1. Jindal and his allies want the public to see them as entirely sincere. They’re not trying to crush teachers’ unions, and they’re not on a privatization crusade, intent on destroying public institutions. They just want to help low-income children, even spending public funds to advance their goal.

    But their purported concern for the poor is literally unbelievable. When the issue is health care and housing, Jindal and other conservatives say struggling families should rely on the free market and their capacity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. When the issue is education, suddenly the right cares deeply about disadvantaged children and is eager to “help.”

    When Jindal and other school voucher advocates are ready to assist “poor and disadvantaged” families in ways that don’t undermine public schools and teachers’ unions, I’ll gladly revisit the debate. Until then, this looks a lot like a scam.

     
  2. After making a big deal of publicly supporting the Affordable Care Act, Walmart—the nation’s largest private sector employer—is joining the ranks of companies seeking to avoid their obligation to provide employees with health insurance as required by Obamacare.

    It was not all that many years ago that Walmart announced, in response to harsh criticism over the low pay provided to Walmart ‘associates’, that the company would provide a healthcare benefit to its part-time, low earning employees. The uncharacteristically generous nod to worker needs was short lived as the company partially pulled back on the commitment in 2011, citing premium rate increases that Walmart deemed beyond their capacity to pay.

    Now, Huffington Post is reporting that the party is over for many more existing Walmart employees, along with all employees hired after February 1, 2012 that the company can classify as “part-time.”

    According to the 2013 Walmart “Associate’s Benefit Book”— the manual for low-level Walmart employees—part-time workers who got their jobs during or after 2011 will now be subject to an “Annual Benefits Eligibility Check” each August.

    Employees hired after Feb. 1, 2012, who fail to average the magic 30-hours per week requiring a company to provide a healthcare benefit, will lose their healthcare benefits on the following January. Part-time workers hired after Jan. 15, 2011, but before Feb. 1, 2012, will be able to hang onto their Walmart health care benefit if they work at least 24 hours a week.

    Anyone hired before 2011 will not be cut off from the company provided health insurance.

    Of course, Walmart carefully controls employee work schedules and will have the opportunity to design worker hours in a manner that will keep employees at a level below the threshold required to accomplish company healthcare benefits pursuant to the law.

    While there have been increasing reports of American employers reacting to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act by making plans to cut employee work hours so that these companies may deny health insurance as a benefit of employment—particularly in the restaurant and fast food industries—it appears that Walmart has been planning this move all along.

    If they can get away with it, companies like Walmart will always cut hours in order to get around changes in the law. Unfortuantely, I don’t know of any way to prevent them from doing this.

    (Source: sarahlee310)

     
  3. chiefelk:

    In the past 24 hours, two new article emerged regarding the importance of VAWA for Native American women. PLease visit Facebook.com/Save.Wiyabi.Project for more information about how you can help. 

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/09/1167923/-Hey-House-GOP-How-many-Native-women-will-be-raped-today

    http://masculinityu.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/not-in-our-name-a-sobering-realization/

     
  4. 20:16

    Notes: 1495

    Reblogged from think-progress

    Tags: christmasnewshomelessnesspoverty

    image: Download

    think-progress:

We could end homelessness with the money Americans spend on Christmas decorations.


This makes for a grabby headline, but the government can’t force people to not spend money on Christmas. It can do all the other stuff. I had no idea corporate meal and entertainment write-offs came out to so much money.

    think-progress:

    We could end homelessness with the money Americans spend on Christmas decorations.

    This makes for a grabby headline, but the government can’t force people to not spend money on Christmas. It can do all the other stuff. I had no idea corporate meal and entertainment write-offs came out to so much money.

     
  5. The so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws — they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.
    — President Obama • During a speech in Michigan today, clearly laying out his views on a new law that will make Michigan the 24th “right to work” state in the country. Michigan’s House of Representatives is expected to review the bill on Tuesday, and Gov. Rick Snyder could sign it into law by the end of the day. Massive protests took place at the capital building, and union workers opposed to its passage say they’ll be back tomorrow. source (via shortformblog)
     
  6. 17:37

    Notes: 3630

    Reblogged from ethiopienne

    Tags: crimeraceracismgenderclasspolicenews

    image: Download

    sheilastansbury:

(via The shocking - and forgotten - toll of missing black women across the U.S. | Mail Online)

This pie chart from the article, holy shit:
     
  7. There is only one reason behind killing women: to prevent women from working in the government…We should expect more similar assassinations in the upcoming weeks and months because they have threatened every female civil servant, including members of the provincial council and teachers.
    — 

    Zufenon Safi

    who represents Laghman in Parliament

    she made the statement on the occasion of the

    acting head of women’s affairs in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan [being] shot to death in broad daylight on Monday as she was traveling to work.

    (via thesmithian)
     
  8. That deep-held distaste for women’s health providers led Texas lawmakers last year to slash $73 million from all of its family planning services and shift the money to other areas of the budget. This blunt instrument hit all of the state’s women’s health providers, but was meant to target Planned Parenthood and deny it taxpayer dollars—even though the clinics that received state subsidies for care never performed abortions.

    This may be in line with their staunch opposition to what they see as a baby-killer, but that ideology comes with quite the price tag. News has surfaced that for the two-year period between 2014 and 2015, poor women are expected to deliver nearly 24,000 babies that they wouldn’t otherwise have had if they had access to state-subsidized birth control. Those extra births will cost taxpayers as much as $273 million, with between $103 million to $108 million of that hitting the state’s general revenue budget alone. Much of the cost comes from caring for those infants through Medicaid.

     
  9. 17:13

    Notes: 241

    Reblogged from inlovewiththepractice

    Tags: palestineisraelnews

    An editorial from Haaretz explains how Israel is destroying the water reserves of Palestinians in the West Bank as part of an intentional policy to ethnically cleanse the occupied territories “and thus make it easier to annex these areas to Israel.”

    Since the beginning of the year, Israel has destroyed 35 rainwater cisterns used by Palestinian communities, 20 of them in the area of Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills. In 2011, Israel destroyed 15 cisterns, and in the preceding 18 months, 29…Usually, the communities whose cisterns were destroyed are a short distance from settlements and unauthorized outposts that enjoy a regular water supply. At the same opportunity the Civil Administration almost always destroys Palestinian tents, animal pens and food storage facilities.

    …Leaving Palestinian communities disconnected from infrastructure, declaring large areas as firing zones and destroying cisterns are part of an intentional policy since the early 1970s. Its goal is to leave as few Palestinians as possible in the majority of the West Bank (today’s Area C, under Israeli civil and military control), to expedite Jewish settlement and thus make it easier to annex these areas to Israel.

    The European Union opposes Israel’s policies in Area C, which the EU believes sabotages the two-state solution. It also bases its position on international law, which prohibits the demolition of structures that would leave a protected population without food and water and result in their forced dislocation. Basic moral principles, as well as avoiding another head-on collision with our friends, requires that Israel cease and desist from destroying cisterns that are essential for the existence of dozens of Palestinian communities.

    Deliberately depriving the civilian population of food and water is only one part of the Israeli strategy to smoke out the Palestinian people: the rate at which Israel is demolishing Palestinian homes and building up Israeli settlements in their place is greater now than ever before. This is the type of cruel policy that has been unilaterally supported by the United States for decades, and is currently being abetted by unprecedented rates of US economic, military and diplomatic aid.

    (Source: jayaprada)

     
  10. But let’s keep in mind the choice Schnatter is really offering us. By avoiding the health care reform law through paying less to his employees as a result of cutting back their hours, Schnatter is only increasing the costs that you and I pick up when his employees—having no health insurance—show up at the emergency room for basic care because they have nowhere else to go. Thus, while Mr. Schnatter is deeply distressed by the notion of taking some responsibility for the health of the very employees who make his business work so that he can earn millions, he is perfectly happy to have you and I subsidize his profits by allowing us to pick up the cost of health care for his workers because he will not.
     
  11. During an April meeting, Bangladeshi suppliers reached out to retailers of their garments with a plan that would help upgrade their facilities to make them more fire-proof — other retailers approved the plan — only to have it fall through when Wal-mart and the Gap refused to pay higher prices to make such upgrades feasible.
     
  12. nbcnightlynews:

    BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court agrees to take up DOMA and Prop 8, NBC’s Pete Williams reports

     
  13. Babies are creepy.

     
  14. image: Download

    Republican hypocrisy in one chart

The outrage expressed by Republican lawmakers—spurred by the ambassador reciting intelligence-community-generated talking points that turned out to be partially inaccurate—is very different from their response to another administration official named Rice who was accused of misleading the American public on a matter of national security….When George W. Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, some of the same Senate Republicans who are currently attacking Susan Rice supported Condi wholeheartedly, despite her role in helping to make the case for war in Iraq based on bogus intelligence. Back then, Republicans were much more willing to chalk up Condoleezza Rice’s parroting of flawed intel to well-intentioned mistakes as opposed to outright deception, even when the evidence said otherwise. Here’s how some of Susan Rice’s most vocal critics responded to the Bush administration’s disastrous handling of pre-war Iraq intelligence and the nomination of Condoleezza Rice.

    Republican hypocrisy in one chart

    The outrage expressed by Republican lawmakers—spurred by the ambassador reciting intelligence-community-generated talking points that turned out to be partially inaccurate—is very different from their response to another administration official named Rice who was accused of misleading the American public on a matter of national security….When George W. Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, some of the same Senate Republicans who are currently attacking Susan Rice supported Condi wholeheartedly, despite her role in helping to make the case for war in Iraq based on bogus intelligence. Back then, Republicans were much more willing to chalk up Condoleezza Rice’s parroting of flawed intel to well-intentioned mistakes as opposed to outright deception, even when the evidence said otherwise. Here’s how some of Susan Rice’s most vocal critics responded to the Bush administration’s disastrous handling of pre-war Iraq intelligence and the nomination of Condoleezza Rice.

     
  15. 19:40

    Notes: 214

    Reblogged from sunny1

    Tags: mexiconewsmayansindigenousreligion

    thinkmexican:

INAH Bans Maya From Performing Ceremonies at Ancestral Temples
Mexican authorities have banned Maya spiritual leaders from performing ceremonies at their ancestral temples, which are about to be overrun by a curious assortment of conspiracy theorists, dooms-dayers, new-agers and well-intentioned tourists who just want to be apart of the festivities.
The Ceremonies are meant to mark the end of the Maya long-count calendar, which began 13 Baktun (cycles) ago. Under the Greco-Roman Calender, that’s about 3112 BC.
Contrary to popular (mis)belief, the end of the long-count calendar is being viewed as something positive. As Mayan priest Jose Manrique Esquivel recently pointed out, the current Baktun, which began around 1618, has been drenched by a continuous reign of misery that included the introduction of European disease, culture and language being erased and entire populations being extinguished.
“This is the ending of an era for the Maya, an era which has been very intense for us, in which we have had suffering and pain,” said Manrique Esquivel, adding “we are praying the wars, the conflicts, the hunger to end.”
Despite their intentions, the government is refusing to let any Maya traditional perform their ceremonies inside Chichen Itza, Coban, Tulum and other sites that their ancestors built.
“We would like to do these ceremonies in the archaeological sites, but unfortunately they won’t let us enter,” continued Manrique Esquivel. “It makes us angry, but that’s the way it is … we perform our rituals in patios, in fields, in vacant lots, wherever we can.”
The press director for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History claims there are two reasons for the ban: “In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors… Many of the groups that want to hold ceremonies bring braziers and want to burn incense, and that simply isn’t allowed.”
Read More at Intercontinental Cry
Image Credit: Prensa Libre

    thinkmexican:

    INAH Bans Maya From Performing Ceremonies at Ancestral Temples

    Mexican authorities have banned Maya spiritual leaders from performing ceremonies at their ancestral temples, which are about to be overrun by a curious assortment of conspiracy theorists, dooms-dayers, new-agers and well-intentioned tourists who just want to be apart of the festivities.

    The Ceremonies are meant to mark the end of the Maya long-count calendar, which began 13 Baktun (cycles) ago. Under the Greco-Roman Calender, that’s about 3112 BC.

    Contrary to popular (mis)belief, the end of the long-count calendar is being viewed as something positive. As Mayan priest Jose Manrique Esquivel recently pointed out, the current Baktun, which began around 1618, has been drenched by a continuous reign of misery that included the introduction of European disease, culture and language being erased and entire populations being extinguished.

    “This is the ending of an era for the Maya, an era which has been very intense for us, in which we have had suffering and pain,” said Manrique Esquivel, adding “we are praying the wars, the conflicts, the hunger to end.”

    Despite their intentions, the government is refusing to let any Maya traditional perform their ceremonies inside Chichen Itza, Coban, Tulum and other sites that their ancestors built.

    “We would like to do these ceremonies in the archaeological sites, but unfortunately they won’t let us enter,” continued Manrique Esquivel. “It makes us angry, but that’s the way it is … we perform our rituals in patios, in fields, in vacant lots, wherever we can.”

    The press director for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History claims there are two reasons for the ban: “In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors… Many of the groups that want to hold ceremonies bring braziers and want to burn incense, and that simply isn’t allowed.”

    Read More at Intercontinental Cry

    Image Credit: Prensa Libre