Thursday, August 27, 2015

News Nuggets 1531

DAYLEE PICTURE: Salt mine farmers in Bali.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: What's Really Been Driving the Chinese Economy

The Man Who Got China Right (Joe Nocera) from the New York Times
" The fast-growing Chinese economy was being sustained not just by its export prowess, but by a property bubble propelled by mountains of debt, and encouraged by the government as part of an infrastructure spending strategy designed to keep the economy humming. (According to the McKinsey Global Institute, China’s debt load today is an unfathomable $28 trillion.)"

China: Defying the Laws of Economics?

China taught lesson about economic laws from the Daily Telegraph [of the UK]
"China is being forced to learn the hard way what traditional practitioners of market-based economics have known all along – that you cannot buck the markets and that economic development never proceeds in a straight line. The belief that China’s own peculiar form of authoritarian, state-sponsored capitalism could somehow defy the usual laws of economics always did look deluded."

At the State Department, Clinton did What was Routinely Done at State

State Department officials routinely sent secrets over email from the Associated Press
"The transmission of now-classified information across Hillary Rodham Clinton's private email is consistent with a State Department culture in which diplomats routinely sent secret material on unsecured email during the past two administrations, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press."

Clinton Email Scandal Falls Apart

Clinton Email Scandal Falls Apart As State Dept. Says There Was No Policy Against Private Email (Jason Easley) from Politicus USA
"The Republican Hillary Clinton email scandal is falling apart as the State Department confirmed that there was no policy against Clinton using private email."

Are there Enough Wingnuts to Carry Trump to the Nomination?

Gaming Out the Trump Nightmare Scenarios (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"... with such a divided field and no other strong candidates in the race, I'm less clear that it matters that so many Republicans say he'll never be their choice. 25% to 30% could be plenty."

Pollsters: Have the GOP Grassroots Abandoned the Party?

Pollsters dumbfounded by Trump (Ben Kamisar) from The Hill
"... after convening a focus group on Monday evening, in which Trump supporters showed an unflappable allegiance, Luntz changed his tune. “This is real. I’m having trouble processing,” he said, according to Time. “I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” he added."

No Love Lost Between the Bushes and Trump

Inside the Trump-Bush melodrama: Decades of tension and discomfort from the Washington Post
“He was trashing Jeb and, quite honestly, I don’t think he’s ever held Jeb in high regard,” said Crisafulli, a Bush supporter . . . . He’s always had a negative connotation about Jeb.”  Trump’s jeering that day was a harbinger of the taunts and derision that the 2016 GOP front-runner has directed at Bush on the campaign trail this summer. The feud between the two leading Republicans, which has escalated in recent days, is shaping up as a defining dynamic at this early stage of the race. ... One Trump associate, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said of Trump: “He’s very smart, he’s driven and he has two goals: One, to be elected president, and two, to have Jeb not be president.”"

The GOP Bait-and-Switch with its Base ... Isn't Working

Donald Trump Is Going to Lose Because He Is Crazy (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"Trump has homed in on a bona fide weakness in the Republican Party structure, one that has fascinated liberal critics in particular. The Republican Party has harnessed one set of passions, and then channeled them into unrelated policy outcomes favored by the party elite. ... But the classic formula seems to be yielding diminishing returns. ... The danger he poses is the prospect of harnessing the social passions of the conservative base and channeling them into (from the party’s point of view) the wrong agenda. ... This immunity from consequence gives Trump the power to wreak apparently limitless havoc upon what is currently his party."
The question looking forward: can the "establishment" send the GOP base down the usual election year rat's hole of diversionary rhetoric?  We. Shall. See.

Bush: "I meant those Asian Anchor Babies..."

Jeb Bush Clarifies That He’s Concerned About Asian 'Anchor Babies,' Not Hispanic Ones from the Huffington Post
"GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush claimed on Monday that his use of the term “anchor babies” was not offensive because he was referring to the practice of people, primarily Asians, coming to the U.S. and “taking advantage” of birthright citizenship."
What a DUMB thing to say!!  I have to confess that up to this moment I had assumed that Jeb was the smart Bush, the one who had more real brains than the rest of the GOP field this year.   This statement, however, clearly reveals that he is far more witless than I had remotely guessed.  Why make this "clarification"? To salvage his reputation as someone vaguely sympathetic to Hispanics?  Sorry -- too late.  That is like apologizing for using the word "nigger" by saying that you were really only referring to dark skinned people from India, not African Americans!  Everyone knows who you were referring to.  And everyone knows that you said this to attract some of the Trumpeting wingnuts who view the 14th amendment as a terrible mistake. This "clarification" will not only nullify whatever gains you might have expected from that front  but it will confirm for those folks (and many others) what a feckless, spineless cretin you are willing to morph into in order to win the White House.  Good job, Jeb! -- Nuggetsman

Jeb's Latest Strategy: Offend as Many Minorities as Possible

Jeb Bush Falls Into a Trap from the Editorial Board of the New York Times
"He was awful. In less than 15 minutes, Mr. Bush managed to step on his message, to give Mr. Trump a boost and to offend Asian-Americans, a growing population that is every bit as important as Latinos in winning presidential elections. And he failed to give Latino voters any persuasive evidence that he had anything better to offer them than his opponents in a revoltingly xenophobic Republican campaign."

Sexism and Racism are Nothing -- even if the Victims are Republicans

Why Fox News' Defense Of Megyn Kelly Is Going To Backfire (Amanda Marcotte) from Talking Points Memo
"Conservative media and Fox News in particular have spent years - decades, if you count talk radio - training their audiences to believe that exhortations against sexism and racism are nothing but the “political correctness” police trying to kill your good time. Indeed, one reason that Trump was able to get so much attention for his presidential run in the first place is that Fox has spent years building him up, knowing that their audience enjoys vicariously needling imagined liberals and feminists with his loud-mouthed insult comic act."

The Ice-Skating Mr. Walker

Scott Walker falls flat on his face (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"So when Donald Trump, father of the Central Park ice rink, began skating circles around the Republican presidential field with his perfect execution of hard-line conservative positions, the Wisconsin governor tried to keep up by attempting more daring ideological leaps.  But in recent days, Walker has spun himself into a triple axel — and landed on his face."

Friday, August 21, 2015

News Nuggets 1529

DAYLEE PICTURE: Terraced farms in Vietnam.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: China's Many Troubles Looking Forward

Why China will never be as rich as America (James Pethokoukis) from The Week
"... many economists don't believe China's self-reported stats — probably even less so given the country's current troubles. And experts aren't so sanguine about China's economic direction. China needs growth. Although it may be the second-largest national economy, it is still a poor nation. ... one study suggests Chinese productivity actually declined from 2008 through 2012. This is a terrible omen for the prospects of future Chinese growth."
This item came out before today's meltdown...

Who Can Rescue the GOP? Don't Look to Bush II

The Case Of The Disappearing Dubya (Aurin Squire) from Salon
"Under normal circumstances, Bush would take his place along other ex-presidents as a national figurehead of some influence, especially with his brother as a presidential candidate. Yet, his deafening silence is indicative of not only his disastrous administration, but the GOP’s attempt to erase him from the country’s memory. This upcoming election marks the latest great GOP purge of history."

The "Get the Facts Later" Approach to Obama/Clinton "Scandals"

GOP's Clinton email indictment fantasy (Julian Epstein and Sam Sokol) from USA Today
"Hyperventilating Republicans rush to the cameras claiming they’ve found the smoking gun proving their political opponents aren’t just wrong, but that they’re criminals. Traffic hungry reporters take “off the record” spin and run with it, publishing dramatic (and click-driving) stories predicting perp walks any day. Then months later, when the facts actually come out, there is far less to the story than meets the eye. ... And it is happening again right now with the overblown, misunderstood controversy regarding Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server during her service as secretary of State."
The ratings math is inescapable: Combine an unprecedented demand for content to fill a 24-hour news cycle with youthful, uniformed reporters who have no command of politics in general (much less the specific facts of any of these scandals), and this is what you get: weeks and months of worthless media gas bagging.  Obama (because he's Obama) has been able to weather Benghazi, IRS-gate, surveillance and on and on, but unfortunately Hillary (and the Clintons generally) have a VERY LONG history of secretiveness, profound ethical lapses, and an inability to handle any scandal deftly and to dispense with them swiftly.  No surprise that there is so much Biden trumpeting going on right now! -- Nuggetsman

Hillary and the Sanders Challenge

Bernie Sanders is enjoying a lift but only a fool would bet against Hillary Clinton (Michael Cohen) from the Guardian [of the UK]
"She has raised the most money, she’s secured the most endorsements and quite simply there’s no one else in the party who comes close to rivalling her backing within the party. Her favourability rating among Democrats is well above 80% and she continues to lead Sanders in national polls of party members by 30-plus points."

Do GOP Voters REALLY Believe Trump? Answer: Yes.

The Republican Party doesn’t want to believe its voters agree with Trump. But they do (Ezra Klein) from Vox
"...  part of what makes Trump dangerous is that he's willing to cater to the opinions of the Republican base in ways that the Republican establishment wouldn't dare. And in doing so, he can exploit longstanding cleavages between the Republican Party and the voters it represents."

Trump has "solidly put an anchor around the neck of our party, and we’ll sink because of it,”

GOP insiders to Trump: Enough already from Politico
"Seven out of 10 early-state Republicans want the Donald to move on from his immigration plan and his tough talk about ending birthright citizenship. “He’s solidly put an anchor around the neck of our party, and we’ll sink because of it,” an Iowa Republican said of Trump.  “Enough already,” vented another Iowa Republican, who like all participants was granted anonymity in order to speak freely. “This kind of garbage only appeals to the hard core … while alienating the soft middle that we must win in order to take the presidency.”"

No Place to Hide from the "Trump Tornado"

Inside the GOP field’s new strategies to ride out the Trump tornado from the Washington Post
"The 2016 Republican primary has turned into a puzzle about how to deal with Donald Trump.  The new dynamic has come into focus this week as Trump’s opponents debut strategies for engaging the white-hot front-runner whom they believe, and in some cases fear, could be a dominant force for some time to come."

Trump Creating Carnage on the Right

The Republican Party Is Becoming a Bloodbath (Brian Beutler) from the New Republic
"... it obscures the carnage his candidacy is creating on the right as he mows down its sacred cows. Within the conservative movement, the fight over Trump is being waged mostly by surrogates, but surrogates can’t elevate or ennoble it. Instead it has degenerated into a vulgar farce befitting its main object—Trump himself. ... The fight among conservatives, by contrast, is marked almost entirely by nastiness and self-interest. The fact that it's over a character like Donald Trump is fitting. This isn’t the fight the right needs right now. But it's the one it deserves."

Bush - Not Meeting Expectations

Bush and Trump face off in N.H. — and The Donald is winning from the Washington Post
"In this first-in-the-nation primary state tailor-made for a center-right, business-friendly, establishment-approved candidate, Bush is caught uncomfortably between the rising forces on his right and left. He has been unable to assert himself as the alpha candidate that many Republicans expected he would be."

Attack Dog Scott Walker -- An Apprentice Against the Master

Fading in the polls, Scott Walker aims to attract Trump voters from the Washington Post
"In a conference call, one-on-one conversations and at a Tuesday lunch, the Wisconsin governor and favorite of anti-union conservatives told backers that his campaign is shifting to a more aggressive posture and will seek to tap into the anti-establishment fervor fueling the rise of Donald Trump and other outsider candidates."
Go for it, man!!  If Walker attacks Trump directly, look for Trump to respond with both barrels.  Trump's policy proposals are total horse dump -- but he is a MASTER at the media counter attack. -- Nuggetsman

Trump -- Setting the Agenda

Act Two of the Trump Epic (Josh Marshall) from Talking Points Memo
"We're now in a categorically different phase. Trump is now defining the GOP policy agenda. And that makes him far more than a top candidate or even a nominee."

The GOP doesn't want a bland political insider

Donald Trump exposes Jeb Bush's problem (Jonathan Allen) from Vox
"Jeb Bush planned to win the Republican primary with a shock-and-awe strategy. Instead, it's been a shocking fall for the onetime GOP frontrunner. He started the campaign with the most famous name in Republican politics, a $100 million-plus stake, and clear, if underwhelming, favorite status in early polling. But Bush has fallen fastest and farthest against the backdrop of Donald Trump's rise."

Repeal The 14th Amendment - Go For It!

A Good Chunk Of GOP Field Wants To Repeal The 14th Amendment from the Huffington Post
"Seven candidates now support re-examining birthright citizenship."
THIS is the Trump Effect -- forcing the other GOP candidates to take positions that might get them some attention in the Trump-dominated summer of 2015 but which will be absolute poison in the summer of 2016! -- Nuggetsman

Latest Polling Show MANY problems for the GOP

7 ways the latest Fox poll is the Republican establishment's worst nightmare (Matthew Yglesias) from Vox
"From an establishment point of view this is a shockingly multifaceted disaster. Let us count the ways:..."

Sunday, August 16, 2015

News Nuggets 1528

DAYLEE PICTURE: A bull elephant emerging from the Shire River in Malawi.  From the National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Does Beijing Really Know How Markets Work?

Bungling Beijing’s Stock Markets (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"China is ruled by a party that calls itself Communist, but its economic reality is one of rapacious crony capitalism. And everyone has been assuming that the nation’s leaders are in on the joke, that they know better than to take their occasional socialist rhetoric seriously. Yet their zigzagging policies over the past few months have been worrying. Is it possible that after all these years Beijing still doesn’t get how this “markets” thing works?"

China's 'Soft Power' Binge: The Bill Coming Due

Currency Devaluation Shows the High Cost of China’s Soft Power (David Francis) from Foreign Policy Magazine
"Beijing has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy friends and influence its neighbors. Weakening the value of the yuan shows that the bill is coming due -- and China may not be able to pay it."

Multiculturalism in Europe: Some Buyers' Remorse?

Multiculturalism: Community Versus Society in Europe (Kenan Malik) from Foreign Affairs
"Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them. ... How did this transformation come about?"

"They Don't Give a Damn About Governing"

Conservative Media's Influence on the Republican Party (Jackie Calmes) from the Shorenstein Center
"If leaders of the Republican Party are not setting its agenda, who is? As many of them concede, it is conservative media – not just talk-show celebrities Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham, but also lesser-known talkers like Steve Deace, and an expanding web of “news” sites and social media outlets with financial and ideological alliances with far-right anti-government, anti-establishment groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections."

Donald Trump’s biggest crime is his honesty

How Trump exposes the sickening rot at the core of the GOP (Patrick Smith) from Salon
"I have thought since the Tea Party’s appearance on the political scene half a dozen years ago that the American right was destined to destroy itself before our eyes. Last week’s G.O.P. display—it was politics as spectacle, not a debate—convinces me of this. The Republican Party as it has been in history is already gone, more or less, and is being replaced—more swiftly than one would have thought possible—with what amounts to a fanatical fringe. ... Trump is correct in his estimation of what a right-wing American pol has to be to get anywhere: dismissive of the Other, intolerant of all alternative perspectives, suspicious of thought, given to action (preferably violent) while indifferent to its consequences. Trump’s ultimate sin—a paradox here—is to possess an affect so plainly the sum total of what he has to offer that it exposes the rest of the Republican crowd: They are all empty but for slightly varied poses. All they have for us is affect."


Inside the GOP Clown Car (Matt Taibbi) from Rolling Stone Magazine
"It will go down someday as the greatest reality show ever conceived. The concept is ingenious. Take a combustible mix of the most depraved and filterless half-wits, scam artists and asylum Napoleons America has to offer, give them all piles of money and tell them to run for president. Add Donald Trump. And to give the whole thing a perverse gravitas, make the presidency really at stake."

GOPers Giving LOTS of Ammo to Hillary and the Dems

Hillary Finds the GOP's Trump-Sized Weakness (Josh Voorhees) from Slate
"“They brag about slashing women’s health-care funding,” Clinton said of her GOP rivals. “They say they would force women who’ve been raped to carry their rapist’s child. You don’t hear any of them supporting raising the minimum wage, paid leave for new parents, access to quality child care, equal pay for women, or anything that will help to give women a chance to get ahead.”"

Hillary's Institutional Strengths and Advantages

Should Dems panic over Hillary’s polling, investigations? (Jay Bookman) from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Yes, there may be deep concern among some who fear that Clinton’s once unassailable position is eroding, but if so it is unfounded. Her institutional strengths and advantages are far too significant to be overcome by any Democrat now in the race or likely to join the race, and that includes Vice President Joe Biden.  If that weren’t true, Biden would be in the race already."

Is the Bush Doctrine in America's Futue?

Jeb Bush wants to bring back the Bush Doctrine (Paul Waldman) from the Washington Post
"Make no mistake: What Jeb Bush and the other GOP candidates (with the exception of Rand Paul) are offering on foreign policy is nothing more or less than a return to the Bush Doctrine. They won’t call it that, because they know that would be politically foolish; Americans may have short memories, but not that short. ... Maybe in their next debate, someone can ask them how their foreign policy would differ in any way from George W. Bush’s. I doubt they’d have an answer.."

Megyn Kelly? Who's She?

How Roger Ailes Picked Trump, and Fox News’ Audience, Over Megyn Kelly (Gabriel Sherman) from New York Magazine
" Trump’s ire was especially stoked after Howard Stern called to tell him about a 2010 interview in which Kelly joked about her breasts and her husband’s penis. Ailes offered other shows, and Trump agreed to appear on Fox and Friends and Hannity, two venues that have been loyal boosters of his candidacy."


Our Solar System May Have Had A Fifth 'Giant' Planet from the Huffington Post
The missing planet bumped into Neptune before disappearing into the abyss of space, according to a new study.


DNA Is Said to Solve a Mystery of Warren Harding’s Love Life from the New York Times
"Now nearly a century later, according to genealogists, new genetic tests confirm for the first time that Ms. Britton’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, was indeed Harding’s biological child. The tests have solved one of the enduring mysteries of presidential history and offer new insights into the secret life of America’s 29th president."


Real life Bambi meets Thumper video from Youtube

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

News Nuggets 1527

A lion roams in Chobe National Park in Botswana.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: GOPers Embrace the Neo-cons -- for All the Wrong Reasons

The Surge Fallacy (Peter Beinart) from the Atlantic
"Having misunderstood the lessons of the Iraq War, Republicans are taking a dangerously hawkish turn on foreign policy."

China's Demographic Time Bomb -- Coming Sooner Then Expected

Coming Soon: China's Demographic Doomsday (Gordon Chang) from the National Interest
"The country’s population will peak in 2028 according to the UN’s “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision,” released at the end of July. China in its peak year will have 1.42 billion people. By the end of the century, the country will be just a smidgen over a billion—and very, very gray."

Our Mother Was Not a Spy!

The Meeropol Brothers: Exonerate Our Mother, Ethel Rosenberg (Michael and Robert Meeropol) from the New York Times
"Our mother was not a spy. The government held her life hostage to coerce our father to talk, and when that failed, it extracted false statements to secure her wrongful execution. ;... It is never too late to correct an egregious injustice. We call on the government to formally exonerate Ethel Rosenberg."

Surprise, surprise! Healthier people in States that Embraced Obamacare!

Uninsured Rate Down Way More In States That Embraced Obamacare from the Huffington Post
"Obamacare is really good at getting health insurance to people -- if their states' leaders let it."

Obama’s Failure to Fail

G.O.P. Candidates and Obama’s Failure to Fail (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"Out there in the real world, none of the disasters their party predicted have actually come to pass. President Obama just keeps failing to fail. And that’s a big problem for the G.O.P. — even bigger than Donald Trump."

So now they care about sexism?

The ugly hypocrisy of the right’s reaction to Trump’s Kelly slur (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"Within days of Obama’s inauguration, I had former House Majority Leader Dick Armey tell me on “Hardball,” after I’d criticized Rush Limbaugh, “I’m so damn glad you can never be my wife, because I surely wouldn’t have to listen to that prattle from you every day.” A lot of folks on the left were outraged; on the right, they laughed and cheered Armey. ... What Republican insiders fear about Donald Trump isn't his own ugly misogyny, it's that he is revealing their own."

Pro-Trump Emails Inundated Fox News After the Debate

Donald Trump and Roger Ailes Make Up — for Now (Gabriel Sherman) from New York Magazine
"Immediately following Thursday's debate, Fox was deluged with pro-Trump emails. The chatter on Twitter was equally in Trump’s favor. “In the beginning, virtually 100 percent of the emails were against Megyn Kelly,” one Fox source, who was briefed on the situation, told me. “Roger was not happy. Most of the Fox viewers were taking Trump’s side.” "
I KNEW IT!!  Bottom line: the GOP masses simply don't care if women are offended about anything -- even if that woman is one of their own.  Trump's supporters are simply sick of hearing about sexist this-and-that when there are so many other country-destroying issues at stake -- such as Obama's birth certificate.  -- Nuggetsman

An Abundance of Absurd Figures

From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"... while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party."
I had to really dig to find some pundit who captured my view of the two GOP debates -- but Krugman gets it here! - Nuggetsman

Where Trump Left the Other Candidates

Whose Party Is It, Anyway? (Molly Ball) from the Atlantic
"Over on planet Earth, between Trump eruptions, the other candidates were having a different, more serious and, let’s be honest, more boring debate. The prevailing strategy was to try to win this real-world debate rather than try to play on Trump’s terms. Jeb Bush, the but-for-Trump frontrunner, did not distinguish himself. Pressed to explain his views on immigration, the Iraq war, and education, he seemed always to be dancing on the cliff’s edge of incoherence."

The Perils of Driving Trump Out of the Race

Donald Trump vs. the Republican Party: Now It’s War (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"That is why the significance of his performance lies in his deadly serious threat to run a third-party campaign, siphoning off the immigrant-haters and amorphously angry blue-collar whites the actual nominee will need for himself. The intense barrage of pointed questions displayed how seriously Roger Ailes takes Trump’s threat to hijack the GOP for his own end. It failed to reckon with the other threat: that the Republican plan to drive Trump from their party might instead work all too well."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

News Nuggets 1526

A baby humpback whale off the coast of Tonga.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: A Good Iran Deal? Look Who Supports It and Opposes It

Why Israel’s Security Experts Support The Iran Deal — And Why Iran’s Hardliners Don’t (Joe Conason) from the National Memo
"As congressional Republicans seek to undermine the nuclear agreement between Iran and the international powers, they assert that hardline Islamists in the Islamic Republic are delighted with the deal, while Israelis concerned over their country’s security are appalled. The same theme is now repeated constantly on Fox News Channel and throughout right-wing media. But that message is largely false – and in very important respects, the opposite is true."

The Poorer Next Generation

We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials (Steven Rattner) from the New York Times
"The wealth of millennials has been hit even harder than their incomes. Their median net worth was just $10,400 as of 2013, down 43 percent from the $18,200 that Gen Xers had in 1995 when they were under 35. With incomes squeezed, millennials are not only not saving much; they are dipping into whatever savings they do have."

The Ferguson Effect ... in Education

White Kids Get Medicated When They Misbehave, Black Kids Get Suspended — or Arrested (Jack Holmes) from New York Magazine
"In recent years, as a national conversation about racial discrepancies in American policing has heated up, a depressing subplot has also emerged: a pattern of similar discrepancies in how discipline is meted out in schools."

Online Education: A Bad Solution to a Serious Problem?

A College Without Classes from the Atlantic
"Forget credit hours—in a quest to cut costs, universities are simply asking students to prove their mastery of a subject. ...  College is getting more expensive, after all, in part because schools have to pay for faculty and buildings and land and football teams and fancy dorms. An online education model does away with most of those things. Some students may want them. But many don’t and can’t afford the additional costs. Neither can the nation, which needs more college graduates to fill the 60 percent of jobs that, by 2018, will require a college diploma."

What do mass shootings and police killings have in common?

America's sick gun culture. (Emily L. Hauser) from The Week
 "If we want to see police killings drop, no matter the victim, if we want to see an end to mass shootings (and Australia has proven that it's possible to actually end them), we have no choice but to dismantle not only the laws but also the norms that make the protection of gun ownership a greater priority than the protection of human lives."

Moving Towards Renewable Energy

This Kind Of Electricity Provider Is Already Integrating Renewables from Think Progress
"Great River Energy, which provides wholesale electricity to a group of Minnesota co-ops, is helping its members take Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (25 percent by 2025) in stride..."

The Iran Deal ... and the Temptation to Just Say Anything

Not Fit to Lead (William Saletan) from Slate
"The Iran hearings have shown how the Republican Party can no longer be trusted with the presidency. ... Over the past several days, congressional hearings on the deal have become a spectacle of dishonesty, incomprehension, and inability to cope with the challenges of a multilateral world. ... They misrepresented testimony, dismissed contrary evidence, and substituted vitriol for analysis. They seemed baffled by the idea of having to work and negotiate with other countries."

Does Anything Disqualify Someone from the GOP Primaries?

The New Holy Grail Of GOP Primaries (Rick Perlstein) from Talking Points Memo
"The bottom line is that the penumbras and emanations of Citizens United are changing the campaign game in ways that throw all previous understandings of how Republicans nominate presidents into a cocked hat. ... That political facts this blunt are no longer disqualifying for presidential candidates is a sort of revolution."

The raging civil war over the disgusting “cuckservative” slur

The GOP crack-up continues (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"Combining racism and misogyny, the insult lets Donald Trump backers claim other Republicans aren’t real men.  ... The spread of the epithet “cuckservative” is a sign that the crudest psycho-sexual insecurity animates the far right."

Is There Any Passion for "Jeb!"?

Is Jeb Bush Turning Into Michael Dukakis? from Politico Magazine
"Wonkish and mealy-mouthed, Jeb needs to start riling up his supporters—before Donald Trump wins them all over. ... At an event for Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst last month, Cathy Grawe, who has been active in the Iowa GOP for more than 20 years, says she talked to more than 100 potential voters and that “not one mentioned Jeb Bush. Not good or bad. Not that I’m thinking of voting for him. Nothing. Zero.”"