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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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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