President Obama said he is not upset at Vice President Biden for saying, a bit prematurely, that he was “comfortable” with same-sex marriages because Obama had already decided to back marriage equality. “I had already made a decision that we were going to take this position before the election and before the convention,” Obama said in his interview with ABC News that aired this morning.
The Colorado legislature failed to pass a bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples before the session ended Wednesday, but a call for a special session by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) could revive the measure.
Seventy people were killed in Syria this morning, in two separate but closely-timed explosions that rocked Damascus, the capital and heart of the country’s government.
The Justice Department plans to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a hard-line anti-immigrant who is being investigated for racial profiling and other civil rights violations. Arpaio was in settlement talks with the Justice Department, but after refusing a court-appointed monitor the talks fell apart. Now, the Justice Department plans to sue.
Thirty percent of Bank of America shareholders voted for a resolution calling for greater disclosure of lobbying operations. The resolution failed, but it was the most popular resolution offered by shareholders at a meeting this week.
A new study finds that Americans living in the Northeast have more economic opportunity to move up the ladder, with Maryland, New York, and New Jersey topping the list as the states with the highest mobility rankings. Nine states in the South, including Texas and Florida, have worse economic mobility rates than the national average.
According to a Rutgers University survey, just half of the college graduates who graduated between 2006 and 2011 are working full time. One-fifth of recent college grads have gone back to school, and the respondents who have begun jobs are making less than their peers who graduated in 2006 and 2007.
And finally: It’s been a BFD week for Joe Biden, who helped make yesterday’s historic announcement possible when he “got out a little bit over his skis” on marriage equality, as Obama said this morning. And last night, the vice president appeared on “Jeopardy!” where he delivered clues about classic American cars.
The Republican Party’s nominee for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat recently compared the fight over tax rates and reform to former president Abraham Lincoln’s concern over slavery, alluding to Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech ahead of the Civil War.
State treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) rehashed a favorite GOP talking point — that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay income taxes — at the town hall in Columbus City, Indiana, comparing those 47 percent to the Confederate states that seceded from the Union in an attempt to protect and expand slavery. Referencing Lincoln’s speech, Mourdock said that as long as nearly half of Americans don’t pay taxes, “we are a house divided” that is presumably on the point to another fight, this time between the rich and the poor:
MOURDOCK: What he meant by that was that slavery was either going to be totally eliminated from the United States or it was no longer just going to be restricted to the Southern states, it was going to go everywhere. I am here to suggest to you that we are in a house divided. You know this past April, when our federal taxes were paid, 47 percent — 47 percent — of all American households paid no income tax. In fact, half of that 47 percent almost, actually got tax money back from the government that they never paid -? because a few years ago we revised the welfare program to make it part of the tax code. When 47 percent are paying no income taxes — they do pay Social Security — but they are not paying income taxes, and 53 percent are carrying the load, we are a house divided.
Mourdock’s ridiculous allusion to a speech referencing the spread of slavery aside, the facts he presented to town hall attendees aren’t telling the whole story. It’s true that half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, but they do pay state income taxes, payroll taxes (which Mourdock referenced), and a host of other taxes. Many of those 47 percent don’t pay income taxes because they don’t have income on which to pay taxes — they are students or seniors without taxable income, or they don’t make enough money to qualify for the bottom tax bracket.
Republicans have opposed tax increases of various kinds to help pay down the deficit, largely because so many are beholden to a radical no-taxes pledge authored by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. Mourdock, who has signed the pledge, seems no different than many Republicans in Congress — he’s willing to ignore the pledge, as long as the only tax increases that pass are on the poorest Americans.
Former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who stared down George Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama and battled J. Edgar Hoover for wiretapping Martin Luther King, Jr., died Tuesday night at the age of 90. Though he led the Department of Justice during what may have been the greatest turning point for justice in the history of the United States, Katzenbach will probably best be remembered for lending his name to Katzenbach v. McClung, the seminal Supreme Court case that upheld the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters after it was challenged on a similar theory to the one attacking the Affordable Care Act today. Turns out, conservatives thought that law was unconstitutional as well.
One of my all-time favorite investing articles talks about how important growth is when buying a stock. The author goes back in time and demonstrates that, by buying into leading growth companies, investors could garner incredible annual returns. A key takeaway is that even when you buy in when these stocks trade at sky-high price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios, they still make a killing — if you've picked … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: Here’s why I think this Cheap Growth Stock can Easily Double
Read The Full Article:
Follow @DailyKosComics on Twitter. Get the latest updated cartoon!
After a three-day preliminary hearing, Orange County Superior Court Judge Walter Schwarm ordered Officer Manuel Ramos and Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli to stand trial in the killing of Kelly Thomas. The almost-impossible-to-watch video of that fatal beating[...]
Read The Full Article:
Unemployment claims stayed below the threshold considered a good sign for the job market for a second week, with the Department of Labor reporting 367,000 initial claims for unemployment last week, a drop of 1,000 from the previous week's revised figure. (Note that these numbers are basically always revised upward.) Claims had been forecast to rise slightly.
The four-week moving average, favored because it flattens volatility, dropped 5,250 to 379,000.
For the week ending April 21, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, including federal emergency extensions, was 6,423,383, a decrease of 174,529 from the previous week. As Meteor Blades reminds us each week, though, "That number will fall sharply between now and September as the government reduces the weeks of benefits in the states hardest hit by joblessness from 99 to 63," so we shouldn't assume it's good news when it falls.
We have one side of good news?that the number of people to have become unemployed in the past week is at a level that signals job growth?the other side of good news will come when people who have been unemployed, in many cases for far too long, find work. One piece of good news on this front is that the ratio of job-seekers to job openings improved in March, as did the level of voluntary quits. Slow improvement is better than none, both for working people and for President Obama's reelection prospects. But of course, slow improvement isn't what we'd really want for either.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteGreek, French and German voters went to the polls this past weekend and rejected pretty much told the European leaders they were very unhappy with the austerity measures that were being forced on them to bail out[...]
Read The Full Article:
Hundreds rallied in South Florida on Tuesday in support of the 'Mardi Gras 10', workers who were fired from Mardi Gras Casinos for labor organizing. About 350 activists marched in heavy rain to the entrance of the casino, where 26 sat and blocked the entrance, leading to their arrests. Almost all of the protesters were released by Wednesday afternoon.
Unite Here!, the hospitality union trying to organize workers at the casino, bused in unionworkers from theFort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airportand other work places where it has members.
Marchers gathered at a park west of the casino but moved inside St. Ann's Episcopal Church when the rain began. Once inside, clergy and community leaders spoke of the less privileged and led in singing of the freedom anthem, "We Shall Overcome."
Among those speaking during the 45-minute rally was Teresa Muse, a slot attendant who was fired in November for her union organizing efforts..
"I need my job," she said. "I have a car note, no health insurance and four herniated discs"
After the speeches, United Here! Handed out signs and the marchers walked along Pembroke Road to the casino parking lot, where 26 of the protesters sat on the ground until they were arrested.
The National Labor Relat;ions Board has filed a formal complaint against the casino:
Following a thorough, four-month investigation, the National Labor Relations Board?s counsel in Miami has filed a formal complaint against the operators of the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale, Florida. The complaint comes after 10 workers who were leaders of a union organizing drive were fired in November 2011.
The complaint asserts, among other things, that management interrogated its employees about their union involvement and their coworkers? union involvement and threatened employees with termination and other retaliations if they were to join the union. Further, the complaint charges that the operators of Mardi Gras Casino created the impression that employees were under surveillance and management implied promised benefits to employees who ?refrained from engaging in union activities.?
As one of the proposed remedies, the Board?s General Counsel is also seeking an Order requiring that the 10 workers fired last November during the beginnings of an organizing drive receive full back pay. Mardi Gras must respond to this complaint on or before May 14, 2012.
"This is a huge victory for me personally, for our organizing at Mardi Gras, and for any worker who is strong enough to stand up for what she believes," said Tashana McKenzie, a slot attendant who is one of those workers whom NLRB Counsel says was illegally fired at the casino. ?This is also a victory for the thousands of our supporters across the country.?
The 10 workers were fired last November shortly after workers at the casino started to organize to join UNITE HERE, a union that represents more than 150,000 gaming and hospitality workers across the country. Workers have rallied community support around the region through a Facebook page, "Bring Back the Mardi Gras 10.?
Casino president Richard Adkins isn't backing down:
"We categorically deny every single charge that's in the complaint from the NLRB," Adkins said.
He also said that he wouldn't talk about the story more, but he said ?my attorneys are handling it.?
The Mardi Gras 10 can be supported on Facebook.
And now you know. . . the rest of the story.Good day![...]
Read The Full Article: