Unable To Gain Traction, Lindsey Graham Outlines Why Trump Is So Bad For The Republican Party Brand

by KAY STEIGER – In an appearance on CNN, Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham explained his rival Donald Trump’s appeal among primary voters as something actually bad for the party. In response to a CNN host asking Graham about the New York businessman outpolling him by 26 points in his own state, he challenged him directly, “Come to South Carolina and I’ll beat his brains out. I know my state. This is a silly season in politics.” Graham appeared frustrated himself by the Monmouth University poll numbers released on Tuesday, which showed Trump solidly in first place at 30 percent. Graham, who has struggled to gain much traction in the race, gained just 4 percent support among likely Republican voters in South Carolina. But Graham raised some concerns about the narrowing electorate appeal that have bubbling among the Republican establishment since their pounding in the 2008...

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Father Of Slain Journalist Publicly Shames Lawmakers For Opposing Sensible Gun Reforms

by IGOR VOLSKY & VICTORIA FLEISCHER – After his daughter, WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker, was gunned down on live television, Andy Parker announced that he will devote himself to preventing gun violence. During multiple TV appearances and in a Washington Post op-ed published on Sunday, Parker promises to “focus our attention on the legislators who are responsible for America’s criminally weak gun laws; laws that facilitate the access dangerous individuals have to firearms on a daily basis.” An estimated 32 people die every day in the United States as a result of gun violence and during Alison Parker’s lifetime, more than 765,000 people lost their lives to guns. With those figures in mind, Parker took to the Post to single out House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Virginia state Sens. John S. Edwards (D) and William M. Stanley Jr. (R), for actively resisting gun safety measures. “Goodlatte has...

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Senator Tammy Baldwin Endorses Hillary Clinton

by TobyRocksSoHard – Senator Tammy Baldwin made history in 2012 when she was elected as the first openly gay Senator in United States history and the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the US Senate. On election night, she said that she didn’t run to make history, but to make a difference. She is hoping to make history and a difference for Wisconsin and the United States once again by announcing her support for Hillary Clinton to become the first woman President, releasing a joint op-ed on the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street and stumping for her in Iowa today. Baldwin is currently in Dubuque, Iowa speaking to folks about the importance of caucusing for Hillary Clinton. Dubuque is right in the corner of Iowa that borders the southwest corner of Wisconsin. Clinton and Baldwin penned an op-ed on the Huffington Post about restoring trust in Government by closing...

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Judge Shuts Down Kris Kobach’s Attempt To Disenfranchise Voters In Kansas Elections

by KIRA LERNER – A Kansas judge last week dealt a blow to Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s voter suppression efforts, denying his attempt to end a lawsuit challenging the state’s two-tier voter registration system that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship to vote in state races. The lawsuit challenges the state’s dual voter registration system. Kobach crafted the system, which the judge said was beyond his authority, after he pushed a law through the legislature in 2013 to require voters to provide proof-of-citizenship documents when they register to vote for the first time or after moving to Kansas. The state denied voters who used the federal voter registration form and failed to provide their passport, birth certificate or other documentation from participating in state and local elections, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of state voters shut out from the political process. Micah Kubic, executive...

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Petition Demanding Arrest Of Netanyahu For War Crimes Nearing 100,000 Signatures

by John Vibes – In the UK, a petition has been circulating, calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his next trip to London. However, David Cameron and representatives of the UK government have said that they will not arrest him because he has diplomatic immunity. Regardless of the government’s unwillingness to cooperate with the petition, the volume of signatures shows that a growing number of people are beginning to recognize the war crimes that the Israeli government and military is participating in. So far, the petition has gathered over 80,000 signatures of UK citizens who demand that the Israeli PM be detained when he enters the country. According to Damian Moran, the petition’s creator, Netanyahu is obviously guilty of war crimes, and according to international law the government should be able to detain him whether or not he has diplomatic immunity. “It is a clear message to...

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Ben Carson Blames Hollywood, Not Police, For Troubles In Black Urban Communities

by KIRA LERNER & LAUREL RAYMOND – Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is not a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. He has called the group silly and divisive, saying “of course all lives matter” and that focusing on police violence against African Americans is missing the real problems with our inner cities. In an op-ed in USA Today  the only African American presidential candidate outlined the “real sources of hopelessness” he believes the movement should address. He said the group is misdirecting our anger “at politically convenient targets, not real culprits” — including the recent film Straight Outta Compton. “Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash,” Carson says in the op-ed. “Let’s tell them we plan to start talking with our wallets.” He continues, saying that “glorifying violence and equating prison time...

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Clinton ‘Can Be Beaten’ as Sanders Shows New Surge in Iowa

by Jon Queally – Clinton’s favorables drop to lowest point yet in key state as populist message of the U.S. senator from Vermont continues to attract new supporters Matching trends previously seen in New Hampshire, a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll released Saturday shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders is trending upwards in the key early primary state as he closes the gap with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. As the Register reports: Liberal revolutionary Bernie Sanders, riding an updraft of insurgent passion in Iowa, has closed to within 7 points of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race. She’s the first choice of 37 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers; he’s the pick for 30 percent, according to a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll. But Clinton has lost a third of her supporters since May, a trajectory that if sustained puts her at risk of losing again in Iowa, the...

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Iran Deal Gathers Support From Two More in Senate, Five More in House. Republicans Focus on Optics

by Meteor Blades – Over the past three days, Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Carper of Delaware joined the other Democratic senators who support the Iran nuclear agreement. That brings to 31 the number of senators standing behind President Obama on the deal that six world powers negotiated with the Islamic Republic to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for easing of sanctions.That’s just three short of what’s needed to sustain a presidential veto of any Republican-initiated resolution of disapproval of the agreement. Two Democrats—Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez—have declared their opposition. Merkley’s and Carper’s support leaves 13 Democratic senators still undeclared. At least one more supporter is expected to announce support for the agreement this week, and it wouldn’t be surprising if several did. The Obama administration has in the past week been lobbying to get 41 senators to support the agreement. That’s what’s needed to filibuster any...

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Outrage Follows Death of Young Black Man, Jailed for Stealing $5 of Snacks

by Deirdre Fulton – Jamycheal Mitchell’s family said they believed he starved to death after refusing meals and medication at the jail Heartbreak swelled on Friday afternoon after the news broke that a mentally ill black man from Virginia died in a jail cell on August 19 after spending four months behind bars for allegedly stealing a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar, and a Zebra Cake worth a total of $5 from a 7-Eleven. Response on social media reflected growing public awareness—and outrage—about the overlapping scourges of institutionalized racism, a dysfunctional criminal justice system, and a troubling gap in mental health care for the disadvantaged. According to news reports, 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell was arrested by police on April 22 in Portsmouth, Virginia, the same day that one of the city’s officers fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old named William Chapman in a Walmart parking lot. After spending almost three...

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Aid Groups to World Leaders: Time to Force Israel to Lift Blockade on Gaza

by Sarah Lazare – ‘We urge you to take action to press for an end to these restrictions now, so that families are lifted out of the rubble and homes, schools, and hospitals can be built.’ Over 150,000 people and dozens of humanitarian organizations say it is time for world leaders to force Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and allow its residents to recover from last year’s 50-day military onslaught, in what the groups are saying is the largest global appeal of its kind. Released Wednesday, the anniversary of the formal ceasefire, the call notes: “Not one of the 19,000 homes that were bombed and destroyed has been fully rebuilt.” “e are calling on you to press Israel to end the blockade and to immediately remove wood, steel bars, cement, aggregates, and other essential construction materials from the list of items restricted from entering the Gaza Strip,” reads the...

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Beyond Abortion and Equal Pay: Survey Highlights Wide Scope of “Women’s Issues”

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘Women do not lead single-issue lives,’ says Ms. Foundation president on Women’s Equality Day Presidential candidates who think “women’s issues” are limited to abortion rights and equal pay are sorely mistaken, according to the results of a new survey released by the Ms. Foundation for Women. “This survey tells us that policymakers, community leaders, and movements must change the way we approach problems and issues,” said Ms. Foundation president and CEO Teresa C. Younger. “Women do not lead single-issue lives. For instance, access to birth control and abortion is impacted by income level, racial and cultural bias, gender discrimination and immigrant status. We must implement policies and build movements that address the totality of women’s lives, rather than creating a patchwork of silos.” The survey results were publicized Wednesday to coincide with Women’s Equality Day, the national holiday commemorating passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution....

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Hillary Clinton Compares Anti-Abortion Republicans To Terrorists

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – In a speech in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, Hillary Clinton issued her strongest defense yet of a woman’s access to reproductive health care including abortions. After calling out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich by name for their campaign promises to ban all abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother, Clinton continued: “Now extreme views on women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” Telling the cheering crowd, “We are going forward; we are not going back,” Clinton then challenged her Republican opponents who’ve been calling for defunding Planned Parenthood to look in the eye the Americans that...

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These 16 Quotes Explain Why Trump Will Be The Republican Candidate

by John Prager – Donald Trump is awful — exactly the sort of person he would describe as a “loser” if he possessed some modicum of self-awareness. Trump is exactly the sort of person who unapologetically aggrandizes himself among white supremacists, who believes in spite of facts and logic that the twice-elected President of the United States is not a United States citizen. Trump has earned his spot as the GOP frontrunner in the traditional manner — by preying on the insecurities, fears, and prejudices of a scientifically-proven low-IQ base. The billionaire’s campaign began as what seemed to be a parody of the ridiculous levels to which the Republican party has managed to sink, but quickly grew into one of the most horrific movements our nation has seen since burrito night at the Limbaugh household. Trump’s popularity — especially with white supremacists — is driven largely by his demonization of “illegals,”...

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Firefighters From Half A World Away Summoned To Help Put out America’s Wildfires

By CHARLES TOPHER, Addicting Info – Huge tracts of California, Washington and Oregon are burning, with no end in sight. That is the grim reality facing firefighters battling blazes in the west with every weapon in their arsenals. With no “season ending event” in the weather forecast, help has been summoned from around the globe. Since 2000, Australia and New Zealand have been a part of a cooperative that will send 71 of its firefighters, some of the best and most experienced in the world, to help battle fires in the west. The United States and Canada have a reciprocal agreement in force that sends equipment and personnel across the northern border in both directions during times of trouble. Canada is currently in a similar situation with wildfires. Previously, Addicting Info reported that Canada was lending the U.S. CL-415 Waterbomber planes due to GOP budget cuts. While we were unable to verify that story, we most certainly can...

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Senate Committee OKs Bill Written By H&R Block To Make Doing Your Taxes More Complicated

by JAMESON PARKER – If there is one thing in the world more frustrating than sitting down to do your taxes, it’s knowing that there are people in this world who are actively working to make the job as difficult as can be so that you will find it all but impossible to do it on your own. You might recognize them as the people at H&R Block and TurboTax. Tax preparation companies have been adamant about keeping the veil of maddening confusion surrounding the tax process. They bank on it. Literally. Each year fed up Americans spend billions of dollars on tax help from companies like H&R Block and Intuit(the company which owns TurboTax). And the confusion and complexity waste more than just dollars and cents. Each year, Americans spend about 6.1 billion hours working on filing their taxes. The system has gotten so out of hand that it may be one of the...

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Trump is Global Journalism’s American Junk Food

by Christian Christensen – He’s everywhere. Spray-tanned face and white teeth exploding through the front pages of newspapers and magazines. Implausible hair mesmerizing on Twitter and Facebook. Comments on female journalists and illegal Mexican immigrants echoing across the ether. It is likely that Donald Trump will be nothing more than an ephemeral political phenomenon, but he is still a phenomenon. Politically divisive at home, Trump unifies internationally. My utterly subjective sense is that he is the American many global citizens have been waiting for since the end of the George W. Bush presidency: an American the world can look at and ridicule, a symbol of US arrogance and anti-intellectualism. Paul Thomas of the New Zealand Herald put this view best when he wrote that, “Trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America: casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandizement, vulgarity on an epic scale. He is the Ugly American...

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NRA Suing Seattle For Having The Audacity To Take Action Against Gun Violence

by SARAH – Gun violence in the United States is an epidemic. And while people who love to claim they’re “law-abiding” citizens and shouldn’t dare be given any restrictions on firearms, there are those in this nation who wish to cause harm. So, thinking pragmatically, Seattle, Washington, implemented a “gun violence tax.” The tax is set up to help offset the amount of money the taxpayers of Seattle pay every year in gun related injuries, as well as researching gun violence data. According to Seattle.gov: “Under the gun violence tax, firearms dealers would pay $25 for every firearm sold and $0.05 for every round of ammunition sold. The City Budget Office estimates the gun violence tax will raise between $300,000 and $500,000 a year.” City Council President, Tim Burgess, said: “Gun violence is a public health epidemic, but we can alleviate it with focused research and prevention funded by this...

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Anti-Birth Control Employers Keep Losing In Federal Court, But They’re Still Free To Violate The Law

by IAN MILLHISER – Maybe Hobby Lobby won’t be as big of a deal as we thought it would be. As a matter of legal doctrine, the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was an earthquake, holding that business owners could use their own religious beliefs to limit their employees’ rights. As a practical matter, however, its real impact is still up in the air. So far, every single federal appeals court to consider the question has approved current Obama administration birth control rules that accommodate religious objectors while still ensuring that most employees have access to birth control. That includes an opinion by Judge Jerry Smith, one of the most conservative federal judges in the country. Yet, despite this winning streak, women who work for the litigants in these cases could be forgiven if they thought that they were the big losers in court. Last month, for...

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Worldwide Condemnation as Egypt Whisks Al-Jazeera Journalists to Prison

by Jon Queally – ‘We consider them to be prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression,’ says Amnesty International Outrage and condemnation were the reactions inside a Cairo courtroom and across the world on Saturday after three Al-Jazeera journalists were sentenced to at least three years in prison by an Egyptian judge. Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were convicted of “spreading false news” and acting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party which was ousted in a military-supported coup in 2013 and which the current government, led by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has now branded a “terrorist” organization. Though Greste was deported back to Australia in February, both Fahmy and Mohamed (who was given an additional six months compared to his western colleagues) were in court when the ruling was handed down and were immediately...

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These 45 Horrible GOP Quotes Show Why No Woman Should Vote Republican — EVER

by JOHN PRAGER – Republicans are absolutely clueless about anything that has a vagina — which explains high divorce rates in “Red” areas of the country. It’s almost like the sun cannot rise and set without a conservative saying something awful and/or scientifically illiterate about women. This is an issue that, oddly, persists across both sexes among our frenemies on the right. The GOP has recently been trying to abolish the “anti-woman” stigma the party has earned time and time again with seemingly helpful efforts to make “The Pill” an over-the-counter medication, though the disdain for females is still readily apparent when one considers that this is intended to distract from their attempts to deprive women of numerous health care needs — like the inclusion of contraception under health care plans and safe, reasonable access to abortions if a woman chooses to have one. And if a woman is raped —...

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When Asked About His Favorite Bible Verse, Donald Trump Did His Best Sarah Palin (VIDEO)

by WENDY GITTLESON – In 2015, two things are required of Republican candidates: they need to be horrible people and they need to be horrible in the name of God. When people think of Donald Trump, “religious” isn’t really the first thing to come to mind, but because he’s running for president as a Republican, he has found religion. Well, to be fair, he has claimed religion in the past, but it’s always seemed that that’s a secondary (at best) part of his life. Even as recently as last month, Trump said about whether he’s asked God for forgiveness: “I’m not sure I have,” Trump said. “I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” On Wednesday,...

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Georgia County Admits It Disenfranchised Voters In African American-Dominated Neighborhoods

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – Fulton County, Georgia admitted to illegally disenfranchising and misleading voters in the 2008 and 2012 elections in a settlement this month. For more than two dozen violations of state law — including improperly rejecting eligible ballots and sending voters to the wrong precincts — the county will pay a fine of $180,000. To make sure the problems do not continue in the future, the county has promised to spend an additional $200,000 on new training software for their poll workers. Voting rights advocates who focus on the region, including Julie Houk with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, praised the Secretary of State for investigating the violations but questioned whether the punishment fits the crime. “What’s going to happen to that money?” she asked ThinkProgress. “How is the state going to use it? Is it wise to make the county pay a very large...

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Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere to Create Carbon Nanofibers

By Nick Lavars, Gizmag – Carbon nanofibers hold tremendous potential. They may one day be put to use in tougher bulletproof vests, artificial muscles or rebuilding damaged hearts, just to name a few possibilities. But could the greatest gift these little wonders offer humanity be not what they bring into the world, but what they take out of it? Scientists have developed a technique that could pull the mounting carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and transform it into carbon nanofibers, resulting in raw materials for use in anything from sports gear to commercial airliners. Led by Stuart Licht, the team from George Washington University working on the approach describe it as “diamonds from the sky.” This is in part because diamonds are made of carbon, but also because of how valuable these atmosphere-derived fibers may one day prove to be. The system takes carbon dioxide and bathes it in...

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Expert Analysis Finds Planned Parenthood Videos and Transcripts Doctored by Anti-choice Group

by Joan McCarter – Here’s a shock: the “sting” videos produced by the anti-choice extremist group posing as the Center for Medical Progress against Planned Parenthood were doctored, according to new analysis. WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood on Thursday gave congressional leaders and a committee that is investigating allegations of criminality at its clinics an analysis it commissioned concluding that “manipulation” of undercover videos by abortion opponents make those recordings unreliable for any official inquiry.“A thorough review of these videos in consultation with qualified experts found that they do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” said the analysis of a private research company. The analysis was by Fusion GPS, a Washington-based research and corporate intelligence company, and its co-founder Glenn Simpson, a former investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal. The reviewers looked at both shorter, edited videos that are about eight...

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You Break It, You Own It (Or, What The Hell Did You Think Would Happen?)

by David Michael Green – Doesn’t your heart just break for the grandees of the Republican Party? They’ve had the shit kicked out of them in presidential election after presidential election, and the forecast trends in national demographics suggest that, looking forward, these last decades will be seen as the GOP’s grand old days. So, knowing this, the big-wigs got together after the last debacle in 2012 and decided, “Hey, we’ve got to stop alienating the damn Mexicans. There’s too many of them!” Any moron could have predicted what a fool’s errand that would be. Politicians – most especially the Republican kind – are nothing if not heat-seeking missiles when it comes to opportunistically pouncing on an issue they can ride to electoral victory. Particularly given the number of third and fourth-tier weenies vying for the Republican nomination this time around (George Pataki? Bobby Jindal? Ben Carson? Carly Fiorina? Seriously?), it...

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Josh Duggar-led Group Funded via Koch Brothers Freedom Partners Operation

by Lisa Graves and David Armiak – With millions of users of the Ashley Madison cheating website now searchable, some may wonder why TV reality figure Josh Duggar’s transactions with the site that “guarantees” extramarital affairs are newsworthy. It’s the hypocrisy, as Duggar acknowledged this week, but there’s more to that story. Koch Hard Cash? In June 2013, Duggar was hired to work as the Executive Director of “Family Research Council Action,” a 501(c)(4) political and lobbying arm of the controversial “Family Research Council” charity, which promotes “family values,” particularly in elections and through its related FRC Action PAC. According to newly reviewed tax filings, it turns out that Family Research Council Action first received funding from a little known entity called “EVANGCHR4 Trust” between June 2013 and May 2014. That entity–which plainly refers to transferring money to evangelical Christian groups–is legally tied to a mysterious limited liability corporation...

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Hillary Clinton Proposes Huge AmeriCorps Expansion

by CASEY QUINLAN – As part of Hillary Clinton’s college affordability plan, or New College Compact, she announced she will expand the number of AmeriCorps members to 250,000. There are currently a little over 75,000 AmeriCorps members, and the number hasn’t increased for years. For members who finish two years of full-time AmeriCorps service and complete a year of public service, they will be able to receive more than $23,000 through the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award compared to the current maximum award of $11,550. The awards would also be made tax-free. Shirley Sagawa, a senior visiting fellow at the Center for American Progress who played a crucial role in drafting the legislation that created the CNCS in 1994, said Clinton’s plan will make it much easier for college students to participate in AmeriCorps. “AmeriCorps has always been intended as a way to offset the cost of college and it’s certainly...

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World’s First Solar Powered Airport Has Arrived

By Cole Mellino, EcoWatch – If you’ve been tracking Solar Impulse 2, the solar airplane circumnavigating the globe, then you will be excited to hear this news: the Cochin International Airport in the southern state of Kerala, India is officially the world’s first airport thats runs exclusively on solar power. The entire facility is “absolutely power neutral”—meaning it creates just as much energy as it consumes, according to a statement from the airport. The airport just launched a 12 megawatt solar power plant earlier this week made up of more than 46,000 solar panels laid across 45 acres. This capacity should allow the airport to generate 50,000 to 60,000 thousand units of electricity per day, which is just over what the airport consumes in a typical day. That is no small feat for India’s fourth largest international airport in terms of passenger traffic. It’s terminal space — 1.5 million square feet — is about the same...

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Mass Shootings An ‘Exceptionally American Problem’ New Study Concludes

by ERICA HELLERSTEIN – Over the past fifty years, there have been 90 mass shootings in America. Though it has just five percent of the world’s population, almost one-third of the world’s mass shootings occurred in the United States during that time period. Those are some of the harrowing takeaways of a new study by Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama. The study, “Mass Shooters, Firearms, and Social Strains: A Global Analysis of an Exceptionally American Problem,” offers the first qualitative analysis of all public mass shootings worldwide between 1966 and 2012. Lankford used data from the New York City Police Department’s 2012 active shooter report, the FBI’s 2014 active shooter report, and international sources. It omitted gang-related or drive-by shootings, as well as hostage-taking incidents, robberies, and shootings in domestic settings. A public mass shooting can be defined as a shooting that killed at...

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In Bizarre Moment, Ted Cruz Says Gays Should Be Able To Discriminate Against Christians Too

by ZACK FORD – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has built his presidential campaign around defending “religious liberty.” This weekend, he hosted a “Rally for Religious Liberty,” which highlighted the many stories of wedding vendors who have faced legal consequences for refusing service to same-sex couples. Some of them even starred in an ad for the Cruz campaign that distorted their stories to make them sound like victims. But Cruz has a very unusual understanding of what “religious liberty” means — and seems to disagree with longstanding protections against religious discrimination. In an interview with Ed Berliner of Newsmax, Cruz suggested that he believes a gay florist should have as much right to refuse service to a Christian couple as the reverse: CRUZ: Imagine if this were inverted. Imagine if there were a gay florist — now I know that’s hard to imagine, a gay florist — but just go with...

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‘American Psycho, Donald Trump Edition,’ Perfectly Shows The Megalomania Behind The Billionaire (VIDEO)

by WENDY GITTLESON – The most horrifying thing about Donald Trump is not his hair, and it’s not even the way he insults everyone who isn’t white and male and many who are. The most horrifying thing about Trump is that he will do literally anything to advance his bank account and his ego, even if that means destroying those who get in his way. The American zeitgeist, it seems, is anger. On the left, we’re angry that more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, white supremacy is still the unwritten law of the land. We’re angry that the super rich are getting richer while everyone else is left to fight for the scraps. We’re angry that our elections are now for sale to the highest bidder. We’re angry that rights are being stripped away from women. We’re angry that prison is now considered the solution...

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Saudi Arabian Women Finally Get A Vote. But Will They Have A Voice?

by BEENISH AHMED – Women in Saudi Arabia began registering to vote over the weekend — for the first time in that country’s history. They will allowed to sign up to contest elections next weekend. “The participation of the Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us,” Jamal Al-Saadi, the first women to register to vote in the city of Madinah told the Saudi Gazette. “The move will enable Saudi women to have a say in the process of the decision-making.” While it’s a significant step, many advocates have noted that the limited freedom of women in Saudi Arabia and a largely closed political system render the reform virtually meaningless. Adam Coogle of Human Rights Watch noted that many Saudi women do not have the ID cards that will be required of them in order to vote. “In principle, all Saudi women can obtain...

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Jorge Ramos Commits Journalism, Gets Immediately Attacked by Journalists

by Glenn Greenwald – The Republican presidential candidate leading every poll, Donald Trump, recently unveiled his plan to forcibly deport all 11 million human beings residing in the U.S. without proper documentation, roughly half of whom have children born in the U.S. (and who are thus American citizens). As George Will noted last week, “Trump’s roundup would be about 94 times larger than the wartime internment of 117,000 persons of Japanese descent.” It would require a massive expansion of the most tyrannical police state powers far beyond their already immense post-9/11 explosion. And that’s to say nothing of the incomparably ugly sentiments that Trump’s advocacy of this plan, far before its implementation, is predictably unleashing. Jorge Ramos, the influential anchor of Univision and an American immigrant from Mexico, has been denouncing Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Tuesday at a Trump press conference in Iowa, Ramos stood and questioned Trump on his immigration views. Trump at first ignored him, then scolded him...

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‘We Cannot Wait Any Longer:’ Clinton And Virginia Governor Call For Gun Restrictions

by EMILY ATKIN – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are each calling for increased gun restrictions in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly shooting, which saw two young journalists killed. WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were murdered as they shot an early morning segment near Roanoke, Virginia, by a man said to be a former employee of the station. Following the tragic shooting, some were quick to note that Virginia has repeatedly rejected efforts to expand background checks, and recently repealed a law that prevented people from buying more than one handgun per month. One of those people was McAuliffe, who said in a radio appearance this morning that the state had a “horrible history” with mass shootings. He recalled the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, which saw 32 people killed. However, following that mass shooting, gun control laws actually grew weaker in...

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Blue Whale Interrupts TV Host Talking About How Hard it Is to Find Blue Whales

Spotting wildlife, especially species as elusive as the blue whale, can be extremely time consuming and at times frustrating. But every once in a while, you get a streak of luck, as Zoologist Mark Carwardine just did. He was explaining why spotting blue whales is so difficult, when suddenly… a blue whale appeared Blue whales are marine mammals, and they’re the larger species ever known on Earth. They were abundant in all the Earth’s oceans until the 20th century, when they were almost hunted to extinction by whalers. A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide. An adult blue whale. Image via Wikipedia. This clip was taken from Big Blue Live, a new live series coming soon to BBC One in the UK and PBS in the US. Reprinted with permission from ZMEScience    

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Modafinil is the First Confirmed Drug That Makes You Smarter

By Tibi Puiu, ZMEScience – Though initially made for narcoleptics (people having trouble sleeping), many soon caught on that modafinil can enhance cognitive abilities. Right now, it’s a favorite among students who use it when preparing for exams with visible results, they claim. But modafinil isn’t the first such “smart drug” we’ve come across. It’s likely that you’ve seen some TV or internet ads marketing ‘smart pills’ that supposedly enhance cognitive abilities, but with mere anecdotal evidence backing it up. In contrast, modafinil really seems to be a legit smart drug, according to a systematic review of reports documenting the effects of the drug. The meta-analysis was made by a team at University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School. The researchers looked at the studies documenting the cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil published between January 1990 and December 2014. In total, 24 such studies were identified which discussed modafinil...

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In Latest Attempt To Start A War, Israel Claims Iran Is Sponsoring Rocket Attacks

by NATHANIEL DOWNES – Israel is running out of options to stop the accord which would avoid the United States going to war with Iran. This is most clearly demonstrated by their latest saber-rattling, claiming that Iran has launched rockets at it, from Syria. This is how Israel’s argument works. A rocket was launched against them from Syria last Thursday. Immediately, Israel claimed it was launched by Islamic Jihad, and coordinated by an Iranian general, not identified. They then responded by attacking a Syrian village on the Golan heights. The problem with this scenario is the number of assumptions Israel has to make. For one, Islamic Jyhad did not claim credit for the attack, and denied any involvement. This is abnormal for the group, which relies upon such public claims in order to bolster their support. Furthermore, Islamic Jyhad is centered around Gaza, making an attack from Syria completely out...

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Deficit Likely to Hit Eight-Year Low as Usual Republican-Manufactured Debt Ceiling ‘Crisis’ Looms

by Joan McCarter – The U.S. could reach the debt ceiling limit in mid-November to early December, the CBO says, setting a deadline for a Congress already tied up in knots over whether to shut the government down beginning October 1 over whether Planned Parenthood gets to keep federal money to provide health care to women. Once we get past that GOP-manufactured crisis, we’ll hardly have time to catch our breath before they launch into another one over whether to raise the debt ceiling. CBO’s projected deadline is later than the one Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave lawmakers before they left town for the August recess. He warned lawmakers they could have to deal with the debt ceiling as early as late October, though he cautioned that the situation is fluid.Lew is expected to give lawmakers a firm deadline in the coming weeks. At a press briefing, CBO Director Keith Hall explained...

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On This Day, August 27, 1883 – Krakatau Erupts with Biggest Volcanic Blast in History

1883 – The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on this day in 1883. Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people. Krakatau exhibited its first stirrings in more than 200 years on May 20, 1883. A German warship passing by reported a seven-mile high cloud of ash and dust over Krakatau. For the next two months, similar explosions would be witnessed by commercial liners and natives on nearby Java and Sumatra. With little to no idea of the impending catastrophe, the local inhabitants greeted the volcanic activity with festive excitement. On August 26 and August 27, excitement turned to horror as Krakatau literally blew itself apart, setting off a chain of natural disasters that...

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Nuclear Waste Site Bid Makes Waves in Lake Huron

By Steve Friess, Al Jazeera – KINCARDINE, Ontario — In nearly every way, this 2-acre clearing dotted with wild purple asters is the ideal place, relatively speaking, to dig a third of a mile into the earth, blast a space the size of a Walmart, load it with radioactive nuclear waste and then seal it. The power plant that produces most of that waste, after all, looms within walking distance. Legions of geologists and nuclear physicists insist it would be entombed safely in layers of rock that haven’t shifted in 50,000 millennia. There’s just one big problem. The “future home of the planned deep geological repository project for low & intermediate level waste,” as the sign on the site announces, is about a mile from the shores of Lake Huron. And the prospect of burying something so toxic in such proximity to the vast and essential Great Lakes has...

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Lawmakers Are Convinced That Women Are Having Abortions For The Wrong Reasons

by TARA CULP-RESSLER – In a legislative landscape where politicians seek to restrict abortion from all angles — everything from lengthy waiting periods, to harsh restrictions on clinics, to bans on insurance coverage — opponents of the procedure are looking for yet another approach. Now, a new battleground is emerging: Anticipating why a woman may choose to have an abortion, and then outlawing ending a pregnancy for this particular reason. For instance, first-of-its-kind legislation currently up for debate in Ohio would prohibit a woman from having an abortion because she found out her fetus has a Down syndrome diagnosis. Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature, which has enacted a dizzying array of anti-abortion laws over the pastseveral years, is expected to approve the bill this fall. Down syndrome is a common chromosomal condition that often leads to cognitive disability. Prenatal testing can help reveal whether a pregnant women is carrying a fetus with...

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Roger Ailes Demands Trump Apology for Suggesting Megyn Kelly Is a ‘Bimbo’ (UPDATE: Trump Declines)

by Matt Welch – The fascinating conservative media war of 2015 barks on Republican Party 2016 presidential front-runner Donald Trump last night falsely accused Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly of taking an “unscheduled” vacation after her controversial-to-him GOP debate-moderation, and then began mining obscure Twitter accounts for quotable/retweetable anti-Kelly insults, such as “She has come back looking like Nancy Grace,” and (this directed at a mother of three young children) “The bimbo back in town . I hope not for long .” Awkward spacing in original. Kelly, of whom Trump said after the Aug. 6 debate “She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and, you know, you can see there’s blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her … wherever,” has stayed silent thus far, though 10 of her colleagues had already defended her on-air as of midday. And now Fox head honcho Roger Ailes, who had...

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Sorry, Righties, State Dept. Says There’s Nothing Illegal About Hillary’s Emails (VIDEO)

by SHANNON BARBER – On the Democratic side of the 2016 presidential race, people have been all over the so-called “scandal” surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The right has been treating the issue like it’s the new Benghazi (which, of course, is their other favorite “Hilary campaign slaying” non-scandal). They’ve even gone so far as to not only smear Hillary and claim that she is untrustworthy, but call for criminal prosecution. Who can blame them, really? After all, nobody on their side, even their unexpectedly popular frontrunner Donald Trump, has a snowball’s chance in Hell of beating Hillary Clinton in a general election. Well, it looks like the right will have to find a new fake scandal to try to take Hillary down with. On Tuesday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson, John Kirby, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on New Day that there was no policy violation regarding the use of private emails....

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Hailing His ‘Authenticity and Integrity,’ Dr. Cornel West Backs Bernie Sanders

by Lauren McCauley – ‘Now is the time for his prophetic voice to be heard across our crisis-ridden country,’ declared the activist and intellectual Extolling his “authenticity and integrity” in the struggle against greed, imperialism, and injustice, civil rights activist and intellectual Dr. Cornel West on Monday announced his endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. “The American Empire is in decline. Our market-driven culture is in decay. The criminal justice system has failed us. And the political system is collapsing due to the weight of corrupt lobbyists and greedy capitalists,” West wrote on Twitter, adding: Cornel West ✔@CornelWest Only organized power of courageous and compassionate people can turn around these catastrophic realities. 10:02 PM – 24 Aug 2015   Though acknowledging some of the criticisms levied against Sanders, West continued, saying that “prophetic politicians—always with their faults and blind spots—who tell the truth about Wall Street, white supremacy, empire, patriarchy...

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EPA Annual Report to Examine Improvements in Civil Rights Office

Center series showed 95 percent of complaints dismissed by agency By Talia Buford, Center for Public Integrity – The EPA Office of Civil Rights will begin publishing an annual report on progress toward improving its performance, according to a blog post. In the post, published Monday, EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg acknowledged that the EPA’s civil rights compliance program has “faced challenges in the past,” but that it is “committed to systematically changing the way it approaches complaints.” The Center for Public Integrity recently published “Environmental Justice, Denied,” a seven-part series examining the EPA’s civil rights record and the agency’s failure to issue a single formal discrimination finding in the history of the office. The office has rejected 95 percent of the hundreds of complaints it has received. The EPA’s Office of Civil Rights is charged with investigating complaints of discrimination filed against state and local agencies that...

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Obama SLAMS ‘Free Market Hypocrite’ Republicans For Lying To Public About Clean Energy (VIDEO)

by ANTIPHON FREEMAN – President Obama came out swinging on Monday. He wasted no time getting back to work after an extended and much deserved two-week vacation, by delivering a very influential and powerful speech at the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada. The President saw no need to tip-toe around conservative’s feelings. Neither did he speak softly about how the right was trying to derail America’s clean energy initiatives in an attempt to protect the “old status quo.” “When you start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, conservative think tanks or the Koch brothers….pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding…that’s a problem. That’s not the American way….that’s not progress… …that’s not innovation…that’s rent seeking and trying to protect old ways of doing business and standing in the way of the future. Think about it…ordinarily these are...

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Ashley Madison: The $19 a Month Scam that Hammered 25,000,000 Horny Marks

by Hudsagger – Seen the news? Avid Life Media, Inc. — a.k.a./dba “Ashley Madison.com” — is presented on corporate media news programs as a Free Speech company beset by hacker moralists. Believe the corporatist hype and ALM/AM is the victim here. The Impact Team hackers are anti-sex extremists. Or not. More accurately, when investigators got in to the database, followed the money and tracked accounts ALM/AM turns out to have been a large scale scam with billions of dollars a year in corrupt revenues. “Life is short. Have an affair.” That’s the pitch. But overwhelmingly what they’re selling is access to not much. Faked IDs. Faked pics. Faked story lines. Crunch the numbers and this turns out to be yet another inventive corporate excursion into organized crime. Use Dark Web or Bit Torrent software to access the files. Originally the files were left wide open. Pass1234 from the internet to VPN...

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Planned Parenthood Sues Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Over Medicaid Defunding

by Joan McCarter – Gov. Bobby Jindal was the first among Republican governors to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood after the latest attacks on the organization, the release of “sting” videos by anti-choice extremists posing as a medical research company. The organization filed suit Tuesday to stop the defunding effort. Without a court injunction, more than 5,200 Planned Parenthood patients who rely on Medicaid for health care would have to find care elsewhere, the organization says.”We’re in court today to protect over 5,200 people’s access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and basic health care in Louisiana,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “Many of these folks would have nowhere else to turn for health care.” Richards slammed Jindal for attempting to cut Planned Parenthood funding “to score political points,” charging that the governor’s moves are putting women’s health at risk. Of course it’s...

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Trump Campaign On ‘White Power’ Chant: They’re ‘Very Receptive To’ Our Message (VIDEO)

by JOHN PRAGER – Recently in Mobile, Alabama, a crowd of about 20,000 white people gathered in a more than 50% black city to complain in unison about brown people. It is messages like ‘all Mexicans are rapists’ that has led scores and scores of meth-addicted white priders to proudly scream “MEIN TRUMPF” as they look to the 2016 GOP frontrunner as their next, best hope. At the rally, one enthusiastic white guy yelled his interpretation of what Trump’s campaign is all about: “WHITE POWER!” Trump, who used to (or currently does, for all we know) keep books of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, according to his ex-wife, has been winning the hearts and “minds” of white priders across the nation. The cretins at white supremacist forum Stormfront have praised Trump’s adamant stance against Hispanics while at the same time advocating for an increase in the white population though an increase in immigration from Europe....

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30 Whales Have Died Off the Coast of Alaska and No One Knows Why

By Cole Mellino, EcoWatch – Whales are dying off the coast of Alaska and no one knows why. Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officially declared the recent deaths of 30 large whales in the western Gulf of Alaska an “unusual mortality event,” triggering an investigation into the cause of the mass die off. NOAA defines an unusual mortality event as “a stranding event that is unexpected, involves a significant die-off of a marine mammal population, and demands immediate response.” Since May, 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale and four unidentified cetaceans have stranded around the islands of the western Gulf of Alaska and the southern shoreline of the Alaska Peninsula. The uptick is nearly three times the average for the area. Last year, there were only five whale strandings for the entire year. There were also six dead stranded whales reported along British Columbia’s north coast in...

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Mississippi Mayor Assures Disgruntled Residents He Believes He Can ‘Pray Potholes Away’

By JAMESON PARKER, Addicting Info – When the Founding Fathers stressed the importance of the separation of Church and State, they probably assumed “basic infrastructure” would fall on the “state” side of things. In Mississippi, however, one mayor is placing his city’s roadways in the hands of god, while he shrugs his shoulders. Residents should have known something was up when their mayor, Tony Yarber, tweeted out this message a few days ago: And by “ALL” he means literally everything. As in, even the task of fixing potholes using conventional methods like asphalt and construction crews. In a follow up tweet, Yarber claims that prayer has the power to fix potholes, just like Moses parted the Red Sea. (And yes, admittedly, his analogy doesn’t really work.) When several of his residents, presumably concerned about the roads they were driving on, asked him if he was serious, Yarber stressed that he...

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National Cancer Institute Finally Concedes: ‘Cannabis Kills Cancer’

By SARAH, Addicting Info – For far too long we have been told about the “dangers” of cannabis. That it is an illegal drug that can cause us harm. However, the United States government is finally owning up to the benefits of cannabis. Not only that, they now have studied, and are conceding, that it can actually kill cancer cells. Now, when you visit the NIH National Cancer Institute’s PDQ updated website summary for “Cannabis and Cannabinoids” you will see a very conflicting message — Cannabis kills cancer, but it is still illegal on a national level. Yes, something that kills cancer cells is still considered illegal in the United States. If that doesn’t make you furious, I don’t think much of anything else will. If you’re unfamiliar with the term cannabinoids, they are described as such: “Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical...

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How Elizabeth Warren Is Shaping The 2016 Election

by EMILY ATKIN – Back in March of this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren dashed scores of progressives’ hopes and dreams with one simple sentence: “I’m not running and I’m not going to run.” But the influential Massachusetts Democrat is still very much a part of the 2016 presidential election. Her recent private meeting with Vice President Joe Biden — who is said to be seriously considering jumping into the race — has sparked enthusiastic speculation of a possible endorsement, or even a Biden/Warren ticket. Last week, she cast doubt over the widely-held assumption that Hillary Clinton would be the decided nominee. “I don’t think anyone’s been anointed,” she said. That Warren holds more influence as a non-candidate than as a candidate is not a new idea. But now that presidential campaigns are well underway, the degree of that influence is becoming more visible. Coincidentally or not, the major Democratic contenders...

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New Jerseyans Don’t Want To Pay For Gov. Christie’s Struggling Campaign

by KIRA LERNER – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) campaign appears to be struggling. Two months after officially launching his campaign, the candidate is sagging in the polls and is failing to compete with his challengers who are dominating the media. And as of last week, he is facing a lawsuit from advocacy groups in his home state demanding he reimburse taxpayers for state funds he has used while campaigning across the country. New Jersey Working Families, two other groups and a number of New Jersey residents filed a lawsuit Friday asking the court to find that his campaign’s spending constitutes a “wrongful and unprivileged conversion of taxpayer funds.” The suit also asks the court to require Christie’s campaign to reimburse the state for the cost of his security detail’s accommodations he campaigns across the United States. “Our intent here is really simple,” Analilia Mejia, the executive director of NJ...

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Scott Walker Takes His Third Position On The Hottest Issue In The Republican Primary

by KAY STEIGER – Presidential candidate’s Scott Walker’s journey to find a position on birthright citizenship, enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, took another unexpected turn. In less than a week, the Wisconsin governor took his third position on whether America should reconsider babies born on U.S. soil should be automatically deemed citizens. When George Stephanopoulos asked on ABC’s This Week, “You’re not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment?” Walker answered, “No, my point is any discussion that goes beyond securing the border and enforcing laws are things that should be a red flag to voters out there who for years have heard lip service from politicians and are understandably angry because they haven’t been committed to following through on promises.” This is actually the third position Walker has taken on the issue of birthright citizenship, with him telling NBC’s Kasie Hunt on Monday we...

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Sheriff Mocks Captured Fugitive: ‘Your Facebook Taunts Were An Epic Fail’

By SHANNON ARGUETA, Addicting Info – A Florida fugitive is in jail this weekend after he had the not-so-brilliant idea to mock the Polk County Sheriff’s Department on their Facebook page. The Sheriff’s Department posted the photos of two young men who were wanted in the county for felony charges on August 14. The department called their post their #fridayfugitives. One of the men,  21-year-old Logan Hale, was wanted for burglarizing a home in Lakeland, Fl., then selling a shotgun and other stolen items to a pawn shop in the county. When Hale saw his face on the department’s Facebook page he decided to change his name and mock the officers who were searching for him: The PCSO responded to Hale and suggested he turn himself in: Hale, thinking he was super funny, decided to continue to mock the police and they told him in no uncertain terms that they would catch him...

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The Donald’s ‘Inclusive’ Racism

by Robert C. Koehler – The central assumption of democracy — beyond the assumption of fair elections, which is disturbingly questionable — is that voters are the possessors of their own “interests,” and vote for the candidate most sympathetic to them. But of course those interests are fair game for advertising, bombast and propaganda — and the psychology of fear. Thus, not only are candidates capable of misrepresenting their support of people’s interests, even more insidiously, they engage baldly in manipulating them. This is a game that turns the endless presidential campaign season, especially as it is conveyed to us in the mainstream media, into little more than a mish-mash of clashing sound bites: full of sound and fury, you might say, but signifying nothing, or at least nothing much. The two-party system, which comes to us courtesy of Big Money and is taken so seriously by the media — as...

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Reid, Stabenow Boost Senate Count Favoring Iran Nuclear Agreement to 28

by Meteor Blades – Over the weekend Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid joined the slow but steady accumulation of senators and representatives who have declared their support for the nuclear agreement with Iran. On Monday, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan did the same. That brings the total count of Senate supporters to 28, according to The Hill. If six more senators add their own names to the list of backers, there will be no way the mostly Republican opposition can override a presidential veto of any resolution of disapproval rejecting the agreement.Under the Nuclear Agreement Review Act passed in the spring, Congress has until Sept. 17 to assess the pact that would curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for removing U.N. and U.S. economic sanctions related to that program. Iran maintains it is solely for peaceful purposes, noting that the nation’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against doing so. Critics...

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The Stock Market Drop Exposes The Dangers Of Privatizing Social Security

by BRYCE COVERT – The stock market continued a period of volatility on Monday. Media reports sounded the alarm as the DOW opened 1,000 points down and other indexes took huge hits, only to climb back up a bit later in the day. While that performance, which had some people calling it black Monday, may have knocked a good deal of money out of people’s 401(k) retirement accounts, Social Security benefits remain by and large untouched by such fluctuations. Some Republicans, however, are interested in changing that. In June, presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that he thinks the next president will have to try to privatize Social Security. Others have gotten behind the idea as well: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) drafted a plan in 2013 that included partial privatization, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is in favor of using private accounts. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has included privatization in his...

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On This Day, August 25, 2009 – Ted Kennedy Loses Battle with Brain Cancer

2009 – Edward “Ted” Kennedy, the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1962 to 2009, dies of brain cancer at age 77 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Kennedy, one of the longest-serving senators in American history, was a leader of the Democratic Party and a spokesman for liberal causes who also was known for his ability to work with those on both sides of the political aisle. Edward Moore Kennedy was born in Boston on February 22, 1932, the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., a wealthy financier who served as the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and later as ambassador to Great Britain, and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the daughter of a Boston politician. After serving in the U.S. Army in the early 1950s, Kennedy graduated from Harvard University in 1956 and earned...

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How Much Of California’s Drought Was Caused By Climate Change? Scientists Now Have The Answer

by KATIE VALENTINE – Over the last few years, as California’s historic, four-year drought has intensified, scientists have found clues linking the extreme weather event to human-caused climate change. Now, a new study is the first to estimate just how much climate change contributed to the drought. The study, published Thursday in Geophysical Research Letters, found that climate change can be blamed for between 8 to 27 percent of the drought conditions between 2012 and 2014 and between 5 to 18 percent in 2014. Though these relative contributions of climate change differ between the two periods of time, due to differences in severity of the drought from year to year, the study said climate change’s absolute contribution was “virtually identical” between the two periods — meaning climate change has contributed a fairly steady amount to California’s drought over the last three years. To figure out how much anthropogenic warming contributed to...

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Wondering If Solar Is Right for You? Just Ask Google’s ‘Project Sunroof’

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch – Ever wonder how much would you’d save by installing solar panels? Google’s new Project Sunroof will not only answer that question, it’ll also let you know if your roof is right for panels and how to get them installed — simply by entering your address. The project taps into Google’s trove of location and business data. By using the company’s mapping and computing resources, Project Sunroof calculates how much sun hits your roof, the angle of your roof and sun-blocking obstructions such as trees and chimneys. Project Sunroof also calculates how many panels you might need to save on your electric bill and throws in the solar incentives in your area. Use the slider tool to enter your typical electric bill amount to further customize the results. The website also presents users with buying or leasing options for solar panels and suggests a list of local installers....

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Republican Candidates Can’t Come Up With Any New Health Care Ideas

by TARA CULP-RESSLER & IGOR VOLSKY – As GOP presidential contenders begin to outline concrete policy plans ahead of the 2016 race, one thing is becoming clear: Even as the health care landscape has dramatically changed over the past several years, Republicans still can’t come up with any new health policy ideas. This week, both Scott Walker and Marco Rubio released details about how they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare if they take over the White House. But each candidate is essentially recycling Republican ideas about the insurance market that date back at least eight years. There are a handful of policies that the GOP continues to trot out: Establishing state-based high-risk pools for Americans with costly pre-existing conditions; allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines; extending refundable tax credits to Americans regardless of income level; expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs); and reforming medical malpractice. Critics say these GOP...

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Republicans Just Endorsed A Jim Crow Law For Gays

by OLIVER WILLIS – The Republican National Committee gave its backing to a law designed to treat gay Americans as second class citizens. After the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal in the entire United States, the Committee recently passed a resolution urging Congress to pass the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). It isn’t every day that the national party gets behind a specific law in Congress. So what is FADA? You probably remember the national controversy over the Indiana law that allowed businesses to discriminate against gay people. FADA is that sort of law, but nationally. The bill’s supporters hide behind the fig leaf of religious freedom, arguing that the law would prevent supposed discrimination in how the government awards contracts, stipulating that if someone is opposed to same-sex marriages, they could still get federal dollars. But groups like the ACLU see through the...

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Donald Trump On Black Lives Matter: ‘I Know Nothing About It’ (VIDEO)

by JUDD LEGUM – Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, Donald Trump admitted to being completely ignorant about the Black Lives Matter movement. “I know nothing about it,” the billionaire real estate developer said. Of course, his lack of knowledge didn’t prevent him from harshly criticizing the effort. Trump said that he’s “seeing lot of bad stuff about it right now.” He said Martin O’Malley, a contender for the Democratic nomination, was a “disgusting little weak pathetic baby” for apologizing to Black Lives Matter activists earlier this year. Despite his professed lack of knowledge, this isn’t the first time Trump has been critical of efforts to protest police brutality against African Americans. In response to the demonstrations in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, Trump said that “our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”...

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Why Republicans Could Have Trouble Winning The Latino Vote, In One Poll

by SAMANTHA PAGE – A new poll released Tuesday suggests Republicans could have a tough time winning over a key voting bloc next year if they don’t start taking environmental issues seriously. Nearly three-quarters of voting Latinos — one of the fastest-growing demographics in America — think it is “important” that the United States acts on climate change, according to the poll, released by Earthjustice and GreenLatinos. More Latinos think it is important to reduce smog and to increase water conservation than to fix immigration policies, the poll of registered Latino voters found. The poll also found that 90 percent of Latinos want to strengthen the Clean Water Act, and 85 percent want to reduce smog and air pollution. “For Latinos, our strong positions on questions pertaining to the importance of stewardship of our natural environment and conservation of resources reflect long-held cultural tenets taught to us not as environmentalism, but...

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Stalin: The True Origin Of ‘American Exceptionalism’ The GOP Refuses To Talk About

By NATHANIEL DOWNES, Addicting Info – In stump speeches and lectures given by Republican candidates for several cycles now, we have heard them bat about the term “American Exceptionalism” multiple times. They tout it like a flag, boldly and proudly,  proclaiming it as a status of greatness. When asked, they inevitably give credit for the term to Alexis de Tocqueville, a French aristocrat who wrote the book Democracy in America. The problem is that the phrase “American Exceptionalism” does not appear anywhere within that book. In fact, the term does not exist anywhere, until 1929. In 1929, the phrase first appeared, in a letter to the head of an American political party from the head of a foreign state. Which party and what state? Democratic from France? No. Republican from Britain? No. The letter was to one of the leaders of the Communist Party USA, Jay Lovestone. And, it was from...

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Gun Rights Win A Major Victory In Federal Court, And That’s Actually A Good Thing

by IAN MILLHISER – On the surface, a federal appeals court’s decision in United States v. Meza-Rodriguez concerns a fairly narrow issue — whether “unauthorized non-U.S. citizens within our borders” enjoy Second Amendment gun rights. Should the Supreme Court ultimately conclude that undocumented immigrants do not enjoy these rights, however, that decision could severely harm their ability to remain free from harassment by police. Hidden just one level below the surface in Meza-Rodriguezis the question of whether “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” which is protected by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, applies to undocumented immigrants at all. Like the Fourth Amendment, the Second Amendment refers to a right that belongs to “the people” — “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear...

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Iowa Republican Declares Ted Cruz Has Been Ordained By God To Be President

by STEPHEN D FOSTER JR – America rejected the idea of a monarchy when the founding generation fought for independence from Great Britain. But now it appears some conservatives long for a King Ted Cruz ordained by God. As he took the stage on Friday during the Iowa State Fair, Cruz made sure to have a small band of “persecuted” anti-gay bigots standing behind him for the occasion. In his pitch to become the 2016 GOP nominee, Cruz ramped up the religious fervor of his rhetoric to appeal to the conservative “Christian” base of the Republican Party. The main focus, of course, was to portray anti-gay “Christian” business owners as victims of religious persecution because they were sued or shunned for discriminating against gay people. “These threats are not imagined,” Cruz claimed. “There is a war on faith in America today. In our lifetimes, did we ever imagine that in the...

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Scott Walker Names Favorite Education Advocate, Who Then Distances Himself from Walker

By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos – When he talks about education policy, Scott Walker can’t seem to stop name-dropping people who wish he wouldn’t drop their names. A former teacher of the year who Walker uses to attack teachers unions has asked him to stop talking about her (he hasn’t stopped), and now she’s not alone. At a hate-on-teachers Republican education forum moderated by anti-public education crusader Campbell Brown on Wednesday, candidates were asked to name possible education secretaries, and Walker floated the name of Howard Fuller. Fuller is a civil rights and education activist who agrees with Walker on one small (still problematic) corner of Walker’s education agenda. But it’s safe to say the two have more disagreements than agreements, as Fuller quickly went on Twitter to detail: Howard Fuller‏@HowardLFuller I do not support universal vouchers, I am against voter ID, I support raising minimum wage. I do not support...

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Trump Grilled On How He’ll Fulfill His Pledge To Deport Every Undocumented Immigrant, Has No Answers

by JUDD LEGUM – Donald Trump has made a hard-line stance on undocumented immigrants a hallmark of his campaign. On ABC’s This Week, he was pressed repeated on his pledge to immediately deport every undocumented immigrant. Although credible sources estimate there are around 11 million such immigrants, Trump claimed there were as many as 30 million. But pressed repeatedly on how he would accomplish this monumental feat, Trump had no answers. STEPHANOPOULOS: So if there’s no idea, how are you going to round them all up? Where are you going to get the money, where are you going to get the forces? Exactly how are you going to do it? What are the specifics here? TRUMP: George, it’s called management. And the first thing we have to do is secure the border. But it’s called management. And we’ll get people back in, the really good ones, we’re going to expedite...

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Who’s the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?

by Medea Benjamin – Except for maybe the Affordable Care Act, nothing gets Republican politicians fired up like Iran. In the first GOP debate alone, Scott Walker promised that he’d tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency. Carly Fiorina blamed the country for “most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East.” Mike Huckabee vowed to topple the “terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.” Oddly, when the candidates complain about the “evil forces of radical Islam” or trouble in the Middle East, they never seem to mention Saudi Arabia. Iran’s no democratic paradise. But on many counts, Washington’s Saudi allies are even worse. The Saudi royals crush dissent with an iron fist, spread extremist ideology, and invade their neighbors with impunity. Domestically, the Saudi regime oppresses women, religious minorities, and millions of foreign workers. And it brutally represses criticism from human rights...

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The Death of Pro-Choice Republicans

by Shikha Dalmia – The GOP once prided itself on being the big-tent party on abortion that—unlike Democratic fanatics—didn’t have a litmus test on its candidates. Those days are long gone. Today, the GOP is growing so shrill on the issue, it risks riling its base and creating a Manichean conflict that it cannot control—just as happened on immigration. Every GOP presidential aspirant is trying to outdo the others in brandishing his or her pro-life bona fides. At the recent GOP presidential debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declared that he believes future generations will “call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee proclaimed that he’d invoke the 14th Amendment to offer equal protection to fetuses. Even former New York Gov. George Pataki, the most moderate of the lot, insisted that he’d ban abortions after 20 weeks. They all promised to defund Planned Parenthood given revelations that it was selling...

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This Week In Bad Christianity: Anti-Gay Mission America, Ted Cruz, And Mike Huckabee Returns

by RIKA CHRISTENSEN – What is bad Christianity? It’s using a religion, that’s supposed to be about peace and love, to justify hate. It’s calling yourself a Christian and then pushing for oppression of one group or another. This week, we have an awful lot of oppression, particularly toward the LGBTQ community. There are some new faces, such as Mission America’s Linda Harvey, along with idiots in the Kansas state legislature and a Kentucky clerk who won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. We also have Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee has returned after a (very) brief hiatus. Here are this week’s five worst Christians: 1. Mission America’s Linda Harvey says transgender people are possessed by demons. This is actually a very common thing for right-wing Christians to say about anybody in the LGBTQ community. They must be possessed by demons in order to be so depraved; there’s no other...

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Flower Power

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