/tagged/news/page/2
thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
The number of people displaced by violent conflict at the end of 2013 exceeded 51 million, the highest level of displacement by war since World War II. Half of the displaced are children.
The US captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, the man suspected of leading the 2012 attacks on the US embassy in Benghazi. He will face charges in federal criminal court. 
The New York Times reports he is “talking freely” with interrogators aboard the USS New York.
Irish journalist Mary Fitzgerald obtained an interview with Abu Khattala back in April. 
A car bomb killed 34 and wounded 50 Friday morning in Hama province in Syria. A coalition of Islamist rebels have claimed responsibility.
The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has exceeded 1 million. 
A drone strike in Yemen killed all five passengers in a car carrying suspected Al Qaeda militants. 
The US will send up to 300 US military advisers to Iraq. 
ISIS and Iraqi forces are engaged in battles for the Baiji oil refinery and the Tal Afar airport. 
UNICEF upgraded Iraq to a level 3 humanitarian disaster with an estimated 1.5 million people displaced.
Reporters revisit their most memorable moments from reporting the (second) Iraq war.
In search of 3 missing teenagers, Israel has launched on of its most aggressive anti-Hamas campaigns in the last decade — deploying three more combat brigades to the West Bank, detaining roughly 240 Palestinians in pre-dawn raids, arresting political leaders, confiscating money and shutting down radio stations.
During morning raids today, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians, and killed a 15-year-old.
Former Turkish president and army chief, General Kenan Evren, has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his leadership of a costly 1980 coup.
Iran and world powers have begun drafting a nuclear deal. 
Iran handed down prison sentences to a group of tech bloggers — or “enemy cyber activists.”
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah demanded a halt to the vote count in the runoff election, claiming widespread fraud.
Cpl William “Kyle” Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for saving a fellow Marine from a grenade blast in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch says that Afghan journalists have been betrayed through NSA surveillance, endangered by their reporting connections to militants and insurgents.
Tens of thousands of people are fleeing Pakistan’s northwest tribal regions in the face of a government offensive. 
NATO says that Russia has resumed military buildup on the Ukrainian border. 
According to the UN, 356 people have been known to be killed in Ukraine since mid-April. Seven soldiers have been killed since Thursday.
Gazprom cuts Russia’s natural gas supply to Ukraine in a pricing dispute complicated by regional political divides. 
Pro-Russian rebels refuse to surrender in the face of a Ukrainian ultimatum, prompting Ukrainian attacks on eastern cities.
The rise of militarized NGOs.
Finland shows greater interest in joining NATO after Russian encroachment in Ukraine.
European countries like France continue to sell arms to Russia, despite their condemnations of actions in Ukraine. 
Russia adds a new attack submarine to its fleet — a nuclear-powered behemoth that has been twenty years in the making.
Abd el Hadi al Iraqi, an Iraqi Guantánamo prisoner who has been in prison since 2007, appeared in court on war crimes charges.
Lawyers for detainee Abu Wael Dhiab have entered video evidence of his force-feedings in a lawsuit filed on his behalf. 
A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling from January that a criminal defense attorney could access classified information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 
The Pentagon’s top war crimes prosecutor has said that the detainees controversially swapped for Bowe Bergdahl could not have been successfully prosecuted.  
This week marked a year since the untimely death of journalist Michael Hastings. His almost finished novel, The Last Magazine, was posthumously published.  
Photo: Salahuddin province, Iraq. An image posted to the website Welayat Salahuddin shows members of ISIS brandishing flags after seizing an army checkpoint. 
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

Photo: Salahuddin province, Iraq. An image posted to the website Welayat Salahuddin shows members of ISIS brandishing flags after seizing an army checkpoint. 

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Obama Is About to Do Something No President Has Done in Over 30 Years

Obama is about to build an alliance with Iran: As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. While U.S.-Iran relations may still be far from friendly, the nations could soon work together to address a common threat: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The radical Sunni insurgency — now the richest terrorist group in the world — has been making disturbing progress in taking over Iraq. And on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric and indicated that the U.S. government would be willing to work together with Iran if they can stop ISIL, which he described as “an existential challenge to Iraq itself.” 

Read more | Follow policymic

(Source: micdotcom)

Man With Shotgun on Subway Is Mentally Ill: Mom

I feel safe.


Eleven years ago, the 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan was sitting in the InterContinental hotel in Amman, Jordan, watching her career flash before her eyes.


She was 31 years old, a rookie at CBS News, assigned to cover the biggest story on earth: the invasion of Iraq. But nothing was going as planned. With only days until the American invasion, Logan had been forced to leave Baghdad and was desperate to get back before the war began, but she and her crew, because of the dangers of the imminent “shock and awe” bombing campaign, were forbidden from going by the network. That’s when she heard about a convoy of French reporters making the trek to Baghdad.


“She called me several times, begging to go with us,” recalls Laura Haim, a French TV journalist. But the French decided it was too dangerous having an American broadcaster onboard, even if she was South African. “I said, ‘No way.’ ” Fluent in three foreign languages, Logan begged in French.


Logan had labored tirelessly for this chance, spending several months in Kabul during the invasion of Afghanistan and heedlessly throwing herself into danger for the camera to deliver raw reportage to the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II, the spinoff version of the Sunday program. Her work had earned her notice at the highest levels of the network. CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, from his perch in Los Angeles, viewed her steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star. So Logan had strategized with her agent to make the biggest possible splash in Baghdad—a replay of Christiane Amanpour’s star turn at CNN during the first Gulf War.


Days later, as American bombs rained down on Iraq, the French reporter was startled to see Lara Logan standing in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. “Look, I made it!” she declared.

Glad to know that New York Magazine is such a class act to use a headline like this. Interestingly enough, the SEO URL text they chose is her name and not “bombshell” or “Benghazi” so maybe the searching public is becoming smarter even if the news outlets are still sexist?
(h/t @feministabulous)

Eleven years ago, the 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan was sitting in the InterContinental hotel in Amman, Jordan, watching her career flash before her eyes.

She was 31 years old, a rookie at CBS News, assigned to cover the biggest story on earth: the invasion of Iraq. But nothing was going as planned. With only days until the American invasion, Logan had been forced to leave Baghdad and was desperate to get back before the war began, but she and her crew, because of the dangers of the imminent “shock and awe” bombing campaign, were forbidden from going by the network. That’s when she heard about a convoy of French reporters making the trek to Baghdad.

“She called me several times, begging to go with us,” recalls Laura Haim, a French TV journalist. But the French decided it was too dangerous having an American broadcaster onboard, even if she was South African. “I said, ‘No way.’ ” Fluent in three foreign languages, Logan begged in French.

Logan had labored tirelessly for this chance, spending several months in Kabul during the invasion of Afghanistan and heedlessly throwing herself into danger for the camera to deliver raw reportage to the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II, the spinoff version of the Sunday program. Her work had earned her notice at the highest levels of the network. CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, from his perch in Los Angeles, viewed her steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star. So Logan had strategized with her agent to make the biggest possible splash in Baghdad—a replay of Christiane Amanpour’s star turn at CNN during the first Gulf War.

Days later, as American bombs rained down on Iraq, the French reporter was startled to see Lara Logan standing in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. “Look, I made it!” she declared.

Glad to know that New York Magazine is such a class act to use a headline like this. Interestingly enough, the SEO URL text they chose is her name and not “bombshell” or “Benghazi” so maybe the searching public is becoming smarter even if the news outlets are still sexist?

(h/t @feministabulous)

Iraq Veteran at Fort Hood Kills 3 and Himself

China's Military is Weak. And Dangerous.

(Source: ericmortensen)

An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.

An extension of the unemployment program did not make it into the two-year budget deal that was passed just before Congress left on its winter recess. When the federal program expires, just one in four unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century.

“I really depend on unemployment,” said David Davis of Chantilly, Va., adding that the $1,600 a month he receives is helping keep him afloat while he interviews for new positions. “I’ve got a résumé that knocks your socks off. The reason for this long period of unemployment is that the work just isn’t there.”

At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security.

“It’s very stressful,” Mr. Davis said. “At least I’ve had the ability to maneuver my finances so I don’t wind up homeless. That’s one goal, to avoid living on the street or in my car.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for an extension of the program, though the constrained fiscal environment makes its reinstatement somewhat less likely, aides said. Members of the Republican leadership have indicated that they might be willing to extend the benefits, but only if Democrats offset the new spending with other cuts.

On Friday morning, President Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, to extend his support for their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

“The president said his administration would, as it has for several weeks now, push Congress to act promptly and in bipartisan fashion to address this urgent economic priority,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.

As the last payments are distributed, Democrats have initiated a campaign aimed at shaming Republicans — particularly those in leadership and in swing districts — for letting the program expire over the holiday season.

“I don’t know if our colleagues who have opposed passing the unemployment-insurance legislation know or care about the impact on families,” said Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader. “The impact is very, very strong. It hurts the dignity of a family, of a worker.”

Americans United for Change, a liberal group, is running an advertisement on cable television stations. “You know who had a Merry Christmas? The richest 1 percent, that’s who. Republicans in Congress made sure of that, protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways,” it says. “For those facing tough times? Republicans stripped 1.3 million Americans of jobless benefits — folks who want to work, but cannot find a job — kicking them to the curb during Christmas.”

Happy winter holiday as the year winds down to a close. Remember the things that brought us together, reminded us to tell each other of our love, and to be thankful for the wonderful things we have in our lives every day.

(via Meg Turney)

A Mass Shooting Happened Yesterday But You Didn’t Hear Anything About It

(Source: think-progress)

Make-A-Wish Foundation Will Transform S.F. Into Gotham City For Adorable Batman-Themed Wish

Welp. Get ready to cry.

href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo.

storyboard:

‘D’ is for Divorce: Big Feelings on Sesame Street

In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40 percent of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children’s television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kid’s shows wouldn’t touch. They cast Snuffy, a.k.a. Mr. Snuffleupagus, for the part of child divorcee.

With a team of its best writers, researchers, and producers, a segment was scripted and shot. It went through a half-dozen revisions, with input from the foremost researchers in the field. And on a typical sunny afternoon on Sesame Street, the furry, red, elephantine muppet known as Snuffy prepared to drop the bomb on his loyal preschool viewers. 

“My dad is moving out of our cave,” he confides to Big Bird one afternoon, distraught after knocking over a house built of blocks. “I’m not sure where,” he continues, crying. “Some cave across town.”

Big Bird, naturally, is horrified. “But why?” he asks his friend. 

Snuffy blinks his long, dark eyelashes, and pauses. We know what’s coming. Well, he explains, “because of something called a divorce.”

Read More

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
The number of people displaced by violent conflict at the end of 2013 exceeded 51 million, the highest level of displacement by war since World War II. Half of the displaced are children.
The US captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, the man suspected of leading the 2012 attacks on the US embassy in Benghazi. He will face charges in federal criminal court. 
The New York Times reports he is “talking freely” with interrogators aboard the USS New York.
Irish journalist Mary Fitzgerald obtained an interview with Abu Khattala back in April. 
A car bomb killed 34 and wounded 50 Friday morning in Hama province in Syria. A coalition of Islamist rebels have claimed responsibility.
The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has exceeded 1 million. 
A drone strike in Yemen killed all five passengers in a car carrying suspected Al Qaeda militants. 
The US will send up to 300 US military advisers to Iraq. 
ISIS and Iraqi forces are engaged in battles for the Baiji oil refinery and the Tal Afar airport. 
UNICEF upgraded Iraq to a level 3 humanitarian disaster with an estimated 1.5 million people displaced.
Reporters revisit their most memorable moments from reporting the (second) Iraq war.
In search of 3 missing teenagers, Israel has launched on of its most aggressive anti-Hamas campaigns in the last decade — deploying three more combat brigades to the West Bank, detaining roughly 240 Palestinians in pre-dawn raids, arresting political leaders, confiscating money and shutting down radio stations.
During morning raids today, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians, and killed a 15-year-old.
Former Turkish president and army chief, General Kenan Evren, has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his leadership of a costly 1980 coup.
Iran and world powers have begun drafting a nuclear deal. 
Iran handed down prison sentences to a group of tech bloggers — or “enemy cyber activists.”
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah demanded a halt to the vote count in the runoff election, claiming widespread fraud.
Cpl William “Kyle” Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for saving a fellow Marine from a grenade blast in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch says that Afghan journalists have been betrayed through NSA surveillance, endangered by their reporting connections to militants and insurgents.
Tens of thousands of people are fleeing Pakistan’s northwest tribal regions in the face of a government offensive. 
NATO says that Russia has resumed military buildup on the Ukrainian border. 
According to the UN, 356 people have been known to be killed in Ukraine since mid-April. Seven soldiers have been killed since Thursday.
Gazprom cuts Russia’s natural gas supply to Ukraine in a pricing dispute complicated by regional political divides. 
Pro-Russian rebels refuse to surrender in the face of a Ukrainian ultimatum, prompting Ukrainian attacks on eastern cities.
The rise of militarized NGOs.
Finland shows greater interest in joining NATO after Russian encroachment in Ukraine.
European countries like France continue to sell arms to Russia, despite their condemnations of actions in Ukraine. 
Russia adds a new attack submarine to its fleet — a nuclear-powered behemoth that has been twenty years in the making.
Abd el Hadi al Iraqi, an Iraqi Guantánamo prisoner who has been in prison since 2007, appeared in court on war crimes charges.
Lawyers for detainee Abu Wael Dhiab have entered video evidence of his force-feedings in a lawsuit filed on his behalf. 
A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling from January that a criminal defense attorney could access classified information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 
The Pentagon’s top war crimes prosecutor has said that the detainees controversially swapped for Bowe Bergdahl could not have been successfully prosecuted.  
This week marked a year since the untimely death of journalist Michael Hastings. His almost finished novel, The Last Magazine, was posthumously published.  
Photo: Salahuddin province, Iraq. An image posted to the website Welayat Salahuddin shows members of ISIS brandishing flags after seizing an army checkpoint. 
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

Photo: Salahuddin province, Iraq. An image posted to the website Welayat Salahuddin shows members of ISIS brandishing flags after seizing an army checkpoint. 

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Obama Is About to Do Something No President Has Done in Over 30 Years

Obama is about to build an alliance with Iran: As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. While U.S.-Iran relations may still be far from friendly, the nations could soon work together to address a common threat: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The radical Sunni insurgency — now the richest terrorist group in the world — has been making disturbing progress in taking over Iraq. And on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric and indicated that the U.S. government would be willing to work together with Iran if they can stop ISIL, which he described as “an existential challenge to Iraq itself.” 

Read more | Follow policymic

(Source: micdotcom)

Man With Shotgun on Subway Is Mentally Ill: Mom

I feel safe.


Eleven years ago, the 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan was sitting in the InterContinental hotel in Amman, Jordan, watching her career flash before her eyes.


She was 31 years old, a rookie at CBS News, assigned to cover the biggest story on earth: the invasion of Iraq. But nothing was going as planned. With only days until the American invasion, Logan had been forced to leave Baghdad and was desperate to get back before the war began, but she and her crew, because of the dangers of the imminent “shock and awe” bombing campaign, were forbidden from going by the network. That’s when she heard about a convoy of French reporters making the trek to Baghdad.


“She called me several times, begging to go with us,” recalls Laura Haim, a French TV journalist. But the French decided it was too dangerous having an American broadcaster onboard, even if she was South African. “I said, ‘No way.’ ” Fluent in three foreign languages, Logan begged in French.


Logan had labored tirelessly for this chance, spending several months in Kabul during the invasion of Afghanistan and heedlessly throwing herself into danger for the camera to deliver raw reportage to the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II, the spinoff version of the Sunday program. Her work had earned her notice at the highest levels of the network. CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, from his perch in Los Angeles, viewed her steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star. So Logan had strategized with her agent to make the biggest possible splash in Baghdad—a replay of Christiane Amanpour’s star turn at CNN during the first Gulf War.


Days later, as American bombs rained down on Iraq, the French reporter was startled to see Lara Logan standing in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. “Look, I made it!” she declared.

Glad to know that New York Magazine is such a class act to use a headline like this. Interestingly enough, the SEO URL text they chose is her name and not “bombshell” or “Benghazi” so maybe the searching public is becoming smarter even if the news outlets are still sexist?
(h/t @feministabulous)

Eleven years ago, the 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan was sitting in the InterContinental hotel in Amman, Jordan, watching her career flash before her eyes.

She was 31 years old, a rookie at CBS News, assigned to cover the biggest story on earth: the invasion of Iraq. But nothing was going as planned. With only days until the American invasion, Logan had been forced to leave Baghdad and was desperate to get back before the war began, but she and her crew, because of the dangers of the imminent “shock and awe” bombing campaign, were forbidden from going by the network. That’s when she heard about a convoy of French reporters making the trek to Baghdad.

“She called me several times, begging to go with us,” recalls Laura Haim, a French TV journalist. But the French decided it was too dangerous having an American broadcaster onboard, even if she was South African. “I said, ‘No way.’ ” Fluent in three foreign languages, Logan begged in French.

Logan had labored tirelessly for this chance, spending several months in Kabul during the invasion of Afghanistan and heedlessly throwing herself into danger for the camera to deliver raw reportage to the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II, the spinoff version of the Sunday program. Her work had earned her notice at the highest levels of the network. CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, from his perch in Los Angeles, viewed her steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star. So Logan had strategized with her agent to make the biggest possible splash in Baghdad—a replay of Christiane Amanpour’s star turn at CNN during the first Gulf War.

Days later, as American bombs rained down on Iraq, the French reporter was startled to see Lara Logan standing in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. “Look, I made it!” she declared.

Glad to know that New York Magazine is such a class act to use a headline like this. Interestingly enough, the SEO URL text they chose is her name and not “bombshell” or “Benghazi” so maybe the searching public is becoming smarter even if the news outlets are still sexist?

(h/t @feministabulous)

Iraq Veteran at Fort Hood Kills 3 and Himself

China's Military is Weak. And Dangerous.

(Source: ericmortensen)

An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.

An extension of the unemployment program did not make it into the two-year budget deal that was passed just before Congress left on its winter recess. When the federal program expires, just one in four unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century.

“I really depend on unemployment,” said David Davis of Chantilly, Va., adding that the $1,600 a month he receives is helping keep him afloat while he interviews for new positions. “I’ve got a résumé that knocks your socks off. The reason for this long period of unemployment is that the work just isn’t there.”

At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security.

“It’s very stressful,” Mr. Davis said. “At least I’ve had the ability to maneuver my finances so I don’t wind up homeless. That’s one goal, to avoid living on the street or in my car.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for an extension of the program, though the constrained fiscal environment makes its reinstatement somewhat less likely, aides said. Members of the Republican leadership have indicated that they might be willing to extend the benefits, but only if Democrats offset the new spending with other cuts.

On Friday morning, President Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, to extend his support for their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

“The president said his administration would, as it has for several weeks now, push Congress to act promptly and in bipartisan fashion to address this urgent economic priority,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.

As the last payments are distributed, Democrats have initiated a campaign aimed at shaming Republicans — particularly those in leadership and in swing districts — for letting the program expire over the holiday season.

“I don’t know if our colleagues who have opposed passing the unemployment-insurance legislation know or care about the impact on families,” said Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader. “The impact is very, very strong. It hurts the dignity of a family, of a worker.”

Americans United for Change, a liberal group, is running an advertisement on cable television stations. “You know who had a Merry Christmas? The richest 1 percent, that’s who. Republicans in Congress made sure of that, protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways,” it says. “For those facing tough times? Republicans stripped 1.3 million Americans of jobless benefits — folks who want to work, but cannot find a job — kicking them to the curb during Christmas.”

Happy winter holiday as the year winds down to a close. Remember the things that brought us together, reminded us to tell each other of our love, and to be thankful for the wonderful things we have in our lives every day.

(via Meg Turney)

A Mass Shooting Happened Yesterday But You Didn’t Hear Anything About It

(Source: think-progress)

Make-A-Wish Foundation Will Transform S.F. Into Gotham City For Adorable Batman-Themed Wish

Welp. Get ready to cry.

href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo.

storyboard:

‘D’ is for Divorce: Big Feelings on Sesame Street

In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40 percent of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children’s television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kid’s shows wouldn’t touch. They cast Snuffy, a.k.a. Mr. Snuffleupagus, for the part of child divorcee.

With a team of its best writers, researchers, and producers, a segment was scripted and shot. It went through a half-dozen revisions, with input from the foremost researchers in the field. And on a typical sunny afternoon on Sesame Street, the furry, red, elephantine muppet known as Snuffy prepared to drop the bomb on his loyal preschool viewers. 

“My dad is moving out of our cave,” he confides to Big Bird one afternoon, distraught after knocking over a house built of blocks. “I’m not sure where,” he continues, crying. “Some cave across town.”

Big Bird, naturally, is horrified. “But why?” he asks his friend. 

Snuffy blinks his long, dark eyelashes, and pauses. We know what’s coming. Well, he explains, “because of something called a divorce.”

Read More

"

The BuzzFeedification of the Internet has been a hotly discussed topic as of late, with Facebook’s product director Mike Hudack blasting the media for a perceived lack of quality and originality.

“And so we turn to the Internet for our salvation,” Hudack said on his Facebook page. “We could have gotten it in The Huffington Post but we didn’t. We could have gotten it in BuzzFeed, but it turns out that BuzzFeed’s homepage is like CNN’s but only more so. Listicles of ‘28 young couples you know’ replace the kidnapped white girl. Same thing, different demographics.” Hudack continued his rant, calling out VICE, Ezra Klein, and Vox. He ultimately concluded that instead of writing substantive articles, the media was aspiring to “write stupid stories about how you should wash your jeans instead of freezing them.” He ended the rant by claiming “someone should fix this shit.”

Members of the media were more than happy to alert Hudack that it was Facebook itself that caused these problems.

"
"

An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.

An extension of the unemployment program did not make it into the two-year budget deal that was passed just before Congress left on its winter recess. When the federal program expires, just one in four unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century.

“I really depend on unemployment,” said David Davis of Chantilly, Va., adding that the $1,600 a month he receives is helping keep him afloat while he interviews for new positions. “I’ve got a résumé that knocks your socks off. The reason for this long period of unemployment is that the work just isn’t there.”

At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security.

“It’s very stressful,” Mr. Davis said. “At least I’ve had the ability to maneuver my finances so I don’t wind up homeless. That’s one goal, to avoid living on the street or in my car.”

Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for an extension of the program, though the constrained fiscal environment makes its reinstatement somewhat less likely, aides said. Members of the Republican leadership have indicated that they might be willing to extend the benefits, but only if Democrats offset the new spending with other cuts.

On Friday morning, President Obama called Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, and Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, to extend his support for their proposal to extend emergency unemployment benefits for three months.

“The president said his administration would, as it has for several weeks now, push Congress to act promptly and in bipartisan fashion to address this urgent economic priority,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.

As the last payments are distributed, Democrats have initiated a campaign aimed at shaming Republicans — particularly those in leadership and in swing districts — for letting the program expire over the holiday season.

“I don’t know if our colleagues who have opposed passing the unemployment-insurance legislation know or care about the impact on families,” said Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader. “The impact is very, very strong. It hurts the dignity of a family, of a worker.”

Americans United for Change, a liberal group, is running an advertisement on cable television stations. “You know who had a Merry Christmas? The richest 1 percent, that’s who. Republicans in Congress made sure of that, protecting billions in taxpayer giveaways,” it says. “For those facing tough times? Republicans stripped 1.3 million Americans of jobless benefits — folks who want to work, but cannot find a job — kicking them to the curb during Christmas.”

"

About:

I read. I write. I spend all together too much time on the internet. I talk incessantly about books, TV and movies. I have written for Hello Giggles, Huffington Post, The Mary Sue, Buzzfeed, and am currently writing for Nerdist. I tweet frequently as Bookoisseur. I also have a blog at Bookoisseur Writes.

Following:

ub.
*