Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2010/09/mother http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Another Day, Another School Shooting http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/marysville-washington-shooting-87th-school-shooting-newtown <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A school shooting took place inside the cafeteria of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state on Friday. The suspected gunman, a student at the high school, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/24/us/washington-school-shooting/" target="_blank">CNN.</a> Federal officials say up to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/24/us/washington-school-shooting/" target="_blank">five people</a> were shot. Roughly 50 people were present in the cafeteria at the time. At least one student has been killed, four others <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/24/us/washington-school-shooting/" target="_blank">injured. </a></p> <p>If you feel like you're stuck watching some kind of awful repeat programming, it's because you are: According to data gathered by the reform group <a href="http://everytown.org/article/schoolshootings/" target="_blank">Everytown for Gun Safety</a>, Friday's is the 87th shooting incident at a school since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary nearly two years ago.</p> <p>For a detailed look into the rise of mass shootings in America, see our latest coverage <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/mass-shootings-rising-harvard" target="_blank">here.</a></p></body></html> MoJo Guns Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:47:30 +0000 Inae Oh 263226 at http://www.motherjones.com We Spent Millions so Afghans Could Film Live Sports With Headless Goat Carcasses—And Screwed It Up http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/afghanistan-tv-truck-deal-went-wrong <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In <a href="http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/special%20projects/SIGAR-15-09%20IL.pdf" target="_blank">August 2011</a>, the State Department purchased broadcast trucks for Afghan TV stations, for $3.6 million (206 million Afghanis), to help them tape live sporting events, like "buzkashi, soccer, cricket, and other sports." (<a href="http://www.afghan-web.com/sports/buzkashi.html">Buzkashi</a>, Afghanistan&rsquo;s national sport, translates to "goat grabbing" where horse-mounted players drag a headless goat carcass towards opposing goals.)</p> <p>But no one has been able to watch any goat carcasses filmed by those trucks in the past two years, because those trucks didn't show up until late July. And now, they're sitting around under tarps, unused&mdash;because the State Department could cancel the contract whenever it wants.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Buzkashi.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A scene from Buzkashi Boys depicting men playing buzkashi. </strong><a href="http://www.buzkashiboys.com/987419/gallery" target="_blank">Buzkashi Boys</a></div> </div> <p>John Spoko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), sent Secretary of State John Kerry a <a href="http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/special%20projects/SIGAR-15-09%20IL.pdf">letter</a> demanding an explanation for the delayed TV trucks on Friday.</p> <p>According to the letter, in addition to the late delivery, the price of the television trucks "more than tripled" since the original order date. And, one of the trucks "was damaged in transit." As of September, the trucks are still sitting under tarps as the SIGAR staff waits for the State Department to accept delivery.</p> <p>Spoko claims that, because the trucks were delivered so late, the State Department may elect to end the contract and take the trucks back. After the late delivery, the tripled unit cost and several contract modifications, Spoko is wary of how aboveboard this deal really is: "If this information is accurate, it suggests that something is seriously wrong with the way this contract was managed."</p> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that SIGAR had "teamed up" with State to purchase the trucks. SIGAR is investigating the arrangement. It was not involved in it.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Film and TV Foreign Policy International Media Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:25:55 +0000 Jenna McLaughlin 263211 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 24, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-24-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Navy Sailors aboard a guided missile destroyer plot on a chart during a damage control drill. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1414160763597_1546">(US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Declan Barnes)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:38:38 +0000 263176 at http://www.motherjones.com Anti-Abortion Colorado Republican Candidate Tries to Pass Himself Off As Pro-Choice http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/beauprez-abortion-choice-colorado-governor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Bob Beauprez, the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/colorado-death-penalty-john-hickenlooper-nathan-dunlap-beauprez" target="_blank">Republican candidate for governor of Colorado</a>, just joined a growing club of GOP politicians&mdash;including <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/scott-walker-wisconsin-governor-ban-abortion-rape-incest" target="_blank">Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker</a> and <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/08/scott-brown-defends-pro-choice-record-responding-jeanne-shaheen-attack/BarZghZjJ9Se1qffEg87pI/story.html" target="_blank">Senate hopeful Scott Brown of New Hampshire</a>&mdash;who have grossly misrepresented their stance on women's reproductive rights.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.cpr.org/news/story/what-bob-beauprez-would-do-if-elected-colorado-governor" target="_blank">an interview aired Wednesday</a> on Colorado Public Radio, Beauprez, a former congressman, struck a decidedly pro-choice note when asked about abortion and birth control. He said he would not stand in the way of women having access to abortions, nor would he interfere with women choosing what kind of birth control to use. "I respect people's opinion, women's right to that choice," he said. He later added, "I don't want to run somebody else's family and make decisions for their family, their life; I want them to have the opportunity and the freedom to do that themselves."</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/173582579&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Here's the full exchange (listen to the audio above):</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>CPR:</strong> On women's reproductive health, as governor would you be committed to your current stated position that while you're personally against abortions, you won't stand in the way of people having access to them or letting women choose their preferred method of birth control?</p> <p><strong>Bob Beauprez:</strong> That's correct. I respect people's opinion, women's right to that choice. I know what the law is. And my job is to enforce the law. The question of birth control has come up and let me be real clear&hellip;I think women ought to have the choice of whether to use birth control or not. I think women ought to have the choice of what type of birth control to use. I just don't think taxpayers need to be paying for it.</p> <p>I respect people's right to choose. I live my life the way I personally choose, but I'm not going to interfere with somebody else's. The job of a governor is less to govern the people, and more to govern the government. I don't want to make somebody else's decision, but I want them to have every opportunity to make their own. I don't want to run somebody else's family and make decisions for their family, their life; I want them to have the opportunity and the freedom to do that themselves. That's the kind of governor I'll be.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>Right to that choice</em>&hellip;<em>have the choice</em>&hellip;<em>right to choose</em>&hellip;<em>the way I choose</em>: Beauprez almost sounds like a Planned Parenthood activist. But his legislative record and past statements couldn't be more at odds with his seemingly pro-choice comments.</p> <p>In 2005, then-Rep. Beauprez <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/552/cosponsors" target="_blank">cosponsored</a> the Right to Life Act, a measure that guaranteed "equal protection for the right to life of each born and pre-born human person." The bill defined life beginning with "the moment of fertilization," and could severely restrict abortions. In Colorado Right-to-Life's 2006 voter guide, he <a href="http://coloradopols.com/diary/55169/bob-beauprez-goes-both-ways-on-personhood-abortion-ban">said</a> he supported a constitutional amendment to "restore full protection to pre-born human beings." That same year, he <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4264454">asserted</a>&mdash;incorrectly&mdash;that the abortion rate for black women was an "appalling" 70 percent. (The <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4264454" target="_blank">actual rate</a> at the time, according to the Guttmacher Institute, was 49 per 1,000&mdash;or 4.9 percent.) And in 2013, in <a href="http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/bobbeauprez/2013/01/22/reconciling-roe-v-wade-n1494247" target="_blank">a column on TownHall.com</a>, he urged all Americans to reconcile the "tragedies" of abortions just as they reconciled the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/mass-shootings-rising-harvard" target="_blank">mass shootings</a> in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut.</p> <p>As a gubernatorial candidate, Beauprez has not wavered from his decidedly anti-abortion position.&nbsp;He <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26619487/bob-beauprez-says-he-would-adhere-conservative-principles">continues to say</a> that he opposes all forms of abortion, even in cases of rape and incest unless the mother's life is at risk. He <a href="http://coloradopols.com/diary/55169/bob-beauprez-goes-both-ways-on-personhood-abortion-ban">bragged</a> to an interviewer in March about his "100 percent pro-life voting record." He also <a href="http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2014/10/21/race-truthful-attack-beauprez/113943/">claims</a> that an IUD is an abortifacient, not contraception. Beauprez has not said how he'd act on these beliefs, though he <a href="http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2014/10/21/race-truthful-attack-beauprez/113943/" target="_blank">says he would eliminate</a> all state funding for Planned Parenthood.</p> <p>But anyone listening to his recent Colorado Public Radio interview might think that Beauprez was a supporter of a woman's right to choose, just as Scott Walker and Scott Brown sought to imply in their own sneaky ads on the issue. Pro-choice women are a key voting bloc that Beauprez needs to win&mdash;and he appears willing to distort his record to get their votes.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Health Care Reproductive Rights Top Stories Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Andy Kroll 263141 at http://www.motherjones.com New York City Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/new-york-city-health-care-worker-being-treated-possible-ebola <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>The New York Times </em>reports Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who had recently been to West Africa to help treat Ebola patients, has tested <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/nyregion/craig-spencer-is-tested-for-ebola-virus-at-bellevue-hospital-in-new-york-city.html?smid=tw-share" target="_blank">positive for the disease</a>. Spencer is the first person in New York to be diagnosed.</p> <p>As Spencer's identity had been confirmed late Thursday afternoon, it became known he had been <a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/10/23/cbs-2-officials-looking-into-possible-ebola-case-in-new-york-city/" target="_blank">bowling in Brooklyn</a> on Wednesday, traveling via an Uber ride to and from Manhattan.</p> <p>"Ebola is very difficult to contract, being on the same subway car or living near someone with Ebola does not put someone at risk," de Blasio told reporters at a news conference Thursday evening.</p> <p>Since coming back to the United States on October 14th, the city's health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, confirmed Spencer used the subway's A, 1, and L lines and bowled at <a href="http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2014/10/the_gutter_bowl.html" target="_blank">The Gutter in Williamsburg</a>. Bassett said the city has been preparing for the possibility of an outbreak for the past few weeks, with Cuomo emphasizing healthcare workers have been well-trained for such an event.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WBH4m1U-0R0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">Earlier Thursday, Spencer was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan after suffering from Ebola-like symptoms, including a 100.3 fever and nausea.</span> The health department's initial report Spencer had a <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/nyc-ebola-patient-dr-craig-spencer-had-100-3-fever-n233031" target="_blank">103 degree fever</a> was corrected on Friday.</p> <p>The New York City Health Department released a statement indicating Spencer had returned to the United States<a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/diseases/ebola-stmt-nyc.shtml" target="_blank"> within the past 21 days. </a></p> <blockquote> <p class="rteindent1"><span class="bodytext">The patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).&nbsp; After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, DOHMH has decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient&rsquo;s recent travel history, pattern of symptoms, and past work. DOHMH and HHC are also evaluating the patient for other causes of illness, as these symptoms can also be consistent with salmonella, malaria, or the stomach flu.</span></p> </blockquote> <p><em>The New York Post</em> first identified <a href="http://nypost.com/2014/10/23/nyc-may-have-its-first-ebola-case/" target="_blank">Spencer,</a> who returned from <a href="https://twitter.com/NYTMetro/status/525382395789582336" target="_blank">Guinea on October 14</a> and reported his fever this morning.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HTlQ_x9uE8c" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>CNN</em> producer Vaughn Sterling tweeted the following:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>BREAKING: Possible NYC <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ebola?src=hash">#Ebola</a> didn't self-quarantine; took an &uuml;ber to Williamsburg bowling alley yesterday; now has fever/pain/nausea</p> &mdash; Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) <a href="https://twitter.com/vplus/status/525373604767469568">October 23, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><em>Reminder, refrain from panicking. This post has been updated throughout. </em></p></body></html> MoJo Health Ebola Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:38:43 +0000 Inae Oh 263131 at http://www.motherjones.com Students at a Nebraska High School Can Now Pose With Guns in Their Senior Portraits http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nebraska-high-school-guns-senior-portraits%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Seniors at Broken Bow High School in Nebraska have been granted their God-given right to <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/rural-nebraska-school-district-guns-yearbook-photos-article-1.1983551" target="_blank">pose</a> with guns for their upcoming senior portraits, just as long as the photos are taken off campus and done "tastefully."</p> <p>&ldquo;The board, I believe, felt they wanted to give students who are involved in those kinds of things the opportunity to take a senior picture with their hobby, with their sport, just like anybody with any other hobby or sport,&rdquo; Superintendent Mark Sievering explained to local paper, the <em><a href="http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/guns-in-senior-portraits-ok-if-done-tastefully-nebraska-school/article_e25a4c6e-593c-11e4-ae63-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=story" target="_blank">Omaha World-Herald. </a></em></p> <p>One would think such a bizarre proposal would prompt some level of debate, a modicum of sane opposition! After all, we're talking about mere teenagers eerily striking poses with weapons in their adolescent hands. Alas, the idea was met with a unanimous yes by all members of the Broken Bow school board.</p> <p>&ldquo;For me as a sportsman, I think the policy&rsquo;s important because it allows those kids who are doing those things a chance to demonstrate what they&rsquo;re doing and to celebrate that. I think that&rsquo;s important and fair in our country," board member Matthew Haumont said.</p> <p>As for the "tasteful" requirement, that means classy poses only folks: no photos with weapons pointed at the camera, no brandishing of weapons, and no "scantily clad girls."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Guns Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:14:30 +0000 Inae Oh 263116 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren's Latest Comment About Running For President Is the Most Cryptic Yet http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-people-magazine-2016 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>With 106 weeks until the next presidential election, speculating about a potential Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) candidacy is like going on a long car ride with a six-year-old. "Are you running?" <em>No</em>. "How about now?" <em>No</em>. "Now?" <em>No</em>. "Now?" <em>No</em>. "What about now?" <em>No</em>. "Are you running?" <em>No</em>. "Are you running?" [<em>exasperated sigh]</em> "Aha!"</p> <p>But Warren does continue to do the things people who are considering a run for president tend to do&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-was-fire-weekend-here-were-her-5-best-lines" target="_blank">flying to Iowa</a> to rally the troops on behalf of Rep. Bruce Braley, for instance, and going on tour to promote a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/elizabeth-warren-a-fighting-chance-2016" target="_blank">campaign-style book</a>. Her latest venture, a sit-down interview in the next issue of <a href="http://www.people.com/article/elizabeth-warren-interview-youtube-treasury-secretary-hillary-clinton" target="_blank"><em>People</em> magazine</a>, isn't going to do much to quiet the speculation, even as she once more downplayed the prospect of a run:</p> <blockquote> <p>[S]upporters are already lining up to back an "Elizabeth Warren for President" campaign in 2016. But is the freshman senator from Massachusetts herself on board with a run for the White House? Warren wrinkles her nose.</p> <p>"I don't think so," she tells PEOPLE in an interview conducted at Warren's Cambridge, Massachusetts, home for this week's issue. "If there's any lesson I've learned in the last five years, it's don't be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open."</p> <p>She just doesn't see the door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue being one of them. Not yet, anyway. "Right now," Warren says, "I'm focused on figuring out what else I can do from this spot" in the U.S. Senate.</p> </blockquote> <p>"Amazing doors"; "I don't think"; "right now"&mdash;<em>what does it all mean</em>? Warren's not really saying anything we haven't heard from her before. But after then-Sen. Barack Obama's furious denials about running for president eight years ago, no one's ready to take "no" for an answer. At least not yet, anyway.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:59:20 +0000 Tim Murphy 263111 at http://www.motherjones.com Map: The Most Popular NFL Teams Everywhere in America—According to Twitter http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nfl-team-twitter-map-popularity <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For now, even after all the concussions, the domestic violence, and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/timeline-history-offensive-sports-mascots-redskins-snyder" target="_blank">still-horribly named</a> team from Washington, DC, Americans still love their pro football. Twitter took a stab at measuring <a href="http://blog.twitter.com/2014/nfl-fan-map-where-are-your-team-s-followers" target="_blank">the popularity of every NFL franchise</a> by looking at the official Twitter handle for each team and then counting followers of those teams in each county. It's an imperfect measure, for sure, but it's a nifty interface and a lot of fun! Take a look:</p> <p><iframe src="https://interactive.twitter.com/nfl_followers2014/#?mode=team&amp;team=all" style="border:none;height:1100px;width:100%;"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Maps Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:39:59 +0000 AJ Vicens 263066 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 22, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-22-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Marine Sgt. speaks with a local child while on patrol in Afghanistan. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Military Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:28:42 +0000 263021 at http://www.motherjones.com 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 Will Nigeria's Kidnapped Schoolgirls Come 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><em><strong>Update, Friday, October 24:</strong> The deal reached last week between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram appears to have fallen apart as <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/10/24/boko-haram-was-supposed-to-be-releasing-the-nigerian-girls-but-instead-may-have-kidnapped-more/" target="_blank">reports surfaced</a> Thursday that the Islamist militants had kidnapped dozens more women and children in northern Nigeria, and had broken the recently agreed-upon cease fire.</em></p> <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