Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2011/06/drug-war-turns-40/mojo/2007/10 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Russia Is Going After McDonald’s. (Can We Give Them Jack in the Box?) http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/russia-goes-after-mcdonalds <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Russia's health inspection agency is <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-29/mcdonald-s-says-russian-regulator-is-inspecting-100-restaurants.html" target="_blank">scrutinizing</a> more than 100 McDonald's locations and has forced the company to temporarily close multiple others in the country. The agency says McDonalds outlets are getting inspected because some have violated sanitary regulations&mdash; but others see retaliation for US sanctions on Russia.</p> <p>"This is a prominent symbol of the U.S. It has a lot of restaurants and therefore is a meaningful target," Yulia Bushueva, managing director for Arbat Capital, an investment advisory company, told <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-29/mcdonald-s-says-russian-regulator-is-inspecting-100-restaurants.html" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>. "I don't recall McDonald's having consumer-safety problems of such a scale in over more than two decades of presence in Russia."</p> <p>McDonald's was the first fast food chain to enter Russia, and it holds some symbolic importance in the country. The first location opened in Pushkin Square in Moscow in January 1990 to one utterly massive line (see video below). This was shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but nearly two years before the <a href="http://www.coldwar.org/articles/90s/fall_of_the_soviet_union.asp" target="_blank">dissolution</a> of the Soviet Union when Western brands of any stripe were a rare sight in Russia. At the time, the site of the Golden Arches in the center of Moscow <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/29/opinion/masha-gessen-russia-goes-to-war-with-mcdonalds-soviet-style.html?gwh=F583005AE5AF419158FE73EC5D821EE4&amp;gwt=pay&amp;assetType=opinion" target="_blank">signaled</a> the arrival of a new era of prosperity and integration with the world economy.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/amx-JHhtsHw?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Today, there are more than 400 McDonald's outlets in the country. Many are <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/us-mcdonalds-russia-franchises-idUSBRE91K0OB20130221" target="_blank">owned locally</a>. The company employs more than 37,000 people in Russia and sources 85 percent of its products from Russian suppliers, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/world/europe/mcdonalds-a-fast-food-symbol-of-america-falls-in-moscow.html" target="_blank">according</a> to its website.</p> <p>But as Russia and the West began facing off over Ukraine this spring, McDonald's has fallen victim to their power struggle. In April, McDonald's announced it would close it's three company-owned locations in Crimea "due to operational reasons beyond our control," according to their statement to <a href="http://business.financialpost.com/2014/04/04/moscow-politician-calls-for-all-400-mcdonalds-outlets-in-russia-to-be-shut-down-after-fast-food-giants-pulls-out-of-crimea/" target="_blank">Reuters</a>.</p> <p>That decision was praised by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a prominent legislator and Putin supporter, who suggested the chain should leave Russia as well. "It would be good if they closed here too, if they disappeared for good," he <a href="http://business.financialpost.com/2014/04/04/moscow-politician-calls-for-all-400-mcdonalds-outlets-in-russia-to-be-shut-down-after-fast-food-giants-pulls-out-of-crimea/" target="_blank">said</a> in Russian media. "Pepsi-Cola would be next." Zhirinovsky also proposed instructing members of his Liberal Democratic party to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/04/mcdonalds-russia_n_5093512.html" target="_blank">picket</a> outside McDonald's until they closed.</p> <p>Since August 20, McDonald's has temporarily closed 12 locations throughout Russia, including four in Krasnodar, near the black sea, and the iconic first-ever location in Moscow. Burger King, Subway, and KFC&mdash; which have all seen <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/global/russia-becomes-a-magnet-for-american-fast-food-chains.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">big expansions</a> in Russia in recent years&mdash; have remained unscathed.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Food and Ag International Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:28:52 +0000 Alex Park 259406 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 29, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-29-2014 <!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 exit the well deck of the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class RJ Stratchko)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:08:40 +0000 259381 at http://www.motherjones.com This is What a Russian Invasion of Ukraine Looks Like http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/what-russian-invasion-ukraine-looks <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It has become quite hard for Vladimir Putin to deny that Russia's activities in Eastern Europe aren't benign. On Thursday, Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/28/ukraine-accuses-russia-invading-south-east-help-rebels" target="_blank">announced</a> that "Russian forces have actually entered Ukraine." And at a State Department briefing, spokeswoman&nbsp;Jen Psaki called Russia's activities "an incursion and a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty."</p> <p>The most striking evidence comes&nbsp;from <a href="http://aco.nato.int/new-satellite-imagery-exposes-russian-combat-troops-inside-ukraine.aspx" target="_blank">NATO, which has released</a> satellite photos&nbsp;of what it calls "concrete examples of Russian activity inside Ukraine."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image1.jpg"><div class="caption">Digital Globe/NATO</div> </div> <p>According to NATO, the image above&nbsp;depicts a&nbsp;Russian convoy carrying artillery in Krasnodon, an area of Ukraine currently controlled by pro-Russian separatists, on August 21.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image2.jpg"><div class="caption">Digital Globe/NATO</div> </div> <p>This shows artillery setting up in firing positions in Krasnodon. "This configuration is exactly how trained military professionals would arrange their assets on the ground, indicating that these are not unskilled amateurs, but Russian soldiers," a NATO press release notes.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image3.jpg"><div class="caption">Digital Globe/NATO</div> </div> <p>This image shows side-by-side photos of Rostov-on-Don, about 31 miles from the Ukrainian border, taken two months apart. The photo on the left, taken on June 19, shows the area mostly empty. The photo on the right shows the same area on August 20&nbsp;occupied with tanks and other armored vehicles, cargo trucks, and tents. These units "are capable of attacking with little warning, and could potentially overwhelm and push-back Ukrainian units," according to NATO.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image4.jpg"><div class="caption">Digital Globe/NATO</div> </div> <p>According to NATO, this image shows Russian six artillery pieces, probably 6-inch howitzers, positioned&nbsp;six miles south of the Ukrainian border. The guns are pointed toward Ukraine.</p></body></html> MoJo International Military Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:56:15 +0000 Alex Park 259351 at http://www.motherjones.com Ex-George Washington University President Responds to Controversy Over His Sexual Assault Remarks http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/sexual-assault-george-washington-trachtenberg-university <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A former university president came under fire this week for the advice he gave on how to combat sexual assault on college campuses. On Tuesday, George Washington University President Emeritus Stephen Trachtenberg appeared on NPR's <a href="http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-08-26/role-fraternities-and-sororities-today" target="_blank"><em>Diane Rehm Show</em></a> and said, "Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women. They need to be in a position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave." Critics pounced. <a href="http://jezebel.com/ex-gwu-president-knows-why-rapes-happen-drunk-chicks-1627542602" target="_blank"><em>Jezebel</em></a> slammed his comments as "jaw-droppingly stupid," and the website noted, "<span>If this is the attitude freely and blithely expressed by a former University President, it's no wonder that <a href="http://jezebel.com/76-colleges-now-being-investigated-for-mishandling-rape-1621646792">more than 75 schools</a> are currently under investigation by the Department of Education for botching sexual assault investigations</span>."</p> <p>The following day, Trachtenberg told the school newspaper, <em><a href="http://blogs.gwhatchet.com/newsroom/2014/08/27/former-university-president-stephen-joel-trachtenberg-takes-heat-for-sexual-assault-remarks/" target="_blank">The <em>GW</em> Hatchet</a>,</em> that his remarks had been taken "out of context," but he reiterated his main point: <em>"</em>What I'm saying is you want to have somebody you care about like your daughter, granddaughter or girlfriend to understand her limits because she will be less likely to be unable to fight off somebody who is attacking her."</p> <p>On Thursday, <em>Mother Jones</em> asked Trachtenberg to comment on the ongoing controversy, and he replied with a written statement. Regarding <em>Jezebel</em>, he said:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Jezebel</em> has a world view that informs their prose. They are an advocate for an important cause and they take every opportunity to make their case. Sometimes in their enthusiasm they may get a little overheated. It's hard to resist an apparent opportunity when you believe you are on the side of the angels.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>In response to other questions&mdash;including why he chose to use the word "misbehave" to describe sexual assault&mdash;Trachtenberg said:</p> <blockquote> <p>I chose that word because I was thinking and speaking quickly under time constraints on a radio show. Under different circumstances I might have used another perhaps stronger word. I am an educator. I believe in the power of education. I think that education about drinking and its effects on an individual can help protect that person from vulnerability. Knowledge makes one stronger. I also believe that having skills gives one power. If you know how to defend yourself you have strength that can be helpful in the event things turn physical. These two ideas are not meant to solve all problems. They are not blame shifters. They are what they are. Better to know things then not. No silver bullets here. We need to educate men too. Date rape is largely the responsibility of young men and alcohol and opportunity. We can address these issues as a community. Men and women and institutions together. Victims should do their best but they are victims and not to blame. My recommendation is to change the culture of the campus so that men and women protect and nurture each other as a family would. It will take work but it can be done.</p> </blockquote> <p>Is this an apology? You be the judge.</p></body></html> MoJo Sex and Gender Top Stories Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:12:54 +0000 Dana Liebelson 259326 at http://www.motherjones.com Don't Feel Bad for Tall People on Planes. They Probably Make More Money Than You. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/tall-people-make-more-money-short-people <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amid the raging, only-in-August debate over whether it is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/upshot/dont-want-me-to-recline-my-airline-seat-you-can-pay-me.html?rref=upshot&amp;abt=0002&amp;abg=0" target="_blank">ever okay</a> <a href="http://gawker.com/dont-want-me-to-spit-on-you-when-you-recline-your-airli-1627457239" target="_blank">to recline</a> <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/cwnevius/2014/08/26/the-tyranny-of-reclining-your-airplane-seat/" target="_blank">your airplane seat</a>, a good dose of schadenfreude has been directed at the vertically advantaged, as summed up by this tweet from one of my own bosses:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Tall people: the pain you feel when someone reclines their airline seat is a small taste of your lifelong privilege: <a href="http://t.co/up4wZ5Caql">http://t.co/up4wZ5Caql</a></p> &mdash; Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClaraJeffery/statuses/504661352485765120">August 27, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It's true: Being of above average height, particularly if you're a man, does come with significant perks beyond having <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/tall/comments/1c5qfz/hows_the_weather_up_there/" target="_blank">your own weather patterns</a>. As a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15161403" target="_blank">2004 paper</a> on the economic advantages of height explains, researchers have found that taller people are seen as more persuasive, more attractive, and more likely to become leaders: "Indeed, on the latter point, not since 1896 have U.S. citizens elected a President whose height was below average; William McKinley at 5 ft 7 in. (1.7 m) was ridiculed in the press as a 'little boy'." That paper calculated that a 6-foot-tall person can expect to earn $166,000 more over a 30-year career than someone who is 5-foot-5. In another <a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w10522" target="_blank">2004 article</a>, researchers concluded that "a sizable fraction of the population" might consider taking Human Growth Hormone as teenagers to ensure bigger paychecks as adults. (They estimate that teens see a 1.9 to 2.6 percent increase in future earnings for every additional inch of height.)</p> <p>That tall dudes get an extra leg up in the job market is borne out by data from the Centers for Disease Control's <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/">Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System</a>, a survey of more than 500,000 Americans' health and demographics.</p> <p>The average American adult male is <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm" target="_blank">5-foot-9</a>. According to a <a href="http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/s_broker/WEATSQL.exe/weat/freq_Year.hsql" target="_blank">crosstabulation</a> of the CDC's 2011 data, men of slightly below-average height are at an income disadvantage: Around 28 percent of men between 5'5" and 5'8" earn $35,000 or less, compared with 19 percent of men between 5'9" and 6'0". And at the other end of the scale, 56 percent of men between 5'5" and 5'8" earn $50,000 or more, compared with 66 percent of men between 5'9" and 6'0".</p> <p>And the really tall guys tower over everyone else: Just 5 percent of them earn less than $20,000, and nearly 69 percent earn $50,000 or more. And the really short guys have it rough: 35 percent earn less than $20,000 while 23 percent earn $50,000 or more.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/axHMz/8/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>The height-income gap for women isn't quite so stark&mdash;or predictable. The average height for women is <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm" target="_blank">5-foot-4</a>. Around 31 percent of women between 5'1" and 5'4" earn $35,000 or less, compared with around 26 percent of women between 5'5" and 5'8". And 53 percent of women between 5'1" and 5'4" earn $50,000 or more, compared with 58 percent of women between 5'5" and 6'8".</p> <p>Yet unlike men, women beyond a certain height pay a penalty. Women between 5'5" and 5'8" are more likely to earn more than $50,000 than women over six feet. And, surprisingly, women over six feet are more likely to earn less than $20,000 than women of average height. However, women under 5'1" are far more likely to earn less than $35,000 than taller women. But compared to their male counterparts, they do better&mdash;they're more likely than the very shortest men to earn more than $75,000.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/t7wZn/4/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>What does any of this have to do with modern air travel? Nothing. Just don't be a jerk.</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Economy Income Inequality Top Stories Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Dave Gilson 259246 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 27, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-27-2014 <!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 Class of 2015 at West Point receive their class rings as they enter their final academic year. <span id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1409149090309_1468">(US Army Photos by John Pellino/ USMA DPTMS VI)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:33:24 +0000 259216 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 26, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-26-2014 <!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 conduct a Helicopter Support Team exercise. (US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:16:14 +0000 259136 at http://www.motherjones.com Charts: Kids Are Paying the Price for America’s Prison Binge http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/incarcerated-parents-childrens-mental-physical-health <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As students return to the classroom this fall, one large group of children will be more likely than their peers to suffer learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, behavioral problems, chronic school absence, and a host of other health concerns. These are the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/mothers-day-visit-prison-incarcerated-distance" target="_blank">2.7 million US children</a> coping with the stress of parental incarceration.</p> <p>In a <a href="http://hsb.sagepub.com/content/55/3/302.abstract" target="_blank">new study</a>, University of California-Irvine sociologist <a href="http://www.sociology.uci.edu/socio_bios/kturney" target="_blank">Kristin Turney</a> analyzes data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) to determine the mental and physical health effects of having a parent in jail or prison. The results are striking:<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="425" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/762g1/4/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="425" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/CNkMa/1/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>The NSCH surveyed 95,677 children. Turney's analysis found that children with a parent in jail or prison had worse health across all but three tested health outcomes. They were more than three times as likely to suffer depression (6.2 percent vs. 1.8 percent) and behavioral problems (10.4 percent vs. 2.6 percent), compared to kids without an incarcerated parent. Perhaps more surprisingly, parental incarceration was related to higher levels of asthma, obesity, speech problems, and overall poor physical health.</p> <p>Factors that affect health are often interrelated, making it difficult to isolate and study just one: Families already in poverty are more likely to be affected by incarceration, but incarceration can also destabilize family finances. Even when Turney controlled for a host of other factors&mdash;including parental employment and income, ethnicity, parents' relationship status, safety of neighborhood, and parental health&mdash;the relationship remained between parental incarceration and health concerns like learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and developmental delay.</p> <p>In fact, Turney found that children with parents behind bars are as likely to suffer certain health problems&mdash;including learning disabilities and developmental delay&mdash;as children who experience divorce or the death of a parent, witness parental abuse, or share a home with someone with a drug or alcohol abuse problem.</p> <p>"Results suggest that children's health disadvantages are an overlooked and unintended consequence of mass incarceration,"&nbsp;Turney writes, "and that incarceration, given its unequal distribution across the population, may have implications for population-level racial-ethnic and social class inequalities in children's health."</p> <p><a href="http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2014/04/study-parental-incarceration-worsens-disparities-between-black-and-white-children/" target="_blank">One study</a> found that a quarter of black children born in 1990 saw a parent go to jail or prison by age 14, as opposed to 3 percent of white children.</p> <p>Parental incarceration introduces <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/mothers-day-visit-prison-incarcerated-distance" target="_blank">significant stress</a> into a child's life, Turney tells <em>Mother Jones, </em>which "leads to negative health effects, especially mental-health conditions." But on top of inherent psychological stress, incarceration can hit a family from all directions: The destabilization of family finances, relationships, and other elements of daily life can cause indirect stress that further impacts a child's health, Turney explains.</p> <p>The NSCH data does not make clear the extent to which direct and indirect stress contribute to poor health, but Turney says she hopes future research will help figure that out: "Because that's really important for where to best invest, in terms of intervening in these kids' lives and where we might be able to develop public policies."</p> <p>She says children can be overlooked as policymakers focus on the health of the inmates themselves. "And while there are certainly a host of negative things that go along with that, we should be thinking about how these consequences can really have spillover effects on families and on children."</p> <p>Incarceration's impact on family life is made worse by <a href="http://www.urban.org/publications/411616.html" target="_blank">facilities located far from cities</a>, <a href="https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2011/apr/15/nationwide-pln-survey-examines-prison-phone-contracts-kickbacks/" target="_blank">exploitative phone rates</a>, <a href="http://www.sfcipp.org/images/brochure.pdf" target="_blank">lack of official policies</a> to address children's needs, and excessively long sentences. Two-thirds of incarcerated parents are <a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/collateral-costs" target="_blank">nonviolent offenders</a>.</p> <p>Turney has previously studied the way in which <a href="http://soe.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/08/13/0038040714547086.abstract" target="_blank">teachers' perceptions of children with incarcerated fathers</a> can make it more likely for these children to be held back a year in school. She says there is a growing interest in studying parental incarceration, but that researchers are stymied by a lack of good data.</p> <p>Its not just academics who are starting to think about this issue:<em> Sesame Street </em>recently reached out to children coping with parental incarceration by <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/05/watch-amazing-sesame-street-video-about-having-parent-prison" target="_blank">introducing a puppet whose father is in jail</a>. As one little girl says in the clip, it gets hardest "when I see children with their mothers, and playing and everything, and I just wonder how it feels to be like that."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kDUdniEig38" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Top Stories Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 258851 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Congressional Candidate Apologizes for Calling Female Senators "Undeserving Bimbos" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/jim-hagedorn-minnesota-bimbos-apology <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday, we <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/minnesota-gop-congressional-candidate-jim-hagedorn-mr-conservative-blog-tim-walz" target="_blank">reported</a> on Minnesota Republican congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn's history of incendiary comments about women, American Indians, gays, people he suspected of being gay, and President Obama's family. Two days later, Hagedorn <a href="https://www.facebook.com/hagedornforcongress/posts/10152700833529708" target="_blank">took to Facebook</a> to issue an apology...of sorts:</p> <blockquote> <p>Over the years I have written political satire and commentary, most of which defended conservative ideals and took aim at national politicians I felt were failing the American people and hurting our country.</p> <p>Even though most of my writings were composed more than 10 years ago, national and DFL liberals are determined to attack me personally, mostly by exhibiting snippets of out-dated, misunderstood or out-of-context material and calling me derogatory names.</p> <p>In this case, the rather worn and tired Democrat tactic of personal destruction and demonization is designed to deflect attention from the serious problems confronting our nation and the failed big government record of President Barack Obama and devoted liberal followers like incumbent DFL Congressman Tim Walz.</p> <p>Of course, these same politically correct liberals remain undeterred by the offensive writings authored in the past by Al Franken. In spite of this hypocrisy, I do acknowledge that some of my hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek commentary was less than artfully constructed or included language that could lead to hurt feelings. I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology.</p> <p>Rather than dwell in the rigged game of political correctness, my campaign will forge ahead and continue to engage with the people of southern Minnesota and address the issues that will decide our country&rsquo;s future during these critical times.</p> </blockquote> <p>A better way to avoid the "rigged game of political correctness," would be to not disparage all American Indians as "thankless" welfare recipients. You can read more about Hagedorn's past comments <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/minnesota-gop-congressional-candidate-jim-hagedorn-mr-conservative-blog-tim-walz" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections The Right Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:05:15 +0000 Tim Murphy 259046 at http://www.motherjones.com 10 of the Worst Congressional Acronyms Ever http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/congress-acronyms-backronyms-bill-names <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ten of the worst (or possibly greatest) congressional backronyms&mdash;intentional acronyms created by attention-seeking lawmakers, or more likely, their poor staffers:</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>CHOMP:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.4615:" target="_blank">Consumers Have Options for Molar Protection Act</a>, sponsored by former Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>STALKERS:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:1:./temp/~bdEs71:@@@L&amp;summ2=m&amp;" target="_blank">Simplifying The Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act</a>, sponsored by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>HELLO:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:S.+234:" target="_blank">Help Eliminate the Levy on Locution Act</a>, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>SWEETEST:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:H.R.5668.IH:" target="_blank">Saccharin Warning Elimination via Environmental Testing Employing Science and Technology Act</a>, sponsored by former Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R-Mich.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>CHURCH:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3477:" target="_blank">Congressional Hope for Uniform Recognition of Christian Heritage Act</a>, sponsored by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>DRONES:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.2438:" target="_blank">Designating Requirements On Notification of Executive-ordered Strikes Act</a>, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>PROSTATE:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.6389.IH:" target="_blank">Prostate Research, Outreach, Screening, Testing, Access, and Treatment Effectiveness Act</a>, sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>STOP SMUT:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c101:H.R.3201:" target="_blank">Special Taxation On Pornographic Services and Marketing Using Telephones Act</a>, sponsored by former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>CAN SPAM:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:s.2542:" target="_blank">Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act</a>, sponsored by ex-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong>DAIRY:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:6:./temp/~bdDdwu::" target="_blank">Dairy Augmentation for Increased Retail in Yogurt Products Act</a>, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong><span style="color:#0000CD;"><u>HONORABLE MENTION</u></span><br> SAFETEA-LU:</strong> <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:7:./temp/~c109pb47gp::" target="_blank">Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users</a>, sponsored by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) in honor of his wife, Lu</p> <p>For many more wonderfully bad backronyms, check out Noah Veltman's <a href="http://noahveltman.com/acronyms/#summary" target="_blank">"congressional acronym abuse" tracker</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Top Stories Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Dave Gilson 257851 at http://www.motherjones.com Iowa GOP Official Warns That Child Migrants Might Be Highly Trained "Warriors" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/iowa-gop-official-child-migrants-secret-warriors <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Iowa Republican National Committee member Tamara Scott has a special theory about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">flood of child migrants</a> entering the United States: What if they're secretly ninjas?</p> <p>Republican congressmen have previously argued that the 70,000 youths who will come across the border in 2014 are being brought over to <a href="http://www.mediaite.com/online/louie-gohmert-obama-lets-immigrants-into-u-s-so-theyll-vote-democrat/" target="_blank">bolster</a> Democratic voter rolls at some point in the distant future, or that they are carrying a deadly disease that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/andy-tobin-migrants-ebola" target="_blank">does not actually exist</a> in their home countries. Scott, in a Thursday radio segment flagged by <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gop-committeewoman-warns-child-migrants-highly-trained-warriors-who-will-rise-against-us-ame" target="_blank">Right Wing Watch</a>, sought to outdo them all:</p> <blockquote> <p>For us just to open our borders it's chaos we don't know orderly who's coming in, who's not. When we see these kids, you and I think young kids, we think maybe 12-year-olds, maybe even&hellip;middle-schoolers. But we know back in our revolution, we had 12-year-olds fighting in our revolution. And for many of these kids, depending on where they're coming from, <strong>they could be coming from other countries and be highly trained as warriors who will meet up with their group here and actually rise up against us as Americans.</strong> We have no idea what's coming through our borders, but I would say biblically it's not a Christian nation when you entice people to do wrong.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is a terrible idea for a <em>Red Dawn</em> sequel.</p></body></html> MoJo Immigration child migrants Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:25:35 +0000 Tim Murphy 258991 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 22, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-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>The USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic, performs a live-fire exercise to prepare for future deployment. (US Navy Photo)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:47:15 +0000 258936 at http://www.motherjones.com Compton to District Security Guards: Go Ahead, Bring Your AR-15s to School http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/compton-schools-allow-ar-15-rifles-security-guards <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When students in the Compton Unified School District return to classrooms on Monday, some of them will have new pencils or notebooks. Their teachers will have new textbooks. But this year, the district's campus police will be getting an upgrade, too: AR-15 rifles.</p> <p>The board of the Los Angeles-area school district approved a measure to allow the campus cops to carry the new guns in July. The district's police chief, William Wu, told the board that equipping school police with semi-automatic AR-15s is intended to ensure student safety.</p> <p>"This is our objective&mdash;save lives, bottom line," Wu told the board.</p> <p>Crime is a serious problem in Compton, an independent jurisdiction south of downtown Los Angeles. In the 12 months preceding July, the city of nearly 100,000 experienced 28 murders, making it the 11th-deadliest neighborhood in the county, according to a <a href="http://homicide.latimes.com/neighborhood/compton" target="_blank">data analysis</a> by the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>.</p> <p>But the choice to make Compton school police the latest local law enforcement agency to adopt military-style weapons was less about dealing with street crime than it was about preventing more exotic incidents like mass shootings. At the board meeting, Wu cited an <a href="http://leb.fbi.gov/2014/january/active-shooter-events-from-2000-to-2012" target="_blank">FBI report</a> released in January that found that 5 percent of "active shooters"&mdash; or shooters which are conducting an ongoing assault on a group of people&mdash;wore body armor, which can stop most bullets fired from handguns. To make his case, Wu cited a range of examples, including the Mumbai terrorist attacks and the University of Texas shooting in 1966, in which a student killed 16 people from the campus clock tower, out of range of police sidearms. (The student was eventually killed when a group of police climbed the tower and shot him at close range.)</p> <p>"They will continue until they are stopped," Wu said, at which point a board member interjected.</p> <p>"No, they will continue until <em>we </em>stop them," he said. "Compton Unified School Police&hellip;holding it down."</p> <p>"These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses," Wu said in a statement. "The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars, unless they are needed."</p> <p>Compton is not the first district in the Southern California to allow AR-15s on its campuses. At the meeting, Wu said that Los Angeles, Baldwin Park, Santa Ana, Fontana, and San Bernardino all allow their officers to use the same weapons.&nbsp;</p> <p>Compton school police last <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/13/local/la-me-compton-schools-lawsuit-20130514" target="_blank">made news in May 2013,</a> when a group of parents and students filed a suit against the department, alleging a pattern of racial profiling and abuse targeting Latino students. The complaint said that officers beat, pepper-sprayed, and put a chokehold on a bystander who was recording an arrest with his iPod. The group also claimed that Compton school police used excessive force against students and parents who complained that English-as-a-second-language programs were underfunded. (The case is ongoing.)</p> <p>Wu said at the board meeting that seven officers have already been trained to use the new weapons. He said all officers would be purchasing their own weapons. The guns will be the officers' personal property, but they could be bringing them to work as early as September.</p></body></html> MoJo Education Guns Top Stories Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Alex Park 258656 at http://www.motherjones.com Another GOP Candidate Says Migrant Kids Might Have Ebola. (They Don't.) http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/andy-tobin-migrants-ebola <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin is the latest Republican politician to suggest migrants from Central America might bring the Ebola virus with them to the United States. Tobin, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the state's 1st Congressional District in Tuesday's primary, made the connection in an interview published in the <a href="http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/judgment-day/Content?oid=4811097" target="_blank"><em>Tucson Weekly</em></a> on Thursday.</p> <p>Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) started the GOP Ebola fearmongering trend last month when he <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/phil-gingrey-migrant-ebola-vaccines" target="_blank">wrote a letter</a> to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that "[r]eports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning."&nbsp; In August, Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) leveled the same charge.</p> <p>Although allegations of disease-ridden migrants are common throughout history, vaccination rates in Central America are higher than in Texas. And Ebola, which is difficult to contract, is not found in Central America. But Tobin was undeterred.</p> <p>Per the <em>Weekly</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;Tobin says he's hearing about worries from constituents that the recent wave of undocumented youth from Central America could cause an Ebola outbreak in the United States.</p> <p>"Anything's now possible," Tobin said last week. "So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don't think anyone would be surprised."</p> <p>Tobin acknowledged that Ebola has been limited to outbreaks in Africa, "to the extent that they're really aware of that. I think there is a reason we should be concerned about it and say, 'Hey, can you assure us the people crossing the border are not from the Middle East?'&hellip;So I use that as an example, that the public would not be surprised to hear about the next calamity at the border."</p> </blockquote> <p>But even if there were lots of people crossing the border from the Middle East, they still wouldn't be bringing Ebola, because Ebola is still confined to sub-Saharan West Africa. Here's a useful map:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ebola_0_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Central America is on the left. </strong>Google Maps</div> </div> <p>Fortunately for Tobin, though, the bar for misinformed comments on migrants is high in Arizona's 1st District. State Rep. Adam Kwasman, Tobin's chief rival for the nomination, became a late-night punch line in July when he <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/gop-congressional-candidate-mistakes-ymca-campers-migrant-kids" target="_blank">protested</a> a YMCA camp bus he mistakenly believed was filled with undocumented youths.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Immigration child migrants Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:01:02 +0000 Tim Murphy 258886 at http://www.motherjones.com The American Correctional Association Ushered Me Out of Its Convention With Armed Guards http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/08/armed-guards-ushered-me-out-prison-convention <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I've dealt with surly, armed prison guards in my reporting career, but Tuesday was the first time the encounter involved a PR man kicking me out of a convention I had personally requested to attend, paid for, and traveled across country to attend. On Tuesday, the director of government and public affairs of the <a href="http://www.aca.org/ACA_Prod_IMIS/ACA_Member/Home/ACA_Member/Home.aspx" target="_blank">American Correctional Association</a> (ACA), a prison trade group, pulled me out of a seminar at their conference in Salt Lake City, which I'd been attending for several days. Flanking him were two men in Utah Department of Corrections uniforms, with pistols and tasers on their hips.</p> <p>The convention is a twice-yearly affair, and I've been to it before. Hundreds of prison staff and members of the vast industry surrounding corrections touch down on an American city to discuss all things prison related. This week, Salt Lake City laid out the red carpet. Downtown restaurants posted signs welcoming the prison industry. Hotels printed the ACA insignia on their keys. Bars hosted parties sponsored by corrections companies. The local prison had inmates press an "ACA 2014" license plate for each convention guest.</p> <p>The ACA is the largest and oldest correctional association in the world, and their conventions offer a rare glimpse into the world of US prisons. Vendors in the exhibit hall openly discuss their increasing sales of SWAT-style equipment to prisons. Visitors can check out the new tech like drone-detection devices, surveillance systems, and shank-proof e-cigarettes. People hold workshops on issues like sex between prison guards and inmates and the problem of drug-dealing staff. Serious topics like suicide among transgender inmate populations are often revealingly discussed in terms of liability and cost.</p> <p>But in attending ACA conventions, I've also been surprised at how many reformists there are. When I attended an ACA convention in Tampa six months ago, the main plenary was composed of wardens and mental-health workers discussing the need to reform the use of long-term solitary confinement (called "restrictive housing" in ACA jargon). In Salt Lake City, prisoner mental health and the rampant problem of hepatitis C (affecting 40 percent of inmates) were major topics.</p> <p>For someone who writes about prisons and is accustomed to being stonewalled at every turn, the ACA conventions have felt refreshingly transparent. After workshops or at company-sponsored meet-and-greets, most people are very willing to speak to a journalist, and I have always identified myself as such.</p> <p>While in Salt Lake City, I was <a href="http://storify.com/smbauer1/american-correctional-association-convention" target="_blank">live-tweeting throughout the convention</a>, posting revealing tidbits from workshops and notes on a visit to a local jail. This may have had something to do with why, on the fourth day, a man named Eric Schultz, the ACA's director of government and public affairs, came into a workshop and asked me to step outside. Standing at each side of him was an armed Utah correctional officer. He told me I was going to have to leave.</p> <p>The guards ushered us into an empty room. The reason for my dismissal changed as Mr. Schultz and I talked. First, he told me I wasn't registered as media. I explained to him that when I called to register, I was told there were no media passes, and that I should register through the normal channels. He then told me the problem was that I wasn't displaying my <em>Mother Jones</em> credentials, which was required by policy (I still have not been able to find that policy). I told him that could easily be remedied. "It's nothing against you or <em>Mother Jones</em>," he said. "But you are just going to have to leave." The burly guard stepped in closer.</p> <p>After I left the convention center, I called the main ACA office in Virginia to ask again whether media were allowed to attend the convention. The man who answered told me yes, they were.</p> <p>"Any media?" I asked.</p> <p>&ldquo;Yes,&rdquo; he said. My editor, Monika Bauerlein, called Eric Schultz several times to discuss the matter, leaving voicemails and receiving no return calls. I later called up Schultz to ask whether he wanted to comment for this post. He hasn't responded.</p> <p>The ACA functions as the de facto oversight organization for our prison system. They set the professional standards and conduct audits. I've been told by many that their accreditation carries weight in court. What are we to infer when an institution whose purpose is to make sure our prisons are up to par doesn't allow the public to see what it's doing?</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights Media Prisons Top Stories Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:54:05 +0000 Shane Bauer 258811 at http://www.motherjones.com Here’s Why Bank of America’s $17 Billion Settlement Probably Won’t Cost It That Much http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/bank-of-america-17-billion-settlement-not-that-much <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday, the Justice Department <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-ag-884.html" target="_blank">announced</a> a record $17 billion settlement with Bank of America over accusations that the bank&mdash;as well as companies it later bought&mdash;intentionally misled investors who purchased financial products backed by toxic subprime mortgages. It's the largest settlement the US government has reached with any company in history, and it is roughly equal to the bank's total profits over <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/bank-of-america-reaches-17-billion-settlement-1408560100" target="_blank">the past three years</a>. But as is the case with similar settlements involving <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/7-billion-citigroup-settlement-department-justice" target="_blank">Citigroup</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/jpmorgan-chase-13-billion-settlement-justice-department" target="_blank">JPMorgan Chase</a>, Bank of America probably won't end up paying that much.</p> <p>Potential tax deductions and tricky accounting techniques in deals like this often hide the real cost to banks. <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/why-bank-america-deal-might-not-cost-it-17b?wpisrc=nl-wonkbk&amp;wpmm=1" target="_blank">The <em>Associated Press </em>explains</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Bank of America will pay $9.65 billion in cash and provide consumer relief valued at $7 billion&hellip;Whether cash payments are structured as penalties or legal settlements can determine whether targeted companies can declare them as tax-deductible business expenses. Also, consumer relief is an amorphous cost category: If Bank of America's deal resembles the department's previous settlements with JPMorgan and Citigroup, that part could be less costly to the company than the huge figures suggest.</p> <p>...[M]uch of the relief will come from modifying loans that the banks have already concluded could not be recovered in full. Reducing the principal on troubled loans often just brings the amount that borrowers owe in line with what the banks already know the loan to be worth.</p> <p>Settlement math also affects the actual cost of the deals, allowing banks to earn a multiple for each dollar spent on certain forms of relief. Under Citi's deal, for example, each dollar spent on legal aid counselors is worth $2 in credits, and paper losses on some affordable housing project loans can be credited at as much as four times their actual value.</p> </blockquote> <p>Banks generally regard the consumer relief portion of settlements as "stuff they're doing anyway," banking analyst Moshe Orenbuch told the AP.</p> <p>The Bank of America settlement resolves more than two dozen investigations by prosecutors around the country.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Economy Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:59:41 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 258831 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 21, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-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>The US Marines practice weapon proficiency during a crew-served weapons familiarization shoot to serve in the Asia-Pacific Region. <span class="meta-field photo-desc ">(US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Henry Antenor)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:56:25 +0000 258826 at http://www.motherjones.com Gun-Pointing Cop Who Threatened to Kill Ferguson Protesters Is Suspended http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/gun-pointing-cop-ferguson-suspended <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were relatively calm yesterday, especially compared to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/watch-livestream-ferguson" target="_blank">previous nights</a> where heavily armed police have responded to protests with tear gas and arrests. But there was at least one police officer who took things a little too far. In this video, an unidentified officer points a rifle at journalists and others walking in the street and warns, "I'll fucking kill you." (NSFW language in the clip.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3AFia3Uo0TQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe><br> Somebody off-camera asks for his name and the officer replies, "Go fuck yourself." Soon afterward, a county police sergeant comes and ushers the officer away. Earlier today the <a href="http://www.aclu-mo.org/download_file/view_inline/1266/535/" target="_blank">ACLU asked for the officer to be removed</a> from Ferguson. The St. Louis County Police Department has announced that the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/20/police-officer-suspended-for-pointing-rifle-at-protesters-threatening-them/" target="_blank">officer has been suspended</a>, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Update from <a href="https://twitter.com/stlcountypd">@stlcountypd</a> re: police officer's "inappropriate" actions overnight in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KMOV">@kmov</a> <a href="http://t.co/c2QvSsqBA9">pic.twitter.com/c2QvSsqBA9</a></p> &mdash; Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraKHettiger/statuses/502197359150112769">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:13:06 +0000 AJ Vicens 258801 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 20, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-20-2014 <!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>After a training mission, F-15 Eagles of the US Air Force fly over wildland fires in Southern Oregon. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1408556087628_1472">(High-G Productions photo by Jim "Hazy" Hazeltine.)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:40:20 +0000 258766 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch: Livestream from Ferguson: August 19 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/watch-livestream-ferguson-august-19 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The live stream <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24e6RfL_jbg" target="_blank">feed via Vice News</a> and Tim Pool was largely mellow for most of the night, Aug. 19, until about 11: 50 p.m. CDT, when a thrown bottle led to police moving in. You can see the whole thing, as it happened, embedded below.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/24e6RfL_jbg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>12:04 p.m. CDT:</strong> <a href="https://firstlook.org/theintercept/staff/ryan-devereaux/" target="_blank">Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept</a> tweeted a picture of peacemakers trying to calm down a potentially violent moment:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Community members link hands to separate police from the crowd <a href="http://t.co/CxOoM9GSxo">pic.twitter.com/CxOoM9GSxo</a></p> &mdash; Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) <a href="https://twitter.com/rdevro/statuses/501957897971302400">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:15 p.m. CDT:</strong>Wesley Lowery tweets a picture of police forming a line against the press:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>These officers are facing the media pen. The media pen <a href="http://t.co/PokR22pyRG">pic.twitter.com/PokR22pyRG</a></p> &mdash; Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) <a href="https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/statuses/501960750722588673">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:30 p.m. CDT:</strong>Adam Serwer with some protesters being pushed back by police:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Crowd still chanting hands up don't shoot while being pushed back <a href="http://t.co/UBVeeNT43M">pic.twitter.com/UBVeeNT43M</a></p> &mdash; AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/statuses/501964575852728320">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:21:57 +0000 AJ Vicens 258731 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is Rick Perry's Mugshot http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/rick-perrys-mugshot <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rick Perry was booked today on <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/rick-perry-texas-grand-jury-investigation-public-integrity" target="_blank">abuse of power charges</a>&nbsp;that look <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/rick-perry-indictment-highlights-hack-gap-once-again" target="_blank">pretty flimsy.</a></p> <p>Say what you will about his awful retrograde conservative politics, but Rick Perry is a handsome devil.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash">#BREAKING</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GovernorPerry">@GovernorPerry</a> booking photo just released <a href="http://t.co/EQmoHi2lm3">http://t.co/EQmoHi2lm3</a> <a href="http://t.co/QSI2E0vKLy">pic.twitter.com/QSI2E0vKLy</a></p> &mdash; NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCDFW/statuses/501860292402614273">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:02:11 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258711 at http://www.motherjones.com Amnesty International's Latest Hot Spot? Ferguson. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/amnesty-international-ferguson-turkey-protests <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amnesty International is best known for monitoring human rights conditions in places like Afghanistan and China&mdash;while active in the United States, it rarely makes headlines here. That's why the sight of yellow-clad Amnesty activists walking the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, is attracting so much attention: It marks the first time an Amnesty delegation has been dispatched to monitor a human rights crisis unfolding on American soil.</p> <p>Margaret Huang, deputy executive director of campaigns and programs for Amnesty USA, was in Ferguson earlier this week for what she called a "support mission" and says that Amnesty came at the request of the community. Huang and her colleagues did field trainings to educate protesters on their rights and how to respond to police. "The goal was not necessarily to produce a report, which is what Amnesty has typically done, but just to make sure things have been examined from a human rights angle and for people to understand international legal obligations," Huang says. She says the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive; the police, however, haven't been as welcoming. On <a href="http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/tense-night-in-ferguson-update-from-the-amnesty-team/" target="_blank">Monday night</a>, police forced Amnesty observers out of the protest area at gunpoint.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Jesus Christ. Amnesty getting ordered out of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> by police. (Photo via <a href="https://twitter.com/sdkstl">@sdkstl</a>) <a href="http://t.co/7UvP1LlXc5">pic.twitter.com/7UvP1LlXc5</a></p> &mdash; Gabe Ort&iacute;z (@TUSK81) <a href="https://twitter.com/TUSK81/statuses/501603963880628224">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Amnesty began reporting on human rights in the United States in 1998, and it has since become just as vocal about conditions here as it is elsewhere. The <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/usa/report-2013" target="_blank">organization's 2013 report</a> on the US is a laundry list of alleged human rights transgressions, including solitary confinement, detention of prisoners in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, drone strikes, and police brutality. This tweet about the situation in Ferguson sums up the organization's angle:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>US can't tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won't clean up its own human rights record</p> &mdash; AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) <a href="https://twitter.com/amnesty/statuses/501600372847575040">August 19, 2014</a><br> &nbsp;</blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>While the nature of Amnesty's mission in Ferguson is unprecedented in the United States, it's not the first time delegations have been on the ground in times of crisis. After Hurricane Katrina hit, teams went to New Orleans to interview residents, with the purpose of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/09/amnesty-international-hurricane-katrina-human-rights_n_531349.html" target="_blank">producing a report</a> detailing how government was failing in its recovery efforts. Amnesty also helped organize protests and raise awareness leading up to <a href="http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/usa-troy-davis" target="_blank">Troy Davis' execution in 2011</a>.</p> <p>To find the closest parallel to what Amnesty is doing in Missouri, though, you have to look abroad. Huang says that Amnesty's work during Turkey's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_protests_in_Turkey" target="_blank">massive anti-government protests</a> in 2013 most resembles the Ferguson mission. In Istanbul, activists gave medical assistance to injured protesters and observed the violent clashes involving protesters, police, and sometimes members of the press. They ultimately produced <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR44/022/2013/en/0ba8c4cc-b059-4b88-9c52-8fbd652c6766/eur440222013en.pdf" target="_blank">a huge report</a> detailing the numerous human rights abuses carried out by Turkish police. Their concerns then&mdash;police brutality, harassment and detainment of the press&mdash;were also articulated in a <a href="http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/amnesty-international-stands-with-ferguson-because-all-lives-matter/" target="_blank">statement about Ferguson.</a></p> <p>What's happening in Ferguson and what happened across Turkey last year aren't the same, of course. But the similarities between the two situations&mdash;and the fact that Amnesty is in Ferguson in the first place&mdash;are, for many, making what's unfolding now even more troubling. Huang didn't say how long the delegation plans to stay in Ferguson, calling the situation "very fluid," but Amnesty USA's executive director, Steven Hawkins, is there now.</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Human Rights Race and Ethnicity Ferguson Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:06:44 +0000 Sam Brodey 258626 at http://www.motherjones.com The Man Who Ran Contra Propaganda for Reagan Is Guatemala’s New DC Lobbyist http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/guatemala-lobbyist-otto-reich-reagan-contras-propaganda <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In late July, with <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">child migrants</a> still surging across the US-Mexico border, President Obama met with <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/central-american-leaders-convening-white-house" target="_blank">Central American leaders</a> to discuss a response to the crisis. Not satisfied with Obama's plans, Guatemalan president Otto P&eacute;rez Molina took his agenda to the media, writing a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/03/child-migrants-to-us-guatamalan-president-on-human-rights-action-on-traffickers" target="_blank"><em>Guardian</em> op-ed</a> criticizing the United States for the lasting legacy of both the Cold War and the drug war in his country.</p> <p>Around the same time, Guatemala hired a lobbyist to help push its interests in Washington, DC. Given P&eacute;rez Molina's sharp criticism of the United States' history in the region, his choice&mdash;former Reagan official and <a href="http://www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/2900/2014-08-08/guatemala-taps-reich-for-new-narrative.html" target="_blank">noted Cold War propagandist Otto Reich</a>&mdash;was a shocker.</p> <p>If you've forgotten about Reich, check out <a href="http://prospect.org/article/our-man-little-havana" target="_blank">this 2001 profile</a> from <em>The American Prospect</em>, this 2002 <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/10/14/castros-shadow" target="_blank"><em>New Yorker </em></a>piece, or his National Security Archive <a href="http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB40/" target="_blank">page</a>. Highlights of his Latin American misadventures include:</p> <ul><li>Running the Reagan-era Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean (OPD), which, as historian Greg Grandin wrote in <em>Empire's Workshop</em>, "was officially charged with implementing a 'new, nontraditional' approach to 'defining the terms of the public discussion on Central American policy.'" What it actually did was work to ensure US support of the Nicaraguan Contras in their offensive against the Sandinistas.</li> <li>Overseeing OPD's <a href="http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB40/00940.pdf" target="_blank">"white propaganda" program,</a> which placed pro-Contra op-eds in the mainstream media without acknowledging their links to the Reagan administration.</li> <li>Confronting and intimidating those journalists Reich believed were sympathetic with the Sandinistas or the Salvadoran rebels. This included a memorable trip to the NPR office in DC&mdash;Reich referred to NPR as "Moscow on the Potomac"&mdash;during which he alerted reporters that OPD was listening to and transcribing their Central American reporting.</li> <li>Helping write the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/09/world/in-filling-latin-post-bush-may-reignite-feuds.html" target="_blank">Helms-Burton Act</a> (which tightened the Cuban embargo) as well as lobbying for Bacardi to eliminate Cuban trademark rights so the rum maker could pilfer Cuba's official Havana Club brand. (Reich is Cuban American and staunchly anti-Castro.)</li> </ul><p>Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but hiring someone with Reich's history in the region is probably not the best way to, as the lobbying disclosure form puts it, "develop a strategy to move forward on the change of narrative from Guatemala to Washington, DC, allowing representatives in the North American political parties that are willing to abandon the reference to Guatemala of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the last century, and are eager to talk about the present and future of Guatemala of the 21st century." (The rest of the form is embedded below.)</p> <p>Nor is it the best way for fellow cold warrior P&eacute;rez Molina to avoid references to his role as a military leader during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Guatemalans, many of them indigenous Mayans, with assistance <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/daily/march99/guatemala11.htm" target="_blank">from the United States.</a> But then again, trying to make sense of the country's politics can be futile. "Just as you think you understand," University of California-Santa Cruz prof Susanne Jonas <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/04/04/a-murder-foretold" target="_blank">once wrote</a>, Guatemala will "show you that you understand nothing at all."</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.js", { width: 630, height: 450, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861/otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.pdf">Otto Reich Lobbying Disclosure (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861/otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.txt">Otto Reich Lobbying Disclosure (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>(h/t CEPR's <a href="http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/the-americas-blog/cold-warrior-criticizes-cold-war-and-drug-war-hires-cold-warrior-to-promote-drug-war" target="_blank"><em>The Americas Blog</em></a>)</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights International Money in Politics Top Stories Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:45:58 +0000 Ian Gordon 258616 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 19, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-19-2014 <!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 shouts out to his crew during a training mission in the Atlantic. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1408457607381_1424">(US Marine Corps photo taken by Lance Cpl. Alex W. Mitchel</span>)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:21:01 +0000 258636 at http://www.motherjones.com The Government May Soon Send This Reporter to Jail. Here Are the Embarrassing Secrets He Exposed. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/james-risen-operation-merlin-jail-cia <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Obama administration has fought a years-long court battle to force longtime <em>New York Times</em> national security correspondent James Risen to reveal the source for a story in his 2006 book <a href="http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780743270663-5" target="_blank"><em>State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration</em></a>. Risen may soon serve&nbsp;jail time for refusing to out his source. The fight has drawn attention to Obama's less-than-stellar track record on press freedom&mdash;in a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-wheres-the-justice-at-justice.html" target="_blank">recent interview</a>, Risen called the president "the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation." But lost in the ruckus are the details of&nbsp;what Risen revealed. Here's what has the government so upset.</p> <p>In <em>State of War</em>, Risen revealed a secret CIA operation,&nbsp;code-named&nbsp;Merlin, that was intended to undermine&nbsp;the Iranian nuclear program. The plan&mdash;originally approved by president Bill Clinton, but later embraced by George W. Bush&mdash;was to pass flawed plans for a trigger system for a nuclear weapon to Iran in the hopes of derailing the country's nuclear program. "It was one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world," Risen wrote in <em>State of War</em>, "providing the solution to one of a handful of problems that separated nuclear powers such as the United States and Russia from the rogue countries like Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club but had so far fallen short."</p> <p>The flaws in the trigger system were supposed to be so well hidden that the blueprints would lead Iranian scientists down the wrong path for years. But Merlin's frontman, a Russian nuclear scientist and defector then on the CIA's payroll, spotted the flaws almost immediately. On the day of the handoff in Vienna in winter 2000, the Russian, not wanting to burn a bridge with the Iranians, included an apologetic note with his delivery, explaining that the design had some problems. Shortly after receiving the plans, one member of the Iranian mission changed his travel plans and flew back to Tehran, presumably with the blueprints&mdash;and the note&mdash;in hand. Merlin did not wreck the Iranian nuclear program&mdash;in fact, Risen wrote, the operation could have accelerated it.&nbsp;</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/228603-jim-risen-affidavit.html" target="_blank">sworn affidavit</a> filed in 2011, and in a recently rejected appeal to the US Supreme Court, Risen has argued that his reporting served the public good. Published at a time when military action in Iran seemed possible, <em>State of Fear</em> revealed how much of the effort to gather information on Iran's nuclear capability was not just shoddy but dangerous&mdash;even, in the case of Operation Merlin, helping Iran get closer to building a nuclear weapon.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Bush administration did not see it that way. In 2008, Bush's Justice Department subpoenaed Risen, demanding that he reveal his source&mdash;or face jail time for contempt of court. After taking office in 2009, the Obama administration&nbsp;renewed the Bush-era subpoena&nbsp;and continued&nbsp;to try to identify and prosecute Risen's source. Justice Department staff believe they know who the source was&mdash;an ex-CIA operations officer named Jeffrey Sterling, who was previously an on-the-record source for Risen&mdash;but they want Risen to confirm their hunch and fill in a few details. In <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/96754-subpoena-of-james-risen.html" target="_blank">legal filings</a>, Justice Department lawyers have called Risen a witness to "serious crimes that implicate the national security of the United States" and argued that "there are few scenarios where the United States' interests in securing information is more profound and compelling than in a criminal prosecution like this one." &nbsp;</p> <p>If Risen is called to court to testify but fails to show up or refuses to talk, he's likely to become the first reporter from a major news organization since <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/07/politics/07leak.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">Judith Miller in 2005</a> to be sentenced to jail time for refusing to divulge a source. (In 2006, journalist Josh Wolf was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/02/reporters-behind-bars" target="_blank">imprisoned</a> for 226 days after refusing to comply with a federal subpoena for a video he took of a San Francisco protest.)</p> <p><em>This story has been amended to clarify that Wolf, and not Miller, was the last journalist to be imprisoned for refusing to disclose a source.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Top Stories Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:04 +0000 Alex Park 258556 at http://www.motherjones.com