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Archive for August 17th, 2014

Girl, 13, Throws Shutout at Little League World Series

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Girl, 13, Throws Shutout at Little League World Series
The Little League World Series kicked off this week in Williamsport, Pa., and one pitcher in particular has been drawing national attention. Mo’ne Davis, a 13-year-old playing for a Philadelphia team, is just one of two girls playing in this year’s series — and she has already made history. On Friday night, Davis became the first female pitcher to throw a shutout in the Little League postseason.

800-Pound Tiger Shark Fed to Homeless
An 800 pound tiger shark caught off the Texas coast this week was filleted, cooked and served to nearly 100 homeless people in Corpus Christi, a charity said on Friday. “Most people liked it. The texture was interesting to them, but for the most part, people liked it,” said Kae Berry, executive director of Timon’s Ministries.


New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

New US strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is expanding its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam.

Tens of thousands hold anti-PM rally in Pakistan
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police say 10 attackers were killed when security forces foiled an assault on two air bases in the country’s southwest the previous day.

Man with many piercings denied entry to Dubai
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Dubai nightclub that hoped to feature a man who holds the world record for having the most piercings says he was refused entry to the Gulf city because of security concerns.


“Frank Underwood” and Hillary Clinton star in video for Bill Clinton’s birthday

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

“Frank Underwood” and Hillary Clinton star in video for Bill Clinton’s birthday
Video produced by the Clinton Foundation alludes to Hillary Clinton’s pending decision of whether to run for president


CNN’s Reliable Sources Slams Fox Doctor’s Attack On Michelle Obama’s Weight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

CNN’s Reliable Sources Slams Fox Doctor’s Attack On Michelle Obama’s Weight

From the August 17 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources:


Neil deGrasse Tyson Is a Nice Man

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Neil deGrasse Tyson Is a Nice Man
Froma Harrop, RealClearPolitics
When I first encountered Neil deGrasse Tyson, I thought, “What a nice man.” He was on the TV screens at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, where he’s director, urging us to behold the wonder of — to use the biblical term — the heavens. That impression only grew on seeing his television show, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.” Here he bursts with elation over the great scientific breakthroughs, guiding us into the subject with the kindly enthusiasm of the gifted teacher. So imagine my surprise to learn that Tyson has become the object of not just mild disapproval but loathing on the political…

Fair Is Good, but Should a City Decide Which Startups Are OK?
Debra Saunders, RealClearPolitics
I’ve never used Airbnb. I’m not proud of my failure to dive into the sharing economy. I know it’s largely a function of middle age — I don’t want to sleep in a stranger’s spare bedroom, even if it’s cheap — and of years of parlaying hotel rewards programs to my advantage. My first reaction when I heard about ride service startups Uber and Lyft was that they enjoy an unfair advantage over cabbies, who have to jump through hoops and pay huge fees to do what “sharing” kids do on the fly. I mention the above to establish that I understand cities’ impulse to use their clout to instill in startup…

In 1970, We Had a Riot; Ferguson Looks Like War
Scott Rasmussen, RealClearPolitics
The news from Ferguson, Missouri, has brought back unpleasant memories from the long-ago riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the summer of 1970, and I was a young teenager close enough to the action to be appropriately frightened. The riots I remember were also fueled by racial grievances, and there were similar issues with white officers and black rioters. And, just like the sad story unfolding in Missouri, a reporter was arrested in the Asbury Park riots. The claim is that he was “interfering with the police.” There were other similarities as well, especially the confusion…

Ferguson and the Rise of SWAT Armies
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Competing theories on curbing crime and keeping the peace in America’s teeming municipalities have long preoccupied law enforcement. “Community policing” is one approach. The harder-edged “proactive” policing is another. Now a new technique has forged itself into the national consciousness—“Ferguson policing,” let’s call it. If Ferguson policing’s precepts are murky, perhaps that’s because its proponents don’t feel obliged to explain it to the media or community activists—cops just arrest them instead. Who knew the…


Alcohol tax urged to fund abstinence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Alcohol tax urged to fund abstinence
A new tax on alcohol to fund abstinence-based treatment is among a number of measures to tackle drink and drug addiction recommended by a think tank.

‘Scrap Severn tolls’ say Lib Dems
Tolls on the Severn Bridge would be scrapped if the Liberal Democrats are in government after next year’s general election, the party says.

VIDEO: PM warns of possible IS threat to UK
Islamic State militants could grow strong enough to target people on the streets of Britain unless action is taken, David Cameron has warned.


White House betting ’14 midterm elections on economic patriotism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

White House betting ’14 midterm elections on economic patriotism
Democrats believe the issue could help their party hold on to its majority in the Senate.


International Education: In Scottish Referendum, a Push for Young Voters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

International Education: In Scottish Referendum, a Push for Young Voters
As the Sept. 18 Scottish independence referendum approaches, campaigners are reaching out to students to explain what the vote could mean for them.



Transplant Brokers in Israel Lure Desperate Kidney Patients to Costa Rica
Facing the prospect of impossibly long waiting lists for organs, some patients have turned to an underground trade that pairs them with people willing to sell an organ.



Ukraine Says Army Controls Center of a Rebel City
The military moved into the heart of the separatist hub for the first time, officials said, chipping at one of the cornerstones of the pro-Russia rebels’ disintegrating virtual state.




Mike Brown’s Family Asked To See Robbery Footage Before Police Released It To Media, But Were Ignored

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Mike Brown’s Family Asked To See Robbery Footage Before Police Released It To Media, But Were Ignored

A family lawyer told ABC that the Browns were not shown the video before it was released to the press. Nor were they given the chance to positively identify Michael Brown in the video.

The post Mike Brown’s Family Asked To See Robbery Footage Before Police Released It To Media, But Were Ignored appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Lesley McSpadden, right, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, watches as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself, his son, top left in photo, and a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed in a confrontation with police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo, on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

Lesley McSpadden, right, the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, watches as Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., holds up a family picture of himself, his son, top left in photo, and a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed in a confrontation with police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo, on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

CREDIT: AP Photo / Jeff Roberson

One of the Brown family’s attorneys told ABC that the family was not shown a surveillance tape of their son allegedly committing a robbery before it was released to the media, nor were they given a chance to positively identify their son in the video.

A week ago on August 9th, an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking an ongoing wave of confrontations between protesting Ferguson residents and local law enforcement. On Friday, August 15th, Ferguson police released a convenience store surveillance video that purportedly shows Brown engaged in a strong-arm robbery — shoving a clerk to take some cigars from the store — the same day he was killed.

Anthony Grey, a local lawyer in Ferguson, told ABC’s This Week that the Brown family was not shown the video before it was released to the press, even though they had requested “to see any video footage before it was released.” Nor were they given the chance to positively identify Brown in the video.

“They were appalled by it,” Grey told an ABC reporter on Sunday morning. “They saw it for the first time – a glimpse of it — on nationwide TV. They had requested an opportunity, through the attorneys, to see any video footage before it was released. That request was not honored.”

“No one was given the opportunity to authenticate it was Mike Brown Jr. in the video.”

When asked if the family believes it is their son in the video, Grey said “they haven’t examined it for that purpose,” but “there’s no reason not to believe that it’s him.” Another Brown family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, also said the person in the video appears to be Michael Brown.

However, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson also acknowledged the officer who shot Brown did not know he was a suspect in the robbery when he stopped Brown and another young man for “walking down the middle of the street, blocking traffic.” And the release of the footage coincided with the decision by Ferguson law enforcement to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting, after the community had requested that information for days and been denied.

Jackson said he distributed the surveillance tape “because the press asked for it,” and because he couldn’t withhold it indefinitely.

“It’s a diversion, and it’s an attempt to smear Michael’s character,” said Eric Davis, a cousin of Brown’s mother, in reaction to the tape’s release.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) also told NBC on Sunday that the release of the video was “just not right.” Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who took over operations in Ferguson at Nixon’s request, also said the release of the video in concert with the release of the officer’s name was “not the way that we needed to go.”

Protests and violent confrontations between residents and the police have continued in Ferguson over the week since the shooting. A brief period of calm ensued after Johnson replaced Jackson as the man in charge of police response. But violence and looting flared up again this weekend, possibly due to community response to the release of the video.

Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency on Saturday afternoon and set a curfew for Ferguson from midnight to 5 am. Groups of protestors have also formed chains at night to protect stores and to discourage other crowds protestors from looting.

The post Mike Brown’s Family Asked To See Robbery Footage Before Police Released It To Media, But Were Ignored appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Alabama Lawmaker: Proposed 10 Commandments Monument Has ‘Nothing To Do With Religion’

“The Ten Commandments is a historical document (in this context) and it has nothing to do with religion,” Count Commissioner Tim Guffey said.

The post Alabama Lawmaker: Proposed 10 Commandments Monument Has ‘Nothing To Do With Religion’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Texas Legislature

CREDIT: AP

An Alabama lawmaker announced Thursday his desire to erect a monument to the Ten Commandments at a county courthouse, arguing that the religious moral code deserves a memorial for “historical” reasons and that the proposal “has nothing to do with religion.”

Tim Guffey, a Republican county commissioner in Jackson county, Alabama, told AL.com that he would like to create a monument to “historical documents” at a courthouse in downtown Scottsboro. The hypothetical monument would feature the Bible’s Ten Commandments beside reconstructions of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

“What I’m trying to do is erect a monument of historical documents,” Guffey told AL.com. “It’s the Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. I feel like that’s what this country was founded on. These documents helped America become the greatest country in history.”

Guffey did not elaborate as to why the suggested monument wouldn’t include other famous historical legal codes, such as the Code of Hammurabi, the English Magna Carta, the Iroquois Great Law of Peace, or even the U.S. Bill of Rights, all of which have been cited by scholars, U.S. Congress, and even U.S. Presidents as deeply influential to the creation of America’s justice system. Instead, Guffey argued that the Ten Commandments were uniquely important to the construction of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

“The Ten Commandments is a historical document (in this context) and it has nothing to do with religion,” he said. “It shows that these founders had great beliefs in God and the Ten Commandments and His Word and it helped them get to the point where they were. And I feel like taking that document out, if that document wasn’t there to guide them, then our Constitution wouldn’t be what it is today…But I don’t see how I could do the other two and not do that one and be truthful about it.”

Conservatives have long contended that the legal perspective of America’s Founding Fathers was almost exclusively grounded in Christianity, often arguing that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are supposedly inherently “Christian” documents (this despite the fact that Thomas Jefferson, the chief author of the Declaration of Independence, had complex and often deeply ambivalent views on the Bible and religion). But Guffey’s insistence that the Ten Commandments be respected as a historically influential code appears to be part of a new trend among conservatives to appeal to history when introducing explicitly Christian symbols into public spaces. Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, recently developed a four-year curriculum for public high schools that casts the Bible as, among other things, a book that shaped America’s legal framework — including the Declaration of Independence. The curriculum, which has already been approved by an Oklahoma school board, would ostensibly be taught from a secular perspective, but Green said in a April 2013 speech that he hopes the course will teach students that the Bible’s impact, “whether (upon) our government, education, science, art, literature, family … has been good.”

Guffey expressed a similar belief when explaining the rationale behind his potential monument, telling AL.com, “They don’t teach this at school anymore.”

Alabama has a long history of debates over whether or not to display the list of laws said to be handed down by God to Moses in the biblical Exodus story. In 2001, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore erected a Ten Commandments monument in the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building, a move that ultimately resulted in his removal from office. In addition, members of the Alabama legislature have debated a number of bills in recent years to amend the state’s Constitution and allow for the display of the Ten Commandments on public property. The most recent “Ten Commandments Bill” was introduced in February, passing through the state House of Representatives before halting in the Senate. Lawmakers supported the bill reportedly defended it using a number of bizarre arguments, such as blaming school shootings, patricide, and matricide on society’s failure to display the Ten Commandments in schools and other government buildings.

Update

An earlier version of this piece denoted Thomas Jefferson as the chief author of the U.S. Constitution. Although Jefferson’s ideas undoubtedly influenced the construction of the Constitution, he was actually abroad during the Constitutional Convention, and is more accurately remembered as the architect of the Declaration of Independence.

The post Alabama Lawmaker: Proposed 10 Commandments Monument Has ‘Nothing To Do With Religion’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.


The 2016 Battle Heats Up Already

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 17th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The 2016 Battle Heats Up Already
Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
I think things just got sparky, a term I once heard a military figure use to denote a battle that has both commenced and turned hot.In her interview in The Atlantic, with Jeffrey Goldberg, Hillary Clinton sounded as burly and hawkish on foreign policy as John McCain. That’s not a surprise to longtime Hillary observers, though that she chose to declare it so uncompromisingly at so early a point in the 2016 presidential cycle, is. Mrs. Clinton came into politics from the McGovern wing of her party, but that was long ago. She has been more publicly hawkish since she ran for the U.S. Senate in…

Where’s the Justice at Obama’s DOJ?
Maureen Dowd, New York Times
JIM RISEN is gruff.The tall slab of a reporter looks like someone who could have played an Irish Marine sergeant in an old World War II movie.

How to Wreck the GOP in 3 Easy Steps!
Thomas Frank, Salon
President Obama is in the doldrums. He has run out of ideas, and out of gas. His strongest supporters are in the grip of a morbid fatalism. There is nothing the president can do any longer, they sigh, because of the intransigent Republicans in the House of Representatives. The great days of the Obama presidency are behind us, everyone seems to believe, and the most this once-promising president can do now are hold convenings and issue small-bore executive orders while awaiting a round of midterm elections that are likely to go against him. Oh, woe is he.