Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013...nti-sodomy-law http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Kentucky Clerk Continues to Defy Supreme Court by Refusing to Issue Marriage License to Gay Couple http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/09/kentucky-clerk-gay-marriage-license-supreme-court <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Supreme Court on Monday night denied an emergency application from a defiant Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Today, Kim Davis, of the Rowan County Clerk's office, is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/us/same-sex-marriage-kentucky-kim-davis.html" target="_blank">once again refusing to comply</a> with a lower court's order by denying marriage licenses to anyone, gay or straight.</p> <p>When asked by a same-sex couple on Tuesday morning under whose authority she was failing to obey the high court, Davis answered, "under God's authority." She then told the crowd to leave and threatened to call the police.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Davis came out of office briefly to speak to couple (part 1) <a href="http://t.co/lzuHysWi0T">pic.twitter.com/lzuHysWi0T</a></p> &mdash; Hillary Thornton (@HillaryWKYT) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryWKYT/status/638687018835423232">September 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Davis out of office (part 2) <a href="http://t.co/HIWQpyR6N5">pic.twitter.com/HIWQpyR6N5</a></p> &mdash; Hillary Thornton (@HillaryWKYT) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryWKYT/status/638686820826513408">September 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The Supreme Court denied Davis's <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/31/politics/kentucky-gay-marriage-licenses-supreme-court/index.html" target="_blank">application </a>to turn away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses because it did not align with her religious beliefs. Her appeal marks the first time since June's historic <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/06/supreme-court-gay-marriage" target="_blank">Supreme Court decision</a> that the justices have had to deal with the issue again.</p> <p>If she continues to defy the court, Davis could be found in contempt and face possible jail time and fines. A hearing is set for Thursday.</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Supreme Court Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:44:19 +0000 Inae Oh 283116 at http://www.motherjones.com Pope Francis Will Allow Priests to Forgive Women Who Have Had Abortions http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/09/pope-francis-abortion-forgiveness%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, Pope Francis announced that during the church's upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, which runs from December 8, 2015, to November 20, 2016, he will allow priests the discretion to forgive women who have had abortions. The move effectively lifts the church's policy that can lead to women being excommunicated for procuring an abortion, for the time being at least. In normal circumstances, these women are required to seek forgiveness from a senior priest who specializes in such confessions, which can be a complicated process.</p> <p>In a <a href="http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/09/01/0637/01386.html#ing" target="_blank">letter from the Vatican</a>, Francis called on the church to practice mercy toward women who seek such forgiveness:</p> <blockquote> <p>For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil (sic) this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.</p> </blockquote> <p>While the announcement still condemns abortions as a major transgression&mdash;a Vatican spokesman on Tuesday <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-to-allow-priests-to-forgive-women-who-had-abortions_55e5817fe4b0aec9f35462e9" target="_blank">emphasized</a> the decision is by "no means an attempt to minimize the gravity of the sin"&mdash;the move continues what some are calling Francis' more <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/06/13/world/europe/francis-the-activist-pope.html" target="_blank">progressive papacy</a>, compared with that of his predecessors.</p></body></html> MoJo Religion Reproductive Rights Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:58:45 +0000 Inae Oh 283111 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Goes Willie Horton on Jeb Bush http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/donald-trump-attack-ad-jeb-bush-willie-horton <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Donald Trump's latest attack on Jeb Bush may strike a familiar chord for those who remember&nbsp;the 1988 presidential race.</p> <p>On Monday afternoon,&nbsp;Trump released a video on Instagram that assails&nbsp;Bush for a supposedly lenient stance on undocumented immigration. The video cites a 2014 quote from Bush in which he referred to people who illegally cross the border:&nbsp;"Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony; it's an act of love." Then the attack ad flashes pictures of three undocumented immigrants, all charged with murder.&nbsp;(Only one of the trio has been convicted.)</p> <p>The ad is reminiscent of the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad, aired by George H.W. Bush supporters, that accused Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis of being soft on crime by supporting a state program that allowed&nbsp;weekend passes for prisoners. (Horton, who was a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in Massachusetts, raped a woman while out on a furlough.) The ad sparked a controversy, with critics claiming it exploited&mdash;or fueled&mdash;racist sentiments.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's the new Trump ad:</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"> <div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:28.125% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/7DdvbEmhWG/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">This is no "act of love" as Jeb Bush said...</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on <time datetime="2015-08-31T16:16:53+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Aug 31, 2015 at 9:16am PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's the Willie Horton spot:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Io9KMSSEZ0Y" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Immigration Jeb Bush Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:31:09 +0000 Miles E. Johnson 283051 at http://www.motherjones.com Breaking: Another Massive Explosion Rocks Industrial City in China http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/breaking-another-massive-explosion-reported-china <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Another huge explosion has erupted in China, this time in the eastern city of Dongying, according to the<em> People's Daily</em>, a Chinese state-run newspaper:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Breaking: A blast seen and heard in a chemical industry zone in Lijin, Dongying City of Shandong around 23:25 Mon. <a href="http://t.co/Yi29nJXEuX">pic.twitter.com/Yi29nJXEuX</a></p> &mdash; People's Daily,China (@PDChina) <a href="https://twitter.com/PDChina/status/638411877270323200">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The cause of the blast is not yet known. Earlier in August, the city of Tianjin, one of China's largest industrial shipping centers, was rocked by massive explosions inside warehouses that reportedly stored hazardous chemicals and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/massive-explosion-hits-tianjin" target="_blank">"explosive materials."</a> The explosions killed at least <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=3&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCMQqQIwAmoVChMIiPm8yoHUxwIVAcyACh0_MAmY&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2015%2F08%2F31%2Fworld%2Fasia%2Fbehind-tianjin-tragedy-a-company-that-flouted-regulations-and-reaped-profits.html&amp;usg=AFQjCNGbAJc_hXCgjTXRAvRIeZ6VrbAq7g&amp;sig2=TP0LfuxwtgT1InbuSkHhmw" target="_blank">150 people. </a></p> <p><em>This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available. </em></p></body></html> MoJo Health Care Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:19:10 +0000 Inae Oh 283071 at http://www.motherjones.com Ohio Republicans Are Freaking Out About the Denali Name Change http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/denali-mount-mckinley-alaska-portman <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Sunday, President Barack Obama announced that the official name for the highest peak in North America, Alaska's Mount McKinley, would formally be changed to its Athabascan name: Denali. This makes a lot of sense. The mountain was known as Denali long before a gold prospector dubbed it McKinley after reading a newspaper headline in 1896, and it has officially been known as "Denali" in Alaska for about a century, according to the state's board for geographic names. The state and its Republican legislature have been asking Washington to call the mountain Denali for decades. And for decades, the major obstacle to getting this done has been Ohio, McKinley's home state.</p> <p>We need not spend much time discussing Ohio in this space, but suffice it to say that Ohioans are a very proud, if sometimes misinformed, people, and the birthplace of mediocre presidents won't just take the marginalization of those mediocre presidents lying down. It will fight! To wit, the state's congressional delegation has decided to show off that old Ohio fighting spirit by condemning the decision in sternly worded press releases and tweets. Here's GOP Sen. Rob Portman:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress (4/5)</p> &mdash; Rob Portman (@senrobportman) <a href="https://twitter.com/senrobportman/status/638159098043871232">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Pres McKinley was a proud Ohioan, and the mountain was named after him, as a way to remember his rich legacy after his assassination (2/5)</p> &mdash; Rob Portman (@senrobportman) <a href="https://twitter.com/senrobportman/status/638158882796343296">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>No it wasn't! McKinley was assassinated in 1901. The mountain was named McKinley in 1896, by a random gold prospector who had just returned from the Alaskan Range to find that the governor of Ohio had won the Republican presidential nomination. This is like naming the highest point in the continent after Mitt Romney. Is Portman suggesting that the fix was in as early as 1896? Did <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Czolgosz" target="_blank">Czolgosz</a> really act alone? Was Teddy Roosevelt in on it? My God! Congress did pass a law in 1917 formally recognizing McKinley as the mountain's name, but that was really just paperwork.</p> <p>Let's see what else they've got:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Boehner stmt: naming continent's highest mt 4 McKinley was "testament 2 his great legacy" including Ohio govship, victory in Spanish-Am War</p> &mdash; Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) <a href="https://twitter.com/juliehdavis/status/638333122447310849">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The Spanish-American War hadn't happened yet in 1896&mdash;William Randolph Hearst <a href="http://www.pbs.org/crucible/frames/_journalism.html" target="_blank">wouldn't start that</a> for another two years! Okay. Here's GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs, all but engraving his sternly worded response on obsidian:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">My full statement on <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> ignoring an Act of Congress and changing the name of Mount McKinley. <a href="http://t.co/nsLLOiUBU8">pic.twitter.com/nsLLOiUBU8</a></p> &mdash; Rep. Bob Gibbs (@RepBobGibbs) <a href="https://twitter.com/RepBobGibbs/status/638172773995687936">August 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Job-killing name change!</p> <p>I haven't seen this much loathing directed at Denali <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/08/i-cant-stop-reading-these-one-star-yelp-reviews-national-parks" target="_blank">since the last time I went on Yelp</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Obama Top Stories Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:36:47 +0000 Tim Murphy 283031 at http://www.motherjones.com Judges Give NSA More Time to Suck Up Your Data http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/dc-appeals-court-lifts-injunction-against-nsa-bulk-collection-program <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A federal appeals court in Washington, DC, on Friday <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/28/us-usa-court-surveillance-idUSKCN0QX1QM20150828" target="_blank">tossed out</a> an injunction over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of American's phone records, but left open the question of whether the program itself is legal.</p> <p>From&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/court-overturns-injunction-against-nsa-bulk-data-collection-program-213123" target="_blank"><em>Politico</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The three appeals court judges assigned to the case splintered, with each writing a separate opinion. But they overturned a key ruling from December 2013 that critics of the NSA program had used to advance their claims that the collection of information on billions of calls made and received by Americans was illegal.</p> <p>That ruling, issued by Judge Richard Leon in Washington, sent shockwaves across the legal landscape because it was the first in which a federal court judge sided with critics who questioned the legality of sweeping up data on vast numbers of phone calls--nearly all of them completely unrelated to terrorism.</p> <p>The new decision Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit did not kill the lawsuit brought by conservative gadfly Larry Klayman. The appeals court voted, 2-1, to allow the lawsuit to proceed in the district court, but the judges left doubts about whether the case will ever succeed.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">In June, Congress</span>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-passes-house-bill-overhauling-nsa-surveillance-program-1433277227" target="_blank">phased out</a> the NSA's controversial program with the passing of the USA Freedom Act. The new law&nbsp;forced the NSA to obtain private phone records for counterterrorism&nbsp;investigations on a case-by-case basis through a court order.&nbsp;After the&nbsp;law <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-moves-ahead-with-retooling-of-us-surveillance-powers/2015/06/02/28f5e1ce-092d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html" target="_blank">mandated</a>&nbsp;a six-month transition program for the new program, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/30/us-usa-security-nsa-idUSKCN0PA2G220150630" target="_blank">ruled</a> that the NSA could continue its existing bulk collection program&nbsp;through November.</p> <p>The American Civil Liberties Union <a href="http://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/14/aclu-slams-secretive-court-renewing-illegal-bulk-surveillance/" target="_blank">has also filed</a> an injunction to&nbsp;block the program, arguing that the surveillance court should not have reinstated the program after a federal appeals court in New York <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/nsa-bulk-metadata-collection-federal-judge" target="_blank">found it to be&nbsp;illegal</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Tech Top Stories Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:18:37 +0000 Edwin Rios 282901 at http://www.motherjones.com "They Would Have Killed You All" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/how-do-poor-black-women-view-post-katrina-recovery <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ten years after Hurricane Katrina displaced 40,000 people in New Orleans, opinions about the recovery can be traced along racial lines. A pair of new studies underscores that&nbsp;African American women, particularly those who lived in public housing, faced some of the biggest hurdles after the storm.</p> <p>Nearly four in five white residents in New Orleans say their state has "mostly recovered," while nearly three in five African American residents say it has not, according to <a href="https://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/pprl/files/2012/07/Views-of-Recovery-August-2015.pdf" target="_blank">survey results</a> released Monday by the Louisiana-based Public Policy Research Lab. More than half of all residents, regardless of race, said the government did not listen to them enough during the recovery, but African American women struggled more than any other group to return to their homes in the months and years after the hurricane, PPRL noted.</p> <p>On Tuesday, a <a href="http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/get-to-the-bricks" target="_blank">study</a> by the Washington-based Institute for Women's Policy Research found that recovery policies in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina largely ignored the needs of African American women who lived in four of the city's largest public housing complexes. These women<strong> </strong>were forced to move into more expensive housing, and some had to relocate to areas where they faced racial intimidation.</p> <p>The study, based on interviews with 184 low-income black women, offers a look at how redevelopment efforts affected some of the city's most vulnerable residents. A majority of the women interviewed said they wanted to move back to their homes but were unable to do so because city and federal officials demolished the buildings in the years after the storm.</p> <p>The demolition plan, announced in 2006 by the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), aimed to deconcentrate poverty in the city by replacing the public housing complexes with mixed-income housing. However, the new developments included fewer low-income apartments, which meant many people had to pay more for housing.</p> <p>The decision to raze the public housing complexes seemed odd to some former residents because HUD had found them to be structurally sound after the storm, the IWPR reported. Here's what a 70-year-old retired grandmother told the research group:</p> <blockquote> <p>The buildings were good, strong buildings. Now, if they say they couldn't be renovated, well, that's a different story, but they had some buildings in worse shape and they're doing them over&hellip;I'm very disappointed with our elected officials. They turned their backs on us.</p> </blockquote> <p>Many of the women interviewed by the IWPR said that even though public housing hadn't been ideal, they felt safest in their former homes. There, they had known all their neighbors, and the brick apartment buildings had withstood the hurricane's winds and subsequent flooding. There had even been a saying among poor residents in the city that if a storm ever came, you should "get to the bricks."</p> <p>One woman who had lived in the C.J. Peete housing project believed the razing of her building was unjustified.</p> <blockquote> <p>Bad as the waters were, it did not go into our houses. That was one of the projects that I think they just wanted to tear down. They could have left that project there&hellip;They had people coming from other places to come stay in the projects, but they never came down because they are brick.</p> </blockquote> <p>After nearly three decades living in the C.J. Peete complex, another elderly woman with diabetes and arthritis told researchers that she was forced to move temporarily to a community known for Ku Klux Klan activity.</p> <blockquote> <p>In Baker [where the emergency trailer park for displaced people was], [the crosses] was all over. Ah, Baker was the main headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan&hellip;This white man walked up and he said, ah, "If you all would've came here in the '60s&hellip;I'm so glad you all didn't come&hellip;Oh, you all would've been dead&hellip;They would've killed you all." They put us in a pasture where the cows and horses was living. That's where the trailer was.</p> </blockquote> <p>To read more of of these stories, check out the report by the IWPR <a href="http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/get-to-the-bricks" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Hurricane Katrina Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:00:17 +0000 Samantha Michaels 282661 at http://www.motherjones.com Trump: "This Isn't a Gun Problem, This Is a Mental Problem." http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/donald-trump-gun-control-mental-health <!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="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SfKMh0E4sUI" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>A day after two journalists in Virginia were fatally shot on live television, Donald Trump is rejecting calls to strengthen gun control laws. Instead, he told <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/27/politics/donald-trump-virginia-shooting-mental-health-gun-laws/index.html" target="_blank">CNN's Chris Cuomo</a> today that mental health issues are to blame for gun violence in America. This isn't a gun problem, this is a mental problem," the presidential hopeful said.</p> <p>"You're not going to get rid of all guns," Trump added. "I know one thing: If you try to do it, the bad guys would have them. And the good folks would abide by the laws but be hopeless." The real state mogul defended the Second Amendment, which he said he was "very much into."</p> <p>Trump's opposition to stricter gun legislation in favor of focusing on mental health problems is not new. But many experts argue such thinking is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/myth-vs-fact-violence-mental-health-jeffrey-swanson" target="_blank">flawed</a>. "Consider that between 2001 and 2010, there were nearly 120,000 gun-related homicides&hellip;Few were perpetrated by people with mental illness," psychiatry professor Richard A. Friedman wrote in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/health/a-misguided-focus-on-mental-illness-in-gun-control-debate.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a> after the Newtown shooting in 2012.</p> <p>Trump is just one of the 2016 candidates to weigh in following the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward on Wednesday morning. Speaking at a press conference in Iowa, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/08/26/verbatim-hillary-clinton-reacts-to-shooting-in-virginia/" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton</a> told reporters that she was "stricken" by the shooting. "We have got to do something about gun violence in America," Clinton said. "And I will take it on."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Heartbroken and angry. We must act to stop gun violence, and we cannot wait any longer. Praying for the victims' families in Virginia. -H</p> &mdash; Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/636562456618381312">August 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <p>Speaking to Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Wednesday night, the father of one of the victims vowed to fight for increased gun control measures. "Whatever it takes to get gun legislation, to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something about closing loopholes and background checks and making sure crazy people don't get guns," <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/father-of-slain-journalist-vows-to-fight-for-gun-control" target="_blank">Andy Parker said</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Top Stories Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:24:26 +0000 Inae Oh 282806 at http://www.motherjones.com This GOP Presidential Candidate Is Trying to Destroy Planned Parenthood. Now Planned Parenthood Is Fighting Back. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/planned-parenthood-defund-abortion-lawsuit-louisiana-bobby-jindal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Planned Parenthood in Louisiana is asking a federal judge to halt presidential candidate and state&nbsp;Gov. Bobby Jindal's&nbsp;efforts to cut Medicaid funding for the health care organization, arguing that the cut would hurt nearly 6,000 low-income women, men, and teens who access the group's services each year.</p> <p>Referencing the series of attack&nbsp;videos that depict Planned Parenthood officials in California and other states discussing fetal tissue donation, Jindal&nbsp;earlier this month <a href="http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&amp;tmp=detail&amp;articleID=5061" target="_blank">directed</a> the state's department of health to terminate Planned Parenthood's contract with Medicaid, saying the organization was not "worthy of receiving public assistance from the state."</p> <p>Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which <a href="http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/LA/" target="_blank">operates</a> clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, does not offer abortion services in Louisiana. It does, however, provide physical exams, breast cancer screenings, and testing for sexually transmitted infections to 10,000 people each year, 60 percent of whom are enrolled in Medicaid.&nbsp;</p> <p>In a <a href="http://ppfa.pr-optout.com/ViewAttachment.aspx?EID=mr9WXYw4u2IxYnni1dBRVvB2IohHjq%2buRwvNLhFQlcE%3d" target="_blank">lawsuit</a>&nbsp;filed Tuesday,&nbsp;lawyers for the health care organization wrote that those patients will be cut off from health care access as early as&nbsp;next week, causing them "significant and irreparable harm," unless the court blocks Jindal's decision. Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, which totaled nearly $730,000 last year, are set to end September 2 unless the court steps in.&nbsp;</p> <p>A key issue is whether cutting off Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding is legal. This month, the federal Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services (CMS)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/defund-planned-parenthood_55cbc8ade4b0cacb8d32ef1f" target="_blank">warned</a> Louisiana&nbsp;that terminating Medicaid provider agreements likely violates a federal rule <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/hhs-warns-states-of-possible-violation-in-ending-medicaid-funds-for-planned-parenthood-1439392786" target="_blank">requiring</a> Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any qualified provider.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The point of that provision, according to CMS, is to "allow [Medicaid] recipients the same opportunities to choose among available providers of covered health care and services as are normally offered to the general population."</p> <p>Louisiana isn't the only state to cut funding for Planned Parenthood: Alabama, Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Utah have <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/18/us/states-move-to-cut-funds-for-planned-parenthood.html?_r=0" target="_blank">taken</a> similar steps. And Republicans in Congress tried, but <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/senate-votes-against-defunding-planned-parenthood-n403441" target="_blank">failed,</a> to push through a bill to slash&nbsp;$500 million in federal funding.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jindal&nbsp;is also one of a handful of Republican&nbsp;governors who have launched <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/state-investigations-planned-parenthood-fetal-tissue-south-carolina" target="_blank">investigations</a> into state&nbsp;Planned Parenthood affiliates in the hopes of finding criminal activity related to the sale of aborted fetal tissue. Those investigations, many of which are taking place in states that don't have fetal tissue donation programs, have so far turned up nothing.&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">The investigation in Louisiana, however, has put on hold the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-gulf-coast/who-we-are/ppgc-louisiana/new-orleans" style="line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">construction</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;of a third Planned Parenthood clinic, which was&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2015/03/concrete_being_poured_at_plann.html" style="line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">approved</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;by the department of health earlier this year after months of pushback.</span></p> <p>But coming out swinging against the country's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/30-year-history-gop-attacks-defund-planned-parenthood" target="_blank">largest</a> women's health care organization&nbsp;hasn't translated to a more successful presidential campaign for Jindal. He was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/fox-news-asks-gop-also-rans-what-we-were-all-wondering-why-are-you-running" target="_blank">one of two</a> sitting governors who did not get to participate in the first prime-time Republican debate this year because<strong> </strong>the forum was limited to the top-polling candidates. National <a href="http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/bobby-jindal/" target="_blank">polls</a> have consistently put him in the low single digits.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Reproductive Rights Top Stories Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:23:07 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 282726 at http://www.motherjones.com Two Journalists Shot During Live Television Broadcast http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/shooting-kills-two-journalists-during-live-television-broadcast <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update, August 26, 2015, 2:25 p.m. EST:</strong> <em>The suspected gunman, Vester Flanagan, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sheriff Bill Overton <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/636604483687026690" target="_blank">announced</a> in a press conference. </em></p> <p><strong>Update, August 26, 2015, 1:00 p.m. EST:</strong><em> Following a police chase, authorities found Flanagan suffering from a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaStatePolice/posts/10153843969460101" target="_blank">gunshot wound.</a> It appears to have been self-inflicted. </em></p> <p>Two members of a Virginia news crew&nbsp;were shot and killed&nbsp;during a live news segment on Wednesday morning. <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">Authorities have identified the suspected gunman&nbsp;as&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog-live/liveblog/live-updates-tv-shooting-leaves-two-dead/?id=488e3954-06a5-478e-9c32-84c5d027ef68&amp;tid=sm_tw" style="line-height: 24px;" target="_blank">Vester&nbsp;Lee Flanagan</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">, according to multiple sources. He reportedly went by the name Bryce Williams professionally. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe <a href="http://liveblogwp.wtop.com/Event/Va_reporter_cameraman_shot_killed_during_live_shot" target="_blank">told</a> a local radio station that the suspect was believed to be a "disgruntled employee" of the news station, WDBJ.</span></p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: Local media reports suspect in Virginia shooting of two journalists has been identified, is being pursued.</p> &mdash; Reuters Top News (@Reuters) <a href="https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/636543952167010304">August 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We love you, Alison and Adam. <a href="http://t.co/hLSzQi06XE">pic.twitter.com/hLSzQi06XE</a></p> &mdash; WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) <a href="https://twitter.com/WDBJ7/status/636526182972964864">August 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The shooting occurred at Bridgewater Plaza, a shopping center in Moneta, Virginia, where reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were both killed. WDBJ&nbsp;<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/tv-reporter-camerman-killed-gunman-opens-fire-virginia/story?id=33327920" target="_blank">confirmed</a> their deaths. The head of the local Chamber of Commerce, Vicki Gardner, who was being interviewed by Parker at the time, was also injured in the attack. She is out of emergency surgery and in <a href="http://www.roanoke.com/news/crime/bedford_county/two-wdbj-journalists-dead-after-shooting-at-smith-mountain-lake/article_67c09161-0109-5228-a554-0d14ffc56d51.html" target="_blank">stable condition. </a></p> <p>The Augusta County Sheriff's Office couldn't immediately be reached for confirmation of the suspect's identity.</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">Part of the shooting was recorded on&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/tamerragriffin/shooter-kills-tv-new-reporter-and-cameraman-during-a-live-br#.drAQ6BqDw" style="line-height: 24px;" target="_blank">video</a>&nbsp;and posted to social media accounts. It was later taken down.&nbsp;</p> <p>Below is a live newscast of the outlet's coverage of the shooting:</p> <center> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://livestream.com/accounts/4044905/events/2110347/player?width=560&amp;height=315&amp;autoPlay=true&amp;mute=false" width="560"></iframe></p> </center> <p><em>This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available. </em></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Guns Media Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:03:38 +0000 Inae Oh 282681 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Just Had Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos Thrown Out of a Press Conference http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/trump-removes-univision-reporter-ramos-presser <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/25/politics/donald-trump-megyn-kelly-iowa-rally/index.html" target="_blank">At a&nbsp;press event in Iowa Tuesday</a>, Donald Trump had Univision news anchor <a href="http://fusion.net/story/155332/jorge-ramos-trump-youre-fired/" target="_blank">Jorge Ramos</a>&nbsp;removed by security after the <a href="http://fusion.net/story/155332/jorge-ramos-trump-youre-fired/" target="_blank">Trump critic</a> challenged the GOP front-runner&nbsp;for his positions on immigration.</p> <p>"Sit down, go back to Univision," Trump said, before Ramos was removed.</p> <p>Watch:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">WATCH Univision anchor thrown out of Trump event,<a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realdonaldtrump</a> yells "you weren't called!" <a href="http://t.co/P2mC5gZUop">http://t.co/P2mC5gZUop</a> <a href="http://t.co/T2crjlKjI0">http://t.co/T2crjlKjI0</a></p> &mdash; The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) <a href="https://twitter.com/CNNSitRoom/status/636310210257121280">August 25, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Ramos reportedly returned some time later.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Jorge Ramos is back in the room at Trump presser</p> &mdash; Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bencjacobs/status/636312096414679040">August 25, 2015</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck">&nbsp;</blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Also, <a href="https://twitter.com/Walldo/status/636315143412969474" target="_blank">via Brandon Wal</a>l, this is apparently how Trump calls for security:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/trumpkiss2.gif"><div class="caption">GIF: Brandon Wall</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Race and Ethnicity Donald Trump Tue, 25 Aug 2015 23:11:10 +0000 Becca Andrews 282676 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's What Sexperts Think About "Female Viagra" and Why You Shouldn't Call It That http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/rachel-hills-emily-nagoski-addyi-sex-arousal-desire-viagra <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When news broke on August 18 that the Food and Drug Administration approved Addyi, the pill that is being <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/08/19/fda-approves-addyi-but-it-is-not-the-female-viagra/" target="_blank">incorrectly </a>referred to as the "female Viagra," it might have seemed like an obvious feminist win. Viagra has been around since <a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fda-approves-viagra" target="_blank">1998</a>, but there hasn't been anything remotely comparable on the market for women. Addyi is supposed to alleviate female hypoactive sexual desire disorder (or lack of sexual desire). But as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/08/fda-just-approved-viagra-women" target="_blank">we've reported</a>, women on Addyi experienced an increase of only <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/business/panel-backs-a-drug-to-increase-womens-sex-drive.html?_r=0" target="_blank">one sexual event</a> per month during clinical trials.</p> <p>So what's really going on with the little pink pill? And what's the latest science on low libidos? We asked <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/07/the-sex-myth-rachel-hills" target="_blank">Rachel Hills</a>, author of the <em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/07/the-sex-myth-rachel-hills" target="_blank">The Sex Myth</a></em>, and <a href="http://www.thedirtynormal.com/about/about-emily/" target="_blank">Emily Nagoski,</a> sex educator and author of <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Come-You-Are-Surprising-Transform/dp/1476762090/" target="_blank">Come As You Are</a></em>, to weigh in:</p> <p><strong>What is female sexual dysfunction? </strong>Hills points out that when Viagra went on the market, it aimed to treat a very specific disease: erectile dysfunction. Viagra works by <a href="https://www.viagra.com/learning/how-does-viagra-work" target="_blank">increasing blood flow</a> to the penis to get an erection hard enough for sex; it does not cause arousal. Addyi targets the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/08/19/fda-approves-addyi-but-it-is-not-the-female-viagra/" target="_blank">brain</a>, and it does aim to increase arousal by stimulating the brain in a way that's comparable to antidepressants. Hills says this is where it gets tricky, because "female sexual dysfunction" is not well-defined medically, and she thinks the term is being used too broadly. "It's more amorphous than erectile dysfunction because the 'disease' is basically not wanting to have sex enough," she says.</p> <p><strong>Do we need Addyi? </strong>According to Nagoski, there are two types of desire: spontaneous desire, which occurs without any physical prompting from a partner, and responsive desire, which comes from being in a sexual situation (think foreplay or dirty talk). Nagoski says it's pretty normal for women to only experience responsive desire. But, maybe because men's bodies work a little differently, women are led to believe that something is wrong with them if they don't crave sex every day. Nagoski,&nbsp;who has worked as a sex educator for almost a decade, often hears women say, "Once [my partner and I] got started, everything was fine. It's getting me started that's the problem." She thinks a lot of the hype surrounding Addyi is due to a lack of readily available information surrounding female sexuality.</p> <p><strong>Is this simply a pharmaceutical company trying to tap into a profitable market?</strong> A lot of the hype surrounding Addyi stemmed from good marketing, not a scientific breakthrough. "The most generous possible interpretation of the FDA responder analysis is that, of the thousands of women who were on the drug, a few experienced minimal benefit," says Nagoski. Hills is also suspicious of the motives behind treating female sexual desire with a pill: "The entire question of female sexual dysfunction was motivated by the fact that there's potentially a lot of money to be made in that." There is certainly a lot of money at stake&mdash;Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Addyi, announced that&nbsp;Valeant Pharmaceuticals International <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/business/dealbook/valeant-pharmaceuticals-to-buy-sprout-maker-of-addyi-female-viagra-drug.html" target="_blank">acquired</a> the pill for $1 billion.</p> <p><strong>Let's talk about pleasure.</strong> Nagoski says the problem with Addyi is that it's purpose is to create desire, but the point of desire falls flat if women aren't experiencing pleasure. Hills and Nagoski believe the conversation about Addyi is too focused on how much sex women are having, regardless of whether the sex is good or not. For this reason, Hills says she doesn't buy that Addyi is a feminist victory. "It&rsquo;s certainly not that I think women should not have the right to sexual desire; it&rsquo;s just that I think everyone has the right to desire as much sex as they want," Hills says. "I worry about the desire for sex becoming an imperative." Nagoski adds that framing a lack of desire as a medical problem reinforces the idea that there's something wrong, which creates additional pressure that can impede libido. A focus on pleasure rather than desire could break that cycle.</p> <p><strong>So what's the key to female sexual arousal?</strong> Nagoski details an interesting theory about this in <em>Come As You Are. </em>The way she sees it, the brain has what's called a "<a href="http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/research/inhibition_excitation.html" target="_blank">dual-control model</a>," in which there is a sexual "accelerator" and a sexual "brake." For the most part, men have more sensitive accelerators and women have more sensitive brakes&mdash;it's easier for them to lose sexual arousal. The key is figuring out what's hitting the brakes. Nagoski says it could be as simple as being distracted by grit on the sheets, or being worried someone will walk in. Or maybe it's literally cold feet&mdash;a study by Dutch scientists<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2015/feb/13/dreading-valentines-heres-a-rigorously-academic-research-backed-guide-to-love" target="_blank"> found </a>that wearing socks increased a woman's chance of having an orgasm. Of course, if the sensitivity is trauma-related, Nagoski says seeing a sex therapist might be the best way to go. But for others, try to "take control of the issues you can take control of," she says.</p></body></html> MoJo Sex and Gender Top Stories Sun, 23 Aug 2015 07:05:13 +0000 Becca Andrews 282446 at http://www.motherjones.com The Head of a Major Law Enforcement Group Described Nonviolent Drug Offenders As "Peddlers of Death" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/police-association-nonviolent-drug-offenders-peddlers-death <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last month, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders detained in federal prisons. Given that <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-clemency-effort-slow-to-start-will-rely-on-an-army-of-pro-bono-lawyers/2015/02/28/2ba8c6bc-bc42-11e4-8668-4e7ba8439ca6_story.html" target="_blank">35,000 nonviolent inmates</a> had applied for reduced sentences, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/obama-commuted-drug-senteces-marijuana-lifer" target="_blank">some activists<strong> </strong>said</a> the clemency grant did not go far enough. Apparently, not everyone agrees.</p> <p>In an <a href="http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2015/08/releasing-the-lions.aspx" target="_blank">opinion</a> piece Thursday, Jon Adler, the president of the <a href="https://www.fleoa.org/" target="_blank">Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association</a> (FLEOA), blasted Obama's decision by describing these nonviolent offenders<strong> </strong>as "peddlers of death." Arguing that Obama ignored the risks of drug traffickers and instead chose to "perpetuate a narrative that these felons are harmless hippies," Adler went so far as to compare the offenders to lions in an overcrowded zoo:</p> <blockquote> <p>With limited space, rising labor, and lodging costs, which animals would the president let go? Using the president's methodology, the lions would likely be set free. Why? They eat the most food and therefore cost the most to maintain. During the 10 years of their captivity, they haven't eaten anyone or attacked their handlers. They have no known affiliation to any violent lion groups. They are totally safe to release into the public. The president's rationale for release of these federal prisoners does not benefit the American public, nor keep it safe.</p> </blockquote> <p>Adler's FLEOA provides testimony at congressional hearings and represents more than 25,000 federal law enforcement officers from some 65 agencies. But his description of nonviolent drug offenders seems unfair for people like <a href="http://clemencyreport.org/antonio-bascaro-nations-longest-serving-marijuana-prisoner/" target="_blank">Antonio Bascaro</a>, an octogenarian grandfather in a wheelchair who has been incarcerated for 35 years because he worked on a fishing boat used by Cubans to smuggle cannabis to Florida. Or what about <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/life-in-prison-for-pot-as-laws-ease-some-remain-behind-bars/" target="_blank">John Knock</a>, a first-time offender serving life in prison for conspiracy to traffic large quantities of weed that the government never even seized? (Neither man was granted clemency.)</p> <p>In an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/life-sentence-marijuana-pot-prison-commuted" target="_blank">investigation of weed lifers</a>, my colleague Bryan Schatz writes:</p> <blockquote> <p>Every year, more people are arrested for <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/resource-pages/table-guide" target="_blank">pot possession</a> than <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-29/table_29_estimated_number_of_arrests_united_states_2013.xls" target="_blank">violent crimes</a>. Around <a href="http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/other/the-threat-of-commercialized-marijuana/vp-BB5jABc" target="_blank">40,000 people</a> are currently serving time for offenses involving a drug that has been decriminalized or legalized in <a href="http://norml.org/states" target="_blank">27 states and Washington, DC</a>. Even as Americans' attitudes toward pot <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2013/04/04/majority-now-supports-legalizing-marijuana/" target="_blank">have mellowed</a>, the law has yet to catch up, leaving pot offenders subject to draconian sentences born out of the war on drugs. As <a href="http://www.hollandlitigation.com/" target="_blank">David Holland</a>, a criminal-defense attorney in New York City who filed <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/2089690-petition-for-clemency" target="_blank">a presidential clemency petition</a> for marijuana lifers in 2012, puts it: "The world has changed, but these poor bastards are still sitting in jail."</p> </blockquote> <p>It's important to note that the war on drugs has <a href="http://blogs.reuters.com/bernddebusmann/2011/07/01/the-u-s-drug-war-and-racial-disparities/" target="_blank">disproportionately affected black and Latino men</a>. And Obama's clemency last month went to a group of nonviolent inmates who had served more than 10 years in prison with good behavior, and who would not have received such severe sentences under today's sentencing rules. "These men and women were not hardened criminals," the president <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/us/obama-commutes-sentences-for-46-drug-offenders.html?_r=0" target="_blank">said</a>, adding that 14 of the 46 nonviolent offenders had been given life sentences. "So their punishments didn't fit the crime."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Marijuana Sat, 22 Aug 2015 10:00:13 +0000 Samantha Michaels 282501 at http://www.motherjones.com Trump Blasts O'Malley: "Disgusting, Little, Weak, Pathetic Baby" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/trump-omalley-black-lives-matter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Back in July, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/donald-trump-martin-omalley-2016-election-121592.html#ixzz3jSX8Troa" target="_blank">apologized</a> for saying <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/7/20/9003233/all-lives-matter-black" target="_blank">"all lives matter"</a> to a group of Black Lives Matter activists who had interrupted one of his speeches.</p> <p>"That was a mistake on my part, and I meant no disrespect," the Democratic presidential hopeful said. "I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment, and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue."</p> <p>Great, a well-spoken, sincere apology from a white guy who, if given the benefit of the doubt, probably just didn't know any better. Problem solved, right?</p> <p>Wrong.</p> <p>In an interview on Fox News that is set to air Saturday night, Donald Trump blasted O'Malley's apology.</p> <p>"And then he apologized like a little baby, like a disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby," <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/donald-trump-martin-omalley-2016-election-121592.html#ixzz3jSX8Troa" target="_blank">Trump said</a>. "And that's the problem with our country."</p> <p>Though many will groan at an adult hurling insults at another adult for realizing he made a mistake and attempting to correct himself, O'Malley may be loving the Trump exposure, considering he has been known to participate in some good old-fashioned <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/19/politics/martin-omalley-donald-trump-las-vegas/index.html" target="_blank">trolling</a> of the real estate tycoon himself.</p> <p>Mother Jones has reached out to the O'Malley campaign, and we will update if it responds.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE, {8/21/2015 4:59 PM}:</strong> Lis Smith, Mr. O'Malley's deputy campaign manager responded with the following comment:</p> <p>"Governor O'Malley stands with those who have the guts to stand up to Donald Trump's hate speech. It speaks volumes about the Republican Party today that this is their frontrunner. Unlike the rest of the Republican field, we're not interested in engaging in a race to the bottom with Mr. Trump."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:58:47 +0000 Miles E. Johnson 282476 at http://www.motherjones.com This Chart Will Make You Even More Pissed Off About Your Ballooning Student Debt http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/universities-pay-investment-managers-scholarships-yale-harvard <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For the tens of thousands of college students who are taking out another year's worth of debt in preparation for the start of classes, here's a rage-inducing data point: Many universities spend way more managing their investment portfolios than they do assisting students with tuition.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/opinion/stop-universities-from-hoarding-money.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em> op-ed </a>published Wednesday by Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of San Diego, lays out this disparity. Fleischer cited Yale University, which paid its fund managers nearly $743 million in 2014 but gave out just $170 million in scholarships. He also noted that many universities, large and small, public and private, show the same imbalance in spending. "We've lost sight of the idea that students, not fund managers, should be the primary beneficiaries of a university's endowment," he writes. "The private-equity folks get cash; students take out loans."</p> <p>Fleischer provided <em>Mother Jones</em> with more of his data, which is gleaned from tax forms, financial statements, and annual reports. Here's how the numbers shake out at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. On average, these four wealthy, elite universities spend 70 percent more on managing their investment portfolios than they do on tuition assistance. (Complete scholarship data for 2014 was not available, and some investment management fees are estimated.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/1ByZ9/1/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>That disparity is even more glaring when you consider the tax benefits fund managers derive from working with universities. Fleischer notes that investors typically pay their fund managers about 20 percent of their investment profits. That money, called carried interest, is taxed at a lower rate for fund managers, who can claim it as capital gains instead of income.</p> <p>Some universities justify the high management fees by arguing that they ensure top financial performance for their endowments. It's true that these portfolios have done quite well: Harvard's endowment is nearly $36 billion, and Yale's is more than $25 billion, a 50 percent increase since 2009. But, writes Fleischer, a little less endowment hoarding and a little more spending, both on financial aid and other educational goals, would still allow universities' money to grow generously while eliminating the hefty tuition increases that force students to take on burdensome debt.</p> <p>Fleischer proposes that when Congress moves to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this term, lawmakers should require universities with assets greater than $100 million to spend 8 percent of their endowment each year. Even doing that, universities would likely continue to get exponentially richer. As he notes, the average endowment has grown 9.2 percent annually for the past 20 years (after accounting for 4 percent annual spending), a more than respectable rate of return.</p> <p>Elite schools do offer<strong> </strong>need-blind admission and some of the best financial aid for low-income students. But for many students, tuition increases still mean more loans: On paper, many middle-class students often don't qualify for large scholarships, but their families also can't afford more than $50,000 in annual tuition. More generous allocation of endowments could help to roll back that trend while also funding more<strong> </strong>teaching and research. As Fleischer writes in the <em>Times</em>, "Only fund managers would be worse off."</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Education Income Inequality Top Stories Wall Street Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:00:10 +0000 Hannah Levintova 282411 at http://www.motherjones.com 2 Brothers Inspired by Donald Trump Allegedly Attack Homeless Hispanic Man http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/donald-trump-hispanic-man-attack-boston <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Boston police believe two brothers are responsible for a brutal attack<strong> </strong>Wednesday evening that left a homeless Hispanic man with a broken nose and covered in urine. One of the men, 38-year-old <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/08/19/homeless/iTagewS4bnvBKWxxPvFcAJ/story.html" target="_blank">Scott Leader</a>, told police he was inspired by presidential candidate Donald Trump's message on immigration.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported," Leader allegedly told cops when he was arrested with his brother, 30-year-old Steve Leader.</p> <p>The <em>Boston Globe</em> reported that a witness saw the brothers beating the 58-year-old victim with a pole three or four times as he attempted to defend himself.</p> <p>This isn't the first time the Leader brothers have been charged with a crime. After the attacks on September 11, Scott Leader was convicted with a hate crime after he assaulted a Muslim man and called him a "terrorist."</p> <p>When Trump heard about the assault, he told the <em>Globe,</em> "It would be a shame&hellip;I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate."</p> <p>Trump, who is currently leading the GOP presidential field, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/06/donald-trump-running-president-and-its-going-be-so-hilarious" target="_blank">set the tone for his campaign</a> in June when he said that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since launching his bid, Trump has continued to issue offensive comments about Latin American immigrants. Earlier this week, he offered a glimpse at his immigration plan, which promotes mass deportations and an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/donald-trump-has-some-thoughts-about-the-constitution" target="_blank">end to birthright citizenship</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Crime and Justice Immigration Donald Trump Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:18:40 +0000 Inae Oh 282351 at http://www.motherjones.com Jimmy Carter: Cancer Has Spread to My Brain http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/jimmy-carter-brain-cancer <!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="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KVeKCWDJ5Tg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>On Thursday morning, former President Jimmy Carter revealed he will begin radiation treatment for four spots of <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/20/politics/jimmy-carter-cancer-update/index.html?sr=tw082015cartercancer10aStoryGalPhoto" target="_blank">melanoma</a> that were detected on his brain. He will start the first round of four radiation treatments this afternoon.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carter made the announcement at a scheduled news conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Speaking to reporters, he said that even though he initially thought he only had a few weeks left to live, he was "surprisingly at ease" with his diagnosis.</p> <p>"I've had a wonderful life," Carter added. "I've had a wonderful life, thousands of friends. I've had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence. But now I feel that it's in the hands of the God, whom I worship."</p> <p>Carter said doctors first discovered the lesions when he underwent surgery to remove a small mass in his liver earlier this month.</p> <p>When asked if there was anything in his life he wish he could have done differently, Carter expressed regret over the Iran hostage crisis.</p> <p>"I wish I had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages and we would have rescued them," he said. Then in a lighthearted joke, Carter added, "Maybe I would have been reelected."</p> <p>The 90-year-old former president first revealed he had <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/jimmy-carter-reveals-he-has-cancer" target="_blank">cancer</a> last Wednesday.</p></body></html> MoJo Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:03:53 +0000 Inae Oh 282336 at http://www.motherjones.com Investigations Prove the Planned Parenthood "Sting" Videos Were a Bust http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/state-investigations-planned-parenthood-fetal-tissue-south-carolina <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Since undercover videos that captured Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donations were released <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained" target="_blank">last month</a>, GOP officials in more than 10 states have clamored to launch investigations into the organization. On Tuesday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley joined that group, ordering&nbsp;her state's health department to review the policies and practices of all abortion clinics in the state, including the three operated by Planned Parenthood.</p> <p>"These practices are not consistent with the laws or character of our state," Haley <a href="http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/29826606/gov-haley-responds-to-planned-parenthood-issues-in-letter-to-dhec" target="_blank">wrote</a> in her letter to the state agency tasked with regulating abortion clinics, adding that it "cannot allow an organization with broken internal oversight and a flawed corporate culture to behave the way Planned Parenthood has in other states."</p> <p>In the videos, recorded surreptitiously&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained" target="_blank">released</a> by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood officials talk frankly about the organization's tissue donation program and the costs associated with donating fetal tissue from an abortion. Though fetal tissue donation is a long-standing and legal practice in the United States, and has contributed to medical advancements like the polio vaccine,&nbsp;conservatives have used the videos to attack the health care organization, saying they provide evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally profits from the sale of aborted fetuses. And they've pushed for investigations to unmask this purported criminal wrongdoing.</p> <p>But so far, those investigations are falling flat. Completed probes in&nbsp;<a href="http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/08/13/georgia-south-dakota-investigations-conclude-wrongdoing-planned-parenthood/" target="_blank">Georgia</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/14e6280c406a4d21920c5594107dfdc4/indiana-clears-planned-parenthood-wrongdoing-after-videos" target="_blank">Indiana</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/29/healey-mass-planned-parenthood-fully-compliant-with-law/Fc6pYYrY1ONGQvRTEqkWHK/story.html" target="_blank">Massachusetts</a>, and South Dakota have spent thousands in taxpayer money but turned up no evidence that Planned Parenthood is trafficking in the sale of fetal tissue.<strong> </strong>And in most of the other states that have launched investigations&mdash;including&nbsp;<a href="http://fox8.com/2015/07/16/ohio-attorney-general-orders-probe-of-planned-parenthood/" target="_blank">Ohio</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2015/07/20/ducey-orders-investigation-into-planned-parenthood-arizona" target="_blank">Arizona</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/07/30/farce-strong-enough-word-describe-outrageous-planned-parenthood-hearing-texas-legislature/" target="_blank">Texas</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.startribune.com/apnewsbreak-no-kansas-reports-on-fetal-tissue-in-15-years/320951361/" target="_blank">Kansas</a>&mdash;Planned Parenthood affiliates don't even have fetal tissue donation programs, making it hard to believe the states will find any illegal activity related to the practice. In Louisiana, where&nbsp;Gov. Bobby&nbsp;Jindal&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/07/bobby_jindal_planned_parenthoo.html" target="_blank">ordered</a>&nbsp;an investigation in mid-July, Planned Parenthood does not even operate a single abortion clinic.</p> <p>"In every state where these investigations have concluded, officials have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing," Dawn&nbsp;Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-investigations-planned-parenthood_55ce0c00e4b0ab468d9d1490?q21n61or" target="_blank">told</a>&nbsp;the&nbsp;<em>Huffington Post</em>. "We've said all along that Planned Parenthood follows all laws and has very high medical standards, and that's what every one of these investigations has found."</p> <p>Not every governor&nbsp;has taken the bait. Democratic governors in&nbsp;<a href="http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/07/24/minnesota-governor-denounces-gop-grandstanding-planned-parenthood-attack-videos/" target="_blank">Minnesota</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/article_f1950b73-99ef-5033-82f1-0807ac6359f1.html" target="_blank">Virginia</a>&nbsp;have rejected state legislators' pleas to look into the group, saying they won't waste time investigating programs that don't exist in their states.</p> <p>"As far as I'm concerned, there's no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private nonprofit organization that has stated they don't engage in those practices," Minnesota&nbsp;Gov. Mark Dayton told local reporters after he received a letter from GOP lawmakers asking him to take action.</p> <p>Other states have taken another approach since the release of the videos: Governors in&nbsp;Alabama and Arkansas, along with Louisiana's Jindal, have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/states-can-t-end-medicaid-funding-of-planned-parenthood-20150817" target="_blank">moved</a>&nbsp;to block Medicaid&nbsp;funding for Planned Parenthood, which they may not be able to do under federal law. Meanwhile, public opinion of the organization remains high. A recent&nbsp;<em>NBC News/Wall Street Journal</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/how-public-views-planned-parenthood-nra-n403451" target="_blank">poll</a>&nbsp;found that despite weeks of bad news, Planned Parenthood is still more popular than every major 2016 presidential contender, the NRA, and the Supreme Court.</p> <p><em>This article has been revised.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Top Stories Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:05:06 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 282291 at http://www.motherjones.com Sorry, California Is Not Winning the Drought http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/economic-cost-california-drought <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As the epic California drought drags through its fifth year,<strong> </strong>researchers are now saying<strong> </strong>the agricultural sector's increased reliance on groundwater could lead to an economic decline that affects all sectors statewide.&nbsp;</p> <p>A <a href="https://watershed.ucdavis.edu/files/biblio/Final_Drought%20Report_08182015_Full_Report_WithAppendices.pdf" target="_blank">new economic analysis</a> conducted by a team from the University of California-Davis shows that as the drought continues, the overtapped groundwater reserves will become increasingly expensive and inaccessible: Water shortages in the famous Central Valley could cost the state $2.74 billion in 2015, as well as nearly 21,000 jobs, which would amount to $1.3 billion in losses from California's gross domestic product and a decline of $720 million in statewide labor income.</p> <p>The study claims these numbers are expected to get worse as the drought continues and more acres are fallowed, more crops lose earnings, and revenue from livestock and dairy farms declines due to dry pastures and increasing feed costs. The net water shortage is now expected to increase by 2.9 million acre-feet each year (that's more than 945 billion gallons); the researchers estimate that economic costs will grow by 6 percent by 2017.</p> <p>The researchers called for better data collection on water use and drought impacts, and policies that will provide support for areas where drought-caused unemployment is severe, but they emphasized the importance of new state groundwater laws to slow the depletion of reserves&mdash;which are now relied on to make up 70 percent of water shortages.</p> <p>"The transition will cause some increased fallowing of cropland or longer crop rotations," Jay Lund, director of the UC-Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, said in a statement, "but will help preserve California's ability to support more profitable permanent and vegetable crops during drought."</p></body></html> MoJo Climate Change Economy california drought Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:54:15 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 282261 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump: The 14th Amendment Is Unconstitutional http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/donald-trump-has-some-thoughts-about-the-constitution <!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="https://www.youtube.com/embed/80cY76l-pMQ" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>After launching his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants "rapists," Donald Trump is now following up on his nativist rhetoric by taking aim at the Constitution.</p> <p>On Tuesday, when Bill O'Reilly challenged the presidential hopeful's <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/17/432605103/whats-in-donald-trumps-immigration-plan" target="_blank">proposal to end birthright citizenship</a> in light of the 14th Amendment, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/index.html?intcmp=hpft#/v/4430952928001" target="_blank">Trump hit back:</a> "Bill, I think you're wrong about the 14th amendment and frankly the whole thing about anchor babies."</p> <p>"I can quote it, you want me to quote you the amendment?" O'Reilly responded. "If you're born here you're a citizen. Period!"</p> <p>But Trump insisted he and his lawyers have found some disturbing holes in the amendment, which <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv" target="_blank">unequivocally states that anyone born in the United States is in fact an American citizen.</a></p> <p>"What happens is, they're in Mexico, they're going to have a baby, they move over here for a couple of days, they have the baby," Trump said, while trying to break down his legal take. "Bill, [lawyers are] saying, 'It&rsquo;s not going to hold up in court, it&rsquo;s going to have to be tested.'"</p> <p>"I don't think they have American citizenship, and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers, some would disagree," Trump added. "But many of them agree with me&mdash;you're going to find they do not have American citizenship. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell. We have to start a process, Bill, where we take back our country."</p> <p>O'Reilly pointed out that if Trump wanted to end birthright citizenship he could push for an amendment to the constitution&mdash;a position held by the former reality TV show star's fellow GOP presidential candidate <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-good-chunk-of-gop-field-wants-to-repeal-the-14th-amendment_55d24915e4b055a6dab12015" target="_blank">Scott Walker</a>&mdash;but in a slight capitulation, Trump acknowledged that that would probably "take too long" and said he'd rather use his potential presidency to "find out whether or not anchor babies are citizens."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Immigration Race and Ethnicity Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:57:11 +0000 Inae Oh 282211 at http://www.motherjones.com The White House Just Hired Its First Openly Transgender Official http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/white-house-hired-first-openly-transgender-official <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The White House has hired its first openly transgender staff member, a former activist who started working in the West Wing on Monday. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who previously served as a policy adviser at the <a href="http://transequality.org/" target="_blank">National Center for Transgender Equality</a>, will work as a director of outreach and recruitment for the White House personnel office, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/08/18/first-transgender-white-house-official-raffi-freedman-gurspan-gets-to-work/" target="_blank">the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reports</a>. Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser, said in a statement that Freedman-Gurspan "demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions."</p> <p>The Obama administration has taken recent steps to promote transgender rights. Last month, President Barack Obama signed an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/21/president-obama-signs-new-executive-order-protect-lgbt-workers" target="_blank">executive order</a> prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, while the Department of Defense announced that transgender people would be allowed to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/us/pentagon-plan-would-let-transgender-people-serve-openly.html" target="_blank">serve openly in the military</a> by early next year.</p> <p>But the White House has also faced criticism for not doing enough, as transgender women face <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/police-need-work-their-approach-homicides-transgender-people" target="_blank">disproportionately high rates of violent crime</a> as well as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/transgender-inmate-sues-georgia-prisons-torture" target="_blank">abuse in prisons</a> and immigration detention centers. In June, just two days ahead of the Supreme Court's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/06/supreme-court-gay-marriage" target="_blank">landmark ruling on marriage equality</a>, Obama was heckled by Jennicet&nbsp;Guti&eacute;rrez, an undocumented transgender activist, during his speech at a gay pride event. "I am a trans woman!" she yelled at the president, denouncing the treatment of transgender women in immigration detention centers. "No more deportation!"</p> <p style="">Guti&eacute;rrez was promptly escorted from the room. "I am just fine with a few hecklers, but not when I'm up in the house," <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/06/24/obama-dont-drink-my-booze-and-heckle-me/" target="_blank">Obama said</a> with a smile. "Shame on you, you shouldn't be doing this," <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/who-jennicet-gutierrez-lgbt-immigration-activist-interrupts-obama-over-deportations-1982670" target="_blank">he added</a>, before the crowd began chanting his name. Some LGBT activists did not approve of his response, with one onlooker describing his treatment of Guti&eacute;rrez as <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/25/obamas-reply-to-a-trans-woman-proves-lgbt-advocacy-stops-at-gay-marriage" target="_blank">"heartless." </a></p> <p style="">Freedman-Gurspan, who was <a href="http://heavy.com/news/2015/08/raffi-freedman-gurspan-first-transgender-person-white-house-honduras-mother-marion/" target="_blank">adopted from Honduras</a> and raised by a single mother in Massachusetts, has also criticized Obama's immigration policies in the past. Following the gay pride event, immigration officials issued new guidelines calling for better treatment of transgender detainees. "This is all interesting on paper, to say the least, but we need to see how this actually plays out," Freedman-Gurspan <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e94c0339f42843e08dfa489991e37795/transgender-immigration-detainees-may-be-housed-identity" target="_blank">told the Associated Press</a> of the new guidelines. "We don't think these folks should be in detention centers, period."</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Sex and Gender Tue, 18 Aug 2015 20:30:54 +0000 Samantha Michaels 282156 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's How Hillary Clinton's Meeting With Black Lives Matter Activists Went http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/hillary-clinton-black-lives-matter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After being <a href="http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122524/blacklivesmatter-activists-disrupt-hillary-clinton-event" target="_blank">shut out</a> of a scheduled campaign event in New Hampshire last week, Black Lives Matter activists engaged in a candid and, at times, tense conversation with Hillary Clinton on racial issues and criminal justice reform. Footage of the conversation, <a href="http://magazine.good.is/videos/clinton-speaks-blacklivesmatter" target="_blank">released on Monday</a>&nbsp;by <em>GOOD</em>, appeared to show Clinton sympathizing with activists' calls for candidates to bring forth more concrete policy proposals.</p> <p>"You can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it who are going to say, 'We get it, we get it. We are going to be nicer,'" Clinton said. "That&rsquo;s not enough, at least in my book."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1eCraUvIq-s?list=PLUgRTD1mpwSV7arDsfvTHRta0lM0hs8nX" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>But the discussion took an awkward turn when activist Julius Jones rejected Clinton's suggestion that the movement formalize a more specific plan for its next steps. "I say this as respectfully as I can," Jones told Clinton. "But if you don't tell black people what we need to do, then we won&rsquo;t tell you all what you all what you need to do."</p> <p>Jones also accused Clinton of engaging in victim-blaming.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eY9zpv7nZYo" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>"I'm not telling you," Clinton shot back. "I'm just telling you to tell me. Respectfully if that is your position then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with the very real problems."</p> <p>She then offered a more personal perspective on how to address the deep-seated racism in America.</p> <p>"Look, I don't believe you change hearts," Clinton said. "I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You're not going to change every heart. You're not. But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential."</p> <p>Following the video release of the encounter, Jones and fellow activist Daunasia Yancey told Melissa Harris-Perry of <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/watch/when-hillary-clinton-met-black-lives-matter-507155523571" target="_blank"><em>MSNBC</em></a> that Clinton's responses were not enough.</p> <p>&ldquo;What we were looking for from Secretary Clinton was a personal reflection on her responsibility for being part of the cause of this problem that we have today in mass incarceration," Yancey said. "So her response really targeting on policy wasn&rsquo;t sufficient for us."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton Race and Ethnicity Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:57:35 +0000 Inae Oh 282121 at http://www.motherjones.com Bernie Sanders: Donald Trump Is a National Embarrassment http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-national-embarrassment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In an interview with the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/magazine/bernie-sanders-has-heard-about-that-hashtag.html?smid=tw-share&amp;_r=1" target="_blank"><em>New York </em></a><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/magazine/bernie-sanders-has-heard-about-that-hashtag.html?smid=tw-share&amp;_r=1" target="_blank"><em>Times</em></a> published on Monday,<strong> </strong>Bernie Sanders offered his views on the always entertaining presidential campaign of Donald Trump. And he didn't mince words. When asked what he thought of the Republican front-runner's continued surge in the polls, Sanders responded, "Not much," and hit back at Trump's racist rhetoric.</p> <p>"I think Donald Trump's views on immigration and his slurring of the Latino community is not something that should be going on in the year 2015," Sanders said. "And it's to me an embarrassment for our country."</p> <p>Sanders' comments come on the heels of several recent op-ed's attempting to draw similarities between Trump's and Sanders' policy proposals, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0818-goldberg-immigration-trump-sanders-20150818-column.html" target="_blank">specifically on immigration.</a> Judging from Sanders' latest remarks, however, we're guessing the Vermont senator isn't exactly thrilled to be compared with the inflammatory real estate mogul.</p> <p>Just last week, Trump took a shot at Sanders, calling him "weak" for sharing the stage with Black Lives Matter organizers at a campaign stop in Seattle. Trump assured his audience that unlike Sanders, he would have taken charge, and he even insinuated that he would have been prepared to get violent.</p> <p>"I don't know if I'll do the fighting myself or if others will, but that was a disgrace," he said.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:18:50 +0000 Inae Oh 282116 at http://www.motherjones.com This Pro-Gun Researcher Wrote a Viral Op-Ed As a Young Woman Who Really Wants a Gun http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/john-lott-viral-fox-gun-article-taylor-woolrich <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last fall, a first-person narrative by Taylor Woolrich, a student at Dartmouth and a stalking victim, went viral. In the <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/08/06/dear-dartmouth-am-one-your-students-am-being-stalked-please-let-me-carry-gun-to.html" target="_blank">article</a>, which appeared on <em>FoxNews.com</em>, Woolrich wrote that her stalker of several years would soon be let out of jail, yet the college wouldn't let her carry a gun. The headline read, "Dear Dartmouth, I am one of your students, I am being stalked, please let me carry a gun to protect myself." The article went on:</p> <blockquote> <p>I feel that I have no control over my life. My family was forced to move. I have had stay indoors [sic], keep drapes closed, avoid posting on social media sites, and even change my car.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s almost like being held hostage.</p> <p>Should myself and other female victims just have to put up with this? The answer, hopefully, is "no." Women must be able to defend themselves. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226493660/ref=nosim/?tag=johnrlotttrip-20" target="_blank">most effective way</a> of doing this is by using a gun. When police arrive to enforce a restraining order, it is usually too late.</p> </blockquote> <p>But Woolrich didn't write the article. Instead, it was penned by <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/john-lott-guns-crime-data" target="_blank">John Lott</a>, a Fox News columnist, economist, and gun advocate whose research claiming that guns reduce crime has been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/gun-research-harvard-nra" target="_blank">repeatedly</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/10/double-barreled-double-standards" target="_blank">challenged</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/john-lott-guns-crime-data" target="_blank">dismissed</a>. Now, Woolrich believes that her experience was repurposed to promote a cause that she never intended to support. "I wanted to talk to the media, if it could mean something positive," Woolrich recently told <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/madisonpauly/why-taylor-woolrich-wanted-a-gun#.bolBBgJrz" target="_blank"><em>BuzzFeed</em></a>. "But I wanted to talk to the media about stalking. I didn't realize I was being turned into an NRA puppet."</p> <p>Woolrich's interactions with Lott go back to last summer, when he asked her to speak on a panel at the Students for Concealed Carry conference. She agreed, admitting in her presentation that she didn't particularly identify with the pro-gun movement but wanted to help stalking victims. Around the same time, Lott and Woolrich shared a byline for an <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/05/why-legalizing-concealed-carry-is-the-answer-to-persistent-stalkers/" target="_blank">article</a> for the <em>Daily Caller</em> about her experience. Woolrich says Lott wrote it, but she agreed to share the credit with him to make the piece "more reputable." Afterward, Fox News asked her to write a first-person op-ed. She said she didn't have time, so Lott offered to write it.</p> <p>According to <em>BuzzFeed</em>,</p> <blockquote> <p>The piece incorporated elements of her talk at the conference, but otherwise it was essentially the same article written by Lott, which is still <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/05/why-legalizing-concealed-carry-is-the-answer-to-persistent-stalkers/">online</a> at the <i>Daily Caller</i>. "It's his op-ed," she says. "Word for word, except the chunks that match what's said in my speech." The references to Lott's disputed research? Not hers. The link to the Amazon sales page for his book? Not hers. The headline? "Dear Dartmouth, I am one of your students, I am being stalked, please let me carry a gun to protect myself."</p> <p>"I think his first priority was his cause," she says. "He saw me as a really great asset."</p> <p>So did Fox News. "THANK YOU for putting this in the first person," wrote a Fox editor to Lott. "Here's hoping this piece might go viral."</p> </blockquote> <p>It's unclear if the Fox editors were aware of the extent to which Lott was involved in writing the piece. An editor's note at the bottom mentions that Lott "contributed to this story." But Fox News executive editor John Moody told <em>BuzzFeed</em> that <em>FoxNews.com</em> "published what was characterized to us as a first person account of Ms. Woolrich's experiences."</p> <p>This isn't the first time that Lott has written in the voice of a young woman seeking safety from a gun. In 2003, Lott <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/10/double-barreled-double-standards" target="_blank">was forced to </a><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/10/double-barreled-double-standards" target="_blank">admit</a> he had posed as an active online commenter named Mary Rosh, who presented herself as his former student at the University of Pennsylvania and fiercely defended his research. "Even if I am not wearing heels, I don't think that there are many men that I could outrun, especially over a short distance. Unfortunately, women are not as fast as men on average," Rosh/Lott <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2003/01/21/maryrosh/" target="_blank">wrote</a>. "You obviously don't know what it is to be seriously threatened by someone who is much stronger than you are." Lott <font size="3">later <a href="http://johnrlott.tripod.com/malkinsoped.html" target="_blank">explained</a> that "o<font size="3">n a couple of occasions I used the female persona implied by the name in the chat rooms to try to get people to think about how people who are smaller and weaker physically can defend themselves.</font></font>"</p></body></html> MoJo Guns Media Top Stories Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:15:18 +0000 Julia Lurie 282106 at http://www.motherjones.com A Judge Just Handed Abortion Supporters a Huge Win in the Deep South http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/08/alabamas-largest-abortion-clinic-reopens <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>At last, some good news in abortion rights. Last week, a federal judge in Alabama blocked a regulation that might have closed the state's largest abortion clinic for good.</p> <p>The West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa closed back in January after the clinic's previous physician retired. The clinic's new doctor was unable to gain admitting privileges at a local hospital or establish a contract with another doctor who had those privileges, putting the clinic in violation of&nbsp;<a href="https://ecf.almd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0405-238" target="_blank">state requirements.</a>&nbsp;Proponents of the regulation said it was needed to protect women's safety should complications arise when ending a pregnancy, while abortion rights advocates argued that it was an attempt to shutter clinics that rely on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/inside-mississippis-last-abortion-clinic" target="_blank">providers</a> who live out of the state. Major medical organizations have generally opposed such laws as medically unnecessary.</p> <p>The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on the clinic's behalf challenging the requirement, and on August 13, US District Judge Myron Thompson issued a temporary restraining order putting the clinic back in business. Thompson said the closure of the clinic put an "undue burden" on women who were forced to travel longer distances to obtain abortions.</p> <p>The Tuscaloosa clinic was one of only two in Alabama to provide second-trimester abortions up to the state's 20-week <a href="http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_PLTA.pdf" target="_blank">legal limit</a>. In 2013, it performed 40 percent of the state's abortions; after it closed, the closest clinic in Huntsville saw a 57 percent increase in women seeking abortions.</p> <p>The judge cited evidence that the increased distances and the additional strain on the state's remaining clinics forced women to&nbsp;delay abortions until their pregnancies were past the 20-week limit. Thompson also cited the concern that the regulation's effect on&nbsp;reducing abortion access "increased the risk that women will take their abortion into their own hands," and noted that the Huntsville clinic reported calls from women seeking advice on how to terminate their own pregnancies, or threatening to do so. Thompson also referred to a "'severe scarcity of abortion doctors&hellip;nationwide and particularly in the South,' with no residency program offering training in performing abortion in Louisiana, Alabama, or Mississippi."&nbsp;</p> <p>"For all Alabama women, the closure of the largest abortion provider in the state, one of two providers in the state that administers abortions after 16 weeks, has reduced the number of abortions that can be provided here," Thompson wrote.</p> <p>Thompson has been consistently supportive of abortion rights. Last year, the judge, who served as Alabama's first <a href="http://www.jtb.org/index.php?src=directory&amp;view=biographies&amp;srctype=detail&amp;refno=198" target="_blank">African-American assistant attorney general</a> before being nominated to the bench by President Jimmy Carter, <a href="https://ecf.almd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0405-238" target="_blank">issued a broader ruling</a> in a similar case involving several other clinics.</p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Top Stories Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:10:05 +0000 Becca Andrews 282066 at http://www.motherjones.com