background preloader

DEC 2015

Facebook Twitter

To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account. What happened in Paris on November 13 has happened before, in a shopping district of Beirut on November 12, in the skies over Egypt on October 31, at a cultural center in Turkey on July 20, a beach resort in Tunisia on June 26—and nearly every day in Syria for the last four years.

To Defeat ISIS, We Must Call Both Western and Muslim Leaders to Account

How the battle against the Islamic State is redrawing the map of the Middle East. CONFRONTING THE CALIPHATE | This is part of an occasional series.

How the battle against the Islamic State is redrawing the map of the Middle East

AMIRIYAT FALLUJAH, Iraq — Along the vast, zigzagging perimeter of the Islamic State’s self-styled state, the militants are steadily being pushed back as the forces­ ranged against them gain in strength. In the process, new borders are being drawn, new fiefdoms are being carved out and the seeds of potential new conflicts are being sown. A war seen by the United States as primarily aimed at preventing future terrorist attacks in America is being prosecuted for very different reasons by the diverse assortment of Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni fighters battling in both Iraq and Syria, often in pursuit of competing agendas that work to subvert the goal of defeating the militants.

In northern Iraq and Syria, Kurds are busily carving out the borders to new Kurdish enclaves. Shiite militias, now the most powerful force in Iraq, are extending their reach deep into traditionally Sunni areas of northern Iraq. Army Col. Family doctor says children given too much power. A Christmas Story. Again to no one's great surprise, not long after Adelson's identity was confirmed, it emerged that not long before, the still-mystery buyers had assigned a group of Review-Journal reporters to do a hatchet job on a state District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, who'd offended Adelson by insisting he treat her like a judge when he was in her courtroom, during a trial involving Adelson's Sands Hotel.

A Christmas Story

In other words, if this were fiction and we were telling this story in the idiom of high end comic books and the city were Gotham City, Adelson would be acting pretty much like you'd expect the comical and operatically-drawn plutocrat character to act. District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez watches while a podium is moved before Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson testifies. Benjamin Barber on Holiday Capitalism. Scott Walker Corruption Case Explodes As Gov. May Face Justice For Alleged Crimes.

The Republican majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court thought that they killed the Scott Walker corruption case over the summer, but prosecutors aren’t giving up and are preparing to file an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Scott Walker Corruption Case Explodes As Gov. May Face Justice For Alleged Crimes

According to the Journal-Sentinel: Three district attorneys have moved to intervene in litigation over a closed investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups, a move aimed at bringing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The motion was filed under seal Friday by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm along with two other prosecutors involved in the secret John Doe probe.None of them responded to requests for comment. At the heart of the matter is that two Republican Wisconsin Supreme Court justices benefited from spending by the same dark money groups that prosecutors believe illegally coordinated with Walker. The John Doe case illustrates the huge scope of potential dark money corruption in Wisconsin.

San Bernardino Shooter 'Used My Gun' in Massacre, Neighbor Says in 911 Call. In the hours after the deadly San Bernardino shooting, the attacker's neighbor -- now charged with material support of terrorism -- made an expletive-laced 911 call claiming that the massacre was committed with one of his guns, according to court documents.

San Bernardino Shooter 'Used My Gun' in Massacre, Neighbor Says in 911 Call

The new details about the aftermath of the Dec. 2 attack have been publicly released today as part of the criminal complaint against Enrique Marquez, a friend and neighbor of shooters Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who allegedly provided them with two of the guns used in the killings. A transcription of a 911 call placed by a Marquez, 24, "hours after the shooting" was included in the complaint. San Bernardino Defendant Enrique Marquez Admitted Terrorism on Facebook: Feds. Enrique Marquez Jr., the former neighbor charged with assisting the San Bernardino, California, shooters, admitted on Facebook a month before the shootings that he was involved in terrorism and might go to prison, according to federal court documents revealed Thursday.

San Bernardino Defendant Enrique Marquez Admitted Terrorism on Facebook: Feds

Marquez, 24, was charged in a three-count indictment Thursday with buying the rifles used in the Dec. 2 assault — which killed 14 people at the Inland Resource Center — plotting other terrorist attacks with gunman Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012, and negotiating a sham marriage to a distant relative of Farook's. Related: Enrique Marquez, Ex-Neighbor of San Bernardino Shooters, Charged Federal prosecutors said there was no evidence that Marquez took part in or knew about the resource center attack. Turing CEO Martin Shkreli arrested in securities fraud probe. More bad news on California salmon. California drought regulators, deliberating on a controversial plan to withhold water from farms and cities next year to preserve an endangered species of salmon, were handed a fresh dose of bad news Tuesday: The fish are doing worse than previously believed.

More bad news on California salmon

In 2014, about 95 percent of the juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon died because drought conditions made the Sacramento River too warm to sustain them. How to Change Everything. This article is part of a Jacobin symposium on Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

How to Change Everything

What does it mean to change the world? The Left has long proclaimed the need to “change everything” — to foment revolution rather than advance reform, to replace the dismal existing state of affairs with a better, more rational order. Obama Could Help Fix Our Broken Democracy. But He Hasn't. - Obama Could Help Fix Our Broken [...]

Obama Could Help Fix Our Broken Democracy. But He Hasn't. -

(Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images) In the tale of the rapid influx of campaign money into our political system over the last five years, the Republican establishment often gets cast as the villain. It was, after all, Chief Justice John Roberts and his ideological allies on the court who were responsible for the 2010 Citizens United decision that rolled back caps on how much special-interest groups could spend in elections.

And this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing for a rider on the year-end spending bill that would raise caps on party spending in elections, an effort that Democrats, reform groups and the GOP’s right-wing Freedom Caucus oppose. President Obama, meanwhile, has talked a lot about the need for campaign finance reform. Take, for instance, the Federal Election Commission. Hate speech is going mainstream. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hugs an American flag as he takes the stage for a campaign town hall meeting on Aug. 19, in Derry, N.H.

Hate speech is going mainstream

(Brian Snyder/Reuters ) In the past two weeks, both the New York Times and The Washington Post have published stories dissecting Donald Trump's public comments. Donald Trump Is What's Wrong With America. Republican front-runner Donald Trump deserved every bit of the criticism he caught this week for his proposal to "shut down" Muslims from entering the country. Denunciations rang (with various levels of intensity) from his side of the campaign trail (South Carolina Sen. Where Justice Scalia got the idea that African Americans might be better off at ‘slower-track’ universities. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is introduced at the University of Minnesota on Oct. 20 as part of the law school’s Stein Lecture series in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone/AP) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, no stranger to controversy, drew fire Wednesday after suggesting that African American students might be better off attending “slower-track” universities.

During a hearing of oral arguments for the case of Fisher v. The middle class no longer dominates in the U.S. - Dec. 9, 2015. Middle class Americans now comprise less than half, or 49.9%, of the nation's population, down from 61% in 1971, according to a new Pew Research Center report. Senators Condemn Big Price Increases for Drugs. Senators from both parties on Wednesday denounced huge overnight price increases for decades-old drugs that have been made by some pharmaceutical companies lately, calling them unconscionable and detrimental to patients. “These companies are to ethical pharmaceutical companies as a loan shark is to a bank,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, quoting an unnamed industry specialist with whom she had spoken.

She discussed the matter at a hearing of the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging, which she leads. The hearing focused on two companies in particular, Turing Pharmaceuticals, which acquired an old drug for a parasitic infection and raised the price to $750 a pill from $13.50, and , which has sharply increased the prices of various drugs it has acquired, including two used by hospitals to treat serious heart conditions.

The chief executives of these companies were not at the hearing, but that did not stop them from being criticized. Erin R. Dr. ISIS will become more deadly as it loses territory. Photo by Reuters. More than half of US renters older than 40, study says. Dec. 9, 2015 12:06 AM ET WASHINGTON (AP) — The majority of U.S. renters are now older than 40, a fundamental shift over the past decade that reflects the lasting damage of the housing crash and an aging population. This finding in a report released Wednesday by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies overturns the assumption that the rental boom is only the result of twenty-somethings flocking to hip urban centers.

Single-family houses are a growing share of rentals. And affordability problems are mounting as rents rise faster than wages, while apartment construction increasingly targets tenants with six-figure incomes. Dead, White and Blue: The Great Die-Off of America's Blue Collar Whites. Eagles of Death Metal Return to Bataclan for First Time Since Paris Attacks. This video is not currently supported on your browser. The GOP on the Eve of Destruction. From left, Fatima Berrahal and Educardo Burkhart, of West Palm Beach, listen to billionaire Donald Trump as he addresses a crowd at the 2011 Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party on April 16, 2011 at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton, Florida.

(Photo by John W. Supreme Court appears to give states, localities green light on gun controls. The Supreme Court gave an apparent green light Monday to lawmakers who want to restrict the sale of guns such as the rapid-fire weapons that have been used in the recent wave of mass shootings from Paris to San Bernardino. The True Cost of Gun Violence in America. Job Openings Rise Above 5.5 Million, But the Hiring Rate Remains Little Changed. Bill Gates launches multi-billion dollar clean energy fund - Nov. 29, 2015. The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist announced his latest endeavor, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, at the climate change summit in Paris.

What’s really at stake at the Paris climate conference now marches are banned. Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Why Republicans Continue to Deny Climate Science  Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail are digging themselves into quite a hole. Climate change is both a critical issue for our world's security and sustainability, and a key political issue that could help decide who wins the White House in 2016.

And yet Republicans continue to deny climate science, dismiss the urgency of action, or exaggerate the costs of the President's plans to address it. California isn't a country, so why are so many in the state headed to climate talks in Paris? How the growing web of the Syrian conflict became a global problem - Washington Post. Islamic State money-making streams take a hit as it loses territory. Poor nations warn climate deal will fail without money deal. Gun Industry Executives Say Mass Shootings Are Good for Business.

Star Wars Force 4 Fashion Collaboration With 11 Fashion Designers. What Happened to the White Working Class?