Policy & Practice News –
story links posted by 10am EST
Obamacare used to be Democrats’ debacle -- but now it’s time to go on offense. Here’s where Republicans are exposed
The neoliberal turn in American health care is part of a much more fundamental transformation, beyond the borders of both America and of health care, and away from the promise of economic justice itself.
For the eastern U.S., this winter and spring have been like a brutal revival of the Ice Ages. One strong blast of polar weather after another sent temperatures plummeting deep into the country, and as yesterday's miserable weather attests, this frigid free-for-all has life in it still.
In America, your race affects everything from your job
to your commute
to your brush-ups with the police
. Why should it be any different with the amount of nasty air pollution
Of course it isn't different, as shown by an eye-opening new study from the University of Minnesota.
What’s a beleaguered utility to do when forced by the government to close its profitable nuclear power plants
It turns to lignite, a cheap, soft, muddy-brown colored form of sedimentary rock that spews more greenhouse gases than any other fossil fuel.
A new study examines the potential hazards of natural gas extraction.
The solution comes down to organic photovoltaics
. Unlike traditional solar panels, made of silicon, OPV cells are made of organic semiconductors, which can be 3D-printed or coated over large areas.
“If we could figure out the trade secrets of photosynthesis (considered as 100 percent efficient) then every other source of energy we depend on today—coal, oil, natural gas—would become obsolete. Photosynthesis is the ultimate green power. It doesn't pollute the air, and is in fact carbon neutral. Artificial photosynthesis
, on a big enough scale, could reduce the greenhouse effect that's driving climate change in a dangerous direction.”
Tyson isn't kidding: The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, sponsored by the University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is busy at work trying to build "molecular-level energy conversion 'machines' that generate fuels directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide."
"There can be few starker or more obvious symptoms of the global environmental crisis than a dramatic upturn in killings of ordinary people defending rights to their environment and livelihoods from corporate and state abuse. Yet those responsible almost always get away with it, because governments are failing to protect their citizens and the international community is not paying enough attention to their plight."
Dr. Mark Hyman: Advising the Clintons on Their Health
A.C. THOMPSON and JONATHAN JONES in ProPublica
Looking at real bills for real patients cuts through the ideological debate over health care policy.
the USA ranks first in the world in health care spending, but only 45th in life expectancy....
Climate change inaction is a leading global cause of death.
If we had the per-person costs of any other OECD country, America’s deficits would vanish....
How Industry Money Reaches (aka 'bribes') Physicians
To remove your appendix in one California hospital costs $180,000, at a different facility the bill is $1,500. [Who has time to 'shop'?
Why is Healthcare Absurdly Expensive in USA: Graphics (Part 2) (Part 1 is here)
Videos of Less Corrupt Health Care Systems
SOURCE: Public Broadcasting System & ABC News | Ref.
Health Care Reform Reality Check
SOURCE: The White House | Ref.
Health Care Reform: An Online Guide
SOURCE: Slate Mag. | Ref.
International Healthcare Systems Primer
SOURCE: The American Medical Student Association | Ref.
Global Warming Links
SOURCE: Readers | Ref.
A new report
shows that top CEOs were paid 331 times more than the average US worker in 2013. At the same time, the poorest fifth of Americans paid an average tax rate of 11 percent while the richest one percent contributed half that rate at state and local levels. In this essay, Bill reflects on the forces that are causing inequality to skyrocket, why it matters and where we’re headed in the future.
Economist Paul Krugman discusses Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century
, and explains how the United States is becoming an oligarchy – the very system our founders revolted against. [The solution is simple: Restore very-high estate taxes above a reasonable exemption
Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Adelson and a colorful cast of characters jockey over regulation.While many of the big casinos turned their attention to the states over the past couple of years, the Washington lobbying game is ramping up again, driven largely by Adelson’s new push to ban online gambling.
5 Things to Know About How Corporations Block Access to Everything from Miracle Drugs to Science ResearchWe need to recognize that science and technology grow by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection blocks exactly what it’s supposed to enhance: ideas that help us live better. The intellectual property system needs to be reevaluated so that social and economic progress aren't hampered by laws that only reward the few, and the public good becomes a top priority.
The Solicitor General will defend deceptive campaigning before the Supreme Court.
Thanks to renewable energy's technological leap forward, the IPCC climate panel can talk about “decarbonizing” electricity generation as a realistic goal — and since coal-fired power plants are a very large part of the climate problem, that’s a big part of the solution right there.
So is the climate threat solved? Well, it should be. The science is solid; the technology is there; the economics look far more favorable than anyone expected. All that stands in the way of saving the planet is a combination of ignorance, prejudice and vested interests. What could go wrong? Oh, wait. [Many governments are dominated by fossil energy asset owners...]
Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union have said that all sides have agreed to steps to "de-escalate" the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Libertarian ideology favors privatization. However, in practice privatization is usually very different in result than libertarian ideology postulates. Almost always, privatization becomes a way for well-connected private interests to loot both the public purse and the general welfare.
Whenever we need a perfect example of Americans who have no clue what is in their best interest, we need only look to the south. Yes, there are some great people there–and no, not everyone is ignorant. However, red state voters regularly eschew logic and ignore facts when making decisions, instead turning their focus toward Bible-based voting. Right-wing politicians use this to their advantage whenever it is time to elect leaders.
Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries. Across the country, from a race for sheriff in California to the United States Senate primary in South Carolina, candidates are using high-powered pistols and rifles as a lure to build up their donor lists and expand their base of support. [Just when you think they can't get any sicker...
Debtors’ prisons in the U.S. were declared unconstitutional, but [Republican] states have re-implemented them anyway. A person locked up can’t earn money to pay the debt. And most significantly, it ends up costing many jurisdictions more money to punish someone for not paying than they would have “spent” just forgetting the debt. So why do states do this?
Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.
As a candidate, he touted a proposal to curb the influence of lobbyists and donors. As a senator, he shelved that plan—and accepted contributions from influence peddlers. [What's wrong with government in a nutshell]
That Sean Hannity and other far right wing pundits are supporting the regional militiamen and their mooching hero rather than the US government gives you an idea what side they’d be on if they were in Pakistan...
Federal transportation policies aren't solely about transportation. They address a variety of other goals, from elevating wages to increasing unionization to encouraging alternatives to lowering costs-of-living for the poor. But even those who support such goals must acknowledge that funding them through transportation policy can come at the expense of actually building or properly maintaining infrastructure. [The history of corruption at the state-level was not mentioned...
In Testing Theories of American Politics:
Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
[PDF], a paper forthcoming in Perspectives on Politics
by Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin Page, the authors analyzed 1,779 policies over the past 20+ years and concluded that policy makers respond exclusively to the needs of people in the 90th wealth percentile to the exclusion of pretty much every one else.
The Texas governor is being investigated after he cut funding for the state's watchdog agency.
Both "conservative" and "liberal" journalists are held to account for unprofessional work.
Letters to the Editor
|Arts & Education Events:|
Readers | Ongoing
The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world's biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal
Christian clergy who dress in ‘priestly garb’ are frequently spat on as they walk through Jerusalem’s Old City; as one priest commented
‘it’s almost impossible to pass through Jaffa Gate without this happening’. In fact, these anti-Christian attacks have become so frequent that in 2012 the Catholic leadership of Palestine issued a statement
entitled, Declaration of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land,
in which they urged the Israeli authorities to address the ‘teaching of contempt’ in Israeli schools.
Many in the West believe that Russia is behind the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine. Kiev on Tuesday launched an offensive to retake control of the region, but the biggest question still looms: Will Russia invade?
US and UK urge Russia to choose diplomacy after tense late-night phone call between Putin and Obama
Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi is out with an explosive new book
that asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale.
AMY GOODMAN and AARON MATÉ interview MATT TAIBBI on Democracy Now
One of the slogans of the 2011 Occupy protests was 'capitalism isn't working'. Now, in an epic, groundbreaking new book, French economist Thomas Piketty explains why they're right: A progressive tax on wealth is the only sane solution.
In recognition of the dangers inherent in the consolidation of mainstream corporate media The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel
(formerly a newspaper) advances awareness of important suppressed news and opinion.
The kindness of your donation would be appreciated
Subscribe for only $2.00/mo. Set low on purpose—we know we're not your main news source.
You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Inequality is the plague of our times, a divisive epidemic caused by the unjust economic system – ‘Neo-Liberalism’, or market fundamentalism – which saturates the world. A system which, Noam Chomsky says, is “so dysfunctional that it cannot put eager hands to needed work,” as would happen “if the economy were designed to serve human need rather than create wealth beyond avarice for the privileged few.”
It’s hard, he says, “to think of a more serious indictment of a socio-economic system.” The ‘dysfunctional’ socially unjust system has facilitated “very high concentrations of wealth, and with it political power, which yields [favourably skewed] legislation, which drives the cycle forward.”
Present and past owners of OAO Bank Rossiya, the only company hit with sanctions for Russia’s takeover of Crimea, include three billionaires, two proteges of a Nobel Laureate and, according to a Spanish prosecutor, one possible mob boss.
...The country is helmed by a prime minister, Stephen Harper, known for his brazenly right-wing views and executive unilateralism. Both federal and provincial governments have embraced austerity and eroded public services. And Canada’s newly aggressive exploitation of its natural resources has it trampling on civil liberties and reneging on its international obligations like, as Foreign Policy put it, a “rogue, reckless petrostate.”
These are not changes born in the hearts and minds of the Canadian people, but an agenda designed and implemented from above, articulated in an imported conservative ideology, to abet the interests of private industry. Some of that agenda, like the shocking attack on Canada’s environmental research community, has been implemented so swiftly and unilaterally that the public is just now catching up. Other aspects, like the undermining of the country’s universal health care system, have been imposed more gradually, a death by a thousand cuts combined with a relentless propaganda campaign. [Mean-spirited Kochs and their ilk are 'winning' in Canada, too.]
Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it. According to an SEIU report:
Capitalism’s new critics take on an economics run amok.
“In the United States of America, billionaires should not be able to buy elections,” declared Sanders, to thunderous applause.
“If we do not get our act together, we are moving towards an oligarchic society,” he continued, arguing that, “We have got to fight to defend American democracy.”