NEWS ARCHIVES [July 2014]
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On this page, we will cover breaking news and other important developing national or international stories. This section will be divided into unedited news items, important events (internal to Createlinkusa.com) or external, and our views on important news items that stand to have an impact on society as a whole. This section is not a substitute for our Blog Network. In fact, it was implemented as a way of maintaining the mission of the Createlinkusa.com Writers' Post Network Blog whose primary focus is to provide a forum for writers to express themselves on all aspects of writing, to discuss their projects, ask questions, share resources, and find support relative to professional and personal issues.
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Petra Kvitova won her second Wimbledon title, beating Eugenie Bouchard
6-3, 6-0, on Saturday July 5, 2014 Saturday July 5, 2014
Novak Djokovic won his second Wimbledon title Sunday afternoon, beating the seven-time champion Roger Federer, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4.
World Cup 2014 Opening Day in Brazil
Tolga Bozoglu/European Pressphoto Agency
Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull performed during the opening ceremony.
ORDER SPORTS POSTER OF YOUR FAVORITE TEAM AND ATHLETE AS WELL AS DECORATIVE & INSPIRATIONAL WALL POSTERS IN 2 EXTENSIVE POSTER GALLERIES
P.G.A Golf - 2014 Winner
Civilian Casualties Continue to Rise in Gaza under Israeli Bombs
New York Police Murdered Father of Six
Israel's Warmonger in Chief
Governor Shut off Water to Detroit Families
Israeli Invasion of the Gaza Strip
Chairman of College Republicans Resigned - Joined Democrats
Victory at Target for Moms for Gun Sense Actions
U.S. Supreme Court Rulings
Fox News' Megyn Kelly Slams Dick Cheney on Iraq Comment
Full Video of President Obama's Statement about the Iraq Crisis
Iraq Fell into Chaos
House Majority Leader - Eric Cantor - Defeated in Primary
Judge Declared California's Tenure Laws Unconstitutional
GM Fined $35 Millions for Lapses in Ignition-Switch
The Debate over The Minimum Wages by my.democrats.org
18-Year Old Ramarley Graham Killed by NYPD Officer
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August 11, 2014
25 Year-Old Rory Mcllroy Won P.G.A. Championship in Louisville, KY
Shooting a 68 over Phil Mickelson
Photo_Larry W. Smith/European Press Photo Agency
25 year old Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland won the P.G.A. Championship yesterday, shooting a 68, defeating Phil Mickelson by one stroke, after a rain delay at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. Four men swung their way to the top of the tournament and traded birdies at a dizzying pace: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson. But at the end of four hours of close quarters swings, it was Mcllroy who climbed to the top and prevailed. This give the gives the golfer his second straight major title and placed him among top-ranked players, such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Willie Anderson, and Bobby Jones. All of these golfers have won four major championships before or at the age of 25.
July 26, 2014
Civilian Casualties Continue to Rise Friday as Dozens of Palestinians Got Killed or Injured
by Israeli Missiles and Shells in the Gaza Strip
Fighting Spread to the West Bank as Palestinians Protest the Destruction in Gaza
Photo_The International Middle East Media Center
The news from the West Bank Friday was that of Israeli soldiers directing bombing a UN school in the Gaza and shelling a hospital, killing a toddler. Fleeing Palestinians are left with nowhere to go, as UN shelters come under attack by the Israeli Defense Forces, known as IDF. Today, the sixteenth day of Israel’s relentless bombing of civilian neighborhoods in Gaza, and the United States continues to show no leverage or ability to broker a cease fire or obtain any concession from Israel.
The Guardian reported Thursday how Israelis climbed hilltops and balconies to relax and watch in enjoyment the near complete destruction of the Palestinian people in Gaza. Israelis brought lawn chairs, taking selfies, and clapping and cheering as Israeli forces dropped bombs and unleashed shells over Gaza. This disproves the largely spread propaganda by Israel and repeated by politicians and in the U.S. media, that Israelis live in fear of “missiles raining down on them” coming from Hama. As of today, more than 800 Palestinian, most of them civilians, including women and children have killed, and about 30 Israeli soldiers have been reported killed in this invasion.
On Thursday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem held demonstrations with over 20,000 people marching, according to press report. The International Middle East Media Center reported 931 Palestinians arrested and detained by Israeli forces. The Khuza’a area of east Khan Younis was reported cut off from the rest of the city for hours on Wednesday night, with medics unable to enter, and journalists forced out. Large protests have been held around the world by people in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, and some boycotts have been reported in academia. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry has flown to the Middle East, and is reportedly participating in talks with the Egyptian in search of a temporary solution to the bloodshed, but it is not at all clear that Israel will listen to anyone or stop at anything short of the complete annihilation of Gaza.
July 23, 2014
Related Post - Terrorist State: The Unnecessary Killing of Palestinian Civilians by Israel's Prime Warmonger Benjamin Netanyahu
New York Police Murdered This Man - Eric Garner - A Father of Six after Accusing Him of Selling Single Cigarettes in the Open
The New York Police Department Banned the Use of Chokehold Twenty Years Ago - Mr. Garner Was Protesting That He Was Not Doing anything Wrong and Felt Harassed When He Was Killed at the Scene While a Camera Rolled
As It Turned out - In New York the Penalty for Selling Loose Cigarettes - Therefore Risking Selling to Minors - Is Death
New York Police Gangman - Daniel Pantaleo - Can Be Seen on Camera Shocking the Man to Death after the Victim Spoke His Last Words and Can Be Heard Saying on the Tape
"I Can't Breath"
For Seven Minutes the more than half of a dozens men in uniforms stood over the dying man and made absolutely no effort to provide him with first aid - The 4 affiliated paramedic gangmen who arrived at the scene also did nothing
to assist the dying man
Today - The USA Today carried a headline "New York Police Express Anger at Reaction to Choking Death"
This leads begs the question:
Who gave them their license to kill?
Eric Garner Chokehold Police Brutality VIDEO : Black Man Killed By Police
Officers Daniel Pantaleo and Justin Damico were both put on desk duty a day after the death of Eric Garner. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio, who has postponed his Italian vacation...
Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder Teamed up with Illegally Tyrannical Emergency Manager to Cut off Water to Thousands of Detroit Families - The Elderly and the Disabled
During the Super Bowl earlier this year, Chrysler unveiled the latest iteration of the “Imported From Detroit” advertising campaign that has been such a key part of their rebranding efforts in the wake of their filing for bankruptcy in 2009. The commercial starts off with a montage of your usual idealized American imagery—cowboys riding horses, cheerleaders leading cheers, sweet middle-aged waitresses bringing bacon and eggs to grizzled farmers at a Route 66 diner—accompanied by the sound of Bob Dylan's raspy Minnesotan drawl asking us rhetorically if,“there's anything more American than America?” a question which pretty well sets the tone for the rest of the ad considering the implied answer is a 283 horsepower “hell no!” From there the ad touches on the Motor City's automotive pedigree and its role in making America the country it is today, with Bob telling us that, “making the best...making the finest, takes conviction.”and letting us know that, “you can't import the heart and soul of every man and woman working on the line.”
All of these laudable, yet trite, sentiments are designed to stir up our pride in our country and in the city of Detroit—to make us associate the glory of our collective past and the hard-scrabble can do aspects of our national character with the Chrysler brand—and in this respect the ads are pretty effective. The only problem is that these passionate evocations of Chrysler's commitment to the working men and women of America and Motown bears little resemblance to reality.You see, when Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy 5 years ago, the laborers that are lionized in their “Imported From Detroit” ads took the overwhelming brunt of the punitive measures that were handed out. In the wake of Chrysler's restructuring and ultimate sale to Italian automaker Fiat, 4 factories were shut down, 789 dealerships—and an estimated 37,000 jobs—were lost, cost-of-living wage adjustments were eliminated and a two-tier wage scale was created that allows Chrysler to pay new hires half of what they pay their more experienced workers. Meanwhile, on the backs of these massive cuts and with the aid of $12.5 billion dollars in taxpayer aide—$1.3 billion of which will never be recovered—the now 100% Italian owned Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is making out like a bandit, posting a net profit of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 alone.
Protesters March in Detroit Demanding Water for Residents
As was the case with the $700 billion bank bailout in 2008 and the recent corporate thievery involved in the Patriot Coal bankruptcy case which I have covered before in great detail, the auto industry and government officials have used our nation's legal system to burden ordinary citizens with the collateral damage from financial crises that they had nothing to do with.One of the most instrumental players in the Chrysler bankruptcy case was Kevyn Orr, a partner at the massive law firm Jones Day who was charged with the task of bringing Chrysler back to life as expeditiously and ruthlessly as possible. Orr carved up Chrysler with surgical precision, completing the reorganization of the company within 42 days and raking in more than $1 million in legal fees during the process. As a reward for his work in the bankruptcy case, Orr was named by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as the “Emergency Manager” of the City of Detroit in 2013, a title that is about as ominous and Orwellian as anything this side of the Department of Homeland Security. As Emergency Manager, Orr has essentially been given free reign to do with the City of Detroit as he sees fit, without any interference from pesky, democratically elected city council members and officials, who are essentially impotent during the time the city is judged to be in a Financial Emergency.Didn't vote for him? Doesn't matter. Governor Snyder's vote is the only one that counts.
According to the Michigan legislature's ironically titled Local Financial Stability and Choice Act—an act that was passed during a lame duck session of Michigan's legislature and is little more than a repackaged version of another act that was repealed by Michigan voters in the 2012 elections—an Emergency Manager is essentially a de jure dictator of a local government and/or school district during a fiscal crisis. The Emergency Manager can usurp the power of all government officials, modify union contracts, alter pensions for city workers, sell off public assets and exercise complete authority over local school districts. Oh yeah, and he can also work with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department Board of Water Commissioners to shut off the water supply for residents who are behind on their payments by as little as 60 days or $150, because—according to the Emergency Manager's stated logic—the best way to stimulate a struggling local economy is by shutting off the water supply to more 17,000 of said economy's poorest and most vulnerable members.
The City of Detroit's water policy, which the United Nations has termed, “a violation of the human right to water.”, is just the most recent instance of a disturbing trend in American politics to reframe problems related to globalization, corporate greed and rising income inequality on a growing class of unemployed, underpaid and overworked citizens. Emergency Manager Orr and his stable of bankruptcy lawyers have tried mightily to cast these water shutoffs as a matter of economic necessity and personal responsibility, painting themselves as honest businessmen and the citizens who can't pay their water bills as “scofflaws” and “people gaming the system.” The only problem is that this neither of these assertions are based in truth.As a cost saving measure, shutting off the water supply for the city's poorest residents makes no sense. Due to recent sweeping layoffs within the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, the city was forced to mete out a $5 million contract to a private demolition company to shut off the water to about 17,000 homes which have an average outstanding water bill of only $540. If the city truly wanted to get their money back, they would've started hounding Joe Louis Arena, Ford Field, Palmer Park Golf Club and half of the commercial and industrial buildings in the city who owe roughly $30 million in overdue water fees.
Likewise, the idea that the failure of Detroit residents to pay their water bills is simply a “choice” that they are making in an effort to avoid payment for basic services collapses under the weight of inquiry. When your city has lost 63% of its population since 1950, sports a poverty rate of 42%, has a per capita income that is less than half the national average, and has had its water rates increased by nearly 120% over the past decade with no accompanying rise in wages, any choice that is left to you is between the Scylla of unpaid utilities and the Charybdis of overdue rent and empty cupboards.Water is a human right. Greed is not.No, as is so often the case in this age of corporate hegemony, the Detroit water shutoffs are principally about privatization and the potential to turn a profit
on a publicly held utility. For the past few weeks, Emergency Manager Orr and his staff have been considering at least 13 separate bids from private parties who are interested in bidding for the rights to city's water department and the recent spate of cutoffs is seen by many as an attempt from the Emergency Manager to paint the department as a profitable enterprise, which it may very well be for whatever company it is that ends up controlling it.
However, case studies from all across the country and the globe have shown that the benefits of water privatization begin and end with companies doing the privatizing,with private operators proving to be no more efficient or technically sound than their public counterparts while contributing to massive rate hikes for citizens, as is the case in the UK where the price of privately controlled water has increased by 50 percent over the past two decades despite a lack of change in operating costs. Despite what Governor Snyder and Emergency Manager Orr might tell you, privatizing Detroit's water system is not a magic bullet that will fix the city's financial woes. In reality, it's just your average lead and copper bullet being fired at the working class residents of Detroit so they'll scatter and make way for the city's gentrification.As you may have heard, more than 1,000 protestors converged on Detroit's Cobo Hall this past Friday to let Emergency Manager Orr and the Detroit Water and Sewage Department know what they thought of a policy that denied tens of thousands of Detroiters of their access to clean water.
The rally, which was put on by National Nurses United, Robin Hood Tax USA, Moratorium-MI.Org and a host of other great progressive organizations, was a true testament to the resolve of the citizens of Detroit and their allies across the country, and presented the world with a unified face that made it clear that it would not accept a world in which water is a luxury and not a natural human right. Through the actions of these passionate activists, community leaders and citizens, along with brief remarks from actor Mark Ruffalo and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), the rally gained international media attention and shined a none-too-flattering light on the inhumane behavior of Emergency Manager Orr and his staff. In fact, the portrayal of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department's behavior was so damaging that, just today, the department has come out to say that they are suspending all water shut offs for the next 15 days. It is a minor victory for water rights advocates and the people of Detroit, but it is a victory nonetheless, and one which they have desperately needed after months and years of having their voices roundly ignored by the city's corporate and political elite.However, to appropriate an expression from the realm of drug and alcohol treatment, striving for social justice is like trying to walk up a down escalator. It's possible to climb your way to the top, but the process is long, it is exhausting and if you stop moving for too long you end up right back at the bottom where you started. This moratorium on shut offs will mean nothing if things go back to business as usual when the 15 days are up.
The enthusiasm and awareness that has been drummed up by the rally on Friday will not help the people of Detroit preserve their rights to clean water if in a month all of the major media outlets are ignoring them once again and many of the people who attended the rally—out-of-staters like myself in particular—are putting the struggle on the back burner and focusing their energies solely on other issues. This is a long an arduous process, something that many of world-weary veterans who cut their teeth during the civil rights, women's rights and LGBT rights movements of the 60s and 70s are well aware of and that young twenty-somethings are just beginning to understand. In order to protect the water rights of Detroiters, as well as their rural brethren in the hills of Appalachia and people struggling all across this nation of ours, we have to care more about each other than the Kevyn Orr's of the world care about money. It's a tall order, but given the fire and willpower I saw assembled in Hart Plaza on Friday, I have no doubt that it can—and will—be done, because while Governor Snyder can import as many green-eyed lawyers as he wants to run Detroit, he can't import the heart and soul of every man and woman marching in the picket line.
REPUBLISHED BY CREATELINKUSA.COM
July 20, 2014
New York Times Update: 1:00 PM EST
87 Palestinians and 13 Israelis Killed in Gaza
The Face of the Israeli Invasion into the Gaza Strip
As Israeli troops and war planes bombarded Gaza, both sides reported death tolls that made clear Sunday was the deadliest day so far in the war. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported 87 Palestinians had died and the Israeli military said 13 soldiers were dead.The fighting signaled that what had begun as a limited ground invasion by Israel had moved into a more extensive and costlier phase for both sides.Most of the Palestinians were killed in an eastern neighborhood of Gaza City called Shejaiya. For the Palestinians, it was the deadliest episode since July 8, when Israel began its offensive, first from the air, which was intended to curb rocket fire against its cities and the danger of infiltration through tunnels running under the border from Gaza into Israel. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that more than 300 people were injured in Shejaiya. Tolls were not available from the refugee camps in central Gaza, where fleeing residents reported a similar Israeli advance, with artillery.
3:45 PM - President Obama told Israeli PM Netanyahu that he has "serious concern" over the situation in Gaza
President Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that he had “serious concern” about the growing number of casualties in the fighting in Gaza, including both Palestinian civilian deaths and those of Israeli soldiers.In his second phone call with the Israeli leader in three days, Mr. Obama also told Mr. Netanyahu that Secretary of State John Kerry will travel soon to Cairo to press for an immediate cessation of hostilities, a White House statement said.The United States would work closely with Israel and regional partners to help bring a ceasefire into force, and it emphasized the need to protect civilians in both Gaza and Israel, according to the White House statement.
July 19, 2014
What Happened to Flight 17 over Ukraine?
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 Flight MH17 Crashed
by Russian Separatist Rebels
Did surface-to-air MISSILE take down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? | BREAKING NEWS - 18 JULY 2014
Did surface-to-air MISSILE take down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? | BREAKING NEWS - 18 JULY 2014For more Latest and Breaking News Headlines SUBSCRIBE to https://www.youtube.com/user/ZakWorldNEWS...
On Thursday July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was blown out of the sky while crossing over Ukrainian airspace. The last known position of the airliner was tweeted by Malaysia Airlines Twitter post said. The aircraft was carrying 298 people, including 15 crew members and as many as eighty children. The passengers aboard the airliner have been reported to have been from China, Australia, England, Victoria, Queensland, the United States, and at least 3 other countries. About 100 Aids scientists and researches heading to an Aids conference also perished in this air disaster, which has quickly been considered a criminal act considering all the signs pointing to the involvement of Russian separatist rebels in bringing down the airplane with using a Russian anti-aircraft missile. The attack on the airliner was reported and confirmed by the Ukraine government, a regional European aviation official, as well as the Interfax news agency. According to Malaysian officials, Malaysia Airlines reported loosing contact with the flight.
Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in May, Eastern Ukraine has been in a virtual state of war headed by violent pro-Russian separatists backed by the government of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Full Ground Invasion as the Death Toll Rises in among the Palestinian Civilian
United Nations Security Council Meeting On Israeli Invasion Of Gaza
July 18, 2014 C-SPAN http://MOXNews.comONE TIME ONLY DONATIONhttps://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MHT8PM5BPSVC8$1.00 ONE DOLLAR PER MONTH SUBSCRIPTIONhttps...
Iran Nuclear Talks – Deadline Extended
As President Obama hinted this week in a press conference on foreign policy, the New York Times has reported that Iran, the United States and the five other countries negotiating over the future of the Iranian nuclear program have agreed to a four-month extension of the negotiations, giving them more time to try to bridge a major difference over whether the country will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to diplomats involved in the negotiations.
The original deadline for an accord was July 20, though a temporary agreement that has been in effect since November envisioned a possible extension. The extension was expected, but some American officials say that even the additional time may not prove sufficient. Iran, the United States and the five other countries negotiating the future of the Iranian nuclear program have agreed to a four-month extension of the talks, giving them more time to try to bridge major differences over whether Tehran will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to a statement released early Saturday in Vienna by all seven nations.
Father of UCSB Shooting Victim Christopher Martinez: "When Will This Insanity Stop?"
Richard Martinez, the father of 20-year-old UCSB shooting victim Christopher Martinez, attacked the NRA and guns in a heartbreaking speech at a press conference this afternoon."Our son Chris Marti...
There was something truly moving about watching Mr. Martinez roll wagons full of our postcards down corridors and state capitol hallways.
Seeing survivors, family members and concerned parents share their stories with congressional staff affirmed everything we know: When you and I speak up, our elected officials have no choice but to listen.
Make sure to share:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------July 3, 2014
The Chairman of the MFCR
(Mississippi Federation of College Republicans)
Evan Alvarez Resigned
Opted to Join Democratic Party
Photo_Evan Alvarez' Facebook via Daily Kos
Evan Alvarez, the chairman of the MFCR (Mississippi Federation of College Republicans), has opted not only to leave his position as College GOP Chairman this week, but he is joining the Republican party's arch enemy - the Democrats. In a publicly released letter, Alvarez outlines the reasons behind his decision:
I over the last 48 hours or so, I have been in deep thought about the future of MFCR and of the Republican Party. I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to be the leader of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans. I refuse to simply let people break the rules and think they don't have to answer for their actions, admit they were wrong, or even apologize. When I ran for Chairman in the spring, I ran to be Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College REPUBLICANS, not the Mississippi Federation of College "Tea Partiers". Also, I believe that the Republican Party has allowed these groups of extremist to have too much of a voice and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion. For example, the drastic cuts on needed federal funding that these groups of Republican extremists support would leave society weak and crippled.
Secondly, their far right stance on immigration is not only ignorant, but it is cruel. After all our country is a nation of immigrants and should welcome immigrants from every country. My father was an immigrant from Cuba and came to America in 1959 because of the freedom that this nation offers. This freedom should be available to each and every individual that wants to come work hard and pursue his or her goals in America.
Finally, I believe the Republican Party has not done enough to put a stop to the hatred and cruel words and actions of the far right extremist in the party. The Republican Party consistently says they are trying to appeal to minorities, but this will never happen when we allow members of party to say cruel and ignorant things about Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities in our country. I simply cannot be apart of organization that have members who support these far right extremist views, much less be the Chairman of the organization. So in conclusion, I, Evan Alvarez, am hereby resigning my position as Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans, as well as my membership at the Mississippi State Chapter of MFCR. This change is effective immediately!
U.S. Economy Added 288,000 Jobs in June
Unemployment Dropped to 6.1 Percent
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
288,000 jobs were created in June, signaling a stronger rebound in the U.S. economy than analysts have been predicting.
The Labor Department indicated today that the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
Despite the slow recovery, the job market has consistently shown resolve toward a recovery.Unemployment has come down from 7.9 percent at the start of 2013, and the economists have reported the average monthly gain in payrolls to be above 200,000 for the last five months.The Labor Department report was expected and more gain has been expected. The numbers expected before today's job numbers release was 215,000, with unemployment remaining flat at 6.3 percent.
Wall Street welcomed the data, with the Dow Jones industrial average at the open rising above 17,000 for the first time in its intraday trading history. The New York Times is reporting that the Federal Reserve's program of buying bonds to stimulate the economy is set to end in October, but most economists have been predicting the first increases in short-term interest rates would not come until the summer or early fall of 2015.
July 2, 2014
Republished by createlinkusa.com
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------July 2, 2014
Victory at Target
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
This morning, Target took a stand for the safety of our families by officially asking its customers nationwide to leave their guns at home before shopping in its stores.
"Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create."
- John Mulligan, Target CEO
After almost 400,000 petition signatures and more than 10,000 calls from supporters like you, we're thrilled to see Target issue this gun sense policy. This is a victory that YOU made happen -- and it's a victory that tells all of corporate America: We won't keep quiet when our families are put at risk.
If you don't use Facebook or Twitter, you can also spread the word by forwarding this message to friends and family.
And they listened -- to you, to me, and to hundreds of thousands of Americans who just want to be safe while shopping.
Target joins a growing list of big, national companies like Starbucks and Chipotle that have adopted smart policies that respect the Second Amendment while also respecting the safety of customers and employees.
None of this would happen without supporters like you speaking out.
Thank you for being part of this fight,
Shannon Watts Founder
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
P.S. -- Want to show Target you appreciate their gun sense decision? We're going back #BackOnTarget now, so be sure to include Target in your holiday weekend shopping plans! And don't forget to thank Target on their Facebook page.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
I was part of a group of moms and other volunteers in San Antonio, Texas who got kicked out of a Target parking lot this weekend for protesting the company's open carry policy. This was the same store, and the same parking lot, that hosted an open carry rally just last month.
Moms were armed with nothing more than signs and strollers, but the store's manager wouldn't tolerate it. He kicked us out and threatened to call the police.If you're tired of Target's backwards, dangerous policy that says YES to guns and NO to safety, it's time for Target to hear it.Click here to automatically sign the petition calling on Target to get smart about guns in stores.Which seems more threatening to you? A group of moms openly carrying babies and petitions, or a rally of men and women openly carrying loaded semiautomatic rifles? According to Target, it’s the moms.
Our volunteers in San Antonio were supposedly asked to leave because Target provides a 'distraction free' shopping environment. I don’t know about you, but I think the open carry of loaded semiautomatic rifles in Target stores and parking lots is pretty distracting when I'm out shopping with my kids.
Sign the petition to Target today and tell them that welcoming gun extremists and kicking out moms and kids is completely #OffTarget:http://act.everytown.org/sign/target-petition/Up to 90% of Target’s customers are moms and women. It’s up to us to convince them to do the right thing and stand up for customer safety.Please join me in telling Target to get some gun sense -- immediately!
Thank you,Jamie Addams
Texas Chapter Leader
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------July 1, 2014
Supreme Court Rulings
Photo_Getty Images via the New York Times
“Closely-Held Family-Owned Corporations” Are Not Required to Pay Insurance Coverage for Contraceptives Based on Religious Beliefs
On Monday June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception violated a federal law protecting religious freedom, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision on Monday.
The decision, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to challenges from other corporations to many laws that may be said to violate their religious liberty.
The coverage requirement was put in place under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It was challenged by two corporations whose owners say they try to run their businesses on religious principles: Hobby Lobby, a chain of crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which makes wood cabinets.
Union Bargaining Fees Cannot Be Imposed on Employees
That Are Not Full Public Employees
Also on Monday, the Court handed down its decision in Harris v. Quinn on Monday, saying partial public employees can't be required to contribute to unions.
According to SCOTUSblog, the 5-4 ruling is a "substantial obstacle to expanding public employee unions, but it does not gut them." SCOTUSblog also notes that the case does not involve "full-fledge public employees," but rather says that union bargaining fees cannot be imposed on employees that are not full public employees. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion in the ruling.
U.S. Supreme Court Ruled That Massachusetts Law Establishing a 35-Foot Buffer Zone between Protesters and Abortion Clinics - Unconstitutional
The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994. The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives to abortion.
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on President Obama’s Right to Make Appointments
When Congress Is in Recess
On Thursday June 26, the Supreme Court on Thursday said President Obama had violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to appoint officials to the National Labor Relations Board during a brief break in the Senate’s work.
Court watchers believe that the larger message of the court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer and joined by its four more liberal members, was that there is a role for recess appointments so long as they are made during a recess of 10 or more days. Justice Antonin Scalia agreed with the result in the case but issued a caustic dissent from the bench. “The majority practically bends over backwards to ensure that recess appointments will remain a powerful weapon in the president’s arsenal,” he said.
New GM Recalls
On Monday, General Motors has announced a new round of recall of more than 8.4 million vehicles worldwide, bringing its total recall to more than 28 million cars this year, following more than 22 million recalls last year, more than all of the automakers combined.
Among the recalled vehicles, G.M. said it was aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities. About 8.2 million of the newly recalled cars have ignition defects that lead to inadvertent key rotation, and are models of the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and the Chevrolet Malibu, Monte Carlo and Impala, as well as the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Alero, and Pontiac Grand Am and Grand Prix. The model years range from 1997 to 2014.
In February GM began recalling 2.6 million older Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars with a defective ignition switch that has been blamed for at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. The company is in the middle of several wrongful death and personal injury claims.
The New York Times has reported that the company is offering a $1 million starting point for each death to pay families of those who died in accidents caused by a defective ignition switch in General Motors cars, under a plan unveiled Monday by a compensation expert hired by the automaker.
Senate Republicans Filibustered Bill
to Raise the Minimum Wage
By a vote of 54 to 42, Wednesday, Senate Republicans filibustered a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Soon after the bill was defeated in the Senate, President Obama said, “If there’s any good news here, it’s that Republicans in Congress don’t get the last word on this issue, or any issue,” calling on voters to punish Republicans at the poll in the mid-term elections come this November.
the Republican-led filibuster prevented the minimum wage bill from moving forward to a full debate in the Senate. Only one Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee, voted with the Democrats in support of the measure. Following the Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, said “This is a moral issue. It’s not who’s going to vote for whom. It’s about whether or not it is right that people who are working 40 hours a week get a fair shot at being able to provide for their families.”
Democrats immediately announced their intent to bring up the bill again when they had the Republican support to break a filibuster, and gain the 60 votes necessary to pass the bill in the Senate. The minimum wage is currently at $7.25, too low for many working families to live on.
The minimum wage has been a part of a big national debate around economic fairness and upward mobility. Democrats point out that the government would save billions of dollars over time, if the working poor could earn an adequate living wage to meet their basic needs and support their children without relying on the government for subsidy in the form of food stamp and other public aid. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll poll, 62% of Americans agree that the minimum wage should be increased to at least $10.10 an hour. Several states have already raised their minimum wage to $10.00 and others are in the process to do so. 13 states have already raised their minimum wage, with Washington State paying workers the highest minimum wage at $9.32 an hour. According to a Los Angeles Times report, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 28 million Americans would benefit from a raise in the minimum; this number represent mostly women and families with dependent children.
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Views & Analysis
In this section, we will analyze important news and offer our own views and opinion on the issues of the day. We will approach those issues from angles that may not be covered by the larger news media. We encourage and appreciate your feedback.
U.S. Supreme Court Dismantled Civil Rights
Voting Rights - Women Health
& ACA_State Medicaid Exemption
"Segregation Forever": The Speech that Launched George Wallace's National Career
ArchiTreat: Food for Thought presented at the Alabama Department of Archives and History from January 27, 2013Dan Carter describes the ramifications of Wallace's speech and the way in which it bot...
Alabama Governor George Wallace (1963 Inaugural Address)
U.S. Supreme Court Justices
On June 25, 2013 – in Shelby County v. Holder, [570 U.S. (2013) a landmarkUnited States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5] , the Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional “because the coverage formula is based on data over 40 years old, making it no longer responsive to current needs,” and therefore an impermissible burden on the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty of the states. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination. “Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”
The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without Section 4(b), no jurisdiction will be subject to Section 5 preclearance unless Congress enacts a new coverage formula requiring certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices. The section essentially determined which states must receive clearance from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before they made minor changes to voting procedures, like moving a polling place, or major ones, like redrawing electoral districts. This decision by the High Court effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
In the 10 months after the Court struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act, five states have tightened access to voting. From Texas to Virginia, state and local governments have taken steps to require voter identification, eliminate same-day registration, and to limit voting hours and locations.
The law had applied to nine states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — and to scores of counties and municipalities in other states, including Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that Congress remained free to try to impose federal oversight on states where voting rights were at risk, but must do so based on contemporary data. But the chances that the current Congress could reach agreement on where federal oversight is required are small, most analysts say.
Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion. Justice Ginsburg was joined in dissent by Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
On March 31, 2014, open enrollment for the first year of the ACA's healthcare exchange marketplace ended, exceeding the goal of 7 million enrollees.
The President and White House Staff react to the House of Representatives passing the bill on March 21, 2010.
· Guaranteed issue prohibits insurers from denying coverage to individuals due to pre-existing conditions, and guaranteed same premium for people of the same age living in the same geographic location without regard to gender
· An individual mandate requiring all individuals not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicaid, Medicare or other public insurance programs to secure an approved private-insurance policy or pay a penalty
· The law provides for subsidies for low income individuals to help them comply with the mandate.
· For plans starting in 2015, the proposed enrollment period is November 15, 2014–February 15, 2015.
· Businesses which employ 50 or more people but do not offer health insurance to their full-time employees will pay a tax penalty if the government has subsidized a full-time employee's healthcare through tax deductions or other means. This is commonly known as the employer mandate.
· Officials in several states have decided to oppose those elements of the ACA over which they have discretion. As of this month, 24 States have refused to expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance marketplace, effectively blocking coverage to over 5 million Americans. DailyBriefing.com lists those states as including:
· Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell (R)
· Georgia: Gov. Nathan Deal (R)
· Indiana: Gov. Mike Pence (R)
· Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)
· Mississippi: Republican Legislature
· Nebraska: Gov. Dave Heineman (R)
· Oklahoma: Gov. Mary Fallin (R)
· South Dakota: Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R)
· Texas: Gov. Rick Perry (R)
· Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker (R)
January 1, 2014
2013 Year in Review
January: President Barack Obama got sworn in for a historic second term after a brutal 2 billion dollar campaign against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate and Tea Party House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
February: It was the deadliest storm in modern Philippine history, and one of the strongest ever recorded. Typhoon Haiyan plowed through the country's midsection on Nov. 8, with winds of more than 150 miles an hour. The storm killed more than 6,000 people and displaced more than three million. President Benigno Aquino III estimated the cost of the damage—including 550,000 homes—at nearly $13 billion. The worst-hit area is mainly agricultural. Government economic managers have said the damage could lower growth, although reconstruction spending should temper the storm's effects on the economy.
Also in February: Christopher Dorner, an ex-police officer, is named a suspect wanted in connection with shootings that occurred throughout Southern California within a week period. In those shootings, three people died, including a police officer and an assistant women's basketball coach at California State University, Fullerton, and several others were wounded. Dorner was later killed after taking refuge in a house in the mountains and taking the homeowners hostage.
March: 76-year old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires became Pope Francis, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI who stepped down two weeks earlier, citing declining health—the first pontiff in more than six centuries to resign from a position traditionally held until death. Pope Francis of the Jesuit Order has amazed the world and brought back a billion Catholics to the Catholic Church through his return to the basic and fundamental principal of Christianity: caring for the poor and the less fortunate, and “love your neighbor as you love yourself for the love of God.”
April: 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his 19 year brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bombed the Boston Marathon killing 3 people and wounding 260. Day later, the brother killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer and started a standoff with Watertown police in a chase that started in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The hunt for the surviving 19 year old Tuft University student shut down and paralyzed Metropolitan Boston for over 24 hours.
May: Under the leadership of the bipartisan so-called “gang of eight,” led by Tea Party Cuban-American Florida Senator,Marco Rubio, the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary approves immigration reform legislation that would give citizenship to millions living in the country illegally. At the time, Rubio was regarded as a rising star in the Republican Party – the man likely to fix Republicans’ electoral deficit among Latinos. However, within days, Rubio was forced to distance himself from his own plan when he came under attack from conservative groups and Tea Party faithful. Rubio who was considered a sure bet to run as a candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries quickly fell from grace and was side swept by Tea Party hardliners the Junior Senators from Texas and Kentucky, respectively Ted Cruz who led the government shutdown with the help of 80 Tea Party House Republicans and Senate Libertarian Rand Paul.
June: 29-year old former NSA contractor and data analysts released top-secret documents to the UK newspaper, The Guardian and the Washington Post, unleashing outrage and disbelief in the massive National Security Agency data-swooping program on American citizens and foreigners. The leak revealed the government’s reach into private telephone, internet, and financial records access by internet into the systems of major service providers, including AT&T, Verizon,Sprint, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and others. Snowden later released thousand more pages of classified documents, some showing illegal practices by the NSA and the monitoring of telephone activities of at least 19 foreign Heads of States, including France and Germany.
Also in June: the Republican majority legislature in Texas passed one of the most restrictive laws banning most abortions and passing regulations which would have made impossible for doctors and clinics to provide abortion services in the State. When the legislature attempted to pass the law in just before midnight at the end of the legislative period, Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis mounted an 13- hour filibuster. The filibuster rules in the Texas legislature are strict and forbid members to get off topics, lean on the podium, and even from drinking water. When a Senate colleague tried to provide Mss. Davis with a back support, the Senate Republican Chair declared that she had violated the rules and ordered her to terminate the filibuster By that time, words had gotten out on social media and thousands of people spontaneously showed up and filled the galleries of the capitol, chairing and chanting for her to be allowed to continue. When she was finally forced off the floor just 1 minute before midnight, the Republicans tried to rush the bill through and passed it. However, the record later showed that they had voted for the bill 2 minutes after midnight when the legislative session had already expired, which would have made the bill illegal. That forced the Republicans to pull out the bill. but in July, Texas governor Rick Perry called a special session of the legislature and the bill was passed. Democrats are a small minority in the Texas legislature.
July: A Seminole County Florida Jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death 17 year old Trayvon Martin. Reactions around the country was swift as people marched in several cities around the country to protest the verdict from coast to coast.
August: The Islamic politics and cultural website, Islamic Invitation Turkey released a video, they said, showed that the Syrian government had launched a chemical attack near Damascus, the capital of Syria. The international press reported stories about the attack, but the evidence began to indicate that the chemical attack, which killed 1500 civilians, including 400 children, was ordered and carried out by the military forces of Syrian’s President Bashar Al Assad. President Obama threatened military action against Syria. However, several days later, news broke that Secretary of State John Kerry, brand new on the job, had reached a diplomatic agreement with the help of Russian President Vladimir Putin to monitor the destruction of Syria’s entire chemical weapon under the close supervision of the United Nations’ Weapons Inspectors.
Also in August: Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin struck down New York’s stop-and-frisk “policy” ruling that the New York Police Department tactics of violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the city. The ruling effectively killed the program, following the election of New York’s new Mayor Bill De Blasio. In her ruling, Judge Scheindlin effectively rejected New York Mayor’s Michael Bloomberg and his administration’s argument that the tactics plays a major element in fighting crime in the city. In her ruling, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that the Police Department resorted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling” as it increased the number of stops in minority communities. That has led to officers’ routinely stopping “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” The judge found that patrol officers have used the policy in the past 9 years “to stop innocent people without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.” Bloomberg tries angrily and desperately to hang onto his racist policy under the pretense of safety, and he woe to pursue this bloody odious legacy through the courts. Ultimately, this scheme will be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme; for it cannot survive any serious scrutiny by any person of conscience under the IV and the XIV Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood Supporters Declared a “Day of Rage.” The country descended into chaos and violence, and appeared to be on the verge of a civil war after the military intervened in Egyptians’ second uprising against President Mohammed Morsi and installed interim PM Hazem Beblawi. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to rise against what they considered a military coup and took to the streets by the thousands in protest. Egypt has been under military rule since, and in a state of turmoil since President Morsi was democratically elected by a majority of Egyptians a year ago in the wake of the Arab Spring, which resulted in the ouster of 30-year military dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The military promised new elections, but has since banned the Muslim Brotherhood from political participation, declaring the party a terrorist organization.
September 1: North Carolina passed the most extreme voter ID laws with other measures all aimed at preventing targeted groups of voters from casting ballots in the general elections. Those laws targeted Blacks and Hispanics, younger voters, low income and elderly voters by making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to obtain newly required State ID that the State made almost impossible to obtain based on the very requirements that were put in place to obtain such ID. In addition, many states reduced the number of days for voting, cut down on voting hours, and reduced voting precincts by moving them out of populated areas and increasing them in more rural areas with lower populations. Civil rights groups successfully sued over those voting restrictions and by Election Day, most of those laws were struck down and found unconstitutional by the Courts. In addition, the Justice Department blocked several of those states from putting those laws into effect by using Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to challenge the new laws and protect the voting rights of millions of Americans.
September 5: After her fifth attempt, Diana Nyad did something truly historic, when she completed a swim from Havana, Cuba to the Key West, a voyage she started 35 years ago. The 64-year-old left Havana Saturday and reached the shores of Florida’s Key West on Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2013 just before 2 PM local time after about 53 hours of swimming in shark-infested water. Although looking a bit dazed, with a swollen lip, and covered with sunburn, Nyad swam within feet of the beach before walking onto dry land. She was received by clapping spectators who cheered her on and wanted to take pictures with her. She was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. CBS reported that she was released from the hospital Monday evening after receiving IV treatment. The record-book swimmer told reporters, "I have three messages. One is, we should never, ever give up. Two is, you're never too old to chase your dream. Three is, it looks like a solitary sport, but it is a team," she said on the beach. "I have to say, I'm a little bit out of it right now," she was reporting saying.
September 28: President Obama announced that he spoke on the telephone with the President of Iran, Hassan Ruhani,
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
Wall Street ended its best year since the 1990’s.
The Dow Jones Industrial climbed to 26.5% ending its best year since 1995.
Wall Street and big banks settled with the government in a multi-layer investigation into the fraudulent financial practices that led to the economic crash of 2008, and paid billions of dollars in fines and penalties, but nobody went to prison for defrauding ordinary citizens and causing untold miseries to homeowners and pensioners.
Hispanics marched to demand immigration reform and a stop to deportation and the break up of families
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