House Speaker John Boehner wants to sue President Barack Obama, but he doesn’t want to impeach him.
“I disagree,” Boehner said Wednesday when asked to respond to an op-ed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin calling on the House to impeach the President. Boehner said last month that the lawsuit House Republicans are planning against Obama was not about impeachment but about “faithfully executing the laws of our country.”
Palin tagged her impeachment call to the President’s immigration policy, writing that the border crisis is “the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’” On Fox News Tuesday, Palin, the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, added that House Republicans’ lawsuit would not be a sufficient message to the president.
“You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight,” Palin said. “There’s no place for lawyers on the front lines.”
President Barack Obama’s seminal gay rights legislation has become the latest casualty of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Hobby Lobby to deny their employees contraception on religious grounds.
The Employee Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, was passed by the Senate last year, but it has stalled in the House in part because Republicans wanted greater religious exemptions. But the exemptions already contained within the bill, gay rights activists fear, provide a blue print for employers to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender peoples in the context of the Hobby Lobby decision.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby has made it all the more important that we not accept this inappropriate provision,” the American Civil Liberties Union and four LGBT groups wrote in withdrawing their support for ENDA. “Because opponents of LGBT equality are already misreading that decision as having broadly endorsed rights to discriminate against others, we cannot accept a bill that sanctions discrimination and declares that discrimination against LGBT people is more acceptable than other kinds of discrimination.”
The decision also puts Obama in a bind over a promised executive order banning companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating against LGBT employees. Religious groups and leaders, including Rick Warren, who delivered the invocation at Obama’s first inaugural, and Michael Wear, who worked in Obama’s faith-based initiatives office in his first term and on faith outreach in his reelection campaign, wrote the President on the day of the Hobby Lobby decision to ask for increased religious exemptions from the federal rule. The idea is that in order to do business with the federal government, many religious groups would have to go against their core beliefs that only heterosexual married sex is condoned in the eyes of God. Religious charities work closely with the government in development and education at home and abroad.
So the rule, whenever it is issued, will likely either offend religious or gay groups.
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers from both chambers of Congress on Wednesday introduced legislation to address the Hobby Lobby decision. The bill would reinforce the language in the original Affordable Care Act that guarantees health insurance coverage of contraception.
“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” said Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and one of bills’ cosponsors. “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”
Thus far no Republicans have signed on, and although a handful of Republicans voted for ENDA, it is unlikely given their universal opposition to Obamacare that any will sign on to Murray’s bill, entitled the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act. The Democratic push is sure to anger religious groups, which objected to and sued the governmentto change the original Obamacare language — all of which means the bill will likely have a tough time passing the Senate and is a non-starter in the House.
Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat and the only openly gay senator, was the lead co-sponsor of ENDA. She said on Tuesday that she is looking at revising her bill to reflect the Hobby Lobby decision. She will surely be watching closely whatever language the White House lawyers come up with for Obama’s executive order. Finding a way to appease women, gays and religious groups is looking increasingly hard. A cynic’s answer to how this plays out is: Ahead of the midterm elections, is which group is the least important at the polls?
The exclusive bowling lanes reserved for White House employees and their guests are getting an upgrade.
According to a federal contractor posting, the General Services Administration is seeking to modernize the 1940s-era lanes, which were first located in the West Wing near what is now the Situation Room. The two-lane Harry S. Truman Bowling Alley was moved to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1955 for the use of White House staffers.
The bowling alley was recently photographed by POLITICO, which described “chipped lanes and worn-out shoes” in the basement getaway. “It has been fifteen years since these lanes have had any professional, industry standard maintenance, modifications, repairs or attention,” the GSA wrote in the posting. “They are now irreparable.”
The government is seeking to demolish the existing lanes and gutters in order to repair the aging substructure, and replace the wood lanes with synthetic ones.
“The objective here is to replace the current, damaged and out dated lanes, approaches, pin setter platform (or pin deck) and gutters with new and modern products,” the GSA added. “Specifically for the lanes, approach and pin deck, installing phenolic synthetic (or “green”) material. Any and all replacement items will meet industry standard specifications, including variance tolerance set forth by the USBC (United States Bowling Congress). Contractor shall ensure proper repairs are made to the sub structure (as needed to meet USBC specifications), if any are found.”
“It could use [the renovations],” one recent bowler told TIME on the condition his name not be used. “It’s quaint and feels old. There’s no electric scoreboard, so you have to score by hand—which is just debilitating when you’re focused on bowling a 300 like I am.”
Some sections of the demolished bowling lanes will be turned into “custom frames” by the GSA.
The EEOB is located inside the 18-acre White House compound, just steps across West Executive Drive from the West Wing. A separate one-lane bowling alley lies under the North Portico of the White House and was added by avid bowler-in-chief Richard Nixon in 1969 for use by the First Family and guests.
It is not clear how much the new bowling lanes will cost. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With reporting by Mark Thompson/Washington.View this document on Scribd
The adopted son of convicted sex offender and former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will appear on Oprah Winfrey’s cable talk show to discuss his childhood sex abuse at the hands of his father.
Matthew Sandusky will give his first interview since his father’s conviction on Oprah Prime on July 17.
During the trial, Matthew came forward and told police about abuse committed by Sandusky, who was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 young boys in June 2012. His adoptive mother, Dottie Sandusky, accused him of lying and stealing from the family. In the teaser below, Matthew tells Oprah about Sandusky’s “bedtime ritual”:
A high-priced call girl was arrested Friday for allegedly shooting heroin into a Google executive and fleeing when he overdosed.
Police say 26-year-old Alix Catherine Tichelman provided Forrest Timothy Hayes with a shot of heroin on his 50-foot-yacht in Santa Cruz, California, in November, causing him to lose consciousness.
Tichelman made no effort to help him, police said, and instead gathered her belongings and drank down a glass of wine before drawing a window blind and leaving. Hayes was found dead the next morning, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Hayes, 51, was a Google executive who had worked in the auto industry and at technology companies such as Sun Microstystems and Apple.
Tichleman hails from Georgia, where she attended journalism school. On her Facebook page, she describes her professional skills as “exotic dancer,” “makeup artist,” “heavy metal,” “writing” and “modeling,” among others.
Police said Tichleman was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, destruction of evidence, and transporting and providing narcotics.
Crumbs cupcakes are apparently proving that “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”
After the specialty cupcake chain closed all its stores on Monday, consumers and media have reacted by declaring the end of the cupcake fad.
But some people don’t seem ready to let go. Someone is selling what is supposedly “the last cupcake from Crumbs Bake Shop” on eBay for $250. The cupcake is “Birthday Cake” flavored and a picture of the receipt shows the cupcake was purchased at the 42nd Street store in New York City at 2:43 p.m. on Monday.
The seller called it the “Holy Grail” of cupcakes, and encouraged buyers to “bid on this still-delicious soon-to-be relic, and you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that you devoured the last Crumbs cupcake.”
So far, the cupcake only has one bid. But it isn’t the only Crumbs item for sale online — another intrepid eBay user is selling a box of three Crumbs cupcakes for $275—quite the deal in comparison. This box includes a red velvet cupcake, a cookies and cream and a peanut butter.
Its description reads: “Crumbs bake shop closed its doors forvever today so gets them while they last and share them with the ones you love.”
It’s no wonder the drone industry doesn’t like the word “drone.” Thanks to the work of human rights activists in exposing the ugly side of how Predator and Reaper drones kill innocent people overseas, “drones” can evoke a one-word reaction similar to the word “sweatshops”: yuck! Then there’s the transnational campaign to ban fully autonomous drones, a campaign that’s instilling public fear about a brave, new world where kill decisions are increasingly made by machines. Add to the mix the specter of drones being used by government agencies here at home to increase Big Brother’s ability to invade our privacy, and you have a reaction to drones that isn’t just disgust and fear, but defiance.
After Congress passed legislation in 2012 calling for the opening of U.S. airspace to drones by 2015, dozens of states began cobbling together legislation. Some bills restrict law enforcement agencies from gathering information on the public without a court order; others prohibit the weaponization of domestic drones. Cities began passing “no-drone resolutions” restricting the use of their airspace. The small town of Deer Trail, Colo., garnered national attention when it contemplated providing a bounty for shooting down a drone. Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano pronounced that the first American who shoots down a drone that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero. Matt Rosendale, a Montana state senator running for Congress, unveiled an ad where he points his rifle at a hovering drone and declares that he is ready to “stand tall for freedom.”
The drone industry reacted to its image problem with a disastrous campaign to simply drop the hot-potato term “drone” and instead use cumbersome names like “unmanned aerial systems,” “unmanned aerial vehicles,” “remotely piloted aircraft” or, worse yet, their acronyms (UASs, UAVs, RPAs). At the 2013 annual D.C. gathering of the drone lobby, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), presenters continually pleaded with attendees to drop the term “drone.” The wireless password for the attending journalists was a not-so-subtle “dontsaydrones.”
AUVSI President Michael Toscano got in trouble during a March 2013 Senate hearing when he lectured the senators that they shouldn’t use the term “drone” because of its hostile connotation. Senator Leahy fired back, “I appreciate you telling us what we should call them, but why don’t you leave that decision to us. We’ll decide what we’ll call them and you call them whatever you like to call them.”
Recognizing defeat, the industry began a much more successful PR campaign touting the positive uses of drones. Indeed, there are plenty of good drones already in use, and as to future possibilities, the sky’s the limit. Drones can battle wildfires, track endangered species, predict weather patterns, provide farmers with crop analysis, deliver humanitarian aid and, yes, perhaps drones might one day deliver your Amazon packages or your take-out tacos.
And let’s face it: some drones are fun. There are tens of thousands of DIY hobbyists around the world who are crafting home-built drones to film themselves on the ski slopes or take aerial photos of their weddings. Even Martha Stewart has her own drone, gushing on Twitter that it takes amazing photos of her farm: “We love the possibilities and opportunities drones offer. Do you?”
But not even Martha Stewart can sweep aside the important ethical and legal issues that have arisen with President Obama’s killer drones, or the deployment of autonomous drones or the coming use of domestic spy drones. My organization, CODEPINK, has protested these issues at many a drone convention and Congressional hearing. We have tried to get the industry to work with us by supporting international and national regulations to make drone use compliant with international law and our moral values. But the industry has not wanted to alienate weapons companies like General Atomics, whose bread and butter come from lethal drones or powerful government agencies like the CIA.
Rather than ignoring or white-washing the problematic nature of killer drones, spy drones and autonomous killer robots, the industry—and drone enthusiasts—should work with the human rights and peace communities to distinguish between good, the bad and the ugly.
Medea Benjamin, the cofounder of the peace group www.codepink.org, is author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.
After initially saying the famous Superman “S” logo could not be used on a young boy’s memorial statue, DC Entertainment has reversed its decision.
Jeffrey Baldwin, 5, was starved to death by his grandparents—they were later convicted of second-degree murder— in 2002. His family said he loved to dress up like a superhero and pretend to fly, so Ottawa resident Todd Boyce raised money for a statue that would depict the young boy as his beloved Man of Steel. But DC Entertainment refused to grant the rights to use the iconic “S” shield logo on his memorial.
On Wednesday, however, the company changed its tune.“We are honored by the relationship that our fans have with our characters, and fully understand the magnitude of their passion. We take each request seriously and our heartfelt thoughts go out to the victims, the family and those affected,” according to a statement from the company.“DC Entertainment uses a flexible set of criteria when we receive worthy requests such as this, and at times have reconsidered our initial stance.”
It’s rumored that Rosie O’Donnell will be returning to The View, and her former co-host on the show, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, says she is not surprised.
O’Donnell and Hasselbeck butted heads often when they were both on the talk show, and while Hasselbeck is not thrilled by the news, she said on Fox & Friends Wednesday that she thinks the deal has “been in the works for a long, long time.”
Hasselbeck told Fox that during a TV special for Barbara Walters’ retirement in May, O’Donnell told her Hasselbeck had helped produce the celebratory show. “Would you think that the woman who left the way that she did would be producing [Walters’] goodbye show? Here’s the shocker: It was actually [O’Donnell’s] hello show,” Hasselbeck said in the interview.
Hasselbeck did not hold back how she felt about O’Donnell’s return, saying: “Here in comes to The View the very woman who spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there.”
O’Donnell left the talk show in 2007 after only one season.
(Warning: some NSFW language)
What if Elsa from Disney’s Frozen had done time for freezing the kingdom of Arendelle? Would her stint in prison have played out like an episode of Orange Is the New Black? This animation sets out to explore that question by replacing OITNB’s Piper with Elsa — and substituting her fellow Litchfield inmates with all your favorite Disney princesses, from Ariel to Tiana to Mulan.
Oh, Beauty and the Beast‘s Gaston replaces Litchfield corrections officer Pornstache, which is pretty good. Additional bonus points for an Adele Dazeem reference thrown in there.
By Owen Bennett-Jones in the London Review of Books
By Phillipa Nicole Barr and Melanie Garrick at the Guardian
By Matt Krupnick in the Hechinger Report
By Edward Wyckoff Williams in The Root
By Sarah Frier in Bloomberg News
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, I posted a photo of myself dressed in a Yale sweatshirt, embroidered pants, L.L. Bean boots and a hockey stick to my personal Instagram account. I captioned it “Lawrenceville Boi” (boi being a word used in the queer community to describe butch lesbians) and added hashtags like #confederate, #romney2016, #peakedinhighschool, #nwa and #ilikerap. The photo stirred up controversy at the elite private boarding school in New Jersey I attended at the time, where I was also student body president. I was told by my school’s administration and some students that I had offended a large portion of the school’s population, and I would have to either step down as student body president of The Lawrenceville School or face disciplinary action for the photo. I resigned in March.
Since then, I’ve been accused of trying to bring Lawrenceville down. While I understand how people might get that impression, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I love Lawrenceville so much that I refuse to stand by while the pressures of systematic oppression that plague our entire country go to work at the school I once called home. I consider Lawrenceville a microcosm of the United States, where discrimination and racism must be addressed.
Let me say first that the photo was strictly satirical. Earlier in the year, my friends and I had taken a Black Power photo for the yearbook, with our fists raised, that caused some backlash on campus. Because of that backlash, we decided to take another photo for our other yearbook page in which we all wore “typical Lawrenceville” apparel. That’s where the offending photo originated from.
As student body president, and Lawrenceville’s first black woman to hold the position, my actions were undoubtedly immature. But I hold firm that the use of satire to bring light to issues is not only effective, but also sometimes necessary when coping with oppression and injustice.
I was never called a nigger at Lawrenceville. Once a faggot. A few times a dyke. A trans friend was once called a “tranny” and a cross-dresser. The majority of the discrimination at Lawrenceville is subtle, almost unnoticeable unless you really pay attention to the anti-minority sentiments that linger in the minds and show themselves in the words of a few vocal Lawrentians.
It’s unclear to me where the insensitive, anti-PC attitude that I see so often in Lawrenceville men (women as well, but men in particular) comes from, though it’s certainly not exclusive to my alma mater. But I’m invested in changing such attitudes on campus and among the student body because Lawrenceville is the place where I gained the majority of my knowledge. Without the help of the school and the faculty, I probably wouldn’t have been able to write this piece. Though the educational value of Lawrenceville is priceless (the price tag, on the other hand, is $70,000 a year), there’s a crucial lack of appreciation for peoples and cultures that don’t fit the traditional American norm.
Lawrenceville preaches its own diversity, but the student body is predominantly white. From my observations, African Americans and Latinos make up a small portion of the student body. Lawrenceville was created for the children of wealthy, white, Protestants. In its 200-some years, Lawrenceville’s student body has included students of color for only around half a century, and women for only a quarter. Lawrenceville is also focused on honoring tradition. In the late 19th Century, the Southern Club was advertised in the yearbook with a caricature of an African American man. Last year, a Confederate flag was used at the club fair. It’s important to remember Lawrenceville’s history with pride, but modern Lawrentians and school administrators must understand that that history was not kind to all people.
Progress at Lawrenceville can be as simple as a more diversified curriculum or a non-gendered dress code. It will require overriding some traditions and ensuring minority students the same safety and comfort (physical and emotional) as the traditional Lawrenceville boy. I say this with full confidence that Lawrenceville will progress. I say this with gratitude for every person I have met and everything I have learned on the school’s stunning campus.
To the young women, students of color, disabled students, queer students, students who aren’t wealthy and straight white men who understand the plight of minorities who may be considering Lawrenceville: Don’t allow the recent articles and my story to dissuade you from attending. Although I don’t believe Lawrenceville knew how to effectively deal with me as a queer woman of color and as another brash teen, I owe all that I am to the school, the teachers who influenced and supported me and the amazing friends that I made. Lawrenceville needs your voices and your strength. There is a lot of work to be done, and we have to do it together.
(Note: Lawrenceville’s response to the controversy is here.)
Maya Peterson is a poet, rapper and activist. She will be a freshman at Wesleyan University pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and Sociology.
(DENVER) — The trial in the Colorado theater shootings case has been delayed again because the second sanity evaluation of defendant James Holmes will take more time than expected.
The judge ordered the postponement on Wednesday but did not set a new date.
The trial had been scheduled to start with jury selection on Oct. 14, but the state mental hospital said it would need until Oct. 15 to complete the second evaluation and submit a report.
The report had been due Aug. 15.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
I need some of you to cut it the hell out. Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Shanequa from around the way” voice. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.
Let me explain.
Black people can’t have anything. Any of these things include, but aren’t limited to: a general sense of physical safety, comfort with law enforcement, adequate funding and appreciation for black spaces like schools and neighborhoods, appropriate venues for our voices to be heard about criticism of issues without our race going on trial because of it, and solid voting rights (cc: Chris McDaniel).
And then, when you thought this pillaging couldn’t get any worse, extracurricular black activities get snatched up, too: our music, our dances, our slang, our clothing, our hairstyles. All of these things are rounded up, whitewashed and repackaged for your consumption. But here’s the shade — the non-black people who get to enjoy all of the fun things about blackness will never have to experience the ugliness of the black experience, systemic racism and the dangers of simply living while black. Though I suppose there’s some thrill in this “rolling with the homies” philosophy some adopt, white people are not racially oppressed in the United States of America.
White people are not racially oppressed in the United States of America.
White people are not racially oppressed in the United States of America.
Nothing about whiteness will get a white person in trouble the way blackness can get a black person shot down in his tracks. These are just facts. It’s not entirely the fault of white people. It’s not as if you can help being born white in America, any more than I can help being born black in America.
The truth is that America is a country that operates on systems of racism in which we all participate, whether consciously or unconsciously, to our benefit or to our detriment, and that system allows white people to succeed. This system also creates barriers so that minorities, such as black people, have a much harder time being able to do things like vote and get houses and not have to deal with racists and stuff. You know. Casual.
But while you’re gasping at the heat and the steam of the strong truth tea I just spilled,what’s even worse about all of this, if you thought things could get even crappier, is the fact that all of this is exponentially worse for black women. A culture of racism is bad enough, but pairing it with patriarchal structures that intend to undermine women’s advancement is like double-fisting bleach and acid rain.
At the end of the day, if you are a white male, gay or not, you retain so much privilege. What is extremely unfairly denied you because of your sexuality could float back to you, if no one knew that you preferred the romantic and sexual company of men over women. (You know what I’m talking about. Those “anonymous” torsos on Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam, show very familiar heterosexual faces to the public.) The difference is that the black women with whom you think you align so well, whose language you use and stereotypical mannerisms you adopt, cannot hide their blackness and womanhood to protect themselves the way that you can hide your homosexuality. We have no place to hide, or means to do it even if we desired them.
In all of the ways that your gender and race give you so much, in those exact same ways, our gender and race work against our prosperity. To claim that you’re a minority woman just for the sake of laughs, and to say that the things allowed her or the things enjoyed by her are done better by you isn’t cute or funny. First of all, it’s aggravating as hell. Second, it’s damaging and perpetuating of yet another set of aggressions against us.
All of this being said, you should not have to stop liking the things you like. This is not an attempt to try to suck the fun out of your life. Appreciating a culture and appropriating one are very, very different things, with a much thicker line than some people think, if you use all of the three seconds it takes to be considerate before you open your mouth. If you love some of the same things that some black women love, by all means, you and your black girlfriends go ahead and rock the hell out. Regardless of what our privileges and lack of privileges are, regardless of the laws and rhetoric that have attempted to divide us, we are equal, even though we aren’t the same, and that is okay. Claiming our identity for what’s sweet without ever having to taste its sour is not. Breathing fire behind ugly stereotypes that reduce black females to loud caricatures for you to emulate isn’t, either.
So, you aren’t a strong black woman, or a ghetto girl, or any of that other foolery that some of you with trash Vine accounts try to be. It’s okay. You don’t have to be. No one asked you to be. You weren’t ever meant to be. What you can be, however, is part of the solution.
Check your privilege. Try to strengthen the people around you.
Sierra Mannie is a rising senior majoring in Classics and English at the University of Mississippi. She is a regular contributor to the Opinion section of the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, where this article originally appeared, and is currently its Summer Editor.
Chicken prices in the United States are reportedly on the rise after a genetic defect caused rooster fertility problems at a time when high prices on other meats were already increasing demand for poultry products.
The standard Ross male, a key rooster breed responsible for fathering up to 25 percent of the chickens raised for slaughter in the U.S., has seen reduced fertility due to a change in its genes, Reuters reports. Poultry producers routinely modify chicken genes to improve yield. As a result, the price of chicken breasts is up about 50 cents per pound and prices in Georgia, a key chicken market, have hit record highs.
Aviagen Group, the world’s largest chicken breeder, discovered the glitch after ruling out other possible explanations for a roughly 2% increase in hatch failure of eggs fertilized by the breed, Reuters reports. Scientists from the company say the genetic tweak made the roosters “very sensitive” to overfeeding.
“We fed him too much. He got fat. When he got big, he did not breed as much as he was intended to,” said Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer for the major chicken producer Sanderson, one of Aviagen’s biggest customers.
The chicken shortage resulting from reduced rooster fertility comes at a time when elevated prices for pork and beef have been increasing demand for chicken as a meat alternative.
Sen. Clair McCaskill (D-Mo.) said the results reveal a broad failure by many schools but also offer possible solutions and she and a bipartisan group of lawmakers mull draft legislation to address the problem. They’re likely to produce a bill around the time students head back to campus this fall.
Colleges and universities are not following even the most basic rules already required of them, according to the survey. Results from the 236 schools that responded to the survey revealed that even though colleges are legally required to have a Title IX coordinator (a staff member responsible for managing the school’s compliance with the laws on sexual harassment and sex crimes), 10% of schools did not. And 41% of schools surveyed had not conducted a single sexual assault investigation in the past five years.
“That means that they are saying there have been zero incidents of sexual assault on their campuses,” McCaskill said in a call with reporters. “That is hard to believe.”
Schools are required by law to investigate when they know or reasonably should have known about a sex crime on their campus. But more than 21% of “the nation’s largest private institutions” surveyed conducted fewer investigations than they reported to the Department of Education, with some schools reporting as many as seven times the number of incidents of sexual violence than they investigated, which is “on its face is violating the black letter law in this country,” McCaskill said.
Other results revealed a lack of professionalism inherent in the process of handling sex crimes at many of the institutions. Even though most schools, 73%, had no protocol for how to work with the local police, many schools nonetheless had not adequately trained personnel on how to deal with these serious crimes internally. Twenty-one percent of the schools provided no training on sexual assault response for members of faculty and staff, and 31% provided no training to students. A third of schools failed to provide basic training to the people adjudicating claims, 43% of the nation’s “largest public schools” let students help adjudicate cases, and 22% of institutions gave athletic departments oversight of cases involving athletes—a stat McCaskill called “borderline outrageous.”
The lack of police involvement combined with the institutions’ broad-based failure to handle these crimes adequately, means there is little deterrent for perpetrators on campus.
“We will ultimately have a system that is more of a deterrent than we have now,” McCaskill said. “The folks praying on college students—they have little to no fear of serious consequences.”
Can’t go 10 minutes without checking Facebook? How would you feel about giving it up for 99 days? This Dutch non-profit wants you to do just that.
“99 Days of Freedom,” a non-profit initiative from Dutch creative agency Just, wants participants to abstain from the social network for more than three months and participate in “happiness surveys” to see if their mood improves as a result.
Just’s Art Director, Merijn Straathof, explained that the project came from brainstorming after news of Facebook’s controversial mood experiments went viral. “As we discussed it internally, we noted an interesting tendency: To a person, everyone had at least a ‘complicated’ relationship with Facebook,” Straathof said. “Then someone joked, ‘I guess that the real question is, ‘How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?’ There was group laughter, followed by, ‘Wait a second. That’s a really good question!’”
Given that Facebook’s 1.2 billion users spend an average of 17 minutes on the site a day, Just estimates that 99 Days’ participants will save 28 hours of wasted time over three months. The non-profit’s directors suggest using that time to volunteer, learn a new skill or post to the group’s message board about what they’re doing with their Facebook-free time.
And while 99 days without Facebook may seem like an eternity to some, Straathof and his team do not mean for the experiment to be permanent. The group does not even ask participants to delete their profiles but rather post a “time-off” profile picture for the duration of the Facebook fast.
“Facebook is an incredible platform, we’re all fiercely loyal users and we believe that there’s a lot to love about the service,” Straathof said. “But we also feel that there are obvious emotional benefits to moderation.”
(WASHINGTON) — The Senate easily confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Wednesday to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, boosting the national profile of a Democrat with a compelling biography who’s considered a vice presidential contender in 2016.
The 71-26 vote makes the 39-year-old Castro one of the government’s highest-ranking Hispanics, a growing group of voters who lean solidly Democratic. His ascension comes two years after he got his first broad national exposure when President Barack Obama picked him to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Castro grew up in a working-class San Antonio neighborhood, the Mexican-American son of a single mother who was a Latino rights activist.
He has a law degree from Harvard and is a three-term mayor of Texas’ second largest city. His options for rising in Texas politics were viewed as limited in a Republican-dominated Texas, where no Democrat has triumphed in a statewide contest in two decades.
Castro will replace Shaun Donovan as housing secretary. Obama has picked Donovan to become White House budget chief.
Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, is a congressman who represents much of the San Antonio area.
Looks like Mockingjay is sticking with this PSA thing for its teasers: following a first teaser in which President Snow discussed peace in Panem, the next Hunger Games movie has released a brand new clip in which Snow returns to tackle the topic of “unity.” It’s part of a snazzy Capitol-themed web presence that’s being used to build buzz, complete with a “.pn” web domain.
This time, Johanna and Peeta are both there to flank him as he gives his announcement, demonstrating by their presence that Snow speaks the truth when he says that the Capitol and the districts are in solidarity — until, that is, the evidence to the contrary appears.
We won’t spoil it for you, but the teaser comes with a twist to make it extra clear that not every district agrees. Especially when the district in question is number 13.
The movie is due in theaters Nov. 21, 2014.
Justin Bieber will be charged with one count of vandalism for allegedly egging a neighbor’s house earlier this year. The singer will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. local time at the Los Angeles Country Superior Court. The musician will likely not be present, according to a statement from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Bieber’s neighbor claimed that he caught the “Baby” singer throwing eggs at his house on tape in January. Earlier this year, authorities searched the 19-year-old’s home for surveillance footage of the incident and subsequently arrested Bieber’s rapper friend 20-year-old Lil Za.
Lil Za was charged with felony possession of Ectasy and oxycodone and faces up to nine years in prison.