Police Massacre at Occupy Oakland As Allison Kilkenny reported, this morning at 4:40 the Oakland Police lined up around the Occupy Oakland protest in riot gear. They then assaulted the sleeping protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and noise cannons. Video of the scene can be found at the post. This is disgusting example of what can happen to popular uprisings like these, but the fact that evidence of the wrongs committed can get out to everyone will be crucial in swaying public opinion and building support for the Occupy movement in general.
The GOP’s War on Reproductive Rights
‘Personhood’ Measures Threaten In Vitro Fertilization Anti abortion advocates have been able to get measures on the ballot that would criminalize a woman’s constitutionally mandated right to an abortion – by defining personhood at the fertilization of an embryo. This would not only outlaw abortion, but also the majority of women’s forms of contraception (including the pill). Also, as Think Progress notes, concerns have arisen that even the process of In Vitro fertilization would be subject to scrutiny due to the strict language of the measure. How is this a serious position? Passing these measures (that are still up for election in several states) would deal a huge blow to a woman’s ability to control her own body in this country.
Judge Blocks N. Carolina Anti-Abortion Law A federal judge has stopped the implementation of a North Carolina law that forced doctors to show women wanting an abortion an ultrasound within four hours of the procedure along with asking if the woman would like to hear the fetus’s heartbeat. These tactics are clear examples of legislating obstacles to scare women away from ever getting an abortion. I thank U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles for deciding this way, and even though this injunction is temporary while she hears arguments, I am optimistic that this law will be found unconstitutional.
Mitt Romney Doesn’t Hate Unions Enough Mitt Romney was in Ohio and gave some support to Ohio’s SB-5, the Ohio bill that stripped public unions of the right to collectively bargain and has been subsequently brought up on referendum because of voter signatures. Romney, being interested in staying electable in the general election, might not want to be seen as anti-worker. This was unacceptable to conservatives in Ohio. This is another example of the GOP being willing to eat their own rather than accept multiple views.
Wow, Herman Cain, Just Wow So, I saw this campaign ad for Herman Cain on Amanda Marcotte’s blog. The person in the ad is Cain’s Chief of Staff. It’s the perfect combination of anger, craziness, hilariously literal music. Watch the video and enjoy!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! I apologize for the infrequency of the posts for these News Drops, but until we get someone in to assist I will post as often as I can. I thank you for your patience. Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back for more Daily News Drops.
Sources: In These Times, Think Progress, Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, Pandagon
Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Daily News Drop! Today has been a huge day for news. First, the news that everyone is discussing is the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs. While it is quite sad, and my condolences go out to his family, he should not be the only story for the day. I have compiled a few more stories that also deserve consideration. Here is today’s news.
Occupy Wall Street Update
Unions Join with Occupy Wall Street for Massive March. Then Violence Later Today, unions from the SEIU 1199, the Transport Workers Union and the United Federation of Teachers joined in with the beachhead supporters of Occupy Wall Street and staged the largest demonstration of the movement to date. Allison Kilkenny was there interviewing protesters and genuinely reporting on what is actually happening on the ground. The same cannot be said for those in the mainstream media who have done little more than mock it… or call it dangerous… or something. I cannot say enough about the coverage that Allison is providing on the OWS movement. I’ve read every shred she’s put out there and I would highly recommend that you do the same. Tonight, while the world mourned Steve Jobs, the march led to violence. After marchers allegedly attempted to push through police barricades, the NYPD reacted by pepper spraying protesters and conducting multiple arrests. As of this writing, there isn’t an official count on the number of arrests, but I am reminded of the words of comedian Lee Camp to the NYPD in regards to OWS, “You are throwing water on Gremlins. The more you arrest, the more will come.”
Official Support for Occupy Los Angeles Five days into the Occupy Los Angeles solidarity protest, and there has been major gains. 100 rain ponchos have been donated to the protesters on behalf of the Mayor of LA. In addition to the mayor, seven of the 15 councilmembers of Los Angeles have pledged support for both the local protest and the larger one as well. To see government officials showing such a public display of support is, though quite heartening, shocking. If government officials are willing to voice disapproval of the Wall Street might be the beginning of a trend… hopefully.
What are we Going to Do About it?
Dueling Philosophies by Democrats: Option One – Fold NY Senator and Wall Street BFF Chuck Schumer has apparently lined up on the side against the 99 Percent Movement. While President Obama is committed to fighting for a tax increase for all individuals who make more than $250,000 a year (which a majority of Americans are behind), Chuck Schumer put the bar a bit higher at $1 Million. While it might seem like a small difference of opinion, it is his rationale for the difference that is the problem. He agrees with the GOP that many who make $250,000 to $300,000 a year are but simple small business owners. This is, of course, false. While those individuals might not be lavishly wealthy, they are quite well-to-do and could bear with a slight tax increase.
Option Two – FIGHT Oregon Congressman Pete DeFazio has a solution to help rein in Wall Street and lower the deficit – tax the trading of stocks, bonds and derivatives. Calling Wall Street a ‘gambling casino,’ DeFazio claims that this plan would help raise funds for the Treasury and reduce speculation on Wall Street. Mind you, this would not be a massive tax, just a small transaction fee on each trade that would add up very quickly. DeFazio and Congressman Tom Harkin have brought this bill forward several times, but the public pressure of Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent Movement might be the tipping point to get this major reform passed.
Environmentalists Sue to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline Several Green groups have brought lawsuits to stop the construction of the international Keystone XL Pipeline. These lawsuits cite such reasons as major aquifers which will be threatened by possible leaks, and the potential extinction of the endangered American Burying Beetle. You would hope that politicians could see the possibility of potential leaks and the certain damage to our climate that would happen if we extract and burn the tar sands of Alberta… but money rules in politics. So hopefully these lawsuits can do what needs to be done – stop the construction of this pipeline.
Scientists Create Embryonic Stem Cells Through ‘Cloning’ Scientists appear to have found a new way to procure stem cells. Through a cloning process, they have been able to take adult skin cells and create new embryonic stem cells. While it is unknown whether this process will ever be able to be reliably used on humans, the scientific achievement in unquestionable. Read the report by the BBC and see the science behind the discovery. Fun stuff!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and check back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: The New York Times, The Nation, Think Progress, New York Daily News, The Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, BBC News
Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Daily News Drop. It’s been a big day for news, and not all of it has to do with the 2012 elections (which is all the mainstream media cares to talk about). Here are today’s stories!
Legitimate Coverage of Police Brutality on Protesters As centrist as MSNBC tends to be, I was really impressed by Lawrence O’Donnell’s commentary on the obvious excessive use of force by the NYPD against the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. He used the specific example to make a broader point – this sort of overreach of power happens every day, all across the country. Watch the video and witness quality reporting. Fair warning, some of the video footage of the police brutality can be jarring.
Health Insurance Costs Spike Interesting story from the New York Times. A study has come out that measures that health insurance rates have increased 9 percent from last year. Reasons for the spike are anything but clear. It could be insurers are raising rates while they still can without penalty or oversight, or it could just be an anomaly. This is clear: Republicans will use this fact as another reason to call Obamacare a failure. My take on this is complicated. Obama’s plan (watered down as it was) was flawed because the cost-cutting measures don’t kick in until 2014, thus giving the GOP years to slam it as a failure and push to repeal it before it ever began. These rate hikes are a symptom of a political war that Obama is losing badly.
Putin Rears his Head As I saw the news that Vladamir Putin was going to leave the Prime Minister slot and run for President again in 2012, essentially just switching slots with current President (and friend of Putin) Dmitry Medvedev, and it seemed both unsurprising and disconcerting. Putin was long rumored to be the one actually pulling the strings in Russia, even if Medvedev had the actual title. Putin, former head of the KGB, Chas been ruthless in regards to political dissidents (liberals). I’m not one to call Russia and Putin an ‘enemy,’ I’m just disheartened to see a supposed democracy fall back into cronyism and borderline dictatorship.
Shift in how Same Sex Couple Identify Themselves According to the Census, one in five of the nation’s 646,000 same sex couples identify themselves as married. Some of these couples were married in states that recognize same sex marriage, and some identify themselves as married even though they cannot be legally married in their state. The message to take away from this is simple – the stigma of gay marriage is falling away. With more people willing to disclose their relationships, and more of the general population warming to the idea of gay marriage, marriage equality seems to be the clear endpoint to this trend.
Not All Liberal Disappointment Towards Obama is Due to Racism Earlier this week, I shared a post from Melissa Harris-Perry where she attributed that a large portion of white liberals who have stopped supporting President Obama are doing so because of race. The post has caused a bit of a commotion. David Sirota wrote a very cogent rebuttal to Harris-Perry’s claim that I find convincing. As a white liberal who is anything but happy with Barack Obama right now, I can say that my displeasure is directly because of his policies and failure to stick to the principles that he professed to have during his campaign, not because of his race. Be sure to read both articles and make up your own mind. Here is a like to Melissa Harris-Perry’s article
Positive Sign for LGBT in Sports Rick Welts, a front office executive for the NBA, came out of the closet four and a half months ago. Sports have long been a place where homosexuality was the most taboo of all taboos. Disclosing said homosexuality would make an athlete a pariah and endanger them to potential violence. Welts’ story is a positive sign of the progress that professional sports have made to this point. He said that he hasn’t had a single negative reaction from co-workers, players or fans since coming out. Hopefully sports are becoming a safe space to be openly gay. I love Charles Barkley’s quote that “he’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”
The GOP Base Gone Wild The GOP has gone through an ideological cleansing from Reagan onward that shuns away any politician who conformed to their strict set of fiscal and social issues. As the Tea Party has risen, which is really only the vocal base of the Republican Party, this process has become even stricter. It seems that no one is ‘pure’ enough to be elected. This post in Talking Points Memo describes the conundrum perfectly.
To conclude the post, here is a happier story to lighten the mood…
GOP: It’s not the Candidates, It’s You Re-iterating the previous story in a much more humorous way, Jon Stewart has a message to the GOP, if you can’t find a candidate who agrees with everything you do… maybe it’s your fault. One of the smartest satire that I’ve seen The Daily Show do in a while.
Thanks for reading and staying informed. Check back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop and keep reading The Progressive Playbook for great progressive commentary. For example, read Carlos’s take on the Occupy Wall Street Protest and A. Lynn’s explanation of why Choice matters. Great job guys.
Sources: The Raw Story, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Salon, The Nation, Think Progress, Talking Points Memo, The Huffington Post