Archives for News

Andrea Lyon: Witness to Innocence

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of being asked to talk to a group of exonerees from death row at the end of a conference held here in Chicago by an organization called Witness to Innocence . I spoke about the state of the death penalty here in Illinois and around the country and about the stacked deck that a death-qualified jury poses for someone accused of murder — something that I have written about before. In my book about my experiences as a capital defense lawyer, I tell the stories of some my clients over the years, both the
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Alex Koroknay-Palicz: Ann Coulter’s Ageism Will Doom the Republican Party

This week, professional anger-tainment star, Ann Coulter, wrote a predictably provocative article for TownHall in which she calls for the repeal of the 26th Amendment, the Vietnam era Amendment which lowered the voting age to 18 in the United States. Taking it one incendiary step further (she certainly has a knack for that) Coulter suggests that the voting age be raised to 26, the age, according to the new health care bill, through which young people are able to be covered under their parent’s health insurance. In other parts she seems to suggest no one under 30 should vote. Maybe
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Richard Kirsch: Schakowsky’s Deficit Plan Shows How to Get Things Done

Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0. Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the president’s deficit reduction commission, put out a straight-forward plan yesterday that demonstrates what you can do if you believe that we need a strong middle class to build a strong economy. Unlike the recommendations of the commission’s chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowls, which would hurt growth and long-term recovery by cutting supports to the middle class and increasing the wealth gap, the Schakowsky plan is aimed at spurring economic growth and closing our growing inequality chasm. Schakowsky’s plan has three components: cutting the deficit, investing in
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Richard Klass: Time for Something Special

There are 47 days including yesterday, 16 November when Congress opened its lame duck session and 3 January 2011 when the 112th Congress opens. Of those, three are holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), seven are Sunday, and six plus New Years Day are Saturdays. Most Americans would say that excluding holidays and Sundays, there are 31 to 37 working days until the 111th Congress expires, depending on whether the work required is critical enough to work Saturday. And yet the United States Congress plans to work somewhere between 13 and 15 days in its “lame duck” session. Lame
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Dennis Kucinich To Challenge Democrat For Key House Position

Kucinich, a hero to anti-war liberals and a two-time candidate for president, wants to be in position to defend the administration with the same pugnacity that he used fighting his way up through the tough ward politics on Cleveland’s west side. But he is not the heir apparent to the ranking minority position on the panel. The obvious choice is Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the outgoing chairman. And Towns wants the job. From The Huffington Post
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Robert Reich: The Obvious Case Against Soaking the Rich While Unemployment Benefits Expire

America’s long-term unemployed — an estimated 4 million or more — constitute the single newest and biggest social problem facing America. Now their unemployment benefits are about to run out, and the lame-duck Congress may not have the votes to extend them. (You can forget about the next Congress.) The long-term unemployed can’t get work because there are still five people needing work for every job opening. And the long-term jobless are often at the end of the job line: Either they don’t have the right skills or enough eduction, or have been out of work so long prospective employers
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Lisa Murkowski Defeats Joe Miller In 2010 Alaska Senate Race

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, emerging victorious over her tea party rival following a painstaking, week-long count of hand-written votes. The victory completes a remarkable comeback for the Republican after her humiliating loss in the GOP primary to Joe Miller. Her victory became clear when Alaska election officials confirmed they had only about 700 votes left to count, putting Murkowski in safe territory to win re-election. Murkowski is flying back from Washington to Alaska on Wednesday to make an “exciting announcement,” proclaiming
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Gabe Gonzalez: No More Dreams Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? -Langston Hughes I keep thinking about this poem. I keep thinking about this poem and our country. When Langston Hughes wrote this poem, he was speaking clearly about the African American experience. How the American Dream seemed not for them. How their personal dreams so often were deferred by
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GOP Looks To Defund NPR Over Williams Firing

Last month, Juan Williams appeared on Fox News Channel and expressed an opinion: he was all a-scurred of people on airplanes dressed in Muslim garb! Very soon after, Williams was sacked by his principal employer, National Public Radio. While it was something of a novelty — media figures are typically allowed to say unkind and intemperate things about Muslims in America without fear of losing their jobs — it was pretty clear that NPR — who could have, I don’t know… asked any other human being in their organization to present a countering opinion if it meant that much to
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Reid ready to deal on Bush-era tax breaks

The top Democrat in the Senate said on Tuesday he was willing to consider a temporary tax cut extension for all income levels, a step that could pave the way for a possible deal with Republicans on Bush-era tax cuts. “This is something we will take a look at,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters, referring to a plan to extend all the cuts for two or three years. Many leading Democrats like Reid previously opposed continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest, while they want a permanent extension of existing tax cuts for those individuals making $200,000 or less
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