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Archive for August 24th, 2014

How Big Pharma Keeps Meth Cooks in Business

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

How Big Pharma Keeps Meth Cooks in Business
Jonah Engle, Mother Jones: If anyone wondered what would happen if heroin or cocaine addicts suddenly discovered how to make their own supply with a handful of cheap ingredients readily available over the counter, methamphetamine’s recent history provides an answer. Since 2007, the number of clandestine meth sites discovered by police has increased 63 percent nationwide. As law enforcement agencies scramble to clean up and dispose of toxic labs, prosecute cooks, and find foster homes for their children, they are waging two battles: one against destitute, strung-out addicts, the other against some of the world’s wealthiest and most politically connected drug manufacturers. In the past several years, lawmakers in 25 states have sought to make pseudoephedrine — the one irreplaceable ingredient in a shake-and-bake lab — a prescription drug. In all but two — Oregon and Mississippi — they have failed as the industry, which sells an estimated $605 million worth of pseudoephedrine-based drugs a year, has deployed all-star lobbying teams and campaign-trail tactics such as robocalls and advertising blitzes.

Missouri Cop Suspended After Calling Blacks ‘Little Perverts’
A police officer involved in the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, has been relieved of his duty after video surfaced of him describing black people as “little perverts” and Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant. Dan Page was recorded in April giving a speech in which he described President Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant, and railed against Muslims and gay people. “I’m into diversity — I kill everybody,” he said.


Strong California quake shakes famed wine country

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Strong California quake shakes famed wine country
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 has been reported in northern California’s San Francisco Bay area.


Obama to Congress: Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Obama to Congress: Reauthorize Export-Import Bank
President Obama says the U.S. is exporting more goods than ever before, and Congress needs reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank to sustain that progress.

Rick Perry: If I run, I’ll be more prepared than I was in 2012
The Texas governor lays early groundwork in New Hampshire for his potential 2016 presidential bid


CNN’s Reliable Sources Slams Fox For “Rush To Report Anonymous Claims” About Questionable Ferguson Officer Injury

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

CNN’s Reliable Sources Slams Fox For “Rush To Report Anonymous Claims” About Questionable Ferguson Officer Injury

From the August 24 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources:

Related

Did Darren Wilson Have A Broken Eye Socket After His Encounter With Michael Brown?

Previously:

Conservative Media Race-Baiting: Ferguson Edition

Jim Hoft: Dumbest Man On The Internet?


Spousal Secrets no More

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Spousal Secrets no More
Eugene Robinson, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — How far would you go to stay out of jail? Would you publicly humiliate your wife of 38 years, portraying her as some kind of shrieking harridan? Would you put the innermost secrets of your marriage on display, inviting voyeurs to rummage at will? For Robert McDonnell, the former Virginia governor on trial for alleged corruption, the answers appear to be: “As far as necessary,” “Hey, why not?” and “Sounds like a plan.” McDonnell’s testimony this week in a Richmond federal courtroom about his wife Maureen’s psychological turmoil has been both cringe-worthy and compelling. It has…

Are Republicans Abandoning the Obamacare Issue? Doubtful
David Harsanyi, RealClearPolitics
In a bit of dubious cherry-picking, a new Bloomberg article concludes that the Affordable Care Act is losing its effectiveness as a political issue for Republicans and is diminishing as a major issue. How do we know the end is near-ish? Well, so many Americans are “benefiting from the law,” theorizes Heidi Przybyla, that political ads are simply not doing the job anymore. This news is somewhat unexpected — and unpersuasive — when you consider that a Kaiser Family Foundation poll recently found that only 15 percent of Americans believe Obamacare has directly helped them, whereas 28 percent…

Obamacare, Beyond the Label
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be a slam dunk issue for the Republicans in this fall’s elections. Karl Rove told us so in April, writing that “Obamacare is and will remain a political problem for Democrats.”So how’s that Obamacare thing working out for the GOP? The most significant bit of election news over the last week was the decision of Sen. Mark Pryor, the embattled Arkansas Democrat, to run an ad touting his vote for the health care law as a positive for the people of his increasingly Republican state. Pryor’s ad is so soft and personal that it’s almost…

Hillary Clinton & the Perils of Being on Top
David Shribman, RealClearPolitics
The NFL preseason still has a few days left. The 2016 presidential preseason still has a few months left — for every candidate but Hillary Rodham Clinton. For Ms. Clinton, familiar to Americans as first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, there is no preseason. She’s been at the center of American attention for almost a quarter-century. No American woman in our history has been so prominent for so long, with the possible exception of Eleanor Roosevelt, who was in the public eye for 29 years but who held no elected office. Susan B. Anthony was involved in…


Call to strengthen radicals’ checks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Call to strengthen radicals’ checks
Stronger border checks are needed to prevent radicalised Muslims leaving the UK, says an MP with three constituents believed to be fighting in Syria.

Leaders meet for TV referendum clash
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and pro-Union campaign chief Alistair Darling are due to go head-to-head in a second live TV debate on Scottish independence.

Uni runs online referendum course
The University of Edinburgh is offering a six-week open course on the constitutional future of Scotland and the UK.


Will Iowa be Dems’ Waterloo?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Will Iowa be Dems’ Waterloo?
Iowa was never supposed to be a Senate battleground for Democrats. 


Karachi Journal: Fishermen Cross an Imperceptible Line Into Enemy Waters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Karachi Journal: Fishermen Cross an Imperceptible Line Into Enemy Waters
Several thousand fishermen, both Pakistani and Indian, have been arrested at sea in recent years, accused of crossing a border they cannot see and whose exact location is in dispute.



Strife in Libya Could Presage Long Civil War
An assault on Libya’s main international airport has drawn fractious militias, tribes and towns into a national conflagration that many Libyans despaired would have no resolution.



Israel Says Missile Strike Killed Hamas Official Handling ‘Terror Funds’
The Israeli military said the Hamas official had been responsible for the militant group’s financial transactions.

Sinosphere Blog: Case Against Australian Businessman Could Put A Hitch in His Swagger
A Chinese company claims that Clive Palmer, the Australian mining magnate, used money intended for an iron ore port on his political party instead.



China Says 8 Executed in Western Region; Charges Stem From Separatist Attacks
The executions were the latest display of might by the Chinese government, which is trying to extinguish increasingly violent discontent among Uighurs.




This Dramatic Newspaper Front Page Explains A Major Source Of Racial Tension In Ferguson And Beyond

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

This Dramatic Newspaper Front Page Explains A Major Source Of Racial Tension In Ferguson And Beyond

Things are bad in Ferguson but even worse in neighboring communities.

The post This Dramatic Newspaper Front Page Explains A Major Source Of Racial Tension In Ferguson And Beyond appeared first on ThinkProgress.

In the wake of Michael Brown’s killing, the strong community reaction reflected not only anger Brown’s death but long-standing racial tensions between the community and the police. Professor Clarissa Hayward told the L.A. Times that “The St. Louis metropolitan area has been an extreme example of racial segregation for 100 years.”

The front page of today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch is a powerful illustration of one component of the divide — a largely white police force patrolling a largely black population. The disparity is huge in Ferguson but even worse in other communities throughout the state.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 9.34.23 AM

This divide appears to have consequences, at least in Ferguson. The Washington Post reported that there are “questions about [Fergunson’s] officers’ training and racial sensitivity.” According to a report by the state’s Attorney General, cited by the Washington Post, “Ferguson police were twice as likely to arrest African Americans during traffic stops as they were whites.”

The post This Dramatic Newspaper Front Page Explains A Major Source Of Racial Tension In Ferguson And Beyond appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Soon, Europe Might Not Need Any Power Plants

According to UBS, the combined effect of solar power, battery technology, and electric vehicles could render centralized electricity generation from fossil fuels economically obsolete.

The post Soon, Europe Might Not Need Any Power Plants appeared first on ThinkProgress.

power-plant-sunset

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Within a few decades, large-scale, centralized electricity generation from fossil fuels could be a thing of the past in Europe.

That’s the word from investment bank UBS, which just released a new report anticipating a three pronged assault from solar power, battery technology, and electric vehicles that will render obsolete traditional power generation by large utilities that rely on coal or natural gas. According to Renew Economy, which picked up the report, the tipping point will arrive around 2020. At that point, investing in a home solar system with a 20-year life span, plus some small-scale home battery technology and an electric car, will pay for itself in six to eight years for the average consumer in Germany, Italy, Spain, and much of the rest of Europe. Crucially, this math holds even without any government subsidies for solar power.

“In other words,” the report says, “a German buyer should receive 12 years of electricity for free” for a system purchased in 2020.

UBS-solar-EV-payback

CREDIT: Renew Economy

That would mean that after 2020, the economic incentives will align to encourage the average European household to stop relying on the traditional utility model for their electricity needs. “Not all [power plants] will have disappeared by 2025,” the report concedes, “but we would be bold enough to say that most of those plants retiring in the future will not be replaced.”

The analysis also suggests that for utilities to survive in this new world, they’ll need to focus on providing smart distribution networks to better manage demand on a much more decentralized grid, and providing small-scale local back-ups for storage and power generation to that same effect.

The way this would work on the household level is that the electric car could charge at night, solar would provide electricity during the day, and excess solar generation stored up in the battery could be discharged in the evenings to cover most of a household’s remaining power needs. Power supplied by the grid likely wouldn’t go away completely, but would be relegated to plugging some small remaining holes, primarily in the early morning. And smarter grid systems for homes will allow energy demand to be met with supply much more efficiently.

UBS-balance-supply-590x311

CREDIT: Renew Economy

UBS thinks it will take a while longer for electric vehicles to knock out reliance on oil to fuel transportation. But the total cost of ownership over three years for a Tesla Model S is already equivalent to comparable combustion-driven car like an Audi A7. And Tesla is planning to release a new $35,000 electric car for the consumer market in 2017.

So UBS thinks the rate at which electric cars are taking over the market will increase substantially after 2020, and that 10 percent of the market is a conservative estimate. That said, despite the remarkable growth in electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid sales, they remain an extremely small slice of the global car fleet — and the International Energy Agency believes they’ll need to take up three-fourths of global automobile sales by 2050 to stick with the goal of keeping the world’s average temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius.

Under UBS’ analysis, the combined effect of solar, batteries, and electric cars all intersecting at once is crucial to this tipping point. They anticipate advances in battery technology and pushes to scale up battery production — like Tesla’s anticipated gigafactory — will drop battery costs by more than 50 percent by 2020. That will make electric vehicles and stationary battery storage for homes cheaper, driving up demand for both. Then expansion of the electric car market will drive further improvements in battery technology, and a virtuous cycle will set in.

Meanwhile, power will be consumed more efficiently, because it will be consumed in lots of dispersed local settings, rather than being consumed by broad areas served by a single power source. That cuts down on the need for electricity transmission over long distances, and the accompanying power losses.

The post Soon, Europe Might Not Need Any Power Plants appeared first on ThinkProgress.


On the Little League World Series, Jackie Robinson West and Michael Brown

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

On the Little League World Series, Jackie Robinson West and Michael Brown
From: Dave Zirin

The rise of the all African-American little league from Chicago has revealed a great deal in the wake of Ferguson, about what we choose to see and not see with regards to race.