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Culture/Society (News/Activism)

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  • Detroit Schools Spending Blues: Contracts That Bind

    05/12/2012 6:21:56 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 17 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | Kyle Olson
    When Detroit Public Schools were assigned an emergency financial manager by the state, we thought he would have the power to turn things around, more or less, with a snap of his fingers. Turns out that’s not the case, due in large part to a thick document known as a teachers contract, or collective bargaining agreement. In Detroit (and most other school districts across the nation) these documents contain seemingly mundane provisions that cost taxpayers and school districts millions of dollars. Those provisions have been sucking a lot money out of Detroit Public Schools, a cash-starved district that can’t afford...
  • Repeal of DOMA gets new attention in wake of Obama's support of gay marriage

    05/12/2012 6:18:50 AM PDT · by markomalley · 26 replies
    The Hill ^ | 5/12/12 | Kevin Bogardus
    Legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is garnering new attention from lawmakers in the wake of President Obama's support of same-sex marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA and afford federal protections to legally-married same-sex married couples, like those in New York state and elsewhere, that male and female couples already enjoy. Since Obama's statement Wednesday, the bill has picked up new co-sponsors and Democratic leaders, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), have said they would support legalizing same-sex marriage. That has given new hope to activists...
  • Facebook Billionaire Gives Up Citizenship to Escape Bad American Tax Policy

    05/12/2012 6:07:21 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 49 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell
    It is very sad that America’s tax system is so onerous that some rich people feel they have no choice but to give up U.S. citizenship in order to protect their family finances. I’ve written about this issue before, particularly in the context of Obama’s class-warfare policies leading to an increase in the number of Americans “voting with their feet” for places with less punitive tax regimes. We now have a very high-profile tax expatriate. One of the founders of Facebook is escaping for Singapore. Here are some relevant passages in a Bloomberg article.
  • NARAL president leaving at end of year

    05/12/2012 6:04:33 AM PDT · by NYer · 7 replies
    Politico ^ | May 11, 2012 | David Nather
    Nancy Keenan’s decision comes as abortion opponents have stepped up attacks. Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced Thursday that she’s stepping down as the head of the nation’s largest abortion rights group at the end of the year.In a statement, the organization said Keenan will stay on until her contract expires. In the meantime, the board will start its search for a successor.“Nancy inspired Americans, from lawmakers to everyday citizens, to proudly proclaim their pro-choice views and act on these values,” said Janet Denlinger, the chairwoman of the organization’s board of directors. Keenan has been in the...
  • Only Obama is Better Off

    05/12/2012 6:01:11 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 13 replies ^ | May 11, 2012 | Michael Reagan
    The only person I know who is better off today than he was four years ago is President Obama. He's making more money, living in a bigger house and playing more golf. And when his wife goes on a shopping spree with her girlfriends, it's to Spain on the taxpayer's dime. If you asked President Obama if he's better off today, he'd say, "Hell, yeah! And we don't want it to stop!" Meanwhile, as the president skates through the Great Recession, his failure to get the economy back on track has turned a country known for its optimism and belief...
  • Two Prime Ministers, Two Americas

    05/12/2012 5:46:46 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 4 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | Ken Blackwell
    Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison. Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of an embattled Great Britain on May 10, 1940. At last, his political exile was over. Also that day, Adolf Hitler launched his blitzkrieg against Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg, and his armored panzer divisions ripped through the Ardennes forest. Churchill had been warning against this outcome for a decade. It was Churchill, after all, who foresaw the possibilities of tank warfare in the darkest days of World War I. Surely, Churchill pleaded, there must be a better way to employ brave soldiers than having them “chew...
  • Obama spiritual adviser 'disappointed' by gay marriage endorsement

    05/12/2012 5:41:40 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 22 replies
    Fox ^ | 5/12/12
    A Florida pastor considered to be President Obama's spiritual adviser says he was disappointed by the president's decision to publicly announce his support for same-sex marriage. The Rev. Joel Hunter told MyFoxOrlando that the president called him before his announcement aired. Hunter, the evangelical pastor of the 15,000 member Northland church in Longwood, said the decision makes it harder to support the president though he will continue to do so.
  • Lugar Loss Highlights Sour Relationship Between Voters and Politicians

    05/12/2012 5:39:26 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 23 replies ^ | May 11, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen
    When relationships go bad, an early warning sign is that one side doesn't really hear what the other is saying. That's certainly the case today in the relationship between voters and America's political class. Many in Washington, D.C., took comfort over the past year in polling data showing that fewer voters consider themselves part of the tea party movement. Only 13 percent claim such a tie today, roughly half its peak in 2010. This was reassuring to those in power, suggesting voters were willing to let the politicians return to politics as usual. But the panic returned to Washington this...
  • Obama is Scamming the Disabled

    05/12/2012 4:56:13 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 8 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | John Ransom
    I have to credit our own Mike Shedlock for writing about how Obama’s been able to drive down the topline unemployment number even though unemployment remains as a big problem today as it has ever been. I’m often reluctant to piggy back on a contributor’s work, but when something is really newsworthy, I think it’s justified. Yesterday Mish pointed out that:In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,638,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 945,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,693,000. In the last month, actual employment fell by 169,000, but the unemployment rate...
  • Kansas lawmakers pass anti-Islamic law measure

    05/12/2012 4:42:14 AM PDT · by LSUfan · 13 replies
    AP ^ | 12 May 2012 | Unknown
    A bill designed to prevent Kansas courts or government agencies from making decisions based on Islamic or other foreign legal codes has cleared the state Legislature after a contentious debate about whether the measure upholds American values or appeals to prejudice against Muslims. The Senate approved the bill Friday on a 33-3 vote. The House had approved it, 120-0, earlier in the week. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who hasn't said whether he'll sign or veto the measure. The measure doesn't specifically mention Shariah law, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system. Instead,...
  • May Madness and Mothers Gone Mad

    05/12/2012 4:15:18 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 7 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | Jackie Gingich Cushman
    For mothers with children at home and in school, May can bring madness. It's a month that tends to be filled with end-of-the-school-year projects, performances, concerts, dress rehearsals, parties and more. For instance, last night, after finishing his project at 10 p.m. (yes, way past his bedtime), our 10-year-old son let us know he had to take 25 "poultry items" to school today. (Big shout out and thanks to my husband Jimmy, who picked up 25 three-count Chick-fil-A minis on the way to school this morning). Last week, it was the fourth-grade play. I'm still not sure how I...
  • Still Making Waves

    05/12/2012 3:57:57 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 1 replies ^ | May 12, 2012 | Bill O'Reilly
    Quick question: What is the most enduring American pop group of all time? Has to be The Beach Boys, right? They are currently on their 50th anniversary tour across the country, if you can believe it. I saw the boys the other night, and they can still bring it. Lead singer Mike Love is 71, musical genius Brian Wilson is nearly 70, as is keyboardist Bruce Johnston. The audience was primarily aging baby boomers who were not only singing along to the surf tracks; they were memorializing their youth. In 1962, back when The Beach Boys were just getting...
  • Video: MSNBC Host Kicks Conservative Off the Air

    05/12/2012 3:53:32 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 31 replies ^ | May 11, 2012 | Guy Benson
    The topic?  Romney's decades-old alleged bullying, natch.  And without a shred of irony, host Tamron Hall bullies conservative guest Tim Carney right off the air:   After fight with Tim Carney, MSNBC host Tamron Hall mutes micHall was peeved that Carney had the audacity to call the media out on its "meta" narrative-building BS, so she got all huffy and cut his mic.  For the record, Carney says he actually was addressing the issue he was booked to discuss:   @TPCarney: The question I was sent for the Romney bullying segment was "Does the story matter?" So I was answering...
  • State exam asks N.J. 3rd graders to write essay on secret they had kept

    05/12/2012 1:20:18 AM PDT · by SMGFan · 26 replies ^ | May 11, 2012 | By Jessica Calefati/The Star-Ledger
    Is it okay to ask a child to reveal a secret? Richard Goldberg doesn’t think so. Goldberg, the father of 8-year old twin boys, was dismayed to learn his third-grade sons were asked to write an essay about a secret they had and why it was hard to keep. The unusual question, which Goldberg called "entirely inappropriate" was on the standardized tests given to public school students in the third through eighth grade every spring.
  • MEPs criticize behavior of (European) low-cost airlines

    05/12/2012 1:15:39 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    European Voice ^ | 10.05.2012 / 15:11 CET (May 10) | Dave Keating
    MEPs today (10 May) voted to condemn low-cost airlines, such as Easyjet and Ryanair, for “aggressive business practices” that hurt the regional airports they operate out of. MEPs said such behavior breaches EU competition law. The resolution, drafted by Philip Bradbourn, a UK Conservative MEP, says that excessive booking fees and hand-luggage restrictions are discouraging travelers from buying goods in smaller regional airports. The resolution calls on the European Commission and member states to impose caps on charges for excess baggage, and for a common upper weight limit to be set. …
  • China buying oil from Iran using the Yuan, reveals Tehran ambassador in UAE

    05/12/2012 12:08:42 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 6 replies
    MercoPress ^ | Tuesday, May 8th 2012 - 22:37 UTC
    Iran is using the revenue to buy goods and services from China, Mohammed Reza Fayyad, Iran's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, confirmed. China is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil exports. The country buys some $20-30 billion of oil from Iran each year, but the US has been pressuring Beijing to join an international boycott of Iran over Tehran's nuclear program. The Iranian ambassador's comments, reported by the Reuters news agency, confirmed a report in the Financial Times that claimed that Unipec (a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned oil firm Sinopec) was buying the oil, as was another...
  • The Persistence Of Al-Qaeda

    05/11/2012 11:40:44 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 4 replies
    AFPC Terrorism Monitor ^ | 5/1/2012 | Ilan Berman
    Have we well and truly entered the “post-al-Qaeda era”? A year after Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. commandos, some experts and commentators are taking to the idea that the threat which preoccupied U.S. foreign policy for the past decade is now all but ancient history. This seems to be what the Obama administration believes as well. In their public pronouncements, high-ranking administration officials continue to maintain that the Bin Laden network poses a problem. But a series of tactical successes against the organization over the past year has led the White House to conclude that, as...
  • Many Blacks Shrug Off Obama's New View On Gays [ALERT:Yahoo, AP Obama Lapdogs]

    05/11/2012 10:29:25 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 39 replies
    YahooNews ^ | May 11, 2012 | ERRIN HAINES and JESSE WASHINGTON
    Many Blacks Shrug Off Obama's New View On Gays By ERRIN HAINES and JESSE WASHINGTON ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Like many black Americans, Dorsey Jackson does not believe in gay marriage, but he wasn't disillusioned when Barack Obama became the first president to support it. The windows of his suburban Philadelphia barbershop still display an "Obama 2012" placard and another that reads "We've Got His Back." If Obama needs to endorse same-sex marriage to be re-elected, said Jackson, so be it: "Look, man — by any means necessary." With that phrase popularized by the black radical Malcolm X, Jackson rebutted...
  • Bristol Palin Has A Bone To Pick With Obama Over Gay Marriage

    05/11/2012 9:26:52 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 50 replies
    ABCNews ^ | May 11, 2012
    May 11, 2012 Bristol Palin Has A Bone To Pick With Obama Over Gay Marriage Bristol Palin, the 21-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has another bone to pick with President Obama. The former ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant chastised the president for allowing his young daughters Sasha, 10, and Malia, 13, to influence his stance on gay marriage. In an exclusive interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Obama said that his daughters “have friends whose parents are same-sex couples.” “There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking...
  • Metra Unveils Commuter Rail Security Restrictions For NATO

    05/11/2012 8:35:23 PM PDT · by redreno · 8 replies
    CBS News ^ | 05/11/2012 | unknown
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Some commuters will have to make alternate plans during the NATO Summit, as Metra today said it will close several stations on the Electric Line. All Metra passengers–not just those on the Electric Line–will also face carry-on restrictions and security screenings from May 19-21. Riders will be allowed one briefcase-sized bag up to 15 by 15 inches and four inches deep. Riders will not be allowed to carry boxes, luggage, backpacks, pocket knives, bikes, food or liquid. This includes all beverages, such as coffee and soda.