School forces out girl, 8, because of “biblical standards”

By Christian Dem in NC Daily Kos member Surprised no one’s mentioned this, but a Christian school in Virginia is in the spotlight after all but forcing an eight-year-old student to leave because she looks like a boy.  Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle has had her hair cut short since she was five years old, and makes no secret she’s a tomboy.  Well, Sunnie’s appearance didn’t sit too well with administrators at Timberlake Christian School in Forest, near Lynchburg.  Last month, her grandparents pulled her out of school after she was told her appearance didn’t line up with “biblical standards.” “Sunnie realizes she’s a female, but she wants to do boy things,” said Doris Thompson, Kahle’s great-grandmother and legal guardian.  “She wants to play rough and tough.”Thompson has raised Kahle since she was an infant.  When she turned five, Thompson said she asked for a short hair cut. “She had hair down...

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Biden outlines benefits of raising the minimum wage in weekly address

By Susan Gardner There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty. Vice President Joe Biden stepped up to pinch hit for a traveling President Obama in this morning’s weekly address, taking his turn to make the case for a raise in the minimum wage, an administration focus for the past three weeks. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10, he said, would put a worker now living in poverty on 40 hours of work a week—an annual income of $14,500—into a bracket where with existing tax credits, a family of four would earn enough to move out of the poverty category. But it’s not only workers who would benefit, he argued. Business would too: There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less...

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States Pursue Tax Cuts as Recovery Takes Hold

  (AP) Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton use crutches at his first public appearance at the state Capitol in St. Paul, since undergoing hip surgery. He was there to press for tax cuts, as many other governors are doing.   By Elaine S. Povich, Stateline Staff Writer Maybe New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should borrow a pair of crutches. They might have helped Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s cause. Democrat Dayton hobbled into the state Capitol  five weeks after major hip surgery and blasted lawmakers for holding up the tax cuts he wanted. After quarrelling over his spending proposal, including a spat over funding for a new legislative office building, the Democratic-controlled legislature approved a $443 million tax cut, without the office building rider. Dayton pushed hard for the cuts, in part, because some are retroactive to 2013, meaning tax filers who are preparing returns now could take advantage of them and...

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Do corporations have religious freedom?

CHARLES C. HAYNES       DIRECTOR, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM EDUCATION PROJECT If you thought Citizens United — the 2010 Supreme Court decision upholding free-speech rights for corporations — was controversial, you haven’t seen anything yet. In March, the high court will hear arguments in two linked cases — Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius — that will require the justices to determine whether corporations have religious freedom rights under the First Amendment. At first blush, corporate religious freedom may strike many people as absurd. After all, as one judge put it, corporations “don’t pray, worship or observe sacraments.” But like most First Amendment conundrums, the questions raised by religious freedom claims from private businesses are complicated and contentious — and the answers will have profound implications for defining the future of religious liberty in America. Both cases before the Supreme Court involve challenges to a provision of the Affordable Care Act...

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2014 looks as bad for Democrats as 2012, and how did that year turn out?

By kos             Sen. Mitch McConnell’s majority isn’t a done deal, nor is his re-election. In 2012, conservatives were convinced a Senate takeover was in the cards. When Human Events last looked at the 35 states in which voters are choosing U.S. Senators this fall, we concluded that “Republicans are brimming with confidence about gaining at least the four seats they need” to turn the Senate’s present 53-to-47 seat Democratic edge into a GOP majority.Nearly four months later, that confidence has clearly grown. Of those 35 Senate races, eighteen can be considered truly competitive. The seats of all seven retiring Democratic senators are in that category: Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Jim Webb (Va.), and Herb Kohl (Wis.). In addition, no less than seven Democratic incumbent senators are facing spirited challenges from Republican opponents. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell...

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Deadly Driftnets Will Not Be Expanded Into Sea Turtle, Whale Habitat Off California Coast

SACRAMENTO, CA.— In an important victory for wildlife, federal fishery managers in Sacramento today decided not to expand driftnet fishing into protected sea turtle habitat along the California coast because it would significantly raise the risk of capturing and drowning endangered sea turtles and sperm whales. Instead the Pacific Fishery Management Council called for immediate action to impose strong whale-protection regulations on the driftnet fleet that expired in January 2014 and to test lower bycatch fishing gears for catching swordfish. But it took no action on ending the use of driftnets along the California coast. “Finally, sea turtles and whales are getting a little help, instead of more fishing threats,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network. “Yet the driftnets will still be out on the water as usual this year, needlessly capturing and killing ocean wildlife. After decades of this, we were hoping for more.”...

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On This Day, March 29, 1979 – JFK Death Ruled a Conspiracy

1979 – The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of  President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.  Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy Agencies and departments of the U.S. Government performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of...

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Federal Court Upholds Texas Attack on Women’s Right to Choose

Appeals court decision will allow state to maintain law that has forced one-third of clinics that provide abortions and other health services for women     – Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld controversial portions of a Texas law that reproductive rights groups and civil liberty advocates say strips women of their constitutional right to have an abortion while restricting access to other health services across the state. The ruling, made by the 3-judge panel of New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, upholds the portion of the law known as HB2, passed by the Texas legislature last year amid loud protest from women across the state, that requires doctors who provide abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. This requirement, however, directly harms women’s health and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, according to leading medical associations like the American...

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Canada’s Harper Seizes Crimean Crisis to Sell Tar Sands and Fracked Gas to Europe

Published by Council of Canadians blog by  Stewart Trew Western leaders meeting in The Hague this week for a nuclear summit considered new measures, including new sanctions, against Russia in response to Putin’s annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine. According to the Globe and Mail, Prime Minister Harper “has singled out the prospect of sanctions against Russia’s energy industry, which would likely entail curtailing the ability of Canadians – and those in other G7 countries – from doing petroleum-related business with Russians.” Harper told media it was “conceivable” that such a move would benefit Canadian energy exports but that his government’s policy has always been to promote oil and gas sector interests when travelling anywhere and, we should add, especially in Europe. For example, Canadian government lobbying has helped stall a European fuel quality policy that would have restricted or blocked imports of tar sands-derived transport fuels because...

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Anti-Gun Senator Charged With Trafficking Illegal, Black-Market Guns

By MBD March 28, 2014 You may not like guns, or you may think they’re just the thing to keep everyone safe. One thing that almost everyone can agree on is that the illegal black-market sale of guns poses a serious problem for society. Felons, prohibited from purchasing legal firearms often turn to the black-market for unregulated weapons. One should expect a senator known for his anti-gun positions to at least be consistent in opposing both legal and illegal guns. That’s not the case, however, with Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who was recently charged with corruption and trafficking illegal guns. It seems that the California state senator with outspoken views about guns, only has a problem with legal guns, not illegal ones. Legal guns, it serves to reason, cut into his black-market trade of unregulated, illegal guns. Yee was arrested on Wednesday, booked and charged with illegally trafficking...

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Out-of-context joke sparks Twitter campaign to cancel Colbert

By Laura Clawson Daily Kos A Thursday tweet from @ColbertReport showed the dangers of taking satire out of context and having the Twitter feed for a television show not actually run by anyone associated with the show. As a result, #CancelColbert ended up trending on Twitter. On Wednesday night, discussing Washington NFL team owner Dan Snyder’s foundation to “help” Native Americans even as he refuses to change his team’s offensive name, Colbert said: “Folks, this move by Dan Snyder inspires me, because my show has frequently come under attack for having a so-called offensive mascot. My beloved character Ching-Chong Ding-Dong . . . the point is, offensive or not — not — Ching-Chong is part of the unique heritage of the Colbert Nation that cannot change. But I’m willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitive to Orientals or Whatever.” Guess...

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Georgians can soon take guns to taverns and airports, but not into the building where law was passed

by Meteor Blades Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords calls just-passed Georgia legislation “the most extreme gun bill in America.” That is a bit of stretch given that Wyoming, Arizona, Vermont, Arkansas and Alaska require no permit for any resident who chooses to carry a concealed firearm. But if, or rather when, Gov. Nathan Deal signs HB 60 passed just before the Georgia legislature adjourned for the year this week, the Peach State will definitely have one of the most relaxed environments for gun-toters in the nation. When all the adjusting and reconciling between measures in the Georgia House and Senate had been achieved and the bill finally passed, cheers went up from gun rights advocates inside and outside the legislature. The National Rifle Association, which lobbied heavily for an even tougher version of the law, called it “a historic victory for the Second Amendment.” The association wasn’t alone: “For the...

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Faith Leaders Call On NY Legislature To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

 Posted by Johnny Green on March 27, 2014 at 7:13 AM  Medical Marijuana Policy Yesterday, dozens of patients, caregivers and healthcare providers travelled from all corners of New York – including Buffalo, Long Island, Syracuse, Hudson Valley, and New York City – to call on the Senate to pass the comprehensive medical marijuana proposal known as Compassionate Care Act. The Compassionate Care Act would allow seriously ill New Yorkers access to medical marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. The bill has passed the Assembly four times, was included in the Assembly’s budget proposal, and has strong bi-partisan support in the Senate. But senate leaders have refused to let the bill come up for a vote. Patients and caregivers were joined by faith leaders who called on senate to stop delaying to show the sick suffering some compassion and mercy. “As a Bishop and spiritual caregiver in New...

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Drug Dogs Most Likely To Err In Traffic Stop Scenarios

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Dogs trained to detect the presence of illegal drugs are most likely to provide false alerts in situations involving the search of a motor vehicle, according to the findings of a study published online in the journal Forensic Science International. A team of researchers from the United States and Poland assessed the ability of trained drug sniffing dogs to accurately detect the presence controlled substances – including marijuana, hashish, amphetamines, cocaine and heroin – in various environments. Dogs were most likely to correctly identify the presence of contraband, particularly marijuana, during searches of individual rooms. If the dog had previous exposure to the room prior to the search, it was least likely to provide a false alert (83 percent correct identifications versus 10 percent false alerts). Dogs were far less reliable in scenarios designed to mimic real-world traffic stops. In situations where dogs accessed the perimeter...

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Doctor Visit Shows Why Repubs Want Us Broke or Dead

By UntyingTheNot I went to the doctor for the first time in five years today. Although I’m young, I had neglected a couple of health issues for at least a year. I couldn’t afford care and was left hoping none of them developed into anything more serious. As a small business owner who narrowly missed the threshold for buying on the exchanges, I’m enrolled in Medicaid for this year until I can bump my income up a bit. The day my confirmation of benefits and card came was among the best of my life. I nearly broke down in tears. But that isn’t what this diary is about. Today, I went to the doctor for the first time in five years and saw first hand why Republicans have fought tooth and nail for a system that was so broken for every single stakeholder – except the insurers and the...

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Praise Jesus! Maryland court rules against religion!

By Timaeus Daily Kos In a federal lawsuit in which I am the first plaintiff, a federal judge has just ordered the Commissioners of Carroll County, Maryland not to mention Jesus (or any other deity) in prayers at the opening of public meetings of the board. I live in Carroll County, Maryland, a beautiful, rural county about 40 miles northwest of Baltimore, touching the Pennsylvania state line.  My wife and I have a small farm with a horse and donkeys, etc., and an office building in a nearby small town. We are religious Roman Catholics.  We go to church almost every Sunday and contribute to the church (and our community) in many ways. Maryland is a strong blue state, but Carroll County is as red as it gets.  In 2010, the county switched from 3 commissioners at-large to 5 commissioners, each representing a district of the county.  Five Republicans...

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On This Day, March 28, 1979 – Three Mile Island melts down

1979 – A major accident occurred at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. A nuclear power reactor overheated and suffered a partial meltdown.  The Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) reactor, near Middletown, Pa., partially melted down on March 28, This was the most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history. The accident began about 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, when the plant experienced a failure in the secondary, non-nuclear section of the plant (one of two reactors on the site). Either a mechanical or electrical failure prevented the main feedwater pumps from sending water to the steam generators that remove heat from the reactor core. This caused the plant’s turbine-generator and then the reactor itself to automatically shut down. Immediately, the pressure in the primary system (the nuclear portion of the plant) began to increase. In order to control that pressure, the...

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Why Wu-Tang Clan Will Sell Only a Single Copy of Their New Album

By MBD   The new Wu Tang Clan hip hop album “The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” has stunned the world. That’s not because of the content of the lyrics, or the sound itself, but because the group has announced that it will only press and sell a single copy of the highly anticipated album. The album is said to be housed in a silver-and-nickel engraved box, just outside of Marrakech, Morocco, hidden away in a vault housed beneath the shadow of the Atlas Mountains. The eccentric container was itself handcrafted for the specific purpose of housing the album, crafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya.  Yahya’s works have been commissioned by no less notables than royal families and business leaders from around the world. The price tag for the album and it’s housing will be well up in the multimillion-dollar range.  “We’re...

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Republican Senator wants U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan, even without bilateral agreement

By Laurence Lewis Friends don’t let idiots play foreign policy: During a visit to Afghanistan, Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a Republican, stressed that no American forces would remain in the country without a bilateral security agreement, but also said Obama should not wait for that to give an idea of what the US presence would look like after the Nato-led combat mission ends at the end of this year.”I believe that it is time for our president to do this so that the people of Afghanistan understand that we remain committed in Afghanistan,” Ayotte said, stressing that any post-2014 force would be contingent on the pact being signed. “He can no longer delay this decision.” Which makes perfect sense. Just because Afghanistan hasn’t signed an agreement on a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan shouldn’t stop the U.S. from announcing the levels of its continuing U.S. military...

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As predicted, Obamacare approval is climbing

By Jon Perr Earlier this week, Republicans politicians and pundits, bloggers and bosses couldn’t contain their glee over a spate of polls showing the public’s disapproval for the Affordable Care Act. But as I warned just yesterday, Obamacare’s conservative saboteurs might soon contract a severe case of premature elation. After all, the experience of President Bush’s badly bungled Medicare Part D prescription drug plan showed that fear of the unknown and a calamitous launch faded over time as the program took root. And so it is—just 24 hours later—that the Kaiser Family Foundation is reporting a significant increase in support for the Affordable Care Act, most importantly among those currently uninsured. For most of the past four years, KFF polling on Obamacare among all adults was little changed (see chart at end). But the botched website launch in October produced plummeting approval numbers. In January, opposition among all respondents...

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