‘Saddened But Not Surprised’: No Indictment for Cops Who Killed Tamir Rice

by Deirdre Fulton – Twelve-year-old’s family accuses prosecutor of ‘abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment’ An Ohio grand jury has decided not to bring criminal charges against the two Cleveland police officers involved in last year’s fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice, who was black, was playing with a pellet gun when he was shot by white Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann. Video evidence shows that neither Loehmann nor Frank Garmback, the other officer present, moved to provide first aid to Rice while he lay dying. According to Cleveland.com: Monday’s decision comes more than 13 months after the shooting, one that catapulted Cleveland into the national debate about police use of force. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, whose oversight of the grand jury process drew criticism, called the shooting “a perfect storm of errors” while announcing the grand jury’s decision at a press...

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The Dark Side: The Secret World of Sports Doping (VIDEO)

by Al Jazeera Staff – Al Jazeera investigation raises questions about whether sports heroes are linked to performance enhancing drugs Inside a hotel room in Austin, Texas, a pharmacist advises a professional athlete on taking performance-enhancing drugs. “One anabolic, and I can give you something to use right now is this Delta 2 stuff. It’s a steroid. There’s a bunch of football players who take this,” he tells Liam Collins, a British hurdler reporting undercover. In another conversation, a Vancouver pharmacist poses a question to the same athlete. “Have I doped people? Oh yeah. And no one’s got caught because the system is so easy to beat. That’s the sad fact.” Later, a naturopath doctor explains how he would destroy medical records if investigators came looking for them. “I can just document everything not in this chart but on my own chart. And if somebody ever comes sniffing for it, it’s...

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Mic Drop: Bernie Sanders Tears The Corporate Media Apart For Endless Trump Coverage (VIDEO)

by JOE FLETCHER – Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders has been on a roll in his calling out of the corporate media’s coverage of election news. He hit the nail on the head once more, during an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s New Day. During the interview, Sanders was asked what he thinks is the reason for Donald Trump’s seemingly unshakable popularity with conservatives. Sanders’ answer is far more honest than anything that would be uttered by a less calculated candidate. “A recent study showed on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why,” Sanders said. Sanders continues on to say that: “I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart. He knows that media is not so interested in the serious issues facing this country. They...

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We Must Face the Facts: Donald Trump is a Political Cult Leader

by chaunceydevega – It is clear that Donald Trump is the center of a cult of personality. But after watching his ascendance in the 2016 Republican presidential primary race, I have come to the disturbing conclusion that he is something far worse. Trump is of course, an indicator of a broken American politics and a Republican Party that is extremely radical and revanchist. But, Donald Trump may actually be the leader of a political cult. As such, “Trumpmania” exhibits key aspects of political psychopathology. Another article examining the Jonestown mass-suicide from a clinical psychology perspective is entitled “The Group Psychology of Mass Madness.” The authors propose the concept of “collective pathological regression within a charismatically led mass movement.” Their analysis of the leader of the Peoples Temple, Reverend Jim Jones, shows how his actions triggered the “mass madness that engulfed the inhabitants of Jonestown.” The following terms, then, were used by mental health...

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AZ Taps Chemtrail Truther Who Thinks Earth Is 6,000 Years Old To Educate Their Kids (VIDEO)

by CHRISTIAN DRAKE – Republican contempt towards public education has hit an all-time low in Arizona. This is made painfully clear by the appointment of Senator Sylvia Allen to lead the Arizona legislative committee on education. You might think that Senator Allen had an extensive education in teaching, with years of experience both in the classroom and from an administrative standpoint. However, you would be dead wrong. Allen attended high school, but never went to college. That fact is not terrible in itself, but when you are in a position like hers, it’s ludicrous at best. Let’s look at her qualifications which will ensure she provides the best possible education for Arizona children: Allen teaches students about our system of democratically elected government, by telling everyone there is a government conspiracy that uses chemtrails to control the weather. Allen proved her strong literacy in social studies and civics when she...

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Hillary Clinton. Our Next Candidate. Our 45th President

by Gaius Septimus – We are about to enter the period of actual primary and caucus voting… February 2, 2016 seems like a very short time away. And while a month is still a long time, and while we have another Democratic debate in mid-January, I have made my choice. Hillary Clinton is our best candidate and our best bet to win the general election. Based on the latest opinion polls, she is trusted more than Sanders on all the issues, including the economy. According to the latest CNN poll, Yet Sanders continues to trail Clinton as the candidate better able to handle economic issues, 47% say they think Clinton is best able to handle it, 39% Sanders. The former secretary of state has even larger leads on foreign policy matters and ISIS, however, topping Sanders 72% to 15% on foreign policy, 63% to 18% on ISIS. Clinton also holds a...

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Concealed Carry Permits Issued In 25 States No Longer Valid In VA

by RANDA MORRIS – The state of Virginia no longer wants gun-toting fugitives, convicted stalkers, drug dealers, and other unsavory characters from outside the state, to feel safe and welcome inside its borders. Go figure. As of February 1, 2016, concealed carry permits obtained in one of the 25 U.S. states that hands them out to criminals and fugitives will no longer be recognized in Virginia. According to the Virginia State Police website, a legal review of the state’s current handgun permit agreements with 30 other states found that the vast majority of those states failed to meet the same standards that Virginia sets out for concealed carry permit holders. Under Virginia law, the state is supposed to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states only under a specific set of circumstances. According to Virginia Code § 18.2-308.014, permits issued by other states are valid only when “requirements and...

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Antibiotics Expert Warns It’s ‘Almost Too Late’ to Stop Global Superbug

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘We have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again,’ says UK health expert Following the discovery in the UK of bacteria that resist the most common antibiotic of last resort, a leading British expert is warning it is “almost too late” to stop a global superbug crisis. News outlets reported Monday that UK government scientists have found a gene, known as mcr-1, that gives bacteria resistance to colistin, often used by doctors when other antibiotics fail. Such resistance was first discovered last month in China, and in the past few weeks, the resistance gene has also been found in Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and in several Asian and African countries. The rise of the so-called post-antibiotic era is widely linked to over- and misuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture. Public Health England found...

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Prominent Atheist CLOBBERS Trump With Incredibly Damning Questions (VIDEO)

by SARAH – If there’s one thing that has been the centerpiece of Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s been his thinly veiled obvious and bombastic racism. He doesn’t even try to hide it. In fact, it’s really the only thing he’s running on in his campaign that he’s been most clear about. Trump certainly hasn’t been clear about any policy platforms, other than that they will be “great” and the “best ever” to “make America great again.” And unfortunately, there are people in this nation dumb enough to fall for his schtick, because apparently their brains don’t grasp critical thinking whatsoever. Blasting Trump’s not so thinly veiled racism, is none other than The Friendly Atheist founder Hemant Mehta. He took to his YouTube account and pointed out some things that Trump doesn’t want to admit. Trump isn’t against Muslims, per se, or Mexicans, he’s against brown people. After all, how does...

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Gun Dealers May Actually Have To Pay For Some Of The Carnage They Cause In Seattle

by IAN MILLHISER – A National Rifle Association lawsuit seeking to immunize gun dealers from a recently enacted tax was rejected by a state trial court on Tuesday. If Judge Palmer Robinson’s decision is ultimately upheld on appeal, the tax will fund gun safety research as well as programs seeking to prevent gun violence. Last August, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) signed an ordinance providing for a $25 tax on each gun and a 2 to 5 cent tax on each round of ammunition sold within the city. The NRA, along with several other pro-gun groups and individuals, sued, claiming that the law violates a Washington State law preventing municipal governments from enacting any “regulation” of guns. As Judge Robinson explains in his opinion, however, the power to tax is separate from the power to regulate. Among other things, he notes, the ordinance does not “place any burden or restriction”...

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Why We’re Disowning Jim Webb

by lowkell – We the bloggers and progressive activists who helped Jim Webb launch his political career, do hereby and henceforth definitively disown the dude. Here’s the backstory. Once upon a time, a blog named Raising Kaine – predecessor to Blue Virginia – established to advance progressive politics and win elections across the Commonwealth, was searching for a viable candidate to knock off right-wing U.S. Senator George Allen. This was in 2005, when the Bush administration was plunging the country off a cliff with the disastrous war in Iraq and its tragically incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina. And we found a fascinating prospect – a “Born Fighting,” Scots-Irish war hero, a former Navy Secretary (in the Reagan Administration, no less) and an Emmy Award-winning author who combined a rural, working class past with a deep concern for growing income inequality in this country, libertarian(ish) views on social issues, and fierce opposition to...

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Planned Parenthood Shooter Wants To Defend Himself In Court

by CASEY QUINLAN – Robert Lewis Dear, the man arrested for killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado last month, has invoked his constitutional right to defend himself in a court of law. Dear has been charged with 179 counts, which include first-degree murder and attempted murder. Earlier this month, Dear, 57, said he killed the three victims, one police officer and two civilians, and called himself a “warrior for the babies.” At the time of his arrest, Dear reportedly said, “No more baby parts.” Abortion rights and reproductive health advocates have argued for violence against abortion providers to be treated as domestic terrorism, given the fact that the legal definition of domestic terrorism is a dangerous criminal act “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” The Colorado Springs shooting happened after...

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2015: The Year That Black Lives Mattered, At Last

by Terrance Heath – Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Laquan McDonald. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott. Rekia Boyd. Tamir Rice. Most Americans have at least heard their names, and the stories of how they died. We have seen videos and images of their deaths, or of the aftermaths. They are African-Americans who have been killed by police, or died in police custody, in just over a year. There are many more. We know their names because of the ⌗BlackLivesMatter movement, born after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The ubiquity of smartphones and mobile internet access put the tools of the media in the hands of savvy, young, blacks who used them to demand America pay attention to what had long been going on — and going unheralded — in black communities, where the police acted as an occupying force, and court systems turn jails into debtors’ prisons with...

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55 Cops Involved in Fatal Shootings in 2015 Have Killed Before, WaPo Reports

by Anthony L. Fisher – In 1 out 8 reported police shootings this year, an officer had previously used deadly force Another day, another quantifiable reason we need a comprehensive national database documenting fatal shootings by police. Just yesterday, I wrote about the scores of people over the past five years who had been unarmed and/or shot in the back by Georgia police. Later in the day, the Washington Post released a report that shows at least 55 officers who had previously fired their weapons in fatal shootings were involved in fatal shootings this year. The number could actually be significantly higher, because of the 743 killings by police identified in the first 9 months of thus year, police agencies only gave the Post data relating to 367. The Post also notes, “Many departments withheld officers’ names from the public or released only vague details, making it impossible to precisely determine how many...

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8 Of The Worst — And Weirdest — Ways Politicians Tried To Limit Access To Abortion In 2015

by ALEX ZIELINSKI – 2015 wasn’t a great year for reproductive rights. Federal and state lawmakers introduced more than 400 bills and enacted 47 new laws intended to restrict access to reproductive health care — the most in any recent year. Considerably fewer bills sought to expand access — and only three of those became laws. On the federal level, the politicians backing many of these anti-abortion bills know it’s unlikely they’ll get past Congress. But that’s not always the point. Instead, they’re used as a tool to repetitively hammer false ideas about abortion into the public sphere. On the state level, meanwhile, abortion opponents are pushing toward new extremes to hamper patients’ access to the procedure on multiple levels. Here are the most popular — and most absurd — ways legislators tried to restrict access to abortion and other types of reproductive health care in 2015: 1) Pretending women...

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EXCLUSIVE: The Story Sheldon Adelson Didn’t Want You To Read

by JUDD LEGUM – Two weeks ago, conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada’s largest paper. On Tuesday, its editor-in-chief of five years, Mike Hengel, resigned. If you are a subscriber to the Review-Journal, you would have read a grand total of 79 words on Wednesday about Hengel’s departure. According to the story, which did not have a byline, the decision was “mutual” and “he did not believe he was forced out.” That wasn’t, however, the original story that was written by a Review-Journal reporter and approved by its editors. The actual story of Hengel’s departure was killed by the paper’s management team who now answers to Adelson, according to a source in the Review-Journal newsroom who spoke to ThinkProgress on the condition of anonymity, fearing retribution from the new ownership. Jennifer Robison  ✔@_JRobison Mike Hengel, @reviewjournal editor, announces that he will accept a...

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Socialism: The Most-Searched Term in 2015

by Duncan Cameron – Bernie Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, astounding for a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Whatever the reasons, the socialist is highly popular with Democrats, giving Hillary Clinton a run for the 2016 nomination. Sanders is hardly a typical party partisan. When Vermont elected the former mayor of Burlington to the U.S. Senate, Sanders sat as an independent socialist, not as a Democrat. Sanders’ support has grown strong despite weak media coverage. By most counts, he is more popular with Americans than the widely covered Republican aspirant to the same exalted position, Donald Trump, while running in a virtual media blackout. Even the Democratic National Committee seems determined to keep Sanders from connecting with the voting public, scheduling candidate TV debates for times when few Americans are available to watch them. When Sanders set out his socialist creed in a speech at Georgetown University, it...

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Judge Orders Release of Video in Fatal San Diego Police Shooting

by Ed Krayewski – Fridoon Rawshan Nehad was shot once in the chest by a cop who said he had no doubt Nehad, found with a pen, was going to stab him In April, Officer Neal Browder of the San Diego Police Department shot Fridoon Rawshan Nehad from 20 feet away once in the chest afterresponding to a call about a knife-wielding transient threatening a porn shop clerk who told him he couldn’t sleep in the alley behind the store. Browder did not turn on his body camera before leaving his vehicle, but part of the incident was caught on a nearby surveillance camera. Authorities seized the footage as part of their investigation, and in November the district attorney decided not to pursue charges against the officers. The district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, resisted releasing the footage but was required to after a judge sided with local media outlets and lifted a...

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New Study Links Milk Consumption To Parkinson’s Disease

by Amanda Froelich – “Got Milk?” If so, now might be the time to ditch it. According to researchers from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, contaminants found in cow’s milk may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. As TIME Magazine reports, lead researcher Robert Abbott and his team of colleagues took advantage of an environmental scandal in Hawaii in the 1980s to investigate the connection between milk consumption and Parkinson’s. Around the same time, there was also a study of heart disease among Japanese-American men being conducted. Over 8,000 men were involved, and they were followed from mid-life to death in the study. The participants provided detailed information about what they ate, including how much milk they drank. Some even agreed to donate their brains for research upon death. Abbott and his team studied 449 of the brains and recorded the density of neurons in specific areas of...

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Ted Cruz Vows Not To Honor Global Climate Deal As President

by EMILY ATKIN – The United States will break its recent promise to approximately 200 countries to join in the fight against climate change if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is elected president. That’s according to Cruz himself, who on Tuesday said he would withdraw the U.S. from the historic climate agreement reached in Paris earlier this month. That non-binding agreement saw nearly 200 leading nations unanimously embrace a plan that would leave most of the world’s fossil fuels unburned, thereby limiting global warming “to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels.” According to the Washington Post, Cruz said the international agreement was disingenuous — not really to fight climate change, but to gain “more and more government power.” “Barack Obama seems to think the SUV parked in your driveway is a bigger threat to national security than radical Islamic terrorists who want to kill us. That’s just nutty,” Cruz said. “These...

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