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herding cats

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Member since: Mon Nov 18, 2013, 03:56 PM
Number of posts: 16,249

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These Maps Show Why We Keep Electing Climate Change Deniers

One of the most significant obstacles to addressing climate change is the fact that huge numbers of US politicians reject the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet. Why does the situation persist? How can a senator who (literally) holds up a snowball as evidence that global warming is a hoax keep winning reelection? How can someone who declares himself a climate "skeptic" be a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination? As newly released research from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication makes painfully clear, GOP climate deniers actually hold views that are quite similar to those of the voters who elect them.

The Yale research is based on data from more than 13,000 survey responses since 2008. It estimates that nationwide, just 48 percent of people agree with the scientific consensus that global warming is caused "mostly" by humans. While other recent polls have found a somewhat higher percentage who say they believe humans are causing the planet to warm, Yale's numbers are not a good sign for those—like billionaire activist Tom Steyer—who are trying to turn climate change denial into a disqualifying political position.

Things look even more discouraging when you use the researchers' snazzy interactive maps to break down the estimates by congressional district. The blue districts on the map below are places where the researchers' statistical model predicts that fewer than half of respondents believe that humans are primarily responsible for climate change. Yellow/orange districts are places where at least half of respondents accept the scientific consensus. As you can see, there's an awful lot of blue—according to the data, 58 percent of US congressional districts have majorities that don't accept the climate science.

More at link: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/these-maps-show-why-we-keep-electing-climate-change-deniers
Posted by herding cats | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 09:17 PM (2 replies)

Study: Women Are Better Educated, But Poorer, Than Men

Some commentators argue that with more women earning college degrees than men, and with more value being placed on “soft skills,” it’s just a matter of time before men start losing out to women in the workplace. A new report shows just how far the United States is from that reality.

The report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) on women’s poverty and opportunity finds that despite significant gains in educational achievement, women earn less and have higher poverty levels than men in all 50 states.

IWPR found that more women than men have a bachelor’s degree or higher in 29 states, and the share of women with that level of education has increased in every state and the District of Columbia since 2000. Women made up 57 percent of college students from 2012 to 2013.

At the same time as more women have earned a degree, however, more women have slipped into poverty: The percentage of women living above the poverty line declined from 87.9 in 2002 to 85.4 in 2013.

Posted by herding cats | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 09:04 PM (2 replies)

Michael Slager took only 6 seconds to claim Scott had "grabbed" his Taser.

The more I think on this the more it bothers me. From what we've seen, there's a pervasive argument this claim wasn't true. However, there is a gap from before the video begins when there was a struggle taking place.

What we do know now to be an undisputed fact is there was no CPR, no attempt to help the victim, as was also previously claimed.

Michael Slager radioed in Taser claim six seconds after firing at Walter Scott

The police officer who shot Walter Scott radioed in to claim that Scott had “grabbed my Taser”, six seconds after firing his final shot, despite video suggesting the unarmed man was not in possession of the stun gun at any point, a Guardian analysis has shown.

Syncing police scanner audio with a shocking video – the eyewitness footage out of South Carolina which led to officer Michael Slager being charged with murder – raises further questions about whether either of two officers on the video performed any CPR on Scott as was previously claimed by police.


At this point a second officer, now identified as Clarence Habersham, arrives on the scene and radios in. Slager then walks back towards the body and radios in stating: “I need to secure my vehicle”. At this point – over a minute after the last shot is fired – neither officer appears to have performed CPR on Scott.

Slager then walks and drops the item, which some have speculated is a Taser, next to Scott’s body.

At this point Habersham radios in to say he has detected gunshots to Scott’s chest on the right side. He then radios to say he has detected a gunshot wound to the buttocks. He appears to be pulling Scott’s T-shirt up at this point.


Walter Scott shooting footage synced with police scanner audio – video synced

There's some wiggle room for the defense as to what took place before the video begins. At the beginning of the video you can hear what sounds like a taser being used on Scott, which implies the officer had control of the the taser at the time. After the video begins we see an object is either knocked or falls to the ground behind Slager. We don't know if the object is the taser, but we do know whatever it is Slager goes back and picks it up after cuffing Scott, and later drops it by his body. All this being what it is, it still leaves the defense some room to attempt to validate the claim that Scott attempted to grab, or did grab the taser at some point. Which shouldn't be a defense against the shooting, but it will be used to attempt to make Slager appear slightly more truthful.

Which makes the documented lie about the CPR and the attempt to help Scott all the more important.

Police reports say that officers performed CPR and delivered first aid to Mr. Scott. The video shows that for several minutes after the shooting, Mr. Scott remained face down with his hands cuffed behind his back. A second officer arrives, puts on blue medical gloves and attends to Mr. Scott, but is not shown performing CPR. As sirens wail in the background, a third officer later arrives, apparently with a medical kit, but is also not seen performing CPR.

I don't know what the dash-cam video will reveal when/if it's released today, but it's clear from what we have already seen there was no attempt to help Scott as had been previously claimed. That was a lie to make the police look better in the eyes of the public. This important, even if Scott was clearly already dead, the lie was still told to attempt to make them look better, and to muddy the opinion of the possible jurors down the road. It wasn't true, though. It was a lie.

Man Who Filmed Walter Scott Shooting: Never Saw Cops Perform CPR

Which makes begs the question how many other officer involved shootings in the past five years in SC were also not reported truthfully?

EXCLUSIVE: SC officers exonerated in more than 200 shootings

Police in South Carolina have fired their weapons at 209 suspects in the past five years, and a handful of officers have been accused of pulling the trigger illegally – but none has being convicted, according to an analysis by The State newspaper.

In South Carolina, it remains exceedingly rare for an officer to be found at fault criminally for shooting at someone.

In an unusual turnaround, prosecutors late last year filed a spate of charges for use of excessive force against three white officers in the shootings of black drivers. Only one went to trial but resulted in a hung jury.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article15654974.html#storylink=cpy

I don't know if any of these incidents involved unwarranted shootings, but it's a question worth asking. Police should not be in charge of investigating their own shootings. Ever. In any state. The potential for corruption in the investigation is too high. Permitting policies such as this leads to a situation where police know all the pretty things to say to appease the media, and thus a sizable part of the population. Which leaves those who are victims, who are statistically the minority populations, feeling powerless to obtain justice. This has to change.

Posted by herding cats | Thu Apr 9, 2015, 03:25 PM (3 replies)

Man Who Recorded Walter Scott Being Shot by Cop Speaks Out

Source: NBC

The bystander who recorded video that appears to show a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back in South Carolina said there was a struggle between the two men before the deadly shooting, but the officer had control of the situation before he opened fire.

In an exclusive interview with "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt on Wednesday, Feidin Santana said he started recording after he heard a Taser being deployed.

"Before I started recording, they were down on the floor. I remember the police [officer] had control of the situation," Santana said. "He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser. But like I said, he never used the Taser against the cop."

"As you can see in the video, the police officer just shot him in the back," Santana said. "I knew right away, I had something on my hands."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/walter-scott-shooting/man-who-recorded-walter-scott-being-shot-speaks-out-n338126

Video at link.

US wants egg executives punished for salmonella outbreak

Source: Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge should consider the "widespread harm" done by a major 2010 salmonella outbreak and the food safety lapses that preceded it in sentencing two egg industry executives whose company was responsible, prosecutors said Monday.

In punishing them next week, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett should consider that Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son Peter ran a massive egg production operation that "routinely disregarded food safety standards and practices," assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Jack DeCoster, 80, of Turner, Maine, and 51-year-old Peter DeCoster, of Clarion, Iowa are scheduled to be sentenced April 13 by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett in a federal courtroom in Sioux City, Iowa. Both pleaded guilty last year to introducing adulterated eggs into interstate commerce and face up to one year in jail.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors did not ask for a specific term of jail, home confinement or probation. But the 14-page memo outlined illegal and unethical food safety practices that repeatedly happened on their watch, and argued the sentences should send a message to other corporate executives to "act responsibly when it comes to food safety."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/687f5f00e6b043babc6d068f1f236a64/prosecutors-widespread-harm-caused-salmonella-outbreak

Israel's Netanyahu blasts Iran nuclear deal as paving way for a bomb

Source: LA Times

Israeli leaders lashed out at Thursday's announcement of a framework agreement to curb Iran's nuclear development with demands that the foreign powers negotiating the deal further roll back Tehran's programs and warnings of possible military strikes on Iran if they don't.

"A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in a statement after speaking by telephone with President Obama.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, shown here giving a statement against the emerging Iran nuclear deal on April 1, reiterated his opposition via Twitter the next day.
(Debbie Hill / AFP / Getty Images)

"This deal would legitimize Iran's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy, and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond," Netanyahu said of the pact forged over more than a year of tense negotiations and announced Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Even before details of the agreement were disclosed in news briefings by the brokers from six major powers, Netanyahu demanded via Twitter that "any deal must significantly roll back Iran's nuclear capabilities."

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-nuclear-deal-israel-20150402-story.html

Army Apologizes for Handling of Chemical Weapon Exposure Cases

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The under secretary of the Army on Wednesday apologized for the military’s treatment of American service members exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, and announced new steps to provide medical support to those with lingering health effects and to recognize veterans who had been denied awards.

Under Secretary Brad R. Carson acknowledged that the military had not followed its own policies for caring for troops exposed to old and abandoned chemical munitions that had been scattered around Iraq, and vowed improvement. He also said that the Army had reversed a previous decision and approved a Purple Heart medal for a soldier burned by sulfur mustard agent, and that he expected more medals would be issued to other veterans after further review.

“To me the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.”


The report found that insurgents had used some of the weapons in roadside bombs, that most of the episodes had never been publicly acknowledged and that many troops who had been wounded by the blister or nerve agents had received substandard medical care and denied military awards.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/middleeast/army-apologizes-for-handling-of-chemical-weapon-exposure-cases.html

20 year old man charged with shooting officers in Ferguson

A 20-year-old protester has been charged with shooting two police officers in Ferguson, Mo., last week, authorities said Sunday.

County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Jeffrey Williams was charged with two counts of assault in the first degree, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle, and thee counts of armed criminal action.
McCulloch said Williams admitted firing the shots, but said he was shooting at someone else.

"We're not sure we buy that part of it," McCulloch said, adding that the handgun used in the shooting has been recovered.

He said Williams was involved in the demonstration that was wrapping up when the incident took place. Williams, he said, was being held in lieu of $300,000 cash bail.


So, it was a drive by and not from the hill above like thought. I didn't see if they mentioned the type of gun in the presser.

I'm changing the headline, which should be fine since this is GD. It reads "protester" which I'm reading elsewhere is in question and probably false.

US effort against Isis could expand to include Boko Haram in Nigeria

Source: The Guardian

The war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria may be expanded to include Boko Haram in Nigeria and militant elements in Libya, secretary of defense Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Testifying before Senate committee on the topic of whether to authorize military force against jihadis – more than eight months after air strikes and military operations against Isis began – Carter conceded that the authorization’s language would allow “flexibility” to include targets who have affiliated with Isis and threaten the US or its many coalition partners.

“This AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force] could apply to operations in and around Libya,” Carter said, “depending on whether or not they met the criteria” of allegiance to and coordinating with Isis to attack the US or one of its partners.
Iraqi forces poised to recapture Tikrit from Isis
Read more

The hearing came as a Iraqi government forces and Shia militias advanced towards the centre of Tikrit in the largest operation against Isis since its lightning it conquered large areas of the country in a lightning offensive last summer. The assault on Tikrit has been backed by Iran, but the US-led coalition has not been invited to participate with air strikes.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/11/us-isis-military-expand-boko-haram-nigeria

Exxon CEO: Get Used to Lower Oil Prices

Source: Associated Press/ABC

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson expects the price of oil to remain low over the next two years because of ample global supplies and relatively weak economic growth.

"People need to kinda settle in for a while," Tillerson said at the company's annual investor conference in New York.

In a presentation to investors outlining its business plans through 2017, Exxon assumes a price of $55 a barrel for global crude. That's $5 below where Brent crude, the most important global benchmark, traded on Wednesday. It's about half of what Brent averaged between 2011 and the middle of last year.

The price of oil plunged in the second half of 2014 when it became apparent that production was outpacing global demand. The rise in U.S. production last year of 1.5 million barrels per day was the third largest in the history of the global oil industry, according to a recent report from BP. Meanwhile, weakening economic conditions in China, Japan and Europe slowed the growth in oil demand.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/exxon-ceo-lower-oil-prices-29383799
Posted by herding cats | Wed Mar 4, 2015, 04:57 PM (6 replies)
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