Author Archive

The tortoise and the hair-trigger

April 16, 2014
posted by

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

"Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and his well-armed supporters forced the well-armed federal government to back down and return Bundy's seized cows -- which were seized because Bundy, 67, stopped paying grazing fees in 1993. How does anyone get the government to back down? At first blush, Bundy seemed to have right on his side. He's a cowboy who just wants to keep being a cowboy. The federal government, which owns more than 80 percent of Nevada land, including the land on which the Bundy family had settled, threatened to put him out to pasture." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kn73ap4  

No Comments »

MI: Detroit seals pension deal with police & fire retirees

April 16, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Detroit reached its first deal with a retired workers group on Tuesday over pension and healthcare benefits and was close to a deal with at least one of its pension funds, giving a major boost to the city’s plan to exit bankruptcy in October. Momentum for the city’s plan to adjust its $18 billion debt burden was building after Detroit last week won court approval for a crucial settlement over interest rate swaps and reached an agreement with bond insurance companies over the treatment of voter-approved general obligation bonds." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mlw5wxc  

No Comments »

Stop Tax Day giveaways

April 16, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"It’s Tax Day! And right now Congress is working on Tax Day giveaways for the big corporations. When corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes, the rest of us end up picking up the tab. So Happy Tax Day! Have you heard politicians screaming about 'the deficit?' Have you heard them saying we have to 'make the tough choices' and cut back on ... 'government spending.') That’s what they say. But guess what they’re doing right now." [editor's note: How does one determine what the "fair share" to be handed over to the muggers is? - TLK] (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lntvswo  

No Comments »

MT: GOP House contender downs drone in campaign ad

April 16, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"A Republican candidate for Congress in Montana has a message for the federal government: if you send a drone to spy on me, I’ll take it out. Matt Rosendale, a state senator running for the U.S. House of Representatives, unveiled an ad Monday that depicts a standoff between him and a 'government drone' that is 'spying' on him. Spoiler alert, the drone loses. The ad begins from the viewpoint of the drone, and then depicts Rosendale shooting it down with a rifle. Turning to the camera, Rosendale declares that he knows how to deal with big government and is ready to 'stand tall for freedom.'" (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/llnxmdo  

1 Comment »

The lost promise of progressive taxes

April 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Ajay K. Mehrotra  

"Conservatives bemoan that not enough people are paying taxes. They insist that a minority of 'job creators' and 'makers' are underwriting the social benefits that go to the 'takers.' Liberals cite the growing concentration of wealth and lament that the rich don’t pay their fair share. In this new Gilded Age, they say, the 1 percent should be paying far more of their annual earnings. Yet neither party seems willing to reform our tax system dramatically." [editor's note: This noodnik praises the "progressive" methods of "reform" that have things as screwy as they are today - SAT] (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mp5d5mw  

No Comments »

Study: Brain nerve cells found to aid nerve growth

April 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Activating nerve cells in the brain appears to trigger the formation of another type of cell that is responsible for building the insulating sheaths that make neural communication possible, according to Stanford scientists. When nerve cells fire, they prompt the production of oligodendrocytes, which make the protective sheaths called myelin, the scientists found. In their study, the researchers looked at mice that had been implanted with neurons that were programmed to activate in response to light waves. When the neurons 'lit up,' that set off the propagation of cells that create myelin." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mkvj6j7  

No Comments »

Republicans root for the villain

April 16, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Leo Gerard  

"Rejecting dozens of heroic characters, from Captain America to Underdog, Republicans last week chose instead a villain for their figurehead. They selected Prince John, the guy who coddled the rich and tried to crush Robin Hood. House Republicans voted to elevate Prince John as their champion when they passed a budget slashing taxes for the rich and decimating programs for workers and low-income Americans." [editor's note: Despite the vested interest displayed by his title, Mr. Gerard is not far off with this analysis of the usual suspects of corporati plutocracy in action - SAT] (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m4h4ct4  

No Comments »

AZ: Bill signed to allow warrantless invasion of abortion clinics

April 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes. The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last week, removes a provision from state law requiring a judge to sign off on any spot inspections conducted at the nine clinics in Arizona licensed to perform abortions." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mdhlrtr  

No Comments »

Strike a pose

April 15, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"One of the central dynamics of American politics in the last few decades has been the sorting of the parties, the way that the Republican and Democratic coalitions have become ideologically clearer and more narrow. There are some ways in which this has been a salutary development; for instance, if like many Americans you're a low-information voter, its easier to figure out which party to vote for than it once was. But while the GOP has become particularly unified (the northeastern liberal Republicans who once constituted a substantial faction within the party are all gone)there are still some moderate Democrats around, even in the South." (04/15/14)

http://prospect.org/article/strike-pose  

No Comments »

NY: Police disband Muslim “eavesdropping” unit

April 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"The New York Police Department has disbanded a secret program designed to eavesdrop on Muslims to identify potential terrorism threats. The Demographics Unit had dispatched plainclothes detectives to listen to conversations and build files on places frequented by Muslims, US media say. The squad had been the subject of two federal lawsuits in the past, and drew ire from civil rights groups. It is also said to have sown Muslim mistrust of law enforcement." (04/15/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27043912  

No Comments »

Obamacare: More insurance firms opting “in” than “out?”

April 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"President Obama’s health-care exchanges appear poised to keep growing -- not just in the number of people enrolled but in the number of insurance firms participating and offering coverage. That’s the early indication, at least, as the 2014 enrollment period closes and as insurers begin to ramp up their plans for the next year’s cycle. For consumers, the good news is that the trend promises added competition that could help restrain the pace of price hikes." [editor's note: Inasmuch as the actual purpose of ObombyaCare was to maintain the allopathic/convalescent model and further insulate the insurance industry from real wellness reform, this is hardly surprising? - SAT] (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k6b22zy  

1 Comment »

The tax breaks that are killing the planet

April 15, 2014
posted by

The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter  

"ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, hauled in a $32.6 billion profit last year. Chief executive Rex Tillerson got a 3 percent bump in his pay package, sending it above $28 million. And today the company gets its annual boost from the federal government: an estimated $600 million in tax breaks. All told, the government gifts as much as $4.8 billion to the oil industry each year, more than any other country. Much of that comes not as direct handouts but instead via loopholes in the tax code; deductions for depleting oil reserves, for example, and write-offs for the expense of drilling a new well." [editor's note: As much as I hate "special favorite" treatment for ANYONE in the tax code, it's still just a simple fact that "not stealing some of your money" is NOT the same thing as "gifting" you anything - TLK] (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l9zycfg  

No Comments »

Judge: Feds can hide rationale for murdering US citizen

April 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A Bay Area federal judge says the Obama administration can keep secret a memo spelling out the legal rationale for a 2011 drone attack in Yemen that killed a U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist mastermind. The Justice Department was entitled to withhold the memo on the grounds of national security and lawyer-client confidentiality, Chief U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland said Friday." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lbmr8u5  

No Comments »

Will Obama & Kerry play high cards against Israeli hardliners?

April 15, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"The deadline, supposedly April 29, for a deal of some kind between Israel and the Palestinians (what Secretary of State John Kerry calls a 'framework agreement') is close, and although the talks appeared to have fallen apart earlier this month, the two sides held what The Wall Street Journal calls 'a rare meeting without U.S. mediator Martin Indyk present' on Sunday. It isn’t clear what the meeting means, and it may be too late for any deal to be reached by the end of April, but at least Kerry is putting the blame for the roadblocks where it belongs: on Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ms8xlzr  

No Comments »

WI: GOP to vote on secession at May state convention

April 15, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"When Republicans in Wisconsin meet for their annual convention next month, one of the topics on the agenda will be whether the party supports seceding from the United States if necessary. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted earlier this month in favor of a proposal that says the state GOP 'supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.' Fringe Republicans managed to defeat more moderate members of the party who were hoping to reject the proposal at the April 5 meeting. The proposal was adopted on a split vote with only a few changes." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l4ochkq  

No Comments »

Dawning of Age of Anthropocene

April 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Jessica Stites  

"Scientists have been clanging the alarm about human-caused climate change, trying to bring around the 33 percent of Americans who don’t believe the earth is warming and the 18 percent of believers in global warming who think the process is 'natural.' ... For more than a decade, geologists have been debating whether to officially declare the existence of a new epoch, the 'Anthropocene,' to acknowledge that humans are radically reshaping the earth’s surface." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo3hn9r  

No Comments »

IRS poised to keep unclaimed tax refunds

April 15, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Taxpayers are about to give the federal government a big, fat Easter egg -- more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax revenue that the government technically doesn't deserve. At issue is refund money that has been sitting in the federal coffers since the 2010 tax year, but that no one has claimed. In total, $760 million is owed to 918,600 people. By statute -- which gives taxpayers three years to claim that money -- the millions become the property of the federal government at midnight on April 15." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mtlwoza  

No Comments »

Poof! Israelis & Palestinians head for the brink

April 15, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"On the El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wandered into the economy section looking for an aide, or perhaps just too tense after a long week in America to sit still. Lieberman wore the uncertain smile of a man in strange territory who doesn't know where he's going. The young muscular guy sitting next to me, wearing a dark jacket and a shirt open at the collar, the uniform of muscular men who accompany Israeli ministers, constituted an immediate warning against buttonholing his boss. He did mention, however, that no one in the foreign minister's party had slept in the past week." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mxkw6cw  

No Comments »

The truth behind Tax Day

April 15, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Robin Claremont  

"If you groan about Tax Day, you’re certainly not alone. But what if Tax Day was something we could be proud of as members of a democracy? Would you feel differently about paying taxes if you knew they were going to support public services that you, your family, and your community rely on: such as public safety, roads and bridges, schools, healthcare, social services, and national parks? Millions of Americans file their federal income tax returns on April 15 each year with no idea what the government actually does with all that money." [editor's note: Anyone who likes what the chart attached to this article shows should just admit it -- you LOVE when the beatings increase! - SAT] (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mjxhdsp  

No Comments »

France: Auction house cancels Nazi memorabilia sale

April 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Objects that belonged to the Nazi leaders Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering have been withdrawn from an auction in Paris, after Jewish groups objected to the sale. The memorabilia included Goering's passport and a wooden chest marked with swastikas, which was owned by Hitler. The French Culture Minister had joined Jewish groups in denouncing the sale. The auction house, Vermot de Pas, said it had not intended to stir controversy." (04/14/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27028990  

No Comments »

Post Rwanda: Investing in atrocity prevention

April 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Pam Omidyar  

"In the 20 years since the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its terrible spillover into the Congo, it has been clear that the global community remains ill-equipped to address such human-made catastrophic tragedies. While many have worked to heal Rwanda, crises of unfathomable mass violence have continued to unfold in places like Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Syria. In each case, the international community has failed to live up to a global commitment to prevention, protection and accountability for mass crimes. War and mass violence not only halts development, it reverses it." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lbr85aa  

No Comments »

Everyone on our streets is part of the problem

April 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"I know that pedestrian deaths are up in San Francisco. I give the benefit of the doubt to the pedestrians, who, after all, paid a heavy price for being on the same street as large cars. But I don't know that all the pedestrians were blameless. I have seen pedestrians move out from between two parked cars and step into traffic. I have seen pedestrians try to cross four lanes of traffic at mid-block. I have seen them talking on phones and thus rendered oblivious to their surroundings. Sometimes a driver is just an innocent bystander. Sometimes the result is tragedy. Too, there are drivers who seem unaware of the weight and power of their machines. Driving is so easy and often so quiet that it lulls them into a false sense of security." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mbhrnea  

No Comments »

Reuters wins Pulitzer for reports on persecutions in Myanmar

April 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"Reuters won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for international reporting on the violent persecution of a Muslim minority in Myanmar, the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University announced. The board commended Jason Szep and Andrew Marshall of Reuters for their 'courageous reports' on the Rohingya, who in their efforts to flee the Southeast Asian country, often fall victim to predatory human-trafficking networks. Their Special Report (Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings) ran on FaithWorld on December 5, 2013." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4uakgl  

No Comments »

First “cyber” Pulitzer to publishers of NSA leaks

April 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded Monday to The Washington Post and The Guardian US for reporting on the global scope and intricacies of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance programs. A controversial award to be sure, the Pulitzer committee appeared to draw distinctions between the two organizations’ approaches to the task of reporting on the tens of thousands of top secret documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now living in asylum in Russia." (04/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k3e5t5g  

No Comments »

Report: Chances of IRS audit lowest in years

April 14, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years. Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s. Taxpayer services are suffering, too, with millions of phone calls to the IRS going unanswered." [editor's note: Again, using the word "services" in this case seems inappropriate - SAT] (04/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ps2zlak  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors

Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?





HEALTH-OF-THE-STATE-O-METER

Iraq Deaths Estimator

US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.