Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law’s individual insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, according to SCOTUSblog, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberal wing of the court. Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog says Roberts’ vote “saved’ the Affordable Care Act.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing vote, dissented, reading from the bench that he and three conservative justices believe “the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”
Twenty six states sued over the law, arguing that the individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014, was unconstitutional. Opponents cast the individual mandate as the government forcing Americans to enter a market and buy a product against their will, while the government countered that the law was actually only regulating a market that everyone is already in, since almost everyone will seek health care at some point in his or her life. (more …)
Snoop Dogg's son, Cordell Broadus
When UCLA offered Cordell Broadus a scholarship, the Bruins were doing more than trying to attract a promising sophomore wide receiver and defensive back for Diamond Bar (Calif.) High. In essence, the program was staking a claim to territory in the L.A. pop culture spotlight, for one very clear reason: Cordell Broadus is Snoop Dogg’s son.
As reported by the ESPNLA and the National Football Post, UCLA coach Jim Mora Jr. recently offered a scholarship to Broadus, despite the fact that the rising sophomore has spent just one year in high school, and played on the Diamond Bar freshman squad during that campaign. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, the younger Broadus — Snoop Dogg’s legal name is Calvin Broadus — has a body which could develop into that of a legitimate Division I prospect, but no one knows whether he’ll continue to grow. (more…)
A former U.S. president is accusing the current president of sanctioning the “widespread abuse of human rights” by authorizing drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists. Jimmy Carter, America’s 39 th president, denounced the Obama administration for “clearly violating” 10 of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, writing in a New York Times op-ed on Monday that the “United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.”
“Instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends,” Carter wrote.
While the total number of attacks from unmanned aircraft, or drones, and the resulting casualties are murky, the New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan alone 265 drone strikes have been executed since January 2009 . Those strikes have killed at least 1,488 people, at least 1,343 of them considered militants, the foundation estimates based on news reports and other sources. (more…)
Another report of genetically modified creations taking the lives of livestock has hit the media, and this time genetically modified grass has been identified as the culprit according to CBS News. Shockingly (and quite disturbingly), the GM grass actually produced toxic cyanide and sent the cattle into a life-ending fit that included painful bellowing and convulsions. The deaths have led to a federal investigation centered in Central Texas, where the cattle had resided.
Just east of Austin, the cows lived on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel. Abel says that the fields were used for over 15 years for cattle grazing and hay, and that the genetically modified grass was ‘tested’ previously and should have been ‘perfect’. The GM grass however, known as Tifton 85, appears have been producing toxic cyanide. Used as a genocidal agent in World War 2 by the Germans and considered to be an extremely dangerous substance internationally, it is extremely concerning that cyanide is now being produced by once harmless grass thanks to the modification process. (more…)
It was too perfect. And sad. On my way to see experts at Rio+20 speak about the growing waste problem in the developing world, I watched a man on his cell phone walk up to a recycling bin and dump his trash in the wrong receptacle. He walked off without even realizing what he had done. It perfectly encapsulated the challenge. If people with access to proper recycling and waste management services aren’t using them properly, what about countries without those services?
According to experts at Rio+20, the problem is far greater than the international community is recognizing. With global municipal solid waste set to double in by 2025 — mostly in developing countries without the capabilities to manage that waste — many say it’s one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. “We are creating an environmental disaster that developing countries are ignoring at their own peril,” said David Newman, a board member with the International Solid Waste Association. (more…)
Award-winning author Alice Walker has refused to allow a Hebrew translation of her acclaimed novel The Color Purple, saying ‘Israel is guilt of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people.’ Publisher Yediot Books had requested a new edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which deals with the legacy of racism in the American Deep South but the 68-year-old said she could not permit it ‘at this time’.
In a letter penned on June 9, which was posted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Walker said: ‘Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.’ (more…)
Rapper Drake appeared in concert at Jones Beach Saturday, days after he was involved in a nightclub brawl with fellow musician Chris Brown.
Monsanto may soon be forced to pay as much as 7.5 billion dollars back to the farmers who say that the mega corporation took their rightfully earned income and taxed their small businesses to financial shambles. It all started with a monumental lawsuit launched by over 5 million farmers against Monsanto looking to recover financial losses from ridiculous seed taxes that bankrupted many families.
Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of the taxes collected since 2004 — a minimum of 2 billion dollars. Afterwards, Monsanto appealed the decision and the case is now suspended until a further hearing is initiated by the Justice Tribune of the local court stationed in Rio Grande do Sul.
Recently, however, the Brazilian Supreme Court declared that any decision reached in a local court case should apply nationally. The result? Monsanto now faces even larger charges, due to the larger legal application on a national level. Now, the charges total or exceed 7.5 billion dollars. (more…)
Police barricades allegedly meant to “crack down on drug-related gang violence” in Harlem are now the source of controversy themselves. For the last two weeks, police have been putting up metal barricades at 129th Street between Fifth and Seventh Avenue to check IDs of people going in and out of the blocks. If individuals do not live on the block, they have to get a resident to come and vouch for them. Police said the barricades were set up following the shooting of a 25-year-old man while he was playing basketball earlier this month. Authorities said they received word from community leaders that there was going to be some sort of retaliation from gang members because of the shooting.
Some locals say it is a good measure because police are stopping violence, but others say they are concerned because it is like putting the entire community on lockdown. “Some people have bags, they have to put their groceries down to show ID? I don’t think that’s right, do you?” said one local. “I’m an old woman, I can’t be showing my ID every time I walk.” “They screen people, but then you’ve got other people that are new to the block that come in vehicles and I’ve seen them waving through, you know, so that’s one of the downsides of the checkpoint, that it creates selective screening and stuff like that,” said one resident. “I don’t think it’s effective, really.” (more…)
NEW YORK (AP) — Arsenio Hall is returning to TV’s late-night scene, where he flourished with a talk show two decades ago. CBS Television Distribution says it is developing a syndicated nightly talk show with the 57-year-old actor and comedian. The company said Monday that the show is set to premiere in fall 2013.
Hall is best known for hosting the Emmy Award-winning “Arsenio Hall Show,” which ran from 1989 to 1994. That show’s place in pop-culture history was clinched in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton appeared and played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone. Hall was featured in the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming to America” and was a regular on the CBS series “Martial Law” in the late 1990s.
Recently, he won the latest edition of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
A new Adidas sneaker has sparked outrage, with sneaker fans accusing the brand of promoting racism. The Roundhouse Mid “Handcuff” shoe, created by controversial New York designer Jeremy Scott, features a plastic orange shackle that attaches to each ankle. The $350 sneakers hit stores in August, but Adidas promoted them on their official Facebook page on June 14 with this quote: “Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” While the brand may be making a cheeky statement about shoe theft, many are equating these binding devices with slavery and prisoners. At press time the “Handcuff” sneaker image has over 36,000 Facebook likes, but many of the comments are angry and disapproving.
Jeremy Scott’s Adidas Wings shoes are a celebrity favorite. Photo courtesy of Adidas”Please tell me this is FAKE. I am not hearing these Adidas Amistad Originals,” one woman commented on Facebook, referencing the ship famous for an African slave revolt in 1839. One man is prepared to boycott the brand out of respect to his African heritage. “I for one will NEVER don another pair of Adidas if these shoes see the light of day in the sneaker market,” he wrote. One Facebook user reasoned that “corporate business has a social responsibility above all to consider these perceptions before releasing a product like this.” Another flabbergasted person wondered, “This has to be some sort of prank right?” Others simply called the design “ignorant” and the look “slavewear.” (more…)
Hip-hop rivals Chris Brown and Drake turned a New York City nightclub into a war zone that sent four innocent bystanders to the hospital early Thursday when they started a brutal brawl over the pop music diva Rihanna. One of the club-goers caught in the middle was Hollie C, an Australian tourist who was rushed to Bellevue Hospital after she was smashed in the head with a flying bottle during the fight. She needed 16 stitches to close the wound.
Witnesses say the two recording stars started fighting after Chris Brown sent Drake a bottle of Champagne as a peace offering. Drake reportedly sent the bottle back with a note: ‘I’m f****** the love of your life, deal with it.’
Chris Brown, 23, dated Rihanna until she dumped him after he savagely beat her on the eve of her performance at the Grammy Awards in 2009. After their breakup, the beauty from Barbados was romantically linked with rapper Drake. Reports indicate Rihanna, 24, is in the process of getting back together with Chris Brown. The New York Police Department is investigating the fight, which broke out at Club W.i.P in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
A spokesman said investigators believe Chris Brown, his bodyguard and a woman with him were trying to leave the club about 4am when they were confronted by five members of Drake’s posse.
The father of Ramarley Graham, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste in February, expressed his disappointment and anger after fellow officers applauded in Haste’s support outside a Bronx courtroom on Wednesday. Franclot Graham told DNAinfo, “It just goes to show they’re all part of the same thing. They were cheering him on for killing someone.”
After Haste posted his $50,000 bail on Wednesday, Graham’s wife Constance Malcolm similarly said, “That’s how they work. You see it everyday.” An attorney for the Graham family further denounced the insensitive display and said, “There is nothing to cheer here. A young man lost his life, and that is the man who took that life. It puts salt in the wounds.” (more…)
The Scars of Stop-and-Frisk
A short documentary film on New York’s stop-and-frisk policing focuses on Tyquan Brehon, a young man in Brooklyn who says he was stopped more than 60 times before age 18.
Really Nas?: "Dumb#$%@& What You Thinking 'Bout!?"
*When it comes to the N-word, rapper Nas is down for using it by any means necessary it seems. So, it should come as no surprise he has he has no problem with actress Gwyneth Paltrow using it as she did in her world rocking tweet last week. He says she has free reign to use it because “she’s a real n***a.”
“I would slap the s*** out of somebody for Gwyneth Paltrow,” Nas told (Atlanta’s) CBS Local. “She’s the homie, she’s cool. Gwyneth gets a pass. Real people get a pass. We know what this s*** is. We don’t interrupt Italians when they say ‘Wop’ to each other. They gonna punch you in the mouth if you interrupt that. Don’t interrupt us. We pick and choose.
“Some might not feel the same way,” he said. “Some of us will get angrier about it than others; but some people get a pass. The people that I know who are cool and real n****s, Gwyneth Paltrow is a real n****, that’s my homie. That’s how I’m on it. Some people get a pass.”
Now everyone needs a list of guidelines that lays out what it means to be a “real n***a.”
Watch Nas comment on Gwen Paltrow’s use of the N-word: