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DEC 2015

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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. The scenario is by now familiar to all of us. News of the killings will appear on television and radio. There will be cries of horror and sorrow, a few hashtags on Twitter, perhaps even a change of avatars on Facebook. Our leaders will make staunch promises to bring the terrorists to justice, while also claiming greater power of surveillance over their citizens.

And then life will resume exactly as before. Except for the victims’ families. We owe these families, of every race, creed, and nationality, more than sorrow, more than anger. We must call to account ISIS, a nihilistic cult of death that sees the world in black and white, with no shades of gray in between. We must call to account George W. 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. 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. Shiite conquests. 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.

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 Now, it so happens this isn't the only continent where Adelson's media ventures are expanding.

Now, all this is old news in Israel and the transcontinental Israeli-American Diaspora chatterverse. Benjamin Barber on Holiday Capitalism | Money & Politics, Moyers Moments. BILL MOYERS: Here we are, at the height of the holiday season. The malls and the shops are packed. Stuff is flying off the shelves. And like Grinch or Scrooge you stand up and say, "Capitalism's in trouble. " Why? BENJAMIN BARBER: Because things are flying off the shelves that we don't want or need or even understand what they are, but we go on buying them.

BILL MOYERS: But on the Friday after Thanksgiving, you know, go to the mall. BENJAMIN BARBER: Sure don't. BILL MOYERS: But, Ben, nobody is forcing them to do that. BENJAMIN BARBER: I love a good bargain when it's for something I need and something I want. BILL MOYERS: Well, give me an example. BENJAMIN BARBER: Give you a fine example. BILL MOYERS: Right. BENJAMIN BARBER: In the third world there are literally billions without potable, without drinkable, without clean water. BILL MOYERS: Those people out there don't have the money to buy it. BENJAMIN BARBER: In capitalism you don't expect a profit right away. BILL MOYERS: Right. 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.

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. 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. In it, he claims that he only gave the gun to Farook for "safe storage. " 911: And what's wrong? Why do you feel like you want to kill yourself? What's going on? Marquez: I don't know. 911: Your neighbor did what? Marquez: he did the San Bernardino shooting. 911: Your neighbor was in the San Bernardino shooting? 911: He was the shooter. 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.

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.

But they said he'd been plotting with Farook to carry out attacks on Riverside Community College and a Southern California freeway as early as 2011. To which Marquez responded: 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.

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. And this year’s run has fared even worse: The National Marine Fisheries Service estimated there are 29 percent fewer juvenile salmon in the river compared with a year ago. Because the salmon have only a three-year spawning cycle, 2016 is shaping up as a critical year for the fish, who are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. “There’s been the ‘e-word’ tossed around, extinction,” said Garwin Yip, a branch chief with the fisheries agency, in testimony before the State Water Resources Control Board. How to Change Everything. This article is part of a Jacobin symposium on Naomi Klein’s This Changes 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.

And yet in the meantime capitalism itself is already changing everything faster than we can keep up: constantly rooting out new resources, implementing new modes of production, shuddering through crisis after crisis. Such a mercurial, unstable order seemed to Marx doomed to ultimately destroy itself. And yet capitalism has managed to survive even as it constantly remakes the world around it.

Now, though, Naomi Klein argues that capitalism has finally gone too far. But what exactly needs to change? It’s true that the subtitle is the only place where capitalism appears without a modifier. It’s true that left politics has historically had cornucopian elements. What Won’t Work. Obama Could Help Fix Our Broken Democracy. But He Hasn't. - BillMoyers.com.

Obama Could Help Fix Our Broken [...] (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. In its report, Rootstrikers argues that some of the blame for the agency’s dysfunction falls squarely on Obama.

. — Kurt Walters. 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. (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. Both described Trump's campaign as an operation trafficking in hate. It's a campaign making intentional use of so-called "politically incorrect" commentary to arouse white voters' anxieties and frustrations for political gain or distract those same voters are pivotal moments. And this week, from Politico, came news that avowed white supremacist groups are experiencing a surge in website traffic and other signs of growing public interest. It was, to say the least, an eyebrow-raising claim.

So, The Fix thought it might be wise to check in with an expert. The Expert Michael Waltman is an associate professor of communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 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. Lindsey Graham, for example, called him a "race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot") to the Democrats' side (former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, for example, tweeted that Trump is a "fascist demagogue"), from the Democratic White House (spokesman Josh Earnest called Trump's plan "disqualifying" of the presidency) to the Republican Capitol ("this is not conservatism," House Speaker Paul Ryan said).

And by the same token the tyrant of Trump Tower deserved the support he got from one particularly odious group, white supremacist nationalists. "Finally: Someone speaks sense," was the take from the Daily Stormer, per Media Matters for America, which rounded up such reactions. As the L.A. 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. University of Texas at Austin, to decide whether race-conscious admissions should be upheld at Texas’s flagship university, Scalia cited “those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school — a slower-track school where they do well.” He went on to say: “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas….

Justice Anthony M. Play Video1:53 More from Morning Mix. 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. For Pew, middle class Americans live in households earning between two-thirds to two times the nation's median income. In 2014, that ranged from $41,900 to $125,600 for a three-person household. For decades, the middle class had been the core of the country.

A healthy middle class kept America strong, experts and politicians said. But more recently, these residents have struggled under stagnating wages and soaring costs. The steady decline of the middle class is yet another sign of economic polarization, said Rakesh Kochhar, associate director of research at Pew. This is yet another sign of growing income inequality, he said. "There are fewer opportunities that place people in the middle of the income distribution," Kochhar said. One silver lining, however, is that more people are moving up the ladder than down. 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. Ms. ISIS will become more deadly as it loses territory.

More than half of US renters older than 40, study says. 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. The GOP on the Eve of Destruction. Supreme Court appears to give states, localities green light on gun controls. 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. What’s really at stake at the Paris climate conference now marches are banned | Naomi Klein. Why Republicans Continue to Deny Climate Science | Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 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?