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What If Clinton Doesn’t Run?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 22nd, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

What If Clinton Doesn’t Run?
Lincoln Mitchell, New York Observer
For the last several years, virtually all have assumed that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016. Ms. Clinton and her supporters have done little to dissuade people from this notion. In fact, they have done the opposite. Organizations have been created, a standard political memoir was written and the potential candidate herself has remained highly visible both in the media and in person. Nonetheless, there is an aspect of Ms. Clinton’s failure to commit with certainty to the campaign that makes the 1980s Mario Cuomo look positively decisive.

The Hunter Biden Chronicles
Michelle Malkin, Townhall
Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden. Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look the other way.The youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden made news last week after The Wall Street Journal revealed he had been booted from the Navy Reserve for cocaine use. His drug abuse was certainly no surprise to the Navy, which issued him a waiver for a previous drug offense before commissioning him as a public…

When “Tolerance” Becomes Illiberal

Remembering Ben Bradlee
David Remnick, The New Yorker
Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, the most charismatic and consequential newspaper editor of postwar America, died at the age of ninety-three on Tuesday. Among his many bequests to the Republic was a catalogue of swaggering anecdotes rich enough to float a week of testimonial dinners. Bradlee stories almost always relate to his glittering surface qualities, which combined the Brahmin and the profane. Let’s get at least one good one out of the way:


Is There a Missing Russian Sub in Swedish Waters?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Is There a Missing Russian Sub in Swedish Waters?
Roland Oliphant, The Telegraph: If the Swedish navy’s hunt for a missing “Russian submarine” sounds like a throw-back to the Cold War, it is no coincidence. Diplomats in Moscow and western capitals may deny that we are seeing the beginning of “Cold War Two,” but the truth is relations are at their lowest point since the end of the Soviet Union. And the “missing submarine” is most likely guilty of typical Cold War behavior: spying, or deliberately testing Western reaction.

New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans
WASHINGTON (AP) — New U.S. rules aimed at getting banks to take on more of the risk when they package and sell mortgage securities are being relaxed with an eye to spurring broader home lending.

Terrorist ideology blamed in Canada car attack
MONTREAL (AP) — One of two Canadian soldiers hit by a car in an apparent terrorist attack has died of his injuries.

Family, friends remember women slain in Indiana
Seven women have been found dead this week in northwestern Indiana, one in a motel and six in abandoned houses in Gary.


Gary Hart named U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Gary Hart named U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland
John Kerry says former Democratic presidential candidate will help smooth negotiations in the new round of power-sharing talks

Ben Bradlee talks politics with Martin Luther King, Jr.
The late executive editor of the Washington Post interviewed the civil rights crusader on “Face the Nation” in 1964.


NRO Minimizes Harmful Effects Of Extremist Personhood Laws

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

NRO Minimizes Harmful Effects Of Extremist Personhood Laws

National Review Online’s Ian Tuttle disregarded history when dismissing fears that “personhood amendments” and fetal-homicide laws could open the door to criminal prosecutions for women who have miscarriages or abortions. Women have already been prosecuted for miscarriages in several states, and personhood advocates are explicitly pushing to end legal abortion.

In an October 21 article, Tuttle wrote that “liberals are lying about personhood amendments” like Colorado’s proposed Amendment 67, which would define “‘person’ and ‘child’ in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings.” Tuttle asserted that opponents are mischaracterizing personhood amendments to claim they would make abortion illegal and allow the prosecution of women who have had miscarriages:

That is the talking point of opponents such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Vote No 67, the main opposition campaign, which says that “any woman who suffers a miscarriage would be open to investigation for murder.”

This feverish scenario runs contrary to both experience and law.

Since 2006, Alabama has defined “person” in its homicide statute to include “an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.” No women have been investigated for miscarriages in Alabama. Or in Alaska, where a similar law also took effect in 2006. Or in Kentucky (2004). Or in North Dakota (1987). Or others.

But Tuttle ignored the fact that similar state laws have already been used to prosecute women — in Indiana, a woman who attempted to commit suicide while eight months pregnant was charged with murder. In fact, in Alabama, cited by Tuttle as an innocent actor, the judiciary is no stranger to interpreting the law in a way that pushes a personhood agenda. In that state, two women were prosecuted for endangering their unborn children by ingesting illicit drugs during their pregnancies, even though their “behavior … was not intended to be criminalized when the Legislature enacted the chemical-endangerment statute.” According to RH Reality Check, these laws are increasingly “misused by overzealous prosecutors and judges to trample women’s rights in favor of the nebulous personhood rights of fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses.” 

Tuttle also waved off concerns that Colorado’s personhood amendment would effectively prohibit abortion, despite the fact that the Colorado amendment was proposed by Personhood USA’s state chapter Personhood Colorado, a group explicitly pushing to end legal abortion:

And as in the Alabama Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Hamilton v. Scott in 2012, reaffirming Alabama’s inclusion of unborn persons in its homicide statutes, the constitutional protections to abortion afforded by Roe v. Wade would almost certainly be read into Colorado’s law. A “woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy” (Roe‘s language) is not explicitly exempted from criminal prosecutions, but this is likely, as a practical matter, unnecessary.

The very case Tuttle cites has been described as an explicit roadmap for overturning Roe v. Wade. As ProPublica explained, the judge who authored the opinion in Hamilton is “a pivotal figure in the so-called personhood movement” who wrote that “a centerpiece of Roe  that states cannot ban abortion before the point of viability – was ‘arbitrary,’ ‘incoherent,’ and ‘mostly unsupported by legal precedent.’” 


Colorado Senate Race a Petri Dish for Both Parties

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Colorado Senate Race a Petri Dish for Both Parties
Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
There is perhaps no other state this election cycle that better reflects the lessons learned by both parties over the past four years than Colorado. In 2010, Republicans discovered the hard way that a bad candidate who says impolitic things can squander a winnable Senate race in even the most favorable of climates. And Democrats learned they could overcome discouraging odds with a playbook centered on the women’s vote (highlighting abortion and contraception) and spotlighting an “extremist” opponent. The Democrat, Michael Bennet, went on to defeat Republican Ken Buck by one…

VIDEO: ‘Only Eurosceptic grouping is back’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: ‘Only Eurosceptic grouping is back’
UKIP’s European political grouping is working again after a member of the Polish Congress of the New Right joined up.

Whitehall in confusion, MPs warn
Taxpayers are getting poorer value for money from government projects because of “confusion” over decisions, MPs warn.


Sydney Journal: In Hard-Drinking Sydney, Rowdy Beer Barns Make Way for Sleek Bars

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Sydney Journal: In Hard-Drinking Sydney, Rowdy Beer Barns Make Way for Sleek Bars
Changes in drinking laws have cleared the way for a gentrification of establishments in a city known for its beer-swilling pubs.






Ebola Outbreak Erodes Recent Advances in West Africa
Ebola is wiping away the small gains made in war-scarred parts of West Africa, potentially threatening the hard-won stability in a tinderbox part of the world.






Mexican Military Executed at Least 12, Federal Panel Says
Soldiers said a shootout with gang suspects had led to the deaths in June, but a commission on human rights disputed that account.






Demand Jumps for Protective Equipment as Ebola Cases Spur Hospitals Into Action
Major manufacturers of protective equipment are increasing production as people across the United States brace for new potential cases of the virus.






Enforcer at Treasury Is First Line of Attack Against ISIS
David Cohen, a Treasury under secretary, discusses the battle to choke off the flow of illicit revenue to the Islamic State.


Hottest 12 Months On Record: NOAA Data ‘Show No Pause In Warming’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Hottest 12 Months On Record: NOAA Data ‘Show No Pause In Warming’

NOAA reports, “The past 12 months (10-13 to 9-14) was the warmest 12-month period since records began in 1880.” While some, mainly non-scientists, have said the world hasn’t warmed in 18 years “NOAA records show no pause in warming.”

The post Hottest 12 Months On Record: NOAA Data ‘Show No Pause In Warming’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

NOAA

Annual temperature anomalies and 2014 projection from NOAA (see below). Click to Enlarge

Global warming is like the Energizer bunny. It just keeps going and going and going. The big difference is that there aren’t any “Energizer bunny” deniers, claiming that the bunny stopped moving 18 years ago!

Not only did NOAA report Monday that last month was the hottest September on record, but they also pointed out, “The past 12 months—October 2013–September 2014—was the warmest 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880.”

NOAA climatologist Jessica Blunden says “It’s pretty likely” that 2014 will break the record for hottest year.” The AP reports:

Some people, mostly non-scientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but “no one’s told the globe that,” Blunden said. She said NOAA records show no pause in warming.

To paraphrase Taylor Swift, fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake, but we’re just gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake.

What’s especially amazing is that 2014 is poised to break the global temperature record despite the fact that it isn’t an El Niño year. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records, as NASA has explained.

But the underlying trend of human-caused warming is simply too strong to be denied, as it were. If we want to slow it down and ultimately stop it before it destroys a livable climate, we need to slash carbon pollution ASAP.

Why does NOAA think 2014 will be a record? They released this chart as a supplement to their September global temperature report (click to enlarge):

2014-SeptemberYTD

NOAA explains:

These graphics compare the year-to-date temperature anomalies for 2014 (black line) to what were ultimately the five warmest years on record: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2003, and 2013. Each month along each trace represents the year-to-date average temperature. In other words, the January value is the January average temperature, the February value is the average of both January and February, and so on.

The graph at the top of this post, by Things Break, uses NOAA’s purple projection, which assumes that each of the last three months of 2014 matches its 3rd warmest value on record. As NOAA explains, “Each of the last six months (April through September) have been 3rd warmest or warmer.” In fact, four of the last five months — May, June, August, and September — have been first (or tied for first) warmest, so there’s a good chance 2014 will be warmer than this projection.

I asked Dr. John Abraham, a climate expert who follows global temperature trends closely, what it would mean if this becomes the hottest year on record despite the fact that there’s been no El Niño. He told me:

It is likely we will have the hottest year on record. The surprising fact is this year has not had an El Niño. This year was not supposed to be hot, at least according to those who think climate change had stopped. But the real facts tells us a different story, the Earth is still warming, the “pause” never really was, and once again…. The contrarians were wrong.

When will the media and politicians will stop paying attention to the dangerously wrong deniers and confusionists?

The post Hottest 12 Months On Record: NOAA Data ‘Show No Pause In Warming’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

How Should You Laugh At Renée Zellweger’s Face Today?

You have to look a certain way. You have to look that way forever. But use surgery to do it, and we’ll mock your face off.

The post How Should You Laugh At Renée Zellweger’s Face Today? appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Do it like Buzzfeed, with helpful side-by-sides of photos of Zellweger from a week ago, a month ago, years ago. Do it like Gawker, with the plausible deniability that what you’re doing isn’t cruel at all, where you are just presenting the evidence: “Here Are Some Pictures of Renée Zellweger.” Do it like Fox, as if you’re playing detective, trying to uncover the source of her “mysterious facial changes.” Do it like The Telegraph, get right to the point: “What happened to your face?” Do it like CBS, with laughably awful (and confusing) grammar: I was unaware you could “stir up a buzz” or look “dramatically different than usual.”

renee

CREDIT: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Is this picture really so strange, so grotesque? Is the sight of a woman over 40 who appears to have had work done such a rarity?

If we’re going to perpetuate an entertainment industry that fetishes female youth and rejects everything else, we don’t get to trash talk women who choose to alter their looks through whatever means are at their disposal. We’re the ones who created a social and professional environment that is inhospitable to any other path.

We built that world, and now we also have to live in it. Over 11 million cosmetic procedures — both surgical and nonsurgical — were performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists and otolaryngologists in the United States in 2013. That’s 12 billion dollars worth of nips, tucks and tweaks, the most money spent on these elective procedures since the recession hit in 2008. Women, with 10.3 million out of that 11 million, make up 90.6-percent of the total.

surgery

Maybe Zellweger had surgery and maybe she didn’t and maybe she used Botox and maybe she didn’t. If she did either, she is part of an ever-growing segment of the population. If she did, she isn’t some freak show; she’s an average American woman who is older now than she was the last time you looked at her or really gave her any thought. She is older than she was in Jerry Maguire, older than she was in all the Bridget Jones movies, older than she was in Empire Records, she is older than she was when you started reading this story. And soon, at the end of this sentence, she will be older still.

We punish women for aging badly (i.e. just aging on the regular). We punish women who “try too hard” (i.e. resorting to surgery, Botox). “Aging” is only acceptable if (a) you’re a celebrity we only discovered after the age of 30 anyway or (b) you have the magical, admittedly awe-inspiring genetics of someone like Diane Lane.

To be a woman in public is to always be in a bind. You are going to age; this is science. But you can’t take inventory of the pop cultural landscape, realize what lies in wait for you if you don’t live up to impossible standards of agelessness, and do anything about it. You cannot take matters into your own hands. Don’t try too hard; you’re embarrassing yourself. You have to lose the baby weight by “just chasing the kids around.” You have to house spaghetti and meatballs before your Vanity Fair interview. You have to chirp about the benefits of “wearing sunscreen every day and drinking tons of water.”

You have to look a certain way. You have to look that way forever. But if you aren’t born with it, don’t bother. Anything you do that is unnatural — anything cosmetic, be it makeup or surgery or some combination of the two — will be ridiculed. You have to live with your face, exactly as it is. Because if you do anything to change your face, to try to make us like you more, we will mock you.

Of course when you age, as you inevitably will, you’ll be mocked, too. It will be ugly, regardless.

The post How Should You Laugh At Renée Zellweger’s Face Today? appeared first on ThinkProgress.


‘If I Were Dictator’: Writers in the ’30s Plot for a Better World

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 21st, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘If I Were Dictator’: Writers in the ’30s Plot for a Better World
From: Back Issues

A forerunner of The Guardian’s current series, “King or Queen for a Day.”

Should Chuck Todd Be ‘Disqualified’ for Saying the Midterm Elections Don’t Matter?
From: Leslie Savan

Should the guy moderating a Senate election debate think that the midterm Senate elections are important?

Poly, NYU’s Latest Global Venture in Building ‘Innovation’ on the Backs of Low-wage Workers
From: StudentNation

NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering or “Poly” facilitates innovation through exploitation of graduate student labor. 

Mitch McConnell Will Say Anything for a Ham
From: Lee Fang

Mitch McConnell isn’t a stranger to doubting science—he also pushed back on medical anti-smoking claims while accepting lavish industry gifts.