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about 3 hours ago

"Today it’s becoming the cry of the privileged and powerful concerning what they can deny someone else because of religious beliefs." Corey Fields, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.

Apr 06, 15

Einstein continued to support progressive causes through the 1950s, when the pressure of anti-Communist witch hunts made it dangerous to do so. Another example of Einstein using his prestige to help a prominent African American occurred in 1951, when the 83-year-old W.E.B. Du Bois, a founder of the NAACP, was indicted by the federal government for failing to register as a "foreign agent" as a consequence of circulating the pro-Soviet Stockholm Peace Petition. Einstein offered to appear as a character witness for Du Bois, which convinced the judge to drop the case.

Apr 06, 15

"Stroup knew from his experience teaching impoverished students in inner-city Boston, Mexico City and North Texas that students could improve their mastery of a subject by more than 15 percent in a school year, but the tests couldn’t measure that change. Stroup came to believe that the biggest portion of the test scores that hardly changed—that 72 percent—simply measured test-taking ability. For almost $100 million a year, Texas taxpayers were sold these tests as a gauge of whether schools are doing a good job. Lawmakers were using the wrong tool. "

Apr 06, 15

"The Supreme Court itself has suggested that the implications of Hobby Lobby were broader than Alito originally let on. Just days after the decision, the Court’s majority allowed Wheaton College, which is religiously oriented, to refuse to fill out a form asking for an exemption from the birth-control mandate—while retaining the exemption. There is another case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, which is also pending, where a religious order asserts that the filling out of a form (which, if granted, would exempt them from the law’s requirements) violates their rights.

If just filling out a form can count as a “substantial burden,” it’s hard to imagine any obligation that would not."

Apr 06, 15

"There is no way—NO way—that the farthest of the far left is anything like the farthest of the far right. The former seems annoying while it once in a while manages to get something done, while the latter is dangerous. The right is so listed, so skewed, so radically outrageous when compared to the far left that any attempt at equivalency is rather like comparing a mosquito bite to a swift and vicious testicular whomping. One’s a bit of an itch you feel compelled to scratch at while the other is so devastating you wonder whether you’ll ever sire children (provided you can even manage to get up off the floor). Not the same thing. Not at all.

Don’t believe me? Then let me ask you this one question: How many elected far-leftists are there in Congress these days? (And note the use of the word “far.”) There are leftists, certainly. Likely all the Democrats are certainly left of center (else why would they be Democrats?), but you have to go all the way to Bernie Sanders to find an actual socialist. Some might argue Elizabeth Warren is pretty far tilted (I might even argue it myself), but there is nothing—NOTHING—equivalent to the Ted Cruz’s, Marco Rubio’s, and Rand Paul’s of the Senate, nor to any member of the recently formed (and ironically named) “Freedom Caucus.”"

Mar 18, 15

"This relies on “some magical thinking that states know how to [run these programs] and no one is letting them,” said Mark Schmitt of the New America Foundation. The House budget document says that when it comes to food stamps, “the core challenge is that while states have the responsibility of administering the program, they have little flexibility to ensure it is well run,” but that block-granting it would give them the room to “administer the program in ways that … achieve better results.” Of Medicaid, Republicans claim the change would “give states greater freedom to build the most effective programs for their communities … to better cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse.”"

Mar 15, 15

"I can mourn the loss of innocent lives taken by officers who used excessive force. I can rage against the apparent systemic injustices of rogue departments. I can weep for the lives lost in the line of duty and for the families they leave behind. I can be on both sides and not pick any side at all. I can understand the need for police men and women and still be aware of their need for oversight and regulation. I can see the value in the police, can see the men and women who risk their lives daily to maintain order and enforce laws written by people who cannot see the daily battles on the streets. I can also understand the need to keep prejudices and fear from getting the best of these brave men and women."

Mar 08, 15

"At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a vocal opponent of marriage equality, how Iowa’s same-sex weddings have negatively impacted the state. But rather than providing any specific examples, Huckabee dodged the question and fell back on old rhetoric."

Mar 01, 15

"Gerrymandering -- drawing political boundaries to give your party a numeric advantage over an opposing party -- is a difficult process to explain. If you find the notion confusing, check out the chart above -- adapted from one posted to Reddit this weekend -- and wonder no more."

Feb 23, 15

"Legend took the opportunity to remind the audiece that the struggle continues. “We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today,” Legend said. “Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now.”"

Feb 17, 15

"Last week, Kasich was at it again when he described school district critics of his school funding formula and budget as being “irresponsible.” According to the Columbus Dispatch, the governor said “We need more superintendents who are educators, and less superintendents who are politicians.”

Kasich’s observation is laughable at best. But it also shows the flexible meaning of terms like educators and superintendents that are used by him and his allies as they promote an alternative or parallel public education universe known as charter schools."

Jan 24, 15

Here are some signs you might have an imaginary gluten issue. This is a good essay about the latest food fad:

"3. Trying to "watch your gluten consumption." Sorry, but celiac disease and real wheat gluten allergies are an on/off disease. That is, there is no acceptable amount to consume, any amount is dangerous. There are individuals who can lick a piece of bread, not eat it, and fall over sick. Again, you can't "watch" the amount of gluten you eat, you watch for every tiny bit of gluten that may appear anywhere. Someone with real gluten sensitivities are basically obsessive about their food, because not doing it is dangerous. Bragging to someone that you're "watching" your gluten probably means you don't have a real gluten sensitivity.

5. You claim you feel better without gluten. Someone with a real gluten sensitivity didn't develop it when they turned 30. It's something that mostly (but not always) shows up in childhood, and a real celiac disease child won't say they feel better without gluten, they'll say how horrible it is when they accidentally consume it. It's not some new age therapy with intangible results like "I can't point it out, but I just feel like a new person." Real gluten sensitivity means if you have gluten, you want to rip your intestines out of your body without anesthesia."

Jan 14, 15

"Science educator Eugenie Scott deemed the technique the “Gish Gallop,” named for a notoriously sleazy creationist named Duane Gish. The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop as a technique that “involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it.” Often users of the Gish Gallop know their arguments are nonsense or made in bad faith, but don’t particularly care because they are so dead set on advancing their agenda. Unfortunately, the strategy is so effective that it’s been expanding rapidly in right-wing circles. Here are just a few of the most disturbing examples of the Gish Gallop in action."

Dec 30, 14

"Among the incorrect beliefs held with conviction, no matter the party: China holds more than half of the U.S. debt; there is no time limit for benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly known as welfare; the combined salaries of all members of Congress make up a bigger part of the federal budget than the pay of all members of the military. In other words, these were beliefs not colored by partisanship. (President Bill Clinton in 1996 signed a bipartisan bill that cut off benefits at 60 months.)"

Dec 17, 14

" Looking over the long history of people claiming to be speaking for God’s wishes, it quickly becomes evident that Christians are frequently on the wrong side of history. Here are 10 things that American Christians of the conservative stripe got completely wrong when they were so sure they were speaking on God’s behalf."

Dec 15, 14

"the per capita rate of black deaths per 100,000 residents is .28, which is twice as high as the rate for white deaths of .13"

Dec 11, 14

"After Raddatz's report--which detailed the Senate's findings--the broadcast turned to Jonathan Karl to flesh out the CIA's response. As he told viewers, "The tactics were harsh, but the CIA says it is flat out wrong to say they did not work."

Karl wasn't there to weigh these claims: "One key question: Did the interrogations help get Osama bin Laden? The report says no, the CIA says yes, that only through harsh interrogation did they discover bin Laden's personal messenger.""

Dec 10, 14

"White people with strong political agenda can walk around the street and in stores carrying their semiautomatic "long guns" and nothing happens to them. A drunken, angry white man stand outs in the street pointing a loaded rifle at passersby, and law enforcement treats him with respect and spend as much time as they need to "de-escalate the situation." Black boys play in an empty park with a fake gun, or carry a fake samurai sword and get shot shortly after police arrive on the scene."

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