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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 47,953

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Minneapolis mayor to wed S.D. couple challenging same-sex marriage ban

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges will officiate at the weekend marriage of a lesbian couple from South Dakota as the women prepare to take part in a groundbreaking lawsuit to force their home state to recognize their union.

The couple, Nancy Robrahn, 68, and Jennie Rosenkranz, 72, say that along with two other gay South Dakota couples, they plan on filing a federal class-action lawsuit against state officials.

Robrahn and Rosenkranz will argue that South Dakota should recognize same-sex marriages when performed outside of the state. In addition, the suit will seek to overturn South Dakota's statewide same-sex marriage ban enacted by a constitutional amendment in 2006.

A spokesman for Hodges said she does not know Robrahn and Rosenkranz personally, but responded positively after those working with them reached out to her office.

more

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_25632257/minneapolis-mayor-wed-s-d-couple-challenging-same

Boehner concedes ACA repeal ‘isn’t the answer’

Source: MSNBC

Three weeks ago, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded with a simple message to the news that Affordable Care Act enrollment had exceeded expectations: “House Republicans will continue to work to repeal this law.”

Three weeks later, it appears even Boehner doesn’t believe Boehner’s bluster.

Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act make it impossible to just repeal the health care law unless Congress has a replacement ready as well.

Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in his Ohio district … Boehner said simply repealing the Affordable Care Act “isn’t the answer” and it would take time to transition to a new system.


Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/boehner-concedes-aca-repeal-isnt-the

Life Inside the New Minimum Wage Economy

Taxpayers are basically moneylenders to a government that is far more interested in subsidizing business than in caring for their workers.

Peter Van Buren

There are many sides to whistleblowing. The one that most people don't know about is the very personal cost, prison aside, including the high cost of lawyers and the strain on family relations, that follows the decision to risk it all in an act of conscience. Here's a part of my own story I've not talked about much before.

At age 53, everything changed. Following my whistleblowing first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, I was run out of the good job I had held for more than twenty years with the US Department of State. As one of its threats, State also took aim at the pension and benefits I'd earned, even as it forced me into retirement. Would my family and I lose everything I'd worked for as part of the retaliation campaign State was waging? I was worried. That pension was the thing I’d counted on to provide for us and it remained in jeopardy for many months. I was scared.

My skill set was pretty specific to my old job. The market was tough in the Washington, DC area for someone with a suspended security clearance. Nobody with a salaried job to offer seemed interested in an old guy, and I needed some money. All the signs pointed one way—toward the retail economy and a minimum wage job.

And soon enough, I did indeed find myself working in exactly that economy and, worse yet, trying to live on the money I made. But it wasn’t just the money. There’s this American thing in which jobs define us, and those definitions tell us what our individual futures and the future of our society is likely to be. And believe me, rock bottom is a miserable base for any future.

more

http://www.thenation.com/article/179516/life-inside-new-minimum-wage-economy

Al Gore Is Not Giving Up

By DARREN SAMUELSOHN

Al Gore is richer and skinnier than ever, 14 years out of the White House, a tech titan with elder statesman clout, whose disdain for politics in the capital where he lived most of his life has only grown with each year he’s lived away from it. Sure, this new Gore has a great life, what with a net worth well over the $200 million mark following the sale of his Current TV network to Al Jazeera last year, that seat on the Apple board and his starring roles with two investment companies that tout their environmentally friendly business styles: London-based Generation Investment Management and Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He lives well too, between his 20-room, $4 million home in Nashville’s tony Belle Meade neighborhood and a separate apartment in San Francisco’s St. Regis luxury hotel residences.

But even in his fabulously wealthy, I’m-not-a-Washingtonian-anymore phase, Gore is still a policy wonk, of course. He may be a trendy, 50-pound-lighter vegan these days, and wear the all-black uniform of the Silicon Valley gurus who have become his peers. But the former vice president still geeks out when talking about the “cost-down curve for photovoltaic electricity,” his solar-powered houseboat and the infuriating refusal of the news media and the Republican Party to acknowledge the climate change gorilla in the room.
(Sign up for Politico Magazine's Friday Cover email)

And the new Al Gore is just as steamed as the old Al Gore about the lack of clear progress in combating global warming, a failure that clearly eats at him. When I ask Gore in a two-hour interview in his Nashville office—the longest he’s given since last summer—how he would describe his job, he says, “I want to catalyze the emergence of a solution to the climate crisis as quickly as possible. Period.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/al-gore-is-not-giving-up-106003.html

Republicans Are Racists? No, It’s Just All a Big Coincidence

The revolting comments. The emails. The jokes. The posters. The T-shirts. The ghostwriters. It’s not like it’s a pattern or something.

Come on, fellow liberals. Calm down. I guess maybe it’s fair to call Cliven Bundy a racist. That “picking cotton” business put it over the top, and wondering whether they were better off under slavery. Even Sean Hannity, Bundy’s greatest media champion, threw in the towel last night: He wanted it to be “abundantly clear,” Hannity said at the top of his show, that he found the remarks “downright racist,” “repugnant,” “beyond disturbing,” and so on.

OK, so Bundy’s a racist. It’s fine to point that out. But point up the fact that he’s a registered Republican? That’s where I draw the line, friends. I mean, come on. That’s just a coincidence. Total cosmic coincidence.

Just like it’s a coincidence that that one black comic, a Barack Obama impersonator, was yanked offstage at an official Republican Party meeting in 2011 for telling a series of racially themed jokes. I mean, that could easily have happened at a Democratic—well, maybe not. But still. A coincidence. Just like it’s a coincidence that one federal judge who sent an email around to friends saying that Obama’s father was a dog happened to be a Republican. Complete and utter accident of fate, the puny matter of his voter enrollment.

Those rancidly racist T-shirts and posters one sometimes sees at Tea Party rallies? They’re just a coincidence, too. I mean, Tea Party people might not be Republican, strictly speaking, and it’s totally unfair to assume that! OK, Tea Party candidates run in Republican primaries, not Democratic ones, and the Tea Party caucus in the House doesn’t include one Democrat. But still. Guilt by association!

more

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/25/republicans-are-racists-no-it-s-just-all-a-big-coincidence.html

Friday TOON Roundup 3 -The Rest


Georgia






FCC






Economy




CNN


CIA


Anti-Vaxxers


Everest


Net

Friday TOON Roundup 2 - the lazy party












Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Stepping in the bull




















One in ten U.S. bridges in urgent need of repair: report

(Reuters) - More than 63,000 bridges across the United States are in urgent need of repair, with most of the aging, structurally compromised structures part of the interstate highway system, an analysis of recent federal data has found.

The report, released on Thursday by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, warned that the dangerous bridges are used some 250 million times a day by trucks, school buses, passenger cars and other vehicles.

The group, which represents the U.S. transportation construction market, analyzed recent U.S. Department of Transportation data for its study.

Pennsylvania led the list of structurally deficient bridges, with 5,218, followed by Iowa, Oklahoma, Missouri and California.

more

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/24/us-usa-infrastructure-bridges-idUSBREA3N1FQ20140424

Disney World employees among workers left homeless because they can’t afford to rent

A growing number of families are being forced to live in motels in the theme park playground of central Florida because they cannot afford to buy their own homes.

On any given day, tourists pay nearly $100 per person to get into Orlando's theme parks.

There, they may be waited on by homeless parents. From their hotels, they jog past bus stops where homeless children wait to head to school.

They buy coffee at Starbucks next to the motels that have become families' homes

Starting minimum pay at Walt Disney World - the area's largest employer, just a few miles from the motels - is $8.03 an hour, though that could increase to $10 under a contract being negotiated with the resort's largest union group.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2611969/The-happiest-place-Earth-Disney-World-employees-workers-forced-homelessness-afford-rent-Orlando.html
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