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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,206

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Per-Student Pre-K Spending Lowest in Decade

Source: Associated Press

PER-STUDENT PRE-K SPENDING LOWEST IN DECADE

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
— Apr. 29 12:03 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — State funding for pre-kindergarten programs had its largest drop ever last year and states are now spending less per child than they did a decade ago, according to a report released Monday.

The report also found that more than a half million of those preschool students are in programs that don't even meet standards suggested by industry experts that would qualify for federal dollars.

Those findings — combined with Congress' reluctance to spend new dollars — complicate President Barack Obama's effort to expand pre-K programs across the country. While Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius continue to promote the president's proposal, researchers say existing programs are inadequate, and until their shortcomings are fixed there is little desire by lawmakers to get behind Obama's call for more preschool.

"The state of preschool was a state of emergency," said Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, which produced the report.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/student-pre-k-spending-lowest-decade

KRUGMAN: "Austerity Stands Exposed as the...Prejudice, Opportunism & Class Interest it Always Was."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/opinion/krugman-the-story-of-our-time.html

The Story of Our Time

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: April 28, 2013

Those of us who have spent years arguing against premature fiscal austerity have just had a good two weeks. Academic studies that supposedly justified austerity have lost credibility; hard-liners in the European Commission and elsewhere have softened their rhetoric. The tone of the conversation has definitely changed.

- snip -

Let’s start with what may be the most crucial thing to understand: the economy is not like an individual family. Families earn what they can, and spend as much as they think prudent; spending and earning opportunities are two different things. In the economy as a whole, however, income and spending are interdependent: my spending is your income, and your spending is my income. If both of us slash spending at the same time, both of our incomes will fall too.

- snip -

O.K., I’ve just given you a story, but why should you believe it? There are, after all, people who insist that the real problem is on the economy’s supply side: that workers lack the skills they need, or that unemployment insurance has destroyed the incentive to work, or that the looming menace of universal health care is preventing hiring, or whatever. How do we know that they’re wrong?

Well, I could go on at length on this topic, but just look at the predictions the two sides in this debate have made. People like me predicted right from the start that large budget deficits would have little effect on interest rates, that large-scale “money printing” by the Fed (not a good description of actual Fed policy, but never mind) wouldn’t be inflationary, that austerity policies would lead to terrible economic downturns. The other side jeered, insisting that interest rates would skyrocket and that austerity would actually lead to economic expansion. Ask bond traders, or the suffering populations of Spain, Portugal and so on, how it actually turned out.

- snip -

What has happened now, however, is that the drive for austerity has lost its intellectual fig leaf, and stands exposed as the expression of prejudice, opportunism and class interest it always was. And maybe, just maybe, that sudden exposure will give us a chance to start doing something about the depression we’re in.

MORE

Karzai’s Office Gets Bags Full of C.I.A. Cash

Source: New York Times

Karzai’s Office Gets Bags Full of C.I.A. Cash

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG
Published: April 28, 2013 75 Comments

KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

The C.I.A., which declined to comment for this article, has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/world/asia/cia-delivers-cash-to-afghan-leaders-office.html

Bangladesh Building Collapse Death Toll Hits 362

Source: Associated Press

Bangladesh building collapse death toll hits 362

By JULHAS ALAM and CHRIS BLAKE
From Associated Press
April 28, 2013 1:40 AM EDT

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh rescuers on Sunday located nine people alive inside the rubble of a multi-story building that collapsed five days ago, as authorities announced they will now use heavy equipment to drill a central hole from the top to find survivors and dead bodies.

At least 362 people are confirmed dead in the collapse of the 8-story building that housed five garment factories. The death toll is expected to rise further, but it is already the deadliest tragedy to hit Bangladesh's garment industry, which is worth $20 billion annually and is one of the mainstays of the economy.

Wednesday's collapse and previous disasters in garment factories have focused attention on the poor working conditions of workers who toil for as little as $38 a month to produce clothing for top international brands.

Army Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the coordinator of the rescue operations, said they will try to save the nine people first by manually shifting concrete blocks with the help of light equipment such as pick axes and shovels.

"But if we fail we will start our next phase within hours," which would involve manual efforts as well as heavy equipment, including hydraulic cranes and cutters to bore a hole from the top of the collapsed building, he told reporters.

Read more: http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20130427/52f10555-205f-441d-ac70-07e9e4ed543f

Study: Watching Porn May Only Have Small Effect on Teen Sexual Behavior

Source: CBS News

Watching porn may only have small effect on teen sexual behavior

April 26, 2013

Watching porn may influence sexual behavior in young people, but not as much as some doctors and parents might have thought.

Researchers in the Netherlands determined that teens who use pornography are not significantly more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

However, they did find the amount of pornography young people watched was a significant contributor to differences in teen's sexual behaviors, but one of many factors that could influence their sex lives.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

"Pornography is not as big and bad a wolf as we thought it was, and maybe we should focus on other factors," study author Gert Martin Hald, a clinical psychologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, told HealthDay.


Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57581481/watching-porn-may-only-have-small-effect-on-teen-sexual-behavior

Ohio AG: Search Warrants Executed (at High School) in (Steubenville) Rape Case

Source: Associated Press

OHIO AG: SEARCH WARRANTS EXECUTED IN RAPE CASE

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS — Apr. 25 6:20 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police officers and investigators on Thursday were searching the high school attended by two football players who raped a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party last summer, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

Search warrants were also executed at Vestige Ltd., a digital evidence company in northeastern Ohio, in addition to Steubenville High School and the offices of the Steubenville school board in eastern Ohio, DeWine said. The search warrants are part of an attempt to learn whether other laws were broken in connection with the rape.

"What I hope people will believe when we're done is that we did everything we could to find the truth and that justice was done," DeWine said in an interview. "What you're seeing today is just part of that effort."

Police officers and investigators began serving the warrants at about 2 p.m., were still on site a couple of hours later and could work into the night, DeWine said. There was no immediate word on what the searches turned up.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ohio-ag-search-warrants-executed-rape-case

Bangladesh Garment Factory Owners Warned to Evacuate Before Collapse That Left Almost 200 Dead

Source: CBS News

Bangladesh garment factory owners warned to evacuate before collapse that left almost 200 dead

April 25, 2013

SAVAR, Bangladesh With deep cracks visible in the walls, police had ordered a Bangladesh garment building evacuated the day before its deadly collapse, but the factories flouted the order and kept more than 2,000 people working, officials said Thursday. At least 194 people died when a huge section of the eight-story building splintered into a pile of concrete.

The disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar came less than five months after a blaze killed 112 people in a garment factory and underscored the unsafe conditions faced by Bangladesh's garment workers, who produce clothes for brands worn around the world.

Some of the companies in the building that fell say their customers include retail giants such as Wal-Mart.

Hundreds of rescuers, some crawling through the maze of rubble in search of survivors and corpses, worked through the night and into Thursday amid the cries of the trapped and the wails of workers' relatives gathered outside the building, called Rana Plaza, which housed numerous garment factories and a handful of other companies.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57581334/bangladesh-garment-factory-owners-warned-to-evacuate-before-collapse-that-left-almost-200-dead

G.W. Bush Wants Brother Jeb to Run for President

Source: Associated Press

G.W. BUSH WANTS BROTHER JEB TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT

Apr. 24 7:28 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President George W. Bush says he has advice for his brother and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — "Run."

For president, that is.

In an interview aired Wednesday with ABC News, the former president says his brother would be, in his words, a "marvelous candidate."

Whether Jeb Bush ultimately does run, his brother added, is a "very personal decision."

Bush and his wife, Laura, granted ABC the interview ahead of Thursday's opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University.


Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/gw-bush-wants-brother-jeb-run-president

"How Not To Rehabilitate a Failed President"

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/04/24/17894070-how-not-to-rehabilitate-a-failed-president

How not to rehabilitate a failed president

By Steve Benen - Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:00 AM EDT

Associated Press

A confluence of events appears to have created a curious new talking point on the right. With former President George W. Bush's library set to open, and last week's Boston Marathon bombing still very much on the public's mind, Republican pundits see value in trying to tie the two together in the hopes of improving Bush's reputation.

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, for example, published this gem yesterday:

"Unlike Obama's tenure, there was no successful attack on the homeland after 9/11."

A few hours later on Fox News, Eric Bolling echoed the sentiment.

"I will tell one thing, from you 9/12/01 until the time President Obama raised his right hand January of '09, the man kept us safe. And there -- you certainly can't say that since President Obama has taken the oath of office."

- snip -

As for the substance, there are three main angles to keep in mind. The first is the bizarre assertion that President Obama somehow deserves the blame for the bomb that killed three people in Boston last week, because he didn't "keep up safe." The argument reflects a child-like understanding of national security and is absurd on its face.

Second, though the right likes to pretend otherwise, there were terrorist attacks during Bush/Cheney's tenure -- after 9/11 -- that shouldn't be ignored. Indeed, it's a little tiresome to hear Republicans argue in effect, "Other than the deadly anthrax attacks, the attack against El Al ticket counter at LAX, the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, the former president's record on counter-terrorism was awesome."

And finally, I'm not sure Republican pundits have fully thought through the wisdom of the "other than 9/11" argument.

Bush received an intelligence briefing on Aug. 6, 2001, at which he was handed a memo with an important headline: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."

- snip -

For Rubin and Bolling, the response is, in effect, "Yeah, but other than that, he kept us safe." The problem, of course, is that's roughly the equivalent of saying other than that iceberg, the Titanic had a pleasant voyage. Other than that one time, Pompeii didn't have to worry about the nearby volcano. Other than Booth, Lincoln enjoyed his evening at Ford's Theater.

MORE

CBS : Investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects financed their plot through drug sales

@CBSNews: UPDATE: @CBSNews has learned that investigators believe the Boston bombing suspects helped finance their plot through drug sales.

@CBSNews: MORE: Sources say that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was unemployed, made money selling marijuana.
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