You’d think it was the Koch Brothers’ birthday.
Today, the Supreme Court predictably ruled in favor of the wealthy in McCutcheon v. FEC. Prior to this ruling, a wealthy donor was limited to a cap of $123,200 per federal election cycle. Now, that same donor can give more than $3.5 million.
The influence wealthy donors have over our democracy is greater than ever before. This decision comes just days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo failed to pass public financing of elections in his state.
Petition language to Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy:
“The McCutcheon decision is yet another blow to our democratic process. The corrosive and corrupting influence of campaign cash on our democracy is obvious. Overturning Citizens United is the first step towards real reform. Until then, here’s a robe for you to wear complete with corporate logos so you can at least be forthright about whose side you’re really on.”
Take action here….
Or take REAL action here!
The Tennessee Senate passed a bill last week that, if approved, would broadly ban mass transit projects in the region, an anti-transit effort that’s gotten some help in the state from Charles and David Koch.
On Thursday, the Tennessee Senate passed SB 2243, which includes an amendment that “prohibits metropolitan governments and any transit authorities created by a metropolitan government from constructing, maintaining or operating any bus rapid transit system using a separate lane, or other separate right-of-way, dedicated solely to the use of such bus rapid transit system on any state highway or state highway.” The amendment is aimed at Nashville’s proposed $174 million rapid bus system called the Amp, but would apply to any mass transit system proposed in Tennessee’s cities. (more…)
Kobe Bryant Wasn’t Impressed by Miami’s Trayvon Martin Protest
by Jamilah King
In the March 31 edition of the New Yorker there’s a great profile of Kobe Bryant by Ben McGrath. In it, Bryant talks about aging out of his Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and how he thinks his fame is “pretty fucking cool” for a kid who grew up in Italy and moved to suburban Philly as a teenager.
Throughout his career, Bryant’s been talking about as an outsider, specifically when it comes to being the most famous in the world in a sport that’s overwhelmingly black. It’s given him a politically moderate stance on things, which was on display when McGrath brought up the subject of LeBron James posting a photo online of the Heat players dressed in hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin.
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m (more…)
First HSBC, the NYC-based bank disallows customers from withdrawing ‘large amounts’ without a ‘good reason’ and now Danske bank has confirmed that more than 15,000 current accounts will be terminated within 48 hours. That means that up to 10,000 people might find their funds frozen in a bank account, unable to access them. Even customers who already started the transfer process to try to get their funds to another institution are finding they are ‘locked out.’
The bank blatantly admits that “Yes, some will be locked out of their accounts.” First the bank said it would be closing the accounts, and then it said that it would allow customers to use ATM and debit cards over the weekend before shutting them out. Starting Monday – the cards would no longer work, and ATM machines would not operate.
Irish Independent newspaper was contacted about this chaotic and brazen use of financial power. Under Central Bank rules, customers are supposed to agree on a date of transfer when banks are closing down or changing their policies, not have it imposed upon them, and certainly not have their money ‘frozen’ and inaccessible.
Furthermore, customers claim that Danske wasn’t answering the phone when they heard the news of the bank shut-down, and were unable to request a transfer of funds. Another Danske bank customer said that the original dates which the bank date for transfers from their accounts to new banks were much longer, and Danske later changed them, shortening them considerably.
The Denmark based bank reported profits from core activities in excess of €1.5 billion last year. At the latest inquiry the bank confirmed that it had 15,000 current account customers, but 9,000 people had yet to close their accounts.
I wonder where all the money went?
The man trying to get into Jason Roberts’ car was clearly a professional. His movements were quick, skilled and evidently practiced. He began to attract the notice of skeptical onlookers. Who was that man breaking into the Mazda? Shouldn’t someone do something?
A “professional” was exactly what he was, and, having called AAA for help getting into his locked car, Roberts expected nothing less. He was, however, unnerved by the stares of the people questioning the motives of a mechanic who was only trying to help. Then it hit him — they were suspicious because, unlike him, the mechanic was black.
Roberts, a host on the YouTube channel Simple Misfits, decided to replicate the situation, this time camera in hand, so that everyone could witness the same unacceptable double standard that he had. He didn’t realize how intense the response would be. Watch the video above to see for yourself (warning: NSFW language). (more…)
The violent clashes unfolding in Kiev are directly linked to policy decisions and money flow from Washington DC. Just as the genocide of Native Americans to make way for the U.S. colonies and our expansion westward were justified by the concept of Manifest Destiny, the fires of the tinderbox that is Kiev right now are being fanned by a subtler if just as dangerous iteration of Manifest Destiny, our blowback inducing homicidal bull in a geopolitical, cultural, and religious china shop – Manifest Destiny’s Child: Neoliberalism’s front line warrior.
At least 75 people have been killed in violent riots in Kiev, the Ukrainian Health Department has stated. Doctors working on Kiev’s Independence Square, however, claimed that as many as 70 people were killed on the rioters’ side alone on Thursday. The death toll in the most violent wave of clashes between the rioters and the police in Kiev is likely to increase, as there are conflicting figures coming from the Health Department, city officials and the opposition. As many as 570 people have been injured, according to official estimates. (more…)
JACKSONVILLE — Jurors have ended a second day of deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of Floridian Michael Dunn, charged in the 2012 shooting death of a 17-year-old in a dispute over loud rap music. Dunn, a 47-year-old software engineer, says he feared for his life and was acting in self-defense on Nov. 23, 2012, when he fatally shot Jordan Davis in a gas station parking lot.
Dunn testified that music coming from the Dodge Durango where Davis sat with three friends, all black, was “obnoxious,” and said he fired 10 shots at the SUV. Davis was hit three times and died a short time later. The case has been compared to the racially charged Trayvon Martin case, in which neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman said he killed the Florida teen in self-defense during a February 2012 altercation. Zimmerman was later acquitted of second-degree murder.
Dunn testified in court this week that he felt threatened as Davis hurled insults at him from the SUV. Dunn also testified that Jordan reached down, picked something up and slammed it against a rear passenger door of the Dodge Durango where he sat. Assistant State Attorney General John Guy testified that Davis never was a threat. Prosecutors said no weapon was found in the Durango. Some facts however, are undeniable (more…)
Ray Nagin was the business executive who swept into City Hall on promises of reforming how government does business, only to see those ideas disintegrate. He was the face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, shouting anguished distress calls to the world, seeming urgent but also at times unhinged. He was the nontraditional politician who corralled support across racial groups and then turned divisive with an awkward attempt at welcoming back storm-displaced African Americans to a “chocolate city.”
Nagin was the first New Orleans mayor indicted and tried on federal charges for corruption. On Wednesday, he was the first to be convicted.
Jurors overwhelmingly agreed with the prosecution’s narrative in finding him guilty on 20 of 21 charges: Nagin sold his office for personal gain. (more…)
(CNN) — The Department of Justice is investigating the death of Alfred Wright, a physical therapist who disappeared and died under mysterious circumstances in an isolated section of Texas, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Monday.
Wright, 28, a resident of Jasper, Texas, was last seen alive November 7 when he stopped at a liquor store because he was having trouble with his pickup truck. He was on his way to treat a patient.
Local law enforcement authorities searched but gave up. His family found his partially clothed body 19 days later in an area that officers had supposedly searched.
Adding more confusion, a medical examiner said the death was accidental, but a different pathologist hired by the family said there appeared to be “severe trauma” to the body. (more…)
Everything you do on your iPhone may be open to NSA snooping thanks to a covert software the agency can install without users’ knowledge. Apparently the app, called Dropout Jeep, can remotely send all of your text messages, contacts and voicemails to the NSA, and can activate your iPhone’s camera or mic for real time surveillance, too.
In a presentation at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, security researcher Jacob Applebaum detailed the NSA’s iPhone spying capabilities. Along with being able to use Dropout Jeep to collect your conversations and contacts, the agency can use cell towers to find your location, and can remotely push new files to user’s iPhones.
The NSA documents Mr. Applebaum referenced say it has a perfect track record for installing Dropout Jeep on targeted iPhones, meaning they have been able to successfully install the software on every iPhone they want. Based on the agency’s success rate and the amount of data they’re able to collect, Mr. Applebaum questions Apple’s involvement.
He said in a presentation at the conference,
I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them. I can’t really prove it, but they [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device, that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. Not sure which one it is. I’d like to believe that since Apple didn’t join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it’s just that they write shitty software.
Dominican Republic To End Citizenship Of Those Whose Parents Entered Illegally
By EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ and DANICA COTO
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Experts warned Friday that a Dominican court decision to strip citizenship from children of Haitian migrants could cause a human rights crisis, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stateless, facing mass deportation and discrimination. Officials promised to create a path to Dominican citizenship, but gave no details about how it would work or who would be covered.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship. The decision applies to those born after 1929 – a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on farms. It appears to affect even their grandchildren, said Wade McMullen, a New York-based attorney at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly another 34,000 born to parents of another nationality.
Many of those “are now effectively stateless,” McMullen said. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen to those people … Based on what the Dominican government is saying, these people are not Dominican citizens and will have to leave and effectively go to Haiti, where they are also not citizens. It creates an extremely complicated situation.” The majority of them don’t have Haitian citizenship, have little or no ties to Haiti and likely don’t speak Creole, he said. Getting Haitian citizenship can be complicated too because it is difficult to comply with requirements to prove descent from a Haitian national. (more…)
What you’re not being told and all you need to know about Syria in a little over 15 minutes.
Anderson Cooper and CNN have been caught staging fake news about Syria to justify military intervention.
By JG Vibe, Intellihub.com
The primary “witness” that the mainstream media is using as a source in Syria has been caught staging fake news segments. Recent video evidence proves that “Syria Danny”, the supposed activist who has been begging for military intervention on CNN, is really just a paid actor and a liar.
While Assad is definitely a tyrant like any head of state, a US invasion of the country is a worst case scenario for the people living there.
By pointing out that the mainstream media is orchestrating their entire coverage of this incident, we are not denying that there is a tremendous amount of death and violence in Syria right now. However, we are showing that the mainstream media version of events is scripted and staged propaganda. The following video shows him contradicting himself while off air, and even asking crew members to “get the gunfire sounds ready” for his video conference with Anderson Cooper on CNN. (more…)
US-NATO campaign to justify Syria war disintegrates as attack looms
By Thomas Gaist and Alex Lantier
29 August 2013
Washington’s campaign to justify war against Syria is disintegrating, as it becomes ever clearer that the war is illegal, and that Washington has no evidence to back up charges that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons in Ghouta. Despite press reports of an imminent US-NATO attack, US and British officials suggested yesterday that they might delay launching the war.
There is rising concern inside the political establishment about how to package a war in Syria modeled on the hated 2003 invasion of Iraq. Again, Washington and London are moving to launch a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction and without legal sanction from the UN Security Council—that is, in violation of international law. (more…)