Friday, May 8, 2015

The Beginning Of The End Of For-Profit Colleges

Former for-profit college students have helped fuel
 the student loan protest movement.
Education Management Corporation or EDMC, announced it will gradually shut down 15 of 52 campuses of The Art Institutes, leaving 5,400 students without a college.

This comes after Corinthian Colleges closed its remaining 28 college campuses only last week. DeVry University also announced the closure of 14 campuses and Kaplan Inc. sold 38 Kaplan College campuses to Education Corporation of America. Enrollment is also falling for for-profits such as Strayer University and the University of Phoenix.

Regulation and oversight of the for-profit college industry has increased in recent years, with enforcement of the “gainful employment” rule, spurring The U.S. Department of Education to investigate job placement rates and dole out heavy fines to those misrepresenting career opportunities after college. The gainful employment rule required that to qualify for federal student aid, for-profit colleges would have to show that they prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation,” which is defined through a debt-to-income ratio.

A 2012 report by the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions found that Education Management Corporation had “some of the highest numbers of students leaving the company’s programs without completing a certificate or degree of any company examined.” The report also showed that Goldman Sachs owned 41.8 percent of the company and that 80 percent of the company’s funds came from the federal government.  READ MORE

Scott Walker’s Corporate Tax Breaks Come Back To Haunt Him

Scott Walker runs huge deficits
With the deadline to pass a budget drawing closer, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his allies had been counting on increased tax revenue from a rebounding economy to help them avoid painful cuts to the state’s public primary schools and universities. But the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau dashed those hopes this week, telling lawmakers that [they] can expect no new revenue at all.

One of the biggest contributors to the crisis are Governor Walker’s 2011 tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit wealthy property owners and corporations, and have cost more than twice as much as originally predicted. New data shows the credits will cost the state at least $275 million in additional lost tax revenue over the next two years.

This is almost exactly the amount that Governor Walker wants to slash from the University of Wisconsin system, a threat that has already led several campuses into laying off hundreds of professors and staff.

The tax cuts are a major cornerstone of Governor Walker’s tenure — one he brings up in nearly every speech he’s made as he “explores” a bid for the White House.

But the singular focus on slashing taxes has taken the state from a billion dollar surplus to a nearly $2 billion deficitREAD MORE

BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Rules That The NSA’s Massive Surveillance Program Is Illegal

A unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held on Thursday that the National Security Agency’s sweeping database of U.S. phone calls is not authorized by federal law.

The database, which the public learned about after Edward Snowden leaked a court order concerning the NSA’s surveillance activities in 2013, is truly breathtaking in its scope. Snowden leaked an order directing to telephone company Verizon to produce “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’’ relating to Verizon communications within the United States or between the United States and abroad,” and the federal government did not “seriously dispute” a claim that “all significant service providers in the United States are subject to similar orders.” Though the database does not include the actual content of people’s calls, the metadata held by the NSA does include “details about telephone calls, including, for example, the length of a call, the phone number from which the call was made, and the phone number called.” READ MORE

The Hot New Form Of Fantasy Sports Is Probably Addictive, Potentially Illegal And Completely Unregulated

Eighteen months of gambling sobriety had passed before Jay saw his first television commercial for a daily fantasy sports website. With more than six years of counseling for an addiction to sports betting under his belt, he thought he was in a secure place.

“That was a long time for me,” he told ThinkProgress, looking back. “I followed the commercials on ESPN… And I saw the way they hyped it. They said that for a $2 entry fee, this guy won $1 million.”
So Jay (who asked that his real name be withheld to protect his anonymity and that his counselors be identified only by first name) created a FanDuel account, filled it with $200 and started to play. Predictably, trouble soon followed.

For the next six months, Jay compulsively toggled back and forth between FanDuel and its chief rival, DraftKings, entering into multiple daily fantasy contests every 24 hours. Eight weeks in, he was down $10,000, and the true desperation began. He made a deal with himself that he’d get out once he got back to break even, and in order to do that, he decided he needed to concentrate his efforts on long shot tournaments with the steepest buy-ins.

“I was playing in $1,000-entry-fee tournaments every day. I played them for 20 days straight.”
Once the dust had settled and Jay finally stepped back, he was poorer to the tune of $50,000.
“That’s how much I lost out of pocket; it doesn’t include what I won and gave back,” he said. “I probably gambled $150,000 total. There were days when I’d lose $3,000, and then come back the next day and win $4,000.”  READ MORE
Marilyn Mosby- Official Photo as State’s Attorney
Once Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that her  office was bringing charges against the six police officers allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray, all media piercing eyes were focused on her with extreme scrutiny.  There was no praise for her conducting her own individual investigation instead of relying on the police to police and investigate themselves.  There was little discussion of her investigation except to say that it was swift.  Yet, the police concluded their investigation in the same time period and no one questioned their swiftness. The media mostly focused on her age, her lack of experience with homicides, potential conflicts of interests with the Gray family attorney, bias against the police, conflicts due to her husband’s position and a host of other things. Almost nothing good has been said about Mosby in the media.

At 35 years old, she is the youngest chief prosecutor in a major city.  Ms. Mosby worked at the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office for five years before moving on to obtain other work experience. And I hate to let the media in on a secret. Ms. Mosby will not likely be trying the case by herself.  She will most likely have a team of seasoned prosecutors involved on the case. As a former Baltimore prosecutor, the State’s Attorney’s Office has many senior  career prosecutors.  She did not conduct the investigation by herself. She used her own team of investigators and lawyers. To their credit and respect for her, no one leaked that there was a simultaneous investigation occurring alongside of the police investigation.  READ MORE

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Anchorage AK voters trounce Koch-backed homophobe, elect Democratic mayor

This from the Anchorage Daily News:

Ethan Berkowitz surged to a decisive win over opponent Amy Demboski in the Anchorage mayoral runoff election Tuesday night.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Berkowitz had more than 59 percent of the vote to Demboski’s 41 percent, a margin that was insurmountable. Berkowitz had held a commanding lead over Demboski throughout the evening. As of 11 p.m., 122 of the municipality’s 124 precincts had reported.  READ MORE

GOP clown car bewildered by how to respond on evolution

The GOP clown car made headlines a few years when an assembled panel was asked during a debate if they accepted the organizing principle in evolutionary biology and several signaled "no." This cycle is not shaping up to be any prettier, even with a neurosurgeon and an ophthalmologist in the fray:

But despite assorted elite educations and illustrious careers, none can apparently make up their minds about basics of modern science – that the Earth is about 4.5bn years old, that humans evolved from earlier primates over millions of years, and that people are making the world dangerously warm.


Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant

Comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that he would fund every existing grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website

Colbert made the announcement on a live video feed Thursday at a surprise event at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville.

Colbert partnered with Share Fair Nation and ScanSource to fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools, totaling $800,000.  READ MORE

Carly Fiorina: Actually, I Do Have National Security Experience

Carly Fiorina admits that during her six year tenure, Hewlett-Packard didn't exactly create jobs.

"In the course of my time there, we laid off over 30,000 people. That's why I understand where the anger came from."
In February 2005, the HP board fired Fiorina. The next day, the company's stock rose by 6.9 percent, and The Wall Street Journal reported that some employees reacted to the news of her dismissal by holding champagne toasts.
Carly Fiorina engages in 'failure bragging,' where her "accomplishments" speak for themselves.

At Hewlett-Packard, she nearly ran the company into Middle Earth, bragged about outsourcing jobs when she did it, and was generally so incompetent a manager that the company paid her millions of dollars to never darken its towels again. This is the record on which she is running for president.

Fox and Friends asked her to explain her national security positions since she has no national security credentials, and ISIS claims to already be on American soil. Au contraire mon frere, she thinks rather highly of her international experience.

"Actually, I think I have extensive national security credentials, I have met more more world leaders on the world stage than anyone who is running, with the exception of Hillary Clinton and I didn't do photo ops." READ MORE

Right Wing 'Christian' Creates Video Game Called 'Kill The Faggot'

If you're a right-wing, gay-hating, Christian full of bloodlust, we have just the game for you.
Randall Herman, who promotes the "teachings of Jesus Christ" in his Christian shoe business now has a video game out called "Kill The Faggot."

That's totally not offensive at all, is it?

Ars technica reports:

The game makes very clear that its goal is to shoot and kill gay people (with liberal use of the pejorative F-word in the game's title, at that). Players get points for killing gay people-more points if the person killed is transgender-and they lose points for any straight people they kill. It's hard to make a judgment call about the "most" offensive thing in this game, but we were particularly disturbed to hear the game's announcer celebrate a kill by saying, "AIDS carrier eliminated."

Randall Herman has ventured into the kill all gays business because the Book of Smite You Some Gays commands it in the GOP Bible.  READ MORE

Alberta's Election -- A Win For People And Huge Loss For The Kochs

The Koch Brothers
Besides the obvious surprise of a complete flip in control in Alberta from the Conservative Progressives to the NDP, there's also an Easter egg of a gift involved. That election was a complete repudiation of Charles and David Koch's meddling ways in Canadian politics.

Both brothers might claim their political expenditures are purely altruistic and an expression of their patriotic belief in America's free enterprise system, but the truth is something else. They don't invest solely in American politics -- they've been pouring money into Canada, and specifically Alberta, for years. One of their big investments is in the Fraser Institute, a climate-denying "think tank".

Bruce Livesey, writing for the National Observer, has written an excellent piece on how deeply entrenched the Kochs and their corporate interests are in Alberta's political landscape:
Greenpeace’s most recent research shows that since 1997, the Kochs have spent a total of US$79-million to groups that deny climate change science.

Some of that cash has come north to Canada – specifically to the Fraser Institute. As first revealed by the Vancouver Observer, tax records show that since 2007, the Fraser Institute, one of Canada’s oldest conservative think tanks, has pocketed a total of US$765,000 from one of Charles Kochs’ foundations.  READ MORE

Dinesh D'Souza Wants A Little Summer Break From His Jail Sentence

Wow, it takes some nerve for Dinesh D'Souza to step up and ask the judge if he can have a teeny weeny break from the hard work of spending his nights in a federal detention facility and his public service during the day. Nevertheless, he tried.

But when D’Souza — the maker of the anti-President Obama film “2016: Obama’s America” — tried to take a summer vacation from his sentence at the Mater Dei School, Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman sarcastically rejected his request.

“With respect to [his parole officer’s ] request that Mr. D’Souza’s community service hours be ‘waived’ from June 1, 2015 until July 13, 2015, the request is respectfully denied,” Berman wrote.
“The short explanation is, as all criminal defendants are aware, that we don’t provide ‘summer breaks’ in these circumstances.”  READ MORE

Berman also wrote that he is confident that the Catholic high school “is not the only appropriate venue for community service in San Diego” and asked D’Souza to find somewhere else to volunteer.
D’Souza’s parole officer had included with the “summer vacation” request a recent Vanity Fair article about D’Souza — but the judge was unimpressed.

The Case for Violent Video Games

A new book says kids know they’re a fantasy — even a healthy one. 

 Americans have long been drawn to the idea that violent movies or video games can provoke actual delinquency or serious crime. In 1963, the Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura performed an experiment in which one group of preschoolers watched films and cartoons of adults beating “Bobo,” a clown doll. When kids who witnessed Bobo’s travails were later left alone with the toy, they were more likely than other children to abuse Bobo themselves. Bandura concluded that “social scripts” presented on screen guide children’s behavior in real life.  READ MORE

Bill Gates's Quest to Determine Why Children Are Dying

An interview with Gates about why so many newborns die in developing countries, and what he thinks he can do about it

When it comes to child deaths, the world has made great strides in the past 25 years. "In 1990, one in ten children in the world died before age 5," Bill and Melinda Gates write on their blog. But thanks to things like vaccines and better nutrition, "today, it's one in 20." 

The death rate for children younger than one month has proven harder to budge. Newborns account for 44 percent of all childhood deaths, and health experts aren't sure why. They know it might have something to do with prematurity, or infections, or complications during delivery. But they often don't know exactly what happened right after a given birth that brought death just a few weeks later. Was the baby not dried off properly? Did the umbilical cord get infected?

In order to better understand the drivers of mortality for all children, on Wednesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's investing $75 million in a series of surveillance sites that will gather data "about how, where and why children are getting sick and dying," according to the release. This Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network, or CHAMPS, will be spread initially throughout six locations in Africa and South Asia. It will rely on field workers to take biopsies of children who have perished and on beefed-up laboratories that will perform medical testing.  READ MORE

America's Epidemic Of Useless Medical Care, And Other Things You Didn't Have Time To Read

Atul Gawande On America's Epidemic Of Unnecessary Care

Atul Gawande » The New Yorker » 32 Minutes

Coming off his examination of end-of-life care in 2014's critically acclaimed Being Mortal, Gawande turns his sights on the rampant excess of "no-value care" in the American health-care system. 
Excessive — and useless — treatment is pervasive and has clear fiscal downsides for normal people:
Virtually every family in the country, the research indicates, has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. The costs appear to take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year.
The overdiagnosing of harmless abnormalities is expensive — and it isn't helping:
Over the past two decades, we’ve tripled the number of thyroid cancers we detect and remove in the United States, but we haven’t reduced the death rate at all. 

More Girls Rescued From Grasp of Boko Harem, But 214 of the 234 Are Pregnant

Some of the women and children rescued from
Boko Harem terrorist group over the past weekend
*Due to the widespread rape and sexual abuse 214 of the  234 girls kidnapped in 2014 by members from the terrorist Boko Harem group are pregnant, according to an unofficial report. This latest rescue was by the Nigerian Army of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State and it only represents girls in one of the camps on Borno. None of the girls who were rescued were from the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram last April.

According to the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Babatunde Osotimehin, the organization has taken responsibility for the delivery of more than 16,000 pregnancies in the last year alone; and they are working with state and federal agencies to gather a formidable team in anticipation of the magnitude of the problem. Their strategy thus far is to restore the girls’ sense of dignity because of the “psychosocial trauma” they face.

“What we found is that some of the women and girls that have come back actually have much more in terms of the stress they have faced, so the counselling has to be more intense and working with them one-on-one, Osotimehin said.  READ MORE

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Big Cases At The Supreme Court That You Haven’t Heard About

The Supreme Court heard this term’s final day of oral arguments on Wednesday, a day that included a truly ghoulish debate over how states can execute death row inmates. By the first days of July, the justices will depart for their summer vacations. In the weeks in between, they could gut much of the nation’s civil rights law. They could cast many states’ election law into chaos. They could inflame our relations in the Middle East. And they could sentence thousands of Americans to die preventable deaths every year.
Here are major cases the justices are expected to decide by the end of June:

Race Discrimination And Housing

Probably the most undercovered major case this term is Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, a case that could hobble the nation’s ability to combat housing discrimination.

Such discrimination is often very difficult to root out, which is why it persists in the housing sector. A study on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example, found that black and Asian homeseekers are shown or told about 15 to 19 percent fewer homes than whites who have similar credit or housing interests. Similarly, the Federal Reserve determined in 2009 that African Americans are twice as likely as white borrowers to be denied a home loan even when controlling for income and similar criteria. Yet discrimination persists in part because it is difficult to prove in court — banks typically do not produce smoking gun documents announcing that they prefer not to lend money to black people, for example.  READ MORE

Back by popular demand. Long post, but well worth it. The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism...If this isn't a wakeup call, nothing is.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

___Dr. Lawrence Britt

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ben Carson Takes The Stage In 2016 GOP Beauty Contest

And in the center ring today, it's BEN CARSON, who announced his official candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination today.

The 2016 GOP beauty contest is now officially underway, with Mr. Florida (Marco Rubio), Mr. Texas (Ted Cruz), and Mr. Kentucky (Rand Paul). With the addition of Mr. Maryland, that sets the stage for the next wave.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cops who lie, the erosion of trust, and despair

I’m a middle-aged white guy. I was born lucky (i.e., white male American, with loving, affluent, involved parents) and just kept getting luckier, so I have had very little interaction with the police in my life.

But let me tell you a little story. It will seem incredibly trivial — perhaps even offensively so — compared to the brutality and murder meted out by cops against black folks (and other folks too), but there is a point to it.

Last year, I was pulled over by a police officer.
I was driving my grandmother to a doctor’s appointment. I didn’t know where I was going, and she only intermittently knows where she is :-), so she was giving me directions, turn-by-turn. We came to a 4-way stop. Since I didn’t know whether I was supposed to go straight or turn left or turn right, I came to a complete dead stop and waited for my grandmother to tell me which way to go. As I looked up the road to my left, I noticed a police cruiser parked on the shoulder. Gramma eventually said to take a right, so I did. Moments later I saw flashing lights in my mirror.

I had no idea why I might be getting pulled and I was extremely surprised when the officer told me it was for not stopping at the stop sign.

I said, “I absolutely did stop.”

He said, “Sir, you didn’t even slow down.”

Simply put, that was a bald-faced lie. (And also utterly ridiculous — the cop was claiming that I approached an intersection, going 20 or 30 miles per hour, and executed a 90-degree turn without braking, in an SUV.)

I exclaimed, "What?!" and emitted a few demure sounds of disbelief, while my grandmother piped up and said, “That’s not true at all.” The officer made it clear he wasn't in the mood for a debate, so I shut up and gave him my license and paperwork, and he returned to his cruiser.  READ MORE

94 percent of Americans don't know the budget deficit is getting smaller

Yeah dude it's crazy, but it's true!
It's an indisputable fact: The budget deficit is getting smaller.

In fiscal year 2010, which was President Obama's first full fiscal year in office, the budget deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will be $845 billion. That's a 35 percent decrease in terms of dollars, and it's even bigger—41 percent—if you're tracking the deficit as a share of the GDP. The percentage drop is even bigger—roughly 50 percent—if you start from fiscal year 2009, which overlapped the final year of the Bush presidency and the first year of Obama's.  READ MORE

Marijuana legalization hurting Mexican drug cartels

There are a number of reasons to support legalization. Now you can add one more.
 Farmers in the storied “Golden Triangle” region of Mexico’s Sinaloa state, which has produced the country’s most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop. Its wholesale price has collapsed in the past five years, from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.

   “It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”
 Several of Mexico's states can be considered failed states because the drug cartels are out of control. The country of Mexico is in the warning status. One hitman for the cartels said he killed 800 people before he stopped keeping track.

   Denying those drug cartels cash would certainly be a step in the right direction.  READ MORE

The Whipping Scars On The Back of The Fugitive Slave Named Gordon

While at this encampment Gordon decided to enlist in the Union Army. As President Lincoln had granted African Americans the opportunity to serve in segregated units only months earlier, Gordon was at the front of a movement that would ultimately involve nearly 200,000 African Americans. It was during his medical examination prior to being mustered into the army that military doctors discovered the extensive scars on his back. McPherson and Oliver were then in the camp, and Gordon was asked to pose for a picture that would reveal the harsh treatment he had recently received.

The photographic team mass-produced and sold copies of Gordon’s portrait in the small and popular format of the time, known as the carte-de-visite. The image provoked an immediate response as copies circulated quickly and widely. Samuel K. Towle, a surgeon with the 30th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers working in Baton Rouge, sent a copy of the photograph to the Surgeon-General of the State of Massachusetts. In his accompanying letter he wrote: “Few sensation writers ever depicted worse punishments than this man must have received, though nothing in his appearance indicates any unusual viciousness—but on the contrary, he seems INTELLIGENT AND WELL-BEHAVED.” Within months commercial photographers in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and London were issuing this image on their own studio mounts. This particular copy was made by the famous New York portrait photographer Mathew Brady. READ MORE

Bill Donohue speaks: Marriage is 'not about love'

Presenting Catholic League president Bill Donohue and his deeply important thoughts on marriage:

“This idea of two men getting married is the most bizarre idea in human history,” Donohue told host John Fugelsang, adding that the purpose of marriage is a “duty” to procreate. “The whole purpose of marriage is to have a family,” he said. “It’s not about making people happy. It’s not about love.”
Glad we cleared that up. Marriage not about love, and screw happiness. Check. Wow, what a fabulous worldview this guy has. I can only imagine the sorts of songs they sing at his church.
The host also pointed out that the Catholic leader is a hypocrite for demanding we follow a Leviticus passage that prohibits “lying with another man,” yet he doesn’t refrain from eating pork or from wearing shirts with mixed fibers. READ MORE

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

 You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.
Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.  READ MORE

Texas Defends Voting Laws: "We Don't Want Democrats To Vote"

Good luck with that, Texas
Oh, Texas.  What to do with you.

So mere hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Texas wasted no more time and re-instituted the same redistricting plan the courts had already ruled as unconstitutional.  The same with their new voter suppression bill.

Attorney General Holder was having none of it, however.  Texas was the first lawsuit to be filed by the Justice Department under Section 2 of the Voting Right Act.

And now Texas is presenting its defense. It is using two main arguments.
And boy, are they doozies.

Jump below the Chee-to for more: READ MORE