Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013/12 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Elizabeth Warren Demands An Investigation Of Mortgage Companies http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-nonbank-mortgage-servicer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Government Accountability Office to investigate non-bank companies that service Americans' mortgages, <a href="http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2014-10-20%20EEC%20%26%20EW%20to%20GAO%20re%20Non-Bank%20Servicers_0.pdf" target="_blank">noting in a letter</a> co-signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) that an increasing number of lawsuits has been filed in recent years against these firms&mdash;which are not regulated as strictly as banks.</p> <p>Mortgage servicers, whether they are owned by banks or not, handle mortgages after they've been sold to a customer. That means they take care of administrative business including collecting mortgage payments and dealing with delinquent borrowers. What Warren and Cummings are worried about is that the share of non-banks servicing mortgages has grown astronomically&mdash;300 percent between 2011 and 2013&mdash;and it appears that the increased workload has led to shoddier service.</p> <p>The rise of the industry, which typically services <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/30/us-mortgage-servicers-lending-idUSKBN0FZ1EY20140730" target="_blank">lower-income borrowers</a>, "has been accompanied by consumer complaints, lawsuits, and other regulatory actions as the servicers' workload outstrips their processing capacity," according to a recent report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Last December, for instance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau&mdash;the agency Warren helped create&mdash;entered a $2 billion settlement with the nation's largest non-bank servicer over mortgage mismanagement. Financial industry watchdogs and consumer advocates have <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/fhfa-inspector-general-cites-risks-on-nonbank-mortgage-servicers-1404187344" target="_blank">charged</a> that the non-bank home loan servicing companies are often unwilling to work with troubled borrowers to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosures.</p> <p>In their letter, Warren and Cummings also urge the Government Accountability Office to investigate how consumers might be harmed in the event that a large non-bank servicer collapses during a economic downturn. Non-bank mortgage companies are not subject to the regulations governing banks that perform the same functions, such as the requirement that they hold onto a certain amount of emergency funds in case of a financial collapse.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Economy Regulatory Affairs Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:12:28 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 262961 at http://www.motherjones.com Rwanda Hits Back at America's Ebola Paranoia http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/rwanda-ebola-americans-screening <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rwanda will be begin <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/10/21/rwanda-united-statees-ebola-screening/17653947/" target="_blank">screening</a> all Americans entering the country for Ebola, regardless if they're exhibiting symptoms or not, government officials in the East African nation announced Tuesday. Coincidence? The new measure comes just days after <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-panic-hysteria" target="_blank">two Rwandan students </a>were denied enrollment at a New Jersey school over Ebola fears, even though Rwanda has had zero cases of Ebola. The United States, on the other hand, has had three confirmed cases. Rwanda is also more than <a href="http://www.nj.com/burlington/index.ssf/2014/10/amid_ebola_fears_students_from_africa_kept_home_in_south_jersey.html" target="_blank">2,500 miles</a> from the closest Ebola outbreak in West Africa.</p> <p>The US Embassy in Rwanda <a href="http://rwanda.usembassy.gov/mobile//sm-102114.html" target="_blank">explains the situation: </a></p> <blockquote> <p>On October 19, the Rwandan Ministry of Health introduced new Ebola Virus Disease screening requirements. Visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days are now required to report their medical condition&mdash;regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola&mdash;by telephone by dialing 114 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the duration of their visit to Rwanda (if less than 21 days), or for the first 21 days of their visit to Rwanda. Rwandan authorities continue to deny entry to visitors who traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, or Sierra Leone within the past 22 days.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although there's no way to tell if the screenings are indeed motivated by retaliation for the ignorant panic displayed by the New Jersey school, this sure is an interesting turn of events.</p></body></html> MoJo Health Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:40:55 +0000 Inae Oh 262946 at http://www.motherjones.com Everything You Need to Know About Ebola in America, in One Fantastic Quote http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-one-sentence-pan <!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.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2014/10/man_not_worried_about_ebola_af.html" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">Meet a man made of very stern stuff indeed</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">:</span></p> <blockquote> <p>Peter Pattakos spent 20 minutes Saturday in an Akron bridal shop, getting fitted for a tux for his friend's wedding. Thursday, his friend sent a text message, telling him that Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson had been in the store around the same time.</p> <p>[...]</p> <p>Pattakos, 36, a Cleveland attorney who lives in Bath Township, called the health department, which told him to call back if he exhibits any Ebola symptoms. He called a doctor, who told him not to worry.</p> <p>"I didn't exchange any bodily fluids with anyone, so I'm not worried about it," he said. "I'm much more likely to be mistakenly killed by a police officer in this country than to be killed by Ebola, even if you were in the same bridal shop."</p> </blockquote> <p>Yep.</p></body></html> MoJo Ebola Tue, 21 Oct 2014 03:13:21 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262936 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren Was on Fire This Weekend. Here Were Her 5 Best Lines. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-was-fire-weekend-here-were-her-5-best-lines <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It's good to be Elizabeth Warren. The senior senator from Massachusetts spent her weekend campaigning for Democrats in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/10/18/warren-in-minnesota-the-game-is-rigged/" target="_blank">Minnesota</a>, <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750364/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">Colorado</a>, and <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-stumps-for-bruce-braley-in-iowa/17579175/" target="_blank">Iowa</a>, and by all accounts, she tore it up, and got <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750364/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">more than a few calls</a> to run for president. (Breaking: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/10/18/warren-in-minnesota-the-game-is-rigged/" target="_blank">she still insists</a> she isn't going to.) These were some of her biggest red-meat lines from the campaign trail:</p> <p><strong>1. "<a href="http://www.southernminn.com/northfield_news/news/local/article_c4b42b9a-155d-5f07-acdc-0bae1e04a6b9.html" target="_blank">The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it.</a> </strong>We can whine, we can whimper or we can fight back, and we&rsquo;re here to fight back. We know what we&rsquo;re fighting for and what we&rsquo;re up against. We&rsquo;ve got our voices, or votes and our willingness to fight. This is about democracy, about your future, and about the kind of country we want to build.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>2. <a href="http://www.radioiowa.com/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-urges-iowa-democrats-to-fight-back-in-2014-audio/" target="_blank">"[W]ho does this government work for?</a></strong>&hellip;Does it work just for the millionaires, just for the billionaires, just for those who have armies of lobbyists and lawyers or does it work for the people? That&rsquo;s the question in this race.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>3. "<a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750818/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich</a></strong>, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers."</p> <p><strong>4. <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-stumps-for-bruce-braley-in-iowa/17579175/" target="_blank">When conservatives came to power in the 1980s, the first thing they did was "fire the cops on Wall Street. </a></strong>They called it deregulation. But what it really meant was have at 'em boys. They were saying in effect to the biggest financial institutions: Any way you can trick or trap or fool anybody into signing anything, man, you can just rake in the profits."</p> <p><strong>5. <a href="http://www.radioiowa.com/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-urges-iowa-democrats-to-fight-back-in-2014-audio/" target="_blank">"They ought to be wearing a T-shirt [that says]...'I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.' </a></strong>We can hang back, we can whine about what the Republicans have done&hellip;or we can fight back. Me, I&rsquo;m fighting back!"</p> <p>Contrast Warren's rock star treatment with the President's reception this weekend: he spoke at a campaign event in Maryland, and attendees <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/19/us-usa-politics-obama-idUSKCN0I80V320141019" target="_blank">filed out as soon as he started speaking</a>. Obama is being <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/run-midterms-obama-scarce-campaign-trail/story?id=26155808" target="_blank">kept at arms' length</a> in close races&mdash;Warren, on the other hand, <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/20/elizabeth-warren-campaign-for-jeanne-shaheen-tight-race-against-scott-brown/CkGXN0DUKFbpFzQWmOjqWM/story.html" target="_blank">will head to New Hampshire</a> this weekend to campaign for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who's running against Warren's old nemesis, Scott Brown.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:21:59 +0000 Sam Brodey 262891 at http://www.motherjones.com The 5 Stupidest Paranoid Responses to Ebola http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-panic-hysteria <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As President Barack Obama noted in his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u08u8GA_rg" target="_blank">weekly address</a> Saturday, Ebola is a serious public health issue. But the level of paranoia that has surfaced across the country since Thomas Duncan became the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States is not only unwarranted&mdash;it's&nbsp; dangerous. Ripped straight from the headlines, here are just five of the more surreal incidents of Ebola panic.</p> <p><strong>Syracuse University disinvites photographer.</strong> Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks. If someone hasn't gotten sick within 21 days of exposure, they're in the clear. But <a href="https://nppa.org/news/syracuse-disinvites-washpost-pulitzer-photographer-due-ebola-fears" target="_blank"><em>News Photographer </em>magazine</a> reported last week that "three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille of <em>The Washington Post</em>, who returned from covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia 21 days ago and who is symptom free, was asked by Syracuse University officials today not to come to campus, where he was scheduled to participate in a journalism program." Cille was not pleased:</p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille/posts/10205406871357643" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille/posts/10205406871357643">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille">Michel du Cille</a>.</div> </div> <p><strong>Maine teacher put on leave after traveling to Dallas.</strong> "A teacher at Strong Elementary School was placed on a 21-day paid leave of absence after parents told the school board they were concerned that she might have been exposed to Ebola during a trip to Dallas for an educational conference," the <a href="http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/17/fearing-ebola-strong-elementary-teacher-on-leave-after-traveling-to-dallas/" target="_blank"><em>Portland Press Herald</em> recently reported</a>. Dallas, where Duncan's case was first diagnosed, is a city of 1.25 million. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/20/health/ebola-overreaction/index.html" target="_blank">Five million people</a> travel to and from Dallas every month.</p> <p><strong>Rwandan students kept home from New Jersey elementary school. </strong>Two students who moved from Rwanda&mdash;where there have been zero cases of Ebola&mdash;are being kept home from school in Burlington County, New Jersey, for 21 days in response to concerns from parents. Rwanda "is about 2,600 miles away from the closest affected country in West Africa," <a href="http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/26826190/burlington-county-students-kept-home-from-school-due-to-ebola-fears" target="_blank">notes Philadelphia's local Fox station</a>. "That's about as close as Seattle, Washington, is to Philadelphia. But for some parents it really doesn't matter."</p> <p><strong>Cleveland man charged with felony after stupid joke.</strong> "Bond is set at $10,000 for a Cleveland man charged with inducing panic after being accused of telling a Horseshoe Casino&nbsp;worker that he was gambling to avoid his Ebola-stricken ex-wife," <em>Cleveland.com</em> <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/10/cleveland_man_accused_of_jokin.html#incart_river" target="_blank">reported last week</a>. Needless to say, neither the man nor his wife has Ebola.</p> <p><strong>Texas college rejects applicants from Ebola-free Nigeria.</strong> Officials at Navarro College in Texas <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/texas-college-banning-students-ebola-countries" target="_blank">cited Ebola</a> as a basis for refusing admission to two Nigerian students.&nbsp;Nigeria has been extraordinarily effective in fighting its recent outbreak, which included just 20 confirmed cases&mdash;so extraordinary, in fact, that as of today, the World's Health Organization <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/nigeria-ebola-cdc" target="_blank">officially declared the country</a> Ebola-free. After the media caught wind of the story, an official from Navarro pushed back against "misinformation" by saying that the college is focusing on students from China and Indonesia for the next year.</p> <p>There's much, much more out there, but we leave you with this note from Bloomberg's Gabriel Snyder.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>An impressively diverse array of Ebola paranoia here: <a href="http://t.co/BAAcHmYhvO">pic.twitter.com/BAAcHmYhvO</a></p> &mdash; Gabriel Snyder (@gabrielsnyder) <a href="https://twitter.com/gabrielsnyder/status/524266023361720320">October 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Health Top Stories Ebola Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:41:56 +0000 Inae Oh 262861 at http://www.motherjones.com Which Dad is More Embarrassing: Ron Paul or Rafael Cruz? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/rand-ron-paul-ted-rafael-cruz-embarrassing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>If Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) do battle for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, they'll have to carefully manage their most popular yet embarrassing surrogates: their fathers. Here's a quick guide to the septuagenarian bomb-throwers.</p> <div id="test">&nbsp;</div> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/plugins/pym.js/src/pym.js"></script><script> var pymParent = new pym.Parent('test', 'http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/projects/2014/10/paul-cruz-table-2/index.html', {}); </script></body></html> MoJo Congress Elections Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:10:37 +0000 Tim Murphy 262721 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 20, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-20-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Army Corporal carries a detonation cord to blow up expired ordinance in Afghanistan. <span class="photographer"><span id="ctl00_cphBody_lblCredit">(US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)</span></span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:16:26 +0000 262871 at http://www.motherjones.com NBA Player Kisses Sideline Reporter, Calls Her the Wrong Name http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nba-player-kisses-sideline-reporter-calls-her-wrong-name <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Before Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers took the court Friday to play the Dallas Mavericks, Allie Clifton, a Fox News Ohio reporter, tried to interview him about his game strategy.</p> <p>After haphazardly answering one of her questions, Thompson calls her "Tina," winks at the camera, and then kisses her on the cheek before running away.</p> <p>Here's video of the incident:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mmlTByKgX6w" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Contrary to some of the sports media's reporting, kissing a reporter on air while she is working is not "<a href="http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2014/10/cleveland_cavaliers_forward_tr_6.html">an unexpected gift</a>" or "<a href="http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/18/tristan-thompson-kisses-cavaliers-sideline-reporter-video/">harmless, and nothing more than an awkward one-sided exchange</a>." It's downright uncomfortable and belittling, even if Clifton maintained utter professionalism throughout. As Kelly Dwyer at <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/tristan-thompson-kisses-a-sideline-reporter--and-he-really--really-screwed-up--video-174239361.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo Sports</em></a> put it: "This isn't cute or funny or meme-worthy&hellip;Just because you're working with someone of the opposite sex, it doesn't mean a sly innuendo, pat on the rear, or kiss on national television is in any way appropriate."</p></body></html> MoJo Sex and Gender Sports Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:56:15 +0000 Hannah Levintova 262836 at http://www.motherjones.com Would Joe Biden Put His Son In Prison For Doing Coke? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/joe-biden-hunter-biden-cocaine <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So the son of our Vice President was <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/bidens-son-hunter-discharged-from-navy-reserve-after-failing-cocaine-test-1413499657">booted from the military for doing coke</a>. This must be an awkward situation for Joe Biden, given his role in cracking down on drug use over the last few decades. Joe Biden created the position of &ldquo;drug czar,&rdquo; a key step in the drug war. As the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1986, he played a major role in passing mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. He was the main sponsor of the RAVE Act in 2003, meant to crack down on MDMA use, which would have held club owners liable for providing &ldquo;paraphernalia&rdquo; like glowsticks and water. He still <a href="http://time.com/5330/marijuana-legalization-joe-biden-pot/">vocally opposes marijuana legalization</a>.</p> <p>To be clear: Hunter Biden wasn&rsquo;t caught with actual cocaine. He just failed a drug test. But what if he'd happened to be found with a little bag in his pocket? Would Joe Biden would find it fair for him to serve 87 months, which is the average federal sentence for drug possession?</p> <p>Of course, were Hunter Biden to be caught with powder cocaine, he would likely fare better than someone caught with crack. To his credit, Joe Biden himself has pushed for reducing the longstanding sentencing disparity between crack and regular cocaine, but possession of 28 grams of crack still triggers a five-year minimum sentence. It takes 500 grams of regular cocaine to trigger the same sentence. That&rsquo;s an 18-to-one difference. (African Americans make up 83 percent of <a href="http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/research-publications/2014/FY13_Overview_Federal_Criminal_Cases.pdf">people convicted for crack</a> offenses, even though the number of white crack users is 40 percent greater than that of black users, according to a <a href="http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/RACIAL/Reports/NIHMinoritydrugUse%20report.pdf">National Institute on Drug Abuse</a> study).</p> <p>America has more prisoners than any other country&mdash;a quarter of all people behind bars in the entire world are in US prisons or jails. Nearly half of all federal prisoners are serving sentences for drugs. Many of them won't have a chance to "regret" their mistakes and move on, as Hunter Biden has said he will.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Human Rights Prisons Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:19:41 +0000 Shane Bauer 262806 at http://www.motherjones.com The Head of the Federal Reserve Just Gave a Rousing Speech on Inequality http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/janet-yellen-income-inequality%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday, Janet Yellen presented a thorough speech outlining the inherent problems income inequality presents to the American ideology, proving once again she is committed to using her role as Federal Reserve chair to tackle widening income inequality rates.</p> <p>"The extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me," Yellen told the Federal Reserve of Boston. "The past several decades have seen the most sustained rise in inequality since the 19th century after more than 40 years of narrowing inequality following the Great Depression."</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation&rsquo;s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity," she added.</p> <p>The speech, titled "Perspectives on Inequality and Opportunity from the Survey of Consumer Finances," follows several notable <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/11/15/2947861/federal-reserve-janet-yellen-income-inequality/" target="_blank">instances</a> in which Yellen has indicated she would be actively working towards reducing wealth inequality&ndash;a more pointed approach that distances her from her predecessors, former chairs <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/upshot/what-janet-yellen-said-and-didnt-say-about-inequality.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=HpSumSmallMediaHigh&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0&amp;abt=0002&amp;abg=0" target="_blank">Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.</a> In Friday's speech, Yellen also echoed Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) calls to fix the burden of rising higher education costs.</p> <p>As continued evidence has shown, income inequality rates have soared over the last few decades, with the average income of the one percent rising more than 175 percent since 1980, while the bottom 90 percent hardly moved.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/incomeyellen.jpg"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While Yellen's speech on Friday made no mention of any specific policy changes the Federal Reserve may take on to combat inequality rates, it did signal a significant shift in how the Federal Reserve views inequality as a serious hindrance to the country's economic health. To read Yellen's speech in its entirety, <a href="http://federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20141017a.htm" target="_blank">click here.</a></p></body></html> MoJo Income Inequality Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:59:15 +0000 Inae Oh 262781 at http://www.motherjones.com Finally, Nigeria's Kidnapped Schoolgirls Are Coming Home http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nigerian-schoolgirls-kidnapped-boko-haram-release-agreement <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday, Nigeria's government <a href="http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0I61PG20141017" target="_blank">announced</a> it had reached a deal with Boko Haram to release the approximately <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/nigeria-boko-haram-kidnapping-explained" target="_blank">200 schoolgirls held captive</a> by the Islamist terror group since April.</p> <p>The agreement, announced by the country's defense minister, also involves a cease fire between Boko Haram and Nigeria's military. The government expects the terror group will not back out on the deal. "Commitment among parts of Boko Haram and the military does appear to be genuine," an official with Nigeria's security forces <a href="http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0I61PG20141017" target="_blank">told <em>Reuters</em> Friday</a>. "It is worth taking seriously."</p> <p>Boko Haram militants abducted more than 300 schoolgirls from Chibok boarding school in northern Nigeria in mid-April, sparking a worldwide outcry and propelling the group onto to the international stage for the first time. Over fifty of the girls escaped early on. The rest have remained in captivity ever since.</p> <p>Boko Haram, whose name roughly means "Western education is sinful," has been terrorizing Nigeria since 2009 in an effort to return the country to the pre-colonial era of Muslim rule. Over the past half-decade, the Islamist group has killed <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/04/22/234-girls-kidnapped-from-nigeria-school-parents-say/" target="_blank">approximately 5,000 Nigerians</a> the group regards as pro-government in attacks on&nbsp;schools, churches, and mosques, as well as military checkpoints, police stations, highways, and a bus station in the capital city of Abuja.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo International Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:24:47 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 262776 at http://www.motherjones.com Mitch McConnell Flips-Flops on an Ebola Flight Ban—Within 24 Hours http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/mitch-mcconnell-ebola-flight-ban-senate <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Many Ebola experts think that banning travel to the US from West Africa, where an outbreak of the deadly virus has killed thousands of people, would <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/international/21623711-panicky-response-west-may-worsen-conditions-west-africa-bridges-or-walls" target="_blank">do more harm than good</a>. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-13/cdc-dismisses-travel-ban-on-ebola-nations-after-new-case.html" target="_blank">agree</a>. But Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can't seem to settle on a position. On Tuesday and&nbsp;Wednesday, he stumped both for a ban and for letting the experts decide&mdash;a&nbsp;flip-flop within 24 hours.<a href="#correction">*</a></p> <p>In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/mcconnell-ebola-flight-bans_n_5990214.html">an interview with NBC News</a>, McConnell was asked if he thought the US should ban flights from West Africa. "I'd leave that up to the CDC to determine what the techniques ought to be in trying to contain the disease," he said. He added, "I think we ought to listen to what the CDC thinks they need either in terms of financing or certainly they'll decide the procedures for travel and all the rest. I think we need to follow the advice of the experts who know how to fight scourges like this."</p> <p>Here's video of the NBC interview:</p> <p><iframe border="no" height="500" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_qc_mccon1_141015" width="635"></iframe></p> <p>But less than 24 hours later, McConnell abruptly changed course. Asked by <a href="http://mycn2.com/politics/mcconnell-wants-to-stop-flights-from-nations-with-ebola-outbreaks-supports-sending-us-troops-to-africa?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cn2Politics+%28cn%7C2+Pure+Politics%29">a Kentucky TV station</a> about containing Ebola, McConnell said the US needs to "do everything we can to try to contain the problem where it is." He went on, "I'm not an expert on this, but it strikes me that it would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world."</p> <p>Here's that video:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1Gr19PGfD_M?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>There are currently no direct flights from the Ebola-affected countries to the US, the <em>New York Times' </em>Jonathan Weisman <a href="https://twitter.com/jonathanweisman/status/523105469108588544" target="_blank">reported</a> Friday.</p> <p id="correction"><em>Correction</em>: The original version of this post stated that the NBC News and Kentucky interviews occurred on the same day.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Elections Health Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:52:47 +0000 Andy Kroll 262756 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 17, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-17-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines watch explosives detonate from afar in the Philippines during a training exercise.&nbsp;<span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1413552659259_1489">(US Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph DiGirolam)</span> </em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:37:53 +0000 262746 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Thinks Ebola Is More Contagious Than AIDS http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/rand-paul-thinks-ebola-more-contagious-aids <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) reportedly put on his scientist hat this morning, telling CNN's Ashley Killough that Ebola is more easily spread than AIDS&ndash;a statement that is an irresponsible, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/10/02/352983774/no-seriously-how-contagious-is-ebola" target="_blank">flat out lie. </a></p> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Rand Paul tells me Ebola more transmitable than AIDS. "If someone has Ebola at a cocktail party, they're contagious and you can catch it."</p> &mdash; Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) <a href="https://twitter.com/KilloughCNN/status/522770302506659840">October 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Paul's posturing is just the latest in a series of <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/are-the-pauls-ebola-truthers" target="_blank">Ebola-truthing tactics </a>he and other members of the GOP have been fully employing as of late. Perhaps more seriously, Paul's theory calls into question the types of feverish, vomit-spewing cocktail soirees he suggests he frequents.</p> <p>For a deeper look into the contagiousness of Ebola compared to other diseases, check out the charts below from <a href="http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-microbescope/" target="_blank">David McCandless</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/10/02/352983774/no-seriously-how-contagious-is-ebola" target="_blank">NPR</a>:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="https://www.motherjones.com/files/microbescope_0.png"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/microbescope_2.png" style="height: 365px; width: 630px;"></a> <div class="caption rtecenter"><a href="http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-microbescope/" target="_blank">Information Is Beautiful </a><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/files/microbescope_0.png" target="_blank"><em><strong>(Click to enlarge)</strong></em></a></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>My @'s are filling with lots of derp about Ebola being more contagious than HIV. Here you go. <a href="http://t.co/0Q0oXfqGa7">http://t.co/0Q0oXfqGa7</a> <a href="http://t.co/s0kD7UDqQ7">pic.twitter.com/s0kD7UDqQ7</a></p> &mdash; Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/status/522790551104790528">October 16, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Health Thu, 16 Oct 2014 18:08:10 +0000 Inae Oh 262681 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 16, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-16-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Marine participates in an advanced rope technique course in California. (<span class="photographer"><span id="ctl00_cphBody_lblCredit">US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Steve H. Lopez)</span></span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:40:24 +0000 262656 at http://www.motherjones.com Court Strikes Down Arkansas Voter ID Law http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/arkansas-voter-id-law-struck-down <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Wednesday, the Arkansas Supreme Court <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/arkansas-voter-id-law-struck-down-111929.html" target="_blank">struck down</a> the state's restrictive voter ID law, ruling that it violated the state's constitution. The unanimous decision, which comes just days before early voting begins in the state, could impact a Senate race considered key to a Republican takeover of the Senate.</p> <p>Arkansas' law, enacted in 2013 after the Republican-controlled legislature overrode the Democratic Gov. Mike Beebee's veto, would have required voters to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. Studies <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/10/09/report-voter-id-laws-reduce-turnout-more-among-african-american-and-younger-voters/" target="_blank">have</a> <a href="http://www.brennancenter.org/press-release/three-reasons-arkansas-photo-id-law-unconstitutional" target="_blank">shown</a> that photo ID laws disproportionately burden minority and poor voters, making them less likely to vote. The state Supreme Court ruled that the voter ID law imposes a voting eligibility requirement that "falls outside" those the state constitution enumerates&mdash;namely, that a voter must only be a US citizen, an Arkansas resident, at least 18 years of age, and registered to vote&mdash;and was therefore invalid.</p> <p>The court's ruling could help swing in Democrats' favor the tight Senate race between Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and his opponent, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.</p> <p>After the Supreme Court <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/supreme-court-voting-rights-act-decision" target="_blank">gutted a section</a> of the Voting Rights Act last year, Republican state legislatures around the country enacted a slew of harsh voting laws. Since the 2010 election, new restrictions have been enacted in <a href="http://www.brennancenter.org/new-voting-restrictions-2010-election" target="_blank">21 states</a>. Fourteen of those were passed for the first time this year.</p> <p>Arkansas was <a href="http://www.brennancenter.org/major-voting-litigation-could-impact-2014" target="_blank">one of seven states</a> in which opponents of restrictive voting laws filed lawsuits ahead of the 2014 midterms. Last week, the US Supreme Court <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/courts-block-texas-wisconsin-voter-id-laws" target="_blank">blocked</a> Wisconsin's voter ID law. A federal court last Thursday struck down a similar law in Texas&mdash;only to have its ruling reversed this week by an appeals court. The Supreme Court recently allowed North Carolina and Ohio to enforce their strict new voting laws.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Race and Ethnicity Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:39:32 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 262646 at http://www.motherjones.com Texas College Rejects Two Nigerian Applicants Because of Ebola Panic http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/texas-college-banning-students-ebola-countries <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>At least two college applicants from Nigeria <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/texas-college-rejects-nigerian-applicants-cites-ebola-cases-n226291" target="_blank">received rejection letters</a> from a Texas community college because of Ebola panic. Let's note: Nigeria has had only 20 cases of the disease since July 20. The country has been <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/nigeria-ebola-cdc" target="_blank">so successful in containing the outbreak</a>, the Centers for Disease and Prevention dispatched a team to learn its methods.</p> <p>Ebola has, however, killed more than 4,400 people in neighboring Liberia. Perhaps Navarro College confused Nigeria with Liberia? African countries do look and sound so similar! The story:</p> <p>Kamorudeen Abidogun, a medical engineer in Richmond, Texas, told <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/texas-college-bans-students-ebola-215612192.html" target="_blank">CNBC</a>&nbsp;that five family relatives in Nigeria were applying to Navarro College using Abidogun's mailing address. At least two of the applications were denied.</p> <p><span id="yui_3_16_0_1_1413398433253_1651">"With sincere regret, I must report that Navarro College is not able to offer you acceptance for the Spring 2015 term. Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases," the letter explained. </span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Tell <a href="https://twitter.com/NavarroCollege">@NavarroCollege</a> ; Stop Ebola, Stop Discrimination! <a href="http://t.co/6upQGZjp7x">http://t.co/6upQGZjp7x</a>. cc <a href="https://twitter.com/renoomokri">@renoomokri</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/lindaikeji">@lindaikeji</a> <a href="http://t.co/C4YbB3gwo7">pic.twitter.com/C4YbB3gwo7</a></p> &mdash; Idris Ayodeji Bello (@idrisayobello) <a href="https://twitter.com/idrisayobello/status/521693457190891520">October 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>An official has since apologized for any<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/15/texas-college-s-ebola-racism-reaches-a-new-low.html" target="_blank"> "incorrect information"</a> that may have been dispersed to applicants&mdash;their rejections were actually due to a restructuring of the college's diversity priorities:</p> <p>"Our focus for 2014-15 is on China and Indonesia. Other countries will be identified and recruitment efforts put in place once we launch our new honors program fall 2015."</p></body></html> MoJo Health Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:43:47 +0000 Inae Oh 262581 at http://www.motherjones.com Should the Military Treat Ebola Patients in Africa? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/should-military-treat-ebola-patients-africa <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>At the request of the Liberian government, American troops have set up shop in the country to help deliver aid and build treatment centers. It's all part of an effort to slow the disease's spread and, hopefully, mitigate some of the outbreak's more pernicious side effects, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/ebola-crisis-liberia-way-worse-you-think" target="_blank">such as hunger</a>.</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/ebola-mini.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of the Ebola crisis. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-261466"> <li><a href="/blue-marble/2014/10/ebola-budget-cuts-sequester"> Budget Cuts "Eroded Our Ability to Respond" to Ebola, Says Top Health Official</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-262416"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/10/liberia-ebola-going-need-lot-more-bodybags"> Liberia Says It's Going to Need a Lot More Body Bags</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-261801"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/10/how-long-ebola-sperm"> How Long Does the Ebola Virus Survive in Semen?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-260876"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/09/ebola-crisis-liberia-way-worse-you-think"> Liberians Explain Why the Ebola Crisis Is Way Worse Than You Think</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-259686"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/09/ebola-world-health-organization-budget"> Why the World Health Organization Doesn't Have Enough Funds to Fight Ebola</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258436"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/new-drugs-and-vaccines-cant-stop-ebola-outbreak"> New Drugs and Vaccines Can't Stop This Ebola Outbreak</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>So far, US military doctors and nurses are not actually treating patients. But three members of Congress&mdash;Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) believe they should be.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>"Our capable military medical and technical personnel have unique skills, resources, and experience working in similar environments to West Africa," the three wrote in a letter to President Obama. "They responded to the Cholera outbreak after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the aftermath of the tsunami in Indonesia. We must stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and protect Americans from the spread of the virus."</p> <p>Pentagon officials have said that US troops will be proving logistical support and that there are no current plans for them to provide direct care. "We are not anticipating that military personnel will be treating the people," General David Rodriguez, head of the military's Africa Command, said at an October 3 <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/03/press-briefing-government-response-ebola-epidemic-west-africa-1032014" target="_blank">press briefing</a>. "There's no intention right now that [service members] will be interacting with patients or in areas where they would necessarily come into contact with patients."</p> <p>Still, Rodriguez left open the possibility of military doctors treating patients at a later date. "That will be a decision made in the future if that ever gets to that point," he said. "But the international community has said 'Not right now. That's not what we need.'"</p> <p>Ebola would certainly present a risk for any military personnel treating patients. Of the more than 4,000 people who have been infected in Liberia so far, 207 have been health care workers, according to <a href="http://www.mohsw.gov.lr/documents/SITRep%20149%20Oct%2011th,%202014.pdf" target="_blank">Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Marines are already warning their personnel to take precautions, even though they're not currently working with patients. "You must be aware of the risks," the Corps' top doctor says in an instructional video. "Understand what to do if you come into contact with someone suspected of having Ebola, and what to do if you become ill."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QHJdkpRQhFk" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Many conservatives <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/here-are-all-dumb-ways-conservatives-are-tying-obama-ebola" target="_blank">were outraged</a> that Obama sent troops to help fight Ebola. Chances are, a sick service member would give new life to that debate.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Health Military Ebola Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:42:44 +0000 Alex Park 262611 at http://www.motherjones.com Jeb Bush: "What's the Paycheck Fairness Act?" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/jeb-bush-paycheck-fairness-act <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D2ED2YMKNqQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/23-reasons-why-jeb-bush-shouldnt-run-president" target="_blank">Jeb Bush</a>, one of the GOP's top 2016 presidential prospects, <a href="http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/13/jeb-bush-stumps-snyder-land-gop-troy/17226911/" target="_blank">campaigned</a> Monday for Terri Lynn Land, the Republican running for Senate in Michigan. At an event in the Detroit suburbs, a staffer for <a href="http://www.progressmichigan.org" target="_blank">Progress&nbsp;Michigan</a>, a liberal&nbsp;advocacy group, asked Bush whether he thought Land should support the Paycheck Fairness Act.<a href="#correction">*</a> Bush appeared not to know what the proposal is.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s2199" target="_blank">high-profile legislation</a>, much touted by Democrats, aims to close&nbsp;the wage gap between men and women. It <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/09/senate-falls-six-votes-short-of-passing-paycheck-fairness-act/">would beef up</a> legal protections for workers who ask about the wages of co-workers or share information about their own earnings while&nbsp;directing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to gather information on wages from employers. In September, the bill <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/senate-republicans-block-paycheck-fairness-act" target="_blank">died</a> in the Senate after Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), filibustered it.</p> <p>The bill has been part of a national debate about the GOP and women, and it has played a prominent role in this Senate campaign, in which Land is running against Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). Land, who <a href="https://terrilynnland.com/about-terri-lynn-land/" target="_blank">served</a> as Michigan's secretary of state from 2003 to 2010,&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/04/12/criticized-by-obama-senate-candidate-responds-on-fair-pay-measure/" target="_blank">has been criticized</a> by Democrats&mdash;including President Barack Obama&mdash;for saying she <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/sep/02/democratic-senatorial-campaign-committee/democratic-organization-takes-terri-lynn-lands-com/" target="_blank">did not support</a> the Paycheck Fairness Act. Yet Bush didn't seem to know anything about this bill when the Democratic tracker asked about it:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Progress Michigan</strong>: Do you think Secretary Land should support the Paycheck Fairness Act?<!--?p--></p> <p><strong>Jeb Bush</strong>: Excuse me?</p> <p><strong>Progress Michigan</strong>: Do you think Secretary Land should support the Paycheck Fairness Act?</p> <p><strong>Bush</strong>: What's the Paycheck Fairness Act?</p> <p><strong>Progress Michigan</strong>: The Paycheck Fairness Act is a piece of legislation that would ensure women receive the same pay as men...equal pay for equal work.</p> <p><strong>Bush</strong>: Equal pay for the same work, not for equal work&mdash;I think that's the problem with it. I think there's a definition issue.</p> <p><strong>Progress Michigan</strong>: So you don't think Secretary&nbsp;Land should support it?</p> <p><strong>Bush</strong>: I don't know. You'd have to ask her.</p> </blockquote> <p id="correction"><em>Correction</em>: The original version of this article stated that the tracker who questioned Bush worked for American Bridge 21st Century, the Democratic oppo research outfit.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Congress Economy Labor Sex and Gender Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:01:51 +0000 Andy Kroll 262576 at http://www.motherjones.com Liberia Says It's Going to Need a Lot More Body Bags http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/liberia-ebola-going-need-lot-more-bodybags <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ebola_card.png"></div> <p>If you need any more evidence that the Liberian government is overwhelmed by the worsening Ebola outbreak (or you're still wondering why President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/us-military-liberia-fight-ebola" target="_blank">committed</a> American troops to help coordinate the relief effort), just look at the table below. The numbers, which come from Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, show the huge gap between the supplies the Liberian government has and the supplies it needs.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="685" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/moIKS/7/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>As we <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/even-liberias-legislature-may-have-ebola" target="_blank">reported</a> last month, Liberia's entire national budget for 2013-14 was $553 million, with just $11 million allotted for health care&mdash;about what Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are believed to have spent on their house in&nbsp;Bel Air. The country allocated another $20 million in August specifically to fight the virus, but that still represents just a fraction of the resources needed.</p> <p>The rest of the world has so far been unable to close the gap. In September, the United Nations <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48728#.VD1Oi4CD6Hs" target="_blank">asked</a> member states for almost $1 billion to fight Ebola. On Friday, UN officials <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/10/us-health-ebola-un-idUSKCN0HZ1M120141010" target="_blank">reported</a> that they've only raised a quarter of that.</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Health International Top Stories Ebola Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:15:06 +0000 Alex Park 262416 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Live: David Corn on the 2014 Elections http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/live-david-corn-midterms-brennan-center <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p align="center"><iframe frameborder="0" height="340" scrolling="no" src="http://cdn.livestream.com/embed/nyutv?layout=4&amp;color=0xe7e7e7&amp;autoPlay=false&amp;mute=false&amp;iconColorOver=0x888888&amp;iconColor=0x777777&amp;allowchat=true&amp;height=340&amp;width=560" style="border:0;outline:0" width="560"></iframe></p> <p class="rtecenter"><em><strong>Event live stream starting on Tuesday, October, 14, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern&nbsp;</strong></em></p> <p>As the midterm elections approach, issues like money in politics, voter suppression, and income inequality will&nbsp;shape the political landscape just as much as who wins control of the Senate.&nbsp;What difference will November 4 make? And what are the critical issues that will shape the concluding years of the Obama administration and beyond?&nbsp;Please join the Brennan Center and <em>Mother Jones</em><strong> </strong>Tuesday, October 14, for a pre-election primer on the state of our democracy, featuring&nbsp;<em>Mother Jones</em>&nbsp;DC bureau chief David Corn, <em>New York Post </em>editorial writer Robert A. George, and Brennan Center president Michael Waldman in conversation with Alex Wagner, host of MSNBC's <em>Now With Alex Wagner</em>. <strong><em>For more MoJo coverage of the 2014 midterm elections, click <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/elections" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></strong></p></body></html> MoJo Video Elections Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:44:20 +0000 262481 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch This California Republican Candidate Pretend to Save a Drowning Kid http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/california-kashkari-drowning-child-ad <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for California governor, is out with a new ad attacking incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown's record on education. He has chosen to represent Brown's alleged "betrayal" of the Golden State's kids with a tasteful visual metaphor: a child drowning in a swimming pool.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="293" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pEZFdmwqG3Q" width="520"></iframe></p> <p>With three weeks to go until election day, Kashkari is running far behind Brown. <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/governor/ca/california_governor_kashkari_vs_brown-5080.html" target="_blank">Most polls have found him trailing</a> by at least 20 points for months against the generally popular Democratic governor. It's hardly Kashkari's first desperate-ish PR move: in the spring, he ran an ad in which he smashed a toy train in half with an ax to represent his opposition to California's bullet train project.</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="293" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/G2EUV4Tx7Kc" width="520"></iframe></p> <p>In July, <a href="http://www.neelkashkari.com/poverty/" target="_blank">a camera crew trailed him</a> for a week as he attempted to live on $40 as a homeless person. And in August, Kashkari made a campaign issue out of a ruling that the nosebleed-causing emissions from the Southern California Sriracha hot-sauce factory were a "public nuisance."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>RT if you're tired of gov't regulations killing jobs. I stand with Sriracha against big gov't. <a href="http://t.co/YXtse0IvOi">http://t.co/YXtse0IvOi</a> <a href="http://t.co/0xVKsMvq7T">pic.twitter.com/0xVKsMvq7T</a></p> &mdash; Neel Kashkari (@neelkashkari) <a href="https://twitter.com/neelkashkari/statuses/457337813403308032">April 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <p>But Kashkari's latest spot makes Texas gubernatorial hopeful <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/wendy-davis-greg-abbott-nasty-bad-no-good-attack-ad" target="_blank">Wendy Davis' controversial "wheelchair" ad</a> look downright subtle. The <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/10/13/shocking-new-kashkari-ad-accuses-brown-of-betraying-ca-kids/" target="_blank"><em>San Francisco Chronicle</em> reports</a> that the ad was produced by Something Else Strategies, <a href="http://somethingelseworks.com/video/92764417" target="_blank">which has made spots this election cycle</a> for Republican Senate candidates like Iowa's Jodi "I grew up castrating hogs" Ernst.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Media Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Sam Brodey 262466 at http://www.motherjones.com Gov. Scott Walker on the Minimum Wage: "I Don't Think It Serves a Purpose" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/scott-walker-minimum-wage-wisconsin-governor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><iframe width="630" height="354" src="//youtu.be/b4eTBYLkhT0?start=1045&amp;end=1104" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is no fan of the minimum wage, and on Tuesday, in <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/gov-scott-walker-to-visit-journal-sentinel-edit-board-b99370849z1-279141161.html" target="_blank">an interview with the <em>Milwaukee Journal Sentinel</em></a>, Walker made that plenty clear. Asked about Wisconsin's $7.25-an-hour minimum wage and whether he supported it, Walker said, "I'm not going to repeal it, but I don't think it serves a purpose." Here's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQrUHphLMKE" target="_blank">the exchange</a> with <em>Journal Sentinel</em> columnist Dan Bice:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Bice</strong>: You were asked [in Monday's debate] if you thought someone could live on the minimum wage in the state, and you said we should be trying to come up with jobs that pay more than that. And then you said, "The way you do that is not by setting an arbitrary amount by the state." That sounds like you're not a particular fan of the minimum wage. What is your position on the minimum wage? Should we have it?</p> <p><strong>Walker</strong>: Well, I'm not going to repeal it, but <strong>I don't think it serves a purpose</strong> because we're debating then about what the lowest levels are at. I want people to make, like I said the other night, two or three times that.</p> <p>The jobs I focus on, the programs we put in place, the training we put in place, is not for people to get minimum wage jobs. It's the training&mdash;whether it's in apprenticeships, whether it's our tech colleges, whether's it our [University of Wisconsin] system&mdash;it's to try and provide the training, the skills, the talents, the expertise that people need to create careers that pay many, many times over. [<em>emphasis mine</em>]</p> </blockquote> <p>Walker has repeatedly arguing against raising the minimum wage, saying that doing so would kill jobs. (The Congressional Budget Office <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/minimum-wage-hike-could-kill-500000-jobs-but-help-alleviate-poverty-cbo-reports/2014/02/18/d171c130-98de-11e3-80ac-63a8ba7f7942_story.html" target="_blank">has found</a> that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would eliminate 500,000 jobs but also lift 900,000 people out of poverty and boost earnings for 16 million people. Cities with higher minimum wages have also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/minimum-wage-jobs_n_5330852.html" target="_blank">seen strong job growth</a> in recent years.) Walker opposes increasing the federal minimum wage and <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/194438-walker-not-getting-ahead-of-the-game-on-2016">said</a> in January that "the best thing we can do to help people who are unemployed or under employed is to fix Obamacare."</p> <p>The most recent Marquette University Law School poll <a href="https://twitter.com/MULawPoll/status/517375276473647104">found</a> that 59 percent of Wisconsinites support increasing the minimum wage while 36 percent do not.</p></body></html> MoJo Economy Elections Labor The Right Top Stories Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:06:48 +0000 Andy Kroll 262451 at http://www.motherjones.com Prison Guards Can't Pepper Spray Just Any Schizophrenic Inmates in Arizona Anymore http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/prison-guards-cant-pepper-spray-just-any-schizophrenic-prisoners-arizona-anymore <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Arizona prisons just got a little better. A class action lawsuit by the ACLU, the Prison Law Office, and others reached a settlement with the Arizona Department of Corrections today to improve health care and solitary confinement conditions in the state.</p> <p>"This is one of the largest--if not the largest--prisoner settlements in recent years," said David Fathi, Director of the ACLU's National Prison Project.</p> <p>The lawsuit, which has been going on for two years, won concessions that would seem to be common sense. Prison guards, for example, now can&rsquo;t pepper spray severely mentally ill prisoners unless they are preventing serious injury or escape. And while these types of inmates were previously let out of their solitary cells for just six hours a week, the settlement requires Arizona to let them out for at least 19 hours a week. With some exceptions for the most dangerous, this time will now be shared with other prisoners, and will include mental health treatment and other programming.</p> <p>People like this&mdash;the schizophrenic, the psychotic, the suicidal&mdash;are not a small portion of the 80,000 people we have in solitary confinement in the US today. <a href="http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Issue_Spotlights&amp;Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&amp;ContentID=147299" target="_blank">According the National Alliance on Mental Illness</a>, 45 percent of people in solitary have severe mental illnesses. The country's three largest mental health care providers are jails.</p> <p>The <a href="http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1668864.html" target="_blank"><em>Parsons v. Ryan</em></a> settlement also requires the Arizona prison system to make more than 100 health care improvements. Prison staff now has to monitor people with hypertension or diabetes. Pregnant women have to get more care. Prisoners whose psych meds make them sensitive to heat now have to be kept in cells that are no hotter than 85 degrees. Those not on anti-psychotic meds though, can keep baking.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Prisons Tue, 14 Oct 2014 18:52:07 +0000 Shane Bauer 262441 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 14, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-14-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Marine Infantry Officer Course students stand by before a helicopter drill in Arizona. <span class="meta-field photo-desc ">(US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James Marchetti)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:53:48 +0000 262391 at http://www.motherjones.com