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Lou Dobbs continues to prove that his move from CNN to Fox Business Channel was not good for him or for anyone still watching him if they would like to be presented with some semblance of the truth instead of perpetual fearmongering. In the wake of the Aurora massacre, one of the topics on this Friday's show was gun control, whether it be the possibility of new gun control laws being passed in America, or one of the right's favorite conspiracy theories, which is that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is going to take away everyone's guns.
And who better to bring in to weigh in on the topic, than discredited gun "researcher" John Lott. Media Matters has a long list of posts on Lott which you can read here. And Digby wrote about this nut back in 2006 here: Resurrection.
As Dobbs reported on the show, the U.N. failed to meet the deadline which was this Friday due to 51 Senators refusing to vote for it: Global arms treaty hits resistance as deadline ticks down:
Negotiators at the United Nations worked to complete a treaty to regulate the global arms trade by a Friday night deadline but faced resistance from some nations, including Iran, Syria and North Korea, and a request for more time from the United States.
The treaty aims to halt the cross-border flow of weapons and ammunition that has fueled violent conflicts around the world.
But some countries made clear their unhappiness with the restrictions in the treaty, which requires approval from all 193 United Nations members. And the Obama administration said it needed to study the text, which has gone through a series of revisions in a four-week negotiating process.
Complicating the politics of the negotiation, 51 U.S. senators have joined gun rights advocates in opposing the treaty, which they fear would infringe 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms.
The senators, in letters to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, expressed "grave concern" that the treaty could affect Americans? ability to buy arms. Arms-control advocates contend that the worry is groundless. [...]
[Updated 5:24 p.m. Friday July 27: U.N. members ultimately failed to reach agreement by the Friday deadline. The conference chairman, Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, said that despite the stalemate,?we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012,? the Associated Press reported.]
Think Progress has more debunking their U.N. conspiracy theory here: The Right-Wing?s Favorite New Conspiracy: The U.N. Is After Your Guns:
Call it the conspiracy theory that won?t die. The U.N. has been working for years to produce a final text of the Arms Trade Treaty, an agreement to regulate the global arms trade (right now, international banana and bottled water sales are more restricted than weapons sales). The negotiations have just restarted and, with them, a massive round of panic on the right about the U.N.?s nefarious plan to undermine the Second Amendment. The NRA frets that ?global gun banners have markedly stepped up their attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.? Roughly 130 Congresspeople speculated that ?the ATT is likely to pose significant threats to?our constitutional rights.? The Washington Times led an editorial with the screaming headline ?The U.N. is coming for your guns.? There?s just one problem with this narrative: it?s totally made up:
- The Obama Administration required language in the initial 2009 General Assembly resolution acknowledging ?national constitutional protections on private ownership, exclusively within their territory.?
- The State Department rules out provisions restricting constitutional rights and sovereign control of domestic weapons regulation in its ATT ?Red Lines.?
- Since the Supreme Court has held that individual gun ownership is constitutionally protected, and international law cannot override the Constitution, the U.N. could not take American guns even if the Administration and Senate wanted it to.
- As Naval Postgraduate School arms expert Diana Wueger points out, the ATT isn?t even intended to regulate domestic arms: ?The Arms Trade Treaty will not regulate domestic sales of firearms. Its focus is instead on the control of the legal, international trade in conventional weapons.?
- Conspirators seize on a recently leaked U.N. paper?s suggestion that ?arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would?minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.? Even setting aside the ambiguity of the line in question, the paper (inaccurately portrayed as part of a press kit) is playing no role in the negotiations over the text of the ATT. ThinkProgress confirmed this with U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs Information Officer Ewan Buchanan, who said ?The negotiation is being done by the member states of the U.N., not by the Secretariat. It was an information paper that does not form any part of the negotiation process and the member states of the U.N. don?t have it.?
Dobbs and Lott were shamelessly pushing the same points in the clip above and claiming President Obama and Hillary Clinton want to do an end around on the 2nd Amendment. As I said, Dobbs was terrible when he was still on CNN. He's done nothing but go downhill since with amping up the fearmongering, racism and hatred for President Obama and with the sheer amount of lies he's willing to tell. There was a time, years ago, I used to have an iota of respect for this man. Those days are long... long gone. He's an utter, angry, cynical, race-baiting, lying disgrace who really has let his hatred get the better of him. I'm sure the NRA and the gun lobby are quite proud of Dobbs' propaganda he ran for them this Friday evening. Bravo Lou.
While the world watches the Games in London, Romney is busy #shambling over to his next destination. At this rate, he just might wish he could forget Poland. The rest of us, meanwhile, are wondering if we can ever get some coverage that's not tape-delayed.
Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com, and his wife, MacKenzie, have agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State, instantly becoming among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country.It's about time we won one of these fights at the ballot box and ended that singular talking point for all time. While progressives might have a lot of disagreements with Bezos over other issues, especially sales taxes, this is a welcome development.
With the gift, the couple have doubled the money available to the proponents of Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state by affirming a law that passed the Legislature this year. Courts or lawmakers have declared gay marriage legal in six other states, but backers of such measures have never succeeded at the ballot box.
advocacy groups such as the conservative Crossroads GPS still have many ways of evading disclosure, often simply by changing the tenor or language of their advertising, experts said. The rules also only apply to ads that run close to an election.Always another loophole.
Major advocacy groups had already stopped running issue ads close to primary elections this summer in anticipation of the FEC?s guidance. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said it will simply alter the language of its ads to avoid reporting contributors to the FEC.
On Thursday morning, hundreds of unionized hotel workers gathered outside of Chicago's Park Hyatt. After nearly two years of negotiations, they demanded a new contract, protested working conditions and decried the company's alleged plans to outsource jobs. The steamy weather did not keep workers away -- and neither did heat lamps the hotel allegedly turned on during the demonstration.Hyatt hurts.
Gabriel Carrasquillo, a server at the Hyatt hotel's restaurant NoMI, told HuffPost Chicago that he arrived at 800 N. Michigan Ave. around 5:15 a.m. to start the picket line. Around 7 a.m., however, things really began to heat up. That is when Unite Here Local 1 members realized the hotel had turned on their 10 heat lamps, which are installed beneath the building's awning to keep guests warm during the cold winter months. According to the National Weather Service, the heat index in Chicago was 109.4 degrees by the early afternoon.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Wednesday couldn?t remember when asked by a reporter what forms of identification would be accepted under the voter ID law he signed earlier this year.Shocking, but Corbett doesn't even know the details about the legislation he signed that could prevent people in those same nursing homes from voting. It's a sad statement about our country and our media when Republicans don't even have to pretend that their objectives are anything besides partisan gain.
Corbett was asked about a new report showing that 43 percent of Philadelphia voters lack a valid form of identification issued by the state.
?We?ve been working with the nursing homes to get people new ID. It can be military ID. There?s two or three other forms right now off the top of my head I don?t have it here in front of me,? Corbett said.
Despite American investigations into the LIBOR scandal, British officials aren't sure what to do:
The SFO had declined to get involved in the investigation for more than a year, despite briefings with the U.K. Financial Services Authority and a compilation of findings from U.S. enforcement agents. The U.S. evidence was provided late last year, according to a person familiar with the case who wasn?t authorized to discuss it.There's a culture that's more lax on financial crime than we are? Scary thought.
?It?s partly the difference in culture,? said Andrew Haynes, a law professor at the University of Wolverhampton in England. ?In America, economic crime is something that?s regarded as desperately serious. In this country it is regarded as a problem, but there?s sometimes a slothful response.?
Liberals look at conservatives claiming that Obama is a socialist or that he doesn't really love America and think, "Those people are nuts." But there is practically consensus in the GOP that these things are true. If a Republican candidate came out today and said, "Barack Obama is a good person who loves his country, but I just think he's wrong about policy," that candidate would probably get kicked out of the party.
This antipathy has multiple sources interacting together, so it's overly simplistic to say that it's just because of Obama's race, or it's just because of heightened partisanship. But it's getting harder and harder to claim that there's ever been a Democrat Republicans hated more.
In the deposition, released to the press yesterday, Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. ?I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,? he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how ?minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party,? according to the AP.
The comments, if true (he is facing felony corruption charges and has an interest in scorning his party), would confirm what critics have long suspected. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is currently facing inquiries from the Justice Department and pressure from civil rights groups over his purging of voter rolls in the state, an effort that critics say has disproportionately targeted minorities and other Democratic voters.
A predominately white church in Mississippi barred an African American couple from marrying and threatened to vote out their pastor if he officiated the wedding on the premises. Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson had “booked the church and distributed invitations” for their July 21st wedding, only to discover that a small minority opposed their union at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. “This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that,” said Dr. Stan Weatherford, the pastor, who performed the ceremony at a nearby church. (HT: Pam’s House Blend)
enlargeCredit: bigeducationape.blogspot.comI love the smell of AstroTurf in the morning, don't you? Michelle Rhee appears to be taking a page out of the books of those lovely right-wing organizations like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, who routinely game blog comments and social media to weight their message and make it look like there's more support for their crazy thoughts than there actually is.
Michelle Rhee's group in Florida is emailing around a bunch of right wing links about the parent trigger and how those mean unions get in the way of "real education", while bribing their list members with gift cards for pro-StudentsFirst propaganda posted on blogs.
Also, starting right now, there will be a monthly contest for the best rapid response. The more comments you leave on blog posts, the more times you can enter! Post a polite and persuasive pro-reform comment and email me the link so I can check it out.
That's all you have to do!
At the end of the month (August 26th at midnight) I will announce the winner. Not only will that winner get a gift card to the restaurant or store of choice, but he or she will also be promoting the cause of real and transformative change in public schools! What could be better?
Awesome! Just drop your propaganda and a gift card is in your future. Maybe.
Meanwhile, about those charter schools Rhee loves so very much "for the students" have a bit of a problem. In Ohio, a virtual charter school has been put on probation after going into the hole to the tune of $800,000 while the operator of said virtual charter school hired the wife, brother and son of the superintendent in the district where it was chartered. Ohio's charter schools owe millions in unpaid auditor fees, escaping accountability for their use of public funds. At least, for now.
In Philadelphia, a charter school operator is accused of defrauding Philadephia schools out of over $6.5 million.
But that doesn't stop Joel Klein - Rhee and Rupert's partner in profitization -- from trumpeting how awesome New York's charter schools are. As if that wasn't loathsome enough, Klein actually argues that poverty isn't any kind of limiting factor as long as those kids get into the right charter school.
Education isn't a series of test scores. After all, Klein is high-fiving charters over test scores that include ridiculous questions like the one about the pineapple and the hare. Honestly, if those charter schools actually performed on questions like that, it's likely the kids aren't learning anything at all!
But hey, say nice things and you'll get a gift card. Thanks, Michelle!
A federal court has temporarily blocked the Obama Administration's contraceptive mandate for one Colorado air conditioning company, in the first of what promises to be several legal fights over the regulation, ultimately winding up at the Supreme[...]
Read The Full Article:
Top Mitt Romney surrogate and potential vice presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty came to Chick-fil-A’s defense during a Romney campaign event in Cary, North Carolina on Saturday, bragging to a small group of supporters that he ate lunch at the fast-food franchise, which refuses to offer any employment protections to LGBT employees and has donated millions of dollars to ex-gay ministries.
Activists and lawmakers from across the country are protesting the company after its president condemned homosexuality in a recent radio interview. Conservatives have responded to the backlash by holding ?Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day? in support of the company. From the event:
At an ice rink in Cary, NC Tim Pawlenty said he ate Chick-Fil-A for lunch “chicken strips and waffle fries.”
— Shushannah Walshe (@shushwalshe) July 28, 2012
TPaw, at NC event for Romney, says he had lunch at Chick-Fil-A today. “It’s chilling!” he says of cities objecting to biz over marriage
— Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews) July 28, 2012
Pawlenty has a complicated history on gay rights. In 1993, he Pawlenty voted to extend protection to gays and lesbians under the state Human Rights Act, effectively banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation as well as race, religion, ethnicity and physical or mental disability, but later seemed to regret his vote. In July of 2011, Pawlenty claimed that the science is still ?in dispute? over whether people are born gay.
Romney has previously said that he supports equal rights in employment, although he has publicly backed away from a federal law that would prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Elvia BahenaHyatt hotels continues to ask us to have a strong belief in coincidence. As in, the coincidence that so many of the workers who speak out against Hyatt's bad labor practices coincidentally have work records that coincidentally lead to them getting fired right after speaking out. I mean, it's pretty amazing that Lorena and Martha Reyes worked at the Santa Clara Hyatt for years and years?24 years in Lorena's case?and it was just a couple weeks after they objected to having their heads photoshopped onto bikini-clad bodies that they were coincidentally fired for taking long breaks?long breaks they hadn't been disciplined for prior to the bikini picture incident. Or Morena Hernandez, who was coincidentally suspended by the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, a hotel she'd worked at for 15 years, for improper room cleaning procedures shortly (but coincidentally!) after she leafleted outside the hotel supporting the Reyes sisters.
This week, Elvia Bahena, who worked at the Indianapolis Hyatt through a contractor, was fired for being a terrible, terrible worker, something that coincidentally Hyatt and the contractor decided to take action on right after she testified in front of the city council about blacklisting in the hotel industry. Actually, the contractor denies that Bahena has been fired. It's just that she's gone from working full-time at the Hyatt for the past six months to being "currently unassigned." In other words, they stopped giving her work, because of problems that were bad enough to be documented, supposedly, but for which Bahena says she had never been disciplined, and which it seems just coincidentally came to a head right after her city council testimony.
Hyatt workers aren't alone, of course. It's a common feature of any attempt by workers to organize for better wages and working conditions that the most vocal activists get fired. Walmart and Walmart contractors do it. The 87 labor law violations found (so far) at Station Casinos during the union drive there include firings. Not long before truck drivers at Toll Group had a union vote, a union supporter was fired for taking an emergency bathroom break. Farm workers who resist sexual demands from their supervisors are often fired, as are their friends and family who speak up for them.
But somehow we're always supposed to believe it's a coincidence, that the fired worker had been screwing up right and left, completely unrelated to being an activist. Yeah, right.
(Continue reading below the fold for safety violations, sick leave, recycle drivers, and more.)
Zach at Blogging Blue, quoting John Nichols: If Kelda Roys' campaign were a vehicle after an accident, it would be considered ?totaled? (AUDIO).
When Romney ran for President in 2008, he based his claim on what were generally considered to be three success stories: founder of Bain Capital; rescuing the Salt Lake City Olympics; and his achievements as Governor of Massachusetts.This time around, Romney has won the nomination by repudiating 'Romneycare', the main achievement of his only time in elected office. This was always going to...
Friday DCCC chairman, Steve Israel, fresh from having joined the GOP in a vote against nuclear safety regulations, announced a "Grassroots Day of Action" for today, as though he has the slightest concept of what grassroots politics is even about.
Israel-- who is reeling from the Beltway buzz which says his obsession with helping conservatives take over the caucus and his jihad against progressives will now cost the Democrats any chance they had to win back the House-- picked 15 districts to orchestrate a campaign against GOP (/Blue Dog) efforts to keep the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy in place at the expense to ordinary working families. And Israel sounds fine when he explains it:
?With 100 days until Election Day, Democrats are mobilizing voters nationwide to unmask House Republicans? latest plan to protect millionaires over the middle class,? DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said. ?Volunteers are phone banking and going door-to-door to ensure that voters across the country know that Republicans are choosing top-down economics that give tax breaks to millionaires instead of strengthening the middle class. This election is about whose priorities are better for the middle class and we?ll take that message neighbor-to-neighbor and house-to-house.?
IL-13- David Gill, progressive
FL-9- Alan Grayson, progressive
NC-10- Patsy Keever, progressive
VA-7- Wayne Powell, progressive
CA-25- Lee Rogers, progressive
FL-7- Nick Ruiz, progressive
NH-1- Carol Shea-Porter, progressive
NY-23- Nate Shinagawa, progressive
PA-16- Aryanna Strader, progressive
WV-1- Sue Thorn, progressive
WI-1- Rob Zerban, progressive
CA-39- Jay Chen, progressive
TX-16- Beto O'Rourke, progressive
OH-15- Pat Lang, progressive
MI-11- Syed Taj, progressive
MI-3- Trevor Thomas, progressive
A Democratic majority, but a Republican speaker?
If Democrats were to win the House, it would probably only be by a seat or two, giving Democrats perhaps a bare majority: 218-217. Such a victory would probably be delivered, in part, by victories by Democratic incumbents in conservative districts, such as Reps. Hochul, Mark Critz (D-PA) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), among others. Would all of them vote for a Democrat for Speaker of the House, particularly if that Democrat was the liberal Nancy Pelosi?
Critz voted for Pelosi for speaker in 2011, but Matheson, for instance, voted for conservative Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), who is retiring. So did other endangered Democrats, such as Reps. Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre (NC). If they survive races where they most likely distanced themselves from President Obama and the national Democratic Party, those Democrats would face immense pressure to elect a more moderate Democrat as speaker, to vote for a Republican or even to switch parties.
There is some historical precedent here: House Speaker James Beauchamp ?Champ? Clark (D-MO) managed to keep his job after the 1916 elections, despite Democrats failing to win a House majority that year (a handful of third party representatives allowed Clark to keep the speakership).
On the flipside, what if Democrats got to 216 or 217 seats? It seems likelier that the Republican caucus would hold together on a leadership vote, but depending on who was elected from what district, that too could be a rather dramatic vote.