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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 37,789

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Krugman- Fighting for History


And, I’m on the ground in England, jet-lagged but maybe ready to resume blogging. For today, just a quick thought inspired by two seemingly unrelated comments.

First, in a postmortem on the UK election Simon Wren-Lewis notes one failure of Labour in particular: it made no effort at all to fight the false narrative of Blair-Brown profligacy. Wren-Lewis writes,

I suspect within the Labour hierarchy the view was to look forward rather than go over the past, but you cannot abandon the writing of history to your opponents.

Meanwhile, Brian Beutler notes the very different ways Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are dealing with the legacies of the presidents who bore their surnames. Bill Clinton presided over an era of peace and immense prosperity; nonetheless, Hillary is breaking with some of his policy legacy, on issues from trade and financial regulation to criminal justice. George W. Bush presided over utter disaster on all fronts; nonetheless, Jeb is adopting the same policies and even turning to the same advisers.

These are, I think, related stories. Progressives tend to focus on the future, on what we do now; they are also, by inclination, open-minded and if anything eager to show their flexibility by changing their doctrine in the face of evidence. Conservatives cling to what they imagine to be eternal verities, and fiercely defend their legends.

more

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/fighting-for-history/?_r=0

Senate strikes deal to pass fast-track trade bill

Source: Politico

Senate leaders have reached a deal to advance President Barack Obama’s trade initiative after a failed vote prompted a furious round of negotiating on Wednesday.

After trading offers throughout the night, party leaders agreed to vote on a fast-track trade bill that was blocked just 24 hours before by Democrats who’d wanted more assurances that their priorities would also be considered.

The agreement, announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on the Senate floor, would give Democrats a chance to vote on two of their trade priorities as standalone bills, in addition to the fast-track measure.

Holding the additional votes would “not imperil” the fast-track bill, McConnell said. Republicans, pro-trade Democrats and the president all say the Trade Promotion Authority measure, which would allow the president to expedite trade pacts through Congress, is vital for approving a huge Pacific Rim trade agreement currently being negotiated by the administration.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/trade-bill-standoff-senate-117900.html

'Momentum on our side' in trade fight, declares Sherrod Brown

A top Democratic opponent of President Obama’s trade agenda on Wednesday said a failed procedural vote in the Senate has shifted the momentum into his camp.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), a member of the Senate Finance Committee who is vehemently opposed to fast-tracking trade deals as well as the policy direction of an Asia-Pacific pact, said lawmakers are responding to the call to halt trade agreements that would hurt U.S. workers.

“The momentum is on our side. The call to protect American workers and businesses from another NAFTA-style trade deal is being heard,” Brown wrote in an email to supporters.

"Let’s keep the momentum going," he said while urging supporters to sign a petition against the trade agenda.

more

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/241923-liberal-senator-momentum-on-our-side-in-trade-fight

Letting Shell drill in Arctic could lead to catastrophic oil spill, experts warn

by Rose Hackman

Environmental groups and experts hit out at the US government on Tuesday following its announcement that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell would be allowed to resume offshore exploration and drilling in the Arctic’s American waters.

Unforgiving conditions in the Arctic’s icy waters not only make the chances of a spill likely, the complete lack of infrastructure in place to deal with a potential disaster means the consequences of the move could be calamitous, environmental activists and experts say.


According to a study published in February by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the same regulatory governmental agency that yesterday issued its approval of Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploration plan, the chances of one or more oil spills occurring as a result of drilling in the Arctic over the next 77 years are 75%.

In open water or broken ice, the same study says that between 44% and 62% of crude oil resulting from a spill would stay put – neither dispersing nor evaporating – after 30 days.

more

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/arctic-drilling-shell-oil-spills-infrastructure

Sperm Grown in a Lab for the First Time

In a breakthrough that could lead to a treatment for thousands of infertile men, scientists have grown human sperm cells in a laboratory for the first time.

The Kallistem laboratory, a private research facility based in Lyon, France, has turned spermatogonia into mature sperm in test tubes. This is a feat that scientists have been trying to tackle for the past 15 years.

This complex process usually takes 72 day to take place in the human body.

“Kallistem is addressing a major issue whose impacts are felt worldwide: the treatment of male infertility,” Isabelle Cuoc, the CEO of Kallistem Laboratory, told the Daily Mail.

“Our team is the first in the world to have developed the technology required to obtain fully formed spermatozoa in vitro with sufficient yield for IVF,” Cuoc added.

more
http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/sperm-grown-in-a-lab-for-the-first-time-150512.htm#mkcpgn=rssnws1

McConnell: Trade deal about next president, not this one

"This is a six-year bill," he added. "So what I've said to my members, if we want the next Republican president, who we hope will be sworn in less than two years from now, to have a chance to do trade agreements with the rest of the world, this bill is about that president as well as this one."

He's up against Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and perhaps more significantly, Sen. Warren. He said the first-term Democrat from Massachusetts is driving the Democratic economic agenda to the point that Hillary Clinton, the prospective 2016 presidential nominee, is "dodging" the trade issue altogether.


"She's a very effective spokesman for a very far-left position," he said of Warren. "She and her allies have doubled down to try to beat this trade agreement. They are allies with the current Democratic leader, and the next Democratic leader. It's an interesting challenge for us."

"I want to compliment the president on the way he took on the base, took on Elizabeth Warren, took on the labor unions," he said. "The biggest divisions these days are not among Republicans but among Democrats."

more
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102672207

Change I can't believe in

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest

Race



Zimmerman







Faith




Texas








Climate deniers






Football








Middle East











Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Trade and other dissapointments

Trade








Transparency


Drilling







Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Bush and the GOP












Guard tells Senator Boxer that she can't take notes on TPP

We thought it was crazy when Obama's trade threatened Congress with prison if they disclosed anything about the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But it just gets dirtier. Sen Barbara Boxer tried to get a look at the text. First she limited her helpers to staffers with security clearance, because the TPP is Classified ("God knows why... It has nothing to do with defense. It has nothing to do with going after ISIS.").

But when she got there, the guard told her she wasn't allowed to take notes. Then he relented and told her she could take notes, but that he would confiscate them and read and file them when she was done.

When the New Zealand trade minister explained that TPP was being kept secret to prevent public debate, he was wrong. It's also being kept secret to prevent Congressional debate.

more
http://boingboing.net/2015/05/12/guard-tells-top-senator-that-s.html
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