Author Archive

ND: Low oil prices chill a once-hot town

January 25, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"An empty strip of gravel (lined with streetlights and unused utility hookups) runs next to the highway, south of the once-booming oil town of Crosby, ND. A few years ago, city officials anticipated oil field companies and other businesses would fill up the 230-acre strip. The city spent $1.7 million on the land, with another $9 million coming from state oil impact grants. There was talk of 300 housing units popping up in the fields behind the commercial street. The former mayor said the 1,300-person town was preparing to potentially double or triple in size. But there is only one building along the road today." (01/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kyatxgq  

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MIT scientist: Global warming believers “like a hysterical cult”

January 25, 2015
posted by

The Daily Mail [UK]    

"Climate change alarmists have been likened to a fanatical 'cult' by an MIT professor of meteorology. Dr Richard Lindzen told a Massachusetts-based radio station that people who believe in global warming are becoming more hysterical in their arguments. 'As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical,' he said." (01/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ov8xnzu  

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India and US seal nuclear deal, Modi hosts Obama

January 25, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The US and India have announced a breakthrough on a pact that will allow American companies to supply India with civilian nuclear technology. It came on the first day of President Barack Obama's visit to India. The nuclear deal had been held up for six years amid concerns over the liability for any nuclear accident. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the nations were embarking on a 'new journey' of co-operation, with stronger defence and trade ties. Mr Obama said that the nations had declared a new friendship." (01/25/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30930581  

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Study: People on psychedelics more emotionally healthy, less suicidal

January 25, 2015
posted by

Newsweek    

"For centuries, shamans and healers have been using psychedelics in sacramental rituals in the belief that the substances have healing qualities and can lead to meaningful spiritual experiences. It turns out contemporary science may back these ancient claims. A new study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health found that participants who took controlled doses of 'classic' psychedelics (magic mushrooms, DMT, mescaline and LSD) had significantly reduced incidences of suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and psychological distress in the long term. The study, published recently in the Journal of Pharmacology, analyzed data from an annual survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that measures substance abuse in relation to mental illness." [editor's note: Anyone who's done them could tell you that - SAT] (01/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mvmdnup  

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Obama not waging war on stay-at-home mothers

January 25, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Bryce Covert  

"It’s a war. It’s playing favorites. It’s harmful and divisive. Conservatives have heard President Obama’s proposal to increase the Child Tax Credit and give working parents an extra bonus and have decided he thinks, in Tim Carney’s words, 'Moms who stay at home with their children are less valuable than moms who work for pay.' Some might say that this tax credit is piddling. Under Obama’s plan, parents would get an extra $3,000 a year to cover childcare, a service that costs more than three times that. But conservatives are miffed that families with one earner and one stay-at-home caretaker get penalized because they can’t get that credit. What they don’t mention, however, is that families modeled after the 1950s vision of one working parent and one staying at home get plenty of tax preferences." (01/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppr9l7k  

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No body counts? Don’t believe US military

January 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by David Axe  

"Earlier this month, a reporter asked the question that usually comes up when the United States gets involved in a sustained military campaign. Just how many enemy troops (in this case, Islamic State foot soldiers) have U.S. forces killed in more than five months of aerial attacks? The military’s answer was basically the same given to all similar questions going back more than a decade. ... Since the Vietnam War, with its gruesome and inflated U.S. tallies of enemy dead, the Pentagon has denied keeping body counts. But, in fact, the military does add up the number of enemy fighters it believes it has killed -- and proudly boasts of the totals in official documents that it never intends for public circulation." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/luxmhrh  

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When liberals were organized

January 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Julian E. Zelizer  

"When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in 40 years, one of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s earliest moves was to end the public funding for the Democratic Study Group (DSG), a caucus of liberal Democrats that had been created in 1959. It was one of Gingrich’s shrewdest maneuvers. As Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, a staunch conservative then and now, wrote in an internal memo, 'The demise of the DSG severely damages the power structure of the House Democrats.' Roberts was right. The DSG is almost forgotten today, but its history suggests lessons for the current generation of Democrats." (01/22/15)

http://prospect.org/article/when-liberals-were-organized  

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Environmental groups denounce fast track trade process

January 23, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters and 41 other environmental groups sent a letter to Congress this week, asking them to oppose 'fast track' trade promotion authority for upcoming trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They asked Congress to instead set up an open, transparent trade negotiating system that gives stakeholders, other than just corporate representatives, input in the process.” (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/khcxuqt  

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Obama croons, “I did it my way”

January 23, 2015
posted by

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

"As President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I saw all of 2015 flash before my eyes. It was a smart speech that wisely stuck to 'middle-class' values and was shrewdly short on details. I saw another year of the president not compromising. For Republicans, it was Ground Hog Day -- an endless loop of the president talking up bipartisanship without practicing it. 'A Bold Call to Action, Even if No Action is Likely,' read one headline. And below it: 'Obama Speaks as Though His Party Won the Midterms.' Both headlines hail, not from a conservative rag, but from the New York Times." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kcov9gm  

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DOJ fake Facebook page costs them [sic] $134,000

January 23, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The US Justice Department is to pay a woman $134,000 after making a fake Facebook page that contained a photograph of her half-clothed. Sondra Arquiett had sued the government after it had suggested she had 'implicitly consented' to the creation of a page using her identity since she had previously granted officers access to her mobile phone The DoJ has now settled the dispute, but has not admitted wrongdoing. The case had raised privacy concerns. Although the US government has not ruled out using similar tactics in the future, it has acknowledged the criticism it faced." (01/21/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30921804  

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The urgent necessity of a Syriza victory in Greece

January 23, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Slavoj Zizek  

"Critics of our institutional democracy often complain that, as a rule, elections do not offer a true choice. What we mostly get is the choice between a center-Right and a center-Left party whose program is almost indistinguishable. Next Sunday, January 25, this will not be the case—as on June 17, 2012, the Greek voters are facing a real choice: the establishment on the one side; Syriza, the radical leftist coalition, on the other. And, as is mostly the case, such moments of real choice throw the establishment into panic. They paint the image of social chaos, poverty and violence if the wrong choice wins." (01/22/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17561/zizek_greece_syriza  

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Report: Warren to file bill targeting top drug companies

January 23, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is shifting her focus from Wall Street to the nation's top pharmaceutical companies. The Massachusetts Democrat plans to file a bill next week that she said would help fund basic medical research by targeting pharmaceutical companies accused of breaking the law. Warren's bill would require that whenever drug companies enter into a settlement with the government over alleged wrongdoing, they must pay a portion of their annual profits over five years to support research at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/km8cvbu  

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Republicans still as extreme on abortion as ever

January 23, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter  

"A group of Republican men took to the House floor on Wednesday evening and delivered emotional speeches about the need to restrict women’s right to abortion. ... Their speeches anticipated a vote on the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the vote has now been indefinitely 'delayed' because the bill, it turns out, was too extreme even for some members of the GOP." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kc9y2m4  

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Venezuela’s Maduro to citizens: “God will provide”

January 23, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"At a pharmacy in Caracas Thursday morning, hundreds of people stood in line hoping to get their hands on diapers and other essentials inside. Queuing up has become routine for many here, as Venezuela has struggled to pay for the import of most of its goods. But the morning after a much-anticipated speech by Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, which had citizens hoping to hear concrete plans for a way out of the nation’s economic tailspin, many fear tougher times are on the horizon." [editor's note: So is Ed Asner now planning to portray him in the future biopic? - SAT] (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p3zypzc  

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Report: US airlines expect big fuel savings, but steady fares

January 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"U.S. airlines on Thursday forecast enormous fuel savings in 2015 but hinted that ample consumer demand would allow them to avoid fare discounts and pass savings on to shareholders. Share prices rose across the industry after four airlines said they will save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs starting this year, with global oil prices down more than 57 percent since June. Fuel is the biggest variable cost for airlines, often representing a third or more of total operating expenses." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nyjoukh  

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Scientists warn: World moving closer to “doomsday”

January 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, a group of prominent scientists and Nobel laureates said Thursday. 'It is now three minutes to midnight,' said Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as the group moved its symbolic 'Doomsday Clock' two minutes forward. The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947. It has changed 18 times since then, ranging from two minutes to midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjbntj8  

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Mexico: Narco-drone laden with meth crashes near US border

January 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman Jorge Morrua said authorities were alerted after the drone fell Tuesday night near the San Ysidro crossing at Mexico's border with California. Six packets of the drug, weighing more than six pounds, were taped to the six-propeller remote-controlled aircraft. Morrua said authorities are investigating where the flight originated and who was controlling it. He said it was not the first time they had seen drones used for smuggling drugs across the border." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kr4acfe  

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VA: Pol who won election from jail faces new charges

January 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A Virginia state legislator who was re-elected last week while serving a jail sentence for a sex scandal was indicted on Wednesday on felony charges stemming from the case. In a fresh political embarrassment for Virginia, Joseph Morrissey was charged by a Henrico County grand jury with four counts of allegedly lying under oath and submitting a forged document to the court. Morrissey, a member of the House of Delegates, is serving a six-month jail term for a misdemeanor conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The case involves a former receptionist who was 17 when she worked in his law office. The receptionist is now 18 and pregnant. She has denied having sex with Morrissey, 57." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odbwx7f  

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What Obama got wrong in SOTU remarks on trade

January 22, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The President briefly spoke about trade in his State of the Union speech. He admitted that 'past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype' but then he called for doing more of the same. He called for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) -- 'Fast Track' -- to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)." (01/21/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150121/obama-on-trade-in-sotu  

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House GOP aims at Roe v. Wade anniversary on abortion bill

January 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"House Republicans searched for a way Wednesday to advance the new Congress' first abortion legislation, hoping to avoid an inter-party implosion over a bill that at one point seemed all but certain of passage. Legislation that was intended to be voted on Thursday -- the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision -- would criminalize virtually all abortions for pregnancies of 20 weeks or longer. It would offer some exceptions, including for victims of rape that have already been reported to authorities. Some Republicans, including female members of Congress, objected to that requirement, saying that many women feel too distressed to report rapes and should not be penalized." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjft4jn  

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Campaign finance reform: Not just for Democrats?

January 22, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog    

"Ask Maine State Senator Ed Youngblood what’s changed most since he first ran for office in 2000 and the answer is easy: the money. Back then, legislative races in the state attracted less than a quarter of a million dollars in outside spending. By 2012, political groups were pouring more than $3.5 million into those contests. ... Youngblood has always run using Maine’s Clean Election program, which provides public funds for candidates who raise their money from small donors. It got a lot harder to do so after Citizens United, and things got even worse when another court case rolled back the part of Maine’s program that provided matching funds to help candidates deal with all that outside money." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pktoj7a  

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CO: Potential jurors want out of theater shooting case

January 22, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Prospective jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial presented a judge with a number of excuses on Wednesday for why they shouldn't be on the panel that decides if defendant James Holmes was insane at the time of the deadly attack. By the end of the second day of what promises to be a long slog to picking a jury, Judge Carlos Samour had excused at least 20 people who had doctors' notes, didn't speak English, or weren't residents of Arapahoe County, where the 2012 attack occurred. However, in a sign of how difficult it might be to get excused, a summons for a woman who reported being 'violently ill' and requested an ambulance was only delayed but not canceled." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxuf5py  

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GOP response: The breadbags of empathy

January 22, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Imagine going to the doctor and saying, 'My back is killing me. I can barely move. What can you do to help me? Should we do an X-ray? Physical therapy? Medication?' And the doctor responds, 'Yeah, I hurt my back once. It was awful. So I know exactly what you're feeling. Anyway, thanks for coming in—just see the receptionist on the way out to pay your bill.' That's not too far off from what we heard from Senator Joni Ernst in the GOP response to the State of the Union address last night." [editor's note: Well, Bill Clinton said he could "feel your pain"? What's different now? - SAT] (01/21/15)

http://prospect.org/article/gop-response-breadbags-empathy  

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TX: SCOTUS hears case testing civil rights act

January 21, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"A sharply divided US Supreme Court on Wednesday took up a challenge to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in an action that liberal critics say could gut the major civil rights provision. At issue in a case from Dallas, Texas, is whether the housing law authorizes lawsuits over racially neutral measures that nonetheless disproportionately impact minority residents. Liberals support the so-called disparate impact theory of civil rights enforcement, while conservatives warn that such an approach could lead to racial quotas in housing and other areas." [editor's note: That last sentence might be the best objective analysis of the two "sides" (on this and other issues) I've seen in years? - SAT] (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntgqutd  

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I’m really not sure they like us

January 21, 2015
posted by

Jon Carroll San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"The Fox News channel continues to thrive, but it’s not really selling news; it’s selling attitude. Real news (the kind you get on, say, Al Jazeera) seems not to interest people very much. Yes, you can get an outrage of the day trending on Twitter, but the outrage is usually without context, and it usually dissipates before the problem can be solved. Lynch them all and now, here’s an epic snowboard fail. The question in newsrooms has always been: How do we package the news in the new environment? How can we make our stories and our skills accessible in the digital age?" (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9dma3m  

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