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Obamacare opponents outside the Supreme Court in March, 2014 Jay Mallin/ZUMA The Supreme Court today is considering whether to hear a challenge to Obamacare that could deprive 8 million people of their newly acquired health insurance. If the court does decide to take the case, though, it will be buying into a legal argument that is frequently deployed by a different group of anti-Obama litigants—those who are trying to challenge the president's citizenship. The case, King v. Burwell...
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Republican lawmakers have been getting in the holiday spirit today by reminding people about their longstanding beef with Obamacare. Senate Republicans put out a list of articles on their website under the headlines "Spooked by higher costs" and "All tricks, no treats". Today is full of ghosts, ghouls, and the frightening reality of #ObamaCare http://t.co/Ug0ZKmqTc1 #Halloween pic.twitter.com/QniZcEsDJn — Senate Republicans (@Senate_GOPs) October 31, 2014 Young people are experiencing p...
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In the past two weeks, nine women have come forward with stories about getting beat up by Jian Ghomeshi. Now, thousands of people are asking what on earth took them so long. The confused disbelief seems genuine to me. Why on earth didn't they rush to the nearest police station? Or call 911? If he hurt them, didn't they want to stop him from attacking more women?  Plenty of people have already done a great job of explaining why. They've posted the depressing stats on rap...
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"The first question I ask my customers is: Are you registered?" Jolanda Smith says. Smith runs a hair salon on the outskirts of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her hair is dyed lavender and her arms are covered in heart and shooting-star tattoos. In the lead-up to the midterms, she's lending her storefront to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan's reelection campaign. Smith passes out sample ballots and flyers and tells customers how to register and where their polling location is. Last Satur...
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After a days-long battle with Maine governor Paul LePage, Kaci Hickox, a nurse who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, has officially won the right to go outside. More MoJo coverage of the Ebola crisis. These Rules Can Protect Doctors and Nurses From Ebola—If They're Followed This GIF Shows Just How Quickly Ebola Spread Across Liberia Survey: Four Out of Five Nurses Have Gotten No Ebola Training At All Liberia Says It...
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For those in the need of any last minute Halloween inspiration, look no further than Ruth "Baby" Ginsburg, quite possibly the most adorable tribute to the badass Supreme Court Justice herself we've witnessed. Ruth Baby Ginsberg wins Halloween, so stop trying. (h/t @NaamaHaviv) pic.twitter.com/T9ETbhL025 — Ghastly Akner (@taffyakner) October 31, 2014 The perfectly oversized glasses! The dainty jabot. Just perfect.
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Pundits may be declaring the culture wars over, but conservative Christians are donning their battle gear and rushing back to the front lines. In recent months, a coalition of conservative evangelical organizations has been carrying out an aggressive voter mobilization campaign that involves a combination of high-tech tools, briefings for pastors, and rallies simulcast to mega-churches around the country. The goal of these gatherings is to drum up outrage over recent political skirmishes, ...
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Beijing Bastard By Val Wang GOTHAM BOOKS In her drifter memoir of leaving home in order to find it, Chinese American author Val Wang struggles between head and heart as she tries to make a living—and a life—in Beijing, burdened by the expectations of her forebears yet buoyed by the spirit of youth. In the process, she shows us a China full of contradictions: at once glamorous and grungy, ancient and modern, ambitious and loafing.
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By now you're probably heard of #Gamergate, the internet lynch mob masquerading as a movement for ethics in video game journalism. Though #Gamergaters, as they're known, have repeatedly targeted their critics with rape and death threats, drawing rebukes from the broader gaming community, surprisingly few observers have asked whether violent video games themselves may have triggered this sort of abhorrent behavior. Debate about video games and violence has, of course, been around almos...
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On Election Day, political campaigns, candidates, consultants, and pollsters pay close attention to who votes and why—and so does Facebook. For the past six years, on every national Election Day, the social-networking behemoth has pushed out a tool—a high-profile button that proclaims "I'm Voting" or "I'm a Voter"—designed to encourage Facebook users to vote. Now, Facebook says it has finished fine-tuning the tool, and if all goes according to plan, on Tuesday many o...
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Halloween is finally here! It's time to celebrate macabre mischief, ghouls and gluttony, and of course, tricks and treats. But there's one scary alliterated substance you should steer clear of—especially if you are in Hollywood. On the streets of Tinseltown, getting caught with Silly String is considered a serious offense—but only on Halloween. Signs have been posted across Hollywood Photo taken by Gil Riego Generically called "aerosol string," Silly String is basically b...
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This story was originally published on BillMoyers.com. Had he lived, Dr. Jonas Salk would have turned 100 this week. Salk was a young man when in the spring of 1955 he announced his discovery of a vaccine that could prevent polio. He was hailed as a modern miracle worker. He went on to lead scientists from from around the world in studies of cancer, heredity, the brain, the immune system and AIDS at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. In this age of Ebola, it...
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Recently, the Pentagon released a disturbing report. Climate change, it warned, will exacerbate problems like terrorism and disease outbreaks, drain military resources, and create new enemies. The report said that the military's basic operations—everything from training to its supply chains and infrastructure—are now threatened by rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns. It all points to one conclusion: Global warming is a national security issue. Now a new analysis, ...
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Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist critic at the center of the Gamergate controversy, appeared on The Colbert Report last night to explain the sexual harassment issues rampant in the gaming world and why women aren't going to just accept a "separate but equal" community. "Women are perceived as threatening because we are asking for games to be more inclusive," Sarkeesian said. "We are asking for games to acknowledge that we exist and that we love games." But as recent disturbing events have...
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Over the past few weeks, a number of Republican candidates have run deceptive advertisements or used sneaky language to paper over their hardline views on reproductive rights. Pols who've done this include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Senate hopeful Scott Brown in New Hampshire, and Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. Now you can add another name to the list of pro-life GOPers who are suddenly talking about choice: Oregon's Dennis Richardson. Richardson, a Republican state...
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The USS George HW Bush travels through the Gulf of Aden after supporting strike operations in Iraq and Syria. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt)
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Think women are the only ones subjected to relentless, demeaning catcalling? You're wrong. The young white men in this world have it equally tough. After all, with so many unsolicited job offers, free Chipotle, and genuinely well-intentioned high-fives being forced onto men, how could anyone even suggest the notion of privilege these days? See what we mean below: 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man - watch more funny videos (h/t Funny or Die)
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Faster, Higher, Stronger By Mark McClusky HUDSON STREET PRESS Speed-skating super-suits, motion-tracking cameras, the 10,000-hour rule—it's all covered in Mark McClusky's engrossing look into how athletes use science to avoid injury, train smarter, and shatter rec­ords. McClusky, the editor of Wired.com and a former Sports Illustrated reporter, digs into vaguely familiar terms like VO2 max and the oxygen deficit to suss out what separates champs from near-misses while intro...
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No election cycle in recent memory has seen the guns issue heat up the way this year's has. The National Rifle Association, continuing a long-running strategy of campaign spending, earmarked over $11 million for this year's elections—but for the first time in decades the nation's leading gun lobby is facing some truly formidable opposition. Americans for Responsible Solutions, launched by former congresswoman and mass shooting survivor Gabby Giffords, and Everytown for Gun ...
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Louis Brems/ZUMA Early last Thursday morning, Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate for Senate in Iowa, swung by the Des Moines Rotary Club to speak at the group's monthly lunch meeting. Mostly white and mostly male, the club counts much of the state's political elite among its members. The day Ernst visited, I spotted the current Republican secretary of state, the GOP's nominee to succeed him, a Republican state senator and former congressional nominee, and a former state GOP ch...
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Just how bad is California's water shortage? Really, really bad, according to these new maps, which represent groundwater withdrawals in California during the first three years of the state's ongoing and epochal drought: Images by J. T. Reager, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, from "The global groundwater crisis," Nature Climate Change, Novemeber 2014, by James S. Famiglietti The maps come from a new paper in Nature Climate Change by NASA water scie...
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Life Itself KARTEMQUIN FILMS There's a scene early in Life Itself when a hospitalized Roger Ebert, missing his lower jaw after multiple surgeries for thyroid cancer, needs his throat suctioned. The camera holds steady as Ebert winces through the procedure, but then an email box pops up on the screen. "great stuff!!!!!" types Ebert, no longer able to speak. "I'm happy we got a great thing that nobody ever sees: suction." Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters) blends an i...
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The Secret History of Wonder Woman By Jill Lepore Alfred A. Knopf If Wonder Woman's status as a feminist icon was ever in question, Jill Lepore's deeply researched tribute puts that to rest. Lepore, a New Yorker staffer and Harvard historian, delivers a trove of private documents belonging to the character's creator, William Moulton Marston. Her discoveries shed light not just on Marston's notable life—Harvard scholar, failed lawyer, co-inventor of the polygraph&mdash...
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A man's life literally hangs in the balance in this year's governor's race in Colorado. As I explained earlier this month, Republican candidate Bob Beauprez has singled out a death row inmate by name and promised to ensure that he will be killed. "When I'm governor, Nathan Dunlap will be executed," Beauprez has said. Dunlap was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996 for murdering four of his Chuck E. Cheese coworkers. But when his execution date neared last year, Democrati...
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This story originally appeared in Grist and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Since the 2008 election and the subsequent rise of the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party has moved far right on energy and environment issues. Politicians who once accepted climate science have decided that they actually don't. Congressional Republicans have voted to cut funding for the EPA and its programs, to prevent federal agencies from studying climate change, and to revok...
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US Marines and sailors board a flight out of Afghanistan as all personnel withdraw from the region. (US Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. John Jackson)
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The day after Superstorm Sandy devastated much of the East Coast, Al Gore issued a statement linking the storm to climate change. That's when Fox News went on the attack. "These global warming claims have been debunked time and time again," declared Eric Bolling, a former crude oil trader who is now one of the network's most inflammatory hosts. "Look, it's weather. Weather changes. Things happen. It has nothing to do with global warming." But Fox's parent company, 21st Centu...
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After the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform exploded in June 2010, killing 11 workers and sending roughly five million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, much of the media coverage featured sludge-covered seabirds, empty shrimp baskets, and other environmental impacts. But for Doug Brown, the catastrophe was even more immediate. He was the rig's chief engineer, standing in the control room when a deafening blast sent him flying and turned his workplace into a fiery, oil...
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"It's eerie how much 2014 is like four years ago," says Craig Hughes, a Denver-based political consultant who ran Democrat Michael Bennet's successful 2010 Senate campaign. It's just after 10 a.m., and we're sitting in a coffee shop called Paris on the Platte. Hughes recounts how, back in 2010, all but one of the final 18 public polls conducted before Election Day showed Bennet losing. In recent weeks, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall has trailed Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in 11...
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Advertise on MotherJones.com Six months ago, the NBA rid itself of its worst owner, perpetual sleazebag Donald Sterling. Everyone praised the swift, harsh punishment meted out by commissioner Adam Silver for Sterling's racist tirade—well, almost everyone. Shortly after the league announced the lifetime ban of the Clippers owner, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank celeb Mark Cuban called the league's move "a very, very slippery slope." Cuban got on board the next day, even ...
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If you've recently purchased a new iPhone, or a fancy t-shirt, or a children's toy… or really virtually any consumer or industrial good, there's a strong chance that a giant ship ferried it from or through China. China, dubbed "the world's factory" for pumping out so much of the world's consumables, now boasts seven of the world's top ten busiest trading ports. Strung up and down its densely populated eastern coast, China's ten biggest ports handle near...
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If you want to understand the latest trend in craft cocktails, you could do worse than to listen to Outkast. What's cooler than being cool is indeed ice cold. Specifically, it's stored at negative two degrees, sculpted with a Japanese band saw, and retails for $1 a cube. Yes, artisanal ice is now a thing. In hipster meccas from Portland to Williamsburg, bars are serving up their drinks on extra-dense, extra-clear cubes, produced through a laborious process of freezing and carving. Coc...
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NASA's Antares rocket was supposed to resupply the International Space Station but it exploded shortly after liftoff tonight.The rocket was unmanned, thank God. BREAKING: NASA's unmanned Antares rocket blows up on liftoff pic.twitter.com/ONwkblwDnB — NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 28, 2014 Here's video from the live stream: The rocket was owned by Orbital Sciences but was contracted by NASA to stock the space station. The company told the Associated Press that...
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In hopes to demonstrate the absolute awfulness that is catcalling, one woman recently took to the streets of Manhattan with a hidden camera to show just how humiliating, and downright horrifying, it can be to be just that–a woman. "Hey beautiful." "Smile." "God bless you mami." "Someone's acknowledging you for being beautiful. You should say thank you more." These are just some of the 108 disgusting remarks that were directed towards Shoshana Roberts of the group Hollaback!, a nonpr...
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Game 6 of baseball's World Series is tonight in Kansas City, and the stakes are high: The San Francisco Giants could clinch their third championship in five years with a win, while the hometown Royals need a win to stay alive. Don't have a rooting interest, or looking for another reason to tune in? Check out Mother Jones' report from last year on the political and business dealings of Major League Baseball's owners. If you like Karl Rove, you may want to pull for the Giants&...
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is demanding Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) reveal the science behind his controversial decision to place all health care workers returning back from Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone to be placed under a mandatory quarantine. Spoiler alert: the science does not exist. "He should bring out his scientists who are advising him on that, because we know that we want to be led by science," Warren said Tuesday during an appearance on CBS's This Morning. "That&rsquo...
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Colorado gun-rights crusader Dudley Brown has a simple political philosophy: "No compromise." He says the NRA is spineless. (An NRA official once tagged him the "Al Sharpton of the gun movement.") He loathes middle-of-the-road politicians. For show, he occasionally drives a Pinzgauer, a bulky Austrian-made troop transport vehicle, which he describes as his "political pain delivery vehicle." His opponents—Democrats and Republicans alike—call him "poison" and a "political terrorist." ...
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A US Army soldier plunges into the water in his parachute during a combat water survival test. (US Army photo by Capt. Thomas Cieslak)
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It's now seven days until Election Day, and unfortunately things are trending pretty badly for us liberal types. The ABC/Washington Post poll on the right shows that Democrats and Republicans are pretty much all planning to vote for their own party next week, which leaves the election in the hands of independents. That turns out to be grim news. We can argue all day long about whether independents are "really" independent, but at this point it doesn't matter. They represent about a th...
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House Bill 1750 in Pennsylvania was supposed to finally ban live pigeon shoots and make it illegal to raise dogs and cats for consumption in the state. Animal rights activists, who have been lobbying for such an end for decades, had good reason to expect victory earlier this month: the bill had passed in the state Senate with a 36-12 margin and Gov. Tom Corbett (R) had signaled his support for it. 75 percent of Pennsylvania residents also agreed with the ban. The proposed law would have also be...
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George Prescott Bush was campaigning before he knew why. In January, the Fort Worth resident, investor, politico, Navy reservist, and grandson of the 41st president and nephew of the 43rd, announced he was forming an exploratory committee to run for office in Texas. For which office? He didn't say. Weeks went by, and then finally, in the spring, he tweeted a housekeeping update: he would aim to become the state's next land commissioner. But Bushes aren't groomed from birth to run...
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The current issue of the National Rifle Association's American Warrior magazine just hit, and in it, the gun lobby comes out squarely in favor of warrior cops. An article titled, "If You Were a Cop, What Would You Drive?" opens with a photo of an armored personnel carrier-style vehicle juxtaposed with a Volkswagen van. Rick Stewart, the host of the NRA's Life of Duty Patriot Profile series, wonders, "Why should SWAT teams be forced to deploy in a glorified bread-truck?" (It is unclear...
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Most people don't think about judicial elections until they find themselves staring at a group of unfamiliar names on the ballot. But judges are selected by voters in 39 states, whether in an initial election or a retention election after being appointed. The explainer below details how special-interest money has increasingly flooded the system over the last several decades—including the first ever set of data on campaign money in lower court races.
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Illustration by Mark Hammermeister The 30-second TV spot is stark and brutal. First it shows the bespectacled face of candidate Louis Butler, then a grainy mug shot of an ex-con. "Louis Butler worked to put criminals on the street," the narrator warns, "like Reuben Lee Mitchell, who raped an 11-year-old girl with learning disabilities." After Mitchell's release from prison, the narrator continues, he raped again. "Can Wisconsin families feel safe with Louis Butler?" This attack ad wasn�...
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races that have been marked by nasty attack ads and unprecedented amounts of partisan money. Here are some of the key contests to watch: North Carolina This year's election in the Tar Heel State will be the first in 10 years that won't have public financing at its core. The state Legislature defunded the program in 2013, even after 14 of the 15 judges on the state's Court of Appeals urged that it be maintained. In that context, the four Supreme Court candidates in 2014 are fa...
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Terrorist sympathizer. Friend to criminals. Pedophile supporter. Nasty political ads using these innuendos may be familiar from the darkest corners of congressional and presidential politics—but these days they're used to bring down judges too. State judicial elections, once sleepy and mostly cordial affairs, are in many cases now multimillion-dollar slugfests, thanks to an unprecedented tide of partisan money in play. Spending by outside groups in particular has soared over the last...
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Zach Dasher, a Republican businessman running for Congress in Louisiana's fifth district, has one major thing going for him: He's the nephew of Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan. And he appears to be squeezing everything he can out of the connection. In a new ad, Robertson, who was suspended by A&E last year over comments he made in a GQ interview on homosexuality and race, holds up a Bible and a rifle, as an acoustic version of "Amazing Grace" plays in the backg...
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Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast two years ago this week, killing more than 150 people. It caused an estimated $65 billion worth of damage; more than 650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Sandy's powerful winds plus its sheer size—it extended 500 miles from its center—caused record storm surges, flooding, and power outages that affected as many as 8.5 million people in 21 states. What was then a widely felt, fast-moving catastrophe has become a slow-moving effort to reb...
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We all saw the images of oil-coated birds and shorelines in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. These were the most visible impacts of the catastrophe, but much of the oil that gushed from the busted Macondo wellhead 5,000 feet underwater never made it to the surface. Of the estimated 5 million barrels that spilled, approximately 2 million stayed trapped in the deep ocean. And up to 31 percent of that oil is now lying on the ocean floor, according to a new study. Based on an analysis ...
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The Overnighters MILE END FILMS This engrossing film is set in Williston, North Dakota, where locals are freaking out about the hordes of desperate men in need of cash and a fresh start who pour into their tiny town in search of fracking jobs. A local pastor takes pity on them, converting his Concordia Lutheran Church into an ad hoc shelter. He's resolute, even as his family reels from the criticism of angry neighbors and congregants who want him to be a little less Christian. But he risk...
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