Author Archive

AZ: Cannabis legalization burns toward the ballot

May 25, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Arizonans are cruising to a vote on cannabis legalization for adults this election cycle. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced Wednesday they were just 15,000 signatures away from their 230,000-raw name goal for placing Initiative 5 on the Nov. 8 ballot. The group needs approximately 150,000 valid signatures to qualify the initiative by July 7, 2016. CRML has raised about $1 million for the legalization drive, versus about $90,000 in donations to the opposition, reports indicate. 'As we finish the signature drive and launch the final stage of the campaign, we anticipate that our opponents will be ramping up their efforts,' stated CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. Initiative 5 legalizes growing six plants per person, and carrying up to one ounce of pot in public, as well as regulates and taxes the commercial industry." (05/24/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/23/arizona-marijuana-legalization-burns-toward-the-ballot  

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Will Libertarians help elect Hillary Clinton?

May 25, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Two former Republican governors are running for [sic] president and vice president on the Libertarian line. They are Gary Johnson, 63, former New Mexico governor, and William Weld, 70, former governor of Massachusetts. The Libertarian Party holds its nominating convention in Orlando, Florida, over Memorial Day weekend. The Libertarian Party could play the spoiler role in 2016 for Donald Trump, just as Ralph Nader did in 2000, but this time helping to tip the election to the Democrat. ... Unlike the typical third party candidates, Johnson and Weld are experienced mainstream politicians. Johnson, a former construction company entrepreneur, served two terms from 1994 to 2002, winning both elections by ten points. Weld was a highly popular and moderate governor of the Bay State. He won re-election by the largest margin in state history in 1994." [editor's note: The reality is, none of this might take place, but isn't it fascinating how quick these "progressives" are to throw in the towel in a fight for change? - SAT] (05/24/16)

http://prospect.org/article/will-libertarians-help-elect-hillary-clinton  

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OH: Federal judge orders reinstatement of full early voting period

May 25, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that Ohio violated voters’ rights in 2014 by cutting the number of days in which people were allowed to cast early ballots to 28 from 35. Judge Michael Watson of U.S. District Court in Columbus ordered Ohio to reinstate the 35-day period and also to grant residents a week-long opportunity to register and cast a ballot at the same time -- a period known as 'Golden Week.' If the ruling stands, voters in Ohio will be able to vote a full 35 days before the general election on Nov. 8. Watson said the earlier changes violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and were unconstitutional." (05/24/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/federal-judge-orders-reinstatement-of-full-early-voting-period-in-ohio  

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The other European referendum to fret over

May 25, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"Investors are understandably obsessing over Britain’s vote next month on whether to leave the European Union. Yet even as that heady question gets answered, another binary ballot will loom with potentially bigger financial risks for the European economy and global capital markets. In October, Italians will be asked to give a simple 'sì' or 'no' on a series of reforms to the republic’s constitution. It could have been a relatively parochial affair, of marginal interest outside Italy, except that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decided to make it a plebiscite on his leadership. He has told voters that if the changes his administration has championed are rejected, 'I will return to being a free citizen. If I lose, I will resign the next day.' Making the vote personal is a dangerous gambit, with consequences that could reverberate beyond the Alps." (05/24/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/05/24/cox-the-other-european-referendum-to-fret-over  

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Northern Ireland: Women seek arrest for breaking abortion laws

May 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Three women in Northern Ireland handed themselves in to police Monday evening, requesting to be arrested out of protest after obtaining abortion pills banned under the country’s laws. Dozens of protesters reportedly cheered outside of a police station in Londonderry as the three women presented themselves to authorities and read a statement, according to the Derry Journal. A legal representative accompanied Diana King, 71, Kitty O’Kane, 69, and Colette Devlin, 68, to the station, where they were questioned for three hours before their release, the BBC said." (05/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/05/24/women-request-arrested-breaking-northern-ireland-abortion-laws/84868716  

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Bad government often at root of humanitarian crisis

May 25, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Sean Callahan  

"Imagine if one in five Americans were forced to flee the country because of violence and war. That’s the reality for 60 million people around the globe today. This week, United Nations, national governments and other humanitarian actors are meeting to improve the global humanitarian response for these people at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit. A few days later, many of the same leaders will discuss pressing crises at the G7 Summit. As they convene, let’s push them to address the reason these 60 million people -- men, women, and millions of children -- are on the move: Stop man-made disasters." (05/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/24/blame-bad-government--humanitarian-crises-refugees-haiti-ethiopia-katrina-column/84813724  

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Ferguson effect by the Bay

May 25, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"'It's as hard right now to be a cop maybe as it's ever been,' San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to The Chronicle Editorial Board Tuesday. At the time, Suhr was resisting calls demanding that he resign. Five local protesters had given up their hunger strike to force his departure to atone for officer-involved shootings of four minority men in the previous two years. Four supervisors had jumped onto that bandwagon, but Suhr enjoyed Mayor Ed Lee's support. Until Thursday, that is, when a San Francisco cop shot and killed Jessica Williams, 29, an unarmed auto theft suspect in The Bayview. By the end of the day, Suhr had met with the mayor and resigned. It's as hard right now to be a police chief in a major American city as it has ever been." (05/24/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/24/ferguson-effect-by-the-bay-n2167723  

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Trump’s trade con

May 25, 2016
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Donald Trump was riffing on trade, sounding very populists by shrugging off concerns about sparking a 'trade war' with China, when he said: 'My trade deal is very simple, I am going to make great deals for our country. It might be free, it might not be free.' Well, which is it? The difference is a big deal. A 'free trade' deal would have little to no rules governing trade. Progressive populist critics of such deals argue free trade deals create a “race to the bottom” in which countries keep wages low and labor and environmental protections light to maximize competitiveness. A 'fair trade' deal seeks to codify a level playing field, so America regulations on wages, worker rights and environment rules can’t easily but undercut by other nations looking to keep the cost of production low. The idea is to lift up standards across the world so workers everywhere benefit." (05/24/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160524/trumps-trade-con  

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Uber testing “late fees” for passengers

May 25, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"When you use the Uber app to order a ride, who gets to the meeting spot first -- you, or the driver? If it’s always the driver, you might want to start being more prompt, or it could cost you. Uber is running some pilot tests of new fees that would kick in if their drivers have to wait at curbside an unreasonable amount of time before the passenger shows up (although 'unreasonable' has a specific definition). According to Uber’s website, drivers in the test markets (Dallas. New York, New Jersey and Phoenix) will be able to collect a new fee from passengers who make them wait more than two minutes. The company didn’t say how much the fee would be." (05/24/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/cmcginnis/2016/05/24/uber-testing-late-fees-for-passengers  

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Will Sanders demand veto power over Clinton’s cabinet picks?

May 24, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"On CNN Monday, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said Bernie Sanders is likely to hold out for some enormous concessions from Hillary Clinton before he takes steps to unify the Democratic Party. ... This sounds less definitive than CNN made it seem with its headline ('Reporter: Sanders wants say over Clinton cabinet picks'). But it’s been hanging out there for a full day, and the campaign hasn’t knocked it down. So assuming for the sake of argument that this is where the Sanders brain trust is, it’s worth considering whether this would cross a line between 'driving a hard bargain' and being destructively spiteful." (05/24/16)

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/133696/will-sanders-demand-veto-power-clintons-cabinet-picks  

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Cuba legalizes small and medium private businesses

May 24, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Cuba's government has announced that it is legalising small and medium-sized private businesses. It is the latest stage of reforms begun when President Raul Castro took over from his brother, Fidel in 2008. Raul Castro has been trying to stimulate Cuba's stagnant economy but has faced resistance from Cuban Communist Party hardliners. With the restoration of relations with the US last year, Cuba is also opening up to foreign investment. The government currently allows self-employment in several hundred job categories from restaurant owners to hairdressers. " (05/24/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36375807  

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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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