PND Commentary

Is “female Viagra” feminist?

February 4, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Molly M Ginty  

"It’s been called the first 'Viagra for women' and hailed as a health breakthrough. But Addyi (generic name flibanserin) is sparking ire just as it claims to spark desire. Is this drug a boon for feminism because it finally gives women what men have enjoyed since 1998: prescription medication that can effectively boost sagging libidos? Or are the drug’s pluses (an average increase of 0.5 to 1 'sexually satisfying events per month') not really worth its potential side effects of nausea, dizziness and fainting? Since the FDA approved Addyi in August 2015, feminist debate on these questions has raged. Heightening the controversy is the fact that feminist organizations, with funding from the drug’s maker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, played an active role in getting the drug approved." (02/03/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18769/is-female-viagra-feminist  

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GOP’s Donald Trump nightmare far from over

February 4, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"Ted Cruz’s poll-defying victory in the Iowa caucuses Monday night spared the Republican Party the ultimate humiliation of a Donald Trump landslide—not in Iowa, per se, but in the presidential primary writ large. Until this week, nonplussed Republicans were contemplating with dread an increasingly likely scenario in which Trump won Iowa convincingly, reinforced his dominant leads in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and went on to essentially run the table to the nomination. Things won’t be quite that straightforward for Trump after all. The early conventional wisdom out of Iowa is that Trump hurt himself by failing to put together a traditional campaign apparatus, that Cruz helped himself by putting together a great one, and that third-place Marco Rubio benefitted from a late burst of pragmatism within the Republican electorate. The results at the very least slow Trump’s juggernaut, and possibly reorient the primary into a real three-way race." (02/02/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/128991/gops-donald-trump-nightmare-far  

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Israel’s new McCarthyism

February 4, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Peter Dreier  

"As international discontent with Israel’s occupation policy continues to rise, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Israel’s ultra-right-wing movement have escalated their attacks on the country’s progressive community, which opposes the 49-year-old Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the ever-expanding government-subsidized settlements. This week, the Knesset is expected to take up a bill backed by Netanyahu and his allies that will require Israeli nongovernmental organizations that expose and challenge the government’s human rights abuses against Palestinians to register, in effect, as foreign agents. Some Israeli activists call the legislation their country’s version of McCarthyism." (02/02/16)

http://prospect.org/article/israels-new-mccarthyism  

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Shame on Iowa Democrats and their fatally broken caucus system; did Hillary steal the election?

February 4, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Rob Kall  

"Questions have been raised about some goings on before and during the Iowa Democratic caucuses. The Iowa Democrats should lose their position as first in the nation to influence the presidential elections. The way they handle the caucuses and the result reporting is profoundly flawed and almost designed to be influenced by insiders. Democrats should rise up and insist that Iowa lose its first position or change the way they do things." (02/03/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Shame-on-Iowa-Democrats-an-by-Rob-Kall-Iowa-Caucus_Vote-Theft-160203-517.html  

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Can’t Hillary haters all just get along?

February 3, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Patrick Walker  

"Make no mistake. What I decidedly am not saying in this article is that all leftists should sing 'Kumbaya,' become good Democrats, and stop 'hating on' Hillary Clinton. The day I scrawl such indefensible bilge, somebody kindly shoot me. Granted, I'd actually be delighted to see a huge bunch of us leftists joining hands and singing 'Kumbaya.' But only because we're all basking together in a toasty inner glow -- of our common hatred for Hillary. If I have my druthers, we'll all link arms in a common task: to deprive her of the Democratic nomination. Or failing that (should she outrace the Clown Car and become president), we'll let her know she's starting her administration as the most hated and distrusted president in U.S. history -- a sentiment publicly confirmed by our 'yuuuge' organized protest of her inauguration." (02/03/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/03/cant-hillary-haters-all-just-get-along/  

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The government might subpoena your toaster

February 3, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Kaveh Waddell  

"Many of the gadgets in the vaunted 'Internet of Things' send data streams to servers operated by their manufacturers for processing, storage, and retrieval. That's how you can check up on the the live camera feed from your living-room Dropcam -- a popular security camera manufactured by Nest, Google's sister company -- or browse its recording history to determine how that stain got into the carpet last night. The data that lives on these servers is generally secured and held for customers to download at their leisure. But the hosting company can access the information, too, and is sometimes compelled to do so by the government. Law enforcement often relies on subpoenas to obtain data that consumers share with companies, avoiding the need for a more burdensome search warrant, which requires a judge's approval." (02/03/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/why-the-government-might-subpoena-your-toaster/459696/  

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Reason’s cure for Flint: More of the disease

February 3, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"We all know private water utilities are an industry. But the water privatization process itself is an entrenched industry. All the basic procedures have already been worked out and standardized of, by and for the private water utility industry, and local governments' role amounts to little more than rubber-stamping a deal written by the corporations they're dealing with. ALEC's model privatization statutes and boilerplate legal documents are all written by private water utility lobbyists. And the consultants municipalities hire to negotiate privatization deals have a financial incentive to promote the water companies' interests instead." (02/02/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/43161  

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Je suis #researchparasite

February 3, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"In an editorial at the New England Journal of Medicine ('Data Sharing,' Jan. 21), Dan Longo and Jeffrey Drazen have coined an interesting new term: 'research parasite.' In theory, the authors say: Data sharing is beautiful. But when you get down to all the practical details, it turns out to be one of those beautiful theories that just won't work in the real world. ... Put in slightly less adversarial language, the term 'research parasite' seems to include both people who try to disprove other researchers' findings, and people who try to build on them without the original researchers' permission. In other words, research parasites are people who do what they used to call 'science.'" (02/01/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/42994  

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Election 2016: The incredible evitable Hillary Clinton

February 3, 2016
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Yes, I'm a concern troll. I'm no Democrat, nor am I a Republican. But I would really, really, really like to see the Democratic Party nominate a viable candidate for President of the United States this year. Why? In a word, gridlock -- or at least what passes for it in this age of unrestrained 'unitary executives.' Checks and balances ain't what they used to be, but it gets worse when one party controls both houses of Congress and the White House at the same time. The last time that happened, we got ObamaCare. The time before that, the war in Iraq. ... But Democrats don't seem interested in winning. In fact, they seem to be going out of their way to throw the fight." (02/02/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/4525  

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The radical, 18th-century Scottish system for paying for college

February 3, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Shannon Chamberlain  

"[Adam] Smith, despite accusations of Connery-esque misplaced nationalism, was justly proud of the Scottish system of universities, which ran on a radical (by today's standards, at least) system in which students paid their professors directly. Scotland had begun the 18th century with the humiliating Act of Union, which rendered it subject to the British Empire and shuttered its parliament. The country then boasted only three universities, all of which taught an obsolete, traditional medieval curriculum (in Latin, no less), and carried a reputation as a backwater of subsistence farmers and awkward, only recently semi-civilized rubes. But by the end of the century, it had five of the most cutting-edge universities in Europe, one of the world's best medical schools, and a booming professional class from which its southerly neighbor and occupier frequently drew its doctors, lawyers, and professors." (02/02/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/02/college-cost-18th-century-scotland/459387/  

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Surprises and warnings in the Iowa numbers

February 3, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"When candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ended the Iowa caucuses Monday night in a near-tie, there were some surprises that went beyond the strength of Sanders’ showing, as well as some warnings for Democrats. Clinton received more state delegates (700.59 to 696.82), but the margin was due to her winning six coin tosses. Clinton will receive 23 delegates to the national convention and Sanders will receive 21 delegates. The New York Times writes, 'There are 4,763 delegates to the Democratic National Convention, so it will require 2,382 delegates to win the nomination.' You will be hearing the number 2,382 more and more as the year goes on." [editor's note: To see this as anything but a Sanders win is to miss the point, but there is a long way to go for the Dems - SAT] (02/02/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160202/a-look-into-iowa-numbers  

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How to rehabilitate capitalism

February 3, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Hugo Dixon  

"Capitalism is under attack. Witness the popularity of Bernie Sanders, the socialist running neck-and-neck in the opinion polls with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic caucuses in Iowa being held on Feb. 1. To rehabilitate the system of free enterprise, it needs to be buttressed by a modern conception of fairness. Viewed from Mars, capitalism has been a huge success. Free enterprise has generated wealth and removed hundreds of millions of people from poverty. But viewed from Earth, what often stands out is how many have been left behind by the march of globalisation and technology, while others have got ahead by methods more foul than fair. The classic left-wing response to the perceived unfairness of capitalism has been to tax and spend. That doesn’t work well." [editor's note: I Do wish these pundits would stop labeling this process "capitalism;" Marxist epithets really have no place in the discussion - SAT] (02/01/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/hugo-dixon/2016/02/01/how-to-rehabilitate-capitalism  

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The trouble with Bernie Sanders’s revolution

February 3, 2016
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"We'll know Monday night whether Bernie Sanders has taken the first step toward the revolution he has promised, but we can already say that his campaign has achieved stunning success, more than almost anyone thought was possible. Now that the voting is beginning and Democratic voters have to make their choice, we should take a good hard look at what Sanders wants to do and how he wants to do it. Whatever the results of the Iowa Caucuses, he's a serious candidate, and his candidacy should be engaged on serious terms." (02/01/16)

http://prospect.org/article/trouble-bernie-sanderss-revolution  

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No justice, no football

February 3, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"For me, the big question isn't which team wins in that football thing this weekend. The real big question is whether local anarchists and malcontents will try to shut down any big-name bridges, freeways or otherwise jam up the Bay Area's Super Bowl festivities. Social media and news organizations report chatter of a big protest a-brewing. San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Kevin Fagan (master of the protest beat) told me, 'Chances are very good that a major disruption will be attempted at least.' In Iowa, if you build it, they will come. In the Bay Area, if you build it, they will come to block it." [editor's note: I do wish she'd not call them "anarchists" ("dickheads" would be sufficient), but the rest is quite valid - SAT] (02/02/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/02/02/no-justice-no-football-n2113353  

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Hillary and the urn of ashes

February 2, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Conn Hallinan  

"Historical blindness has been much on display in the run-up to the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. On the Republican side candidates were going to 'kick ass' in Iraq, make the 'sand glow' in Syria, and face down the Russians in Europe. But while the Democratic aspirants were more measured, there is a pervasive ideology than binds together all but cranks like Ron Paul: America has the right, indeed, the duty to order the world's affairs. This peculiar view of the role of the U.S. takes on a certain messianic quality in candidates like Hillary Clinton, who routinely quotes former Secretary of State Madeline Albright's line about America as 'the indispensible nation' whose job is to lead the world." (02/02/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/02/hillary-and-the-urn-of-ashes/  

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Trump, the GOP’s spleen, is ripe for surgery

February 2, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bill Schneider  

"The Iowa caucuses might have been called the Iowa carcasses. Both parties saw a race between body parts: the head versus the heart. On the Republican side, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won Republicans’ hearts. He dominated the vote among true conservative believers, evangelical Christians and Republicans who said they were looking for a candidate who 'shares my values.' But Cruz wasn’t the only Republican who did better than expected. So did Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the other Cuban-American in the race. Rubio’s appeal was to the head. He won college graduates and Republicans who wanted a candidate who 'can win in November.' Cruz looks like a believer. Rubio looks like a winner. What about Donald Trump? He did worse than expected." (02/02/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/02/02/trump-the-gops-spleen-is-ripe-for-surgery  

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No other way to spin it: Sanders pulled off a huge victory in Iowa

February 2, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Marc Daalder  

"There's no other possible interpretation: Sen. Bernie Sanders pulled off an unprecedented upset in Iowa last night. He tied with his opponent former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, and the two split the 44 delegates almost evenly between them (23-21). Clinton only managed to win 0.3 percent more precincts than Sanders. Three days ago, the Des Moines Register poll projected he would be defeated by three points: 45-42. This poll has traditionally predicted results correctly, and yet was wrong for both parties this year: projected Republican winner Donald Trump lost to Ted Cruz by four points. Sanders’ upset is even more notable when taken in the context of older polls. Surveys throughout the fall of 2015 predicted a Clinton victory by margins as high as 38 percent." (02/02/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18814/bernie-sanders-iowa-caucus-hillary-clinton-win-results  

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How would “Trumponomics” change America?

February 2, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor
by Mark Trumbull  

"To some, the economic policies of a President Donald J. Trump would be a disaster. To others, they would be a welcome dose of common sense. But one thing is clear: They would be different. ... To the degree that 'Trumponomics' exists, it is a populism of the right: calling for a protectionist, America-first approach to trade while pledging to defend native-born Americans against the perceived economic (and security) threats of illegal immigration. For good measure, Mr. Trump has broken with establishment politicians of his own party by rebuffing the idea that Social Security or Medicare benefits need to be trimmed to make the programs solvent." (02/01/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/0201/How-would-Trumponomics-change-America-Brace-yourself  

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A grim scenario: If America ends up with a Republican president and a GOP-controlled Congress

February 2, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Michael Payne  

"It's entirely possible that in the upcoming presidential election the Republican candidate could win and become the next U.S. president and, at the same time, the GOP would retain control of the Congress. If that happens then this country and society would undergo a drastic change, one that is almost unimaginable. That grim prediction and the points presented in the following discussion are not based on supposition or unsupported speculation but, rather, on explicit, documented statements and actions of the Republican Party and its members. They have clearly stated their positions on the major issues and problems facing this country and what they intend to do if they are given the opportunity, i.e., when they have assumed total control of this government." [editor's note: On the one hand, I prefer gridlock. On the other hand, there was a GOP White House and Congress from 2001-2007, and while it was bad I don't recall it being any worse than the Democratic White House/Congress of 2009-2011, or the split periods. They ALL suck, just in different ways - TLK] (02/01/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-Grim-Scenario-If-Americ-by-michael-payne-Change_Congress_Health_Immigrants-160201-903.html  

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Is law enforcement “going dark” because of encryption? Hardly, says new report

February 2, 2016
posted by

Jenna McLaughlin The Intercept
by Jenna McLaughlin  

"Bring technologists and members of the intelligence community together to figure out what to do about unbreakable encryption and guess what they conclude? They conclude that they don'’t really need to worry about it. Unbreakable encryption -- which prevents easy, conventional surveillance of digital communications -- isn't a big problem for law enforcement, says a new report published by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society on Monday." (02/01/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/01/is-law-enforcement-going-dark-because-of-encryption-hardly-says-new-report/  

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Missing from Bernie’s revolution: Welfare reform

February 2, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Clio Chang & Samuel Adler-Bell  

"On September 11, 1996, a few weeks after President Bill Clinton signed a landmark welfare reform bill, Peter Edelman and Mary Jo Bane, both assistant secretaries in the Department of Health and Human Services, resigned. Edelman, a longtime ally and close personal friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, confined his statements on the matter to two terse sentences in a memo to his staff: I have devoted the last 30-plus years to doing whatever I could to help in reducing poverty in America. I believe the recently enacted welfare bill goes in the opposite direction. A month earlier, policy adviser Wendell E. Primus also resigned from HHS. 'To remain,' Primus wrote, 'would be to disown all the analysis my office has produced regarding the impact of the bill.' That analysis, which HHS Secretary Donna Shalala hand-delivered to the president months earlier, indicated that the proposed law would send 1.1 million more children into poverty. On the Senate floor, Ted Kennedy called it 'legislative child abuse.'” (02/01/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/128878/missing-bernies-revolution-welfare-reform  

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Why libertarians are (still) plotting to take over New Hampshire

February 2, 2016
posted by

Mother Jones
by Madison Pauly  

"On February 18, hundreds of libertarians will flock to the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire, for the ninth annual Liberty Forum, a four-day conference featuring presentations on topics such as religious freedom, school choice, and 'Anarchy: Dressing for Success.' A big draw will be Edward Snowden's keynote speech, delivered over a live video stream. As the exiled NSA whistleblower speaks, conference goers may mull their own flight from government oppression -- not to Russia, but to the haven of New Hampshire. The Free State Project, which runs the Liberty Forum, has spent 15 years trying to recruit 20,000 libertarian-minded activists to take up residence in the Granite State." (02/01/16)

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/02/libertarians-new-hampshire-free-state  

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The false lure of the Sanders single-payer plan

February 2, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Paul Starr  

"Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go to the doctor and not pay any bills? After all, isn’t that what they do in other countries, and don’t those countries have lower health-care costs than the United States does? And aren’t private insurance companies the only reason we don’t have that kind of system? This is the appeal of the Bernie Sanders single-payer health plan. Free health care, with none of the frustrating paperwork of today’s insurance, and with taxes that cost less than insurance premiums -- what could be better than that? Of course, the single payer in the Sanders plan is the federal government, which implies concentrating payment and therefore power over health care in Washington." [editor's note: Bear in mind that this pundit likes the idea of single payer - SAT] (02/01/16)

http://prospect.org/article/false-lure-sanders-single-payer-plan  

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Cycle 2016

February 2, 2016
posted by

Center for a Stateless Society
by Will Moyer  

"I resisted writing about the election for a long time, but I couldn't hold out any longer. Below are three sections, each covering a different candidate: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton. Though the essays can be taken as separate pieces, they are related both in content and theme. I urge you to read all three, in order." (02/01/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/43121  

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The real contest in Iowa

February 2, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Paul Goldman  

"Money talks, and it may be about to speak loudly Monday night in Iowa. Senator Bernie Sanders [I-VT] is trying to do something no Democrat has done since 1896. The oldest person ever to seek the presidency is the party elite’s greatest threat since William Jennings Bryan, who, at 36, was the youngest person ever nominated for the White House. The Nebraskan’s Great Plains populism ignited a working-class economic revolt at the 1896 Democratic National Convention. His legendary 'Cross of Gold' speech skewered a party establishment he claimed had sold out to Wall Street fat cats. Bryan went from little-known longshot to the Democratic presidential nomination by the fifth ballot." (02/01/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2016/02/01/the-real-contest-in-iowa  

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