We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
Advertise on The H.L.


Photographer in L.A.



Video Post Production in Hollywood

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Gorgeous Celebrity Women

Archive for the 'Main Blog (All Posts)' Category

Homeowner Fatally Shoots Pregnant Burgler

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Homeowner Fatally Shoots Pregnant Burgler
Long Beach, California, police are investigating whether an elderly man who fatally shot a woman who was running away after ransacking his home in Bixby Knolls should be arrested in the killing. Tom Greer, 80, told KNBC-TV Wednesday that he shot the woman twice in the back when she ran away with a male accomplice even though she told Greer she was pregnant. “The lady didn’t run as fast as the man so I shot her in the back twice. She’s dead … but he got away,” Greer said,” Greer said. “She says, ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m pregnant — I’m going to have a baby.’ And I shot her anyway.”

Israel swears in new president amid Gaza war

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Israel swears in new president amid Gaza war
JERUSALEM (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres ended his term as president of Israel on Thursday — a man who symbolizes hopes for peace capping a seven-decade public career amid the brutal reality of war. Peres handed the ceremonial but high-profile presidency over to Reuven Rivlin, a legislator from the hawkish Likud Party.

Disabled Americans Still Economically Shortchanged Despite Americans with Disability Act
Research shows that people with disabilities have significantly lower capabilities in personal financial planning, on top of numerous employment challenges.

Another Pro-Hillary PAC Tries to Make Clinton Cool
But who’s the most grass-roots of them all?


The Worst Part Of Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan Is Based On A Media Myth

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

The Worst Part Of Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan Is Based On A Media Myth

Rep. Paul Ryan’s poverty proposal, which would in part punish impoverished Americans for not getting themselves out of poverty on a specific timeline, is based on the conservative myth pushed by right-wing media that blames poverty on individuals’ “spirit” and personal life choices. Experts say poverty is the result of systemic inequality and lack of opportunity.

Ryan Plan: Social Safety Net Beneficiaries Must Sign “Contracts”

Ryan’s Poverty Plan: Low-Income Families Will Be Held To “A Contract Outlining Specific And Measurable Benchmarks For Success.” The “discussion draft” submitted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the House Budget Committee on potential solutions to poverty in America includes the proposal that low-income Americans would have to sign “contracts” in order to remain eligible for social safety net benefits, such as food stamps, or SNAP. The contract would include: benchmarks, such as finding a job, enrolling in employment training, or even meeting “new acquaintances outside circle of poverty”; a “timeline” in which individuals are contractually-obligated to meet those benchmarks; bonuses for meeting benchmarks early; and “sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract”:

In the envisioned scenario providers would work with families to design a customized life plan to provide a structured roadmap out of poverty. When crafting a life plan, they would include, at a minimum:

  • A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success
  • A timeline for meeting these benchmarks
  • Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract
  • Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract
  • Time limits for remaining on cash assistance [House Budget Committee, "Expanding Opportunity in America," 7/24/14]

Ryan Plan Assumes “That The Poor Somehow Want To Be Poor”

NYMag‘s Annie Lowrey: Ryan’s “Condescending” Plan “Threatens To Punish The Poorest And Most Unstable Families For Their Poverty.” Annie Lowrey of New York magazine explained that Ryan’s proposal is based on the assumption “that the poor somehow want to be poor,” noting that the contract proposal assumes that low-income Americans either need the threat of punishment as motivation, or that they are themselves deficient and incapable of success:

[I]t presupposes that the poor somehow want to be poor; that they don’t have the skills to plan and achieve and grow their way out of poverty. The truth is that many do have the skills, and what they lack are resources — say, enough money to pay for a decent daycare for your infant so you can work a full-time job, or cash to get your car fixed so you don’t have to take the bus to your overnight gig at Walmart. Ryan is not putting more resources on the table, as far as I can tell, and thus for many families he will not be addressing the root problem.   

[...]

[I]t threatens to punish the poorest and most unstable families for their poverty and instability. Let’s say you’re a single mom with five kids. You break your contract. You get “sanctioned” — a term normally used for money-launderers, terrorists, and narcotics traffickers, by the way. You suffer, and you fall deeper into poverty. But more to the point, your children suffer. [New York, 7/24/14]

Ryan Previously Blamed Inner City Men For Their Poverty. The idea that poverty is a product of lazy, deficient individuals — rather than the product of systemic inequality and a lack of resources and opportunities — is an idea Ryan has pushed before. Just this past March, Ryan blamed inner city men for their poverty, citing a “culture problem”:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with. [ThinkProgress, 3/12/14]

Ryan’s Poverty-Shaming Plan Echoes Right-Wing Media Rhetoric

Fox’s Stuart Varney On The Poor: “Many Of Them Have Things — What They Lack Is The Richness Of Spirit.” Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed in 2011 that because poor people have “modern conveniences,” such as refrigerators and air conditioning, official poverty figures are inaccurate. After he was mocked by comedian Jon Stewart for his poverty-shaming, Varney doubled down on his show, claiming:

VARNEY: The image we have of poor people as starving and living in squalor really is not accurate. Many of them have things — what they lack is the richness of spirit. That’s my opinion. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 7/19/11; Fox Business, Varney & Co., 8/25/11]

Limbaugh: “In Many Cases” Poor People “Have Only Themselves To Blame.” Lamenting President Obama’s focus on income inequality in the run-up to the 2012 election, radio host Rush Limbaugh asserted that “in many cases, speaking bluntly, the people that don’t do well have only themselves to blame. And those who have no control over themselves are the ones we help.” He added, “the only limits in this country on anybody’s advancement is their own limitation that they place on themselves.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/21/14]

Fox’s Charles Payne: “Stigma” Can Serve As “Impetus To Get People Off” Food Stamps. Discussing an increase in people signing up for SNAP, Fox News contributor and Fox Business host Charles Payne lamented the lack of “stigma” surrounding food stamps. According to Payne, “I know there’s a big thing trying to de-stigmatize food stamps, but the good part about the stigma is it actually does serve as an impetus to get people off of it.” [Fox News, America's Newsroom3/28/13]

NRA’s Ted Nugent: America’s “So-Called” Poor “Whine,” Even Though They Have Microwaves And “Bling-Bling.” In a column for conspiracy website WND, National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent claimed that poor people in America have “no one to blame but themselves” and “whine” despite having various “luxuries” that “real poor people around the world … can only dream of”:

As the Democrats continue to get away with their crimes, the squawking poor just keep on getting poorer, and as is always the case, they have no one to blame but themselves. Stupid is as stupid does. Brainwashing only works if you give up your brain and your soul to the brainwashers.

Another mind-boggling conundrum is the fact that America’s so-called poor live a life far better than do real poor people around the world and have luxuries they can only dream of.

With their cell phones, automobiles, microwave ovens, air-conditioning, new clothes, manicures and pedicures, bling-bling, clean water, more food than they can eat, pretty much redistributed everything handed to them, they still whine how America should be more like those other countries. [WND, 7/16/14]

Times‘ David Brooks Blames Single Mothers For Their Poverty. David Brooks scapegoated unmarried moms for their poverty in his New York Times opinion column, claiming that “someone being rich doesn’t make someone poor,” and arguing that discussions of income inequality have been too focused on disparities in wealth and not focused enough on the “fraying of social fabric” and the “morally fraught social and cultural roots of the problem,” which he pinned in part on single motherhood. [New York Times, 1/16/14]

New York Post Columnist Michael Goodwin: “The Sense Of Shame Is Gone” From People Using “Entitlements.” During an appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor and NY Post columnist Michael Goodwin lamented that “the sense of shame is gone,” which has helped lead to an “explosion of entitlements”:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Are too many Americans avoiding work to collect welfare? Well, check this out. Just last year, 45 million Americans received food stamps. That’s a 70 percent increase since President Obama took office. So you have to wonder: Are entitlements the new American dream. Joining me now, Michael Goodwin, Fox News contributor and columnist for the New York Post. You know, I almost get a stomach ache saying that because when you think of the American dream, you certainly don’t think about handouts, but is that what we’re becoming?

GOODWIN: Well, it’s interesting. The thing I write about in here is the idea that shame used to be part of this. In other words, people didn’t want to accept a handout because they were ashamed to do it. There was a kind of social contract that said you don’t do it. You’re independent, you’re reliant. That was part of the American founding virtue, as Charles Murray calls them.

And yet now we look at them, we see this explosion of entitlements. The sense of shame is gone. So I focus this week on food stamps, which I think is a real cultural issue, because it’s now 47 million people in the country are on food stamps. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/21/12]

Experts Agree: Poverty Results From Inequality, Not A Lack Of Motivation

Jared Bernstein: Growing Inequality Increases Poverty. On The New York Times‘ Economix blog, economist Jared Bernstein noted that economic growth alone had been enough to reduce poverty “from the late 1950s to the mid-’60s,” but that growing economic inequality meant poverty rates failed to decrease further:

If less of the economy’s market-generated growth — i.e., before taxes and transfers kick in — ends up in the lower reaches of the income scale, either there will be more poverty for any given level of G.D.P. growth, or there will have to be a lot more transfers to offset inequality’s poverty-inducing impact.

[...]

Inequality serves as a wedge or a funnel in this model, redirecting growth from a broad swath of households across the income scale to a narrow slice at the top. [The New York Times, Economix Blog, 1/13/14]

Paul Krugman: Income Inequality Is Caused By A Lack Of Economic Opportunity, Not A “Collapse Of The Family.” Economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman argued on his New York Times blog that income inequality today is caused by a lack of economic opportunity, rather than social disintegration or the “collapse of the family”:

These days crime is way down, so is teenage pregnancy, and so on; society did not collapse. What collapsed instead is economic opportunity. If progress against poverty has been disappointing over the past half century, the reason is not the decline of the family but the rise of extreme inequality. We’re a much richer nation than we were in 1964, but little if any of that increased wealth has trickled down to workers in the bottom half of the income distribution. [The New York Times, 1/8/14]

Institute For Research On Poverty: Government Programs Cut Poverty Rate “Nearly In Half.” According to research from the Institute for Research on Poverty, anti-poverty programs have lifted millions of Americans out of poverty since the 1960s. While reducing poverty is only one step toward reducing inequality, the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs shows the effect government policy could have on economic conditions (emphasis added):

The OPM [official poverty measure] shows the overall poverty rates to be nearly the same in 1967 and 2011–at 14 percent and 15 percent, respectively. But our counterfactual estimates using the anchored SPM show that without taxes and other government programs, poverty would have been roughly flat at 27 to 29 percent, while with government benefits poverty has fallen from 26 percent to 16 percent–a 40 percent reduction. Government programs today are cutting poverty nearly in half (from 29 percent to 16 percent) while in 1967 they only cut poverty by about a one percentage point one percentage point. [Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 12/11/13]


Hoyer: Arkansas House Delegation Could Turn Blue

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Hoyer: Arkansas House Delegation Could Turn Blue
Adam O’Neal, RealClearPolitics
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Wednesday afternoon that Democrats could win a majority of Arkansas’ four House seats this November. He also suggested that the party stands a good chance of winning the gubernatorial contest as well. “Arkansas is an example where we have zero members right now, and I think we have a possibility of picking up three seats,” the 17-term congressman said. “I think it’s going to be the perfect storm for the Republicans on our behalf.” Hoyer described Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson; former North Little Rock Mayor…

Michele Bachmann Redux? Ga. Senate Race Shapes Up; Combating Domestic Violence; Gold in Atlanta
Carl M. Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Good morning. It’s Wednesday, July 23, 2014. On this date in 1996, U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi faced a dilemma during the final event of the women’s team competition — the vault. The U.S. team, dubbed the “Magnificent 7,” had a strong chance to win gold, which the United States had never done. But 14-year-old Dominique Moceanu, the first American to compete in the final event, couldn’t stick the landing on her first attempt. On her second try, she slipped and fell. As the enthusiastic crowd in Atlanta — and tens of millions of Americans watching…


GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads
The head of Maryland’s Republican Party, Joe Cluster, has called local candidate Michael Peroutka to the woodshed for a “clarification” about his involvement with a high-­profile, white nationalist hate group. At least that’s what Cluster thinks the subject of their July 25 meeting will be.

But wait until he reads this.

On July 8, as The Huffington Post reported, Peroutka wrote a letter to Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, asking the neo­-Confederate hate group to help his campaign. Peroutka wanted to thank the League, which advocates for secession and theocratic government by and for white people, for its friendship, work, and hospitality. Peroutka had just won the GOP’s nomination for Anne Arundel County Council, as well as a seat on the Republican Central Committee there, and it made perfect sense that he would reach out to the no doubt many members of the organization on which he once served on the Board of Directors for their support.

‘Guerilla War’ and Assassinations

Perhaps Peroutka was surprised the following week, when on July 15, Hill wrote an essay for the League’s website titled “A Bazooka in Every Pot,” in which he outlines a program of “guerrilla war,” marked by “three-­to-­five-­man” death squads which would target government leaders, journalists, and other public figures for assassination, in order to advance the League’s goals.

“To oversimplify,” writes Hill, “the primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.”

On the other hand, Hill’s views may come as no surprise to Peroutka, who routinely rails against the “tyranny” of state and federal government. He detests Maryland’s laws supporting marriage equality, transgender rights, and stormwater run­off fees intended to keep the Chesapeake Bay from choking on pollution. (In demagogic style, Peroutka calls these environmental conservation fees tyrannical “rain taxes.”)

In recent essays of his own, Peroutka questions whether Maryland’s state legislature is “no longer a valid legislative body,” and argues that the duty of the County Council and the sheriff should be to “resist” enforcement of any law that does not measure up to his notion of “God’s Law.” Perhaps fortuitously, Joe Delimater, an elder in Peroutka’s church who shares these views, is the GOP candidate for Sheriff of Anne Arundel County. One might say they are a pair of theocratic running mates. The Maryland chapter of the League of the South features Delimater’s comments on “The War Between the States.”

Peroutka faces Democratic challenger Patrick Armstrong, who joined in forming a slate of candidates in the Democratic primary to call out Peroutka’s Pastor, Rev. David Whitney (who serves as the chaplain of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South, and who ran in the Democratic primary for the same County Council seat that Peroutka seeks). I am the former treasurer of the slate, which shut down after achieving its goal of defeating Whitney.

Clarify about the Death Squads, Too

Peroutka, as a wealthy debt collection attorney, flies a Confederate battle flag over his multi-­million dollar estate and calls it “the American flag.”

Unsurprisingly , Peroutka lamented in an article in 2005 that the wrong side won the Civil War. He wrote:

“Most people in America wouldn’t understand. In large measure, this is because most people in America have been led to think that America won that war.

“But the evidence is more and more clear to me that America and our American Constitution lost that war.”

He then eulogized Confederate soldiers as those who “sacrificed life and limb for the cause of American Independence.” Every year, to commemorate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday, Peroutka donates $1,000 to preserve Confederate gravestones in Baltimore’s Loudon Cemetery, and to decorate soldiers’ graves with Confederate battle flags.

Peroutka took to the stage at the League’s 2012 national conference to declare in his keynote address that he considers it a “great honor” to be named, along with his pastor, David Whitney, as a “hater” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Some Republican leaders have found a lot to like in Michael Peroutka. Some have publicly said that many of his views are conventional, conservative Republican views. However, his views on secession are not. And while they might be dismissed by some as a kind of genteel Southern eccentricity, Peroutka’s support for the League of the South and Michael Hill go far beyond nostalgia for the bygone days of the Old South.

Michael Peroutka’s neo-Confederate friend and supporter Michael Hill has advocated a program of assassination against journalists and elected officials. Voters have a right to know what Peroutka and other GOP leaders have to say about that.


Poverty Experts Skeptical That Paul Ryan’s Plan Can Actually Reduce Poverty

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Poverty Experts Skeptical That Paul Ryan’s Plan Can Actually Reduce Poverty

Paul Ryan’s new plan sounds logical — but will it actually work?

The post Poverty Experts Skeptical That Paul Ryan’s Plan Can Actually Reduce Poverty appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Paul Ryan

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered several new initiatives to combat poverty in the United States during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute Thursday morning, following months of Congressional hearings and personal visits to low income communities.

Some of the proposals — expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and reforming mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines — could well find bipartisan support in Congress, while others resemble the more conservative aspects of Ryan’s controversial budgets. Under one such measure, the government would establish a pilot “Opportunity Grant” that would consolidate what Ryan sees as duplicative or overlapping federal programs — from food stamps to housing vouchers — into a single grant offered to the states. States would then administer services in partnership with community organizations. Medicaid, the health program for the poor that Ryan had proposed to block grant in previous proposals, would not be included in the initiative.

“It would consolidate up to 11 federal programs into one stream of funding to participating states,” Ryan explained during his remarks. “Each state that wanted to participate would submit a plan to the federal government” and if approved, could then experiment with how best to deliver benefits to its residents.

The Opportunity Grant would maintain safety-net spending at the same level as current law without contributing to the deficit, Ryan promised, adding that the consolidation “does not make judgments about the optimal levels of spending” and is not a budget cutting exercise. But Democrats remained skeptical, pointing out that Ryan’s previous proposals would dramatically slash the government safety net programs he is now bundling.

“It will be interesting to see how Congressman Ryan will propose a deficit neutral anti-poverty plan when his Republican passed budget gets roughly two-thirds of its $5 trillion in cuts from lower and middle income families while reducing tax rates for millionaires by a third. Is he walking away from his own budget plan?” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) asked. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that nearly two-thirds of the cuts in Ryan’s budgets come from programs that help low- and moderate-income families.

Some experts who spoke to ThinkProgress also raised concerns that the universal credit would offer beneficiaries a fixed amount of money that would not be responsive to economic conditions. In his report, Ryan points to the nation’s experience with the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) program — a Clinton-era reform of welfare — as a model of success, though advocates argue that it has failed to meet the needs of low income families during recessions.

In 1996, Congress transformed the cash assistance program from cost-sharing model, where the federal government’s contribution to state welfare programs increased as need increased, to a block grant, in which the government provides states a fixed amount of money. States also received wider discretion over how to design their programs.

Though the number of poor families initially declined as the economy boomed, once it soured, poverty rates skyrocketed. But because the program’s block grant has remained unchained since its inception — at $16.6 billion per year — TANF has had very limited reach. While the initiative helped more than 80 percent of poor families with children in 1996, just about one-third receive assistance today. “All of a sudden, conservatives stop talking about TANF after 2001, when a recession hit and the story ends,” Melissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten and the Poverty and Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, pointed out. “If we did that with other programs, I don’t think we’d find that to be completely intellectually honest.”

Ryan’s opportunity grant “would benefit from increasing assistance during recessions,” though it was not immediately clear that it would match economic need or perform much better than TANF.

“If you combine [various programs] and then housing goes up, the amount [towards housing] doesn’t necessarily go up,” Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP) said. “The amount is no longer linked to what things cost.”

Other experts contacted by ThinkProgress wondered how different state entities would be held accountable to ensure that people receive adequate services in a timely manner and questioned the wisdom of bundling very different benefits — with very different funding structures — into a single credit.

“What does it mean to consolidate food benefits with housing benefits if you don’t have enough housing benefits to go around?” LaDonna Pavetti, the Vice President for Family Income Support Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities asked, pointing out that while the food benefit responds automatically to changing economic conditions, the housing benefit is a capped appropriation. “Do you give everybody a little bit of housing? The issues of when it’s not an entitlement system are really, really hard issues.”

In 2011, SNAP, the food benefit program, served 44.7 million people, while housing assistance reached just 4.8 million households.

The Opportunity Grant would allow counselors to provide families with greater amounts of certain types of aid, depending on their need and have them form close relationships with their clients. In one hypothetical example, Ryan explained that Andrea a 24-year-old single mother with two kids who is living with her parents, would develop an “opportunity plan” with her case manager, sign a contract requiring her to meet “specific benchmarks for success…consequences for missing them and rewards for exceeding them.” The counselor could encourage Andrea to take a temporary low-wage job to help pay the bills and provide her with greater transportation aid to help her take classes at night to become a teacher.

“The point is, with someone involved to help coordinate her aid, Andrea would not just find a job,” Ryan concluded.

But poverty experts remained skeptical, noting that since many families who need help are already working — in 2013, close to three quarters of single mothers were in the labor force — “the core challenge is not motivating them to work – rather helping them to stabilize their lives, raise their children, and move up while they are working often long hours for low wages,” Olivia Golden, Executive Director of CLASP, said in testimony before the House Budget Committee. Under Ryan’s scenario, should the program be poorly implemented, families would have to miss work in order to stand in line for hours waiting for a caseworker.

In many respects though, Ryan’s approach “may be a solution in search of a problem,” Boteach argued. Across the country, six states are already experimenting with streamlining existing programs within the context of federal law as part of an existing pilot project. Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina are taking the lead in integrating social benefit programs like state Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP, and child care subsidies with the goal of ensuring that families receive their full package of work support benefits, while states simplify and reduce their administrative burdens.

Though the final evaluation will not be complete until 2016, states have already found that decisions by state agencies — rather than the federal government — are often the biggest obstacles to reform. Several states in the initiative have simplified their verification processes by eliminating unnecessary verifications not required by federal law. South Carolina implemented an “express lane” for services to more easily provide children with Medicaid coverage if it they were already eligible for SNAP, or the food stamp program. Other reforms allow families to give their paystubs “to just one worker to process, and the information on file can support eligibility determination for several key programs, there is less burden on families and on workers and less chance of errors.”

“If someone was designing a system for scratch it’s hard to imagine someone would come up with our current very complicated system,” Lower-Basch said. “But in order to simplify you either need a whole lot more money or there will be people losing benefits. In theory things that can be done more logically, but a lot of times people use simplification to actually try to cut benefits.”

The post Poverty Experts Skeptical That Paul Ryan’s Plan Can Actually Reduce Poverty appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Here’s What Happens When an NFL Player Beats His Fiancée Unconscious

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Here’s What Happens When an NFL Player Beats His Fiancée Unconscious
From: Dave Zirin

The NFL has a serious violence-against-women problem.

Paul Ryan’s Faux Populism Isn’t Going to End Poverty or Reduce Inequality
From: John Nichols

The 2012 vice presidential candidate is just trying to rebrand himself for 2016.

The Civil War Rages on in Eastern Ukraine
From: Katrina vanden Heuvel

The American media and government are up in arms over the downing of MH17, but they don’t take into account the violence that led up to the tragedy, or the power diplomacy could have to end it. 

What Happened—and What Didn’t Happen—with Flight MH17
From: Bob Dreyfuss

In southeast Ukraine and in Russia, conspiracy theories abound.

Why the Hawks Are Winning the Iran Debate
From: Eli Clifton

People associated with groups taking a hard line on Iran sanctions accounted for twenty-two of the thirty-six testimonies solicited by House and Senate committees.


Texan Attacks Ex-Wife’s Husband with Crossbow

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Texan Attacks Ex-Wife’s Husband with Crossbow
A Texas man flew to Australia, went to his ex-wife’s home and attacked her husband with a crossbow and a tomahawk Tuesday. Jeffery Hooten, 49, was arrested in New South Wales, Australia and charged with attempted ­murder and malicious wounding with intent to ­inflict grievous bodily harm. Greg Williams, 56, deflected the crossbow bolt with his laptop, but took one tomahawk chop to the head as the men grappled. A neighbor intervened and helped Williams restrain Hooten. “He brings out this tomahawk and he swings over the top with his right hand and I managed to block him a bit, but he still got me on the noggin,” Williams said.

Hamas Rocket Halts Airline Flights to Israel
Juan Cole: A Hamas rocket hit and destroyed a house in Yahoud, a town only a mile from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday, raising severe alarm in among the international airlines and leading most of them to cancel flights to Tel Aviv. … In essence, Hamas by targeting the airport (it wasn’t trying to hit a house in Yahoud but rather the runway at Bengurion International) has hit upon a new strategy, of imposing willy nilly an international boycott on Israeli aviation.


Senator says he had PTSD when he wrote thesis

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Senator says he had PTSD when he wrote thesis
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Sen. John Walsh’s thesis written to earn a master’s degree from the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages taken word-for-word from previously published papers.

David Perdue Wins Georgia Runoff and Shifts to Campaign Against Michelle Nunn
Perdue to shift from primary to general election against big family name in the Peach State.

Hamas, the First Palestinian Army
Israel must begin considering Hamas not as terror cells, but as an army it should aspire to bring down.


Teary John Boehner praises doctor who saved congresswoman’s baby

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 23rd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Teary John Boehner praises doctor who saved congresswoman’s baby
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, got a bit misty when he recognized Dr. Jessica Bienstock, a doctor who helped Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s infant survive a rare condition.

Ted Cruz: Flight ban a boycott of Israel?
The State Department called the Texas Republican senator’s suggestion “ridiculous and offensive”

With focus on Ukraine and Gaza, Washington watches other crises simmer
Though not making as many headlines recently, there are multiple other global flash points lawmakers are dealing with