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Archive for September 6th, 2014

Facebooking Woman Slams Another Car at 85 Mph

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Facebooking Woman Slams Another Car at 85 Mph
A North Dakota woman who police say was using Facebook on her cellphone when she crashed into another car is accused of negligent homicide in the death of a great-grandmother during the May accident. Abby Sletten, 20, is accused of driving 85 mph on a North Dakota highway May 27 while using her cellphone when her car rear-ended an SUV. Investigators later obtained a warrant to search Sletten’s phone and determined she was looking at photos on her mobile Facebook app at the time of the crash, according to the affidavit. She had also sent text messages while driving.


Merkel : Germany no place for anti-Semitism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Merkel : Germany no place for anti-Semitism
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the country’s citizens to attend a rally against anti-Semitism next week in Berlin where she will speak.

No. 20 K-State rallies past Iowa State 32-28
AMES, Iowa (AP) — For about a quarter, it looked as if Kansas State was going to get run out of Ames.


GOP Senate candidate: To boost energy production, elect Republicans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

GOP Senate candidate: To boost energy production, elect Republicans
Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan says President Obama and Senate Democrats are stifling domestic energy production and killing high-paying jobs

Special Report: Obama addresses ISIS threat, Ukraine in NATO speech
President Barack Obama announced that Western nations will broaden sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine during a speech at the NATO summit in Newport, Wales. He also pledged that NATO members would continue to have a military presence in Eastern and Central Europe to reassure allies in the face of Russian aggression. Obama also said that NATO stands ready to unite against the threat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.


Fox’s Carlson: “There Really Is No Such Thing As An Assault Weapon”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fox’s Carlson: “There Really Is No Such Thing As An Assault Weapon”

From the September 6 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Saturday:

Previously:

What Right-Wing Media Won’t Tell You About Assault Weapons


Where Is the Nation Building at Home?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Where Is the Nation Building at Home?
Mona Charen, RealClearPolitics
The clearest expression of a foreign policy doctrine President Obama has articulated came in 2012 when he announced that the “tide of war in Afghanistan” had “turned” and that this was lucky because it was “now time to focus on nation building here at home.” Al-Qaida, defined so narrowly as to exclude everyone save Osama bin Laden and his closest friends, was declared “defeated,” and a satisfied commander in chief confidently turned to domestic matters. Obama’s assumption that a vigorous foreign policy and a successful domestic agenda are in conflict is wrong. The U.S. experienced high rates…

Jobs Numbers Tank as Obama’s Policies Fail
Peter Morici, RealClearPolitics
The economy created only 142,000 jobs in August, down from 212,000 in July, indicating the economy significantly slowed this summer. Jobs creation is well below the pace needed to reemploy all the workers displaced during the financial crisis—the economy is in crisis! Although official GDP estimates indicate the economy expanded in the second quarter at a torrid pace—4.2. percent—much of that was inventory build, as consumer spending continued to drag along at a nonplus pace and capital investment, especially in manufacturing, remains subpar. Third quarter growth is likely…

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…


Unions to debate pay and strikes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Unions to debate pay and strikes
The squeeze on public sector pay, industrial action and attacks on unions will be top of the agenda when the Trades Union Congress gathers later.

VIDEO: ‘Make the minimum wage the living wage’
The Green Party is calling for the minimum wage to match the higher living wage level.

Regulated rail fare increases capped
Train companies in England will not be allowed to increase regulated rail fares by more than the rate of inflation, George Osborne announces.


Obama punts on immigration action until after midterm election

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama punts on immigration action until after midterm election
Obama is pushing back any executive action on immigration until after the November midterms.


Take the Time To Make the Right Decision

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Take the Time To Make the Right Decision
Barack Obama is facing one of the most difficult decisions of his presidency, one that will have profound consequences for not only this nation but for humankind as he sorts through options on how to deal with ISIS or ISIL. Let’s hope that contemplation wins out over retaliation.

One of the qualities many of us saw in the man early on was his cool and calm demeanor on issues large and small. In many ways it was comforting after eight years of chicken hawk bravado and cowboy machismo. The time for thoughtful reflection and sober deliberation before engaging in potentially self-destructive action was long overdue and Obama exhibited characteristics of that kind of leader. A carefully thought out and planned response to the brutality and dangers of this new extremist challenge, factoring in the incredibly complicated variables involved and the need to avert unintended long-term consequences is paramount.

“Bring em on” was a sincere but silly incantation designed to pander to the frayed emotions of an angry, fearful, and psychologically wounded public. For the record let it be made clear that history has taught us it is important that on matters of war and peace our leaders do not blindly follow the advice of either our military advisors or the chicken hawk neoconservatives who populated and directed the last administration. However, it is important that they adhere to principles of statesmanship.

There is little doubt that the missteps, miscalculations, misadventures, and misguided strategies set in motion after 9/11 by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and others has spectacularly failed to deliver anything other than a knee-jerk, feel-good, chest-pounding declaration of our capacity to inflict pain, destroy communities and nation-states, and galvanize a level of hatred and opposition that will last generations.

Graham Allison taught us in the Essence of Decision-making, his seminal work analyzing the dynamics of the Cuban Missile Crisis about the importance of considering both the short-and long-term implications of decisions. The steely determination of President Kennedy combined with the foresight to attempt to calculate potential reaction from our adversary combined to diffuse a situation that could have spelled a cataclysmic doom affecting hundreds of millions of people.

Kennedy showed that one can be strong and determined while preserving our long-term interests. Obama similarly needs to calculate a strategy and set of actions that serve the desires of the short-term at the expense of the needs for the long-term. To say that this will be a difficult maneuver is an understatement of the highest magnitude. So please take your time and get it right.

Few of us can definitively suggest the appropriate course of action as we are not privy to the information and intelligence necessary to weigh the various options. This is why we have a representative democracy, a system where our elected representatives utilize their informed judgment to make such decisions. If we truly believe in this form of democratic process then we must adhere to the mechanisms that make it run.

In my recent book, The Evolution of a Revolution, I clearly delineate six steps we can take to ensure that the systems and processes outlined in the construction of our government by the Founding Fathers do in fact render decisions that benefit the country and its citizens and I believe they are instructive here:

1. Restore the notion that public service is of value.
2. Recommit to the principle that government can work.
3. Replace special interest influence with commitment to the public interest.
4. Demand that our elected leadership focus on long-term solutions.
5. Ensure that statesmanship, which entails vision and wisdom, supplants preoccupation with leadership, which can be either positive or negative.
6. Remove the corrupting influence of money from politics and governing.

I am convinced that if we commit to and demand from our elected leaders a commitment to these six principles we can once again have a functional and effective system of governance that will render decisions that benefit the long-term interests of our nation.

And whatever decisions are ultimately offered to confront the current crisis let them be driven by cool calculation not red-hot zealotry. The President is in an unenviable position, but letting Obama be Obama will have profound consequences for leaders and citizens far into the future. The country and the world need a statesman and this is your moment.


White House Memo: As Crises Pile Up, a President Sticks to His Deliberative Approach

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

White House Memo: As Crises Pile Up, a President Sticks to His Deliberative Approach
President Obama’s determination to move deliberately and line up support from allies before confronting threats means that he has sometimes appeared to be a spectator to events outside his control.



Sierra Leone to Impose 3-Day Ebola Quarantine
In a bid to prevent the disease from spreading and to allow health workers to identify cases in the early stages, the authorities are forbidding citizens from leaving their homes starting Sept. 19.



Building Good Will in a Troubled Afghan District, but Not Without a Fight
A day trip to a troubled district with America’s elite troops and Afghan government and military officials was characterized by the absurd and unexpected, features of the war in the country.



Critic’s Notebook: Refugees Reshape Their Camp, at the Risk of Feeling at Home
The construction of a public square in a deeply conservative Palestinian refugee camp has made some there feel more at home, a provocative concept in camps conceived as temporary.




Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on September 6th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem

Ahead of the new iPhone’s much anticipated unveiling this week, drug store giants CVS and Walgreens announce their partnership with Apple’s new payment system rumored to be featured on the newest iPhone.

The post Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Walgreens

CREDIT: AP/Charles Krupa

Forgetting your wallet at home may no longer be a problem when picking up prescriptions or incidentals, as the nation’s two biggest drugstore chains partner with Apple and its new mobile payment system, according to a ReCode report. Apple’s new mobile payment system could certainly make life for consumers much easier. But the move also makes the iPhone a virtually indispensable — and invaluable –piece of property that will be even more vulnerable to security risks if lost, stolen or hacked.

CVS and Walgreens, which have upwards of 15,000 combined store locations across the U.S., are expected to be among the first retailers to accept Apple’s rumored mobile payment system that the company is set to unveiled Sept. 9 along with the latest iPhone and wearable technology.

The new payment system will allow consumers to pay for items using near field communication, a wireless technology that transmits payment information from the mobile device to a store’s checkout system. The SIM card in the mobile phone, which stores users’ personal information and allows them to connect to their carrier’s network, will help verify users’ accounts, according to TechRadar, and act as a digital wallet that holds credit card and banking information. The iPhone 6 is supposed to be the first Apple device to feature the system.

Smartphones already carry a host of sensitive personal data through mobile apps and web activity, including financial information, usernames, passwords and home addresses. But because the payment system would be tethered to the iPhone 6 and use WiFi to transmit credit card or banking information, the device would be even more valuable to hackers or thieves.

Over 3 million smartphones were stolen in 2013, almost half of which were never recovered. Besides their value on the black market, the personal and financial information on stolen smartphones can prove lucrative.

Even when consumers take precautions, their phones can still be at risk for hacking and fraud. For example, research hackers were able to lift account usernames and passwords from passersby by using a drone that masqueraded as a trusted WiFi network.

Last week, Apple’s iCloud storage service suffered a targeted breach where nude celebrity photos were stolen and distributed online. Apple said the security breach affected only certain celebrity accounts and was not a result of a security flaw on its end. The company, however, also announced that it patched a security flaw that may could have exposed users data and has vowed to beef up security measures.

The celebrity photo scandal also revived a broader conversation surrounding consumer privacy and large scale breaches. Breaches have increased in recent years with retailers such as Target and more recently Home Depot being prime targets. As a result, many of those whose information gets stolen also become victims of identity theft — which is on the rise. The trend has even taken a toll on the economy by stifling job growth as businesses spend billions fighting cyberattacks.

But the security risk is the same if not greater when hackers home in on security weaknesses in website encryption. The Heartbleed security flaw, which was even exploited by the U.S. National Security Agency, went undiscovered for two years and exposed millions of usernames, passwords, Social Security Numbers and financial account information from nearly 70 percent of the world’s websites. And as technology continues to evolve with more of consumers’ everyday lives centered online and on mobile devices, similar cybersecurity breaches will likely become more commonplace.

The post Apple Wants You To Pay For Things With An iPhone — But There’s One Nagging Problem appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Virginia Bar Closes Woman’s Tab Because She’s Breastfeeding

“I don’t deny that I had alcohol and was breastfeeding,” she told Fox, “but it’s how I went about it and how I always go about it that makes the difference.”

The post Virginia Bar Closes Woman’s Tab Because She’s Breastfeeding appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Crystal McCullough

CREDIT: Screenshot/ WTKR

A bar in Virginia is facing some scrutiny after it closed a woman’s tab without her asking. The woman wasn’t overly drunk or acting erratic; she was breastfeeding.

Crystal McCullough brought her daughter to Big Woody’s in Chesapeake, Virginia this week to celebrate closing on a new house, she told a local Fox affiliate. She sat with her family breastfeeding at the table. “I had one sip of beer and was not planning on the rest until after I was done nursing,” she added in an interview with WTKR. She had also ordered a shot of whiskey that she hadn’t yet drank. That’s when employees of the bar cut her off, citing complaints from other customers.

One of the owners of the bar admitted to WAVY.com that his staff could have handled the situation better, and that there was some confusion over whether McCullough was being cut off because she was drinking, or simply because she was breastfeeding in public.

“Our concern was for the child, really that’s what it is,” he said.

But to McCullough, that’s still not a good reason. “I don’t deny that I had alcohol and was breastfeeding,” she told Fox, “but it’s how I went about it and how I always go about it that makes the difference.”

Leaving aside public perception, there are no clear guidelines on whether women can drink while breastfeeding. While no one thinks a woman should be plastered while caring for a child, doctors including the American Academy of Pediatrics believe that drinking in moderation while breastfeeding is totally acceptable. The Academy does, however, suggest that the breastfeeding woman should wait two hours for the alcohol to clear her system.

In a sense, McCullough is lucky that the public scorn over her choice to drink and breastfeed only led to getting the check a little too early. A mother in Arkansas was thrown in jail after restaurant patrons noticed she was drinking a beer while breastfeeding and called the cops. Indeed, there is a growing trend of criminalizing how pregnant and breastfeeding women behave in the name of public health. Another woman in Montana was charged with criminally endangering a child this week, for example, because she tested positive for drugs when she was just 12 weeks pregnant.

The laws that allow these harsh punishments that seem out of step with the potential harm done are known as fetal harm laws, and exist in 38 states. The group National Advocates for Pregnant Women has found that hundreds of women have been stripped of custody or put in jail using these laws. While some punishments are rightful, and while no one is advocating for permissive attitudes toward harming a child, charges meted out under the laws are disproportionate: a huge majority of the women losing custody or getting jail time are African-American.

The post Virginia Bar Closes Woman’s Tab Because She’s Breastfeeding appeared first on ThinkProgress.