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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 41,573

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Environmental Scientist

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Luckovich Toon- Debate Comparison

Sunday's Doonesbury- Despicable Me

Flint- It was NEVER about saving money

Emails reveal Flint EM and state advised not to join the KWA — it was never about saving money
Posted By Allie Gross on Sat, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm

New emails released in Gov. Rick Snyder's Friday doc dump reveal that the Michigan Department of Treasury and Flint's Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz were advised to not join the Karegnondi Water Authority, on several occasions, before their April 2013 announcement that the city would in fact be joining KWA. The revelation raises a series of questions about the motivations behind the decision to reject a more-cost-effective offer from the Detroit Water and Sewer Department, especially since much of the narrative surrounding the water-switch has do with austerity and cutting-costs.

These new emails, however, suggest this was may not have been the case.

In November 2012 the Michigan Department of Treasury sent out a SOW (Statement of Work) searching for a contractor who could "provide an analysis of the water supply options for the City of Flint to assist the Department of Treasury and the City of Flint in determining the best available option."

For the last few months of 2012 through the spring of 2013, Flint wrestled with an enormous decision: Should the city sign an updated 30-year contract with DWSD or should it join the KWA, a new plan that would entail building a costly pipeline to Lake Huron. While the decision would effect thousands — and there were definitely an array of opinions on the matter — the choice ultimately rested in the hands of two individuals: Kurtz, the then-emergency manager, and Andy Dillon, the state's then-treasurer. Michigan law state's that in cities with emergency managers all expenses over $50,000 must be approved by Michigan's Department of Treasury — and so Kurtz would make a recommendation and Dillon would give the final OK. (yes, Flint city council did vote on the decision but it was more symbolic and heavily pressured — more on that in a bit).

much more


Small Gifts to Bernie Sanders Challenge Hillary Clinton Fund-Raising Model


In the back of a Concord, N.H., school gymnasium, as Bernie Sanders gave a triumphant speech after winning the New Hampshire Democratic primary, 24-year-old Kenneth Pennington stood staring at his smartphone, watching the numbers climb. Mr. Pennington, the campaign’s digital director, saw thousands of people cramming onto the Sanders website at once, frantically trying to donate to his campaign. In one minute alone, 2,689 people had donated an average of $34.

“It was, obviously, a big day,” said Mr. Pennington, who found himself jumping up and down as the contributions rolled in.

Mr. Sanders has no official finance director, but with the help of people like Mr. Pennington, who built his first website at age 12, he has created a fund-raising juggernaut that has fueled his unexpectedly competitive race for president. The network his team built now threatens the once-daunting Clinton fund-raising model, which the family perfected over years of Beverly Hills dinners, Hamptons summer parties, and rewards for donors like nights in the Lincoln Bedroom.

Mr. Sanders, the Vermont senator, has raised some $96 million to Hillary Clinton’s $127 million, but he is gaining ground after raising $5 million more than she did last month. His operation is also highly efficient — Mr. Sanders simply asks his small donors to give online, and they do, while Mrs. Clinton has left the campaign trail repeatedly to fly to other cities for receptions with bigger contributors.

In the 48 hours after his 22-point victory in New Hampshire, for example, the senator’s campaign raised $8 million online.



Way beyond diamonds: A look at some of the rarest minerals in the world

There are more than 5,000 known minerals on Earth, and most of them are much more rare than Valentine's Day diamonds.

After all, diamonds can be found in more than 700 locations around the world, and miners pull tons of them out of the ground each year.

Compare that to the beautiful Valentine's Day pink mineral cobaltomenite, which is found in just four places: Argentina, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Utah.

Scientists say there is so little cobaltomenite on our planet that you could probably fit it all into a container the size of a shot glass.

Now that's a rare mineral.

In a paper to be published in American Mineralogist, two researchers present the first system for categorizing rarities in the mineral kingdom by suggesting four reasons that a mineral might be hard to find.


Weekend Toon Roundup






Weekend Bernie Group Toon Roundup

Toon: Einstein's Theories Vindicated

Toon- Firewall

Hillary can’t win, because Bernie has already won his real race

by Sally Kohn


What makes Sanders’ campaign alluring to voters is also what makes it frustrating to Hillary. Sure his critique of the system and his ideological vision find resonance in part because they speak to what progressive Democrats are troubled by in Hillary’s record and beliefs. But it’s the simple unwillingness to play the political game that makes it so hard to take on Sanders as an opponent. When Sanders repeatedly refuses to talk about Clinton’s emails or Clinton Foundation donations or take the bait on any other smears, it makes Hillary seem even nastier when she or her husband attack Bernie’s character. When Sanders barely prepares for debates let alone combs his hair, it makes Clinton’s polished one-liners and well-prepared moments seem extra establishment. His “Bernie Hair Don’t Care” hyper-authenticity makes anything else look like politics as usual. Which also works to his benefit, since politics as usual is what Sanders is truly trying to defeat.

Sanders has said that whatever happens in the upcoming primary votes, “We are in this to the end.” There are many ways to interpret that. Certainly it suggests he intends to stay in the race, and shape it, through the convention—whatever his vote tally. But just as his campaign can be viewed more broadly, so can this timeline. “If Sanders inspires supporters to delve deeper into Democratic Party politics,” writes Jamelle Bouie in Slate, “then it could change the long term.”

Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic nominee for president. It’s looking more possible every day. But either way, what is clear is that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment cannot defeat Sanders—not his candidacy, per se, but his meaning, the ideas and values and rising movement he represents. As the old protest march chant goes, “The people, united, can never be divided!” And a movement, once seeded, can never be defeated. The Bern will keep burning no matter what.

the rest
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