The most important chart when thinking about the economies under George W. Bush and Barack Obama can be seen above. It compares the first-term job numbers of the two Presidents. Both of them endured recessions at the start of their terms, though[...]
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Evan McMorris-Santoro reports from today's Obama rally in Pittsburgh.[...]
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Chris Rock had a show on television called "Everybody Hates Chris". I think it was loosely based on his days growing up in New York. Anyway, I don't know exactly how much hate Chris experienced growing up, but unfortunately for him, he is about to experience it again. At least from some folks.
Chris made the mistake of bringing up an uncomfortable truth about America's past, -albeit in a joking manner to his twitter followers- and, as is to be expected, America is not pleased.
"..Some took offense to his words, like libertarian blogger Jeff Schreiber. He replied, "Slavery existed for 2000 years before America. We eradicated it in 100 years. We now have a Black POTUS." Another tweeter wrote, "Dear @ChrisRock: Without July 4, 1776, December 6, 1865 wouldn't have happened."
Here in America we like to keep certain things in the closet, and pretend that it never happened. "It was soooo long ago" . And when some rich black dude reminds us it really pisses us off.
The funny thing is that Rock became so popular with white folks because he dared to joke about uncomfortable truths about us black folks. White folks ate it up, and his bank account just kept getting bigger with each punch line. Of course that was different.
I bet I know one person in America who agrees with Mr. Rock. -that the 4th of July is for white people- That would be my buddy William Collier. Mr. Collier is the pastor of Church of God's Chosen. And good he is holding a special conference down in Alabama:
"William J. Collier, pastor of Church of God?s Chosen, is holding a Whites-Only conference in the good ole? state of Alabama, and he?s not making any apologies for it, reports the...
...We don?t have the facilities to accommodate other people. We haven?t got any invitations to black, Muslim events. Of course we are not invited to Jewish events and stuff,? he said. ??We are not breaking any laws, we are not violating any ordinances, we are bringing the word of God to people who want it ? who are part of the chosen race.." [Source]
I hear ya there Billy. I would follow you on twitter, but I am guessing that you don't have an account.
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Just when you think the TSA could not be any more ridiculous, they turn it up to eleven.According to the TSA's website, the beverage checks are random, hygenic and happen at airports across the country, including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.The test involves a test strip and dropper containing a non-toxic solution. TSA agents do not place the test strips in...
I loved The Sessions (then titled The Surrogate) when I saw it at Sundance, and I wish the trailer captured a little bit more of the movie’s tart humor. What’s unusual about The Sessions, which is based on an article by the late Mark O’Brien, isn’t just that it deals with the sexual lives of disabled people, an almost untouchable subject in modern popular culture, but that it’s a movie that is directly about the disparate experiences of people with disabilities without encouraging the audience to pity the main character:
Mark is funny, in the movie. He’s smart. He’s eloquent. He faces something he’s anxious about?losing his virginity?directly and with a lot of self-awareness. He’s not a saint, which is a relief. Mark gets to make mistakes and cross boundaries, but he also takes responsibility for those errors and grows from them. In other words, he’s a specific person, rather than a stand-in for a set of traits or the means by which able-bodied people learn tolerance and get to be awed by Mark’s perseverance and hope.
I think we need a lot more of this in pop culture. People with disabilities have different experiences of the world than able-bodied people do, in a whole range of areas. Folks with disabilities have higher unemployment rates than able-bodied people, and a lack of adaptive technologies can make it harder for them to access educational opportunities and appropriate housing. But the fact that our society and political system have been slow to accomodate disabled people, and that disabled people live involve different challenges and frustrations, doesn’t mean that people with disabilities are pitiable or saintly, or that their experiences are wholly different from able-bodied people’s. Mark’s intimacy issues and fear that he’s unlovable may spring from different wells than your standard romantic comedy heroine’s, for example, but the movie is a variation on a conventional romantic comedy structure. He is definitely not your Judd Apatow-style schlub?he’s an accomplished poet, as O’Brien was in real life?but his conversations with his priest (a very funny William H. Macy) and his caregiver (Moon Bloodgood) are funny in some of the same frank ways. It’s depressing to watch pop culture, and people more broadly, get caught up in disabilities such that they fail to see the people, and the characters, who have disabilities but are hardly the sum of them.
Much of the debate about state immigration laws has revolved around harmful anti-immigrant measures in states like Alabama and Arizona. But in California, state lawmakers are working to pass an “anti-Arizona” bill that would protect undocumented immigrants. The legislation would prevent local law enforcement officials from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless the person detained has been convicted of a violent or serious felony. “California cannot afford to become another Arizona,” said California Assembly member Tom Ammiano, who sponsored the bill:
The California bill, which has the support of over 100 immigrant rights groups, police chiefs and mayors, was drafted not only as a symbolic counter to legislation in neighboring Arizona, but also to push back against a federal program called Secure Communities that shares the same principles as Arizona’s law, supporters say.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, established the Secure Communities program in partnership with local law enforcement agencies and the FBI to deport unauthorized immigrants. [...]
The federal program has been responsible for deporting over 72,000 Californians, according to Ammiano, with 70 percent of those deported from the state having either no criminal conviction, or conviction for a minor offense.
By a 21-13 vote, state senators approved the bill Thursday, which now heads to the California Assembly for consideration.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 — in which the court allowed the “show me your papers” provision to go into effect after limiting it — federal officials ended Secure Communities partnerships with seven Arizona law enforcement offices. A DHS official said the Obama administration determined that the agreements are ?not useful? now in states that have Arizona-style laws.
The United Nations has called for a tax on the world’s billionaires as part of a package that it claims could raise more than $400 billion a year for poor countries. The announcement came on Thursday after the annual World Economic and Social Survey indicated that it is critically necessary to find new ways to help the world’s poorest nations, as pledged cash continues to fall short. According to the report, a 1 percent tax on the world’s 1,226 billionaires would raise more than $46 billion.
On Monday, the Department of Justice and the Texas Legislature will square off in court over Texas’ contentious voter ID law. A three-judge U.S. District Court panel will hear the case, which could challenge the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Texas is one of nine states that must get any changes to their election law cleared by the DOJ under the Voting Rights Act due to a history of discrimination. Texas flunked the test; as Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez wrote in his letter to the Director of Elections, “According to the state?s own data, a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120.0 percent, more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack this identification.”
The law, SB 14, requires voters to show one of a very narrow list of government-issued documents, excluding Social Security, Medicaid, or student ID cards. Gun licenses, however, are acceptable.
The DOJ found that Texas’s SB 14 will “disenfranchise at least 600,000 voters who currently lack necessary photo identification and that minority registered voters will be disproportionately affected by the law.”
As of the 2010 Census, non-Hispanic whites have become the minority in Texas, shrinking to 45.3% of the population from 52.4%, while Latinos accounted for 65% of Texas’s population growth over the past decade.
But Latinos are not the only people hurt by the restrictive bill. People who want to vote but don’t have an ID will have to pay a fee to get one, like Jessica Cohen, whose story ThinkProgress documented in November. After she lost her identification during a robbery, the only way to get a voter ID was to pay a fee to Missouri officials in order to obtain her birth certificate.
On Monday, Texas will defend the law as a necessary measure to prevent voter fraud. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) argued that “Texas has a responsibility to ensure elections are fair, beyond reproach and accurately reflect the will of voters.” But the San Antonio Express-News reported that fewer than five ?illegal voting? complaints involving voter impersonations were filed with the Texas Attorney General?s Office from the 2008 and 2010 general elections in which more than 13 million voters participated.
The Texas voter ID law isn’t the first the DOJ has had to combat. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder noted,
?The past two years have brought nearly two dozen new state laws and executive orders, from more than a dozen states, that could make it significantly harder for eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.?
A state appeals court has ruled against a challenge to New York’s historic same-sex marriage law passed last year. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and several other opponents desperately claimed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) violated the state’s “open meetings” law by speaking behind closed doors with senate Republicans, persuading enough of them to embrace the law in the process. But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman successfully argued the open meetings law did not apply in the case of the Republican caucus meeting with invited guests. Defeated in the legislature and now in the courts, New York’s anti-gay groups must finally face reality: marriage equality is here to stay.