angelsscream

sinidentidades:

Updated at 2:09 a.m. Eastern

The ball in Times Square has dropped, 2013 is here and, technically, so is the “fiscal cliff”, as Congress has yet to officially pass a plan to avert the scheduled spending cuts and tax hikes. But before panic sets in, although lawmakers failed to meet the midnight deadline, a deal is in place and the first step to making it official — Senate passage — is in the books. The Senate voted 89-8 in favor of the bill in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, sending the deal along to the House, which must pass the measure in order for the “cliff” to be averted.

The House is expected to vote on the deal as early as today, but given tepid signals from House Republican leaders, the vote there will be an interesting one to watch.

“The House will honor its commitment to consider the Senate agreement if it is passed,” the leaders, which included House Speaker John Boehner, said in a statement after the agreement was announced last night. “Decisions about whether the House will seek to accept or promptly amend the measure will not be made until House members — and the American people — have been able to review the legislation.”

Vice President Joe Biden, who traveled to Capitol Hill to brief Senate Democrats on the details of the deal, briefly spoke to reporters, warning that there’s no predicting what the House will do.

“Being in the Senate as long as I have, there’s two things you shouldn’t do: you shouldn’t predict how the Senate will vote - you won’t make a lot of money - and number two, you surely shouldn’t predict how the House is going to vote. I feel very, very good. I think we’ll have a good vote tonight, but Happy New Year,” said Biden.

As the deal was not signed into law before midnight, the country has technically gone over the “cliff”. However, unless the deal fails to clear Congress, any detrimental economic impact will be avoided, as language will likely be added to the final legislation that would make the agreement retroactive to midnight January 1st.

Here are the known details of the deal:

  • Tax rates: Current tax rates will be extended for all wage earners making below $400,000 and couples making below $450,000.

    This was a key concession for both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats wanted the threshold for tax increases to rest at $250,000 and Republicans didn’t want marginal tax rates to increase for anyone.

  • The estate tax: It was set to increase from rom 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million worth of property exempt from being taxed.
  • Capital gains tax: Capital gains and dividend tax rates will increase from 15 to 20 percent.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax: A permanent fix to the tax that would hit middle class families
  • “Doc Fix”: Doctors will be shielded from a massive reimbursement gap for treating Medicare patients.
  • Unemployment benefits: Unemployed workers will receive their benefits which expired over the weekend.
  • Renewable energy tax credit: The tax credit for renewable energy companies will be extended for another year.

While the extension of unemployment benefits and the Medicare “doc fix” cost money, and revenue will be lost due to a fix in the Alternative Minimum Tax, the package will still increase the federal government’s receipts. The total package will add $600 billion to federal coffers.

Also included in the deal is an unrelated provision but one that would have impacted Americans’ pocketbooks. According to Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., negotiators agreed to a nine-month partial extension of the farm bill. The legislation, which dictates subsidies to crop and commodity growers, was also set to expire at midnight, and the impact was likely to cause milk prices to rise to $7 or $8 a gallon.

What has been left out of the “cliff” deal:

  • The sequester: The $110 billion worth of automatic spending cuts under the sequester will be delayed for two months. The cost of continuing current federal spending levels will be offset by revenue increases and some spending cuts. In two months, the delayed spending cuts will kick in half will come from defense and half from non-defense accounts.

    The two-month window is to allow Congress and the White House to come up with a larger deal on spending cuts, leading to another (though smaller) “fiscal cliff.” Democrats see this deal as a victory because Republicans had objected to using any new tax revenue to offset the loss of sequester spending cuts, reports Garrett.

  • Payroll tax extension: payroll taxes will increase by 2 percent for all wage earners. This was passed and extended by Congress to give taxpayers additional relief during the slow economic recovery. 
  • Debt limit: The country reached its debt ceiling today, according to a latest estimate by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, but because of maneuvering and shuffling the nation’s balance books, bills can be paid for another two months. Another debt ceiling fight is poised to happen around the same time the new sequester is expected to kick in. 

Emphasizing the importance of deficit reduction to his fellow Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the GOP’s lead negotiator, urged his colleagues not to hold up a deal because budget cuts have not been addressed. Earlier in the day he called the tax portion of the “fiscal cliff” the most important component and said, “Let’s take what’s been agreed to and get moving.”

“Action on the sequester is something we can continue to work on,” McConnell added.

The agreement, formulated mostly between McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden, was a last-ditch effort after negotiations broke down numerous times.

deliciouskaek
inothernews:

Fletcher Harris, of Rockaway Park, warms himself by a flaming oil barrel on 118th Street, October 31st. Parts of New York City outside Manhattan, including Staten Island, Coney Island in Brooklyn and The Rockaways in Queens, were completely devastated by superstorm Sandy, destroying homes, businesses and knocking gas stations offline. “No one knows we’re here,” one Coney Island resident told a reporter from WCBS 880, a local news radio station. (Photo: Adrian Fussell / Reportage by Getty Images via The New Yorker)

inothernews:

Fletcher Harris, of Rockaway Park, warms himself by a flaming oil barrel on 118th Street, October 31st. Parts of New York City outside Manhattan, including Staten Island, Coney Island in Brooklyn and The Rockaways in Queens, were completely devastated by superstorm Sandy, destroying homes, businesses and knocking gas stations offline. “No one knows we’re here,” one Coney Island resident told a reporter from WCBS 880, a local news radio station. (Photo: Adrian Fussell / Reportage by Getty Images via The New Yorker)

hamburgerjack

maybethings:

Orang Asli children slapped for not reciting doa

A group of parents have lodged police reports against a teacher at SK Bihai in Pos Bihai, near Gua Musang in Kelantan, for slapping their children because they did not recite the doa (Islamic prayer) after having their lunch.

One of the parents, Atar Pedik, said his two 12-year-old girls were slapped about 1.30pm on Tuesday, after the children were made to recite the doa even though they are not Muslims. 

“I was angry when I learnt what happened to my daughters,” Atar said when contacted. 

Atar, along with two other fathers - Hassan Achoi and Along Pandak - whose 12-year-old daughters were also slapped in the incident, made the three-hour journey from Pos Bihai to lodge their reports at the Gua Musang police station. 

Pos Bihai is located in the interior of Kelantan, near its border with Perak. 

A check with the Gua Musang police station confirmed that the reports were lodged. 

According to SK Bihai Parent-Teacher Association deputy chairperson Arom Asir, the children’s faces were bruised after they were slapped by the male teacher. 

Arom said that the primary school has at least 100 children, all of whom are Orang Asli, and the children were eating lunch together after sports. 

“They were made to recite prayers the Muslim way before and after meals but they didn’t know how, so they kept quiet.

“Then the teacher picked out the older children and slapped them for being quiet,” he said. 

Arom added that the parents did not know their children were being taught Islamic studies at the school or being made to recite Islamic prayers until earlier this week. 

“We then made a complaint on this to a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) representative who came to visit us on Oct 23. Later that day, we found out that the children were slapped,” he said.

Agencies in the dark

The phone number listed for SK Bihai connects directly to the Education Department and an officer there who answered our call referred Malaysiakini to the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa). 

However, Jakoa when contacted said that it has received no report on the matter and that it was gathering information about it. 

Arom said the parents would also lodge a complaint on the matter with Jakoa. The community is now arranging to hold a dialogue on the incident among the parents, the Education Department, Jakoa and Suhakam on Oct 30. 

“We feel that parents should have been consulted if the children are to be imparted with Islamic teachings,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Orang Asli rights NGO Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM) in a press statement called on the relevant agencies to take stern action on the assault of the children. 

“Stern action should be taken against the teacher involved if he is guilty. 

“The relevant agencies should also investigate the claim that Orang Asli children are made to study a religion that is not their faith,” JKOASM said. 

It also called on the government to put greater efforts to improve the quality of education provided at schools in the interior regions, such as SK Bihai. 

“Our observations show that… teachers only teach two or three days in a week,” it said.

snarkbender
jalwhite:

tw: suicide
Entire Indian tribe threatens to commit mass suicide after Brazil court rules they must leave sacred burial land
A entire tribe of 170 Indians have vowed to commit mass suicide after a court in Brazil ruled they must leave what they believe is sacred land, it was reported today.
The community of 50 men, 50 women and 70 children from the Guarani-kaiowa tribe are camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The Indians claim the land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries, according to Brazil’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI).
A Guarani Indian family ride a horse-drawn cart in southern Brazil in 2004. The Indians claim the disputed land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries
But this week, Judge Henrique Bonachela upheld a petition made by the ranch’s owner to have the tribe evicted from the land.
He decreed a fine of £150 for every day the tribe remains on the land, on the banks of Brazil’s Joguico River.
A spokesman for the tribe today said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.
And in a letter the tribe called on the Brazilian government to respect their wishes to be buried there along with their ancestors.
It read: ‘Because of this historic fact, we would prefer to die and be buried together with our ancestors right here where we are now.
‘We ask, one time for all, for the government to decree our extinction as a tribe, and to send tractors to dig a big hole and there to throw our dead bodies.
‘We have all decided that we will not leave this place, neither alive nor dead.’

Battle: A spokesman for the tribe said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.



Remote: The tribe is camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul


A spokesman for CIMI described the development as of ‘exceptional seriousness’.
And Federal Deputy Sarney Filho warned of the ‘extremely worrying’ situation.
In a letter to Brazil’s Justice Minsitry, he wrote: ‘This tribe has had its culture and lands attacked for centuries. They could now go down in history as being the tribe which wiped themselves out by committing collective suicide.
‘We must take the necessary measures to avert the worst.’
Indian tribes in southern Brazil have for years been fighting for the country to recognise their traditional lands, many of which now belong to farmers and rich landowners.

jalwhite:

tw: suicide

Entire Indian tribe threatens to commit mass suicide after Brazil court rules they must leave sacred burial land

A entire tribe of 170 Indians have vowed to commit mass suicide after a court in Brazil ruled they must leave what they believe is sacred land, it was reported today.

The community of 50 men, 50 women and 70 children from the Guarani-kaiowa tribe are camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The Indians claim the land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries, according to Brazil’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI).

A Guarani Indian family ride a horse-drawn cart in southern Brazil in 2004. The Indians claim the disputed land has been the graveyard of their ancestors for centuries

But this week, Judge Henrique Bonachela upheld a petition made by the ranch’s owner to have the tribe evicted from the land.

He decreed a fine of £150 for every day the tribe remains on the land, on the banks of Brazil’s Joguico River.

A spokesman for the tribe today said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.

And in a letter the tribe called on the Brazilian government to respect their wishes to be buried there along with their ancestors.

It read: ‘Because of this historic fact, we would prefer to die and be buried together with our ancestors right here where we are now.

‘We ask, one time for all, for the government to decree our extinction as a tribe, and to send tractors to dig a big hole and there to throw our dead bodies.

‘We have all decided that we will not leave this place, neither alive nor dead.’

Battle: A spokesman for the tribe said they do not intend to fight the judge’s decision but would rather die on the land than be made to leave.

Remote: The tribe is camped inside a ranch in Brazil’s southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul

A spokesman for CIMI described the development as of ‘exceptional seriousness’.

And Federal Deputy Sarney Filho warned of the ‘extremely worrying’ situation.

In a letter to Brazil’s Justice Minsitry, he wrote: ‘This tribe has had its culture and lands attacked for centuries. They could now go down in history as being the tribe which wiped themselves out by committing collective suicide.

‘We must take the necessary measures to avert the worst.’

Indian tribes in southern Brazil have for years been fighting for the country to recognise their traditional lands, many of which now belong to farmers and rich landowners.

masteradept

velocirachel:

beatyourselfup:

Read More

Flip this situation around a little. If you were lawfully defending yourself with your gun and you had accidentally killed the wrong person, you would be in prison, at least for involuntary manslaughter. The police and the government, on the other hand, can make these mistakes and most people don’t seem to believe that the cop should be in prison. The hypocrisy stinks.

Factor in the fact that most people are trained to believe in the lawful goodness of the police force. “They know what’s best.” 

So many accept this as fact because sometimes, innocents die in the pursuit of “justice.” 

peechingtonmariejust

At the very best, the study might call for more study to be done — as there should be anyway. But Russia leaped on the French paper as though this single study revealed the ultimate truth about genetically engineered foods. Its consumer watchdog announced that imports of such corn created by agribusiness giant Monsanto would be suspended, a drastic move when you consider that about 90% of the corn grown in this country is genetically engineered.

All of this, of course, is leading up to the November vote in California on Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Representatives of the campaign against labeling visited The Times’ editorial board Tuesday, and they argued that bioengineered foods were known to be perfectly safe and that the initiative would lead to a crush of lawsuits against grocers even if those grocers were scrupulous about collecting paperwork that attested to the lack of genetically engineered food in their products.

deliciouskaek

deliciouskaek:

sinidentidades:

Parents in El Paso, Texas say they were shocked to find out that a teacher at Hughey Elementary asked their children to depict airplanes flying into buildings, explosions and people jumping to their deaths to remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“We had to draw the boom cloud, the planes hitting, and people jumping out of the windows,” the daughter of Ivie Gremillion recalled.

The girl’s drawing shows people jumping out of burning buildings and yelling, “Help!” and “I love you!” One student’s drawing obtained by KFOX had the writing, “One way ticket to heaven.”

In another picture, the terrorist pilots are laughing as they fly planes into the World Trade Center.

“That’s something that kids should get in trouble for drawing,” Gremillion said. “That’s people being murdered, committing suicide.”

According to the El Paso mom, the teacher taught students that “the Afghans did this because they hate all of us and want to kill all of us.”

A neighbor’s son was so distraught after the Monday assignment that he did not want to go to school the next day.

“He was under the impression that this happens every 9/11,” Gremillion explained.

To make matter’s worse, Gremillion’s husband is being deployed to Afghanistan later this year.

“She like, ‘My dad’s going to die,’” she said her daughter told her. “I would like a counselor to go in there and re-explain all this to that class.”

“The way she worded [it] is just teaching racism and hate for an entire nation, and that’s not OK,” Gremillion insisted.

El Paso Independent School District confirmed to KFOX that students were asked to draw pictures of 9/11 after a class discussion about the tragedy.

WHAT. THE FUCK.

womanistgamergirl

infamousnfamous:

foulmouthedliberty:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

joshsternberg:

felixsalmon:
jayrosen:

The definitive clip on how the media should handle mass murderers.

At least it is in my opinion. Watch til the end for the payoff. (It’s only 2:48) 

It’s true that these crimes have to be reported; we don’t want to be left in the dark. But it’s not true that they have to be pumped up into a big story or given wall-to-wall coverage on CNN. In Denver, it’s a huge story. But in the UK?

What bothers me most about the coverage of these things is the atmosphere of excitement that creeps in. The tone should be business-like, informational, the voice of someone resigned to the fact that crimes like this happen but determined to deny the killer any hint of glamour. An excess of sobriety to frustrate his craving for notoriety.

Yes. This.

This is also true for print and digital media. My Twitter feed turned into an tragedy industrial complex, offering tidbits that are seemingly mundane, yet captivating. Red hair! Application for guns obtained legally! And I wonder if post-Columbine, post-Oklahoma City, post-9/11, media enthusiasts and Internet denizens and TV news watchers are both disgusted and enthralled by these types of tragedies, as they are news outside of the norm, a hot flash in the media pan. And one of the ways of dealing with a dialectic tension such as disgust and enthrall is to post, or air, endlessly about it. Then again, if we’re living in, as McLuhan says, a global village, then it does matter, doesn’t it? A village takes care of one another, especially in times of tragedy. Shouldn’t we want all the information that’s given to us by the media?

Yes, this, all of this. The media shouldn’t be fueling more crime.

The media gives us what we demand. If there was no payoff for them, coverage would change. If our media wasn’t all corporate-owned, it would look very different.

Coverage of these tragedies should focus on the victims, not the murderer. Also prevention. Nobody knows the “why” of these rampages, because they are not rational acts. Focus should be on preventing future violence.

Everyone watch this.