Author Archive

Signs the global “war on drugs” may be ending

October 30, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by John Collins  

"The contentious debate over international drug policy was potentially transformed a few weeks ago, when the United States strongly reiterated a major shift in policy. William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs summed up the key idea underpinning the shift at the United Nations on Oct. 9. ... The statement is hugely significant as it represents a new diplomatic doctrine and a potential tipping point in efforts to end the disastrous 'war on drugs' that has lasted six decades." (10/28/24)

http://tinyurl.com/qe74zlx  

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Medicare agency is focus of insider trading investigations

October 30, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Employees of the federal agency that oversees Medicare and the federal health exchange website are the focus of three Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations to determine whether they leaked news about pending health policy decisions that would up in the hands of Wall Street traders. According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly a dozen officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have spoken to investigators, with some receiving immunity in exchange for their information. The Jounal reported that one of the probes is centered on a CMS decision in June 2010 to set coverage limits on a prostate cancer drug made by Dendreon Corp." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjfm72x  

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When did Christie & Cuomo go to medical school?

October 30, 2014
posted by

William Greider The Nation
by William Greider  

"Just when you thought the Republican slime ballers had run out of muck, you discover, no, they have more mud to throw at honorable people. And they are not just smearing Barack Obama. This time, they are disparaging the doctors and scientists at the National Institutes of Health and depicting them as weak-willed tools of the Democratic Party. If Americans fall for this, they may get the government they deserve: stripped of honest science and trustworthy decisions. Republicans are not stupid, but they are shameless. They know people are rattled by the stealthy emergence of Ebola and that media hype has reflexively pumped up the danger and public confusion. ... The GOP saw opportunity in unfolding tragedy and rushed to exploit it." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n5zfamt  

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Report: SEC probing private equity performance figures

October 30, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining how private equity firms report a key metric of their past performance when they market new funds to investors, as the regulator boosts its scrutiny of the industry, according to people familiar with the matter. At issue is how private equity firms report how they calculate average net returns in past funds in their marketing materials, the sources said. Net returns, also known as the net internal rate of return (IRR) and an indicator of investors' actual profits, deduct private equity fund investors' fees and expenses from a fund's gross profits. " (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obuxf64  

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Terkel’s torch-bearers

October 30, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Theo Anderson  

"In San Francisco, activists with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project are inviting people who have been evicted to record their stories. The goal is to document and resist the city's rapid gentrification by creating a website that connects the stories to a map of evictions. This website is expected to launch next year. Projects like this are part of a recent flourishing in the art of oral history. Studs Terkel, its most famous advocate, died in 2008, but his legacy thrives. Practitioners continue to believe oral history can be a powerful tool for building the progressive movement." (10/29/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17248/terkels_torch_bearers  

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KY: Lyrics poster won’t face charges

October 29, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge against a western Kentucky man who spent more than a week in jail for posting violent song lyrics to his Facebook page. The lyrics 31-year-old James E. Evans posted in August included the words 'student bodies lying dead in the halls' and prompted complaints to school officials in Muhlenberg County. He had posted a portion of the lyrics from the song 'Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)' by the California heavy metal band Exodus. The band released a statement at the time of Evans' arrest expressing disappointment over the criminal charge." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o3ek56z  

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Who DIDN’T get rich in Congress?

October 29, 2014
posted by

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

"CQ Roll Call came out with its annual list of members of Congress by wealth. California politicians have done well for themselves. GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who made a small fortune in car alarms before running for office, leads the list with a net worth of $357 million. ... Roll Call reports. Sen. Dianne Feinstein‘s net worth is $43 million. She’s No. 9. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi placed 14th with a net worth of $29 million. Sen. Barbara Boxer was No. 175 with a net worth of $1.1 million. There are 188 millionaires in Congress. ... But you’ve read about the rich guys and gals on Capitol Hill before. I found it interesting how many politicians don’t claim many assets at all. " (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndpucyz  

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Millennial poll: Youth vote now “leans Republican”

October 29, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"America’s young voters are no longer reliably Democratic and should be considered 'swing voters,' a new poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics finds. Among 18-to-29-year-olds who say they will 'definitely' vote in the Nov. 4 midterms, 51 percent prefer a Republican-led Congress, while only 47 percent want the Democrats in charge, the survey finds. That’s a significant reversal from just before the last midterm election in 2010, when young voters told the survey they preferred Democrats by a spread of 12 points. " [editor's note: I wonder how the results would look had they asked broader questions ("Do you support EITHER wing of the War Party?)" - SAT] (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nrxnckh  

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House could get even nuttier after this election

October 29, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"With all the attention focused on the Senate in next Tuesday's elections, it would be easy to forget that there's an election for the House happening as well. The consensus is that Republicans will probably add a few seats to their majority -- not a defeat, but not a blow-out victory either. Which means that nothing changes, right? Well, not exactly. ... House Republicans will get even more conservative, something you may not have thought possible." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/np8bkzh  

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Egypt: Regime demolishes Sinai homes for Gaza border buffer

October 29, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Egypt has begun demolishing homes along its border with the Gaza Strip as part of a planned 500-meter buffer zone that is intended to prevent weapons smuggling. Residents living along the border with the Palestinian territory have been given 48 hours (and promised compensation) to leave their homes. The buffer will include water-filled trenches to prevent tunnelling. Egyptian media accuses Gaza's Hamas administration of aiding militants in Sinai. Hamas denies the charge." (10/29/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29825889  

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Report: Hackers break into White House computer network

October 29, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The White House’s unclassified computer network was recently breached by intruders, a US official said Tuesday, with the Washington Post reporting that the Russian government was thought to be behind the act. 'In the course of assessing recent threats, we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network,' said the White House official, speaking on condition of not being named. 'Any such activity is something we take very seriously. In this case, we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity.' The Washington Post quoted sources as saying hackers believed to be working for the Russian government were believed to be responsible." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nervz54  

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Polling irony: Economy is rigged; GOP can fix it

October 29, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

“'It's the economy, stupid' is from a sign that hung in the Clinton 'war room' during the 1992 election. The point was that the economy was the only thing that really mattered in the election. This election is a statement that the economy is not working for people. However else you analyze what happens next week, this is the core of all of it. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows why the Republicans are doing so well in the polls right now." [editor's note: Again, they might have gotten different results with broader questions, but I still keep seeing that cartoon with the car between the walls ... "Let's try reverse again..." - SAT] (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mb9c9ed  

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Nurse infected by first US Ebola patient released

October 29, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The second of two American nurses who became infected with Ebola while treating a Liberian man who died of the disease in Texas was released from an Atlanta hospital on Tuesday having been declared free of the virus. 'I'm so grateful to be well,' a smiling Amber Vinson, 29, told reporters at Emory University Hospital before hugging the doctors and nurses who had treated her since her Oct. 15 arrival." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7hwb2y  

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Nancy Pelosi talks up the agony & the organization

October 29, 2014
posted by

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

"'We don't agonize. We organize,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chimed after an editorial board meeting with The Chronicle Monday. 2014 is probably not her favorite year. In 2010, the Democrats lost the House and she lost the speakership. The New York Times reports that Democrats most likely will lose more seats in November. Pelosi has become the other face of the Democratic Party, second only to the unpopular President Obama. Republicans raise money by dangling her name in front of donors. She even mused about leaving Washington. Some day. Now even the rare Democrat is moving away from the party leader." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pg4647s  

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Mandatory quarantine policies: Unscientific & dangerous

October 29, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Celine Gounder  

"On Thursday, Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey announced a mandatory 21-day quarantine for returning healthcare workers from Ebola-ravaged Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn followed suit a day later. Other U.S. states, including Minnesota, Georgia and Connecticut, have introduced similar measures. ... The governors’ quarantine policies are not based on science, but fear and political opportunism." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2acpoo  

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Democracy lite: All form and no substance

October 29, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"The most revealing moment of our ongoing 2014 election season? That may have come last week in a Florida gubernatorial debate when former governor Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, and current governor Rick Scott, a Republican, went mano a mano over who 'has led a more privileged life.' Crist (net worth, $1.2 million) pronounced that Scott’s lavish 'oceanfront mansion' lifestyle had him out of touch with average Floridians. Scott (net worth, over $132 million) countered that he had grown up in a much more hardscrabble home than Crist." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oh8emra  

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Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China?

October 29, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"The last British soldier left Afghanistan over the weekend. The last American combat troops will be gone by Christmas. Afghanistan’s beleaguered government is looking in new directions for help, and new President Ashraf Ghani arrived Tuesday in Beijing, where Chinese authorities are anxious to oblige. If 2014 marks an endpoint for Western policy in Afghanistan, it is more of a starting point for China. ... Beijing, which offered Mr. Ghani hundreds of millions in aid Tuesday, is gearing up to play a leading role in Afghanistan’s future -- fearful that if its neighbor descends into chaos, more trouble will spread into China’s restless, predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k4uass2  

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Feinstein: San Francisco has no room for Airbnb

October 28, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells me that if Mayor Ed Lee signs the Board of Supervisors’ legislation legalizing Airbnb-style rentals, she’ll support an effort to overturn it at the ballot. It would be one heck of a fight for Lee to face when he’s up for re-election next year, but Feinstein is serious in her belief that the proliferation of short-term rentals in the city will destroy the neighborhoods. When we talked the other day, she had pictures of some of the homes that are being rented out to tourists and the like. ... Her fear is that speculators are going to start buying houses throughout the city just to farm them out at daily rates that get around rent laws." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m7kcndp  

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21st century technology, 19th century worker protections

October 28, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Amanda Armstrong  

"This summer, the California legislature passed two bills designed to protect workers and consumers caught up in the growing temp and 'sharing' economies. While improvements upon the status quo, these legislative reforms, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, exclude some of the most vulnerable workers from the protections they provide. Most significantly, the bills do not establish protections for those working in the sharing economy, including those driving for Uber and Lyft. The state continues to classify these workers as 'independent contractors,' thus denying them workers’ compensation benefits and other labor rights." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nslbgbc  

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Study: BP oil spill left “bathtub ring”

October 28, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The BP oil spill left an oily 'bathub ring' on the sea floor that's about the size of Rhode Island, new research shows. The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig. Valentine, a geochemistry professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, said the spill from the Macondo well left other splotches containing even more oil. He said it is obvious where the oil is from, even though there were no chemical signature tests because over time the oil has degraded." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pan4z37  

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Nader on Hillary: “corporatist militarist” and “menace to the USA!”

October 28, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story
by Eric W. Dolan  

"Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader slammed two of the major contenders for the White House in 2016. 'Hillary [Clinton] is a corporatist and a militarist,' he said during an recent interview with We Are Change. 'Do we want another corporatist and militarist? She thinks Obama is too weak. He doesn’t kill enough people overseas. So she’s a menace to the United States of America. What we need is people (regardless of whether they are libertarians or not) that pull back on the empire and make Wall Street subordinate to main street.' ... Nader wasn’t too fond of Clinton’s potential Republican rival, Rand Paul, either." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p56txpx  

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The government we deserve

October 28, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"This may be the most expensive midterm election in history, but it isn't necessarily the dumbest. That's not because it's smart in any way, just that elections in America are always dumb. To take just one tiny data point, the hottest Senate race in the country may be in Iowa, where everything turns on just how mad the Democratic candidate got when his neighbor's chickens kept crapping in his yard. Madison and Jefferson would be so proud. Commentators with brows set high and low periodically try to redeem a public that falls for this kind of stuff, with varying degrees of success." (10/28/14)

http://prospect.org/article/government-we-deserve  

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China “to protect whistle-blowers” amid corruption fight

October 28, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Chinese authorities say whistle-blowers will be protected, amid an ongoing crackdown on corruption. China's top prosecuting body said it has, for the first time, laid out rights for those exposing malpractice. It urged citizens to file reports in a 'lawful manner' via official channels and promised a quick response. China's President Xi Jinping has prioritised stamping out corruption in the Communist Party and government since he took office in 2012." (10/28/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29797985  

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Will black voters help protect abortion rights in Tennessee?

October 28, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Dani McClain  

"Voters in Tennessee will soon decide whether to change the state’s Constitution to allow lawmakers to impose new restrictions on abortion. Tennessee, a kind of oasis in the South for abortion rights, has strict privacy protections enshrined in the Constitution, preventing passage of the onerous anti-choice regulations that have passed legislatures elsewhere. Amendment 1 sets out to change all that. How black Tennesseans vote on Amendment 1 may prove to be decisive. Seventeen percent of Tennessee’s population is African-American. In the state’s most populous cities, Memphis and Nashville, that percentage jumps to 63 and 29 respectively." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlo7hcz  

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Interview: Edward Snowden

October 28, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel & Stephen F. Cohen  

"On October 6, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen (professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton) sat down in Moscow for a wide-ranging discussion with Edward Snowden. Throughout their nearly four-hour conversation, which lasted considerably longer than planned, the youthful-appearing Snowden was affable, forthcoming, thoughtful and occasionally humorous. Among other issues, he discussed the price he has paid for speaking truth to power, his definition of patriotism and accountability, and his frustration with America’s media and political system." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mvvv3nd  

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