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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,654

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African American Incarceration Rates Falling, Report Finds

African American Incarceration Rates Falling, Report Finds
By Nicole Flatow on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

Reversing a longtime trend, the incarceration rate for African Americans declined significantly over the last ten years, particularly among women. As the New York Times highlights, the drop is a noteworthy shift in the stark racial disparities that “have long characterized” both the prison and incarceration systems. Overall, however, U.S. incarceration rates remain the highest rate in the world, and the proportion of African Americans who are locked up — particularly men from certain demographics – remains shockingly high. In a new study by The Sentencing Project, Mark Mauer provides the take-aways:

Racial/ethnic disparities in U.S. incarceration remain substantial – In 2009, African Americans and Latinos constituted more than 60% of imprisoned offenders. African American males were incarcerated in state and federal prisons at 6.4 times the rate of non-Hispanic white males, and Hispanic males at 2.4 times the rate of non-Hispanic whites.

Declining rate of incarceration for African Americans – From 2000 to 2009 the rate of incarceration in state and federal prisons declined 9.8% for black men and 30.7% for black women.

Rates of incarceration for whites and Latinos generally rising – Incarceration rates for white men and women rose 8.5% and 47.1%, respectively from 2000 to 2009. For Hispanics the men’s rate declined by 2.2% while the women’s rate rose by 23.3%.

Dramatic shift in racial disparities among women – In 2000 black women were incarcerated in state and federal prisons at six times the rate of white women. By 2009 that ratio had declined by 53%, to 2.8:1. This shift was a result of both declining incarceration of African American women and rising incarceration of white women. The disparity between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women declined by 16.7% during this period.


Drug testing of lawmakers added to Kansas bill

Source: Kansas City Star

Drug testing of lawmakers added to Kansas bill
February 28
Eagle Topeka bureau

TOPEKA — State lawmakers may have to take a test to prove they’re not on drugs.

That’s because senators tentatively agreed Wednesday to add lawmakers to a bill that requires drug tests of any welfare or unemployment recipient who state officials reasonably suspect is using illegal substances.

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Wichita Democratic Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who opposed testing the poor and unemployed but wanted to include lawmakers if the idea were to pass.

Lawmakers, however, shot down another proposal that would have required drug tests of businesspeople controlling companies that get economic incentives from the state.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/27/4091117/drug-testing-of-lawmakers-added.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy

A Picture That Should Make Scalia Hang His Head In Shame

JUSTICE SCALIA: The Voting Rights Act Is A 'Racial Entitlement'
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/scalia-voting-rights-act-racial-entitlement-supreme-court-vra-2013-2#ixzz2MFSFOyCq

John Lewis, future congressman, after having his skull fractured
by police in a protest in Selma, Alabama, March 1965.

A week and a day after Bloody Sunday, President Johnson appeared before a joint session of Congress to demand passage of the Voting Rights Act, empowering the federal government to enforce the voting rights of all Americans. The passage of the voting rights act finally brought the federal government into the struggle, squarely on the side of the disenfranchised voters of the South.


All Yours - The GOP Legacy

Ephemeral third ring of radiation, previously unknown to science, surrounding our planet.

NASA: “We’ve discovered a previously unknown surprise circling Earth”
Robert T. Gonzalez

This is wild. NASA's recently deployed Van Allen probes — a pair of robotic spacecraft launched just last August to investigate Earth's eponymous pair of radiation belts — are already turning out some very unexpected findings. Chief among them: an ephemeral third ring of radiation, previously unknown to science, surrounding our planet.


Luckovich: "Woodward's Best Seller"


GOP Congressman: The Debt Is As ‘Immoral’ As Slavery

Source: Think Progress

GOP Congressman: The Debt Is As ‘Immoral’ As Slavery
By Annie-Rose Strasser on Feb 28, 2013 at 8:55 am

A Republican Congressman this week compared the country’s debt to the United States’ history of slavery.

In an interview with the conservative magazine Newsmax, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) also equated excessive government spending and abortion, both of which he considers among the “most horrendous things this country has done”:

“Slavery and abortion are the two most horrendous things this country has done but when you think about the immorality of wild, lavish spending on our generation and forcing future generations to do without essentials just so we can live lavishly now, it’s pretty immoral.”

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/02/28/1650421/debt-slavery-gohmert/

Well Lookie Here: Contrary To GOP Rhetoric, Low-Tax States Have Worse Economic Growth

Contrary To GOP Rhetoric, Low-Tax States Have Worse Economic Growth

Republicans love to claim that low-tax states such as Texas enjoy a disproportionate amount of economic success, while higher-tax states like California are economic basket cases. Republican governors in several states are using that rationale to propose gutting their state income taxes (and, in many instances, replacing them with regressive sales taxes).

But a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that so-called “high tax states” are actually experiencing more growth and less decline in income than states that are supposedly super-conducive to economic expansion:

In reality, states that levy personal income taxes, including the states with the highest top rates, have seen more economic growth per capita and less decline in their median income level over the last ten years than the nine states that do not tax income. Unemployment rates have been nearly identical across states with and without income taxes.

In fact, it was the “high tax” states that did the best in terms of growth, as this chart shows:



- Bob Woodward has gone Full Breitbart. And everybody knows you never go Full Breitbart.

THU FEB 28, 2013 AT 08:53 AM PST
Woodward Goes Full Breitbart
by Troubadour

Right around the time a decade ago when Bob Woodward started portraying psychotic puppet-emperor George W. Bush (who one might easily think was the inspiration for Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones) as some kind of bold, iconoclastic visionary rather than the cartoonishly cruel and vindictive parasite his every word and deed advertised, I began to doubt that Mr. Woodward was indeed the intrepid paragon of journalistic virtue and truth-telling indicated by Robert Redford in All the President's Men.

Now with recent events, I'm forced to wonder if maybe Carl Bernstein had been the brains of that particular operation, and Woodward just some random hack on the paper who had been assigned to work with him. Given what I've seen of this guy in my lifetime, the idea that his role in breaking Watergate was some kind of real-life Being There begins to seem increasingly plausible. Seriously, look up Bernstein's resume since Watergate and compare it with Woodward's - it's not even close. One is a journalistic ninja, and the other is the guy who wrote four incredibly charitable contemporary books about the Bush regime with its full cooperation and permission before being involved in the Plame affair.

Well, I guess he's not done with...doing whatever the hell it is he does. Because now, as noted on the Front Page, Woodward has publicly interpreted an innocuous email conversation with a White House official as containing ominous threats and intimidation meant to silence journalism. The FP piece does well enough showing the fact that the claim is complete bullshit, but coming as it does so close on the heels of Woodward's unfavorable comparison of Obama with (you guessed it) George W. Bush just makes it that much more egregious and disgraceful. He conjured this nonsense out of thin air while defending a murdering, torturing, psychotic dictator who spent every single day stomping his foot in the face of this country.


How the Bush Administration Sold the War – and We Bought It - by Joe Wlison and Valerie Plame Wilson

Published on Thursday, February 28, 2013 by The Guardian

How the Bush Administration Sold the War – and We Bought It

We knew WMD intelligence was flawed, but there was a larger failure of officials, media and public to halt the neocon juggernaut

by Joe Wlison and Valerie Plame Wilson


We did not do nearly enough to prevent this tragedy perpetrated on Iraq, on the world, and on ourselves.


The Powell address to the UN and the Niger-Iraq saga are but two examples of the efforts of the Bush administration to manipulate intelligence to support its political objectives and the lengths to which it went to secure support for its war. As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan put it:

"Bush and his White House were engaging in a carefully orchestrated campaign to shape and manipulate sources of public approval to our advantage."

That it was so successful is an indictment of a corrupt administration. But it is also emblematic of the failure of the checks and balances that are the hallmark of our democracy. As Obama appointees John Kerry and Chuck Hagel can attest, the US Congress was ineffective, to say the least, in the exercise of its oversight responsibilities. (The same applies to the UK Parliament.) The Washington press corps was dilatory in its investigative reporting – valuing access and cozy relationships with senior officials above the search for truth; ultimately, the media served as lapdogs rather than watchdogs.

And the public, still reeling from 911 and whipped up by the fear-mongering since, instinctively trusted its leaders. Given the full force and power of the administration's efforts to sell the war, it is no wonder that nearly 60% of Americans were in favor of the invasion in the early part of 2003.

Not surprisingly, that figure has flipped, with nearly 60% of Americans now saying that the Iraq war was a mistake; more than 70% of the British public agree. We owe it to ourselves and to our partners in the "coalition of the willing" to confront the fact that, when it mattered a decade ago, our Congress, our press, and we as citizens were not vigilant enough in holding our government to account for its statements and actions.


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