Not Even Republicans Support GOP Plan for Government Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood

by CASSANDRA FAIRBANKS – A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University has found that nearly seven out of 10 Americans, 69%, do not support the petulant Republican threats to shutdown the federal government over Planned Parenthood funding. Just 23% of Americans support a shutdown, or less than a quarter of the population. While what the people in general want may not concern conservative politicians, what should have them rethinking their strategy is the fact that not even their own party supports the threats.  A majority of 56% to 36% Republican voters also oppose a shutdown. Even presidential candidate Jeb Bush has opposed the idea, asserting that holding the federal budget hostage is “wrongheaded” and “futile.” In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Bush asserted: “I am against the government shutdown. That’s not how democracy works.” Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina, who owes her surge in the polls to a passionate speech about...

Read More...


‘Pro-life’ Red States Working Together So They Won’t Miss Out On An Execution Opportunity

by CHARLES TOPHER – “All life is precious.” That is the theme of the good Christians of the Republican party. Their belief that holding onto that precept makes them morally superior is what allows them to also be the most hypocritical group of people in history. All life is precious, unless you’ve been convicted of a crime we deem horrendous enough to kill you. All life is precious unless you refused to comply with a police officer and were shot dead for it. All life is precious unless you walk onto my property looking for assistance and I decide to “castle doctrine” your ass. All life is precious unless I can convince a jury of white people I was “standing my ground” when I chased that guy and killed him after I was told to stand still. All life is precious if the Republican party decides it is, which seems...

Read More...


The “People’s Pope” and the Church’s Emerging Contradictions

by Armando Carmona, Truthout | News Analysis – Pope Francis has radically changed the image of the Catholic Church. He has been called a progressive, the “people’s pope” and even a radical pope who is attempting to shift the global image of Catholic conservatism. It is impossible to deny the importance of the pope’s current discourse as he pushes global political leaders to address climate change and economic inequality, inviting them to refocus their energy toward a “revolution of tenderness.” How should we situate the current pope in the context of a historically conservative institution and an evolving narrative about social change? While some attempt to categorize him as a progressive or even a feminist due to his discourse on women and the poor, others understand him to be a political actor who represents a highly hierarchical and patriarchal organization that affects nearly 1.2 billion people. Regardless of our personal...

Read More...


Feel the Bern: Sanders and the Power of Grassroots Fundraising

by Robert Borosage – The Washington Post on Saturday reported that Hillary Clinton has launched “an intense press to stockpile campaign dollars in the final days of the quarter, aiming to build a war chest big enough to eclipse what is expected to be a healthy fundraising haul by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.” Say what? The Clinton campaign is pressing to match Bernie’s grassroots fund-raising totals? Sanders has surged to a stunning lead in the early polls in New Hampshire and is continuing to gain in Iowa. Clinton has suffered a terrible summer, with polls registering growing disapproval. Now Sanders may demonstrate that, in the new age of social media, it is possible to raise enough money from small donations largely over the Web to be competitive in a presidential race. Hillary raised a record $46 million in the last quarter (the first reporting period since her announcement), with 16.8...

Read More...


Before He Died, Freddie Gray Begged for Help and Officers Refused Him

by Josie Duffy – New evidence made available in the death of Freddie Gray reveals he was begging for help and told police he needed to go to the hospital before he fell into a coma in the police van.The Baltimore Sun has obtained previously unreleased details on the death of Freddie Gray, including information from investigators who reviewed statements from five out of six of the officers accused of criminal wrongdoing. These investigators detail how Gray asked an officer for help shortly before he fell into a coma which was caused by a severe spinal cord injury. The Sun reports: Officer William Porter told police investigators that after being summoned to check on Gray on the morning of April 12, he told the van’s driver that the city booking facility would not process Gray because he was in medical distress.”Help me. Help me up,” Gray said. Porter helped Gray up...

Read More...


Guns are Awesome, Until you Shoot Your Johnson

by xxdr zombiexx – Yeah, that happened again Always blame a black person if you do. Convicted felon Donald Anthony Watson, 43, was admitted to a local emergency room late at night on Sept. 6  for a gunshot wound to his penis, and told local law enforcement that he had been shot during a botched robbery.According to the arrest report, Watson said he was shot by “a black guy (who) tried to rob” him while he was taking out the trash at his apartment. I think a lot of people – all colors and creeds – are sick and tired of white people screwing something up and blaming black people for it.  Beyond the sheer, nauseating stupidity of it, the rabid racism is angering. Black people aren’t allowed to walk, or ride, or drive, or think or drink, or even have a funeral, but in these incidents they weren’t even around...

Read More...


The Case for the ‘Right To Die’

by Steve Chapman – Despite fears, Oregon has seen no signs of abuse Life is a gift that can also become an intolerable burden. For those afflicted with terminal diseases, the grim approach of death is accompanied by what, for some, is the unbearable prospect of pain, confusion and helplessness. If death can’t be avoided, they would like to decide how and when it comes. With them in mind, the California legislature recently approved a bill to permit what supporters refer to as “right to die” and opponents call “assisted suicide.” It awaits action from Gov. Jerry Brown, who hasn’t said whether he’ll sign it. The legislation came less than a year after the death of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old Bay Area resident who moved to Oregon after being diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. Oregon is one of five states that allow physicians to provide such patients with drugs to end...

Read More...


George Zimmerman Disgustingly Retweets Picture Of Trayvon Martin’s Dead Body

by ANTIPHON FREEMAN – George Zimmerman just did the unthinkable. In what is probably the most inhumane, despicable act you can think of after killing someone, Zimmerman retweeted a picture of Trayvon Martin’s lifeless body on Twitter Friday. Remember that exclusive interview he had done on Sean Hannity before his trial began where he told the Martin family how sorry he was? He looked unflinchingly into the camera, in an appeal to the nation: “I do wish that there was something, anything that I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life. And, I do want to tell everyone, my wife, my family my parents, my grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America, that I’m sorry that this happened. I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, it’s polarized and divided America and...

Read More...


Everything You Need To Know About The Big Supreme Court Cases The Justices Will Hear This Term

by IAN MILLHISER – Next Monday, the Supreme Court will gavel in its newest term and the justices will take the bench for the first time since last June, when the conservative Roberts Court handed down a string of uncharacteristically liberal decisions. This term, however, liberals will need to swim upstream, with the justices poised to consider a number of issues — unions, voting rights, race, and abortion — where the members of the Court’s conservative bloc have not often show a penchant of heterodoxy. Defunding Unions One of the most contentious political issues faced by state lawmakers are misleadingly named “right to work” laws, which starve unions of funding by preventing them from collecting dues from many of the workers that benefit from the union’s services. At the end of this term, however, five members of the Supreme Court may effectively impose a “right to work” law on every...

Read More...


NASA: Water Found on Mars

Scientists suggest liquid water is forming on contemporary Mars, search for signs of life will follow NASA announced on Monday that liquid saltwater exists on the surface of Mars – a discovery that scientists say indicates the “potential” for life on the planet. The historic findings by scientists from NASA and several US universities are based on research on dark, narrow and elongated streaks that appear on the surface of the Red Planet and which are known as “recurring slope lineae” (RSL). Research shows the streaks “appear and grow incrementally in the downslope direction during warm seasons”. NASA scientists suggest the streaks were formed as a result of salty “flows” or “seeps” because they bear a striking resemblance to the shapes and curves that water on Earth makes as it flows along the surface of the ground. The theory that water exists on Mars was first proposed by scientist Lujendra...

Read More...


Constitution-Loving Right-Wingers Plan Armed Standoff Over Unconstitutional Jesus Sign (VIDEO)

by JOHN PRAGER – The Oath Keepers, the controversial group of right-wing ammosexuals who orchestrated an armed standoff with federal officials in their effort to protect Welfare Cowboy Cliven Bundy from having to pay up for illegally grazing his cattle on federally-controlled land, have a new mission: protecting a “Jesus” sign that greets visitors to a Texas town. The conservative “militia,” which consists primarily of scared white people who raised eyebrows when they grabbed their trusty weapons and “protected” businesses in Ferguson, Missouri (until police asked them to leave) and who “guarded” military recruitment offices against Muslims (until they were asked to leave), and who attempted to “guard” bigoted, homophobic Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis after she unconstitutionally denied gay couples the right to marry (but were too crazy even for her), love the Constitution –You know, in the same way a rapist “loves” his victim, or Davis “loves” gay people....

Read More...


Million-Liter Cyanide Spill in Argentina Highlights Canadian Mining Crimes

by Deirdre Fulton – Highlighting how corporate extractivism and lack of accountability is driving the destruction of Latin American communities, a Canadian mining company has now confirmed that more than one million liters of cyanide solution spilled from the Barrick Gold Veladero mine in San Juan, Argentina this month—making the spill more than four times larger than originally estimated. The Toronto-headquartered mining company initially said it had spilled just 224,000 liters of the toxic liquid, used to leach gold from processed rocks, into the Potrerillos River. On Wednesday, the corporation amended its statement (pdf) and said that in fact 1.072 million liters of a cyanide and water solution were spilled due to a failure in one of the valves in the mine’s pipes. The spill occurred on September 12, “and news quickly spread among local residents through social media, causing them to stockpile bottled water in fear,” the Argentina Independent reported.  Last week, thousands...

Read More...


America’s Elders Flex Their Political Muscles On Climate Change

by JEREMY DEATON – Few things strike fear into the hearts of politicians like a disgruntled grandparent entering a voting booth. Seniors wield immense political power in the United States, a fact made plain by their voting record. In the 2014 midterm elections, a year of historically low voter turnout, nearly 59 percent of adults aged 65 and older pulled the lever on Election Day. Just 23 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds bothered to do the same. It’s numbers like these that have made Social Security and Medicare the third rail of American politics. So, what happens when America’s seniors find out what climate change means for their grandkids? Recently, dozens of retirees descended on Capitol Hill to advocate for climate action. Organized by the Conscious Elders Network, the Grandparents Climate Action Day brought together seniors from around the country. Following a day of training, during which renowned NASA...

Read More...


The Fight Against Mass Incarceration Goes Global

by Jennifer Turner – This week, the U.N. Human Rights Council will formally adopt the first-ever U.N. report on mass incarceration. In this groundbreaking report, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights brings global attention to the root causes of over incarceration and overcrowding in prisons.  A draft resolution that is expected to be adopted by the council will express concern about the “negative impact of over-incarceration and over-crowding on the enjoyment of human rights.” The ACLU worked with other groups  to bring this issue to the attention of the Human Rights Council. With considerable movement for criminal justice reform right now, it is the perfect time for the U.N. to issue recommendations on how to reduce the prison and jail population worldwide taking into account human rights obligations and commitments. In the report, the high commissioner outlines a human rights-based approach for criminal justice reform that puts the human dignity of the...

Read More...


Donald Trump’s Fake ‘Religious Convictions’ Won’t Get Him Votes From Christian Right

by SHANNON BARBER – The last thing most people think of when they think of Donald Trump is that he is overly religious. However, now that he is running for the GOP presidential nomination for the 2016 election, that’s what he wants people to think, nevermind whether it is true or not. However, his obviously fake “deeply held” Christian faith isn’t doing him any favors with the people he is putting the show on for in the first place: the Christian right. It is essential to get votes from the far-right religious zealots in the Republican base to have a shot at winning the primary. Despite being the frontrunner to win the nomination at the moment, though, it seems that Trump just isn’t doing well with those people. This was painfully clear at the recent Values Voter Summit– you know that gathering of bigots from the right that happens every...

Read More...


John Boehner May Have Been The Only Thing Standing Between America And Madness

by IAN MILLHISER – Speaker of the House is a terrible job, and John Boehner’s tenure as speaker was particularly terrible. To perform his job — and prevent catastrophic economic consequences for the whole nation — Boehner had to navigate 1) increasingly emboldened hardliners within his own caucus and his party’s electorate, 2) a flawed constitutional system that justifiably left Republicans frustrated, 3) a legislative cartel that forced Boehner to personally shame himself every time he tried to rein in the hardliners. On Friday, Boehner decided that he’d had enough of this tight rope walk; come November, he will no longer be speaker. And there is no guarantee that Boehner’s successor will be able to walk this tightrope without falling to their doom — and potentially bringing the nation’s economy down with them. The Hardliners For four years, Boehner’s been caught between hardline conservatives who insist on pressing the Republican...

Read More...


‘Operation Endless War’: US Could Leave 10,000 Troops in Afghanistan After 2016

by Andrea Germanos – Wall Street Journal reports on option put forth by top U.S. commander in Afghanistan The U.S. is reportedly considering a plan to leave as many as 10,000 troops in Afghanistan “beyond the end of 2016,” the Wall Street Journal has reported. The paper reports that the option was one of five that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, offered the Pentagon and NATO officials in Brussels. From the WSJ: The recommendations reflect growing concerns among military officers that current force reduction plans could raise the risk of mission failure in Afghanistan to what one senior military official said would be an “unacceptable level.” The reporting comes just months after President Obama announced that, “based on President Ghani’s request for flexibility,” there would be no troop draw-down in 2015. As Common Dreams reported at the time: Under the guise of a transfer of power,...

Read More...


Pharma Company Forced To Backtrack After Suddenly Raising Drug’s Price 20-Fold

by SAM P.K. COLLINS – Amid outrage about sudden price hikes of specialty drugs, a company has reneged on its recent acquisition of a tuberculosis medication, a deal that would have increased the cost of the treatment more than 20-fold. Just three weeks after purchasing the rights to the drug, Rodelis Therapeutics has agreed to return the medication to the nonprofit that previously owned it. The medicine, named Cycloserine, treats a form of tuberculosis that’s resistant to multiple drugs usually used to treat it — in other words, a serious form of the ailment. There are nearly 90 cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis annually in the United States. Last week, Rodelis Therapeutics, the company at the center of the controversy, defended its decision to increase the price of the tuberculosis drug, saying it needed to invest and ensure the drug maintained its effectiveness. But the Purdue Research Foundation, the Indiana nonprofit...

Read More...


Why America Must Not Go the Way of Hewlett-Packard: The Case Against Fiorina

by DerekJack30 – People like Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, and their antecedents such as Slick Willard “Mitt” Romney and Herman Cain believe that their business records in the private sector were (and are) good qualifications for being leader of the United States, along with its phenomenal cosmic powers, such as the nuclear codes, the negotiating chair, the bully pulpit, judicial appointments, and the host of things aside from the most visible human on the face of the earth. So here’s something radical: the business records need to be examined. Even for what private equity is, at least Romney was competent at Bain as well as belonging there in terms of educational background and intelligence. Donald Trump, even for all his casino bankruptcies, does have casinos, golf courses, merch, aparts, and hotels around the world that people pay top coin for. He’s more of a marketer than a businessman, but he’s one...

Read More...


War Hawk Petraeus Comes Out Of Retirement to Recommend Pouring Fuel on Syria’s Fire

by Sarah Lazare – Observers say former general’s prescription would require tens of thousands of troops and lead to full-scale war As the Obama administration’s policies of regime change and armed intervention in Syria flounder, the retired general who oversaw the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added his voice to the hawkish chorus calling for even more aggressive bombing and military action as he testified before lawmakers on Tuesday. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, David Petraeus called for the U.S. and allies to use their air forces to create a “safe haven” in Syria for “moderate” rebels. Going further, he urged the U.S. to use military force to stop the air-launching of barrel bombs by the Assad regime, while simultaneously increasing attacks on ISIS. “It is frequently said that there is no military solution to Syria or the other conflicts roiling the Middle East,” said Petraeus. “This may...

Read More...