The Breakfast Club: 7-1-2014

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Everyone’s welcome here, no special handshake required. Just check your meta at the door.

Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast News

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Doing the Radical Right’s Dirty Work: Supreme Court’s Latest Blows Against Women and Unions

On the final day of its term, the Supreme Court’s radical right-wing majority has dealt crippling blows to two causes close to the heart of progressives. It elevated the rights of corporations owned by fundamentalist Christians above the rights of their female employees, saying those businesses don’t have to pay for any contraception in health plans. And it ruled that non-union employees who work at jobs where unions negotiate pay and benefits-for all workers-do not have to pay any union fees akin to union dues.

In both instances, the Court’s right-wing block delivered what have long been goals of two distinct factions of the Republican Party.

For religious conservatives, it said that protecting religious freedom was a higher priority than ensuring women received all reproductive health options. It also said that corporations have First Amendment religious rights protected by the First Amendment, a win for Christian fundamentalists and religious business owners. And for the GOP’s union-busting business wing, epitomized by the Koch brothers’ libertarian political network, it said that union fees could not be collected for electioneering purposes-even if non-union employees at the same work site benefitted from union bargaining.

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NSA Collected Data on Millions of Americans Just to Investigate 248 People

The National Security Agency was interested in the phone data of fewer than 250 people believed to be in the United States in 2013, despite collecting the phone records of nearly every American.

As acknowledged in the NSA’s first-ever disclosure of statistics about how it uses its broad surveillance authorities, released Friday, the NSA performed queries of its massive phone records troves for 248 “known or presumed US persons” in 2013.

During that year, it submitted 178 applications for the data to the Fisa court during that period, which, as first revealed by the Guardian thanks to leaks from Edward Snowden, permitted the ongoing, daily collection of practically all US phone records.

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Detroit and Iraq: Both Devastated by the Same Thieves

The ugly face of empire and disaster capitalism is visible all over the world. Detroit, Michigan, was once a thriving city but was sent into a tailspin by the deindustrialization of the United States, white flight, and institutional racism which blamed black people who were in fact the victims of catastrophe. The coup de grace was delivered by big banks like UBS, Bank of America and Barclays, which sold risky derivatives schemes to corrupt Detroit politicians. When the financial deal inevitably headed south, the banks were the creditors first in line for a payout.

Far back in that line were the workers and people of Detroit. The emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, whose very position they had voted against establishing, rules the city. The new mayor is a figurehead and the people have no representation as the Republican governor and emergency manager remake the city for capital and the gentrifying settler class.

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The Real Reason Many Americans Seem So Stupid (But Aren’t)

For many years, the US National Science Foundation, more recently with the help of the General Social Survey, has asked the public the same true or false question about evolution:”Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” And for many years, the responses to this question have been dismal. In 2006, 2008, and 2010, for instance, less than half of the public correctly answered “true.”

In 2012, however, the NSF and GSS conducted an experiment to try to better understand why people fare so badly on this evolution question. For half of survey respondents, the words “according to the theory of evolution” were added to the beginning of the statement above. And while only 48 percent gave the correct answer to the unaltered question, an impressive 72 percent correctly answered the new, prefaced version.

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Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People and Not Others — And the Surprising, Natural Way to Avoid Bites

Why are some people so much more attractive to mosquitoes than others? And what can you do about the pesky little bloodsuckers, especially if you don’t want to resort to DEET? (DEET, while effective, is also weakly neurotoxic in humans.)

To start, there are some 150 different species of mosquitoes in the United States, and they differ in biting persistence, habits, ability to transmit disease, and even flying ability.

Mosquitoes of the genus Culex are painful and persistent biters and they will gladly fly into your house to bite you. They bite at dusk and after dark, and they can spread West Nile virus. On the upside, however, they are not strong fliers and won’t fly long distances from where they hatched. And, they’d prefer to bite a bird than a human. A common Culex species in the U.S. is C. pipiens, the Northern House mosquito.

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Must Read Blog Posts

11 Shocking Facts About America’s Militarized Police Forces

by Alex Kane

Holy Fuck Me With a Spoon: Why the Facebook Experiment Toying With Your Emotions Is So Terrifying

by Robert Booth

Hellraisers Journal: Joe Hill Found Guilty of Murder in the First Degree on Circumstantial Evidence

by JayRaye

The Weird, Fascinating History of America’s Sex Ed Films

by Sarah Mirk

Sunday Train: Is There A Beam of Hope for Texas Rooftop Solar?

by BruceMcF

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The Daily Wiki

Narnia

Narnia is a fantasy world created by C. S. Lewis as the primary location for his series of seven fantasy novels for children, The Chronicles of Narnia. The world is so called after the country of Narnia, in which much of the action of the Chronicles takes place.

In Narnia, some animals can talk, mythical beasts abound, and magic is common. The series tracks the story of Narnia when humans, usually children, enter the Narnian world from ‘our world’, or Earth.

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Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral, saying your moral is not the same as acting morally. ~Alan Dershowitz

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Breakfast Tunes

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Stupid Shit by LaEscapee

Is this the new “Dead Man”?

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2 comments

    • TMC on July 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    This Supreme Court has been really rough on women’s rights. Mitch McConnell has vowed to restrict abortions to 20 weeks if Republicans gain control of the Senate. I really don’t like this country much anymore.

    It’s a hot one here in the apple. It’s already kn the 80’s and expected to hit 90 this afternoon. Good beach day.

    The last two World Cup games in the round 16 are today.

    At Noon EDT, Argentina v Switzerland then at 3 PM, USA faces Belgium. I’ll be live blogging the USA match starting at 2:30 PM with all the World Cup news and the line up for the quarter finals that start Friday July 4.

  1. After all, he voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Kangaroo Court.

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