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This week at progressive state blogs: OH pays for empty charter schools, oil owns ND regulators

This week at progressive state blogs: OH pays for empty charter schools, oil owns ND regulators ::posted Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:00:10 +0000:: (Meteor Blades)

This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should be watching. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At The Prairie Blog of North Dakota, Jim Fuglie writes—The Answer:

So here’s a memo to North Dakota Democrats: It doesn’t matter what the question is, or who asks it. Here is THE ANSWER.

“North Dakota’s oil industry is regulated by a three-member commission called the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The three members, all Republicans, are the Governor, the Agriculture Commissioner and the Attorney General. The oil industry owns the first two, but the Attorney General, not so much. He is, though, a member of the team and generally acquiesces. The oil industry owns the Governor and the Agriculture Commissioner by virtue of having paid for their election campaigns.”

“Ironically, the campaigns were against the same man, a cowboy-rancher named Ryan Taylor, who was defeated for Governor by Jack Dalrymple in 2012 and for Agriculture Commissioner by Douglas Goehring in 2014. In both cases, the oil industry paid most of the Republicans’ campaign bills—more than half a million worth in 2012, something less than that in 2014—even though Taylor was probably going to lose anyway. But the industry knew he was going to be a thorn in their side, and they wanted an insurance policy that guaranteed the two men who had kept the doors open to their greedy march across the prairie, unchecked by onerous regulations, were going to remain In office. So they opened their fat wallets and paid for a couple of campaigns. Now they own two of the three most important politicians in North Dakota.” […]

“That’s the record of the Republicans in North Dakota. When the industry owns the regulators, nobody gets regulated.”

That, North Dakota Democrats, is THE ANSWER.

It doesn’t matter what the question is. It’s called using your talking points, staying on message.

You can find more excerpts from progressive state blogs below the orange gerrymander.

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This week in the war on workers: McDonald’s in turmoil

This week in the war on workers: McDonald’s in turmoil ::posted Sun, 01 Feb 2015 00:00:04 +0000:: (Laura Clawson)

The workers suing McDonald’s for racist harassment and firings speak out in the video above; meanwhile:
McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, one of just seven African-American chief executives among the Fortune 500 companies, is stepping down less than three years after rising to the top job.

Thompson’s exit is being widely blamed on the company’s weak financial performance under his stewardship. But McDonald’s next CEO will also face numerous public relations problems, widespread labor unrest, and legal threats to its business model.

Here’s to workers continuing to give the next CEO hell right up until McDonald’s changes its terrible labor practices.

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week’s labor and education news.

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Pentagon Tells Congress to Stop Buying Equipment it Doesn’t Need

Pentagon Tells Congress to Stop Buying Equipment it Doesn’t Need ::posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 23:06:03 +0000::

submitted by BlankVerse[link] [comment]

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Cartoons are better science sources than conservative experts

Cartoons are better science sources than conservative experts ::posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 23:00:04 +0000:: (DarkSyde)

Above is a clip from a cartoon on Comedy Central that mentions evolution, below are some words on the same subject from one of the leading intellectual lights of the modern conservative movement. Which one is more trustworthy?

For me, the plausibility of evolution is further strained by Darwin’s assertion that within fifty to one hundred years of his time, scientists would become geologically sophisticated enough to find the fossil remains of the entire evolutionary tree in an unequivocal step-by-step progression of life from amoeba to man—including all of the intermediate species. Of course that was 150 years ago, and there is still no such evidence.

It’s not even close; the words of Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson lose out to Futurama in a first round knock-out.

Carson’s duplicity begins in the very first quoted sentence: paleontologists do not assert that the fossil record would or should contain the preserved remains of every individual organism that ever lived. But they have certainly found plenty of transitional fossils in that record representing the evolution of amphibians from fish, birds from reptiles, whales from land animals, and humans from earlier primates, just to name a few.

It would be pointless to log the many errors in Carson’s flaccid grasp of evolution for his benefit or for the benefit of his listeners and supporters. Clowns like Carson aren’t interested in truth, they’re interested in fleecing the conservative faithful for money and power, and in that seedy profession, misinformation works much better.

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Spotlight on green news views: Senate okays Keystone XL, Obama opens more offshore drilling

Spotlight on green news views: Senate okays Keystone XL, Obama opens more offshore drilling ::posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 20:00:07 +0000:: (Meteor Blades)
That video was captured by by EdMass and retitled Climate Change: The Best Evah Weather Report.

Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don’t attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) normally appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. More than 21,740 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

Because of the relatively small number of eco-diaries the past few days, the categories usually included with the Green Spotlight have been dropped for this edition only.

The Ugly Truth about Methane Pollution from Fracking—by Earthworks Action: “Recently, the Obama administration came out with its plans to regulate methane from oil and gas wells. These rules will be the first of their kind, and underscore two of the most important problems with fracking-enabled oil and gas production—its impact on the climate and its impact on human health. Oil and gas operations across the country are a major source of air pollution of all types. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), coupled with nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (together known as NOx) and sunlight, produce ozone, which is hazardous to human health and can cause premature death. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas, found in many shale oil and gas formations, can cause difficulty in breathing and eye and throat irritation. High levels of exposure can be fatal. Families living with oil and gas development nearby experience these health impacts when the wind blows these toxic chemicals near homes and schools. Earthworks has documented this VOC pollution using our FLIR Gasfinder camera—you can hear the stories of people living with this type of development and see the invisible pollution we’ve captured using infrared technology.”

NRDC Attorney Defends Clean Air Act Health Standards From Attack by Energy-in-Depth—by LakeSuperior: “I’ve been a member of the national environmental group, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), for 40 years. I still remember the first NRDC workproduct I ever reviewed. It was a 1974 briefing paper on the Clean Air Act of 1970 and what state air pollution control program requirements had to be met to gain EPA approval of individual State Implementation Plans. NRDC is a principle guardian and steward of the Clean Air Act, including the heart of the Act with Senator Muskie’s vision and enactment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health from common pollutants called “criteria pollutants” named for the Air Quality Criteria that are the basis for EPA’s setting of NAAQS. In this recent blogpost, NRDC Attorney John Walke, a former EPA air enforcement attorney, shows Democrats and everyone else, just how public trust defense of the Clean Air Act and outstanding, highly effective environmental & public health advocacy is done.”

You can find more rescued green diaries below the orange garden layout.

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View from the left—the 2016 Republican dilemma

View from the left—the 2016 Republican dilemma ::posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 19:00:09 +0000:: (Kerry Eleveld)

Nothing has been quite so clear in the past couple weeks as just how out of step the GOP establishment is with the GOP base—a disconnect that has stunning implications for 2016.

Only a few weeks ago, for instance, Republican strategists started selling the idea that a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide would neutralize the issue for Republicans on the campaign trail. They could simply say what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of marriage equality and the Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s challenge to the decision.

“For us, it’s over in Wisconsin,” he told reporters.

But Rep. Steve King’s Iowa summit last weekend proved that to be nothing but wishful thinking. Even as some GOP hopefuls tried to sidestep the topic, here’s what one conservative Republican who has first-hand experience with Hawkeye State politics had to say about the issue.

“If you dodge the question, then it’s the kiss of death,” said social conservative Sam Clovis, who finished second behind Joni Ernst in last year’s Iowa GOP Senate primary. “Candidates have got to be declarative about where they stand. Period.”

“If you’re not vocally pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, I don’t think you can win here because you’re going to get hammered,” added Clovis.

And it’s not just the voters pushing the divide, it’s the candidates. Head below the fold for more on the GOP dilemma.

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title | For Our Economy

title ::posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 16:52:09 +0000::


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