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Can this woman convince Elizabeth Warren to run for president?

By Nia-Malika Henderson

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has had a good, strong run of public appearances and headlines over the last several days, further driving the presidential buzz surrounding her.

She showed up in West Virginia July 14 to rally Democrats around long-shot Senate candidate Natalie Tennant, testing whether her brand of Northeastern liberalism could play in an increasingly conservative state. The standing-room-only crowd that cheered her fiery message suggested that she passed that test.

Known for taking the big banks to the woodshed in several Senate hearings, Warren also added to her greatest video hits on July 15 with a tough grilling of Federal Reserve Janet Yellen.

She The People reached out to Erica Sagrans, the 31-year old campaign manager for the Warren-in-waiting presidential campaign. Sagrans has never met Warren, who is not affiliated with the Ready for Warren group, but she could be one of the key people that could convince Warren to run for the White House.

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation



Doing the Right Thing for Eric Garner


Twenty-five years ago this summer, Spike Lee released “Do the Right Thing,” the most overtly political film of his young career. Set in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year, the film is a contemplation of the explosive racial dynamics of late-eighties New York City. When two black men, Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), organize a boycott to demand that the proprietor of the local pizza parlor add some photos of black people to his “wall of fame”—along with Sinatra, DiMaggio, Pacino—a fight breaks out. Police arrive and place Radio Raheem in a chokehold, despite protests from other community members. Moments later, his lifeless body falls to the pavement, setting off a riot that tears the neighborhood apart. For those who lived in New York during those tumultuous days, “Do the Right Thing” was barely a work of fiction; instead, it reminded them of recent history—the death, in 1983, of the graffiti artist Michael Stewart, whom police put in a chokehold and beat to death on a subway platform; the death of Eleanor Bumpurs, the following year, at the hands of the N.Y.P.D. officers seeking to evict her from her Bronx apartment; the racial conflagrations of the city’s Howard Beach and Bensonhurst neighborhoods—refracted through a cinematic lens. That familiarity, the close relationship between screen and reality, led audiences to see Lee’s film not so much as a work of art but as an amicus brief in the court of public opinion. (The future President and First Lady, then a pair of newly minted African-American attorneys in Chicago, saw “Do the Right Thing” on their first date.)

That cinematic sense of déjŕ vu was revisited last weekend, after video of the death of Eric Garner, on Staten Island, surfaced. In the video, Garner, a large African-American man who’d had previous run-ins with police for the unauthorized sale of cigarettes, repeatedly tells police he’s done nothing wrong: “I didn’t sell anything! I did nothing—I’ve been sitting here the whole time.” (Some bystanders maintained that Garner was present on the street because he’d just broken up a fight.) One officer slips behind Garner and hooks his forearm across his throat before several officers wrestle him to the ground—what looks like a chokehold, which the police are, by their own rules, not supposed to use. Garner can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.” E.M.T.s from Richmond University Medical Center then arrive, but they don’t intervene to any great effect (a number of them have been suspended pending a review, the Times reported). Garner was later declared dead. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton launched an investigation, and the officer who was holding Garner has been told to turn in his gun and badge. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his condolences and called Garner’s family. The official cause of death has yet to be determined, but the incident was familiar enough that Lee himself recognized the art-life nexus and posted a video on Instagram and YouTube in which he spliced footage of Garner’s death with the chokehold scene from “Do the Right Thing.” It’s entirely possible for an uninformed viewer to believe that Lee’s scene was inspired by Garner’s death instead of preceding it by a quarter century.

Twenty-five years is just long enough to assess whether a work of art is capable of transcending its generation and speaking to truths applicable even to those who don’t share the context in which it was created. But it would be wrong to see this as a testament to how well Lee’s film has held up. Rather, it suggests something more basic: the images remain familiar twenty-five years later because time has passed but in crucial ways our context has scarcely changed at all.


Perry Boosts Presidential Stature by Using Troops for No Reason

AUSTIN (The Borowitz Report- Satire)—An aide to Rick Perry is confident that the Texas Governor proved he “has what it takes to be President” with his decision on Monday to send troops somewhere for no reason.

By deploying a thousand National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, Perry has shown that as President he would be “ready and willing” to use troops without a defined objective, mission, or exit strategy, the aide confirmed.

“Sending troops someplace with no clear idea of why they are going or what they are supposed to be doing once they get there is a key part of the Presidential skill set,” said the aide, Harland Dorrinson. “Rick Perry has just shown that he’s got that nailed down.”

Dorrinson acknowledged that the gold standard for using troops for no reason might have been set by Perry’s predecessor in Texas, George W. Bush, but added, “If anyone can beat that record, it’s Rick.”


Nation Apparently Believed in Science at Some Point

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report-Satire)—Historians studying archival photographs from four decades ago have come to the conclusion that the U.S. must have believed in science at some point.

According to the historian Davis Logsdon, who has been sifting through mounds of photographic evidence at the University of Minnesota, the nation apparently once held the view that investing in science and even math could yield accomplishments that would be a source of national pride.

While Logsdon has not developed a complete theory to explain the United States’ pro-science stance during that era, he attributes some of it to the liberal views of the President at that time, Richard M. Nixon.


Italy: Human Traffickers 'Stabbed 60 Migrants to Death' in Latest Boat Tragedy

Italian police have arrested five human traffickers under allegations of stabbing 60 migrants to death and throwing their bodies into the sea off the coast of Lampedusa.

Asylum-seekers rescued by the Danish petrol tanker Torm Lotte between Libya and Malta and taken to Messina told investigators that the sinking fishing boat was carrying between 700 and 750 people, according to Italian media.

Only 569 people were rescued by the Danish freighter, while the others died drowning or were allegedly stabbed or beaten to death by the traffickers in the fishing boat's hold and then hurled into the sea.

Due to its southern location, Lampedusa is a favourite target of migrant smugglers who usually set sail from Libya's loosely patrolled coast.



Israel Gaza Crisis: German Protesters Chant 'Gas the Jews' in Anti-Israel Rallies

Berlin authorities have ordered pro-Gaza demonstrators to stop chanting anti-semitic messages, after protesters were reportedly heard shouting 'Gas the Jews'.

Sizeable anti-Israel rallies have been held in the German capital, with people taking to the streets allegedly chanting anti-semitic slogans. Some of the demonstrations are said to be organised by Muslim immigrants and neo-Nazi groups.

The Berlin authorities are also investigating anti-semitic behaviour by a radical Imam in the city, after a video uploaded by Israeli daily Haaretz showed an Imam calling for the obliteration of Jews, telling his followers to "kill them to the very last one".

Condemning the anti-semitism, Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, was quoted by AFP as saying: "We are currently experiencing in this country an explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews, which shocks and dismays all of us."



Carlton Complex Fire is largest in Washington history, over 4 times the size of Seattle

NEAR CARLTON, Wash. — The Carlton Complex Fire in north-central Washington has grown to 244,000 acres, or 381 square miles — more than four times the size of Seattle — and is the largest wildfire in state history. An estimated 185 homes have been destroyed so far in the flames that are only 2 percent contained.

The largest previous wildfire was the Yacolt Burn Fire at 238,000 acres in 1902.

Moreover, a new wildfire called the Bugg Road Fire, about 8 miles east of Tonasket, along Highway 97, broke out Monday and quickly grew from 300 acres to 1,100 acroes. “Multiple structures threatened,” the Washington Department of Natural Resources tweeted. Mandatory Level 3 evacuation orders were issued for Tonasket, and from Siwash Road at North Siwash Road and Oberg Road.

There are a total of five fires, including the Carlton Complex, burning in the state of Washington as of Monday night.

Read more: http://q13fox.com/2014/07/21/carlton-complex-fire-is-largest-in-washington-history-over-4-times-the-size-of-seattle/

Saving Democracy in Florida


A Supreme Court decision that relatively few people have heard of continues to haunt American politics. A decade ago, in the case of Richard Vieth et al. v. Jubelirer, a group of Pennsylvania voters challenged a partisan gerrymander that Republicans had engineered in the state after the 2000 census. By a five-to-four margin, the Court’s conservative majority ruled against the plaintiffs and found, in effect, that state representatives had free rein to draw district lines—even when they were designed solely to protect members of their political party.

With that green light from the Justices, partisan gerrymandering has become more of a blight in the past ten years. Armed with sophisticated software, state lawmakers can draw districts with ever-greater precision to include or exclude voters of one party or another. The result is that the vast majority of seats in the House of Representatives (and state legislatures) are not competitive. The constituents don’t pick their representatives; rather, the representatives pick their constituents. Both parties engage in the practice, but Republicans have had better opportunities in recent years, especially since 2010, when the census coincided with a Republican landslide. The G.O.P. locked in gains in a range of states, including Pennsylvania (again), Ohio, and Florida.

The redistricting behavior of state legislators has become so craven that a modest political backlash has developed, and a few hopeful signs have emerged. One came last month, in Florida. The Supreme Court had ruled out challenges to partisan redistricting under the United States Constitution, but states remain free to limit the practice under their own laws. In 2010, Florida voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that banned the creation of legislative districts “with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or an incumbent.” Republicans in Tallahassee fought to keep the law from going into effect, but the state Supreme Court rejected their efforts, and then a group of voters, in a case led by the lawyers David King and John Devaney, challenged the congressional lines that the Republicans drew in 2010.



Manatee's Protected Species Status In Danger Because Of A Libertarian Boat Group

The West Indian manatee has been a protected species in Florida since 1967, and an endangered animal since the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Now thanks to a petition and lawsuit by the conservative libertarian group the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), all that could change.

The PLF is urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to downgrade the manatee’s status to threatened, thereby loosening the restrictions on the water inhabited by the manatee.

The PLF is representing an organization called Save Crystal River, who acts as an environmental group but based on their website is more concerned with promoting recreational water-based pastimes that have been limited by the Endangered Species Act.

"Traditional enjoyment of Florida’s natural resources and waterways have been vital historic components of our community," the Save Crystal River site says, boasting that everything from fishing to paddle boating are part of the "valued Florida-wide recreational lifestyle."

If the organization can convince the FWS to downgrade the manatee's protected status, they will be able to open up the river to new areas of exploitation.



Self-centered assholes

Obamacare hit by ruling, but subsidies to continue

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

The Obama administration immediately declared that those policyholders would keep getting financial aid for their premiums as it seeks review of the ruling. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the decision would have "no practical impact" on tax credits as the case works its way through further appeals.

In the case, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a group of small business owners argued that the law authorizes subsidies only for people who buy insurance through markets established by the states — not by the federal government.

A divided court agreed, in a 2-1 decision that could mean premium increases for more than half the 8 million Americans who have purchased taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the law. The ruling affects consumers who bought coverage in the 36 states served by the federal insurance marketplace, or exchange.

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