UN Report: New US War in Iraq and Syria Attracting Jihadists in Droves

Analysis suggests “explosion of jihadist enthusiasm” has followed aggressive military action by US and its allies by Jon Queally – A report by the United Nations, obtained by the Guardian newspaper, reveals that foreign jihadist fighters are flocking to battlefields in Iraq and Syria on an “unprecedented scale” since the United States and other allies began a wave of military operations in those countries over the last several months. According to the Guardian’s Spencer Ackermann, the UN report finds that 15,000 people have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside theIslamic State (Isis) and similar extremist groups. They come from more than 80 countries, the report states, “including a tail of countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaida”. The UN said it was uncertain whether al-Qaida would benefit from the surge. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida who booted Isis out of his organisation, “appears to be...

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Three Days In Nashville Talking To Southern Baptists About Homosexuality

by  ZACK FORD – The Southern Baptist Convention is the U.S.’s largest Christian denomination after the Catholic Church, with some 16 million members and over 45,000 congregations, concentrated mostly in the South. This week in Nashville, the Convention’s public policy arm, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), hosted its first-ever national conference, focusing on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage,” and ThinkProgress was there. The Convention’s theology on homosexuality has not changed. The Bible, as they read it, declares homosexual behavior to be sexual immorality, and there was no debate about this tenet among any of the religious leaders who spoke at the conference. But the world has changed in its understanding and acceptance of people with same-sex orientations, and the Convention has been affected by these changes. The conversations this week indicated new ways that these evangelical Christians are working to negotiate their beliefs. If someone...

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Canadian National Security Bill May Curtail Civil Liberties, Watchdogs Warn

‘We must uphold these fundamental rights that lie at the heart of Canada’s democracy,’ privacy commissioners say by Deirdre Fulton – In the wake of last week’s attacks that killed two soldiers in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, privacy watchdogs fear that calls to expand the powers of Canadian police and intelligence agencies in the name of national security will curb personal freedoms. The Conservative government on Monday unveiled a new bill—Bill C-44, or the ‘Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act’—to beef up eavesdropping and data collection powers as well as protection for secret agents. Among other things, the bill gives the Canadian Security Intelligence System (CSIS) more powers of surveillance and extends explicit authority to Canada’s spy agency to operate “within or outside Canada.” This would allow the agency to share information on suspected Canadian terrorists abroad with members of the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ group of countries—the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand....

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House Republicans Suffer Another Blow To Their Anti-Obama Lawsuit As Second Law Firm Backs Out

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – House Republicans just can’t catch a break lately. After cowardly delaying their lawsuit against President Obama until after Election Day, the GOP has now lost their second law firm. Apparently, the lawsuit is just so politically toxic that no law firm dares to touch it, not to mention the fact that no attorney wants to be laughed out of court. And so, William A. Burck and his law firm Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, and Sullivan have decided that House Republicans and their frivolous lawsuit is no longer worth the time, effort, and money to litigate. This is the second law firm to quit on the House GOP since they voted to approve of the lawsuit in July. Will Republicans take the hint already and drop their case? Of course not. Boehner toady Kevin Smith said in an email that Republicans will continue their lawsuit and accused...

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Ten Things You Should Know Before Voting (Or Deciding Not To)

by John Atcheson – For going on 30 years now, politicians in general and Republicans in particular, have been using a variety of wag-the-dog issues based on fear, bigotry, and hatred to distract, deceive, or inflame voters. The end game is ignorance – not stupidity, but lack of awareness or knowledge – of how badly they are screwing us. Let’s look at some of the scare tactics they’re using and some of the truths they’re desperately trying to hide. 1.) Ebola is a bogyeman: The press, pundits and conservatives are brandishing Ebola like an all-purpose bogeyman to stoke up fear, to assign blame, and to distract the electorate.  Congressional Republicans even had a hearing in which they blamed Obama for Ebola.  Really, they did.  The irony is, without budget cuts from Republicans, it is likely that we would have a vaccine for Ebola on hand by now, according to the head...

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Lawsuit Aims to Break Arizona’s Secrecy Over Experimental Lethal Injections

Media outlets charge public has “right” to know how state is conducting executions, following man’s prolonged and grisly death at hands of Arizona authorities by Sarah Lazare – Major media organizations have levied a federal lawsuit to force Arizona to break its secrecy around lethal injections by revealing the drugs and processes used to kill people, because the public has the “right” to know. “By withholding information about the source, composition, and quality of the drugs it uses for lethal injection executions, as well as the qualifications of those chosen to administer the drugs, the State of Arizona has closed critical governmental proceedings that have historically been open to the public and undermined the public’s ability to ensure the positive functioning of government,” reads the complaint, which was filed on behalf of the Guardian, the Associated Press, and major Arizona news outlets—the Arizona Republic,KPNX-TV Channel 12, KPHO Broadcasting Corporation, and the Arizona...

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Heading into Midterms, Americans Still as Bummed Out as They Were in 2012, 2010

by DREW DESILVER – With Election Day fast approaching, Americans are feeling somewhat better this year about the national economy than they were the past two election cycles — a sentiment borne out by improvements in several key indicators. But by many other measures, their collective mood hasn’t really improved. Fact Tank dug through the Pew Research Center survey archives to compare public sentiment about the economy and elected leaders today with the same metrics at comparable periods before the federal elections of 2012 and 2010. Here’s a rundown of what we learned: More people are feeling positively about the U.S. economy, though that isn’t saying much. In the most recent Pew Research Center poll from earlier this month, 21% described the economy as “excellent” or “good,” well ahead of sentiment in October 2010 (8%) and September 2012 (13%). Not only has unemployment fallen from 9.5% in September 2010 (the last reading...

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The Terrible Ordeal One Texas Man Went Through Just To Learn He Wouldn’t Be Able To Vote

by  IAN MILLHISER – Texan Eric Kennie has voted in every single general election since his 18th birthday — his parents raised him to understand the importance of the right to vote for African Americans like himself. Yet Kennie will not be voting in next week’s election. He can’t, thanks to Texas’s new voter ID law. The details of the ordeal Kennie faced in order to exercise his right to vote is chronicled in a must-read piece by the Guardian‘s Ed Pilkington. Because Kennie doesn’t drive, he doesn’t have a driver’s license. That not only means that he lacks one of the few forms of ID Texas will accept at the polls, it also means that he has no easy way to bring himself to the government office that issues IDs to people in his position. Instead, he spent four hours per round trip, transferring to three different buses along...

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Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Being Exposed in Investigation

By Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos – Back in 2011, Armando Gutierrez was heading to Las Vegas with friends and close to $5000 in cash from his tax refund. Gutierrez was pulled over by sheriff’s deputy Charley Armendariz. Deputy Charley Armendariz found that the driver and another passenger had a small amount of pot and spotted nearly $5,000 in the glove box. He seized the money and arrested Gutierrez for having an outstanding warrant for fishing without a license, the police report said. Gutierrez spent about 10 hours in jail and wasn’t charged with a crime arising from the traffic stop. But he didn’t get his money until nine months later — and only after a series of emails were sent to the deputy, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office and others. What’s important to note here is that Gutierrez wasn’t charged with anything. Also, after 9 months of trying...

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Sweden Recognizes State of Palestine

Israel recalls its ambassador following move Swedish foreign minister hopes “will show the way for others” Sweden has officially recognized the state of Palestine, Stockholm’s foreign minister has said, less than a month after the government announced its intention to make the unprecedented move.The Palestinians cheered Thursday’s move, while Israel recalled its ambassador to Sweden for consultations. Israel also summoned Sweden’s ambassador to protest and express disappointment. Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, told Al Jazeera that recognising Palestine, and the leadership of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, would put each party on a level playing field and help move peace talks forward. “It is important to support those who believe in negotiations and not violence,” she said. “This will give hope to young Palestinians and Israelis that there is an alternative to violence.” President Abbas hailed the “brave and historic” move to officially recognise the state of Palestine, his spokesman told the AFP...

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In Midterm Elections Farce, Public Ignored by Both Parties

by Michael Meurer, Truthout | Op-Ed – As another midterm election grinds to a close, with campaign spending set to break the $3.6 billion record of 2010, it is difficult to read newspapers such as The Washington Post as anything but farce. Voter turnout is expected to be lower than turnout during the 2006 or 2010 midterms. Evidently hoping to pump up readership among the disaffected, the Post has resorted to trivializing headlines such as “Obama, the pariah president,” “Obama is scaring women” and “Bloomberg Politics deletes Obama chicken photo tweet,” the latter about possible racial overtones involved in publishing a photo of the White House chef’s specially prepared chicken wings. In addition to an always-present racial subtext with Obama, the central message of this election from media outlets such as the Post is that an ineffectual and unpopular president is taking down the hapless Democrats he putatively leads....

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Top 10 Epic Reasons Why Americans Should Give a Shit About Voting

Voting – or not voting – in some way impacts almost every aspect of our lives, including whom we can love, our bodies, our food, our air and water. Voting is important in spite of our fundamentally corrupt political system by Victoria Collier and Ben-Zion Ptashnik, Truthout | News Analysis – Pop icon Russell Brand raised a ruckus last year when he exhorted, “Don’t vote” to millions of his fans; a radical political directive under fire even by the likes of Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten. But Brand was just preaching to the choir. Many Americans, particularly the young, believe that voting is an exercise in futility, or worse, an immoral display of support for a fundamentally corrupt political system. Far more appealing is to build a diverse grassroots movement – organically and horizontally – to change our consciousness, our lifestyles, the way we grow our food, harness our energy,...

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‘GET TO THE POLLS’ Click Here for All You Need to Know

Pew Partners with The Internet Association to Help Voters ‘Get to the Polls’ Pew Partners with The Internet Association to Help Voters ‘Get to the Polls’ With the U.S. midterm elections less than two weeks away, The Internet Association and The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Voting Information Project, in conjunction with the world’s leading technology companies, are launching “Get to the Polls” (www.gettothepolls.com) to help voters find all the information they need before voting Nov. 4. Get to the Polls, powered by the Google Civic Information application programming interface, or API, will allow voters to find their official polling place, hours of operation, and full ballot summary based on their residential address. “We joined forces with The Internet Association and technology powerhouses from across the Web to make official election information available where people look for it most—online and on mobile devices,” said Zach Markovits, who manages Pew’s Voting Information Project,...

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This Nation of Cowards

by William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed – It is likely that most of us, myself included, will live out our entire lives and die without ever meeting someone who willingly and purposefully volunteers to spend their vacation thousands of miles away, tending to people with diseases that make the talking heads on CNN and Fox want to hide under the bed. Kaci Hickox, a nurse from Maine who graduated from Johns Hopkins, is one such person. In 2010, Hickox traveled overseas with the organization Doctors Without Borders to treat people suffering from yellow fever, one of several trips she made with that organization. Until last Friday, she was in Sierra Leone for a month, spending her vacation time helping to treat people infected with Ebola, the virus that has been burning through western Africa at an unprecedented rate. Kaci Hickox went to one of the most unstable countries...

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What Will Republicans Do If WHEN They Win the Senate? A Limited-Govt Scenario

by Nick Gillespie – It’s looking increasingly likely that the GOP will take control of the Senate. The New York Times’ model gives Republicans a 65 percent chance of gaining a majority and Five Thirty Eight is giving them a 62 percent shot. “Midterm momentum belongs to GOP” says The Washington Post, whose latest poll with ABC News finds that even Hispanics, often the target of Republican immigrant-bashing, are up for the change. So what might Republicans actually do if they have majorities in both houses of Congress? If past behavior is any indication of future performance, the short and likely answer is: screw it all up. The Wash Post’s “Right Turn” blogger Jennifer Rubin offers up advice, much of which makes sense. She says the GOP should think about legislation as belonging to one of two piles. The first is stuff that “enjoys bipartisan support.” The second includes things “the GOP...

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Congressional Wingnut Caucus Unveils Post-election Agenda and it’s Exactly What you Expect

by Jed Lewison – The election is next Tuesday, but conservative House and Senate Republicans have already established an agenda for the upcoming Congress if their party manages to reclaim control of the Senate and you won’t be surprised by the first item on their list: Though no calendar has been set, members want an early vote on Obamacare. House members have cast more than three dozen votes to replace aspects of the 2010 health care law, but any repeal effort has hit a full stop in the Democratic Senate. Still conservatives are eager to force Obama’s hand by sending an early repeal bill if McConnell assumes the Senate majority leader seat. By the time next Congress rolls around, it will be 2015—five years after Obamacare became law—and yet even though Obamacare has survived a presidential election, a Supreme Court ruling, and fifty-plus repeal votes in the House, the first thing...

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Uncounted Votes

The Racially Discriminatory Effects of Provisional Ballots by Joshua Field, Charles Posner, and Anna Chu – In the wake of the troubled and deeply flawed 2000 presidential election in which between 4 million and 6 million votes were not counted, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, to restore voters’ confidence in the electoral process. One of HAVA’s reforms was the establishment of the provisional ballot process, which was originally put in place as a fail-safe measure to ensure that voters who face issues when they arrive at the polls can still cast a ballot. Despite its best intentions, the process is not without serious problems. Of the more than 2.7 million provisional ballots that were cast in 2012, more than 30 percent were not fully counted or rejected all together. Moreover, according to this first-of-its-kind analysis, in 16 states, the use of provisional ballots is more frequent in...

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Real Life Superhero Malala Yousafzai Donates $50,000 Prize Money To Rebuilding Gaza Schools

by  JAMESON PARKER – Much of the news is depressing and cynical,but this is not. Malala Yousafzai just won a ton of money for her human rights advocacy, and she’s giving it all away to help children in Gaza rebuild their schools. Of course, anyone who has been following her story knows that this sort of display of compassion is no surprise. On top of recently being given a Nobel Peace Price, Malala has just been named the winner of the World’s Children’s Prize and with it a check for $50,000. She’s donating all of it to rebuild schools in the war-torn Gaza Strip. Speaking at a press conference in Sweden, Malala made an inspired plea for the rebuilding process to begin in Gaza. “This money will totally go to the rebuilding of schools for children in Gaza, so I think it will definitely help those children to continue their education,...

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Concerned About ISIS, But Also About Endless War? Back Limits on the Use of Force

by Robert Naiman – In response to the U.S. bombing of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, which Congress has never explicitly approved, Members of Congress long concerned about presidents and Congresses skirting the Constitutional role of Congress in deciding when the U.S. will use military force have introduced H. Con. Res. 114, “Urging Congress to debate and vote on a statutory authorization for any sustained United States combat role in Iraq or Syria.” When Congress returns from recess after the election in November, it will still not have debated and voted on a sustained U.S. combat role in Iraq or Syria, even though a “sustained combat role” is obviously what the Pentagon is doing and plans to do. Polls have shown that the majority of Americans think that Congress should debate and vote. Members of Congress can show that they back the public’s desire for a Congressional debate...

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Earliest Police Report from Ferguson is Released and Conflicts with Darren Wilson’s Testimony Leaks

by Shaun King – On October 21, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released the official autopsy results for Mike Brown. Accompanying the autopsy was an analysis and commentary from forensic scientist Dr. Judy Melinek. Her commentary actually made more news than the results of autopsy itself.Tucked away inside of the full autopsy report is an initial statement of Darren Wilson’s perspective as told by Detective Patrick J. Hokamp of the St. Louis County Police Department. It is the first known statement from a detective who was actually on the scene soon after the shooting and appears to have been given to the medical examiner soon after the shooting. What’s most surprising isn’t necessarily what is included in this statement, but some glaring omissions when compared up against recent statements purported to be from Darren Wilson’s testimony to the grand jury.Below you will find the statement from Detective Hokamp from the scene of...

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Final Q-Poll of Fla: Charlie Crist 43%, Rick Scott 40%

by saintpetersblog – A jump in support from independent likely voters in the Florida governor’s race leaves Democrat Charlie Crist with 43 percent, inches ahead of Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott with 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie has 8 percent, with 9 percent undecided. This compares to results of an October 22 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, showing Gov. Scott and Crist tied 42 – 42 percent, with Wyllie at 7 percent. With Wyllie out of the race, Crist gets 45 percent to Scott’s 42 percent. Men and women remain divided in the three-way matchup. Scott leads Crist among men 47 – 37 percent, with 9 percent for Wyllie, while Crist leads Scott 49 – 35 percent among women, with 6 percent for Wyllie. Independent voters go to Crist over Scott 47 – 29 percent, with 16 percent for Wyllie. This...

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The New Presidential Propaganda

Imagery of the chief executive is more tightly controlled and carefully considered than ever by Todd Krainin – There is a photograph of Barack Obama, taken by the official White House photographer, only minutes before his first inauguration. Obama stands before a mirror. His reflected expression is intense, but ambiguous. Depending on your interpretation, the former Illinois senator looks dignified and confident-or paralyzed with fear. At that very moment, millions of Americans were waiting to see their new president address the nation for the first time. What sort of a person were they going to see? Even after an exhausting presidential campaign, it was an open question. For months, rumors circulated about Obama’s place of birth. Pew Research polls showed a growing minority of Americans believed he was Muslim. Public figures like Donald Trump and Sean Hannity were openly asking: Who is this guy? The ferocity of the personal attacks demanded...

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Frank Serpico Explains How Police Violence is the New Graft

by Ed Krayewski – In 1971 Frank Serpico was shot in the face while opening a door during a drug bust in a Brooklyn apartment, and left there to die by the cops with him because Serpico had testified against crooked cops in the narcotics division. An elderly man in the building, not the other cops, called 911 to send an ambulance. In a piece at Politico, Serpico explains that to this day he’s shunned by the New York Police Department (NYPD). A Medal of Honor recipient, he’s only been invited to the annual dinner once, when Bernard Kerik was commissioner. While the graft is, thanks to greater accountability, not as systematic as it used to be, Serpico writes, a lack of accountability is why police violence is such a problem. Via Politico: I tried to be an honest cop in a force full of bribe-takers. But as I found out...

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Senator Botches Key Obamacare Stat By 900 Percent

by  IGOR VOLSKY – Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) appeared on NewsMax TV on Wednesday morning to complain about the “coercive” and “very destructive” consequences of the Affordable Care Act on Wisconsin residents. Responding to a question about premium increases under the law, Johnson related his own experiences with voters. “I’m driving around Wisconsin, I’m talking to business owners and I’m talking to health care providers and insurance agents as well and they’re seeing that same kind of range , anywhere from 16 to 60 percent,” he explained. “Kind of with an average of around 30 percent here just anecdotally in Wisconsin.” But Johnson’s anecdotes appear to be outliers at best and fabrications at worst.Actual rate filings submitted to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) just last month show that the average premiums in health care plans offered through the law’s federal exchange will...

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Media Outlets ‘Outraged’ After FBI Caught Falsifying AP Story to Target Suspect

by Sarah Lazare – Major media outlets expressed outrage following revelations this week that in 2007, the FBI crafted a news story under a false Associated Press byline, and possibly mimicked the Seattle Times website, as part of a covert effort to locate a suspect in a bomb threat. Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday exposed the findings, which are based on documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation three years ago through a Freedom of Information Act Request. The FBI became involved in a case regarding bomb threats that resulted in evacuations in June 2007 at Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington. Internal communications show that the FBI spoofed a story, which it falsely identified as published by the AP, about the bomb threats. Emails indicate the false story may have been designed “in the style of The Seattle Times”. The article was then sent to...

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IRS Whistleblowers: Agency Executives Behind Multibillion-Dollar Corporate Tax Giveaways

A veteran Internal Revenue Service attorney demands a congressional audit of the IRS to investigate the agency’s alleged role in allowing US corporations to illegally avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes even as it cracks down on individuals and small businesses by Nafeez Ahmed, Truthout | Report – A 10-year veteran Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attorney has demanded a congressional audit of the IRS to investigate the agency’s alleged role in allowing US corporations to illegally avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes even as it cracks down on individuals and small businesses. In a letter to Treasury secretary Jacob Lew, IRS commissioner John A. Koskinen and IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, Jane J. Kim, an attorney in the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel in New York, accused IRS executives of “deliberately” facilitating multibillion-dollar tax giveaways. The letter, dated October 19, will add further pressure on the...

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Why This Public High School Walked Out on Budget Cuts

by Jesse Hagopian – Seattle’s Garfield High School has once again moved into collective struggle—and we may to find out today if one of us is to be displaced from the building or if the power of protest has kept us safe from the budget-cut ax for now. The Seattle School District announced on Friday, October 17, that Garfield High School would be forced to cut and transfer one teacher in a core subject area by Friday, October 24—or come up with $92,000. But on Thursday October 23, almost the entire building emptied in a mass walkout of students and educators against the budget cuts and has so far convinced the district to delay the cut. The morning of the walkout, one of my colleagues was in the middle of reading the list of grievances that the rebellious colonists proclaimed against the British in the Declaration of Independence. As he told...

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With Groundbreaking Transparency, MIT Releases Report on Campus Sexual Assault

‘We face a serious problem,’ university chancellor says by Deirdre Fulton – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Monday released an unusually transparent report on sexual assault and harassment on its Cambridge campus, a move that may galvanize other institutions of higher education to take a deeper look at a national problem, and to be more forthcoming with what they find. The report (pdf) was based on a survey that was sent to all of MIT’s 10,831 undergraduate and graduate students on April 27, 2014—two days before the White House Task Force called on all U.S. colleges and universities to undertake similar surveys on their campuses. Just over 3,800 MIT students responded, representing 35 percent of the enrolled population. The results show that MIT’s sexual assault problem is in line with that at other colleges. Seventeen percent of undergraduate females in the MIT survey reported having been sexually assaulted, compared...

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Scott Walker Runs Ad In Support Of Equal Pay For Women After Repealing Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Law (VIDEO)

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – Remember that time in 2012 when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill into law repealing the state’s equal pay for women law? Well, two years later, Walker wants us all to think that he actually supports equal pay. In a move that strongly suggests that Walker thinks women are stupid, the incumbent Republican candidate ran an ad in an attempt to convince them that he believes in equal pay. Walker couldn’t even be bothered to profess his support in his own ad and enlisted Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch to do the dirty work, instead. Kleefisch declares: “Under Scott Walker, workplace discrimination will always be illegal for any reason. Mary Burke wants to create more opportunities to sue. We want to create more opportunities for women to succeed.” Here’s the video via YouTube: Walker is currently embroiled in a tough race against Democrat Mary Burke,...

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Costco – A Store that Supports Progressive Values – And Still Manages to Make a Profit

by liberaldad2 – Corporations. Evil. Greedy. Powerful. Koch Industries. Hobby Lobby. Walmart. Monsanto. Exxon-Mobil. Fox News. Enemies of progressive values and an open democracy. But are there any responsible corporations out there that a progressive can patronize without contributing to conservative coffers? A store that reflects your progressive values? Actually, there ARE a few. Here’s one example. I had heard that Costco the big-box retailer stands up for our progressive values, so I decided to check it out. A few Google searches led me to some very interesting information. Full disclosure: I am a Costco member and a regular Costco shopper. But I do NOT own Costco stock, nor do I have any family or friends who are investors (to my knowledge). On to the data. In a 2014 Huffington Post article, Costco was ranked second to Google on employee satisfaction with pay and benefits. A survey released Friday from the...

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Greenwald: Harper Government Exploiting Recent Attacks to Expand Powers

Prime Minister, says journalist, is exploiting recent violence in Canada to ‘further dismantle civil liberties and core principles of western justice’ by Nadia Prupis – The Canadian government is exploiting last week’s attacks against soldiers in the country to push sweeping national security bills into law and give the state ever-more invasive surveillance powers, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald said in Ottawa over the weekend. Terrorism is “the most inflammatory, but also the most meaningless word in our political lexicon,” Greenwald told an audience of over 1,000 during a speech on privacy and state surveillance on Saturday. “We’ve allowed this word terrorism to take on such profound meaning that right before our eyes governments dismantle the protections and defining attributes of western justice in order to keep us safer.” Last week, following two separate incidents that resulted in the death of Canadian soldiers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper argued that Parliament should give...

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Sarah Palin Announces She Might Run For Office Again, Despite ‘Haters’ (VIDEO)

by VALERIE BEAUMONT – On Tuesday, Sarah Palin announced that she may consider another run for a political office she will promptly quit halfway into her term. When Fox host Stuart Varney asked Palin on a rousing installment of Fox Business Network’s Varney and Co. about the “extraordinary” “hatred level” directed toward the half-term half-wit, Palin responded in her traditional nonsensical fashion: “Bless their hearts, those, uh, those haters out there. They don’t understand that it, it invigorates me. It wants me to get out there and defend, um, the innocent. It makes me want to work so hard for justice in this country.” “So, hey, the more they’re pouring on, the more I’m gonna bug the crap out of them by being out there with a voice, with a message, hopefully running for office in the future, too. The host asked Palin what it is like dealing with the amount...

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Shocking Statement From Mike Brown Autopsy Expert Gets Lost in the Shuffle of Leaks and Lies

by Shaun King – When the St. Louis Post-Dispatch somehow obtained the confidential autopsy report from the local medical examiner, the newspaper consulted Dr. Judy Melinek to analyze the report and draw some very basic conclusions on how exactly Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown on August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Her comments about the scuffle drew so much attention that one key point she made was totally missed. She says that the gunshot to the back of Mike Brown’s upper arm could have come from behind while he was fleeing the scene, as described in the final three paragraphsof an MSNBC story: All but one of the gunshots, Melinek said, seem to have struck Brown in the front of his body, which is consistent with witnesses who said Brown had been facing Wilson when he was shot. Depending on any witnesses physical proximity to the shooting, Brown could...

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Steyer Escalates Campaign to Keep Climate Deniers Out of Office

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch – On the heels of its Science Denier Week last week, NextGen Climate founder and funder Tom Steyer has put another $15 million into its coffers to help elect climate- and science-friendly candidates in the midterm elections. And that was merely his contribution in September. The billionaire is on track to fulfill his promise to put $50 million into this year’s elections, with $41 million donated so far this year. Other sources put in an additional $1.9 million. NextGen will continue its campaign of trying to shame climate-denier candidates and officeholders into changing their stance through ads and promotions like Science Denier Week and its Stone Age Report, released last week, targeting the most egregious deniers. It singled out U.S. Senate candidates Cory Gardner (CO), Terri Lynn Land (MI), Joni Ernst (IA) and Scott Brown (NH), and Governors Rick Scott (FL) and Paul LePage (ME), who are...

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NFL Tackles Domestic Violence Crisis With New “No More” PSA

by VIVIAN NUNEZ – During Thursday Night Football, the National Football League used one of the aspects of the football viewing experience that they had never really lost control of—their advertising—to help send a strong message on domestic violence and sexual assault. NoMore.org, a coalition of major organizations working to address issues of sexual violence, was given time at the end of the first quarter of the San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos game to air a PSA in support of ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The independent PSA was produced by Mariska Hargitay, former Law & Order: SVU actress and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation. “ is a huge opportunity because people look to football players to set the bar,” Hargitay said toThinkProgress. “These are the people who are our heroes today. And if they stand up and say, “No more” and show men how to be real...

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God Isn’t ‘A Magician With A Magic Wand’: Pope Defends Evolution, Big Bang Theories

by  JAMESON PARKER – During a speech at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis pointed out that, the opinions of fundamentalist Christians notwithstanding, the evidence for scientific theories such as the Big Bang and evolution are incontrovertible. Making another sharp deviation from his predecessors, Francis insisted that being a devout Catholic needn’t mean abandoning all scientific reason. God is big enough to come under the scrutiny of science. “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. He added: “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.” “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine...

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That Moment When Mitch McConnell Put The Final Nail In His Political Coffin

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) loses his seat to Democratic challenger Alison Grimes, pundits may point to this moment as the one that put the final nail in the Turtle’s political coffin: When a reporter asked McConnell whether he planned on continuing his efforts to privatize Social Security, McConnell made a pitifully blatant and pathetically self-serving attempt to dodge the question: “I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance.” Rachel Maddow then caught wind of her colleague’s MSNBC report and posted the link on Facebook with her usual dead-on witty commentary: “Asked if he’d try to privatize Social Security if Republicans take the Senate, Mitch McConnell said: ‘I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance.’ But isn’t that the point of a political campaign in a democracy? Shouldn’t voters know the agenda ‘in advance’?” A Maddow fan then took a screen shot of the post and added:...

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Occupy Democracy Brings London a Blast From Its Past

by Kate Aronoff – Inspired partially by Occupy Central in Hong Kong, London’s newly formed Occupy Democracy is being called a revival of Occupy London, which for a brief time in 2011 served as a major center of the global Occupy movement. The new occupation began shortly after an 80,000-person march organized by the country’s Trade Union Congress, though it has not been involved with Occupy Democracy in any official capacity. Demonstrators have been camping out since October 17, and intend to stay until Sunday. As in Hong Kong, organizers are looking to build a movement for truly representative democracy. On the group’s website, Occupy Democracy couches this call in a larger narrative around austerity and growing corporate influence in parliament and on 10 Downing Street. “We know that democracy is not just about having a vote every four, now five years,” it states. “It is about having the power to...

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Super PACs Exploit Disclosure Loophole

Last-minute registration means groups may hide donors until after Election Day By Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity – Super PACs must, by law, publicly reveal their donors. Except, that is, for those that materialize during the final days of the 2014 midterm election. Thanks to a contentious quirk in federal law, at least six new super PACs may hide their funders from public scrutiny until early December, no matter how much money they raise or spend from now until Election Day on Nov. 4. Why? Federal campaign finance reporting regulations state that various political committees must file this week “pre-election” financial diclosures that cover activity through Oct. 15. Any political committee that forms after Oct. 15 gets a free non-disclosure pass for up to seven weeks. Charles Philipp, a New York City media professional who created the Trucks for Cowboys Super PAC on Thursday, says he’s well aware...

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Power Shifts to Outsiders in U.S. Senate Fight

Candidates routinely outspent by super PACs, political nonprofits in pivotal contests By Michael Beckel, Center for Public Integrity – The days of candidates dominating their own political campaigns are over. In the most competitive U.S. Senate races this year, big-money special interests that proliferated after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision are routinely out-muscling and out-messaging the candidates themselves. This power shift is most prominent on television, where super PACs and politically active nonprofits — both may accept unlimited contributions — routinely account for nearly one out of every two ads run in a U.S. Senate race. Most of the ads are decidedly negative, and they’ve collectively cost hundreds of millions of dollars with Election Day still 10 days away. Wealthy liberals and conservatives alike are complicit, pumping money into these groups that, by law, may not operate “in concert or cooperation with” the...

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Snowden 2.0: Report says FBI Has Identified “Second Leaker” of Govt Secrets

Individual who may be national security whistleblower—’an employee of a federal contractor’—now under active criminal investigation by Justice Department, says new reporting by Jon Queally – The U.S. government has identified the person it believes is the so-called “second leaker”who has given over classified national security documents to some of the same journalists who have reported on many of the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this year, a news report claimed on Monday. According to Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News!, citing law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case, the FBI has already searched the home of the individual—said to be “an employee of a federal contractor”—and prosecutors from the Department of Justice in Northern Virginia currently have an open criminal investigation into the alleged actions of this still-unidentified person. As Isikoff reports: The case in question involves an Aug. 5 story published by The Intercept,...

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‘Shame on Komen’: Protesters Charge ‘Pinkwashing’ over Fracking-Charity Partnership

PR action called off after advocates slammed the national breast cancer organization for teaming up with cancer-causing corporations by Lauren McCauley – “Think before you pink!” chanted dozens of women’s health advocates who rallied outside a Pittsburgh Steelers game on Sunday to protest growing partnerships between national breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen and the polluters who are putting women’s health at even greater risk. Komen’s founder, Nancy Brinker, was expected to accept a $100,000 check from the CEO of oil and gas drilling giant Baker Hughes during the halftime of the Steeler’s-Colts game. However, the presentation was called off in a move protesters attributed to Komen “feeling the pressure” from a growing critique of their “pinkwashed” breast cancer awareness campaign—a term coined by the group Breast Cancer Action to describe the “cause marketing” of breast cancer with emphasis placed on promoting rather than curing the disease. On Friday, protesters delivered...

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TLC Cancels ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Reality Show As Mama June Dates Daughter’s Molester (VIDEO)

by  SHANNON BARBER – Anyone with any sense of decency and good taste is absolutely delighted that the bastion of American trash TV that is TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has been cancelled. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it follows the life of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson of Toddlers and Tiaras beauty pageant fame, along with the lives of her family. The show is typical of what you would expect of something geared towards making money off of the stereotypes of rural, uneducated American southerners. It, essentially, exploits the “trailer trash” stereotypes that the show’s stars naturally fit into, making everyone who realizes what is going on cringe from the show’s first episode right up until its last. However, what is even more alarming than the blatant exploitation of a family that clearly should not be in the spotlight is the reason TLC is cancelling the show. TMZ reported...

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Campaign Update from Sandra Fluke: This is David vs. Goliath

by SandraFluke – To my friends in the Kos community: I know you care about electing progressives, and I care about electing progressives, so that’s why I am ringing this alarm bell. No one is fired up to vote on November 4th, turnout could be a record low and I’m getting hit by a massive independent expenditure in my campaign for State Senate. One wealthy conservative is trying to buy the election for my opponent. In a race that is going to come down to just a few votes, big money may decide this race. Here is how the L.A. Times recently covered the race: In the state Senate race for California’s 26th District…a single donor has spent more than $1 million trying to elect Allen. That’s considerably more than all of Allen’s other supporters combined, and it’s nearly as much as Fluke has raised in total, from about 5,000 individual...

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NC Democrats Crushing GOP With Massive Early Voting Lead, Despite All That Vote Rigging (Video)

by  ELISABETH PARKER – North Carolina is tallying their Early Voting numbers, and so far, NC Democrats are crushing the GOP with massive leads. Apparently, when you try to keep seniors, people of color, and poor people from voting — and NC Republicans passed one of the worst voter ID laws in America last year — those people and their allies get really angry and start turning out in droves. Thank you, Republicans. Early Voting began on October 15, and WNCN reports 386,411 voters — nearly 400,000 — have cast their ballots so far. Of those, a whopping 148,001 ballots came from registered Democrats, as opposed to a far less impressive 88,900 from registered Republicans. That is the official figure, current through Sunday, provided by the North Carolina State Board of Elections and includes mail-in, military, one-stop and overseas votes. The number represents a little more than 5 percent of the 6.6 million registered voters in North...

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US Official: Bombing Oil Pipelines in Syria a ‘Viable Option’

Critic warns move would be ‘foolhardy’ and lead to civilian casualties, massive spills and environmental damage by Jon Queally – A top State Department official said that bombing oil pipelines controlled by Islamic State (or ISIS) in Syria is now a “viable option” under consideration by the U.S. military. Julieta Valls Noyes, the US deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, was in London and her comments were first reported by the British press. Citing figures that estimate ISIS is generating nearly $2 million every day by selling crude oil reserves it now controls, Noyes said that the U.S. may expand targeting of oil-related infrastructure inside Syria to include “kinetic strikes against some of the pipelines” and other “physical action to stop the flow.” According to the Independent, Noyes said that sale of fuel is one of the U.S. government’s “principal concerns” regarding ISIS’ ability to fund its ongoing military...

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Don’t Let Them Silence You: Vote, Dammit (VIDEO)

by Bill Moyers, Michael Winship – Our country’s oldest and longest struggle has been to enlarge democracy by making it possible for more and more people to be treated equally at the polls. The right to participate in choosing our representatives – to vote — is the very right that inflamed the American colonies and marched us toward revolution and independence. So it’s unbelievable and frankly outrageous that in the last four years, close to half the states in this country have passed laws to make it harder for people to vote. But it’s true. As this country began, only white men of property could vote, but over time and with agitation and conflict, the franchise spread regardless of income, color or gender. In the seventies, we managed to lower the voting age to 18. Yet a new nationwide effort to suppress the vote, nurtured by fear and fierce resistance to inevitable demographic...

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Ferguson Organizers Carry Momentum Into the Fall

by Kate Aronoff – Michael Brown’s murder this summer prompted a new wave of popular interest in state violence against communities of color. In mid-October, organizers from around the country gathered outside of St. Louis for the kick-off of what’s being called “Ferguson October.” Wednesday, or “O22,” marked a National Day of Protest against mass incarceration and police brutality called by organizers both in Ferguson and across the country. As part of Wednesday’s events, organizers with Southerners on New Ground shut down two stretches of major highways in Atlanta. In Oakland, demonstrators staged a die-in outside of the city’s police department. Both cities, notably, are no strangers to protest around these issues. In 2009, another unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, was shot and killed in Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station. Two years later, protests both in Atlanta and throughout the United States around the execution of Troy Davis fueled the emergent Occupy...

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40,000 Voter Registrations Have Mysteriously Vanished, Could Determine Control Of The Senate

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – ATLANTA, GEORGIA—A court could decide any day now whether tens of thousands of Georgia voters can cast a ballot this November, a choice that could sway the outcome of the state’s neck-and-neck races for Governor and Senator. Earlier this year, organizers fanned out across nearly every one of Georgia’s 159 counties and registered nearly 90 thousand people who have never voted in their lives, most of them people of color, many of them under 25 years old. But when the groups checked back in late August, comparing their registration database to the state’s public one, they noticed about 50,000 of the registrations had vanished, nearly all of them belonging to people of color in the Democratic-leaning regions around Atlanta, Savannah and Columbus. Georgia’s state minority leader Stacy Abrams (D), whose group The New Georgia Project led the massive registration drive in March and April, told ThinkProgress what...

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Doctor says Blushwood Berries Kill Cancer in 75% of Cases

By Christina Sarich, NaturalSociety– Many of the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to co-opt mother nature end up failing. When you see how many cancer-killing compounds are either suppressed or that are used to try to make billions on a new ‘drug,’ it gets head-spinning. You can add a new gift from Mother Nature to the cancer-fighting arsenal, but you should learn about it quick before its hushed up and companies like GlaxoSmithKline or Pfizer try to patent it. The fruit from the Blushwood tree, which has very specific growing requirements and, thus far, has only been found to thrive in Far North Queensland in the middle of the Australian Rainforest, kills cancerous cells in three different ways – fast: “. . . it kills the tumour cells directly, it cuts off the blood supply and it also activates the body’s own immune system to clean up the mess that’s left behind.” These results were discovered...

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Gene Simmons Would Like Single Young Women To ‘Stop Depending On Men’ (VIDEO)

by VERA – KISS frontman Gene Simmons, who has gained a reputation for spewing several offensive, disrespectful statements regarding immigrants, the non-elite, and depression sufferers has just added women to his collection. In an interview with Fox News host Andrea Tantaros, Simmons basically tells women to stop gold digging and depending on men. This discussion was prompted after Tantaros brought up a part in Simmons’ book Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business. In the mentioned section, Simmons advises women to delay having families until they are financially independent and stable, because women cannot possibly have a family and a career at the same time. Here’s the segment: According to Simmons, unlike men who are forced to make a living, women have the choice of being housewives (until their husbands run off). Simmons reminds women that “you have to balance your budget” and even goes as far as to explain “you...

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More Members Of Canceled ‘Sons Of Guns’ Show Arrested For Child Abuse

by VERA – Sons of Guns was once a successful reality TV show on the Discovery Channel. However, the channel was forced to cancel the series after allegations that Sons of Guns star Will Hayden had raped his daughter repeatedly, starting when she was 11 years old. Will was arrested in August for raping his daughter in addition to three other underage girls between 11-13 years of age. Just weeks after Will’s arrest, the former Sons of Guns cast is facing additional child abuse charges. On Friday, Kris Ford and wife Stephanie Hayden were arrested for abusing a 9-year-old boy – who happens to be Stephanie’s son and Kris’ stepson – with a belt. The beating was so severe that the young boy had bruises on his legs and buttocks. According to the arrest warrant, the belt administered “a large bruise to the juvenile’s right thigh (and) lower buttocks area.” Kris was the one who delivered the beating while Stephanie was in the...

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First Highway with Glow-in-the-Dark Markings Opens in the Netherlands

By Stu Robarts, Gizmag – Drivers on a road in the Netherlands are now being guided by glow-in-the-dark road markings. The N329 in Oss is being used to pilot the concept, which is part of the Smart Highway project by construction firm Heijmans and design firm Studio Roosegaarde. Glowing Lines is aimed at increasing visibility and safety. The idea for Glowing Lines and the broader Smart Highway project were conceived by Heijmans and Studio Roosegaarde in 2012. The Smart Highway nomenclature is perhaps a little misleading, as none of the concepts that come under its umbrella involve internet connectedness, but they are certainly smart in the sense of being clever. The project is aimed at using different technologies to create the “interactive and sustainable roads of tomorrow.” Glowing Lines uses luminescent paint that is charged by solar energy during the day and then glows for up to 10 hours when...

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Suit Demands EPA Show Documents Related to Big Oil Influence over Fuel Standards

By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams – A leading Washington, D.C. ethics organization filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday for failing to provide documents regarding oil industry efforts to influence the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Each year, the EPA sets the RFS for how much renewable fuel must be blended into transportation fuel supplies. “The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in its lawsuit (pdf). CREW claims the EPA has yet to hand over all relevant communications — requested in May 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act — related to the EPA’s most recent RFS proposal, put forth in November 2013. At that point, for the first time since the standards were established, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel....

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Rush Limbaugh on “Another School Shooting”

by Carol Kernahan – On December 14, 2012, 26 people, 20 of them children, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.  Here is Limbaugh’s comment four days later on December 18: What if there is nobody or nothing to blame? Would that make this inexplicable horror unbearable?  What if we didn’t rush to judgement? What if we didn’t waste our thoughts, prayers and actions on assigning blame for the sake of mere recrimination? What if we calmly and ruthlessly learned whatever lessons we can from the massacre — and prevented the next one?  What if it wasn’t one thing, but everything, that set off Lanza?What if it is no more complicated than the guy just did it?  In other words, excrement happens.  That’s true.  You can’t get funding for excrement happens.  You can’t advance a political agenda on excrement happens.  You can’t blame your political opponents for excrement...

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Fellow Nobel Peace Laureates to Obama: Stain of US Torture Your Job to Repair

‘When a nation’s leaders condone and even order torture, that nation has lost its way.’ by Jon Queally – Twelve fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written an open letter to President Barack Obama, urging the 2009 recipient of the award to finally close one of the “dark chapters” of recent U.S. history by first acknowledging, and then rejecting, the “flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law” that have been conducted in the name of “fighting terrorism” since 2001. Written by the laureates as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee continue to press the White House and CIA on disclosing the findings of their investigation into some of the worst practices of inhumane treatment during the presidency of George W. Bush, the letter argues that the damage done by these acts has been not been isolated to the individual victims of U.S. torture. “When a nation’s leaders condone...

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U.S. Ranks Last Among Wealthy Nations in Access to Health Care

Report conducted by Commonwealth Fund just prior to full implementation of ACA HealthDay News – The U.S. health care system ranks dead last compared to other industrialized nations when it comes to affordability and patient access, according to a new survey. The 2013 survey of the American health care landscape was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund just prior to the full implementation of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). “I would say that we found two things that really seem to drive the higher barriers to health care in the U.S.,” said David Squires, a senior researcher with the Commonwealth Fund in New York City. “The first is that we have a huge uninsured population, which at least at the time of the survey was about 50 million people. And, the second is that we have millions more who have some kind of insurance, but the coverage isn’t...

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One My Lai a Month

by Robert C. Koehler – “When somebody asks, ‘Why do you do it to a gook, why do you do this to people?’ your answer is, ‘So what, they’re just gooks, they’re not people. It doesn’t make any difference what you do to them; they’re not human.’ “And this thing is built into you,” Cpl. John Geymann testified almost 44 years ago at the Winter Soldier Investigation, held in Detroit, which was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. “It’s thrust into your head from the moment you wake up in boot camp to the moment you wake up when you’re a civilian.” The cornerstone of war is dehumanization. This was the lesson of Nam, from Operation Ranch Hand (the dumping of 18 million gallons of herbicides, including Agent Orange, on the jungles of Vietnam) to My Lai to the use of napalm to the bombing of Cambodia. And the Winter Soldier Investigation began...

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Kentucky’s Largest Newspapers Endorse Alison Lundergan Grimes, Roast Mitch McConnell

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – It’s a fantastic Sunday morning if you’re Alison Lundergan Grimes. And if you’re Mitch McConnell, you probably feel like staying in your shell. Kentucky’s two largest newspapers officially endorsed Grimes for the US Senate on Sunday with editorials that praised the Democratic candidate while offering scathing rebukes of the Republican Senate Minority Leader. Noting her support of jobs, healthcare, and raising the minimum wage, the Courier-Journal advised voters “to choose the future and elect Alison Lundergan Grimes.” The decision of the publication seemed to be much easier because McConnell refused to meet with the editorial board and answer questions. Grimes, on the other hand, didn’t hesitate to meet with them. The Q&A session between Grimes and the board gave McConnell an opening to cheaply attack Grimes for remaining silent about who she voted for in 2008 and 2012. As we all know, who a person...

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Mexican Drug Cartels are Worse Than ISIL

Western obsession with Islamic State fueled more by bigotry than genuine assessment of risk or atrocities (CONTAINS GRAPHIC PICTURE) By Musa al-Gharbi, Al Jazeera – The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of the aggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning. While there are other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none has engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes? For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically...

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GOP Congressman Tells Children They are to Blame for Classmate’s Suicide

By Jed Lewison, Daily Kos – Rep. Don Young of Alaska reminding us once again just how classy Alaska Republicans can be during a question and answer session at — where else? — Wasilla High School: Teacher Carla Swick posed a question about Alaska’s high suicide and domestic violence rates and asked what Young’s office is doing about it.Young started talking about suicide, mentioning the role played by alcohol and depression, several witnesses said. The school didn’t record the assembly. But then, witnesses say, Young said suicide shows a lack of support from friends and family. That comment stunned students and staff still mourning the loss of a student who died Thursday, staffers say. The school’s principal, Amy Spargo, said she was taken aback: “When I heard ‘a lack of support from family’ and I heard ‘a lack of support from friends,’ I felt the oxygen go out of the...

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Support for U.S. Campaign Against ISIS; Doubt its Effectiveness, Objectives

Just 30% Think U.S. and Allies Have ‘Clear Goal’ The public continues to support the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. But most Americans say the U.S. military effort against ISIS is not going well, and just 30% think the U.S. and its allies have a “clear goal” in taking military action. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 15-20 among 2,003 adults, finds that 57% approve of the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, while just 33% disapprove. Support is highest among Republicans (68%); majorities of Democrats (54%) and independents (55%) also approve. Yet negative evaluations of how well the U.S. military campaign against ISIS is going also cross party lines: 64% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 52% of Democrats say the military campaign is going not too well or not at all well. Moreover,...

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Early Voting Report: Florida, NC Democrats Seeing What They Need

By Taniel, Daily Kos– In-person voting started in North Carolina on Thursday, while Democrats are preparing for a big get-out-the-vote operation on Sunday in Florida. For now, Democrats are seeing what they need to see in both states — something that can absolutely not be said about Nevada. Florida: Since it started on Monday, in-person voting has helped Democrats make up some of the deficit they faced among mail voting. They have narrowed the GOP’s advantage among all voters who have already cast their ballot by 1 percentage point each of the past two days. As of Friday, Republicans have an advantage of 9.8 percentage points among the 1.5 million early voters. During the last midterms, Florida Republicans ended up with an advantage of 14 percentage points among all early voters. And this year’s gap should continue to shrink as more Floridians vote in-person and offset absentee ballots. In fact, Florida Democrats...

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Fox News Host Gets Torn Apart On The Air After Alleging Voter Fraud In Colorado (VIDEO)

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – After falsely accusing Colorado citizens of committing voter fraud, Fox host Megyn Kelly found herself being blasted by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and a Colorado news anchor. During her Tuesday program, Kelly reported about a “new law” that allegedly gives everyone in the state a license to commit voter fraud so as to steal a tight Senate race for the Democrats. According to Kelly, the law “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers, then encourages them to turn ballots over to collectors.” Kelly sparked a firestorm of conservative rage, but as it turns out, she told a complete and utter lie. And for lying, Kelly was promptly torn apart on national and local television. You see, that form of voting only applies to men and women who are serving in the military overseas. In fact, members of the armed forces from all...

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Hottest 12 Months On Record: NOAA Data ‘Show No Pause In Warming’

by JOE ROMM – Annual temperature anomalies and 2014 projection from NOAA (see below). Click to Enlarge Global warming is like the Energizer bunny. It just keeps going and going and going. The big difference is that there aren’t any “Energizer bunny” deniers, claiming that the bunny stopped moving 18 years ago! Not only did NOAA report Monday that last month was the hottest September on record, but they also pointed out, “The past 12 months—October 2013–September 2014—was the warmest 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880.” NOAA climatologist Jessica Blunden says “It’s pretty likely” that 2014 will break the record for hottest year.” The AP reports: Some people, mostly non-scientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but “no one’s told the globe that,” Blunden said. She said NOAA records show no pause in warming. To paraphrase Taylor Swift, fakers gonna fake,...

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Don’t Ask the Pentagon Where Its Money Goes

It won’t tell by Medea Benjamin – President Barack Obama proudly signed the law that repealed the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, freeing lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans (although not trans people) to openly serve in the military four years ago. But when it comes to budgeting, the concept lingers on. “Don’t ask us how we spend money,” the Pentagon basically says. “Because we can’t really tell you.” Every taxpayer, business, and government agency in America is supposed to be able to pass a financial audit by the feds, every year. It’s the law, so we do our duty. There’s one exception: the Pentagon. Year after year, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) declares the Pentagon budget to be un-auditable. In 2013, for example, the GAO found that the Pentagon consistently fails to control its costs, measure its performance, or prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse. Congress thankfully, did give the Pentagon...

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ISIL Pounded as Iraqi and Kurd Forces Advance

Peshmerga and Iraqi forces say they have retaken key areas in Iraq’s north and south, supported by 22 US air strikes Ground offensives by the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces, backed by a barrage of US air raids, have forced ISIL fighters from several key towns in the north and south of Iraq, officials say. Kurdish Peshmerga forces said on Saturday they had recaptured several towns and villages held by ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in northern Iraq, while Iraqi government forces claimed to have retaken the town of Jurf al-Sakhr, 50km to the south of Baghdad. The ground forces were backed by 22 air strikes by US-led forces over Friday and Saturday, the US central command said, which targeted ISIL forces in Mosul in the north, Fallujah in the western Anbar province, and the oil-rich area around Baiji. A Kurdish intelligence officer told the Reuters...

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The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘Get Off of My Porch and Take That Ninja Turtle With Ya’ Edition

by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 10/26,14 – Happy Sunday, my friends.  Typical Fall weather here…. most of the leaves down, grey, damp, but all is well because the NFL is wall to wall today starting with a 9:30 AM kickoff from jolly old London town.  So, all-len-all, life is pretty darn good. I hope everyone is healthy and happy this weekend and many thanks for stopping by….. so without further delay, here is some mind cluttering tidbits for y’all.   1) Legendary pool shark Minnesota Fats was actually from New York. He lifted his moniker from a fictional character in the film The Hustler. 2) In his first season with the New York Yankees in 1919, Babe Ruth hit more home runs (29) than any other American League team. 3) Stephanie Kwolik’s name might not ring a bell, but she’s responsible for saving thousands of lives. In 1965, she invented Kevlar, the material...

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Prisoner Gag Law an Attack on Fundamental Free Speech Rights, Say Critics

Pennsylvania governor signs law as race and class-based mass incarceration ‘is being questioned more than ever’    By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams– Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed into law a prisoner gag order that rights groups say is an affront to the First Amendment and a denial of all citizens’ right to understand “an area of U.S. life physically removed from public scrutiny.” Passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on October 15 and the Senate a day later, HB 2533/ SB 508 will allow a judge to censor an inmate or former offender’s public speech before it occurs by permitting a district attorney, the attorney general, or a crime victim to file a complaint if the conduct will allegedly cause “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish” to the victim. Rights groups were quick to condemn the bill, saying its “overboard” language will allow a court system...

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Canadian Mosque Gets Vandalized; This Community’s Response Will Make Your Day

On Friday, residents living in Cold Lake, Alberta came together to turn a negative, hateful message into a positive one. Overnight, the exterior of the Cold Lake Mosque was defaced with hateful, racist “Go Home” graffiti and the windows were broken. The vandalism comes after recent attacks on Canadian soldiers by extremist Muslim groups, although mosque board director Mahmoud El-Kadri doesn’t believe the vandalism is related. El-Kadri was the first to report the vandalism, which he noticed when he arrived on Friday morning to open the mosque for prayers. He said: “My kids saw it and they started crying and I said: ‘Why are you crying?’ They said: ‘We were born here and raised here and this is our home. I am very sure whoever did this could be just a drunk random person at nighttime or it could be … someone not from Cold Lake.” According to El-Kadri,...

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Sarah Palin Calls Media Coverage Of Drunken Brawl ‘War On Women’

by DEWYN – Sarah Palin, remaining, as always, blissfully unaware that words have meaning, and chronically on the watch for opportunities to claim that she’s a victim, took to Facebook on Thursday to say that the media’s coverage of the infamous Palin-led drunken brawl was part of the “war on women.” Now, to be fair, Bristol Palin’s account of the brawl is different from what we’ve believed up until that point. A guy comes out of nowhere and pushes me on the ground, takes me by my feet, in my dress—in my thong dress, in front of everybody— “Come on you ****, get the **** out of here, come on you slut, get the **** out of here.” I don’t know this guy. In her blog, she said: I was alarmed that things had gotten so bad so fast. But it got even worse when this guy started pushing me. He...

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Ebola Ranks Among Highest in News Interest Since 2010

by SETH MOTEL – As news about Ebola dominates the airwaves and permeates midterm campaigns, Americans are following the ongoing story at historically high rates. About half of U.S. adults (49%) followed Ebola news very closely last week, elevating the story to our list of most-followed events since 2010. News interest in Ebola has grown substantially from when we first asked about the outbreak in early August. About one-in-four (26%) then said they were closely following news about the Ebola virus, which was limited to cases in Africa at the time. In the past two years, the only news stories to exceed this level of attention were the Boston Marathon bombing (63%), the 2012 election (60%), the Newtown shooting (57%) and Hurricane Sandy (53%). Looking at other dominant stories this year, 39% very closely followed news about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March and 37% closely followed the beginning of...

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US Cities Criminalizing Sharing Food with Homeless: Report

At least 21 cities have adopted ordinances restricting where and how nonprofits and individuals can share food with homeless by Nadia Prupis – As the number of U.S. cities criminalizing sharing food with the homeless continues to rise as a result of burdensome requirements on food pantries and individuals, rights groups are condemning the cities for their focus on punishment over solutions. A report released Monday by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) found that ordinances which have been adopted in 21 cities target food pantries, individuals, and homeless populations alike by perpetuating harmful myths about the effects of food-sharing and restricting the ways communities can do it. “One of the most narrow-minded ideas when it comes to homelessness and food-sharing is that sharing food with people in need enables them to remain homeless,” states the NCH report, Share No More: The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People In Need...

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Domestic Terrorism Allegations Appear to Be Used as War Propaganda

In the US, UK and Australia, some terrorism investigations appear to be deliberate attempts to stimulate popular support for the war against ISIS by Alastair Sloan, Truthout | Op-Ed – When American terror suspect Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old store owner from Rochester, New York, was first arrested back in June, the FBI of course issued a press release trumpeting their coup. The text briefly mentioned Elfgeeh had expressed support via Twitter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups across the Middle East, but focused primarily on his attempt to buy a silencer, ammunition and a 9mm handgun from two FBI informants, and a plot to shoot US military personnel based in the United States. It made no mention of two-way communication with any of the foreign groups he had alluded to on Twitter. In September, when Elfgeeh was actually charged, the...

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Amnesty: US Human Rights Abuses on Display in Ferguson

New report demands ‘accountability and systemic change’ following excessive force against people who rose up to challenge police violence by Jon Queally – In a report released on Friday, Amnesty International roundly condemns the excessive force used by local law enforcement agencies in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year and called for ‘accountability and systemic change’ in order to curb the kinds of human rights abuses increasingly seen in U.S. communities when it comes to regulating street protests and use of force by police. The report—entitled On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson (pdf)—documents the human rights concerns witnessed first-hand by Amnesty investigators dispatched to Ferguson following initial protests in the city spurred by the shooting death of an unarmed African American teenager, Michael Brown, by a police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The Amnesty team arrived and documented public protest and the behavior of local law enforcement...

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