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Daily Kos

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March 28, 2015 at 22:00:05
Open thread: An NRA target, blowing your mind and the Supreme Court

What's coming up on Sunday Kos ...

  • NRA targets Loretta Lynch, by Denise Oliver Velez
  • Just how many elected officials are there in the United States? The answer is mind-blowing, by David Nir
  • What presidents can do: the Supreme Court, by Armando
  • Daily Kos Elections presents our fully interactive visualizations of the 2014 federal elections, by Stephen Wolf
  • The Iran Regime Change Act of 2015, by Jon Perr
  • New proposals to rein in payday loans show why unscrupulous corporations want you to hate government, by Ian Reifowitz
  • It's so hard to be an Obamacare-hating Republican these days, by Dante Atkins
  • Americans continue to lose because we do not know our savior, by Egberto Willies
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    March 28, 2015 at 20:08:08
    Gov. Mike Pence wants Indiana's new hate law to be 'clarified'

    Mikey never saw this coming ... It seems that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence thinks the license-to-hate legislation that he eagerly signed last week needs some clarification: Gov. Mike Pence, scorched by a fast-spreading political firestorm, told The Star on Saturday that he will support the introduction of legislation to "clarify" that Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians. [...] Asked if that legislation might include making gay and lesbian Hoosiers a protected legal class, Pence said, "That's not on my agenda."

     

    March 28, 2015 at 17:55:05
    This week in the war on workers: Holyoke, MA, students protest likely state schools takeover

    Schools in the economically struggling city of Holyoke, MA, face a takeover by the state because of low standardized test scores. Students and teachers alike are fighting back, but the city's schools superintendent, Sergio Paez, continues to back testing-based education and take aim at those who disagree with him. On Tuesday morning, dozens of students staged a walk-out and went to city hall, where they met with Mayor Alex Morse. According to protester Amanda Gonzalez:

     

    March 28, 2015 at 14:00:08
    Spotlight on green news & views: Ted Cruz fact-checked on climate, Elon Musk rejects oil dependency

    See Daily Bucket post here.
    Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) normally appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. More than 22,030 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

     

    March 28, 2015 at 12:00:08
    Primary care docs not overwhelmed by new patients in Obamacare

    Five years in, Obamacare hasn't created a crisis in primary care, according to a new report from a healthcare technology company. Even while 10 million Americans gained insurance coverage last year through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the proportion of new patients visiting primary care providers only rose slightly, to 22.9 percent in 2014 from 22.6 percent in 2013, the report said. And the new patients were no sicker than the patients those doctors saw in years past, said Josh Gray, vice president of research at athenahealth Inc., a Watertown company that provides electronic health records and other software to doctors nationwide.

     

    March 28, 2015 at 10:00:05
    Water shortages and water solutions

    Drought as recorded in snowfall on Half-dome in Yosemite Valley on March 19 of 2012 and 2015. There was certainly no shortage of water in the Northeast this winter. Boston and several other communities saw record snowfall. But in other parts of the North America, a swinging jet stream exacerbated an already dire prolonged drought, stretching the breadth of the entire Southwest, from California to Texas. Even parts of the Midwest bread basket are thirsty. There are two factors driving the drought: growth, and climate change. As the population increases, demand on surface water and aquifers grows relentlessly. The dipping, winding jet stream, a phenomenon tentatively linked to amplified warming of the Arctic, denies water to much of the western half of the US while dropping more than needed further east. It's a fair prediction that there will be no relief in terms of reduced population growth or mitigating changes in climate anytime soon. But we don't have to count on lucky rainstorms to relieve water shortages. There are other solutions.

     

    March 28, 2015 at 09:00:06
    Weekly Address: Fighting against predatory 'payday lenders'

    In this week's taped address, President Obama highlighted new steps taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect Americans from abusive "payday lending" practices that can saddle consumers with debt far in excess of the amounts they originally sought to borrow. In Alabama, where I visited this week, there are four times as many payday lending stores as there are McDonald's.  But while payday loans might seem like easy money, folks often end up trapped in a cycle of debt.  If you take out a $500 loan, it's easy to wind up paying more than $1,000 in interest and fees. The step the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced this week is designed to change that.  The idea is pretty common sense: if you're a payday lender preparing to give a loan, you should make sure that the borrower can afford to pay it back first.

     

    March 28, 2015 at 08:00:05
    This week in science: views wide and narrow

    Well, at the risk of sounding sensationalist, why not an occasional mind expander? After the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator will start working this spring, it will allow researchers to look for the presence of mini black-holes. According to a new physics paper, if those black holes are detected, this will help know more about how gravity works. According to a paper by physicists Mir Faizal, Mohammed M. Khalil and Ahmed Farag Ali, published in the journal Physics Letters B, the presence of the mini black holes would support string theory, according to which, different dimensions could be present and it is possible that there are parallel universes.

     

    March 27, 2015 at 22:00:06
    Open thread for night owls. Warren: Kicking butt again


    Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009 -- Afghanistanization: But Still No Exit Plan : After 60 days of comprehensive reviews and leaks about differences over those reviews within the administration, no surprises have emerged in the new strategy for the "good war" in Afghanistan that President Obama announced today. Not even the slightest hint about when the U.S. troop commitment might end. And not a word about the 550 or more prisoners in the infamous Bagram prison, many of them previously tortured and still held without recourse to legal or humanitarian intervention.  Thousands of additional troops and hundreds of civilians with expertise in agriculture and civil projects will be deployed with a major focus on counterterrorism. The objective will be to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda," the President said in a speech which reminded the world of the loss of nearly 3000 on September 11, 2001, and thousands killed--many of them Muslims--by al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere since then. [...] It's been obvious since before election day that the Obama administration would follow a different Afghan strategy and employ different tactics from those of the Bush administration. And so it will. But eight years into what will soon be longest war the U.S. has ever fought--the American Indian wars aside--there is still no exit plan for Afghanistan. And none in sight.

     

    March 27, 2015 at 16:50:03
    Cartoon: Death penalty dissonance

    Click to enlarge. Since lethal injection drugs are becoming scarce and no longer efficient at the whole "lethal" thing, Utah's getting ready to bring back the firing squad, while other states are dusting off their electric chairs and gas chambers. Somehow these are all more preferable than calling off capital punishment altogether, which often results in the executions of many, many innocent people. But at least they got a trial. The same can't be said for the summary executions the United States conducts overseas.

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