Author Archive

Report: Florida blacks 6x more likely busted for pot possession

September 30, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A Tampa Bay Times investigation into the disparity in arrest rates for marijuana possession by race in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties shows that blacks are six times more likely to be arrested than whites. The disparity in the two Florida counties is even more pronounced than the national average of black people being 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites, according to a report from the ACLU. This despite federal surveys showing that approximately 10 to 12 percent of both races smoke marijuana at least once a month." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oynfznz  

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My Brother’s Keeper to expand, but not to women & girls

September 30, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Dani McClain  

"Are we entering a political moment when it’s okay to use the phrases 'young people' and 'boys and men of color' interchangeably? If President Obama’s speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s awards dinner on Saturday is any indication, then yes. After recapping some successes of his presidency -- from the Affordable Care Act to declines in child poverty and the prison population -- Obama heaped a healthy dose of praise on outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and moved on to My Brother’s Keeper, the White House’s racial justice initiative." (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pa9cnrg  

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FDA: Xolair raises risk of heart, brain problems

September 30, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"The asthma drug Xolair is associated with a higher risk of heart attack, mini-stroke, chest pain and blood clots in the lungs and veins, among other problems, though the extent of increased risk is unclear, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday. The FDA said it has added information about the increased risk to the drug's label after analyzing findings from a five-year safety study submitted by the drug's manufacturer, Genentech, a unit of Roche Holding AG, and 25 clinical trials comparing Xolair to a placebo. Xolair is an injectible drug that was originally approved in 2003 to treat moderate to severe asthma in adults and children aged 12 or over whose condition was not controlled by inhaled steroids." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pljdmqs  

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It’s the inequality, stupid

September 30, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by David Moberg  

"President Barack Obama said last December that inequality is 'the defining challenge of our time.' Americans agree. A Pew survey from June found that 62 percent think the country’s economic system unfairly favors the powerful, and 78 percent believe that too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. Campaigning against the ongoing takeover of the country by the superrich would seem to be a winning strategy for Democrats, then, as they struggle to hold onto the Senate and pick up a few governor’s seats in November. As a campaign issue, growing economic inequality plays to the Democrats’ image as the party of the little guy and to their brightest moments in power, such as the New Deal, when they made the country much more equal." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lu5ko5h  

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Six years after AIG bailout, trial asks: was it legal?

September 29, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"One of the more unusual trials to come out of the 2008 financial crisis is set to begin on Monday, when a federal judge will consider whether the U.S. government's rescue of American International Group Inc was, in fact, legal. In a case that explores the limits on U.S. government power in responding to major financial crises, the trial is expected to revisit in detail the New York Federal Reserve's September 2008 decision to extend a bailout package to AIG as the insurance giant was minutes from bankruptcy." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/namqbyt  

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They have the cash; make them spend it

September 29, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"At least there’s one entity benefiting from the drought: Caltrans. The less rainwater there is, the less conversation there is about leaks on the Bay Bridge. But last week’s rainstorm, which we barely remember -- oh, look, the ground is wet; who knew? -- fired up all the chatter again. Jaxon Van Derbeken, of this very sprawling media company, has been all over this story. He seems to understand more than the engineers themselves; he certainly understands more than me. It’s all about the caulking and the grouting, according to his reporting." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kwjpedv  

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Ukraine: Nationalists tear down Lenin statue

September 29, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Nationalists have torn down a statue of Lenin in the centre of Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, in a move supported by officials. People cheered and leapt for joy as the statue came crashing down. Pro-Russian demonstrators in the largely Russian-speaking city defended the statue in February, when President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. Kharkiv escaped the violent unrest which swept through east Ukraine's [sic] other regions, Donetsk and Luhansk. A fragile ceasefire has been in place for weeks between pro-Russian separatists in those two regions." (09/28/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29405089  

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In the next terrorist attack, will we keeping our heads?

September 29, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Imagine it's six months from now. A 19-year-old man walks on to the Mall in Washington on a weekend afternoon. Groups of tourists are walking about from one monument to another. He takes his backpack off his shoulders, reaches in, and removes the semiautomatic rifle he bought a month before at a gun show in Virginia. ... He opens fire on the crowd, and before U.S. Park Police are able to reach him and put him down, he has killed six people and wounded eleven others. ... Now that we have begun a new military engagement in the Middle East, this event or one like it is a possibility -- indeed, probably more of a possibility than it was before. ... And since it's a possibility, we ought to think about what would happen afterward, so we don't completely lose our minds." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7soavv  

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Student debt may be preventing home sales

September 29, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The housing market recovery might be stronger but for this: Student debts are a sizable burden on young families -- the people who typically make up the important category called 'first time homebuyers.' By one new estimate, some 400,000 home sales may not happen this year because those college loans hold back potential buyers. 'Our conclusion is that 414,000 transactions will be lost in 2014 due to student debt. At a typical price of $200,000, that is $83 billion per year in lost volume,' concludes the analysis by John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/jwshx4m  

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CA: “Affirmed consent” bill signed by Gov. Brown

September 29, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that requires colleges and universities in the state to adopt anti-sexual-assault policies that radically rewrite what constitutes consent, a move that some critics have called an unfair shift of the burden of proof to the accused. Under the new law, the standard for consent to sexual activity in campus judicial hearings shifts from whether or not a person said 'no' to whether both partners said 'yes.' Many universities already use what is known as the 'affirmed consent' standard when investigating sexual assault allegations, but the new law would require all campuses in the state to use the standard as a condition of receiving state funds for student financial aid." (09/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mk6ruc5  

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Why an unequal planet can never be green

September 29, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"What is it going to take to save the planet from environmental devastation? Sheer people power? We certainly saw that on the eve of last week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York. Some 400,000 marchers packed the streets of Manhattan. Millions more rallied that same day in over 2,600 other actions in 162 countries. Or can simple shaming get world leaders to start seriously addressing the climate change challenge? We saw some serious shaming last week, too." (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lmmvxo2  

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Is Uber’s business model screwing its workers?

September 29, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Avi Asher-Schapiro  

"Kazi drives a Toyota Prius for Uber in Los Angeles. He hates it. He barely makes minimum wage, and his back hurts after long shifts. But every time a passenger asks what it’s like working for Uber, he lies: 'It’s like owning my own business; I love it.' Kazi lies because his job depends on it. After passengers finish a ride, Uber asks them to rate their driver on a scale from one to five stars. Drivers with an average below 4.7 can be deactivated -- tech-speak for fired." [editor's note: I haven't taken Uber as yet, and only used Lyft once so far; however, somebody needs to tell these troll passengers giving shitty ratings that they're killing off the only challenge to the taxi cartels! - SAT] (09/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvvvc2o  

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Maher: Cops need to stop “going mental for no reason”

September 29, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"On Real Time Friday night, Bill Maher lit into police officers for 'going mental for no reason. ... I totally get it, that this is the most strapped country in the world. We’re armed to the teeth. When you’re a policeman, every encounter might be that kind of encounter. And yet, every week we see police officers going mental for no reason,'" (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/muvw2u7  

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Feds lag as drone use explodes

September 29, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"In the game of drones, Amazon, Facebook and Google all want a piece of the sky. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, have existed for decades, although mainly associated with military organizations as weapons of war or spying. But over the past two years, the technologies now commonly found in smartphones (accelerometers, sensors and high-definition cameras) have accelerated development of a new breed of commercial drones used in real estate, agriculture and movies." (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mf7y7u8  

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UT: Students protest BYU’s beard ban

September 29, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A group of Brigham Young University students is protesting the Mormon church-owned school's ban on something its namesake once sported: a beard. About 50 students, some donning paper beards, biked, skateboarded or rollerbladed their way from the Provo City Library to campus during the 'Bike for Beards' protest on Friday night. 'I love BYU. I love being a student here,' protest organizer Shane Pittson said. 'But the rule on beards I find particularly outdated.'" (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mzx9wy8  

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Pete Peterson or Sacramento business as usual

September 29, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"'Yeah, I have an 'R' next to my name,' secretary of state hopeful Pete Peterson shrugged when addressing The Chronicle editorial board Monday. In a state where a modest 28 percent of registered voters are Republicans, Peterson’s GOP affiliation isn’t exactly a big draw. And it may not mean much to learn that his day job is executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. But then, Peterson winked, his rival, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Pacoima (Los Angeles County), has a title that may turn off some voters as well. Quoth Peterson: 'He’s got 'state senator' next to his name.'" (09/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/njtkjpj  

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Serbia: Gay Pride march returns after four years

September 29, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Serbia's first Gay Pride march for four years has been held in the capital Belgrade, amid huge security, including special forces and armoured vehicles. Waving rainbow flags, hundreds took the short march through empty streets. Authorities had cancelled the event every year since marchers were attacked in 2010 -- nine years after Gay Pride was first held in Belgrade. Serbia is keen to show increasing tolerance as it seeks to join the EU, the BBC's Guy De Launey says." (09/28/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29399404  

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Hong Kong protests 101: What’s behind the city’s turmoil?

September 29, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Hong Kong is a 'special administrative region' within China, having been returned to mainland sovereignty in 1997 by Britain. But having been a British colony since 1842, Hong Kong developed a decidedly more Western form of government and bureaucracy than the rest of China. Its citizens enjoy a greater degree of civil liberties than those on the mainland, due to the 'one country, two systems' agreement between China and Britain. Per the terms of the handover, Hong Kong has not had China's socioeconomic model imposed upon it. Instead, it has been granted a 'high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region in all areas except defense and foreign affairs,' which will last until 2047." (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lnwunur  

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Russia: Suspicions of US motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

September 29, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials. Differences between the former Cold War foes are stark, say the officials. Moscow suspects Washington's ulterior motive is removal of its ally, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Washington refuses to consider working together as long as Moscow insists that U.S. strikes need Syrian and U.N. approval." (09/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mk8f9zu  

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Chart of the day

September 29, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Our chart of the day comes from this article in Politico by Doug McAdam and Karina Kloos, about how the contemporary Republican party has its roots in the racial struggles of the 1960s. It's a good overview of that history, even if you may not find any shocking revelations there. But this chart they use is particularly striking, showing the racial makeup of Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's voters in 2012." (09/26/14)

http://prospect.org/article/chart-day-6  

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All in all, Holder just another brick in the wall

September 28, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. first signaled his exit from office so long ago that every reporter and pundit who covers the Department of Justice has stockpiled enough copy assessing his tenure to fill a mattress. Like Derek Jeter, Holder announced his farewell tour this past February, telling the New Yorker‘s Jeffrey Toobin that he would depart in 2014. The admission prompted journalists to update and fine tune their critiques of the attorney general with emerging details, the way obituary writers tweak their pre-written obituaries of famous, old people to keep them fresh and newsy." (09/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/os2ket5  

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Demanding justice for dead young black men

September 28, 2014
posted by

Our Future Blog
by Terrance Heath  

"What passes for justice in police shootings, and extra-legal shootings, of young black men neither satisfies nor inspires us to 'trust the system.' In response to the epidemic of police violence that’s taken the lives of Michael Brown, John Crawford, and countless others, a coalition including Join Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment plan a 'Weekend of Resistance' in Ferguson, Missouri, October 10–13, to build momentum for a nationwide movement against police violence. News in three cases this week underscores the urgent need for such a movement." (09/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kcrzqf4  

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Hardest-hitting anti-Koch ad ever

September 28, 2014
posted by

The Nation Blog
by Leslie Savan  

"Maybe it’s the power of the cartoon, but this has to be the toughest ad yet to target the Koch brothers and their effort to buy the US Senate. The animated ad shows North Carolina Republican candidate for the Senate, Thom Tillis, performing for the Kochs, taking money from education and seniors and making it 'magically' appear in his patrons’ pockets. State house speaker Tillis is in a tight race against Democratic senator Kate Hagan; whoever wins may determine which party controls the Senate." (09/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcye2y2  

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War without end? (Syria 2024 … 2034 …)

September 26, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"This must be what perpetual war looks like. In a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Army Lieutenant General Bill Mayville called the cruise missiles and bombs flung at targets in Syria 'the beginning of a credible and sustainable persistent campaign.' How long will the campaign last? 'I would think of it in terms of years,' Mayville responded. Although the bombs exploded on Syrian soil, they didn’t target Bashar al-Assad’s battered, murderous regime. The bombs were addressed to Syria’s enemy, the Islamic State, a nascent nation that has pledged to topple both Iraq and Syria, as well as Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, and parts of southern Turkey, and erect a caliphate on the parcel." (09/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oe6dkkp  

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GM compensation fund makes first offers to victims

September 26, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The fund to compensate for deaths or injuries linked to General Motors Co vehicles with faulty ignition switches this week made its first cash offers to about 15 people, the office of the lawyer overseeing the program said on Wednesday. The fund will pay at least $1 million for each death claim or more if they had dependents. GM has set aside $400 million to cover the compensation costs. The total number of claims filed by Wednesday was up to 850 from the 675 claims through last Friday, including 150 death claims, said an official with the office of lawyer Kenneth Feinberg." (09/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lm2ypyz  

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