Al-Qaeda calls out Ahmadinejad Not to be flippant about the situation, but you know that you’re ridiculous when Al-Qaeda is calling you out. Al-Qaeda once again took credit for 9/11 and made a statement calling Ahmadinejad’s beliefs “ridiculous,” saying that “it stands in the face of all logic and evidence.” Ouch.
Man Accused of Pentagon Plot Rezwan Ferdaus, an American citizen, was arrested and accused of planning to use drones with attached explosives to launch two into the Pentagon and one into the Capitol. He was caught by undercover FBI agents who also supplied him with the money to acquire supplies for the attack; Ferdaus believed they were recruiters from Al-Quaeda.
Waukesha Official Broke the Law… but didn’t tamper with votes, or at least that’s what was found by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The board stated that “Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus violated the laws and procedures for administering the count — but that her actions were not willful, criminal misconduct.” Right.
Judge Refuses to Block Immigration Law An Alabama judge refused to block key parts of the Alabama immigration law, which now has the strictest immigration policy in the country. Basically, the law calls for immigration status to be checked during routine traffic stops (and other things in more detail – read the full text HERE).
Health Care Reform Headed to Supreme Court A 26 state coalition is requesting that the Supreme Court decide on the Constitutionality of President Obama’s Health Care Law, and the case could be decided by June. The biggest issue up for decision is whether the individual mandate is constitutional and whether it can be separated from the rest of the law. I actually look forward to the day the court makes its ruling so that the Tea Party zealots can shut up about it and focus on other aspects of peoples’ lives to ruin.
Paul Ryan’s Big Plan Paul Ryan has decided that not only should seniors be put on a voucher system, but so should the rest of the country. Actually, he’d like to convert your employer insurance plans to a voucher system… don’t worry though. You can gaze into Ryan’s big, blue eyes and feel comforted by the fact that you’re helping to reduce the deficit by giving up the insurance you currently have and embracing your vouchers.
2,900 Convicted Criminals Arrested According to ICE, more than 2,900 convicts were arrested, and we’re not talking all small offenses. Many were fugitives and included in their crimes were manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault. The Obama Administration is trying to crack down on illegal immigrants, and despite the high arrest numbers, I’m sure the GOP will continue to scream that the President is soft on illegal immigration.
Federal Definition of Rape Criticized The Federal definition of “Rape” is much narrower than the definition used by most police departments. The current definition the FBI uses for rape is more than 80 years old and is “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” As the article points out, “…that definition, critics say, does not take into account sexual-assault cases that involve anal or oral penetration or penetration with an object, cases where the victims were drugged or under the influence of alcohol or cases with male victims. As a result, many sexual assaults are not counted as rapes in the yearly federal accounting… In Chicago, the Police Department recorded close to 1,400 sexual assaults in 2010, according to the department’s Web site. But none of these appeared in the federal crime report because Chicago’s broader definition of rape is not accepted by the F.B.I.” This is a big deal, and a big problem. I do hope these facts are widely circulated because I have a feeling that a lot of Americans, like myself, had no idea this was the case.
Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic week, and I hope you come back tomorrow for the next Daily News Drop!
Sources: The Washington Post, Talking Points Memo, CNN, The New York Times, The Latin America News Dispatch, Daily Kos,
Four Legged Heroes of 9/11 I’m going to open with an uplifting story… on 9/11, a ceremony honoring rescue dogs and their handlers from 9/11/2001 will take place across the river in New Jersey. Some of the dogs that are still alive will march in a parade in a special recognition ceremony. The event is private – by invitation only – and was organized by the Tails of Hope organization, a non profit that works to advance both human and veterinary medicine. How nice!
Slipping from the Middle Class Nearly 1 in 3 Americans who grew up as “Middle Class” have slipped below that position in society as adults. This is just another signal that the “American Dream” is becoming unattainable for many of us. Single women and African American men suffer the most, and education is a crucial factor in stability, which are things we already knew, though this study by Pew Charitable Trusts confirmed it. Quite the depressing study… I’m guessing the Republicans won’t discuss this in their debate tonight.
5 Ejected and 3 Arrested at Ryan Town Hall Did somebody attack Paul Ryan? Throw rotten fruit at him? Threaten him? Nope…. they dared to… ask questions? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is correct! Asking questions that Paul Ryan doesn’t want to hear is now enough to get you silenced and even arrested. To be fair, they were “protesters,” but from the information given, it appears they were peacefully asking questions, not chaining themselves to his podium. It must be the GOP way.
Squelching Voters In good ol’ Wisconsin, a memo written by Steve Kriser, a state Department of Transportation official, instructs employees at the DMV to NOT offer applicants the option of a free photo I.D. card, but to only assist them if people directly ask for it. This may not seem like a big deal, but many people probably don’t know they are entitled to a free I.D. card, and now need it to vote. A lot of those people may not know about it because they lack the means to have access to information that would tell them they can get the card for free. In addition, there is a special box that customers need to check to get the card for free – otherwise it would be $28 and end up being the equivalent of a poll tax, which is illegal. He is quoted as stating in the memo, “While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it.” Where are the Republicans screaming about voting rights now? Oh yeah, they’re too busy feeling smug about forcing ACORN to shut down. Can we all say “voter suppression?”
Obama’s vs. the NFL The NFL kickoff show will air on 4 channels during President Obama’s job speech Thursday. Now we know the real reason why Boehner had a fit when the original speech date was announced – how many people are going to watch a “boring” old speech, and how many people are going to watch the NFL kickoff show? Right.
How the Tea Party Won the Climate Change Debate Ezra Klein brings this article to us about how, according to a study by The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, a very small sliver of the Republican party – Conservatives – are climate change deniers. Klein states “The Yale survey divvied up respondents into Democrats, Republicans, independents, and Tea Partiers. Self-identified Tea Party types make up just 12 percent of the country, but they tend to be the fiercest global-warming deniers: “Majorities of Democrats (78%), Independents (71%) and Republicans (53%) believe that global warming is happening. By contrast, only 34 percent of Tea Party members believe global warming is happening, while 53 percent say it is not happening.” This is a really interesting read on how a small ignorant minority has hijacked a debate, grounded in science and facts. It’s maddening.
That’s it for tonight… it’s debate time! Hopefully everyone is having a great week – please stop by tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: USA Today, The Washington Post, Politicususa.com, Talking Points Memo,
Wikileaks: Iraqi Children Shot in Head in US Raid According to leaked diplomatic cable from Wikileaks, during a raid in 2006, 10 Iraqi civilians were executed by US soldiers who then proceeded to call in an airstrike to cover up the evidence. This is just one example of how awful war is and why we might not want to perpetually be in one.
Schedulegate Barack Obama wanted to give a speech on jobs to a joint session of congress on September 7th. John Boehner said he should do it the next day. Obama promptly caved. This is a microcosm of what our political system has become.
Massive Teacher Retirements in Wisconsin In light of Wisconsin’s union busting bill, many Wisconsin teachers are opting to retire rather than work for highly reduced rates. The rate has been double that of 2009 or 2010. 9,933 individuals are retiring, including 4,935 school district employees, and 1,091 University of Wisconsin System employees. Good luck replenishing those numbers Governor Walker!
The NRA’s Role in the Downfall of the ATF The head of the ATF was forced to resign because of the crushing failure of Operation Fast and Furious – a plan that funneled guns across the Mexican border attempting to find heads of drug cartels. Those same guns were used many instances of violence – including the murder of a US Border Patrol Officer. Foreign Policy had an interesting take on the scandal. The ATF was hamstrung by the NRA and didn’t have many other options.
Perry Proposed Bi-National Health Care Plan with Mexico Rick Perry, former Texas Governor, cowboy and Tea Party favorite, has made himself into a conservative purist who finds Medicare and Social Security unconstitutional. Back in 2001, as Governor, Perry proposed a bi-national health care plan that would cover both Texans and Mexicans. Such a moderate past might come back to haunt the GOP favorite.
America’s Myopic and Narrow View of Regime Change Glenn Greenwald takes a look at a disturbing trend – celebrating the downfall of a dictator by military intervention and using that as justification for the intervention. Asking your cab driver how he feels about Saddam Hussein being ousted might not be a good barometer for how the nation as a whole feels. The coverage of Qaddafi’s demise is looking very similar to the coverage that we saw after Saddam fell. This conflict isn’t close to being done yet, and any belief otherwise is misguided.
GOP’s ‘Job-Creation’ Plans Sarah Jaffe goes one by one explaining how the plans that the GOP is presenting as ‘job creators’ are anything but. Union busting, Free Trade agreements, lowering business taxes, slashing regulations and lowering the minimum wage aren’t going to jump start the economy. They will all help enrich the super wealthy and expand the wealth gap.
Once again we end with a happier story to lighten the mood…
America Vows to Pay Attention to Libya for a Little While Excellent bit of satire from The Onion. America gets ready to enjoy a month or so of Libya seeming like a symbol of freedom. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Thanks for sticking with us for 50 posts. Read and share this and the other great posts on The Progressive Playbook. Come back tomorrow for another batch of news!
Sources: McClatchy, Digby’s Hullabaloo, Talking Points Memo, Foreign Policy, Think Progress, Salon, Alternet, The Onion
Debt Ceiling Update Six senators have come out with a plan to save our economy, and everybody hates it except for President Obama! Chances are, now that the President has said that he likes it, it’s dead on arrival anyway, but what this plan has apparently done is made everybody wake up and realize there isn’t enough time to pass anything substantial at this point with two weeks left before August 2. Why it took this magical plan to deliver that epiphany to members of Congress is anybody’s guess, but now it seems that our lawmakers are beginning to eye some sort of short term budget extension… here we go, again.
The Latest on Murdochgate The circus continues.
Renting Vs. Buying This is an interesting article detailing the renting vs. buying argument and gives a different perspective than maybe we’ve heard before. During the housing bubble, home ownership was pushed as a goal that every American should have, whether they could afford it or not, so it’s refreshing reading a story about why that may not be the best idea for everybody. Perhaps, since the recession started in 2008, the country is changing it’s views on the subject, which is probably a good thing.
Allen West’s Big Insult Allen West used email to go on a sexist tirade against Debbie Wasserman Schultz yesterday (for publicly pointing out that he supported a plan that would hurt seniors, who make up a large part of his constituents). It’s pretty gross – especially the whole “act like a lady” part – but it is Allen West, who has a history of saying and doing inflammatory things. It does, however, seem to overtly echo the anti-woman sentiment that has taken hold of the Republican Party this year, reflected in their agenda and policy decisions. Since yesterday, West has first used the incident for fund raising and then apparently claimed he issued an apology to Schultz, though Schultz has claimed he did nothing of the sort. It is worth noting that no prominent member of the Republican party has come out denouncing the words of Allen west, and their silence is deafening.
Do Americans Like Paying More For Health Care? Ezra Klein tackles this questing in a thoughtful article. Of course, most people would say “no” (and be correct) but Klein expands on why our health care costs are so much higher in the United States than other countries. Interesting – and frustrating – read.
Lesbian Couple Kicked Out of Museum A lesbian couple in San Francisco were kicked out of a museum for the crime of holding hands. Though the museum dealt with the guard who ejected them (claiming he doesn’t regularly work for the museum) and relieved him of his position, this is a gross illustration of how gay people are still discriminated against every single day; we have such a long way to go to achieve equality. We must makes sure we are not lax about the civil rights battle that wages on for gay people in the United States.
Democrat Wins Wisconsin Recall Election Hopefully this is just the beginning, but a Democrat won the first recall election in Wisconsin since Scott Walker and his cronies started implementing their radical policies. People are not happy, and it’s nice to see voters doing something about it! Hooray, Wisconsin voters!
Threat Against Obama’s Life Ruled Free Speech A federal court ruled that a direct, explicit threat against Barack Obama’s life was free speech. I’m not sure I understand how issuing a specific threat against someone – especially the President of the United States – is not something that can be taken as more than free speech, but apparently the court thinks so. I feel like this sets a dangerous precedent for how threats against people can be handled, especially by law enforcement, but I’m not a lawyer so I’m not an authority on the subject. What do you think?
That’s it for today’s news drop. Please visit tomorrow for more stories, and have a great rest of the week!
Sources: CNN, The Guardian, Economics21.com, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Lifamilies.com, Crooks and Liars, NPR.
Welcome back progressives! Time for another addition of Daily News Drop: vital news aggregated and presented in manageable nuggets.
Hamid Karzai’s Brother Killed in Afghanistan Wali Karzai, the Afghan President’s half brother, was a high level government official and major player in the opium trade who has long tarnished the legitimacy of Hamid Karzai. With Osama bin Laden killed, Karzai disrespected and the war’s unpopularity, what will it take for Obama to finally end the war in Afghanistan?
Debt Ceiling Update With all of the misinformation swirling around the Debt Ceiling negotiations, Alternet has put out an easily understandable analysis. Also, Keith Olbermann put out a stark Special Comment to the President arguing for a major liberal tenet – helping the least fortunate. It can be found here.
McConnell Uses Casey Anthony to Justify Military Tribunals Mitch McConnell’s amazingly stupid statement using an unrelated trial to justify the stripping of detainees’ rights at Guantanamo Bay and their Military Tribunals.
Obama to Fight Immediate End of DADT Rather than let the courts end the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, the Obama Administration will appeal the ruling. Sigh…