Yep, I'm that political kid.

A voice for those who can't find the words.

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"Kirby declined to specify the kind of military assistance the Defense Department was considering, though he acknowledged both lethal and nonlethal aid had been requested.
A shipment of military prepackaged meals was “in process,” Kirby said, adding Ukraine had also asked for “medical supplies, uniform equipment and that sort of thing.”
"We’re working it expeditiously," he said."

"Kirby declined to specify the kind of military assistance the Defense Department was considering, though he acknowledged both lethal and nonlethal aid had been requested.

A shipment of military prepackaged meals was “in process,” Kirby said, adding Ukraine had also asked for “medical supplies, uniform equipment and that sort of thing.”

"We’re working it expeditiously," he said."

Filed under kirby ukraine military russia crimea obama putin

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“In a conversation that lasted about an hour, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone yesterday with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters that Hagel pressed “Shoygu to explain Russian intentions with respect to forces they have aligned near Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders.” And Shoygu told Hagel that “the troops he has arrayed along the border are there to conduct exercises only, that they had no intention of crossing the border into Ukraine,” Kirby said.”

In a conversation that lasted about an hour, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone yesterday with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters that Hagel pressed “Shoygu to explain Russian intentions with respect to forces they have aligned near Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders.” And Shoygu told Hagel that “the troops he has arrayed along the border are there to conduct exercises only, that they had no intention of crossing the border into Ukraine,” Kirby said.”

Filed under hagel ukraine us russia putin obama crimea lavrov shoygu defense

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thepeoplesrecord:

Hunger crisis: 1 in 5 New Yorkers depend on food pantries
March 18, 2014

It’s a quiet crisis. In a city of plenty, a staggering number of people are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Nearly one in five New Yorkers, 1.4 million people, now rely on a patchwork network of 1,000 food pantries and soup kitchens across the city to eat.

That represents an increase of 200,000 people in five years — straining the charities that are trying to help.

The two biggest, City Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City, now provide nearly 110 million pounds of food to soup kitchens and food pantries a year.

Yet those working on the front lines of the hunger crisis say it’s still not enough.

“It’s an astounding surge in need, and it’s because it is so hard for people to find jobs, or find a decent-paying job. They are turning to us for emergency help,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, 63, executive director of 90 free food outlets run by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

“So many people, too many people, don’t have enough money to pay for rent and also eat.”

At the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry, bags packed with milk, juice, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, dry beans and other staples fly off the shelves.

Located in a small church vestry, the pantry is open one day a week, serving a steady clientele of 275 people. It could easily help three times as many, if only it had the food, volunteers said.

From soup kitchens in the Bronx, to mobile food markets on Staten Island and in Brooklyn, to pantries in Queens, the story is the same: lines stretching longer and longer, people arriving earlier and earlier, even in the depths of winter.

“Our Lady of Grace, in the northeast Bronx, saw the number of new households double in November — a 100% increase,” said Paul Costiglio, spokesman for Catholic Charities. “Across the board, our programs are reporting a continued increase in the number of working people, unemployed and families.”

The hunger crisis erupted when the Great Recession set in.

The number of city residents receiving aid under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, soared from 1.3 million in 2008 to 1.8 million today.

Yet, with so many people in need, the biggest benefit reduction in the 50-year history of food stamps took effect Nov. 1.

That’s when a temporary increase in benefits — pushed through by President Obama in 2009 as part of his economic stimulus program — lapsed.

New York households receiving food stamps saw their benefits decrease by an average of $30 to $50 a month, depending on a complex formula that takes into account family size and income.

For a typical family of three, that meant a drop to $189 a month, down from about $220.

Food pantry and soup kitchen operators said the impact was swift and dramatic: Although the economy had rebounded since the financial crisis, those at the bottom of the ladder had not fully shared in the recovery.

And so, on a frigid and windy Wednesday recently, a cluster of about 30 men and women stood outside — sometimes for as long as an hour — to get into the Food Bank for New York City’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Harlem.

In the cramped basement, families took turns moving through a makeshift supermarket, picking what they liked from the small selection on the shelves.

“I got fish today. They gave me salmon,” said Alejandro Medina, 54, a maintenance man at a homeless shelter who earns about $24,000 a year.

His wife works part-time and brings in $8,000. With four kids at home — two of their own and two nephews they care for — they also get $189 a month in food stamps.

But after spending $1,200 a month in rent for their two-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, and paying their other bills, there’s never enough left for food, he said.

Full article

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explore-blog:

Your rights matter, because you never know when you’re going to need them.

Edward Snowden's TED 2014 talk on how we can take back the internet. Transcript here.

2,757 notes

American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.

PAUL KRUGMAN, writing in today’s New York Times, "That Old-Time Whistle."

The absolute truth in 27 words.

(via inothernews)

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soupsoup:

Yarmouk residents gather to await a food distribution from UNRWA in Damascus, Syria. 
UNRWA’s Commissioner General, Filippo Grandi entered Yarmouk camp during the resumption of UNRWA’s humanitarian aid distribution this morning. He was shocked by the condition of the Palestine refugees he spoke to and the extent of war damage done to homes. - UNRWA

soupsoup:

Yarmouk residents gather to await a food distribution from UNRWA in Damascus, Syria. 

UNRWA’s Commissioner General, Filippo Grandi entered Yarmouk camp during the resumption of UNRWA’s humanitarian aid distribution this morning. He was shocked by the condition of the Palestine refugees he spoke to and the extent of war damage done to homes. - UNRWA

828 notes

BREAKING: Texas ban on marriage equality ruled unconstitutional

gaywrites:

A federal judge in San Antonio has ruled that the Texas law banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

However, the judge also issued a stay on the decision, meaning marriage equality is not immediately in effect.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, however, also issued a stay, meaning the bans remain in effect for the time being.

Two gay couples have sued the state aiming to overturn the bans. One lesbian couple had to go to Massachusetts to get married, and they want Texas to recognize the union. A second couple had a courtship of 17 years and say they want to get married here in their home state.

Garcia ruled that the couples met the criteria for a preliminary injunction, including the likelihood of winning the suit. …

"Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote. "These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."

TEXAS! WHAT! TEXAS!