Andrew Emett

News Report

In a desperate attempt to reduce the spread of Ebola, Liberia has closed its borders, declared public gatherings illegal, and placed entire communities under quarantine. While the death toll escalates across West Africa, an increasing number of medical workers have also contracted the highly contagious virus including 2 Americans. A third American died of the disease in Nigeria last week.

 

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has closed all but 3 of her country’s borders to halt the outbreak from spreading to other countries. Border crossings into Guinea and Sierra Leone remain open. The first reports of the West Africa Ebola outbreak appeared in Guinea back in February before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Guinea’s neighbor, Senegal immediately closed its land border to protect its people from the contagion.

 

Public gatherings, such as marches or protests, have been restricted in Liberia for multiple reasons. The disease spreads faster when infected people come into contact with large groups. Due to recent protests outside of hospitals and kidnapping Ebola patients, Liberia’s president has declared any public gathering illegal.

 

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, many uneducated villagers in Sierra Leone believe the doctors are administering lethal injections to their patients. After a hairdresser named Saudata Koroma contracted Ebola, she entered a government hospital. Fearing the doctors would kill Koroma, her family forcibly removed her from the hospital and kept her in hiding until she later died from the disease.

House Republicans Vote To Sue Obama
Josh Israel
News Report

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 225 to 201 on Wednesday to authorize Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to sue President Barack Obama and others in his administration for failure to fully implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Ironically, all of those Republicans voting for a lawsuit to force faster implementation of the healthcare reform law have repeatedly backed its full repeal. Five Republicans joined every Democrat present in opposing the measure.


The resolution gives Boehner the authority to file or intervene federal court cases “to seek any appropriate relief regarding the failure of the President, the head of any department or agency, or any other officer or employee of the executive branch, to act in a manner consistent with that official’s duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States” relating to failure to implement provisions of Obamacare. ” The aim of this, Boehner has stated, is to sue the Obama for “his decision to extend — twice — the deadline to institute the employer mandate in his health care law.”

 


The administration has delayed the provisions — which requires employers with more than 50 employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer affordable quality coverage — citing complaints from firms that claimed they wouldn’t be ready to meet its requirement by 2014.

 


The administration claimed justified the delays under the Treasury Department’s “transition relief” authority, which allows the government to grant relief by section 7805(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and noted President George W. Bush’s administration also cited the authority to delay implementation of laws. “The authority has been used to postpone the application of new legislation on a number of prior occasions across Administrations,” Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur noted in a July 2013 letter to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 


Though the House’s GOP majority made the lawsuit a priority on Wednesday, it has not found time to vote on popular bipartisan Senate-passed legislation including a ban on anti-LGBT employment discrimination and comprehensive immigration reform. The leadership had previously promised that the House would take up immigration reform with a “step-by-step, common-sense approach.” The vote also comes as the House and Senate struggle to reach agreement on time-sensitive concerns including highway funding and unaccompanied minors.

Jim Hightower
Op-Ed

Gosh, the 2016 primaries are a long way off, but look out: Here comes Texas Governor Rick Perry — riding his state’s taxpayer dollars into another GOP presidential bid.

 


Technically, he’s not campaigning. Yet he’s popping up from New York to California, holding press conferences, running TV ads, meeting with money people, and telling everyone how terrific he is. In other words: campaigning.

 


Officially, his cross-country ramble is meant to promote Texas as a corporate utopia that offers state subsidies, zero income taxes, low wages, hands-off regulation, and other cushy deals for corporations that relocate to the Lone Star State. This hustle glorifies Perry, even though he’s using Texas tax dollars to take good-paying jobs from the places he visits and turn them into poor-paying jobs in his state.

 


But the governor is used to tapping the public treasury to feather his own nest — and he has recently tapped it again to the tune of $450 an hour. That’s for a high-dollar lawyer he’s hired at taxpayer expense to try to save his bacon — and salvage his presidential fantasies.

 


He doesn’t mention it on his out-of-state “praise Perry” tour, but the governor’s on the brink of being indicted for corruption back home.

 


This mess involves the governor’s clumsy attempt to stop an investigation by the state’s ethics office into one of his pet slush funds that funneled taxpayer money to his corporate campaign donors. Last year, using a personal lapse by the director of the ethics office as an excuse, Perry simply vetoed the office’s entire funding.

 


No office, no investigation, no problem!

 


Clever, huh? Except that other funding was made available, so that investigation continues. And then a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Perry’s ham-handed veto, so now his indictment looms. This could take the wheels off his road show.

 

A Venerable Jewish Voice for Peace
Amy Goodman
Op-Ed

The Israeli assault on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip has entered its fourth week. This military attack, waged by land, sea and air, has been going on longer than the devastating assault in 2008/2009, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. The death toll in this current attack is at least 1,300, overwhelmingly civilians. As this column was being written, the United Nations confirmed that a U.N. school in Gaza, where thousands of civilians were seeking shelter, was bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces, killing at least 20 people. The United Nations said it reported the exact coordinates of the shelter to the Israeli military 17 times.

 


Henry Siegman, a venerable dean of American Jewish thought and president of the U.S./Middle East Project, sat down for an interview with the “Democracy Now!” news hour. An ordained rabbi, Siegman is the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress and former executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, two of the major, mainstream Jewish organizations in the United States. He says the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories must end.

 


“There is a Talmudic saying in the ‘Ethics of the Fathers,’” Siegman started, “‘Don’t judge your neighbor until you can imagine yourself in his place.’ So, my first question when I deal with any issue related to the Israeli-Palestinian issue: What if we were in their place?”

 


He elaborated, “No country and no people would live the way Gazans have been made to live ... our media rarely ever points out that these are people who have a right to live a decent, normal life, too. And they, too, must think, ‘What can we do to put an end to this?’”

 


Born in Germany in 1930, Siegman and his family were persecuted by the Nazis. “I lived two years under Nazi occupation, most of it running from place to place and in hiding,” he recalled. His father took his mother and their six children to Belgium, to France, to North Africa, then, after two months at sea, dodging German submarines, they arrived at Ellis Island. He told us: “I always thought that the important lesson of the Holocaust is not that there is evil, that there are evil people in this world who could do the most unimaginably cruel things. That was not the great lesson of the Holocaust. The great lesson of the Holocaust is that decent, cultured people, people we would otherwise consider good people, can allow such evil to prevail, that the German public—these were not monsters, but it was OK with them that the Nazi machine did what it did.”

 



His father was a leader of the European Zionist movement, which sought a national ...

Froma Harrop
Op-Ed

The numbers are small for a large country like this, but the alarm is big over the influx of Central American children coming over the southern border. People are merging this special case involving about 57,000 children with generalized anxiety about a broken immigration system that has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal residents. At bottom are fears that the United States is incapable of managing an orderly immigration program.

 


The surge of solitary children is especially disturbing because the arrivals are so pitiful. The public knows that they are innocents escaping war-like conditions and grinding poverty. But the public also knows that vast stretches of this troubled planet are soaked in misery. If fleeing war, violence and destitution is reason enough to be granted the right to stay in the United States, distressed souls in the hundreds of millions would qualify.

 


Are these children true refugees, as their advocates insist? To be granted asylum in much of the world, one must arrive directly from a place of threat. The children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are traveling through relatively safe Mexico.

 


And if what we're seeing is a flood of real refugees, part of a humanitarian crisis, where's Canada in all this? Canada seems to be watching the whole scene from a perch of detachment.

 


Finally, there's the big question of what we should do about people stuck in corrupt countries with collapsed economies. The solution can't be to simply move entire populations to the United States.
 

 

Here's where the latest humanitarian crisis and the system failure do meet: Most of the children are being united with family members, many of whom are themselves here illegally, having come for jobs.
 

 

So many tough questions are nagging Americans as they watch this sad parade of kids arriving alone at Texas bus stations.
 

 

It's not just about helping several thousand bedraggled children. It's about loss of control, the absence of a philosophical and legal foundation from which we can deal with such crises.
 

 

The recent surge is tied to a law signed in 2008 by President George W. Bush that gives child immigrants from Central America special consideration not available to those from Mexico or Canada. Bush was acting on a humanitarian impulse, as was President Barack Obama when he decided to ease up on deporting illegal immigrants brought here as children.
 

 

America veers from immigration crisis to immigration crisis in large part because it lacks the structure of a well-ordered system. It could have had that in the immigration reform legislation that has already passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis. Among other things, it would seriously enforce the ban on hiring undocumented workers, while legalizing millions who came in under the lax rules.
 

 

But the Republican-controlled House won't go along because the plan would "reward lawbreakers." The perverse result has been to preserve the jobs magnet that attracts the vast majority of illegal immigrants. If foreigners risk coming here without papers in the hopes of receiving an amnesty, as many conservatives argue, that is a product of their own refusal to grant a reprieve that — given the legislation's strong enforcement mechanism — would be the last amnesty. We call this irony.
 

 

So round and round we go.
 

 

Clearly, lines must be drawn, and that's not easy to do when humans are involved. But good laws do make the lines easier to determine. Without an effective immigration law, the public won't feel confident that when something extraordinary happens — such as the flow of ...

VOICES FOR CHANGE

Finance in America: Promoting Inequality and Waste
Dean Baker
"

In the crazy years of the housing boom the financial sector was a gigantic cesspool of excess and corruption. There was big money in pushing and packaging fraudulent mortgages. The country paid a huge price for the financial sector’s sleaze. Unfortunately, because of the Obama administration’s soft on crime approach to the bankers who became rich in the process; the industry is still a cesspool of excess and greed. Just to be clear, knowingly issuing ...

" ::
Perry Imperils His Own Roadshow
Jim Hightower
"

Gosh, the 2016 primaries are a long way off, but look out: Here comes Texas Governor Rick Perry — riding his state’s taxpayer dollars into another GOP presidential bid.Technically, he’s not campaigning. Yet he’s popping up from New York to California, holding press conferences, running TV ads, meeting with money people, and telling everyone how terrific he is. In other words: campaigning.Officially, his cross-country ...

" ::
A Venerable Jewish Voice for Peace
Amy Goodman
"

The Israeli assault on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip has entered its fourth week. This military attack, waged by land, sea and air, has been going on longer than the devastating assault in 2008/2009, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. The death toll in this current attack is at least 1,300, overwhelmingly civilians. As this column was being written, the United Nations confirmed that a U.N. school in Gaza, where thousands of civilians were seeking shelter, was ...

" ::
Do-Nothing Congress Takes a Vacation
Jim Hightower
"

Gosh, has it already been three weeks since Congress took a vacation?Those poor stiffs must be pooped from trying to catch up on all the heavy lifting that piled up while they were away from their lawmaking duties. And — gosh, again — in just a few days, Congress will go back on vacation, this time for a five-week summer recess. So much to do; so little time.That's why GOP Speaker John Boehner is now cracking the whip. He's spurring his colleagues to pick ...

" ::
Win: EPA Denies Texas’ Farmers Request to Use Dangerous Herbicide on Fields
Christina Sarich
"

Natural Society reported just weeks ago that Texas farmers wanted to pour an unlicensed herbicide all over 3 million acres of genetically modified cotton in 

" ::
Win! U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Ban Use of Bee, Bird and Butterfly-Killing Neonicotinoids
Christina Sarich
"

Due in part to a petition submitted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one government agency has come to its senses, agreeing to eliminate bee and butterfly-toxic neonicotinoids in the Pacific Region of the NW Wildlife Refuges. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) very quietly announced that it will phase out neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) in wildlife refuges in the Pacific Region, including Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, Idaho, Oregon, and ...

" ::
The Increasing Irrelevance of Corporate Nationality
Robert Reich
"

“You shouldn’t get to call yourself an American company only when you want a handout from the American taxpayers,” President Obama said Thursday. He was referring to American corporations now busily acquiring foreign companies in order to become non-American, thereby reducing their U.S. tax bill. But the President might as well have been talking about all large American multinationals. 

" ::
Astoundingly Legal Corporate Tax Thievery
Jim Hightower
"

Did you scramble to get your taxes done this year at the last minute? Yeah, me too. I really didn’t mind paying what I owe — but I hate having to pay the taxes owed by the likes of JPMorgan Chase, ExxonMobil, and Amazon. They’re just a few of the astonishingly profitable corporations adept at minimizing their tax tabs. That shifts more of the cost of everything from the military to national parks onto our shoulders.

" ::
Apple to Build 100-Acre Solar Farm in North Carolina
Christina Sarich
"

The city of Claremont, North Carolina has just signed an agreement with Apple, which will allow a 100-scre solar farm to be built, providing 17.5 megawatts of energy annually at the development cost of $55 million. This will be Apple’s third large solar farm in the United States. Of the ...

" ::
Kansas Experiment Blows Up Laboratory of Democracy
Joe Conason
"

When Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932 that a "single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country," he was suggesting that state innovations might advance reform on the federal level. The progressive ...

" ::

NOC BULLHORN

Healthcare

Let's rally for women's health and reproductive rights.

Equality

Pressure in the form of petitions, boycotts and protests. Is there a way for the event to overcome this and concentrate on bonding and celebration?

Energy Use

A big step for a small German town...will others follow in the pursuit of renewable energy?

Energy Use

After 30 years the wait is over...Dharnai has power.

Gun Rights

The Second Amendment needs to be updated to reflect the growing danger of guns.

Education

"Poets With a Cause” is a group of artists who are banding together to voice their opposition to school closures.

Organic Food

Spread the word, go organic!

Human Rights

The house collectively promotes art and culture in a neighborhood that is known for its social problems related to violence and poverty.

Internet

Protect the Internet...don't Kill it.

Segregation

Politicians and military leaders continue to promote violence...while a simple dance teacher brings communities together.

Environment

NHL leading the way to promote green business practices...Will other sports teams join in?

Monsanto Greed

Stand up to Monsanto and tell the Obama Administration to support mandatory GMO labeling.

Agriculture

El Salvador famers are fighting back against the Monsta.

Fracking

Fracking is nowhere to be seen in Germany’s future.

Food Health

A settlement by West Virginia Supreme Court ordered Monsanto to start paying victims of dioxin exposure.

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