Author Archive

NC: Probe reveals scope of Tarheel academic fraud

October 23, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"More than 3,100 students -- nearly half of them athletes -- enrolled in classes they didn't have to show up for and received artificially inflated grades, in what an investigator called a 'shadow curriculum' that lasted nearly two decades at the University of North Carolina. The report released Wednesday by former high-ranking U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein found more far-reaching academic fraud than previous investigations by the school and the NCAA. Many at the university hoped Wainstein's investigation would bring some closure to the long-running scandal, which is rooted in an NCAA investigation focused on improper benefits within the football program in 2010. Instead, findings of a systemic problem in the former African and Afro-American Studies department could lead to NCAA sanctions and possible dismissal of additional UNC staff." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pt6dkxt  

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Why liberals love (and trust) NPR

October 23, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"The Pew Research Center has one of its ginormous studies out today, this one about polarization and media use, and as usual it's full of interesting stuff. I want to make a point about news in general and NPR in particular, and then after that, for those who care about these things, I have a methodological point to make about how we measure ideology. One of the distinct things about the Pew results is that conservatives love, love, love Fox News, while no single news outlet has the same kind of near-universal use among liberals. ... But the really interesting difference emerges when they ask which sources people trust" [editor's note: I wake up to NPR, catch up on it while driving, and avoid ALL TV news (except Stewart & Colbert, for chuckles) - SAT] (10/22/14)

http://prospect.org/article/why-liberals-love-and-trust-npr  

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Brazil: Presidential candidates battle for their hometown

October 23, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The two candidates in Brazil's presidential election runoff on Sunday grew up just seven blocks apart, attending the same elite tennis club, watching movies at the same theater and strolling through the same leafy plazas during the 1960s. They cheered for rival soccer teams, though, and eventually went down very different political paths. Dilma Rousseff joined a Marxist group that opposed that era's military dictatorship, while Aecio Neves embraced the more conservative ethos of his grandfather, a legend in Brazilian politics. Today, President Rousseff and Senator Neves are fighting for votes in their hometown of Belo Horizonte -- a critical battleground in a race that has gone down to the wire." [editor's note: Like they say, all politics is local - SAT] (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2hlano  

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Does democracy let “the poor” dominate?

October 23, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Hong Kong’s leader/chief executive Leung Chun-ying slammed pro-democracy protesters, saying that democracy would allow the poor too much of a voice. Leung said that a Chinese-style government appointed from the top allows for more business-friendly policies. I suspect Leung’s comments echo the view of elites worldwide. This week The New York Times reported on Leung’s comments, writing, 'Mr. Leung’s blunt remarks reflect a widely held view among the Hong Kong elite that the general public cannot be trusted to govern the city well.'” [editor's note: When "demoncrazy" (my term) is allowed to run unchecked (with no zone of sovereignty around peaceful individuals), it's a curse, not a blessing. However, in this case, Leung is full of the usual crap - SAT] (10/22/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20141022/does-democracy-let-the-poor-dominate  

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VA: Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

October 23, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Camel cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. is snuffing out smoking in its offices and buildings. The nation's second-biggest tobacco company informed employees Wednesday that beginning next year, the use of traditional cigarettes, cigars or pipes will no longer be permitted at employee desks or offices, conference rooms, hallways and elevators. Lighting up already is prohibited on factory floors and in cafeterias and fitness centers. The no-smoking policy will go into effect once Reynolds builds indoor smoking areas for those still wanting to light up indoors, spokesman David Howard said." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qhq272a  

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Can student credit unions solve college affordability problem?

October 22, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Helene Barthelemy  

"In the past two years, Columbia University students have attempted to remedy the vexing problem of college affordability with an old but largely untried idea: a student credit union. Credit unions form 'the cooperatively owned alternative to traditional banks' in which profits go to providing better rates and lower fees for the credit union’s clients. Recipients of capital become shareholders in the institution and participate in its decisions." [editor's note: It could be one answer; it's sure made my life easier! - SAT] (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nhaoht2  

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NY: New mayor, same old story; still marijuana arrest capital

October 22, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"New York City has long been called the 'marijuana arrest capital of the world.' Under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the nation’s largest city has maintained that reputation, continuing its aggressive campaign against those found possessing even the most trace amounts of the drug. In fact, Mayor de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton have even outdone the previous administration, surpassing the marijuana possession arrest totals nearly every month this year compared with last, according to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance released Monday." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kfvqd7a  

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The neo-scramble for Africa

October 22, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Salim Muwakkil  

"In the new race for Africa, the United States staked its position in early August, when President Obama convened four dozen African heads of state for the first-ever U.S.-African Leaders Summit. The three-day gathering was the most direct expression of the United States’ growing concern with China’s deepening influence on the continent. According to the Brookings Institution, China overtook the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009 and has been widening the margin ever since. China’s not acting out of altruism, of course. It has developed an insatiable appetite for Africa’s mineral and petroleum resources." (10/22/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17244/obama_africa_summit  

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South Korea takes down “Christmas tree” border tower

October 22, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"South Korea has taken down a tower at its border with North Korea, which has in the past been decorated as a Christmas tree by Christian groups. The 60 foot tower has previously been covered in colourful lights at Christmas and topped with a cross. The North, which is officially atheist, saw this as religious and political propaganda and threatened to shell it. Its removal comes a week after senior military officials from the two Koreas met for the first time in seven years." (10/22/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29718662  

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WHO: Ebola serum for Africa within weeks

October 22, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization. Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015. The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people. Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone." (10/21/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29707393  

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Spare me the sermon, Houston

October 22, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J Saunders  

"If you believe Houston Mayor Annise Parker, then you have to believe that when lawyers for her city subpoenaed five local pastors and demanded their sermons, the episode represented an unfortunate instance of lawyer overreach, with no intent to harass or intimidate the opposition. This story begins in May when the Houston City Council passed by an 11-to-6 vote an equal rights ordinance that banned discrimination based on sex, race and national origin -- as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. Some local church leaders objected. They petitioned to put a measure on the ballot to repeal the ordinance." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nh6856p  

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CO: Udall lead fades in Senate race

October 22, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"One of the most watched elections in the country right now wasn't originally supposed to be competitive. The outcome of the race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, could end up determining which party controls the Senate. Senator Udall's early leads in the polls have dwindled until, in the past month, nearly every poll has showed Representative Gardner holding a slim lead." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nyo2bk9  

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Mitch McConnell will say anything for a ham

October 22, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Lee Fang  

"In an election that could propel Senator Mitch McConnell to become Senate majority leader (a position that would give him wide sway over climate change policy, including influence over the Environmental Protection Agency) the Kentucky politician declined to respond to a question earlier this month about whether he believes climate change is a real problem. 'I’m not a scientist,' McConnell responded in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board. But earlier in his career, when McConnell played a pivotal role on behalf of the tobacco industry against increasing government regulation and taxes, the Republican leader believed he had enough scientific knowledge to question public-health officials." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjrhlxd  

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Pulling the plug on corporate personhood

October 22, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Rob Richie  

"American democracy is reaching a breaking point, from failed winner-take-all voting rules to blatant attempts to suppress voter turnout. The rising torrent of campaign spending by the 1% has triggered particular outrage. Activists leapt into action after the Supreme Court’s January 2010 Citizens United decision, which not only overturned a century of precedent that barred corporate money in American elections, but also enshrined corporations as non-human entities that have the same constitutional rights as people. Since Citizens United and other court rulings limit what can be done by statute, amending the constitution to overturn these rulings has become a major focus of activists." [editor's note: As usual, focusing on amending the constitution only guarantees nothing gets done on this for many years - SAT] (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o7sslsz  

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Report: US visa program for crime victims is hit-or-miss

October 22, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"The U visa program was created by Congress to help police and prosecutors build trust with immigrant communities. But national data analyzed by Reuters, along with dozens of interviews with police, prosecutors, lawyers and immigrants across the country, show that for undocumented immigrants ... who seek a U visa by helping the police, the chances of gaining a legal toehold in the United States are largely a matter of geography." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kpudtfm  

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Kasich begins ritual of self-flagellation

October 21, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"At Holy Cross-Immaculata church in Cincinnati, there's a Good Friday tradition called 'Praying the Steps,' in which parishioners slowly climb the 85 steps up to the church, saying a prayer on each step. It may take a while to get to the top, but that's the entire point of the exercise—the time and effort it takes is a symbol of one's devotion. Keep that in mind for a moment as we talk about that state's governor, John Kasich, and his complicated feelings about the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Governor Kasich went through a ritual that has grown no less absurd for being so familiar." (10/21/24)

http://tinyurl.com/ldss7dc  

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NY: CLU & Cuomo agree on defending poor

October 21, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his administration's agreement with the New York Civil Liberties Union to improve criminal defense for the state's poor addresses longstanding inequities. The agreement settles the lawsuit the NYCLU filed seven years ago, saying New York systemically provided inadequate staff and money for constitutionally required defense lawyers in the 57 counties outside New York City. Cuomo says his administration inherited the problem, saying he's proud of a resolution 'that results in a fairer, more humane justice system.' The suit sought attorneys at all arraignments, smaller caseloads and better funding, with the state taking over the county-based system." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mpnajsr  

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Islamic State’s rules of attraction

October 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Peter Van Buren  

"The U.S. State Department is producing anti-Islamic State propaganda to persuade American and other would-be jihadis not to join the extremist group. It’s ham-handed, and often sarcastic, and unlikely to have the intended effect. Why? Because the department fails to understand how Islamic State attracts recruits in the first place. One way to make sense of all this is to look at the appeal of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA does not recruit members, it attracts them. Long experience suggests that people who impulsively make decisions that actually require a long-term commitment will almost certainly fail. ... And so with Islamic State. Islamic State propaganda pulls no punches." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/otspv3e  

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FL Court: Not so fast with those red-light camera tickets

October 21, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Big changes could be coming to cities with red-light cameras after a Florida District Court of Appeals judge said it’s illegal for camera operators to issue citations to drivers. The program works like this: Cameras installed at traffic signals snap photos and are examined by the camera’s owner (not law enforcement) to determine whether a violation occurred. A citation is sent to the alleged violator. The driver has 60 days to appeal the ticket before it’s converted into a fine, just like any other citation issued by law enforcement officers." [editor's note: Don't get too excited; all this really does is make more work for the bureaucrats - SAT] (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mch9vyu  

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Senior regulator says bank CEOs meant well, documents say otherwise

October 21, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"The head of one of Wall Street’s most important regulatory agencies argued recently that big-bank CEOs never intended to break the law or engage in foreclosure fraud. Instead, Thomas Curry of the Office of Comptroller of the Currency tells us they weren’t cautious enough. Internal documents obtained from a bank-backed venture several years ago seem to directly contradict this claim. These documents, which include training materials, PowerPoint presentations and videos, suggest that the industry made a conscious attempt to bypass local jurisdictions and automate processes -- in what can best be described as a fraud-friendly way." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ncwe63x  

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“Zombie glacier” surprises scientists, raises warming questions

October 21, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Scientists tend to speak of glaciers as if they were living creatures. They say they grow and die and have good health and bad. Now, with Halloween approaching, a handful of researchers has found a way that the anthropomorphized rivers of ice that they study can simultaneously live and die as the globe warms. The discovery of a ghoulishly semi-lifeless glacier in southeastern Iceland doesn’t just create a new zombie class of frozen rivers of water. It raises questions about the accuracy of conventional approaches to measuring the growth and retreat of similar glaciers." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lp7w23w  

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AL: House Speaker arrested on felony charges

October 21, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Powerful Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been arrested on felony ethics charges, accused of using public office for personal gain. Hubbard was indicted by a grand jury on 23 charges accusing him of misusing his office as speaker and his previous post as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. Acting Attorney General Van Davis announced the indictment Monday. Hubbard says the charges, weeks before the November vote in which he's favored for re-election, constitute 'a political witch hunt.'" (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m4x6xm4  

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Why Republicans may still lose the Senate

October 21, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"While we shouldn’t assume the outcome in any of these close Senate races, it’s true that Republicans have inched ahead in many of the contested states where Democrats currently hold seats. However, it’s also true that Republicans have lost ground in the three states that nearly everyone assumed Republicans had in the bag: Georgia, Kansas and South Dakota. If the electorate was experiencing a swing to the right, this split dynamic wouldn’t be happening." [editor's note: Not sure why this "progressive" pundit cares about Gop misfortunes, but ... - SAT] (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qhqulyy  

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Canada: Researchers send Ebola vaccine to WHO for testing

October 21, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The first batch of an experimental Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian scientists was sent to Switzerland on Monday for testing by the World Health Organization, officials said. Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the first of three shipments, comprising 800 vials of the vaccine, had been sent from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The vials were packed in dry ice at a temperature of minus 80 degrees Celsius (-112 degrees Fahrenheit) during shipping, officials said. Trials of the vaccine on humans are expected to begin there at the end of the month or early in November." (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4z6322  

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Being the “indispensable nation” is killing American democracy

October 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Robert L. Borosage  

"America (proudly dubbed the 'indispensable nation' by its national-security managers) is now the entangled nation enmeshed in conflicts across the globe. President Barack Obama, scorned by his Republican critics as an 'isolationist' who wants to 'withdraw from the world,' is waging the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, boasts of toppling the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, launches airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State and picks targets for drones to attack in as many as eight countries, while dispatching planes to the Russian border in reaction to its machinations in Ukraine, and a fleet to the South China Sea as the conflict over control of islands and waters escalates between China and its neighbors." [editor's note: This translates better as "Becoming an empire-state is killing American liberty" - SAT] (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9e3h5j  

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