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Heather Digby Parton: Rick Perry's bizarre babysitters club: A new "solution" even too daft for him
Full story: Salon.com

Wenonah Hauter: Detroit Suspends Water Shutoffs for 15 Days

We are glad the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) has announced it will suspend water shutoffs for 15 days to allow residents to demonstrate their inability to pay. But this is only a small step toward rectifying the problem in Detroit.

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James Zogby: The Nightmare of Gaza Continues

I can only imagine the horror in Gaza today as Israel intensifies its assault of that overcrowded, impoverished strip. It is a continuing nightmare story of pain and loss, of trauma and devastation. The heartbreaking numbers by themselves tell part of the story— with hundreds killed, thousands wounded, tens of thousands without homes, and now 600,000 without water. But the story of Gaza is more than these numbers and this current assault.

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Jill Richardson: Shortchanging Our National Treasures

Fabulous vacations don't come cheap. Hotels often run at least $100 a night, if not higher. Add in airfare, a rental car, and restaurant meals, and a family vacation becomes a privilege for those with the cash to afford them.

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Terrance Heath: America's Border Crisis of Conscience

Sixty bodies lie in a heap on the floor of a morgue that receives the corpses of children under 10 and as young as 2. It's the body count for just one day, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. How can we in good conscience send children back there?

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Michelle Goldberg: Yes, Mr. President, the Border Kids Are Refugees
Full story: The Nation

David Suzuki: Lake Huron is no place for a nuclear waste dump

Is dilution really the solution to pollution — especially when it's nuclear waste that can stay radioactive for 100,000 years? A four-member expert group told a federal joint review panel it is.

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Witness Against Torture: Navy Nurse Refuses to Torture Guantánamo Prisoner

These are the words of a Navy nurse assigned to force-feed prisoners who are hunger striking at Guantánamo Bay prison:

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Bob Lord: Worth More: One Man or an Entire City?

A population of 100,000 is substantial. Five states don't even have one metropolis that large. Some cities that size, like Fargo, North Dakota, are their state's biggest. Others, like Lansing, Michigan, are state capitals.

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Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins: The End of Pot Prohibition As We Know It

How much longer will it take before the United States declares a truce in the Drug War?

This latter-day prohibition is taking an immense toll. And the stakes ought to be low, given that most Americans don't want anyone jailed for being caught with small amounts of pot.

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Robert Reich: The Rise of the Non-Working Rich

In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe "poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything."

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Frank Sharry: Central American Kids at the Border Emergency Brings Out the Best and Worst of America

The fast-developing story regarding Central American unaccompanied children arriving at our border is bringing out the best – and the worst – in America.

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Center for Constitutional Rights: Time to end unqualified U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military support for the Israeli government's occupation of Palestine

We condemn in the strongest terms the Israeli government's indiscriminate killing and collective punishment of civilians in the Gaza Strip and call on the Obama administration to press for an immediate cease-fire on all sides that takes into account the need to end the inhumane and unlawful seven-year closure of Gaza. The blockade has resulted in severe shortages of water, food, electricity and medical supplies, the denial of freedom of movement to the Palestinians of Gaza and near economic collapse. As of today, 158 Palestinian civilians have been killed in this latest assault, including 36 children and 29 women; over a thousand have been injured, mostly civilians. A center for people with disabilities, a mosque and a hospital have been shelled, and hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed, causing the displacement of thousands of civilians.

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Richard Eskow: 7 Reasons Consumers Won't Love the $7 Billion Citigroup Deal

The Justice Department's settlement with Citigroup was finally announced Monday. A $7 billion settlement against a too-big-to-fail bank? What's not to love?

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Anna Aurilio: House Committee Slashes Environmental Funding, Blocks Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule

By slashing EPA's budget, this bill threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink. By dramatically underfunding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, this bill jettisons America's commitment to protect the very best of our natural legacy for future generations.

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Todd Miller: Bill of Rights Rollback in the U.S. Borderlands
Full story: Tom Dispatch

Katrina Vanden Heuvel: False balance in the media: Presenting equal weight to discredited claims is shameful
Full story: Washington Post

Peter Dykstra: 35 years later, Jimmy Carter's energy warning

Thirty-five years ago this evening, Jimmy Carter stared America in the eye, and invoking his promise that "I will never lie to you," gave us all a royal scolding.

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Jim Hightower: North Carolina's Moral Freedom Summer

The Moral Monday movement is mobilizing again.

This feisty coalition, based in North Carolina, is an inspiring model of workaday people coming together to reclaim their rights from far-right-wing politicians and plutocrats running amok.

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Michelle Harrison: Hobby Lobby decision makes it more difficult to regulate corporate behavior and protect actual human beings

In a sharply divided decision, the Supreme Court added religious rights to the ever-expanding list of rights possessed by for-profit corporations. In an opinion authored by Justice Alito, the conservative wing of the Court concluded in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, that certain for-profit corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) where doing so is against the religious beliefs of their owners. In a scathing dissent, Justice Ginsberg described the majority opinion as one of "startling breadth," which would allow commercial enterprises to opt out of laws they deem incompatible with their religious beliefs.

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Margaret Satterthwaite: Haitian Communities Excluded While the Gold Mining Sector Develops

I am Professor Margaret Satterthwaite and I am the Director of the Global Justice Clinic. The Global Justice Clinic is a program of New York University School of Law. The Clinic works against global inequality and challenges human rights violations. I have personally worked to support Haitians in their struggle for justice since 1995. Since 2003, the Clinic has supported the struggle for the right to water and food and against violence against women in Haiti. In January 2013, the Clinic began working alongside the Collective for Mining Justice (Kolectif Jistis Min or KJM), which is dedicated to supporting Haitian communities to defend their interests as mining companies explore for gold in Haiti.

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David Bacon: Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating
Full story: In These Times

Timothy Karr: Safeguarding Free Speech in the Digital Age

Spencer Bachus stands out among conservatives.

Representing Alabama's 6th district, he's built his political reputation as a supporter of fiscal responsibility, limited government and constitutional rights — with special attention to the First and Fourth Amendments.

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Beth Werlin: Why We are Suing the Government on Behalf of All Children Facing Deportation

The thousands of children fleeing violence and persecution and seeking refuge in the United States have brought to the forefront the issue of how our immigration system deals with children. The current system subjects kids to the same deportation laws as adults. They are ordered to appear in immigration court, where they face off against a prosecutor, and a judge calls upon them to mount their own defense against deportation. And, just like adults facing deportation, children are not provided government-appointed counsel to represent them in court. As a result, each year, thousands of children are forced to navigate the immigration court process alone.

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Jim Hightower: Walgreen Writes its Own Sick Prescription

How would you react if one of your neighbors announced that while he obviously benefits from having clean water, highways, Medicare, police protection, parks, schools, and other public services, he was no longer going to pay his share of the taxes that make them available?

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Edward T. Walker: What's the difference between political grassroots and big-interest Astroturf?

In just a few weeks, the Federal Communications Commission will conclude its public comment period over whether Internet service providers can give some packets of data priority — dismantling what's become known as net neutrality. During this period, regulators will surely hear quite a bit from companies like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon about how allowing a two-tiered system of Internet access will benefit consumers in the coming years.

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Robert Borosage: Inequality or Opportunity: The Classic False Choice

On July 4, The Washington Post published an article "reporting" that President Obama has "abandoned talk" of inequality this election year, focusing instead on the "politically palatable theme of lifting the middle class."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders: The Declaration of Independence: A Revolutionary Document

As we celebrate this July 4th weekend, it's important that we not forget the profound vision embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

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Robert Reich: The Politics and Economics of Inequality: A Lecture to the Top One-Tenth of 1 Percent

Here's the Aspen Lecture I gave recently at this year's Aspen Ideas Festival. The irony of talking about inequality with an audience composed almost entirely of the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans was not lost on me. When I suggested that we return to the 70 percent income-tax rate on top incomes that prevailed before 1981, many looked as if I had punched them in the gut.

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James Zogby: Israel/Palestine: Time for United Nations Intervention

Reactions to the horrific back-to-back kidnappings and murders of three young Israelis and a Palestinian teen have made clear several disturbing realities that must not be ignored.

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