PND Commentary

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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Lessig would use a scalpel where a machete is needed

September 3, 2015
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Chad Nelson  

"Lessig, like so many other well-intentioned campaign finance reformists, mistakes the symptom for the disease. While campaign donations are little more than thinly-veiled bribery, they're only the product of much deeper problem -- that of political authority. Without political authority, the billions paid by corporate leaches to their public stooges would have little practical effect. It is the ability of the political class to implement the dictates of their wealthy benefactors that makes campaign donations so profitable. Absent the force of the law backing blatant corporate handouts like the Drug War, intellectual property, perpetual warfare, and a giant banking cartel, American taxpayers would simply not stand by as their looted incomes fund these monstrosities." (09/03/15)

https://c4ss.org/content/40160  

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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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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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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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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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Why law enforcement professionals should support CalECPA

September 3, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Dave Maass  

"Currently, the law and court rulings have generated a lot of complexity about when a warrant is required for digital records, particularly those held by third party online services, such as Google or Twitter. Some companies say that they require a warrant for data. Others do not. S.B. 178 would create a unified standard across the state, allowing investigators to know exactly what they need to do to get the information they need. With a clearly defined law, investigators can be more confident that they followed due process when they bring a case against a suspect." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oezbo3j  

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Another disappointing circuit court ruling on off-campus high school speech

September 3, 2015
posted by

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon  

"Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit became the most recent of the federal circuit courts to expand the power of secondary schools to punish students for their off-campus Internet speech. In an en banc decision in Bell v. Itawamba County School Board, the Fifth Circuit took a significant bite out of students' First Amendment rights outside the schoolhouse gates. The decision sets a disappointing precedent that will not only impact students in elementary, junior high, and high school, but could very well leak onto college campuses. The case began in 2011 after Taylor Bell, a high school senior in Itawamba County, Mississippi, posted a rap song he had written and recorded to his Facebook page and later to YouTube, outside of school hours and away from school grounds." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odaltxg  

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Why do evangelicals support Donald Trump?

September 3, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Jonathan Merritt  

"Donald Trump is immodest, arrogant, foul-mouthed, money-obsessed, thrice-married, and until recently, pro-choice. By conventional standards, evangelical Christians should despise him. Yet somehow, the Manhattan billionaire has attracted their support. ... 'Why do they love me?' Trump replied when asked about the trend. 'You'll have to ask them. But they do. They do love me.' It's rare that the real estate mogul struggles to find an explanation, but in this instance, his puzzlement is understandable. There is little about The Donald that would seem to align with evangelicals' values and beliefs. But when it comes to the famously coifed candidate, the faithful seem to be valuing style over substance or spirituality." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/poyvx3t  

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Is Obama the worst president ever?

September 3, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dave Lindorff  

"He started out, campaigning in 2008, as someone would would restore the rule of law in US international affairs and here at home after eight years of criminality during the Bush and Cheney administration, as saying he would end America's wars and bring back an era of international cooperation and negotiation, and as saying that he would confront the dire threat of global climate change. On the basis of that promise, he won a dramatic election victory, raising hopes across the country and across many voting blocks. On that basis, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize -- the first time the award was given before anything had been done by the laureate being honored. And on the basis of that promise, people expected action on climate change. Instead, the president began backpedaling almost instantly." (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odzyzzl  

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David Petraeus’s bright idea: Give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists

September 3, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by Trevor Timm  

"The latest brilliant plan to curtail Isis in the Middle East? Give more weapons to current members of al-Qaida. The Daily Beast reported that former CIA director David Petraeus, still somehow entrenched in the DC Beltway power circles despite leaking highly classified secrets, is now advocating arming members of the al-Nusra Front in Syria, an offshoot of al-Qaida and a designated terrorist organization. Could there be a more dangerous and crazy idea?" (09/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvdtkde  

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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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The plot against Planned Parenthood and John Boehner

September 3, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Russell Berman  

"In 2013, John Boehner gave in to Senator Ted Cruz and his conservative allies in the House, and the government shut down for two weeks in a failed fight over Obamacare. A year ago, Boehner and Mitch McConnell succeeded in twice putting off a losing battle over immigration until after they could wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats. With federal funding set to expire on September 30, conservatives are once again demanding a standoff that Boehner and McConnell are hell-bent on avoiding. This time around, the issue that might prevent an orderly -- if temporary -- extension of funding is Planned Parenthood." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4q4pzb  

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The League of Empire

September 2, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ron Jacobs  

"Despite the myths we are fed about it being about freedom and democracy, when considering the First World War, it is easy to see it as a battle among colonial powers for supremacy. Likewise, the negotiations after the end of hostilities were merely a continuation of those battles, with the victorious powers forcing the losing nations to accept their terms for the division of the spoils. Simultaneously, however, was a desire by some men in the halls of power for a new institution whose purpose would be the peaceful resolution of rivalries like those that led to the war. It was from this desire that the League of Nations was created." (09/02/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/02/the-league-of-empire/  

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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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The New York Times’s latest false equivalence: The Gray Lady blows it on the “Ferguson effect”

September 2, 2015
posted by

Salon
by Elias Isquith  

"There's no proof that mainstream America's newfound concern over police brutality has anything to do with more murders. And the Times says that 'experts' in the field of law enforcement find the theory to be without evidence. It's no more supported by facts than the idea that the breakup of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner has sent an untold number of Americans into a state of violent, nihilistic depression. Yet for some reason, the Times -- to its shame -- decides to throw the idea into the mix nevertheless. ... it's conceivable that someone might read the above and think my criticism is overwrought. After all, doesn't the Times not-so-subtly suggest that the so-called Ferguson effect is all so much bullshit? Yes, it does. But the point is that the Times shouldn't bother to include such dangerous nonsense in the first place, regardless of whether or not it ultimately attempts to undermine it. You don't get credit for disputing a conspiracy theory if you're the one who raised it in the first place." (09/02/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj868nq  

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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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Why shouldn’t copyright be infinite?

September 2, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Maira Sutton  

"If an 11-note sequence counts as infringement, how much do modern artists owe Pachelbel's descendants? The four-chord sequence making up the core of his Canon in D has been repeated in dozens, if not hundreds, of subsequent songs. Should evidence produced by Australia's Axis of Awesome be used in copyright lawsuits by anyone who can document that, ten generations back, Johann Pachelbel was a great-great-grandfather? It seems absurd. Even from the perspective of a profit-seeking artist, copyright is a double-edged sword. Stronger copyright both increases the rewards from having produced a piece of work and increases the cost of creating new works." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8hj544  

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Politics 2016: Who will stand up to the War Party?

September 2, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"For anyone with hopes of changing our foreign policy of relentless aggression, the presidential candidates now parading their wares before the public are truly a depressing sight. The Republicans are vying with one another for the 'honor' of being the most warlike, and even Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) -- son of the resolutely anti-interventionist Ron Paul, surely one of the most effective and militant critics of American foreign policy -- has joined in the contest. All the GOPers have taken aim at President Obama's deal with Iran: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, two of the loudest, are organizing a September 9 rally on Capitol Hill opposing the agreement. On the Democratic side of the aisle, the picture doesn't look much better." (09/02/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/09/01/the-test-of-war/  

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Religious liberty: Some unsolicited career advice for Kim Davis

September 2, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Religious liberty is an important thing. Important enough, I think, that we shouldn't willfully twist its meaning. No, religious liberty does not entitle Kim Davis to a continuing government position with a very nice paycheck for declining to do the job she was elected to do and promised to do. Kim Davis is not a martyr for religious freedom. She's a layabout, a no-show, collecting a paycheck for work she refuses to do." (09/01/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/2826  

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Hillary Clinton’s emails: Why it doesn’t matter what’s in them

September 2, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Paul Goldman  

"The State Department released a new batch of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails Monday evening, totaling many thousands of pages. Her defenders will be searching through the electronic missives to find vindication, her critics parsing every key stroke to prove wronging, at least politically. The former first lady's strongest backers, aligned with the Democratic Party, believe the email controversy is based on partisanship, not principle. They believe she is being subjected to a double standard. Her most dogged attackers, aligned with the Republican Party, say the real truth is the opposite, that she is the one benefiting from a double standard, claiming anyone else would have been forced to quit the presidential race. What then is the truth about her emails?" (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqgwm9h  

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Bernie Sanders lays down 2016’s new electoral math

September 2, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"Democratic candidates for president flew to the Twin Cities last week to make their pitches to members of the Democratic National Committee. They did not come to debate (a missed opportunity highlighted by Martin O’Malley, in a fiery speech decrying the DNC’s constricted debate schedule) but to sell themselves to the men and women who devote their waking hours to figuring out how to elect Democrats. For Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and a veteran of DNC gatherings going back to the 1970s, the point of the visit was to reinforce traditional understandings of electability. For Bernie Sanders, a longtime independent who has emerged as Clinton’s most serious challenger for the party’s 2016 nod, the point was to expand the understanding of who is and who might be electable." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ouasgx5  

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