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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

07.02 American Medical Association sues North Dakota over abortion laws

07.02 'Committed' CO2 emissions jeopardize international climate goals, study finds

07.01 New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear

07.01 Freak summer hailstorm buries cars in Mexico's Guadalajara [0:50 video]

07.01 Climate Change is Devastating India With Heat Waves and Water Shortages [13:48 video]

06.30 American farmers can't afford this administration's climate apathy

06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

07.15 Finding the Future in Radical Rural America

07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]

07.15 If there is an 'immigrant' who has failed to integrate in America, it's Donald Trump

07.15 Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]

07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]

07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]

Justice Matters

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  print view: Situation Room Scaremongering
ACTION ALERT:

Situation Room Scaremongering

CNN's Social Security crisis

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Originally published earlier today, Wednesday, 11 August 2010
If CNN's Situation Room program is serious about covering Social Security fairly, they need experts like economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, or Nancy Altman from Social Security Works, who can give viewers an informed, clearer-eyed assessment of Social Security's finances.

The August 5 reports from the Social Security and Medicare trustees declared Social Security's long-term financial outlook mostly unchanged from the previous year, and the projections for Medicare were greatly improved from previous forecasts. But on CNN's Situation Room, this news amounted to a crisis in Social Security and a threat to the country.

On the August 5 broadcast, host Wolf Blitzer announced: "Social Security reaches the final financial tipping point. The system is now paying out more than it's taking in. Will Washington do anything anytime soon to fix this problem?" Blitzer was referring to the fact that this year Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it receives in tax revenue--a mostly meaningless fact, given the system's $2.5 trillion long-term surplus (CEPR's Social Security Byte, 8/5/10). But Blitzer turned to a single guest, Beltway fixture and former presidential adviser David Gergen, to echo his alarmism.

"We're getting disturbing numbers now once again on Social Security," Blitzer declared. "We seem to be getting these every few years, and people sort of just kick this can down the road." Gergen responded that government debt will "seriously threaten the future of the country." He acknowledged that the trustees' reports suggest the programs are "in good shape," but as a self-described "deficit hawk," he still saw a crisis looming, since "the government is going to have to put more and more money into it...and therefore, the cost to government will go way up and the size of the national debt is going to continue to go up."

When Gergen says that the government is going to "put more and more money" into Social Security, he means that the government is going to start paying back some of the trillions of dollars it has borrowed from the Social Security system. He and Blitzer see this as a crisis; others would see it rather as the deserved and anticipated return of enormous amounts of wealth to the working people who contributed to the surplus over the last three decades, specifically so that it could be paid back now as the baby boomers begin to retire.

Gergen complained:

The liberals have seized on this new report about Social Security and Medicare, these reports, and said we don't need to touch these, they're solvent. Go away, don't do this. But the deficit hawks are saying, wait a minute. If you don't deal with Medicare and Social Security, if you don't reform them, the deficit is going to go higher and higher. The national debt is going to reach proportions we can't stand, and it's going to bring all sorts of problems to the country.

Gergen's conflation of Social Security and Medicare can only mislead viewers. Social Security over the long term is expected to consume a constant share of U.S. GDP, about 6 percent--roughly 1 percentage point more than it does now. This increase can be paid for with minor adjustments to the program, such as raising or eliminating the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes (currently $87,900). These changes can be made decades from now, when the trust fund is finally depleted. Medicare, by contrast, really is growing unsustainably--because medical costs in general are growing unsustainably, and need to be brought under control to avoid general economic collapse. To treat the two programs as being similar problems completely obscures the very different solutions each requires.

The August 5 segment does not seem to be an outlier for the Situation Room. An August 9 report from Lisa Sylvester, for instance, suggested two possible approaches to Social Security: raising the retirement age or increasing the tax rate, which "could hurt small businesses and low-wage workers." As Sylvester put it, "There are just no easy answers." But one option that would be much easier--raising the cap on income subject to the tax, which would not affect low-wage workers--went unmentioned.

And on July 16, CNN commentator Jack Cafferty mentioned that politician have "run out of options on how to pay for Social Security, which is broke." That statement is completely false, unless a program with trillions of dollars in assets, sufficient to fund its obligations for decades to come, is "broke."

On the August 5 show, Gergen pointed out that this year will bring plenty of opportunities to talk about Social Security: "We at CNN and others can really help people understand what the choices are facing the country because they are tough choices, very hard choices, and a lot of Americans are going to be startled by just how serious some of this is."

If CNN's Situation Room program is serious about covering Social Security fairly, they need to balance the views of Cafferty and Gergen with experts like economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, or Nancy Altman from Social Security Works, who can give viewers an informed, clearer-eyed assessment of Social Security's finances.


ACTION:
Ask CNN's Situation Room to bring on Social Security experts who would challenge the alarmist views featured recently on the show. Social Security is an important subject that deserves balanced reporting.

CONTACT:
CNN's The Situation Room
situationroom@cnn.com


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.



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This story was published on August 11, 2010.

 



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