Author Archive

How did the GOP turn into such a bunch of clowns?

July 28, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"For a lot of reasons, the current era will probably be seen as unusually consequential in the history of the two parties, particularly the GOP. For Republicans, it has been a time of ideological hardening and bitter infighting. But one aspect of the Republican dilemma hasn't gotten as much attention as those: This is a time of unusual, even stunning, Republican political incompetence." (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qyl5fdp  

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Report: 76% of overweight kids think their weight is fine

July 28, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Almost one-third of American children and teenagers are either obese or overweight, but a new study carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, found 30 percent of them -- about 9.1 million -- believe they are at the correct weight. ... This misperception was more common among heavier kids. CDC reported 41.9 percent of those obese believed they were of normal weight and a staggering 76.0 percent of those overweight considered themselves to be of normal weight." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kjferrg  

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Paul Ryan’s promising new plan to end poverty

July 28, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Reihan Salam  

"Paul Ryan has long been known as the GOP’s budget guru. With the release of his new report on expanding opportunity in America -- the most ambitious conservative anti-poverty agenda since the mid-1990s -- he is on the cusp of becoming something much more than that. Loved by the right and loathed by the left, Ryan has been the architect of the most consequential Republican domestic policy initiatives of the Obama era. In spirit if not in name, Ryan spent much of President Obama’s first term as the leader of the opposition, rallying Republicans against Obamacare and in favor of long-term spending reductions. His controversial calls for entitlement and tax reform as chairman of the House Budget Committee were singled out by the president for over-the-top denunciation." (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ml9pcqn  

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NY: “Spider-Man” busted for slugging cop in Times Square

July 28, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square. Junior Bishop, 25, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. The New York Police Department said the officer assaulted Saturday -- an 18-month veteran and one of about 50 officers patrolling the bustling tourist area -- stepped in after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 tip she offered." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwb5stc  

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Corporations leaving U. and “economic patriotism”

July 28, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"There is more and more interest in the stories about corporations 'renouncing' their U.S. citizenship in order to evade paying taxes for the courts, roads, military, schools, and other public services that have made them prosperous. They are using something called “inversions” to do this, meaning they merge with or just buy a foreign company and pretend they are a subsidiary of that company. Their headquarters, executives, operations, employees, customers and everything else stay where they are. They still use our public services. Their employees still go to our schools. The only thing that changes is the lower taxes they pay." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7mucnl  

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FBI: Gone fishin’ — for Shrimp Boy and whatever

July 28, 2014
posted by

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

"The FBI's motto is 'fidelity, bravery and integrity.' But given the FBI sting against Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow (a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate) I suspect that a more apt motto might be: FuggetaBoutIt. On Thursday, Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross identified Mayor Ed Lee as another public figure who was drawn dangerously close to the FBI's 'Shrimp Boy' trap." (07/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7xoj6u  

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Study: Six seconds of exercise “can transform health”

July 28, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Short six-second bursts of vigorous exercise have the potential to transform the health of elderly people, say researchers in Scotland. A pilot study involving 12 pensioners showed going all-out in very short bursts, reduced blood pressure and improved general fitness over time. The team at Abertay University believe it could help avert the 'astronomical' costs of ill health in elderly people. Experts said the study emphasized the benefits of exercise at any age." (07/27/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28400968  

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Will Putin go all-in on Ukraine if rebels near defeat?

July 27, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"Russia’s Vladimir Putin is at a fateful crossroads. He can go all-in on Ukraine, upping the ante by increasing military supplies to the retreating rebel separatists in Ukraine’s southeast, providing open military backing to their cause, and as a last resort ordering an invasion by Russian troops. Or, on the other hand, he can relinquish his would-be stranglehold over Ukraine and accept Ukraine as a unitary state, probably oriented toward Western Europe and the European Union, while establishing normal relations with Ukraine on the lines of, well, Poland." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oxylrmb  

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CA drought: As land sinks, farmers brainstorm on water

July 27, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Case Vlot pulls up groundwater through deep wells to keep his corn and alfalfa crops alive. Chase Hurley runs a water company nearby that sells river water to farmers who can't depend on wells. Normally the two would rarely talk to each other. But that was before the drought, and before the land began to sink beneath their feet. Now they and every farmer for miles around are talking to each other all the time, brainstorming in ways they've never had to before." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kak7f2w  

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CD: Handgun ban ruled unconstitutional, again

July 27, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Washington D.C. residents can now legally carry handguns in the streets of the District, according to a federal judge. In his ruling, Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote that the current D.C. ban on carrying handguns outside the home was unconstitutional. Second Amendment advocates now have another legal victory. And both Washington D.C. and Chicago have lost another round in their decades-old legal battles to ban guns from their cities." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nekybmf  

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Russians take top rebel posts in east Ukraine

July 27, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"As Ukrainian troops gained ground in eastern Ukraine in early July, separatist leader, Aleksander Borodai, a Russian national, left for Moscow for political consultations. After what he described as successful talks with unnamed people there, he returned to the rebel stronghold of Donetsk to introduce a new senior figure in his self-proclaimed republic, a compatriot seasoned in the pro-Russian separatist movement in Moldova and a war between Russia and Georgia. Vladimir Antyufeyev was named 'deputy prime minister' by Borodai on July 10, one of several native Russians to have taken charge of the separatist rebellion in Ukraine's eastern regions." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owgetpu  

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A Staples diet for postal workers

July 27, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Amien Essif  

"More than 1,000 postal workers and allies gathered in downtown Chicago on Tuesday to promote a boycott against Staples as part of the American Postal Workers Union’s 'Stop Staples' campaign. Late last year, the office supply giant set up 'mini post offices' inside 82 outlets around the country, provoking anger among workers concerned for their salaries, their jobs, and the integrity of the postal service. Tuesday’s protest, the largest of its kind since the National Day of Action on April 24, was held in conjunction with this week’s APWU convention." [editor's note: Okay, let's review -- Here we have a government monopoly, with it's own employees' union, demanding that the monopoly continue, despite the fact that somehow it is losing money every day. What could possibly go wrong? - SAT] (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mho5mqm  

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No, Millennials are not all libertarians

July 24, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Alex Holt  

"I was 9 years old when President Clinton was impeached. I distinctly remember the news anchor’s discomfort when he tried to explain that he was interrupting regular programming to begin coverage of the Senate’s consideration of perjury charges. When I asked my dad what the president had done and why everyone was mad at him, he told me that Clinton had 'kissed another woman,' and married people weren’t supposed to do that. To me, it didn’t seem like a big enough deal to warrant canceling Saturday morning cartoons. A few years later, I watched the Supreme Court pick our president after we learned just how poorly a ballot could be designed." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ns9slvu  

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Hillary’s Sister Souljah moment

July 24, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Robert Borosage  

"The 2016 election is two-and-one-half years off, but already Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is getting pummeled. Her book tour, designed to provide soft interviews burnishing her record as secretary of state, has been plagued by missteps. She’s criticized for having no 'big idea,' for being out of touch after earning enough in the last year to be part of the .001 percent, even for underwhelming book sales. Her foreign policy hawkishness has stirred the embers of progressive doubts. Worse, she seems on the wrong side of the divide between the Wall Street and the Warren (after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, darling of progressives) wings of the Democratic party. The adversarial press seems a lot more 'ready for Hillary' than Hillary is for the fray." (07/23/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20140723/hillarys-sister-souljah-moment  

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Nationalize the Ivy League

July 24, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"Higher education in the United States is the scapegoat of first resort for the country's lagging indicators of prosperity, individual achievement and civilizational excellence. The American university had it coming. It has pillaged the pedagogy of the liberal-arts tradition in favor of corporatized research, trustee courtiership and legacy big-donor admissions. And contrary to the myth that a degree from an elite college is a port of entry to access the American good life, higher learning accelerates the scourge of economic inequality. For all the resources and pious rhetoric showered on the American university as an engine of opportunity and upward mobility, the numbers tell a different story." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nwyr2lw  

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Gunmaker Beretta moving from Maryland to Tennessee

July 24, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Gunmaker Beretta USA Corp is moving its manufacturing business from Maryland to Tennessee because of Maryland’s strict new firearms law, the company said. The Italian-owned company will shut down its manufacturing plant at Accokeek, Maryland, and move to a new one it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The $45 million Gallatin site is scheduled to open in 2015. Beretta said on Tuesday it was concerned that during debate on the Firearm Safety Act of 2013 the Maryland Senate had voted to bar the company from being able to manufacture, store or import firearms, as it had done since 1977." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nxkv6m4  

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Report: Social Security spent $300 million on “IT boondoggle”

July 24, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency. In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm. Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can't say when it will be completed or how much it will cost." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7l59nz  

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Israel, looking for hope in a sea of bad faith & despair

July 24, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"If you don't have mixed feelings about what's going on in Gaza, there's something seriously wrong with you. As Gershom Gorenberg says in his piece today, in a war, both sides can be wrong, and that's the case now. So how do we find a way to think and talk about this conflict when our natural impulse is to take a side?" (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owcooxm  

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Study: Uninformed consumers waste money on name brands

July 24, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"A new study, writes Harvard behavioral economics Prof Cass Sunstein, shows that 'the more informed you are, the more likely you are to choose store brands.' Tilburg University Prof Bart Bronnenberg analysed data from more than 77 million shopping trips from 2004-2011, matching the items purchased with the consumers' occupations. For example, pharmacists were more likely to choose store brands of headache meds over national brands, and chefs often selected non-name-brands of salt and sugar compared with non-chefs." (07/23/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-28451696  

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Western wildfires burn through firefighting budgets

July 24, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"As 26 major wildfires currently rage across the American West (8 of them in Oregon and Washington) they’re rapidly burning through firefighting budgets as well. As a result, experts warn, firefighting agencies such as the US Forest Service and the US Department of the Interior have to raid other fire-related programs -- forest management and fire preparedness, for example -- to battle the blazes. The reasons for this are multiple and complicated." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ofj6hts  

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$18 billion in job training = lots of trained unemployed people

July 24, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Peter Van Buren  

"President Barack Obama told Americans in his July 19 weekly address that every worker deserves to know that 'if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.' A nice sentiment -- and politically safe. It’s just the wrong answer. Those 'better jobs' don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. In 2007, then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, WI, location of the oldest operating General Motors plant in America." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q48r6cn  

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MT: Senator blames PTSD for plagiarizing thesis

July 24, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder. The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Democrat's 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o937exh  

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Widen: Companies must be stopped from moving offshore

July 24, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Immediate government action is needed to stop U.S. corporations from avoiding federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas through deals known as inversions, the head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee said on Tuesday. Nine inversion deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are being considered. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was done 32 years ago. Washington is increasingly concerned about this. 'Let's work together to immediately cool down the inversion fever ... The inversion loophole needs to be plugged now,' said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, finance committee chairman, at a hearing." (07/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m7z6894  

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Surge to the border: Crisis or reunion?

July 24, 2014
posted by

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

"Why isn't Mexico doing more to deter unaccompanied minors from Central America from traversing Mexico to cross the U.S./Mexico border? If this is a humanitarian crisis, then shouldn't Mexico be taking in its neighbors? Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade met with The Chronicle Editorial Board on Tuesday, so I had a chance to ask him." (07/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pv6wuzs  

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Rand Paul: Less government, more sharing economy

July 23, 2014
posted by

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

"Who will be the GOP nominee in 2016? I don't know, but I have a pretty good idea who the running mate will be: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Unless Paul is the nominee. A new NBC/Marist poll found Paul would be the top GOP vote-getter against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the critical early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Political reporter Chuck Todd duly has proclaimed Paul the Republican front-runner. So I had to see the libertarian-leaning darling Saturday." [editor's note: Been kinda waiting for Ms. Saunders (who's more libertarian than GOPservative, despite her claims to the contrary?) to assess this one ... - SAT] (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m8rctzm  

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