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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Krugman: GOP Literally Taking Food from Mouths of Hungry Children. Time to Get Really, Really Angry.


From the Mouths of Babes
Published: May 30, 2013

- snip -

First, as millions of workers lost their jobs through no fault of their own, many families turned to food stamps to help them get by
— and while food aid is no substitute for a good job, it did significantly mitigate their misery. Food stamps were especially helpful to children who would otherwise be living in extreme poverty, defined as an income less than half the official poverty line.

But there’s more. Why is our economy depressed? Because many players in the economy slashed spending at the same time, while relatively few players were willing to spend more. And because the economy is not like an individual household — your spending is my income, my spending is your income — the result was a general fall in incomes and plunge in employment. We desperately needed (and still need) public policies to promote higher spending on a temporary basis — and the expansion of food stamps, which helps families living on the edge and let them spend more on other necessities, is just such a policy.

Indeed, estimates from the consulting firm Moody’s Analytics suggest that each dollar spent on food stamps in a depressed economy raises G.D.P. by about $1.70 — which means, by the way, that much of the money laid out to help families in need actually comes right back to the government in the form of higher revenue.

Wait, we’re not done yet. Food stamps greatly reduce food insecurity among low-income children, which, in turn, greatly enhances their chances of doing well in school and growing up to be successful, productive adults. So food stamps are in a very real sense an investment in the nation’s future — an investment that in the long run almost surely reduces the budget deficit, because tomorrow’s adults will also be tomorrow’s taxpayers.

So what do Republicans want to do with this paragon of programs? First, shrink it; then, effectively kill it.

- snip -

But I wonder whether even Republicans really believe that story — or at least are confident enough in their diagnosis to justify policies that more or less literally take food from the mouths of hungry children. As I said, there are times when cynicism just doesn’t cut it; this is a time to get really, really angry.


Oregon Muslim Sues FBI; Claims Torture

Source: Associated Press


— May. 30 7:30 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An American Muslim who says he was beaten with batons by prison interrogators while held in solitary confinement overseas for more than three months has sued the FBI and State Department, claiming the torture was done at their behest.

- snip -

Yonas Fikre said he was held for 106 days in the United Arab Emirates after refusing to cooperate with Portland, Ore.,-based FBI agents in an interview in Sudan. The State Department has confirmed previously that Fikre was held in Abu Dhabi "on unspecified charges," but said he was visited by State Department officials and showed no signs of mistreatment.

Fikre said the FBI agents named in the suit wanted him to become an informant at Portland's largest mosque, Masjid As-Saber, and were angered when he refused. He said interrogators in Abu Dhabi later used information Fikre had given to the FBI agents in his interrogation.

- snip -

"Fikre) thus inquired whether his confinement and mistreatment was at the request of the FBI," according to the lawsuit. "On each such occasion, the interrogators responded by beating plaintiff severely."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-ore-muslim-sues-fbi-claims-torture

Adam Kokesh Calls Off Armed March On D.C. in Favor of 50 State March

Source: Media Matters

Adam Kokesh Calls Off Armed March On D.C. In Favor Of 50 State March For "Orderly Dissolution Of The Federal Government"

57 minutes ago ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

Adam Kokesh is cancelling his planned July 4 armed march on Washington, D.C., and instead calling for a march on all 50 state capitols with the goal of overthrowing the federal government.

Kokesh, a former host for Russian state-sponsored RT television who now hosts an internet radio show, told conspiracy theorist radio host Pete Santilli that it was time to "escalate our tactics" before cancelling the Washington march and urging supporters to march on their state capitol instead.

On May 28, Santilli, a promoter of conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who recently drew scrutiny from the Secret Service over vicious comments made about Hillary Clinton, aired an interview where Kokesh read from a press release and provided other details about the expansion of his plans.

Previously, Kokesh launched a Facebook page to organize his armed march on Washington, an event he hoped would draw at least 1,000 attendees. The page currently lists more than 5,000 attendees.

Read more: http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/2013/05/29/adam-kokesh-calls-off-armed-march-on-dc-in-favo/194259

France's First Gay Newlyweds Say 'Oui'

Source: Associated Press


— May. 29 12:12 PM EDT

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — France's first gay couple to marry have said "oui" in a politically charged ceremony in the southern city of Montpellier. The two men sealed the deal with a lengthy smooch.

Hundreds of invited guests, including a government minister, gathered for the ceremony, which was broadcast live to the country. Hundreds more flocked to the square outside the building.

Montpellier Mayor Helene Mandroux, who officiated, called the law that legalized gay marriage "a stage in the modernization of our country."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/couple-prepare-be-frances-1st-gay-newlyweds

BREAKING: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann Says She Will Not Run for Re-Election in 2014

Source: NBC News / CBS News / Associated Press

@BreakingNews: Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann announces she won't seek re-election in 2014 - YouTube user teambachmann http://t.co/vJsjIfcoVv

@AP: BREAKING: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says she will not run for re-election in 2014

Michele Bachmann not running for re-election to House

May 29, 2013

WASHINGTON Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she will not run for another term in the U.S. House.

The tea party favorite, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, announced her decision on her website Wednesday morning.

Bachmann says her decision not to run again in 2014 was "not influenced by any concerns about ... being re-elected."

She also says recent inquiries into her 2012 presidential campaign did not affect her decision.

Bachmann promises to "continue to work overtime for the next 18 months in Congress defending ... Constitutional Conservative values."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57586567/michele-bachmann-not-running-for-re-election-to-house

Raw Footage: Explosion at Train Derailment in MD

Associated Press

In AP exclusive video, an explosion at a cargo train derailment in a Baltimore suburb that shook homes at least half a mile away is caught on camera. (May 28)

George Takei's EXCELLENT Facebook Status Today: "...Unless People Step Forward and Offer Themselves"


"Many on this page have commented that they are 'sick' of people talking about gay issues, or simply 'don't care' if someone is gay and would rather they would kept it to themselves. I find this disheartening.

There may come a day when we need not come out of the closet, and need not remind others of the terrible violence, inequity, and ostracism that LGBT people face daily simply because of who we are and who we love. But that day is not here, and more importantly will never get here, unless people continue to step forward and offer themselves as examples, often at great personal cost. I am called 'faggot,' 'degenerate,' 'queer' and 'homo' by misguided people every day of my life, even on my own page, but this does not discourage me. It only reminds me of how far we have to go.

Once upon a time I was called a 'Jap' and put into a prison for four years with my entire family, for no reason other than who we were and who we looked like. It is my life's mission to fight against the dark forces of fear and intolerance that could ever lead again to such an injustice.

Thank you for taking the time to listen. The next time you feel fatigue from hearing about LGBT issues, ask yourself this: Do we live yet in the kind of society where violence, hate and prejudice is not an issue? Until we do, be part of the solution, and stand always for justice and equality for all people."

Humanist Groups Raise Tens of Thousands for Atheist Tornado Survivor

Source: Raw Story

Humanist groups raise tens of thousands for atheist tornado survivor

By David Ferguson
Friday, May 24, 2013 15:14 EDT

Humanist groups and atheists across the U.S. have banded together to help a fellow atheist who survived the massive tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma earlier this week.

- snip -

At the fund-raising website Indiegogo, atheists have set up a relief fund for Vitsun, who lost her house in the storm and most of her possessions.

“Let’s show the world that you dont need to believe in a god to have human compassion nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion,” says the site. “Let’s get this courageous woman and her family back in their own home.”

The site has already passed its goal of $50,000 by nearly $700 at press time, with 60 days in the fund-raiser still to go.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/24/humanist-groups-raise-tens-of-thousands-for-atheist-tornado-survivor

Names of Those Killed in Oklahoma Tornado Released

Source: Associated Press


May. 22 2:30 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified 23 of 24 people killed in the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, including 10 children. Officials still were trying to contact eight victims' relatives Wednesday, but released the names of 16 others:

— Terri Long, 49

— Megan Futrell, 29

— Case Futrell, 4 months

— Shannon Quick, 40

— Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months

— Karrina Vargyas, 4

— Jenny Neely, 38

— Antonia Candelaria, 9

— Kyle Davis, 8

— Janae Hornsby, 9

— Sydney Angle, 9

— Emily Conatzer, 9

— Nicolas McCabe, 9

— Christopher Legg, 9

— Cindy Plumley, age unknown

— Deanna Ward, age unknown

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/names-those-killed-oklahoma-tornado

Oklahoma Tornado's Strength Upgraded to Rare EF5

Source: CBS News

Oklahoma tornado's strength upgraded to rare EF5

May 21, 2013

MOORE, Okla. The National Weather Service's damage survey found that the monster tornado that wreaked havoc on an Oklahoma City suburb is the most powerful type of tornado there is: an EF5.

According to the Enhanced Fujita scale and the NWS, EF5 tornadoes and have winds over 200 mph -- enough to reduce well-constructed houses into splintered rubble and turn automobiles into flying missiles. In this case, the NWS estimated peaked winds reached 200-210 mph. Officials had previously thought the tornado, over a half-mile wide, had winds with no more than 200 mph.

The news came as the search for survivors in Moore, Okla., began to wrap up. Fire Chief Gary Bird said Tuesday that he's "98 percent sure" there are no more survivors or bodies to recover under the rubble in the city.

Bird says every damaged home has been searched at least once, and that his goal is to conduct three searches of each location just to be sure. He's hopeful the work could be completed by nightfall, though heavy rains have slowed efforts and soaked debris piles.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57585572/oklahoma-tornados-strength-upgraded-to-rare-ef5

CNN Breaking News - Oklahoma Insurance Department: Damage claims from Monday's tornado likely to top $1 billion.
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