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Archive for May 29th, 2014

Dallas Bar Jokes About Domestic Violence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Dallas Bar Jokes About Domestic Violence
The Scruffie Duffie’s bar in the Dallas suburb of Plano was hammered on social media after this message on a chalkboard greeted patrons: “I like my beer like I like my violence — domestic.” A customer complained, and when the manager wouldn’t take it down, she shared a photo of it on Facebook and it went viral. Brian Harder, the president of the company that owns the bar, said, “This was an isolated event executed by an employee that made a bad decision followed by a manager that did not recognize and fix the problem. “We did investigate this issue further and our general manager has since been fired.”

Former Young-Earth Creationist Tells All
David MacMillan: During my tenure as an active young-earth creationist, I never once heard other creationists accurately describe what evolutionary theory is or how it is supposed to work. Nor did I understand it myself. Creationists often seem familiar with a lot of scientific terminology, but their understanding is filled with gross misinformation. Thus, a host of misconceptions is believed and taught throughout creationist circles, making it almost impossible for actual evidence to really sink in. … I will attempt to explain why creationist claims persist in the face of contrary evidence, even when individuals are otherwise well-educated. To do so, I’m going to go over the major areas where creationists get the science itself completely wrong.


Elk killing trial ignites emotions in hippie town

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Elk killing trial ignites emotions in hippie town
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — In a stately neighborhood of Boulder, a city known as the Berkeley of the Rocky Mountains, a bull elk named “Big Boy” had become a treasured fixture.


W.H.: Edward Snowden did not raise surveillance concerns before leaking

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

W.H.: Edward Snowden did not raise surveillance concerns before leaking
White House spokesman Jay Carney disputes Edward Snowden’s claim that he tried to blow the whistle internally before going public with his leaks of classified government surveillance programs.

VA scandal: John McCain calls for FBI probe, Eric Shinseki’s dismissal
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says it’s time for the FBI to investigate the Veterans Affairs hospital scandal and calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down.


O’Reilly: If You Are “A Sex-Change Person,” You Could Just Go To Prison To Fund “The Operation”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

O’Reilly: If You Are “A Sex-Change Person,” You Could Just Go To Prison To Fund “The Operation”

From the May 29 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:

BILL O’REILLY: If you were a sex-change person, then you would just commit a crime, go in and have the operation, and then you get out. You see what I mean, Heather? You can work the system that way.

HEATHER NAUERT: I suppose so.

O’REILLY: I don’t want to give anybody any ideas, if you are a sex-change person.

Previously:

Fox News Attacks “Special Treatment” For Transgender Prisoners

Fox Hosts Mock, Laugh At Transgender Inmate’s Appearance

Radio Hosts Mimic Fox’s Transphobia, Promptly Get Fired


Partial Unilateral Withdrawal: Israel’s Next Step?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Partial Unilateral Withdrawal: Israel’s Next Step?
Peter Berkowitz, RealClearPolitics
What’s the next step? That’s the question again on the minds of those who care about Israel, the Palestinians—and America’s interests in the Middle East—following the April collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s well-intentioned if quixotic attempt to reach a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Since returning to the prime minister’s office in March 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu has followed Washington’s lead, first by muddling through until the U.S. ramped up a new round of negotiations and then seeking to advance them. This time…

Romney Endorsement Wins Add Up as Iowa Return Looms
Scott Conroy and Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
Few would have predicted it after he lost to President Obama 19 months ago, but Mitt Romney looks to be a Republican kingmaker in 2014. So far this year, he has endorsed candidates in a half-dozen GOP primaries — and all six have won. Romney’s sustained and surprising relevance in these intra-party battles has even fueled some of the chatter about a potential third White House run for the two-time presidential also-ran. But while Romney, now 67, has categorically dismissed any such suggestions, his impressive recent track record in backing winners has epitomized the widespread success…

The Revolt of the Nerds
Michael Gerson, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Parallel to the rise of the tea party — with less attention but more potential influence — has been a gathering movement of reform conservatives whom my colleague E.J. Dionne Jr., in an essay in the journal Democracy, dubs “Reformicons.” One version of the tea party governing vision was recently and neatly summarized by Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel: “I’m not going to do anything for you. I’m going to get the government off your back, and then I’m gonna let you do it for yourself.” This might better be called Ikea conservatism. The parts and instructions are in…


Cable: I’m supporting party leader

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Cable: I’m supporting party leader
Vince Cable denies acting disloyally after one of his closest allies attempted to get Nick Clegg removed as Lib Dem leader.

Wales satisfied with NHS and schools
The majority of people in Wales are happy with NHS care and schools, according to a national survey.


First lady defeated in panel vote

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

First lady defeated in panel vote
The spending panel defeated an amendment backing the first lady in a party-line vote.


International Observers Find Egypt’s Presidential Election Fell Short of Standards

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

International Observers Find Egypt’s Presidential Election Fell Short of Standards
Two teams of foreign observers said the presidential election was marred by irregularities and a repressive political environment.



U.S. Strategy to Fight Terrorism Increasingly Uses Proxies
Even before President Obama’s speech on a shift in antiterrorism strategy, the military began relying more on allied or indigenous troops to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates.



Italy Seeks $1.6 Billion in Damages From Roche and Novartis
The government says the national health service suffered losses from the drug companies’ efforts to restrict competition in ophthalmic drugs.

Pro-Russia Troops Take Symbol of Ukraine Uprising
In a sign that commanders with Russian citizenship appear to be gaining control of the rebellion in Ukraine, the Vostok Battalion evicts a group of locals from the administration building in Donetsk.



World Briefing: Iraq War Inquiry Gets Bits of Leaders’ Talks in Britain
The British government agreed on Thursday to give the “gist” of conversations between Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush while they were in office to an inquiry panel looking into the Iraq war.




John Boehner: ‘I’m Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

John Boehner: ‘I’m Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change’

But Boehner did say the Obama administration’s efforts to mitigate climate change will hurt the economy.

The post John Boehner: ‘I’m Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

BoehnerBudget

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that though he doesn’t feel qualified to “debate the science” of climate change, he does know that the Obama administration’s efforts to mitigate the problem are bad for the country.

“Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” Boehner said when asked by a reporter whether he thinks climate change is a problem, and whether he would support taking action to fix it. “But I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs. That can’t be the prescription for dealing with changes in our climate.”

Boehner’s comments come days before the EPA is slated to release its proposed rules on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, regulations that have already drawn the ire of groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Boehner has expressed doubt that man-made climate change is occurring in the past — in 2009, he said the “idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.”

“Every time we exhale,” Boehner went on, “we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you’ve got more carbon dioxide.”

Carbon dioxide, for the record, is not thought to cause cancer, though you would not want to breathe in high levels of it. The gas is a pollutant because of the effect that emitting it has on the atmosphere, and human health and welfare.

Boehner in 2012 again cast doubt on man’s role in climate change.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ve had climate change over the last 100 years,” he told USA Today. “What has initiated it, though, has sparked a debate that’s gone on now for the last 10 years.”

Boehner’s most recent choice of language, however, allowed him to skirt the responsibility of taking a side one way or another on climate change by referencing his lack of scientific background. It’s been used by lawmakers before — earlier this month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has said in the past that he’s “not convinced” man-made climate change is occurring, dodged a question about climate change by saying “I’m not a scientist,” then pivoting to flood control and Everglades restoration. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has used it as well, when asked in 2012 how old he thinks the Earth is, and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin reminded West Virginians that he wasn’t a scientist when concerns over the toxicity of the chemical that polluted the drinking water of 300,000 in the state began to heighten.

Though Boehner may not trust his scientific credentials enough to take a position on climate change, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the climate change the world is experiencing is “very likely” due to human activities.

The post John Boehner: ‘I’m Not Qualified To Debate The Science Over Climate Change’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Rooftop Solar’s Emerging Markets Are In Middle-Class Neighborhoods

Middle-class households are a major force in driving rooftop solar installations in emerging residential solar markets.

The post Rooftop Solar’s Emerging Markets Are In Middle-Class Neighborhoods appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Mari Hernandez is a Research Associate on the Energy team at the Center for American Progress.

Deborah Parrish was spurred by a Montgomery County tax break to have solar panels installed at her Gaithersburg, Md. home, shown in this Friday June 27, 2008 handout photo.

Deborah Parrish was spurred by a Montgomery County tax break to have solar panels installed at her Gaithersburg, Md. home, shown in this Friday June 27, 2008 handout photo.

CREDIT: AP Photo/ courtesy of Standard Solar

Middle-class households are a major force in driving rooftop solar installations in emerging residential solar markets.

Last year, a Center for American Progress (CAP) study found that rooftop solar had reached beyond wealthy homeowners, with the overwhelming majority of solar panels being installed in areas with median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000 in Arizona, California, and New Jersey – the three largest solar markets.

To determine whether rooftop solar had become more mainstream in other states, CAP’s latest study analyzes the income characteristics of solar photovoltaic (PV) system owners in emerging residential solar markets, including Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. The study found that both Massachusetts and New York followed a similar pattern to the more developed solar markets, with more than 80 percent of installations in New York and nearly 70 percent of installations in Massachusetts occurring in zip codes with median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000. Interestingly, just 45 percent of Maryland’s rooftop solar installations had occurred in middle class neighborhoods – a significant percentage, but much lower than the other states in the study (see chart below).

RooftopSolar-webfig1

According to the CAP paper, the areas that experienced the most year-over-year percentage increase from 2012 to 2013 had median incomes ranging from $40,000 to $50,000 in Maryland and Massachusetts and $110,000 to $120,000 in New York.

While the study did not examine the reason behind some of the current adoption trends in these emerging markets, it did discuss the importance of solar-friendly policies to the growth of rooftop solar among middle- and low-income households. As utility executives and others push for changes to net metering and other solar policies, they ignore the fact that those policies benefit middle class households in addition to adding value to the grid. The issue brief argued that policymakers should create or expand solar programs to ensure that even more middle- and low-income residents can take advantage of rooftop solar going forward.

The post Rooftop Solar’s Emerging Markets Are In Middle-Class Neighborhoods appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Chris Christie Preaches a Foreign Policy of American Exceptionalism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 29th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Chris Christie Preaches a Foreign Policy of American Exceptionalism
From: The Christie Watch

Not quite a neoconservative, Christie is still sounding a lot like, well, Hillary Clinton when it comes to world affairs.

Renewable Energy Foes Poised to Return Ohio to ‘the Dark Ages’
From: Zoë Carpenter

A bill to block renewable energy standards is the product of an aggressive campaign by conservative groups to undermine laws that encourage the development of clean energy.

Can New York City’s Welfare System Be Saved?
From: Michelle Chen

By forcing people on welfare to trade personal dignity for social entitlements, the system seeks to shrink public spending at an unconscionable moral cost.