Now is the time to lance the boil of Republican extremism once and for all. Since Barack Obama became president, the extremists who have taken over the Republican Party have escalated their demands every time he’s caved, using the entire government…
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- Affordable Care Act
- Alberta Tar Sands
- American citizens
- Arne Duncan
- Bush Tax Cuts
- CUNY Macaulay Honors College
- Cenk Uygur
- Chicago Public Education Fund
- Chicago Public Schools
- Chicago Teachers Union
- Civil Rights
- Climate Change
- Crying Wolf
- David Petraeus
- Department of Justice
- Eric Holder
- Ernest Moniz
- Fox News
- Freedom of Information Law
- Guantanamo Bay
- Gulf Coast
- Hillary Clinton
- Home Defenders League
- Housing Crisis
- IRS audits
- James Rosen
- Joyce Foundation
- Jude Kennan Mohammed
- Keystone Kops
- Keystone XL
- Keystone XL pipeline
- Kinder Morgan
- LNG Exports
- Lee Camp
- Liquefied Natural Gas
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Moment of Clarity
- National Economic Research Associates
- Occupy Our Homes
- Paul Elliott
- Paula Broadwell
- Prime Minster Stephen Harper
- Rahm Emanual
- Republican extremism
- Robert Reich
- Samir Khan
- Social Security
- State Department
- Tar Sands
- Tea Partiers
- TransCanada Corporation
- U.S. State Department
- Van Ness
- Wall Street backers
- Weekly Address
- chained CPI
- community members
- demand justice
- environmental news
- export facilities
- extortionist demands escalate
- fiscal cliff
- grand bargain
- hydraulic fracturing
- oil sands
- public opinion
- radical Muslim cleric
- school restructuring
- spying program
- super committee
- tar sands crude
- teach for america
Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s hopes for the approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport Alberta tar sands crude across the US to refineries and export facilities in the Gulf Coast, hit a stumbling block this summer…
Records obtained by DeSmogBlog pertaining to City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College's hiring of former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) David Petraeus to teach a seminar this coming fall reveal that his syllabus features…
The Windy City is is undergoing a tumultuous historical moment, with the uprising of the Chicago Teachers Union occurring alongside the ongoing restructuring and privatization of the Chicago Public Schools system.
Most recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel oversaw the closing of 50 public schools, many of which will be replaced by charter schools. A bulk of the 550 laid-off teachers will be replaced by Teach for America contractors, many of whom teach in charter schools.
“Statewide enrollment in charter schools has surged from 6,152 students in 2000 to 54,054 this school year — with most of them in Chicago — according to the Illinois State Board of Education,” an April Chicago Tribune editorial explained. “The first charter school in Illinois opened in 1996. Now there are 132 campuses operating under 58 charters.”
A thus-far underreported story of the retooling of CPS concerns a foundation close the epicenter of it all: the Joyce Foundation.
Joyce is a major liberal foundation. President Barack Obama sat on its board of directors from 1994 to 2002, as did Valerie Jarrett, his former senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement .
A look at major organizations dedicated to restructuring U.S. education turns up a slew of current and former upper-level Joyce staff and board members.
Between 1995 and 2012, the Joyce Foundation spent $135.58 million on education reform.
“They’re really in bed now with conservative elements nationwide,” said Mike Klonsky, a Chicago public schools activist and professor at DePaul University, in an interview with Mint Press News. “Anything that has to do with corporate-style school reform, you’ll probably see Joyce’s name in it.”
A Mint Press News investigation reveals the veracity of Klonsky’s statement — and then some.
In the sphere of school privatization, Joyce mirrors Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation, a key foundation of the Republican Party referred to by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the “Bradley Empire” in a November 2011 investigation.
In his book, “The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy,”Kenneth Saltman, Klonsky’s colleague at DePaul, describes the activity of Joyce and allied foundations in the sphere of education reform as “venture philanthropy” — transforming a once-public education system into a for-profit market.
“Such a view carries significant implications for a society theoretically dedicated to public, democratic ideals,” Saltman explains in the book’s introduction. “This is no small matter in terms of how the public and civil roles of public schooling have become nearly overtaken by the … perspective [of] public schooling as principally a matter of producing workers and consumers for the economy and for global economic competition.”
With assets of over $900 million, Joyce has helped in applying “shock doctrine”-type “venture philanthropy” to CPS, with tight-knit ties to the highest levels of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.
This is your Moment of Clarity #242: This is the perfect video for anyone who thinks they're behind the NSA spying program news. Give it a chance. This video is for Obama lovers and haters.
In this week's address, President Obama says that the United States Senate will soon take action to fix our broken immigration system with a commonsense bill, and urges lawmakers to act quickly to pass this bill so that we can continue to live up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and also a nation of immigrants.
"See, we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. The promise we find in those who come from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths. It’s kept our workforce vibrant and dynamic. It’s kept our businesses on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known."
"But for years, our out-of-date immigration system has actually harmed our economy and threatened our security."
Obama pointed to improvements made to the system over the past four years, beefed-up border security, better use of technology, more effective deportation of criminals and focusing on the cause of what he called the "Dreamers," the young people brought here as children. But more comprehensive action is desperately needed. That's why, he said, the proposed legislation next week is so necessary, even if imperfect.
The Young Turks: Cenk, Ben Mankiewicz and Brett Erlich discuss troubling reports that the Department of Justice tapped Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone line – and his parents’. Cenk says the journalist wiretapping is the only actual scandal going on right now (as opposed to the IRS audits and Benghazi). But because Fox News flips out over everything, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff on the rare occasion that they’re right about something.
“Part of the problem is that Fox News cries wolf so much that once they have a legitimate argument… you’ve lost a little credibility,” Cenk says.
I'm not sure when, or if, Fox News ever had a legitimate argument -- or credibility -- but they do cry wolf rather often.
The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that four American citizens have been killed in drone strikes since 2009 in Pakistan and Yemen. The disclosure, in a letter from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, comes on the eve of a major national security speech by President Barack Obama.
Al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Holder said three other Americans were killed by drones in counterterrorism operations since 2009 but were not targeted.
The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who also was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kennan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.
Holder said that only Anwar al-Awlaki was “specifically targeted.” Khan was known to have been killed by the strike that targeted Awlaki, while the 16-year-old was killed in what senior administration officials described as a “mistake,” when he was in the company of another targeted individual shortly after his father’s death.
Mohammad was indicted in 2009 by a federal grand jury in North Carolina, where he had lived near Raleigh. The indictment said he was believed to have left the United States for Pakistan in 2008 to “engage in violent jihad.”
Reached in North Carolina Wednesday, Mohammad’s mother, Elena Mohammad, said she had been aware for some time that her son had been killed in a drone strike, but was told by people in Pakistan, not by U.S. authorities. Her ex-husband is Pakistani.
Mohammad said she had no details on when or where her son was killed. She also said she had no interest in discussing her son’s past.
“I dealt with that and I don’t have to deal with it anymore because it’s already over with,” she said in the phone interview. “So whatever transpired I don’t want it back in my life anymore. It’s gone. There are no questions. I don’t have to hear any authorities; the FBI has finished coming to my house. It’s over. That’s it.”
During Obama's scheduled counterterrorism policy speech on Thursday, he will discuss his belief that it's in the best interests of the nation to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
It is not clear whether or not the President will discuss the transfer of detainees, or the repatriation of those cleared for release during Thursday's speech.
Holder said in his letter, that Obama “has made clear his commitment to providing Congress and the American people with as much information as possible about our sensitive counterterrorism operations.”
You can read Holder's letter here.
Carmen is a 23 year-old fighting to keep her family's home. Yesterday she was electrocuted by a taser at the Department of Justice while peacefully protesting with Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League for her rights as a homeowner.
Call President Obama at (202) 456-1111 and tell him to arrest bankers, not homeowners.
Occupiers, allies and community members from across the country came together in front of the DOJ to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder arrest the bankers responsible for upending the international economy through the housing crisis.
TransCanada, the multinational corporation hoping to build the controversial northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, spent over $280,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, according to lobbying disclosure records. In addition to the $250,000 paid to Paul Elliott…