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turbinetree

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Member since: Fri May 30, 2014, 02:30 PM
Number of posts: 14,583

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Alito cut the legs out of the latest attack on Obamacare -- and didn't even know he did it

The religious right's biggest court victory should be the death knell to the latest assault on health care.

IAN MILLHISER
DEC 17, 2018, 11:15 AM


Remember Burwell v. Hobby Lobby? Hobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby Lobby, religious conservatives could not wield their faith to undercut the rights of other people. After Hobby Lobby conservative religious objections may be used to narrow the rights of third-parties.

Yet a passage in Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the Court in Hobby Lobby could — or at least, should — take on an entirely unexpected significance after Reed O’Connor, a partisan operative turned federal judge, struck down the entire Affordable Care Act on Friday in a case called Texas v. United States.

Judge O’Connor’s opinion is a jurisprudential trainwreck. It misreads the text of the law, draws distinctions that the Supreme Court explicitly rejected, and it feigns ignorance regarding the outcome of a year-long debate where congressional Republicans tried and failed to repeal Obamacare. O’Connor’s opinion is such an embarrassment to the judiciary that even Jonathan Adler, one of the architects of the last partisan lawsuit seeking to undermine Obamacare, called the opinion “strained and implausible.”

But you don’t have to take my or Adler’s word for it. You can also take Justice Alito’s.

O’Connor’s opinion, to the extent that it engages in anything that can be described as legal reasoning, rests largely on statements of fact that Congress wrote into the Affordable Care Act’s text when it enacted the law in 2010. Yet Hobby Lobby rejected O’Connor’s use of such fact-finding statements. Indeed, the methodology O’Connor used in his opinion is so inconsistent with the methodology Alito used in Hobby Lobby that the two opinions cannot coexist.

https://thinkprogress.org/justice-alito-hobby-lobby-latest-attack-on-obamacare-6306777db963/


Alito....................... .................

Retiring Republican Lawmakers may not show up to vote to avert shutdown, so they can..........



Amazon faces boycott ahead of holidays as public discontent grows

A growing number of customers are fed up with the company, from its working conditions at warehouses to anti-tax lobbying

The holiday season is all about spending the time with your loved ones and, judging by most office mailrooms, shopping on Amazon. Last year, 76% of Americans who shopped online for Christmas presents said that they planned to do most of that shopping on Amazon.

Amazon now accounts for just shy of half of all online sales in the US and Santa’s not so little helper is expected to have another bumper Christmas this year. But there are a growing number of people whose front steps won’t be graced by Amazon packages this festive season – consumers boycotting the online retailer.

No one denies the convenience of shopping on Amazon but for some there are a host of reasons – from the working conditions at Amazon warehouses, the company’s aggressive anti-tax lobbying, its impact on local business or its selling of white nationalist merchandise – that make that convenience too high a price to pay. But even those shoppers concede their boycotts come at a price.

Steven Shamrock, 51, had been considering boycotting Amazon for a while. First when he learned how Amazon workers were treated. Jeff Bezos might be one of the richest men in the world, but Amazon’s median salary is a paltry $28,446 a year. The second time Shamrock considered boycotting Amazon was when he read about the company’s dominance in web services. Amazon Web Services controls around 45% of the world’s cloud-computing capacity and provides the web services for customers ranging from Netflix to the CIA to the UK’s Ministry of Justice.

The last straw came in May of this year when he read that Amazon was banning customers who made too many returns.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/17/amazon-boycott-customers-holiday-shopping

FUCK AMAZON......................

How Native American tribes are bringing back the bison from brink of extinction

On 5,000 hectares of unploughed prairie in north-eastern Montana, hundreds of wild bison roam once again. But this herd is not in a national park or a protected sanctuary – they are on tribal lands. Belonging to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck Reservation, the 340 bison is the largest conservation herd in the ongoing bison restoration efforts by North America’s Indigenous people.

The bison – or as Native Americans call them, buffalo – are not just “sustenance,” according to Leroy Little Bear, a professor at the University of Lethbridge and a leader in the bison restoration efforts with the Blood Tribe. The continent’s largest land mammal plays a major role in the spiritual and cultural lives of numerous Native American tribes, an “integrated relationship,” he said.

“If you are Christian and you don’t see any crosses out there, or you don’t have your corner church … there’s no external connection, [no] symbolic iconic notion that strengthens and nurtures those beliefs,” said Little Bear. “So it goes with the buffalo.”

Only a couple of hundred years ago, 20 million to 30 million bison lived in vast thundering herds across North America. They were leftover relics of the Pleistocene and one of the few large mammals to survive the Ice Age extinction.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/12/how-native-american-tribes-are-bringing-back-the-bison-from-brink-of-extinction

-snip-

“It’s amazing … with limited budgets and widespread poverty, [Native American tribes] are the leader in wildlife restoration when compared to the state wildlife agency,” he said. “In reality, it was not the buffalo that left us, it was us that left the buffalo. So we have to do something.”

Pennsylvania Replaced Prison Mail With Photocopies. Inmates and Their Families Are Heartbroken.

And they worry a private company is holding copies of their letters for far too long.

SAMANTHA MICHAELS
DECEMBER 13, 2018 6:00 AM

Ever since his daughter first learned to use a pen, Joseph Onzik has looked forward to her letters. He reads them from a cell in a state prison in Pennsylvania, where he’s been locked up for about five years, since she was three. “I ask her to write me as much as possible,” he says. It “has advanced from scribble to cursive writing like magic as the time passes by.” Sometimes she calls to let him know what color pen she’ll use for the next one: “At eight years old, it is quite hard for her to keep a secret about the little things in life.”

But this ritual changed in September, when Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections announced that because some letters had been soaked with liquid drugs, inmates in state lockups would no longer receive mail directly from friends and family members. Now their mail goes to Smart Communications, a company in Florida that scans the letters and stores them electronically. At mail call, inmates receive printout copies rather than the originals.

With the new change, prisoners say the letters now feel less personal, and scanned photos are sometimes impossible to make out. Families also have privacy concerns about a company handling their correspondence. In recent interviews with Mother Jones, the Department of Corrections and Smart Communications appeared to disagree on how long digital copies of their letters would be stored in a database that could be used by law enforcement for investigative purposes. The company said it would hold onto the copies for many years longer than state officials suggested.

As the winter holidays approach, prisoners are missing the handwritten letters they once received. Some complain of mishaps like lost pages and long delays. Others say the printouts are of such poor quality that letters are difficult to read. When photos arrive—sometimes reduced in size to fit multiple on a page—they can be so distorted that faces are hard to distinguish. And at the end of the day, a printed copy of a card just doesn’t feel the same as the real thing. “Please remember this is the only method and way to watch her progress and grow in life during the best years of her development,” Onzik said of his daughter’s letters in a message sent to an advocacy group in October and shared with Mother Jones. “I find this new photocopying of my beloved mail heartbreaking to say the least.” Another inmate got married two days before prisons stopped processing mail directly; when his wife sent him their marriage license, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it arrived as a double-sided photocopy.

https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2018/12/pennsylvania-replaced-prison-mail-with-photocopies-inmates-and-their-families-are-heartbroken/

If they have machines at airports that can detect bombs...................then they can have machines that can detect drugs.........................

How a Small Liberal Arts College in Iowa Could Hand Trump a Big Win Against Labor Rights

Grinnell College has decided to fight its growing undergraduate student worker union.

TONYA RILEY
DECEMBER 14, 2018 12:36 PM

Update (12/14/18, 5:10 pm): Late on Friday, Grinnell College’s undergraduate union announced that it had decided to withdraw its petition seeking broader recognition from the National Labor Relations Board. A Grinnell College spokesperson tells Mother Jones it will not oppose the union’s request. Mother Jones has reached out the NLRB for more information.

While the majority of America’s undergraduates are squirreled away in campus libraries preparing for finals, student workers at Grinnell College are preparing for a union showdown that could have serious implications for the future of organizing in the Trump era.

The previously friendly relationship between the small, private Iowa college’s administrators and its undergraduate student worker union began to sour in 2017, when the union announced its intentions to expand representation from roughly 300 dining workers to potentially 1,200 student workers campuswide. The school’s efforts to block the vote were rejected by the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board, and in November, 274 of 366 voting members passed a motion to expand the union. The college is now appealing to the full NLRB to block the union based on its “potential to interfere with Grinnell’s role in its undergraduates’ ‘academic or personal development.'”

“Expanding the union could effectively insert a third party whose priorities are economic, not educational, into learning outside of the classroom and alter the relationship between students and faculty,” administrators wrote in explaining the college’s anti-union stance. “These are consequences that we believe will chip away at the College’s core mission and culture, impede learning, and ultimately diminish educational opportunities for students.” According to Grinnell’s NLRB complaint, roughly 70 percent of the school’s population receives financial aid that includes work study, but the award “supports their overall academic education.” The school argues that “funding is not pay for a job.”

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/12/grinnell-college-union-nlrb-national-labor-relations-board/

Amazing, when you go to college you are taught the virtues of majority rule, and when people decide to exercise that right, while at the same time taking dollars from the very students that want to be represented..................well its a basic fuck you, we now can intimidate..................you and others................we like slave labor .......................

NASA's Juno Probe Captures Footage of Jupiter Storms

A youth activist on the climate crisis: politicians won't save us

Victoria Barrett

At the COP24 conference, leaders lack the urgency felt by communities on the frontlines of a global threat

As wildfires burn, as temperatures rise, as the last remaining old-growth forests in Poland are logged, world leaders are in Katowice to negotiate the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. To outsiders, UN climate talks may seem like a positive step. Unfortunately, this is COP24.

For 24 years, world leaders have annually talked at each other instead of to one another in hopes of reaching an agreement on how to mitigate the climate crisis. In all that time, they have barely scratched the surface of an issue that the world’s top climate scientists say we now have 12 years to stop – and that is an optimistic estimate.

There’s an urgency in my heart being here in Katowice, knowing that this negotiation process is supposed to protect my generation and ones thereafter. I am afraid of the lack of accountability in the space, knowing that the people with power will be patted on the back for simply coming together without making meaningful policy commitments.

When the news stories come out about successful negotiations, we forget about when leaders pushed to leave “human rights” out of policy wording, or stood on the floor advocating for fossil fuels as a solution (hint: they’re not), all to placate to their own interest in power and maintaining it. They are voluntarily blind to the suffering their decisions cause. Homes will be lost, families will be torn apart by displacement and at borders, and the sea will encroach upon whole societies, exterminating cultures and livelihoods. Developed countries like the US, corrupted by fossil fuel interests, are to blame.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/dec/14/climate-change-young-people-cop24-conference

-snip-


We have called on our political leaders to demonstrate a similar understanding. But resilience can’t be taught, and it doesn’t come from a president, minister or monarch: it comes from the adversity you have faced. This is why, to fight the powers that hand away pieces of our environment for profit, we must enlist the people who have lived on the margins of society. People power will always be stronger than the people in power.

Victoria Barrett is one of the 21 plaintiffs, aged 10 to 21, in the high-profile Juliana v the United States lawsuit, which faulted the US government for failing to protect its citizens from climate change. She represents marginalized voices at international conferences and has addressed the United Nations general assembly on the topic of youth involvement in its sustainable development goals. is one of the 21 plaintiffs, aged 10 to 21, in the high-profile Juliana v the United States lawsuit, which faulted the US government for failing to protect its citizens from climate change. She represents marginalized voices at international conferences and has addressed the United Nations general assembly on the topic of youth involvement in its sustainable development goals.

A youth activist on the climate crisis: politicians won't save us

Miss USA apologizes for mocking rivals' English-speaking skills

Sarah Rose Summers admits she disrespected Cambodian and Vietnamese contestants

The woman who holds the Miss USA 2018 title has apologized after she was captured on video mocking two of her fellow competitors for their English-speaking skills.

In a video posted to Instagram, Sarah Rose Summers made light of Nat Rern, Miss Cambodia and H’Hen Nie, Miss Vietnam. In the video, she said of Nie: “She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes …” she said before mimicking a confused nod and smile.

Then Summers makes fun of another contestant for not speaking English, apparently unaware that the language is not universally understood around the world.

“Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language. Can you imagine?” she said. “Francesca said that would be so isolating and I said yes and just confusing all the time.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/14/miss-usa-apologizes-mocking-fellow-competitors

Showing the world how fucked up this country is.....................she is full of shit................if she had any decency she should with draw....................
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