A new report from the National Anti-Violence Project reveals that rates of domestic abuse and violence have increased among couples in the LGBT community and that support and protections for survivors is low. Reports of domestic violence increased 38 percent from last year, including seven deaths. Over 44 percent of survivors were turned away from traditional shelters and over 54 percent who sought court orders for protection from abuse were denied. (HT: David Mixner.)
If Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first child is a girl, she will be queen, thanks to historic changes adopted this week by the 16 nations in the Commonwealth Realm that recognize the Queen of England as monarch. Scrapping a 300-year-old law, the nations unanimously agreed to give women equal preference to succeed the throne for the first time, and also threw out old rules that barred the monarch from marrying a Catholic. Previously, women could only take the throne if there were no male heirs. “It reminds us of the potential in our societies that is yet to be fully unlocked and it encourages us to find ways to allow all girls and women to play their full part,” Queen Elizabeth II said at the opening of a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Perth, Australia, where the reforms were adopted.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), a lawmaker leading efforts to privatize and mine public lands across the West, spoke last week at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. ThinkProgress caught up with Bishop after his speech.
After he told us that national parks are unconstitutional, we asked about Republican efforts to develop the certain national parks for mineral extraction. Bishop initially laughed off the idea, claiming that no one in Congress is looking to drill in National Parks (in fact, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has called for drilling in the Everglades). Besides, he said, national parks aren’t “money makers.”
So, we asked about legislation by Arizona Republicans to open up the area around the Grand Canyon for uranium mining. Bishop said that the proposed mining area is only the “size of the state of New Jersey,” and it would have “no impact” on the environment or tourism:
FANG: Congressman, what do you think about some National Parks that could be “money makers,” like the Grand Canyon, where they could be doing uranium mining and some other types of mineral mining.
BISHOP: You have to realize, the Arizona strip that they’re talking about where they could do mining is the size of the state of New Jersey. So there’s going to be no mining anywhere near the size of the Grand Canyon. So in fact that land was supposed to be set aside [inaudible] for mining. Whether we mine or not will have no impact on the Grand Canyon water or tourism that happens to be there.
As ThinkProgress has detailed, a measure to open up the area around Grand Canyon for uranium mining has been proposed by members of Congress like Bishop, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Mining lobbyists have lined up to push for the effort, but it appears to be losing traction.
Earlier this week, the Bureau of Land Management issued a report that rejects the idea of mining in the Grand Canyon area. A number of previous reports have pointed out that uranium mining in the area could damage drinking water by contaminating natural springs and aquifers.
The negative attention garnered by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) assertion that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and “monstrous lie” to America’s youth apparently wasn’t enough to keep his fellow Republican presidential candidates from making similar claims about other proposed programs. Speaking at an education forum hosted by News Corporation and the College Board in New York last night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich nodded to Perry while calling President Obama’s proposed plan to help college graduates who are buried under student loan debt a “Ponzi scheme” that will “bankrupt the country,” CNN’s Ashley Killough reports:
Gingrich, however, called for the privatization of the student-loan program, arguing the president’s plan would bankrupt the country “by promising to every young person, ‘You won’t have to pay off your student loan as a student.’”
He said the plan appeals to students now, but by the time they will “have to pay off the national debt” as taxpayers when they’re older, Obama will be long gone.
“It’s a Ponzi scheme even by Gov. Perry’s standards,” Gingrich said, also making a quip referring to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who’s repeatedly described Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
Obama’s plan, which would lower monthly repayment costs for millions of college graduates, has been met with resistance from congressional Republicans and presidential candidates alike. Still, Gingrich’s attack is truly bizarre, given that nothing about the plan even remotely resembles a Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, American student loan debt is expected to surpass $1 trillion this year, a record high that amounts to more than Americans owe in collective credit card debt. The issue has been one of the driving forces behind the 99 Percent Movement, as student debt has piled up due to rising tuition costs at both public and private colleges and universities.
Even in the face of those numbers, the opposition shouldn’t be shocking, as Republicans continue support policies that make it harder for low- and middle-income Americans to attend college. The GOP opposed efforts to reform the federal student loan program, demagoguing changes that ended the practice of letting banks act as unnecessary middlemen in the federal loan process as a “Washington takeover” of the student loan industry. And after including massive cuts to the Pell Grant program in their budget, party leaders now argue that such grants actually make it more expensive to go to college, claims that are demonstrably false.
by Noreen Nielsen
Chevron announced their 2011 third-quarter results earlier today, reporting $7.83 billion in profits, more than doubling their third-quarter net income, and bringing its total earnings for 2011 to over $21 billion. Chevron ranks in as the third largest oil and gas contributor in 2011, coming in just behind Exxon Mobile and Koch Industries.
The five Big Oil companies earned over $32 billion in profits in the third-quarter of 2011, bring their overall profits for 2011 to a staggering $101 billion.
Occupy LA still has needs: They are out of most medical supplies, including bandages, both adhesive and elastic; single use antibiotic ointment packs; powdered electrolytes like Emergen-C; hand sanitizer; alcohol wipes; single use saline eye drops;[...]
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President Obama takes more steps to help the economy since Republicans care more about winning in 2012 than making the Country stronger.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the Obama Administration announced it is taking two important steps to help U.S businesses create jobs and strengthen their competitiveness in a global economy. Through two Presidential Memoranda issued today, the Obama Administration will take steps to speed up the transfer of federal research and development from the laboratory to the marketplace, and it will create BusinessUSA, a one-stop, central online platform where small businesses and businesses of all sizes that want to begin or increase exporting can access information about available federal programs without having to waste time navigating the federal bureaucracy. These announcements are part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy because we can’t wait for Congressional Republicans to act.
“With too many families struggling and too many businesses fighting to keep their doors open, we can’t wait for Congress to take action,” President Obama said. “Today, I am directing my Administration to take two important steps to help American businesses create new products, compete in a global economy, and create jobs here at home.”
Accelerating Products from the Science Lab to the Marketplace
Breakthroughs in science and engineering create foundations for new industries, new companies, and new jobs. With world-class universities and federal laboratories, the United States has long led the world in this innovative process. As other countries begin to challenge American leadership in innovation, America must expand its ability to transfer science and engineering breakthroughs from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. Today’s Presidential Memorandum directs all federal agencies with research facilities to accelerate this timeline in three key ways:
· It directs agencies to streamline and accelerate the process for private-public research partnerships, small business research and development grants, and university-startup collaborations. This will result in grants to startups being made 50% faster.
· It gives agencies more flexibility to partner with industry, encouraging them to create new partnerships with local communities, support the growth of regional innovation clusters, and share laboratory facilities with local businesses, among others.
· It will institute more accountability by directing agencies to develop a five-year plan with concrete goals and metrics to measure progress, including keeping track of how many patents each lab is generating.
Accelerating this timeline will help startups and small businesses around the country create new technologies, create new jobs and grow their companies while making more efficient use of the approximately $147 billion a year that the federal government invests in research and development. Over the years, federal agencies have supported a number of startups that have gone on to define an industry. Each one of these companies, for example, received a federal research grant:
· Qualcomm, a global American telecommunication corporation that designs and manufactures wireless communications equipment.
· Symantec, a global software giant -- now the largest maker of security software for computers.
· The iRobot Corporation, which designs robots such as the Roomba, for home vacuuming, and the PackBot, for the US military.
Creating a Streamlined, Virtual One-Stop Shop to Help Businesses Grow and Hire
Today, the Obama Administration is also following through on President Obama’s commitment to launch a centralized, one-stop online platform to make it easier than ever for businesses small and large to access services to help them grow and hire. Today’s Presidential Memorandum directs the Administration to create within 90 days BusinessUSA, a one-stop shop for information regarding federal programs and services relevant to small businesses and businesses of all sizes that want to begin or increase exporting.
BusinessUSA will implement a “No Wrong Door” policy for small businesses and exporters by using technology to quickly connect businesses to the services and information relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency’s website, call center, or office they go to for help. And the more federal agencies continue to add content to BusinessUSA to encompass the full range of business programs and services, the more we will be able to reduce the confusing array of websites that exist today. To ensure that it is oriented towards the needs of the customer, BusinessUSA will be designed, tested, and built with the active feedback of U.S. businesses and relevant online communities and, to the extent possible, will integrate related state and local government services, as well as those of private sector partners.To strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global economy, we need to equip businesses with the tools and information necessary to support innovation and job growth in the 21st century. Through BusinessUSA, small businesses and businesses who want to grow their exports will be able to find and access relevant programs, information, and other services from across the government rather than having to waste time navigating through the federal bureaucracy – thereby further streamlining and coordinating federal programs to reduce costs and provide customer-oriented service. These changes were called for by the President’s Jobs Council, the President’s Export Council and small and medium sized businesses across the country as part of broad outreach by the Government Reorganization Initiative.
Look what Matt Yglesias found in his inbox.
Yes, that's a message from Rep. Paul Ryan in an RNC fundraising letter "aimed at the base." In case you can't read it:
"America is at a tipping point. 14 million Americans are unemployed and 9.3 million are underemployed. Our debt has grown over $4 trillion in less than three years and will be above $16 trillion before the end of 2012. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams and no one in Washington seems to care."
As Steve Benen says: "You?ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me."
Ryan is the one swinging the machete at the safety net precisely because he doesn't care. Put it this way: there's only one party in Washington trying to slash spending on unemployment aid, student loans, food stamps, and job training, and I'll give you a hint, it's not the Democrats.
You know it, I know it. Anybody who is really paying attention and isn't a Villager knows it. We can read this and know it's an absolutely brazen attempt by the Republicans to answer to income inequality, to high unemployment, to economic insecurity and try to make a buck off of the national zeitgeist.
It will probably work. Ryan and the rest of the Republicans are masters at twisting the idea that any call for tax increases by Democrats, even just .05 percent on the people making at least $1 million is a tax that will trickle down pain. And they'll be able to convince their diehard base, and the Very Serious People in the Village, that they've got all the answers to fixing the income inequality and economic pain. And their base and the Very Serious People will lap it up, and truly believe that block grants and vouchers and bootstraps and all the Republican fetishes are good things, because they're the people that believe their own lives will be improved if Jamie Dimon is allowed to let his unregulated and untaxed freak flag fly.
The good news, as Benen says, is that Republicans now think that appeals to save the safety net are going to work with Republican donors, and that means "it?s probably safe to say the Occupy movement has already changed the national conversation in rather fundamental ways." Let's hope that Super Congress Democrats and Harry Reid catch up quickly.
Mitt Romney explained his approach to the foreclosure crisis on October 17, 2011 in Las Vegas
Mitt Romney, who was savaged earlier in the year by The Wall Street Journal's editorial page for being an unprincipled technocrat ("compromised and not credible" in their words), finally gets high words of praise from Paul Gigot's crew:
Romney's Finest Hour: He speaks the truth about housing and foreclosures.
And what was the "truth" of which Romney spoke? In his own words:
As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things that you could do to encourage housing?
One is, don?t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.
The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.
It's not just that Romney wants to let the housing crisis "run its course and hit the bottom," it's that he wants it to do that so that investors can snap up cheap homes and rent them back to the people who were just evicted in the foreclosure process.
According to The Wall Street Journal, that represents Mitt Romney's "finest hour." To everybody else, it represents one of the most cruel and heartless housing policies imaginable.
The Daily Show with Jon StewartGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook Absolutely. Rick Perry’s got nothing to gain by showing up at yet another debate to prove he’s unimpressive.[...]
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