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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

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Tea Party Support Hits New Lows: Poll

Source: CBS News

Tea party support hits new lows: Poll

May 21, 2014 7:00 AM EDT

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus

The tea party was an important factor in the 2010 elections, but their support may be waning, according to a new CBS News poll. Today, just 15 percent of Americans say they are supporters of the tea party movement - the lowest since CBS News began asking about the tea party in February 2010. The tea party reached its highest level of support (31 percent) in November 2010, soon after the midterm elections.

The movement may be losing some of its core constituency -- Republicans. 32 percent of self-identified Republicans now consider themselves supporters of the tea party - down 10 points from February and a decline of 23 points from July 2010, the summer before the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives. The percentage of Republicans who identify as tea party supporters is now among the lowest in CBS News Polls.

More than five months ahead of the midterm elections, there is a sense of disillusionment among the American public. Forty-five percent of Americans -- a record high in CBS News polls -- now say they agree with the statement "It makes no real difference which party controls Congress, things go on just as they did before." Still, a slim majority (53 percent) thinks it matters which party controls Congress.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tea-party-support-hits-new-lows-poll

Breaking: Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned, Making Same-Sex Matrimony Legal Across Northeast

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: Federal judge strikes down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage - @NBCNews http://t.co/0Jaz2By32h

@AP: BREAKING: Pennsylvania gay marriage ban overturned, making same-sex matrimony legal across Northeast.

Federal judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban in Pennsylvania

By Reuters
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 14:39 EDT

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, the latest in a series of court decisions across the nation determining gay couples’ rights to wed.

The ruling makes Pennsylvania the 19th U.S. state to allow gay marriage in a trend that has gained momentum since the Supreme Court ruled last June that legally married same-sex couples are eligible for federal benefits.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA4J0S820140520

William Worthy, a Reporter Drawn to Forbidden Datelines, Dies at 92

Source: New York Times

William Worthy, a Reporter Drawn to Forbidden Datelines, Dies at 92
May 17, 2014

William Worthy, a foreign correspondent who in the thick of the Cold War ventured where the United States did not want him to go — including the Soviet Union, China, Cuba — and became the subject of both a landmark federal case concerning travel rights and a ballad by the protest singer Phil Ochs, died on May 4 in Brewster, Mass. He was 92.

His death, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, was announced on the website of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Mr. Worthy was a Nieman Foundation fellow in the 1956-57 academic year.

A correspondent for The Afro-American of Baltimore, a weekly newspaper, from 1953 to 1980, Mr. Worthy also contributed freelance reports to CBS News, The New York Post and other publications. He became an international cause célèbre in the early 1960s when, returning from Cuba, he was found guilty of violating United States immigration law.

- snip -

Mr. Ochs wrote “The Ballad of William Worthy,” which includes these lines:

William Worthy isn’t worthy to enter our door.

Went down to Cuba, he’s not American anymore.

But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say,

You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/us/william-worthy-a-reporter-drawn-to-forbidden-datelines-dies-at-92.html

Shocking Image of How Wind Farms Ruin the Landscape


@UN_ClimateTalks: Irony alert: "Shocking image of how wind farms ruin the landscape", via @Jonathan__Leake http://t.co/CRhguu5mBY

Watergate Conspirator Jeb Stuart Magruder Has Died (Said He Heard Nixon Order Break-In)

Source: Associated Press

May. 16, 2014 1:49 PM EDT

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — Jeb Stuart Magruder, the man who claimed to have heard President Richard Nixon order the Watergate break-in, has died. He was 79.

Jeff Hull, owner of Hull Funeral Service in Danbury, Connecticut, says Magruder died May 11 of complications from a stroke.

Magruder was a businessman who became Nixon's deputy campaign director and then served in the Republican president's administration.

He spent seven months in prison for lying about the involvement of Nixon's re-election committee in the 1972 break-in at Washington's Watergate complex. The burglary eventually led to the president's resignation.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/watergate-conspirator-jeb-stuart-magruder-has-died

BREAKING: Arkansas Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Judge strikes down Arkansas' constitutional gay marriage ban; state expected to appeal.


— May. 9, 2014 6:05 PM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge on Friday struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, opening the door for gay couples to wed.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said the 2004 amendment's definition of marriage as allowable only between a man and a woman is unconstitutional and violates the rights of same-sex couples.

The ruling came nearly a week after state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced he personally supports gay marriage rights but that he will continue to defend the constitutional ban in court.

McDaniel's office is expected to quickly appeal Piazza's ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/arkansas-judge-strikes-down-gay-marriage-ban

Patton Boggs Surrenders to Chevron (Equador Pollution Case), Will Pay $15 Million

Source: Bloomberg

Chevron struck another blow in its campaign to undermine a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment it faces in Ecuador. Under tremendous pressure from the oil company, Patton Boggs, the powerful Washington law firm that once vowed to assure the enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment, instead withdrew today from the case.

In an extraordinary concession, Patton Boggs said it regretted its prior involvement in a lawsuit against Chevron, a legal action deemed by a federal judge in New York to have evolved into an extortion scheme aimed at the San Ramon (Calif.) oil company. Patton Boggs also agreed to provide Chevron with supportive documents and testimony and to pay the company $15 million as a tangible symbol of its abasement.

- snip -

The bizarre saga stems from a February 2011 judgment in an Ecuadorian trial court that Chevron is culpable for decades of oil contamination in that country. The liability verdict was upheld by Ecuador’s Supreme Court, but the $19 billion in damages was halved to $9.5 billion.

Chevron refused to pay, arguing that the architect of the judgment, New York plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger, fabricated evidence, coerced Ecuadorian judges, and participated in the ghostwriting of supposedly neutral expert reports and the February 2011 ruling itself. Chevron formalized those allegations in a U.S. civil racketeering suit against Donziger that produced a March 2014 verdict against the plaintiffs’ lawyer. Donziger denies wrongdoing and has appealed. Meanwhile, he and other lawyers for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs have launched legal efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in Canada, Argentina, and Brazil. Chevron has no assets to speak of in Ecuador.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-07/patton-boggs-surrenders-in-battle-with-chevron-agrees-to-pay-15-million

Occupy Wall Street Activist Found Guilty of Assaulting Police Officer

Source: The Guardian

Occupy Wall Street activist found guilty of assaulting police officer[

• Cecily McMillan faces up to seven years in prison
• Occupy protesters shouting 'shame' led out of courtroom

Jon Swaine in New York
Monday 5 May 2014 15.17 EDT

An Occupy Wall Street activist is facing up to seven years in prison after being convicted by a jury in Manhattan of assaulting a New York police officer as he led her out of a protest.

Cecily McMillan was on Monday afternoon found guilty of deliberately elbowing Officer Grantley Bovell in the face in March 2012. After a trial lasting more than four weeks, the jury of eight women and four men reached their verdict in about three hours.

Judge Ronald Zweibel ordered that McMillan, 25, a graduate student at the New School, be detained. He rejected a request from her lawyers for bail.

“I see absolutely no reason why a remand would be appropriate here,” said Martin Stolar, her lead attorney. “She is not likely to be somebody to cut and run.” Zweibel replied: “Remanded pending sentencing.”

Supporters of McMillan in the courtroom reacted furiously, shouting “shame” and screaming at the more than 30 police officers lining room 1116 at Manhattan criminal court. After half a dozen refused to leave the court, two were carried out by police officers.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/05/occupy-wall-street-cecily-mcmillan-guilty-assaulting-police-officer

Disgusting. This verdict is a joke.

Here's the backstory:


The Outrageous Trial of Cecily McMillan

Michelle Goldberg on April 14, 2014 - 2:05PM ET

Two years ago, a young activist named Cecily McMillan attended a protest at Zuccotti Park marking the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. When police moved in to clear the demonstrators, a cop roughly grabbed her breast—photos show an ugly bruise—and she ended up being injured so badly that she had a seizure and ended up in the hospital. In a just world, she would be getting restitution from the City. Instead, in a grotesque act of prosecutorial overreach, she's currently on trial for assault and facing up to seven years in prison.

According to prosecutors, McMillan, now 25, intentionally attacked her arresting officer, Grantley Bovel, by elbowing him in the face, and was then hurt when he tried to subdue her. She says that she instinctively struck out when she felt his hand on her breast, not knowing that he was a cop, and was then further assaulted.

Her story is more convincing for a number of reasons. McMillan, a veteran of the anti–Scott Walker protests in Wisconsin, was a dedicated pacifist; in Dissent, her masters thesis adviser Maurice Isserman writes about the "many and long discussions Cecily and I have had about nonviolence." Her injuries, which you can see in this Democracy Now! piece, are indisputable, particularly the hand-shaped bruise on her right breast.

Meanwhile, The Guardian, which has covered McMillan's case closely, reports that Bovel has twice been investigated by Internal Affairs, including for one incident in which he and his partner were alleged to have run down a 17-year-old on a dirt bike. He received a "command discipline" for failing to radio that they were in pursuit. In another case, he was filmed kicking a suspect on the floor of a Bronx bodega. (Unfortunately, the judge in McMillan's case has ruled against turning Bovel's internal disciplinary file over to the defense.) Austin Guest, a protester who was arrested the same day as McMillan, is currently suing him, claiming that Bovel purposefully bashed his head into the seats of a police bus as he was dragged down the aisle.


And a response to the verdict:


Cecily McMillan's guilty verdict reveals our mass acceptance of police violence

Monday 5 May 2014 15.17 EDT

The verdict in the biggest Occupy related criminal case in New York City, that of Cecily McMillan, came down Monday afternoon. As disturbing as it is that she was found guilty of felony assault against Officer Grantley Bovell, the circumstances of her trial reflect an even more disturbing reality – that of normalized police violence, disproportionately punitive sentences (McMillan faces seven years in prison), and a criminal penal system based on anything but justice. While this is nothing new for the over-policed communities of New York City, what happened to McMillan reveals just how powerful and unrestrained a massive police force can be in fighting back against the very people with whom it is charged to protect.

McMillan was one of roughly 70 protesters arrested on March 17, 2012. She and hundreds of other activists, along with journalists like me, had gathered in Zuccotti Park to mark the six-month anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall Street. It was four months after the New York Police Department had evicted the Occupy encampment from the park in a mass of violent arrests.

When the police moved in to the park that night, in formation and with batons, to arrest a massive number of nonviolent protesters, the chaos was terrifying. Bovell claimed that McMillan elbowed him in the face as he attempted to arrest her, and McMillan and her defense team claim that Bovell grabbed her right breast from behind, causing her to instinctively react.

But the jury didn't hear anything about the police violence that took place in Zuccotti Park that night. They didn't hear about what happened there on November 15, 2011, when the park was first cleared. The violence experienced by Occupy protesters throughout its entirety was excluded from the courtroom. The narrative that the jury did hear was tightly controlled by what the judge allowed – and Judge Ronald Zweibel consistently ruled that any larger context of what was happening around McMillan at the time of the arrest (let alone Bovell's own history of violence) was irrelevant to the scope of the trial.

In the trial, physical evidence was considered suspect but the testimony of the police was cast as infallible. Despite photographs of her bruised body, including her right breast, the prosecution cast doubt upon McMillan's allegations of being injured by the police – all while Officer Bovell repeatedly identified the wrong eye when testifying as to how McMillan injured him. And not only was Officer Bovell's documented history of violent behavior deemed irrelevant by the judge, but so were the allegations of his violent behavior that very same night.


Eric Holder Offers FBI Help For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Source: Huffington Post

Eric Holder Offers FBI Help For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Laura Bassett
05/05/14 03:12 PM ET

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is offering to send FBI agents to help rescue more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, a senior Justice Department source told The Huffington Post on Monday.

Holder has also ordered an intelligence assessment of Boko Haram, which the United States designated as a terrorist organization in November 2013. The group, whose name means "Western education is sin," receives training from al Qaeda and its affiliates.

"Let me be clear," Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday during a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. "The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes."

On April 14, members of Boko Haram invaded a boarding school in Nigeria, pulled 276 girls from their beds and packed them into trucks. At least 53 girls have escaped, while the rest are allegedly being sold as brides to local militants for $12, according to the girls' relatives.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/eric-holder-offers-to-sen_n_5268566.html

TOM TOMORROW: Justice In America

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/05/1296398/-Cartoon-Justice-in-America
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