Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2014/07/g http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 31, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-31-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division participate in a training mission in Florida. <span class="meta-field photo-desc ">(US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway.)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:12:25 +0000 257426 at http://www.motherjones.com The Feds Are Demanding That Twitter Turn Over More User Info Than Ever http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/twitter-receives-record-number-information-requests-us-government <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>US law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hitting Twitter with more information requests about its users than ever before, and in most cases the social network is handing over some data, according to a new <a href="https://transparency.twitter.com/information-requests/2014/jan-jun" target="_blank">report released by the company</a> on Thursday. Twitter notes that many of the government demands, which are typically related to criminal investigations, are originating from <a href="https://transparency.twitter.com/country/us" target="_blank">California, New York, and Virginia. </a>They're coming from federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence officials, a Twitter spokesman says.</p> <p>Like <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/google-microsoft-twitter-facebook-user-data-fisa-charts" target="_blank">several other tech companies</a>, Twitter releases transparency reports disclosing information about the government requests for user data it has received. According to the latest report, between January 1 and June 30, Twitter received just over 2,000 requests for information covering about 3,100 Twitter accounts from authorities in 54 countries, with about 1,250 of those requests coming from US agencies. That's a sharp increase from the previous six months, when there were about 1,400 requests, around 830 of those from the US. According to the Twitter spokesman, US authorities have placed more information requests over the last six months than the company has ever received in a similar timeframe.</p> <p>While Twitter granted zero requests to some countries that requested information recently, such as Turkey, Venezuela, and Pakistan, the social network handed over at least some information in 72 percent of the cases when US authorities requested it.</p> <p>While the social network can report a tally of law enforcement-related requests, the social network is barred by the US government from publishing the specific number of national security-related requests&mdash;such as <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2014/fighting-for-more-transparency" target="_blank">national security letters and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders</a>&mdash;it has received. Twitter <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2014/continuing-our-fight-for-more-transparency" target="_blank">notes</a> that it met with the FBI and the Justice Department earlier this year to push for more transparency.</p></body></html> MoJo Tech Top Stories Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:54:49 +0000 Dana Liebelson 257396 at http://www.motherjones.com Gaza Conflict Divides Congressional Progressives http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/gaza-conflict-divides-congressional-progressives <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>With the war in Gaza continuing without an end in sight, congressional leaders are <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/congess-full-support-israel">rallying</a> to condemn Hamas rocket attacks and support Israel. But members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have been divided over the conflict, with some commending Israel's military for its use of precision weapons and others outraged by the conflict&rsquo;s mounting Palestinian civilian causalities.&nbsp;</p> <p>The division was clear on July 29 when caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who has visited Gaza three times since 2009 and previously <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/gaza-iftar-dinner-boycott_n_5606412.html" style="line-height: 24px;">condemned</a>&nbsp;the Israeli blockade of Gaza, published an <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/keith-ellison-end-the-gaza-blockade-to-achieve-peace/2014/07/29/e5e707c4-16a1-11e4-85b6-c1451e622637_story.html">op-ed</a> in the <em>Washington Post</em> that highlighted recent Palestinian civilian casualties&mdash;including four children who were "blown up on a beach"&nbsp;by an Israeli attack. He noted that most Gaza residents "aren't rocket shooters or combatants. For the past several years they have lived in dreadful isolation. The status quo for ordinary Gazans is a continuation of no jobs and no freedom." Ellison again called for an end to Israel's blockade and urged Hamas to give up its rockets: "There is no military solution to this conflict. The status quo brings only continued pain, suffering and war." &nbsp;</p> <p>Yet this is not the consensus view within the 65-member <a href="http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/caucus-members/" target="_blank">Progressive Caucus</a> that Ellison co-leads. In recent weeks, other caucus members have focused on the rocket attacks launched against Israel and lent their support to its aggressive military reaction.</p> <p>Toward the start of Israel's air campaign in Gaza, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a stalwart liberal representing Manhattan's Upper West Side, issued a <a href="http://nadler.house.gov/press-release/jcrc-transcript-israel-gaza">statement</a> condemning Gaza's rocket attacks and calling for the public to support Israel "to take whatever measure she deems necessary to defend the population against the attempted murder by these terrorists." Nadler attended a <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/israels-bombardment-of-gaza-earns-thumbs-up-from-new-york-politicians-715" target="_blank">rally</a> in front of New York's city hall with other prominent New York Democrats to express support for Israel's actions in Gaza. Two days later, on July 16,&nbsp;caucus member Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) issued a <a href="http://www.jewishboca.org/news/2014/07/17/israel-under-fire/israel-solidarity-gathering-lois-frankel-and-ted-deutch-statement/">statement</a> with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) calling for solidarity with Israel.</p> <p>"Israel has gone far beyond what we have seen any other country do trying to protect the civilian population of its enemy," Nadler said. Frankel and Deutch similarly praised the Israeli military for using "pinpoint technology to minimize any collateral damage." So far more than 800 Palestinian civilians, including 232 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza <a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/7/30/5937119/palestinian-civilian-casualties-gaza-israel" target="_blank">as of July 30</a>.</p> <p>Last week, Progressive Caucus member Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a psychiatrist by training, condemned Israel&rsquo;s attacks on hospitals. "The proximity of military targets or the suspicion of hidden weapons and militants is an invalid excuse in the targeting of a hospital or ambulance,"&nbsp;he said in a statement.</p> <p>"You should not be put in danger in a medical situation by someone alleging that there's some reason they should attack a hospital or doctor,"&nbsp;he tells <em>Mother Jones</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p>On July 18, Ellison and five other representatives&mdash;all progressive caucus members&mdash;signed a <a href="http://ellison.house.gov/sites/ellison.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Cease-Fire%20Letter%207.18.2014.pdf" target="_blank">letter</a> to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry calling for the White House and the State Department to "redouble your efforts" to press for a cease fire in Gaza. Contrast that to 2009, when 54 House Democrats signed a <a href="http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/54-u-s-lawmakers-urge-obama-to-press-for-end-to-gaza-siege-1.262214" target="_blank">letter</a> drafted by Ellison and McDermott urging the president "to work for tangible improvements to the humanitarian concerns" in Gaza.&nbsp;</p> <p>As for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who co-chairs the caucus with Ellison, he has not said much publicly about the current war in Gaza. Although he signed the 2009 letter, he did not lend his name to the July 18 call for a cease fire. His office did not respond to requests for comment.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Foreign Policy International Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:22:20 +0000 Alex Park 257166 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch: UN Agency Spokesman Breaks Down In Tears While Talking About Gaza School Bombing http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/un-refugee-spokesman-crying-gaza <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>United Nations Relief Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness has been talking to media outlets around the world about the situation in Gaza, "advocating passionately," as he <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisGunness" target="_blank">puts it</a>, "for Palestine refugees to enjoy all their rights to the full, including the right to a just and durable solution." Gunness' agency runs schools in Gaza that are being used as shelters by Palestinian families and have been attacked <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/gaza-health-ministry-explosions-at-school-kill-15-1406705906?mod=wsj_india_main" target="_blank">six times </a>in the current conflict (the Israeli military says it has found rockets in the schools on occasion). On Wednesday he was talking to an Al Jazeera interviewer about the most recent school bombing, which <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/gaza-health-ministry-explosions-at-school-kill-15-1406705906?mod=wsj_india_main" target="_blank">reportedly left 15 dead</a>. "The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied, and it's appalling," he <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71H7nLPzpRs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">said</a> before breaking into tears. Watch:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/71H7nLPzpRs?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:07:50 +0000 AJ Vicens 257381 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 30, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-30-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>The USS George Washington conducts flight operations east of Okinawa. (<span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1406740317802_1495">US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik</span>.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:17:14 +0000 257341 at http://www.motherjones.com Fast-Food Workers Just Took McDonald’s Down a Notch http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/mcdonalds-nlrb-ruling-worker-lawsuits <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday evening, the federal government dealt a huge blow to McDonald&rsquo;s, which has for over a year and a half been the target of worker protests and lawsuits over its low wages and questionable labor practices.</p> <p>McDonald&rsquo;s has long maintained that as a parent company, it cannot be held liable for the decisions individual franchises make about pay and working conditions. On Tuesday, the general counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) <a href="http://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-office-general-counsel-authorizes-complaints-against-mcdonalds" target="_blank">ruled</a> that this is nonsense, saying that the $5.6 billion company is indeed responsible for employment practices at its local franchises. That means that the company is no longer shielded from <a href="http://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/nlrb-office-general-counsel-authorizes-complaints-against-mcdonalds" target="_blank">dozes of charges</a> pending at regional NLRB offices around the country alleging illegal employment practices.</p> <p>"McDonald&rsquo;s can try to hide behind its franchisees, but today&rsquo;s determination by the NLRB shows there's no two ways about it," Micah Wissinger, an attorney who brought a case on behalf of New York City McDonald's workers said in a statement Tuesday. "The Golden Arches is an employer, plain and simple."</p> <p>The Fast-Food Workers Committee along with the Service Employees International Union has <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/11/a-federal-court-is-about-to-answer-the-question-who-do-you-actually-work-for/" target="_blank">filed numerous complaints</a> against the company with the NLRB since November 2012. Most recently, workers <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/03/13/3402141/mcdonalds-wage-theft-suits/" target="_blank">filed seven class action lawsuits</a> against McDonald&rsquo;s corporate and its franchises in three states alleging wage theft. The NLRB <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/11/a-federal-court-is-about-to-answer-the-question-who-do-you-actually-work-for/" target="_blank">consolidated</a> all these complaints into the case it decided on Tuesday, which focused on whether McDonald's corporate can be considered as a "joint employer" along with the owner of the franchise.</p> <p>Since the fall of 2012, fast-food workers at McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC franchises around the country <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/how-fast-food-strikes-started" target="_blank">have been striking</a> to demand a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. The strikes recently <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/05/fast-food-strikes-international-minimum-wage" target="_blank">went global</a>. Organizers say Tuesday's ruling will lend workers new momentum in their ongoing battle against the fast-food mega-chain.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Economy Labor Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:55:03 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 257336 at http://www.motherjones.com Mississippi's Last Abortion Clinic Will Remain Open—For Now http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/mississippis-last-abortion-clinic-will-remain-open <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The last abortion clinic in Mississippi has been on the brink of closure for nearly two years. But the fight to shutter the&nbsp;Jackson Women's Health Organization may have ended Tuesday, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1237339-mississippi-clinic-ruling" target="_blank">struck down </a>the strict anti-abortion measure that would have closed its doors forever.</p> <p>The court fight to save the clinic began in 2012, after state lawmakers passed a bill requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital&mdash;or else face criminal charges. Restrictive anti-abortion bills had already closed several clinics in the state, and, had the Fifth Circuit not ruled against the state, Mississippi was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/mississippi-first-state-without-single-abortion-provider-roe" target="_blank">poised to become</a> the first state since <em>Roe v. Wade</em> without a single abortion provider.</p> <p>Attorneys for the Jackson Women's Health Organization argued that admitting privileges were unconstitutional and not medically necessary for the safety of its clients. (The clinic, after all, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/mississippis-lone-abortion-clinic-can-stay-open-now" target="_blank">already had a patient-transfer agreement</a> with a local hospital for rare cases in which a patient required hospitalization.) A federal judge was receptive to this argument and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/mississippis-lone-abortion-clinic-can-stay-open-now" target="_blank">blocked</a> <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/16/1870931/mississippi-abortion-clinic-stays-open/" target="_blank">the law</a> from going into effect; in response, the state of Mississippi appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/roy-mcmillan_0_1_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/inside-mississippis-last-abortion-clinic" target="_blank">Take a look</a> inside Mississippi's last abortion clinic. </strong></div> </div> <p>Amid the legal wrangling, the Jackson Women's Health Organization attempted to obtain admitting privileges to comply with the law. As <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/mississippi-first-state-without-single-abortion-provider-roe" target="_blank">has reported</a>, all seven hospitals where the Jackson Women's Health Organization was eligible for admitting privileges turned the clinic down. This was partly because its providers travel to Mississippi from out of state, and partly because hospitals refused to be associated with abortion.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/11/mississippis-last-abortion-clinic-back-court" target="_blank"><em>Mother Jones </em>reported</a> in 2012:</p> <blockquote> <p>The doctors' applications have been rejected by every hospital they've approached. Two hospitals wouldn't let them apply at all. Five others denied the applications for "administrative" reasons, before even completely reviewing the doctors' qualifications. Their rejection letters cited their policies regarding abortion and "concern about disruption to the hospital's business within the community." The clinic wrote follow-up letters to make sure the hospitals understood that the doctors were only seeking privileges to comply with the new law and wouldn't actually be providing abortions at the hospital, but no dice.</p> </blockquote> <p>Abortion rights advocates feared that the Fifth Circuit would be hostile to such claims. A three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/28/fifth-circuit-upholds-controversial-texas-abortion-law/" target="_blank">upheld a very similar Texas law</a> in March. Appeals courts in the Fourth and Eighth Circuits have also <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/28/fifth-circuit-upholds-controversial-texas-abortion-law/" target="_blank">upheld admitting privilege laws</a>.</p> <p>But on Tuesday, the appeals court ruled, "Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state." It is not yet clear if the state will appeal to the US Supreme Court. But the decision&mdash;short of intervention from high court&mdash;means the clinic will remain open for the foreseeable future.</p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Top Stories Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:47:04 +0000 Molly Redden 257191 at http://www.motherjones.com Anyone With a Concealed Carry Permit Can Now Come Dangerously Close to the White House http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/federal-court-voids-dc-gun-restrictions <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A federal judge has <a href="http://ia600408.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887.51.0.pdf" target="_blank">ordered the District of Columbia </a>to stop enforcing its restrictions on carrying handguns on the streets of the nation's capital. The decision also forced the District government to allow out-of-state concealed carry and open carry permit holders to wield their weapons within steps of the White House.</p> <p>Senior District Court Judge Fredrick Scullin Jr., ruling from his regular post in Syracuse, New York, said that the case is a no-brainer. Based on the US Supreme Court's 2008 ruling in <em>DC v. </em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/03/whitewashing-second-amendment" target="_blank"><em><em>H</em>eller, </em></a>which validated the individual right to bear arms, Scullin said the city's gun laws were clearly unconstitutional. He sided with the plaintiffs, who argued that while the city passed a law requiring a permit to carry a handgun in public, it then refused to grant them to anyone who planned to carry their weapons outside their homes, a move that violated the Second Amendment.</p> <p>The <em>Heller</em> case, spearheaded by Alan Gura, the same lawyer who won this weekend's ruling, struck down DC's long-standing ban on the ownership of handguns. But in complying with the ruling, the city passed new laws in 2008 that were so restrictive that, the court said, they still prevented virtually anyone from getting a license to carry a handgun outside of their homes. And that, Scullin said, just won't fly.</p> <p>The potential implications of the decision are enormous, should it be allowed to stand. The District of Columbia is unlike any other American city. It's filled with important federal agency buildings, monuments, courthouses, not to mention the White House. Visiting dignitaries, heads of state, and many members of Congress travel its streets on a daily basis.</p> <p>DC is also home to large public events attended by all manner of VIPs, including presidential inaugurations, which are difficult enough to secure without the prospect of gun-toting citizens joining the fray. The security apparatus in DC is intense. And assassination attempts aren't unheard of. <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/library/dc/barry/violence.htm" target="_blank">Former Mayor Marion Barry Jr. was shot</a> in 1977 in the DC Council building. John Hinckley Jr. shot President Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton. There was also the 2013 Navy Yard shooting that left 12 people dead. DC is a magnet for crazy people with guns, something law enforcement officials have long recognized.</p> <p>Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier <a href="http://ia600408.us.archive.org/2/items/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887/gov.uscourts.dcd.137887.6.0.pdf" target="_blank">testified before Congres</a>s in 2008 against a bill pending in the House that would have accomplished what Scullin's ruling effectively did, overturning the city's gun laws. She noted that in order to watch the oral arguments in the <em>Heller</em> case, she had to leave her gun behind. No weapons are allowed inside the very building where the justices decided that the city's gun restrictions were just too restrictive.</p> <p>Many of those type of restrictions in DC will remain in place, regardless of Scullin's ruling. Both DC and federal laws will still allow the government to bar the bearing of arms in certain places, including federal buildings, schools, the Capitol, etc. Traversing the District without encountering terrain that prohibits guns would be difficult. Just crossing the trendy DuPont Circle neighborhood might entail stepping foot on federal parkland, where guns are barred.</p> <p>Even so, the ruling, which took effect almost immediately, could put a lot more guns into a city that's spent untold millions trying to secure and defend against terrorist and other public safety threats. The plaintiffs in the case that prompted Scullin's ruling, <em>Palmer v. DC</em>, argue that DC's gun laws need to be overturned for the benefit of law-abiding citizens. The plaintiffs are all described as upstanding folks just looking to defend themselves on the mean streets of DC (or at least not get arrested for having a gun in the car, as one of them did). But, as any number of recent gun-related massacres can attest, not all legal gun owners are sane, stable, or well intentioned.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm" target="_blank">Violence Policy Center has been keeping a running tally </a>of all the people in the US who've been killed by people legally carrying a concealed weapon. Since 2007, that figure has reached 644, and it includes 14 law enforcement officers. Fewer than 20 of those deaths were deemed lawful self-defense. There's a good reason why DC has banned the open or concealed carrying of weapons by ordinary citizens for 150 years. But thanks to the US Supreme Court, and now Judge Scullin, those common sense practices may go out the door.&nbsp;</p> <p>Scullin's ruling, at least in the near-term, is likely to be short-lived. The District has <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Judge-Strikes-Down-DC-Ban-on-Guns-268790471.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_DCBrand" target="_blank">asked the court to stay its decision </a>and let the city's current laws stand until it can formally appeal the ruling or until it can revise its laws to meet constitutional scrutiny.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Guns Regulatory Affairs Top Stories Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:16:11 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 257061 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 28, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-28-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines take cover behind a barrier after tossing a grenade at <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1406554548253_1419">Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014. (Photo by Sgt. Sarah Dietz.)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:43:03 +0000 257041 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 24, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-24-2014-0 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Navy sailors participate in a replenishment-at-sea on a scheduled deployment aboard the USS Oscar Austin guided-missile destroyer.&nbsp;(US&nbsp;Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist&nbsp;3rd&nbsp;Class DJ&nbsp;Revell.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:47 +0000 256961 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP to America: Rich Kids Are Worth More Than Poor Kids http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/republican-house-child-tax-credit-bill <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em><strong>Update, Friday July 25:</strong> On Friday, the House <a href="http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx" target="_blank">passed</a> Rep. Lynn Jenkins' (R-Ks.) child tax credit legislation, which would expand the credit for upper-middle class American families. The bill received the support of 212 Republican and 25 Democrats. </em></p> <p>On Friday, the House will vote on a <a href="https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4935" target="_blank">Republican bill</a> that ignores an expiring tax credit for millions of low-income families, while handing one to better-off Americans.</p> <p>The bill, introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Ks.), changes the way the federal child tax credit works by raising the eligibility cap for married couples. At the same time, the legislation would allow a 2009 child tax credit increase for low-income families to expire at the end of 2017. Here's how that would play out in the coming years. A married couple with two children that bring in $160,000 a year would get a new annual tax cut of $2,200, <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=4171#_ftn1" target="_blank">according to an analysis</a> by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). A single mother with two kids who makes $14,500 a year would lose $1,725 annually.</p> <p>"The big winners would be the more-affluent families who would become newly eligible for the [child tax credit]," tax experts at the CBPP <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=4171#_ftn1" target="_blank">noted Tuesday</a>. "The losers would be millions of low-income families who are doing exactly what policymakers often say they want these people to do&mdash;working, even at low-wage jobs."</p> <p>Here's a look at how poor, middle-class, and wealthier Americans would be affected by the bill, <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=4171#_ftn1" target="_blank">via the CBPP</a>:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cbpp.png"></div> <p>The 2009 law that increased the child tax credit for poor families did so by lowering the income level required for a partial credit to $3,000 and reducing the annual income required for a full credit to $16,333. If it expires, <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=4171#_ftn1" target="_blank">6 million children and roughly 400,000 veterans and military families </a>would lose all or part of their child tax credit.</p> <p>A spokesman for Jenkins explains that the reason the bill ends up extending the child tax credit to wealthier Americans is that it gets rid of the marriage penalty, which treats a married couple's total income differently than the sum of two separate incomes. The way the child tax credit is currently structured, a single person making up to $75,000 is eligible for a full credit. But for a married couple filing jointly, full credit eligibility <a href="http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/qandactc.pdf" target="_blank">cuts off at $110,000</a> instead of at $150,000, the couple's combined total income. Jenkins' bill moves the full credit cut-off to $150,000. (As income increases above these thresholds, the child tax credit phases out slowly. Under Jenkins' bill, for instance, a couple with two kids could still get the credit if they make up to <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&amp;id=4171#_ftn1" target="_blank">$205,000</a>.)</p> <p>Jenkins' office adds that the reason that the legislation does not extend the low-income child tax credit increase is that this provision doesn't expire until the end of 2017, and future legislation can address it.</p> <p>But a Democratic aide familiar with the bill says this justification is disingenuous, adding that if GOPers wanted to extend the low-income provision, they would. All 22 Republicans on the House ways and means committee <a href="http://waysandmeans.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=385595" target="_blank">voted for Jenkins' bill</a>, while all 15 Dems on the committee voted against it. "[Republicans] can say whatever they want," the aide says. But "they are prioritizing making permanent&nbsp;[all the tax provisions] that they want to be permanent, and getting rid of everything else." For instance, Republicans are already <a href="http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/press-release/levin-opening-statement-markup-select-expanded-tax-provisions" target="_blank">pushing to extend</a> another <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Opportunity-Tax-Credit" target="_blank">tax measure that expires at the end of 2017</a> that is designed to help parents and students pay for college expenses.</p> <p>The Democratic staffer adds that if Jenkins' bill were to become law, and the low-income provision were left hanging on its own, it would be very difficult to "galvanize Congress into action" to pass a separate extension for the measure. "What carries it along is that it's bundled together," he says. Chuck Marr, one of the authors of the CBPP study, agrees that the most obvious way for the House to extend the low-income measure would be to include it in Jenkins' bill.</p> <p>Even if the legislation passes the House, the bill&mdash;which&nbsp;would cost the government $115 billion over ten years&mdash;has little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Congress Economy Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:47:54 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 256876 at http://www.motherjones.com Idaho Tribe Cancels Ted Nugent Concert Because of His Support for Washington Football Team Name http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/idaho-tribe-cancels-ted-nugent-concert-because-washington-football-team <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ted Nugent doesn't have a racist bone in his body. But sometimes racist words just happen to come out of it. On Monday, tribal officials in Idaho canceled the aging rock-and-roller's scheduled concert at a Coeur d'Alene casino over his past rhetoric<em>. </em>Per<em> <a href="http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/07/22/coeur-dalene-cancel-ted-nugent-concert-over-rockers-racist-remarks-155995" target="_blank">Indian Country Today</a></em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Later in the day, [tribe spokeswoman Heather] Keen said in a statement,&nbsp;"Reviewing scheduled acts is not something in which Tribal Council or the tribal government participates; however, if it had been up to Tribal Council this act would have never been booked."</p> <p>Then, Monday evening, Keen announced the concert was being canceled, explaining that "Nugent's history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to Tribal Council's attention earlier today." Tribal Chief Allan added that "We know what it's like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way."</p> </blockquote> <p>Among the racist issues brought to the tribe's attention: Referring to President Obama as a "<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/ted-nugents-subhuman-mongrel-slur-in-translation" target="_blank">subhuman mongrel</a>," and his wholehearted support for the Washington football team name, which he outlined in a 2013 op-ed for the conservative conspiracy site <a href="http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/a-tomahawk-chop-to-political-correctness/" target="_blank"><em>WorldNetDaily</em></a>, titled "A tomahawk chop to political correctness." The first line of the piece is, "Every so often some numbskull beats the politically correct war drum..." and it continues at pace from there, nodding to "Native Americans whose feathers are ruffled" and, "wafting smoke signals of real distress."</p> <p>Nugent responded to the canceled event at the Coeur d'Alene casino and calls for similar cancellations elsewhere by calling his critics "<a href="http://www.postcrescent.com/story/entertainment/music/2014/07/22/ted-nugent-fires-back-vermin-want-oshkosh-show-canceled/13010455/" target="_blank">unclean vermin</a>," thereby refuting any further claims of racism.</p></body></html> MoJo Music Race and Ethnicity Sports Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:59:22 +0000 Tim Murphy 256886 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 24, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-24-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Marine discusses the best route through the jungle in a training area in Hawaii with an Indonesian squad leader. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1406208392814_1443">(Department of Defense photo by Cpl. Matthew Callahan, US Marine Corps</span>.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:34:57 +0000 256881 at http://www.motherjones.com Twitter Releases Its Diversity Stats. And Boy, Are They Embarrassing. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/twitter-diversity-stats-women-race-tech <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Twitter today followed in the footsteps of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/google-diversity-labor-gender-race-gap-workers-silicon-valley" target="_blank">Google</a>, <a href="http://yahoo.tumblr.com/post/89085398949/workforce-diversity-at-yahoo" target="_blank">Yahoo</a>, <a href="http://blog.linkedin.com/2014/06/12/linkedins-workforce-diversity/" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a>, and <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/06/building-a-more-diverse-facebook/" target="_blank">Facebook</a> by releasing statistics on the race and gender of its workforce. The company certainly deserves credit for voluntarily making its diversity stats public, unlike, say, Apple. "Like our peers, we have a lot of work to do," Janet Van Huysse, its VP of diversity and inclusion, <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/2014/building-a-twitter-we-can-be-proud-of" target="_blank">admits</a> on the company blog. But perhaps that's an understatement; Twitter actually lags far <em>behind</em> its peers on some key measures. For instance, only 1 out of every 10 Twitter tech employees is a woman:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Twitter%20gender_0.png"><div class="caption">Twitter</div> </div> <p>In case you're wondering, other large tech companies have significantly better gender diversity (though it's still abysmal compared to <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/more-women-are-doctors-and-lawyers-than-ever-but-progress-is-stalling/266115/" target="_blank">professions such as law or medicine</a>). At Facebook and Yahoo, 15 percent of tech workers are women. At Google and LinkedIn, it's 17 percent. In 2010, Mike Swift of the <em>San Jose Mercury News</em> <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14383730?source=pkg" target="_blank">found</a> that women held 24 percent of computer and mathematics jobs in Silicon Valley and 27 percent of those jobs nationally (though those categories may be broader than how they're defined by leading tech companies, as Tasneem Raja explores in t<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/06/computer-science-programming-code-diversity-sexism-education" target="_blank">his great piece</a> on America's growing gap in tech literacy).</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/rosie-mini-nav225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of diversity in tech. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252316"> <li><a href="/media/2014/05/google-diversity-labor-gender-race-gap-workers-silicon-valley"> Silicon Valley Firms Are Even Whiter and More Male Than You Thought</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-253891"> <li><a href="/media/2014/06/computer-science-programming-code-diversity-sexism-education"> Is Coding the New Literacy?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-254151"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/code-charts-tech-pipeline-problem"> Charts: Tech's Pipeline Problem</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-226426"> <li><a href="/mojo/2013/06/silicon-valley-race-gender-problem-income-inequality"> Silicon Valley's Awful Race and Gender Problem in 3 Mind-Blowing Charts</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256851"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/07/twitter-diversity-stats-women-race-tech"> Twitter Releases Its Diversity Stats. And Boy, Are They Embarrassing.</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Unlike its peers, Twitter can't <em>entirely</em> blame its dearth of female coders on the talent pipeline: About 18 percent of computer science graduates are women. Instead, Van Huysse points to a slew of efforts to "move the needle" at Twitter, such as supporting the groups <a href="http://girlswhocode.com/" target="_blank">Girls Who Code</a> and <a href="http://www.sfciti.com/initiatives/sf-girls" target="_blank">sf.girls</a> and hosting "Girl Geek Dinners."&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://fortune.com/2014/05/29/why-google-voluntarily-released-dismal-diversity-numbers/" target="_blank">As other reporters have noted</a>, major tech firms started releasing their workforce data shortly after I obtained a batch of Silicon Valley diversity figures from the Labor Department and began asking them for comment. But pressure to release the stats has also come from a campaign by <a href="http://www.colorofchange.org/" target="_blank">Color of Change</a> and Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition, which have demanded the stats during a string of private meetings with Valley execs, and last week <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/07/17/twitter-diversity-jesse-jackson-rainbow-push-color-of-change/12762445/" target="_blank">launched a Twitter-based campaign</a> to urge Twitter to make its diversity numbers public. Strikingly, only 1 percent of Twitter's tech workforce and 2 percent of its overall workforce is African-American:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/twitter-diversity-charts630.png"></div> <p>Jackson argues that improving Twitter's diversity isn't just the right thing to do; it's also a good business decision. It turns out that "Black Twitter" isn't just a meme. According to <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media//Files/Reports/2014/PIP_African%20Americans%20and%20Technology%20Use_010614.pdf" target="_blank">a recent Pew survey</a>, 22 percent of African-American internet users are on Twitter, while only 16 percent of White internet users tweet. Meanwhile, usage of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ is roughly the same between Blacks and Whites.</p> <p>In short, Twitter might make more money by hiring more people who reflect its audience. "There is no talent deficit, there's an opportunity deficit," Jackson said in a press release responding to Twitter's data. "When everyone is 'in,' everyone wins."</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Labor Sex and Gender Tech twitter Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:37:21 +0000 Josh Harkinson 256851 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 23, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-23-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Navy sailors honor <span id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1406123148702_1478">Pearl Harbor survivor Motor Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Wesley E. Ford at a memorial service at Pearl Harbor. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan.)</span></em><br> &nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:51:31 +0000 256801 at http://www.motherjones.com In Georgia, Perdue Win Ends One of the GOP's Craziest Senate Primaries http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/jack-kingston-david-perdue-georgia-senate <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the run-up to last May's primary to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republicans flirted with a large field of candidates that included Reps. Paul Broun (who once called evolution a lie "from the pit of hell") and Phil Gingrey (who once defended Todd Akin). But when the dust settled, it was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/georgia-senate-david-perdue-gender-pay-discrimination-lawsuit" target="_blank">former Dollar General CEO</a> David Perdue and 11-term congressman Jack Kingston who went on to a top-two runoff&mdash;a decision framed at the time as a victory for the Chamber of Commerce Republican establishment over the tea party fringe. On Tuesday, after trailing in every poll, Perdue won a narrow victory to claim the GOP nomination. He will take on Democrat Michelle Nunn (the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn) in November.</p> <p>But the real story may be the lack of influence wielded by Kingston's biggest supporter, the US Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber backed Kingston to the tune of <a href="http://blogs.rollcall.com/moneyline/chamber-of-commerce-buys-636k-in-ads-supporting-jack-kingston/?dcz=" target="_blank">$2.3 million</a> in TV ads during the primary, only to see him use its most precious issues as mallets with which to bludgeon Perdue. Take the Common Core State Standards, a set of national math and language-arts benchmarks for public schools that have become a bogeyman for conservatives. The Chamber supports Common Core and recently poured $1.38 million into a PR campaign to promote it. But that didn't stop Kingston from characterizing Common Core as an abomination and <a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/05/08/david-perdues-common-core-stance-attacked-in-jack-kingston-mailer/" target="_blank">attacking</a> Perdue&mdash;who himself has been highly critical of the standards&mdash;for supporting "the Obamacare of education." In the final days of the race, Perdue fought back, running ads depicting Kingston as soft on immigration because of his support from the Chamber, which backs comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. "Kingston's pro-amnesty vote is bought and paid for," one ad <a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/07/18/david-perdue-takes-u-s-chamber-attack-to-tv-with-amnesty-spot/" target="_blank">warned</a>. Kingston, in turn, had <a href="http://sat%20on%20a%20board%20promoting%20amnesty%20for%20illegal%20immigrants" target="_blank">falsely</a> accused Perdue of supporting amnesty during the runoff.</p> <p>Kingston will likely land on his feet&mdash;11-term congressmen beloved by the Chamber of Commerce tend to do pretty well in Washington!&mdash;but his days in Congress are now numbered. At least we'll always have this video of him explaining why evolution is a myth&mdash;because Jack Kingston is not descended from an ape.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hvsCVJA0v4E" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Congress Elections Top Stories Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:11:03 +0000 Tim Murphy 256771 at http://www.motherjones.com 785 of This Year's Unaccompanied Migrants Were Under 6 Years Old http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/unaccompanied-child-migrants-younger-than-five-pew-research <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/migrants-age-pew630.png"><div class="caption">Pew Research Center</div> </div> <p>Little kids, including a troubling number of children age five or younger, make up the fastest-growing group of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the US border in fiscal year 2014. So far this year, nearly 7,500 kids under 13 have been caught without a legal guardian&mdash;and 785 of them were younger than six.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256016"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/immigration-courts-backlog-child-migrant-crisis"> Why Our Immigration Courts Can't Handle the Child Migrant Crisis</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256341"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/are-kids-showing-border-really-refugees"> Are the Kids Showing Up at the Border Really Refugees?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256331"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/child-migrant-ellis-island-history"> Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> See <em>MoJo</em>'s <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/child-migrants">full coverage</a> of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's still mostly teens who travel solo to the United States from countries like El Salvador and Honduras, as the <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/07/22/children-12-and-under-are-fastest-growing-group-of-unaccompanied-minors-at-u-s-border/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center</a> revealed today in a new analysis of US Customs and Border Protection data. But compared to 2013, Border Patrol apprehensions of kids 12 or younger already have increased 117 percent, while those of teens have jumped only 12 percent. Apprehensions of the youngest group of kids, those under six, have nearly tripled.</p> <p>These new stats reveal a trend made all the more startling as details of the journey continue to emerge. In his <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">feature story</a> about this influx of child migrants, for instance, <em>MoJo</em>'s Ian Gordon tells of Adri&aacute;n, a Guatemalan kid who dodged attackers armed with machetes, walked barefoot for miles through Mexico, and resorted to prostitution to reach sanctuary in America. And Adri&aacute;n was 17. For the increasing number of kids under 13 making this harrowing trek without parents, the vulnerability to exploitation is only magnified, the potential for trauma and even death only amplified.</p> <p>That so many young kids feel compelled to leave home, or that their parents feel compelled to send them, sends a grim message about the state of their home countries. As El Salvadoran newspaper editor Carlos Dada told <em>On the Media</em>'s Bob Garfield <a href="http://www.onthemedia.org/story/on-the-media-2014-07-18/" target="_blank">last week</a>, quoting a Mexican priest who runs a shelter in Oaxaca, Mexico: "If these migrants are willing to take this road, knowing everything they are risking, even their lives, I don't even want to imagine what they are running away from."</p> <p>Here's another Pew age breakdown, this time by country of origin:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/pew-kids-country310_0.png"><div class="caption">Pew Research Center</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Immigration child migrants Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:49:51 +0000 Maddie Oatman 256751 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 22, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-22-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Former US Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts joins President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House to be honored as the 9th living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. <span class="meta-field photo-desc ">(Department of Defense News photo by EJ Hersom)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:23:13 +0000 256691 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Flubs the Facts on the Minimum Wage http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/rand-paul-obama-minimum-wage <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says the minimum wage, like Trix, is for kids. Speaking in San Francisco over the weekend, the likely 2016 presidential candidate took issue with the president and first lady over an interview they gave to <a href="http://parade.condenast.com/306214/parade/the-president-and-michelle-obama-on-work-family-and-juggling-it-all/" target="_blank"><em>Parade</em></a>, in which the Obamas suggested their daughters should work minimum wage jobs because "<span data-parade-clicks="false" data-parade-location-ids="article" data-parade-location-types="promoarea" data-parade-mouseovers="false" data-parade-touches="false" data-parade-type="promoarea" data-parade-views="false">that's what most folks go through every single day." It was a fairly innocuous comment. But Paul argued it sent the wrong message. Per <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/rand-paul-barack-obama-minimum-wage-109137.html" target="_blank"><em>Politico</em></a>:</span></p> <blockquote> <p>Speaking at a downtown conference for libertarian and conservative technology types, the Kentucky Republican and prospective 2016 White House contender said he had an "opposite" view from the Obamas when it comes to seeing his own sons work delivering pizzas and at call centers.</p> <p>"The minimum wage is a temporary" thing, Paul said. "It's a chance to get started. I see my son come home with his tips. And he's got cash in his hand and he's proud of himself. I don't want him to stop there. But he's working and he's understanding the value of work. We shouldn't disparage that."</p> </blockquote> <p>Paul, a libertarian, was echoing the argument made by those who oppose raising the minimum wage: That those jobs are largely filled by young adults just entering the job market&mdash;people who are taking these low-paying positions before moving on to the better-paying jobs&mdash;so it's no big deal if the compensation is at the bottom end of the scale. A low wage might even be beneficial, by providing an incentive to get to the next level. But this is not supported by the facts. Only a quarter of minimum wage workers are teenagers, according to the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf" target="_blank">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>. Nearly half of minimum wage earners are over 25, and 585,000 (18 percent) are over 45. These aren't kids just learning the value of the buck; they're adults who need income to support themselves and their families. As <em>Mother Jones</em> has reported previously, the current minimum wage doesn't come close to doing that. Just take a spin on our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/costco-vs-walmart-how-many-hours-do-you-need-work-survive" target="_blank">living-wage calculator</a>.</p> <p>If Paul truly believes a low wage is "temporary" for most minimum-wage workers, perhaps he should take the Obamas' advice for their daughters and spend some time working in a fast-food joint.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Economy Income Inequality Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:33:25 +0000 Tim Murphy 256581 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's Emotional Speech on Child Migrants http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/deval-patrick-child-immigration-shelter-speech <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/H-7nySPVcOU?start=321" width="630"></iframe></p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256016"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/immigration-courts-backlog-child-migrant-crisis"> Why Our Immigration Courts Can't Handle the Child Migrant Crisis</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256341"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/are-kids-showing-border-really-refugees"> Are the Kids Showing Up at the Border Really Refugees?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256331"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/child-migrant-ellis-island-history"> Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> See <em>MoJo</em>'s <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/child-migrants">full coverage</a> of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/07/18/emotional-deval-patrick-explains-plan-to-shelter-undocumented-children-video/" target="_blank">announced a plan</a> for his state to temporarily shelter up to 1,000 unaccompanied children who have <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">recently fled</a> to the United States as part of the ongoing <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/child-migrants" target="_blank">border crisis</a>. He cited America's history of giving "sanctuary to desperate children for centuries," the "blight on our national reputation" when we refused to accept Jewish children fleeing the Nazis in 1939, and his Christian faith as reasons for the decision. "My faith teaches," he said, fighting back tears, "that if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him but rather love him as yourself." The Joint Base Cape Cod and Westover Air Base are the two facilities being considered as <a href="http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/07/18/immigrant-children-massachusetts-governor-patrick/" target="_blank">possible locations</a>.</p> <p>Notably, Patrick has said "<a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/02/23/governor-patrick-says-maybe-presidential-run-after-election/vGG5tmuFRE7q2nbduEwrxL/story.html" target="_blank">maybe</a>" to a 2016 run for president.</p></body></html> MoJo Immigration International child migrants Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:56:35 +0000 Brett Brownell 256606 at http://www.motherjones.com Fighting in Gaza Bad for Mankind, Great for Right-Wing Website http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/fighting-gaza-bad-humans-great-right-wing-website <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Israel's ground offensive into Gaza, which began last Thursday after a week of air strikes, has come with a heavy price: 20 Israelis and 445 Palestinians have now died since the conflict flared up two weeks ago. But at least one group is happy about the news&mdash;<em>WorldNetDaily</em>, the far-right website, which <a href="http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/hamas-rockets-boon-to-israel-tour/" target="_blank">reports</a>, in a story titled "Hamas Rockets Boon to Israel Tour," that the ground offensive has been good for business:</p> <blockquote> <p>WASHINGTON &ndash; During the week Hamas fired thousands of rockets on Israel, interest in WND's Israel tour with Joseph Farah and Jonathan Cahn spiked, with 68 signups in seven days, the most in a one-week period since registration began in February,&nbsp;WND announced.</p> <p>"I thought news of thousands of rockets raining down on Israel would be a deterrent to Americans who were thinking about joining us on WND's Israel tour," said Farah. "It wasn't at all. In fact, it seems like Americans are eager to show solidarity with the Jewish state at this time."</p> <p>The second annual tour is on pace to match last year&rsquo;s size, with nearly 400 participants, most originating in the U.S.</p> </blockquote> <p>Congrats, guys.</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights International Military Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:59:58 +0000 Tim Murphy 256591 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 21, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-21-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Two US Marines alongside two Japan Ground self-defense soldiers practice techniques at Kin Blue beach in Japan. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1405949962974_1412">(US Marine Photo by Cpl. Henry Antenor)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:47:11 +0000 256561 at http://www.motherjones.com David Vitter's Deportation Proposal Could Require More Planes Than There Are on Earth http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/david-vitter-deportation-proposal-requires-more-planes-exist-on-earth <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/vitter-planes-02.png"></div> <p>David Vitter has had it with undocumented immigrants. "Enough is enough," the Republican Senator and Louisiana gubernatorial candidate <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidVitter/status/490161152559939584" target="_blank">tweeted</a> on Friday. "I introduced a bill to require mandatory detention for anyone here illegally &amp; get illegal aliens on the next plane home."</p> <p>The legislation&nbsp;Vitter introduced Friday&nbsp;doesn't <em>actually</em> require all immigrants to be detained and deported. It&nbsp;mostly applies to child migrants,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">70,000 of whom</a>&nbsp;will make their way to the United States from Central America this year. Specifically, unaccompanied&nbsp;minors without asylum claims would be put "on the next available flight to their home countries within 72 hours of an initial screening."</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256016"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/immigration-courts-backlog-child-migrant-crisis"> Why Our Immigration Courts Can't Handle the Child Migrant Crisis</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256341"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/are-kids-showing-border-really-refugees"> Are the Kids Showing Up at the Border Really Refugees?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256331"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/child-migrant-ellis-island-history"> Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> See <em>MoJo</em>'s <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/child-migrants">full coverage</a> of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>But if we really tried to do what&nbsp;Vitter's tweet suggests&mdash;and why not? He's a senator!&mdash;it would entail increasing the nation's immigration detention capacity by a factor of <a href="http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/mathofimmigrationdetention.pdf" target="_blank">365</a>. And flying all those immigrants home would require more planes than currently exist.</p> <p>The math is simple. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are 11 million people currently in the United States without permanent legal status, the bulk of them from Latin America. In 2011, the average flight to that region had room for 171.8 passengers. It would require 64,027 flights to move all those migrants. Unfortunately, there were only 7,185 commercial aircraft in the United States&nbsp;as of 2011, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, so the mass deportations might take a while, especially considering Tegucigalpa's Toncont&iacute;n International Airport <a href="http://jalopnik.com/5302783/honduras-worlds-trickiest-landing" target="_blank">boasts</a> "the world's trickiest landing."</p> <p>Even if other nations chipped in, it'd still be a tough row to hoe. According to <a href="http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/cmo/pdf/Boeing_Current_Market_Outlook_2013.pdf" target="_blank">Boeing</a>, there are only 20,310 commercial airliners in the world, although that figure is set to double by 2032, if we want to wait.&nbsp;</p> <p>These back-of-the-envelope calculations don't take into account other details, like the costs and logistics of finding and rounding up 11 million people. On the plus side, the amount of jet fuel required for Vitter's<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> plan&nbsp;would be a boon for the oil and gas industry&mdash;one of Louisiana's largest employers.</span></p></body></html> MoJo Congress Immigration child migrants Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:31:28 +0000 Tim Murphy 256546 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama Slams Putin and Calls for Ukraine Ceasefire http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/obama-putin-ukraine-malaysian-airlines-speech <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama demanded that Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine adhere to a cease fire, and he slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for not keeping his vow to de-escalate in the Ukraine and for continuing to provide weapons and training to the rebels. Obama confirmed media reports noting that US intelligence has determined that a missile fired from the rebel-held area <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/malaysia-airlines-ukraine-crash-mh17-planes-military-shot-down" target="_blank">downed the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane</a>, killing over 300 people. Obama announced that one US citizen was on the flight. Watch the speech here:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/r7S6flVWy7w" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Video International Obama Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:32:33 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 256506 at http://www.motherjones.com AK-47 Manufacturer Fires Back at US Over Sanctions http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/ak-47-maker-rostec-fires-back-over-sanctions <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When the US imposed more sanctions on Russia this week, some US gun owners <a href="http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/news-articles/59772-obama-sanctions-kalashnikov-rifles.html" target="_blank">assumed</a> the move was a targeted assault on their constitutional rights. It's not. But according to Rostec, the Russian government-owned company whose Kalashnikov subsidiary makes the AK-47, the assault rifle will be much harder to come by for US customers. After Rostec was added to the sanctions list, it fired back. "For Kalashnikov...the US is an important market for selling arms," a spokesman told <a href="http://en.itar-tass.com/world/741107" target="_blank">ITAR-TASS</a>, a Russian government news agency. "It should be noted that the Kalashnikov products are very popular in the US... This means that the sanctions the US Administration has imposed on Kalashnikov contravene the interests of US consumers."</p> <p>AK-47's, which are cheap and durable (though not terribly accurate), are the world's most popular gun. As many as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/business/a-kalashnikov-factory-in-russia-survives-on-sales-to-us-gun-owners.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">100 million</a> have been produced since its debut in 1947&mdash;by Kalashnikov and a multitude of imitators in China and Eastern Europe. Kalashnikov's fully-automatic models are illegal to own in the United States without a special permit. But the semi-automatic version are regulated under the same <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/17/everything-you-need-to-know-about-banning-assault-weapons-in-one-post/" target="_blank">patchwork</a> of state and local laws that regulate hunting rifles. In recent years, as the Russian military has reduced its orders, Kalashnikov has shifted its focus away from the full-auto weapons and toward semi-automatic models for the gun enthusiast market in the United States.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Izhmash_0.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Kalashnikov's Russian logo </strong>Wikimedia Commons</div> </div> <p>The new sanctions cut off the supply of AK-47s from the factory source, but gun stores with an old inventory and gun owners with one to spare are <a href="http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/answer.aspx#373" target="_blank">free to go about</a> their business as before. The only caveat is that Kalashnikov can't make any money off the deal.</p> <p>In an unsigned <a href="http://rostec.ru/en/news/4514019" target="_blank">statement</a> posted on its website, Rostec notes that its analysts are conducting a "full study" of the impact of the new sanctions on its business, and argues that sanctions are putting its partnerships with US businesses at risk: "Now it is possible to say that the measures taken by Washington will have a negative impact on the cooperation of several Russian and American companies, threatening to undermine mutual trust," the company maintains.</p> <p>The AK issue came up during a State Department media briefing on Thursday. Asked if the Kalashnikov sanctions would affect customers in the US, spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded, "We take into account the impact on the United States, on US businesses and consumers, and certainly we feel that peace and political stability and respect for international law are of critical importance to the global economy and to US&nbsp;businesses."</p> <p>Kalashnikov's exclusive US importer, <a href="http://www.rwcgroupllc.com/" target="_blank">RWC Group</a>, has not yet issued a statement.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Foreign Policy Guns Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:56:16 +0000 Alex Park 256411 at http://www.motherjones.com