Author Archive

God remains undecided on pick for 2016 GOP nominee

November 24, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Had you asked me which of the 20 or so potential Republican presidential candidates would be first to claim that his candidacy was endorsed by God himself, I would have said Ben Carson, who has the necessary combination of deep religious faith and self-aggrandizing nuttiness. And today we learn that while the creator of the universe is still mulling his options, he's not exactly giving Carson a no." [editor's note: I'd say that depends on your conception of "God"; the one I talk to thinks they're all assholes, along with the Dem wanna-bes - SAT] (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lv2xneb  

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TX: Fracking blamed for Dallas-Ft. Worth earthquake

November 23, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A light earthquake shook the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of North Texas on Saturday night, leaving no known damage or casualties but stirring concern about the potential of the area’s oil and gas fracking industry to generate seismic activity. The magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck about 9:15 p.m. Central time on Saturday, said Dale Grant, an geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was near the border of the cities of Dallas and Irving, near the site of the former Texas Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys football team played for nearly 40 years." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mnh3khx  

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OH: School district mulls giving teachers access to guns

November 23, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A small Ohio board of education is weighing new school security measures that could give teachers and staff access to loaded guns. The Dayton Daily News reported Sunday that the Riverside Local School board in central Ohio's Logan County has held recent discussions on placing guns in schools and plans to revisit the issue Dec. 16. Superintendent Scott Mann said the goal is to protect children from potential threats involving weapons." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kggjevz  

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NELP report: Falling wages in factory jobs

November 23, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Economists strive for 'efficiency' in our economy. 'Efficiency' means that the things we buy are produced at their lowest possible cost. The wages that working people are paid are a 'cost' to be eliminated. Egypt’s Pharaohs built the pyramids with 'efficient' labor. Imperial Rome and the old Confederacy also had particularly efficient labor markets. American factory jobs used to provide reasonable pay and benefits -- largely because of unions and democracy. So how do you make manufacturing jobs more 'efficient'?" [editor's note: Although his sense of what an "economist" actually does is faulty (they don't "strive" for more than maybe a vague comprehension of reality?), his other points are mostly valid - SAT] (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ofhydww  

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Japan raises military profile in naval war games with US

November 23, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Japan stepped up its role in large-scale war games with the United States this week, with one of its admirals commanding air and sea maneuvers that the U.S. military described as the most complex ever overseen by the Japanese navy. The Keen Sword exercises involving more than 30,000 Japanese troops and 11,000 U.S. personnel come as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks a higher profile for Japan in the security alliance. At the same time, Washington has encouraged Tokyo to take a greater share of the defense burden, especially as China's military modernizes rapidly." (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo84met  

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Hezbollah claims “pinpoint” Iranian missiles added to its arsenal

November 23, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"On the eve of a deadline in nuclear talks between six world powers and Iran, Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah organization has revealed that it has acquired advanced Iranian missiles with 'pinpoint accuracy' that it could use against Israel in any future war. 'They [the Israelis] are well aware that Hezbollah is in possession of missiles with pinpoint accuracy, and thanks to the equipment Hezbollah acquired, and with the Islamic Republic’s support and Hezbollah’s readiness for any future war, [the next] war will be much tougher for the Israelis,' Naim Qassem, the deputy head of Hezbollah, said in an interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k9u2kz3  

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OH: Boy with fake gun dies, shot by officer

November 23, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A 12-year-old boy shot by police after grabbing what turned out to be a replica gun died from his wounds Sunday, a day after officers responded to a 911 call about someone waving a 'probably fake' gun at a playground. Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said one officer fired twice after the boy pulled the fake weapon (which was lacking the orange safety indicator usually found on the muzzle) from his waistband but had not pointed it at police. The boy did not make any verbal threats but grabbed the replica handgun after being told to raise his hands, Tomba said. 'That's when the officer fired." (11/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l4rd96m  

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Tunisia holds first post-revolution presidential election

November 23, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The polls have closed after Tunisia's first presidential election since the 2011 'Arab Spring' that triggered uprisings across the region. About 54% of the electorate took part, with no reports of any violence. Interim president Moncef Marzouki and anti-Islamist leader Beji Caid Essebsi were touted as the favourites in a field of more than 25 candidates. Both campaigns claimed to have won the most votes but admitted that a second round of voting next month was likely." (11/23/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30165471  

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Why Britain’s days as haven of stability are numbered

November 23, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Anatole Kaletsky  

"For the past five years, Britain has been a haven of political and economic stability amid the turbulence in Europe. No longer. In the years ahead, Britain will likely be Europe’s most politically unpredictable country. This risk, first brought to the world’s attention by the Scottish independence referendum in September, has been confirmed by the defeat suffered by Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party in a special election on Thursday." (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k9mptq3  

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Swedish court upholds warrant on Assange

November 21, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A Swedish appeal court has upheld an arrest warrant against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, wanted for questioning over sexual assault claims. The Court of Appeal refused Mr Assange's attempt to have a detention order issued in 2010 revoked. Mr Assange, who denies the allegations, has sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid extradition. If he goes to Sweden, he fears he could be extradited to the US to face charges of leaking government documents." (11/20/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30129453  

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Uber forgot the charm, but not the offensive

November 21, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"When Uber hired one-time Obama whisperer David Plouffe, CEO Travis Kalanick wrote, 'We are in the middle of a political campaign and it turns out the candidate is Uber. Our opponent -- the Big Taxi cartel -- has used decades of political contributions and influence to restrict competition, reduce choice for consumers, and put a stranglehold on economic opportunity for its drivers.' Translation: This is war, and we’re going to use every weapon known to win." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mf23hr4  

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Why people are “walking in” for public schools

November 21, 2014
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Every school day in the Lincoln Park community on the North Side of Chicago greets students with well-appointed institutions that include some of the best facilities that American public schools have to offer. Click over to the Yelp ratings for the elementary schools and you’ll read parent reviews that talk about their elementary school’s band programs, afterschool programs, and recent innovative practices being implemented. ... This is not at all like the lived experience of students attending public schools on Chicago’s South Side." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwlucnf  

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MS: Appeals court order keeps state’s only abortion clinic open

November 21, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic will remain open after a federal appeals court refused on Thursday to reconsider its decision to block a state law that would have closed it. The law, passed in 2012, required doctors at the state’s sole abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, a standard the clinic could not meet. A three-member panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in July upheld a lower court ruling blocking the law as a legal challenge continues. On Thursday, the appeals court denied Mississippi’s request for a reconsideration of the injunction by the full court." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ktzucol  

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Study: Stressful relationships tied to mental decline

November 21, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Having close personal relationships in middle age that cause stress, problems or worries, may contribute to a decline in thinking ability in older age, according to a new study. 'Any relationship involves both positive and negative exchanges, especially those close relationships that are most likely to evoke ambivalent sentiments,' said lead author Jing Liao of University College London. 'Negative aspects of close relationships refer to unpleasant social exchanges when the recipient finds the relationship ineffective, intrusive or over-controlling.'" (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/okbncxx  

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Starting with Latinos, Obama seeks a lasting legacy

November 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bill Schneider  

"Demographics is long. Politics is short. That’s what President Barack Obama is counting on with his executive action on immigration. President Obama is risking what may be short-term political setbacks in order to create a legacy for himself and the Democratic Party. He is seeking to shore up lasting support among key Democratic constituencies. The president and his party are counting on demographics. Demographics delivered a great Democratic victory in 2012. This year, however, politics trumped demographics, and the Democrats were done in." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lpfvkvb  

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FDA approves new, hard-to-abuse hydrocodone pill

November 21, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Federal health regulators on Thursday approved the first hard-to-abuse version of the painkiller hydrocodone, offering an alternative to a similar medication that has been widely criticized for lacking such safeguards. The Food and Drug Administration approved Purdue Pharma's Hysingla ER for patients with severe, round-the-clock pain that cannot be managed with other treatments. The once-a-day tablet is designed to thwart abuse via chewing, crushing, snorting or injecting. The FDA said the medication is difficult to crush, break or dissolve." [editor's note: "difficult" is not "impossible" ... one more lie from the FDA - SAT] (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/laphqwn  

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NY: Why NYC might not tax plastic bags

November 21, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"The cultural cliché 'paper or plastic?' -- heard in many of America's grocery stores for decades -- could soon include a 10-cent-a-bag levy in New York City’s retail outlets. The New York City Council debated a new plan Wednesday that would slap a 10-cent tax on the paper and plastic bags now given gratis to shoppers at grocery and other retail stores -- a save-the-planet effort to curb the billions of disposable bags that often become what some call 'urban tumbleweeds' flitting about in wind-swept city landscapes." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kbteouq  

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Why Republicans are so mad about Obama’s immigration order

November 20, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"President Obama is going to detail some executive actions he plans to take on immigration in a speech tonight, and you may have noticed that the debate over this move is almost completely void of discussion of the particulars. Instead, we're discussing whether Obama is exceeding his powers. That's an important question to address, but it also frees Republicans (for the moment anyway) of having to visibly argue for things like deporting the parents of kids who are already allowed to stay in the United States." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o9pm97q  

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Elizabeth Warren needs to run for President

November 20, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Ian Reifowitz  

"The midterms didn't go so well. The Democrats should have run on economic populism. They should have put forth a coherent vision of where they want to take our country, one that includes a frank assessment of our current problems, and a concrete set of proposals to address them. Instead they tried to run to the right of President Obama by distancing themselves from Obamacare and other administration priorities. One candidate even tried to keep 'private' the fact that she voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lc7valk  

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Thailand: “Hunger Games” becomes symbol of protest

November 20, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Three Thai university students were taken into police custody on Thursday for handing out free tickets to the latest film in the Hunger Games series, from which Thai protesters have borrowed a gesture of resistance to a totalitarian government. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha led a military coup on May 22. The military has quashed any public demonstration of resistance to the coup and a ban on political gatherings remains in place. In the immediate aftermath of the coup, some protesters flashed a three-fingered salute inspired by the Hunger Games series. The salute has become emblematic with Thai pro-democracy protesters, and the Thai government has warned the public against using it." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwse4mx  

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After fearmongering kills NSA reform, what’s next?

November 20, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Zoe Carpenter  

"For a few hours on Tuesday, the Islamic State looked like the best thing that ever happened to the National Security Agency. The USA Freedom Act, a modest bill seen as the best chance for reforming one of the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs, failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate by two votes after Republicans insisted that it would precipitate a terrorist attack." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pe47lzy  

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Uber is one startup that needs to grow up fast

November 20, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Robert Cyran  

"Uber is one startup that needs to grow up fast. The Silicon Valley taxi app’s disregard for rules has spurred it toward a $30 billion valuation. But executives who threaten to 'dig up dirt' on critics, use unsavory tactics against rivals, and post statistics on customers' one-night stands present an existential business risk and hurt its fledgling brand. Uber needs to rein in its laddish impulses. Ironically, the latest embarrassment for founder Travis Kalanick came at a dinner in New York hosted by Uber to try to improve the media’s perception of the company. Senior Vice President Emil Michael suggested Uber could look into 'your personal lives, your families,' and give the media a taste of its own medicine, according to Buzzfeed." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qbpwjer  

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NBC scraps new Bill Cosby TV show

November 20, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"US TV network NBC has scrapped a proposed Bill Cosby project after accusations that he sexually assaulted women resurfaced. In a statement, the company confirmed the project with the veteran comedian was 'no longer in development.' On Tuesday, streaming service Netflix postponed a special show with Cosby after a model alleged the comedian had sexually assaulted her in 1982. Cosby has so far declined to comment on the allegation." [editor's note: What we have is an allegation from almost 30 years ago, that was thrown out of court at the time; all the rest is Reddit & TMZ speculation so far - SAT] [additional editor's note: If by "thrown out of court" you mean "corroborated by no fewer than 13 other alleged victims and settled for an unspecified amount when taken to court," you're right; otherwise, not so much - TLK] (11/19/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30123343  

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Danger signals: ISIL, Hamas & the future of Israel

November 20, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"In Hebrew, 'black flag' refers to an immediate, glaring warning -- as in, the 'black flag of illegality' that figuratively flies over a military order that a soldier must refuse, or the actual flag put up by lifeguards to signal that the sea is too stormy for swimming. The symbolism of the color is entirely arbitrary. In Arab culture, a black flag recalls the battle standards of the Prophet Muhammad and of the Abbasid caliphate, which ruled from Baghdad over a vast Islamic empire. Traditionally, the connotations are positive. In recent months, though, the two meanings have converged. Inscribed with the words 'There is no god but God,' a black banner is now a symbol of danger, across the Middle East and beyond." (11/19/14)

http://prospect.org/article/isil-hamas-and-future-israel  

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Is there no limit to college tuition hikes?

November 20, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"If you are about to apply to college or send your children to an institution of higher learning, please make sure not to miss the CNN documentary, 'Ivory Tower,' by Andrew Rossi which looks at why college is so expensive. ... I was spellbound watching the what happened at Cooper Union, where President Jamshed Bharucha ended a 150-year policy of not charging tuition. The school made some bad investments and built a $175 million building. ... Some students at Cooper Union argued that college is a right, not just at Cooper Union, but everywhere. That’s not realistic. If a college education is a right, then no one has to earn it. And: While graduates benefit financially from a degree, they expect other people to pay for it. And if someone else pays for it, why would administrators ever control costs?" (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzbvkb6  

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