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What's Wrong With The AFT?

Jacobin | Marina Fang | July 15, 2015 | Politics
This story was originally posted at Jacobin, a print quarterly that offers socialist perspectives on politics and economics. Support Jacobin and buy a four issue subscription for just $19. On Saturday, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced that its executive council “overwhelmingly” endorsed Hillary...

Republican Presidential Candidates To Disclose Bundlers For First Time Since 2008

The Huffington Post | Paul Blumenthal | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- For the first time since 2008, two Republican presidential candidates will publicly disclose the names of campaign bundlers raising money for them. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, according to The New York Times, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, according to The Associated Press,...

More Than 2,000 Central Americans Applied For Refugee Status To Come To The U.S.

The Huffington Post | Elise Foley | July 15, 2015 | Politics
U.S. officials created the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program to discourage children from taking the dangerous trip through Mexico to the U.S. In this July 12, 2014, photo, Central American migrants climb on a north-bound train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border. WASHINGTON -- There's less...

California Cheerleaders Win The 'Right' To Be Treated Like Normal Workers

The Huffington Post | Maxwell Strachan | July 15, 2015 | Sports
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Wednesday that will provide cheerleaders for professional sports teams in the state the same basic rights as the rest of the team’s employees. The bill, which was created by state assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), comes...

House Passes 5-Month Funding Patch For Highways, Senate Takes Detour

The Huffington Post | Laura Barron-Lopez | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- With two weeks left before a critical deadline, the House on Wednesday passed legislation funding the nation’s highways, bridges, and roads for an additional five months. The Senate has other plans. In a 312-119 vote, the House passed a short-term extension to inject the Highway...

HUFFPOST HILL - 'More Like Major A-Hole,' Obama Thinks

Arthur Delaney | July 15, 2015 | Politics
Major Garrett asked President Obama if he's "content" with an Iran deal that doesn't free Iran's American hostages, to which Obama responded, under his breath, by asking if Garrett's content with being disinvited from the White House Christmas party. Protesters greeted the president with the Confederate flag in Oklahoma, because...

Janet Yellen To Jobless African-Americans: You're On Your Own

The Huffington Post | Daniel Marans | July 15, 2015 | Politics
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told members of the House of Representatives in a hearing on Wednesday that the Fed's concerns about inflation limit its ability to address high African-American unemployment.  “So, there really isn’t anything directly the Federal Reserve can do to affect the structure of unemployment across groups,” Yellen said during the House Financial Services Committee’s semiannual hearing on Federal Reserve policy. “And unfortunately, it’s long been the case that African-American unemployment rates tend to be higher than those on average in the nation as a whole.” The African-American unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in June, nearly twice the rate of 5.3 percent in the population overall. But Yellen said that the Fed’s ability to address this problem was limited by its commitment to keeping inflation under 2 percent. Yellen’s remarks were in response to a question posed by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) as to whether the Fed was taking the high rate of African-American unemployment into account when assessing the health of the labor market. Beatty was one of several African-American committee members, including ranking member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who enjoined Yellen to consider the disproportionately high rate of African-American unemployment in deciding when to raise interest rates.   At the hearing, Yellen reaffirmed the Fed’s previous indications that it would raise interest rates before the year’s end. "If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate," Yellen said in her prepared testimony. (function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=518946104&height=381&width=570&sid=577&origin=undefined&responsive=false&relatedMode=2&relatedBottomHeight=60&companionPos=&hasCompanion=false&autoStart=false&colorPallet=%23FFEB00&videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919&shuffle=0&isAP=1&pgType=cmsPlugin&pgTypeId=addToPost-top&onVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DL&onTimeUpdate=track5min.TC&onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL&onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "&siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "&sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();   Maintaining price stability is one-half of the Fed’s dual mandate, together with maximizing employment. If the Fed prints more money, it spurs higher employment, ultimately putting upward pressure on prices. If it tightens the monetary supply, by raising interest rates, it keeps prices low, but also depresses employment.  Many progressive economists and activists fault the Fed for continuing to prioritize the inflation part of its dual mandate at the expense of full employment. It is a tendency they say disproportionately affects African-Americans, who already suffer from high unemployment and discrimination in the job market. Jordan Haedtler, deputy campaign manager of the Center for Popular Democracy’s Fed Up campaign, which mobilizes communities of color for pro-employment Fed policy, said that Yellen’s Wednesday remarks are a reflection of this approach. “It is indicative of the Fed’s continued emphasis on inflation even in the face of nonexistent inflation,” Haedtler said. “They are myopically focused on one portion of their dual mandate while ignoring another. If the Fed is saying that the economy is on enough of a positive trajectory to raise rates, they are saying they are OK with 9.5 percent black unemployment.” The Fed Up campaign wants the Federal Reserve to wait for more significant wage growth before raising rates. It is also encouraging regional Federal Reserve banks, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to sell homes with delinquent mortgages to nonprofit organizations that are more likely to refurbish them. Currently, Fed Up claims, the homes often go to for-profit buyers who leave them in disrepair, limiting the economic recovery in many urban communities of...

AIPAC Drops Pretense Of Supporting Iran Deal, Urges Congress To Vote It Down

Jessica Schulberg | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday issued its first public direction to Congress to reject the nuclear agreement that was finalized the previous day between Iran, the U.S. and five world powers. “After more than 20 months of negotiations, the United States and its negotiating...

Senate Democrats Warn Puerto Rico Default Would Trigger Humanitarian Crisis

Laura Barron-Lopez | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- If Congress doesn’t give Puerto Rico the power to restructure its stifling $73 billion in debt soon, a default could trigger a humanitarian crisis on the island, two Senate Democrats warned on Wednesday. The 3.5 million American citizens who call Puerto Rico home could see a complete shutdown...

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Fights To Help Keep Kids Out Of Prison

Christina Wilkie | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- Four senators from both ends of the political spectrum will introduce a bill Wednesday that is aimed at keeping at-risk young people out of the prison system. Two Democratic senators, Bob Casey (Penn.) and Gary Peters (Mich.), will be joined by two conservative Republicans, Sens. David Vitter...

You Can’t Say Carly Fiorina Is UnFit To Be President After This Fast-Stepping Video

The Huffington Post | Andy McDonald | July 15, 2015 | Comedy
(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=518946014&height=381&width=570&sid=577&origin=SOLR&responsive=false&relatedMode=2&relatedBottomHeight=60&companionPos=&hasCompanion=false&autoStart=false&colorPallet=%23FFEB00&videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919&shuffle=0&isAP=1&pgType=cmsPlugin&pgTypeId=addToPost-top&onVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DL&onTimeUpdate=track5min.TC&onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL&onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "&siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "&sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})(); NO CAMPAIGN, NO GAIN. If her vote count ends up anything like her step count, GOP presidential candidate...

Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Bill

Associated Press | Eline Gordts | July 15, 2015 | World
Greece's Parliament has approved an austerity bill demanded by bailout creditors, despite a significant level of dissent from the governing leftist Syriza party. The bill to impose sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts was approved with the support of three pro-European opposition parties. Several prominent members of Prime Minister Alexis...

Protesters Fly Confederate Flags To Greet Obama In Oklahoma

The Huffington Post | Amanda Terkel | July 15, 2015 | Politics
A group of Confederate-flag-waving protesters gathered near the Oklahoma high school where President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon, insisting that what they were doing was about heritage rather than racism.  "We're not gonna stand down from our heritage. You know, this flag's not racist. And...

Iran's Khamenei: Nuclear Deal Should Be Scrutinized Carefully

The Huffington Post | Eline Gordts | July 15, 2015 | World
By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Nouri DUBAI, July 15 (Reuters) - The text of a nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers should be carefully scrutinized and legal procedures taken so the other side does not breach it, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in his first public statements on the...

Ted Cruz Recalls Watching Porn With Sandra Day O'Connor

The Huffington Post | Michael McAuliff | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has written in his new book about that time when he watched porn with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He may be running for president now, but he was happy to recount it again Wednesday when a producer claiming affiliation with TMZ asked if...

Graphic Police Dash Cam Video Shows Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Man

David Lohr | July 15, 2015 | Crime
Three newly released dash cam videos show the dramatic moment that police in California shot and killed an unarmed man and wounded another in a Los Angeles suburb two years ago. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Gardena Police Department to release the videos, filmed by dashboard cameras in three police patrol vehicles on June 2, 2013. The order came after several media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press, requested access to the footage because of the recent rash of police shootings across the country. The videos show three police officers drawing their weapons on 35-year-old Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino and his two friends, whom the officers mistakenly suspected of stealing a bicycle. In the footage, two of the men obeyed police commands to raise their hands above their heads. However, the third man, identified as Diaz-Zeferino, was reportedly drunk and possibly confused by the officers' commands. Witnesses said Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell officers that they were stopping the wrong men, Daily Herald reported. The cameras recorded Diaz-Zeferino lowering and raising his hands several times before removing a baseball hat from his head and swinging his hands down to his waist. The action prompted the officers to discharge their weapons several times, striking Diaz-Zeferino eight times and his friend, Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, once. Paramedics reportedly took almost 10 minutes to respond to the shooting. Mendez survived his injuries, but Diaz-Zeferino was pronounced dead at the scene. The police were investigating the theft of a bicycle belonging to Diaz-Zeferino's brother at the time of the shooting, according to The Associated Press. Diaz-Zeferino and his two friends were reportedly looking for the bike when the officers approached them. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to file charges against the officers in the aftermath of the shootings. "They made a split-second decision and they were not required to hold fire in order to ascertain whether [Diaz-Zeferino] would, in fact, injure or kill them," Deputy District Attorney Rosa Alarcon wrote in a memo, reported The Los Angeles Times. However, the two victims' families sued the city of Gardena and ultimately settled the case for $4.7 million. The videos and other evidence in the case remained under seal until Tuesday, when Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled in favor of the media's request to release the videos. "We applaud the court's decision to unseal the video," said AP spokesman Paul Colford said. "The Associated Press, joining with other news organizations, believes it's important that the public has access to videos like this to better understand the actions of their police officers." After the judge's ruling, Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano issued a statement calling the shooting a tragedy "for all involved." His office had opposed releasing the videos. "We have thoroughly reviewed our response and have initiated new training, including the tactical use of cover techniques to slow down fast-moving events," Medrano said. Yet while the civil suit is settled and the videos have been released, the case could be far from closed. Samuel Paz, an attorney for Diaz-Zeferino's family, said he may ask federal prosecutors to investigate whether the shooting constitutes a civil rights violation. "I think it is really helpful for the public to understand why they would be willing to pay $4.7 million to settle the case when we were on the eve of trial," Paz said. "When the public sees the video and other law enforcement agencies see the video, this is very much a criminal act." Also on...

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson Outshines Nenshi With 'West Wing'-Like Speech

Jesse Ferreras | July 15, 2015 | Canada Alberta
Aaron Sorkin couldn't have written this better.

Filipino World War II Veterans Will Get Easier Path To Reunite With Family

Elise Foley | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- Filipino-American World War II veterans who have been waiting for years to bring their family members to the U.S. will soon be able to do so through a new policy, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday. The policy, announced along with a spate of...

Obama: No End To War In Syria Without 'Buy-In' From Iran

Jessica Schulberg | July 15, 2015 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday acknowledged that cooperation from Iran will be necessary for any future resolution of the civil war in Syria, which is now in its fifth year. “I do agree that we’re not going to solve the problems in Syria unless there’s buy-in from...

Obama Is About To Visit A Prison. We Asked 2016 Contenders If They Have Ever Been.

Dana Liebelson | July 15, 2015 | Politics
(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=518941127&height=381&width=570&sid=577&origin=undefined&responsive=false&relatedMode=2&relatedBottomHeight=60&companionPos=&hasCompanion=false&autoStart=false&colorPallet=%23FFEB00&videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919&shuffle=0&isAP=1&pgType=cmsPlugin&pgTypeId=addToPost-top&onVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DL&onTimeUpdate=track5min.TC&onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL&onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "&siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "&sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})(); WASHINGTON -- When President Barack Obama visits a federal prison on Thursday, it will mark the first time...
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