We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for September 5th, 2014

Refuse Medicaid Expansion, Pay Billions to Insure Others

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Refuse Medicaid Expansion, Pay Billions to Insure Others
Joan McCarter, Daily Kos: The 23 states that have refused Medicaid expansion under Obamacare will be sending $152 billion in taxes paid over the next 10 years to states that did expand. That’s from a McClatchy analysis of Urban Institute data. Among the states that will be really losing out, is North Carolina, which will shell out about $10 billion. That’s not even counting the negative economic impact that the state is experiencing because of hospital closures. The 23 states that didn’t take the expansion money are losing out on $170 billion just in payments to hospitals, and at the same time those hospitals are having to absorb cuts.

Pentagon: U.S. Strike Killed Somalia Terror Leader
The leader of the al-Shabab terror group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed by the U.S. airstrike Monday that targeted him Monday in Somalia, the Pentagon has confirmed. “Godane’s removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaida affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals,” the White House said in a statement. In September 2013, Godane publicly claimed al-Shabab was responsible for the deadly Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, in which 63 were killed and another 175 wounded.


Clinton: 2016 decision likely by early next year

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Clinton: 2016 decision likely by early next year
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she will likely make a decision on whether to run for president around the beginning of 2015.


Obama: NATO members agree on threat posed by ISIS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama: NATO members agree on threat posed by ISIS
President Obama says he got no “resistance or pushback” from NATO alliance members on the need to roll back jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Hillary Clinton: I’ll decide on 2016 presidential bid early next year
Former secretary of state, first lady says her varied experiences in government give her a “unique” perspective on the role of the presidency

Kansas Senate race shake up leaves Republican incumbent vulnerable
The Democrat challenging Republican Sen. Pat Roberts dropped out of the race, sets up a one-on-one matchup with a popular independent


Fox’s Erick Erickson: Obama Wants To Put “Pregnant Female Soldiers On The Front Lines”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox’s Erick Erickson: Obama Wants To Put “Pregnant Female Soldiers On The Front Lines”

From the September 5 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

Previously:

Fox’s Erick Erickson Understands Why “So Many” Believe Obama “Is A Closet Muslim Jihadist Sympathizer”

Fox’s Erick Erickson: Countries With Marriage Equality Are “Bent On Suicide”

Limbaugh Guest Host Erick Erickson: Minimum Wage Workers Are “Mostly People Who Failed At Life”

 


What the Generic Ballot Tells Us About a GOP Wave

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

What the Generic Ballot Tells Us About a GOP Wave
Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics
Last week, I considered the question of whether a Republican wave was forthcoming in 2014, using Senate races as the metric. One of the more common objections to the idea of a Republican wave was the Democrats’ standing in the generic ballot. As of today, Democrats lead by 0.5 percent. This contrasts with this point in 2010, when Republicans led by 5.3 points. In order to understand why I don’t find this all that interesting, it is worth fleshing out my meta-view of this election. I can emphatically say: It’s not certain that a big Republican wave is coming. Rather, the data…

Deport the Tsarnaev Sisters
Michelle Malkin, RealClearPolitics
The Sisters Tsarnaev have been nothing but trouble. Double, bubbling trouble. While their Boston Marathon bomber brother Dzhokhar awaits trial this month for the bloody 2012 attacks that killed three and injured hundreds, his elder Chechen immigrant siblings Ailina and Bella remain on the loose in the U.S. after their own frequent run-ins with the law. Last week, Ailina was arrested in Harlem after allegedly threatening “to blow up her live-in lover’s baby mama,” as the New York Post reported. Police charged Ailina, 23, with aggravated harassment and released her. Will the legal system learn?…

Obama: Systematic Strategy Aims to “Dismantle” ISIL
Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics
A “systematic and methodical” strategy over a long period of time can “dismantle” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, President Obama said Friday. Speaking at the conclusion of an important NATO summit in Wales, Obama tried again during a news conference to clarify U.S. and international objectives against the terror organization, and the strategy necessary to combat the Sunni extremists. Beyond describing a considered approach unfolding in “stages,” and ruling out placing U.S. ground troops inside Syria, the president offered few specifics about…

Dems Ignore Blowback Risks in Harsh Rhetoric Barrage
Scott Conroy, RealClearPolitics
It’s easy to forget now, but there once was a time when the Democratic Party was accustomed to chastising itself over some candidates’ timidity. But with two months until the midterm elections, visions of Michael Dukakis and John Kerry failing to go on the offensive amid Republican attacks are just distant memories. This year, the bigger concern for Democrats appears to be that some of their own histrionic broadsides against GOP opponents will trigger a voter backlash. In three key midterm races over the last few days, Democrats have launched the kind of invective that might have made Lee…


Whitehall contracts overhaul urged

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Whitehall contracts overhaul urged
Government contracts with firms such as G4S and Serco go wrong because managing them is not taken seriously enough in Whitehall, says a report.

Summit ‘massive showcase’ for Wales
Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has said the Nato summit has raised the profile of Wales abroad and would attract investment.


Sinosphere Blog: In Crackdown on Corruption, Even Mooncakes Are Not Exempt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Sinosphere Blog: In Crackdown on Corruption, Even Mooncakes Are Not Exempt
No longer just a symbol of auspicious reunions, the mooncake has become an emblem of the corruption that the Chinese government under Xi Jinping is eager to stop.



World Briefing | The Americas: Toronto Mayor Called to Testify in Canada
Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, told reporters on Friday that he had been subpoenaed to testify at a court hearing related to efforts by his unofficial driver to recover a video showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine.



Ukraine Deal Imposes Truce Putin Devised
Whether the cease-fire between Ukraine’s government and separatists lasts will probably be determined by the outcome of negotiations over the political future of the southeastern region.



Iran Fails to Address All Nuclear Concerns, U.N. Says
Prospects for an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program appeared to suffer a setback when a United Nations monitoring agency said the Iranians had yet to meet two measures to ensure that their activities are peaceful.



Opinion: Studying Ebola, Then Dying From It
We could have stopped this epidemic, and saved my colleagues’ lives.




Playboy Bets Gentlemen Can Love Both Smut And Feminism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Playboy Bets Gentlemen Can Love Both Smut And Feminism

That experiment is so far yielding interesting results.

The post Playboy Bets Gentlemen Can Love Both Smut And Feminism appeared first on ThinkProgress.

shutterstock_206761087

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Something is afoot at Playboy.

The men’s magazine relaunched its main website, Playboy.com, a few weeks ago, promising in a release to go beyond nude pics and provide “highly sharable content” designed for a general audience. The goal, the company’s senior Vice President for digital content Cory Jones explained to ThinkProgress, is to have “everything from the fun humor piece to pieces by Harvard researchers and everything in between. And I think that might be what makes this a little bit different. We’re working just as hard on the high-level, high-end content as the fun stuff.”

That experiment is so far yielding interesting results.

Two pieces of content from Playboy.com have been noticed by the feminist blogosphere over the last week, garnering praise from an otherwise skeptical audience. One is an article about leaked nude photos of celebrities, entitled, “Jennifer Lawrence Is Not A Thing To Be Passed Around.” The other is a flowchart demonstrating when it is acceptable for a man to cat-call a woman. (The answer: never, unless you have her consent. Wrote Holly Kearl, founder of the group Stop Street Harassment, “I am glad to see an outlet that I NEVER would have expected to talk about street harassment in this way do so.”)

But Jones says the publication didn’t mean to rebrand with a feminist bent. “I never even saw that as a feminist flowchart, I saw that as a human decency flowchart,” he said in a phone interview. “Like, guys, don’t be jerks. Stop yelling at women on the street. It’s kind of depressing that that’s the state of feminism, that we say don’t yell at women on the street and that’s considered feminism.”

The intersection of feminism and smutty magazines seems like a slippery one. Sexual empowerment is a product of sexy magazines, sure, but so is rampant female objectification. Feminists are wary of an institutional player that has long traded in photos where women are meant to fit male definitions of what’s sexy. Isn’t a company dealing in photos of women (or “girls” in Playboy lingo) the worst possible feminist ally?

Or are they one of the best? Rape culture is defined as the systemic problems that place responsibility on women to prevent rape instead of on men to stop raping. With its platform, Playboy is uniquely positioned to shift some of that responsibility toward men — telling men they’re the ones who need to ask for consent actively, for example — as it did in the two pieces that are now getting noticed.

Rebecca Nagle, co-director of the anti-rape group FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, recognized this power last year when she and her group made a dummy website set up to look like Playboy that gave college boys a guide to how to ask for sexual consent. She and her organization believe that pop culture is a key way to make progress when it comes to preventing rape and changing norms, especially in a country where what people don’t learn in sex education they instead get from media and pornography. Nagle was pleased to see that Playboy is now filling a space that FORCE essentially carved out for it, and hopes that the company will stick with it.

“When you look at these male publications — take Maxim. What a maxim is is, ‘do this.’ It’s a command,” Nagle told ThinkProgress in a phone interview. “It’s not a coincidence that it’s one of the most popular male magazines. All those publications are like, ‘This is how to be a man. Act this way, Act this way.’ Playboy has a lot of power in that because they can produce the catcall poster and then it’s no longer cool to catcall people. So I think there’s a lot of potential in that.”

For his part, Jones agrees. “I think Playboy is also about being a gentleman. Just be a gentleman and things will work out much better for everyone.” he said. “We have an authority to talk about a lot of different things that other people don’t, and when we do talk about everything from catcalling to the celebrity nude scandal, when it comes from us people listen a little bit more.”

Jones argues that there is historical precedent for Playboy acting as a publication of women’s empowerment. He cited work that’s appeared in the publication from writers including Betty Friedan and Margaret Atwood, and said that “Playboy has always been very inclusive and there’s been a ton of female writers that have always written in its history.” Feminists have praised the company for being one of the first places that really put women’s sexuality on display, and a place that actually employed women.

But there’s historical — and current — skepticism over whether Playboy can successfully bridge the barrier between sexualizing women and empowering them, and it’s still really unclear whether Playboy.com can become a site that overcomes the jokes about being read ‘for the articles’ and actually be, well, read for the articles. Nagle thinks that one thing that would help is if the magazine continued on its current trajectory and really embraced women’s empowerment — not just how it’s defined by men.

“Hugh Hefner [the founder of Playboy] prides himself on being anti-censorship and about sexual liberation — and a lot of things that sex-positive feminists are like, ‘yes! this is great!’ — but then can be very objectifying,” Nagle said. “So instead of liberation being about me, a woman sleeping with who I want to and expressing my sexuality the way I want to, it got co-opted into being about me wearing a push-up bra and shaving my legs and dying my hair, and now instead of sexuality being about my personal pleasure it’s become about the way I look and how desirable I am to men. I think Playboy scores points in both categories.

“There are ways that Playboy’s idea of sexual liberation is headed in the right direction,” she added, “and then it stops short of what I think we would call full empowerment.”

Cory Jones has only been at Playboy three months, so he can’t say what exactly will happen to the publication or whether the latest Playboy.com relaunch will be different from previous ones that flopped. And he isn’t involved in the more public-facing side of the company that could have more sway. The Playboy magazine is actually run separately from the website; though magazine content runs on the site, that entity’s editorial process is totally separate.

The company has no plans to get rid of its nude shots of women, either. “There’s a girls section and it’s always going to be part of who we are, it’s part of the brand’s DNA,” Jones said, “same way that humor is and celebrity, entertainment, style, and nightlife.”

In the interest of continuing to pursue equality, shouldn’t there be a boys section, too? “No not yet. I don’t think that’s going to be happening anytime soon,” Jones said. “But I appreciate you asking.”

The post Playboy Bets Gentlemen Can Love Both Smut And Feminism appeared first on ThinkProgress.


You Can’t Unsee It: Washington Football Name and Quiet Acts of Resistance

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

You Can’t Unsee It: Washington Football Name and Quiet Acts of Resistance
From: Dave Zirin

When ESPN reporters and fans aren’t buying a racist name, it might be time for Dan Snyder to sell.

$15 and a Union: Fast-Food Workers Take Their Demands Nationwide
From: Michelle Chen

Nearly two years since their mobilization began with about 200 workers in New York, fast-food workers are following through on their two key demands: a $15 hourly wage and a union.

 

Beltway to Obama: More Fear, Please
From: Eric Alterman

Eric on this week's concerts and Reed on the Beltway Media, American Exceptionalism and foreign policy. 

Putting ‘Medicare for All’ on the Agenda
From: John Nichols

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick is making an issue of single-payer healthcare reform.

More Police Will Never Be a Solution to Black America’s Woes
From: Mychal Denzel Smith

Increased police presence won‘t make “bad kids” any better.


Holder’s Double Standard on a “Ferguson” in Utah

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 5th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Holder’s Double Standard on a “Ferguson” in Utah

The Forecast Looks Favorable for a GOP Wave
Jay Cost, Weekly Standard
Labor Day marks the traditional start of the fall campaign season, and Republicans appear to be in a good position for the upcoming midterm elections. No serious political analyst believes that the House of Representatives is in danger of falling to the Democrats; more likely, Republicans will pick up a handful of seats. As for the upper chamber, Republicans are primed for gains, thanks to strong candidate recruitment, Democratic-held seats in Republican-voting states, and the persistent unpopularity of President Obama.

Is Economic Stagnation the New Normal?
Gar Alperovitz, LA Times
The concept of “secular stagnation” — that the economy may be facing a protracted period of low growth and high unemployment — has been seeping back into economic and policy discourse. Once relegated to the margins of heterodox economic theory, the idea of stagnation as a likely ongoing direction for the economy, in fact, is now virtually mainstream, expounded by such well-known figures as Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman.

How to Save the Lives of Troubled Vets
Brent Budowsky, The Hill
After more than a decade of war, there are many American heroes who served in the military with valor and distinction who are now bravely facing the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder when they return home. Every day, more than 20 vets who served in different conflicts commit suicide. But every day there are also vets who were contemplating suicide but were fortunate enough to contact the suicide hotline prevention number at the Veterans Crisis Line. Because of the good work of the people at the hotline, those vets emerged victorious in their battles against depression.

North Carolina Tries to Shake Off Obama
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg
Senator Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat whose seat is a top target of Republicans to regain control of the Senate, walked into the debate hall in Raleigh last night looking sharp in a gray suit.It only took a few minutes for her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, to make her a stand-in for President Barack Obama, whose job approval in the state is overwhelmingly negative. In his opening statement, Tillis accused Hagan of rubber-stamping everything Obama wanted to do, and he never let up.