Author Archive

Bill Clinton will keep giving speeches to “pay our bills”

May 4, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Former US president Bill Clinton said in an interview that aired Monday he will keep giving lucrative speeches 'to pay our bills' while wife Hillary Clinton runs for the White House. Defending his charity work on a trip to Africa, Clinton said Hillary told him no foreign official has sought to influence her through donations to the family’s foundation, which has come under fire for accepting millions of dollars from foreign governments. [He] told NBC News he would step down from running the foundation 'if it’s the right thing to do.' But he insisted he would maintain a schedule of speaking events (several of which reportedly paid him $500,000 a pop in recent years) despite amassing a fortune in the 14 years since leaving the White House." (05/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l9xlq8p  

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Why did these activists shut down the Guggenheim?

May 4, 2015
posted by

Michelle Chen The Nation Blog
by Michelle Chen  

"The hushed murmur of ambling museumgoers at the Guggenheim on Manhattan’s Upper East Side was rudely interrupted on Friday with chants and a round red banner bursting across the lobby: 'Meet Workers’ Demands Now!' As guards scrambled to snatch the sign up, the flash mob sat down and pinned it to the floor, declaring, 'We are here, in solidarity with all workers. Happy May Day!'" (05/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mn55gcr  

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How Utah reduced homelessness by more than 90 percent

May 4, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Utah’s chronically homeless population has dropped by 91 percent since 2005, and may altogether be gone by 2015. The state has achieved this by approaching homelessness in an innovative, although simple, way: If someone is homeless, give that person a home. While some critics may argue that this solution simplifies a complicated issue by ignoring the social, economic, and mental health components that factor into homelessness, Utah and other states are discovering that by investing in people’s most basic needs, they are better able to address the other factors that lead to homelessness. And they are doing so with less money." (05/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ktcp9fw  

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Want a lawless police force? Federalize it

May 4, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"In the wake of the Baltimore riots, Al Sharpton is calling for the federal takeover of local police. Like most ideas from the loathsome Rev. Sharpton, this is a lousy one. But since federalizing local police is actually an Obama administration idea, it's worth paying a bit more attention. The idea behind federal supervision of local police forces is that it will make them more accountable. Instead of a bunch of presumptively racist, violent hicks running things on a local level, we'll see the cool professionalism of the national government in charge." [editor's note: Seems like with the surplus war machinery and the "kill people and break things" mentality, it's already there - SAT] (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lno5bo2  

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Costa Rica: Government issues toxic spill alert

May 4, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Costa Rica has declared an emergency zone along about 100km (62 miles) of the country's Pacific coastline, after a ship full of toxic chemicals sank. The vessel went down in heavy seas off the tourist town of Puntarenas. It was carrying almost 200 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in the manufacture of fertilizers and explosives. The government has asked people in the area to avoid swimming and fishing until tests have been done." (05/03/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32578038  

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China: Meth spreading across rural heartland

May 4, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Ah Chao first came across drugs as a teenager, when his cousin asked him to hold his tourniquet while he shot up heroin. Now a stocky 32-year-old in jeans and a black nylon jacket, Ah Chao (not his real name) recalls between slurps from a bowl of noodles how frightened he was. 'Heroin did not appeal to me at all,' he says. But the experience did not put him off other drugs. Instead, a few years later, like a growing number of young Chinese, he turned to bingdu (ice), as methamphetamine is known." (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n8zzwte  

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Quashing the Comcast merger just the beginning

May 4, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Zephyr Teachout  

"The death of the Comcast–Time Warner Cable merger is an extraordinary victory for democracy. Along with the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision on net neutrality, it signals the beginning of an anti-monopoly movement much like the one that broke up Standard Oil 100 years ago, ushering in an era of fairer American markets. In early 2014, Comcast’s board of directors met to discuss a merger with Time Warner Cable. CEO Brian Roberts called the subsequent approval 'a very special moment.'" (05/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/madnc7n  

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IL: Rauner agency privatization idea raises oversight concerns

May 4, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Gov. Bruce Rauner says his plan to privatize the state's economic development agency will improve job creation in Illinois. But similar plans in other states and even in Chicago have sometimes raised concerns about transparency and oversight, with taxpayers not always knowing how their money was being spent. Rauner's plan, currently being considered by the Illinois General Assembly, would turn much of the development work of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity over to a new, not-for-profit corporation." [editor's note: Wise move on paper, not necessarily so in reality, given the federal-agency revolving doors we already know - SAT] (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwsf88v  

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A call for truth and reinvestment

May 4, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Zachary Norris & Patrisse Cullors  

"Today, six Baltimore police officers were charged with crimes related to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. While it is important that we hold these officers accountable for their acts of brutality, we must remember that accountability does not end with bringing criminal charges or even securing a conviction against these officers. In many recent incidents involving law enforcement violence, we have focused our attention on individual accountability, instead of the need for transformative institutional change." (05/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/moyp2x4  

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Nigeria: Freed women tell of horror of Boko Haram captivity

May 4, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Boko Haram fighters killed older boys and men in front of their families before taking women and children into the forest where many died of hunger and disease, freed captives said on Sunday after they were brought to a government refugee camp. The Nigerian army rescued hundreds of women and children last week from the Islamist fighters in northern Nigeria's Sambisa Forest in a major operation that has turned international attention to the plight of hostages. After days on the road in pickup trucks, hundreds were released on Sunday into the care of authorities at a refugee camp in the eastern town of Yola, to be fed and treated for injuries. They spoke to reporters for the first time." (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kus4t9m  

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Study: Kids don’t care if you swap french fries for fruit

May 4, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Though notorious for their finicky taste buds, kids are surprisingly cool with their French fries getting replaced by fruit and having soda and lemonade taken away completely, a new study finds. The findings come from Tufts University, and they suggest to researchers that default menu options are actually preferable to people than whatever unhealthy foods they're accustomed to." (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lgd7fpd  

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Baltimore’s prosecutor gets it

May 4, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jamil Smith  

"The Baltimore Police Department sent the results of their investigation into Freddie Gray’s arrest and death to Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby on Thursday, but, ironically, there were cops who didn’t want her on the case. Right as Mosby (who will serve as prosecutor in the Gray case) was announcing this morning the litany of charges against all six of the Baltimore police officers involved in Gray’s arrest and homicide on April 12, Lodge 3 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) tweeted an open letter that asked Mosby to recuse herself because of her 'many conflicts of interest.'” (05/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kuh359q  

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Report: Nearly half of ObamaCare exchanges facing financial woes

May 4, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Almost half of the 17 ObamaCare state insurance exchanges are reportedly suffering financial difficulties, posing a significant challenge to state officials just five years after the passage of President Obama’s signature health care law. The Washington Post reports that many of the marketplaces set up by the states and the District of Columbia are being hit by high costs and tepid enrollment numbers. In response, officials at state level are mulling raising fees on insurers, sharing costs with nearby states, and are calling for more money to be infused into the system. Some officials are even considering handing over their exchanges to the federal Healthcare.gov -- an exchange that has had widely reported problems of its own." (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/myj4slf  

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Better the dictator you condemn than the insurgents you can’t control

May 3, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by John Lloyd  

"President Obama, already musing on failures during his second term, has said he regrets that the U.S. joined a coalition to intervene in Libya in 2011, ousting President Muammar Gaddafi, without an adequate plan for the post-Gaddafi society. 'I think we [and] our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force if you’re going to do this.' It’s curious that Obama and his allies had not ordered a plan for the new Libya: They had the example of the Iraq invasion in 2003. The war was won quickly but the post-war haunts us still, in part because the war effort was not paralleled with a vigorous peace effort." (05/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwwpga7  

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Trade deficit = slower economy = fewer jobs = Baltimore

May 3, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"If you make things and sell them, you do better over time than if you borrow to buy things. If you send jobs and factories out of the country, you end up with devastated cities like Baltimore. Sure, a few people get rich from that, but 99 percent of us get poorer. How hard is it to see that? You may have heard that gross domestic product growth was dismal in the last quarter. You may have heard that there were riots in Baltimore. You may not have heard that these are both at least partly caused by our enormous, humongous and continuing trade deficit." [editor's note: Johnson is correct -- I had not heard that he knows little, and understands even less, about economics - TLK] (05/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pqtt7rv  

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Riots don’t hinder the movement

April 30, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Laniece Williams  

"A few departmental changes in a few police districts isn't change. Cities are implementing body cameras, and the Justice Department has investigated the recent high-profile cases of police killing unarmed black men, but that's not change. In the cases that have gained national attention, the officers are rarely charged or convicted. Police departments don't have consequences. Officers keep killing, harassing and brutalizing citizens and get a paid vacation, aka administrative leave, when caught." (04/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mgotl5p  

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Wages & consumer spending both rising, but connection in doubt

April 30, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Wages and salaries have been a sticky spot in the economy’s recovery, even as the job market has surged and unemployment has dropped. That’s finally starting to change, but the connection between higher wages and overall economic growth may not be as sturdy as in previous years. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015 and 2.6 percent since April 2014, according to the Labor Department’s Employee Cost Index (ECI), released Thursday. (That was in line with analysts’ expectation of a 0.6 percent rise.) Wages and salaries increased 2.6 percent year-over-year; benefits increased a similar 2.8 percent." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mvyctpm  

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MO: Nixon vetoes bill cutting welfare benefits

April 30, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed Republican legislation Thursday that would drop thousands of low-income families from Missouri's welfare rolls by paring back benefits to what he said would be one of the shortest time periods in the nation. But Nixon's veto may be only a last-grasp attempt to stop the tougher restrictions. Republicans, who hold overwhelming legislative majorities, said they expect to get the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber to override his veto. Missouri's legislation would reduce the lifetime limit for receiving TANF benefits from five years (which is the national norm) to three years and nine months, starting Jan. 1. Nixon said just eight states have shorter lifetime limits." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lxn5n5y  

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Hillary Clinton and the urban rebellion

April 30, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peniel E. Joseph  

"The immediate policy response to urban rebellion in Baltimore on Monday night came, somewhat surprisingly, from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who just launched her campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination. Clinton’s first major policy speech made criminal-justice reform the core of her incipient campaign. She acknowledged that racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland, and Staten Island, New York, have revealed patterns of inequality that are 'unmistakable and undeniable.' She drew from the work of policy scholars, most notably Michelle Alexander, who have documented mass incarceration’s broader impact on African-American communities and the larger society." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lp572jv  

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Is John Roberts drifting left?

April 30, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brianne J. Gorod  

"This has been a week of surprises from Chief Justice John Roberts. Wednesday he joined the Court’s more liberal members in a 5-4 decision in a significant First Amendment case. Tuesday at the argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality cases, he suggested that a ban on same-sex marriage might present a 'straightforward question of sexual discrimination.' These superficially surprising moves support Roberts’s oft-repeated claim that he believes the Justices should decide cases based on the law, not politics. But as Roberts’s tenth term as Chief Justice comes to a close, the biggest tests of that claim are still to come. ... While no one can know for sure what Roberts will do in those cases, there’s a good chance that he’ll remain unpredictable into June." [editor's note: If paying more attention to the Bill of Rights and other limits on government means "drifitng left," who am I to argue? - SAT] (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lhb8bes  

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Messenger closes in on Mercury crash-landing

April 30, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"After more than a decade in space and four years orbiting Mercury, Nasa's Messenger mission is set to reach its explosive conclusion. The spacecraft is expected to crash into the planet's surface at 20:26 BST on Thursday; it made its final powered manoeuvre on 28 April. After reaching Mercury in 2011, Messenger has far exceeded its primary mission plan of one year in orbit. It is only slowly losing altitude but will hit at 8,750 mph. That means the 513 kg craft, which is only 3 meters across, will blast a 16-meter crater into an area near the planet's north pole, according to scientists' calculations." (04/30/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32510911  

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IA: Bird flu “probable” in chicken broiler breeding farm

April 30, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"An Iowa-based chicken broiler breeding farm has initially tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5 bird flu, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said on Thursday. The facility in Kossuth County, Iowa, houses an estimated 19,000 birds, state officials said. Birds were dying in greater than normal numbers at the breeding farm, which is a typical sign of influenza infection in a flock. This is thought to be first time the avian influenza virus has affected a broiler breeding farm in this outbreak. Such breeding farms are traditionally known for having extremely tight biosecurity systems." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lyurtke  

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All the ways people are dying at work

April 30, 2015
posted by

Michelle Chen The Nation Blog
by Michelle Chen  

"This week, Workers’ Memorial Day reminded us that the leading cause of death at work isn’t factory fires, mine collapses, or machinery accidents—though it is all those things. The main reason workers die is because those in power look the other way. Global Worker Watch’s labor death map presents a chilling snapshot of an everyday calamity: A nameless laborer is crushed by falling soil at a construction zone in Qatar. Days later, five men die in a van crash as they speed down a foggy California road, en route to the seasonal migrant grape harvest. Meanwhile in Bangladesh, 13 perish in a plastics factory fire. Then comes a young workers’ sudden death at a Chinese iPhone supplier plant reportedly due to exhaustion. All that within the first five weeks of the year. Even more tragically, each data point maps onto a known occupational safety threat that regulators and industry have continually ignored." (04/29/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/205665/dying-work  

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Bernie Sanders: A candidate worth voting for

April 30, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Joel Bleifuss  

"The announcement by Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-VT] that he will seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is a historic event. Sanders, a democratic socialist, has no problem brushing off his red-baiting critics. 'I think this country,' he wrote in 2009, 'could use a good debate about what goes on here compared to places with a long social-democratic tradition like Sweden, Norway and Finland, where, by and large, the middle class has a far higher standard of living than we do.' ... A Sanders candidacy offers American progressives the chance to build the infrastructure for future progressive electoral campaigns." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kv5rloe  

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NH: Court rules hiker must pay rescue bill

April 30, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a Michigan man must pay for the cost of his rescue from the White Mountain National Forest. Edward Bacon of Northville, Michigan, was on a five-day solo hike in September 2012 when he dislocated his hip and had to be carried for almost four miles over rough terrain in heavy rain. The state Fish and Game department charged him $9,300 after a judge found him negligent, but Bacon appealed that ruling to the high court, which rejected his argument Thursday." (04/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kdrz2s2  

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