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‘Grand bargain’

Interesting choice of words:

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is extending a new proposal to Republicans that he hopes will break the political gridlock on budget negotiations, offering to cut corporate tax rates in exchange for job investments.

White House officials say just because they’re at an impasse with congressional Republicans over a grand bargain on reducing the deficit doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look for other areas of agreement. So Obama plans to use a trip to an Amazon.com distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Tuesday to propose a “grand bargain for middle-class jobs.”

Yay Big Pharma

Despite a U.S. law requiring them to publish results of clinical trials, nearly half of clinical trials for cancer drugs were unavailable three years later.

The high cost of fast food

I’m a day late on this story, but I’m really, really thrilled to see this fast food worker movement growing by leaps and bounds — and you should be, too. These jobs that don’t pay a living wage have a huge ripple effect:

This morning marks the start of what will likely be the largest fast food worker mobilization in U.S. history, with a New York City walkout today kicking off strikes in seven cities over four days. These work stoppages by non-union workers are the latest escalation in an embattled labor movement’s unprecedented challenge to the overwhelmingly non-union industry, whose ranks are growing and whose conditions are spreading elsewhere in the U.S. economy.

“I know you’re tired of suffering,” KFC employee Naquasia LeGrand told fellow workers gathered with clergy and politicians at a rally last Wednesday announcing that New York City worker-activists had voted to strike this week. “I don’t want to see the next generation suffering and suffering. I don’t want my kids suffering. I want to make sure they have a better future than I do.” Looking out on a crowd of about 150 at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, LeGrand added, “So if I want that to happen, I need you guys to stand with me just as long as I’m standing with you.”
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Her favorite song

Mayer Hawthorne:

The truth

Dr. Dog:


Shovels & Rope:

Most people

Dawes has some of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time:


Jason Leopold:

Does the FBI have any records on the late investigative journalist Michael Hastings? I don’t know. But fellow FOIA terrorist Ryan Shapiro and I just filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency to find out.

Hastings died in a tragic car accident in Los Angeles June 18 at the age of 33. Immediately after the news broke, I filed a FOIA request with the FBI for any records the agency maintained on the award-winning reporter, which is something I do whenever a public figure passes away (yes, I realize some people think that’s weird).

A week later, Shapiro, a doctoral candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in FOIA research pertaining to the policing of dissent, also filed a request with the FBI for “any and all records that were prepared, received, transmitted, collected and/or maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Terrorist Screening Center, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, or any Joint Terrorism Task Force relating or referring to” Hastings. [I also filed similar FOIA requests with DHS and other government agencies after Hastings’s death.]

The FBI, while acknowledging our records requests, failed to respond within the 20-working day time period with a determination as to whether the agency will comply as required by law. Nor has the FBI responded to Shapiro’s expedited processing request. So we decided to litigate and Jeffrey Light, our Washington, DC-based FOIA attorney, has also filed a motion for summary judgment seeking expedited processing of our federal complaint.

“By suing the FBI for failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, [we] hope to obtain records pertaining both to the unusual circumstances of Michael Hastings’s death and to the broader issue of FBI surveillance of journalists and other critics of American national security policy,” Shapiro said.

A few days after Hastings’s death, his friend, Staff. Sgt. Joseph Biggs, told a local news station in Los Angeles that Hastings blind copied him on an email he sent a day before his death that said, “The Feds are interviewing my close friends and associates.” The subject line of the email said, “FBI investigation, re: NSA.”

The FBI issued a rare public statement denying Hastings was under investigation. “At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said June 21, three days after Hastings’s death.

Blue America chat with Barbara Buono

Who’s running against Chris Christie. Join in the discussion here.


This Pensacola shooting is apparently the new normal, too:

Middleton, who lives with his mother in the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, had been searching for a loose cigarette in his mother’s car early that morning, he said Saturday.

A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car in front of the home and called 911.

While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call and ordered him away from the vehicle.

Middleton said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.

It was at that point that Walker, who was sleeping inside, awoke to the commotion.

“I heard the shots,” she said. “(The deputies) told me to close the door and not come out. They called an ambulance for him.”

Her car sustained multiple bullet holes and her son suffered shattered bones in his left thigh, that will require the insertion of a metal rod, she said.

A Baptist Hospital spokeswoman said Middleton is currently listed in good condition. Walker said she expects her son home by Wednesday.

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