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Daily Kos Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:08 GMT  

Trump shocked by 'severe' backlash after calling Mexican immigrants 'rapists' and 'murderers'
Donald Trump arrives for the premiere of the film
Hmm... I wonder if people have been lying to me about my hair too.
Donald Trump, meet reality. Reality, meet Donald Trump.

It must be pretty disconcerting for a billionaire to get a taste of just how twisted and perverse his ideas really are.

But a tiny glint of that reality appears to have reached Trump in the couple weeks since he launched his campaign with a parade of racist slurs about Mexican immigrants (and then immigrants, more generally) being "rapists" and "murderers" and "drug dealers." Brendan James reports:

Presidential candidate and ex-reality TV star Donald Trump admitted on Saturday that the wave of condemnation and crumbling business relationships, which followed his remarks calling immigrants "rapists," has caught him a little off guard.

"I didn't know it was going to be quite this severe," Trump said on "Fox & Friends." "But I really knew it was going to be bad."

"You know, maybe I'm leading in polls, but this is certainly not good," he also said. "I lose customers, I lose people."

Don't forget businesses, Donald, you've lost businesses.
Macy's, NBC Universal, Univision, Televisa and Serta have all dropped partnerships and business dealings with Trump following his "rapists" remark — which "Fox & Friends" co-host Clayton Morris described as "straight talk."

It's satisfying, isn't it? To know that even though a billionaire can live in an entire sycophantic bubble of people telling him how brilliant he is, how important he is, and how righteous, he can go into a death spiral in a matter of weeks on the presidential campaign trail.

This may be one of the best endorsements yet of America's excessive and overhyped campaign industrial complex. God bless us.


Pensito Review Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:09 GMT  

Clinton Touts Her Progressive Record

I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.

— Hilary Clinton, quoted by Politico.

I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.

— Hilary Clinton, quoted by Politico.


http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/feed/ Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:09 GMT  


ThinkProgress Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:10 GMT  

Scott Walker Uses Holiday Weekend To Sneak Controversial Provisions Into State Budget

Measures to gut the state's laws around government transparency and living wages were inserted over the Fourth of July holiday.

The post Scott Walker Uses Holiday Weekend To Sneak Controversial Provisions Into State Budget appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Only one hurdle stands between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his upcoming bid for the White House: passing a budget to keep his state chugging for the next two years.

After months of uproar over provisions to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from state universities and strip the values of “truth” and “service” from their mission, lawmakers in Madison missed their July 1 deadline to pass the budget.

In the ensuing scramble, Governor Walker and his allies in the statehouse used the 4th of July holiday weekend to insert several more controversial provisions into the massive document, which local press called “a grab bag of pet projects.” Walker and Republican lawmakers have already been forced to retreat on one of them: a gutting of the state’s open records law that would have barred reporters and the public from accessing the documents that reveal how laws are written, including drafts and e-mails between state lawmakers.

But the other additions remain, including provisions that censor information about police shootings, scrap factory workers’ right to one day off per week, and completely eliminate the state’s 100-year-old definition of a “living wage,” which now says workers deserve pay that provides “minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.” This major change, which has received far less attention than the open records law rewrite, would strip the state’s Department of Workforce Development of the power to to investigate complaints that an employee is not being paid a living wage, and would replace “living wage” with “minimum wage” throughout Wisconsin’s laws.

The change to the wage law comes just as low-income workers in the state are suing Governor Walker for refusing to consider their complaint that the current state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is not a living wage.

Corneil White, a fast food worker in Madison and lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, called the timing of the law’s rewrite “ridiculous but not surprising.”

“I am a hard working man. It’s disgusting that these Republicans would rather force me to feed my son with food stamps instead of standing up to their corporate lobbyist friends,” he told ThinkProgress. “Why aren’t they working to make sure full-time working parents like me get paid enough to stand on our own? They haven’t done anything to show me that they care about my family. And despite [the state’s] claim that $7.25 is livable, they clearly they don’t believe their own argument since they are trying to repeal the law before they even know the outcome of the case.”

In the official complaint, White and nearly 100 other low-wage workers detailed what they have to do to survive on a wage of $7.25 an hour, including putting off needed health care and medication purchases, going without food, and being homeless. Their case went before a judge earlier this summer and a decision could be handed down at any time — though a ruling against Walker would be moot if the legislature approves the revised budget. Should that happen, Wisconsinites would lose the mechanism workers in New York and other states are currently using to push for a $15 an hour living wage.

“It’s telling that as Wisconsin sees the biggest decline in middle class wages in the country, Scott Walker and his GOP buddies choose to repeal the mechanism that guarantees that all hard-working Wisconsinites earn a living wage,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison with the Milwaukee worker rights group Wisconsin Jobs Now. “The scramble to gut this law is proof that these legislators admit that our minimum wage is not a living wage.”

The list of items tucked into the budget during the 11th hour negotiations over the weekend also includes a provision to exempt police from publicly reporting how they plan to use weapons or equipment they receive from the U.S. military. Another would make it more difficult for public unions to win recognition from their employers, while another would further deregulate predatory payday lenders. These moves recall the last time Governor Walker used a holiday weekend to sneak through controversial legislation; he quietly signed a mandatory ultrasound bill over the Fourth of July weekend in 2013.

The Republican-controlled legislature will debate and vote on the 2015-2017 budget in the coming weeks.

The post Scott Walker Uses Holiday Weekend To Sneak Controversial Provisions Into State Budget appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Dozens Of Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists Call For Action On Climate Change

In a signed declaration, 36 Nobel laureates call climate change a threat of "comparable magnitude" to nuclear war.

The post Dozens Of Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists Call For Action On Climate Change appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Sixty years ago, Nobel laureates gathered on a tiny island in Western Europe and warned the world of the dangerous effects of nuclear weapons.

Last Friday, on the same island, 36 Nobel Prize winners took up another cause: climate change, which they said poses a “threat of comparable magnitude” to nuclear war.

“If left unchecked, our ever-increasing demand for food, water, and energy will eventually overwhelm the Earth’s ability to satisfy humanity’s needs, and will lead to wholesale human tragedy,” the Nobel laureates’ declaration reads. “Already, scientists who study Earth’s climate are observing the impact of human activity.”

The declaration marked the culmination of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, a week-long gathering of 65 Nobel laureates held on Mainau Island, a small island in Lake Constance that borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

“Based on the IPCC assessment, the world must make rapid progress towards lowering current and future greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the substantial risks of climate change,” the declaration continues, highlighting the 2015 United Nation Climate Change Conference in Paris as a chance to take steps toward international climate action.

“This endeavor will require the cooperation of all nations, whether developed or developing, and must be sustained into the future in accord with updated scientific assessment,” the declaration concludes.

Thirty-five of the declaration’s signatories have been awarded a Nobel Prize in a scientific field, ranging from medicine to chemistry. The 36th signatory was Kailash Satyarthi, who was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in children’s rights.

“I see this issue as the single greatest threat to human prosperity, and I believe it is important for the best scientific evidence to be used by policy [makers] in making their decisions,” Brian Schmidt, who was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for physics, said in a press statement.

That sentiment was echoed by George Smoot, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for physics, who said that “the evidence is very strong that the major portion of climate change is man made and that continuing business as usual presents great and increasing risk to humankind.”

But not every Nobel laureate present at the conference signed the declaration — or shared the signatories’ concerns about climate change. Earlier in the week, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and climate denier Ivar Giaever gave a lecture questioning the science and policies behind climate change, which in the past he has likened to a “new religion.” According to E&E News, Giaever — who at the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting said that climate change was “absolutely” pseudoscience — explicitly criticized President Obama’s response to climate change, calling him a “clever person” that “gets bad advice.”

“I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong,” Giaever said. “Dead wrong.”

The post Dozens Of Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists Call For Action On Climate Change appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Ava DuVernay Passed On Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

"I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be."

The post Ava DuVernay Passed On Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Ava DuVernay will not be directing Marvel’s Black Panther.

It’s not that the rumor was nothing but rumor. Marvel made her an offer. She considered taking the gig, but ultimately decided to pass. As she told Essence:

I’m not signing on to direct Black Panther. I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me… I loved meeting Chadwick and writers and all the Marvel execs. In the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn’t see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.

The “creative differences” to which DuVernay refers as the go-to justification for a director getting ousted from a comic book movie are all too appropriate: just look at the case of Edgar Wright, dropped from Ant-Man, a project he’d been tied to since 2006, in May of last year. His version of Ant-Man, according to one of the film’s stars, Evangeline Lilly, “wouldn’t have fit in the Marvel Universe. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb, no matter how good it was.”

DuVernay’s refusal also calls to mind Joss Whedon’s experience directing the first two Avengers movies. While it was arguably Whedon’s personal touch — his Buffy-banter in particular — that made The Avengers such a relative delight in the post-Christopher Nolan Dark Knight comic movie scene, he found himself totally hamstrung by Marvel’s demands for movie number two.

The second Avengers couldn’t be an independent storytelling vehicle unto itself. Instead, it needed to serve a million masters: set the stage for sequels and introduce new characters for standalone flicks (that, if past behavior is a true predictor of future behavior, will likely not be left to stand alone at all). Any one Marvel movie is part of a shared, synergistic universe, where individual vision is sacrificed on the altar of the franchise. Whedon’s diplomatic way of describing this process: “With so much at stake, there’s gonna be friction.” He is not directing the third Avengers installment.

There are plenty of reasons for a passionate filmgoer to want to see DuVernay’s name attached to Black Panther. The Selma director, through that work alone, demonstrated that she has strengths specifically in the areas where this latest batch of comic book movies have struggled. Take the way violence is deployed in Selma: it’s gripping and horrifying, yet the scale is human. Action sequences contribute directly to the story rather than deviate pointlessly from it. Yes, DuVernay was working with real events, but when she needed to, she bent history to fit the narrative arc of her piece, and the result was emotional, gorgeous and intense.

Zero superhero movies have been directed by women. (I’ll believe that Wonder Woman, whose original female director, Michelle MacLaren, was replaced with Patty Jenkins, is actually going to be made with a woman at the helm when I am sitting in the theater on opening weekend, and not a nanosecond before.) If your definition of comic book movies includes graphic novel movies, there is one exception to the all-white-guys rule: Robert Rodriguez co-directed Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. An are-you-kidding-me total of 90 percent of last year’s summer movies were directed by white men. Sexism in Hollywood is so systemic and rampant, it could actually be a civil rights violation.

So DuVernay would have been making some long overdue history — women of color making long overdue history may well be the theme of the summer — in an industry where progress for anyone but white men is hard to come by. As Manohla Dargas pointed out in a New York Times discussion, “Heroines Triumph at Box Office, but Has Anything Changed in Hollywood?“, most of the lady-leading movies of 2015, which feature female-centric stories and diverse, fully realized female characters, were directed by men. (To name a few: Spy, Inside Out, Trainwreck, and Mad Max.) Progress for women on-screen is not necessarily indicative of progress behind the camera. Plus, all the main female characters in those movies are white. (Technically Joy and Sadness, stars of Inside Out, are yellow and blue, respectively, but they reside in the mind of a white girl.)

Comic book movies are, for better or worse, one of the dominant vehicles of popular culture, shaping the discourse, values, and fantasies not just for millions of Americans but audiences worldwide. Marvel and DC Comics have a monopoly on major opening weekends from now until 2020. The people who get to tell those stories wield tremendous power. It would be refreshing– scratch that, it would be revolutionary, if that power were wielded by a woman of color, especially one with DuVernay’s gifts.

But: perhaps DuVernay’s gifts are better spent elsewhere. (Let us not make the mistake of thinking we know better how to guide that career than she does; that would be a “Jessica Williams has imposter syndrome” level misstep.) DuVernay will be channeling her time and energy into a love story set during Hurricane Katrina, starring David Oyelowo, with whom she collaborated on her Sundance breakout, Middle of Nowhere.

The post Ava DuVernay Passed On Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.


PoliticusUSA Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:10 GMT  

Republicans Get Busted Trying to Take Down Hillary Clinton with Pure Lies
Democrats busted Republicans for leaking yet another fake Benghazi email story to the press. They titled their press release, "Politico Ran Bogus Leak in Front-Page Story."

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Mitch McConnell Tries To Rig The Courts By Blocking Dozens Of Obama Judicial Nominees
Mitch McConnell is blocking dozens of President Obama's judicial appointments in an attempt to rig the courts.

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New Report Reveals GOP-Aligned Extremists Are The Greatest Threat To Americans
There is hardly a bigger motivator that fear, and it is a fact not lost on Republicans who prey on Americans’ fear of all things not conservative, but especially those foreign “extremists.” Of course, some Americans are acutely aware that the biggest threat to their safety, and the nation, is from American extremists in the […]

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Paul Krugman Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:10 GMT  

Grapes of Wrath
Let's drink some catastrophe wine.
Lone Star Bailout
Bigger than anything in Europe.
Delusions of Control
Japan then, China now.

Media Matters for America - Latest Items Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:10 GMT  

Benghazi Dems: Politico Got Spun By Anonymous Source Who Distorted Clinton Email

Politico published inaccurate information about emails between Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal provided to the outlet by an anonymous source who distorted the emails' contents with the intention of damaging the former secretary of state, according to Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

The Republican-led committee was formed more than a year ago with the mandate to investigate the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya -- attacks which had already been subject to investigations by the State Department and numerous House and Senate committees. Critics have argued that the committee's actions since its formation demonstrate a "singular focus on attacking Hillary Clinton and her bid for president."

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the Committee, writes in a July 6 letter that "a Member of the Committee, a staffer on the Committee, or someone who has been given access to the Committee's documents inaccurately described to the press email exchanges obtained by the Committee in a way that appeared to further a political attack against" Clinton. Cummings describes this as "only the latest in a reckless pattern of selective Republican leaks and mischaracterizations of evidence relating to the Benghazi attacks."

Cummings' letter specifically details inaccuracies in a June 18 Politico story that relied on "a source who has reviewed the email exchange" between Clinton and Blumenthal, a Media Matters consultant and former Clinton White House aide. In its original version, the story claimed:

While still secretary of state, Clinton emailed back and forth with Blumenthal about efforts by one of the groups, Media Matters, to neutralize criticism of her handling of the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, sources tell POLITICO. 

"Got all this done. Complete refutation on Libya smear," Blumenthal wrote to Clinton in an Oct. 10, 2012, email into which he had pasted links to four Media Matters posts criticizing Fox News and Republicans for politicizing the Benghazi attacks and challenging claims of lax security around the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, according to a source who has reviewed the email exchange. Blumenthal signed off the email to Clinton by suggesting that one of her top aides, Philippe Reines, "can circulate these links," according to the source. Clinton responded: "Thanks, I'm pushing to WH," according to the source.

The emails were not included in documents originally turned over by the State Department.

Cummings notes that Clinton's email reading "Thanks, I'm pushing to WH" came not in response to Blumenthal's email with the Media Matters links, as Politico indicated, but rather in response to a "completely different" Blumenthal email from nine days earlier "forwarding an article from Salon.com reporting that Republicans were planning to claim inaccurately during the presidential debates that the White House had advance knowledge about the Benghazi attacks and failed to act on it."

The day after publication, Politico updated its story with a correction noting that "A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a Clinton email as a response to the Blumenthal email." As MSNBC.com's Steve Benen notes, "Politico obviously didn't make this up; it relied on a source that provided misleading information, apparently with a specific partisan agenda in mind."

Politico was also wrong to report that Clinton's email was "not included in documents originally turned over by the State Department," according to Cummings. He explained that "that email was turned over to the Select Committee by the State Department on February 13, 2015, marked with Bates number STATE-SCB0045548-SCB0045550. The Select Committee has had that email for four months."

As both Cummings and Benen point out, this is not the first time reporters have fallen from deceptive Benghazi leaks that appear to come from Republican sources. Reporters who relied on sources' characterizations of Benghazi-related documents rather than reviewing them directly have previously had to issue embarrassing corrections.


Right Wing Watch Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:10 GMT  

Fischer: 'The Day Is Coming When It Will Be Against The Law For Christians To Hold Public Office'

On his radio broadcast last Thursday, Bryan Fischer warned that, thanks to the Supreme Court decision striking down state bans on gay marriage, Christians will now be prohibited from ever serving in public office.

"You may think that I am exaggerating, that I am hyperbolizing," Fischer declared, "I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that I am not, that this is the direction that we are headed ... It is, before long, going to become illegal for Christians to hold public office."

"The day is coming when it will be against the law for Christians to hold public office," he continued. "It will be against the law for Christians to even run for public office [and Christians] will not be allowed to serve in any kind of appointed capacity in government."

"Now why do I say that?" Fischer asked. "I say that because of what the Supreme Court did on Friday" by legalizing gay marriage.


http://blog.buzzflash.com/rss.xml Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:23:11 GMT  


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liberal adj.
  • Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
  • Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
  • Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.




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