The Tea Party is livid about our purported “loss of freedom”. But … we haven’t lost any freedoms under Obama. (Except fake freedoms like the freed to get a tan without paying a 10% tax.)
At least, most of us haven’t lost any freedoms. If you’re Hispanic and in Arizona, you’re likely to be stopped and interrogated by the police for looking insufficiently white. But that’s not Obama’s fault. And that doesn’t seem to bother the Tea Partiers.
A federal appeals court has certified the largest class-action employment lawsuit in U.S. history, in a long-standing dispute against retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over alleged gender bias in pay and promotions.
t issue is whether more than a million current and former Wal-Mart employees can band together in their claims of discrimination, which they say has occurred over the past decade, at least.
The plaintiffs allege that women were paid less than, and were given fewer opportunities for promotion than, their male counterparts. They seek back pay and punitive damages against the world’s largest retailer.
The lawsuit alleges that the company’s “strong, centralized structure fosters or facilitates gender stereotyping and discrimination.”
The workers bringing suit also say women make up more than 70 percent of Wal-Mart’s hourly work force but in the past decade made up less than one-third of its store management.
About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.
A third pillar of the reform effort draws a more even split: 43 percent support federal regulation of the derivatives market; 41 percent are opposed. Nearly one in five - 17 percent - express no opinion on this complicated topic.
But compared with congressional Republicans, Obama has a clear advantage. A slim majority - 52 percent - of all Americans says they trust Obama over the GOP on the issue, while 35 percent favor the Republicans in Congress. Independents prefer Obama 47 to 35 percent, with 16 percent trusting neither side on the issue.
During a question and answer session, Eugene City Councilwoman Jennifer Solomon read a pre-screened question from the audience about her role at Fox News. Palin said she was proud to be a part of Fox News for being “fair and balanced.”
She also praised Fox host Glenn Beck and said with “his chalkboard technique he’s changing our country.”
Journalists who covered Friday’s speech were subject to strict restrictions from the Palin camp. No cameras or recording devices of any kind were allowed and reporters were only allowed to watch the speech on a video feed in an adjacent room. Speech organizers provided one photo of the event taken by a hired photographer.
American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) angrily withdrew his support for climate legislation this weekend after learning that Harry Reid and President Obama apparently want to move on immigration reform first. Since Graham himself has been pushing the administration to get more serious about immigration, charges of hypocrisy popped up almost immediately.
[L]et’s be honest here: this really does seem more like a political exercise to firm up the Hispanic vote than a serious effort to deliver a major immigration bill this year, doesn’t it? It’s possible that Graham’s defection from the climate bill is cynically motivated too, but that only means that both sides are playing politics.
When a minor F0 tornado hit a church where gay rights activists had met last summer, Baptist preacher John Piper promptly wrote a 625-word essay explaining to his followers how the tornado was the expression of God’s wrath against gay people. Piper declared that “Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados,” that God will exclude gay people from His Kingdom, and that the tornado was “firm warning” for gay people to stop their fornication. He particularly singled out the Lutheran Church for condemnation; a local Lutheran church’s steeple was cracked by the minor tornado, and Piper cited this as evidence for the religiously incorrect nature of the Lutheran Church’s allowance for gay congregants.
Today, a powerful tornado hit Mississippi with “utter obliteration,” as the Governor of Mississippi put it. Six people were killed. The tornado tore through and destroyed the Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Three of its crosses were broken apart, and Bibles were blown to the wind.
In the wake of this second tornado, Baptist preacher John Piper has issued no reminders that “Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados.” John Piper hasn’t made any claims about this stronger, more deadly, massively destructive tornado being the instrument of God’s wrath against the sinful and religiously incorrect Baptist church.
When Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman release their climate bill on Monday, they expect to have the backing of three of the five major oil companies.
Kerry outlined specific details from the bill that have not previously been publicly available. Here’s a rundown:
The bill would remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act, and the states’ authority to set tougher emissions standards than the federal government.
There will be no fee—or “gas tax”—on transportation fuels. Instead, oil companies would also be required to obtain pollution permits but will not trade them on the market like other polluters. How this would work is not yet clear.
Agriculture would be entirely exempt from the cap on carbon emissions.
Manufacturers would not be included under a cap on greenhouse gases until 2016.
The bill would provide government-backed loan guarantees for the construction of 12 new nuclear power plants.
It will contain at least $10 billion to develop technologies to capture and store emissions from coal-fired power plants.
There will be new financial incentives for natural gas.
The bill would place an upper and lower limit on the price of pollution permits, known as a hard price collar. Businesses like this idea because it ensures a stable price on carbon. Environmental advocates don’t like the idea because if the ceiling is set too low, industry will have no financial incentive to move to cleaner forms of energy.
The energy bill passed by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year will be adopted in full. This measure has sparked concerns among environmentalists for its handouts to nuclear and fossil fuel interests.
Let’s teach those Pakistanis that we’re not going to tolerate their lawless and tyrannical detention of people without charges and trials. We won’t put up with it. Especially not when it’s “justified” with the Orwellian claim that their real civilian courts can’t handle the prosecutions and they’re “afraid” that Dangerous Terrorists might be released if they give them due process because they’re unprosecutable. Kudos to the Obama administration for teaching them that countries that live under the Rule of Law simply don’t deny people trials based on such excuses. It’d be one thing if they were assassinating these people without any charges or trials — that, of course, would be understandable — but not detaining them. We’re the Leader of the Free World and we simply can’t be seen associating with or supporting regimes that would do such a thing. Besides, unlike the U.S., it’s not like Pakistan really faces an Existential Threat from Islamic radicals or anything, so (unlike us) they really have no acceptable excuse for doing these things.
Senate Republicans introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would make Minnesota the first state to require a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature to approve federal laws affecting the state. “Minnesotans enjoy inherent, natural, God-given rights,” the bill states, and “Citizens of Minnesota are sovereign individuals, subject to Minnesota law and immune from any federal laws that exceed the federal government’s enumerated constitutional powers.”
The bill was introduced by state Sens. Mike Parry of Waseca, Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria, and David Hann of Eden Prairie, and is a companion to a House bill introduced by Reps. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Bruce Anderson of Buffalo, and Tom Emmer of Delano last month.
“If a radical homegrown terrorist group attacked the United States, following after the example of Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City, it would be horrible, outrageous. If Al Qaeda managed to attack us again, killing thousands of people, the nation would be devastated, saddened and enraged. However neither of these terrible events would affect the existence of America. Big government, on the other hand, is set on destroying the individual on which America is built.”—American Family Association: Government is more dangerous than al Qaeda, Tim McVeigh’s terrorism.
“Not all bubbleheads, as submariners are commonly known, are convinced. Of all the pending changes, the introduction of women seems to be igniting the strongest reactions, according to interviews with active-duty and veteran sailors. The complaints often fall into two categories: first, that female sailors will invariably become pregnant, potentially compromising missions during which submarines can remain submerged for months at a time; and second, that submarines are not built for the mixing of the sexes, given the tight passageways, shared berths and lack of privacy.”—Plans to allow women and gays, ban smoking shake world of Navy submarines
“Republicans have continued their push to pass a bill that would replace President Ulysses S. Grant on fifty dollar bill with Ronald Reagan, but a new Marist poll found that people not only dislike the idea, but reject it soundly. 79% of those surveyed replied that they do not want Ronald Reagan’s smiling mug on their money. Most surprisingly, 71% of Republicans did not like the idea either.”—79% of Americans Don’t Want Ronald Reagan on Their Money
The Oklahoma Senate approved several bills Monday that opponents say would make it more difficult or uncomfortable for women to get abortions, including one that would require women seeking the procedures early in their pregnancies to undergo an invasive form of ultrasound.
One of the laws headed to the governor would require doctors to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done.
"You’re going to force someone to undergo an invasive medical procedure," objected state Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, who voted against the bill. "You have to invasively put an instrument inside the woman. This could be your 15-year-old daughter who was raped."
At least three states require ultrasounds before all abortions, but no other states require vaginal ultrasounds or that doctors to describe the image to women.
State Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, who sponsored the ultrasound bill, said the goal was to provide women seeking an abortion with as much information possible before they had the procedure.
Google has a new service, but it won’t help you find pictures of Justin Bieber or stay in touch with friends. It’s a map that shows how many times governments around the world have contacted the company with requests—either to remove content or retrieve data about Google users.
Not every country is listed, but only one has its own color. That would be China, Google’s recent privacy nemesis. Clicking on China’s glaring red question mark brings up the following text: “Chinese officials consider censorship demands as state secrets, so we cannot disclose that information at this time.”
Both the national Democratic and Republican party committees spend about two-thirds of the money they take in on the care and comfort of committee staffs and on efforts to raise more funds, with lavish spending on limousines, expensive hotels, meals and tips, an analysis of the latest financial disclosure data shows.
Monthly committee spending reports, like those that were due by midnight Tuesday, illustrate cultures in which vast sums are consumed with limited accountability, a Washington Post review has found. Neither committee appears to have clear internal spending guidelines, and their reports do not explain hefty expenditures in categories such as “office supplies” and “tips” that consume tax-exempt party funds.
The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, in an analysis done at the request of The Post, calculated, however, that administrative and fundraising expenses consumed about $60 million of Democratic revenue in this cycle through the end of February, or 59 percent of total revenue that exceeded $100 million. For Republicans, the amount exceeded $74 million, or 68 percent of $109 million in revenue.
The two political committees are not typical nonprofit organizations, and such high spending for overhead is almost unheard of in the nonprofit world. A rule of thumb among nonprofits is that administrative and fundraising costs should consume no more than 20 to 25 percent of income.
"DS: In this nation we think we are free but you need a certificate to be born, a license to drive or permit to build, a number to get a job and even a paper after you die. These are permission slips from the terrorist organization called the New World Order. People in this nation as well as some around this world are waiting for those individuals like you see sitting in this room, we was supposed to be down there, to actually make the decision to go to war against the evil greedy New World Order. They need leaders who are not afraid to stand up and actually mean no more.
We are free and should not be afraid or ashamed to admit we are the American militia. We outnumber them. As long we let them terrorize any American through fear and intimidation, then they are winning this battle and we should step up to the fight that they have started and finish it. The people should not be afraid of their government, the government should fear the people. As we sit here, the New World Order continues to put all constitutional loving people in this nation onto their national criminal watch lists, just one more step toward, toward total control. But keep this in mind, they may have their lists, but we also, we are also making lists of these terrorists that are destroying our nation. They may think they are untouchable. They forget, they live in our neighborhoods. They shop at our grocery stores. They eat at our restaurants. We are the ones who control everything in this nation from preparing the food that they eat to running the power stations that they get their electric from to even maintaining the roads they drive down. We are everywhere and need to understand this for it is called America, land of the free. This is our home. We own it. Not them.
The whole nation has stood on one voice about no more Wacos but every day in this nation we see another Ruby Ridge or Pastor Steve Anderson traffic stop taking place. We can not allow this any more if we are serious about taking our nation back from the elitist New World Order. They are few in number. We are many. Every day we watch ever so close for those evil blue helmets to appear on our streets. But as long as their Interpol law enforcement mercenaries called The Brotherhood working for the New World Order are doing such a great job then we don’t need to watch for these foreign armies to come to our shores. They are already here. We need to actually stop and see who the enemy has hired to do the job of destroying what is left of our nation and our freedoms. This is our nation. Because of the American people sleeping at the wheel, we find ourselves with this mess. Its our cross to bear and we need to ask the simple question: How much longer are you going to put up with a foreign army controlling your streets and highways?
The Hutaree is not an ally with everyone across this nation but make no mistake about it, we will fight along side anyone that calls the New World Order, the enemy and sees them as terrorists as we do. I have heard that there are people out there looking for a single leader to lead them but that just makes for an easy target for these elitist terrorists. We have in place the perfect system: Many commanders with the same common enemy, with the same common goal, every nation without tyranny. In closing I want to say that we need to quit playing this game with these elitist terrorists and actually getserious because this war will come whether we are ready or not. As I stand here now, I say we will never be fully ready. It’s a major change of lifestyle. A war of this magnitude will not be easy but like the rattle snake on the Gadsden flag, we have rattled and warned the New World Order. Now it’s time to strike and take our nation back so that we may be free again from tyranny. Time is up. God bless all of you and welcome to the new revolution.”
Republican strategists see short-term advantages in the tea party movement’s passion. But if conservatives can’t wean themselves off of Cold-War-era rhetoric, they risk alienating an entire generation of young people. The tea party is well on its way to doing just that. A recent New York Times/CBS News survey found that three-quarters of the movement’s supporters were older than 45.
A year ago a Rasmussen Reports poll found that Americans under 30 are essentially equally divided on whether socialism or capitalism is a superior economic system.
“If you’re sitting at home in your undershirt, watching TV, worried about terrorism, and at the same time objecting to the person who’s putting their life on the line so that your family will be protected, then you’re the worst kind of fucking asshole there is.”—Seth MacFarlane on people who are against gays in the military (via enemyswim, equalitopia)
The House Education and Labor Committee is expected to take up the Employer Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the next several days and the bill will likely receive a quick vote in the full House in the coming weeks, Rep. Barney Frank (D-NY) told a group of gay activists on Sunday. “The speaker has promised that.” “We will get this done fairly quickly,” he said. The legislation — which has 199 co-sponsors in the House and 45 co-sponsors in the Senate — would make it illegal for private employers with more than 15 employees to fire, refuse to hire, or fail to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Religious organizations and non-profit membership-only clubs are exempt from the bill.
But as Congress prepares to move forward with the legislation, conservative activists are quickly mobilizing against it. Over the weekend, Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel and Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition warned attendees of the Freedom Federation’s Awakenings Conference that protecting transgendered individuals from discrimination would cause sexual assaults on disabled veterans and lead to the designation of sexual fetishes like “men that want to rub their bodies up and down women.”
The House of Representatives, in a stunning reversal, will not consider whether to give the District of Columbia full voting rights in Congress.
“The price was way too high,” explained House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in announcing the decision Tuesday.
The House had been expected to begin a historic vote and debate on whether Washington would get a voting member of Congress. Currently, the city is represented by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who can vote in committees but not on the floor.
Hoyer would not specifically say what changed his mind. But liberals were objecting to a deal that would have attached a provision rolling back the city’s tough curbs on gun ownership. Senate legislation last year attached that amendment.
Others, though, were wary of a deal that would have also created another House seat for Utah, one of the country’s most Republican states. Washington has a population of 600,000 that is nearly 55 percent African-American and is heavily Democratic.
“I mean, let’s face it, what’s the Obama administration doing? They’re advocating net neutrality which is essentially censorship of the Internet. This is the Obama administration advocating censorship of the Internet. Why? They want to silence the voices that are opposing them.”—
“The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen,” Chomsky went on. “Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”
“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope. The CIO was organizing. No one wants to say it anymore but the Communist Party was the spearhead for labor and civil rights organizing. Even things like giving my unemployed seamstress aunt a week in the country. It was a life. There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”
To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video:
We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.
We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to the your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.
There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.
We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.
We acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your loved ones as we tell Americans what we were trained to do and what we carried out in the name of “god and country”. The soldier in the video said that your husband shouldn’t have brought your children to battle, but we are acknowledging our responsibility for bringing the battle to your neighborhood, and to your family. We did unto you what we would not want done to us.
More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.
Our government may ignore you, concerned more with its public image. It has also ignored many veterans who have returned physically injured or mentally troubled by what they saw and did in your country. But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation’s leaders no longer represent us. Our secretary of defense may say the U.S. won’t lose its reputation over this, but we stand and say that our reputation’s importance pales in comparison to our common humanity.
We have asked our fellow veterans and service-members, as well as civilians both in the United States and abroad, to sign in support of this letter, and to offer their names as a testimony to our common humanity, to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation’s leaders, and to extend our hands to you.
With such pain, friendship might be too much to ask. Please accept our apology, our sorrow, our care, and our dedication to change from the inside out. We are doing what we can to speak out against the wars and military policies responsible for what happened to you and your loved ones. Our hearts are open to hearing how we can take any steps to support you through the pain that we have caused.
Obama promised to transcend America’s troubled racial past and the culture wars of the 1960s. Clegg promises to make the drivers of night buses let you get off between stops, and to refund VAT to mountain rescue services. (Oh, and cut taxes on low earners, break up the banks, and scrap the Trident replacement.) From Yeovil to Cornwall, from northern Bristol to certain areas of Surrey, there is a frisson, a whisper of possibility: Yes, we can. Well, maybe. And probably not, actually, because of the first-past-the-post voting system. And yet you can feel it in the air: the fierce urgency of Nick; the audacity of Clegg.