Grupo Fantasma (Group of Phantoms) hails from Austin, Texas and has a very interesting sound. While their original material is more upbeat most of the time, they do a great job of taking it down to a more intimate level. This eerie, yet beautiful cover of “Because” is one of my favorite things that they’ve done, plus it translates pretty well into Spanish. I always dig unique covers like this one.

Got any favorite covers? Maybe one in a different language from the original?

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1386288741770-3’); });
Senate Race Polls Lean Toward Dems, So Media Starts Pro-GOP Spin

On Tuesday, there was really good news for Democrats. The latest polls showed them pulling neck and neck to keep control of the Senate, data modelers like Nate Silver were adjusting their percentages to nearly 50/50, and Republicans were getting nervous.

Let the spin machine begin. Our so-called “liberal media” couldn’t wait to step on the accelerator pedal for why things suck for Democrats. Behold a sampling of today’s headlines:

CNN: NRA Focuses on Three Senate Races - Be afraid, little people. The gun nuts are arming themselves.

The Atlantic: 'Security Moms' Are Back—and That's Bad News for Democrats - That one’s so obvious an idiot could see the spin. Let the big mean Republicans take care of your national security, little country. Foreign terrorists have not attacked on American soil since Republicans were in charge. But that doesn’t stop the narrative. Meanwhile, no attention is paid to our home-grown terrorists, which thrive courtesy of conservatives.

New York Times: GOP Gains Strength and Obama Gets Low Marks, Poll Finds - Because yesterday is so…yesterday.

read more

Joe Arpaio's Sheriffs First To Be Terminated From Government Surplus Weapons Program

A new distinction for our old friend Sheriff Joe. As more attention is being paid to the military surplus program that added grenade launchers to LAUSD’s equipment list, Sheriff Joe finds himself with the dubious distinction of leading the first department terminated from the program.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is preparing to send back hundreds of weapons received under the US Government’s controversial 1033 program, which sends military surplus equipment to local agencies.

Arpaio says the MCSO lost or misplaced 9 guns over 20 years, and is now being forced to return all items received.

read more

TEAvangelical Nutjob: Bacon Served In Restaurants Means America Is A Christian Nation
On his radio show last Monday, right-wing embarrassment to humanity Bryan Fischer offered complete, definitive proof that America is a Christian nation: Delicious bacon, which he claims would not be sold in America if it was not a Christian nation. Apparently unaware that not all Jews and Muslims abstain from pork, Fischer said: “You want one…

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1386288741770-3’); });
Bill O'Reilly Shoots Down New Benghazi Claims

For Benghazi conspiracy theorists, you know you’re having a really bad day when even Bill O’Reilly throws cold water on your phony claims. And it’s especially bad news for an already discredited journalist, who previously tried to hype a bogus Benghazi report and lost her job over it.

Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly questioned whether the latest report from discredited investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, which baselessly suggested a Benghazi cover-up by State Department officials, actually constituted a “scandal.”

On the September 16 edition of his Fox News show, host Bill O’Reilly invited Attkisson to discuss her “troubling accusations against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” from “a disgruntled former State Department official.” After Attkisson confirmed that her source had not witnessed such actions himself, O’Reilly dismissed the conspiracy explaining that "If no documents were removed, scrubbed, if they weren’t taken out or destroyed, then I don’t know if there is any scandal."

read more

Texas Gun Store Insults Our President In The Worst Possible Way

If you need to attract the most fervent Second Amendment proponents in the red state of Texas, simply post an offensive sign denigrating President Obama and voilà! You will increase your bottom line by emulating a bottom feeder.

The sign outside a suburban Houston gun store reads,

Does one of Obamas family members have to be beheaded for “change” to happen?

Not only is this beyond reprehensible, this is an attempt at acerbic wit by mocking the Hope and Change motto of the 2008 campaign (by leaving out the possessive form of Obama, in true Teabag fashion). The implication that the President was directly responsible for the ISIL brutality shows unprecedented contempt for the Leader of the Free World.

Since the president doesn’t speak like a John Wayne movie, Tactical Firearms CEO, Jeremy Alcede feels he needs to compensate for something. Obviously not an Obama supporter, the gun store owner caters to his anti-establishment, anti-government and pro-war alarmists by using “clever and controversial” sayings on the store’s marquee. Thankfully, Alcede pays such close attention to the news, his typically uninformed customer doesn’t have to.

read more

To Celebrate 3rd Anniversary, Occupy's Strike Debt Starts Buying Up Student Loans

Happy anniversary to my favorite movement builders!

On the third anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Rolling Jubilee has, for the first time ever, bought and abolished student debt: $3,856,866.11 of student debt owed by 2,761 people across the United States.

With the aim of building a broad-based debt resistance movement, the Rolling Jubilee relieves debtors by buying debt for pennies on the dollar. The project highlights the injustice of having to go into debt for things that should be publicly provided, like healthcare and education. This is the fourth announcement by the Rolling Jubilee, which has abolished over $15 million of medical bills for thousands of people across the United States since the campaign was launched and went viral in November of 2012.

While medical debt is widely available to debt collectors on secondary markets, most student debt is not, because it is guaranteed by the federal government. The debt purchased by the Rolling Jubilee is private debt from Everest College, which is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a nationwide system of for-profit colleges that receives approximately 90% of its funding from federal student loans. Corinthian has been subject to numerous investigations by state and federal authorities for fraud. The company is on the verge of collapse and the Department of Education is aiding Corinthian in its quest to find a buyer for its over one hundred campuses and online operations.

read more

A New Way Insurers Are Shifting Costs To The Sick

by Charles Ornstein ProPublica, Sep. 17, 2014, 11 a.m.

This story was co-published with The New York Times’ The Upshot.

Health insurance companies are no longer allowed to turn away patients because of their pre-existing conditions or charge them more because of those conditions. But some health policy experts say insurers may be doing so in a more subtle way: by forcing people with a variety of illnesses 2014 including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and epilepsy 2014 to pay more for their drugs.

Insurers have long tried to steer their members away from more expensive brand name drugs, labeling them as “non-preferred” and charging higher co-payments. But according to an editorial to be published Thursday in the American Journal of Managed Care, several prominent health plans have taken it a step further, applying that same concept even to generic drugs.

The Affordable Care Act bans insurance companies from discriminating against patients with health problems, but that hasn’t stopped them from seeking new and creative ways to shift costs to consumers. In the process, the plans effectively may be rendering a variety of ailments “non-preferred,” according to the editorial.

read more