Pastor Who Spoke At Rand Launch: We Don’t Yet Know Obama’s ‘Real Religion’



I wonder how much he got paid to say that.  I’m sure all speeches go past Rand Paul or his aids first, so one could surmise that Paul espouses this guy’s train of thought…

TPM LiveWire

“In five years we’ll find out what [Obama’s] real religion is,” Rev. Jerry Stephenson told reporters after the event, according to Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins.

Stephenson, a Louisville-based preacher, voiced his discontent with the Democratic Party in 2010 and then embraced the tea party movement, as well as then-Senate candidate Paul. He’d been discussing the issue of religious freedom after Paul’s presidential announcement when a radio interviewer pressed him to explain his belief that Obama wasn’t supporting conservative Christians, according to Coppins’ report.

Asked to expand on the comment about the Obama’s “real religion,” Stephenson explained that he didn’t believe Obama had been friendly toward Christians.

“Once he’s out, he will ‘evolve’ like he did on gay marriage,” the pastor added, according to Coppins. “I just believe that’s what he will do.”

Stephenson declined to say how he believed the President’s faith would evolve.

Obama Unveils Smart Plan To Combat Climate Change While Training 75,000 Vets For Jobs

Obama speaking about Solar Energy in Utah | screenshot


While speaking in Utah, President Obama announced a new program that will combat climate change while training 75,000 veterans for jobs in the solar industry.

The President said:

I am announcing a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020. As part of this, we’re creating what we’re calling a solar ready vets program that’s modeled after some successful pilot initiatives that have already been established over the last several years.

It’s going to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at ten bases including right here at Hill, and as part of this effort we’re also going to work with states to enable more veterans to use the post-9/11 GI Bill for solar job training.

It’s one of the many steps we’re taking to help nearly 700,000 military veterans and spouses get a job. In fact, about thirty percent of the federal workforce is now made up of veterans. I’ve said it before, and I think employers are starting to catch on if you really want to get the job done, hire a veteran.

The plan is smart because it trains tens of thousands of transitioning military personnel and spouses for a civilian job in an industry that is growing ten times faster than the national average. The president also pointed out the military bases that get a substantial percentage of their energy from the sun save money that can applied towards other goals and missions.

The nation has undergone a dramatic shift from a president who fought a foreign war for oil (Bush and Iraq) to a forward thinking president who is using growing clean energy industry industries to train veterans of the Bush wars for good paying jobs.

The plan that the President unveiled isn’t just good politics. It’s also common sense. No veteran should have to take a low-paying service industry job because they can’t find anything else. It is part of our national obligation to everything possible to help those who served succeed when they return home.

President Obama is creating opportunities for today’s veterans to acquire the jobs of tomorrow.

Obama Ribs GOP: Obamacare Didn’t Bring ‘Death Panels, Doom’


AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin


“I mean we have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case —death panels, doom, a serious alternative from Republicans in Congress,” Obama said, smirking during a speech highlighting the fifth anniversary of his signature healthcare law. “The budget they introduced last week would literally double the number of uninsured in America.”

Obama’s comments came a week after Republicans introduced a new House budget that gutted most of Obamacare but did not offer an alternative. Obama conceded part of the reasons Republicans hadn’t yet offered an alternative plan was because healthcare policy isn’t easy.

“And in their defense, there are two reasons why coming up with an alternative has proven to be difficult,” Obama said. “First, it’s because the Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it!”

Obamacare, Obama said, was “based on conservative market based principles developed by the Heritage Foundation and supported by Republicans in Congress. And deployed by a man named Mitt Romney in Massachusetts to great effect. If they want to take credit for this law, they can. I’m happy to share it.”

There have been many efforts, Obama added, to reform the country’s healthcare system.

“And second, because health reform is really hard and people here who are in the trenches know that. Good people from both parties have tried and failed to get it done for a hundred years,” Obama said. “Because every public policy has some tradeoffs, especially when it affects one sixth of American economy and applies to the very personal needs of every individual American. Now we’ve made our share of mistakes since we passed this law. But we also know beyond a shred of a doubt that the policy has worked. Coverage is up, cost growth is at a historic low, deficits have been slashed, lives have been saved.”

Obama also said in the speech that he was ready to sign a major overhaul of Medicare negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

President Obama arrives at Bob Hope Airport via helicopter from LAX, en route to ABC Studios for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

The National Memo

Republicans have consistently said that a president cannot take responsibility for a strong economy — unless of course he’s a Republican.

A weak economy, however, is always a Democratic president’s fault. And if a Republican president presides over the worst financial crisis in a half-century after seven years in office, that is clearly the fault of poor people.

President Obama is in an awkward position when it comes to the economy. It’s only great if you compare it to the last 14 years. But with 50 percent of America now saying in the latest CNN poll that his presidency is a success, he figures that he’s now allowed to “take a well-earned victory lap” by answering the question Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asked for four years: “Where are the jobs?”

“Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled — I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side,” the president said in Cleveland on Wednesday.

A sensible media would be debating which of Obama’s two great accomplishments — the stimulus or the Affordable Care Act — is a bigger success; which better proves that the government can successfully intervene to prevent suffering while reshaping our economy to be more sustainable; or about which Republicans were more wrong.

But conservatives won’t let that happen. They’ll focus on metrics that languished before Obama came into office — we’re very concerned about labor force participation all of a sudden! — and blast him for not solving all of the failures of conservative economics and foreign policies.

America should be used to Democratic presidents outperforming Republicans by now. While no administration is perfect, President Obama has staked strong claims for liberal values and policies that prove things Republicans have to pretend never happened.

  1. Proved trickle-down economics are wrong, again
    You don’t hear it mentioned often enough, but 2014 was the best year of job creation in this century. This is a key point, because it’s the first full year in which Obama’s economic policies really took hold. Most of the Bush tax breaks on the rich ended in 2013. And in 2014, new taxes on the wealthy and corporations kicked in to help 16 million Americans gain health insurance. The result was a job market like we haven’t seen since the’90s. As they did in 1993, Republicans claimed that asking the rich to pay a bit more would destroy the economy. So, of course, the opposite happened. It’s almost as if some tax hikes on the wealthy are good for the economy! But if Republicans admitted that, they’d have to give up their entire reason for existing, which is to comfort the most comfortable.
  2. Proved we can expand health insurance coverage and shrink the deficit.
    America’s long-term debt problems are largely built on conservatives’ unwillingness to do what every other advanced nation in the world does — insure everyone. As a result, we pay more and get worse results than almost every industrialized country in the world. Obamacare has shown that we can increase coverage dramatically while cutting more than $600 billion from long-term debt projections. Republicans have finally gotten honest in their new budget and admitted that their alternative to Obamacare is… nothing. They’ve got nothing because Obamacare was their alternative, and every prediction they’ve made about it has been wrong. Health spending isat a 50-year low, businesses aren’t dumping employees’ coverage, hospitals are performing better, and policy cancelations were likely lower than they were before the law. Meanwhile, Obama has been even more successful at shrinking the deficit as a percentage of GDP than even Bill Clinton.
  3. Proved that the government can kick-start a clean-energy revolution.
    When it comes to fighting climate change, President Obama has done more than anyone on Earth. Beyond the regulations he set in his first term, which are quickly reducing our dependency on dirty energy, the stimulus launched the clean-energy technological revolution this nation needed. Republicans started calling the stimulus “failed” before it even became law. And that kind of message discipline — plus half a billion dollars in ads that smeared the bill — scared Democrats from bragging about it. But now that we’ve experienced the first year of economic growth where carbon emissions didn’t increase in 40 years, maybe they should.
  4. Proved we can regulate Wall Street without killing the stock market.
    Good news! Bankers are complaining about being regulated too much. Despite this “over-regulation,” we’re seeing constant stock market records. Meanwhile, the memory of the costs of under-regulation — 8 million jobs and trillions in wealth — continues to fade. Democrats have become newly proud of the Dodd-Frank law now that they see how desperate Republicans are to gut it. The success in keeping the economic engine of the rich purring should not dissuade those on the left. Instead, they should continue to fight against the persistent dangers to our economy that come from ridiculous executive compensation schemesstock buybacks, and high-frequency trading.
  5. Proved that we should give diplomacy a chance.
    The Bush administration left America facing a newly nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran building nuclear centrifuges, and a wrecked Iraq, run by a propped-up sectarian strongman with no interest in reconciliation. Democrats were likely naive in assuming this Tower of Babel of foreign policy disasters could be kept from crumbling. The Obama administration’s effort to re-engage the world may seem foolhardy now — but what was the alternative? More confrontational Republican alternatives would have guaranteed nothing but more American lives lost. Syria is a disaster. Libya proved that regime change is never simple. Putin is emboldened or frantically flailing, depending on your point of view. But as a result of re-engagement with our allies and a Medvedev-led Russia, sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. We’re closer than ever to a nuclear deal that could prevent another, still more disastrous war. And even if it fails, at least we tried not to repeat the catastrophes of the past.

Despite these successes, Republicans have to see Obama as a floundering, economy-shrinking, deficit-creating failure, or risk questioning their failed worldview.

Essentially, they have to pretend he’s Bobby Jindal.

Republicans Blame Obama For Tom Cotton Letter


Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway at the Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Same old political games.  Obstruct everything the POTUS does or proposes then blame him for resulting failures or missteps.

This started from the day he was inaugurated on 20th, January 2009 and these clowns have been relentless up to this point and undoubtedly, beyond…hoping to tarnish the POTUS’ record as “The First Black President of the United States”.

Yes, they are that racist

The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Republicans, under fire for a letter signed by 47 senators to the leadership of Iran, said Tuesday that complaints about violating foreign policy convention should be leveled not at them, but at President Barack Obama.

GOP lawmakers spent much of Tuesday being pressed on why Senate party leadership went around the White House with an open letter warning Iran that any nuclear agreement may be undercut in the future by Congress or Obama’s successor. Several Republicans sought to distance themselves from the letter, saying that while they may not agree with the direction of nuclear talks with Iran, it was the purview of the president to conduct them.

But those who support the letter — even some who didn’t add their names — deflected the blame. If it weren’t for Obama’s failure to consult lawmakers about the negotiations, or his threatened veto of a proposed bill to give Congress the final vote on a nuclear agreement, senators wouldn’t have had to speak out in the first place, they argued.

“I think that, no doubt, the fact that the president, you know, issued a veto threat on a very common-sense piece of legislation, probably evoked, you know, a good deal of passion,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. Corker, who is leading the push for a veto-proof majority on the bill to grant Congress oversight of a nuclear agreement, did not sign letter, which was organized by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). Nevertheless, he showed no signs of ill will toward his junior colleague.

“No, no, no,” Corker responded, when asked if he was concerned Cotton’s letter would cost the bill much-needed Democratic votes.

Corker’s comments were more diplomatic than those offered by other Republicans on Tuesday. But they nevertheless reflected a defensiveness within the GOP, which is taking heat for the letter not just from Democrats, but from leading foreign policy analysts as well.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), appearing at a presidential forum hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters, conceded that he believed foreign policy to be “prerogative of the president.” But even within that construct, he added, Obama was to blame for Senate Republicans trying to undermine his talks with Iran.

“I also understand the frustration when this president has done everything in his power to prevent awareness on the part of congressional leadership on exactly what the terms under consideration are, or his willingness to sit down with Congress and talk about the legislation they are trying to pass right now,” said Pataki, who is exploring a presidential bid. “I think if we had a president who had engaged more in understanding that Congress has a very critical role in all elements of government, we could avoid this type of sad situation.”

Even Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who expressed qualms about undermining the presidency, said he agreed with the tone of the Cotton’s letter. “The president is really taking a risk by not agreeing to get either confirmation or approval from the House or Senate,” King said, speaking at the same forum as Pataki.

While Congressional Republicans described the letter as reclaiming their rightful role as presidential overseers, Democrats resoundingly criticized what they said was a partisan attempt to sabotage ongoing negotiations between Iran, the U.S., and five partner nations, aimed at ensuring Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful.

“The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement Monday evening.

As the controversy escalated on Tuesday, talks on Iran’s nuclear program continued, as did efforts to ensure that Congress can approve or veto an agreement, if one is reached. Those organizing the letter netted an additional supporter — a leading Democrat at that. Corker said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) now backed his efforts.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who supports Corker as well, said he was confident there would be enough Democratic votes to bypass a presidential veto and secure a congressional say on an agreement with Iran. That, he added, was adding to the frustrations of the White House over Cotton’s letter to Iran.

“What this is all about is that they know that this deal, from what we know about it, the number of centrifuges and the 10-year expiration date, that they would have one heck of a time getting it through the Congress of the United States, including a lot of Democrat votes,” McCain told HuffPost. “This is why there’s the hysterical reaction.”

10 things you need to know today: February 17, 2015

The Week

1.Federal judge halts Obama’s immigration action
A federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked the federal government from enacting President Obama’s executive order deferring deportations for up to five million undocumented immigrants. U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen said the preliminary injunction was necessary to allow Texas and 25 other states to proceed with a lawsuit challenging Obama’s immigration moves. “The genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle,” Hanen said.

Source: NBC News

2.Egypt bombs ISIS again as more Egyptians kidnapped
Egypt launched a second wave of airstrikes against the Libyan branch of the Islamic State on Monday, stepping up its retaliation against the Islamist group for beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach. The murders of the Egyptian hostages, if confirmed, would be the first such crime by ISIS outside Iraq and Syria. After the first bombing wave, militants reportedly kidnapped 35 more Egyptians in ISIS-controlled areas.

Source: CNN, Libya Herald

3.Heavy fighting in contested Ukrainian town despite ceasefire
A day after a cease-fire in Ukraine was scheduled to take effect, heavy fighting continued in the government-held town of Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub that the separatists claim to have surrounded. Both sides missed a Tuesday deadline for pulling heavy weapons back from the front lines. Kiev said that five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another 25 wounded since the cease-fire started.

Source: The Associated Press, USA Today

4.Stocks and the euro fall after Greece bailout talks collapse
Bailout talks between Greek leaders and their country’s European creditors broke down on Monday, sending the euro and global stocks tumbling. The negotiations for a six-month extension of Greece’s bailout fell apart when the recession ravaged country’s new leaders, who have vowed to dismantle austerity measures demanded by lenders, rejected the proposed terms for the extension. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem gave Athens until Friday to request extending the bailout beyond the end of the month.

Source: Reuters

5.South gets its share of extreme winter weather
With the Northeast wrestling with the aftermath of its fourth blizzard in less than a month, the South was the one that got a taste of harsh winter weather on Monday. Snow and ice hit the Southern states from Oklahoma to the Carolinas, forcing the cancellation of nearly 2,000 departures and arrivals at airports across the region, and cutting off power to thousands of customers. “You are not going to see bare pavement for a number of days, probably,” Louisville Metro Public Works spokesman Harold Adams said.

Source: NBC News

6.Oil train derails and burns in West Virginia
An oil train derailed and caught fire in West Virginia on Monday, forcing the evacuation of two towns. Fourteen rail cars on the 109-car CSX train and one house burned, and at least one tanker leaking Bakken shale oil tumbled into an icy river along the tracks. There were reports that several of the 33,000-gallon tankers had fallen into the river. The train had been headed to a refinery in Yorktown, Va., according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office.

Source: USA Today

7.Princeton receives rare book collection worth $300 million
Princeton University announced Monday that it had received its biggest gift ever — a rare book and manuscript valued at $300 million. The 2,500-volume trove includes the first six printed editions of the Bible, an original printing of the Declaration of Independence, and Beethoven’s autographed music sketchbook. Musician, bibliophile, and philanthropist William H. Scheide, a 1936 Princeton graduate, left the collection to the school when he died in November at age 100.

Source: The Inquirer

8.U.S. plants spyware in foreign networks, cybersecurity firm says
Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said Monday that the U.S. has been embedding surveillance and sabotage tools into computers and networks in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, and other countries. The implants allegedly were placed by the “Equation Group,” which “appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command,” The New York Timesreports.

Source: The New York Times

9. Debonair French actor Louis Jourdan dies at 93
French actor Louis Jourdan, who sealed his position as a romantic idol with his work in the 1958 Oscar winner Gigi, died over the weekend in California at age 93. The handsome and debonair Jourdan was cast in roles that exploited his Gallic charm — so much so that he referred to himself as Hollywood’s “French cliche.” Later he played villains, including James Bond’s nemesis in the 1983 film Octopussy.

Source: BBC News

10.Lesley Gore, who sang “It’s My Party,” dies at 68
Singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, who hit the top of the charts at age 16 with “It’s My Party,” died Monday of lung cancer. She was 68. “She was a wonderful human being — caring, giving, a great feminist, great woman, great human being, great humanitarian,” said Gore’s partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson. Gore followed up her first No. 1 song with a string of hits, including Judy’s Turn to Cry and You Don’t Own Me, which became a feminist anthem.

Source: The New York Times

Obama Mocks Mitt Romney For Being ‘Suddenly Deeply Concerned About Poverty’


US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the end of the third and final presidential debate October 22, 2012 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) | MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Thought the 2012 presidential campaign was over? Think again.

President Barack Obama didn’t have much to say about Mitt Romney’s rekindled aspirations for the White House when he delivered a flat, “No comment,” earlier this month. But apparently he couldn’t resist much longer, following reports that the former GOP candidate was weighing entering the ring in 2016 on a platform focused on lifting up the middle class and eliminating poverty.

Addressing House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Obama referred to one “former presidential candidate” who was “suddenly deeply concerned about poverty.”

“That’s great. Lets do something about it,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report.

Romney fired back on Twitter, by noting poverty levels under the Obama administration.

“Mr. Obama, wonder why my concern about poverty? The record number of poor in your term, and your record of failure to remedy,” Romney said.

Obama also said in Philadelphia that he had heard a Republican senator, who he did not name, was “suddenly shocked, shocked, that the 1 percent” was doing much better than the vast majority of Americans.

“I consider imitation the highest form of flattery,” Obama said of Republicans’ sudden embrace of populist rhetoric.

Three Republican senators considering bids for president — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida — spoke about the need to address income inequality at a summit organized by the Koch Brothers on Sunday.

10 things you need to know today: November 24, 2014

A pedestrian walks between police barricades near Ferguson, Missouri. 

A pedestrian walks between police barricades near Ferguson, Missouri. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The Week

Ferguson braces for a grand jury’s verdict, Obama says Hillary would make a “great president,” and more

1. Grand jury resumes Ferguson deliberations as police brace for reaction
Protests continued near Ferguson, Missouri, as a grand jury was set to resume deliberations on whether to file charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in August. Police, state troopers, and the National Guard are bracing for reactions to the grand jury verdict, which is believed to be imminent. President Obama on Sunday called for calm, saying that race relations are improving in the U.S. “First and foremost,” he said, “keep protests peaceful.” [CBS News, Fox News]


2. Obama says Hillary would be “a great president”
President Obama said Sunday that Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of State, would make “a great president” if she decided to make another bid for the White House in 2016. Obama said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos that he would be willing to help the next Democratic nominee but suggested he would not do much campaigning, stepping back as George W. Bush did in John McCain’s 2008 campaign. Obama likened himself to a dinged up “used car,” saying Americans are going to want “that new car smell.” [The Christian Science Monitor, Fox News]


3. Israeli Cabinet approves proposal defining Israel as the Jewish homeland
Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday backed controversial legislation declaring the country to be “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the law, which now goes to lawmakers, gives equal emphasis to Israel’s religious and democratic nature, and is necessary to counter challenges to Israel’s status as the homeland of the Jewish people. Opponents, including members of two parties in the centrist coalition, said the law would undermine the government’s relations with Israel’s Arab minority and international allies. [The Jerusalem Post]


4. Tunisian presidential candidates head for runoff
Tunisia’s interim president, Moncef Marzouki, and former prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi led the field in the country’s first free and democratic presidential election on Sunday, but neither appeared to have won the outright majority needed to avoid a runoff. Essebsi, 87, had led in polls for months, and his secular party Nidaa Tounes won the biggest bloc in October’s parliamentary elections. Marzouki’s aides said he led the presidential balloting. Official results are expected in a day or two. [The Washington Post]


5. Deadliest insurgent bombing of the year kills 50 in Afghanistan
At least 50 people were killed Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a crowd at a volleyball gamein eastern Afghanistan, local authorities said Monday. Another 63 people were wounded, many of them children. The death toll was the highest from an insurgent attack in Afghanistan this year. Most of the victims were civilians, although eight members of the local paramilitary police force were among the dead. [The Associated Press, The New York Times]


6. China builds an airstrip in contested islands
China appears to be stoking regional tensions by building an island in a contested part of the South China Sea that could hold an airstrip, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by IHS Jane’s, a leading defense publication. Dredges also appear to be creating a seaport big enough to accommodate tankers and warships among the Spratly Islands between Vietnam and the Philippines that are claimed by China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. [Fox News]


7. Cleveland boy with BB gun dies after being shot by police
A 12-year-old boy who had been holding a realistic-looking air gun died Sunday hours after being shot by a Cleveland police officer. The officer was responding to a call in which a witness said someone — “probably a juvenile” — was scaring people outside a recreation center by pointing a gun at them, although the caller said the weapon was “probably fake.” The responding officers ordered the boy to put his hands up and fired when, they said, he reached for the BB gun instead. [Cleveland.com]


8. Buffalo residents urged to prepare to evacuate as snow melts
Residents of flood-prone parts of the Buffalo area have been told to prepare for flooding as up to seven feet of snow that fell last week melts as the weather warms. Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged people to “err on the side of caution” and prepare to evacuate, moving valuables out of the basement and packing a bag in case they have to leave. Temperatures in the area are expected to rise to nearly 60 degrees on Monday, and rainfall on Sunday added to the potential for rising water. [NBC News]


9. Tour bus overturns in California, killing one
One person was killed and dozens injured on Sunday when a tour bus crashed and overturned in California, about 100 miles south of the Oregon border. Earlier in the same trip, the bus, which was headed from Los Angeles to Washington state, had struck a Denny’s restaurant, although there were no injuries in that accident. Investigators said evidence at both crash sites suggested that driver fatigue might have been a factor. [CTV News]


10. Azalea wins an American Music Award for her debut rap album
Newcomer Iggy Azalea won her first American Music Award for favorite rap/hip-hop album on Sunday, beating out seasoned stars Eminem and Drake to win for her debut album, The New Classic. “This award is the first award I’ve ever won in my entire life,” the 24-year-old Australian rapper said, “and it means so much to me that it is for best hip-hop because that’s what inspired me to move to America and pursue my dreams.” One Direction and Katy Perry were the biggest winners with three each. [The Associated Press]

Right Wing Propaganda: ‘Kiara’ The Tattooed Welfare Queen

This is an interesting and fact-filled article about “welfare queens” and welfare statistics…

Addicting Info

Ever since Ronald Reagan introduced America to the “Welfare Queen,” the right wing has milked that myth for all its racist worth. Never mind the fact that the majority of people in this country that receive food stamps or “welfare” are actually white – everyone just “knows” that black people are living the high life on white people’s tax dollars!

For instance, here’s the headline and text at Youngcons.com:

Obama’s America: Young woman has been on welfare for 12 years, what she says about finding a job will INFURIATE you

The woman in the video, Kiara, is 30 years old and has proudly been on welfare for 12 years. She has four kids and no plans to make better life decisions in the future. So for those who say America doesn’t have an entitlement mentality problem:

Also, isn’t it great when welfare recipients like Kiara have tattoos, manicures and fancy purses? The truth is, she’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but she doesn’t want to. The taxpayers are the suckers and will continue to pay for her bad decisions. Obama’s America.

I’m just going to leave this here.

GASP! $780 a month in food stamps! $500 a month in TANF (welfare)! That’s $1280 a month! That’s too much money for this lazy parasite! My god, that comes out to a whopping $15,360 a year!

Wait. What? $15,360 a year?! With four kids? But I thought she was living the high life on the tax payer’s dime? And why am I supposed to freak out over $15,360 a year when Wall Street is regularly caught ripping off the taxpayer for millions of dollars every month? There’s a whole lot of information and context being left out of this “outrageous” story but that’s OK, the point was clearly just to show a black woman with multiple kids and no job living on welfare.

And yet, I could find the same exact story but with a white woman and conservatives wouldn’t care one whit. You see, it’s only bad when blacks live on welfare and have too many kids. As far as conservatives are concerned, white people worked for these benefits (even if they haven’t) and blacks are just parasites. But don’t you call them racist!

So what if the majority of food stamp and welfare recipients are white conservatives? Who cares about those little details? There’s gullible white people to rile up so they can blame Obama! Curse you, Obama, for all this welfare abuse!

Why “gullible” you say? How else do describe people angry at Obama for something that started under Bush? Remember, “Kiara” here says she’s been jobless for 12 years. Doing a bit of simple math (an almost impossible task for rage-drunk conservatives), that would mean this story started in 2001 (the video is from 2013). If I recall correctly, that was a Republican president, a Republican Senate and a Republican House. Why didn’t they stop “Kiara” from her life of immorality?

Then again, since Republicans expended a huge amount of effort to prevent women like “Kiara” from learning about safe sex and contraceptives, one could just as easily say that her tendency to get knocked up is the direct responsibility of Republicans. Of course, I have no doubt that the “Youngcons” would whine about how totally unfair I’m being.

But, you know, blaming Obama is completely fair because he’s black or something.

Even more amusing, if I were to suggest that we provide “Kiara” with free birth control (so she’ll stop having kids), job training (so she has a marketable skill) and free child care (so she could get a job and not spend every penny on a babysitter), conservatives would scream bloody murder. Because in Republican America, the best way to break the cycle of dependence is to throw people into the street and see what happens. Never mind that her four kids would be homeless, hungry and lack basic healthcare, it’s about stopping welfare abuse, dammit! Punishing “Kiara” is far more important than ensuring her four kids have a roof over their heads and food on the table!

After all, they’re not fetuses anymore so gives a crap about them?


Pro-life = “Feed the fetus…starve the child”?



10 things you need to know today: November 17, 2014

Peter Kassig delivered supplies to Syrian refugees before his abduction.

Peter Kassig delivered supplies to Syrian refugees before his abduction. (AP Photo/Courtesy Kassig Family, File)

The Week

Obama confirms ISIS beheaded Kassig, homelessness spikes among U.S. children, and more

1. Obama calls Kassig’s beheading “pure evil”
President Obama confirmed Sunday that the self-proclaimed Islamic State had beheaded American aid worker Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger kidnapped more than a year ago in Syria. Obama called the murder of Kassig — the fifth Western hostage killed by ISIS — “an act of pure evil by a terrorist group.” Kassig adopted the name Abdul-Rahman after converting to Islam in captivity. The video of his death was not as slickly produced as previous ones, suggesting sustained U.S. attacks are taking a toll on ISIS, analysts said. [The Dallas Morning News]


2. Number of homeless children spikes to record
The number of homeless children in the U.S. jumped by 8 percent in one year to an all-time high in 2013, according to a report released Monday. Nearly 2.5 million American kids — about one child in 30 — were homeless for at least part of the year, the investigation by the National Center on Family Homelessness concluded. The group compounded data from the Department of Education, which estimates there are 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, and estimates of pre-school children from other sources. [Aljazeera America]


3. Obama denies ObamaCare design was deceptive
President Obama on Sunday pushed back against a former adviser’s claim that parts of ObamaCare were sugarcoated to take advantage of the “stupidity” of voters. “I think it’s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated,” Obama said. Despite denying the controversial claims made by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, Obama acknowledged making some regrettable statements, such as insisting Americans happy with their health coverage could keep it, when in fact plans deemed inadequate under the law were canceled. [Politico]


4. Nearly 200 stricken with norovirus on cruise ship
An outbreak of norovirus aboard the Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess has infected 172 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The ship docked in Los Angeles on Sunday after sailing to Hawaii and Tahiti on a 28-day cruise. The number of cases of the illness, commonly called stomach flu, increased in the last few days before the ship returned to port. [CNN]


5. Japan tax plans on hold as country enters recession
Japan slipped into a recession in the last quarter, according to fresh economic data. The unexpected news appears likely to prompt Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to announce that he will dissolve the House of Representatives, possibly as early as Wednesday, and hold a snap election. Abe also is expected to delay a plan to raise a consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent. The tax was just increased from 5 percent in April. [Bloomberg, The Japan Times]


6. Politician survives suicide bombing in Afghanistan
Shukria Barakzai, a prominent Afghan women’s rights advocate, survived a suicide bombing on her convoy in Kabul on Sunday. The attacker rammed a car into one of the vehicles in the convoy and detonated explosives, killing three civilians and wounding others. Barakzai, who was lightly injured, is an ally of the country’s newly installed president, Ashraf Ghani. The attack came a week after another suicide bomber got inside a heavily fortified area and attacked the offices of Kabul’s police chief. [BBC News]


7. Okinawa voters pick governor opposed to U.S. base plans
Voters on the Japanese island of Okinawa on Sunday overwhelmingly elected a governor opposed to a U.S. Marine base there. The winner, Takeshi Onaga, promptly said he would fight construction of a new U.S. airfield, stating flatly, “The new military base will not be built.” Tokyo, which had backed the incumbent, Kirokazu Nakaima, and the U.S. had been hoping the vote would show signs that resentment over the large U.S. presence had begun to fade. [The New York Times]


8. Romania’s prime minister suffers stunning defeat in presidential election
Underdog Klaus Iohannis, an ethnic German former mayor, defeated Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in a presidential runoff on Sunday. Iohannis, who finished a distant second in the first round, promised thousands of cheering supporters “a deep change” in Romania, one of Europe’s poorest countries. Ponta conceded defeat but said he wouldn’t quit as prime minister, vowing that his Social Democrat alliance would stay in power at least until 2016 parliamentary elections. [Reuters]


9. State Department becomes fourth federal agency targeted by hackers
The State Department announced Sunday that its computer systems had been hacked. It was the fourth government agency to confirm it had been targeted in a cyberattack over recent weeks. State Department officials said they were forced to temporarily shut down public websites and an unclassified email system. Investigators could not immediately confirm whether the security breach at State was related to recent cyberattacks on the White House, the U.S. Postal Service, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [The New York Times]


10. Chocolate makers warn of coming shortages
The planet could be headed for a major shortage of something many people can’t do without — chocolate — according to two of the world’s biggest chocolate makers, Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut. The reason: Consumption is rising while production is stumbling due to a fungal disease called frosty pod that has destroyed 30 to 40 percent of global cocoa production. Last year, people ate 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than was produced, and the deficit could reach two million metric tons by 2030. [The Washington Post]