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Multiple People Shot in Attack at Oregon Community College

October 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Guardian Staff, The Guardian

Authorities advise people to stay away from Umpqua Community College in south-western Oregon after reports that multiple people have been shot.


Multiple people have been shot after an attack at a community college in south-western Oregon, emergency officials say.

The fire district said on Twitter that “multiple casualties” had been transported from the scene. CNN reported that a local hospital is expecting an “unknown number” of patients.

Appearing on MSNBC, Ray Shouffler of the Douglas County fire department said a suspected shooter had been “neutralized”.

The Douglas County sheriff’s office said in a Facebook statement that the first 911 calls were received at 10:38am PT and that police from multiple jurisdictions had responded.

The fire department on Twitter advised people to stay away from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, which is about 180 miles south of Portland. Students and faculty members were being bussed to the being bused to the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is on the scene. An agency spokesperson said ATF agents came in from Portland and Eugene, Oregon. The ATF’s K9 unit and an assistant special agent from Seattle have also been dispatched to the scene.

Ron Wyden, a senator from Oregon, said on Twitter that “Oregonians everywhere want Roseburg to know we’re praying for them”.

Umpqua Community College has about 3,000 students. Its website was down Thursday, and a phone message left at the school by the Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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GOP’s War on 'Leftist' Pope Francis Rages On: Kim Davis Meeting Isn’t Mollifying the Hard Right

October 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Sophia Tesfaye, Salon

After news of Francis's meeting with Kim Davis broke, GOP rep still fundraises off his boycott of Pope's speech.


Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, the self-described “proud Catholic” who boasted about boycotting Pope Francis’s historic address to Congress last week, is now fundraising off his political stunt.

The Washington Post got a copy of Gosar’s email appeal for campaign cash to “help me fend off the liberal sharks who are out for my blood,” sent to supporters on Wednesday ahead of the third quarter fundraising deadline. Citing the backlash to his decision to be the lone member of Congress to boycott the historic papal visit, the Arizona Republican somehow contorted his fundraising pitch into an attack on the “Obama political machine”:

If I can show that I raised $25,000 more by the end of September… I will show the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine that I am a force to be reckoned with and will continue to take principled stands.

However, should I fail to do so… the liberal sharks will smell blood in the water and try to use my principled boycott against me. Please do not allow that to happen.

Gosar blamed the “liberal media” for “reinforcing an almost rockstar-like status never before seen for the leader of the Catholic Church,” during Francis’s tour of the East Coast last week and chastised the Pope for ignoring abortion in favor of “left-wing pseudo-science of ‘global warming.'”

I believe when a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one. I need conservatives like you in my corner as I come under unprecedented attacks for taking this principled stand

Gosar also got a little conspiratorial during his appeal, questioning Francis’s popularity amongst Democrats. “This from the left, who generally ridicule religion,” he wrote. “So it begs the question as to why they have never before embraced a Pope in this fashion.”

A recent Gallup poll shows the pontiff enjoys high favorability ratings from both moderate and liberal Americans, with only conservatives exhibiting a sharp drop off in their support — from …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's 'Art of the Deal' Is a Total Fraud

October 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Nomi Prins, TomDispatch

There’s been little discussion of how Trump might be influenced by the billionaire backing him: himself.


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The 2016 election campaign is certainly a billionaire’s playground when it comes to “establishment candidates” like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who cater to mega-donors and use their money to try to rally party bases. The only genuine exception to the rule this time around has been Bernie Sanders, who has built a solid grassroots following and funding machine, while shunning what he calls “the billionaire class” that fuels the super PACs.

Donald Trump, like Ross Perot back in the 1992 and 1996 elections, has played quite a different trick on the money-saturated American political system.  He has removed the billionaire as middleman between citizen plebeians and political elites, and created a true .00001% candidate, because he’s… well, a financial elite unto himself, however conveniently posed as the country’s straight-talking “everyman.”

Despite his I-can-buy-but-can’t-be-bought swagger, Trump’s persona has been carefully constructed to deflect even the most obvious questions of conflict of interest that his wealth and deal-making history should bring up. He claims that he would govern (or dictate) as he is, no apologies or bullshit. But would he?

The billionaire-as-president is a new prospect for America. The only faintly comparable situation in our history came before the Crash of 1929, when President Calvin Coolidge, who famously declared that “the business of America is business,” reappointed mogul Andrew Mellon as his treasury secretary, just as President Warren Harding had done before him. A walking conflict of interest, Mellon left Washington during Herbert Hoover’s administration to avoid Congressional scrutiny of his personal business endeavors. He was later investigated by the Department of Justice for falsifying tax information in his own business empire.

Trump is, by his own admission, a dealmaker who has, since the 1970s, utilized self-promotion and his own growing celebrity to make money.  Nonetheless, he denies the importance of money itself. His quasi-autobiography, The Art of the Deal, opens with this now-familiar tall tale: “I don’t …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Accad: Drug Shortages, Price Gouging, and Our Broken Health Care System

October 1, 2015 in Economics

By Mises Institute

Drug Shortages, Price Gouging, and Our Broken Health Care System
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Accad: Drug Shortages, Price Gouging, and Our Broken Health Care System

October 1, 2015

Mises Daily Wednesday

Dr. Michel Accad writes:

The shaming campaign that followed last week’s news of two generic drug prices somersaulting into the stratosphere after being acquired by private companies is not too surprising. The idea that a drug which cost $13.50 one day can cost $750 the next, seemingly on the whim of greedy Wall Street investors and pharma start-ups, is fodder for the outrage machine.

But what the outrage machine does not realize is the extent to which the generic healthcare supplies are constantly on the brink of shortage.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Let's Not be Too Hasty in Responding to Putin's Syrian Misadventure

October 1, 2015 in Economics

By Emma Ashford

Emma Ashford

Russia started bombing raids in Syria this week, and despite Vladimir Putin’s anti-ISIS rhetoric, their attacks focused not on ISIS but on anti-Bashar-Assad rebel groups in the western part of the country. Many of these groups are nominally allied with the United States, and Russian attacks will undoubtedly inhibit their ability both to fight against President Assad and to support the U.S. campaign against ISIS.

Despite this, U.S. officials must avoid increased intervention in Syria, where a knee-jerk reaction to Russia’s actions could be disastrous. Instead, policymakers should focus on the positives: Russia’s actions in Syria may be reprehensible, but they serve to highlight Russia’s global weakness and could ultimately provide an opening for a diplomatic settlement in Syria.

In light of Russia’s sudden entry into the Syrian civil war, pressure is already growing for policymakers to oppose Russia and step up U.S. involvement in Syria and Iraq. Many advocate increasing arms or financing to CIA-trained rebel groups. More radical proposals include the creation of a new Sunni army to battle ISIS, complete with embedded U.S. advisers.

Policymakers should view Russian intervention for what it truly is: both a sign of weakness and a potential opportunity to resolve the Syrian crisis diplomatically.”

Yet the problems surrounding increased U.S. intervention in Syria remain the same as always. There are few rebel groups left in Syria that could be considered “moderate” or acceptable to U.S. policymakers, while those that do exist are focused not on battling ISIS but on overthrowing the Assad regime.

And though some of Russia’s targets are clearly moderate anti-regime forces, it has also targeted the Nusra Front and other extremist groups. There is no dubiety about Russia’s motives here, which are focused on eliminating threats to the Assad regime, not fighting extremists. But stepping up support to these extremist groups simply because Russia has targeted them would be folly; the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

Russia’s entry into the Syrian conflict also raises other concerns. Embedding U.S. advisers with rebel groups, for example, would increase the risk of accidental conflict between Russian and U.S. forces. Indeed, without effective “deconfliction,” even current U.S. airstrikes in Syria run the risk of accidental conflict between Russia and the United States. The frightening possibility of direct conflict between two major, nuclear-armed states should give everyone pause.

U.S. officials have responded to Russia’s involvement in Syria with heavy criticism, with Secretary of State John …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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'Bernie Sanders Is Right': Robert Reich Sums up Why Sanders Is Surging

October 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now

“If anything, Bernie Sanders understates the problem.”


 

Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary under President Clinton, discusses the economic plans of Democratic front-runners Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well as his new book, “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few.” The book looks at why the United States is now experiencing the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in 80 years.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s turn to the Democrats, because it hasn’t only been the Republicans who have been in power, and that sucking sound from the bottom to the top has been quite as loud. In July, Hillary Clinton outlined her economic vision in a speech at The New School here in New York City.

HILLARY CLINTON: First, hard-working families need and deserve tax relief and simplification. Second, those at the top have to pay their fair share. That’s why I support the Buffett rule, which makes sure that millionaires don’t pay lower rates than their secretaries. I’ve also called for closing the carried interest loophole, which lets wealthy financiers pay an artificially low rate. And let’s agree that hugely successful companies, that benefit from everything America has to offer, should not be able to game the system and avoid paying their fair share, especially while companies who can’t afford high-priced lawyers and lobbyists end up paying more.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to what Hillary Clinton has said, someone you know well?

ROBERT REICH: Well, it’s a step in the right direction, Amy, but it’s not far enough. I mean, we do have to substantially increase taxes at the top, if we’re going to have enough money to do everything that needs to be done with regard to investing in education, infrastructure, do a lot of things that, despite President Obama’s efforts, have still not been done. But I think we even have to go beyond that and really change the way the market is organized. I mean, if you look at antitrust law, for example, you’ve got huge combinations now in health insurance, in airlines, in banking, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Indiana GOP’s House Leader Resigns After Texting Sexually Explicit Video of Himself Cheating on Wife to Everyone on his “Contacts” List

October 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon

The family-values friendly Jud McMillin claimed his phone was “stolen in Canada,” but resigned in disgrace anyway.


The controversial House Majority Leader in Indiana — he cosponsored the state’s “religious freedom” law — resigned suddenly on Tuesday after a sexually compromising video was sent to all of the people on his “Contacts” list, the Advocate’s Bil Browning reports.

After news of the mass-texting began to circulate, Representative Jud McMillin (R) claimed that his “phone was stolen in Canada and out of my control for about 24 hours. I have just been able to reactivate it under my control. Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.”

But his “Canadian girlfriend stole my phone” defense apparently didn’t convince many of his “Contacts” — or at least, not the ones who mattered — and so Tuesday night he released a statement in which he said that the “time is right for me to pass the torch and spend more time with my family.”

During his five years in the legislature, McMillin has crusaded to “protect the integrity of the institution of marriage,” but the Advocate reported that the woman on the video he texted was not, in fact, his wife. According to his campaign website, he claimed that “the family has always been the foundation of our strength of community” and that “[i]n these times of turmoil the rest of the country could learn something from our example.”

It’s unclear what the rest of the country could learn from his example at this time, other than — perhaps — opposing LGBTQ rights across the board could have karmic implications for conservative Republicans with a proclivity for taking videos of themselves cheating on their wives.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET