Author Archive

Common sense, not obstruction

May 14, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)  

"Democrats want trade, and we want more of it. But like the majority of Americans, we want fair trade, not trade agreements that shutter American manufacturing facilities and ship jobs overseas. This week, Democrats who both support and oppose giving the president fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) joined together to ensure that if the Senate fast-tracks more trade deals, we'll also take care of workers and industries who could be left behind." (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6l5bpz  

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Why public silence greets government success

May 14, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Jonathan Cohn  

"Last October, Obama administration officials, including those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Americans to remain calm as Ebola first appeared in the United States. One person had died from the disease in an American hospital, while new diagnoses had appeared in both Dallas and New York City. But with each new case, critics became louder and more angry -- not just at the president, who was resisting calls for travel bans and mandatory quarantines, but at the whole government apparatus, which seemed unable to stop a potentially catastrophic epidemic." (05/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lo6m9tv  

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Why radicals like Bernie Sanders should run as Dems, not indies

May 14, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Jacob Swenson-Lengyel  

"Senator Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, is running for president. Even more ambitiously, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he wants to lead 'a political revolution in this country.' And he’s doing it as a Democrat. In the wake of his announcement, some on the pragmatic left rushed to make the socialist safe for mass consumption. 'Bernie Sanders is not Bukharin or Trotsky,' Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi assured readers, while Thor Benson took to the New Republic to demand the media stop calling Sanders a socialist (he’s a democratic socialist). The Huffington Post’s Jonathan Cohn went even further. Sanders 'isn’t actually that far to the left,' Cohn said, and ultimately, 'the label doesn’t mean a whole lot anyway.' While the pragmatists were busy rounding off Sanders politically sharper edges, some on the radical left dismissed Sanders as a sellout." (05/13/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17948/bernie_sanders_democrats  

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US Navy plans women combat roles & extended maternity leave

May 14, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The US navy wants more women in its ranks, and on Wednesday navy secretary Ray Mabus announced two plans he hopes will get them there: opening all combat roles to women and doubling the maternity leave for sailors and marines. 'We need more women in the navy and marine corps,' Mabus said, speaking at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. 'Not simply to have more women but because a more diverse force is a stronger force. The military at large lags behind society.' Asked about how the military is re-evaluating standards for combat roles, Mabus said the marine corps and navy are assessing whether 'the physical standards have something to do with the job or not.'" (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/op8m65k  

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Could Fast Track ultimately destroy Dodd-Frank?

May 14, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"Senator Elizabeth Warren opened up a new battle in the war against the Obama administration’s trade policy last week, when she charged that the fast-track trade authority now being considered by Congress could ultimately allow a Republican president to gut many of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. This provoked a heated response from the White House and its allies, who not only disputed Warren’s claim but bizarrely (and under the cover of anonymity) suggested she was just trying to juice up the Draft Warren presidential movement. So who’s right? This is an important question to litigate, as the Senate prepares to vote on fast-track authority Tuesday. The short answer: Warren." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k43sj8s  

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Study: Vitamin B3 may help prevent certain skin cancers

May 14, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"For the first time, a large study suggests that a vitamin might modestly lower the risk of the most common types of skin cancer in people with a history of these relatively harmless yet troublesome growths. In a study in Australia, people who took a specific type of vitamin B3 for a year had a 23 percent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills. In absolute terms, it meant that vitamin takers developed fewer than two of these cancers on average versus roughly 2.5 cancers for the others. The study did not involve melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Instead, it aimed at more common forms: basal and squamous cell cancers. More than 3 million cases are diagnosed each year in the United States." (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nvlbaht  

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Iran nuke deal: the real lessons from North Korea

May 14, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Just over 20 years ago, North Korean technicians extracted 8,000 spent fuel rods from the Yongbyon nuclear reactor -- enough for five or six atomic bombs if reprocessed into weapons-grade plutonium. Designed to be a provocation, North Korea’s move focused minds in Washington: The Pentagon devised a military strike plan that would destroy the reactor and entomb the plutonium, while (it was hoped) avoiding a Chernobyl-type radioactive cloud. That’s also when the diplomacy began that led to the 1994 US-North Korea Agreed Framework. North Korea was the Iran nuclear crisis of its day, with the risk of failure and chance of war just as high as it is today, as Iran and six world powers aim to meet a June 30 deadline for a deal ensuring Iran cannot produce a bomb." (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n99g4e3  

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US: House rejects NSA bulk collection of phone data

May 14, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The US House of Representatives has voted to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. A 338-to-88 overwhelming vote in favour of the USA Freedom Act, already backed by the White House, means Senate backing would make it law. The bill would empower the agency to search data held by telephone companies on a case-by-case basis. Bulk collection was revealed in 2013 by ex-security contractor Edward Snowden. Supporters of the Freedom Act, including privacy and civil rights advocates, say it protects privacy while preserving national security powers." (05/13/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32732258  

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SC: Elementary school guard sent away after 5th-grader takes his gun

May 14, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A South Carolina school district has asked a private security guard not to return after a fifth-grader was able to pull the officer's gun out of its holster. Anderson School District 5 spokesman Kyle Newton told media outlets that the guard was sitting on a bench Monday with a student on either side at Varennes Elementary School when one of the students was able to take the gun out of the officer's holster. Authorities say the gun was not fired and was only free for about 10 seconds. The guard worked for Defender Services, a private company that helps provide security officers for schools. His name was not released." [editor's note: Did they hire the kid to replace him? - SAT] (05/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p2dpnj3  

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It’s a conspiracy! How to discredit Seymour Hersh

May 13, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Greg Grandin  

"Max Fisher, now at Vox, learned well during his apprenticeship under Marty Peretz at The New Republic. This week, he was among the first to try to smear Seymour Hersh’s piece in the London Review of Books, which argued that pretty much everything we were told about the killing of Osama bin Laden was a lie. Most importantly, Hersh’s report questions the claim that Washington learned of OBL’s whereabouts thanks to torture -- a claim popularized in the film Zero Dark Thirty. There’s a standard boilerplate now when it comes to going after Hersh, and all Fisher, in 'The Many Problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden Conspiracy Theory,' did was fill out the form." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qafo4vw  

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America doesn’t need another “Contract With America,” not even a liberal one

May 13, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Bill de Blasio says he wants to do what Newt Gingrich did in 1994, but for progressives. Maybe he should stop saying that. The New York mayor, joined by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and economist Joseph Stiglitz, rolled out his Progressive Agenda in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday; it's a 13-point plan calling for a higher minimum wage, universal pre-kindergarten, and higher taxes on the wealthy. De Blasio has explicitly compared it to Gingrich’s 1994 'Contract with America,' a set of legislative proposals often credited with helping Republicans win a majority in Congress for the first time in 40 years in those midterm elections, and which gave them the appearance of a sweeping national mandate for specific conservative legislation." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofuffrg  

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NC: Store owner still fighting IRS after feds seized his $107k account

May 13, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"When federal agents stormed into Lyndon McLellan's North Carolina convenience store last October without warning and accused him of trying to put one over on the government, the small business owner wasn't sure what was happening. 'They asked me if I knew what "structuring" was and then they showed me some cash deposits I made in a 24-hour period,' he told FoxNews.com. The IRS agents apparently were suspicious because of deposits McLellan had made of just under $10,000. Banks are required to report transactions over $10,000; making multiple deposits of less than $10,000 to evade that requirement is known as 'structuring.' Under this pretense, enforcement agents accused McLellan of the con and seized all $107,000 from his bank account. " (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjsp5v9  

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Women as the loyal opposition

May 13, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Long ago, when I began writing newspaper columns, a wise editor advised me that a column is about one thing. I am about to violate that rule. This piece is about three different things (which are connected if you look hard). One is a 25th anniversary; the second is some Mother's Day musings; the third is the latest in a string of losses for the left, namely the trouncing of the British Labour Party in Thursday's election. Let me explain." (05/12/15)

http://prospect.org/article/women-loyal-opposition  

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Christie attacks Obama over “severe over-regulation”

May 13, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Possible Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Tuesday said the policies of President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve had widened the gulf between rich and poor. Christie, who is governor of New Jersey, said Obama’s monetary and regulatory policies have stymied economic growth by allowing financial assets to grow substantially in value while wages have stagnated. 'Under this president, we have a roaring financial markets economy for the wealthy and a weak real economy for the middle class,' Christie said, criticizing the U.S. central bank’s 'easy money' policies." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nbsl26j  

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America’s love affair with legal amphetamine

May 13, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Lawrence Diller  

"I've decided to create a new psychiatric disorder. Why not? Drug companies do it all the time. Shire, which makes Adderall, won approval recently from the Food and Drug Administration to market its amphetamine drug, Vyvanse, for the treatment of BED. You haven't heard of it? Neither had many people, until Shire funded studies to get the binge eating disorder into the DSM-5 -- America's official psychiatric bible of common life dilemmas translated into mental disorders. My disorder is called achievement anxiety disorder (AAD), and it explains the increasing reports of prescription amphetamine misuse most often in the form of Adderall abuse." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pufxze8  

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Asia tops biggest global school rankings

May 13, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The biggest global school rankings have been published, with Asian countries in the top five spots and African countries at the bottom. Singapore heads the table, followed by Hong Kong, with Ghana at the bottom. The UK is in 20th place, among higher achieving European countries, with the US in 28th. The OECD economic think tank says the comparisons (based on test scores in 76 countries) show the link between education and economic growth." (05/12/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32608772  

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Fast Track train off rails … for now

May 13, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson  

"Democrats in the U.S. Senate were able to successfully block the trade promotion authority 'fast track' bill using a filibuster today. This is a very big setback for the pro-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) forces, but is not a final defeat. The final vote was 52-45, with 60 votes needed to break the filibuster and move the bill forward to debate and an up-or-down vote. No Republican voted against the filibuster, and every Democrat voted to support the filibuster except Thomas Carper [D-DE]. Following are statements from a few of the organizations that are working to bring about fair trade that lists people and the environment on all sides of trade borders." (05/12/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150512/fast-track-train-off-rails-for-now  

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UT: Some LGBT residents critical of anti-discrimination law

May 13, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A Mormon church-backed anti-discrimination law that protects gay and transgender people and religious rights took effect Tuesday amid skepticism from some LGBT residents over whether it lives up to its promises. Gay rights groups pushed for an anti-discrimination law for years and finally succeeded during the 2015 legislative session with a deal that won the crucial backing of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The law makes it illegal to base employment and housing decisions on sexual orientation or gender identity. It was hailed as landmark legislation. LGBT residents say the law is a positive step, but they worry it still allows discrimination because religious organizations and their affiliates (such as schools and hospitals) are exempt." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfx58l3  

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FDA rethinking ban on blood donations by MSMs

May 13, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Men who have had sex with other men will be allowed to donate blood under some conditions if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalizes 'draft guidance' published on Tuesday. Men who have had sex with another man (MSMs) even once since 1977 are banned from donating blood in the United States as they are recognized to be at a higher risk of contracting HIV. MSMs are not restricted to homosexual men. If approved, the ban on blood donations would be lifted for those who have not had sex with another man in prior 12 months." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ne5mcs6  

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How U.S. “solved” the Central American migrant crisis

May 13, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Joseph Sorrentino  

"La Bestia is running empty now. For years, the freight trains collectively known as 'The Beast' carried Central American migrants north through Mexico on their quest to reach the U.S. border, fleeing extreme poverty and violence in their home countries. Hundreds could be seen crammed on top of the cars, riding between them or clinging to ladders on the sides. It’s easy to fall off the bumpy trains. Many who do are killed or lose limbs. 'It’s dangerous ... dangerous, but free,' says Santos Ricardo Molina Campos, a 37-year-old Salvadoran who rode La Bestia when he migrated to the United States 24 years ago -- and again in December, after being deported." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qf4j5y8  

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Poverty summit: Shifting from whether to help poor to how?

May 13, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"A poverty summit on Tuesday offered a hint at how currents of thought may be shifting since the era of welfare reform and a tough-on-crime crackdown in the 1990s. The summit by itself doesn’t signal that liberals and conservatives are poised to converge imminently around a 21st century answer to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But at least some prominent conservatives (including presidential candidate and Sen. Rand Paul) are talking about how to get fewer people in prisons and embracing the phrase 'safety net.' And some prominent liberals are pairing their ideas for government assistance with assertions that poverty is about culture as well as money." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oayrf5s  

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White House conditionally OKs Arctic drilling by Shell

May 12, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The White House on Monday issued approval for Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to begin offshore drilling for oil in the Arctic this summer, pending the approval of several remaining drilling permits. The decision comes three years after the government originally issued the same permission to Shell. That permission was temporarily revoked after Shell’s first attempt." (05/11/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ofan3cn  

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Should we relitigate Iraq war in the 2016 campaign? You bet

May 12, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"If all goes well, in the 2016 campaign we'll be rehashing the arguments we had about the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003. You may be thinking, 'Jeez, do we really have to go through that again?' But we do -- in fact, we must. If we're going to make sense of where the next president is going to take the United States on foreign policy, there are few more important discussions to have." (05/11/5)

http://tinyurl.com/pvsm6ak  

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Obama the one who’s wrong about Fast Track and the TPP

May 12, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"President Obama takes it personally when Americans disagree with his free-trade fundamentalism. He keeps griping about the activists who usually support his agenda but are passionately opposed to his request for 'fast-track' authority to bypass congressional input and oversight on a sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. And the president is even more upset that Democratic members of Congress are, for the most part, aligning with the activists rather than the White House." [editor's note: Of course, thousands of pages of regulations are not "free trade" - TLK] (05/11/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pmp2r63  

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Why NSA surveillance is worse than you’ve ever imagined

May 12, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by James Bamford  

"Last summer, after months of encrypted emails, I spent three days in Moscow hanging out with Edward Snowden for a Wired cover story. Over pepperoni pizza, he told me that what finally drove him to leave his country and become a whistleblower was his conviction that the National Security Agency was conducting illegal surveillance on every American. Thursday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed with him. In a long-awaited opinion, the three-judge panel ruled that the NSA program that secretly intercepts the telephone metadata of every American (who calls whom and when) was illegal. As a plaintiff with Christopher Hitchens and several others in the original ACLU lawsuit against the NSA, dismissed by another appeals court on a technicality, I had a great deal of personal satisfaction." (05/11/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ox6tvso  

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