Charli Carpenter on that BS story about ISIS and FGM that was circulating last week
I think this commentary also applies to much of the western conversation around head-covering by Muslim women.
…The “discussion draft” submitted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the House Budget Committee on potential solutions to poverty in America includes the proposal that low-income Americans would have to sign “contracts” in order to remain eligible for social safety net benefits, such as food stamps, or SNAP. The contract would include: benchmarks, such as finding a job, enrolling in employment training, or even meeting “new acquaintances outside circle of poverty”; a “timeline” in which individuals are contractually-obligated to meet those benchmarks; bonuses for meeting benchmarks early; and “sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract”:
I’m sure giving the impoverished even more paperwork to deal with will help them not be poor anymore. As with almost all libertarians, Paul Ryan is secretly a major fan of big government—as long as it’s used to crush people other than him.
It’s funny that Ryan is so hellbent on ‘reforming’ entitlements like Social Security. It seemed to work fine for him. You all remember that he paid for college using Social Security survivor benefits, right?
When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region.
This is a “conflict” that has resulted in the deaths of over 800 Palestinians, most of them civilians (~80%), and many of them children (about 192). There have been 36 Israeli deaths. Most of them were soldiers and most of them occurred after the ground invasion of Gaza. Given those details, does this look like merely a “conflict” to you or a massacre?
I do not normally indulge in this kind of speculation, but given how Israel has been behaving lately, I would not be surprised if these allegations are true:
Repeated inconsistencies in Israeli descriptions of the situation have sparked debate over whether Israel wanted to provoke Hamas into a confrontation. Israeli intelligence is also said to have known that the boys were dead shortly after they disappeared, but to have maintained public optimism about their safe return to beef up support from the Jewish diaspora. Writing for Al Jazeera, Musa al-Gharbi argued that Israel was deliberately provoking Hamas:All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas.
Never forget that American arms, money, and political support are helping enable Israel’s godforsaken butchery.
…[B]y this weekend Israel was so clearly losing the public relations war that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained to reporters, tersely, that Hamas uses “telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause.”
If Netanyahu is so bothered by how dead Palestinians look on television then he should stop killing so many of them….
If these font sizes don’t speak to the relative value of Palestinian life, I don’t know what does.
Not just the font—after all, “Hamas militants step up attacks”? Yeah, that’s not really the problem. Note, as well, that they never say Palestinians are killed, just the death toll itself.
They’re just trying to be fair and balanced. Everyone knows 1 Israeli life = over 165 Palestinian lives.
The federal agency that sets criminal sentencing policies for judges voted on Friday to allow tens of thousands of inmates serving time for drug crimes to apply for reduced sentences, the largest such sentencing reduction in modern U.S. history.
The unanimous vote by the seven members of the U.S. Sentencing Commission will apply to most drug offenders in federal prisons, according to the commission.
Their decision came after the commission studied the results of a similar 2007 vote that affected only those serving time for crack cocaine offenses and found that inmates released early posed no greater risk of committing another crime than those who served their full terms…
Congress has until November 1 to disapprove of the commission’s decision. If lawmakers let the new rules stand, judges across the country can begin considering individual petitions from inmates for sentence reductions, but no prisoners can be released until Nov. 1, 2015, according to a special rule added by the commissioners.
The U.S. government is rapidly expanding the number of names it accepts for inclusion on its terrorist watch list, with more than 1.5 million added in the last five years, according to numbers divulged by the government in a civil lawsuit.
About 99 percent of the names submitted are accepted, leading to criticism that the government is “wildly loose” in its use of the list.
There’s no public, official way of challenging your status or getting yourself off of this list. The government is trying to have this civil suit dismissed because they claim it will expose state secrets if it proceeds.
Gadeir Abbas, who is representing the plaintiff in this case, said in response to the disclosure,
"There aren’t 1 million people who are known or suspected terrorists," Abbas said after the hearing. "This suggests the standard the government is applying is wildly loose."
To put this number in perspective, the population of Philadelphia—the fifth largest U.S. city—is roughly 1.5 million. And those are just the people who have been added to this secret list in the last five years. If there are that many known or suspected terrorists running around, then I reckon we should have been experiencing terrorist attacks on a near-daily basis.
This post about libraries reminded me of this story about how Netflix is ending Saturday shipments.
Kevin Drum predicts,
And so it begins. A few years from now, I assume Netflix will be out of the physical disc business entirely, which means it will be impossible to watch anything more than a few years old.
Well no, not as long as public libraries are still around. Though big business interests are doing their best to keep urging tax cuts that end up closing libraries.
So here we are. Netflix has helped drive video rental places like Blockbuster out of business. Then Netflix begins to phase out DVD delivery to focus on their streaming business. Yet there’s strong evidence that internet providers like Verizon are deliberately throttling Netflix streams. And they’re also shifting customers to plans that resemble the ones for our mobile phones, with built-in caps and all kinds of extra fees and penalties for going over your allotted amount. Meanwhile, the U.S. has some of the worst internet service in the world.
Yeah, the unrestrained “free market” has done a wonderful job of providing us with all the books and movies we need in the most efficient manner.
Matt Bruenig on the brilliant ways Gaines-Turner, a woman who testfieid about her experiences with poverty at a congressional hearing, responded to Republican assholery. Democratic leadership could learn a thing or two from her!
To be fair though, outsmarting a congressional Republican is probably easy compared to the rigors of dealing with poverty on a daily basis.
Cubans are treated as a special case because of the conservative fear/hatred of communism + the fact that Cubans are basically the only Latin@s in this country that consistently vote Republican
If you’re a refugee and your plight doesn’t resonate with conservatives’ greed, fear, or desire to warmonger, then you’re out of luck.