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Archive for July 9th, 2014

Has the U.S. Reached Peak Palin?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Has the U.S. Reached Peak Palin?
Fifty four percent of Americans say they’ve heard enough from Sarah Palin and would prefer she speak up less, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll. Palin “will do or say just about anything to get attention and feed bloody red meat to what’s left of her following,” writes Washington Post blogger Ed Kilgore. Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor writes, “[S]he’s gone from a major party presidential ticket to a paid Fox News pundit to the star of a cable TV hunting show. That’s not exactly an upward career trend.”


American Apparel to get financing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

American Apparel to get financing
NEW YORK (AP) — American Apparel Inc. has reached a preliminary deal with investment firm Standard General to receive $25 million in financing to bolster the clothing chain’s finances, according to a person close to the negotiations.

APNewsBreak: Different attackers in Benghazi?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly revealed testimony from top military commanders involved in the U.S. response to the Benghazi attacks suggests that the perpetrators of a second, dawn attack on a CIA complex probably were different from those who penetrated the U.S. diplomatic mission the evening before and set it ablaze, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and another American.

Lifetime orders ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ pilot
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Lifetime TV channel says it has ordered a drama pilot based on the best-selling works of the author of “The Clan of the Cave Bear.”


Obama: Congress “can’t get their act together” on immigration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama: Congress “can’t get their act together” on immigration
President Obama says despite an “unprecedented” coalition of support behind immigration reform, Republicans in Congress are blocking progress on that issue


REPORT: Women Represent One-Third Of Cable News Economic Guests

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

REPORT: Women Represent One-Third Of Cable News Economic Guests

In the second quarter of 2014, women comprised just over one-third of weekday cable news guests invited to discuss issues relating to the American economy. The disparity between men and women still marks an improvement over previously measured trends in gender diversity among cable news outlets.

Women Make Up Just Over One-Third Of Guests Invited To Discuss Economy

34 Percent Of Guests In Economic Coverage Are Women. From April 1 through June 30, women accounted for just over 34 percent of guest appearances in segments featuring prominent discussion of economic issues during evening programming on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. The gender disparity among economic guests marks a slight improvement over previously recorded trends, collected from April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014.

Cable News Guests Lack Gender Diversity

Gender Disparity In Economic Segments Most Apparent At Fox News. Fox News registered the worst gender disparity during segments on the economy, with women representing just 32 percent of featured guests. CNN and MSNBC outperformed Fox News in terms of the proportion of women featured as guests while also outperforming the combined average of 34 percent female guests across all three networks. 

 Fox Lagging Behind Competition In Gender Diversity

Representation Of Female Economists Significantly Improved

Proportion Of Female Economists Nearly Doubled From Previous Ratio. Female economists accounted for nearly 17 percent of total economist appearances in the second quarter of 2014. Despite leaving considerable room for improvement, this marks a substantial development over previously recorded trends in which female economists accounted for just 9.6 percent of economists featured during related segments.  

Women Make Up Less Than One-Fifth Of Featured Economists

Methodology

Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of evening (defined as 5 p.m. through 11 p.m.) programs on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC from April 1 through June 30. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any of the following keywords: econom!, jobs, growth, debt, and deficit. When transcripts were incomplete, we reviewed video.

The following programs were included in the data: Crossfire, The Situation Room, Erin Burnett OutFront, Anderson Cooper 360Piers Morgan Live, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, The Kelly File, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, The Ed Show, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

Media Matters only included segments that had substantial discussion of policy implications on the macroeconomy.

We defined an economist as someone who either holds an advanced degree in economics, has worked in the economics profession, or has served as an economics professor at the college or university level. In cases where it was unclear whether or not the guest held an advanced degree, they were classified in the next most descriptive cohort. 

Previous data on the annual ratio of male and female guests is available here: April 2014


Why America Is in Jeopardy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Why America Is in Jeopardy
Dennis Prager, RealClearPolitics
On page 563 of his latest biography, “John Quincy Adams: American Visionary,” author Fred Kaplan (biographer of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Gore Vidal among others) cites this insight of the sixth president: “Christianity had, all in all, he believed, been a civilizing force, ‘checking and controlling the anti-social passions of man.'” That insight is pretty much all an American needs to know in order to understand why the American Founders considered religion — specifically ethical monotheism rooted in the Hebrew Bible — indispensable to the American experiment, and…

Important Slow News
John Stossel, RealClearPolitics
Wars, plane crashes, mass murder — it’s easy to report news that happens suddenly. Reporters do a good job covering that. But we do a bad job telling you about what’s really changing in the world, because we miss the stories that happen slowly. These are usually the more important stories. Recently, President Barack Obama was mocked for saying: “The world is less violent than it has ever been. It is healthier than it has ever been. It is more tolerant than it has ever been. It is better fed than it’s ever been. It is more educated than it’s ever been.” Although these comments received…

Where Does the Buck Stop?
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Some elections are contests between voters who are happy and voters who are not. This fall’s elections are of a different sort: Since almost all the voters are unhappy with politics, the battle will be over which party gets the blame for dysfunction, inaction and disillusionment. No one understands this better than Harry Reid. The Senate majority leader gets plenty frustrated when people claim that both parties are equally responsible for the mess in Congress. The evidence, he insists, is that the Republicans are gumming things up for their own political purposes. “It irritates…


VIDEO: Gove criticises ‘damaging’ strike

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: Gove criticises ‘damaging’ strike
Michael Gove criticises what he calls “an ideologically motivated minority” of NUT members for a planned walkout by teachers on Thursday.

Juncker will respect Scottish result
The president-designate of the EU Commission is reported to have told a group of MEPs he will respect the result of Scotland’s referendum.


Muslim Rep. Ellison hits feds over ‘profiling’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Muslim Rep. Ellison hits feds over ‘profiling’
A report on Wednesday said the NSA and FBI had tracked five American Muslims.


Longyearbyen Journal: A Harsh Climate Calls for Banishment of the Needy

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Longyearbyen Journal: A Harsh Climate Calls for Banishment of the Needy
While the rest of Norway has generous welfare programs, in the frigid territory of Svalbard unemployment and homelessness are illegal, which officials say reduces crime.



Iraqi Premier Blames Kurds for Advances by Militants
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki appeared to be attacking the Kurdish leadership for its insistence on retaining the ground Kurds took in northern Iraq after the fall of Mosul to Sunni militants.



Op-Ed Contributor: A Palestinian Mother’s Fear in East Jerusalem
In my neighborhood, our children are not safe.



Budget Is Key Test for India’s New Government
The clear mandate given to the government offers both domestic and foreign investors reason to hope for tough calls to rescue the floundering economy.



Brazilians Grumble and Take Stock After Crushing World Cup Loss
While the hope was to blot out the bad memory of the last time the country hosted the World Cup, the outcome was if anything worse. But in a more mature Brazil, people are asking whether it will matter as much.




GOP’s Plan To Solve Migrant Child Crisis Sounds A Lot Like The Immigration Reform Bill It Just Blocked

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

GOP’s Plan To Solve Migrant Child Crisis Sounds A Lot Like The Immigration Reform Bill It Just Blocked

After refusing to debate a comprehensive reform measure that would boost border security by more than $30 billion dollars, Republicans are dismissing Obama’s supplemental request as inadequate.

The post GOP’s Plan To Solve Migrant Child Crisis Sounds A Lot Like The Immigration Reform Bill It Just Blocked appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Border Prosecutions

CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay

Congressional Republicans appear to be rejecting President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to address the surge of children crossing the border from Central America and are calling on Obama to send the National Guard to the border and amend a 2008 law to allow for “an expedited return of the children back to their country of origin.”

Ironically, the party is also chiding the administration for failing to develop a plan to secure the border after opposing a proposal that would do just that.

“This is a supplemental that treats symptoms, doesn’t address the fact that people are breaking the laws and our border is not secure,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said during an appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Wednesday morning. “This is why we think the president needs to show us what is his plan to secure the border to prevents this from happening in the future.”

But Obama already has a plan in front of Congress that addresses many — though not all — of the GOP’s requests and he’s been urging Republicans to take it up for over a year.

That proposal would provide funding for the National Guard to be deployed to the southern border, fund tens of thousands of additional border patrol agents, require the construction of more fencing and the deployment of unmanned surveillance aircraft along the southern border. The measure also guarantees 100 percent “persistent surveillance” at the border with the goal of stopping at least 90 percent of illegal border crossings and would create a board dedicated to monitoring the progress of border security.

It’s called the S.744, the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, and it passed the upper chamber bipartisan support almost a year ago. Since then, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has refused to bring the bill up for a vote and is unlikely to advance any immigration reform measure before the end of the year.

Last month, Obama sought to link the House’s inaction to the current crisis of unaccompanied minors streaming into the United States, arguing that the lack of comprehensive reform “meant fewer resources to strengthen our borders.” “We now have an actual humanitarian crisis on the border that only underscores the need to drop the politics and fix our immigration system once and for all,” he added, chiding Republicans who “are using the situation with unaccompanied children as their newest excuse to do nothing.”

Obama’s latest supplemental request for emergency funds provides funding for additional detention facilities, judges to expedite hearings for unaccompanied minors, media campaigns in Mexico and Central America discouraging crossing the border, and legal representation for children in immigration proceedings.

Republicans in the House say that the funding ask will be subject to the regular appropriations process, but after refusing to debate a comprehensive reform measure that would boost border security by more than $30 billion dollars, are dismissing the request as an “inadequate” “blank check.”

The post GOP’s Plan To Solve Migrant Child Crisis Sounds A Lot Like The Immigration Reform Bill It Just Blocked appeared first on ThinkProgress.

‘Shame, Disgrace, Humiliation’: The Tragic Ending To Brazil’s World Cup Dreams

Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal loss was “the greatest embarrassment” in its soccer history, maybe the most mathematically improbable result the sport has ever seen. Even for non-Brazilians, it had a tragic feel.

The post ‘Shame, Disgrace, Humiliation’: The Tragic Ending To Brazil’s World Cup Dreams appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Oscar

CREDIT: AP

Vergonha, Vexame, Humilhação.

Shame, disgrace, humiliation.

Those were the words that welcomed the Brazilian people on the front page of O Globo, one of the nation’s prominent newspapers, the morning after their national team — the pride of the entire country — faced the ruination of their World Cup dreams. Hours before, the final whistle had finally blown in the semifinal match, the scoreboard blaring a devastating result: Germany 7, Brazil 1.

It was, as another newspaper put it, “the greatest embarrassment in the history” of Brazilian soccer. Across the country, covers and headlines told a similar story.

Seven goals happens. But seven goals doesn’t happen to Brazil, especially not in Brazil, where the Seleção hadn’t lost a competitive soccer match in some 14,000 days. But on this day, seven goals happened, and they happened in such a flurry — first in the 11th minute, then the 23rd, 24th, 26th, and 29th — that well before the sixth and seventh went in later it was already surreal and disorienting. This was the overwhelming favorite to win the World Cup, playing on its own soil, trudging off the field not just in defeat but in spectacular failure.

You can try to put this in perspective, but you will fail, because it is impossible in our context. This is not failure on the level of the Broncos capitulating to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, or like any other sporting failure American fans can rattle off. This is deeper than that. There is nothing in the sporting world like Brazilian football, no sport that so defines, enthralls, and means so much to a population so vast. And there was nothing to the Brazilians as meaningful as this World Cup, their World Cup, in their backyard, in their 60-year-old dreams.

This was almost mythological, from the foreboding injury to Neymar to the suspension of captain Thiago Silva. The result, by some estimates, is the most mathematically improbable finish in the history of the sport. By Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Bob Ley was describing Brazil as a country in need of a hug, its people walking the streets amid a “national wake.”

The waiting for this World Cup began in 1950, the last time Brazil hosted, after the Seleção inexplicably lost 2-1 to Uruguay in a final so scarring to Brazilians that it still has a name: the Maracanazo. Brazil has won five World Cups since then, but the nightmare at the Maracana, such abject failure in their own backyard, has haunted the nation for six decades. It was so bad that Barbosa, the goalkeeper on that team, once mused that while the maximum sentence for any crime in Brazil is 30 years, he served five decades in his own personal prison of shame. Brazil won its chance to finally win a Cup on its home soil in 2007, when FIFA announced that it would return the tournament to South America this year. The chance to vanquish the memories of the Maracanazo added to the excitement.

So Brazil went to work, not just building its national team for this exact moment but building its World Cup to showcase that team and this sport in spectacular fashion too. The World Cup could show the world that Brazil, at the time one of the globe’s fastest-growing economies, had arrived, and nothing could showcase that idea better than the yellow-clad Seleção, which had arrived as a preeminent force decades ago, dominating their opponents on the pitch not in Europe or Africa or another far-flung place but right there at home.

The confidence was palpable. Brazil were overwhelming favorites to win the tournament. Not a single data-produced prediction saw anyone else near them. The last time we had seen Brazil in an international competition — the 2013 Confederations Cup — they so thoroughly dominated the defending World Cup champion Spain that it seemed they, not anyone else, could hang seven goals on whomever they so pleased. This was their game, their World Cup, and they were about to blow the world’s doors off.

The confidence stretched to the government, where amid outcry over the exorbitant cost of the event and many of its other effects — families relocated, favelas raided, protesters pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed — President Dilma Rousseff and her top ministers insisted that once the World Cup began the protests would stop. It would consume us all and Brazilians too, reminding them that this — the Cup to end all Cups — was the reason for all of the strife. Somehow, Dilma and others insisted, it would be worth it.

For awhile it looked like it might be. It started inauspiciously enough, with the opening match boos for Rousseff and the early-minutes own goal off the foot of Marcelo, but Brazil recovered to win and this World Cup found its legs too, turning itself into one of the most thrilling tournaments ever held. The soccer was beautiful, there was an abundance of goals and shocking results. Even if the protests continued every now and then and the Seleção never looked its best, it didn’t matter. Copacabana Beach was full, the national team was alive, and so too was the hope that they would put it together in time to win it all.

Then Germany happened. For Brazil and the world this will remain the defining moment of the World Cup, the match that everyone will remember and talk about for years to come. The players will return to their clubs and earn millions, they might even win a World Cup four years from now. They will not languish as Barbosa did before them. The third-place match might even hold some significance, especially if it is against hated rivals Argentina. But this team may never fully outlive what happened Tuesday in Belo Horizonte.

Perhaps it is not another Maracanazo — multiple reports have said that the severity of the defeat left Brazilians almost too shell-shocked to be totally distraught (the difference between 1950 and now, one fan told an ESPN reporter, is that “this team sucks“) — but it seems hard to believe that Brazil itself will get over this anytime soon. For now, the focus will remain on what the team didn’t do, on who it didn’t bring, on what manager Luiz Felipe Scolari could have done differently and how Brazilian football needs to be reformed. In time, it also might make the larger problems around the Cup more evident again. The papers are already talking about the effect the issues around the World Cup might have on Rousseff’s re-election prospects this fall, and with the Rio Olympics just two years away, questions about stadiums and the effects of these events on the nation and its citizens will continue for at least the near future. The loss might not throw Brazil into chaos as many have predicted, but it could make it easier to remember that those issues still exist and harder for the government to wash them away.

They would have persisted anyway. But had Brazil won the Cup, the overall mood of the tournament might have been relief and celebration if not outright vindication. Brazil would have still sacrificed a bit of its future, but at least they would have won the World Cup and proved to the world that this was, is, and always will be their game. They would have done so while producing, problems be damned, a spectacular Copa that ended the only way it possibly could have on the field. The long-term effects — the new demographics of neighborhoods demolished and relocated, the security policies implemented, the schools and hospitals and roads and bridges still crumbling in the shadows of lavish and unnecessary stadiums — would be there, but so too would that trophy and all the happiness that came with it.

That idea — and that is probably all it ever was — now sits shattered alongside all those Brazilian hearts. Some will view this as a karmic result, the only way the hubris of the belief that a World Cup could assuage a nation’s problems could come crashing down. But this ending is at least a little tragic, because Brazil poured its heart into this World Cup, and all it could claim in return was Vergonha, Vexame, Humilhação, a national nightmare from the way the World Cup was administered to the way it ended on the pitch.

The post ‘Shame, Disgrace, Humiliation’: The Tragic Ending To Brazil’s World Cup Dreams appeared first on ThinkProgress.


This Is What Happens When the Security State and Anti-Muslim Paranoia Collide

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 9th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

This Is What Happens When the Security State and Anti-Muslim Paranoia Collide
From: Zoë Carpenter

A new report reveals that the NSA spied on five prominent American Muslims.

How Obama Could Become the Good Jobs President and Help 21 Million Americans Join the Middle Class
From: Katrina vanden Heuvel

While Obama has begun to act on what the country needs, Republican obstruction refuses to pass bills and solve problems.

A Grassroots Labor Uprising—at Your Bank?
From: Michelle Chen

As a trade deal focusing on the financial sector is underway so too is a campaign to organize Wall Street’s rank-and-file.

It’s Official: Corporations Are Religious People
From: Tom Tomorrow

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is a victory for the forces of nonsense.