Author Archive

Five quick GW fixes & why we shouldn’t try them

April 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Julia Calderone  

"Extreme weather, water shortages and imperiled polar bears: The effects of climate change are obvious and dire. To stem the tide (literally and figuratively) even educated experts are now pitching ideas straight out of science fiction. On some level, it’s understandable. The grim reality of climate change poses some well-documented problems for humans. The biggest challenge, so far, has been convincing people to do less harm when it comes to the climate. Despite scientists’ plea to cool it with carbon dioxide emissions (the most egregious of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change), CO2 levels continue to surge." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lu558w9  

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No cost for GOP extremism

April 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson  

"According to the news media, 2014 was the year that the GOP 'Establishment' finally pulled Republicans back from the right-wing brink. Pragmatism, it seemed, had finally triumphed over extremism in primary and general election contests that the New York Times called 'proxy wars for the overall direction of the Republican Party.' There’s just one problem with this dominant narrative. It’s wrong. The GOP isn’t moving back to the center. The 'proxy wars' of 2014 were mainly about tactics and packaging, not moderation." (04/22/15)

https://prospect.org/article/no-cost-extremism  

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France: Proposed surveillance law may go too far

April 23, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Privacy is highly prized in France, and its politicians were among the loudest complaining when the NSA's widespread data collection came to light two years ago -- despite accusations that France had a similar history of espionage. Now, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January, the French government seems intent on imitating the US intelligence-gathering even more closely. A new bill that would empower French intelligence agencies has stirred a heated national debate over how to balance protection of privacy against the threat of extremist attacks -- like the one allegedly foiled this weekend in Paris. The proposed measures are part of a controversial bill that Parliament began to debate on April 13." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lqvv29m  

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Happy bloody Earth Day

April 23, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Greg Grandin  

"The temperatures are rising and so is the body count. Every year, more and more environmental activists (many of them first peoples on the front lines of the new global resource extraction wars) are killed. In 2010, the number was 96. In 2011, 106. Last year, 116 people were murdered defending their farms, community, or livelihood in land, logging, dam, or mining disputes, according to a new report out just in time for Earth Day by Global Witness. Two-thirds of the killings take place in Latin America, according to the report, How Many More? Brazil at 29 murders and Colombia with 25 are the highest in total numbers. But Honduras, with 12 assassinations, is the most dangerous place to be in the world for a grassroots environmentalist, in terms of per capita killings." (04/22/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/204873/happy-bloody-earth-day  

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VA: UVA dean bashes Rolling Stone article

April 23, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"An associate dean of students at the University of Virginia said Wednesday a widely discredited Rolling Stone article caused her professional and personal harm by portraying her as insensitive and unresponsive to an alleged victim of a gang rape. Nicole P. Eramo said in an open letter Wednesday to the magazine's publisher, Jann S. Wenner, that the magazine has not done enough to make amends. 'Rolling Stone has deeply damaged me both personally and professionally,' Eramo wrote. 'Using me as the personification of a heartless administration, the Rolling Stone article attacked my life's work.'" (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6oetkp  

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Billion-dollar payout for concussed NFL players

April 23, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A judge has approved a plan worth $1 billion to compensate former American football players with head injuries. Multiple lawsuits filed against the National Football League (NFL) allege that it hid knowledge of concussion risks. The average individual payout would be $190,000, with younger men receiving awards between $1 and $5 million. Players' lawyers say the money will be used to compensate families and for medical testing." (04/22/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32420600  

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The trauma of writing about trauma

April 22, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Chloe Angyal  

"Hours after submitting to my editor my draft of a long, reported magazine feature about my alma mater’s campus rape problem, I woke up screaming from a horrifying dream about being drugged and raped. I’m not a survivor of sexual assault, but I write about it often, and this article was more than six months in the making. The accounts I’d heard had lodged themselves into my subconscious. Now, they were making their presence known, and brutally so. I barely slept for the next three nights, afraid that if I did, I’d return to that terrible nightmare. Many journalists experience similar symptoms after witnessing horrific trauma, becoming traumatized themselves." (04/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ptp7y5z  

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Puerto Rico: Officials warn government shutdown imminent

April 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Puerto Rico's top finance officials said the government of the U.S. territory will likely shutdown in three months because of a looming liquidity crisis and warned of a devastating impact on the island's economy. In a letter to leading lawmakers, including Governor Alejandro Padilla, the officials said a financing deal that could potentially salvage the government's finances currently looked unlikely to succeed. It warned of laying off government employees and reducing public services. 'A government shutdown is very probable in the next three months due to the absence of liquidity to operate,' the officials said." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p9u3e7m  

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Study: Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides

April 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides in the same way humans get hooked on cigarettes, according to a new study, which was released as a landmark field trial provided further evidence that such neonicotinoids harm bee populations. In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists from Newcastle Univeristy showed that bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o7glfn4  

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The 99% isn’t enough

April 22, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times    

"Last night, I asked my mom if she’d heard ever heard the term, 'We are the 99%.' After we spent a frustrating few minutes of her repeatedly asking, 'But 99% of what?' she admitted that she’d heard tell of Occupy Wall Street back in 2011, but the phrase was foreign to her. I explained that it refers to the whole of society, anyone outside of and subjected to the power of the ruling class. 'So I’m part of the 99%? But then which part of it do I fall into?' she laughed. My mother is college-educated. But she’s also a Mexican American, a woman born to a sort-of immigrant father and a second-generation mother in a Northwest Indiana steel hub -- in these and a slew of other ways I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate my sharing with the public, she’s marginalized." (04/22/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17870/99_percent_privilege  

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CA: Senate committee advances mandatory vaccination bill

April 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Opponents of a proposal that would require California schoolchildren to be vaccinated vowed to continue their fight after a Senate committee overwhelmingly approved the bill Wednesday. The Senate Education Committee voted 7-2 on the bill by Sen. Richard Pan, a Democratic pediatrician from Sacramento, with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing next week as part of a long legislative process." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ombg6yu  

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Why we need physical books

April 22, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by William Giraldi  

"The committed bibliophile is cousin to the obsessive, an easily seduced accumulator frequently struck with frisson. Cram your home with books, and you’re lovingly called a collector; cram it with old newspapers, and you’re derisively called a hoarder. But be honest: The collector is a hoarder, too -- a discriminating and noble-minded hoarder, perhaps, but a hoarder just the same." (04/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oowlmqp  

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TPP fast track: Lose/lose choice for Hillary

April 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bill Schneider  

"The big threat to Hillary Clinton’s campaign isn’t coming from a competitor. It’s coming from an issue. And it’s coming now, long before the first primary. Will she be for or against giving President Barack Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals? Fast track gives a president the power to make trade deals that cannot be amended by Congress. All Congress can do is accept or reject the agreement. Other countries, say fast-track supporters, won’t negotiate with Washington if they know that Congress can amend any deal they agree to." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q2fhwzx  

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TN: Haslam amends guns in parking lots law “to protect workers”

April 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"There's an arms race playing out in Nashville, where lawmakers have been fighting for and against the rights [sic] of workers to take guns to work. The Second Amendment spat began in 2013, when Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law the controversial 'Guns in Parking Lots' bill. But the original law, which stated citizens with permits to carry guns can keep them in their cars on company property even if the employer bars them, only protected citizens against prosecution, not firing. The Tennessee Firearms Association dubbed the law the 'Lose Your Job if You Commute Act.' Now, pro-gun politicians say they have fixed the law." [editor's note: No, you don't have a "right" to keep your stuff on someone else's property if they don't want you to. Not even if some politician says you do - TLK] (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nwy5opw  

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TN: Butts tables abortion bill exceptions as “not verifiable”

April 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Tennessee state Rep. Sheila Butts (R) on Tuesday moved to table an amendment that would have exempted victims of rape and incest from new restrictions on access to abortion because she said that their claims were 'not verifiable.' While debating a bill that would require women to wait 48 hours and get counseling before having an abortion, state Rep. Craig. Fitzhugh (D) first offered an amendment to HB 977 that would allow doctors to exempt patients from the waiting period for mental health reasons. That amendment was immediately tabled by Butts." [editor's note: Her eponymous name aside, this is still one of the more [bleep]headed claims in recent memory - SAT] (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/px95fyn  

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Senate may face contentious debate on Iran nuclear bill

April 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. Senate could plunge into a heated debate on legislation giving Congress the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran as soon as Wednesday, as some Republicans sought to change the bill to take a harder line on any agreement. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 last week for a compromise version of the bill, in a rare display of bipartisan unity in the deeply divided Congress. Lawmakers said on Tuesday the full Senate could begin debate on Wednesday or Thursday, after Senate leaders reached an agreement ending an impasse over a human trafficking bill and President Barack Obama's nominee to be attorney general." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/py8tyjr  

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How California flipped the education reform script

April 22, 2015
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Politicians from across the political spectrum have made public schools and schoolteachers the favored whipping post of the day. ... In virtually every state, there’s a massive resistance to standardized testing that now dominates education practices. And rollouts of new Common Core standards continue to spark strong anger from teachers and parents of all political persuasions. However, at least one state seems to have missed the war on public schools. Instead of taking massive budget cuts to public schools, California is flowing more money into schools and has taken steps to ensure school funding is more equitable." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/njfupl9  

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AR: Little Rock approves anti-discrimination protections

April 22, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Little Rock officials have voted to require companies contracting with the city to not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity, challenging a new Arkansas law criticized as anti-gay. The city's board on Tuesday approved the ordinance, which prohibits the city and its vendors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Arkansas earlier this year became the second state to bar local governments from adopting anti-discrimination ordinances that include gender identity or sexual orientation. The law doesn't apply to a city or county ordinance that only applies to its employees. Little Rock officials say they believe their measure complies with the state law." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pnewzwu  

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Why don’t Americans want to tax the rich? Oh wait, they do

April 22, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times    

"The New York Times has a post by Neil Irwin headlined 'Why Americans Don’t Want to Soak the Rich.' Irwin suggests a couple of different answers to this question, depending on your ideological point of view: 'If you’re conservative, a compelling answer might be this: Americans are seeking less redistribution because they have come to their senses. If you’re a liberal, the answer might be more like this: Americans have been hoodwinked by conservative politicians and media outlets, and have come to view redistribution as a dirty word because they don’t recognize the ways it benefits them.' I would suggest a third answer, though: Americans do want to 'soak the rich.' There’s something of a sleight-of-hand here, as Irwin asserts." (04/21/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17869/public_opinion_tax_the_rich  

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Africa: In battle against AIDS, key player hits crossroads

April 22, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"In the center of Kayesa, a sun-drenched village in central Malawi, stands the empty shell of a public health clinic. Its red brick walls are gap-toothed and end abruptly at window height, where construction stopped when the village chief ran out of money last year. Goats wander lazily through the half-completed structure, picking at fruit peels on the dirt floor. But only about 100 yards away, villagers wait patiently in a long line to visit with a doctor at Kayesa’s Catholic church, St. Mary’s. Inside the squat one-room brick building, a team of Slovenian doctors and medical students who visit the village twice a month briskly dole out antibiotics, wound dressings, and advice on HIV treatment. Boxes of their supplies lie sprawled across the altar." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/njuh759  

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Obama trade agreements are gift to corporations

April 21, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Late last week, legislation moved forward that would give President Obama authority to negotiate two contentious trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But for the most part, these aren’t trade agreements at all. They’re a gift to corporations, here and in partner countries that view purely domestic regulations as restraints of trade. If these deals pass, the pharmaceutical industry could get new leverage to undermine regulations requiring the use of generic drugs. The tobacco industry has used similar 'trade' provisions to challenge package label warnings." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogxa42m  

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Czech pol claims new country in no-man’s-land

April 21, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Welcome to Liberland, population 250,000 ... and anyone else looking for a tax haven. A self-professed Libertarian politician from the Czech Republic says he has created a new, sovereign country on the Croatian-Serbia border where citizens decide their own tax burden, property and individual rights are respected and the national motto is 'Live and Let Live.' Vit Jedlicka, a member of the Conservative Party of Free Citizens, recently appointed himself president of the Free Republic of Liberland, a 'micronation,' located on the banks of the Danube River in a 2.7-square-mile patch of what he says is unclaimed territory. Jedlicka says neither neighboring nation claimed the land when they established their borders following the breakup of Yugoslavia, and claims international law allows his claim." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ocqlavz  

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Liberals to Hillary: Make public college debt-free

April 21, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"Several top congressional Democrats will embrace on Tuesday a loose plan to make public colleges a debt-free proposition -- and will receive an immediate boost from progressive activists who are hoping to shape the 2016 Democratic agenda. In the House and Senate, legislators will simultaneously introduce two resolutions calling for 'all students [to] have access to debt-free higher education.' In the Senate, Brian Schatz, Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren will attach their names to the resolution. Representatives Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva, co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, are leading the House effort along with several members, including Representatives Chris Van Hollen, Steve Israel, Donna Edwards, Katherine Clark, and Alan Grayson." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qebgw92  

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Migrants’ bodies brought ashore as EU proposes doubling rescue effort

April 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The European Union proposed doubling the size of its Mediterranean search and rescue operations on Monday, as the first bodies were brought ashore of as many as 900 people feared killed in the deadliest known shipwreck of migrants trying to reach Europe. Three other rescue operations were underway on Monday to save hundreds more migrants in peril on overloaded vessels making the journey from the north coast of Africa to Europe. Italian prosecutors also announced they had arrested 24 suspected migrant traffickers although it was not clear whether they had any connection with the latest disaster." (04/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nywoq4x  

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Media coverage of Campaign 2016: Bad as ever

April 21, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Reporting from the presidential campaign trail is a rite of passage in political journalism (even if some poor souls find themselves doing it again and again), and though it can have its moments of excitement, it's also a trial. Subsisting on unhealthy food and too little sleep, away from their families, the journalistic legion trudge from one event to another, hearing the same talking points repeated again and again, and trying to wring something resembling news from what everyone acknowledges is a bizarre and absurd charade." (04/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7ypx2h  

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