Highlighting bad policy & practice
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"The East" star Ellen Page discusses the ethics of environmentalism, and reveals Canada's dark secret.
Lisa P. Jackson explains that regulating mercury would prevent thousands of deaths and create jobs.
Science is under attack. With corporations manufacturing uncertainty to undermine studies that hurt their bottom lines and the sequester cutting billions in funding for scientific research, you’d think the American science community would be hunkered down in their labs avoiding outside interference at all costs.
A new project of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Center for Science and Democracy, is encouraging scientists to do just the opposite.
Michael Mann: Climate change is already costing us $1 trillion a year.
In the 1990s, a prominent research facility associated with Johns Hopkins University conducted an experiment that knowingly exposed children — mostly African American, some as young as a year old — to varying levels of potentially dangerous lead, as part of a study comparing different degrees of lead paint abatement.
“I’m not making a value statement, but it comes down to emission controls,” Mr. Routt said. “Other people [—especially the Koch brothers—] don’t seem to have a problem, which is why it is going to Mexico, which is why it is going to China.”
[Wherever it’s burned, the pollution will shorten all our lives.
- It is now three years since Europe-imposed cutbacks were first imposed on Spain
- With rampant unemployment, the country's suffering has never been more acute
You can't hit 400 ppm CO2 and still think "all of the above" is a rationale energy strategy.
The increasingly contentious issue of hospital charges drew renewed attention last week when the federal government released Medicare data showing that facilities nationwide submitted widely divergent bills
for the same treatments. And while the unassuming, six-story brick hospital here holds a notable place in those rankings, others stand out as well.
Barack Obama was given an opportunity to be the most powerful man in the world at a time of the most perilous global threat to human life in 200,000 years. He needs to lead on this issue. By taking a strong stance, by campaigning in the hustings, by serving as the Great Educator, he can bring the pain and the pressure to the Hill that will make them cooperative.
In publicly discussing her double mastectomy, the actor has challenged the celebrity industry to rethink its bizarre values – and she has done all women a huge service
Marijuana users had smaller waists and scored higher across several measures of blood sugar regulation.
CO2 is at a level not seen in millions of years—if this happened in science fiction, the planet would pay attention.
The promise of delinking research and development from the actual manufacture of drugs, and why the pharmaceutical industry rejects an idea that could turn neglected diseases into profit.
Looking at real bills for real patients cuts through the ideological debate over health care policy.
The USA ranks first in the world in health care spending, but only 45th in life expectancy....
Climate change inaction is a leading global cause of death.
If we had the per-person costs of any other OECD country, America’s deficits would vanish....
How Industry Money Reaches (bribes?) Physicians
To remove your appendix in one California hospital costs $180,000, at a different facility the bill is $1,500. [Who has time to 'shop'?
Why is Healthcare Absurdly Expensive in USA: Graphics (Part 2) (Part 1 is here)
Videos of Health Care Systems in Less Corrupt Countries
SOURCE: Public Broadcasting System & ABC News | Ref.
Health Care Reform Reality Check
SOURCE: The White House | Ref.
Health Care Reform: An Online Guide
SOURCE: Slate Mag. | Ref.
OECD Health Data [Updated 11.08.07]
SOURCE: OECD | Ref.
International Healthcare Systems Primer
SOURCE: The American Medical Student Association | Ref.
Global Warming Links
SOURCE: Readers | Ref.
The Wall Street Journal
called for reform that would lighten the tax burden on corporations without noting that corporate tax revenue has reached historic lows in a time of historically high profits. [What media—and what political party—defends the public's interests?
International corporations have no national allegiance, they care only for profit. Meanwhile, people all over the world are becoming increasingly nationalistic and xenophobic.
In the furious fallout from the revelation that the IRS flagged
applications from conservative nonprofits for extra review because of their political activity
, some facts
about the big picture—and big donors—have fallen through the cracks.
It's becoming an annual tradition: Spring rolls around, and while nobody is looking, Wall Street quietly lays siege to Washington and reaches a hand out to yank the last remaining teeth out of the government's financial regulatory head.
PBS declined to show “Citizen Koch,
a documentary about the Wisconsin public union issue, treating the influence of the dirty energy magnates who are destroying the world through climate change and funding climate change denial, among the various other nefarious things they do. This according to the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. It points to the dangers of declining public funding for institutions such as PBS in favor of corporate sponsorships and the donations of the rich. No wonder investigative journalism is an endangered species!
Other factors have come and gone for the Right, but racism has always been there.
“President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire, and was determined to spend it into the ground. The Politburo reciprocated, and the rhetoric on both sides drove the hysteria.”
ROBERT BECKHUSEN in Wired
This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. [Like Republicans (and Obama) in the U.S.,] it is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end.
Al Madrigal questions former MSNBC pundit Dylan Ratigan about leaving cable news for the less angry world of hydroponic farming.
The real and present dangers are too uncomfortable to confront
The problem is not just that the incidence of unemployment is uneven across the advanced countries. It is also that it is extremely uneven across age groups, or more importantly, generations.
The generation that has entered the labour force over the last five years is the hardest hit.
The fight against plutocracy, concentrated wealth and corporatism is decentralized, creative and growing.
Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers in AlterNet
Billionaires with an axe to grind, now is your time. There is no limit to the amount of money you can give to elect your friends and allies to political office, to defeat those with whom you disagree, to shape or stunt or kill policy, and above all to influence the tone and content of political discussion in this country.
Congressional investigators are pointing fingers in the wrong direction if they want to save more U.S. lives.
President Obama’s decision on Wednesday
to dismiss the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service was a largely symbolic demonstration of anger and authority. What is more important is Mr. Obama’s promise to clarify the extremely vague tax laws, which are the root cause of the problems in both the I.R.S. and the political system.
The Internal Revenue Service has been harshly criticized for singling out conservative organizations
when it investigated which groups were legitimately applying for 501(c)(4)
status, which makes them tax exempt, keeps donors confidential and allows some political activity.
But should the 501(c)(4) status even exist? Should nonprofits be allowed any political activity?
In a world where Kevin Garnett, Harold Ford, and Halle Berry all check "black" on the census, even the argument that racial labels refer to natural differences in physical traits doesn't hold up.
The current wave of pseudo-scandals is ginning up Fox voters. This could produce a disaster in next year's off-year elections.
Do you think Benghazi couldn't hurt a future Candidate Clinton? Rubes, please think again.
The children ran and hid for two years while Power invented tales about Gore. They've done the same thing for the past nine months as tales were invented about Susan Rice.
Your corporate-paid leaders won't stand up to Power. Dearest darlings! It just isn't done!
A press that's able to ferret out government secrets is more important than a government that can keep secrets.
The recent IRS flap shows an obvious double standard in Washington's reactions to Bush era and Obama era misconduct.
Both "conservative" and "liberal" journalists are held to account for unprofessionalism.
A few elite institutions at both the grade-school and college levels are doing better than ever. But their health conceals the collapse of private-sector options in the U.S.
Higher education should be closing the gap between the rich and the poor. But college economics are driving them further apart
Letters to the Editor
In recognition of the dangers inherent in the consolidation of mainstream corporate media The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel
(formerly a newspaper) advances awareness of important suppressed news and opinion.
The kindness of your donation would be appreciated
Subscribe for only $2.00/mo. Set low on purpose—we know we're not your main news source.
You can also mail a check to:
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Readers | Ongoing
Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS spent untold millions of dollars on behalf of Republican candidates while attacking Democrats during the last election cycle. On the other side, Priorities USA spent a fortune helping Democratic candidates while trashing Republicans. Both rabidly partisan organizations enjoy tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (4). They claim to run strictly "issue" advertisements that aren't really political, which is a hoot.
Just as the Justice Department found no crimes it could prosecute against Wall Street, it similarly finds nothing to prosecute within this 29-year conspiracy of Big Tobacco, Koch brothers, and the Tea Party cabal.
Yet another serious escalation of the Obama administration's attacks on press freedoms emerges
The decision to annul the sentence does not signal the end of the legal battle, as both sides will now start preparing to return to court to replay the final weeks of the trial.
[Will the USA ever allow its war criminals to be tried?
Then Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner must have received
a copy of the 2011 Miller memo, because it was written on Department of Treasury stationary and Shulman and Miller reported to him. Therefore, to find out if the IRS has been running a massive enemies list for the White House, Congress must demand that Timothy Geithner testify under oath.
The request from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., came after European Union investigators this week raided the offices of global energy giants BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil. The anti-trust probe is examining whether the companies manipulated oil prices by making false reports to Platts, an energy industry data service owned by McGraw Hill Financial.
Part of the reason the ratings agencies behaved so recklessly is that they were (and still are) paid by the banks whose products they rate.
Credit-rating agencies "effectively took huge bribes from banks to misinform people about risk," says Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform
. "This is a critical issue and [the SEC] has taken a complete pass on it" so far.
Fierce consumer advocate and needler of banks Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out Wall Street regulators for their habit of giving tepid punishments to misbehaving banks, and asked the agencies to justify their policy of settling with the wrongdoers out of court.
Europe is failing in the fight against youth unemployment. While the German government's efforts remain largely symbolic, Southern European leaders pander to older voters by defending the status quo.
SVEN BÖLL, MARKUS DETTMER, FIONA EHLERS, MANFRED ERTEL, CORNELIA SCHMERGAL AND HELENE ZUBER in Spiegel
What will we do when machines do all the work?
The endgame here is the so-called singularity—the point at which technological development is so sophisticated that humans have become irrelevant. [Good. Using automation and robots for the boring stuff will allow humans to focus on saving life on Earth..., but who will be our employer.
Celebrity statistician says data can help challenge common myths about the world, particularly on population and fertility
Senior Obama officials tell the US Senate: the 'war', in limitless form, will continue for 'at least' another decade - or two
[Why isn't this a beefed-up-InterPol task, supplemented with military only as needed?
Former finance minister and economist say Egypt is in dire predicament as foreign investment and tourism collapse
Hallelujah - sort of. Catholic leaders make timid noises to protest horrific policies that crush millions.
Yesterday’s action in Washington involved the 2 million workers paid, directly or indirectly, by the federal government, who make $12 an hour or less
. The federal government is actually the largest low-wage job creator in America, higher than Walmart, McDonald’s or anyone else. The Demos report detailing this is very thorough and has already spurred a House Democratic investigation (believe it or not, Steny Hoyer’s going to show up at it):
gives an inside look on Apple's absolutely genius tax avoidance strategies with a variety of offshore structures and arrangements to shift billions of dollars from the United States to Ireland where it has a negotiated special corporate tax rate of less than 2%. [It's legal but not 'fair': the corporate tax loopholes were bought and paid for and nearly all corporations take advantage. But this is immoral capitalism because it makes the non-rich (you) pay higher tax for necessary lost revenue.
Other countries have long been annoyed by Irish tax laws, but the benefit to the struggling country's economy means the rules are unlikely to change.
[Like US states entice businesses with special tax breaks, countries do this too. There needs to be an overall agreed liability and minimum tax rate for corporations to stop the "gotcha games".
Austerity kills -- radical cuts destroy economies and lives, and the honest numbers and economics keep proving it
DAVID STUCKLER and SANJAY BASU in Salon
European Union Launches Investigation Into Manipulation of Oil Prices Since 2002
The TBTF bill’s appeal is its simplicity. It does not require complex formulas.
Enforcement is simple and easily executed. There is no need for new regulatory apparatus that might one day become “captured” by its charges. Rather, it uses basic formulas to mandate adequate capital reserves. The legislation eliminates most opportunities for banker shenanigans, such as hiding liabilities off the balance sheet or in “side pockets.” It also treats all asset classes and liabilities equally – including derivatives.
Bill Moyers is joined by the heads of two independent watchdog groups keeping an eye on government as well as on powerful interests seeking to influence it. Sheila Krumholz
, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and OpenSecrets.org, and Danielle Brian
, who runs the Project on Government Oversight, talk to Bill about the importance of transparency to our democracy, and their efforts to scrutinize who’s giving money, who’s receiving it, and most importantly, what’s expected in return.
Money should be made to ''serve'' people, not to ''rule'' them, he said on Thursday, calling for a more ethical banking system and curbs on financial speculation. Countries should impose more control over their economies and not allow ''absolute autonomy'', in order to provide ''for the common good''.
Economics isn't like a science were you can run simultaneous experiments with control groups. But the last five years have been pretty darn close to a global stimulus experiment. Europe has been dabbling with its own 21st-century version of the gold standard while enforcing continent-wide austerity. Meanwhile, [the US has] mostly done the opposite -- with high (if not high enough) deficits and aggressive (if not aggressive enough) monetary policy. The results speak for themselves.
Meta debt—on derivatives—can bring down banks and governments, as we have seen. But it can’t be swapped in any obvious way into equity in order to reduce the risk. The only solution is to stop it, by setting rules that take it away. But that would require governments to govern, and that seems to be something they refuse to do – perhaps because they have been bought off, or perhaps because they cannot think clearly enough about their role in global capital markets.
In the case of the rating agencies, I’m sure the SEC would welcome the opportunity to apply more analysis and talk it out until everybody forgets what it is they were supposed to be doing. Meanwhile, the essential corruption of their business model continues unabated.