Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nearly 300 Oil Spills Went Unreported In North Dakota In Less Than Two Years

Nearly 300 oil spills and 750 “oil field incidents” have occurred in North Dakota since January 2012 and none were reported to the public, according to a report released Friday by the Associated Press.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Men Go Grocery Shopping And Do The Cooking

Of 900 men surveyed by Midan Marketing, nearly half say they do at least half of their household’s grocery shopping. Of that group, more than half do all of the shopping and 46 percent say they are responsible for cooking all of their house’s food.

Over 10 Percent Of America’s Largest Companies Pay Zero Percent Tax Rates

Among companies listed on the S&P 500, almost one in nine paid an effective tax rate of zero percent — or even lower — over the past year, according to an analysis by USA Today.

GOP Official Resigns After Saying Purpose Of Voter ID Is To Suppress Votes Of Democrats, ‘Lazy Blacks’

Until Thursday, Don Yelton was a precinct chair in the Buncombe County, North Carolina Republican Party. That ended after a Daily Show interview riddled with racism and candid admissions about the purpose of a voter suppression bill enacted by Republican lawmakers in his state. Over the course of the interview Yelton admitted that he supports requiring voters to show ID, in addition to the other, many voter suppression provisions included in the North Carolina law, because “the law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.” He also denied that the law is racist during the course of an interview where he both used a particular racial slur that begins with the letter “n” and claimed that he is not racist because he “one my best friends is black.” Watch it:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Saudi Arabia Surprises World In Turning Down U.N. Security Council Seat

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made the unprecedented decision to boycott the seat it had less than twenty-four hours ago won on the United Nations Security Council, blaming the body’s ineffectiveness in handling weapons of mass destruction and Syria.

How Much Will Lawmakers Cut Food Stamps In The Coming Showdown?

Amid the shutdown clamor, House Republicans finally agreed last Friday to move the farm bill into the final stage of the legislative process: going to conference with the Senate to resolve vast differences between the two chambers’ bills.

Native-Born Americans More Likely To Commit Crimes Than Immigrants, Study Finds

A Pew Research Center report released last week found that second generation immigrants have “striking similarities” to their native-born, non-Hispanic white counterparts when it comes to committing crime. In fact, when it comes to crime rates, second-generation offenders are merely “catching up” to the native-born population.

Amsterdam’s ‘Black Peter’ Tradition Is Racist, Activists Say (Newsone Cover)

AMSTERDAM – The “Black Peter” tradition in the Netherlands is under fire from opponents who believe the figure is a racist caricature and who asked Amsterdam officials Thursday to revoke the permit for a popular children’s festival because of it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ugly Stereotyping Of Adrian Peterson

At first it seemed that the death of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s two-year-old son would come and pass through the sports world as the tragedy it was, with only a little misplaced criticism about Peterson playing football just two days after the death. Less than a week later, it has already devolved into a discussion about Peterson’s fatherhood, with columnists casting Peterson as the stereotypical black absentee father who, in the words of some, shares some of the responsibility for the child’s death.

KKK Battles With Town Over Renaming School Named For Klan Founder

Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home to the fighting Confederate Rebels, is named after a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and confederate general. It has been since 1959, when administrators changed the name to show their defiance to school integration laws enforced by Brown v Board of Education. But town residents, fed up with kowtowing to racial extremists, are looking to change that.

Billionaire Koch Brothers Spending Millions To Deny Health Coverage To Low-Income Americans

Conservative advocates funded by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch have launched a massive campaign pressuring states to deny health care coverage to lower income Americans through the Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Here Is What Republicans Got For Shutting Down The Government

After shutting down the government for two weeks, Republicans appear to have secured just one concession from a Senate-crafted deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the federal government: an income verification system for individuals who earn less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line and qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry Somehow Finds Guests Who Aren't All White Guys

Yet again, a report on the Sunday talk shows finds that they're dominated by white male guests (for instance, fully 75 percent of the people interviewed one-on-one on "Face the Nation" in the past few months were white men.)

The October 13th, 2013 Talking Heads


I am still not used to the new opening sequence to this show, and it's bright colors. Luckily we got a wave of dull gray coming in the form of Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV.) -- though dull is good, in this context! These two are part of the Reasonable Caucus, generally speaking. Oh, but there's going to be Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who will give us the State Of The Morlock Caucus as well. Plus there will be a panel, as usual.

Historically Small: Small Increases To Social Security This Year

WASHINGTON -- WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the second straight year, millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees can expect historically small increases in their benefits come January.

Government Shutdown Talks Move To Spending Levels As Mitch McConnell Holds The Line

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans are holding the line against Democratic demands for a framework to alleviate the across-the-board spending cuts established by sequestration as part of any deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dr. Carson's 'Thoming' again: Carson says Obama is ‘worst thing since ‘slavery’

Conservative firebrand and recent Fox News hire Dr. Ben Carson became the latest right winger to compare Obamacare to slavery at the Voter Values Summit today.

Blackfeet Elder Refuses to Be Son-in-Law Rick Reilly’s ‘Uncle Tom’ (The Nation)

Washington Redskins helmets with the iconic red-and-gold colors and logo are displayed on the field during football training camp in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

McDonald’s Worker Threatened With Arrest After Asking Company President For A Living Wage

Nancy Salgado, a McDonald’s employee for 10 years, confronted company president Jeff Stratton last week and described her struggle to take care of her family based on her $8.25 wage. A security guard quickly escorted Salgado and fellow protesters out and threatened her with arrest. Ultimately, Salgado received a citation for trespassing even though the living wage group, Fight For $15, had provided tickets for the event.

Keeping The Government Shut Down For Six More Weeks Would Cost Billions, Devastate Critical Programs

House Republicans announced on Thursday that they will offer legislation to temporarily increase the debt ceiling in exchange for a commitment to talks from President Obama and a framework for negotiations. Reports are saying that Republican leaders have presented their members with a proposal that would raise the debt limit for six weeks without policy concessions but would not end the government shutdown during that time.

Conservative Pundit Claims No Homeowners Have Been Wrongfully Foreclosed

Despite hundreds of thousands of wrongful foreclosures uncovered by investigators, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Kissel claimed that “there hasn’t been a single homeowner who has been identified who was foreclosed on who shouldn’t have been foreclosed on” in a Friday appearance on Fox Business.

Workplaces Go Without Safety Inspections During The Shutdown

When the government shut down on October 1, 90 percent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) inspectors were furloughed, according to a memo from agency head David Michaels. “Only enough staff remain now to respond to serious emergencies,” as Bloomberg BNA reports. “It puts the agency in a very precarious situation,” former OSHA chief of staff Gabe Sierra told the publication.

The Eight Craziest Things Ted Cruz Said Yesterday

The Republican Party is in free-fall, thanks in large part to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Just over a week after Cruz successfully pushed House Republicans to shut down the government in a effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found just 24 percent of the country has a favorable view of the GOP and even less think well of the Tea Party. A larger portion of Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown than the portion that blamed Gingrich’s Republicans for shutting down the government in 1995-96. If a House election were held today, Democrats would win the popular vote by a 47 to 39 margin — all but ensuring that Nancy Pelosi would regain the speaker’s gavel.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Abortion, Big Money In Elections, And Eleven Other Huge Cases The Supreme Court Will Hear Next Term

It’s become a cliché at the beginning and end of each Supreme Court term to comment on how important the term is or will be, and how the justices are hearing a myriad of major cases. And certainly after two terms featuring high profile cases on health care, immigration, voting rights and marriage equality — in addition to under the radar decisions blasting worker and consumer rights — there can be little doubt of the Court’s immense power to do harm (and its less frequently exercised power to do good).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.

Monday, October 7, 2013

7 Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For "Obamacare's"

Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.

Right-Wing Truckers Plan To Jam DC’s Major Commuter Highway, Arrest Members Of Congress

Between furloughs, car chases, and a self-immolation, the residents of Washington, DC, aren’t having a great October. But by Friday of this week, things could get even worse — and not because of the looming debt crisis.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rand Paul: Piecemeal Approach ‘Much Better Way To Run Government’

On Meet the Press Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told guest host Savannah Guthrie that the piecemeal bills to re-open the government that Republicans have been trying to pass since the government shut down on Tuesday are “clean CRs.” He went on to say that this piecemeal approach is in fact the best way to run the government.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Federal Prison Sat By While Mentally Ill Inmate Ate His Own Feces

As several news reports have recently highlighted, prisons are increasingly serving as de facto asylums for the mentally ill. The country’s three biggest jails are now its largest mental health facilities. A Wall Street Journal survey found that Oregon estimates half of its prisoners suffer from mental illness. In New York City, about 34 percent are mentally ill. “Our jails and prisons are our main place now where you find mentally ill people,” psychiatrist E. Fuller Tory told 60 Minutes.

U.S. Approves Military Aid For Countries With Child Soldiers

The White House on Monday afternoon announced that it had issued blanket waivers to three countries, allowing them to receive military aid despite their ongoing use of child soldiers despite a 2008 law to the contrary.

This Albuquerque Journal Obituary For ‘Breaking Bad’s Walter White Is Kind Of Amazing

More than you might expect for a show that portrayed it as a metropolis largely devoid of anything but meth cooks, neo-Nazis, Drug Enforcement Agency employees, and delicious, delicious chicken, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s gotten a great deal out of its association with Breaking Bad. So it’s perhaps not surprising that New Mexico resident David Layman organized fans of the AMC drama, which ended its run last weekend, to place a paid death notice for Walter White in the Albuquerque Journal:

Congresswoman Says She Should Get Paid During Shutdown: ‘I Need My Paycheck’ (UPDATED)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told a Raleigh TV station Wednesday that she would continue to accept and keep her government paycheck during the shutdown. Her reason, she explained, was that she needs the money.

Federal Judge Smacks House Republican For Demanding Exemption From Republican Shutdown

Countless lawsuits where the United States is a party are now in limbo, thanks to the fact that the Justice Department lacks the resources to litigate them so long as the government is shut down. One of these lawsuits is a nearly two year old case brought by House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) seeking to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents Issa believes will prove embarrassing to the Obama Administration.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Obama Tears Into Republicans Over Shutdown: If Americans Just Stopped Working, They’d Be Fired

President Obama tore into House Republicans for demanding policy concessions for agreeing to fund the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling during a speech at Rockville, MD on Thursday. He joked that if American workers made such demands to their bosses, they would lose their jobs.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Where Are The Anti-Shutdown Protests?

It’s no secret that the radical right has seized control of major parts of the U.S. government while the radical left remains furious, but impotent. The shutdown fight is a manifestation of this yawning gap.

Don’t Like The Shutdown? Blame The Constitution

A little more than two years ago, Canada faced a budget fight much like the one facing the United States today. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose party controlled a plurality but not a majority of the seats in Canada’s parliament, proposed a budget that was unacceptable to the opposition parties. Like the United States in 2013, Canada’s chief executive wanted one set of funding priorities, a majority of the legislature wanted a different set, and there was no clear way to reconcile these differences — except for the fact that Canada’s system of government was designed with this problem in mind. In Canada, a failed budget triggers a new national election in order to resolve the impasse (Canada’s 2011 election was technically triggered by a no confidence motion spearheaded by his opposition, but a new election over the budget was widely viewed as inevitable). So Canada held an election, Harper’s Conservatives won a majority of the seats in parliament, and the impasse was broken. Canada got a functioning government, rather than a shutdown.

How The Supreme Court Ravaged The Employment Discrimination Landscape

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the largest ever class action lawsuit, despite widespread evidence that Wal-Mart treated women less favorably then men. In so doing, it fundamentally altered the standards for suing large corporations for discrimination, and sent the message that big companies are particularly immune to challenge.

Overtaxed Food Pantries Brace For Shortages Created By The Government Shutdown

Emergency food pantries say they will have to do more with less, thanks to the government shutdown. Food banks across the country are bracing for the suspension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food assistance programs, which have become increasingly important to feed the needy.

Five Facts That Show The GOP’s Newfound Desire To Compromise Is Bogus

Since shutting down the government Tuesday, House Republican leaders have portrayed themselves as willing negotiators who lack a partner. In photo op stunts, tweets, and interviews, conservatives in the lower chamber have claimed that Democrats’ refusal to compromise with them is what’s causing the government to stay closed. In reality, Democrats have offered numerous compromises over months of dispute over the 2014 budget and conservatives have repeatedly acted to thwart such a middle ground outcome.

During The Shutdown, EPA Is Prevented From Cleaning Up Almost Two-Thirds Of Toxic Waste Sites

As the government shutdown bleeds into its second day, more than 94 percent of the 16,205 public servants at the Environmental Protection Agency are not allowed to go to work. This means that cleanup on 62 percent of the nation’s Superfund sites must be abandoned until a continuing resolution gets passed and funding resumes.