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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 42,680

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Thursday Bernie Group Toon Roundup

Thursday TOON Roundup 2 -The Rest




Middle East

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Tinfoil Dictator

Jeffrey Sachs: Bernie Sanders easily wins the policy debate

By Jeffrey D. Sachs May 25 at 7:22 PM
Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute and a professor at Columbia University.

Mainstream U.S. economists have criticized Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s proposals as unworkable, but these economists betray the status quo bias of their economic models and professional experience. It’s been decades since the United States had a progressive economic strategy, and mainstream economists have forgotten what one can deliver. In fact, Sanders’s recipes are supported by overwhelming evidence — notably from countries that already follow the policies he advocates. On health care, growth and income inequality, Sanders wins the policy debate hands down.

On health care, Sanders’s proposal for a single-payer system has been roundly attacked as too expensive. His campaign (for which I briefly served as a foreign policy adviser) is told that his plan will raise taxes and burst the budget. But this attack misses the whole point of his health proposals. While health spending would go up in the Sanders health plan, private insurance payments would disappear, generating huge net savings for the American people.

Countries such as Canada, Germany, Sweden and Britain all follow something like a single-payer approach and pay much less for health care than the United States does. While the United States spent 16.4 percent of gross domestic product on health care in 2013, Canada paid only 10.2 percent; Germany, 11 percent; Sweden, 11 percent; and Britain, 8.5 percent. U.S. overspending is about 5 percent of GDP, or nearly $1 trillion as of 2016, mainly because of the excessive market power of private health insurers and big drug companies. An authoritative study by the U.S. Institute of Medicine confirms this extent of excess costs, finding losses of about 5 percent of GDP in 2009. Critics of Sanders’s health plan have failed to recognize or acknowledge the huge savings and cost reductions that would accompany a single-payer system.

On economic growth, Sanders also easily wins the debate. While President Obama opted for a short-term stimulus that peaked after two years and disappeared by the end of his first term, and Hillary Clinton has proposed a modest infrastructure program over five years, Sanders calls for a much bolder public investment program directed at the skills of young people (through free college tuition) and at modernizing and upgrading America’s infrastructure, with a focus on renewable energy, high-speed rail, safe drinking water and urban public transport. Sanders’s growth strategy would get back to fundamentals: a long-overdue increase in productive investments to underpin good jobs and rising worker productivity.



Feeling Let Down and Left Behind, With Little Hope for Better

In a moment riddled with economic and social worries, an e-cigarette
shop in Wilkes County, N.C., is an oasis for some young Appalachians.

MAY 25, 2016

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — Kody Foster had finished his Wednesday afternoon shift at the warehouse where he earns $12.50 per hour. Normally, he would be packing himself into his Ford Focus, with its Bernie Sanders sticker and plaque with the number 48, in honor of the stock-car racer Jimmie Johnson.

But this week, Mr. Foster, 26, couldn’t get the Ford’s check engine light to turn off, and the dealership told him that fixing it would cost $1,000, which he didn’t have. So instead, he borrowed his sister’s ancient red minivan, with its sliding door that doesn’t shut right.

He drove along River Road, the hillsides lush and tangled with kudzu, then up Main Street in this faltering Appalachian town, the largest in a county that has seen its factory jobs wither, its Nascar track shutter and its homegrown business — Lowe’s, the home-improvement chain — move its headquarters to a Charlotte suburb in 2003.

Mr. Foster’s destination, wedged between a pizza parlor and the opioid addiction clinic, was the Tapering Vapor, a bare-bones e-cigarette shop and makeshift lounge that serves as his modest oasis, a place to catch a mild nicotine buzz and let a world of worry float away on banks of big, cloying, candy-flavored clouds.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest








Middle East


Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Betting Man

Wednesday Bernie Group Toon Roundup

Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans

The E.U. has not approved the biotech seeds; the uncertainty could present export problems for U.S. farmers and grain producers.
By Tom Meersman Star Tribune MAY 23, 2016 — 5:29PM

Across Minnesota, grain buyers and sellers have been warning farmers this spring to be wary about planting Monsanto’s latest biotech soybean.

The product was launched in U.S. and Canadian markets for the first time this year, but it has not been approved yet for sale in the European Union. Traders and others say that uncertainty, if not resolved, will cause price declines, confusion and disruption in international trade.

“We’re making our farmers aware of the situation,” said David Kee, research director of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. “We do not encourage the planting of this because of the risk involved.”

The product in question is Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, a genetically modified soybean seed that is resisistant to a pair of herbicides called glyphosate and dicamba.

It was developed because weeds have become resistant to Roundup Ready varieties with traits that used glyphosate alone.


Karma is a You-Kow-What, Ken Starr

Kenneth Starr has reportedly been ousted as Baylor University’s president in the wake of the Texas university’s sexual-assault scandal. Starr, best known for his investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, has served in the post since June 2010. He was named chancellor three years later. The university recently received a comprehensive report on its response to sexual assaults from independent law firm Pepper Hamilton and its board of regents has been reviewing it.

School spokeswoman Lori Fogleman told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that the board is still reviewing the investigation’s findings. “We will not respond to rumors, speculation, or reports based on unnamed sources, but when official news is available, the university will provide it.” Fogleman said the school will likely make an announcement by June 3.

NFL draft hopeful Shawn Oakman was arrested in April on sexual-assault charges, and two other former Baylor football players, Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu, were convicted in the two previous years of sexual assaults. The Waco Tribune-Herald reported this month that a former tennis player has been under investigation for sexual assault for more than eight months. A fraternity president at the school was indicted this month on four counts of sexual assault after allegedly raping a teenager. Baylor has been in the spotlight over the past several years for its now-infamous poor handling of assaults, both involving athletes and other students. The victim in Elliott’s conviction filed a Title IX suit against the school in April claiming that Baylor showed “indifference” when she reported the incident.

In a statement after the report was released, Baylor said that the board “will carefully consider the information provided in the briefing and determine how to decisively act upon Pepper Hamilton’s findings and recommendations” and will be “guided by their faith.” “Thoroughly understanding the findings and acting on the recommendations to ensure the safety of all students are the board’s highest priority,” said Board of Regents Chairman Richard Willis. The school has not commented on the report’s specific findings.

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