Tag Archives: New York City

10 things you need to know today: January 2, 2014

Bill swears in Bill.

Bill swears in Bill. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Week

Militants attack Somali hotel, de Blasio is sworn in as mayor, and more

1. Attack on Somali hotel leaves at least six dead
Two car bombs and an attack by armed militants left six people dead and several more wounded at the Jazeera hotel in Mogadishu. Police say they were able to stop the assailants from entering the hotel, which is often used by foreign visitors and government officials. [New York Times]
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2. New NYC Mayor de Blasio vows to tackle income inequality
New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, took office vowing to continue the fight against income inequality. “That mission – our march towards a fairer, more just, more progressive place, our march to keep the promise of New York alive for the next generation – it begins today,” he said after being sworn into office Wednesday by former President Bill Clinton. [Christian Science Monitor]
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3. Harry Reid promises vote on long-term unemployment benefits
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will vote on a bill that aims to extend long-term unemployment benefits when the holiday recess ends on Jan. 6. Reid expressed optimism that the bill will pass the Senate with bipartisan support, but declined to speculate whether he thought the legislation would make it through the House. [FOX]
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4. Massive fire breaks out in Minneapolis
A huge fire broke out in south Minneapolis, destroying a 10-unit apartment building and injuring at least 14 people. Thick gray smoke could be seen rising from the building, which also housed a small grocery store. It took 50 firefighters to quell the blaze in the freezing weather. [New York Times]
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5. U.N. releases 2013 Iraq death toll number
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq released its estimate for the total number of civilian casualties in Iraq in 2013. According to the U.N., 7,818 people were killed and 17,981 were injured. It was the most dangerous year since 2008, when 6,787 died and 20,178 were injured. [CNN]
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6. Hawaii Senate primary causing tension among Democrats
A bitter feud is diving Democrats in Hawaii between those who support Sen. Brian Schatz, the politician appointed to fill the late Daniel Inouye’s seat, and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Inouye’s protegee. Inouye’s deathbed wish was that Hanabusa be chosen to succeed him, but the governor appointed Schatz instead. The primary is scheduled for August 9. [Washington Post]
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7. Historic document tied to American Independence discovered
It had been misfiled in a museum’s attic for more than four decades, but an archivist at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan found a letter from the Continental Congress after going through some old documents that were to be discarded. The letter was a draft of a plea for reconciliation sent to Britain in 1775. Analysts say the draft was written by Robert R. Livingston, a New Yorker who helped draft the Declaration of Independence a year later. The document is expected to be auctioned off later this month. [New York Times]
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8. Kim Jong Un defends uncle’s execution
In a New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un defended the decision to have his uncle executed in December. The uncle, Jang Song Thaek, helped Kim rise to power, but Kim said the purge has brought greater unity to the country. Kim accused his uncle of trying to overthrow the government. [CNN]
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9. Actor James Avery dies
Actor James Avery died from complications of open heart surgery. Best known for playing Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Avery was 68. He also appeared in Dr. Dolittle 2 and License to Drive. [ABC]
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10. Gay couple weds during the Rose Parade
Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair became the first same-sex couple to get married at the Rose Parade. The pair was standing atop a giant wedding cake float when they exchanged “I dos.” It was the first gay wedding at the Rose Parade. [CBS]

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15 Wins for the Progressive Movement in 2013

Demonstrators protesting for $15/hour wages and proper treatment for fast-food workers march in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The following article is a bit long but quite significant…

Moyers & Company

But there were also some victories for progressives in 2013, especially in state and local politics. While Washington was stuck in the grip of the politics of obstruction, grass-roots activists did their part, scoring some major wins for economic justice, civil liberties and democracy.In politics, as in sports, you can’t win ‘em all. With a divided government and a House of Representatives firmly in the control of tea partiers, it was a tough year for progressives in Washington – one marked by the painful cuts of sequestration and austerity’s continued drag on an already anemic recovery.

As we near the end of the year, here are some of the biggest progressive wins we saw. They’re in no particular order, but you can rank them in the comments.

1. Wounding ALEC …  

They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that proved true this year as activists continued to expose the previously shadowy workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The group took a big hit in 2012 when controversy over Florida’s Shoot First law, also known as “stand your ground,” peaked after the killing of Trayvon Martin and ALEC’s fingerprints on the legislation came to light. ALEC’s hand in pushing voter disenfranchisement laws was also revealed before the 2012 election. And earlier this year, ALEC got more bad press for pushing model legislation that would require science teachers to include pseudo-scientific rebuttals to the data on climate change in their curricula.

While ALEC’s corporate sponsors were happy to back the group’s efforts to secure lower taxes and less regulation, they didn’t want to share the heat associated with these other issues. State lawmakers who had enjoyed ALEC’s luxurious junkets also came under pressure to cut ties with the organization. As a result, The Guardian reported that, “by Alec’s own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income.”

2. Love wins …

Last New Year’s Eve, gay Americans could legally marry in 10 states. When the ball drops this year, they’ll have that right in 18 states.

2013 also saw the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) overturned by the Supreme Court, a victory that was years in the making.

3. Progressive cities …

In New York City and Los Angeles – two of the most influential cities in the world – unapologetically populist candidates backed by grass-roots community groups organized labor and scored decisive wins over more centrist rivals.

These weren’t partisan battles – in LA, two Democrats, Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel, made it through the runoff to face each other in the final election, and in New York, the real battle was in the Democratic primary as polls showed that any of the three leading Dems would have beaten Republican Joe Lhota in the general election.

They were contests of ideas. Garcetti ran a campaign focused on restoring public services that had been cut and attacking Greuel for relying on heavy spending by outside groups. Greuel, who had earned plaudits from the Chamber of Commerce for slashing corporate taxes in LA as councilwoman, lost to Garcetti by eight points.

In New York, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio rose from the bottom of the pack to win the nomination – and then trounce Lhota – by relentlessly campaigning against the city’s sky-high levels of inequality. He also condemned the NYPD’s controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies and promised reform. Democratic City Council President Christine Quinn, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s preferred successor and the front-runner going into the race, had wounded her reputation by blocking paid sick leave legislation – while raking in contributions from business groups opposed to the measure – and came in third in the primary. Peter Dreier and John Atlas wrote in The Nation that de Blasio’s victory wouldn’t have been possible without years of progressive grass-roots organizing in the City that Never Sleeps.

4. Stop-and-Frisk checked …

Even before the mayoral race, community groups and civil libertarians had made real progress reining in what they viewed as the NYPD’s rampant racial profiling. Not only did they shine a light on the practice, with the help of excellent reporting from NYC’s NPR affiliate, but they also helped win passage of the Community Safety Act, which established a civil liberties watchdog for the NYPD and made it easier to sue the department for incidents of racial profiling. In August, the City Council overrode Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the law.

5. Predatory lending checked …

In November, regulators enacted tough restrictions on predatory lending by  banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Sally Kohn reported that the rules were largely the fruit of a two-year campaign by National People’s Action, “a national network of grass-roots organizations with more than 200 organizers in cities and states across the country.”

6. People got raises … and sick days

On January 1, 2014, working people in 13 states will see their minimum wages increase, according to the National Employment Law Project.

New Jersey not only raised its minimum wage by a dollar, but its citizens also approved a constitutional amendment that ties future hikes to the rate of inflation. Connecticut is raising its minimum to $9 per hour by 2015. A regional block consisting of Washington, DC, and two of its suburban counties in suburban Maryland are on the cusp of enacting an $11.50 living wage that will cover 2.5 million residents.  In Massachusetts, the state Senate approved a measure that will enact a living wage of $11 per hour over the next two years – and double the minimum for tipped workers. The Assembly is expected to take up the bill next year. And in Sea-Tac, Wash., voters narrowly approved a $15 wage that is expected to be matched by Seattle next year.

Also this year, NYC and Portland, Ore., became the fifth and sixth major cities to require employers to offer workers paid sick days. Washington, DC, will soon become the seventh. And the fight continues: According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, “legislators and advocates continue to advance proposals in Congress and about 20 other states and cities.”

7. Larry Summers derailed …

Progressive Democrats in the Senate, led by Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Jeff Merkeley (Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) — and pressure from reform-minded activists — forced Larry Summers to withdraw his nomination for Federal Reserve chairman in favor of Janet Yellen, who was generally expected to be much tougher in terms of regulating Wall Street.

Summers, who served as Bill Clinton’s Treasury secretary before a controversial tenure as president of Harvard University, was widely respected for his knowledge and backed by President Obama. But he was also associated with financial deregulation in the 1990′s, had pushed a tepid response to the 2008 crisis and helped keep millions of homeowners underwater by refusing to endorse allowing bankruptcy judges to reduce what struggling homeowners owed to their lenders.

8. Fili-busted …

After facing unprecedented obstruction that ground the institution to a halt, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) finally killed the filibuster for most executive branch nominations. As CNNnoted, a handful of progressive bloggers, led by Daily Kos writer David Waldman, deserve a huge amount of credit for the change, having spent eight years writing about and organizing around the issue.

9. Gun safety …

Bizarrely, some states and localities responded to the nightmarish shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School by loosening restrictions on firearms. But that doesn’t negate the fact that, asMother Jones reported, “41 new laws in 22 states made it harder for people to own guns, hard for people to carry them in public and enhanced the government’s ability to track guns.”  Seven states passed legislation requiring universal background checks for gun purchases.

10. A march to war was stopped …

Progressives can’t take all of the credit for blocking the Obama administration’s path to entering Syria’s bloody civil war, but they deserve a good amount of it. Highly energetic opposition from the American left let Democrats in Congress know that they would pay a price if they uncritically supported the president’s planned attack.

11. Domestic workers got some dignity …

This year, Hawaii and California became the second and third states to enact a bill of rights law for domestic workers (New York led the way in 2010). The laws guarantee workers overtime pay and some days off and offer protections against sexual abuse and other workplace violations.

12. A global fight in a Washington county…

Whatcom County elections aren’t usually a subject of national attention. But this year, a slate of four progressive candidates for the county council, backed by grass-roots activists and environmental groups, beat back a group of business-backed rivals. As Joel Connelly reported for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the results of the race will likely kill the development of the massive, $600 million Gateway Pacific Terminal, which would export as much as 48 million tons of climate-changing coal to China every year.

13. California expands access to reproductive health care …

While many red states were passing overly burdensome regulations on abortion providers – which pro-choice activists say amount to “back door” bans on the procedure – California went the other way. A law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October permits more health care providers — trained nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives – to perform abortions in the first trimester. According to Washington Post health reporter Sarah Kliff, it was the first time a state had expanded abortion access since 2006.

14. Homeowners got some protection against foreclosures …

Homeowners’ bill of rights legislation passed in Minnesota and Nevada and went into effect inCalifornia this year.  Among other protections, these laws banned so-called “dual-tracking,” when lenders foreclose on a homeowner who has an application pending for a loan modification. During the first month the law was in effect in Nevada, foreclosure-related filings fell by almost 40 percent.

15. Immigrant rights activists win a couple in Connecticut …

If immigration reform isn’t dead in the nation’s capitol, it’s gravely ill and on life support. But in Connecticut and California, lawmakers decided that public safety was more important than anti-immigrant sentiment. Those states joined a growing number that allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses after passing a background check and the necessary written tests and driving exams.

Connecticut also passed the TRUST Act, which gives law enforcement officers discretion regarding whether or not to hold individuals for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The intent of the law is to encourage the undocumented to report crimes and cooperate with police without fear of deportation.

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New York City, Philadelphia, Atlantic City Break Temperature Records During December Heat Wave

The New York skyline, including the Empire State Building, is shown in this Dec. 1, 2013 aerial photo. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

We’re experiencing similar temperatures here in Atlanta.  Yet, those climate change deniers (mostly big oil supporters) turn a blind eye to this ever increasing problem…

The Huffington Post

New York City, Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., have broken temperature records during a brief December heat wave.

The National Weather Service says the temperature in Central Park hit a record-setting 65 degrees Saturday. The previous record was 62, set in 2011 and 1923.

Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., reached 67 degrees on Saturday afternoon. That broke Atlantic City’s previous mark of 63 degrees, set in 2011, and bested Philadelphia’s previous high of 66 degrees, set in 1895.

The temperature rose to a balmy 68 in Wilmington, Del., beating the previous mark of 65, set in 1895. And the 64 degrees recorded in Newark, N.J. broke the previous mark of 62, set in 2011.

Sunday is supposed to be even warmer in the region. Temperatures could top 70.

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Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless Girl Featured In The New York Times: ‘That’s Just The Way God Works’

bloomberg2

CREDIT: AP

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and people in his economic class are so out of touch with real world problems..

Think Progress 

Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) went on the defensive when asked whether he was moved by the New York Times’ powerful series on a homeless family struggling to survive in New York City. Bloomberg defended his homelessness policies and claimed that 11-year-old Dasani, the star of the piece, ended up in dire straits due to bad luck.

“This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

Bloomberg argued that New York “has done more than any city to help the homeless,” citing the city’s policies of subsidized health care, job training, and shelter counseling. “But if you are poor and homeless you’d be better off in New York City than anyplace else,” he insisted.

The New York Times series explicitly tied Bloomberg’s homelessness policies to Dasani’s destitute situation. “The Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” the Times’ Andrea Elliott wrote. “They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent.”

As a result, Dasani’s family and others like hers found themselves unable to escape the shelter system. Homelessness swelled by 60 percent during Bloomberg’s term, despite his vow to reduce the city’s homeless population by two-thirds in five years. The mayor told the New York Times last year that families were staying in shelters longer because he had improved them to be “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before” — a quote that stood in stark contrast with Elliott’s descriptions of Dasani’s decrepit shelter, which is still operating after inspectors cited it for violations 400 times.

Bloomberg went on to attack the media for not understanding how good Dasani and her family have it compared to poor people in developing countries. “I think one of the problems is a lot of journalists have never looked around the world,” he said, going on to tell the reporter that “your smirk shows you haven’t been outside the country and don’t know what poverty means elsewheres.”

Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio last week said he was deeply affected by Dasani’s story, vowing, “We are simply not going to allow this kind of reality to continue.”

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10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2013

Right wing activists in New Delhi protest the U.S.’s treatment of an Indian diplomat.
(AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

The Week

The budget deal clears a Senate hurdle, India protests the arrest of a diplomat in New York, and more

1. Budget deal beats filibuster threat
A two-year bipartisan budget deal cleared a final major hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday, when a majority of 67 senators beat the threat of a GOP filibuster and approved a final vote on the measure. It could be approved as soon as Wednesday. The budget plan would restore $63 billion in automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs, while trimming the deficit by reducing military and federal employee pensions. [New York Times]
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2. India protests arrest of diplomat in New York
Indian officials reacted angrily on Tuesday to the arrest and alleged strip search of India’s deputy consul general, Devyani Khobragade, in New York City. Khobragade was accused of submitting false documents that overstated her housekeeper’s pay to secure the woman a work visa. Indian officials said Khobragade was mistreated before posting $250,000 bail. India reportedly retaliated by stripping some U.S. officials in New Delhi of diplomatic privileges. [New York Daily News]
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3. Russia gives Ukraine a bailout, sparking new protests
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Ukraine a $15 billion bailout on Tuesday, and slashed gas prices to strengthen its ties with the financially struggling country. The move will help Ukraine avoid bankruptcy, but it prompted fresh protests in Kiev by crowds angry at Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich for dropping a proposed trade deal with the European Union and renewing the former Soviet republic’s close relations with Moscow. [Reuters]
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4. Harvard student charged with bomb hoax
Massachusetts prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Harvard undergraduate, Eldo Kim, with making a bomb threat that forced authorities to evacuate four buildings during final exams. Police said Kim, 20, sent emails to university police and administrators on Monday warning there were “shrapnel bombs” in the buildings, three of which were in historic Harvard Yard. The bomb-hoax charge is punishable with up to five years in prison. [Boston Globe]
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5. Hundreds die in clashes after South Sudan coup attempt
Fighting in South Sudan has killed up to 500 people as violence spread after an alleged coup attempt, United Nations diplomats said Tuesday. The oil-rich East African country’s government said it had arrested 10 high-ranking politicians accused of being involved in the plot, and was searching for their leader, a former vice president. The turmoil comes just two and a half years after South Sudan, Africa’s newest state, seceded from Sudan. [Associated PressReuters]
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6. Two dead in Reno hospital shooting
Two people were killed and another two injured Tuesday in a shooting spree at a Reno medical facility. Police said one of the dead was the alleged shooter, who appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators did not immediately say what firearm had been used, or what they believed to be the motive for the crime. [USA Today]
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7. Zimmerman painting fetches bids exceeding $100,000
A painting made by George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin but was acquitted on murder charges, had received a high bid of $110,100 on eBay as of early Wednesday. The 18-by-24-inch image features a blue American flag and part of the Pledge of Allegiance. “Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself,” eBay user therealgeorgez posted. “I found a creative, way to express myself” that “allows me to remain indoors.” [Los Angeles Times]
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8. U.K. police say Princess Diana was not murdered
British police said Tuesday that an investigation turned up “no credible evidence” to support suspicions that the British military had something to do with the deaths of Princess Diana, her boyfriend, and their driver 16 years ago. “Every reasonable line of enquiry was objectively pursued in order to fully evaluate any potential evidence,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement concluding the inquiry. [CNN]
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9. Two winners share the second biggest U.S. lottery prize ever
Two winning tickets were drawn Tuesday night for a $636 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot. Alex Traverso, a spokesperson for the California Lottery, said the kitty might grow to $648 million once the numbers are tallied from last-minute sales, which Traverso said reached 25,000 tickets per minute. Either way, the prize will be the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, falling just short of the $656 million record. [CBS/AP]
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10. Obama appoints gay athletes to Olympic delegation
President Obama sent a message of protest to Russia over its anti-gay law, passed earlier this year, by announcing Tuesday that the White House delegation to the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics would include a gay athlete, former tennis champion Billie Jean King. The delegation will not include the president, first lady, or the vice president for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Summer Games. [USA Today]

 

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10 things you need to know today: December 2, 2013

How to tip a delivery drone? 

How to tip a delivery drone? (YouTube)

The Week

The NTSB investigates New York’s deadly train wreck, Amazon plans to use drones for deliveries, and more

1. Investigators search for clues in deadly train derailment
Commuters from New York City’s northern suburbs face delays on Monday as the National Transportation Safety Board begins an exhaustive investigation into Sunday’s train derailment that killed four people and injured 63 others. The train will be flipped upright to search for more victims. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the track appeared sound, leaving speed a suspected cause. The train’s operator reportedly said the brakes failed. [Fox NewsNew York Times]
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2. Amazon plans to use drones for 30-minute deliveries
Amazon.com is testing delivery drones to bring light packages to customers inside a 10-mile radius of the online retail giant’s hubs, CEO Jeff Bezos said on CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday night. Bezos said the company is waiting for Federal Aviation Administration approval for its octocopter delivery machines. “It will work, and it will happen,” Bezos said, “and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.” [Bloomberg]
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3. Critics say HealthCare.gov fixes are not complete
Skeptics from both parties say the Obama administration has more work ahead to fix HealthCare.gov, despite a White House report saying that the ObamaCare website is working 90 percent of the time thanks to upgrades implemented ahead of a December 1 deadline. Insurers warn that glitches in the back-end systems that deliver customer information to insurers still haven’t been fixed, so some people will be unable to enroll for coverage. [Washington TimesNew York Times]
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4. Black Friday deals reduce total sales for U.S. retailers
Heavy discounting dented the haul at stores over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. At $57.4 billion, total sales were down 3 percent from 2012 despite record crowds. The trend should continue through the holiday season, with stores offering profit-busting bargains to attract budget-conscious consumers — beginning with new deals on Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day every year since 2010. [ReutersCNN]
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5. China launches its first lunar rover mission
Early Monday, China successfully launched a rocket carrying a robotic rover to explore the surface of the moon. In two weeks, the Chang’e 3 probe will attempt to touch down on the moon’s Bay of Rainbows in what would be the Chinese space program’s first soft-landing anywhere in space, then deploy the six-wheeled, solar-powered “Jade Rabbit” rover. China plans to send another probe in 2020 to prepare for landing its first astronauts on the moon. [USA Today]
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6. Thailand’s prime minister rejects an ultimatum from protesters
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday rejected an ultimatum from protesters to resign. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said Sunday that he had met with Shinawatra and told her she had two days to “return power to the people,” although he didn’t say what would happen if Shinawatra didn’t bend. Four people have died in eight days of protests. Police have started using tear gas to contain crowds demanding a “people’s coup.” [Bangkok PostBBC News]
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7. Egyptian committee approves a draft constitution
A 50-member committee in Egypt approved 247 articles in a new constitution — one by one — on Sunday, state-run Nile TV and al-Ahram Online reported. The draft now goes to Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, who is expected to ratify it on Tuesday and set a date for a popular referendum to approve it. The document would ban religious parties and give more power to the military, which ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July. [CNN]
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8. Gay marriage ban in Croatia passes easily
Croatians overwhelmingly approved a ban on same-sex marriage in a referendum on Sunday. While Americans are warming to gay marriage, two-thirds of the Croatians who cast ballots backed changing the country’s constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Hundreds of gay rights supporters rallied against the measure on Saturday, but a Catholic group drew up a petition supporting it that more than 700,000 people signed. [BBC News]
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9. Scientists scramble to determine why starfish are wasting away
Sea stars are dying off in unprecedented numbers off America’s East and West coasts. Marine scientists say the creatures, commonly known as starfish, are being turned to goo by an unknown wasting disease. Researchers aren’t sure what’s going on. “These kinds of events are sentinels of change,” says Drew Harvell, a Cornell University expert on marine diseases. “It’s pretty important to figure out what’s going on.” [Washington Post]
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10. Baby panda gets a name
The National Zoo revealed the name of its baby giant panda on Sunday. The cub — the second surviving cub to be born at the Washington, D.C., park — will be called Bao Bao, which means “precious” or “treasure.” The little panda’s name was one of five Mandarin options, and people around the world cast 123,000 votes. The name was announced 100 days after the cub’s birth, in accordance with Chinese custom. [New York Times]

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GOP is literally killing its base

GOP is literally killing its base

Paul Ryan (Credit: AP/J.D. Pooley)

I hadn’t thought of it this way, but this article is on point.  Just recently the Right ostracized Oprah for saying that racism won’t end until the old racist all die out.  Ponder that thought for a moment as you read the following article.  The GOP is actually helping them die out

Salon

Slashing food stamps will decrease the life expectancy of poor rural whites, many of whom put Republicans in office

It isn’t hard to understand why Republican Party strategists have been gloating over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s landslide re-election on November 5: at a time when so much is being written about demographics working against the GOP, they’ll take all the victories they can get (especially in a state as heavily Democratic as New Jersey). But Christie’s victory was an outlier, and Christie—as right-wing as he is—has never been a favorite of either the Tea Party or the Christian Right.

Trends are more revealing than outliers, and one need only attend a Tea Party rally or look at the 2012 election results to see that the GOP base is predominantly white, older and hardly the picture of diversity. But the fact that President Barack Obama, in 2012, won 93% of the African-American vote, 71% of the Latino vote, 73% of the Asian vote, 67% of the non-married female vote and 55% of the overall female vote isn’t the only problem the GOP is facing when it comes to demographics. The GOP’s dirty little secret is that Republican and Tea Party policies are literally killing the GOP’s own base.

Not all of the older white males (and to a lesser degree, older white females) who vote Republican are affluent, and not everyone who is affluent votes Republican (some of the most expensive, ultra-gentrified cities in the United States—including Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York City—are overwhelmingly Democratic).

The late journalist Joe Bageant (a self-described “redneck leftist” and author of the 2008 bookDeer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches From America’s Class War) had a lot to say about white poverty and the fact that the GOP, with its emphasis on culture war issues, has convinced many older whites to vote against their own economic interests. Bageant often stressed that poverty should not be viewed as strictly an urban, black and Latino problem. He was fond of saying that when you’re poor, white and rural in America, you have no choice but to get tough in a hurry. And since Bageant’s death in 2011, the economic conditions for poor whites have continued to worsen.

Continue reading after the fold…

H/t: TW

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Political Wire – 11-05-13

Taegan Goodard’s Political Wire

Election Day 2013: Six Races to Watch [The Trail] 11/5/2013 7:03:55 AM
Here’s a rundown of some major races Tuesday across the country, including closely watched governor and mayoral races, plus a …

The Fix: How to watch the exit polls in the Virginia governor’s race [CBS News]11/5/2013 6:32:24 AM
Tuesday’s elections bring an early Christmas gift for election watchers: exit polling! The data gathered from people leaving …

She The People: Ratiu Democracy Award winner fights ‘anti-gypsy’ prejudice [CBS News] 11/5/2013 6:32:12 AM
“If it’s not careful, the media can sustain centuries-old stereotypes about Roma,” says Roma activist Dr. Angela Kocze, …

Tea Party figure, Democratic fundraiser face off in Virginia vote [Reuters] 11/5/2013 6:20:28 AM
(Reuters) – Virginia voters went to the polls on Tuesday in a closely watched election for governor that has put the …

As New York votes for mayor, de Blasio poised for landslide [Reuters] 11/5/2013 6:17:25 AM
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democrat Bill de Blasio faces the challenge of high expectations as he goes into Tuesday’s New York City …

GovBeat: Getting Connecticut’s books in order requires half a billion in state bonds [CBS News] 11/5/2013 6:01:32 AM
Imagine recording expenses as money is actually spent, and recording revenue as money actually comes in. Hardly sounds …

Federal Eye: Federal judge grants search warrant in LAX shooting investigation[CBS News] 11/5/2013 6:01:22 AM
Federal authorities are searching for cell phone evidence that Paul A. Ciancia planned Friday’s shooting at Los Angeles …

In New York mayor’s race, de Blasio’s children front and center [NBC News] 11/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is poised to become the city’s next mayor, and he may have his kids to thank for …

Can Chris Christie win New Jersey – in 2016? [NBC News] 11/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
The question about tonight’s N.J. governor’s election isn’t whether Christie will win, it’s how large his margin of victory …

Voters head to the polls to elect governors in Va., N.J. [NBC News] 11/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Democrat Terry McAuliffe holds a slight lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie …

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10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2013

These two aren't too happy with the U.S. right now. 

These two aren’t too happy with the U.S. right now. (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

The Week

NSA monitored phone calls of world leaders, Twitter announces its IPO price, and more

1. NSA monitored phone calls of 35 world leaders
The National Security Agency monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders and about 165 other foreign phones, according to a memo unveiled by The Guardian. The leaked 2006 document, from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, comes after reports that the NSA eavesdropped on the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and millions of French citizens. Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are proposing to reach a pact with the U.S. on new ground rules for spying on allies. [GuardianNew York Times]
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2. Twitter announces IPO price
Twitter set the price of its eagerly awaited initial public offering at a relatively modest $11 to $20 per share. The company plans to sell about 70 million shares, raising up to $1.4 billion. The price values Twitter at about $11 billion. “They’re trying to price this for a very strong IPO, ideally creating the conditions for a solid after-market,” Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser tellsReuters. Wieser thinks the company is probably worth $19 billion. [Reuters]
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3. FDA announces tighter restrictions on prescription drugs
The FDA announced on Thursday that it was going to recommend tightening restrictions on common prescription painkillers, like Vicodin and OxyContin. Changes, which would begin next year if approved, will include allowing patients fewer refills and making them take a written prescription to the pharmacy, rather than letting a doctor call it in. Three quarters of all overdoses are caused by prescription drugs. [New York Times]
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4. HealthCare.gov contractors concede mistakes
The private contractors who were tasked with creating the online home for the federal government’s health insurance marketplace conceded at a congressional hearing on Thursday that HealthCare.gov went live in spite of insufficient testing. Some blamed the administration for the ill-fated decision to launch such a faulty product. It was not our decision to go live,” said Cheryl Campbell of CGI Federal, which handled most of the project.The glitch-plagued website has been pilloried by critics on all sides as the majority of visitors have struggled or failed outright to purchase health insurance. [Washington Post]
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5. Court rules that New York’s campaign finance law is unconstitutional
A federal appellate court struck a blow to New York’s campaign finance laws Thursday, ruling that a conservative group backing the Republican candidate in New York City’s mayoral race, Joe Lhota, can immediately begin raising unlimited amounts of money. New York’s limit of $150,000 per year for individual donations to super PACs probably violates the Constitution, as interpreted in recent rulings by the Supreme Court, the appeals court said. The ruling could have a minimal effect on the upcoming mayoral election, but could have a pretty profound impact on next year’s New York gubernatorial race. [New York Times]
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6. Cardinals beat Red Sox to even World Series at 1-1
Behind a dominant pitching performance from rookie phenom Michael Wacha, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Thursday night in Fenway Park to even the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. David Ortiz slugged a two-run homer for Boston, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cardinals’ pitching and clutch hits from Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. The World Series now heads to St. Louis for three games beginning on Saturday. [ESPN]
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7. Microsoft’s quarterly profit jumps 17 percent
Microsoft gave Wall Street forecasters a pleasant surprise by reporting a 17 percent rise in profits in its latest quarter, jumping to $5.2 billion in net income. Microsoft reported impressive gains in ad sales for Bing, Surface tablet sales, and its corporate software business. Sales of its Windows operating system, however, decreased by 7 percent. [CNN Money]
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8. Bo Xilai’s appeal rejected by Chinese court
A Chinese high court has rejected disgraced politician Bo Xilai’s appeal of his life sentence for bribery, corruption and embezzlement. Bo, once considered a future leader of China’s Communist Party, was expelled from the politburo last year after his wife was convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. The high court’s decision had been widely expected. [USAToday]
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9. Journalist eavesdrops on former spy chief
In a case of the eavesdropping tables being turned, a passenger on an Amtrak Acela train out of Washington overheard some off-the-record interviews former National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden was conducting over the phone with journalists — and he live-tweeted them. “Hayden was bragging about rendition and black sites a minute ago,” tweeted Tom Matzzie, a former MoveOn.org activist who now runs a renewable energy company. “I feel like I’m in the NSA. Except I’m in public.” Once Hayden discovered the eavesdropping, he posed for a friendly photo with Matzzie. [CBS News]
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10. Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr split after 3 years of marriage
Lord of the Rings star and his 30-year-old Victoria’s Secret model wife have been amicably separated for the past few months, and are now making it official, E! reports. They have a son, Flynn, who is 2. [E!]

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10 things you need to know today: October 14, 2013

Meetings between Senate leaders have yet to result in a deal to end the government shutdown and avoid a federal default. 

Meetings between Senate leaders have yet to result in a deal to end the government shutdown and avoid a federal default. 

The Week

Shutdown talks stall in the Senate, gunmen kidnap Red Cross workers in Syria, and more

1. Senate shutdown talks fall short
Senate Republicans and Democrats failed on Sunday to break an impasse on a stopgap spending measure to end the two-week-old government shutdown. Congress also must raise the government’s borrowing limit by Thursday or risk defaulting on some of the nation’s debts. The two sides couldn’t agree on spending levels, but Republicans, who are suffering in the polls, also accused Democrats of “moving the goal posts” to humiliate the GOP. [CNNNew York Times]
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2. Demonstrators protest closing of the World War II Memorial
Conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, rallied on Washington’s National Mall on Sunday, blaming President Obama for the government shutdown that closed the World War II Memorial there. Demonstrators pushed past barriers and sang God Bless America. Some waved Confederate flags and called for impeaching Obama. [Associated PressNew York TimesCNN]
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3. Red Cross volunteers are kidnapped in Syria
Gunmen abducted seven Red Cross volunteers in Syria on Sunday, underscoring dangers faced by aid workers in the country’s civil war. The Red Cross team was traveling in a convoy through essentially lawless territory in northern Syria that is mostly controlled by anti-government insurgents. It was the latest in a series of kidnappings in the area, where some armed groups use ransoms to help bankroll their fighters. [Los Angeles Times]
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4. Mambo Kings author Hijuelos dies
Cuban-American author Oscar Hijuelos, the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died in Manhattan over the weekend, The New York Times reported Sunday. He was 62. Hijuelos won his Pulitzer for the 1989 novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, about two Cuban brothers who emigrate and try to make it as musicians in New York. [New York Times]
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5. Social Security increases will be unusually small next year
Social Security cost-of-living increases in 2014 will be the among the smallest since 1975, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press. The bump will be around 1.5 percent, the news agency calculated. That amounts to an extra $17 for the average recipient, who gets $1,162 a month. The exact amount will be determined after the Labor Department releases its September inflation report, which has been delayed by the government shutdown. [Associated Press]
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6. Pilgrims die in a stampede in India
At least 109 people were killed when pilgrims visiting a temple for a popular Hindu festival in India stampeded because of a rumor that the bridge they were crossing was about to collapse, authorities said Monday. Some of the victims were crushed, and others died after falling or jumping into the Sindh River below. Authorities fear that the death toll could rise because some bodies may have been carried down river. [Wall Street Journal]
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7. U.S. economists win a Nobel prize
Professors Eugene Fama and Lars Hansen of the University of Chicago, and Robert Shiller of Yale won the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for their work on asset pricing. While prices of stocks, bonds, and other assets are impossible to predict in the short term, the Nobel committee said, these economists have shown that “it is quite possible to foresee the broad course of these prices over longer periods, such as the next three to five years.” [Business Insider]
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8. Authorities find tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel
The Israeli army said on Sunday that it had discovered a mile-long tunnel into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Military officials said the tunnel came up near a kibbutz, and could have been used to stage attacks by Palestinian militants on Israeli civilians. Israel responded by cutting off deliveries of construction materials into Gaza. [BBC News]
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9. India gets battered by Cyclone Phailin
A mass evacuation is being credited with saving thousands of lives in India after Cyclone Phailin, the country’s most powerful storm in 14 years, buffeted the coast with 125 mph winds. The death toll in the eastern state of Odisha stood at 15 on Sunday — the last major storm to hit the state, in 1999, killed 10,000 people. Aid workers said a million could need help, though, because the storm tore apart tens of thousands of homes. [Reuters]
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10. Brady lifts Patriots over previously unbeaten Saints
Quarterback Tom Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown pass with five seconds left to give the New England Patriots a 30-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints, dashing the Saints’ effort to remain unbeaten in week six of the National Football League’s season. The TD capped a 68-second, 70-yard drive — with no timeouts — after half of the crowd had already gone home. [USA Today]

 

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