americans About Obamacare

Confused about Obamacare? Want to know more about your insurance options before open enrollment in October? Don’t even know what “open enrollment” means? The largest online health website in the country, WebMD, wants to help answer your questions.

As Support For Legalization Doubled, Rate Of Young Adults Who Have Tried Marijuana Dropped 36 Percent

The rate of Americans who say they’ve tried marijuana has increased only slightly since the 1980s from 33 to 38 percent, even as the rate of support for marijuana legalization has doubled and medical marijuana has become legal in 20 states, according to a new Gallup poll. Among young adults ages 18 to 29, those who reported trying marijuana has taken a major dip in that period, from 56 percent in 1985 to 36 percent in 2013 (a drop of 36 percent):

Mostly-White Ohio Suburb Fighting To Prevent Mostly-Black Bus-Riders From Entering Community

A lily-white Ohio suburb is doing everything it can, including risking millions in federal highway funding, to keep mostly minority bus-riders from a nearby city from entering their community.

Marissa Alexander case: Will there be a pardon?

In the wake of the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, there has been a renewed interest in repealing “stand your ground” laws in the state of Florida.

Voting Rights Act in Danger On It's 48th Anniversary

“Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield,” President Lyndon Johnson said on August 6, 1965, when he signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Three Ways Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Could Improve The Washington Post Now That He Owns It

Much of the coverage of the surprise announcement that Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has purchased the Washington Post for $250 million has focused on what worrisome changes the tech mogul might make to one of the country’s flagship political publications. But it strikes me as relatively futile to read the tea leaves of Bezos’ minimal political contributions and his company’s political priorities, much less his reassuring public statements. The truth is, the Washington Post could be a stronger paper than in is presently, and rather than trying to predict what changes Bezos might make from his geographically distant perch, I think it’s worth focusing on what the Post could do better. Whether Bezos wants to do a department-by-department audit is up to him. But I think these are three opportunities presented by the transfer of the paper from the Graham family to Bezos that could take advantage of Bezos’ strengths and the particular weaknesses of the current ownership:

12 Years After The ‘Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.’ Memo, What Is The Terror Threat?

Tuesday marks the 12th anniversary of the day that President George W. Bush received the infamous Presidential Daily Briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” As embassy officials are warned to flee Yemen today due to a terrorist threat, it is renewing a debate and discussion about just what the terrorist threat against the U.S. entails following bin Laden’s death — and what it means for America’s struggle to combat terror.

Philly Neighborhood Freaks Out After Restaurant Changes Its Racist Name

Philly residents apparently preferred a neighborhood restaurant when it was named after a racial slur. For 64 years, the sign “Chink’s Steaks” hung overhead the steak shop, but in March the owner Joe Groh decided it was finally time to drop it in favor of “Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop.” The original name came from the founder of the steak shop, Sam Sherman, who was called “chink” as a kid because he had “almond eyes.”

STUDY: Even When Abortion Inspires Mixed Emotions, Women Say It Was The Right Decision For Them

New research from the University of California, San Francisco finds that one week after having an abortion, the vast majority of women report feeling relief. Many of the women who participated in the study reported some negative emotions accompanying their abortion procedure — but that didn’t mean they considered it to be the wrong decision.

Massachusetts Residents Have Had Health Care Reform For Seven Years Now And Like It, So Why Wouldn't Everyone Else?

Massachusetts residents have been living with former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) signature health care reform law — widely acknowledged as the inspiration for Obamacare — since 2006. And according to a new poll conducted by the statewide physician group Massachusetts Medical Society, the vast majority of them are happy with their health care nearly a decade after Romneycare’s implementation.

Wisconsin Will Become The First State To Post Statistics On Prison Rape Online

Wisconsin will become the first state to post its prison sexual assault statistics online. Marion Morgan of the state’s Department of Corrections told Wisconsin Public Radio that making this information widely available could help change public attitudes on sexual assault by drawing attention to an issue that is often hidden from view.

Public Schools Slash Arts Education And Turn To Private Funding

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) dealt a blow to arts education when it laid off over 1,000 teachers as a result of its recent decision to close over 50 schools. Among the most affected areas was arts education–nearly 10 percent of teachers let go taught art or music.

How Ending Rule That Penalizes Low-Income Women For Having Kids Is A Good Thing For California

California is considering the removal of a limit in its welfare program that penalizes low-income mothers. Most programs determine benefits based on family size, with more money to support parents with more children. Yet the Maximum Family Grant rule in the CalWORKs program, which distributes TANF benefits, was adopted in 1994 and denies extra money for a new child if any member of the household is already receiving aid. In essence, it penalizes women who decide to have children while relying on the program.

One In Eight Student Loan Borrowers Is In Default

6.5 million Americans are in default on their student loans, roughly one in every eight who have borrowed for their education through the federal government. That is nearly triple the default rate from a decade ago.

Can McDonalds Make A Profit While Paying $15 An Hour?

While the average McDonalds employee in the United States makes just above the $7.25 minimum wage, that story is different in other countries. As Jordan Weissmann reports at The Atlantic, the minimum wage for full-time adult workers in Australia is $14.50 and McDonalds employees just negotiated a 15 percent raise by 2016. Yet the company has about 900 locations in the country.

Chevy Slashes Price Of Volt By $5,000 To Stay Competitive In Electric Vehicle Market

In the latest move to make electric vehicles more consumer-friendly, Chevrolet announced it will cut the price of its 2014 Volt by $5,000. The decision comes as Chevy works to keep pace with its chief competitors in the electric vehicle market — Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf — which are both less expensive and better selling.

Why Habitat For Humanity’s Newest Homeowner Might Never Pay An Electricity Bill

It’s a heavy, hot, July evening in Washington, D.C.

Ominous storm clouds, bloated with rain, hang oppressively low and there’s an eerie green glow around the corners of everything. Lakiya Culley has just gotten home from work and her three boys Kamari, Christopher and Carl — aged two to seven — are trying to play basketball in the living room without getting into trouble and now and then circling nonchalantly around the kitchen counter, eying the yet uncut chocolate cake.

Bumpy Johnson: 8 Facts About The Legendary Harlem Druglord

Bumpy Johnson is a name that carries weight and the burden of a crime-filled legacy. We’ve seen our favorite actors portray him in movies about notorious drug lords, but do you know who Bumpy Johnson is?
Here’s 8 facts about the Harlem heroin-hustler that you probably did not know:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Supreme Court Greenlights Execution Of Mentally Ill Man In Florida

In a brief order Monday afternoon, the Supreme Court announced it would not intervene in Florida’s plan to execute mentally ill inmate John Errol Ferguson at 6pm the same day. The order does not explain the Court’s rationale, providing simply that “[t]he application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

Going Down In Texas: Texas Police Pull Over Three Women And Search Their Vaginas For Marijuana

A pair of videos posted online show police probing the genitals and anal regions of three women they claim to suspect of possessing marijuana. In one video, a woman is seen bent over and grimacing as an off camera police officer conducts the search. Shortly before this search, a male officer explains to the woman that he is calling a female officer over “because I ain’t about to get up close and personal with your woman areas.”

Solar Could Provide One-Third Of The Western U.S.’s Power Needs By 2050

Solar power could supply one-third of the West’s power needs by 2050 if federal cost-reduction targets are met and the region adopts reasonable carbon policies, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Nelson Mandela mistakenly given non-payment notice (Damn, you would have believed this was in Baltimore!)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The city of Johannesburg has apologized for a mix up over a warning notice it delivered to the house of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who is critically ill in a hospital.

The First lady Talks President Obama On His Birthday

President Barack Obama celebrated his 52nd birthday on Sunday and it set off a social media frenzy after millions shared their well wishes via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

5 Egregious Ways Police Are Seizing Property From Those Never Accused Of A Crime

As law enforcement officers continue to ramp up use of a controversial practice known as civil forfeiture, police are seizing cash, cars, houses, and other assets in the name of drug enforcement without ever having arrested or charged their owners with a crime. Funds collected from these seizures frequently go directly back into law enforcement, creating a dangerous profit incentive for police and other law enforcers. Both the New Yorker and ProPublica have new investigations of this practice, in which officers seize property they believe is connected to drug or other illicit activity, with a much lower burden of proof than when charges are filed against a person. Below are five of the most egregious incidents to emerge from these reports.