ONTD Political

When thousands of low-wage workers across the country protest low pay on Wednesday [04/15/2015], they won't only be fighting for the millions of workers who flip our burgers, stock our grocery shelves and take care of our kids. They'll be fighting for a monumental shift in the American economy that could save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Poverty wages cost U.S. taxpayers about $153 billion each year, according to a recent reportfrom the University of California, Berkeley. That's because, when families depend on low-wage jobs to survive, they're forced to rely on government programs like Medicaid and food stamps to make ends meet.

The Berkeley report looks at how much states and the federal government are spending on programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. The report found that the federal government spends about $127.8 billion per year, and states collectively spend about $25 billion per year, on public assistance programs for working families.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is stalled at a paltry $7.25 an hour. A parent working full-time at that rate over the course of the year won't bring in enough money to live above the poverty line for a family of two, which means leaning on government assistance.

So when a company like McDonald's, for instance, pays a worker the minimum wage, you, the taypayer, end up subsidizing her pay. A 2013 analysis from the National Employment Law Project found that the 10 largest fast food companies cost taxpayers about $3.8 billion per year.Bigass graphic behind cutCollapse )

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[posted to mod queue 04/14/2015]
Creepy Judge Reduces Pedophile’s Sentence, Suggests Little Girl Caused Her Own Rape

Author: Stephen D Foster Jr April 7, 2015 1:58 pm

A California judge reduced the sentence of a child rapist, arguing that the pedophile meant no harm to the 3-year-old girl he sexually assaulted.Collapse )

Here is the link to a petition started to get this judge to step down:

https://www.change.org/p/judge-says-child-rapist-didn-t-mean-to-hurt-the-3-year-old-toddler-he-sodomized

Source is completely grossed out by this Judge's words and actions.


Inevitable Michael Slager Crowdfunding Campaign Gets Pulled from GoFundMe

It’s somewhat inevitable these days that, within hours of a newsworthy controversy, someone’s going to make a crowdfunding page to support whomever they believe to be the true victims of the media/progressives/conservatives/the system/etc. Someone set one up for Michael Slager, the South Carolina cop charged with the murder of an unarmed man, and within hours it was shut down — which is one of the few times we’ve ever seen that happen.

GoFundMe, the site that hosted the initial crowdfunding campaign, told ThinkProgress that it had pulled a campaign contributing to Slager’s defense due to its violation of the site’s Terms and Conditions. Their spokeswoman declined to elaborate, but said that they could only “discuss the details of campaigns with the organizers.”

The campaign has been moved to IndieGoGo, and also has a Facebook page, with numerous comments overwhelmingly accusing the page’s organizers of making “a sad attempt at cashing in at a tragedy.” IndieGoGo told ThinkProgress that as long as the page’s founders are following their Terms of use, “we don’t judge the content of campaigns as long as they are in compliance”.

GoFundMe is no stranger to controversial crowdfunding: they hosted a fundraiser for Ferguson cop Darren Wilson, as well as the highly controversial fundraiser for Indiana’s Memories Pizza, which became a conservative bellwether after they reportedly said they would not cater gay weddings. (They did, however, once take down a crowdfunding campaign raising money for an abortion, saying it was “inappropriate” for the site.)

Slager has been charged with the murder of Walter Scott after a video emerged of him firing eight times at the fleeing man, who he had pulled over for a traffic stop. His lawyer, who repeated his client’s claims that Scott had scuffled with him and grabbed his taser, publicly dropped his client shortly after the video emerged.
I started watching last night's seven-leader UK General Election debate expecting something akin to a US presidential primary multi-candidate free-for-all. What took place, however, was much more interesting.

Imagine a 2012 debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney - then add conservative populist firebrand Pat Buchanan, Libertarian Ron Paul, a Green Party candidate and pro-independence nationalists from Texas and New England.

The diversity of viewpoints was refreshing; the tenor of the discussion spirited.

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32169148

OP: Keep your eye on this election. It's going to be utterly mental. My prediction? Labour-SNP pact of some kind.


An Indiana woman's 20-year sentence in the death of her premature infant was cruel and a misuse of the state's feticide law, which was not intended to punish women who try to end their own pregnancies, the head of a national advocacy group said Wednesday.

A judge sentenced Purvi Patel, 33, of Granger, a South Bend suburb, on Monday, saying Patel had abused her position of trust when she gave birth prematurely, threw the baby in the trash and lied to hospital personnel about giving birth.

Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said Patel's sentence marks the first time a woman in the U.S. has been convicted and sentenced for attempting to end her own pregnancy, despite claims by advocates of feticide laws that they would not be used to criminalize abortion.

"This is quite traumatic and frightening," Paltrow said, adding that more than 35 states have feticide laws that were intended to be used if a woman's fetus was killed by someone else. "Many people would love to see an end to abortion, but a majority of even those people don't want to see women locked up in prison."

Prosecutors contended Patel took drugs from China to end the pregnancy because it was more convenient than having a medical abortion. Patel's attorney said prosecutors never proved she took any drug to end the pregnancy and that she has been vilified.

Patel was found guilty in February of neglect of a baby — whose body was found on July 14, 2013, in a trash bin behind her family's restaurant in Mishawaka — and of feticide, which in Indiana is defined as a person who knowingly or intentionally terminates a pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth, to remove a dead fetus or to perform a legal abortion.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule sought a 30-year sentence for Patel on the neglect charge and 10 years for feticide, saying she failed to seek medical help when the baby was born alive. She was sentenced to 30 years on the neglect charge, with the final 10 years suspended, and ordered to serve a concurrent six-year sentence on the feticide conviction.

Patel has indicated she plans to appeal.

Other women have been charged with feticide for attempting to end their own pregnancies, but none until now had been convicted and sentenced, Paltrow said.

Posted: 04/01/2015 8:24 pm EDT. Updated: 04/02/2015 1:59 am EDT.

Source
The number of people taking high school equivalency exams in the U.S. plummeted — and the percentage who passed fell, too — in the year after a revamped, Common Core-inspired GED was introduced along with two new competing tests.

Test administrators say a rush by people to take the old exam in 2013 before the newer ones were rolled out resulted in fewer test-takers in 2014. And the harder questions on the new exams led to lower scores.

The GED, or General Educational Development test, was overhauled last year to reflect some of the Common Core standards that have been adopted by most states and emphasize critical thinking. In 2014, two new high school equivalency exams that also incorporate some of those standards were introduced by other testing companies.

All three tests require students desiring a diploma to show higher-level skills, such as writing essays using evidence they pull from reading materials they are given. In math, students must interpret data and plot equations to solve problems.

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Even though my last two posts have yet to show up here, I just HAVE to post this! It's just too outrageous to pass up, lol. (And by the way, mods, if the comm needs more mods to help get posts up in a more timely fashion, my offer to help out still stands. :-)

A family-owned pizza parlor is causing a media stir after reportedly becoming the first business to publicly vow to reject gay and lesbian couples in the wake of Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton said theirs is a "Christian establishment" and that they agree with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who has come under fire after signing the bill, which allows business owners to cite religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party, ABC 57 reported.

That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual," Kevin O'Connor told the news station. "They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?”

O'Connor's daughter Crystal said she didn't think that the bill was "targeting gays," adding, "It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief."

In a separate interview with The Daily Beast, O'Connor clarified that although he doesn't "have a problem with gay people," he does not condone same-sex marriage. Although he wouldn't cater to a same-sex wedding, he wouldn't turn anyone away from the shop itself.

“I mean, we don’t believe in murder. I also don’t believe in abortion,” he added.

Indiana's law has been slammed by political figures and celebrities alike. Stephen King, George Takei and Miley Cyrus are just a few of the bold-faced names to have condemned the legislation thus far.

Meanwhile, Pence has since called for an amendment to clarify that the legislation does not allow businesses to deny service to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

Source

After years of complaints that agents arbitrarily search black women’s hair, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to new training courses that stress “racial neutrality.”

After two black women filed complaints about having their hair arbitrarily searched at airports, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to begin anti-discrimination training for its agents.

The agreement comes after both Malaika Singleton and Novella Coleman said that their hair — which they wear in a type of dreadlock style — was arbitrarily searched.

Coleman told BuzzFeed News on Friday that TSA agents singled her out for hair searches three times several years ago. In one instance, she asked why her hair was being checked and was told that agents search hair that has extensions or “abnormalities.”

“Just that phrase is stigmatizing in itself,” Coleman said.
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Indiana's Anti-Gay Law Prompts Thousands Of Businesses To Stand Up For Diversity

Indiana's controversial "religious freedom" bill was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence last Thursday, but one grassroots campaign promoting inclusion is growing in its aftermath -- and rapidly.

Open For Service, an initiative aimed at supporting "businesses that open their doors for everyone -- black, white, gay, straight, Christian, atheist, disabled," is selling stickers to businesses so they can display their stance against discrimination for the public to see. Participating businesses also get their name placed into an online business directory accessible to consumers.

Since the campaign's March 11 launch, 3,121 businesses have signed up to be included in the directory and purchased a $10 sticker -- which reads, "this business serves everyone" -- a representative of Open For Service told The Huffington Post in an email.

“I am still playing catch-up from everything that is happening,” Josh Driver, the Indianapolis-based philanthropist behind the initiative, told NUVO News of the campaign's quick growth.

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Reactions To Indiana's 'Religious Freedom' Law
GOP Law Will Keep State Safe from Teh Evil Gay Money and Embrace Perpetual Poverty Until the Gays Go Away.

Gay Money Is No Good in Indiana

GenCon, the world’s biggest convention for tabletop gaming and a massive moneymaking machine for the State of Indiana, has responded to a bill that legalizes discrimination against LGBT customers by threatening to leave the state—and take their $50 million-a-year convention elsewhere.

This isn’t because GenCon is run by political progressives or “social justice warriors” trying to make a difference. It really, really isn’t. If GenCon leaves Indianapolis it’ll be for the same reason it came to Indianapolis and abandoned its original home of Wisconsin, the home state of founder of D&D Gary Gygax (peace be upon him).

Because it makes business sense.

It should be obvious why it would make business sense for a convention like GenCon to flee Indiana if a bill legalizing LGBT discrimination passes. GenCon is only in Indianapolis in the first place because of the longstanding tradition of GenCon in the Midwest, despite the difficulty of finding space for large conventions out here. It came to the Indiana Convention Center because there wasn’t room anywhere in Milwaukee, a convention center that strains to accommodate its 50,000 attendees and was expanded in 2011 partly just because of GenCon.

It’s been brought up many times that it would make a lot of sense for GenCon to move to Seattle, where GenCon LLC is actually headquartered, as are Wizards of the Coast, the current makers of D&D, and which already hosts the even more massive Penny Arcade Expo.

What might finally tip the scales in favor of breaking with tradition and abandoning flyover country for the coast? Telling conventiongoers, exhibiters and VIP guests that their sexual orientation might get them refused service by local merchants.

Really, it shouldn’t be a surprise that not just GenCon but the Indianapolis travel bureau have spoken out against this bill. It’s literally a bill declaring the intention of for-profit businesses to turn away potential customers. It is, bluntly, an anti-business bill.
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