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Iowa’s Largest Newspaper Issues Scathing Rebuke of GOP and Endorses Every Democrat Running for Congress

October 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

This editorial endorsement is a scathing rebuke of the Republican Party.


Iowa’s largest newspaper destroys the Republican Party in their endorsement of every Democrat running for the Congress in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register slams congressional Republicans on healthcare, tax cuts, deficits, tariffs, racism, misogyny, white nationalism and their fealty to Trump.

This editorial endorsement is a scathing rebuke of the Republican Party.

Go read it!

Some have argued that this election should be a referendum on President Trump. We disagree. This is about Congress, which has abdicated much of its constitutional duty and has failed to provide a check and balance to the executive branch.

Not only has the party failed to act as a check on the president, key Republicans have been complicit in trying to obstruct and undermine the investigation of a foreign power’s interference in a U.S. election. And by their silence they have tacitly endorsed the president’s racism, misogyny, white nationalism, divisiveness and crudity.

But the stakes are too high this year to worry about whether some candidates have sufficiently detailed agendas or know enough about how some parts of the government work. Nothing short of a change in party leadership in Congress will move this country forward. That’s why we’re recommending that Iowa voters send home Reps. Rod Blum, David Young and Steve King and return Rep. Dave Loebsack to the House.

This hard hitting editorial is great news for these Democratic candidates in Iowa.

Go to their respective websites and support them.

Abby Finkenauer

Dave Loebsack

Politics shouldn't be about personal profit. It's about doing what's best for your constituents & always putting them first — but some folks in Washington have forgotten that. Dave hasn't & he won't.

Watch our new ad, then chip in to help us win >>> https://t.co/88BESThOAf pic.twitter.com/HzSGcFCoTS

— Dave Loebsack for Congress (@DaveForIowa) September 18, 2018

Cindy Axne

J.D. Scholten

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's Why the Fight Over 'Political Correctness' Is Totally Bogus

October 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Rosenberg, Salon

“Political correctness” is another misguided attempt at balance that falls flat.


Writer Yascha Mounk has a new story at the Atlantic with a title guaranteed to grab attention: “Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture.” Drawing from a new report, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” Mounk reports that “80 percent believe that ‘political correctness’ is a problem,” even though, as he later admits, “we cannot be sure what, exactly, the 80 percent of Americans who regard it as a problem have in mind.” But don’t let a mere detail like that interrupt a perfectly good line of BS — and what a good line it is! It’s a troubling indicator of a well-intentioned project with some promising ideas gone badly awry.

The story’s subhead added another twist: “Youth isn’t a good proxy for support of political correctness, and race isn’t either.” However, as Mounk has highlighted on Twitter, wealth and education are good proxies! Of the seven “Hidden Tribes” the report claims to identify in contemporary America, Mounk tells us: “Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem.” So Mounk, the would-be savior of democracy seems to have convinced himself that Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are right and “political correctness” an elitist plot against real Americans!

The authors of the “Hidden Tribes” study put their case this way:

In the era of social media and partisan news outlets, America’s differences have become dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants, the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them. These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and putting our democracy in peril.

Pretty much all of this is bunk, starting with the 80 percent figure, as James Newburg, a University of Michigan grad student, explained in a Twitter thread. A more balanced question from the 2016 pre-election American National Election Survey found that “42% think ‘the way people talk needs to change’ while 56% think ‘people are too easily offended,” he noted, adding that <a target=_blank href="http://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/t/0/0/alternet/~https://twitter.com/jamesnewburg/status/1050051933187137536" …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's National Park Service Eyes 'Special Regulations' on Free Speech and Assembly Near Key DC Locations

October 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

It could also open the door to charging fees and other costs to groups who wish to demonstrate in the area.


The National Park Service, under the control of the Trump administration, has proposed a set of “special regulations” concerning areas around the United States capital. These new rules would make it difficult, if not impossible, to protest near the White House and several other key area

The change would halt protest on much of the sidewalk area north of the White House, as well as limiting the ability of groups to have spontaneous protests without permits near the White House and on the National Mall.

It could also open the door to charging fees and other costs to groups who wish to demonstrate in the area.

The NPS claims that this is necessary, as part of their job, and would help, “provide greater clarity to the public about how and where demonstrations and special events may be conducted in a manner that protects and preserves the cultural and historic integrity of these areas.”

 

Such policies would have effectively halted many past protests, including the Million Man March, the Occupy protests, and even the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Held in the National Mall, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I have a dream” speech at the event.

The public comment period in advance of this regulation being approved by the NPS closes on Monday. Please consider commenting as soon as you can.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's What Hurricane Michael Could Do to Your Mental Health

October 14, 2018 in Blogs

By The Conversation

Studies show mental and behavioral health issues cropping up weeks, months and even years after a disaster.


The mental health impact of disasters like Michael, Irma or Maria

J. Brian Houston, University of Missouri-Columbia and Jennifer M. First, University of Missouri-Columbia

When major disasters hit, the first priority is to keep people safe. This process can involve dramatic evacuations, rescues and searches.

However, after the initial emergency passes, a much longer process of recovering and rebuilding begins. For individuals, families and communities, this can last months or even years. This work often begins at the same time as the national media starts packing up and public attention shifts to the next major news story.

At the University of Missouri’s Disaster and Community Crisis Center, we study disaster recovery, rebuilding and resilience. Much of our research shows that natural disasters can have a meaningful impact on survivors’ mental and behavioral health. These issues typically emerge as people try to recover and move forward after the devastation.

Health and disasters

Immediately after a natural disaster, it’s normal to experience fear, anxiety, sadness or shock. However, if these symptoms continue for weeks to months following the event, they may indicate a more serious psychological issue.

The disaster mental health problem most commonly studied by psychologists and psychiatrists is post-traumatic stress disorder, which can occur after frightening events that threaten one’s own life and the lives for family and friends.

Following a disaster, people might lose their jobs or be displaced from their homes. This can contribute to depression, particularly as survivors attempt to cope with loss related to the disaster. It’s not easy to lose sentimental possessions or face economic uncertainties. People facing these challenges can feel hopeless or in despair.

Substance use can increase following disasters, but usually only for individuals who already used tobacco, alcohol or drugs before the disaster. In a study of Hurricane Katrina survivors who had been displaced to Houston, Texas, approximately one-third reported increasing their tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use after the storm.

There’s also evidence that domestic violence increases in communities …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Lifelong Fresno Republican Rips Devin Nunes for Betraying Christian Voters to Serve His ‘New Master’ Trump

October 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, AlterNet

“His ardent support for this amoral man betrayed the values that we hold as Republicans and as Christians.”


In an extended diatribe published by the Fresno Bee, a lifelong Republican who claims he loves the party because it reflects his Christian values absolutely destroyed his congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

According to Andrew Shinn, a business professor at Fresno Pacific University, “I am one of the left-behind Republicans. I am a Christian and grew up thinking that voting Republican was the only option for people like me. Opposing abortion was all-important, followed closely by the value of integrity.”

“In the Republican party of my youth, the Constitution was a near-sacred document. We were the party who pounded it, memorized parts of it, stood up for it. I have taught it to my kids, just as my parents talked about it with me: in hushed tones and with reverence,” he continued before pointing out the day he saw the GOP differently.

“When Donald Trump was elected president, I wondered what had happened to my party. He was filthy, the opposite of everything that I was taught to strive for. His name was on strip clubs in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He openly bragged about taking sexual advantage of women,” he wrote. “As a boy, I looked up in reverence to the men who stood on stage at the Promise Keepers conventions, preaching about living with integrity. They talked about being unselfish, sacrificing yourself for others, keeping promises at all costs. To see a president so out of sync with these values was jarring. Weren’t we the Moral Majority?”

Shinn then recalled when he first moved into Nunes’ district.

“I was proud to be represented by him,” he explained. “He was a farmer, one of the salt-of-the-earth people I could trust to carry out my commonsense Republican values. His influence grew and his family stopped farming in California, but I was proud to see him listed on Time’s Most Influential 40-Under-40 list of politicians to watch. He said then that the Founding Fathers were his political heroes, and I applauded. I voted …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Alt-Right Mob Involved in Brutal Beating Outside of Event at New York's Metropolitan Republican Club

October 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, Raw Story

The attack began after “a protester tried to take their MAGA hat they wear brutally kicked and punched.”


Late Friday night, following an event at the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York, a mob of approximately 30 members of the white nationalist Proud Boys was filmed attacking and beating several men in the street, reports Heavy.

The attacks followed a speech by one of the founders of the group, Gavin McInnes.

In multiple videos posted to Twitter and YouTube, a group of men can be seen suddenly running down the street and then gathering as two or three men are pummeled and then kicked while on the ground.

According to filmmaker Sandi Bachom, the attack began after “a protester tried to take their MAGA hat they wear brutally kicked and punched.”

Filmmaker Andrew Kimmel, formerly of Buzzfeed, provided more context and supplied additional photos of the fights, which can be seen below.

You can watch the videos below:

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New Footage Disproves White Woman's Claim That a Black 9-Year-Old 'Sexually Assaulted' Her

October 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Noor Al-Sibai, Raw Story

The video 'completely vindicates the child.'


Security camera footage has disproven the claims of a white woman nicknamed “Cornerstore Caroline” who called the police on a 9-year-old black boy for “sexual assault.”

Andrew Ramos, a reporter with New York's Pix11 news station, tweeted the surveillance video clip that shows the woman leaning over a store counter as the boy, identifiable by his bright green school uniform shirt, walks behind her.

The woman identified as Theresa claimed the 9-year-old boy “grabbed my ass,” but the footage shows him merely brushing against her — corroborating the claims of eyewitnesses inside the store who said the boy did not “assault” the woman.

https://twitter.com/AndrewRamosTV/status/1050774055320719361

“Video completely vindicates the child,” Ramos noted. “Deli owner told me the woman has a history of being 'unwell.'

He also added that although some people believed Theresa was bluffing, “she actually did call 911″ and that police responded 17 minutes later. A report “was never filed,” Ramos wrote.

The reporter also included video of him and another journalist standing outside the woman's apartment door asking her questions. She can be heard through the door saying she'd called the police on them.

https://twitter.com/AndrewRamosTV/status/1050787682312425473

In a subsequent tweet, Ramos wrote that the police arrived following the woman's call. She reportedly claimed the journalists “were harassing her and threatening her with violence.”

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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How This Red State's Cruel Meth Laws Are Putting Women Behind Bars in Record Numbers

October 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Phillip Smith, Independent Media Institute

In South Dakota, testing positive for drugs is a felony.


Like other Great Plains states, South Dakota has a methamphetamine problem. But it's becoming increasingly evident that South Dakota also has a problem with the way it deals with meth.

Because of its strict drug laws, the state is seeing a dramatic spike in women being sent to prison for meth. According to a new report from the non-profit news organization South Dakota News Watch, the number of women in prison in the state has jumped 35 percent since 2013, while the male prison population has increased at only one-quarter of that rate. Nearly two-thirds of all women prisoners in the state are there for non-violent drug offenses. The state now has the fourth-highest incarceration rate for women in the country, trailing only Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Kentucky.

Overall, about one-third of all inmates in the state are doing time for drug-related offenses, the majority of them for simple drug possession. That's a higher percentage than most other states, where drug offenders tend to make up somewhere around 20 to 25 percent of the inmate population.

The high drug-related incarceration overall and for women in particular stems less from the prevalence of drug use than from the conservative, largely rural state's reaction to it. South Dakota has not responded to decades of failed war on drug policies by reforming them, but by doubling down on them.

The state has not moved toward the defelonization of drug possession, as at least 16 other states have. Instead, it has moved in the opposite direction. South Dakota has mandatory sentencing laws that include prison not only for the manufacture and distribution of meth but also for simple possession.

State lawmakers and cops have long favored tough drug laws, and they are still at it. This year, state Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) guided bills through the legislature that heighten penalties for meth dealing and increase sentences for dealers whose clients overdose and die.

But the state's most notorious and contentious drug law—one that is sending hundreds of people to prison—is …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Watch Trump's Deranged Praise of Robert E. Lee As 'A Great General'

October 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Matthew Chapman, AlterNet

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Trump proclaimed a traitor who fought the U.S. over slavery “great”.


On Friday, President Donald Trump held a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, where he urged his supporters to vote for Rep. Steve Chabot's re-election.

Having said his piece on that, however, he took a turn into very strange territory, and ended up ranting about the greatness of both Union general Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

“[Ohio] also gave you a general who was incredible,” Trump said. “He drank a little bit too much. You know who I'm talking about, right? So Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn't beat Robert E. Lee. He was going crazy, I don't know if you know this story. But Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle, and Abraham Lincoln came home and said, 'I can't beat Robert E. Lee.' And he had all of these generals. They looked great, they were the top of their class at West Point, they were the greatest people. There was only one problem. They didn't know how the hell to win. They didn't know how to fight. They didn't know how.”

Watch below:

It seems as if Trump does not really know anything about the Civil War, as there was no substance in anything that he said in that speech. Regardless, it is not inappropriate to proclaim the “greatness” of a man who betrayed his country and went to war against his fellow U.S. troops to preserve the institution of slavery.

Trump has repeatedly suggested a reverence for Lee and his fellow Confederate officers, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Donald Trump Jr. Jumps on Disgusting Smear Campaign of Missing Saudi Journalist as a Terrorist Sympathizer

October 12, 2018 in Blogs

By Matthew Chapman, AlterNet

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Before the smoke has even cleared on the horrific disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, Donald Trump Jr. is trying to delegitimize him.


The disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and subsequent claims by the Turkish government that he was murdered by government officials in the Saudi consulate, has sickened the world, and prompted business leaders to suspend ties with Saudi Arabia.

But President Donald Trump has been disturbingly distant from the incident, which has horrified journalists who fear the president is sending a message to rogue regimes that the United States does not care about the killing of overseas reporters. Only today did he agree to even talk to King Salman about the issue.

Trump's right-wing defenders, on the other hand, have the most reprehensible response imaginable to justify the president's inaction: demonize Khashoggi as a terrorist sympathizer who didn't really deserve to live anyway. They are seizing on the fact that Khashoggi conducted interviews with al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden in the 80s and 90s as proof that he is friendly to al-Qaeda's goals.

And one person who appears to completely agree with this is the president's eldest son.

On Friday, Patrick Poole, terrorism correspondent for the far-right PJ Media, shared images of Khashoggi from the 80s with the Afghanistan freedom fighters who would ultimately become the Taliban, writing that he was “just a democrat reformer journalist holding a RPG with jihadists.”

Sean Davis, co-founder of The …read more

Source: ALTERNET