Friday, June 29, 2012

News Nuggets 1008

DAYLEE PICTURE: Black bear cubs in Great Smokey National Park in Tennessee.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.
The Nuggetsman will be on a break between now and next Wednesday, July 4, and postings will be infrequent at best.  The postings for today are ALL commentary on yesterday's landmark Supreme Court ruling!  

The Court Saved My Life (Spike Ward) from the Los Angeles Times
"Not to be overly dramatic, but for me the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act was a matter of life and death. Because the law was largely upheld, I will be able to continue receiving treatment for breast cancer."

First-Person Impacts: How Obamacare Ruling Affects Americans (Tim Skillern) from Yahoo News
"Their reactions to the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision on health care Thursday mirrors that of many people -- a varied and polarized mix of worry, confusion, relief, anger and elation. To gauge their thoughts, Yahoo! News asked Americans to share their candid, personal stories and how the court's ruling affects them. Below, in their own words, is a sampling of what they wrote."

Supreme Court’s Health Care Decision is Good for America from the Editorial Board of the Chicago Sun-Times
"Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, led the attack shortly after Thursday’s ruling was handed down, saying “What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.” That is a debate Obama should relish. Obamacare — a nickname that will one day be considered a badge of honor, not a pejorative — brings decency and fairness to health care in America, defeating decades of obstruction by the GOP and the insurance companies."

The Real Winners (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"So the Supreme Court — defying many expectations — upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans — people like you."

The Supreme Court Helps Heal the Nation (Eugene Robinson) from the Washington Post
"The political impact of Thursday’s stunning Supreme Court decision on health-care reform is clear — good for President Obama and the Democrats, bad for Mitt Romney and the Republicans — but fleeting, and thus secondary. Much more important is what the ruling means in the long term for the physical and moral health of the nation."

In Health Ruling, Relief for Obama but a Blow to Conventional Wisdom (Nate Silver) from the New York Times
"some observers have claimed that the decision could help Mitt Romney in terms of electoral politics. With due respect, I think this counterintuitive conclusion is too cute by half."

In Health Care Ruling, Roberts Steals a Move From John Marshall's Playbook (Daniel Epps) from the Atlantic
"There are eerie parallels between today's decision and a legendary case from Thomas Jefferson's time."
A related opinion expressed HERE.

Supreme Court Ruling a Boost to Obama, Challenge for Romney (Lynn Sweet) from the Chicago Sun-Times
"Romney has a specific challenge — tell people with more detail than he has so far just how more of the nation’s uninsured could get coverage. And his plan faces a laugh-test: How would it plausibly get through a divided Congress? Even if Romney wins the election this November, he could possibly face a GOP-controlled House and a Democratic-run Senate, just as it is now. Romney cannot erase Obamacare with a pen stroke. The Obama team, with the ruling, gets a second chance to make a first impression. ..."

Repeal Is a Fantasy (David Frum) from the Daily Beast
"Even if Republicans win big in 2012, they will have to fight inch by bloody inch for changes they could have had for the asking in 2010. Truly, this is Waterloo—a Waterloo brought about by a dangerous combination of ideological frenzy, poor risk calculation, and a self-annihilating indifference to the real work of government."

Mitt Romney’s Empty Obamacare Repeal Rhetoric (John Avlon) from the Daily Beast
"The presumptive Republican nominee was quick to promise a repeal of the health care act if elected president, but he proposed no alternative—throwing out only the usual Medi-scare, deficit-bomb, and ‘government takeover’ bromides."

Why Romney Won't Repeal Obamacare (Ryan Lizza) from the New Yorker 
"Assuming that Romney comes to Washington without a sixty-vote majority in the Senate, the task of repeal will be nearly insurmountable."

John Roberts, the Deciding Vote (Jeffrey Rosen) from the Atlantic
""How do you decide who’s going to be the swing vote?" Roberts laughed and shook his head. "I don’t know, we rotate.""

The Political Genius of John Roberts (Ezra Klein) from the Washington Post 
"After Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes deftly beat back Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s court-packing proposal, FDR said, with grudging admiration, that Hughes was the best politician in the country. “That was hardly the way Hughes would have chosen to be remembered,” writes James Simon in “FDR and Chief Justice Hughes,” “though there was much truth in the president’s remark.” I doubt Roberts wants to be known for his political skills, either. But in today’s decision, he showed that, like Hughes before him, he’s got those skills in spades."

John Roberts Outrages Conservatives In Health Care Ruling (Luke Johnson) from the Huffington Post
""This was an activist court that you saw today," Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told reporters. "Anytime the Supreme Court renders something constitutional that is clearly unconstitutional, that undermines the credibility of the Supreme Court. I do believe the court's credibility was undermined severely today," she said, later adding that Congress could now force you to buy Ikea furniture. "The Supreme Court has abandoned us," Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said."

CNN News Staffers Revolt Over Blown Coverage from Buzzfeed
"“Embarrassing.” “Fucking humiliating.” “Shameful.” A veteran producer jumps the gun, a young correspondent goes too far, and the network's crisis deepens."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

News Nuggets 1007

DAYLEE PICTURE: A Peacock Katydid.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

*Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare (Howard Kurtz) from the Daily Beast 
"A major victory for the president stuns the capital."
Andrew Sullivan live-blogged and comments on the decision HERE.

*In 5-4 Verdict, Court Upholds Health Care Law: The Ruling's Winners and Losers (Kate Pickert) from Time Magazine
"In a landmark decision issued Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health reform law. TIME considers the biggest winners and losers of the controversial verdict."

*A Paradigm Of Leadership: Obama Versus Romney On Health Care Reform (Joe Conason) from the National Memo
"Having upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act under the Congressional taxation power, by a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court has also delivered a personal vindication to Barack Obama  – and given the lie to Mitt Romney’s accusations about the president’s lack of “leadership."

*Court Upholds Mandate, Limits Medicaid Expansion (Richard Kim) from the Nation
"The other thing is that remarkable about the ruling is that the conservative Justices would have invalidated the entire law based on one provision, the individual mandate. It would have put us way back, well beyond square one."

The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal (Katherine Eban) from Fortune Magazine via CNN
"A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust."

Fast and Furious: Failed Scandal (Steve Kornacki) from Salon
"John Boehner seems to realize his party’s effort to use Fast and Furious to embarrass Obama has failed."

Justice Scalia Must Resign (E.J. Dionne) from the Washington Post
"So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced its decision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line."

Last Tour of the Rock-Star Diplomat from the New York Times
"What’s the future for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton? Given the problems facing the world, it’s hard to look past the next six months."

GOP in No Rush to Legislate if ACA Goes Down from Politico
"Earlier this month, top GOP officials were privately deliberating what legislation they would push to fill the gap caused by a full strike-down of Obama’s health care law. Corralling lawmakers behind hefty legislative proposals in an election year would also be a tough task. But major insurance companies may have given Republicans some political cover, saying they would voluntarily keep some of the law’s results in place if it is struck down."
Until ... after the election.  This new GOP position showcases so much that is profoundly dysfunctional about our politics right now.  How much can the GOP get away with without exposing the depths of their cynicism and base-level indifference?  

Obama Leads Romney In Polls Of Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania (Mark Blumenthal) from the Huffington Post
"The Quinnipiac polls find evidence of movement since May in Obama's direction in Ohio and Florida and voter support for Obama's newly announced immigration policy, particularly in Florida."

Texas Republican Party Calls For Abstinence Only Sex Ed, Corporal Punishment In Schools, and No 'Critical Thinking Skills' from the Huffington Post
"The position causing the most controversy, however, is the statement that they oppose the teaching of "higher order thinking skills" -- a curriculum which strives to encourage critical thinking -- arguing that it might challenge "student's fixed beliefs" and undermine "parental authority.""

The Lust Frontier from the New York Times
Two D.C. women spend four days looking for love in Alaska, where the “odds are good, but the goods are odd.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

News Nuggets 1006

DAYLEE PICTURE: Lake Eppalock in Australia seen through a time-lapse photo, one of an amazing series.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

For Pakistan, the Noose is Tightening from the Editorial Board of the Hindustan Times [of India in English]
"The triad of US intelligence a Pakistan-based terrorist, a third country apprehending the figure and India being the end recipient of the suspect or his confessions is now commonplace. Pakistan should reflect on why the countries it counts as its closest friends have become increasingly willing to take India's side on the terrorism issue."

Russia in the Islamic World (Sergey Markedonov) from the National Interest 
"For Russia, Syria is a three-dimensional phenomenon. The first two dimensions are better known: Russia, along with China, has a long-running dispute with the West about the relationship between sovereignty and intervention in the domestic political process. That controversy has not been sparked by the current Syrian crisis; instead, it dates back to the ethnic conflicts in the Balkans in the early 1990s. Secondly, Moscow has economic and geopolitical interests in Syria, ranging from business contracts to Russia’s only naval facility on the Mediterranean Sea in Tartus."

To Save the Euro, Leave It (Kenenth Griffin & Anip Kashyap) from the New York Times
"A better, bolder and, until now, almost inconceivable solution is for Germany to reintroduce the mark, which would cause the euro to immediately decline in value. Such a devaluation would give troubled economies, especially those of Greece, Italy and Spain, the financial flexibility they need to stabilize themselves. Although repeated currency devaluations are not the path to prosperity, a weaker euro would give a boost in competitiveness to all members of the monetary union, including France and the Netherlands,..."
This would require substantially more courage and creativity than Angela Merkel (or any of her other European colleagues) have shown thus far.

States Lacking Income Tax Get No Boost In Growth: BGOV Barometer from the Bloomberg News Service
"Governors seeking to expand their economies by eliminating income taxes find little support for the idea in the record of U.S. states that lack such a levy."

Obama: We Don't Need to Re-fight Healthcare Battle from the Los Angeles Times
"Days before the high court is set to rule on his signature first-term accomplishment, the president sidestepped what the justices might decide and instead underlined the consequences if Republicans followed through on a pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He fit his argument into the one-word slogan of his reelection campaign, forward."

Affordable Dental Care Unavailable To One-Third Of Americans: Report from the Huffington Post
"More than 100 million Americans do not go to the dentist for checkups and cleanings because of the cost, according to PBS FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity. As a result, many go broke trying to afford dental care or suffer from extreme pain. Some die. The next generation of Americans already is suffering. Nearly 5 million American children, or one in 16, did not get regular dental checkups in 2008 because their families could not afford it, according to an Institute of Medicine report released last year."

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules Upheld By Federal Court from the Huffington Post 
"A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming. The rules, which were challenged by industry groups and various states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from automobile tailpipes."

Why Libraries Are a Smart Investment for the Country's Future from Time Magazine
"As both the national economy and print empires shift, it may be tempting to take America's library system for granted. Marx reminded the audience to keep investing in the country's public educational opportunities, especially public libraries. "You cannot have a functioning economy if you do not have innovation," he said. "You cannot have a functioning democracy if you cannot have the citizenry able to inform itself.""
Unfortunately, for way too many Americans, the words "Smart Investment for the Country's Future" = a socialist plot.

Case in point:
Georgia and the United Nations: Why Walking Leads to One-World Government from the Economist [of London]
"ON JULY 31st, Georgia's voters will decide whether to impose upon themselves a one-cent sales tax for the next ten years to fund transportation projects. ... are Atlanta's Democratic mayor, Kasim Reed, and Republican attorney-general, Sam Olens, both agents of the United Nations determined to advance the cause of one-world government and outlaw private property?"

Metal Detector Friends Find Three Quarters of a TON of Iron Age Coins worth $15m from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"After hunting for buried treasure for three decades - and not finding a great deal - even the most diligent of us might have given up. But not Reg Mead and Richard Miles. The two amateur metal detectors kept up their search of the same area throughout the decades and have finally struck gold - or rather silver. They are thought to be from the first century BC and were found buried 3ft deep under a hedge in a farmer's field on Jersey, off Britain's south coast."

'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' Dad's Tear-Jerking Graduation Gift to Daughter is a Book of Messages from Every One of her Teachers... which took 13 YEARS to Collect from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"For many teenagers, their high school graduation day is the opportunity to ask for a big, extravagant gift from their parents. What Brenna Martin got was very different. It wasn't a car, a holiday or that piece of jewellery she had always wanted. Instead, the senior got something much, much more special."

Ugly Buttons: How Did the Remote Control Get So Awful and Confusing? (Daniel Engber) from Slate
"My clock radio has 15 buttons. My MP3 player and cellphone have five buttons between them. So why should my television, a simple device that's not so interactive, spread so much clutter and confusion?"

Fagin's Children: Mugshots of Victorian Thieves as Young as 11 Who were Sentenced to Hard Labor for Stealing from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
Staring into the camera, some with defiance and others in child-like wonder, these scruffy boys and girls look like any other group of Victorian urchins. But while some of the children may appear to be a picture of innocence, the gallery is in fact a collection of young criminals from the 1870s. The rogues' gallery of offenders, some as young as 11, includes thieves and pickpockets who stole anything from cash to clothes and even odd pieces of metal."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News Nuggets 1005

DAYLEE PICTURE: The village of Gasadalur in the Faroe Islands of Denmark.  from National Geographic.   

No Country for Armed Men: Pakistan is in Such Bad Shape, even the Generals Don't Want to Stage a Coup (Ahmed Rashid) from Foreign Policy Magazine 
"It was a sign of the misguided times in Pakistan that on June 5 -- a day when the country faced massive rolling electricity blackouts, a crashing economy, civil war in two out of four provinces, violence from the Himalayas to the Arabian Gulf, and a cratering relationship with the United States -- the Pakistani army decided it was the best moment to test fire a cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads."

Turkey to Push NATO to Consider Syria's Downing of Turkish Jet as Attack on Military Alliance from FOX News
"Turkey said Monday it would push NATO to consider Syria's downing of a Turkish jet as an attack on the whole military alliance. ... Despite deep frustration among many NATO countries over the conflict in Syria, where the opposition says President Bashar Assad's crackdown on an increasingly armed popular uprising has killed 14,000 people, it's highly unlikely the military alliance will take armed action against the Arab state.

Germany To Confront United Euro Bloc At Summit from the Bloomberg News Service
"Germany will confront an increasingly united bloc of euro-area nations demanding more ambitious policies to fight the financial crisis this week, as European leaders prepare for a summit setting the course for their currency’s preservation or ultimate demise."

Demographic Threat Shadows a World Power: Russia (Cesar Chelala) from the Japan Times [in English]
"Demographics has been called the kingmaker of countries and, some say, of civilizations, but it can also be their downfall. Russia's experiencing over the last decades is similar to that of several rich countries; a rapidly aging of population couple with falling birthrates. However, while the rich industrialized countries have rising life spans, those in Russia are seriously compromised by the relatively low health status of its population."

Why the Supreme Court Left Us Hanging on Healthcare (Patience Haggin) from Time Magazine
"According to legal journalist Lyle Denniston, who currently writes for SCOTUSblog and has been covering the Supreme Court since 1958, this Court typically releases decisions when they’re ready, often working up to the last minute polishing its published opinions."

Supreme Court Year in Review (Walter Dellinger) from Slate
"What is striking to me about the court’s decision in the Arizona immigration case is what a total victory this decision was for the U.S. government and for the solicitor general."

A Rough Ruling for Immigration Hard-liners (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"Scalia’s stump speech capped a rough couple of weeks for immigration hard-liners. The reaction to Monday’s decision was overshadowed by the high court’s looming health-care ruling, but the case was the latest in a string of political victories for Latinos, who have been alternately ignored and abused the past few years."

Arizona Immigration Ruling Complicates Republicans’ Strategy with Hispanics (Paul Wallsten) from the Washington Post
"On the right, the challenge on immigration is more confusing — and the dispute over the Arizona law has exacerbated the tension."

Immigration Could Sink Mitt Romney Regardless of Supreme Court Rulings (Robert Shrum) from the Daily Beast
"The Supreme Court’s pending health-care ruling matters, but it’s immigration that could translate into ‘Adios, Mitt.’ And a position he has taken this June could well prove his undoing in November."

The Supreme Court's Arizona Decision Makes Romney's Life More Difficult (David Graham) from the Atlantic
"Though he's been reluctant to take a stand, the Republican may be better off alienating some voters than letting the issue fester."

For-Profit Colleges Owned By Wall Street Companies Fare Worst Under New U.S. Measures (Chris Kirkham) from the Huffington Post
"For-profit colleges owned by publicly traded corporations were among the worst in preparing students for jobs that allow them to repay debts, according to U.S. Department of Education data that offers the first glimpse at how career training schools will perform under Obama administration rules that begin this fall."

All My Parenting Mistakes (Ann Bauer) from Salon
"I was so stubborn when I became a mom. As my youngest leaves the nest, I see I worried about all the wrong things."

Apes 'Can Recognise the Written Word' - and Even Make Plans for the Future from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Baboons can distinguish between written words and gibberish - and other apes can do multiplication and even make plans for the future. The number of ape and monkey cognition studies has doubled in recent years, often with better technology and neuroscience paving the way to unusual discoveries."

Ten Travel Destinations Off the Beaten Path (PHOTOS) from the Washington Post
"Here are 10 places you might want to consider for your next ad­ven­ture."
All of the places showcased here look REALLY interesting and are definitely not on the normal vacation circuit!!

The Secrets of Super-Efficient Grocery Shopping from Slate
"Hint: The deli counter is your enemy."

Your Day in a Chart: 10 Cool Facts About How Americans Spend Our Time (Derek Thompson) from the Atlantic
"People over the age of 75 watch twice as much television as teenagers. On any given day, women are 30 percent more likely to do chores than men. The typical college student spends about an hour sleeping for every 25 minutes he spends studying. Those are just three of the facts you can harvest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest American Time Use Survey, which using polling data to illustrate a day in the life for Americans by age, gender, and education. Here are seven charts with seven more
VERY interesting charts and tables with this article!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

News Nuggets 1004

DAYLEE PICTURE: A spine-cheeked clownfish in bleached anemone in Milne Bay in Papua, New Guinea.  From National Geographic.    

North Korea Tests the Patience of Its Closest Ally from the New York Times 
"Kim Jong-un’s aggressive weapons program and stubborn refusal to open the economy are contributing to China’s frustration at the young leader."

Not-So-Crazy in Tehran (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times
"Iran is a much more complex country than many in the West realize. A bit of humility and nuance is needed in responding to the country’s bluster."

How Educational 'Rigor' Could Hurt China (Helen Gao) from the Atlantic 
"China wants inventors and entrepreneurs, but its schools, built around the notorious gaokao exam, are still designed to produce cookie-cutter engineers and accountants."
The picture that accompanies this article of a student napping is stunning.

Keeping the Dream Alive (Jon Meacham) from Time Magazine
"The American Dream may be slipping away. We have overcome such challenges before. To recover the Dream requires knowing where it came from, how it lasted so long and why it matters so much. Emerson once remarked that there is properly no history, only biography. This is the biography of an idea, one that made America great. Whether that idea has much of a future is the question facing Americans now."

Supreme Court Roundup from Taegan Goddard's Wonk Wire
No ruling on the health care law today.  Here's what the court DID rule on:
"Check this post for the results of today’s Supreme Court opinions. ... The Court has invalidated most of the key provisions of SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law, saying they are preempted by federal law in a 5 to 3 ruling."

The Six Possible Supreme Court ‘Obamacare’ Outcomes from Talking Points Memo
"... there are actually more like six plausible rulings, with varying consequences for the fate of health care reform. They are as follows:"

Obama Health Law Seen Valid, Scholars Expect Rejection (Bob Drummond) from the Bloomberg News Service
"The U.S. Supreme Court should uphold a law requiring most Americans to have health insurance if the justices follow legal precedent, according to 19 of 21 constitutional law professors who ventured an opinion on the most-anticipated ruling in years. Only eight of them predicted the court would do so."

Urgent Business if Health Care Overturned from the National Journal 
"If the Supreme Court overturns the 2010 health care law, Congress will have a lot to do—very quickly."

'Mom, I'm a Part of it': The Heartbreaking Moment Sandusky's 'Victim 4' Finally Told His Parents Everything... and How Years of Abuse Destroyed his Life from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
 "When news of the Penn State coach's arrest last fall broke, his mother called to ask if her son knew anything about the allegations. 'Yeah, Mom. I'm a part of it,' was his haunting reply."

Mitt and the Junk Bond King from the Boston Globe
"It was at the height of the 1980s buyout boom when Mitt Romney went in search of $300 million to finance one of the most lucrative deals he would ever manage. The man who would help provide the money was none other than the famed junk-bond king Michael Milken."

Sold for $42million - the Gilded Age New York City Mansion with Seven Floors and its Own Servants' Quarters (Butler not Included) from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"A landmark townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a rare example of the opulent Gilded Age, has been sold for a staggering $42million. The mansion, located on a tree-lined block of Fifth Avenue, was designed by famed architect Stanford White and built for the banker and railroad tycoon Henry H. Cook."

Towering Above the Competition: 2012 List of Best Tall Buildings in the World is Revealed from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Dramatic skyscrapers in Canada, Qatar, Australia and Italy have been named the best tall buildings in the world for 2012 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The four regional winners include the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas), 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia), Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe), and Doha Tower/BurjQatar, Doha (Middle East and Africa)."

Jackie and the Girls: Mrs. Kennedy’s JFK Problem—and Ours (Caitlin Flanagan) from the Atlantic
"She was playing a long game, and against all odds she’s still winning it. She had her eye on what she grandly called History, a concept large enough to encompass ... the necessity of maintaining a complicated fiction—at once face-saving and humiliating—about the nature of her marriage. It’s not a tissue of lies, but it is a tissue, one that has been rent so many times that it should be nothing more than dust motes by now, but she was a woman who brought every one of her formidable gifts to bear when it came to the subject of John Kennedy; and we’re no match for her."

From Martha to Michelle: The changing faces (and fashions) of America's 43 First Ladies from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"Each has taken a unique approach to a role that is left much for the woman herself to define. While current First Lady Michelle Obama and predecessors such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt have taken on roles very much in the public domain, others have shied away."

The Red Sea of People: Hundreds of Naked Volunteers are Spraypainted by US Artist for Interpretation of Wagner Opera from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"If you were wandering through downtown Munich today, you'd have stumbled upon a spectacular sight. Thousands of naked people painted from head to toe in red and gold. The colourful scenes were the handiwork of American photographer Spencer Tunick."
Artwork ... or just a great attention-getting stunt?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

News Nuggets 1003

DAYLEE PICTURE:  A harlequin shrimp walking on some garbage in Lembeh Strait in Indonesia.  The items juxtaposed here are strangely captivating.  From National Geographic.

1.  America's War Mistakes (Santiago Wills) from Salon
"President after president has fallen into similar traps when it comes to conflict. An expert explains why."

2.  Officials: ‘Flame’ Created by Israel, U.S. to Slow Iran from the Washington Post
"Computer virus was designed to collect intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage attacks aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon."

3.  Is That Really Just a Fly? Swarms of Cyborg Insect Drones are the Future of Military Surveillance from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"... the real high-tech story of surveillance drones is going on at a much smaller level, as tiny remote controlled vehicles based on insects are already likely being deployed."

4.  Turning Our Backs on Britain's Fallen: How a New Generation Believes it was Just U.S. Troops that Won World War Two Thanks to Hollywood (Max Hastings) from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
The title is a little misleading.  Hasting's main point is that the UK is entering an era where World War I remembrance will be commonplace everywhere across Europe -- except the UK.
"Most French museums, not to mention school history books, make it sound like the Americans and the Resistance did it all. Millions of French people have seen Hollywood’s D-Day epics; only about six recognise our part. But I fear the same is becoming true among our own people."

5.  Don’t Look Down (Frank Bruni) from the New York Times
"Somewhere between Nik Wallenda’s first step onto a tightrope over Niagara Falls and Greece’s most recent retreat from the brink, it hit me: teetering needlessly on the precipice of disaster wasn’t just the story of the weekend. It’s the story of our days. Cliff dwelling has become the modern way of life."

6.  Still Running from Rodney King (Rich Benjamin) from Salon
"Upon his death, he still personifies the disgust some white conservatives have for black men. ...  If young black men hold Rodney King as an icon – a stand-in representative of their complaints — do white Americans fed up with cities see him as the opposite, the proxy of black dysfunction, the deserving recipient of his fate?"

7.  Why Women Still Can’t Have It All (Anne-Marie Slaughter) from the Atlantic 
"It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change."

8.  Is It a father’s Job to Teach his Kid to Fight? (Joel Stein) from the Washington Post
"...I find Father’s Day to be a good time to reflect on my relationship with my dad and blame him for all my shortcomings. But I can’t blame him for the fact that I don’t know how to fight. My dad was eager to teach me."

9.  Bullies on the Bus (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"Those boys are us, or at least too many of us: America at its ugliest. It is that part of society that sees the weak and vulnerable as worthy of derision and animus. This kind of behavior is not isolated to children and school buses and suburban communities. It stretches to the upper reaches of society — our politics and our pulpits and our public squares."

10.  Don’t Blame the Candidates, Blame the News Media (Ezra Klein) from the Bloomberg News Service
"What was the news value of “the private sector is fine”? Did it augur a change in administration policy? It did not. In fact, the news conference was all about Obama’s renewed call for support for the economy. Did anyone in the news media really think that Obama believes the economy -- public or private -- is growing as he’d like it to be? No. Rather, the news value was derived from journalists hypothesizing that Republicans would use Obama’s statement to attack the president. This quickly became a self-fulfilling prophecy..."

Now, for the regular news nuggets of Sunday, June 24th.
Turkey Vows 'Necessary' Action Against Syria for Jet Shootdown from Reuters via the Huffington Post
"Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Saturday his country would take "necessary" action against Syria for the downing of a Turkish military jet, but suggested that the aircraft may have unintentionally violated the Syrian airspace."

Leading Syrians Prepare to Defect from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK] 
"Members of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle 'making secret plans to defect' as Syria air force colonel abandons attack mission and flies MiG to Jordan."

Chinese Data Mask Depth of Slowdown, Executives Say from the New York Times
"As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles. Record-setting mountains of excess coal have accumulated at the country’s biggest storage areas because power plants are burning less coal in the face of tumbling electricity demand. But local and provincial government officials have forced plant managers not to report to Beijing the full extent of the slowdown, power sector executives said."
For regular readers of the News Nuggets, this should come as no surprise.  We've been tracking this story for several years now.  The real question is: just how much have they been presenting false economic data to the world?  My guess: a lot!

Sandusky Guilty Verdict: What's Next for Jerry (Diane Dimond) from the Daily Beast
"As Sandusky sits under suicide watch at a county jail, his lawyers have vowed an appeal. Diane Dimond on what the former coach has to look forward to in prison—and back in court."

Political Scientists Are Lousy Forecasters (Jacqueline Stevens) from the New York Times
"Political scientists are defensive these days because in May the House passed an amendment to a bill eliminating National Science Foundation grants for political scientists. ... It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money."

The Argument for Taking on Student Debt: High School Graduates are Screwed (Laura Clawson) from Daily Kos
"A look at the (un)employment outcomes of recent high school graduates (PDF) who haven't gone to college makes it easy to see why people take on so much debt to go to college."

WATCH: The Obama Speech That Could Lock Down The Hispanic Vote (VIDEO) (Henry Decker) from the National Memo
"President Barack Obama brought down the house at his speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) this afternoon, receiving several standing ovations and providing a clear reminder of why he holds an overwhelming lead over Mitt Romney among Latino voters."

It’s Not Mitt’s Party (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"Top GOPers keep stepping on Romney's message, because they're not sure he'll be leading them after November."

Bain Capital Horror Stories Continue to Haunt Mitt Romney’s Campaign (Caroline Bankoff) from New York Magazine
"The double-edged sword that is Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital will not stop causing image problems for the candidate. This time, it's a pair of articles chronicling the private equity firm's outsourcing of American jobs and methods for draining money out of the failed companies it controlled."

Blunt Memories of Celluloid Life (Janet Maslin) form the New York Times 
"Louise Brooks, a popular actress of the early 20th century, left poison-tipped essays collected in “Lulu in Hollywood,” about the moviemaking machine that gave her a career."

A Very Scandalous Victorian Diary: Kate Summerscale’s “Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace” (Lucy Scholes) form the Daily Beast
"At the height of Victorian England, a middle-class wife’s scandalous diary of her supposed affair grabbed headlines and exploded propriety. Lucy Scholes speaks to the author of a new book about this forgotten but fascinating story."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

News Nuggets 1002

DAYLEE PICTURE: A dock overlooking the Playa Flamenco beach in Cuba.  From National Geographic.

Merkel Isolated in Race for Euro Crisis Solution from Der Spiegel [of Germany in English]
"Slow and steady wins the race: That has been Chancellor Merkel's motto in recent months as she leads efforts to solve the euro crisis. But as problems in the common currency area intensify, many are urging her to hurry up. The next week will be crucial."

Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low (Henry Blodget) from the Business Insider
"In case you needed more confirmation that the priorities of US companies and the US economy are screwed up, here are three charts for you."

Archbishop’s Aide Guilty of Endangerment in Abuse Case from the New York Times
"Msgr. William J. Lynn, in Philadelphia, became the first senior Roman Catholic official in the United States to be convicted for covering up child sexual abuses by priests in his charge."

Jerry Sandusky Verdict: Guilty on 45 of 48 Counts from the Daily Beast 
"It took 21 hours for a jury to find the ex-Penn State coach guilty on almost all of the state's charges. Diane Dimond reports from the courtroom on the wild reaction—and what’s next for Jerry."
Why was there a trial?  Sandusky's lawyer offered one of the most lame (verging on non-existant) defenses in US criminal court history.  What did Sandusky figure? That if he pled guilty, he'd get life in prison and if he fought it and lost he'd still get ... life in prison?  My guess: he figured that he had one chance - which was to hope that the victims would be too intimidated (or too messed up emotionally or in their later life history) to be credible.  Kudos to the prosecution for nuking Sandusky at every turn!

The Case of Karen Klein, Bullied Bus Monitor, Proves that Bullying Isn't Personal (Libby Copeland) from Slate
"If you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen the main video, “Making the Bus Monitor Cry,” that’s probably for the best. Klein, a grandmother reportedly paid something like $15,000 a year to sit on the school bus and watch over the kids, struggles mightily to diffuse and ignore a group of boys who grow progressively more cruel, making fun of her weight and what they assume is her poverty."
There are several remarkable things about this case: first, how it comes on the heels of the gay college teen suicide criminal case and the Mitt Romney college "pranks" story.  It seems to me the tolerance level for this kind of behavior has EVAPORATED in the last couple of years.  I can recall abuse like this occurring when I was a young person -- and (unless it was directed against a teacher) nobody said a thing and authorities never did anything about it -- even when parents protested. Second, it's interesting to see how social media is increasingly putting these bully-types on the spot.  Apparently, the young people who were bullying this elderly woman have received death threats and are being investigated by the local police.  No one deserves death threats -- but one can only hope that bullies everywhere are taking notes and maybe thinking twice before they continue with this kind of behavior.  

Bullies on the Bus (Charles Blow) from the New York Times
"Those boys are us, or at least too many of us: America at its ugliest. It is that part of society that sees the weak and vulnerable as worthy of derision and animus. This kind of behavior is not isolated to children and school buses and suburban communities. It stretches to the upper reaches of society — our politics and our pulpits and our public squares."

How Libraries are Reinventing Themselves for the Future from Time Magazine 
"Many branches of these public institutions are dying from lack of funding—and reinventing themselves in surprising new ways."

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All (Anne-Marie Slaughter) from the Atlantic 
"It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says a woman who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed. If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change."

2012 Elections Could See Record Number Of Women Running For House Seats (Amanda Terkel) from the Huffington Post
"With the primary voting season at the halfway mark, there are 97 women in 26 states who have won their party's nomination and will be on the ballot in the November general elections."

Issa Committee Called for Justice Department Scalp (Daniel Klaidman) from the Daily Beast
If you haven't been paying attention to the "Fast and Furious" scandal, this article tells you all you need to know -- and why you were amply justified in not wasting your time following it up until now.
"Talks broke down, and a House committee voted to cite Eric Holder for contempt. Daniel Klaidman reports exclusively on the scalp Issa’s team wants. ... Castor’s gambit was seen by DOJ officials as evidence that Issa was more interested in drawing blood than getting to the truth. "The reason that this contempt motion happened is that Issa didn't come up with any evidence and didn't get a scalp," says Matthew Miller, a close associate of Holder's and his former communications director."

On Holder, Partisan Confrontation That Not All Wanted (Jonathan Weisman) from the New York Times
"With the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., a matter that has been a sideshow on the Republican right flank for months is moving center stage."

Obama Immigration, Gay Marriage 'Evolution' Shifts Voter Opinion, Galvanizes Base (Janell Ross & Cristina Costanini) from the Huffington Post
"Critics of the administration's new ban on deporting certain young undocumented immigrants say it is tantamount to the president's announcement on gay marriage -- more symbolic and politically advantageous than substantive. Others wonder why he waited so long. But advocates insist that the move constitutes something rare: a combination of good policy and genius politics."

Obama Widens Latino Voting Gap from Politico
"The enormity of Mitt Romney’s Latino challenge was made clear here Friday in the 45 seconds an audience of Hispanic elected officials stood and applauded before President Barack Obama spoke. The president depicted himself as a champion of immigration reform, blasted Republicans for blocking the DREAM Act and recounted his decision to stop deportations of many young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents."

Why America's Extreme Politics Will Likely Get Even Worse (George Bauer) from Alternet
"A convergence of term limits, redistricting, ideology and inexperience in Congress and state legislatures will result in even more partisan gridlock."

Case in point:
The Shadow GOP vs. the Basket Case (Charlie Mahteisan) from Politico 
"The Nevada GOP is in the process of firmly establishing itself as a circus sideshow."

Romney And Roosevelt (Andrew Sullivan) from the Daily Beast
"... they will, if the debt explodes under a Republican again, turn a blind eye yet again. For them it is always 1983. In fact, it must always be 1983. Because they have no other policies but those tried in 1983. Including the core element of fiscal fraudulence."

Mendacious Mitt: Romney's Bid to Become Liar-in-Chief (Michael Cohen) form the Guardian [of the UK]
"Spin is normal in politics, but Romney is pioneering a cynical strategy of reducing fact and truth to pure partisanship."
Actually, I think Mitt is simply a milder version of this phenomenon, one that permeates in stronger form most of the GOP and their base.

Voyager At Solar System’s Edge Is ‘Crowning Achievement,’ Creator Says from Talking Points Memo
"NASA’s unmanned Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, has become the first vessel in history to reach the edge of the solar system, NASA announced in mid-June. It’s hard to overstate the milestone..."

Friday, June 22, 2012

News Nuggets 1001

DAYLEE PICTURE: The Tagou martial arts school in China.  From National Geographic.

Iran Says It Has Detected 'Massive Cyber Attack' Against Its Nuclear Facilities: State TV from Reuters via the Huffington Post
"Iran has detected a planned "massive cyber attack" against its nuclear facilities, state television said on Thursday, after talks with major powers this week failed to resolve a row over Tehran's disputed nuclear activities. Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said the country's arch enemies the United States and Israel, along with Britain, had planned the attack."

Egypt in Peril from the Editorial Board of the Economist [of London] 
"Beneath the chaos lies a complex power struggle between generals and Islamists. The West should back the latter."
I agree with the Economist on what to root for here.

Understanding Moscow's Mideast Policy (Leon Hadar) from the National Interest
"Elements of the Kremlin's current policy—such as supporting Assad and fearing the Turks—echo those of czarist Russia."

Vietnam’s Blogger Revolution? (Marianne Brown) from The Diplomat
"Vietnamese bloggers are increasingly driving the news agenda in the country. More robust reporting will be good for Vietnam’s development."

Jerry Sandusky Trial, Day Eight: Adopted Son Drops a Bombshell (Diane Dimond) from the Daily Beast
"Moments after sexual-abuse charges against his father went to jury, Jerry Sandusky's adopted son came out and said he had been molested. Diane Dimond on the trial's gripping finale."

Assange's Celebrity Donors Were Left High and Dry (John Hudson) form the Atlantic
"If your friends gave you $376,000 to stay out of jail, the least you might want to do is drop a hint that you're skipping town. But none such courtesies were extended to Julian Assange's donors such as Michael Moore, who now face losing all the bail money they posted for the WikiLeaks founder."

Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us (Abrahm Lustgarten) from Salon 
"The hidden risks of pumping waste underground."

On Holder, Payback is Not Good Politics (Ed Rogers) from the Washington Post
"There are so many mutual feelings of unfair treatment among Republicans and Democrats that overreaching and over-acting has become the norm. The public tunes out when something becomes just another partisan squabble. Why isn't this more obvious to GOP leaders?"

‘Witch Hunt Season?’ Try Witch Hunt Era (Michael Hirsh) from the National Journal
I’m sorry, but can we talk turkey – I mean, Darrell Issa—for a moment? Is there any fair and balanced news commentator (honest ones, that is, not the Fox News version) who doubts what this guy is all about? Rep. Issa himself has made no pretense of his intentions: Nail Barack Obama first, raise Issa’s profile second (or maybe that’s first), and get at the truth last."

Yes, Iraq Definitely Had WMD, Vast Majority Of Polled Republicans Insist (Dan Froomkin) from the Huffington Post
"The poll, constructed by Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2, found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view."

The Unwitting Beneficiaries of Obamacare (Alec MacGillis) from the New Republic
"... it seems an opportune moment to pose a question that has been growing on me after several recent reporting trips: why aren’t the most obvious beneficiaries of the law more aware of it?  ... my reporting leads me to think that the problem, to a large extent, gets to a very specific issue: the decision by the administration not to broadcast the part of the law that will have the most obvious, immediate impact on the working class: the expansion of Medicaid."

Obama Looks to Capitalize on Shift in Presidential Race’s Momentum (Amie Parnes) from The Hill
"President Obama will look to cap a week in which momentum in the presidential race appeared to shift in his favor with a Thursday address to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Florida."

Obama Outfoxes Romney (Jacob Weisberg) from Slate
"The president’s agility on gay marriage and immigration is making his rival look stodgy and unprincipled."

Don’t Blame the Candidates, Blame the News Media (Ezra Klein) from the Bloomberg News Service
"What was the news value of “the private sector is fine”? Did it augur a change in administration policy? It did not. In fact, the news conference was all about Obama’s renewed call for support for the economy. Did anyone in the news media really think that Obama believes the economy -- public or private -- is growing as he’d like it to be? No. Rather, the news value was derived from journalists hypothesizing that Republicans would use Obama’s statement to attack the president. This quickly became a self-fulfilling prophecy..."

Anonymous Sources Force Romney Off Message from Talking Points Memo 
"Like a website zapped with a virus, Romney’s campaign message has been garbled up by leaks about his vice presidential vetting process and, on Wednesday night, an alleged scheme by his campaign to keep good economic news about Florida under wraps. Outside observers say it’s all part of the process as a presidential campaign expands. But they also say Romney’s campaign may be uniquely ill-equipped to handle the anonymous attacks."
As I've said before, for this stage of the process, the Romney team has led one of the most ham-fisted campaigns I've ever witnessed.

Up Close, but Doing No Harm from the New York Times
 "The best sustainable tourism businesses do more than just conserve."

Land Ahoy! Snap Up your own Private Island for £3m, but it Does Look Suspiciously like a Boat from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"This amazing-looking craft can't quite work out whether it's a boat or an island.  The Osros floating Island was designed to offer the billionaire superyacht lifestyle for mere millionaire money. It boasts six luxury double bedrooms, with space for 12 residents and accommodation for up to four staff members, all for a cool £3million."

Movie Review: Pixar’s Brave Is Fast, Funny, Unpretentious (David Edelstein) from
"The generic title and mythic-female-empowerment posters for Brave don’t prepare you for the rollicking Pixar comedy to come, a slapstick mother-daughter-rivalry farce that’s at its most moving in mid-mayhem."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

News Nuggets 1000

DAYLEE PICTURE: The Svartifoss Falls in Iceland.  From National Geographic.

U.S. to Create Massive Military Base in Kuwait to Counter Restless Iran and Growing Middle East Uncertainty from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region."

Russian Ship Carrying Helicopters to Syria Turns Back from the Washington Post
"A Russian ship carrying attack helicopters to the Syrian government turned back toward home Tuesday after its London-based insurance carrier canceled coverage, following a warning from the British government that the delivery would violate European Union sanctions. U.S. and British officials said the ship, which had reached the North Sea near Scotland, appeared to be returning to its home port on the Baltic Sea."

In Iran, They Want Fun, Fun, Fun (Nicholas Kristof) from the New York Times
"About half of Iranians are under the age of 25, and Iran has done a solid job of raising their education levels. I was struck on my 1,700-mile road trip across Iran by how many of them share American values, seeking fun rather than fanaticism. They seem less interested in the mosques than in amusement parks (which are ubiquitous in Iran)."

Why Assange Needs Ecuador and Ecuador Needs Assange (Ashley Fantz) from CNN
"So where in the world should Assange turn for refuge? He picked Ecuador, which says it will consider his application for asylum. "It's a very smart move to go there. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa and Assange have mutual interests -- they both support the idea that the U.S. is an imperial power that has to be checked," said Robert Amsterdam,"

Blacks Miss Out as Jobs Rebound in City from the New York Times
"Over half of all African-Americans and other non- Hispanic blacks in New York who were old enough to work had no jobs this year, employment data showed."

How Government Funding of Science Rewards U.S. Taxpayers (Fareed Zakaria) frrom the Washington Post
" we confront difficulties across the economic landscape, the one area where the United States can still move from strength to strength is science and technology — if we make the right decisions."

Montana Could Force SCOTUS To Re-Hash Citizens United from Talking Points Memo
"The Supreme Court could give Citizens United a second look this month as it decides whether to take up a lawsuit against the state of Montana, which wants its century-old state law restricting corporate influence in elections to stay in place. Montana is the only state so far to assert its existing corporate-money ban should still stand after the court ruled in 2010 that corporations could spend unlimited amounts on election ads via independent groups."

Catholic Nuns Kick Off Nine-State Bus Tour To Protest House Republican Budget Cuts (Travis Waldron) from Think Progress
"A group of Roman Catholic nuns kicked off a nine-state bus tour across the Midwest this morning in an effort to highlight the cuts to safety net programs contained in the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), himself an outspoken Catholic. The bus tour began this morning in Iowa and includes a Tuesday stop in Ryan’s Wisconsin district."
GOOD for those nuns!!  It's good to see them pushing back against the more partisan bishops!

Democrats, GOP Draw Lines in Eric Holder ‘Fast and Furious’ Contempt Battle (Patricia Murphy) from the Daily Beast
"With Republicans voting to hold the attorney general in contempt and Obama backing him using executive privilege, partisan sniping is hitting a zenith. Patricia Murphy and Aram Roston on the worsening war of words and what happens next."

Republicans’ Attempt to Hold Holder in Contempt is Uphill Battle (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"There is something charmingly futile about House Republicans’ move to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Even if the full House follows the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s vote Wednesday to hold him in contempt, the decision about whether to prosecute him will be left to a Justice Department run by ... Eric Holder."

Is President Obama baiting House Republicans? (Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake) from the Washington Post
"In the past six days, President Obama has sent a very clear message to Republicans in Congress. And that message goes like this: Bring it on. ... Congressional Republicans have quickly responded in kind — condemning Obama’s end-run around them on immigration and scheduling a contempt vote for Attorney General Eric Holder on the House floor next week. The question is whether, in reacting quickly and forcefully to his provocations, Republicans are playing directly into Obama’s strategic plan."

Obama Campaign Relying On Ground Game To Counter Romney Money from the Bloomberg News Service
"President Barack Obama’s campaign officials say they are braced for an election decided by a razor-thin margin and are counting on their political organization in key states to overcome what they expect will be Republican Mitt Romney’s money advantage."

How Lucky Is Obama In His Opponent? (Alec MacGillis) from the New Republic 
"At the breakfast, Mr. Romney introduced two of his sons, Matt and Craig, in a slightly unusual fashion. “I love them,” Mr. Romney said. “I love them like they’re my own. And they are! Craig!” With that, Craig Romney rescued the microphone from his father."

Obama's America: Transcending Whiteness (Ian Reifowitz) from the Huffington Post
"White anxiety--the negative reaction to our increasing diversity--is one of the main drivers of support for Tea Party conservatism. It is thus a primary obstacle to increasing support for an inclusive national unity, as Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson argue in their recent groundbreaking book The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. Reducing white anxiety must then become a priority, not only for progressives, but for anyone interested in this country's future."

Tops in the Nation: Penn State and Pitt Costs Draw a Dubious Ranking from the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Administrators at both institutions are correct when they complain about the level of support they receive from Pennsylvania. The state-related universities saw a 19 percent reduction in their state allotments for 2011-12 and were threatened with another drop of as much as 30 percent for the next fiscal year in Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget. In addition, the state historically has been less than generous in funding higher education. ... That is significant, but it is not the whole answer."

The Ghost Subway Station of New York from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"It was supposed to be the showpiece of New York City’s new subway system. Stained glass windows, skylights and brass chandeliers adorned its curved walls and arched ceilings. But City Hall station was unexpectedly closed to the public a mere 41 years after it opened its doors in 1904."
The pictures with this article are GREAT!!

Awe-Inspiring Natural Beauty of Terrifying Tempests as They Sweep Across America Captured by Storm Chasing Photographer from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"These pictures look like scenes from the film Independence Day.  But although it might look like the end of the world has arrived they are in fact terrifying tempests, capable of devouring an entire landscape in just minutes."