Rise and Shine

 

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Lindsey Graham Tried Defending The 1% And He Failed – Badly

by WENDY GITTLESON – After Mitt Romney’s disastrous run for president in 2012, instead of running directly toward the 1%, Republicans have been doing a waltz. On one hand, they try to be the party of good ole’ boys and on the other, they tell the good ole’ boys to ignore the fact that the Republican (and many of the Democratic) candidates are still being led by 1%. Lindsey Graham, who hasn’t yet announced his candidacy, told a crowd in Concord, NH that it isn’t the 1% we should care about at all. Instead of taxing the 1% at a greater rate, Graham said we should have a flat tax. Graham said a system in which the wealthiest 1 percent pays 20 percent of the taxes, the top 10 percent pays 65 to 70 percent and the bottom half of taxpayers pays less than 10 percent “is going to fail.”...

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Renowned Scientists Urge Museums to Drop Climate-Denier Donors, BP Dumps ALEC

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch – The Natural History Museum is a New York-based organization that provides online and mobile programming, and exhibits intended to “affirm the truth of science” and call attention to the “political /funding climate” in the science museum community. It has no multimillion-dollar signature building, expensive exhibits with benefactors’ names next to them on gold plaques or an admission price that will set a family back $100. But it’s taking aim at those science and natural history museums that do, questioning the integrity of accepting funding from donors with an interest in and history of refuting scientific research on issues like climate change—donors like the Koch Brothers of the fossil fuel-driven Koch Industries. The group has issued an open letter to these museums from members of the scientific community, urging them to cut such ties. It points to the Code of Ethics for Museums, adopted in 1991 by the Board of...

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“A Letter to Christians in Indiana, From Jesus” (VIDEO)

by DocDawg – These are dark, difficult times in which to be a follower of Jesus. Not because, as in some times past, we are persecuted by Pharisees, or by Roman emperors, or by those who would suppress heresy, or by Nazis, or by imaginary demons. Rather, these are difficult times in which to be a follower of Jesus because so many who claim to be our fellows have moved so far, so publicly, from our faith’s teachings, and in doing so have tainted the rest of us, in the world’s eyes, with the same poison they themselves have succumbed to. As a North Carolinian in this new Dark Age, there are two fellow North Carolina Christians I increasingly often turn to for comfort and inspiration when I find myself sickened by and despairing over the actions of some of those who call themselves my brothers. One is Rev. William J....

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Schumer’s Choice: To Succeed Reid, He Must Back Iran Deal

by Robert Naiman, Truthout | Op-Ed – Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has announced that he will not run for re-election. Reid has endorsed Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) to succeed him as Democratic leader. But in order to succeed Reid as Senate Democratic leader, Schumer is going to have to pay a price: he’s going to have to back President Obama’s multilateral diplomacy with Iran, which Bloomberg reports could produce a “framework agreement” this weekend. Some of Senator Schumer’s New York constituents might not like that, but as the soldiers say, they’ll just have to “embrace the suck.” Senate Republicans may think it’s ok for them to try to undermine a diplomatic agreement. But the prospective leader of Senate Democrats isn’t allowed to do that. On Thursday, Schumer officially became a co-sponsor of the main Republican bill in the Senate designed to blow up the Iran talks: the Corker-Menendez...

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After National Church Makes A Move On Marriage Equality, Presbyterian Congregations Receive Threats

by JACK JENKINS – Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA), or PC(USA), officially voted to fully embrace marriage equality as a denomination, a historic move celebrated by LGBT advocates and lay Presbyterians alike. But just a few days after the pivotal vote, four different Presbyterian churches in southeast Missouri received an unsigned letter condemning homosexuality and threatening to attack congregations that embrace same-sex marriage. The letter, written in all capital letters and riddled with typos, opened by citing a passage from the biblical book Leviticus condemning same-gender sex. The author then issued a chilling warning to area churches who host same-sex weddings. “People U (sic) had better turn around or your soles (sic) are going down…” the letter read, which was photographed by local news affiliate 12 KFVS. “Any church that accepts this , should be burned to the ground, any pastor who performs such marriage (sic) should be...

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Monsanto Hit With Fine for ‘Genetically Contaminating Wheat Supply’

By ANTHONY GUCCIARDI, NaturalSociety – After paying an original sum of $2.4 million to reimburse farmers for contaminating their fields with genetically modified wheat that had not even yet been approved for farming, Monsanto has been forced to pay another $350,000 in order to settle a class action lawsuit brought upon by numerous farmers from over seven different states. The news comes amid economic struggles for the biotech juggernaut that have resulted in the loss of share value and poor projections for the long-term future. In last year’s fourth quarter, Monsanto reported a loss of $156 million. And for the multi-billion dollar company, it’s not about the monetary figure, but the future of its genetically modified creations that the public just simply isn’t buying. In the latest legal settlement, we find that Monsanto’s new method of simply paying off farmers just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to international...

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The Political Legacy Of Steve Nash

by TRAVIS WALDRON – Steve Nash, two-time NBA MVP and future Hall of Famer, formally announced his retirement, writing in The Players’ Tribune that after 19 years in the league it is finally time to hang it up. “I will likely never play basketball again,” Nash wrote. “It’s bittersweet. I already miss the game deeply, but I’m also really excited to learn to do something else. This letter is for anyone who’s taken note of my career. At the heart of this letter, I’m speaking to kids everywhere who have no idea what the future holds or how to take charge of their place in it. When I think of my career, I can’t help but think of the kid with his ball, falling in love. That’s still what I identify with and did so throughout my entire story.” The 41-year-old Nash is in the final season of a contract...

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It’s Time to Rethink America’s Relationship With Israel

Maybe Israeli politicians will act more responsibly if they don’t have the American people to fall back on by Sheldon Richman – The Benjamin Netanyahu on display in the days before and after the Israeli election is the same one who has been in power all these years. Right along, he was there for all to see, so no one should have been surprised by his performance. I seriously doubt that anyone really is surprised. Americans who slavishly toe the Israeli and Israel Lobby line may act surprised, but that’s really just their embarrassment at having to answer for the prime minister of the “State of the Jewish People.” Democrats especially are in a bind. They can’t afford to distance themselves from Netanyahu and alienate Jewish sources of campaign donations, yet they are visibly uncomfortable with his so openly racist fear-mongering about Israeli Arab voters—”The right-wing government is in danger. Arab...

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Carly Fiorina Blames Economic Struggles On Workers ‘Watching Porn All Day Long’ (VIDEO)

By SHANNON BARBER, Addicting Info – Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and likely GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is following in the footsteps of her fellow Republicans by going on television and saying stupid things. On Sunday, Fiorina went on the favorite network of the right to opine on the economy after telling Fox host Chris Wallace that the chances of  her running for president are “higher than 90 percent.” Fiorina used her technological experience as a reason she’d be a great candidate, saying that it was “because I understand technology: a transformational tool, because I understand bureaucracies, how they work and how you need to change them. And our government is a huge bureaucracy.” Okay, I’ll give her that. What she said about technological knowledge is true – that is most definitely important in this day and age. However, what she Fiorina said after that files her firmly into the camp of morons...

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Indiana’s New Anti-Gay Law Made Company Cancel $40M/1000 Job Expansion

By SARAH, Addicting Info – Ever since Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a “religious freedom” bill allowing businesses to turn away LGBT customers, many companies have taken this as a cue to take their business out of Indiana. One business in particular, Angie’s List, a $315 million company based out of Indianapolis, Indiana is canceling expansion, and may even be thinking about moving out of the state altogether. The company, which allows users to review businesses online so that people know what they’re getting when they hire someone into their home for repair work, care-giving, and other in home services, is in disagreement with the passage of the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” CEO Bill Oesterle is canceling a $40 million deal that was going to expand their headquarters and add 1,000 jobs over five years. Oesterle said: “We’re going to be very vocal on this issue and I don’t feel we can do that...

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On This Day, Mar 30, 1981 – President Reagan Shot

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital. The president was shot in the left lung,...

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Schumer’s Road to the Top Greased by Donations to Colleagues

By John Dunbar, Center for Public Integrity – It’s not what they teach in civics class, but the best way to snag a leadership position in Congress is by giving generously to one’s colleagues. By that measure, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is well-positioned to be the next Senate Minority Leader. Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democratic leader in the Congress’ upper chamber,  said this week he will not run for re-election in 2016, prompting speculation as to his potential successor. Two senators — Schumer and Dick Durbin of Illinois — have risen to the top of the list. Schumer’s leadership political action committee, known as “IMPACT,” doled out almost $1.5 million from 2010 through 2014, according to data gleaned from the Federal Election Commission by the Center for Public Integrity. The total includes at least $720,000 donated to Senate Democrats. Durbin’s Prairie PAC gave away $1.3 million from 2010...

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Charles Barkley And Reggie Miller Condemn Indiana Anti-Gay Law, Urge NCAA To Move Final Four

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his fellow Republicans are facing one hell of a backlash over the anti-gay law passed they passed on Thursday, and now former NBA greats Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller are blasting them for it. Charles Barkley has made many ignorant statements on the issue of racism over the last few months, but he may have redeemed himself at least a little bit by slamming Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act in a statement to USA Today in which he urges the NCAA to move the March Madness Final Four tournament out of the state. “Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me. As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.” But an even bigger condemnation of the anti-gay law...

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Rooibos Preserves Wine Naturally Without the Use of Synthetic Chemicals

By Radha McLean, EcoWatch – Wine just got healthier. The African vintner Audacia has invented an all-natural way to preserve red wine using rooibos wood taken from the eponymous tea-producing plant that is native to Africa. Sulphur dioxide and other synthetic materials are traditionally added to wine to act as preservatives that lengthen the shelf life of the alcoholic beverage. This plant-based preservation method eliminates the need for artificial additives. “I see it being drunk all over the world,” Audaicia owner Trevor Strydom told Reuters. “We registered the patent in 83 jurisdictions worldwide, we are already exporting the wine to China.” Strydom first tried rooibos in the form of tea — rooibos tea has grown in popularity in the past decade as health-minded tea drinkers have discovered its rich, earthy taste that is 100 percent caffeine-free. He began experimenting with the preservation process by putting tea bags in wine, which led to the...

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Evangelical Compares Transgender Individuals To Pinocchio: They Need To ‘Repent’ Identity

 By  SARAH, Addicting Info – There are a lot of things I can read on the internet and just brush off as crazy talk. However, with transgender individuals taking their own lives at such an alarming rate this nonsensical article needs to be combated. A man by the name of Owen Strachen, who is the President of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (who knew that was a thing?) decided he would write a piece titled, “Transgender Identity — Wishing Away God’s Design.” Well, first off, he’s Southern Baptist, so we already know he very male-centric, because women aren’t even allowed to have leadership roles within their church. In fact they write in their position statement: “While Scripture teaches that a woman’s role is not identical to that of men in every respect, and that pastoral leadership is assigned to men, it also teaches that women are equal in value to men.” You just said...

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National #BoycottIndiana Movement Drives Officials to Backpedal on Anti-LGBTQ Law

‘It feels like we’re going back 50 years in time,’ one protester said of state-sanctioned discrimination by Lauren McCauley – Indiana lawmakers are scrambling to backpedal as a fierce backlash has taken hold against Republican Governor Mike Pence since he signed into law legislation that effectively permits discrimination against people thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Under the handle #BoycottIndiana, LGBTQ activists and supporters across the nation are vowing economic retribution against the state. The so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” signed into effect on Thursday, prohibits state laws that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of “person” includes religious institutions, businesses and associations. Critics say that the measure protects individuals or businesses that violate anti-discrimination laws. Across the state, stickers have already begun appearing in storefront windows that read: “This business serves everyone.” On Saturday, hundreds of activists rallied outside...

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Renewable Energy Growth Mitigates Climate Change While Boosting Economy, IEA Reports

By Steven Cohen, EcoWatch – The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced this month that 2014 carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector leveled off — the first time in 40 years this has happened without being linked to an economic downturn. According to the IEA: “Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year. The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought. The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth — including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy — are producing the desired effect of...

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Why Jeb Bush’s Wealth is a Problem in the GOP Primary

by TDDVandy – Being rich.  In the party of the rich, you would think it wouldn’t be a problem, but it is. At least, it’s a problem if you’re actually running for office.  Jeb Bush has a Mitt Romney problem, though maybe it’s not the one you think. Well, okay, maybe he does have that problem.  It’s not a big jump, after all, from suggesting that maybe we ought to repeal the minimum wage to Mitt’s infamous 47 percent comments.  Both Jeb and Mitt seem like they’re totally out of touch with average Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. But being an out-of-touch rich guy is a problem for the out-of-touch rich guys who constitute the GOP’s donor base.  Remember, a lot of them were looking for alternatives to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to John McCain in 2008.  And was there ever a more out-of-touch rich guy than...

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A Constructive Role for Congress on Iran

by Ken Sofer – The United States and its negotiating partners—known collectively as the P5+1—are just days away from a potential agreement to halt Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. This is a critical moment that could peacefully resolve one of the most vexing national security threats the United States has faced over the past two decades. On such a critically important national security issue, the president must lead. Congress should also continue to play a role, but it must be a constructive one. Iran came to the negotiating table because President Barack Obama and Congress worked together to impose some of the most restrictive and effective economic sanctions the world has ever seen, such as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. President Obama simultaneously assembled an international coalition—including Russia, China, and some of Iran’s biggest customers, such as India and Japan—to stand united against Iran’s nuclear...

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