Militia Group Plans To Target African-American Democrats At Polling Places In Wisconsin…Illegally.


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From PoliticusUSA:

 

Militia Group Plans To Target African-American Democrats At Polling Places In Wisconsin

 

A militia group in Wisconsin is planning to target African-American Democrats at polling places in order to suppress the vote and keep Republican governor Scott Walker in office.

 

Here is a Twitter exchange where the group details their plan:

 

 

A visit to the group’s Facebook page features makes it clear exactly who they are targeting. All of the pictures on the page feature African-Americans. The group is trying to get African-Americans who may have outstanding warrants arrested in order to keep them from voting. The group wants people to report those they suspect of having warrants out on them to the police on election day, “Do the community a favor and keep an eye out for people wanted on warrants and report them to the police on election day.”

The “poll watchers” also plan on harassing and following people who they suspect of being wanted on warrants to their homes. The plan seems to be to use the police to intimidate African-Americans into not voting in November’s election.

The group admits that they are targeting Democrats. They aren’t exactly subtle in making it clear that they are targeting African-American voters. The scheme is an attempt to intimidate African-American voters while getting around the Voting Rights Act. The point of this campaign isn’t to get felons off the streets. The “poll watchers” are trying to keep African-Americans away from the polls.

The fact that they are targeting a specific group of individuals based on race and perceived political affiliation means that their operation is a violation of the Voting Rights Act. According to theJustice Department, “The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved where there are possible violations of federal law. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, the Department of Justice can consider whether there is federal jurisdiction to bring civil claims or criminal charges under federal law. Depending on the nature of the allegations, they may fall into the jurisdiction of different parts of the Department. If you have information about allegations of intimidation, please contact us.”

Wisconsin Republicans are desperate to keep Scott Walker in office, Currently, Gov. Walker is tied with Democrat Mary Burke in the polls. A voter intimidation effort that could prevent African-Americans from voting might be enough to get Walker reelected. The right-wing Wisconsin poll watching group is planning on engaging in illegal activity. The group is just getting started, which is why it is a perfect time to send the message that these tactics will not be tolerated.

You can contact the Justice Department here, and request that the election be monitored.

The right to vote must be protected, and those who attempt to intimidate voters need to be held accountable.

Thank you PoliticusUSA.

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From The New York Times:

Voter Harassment, Circa 2012

 

This is how voter intimidation worked in 1966: White teenagers in Americus, Ga., harassed black citizens in line to vote, and the police refused to intervene. Black plantation workers in Mississippi had to vote in plantation stores, overseen by their bosses. Black voters in Choctaw County, Ala., had to hand their ballots directly to white election officials for inspection.

 

This is how it works today: In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout.

 

The thing that’s different from the days of overt discrimination is the phony pretext of combating voter fraud. Voter identity fraud is all but nonexistent, but the assertion that it might exist is used as an excuse to reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

 

In The Times on Monday, Stephanie Saul described how the plan works. True the Vote grew out of a Tea Party group in Texas, the King Street Patriots, with the assistance of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers that works to elect conservative Republicans. It has developed its own software to check voter registration lists against driver’s license and property records. Those kinds of database matches are notoriously unreliable because names and addresses are often slightly different in various databases, but the group uses this technique to challenge more voters.

 

In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.

 

On the day of the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the group used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting at Lawrence University in Appleton with intrusive identity checks. Three election “observers,” including one from True the Vote, were so disruptive that a clerk gave them two warnings, but the ploy was effective: many students gave up waiting in line and didn’t vote.

 

True the Vote, now active in 30 states, hopes to train hundreds of thousands of poll watchers to make the experience of voting like “driving and seeing the police following you,” as one of the group’s leaders put it. (Not surprisingly, the group is also active in the voter ID movement, with similar goals.) These activities “present a real danger to the fair administration of elections and to the fundamental freedom to vote,” as a recent report by Common Cause and Demos put it.

 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits intimidation or interference in the act of voting, but the penalties are fairly light. Many states have tougher laws, but they won’t work unless law enforcement officials use them to crack down on the illegal activities — handed down from Jim Crow days — of True the Vote and similar groups.

 

Thank you The New York Times.

 

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BULLIES AT THE BALLOT BOX: PROTECTING THE FREEDOM TO VOTE AGAINST WRONGFUL CHALLENGES AND INTIMIDATION

 

By….

Protecting the freedom to vote for all eligible Americans is of fundamental importance in a democracy founded upon the consent of the governed. One of the most serious threats to the protection of that essential right is the increase in organized efforts, led by groups such as the Tea Party affiliated True the Vote and others, to challenge voters’ eligibility at the polls and through pre-election challenges. Eligible Americans have a civic duty to vote, and government at the federal, state, and local level has a responsibility to protect voters from illegal interference and intimidation.

 

As we approach the 2012 elections, every indication is that we will see an unprecedented use of voter challenges. Organizers of True the Vote claim their goal is to train one million poll watchers to challenge and confront other Americans as they go to the polls in November. They say they want to make the experience of voting “like driving and seeing the police following you.” There is a real danger that voters will face overzealous volunteers who take the law into their own hands to target voters they deem suspect. But there is no place for bullies at the ballot box.

 

Even in states with clear legal boundaries for challengers and poll watchers, too often these boundaries are crossed. Laws intended to ensure voting integrity are instead used to make it harder for eligible citizens to vote – particularly those in communities of color. Moreover, the laws of many states states fall short when it comes to preventing improper voter caging and challenges. This should concern anyone who wants a fair election with a legitimate result that reflects the choices of all eligible Americans.

 

Clear rules that protect voters from improper removal from the rolls by voter caging and challenging, as well as from intimidating behavior at the polls, can help prevent interference with voter rights. This report describes the threat posed by potential voter challenges in the 2012 elections, and assesses the extent to which ten key states — Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia — are prepared to protect the rights of eligible voters to cast a ballot in the face of such challenges. The ten states examined here include states where races are expected to be competitive, which makes voters in those states particularly vulnerable to challenges. We also survey states where a history of aggressive voter challenge programs in recent elections threatened to intimidate voters or interfere with their access to the ballot.

 

 

Overview

This report first provides background on the current threat of overly aggressive voter challenge tactics and the history of such efforts in previous elections. The report then details what is permissible and legal when it comes to challenging a voter’s eligibility, both before and on Election Day and inside and outside the polling place. We analyze laws in ten states governing:

 

  • The process for challenging a registered voter’s right to vote before Election Day and the use of voter caging lists;
  • The process for challenging a registered voter’s right to vote on Election Day;
  • The behavior of poll watchers or observers at the polls on Election Day; and
  • Protections for voters against intimidation, outside and inside the polls.

 

The report measures the extent to which each state’s laws protects voters’ rights in these areas, and assesses them in a set of comparative charts as satisfactory, mixed, or unsatisfactory. Each section includes recommendations for best practices in each of the areas we examine.

 

 

Findings

In examining the ten states’ laws governing challenges to voters’ right to vote before Election Day, including the use of voter lists created through caging or other unreliable practices, we find Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio are satisfactory, North Carolina and Texas are mixed, and Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia – five out of the ten states – unsatisfactory.

 

In assessing these states’ laws governing challenges to voter’s right to vote on Election Day, and procedures for determining those challenges, we find that while some of the ten states have practices that protect voters’ rights, other states need improvement.

 

  • Texas does not allow for any voter challenges on Election Day, and Ohio only allows challenges by election officials; Colorado, New Hampshire, and North Carolina also have satisfactory protections for voters from improper Election Day challenges.
  • Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia have laws that are mixed, with some provisions that protect voters’ rights but also room for improvement.
  • Florida and Pennsylvania have laws with unsatisfactory protections to guard against inappropriate Election Day challenges to voter eligibility.

 

Our analysis of these states’ laws governing poll watchers or observers and their conduct at the polls shows they are also mixed in the extent to which they protect voters’ rights. The laws of Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia are satisfactory; Florida, Missouri, and New Hampshire are mixed. However, Pennsylvania and Texas allow behavior by poll observers or poll watchers that could endanger voting rights.

 

We also summarize these states’ laws protecting voters from intimidation, both outside and inside the polls. State and federal laws barring intimidation of voters can be used to protect voters from harassment.6 However, the efficacy of these protections depends on robust enforcement by election administrators and law enforcement officials.

 

We call upon election administrators and officials with the Department of Justice to take steps in advance of and during the elections to protect voters from bullying at the ballot box. Our intent is to help minimize the level of activity that moves from positive civic engagement to voter intimidation and suppression. There must be zero tolerance for bullying behavior that stands between an eligible voter and her ballot.

Read the entire report here.

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18 U.S. Code § 594 – Intimidation of voters

 

Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

 

 

Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia Facebook Page

 

CLEAR UP YOUR WARRANTS and you have nothing to fear.

DO NOT CLEAR UP YOUR WARRANTS and we will do our best to make sure you are hauled off in cuffs as soon as possible.

 

Please match up names on outstanding warrant lists to those people listed here:

http://www.putwisconsinfirst.com/

If you have a hit, please forward the name to us and we’ll get one of our members to check it out.

 

Douglas County, Wisconsin outstanding warrant list.

 

Wood County outstanding warrant list.

 

La Crosse County outstanding warrant list.

 

Dodge County outstanding warrant list.

 

Manitowoc County outstanding warrant list.

 

Jefferson County outstanding warrant list.

 

Attention all members: Militia training will be at HQ on September 20, 2014 at 0930. We will hand out updated watch lists, duty assignments, and discuss rules and regulations. Expect it to take around 2-3 hours. After our discussion we will be headed to the range for anyone who wants to participate.

 

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Now if you stop and think about this for a few minutes, these backwoods ass, cousin fuckin, red neck, sister marrying, caucasians, Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia members must be the epitome of stupid. What idiot thinks criminal with “Warrants” would show up to vote, AND SHOW Identification? Besides violating 18 U.S. Code § 594 – Intimidation of voters…..

 

§594. Intimidation of voters

Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 91–405, title II, §204(d)(5), Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 853; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

These assholes in the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia think they can stop and detain voters in the state of Wisconsin…and the law prohibits such actions on election day in the vicinity of polling places.

I wish I lived in the neighborhoods these ignorant Kocksuckers were visiting in Wisconsin. I have been carrying a CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) since 1985, upon discharge from the United States Military, and I would welcome anyone from the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia approaching me on election day. Or ANY day for that matter.

 

I have a suggestion for the Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia. Come to the Southside of Chicago, Harlem, Compton, South Philly, or any crime infested city in the ghetto, and try that bullshit. We’ll see how long you continue to breath after arrival. 

 

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Have You Heard About The “Ice Bucket Challenge?”


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Have You Heard about the “Ice Bucket Challenge?”

 

Viral Movement Dares People to Spread ALS Awareness

 

It may be warm in parts of the country, but some people aren’t drenching themselves in ice or cold water to cool down from elevated temperatures. A new phenomenon has hit the social media circuit – the “Ice Bucket Challenge.”

 

The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. Those who refuse to take the challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.

 

Beverly, Mass., resident Pete Frates, along with his family, helped to make the “Ice Bucket Challenge” go viral on the social sites Facebook and Twitter.  Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012, and he has worked with The ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter.  A former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College Baseball, Frates tirelessly spreads awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

 

This viral sensation, which has used the hash tag #IceBucketChallenge, has attracted thousands of followers, including Boston Bruins stars Brad Marchand and Torey Krug, who willingly dropped frozen ice on themselves and issued the challenge to others.

 

“This is a creative way to spread ALS awareness via social media and in communities nationwide,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association.  “We thank Pete Frates and his family for getting so many people involved in spreading the word about ALS.”

 

Other examples of the challenge can be viewed on the Team Frate Train Facebook page.

 

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Ice Bucket Challenges ALS Vine Compilation

 

 

 

Conan Takes The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

 

 

 

Bill Gates ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

 

 

 

 

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TheObamaCrat Potpourri™


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Potpourri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Economy in Los Angeles

 

 

Divided We Fall: The Border Crisis | Jesse Ventura Off The Grid

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Newsflash everyone! There’s an influx of migrant children crossing our border. But what will Congress do about it? ReBLOODlicans want to deport ‘em all! DemoCRIPS are crying for more taxpayer money! But these are child refugees from violent countries. So the Governor asks you, his vigilant viewers, do you really want to send them back? Go to ora.tv/offthegrid/askjesse and submit your questions and comments.

 

 

 

Democrat Tells Angry Right Wing Conspiracy Theorist to Stop Watching FOXNews

 

 

 

Extended interview with Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Ryan Pitts

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Sgt. Ryan Pitts was nearing the end of his second tour in Afghanistan when his team began an operation that took a deadly turn. Hundreds of fighters initiated a large-scale attack on his unit and nine soldiers died. Pitts was hit with shrapnel in both legs and in his right arm, but he continued to fight and relay vital information before being airlifted out. Judy Woodruff talks to Medal of Honor recipient.

 

 

 

Astronaut tweets his ‘saddest photo yet’

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

European astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted a photo from space showing explosions over Gaza and Israel.

 

 

 

Senate Chairman on VA Talks: ‘Any 6th Grader’ Knows This is Not Negotiation

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Talks on a fix for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care crisis have collapsed, after the lead Senate Democratic negotiator accused the top House GOP negotiator of a “take-it-or-leave-it gambit.”

 

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has signaled he has abandoned talks after calling a noon meeting of the conference committee in an effort to ram a GOP plan through.

 

 

 

Biden Talks Economy and Civil Rights

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden says investment in infrastructure and job training is needed to increase economic opportunities in the nation’s cities. He also blasted what he called efforts around the country to repress minority voting. (July 24)

 

 

 

Bizarre Carjacking Spree Caught on Camera west of Denver

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

A man armed with a rifle and a handgun carjacked two people on a highway west of Denver. – LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies “Please…. Remember Our Homeless, Hospitalized & Disabled Veterans & Fallen Heroes! Thank You….America!”

 

 

 

Momentum is Building to #RaiseTheWage

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

It’s time to #RaiseTheWage for all hardworking Americans. Since 2013, 13 states and Washington, D.C. have taken action to raise their minimum wage. As of Jan. 1, 2015, 26 states and D.C. will have a minimum wage above $7.25.

For more information go to: dol.gov/minwage

 

 

 

OFFICIAL: Flight AH5017 to Algeria Has Crashed with 116 People on Board

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

BREAKING: Missing Air Algerie plane from Burkina Faso has crashed: Algerian official
ALGIERS (Reuters) – An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.

 

There were few clear indications of what might of happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties, but Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 0138 GMT (9.38 p.m. EDT) because of a storm in the area.

 

“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the Algerian official told Reuters, declining to be identified or give any details about what had happened to the aircraft on its way north.

 

Almost half of the passengers were French citizens, an airline official said.

 

Two French fighter jets based in the region have been dispatched to try to locate the airliner along its probable route, a French army spokesman said. Niger security sources said planes were flying over the border region with Mali to search for the flight.

 

Algeria’s state news agency APS said authorities lost contact with flight AH 5017 an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso, but other officials gave differing accounts of the times of contact, adding to confusion about the plane’s fate.

 

Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed it had lost contact with the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie, which it said was carrying 110 passengers and six crew.
A diplomat in the Malian capital Bamako said that the north of the country – which lies on the plane’s likely flight path – was struck by a powerful sandstorm overnight.

 

Whatever the cause, another plane crash is likely to add to nerves in the industry after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last week, a TransAsia Airways crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday and airlines canceled flights into Tel Aviv due to the conflict in Gaza.

 

An Air Algerie representative in Burkina Faso, Kara Terki, told a news conference that all the passengers on the plane were in transit, either for Europe, the Middle East or Canada.

 

He said the passenger list included 50 French, 24 Burkinabe, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian. Lebanese officials said there were at least 10 Lebanese citizens on the flight.

 

A spokeswoman for SEPLA, Spain’s pilots union, said the six crew were from Spain. She could not give any further details.

 

REGIONAL SEARCH

Swiftair said on its website the aircraft took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT (9.17 p.m. EDT) and was supposed to land in Algiers at 0510 GMT (1.10 a.m. EDT) but never reached its destination.
An Algerian aviation official said the last contact Algerian authorities had with the missing Air Algerie aircraft was at 0155 GMT (9.55 p.m. EDT) when it was flying over Gao, Mali.

 

Aviation authorities in Burkina say they handed the flight to the control tower in Niamey, Niger, at 1:38 a.m. (09.38 p.m. EDT). They said the last contact with the flight was just after 4:30 a.m. (11.30 p.m. EDT).

 

Burkina Faso minister Ouedrago said the flight asked the control tower in Niamey to change route at 0138 GMT (9.38 p.m. EDT) because of a storm in the Sahara.
However, a source in the control tower in Niamey, who declined to be identified, said it had not been contacted by the plane, which in theory should have flown over Mali.

 

Burkinabe authorities have set up a crisis unit in Ouagadougou airport to provide information to families.

 

Issa Saly Maiga, head of Mali’s National Civil Aviation Agency, said that a search was under way for the missing flight.

 

“We do not know if the plane is Malian territory,” he told Reuters. “Aviation authorities are mobilized in all the countries concerned – Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Algeria and even Spain.”

 

Aviation websites said the missing aircraft, one of four MD-83s owned by Swiftair, was 18-years-old. The aircraft’s two engines are made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies .

 

U.S. planemaker McDonnell Douglas, now part of Boeing , stopped producing the MD-80 airliner family in 1999 but it remains in widespread use. According to British consultancy Flightglobal Ascend, there are 482 MD-80 aircraft in operation, many of them in the United States.

 

“Boeing is aware of the report (on the missing aircraft). We are awaiting additional information,” a spokesman for the planemaker said.

 

Swiftair has a relatively clean safety record, with five accidents since 1977, two of which caused a total of eight deaths, according to the Washington-based Flight Safety Foundation.

 

Air Algerie’s last major accident was in 2003 when one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from the southern city of Tamanrasset, killing 102 people. In February this year, 77 people died when an Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in eastern Algeria.

 

 

 

Air Algerie Flight 5017 reported missing

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

One hundred and sixteen people are missing after an Air Algerie flight disappeared from radar. Debora Patta reports from Johannesburg.

 

 

 

House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

Lawmakers from both sides debate the House Rules Committee’s ongoing efforts to pursue a lawsuit against the President. (July 24)

 

 

 

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Don’t Think Obama Has Reduced Inequality? These Numbers Prove That He Has.

 

Today, the average after-tax income of a member of the top 1 percent of earners is $1.12 million. The average after-tax income of someone in the bottom 20 percent is $13,300. That means the average person at the top takes home 84 times the income that the average person in the bottom takes home. Now, consider what it would be like if none of President Obama’s tax policy changes had happened: not the upper-income tax hikes negotiated at the beginning of last year, not the upper-income tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act, not the low-income tax credits enacted in the 2009 stimulus and later renewed.

 

In this alternative universe, the average member of the top 1 percent would take home $1.2 million, or 6.5 percent more in income, according to a new analysis. The average member of the bottom 20 percent would bring home $13,100, or 1.2 percent less in income. As a result, the average member of the 1 percent would take home 91 times what the average person in the bottom would bring home. If you’ve wondered whether Obama has made any headway at reducing income inequality, here’s evidence that he has. Based on tax policy alone, he has slightly increased the income of the poor and more significantly reduced the income of the rich.

 

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That’s according to a new, exclusive analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, conducted at the request of The Washington Post, that compared today’s income distribution with what it would look like if President George W. Bush’s tax policies were still in place.

 

The new analysis — the first time anyone has published results showing the cumulative impact of Obama’s tax policy on income distribution — is an estimate based on the center’s widely-respected computer model. It makes vividly clear that one of the legacies of Obama’s presidency is a redistribution of income from the rich to the poor.

 

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As you can see in the chart above, the tax code already reduces inequality due to the very fact that it is progressive. Obama’s tax policies reduced inequality further. The gap between the rich and the poor narrowed the most. The gap between the rich and the middle class has also narrowed, albeit slightly. I’ve summarized post- and pre-tax income under the Bush and Obama policies here:

 

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But looking at tax policy is incomplete. In some ways, it overstates the reduction in inequality. In others, it understates it.

 

First, the overstatement. There’s no question that the tax code does more today than it used to do to reduce inequality. But that is after-tax inequality. To measure overall inequality, you have to think about both pre-tax and after-tax inequality. If the economy is dramatically boosting the incomes of the rich and leaving the incomes of the poor stagnant, then after-tax inequality will widen unless the tax code becomes more progressive.

 

This is illustrated in the following chart. It graphs the ratio of the average income of the top 1 percent to the average income of the bottom 20 percent over time, based on the Tax Policy Center’s historical tables. The higher the ratio, the more inequality. You see both pre- and post-tax inequality rise from 2004 to 2006, level off as the economy starts to weaken, and fall significantly when the economy enters recession. Inequality starts widening again after the shock of the financial crisis fades and the economy begins to recover.

 

Read More.

 

 

Michelle Obama headlines Chicago fundraiser today

 

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WASHINGTON — First Lady Michelle Obama headlines a fundraiser in hometown Chicago today to benefit the Democratic National Committee and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will be attending.

 

In June, White House political director David Simas told me the White House plans a sustained effort to help Quinn in his re-election battle with GOP nominee Bruce Rauner.

 

The event is at the Waldorf Astoria, 11 E. Walton and hosted by Chicagoans Amalia and William Mahoney, top Obama fundraisers for the 2012 re-election campaign.

 

About 150 are expected. The price points range from $500 to $20,000. The top donors get a photo with Mrs. Obama.

 

President Barack Obama is raising money for the DNC in Los Angeles today.

 

 

New White House White Board

Vice President Biden Has the White Board Marker: Here’s Why We Need to Invest in Our Roads and Bridges

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

In this installment of the White House White Board series, Vice President Biden takes the pen and discusses the importance of transportation infrastructure investment in America. Learn more athttp://www.whitehouse.gov/rebuild-ame…

 

White House White Board: Vice President Biden on Rebuild America

 

 

 

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White House Schedule – July 24, 2014

 

In the morning, the President will attend a DNC event at a private residence in Los Angeles. This event is closed press. 

 

In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks on the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. This event is open to pre-credentialed media. 

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will depart Los Angeles en route Washington, DC. The departure from Los Angeles International Airport is open to pre-credentialed media, and the arrival on the South Lawn is open press.

 

 

Thursday, July 24 2014 All Times ET

 

9:15 AM: The Vice President delivers remarks at the National Urban League’s Annual Conference, Duke Energy Convention Center – Cincinnati.

 

12:50 PM: The President attends a DNC event. Local Event Time:9:50 AM. Private Residence – Los Angeles.

 

4:25 PM: The President delivers remarks. Local Event Time:1:25 PM. Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

 

6:05 PM: The President departs Los Angeles en route Washington, DC. Local Event Time:3:05 PM. Los Angeles International Airport.

 

10:35 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Andrews.

 

10:50 PM: The President arrives the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

Speeches and Remarks/Statements and Releases – July 24, 2014

 

Message to the Congress — Amendment Between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

 

FACT SHEET: Increasing Investment in Rural America

 

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Indonesian President-Elect Widodo

 

Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

 

President Obama to Deliver Remarks at Young African Leaders Presidential Summit

 

Remarks by the President at a DNC Event — Los Angeles, California

 

Remarks by the President at DCCC Luncheon — CA

 

 

The 2014 Kids’ State Dinner Slide Show

 

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You Probably Don’t Know This Word:

 

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You might be seeing the word “inversions” in the news headlines a lot lately. It’s a specific kind of corporate merger deal — but it’s not exactly the most intuitive name for a corporate tax loophole.

 

So we’re going to break it down for you — because these loopholes could cost taxpayers nearly $20 billion over the next 10 years. And we could instead use this money to rebuild America, by investing in our roads and bridges, equipping our schools with the resources they need, and defending our country at home.

 

Learn more about “inversions” and how we can do away with them.

 

 

 

Join a Tumblr Q&A on the President’s New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers & Expanding Opportunity for the LGBT Community

 

This week, President Obama signed an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. From the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to ending the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration has made advancing equality and leveling the playing field for the LGBT community a priority.

 

On Friday, you’re invited to join a conversation on the new Executive Order and steps the Administration has taken to expand opportunity for the LGBT community. Join Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, for a Tumblr Q&A this Friday, July 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Here’s how it works:

 

 

  • Follow along on Friday, July 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET, as Valerie Jarrett answers your questions on theWhite House Tumblr

 

The White House uses platforms like Tumblr to connect with people around the country on the issues they care the most about. Last month, the President joined his first-ever Tumblr Q&Alive from the White House focused on education. We’re excited to continue the White House Tumblr Q&A series this week, so ask away!

 

 

 

What Are “Inversions,” and Why Should You Care?

 

Today, President Obama is heading to Los Angeles Trade Technical College, where he’s calling for a kind of “economic patriotism” that’s based on investing in the things that we know grow the economy for everyone (like education and job training) — not protecting wasteful loopholes for a few at the top.

And he’s calling attention to one kind of corporate merger deal in particular — called an “inversion” — a word you might be seeing in a lot of news headlines lately.

It’s not the most intuitive name for a corporate tax loophole, so we’re going to break it down for you.

 

Q: So what exactly is an “inversion”?

 

A corporate “inversion” is what happens when a U.S.-based multinational with operations in other countries restructures itself so that the U.S. “parent” is replaced by a foreign corporation — and usually one that’s in a country with a lower tax rate than the United States. As a result, on the whole, this means that corporate income tax that would otherwise be paid to the United States ends up going overseas.

 

In other words, right now, our tax code allows any American company to merge with a foreign company (so long as that company’s shareholders own 20% of the combined firm) — and then “relocate” or “invert” to another country for tax purposes. This maneuver — which changes nothing about the actual operations that continue in the U.S. — allows companies to dramatically reduce the taxes they owe in the U.S. by taking advantage of loopholes in our tax system.

 

Meanwhile, they would continue enjoying the benefits and protections of the American economy — provided by our tax dollars. It’s a big loophole — and right now, it’s completely legal.

 

Read More.

 

 

The “80/20 Rule” Is Saving Americans a Lot of Money. But What Exactly Is It?

 

Chances are you’ve heard of the Affordable Care Act – President Obama’s landmark health reform law that’s holding insurance companies accountable, lowering health care costs, giving Americans more freedom and control in their health care choices, and improving the quality of care.

One part of the act that you may not be as familiar with, however, is the “80/20 rule” – also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule – which went into effect in 2011.

The rule generally requires health insurance companies in the individual and small group markets to spend at least 80% of the premium dollars they collect on medical care or activities to improve health care quality. And that increases to 85% for insurance companies in the large group market.

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released some new numbers showing just how much this rule has saved consumers over the last few years.

 

 

Americans are getting big refunds.

Insurance companies that don’t meet or exceed the 80% (or 85%) standard have to pay their enrollees refunds to make up the difference. Since the 80/20 rule went into effect in 2011, individual and employer plan enrollees have received, or will receive, more than $1.9 billion in refunds.

This year alone, 6.8 million consumers across the country will get more than $330 million in refunds, with an average refund of $80 per family.

They’re also paying lower premiums.

While refunds serve as a stopgap measure to ensure that consumers receive the required value for their premium dollars, consumers are also saving money upfront because insurance companies are charging lower premiums and operating more efficiently under the 80/20 rule and other health care reforms.

In fact, without the 80/20 rule and other reforms, consumers would have likely paid anestimated $9 billion more in premiums since 2011.

That’s right. $9 billion.

Insurance companies are more efficient.

Another way to measure the value for consumers is to look at how insurance companies are spending money on expenses other than medical claims and quality improvement activities. A smaller portion of premium dollars directed to administrative costs and profit means that consumers are receiving a higher return on their premium dollars.

Since the 80/20 rule was introduced, the percent of premium dollars going toward administrative costs and profit has dropped in all markets. The largest decline is in the individual market, where profits and overhead spending as a percent of premium dropped from 15.3% in 2011 to 11.7% in 2013.

To put it very plainly: The Affordable Care Act – and the 80/20 rule in particular – is still saving Americans money.

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Tweet Tweet Sweet Birdie, Whats On Your Mind?


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Damn I missed this news this morning. Wow.

 

Dear NRA, there was another “Good Guy” W/ a GUN missing when we needed him last night, because a GUN went crazy and killed several GOOD people again last night. Mr NRA I know you said we don’t need Any Gun Control just more “Good Guys” W/ Guns but, can you please explain where it is that all these “GOOD GUYS” W/ A GUN seem to be preventing all these BAD GUYS W/ GUNS from killing Good People? I somehow seem to miss hearing the news stories or reading of these GOOD GUYS W/ A GUN stopping these BAD GUYS W/ A GUN Killings. Mr NRA, now I know you said Guns DON’T Kill People, so my other question that I really want to understand is, Where are these kind of GUNS THAT DON’T KILL PEOPLE and how can we get more of those type of GUNS on the streets and into the hands of these kind of People Who KILL PEOPLE W/ GUNS?

 

Sincerely,
A Really Good Person,
Without ANY GUNS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/MiaFarrow/status/469997737648607232

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Someone You Should Know: Ms. Trista Hendren. Creator Of Rapebook.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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I must give credit to a very dynamic woman from England named Ms. Ruth Jacobs, a fighter for any and all injustices against women. She “pulled my coattail” to Ms. Trista Hendren some months ago. View Ms. Jacobs work here at her website, Ruth Jacobs.

 

Visit Ms. Trista Hendren at her Facebook page Rapebook, to get an idea of her work.

 

 

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Trista Hendren

 

Trista Hendren is the author of The Girl God series. You can read more about her projects at http://www.thegirlgod.com.

 

Books by Trista Hendren:

The Girl God by Hendren, Trista and Slettnes, Elisabeth (Dec 10, 2013)

 

Mother Earth (The Girl God) by Hendren, Trista and Slettnes, Elisabeth (Dec 10, 2013)

 

2014 Girl God Wall Calendar by Elisabeth Slettnes and Trista Hendren (2013)

 

 

Trista Hendren

 

From ABC NEWS:

 

Oregon Mom Challenges Facebook on Rape Posts, Becomes Target for Threats

 

An Oregon woman who helped create a Facebook page to fight trolls posting violent and sexual content on the website found herself the target of vicious threats and vile material posted on her page.

 

Trista Hendren, 38, of Portland, Ore., founded a page on Facebook called “Rapebook,” which aims to flag and report inappropriate and misogynistic content on Facebook. The page focuses on violence against women and children, especially rape.

 

But her dedication to removing the offensive content caused the people posting it to turn on her, she says, as first reported by ABC News’ Portland affiliate KATU.

 

“It’s a protest to make people more aware of what was happening [on] Facebook,” Hendren told ABCNews.com. “I have two young kids and I wasn’t political at all and assumed it was a safe, happy place where you were there with your friends and then I realized that it’s really not.”

 

Dealing with such material is not always straightforward.

 

The page links that posters flag to Rapebook go to inappropriate content such as pornography, graphic images depicting sexual assault, sexualization of children and photos with rape jokes on them.

 

As with any potentially inappropriate content on Facebook, if user wants to flag a photo as inappropriate, a pop-up window asks two questions. The first asks if the photo is about the user or a friend of the user. Then the user can select what their issue is with the image — they don’t like it, it’s harassing the user or it’s harassing a friend of the user.

 

If the photo is not about the user or a friend, it can be flagged as hate speech or symbol, spam or scam, graphic violence, nudity or pornography or drug use.

 

Hendren said that child pornography usually gets taken down quickly since it’s illegal, but that it is harder to get other content removed, especially if it’s crude but not illegal.

 

Facebook said that content that clearly violates their terms is removed, but content that is “distasteful” but not illegal or in violation of the terms has the right to stay up.

 

“There are a lot of rape jokes on Facebook,” she said. “It’s sad to say that some are worse than others so it’s sad to say you kind of have to pick your battles.”

 

For Hendren, the battle against ugly content took an even uglier turn when people and groups posting the material targeted her.

 

They posted hundreds of threatening messages and vulgar photos on her personal Facebook page and the group page. They found her phone number and email address and posted it online, she said.

 

“They’re pretty scary. They did actually post photos of women and girls being raped in the pictures,” she said. “The message was pretty clear — either shut down this page or we are going to make you pay somehow.”

 

One message to Hendren on the group page that was viewed by ABC News began, “I’m gonna trace your IP address then come to your house in the night in a possum suit knock you out take you back to my cellar where you’ll wake up hung from the ceiling by meat hooks…”

 

The rest of the post was graphic and violent.

 

Another post ended, “LOCK YOUR DOORS, MOTHER******S. WE’RE COMING FOR YOU.”

 

A fearful Hendren took down her personal Facebook page as well as a blog where she wrote about her children and posted photos of them. The Rapebook page is still up, but Hendren is no longer listed as an administrator.

 

“I felt like I could spend 24 hours a day every day and it would still be an overwhelming problem,” she said. “This is a problem Facebook needs to deal with. They have plenty of money, they have the technology and they just don’t want to.”

 

Facebook explained in an email to ABCNews.com that the problem is more complicated than taking down inappropriate content.

 

“There is no place on Facebook for content that is hateful, threatening, or incites violence, and we will not tolerate material deemed to be genuinely or directly harmful. We react quickly to remove reported language or images that violate our terms and we encourage people to report questionable content using links located throughout the site,” the email said.

 

“However, as you may expect in any diverse community of more than a billion people, we occasionally see people post distasteful content or make crude attempts at humor,” the email said. “While it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies. We do require that any such page be clearly marked — so users are aware that the content may be in poor taste.”

 

Hendren still wants to help combat inappropriate content on Facebook, but is relieved to be off the social media site.

 

“I’m happy to be off of it,” she said. “I don’t hang out with people who think rape is funny. Why would I want to put myself in an environment where that happens?”

 

Thank you  ABC NEWS.

 

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Mother Earth

 

Published on Mar 24, 2014

By Trista Hendren / Illustrated by Elisabeth Slettnes / ORDER at http://www.thegirlgod.com
Voiceover by Arika Rapson / http://www.arikarapson.com

 

 

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Rapebook  On FaceBook

This Facebook page is still up but not active, but if you’re like me, you’ll visit the page and “like” it anyway. I did just that.

 

Thank you Ms. Ms. Trista Hendren, who you can follow on Twitter at  @thegirlgodbook.

 

Thank you too Ms. Ruth Jacobs.

 

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