Author Archive

KY: Kim Davis jailed on contempt charges until she agrees to do her job

September 4, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky county clerk, was found in contempt of court and taken into federal custody. U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning ordered Davis, the Rowan County clerk, to be jailed on the contempt charges until she agrees to comply with multiple court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The judge ordered her held indefinitely because he did not believe fines would be enough to compel her to follow the law. Davis, an elected official, has argued that she should be exempt from following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges because she objects to same-sex marriage for religious beliefs." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q3dytmj  

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Immigrants don’t drain welfare, they fund it

September 3, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Laura Reston  

"Republican presidential candidates who want to deport undocumented immigrants en masse, end birthright citizenship, and build a wall along the Mexican border just got some new ammunition. A report released Wednesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that advocates for reducing immigration to the United States, has concluded that 51 percent of households headed by immigrants (legal or undocumented) receive some kind of welfare. ... While that sentiment is likely to resonate with conservatives, the facts prove otherwise: Native-born Americans aren’t footing the bill for immigrants so much as immigrants are contributing to a welfare system that many of them can't take advantage of." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p43gz96  

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Why it’s so much easier for Congress to vote for war than peace

September 3, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Though a majority in the Senate may vote against the Iran nuclear agreement, the deal is now expected to survive. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama gained enough support in the Senate to sustain a presidential veto. But that’s not the same as getting a majority in Congress to sign on to support the deal. In fact, unless the situation changes dramatically, a majority in Congress will vote against diplomacy. Many critics of the deal continue to talk about the need for military action -- no matter the potential price in blood and treasure. Meanwhile they disparage diplomacy, no matter how low the risk and costly the alternatives. ... It is often politically safer for members to vote for war and against diplomacy. That reality is nothing new." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2ow4gb  

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UK: Sexting boy’s naked selfie recorded as crime by police

September 3, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

A boy who sent a naked photograph of himself to a girl at school has had the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him by police, the BBC has learnt. The boy, aged 14, who was not arrested or charged, could have his name stored on a police database for 10 years. The information could also be disclosed to future employers, his mother said. Police said three children were named in a crime report, but it was not in the public interest to prosecute. The Criminal Bar Association said the case highlighted the dangers of needlessly criminalising children. The schoolboy, who lives in the north of England, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme he took the naked photo of himself in his own bedroom." (09/03/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34136388  

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Greek leftists sputter, poll shows conservatives pulling ahead

September 3, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Former Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras's leftist Syriza party said on Thursday it remained confident of winning an outright victory in a Sept. 20 election despite an opinion poll that showed its main conservative rival edging ahead. Just a few weeks ago, a Syriza victory in the snap election had appeared almost certain as Greeks lauded the charismatic and youthful Tsipras for waging a bruising battle against European and International Monetary Fund creditors over austerity cuts. But opinion polls over the past week have shown the New Democracy party run by interim leader Vangelis Meimarakis catching up quickly, with one showing it even overtaking Syriza, suggesting a surprisingly tight contest for the vote." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oss9amo  

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Deterrence, and that truck in Austria

September 3, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"'Deterrence' is the hot word of the summer. Ex-diplomat Dennis Ross and ex-general David Petraeus wrote that they could support the Iran deal if President Obama supplies more deterrence against Iran breaking it. Columnist Thomas Friedman argued that Israelis should see the up side of the agreement, 'especially if the U.S. enhanced its deterrence.' Friedman didn't suggest how to do that. But ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, coming out for the deal, gave details." (09/03/15)

http://prospect.org/article/deterrence-and-truck-austria  

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Study: Earth has trillions more trees than we thought

September 3, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"A new census of Earth's trees finds that forests hosts slightly more than 3 trillion of them, 2.6 trillion more than previous estimates have found. The new number is astonishing, say researchers, who are just beginning to sort through the implications it may hold for conservation efforts and for refining researchers' understanding of the planet's carbon cycle. What appears to be a population boom in fact results from a more-accurate approach to estimating the number of trees, according to the team that conducted the census." [editor's note: The Monitor's headline-writer focused on a secondary finding down in paragraph 7 (lots of trees gone due to "civilization" ... DUH?); I changed it to match the actual story - SAT] (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qen62uc  

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Kim Davis, issue the marriage licenses

September 3, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by staff  

"Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws to obey and which official duties to perform. Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Ky., must have missed that day at school. On Tuesday, she repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And in a clumsy attempt to avoid looking as if she’s discriminating, she has refused to issue marriage licenses to all couples since the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June. Never mind that the landmark Supreme Court ruling held that gay couples have a fundamental right to marry, guaranteed by the Constitution. Or that Ky. Gov. Steven Beshear directed county clerks to fulfill their 'duties prescribed by law' or resign. Or that a federal judge ordered Davis to issue licenses -- an order that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfkvarj  

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Report: Sweden considering joining NATO over fears of Russia

September 3, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Sweden reportedly is rethinking its centuries-old policy of military neutrality and could join NATO over fears of Russian aggression. The Los Angeles Times reports that Swedish officials fear a resurgent Russia due to its increased air and naval patrols into the Baltic states’ airspace and maritime zones over the last two years. Such aggressive Russian measures have stoked new hostilities between the West and Moscow. Sweden itself was put on edge in October of last year after navy and maritime security forces hunted for a suspected Russian submarine off the Stockholm archipelago. However, the hunt yielded no vessel." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oqv22q2  

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Donald Trump’s “fairness” crusade

September 3, 2015
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"'All I ask is fairness,' Donald Trump has told the media. He was the only GOP presidential hopeful to raise his hand and refuse to pledge not to run as a third-party candidate at the Fox News debate. Now he faces a deadline -- Sept. 30 -- to make that pledge or forfeit the opportunity to run in South Carolina's February primary. Unfair, in Trump World, means not completely stacked in Trump's favor. Maybe he will take the pledge." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncv2uey  

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Trump signs GOP loyalty pledge

September 3, 2015
posted by

Politico    

"Donald Trump and Reince Priebus have a deal. The Republican front-runner announced at a press conference on Thursday that he signed the loyalty pledge the GOP sought and will support the eventual Republican nominee, whoever that may be." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ok7vpzk  

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Guatemala: President Otto Perez Molina resigns

September 3, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has resigned hours after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Prosecutors accuse Mr Perez Molina of masterminding a scheme to defraud the customs service of millions of dollars. He denies the allegations. On Tuesday, Congress stripped him of his immunity from prosecution, a first in the Central American nation. A spokesman said Mr Perez Molina had decided to step down to 'confront the proceedings against him.' Bribery allegations Mr Perez Molina's resignation comes just days before Sunday's presidential election, in which he was barred from standing under constitutional rules." (09/03/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34137225  

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A win for peace

September 3, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"The Iran deal will not be scuttled by Congress, now that President Obama has secured the support of enough Senate Democrats to sustain any veto of any attempt to strip Obama of his authority to waive sanctions. It’s a historic win for peace and diplomacy. Unlike military victories, diplomatic wins are rarely cherished contemporaneously and only slightly more so with the passage of time. Jimmy Carter was booted out of the office despite his Herculean efforts to forge the Camp David Accords and his wise decision to relinquish the Panama Canal. We don’t remember Bill Clinton for the Good Friday Agreement, ending 30 years of strife between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We don’t remember what Harry Truman did to establish the United Nations, let alone the name of the Secretary of State who did most of the heavy lifting. (It was Edward Stettinius.) Did you even know Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for sealing the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and ending the Russo-Japanese War?" (09/02/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150902/a-win-for-peace  

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Rebellion against standardized tests is exploding

September 3, 2015
posted by

Michelle Chen The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"Opting out is in. Over the past two years, the movement to boycott standardized tests across New York State has mushroomed from a fringe rebellion to a mass mobilization against what many see as an anxiety-provoking, creativity-stifling, hypercommercialized testing regime. With record numbers of opt-outs last year, however, activists are now testing the patience of education officials. State education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has signaled stiff disapproval and dropped hints last month that the movement may suffer consequences for bucking the system." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nb6dpy2  

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Carly Fiorina and the GOP gender card

September 3, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan  

"However unlikely it is that Carly Fiorina, the fired Hewlett-Packard CEO and loser of a U.S. Senate race, will win the Republican presidential nomination, there’s a very good chance she could be the GOP running mate. The best card in the hand she has to play is that of gender, and she obviously knows it. Call it her anti-Trump card (if you can bear to). In presidential contests, the role of the vice presidential candidate is typically to attack whoever’s at the top of the other party’s ticket. That allows your presidential candidate to look like a nice person, while the running mate lobs some mud." (09/02/15)

http://prospect.org/article/carly-fiorina-and-gop-gender-card  

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Throw Kim Davis in jail

September 3, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"Kim Davis, a county clerk in Morehead, Kentucky, will face a contempt hearing Thursday for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples -- an act of unlawful defiance that has made her a hero to the religious right and a villain to progressives. To their credit, many conservatives (particularly those without deep ties to the religious right) have called upon the Rowan County clerk, who claimed to be acting 'under God's authority,' to issue the licenses or resign. But others have rallied to her side, or silently assented as she's abused her state power by denying same-sex couples a constitutional right." [editor's note: No argument here - SAT] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nrk6mzt  

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Why oil investors are so behind the curve

September 3, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Kevin Allison  

"Oil investors are behind the curve. Many assume that the cost of pulling oil out of the ground is relatively static -- or at least changes slowly. Reality is slipperier. Rethinking the way the 'cost curve' works may help explain recent gyrations in oil and other commodity markets. Miners, drillers and investors love cost curves because of their attractive simplicity. Draw a chart with the various producers lined up on the horizontal, in order of how cheaply they can get supply out. In the case of oil, to the far left are the cheapest Middle Eastern fields; on the right, the most expensive deepwater and oil sands. On the vertical is the cost of production. The result is an upward-sloping curve. As the price rises or falls, suppliers become economical, or not. Analysts then guess how supply will pan out." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qjad337  

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MA: Attorney General okays cannabis ballot initiatives

September 2, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Ballot initiatives from two marijuana advocacy groups were approved by the Massachusetts attorney general on Wednesday, leaving it up to voters to decide whether pot smoking should be legal in the state. The proposals, submitted to State Attorney General Maura Healey by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the Bay State Repeal, argue that legalizing the drug will make it easier to regulate its sale and prevent underage kids from accessing it. Now, the backers must collect and file signatures from more than 64,000 voters by Dec. 2. The proposal would then be sent to the Legislature in May." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pg564ur  

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On Alaska, Obama is no hypocrite

September 2, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by staff  

"It’s not often that a president spends three days visiting a single state, particularly one with just 737,000 people and no real drama in how it will vote (reliably Republican) on Election Day. But President Obama seemingly can’t get enough of Alaska. ... More than any other place in America, Alaska presents vivid examples of climate change. ... Yet during his Alaskan odyssey, Obama has taken flak from an unlikely source: environmentalists. They argue that pushing for climate action, shortly after approving Royal Dutch Shell’s plan for drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, makes him a hypocrite. Actually, it doesn't. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with fighting to mitigate climate change while also recognizing that oil remains an important energy source for the time being." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pcpwwqp  

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Clinton proposes $7.5 billion federal fund to “tackle drug and alcohol addiction”

September 2, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would launch a $10 billion initiative to tackle drug and alcohol addiction, a problem she speaks of often on the campaign trail and which affects 23 million Americans. Clinton’s plan would include a new $7.5 billion federal fund to support states that launch addiction-related prevention, treatment, medical response, prescription and criminal justice initiatives. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, announced her plan in the Manchester Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper. She said at her first campaign stop in the state, a retired doctor told her the biggest problem facing the country was drug addiction." [editor's note: And what would be the first step in such a plan? How about ending the War on (some) Drugs? - SAT] (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqalc7e  

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TX: Eight counties list more voters than residents

September 2, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"No law prevents localities from having more registered voters than voting-age residents, and eight Texas counties do. Now a vote-watch group accuses the counties of violating the National Voting Rights Act by failing to purge dead and ineligible voters. 'We are deeply concerned (that) voter rolls contain substantial numbers of ineligible voters,' True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht stated in a letter to the eight Texas counties. The counties -- Loving, Brooks, McMullen, Roberts, Irion, Jim Hogg, Culberson and Polk -- list a combined 52,298 registered voters. But the latest U.S. Census data show only 49,457 voting-age residents in those counties. County officials told Watchdog.org they are reviewing their voter lists in response to TTV's threat of legal action." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/noq4mfv  

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DC: Army Ranger School officially opens to women

September 2, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The Army announced Wednesday that its elite Ranger School will be open to all qualified women, a key milestone in the military’s efforts to lift the ban on females in ground combat jobs. The decision was made after the Army allowed women to enter a limited number of classes as part of an assessment to determine how best to integrate females into ground combat specialties, such as the infantry and special operations. Last month, the first two women graduated from the Ranger School as part of that assessment. A third woman remains in training." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nghc733  

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In search of our first trillionaire

September 2, 2015
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future Blog
by Sam Pizzigati  

"White House hopeful Bernie Sanders has been doing his best lately to place America's 'billionaire class' right at the center of the nation’s political discourse. But Phoenix-based attorney Bob Lord would like to see the nation start contemplating the next chapter in the ongoing concentration of America’s wealth: the emergence of our first trillionaires. Lord doesn’t stand alone. Other observers also see trillionaires (billionaires a thousand times over) in our future. Last year, for instance, CNBC explored whether America’s first trillionaire might arrive in time for that network’s 2039 50th anniversary. But Lord may be doing more than any other analyst to track the trends bringing trillionaires ever closer." [editor's note: As long as said "potential trillionaires" do so by providing new products to the market, rather than with war profiteering and corporate welfare, nobody should complain about "income inequality" - SAT] (09/01/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150901/in-search-of-our-first-trillionaire  

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Report: Cannabis could help make organ transplants safer

September 2, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Chalk up yet another medical benefit from marijuana. Researchers from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine have found that THC, marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, could help delay the rejection of incompatible organs in transplant patients, reports the International Business Times. ... Their study, which was published recently by the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, examined two groups of genetically different mice and transplanted skin from one group to another, insuring that transplant rejection was inevitable. One group of mice was given THC while the other was given a placebo. Researchers found that the THC treatment not only helped delay rejection of the skin transplant, but also increased survival of the skin graft." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfvsr4e  

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CA: Judge allows drivers to sue Uber over tips

September 2, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A judge has allowed Uber drivers in California to take legal action to determine whether they are contractors or employees. Three drivers had sued Uber, arguing they were employees of the company. Being classed as contractors meant they had not been able to claim expenses or receive tips, they claimed. Uber said few current drivers would qualify for the lawsuit, while the judge estimated the number of eligible drivers could be in the hundreds." [editor's note: Whazzat? The one time I've taken Lyft, I had the option of adding a tip - SAT] (09/02/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34125408  

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