AlterNet.org: Rebecca Leber http://afp.alternet.org/authors/rebecca-leber en Exxon CEO Joins Suit to Stop Fracking By His Home Because He's Worried About His Property Values http://afp.alternet.org/environment/exxon-ceo-joins-suit-stop-fracking-his-home <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">But Big Oil Exec Rex Tillerson is fine with hydrofracking when it adversely affects others. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/tillerson.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>As ExxonMobil’s CEO, it’s Rex Tillerson’s job to promote the hydraulic fracturing enabling the recent oil and gas boom, and fight regulatory oversight. The oil company is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S., relying on the controversial drilling technology to extract it.</p><p>The exception is when Tillerson’s $5 million property value might be harmed. Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home.</p><p>The <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304899704579391181466603804?mg=reno64-wsj">Wall Street Journal</a> reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/water20140220.pdf">suit says</a>.</p><p>Though Tillerson’s name is on the lawsuit, a lawyer representing him said his concern is about the devaluation of his property, not fracking specifically.</p><p>When he is acting as Exxon CEO, not a homeowner, Tillerson has lashed out at fracking critics and proponents of regulation. “This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,” he said <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-ceraweek-exxon-tillerson-idUSBRE82810B20120309">in 2012</a>. Natural gas production “is an old technology just being applied, integrated with some new technologies,” he said in <a href="http://grist.org/climate-energy/stand-back-im-going-to-try-science-inside-the-brain-of-exxonmobils-ceo/">another interview</a>. “So the risks are very manageable.”</p><p>In shale regions, less wealthy residents have protested fracking development for impacts more consequential than noise, including <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/17/3073851/chemicals-fracking-water/">water contamination and cancer risk</a>. Exxon’s oil and gas operations and the resulting spills not only sinks property values, but the spills have <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/exxon-tear-down-arkansas-houses-damaged-oil-spill.html">leveled homes</a> and <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/15/2301451/25-years-after-exxon-valdez-oil-spill-company-still-hasnt-paid-for-long-term-environmental-damages/">destroyed regions</a>.</p><p>Exxon, which pays Tillerson a total <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2013-07-11/compensation-kings-top-15-u-s-ceos.html#slide2">$40.3 million</a>, is staying out of the legal tangle. A spokesperson told the WSJ it “has no involvement in the legal matter.”</p><p><strong>Update</strong></p><p>Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has formally extended a welcome to Tillerson to the fracking critic club, with <a href="http://polis.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=370452">this statement Friday</a>:</p><blockquote><p>I would like to officially welcome Rex to the ‘Society of Citizens Really Enraged When Encircled by Drilling’ (SCREWED). This select group of everyday citizens has been fighting for years to protect their property values, the health of their local communities, and the environment. We are thrilled to have the CEO of a major international oil and gas corporation join our quickly multiplying ranks.</p></blockquote><p> </p> Sat, 22 Feb 2014 12:40:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Climate Progress 961795 at http://afp.alternet.org Environment exxon hydrofracking Sick! Border Patrol Activity Teaches Children to Shoot Immigrant-Like Effigies http://afp.alternet.org/immigration/sick-border-patrol-activity-teaches-children-shoot-immigrant-effigies <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Controversial photos emerge.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/target_1.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><div><p>Controversial photographs from a recent Border Patrol event show agents teaching children to aim and shoot a paintball gun at a human-shaped target. Immigrant activists have accused Border Patrol of using this activity to encourage children how to shoot immigrants in an area where migrants have died.</p><p>“The target is dressed to resemble a migrant and is located within 100 feet from Virginia Avenue where actual persons have been killed by Border Patrol gunfire,” Immigrants Rights Consortium’s Pedro Rios said, according to <a href="http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Border-patrol-migrant-target-practice-243415261.html">NBC San Diego News</a>. “While encouraging children to use guns to shoot at a migrant effigy is unconscionable, it is also symbolic of the agency’s unabashed culture of violence which has grown from a lack of accountability, oversight and unprofessional standards that rebuke best practices in situations involving use-of-force.”</p><p>Border Patrol claims it is “standard” practice to use targets dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. It denies, however, that the target was meant to look specifically like an immigrant, and said the “activity was meant to create awareness about law enforcement tools used to address some violent situations without the use of deadly force.”</p><p>“The photos in question are from an activity at the event that allowed members of the community to fire a pepper ball launch system that had been loaded with ‘inert rounds’ — filled with a baby powder-type substance to be able to see whether the intended target had been hit,” a spokesperson said. “The target is a standard practice used by law enforcement and even amateurs throughout the U.S., and is clothed in plain jeans and a t-shirt, also standard when conducting exercises/demonstrations.”</p><p>Local activists maintain the activity was insensitive, especially at a time Border Patrol is under scrutiny for deadly force in suspicious circumstances. Since 2010, border patrol has killed more than 20 people. One was a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/07/1554041/report-border-patrol-shot-16-year-old-up-to-11-times-in-the-back/">16-year-old Mexican boy</a> who was throwing rocks at the fence. Today, Customs and Border Protection has refused to curb its policy <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-border-patrol-rejects-curbs-force-051854692.html">to use deadly force</a> against rock-throwers, defying recommendations to reconsider.</p></div><p> </p><div><div data-href="http://facebook.com/thinkprogress" data-send="false" data-show-faces="true" data-width="300" fb-xfbml-state="rendered"> </div></div><div> </div><p> </p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 08:40:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 955049 at http://afp.alternet.org Immigration Activism Immigration News & Politics border patrols brutality towards immigrants border crossing children and guns Judge Who Said Rape Victim Was 'In Control' Sentences Abusive Boyfriend to Write 'Boys Don't Hit Girls' http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/judge-who-said-rape-victim-was-control-sentences-abusive-boyfriend-write-boys-dont <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Montana judge has a history of leniency for crimes against women.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/mugshot.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Montana District Judge G. Todd Baugh’s <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/29/2553951/montana-judge-sparks-protests/">controversial remarks</a> about a 14-year-old rape victim inspired a national petition and protests when he suspended the rapist’s jail sentence in August to a mere 30 days. This week, in a different case, Judge Baugh required an abusive boyfriend to write “Boys do not hit girls,” <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-montana-judge-boys-hit-girls-5000-times-20131224,0,4233976.story#axzz2oUU8a8Oe">5,000 times</a>, in addition to a six-month jail sentence.</p><p>Pacer Ferguson, the man forced to write “boys do not hit girls,” had punched his girlfriend during a 2012 argument, fracturing her face in three places that still cause her occasional pain. According to the <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-who-hurt-girlfriend-gets-total-of-years-prison-must/article_a2aec05b-a2eb-5b1e-bee4-6a1df01442ee.html">Billings Gazette</a>, Baugh sentenced the man to the maximum time allowed for his misdemeanor assault and he must also pay the victim’s medical bills. While a jury acquitted Ferguson of more serious charges that would have led to a longer sentence, he will spend <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-who-hurt-girlfriend-gets-total-of-years-prison-must/article_a2aec05b-a2eb-5b1e-bee4-6a1df01442ee.html">eight years</a> in state prison serving a concurrent sentence for a robbery.</p><p>Before this case, Baugh had sentenced a former teacher for raping a 14-year-old who committed suicide before the trial. When Baugh delivered the sentence that reduced the man’s possible 20-years in jail to one month, he determined the victim was “older than her chronological age” and was “as much in control of the situation” as the teacher. The remarks sparked <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/29/2553951/montana-judge-sparks-protests/">outrage</a> calling for Baugh’s removal. Insisting that his remarks may have been inappropriate but the sentence was not, Baugh <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/26/2683431/teacher-montana-released/">apologized</a>, “What I said is demeaning of all women, not what I believe and irrelevant to the sentencing.”</p><p>Alabama has seen a similar situation play out, with a county judge giving a man convicted of raping a teen three times to <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/11/15/2949891/alabama-rapist-punishment/">probation and zero prison time</a>. Public outrage drove the judge to reconsider the sentence. However, he returned with what’s arguably an <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/12/24/3103291/alabama-judge-gives-rapist-probation-prison-time/">even lighter sentence</a>.</p> Thu, 26 Dec 2013 06:53:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress 940808 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Judge G. Todd Baugh abusive relationships rape lenient sentences Pacer Ferguson Walmart Is The Latest Company To Ruin Workers’ Thanksgivings http://afp.alternet.org/walmart-latest-company-ruin-workers-thanksgivings <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Spending time with family this Thanksgiving? Not if you work at Walmart.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-11-12_at_2.32.44_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p>Walmart has announced it will open its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving,<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/11/11/2922791/buy-thanksgiving/">joining retailers</a> like Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, and Toys R Us that are cutting their workforce’s holiday short to pursue holiday season profits. Kmart will open its doors the earliest of all the stores, opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.</p><p>“Almost everybody to date has moved up, at least one hour, if not more,” Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Duncan Mac Naughton <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/walmart-thanksgiving-hours-2013_n_4256542.html">said Monday</a>. “We thought 6 o’clock was the exact right time to win the weekend.” He explained that the 1 million workers needed to staff stores are “really excited to work that day.”</p><p>Last year, Walmart faced <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/19/1213411/walmart-black-friday-strikes/">protests and strikes</a> for creeping into holiday hours. The 8 p.m. start time prompted an online petition that collected more than <a href="http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-walmart-to-give">30,000 signatures.</a> As consolation, the retailer said it will <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-thanksgiving-shopping-20131112,0,3186075.story?page=1#axzz2kRKBfUgG">pay workers</a> higher holiday wages, give them one 25 percent discount on a transaction, and give them a free meal.</p><p>What Walmart did not explain in its announcement is that 1 million workers have little choice but to work. Retailers have insisted they will afford time off to any worker who want to spend time with their families. However, far from being “excited” to work the holiday rush, it’s more likely managers have flatly told staff they cannot request the time off. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/kmart-holidays_n_4241144.html">Huffington Post</a> has reported on several signs popping up in Kmart stores that tell employees to not even bother requesting time off. (Kmart replied those were “rogue” signs.)</p><p>And the workers who volunteer to show up on a holiday may be doing so because they can’t otherwise get enough hours. <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t08.htm">More than 8 million people</a> are currently working part time but want to be full time. Erratic scheduling is not only an issue that hits Walmart around the frantic holiday season; it’s long been <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/173983/walmart-workers-plan-wednesday-scheduling-showdowns-150-stores">accused of understaffing</a> and constantly changing schedules, and retail in general has <a href="http://retailactionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/7-75_RAP+cover_lowres.pdf">become known</a> for shortchanging workers on the hours they need. Furthermore, Walmart’s aggressive use of a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/24/2669191/walmart-adds-fulltime-workers/">temporary work force</a> throughout the year already leaves workers without benefits, predictable scheduling, and enough pay. Even when retail workers are full-time, they struggle to survive on low wages and are <a href="http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/pat-garofalo/2013/11/05/kmarts-black-friday-hours-thanksgiving-and-americas-weak-labor-protections">not necessarily guaranteed vacation</a> time.</p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:03:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 922909 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics walmart 500 Children Die In Hospitals From Gunshot Wounds Every Year http://afp.alternet.org/500-children-die-hospitals-gunshot-wounds-every-year <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">8 of 10 of those gunshot wounds were caused by handguns. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/photo_1358462761389-1-0_0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><h1 style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 0.5em; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: DagnyWebProBlack, Avenir, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.15em; font-weight: normal; color: rgb(109, 57, 140); "> </h1><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0.4em 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; ">Every year, 500 children and teenagers are killed from gunfire and another 7,500 kids are hospitalized from gun injuries, according to a<a href="https://aap.confex.com/aap/2013/webprogrampress/Paper22761.html" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">new study</a> from doctors who reviewed a decade’s worth of hospital pediatric records.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0.4em 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; ">Highlighting how gun violence takes a large but invisible toll, the doctors found eight of 10 of those gunshot wounds were caused <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/health/terrible-tally-500-children-dead-gunshots-every-year-7-500-8C11469222" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">by handguns</a>. They found a “significant relationship” between a state’s household gun ownership rate and childhood gunshot wounds, suggesting that it has something to do with <a href="http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/22/21084041-5-year-old-texas-boy-accidentally-kills-himself-with-napping-babysitters-gun" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">the frequency</a> <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/13/1999451/at-least-5-children-were-accidentally-shot-by-children-in-the-week-before-mothers-day/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">of accidental shootings</a> in the home. Arkansas leads the country with the highest rate of unlocked and loaded guns in households with children (7 percent).</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0.4em 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; ">Between 1997 and 2009, child fatalities from guns have risen 60 percent:</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0.4em 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; "><img alt="Paper_22761_abstract_22173_0" class="aligncenter" src="http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Paper_22761_abstract_22173_0.png" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0.5em auto; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 17px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; overflow: hidden; display: block; float: none; clear: both; " /></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0.4em 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; ">Other studies confirm the link between the rate of <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/13/2617131/largest-gun-study-guns-murder/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">gun ownership</a>, and<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/07/1686081/study-states-with-most-gun-laws-have-fewest-gun-deaths/%3Fmobile%3Dwt/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">lax laws</a>, to the rate of gun violence. But <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/children-and-guns-the-hidden-toll.html" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">fewer than 20 states</a> make adults criminally liable for allowing children access to guns, as others have moved to <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57577930/" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">weaken regulations</a>.</p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 11:28:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 916071 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics guns kids Meteorologist: Why I'll Never Fly Again http://afp.alternet.org/meteorologist-why-ill-never-fly-again <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A former Wall Street Journal meteorologist explains why he decided to stop flying. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-10-08_at_1.49.56_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p>For a meteorologist like Eric Holthaus, the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is something like waiting for the Super Bowl for six years. Holthaus, who writes for Quartz and formerly for the Wall Street Journal, was awake at 4 a.m. on a Friday morning reading through the summary that made it clear the world is running out of time to act. Boarding a plane home to Wisconsin, he broke down in tears. He determined to <a href="http://qz.com/129477/why-im-never-flying-again/">stop flying</a>, a decision that has gained <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/eric-holthaus-twitter_n_4005003.html">national attention</a>. “It’s not worth the climate,” one of his tweets said.</p><p>IPCC’s conclusion, in short, is that scientists are <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/27/2681861/15-things-ipcc-report/">unequivocally certain</a>that the Earth is warming and that humans are the dominant cause. Without immediate action to curb emissions, the world has little chance to limit warming to 2°C. We only need to burn 10 percent of fossil fuels reserves to blow past that upper limit.</p><p>But Holthaus’ biggest moment of disillusionment was reading what scientists had to say about geoengineering that attempts to reverse climate change by changing the climate system. These last-ditch concepts can resemble costly sci-fi-like schemes and carry their own severe risks, like <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/10/2150931/another-geoengineering-scheme-ocean-iron-fertilization-could-backfire/">massive aerosol injection into the atmosphere</a>. He knew this already, but it meant something different to see it in a document approved by 195 member countries.</p><p>In an interview with Climate Progress, Holthaus said he thought, “Well, that’s it,” as he read the report. “There’s no way we can wait anymore for world leaders to take action on this.” That’s what made him decide, as a as a meteorologist who has covered climate change for more than 10 years, to stop flying. He doesn’t consider it a drastic change, but leading by example.</p><p>“I do everything, I recycle, I don’t own a car, I’m a vegetarian, all of the things that are reducing my carbon footprint. But I also fly 75,000 miles a year,” he said. “So when I plugged that in a carbon calculator, it’s like, wow, I have double the emission of the average American and here I am every day telling people to take action and I’m not doing it myself.”</p><p>Conservative media have treated Holthaus with as much respect as they treat mainstream climate science. Drudge linked to it, while <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/10/03/sniveling_beta_male_fox_news_greg_gutfeld_slams_eric_holthaus_for_giving.html">Fox News’ The Five</a> ridiculed him, calling him, “a kook.” In that case, Holthaus said at least he’s glad he successfully got Fox to discuss climate change on air for 4 minutes. Otherwise, he says he’s had overwhelmingly positive reaction, from colleagues and people who have looked at their <a href="http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/carboncalculator">carbon footprint of daily activities</a> like shopping or meat consumption. For people who don’t drive much but fly often, planes can account for <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=0">three-quarters</a> of a person’s emissions.</p><p>Many don’t fly the number of miles Holthaus has logged, like flying to Ethiopia for a climate adaptation project. Climate hawks like Bill McKibben have the same problem of how to reconcile aviation emissions with continuing their work. McKibben’s answer has been to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mckibben/skype-bill-mckibben_b_962711.html">limit his flying</a> to when it’s absolutely necessary, and otherwise choosing to conference by web.</p><p>Airplane emissions account for <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/aviation/index_en.htm">5 percent of global pollution</a>, and 3 percent of carbon emissions. U.S. passengers alone are projected to double from 500 million to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-03-09/travel/ct-biz-faa-forecast-air-travel-forecast-mar09_1_faa-flights-today-passenger-volumes">1 billion</a> in a decade. There have been small steps of progress. Last week a U.N. agency approved a road map for establishing a ceiling on aviation emissions in 2020. A price on carbon, as well as an informed public, are vital to lowering this pollution, since emissions from your flight also heavily depend on factors like the<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/05/2579541/aviation-climate-ozone/">destination and time of year</a>.</p><p>With aviation emissions expected to rise 300 to 700 percent by 2050, countries will need to hold the aviation sector accountable for its emissions in a plan to combat climate change. “A world that is protected from climate change looks very different from the world today,” Holthaus said.</p><p>As a meteorologist, Holthaus says he feels compelled to do what he can personally, while being an unbiased source of information for the public. “As a journalist and as a scientist I have to talk about facts,” he said. “The truth is there is no remaining doubt and there’s no need to waver on the issue of do humans cause climate change anymore. So I think my reporting and my response as a human and a fellow person on the planet — I think that of course — it should reflect that.”</p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 10:47:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 907074 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics wall street journal 10 Guns Found in Schools Last Week http://afp.alternet.org/education/10-guns-found-schools-last-week <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Kids as young as age seven were found with guns at school. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_144654782.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Based on a count from Daily Kos’ David Waldman, <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/23/1239006/-GunFAIL-XXXVI">10 guns</a> were discovered on elementary, middle and high school properties during the same week the nation saw another mass shooting.</p><ul><li><strong>Clarksburg, WV:</strong> A <a href="http://www.wboy.com/story/23467481/clarksburg-police-investigating-incident-at-mountaineer-middle-school" target="_blank">middle school student</a> brought a gun to school, and gave it to another student, who turned it in.<br /> </li><li><strong>Chattanooga, TN</strong>: A possibly loaded gun was found in a <a href="http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/23471236/woodmore-elementary" target="_blank">7-year-old</a> boy’s backback. He had brought it from home, and the discovery forced the school to go into lockdown.<br /> </li><li><strong>Mobile, AL</strong>: An <a href="http://www.abc3340.com/story/23470324/boy-accused-of-bringing-gun-to-school-arrested" target="_blank">eighth grader</a> brought a gun to school.<br /> </li><li><strong>Nashville, NC</strong>: An <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&amp;id=9251681" target="_blank">elementary schoolgirl</a> brought an unloaded gun into school. Teachers found it in her backpack.<br /> </li><li><strong>Paramus, NJ:</strong>Staff saw a 17-year-old <a href="http://www.northjersey.com/paramus/Student_arrested_after_bringing_gun_to_school.html" target="_blank">acting suspiciously</a>, and ended up finding an unloaded gun in his backpack.<br /> </li><li><strong>Providence, RI:</strong> A 15-year-old tried to <a href="http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2013/09/providence-police-boy-tries-to-sell-gun-drugs-in-classroom.html" target="_blank">sell a gun</a> during class, and also brought it out during a fight after school.<br /> </li><li><strong>Hawthorne, FL</strong>: A 16-year-old student brought a <a href="http://www.mygtn.tv/story/23501646/student-brings-a-loaded-gun-to-hawthorne-high-school" target="_blank">loaded gun</a> to school.<br /> </li><li><strong>Knoxville, TN</strong>: A gun was confiscated from a <a href="http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/sep/17/gun-confiscated-at-south-doyle-high-school-15-in/" target="_blank">15 year old student</a>.<br /> </li><li><strong>Shreveport, LA:</strong>A 10th grade student carried an unloaded handgun in <a href="http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20130918/NEWS03/130918027/Shreveport-high-school-student-unloaded-gun-arrested?nclick_check=1" target="_blank">his waistband</a>.<br /> </li><li><strong>Kansas City, MO</strong>: A school employee with a <a href="http://www.khou.com/news/national/missouri-school-employee-resigns-gun-car-campus-91913.html" target="_blank">concealed carry permit</a> brought a gun in his vehicle to school property.</li></ul><p>There have been at least <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/mass-shootings-2013_n_3941889.html" target="_blank">16 mass shootings</a> since Newtown, and schools are on high alert. But not helping matters is the National Rifle Association’s call to arm <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/22/2661551/navy-yard-nra/" target="_blank">more people everywhere</a>, even though we’ve seen gun owners leave their firearms in absolutely the worst places possible. Just Tuesday, a staffer for the Missouri House Speaker left his loaded pistol in the <a href="http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/09/24/staffer_left_loaded_gun_in_state_capitol_restroom.html" target="_blank">state capitol restroom</a>.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 10:00:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress 901122 at http://afp.alternet.org Education Education education k-12 Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence newtown massacre 10 Ways Republicans Have Blown Their Own Minority Outreach Strategy http://afp.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/10-ways-republicans-have-blown-their-own-minority-outreach-strategy <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Just a few examples of how Republicans have gotten in their own way of appealing to Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/palin.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The Republican National Committee had <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/18/1735771/how-three-top-republicans-are-already-blowing-up-the-rncs-minority-outreach-strategy/">what seemed like easy advice</a> for the rest of the GOP after the 2012 election: Stop inflaming racism and expand the voter base beyond male, white America. After a disastrous few months since the RNC autopsy report, they tried again Thursday, with an event celebrating the “rising stars” in the Republican Party.</p><p>But Republican leaders worry its already too late, as <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/08/rncs-nbc-cnn-boycott-to-benefit-univision-170671.html" target="_blank">Politico reported</a> on Friday, “influential Republicans told us the party is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7, the day after the disastrous election.” Republicans have repeatedly gotten in their own way of appealing to Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans. Here are just a few examples:</p><p><strong>1. Voted to deport DREAMers:</strong>With DREAMers standing in the room and booing, 221 House Republicans <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/06/06/2114081/house-republicans-booed-as-they-vote-to-deport-dreamers/" target="_blank">voted to defund</a> the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which would effectively resume deportations. Meanwhile, comprehensive immigration reform has come to a grinding halt in the House, which has split on whether to include a path to citizenship.</p><p><strong>2. Suppressed minority votes:</strong> Immediately after the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/25/2212281/two-hours-after-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act-texas-ag-suppresses-minority-voters//" target="_blank">Texas</a> moved to enact a voter ID law and<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/02/2244651/north-carolina-voter-suppression-voting-rights-act/" target="_blank">North Carolina</a> rolled out a series of voter suppression bills. Texas has now joined a case to <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/09/2439101/texas-asks-court-to-nuke-the-voting-rights-act-forever/" target="_blank">permanently undo</a> Voting Rights Act protections. It doesn’t help matters that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia called the Voting Rights Act a perpetuation of <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/27/1646891/scalia-voting-rights-act-is-perpetuation-of-racial-entitlement/" target="_blank">“racial entitlement.”</a></p><p><strong>3. Dismissive and racist language:</strong> Republicans haven’t figured out a way to keep Rep. Steve King (R-IA) quiet, since the congressman refuses to apologize for calling immigrants drug mules. But it’s not just Steve King. In private King insists his colleagues <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/07/27/2365921/steve-king-in-private-republicans-actually-agree-with-my-cantaloupe-sized-calves-comments/" target="_blank">agree with him</a>, while Rep. Don Young (R-AK) used the word <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/29/1793271/don-young-latino-wetbacks/" target="_blank">“wetbacks”</a> to describe Hispanics. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) has made a case <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/08/14/2468781/tom-mcclintock-multiculturalism/" target="_blank">against multiculturalism</a>, saying, “there’s only one race here, it’s the American race.”</p><p><strong>4. Boycotting Spanish-language TV: </strong>Due to its invented controversy involving networks broadcasting Hillary Clinton documentaries, the RNC said it will<a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/08/rncs-nbc-cnn-boycott-to-benefit-univision-170671.html" target="_blank">boycott</a> Spanish-language networks Telemundo and CNN Espanol for 2016 debates, too.</p><p><strong>5. Insensitivity on Trayvon Martin: </strong>Texas Governor Rick Perry reacted to George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict for the death of a black teen by insisting the justice system is <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/14/2297301/rick-perry-reacts-to-zimmerman-verdict-i-think-our-justice-system-is-color-blind/" target="_blank">“color blind.”</a> Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) told African-Americans to “get over it.” King <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/14/2297241/blame-president-zimmerman-trial/" target="_blank">blamed Obama</a> for Zimmerman even having to stand trial for Martin’s death. And Florida Governor Rick Scott <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/15/3564934/dream-defenders-end-sit-in-protest.html" target="_blank">has refused</a> to even open debate on the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.</p><p><strong>6. Tea Party condescendingly talks race:</strong>Even as he attempted to broaden the Republican party’s appeal to black voters, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/04/10/1847211/five-ways-rand-paul-whitesplained-politics-at-howard-university/" target="_blank">condescendingly</a> discussed the history of civil rights and discrimination during his April speech at Howard University. Paul, who once admitted he opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recently explained he doesn’t “think there is any particular evidence” of <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/14/2468501/rand-paul-i-dont-think-there-is-any-particular-evidence-of-black-voters-being-prevented-from-voting/" target="_blank">black voters being prevented</a> from voting.</p><p><strong>7. Relied on racist author’s Heritage study to fight immigration reform:</strong> That former Heritage author Jason Richwine earned his Ph.D for a racist <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/22/2044781/jason-richwine-harvard-dissertation-race-iq-hispanic/" target="_blank">dissertation linking race and IQ</a> has not stopped Republicans from <a href="http://steveking.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=4570:king-commends-heritages-rector-report&amp;catid=71:press-releases&amp;Itemid=300164">heralding Heritage’s discredited findings on immigration</a>.</p><p><strong>8. Pursued rabidly anti-LGBT agenda:</strong>Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has stood by his position of viewing LGBT people as <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/07/20/2332681/cuccinelli-virginia-gay-people-soulless/" target="_blank">“soulless” and “self-destructive.”</a> The RNC also unanimously passed anti-LGBT resolutions without any debate in April. Neither shows Republicans are serious about showing LGBT Americans “we care about them too,” like the RNC <a href="http://growthopp.gop.com/rnc_growth_opportunity_book_2013.pdf" target="_blank">stated</a>.</p><p><strong>9. Ignored uninsured voters:</strong>Latinos have among the lowest rates of health coverage in the U.S., and also back <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/01/1801341/obamacare-latino-outreach/" target="_blank">Obamacare 2 to 1</a>. The GOP has ignored this issue, and haven’t offered any alternatives for the uninsured, even as many of them threaten to shut down the government to block Obamacare.</p><p><strong>10. Still arguing for self-deportation:</strong> Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, invited by Republicans to testify on immigration, is still arguing for <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/04/22/1904121/gop-immigration-guru-insists-dreamers-should-self-deport/" target="_blank">self-deportation.</a> Even RNC chairman Reince Priebus slammed this approach as<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/reince-priebus-immigration-reform-rnc-steve-king-self-deportation-2013-8#ixzz2c8YaDcN3" target="_blank">“horrific.”</a></p> Sun, 18 Aug 2013 11:04:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 884177 at http://afp.alternet.org The Right Wing The Right Wing race republican national committee republican party voter suppression women Florida Cops Shoot Unarmed Black Man In His Mother’s Driveway http://afp.alternet.org/florida-cops-shoot-unarmed-black-man-his-mothers-driveway <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The deputies reportedly fired about seven shots at the unarmed man.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/managed/topstories_g20cops.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p>This weekend, deputies from Escambia County, Florida shot an unarmed man who went to grab cigarettes from the car parked in the driveway of his mother’s home. A neighbor called police at 2 a.m. because he suspected 60-year-old Roy Middleton was stealing the car. Things quickly escalated when two deputies arrived and ordered Middleton to “get your hands where I can see them,” the <a href="http://www.pnj.com/article/20130728/NEWS11/307280027/Deputies-shoot-at-man-in-his-yard" target="_blank">Pensacola News Journal reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>[Middleton] said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.</p><p>He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.</p><p>“It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”</p></blockquote><p>The deputies reportedly fired about <a href="http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/florida/deputy-involved-shooting-under-investigation" target="_blank">seven shots</a> at the unarmed man; Middleton was shot in the leg, and another five bullet holes hit the car and the side of house.</p><p>With the Trayvon Martin case still a fresh memory for another Florida county, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s office are now investigating the incident. For now, the involved officers are on paid administrative leave.</p><div><h5>UPDATE</h5><p> </p><p>Sheriff David Morgan told <a href="http://www.pnj.com/article/20130729/NEWS11/130729006/Mother-of-man-shot-in-his-front-yard-speaks-out" target="_blank">press</a> Monday afternoon the police officers reported the man “lunged out of a vehicle and spun toward them.” The gun shots shattered bones in Middleton’s left thigh, which “will require the insertion of a metal rod.”</p></div><p> </p> Tue, 30 Jul 2013 07:09:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 875792 at http://afp.alternet.org florida police Steve King Compares Immigrants to Dogs, Says it was a Compliment http://afp.alternet.org/immigration/steve-king-compares-immigrants-dogs <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">He also claimed that the majority of undocumented immigrants are “130-pound” drug runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/steve_king_rect.jpeg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>In a Univision interview, leading Hispanic reporter Jorge Ramos <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/rep-steve-king-univision-legal-status-dreamers/story?id=19718241">confronted</a> Rep. Steve King (R-IA) over remarks in 2012 where the congressman likened<a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/05/22/rep_steve_king_immigrants_like_dogs/">immigrants to dogs</a>. King refused to apologize, even as Ramos told him “many people would find that offensive and racist.”</p><p>Video of King’s 2012 town hall shows him saying America has the “pick of the litter,” and should pick the “friskier” immigrants, “not the one that’s over there sleeping on the corner.”</p><p>But King denies that he ever made the comparison. Interrupting Ramos throughout the interview to make that point, King said, “I told you if you watch that video you would know that was a speech celebrating legal immigrants.”</p><p>Here is an excerpt of the testy exchange:</p><blockquote><p>RAMOS: So from your point of view, you actually did not compare immigrants to dogs?</p><p>KING: I said that speech was about the vigor of legal immigration. It was a very complimentary speech and no I did not do that.<br /><br />RAMOS : I don’t think many people found that complementary. [Crosstalk]. You know it is not complimentary to compare a group of immigrants to animals.</p></blockquote><p>Watch the <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/rep-steve-king-univision-legal-status-dreamers/story?id=19718241">full video</a> at ABC Univision.</p><p>King has compared immigrants to animals more than once, including the time he suggested an electrified border fence because “we do this <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2006/07/13/6259/king-fence/">with livestock</a> all the time.”</p><p>During the same interview, the leading opponent to immigration reform also remarked that what happens to DREAMers and undocumented immigrants is not his “responsibility.” “American citizens and legal Americans do not have a moral obligation to solve the problem of the 11 million people that are here unlawfully,” he said.</p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:47:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress 872403 at http://afp.alternet.org Immigration Immigration News & Politics The Right Wing immigration steve king Libertarian Activist Openly Loads Shotgun and Calls for Revolution in D.C. http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/libertarian-activist-openly-loads-shotgun-and-calls-revolution-dc <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">He had wanted to organize an armed watch on Washington, but plans kind of fell through. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_134166164.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The libertarian activist Adam Kokesh who called for and then canceled an armed march on Washington uploaded a YouTube video on July 4 that shows him <a href="http://dcist.com/2013/07/video_appears_to_show_libertarian_a.php">loading a shotgun</a> in the center of Freedom Plaza, Washington, D.C, near the White House. In the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sAGGoPidEY&amp;feature=youtu.be">video</a>, Kokesh cryptically warns, “We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity. We are the final American revolution. See you next Independence Day.”</p><p>Watch the video:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="222" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-sAGGoPidEY" width="395"></iframe></p><p>It is illegal to openly carry a firearm, much less a loaded one, in the District of Columbia.</p><p>Kokesh initially planned to lead a July 4 march on Washington with loaded firearms to advocate for open carry and “to put the government on notice.” When he announced the original armed march on Washington, authorities thoroughly <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/08/1980841/police-open-carry-washington-march/">warned against</a> it. But he later abandoned those plans in favor of raising an <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/29/2075191/leader-of-armed-march-on-washington-calls-for-revolutionary-army-to-topple-government/">“army” of secessionist rallies</a> held at state capitols.</p><p>Kokesh, who has also compared himself <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/15/2012951/kokesh-washington-gun-march/">to Gandhi</a>, has even implied violence as the end result. “Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible,” he said in a statement.</p><p>The July 4 protests inspired by the gun activist were small in number and attendance. At one small protest in Concord, New Hampshire showed a man calling for a revolution with an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNQXafuqfqo">assault rifle</a> slung over his shoulder.</p><p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> The U.S. Park Police and D.C. Police are <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/police-investigate-activist-gun-rights-activists-video-shot-in-district/2013/07/04/88cf05d8-e4d8-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html">investigating the incident</a> but said in a statement the video “appears to have been taken in Freedom Plaza.”</p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 09:04:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 864860 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics The Right Wing adam kokesh 46 People Were Shot In Chicago In Less Than 72 Hours This Weekend -- Youngest Victim 15-Year-Old Shot Dead by Police http://afp.alternet.org/chicago <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Where&#039;s the outrage over this story?</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/photo_1356346278966-2-0_29.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Chicago saw <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-16/news/chi-chicago-crime-shooting-gun-violence-marquette-park_1_lowest-homicide-totals-weekend-west-north-avenue">46 people</a> shot the weekend following the six-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting, which happened to coincide with Father’s Day weekend. During one of the bloodiest weekends of the year, Chicago Tribune reports that seven people were killed, with the youngest victim being a <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-police-fatally-shoot-boy-15-20130617,0,6504038.story">15-year-old boy</a>shot dead by police.</p><p>While mass shootings are more likely to attract the headlines — by ThinkProgress’ count there have been 14 since December — everyday gun violence in the U.S. adds up to a Newtown every single day (Slate counts more than <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html">5,000 gun deaths</a> since December).</p><p>Gun advocates tend to use Chicago to argue that gun violence laws are not effective. Chicago has some of the strictest laws in the nation — it had a ban on handguns until 2010 — but the city has long suffered from violence that is on an uptick the past two years. The total number of weekend’s shootings is actually slightly down compared to the same period last year, when 53 had been shot.</p><p>But as a city, Chicago is not isolated from areas with <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/15/1599631/no-chicago-isnt-proof-that-gun-regulation-doesnt-work/">noticeably laxer laws.</a> It is part of a state that has weaker gun violence laws, where a full 43 percent of the guns seized from Chicago crime come from. The rest of the seized guns were <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/gun-debate-guide/">trafficked from other states</a> not typically known for their gun violence prevention. Just in May, a convicted felon shot a man by arranging for someone to buy his hangdgun from a strip mall <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-12/news/ct-met-guns-straw-purchasers-20130512_1_kenneth-lee-gun-violence-straw-purchasing">40 miles away</a>. <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/27/749171/how-federal-law-helps-arm-chicago-street-gangs/">Loopholes</a> in federal law leave areas with strict gun laws more vulnerable to these straw purchases.</p><p>President Obama made a plea for federal law to <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/02/18/1606201/18-year-old-mother-shot-and-killed-in-chicago-hours-after-sister-attends-obamas-gun-speech/">catch up</a> in February, before the Senate filibustered the most serious congressional attempt to address gun violence.</p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 11:46:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 856381 at http://afp.alternet.org chicago 46 guns 26 Members of Congress to Live Off Food Stamp Budget to Protest Cuts http://afp.alternet.org/hard-times-usa/26-members-congress-live-food-stamp-budget-protest-cuts <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Could you eat off $4.50 a day?</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/groceries.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Twenty-six <a href="http://lee.house.gov/press-release/full-member-list-congressional-snap-challenge">members of Congress</a> will live off of a food stamp budget this week to draw attention to House Republicans cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program’s eligibility requirements already leave out <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/29/2073511/50-million-americans-are-going-hungry-as-congress-considers-gutting-food-stamps/">50 million food insecure households</a>, but another <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/14/2010531/senate-committee-approves-4b-in-food-aid-cuts-as-house-preps-even-worse-measure/">2 million Americans</a> would lose access to food stamps in the proposed changes for the Farm Bill.</p><p>The SNAP challenge means that Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and 25 participating members must try to live off of under $4.50 per day for food and drink.</p><p>Lee detailed the tough decisions she made grocery shopping — butter and milk were outside her budget and a McDonalds value menu item will count as her midweek break — in a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-barbara-lee/join-members-of-congress_b_3428820.html">blog post.</a> “What I’m thinking about most during this trip is that I’m shopping only for myself,” she wrote, comparing the difficult decisions now to when she needed public assistance as a single mother. “When I was a young, single mother, I was on public assistance. It was a bridge over troubled water, and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I spent hours debating what to buy and what to skip, all the while keeping my sons in my mind.” Many Americans receiving SNAP benefits are <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/06/06/2114621/five-essential-facts-about-food-stamps/">under 18 years old</a> and live in working households.</p><p>On Wednesday, the participating Democrats chronicled their trips to the grocery store, where they poured over coupons and attempted to buy a week’s worth of food for about $30:</p><p> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>51 cents to spare. Hardest shopping trip in memory. Two small bags of groceries, not a lot of food. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SNAPchallenge&amp;src=hash">#SNAPchallenge</a> <a href="http://t.co/3k4lkmiu9y">pic.twitter.com/3k4lkmiu9y</a></p>— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) <a href="https://twitter.com/RepDanKildee/statuses/344850760892301312">June 12, 2013</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Other officials have attempted to live off of food stamps for short periods of time. Newark Mayor Cory Booker took the challenge earlier this year. When <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/26/917651/phoenix-mayor-attempts-to-live-on-a-food-stamp-budget-im-tired-and-its-hard-to-focus/">Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton participated</a> in the challenge, he found he was “tired” and it was “hard to focus” by day four. “If I were doing this with no end in sight, I probably wouldn’t be so pleasant,” he wrote. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/05/20/2038121/senator-undertakes-3-per-day-food-stamp-challenge-as-congress-readies-cuts/">recently participated in the SNAP challeng</a>e, found “I’m hungry for five days…I lost six pounds in four days.”</p><p>Compare these reactions to the arguments made by conservatives, who pan food stamps as government dependency. “Unfortunately, the rapid growth of this program has only increased dependency on government and added to our federal deficit,” 25 Republican members wrote in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/food-stamp-cuts_n_3429301.html?1371067319">a letter</a> Tuesday. Last Thanksgiving, a Fox News host joked she would look <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/11/21/1228731/fox-pundit-jokes-food-stamps-could-be-a-diet-plan/">“fabulous”</a> on a food stamp diet.</p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 06:49:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 855096 at http://afp.alternet.org Hard Times USA Hard Times USA News & Politics food stamps snap house republicans barbara lee 14-Year-Old Rape Victim Slut Shamed by Town: "I Can’t Walk Outside Without Someone Calling Me a Whore or Slut” http://afp.alternet.org/teen-rape-victim <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">This ordeal is common for victims of sexual assault. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-06-11_at_10.58.40_am.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Several high-profile cases of sexual assault have shown the consequences of rape culture: From <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/09/1840501/rehtaeh-parsons-rape-culture/">Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide</a> to the <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/03/18/1732701/media-steubenville/">Steubenville rape trial</a>, these girls were re-victimized by the harassment and public shaming that followed the sexual assault.</p><p>Now, a 14-year-old in Elwood, Indiana who is eight months pregnant faces ongoing harassment simply because her neighborhood sees her as a very young pregnant girl. But a reporter at the Indianapolis Star writes that her town does not know <a href="http://www.indystar.com/article/20130605/NEWS/306050112/An-Elwood-girl-became-pregnant-sexual-assault-13-Her-story-illustrates-growing-problem-Indiana-">the full story</a> of the 17-year-old boy who physically overpowered her after she told him “no.” On Tuesday, he faces sentencing for three counts of child molestation.</p><p>At the same time the girl has encountered vicious public shaming from her community, she and her mother Kristy Green have <a href="http://www.indystar.com/article/20130605/NEWS/306050112/An-Elwood-girl-became-pregnant-sexual-assault-13-Her-story-illustrates-growing-problem-Indiana-">spoken out</a> because they worry her assailant will walk free in juvenile court:</p><blockquote><p>“I can’t walk out the door without someone calling me a whore or slut,” the girl said. “I used to have a lot of friends, or people I thought were my friends, but as soon as this happened I just isolated myself.”<br /><br />The repeated vandalism incidents at the family’s home — including the words “whore” and “slut” scrawled on the garage doors — were reported to police. But Green said no charges were filed because there were no witnesses to the acts.</p><p>Her daughter also has been the target of mean-spirited rumors and speculation that her pregnancy is the result of promiscuous behavior.</p></blockquote><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; "><img alt="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2134311" height="104" src="http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/slut_quote-05.png" style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; clear: both; display: block; " width="589" /><br />This ordeal is all too common for victims of sexual assault — a reality that affects not just U.S. teens in school, but also pervades <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/06/09/2126451/military-rape-survivor-re-victimized/">military</a> and <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/jose-canseco-twitter-rape-victim/65515/">sports</a> culture. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recently <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-rape-20130605,0,2814676.story">noted</a> that “it’s still news when a rape victim stands in front of the cameras to state what ought to be obvious, which is that she has nothing to be ashamed of.”</p><p>But the people in Elwood — lacking the details of the rape due to privacy in the juvenile court system — reverted to alienating the teen for her pregnancy because they assumed she must have been “promiscuous.” That’s true for many teen moms across the country, who are often on the <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/05/17/2029011/teen-mothers-receive-shame-instead-of-support/">receiving end of this stigma</a> precisely at the time they most need support. <a href="http://teenpregnancypsas.tumblr.com/">Public awareness campaigns</a> attempting to prevent teen pregnancy often put inordinate focus on “slut-shaming” abstinence over <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/03/01/1640851/states-teen-pregnancy-rates/">comprehensive sexual health resources</a>.</p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 07:55:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 853414 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics teen rape sex Zimmerman Lawyer Goes On National TV To Smear Trayvon Martin With Inadmissible Evidence http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/zimmerman-lawyer-goes-national-tv-smear-trayvon-martin-inadmissible-evidence <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"> Zimmerman has dropped his Stand Your Ground defense, but he will still argue he acted in self defense when he shot the unarmed teen on the street of a gated community. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-05-28_at_3.39.32_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p>A Florida judge <a href="http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/28/18556018-judge-bars-evidence-for-now-in-george-zimmerman-trial?lite">ruled</a> Tuesday that George Zimmerman will not able to use 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s school records, texts, and prior marijuana use in court for the second-degree murder trial for killing the teen last year, which begins June 10.</p><p>The case became notorious for Zimmerman’s claim he was protected from trial under Florida’s ALEC-modeled Stand Your Ground law. Since then, Zimmerman has <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/justice/florida-zimmerman-defense">dropped his Stand Your Ground defense</a>, but he will still argue he acted in self defense when he shot the unarmed teen on the street of a gated community. The two sides appeared in court Tuesday to present a number of motions, including what evidence is admissible in court and a failed motion to delay the trial.</p><p>But before the hearing today, Zimmerman’s lawyer <a href="http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/23/18449794-zimmerman-defense-releases-texts-about-guns-fighting-from-trayvon-martins-phone?lite">released</a> images and texts that attempt to cloud Martin’s public image.</p><p>On air last week, Mike O’Mara touted the new images he said portray a more “three-dimensional picture of Trayvon.” According to <a href="http://www.mediaite.com/tv/george-zimmermans-lawyer-reveals-new-evidence-to-fox-trayvons-pictures-of-gun-and-weed/">Mediaite</a>, Fox broadcast images from Martin’s phone that showed a hand holding a gun and a photograph of marijuana, which O’Mara argues is central to his client’s argument that he acted in self-defense because it shows Martin was <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/28/us-usa-florida-shooting-idUSBRE94R03G20130528">“street-wise.</a>”</p><p>The judge has decided that none of this information will be permitted in court. However, Zimmerman’s defense may still hope the campaign has implications for the trial and for potential jurors.</p><p>Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Martin’s family, explained in <a href="http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-05-27/news/os-george-zimmerman-trial-hearing-20130527_1_george-zimmerman-trayvon-martin-mark-o-mara">a statement</a> Thursday:</p><blockquote><p>Is the defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked? If so, this stereotypical and closed-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn’t know. The pretrial release of these irrelevant red herrings is a desperate and pathetic attempt by the defense to pollute and sway the jury pool.</p></blockquote><p>In the <a href="http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-05-24/news/os-george-zimmerman-trial-motions-friday-20130524_1_trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-jury-pool">Orlando Sentinel</a>, state prosecutors said the information is “irrelevant… and would serve only to prejudice the jury.”</p> Tue, 28 May 2013 12:39:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 846716 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics martin zimmerman 6 Ways Oklahoma's GOP Senators Have Fought to Undermine Relief Funding http://afp.alternet.org/6-ways-oklahomas-gop-senators-have-fought-undermine-relief-funding <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Inhofe is singing a different tune now. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-05-21_at_12.20.02_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p>Oklahoma residents will now turn to government assistance for emergency disaster aid after a tornado ripped through the state on Monday, leaving dozens dead and tearing apart hundreds of buildings. But the same night that many residents lost their homes, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told <a href="http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/coburn-wants-tornado-disaster-aid-to-be-offset/">CQ Roll Call</a>insisted he would “absolutely” require any federal disaster aid to be offset by other budget cuts. He later clarified on Tuesday, promising, “I can assure Oklahomans that any and all available aid will be<a href="http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/rightnow?ContentRecord_id=2f5984e7-a83f-4d5e-97df-38a26b2d711e">delivered without delay</a>.”</p><p>Both of the state’s senators, Sen. James Inhofe (R) and Coburn, however, have long worked to undermine the Federal Emergency Management Agency, even though their state heavily relies on disaster aid:</p><blockquote><p>1. In September 2011, Coburn offered an amendment to offset <a href="http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/rightnow?ContentRecord_id=995cfda9-ac21-4b94-bccc-4f8ed1c2eac3&amp;ContentType_id=b4672ca4-3752-49c3-bffc-fd099b51c966&amp;Group_id=00380921-999d-40f6-a8e3-470468762340">$6.9 billion in FEMA funding</a>.</p><p>2. Coburn voted in 2011 against funding FEMA after it ran out of money, because, in his words, funding FEMA would have been “unconscionable.” Inhofe <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/112-2011/s131">did not vote</a>. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired back at Republicans blocking a bill for necessary funding to FEMA.</p><p>3. Inhofe proposed <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/www.inhofe.senate.gov/newsroom/speech/statement-of-senator-inhofe-on-the-floor-of-the-senate-on-the-introduction-of-s-1583-the-storm-shelter-tax-relief-act-of-2011">removing grants</a> for storm shelter programs coordinating with FEMA, and instead provide individuals with <a href="http://www.inhofe.senate.gov/newsroom/speech/statement-of-senator-inhofe-on-the-floor-of-the-senate-on-the-introduction-of-s-1583-the-storm-shelter-tax-relief-act-of-2011">tax breaks</a>.</p><p>4.  Coburn criticized items in Sandy disaster relief such as $12.9 billion for disaster mitigiation and $366 million for Amtrak as <a href="http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=82c5222b-3bfd-4592-a29c-0f1f7bf4fdc9&amp;ContentType_id=d741b7a7-7863-4223-9904-8cb9378aa03a&amp;Group_id=41cf7e93-d82e-44c6-b4fb-f686b568e689">“wasteful spending.”</a></p><p>5. After Hurricane Sandy, Inhofe and Coburn <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/29/1510041/sandy-aid-republican-hypocrites/">voted against a bill</a> for $50.5 billion in Hurrican Sandy disaster relief.</p><p>6. Coburn demanded that $5.25 billion in FEMA grant funds be<a href="http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&amp;File_id=2a3c2fbc-903b-46c4-a180-b7b71d8ba93d">reallocated</a> because of sequestration in April 2013.</p></blockquote><p>A spokesman told the Huffington Post that Coburn has supported offsets for the Oklahoma City bombing recovery effort, which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/20/oklahoma-senators-disaster-relief_n_3309234.html?utm_hp_ref=politics">tapped funds</a> not yet appropriated.</p><p>Oklahoma and Texas rank as the top two states in FEMA disaster declarations; combined, they account for <a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2011/09/29/6762/fema-funds-run-out-senators-states-most-disasters-oppose-funding-bill">more than a quarter</a> of declared disasters since 2009. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the senators have requested disaster aid for <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/29/1510041/sandy-aid-republican-hypocrites/">severe storms and drought</a>, even though Coburn is willing to hold up relief with his demands.</p><div><h5>UPDATE</h5><p>On MSNBC, Inhofe <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/05/21/inhofe-tornado-totally-different-from-hurricane-sandy/">argued</a> that tornado aid for Oklahoma is “totally different” from aid for Hurricane Sandy. “Everyone was getting in and exploiting the tragedy taking place,” he said. “That won’t happen in Oklahoma.”</p></div><p> </p> Tue, 21 May 2013 09:16:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 843524 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics oklahoma tornado inhofe coburn Armed Gun-Rights Leader Compares Himself to Gandhi http://afp.alternet.org/armed-gun-rights-leader-compares-himself-gandhi <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Mahatma would be turning over in his grave.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/gun_gandhi.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On July 4, Adam Kokesh hopes to lead 1,000 protesters <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/05/1965191/open-carry-washington-march/">armed with guns</a> into Washington, D.C. to advocate for open carry. In Kokesh’s eyes, a crowd armed with guns compares to the nonviolent civil disobedience practiced by Mahatma Gandhi.</p><div><p>Kokesh answered the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/activist-adam-kokesh-has-history-of-rabble-rousing-and-self-promotion/2013/05/13/95a0ddcc-b986-11e2-bd07-b6e0e6152528_story.html">Washington Post</a>through a series of text messages:</p><blockquote><p>Suppose the D.C. police, as they have promised, block the marchers from crossing into Washington? How should they respond?</p><p>“With Satyagraha,” Kokesh, 31, texted The Washington Post. That is a term used by Mahatma Gandhi to describe his strategy of nonviolent resistance to British rule in India. [...]</p><p>Did his response of “satyagraha” mean violence is unacceptable?</p><p>“Only if absolutely necessary in defense of life or limb,” he wrote.</p></blockquote><p><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=RZDIUlha-UMC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=Satyagraha&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ftKSUcLfCpC30QG23YHgCg&amp;ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Satyagraha&amp;f=false&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;http://books.google.com/books?id=RZDIUlha-UMC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=Satyagraha&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ftKSUcLfCpC30QG23YHgCg&amp;ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Satyagraha&amp;f=false&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;http://books.google.com/books?id=RZDIUlha-UMC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=Satyagraha&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ftKSUcLfCpC30QG23YHgCg&amp;ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=snippet&amp;q=excludes%20the%20use&amp;f=false">Satyagraha</a>, in Gandhi’s words, is “a way of life based on love and compassion.” Gandhi explained that “[i]n the application of Satyagraha I have discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy.”</p><p>Compare Satyagraha to Kokesh’s <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/252728144871259/?ref=3">event description</a> on Facebook. Although Kokesh claims his march will “peacefully turn back” if confronted with “physical resistance,” he ominously warns the march will be violent if “the government chooses to make it violent.” He also proclaims that “[w]e will march with rifles loaded &amp; slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated &amp; cower in submission to tyranny.”</p><p>Because open carry is illegal in D.C., the police chief has already <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/05/08/1980841/police-open-carry-washington-march/">warned</a> that “passing into the District of Columbia with firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such.” Even open carry groups like Gun Owners of America are wary of the march, which is now at over 4,000 Facebook RSVPs.</p><p>Kokesh is not alone in trying to link guns to civil rights movements. The argument has at times been taken up by the <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/02/1662711/nra-to-african-americans-youll-need-guns-to-protect-yourselves-from-the-government/%3Cbr%20/%3E">National Rifle Association</a> and conservative radio host <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/01/19/1473651/limbaugh-tarnishes-civil-rights-movement-to-advance-pro-gun-agenda/">Rush Limbaugh</a>.</p></div><p> </p> Wed, 15 May 2013 07:24:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 840612 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics Adam Kohesh march on washington Mahatma Gandhi rush limbaugh Border Control Abuse: 4-Year-Old Held More Than 20 Hours Before Deported http://afp.alternet.org/immigration/border-control-abuse-4-year-old-held-more-20-hours-deported <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Reports of Border Patrol abuse are widespread, but in cases where lethal force is used, criminal charges against agents are extremely rare.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/fence_prison.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>At age 4, Emily Ruiz was detained for more than 20 hours and deported to Guatemala for months, although she is a U.S. citizen. Now at 6 years old, her family filed a lawsuit that claims Emily has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.</p><p>Her case is part of <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/13/immigrants-sue-border-patrol/1982681/">10 lawsuits</a> filed by immigration groups against Customs and Border Protection. Reports of Border Patrol abuse are widespread, but in cases where lethal force is used, criminal charges against agents are extremely rare.</p><p>The complaints allege unlawful mistreatment and discrimination at the hands of agents:</p><p>1. <strong>4-Year-Old Emily Ruiz, A Citizen, Deported And Mistreated While Detained</strong></p><p>The lawsuit describes the <a>difficult conditions</a> Emily was subjected to for the 20 hours of her detention: She was put in a cold room with her grandfather, without bed, blanket or pillow so that her only option was to nap on the floor. Emily received nothing but a cookie and a soda for the duration, and was deprived of contact with her parents for over 14 hours. Throughout the day, she “had bouts of hysterical and prolonged crying.” When the agent spoke to her parents, who are undocumented, the lawsuit alleges an agent told them he could not send Emily home to “illegals” and threatened to send her an adoption center. Upon her return, Emily was diagnosed with PTSD.</p><p>2. <strong>63 Year Old Suffered Stroke</strong></p><p>63-year-old Elizabeth Takem-aishetu <a href="http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/newsroom/release/national-wave-complaints-highlights-rampant-abuse-us-customs-and-border-protection-">suffered a stroke</a> while detained. She was traveling home by bus to New York when an agent boarded the bus and picked her out for questioning. She claims she was held for hours without food and water and was denied use of a bathroom. Forced to sit in her urine-soaked jeans, she had a stroke that continues to affect her.</p><p>3. <strong>Naturalized Citizen Subjected To ‘Citizenship Checkup’</strong></p><p>Lucy Rogers, a naturalized U.S. citizen who works as a medical interpreter for immigrant farmworkers, says she was pulled over for a <a href="http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/newsroom/release/national-wave-complaints-highlights-rampant-abuse-us-customs-and-border-protection-">“citizenship checkup.”</a> An agent arrested her and the two farmworkers she traveled with, suspecting she was trafficking undocumented immigrants. She was held for hours and her car GPS was seized.</p><p>4. <strong>Woman Forcibly Thrown To Ground</strong></p><p>An American citizen alleges she was “forcibly thrown” to the ground, after she crossed to the Mexican side of the border for 15 minutes to pick up keys. The agent allegedly grabbed her, threw her to the ground, and handcuffed her “so tightly that the fire department later had to be summoned to cut the handcuffs.”</p><p>5. <strong>Four People Thrown In Freezing Holding Cells</strong></p><p>Four immigrants crossing the border were detained and claim they were put in <a href="http://aijustice.org/ai-justice-takes-action-against-border-patrol-for-abusing-immigrant-women/">freezing holding cells</a>. Their lips and fingertips turned blue, and one woman’s face hurt and peeled. They were given no access to a shower or blanket, and had a single thermos they could share.</p> Sun, 17 Mar 2013 18:47:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress 810765 at http://afp.alternet.org Immigration Civil Liberties Immigration News & Politics immigration deportation customs and border protection Virginia Pizza Shop Offers a Discount to Anyone Who Carries a Gun http://afp.alternet.org/virginia-pizza-shop-offers-discount-anyone-who-carries-gun <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">What could go wrong?</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2013-02-19_at_12.30.54_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; "><img alt="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1608171" height="400" src="http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/carry1.jpg" style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; clear: both; display: block; " width="547" /></p><p>At one Virginia pizza shop, customers who <a href="http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/va-beach-pizza-shop-offers-discount-gun-owners">bring in a gun</a> or show a gun permit get 15 percent off their order. The pro-gun owner of All Around Pizzas and Deli claimed that 80 percent of his customers have walked in carrying a gun since he offered the discount last week, including one carrying an AK-47. “It’s been awesome,” the owner, Jay Laze, said.</p><p>All Around Pizzas isn’t the only business encouraging customers to tote guns two months after the Newtown shooting. Earlier this month, a Utah ice cream business offered concealed carry permit-holders <a href="http://fox13now.com/2013/02/05/concealed-weapons-net-discount-at-ice-cream-shop/">$1 off</a> of their ice cream.</p><p>Thanks to Virginia’s open carry laws, customers can not only enjoy their pizza next to a gun, but they can also go to the <a href="http://hamptonroads.com/2008/03/open-vs-concealed-carry-whats-difference">bank, hospital, store, and a bar</a> with firearms.</p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:29:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 797054 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics pizza guns State Of Denial: More Dirty Energy Policies Expected From Koch-Fueled Marco Rubio http://afp.alternet.org/environment/state-denial-more-dirty-energy-policies-expected-koch-fueled-marco-rubio <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Although Rubio was dubbed by TIME magazine a “new voice of the GOP,” the presidential hopeful sounds no different from the old party.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/AFP/photo_1327685287216-1-0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>After the State of the Union, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), will deliver the Republican response, where he will likely repackage many of the same dirty energy policies that <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/11/07/1155631/the-final-tally-big-polluters-big-ad-spending-in-the-2012-elections/">lost spectacularly</a> among voters in 2012.</p><p>Although Rubio was dubbed by TIME magazine a “new voice of the GOP,” the presidential hopeful sounds <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/02/07/1553941/8-reasons-why-rubio-is-not-the-republican-savior/">no different</a> from the old party — particularly his positions on climate change and favoring Big Oil above all.</p><p>Just last week, Rubio claimed climate change is <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/06/1547531/gops-future-still-stuck-in-the-past-rubio-claims-theres-reasonable-debate-on-manmade-climate-change/">not a problem</a> for his home state Florida, despite a devastating year of extreme weather. “I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on [human-caused climate change], but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle,” he said.</p><p>Not surprisingly, Rubio is a member of the Koch polluter caucus. He is one of five senators who received a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/01/11/402770/five-us-senators-are-perfect-koch-servants-americans-for-prosperity-reports/">perfect score</a> from the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity, and he received <a href="http://floridaindependent.com/24075/marco-rubio-the-no-1-recipient-of-koch-money-in-2010-senate-races">more of the petrochemical giant’s cash</a> than any other Senate campaign in 2010, for a career total of <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2012&amp;cid=N00030612&amp;type=I">$32,200.</a>According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Senator Rubio has received nearly <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cycle=Career&amp;cid=N00030612&amp;type=I">$260,000 in dirty energy</a> contributions from oil, gas, and coal, with his largest contribution coming from the Koch-linked group, Club for Growth.</p><p>But Rubio’s polluter backing comes at a cost. His record includes:</p><blockquote><p>–<a href="http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00063">Voting against</a> repealing Big Oil subsidies to fund clean energy projects and reduce the deficit.</p><p>– Voting against extending tax credits <a href="http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&amp;session=2&amp;vote=00039">for renewable energy</a>, at the same time he maintained oil industry tax breaks</p><p>– Signing a pledge to Americans for Prosperity that <a href="http://www.noclimatetax.com/pledge-signatories/">promises</a> to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”</p><p>– <a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/03/compromise_brought_needed_vote.html">Voting against legislation aiding states</a> harmed by the 2010 BP oil disaster. Rubio was the only senator from the Gulf Coast to do so, and one year later, he voted to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/science/earth/19congress.html?_r=0">expand coastal oil and gas exploration</a> and issue faster drilling permits to oil companies.</p></blockquote><p>Rubio has given no reason to expect anything less than a Big Oil agenda tonight.</p><p><em>Tiffany Germain, ThinkProgress War Room Senior Climate/Energy Researcher, contributed substantial research to this post.</em></p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 09:30:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Climate Progress 793371 at http://afp.alternet.org Environment Environment News & Politics maro rubio koch climate change sotu Wendy’s Franchise Cuts Employee Hours To Part-Time To Avoid Obamacare http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/wendys-franchise-cuts-employee-hours-part-time-avoid-obamacare <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Another example of a corporation screwing over employees in respons to healthcare mandate.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/photo_1332504033876-3-0_5.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><a href="http://thinkprogress.org.feedsportal.com/c/34726/f/638927/s/27485031/l/0Lthinkprogress0Borg0Chealth0C20A130C0A10C0A70C140A98410Cwendys0Eobamacare0C/story01.htm"><em>ThinkProgress.</em></a></p><p>Not long after the owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains admitted their <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/12/20/1365461/olive-garden-red-lobster-see-sharp-drop-in-profits-after-anti-obamacare-campaign-backfires/" target="_blank">anti-Obamacare campaigns</a> hurt more than helped, the owner of a Wendy’s franchise in Omaha, Nebraska plans to cut 300 employees’ hours to part-time to avoid providing them health care coverage.</p><p>By moving workers to part-time status in order to avoid paying for their health benefits, the Wendy’s franchise would shift the costs of insurance coverage onto <a href="http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Fast-Food-Worker-Hours-Cut---185827392.html" target="_blank">hundreds of employees</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The company has announced that all non-management positions will have their hours reduced to 28 a week. Gary Burdette, vice president of operations for the local franchise, says the cuts are coming because the new Affordable Health Care Act requires employers to offer health insurance to employees working 32-38 hours a week. Under the current law they are not considered full time and that as a small business owner, he can’t afford to stay in operation and pay for everyone’s health insurance.</p></blockquote><p>But anecdotal evidence suggests this strategy may backfire on the Omaha Wendy’s operations. This fall, Denny’s quickly distanced itself from a franchisee’s similar ploy, while <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/11/20/denny_s_obamacare_surchase_john_metz_smacked_down_by_denny_s_ceo.html" target="_blank">Darden Restaurants</a> saw a sharp 37 percent drop in profit after threatening to cut workers to part-time.</p><p>Heaping blame on Obamacare may be a popular tactic among the fast food industry, but it is a misleading one. According to the Urban Institute, Obamacare has a <a href="http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412675-Implications-of-the-Affordable-Care-Act-for-American-Business.pdf" target="_blank">negligible impact</a> on business costs, leaving large companies virtually unaffected while actually reducing costs for small businesses.</p><p> </p><div> </div> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 07:10:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 773118 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics wendys obamacare Lone Republican Still Gunning for Romney Victory http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/lone-republican-still-gunning-romney-victory <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Idaho State Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, a Republican, amplifies a debunked theory circulating on Tea Party blogs.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/nuxoll1166.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>One Idaho state lawmaker is still in denial over election results and would like to see states challenge the legitimacy of Obama’s reelection. Last week, Idaho State Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R) amplified a debunked theory circulating Tea Party blogs, that claims Romney still has a chance to win if enough states refuse to participate in the Electoral College.</p><p>Nuxoll linked to the debunked idea in a tweet, afterward telling the Spokane Spokesman-Review <a href="http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/11/27/2360565/lawmaker-shares-last-chance-idea.html">“I don’t know if it’s realistic.”</a></p><p>Even though Obama won 51 percent of the popular vote, by Nuxoll’s reasoning, “states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights” because he is “depriving us of our freedoms.”</p><p>Constitutional Accountability Center’s Emily Phelps explains why the idea that unhappy Republicans can prevent the Electoral College from reaching a “quorum” is<a href="https://theusconstitution.org/text-history/1701/constitutional-plan-installing-romney-president-oh-wait-nevermind"> completely wrong</a>: “A quick reading shows that [Tea Party Nation's] Phillips has his voting bodies backward. There is no quorum requirement for the Electoral College. If pro-Romney electors boycotted the meeting as Phillips has urged, the others would simply meet without them and elect President Obama.”</p><p>The original story on World Net Daily, a <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/media/2012/07/18/532051/report-drudge-linked-to-conspiracy-websites-184-times-in-the-last-year/">conspiracy site</a> that regularly pushes “birtherism”, now has a major caveat. The site’s editors <a href="http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/how-obama-can-be-stopped-in-electoral-college/">added the note</a>: “Since this column was posted it has been discovered that the premise presented about the Electoral College and the Constitution is in error. According to the 12th Amendment, a two-thirds quorum is required in the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College.”</p> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 09:29:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 750853 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics obama romney gop BP To Pay Largest Criminal Fine In U.S. History For Deepwater Horizon Disaster http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bp-pay-largest-criminal-fine-us-history-deepwater-horizon-disaster <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">After two years, the litigation is not yet over since BP faces damages from Gulf states and additional civil charges from the Justice Department.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/photo_1352967582339-9-0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>BP has agreed to pay a <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/bp-accepts-4-5b-spill-settlement-20121115">historic $4.5 billion criminal fine</a> over a six-year period, after pleading guilty to 11 felony counts and criminal charges for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers. After two years, the litigation is not yet over since BP faces damages from Gulf states and additional civil charges from the Justice Department.</p><p>Much of the fine, $2.4 billion, will go to Gulf of Mexico restoration, where 5 billion barrels of oil spilled over 87 days. Even now, an estimated 1 million barrels of oil remain in the waters, with excess oil washing up on Louisiana beaches as recently as September. Oil-soaked pelicans and other wildlife continue to wash up on shores. The disaster’s other legacies have produced <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/18/466660/legacy-of-bp-oil-spill-eyeless-shrimp-and-fish-with-lesions/">eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions</a>.</p><p>BP has earned tens of billions in profit since the 2010 disaster. In the last quarter alone, BP earned<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/30/1109601/bp-third-quarter-profit-2012/">$5.4 billion net profit</a>, bringing its total for the year to $9.7 billion. The company retains $15 billion in cash reserves, and has also spent $15 million lobbying Congress since 2011.</p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:38:00 -0800 Rebecca Leber, Climate Progress 745370 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics Environment News & Politics Water bp oil spill gulf Even Fox Is Calling Out Romney for Dishonesty http://afp.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/even-fox-calling-out-romney-dishonesty <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie on the credibility of the six studies Romney repeatedly cites to support his mathematically impossible plan.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/photo_1350281312578-1-0_0.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p> </p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22.5px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; ">For more than a month, Mitt Romney has cited six debunked studies to support his mathematically impossible plan to cut tax rates by 20 percent, while balancing the budget without raising taxes on the middle class. On Sunday, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie on the credibility of these six studies, noting that each of them have serious issues:</p><blockquote style="margin: 10px 50px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; quotes: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22.5px; "><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5em; ">GILLESPIE: Six different studies have said this is entirely doable.</p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5em; ">WALLACE: <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; ">Those are very questionable.</strong> Some of them are blogs, some of them are from AEI, an independent group.</p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5em; ">GILLESPIE: These are very credible sources.</p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5em; ">WALLACE: One of them is a blog from a guy who was a top adviser for George W. Bush. <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; ">These are hardly non-partisan studies.</strong></p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; line-height: 1.5em; ">GILLESPIE: Look Chris these AEI and other studies are very credible sources of analysis</p></blockquote><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22.5px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; ">Watch it:</p><center style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22.5px; "><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="260" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/rXsx6N1ph-g" style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; " width="400"></iframe></center><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22.5px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; "> </p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22.5px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; ">Two of the six studies are <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/10/819411/romney-tax-studies-five/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">Wall Street Journal editorials</a> that repeat familiar Republican talking points without crunching any numbers. Wallace pointed out a third study from former Bush adviser Harvey Rosen, which assumes Romney’s plan would generate enough economic growth to <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/the-6-studies-paul-ryan-cited-prove-mitt-romneys-tax-plan-is-impossible/263541/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">pay for the revenue loss</a>, the same tax logic used by George W. Bush. Yet another one of the six studies is a white paper<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/the-6-studies-paul-ryan-cited-prove-mitt-romneys-tax-plan-is-impossible/263541/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">from the Romney campaign</a> itself. Even an AEI tax expert suggested Romney’s math<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/10/819411/romney-tax-studies-five/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">wouldn’t work</a>, saying “he’s going to need to cut rates significantly less than 20 percent if he wants to honor his other goals.”</p><p style="margin: 0px; padding: 5px 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; line-height: 22.5px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, 'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Sans', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; ">But there is one study the Romney campaign hasn’t used. The Tax Policy Center found that Romney would need to <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/01/620561/tpc-romney-study-taxes/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">raise taxes on the middle class</a> even if he closed every single tax loophole for the wealthy. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy and an adviser to the 2008 McCain campaign, called that study the “<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/10/12/1004921/zandi-romney-tax-plan/" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); ">definitive</a>” one on Romney’s plan</p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 06:16:00 -0700 Rebecca Leber, Think Progress 727201 at http://afp.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics fox romney Frackers Outbid Farmers For Water in Colorado Drought http://afp.alternet.org/story/154890/frackers_outbid_farmers_for_water_in_colorado_drought <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Colorado&#039;s hydrofracking boom — a technology that heavily relies on water — only adds additional strain as farmers and drillers bid for a scarce resource.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/managed/storyimages_1333735110_shutterstock6831688.jpg" alt="" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Colorado is facing drought not seen since 2002, following the <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/10/441639/fourth-warmest-winter-on-record-for-the-us/">fourth-warmest and third-least-snowy winter</a> in US history. Colorado State University scientists report that <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20311924/98-colorado-drought-say-csu-climatologists">98 percent of the state</a> is facing these drought conditions.</p> <p>The drought comes after a record-breaking warm winter that left very low “snowpack levels” in water basins. “Even though the reservoir levels are still strong and northeast Colorado soil moisture is still pretty good, we just don’t usually start out quite this warm and dry at this time — so this is very concerning,” CSU climatologist Nolan Doesken said. “In 2002, things didn’t seem that bad at the end of March, as March had been quite cool, with some snow.”</p> <p>Colorado’s <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_20306480">hydrofracking boom</a> — a technology that heavily relies on water — only adds additional strain as farmers and drillers bid for a scarce resource:</p> <blockquote> <p>At Colorado’s premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers. [...]</p> <p>State officials charged with promoting and regulating the energy industry estimated that fracking required about 13,900 acre-feet in 2010. That’s a small share of the total water consumed in Colorado, about 0.08 percent. However, this fast-growing share already exceeds the amount that the ski industry draws from mountain rivers for making artificial snow. Each oil or gas well drilled requires 500,000 to 5 million gallons of water.</p> <p>A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission report projected water needs for fracking will increase to 18,700 acre-feet a year by 2015.</p> <p>Farmers who go to the auctions seeking to produce food — or maybe plant more acres — are on equal footing with companies seeking water for fracking, Northern Water spokesman Brian Werner said.</p> <p>“If you have a beneficial use for the water, then you can bid for that water,” Werner said. “We see the beneficial use of the water as a positive for the economy of the whole region. Fracking is one of those uses. Our uses of water have evolved over 150 years.”</p></blockquote> <p>States including Colorado, Alabama, Florida, and Virginia have all faced <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/green/2012/03/21/448988/winter-that-wasnt-fuels-deadly-wildfires/">raging wildfires</a> before wildfire season even officially sets off, fueled by the winter that wasn’t and the March madness powered by global warming pollution from fossil-fuel polluters like Colorado’s frackers.</p> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-bio field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter-->Rebecca Leber is a research assistant for the ThinkProgress war room. She graduated from the University of Rochester and holds a B.A. in political science and English with a minor in economics. </div></div></div> Fri, 06 Apr 2012 07:00:01 -0700 Rebecca Leber, ThinkProgress 670228 at http://afp.alternet.org Water Fracking Water oil gas water drought colorado drilling fracking