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The ruling Libyan government reported Thursday that former dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been captured in Sirte. National Transitional Council officials said Gaddafi had been wounded in both legs. Reports of his capture have not been independently verified. Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, had fallen to the former rebels shortly before his supposed capture. A field commander of the NTC confirmed that Gaddafi had been captured, but said it is not clear whether he is dead or alive. NATO has not confirmed the reports.
Read it at Al Jazeera English
The New York Times said Bologna’s nonchalant attitude “looked as if he were spraying cockroaches.” Then it turned out that this particular officer has a history of complaints regarding protestor abuse. The longer the NYPD sits on this, the worse it’s going to get, as evidenced by Lawrence O’Donnell’s seven minute tirade demanding the heads of Officer Bologna and his superiors at police department.
Read the Article
Occupy Wall Street has already won, perhaps not the victory most of its participants want, but a momentous victory nonetheless. It has already altered our political debate, changed the agenda, shifted the discussion in newspapers, on cable TV, and even around the water cooler. And that is wonderful.
Suddenly, the issues of equity, fairness, justice, income distribution, and accountability for the economic cataclysm–issues all but ignored for a generation—are front and center. We have moved beyond the one-dimensional conversation about how much and where to cut the deficit. Questions more central to the social fabric of our nation have returned to the heart of the political debate. By forcing this new discussion, OWS has made most of the other participants in our politics—who either didn’t want to have this conversation or weren’t able to make it happen—look pretty small.
Surely, you might say, other factors have contributed: A convergence of horrifying economic data has crystallized the public’s underlying anxiety. Data show that median family income declined by 6.7 percent over the past two years, the unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1 percent in the October report (16.5 percent if you look at the more meaningful U6 number), and 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty—the most in more than 50 years. Certainly, those data help make Occupy Wall Street’s case.
The Occupy Wall St. movement spread overseas Saturday, with demonstrators taking to the streets in cities in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. About 200 people turned out in Tokyo, while protests are also planned in Australia, Britain, France, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Mexico, and Venezuela. The movement’s central site, United for Global Change, says 951 cities in 82 countries will participate in rallies. Bankers, however, don’t seem to be taking the protests very seriously in private. “Most people view it as a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll,” one hedge-fund manager tells The New York Times. A bank executive says it’s “fringe groups” while a money manager calls them “just disgruntled people.” The money manager is particularly angry at New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for not coming to their defense, despite Wall Street’s generous campaign contributions: “They need to understand who their constituency is.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has lost his seat on a local committee in his home state, the Washington Post reports. Cantor was automatically removed from the committee rolls after his endorsement of Del. Bill Janis — a Republican who’s running for Henrico County attorney as an independent.
“Any Republican who supports a non-Republican in a contested race will be automatically removed,” reports the Post.
"Eight days ago, THE dataset of "Occupy" Facebook groups tallied 480,000 "likes" of a core group of 200 that we had initially identified at the beginning of October, and nearly 643,000 in all when we include a larger set of another 280 Facebook groups.
Today, those two cohorts have basically doubled in size, to 897,000 and 1,233,000, according to our friends at CollectiveDisorder.com. I am sure the actual total is much higher, as the overall number of Facebook groups associated with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is certainly much larger."
In the course of clearing her throat for an attack on Rick Perry Tuesday night, Michele Bachmann tossed out this now-standard bit of conservative boilerplate:
"In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan produced an economic miracle…"
It's probably hopeless to take on the Reagan economic myth at this late date, but honestly, it's long past time to put it to rest. The truth about the '80s is far more prosaic. [READ MORE]
Ronald Reagan's Real Legacy | Mother Jones
In an effort to push forward the Legislature’s controversial elections overhaul, the state of Florida has filed a complaint challenging sections of the Voting Rights Act.
The complaint — which was filed today by Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning — argues that federal preclearance requirements for state election laws are “unconstitutional.”
The Voting Rights Act, which became law in 1965, was written to outlaw discriminatory voting rules. Section 5 of the act requires the federal government to review and approve any changes to election laws in certain areas. Five Florida counties currently fall under that jurisdiction.
Working to implement the Legislature’s elections overhaul, Browning’s office has asked a federal judge to approve four of the law’s most controversial measures: new restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, a shortened “shelf life” for signatures collected for ballot initiatives, new restrictions on voters changing their registered addresses on election day, and a reduction in the number of early voting days. In the 62 Florida counties not covered by Section 5, Browning’s office has already implemented the new elections rules.
With today’s filing, the state is now challenging the very law that stands in the way of implementing the new election rules in every county.
Florida secretary of state challenges Voting Rights Act | Florida Independent
Read it at Bloomberg
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Any Other Time Since The 1920s: Not only are the wealthiest 1 percent
of Americans taking home a tremendous portion of the national income,
but their share of this income is greater than at any other time since the
Source: CBPP calculations based on data from Piketty and Saenz
Formed as Coalition of Concerned Christians
The Minnesota Family Council got its start in 1982 as a group of conservative Christians concerned that laws criminalizing gays and lesbians would be overturned.
“I believe we need to be true to our roots and let who we are grow out of that. The Berean League, as we were known, was founded locally by four people in 1982 as a ‘Coalition of Concerned Christians,’ former Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Family Council, Mike Christenson, told that organization’s newspaper, the Pro-Family News in 2001. ”This was in response to the very narrow defeat at the legislature of an attempt to repeal the Minnesota sodomy law.”
The effort to repeal the criminalization of homosexuality was supported by the Minnesota Council of Churches in 1982 . Amidst the perceived liberalism of mainstream Christianity in Minnesota, the Coalition of Concerned Christians was formed, which then blossomed into the Berean League.
Wendell and Roberta Brown were among the early founders and they joined the Rev. Morris Vaagenes of North Heights Lutheran Church in Roseville and former legislator Wayne Oloft to found the League. The foursome set out to block the planned repeal of sodomy laws and were successful; the repeal was narrowly defeated in the Minnesota Legislature in 1983.
Berean League’s literature painted gay people as diseased
The Berean League set up shop in St. Paul, where it published Roger J. Magnuson’s “Are Gay Rights Right?” a work that has been a staple of religious right groups for decades and has been discredited by civil rights groups.
The book, first published in 1985 and revamped in 1990 with a “special AIDs supplement,” contains chapters such as “What do homosexuals do?,” “Where do homosexuals do it?,” and “With whom does the homosexual do it?” The book collected the most extreme examples of sexual activity from pornography, police reports and research articles from before psychological organizations had rejected homosexuality as a mental illness, to paint gay men as diseased and psychologically deviant.
The book took advantage of the HIV epidemic in gay men to spur fears that “innocent” Americans may become infected.
Magnuson and his book played key roles in the 1992 Colorado ballot initiative that barred laws preventing discrimination against LGBT people. That initiative passed by the voters but was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996.
In 1990, Dr. Ralph Blair of Evangelicals Concerned, reviewed Magnuson’s book, which argued that gay people weren’t discriminated against. Blair knocked down “outrageous statements” by Magnuson, such as that “one-fifth of all homosexuals admitted to having sexual contact, or at least masturbating, with animals.”
Blair condemned the false information in Magnuson’s book: ” These statements may remind one of segregationists’ warnings against racial “mongrelization,” appeals to Bible verses to support slavery, and papal decrees against sex with Jews and Protestants. How can a Christian write such a book? How can Christians buy into such a book?”