Why SCOTUS's Harris v. Quinn Case Has Unions Terrified
On Sunday night, the leaders of America's public-sector labor unions will sleep fitfully, if they manage to sleep at all. The source of their anxiety -- brewing now for months -- is the Supreme Court's impending decision in Harris v. Quinn, expected to be handed down Monday morning alongside Hobby Lobby, the more high-profile birth control case. In a worst-case scenario for labor and the left, Harris v. Quinn has the potential to cripple public-sector unions.
On its surface, the case deals with home care workers in Illinois who care for the disabled. The plaintiff, Pamela Harris, serves as the caretaker to her son Josh, who suffers from a rare genetic syndrome. The elder Harris receives Medicaid funds to do so and essentially functions as a state employee.
Many state-supported home care workers in Illinois are represented by the union SEIU Healthcare Illinois-Indiana. Under the contract between the union and the state, all home care workers covered under the contract are required to pay a fee to SEIU to cover the expenses associated with bargaining, whether or not they want to be union members. ... Read more
What You Need to Know About the Coming Jellyfish Apocalypse
More than 50 million Americans swim in the oceans every year (there are actual government surveys of such things). So if your summer plans involves stripping down and bathing in the sun and salt water of your dreams, read on, intrepid beach-goer. There's something gooey and stingy that's loving warm waters every bit as much as you are (maybe even more), turning those dreams...to nightmares: jellyfish.
In some places, yes. One recent University of British Columbia study concluded that "jelly?sh populations appear to be increasing in the majority of the world's coastal ecosystems and seas," and blamed human activity for these blooms. The areas most affected are the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, says Lucas Brotz, a PhD student and jellyfish expert at University of British Columbia's Fisheries Center, and co-author of the report. ... Read more
Doing the Radical Right's Dirty Work: Supreme Court’s Latest Blows Against Women and Unions
On the final day of its term, the Supreme Court’s radical right-wing majority has dealt crippling blows to two causes close to the heart of progressives. It elevated the rights of corporations owned by fundamentalist Christians above the rights of their female employees, saying those businesses don’t have to pay for any contraception in health plans. And it ruled that non-union employees who work at jobs where unions negotiate pay and benefits--for all workers--do not have to pay any union fees akin to union dues.
For religious conservatives, it said that protecting religious freedom was a higher priority than ensuring women received all reproductive health options. It also said that corporations have First Amendment religious rights protected by the First Amendment, a win for Christian fundamentalists and religious business owners. And for the GOP’s union-busting business wing, epitomized by the Koch brothers’ libertarian political network, it said that union fees could not be collected for electioneering purposes--even if non-union employees at the same work site benefitted from union bargaining. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, June 30 [11:30] DN | Snowden Asylum in Germany? Support Grows for NSA Whistleblower After Merkel Cancels Verizon Contract (06/30/14) [7:14]
DN | Al Jazeera News Director: Prison Terms for Journalists in Egypt Are Chilling Start to Sisi Era (06/30/14) [5:29]
DN | Egyptian Comedian Bassem Youssef Says His Satire Has Inspired Youth to Reject Military Propaganda (06/30/14) [5:55]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Investigative journalist Charles Lewis talks about why facts, logic and reason are often missing in the rush to war.. (06/29/14) [26:46]
Ring of Fire*Ring of Fire | Papantonio: Republicans Bastardizing Second Amendment (06/30/14) [8:07]
Ring of Fire | Papantonio: Conservative Media Creating Psychopaths (06/28/14) [13:38]
TYT News*TYT | Government Actually Looking Out For Us? (06/29/14) [5:59]
TYT | The Awkward Moment To End All Awkward Moments. (06/29/14) [5:02]
TYT | TRUTH About Sex, Penis Sizes, Masturbation, & More. (06/29/14) [6:59]
*TYT | California's Historic Vote To Get Money Out Of Politics & Why Your State Is Next (06/29/14) [7:57]
TYT | Michele Bachmann's Latest Insanity Turns Neil Cavuto Reasonable (06/29/14) [11:21]
TYT | North Korea Threatens War Over Dopey Seth Rogen Movie (06/29/14) [6:40]
John OliverJohn Oliver | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Uganda and Pepe Julian Onziema Pt. 1 (06/29/14) [17:33]
Iraq: The War Card
Released in January 2008, this investigation sought to document every public statement made by eight top Bush administration officials from September 11, 2001, to September 11, 2003, regarding: Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq's links to Al Qaeda.
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses. ... Read more
Not Truly Well Off": Bill Clinton Was Paid $105 Million For 542 Speeches Since 2001
In Hillary Clinton's attempt to seem "one of the people", she made the public relations debacle of portraying herself as "dead broke" at the time she and Bill Clinton left the White House. Of course, the reason this attempt at populist pandering backfired is because as is well-known, even the least educated American, the bulk of wealth American president families accrue is not while in office but after, when they hit the speaking/book publishing circuit. This is just what WaPo found when it conducted a review of the Clintons’ federal financial disclosure: it found that Bill was paid $104.9 million for delivering 542 speeches around the world between January 2001 and January 2013, when Hillary left her job as secretary of state. Read more
Rand Paul: Republicans Are "Too Eager for War"
On the Sunday morning television shows this past weekend—against the backdrop of an Iraq in flames—former Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued their ongoing feud and the battle for the (national security) soul of the Republican Party. In recent months, as Mother Jones has reported that Paul in 2009 accused Cheney of using 9/11 as an excuse to launch the Iraq invasion to benefit Halliburton (the corporation Cheney once led) and called on the GOP to disassociate itself with the former vice president, Cheney's allies have slammed the senator for expressing reckless positions. During a private speech in March, without mentioning Paul by name, Cheney contended that Paul's skepticism about US intervention abroad would endanger the United States. On ABC News' This Week on Sunday, Cheney explicitly assailed Paul as "basically an isolationist"—a term of profound derision in the neocon wing of the GOP. Meanwhile, on Meet the Press, Paul was asked if Cheney could be considered a credible critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, and Paul, without saying Cheney's name, replied, "The same questions could be asked of those who supported the Iraq war. You know, were they right in their predictions? Were there weapons of mass destruction there? That's what the war was sold on. Was democracy easily achievable?...They didn't really, I think, understand the civil war that would break out." This was obviously a jab at the former vice president. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily News
TRNN NewsTRNN | Robert Pollin: Why Did Economy Shrink So Dramatically During The First Quarter of 2014? (06/27/14) [9:03]
Ring of FireRing of Fire | Papantonio: Boehner's Lawsuit Will Backfire On GOP (06/26/14) [2:27]
Ring of Fire | Papantonio: America Too Stupid For Its Own Good (06/26/14) [11:09]
The average American can barely name a Supreme Court justice. They think Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11. Too many voters still think that they might run into Bigfoot on their way to the polls. Believe it or not, this is actually a major problem for democracy.Ring of Fire | Papantonio: War Chickenhawks Coming Home To Roost (06/26/14) [8:57]
Dick Cheney has been making the cable news rounds this week, pitching a return to Iraq, but we've heard all of this from Cheney before. Ring of Fire's Mike Papantonio and best-selling author Cliff Schecter discuss why Cheney needs to disappear from public life before he gets us into another war.Ring of Fire | Papantonio: Billionaires Create The Perfect Keystone Lie (06/26/14) [6:09]
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday (06/27/14) [1hr]
International News - Friday (06/27/14) [1hr]
Chris Hayes - All InChris Hayes | Republicans take their show to the courts, after years of railing against frivolous lawsuits (06/26/14) [13:45] Chris Hayes | Wendy Davis one year later, a year after her star-making filibuster against a restrictive abortion bill, the Democratic candidate for governor of Texas (06/26/14) [7:10]
Jon Stewart - Daily NewsJon Stewart | Republicans eagerly pursue opportunities to send U.S. troops abroad to fight terrorism and build freedom but fail to adopt the same pro-American policies at home. (06/26/14) [7:49]
Jon Stewart | In an ironic bureaucratic twist, the IRS has difficulty finding the proper documentation that it needs to end the government's scrutiny of the organization. (06/24/14) [10:02]
The Truth vs. DC's Propaganda Machine
As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare.
... Lewis tells Bill, "An outrageous thing happened. We lost $2 trillion. More than 100,000 people died. Folks are going to be maimed for life in the tens of thousands… And no one has ever acknowledged that this was a war on a lark. It was a complete war of choice, because a certain little faction wanted to do it and they orchestrated it… Did they make statements that weren't true? The answer is yes." ...
It's the Oil, Stupid! Insurgency and War on a Sea of Oil
Events in Iraq are headline news everywhere, and once again, there is no mention of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the media is flooded with debate about, horror over and extensive analysis of a not-exactly-brand-new terrorist threat, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are, in addition, elaborate discussions about the possibility of a civil war that threatens both a new round of ethnic cleansing and the collapse of the embattled government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Underway are, in fact, "a series of urban revolts against the government," as Middle Eastern expert Juan Cole has called them. They are currently restricted to Sunni areas of the country and have a distinctly sectarian character, which is why groups like ISIS can thrive and even take a leadership role in various locales. These revolts have, however, neither been created nor are they controlled by ISIS and its several thousand fighters. They also involve former Baathists and Saddam Hussein loyalists, tribal militias and many others. And at least in incipient form they may not, in the end, be restricted to Sunni areas. As The New York Times reported last week, the oil industry is "worried that the unrest could spread" to the southern Shia-dominated city of Basra, where "Iraq's main oil fields and export facilities are clustered." ... Read more
Gazprom Ready To Drop Dollar, Settle China Contracts In Yuan Or Rubles. Bad News for the US Dollar Staying the Worlds Reserve Currency.
Please Help Us Find The Q2 "Spending Surge"
US services (and thus services spending) account for 68% of US GDP and 4 out of 5 US jobs. Thus, without spending on services the US economy can barely grow. That much is clear. What is also clear is that pundit after pundit has been lining up to explain how the Q1 economic collapse is to be ignored because it was due to, don't laugh, snow. Snow, which somehow wiped out of $100 billion in growth from initial expectations of Q1 GDP rising by 2.5%. What is certainly clear is that without spending on services in the second quarter, it is impossible for US GDP to hit its much desired 4% "bounceback" GDP print. All of that is very clear. ...
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, June 26 [11:46] DN | Supreme Court Says Warrants Needed to Search Cellphones, But are "Stingrays" a Police Workaround? (06/26/14) [6:17]
DN | Mississippi Burning at 50: Relatives of Civil Rights Workers Look Back at Murders that Shaped an Era. (06/26/14) [10:16]
Bill MoyersBill Moyers | The Truth vs. DC's Propaganda Machine (preview) (06/26/14) [0:26]
TRNN NewsTRNN | "A Commercially Successful Human Rights Violation" In Detroit (06/26/14) [14:29]
Emily Wurth and Tom Stephens say that the city is turning off residents' water so that they are forced to pay their bills, thereby driving up the commercial value of the public water system in order to sell it to private investors.TRNN | Robert Pollin: If the Fed was serious about strengthening the basic economy, it would bail out American cities (06/26/14) [12:13]
TRNN | Sabah al-Nasseri discusses: Fate of al-Maliki Depends Not on Sunnis or Kurds, But Shi?ite Political Forces (06/26/14) [16:52]
TYT NewsTYT | Russell Brand Rants At Fox News 'Savages' & You'll Totally Agree Why. (06/25/14) [7:33]
TYT | Major Ruling Protects Your Cellphone From The Police... Sort Of (06/25/14) [7:45]
TYT | Syria Hands Overl Chemical Weapons - Thanks Obama! (06/25/14) [10:51]
TYT | Here's The Republican Scandal Machine In 10 Easy Steps. (06/25/14) [10:54]
TYT | ISIS Probably Keeps Better Records Than You Do. (06/25/14) [8:36]
TYT | The Scariest Chart On Foreign Policy You'll Ever See (06/23/14) [8:13]
House passes bill to weaken Dodd-Frank and help Wall Street, Koch brothers
The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to water down key parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, weakening the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's power to regulate derivatives. The resulting bill helps big banks and the Koch brothers.
The bill reauthorizes the CFTC's mandate, which expired in October 2013, for five years. It would also reverse the commission's tough rules on U.S. businesses' swaps with counter-parties abroad, requiring it to draw up a new regime together with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Critics contend that the loosening of regulations could weaken market stability, Reuters reported. ... Read more
Obama's Latest Betrayal of America and Americans in Favor of the Big Banks: TISA
Wikileaks has done the world a great service again by publishing a leak of an April 2014 (partial) draft of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
The three "de's" -- deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization -- has been critical to the three modern U.S. financial crises. The combination is intensely criminogenic and produces the fraud epidemics that drive our crises. The second, and vastly more destructive, phase of the Savings and Loan (S&L) debacle is a classic example. The criminogenic environment was the product of each of the three "de's" and modern executive and professional compensation. ...
World Bank: Fighting Climate Change Would Boost Global Economy Up To $2.6 Trillion A Year
An important new World Bank report concludes that just a few key policies aimed at cutting carbon pollution would boost the global economy. The study "Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change," looks at the European Union plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the U.S.
The Bank finds that if all six embrace three sets of policies for clean transportation plus energy efficiency in industry in buildings, "the annual benefits of just these policies in 2030 include an estimated GDP growth of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion." Furthermore, the report found that "these policies alone would account for 30 percent of the total reduction needed in 2030 to limit global warming to 2°C [3.6°F]." ... Read more
One Quarter Of India Is Turning Into Desert
In India, an area about the size of California and Texas combined is degraded and one quarter of the country is facing desertification, according to the country's environment minister, Prakash Javadekar. The overgrazing of land combined with changing rainfall patterns and worsening drought is believed to be behind the dramatic numbers. As more land becomes unusable, the food security of the Indian population -- about 17 percent of the world's population -- is increasingly endangered.
According to Forbes, in 2007, India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research predicted that by 2050 a little less than 10 percent of the country would have desertified beyond use. Javadekar's estimate puts the country ahead of schedule -- in the worst way -- by about 100 to 140 years. ... Read more
How the Iraq War Launched the Modern Era of Political BS
That queasy sensation of déjà vu you're experiencing is understandable. With Iraq back in the news, and Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol on TV sounding off about the situation, there's every reason to worry that a new wave of misinformation is on the way.
There is no debate that the Iraq War was sold to the American public with a collection of claims that ended up being proved false. Iraq was said to have weapons of mass destruction, but this wasn't the case. Advocates for the war insinuated that Saddam Hussein was colluding with Al Qaeda and was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks. That, too, was false. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, June 25 [8:17] DN | Al Jazeera Reporter Sentenced in Absentia Decries Egypt's Imprisonment of 3 Colleagues (06/25/14) [7:16]
DN | 50 Years After U.S. Launched Secret War on Laos, Unexploded Bombs Still Killing Civilians (06/25/14) [5:56]
Watch the US Drop 2.5 Million Tons of Bombs on Laos
Bill MoyersBill Moyers | Should we really be listening to Washington's "armchair warriors" who were wrong before, during and after the Iraq war -- and never admitted their wrongdoing? (06/14/14) [1:12]
Bill Moyers | Buying the War (2012) [1:23:08]
Rachel Maddow | "Hubris": The Iraq War (full) (2013) [44:10]
Fareed | Who Lost Iraq (06/25/14) [2:30]
BBC | Lost treasures of the Iraq Museum - Dan Cruickshank (2009) [4:00]
Iraq National Museum, looted in 2003, is open for special visitors only (2010) [4:06]
Seven years ago, in the chaos that followed the US invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein, looters ransacked Iraq's National Museum. Donny George Youkhanna, at the time the museum's director general, witnessed the looting and is haunted by the memories. He fled Iraq in 2006 and has been teaching at a university outside New York City.
60 Minutes60 Minutes | Drones over America (06/22/14) [13:04]
60 Minutes | The Coptic Christians of Egypt (06/22/14) [13:35]
FrontlineFrontline | Battle Zones: Ukraine and Syria (05/27/14) [53:41]
FRONTLINE reports from inside two raging conflicts. In "The Battle for Ukraine," filmmaker James Jones is on the ground with both sides of the conflict, Ukrainian nationalists and Russian separatists. And in "Arming the Rebels," reporter Muhammed Ali uncovers how the U.S. is secretly training Syrian rebels.
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Poor Off: As campaign season warms up, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden attempt to appeal to blue-collar voters by sharing their financial woes. (06/24/14) [4:49]
By Rehabilitating Iraq War Boosters, Is the Press Trying to Forgive Itself?
The bad bout of 2003 déjà vu continued on Sunday when former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on ABC's This Week to lecture President Obama about how his policies had allegedly made a mess out of Iraq, as violence there continues to grip the country and threatens to completely destabilize the nation.
Cheney's appearance continues a maddening, week-long stroll down Baghdad memory lane as media outlets rush to get commentary from the people who, 11 years ago, got everything wrong about the Iraq War: The stunning cost, the causalities, the war planning, the intelligence, the sectarian violence. All of it.
"The neoconservative program cost the United States several trillion dollars and thousands dead and wounded American soldiers, and it sowed carnage and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere," writes Harvard University professor Stephen Walt in Foreign Policy. Read more
Andrew Bacevich: The Duplicity of the Ideologues
"Almost 70 years ago, a new world order was born from the rubble of World War II, built by and around the power of the United States." Yet today, Robert Kagan laments, "that world order shows signs of cracking, and perhaps even collapsing." Wherever he looks, Kagan sees evidence that "something is changing, and perhaps more quickly than we may imagine," he writes in the New Republic ("Superpowers Don't Get to Retire"). Indeed, "the signs of the global order breaking down are all around us."
These changes "signal a transition into a different world order," one bearing troubling similarities to the 1930s. The origins of this prospective calamity are plain to see. Don't bother to look for material explanations. "If a breakdown in the world order that America made is occurring," Kagan writes, "it is not because America's power is declining." The United States has power to spare, asserts the author of The World America Made. No, what we have here is "an intellectual problem, a question of identity and purpose." Feckless, silly Americans, with weak-willed Barack Obama their enabler, are abdicating their obligation to lead the planet. The abyss beckons. ... Read more
Thanks to WikiLeaks, public can debate alarming new trade deal
WikiLeaks last week again pierced the veil of official secrecy that surrounds global trade negotiations. The peek it gave us should alarm everyone.
Big Business and national governments wanted to conceal the terms of the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) while keeping consumers, unions, environmentalists and the vast majority of businesses in the dark. Thanks to WikiLeaks, they failed.
The draft agreement WikiLeaks released on June 19 is fresh, written in May. It is a model of secret law, blatant in its disregard for transparency, democratic process and history. Its opening page says the terms are to remain secret for five years after negotiations formally end or the proposed new rules take effect. Talks to refine that agreement were to resume Monday in Geneva. ... Read more, and here
Glenn Greenwald: 'What I Tell People Who Say They Don't Care About Their Privacy'
Since he obtained and published Edward Snowden's leaked National Security Agency documents a little more than a year ago, journalist Glenn Greenwald said people have told him over and over that government surveillance does not concern them.
"Those people don't believe what they're saying," he told a sold-out audience last week at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco.
To illustrate this, every time someone would come up to Greenwald and say they didn't mind people knowing what they were doing because they had nothing to hide, he would proceed with the same two steps: first, by giving them his email address and then by asking them to send him all their email and social media passwords -- just so he could have a look. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, June 24 [11:49] DN | Can the President Strike an American Anywhere in the World?: Drone Memo Raises Troubling Questions (06/24/14) [7:29]
DN | Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands (06/24/14) [7:06]
*The Death And Decay Of Detroit, As Seen From The Streets
TRNN News*TRNN | Michael Hudson: Why the Tea Party & European Right Are Winning Elections (06/23/14) [7:57]
TRNN | Michael Hudson: Is Thomas Piketty Right About the Causes of Inequality? (older) [10:15]
More NewsSustainability 101: Exponential Growth - Arithmetic, Population and Energy (2011) [59:11] No End in Sight Iraq's Descent Into Chaos by Charles Ferguson (2006) [1:41:53]
Inside Job by Charles Ferguson (2009) [1:48:38]
Yet Another Dog RescueA terrified abandoned dog gets rescued. His transformation will warm your heart. (06/20/14) [6:09]
All I got to say is, everyone needs a second chance.
John OliverLast Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dr. Oz and Nutritional Supplements (06/22/14) [16:25]
Aron kader in Axis of Evil, Part 1 (2009) [6:19], Part 2 [6:16]
Click to zoom - Death in America
Click to zoom - And Amount We Spend