Desiree Brown

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Honey, I shrunk the mandate

Filed for bankruptcy in the past six months? Had medical bills you couldn’t pay in the past two years? Been a victim of domestic violence? Received a shut-off notice from a utility company? If you don’t want to buy insurance under Obamacare, you don’t have to. No penalty.<p>The individual mandate may …

Mississippi governor signs welfare drug-testing bill

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a welfare drug-testing bill on Monday, requiring those who test positive to get treatment in order to get cash.<p>He said it will help people who are "trapped in a dependency lifestyle."<p>House Bill 49 will become law July 1.<p>When it takes effect, anyone who applies …

The Hobby Lobby Case And Our Diminishing First Amendment

<b>Well, the day began with</b> Jeffrey Rosen's scaring the fking daylightsout of me.<p><i>Although there are technical differences between the two cases [Hobby Lobby and Conestega Woods], both will force the justices to confront the future balance between the First Amendment on one hand and anti-discrimination</i> …

The Coverup Behind The Crimes

<b>It's a good thing</b> that the killing of Trayvon Martin, who is dead for the crime of carrying snack food in a neighborhood in which cheapjack wannabe George Zimmerman thought he didn't belong, was such a pivotal moment for us as a society, or I might think that the state of Florida continues to be …

What's Religious About Corporate America Cheating Workers?

The Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court claims to be about defending business owners' religious values against Obamacare. Too bad those values …

U.S. Keeps Saudi Arabia’s Worst Secret

The most comprehensive study of Saudi textbooks ever commissioned by the U.S. was completed at the end of 2012, but to this date the State Department …

Obama and Lawmakers Plan to End Mass Surveillance

Some of the fiercest de­fend­ers of the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency now want to end the agency’s con­tro­ver­sial prac­tice of col­lect­ing re­cords …

Surveillance

Robert Reich: Tribalism is tearing America apart

Former secratary of labor says Dems and GOP no longer share the same basic values — and that nationhood is dead<p>Robert Reich<p>March 25, 2014 12:00pm (UTC)<p>This originally appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.<p>We are witnessing a reversion to tribalism around the world, away from nation states. The the same …

NYT reporter: Obama administration ‘greatest enemy of press freedom’ in generation

A New York Times reporter is calling the Obama administration "the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation."<p>James Risen, who is battling the administration over an order that he testify in the trial of an accused leaker, made the remarks Friday at the …

Critics warn of 'union mercenary' group entering minimum wage debate in Seattle

As Seattle and its leaders contemplate raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, a group that one critic dubs a “union mercenary” has entered the fray.<p>The Olympia-based Freedom Foundation revealed last week that the Restaurant Opportunities Center, a federally registered nonprofit organization …

'Liberty and Justice for All' Means Security Risks

The U.S. has committed egregious misdeeds in the name of reducing the risk of terror by a tiny—or even non-existent—margin.<p>America's most objectionable actions since the September 11 terrorist attacks have been rooted in a failure of courage: We were no longer brave enough to act as morally as …

The Koch brothers are dead wrong: Half of America is living in or near poverty

<b>David Koch (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)</b><p>Republicans delude themselves when they say America’s lower class has it so much better than other countries<p>Paul Buchheit<p>March 25, 2014 12:15pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>The Charles Koch Foundation recently released a commercial that …

Obama Is Proposing To End The NSA's Bulk Data Collection As We Know It

The Obama administration is set to unveil a proposal this week that would overhaul the method by which the National Security Agency collects and stores data.<p>The news was first reported by The New York Times' Charlie Savage. A senior administration official confirmed the planned proposal early …

Surveillance

State lawmakers push to rein in police spying

A number of state legislatures and courts are checking in on law enforcement spy games.<p>The push back comes as the rise of mobile communication technologies intersects with the militarization of police forces across the nation.<p>Using advanced technology, law enforcement agencies are able to track …

Exclusive: Wal-Mart manager speaks out about his store’s ugly reality

<b>(AP)</b><p>From no time off, to working multiple roles at once, here’s what’s really going on at the mega-chain<p>Josh Eidelson<p>March 25, 2014 12:30pm (UTC)<p>President Obama sparked a new round of big business ire this month, directing the Labor Department to reform rules that exclude salaried managers making …

Paul takes some credit on NSA plan

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday praised reports that President Barack Obama is moving toward ending the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone data, saying he’s willing to take some credit.<p>“I don’t want to take all the credit for ending this, but I think our lawsuit had something …

Conservatives have a “racist jokes” culture problem

<b>Florida Gov. Rick Scott (AP/J Pat Carter)</b><p>The right needs to address its own pathologies before it can expect more support from the rest of us<p>Alex Pareene<p>March 25, 2014 1:25pm (UTC)<p>Florida Gov. Rick Scott's reelection campaign had one of those days yesterday. You know, one of those days where you …

Rand Paul Thinks He Killed NSA Phone Spying

Sen. Rand Paul be­lieves he is in part re­spons­ible for Pres­id­ent Obama’s re­por­ted de­cision to end the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency’s bulk …

Obama to call for NSA reforms, but the surveillance state prevails

<b>Members of German Piraten Partei (Pirates party) hold the portraits of U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden (R), a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), during a protest in Berlin's Tiergarten district. (REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski)</b><p>While moving bulk collection of phone …

The government’s ‘compelling’ interest in protecting contraceptive coverage

By Editorial Board<p>THE SUPREME court on Tuesday will devote a double session to hear arguments on one of the most contentious pieces of the Affordable Care Act : the rule that companies providing health-care insurance to their employees include coverage for a range of contraception services. Two …

SCOTUS and Birth Control: What You Need to Know

As the Su­preme Court pre­pares to hear or­al ar­gu­ments over Obama­care’s con­tra­cep­tion man­date, the big ques­tion is how far the justices are …

Hobby Lobby

NSA would gain access to cellphone records under Obama plan

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency would lose its authority to collect and hold years' worth of telephone calling records but gain access to cellphone information it currently lacks under an Obama administration proposal aimed at quieting controversy over the spy agency’s data archive.<p>The …

Gillibrand: 'Cards' not reality

The scheming, backroom dealing world of Netflix’s “House of Cards” is far from the world politicians experience in Washington, at least according to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).<p>Speaking Tuesday at POLITICO’s Women Rule event, “How Women Run: Power, Perception and Reality,” Gillibrand said her …

GOP lawmaker: Women aren’t responsible enough to take birth control because they “binge drink”

<b>Alaska state Sen. Pete Kelly (YouTube)</b><p>“If you have people who are binge drinking or chronic drinkers, we’re hesitant to say ‘use birth control'”<p>Katie McDonough<p>March 25, 2014 3:23pm (UTC)<p>Last week, a Republican lawmaker from Alaska suggested putting free pregnancy tests in bar bathrooms so that …

Obama ‘Confident’ NSA Proposal Will Address Privacy Concerns

Pres­id­ent Obama on Tues­day said he is sup­port­ive of a “work­able” pro­pos­al from his ad­min­is­tra­tion that would ef­fect­ively end the …

Surveillance

The Surveillance State Is Well Protected and Winning

Bul­lied in­to ac­tion by Ed­ward Snowden — no hero or trait­or, he — Pres­id­ent Obama might fi­nally get one thing right about the Sur­veil­lance …

Perry: Equal pay 'nonsense' in Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday called the debate over equal pay for women that is lighting up the Texas governor’s race “nonsense,” saying the Democrats should focus on “substantive issues.”<p>“If they want to talk about substantive issues in Texas in this governor’s race, let’s talk about tax …