31 May 2014

TEXAS: Gun Nuts Invade Home Depot TWEET HOME DEPOT AT #GrillsNotGuns 31MAI14

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AFTER the PR disaster of being asked to leave and / or being banned from Chili's, Sonic, Applebees, Starbucks, Wendy's, Jack In The Box, and Chipotle, open carry leadership in Texas issued the follow statement / policy guideline "Open Carry Texas and other gun groups, whose common goal is legalizing the open carrying of handguns in their state, evidently have concluded that none of this is helping their cause. On Friday, four of the groups released a joint statement asking supporters to retreat from such tactics. "We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited," the statement said.
For open carrying going forward, their new "unified protocol and general policy" advises supporters to avoid corporate businesses altogether, and not to post pictures if they do get permission and decide to go in. "If at all possible," it says, "keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly." Unfortunately they made the assumption their followers can read. Send Home Depot a tweet at #GrillsNotGuns , let them know, no matter where their store is, that you will not shop there until they ban these men wannabes from their stores.....

TEXAS: Gun Nuts Invade Home Depot

After being tossed out of Chili's and Sonic last weekend, "open carry" gun nuts are invading a Fort Worth-area Home Depot today. The action has spawned the #GrillsNotGuns hashtag on Twitter, where customers are vowing to boycott the chain unless it bans guns in its stores.
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You may never eat Chobani yogurt again. Chobani: Stop making yogurt with GMO-laden milk now. 24MAI14

I love Chobani Greek yogurt, but not gmo products. Chobani has the chance to do the right thing here, and they will remove gmo milk from their products if enough of us tell them to. Click the link and sign the petition from +SumOfUs .org .....
Chobani makes “all natural” Greek yogurt with milk from cows fed with genetically modified (GMO) grain, and it’s about to expand its operation.

Tell Chobani to stop using GMO-laden milk now.

Sign the Petition

This doesn’t taste good: “All natural” Chobani makes Greek yogurt with milk from cows that are fed genetically modified (GMO) grain.
It may sound surprising, but actually, this isn’t news at all - Chobani always has. What’s worrisome now, however, is that it has just secured a loan to the tune of $750 million to expand its operations, which means it will be fuelling even more money into the GMO industry.
As the biggest producer of Greek yogurt in the US, Chobani is missing a tremendous opportunity to support milk producers who feed their cows with natural feed, and with that, to transform dairy production. Before Chobani throws millions of dollars at GMO grain producers, we have the chance to tell Chobani what we don’t want in our yogurt.
Tell Chobani to stop making yogurt with GMO-laden milk now.
Chobani claims that the only way it can produce enough yogurt to supply the booming market is by using milk from GMO-fed cows. But this decision is already hurting its business: In December of 2013, Whole Foods announced that it was going to stop selling Chobani in 2014 as part of an effort to stop selling GMO foods that aren’t labeled as such.
The bank accounts of Chobani’s executives are the only things that benefit from the decision to support GMOs. The effects GMO grain has on the environment and on the animals that eat it are tragic, and the long term health consequences for those who consume GMOs are still unknown.
Let’s tell Chobani: We’d love your yogurt more if it was GMO-free! Stop using milk from cows fed with GMO grain now.
This is not the first time big agribusiness has stepped over the line and we’ve pushed them back. Recently, Kellogg’s agreed to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. We’re fighting Bayer and Syngenta in their attempts to overturn Europe’s ban on bee-killing pesticides. And we have bought a small, strategic stake in Monsanto so that we can speak out as shareholders ourselves.
The general shift to GMOs in our food only gives more power to huge GMO corporations like Monsanto, who have an ever increasing amount of control over our food supply, and what we put in our bodies. Stopping Chobani using GMO-laden milk may be a first step in taking that control back. 
Thanks for everything you do,
Kaytee, Hanna and the rest of us

More information:
Seeking to Grow, Chobani Secures $750 Million Loan. The New York Times, April 23, 2014.
Chobani vs. Whole Foods over GMOs. Politico, December 23, 2013.

30 May 2014

Sold! To the highest bidder! Tell the FCC: Don’t Let the ISPs Sell Free Speech 24MAI14

Binary numbers create a tunnel of data
THE battle to keep the internet free and open is growing in intensity, and the ACLU is asking all of us to send a message to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to protect net neutrality, not to sell it to the highest bidder, to not allow ISPs sell free speech. Click the link to submit your comments, even if you have already submitted comments. We must overwhelm the FCC with our demands that Net Neutrality be honored and protected. 
ACLU Action

Tell the FCC we won't stand for an Internet for sale.

Internet Service Providers want to line their pockets by selling preferential treatment to corporations—all at your expense.

Last week, the FCC proposed so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules that would allow ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to charge more for an Internet ‘fast lane.’

If the FCC rules go through, the Internet is going to be sold to the highest bidder. An Internet ‘fast lane’ will influence our access to news and public debate, and it will weaken our democracy through the manipulation of Internet traffic and free speech.

This is a critical moment for net neutrality. The FCC says they’ll listen to public opinion before they issue their final rules in four months. So the more of our voices they hear, the more likely they’ll hear what we’re saying.

Will you tell the FCC we won’t stand for an Internet for sale?

Profit-seeking broadband providers don’t like to treat everyone equally. Discriminating against competing services or charging more to deliver some content faster than others helps boost their bottom line.

In most markets, Americans have few options for where to get their broadband service. This lack of competition means that ISPs can act as gatekeepers. And you will pay the price. True net neutrality—an open Internet—is the idea that Internet Service Providers must treat all traffic equally. That’s the Internet we know—the one where all voices have an equal shot at being heard.

We can protect the Internet from naked profit seeking. If enough ACLU supporters join force, we can push the FCC to do the right thing and issue rules to preserve the democratic nature of the Internet.

Sign our petition now telling FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler we don’t want an Internet ‘fast lane’ that jeopardizes our access to information.

Thanks for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team

TAKE ACTION: Reject dominion resources Massive Fracked Gas Export Project at COVE POINT, MARYLAND 30MAI14

TOO much has gone into restoring the Chesapeake Bay to allow dominion resources to destroy all the years of hard work with this LNG export terminal proposed for Cove Point, Maryland. They have mounted a massive propaganda campaign linking this project with our national security because the gas will supposedly go to our allies to reduce their dependence on Russian gas supplies. dominion resources doesn't mention the increased fracking that will be required to supply gas to the terminal or that exporting American natural gas will raise the price of natural gas on the domestic market. This project is a loose-loose proposition for the American people, the environmental restoration of the Chesapeake Bay will be threatened and at some point will suffer degradation, dominion resources will no doubt demand and receive tax breaks for development of this processing facility and terminal while they receive the usual tax breaks oil and gas companies receive from congress for their drilling operations, dominion resources will use fracking in their drilling operations, and the American people will pay for it with polluted water and air, health problems and higher prices for the natural gas we use here. +Earthjustice is providing the opportunity to you to voice your opposition to this project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, click the take action link below....
Earthjustice - Take Action Today
TAKE ACTION! Reject a Massive Fracked Gas Export Project Take Action
LNG tanks at the Port of Barcelona. (peresanz / Shutterstock)
The oil and gas industry is pushing for an export terminal that will raise gas prices and increase fracking across the region.
Take Action Today!
We have a critical opportunity to quell the growth of fracking by challenging a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal on the quiet shores of Chesapeake Bay.
Dominion Resources is spearheading this $3.8 billion scheme to build the massive export facility in Cove Point, MD. This would provide LNG producers their first East Coast outlet to foreign markets and significantly expand fracking operations across the region.
This single project could trigger more greenhouse gas emissions than all seven of Maryland’s coal-fired power plants combined. It could also devastate the Chesapeake Bay estuary.
The facility would increase ship traffic 20-fold, putting LNG tankers directly in the migratory path of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Staff Photo
Kathleen Sutcliffe
Campaign Manager
Take Action

©2014 Earthjustice | 50 California Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94111 | 415-217-2000 |

Habitat Update from Habitat for Humanity International 30MAI14

USUALLY +Habitat for Humanity's monthly e mail newsletter has information about the seemingly overwhelming need for adequate, affordable housing in the U.S. and around the world and how they are trying to meet this need for as many people as possible. Generally the stories and articles are inspiring, upbeat and uplifting, and this month's is no different but there is one article I hope you will read and act on, Use your voice to save national service article below, and please sign the letter that will be sent to your representative and senators. Adequate funding for AmeriCorps and  AmeriCorps VISTA is critical for the work Habitat does in the U.S.
Habitat Email Newsletter
The Biggest Spring Challenge Ever

Nissan will donate $50 to Habitat for every qualified test drive through July 7. Learn how you can help us gain up to $100,000 through this campaign.
Use your voice to save national service

Habitat for Humanity could lose the help of hundreds of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members if Congress cuts funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, as some in Congress threaten. Please add your voice now to ensure that Habitat AmeriCorps members can continue serving families and communities across the U.S.
 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon 2014

Habitat AmeriCorps members, alums and community volunteers have just completed a week of blitz builds in Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Looking for a full-time service opportunity? Read our 10 reasons to join Habitat AmeriCorps.
Home is where the start is

Decent, affordable housing has a transformative effect on a family’s life, improving everything from health outcomes to children’s educational achievement.
See how you’ve helped rebuild after Typhoon Haiyan

Twenty-two-year-old Jovelyn was seven months pregnant when the typhoon collapsed her home in the Philippines six months ago. She was devastated and terrified, but Habitat Philippines provided her family with a shelter repair kit. “We repaired our house using the donated materials,” she said, “and it’s now bigger and better.”
Connecting residents to economic opportunity

Strong community partnerships are enabling Habitat and others to revitalize entire neighborhoods, Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford explains.
A future without limits

“I come home, and I see the kids happy,” says Habitat Toronto homeowner Mensur Mohammed. “Since we got this house, everything is changed.”
Habitat Statistics  
The number of houses our Everest Build 2014 aims to build in a week.

Dick Cheney, the architect of America's biggest foreign policy blunders, calls Obama 'weak' 29MAI14

WAR CRIMINAL dick (the name is so apropos) cheney was able to leave the country and nobody grabbed him and took him to the ICC to be charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity? His itinerary must have been to countries like the U.S. that don't recognize the authority of the ICC. Oh well, he will be judged some day for sure. Still, it is pretty hypocritical for him to think he and any of his fellow neo-con, neo-nazi war criminals from the george w bush administration and the military-industrial complex are qualified to judge the Obama administration on foreign and military policy. From +Daily Kos .....
Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:31 AM PDT

Dick Cheney, the architect of America's biggest foreign policy blunders, calls Obama 'weak'

by Hunter

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks about national security at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in this file photo from May 21, 2009. Cheney, 69, was hospitalized in George Washington Hospital on February 22, 2010 after experienci
Grrr. Argh.
If I was the president, and that will never happen because I am not insane and neither are you, I'd be pretty pleased with having the still-proud architect of some of the biggest foreign policy disasters in the last half-century peeved at me.
“He is a very, very weak president,” Cheney said in an interview with Fox News. “Maybe the weakest — certainly in my lifetime.” Cheney went on to say that during a recent trip to the Middle East, allies he had “dealt with all the way back to Desert Storm” expressed alarm at the president’s handling of foreign policy.
What kind of people do you suppose Cheney meets with, in the Middle East? Meeting for tea and crumpets with Ahmed Chalabi? A teary reunion with a fellow dubbed "Curveball?" A collection of depressed arms dealers pining for the good old days of Bush and Reagan?
“They all are absolutely convinced that the American capacity to lead and influence in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president,” Cheney said. “We’ve got a problem with weakness, and it’s centered right in the White House.”
This is all part of that baffling conservative notion of strength and weakness where having New York and the Pentagon attacked by terrorists shows you are strong, and putting a bullet in the head of the person who masterminded it without having to wander blindly through a pair of poorly premised and abominably executed wars shows you are weak. A Benghazi would have never happened on his watch, except for the multiple times it most definitely did, and foreign leaders liked his administration, which is why a grateful world gave the Nobel Peace Prize to the guy that replaced it in proactive thanks for just showing the eff up. All right, Obama: Iraq War architect, serial liar and torture advocate Dick Cheney does not approve of the way you are handling his incompetently planned wars and imagined American colonies. So do the right thing and, I don't know, get T-shirts printed up saying so. There's probably no higher honor in Washington than having the architects of disaster not like you.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

VIDEO: See what Elizabeth Warren said last night at an event about the Republican vision vs. Progressive values & Someone finally polled the 1% — And it's not pretty & Early Senate Polls Have Plenty to Tell Us About November 29MAI&16APR14

THE 2014 midterms are six months away. It is not to early to start supporting Bold Progressive Democratic candidates, the sooner they gain state wide name recognition the more time they have to get their message out to the voters and to expand their state wide get out the vote campaigns. Here is a video from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee / PCCC in which Sen Elizabeth Warren D MA lays out in very plain English the differences between the Progressive Democratic agenda and gop / tea-bagger agenda (see the Daily Kos piece below), followed by an opportunity to donate to some of the people we need to elect in November. You don't have to donate to all, you don't need to donate at all, and yes, your donation can be what you can afford. Believe me, I have volunteered for political campaigns, and many of the donations are small dollar amounts, but they all add up. So check this out, and see what you can do, and at the least share with others who want to help Bold Progressive Democrats win in November. From the PCCC, +Daily Kos and 538.....

You've got to see what Elizabeth Warren said last night at an event about the Republican vision vs. Progressive values. 
Elizabeth Warren
These bold progressive candidates for Congress have important primary elections next week. Many face more conservative challengers in heavily Democratic districts -- if they win their primaries, they'll go into the general election with major momentum!
Watch Elizabeth Warren here. And donate $3 to her allies on the ballot in important primaries next week.
Mike Honda grew up in a Japanese-American internment camp. Now, he is one of the boldest progressives in Congress, fighting alongside Alan Grayson for the little guy.
Eloise Gomez Reyes is the daughter of immigrants and grew up working on an onion farm. Now, she's running for Congress to expand Social Security, hold Wall Street accountable, and fight for common-sense immigration reform.
Michael Eggman is a beekeeper and farmer who is running in a top-targeted race by both political parties. He supports expanding Social Security, creating jobs, and (as a beekeeper) wants to address the growing climate crisis.
Bonnie Watson Coleman has spent her life as an outspoken fighter for the poor and powerless. As Majority Leader of the New Jersey Assembly, she helped pass a millionaire’s tax, prison reform, and education bills into law. She’s ready to keep fighting in Congress.
Pat Murphy has fought for progressive legislation throughout his career. As Iowa’s Speaker of the House, he led the fight to raise the minimum wage and ushered in universal pre-K. A prairie populist, he’ll take the fight to Capitol Hill.
Dr. Lee Rogers is running for Congress in California's 25th District against two right-wing Republicans -- one of whom shamelessly touted his NRA record and agenda in a robocall just hours after the recent shootings. Dr. Rogers supports Medicare access for all and letting the government negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
Watch Elizabeth Warren here. And donate $3 to her allies on the ballot in important primaries next week.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Keith Rouda, PCCC organizer
P.S. Will you make calls for these progressives from home? Our technology respects your time -- no answering machines! Click here to see a list of candidates and shifts.
Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:52 AM PDT

Someone finally polled the & 1% — And it's not pretty

On May 22, The Campaign for America's Future gave a conference on The New Populist Majority. The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Warren. The conference confronted the meme that the US is a "center-right" country.
Most interesting to me was the fact that they obtained poll results from "the 1%." Typically, "upper income" in polling is considered "over $250K/yr" or even "over $150K/yr." Such people are rich compared to most, but they do not have enough money to buy elections with their spare change.
The poll results for this comparison came from the Russell Sage Foundation. "Elites" are defined as at or near "the 1%" in wealth with an average income of $1M/yr or more. The perspectives of this group are compared to responses from other polls such as Pew and Gallup.
The poll results are below the squiggle., Derek Pugh: Memorandum: The American Majority is a Populist Majority
(I apologize from the fuzziness. I had to cut & paste screenshots from a Scribd document.) For additional information on the conference, check out these links: The New Populism Conference, May 22, 2014 Program Schedule & Access to Report, 12p [Scribd], Elizabeth Warren: The New Populism Is A Fight For America’s Values, Robert Reich: The 6 Principles of the New Populism (and the Establishment’s Nightmare), Robert Borosage: What Is The New Populism? [w video] The New Populism: Overview [pdf] 4p, Robert Borosage: Report: The New Populism: A Movement & Agenda to Transform America's Economy & Politics, Derek Pugh: Memorandum: The American Majority is a Populist Majority Results

Originally posted to Auriandra on Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Early Senate Polls Have Plenty to Tell Us About November

Republican Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is fighting for his political life — or is he? The Senate minority leader is nearly tied in the polls with Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. But President Obama’s approval in Kentucky is in the low 30s, suggesting the Democratic brand is so unpopular that McConnell could be fine by the time votes are cast. These competing indicators have led to myriad predictions from political analysts. The Cook Political Report rates the race as tossup, the Rothenberg Political Report puts it in the leaning Republican column, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball goes one step further at likely Republican. My colleague Nate Silver’s forecast, meanwhile, says McConnell has a 75 percent chance to win.
Kentucky isn’t the only state with a disparity between what the polls are telling us and the state’s opinion of Democrats. Dems’ other possible Senate pickup opportunity, according to the polls, is in Georgia, a state that didn’t treat Obama kindly in 2012. The polls are also close in AlaskaArkansasLouisiana and North Carolina, despite Mitt Romney’s success there in the last presidential election.
More than six months from the midterm elections, current polling and past precedent are competing for our trust. I analyzed which measure is more indicative come November, and it turns out that polls are a more robust metric even though their numbers are still sparse and there’s still so much time remaining before the election. That’s not to say that a president’s approval rating is useless: It can help refine early polls to make them more accurate. This year, when we factor in both, it doesn’t look promising for Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky or Louisiana.
For my analysis, I took a RealClearPolitics-style average of all the polls1 for 107 races since 2006.2 Separately, for comparison, I collected the president’s approval rating in the matching states in the first half of the year.3
Once that was all in place, I produced this chart, which shows that early4 polls do a pretty good job of forecasting the final vote margin.
The average error between the early polls and the final results was 6.4 points.5 For comparison, in the 2012 Senate race, polls taken in the final month before the election still had an average error of 4.8 points.6 Overall, the president’s party’s candidate won 83 percent of the time he or she led in the early poll average and lost 88 percent of the time when he or she trailed.
A president’s approval rating isn’t as strongly tied to the ultimate result. There is a link — just a weaker one. Note how much more scattered the data points are in the chart below compared to in the chart above.7
Of the 58 races in my sample where the president’s statewide approval rating was less than 43 percent (as it is for Obama now, nationally), the president’s party’s candidate lost 72 percent. On the other hand, when a president’s approval rating was greater than 43 percent, the president’s party’s candidate lost 35 percent of races. In other words, a president’s approval rating is far from a perfect predictor of how Senate races will turn out.
But even though polls are better predictors than presidential approval, the latter still has plenty of information to offer. When I combined early horse-race polls and presidential approval, the median error in early-cycle predictions dropped to 4.0 points.8 That’s nearly two points lower than using the polls alone, and the average error dropped about a point to 5.6 points.
The fact that presidential approval ratings do matter in addition to early horse-race polling should worry some Democrats in 2014. Right now, I estimate Obama’s approval rating is somewhere between 30 percent and 33 percent in Alaska, Arkansas and Kentucky.9 In Louisiana, I estimate it to be in the high 30s.
To give you an idea of how the data suggests Obama is going to hurt these candidates, I pulled probabilistic 2014 projections10 from a model that looks at both the polls11 and Obama’s approval rating and one that looks at only the polls. The table below shows the Democratic candidate’s chance of winning. (The states included have had at least one poll taken in 2014.)
Using polls and approval ratings, the current close races in Alaska, Arkansas and Kentucky are estimated to favor Republicans. (For instance the model gives McConnell a 73 percent chance to win, which is quite close to Nate’s estimate.) In Louisiana, Obama’s rating hurts Democratic Senate candidate Mary Landrieu, but the current polling average this year already had her projected to lose. In Georgia and North Carolina, Obama’s approval rating is high enough that it doesn’t hurt the Democrats too much. Democrats Gary Peters in Michigan and Al Franken in Minnesota are likely helped a bit by President Obama. Overall, this simple model puts Democratic losses in the Senate at 6.8 seats, just off the FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast of 5.8 seats, which takes into account other factors including fundraising totals and candidate ideology.
Still, it’s important to emphasize that we’re talking about early numbers. Twenty of the 107 races from 2006 to 2012 in our model have errors of 10 points or greater, even when controlling for both approval and early polls. Ohio Republican Rob Portman beat Democrat Lee Fisher by nearly 17.4 points in 2010, even though early polls were close and Obama’s approval wasn’t bad early in the year. The same goes for Republican Roy Blunt in Missouri in 2010.
So Mitch McConnell’s close race in Kentucky this year is not just about polls, it’s about Obama’s approval rating, too. Conversely, even if Obama’s approval rating is holding Democrats back in the midterms, remember that statewide polls are usually the more predictive metric. Smart political forecasts incorporate both.



May 30, 2014

By Mariah Blake
According to VA inspector general reports and other documents that have gone overlooked in the current firestorm, federal officials knew about the scheme at the heart of the scandal—falsifying VA records to cover up the long wait times for medical care—years before Obama became president. [READ MORE]



By Dana Liebelson
The National Security Agency is firing back against former contractor Edward Snowden, who insists he reported his concerns about illegal surveillance activity directly to the agency in writing before leaking his treasure trove of super-secret documents. [READ MORE]

Maya Angelou, acclaimed poet, author, and civil rights activist, died Wednesday at the age of 86. Here's what she told Mother Jones nearly 20 years ago.
Starbucks, Wendy’s, Applebees, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, Chili's, and Sonic have all now told gun rights activists to get rid of their guns or get lost. 
The first eastern Pacific hurricane of 2014 set a new intensity record. Here's why we could see even stronger storms before the year is over. 

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