Author Archive

Leading House conservative wants IRS chief impeached

May 24, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The head of a hard-line Republican conservative faction in the U.S. Congress wants to impeach the nation’s top tax officer and said lawmakers could do this without accusing him of any crime. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen should be impeached within weeks, said Jim Jordan, chairman of the House of Representatives Freedom Caucus, in an interview. Jordan’s demand comes amid numerous Republican attacks on the IRS in recent months. Bashing the tax-collecting agency is a perennial Capitol Hill practice, but Jordan and a handful of other conservatives have been pushing it further than usual. He said Jordan could be impeached simply because he had betrayed the trust put in him by the U.S. public to carry out his job correctly." [editor's note: Impeached? Nobody elected him; just fire his ass - SAT] (05/23/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/leading-house-conservative-wants-irs-chief-impeached  

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Will Millennial movement rebuild ivory tower or be crushed by it?

May 24, 2016
posted by

The Nation TomDispatch
by Aviva Chomsky  

"Much of our future is reliably unpredictable, and what more so than the moments when mass movements suddenly break out and sweep across our world? Who expected, for example, that for perhaps the first time in history hundreds of thousands of people would hit the streets of U.S. cities and towns -- and millions the global streets from London and Barcelona to Sydney and Jakarta -- in early 2003 to protest the coming invasion of Iraq, a war, that is, that hadn’t even begun? Or that such a movement would essentially vanish not long after that war was predictably launched?" (05/22/16)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176143/tomgram%3A_aviva_chomsky%2C_will_the_millennial_movement_rebuild_the_ivory_tower_or_be_crushed_by_it  

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Bernie Sanders supports California cannabis legalization

May 24, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Bernie Sanders has voiced his approval for marijuana law reform in California. Speaking at a campaign rally in San Jose, the Democratic presidential hopeful endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), the state’s leading initiative to legalize marijuana, the Sacramento Bee reports." [editor's note: This is hardly news, nor is the watered-down AUMA - SAT] (05/23/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/23/bernie-sanders-supports-california-marijuana-legalization  

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Israel: Shake-up in politics prompts “seeds of fascism” warning

May 24, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"A military affairs commentator interrupts his broadcast to deliver a monologue: I'm alarmed by what's happening in Israel, he says, I think my children should leave. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak warns of 'the seeds of fascism.' Moshe Arens, who served as defense minister three times, sees it as a turning point in Israeli politics and expects it to cause a 'political earthquake.' The past five days have produced tumult in Israeli politics, since conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly turned his back on a deal to bring the center-left into his coalition and instead joined hands with far-right nationalist Avigdor Lieberman, one of his most virulent critics. Lieberman, a West Bank settler, wants to be defense minister. So on Friday, Netanyahu's former ally and confidant, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, resigned and quit Netanyahu's Likud party in disgust." (05/23/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-politics-idUSKCN0YE1I6  

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Oppressing transgender students an attack on public education

May 24, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"It didn’t take long for conservatives to turn their attack on the rights of transgender students into an attack on another favorite target of theirs: public schools. In the pages of the conservative journal National Review, the latest screed declares, 'The Obama administration just destroyed the traditional American public school.' First, it’s not hard to miss the dog whistle language in this piece, primarily, using 'traditional' as a code word for white, straight and Christian and posing as a victim while arguing for 'the right' to discriminate against a vulnerable minority. Nevertheless, the target of conservative ire is the recent joint announcement from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education that public schools must allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity." [editor's note: The irony here is, this might be the only positive aspect of this latest "witchhunt" - SAT] (05/23/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160523/why-oppressing-transgender-students-is-an-attack-on-public-education  

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The Democrats’ Sanders

May 24, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"If Donald Trump supporters had booed a Republican senator at a state convention over the weekend, if they threw chairs because they did not like a delegate count, if Trump's goons published a state party vice chairwoman's private phone number -- which unleashed a torrent of abusive, obscenity-drenched voice messages that described the acts of violence she deserved -- then it would be a big story. And if Trump spoke Wednesday afternoon, you would expect all the cable news networks to air his speech live to see whether Trump would use the occasion to call off the dogs or he would further incite his throng. Except the story I relate does not involve boorish Trump supporters. It involves boorish supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders." [editor's note: This is a bit stale but still relevant- SAT] (05/19/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/19/the-democrats-sanders-n2165196  

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NC: School board votes to stop naming valedictorians

May 24, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Apparently working your hardest to be the best you can be -- and being recognized for the effort -- is one lesson a North Carolina school board no longer believes is worth teaching. Citing what it calls 'unhealthy' competition among students, the Wake County school board is the latest in the country to make valedictorians and salutatorians a thing of the past, The News & Observer of Charlotte reports. The school board unanimously gave initial approval last week to a policy that would prohibit high school principals from naming valedictorians and salutatorians (titles reserved for the two graduating seniors with the highest grade-point averages) after 2018, according to the newspaper." (05/23/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/05/23/north-carolina-school-board-votes-to-stop-naming-valedictorians.html  

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Save Puerto Rico by setting the island free

May 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Veronique de Rugy & Tad DeHaven  

"There’s an old saying about raising children that 'healthy birds fly away from the nest.' Applying this concept to territories of the United States, it may be time to consider setting a timetable for Puerto Rican independence as part of any effort by federal policymakers to help the beleaguered island regain its financial health. Puerto Rico is the largest of the United States’ territories in terms of size and population. It’s also one of the largest headaches currently facing policymakers. That’s because the Caribbean island located 1,000 miles southeast of Miami is mired in a debt crisis thanks to a long-slumping economy -- an economy hindered by counterproductive federal policies and its own fiscal incompetence." (05/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/23/free-puerto-rico-debt-crisis-independence-colonialism-history-column/84751460  

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Republicans cannot give up on #NeverTrump

May 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"Back in February, when online conservatives first began their unsuccessful campaign to deny Donald Trump the GOP presidential nomination, #NeverTrump meant different things to different people. To its most cynical adopters, like Senator Marco Rubio, the mantra was little more than a rallying cry for his own ailing campaign—an attempt to harness genuine anti-Trump sentiment on the right, less for the purposes of making Trump’s unfitness for the presidency evident than to press a momentary advantage against Ted Cruz and other Republican rivals. #NeverTrump: Because only one person can be the nominee, and I want to be that person! Other conservatives interpreted (and continue to interpret) #NeverTrump as a statement of personal ideological boundaries: Trump isn’t a true conservative, and therefore, as a conservative, I can’t support him." (05/23/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133655/republicans-cannot-give-nevertrump  

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Iraqi forces may face human shields as Fallujah offensive begins

May 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Iraq's military and militia forces advanced Monday to liberate Fallujah from the Islamic State, as airstrikes pounded the city that officials see as key to stopping a spate of attacks by the militant group. The mission to free Fallujah is complicated by reports from remaining residents that the extremist group is holding civilians hostage as human shields inside the city. Fallujah, a predominately Sunni city about 40 miles west of Baghdad, is nearly surrounded by the military and Shiite militias that have nearly cut off the Islamic State from supplies and reinforcement, military officials said." (05/23/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/05/23/iraqi-forces-may-face-human-shields-fallujah-offensive-begins/84793666  

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How anti-Muslim attacks damage America

May 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Arsalan Iftikhar  

"Like virtually all Americans, my life changed forever on September 11, 2001—but in a most unique way. Born and raised in the United States, I proudly grew up in my hometown of Chicago and proceeded to receive my 'Top 20' education at Washington University in St. Louis, where I received both my undergraduate and law degrees, focusing on international human rights law. But suddenly after 9/11, I immediately became 'the Muslim Guy' -- one of the go-to pundits that the American media turned to in its fumbling effort to understand the more than one and a half billion people around the world who are believers in Islam. But my life as a Muslim public figure did not truly get turned upside down until the evening of January 7, 2015, when I was invited to go on air with CNN anchor Don Lemon to discuss that day’s terror attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo." (05/23/16)

http://prospect.org/article/how-anti-muslim-attacks-damage-america  

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SCOTUS: Georgia prosecutors dismissed black jurors

May 23, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a black death-row inmate, finding that state prosecutors in Georgia unlawfully excluded potential black jurors from his trial. Timothy Tyrone Foster was convicted of molesting and killing a white 79-year-old retired schoolteacher in 1987. But the court on Thursday overturned his conviction after ruling that the prosecution had broken the law. Foster may now face a retrial, 29 years after his death sentence. A law introduced in 1986 made it illegal in the US to pick jurors based on the colour of their skin." (05/23/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36362438  

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Austria: Absentee ballot count to decide dead-heat election

May 23, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"With all direct ballots counted in Austria's presidential election Sunday, a right-wing politician was in a statistical dead heat with a challenger whose views stand in direct opposition to his rival's anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic message. Both right-winger Norbert Hofer and Alexander Van der Bellen, a Greens politician running as an independent, had 50 percent support with the direct votes tallied and absentee votes to be counted by Monday. Van der Bellen was ahead with less than 3,000 votes. But with 4.48 million direct votes cast, the nearly 900,000 absentee ballots issued will likely make them the likely vote decider." (05/22/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Austria-s-next-president-could-be-a-right-wing-7938360.php  

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Myanmar: Suu Kyi asks for “space” to address Rohingya plight

May 23, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has asked for 'enough 'space' to address the Rohingya issue. She was speaking after meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called on her to promote human rights. Some 125,000 Rohingya Muslims were displaced after fighting with Myanmar's majority Buddhists erupted in 2012 in Rakhine state and spread further. Historic elections swept Ms Suu Kyi and her party into office in November, ending half a century of military rule. Last week, The US lifted a host of financial and trade embargoes on Myanmar, but has kept the backbone of its sanctions." (05/22/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36353439  

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Larry Summers gets this right: We need an “infrastructure decade”

May 23, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Here we are in 'Infrastructure Week' and here we are with a new argument for a massive infrastructure investment project -- worldwide. Last week Peter Coy wrote at Bloomberg, in 'How to Pull the World Economy Out of Its Rut,' about economist Larry Summers’ argument that we need massive public investment. Coy writes that Summers has been 'jetting around the world' trying to convince central bankers 'to reach out to the governments they work for ... and insist on strong fiscal stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending and the like.' (i.e. 'Public investment.') The case for this is very, very strong." [editor's note: Among the proposals for how to spend the "peace dividend" from ending wars, this ranks fairly low on my "hate it" list - SAT] (05/20/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160520/very-important-larry-summers-is-exactly-right-for-infrastructure-week  

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A harsh blow to small businesses

May 23, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Juanita Duggan  

"The Labor Department’s change to the overtime rule is a harsh blow to millions of small businesses and their employees. According to NFIB research, approximately 44% of small businesses would be affected. The department claims that 4.2 million workers could potentially benefit from the change. That’s not consistent with the department’s own analysis. In fact, buried within the regulation, the department projects that many workers won’t receive any additional pay and that others will lose pay." (05/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/19/overtime-national-federation-of-independent-business-editorials-debates/84621270  

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Not Bernie Sanders’s job to unify the Democratic Party

May 23, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Alex Shephard  

"Team Bernie and Team Hillary are at war. The two sides have skirmished throughout the election, but the chaotic Nevada Democratic Convention in Las Vegas last weekend has prompted a bloodbath that (if the pundits are to be believed) could tear the party apart and hand the presidency to Donald Trump. ... The Clinton and Sanders camps are, in the usual schoolyard fashion, pointing fingers at each other. The truth is, both sides are to blame. But the onus is on Clinton, not Sanders, to turn down the temperature. If she intends to unify the party, now is the time to prove she can do it—that’s her burden as the frontrunner and likely nominee." (05/20/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133642/its-not-bernie-sanderss-job-unify-democratic-party  

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OR: Portland public schools ban textbooks “doubting” climate change

May 23, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The Portland Public Schools board voted last week to ban any materials that cast doubt on climate change, the Portland Tribune reported. According to the resolution passed May 17, the school district must remove any textbooks and other materials that suggest climate change is not occurring or that says human beings are not responsible for it. ... One commenter to the Portland Tribune story responded to the news, saying, 'I have never seen a case for homeschooling more clearly put forward. This is further proof that public schools are not interested in education, only political indoctrination.'" (05/22/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/05/22/portland-public-schools-ban-textbooks-that-cast-doubt-on-climate-change.html  

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Elizabeth Warren takes on the “gig economy”

May 23, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"The Democratic Party hasn’t quite figured out how to take on the rapid rise of the 'gig economy.' Hillary Clinton said last summer that companies like Uber and AirBnB created 'exciting opportunities,' but also 'rais[ed] hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.' She was immediately attacked by Republicans, but also by David Plouffe, once a top Obama aide and now employed by Uber, who said it was an 'overblown reaction.' ...  The gig economy has not otherwise been an enormous issue on the campaign trail, and legislators in Congress haven’t attempted to address it in any comprehensive way. But Thursday in Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren waded into the debate with a lengthy policy speech at the annual New America conference in which she said it’s time to 'rethink the basic bargain for workers who produce much of the value in this economy.'" (05/20/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/elizabeth-warren-takes-on-the-gig-economy  

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CA: Prison guards donate to stop legal cannabis

May 22, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Funding to oppose California marijuana legalization this year has grown from a paltry $13,000 to over $60,000 thanks to a major group: the state’s prison guards. Journalist Lee Fang, writing for The Intercept, reports on new campaign donation disclosures showing the state’s prison guards and police chiefs chipping in to keep pot illegal. The funds were organized by John Lovell, a longtime Sacramento lobbyist for police chiefs and prison guard supervisors. Lovell’s Coalition for Responsible Drug Policies, a committee he created to defeat the pot initiative, raised $60,000 during the first three months of the year, according to a disclosure filed earlier this month." (05/22/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/19/prison-guards-donate-to-keep-pot-illegal-in-california  

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TSA: Long lines and disasters

May 22, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"The Transportation Security Administration is a perennial punching bag for air travelers, members of Congress, and municipal officials from coast to coast. However, the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 en route to Cairo from Paris puts the ongoing furor over the long waits at TSA security checkpoints into a different perspective. 'The [TSA’s] priority is security, it is not ease of travel,' says Juliette Kayyem, a former Homeland Security assistant secretary and currently an emergency management and national security lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. ... Kayyem spoke with The American Prospect about the TSA and U.S. air travel in the wake of the EgyptAir disaster." (05/20/16)

prospect.org/article/long-lines-and-disasaters-tsa-time-troubles  

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Thailand: Medical students use “smart” spy technology to cheat on exams

May 22, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Students at a medical college in Thailand have been caught using spy cameras linked to smartwatches to cheat during exams. They used wireless spycams in eyeglasses to capture exam questions, transmit them to associates elsewhere and receive responses through linked smartwatches. But the entrance exam in question was cancelled after the plot was discovered and Arthit Ourairat, the rector of Rangsit University, posted pictures of the hi-tech cheating equipment on his Facebook page." (05/22/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/students-are-using-smart-spy-technology-to-cheat-on-exams  

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Bernie Sanders goes after big banks — in theory

May 22, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"On Wednesday, Bernie Sanders had lunch at the Chieftain, a cozy pub near the San Francisco Chronicle. In days gone by, it served as a lunch spot for parched journalists. Earlier, Sanders had addressed a rally in San Jose; he had another scheduled in Vallejo, California, that night. When he exited the Chieftain by a back door onto Howard Street, passers-by shouted out his name. A man who hailed Sanders as his 'hero' asked the Democratic presidential hopeful to pose for a photo. There were more selfies with more fans who could not believe their luck in stumbling upon a potential president. No jacket, no tie, two pens in his shirt pocket, Sanders took his time heading toward the motorcade." (05/22/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/22/bernie-sanders-goes-after-big-banks--in-theory-n2166455  

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Report: Six big changes coming to Android phones

May 22, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"After A, I, V, and R (as in artificial intelligence and virtual reality), the next most important letter at Google's just-concluded I/O conference here had to have been N. That's the letter assigned to the next version of its Android operating system, the subject of a major part of the keynote Wednesday. Google will almost certainly name it after a dessert beginning with 'n,' in keeping with its habit of thinking with its sweet tooth when christening new Android releases. While we wait for a ruling from the Google officials on that, here’s what we do know is coming from Android N when it ships later this summer." (05/22/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2016/05/22/6-big-changes-coming-android-phones/84740912  

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The GOP metamorphosis

May 18, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Arthur Goldhammer  

"The observer of today’s political world feels rather like the reader of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis. Grotesque things are happening everywhere, yet consciousness seems incapable of registering the magnitude of the change. The disparity between the appalling metamorphosis of our political condition and the petty conventionality of the response is apt to provoke terror and laughter in equal and disconcerting measure. In the United States, the Republican Party has succumbed to a brazen putsch. A confabulating narcissist who impersonated his own publicist in order to feed the tabloids with the myth of his sexual allure and then made a campaign issue of his genital endowment has taken over the party of Lincoln." (05/17/16)

http://prospect.org/article/metamorphosis  

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