Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 5 biggest political heroes of 2013

The 5 biggest political heroes of 2013
Two bald eagles shot and killed near D.C. (via Raw Story )

Police in Maryland are investigating the death of two bald eagles that were shot near Washington, D.C. in the last week. According to D.C. Crime Stories, one of the birds was shot on Christmas day while it was feeding on a deer carcass in Brookville…

Supreme Court issues emergency stay halting birth control mandate for Catholic groups (via Raw Story )

According to the Associated Press, a Supreme Court justice has issued an emergency stay to halt the birth control mandate for Catholic organizations. Catholic organizations had petitioned the Supreme Court to stop those elements of the Affordable Care…

MON DEC 30, 2013 AT 05:30 PM PST Where Americans are moving to and from, in one gorgeous chart byDavid Jarman Daily Kos


Watch This Compilation Of The Most Hilarious News Bloopers Of 2013! | Shock Mansion

Watch This Compilation Of The Most Hilarious News Bloopers Of 2013! | Shock Mansion

Moscow Manics 'The Sinner Crew' Break The World Record For Free Fall Suspension! | Shock Mansion

Moscow Manics 'The Sinner Crew' Break The World Record For Free Fall Suspension! | Shock Mansion

AAA Texas Offers Last-Ditch Service To Prevent Drunk Driving - keyetv.com Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - Top Stories

AAA Texas Offers Last-Ditch Service To Prevent Drunk Driving - keyetv.com Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - Top Stories

Monday, December 30, 2013

DREAMer students, educators hopeful about immigration reform prospects in 2014

DREAMer students, educators hopeful about immigration reform prospects in 2014

2013 for me was the "Year of the GPS"

For Texas Democrats, a Habit of Losing Big Elections

Every election season, Texas Democrats come to the voters with their latest slate of candidates, set to compete with Republicans for offices ranging from sheriff to governor.

The Republicans, of course, do the same thing.

Both sides win plenty of local elections, and each has pockets of the state in which the other party stands little chance of winning. It’s tough for a Democrat to win in Collin County; it’s hard for a Republican to win in Hidalgo County.

At the state level, Democrats have suffered from a long dry spell — a string of failed elections so long that the losses themselves have become something of an obstacle.

It’s not just that they have to tell voters who they are and what they are about. They have to explain why they think they — Democrats — have a chance at winning.

The numbers are familiar to anyone who follows Texas politics. Democrats last won statewide elections in 1994.

They came close in a couple of races in 1998 — notably, in Paul Hobby’s narrow loss to Carole Keeton Strayhorn for comptroller.

The Democrats have tried all sorts of things and have lost for all kinds of reasons. The top race in 1998 was the re-election of Gov. George W. Bush. The governor’s popularity was high. People were already talking about him as a presidential candidate. He was campaigning and generating some attention in deeply Democratic Hispanic areas of the state. He had, in Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, an underfunded and relatively unknown opponent. And he got two votes for every one Mauro got.

The Republican sweep of statewide races was the big news, but it also seemed clear that the Democrats were still competitive.

Four years later, the Democrats came up with what they called a “dream team” ticket of serious, proven candidates for all the big offices. Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor, ran for Senate. Tony Sanchez Jr., who was new to the ballot but also very rich and capable of paying for his own campaign, ran for governor. A former comptroller, an Austin mayor, a former University of Texas quarterback, a couple of legislators and a promising newcomer rounded out the ticket.

They got crushed.

In 2006, the Democrats barely put up a fight. The top attraction was a distinctly strange race for governor, featuring Rick Perry, the incumbent; Chris Bell of Houston, a former U.S. representative; Strayhorn; and Kinky Friedman, a singer and comic who ran on an entertaining mix of serious proposals and gags that ultimately landed him in fourth place. Perry, faced with a Democrat and two independents, received just 39 percent, but that was all he needed to lead Republicans to another clean sweep.

That year’s best performance by a Democrat was at the bottom of the statewide ballot, where Bill Moody of El Paso received almost 45 percent of the vote in a run for the Texas Supreme Court.

Democrats regrouped and sent in Bill White in 2010. A former Houston mayor and state Democratic Party chairman, he combined proven political skills, the ability to raise money and a history of working with business that was supposedly critical to Republican voters. But it was another weak ticket. Voters were unimpressed. White lost, with 42.3 percent of the vote.

While all of that was going on, the Democrats were winning some elections, steadily increasing their share of seats in the Texas Legislature until the 2010 election. They had reason to think White might have a chance, what with Democratic gains in those more local races around the state. They were undone all over the country that year in a strong and negative midterm rebuke of the Obama administration.

Texas Democrats are dusting themselves off again, hoping to break the pattern. They found noisy and encouraging supporters during last summer’s fight over women’s health care and abortion rights — enough to enliven Democratic hopes and to alarm Republican strategists — and they are counting on that and the celebrity that came with it — state Sen. Wendy Davis — in this next round of elections.

It’s a slow pendulum. Their first losses in statewide elections came when Democratic infighting gave Republicans a chance at an upset — John Tower became a U.S. senator that way in 1961 — and when Democratic overconfidence let a risk-taking Republican oilman sneak into the Governor’s Mansion when Bill Clements won in 1978.

Nobody thought that was possible, either.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/30/texas-democrats-habit-losing-big-elections/.

2013: The Year of Pro-Choice Texas

Year in Review: Public Education

Let’s say this outright: 2013 ranks as one of the most significant years for public education policy in Texas in the last two decades.

The last 12 months saw the rollout of a new school accountability system as the state dramatically changed course on high school curriculum and testing requirements, a direction it had followed since George W. Bush was governor. Along with the movement to scale back standardized exams, initiated by the activism of parents and educators, came an unprecedented backlash against the influence of for-profit companies in public education policy. It also brought a focus to the courses needed to earn a high school diploma, leading the Legislature to move away from requiring advanced math and science courses for all students — a decision that continues to generate concern about how it might affect academic achievement and college preparation in the state.

The 2013 Legislature also approved the first expansion of charter schools in the state since they were established in 1995. Along the way, lawmakers lessened the State Board of Education’s involvement in the charter approval process and made it easier for high-performing charter operators to come to the state. The law’s proponents say opening the door to more seats in charter school classrooms will increase the educational opportunities for all students. But some education experts have questioned whether certain charter operators have a sufficient record of reaching out to the low-income communities whose students make up an increasing majority of the state’s public school population.

The legislation was among the few successes in a slate of education reforms pushed by new two new interest groups that emerged this year with the goal of influencing policymaking. Other attempts to shake up the public education system also failed, including a proposal backed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, to allow parents to receive tax credits to help pay for private school tuition.

But all of the activity didn’t stop lawmakers, just before they gaveled out for the first time in May, from laying the groundwork for a little-known state-developed curriculum system known as CSCOPE to turn into a big-time controversy — and headache — for the State Board of Education and school districts. The dust appears to have settled for now, but the issue continues to arise in Republican primaries.

After the legislative session, and long delay, the state finally received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law in October. Texas public schools are now freed from the policy that had its origins in this state, including a burdensome mandate that they provide private tutoring to students at underperforming campuses that resulted in few positive outcomes and widespread abuse. Amid doubts about its ability to investigate allegations of cheating violations following the El Paso Independent School District scandal, the Texas Education Agency also moved to step up its scrutiny of accountability violations.

As 2013 closes, it’s possible next year will begin much as this one did: with school districts winning a round in sweeping school finance litigation against the state. Because of the legislative changes since then, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz has decided to revisit the trial again in January. After Dietz’s second ruling, the case will likely still hang in the balance as it makes it way to the Texas Supreme Court. Its resolution, and the upheaval it is expected to bring, may land just in time for the start of the 2015 Legislature.

Faking the Grade Series: Millions in Federal Funds for Tutoring, With Few Results

Top Academics but Little Diversity at Two New Charters

Despite Effort to Curb Cheating on Tests, Doubts Remain

In Texas, Nixing Algebra II Not Out of the Equation

In Bid to Pare Exams, Lawmakers Target Testing Firm

In Education Reform Debate, One Group Stands Out

Interactive: 2014-2015 School Finance Viewer

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/26/public-education-2013-review/.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)

The War on Democracy (2007) HULU

Sex Slaves (2006) HULU

Madiba: The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela (2004) HULU

Children Underground (2001) HULU

Human Organ Traffic (2009) HULU

Bush's Run Adds to Debate on Hispanics and GOP

Fighting the perception that Hispanic candidates struggle to win statewide Republican primaries, many party officials have pointed to the 2014 land commissioner’s race, which features George P. Bush, the odds-on favorite, whose mother was born in Mexico.

But many political observers in Texas say that Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, should not be seen as the start of a trend. After all, Bush has a  famous — and non-Hispanic — name. Candidates with Hispanic surnames are still expected to face challenges in Republican primaries in Texas.

Bush, the founder of a Fort Worth-based investment firm and a co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas political action committee, is running against David Watts, an East Texas businessman, in the 2014 Republican primary. The winner will face John Cook, a Democrat and a former mayor of El Paso, and Steven Childs, a Libertarian.

Bush declined to be interviewed for this article, but a spokesman, Kasey Pipes, said Bush was proud of his Hispanic heritage and believed “his conservative values are a natural fit for Hispanic voters in Texas.”

While Bush is seen as the favorite in his race, Mike Baselice, a longtime pollster for Republicans in Texas, said that Bush would probably poll 5 to 10 points lower than his opponent if he had a Hispanic surname and one that was not as politically prominent. Baselice said his research showed that candidates with non-Hispanic surnames generally received more votes in Republican primaries.

That is especially the case, Baselice added, in races farther down the ballot, with candidates who are relatively unknown.

“If they’re not well known, it’s the propensity for voters in the Republican Party primary, by a few points, to select the other guy or the non-Hispanic name,” Baselice said. “Once you become known, it’s a whole different game than when you're starting out."

Steve Munisteri, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, dismissed the idea that Hispanic candidates were handicapped in the primaries by their surnames, citing Ted Cruz’s  victory in the 2012 race for the U.S. Senate and recent legislative wins by other Hispanic Republicans.

In fact, Munisteri said, Hispanic candidates could “have a slight advantage, given the party’s awareness of the need to attract Hispanics.”

Baselice, who was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s pollster in his unsuccessful race against Cruz, said that Cruz’s low name identification among primary voters during the campaign was a reason he finished second in the primary. Once the race went to a runoff, Baselice said, Cruz was able to win because he could raise more money and get his message out.

Munisteri, who has worked to increase the party's outreach to Hispanics, said a victory by Bush would fit within the party’s “Hispanic-inclusive framework.”

“I think it adds to the message that the state GOP has been saying for three years,” Munisteri said, referring to a welcome of more Hispanic voters and an invitation to them to assume leadership positions.  

With a win, Bush would become the fourth Hispanic Republican in statewide elected office, joining Cruz, Judge Elsa Alcala of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and Justice Eva Guzman of the Texas Supreme Court. Alcala ran unopposed in the 2012 Republican primary in 2012; Guzman defeated another Hispanic Republican in 2010.

Still, Hispanic candidates have fared poorly at times in Republican races, particulary in statewide races that are farther down the ballot.

A former railroad commissioner, Victor Carrillo, lost a 2010 Republican primary against a lesser-known opponent, David Porter, despite outspending him and running as an incumbent. (Carrillo was appointed to the position in 2003 to fulfill an unfinished term and won an election the year after.)

In a letter to supporters after his defeat, Carrillo said his ethnicity and Hispanic surname were factors in his loss.

"Given the choice between ‘Porter’ and ‘Carrillo’ — unfortunately, the Hispanic surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover, although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias,” he wrote.

Justices Xavier Rodriguez and David Medina of the Texas Supreme Court, who were also first appointed to their positions, lost to challengers with non-Hispanic last names as well.

With few Hispanic Republicans running for statewide office, James Henson, a Texas Tribune pollster and director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, said there were too few cases to label those losses as "systematic." But he added that context was crucial.

Some conservative primary voters, Henson said, could justify voting for an unknown candidate with a non-Hispanic surname over a Hispanic candidate by pointing to discussions of loaded partisan issues — like border security or immigration — surrounding an election and connecting negative perceptions on these issues to candidates based on ethnicity.

“There’s enough of a cultural norm that people should feel that they should not make discriminatory judgments based on ethnicity,” Henson said, adding that voters could look for a rationale to justify voting against candidates with Hispanic surnames.

“There’s probably a lot more to how people react to Hispanic candidates than just the surname,” he said.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, said Hispanic Republicans in Texas were not “necessarily doomed” in an election, but he agreed that the success of Hispanic Republicans in Texas was dependent on the mood of the electorate and specific election circumstances of each election.

Vargas said the rise of prominent Hispanic Republicans like Cruz and Bush was encouraging for other Hispanics looking to run for office.

“It shows that Latinos can be viable in either party and that no party has a lock on Latinos as either voters or candidates," Vargas said. “It’s one of the strengths of the Latino community. It participates in both political parties and should not be ignored by either.”

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/29/side-effects-hispanic-surnames-texas-politics/.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Slams Putin, Calls For Olympics Boycott Reuters | Posted: 12/27/2013 6:14 am EST | Updated: 12/27/2013 8:24 am EST


The Fix Three ominous signs for Democrats heading into the 2014 midterm year BY SEAN SULLIVAN December 27 at 2:12 pm www.washingtonpost.com


Texas, California embody red-blue divide 1 By Dan Balz, Updated: Saturday, December 28, 5:46 PM www.washingtonpost.com


Wonkblog Twenty-three states aren’t expanding Medicaid. Here’s who they leave behind. BY SARAH KLIFF December 17 at 8:30 am


How a long forgotten debate between Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke explains American politics BY EZRA KLEIN December 17 at 12:14 pm www.washingtonpost.com


Wonkblog Seven things you should know about the expiration of unemployment benefits BY BRAD PLUMER December 27 at 10:15 am


HB2 final rules: a quick breakdown Posted on December 27, 2013 | BY DAVID RAUF blog.mysanantonio.com


The Most Memorable Immigration Moments Of 2013 VOXXI | By Griselda Nevarez Posted: 12/28/2013 10:14 am EST www.huffingtonpost.com


Two things to remember if you think this Duck Dynasty thing is about anything except bigotry byChris Bowers SAT DEC 28, 2013 AT 07:49 AM PST


Friday, December 27, 2013

Dave Barry’s Review of 2013, the Year of the Zombies http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle


#WomensRights: A Pro-Choice Parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"

State Agency Finalizes Abortion Regulations

The Texas Department of State Health Services finalized strict new abortion regulations on Friday, claiming that none of the 19,000 public comments on the rules provided evidence that they are unconstitutional.

“The department is aware of no comments that explain how particular abortion-seeking patients will face unconstitutionally long travel distances, unconstitutionally long wait times or unconstitutionally high costs for abortion services in any particular part of the state,” according to the department’s background and justification for the rules, published in the Texas Register.

Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers back for two special legislative sessions to ensure the anti-abortion regulations — including nearby hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors and a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks — passed. Although thousands of protesters descended on the Capitol to support a filibuster of the proposed rules by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, Republican lawmakers eventually passed the omnibus abortion bill.

Part of the new law took effect in October, and many abortion clinics that do not meet the new requirements have been unable to perform the procedure. But the department wrote in the Texas Register that commenters failed to identify particular clinics that would be permanently shut down by the new rules. 

Furthermore, the department wrote that the state could be reasonably skeptical of allegations of future harm, given abortion providers’ failure to prove in a federal lawsuit that particular clinics would be forced to close if the admitting-privileges requirement went into effect.

“Those allegations proved to be overstated because multiple providers that allegedly would be forced to close nonetheless received admitting privileges and either stayed open or reopened,” according to the department. “Not one of the comments received by the department provides any basis to believe that abortion providers would be unable to make similar adjustments and likewise comply with the rule.”

Amy Hagstrom Miller, executive director of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates five abortion clinics in Texas, called the department's claim that it doesn't know of any abortion clinics that have closed or will close "preposterous." She emphasized that the new restrictions have already caused abortion facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, Killeen and Waco to stop performing abortions, leaving thousands of women without access to care.

“Women can still decide to terminate a pregnancy, but thousands of them can no longer actually access safe, professional medical care to receive that termination,” Miller said in an email to the Tribune. “A right is meaningless if you cannot act on it. Without providers, the right to an abortion is an abstraction that does not exist for thousands of Texan women.”

Abortion providers in Texas have challenged the constitutionality of two laws that took effect in November: the admitting-privileges rule and another requiring doctors to follow federal guidelines — rather than a common, evidence-based protocol — when administering drug-induced abortions. The rules finalized on Friday also require abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers starting in September.

Although six abortion facilities already qualify as ambulatory surgical centers, only three of them currently have a physician on staff with hospital admitting privileges. The department wrote in the rules that it's aware of three ambulatory surgical facilities that abortion providers plan to open in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston by September.

In November, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it would not intervene in the abortion providers’ case or reinstate an injunction by a lower federal court that blocked implementation of the laws. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana overturned that injunction on Oct. 31, which allowed the law to take effect. The case on the law's constitutionality will still proceed in the 5th Circuit, which has scheduled a hearing in January.

As the case moves through the courts, roughly a third of abortion providers operating in Texas have discontinued abortion services because they do not have a physician with hospital admitting privileges. Some facilities that discontinued services when the law first took effect now have physicians who have obtained hospital admitting privileges, such as the Whole Woman’s Health facility in Fort Worth.

Planned Parenthood was forced to stop performing abortions at four facilities in Texas when the new law took effect in November because those facilities do not have physicians with such privileges. Planned Parenthood facilities that offered abortions in Bryan, Midland and San Angelo have also recently closed.

Although the finalization of the new rules are a "deeply troubling development," said Sarah Wheat, vice president of community affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, the organization would continue to evaluate its options and take steps to secure women's access to health services.

"These restrictions will do nothing to protect women's health and safety, which is why doctors and leading medical groups — as well as thousands of Texans — opposed them," Wheat said in a statement. "By cutting off access to safe, high-quality medical care, these restrictions will endanger women's health and safety."

As WOAI in San Antonio reported, a federal judge in Houston also ruled on Friday that two universities, East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University, will be exempt from a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in employees’ health plans. Although the Obama administration provided an exemption to the rule for churches and some religious institutions, other organizations often affiliated with religion, such as universities and hospitals, are not exempt from the rule.

The lower court case will likely be impacted by a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, which plans to consider two other cases that challenge the contraception coverage mandate under Obamacare: a case filed by the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, and a case filed by the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties in Pennsylvania. The owners of both companies oppose abortion and argue that they’ll be forced to pay millions of dollars in fines for refusing to provide health care coverage that violates their religious beliefs.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/27/texas-finalizes-anti-abortion-regulations/.

Here Are Three Rising Political Stars To Watch In 2014 Posted: 12/26/2013 4:08 pm EST | Updated: 12/27/2013 9:41 am EST Huff Post Live http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/26/politics-rising-stars_n_4505047.html?ir=Latino+Voices&ref=topbar

¡Si, Se Puede! (Yes, We Can!): Bobby Kennedy Visits Cesar Chavez-REVISED

¡Si, Se Puede! (Yes, We Can!): Bobby Kennedy Visits Cesar Chavez-REVISED http://youtu.be/qQndvfZyf7w

2014 Will Be The Year Of Cesar Chavez VOXXI | By Tony Castro Posted: 12/27/2013 11:34 am EST | Updated: 12/27/2013 11:34 am EST http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/27/cesar-chavez-2014_n_4508465.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

FRI DEC 27, 2013 AT 09:29 AM PST The wild state-to-state variation in property taxes byDavid JarmanFollowforDaily Kos Elections


Nightly News | December 26, 2013 Family rescues bald eagle during hike http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/53921042#53921042

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


5 important political stories to watch in 2014 By Taegan Goddard 11 hours ago The Week news.yahoo.com


The Constitution in 2014: Abortion law in front of Supreme Court news.yahoo.com By Lyle Denniston December 26, 2013 11:00 AM


Obama Signs Bipartisan Budget Deal, Easing Spending Cuts Over The Next 2 Years Posted: 12/26/2013 4:10 pm EST | Updated: 12/26/2013 5:11 pm EST www.huffingtonpost.com


The GOP's History of Sexist Hillary-Bashing By Sam KleinerDecember 26th 20135:45 AM Daily Beast


Republicans Begin 2014 With A Slight Edge: Poll The Huffington Post | By Ariel Edwards-Levy Posted: 12/26/2013 12:01 pm EST | Updated: 12/27/2013 12:58 am EST


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

TribCast: 2013 End-of-Year Extravaganza

Reeve is joined by a number of reporters as he revisits some of the memorable TribCast conversations about the hottest topics in Texas politics in 2013. Be sure to stay tuned for a special treat at the end.

Subscribe on iTunes

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/25/tribcast-the-year-in-review/.

MAHARAT The Orthodox Madame Rabbi DEC 24, 2013 5:45 AM - BY LEEOR BRONIS Rachel Kohl Finegold, one of the first Orthodox Jewish women to be ordained as a top spiritual leader, talks about breaking synagogue gender barriers. The Daily Beast


LITTLE LEARNERS The Bipartisan Pre-K Push DEC 20, 2013 5:45 AM - BY CONOR P. WILLIAMS The House and Senate are quietly working to expand pre-K access for the nation's poorest children. Why we should applaud the effort. The Daily Beast


Monday, December 23, 2013

The 5 most dangerous abortion restrictions of 2013

The 5 most dangerous abortion restrictions of 2013

One Direction - Story of My Life

Demi Lovato - Let It Go (from "Frozen") [Official]

Saki Knafo Saki KnafoBecome a fan saki.knafo@huffingtonpost.com The Private Jail That Locks Up Law-Abiding Immigrants Posted: 12/22/2013 9:28 am EST | Updated: 12/23/2013 10:40 am EST


Texas Sen. Dan Patrick Thinks God Speaks Through Duck Dynasty Star

Texas Sen. Dan Patrick Thinks God Speaks Through Duck Dynasty Star

Pussy Riot Members Released From Prison By ALEXANDER ROSLYAKOV and NATALIYA VASILYEVA 12/23/13 03:01 PM ET EST AP http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/23/pussy-riot-released-from-prison_n_4492462.html?ref=topbar

Meet Pancho Claus, The Tex-Mex Santa By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI 12/23/13 01:08 AM ET EST AP


Latino Academic Achievement Gap Persists By MARTHA MENDOZA 12/23/13 07:19 AM ET EST AP


Latino academic achievement gap persists California's Latinos now a majority, lagging in academic achievement Associated Press By Martha Mendoza, AP National Writer 12 hours ago


Drunk Driving Commercial (Public Service Announcement)

Jerk Cats Return, This Time To Ruin Christmas Posted: 12/23/2013 10:08 am EST | Updated: 12/23/2013 11:48 am EST

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wife Fights Back Against Abusive Husband, Yields Best Mugshot Ever live.huffingtonpost.com (12/20/2013)

Democrats Working To Raise Number Of Female Governors By STEVE PEOPLES 12/22/13 08:53 AM ET EST AP


http://youtu.be/5g4lY8Y3eoo Judy Garland - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas



The Real Story and Lesson of the Abscam Sting in ‘American Hustle’ By Jimmy SoDecember 17th 20135:45 AM


Dying girl's Christmas wish granted by 10,000 carolers By Steve Almasy, CNN updated 10:00 AM EST, Sun December 22, 2013


The Auteurs of Christmas


Is Obamacare Up and Running? December 1st 20133:10 PM Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.


DRUGS AlterNet / By Paul Armentano The Media Should Stop Pretending Marijuana's Risks Are a Mystery -- The Science Is Clear We now know as much about cannabis as we know about alcohol, tobacco and many prescription drugs.


Does Mexican Oil Spell Doom for Natural Gas Vehicles?

Does Mexican Oil Spell Doom for Natural Gas Vehicles?

5 Shocking Facts About Buying Groceries in the U.S.

5 Shocking Facts About Buying Groceries in the U.S.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

an Bayne, GOP Congressional Candidate: 'Duck Dynasty Star Is Rosa Parks Of Our Generation' Posted: 12/20/2013 12:50 pm EST | Updated: 12/21/2013 11:46 am EST http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/20/ian-bayne-duck-dynasty_n_4480745.html?ir=Politics

How Lobbyists Will Keep You Hooked on Vitamins Paul A. OffitBy Paul A. OffitDecember 21st 20135:45 AM


Hey Buddy, Wanna Dab? Inside The Mainstream Explosion of Cannabis Concentrates By Valerie Vande PanneDecember 21st 20135:45 AM The Daily Beast


What's The Real Meaning Of Kwanzaa? live.Huffington Post

Copywriter Dies After 30 Hours Of Work live.huffingtonpost.com

The Reality That Homeless Children Live — Told By Mark, 10 Years Old Workonomics Warren Rossalyn Warren


Friday, December 13, 2013

Mexican Congressman Strips Down To His Underwear To Protest Energy Bill The Huffington Post | By Emily Thomas Posted: 12/13/2013 1:38 pm EST | Updated: 12/13/2013 2:00 pm EST

Uruguay's Prez Rips Into U.N. Official Over Marijuana Law: ‘Stop Lying' The Huffington Post | By Roque Planas Posted: 12/13/2013 5:10 pm EST

Steve King: Immigration Would Split GOP, Hurt Obamacare Fight The Huffington Post | By Elise Foley Posted: 12/13/2013 11:34 am EST | Updated: 12/13/2013 1:37 pm EST


Jon Stewart's Reaction To Megyn Kelly's 'White Santa' Statement Is All We Need The Huffington Post | By Ross Luippold Posted: 12/13/2013 11:26 am EST | Updated: 12/13/2013 11:26 am EST

Perry asks Obama for flooding disaster declaration

Perry asks Obama for flooding disaster declaration

His Day is Done - A Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela by Dr. Maya Angelou

Lawmaker Strips in Congress to Protest Energy Bill By ABC News Dec 13, 2013 7:25pm


THE TEXAS TRIBUNE Claims Drop Under State-Run Women’s Health Program in Texas By BECCA AARONSON Published: December 12, 2013


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Number of students per teacher hits a record high in Oregon Created on Monday, 09 December 2013 15:05 | Written by Christine Pitawanich/OPB | Print


Houston Parents, Teachers Rally Against High Stakes Testing by: Laura Isensee, December 10, 2013 4:12:00 pm kuhf.org


2014 Democratic Primary http://www.harrisdemocrats.com/2014_democratic_primary


Budget Deal Announced By Patty Murray, Paul Ryan Posted: 12/10/2013 6:54 pm EST | Updated: 12/10/2013 7:26 pm EST The Huffington Post


Anti-Abortion Laws Take Dramatic Toll On Clinics Nationwide Posted: 08/26/2013 8:30 am EDT | Updated: 11/11/2013 4:12 pm EST The Huffington Post

Elischia Fludd's One Chart That Shows the Devastating Effects Of the Assault On Reproductive Freedom By Elischia Fludd August 26, 2013


One Chart That Shows the Devastating Effects Of the Assault On Reproductive Freedom By Elischia Fludd August 26, 2013 http://media2.policymic.com/6888a81d44d45bb9e03cfa6b292a6934.png

The 10 Worst States for Student Homelessness New data from the Department of Education demonstrates how poverty in the U.S. affects kids and which states have the fastest-growing issues. November 26, 2013Suzi Parker


www.takepart.com/photos/poverty-in-the-us-homeless-students-by-state by This article was written as part of the social action campaign for the documentary TEACH, produced by TakePart's parent company, Participant Media, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates.


What It Was Like To Live in a Country Where Abortion is Illegal By Britt Moorman November 26, 2013 PolicyMic


From: http://www.policymic.com/articles/30925/un-report-classifies-lack-of-access-to-abortion-as-torture The special rapporteur demands for legal abortion worldwide, as well as ensuring safe and available access to abortion. This is an important point because without ready access to abortion there is no such thing as reproductive choice. The full report by the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture can be read here.


UN Report Classifies Lack Of Access to Abortion as "Torture" Torture" By Lily Bolourian March 25, 2013


Monday, December 9, 2013

Facts You Didn't Know About Pearl Harbor, On The 72nd Anniversary Posted: 12/06/2013 12:07 pm EST | Updated: 12/09/2013 11:21 am EST


House Republican Introduces Bill That Would Ban In-Flight Calls Posted: 12/09/2013 3:28 pm EST | Updated: 12/09/2013 4:41 pm EST

Politics Abortion Foes Would Let Women Sue Clinics Over Regulation By Esmé E. Deprez Dec 8, 2013 11:01 PM CT


Find Your Election Day Poll and View Voter Specific Ballot December 14, 2013 Joint Runoff Election for City of Houston and HCCS


The Abortion Clinics That Managed To Stay Open In Texas Now Have Huge Patient Loads BY TARA CULP-RESSLER ON DECEMBER 9, 2013 AT 8:59 AM


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Periódico Correo - ¿Por qué Krokodil, la "droga zombie", es tan atractiva?

Periódico Correo - ¿Por qué Krokodil, la "droga zombie", es tan atractiva?

Krokodil: Russia's Deadliest Drug (NSFW)

Periódico Correo - Una menor, primer caso de adicta al krokodil en Puerto Vallarta

Periódico Correo - Una menor, primer caso de adicta al krokodil en Puerto Vallarta

The Furry Face Of Climate Change

Is That Faux Fur Really Fake? Posted: 12/08/2013 6:47 pm EST


Polar Bear Cams Live-Stream Historic Migration Of Threatened Population The Huffington Post | By Ryan Grenoble Posted: 11/05/2013 5:15 pm EST | Updated: 11/06/2013 10:27 am EST


Polar Bear Status: In Decline | Polar Bears International

Polar Bear Status: In Decline | Polar Bears International

North Carolina's Myrtle Grove Christian School To Refuse State Money Over Anti-Gay Policy Star-News, Wilmington, N.C. | By Pressley Baird Posted: 12/07/2013 1:10 pm EST


Report: 47 Percent Increase in Texas Child Poverty Rate

Report: 47 Percent Increase in Texas Child Poverty Rate

Anaheim hopes to settle suit over alleged Latino political exclusion Email BY PALOMA ESQUIVEL AND ADOLFO FLORES December 6, 2013, 12:56 a.m.


From group: CVPE Discussion Page (Community Voices for Public Education) December 9th Rally for Public Education- Our Schools, Our Kids- Oppose the negative consequences of high stakes testing. 4:00 pm Meeting- HISD at 4400 18th Street

From group: CVPE Discussion Page (Community Voices for Public Education)
December 9th
Rally for Public Education-
Our Schools, Our Kids- Oppose the negative consequences of high stakes testing.
4:00 pm Meeting- HISD at 4400 18th Street

High Stakes standardized tests are being increasingly overused and misused in HISD. Our children have been losing precious instructional time to testing and test prep. Now they may lose some of their best teachers because the faulty EVAAS measurement wrongly labels them as not adding value to students' test performance.

Join parents and teachers from across Houston at this rally to call for HISD to end the misuse of high stakes testing and EVAAS and to address community concerns about urgent needs in our schools! For more information on the dangers of evaluating teachers in this way read here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

School bans Christmas trees, the colors red & green By Todd StarnesTodd's American DispatchPublished December 05, 2013FoxNews.com


Abortion covered in most health plans for Congress Associated Press By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR December 4, 2013 5:14 PM


South African Nelson Mandela's Legacy 4 hrs ago 2:13 Associated Press Videos


South African Nelson Mandela's Legacy 4 hrs ago 2:13 Associated Press Videos


Nelson Mandela freed from prison Fri, Jun 28, 2013 2:10 The A-List

Stolen truck carrying radioactive material found in Mexico 7 hrs ago 1:59 Reuters Videos

Nelson Mandela: first ever interview Fri, Jun 28, 2013 3:34 The A-List

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Now Is A Horrible Time To Cut Food Stamps, In 1 Depressing Chart The Huffington Post | By Maxwell Strachan Posted: 12/04/2013 8:02 am EST | Updated: 12/04/2013 9:14 am EST


Oregon girl told she can't sell mistletoe, but can beg for money Published December 03, 2013FoxNews.com


The Greatest Trick The Supreme Court Ever Pulled Was Convincing The World Roe v. Wade Still Exists BY IAN MILLHISER AND TARA CULP-RESSLER ON DECEMBER 4, 2013 AT 9:00 AM


Texas principal bans Hispanic students from speaking Spanish to ‘prevent disruptions’ By David Edwards http://www.repost.us/article-preview/hash/b8dcf22342ccd9924f4a00630aa22051/

Texas principal bans Hispanic students from speaking Spanish to ‘prevent disruptions’ (via Raw Story )

Hempstead Independent School District (ISD) in Texas has confirmed that a middle school principal has been placed on leave after Hispanic students said that she forbid the entire school from speaking Spanish. A group of students told KHOU that Hempstead…

Kingwood Area Democrats Participate In Humble Parade Of Lights (VIDEO)

Kingwood Area Democrats Participate In Humble Parade Of Lights (VIDEO)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rhode Island Governor Will Just Call It A 'Christmas Tree' After Ridiculous 'Holiday Tree' Criticism The Huffington Post | By Nick Wing Posted: 12/02/2013 4:32 pm EST | Updated: 12/02/2013 6:12 pm EST


2013/11/30/killing-them-softly-pope-francis-condemns-income-inequality-sanctions-gender-inequality RH Reality Check


Activists continue their Washington fast, hoping Congress will act on immigration reform The Fast for Families has continued for 21 days outside the Capitol building in a desperate appeal to House Republicans to pass reform legislation. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2013, 3:44 PM Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/immigration-activists-fast-hoping-hope-article-1.1534135#ixzz2mNMUgada


Supreme Court Declines To Take Liberty University's Obamacare Lawsuit 12/02/13 09:48 AM ET EST AP http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/supreme-court-liberty-university_n_4371808.html?ref=topbar

Paul LePage Pushing To Loosen Maine's Child Labor Laws In 2014 The Huffington Post | By Amanda Terkel Posted: 12/02/2013 5:59 pm EST | Updated: 12/02/2013 6:12 pm EST


Our Schools national day of action December 9

Our Schools national day of action December 9

Group Uses Quirk Of Michigan Law To Push Abortion Insurance Restriction The Huffington Post | By Kate Abbey-Lambertz Posted: 12/02/2013 2:23 pm EST


Texas abortion restrictions are harming women’s health

Texas abortion restrictions are harming women’s health

Americans Want Congress Members To Pee In Cups To Prove They're Not On Drugs Posted: 12/02/2013 4:35 pm EST | Updated: 12/02/2013 4:50 pm EST The Huffington Post


2 December 2013 Last updated at 11:27 ET Rare Iceland armed police operation leaves man dead BBC


Pope expresses prayers for sex abuse victims to Dutch bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Pope expresses prayers for sex abuse victims to Dutch bishops | National Catholic Reporter

Are Amazon’s Drone Plans Just a Fantasy? Abby HaglageBy Abby HaglageDecember 2nd 20131:25 PM The Daily Beast


Saturday, November 30, 2013

23 Defining Traits Of Your Favorite Teacher When “teacher” = mentor, friend, and partner in crime. posted on November 29, 2013 at 10:32pm EST Rega Jha BuzzFeed Staff


Black Lieday 2013. Just Buy Your Gifts, Don't Buy Their Lies.

“Meet America’s professional protesters.” (They drink beer and eat pizza for breakfast.) youtube.com Walmart is facing the threat of more than a thousand protests on Black Friday by workers demanding better pay and working conditions — not a great look for the world’s biggest retailer on one of the biggest shopping days of the year. So why not find a way to make it look a little less bad? Worker Center Watch, a website “dedicated to exposing Big Labor’s abuse of the worker center organizational model,” pitched in by putting out a video depicting America’s “professional protesters” earlier this month. According to TheNation.com, the website was actually registered by the former head lobbyist for Walmart’s firm — which gives some context to the hilariously absurd video. According to Worker Center Watch, people protesting at retailers — all white, male youths — are paid to do it. They eat pizza and beer for breakfast after waking up in the afternoon. Then they actually look in the mirror and say: “Let’s protest!” before harassing customers. After all, “their job is to beat up your job.” At the end, the narrator urges listeners: “This Black Friday, just buy your gifts, don’t buy their lies.” Share On Facebook Tweet Email inShare More ▾http://www.buzzfeed.com/sapna/watch-this-hilariously-bad-video-attempting-to-discredit-bla?fb_comment_id=fbc_658652700822653_6856098_660068827347707#f54065968


Barney.A.Counting.We.Will.Go.2010.DVDRip.XviD-DOCUMENT.avi Let's just remember the show ok

THROWBACK! Barney Killed During Parade | Rocco

THROWBACK! Barney Killed During Parade | Rocco

Los Angeles Redistricting Discriminates Against Latinos, Activists Say By MARK SHERMAN 11/30/13 04:20 AM ET EST AP The Huffington Post


Duncan's Bar Mitzvah - A Call for Freedom to Marry

Duncan McAlpine Sennett, Oregon Teen, Delivers Bar Mitzvah Speech In Support Of Gay Marriage Posted: 11/30/2013 8:18 am EST | Updated: 11/30/2013 8:43 am EST


Latinos want gov't to look into LA County voting MARK SHERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS November 30, 2013 7:39 AM


Majority of Americans Still Support Pathway To Citizenship For Undocumented Immigrants BY ESTHER YU-HSI LEE ON NOVEMBER 25, 2013 AT 12:15 PM


Congress Members Urge President To Issue Strong Protections To Prevent Sexual Abuse Of Immigrant Detainees BY ESTHER YU-HSI LEE ON NOVEMBER 27, 2013 AT 2:12 PM


Science Textbooks Across the Country Will Teach Real Science Because of A Decision In Texas BY RYAN KORONOWSKI ON NOVEMBER 29, 2013 AT 7:02 PM


Friday, November 29, 2013

INDEPENDENT LENS We Still Live Here - As Nutayunean Aired: 11/01/201355:24Expires: in 2 Days Rating: TV-PG The Wampanoag nation of southeastern Massachusetts ensured the survival of the Pilgrims, but lived to regret it. This film tells the story of the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no Native speakers has been revived in this country. Spurred on by an indomitable linguist named Jessie Little Doe, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back.

INDEPENDENT LENS Young Lakota Aired: 11/26/201355:32Expires: in 4 Days Rating: TV-PG When South Dakota abortion politics bring political turmoil to the doorstep on the Pine Ridge Reservation, three young idealists and the tribe's first female president have to decide how far they will go to change politics as usual in their own community.

Fair wage, equal pay protests at Houston stores on Black Friday Author: Mary Benton, Reporter, mbenton@kprc.com Published On: Nov 29 2013 04:37:10 PM CST Updated On: Nov 29 2013 04:52:55 PM CST

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

POLITICS Is Forced Religious Belief Coming to an Employer Near You? Jamelle BouieBy Jamelle BouieNovember 27th 201311:04 AM FOLLOWMore Stories by Jamelle Bouie The Daily Beast


ACLU sues Indiana over abortion clinic law Tim Evans, USA TODAY 11:11 a.m. EDT August 23, 2013


Judge blocks Indiana law on drug-induced abortions Diana Penner, The Indianapolis Star 1:44 p.m. EST November 27, 2013


SeaTac $15 Minimum Wage Barely Passes In Final Vote Tally, Recount May Follow Posted: 11/26/2013 7:15 pm EST | Updated: 11/27/2013 1:53 pm EST The Huffington Post


Obama Visits Activists Fasting For Immigration By DARLENE SUPERVILLE 11/29/13 12:34 PM ET EST AP The Huffington Post


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Politics & Policy Do Genetic Tests Need Doctors? FDA Defends Its Challenge to 23andMe By Diane Brady November 27, 2013


Fighting 'Roe v. Wade' By Jennifer Daniel and Allison McCann January 17, 2013


Politics & Policy The Vanishing Abortion Clinic By Esmé E. Deprez November 27, 2013


‘The Chanukah Song’ By Adam Sandler http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/08/eight-epic-chanukah-songs-from-sandler-to-south-park.html

Eight Epic Chanukah Songs, From Sandler to ‘South Park’ Michael SolomonBy Michael SolomonDecember 8th 20124:45 AM FOLLOWMore Stories by Michael Solomon


Is Black Friday Losing Its Luster? The Huffington Post Live

Happy Thanksgiving! http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/22/the-simpsons-roseanne-more-classic-thanksgiving-episodes-video.html

These are the people who work for minimum wage. They’re not who you think. Washington Post


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Montana Congressional Candidate Says U.S. Should Resurrect 'Operation Wetback' Published November 27, 2013Fox News Latino


WED NOV 27, 2013 AT 09:24 AM PST Michigan about to require women to buy "rape insurance" based on petition signed by 4.2% of voters byEclectablog DailyKos


Hobby Lobby Founder Applauds Supreme Court Review - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Hobby Lobby Founder Applauds Supreme Court Review - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Texas Threat to Abortion Clinics Dodged at Flea Markets By Esme E. Deprez - Jul 11, 2013 4:17 PM CT


The GOP’s Late-Term Abortion Strategy Is Backfiring 17 HOURS AGO - BY SALLY KOHN As the Supreme Court announces it will hear a challenge to Obama’s contraception mandate, a study on late-term abortion seekers finds the GOP’s anti-abortion laws are backfiring.


Sharing women’s experiences with abortion: An interview with Meaghan Winter » ANSIRH blog

Sharing women’s experiences with abortion: An interview with Meaghan Winter » ANSIRH blog

Nearly a dozen briefs filed with high court backing Mass. abortion clinic "buffer zone" law THE ASSOCIATED PRESS November 25, 2013 - 4:26 pm EST


BREAKING: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to HHS Contraception Mandate Christine Rousselle | Nov 26, 2013


Rick Perry Barnstorms South Carolina Like It’s 2016 By Arlette Saenz @ArletteSaenz Follow on Twitter Nov 27, 2013 3:53pm


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Miley And Her Virtual Kitten Won The AMAs, The Internet, Life Not totally sure what this was about, but it was perfect. posted on November 24, 2013 at 11:41pm EST Lauren Yapalater BuzzFeed Staff


Black Friday Protest at Houston Galleria Public · By Black Friday Protest


'We're Losing Our Little Boy': One Family's Heartbreaking Fight For Their Son's Education Posted: 11/24/2013 6:31 pm EST | Updated: 11/24/2013 11:05 pm EST


'We're Losing Our Little Boy': One Family's Heartbreaking Fight For Their Son's Education Posted: 11/24/2013 6:31 pm EST | Updated: 11/24/2013 11:05 pm EST


WALMART'S FOOD DRIVE - Tell Walmart: Decent Pay, Not Hand Outs

u.s. law Personhood In The Womb: A Constitutional Question November 21, 2013 3:54 PM NPR


Friday, November 22, 2013

9 things everyone should know about the drug Molly See show times » Erin Burnett OutFront By Drew Griffin. Nelli Black and Patricia DiCarlo, CNN Investigations updated 12:21 AM EST, Sat November 23, 2013


The Zapruder Film - Full Length, Full Width, Good Quality

John Boehner: Immigration overhaul is not dead LAtimes


Supply and demand: BARC to ship pets to Colorado Chron.com

Judge Gives Preliminary Approval To End State Funded Desegregation Programs For Little Rock Schools By CHUCK BARTELS 11/22/13 01:05 PM ET EST AP


November 21, 1963 - Jacqueline Kennedy's speech in Spanish at the Rice H...

John F. Kennedy's Complex Relationship With The Mexican American Community VOXXI | By Grace Flores-Hughes Posted: 11/22/2013 1:18 pm EST | Updated: 11/22/2013 3:00 pm EST