It’s a lonely vigil that the activists from No More Names keep outside the Houston Convention Center. They read the names of Americans killed by gunfire in the U.S. since the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Heather Ross doesn’t seem fazed by being ignored. What does faze her is how long it can take her to read all the names of those killed in one day. Ross says some days can take 20 to 30 minutes.
“You would just look at the whole list and it kept going and going and going and going. … It just doesn’t end,” she says.
There are some victims who are not quite 1 year old, and others have no name or age at all, Ross says. For them, she reads, “No name, no age.”
“You just know where they died. That’s horrible,” she says. “Can you imagine if you died and no one knew who you were — they have no identity for you? They pull people in to identify you and they can’t because your face is gone and there’s nothing?”
As the young woman, raw with emotion, stands in the wind, thousands of people stream by without noticing her, eager to get inside to the NRA convention.
President Obama’s budget would raise taxes mainly on people earning more than $200,000 a year, although earners at nearly every income level would face a somewhat higher tax burden, according to a new nonpartisan analysis.
The study by the Tax Policy Center finds that in 2015, 86 percent of the increase in taxes would be borne by people earning $200,000 or more a year. That would largely be a result of dramatically scaling back tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthy and establishing a minimum level of taxation for people who earn $1 million a year.
But the study also finds that some Americans of more modest backgrounds would face more taxes. Some people earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year would pay about $150 more, while some earning less than $100,000 a year would pay less than $100 in additional taxes.
The increase in taxes on middle-class earners is notable because both political parties have said that they do not want to raise taxes on people earning less than $200,000 a year. The president’s budget was released this month but is not expected to be taken up by Congress anytime soon.
HuffPo and YouGov are teaming up to take daily polls of Americans’ views on a diversity of issues. The latest one, described here, reveals a depressing fact: more than one-third of Americans would favor (either strongly or mildly) the establishment of Christianity as a state religion. 37% of Americans think that the U.S. has gone too far in separating church and state, 42% either believe that states are allowed by the U.S. Constitution to establish state religions (they are not so allowed), and 32% favor a Constitutional amendment making Christianity the official U.S. religion.
Nearly six in ten Americans have a favorable impression of President Obama in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, numbers that suggest that even as the chief executive engages in a series of thorny policy fights his personal appeal remains strongly intact.
Fifty-seven percent of people view Obama favorably in the new Post-ABC survey while 41 percent regard him unfavorably. Those numbers are remarkably similar to the 60 percent favorable/37 percent unfavorable ratings for Obama in Post-ABC polling conducted in late January — just weeks after the president had been inaugurated for a second term.
The high regard with which the public holds Obama personally stands in contrast to the more middling job ratings for the president. In the latest Post-ABC national poll - conducted earlier this month — 50 percent approved of how he was handling his job while 46 percent disapproved.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday morning on the meaning of marriage.
¶ Two California couples challenging Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, say it excludes gay and lesbian couples from an institution with a deep and distinctive meaning and thus violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
¶ Defenders of the ban say that states should be able to work out for themselves whether to permit same-sex marriage. The Constitution is silent on the question, they say, and the court should not intervene in the vigorous debate playing out across the nation.
¶ Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Polls show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, suggesting that further gains are likely in state legislatures and at the ballot box.
More: Justices to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Case Today
More at LGFPAGES:
This video, which purports to be created by the North Korean government, shows how Americans live today.
I’m waiting for my heroin!
The video is a hoax; i.e., not made by the North Koreans. Still, it’s a good example on “propaganda” and how you can make anything look awful.)
The nation is evenly split between President Obama and congressional Republicans over whom it trusts to handle the issue of gun control, while most continue to support stricter gun-control measures of the kind backed by Democrats, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
On gun control, Obama is trusted by 42 percent of Americans, compared with 41 percent who trust Republicans. Demonstrating a continued divide, those in gun-owning households trust Republicans over Obama by more than two to one (56 percent to 26 percent), while those in non-gun-owning households are nearly a mirror image (58 percent trust Obama; 26 percent trust Republicans).
Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiring to kill Americans. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith appeared in federal court in New York City, just blocks from where the twin towers crumbled.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was one of a number of key aides and family members of Osama bin Laden who has spent most of the last decade living in Iran largely under house arrest. Weeks ago, Abu Ghaith managed to get out of Iran, and cross the border into Turkey.
The CIA’s Bin Laden group was able to track Abu Ghaith’s movements to a luxury hotel in downtown Ankara. Abu Ghaith hoped to get help from the al Qaeda network to move to another country, but the CIA was working with the MIT, Turkey’s national intelligence service, and they arrested Abu Ghaith a month ago.
“As a country, as a society, we live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion, and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view,” Kerry told the students in Berlin, the second stop on his inaugural trip as secretary of state.
“People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another,” he added.
“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In American you have a right to be stupid - if you want to be,” he said, prompting laughter. “And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.
“And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that’s a virtue. I think that’s something worth fighting for,” he added. “The important thing is to have the tolerance to say, you know, you can have a different point of view.”
Kerry made the comments on his first foreign trip since becoming secretary of state on February 1. After one-night stops in London and Berlin, he visits Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha before returning to Washington on March 6.
Guess what, Republicans? Most Americans aren’t getting raises right now, and it’s not because they suck at their jobs. Also, thanks for making the exact same argument that public sector unions have been making regarding cuts to teachers’ pay, etc.
A source told The Hill that no one is giving them any input about what they’re supposed to do. They have leases! They have people who were being paid x amount for years! You can’t cut their pay!
Good God, people, it’s almost like there’s a recession. A few concerned Republicans are consolidating two positions into one and offering to pay for their own postage when they write constituents. They love the idea of making due with a wee bit less. It’s like a dress up game. Look, I sacrificed something! SO CUTE!
Can you still eat? I’m not sure we’re on the same playing field yet. See, these cuts are going to take food from babies and seniors. Forgive me if I find that a little more troubling than Republican retention.