The Fight Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law Heads to Court

by Chase Strangio – Apparently the most urgent need in the state of North Carolina involves stopping transgender people from using bathrooms. For North Carolina lawmakers, the urgency was so great that they felt compelled to call a special legislative session — costing taxpayers’ $42,000 a day — to pass the most sweeping piece of anti-LGBT legislation in history, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed the same day. The reason for this extreme and unusual action by state lawmakers: The city of Charlotte dared to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance that extended legal protections to LGBT people. Though the ordinance did many things, it was dubbed the “bathroom ordinance” by opponents who falsely claimed that protecting transgender people from discrimination would somehow threaten the privacy and safety of others. But in actuality, it’s a myth that has instead served to justify and perpetuate violence against the transgender community for years. Animated by this...

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Climate Skepticism Has Lost Major Ground Among Weather Experts

by ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO – Among climate scientists, there’s a consensus that climate change is real and driven by human activity. Among meteorologists and weathercasters, however, that acceptance of climate science has historically been harder to find. That may have finally changed. Some 99 percent of U.S. weathercasters — those who communicate weather forecasts on TV or radio, but who aren’t always trained meteorologists — accept the fact that climate change is happening, according to preliminary findings from a George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication study released Thursday. The study, which has yet to go through the peer review process, comes days after George Mason University released a similar survey that shows that some 96 percent of American Meteorological Society members think climate change is real. Edward Maibach, the lead author of both studies, said the findings are not surprising because theevidence of climate change has been mounting....

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Trump’s New Reason For Suing The GOP Proves He’s Clueless To How Elections Work

by Sarah – As much as likely all of us want elections to be cut and dry, popular vote wins all, it’s just not that simple. It’s a game, and if you choose to play you have to abide by the rules, you can’t change them halfway through. Frustrating, sure? Illegal. No. Showing more than ever that he’s a newcomer to the whole politicking world, Trump took to Twitter, yet again, to air his grievances about the political process. In yet another temper tantrum, Trump said : Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz-Lawsuit coming — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2016 Well, first of all, here are the results of the Louisiana Republican primary:                                    ...

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CIA Photographed Detainees Naked and Bound Before Extraditing Them for Torture

by Nika Knight – The CIA took photographs of detainees naked, bound, and blindfolded—some with visible bruises—before extraditing them to other countries to be tortured, an investigation by the Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman revealed on Monday. “The naked imagery of CIA captives raises new questions about the seeming willingness of the U.S. to use what one medical and human rights expert called ‘sexual humiliation’ in its post-9/11 captivity of terrorism suspects,” Ackerman wrote. “Some human rights campaigners described the act of naked photography on unwilling detainees as a potential war crime.” Ackerman also reported that “a former U.S. official who had seen some of the photographs described them as ‘very gruesome.'” The photos in question remain classified. The detainees were photographed before being extradited to nations known to use more brutal forms of torture than that used in the U.S., Ackerman said, as part of the CIA’s so-called “extraordinary rendition” program. The writer...

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Sanders Soars: The Democratic Race Is Closer Than The Republicans’

by Robert Borosage – Bernie Sanders routed Hillary Clinton in three Western states on Saturday. He isn’t just winning; he’s winning with stunning percentages: Alaska 82-18; Hawaii 70-30; Washington 73-27. He’s taken five of six in the West, and chipped away Clinton’s lead in pledged delegates, trailing in pledged delegates by 1243 to 975. The Clinton campaign, echoed by the talking heads, sought to discount the victories as “expected” from the “largely white and liberal” Pacific northwest. But just as Clinton’s victories in the South should not be dismissed because they were built on loyal African-American voters, Sanders’ victories shouldn’t be dismissed either. Liberals are Democrats, too. Sanders remains an underdog, but he keeps surging and Clinton keeps sinking. Sanders haswon 15 primaries and caucuses compared to Clinton’s 20, and he’s virtually tied four others (Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri and Illinois). This from an unknown candidate who started at single digits...

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Cruz And Kasich Signal They’re Considering Breaking Promise They Made During Debates

by AARON RUPAR – Donald Trump began his campaign by calling undocumented immigrants “rapists.” He wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States despite evidence doing so wouldn’t make the country safer, supports torture, and has a history of making crass comments about women. None of that was enough to prompt Trump’s competitors for the Republican presidential nomination to say they won’t support Trump if he continues rolling through the primary process and winds up becoming the party’s nominee. In fact, they’ve repeatedly promised to back whoever the nominee ends up being. But in the wake of Trump’s crude attacks on Heidi Cruz, the two remaining non-Trump competitors for the GOP’s nomination are finally signaling they might not follow through on that promise after all. Asked Friday about whether he’d still support Trump if he becomes the GOP candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “I don’t make a habit out...

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This Embarrassing Interview Signals Donald Trump May Be In Trouble In Wisconsin

by ALICE OLLSTEIN – With the Wisconsin primary just a week away, the remaining presidential candidates are descending on the Badger State. National frontrunner Donald Trump, who hasn’t made a campaign appearance in several days, ventured Monday morning into unfriendly territory: Wisconsin talk radio, where hosts have been viciously criticizing Trump for months. On Monday morning, influential radio host Charlie Sykes grilled Trump for nearly 10 minutes in an often uncomfortable interview, at one point scolding him for sounding more like a “12-year-old bully on the playground” than a candidate for president. Listen: The heated interview began and ended with Trump’s feud with rival Ted Cruz over the appearance of their wives — an episode that began with an independent PAC attempting to shame Trump’s wife for nude modeling and worsened when Trump retweeted a photoshopped picture a supporter created to shame Heidi Cruz. Sykes pressed Trump to apologize and publicly...

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A Big, Unexpected Crack Just Formed In The GOP’s Wall Of Opposition To Merrick Garland

by IAN MILLHISER – A conservative Republican senator from one of the reddest states in the country just broke with his party’s extraordinary resistance to Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. Just hours after news of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death became public, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that he would refuse to confirm anyone nominated by President Obama. He later suggested that he may try to hold the seat open even after the next president is elected. Since then, Senate Republican leadership says that they won’t give Garland a confirmation hearing. Many senators refuse to even meet with the longtime judge. To date, the White House and its allies have concentrated much of their efforts seeking to break this wall of resistance on relatively moderate Republicans, such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), or on senators in difficult reelection fights, such as Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). Thus far, they’ve...

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Georgia Governor Announces Veto Of Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

by ZACK FORD – Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced at a press conference Monday morning that he would veto HB 757, a “religious liberty” bill that would enable, among other things, organizations like adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples without jeopardizing their state funding. Deal explained that he found the language in the final version of the bill of “concern,” noting that it could enable some forms of state-sanctioned discrimination. He cited the examples of photographers and bakers who were punished for refusing to serve same-sex couples in other states, adding that he knew of no such examples of that taking place in Georgia, in particular because the state doesn’t offer the same nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation. “In light of our history, I find it somewhat ironic, that some in the religious community today feel it necessary for the government to confer upon them certain...

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California Reaches Deal to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

by Lauren McCauley – Hoping to avoid a costly ballot fight, California lawmakers and labor unions on Saturday reportedly reached an agreement to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour gradually by 2023. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday, but a source close to the negotiations revealed the content of the deal to the Los Angeles Times two days ahead. “According to a document obtained by The Times, the negotiated deal would boost California’s statewide minimum wage from $10 an hour to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 50-cent increase in 2018 and then $1-per-year increases through 2022. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees would have an extra year to comply, delaying their workers receiving a $15 hourly wage until 2023,” the Times reports. A minimum wage initiative that would have raised the wage to $15 by 2021, which was championed by SEIU...

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Scotland Just Closed Its Last Coal Plant

by ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO – After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity. The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room. “Ok, here we go,” said one worker moments before pressing a bright red button that stopped the coal-fired turbines that generated electricity for a quarter of Scottish homes. ScottishPower ‎@ScottishPower Here’s the moment #Longannet power station was shut down today marking the end of coal-fired generation in Scotland 10:47 AM – 24 Mar 2016 Longannet’s closure comes as Scotland, a country of some 5 million people, aims to have enough renewable energy to power 100 percent of its electricity demand by 2020. And while Europe has lowered its...

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Bernie Sanders Just Filed Paperwork To Sue The DNC. Here’s Why

by EMILY ATKIN – Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) filed paperwork to continue an ongoing lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee. The reason surrounds an incident with the Hillary Clinton campaign that occurred more than three months ago. The lawsuit argues that the DNC unfairly barred Sanders from accessing critical voter information — specifically, a 50-state “voter file” containing information about how to reach potential voters. The DNC briefly suspended Sanders’ access to that file in December, after one of his staffers improperly accessed Clinton’s voter data. At the time, Sanders’ campaign officials admitted that their staffer did improperly look at Clinton’s data. But they contended that it was also the DNC’s fault, because a DNC software vendor allowed a glitch in the system which ultimately made Clinton’s data available. The glitch also made Sanders’ data available to the Clinton campaign — though no one on Clinton’s staff looked...

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Ted Cruz Reveals The ‘Religious Liberty’ Plan His Hate Group Buddies Came Up With

by ZACK FORD – In his bid for the presidency, Ted Cruz (R) has consistently surrounded himself with some of the most extreme social conservatives in the country. In addition to appearing beside these individuals at various events, he also recruited a Religious Liberty Advisory Council — what Fox News’ Todd Starnes calls a “faith-based Justice League.” Through Starnes, Cruz unveiled this week just what kind of ideas this council has developed to protect “religious liberty.” Given the fact that his council consisted of representatives from only the most conservative iterations of Christianity, the 15-point list is unsurprisingly dedicated to privileging Christian beliefs and enabling discrimination against the LGBT community and women. For example, one of the recommendations is to “rescind Executive Order 13672 – an order that requires certain federal contractors to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” This order, which Obama first issued...

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Michigan Republicans Are Trying To Change Election Law To Stop Liberal Ballot Initiatives

by EMILY ATKIN – Grassroots groups in Michigan say they’re about to achieve something big. This year, if they get enough petition signatures, voters might get to decide at the ballot box whether to ban fracking and legalize marijuana. There’s just one problem: the state’s Republican lawmakers are now trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. The lawmakers aren’t opposing marijuana legalization or fracking bans on their merits — they’re trying to change election law to make it harder for citizen groups to get their issues on the ballot in the first place. Their bill to change citizen lawmaking in Michigan has so far been supported by the American Petroleum Institute, the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. It could land on Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk as soon as this week. “They are trying to stop cold,” said Luanne...

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Republicans Want Guns In Schools But Not At Their National Convention

by JUDD LEGUM – In response to an epidemic of gun violence in America, Republicans reject any effort to control gun use. The solution, instead, is more guns. “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” the expression goes. It’s available as a t-shirt from the NRA. CREDIT: NRASTORE.COM One idea that is subject to particular derision is the idea of “gun-free zones.” Instead of creating safe spaces, Republicans argue, gun-free zones just create attractive targets for criminals. Here is Donald Trump deriding the idea at a rally earlier this month: So it might come as some surprise that this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will completely ban guns. The event will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena where “firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden.” (Guns were banned at the 2012 Republican National...

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Donald Trump’s Claims About Muslims Protecting Terrorists Are Complete Nonsense (VIDEO)

by Joe Fletcher – During a recent appearance on Good Morning Britain , Donald Trump made several claims about Muslims that are, perhaps unsurprisingly to most people, completely bogus. During the interview, Trump claimed that one of the biggest challenges in the fight against terrorism is that “good” Muslims are withholding information about terrorist plots. “It’s like they’re protecting each other,” Trump said during the interview. “They have to report the bad ones. And if you report the bad ones, then all of a sudden you’re not going to have the problems.” Here’s the interview:  This statement does not hold up to empirical evidence. Muslims do in fact quit often turn in radical extremists . Vox reports: “In 2014, University of North Carolina sociologist Charles Kurzman identified 188 cases since 9/11 where the police had publicly identified a Muslim American as a suspected terrorist and disclosed where the initial tip came...

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NYPD Commissioner OBLITERATES Ted Cruz’s ‘Fictional’ Knowledge Of Counterterrorism

by Stephen D Foster Jr – In an op-ed that puts to rest any notion that Ted Cruz knows what he’s talking about when it comes to terrorism and national security, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton did not hold back. In the wake of the ISIS attack on Brussels, the Texas Senator went on camera to call for mass surveillance of Muslims in communities across the country as well as increased police patrols in those neighborhoods. Because spying on and treating Muslims like criminals is going to somehow prevent them from radicalizing. Not so, says Bratton, who wrote in his op-ed in New York Daily News that what Cruz believes about Muslims is “fiction” and that the outcome he seeks is a “fairy tale.” “Recently, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called for police to “patrol and secure Muslim communities before they become radicalized.” We already patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods, the same...

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Riot Police Fire Water Cannon at Protesters in Brussels

Riot police use water cannon to disperse right-wing groups who clashed with people at the Brussels attacks memorial Belgian riot police used water cannons to control hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in central Brussels after ignoring an official call for a postponement of solidarity marches following the bomb attacks on Tuesday. White-helmeted riot police followed by water cannon vehicles on Sunday steered protesters away from the city’s colonnaded stock exchange building where wreaths and flowers had been laid out in a tribute to the victims of the attacks. Protesters shouted slogans condemning this week’s attacks, which killed 31 people and injured scores of others, and expressing solidarity with the victims. Meanwhile, investigators launched 13 raids in Brussels and two other cities and taking four more people in custody. In pictures: Tight security and tributes after the Brussels attacks Meanwhile, Brussels prosecutors charged another man with belonging to a terrorist group,...

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Donald Trump Is Bad At Climate Denial, But Brilliant At Rhetoric

by JOE ROMM – When it comes to climate science, Donald Trump doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. But when it comes to classical rhetoric — what Plato called “the art of winning the soul by discourse” — Trump is a master. Donald Trump comes across as a clown to many intellectuals, and especially to comedians like Seth Myers and John Oliver, to cite two hilarious takedowns. And yet at the same time, Trump is one of the most effective practitioners of classical rhetoric the political world has seen in a long time. As opposed to the negative connotation that rhetoric has today, the Greeks, Romans, and Elizabethans viewed it as the epitome of persuasive speech. Trump’s success can’t be understood without appreciating his mastery of the figures. After all, modern social science has confirmed what the best politicians, orators, and speech-writers have always known — that the figures of...

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Ted Nugent Insults Women Everywhere By Disgustingly Listing Why Men Prefer Guns

by Stephen D Foster Jr – Ted Nugent is once again degrading a segment of the population and this time he targeted women. In a Facebook post devoted to his love of his guns, all of which he has undoubtedly f*cked repeatedly, the conservative rocker listed the reasons why men prefer their guns over women. “You can trade an old 44 for a new 22,” Nugent wrote as reason number ten on the offensive list, which then became even more cringe-worthy as it continued. Nugent went on to explain how “You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you’re on the road,” and even went so far as to say that women don’t act normally all month long like guns do even though PMS is a normal bodily function that all women go through in their lives. In his top reason, Nugent lamented that he can’t make...

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