Ted Strickland’s Principled Change of Heart on Gun Safety

by Joan McCarter – Back in the early 1990s, when he was in the U.S. House, Ted Strickland wasn’t a reliable vote on gun safety. To the contrary, he voted against the Brady Bill in 1993 and the 1994 assault weapons ban. Even in 2010, he used those gun votes in his re-election campaign for governor, which he lost. But then in 2012, things changed for him. But a spate of mass shootings caused soul searching, he said. After 26—including 20 children—were killed in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Strickland called for a commission to consider the nation’s gun laws, telling the Wooster Daily Record, “there needs to be a recognition that we cannot continue to lose thousands and thousands of innocent people to gun violence.”Strickland now supports expanding background checks to people buying guns at gun shows or on the internet. He also supports a Democrat-sponsored amendment banning suspected terrorists...

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More Trump Victims Surface As Condo Scam Is Revealed, Millions Lost As He Profited (VIDEO)

by Oliver Willis – Donald Trump has a pattern of business behavior that he has repeated several times over his career when he isn’t on a reality show pretending to be a billionaire genius. A loud, splashy launch of a project followed by a high pressure sales job that dazzles prospective customers, followed by mismanagement and poor business decisions that result in a failed business but somehow Trump makes money for himself. The pattern has repeated itself with Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, and now the Los Angeles Times has revealed the seedy underbelly of Trump Ocean Resort, a condo community that was supposed to be built in Baja with homes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Guess what happened next? In the end, nothing at all was built at Trump Ocean Resort, and Simms lost her money. As did about 250 other buyers, most of them from Southern California. All told,...

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Michigan Drug Tested The Poor But Wound Up With Zero Positive Results

by BRYCE COVERT – In the eight months that Michigan has been running a pilot program to drug test applicants and recipients of its welfare program, not a single person has tested positive, according to preliminary results. The program began in October in three different counties, instituting a 50-question screening questionnaire that can prompt officials to order a drug test. As of May, 303 people who applied for benefits or were already receiving them participated, but they turned up zero positive drug test results. An applicant can refuse a test, forfeiting benefits if he or she does, and some argue that low positive testing rates can be due to those who abuse drugs simply declining to get tested. But no one in Michigan’s pilot program refused to take a test. The legislature appropriated $300,000 to run the pilot program, although a spokesperson for the department that oversees the welfare program...

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Billboard With Reagan Quote Stands Outside GOP Convention, And Conservatives REALLY Won’t Like It

by Rika Christensen – The GOP convention is drawing all sorts, including nutbags like this one on YouTube. It’s also drawing those who believe the GOP’s policies are a major departure from what this country was supposed to be, despite all their claims that they want us to be exactly that. Because of that, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has a billboard up near their venue with a quote from none other than St. Reagan himself, and conservatives will absolutely despise it. This is the billboard below: FFRF @FFRF FFRF quotes Reagan in Cleveland message to GOP convention… http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/26994-ffrf-quotes-reagan-in-cleveland-message-to-gop-convention#sthash.Mx2A6lQP.dpuf … 3:25 PM – 27 Jun 2016 The point is clear: Keep church and state separate. Over the last couple of decades, Republicans have worked hard to entangle civil law with biblical law, and they hope to keep us from knowing the difference. Pea-brains like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, James Inhofe, and...

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Trump Said ‘Ask The Family’ Of A Benghazi Victim About Clinton’s Judgment, So Someone Did

by John Prager – “Be careful what you wish for” is an age-old adage. Earlier this month, Donald Trump tweeted that “if you want to know about Hillary Clinton’s honesty and judgement,” all you need to do is “ask the family of Ambassador Chris Stevens,” who died in the horrific terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2009. via FreakOutNation So, someone did On Tuesday, after the House Benghazi Committee released its report on the attacks — a report that once again exonerated Clinton and confirmed that the numerous hearings are simply a waste of taxpayer dollars aimed at smearing the 2016 Democratic nominee — Ambassador Stevens’ sister spoke to the New Yorker about the hearings, and Trump has likely dissolved into a steaming pile of seething rage over her remarks. Dr. Anne Stevens, who serves as her family’s spokesperson, made it very clear that no matter what Republicans say, Hillary Clinton is...

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Yet More Good Abortion News from the Supreme Court

by Meteor Blades – On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling Monday that overturned provisions of a Texas law that would otherwise have closed half of the state’s remaining 19 abortion clinics, there was more good news in the fallout Tuesday. The Court announced that it would not hear appeals from Mississippi and Wisconsin regarding similar provisions in their own laws. The provision in both states mandated that physicians at abortion clinics be required to have “admitting privileges” at nearby hospitals. In the Texas ruling—Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt—the Court rejected the admitting privileges provision as well as another mandating that abortion clinics be built and equipped like mini-hospitals. The majority’s reasoning held that the law “places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion” and “constitutes an undue burden on abortion access.” By declining to hear the cases, the Supremes upheld the Wisconsin ruling last November by the 7th...

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The Supreme Court’s ‘Wise Latina’ Notches Her First Key Victory

by IAN MILLHISER – Twenty-five years ago on Wednesday, the greatest lawyer of the twentieth century confronted his own mortality. “I’m old,” Justice Thurgood Marshall told a room full of reporters. “I’m getting old and falling apart.” The man who time and time again had forced Jim Crow to retreat using only the power of his own arguments was leaving the Supreme Court. Justice Marshall’s retirement left a void on the nation’s highest Court for nearly two decades. Marshall was, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote the year after his retirement, “a man who knew the anguish of the silenced and gave them a voice.” This was a man who’d personally faced lynch mobs while struggling to save innocent black men from a death sentence, a lawyer of unmatched skill and poise who was chased out of Southern towns with warnings that “n*ggers ain’t welcome in these parts after dark.”...

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On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart

About four-in-ten blacks are doubtful that the U.S. will ever achieve racial equality Almost eight years after Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president –an event that engendered a sense of optimism among many Americans about the future of race relations1 – a series of flashpoints around the U.S. has exposed deep racial divides and reignited a national conversation about race. A new Pew Research Center survey finds profound differences between black and white adults in their views on racial discrimination, barriers to black progress and the prospects for change. Blacks, far more than whites, say black people are treated unfairly across different realms of life, from dealing with the police to applying for a loan or mortgage. And, for many blacks, racial equality remains an elusive goal. An overwhelming majority of blacks (88%) say the country needs to continue making changes for blacks to have equal...

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Trump’s Flip-Flop: Now He’s Complaining That Obama Deports Too Many People

by Wendy Gittleson – Donald Trump appears to be backing off on his pledge to deport immigrants, at least he appeared to be earlier on Saturday. Instead, Trump is accusing Obama of being too anti-immigrant. Yes, you read that right. In an interview in Scotland, he said that he would limit deportations to countries with known terrorists and he would start over again on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He toned down his usual xenophobic rhetoric to say that his policies would have “heart,” unlike, according to him, President Obama. “President Obama has mass deported vast numbers of people — the most ever, and it’s never reported. I think people are going to find that I have not only the best policies, but I will have the biggest heart of anybody,” Trump said. Pressed on whether he would issue “mass deportations,” Trump answered: “No, I would not call it mass deportations.”...

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God, Gays, Guns And Orlando

by Terrance Heath – The tragedy in Orlando reveals that the three issues that once made up the Republican’s “winning formula” may have finally ripened into political poison for the GOP. In 1994, James Inhofe told Oklahoma voters that the senate race could be summed up in “the three Gs — God, Gays, and Guns.” Inhofe, whose victory propelled him into the senate the same year that Republicans took both houses of Congress, wasn’t just summarizing the Oklahoma senate race. He identified the major support beams of the GOPs “culture war” platform that had a significant impact on politics throughout the 1990s, and delivered significant victories for Republicans well into the 2000s. It was defined by an insistence that government endorse and enforce conservative Christian morality, codify anti-gay discrimination and prohibit LGBT equality, and allow almost unrestricted access to guns. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, hate crime, and...

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The Trump Campaign is Likely Regretting Asking this Fierce Scottish MP for an Illegal Donation

by Jen Hayden –   Dear Donald J. Trump Jr. Quite why you think it appropriate to write emails to UK parliamentarians with a begging bowl for your father’s repugnant campaign is completely beyond me. Given his rhetoric on migrants, refugees and immigration, it seems quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money; especially people who view his dangerous divisiveness with horror. The U.S. elections are a matter for the American people, but I do send my hope that they reject your father fundamentally at the ballot box, not just to protect and improve the cohesion in society, to stop his corrosive othering of immigrants and for the protection of hard fought women’s rights in the U.S. but also, selfishly, for world security, and international relations. The thought of his reactionary type of politics and apparent ignorance of world affairs having access to a seat at the world table is...

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Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi Committee Collapses…and It’s Time To Move On

by Scan – It’s unusual to see back-to-back headlines here, but this from the New York Times says it all: And for good measure, here’s the first sentence: Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead. Clinton responds: The Situation Room ✔@CNNSitRoom Hillary Clinton on #Benghazi: It’s “pretty clear” it’s time to move on http://cnn.it/291XsMI  1:36 PM – 28 Jun 2016 Her campaign responds via spokesman Brian Fallon: “The Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee are finishing their work in the same, partisan way that we’ve seen from them since the beginning. In refusing to issue its report on a bipartisan basis, the Committee is breaking from the precedent set by other Congressional...

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What the Supreme Court Ruling Means for U.S. Abortion Access

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown – The Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt could affect laws around the U.S. In its first significant abortion ruling since 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday held that Texas abortion regulations were unconstitutional. As Damon Root noted here earlier, the 2013 Texas statute, known as H.B. 2, was “one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the United States.” With four liberal-leaning justices and three strict conservatives on the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing voter in this case, and his siding against the state of Texas tipped the scales to Whole Women’s Health clinic favor by a vote of 5-3. The decision means Texas can’t require all abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital nor force abortion clinics to meet surgical-center standards regardless of whether they perform surgical abortions. With similar regulations recently passed—and challenged in court—across the country, the Court’s ruling...

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House Rules Committee Chair Says Democrats Should Be Investigated For Gun Control Sit-In

by KIRA LERNER – The Republican chair of the House Rules Committee is calling for an investigation into whether Democrats violated any House rules when they staged a 25-hour sit-in last week to demand that the body consider gun-related legislation after the Orlando shooting. U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said on a Texas news program Sunday that Democrats should be “held accountable” for the sit-in, which was led by Democratic Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA). Lewis and close to 170 of his colleagues held the floor for most of Wednesday and into Thursday to demand a vote on legislation to ban people on the “terrorist watch list” from purchasing firearms. The House members took turns telling personal stories about gun violence, chanting and singing, and calling on their colleagues to hold a formal debate on the bill before the July 4 break. “There was a complete lack...

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The GOP’s Zika Bill Could Actually Limit Access to Contraception and Abortion

by CELISA CALACAL – In the midst of the Democratic House sit-in Wednesday night protesting inaction on gun control, the GOP rushed to divert attention by passing a proposal to combat the spread of Zika — the mosquito-borne virus that’s causing concern in the public health community because it’s most harmful to pregnant women. In the aftermath of the sit-in, which attracted national attention, GOP leaders have characterized the Zika bill as a more important priority than bringing gun control legislation to a vote. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said it was a “significant step” to battling Zika, and other Republicans have expressed similar support for the bill. “Given the urgency of the Zika threat, I hope Senate Democrats will rise above politics so we can get this done,” Ryan said. There’s just one catch: the bill doesn’t get to the heart of solving the problem for women who...

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Clinton’s Gamble on Gun Safety is Paying Off (VIDEO)

by Sher Watts Spooner – Last fall, after the latest mass shooting—this one at an Oregon community college that killed nine people—Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton decided to go all in on the gun issue. No doubt it was a personal as well as a political decision. This is not a new issue for Clinton. She has been working against gun violence since she was first lady and continued as a New York senator. She co-sponsored legislation to close gun show loopholes and ban assault weapons, and voted against immunity for gun dealers and manufacturers. But it came with political risk. Guns always have been a divisive issue, and various media—mostly on the conservative side (you’ll pardon me for not providing links)—predicted that gun safety would be a losing issue for her in the general election. This is despite the fact that the vast majority of people in this country want common-sense...

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The Cult Called the Republican Party

by Libby Shaw – This should come as no surprise to those of us in Texas.  Ever since G.W. Bush replaced Ann Richards as the Governor the GOP has evolved into a cult comprised of crony capitalists, crooks, clowns and mean-spirited dumb bunnies. Just when we think we’ve seen the worse of the worst of Texas Republican politics, it gets even worse.  Greg Abbott is more cruel and cynical than Rick Perry because Abbott is completely bereft of human compassion and empathy.  A passive aggressively angry, insecure man he panders to conspiracy theorists and secessionists.  Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is a cut above a carnival huckster with his right wing hoaxes and hypocrisy. The Attorney General, Ken Paxton is an indicted felon.  The Agricultural Commissioner, Sid Miller, bills the state to pay for his “Jesus” shots (whatever those are) in Oklahoma.  The Land Commissioner, George P. Bush (son of Jeb), pays employees after he fires them so they won’t sue the Land office.  P. hired his friends...

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Five Immigration Actions Obama Should Take Before Leaving Office

by Carl Lipscombe, Truthout | Op-Ed – Comprehensive immigration reform has failed. Millions of immigrants have been deported. President Obama’s executive action programs are in limbo. As President Obama enters his final six months in office, his legacy on immigration has yet to be determined. Will he go down as the savior who stretched the limits of his power to provide relief for millions of Dreamers? Or as the Trojan Horse who rode in promising hope and change while opening the door to raids on immigrant families, communities and record deportations? If President Obama wants to rescue his immigration legacy while shedding the lame duck president stereotype, he should take bold, decisive action on immigration. Here are some ideas: 1. Take a stand against the 1996 laws that criminalized millions of immigrants. Over the last year the Obama administration has taken stands against the war on drugs and the war on crime, acknowledging both as...

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Harvard Study Confirms Anti-Clinton Media Bias

by capkronos – An interesting new study about media bias was conducted recently by Harvard. The results perhaps aren’t all that surprising to those of us who’ve been closely following press coverage throughout the primary process, but go a long way in shedding light on several key issues. Most notable among these are Clinton’s downward trajectory in the “likability” department but also the fact the media has done a disservice to not only Clinton but also Sanders, supporters of both candidates and the party in general. A new report released this week by Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy found Clinton has received far more negative coverage than any other candidate in the race thus far. The study was based on an analysis of news statements from CBS, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. “Far more negative?” More like insanely more negative! The study found that 84 percent of Clinton’s coverage...

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Justice Thomas Argues That Convicted Domestic Abusers Need Easier Access To Guns

by LAUREL RAYMOND – Today the Supreme Court handed down two decisions: The first is a monumental, headline-grabbing defeat for anti-abortion groups. The second is a highly technical case about gun rights that’s being mostly overlooked. In the dissenting opinion for the latter case, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argues that convicted domestic abusers have been defrauded of their right to deadly weapons. At-issue in Voisine v. United States is a technical question of whether two men with convictions for “reckless” domestic assault fall under a federal law prohibiting people convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from possessing a firearm. The law prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing firearms wasn’t the question under discussion — instead, the question was how far that law reached over certain states’ differing domestic assault laws. Justice Thomas, however, was very concerned in arguments about the broader law that domestic abusers at large can’t...

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