MamaAtheist

soupsoup:

“Journalists are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.” - Scott Pelley

Worth the watch (4 mins). Many excellent points made.

On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country and stand by its guiding principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities.
President Obama on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (via barackobama)
Special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of an ideological fringe have used big money and influence to cow Congress into submission. Rather than working to find the balance between our rights and the regulation of a dangerous product, these groups have cast simple protections for our communities as existential threats to individual liberties. Rather than conducting a dialogue, they threaten those who divert from their orthodoxy with political extinction.
On the 2nd anniversary of the Tuscon shooting, Gabby Giffords takes the lead on gun safety to counter the NRA. Here are more details on the new group.   (via think-progress)

sinidentidades:

Retail giant Walmart aggressively bribed Mexican officials to get the necessary permits to open more than a dozen supermarkets across the country, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The newspaper said its own investigation had identified 19 store sites that were the target of bribery, and detailed one case in which more than $200,000 in bribes was paid to build a supermarket near famed Aztec ruins.

“The Times’ examination reveals that Wal-Mart de Mexico was not the reluctant victim of a corrupt culture that insisted on bribes as the cost of doing business. Nor did it pay bribes merely to speed up routine approvals.

“Rather, Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited,” it said.

Wal-Mart “used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals.”

The Times said Walmart officials themselves did not pay bribes, but arranged for outside lawyers and other middlemen to deliver envelopes of cash that could not be traced back to the company.

The Times said Walmart managed to build a Sam’s Club in one of Mexico City’s most densely populated neighborhoods without a construction, environmental or even traffic permit after paying bribes totaling $341,000.

It paid $765,000 in bribes to build a large refrigerated distribution center in an environmentally fragile flood basin north of the city, the Times said.

And in the case it detailed, Walmart paid more than $200,000 in bribes to build a supermarket in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, near the town’s famed step pyramids.

The Times said it used a $52,000 bribe to alter a zoning map that had been approved by the town’s elected leaders, and bribed other officials to help it circumvent laws on protecting antiquities, sparking protests in 2004.

Walmart said in response to the story that it had launched an investigation a year ago into potential violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — which prohibits bribery — but had not yet reached any final conclusions.

inothernews:

Let’s see if Rupert Murdoch puts his money where his mouth is.
(via MediaMatters.org)

Gun massacres have happened many times in many countries; in every other country, the gun laws have been tightened to reflect the tragedy and the tragic knowledge of its citizens afterward. In every other country, gun massacres have subsequently become rare. In America alone, gun massacres, most often of children, happen with hideous regularity, and they happen with hideous regularity because guns are hideously and regularly available.

The people who fight and lobby and legislate to make guns regularly available are complicit in the murder of those children. They have made a clear moral choice: that the comfort and emotional reassurance they take from the possession of guns is, placed in the balance even against the routine murder of innocent children, of supreme value. Whatever satisfaction gun owners take from their guns—we know for certain that there is no prudential value in them—is more important than children’s lives. Give them credit: life is making moral choices, and that’s a moral choice, clearly made.

All of that is a truth, plain and simple, and recognized throughout the world. At some point, this truth may become so bloody obvious that we will know it, too. Meanwhile, congratulate yourself on living in the child-gun-massacre capital of the known universe.

Adam Gopnik (via theatlantic)
Guns don’t attack children; psychopaths and sadists do. But guns uniquely allow a psychopath to wreak death and devastation on such a large scale so quickly and easily. America is the only country in which this happens again — and again and again.

inothernews:

A sample:

  • Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza between January 1st 2012 and November 11th 2012: 1 (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire during the same period: 78 (Source: United Nations) 
  • Number of Israelis killed by fire from Gaza, November 13th-19th 2012: 3 (Source: press reports) 
  • Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire, November 13th-19th: 95 (Source: IDF) 
  • Number of those killed in Gaza under 15 years of age: 19
  • Total number of Israelis killed by rocket, mortar or anti-tank fire from Gaza since 2006: 47 (Source: Wikipedia. This is disputed; another source says 26)
  • Number of Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli fire from April 1st 2006 to July 21st 2012: 2,879 (Source: United Nations) 
  • Per capita GDP of Israel in 2011, in dollars: $31,000 (Source: Wikipedia) 
  • Per Capita GDP of Gaza in 2011, in dollars: $1,483

(h/t lnych)

upwithchris:

Workers at Walmart stores and the warehouses that supply those stores are striking across the country ahead of Black Friday, to protest what they say are poor working conditions and retaliation by Walmart.
In this photo — provided to Up w/ Chris Hayes by Warehouse Workers United — David Garcia and Manolo Fernandez, workers at a warehouse operated by a Walmart subcontractor in southern California, hold up a thermometer showing the temperature in warehouse at 102 degrees. Walmart says it does not control the conditions in the warehouses, which are run by the subcontractors.

upwithchris:

Workers at Walmart stores and the warehouses that supply those stores are striking across the country ahead of Black Friday, to protest what they say are poor working conditions and retaliation by Walmart.

In this photo — provided to Up w/ Chris Hayes by Warehouse Workers United — David Garcia and Manolo Fernandez, workers at a warehouse operated by a Walmart subcontractor in southern California, hold up a thermometer showing the temperature in warehouse at 102 degrees. Walmart says it does not control the conditions in the warehouses, which are run by the subcontractors.

theyoungturks:

Cost of the War on Drugs

theyoungturks:

Cost of the War on Drugs

NBC News gives Claire McCaskill Senate win in Missouri.

Buh-bye to Todd “legitimate rape” Akin

Yes, reading up online is important. But checking each symptom you have on a database will inevitably lead to panic and misinformation. Yes, a headache can indicate a brain aneurism, but chances are that’s not what you have. What’s more, diagnosing yourself using a search engine could delay your visit to a doctor, who can offer you a proper diagnosis.
upwithchris:

As controversy builds over the changing story about the attack on an American embassy in Libya last month, it’s worth noting that attacks on U.S. embassies abroad have dropped considerably in recent years, according to the State Department.

wow

upwithchris:

As controversy builds over the changing story about the attack on an American embassy in Libya last month, it’s worth noting that attacks on U.S. embassies abroad have dropped considerably in recent years, according to the State Department.

wow

Thoughts on the post-debate punditry

pieceinthepuzzlehumanity:

Let’s just call it as it is, Romney was declared the winner of the debate because he was an aggressive liar. That coupled with the fact that the Obama campaign played everyone by playing down his performance weeks in advance has led me to the conclusion that

  1. Liberals become hostile and reactive when they aren’t instantly gratified.
  2. The American electorate tends to favor aggressiveness and combativeness, regardless of its factuality.
  3. The American political punditry’s vapid reactiveness cripples the chances for substantive dialogue and reinforces partisanship.

Yes, sadly.