Author Archive

California governor’s debate: No losers

September 8, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"It was not until Thursday night’s debate in Sacramento between Gov. Jerry Brown and his GOP rival Neel Kashkari that I realized what a gift the challenger has given the Republican Party. Up until then, he hadn’t impressed me much. Had Assemblyman Tim Donnelly won the runoff, he likely would have delivered some bon mots on illegal immigrants that would have dominated debate coverage and sent the rest of the party into a defensive crouch." (09/05/14)

http://tinyurl.com/no8fksk  

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Why higher voter turnout scares the GOP

September 7, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by David Sirota  

"It is rare for a politician to publicly deride efforts to boost voter turnout. It is seen as a taboo in a country that prides itself on its democratic ideals. Yet, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week slammed efforts to simplify voter registration. Referring to Illinois joining other states (including many Republican-led ones) in passing a same-day voter registration law, Christie said: 'Same-day registration all of a sudden this year comes to Illinois. Shocking. It’s shocking. I’m sure it was all based on public policy, good public policy to get same-day registration here in Illinois just this year, when the governor is in the toilet and needs as much help as he can get.' Christie was campaigning for Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, who signed the same-day registration bill into law in July." (09/05/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q7ppdbv  

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PA: Mother gave daughter abortion pill, now gets prison

September 7, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A Pennsylvania woman has been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison for obtaining so-called abortion pills online and providing them to her teenage daughter to end her pregnancy. Jennifer Ann Whalen, 39, of Washingtonville, a single mother who works as a nursing home aide, pleaded guilty in August to obtaining the miscarriage-inducing pills from an online site in Europe for her daughter, 16, who did not want to have the child. Whalen was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians. She was also fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service after her release. The felony offense called for up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine." (09/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/odh7mtq  

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IRS says it’s lost emails from five other employees

September 7, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"The IRS said Friday that it has lost emails from five other employees involved in congressional probes into the agency's targeting of conservative groups, leading one top Republican to declare 'this pattern must stop.' The announcement comes after the agency said in June that it could not locate an untold number of emails to and from Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. The revelation set off a new round of investigations and congressional hearings. On Friday, the IRS issued a report to Congress saying the agency also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status." (09/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pnnhtwl  

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In clashes over Ukraine or Iraq, liberty must be defended

September 7, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by John Lloyd  

"A few weeks after Winston Churchill became British prime minister in 1940, he had to tell the House of Commons that Britain had just suffered one of the worst military defeats in its history. He announced the setback with these words: 'The House should prepare itself for hard and heavy tidings. I have only to add that nothing which may happen in this battle (at Dunkirk) can in any way relieve us of our duty to defend the world cause to which we have vowed ourselves; nor should it destroy our confidence in our power to make out way ... through disaster and through grief, to the ultimate defeat of our enemies.' The British like to remind themselves of this period because, 'through disaster and through grief,' it ended in victory." (09/05/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nuoeoov  

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HI: Lava inches toward community; Tutu Pele spirit strikes again?

September 7, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Capable of covering nearly a quarter mile a day, a massive Kilauea lava flow is burning thick forest and threatening human dwellings near Ka’ohe Homestead on Hawaii’s Big Island -- reminding locals and tourists alike of the tempestuous nature of Kilauea’s female guardian spirit, Tutu Pele. The current lava flow, which began June 27, is burning through mountainside forests as it descends toward the Pacific. Within a week, homes could be threatened and up to 8,000 people could be cut off if the flow covers Route 130, the major artery into the region." (09/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nql5g5a  

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OK: State to halt killings until new protocols in place

September 7, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Oklahoma will put future executions on hold until new procedures are in place as recommended in a report about a troubled execution that exposed shortcomings in the death chamber, officials said on Friday. A doctor and a paramedic failed nearly a dozen times to place an IV during an Oklahoma inmate's April execution and were unprepared for how to proceed once the line they secured to deliver a lethal injection began leaking drugs, the report released on Thursday said." (09/05/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ptwejro  

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CA: Tenants who had rent stolen lawyer up

September 7, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"The lawyer for tenants who allege that their property manager made off with $40,000 in rent says her clients have proof of payment and are unlikely to be evicted. Although the lawyer is only focusing on the evictions, tenants also say that the property manager, German Maldonado, illegally entered their units and, in one case, failed to pay the water bill. After numerous attempts, Maldonado could not be reached for comment." (09/06/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nfjt2nr  

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Beyond Ferguson: Sanders proposes youth jobs bill

September 7, 2014
posted by

Our Future    

"At Michael Brown’s funeral, Rev. Al Sharpton lamented that America has 'money to give military equipment to police forces,' but not to train and employ young people. Sen. Bernie Sanders is making good on a promise to remedy that. While eulogizing Brown, Sharpton issued a warning: 'America is going to have to come to terms when there’s something wrong, that we have money to give military equipment to police forces, when we don’t have money for training, and money for public education and ... our children.' Sharpton was referring to police use of paramilitary force in response to protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following Brown’s death." (09/05/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o6vkycc  

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Obama re Islamic State: Too cautious, or just doesn’t care?

September 5, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"President Obama slipped up last week when he told reporters, 'we don't have a strategy yet' to dispatch the Islamic State in Syria. These things happen. On Meet the Press Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., dished out a mild but fitting response to the president's remarks. 'He's very cautious,' she said. 'Maybe in this instance too cautious.' ... To me, the president's real problem is not caution, it's concentration. While the Islamic State has been at war with Syria, Iraq and the United States, Obama has been at war with an actual JV team, Republicans in Congress." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qz6zwv7  

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NY: Cops bust lawyer waiting outside restaurant for kids using restroom

September 5, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"A human rights lawyer was arrested outside a Ruby Tuesday’s in New York City as she waited for her children, who were inside using the restroom, the New York Daily News reports. On Tuesday, Chaumtoli Huq filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court alleging that the New York Police Department officers who arrested her used 'unreasonable and wholly unprovoked force' as she was waiting for family after a pro-Palestinian rally in July. Huq had, the previous day, taken a leave of absence from her role as a top attorney with New York City’s Public Advocate’s office so she could focus on the abuse of garment workers in her home country of Bangladesh." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lduntd9  

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As chances of UK split grow, costs to the world become clearer

September 5, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Anatole Kaletsky  

"Until this week almost nobody outside Scotland took very seriously the possibility that Europe’s most stable and durable nation, the only big country on earth not to have suffered invasion, revolution or civil war at any time in the past 300 years, might soon be wiped off the map. It now seems quite conceivable, however, that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will cease to exist after the referendum on Scottish independence to be held on September 18. The prospects for Scotland and Britain changed abruptly on Tuesday when YouGov, one of Britain’s most authoritative polling organizations, published a survey showing the unionist lead narrowing to just 53-47." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o5bdkwy  

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Study: Kids know how to lie and distrust by age seven

September 5, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Kids are capable of thinking strategically, including using competitiveness and lies to their own benefit, by the time they're 7. So report researchers out of the University of Minnesota who studied 69 kids ages 3 to 9 playing two games. Kids typically figure out how to infer what others are thinking and what motivates them -- and act strategically based on this information -- somewhere between 6 and 7 years old, reports ABC Science. What's more, by that age they've sorted out that they don't have to trust others, and they don't have to be truthful themselves." (09/04/14)

 

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The education conversation “reformers” want

September 5, 2014
posted by

Our Future Blog
by Jeff Bryant  

"What will $12 million get you? How about a 'conversation about education?' That’s what a new organization, Education Post, aims to get for its 'initial grants,' courtesy of, according to education reporter Lindsay Layton of The Washington Post, 'the Broad Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Walton Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.' In a debut post, the organization’s leader Peter Cunningham (a former 'communications guru' for U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, according to Layton) called for a 'new conversation.'” (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o39au7n  

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Study: Millennials less trusting than Gen X was

September 5, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"They're often pegged as the civic-minded, do-gooding generation. But while they're still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today's youth are often more skeptical of the country's institutions than the young generations that preceded them. The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy 'slackers' of Generation X were 20 years ago -- or even more so." [editor's note: Don't tease me now; you mean there IS still hope? - SAT] (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ovlmjrq  

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Fast food workers in the US strike, face arrests

September 5, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Fast food workers kicked off another round of nationwide strikes Thursday, re-iterating their demands for a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. Like past protests, today’s will involve walkouts from workers in 150 cities from a wide range of fast food chains, including Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s. According to early reports, a handful of protesters in New York and Detroit were handcuffed Thursday morning for blocking the streets near fast food establishments." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kjrc5j4  

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France faces huge Mistral bill for halting Russia deal

September 4, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"The decision to suspend delivery of a Mistral naval assault ship to Russia risks costing France at least 1 billion euros (£800 million), officials say. French President Francois Hollande said Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine meant conditions were not right for delivery of the helicopter-carrier. He later said 'a ceasefire and a political settlement' should be in place before the deal could go ahead. Russia was expecting two Mistral ships -- the first one in October." (09/04/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29060398  

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The limitations of Barack Obama’s rhetorical repertoire

September 4, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Barack Obama is not good enough at making Americans feel angry and afraid. When he first ran for president, we were astounded at his rhetorical gifts, but in retrospect they seem so touchy-feely. He made his listeners feel things like hope, optimism, and inspiration. Which is all well and good, but a country that can't go more than a few years without invading somebody needs a leader who knows how to beat the war drums, get the blood pumping, ride his horse back and forth in front of the assembled troops and shout, 'This day, we fight!' Barack Obama is not that leader. He doesn't do anger and fear, probably because he tends not to get angry or afraid." (09/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj8kkb3  

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The end of history?

September 4, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Noam Chomsky  

"It is not pleasant to contemplate the thoughts that must be passing through the mind of the Owl of Minerva as the dusk falls and she undertakes the task of interpreting the era of human civilization, which may now be approaching its inglorious end. The era opened almost 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, stretching from the lands of the Tigris and Euphrates, through Phoenicia on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to the Nile Valley, and from there to Greece and beyond. What is happening in this region provides painful lessons on the depths to which the species can descend." (09/04/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17137/the_end_of_history  

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BP found “grossly negligent” in 2010 Gulf spill

September 4, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"BP Plc was 'grossly negligent' for its role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, a U.S. district judge said on Thursday in a ruling that could add billions of dollars in fines to the more than $42 billion in charges taken so far for the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history. Shares of BP traded in the United States fell 5 percent, or $2.40, to $45.31, eroding about $8.8 billion of its market value. BP shares traded in London closed down nearly 6 percent, the worst one day slide in more than four years." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p586e88  

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Mitch McConnell reveals his true colors

September 4, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel  

"A year ago, President Obama convulsed the White House Correspondents Dinner when he responded to complaints that he wasn’t meeting enough with the Republican leaders in the Congress: 'Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?' they ask. 'Really?' Obama asked the audience incredulously. ... The Kentucky senator, continuously partisan and mean spirited in public, earned the jab by leading a record number of filibusters as Senate minority leader during Obama’s tenure, forcing more than a quarter of all cloture votes in the history of the Senate since the beginning of the Republic." (09/04/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ltv8gwy  

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AIPAC’s fight against Iran diplomacy

September 4, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Ali Gharib  

"AIPAC works very hard to not appear as an overt opponent of Iran diplomacy. And with good reason: the growing party-line make-up of efforts to kill talks doesn’t fit with AIPAC’s professed bipartisanship. What’s more, the alternative to diplomacy is a path to confrontation with Iran, while unremitting hawkishness remains out of vogue among the American public. And yet members of Congress closest to AIPAC, such as Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), do seem to oppose diplomacy, comparing negotiations to 'Munich' at every turn." (09/02/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m539gyz  

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“No ransom” hostage policy: Our view

September 4, 2014
posted by

USA Today
by staff  

"'Kidnapping hostages is an easy spoil,' one al-Qaeda leader wrote to another in 2012, marveling over the amount of money terrorist groups can extort from the West with little effort. Indeed, al-Qaeda and its franchises have taken in more than $125 million in ransom since 2008, according to an estimate by The New York Times, including $66 million in the last year alone. The money makes terror groups bigger and more difficult to defeat -- and more likely to take additional hostages. This lesson is coming into acute focus at a time when the U.S. is confronting a vicious terror group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria." [editor's note: Yep, blowback is a bitch all right - SAT] (09/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kk7ee6p  

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US strategy vs. Islamic State: Better right than fast

September 3, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jim Gaines  

"In her recently published memoir Hard Choices, former Senator Hillary Clinton recounts the meeting, nine days after the election of 2008, when President-elect Barack Obama first asked her to be his secretary of state. He 'presented a well-considered argument,' she writes, 'explaining that he would have to concentrate most of his time and attention on the economic crisis and needed someone of stature to represent him abroad.' No doubt he meant that sincerely (the U.S. financial system was still deep in crisis), but in the context of events this summer, Obama’s assumption that he would be focused mainly on domestic concerns suggests how little even a president of the United States can claim control of world events." (09/02/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ohct3z3  

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Truck drivers draw the line: Treat employees as employees

September 3, 2014
posted by

Our Future    

"Imagine your boss suddenly told you that from now on you were going to be considered an independent contractor. You’d have to pay for your office space, supplies, and equipment. Your employer would deduct those expenses from your paycheck. And you’d have to pay all your payroll taxes, including your employer’s share. You’d also be responsible for doing whatever work your boss gave you, no matter how long it took, with no extra pay. That’s the situation most of the nation’s port truck drivers are in." (09/03/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nbytz4k  

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