Bernie Sanders was Unapologetically Strong Responding to Chuck Todd on 43 Year Old Essay

by Egberto Willies – Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd today. He appeared to discuss his candidacy. As expected, Chuck Todd asked Bernie Sanders about his 43 year old satiric essay he wrote that will be misrepresented by the frivolous corporatist indoctrinating traditional mainstream media. Chuck Todd started the question with his usual condescension for a certain sect of politicians. “This week you found out what it is like to become a nationally recognized candidate for president and potentially a threat to somebody,” said Chuck Todd. “A leaking of an essay you in the seventies for an alternative weekly, you campaign described it as satire. I will be honest with you Senator Sanders, it is uncomfortable read.” Todd then went on to quote the most ‘controversial’ snippet from the essay. Senator Bernie Sanders’ answer was perfect. “This is a piece of fiction that I wrote in 1972...

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Reports Say United Airlines Refused To Serve This Passenger A Coke, Because She’s Muslim (IMAGES)

By KERRY-ANNE, Addicting Info – A campaign to boycott United Airlines is gaining traction on social media after reports of an extreme case of Islamaphobia by staff and passengers on a flight this week. Tahera Ahmad, Director of Interfaith Engagement and Associate Chaplain at Northwestern University, took to Facebook during Friday’s flight to share her ordeal. #UnitedForTahera It appears that Ms Ahmad has become yet another victim of the insidious racial profiling, by staff and passengers alike, which is all too common today. When the flight attendants and the reportedly racist passengers look at Ahmad, they saw a potential terrorist, a security threat. They didn’t see Chaplain Tahera Ahmad, a dynamic Muslim “scholar-practioner” raised in Morton Grove, Illinois. They didn’t see the Ahmad that played Varsity basketball at Niles West High School. They didn’t see working her way to the Department of Islamic Studies and Christian Muslim Relations and Islamic Chaplaincy...

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Motorcycle Connoisseurs Find Inspiration in Alabama

By Vicki Smith, Gizmag – Two hours west of the Atlanta airport is a five story, state of the art monument of glass, steel and concrete generally considered to be the finest motorcycle museum in the world. Designed by its founder, George Barber, to draw visitors from all over the globe to his home town of Birmingham, Alabama, those that make the trip to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum can immediately see they are witnessing a truly remarkable achievement. This is a place like no other. His goal was to have the best and largest motorcycle collection in the world but George Barber didn’t stop there – the 144,000 square foot museum fronts a manicured 830 acre complex that houses a world renowned racetrack, a Porsche Driving Experience School and a smaller test track used for corporate events. His dream did not include traditional grandstand seating and advertisers were...

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‘It’s Shameful’: Scientists Slam Ted Cruz For Dodging Climate Question After Texas Floods

by EMILY ATKIN – After literally 35 trillion gallons of water fell on Texas this month, washing away homes and killing at least 28 people, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz still would not talk about climate change. “At a time of tragedy, I think it’s wrong to try to politicize a natural disaster,” the 2016 Republican presidential candidate said last week when asked about the role of climate change in the floods. In a way, the “let’s not politicize this” response is similar to the familiar “I’m not a scientist” dodge — a way to avoid talking about the science that says human-made carbon emissions are warming the earth and screwing with natural weather patterns. Cruz, for his part, says he does not accept that science. In the meantime, climate scientists across the country have been speaking out about the climate implications of the Texas floods. And on Friday, ThinkProgress asked several of...

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What Beau Biden Wanted Everyone To Know About The Issue That Defined His Career

by KAY STEIGER – Beau Biden, son of the vice president, died tragically at the age of 46 from brain cancer on Saturday, but some may not realize that a cause Biden devoted himself to was trying to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. While Biden served as attorney general in Delaware, a position to which he was elected in 2006, he brought a successful indictment against Dr. Earl Bradley in 2010. The pediatrician was charged with 471 felony counts of child abuse involving 102 girls and one boy. Bradley was convicted in 2011, but sought appeal of his case on the grounds of ineffective counsel last year. “I cannot say certain things that I am feeling, and I am feeling a great deal. I am determined to see that this defendant will never, ever be in a position again to hurt another child,” Biden said in a statement following...

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Rand Paul Wants To Force Expiration Of The Patriot Act. Here’s How He Plans To Do It

by KAY STEIGER – Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced a plan to Politico on Saturday to force a delay that would allow key provisions of the Patriot Act, which greenlight an expansive domestic spying program run by the National Security Agency, to expire. “I have fought for several years now to end the illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans. The callous use of general warrants and the disregard for the Bill of Rights must end,” the presidential candidate said in his statement. “So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program.” The Senate plans to hold a vote on a modification of the program that already passed by the house in a rare Sunday vote. The legislation has been the subject of contentious debate in Congress, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stalled on a bill the House passed to change some of...

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Here’s How You Can Leave A Message Of Condolence For The Bidens After The Loss Of Beau

by SARAH – Saturday night, the Biden family announced the loss of Beau Biden. He was only 46, but had been battling brain cancer for quite some time now. Joe Biden wrote in a statement: “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life. In the words of the Biden family, “Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.”  The nation truly grieves for the loss of the Vice President’s son. And so that everyone can share their condolences with the Biden family, Whitehouse.gov has set up a page where everyone can express their heartfelt sympathies. The page reads: In Memory of Beau Biden “Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of...

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Strike Two!

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker To Ban Rape And Incest Victims From Getting An Abortion

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – Of all the states that have suffered under Republican rule, Wisconsin appears to have suffered the most and it’s about to get worse. In a move that will reduce the reproductive rights of women across the state, Governor Scott Walker is poised to sign an anti-abortion bill that will ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy WITHOUT exceptions for victims of rape or incest. The bill has only been introduced in the state legislature so far, but the conservatives in control appear hell-bent on fast-tracking the bill to Walker’s desk. Anti-abortion fanatics are also making it difficult for exceptions to be added because they expect to get their way or Scott Walker could be seen as weaker on abortion than he would like to be. And if they have their way, even an exception to save the life of the mother could be removed....

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Amid Climate Crisis, Big Oil CEOs Rewarded for Massive Extraction Projects with Big Bonuses

By Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams – Drilling the Russian Arctic. Expanding tar sands exploitation in Alberta. Exploring for oil in the South China Sea. These are just a few of the capital-intensive fossil fuel extraction projects that are translating into direct bonus payouts to the CEO’s at the helm of the largest oil corporations in the world, The Guardian revealed in a report released Monday. Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Total, and BP are rewarding CEOs for tapping new markets, despite warnings from scientists that the vast majority of fossil fuels must remain in the ground in order to stave off the worst of the climate crisis. These payouts are being made amid the dramatic rise in “upstream activities,” defined in the report as investment “focused on colossal engineering projects to bring reserves on tap and, to a lesser extent, on exploration.” “Multi-billion-dollar capital projects amount to huge, long-term bets by the...

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UAE Moves to Space: New Space Agency, Academic Programs and Mars Mission in 2020

By Tibi Puiu, ZMEScience – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Monday its strategic framework for a newly established space agency, and also the first academic space program in the federation. The Space Research Center will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, as will be a graduate degree program in Advanced Space Science at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and Orbital ATK Inc. What’s the federation’s end game, though? Last year, UAE announced it will launch an orbiting probe around Mars in 2020. Is it all about scientific missions or, like Dubai’s towering skyscrapers, merely a show of force, of grandeur? Apparently, it’s part science, part showoff, part money. It’s hard to tell at this point which weighed more when UAE first considered its new space agency and subsequent missions. “The establishment of a fully fledged space sector in the UAE, with all necessary human...

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The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘Last Day of May, My Ass’ Edition –

by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 05/31/15 – I awoke this morning to a blistering temperature of 37 degrees….. so much for what the 97% of climate scientists maintain…. global warming, my ass.  I am now entrenched firmly in the climate deniers camp until this shit stops and I see some real late Spring temps.  I may even shoot an email off to Jim Inhofe to tell him that he now has one more ardent follower and that I can get on board with his cult, errrrrr constituents…… I’m kidding of course, but you have to admit 37 degrees is more than a little over (under) the top. Okay, enough of my bitching and moaning and on with the show…….   1) Otto Frank wrote Audrey Hepburn asking her to portray his daughter Anne in the movie “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Audrey kindly declined the part. 2) During WWII, an American pilot...

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This State Literally Wants To Treat Welfare Recipients Like Criminals With Mandatory Fingerprints

by SARAH – The state of Massachusetts is actually strongly considering implementing a fingerprinting system that will keep track of all welfare recipients within the state. Yes, you read that correctly — liberal Massachusetts. A couple months with a Republican governor and all hell breaks loose. And yes, this “solution” to alleged welfare fraud is coming from the House Minority Leader, Republican Brad Jones — what a peach. Jones wants the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Transitional Assistance to clamp down on welfare recipients by implementing a fingerprinting system as well as other biometric identifiers. He said: “We’re losing millions of dollars a year to people who are gaming the welfare system.” So, of course, the obvious solution would be to treat all welfare recipients like criminals. God forbid he ever need assistance during a troubling time in his life and needs a little...

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Why Justice Ginsburg Can Officiate All The Legal Same-Sex Weddings She Wants

By ZACK FORD, ThinkProgress – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a rabid opponent of marriage equality, told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that he believes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be impeached for officiating the marriages of same-sex couples. “We have justices on the Supreme Court right now who have actually performed same-sex marriages: Ginsburg and Kagan,” Moore observed, noting that when doing so just two weeks ago, Ginsburg seemed to slyly emphasize the word “Constitution” when pronouncing the couple married by the powers vested in her by the founding document. “Now she’s commenting on a case which is before her, and under judicial ethics of federal judges, she can’t do that. Congress should do something about this.” “I know that at least one motion for recusal’s been filed against these justices by the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama,” Moore added, referring to the conservative organization...

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‘It Wasn’t Me!’ Former Wall Street CEO Blames Everyone But Himself For Financial Collapse

by RIKA CHRISTENSEN – Richard “Dick” Fuld, the former CEO of the now-defunct Lehman Brothers investment bank, finally broke his silence on the issue after seven years. In a long, rambling speech at the Marcum MicroCap Conference in New York, he spoke about the financial collapse, but avoided taking any responsibility at all for it, despite being in charge of the bank that served as the catalyst for the whole thing. Fuld, according to The New York Times, believes that Lehman Brothers could have survived if the Federal Reserve had allowed it to. He also blames lawmakers, and a lack of regulation, for Lehman Brothers’ failure, and for the ensuing crisis that saw some Wall Street heavies fall, and others get bailed out with taxpayer dollars. The Times says that Fuld also places blame on the government’s push for homeownership, along with the rise of hedge funds, sovereign wealth firms...

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New World Record Set for Farthest Hoverboard Flight

By Stu Robarts, Gizmag – A future in which we’re all flying around on hoverboards may not have materialized just yet, but it does appear to be getting closer. After Hendo’s magnetic hoverboard was announced last year, a new world record for the farthest hoverboard flight has now been set. And there wasn’t a magnet in sight. Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru traveled a distance of 275.9 m (905.2 ft) on a propeller-based hoverboard he created himself. The machine was reportedly designed and built over the course of 12 months. “I wanted to showcase that a stable flight can be achieved on a hoverboard and a human could stand and control with their feet,” Duru is quoted as saying to Guinness World Records, which has recognized the feat. The record was set at Lake Ouareau in Quebec, Canada, on Aug. 25, 2014 (but has only just been announced by...

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Magnetika Bathroom Range Makes Interior Design a Snap

By Adam Williams, Gizmag – We’re taking a look at the Magnetika Bathroom Range here, but the same firm has also released magnetic interior accessories for the lounge, office, kitchen, and elsewhere in the home. They all work in the same way and require that before you get started, you affix a metal panel onto the area of your wall that you wish to hang stuff on. Drilling multiple holes to hang cabinets, shelves, and the like can be a real hassle – doubly so if you decide the mirror looks better on the other wall after all. Italy’s Ronda Design has developed a range of magnetic interior design accessories that can be moved around as you wish, by simply snapping them into place. Once the metal panel is in place, you can then attach and move around magnetic accessories like mirrors, towel rails, and toilet roll dispensers with...

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5 Things You Need To Know About Martin O’Malley

by KIRA LERNER – Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced on Saturday at an event in Baltimore, the city he led as mayor for six years, that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president. O’Malley, who chaired the Democratic Governors’ Association for two years, has tried to establish himself as a more progressive alternative to likely frontrunner Hillary Clinton. While some of the policies he supported as mayor of Baltimore have since drawn scrutiny, his time as leader of Maryland was marked by a series of accomplishments that helped workers, immigrants and others in Maryland get ahead. Here are five boldly liberal policies O’Malley has pushed during his time as governor:   Ended the death penalty in Maryland: As governor, O’Malley signed legislation in 2013 making Maryland the sixth state to abolish capital punishment. A year later, he commuted the sentences of the four remaining inmates on...

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Barney Frank Calls Out Dennis Hastert & GOP Hypocrisy With a Perfect Statement

by Egberto Willies – Barney Frank called out Dennis Hastert and the GOP for their hypocrisy on moral values and gay issues in a manner only he could. He was referring to the indictment of former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert for his banking irregularities allegedly for paying off someone with which he had a homosexual involvement. It was surprising when the news broke. When news broke that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had been indicted for structuring transactions to avoid IRS detection and lying about it to the FBI, it sounded like routine corruption. The details of the indictment, though, point in a different direction, stressing Hastert’s time as a high school teacher and that Individual A, who Hastert was attempting to pay off “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against,” “has been a resident of Yorkville, Illinois and has known defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT...

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Golden Gate – Old and Great

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Dawn Unfolds

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Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, Son of Joe Biden, Dies of Brain Cancer at 46

By David  Nir, Daily Kos – Very sad news: Vice President Joe Biden announced the passing of his son, Beau Biden, in a statement released by the White House. “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” reads the statement from Vice President Biden. “The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us — especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter. “Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the...

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Maine Governor’s Massive Tantrum: Will Veto Every Bill Dems Propose Until He Gets What He Wants

by JAMESON PARKER – You don’t have to know a lot about how America’s political system works to see that a governor threatening to grind the entire legislative process to a halt until he unilaterally gets his way presents a serious problem for democracy – but that’s just how Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage rolls. In the latest move in a string of almost criminally-incompetent governing, LePage has announced that he will veto literally any and every Democratic-sponsored bill that comes to his desk as punishment for the lawmakers not going along with his “eradicate the income tax” plan. According to the Associated Press, LePage was fairly open about his new found love of governing by hostage-taking. During what they called a “spirited news conference” (read: polite Associated Press way of saying “insane”), LePage bragged about it: “The Maine people deserve to have a say on the income tax and...

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Greaseless Ball Bearings: A Revolutionary Spin on a Design That’s Been Around for Ages

By Loz Blain, Gizmag – While the ball bearing might be among Leonardo Da Vinci’s less celebrated inventions, it’s arguably one of his most important. Though it was initially designed as part of his failed helicopter invention, it has stood the test of time – there are ball bearings of a similar design to Leonardo’s in just about every moving machine. The basic design in simple: in order to reduce rotating friction between two pieces, the bearing has an inner and an outer race. A number of balls roll in between these two races, allowing the smallest possible contact points between the inner and outer races. The balls roll a lot easier than the two pieces would slide against each other. The ball bearing can only work if the balls are kept separated and evenly spaced throughout the races. Touching each other would produce friction, and uneven spacing would...

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Bobby Jindal’s Lawsuit Against Common Core Law He Signed Moves Forward

by CASEY QUINLAN – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has continued his legal battle against Common Core standards, despite the fact that he enthusiastically supported the standards in 2012. Jindal pushed for the implementation of standards, even as the state’s education department officials were concerned that a bill easing implementation of the standards wasn’t worth the political dust-up. Three years has made a quite a difference in Jindal’s outlook on the issue. Jindal, who is expected to announce he is running for president, is suing the Obama administration in federal court. The lawsuit, which first began in August of last year, claims that the administration is directly implementing national education reform “far beyond the intentions of Congress” and is responsible for “federal direction or control of curriculum” and that the Obama administration’s actions violate the 10th amendment. The latest development in this legal saga occurred in Baton Rouge Thursday where...

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Alabama’s Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Resigns

by quaoar – It took long enough. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Alabama, who last summer was arrested on charges he beat his wife in a hotel room in Atlanta, announced today that he will resign his lifetime appointment. Fuller — the judge who presided over the case of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman — wrote a letter to President Obama and the 11th Circuit saying he will step down on Aug. 1. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, said she welcomed the announcement from Fuller and is relieved that Congress can avoid going through an impeachment process.”Justice was not served. We sent the wrong message to victims of domestic violence by allowing a federal judge to collect a paycheck — without managing a caseload — and ultimately having his record expunged,” Sewell said. “Judge Fuller failed to uphold the values we hold dear.” Alabama’s GOP congresswoman was also happy to see...

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In Face of Rising Climate Movement, Tar Sands on Life Support: Report

by Deirdre Fulton – Evidence of struggling tar sands sector suggests opportunity to slow the rate of growth ‘significantly’ With dozens of carbon-intensive tar sands projects delayed or on hold, a new report released Friday confidently declares: “The case for the tar sands is crumbling.” A new analysis by Oil Change International identifies 39 projects—representing more than 1.61 million barrels per day (bpd) of potential tar sands oil production capacity—that companies are currently unable or unwilling to invest in. That’s good news for the climate and the environment, as well as for frontline communities that bear the brunt of the toxic tar sands production. And it’s bad news for the tar sands sector, which now finds itself “struggling to justify many new projects,” says Hannah McKinnon, senior campaigner on private finance at Oil Change International. According to the report, On the Edge: 1.6 Million Barrels per Day of Proposed Tar Sands...

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Meet the Corporate Villains Sponsoring the COP21 Climate Talks

by Sarah Lazare – ‘The effort of these corporations to green-wash their ongoing damage of the planet in order increase profit and gain public support is offensive’ Fresh revelations that yet another round of United Nations climate talks—this time the upcoming negotiations in Paris—will be sponsored by some of the very corporations driving global warming have been met with outrage and alarm that the global process continues to be “captured by big polluters.” Pierre-Henri Guignard, Secretary-General of the UN Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), unveiled the list of corporate sponsors on Wednesday. “We are building a very business friendly COP which will show the commitment of the private sector to the spirit of the convention,” he stated. But climate justice advocates say that by being “business friendly,” the conference is, in fact, hostile to the public good—and the planet itself. “Today’s announcement of the corporate sponsors of the COP21 exposes...

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The TPP Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight

By Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research – The push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its final stages as the House of Representatives will soon take the key vote on fast-track trade authority which will almost certainly determine the pact’s outcome. The proponents of TPP are clearly feeling the pressure, as they make every conceivable argument for the deal, and unfortunately many that are not quite conceivable. In the last few weeks, TPP proponents have repeatedly tripped up, as they got their facts wrong and their logic twisted. This hit parade of failed arguments should be sufficient to convince any fence sitters that this is a deal not worth doing. After all, if you have a good product, you don’t have to make up nonsense to sell it. Leading the list of failed arguments was a condescending editorial from USA Today directed at unions who oppose the TPP because...

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This Is How The ‘Christian’ Right Has Held Jesus Hostage To Fuel Corrupt Capitalism

by SARAH – If any supposed Jesus-loving “Constitutional Conservative” were to actually sit down and read the United States Constitution, there is something missing that may be of interest to them — any mention of God, Jesus, or Christianity. If we’re going to look back at how the rise of the fallacy that we are a “Christian nation” came to be, we need look no further than the Great Depression and the political tactics that were used to shift blame and build a movement that has now become too big for its britches. When FDR implemented the New Deal after the fall of the economy which led into the Great Depression, he used a few tactics to sell his ideas. Tactics that included using scripture — accurate depictions of scripture. Such as, lifting the nation out of poverty by implementing economic measures that helped bring the economy back and relieve...

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Will Bernie Sanders Take on Hillary?

by Ralph Nader – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is off and running after his formal announcement for the presidency this past Tuesday before 5,000 cheering supporters in Burlington, Vermont. He is starting from the region that launched the American Revolution and he is promising to“begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally,” with “the support of millions of people throughout this country.” He will take on the corporate plutocracy and its servile political oligarchy with numerous assets. In his long, scandal-free elective career, from Mayor of Burlington to the House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate, Sanders can match his progressive rhetoric with a consistent voting record. He has a large number of progressive supporters who are not “Ready for Hillary” because of her corporatism and militarism. This will assure his ability to raise at least $20 million, mostly in small donations, by the end of...

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‘A Step in the Right Direction’: US Removes Cuba from Terror List

Move signals continued restoration of diplomatic ties, but economic sanctions will remain in place By Nadia Prupis, C0mmon Dreams – The U.S. has formally removed Cuba from its list of “state sponsors of terror,” the State Department announced on Friday, signaling one more step forward in a renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries after more than 50 years. Some economic sanctions against the Caribbean nation will remain in place. President Barack Obama announced his intention to remove Cuba from the list in April, giving Congress 45 days to consider the new policy. Cuba’s placement on the list, which began in 1982 over its support of leftist movements in South and Central America, has complicated the country’s access to financial markets for decades and been a roadblock in the building of foreign embassies there. Keith Bolender, freelance journalist and author of Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism...

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Mysterious Substance Fouls California Beach

Blobby slick of tarlike substance washes ashore 100 miles south of recent oil spill  A slick of unidentified tar-like substance forced the closure of another stretch of the California coast on Wednesday as federal authorities ordered the company at the center of a spill last week to continue its efforts to clean up after the pipeline breach that poured crude oil onto a stretch of pristine shore. Los Angeles County lifeguards spotted mysterious blobs washed up on Manhattan Beach at 10 a.m. and the substance continued to wash ashore on the surf for about two hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The globs fouled a 6.8-mile stretch, according to according to ABC 7, and authorities closed the beaches as precaution. Coast Guard Cetty Officer Marshal Anderson described the small balls as oil patties to NBC Los Angeles. The fire department said investigators have collected samples and are...

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Nature Faces Off Against Politics in North Carolina

By Kirk Ross, Al Jazeera – RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — During the early morning hours of May 2, part of the northbound lane of North Carolina Highway 12 in Kitty Hawk broke off and washed into the Atlantic Ocean. While the loss of 200 feet of roadway and about 500 feet of a protective sand berm will be temporary, it was more than just another hit to the road from a big spring storm at high tide under a full moon. In a state that has been engaged in a highly charged, highly politicized debate about climate change for more than five years, it was a reminder that the Atlantic isn’t waiting to see who wins the argument. It was also a reminder that North Carolina, with its rapidly developing coastline and intricate ecological network of sounds and estuaries, has a lot at stake as sea levels rise. The state has...

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Anti-Immigration Conservatives Hit a New Low

by A. Barton Hinkle – What’s wrong with letting undocumented immigrants serve in the U.S. military? If Cesar Vargas ever becomes a military lawyer, the terrorists will have already won. Or so says Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary contest a little less than a year ago. Brat says people such as Vargas represent nothing less than the decline of Western civilization. Vargas’ parents brought him to the United States from Mexico more than a quarter-century ago, when he was 5. He went to school, then to college, and then to law school, making honor lists along the way. He interned with the New York Supreme Court. When the court considered his application to join the bar, it rated his performance “stellar.” But his status as an unauthorized resident alien got in his way. Vargas aspired to join the military. “This country...

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Drought May Force Californians To Drink Treated ‘Toilet To Tap’ Water (VIDEO)

 By DEBORAH MONTESANO, Addicting Info – Californians are running out of options for water sources, but they have one big one left: wastewater. The technology to turn wastewater into drinking water has been around for years, but in the past, the possibility has been vetoed by people who can’t get past the “yuck factor.” Donald Schultz, an activist from Van Nuys, is an example of how crisis can change attitudes. He told the Los Angeles Times: “You know, toilet to tap might be the only answer at this point. I don’t support it, but we’re running out of options. In fact, we may have already run out of options.” Advocates say that the water that comes out of the treatment process is cleaner than the water currently coming out of taps. As George Tchobanoglous, an expert in water reuse at the University of California, Davis, puts it: “When it comes down to it,...

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Critics Blast ‘Compromises’ as Patriot Act Barrels Toward Sunset

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘The USA Freedom Act alone does fundamentally very little in terms of significantly constraining the ability of the National Security Agency to perform bulk collection of data about anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise.’ With the sunset of key spy powers on the near horizon and lawmakers scrambling to save them, privacy and internet freedom groups are dialing up the pressure on Congress to end mass surveillance as we know it. The Senate will return to Washington, D.C. for a rare session on Sunday, on the heels of a week-long Memorial Day recess. With sections of the Patriot Act barreling toward a 12am June 1 expiration, lawmakers are reportedly scrambling to come up with a last-minute deal to save the law after a series of Senate votes on Friday failed to resolve an impasse. The debate over the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spy powers has some senators pushing...

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Report: Hastert was Paying Man to Keep Quiet About Sexual Abuse Dating from Hastert’s Teaching Days

by David Nir – A new report in the New York Times fills in some important details about former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert’s shocking indictment: J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, was paying a man to not say publicly that Mr. Hastert had sexually abused him decades ago, according to two people briefed on the evidence uncovered in an F.B.I. investigation into the payments.Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced the indictment of Mr. Hastert on allegations that he made cash withdrawals designed to hide those payments and for lying to federal authorities about the purpose of the withdrawals. The man—who was not identified in court papers—told the F.B.I. that he had been touched by Mr. Hastert when Mr. Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach, the two people said on Friday. The people briefed on the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because...

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On This Day, May 30, 1806 – Future President Andrew Jackson Kills Charles Dickinson

On this day in 1806, Revolutionary war veteran and future President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel. Born in the Waxhaws area along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, Andrew Jackson was the last president to be a veteran of the American Revolution and the first president to bring the backcountry values of the Carolinas to the White House. His willingness to not only duel Charles Dickinson, but also to kill him at short range for having printed libelous comments about Jackson, revealed the extent to which he had imbibed the brutality of the Carolinas during the revolution. Born in 1767, Jackson served with the Patriots in the devastatingly brutal battles that characterized the American War for Independence in the Carolinas. His eldest brother died following the Battle of Stono Ferry in 1779. A print depicts a young Jackson, who served as a scout in...

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Corporate Media Accused of Parroting Fear-Mongering over Patriot Act

by Nadia Prupis – With key provisions of the USA Patriot Act nearing a long-awaited expiration date, there remains one last adversary to take down in the fight for privacy rights: the corporate media. The most recent case is the New York Times, which on Thursday quoted several anonymous White House officials who warned that allowing the Patriot Act to sunset is akin to “playing national security Russian roulette” and leaves intelligence agencies in “uncharted waters…fraught with unnecessary risk.” If Congress fails to strike a deal to renew the Patriot Act’s controversial Section 215 by its June 1 deadline, the officials warned that the result would “suspend crucial domestic surveillance authority at a time of mounting terrorism threats.” But as other national security experts note, the Patriot Act is far from a safeguard against terrorism. In an op-ed published last Sunday, ACLU legal deputy director Jameel Jaffer criticized the media’s choice of...

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How the Hell Can Ted Cruz Support Texas Flood Relief After Telling Hurricane Sandy Victims to Rot?

by David Nir – There is just no way to square this circle. None whatsoever. After witnessing the serious destruction that major flooding just caused in his home state of Texas, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz made an iron-clad promise to his constituents: “Today, Texans are hurting. They’re hurting here in San Marcos. They’re hurting in Wimberley. They’re hurting in Houston. They’re hurting across the state.”Democrats and Republicans in the congressional delegation will stand as one in support of the federal government meeting its statutory obligations to provide the relief to help the Texans who are hurting.” It would be an eminently reasonable assurance to make, if only Ted Cruz were a reasonable man. But he’s not. We all know he’s not. When Hurricane Sandy wreaked even greater damage across the Northeast in 2012, Cruz told his suffering fellow citizens to get bent: “This bill is symptomatic of a larger problem in...

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Hearing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on a 110-year-old Fairground Organ is Oddly Perfect (VIDEO)

By Jen Hayden, Daily Kos – Old school craftsmanship meets vintage rock and roll in the video age. The result? Oddly amazing and perfect: 1905 81 key Marenghi Organ playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Original Arrangement written by Alexey Rom. Organ part of Bill Nunn’s collection: skyrockfarm.com Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos  

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Lawmakers Overestimate How Conservative Their Districts Are—By a Lot

by Hunter – This bears repeating. We’ve heard before that lawmakers tend to presume their own districts are much more conservative than they are, but it’s the degree to which they’re off that’s amazing, and important. The typical conservative legislator overestimates his or her district’s conservatism by a whopping 20 percentage points. Indeed, he or she believes the district is even more conservative than the most right-leaning district in the entire country.Liberals also think their constituents’ views are more conservative than they really are, but are typically only off by about five percentage points. So when Republican lawmakers get to Washington, they are operating under the presumption that their districts are full of insane people who are more conservative than any of the sorry bastards in anyone else’s district. And thus a hundred Ted Cruzes get their wings. (On the Democratic side, they are still convinced their constituents are more conservative than...

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Sandy Victims Say Low-Income Residents Got ‘Screwed’ By Christie’s Recovery Programs

by KIRA LERNER – As tourists head to the New Jersey shore this summer to enjoy a vacation, longtime residents of the coast are still waiting to return home. More than two and a half years after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the coast, thousands of residents are still waiting for their homes to be rebuilt and for funding to come through. And this week, the New Jersey department overseeing the recovery announced that almost half of the low-income homeowners who applied for rebuilding aid had been rejected. On Thursday, the New Jersey Organizing Project (NJOP) organized a bus tour of the coast to give victims and advocates a chance to speak out about the mismanaged Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program and Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) failed response efforts. While almost 15,000 families applied for the grant program, almost 11,000 of them are still waiting today, according to Fair Share...

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Chicago Police Delete 86 Minutes Of Security Video After Black Man Killed By Officer (VIDEO)

by SARAH – Back on October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. McDonald was actually shot 16 times according to the Medical Examiner, nine shots hitting his back. The case was subsequently quickly settled out of court for $5 million. There is however still an ongoing investigation as to what happened that night. McDonald was shot at around 9:50 p.m., but security video from the Burger King that was less than 100 yards away, that may have shown what happened directly before the shooting, has been deleted. In fact, 86 minutes total were deleted — from 9:13 p.m. – 10:39 p.m. McDonald was killed within that time frame. According to the manager of the Burger King, Jay Darshane, after the shooting, police entered the Burger King and asked to see the video. Darshane, not thinking anything of it and wanting to help, showed them to...

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Did Cleveland Police Create a Racist Hate Group?

by Manasa Naidu – So, in December 2014, did the Cleveland police help create a new mainstream racist hate group that has spread to other parts of the country and is still raging on in Cleveland? Even I know that this sounds crazy. Especially since at first glance, the Sea of Blue movement (made up of Greater Cleveland area police officers and their supporters) seems innocent and even positive. It had been described by its organizers as a movement of love aimed to honor police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. That sounds really nice actually…. Its Facebook Banner even reads, “Peace.” It has been described as a peaceful movement characterized by quiet rather than noise and riots. But further analysis reveals the deceptive and sinister underbelly of this so-called peaceful movement. Officer Michael Brelo’s verdict, who was charged for jumping onto the roof of a car...

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Pastor Who Refused To Reject LGBT Community Shot In Anti-Gay Hate Crime

by RANDA MORRIS – Hartford, Connecticut police are investigating the shooting of a Christian pastor, which took place the day before Memorial Day. The pastor, who is known for  non-judgmental acceptance of LGBT individuals, was shot multiple times, while placing flags in front of his church. According to police, the shooter used anti-gay language and slurs during the attack. Sunday marked Pastor Augustus Sealy’s fifth anniversary as pastor at the Hartford First Church of the Nazarene. As he was preparing for a commemorative service, someone driving a black Nissan or a black Honda Sedan fired a total of seven bullets at the Christian pastor, while shouting anti-gay slurs. Three of those bullets struck him. Two of the shots hit Sealy in the leg, and one penetrated his shoulder. Thankfully, an additional four shots missed their intended target. Dennis Lee was the first person to arrive at the scene. He told Fox Carolina...

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FDA Ticks Off First Drug to Treat Radiation Sickness After Nuclear Disasters

By Nick Lavars, Gizmag – A drug long-used to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy has won US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in treating the nasty effects of exposure to radiation following a nuclear disaster. Known commercially as Neupogen, the drug has been shown to work by shielding the body’s white blood cells to heighten a patient’s chances of survival. Neupogen, or filgrastim as it is otherwise known, is a synthetic protein that boosts the growth of infection-fighting white blood cells. Where the production of these cells is hampered in cancer patients by chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Neupogen can be used to stimulate the growth, maturation and release of white cells from the bone marrow. This better equips the sufferer to ward off infections and bleeding problems that can result from the therapy. Neupogen was first approved for helping to treat those undergoing chemotherapy in...

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Could Earthworms Save the Climate?

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch – We know that earthworms are good for our gardens. When you turn over a spade full of rich soil and find it packed with the wiggly creatures, you know that your garden is going to grow strong and healthy. Vermicomposting — using worms to consume food scraps and turn them — has justifiably become all the rage. But now it appears earthworms can do more than just save your tomatoes and eggplants from struggling in poor soil. According to a new study, they could also be instrumental in saving the planet. A new study published this week by a team of scientists from Yale University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Helsinki in Finland and Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic suggest that earthworms could be important allies in the fight against climate change. The study, Biotic Interactions Mediate Soil...

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Here’s The ‘Funny Or Die’ Duggar Scandal Parody You Know You’ve Been Waiting For (VIDEO)

by SARAH – Over the past week a firestorm of controversy has surrounded reality show stars the Duggar family after sex allegations were revealed that the eldest son, Josh Duggar, had inappropriately fondled several of his younger sisters. Well, in a parody that was just asking to be made, satirizing the homeschooling, fundamentalist, baby-producing family, Funny Or Die has gone above and beyond, and gives a glimpse into the minds of the Duggars throughout this scandal. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are played by comedians Greg David and Erin Gibson, and they really nail the personality traits of the very religious, oddly always happy couple. Regarding the scandal, Michelle begins by saying: “We would like to talk to you America, because our son Josh is in a pickle.” Jim Bob then says: “With more kids than an NBA team, we were bound to have one troubled kid.” Michelle says: “When Josh was...

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Iraqi Forces in Battle to Retake Baiji Refinery (VIDEO)

Troops and Shia units challenge ISIL fighters holding facility, control of which has been hotly contested for months Iraqi forces and Shia units are involved in heavy fighting to retake the country’s largest oil refinery from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. ISIL holds large sections of the Beiji refinery complex in northern Iraq where police, soldiers and elite special forces are holding out. Speaking from Baiji, a member of the elite forces said they were aiming to retake the whole area. “We stormed a building inside the Baiji refinery with the support of Hashid Shaabi. As you can see, we are inside the refinery now. God willing, within the coming few hours, we will liberate the whole refinery and the area outside the refinery with the help of Almighty God,” he said. According to Hashid Shaabi, an area of 50km south of...

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Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted For Multi-Million Dollar Cover Up

by RYAN DENSON – Another day, another Republican scandal. It appears former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has been formally indicted by the FBI for a multi-million dollar cover up.  It turns out Mr. Hastert lied to the FBI previously regarding a series of payments totaling $3.5 million (Hastert only paid $1.7 million). The money, the FBI has discovered, was used to pay an unidentified person to “cover up past misconduct.” Unfortunately, the indictment does not describe what the misconduct was or who else was involved. It also didn’t tell who was at fault in the “misconduct.” Hastert, who resigned from his position as Speaker and his seat in Congress in 2007, made the majority of the withdrawals and payments in 2010 in “to keep a person from the town where he was a longtime high school teacher silent about prior misconduct,”according to Yahoo News. Hastert taught and coached at the...

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SpaceX Releases On-board Footage of Emergency Escape Test

By Anthony Wood, Gizmag – SpaceX has released on-board footage of its successful Crew Dragon Launch Abort System (LAS) test that took place at Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station earlier this month. The success of the company’s innovative new design of LAS represents a vital stepping stone in the spacecraft’s road to becoming human rated. The newly released footage shows in real time the dramatic life saving contingency that would be triggered should a critical error be detected in the rocket below in a launch scenario. The traditional LAS system comes in the form of a rocket tower, that perches above and enshrouds a crew capsule at launch. In the event of an emergency, the tower fires, lifting the capsule and its valuable human cargo clear of danger. This tried and tested system was used during the Apollo era, and is planned for use...

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The Dramatic New Evidence About The Best Way To Treat HIV

by TARA CULP-RESSLER – A major international clinical trial funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) has been cut short a year early, now that researchers have documented such compelling results about the right way to deliver HIV treatment. The Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) study, which has been tracking more than 4,600 HIV-positive people in dozens of countries since 2011, aimed to figure out when patients should begin taking a combination of drugs that can effectively suppress the virus. Antiretroviral drugs are a major advance in HIV treatment that allow many HIV-positive individuals to live long and healthy lives. But, since the drugs can also come with significant side effects, global health experts have been hesitant to recommend prescribing them too early. The START study wanted to see whether it was better to start anti-retroviral therapy immediately, when HIV patients are still relatively healthy, or wait until their...

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Which Country Will Be First to Go Completely Underwater Due to Climate Change?

By Cole Mellino, EcoWatch – This country, The Maldives, “could become the first state in history to be completely erased by the sea,” says Evan Puschak of the Seeker Network. It’s the planet’s lowest country. “On average, it’s only five feet above sea level,” says Puschak. If the oceans continue to rise, as predicted, 77 percent of this country will be under water by the end of the century. If the rate of rise increases even more, as a new study suggests, the country could even be submerged by 2085. And it’s not alone, many other low-lying island nations face a similar fate. Find out which country could be under water in our lifetime: It’s not just low-lying island nations either. “A recent study says we can expect the oceans to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along...

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Ex-Senator Joins Firm That Lobbies For The Industries Destroying Her State

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – Just a few months after losing her seat in the U.S. Senate, Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu announced she’s joining the powerhouse lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman as a “senior policy adviser,” focusing specifically on energy policy issues. That title will allow Landrieu to get around the law that bars former members of Congress from lobbying their old colleagues for two years. Landrieu, the former chair of the Senate’s powerful Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will now be advising for a firm that represents powerful oil, gas, coal and other energy corporations, including some of the same ones that her state is currently trying to hold accountable for destroying the wetlands that used to protect the coastline from storms. As The Intercept notes, one of Van Ness Feldman’s clients is TransCanada, the company that has been fighting for the Obama Administration’s approval of the controversial Keystone XL...

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Now Bernie Sanders Is Hitler: Conservatives Claim Fight Against Inequality Leads To ‘Concentration Camps’

by JAMESON PARKER – We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that for the moment, conservative website National Review seems to have forgotten they believe Obama is Hitler. The bad news? It’s because they now think Sen. Bernie Sanders is Hitler. According to a flailing anti-Sanders hit piece, National Review writer Kevin D. Williamson (who is never short of really terrible opinions) argues that the Senator from Vermont, and recently announced Democratic candidate for president, will lead the United States to concentration camps, gulags, and firing squads. Gazing at his crystal ball (or is it his navel?), Williamson predicts a Sanders presidency quickly devolving into Nazism. What are the clues? Well, Sanders wants the government to help the poor which, according to Williamson, is a slippery slope to genocide. In his typically overwrought style, Williamson explains to his readers and Sanders how economics works with meandering, condescending paragraphs like…...

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Sorry, Jeb, Scientists Know Humans Caused All Our Recent Warming

by JOE ROMM – Last week in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush said conservatives should “embrace science,” and the GOP needs to be the “party of science.” That was minutes after he embraced climate science denial. “Look, first of all, the climate is changing,” Bush said. “I don’t think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you.” Actually, it’s pretty easy to understand scientists’ best estimate of what fraction of recent warming is man-made — all of it. Jeb Bush asserts this issue is “convoluted,” but in fact it is so widely accepted that every major government in the world — including China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia — signed off on that finding almost two years ago. I’m speaking of the findings of...

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The Texas Legislature’s Attempted Assault On LGBT Rights Ends With A Whimper

by ZACK FORD – This legislative session, Texas state Republican lawmakers proposed a record number of bills that would limit LGBT equality, but with the session about to end, almost all of those bills have failed to advance. Still, the lawmakers managed to find a way to voice their disapproval before the session runs out. The chance to pass standalone anti-LGBT bills expired weeks ago, but this week, there were several attempts to attach those measures as amendments to bills still under consideration. One, mirroring a bill previously introduced by Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. (R), would have banned taxpayer funds from being used for licensing same-sex couples’ marriages, an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s expected marriage equality ruling. Another would have granted a “license to discriminate” to state child welfare agencies that refuse to serve same-sex couples for religious reasons. A third problematic bill also died this week, one...

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Armed Bikers In ‘F*CK ISLAM!’ Shirts Plan To Mock Islam, Incite Violence At Mosque

by CHARLES TOPHER – A group of ‘Murican bikers has an entire evening of Islamaphobic events planned in Arizona on Friday, gathering for what they call a “response to the recent attack in Texas where 2 armed terrorists with ties to ISIS attempted Jihad.” The two men with “ties to ISIS” were shot and killed when they showed up at an event held for no reason other than to mock Islam wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles. The bikers, determined to further the cause of mocking Islam and inciting violence, have decided to form a protest at a mosque the two men attended, because surely it’s a center for ISIS recruitment and terrorist plots. The mosque, located in Phoenix, is more than a thousand miles from Garland, Texas, where the shooting took place. Such a glorious day of hate they have planned. It will all start at a Denny’s restaurant in...

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Creationist Claims Proof Dinos And Humans Co-Existed; Scientists Fire Up Facepalming Machine

By JAMESON PARKER, Addicting Info – Ken Ham, known most notably for his massive creationism museum in Kentucky and getting absolutely demolished by Bill Nye in a debate on evolution, now says that he will soon be publishing “world-changing” evidence that demonstrates without a doubt that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Along with his co-conspirator Dr. David Menton (a man who generously describes himself as a “creation scientist”), Ham says his revolutionary evidence will show that dinosaurs didn’t die out 65 million years ago, but in Noah’s flood only a few thousands years ago. Before that, humans from Adam and Eve up until Noah’s time lived peacefully with the creatures. What kind of evidence is Ham suggesting could overturn centuries of careful research by thousands of scientists in the fields of paleontology, geology, evolutionary biology, and other non-creation science sciences? Ironically, it’s fossils. Ham has long been wary of fossils being used as...

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Scientists Weigh In On Climate Impacts Of Texas’ Devastating Floods

by EMILY ATKIN – There’s a lot to say about the flash flooding that began last weekend in Texas and Oklahoma. So far 18 people are confirmed dead and at least 10 are missing. The weather’s broken records: Oklahoma City broke its all-time rainfall record for a single month, and Texas’ Wimberley Valley saw the highest flood in its recorded history. And more heavy rain is on the way. Texas and Oklahoma are certainly no strangers to intense flooding, particularly in May, and particularly with an El Niño developing. But with average atmospheric carbon dioxide at levels so high that they’ve never before seen by humans, many have asked the question: what’s the role of human-caused climate change here? The scientists ThinkProgress spoke to on Wednesday would not say the extreme flooding event was caused by climate change, noting the science of figuring out humanity’s role in a weather event...

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Behavior of Military Lawyer in Boondoggle HQ Inquiry Under Scrutiny

By Megan McCloskey, ProPublica – An investigation released last week into why the U.S. military built a $25-million headquarters in Afghanistan that it never used, condemned the behavior of one officer in particular:  the top commander‘s lawyer. In a series of emails to other officers in 2013 and 2014, Army Col. Norm Allen said that he wanted to “slow roll” investigators, that he wouldn’t personally cooperate out of loyalty to the command, and that he would consider it inappropriate for others to do so. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recommended that Allen be disciplined.  Turns out not only did the Pentagon disagree, but Allen has moved up the military’s food chain.  Today he is the legal advisor for the prestigious command that oversees Special Forces, such as the Navy SEALs. The $25 Million Building in Afghanistan Nobody Needed The U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t...

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Scott Walker Invokes Terrorist Threats To Call For Even More Southern Border Security

by ESTHER YU-HSI LEE – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) became the latest politician to link U.S. immigration policy to terrorism this week, claiming that migrants could come through the southern U.S. border to engage in “terrorist-related activity.” During an interview with the conservative-leaning Breitbart News after a visit to the Texas border, the 2016 presidential front-runner alluded to Israel’s militarized borders and stated that the United States should put up more fencing to “truly secure that border.” Citing concern that “international criminal organizations seeking to penetrate our land-based borders” and pushing “drugs,” “firearms,” and trafficked humans, Walker pointed to Israel as an example of a country that the United States could emulate and invest in better “infrastructure, personnel, and technology” to secure the border. This is an abbreviated portion of Breitbart‘s interview with Walker, on immigration: This is truly a matter national sovereignty, in that if we were...

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Detroit Shuts Off Water For 1,000 Poor Residents

by BRYCE COVERT – The Detroit Water and Sewage Department began shutting off water to about 1,000 delinquent accounts on Tuesday, against the wishes of the city council. The department didn’t return a request for the exact number of accounts that have been shut off so far. It distributed about 3,000 door hangers earlier in the month warning residents that they had ten business days to get on a payment plan or risk having their water turned off. About 800 signed up for the plans, which allow them to keep their water on if they can stay current on their bills. But many who sign up eventually fall behind again, as the average bill is about $75 but the average past due amount is $755. The shutoffs come after the city council passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on May 12, asking the department to wait until the assistance...

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Oscar Lopez Rivera: Will Obama Pardon This Political Prisoner?

by Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report – “Mr. Margolis has said that there are democratic ways to struggle and get things done. He forgets to tell you that I have a history of precisely that. That I have marched. That I have taken part in demonstrations. I have begged and pleaded. I have a history that has not been presented here. I have marched alongside black people for their rights. I have marched in support of jobs. I have a history of that. I have marched for access to decent housing. I have a history of that. I have marched against the war in Vietnam. I am a veteran of that war. And I have a history of that. Mr. Margolis does not know how it feels to be a Puerto Rican in this country. Mr. Margolis does not know how it feels to be black in this...

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The 5 Most Ridiculous Things Right-Wing Nut Jobs Buy Out of ‘NRA Magazine’ (IMAGES)

by CHARLES TOPHER – Depending on what kind of magazines you read, you probably see lots of things advertised. From prescription drugs to age-defying face creams, vitamins to weight loss supplements, magazines have their staples. The staples give way to more demographically direct advertising in magazines that cater to a specific hobby, profession or special interest. A bicycle magazine has ads for helmets and cool sunglasses; a hiking magazine pushes boots and backpacks. It’s pretty simple, you market to your base of readers. What then will you find advertised in a magazine for right-wing, misogynist, ammosexual Teabillies? Hold onto the bar in front of you and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times, you’re in for a wild ride. The five most ridiculous things right-wing nut jobs buy out of the NRA’s magazine America’s First Freedom.     5.) The Cool Red Dot:   Looking to not only look...

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The Other One Percent

by Ralph Nader – As a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.” Over the years, I have been astonished at how less than one percent of the citizenry, backed by the “public sentiment,” have changed our country for the better by enacting reforms to protect the people from abuses of power, discrimination and deep neglect. Specifically, if – one percent or less – were to dedicate a modest amount of their time and money working together for much-needed changes that are overwhelmingly supported by public opinion in each congressional or state legislative district, they would prevail against the government and corporate power structures. There are obstacles, such as a corporate influence over City Hall and wavering politicians who insincerely pledge support, but defer and...

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Body Cameras Are Not Pointed at the Police; They’re Pointed at You

by Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report – Something unusual happened during a Senate subcommittee hearing – the committee reached a consensus, at least informally. Although they admitted that there is no “silver bullet” for restoring the public’s faith in law enforcement in the wake of several high-profile cases involving killer cops, lawmakers from both parties, along with every witness called in to testify, agreed that police officers across the country should wear body cameras. “If you could get the right protocols to protect privacy and make sure the officer is using the camera in an appropriate manner, do you think it’s best for the nation to go down this road?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked Wade Henderson, CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a broad coalition of civil rights groups that have drawn up guidelines for body camera deployment. “Without question, I think it’s...

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Oooopsie: Pentagon Admits to Sending Live Anthrax Across Nation and Abroad (VIDEO)

by Jon Queally – A research lab run by the U.S. military in Utah that deals with highly-infectious diseases inadvertently sent live Anthrax spores to facilities in nine states as well as one military base in South Korea, Pentagon officials confirmed Wednesday. As the Washington Post reports: The first live sample discovered was shipped from Dugway Proving Ground in Utah to an undisclosed facility in Maryland and reported by workers there May 22. Live samples from that same batch — labeled “AG1″ — were sent to laboratories in eight other states, and could have been distributed from there to additional facilities run by the government or private companies, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the incident. The Pentagon also said that one sample of anthrax was sent to the Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition Program at Osan Air Base....

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Dems Back Debt-Free College as Issue Moves Into Election Spotlight

by Deirdre Fulton – Pollster says at the ballot box, student debt will be “as important to millennials as ‘war and peace issues’ were to baby boomers.” Nine additional Democratic senators on Wednesday came out in support of a resolution calling for debt-free public college, bringing to 20 the total number of Senate Dems who support the measure, introduced only a month ago by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). The resolution (pdf) calls on federal and state governments, along with higher education institutions, to work in concert to lower tuition costs, increase financial aid, and reduce the burden of existing student debt. As described by The Hill: The resolution deals in broad strokes rather than granular details. It calls upon the federal government to provide more support to states, which can then “make increased investments in higher education that will result in lower tuition and...

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Nebraskan Lawmakers Override Gov. Pete Ricketts’s Veto to Abolish State Death Penalty

by Meteor Blades – With Wednesday’s override vote in its one-house legislature, Nebraska became the nation’s 19th state without a death penalty. The last time a conservative state abolished capital punishment was 42 years ago when North Dakota made the move. But since then eight states plus the District of Columbia have repealed their death penalty statutes. Two states—Connecticut and New Mexico—still have inmates on death row because the repeals were not made retroactive.The supposedly non-partisan Republican-dominated legislature had repealed the death penalty last week in a 32-14 vote, but the Republican governor vetoed it. Joe Duggan and Todd Cooper report: The high-stakes vote to override the veto of Legislative Bill 268 was 30-19. It requires at least 30 of 49 senators to overturn a gubernatorial veto.The outcome represented a defeat for first-term Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, who made an all-out effort to peel away some of 18 conservative senators who helped pass...

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On This Day, May 28, 1957 – Owners Allow Dodgers and Giants to Move

On May 28, 1957, National League owners vote unanimously to allow the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, at the mid-season owner’s meeting in Chicago, Illinois. There were, however, conditions attached to the owners’ decision. First, either both teams had to move or neither could, which meant that if one team reconsidered, the other would have to change their plans as well. Second, both teams had to announce their plans before October 1, 1957. In the end, both teams did move: The Giants hosted a farewell party at a game on September 29, and the Dodgers formally announced their move on October 8. West Coast baseball fans were overjoyed, and the people of New York City were heartbroken. In 1957, the Dodgers were in the midst of an impressive run; they had won five pennants and one World Championship in...

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Andrew Cuomo Reverses Email Purge Policy

By Justin Elliott, ProPublica – The emails of New York officials will no longer be automatically deleted after 90 days, aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week in response to political pressure over the purge policy. It’s been a slow burn leading to the policy shift. The purge policy was first reported by the Albany Times Union back in mid–2013, but didn’t stir much protest until more recently, following coverage by ProPublica and Capital New York. At a public meeting Friday, aides to the governor said they had reviewed the policies of other states and, going forward, any email deletion would be manual. That means more communications should be retained and be accessible in response to public records requests or in the case of investigations of wrongdoing. Good government groups welcomed the move, writing in an letter open that it “shows the power the governor has to lead by example...

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Meet the ‘Dark Money’ Phantom

By Carrie Levine, Center for Public Integrity – WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Just outside Cincinnati, tucked among insurance agencies, hair salons and a yoga studio, is the nexus of one of the nation’s most mysterious networks pouring secret money into elections. “Langdon Law LLC Political, Election Nonprofit and Constitutional Law,” reads its small sign, which faces the building’s parking lot rather than the street. On a Tuesday afternoon last month, that parking lot was empty. No one answered the Langdon Law office door. Phone calls went unreturned. Unlike other heavy-hitting political lawyers, David Langdon doesn’t grandstand. But don’t overlook him. Langdon is a critical behind-the-scenes player among the small army of lawyers working to keep secret the origins of millions of dollars coursing through the American political system. Thanks to his work, this unremarkable suburb is a home base for nonprofits and super PACs that pour millions of dollars into...

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