TG’s Political Wire: Are Republicans Losing Big Business?
Sigh of relief. Republicans, when in power, can’t resist going after social issues. Noone will remember any detail of Benghazi; everyone will remember the folks who support Indiana - and negatively.
The Art Newspaper: Vienna museum director calls for time limit on Nazi-loot restitution claims.
This doesn’t help Austria in the eyes of the world. Many don’t agree: “We have an immense obligation towards the Holocaust era. The discussion should not be about time limits but rather on how provenance research can be carried out as efficiently and rapidly as possible.” If someone has clear provenance 500 years hence, should a museum be able to deny it? I don’t believe so. Especially given the nature of how these artworks were ripped away from their rightful owners. You can set a statute of limitations on theft of consumer goods, perhaps. That is a petty crime. Consumer goods have a useful lifespan. Not so artworks, burgled with governmental organization and premeditation .... artworks appreciate in value.
And why say this now, when methods of detection and unearthing provenance have become so much better? We’re seeing new revelations in the news every day. No, this was a very unwise statement.
ars technica: Energy companies around the world infected by newly discovered malware.
ReadWrite: How GitHub Apparently Ended Up In The Crosshairs Of Chinese Hackers.
You know, I’m looking forward to a book on ‘invisible warfare’ that’s taking place as we go about our daily routines ...
Mashable: This organic, wheat-based kitty litter caused a nuclear waste leak.
LANL must go gluten-free ...
Guardian.UK: Deepwater oil spill - BP steps up PR effort to insist all is well in the Gulf.
“This year, the NWF found that higher-than-normal rates of death for many species continued, and are likely linked to the disaster: dolphins along Louisiana’s coastline were found dead at four times historic rates last year, and research has shown the deaths of 12% of brown pelicans and 32% of a species of gull can be linked to the spill. The NWF report also says the eggs of many animals – from trout in the Gulf to pelicans nesting as far away as Minnesota – have been found to contain oil and the dispersant used by BP in the wake of the spill.”
In These Times: Is There Anything Wrong with GMOs?
“Everybody thinks patenting plant materials happened with GMOs, but it didn’t. It goes back to the 1930s. Farmers in the developed world have been buying seeds from companies for many, many years.” And, indeed, it is true. Other interesting tidbits within.
TG’s Political Wire: Reagan’s Speeches Analyzed for Dementia.
“The findings [snip] do not prove that Mr. Reagan exhibited signs of dementia that would have adversely affected his judgment and ability to make decisions in office.” Um ... if you lived through the era, you’d know that’s not exactly true. We knew he was impaired in 1980; no media sources wanted to touch it at the time. If you remember the veritable ‘cuckoo klatches’ he called press conferences, you’ll know what I mean [how many clarifications they had to make, every time he began to ‘wing it’]. Only when Mondale ran up against him in ‘84, did the wall of silence begin to crack.
I had a dream the other day: A prominent Democrat comes out with Reagan’s exact 1980 platform. The Right vilifies her/him as a “liberal”. The candidate reveals who authored the platform, and then offers to switch parties if folks will vote for her/him, appealing directly to the people. Kinda entertaining.
Fuel Fix: Oil workers in West Texas and New Mexico were underpaid millions, Labor Department says.
“Among the problems found, employers were failing to include bonus payments when calculating overtime rates, weren’t paying for time spent working off-the-clock and paying flat rates despite the hours worked by employees. There were also instances of workers being misclassified as independent contractors.” Check out image #5, in the bottom gallery. Also, no word in this article about the workers getting their owed $$.
NakedCap: Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back as Citigroup Tries to Blackmail the Democratic Party.
“Cynics may say that these are just range wars, and that Warren is a progressive hood ornament for the Democratic party. While we’ve criticized her for her timid student loan proposal and for her falling in line with US adventurism abroad (save the proposed intervention in Syria, where Congress refused to back Obama), Warren is nevertheless is achieving something significant.”
Daily Beast: Ted Cruz at Princeton - Creepy, Sometimes Well-Liked, and Exactly the Same.
@#^&^@#$%@!! Constipated thinking usually can’t withstand Princeton. My apologies to all.
The Economist: America - A flagging [education] model.
“The country that has given the world so many ideas about how to run higher education could do with some new ones itself.” Note also that for-profit colleges are swiftly going the way of the dodo ... and rightfully so. Every ‘graduate’ of these schools I’ve run across has been unqualified. One in particular, the only skill s/he seemed to have acquired was an ability to make dreadful graphics in Powerpoint ... something Lynda.com could remedy for $25/mo, a significant savings over one of those ‘colleges’. Employers need to loosen up on their degree requirements and look at actual skills; I’m reminded of when airlines began requiring degrees of pilots. They lost a generation of some of the best stick-and-rudder flyers in history. Wouldn’t you rather have a Chuck Yeager flying you to your destination? No degree, likely no HS diploma either; unimpeachable skills.
In These Times: Obamacare and Its Discontents.
“In an era when the insured are facing rising out-of-pocket health expenses—up to $13,200 a year after premiums for family plans bought on the ACA exchange — I worry far more about all of the families who sacrifice needed care because of the crushing financial burden of high deductibles and copayments.” In recent casual discussions on Facebook, I see significant dissatisfaction in Democratic ranks over health care costs. It seems we have two kinds of Dems these days ... vocal ‘true believers’ and ‘silent sufferers.’ The sufferers need to be heard, in order to avoid a rout in 2016. And the ‘true believers’ need to unstop their ears, stop singing praises at the top of their lungs, and hear what’s being said by those who are having a difficult time with the quasi-religious health ‘miracle’.
My answer, so far, to dissatisfied Dems: The Republicans so far only offer to repeal the ACA. If so, does anyone actually believe rates might drop? What of pre-existing conditions, now revealed to governmental databases? Taking it back, I can’t see insurers making any other move than keeping current high deductibles and charging *more*. Who in the US doesn’t have a pre-existing condition, that the insurers can skyrocket rates for?
We need single-payer. The person who could simply explain the benefits (now that the complexities of the ACA are generally understood) and get it passed, gets a free pass to the Presidency. I feel enough people see the benefits now, and might cross party lines to go ‘all the way’.
Turn the tables on the situation, in other words. Republicans would simply rebrand it, and push it via their channels, hard. Dems just can’t get over the need to explain everything in detail. They need James Carville to be point man.
Guardian.UK: Mystery around Jeb Bush’s ‘unknown’ private email account.
“Others reached Bush simply through the gencom account — writing to him on a range of issues from judicial appointments to the federal raid that captured the Cuban child Elian Gonzalez to state labor and literacy issues.” Color me unsurprised.
BBC: Will the Dalai Lama reincarnate?
“His holiness has said that the 15th would be born outside of Tibet, outside of China, because this 15th Dalai Lama would have to continue the work of the present Dalai Lama.” Lots of Tibetans around Santa Fe. Apparently the climate is similar.
Politico: Hillary Clinton seeks clean slate with press.
“... Clinton said she was ‘all about new beginnings…. A new grandchild. A new hairstyle. A new email account. A new relationship with the press. No more secrecy, no more zone of privacy ... After all what good did that do for me?.” I had to double-check to be sure this wasn’t the Borowitz column or something similar. I suspect she’s speaking jokingly to her audience ... ?
“A one of a kind interactive visualization that allows anyone to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress.” Fascinating. Takes a bit to learn what it does. Pull the left-hand slider and zoom in, first. You’ll take off from there.
ABC: US Drillers Scrambling to Thwart OPEC Threat.
“Drillers are finding they can back into wells drilled only a few years ago to re-frack them or inject specially tailored fluids to get oil flowing again. That can return a well in some cases to peak output, without the expense of drilling a new well.” Perhaps, but to cut costs, where are all those ‘specially tailored fluids’ being dumped/injected? Quadruple the watch on your drinking water sources, people.
ProPublica: How Much Water Do You Use? Help ProPublica Investigate Water Use in the U.S.
Survey form. Let’s give ‘em a gout of info, shall we?
OilPrice: Natural Gas Prices To Crash Unless Rig Count Falls Fast.
SF Reporter: New Mexico Legislature Ends Session With No Capital Outlay Bill.
NY Times: Obama Administration Unveils Federal Fracking Regulations.
I’ll certainly want to read these, after skimming by this ... “The Interior Department has spent more than three years developing the rules, in close consultation with oil and gas companies, states and environmental groups. The agency also said it has reviewed more than 1.5 million public comments.”
Guardian.UK: Laughing at Isis - Syrian video artists go beyond fear to ridicule jihadis.
Reuters/Exclusive: Despite Hillary Clinton promise, charity did not disclose donors.
As I fear, once she starts getting out there she is likely not as strong a candidate as everyone thinks. *Significant* baggage. Bloody great target taped to her signature blue suit. Nothing whatsoever she can do about it. The chip, chip, chip of the media, the conservative interests, others, will take their toll.
NY Times: How the Obama and Republican Budgets Compare.
Ack ... I see the words ‘dynamic scoring’ again. I smell the stench of the Laffer Curve wafting.