MoJo Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Elizabeth Warren Wastes No Time Slamming Donald Trump After Indiana Victory <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Shortly after Donald Trump was <a href="" target="_blank">declared the winner </a>of the Republican Indiana primary on Tuesday, effectively clinching the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren took to social media to blast the real estate magnate and call on her fellow Democrats to work together to block his path to the White House:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> is now the leader of the <a href="">@GOP</a>. It's real - he is one step away from the White House.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" ch arset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Here&rsquo;s what else is real: <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">There's more enthusiasm for <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> incites supporters to violence, praises Putin, and is "cool with being called an authoritarian."</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> attacks vets like <a href="">@SenJohnMcCain</a> who were captured &amp; puts our servicemembers at risk by cheerleading illegal torture.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">And <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> puts out out contradictory &amp; nonsensical national security ideas one expert called "incoherent" &amp; "truly bizarre."</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">What happens next will test the character for all of us &ndash; Republican, Democrat, and Independent.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">It will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man's narcissism and divisiveness.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The Massachusetts senator, who has yet to endorse a candidate for the Democratic nomination, ended her attack by saying she was ready to fight in the general election.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I'm going to fight my heart out to make sure <a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a>&rsquo;s toxic stew of hatred &amp; insecurity never reaches the White House.</p> &mdash; Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></center></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Wed, 04 May 2016 12:15:08 +0000 Inae Oh 303211 at The Science That Will Make You Question Everything About Weight Loss <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>NBC Reality show <em>The Biggest Loser</em> stands at the intersection of a great American contradiction:<strong> </strong>We have a food system geared toward moving mountains of cheap, flavor-engineered, and <a href="">fattening junk</a>; meanwhile, our pop culture equates <a href="">thinness with beauty</a>.</p> <p>Add the show's appeal to our thirst for degrading spectacles and our appetite for self-help treacle, and you've got quite a <a href="">profitable enterprise</a>&mdash;complete with a <a href="">16-season run</a> on network TV, <a href="">four resorts</a>, <a href="">cookbooks</a>, <a href="">workout videos</a>, and <a href="">exercise gear</a>.</p> <p>But as a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em> piece</a> underscored earlier this week, what <em>The Biggest Loser</em> doesn't do is provide any kind of recipe for sustained weight loss. That's the obvious takeaway from a dramatic peer-reviewed <a href="">study</a> published in the journal <em>Obesity</em> that tracked 14 of 16 <em>Biggest Loser</em> contestants from the <a href="">2009 season</a> to see how they fared in the years after time on reality TV.</p> <p>Two things struck me about the story. One is the brutality of the regimen that contestants subject themselves to. Here's the<em> Times, </em>describing the routine of 2009 contestant Danny Cahill, who arrived on the show's set weighing 430 pounds and exited weighing 191 pounds&mdash;a 56 percent drop:</p> <blockquote> <p>Sequestered on the "Biggest Loser" ranch with the other contestants, Mr. Cahill exercised seven hours a day, burning 8,000 to 9,000 calories according to a calorie tracker the show gave him. He took electrolyte tablets to help replace the salts he lost through sweating, consuming many fewer calories than before.</p> </blockquote> <p>To put those numbers in perspective, consider that the US Department of Agriculture <a href="">estimates</a> that a moderately active adult male should consume about 2,600 calories daily to maintain body weight. Cahill was routinely burning through more than three times that much.</p> <p>The second thing was the punishing effort contestants have expended in the years since, in a futile effort to keep the pounds off. For four years, Cahill exercised two to three hours per day to keep his weight below 255 pounds while pursuing a "new career giving motivational speeches as the biggest loser ever." Essentially, Cahill was spending about as much time exercising daily as a healthy adult needs in an entire week, according to the Mayo Clinic's <a href="">recommendations</a>. Not surprisingly, he couldn't keep it up. When that motivational-speaker work dried up, he returned to his old job as a surveyor&mdash;"and the pounds started coming back." Now Cahill weighs 100 pounds more than he did after stepping off Biggest Loser ranch, the <em>Times </em>reports.</p> <p>All the other contestants in the study followed a similar path: a steep loss for the cameras followed by a long and vexed struggle to maintain it. The participating contestants lost an average of 128 pounds during their stints on the show&mdash;and have regained about 90 pounds since. Some are heavier now than before they began their TV exertions.</p> <p>Their problem is a phenomenon about as ubiquitous and invisible as gravity: what the researchers call "persistent metabolic adaptation." That is to say, when your body adapts to a certain weight&mdash;based on genetic factors, but also on diet and exercise&mdash;it pushes to maintain that weight when those habits drastically change. It does so essentially by putting the breaks on metabolism. A lower metabolism translates to higher propensity to put on pounds&mdash;in essence, your body is less efficient at burning calories and more prone to storing the excess as weight.</p> <p>When they began their time on <em>The Biggest Loser,</em> the contestants had a "resting metabolism rate" (RMR) of, on average, 2,607&thinsp;calories. The RMR measures how much energy your body consumes per day maintaining normal functions. Anything you consume above that amount has to be balanced by calorie-burning activity or you put on weight.</p> <p>By the time they left the show, their average RMR had fallen to 1,996 calories&mdash;their bodies burned significantly fewer calories per day than they had burned before, putting pressure on them to eat very little and exercise a lot to maintain their new weights. Six years later, the researchers found&mdash;to their surprise&mdash;the contestants' RMR levels haven't budged much at all, even though they have regained nearly three-quarters of the weight they had lost. More than a half decade after their made-for-TV ordeal, their bodies are still geared to add more weight. Here's the<em> Times</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants' metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, the study suggests, for overweight people, extreme measures like hours per day in the gym and severe calorie restrictions&mdash;what <em>The Biggest Loser </em>presents&mdash;isn't a long-term weight-loss strategy.</p> <p>I reached out to the show's producers for comment on the <em>Obesity</em> study. "We have comprehensive procedures and support systems in place which we routinely re-evaluate to ensure all contestants receive the best care possible," they replied in an emailed statement. "The lead medical doctor on the show, who has worked with the National Institutes of Health on initiatives in the past relating to <em>The Biggest Loser</em>, has been made aware of this most recent study and is in the process of evaluating its findings."</p> <p>While researching this piece, I alighted upon the webpage for <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Biggest Loser</em>'s resort program</a>, which runs resorts in Chicago, Florida, New York, and California and calls itself a "A Life Changing Weight Loss Program."</p> <p>A live-chat box popped up, offering assistance. To find out what sort of claim the company makes, I typed in a hypothetical query: "I weigh 350 and hope to get down to 200. Can you help?"</p> <p>"Absolutely!" came the response. "Are you associated with the TV show?" I asked. "Yes we are!" My chat interlocutor went on to estimate that I could expect to lose four to seven pounds per week at the resort, exercising "about" six hours per day. When I expressed concern about maintaining losses going forward, the person reassured me: "Our educational seminars are built to really help you keep the weight off and continue your program at home!" Rates start at $2,995.00 weekly, plus tax, the rep added.</p></body></html> Environment Food Wed, 04 May 2016 10:00:17 +0000 Tom Philpott 303176 at Trickle-Down Economics Has Ruined the Kansas Economy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Republicans have long sung the praises of trickle-down economics: Just cut taxes, and the economy will flourish as companies and individuals use the windfall to boost investment and create jobs. But a grand experiment in implementing those policies at the state level has revealed a far less rosy reality&mdash;and the consequences are threatening to spark a civil war among Republicans.</p> <p>Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, <a href="" target="_blank">launched an "experiment"</a> in conservative policy after he was elected in 2010, drastically slashing the state's income taxes under the assumption that the move would kick-start Kansas' economy and rev up job creation. With help from Arthur Laffer, Ronald Reagan's mastermind of trickle-down economics, Brownback convinced lawmakers in the state to cut personal income tax rates across the board and eliminate the top tax bracket, with further reductions to come. Kansas also completely erased the income tax bills for the owners of certain "small" businesses, totaling 330,000 by this year and including a host of subsidiaries of Wichita-based Koch Industries. The Koch-funded organization Americans for Prosperity helped Brownback push the bill, and have remained staunch defenders of the changes. The tax cuts were sold by Brownback with the idea that they would pay for themselves when a renewed economy boosted state revenues despite the lower rates.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href=""><img alt="Sam Brownback" class="image" src="/files/Brownback_inline.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><strong>Read more about how <a href="" target="_blank">Sam Brownback created a Kochtopia in Kansas.</a> </strong></div> </div> <p>Four years after those tax cuts first went into effect, the opposite has occurred. The promised explosion of private sector growth hasn't come to pass, as the state's economy has generally lagged the rest of the nation. In March, the Kansas Department of Labor <a href="">reported</a>, the state had only 800 more private sector jobs than a year prior. The loss of tax revenue has decimated the state budget, creating a fiscal crisis necessitating drastic cuts, since the state, unlike the federal government, can't run a deficit. As the <em>Kansas City Star</em>'s editorial board recently <a href="">highlighted</a>, so far this fiscal year, Kansas is $420 million short of the revenue it had the year Brownback's tax cuts first went in effect.</p> <p>Now Brownback's Republican allies who helped shepherd the tax cuts through the legislature are starting to have buyer's remorse. "I'm not happy with how things played out," Republican state Sen. Jim Denning <a href="">told</a> the Associated Press last month. A group of Republicans introduced a bill<strong> </strong>in March to reverse the tax exemption for small business owners. "We are going to have long-term budget challenges unless we fix the gaping hole in our tax code, the part of our tax code that is rife with unfairness," state Senate Vice President Jeff King, a Republican, <a href="" target="_blank">said</a> when the proposal was introduced.</p> <p>Still, Brownback's allies are not quite ready to ditch the experiment and raise taxes&mdash;particularly in an election year. The bill to reinstate taxes on small business owners <a href="">failed</a> in the state House last week by a 74-45 vote.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the state legislature reached a deal for a new budget to tackle the shortfalls in the current fiscal year and plan ahead for the one that starts in July, requiring $290 million in cuts or new revenue. Republicans have settled on cuts rather than higher taxes as the solution. The deal cuts highway funds by more than $100 million, delays payments to the state pension program, and reduces funding for the state university system. But legislators largely passed the buck to Brownback when it came to making some of the toughest cuts. They <a href="" target="_blank">left</a> an extra $92 million in the budget that needs to get erased, and the governor will have to decide what cuts to make, with social services like Medicaid a prime target. The legislature only stipulated that Brownback abstain from cutting funds for K-12 education&mdash;likely a moot point anyway, with a years-long lawsuit still <a href="" target="_blank">winding</a> through the courts that could force the state to spend more money on schools.</p> <p>"Those of us who come back next year better start figuring this out," Republican state Sen. Jeff Longbine <a href="" target="_blank">told</a> the <em>Topeka Capital-Journal</em>. "And whether it's revenue or cuts, or a combination of both&mdash;but we cannot continue to play the shell game."</p></body></html> Politics The Right Wed, 04 May 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 303146 at Watch Donald Trump's Victory Speech After Cruz Drops Out <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>After Ted Cruz <a href="" target="_blank">bowed out</a> of the presidential race on Tuesday night following a devastating loss in the Indiana primary, a victorious Donald Trump&mdash;now the presumptive GOP presidential nominee&mdash;spoke from Trump Tower.</p> <p>A subdued Trump opened the speech by thanking his family. He later praised Cruz as "one hell of a competitor," and a "tough, smart guy" with "an amazing future." <span class="message_body">He also thanked the Republican National Committee, saying that he had just gotten off the phone with RNC chairman Reince Priebus. <b>&acirc;&#128;&#139;</b></span><span class="message_body">"He had 17 egos," Trump said of Priebus having to deal with the initial Republican field, "and now I guess he's down to one." </span><span class="message_body">Earlier in the night, the RNC chairman tweeted that Trump was now the presumptive GOP nominee and called on Republicans to rally behind him to defeat Hillary.</span></p> <p>Here's the full speech:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Wed, 04 May 2016 01:53:45 +0000 Hannah Levintova 303201 at Sanders Upsets Clinton in Indiana <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Bernie Sanders outperformed polls and defeated Hillary Clinton in the Indiana Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday. But although his win halts her momentum, it will do little to alter the delegate math or impede Clinton's likely path to the nomination.</p> <p>Headed into Tuesday, Clinton had won 1,663 pledged delegates to Sanders' 1,367, according to the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>. Clinton's lead balloons to 855 when superdelegates are added to the equation.</p> <p>Just nine states remain in the Democratic contest. Because the party, unlike the Republican Party, rewards delegates proportionally in each state, Sanders would have to defeat Clinton by overwhelming margins in order to close the pledged delegate gap. With Donald Trump also <a href="" target="_blank">further cementing his lead</a> in the Republican race, it seems probable that Clinton will continue to shift her attention to running a campaign against her likely general election opponent rather than her primary campaign foe.</p> <p>But Tuesday's win means Sanders is likely to keep trekking on, at least until California votes on June 7. His campaign has outpaced Clinton in donations in recent months, so he has the funds to keep things going until the end of the process. The longer he sticks around, the more leverage he might gain for extracting concessions from Clinton to <a href="" target="_blank">include</a> his pet policies in the party platform at this summer's Democratic convention. But even after a win on Tuesday, his chances of catching up to her in the delegate count are slim.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton Wed, 04 May 2016 01:16:23 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 303171 at Ted Cruz Ends Presidential Campaign After Trump Sweep in Indiana <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>After a projected Donald Trump sweep in Indiana was announced by the major TV networks on Tuesday night, reports began to surface that Ted Cruz would be ending his campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Just in: <a href="">@TedCruz</a> is ending his presidential campaign, campaign manager Jeff Roe tells me.</p> &mdash; Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Cruz confirmed as much in a speech on Tuesday night, saying that while he is suspending his campaign, "I am not suspending our fight for liberty. I am not suspending our fight to defend the constitution. To defend the Judeo-Christian values that built America. Our movement will continue." Here's the moment in his speech when he announced it was over:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Going into Tuesday, Cruz had no chance of securing a majority of delegates and a win on the first ballot at the Republican convention in Cleveland in July. After Trump's decisive win in Indiana, even that goal appeared unrealistic. Trump is now considered to be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tweeted as much:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="">@realDonaldTrump</a> will be presumtive <a href="">@GOP</a> nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating <a href="">@HillaryClinton</a> <a href="">#NeverClinton</a></p> &mdash; Reince Priebus (@Reince) <a href="">May 4, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Wed, 04 May 2016 00:35:27 +0000 Hannah Levintova 303196 at Trump Wins Indiana, All But Sealing the GOP Nomination <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Donald Trump won the Indiana Republican primary Tuesday night, dealing what is likely a fatal blow to the Ted Cruz campaign and the movement to deny Trump the presidential nomination.</p> <p>The major networks called the race for Trump shortly after polls closed at 6 p.m. Central Time. With 10 percent reporting, Trump was winning 54 percent of the vote, to 34 percent for Cruz and 9 percent for John Kasich.</p> <p>Trump's victory in Indiana <a href="" target="_blank">puts him in a strong position</a> to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in July. Indiana will send 57 bound delegates to the convention in Cleveland. Trump is likely to take most or even all of them.</p> <p>Cruz was hoping for a comeback in Indiana following a series of defeats. After Trump dominated two weeks of primaries in the Northeast, including in his home state of New York, the primary map shifted away from the East Coast, where Trump has been dominant. Indiana's large working-class white population presented an advantage for Trump, but the state's Republican voters are also socially conservative, and its <a href="" target="_blank">demographics</a> resemble those of Missouri, where Cruz essentially tied Trump, more so than Michigan or Illinois, where Trump dominated.</p> <p>But Trump's momentum coming off his East Coast wins helped him gain steam in Indiana, and his lead in the polls grew steadily over the past week, leaving him with an 11-point lead over Cruz in the <em>Real Clear Politics </em><a href="" target="_blank">polling average</a> heading into Tuesday. Cruz also suffered an unforced error last week when, in the course of pandering to basketball fans in Indiana, he called the hoop a "<a href="" target="_blank">basketball ring</a>."</p> <p>The delegate math grew more daunting for Cruz after the East Coast primaries. Cruz was mathematically eliminated from clinching the nomination on the first ballot at the convention. Instead, he needs to keep Trump under 1,237 delegates in order to force a contested convention, where he could challenge the front-runner.</p> <p>Looking for a reset, Cruz announced last week in Indianapolis that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate&mdash;an unprecedented step since Cruz is far from securing the nomination. But as tonight's results showed, his Hail Mary wasn't enough to stop Trump.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Ted Cruz Donald Trump Tue, 03 May 2016 23:05:16 +0000 Pema Levy 303161 at This Abortion Doctor Is Fighting for Her Right to Stand Up for Reproductive Rights <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>An abortion provider in Washington, D.C. has filed a legal complaint against the hospital where she is currently completing a two-year fellowship, alleging that administrators violated her civil rights by effectively silencing her from publicly supporting the right to an abortion, the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Times </em></a>reports.</p> <p>According to Diane Horvath-Cosper, MedStar Hospital Center in D.C. began to bar her from defending the medical procedure in interviews and newspapers editorials soon after the deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado last November. The attack was the most deadly in a <a href="" target="_blank">recent surge of violence directed</a> at abortion providers after anti-abortion activists released a string of heavily-edited videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials administering the sale of fetal tissues.</p> <p>"The dialogue is dominated by those who have demonized this totally normal part of health care," Horvath-Cosper said in an interview with the <em>Times</em>. "I don't think the way to deal with bullies is to cower and pull back."</p> <p>Horvath-Cosper's lawyers say that in addition to violating her legal protection from employment discrimination based on her stance on abortion, which is guaranteed by the Supreme Court in its 1973 decision Roe. v Wade, the hospital failed to provide the proper security measures to keep her physically safe from attacks.</p> <p>Horvath-Cosper's legal battle comes amid the continuing efforts by conservative lawmakers to roll back women's access to legal abortions around the country and several state's attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. In response, some abortion rights activists have embraced the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign in hopes to destigmatize the medical procedure. Others, have adopted similar approaches to MedStar Hospital Center and have actively sought to <a href="" target="_blank">avoid attracting such attention</a> out of concern for the public safety and the safety of staff members who assist with performing abortions.</p> <p>According to the <em>Times, </em>when Dr. Horvath-Cosper attempted to come to an arrangement in which she could still write about abortion without mentioning where she worked, the hospital suggested she abandon her fellowship if she wanted to maintain her public advocacy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Politics Reproductive Rights Tue, 03 May 2016 21:04:50 +0000 Inae Oh 303111 at A New Investigation Confirms Your Worst Suspicions About Michigan Leaders and the Flint Water Crisis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In the aftermath of the water crisis in Flint, many have asked why&mdash;despite numerous reports of tainted, foul-smelling water from residents&mdash;lead-contaminated water flowed through the city's pipes for 18 months. The response has been largely a deflection in blame: Local officials say they were following state orders; the <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency has skirted questions about its responsibility</a> for the crisis; Gov. Rick Snyder maintains that he didn't know about the lead contamination until the fall of last year. A new <a href="" target="_blank">investigation</a> from Michigan news outlet <em>MLive</em>, based on thousands of emails and other documents released by the state, concludes that the blame lies largely at the feet of the Snyder administration:</p> <blockquote> <p>[T]he water crisis was an unintended consequence of the state's takeover of Flint in 2011, after which a series of four emergency managers were given near-dictatorial powers so they could cut the city's budget and bring the books in line. Among the cost-saving measures: Change the city's water supply and do it on the cheap. Snyder was aware by fall 2014 that using the Flint River for the city's water was causing serious water-quality issues. But, for the next 12 months, he and his administration saw fixing Flint's finances as the higher priority.</p> </blockquote> <p>Check out the <em>MLive</em> video above, which lays out a timeline of internal communications between state authorities from the fall of 2014 to the beginning of this year&mdash;and sheds light on how this slow-moving disaster came to be.</p></body></html> Environment Health Regulatory Affairs Tue, 03 May 2016 20:24:49 +0000 Julia Lurie 303166 at Watch This Crowd of Parents Sing "Jesus Loves Me" to Shut Up a Transgender Supporter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Protests against gender-inclusive bathrooms are on the rise. On Monday, according to local news reports, <a href="" target="_blank">more than 500 people</a> showed up at a school board meeting in Horry County, South Carolina, to debate whether transgender kids should be able to use bathrooms of their choice. Most of the parents objected, with some holding signs that read "Keep kids safe" or "It's common sense." After one woman stood up to show her support for transgender rights, the others did their best to shut her up, by breaking into a hymn. Watch the video above (the hymn comes at the end), via the<em> </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Sun News</em></a>.</p> <p>In states in the Midwest and South, protesters have been showing up at Target stores, after the retail giant <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> on April 19 that transgender customers and employees would be welcome to use whichever bathrooms correspond with their gender identity. More than 1 million people have since signed a <a href="" target="_blank">petition</a> to boycott the retailer, claiming that "Target's policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims." The American Family Association, a conservative nonprofit that organized the boycott, says it has been <a href="" target="_blank">"testing" Target's policy</a> by sending men who aren't transgender into the store's women's bathrooms.</p> <p>In Illinois, the police responded on Monday to a 911 call <a href="" target="_blank">reporting an "active shooter"</a> at a Target store. The person turned out to be 39-year-old Michael Merichko, who was protesting the bathroom policy by walking around the store with a Bible, allegedly causing a disturbance. Police found no weapons at the scene, but the man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to a <a href="" target="_blank">statement from the police</a>. Merichko explained his take on the situation in a <a href="" target="_blank">video on Facebook</a>, in which he says he was simply reading scriptures to himself in the store. "Here's the concern," he says. "I do not want some wicked pervert in the same bathroom as my wife or my daughter who self-identifies at that time as a woman."</p> <p>In Florida, Anita Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group that has supported restrictive bathroom bills across the country, <a href="" target="_blank">pledged</a> to take her Glock .45 into the retailer's restrooms to protect herself. She said she's not afraid of transgender people, but of "perverts" who will pretend to be transgender and use the policy to gain access to women's bathrooms, even if they don't identify as women.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I'm taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room. It identifies as my bodyguard. <a href="">#BoycottTarget</a> <a href="">@Target</a></p> &mdash; Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) <a href="">April 22, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" height="380" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%2010.49.23%20AM.png" width="513"></div> <p>Staver may have failed to note that Target adopted a policy of prohibiting firearms on its premises nationwide after its stores became a high-profile battleground for <a href="" target="_blank">gun rights activists</a> <a href="" target="_blank">in 2014</a>.</p> <p>Below is one of many videos posted to YouTube by other Target protesters. In it, a man wearing a shirt that says "Abortion is Murder" and "Jesus Is Life" shouts at employees near the front door: "You people that work in here, shame on you! Find another job!" (Who recorded the video and where remain unclear.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Law enforcement experts have debunked the "bathroom predator" myth. "It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Detective Nicole Monroe, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Police Department, <a href="" target="_blank">told the <em>Washington Blade</em></a> of the notion that people would pose as transgender in order to get inside women's bathrooms to sexually abuse women and children. <a href="" target="_blank">According to Media Matters for America</a>, there have been no such incidents in any of the cities where transgender people are allowed to use public bathrooms of their choice.</p></body></html> Politics Video Civil Liberties Sex and Gender The Right Top Stories Tue, 03 May 2016 20:03:57 +0000 Samantha Michaels 303136 at