- Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is The bad intelligence:
- What you may have missed on Sunday Kos ...
Do not call me girl: Women in the workforce, by Susan Grigsby
Memorial Day and Flanders Fields, by Mark E Andersen
How did you begin to unlearn racism, by Denise Oliver Velez
The promise of NewSpace, by DarkSyde
The perils of trying to define 'an accurate pollster,' by Steve Singiser
American reality distorted by media coverage and police response, by Egberto Willies
- EU dropped pesticide-control laws under U.S. pressure in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
- Proposed fedeal regulations on CO2 emissions would cut coal production:
Production of coal in the United States would drop by one-fifth in the next five years and almost one-third by 2025 under the Obama administration’s regulatory crackdown on carbon emissions from electric power plants, the Energy Department’s statistical branch said on Friday.
Retirements of coal-fired power plants would double, with about 50 gigawatts more in lost capacity compared with business as usual, the new analysis by the department’s Energy Information Administration found. At first, power plants would mainly switch to natural gas, but over time, solar and wind capacity would soar.
- R.D. Kaplan says it’s time to bring imperialism back to the Middle East. When did it ever leave? This guy repented for his active participation in pressing for the invasion of Iraq. Then he said he deeply regretted it. Now he's at it again. Repentance requires a vow not to repeat the offense. Guess he missed that part.
- Iran adviser says U.S. let ISIL take over Ramadi:
An Iranian newspaper is quoting the chief of an elite unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard accusing the U.S. of allowing the Islamic State group to seize the Iraqi city of Ramadi, the latest criticism to follow the fall of the city.
- Deadline for releasing final JFK assassination-related documents fast approaching:
A special team of seven archivists and technicians with top-secret security clearances has been set up at the National Archives and Records Administration to process all or portions of 40,000 documents that constitute the final collection of known federal records that might shed light on the events surrounding JFK’s murder, POLITICO has learned — files that according to law must be made public by October 2017.
But the records’ release is not guaranteed, says Martha Murphy, head of the National Archives’ Special Access Branch. While the JFK Records Act of 1992 mandated the files be made public in 25 years, government agencies that created the paper trail can still appeal directly to the president to keep them hidden. And some scholars and researchers, not to mention the army of JFK conspiracy theorists, fear that is exactly what will happen given the details about the deepest, darkest corners of American spy craft that could be revealed — from the inner workings of the CIA’s foreign assassination program and front companies to the role of a CIA psychological operations guru accused of misleading congressional investigators about alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities.
- Former S.C. GOP executive director Todd Kincannon says he threatened wife because cough medicine made him "completely crazy".
- Canada's truth commission nears the end of its seven-year probe into residential schools for Indians:
Between 1929 and 1974, St. Michael's Indian Residential School was home to thousands of kids enrolled in often year-round boarding school. Under the watchful eye of RCMP officers, aboriginal parents were forced to give up their children as young as 4-years-old to Indian agents, or face possible fines or imprisonment. From tiny communities across the coast of BC, the children were brought into the cold, brick rooms of St. Mike's. Run by the Anglican church under the authority of the Indian Act, St. Mike's was where those little kids learned that their hair and bodies were disgusting, that their families were demonic, and that no amount of work, physical and sexual abuse, or distance from their backwards communities would cure them of the stain of Indian-ness. [...]
Many have urged the UN to classify the residential school system under the 1948 Genocide Convention. It seems to fall squarely within the boundaries, not only of the softer cultural genocide, but also as straight-up genocide, the definition of which includes "forcibly transferring children... with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group."
- On today's "encore performance" Kagro in the Morning show, it's our 5/27/14 show. Greg Dworkin on the #YesAllWomen phenomenon, VA narrative vs reality & the marriage equality tidal wave. Dark $ in AR-SEN. Boston fusion center tracked Occupy, missed marathon bombing.
Asked what barriers to learning their students face that affect academic success the most, 76 percent of the teachers said family stress, 63 percent said poverty, and 52 percent said learning and psychological problems.
“Those three factors in many ways are the white elephant in the living room for us in education,” said Jennifer Dorman, Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year who teaches special-education classes for seventh- and eighth-graders. “As teachers, we know those factors present huge barriers to our students’ success. Helping students cope with those three factors is probably the most important part of my job. But on a national level, those problems are not being recognized as the primary obstacles.”In line with the 63 percent who said poverty was a top barrier to student success, anti-poverty initiatives were the top answer the teachers gave when asked to choose three areas where they'd focus school funding to have the greatest impact on student learning—48 percent chose anti-poverty initiatives, while 37 percent chose early learning and 35 percent chose reducing barriers to learning (which would include poverty, obviously).
Nearly all of the teachers said that higher standards would have a positive effect on student learning. But "accountability/assessments"—the buzzwords for standardized testing—ranked dead last on the list of ways teachers would focus school funding.
As a consequence, industry experts say, despite having some of the least-extensive passenger rail networks in the developed world, the United States today has among the worst safety records. Fatality rates are almost twice as high as in the European Union and countries like South Korea, and roughly triple the rate in Australia.As a percentage of gross domestic product, the American investment in rail networks is just a quarter of that in Britain and one-sixth that in France and Australia, while Japan spends nearly three times as much per person as the U.S. does.
Analysts say the impressive safety record in Europe and Asia is the result of steady government spending of billions of dollars on development and maintenance of railroad infrastructure — including sophisticated electronic monitoring and automated braking systems developed over the past 20 years.
Over the past decade, even developing countries including India, Russia and Turkey have consistently invested far greater shares of their G.D.P. on rail.Not exactly grounds for a "We're number one" chant, there.
We're looking at a consequence of Republican refusal to invest in American infrastructure. It's played out not just in less safe trains but in slower trains and fewer trains. If Republicans hadn't stood in the way all these years, we could have had a speedy, energy-efficient, safe rail network and thousands of jobs creating and maintaining it. Instead, we have a desperately underfunded, inadequate rail system and John Boehner saying it's stupid to see the facts for what they are.
(This post first appeared for Memorial Day in 2014.)
The grizzled old man arrived at his destination, his back hunched over and using a cane. He surveyed the scene before him with what combat veterans describe as the thousand-yard stare, a gaze that looks right through you, a look that says he has seen the horrors of war and that he cannot forget them some sixty years later. A vast sea of white lay before him. It was as if someone had planted the seeds for the garden of stone that was before him, ready for harvest.
“How many?” He asked himself, knowing that while there was no finite answer, the true answer was too many.
He trudged his way across the field of marble, stopping at each headstone to take a flag out of his bag and placing one in front of each marker. He read every name and calculated every age. He was tempted to say that a few were too young to be here; however, he realized that all the men and women that were here were all too young to be here, every soul here was cut down in its prime.
“What a waste,” he exclaimed while shaking his head.
Silent and respectful of the sacrifices of those just below his feet he soldiered on, he was determined to complete his mission before nightfall. Across the field he could hear a lone bugler play "Taps," the mournful sound echoed across the landscape.
The forlorn notes of "Taps" brought back memories of long ago when he was a much younger man. He could still hear their voices, still see their faces as if they were standing next to him. The thoughts of the war came rushing back to him. He remembered each death, he was one of a handful that had survived the entire war.
They were so young then, so full of life and ready to take on the world. Few of them had that chance, many of them were chewed up on foreign soil, never to see home again. They gave their lives for a cause they may not have understood or believed in, but, they knew that their country needed them, so they answered the call. He could see himself as a young man trying to comprehend the savagery around him. Trying to understand why he lived and others died.
Head below the fold for more of this story.
We hear less about other soldiers of color—Asian, Native American and Latino who died for us, who also faced, and still face discrimination within our shores.
Pictured above is William Kenzo Nakamura (January 21, 1922-July 4, 1944).
He was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.Follow me below the fold for more of this memorial history.
Nakamura was born in Seattle to Japanese immigrant parents. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American. His family was interned in Minidoka in Idaho during World War II. Nakamura volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.
On July 4, 1944, Nakamura was serving as a private first class in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. On that day, near Castellina, Italy, he single-handedly destroyed an enemy machine gun emplacement and later volunteered to cover his unit's withdrawal. He was then killed while attacking another machine gun nest which was firing on his platoon
It means that the trusty MacBook that has powered the show for three years is on the blink, and might have to go live on the Apple Farm, if you know what I'm saying.
But, keep your fingers crossed, because it happened with ONE day left on the Apple Care coverage, so it may not be a total loss! Usually these things happen the day after your coverage expires, right?
The downside is, there's no telling just yet exactly how long it will take to get the issues resolved. (It sounds like it's a dying video card, but it's disrupting and freezing everything when it fritzes out unpredictably.)
I'll keep you up to date on things, and hopefully we'll be back up and running soon! And since I still owe you a Rosalyn MacGregor Michigan politics update, I've passed it on to Justice Putnam in the hopes of finding some time for it on Netroots Radio's The After Show (11 AM - noon ET) some time this week.
We'll be bringing you a rerun of the May 27, 2014 show today:
Greg Dworkin joined us to discuss the #YesAllWomen global phenomenon, open carry blowback in Texas, the VA issue narrative versus reality, and how Sen. Burr stepped in it. Even as the tide turns on marriage equality, we're reminded that some think they can turn it on a dime, because "tradition." And the oldest Member of the House ever looks to win his primary. Dark money at work in Arkansas. Twitter was buzzing about corporate social media. What was the Boston "fusion center" tracking while missing the marathon bombing? Occupy. Boing Boing notes new NYT chief Baquet spiked the biggest pre-Snowden NSA story. Speaking of the NSA, the prescience of Justice Brandeis.
Listen at 9:00 ET, here: Click this Link to Listen on your iTunes, Winamp or Windows Media Player
Daily Kos Radio's Kagro in the Morning show podcasts are now available through iTunes.
(HOW YOU CAN GIVE ME) FREE MONEY!
Did you happen to miss our last LIVE show? You can catch it here:
The Josh Duggar shocker takes up a considerable amount of time today. The Boy Scouts of America are finally coming around to reality, it seems. Irish abroad are heading home to vote in today's historic referendum on marriage equality. Greg Dworkin agrees to come in (and fight through technical difficulties) on his birthday to round up stories on ACA's increasing popularity and entrenchment, Chris Christie's attempt at recovery that hometown papers aren't buying, handicapping who gets into the Gop debates, Obama's (un) lame duck status, a peek inside the American Board of Internal Medicine's finances, and Bill O'Reilly's in hot water (and in denial) again. NYT reporter goes way out on a limb on Hillary. Armando joins in to discuss the Duggar & O'Reilly news. Kansas, whose governor blows a lot, takes punishing the poor to a new level. Journos begin admitting they were wrong about the "Fight for $15." Self-driving cars might not necessarily kill us all.
Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes The right’s political correctness:
Accommodating right-wing primary voters poses real risks to the party in next year’s elections. Its candidates’ messages on immigration and gay marriage could hurt the GOP with, respectively, Latinos and the young.Trevor Timm at The Guardian writes McConnell can't save the NSA's surveillance program:
But the greater loss is that none of the leading Republicans is willing to offer a more fundamental challenge to the party’s rightward lurch over the past decade. L. Brent Bozell III, a prominent activist on the right, could thus legitimately claim to The Post: “The conservative agenda is what is winning the field.” [...]
With occasional exceptions, they have been far more interested in proving their faithfulness to today’s hard-line right than in declaring, as conservatives in so many other democracies have been willing to do, that sprawling market economies need a rather large dose of government.
Senators were forced to work overtime well into Memorial Day weekend thanks to a manufactured controversy by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has known for years that the parts of the Patriot Act that allow the NSA to collect the phone records of millions of innocent people (known as Section 215) are set to expire on 1 June 2015, but decided to gin up an “emergency” and wait until the very last moment to try to extend them. He managed in the process to block the USA Freedom Act, a modest surveillance reform bill targeting the NSA that has overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, but he also failed by a large number of votes to extend the Patriot Act’s surveillance provisions for even one day.There are more pundit excerpts below the fold.
So while Republicans managed to kill a bill that is supposed to stop the NSA’s bulk collection program, their ineptitude put the law underpinning it one step closer to extinction.
Therefore, for Memorial Day, it's appropriate to reprise a 7-year-old Daily Kos post about the compilation of 935 Iraq War lies that was produced by the Center for Public Integrity. Here's what the study of the lies concluded:
"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.Here's the post—Lies, Damned Lies, a Searchable Database of Lies originally published here on January 22, 2008:
"Some journalists—indeed, even some entire news organizations—have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.
For the past six years, activists, progressive bloggers and a handful of traditional media pundits have accused Mister Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney and others in the cronyfest running the executive branch of lying us into Iraq. The relentless response - everybody from Condoleeza Rice to Bill Kristol to the least-read right-wing pundithug - has been to say we're the liars, and traitors as well, for daring suggest such a thing at a time when the nation faces the most dire threat since Adolf Hitler gave the go-ahead to heavy-water experiments, blah, blah, blah.
Eventually—without apologies, of course—there were a few admissions delivered in the passive-aggressive tense popularized decades ago by Richard Nixon: "mistakes were made."
Now, thanks to the Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism, everybody can check out those lies for themselves at The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War.
Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith at CPI write:President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.Those 935 lies, by the way, do not include "indirect false statements" such as that Iraq had possession of "dangerous weapons."
On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.
It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. ...
In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003. Not surprisingly, the officials with the most opportunities to make speeches, grant media interviews, and otherwise frame the public debate also made the most false statements, according to this first-ever analysis of the entire body of prewar rhetoric.
No single lie is going to surprise anybody who has been following the fabrications of the Cheney-Bush administration. But CPI has done a real service to place nearly 1000 of these in one easy-to-access location.
Mister Bush told the most lies: 259. Colin Powell clocked in second with 244 lies.
As for the administration response, the Boston Globe reports:White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.
"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.
Uh-huh. Time to start a new database.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—A Choice Predicament:
Via The Carpetbagger Report:
I guess there's two ways Republicans can play this: They can go ahead and get the bill to the White House, putting the President in one hell of a bind and creating at least the appearance of independence. Or they can kick it down the road to appease their fundamentalist masters and take a chance on being tarred and feathered with the issue come November.
Exactly one year ago tomorrow, the House easily passed bi-partisan legislation that would remove restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. The companion measure in the Senate had a filibuster-proof majority, Bill Frist endorsed the bill and vowed to bring it to the floor, and polls showed overwhelming support from the public. Newsweek's Jonathan Alter wrote at the time, "Unless there's another war, stem cells will become one of the defining issues of the 2006 campaign." It seemed we were finally on the brink of a breakthrough for science, medical research, and public health. And then ... nothing.
It's often said the Democrats don't stand for anything. But here the GOP has a choice of life versus ideology, loyalty to Mr. 29% Vs We the People. We'll see exactly who and what the Republicans stand for on this issue alone.
Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."
I walked into my home from after blogging for five hours at Starbucks. My daughter was in the couch with her face pasted on her Twitter feed on her phone.
"Dad, what is going on at Twin Peaks?” She asked.
"I don't know?" I replied.
"Nine people got killed in Waco," she said. "There are rival biker gangs shooting and stabbing each other and shooting at police."
"Really?" I replied. "Turn on CNN."
We turned on CNN and they were doing regular programming. We turned to Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC. They were all doing regular programming on a slow news day.
Everyone knows that especially on a slow news day the most mundane gets covered as breaking news. So what happened here? Nine human beings were killed, murdered in a gang fight. Gangs were reportedly shooting at the police. It was mayhem. It was extremely violent behavior.
The riots in Ferguson had many casualities. The riots in Baltimore had many casualties. There was incessant coverage as breaking news. But it was the display of those inner city people acting violently that made the news, a disparity I discuss more below the fold.
NewSpace—formerly alt.space; also "new space", and entrepreneurial space—are umbrella terms for a movement and philosophy often affiliated with, but not synonymous with, an emergent private spaceflight industry. Specifically, the terms are used to refer to a community of relatively new aerospace companies working to develop low-cost access to space or spaceflight technologies and advocates of low-cost spaceflight technology and policy.But NewSapce means more than just space exploration, it also means using resources in space back here on Earth, where we are likely to run low on key elements and other substances in the forseeable future.
It's interesting that one of the people who first glimpsed that looming shortfall half a century ago had nothing to do with space exploration or aerospace technology in general. His bailiwick was the oil business. Follow us below and we'll briefly review the frightening immediate future.