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Will the GOP Shut Down the Government Again?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 28th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Will the GOP Shut Down the Government Again?
Molly Ball, The Atlantic
The last government shutdown, almost a year ago, was no fun for anyone. Republicans in the House and Senate demanded that legislation to fund the government simultaneously defund Obamacare; Democrats refused to go along. In the ensuing 16-day stalemate, many functions of the federal government were forced to shutter. Federal workers were furloughed or worked without pay, children were disenrolled from Head Start, and the U.S. economy lost about $24 billion. Heartbreakingly, the annual Assateague Pony Roundup was canceled. Veterans were forced to commit civil disobedience and break into…

Will Harry Reid Run Again in 2016?
Jon Ralston, Politico
The loser in that 1974 race was 34-year-old Harry Reid, whose putative killer instinct had killed the messenger (i.e. himself), theoretically ending his political career. But four decades later, buoyed by a series of fortunate events and a determination bordering on indomitability, Reid appears to be poised to embark on a bid for a sixth term.Or is he?

No, Our Immigration System Is Not Broken
Byron York, DC Examiner
Of all the arguments made in the long and contentious debate over immigration reform, the one heard most often, from all sides, is that our immigration system is “broken.” President Obama, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Dick Durbin — just about every politician who has ever weighed in on the issue has said it.

Don’t Let States Get Away With Discriminatory Voter Rules

Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
Let’s start with what we don’t know: the precise circumstances under which a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., shot dead an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.But here’s what evidence does strongly suggest: Young black men in America suffer from widespread racism and stereotyping, by all society — including African-Americans themselves.


Cops Storm Campus Over Man Armed with Umbrella

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Cops Storm Campus Over Man Armed with Umbrella
Cal State San Marcos last Wednesday was stormed by law enforcement and placed on lockdown for more than 30 minutes after reports of a suspicious person armed with a gun on campus. After holding the man at gunpoint, cops learned it was only an umbrella. Bill Craig, who has been a staff member at the university for 17 years, was walking with his umbrella on campus that morning because of the rain. “I guess you always think that when someone’s pointing a gun at you, you’re really going to freak out but I think I was just more focused on doing exactly what the officer said,” Craig told 10News.

Buffett Helped Burger King Move to Canada
President Barack Obama’s favorite billionaire has thrown him under the Burger King bus. Warren Buffett stuck one of his big Midas thumbs in Obama’s eye Tuesday by agreeing to pony-up $3 billion so the hamburger chain can buy a Canadian doughnut outfit — and avoid paying millions in U.S. corporate taxes by moving part of its headquarters to Ontario. After news of Burger King’s move, White House press secretary Josh Earnest reiterated why Obama wants to ban these corporate inversions. “The goal here is to change the law and get Congress to pass legislation that would prevent the ability of American corporations to renounce their citizenship all in pursuit of trying to get out of paying their fair share of U.S. taxes,” he said.


Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons
ANGLETON, Texas (AP) — A Texas prosecutor has says a drunken driver who slammed into a truck, killing two boys, deserved punishment within the judicial system, but not at the hands of the boys’ father.

Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved
NEW YORK (AP) — Time Warner Cable says a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours on Wednesday morning.


Obama to award Medal of Honor to Civil War soldier

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama to award Medal of Honor to Civil War soldier
Two other medals will be awarded to troops who fought in Vietnam

The Daily Show Blasts Fox News’ Problematic Coverage Of Race In Ferguson

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Daily Show Blasts Fox News’ Problematic Coverage Of Race In Ferguson

From the August 26 edition of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show:

Previously:

Fox News Worried That Referring To Michael Brown As “Unarmed Teen” Might Be Misleading

Conservative Media Race-Baiting: Ferguson Edition

Right-Wing Media Push “Black-On-Black” Crime Canard To Deflect From Ferguson Police Shooting


How Dems Can Hold the Senate; Ducey Wins in Ariz.; Thwarting Yellow Fever

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How Dems Can Hold the Senate; Ducey Wins in Ariz.; Thwarting Yellow Fever
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning. It’s Wednesday, August 27, 2014. On this date in 1900, two U.S. Army physicians performed an experiment that saved the South, prevented the deaths of thousands of Americans, and restored the reputation of an unfairly blamed Florida saloonkeeper — all in a single experiment. What those Army doctors did in their lab at the Columbia Barracks Hospital outside Havana, with help from a heroic Cuban colleague, was solve the terrible mystery of Yellow Fever. And it came at considerable personal cost. I’ll tell the tale in a moment. First, I’d direct you to…

Death Penalty Politics, Gutsy and Easy
Mike Littwin, RealClearPolitics
The death penalty story is back. John Hickenlooper and Complete Colorado joined forces — sort of — to once again put the issue front and center in the governor’s race. Hickenlooper’s part was in giving a clumsy answer to a hypothetical question about Nathan Dunlap in a not-yet-aired CNN interview on capital punishment. And Complete Colorado — a conservative website — was the one that got hold of the unreleased audio featuring the clumsy answer. The story is this: Hickenlooper was asked in an interview — before Bob Beauprez was nominated — what he’d do if the election came down to a…

Obama’s Back-to-Work Challenge
David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — It’s “back to school” week for President Obama, after what a CNN analyst called “the vacation from Hell.” So perhaps it’s a good time to examine what’s been going wrong for Obama recently and whether he can fix it. The common complaint of late is that Obama is “disengaged.” This has always been somewhat of an issue, given his reticent public style, but the criticism intensified during his Martha’s Vineyard holiday. It’s an odd critique: Obama works at least as diligently as George W. Bush did during his frequent trips to Texas. Even during this golf-besotted vacation, Obama…

NC Senator Braces for Obama’s Visit to Her State
Jonathan Drew and Emery Dalesio, RealClearPolitics
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Her re-election in doubt, North Carolina’s Democratic senator has an uncomfortable decision to make as President Barack Obama appears in her state before a critical audience she’s trying to woo: Veterans. Join in the same camera shot as Obama, who lost North Carolina in 2012 and is unpopular in the state, and Sen. Kay Hagan could offer her Republican opponent fresh attack ad footage tying her to the president. Stay away from Obama while he visits North Carolina on Tuesday, and Hagan risks alienating minority voters who generally support the president. Either way, Obama…


Primary school places budget squeeze

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Primary school places budget squeeze
There are warnings that the rising primary school population in England is putting pressure on budgets and raising fears of “supersize” schools.

Brown and Darling in referendum call
Gordon Brown appears alongside his former chancellor Alistair Darling to call on Scottish voters to reject independence.

‘Deeply elitist UK locks out talent’
The UK is “deeply elitist” according to a new analysis of the backgrounds of more than 4,000 business, political, media and public sector leaders.


White House: Shutdown threat won’t deter executive action on immigration

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

White House: Shutdown threat won’t deter executive action on immigration
“The president is determined to act where House Republicans won’t,” Josh Earnest said.

World Briefing: Turkey: Likely Premier Is Party Leader

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

World Briefing: Turkey: Likely Premier Is Party Leader
Ahmet Davutoglu was elected leader of the governing Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., on Wednesday, ahead of his expected appointment as prime minister on Thursday.






Skirmishes Put Feeling of Wartime on India-Pakistan Border
It is unclear what has caused the rise in nightly artillery firing across the border, which intensified in mid-August and reportedly has killed two Indian civilians and four Pakistani civilians.






Open Source: Video of Combat in Eastern Ukraine Adds to Worries in Kiev
Hundreds of Ukrainians rallied in Kiev to demand that reinforcements be sent to rescue besieged fighters in the east of the country.







‘No Angel’: Miley Cyrus And The Reality Of Homeless Youth

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘No Angel’: Miley Cyrus And The Reality Of Homeless Youth

Jesse Helt’s criminal record is not the most important thing about him.

The post ‘No Angel’: Miley Cyrus And The Reality Of Homeless Youth appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Jesse Helt and Miley Cyrus hugging at the MTV VMAs.

CREDIT: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Miley Cyrus is mad at the media. And Miley Cyrus is right.

Cyrus brought Jesse Helt, a homeless 22-year-old, as her date to the MTV Video Music Awards. She’d met Helt at My Friend’s Place, an L.A. center that aids homeless youth in the city. When Cyrus won Video of the Year, she sent Helt up in her stead. He gave a speech about the plight of homeless youth and directed viewers to Cyrus’s Facebook page, where they could learn more about how to help those in need.

Helt had moved to L.A. from Oregon and was trying to pursue a modeling career without a place to live.

Last night, the Associated Press reported that there’s a warrant out for Helt’s arrest in Oregon: he’d been arrested on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass and burglary when he was 18 years old. From the AP story, which ran under the headline “Miley Cyrus’ Date Wanted By Oregon Police“:

“According to court records, he broke into the apartment of a man who had been selling what Helt believed to be bad marijuana.

Helt, who was 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation. The arrest warrant was issued in November 2011 after he violated probation…

Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel said Tuesday officials are trying to locate Helt and arrest him. He said Helt repeatedly failed to meet with his probation officer.”

Since the story broke, media attention on Helt and his VMA appearance has focused almost entirely on his criminal record. His mugshots have been making the rounds, and the always-tasteful Daily Mirror accused him of looking “very different” in his mugshots “to his suited and booted appearance at the VMAs and it seems he didn’t tell the full story of his background.” Crushable’s headline dismissed Helt as “Fake Homeless” and put quotation marks around the word homeless whenever using it to refer to Helt throughout the story. Reading these stories, one gets the sense that Cyrus failed to properly vet her date, that she should have found a “better” homeless guy to make the speech.

Of course it’s fair for news organizations to report on the fact that there’s a warrant out for Helt’s arrest. But the idea that it is somehow a surprise that a homeless young person has a criminal record just doesn’t make any sense. As the National Health Care for the Council reported in a 2012 policy brief, “Homelessness contributes to the risk for incarceration, and incarceration contributes to higher risks of homelessness. Approximately 15-percent of jail inmates had been homeless in the year prior to their incarceration and 54-percent of homeless individuals report spending time in a correctional facility at some point in their lives.” That he has a criminal past, or even a criminal present, hardly makes Helt an exceptional case study of a homeless individual. The surprising story would be if Helt had somehow wound up homeless after spending the first two decades of his life having no problems or hardships whatsoever.

James Beck is the development director at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, which operates the only youth-specific shelter in Washington D.C. He provided some context for Helt’s criminal history via email. “Homelessness leaves unaccompanied youth in a desperate situation, leading some to become involved in criminal activity,” he wrote. “Many unaccompanied youth resort to illegal activity as part of their strategy for survival. For example, unaccompanied youth seeking shelter might break into an abandoned building, while youth seeking income to meet basic needs might sell drugs. However, while homeless youth often engage in criminal activity, research shows they are more likely to be the victims of crime rather than the perpetrators.”

Yesterday, Cyrus sent out a series of tweets about Helt:















The coverage of Helt is, in a way, an echo of stories on Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was shot multiple times and killed in Ferguson. I’m particularly reminded of the release of security footage of Brown stealing a box of cigars moments before his murder and the now-notorious New York Times story that referred to Brown as “no angel” who “dabbled in drugs and alcohol,” “had taken to rapping in recent months,” and “got into at least one scuffle with a neighbor.” As if he somehow deserved what he got because of these minor, even laughable (“taken to rapping”) infractions.

The most cynical take on Cyrus and Helt could turn out to be true — that Helt is just launching a modeling career, that Cyrus just wants to look like a good person and get positive press — and it wouldn’t actually change the most important part of the story. There are still more than one-and-a-half million homeless youth in the U.S.

The post ‘No Angel’: Miley Cyrus And The Reality Of Homeless Youth appeared first on ThinkProgress.