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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Charles P Pierce- Things in Politico that make me want to guzzle antifreeze...

Oh, Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Maggie Haberman. Get out of there before they fully activate the microchip.

Haberman's campaign coverage is often the best thing to be found in Tiger Beat On The Potomac. Consequently, it is more than kind of a drag to see her name atop one of that publication's substance-free horse-race clickbait exercises. I know she doesn't write her own headlines. But she should seek out whoever wrote this one and whale on them, because there isn't a smidgen of a scintilla of a drop of evidence in the piece that suggests that Senator Professor Warren is "vexing" Hillary Clinton at all. The kidz in the Village desperately want this catfight, and most of them grew up as writers and thinkers during the extended run of Cirque du Clinton in Washington. They missed out on the really good stuff -- Cattle futures! Billing Records! Fort Marcy Park! -- and, lo and behold, here's another chance to pretend that they're back in the good old days. Also, it would tax the view from nowhere if the Democrats smoothly nominated Clinton while the Republicans had another demo derby in the locked ward like they had in 2012. The kidz might actually have to notice this time. And also, catfight! Mrrrrowwwwrrrr!

Anyway, as I said, this entire piece is based on the fanciful notion that SPW's ferocious campaign against the plutocrats is putting her crossways with Clinton.

Even without running, Warren has made clear she's not interested in seeing a Clinton coronation. In Boston, when the two spoke at a rally Friday for Martha Coakley, the Democrat running for governor, Warren barely mentioned the former secretary of state in her remarks. In the past, the Massachusetts Democrat has criticized Clinton as too close to Wall Street.

Point The First: Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts. Martha Coakley is running for governor of same. What in the hell difference does it make if SPW "barely mentions" the other superstar on the platform. The point was to rally the folks for Martha, not drop veiled hints about 2016. As to the second thing, so what, squared? Almost every Democratic liberal has made that same point since Clinton first ran in 2008. It doesn't seem to have hurt her standing with the party's base. SPW didn't get a job at Harvard Law by being stupid enough to lie down in front of a train, and Clinton didn't get where she is by being stupid enough to pick a fight she doesn't need. They will get along splendidly.

But this is the part of the story that really broke my heart. Oh, Maggie, I shouldn't have tried...

Warren's speeches, in contrast, are untempered and raw. They hit a visceral chord with people living in the post-recession period, who've heard repeatedly that the economy is improving but don't feel it in their own lives and who believe the game was rigged and other people benefited. That sentiment exists with both parties' bases, but Warren has become the avatar for it among Democrats.

I've seen SPW give almost 100 speeches in her life, and the one thing she's never been is "untempered," let alone "raw." Reading this, you'd think you were seeing an outtake from All The King's Men. Warren's great gift is to be plain, but never to be simple. She does folksy and funny, not fire and brimstone. She does loud, not raw. If the people respond to her as though they were getting fire and brimstone, that's because she's right about so damn much, and is able to say it in a way that neither talks down to people, nor confuses them. And I'd like anyone still clinging to the notion that there is a substantial constituency on the right where this sentiment exists to please show me the Republican superstar arguing for a new Glass-Steagall Act, or radical relief on student loans. Clock's ticking...


Eleven countries studied, one inescapable conclusion – the drug laws don’t work

Alan Travis, home affairs editor

The Home Office comparison of international drug laws, published on Wednesday, represents the first official recognition since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act that there is no direct link between being “tough on drugs” and tackling the problem.

The report, which has been signed off by both the Conservative home secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat crime prevention minister, Norman Baker, is based on an in-depth study of drug laws in 11 countries ranging from the zero-tolerance of Japan to the legalisation of Uruguay.

The key finding of the report, written by Home Office civil servants, lies in a comparison of Portugal, where personal use is decriminalised, and the Czech Republic, where criminal penalties for possession were introduced as recently as 2010.

“We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country,” it says. “The Czech Republic and Portugal have similar approaches to possession, where possession of small amounts of any drug does not lead to criminal proceedings, but while levels of drug use in Portugal appear to be relatively low, reported levels of cannabis use in the Czech Republic are among the highest in Europe.


Why Polls Tend to Undercount Democrats

By Nate Cohn

Polls show that the Republicans have an advantage in the fight for control of the Senate. They lead in enough states to win control, and they have additional opportunities in North Carolina and New Hampshire to make up for potential upsets. As Election Day nears, Democratic hopes increasingly hinge on the possibility that the polls will simply prove wrong.

But that possibility is not far-fetched. The polls have generally underestimated Democrats in recent years, and there are reasons to think it could happen again.

In 2010, the polls underestimated the Democrats in every competitive Senate race by an average of 3.1 percentage points, based on data from The Huffington Post’s Pollster model. In 2012, pre-election polls underestimated President Obama in nine of the 10 battleground states by an average of 2 percentage points.

A couple of elections in which polls tilt slightly Republican aren’t enough to prove anything. The polls have erred before, only to prove fine over the longer term.

But the reasons to think that today’s polls underestimate Democrats are not based on just the last few years of results. They are also based on a fairly diverse set of methodological arguments, supported by extensive research, suggesting that many of today’s polls struggle to reach Democratic-leaning groups.



Thursday TOON Roundup 4- The Rest








World Series

Congrats Giants!

Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Politics





Thursday Toon Roundup 2- Ebola Scare

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Election time

Luckovich Toon- Holding on

Street Harasser Haunted By Woman Who Got Away With Dignity Intact

(Yes it's Satire)

CHICAGO—Regretting his failure to take advantage of the perfect opportunity, local street harasser Jason Foster told reporters Wednesday that he continues to be haunted by the woman who got away with her dignity intact. “I will go the rest of my life wondering if I could have made this woman feel completely demeaned, if maybe there was something else sexually degrading I could have shouted,” said a visibly emotional Foster, reportedly agonizing about the moment that morning when he did not make more of an effort to intimidate the woman by leering at her body or following closely behind her down the street. “It’s eating me up inside that I didn’t trust my gut instinct to go after her and continue making obscene remarks and unwelcome sexual advances. I truly believe she’s the one I could have totally humiliated by yelling ‘nice ass, baby doll’ one more time.” At press time, sources confirmed that an elated Foster had successfully robbed the woman of her dignity while she was returning home from work.


World Losing 2,500 Hectares Of Irrigated Land Per Day To Salt Damage

A study by scientists at the UN University’s Institute for Water, located in Ontario, Canada, revealed that 17 million hectares of arable land has been lost to salinization in the period from 1995 to 2013. The loss rate is computed at a staggering 2,500 hectares per day, or equivalently 4,600 American football fields. Viewed another way, every 4 days the area the size of Manhattan is lost. The total productive land deeply affected by salt now encompasses 62 million hectares (up from 45 million hectares 18 years ago), an area about the size of France. This land area also represents a staggering 20% of irrigatable lands.

Salt degradation occurs due to irrigation with insufficient “leaching fraction”. Irrigation, or the act of adding water to crops, always leaves trace salts near the roots where the plants uptake water but leave solutes. This is because all water, even ostensibly “fresh water” or rain water, contains some amount of salt. If extra water is not added to remove the salt, or if the precipitation is too low, over time salt accumulates leading to salt damage, i.e. reduced productivity and profitability of agricultural practices.

The main author Dr. Manzoor Qadir, the Assistant Director of Water and Human Development at the UN University’s Institute for Water, remarks on the challenge, “To feed the world’s anticipated nine billion people by 2050, and with little new productive land available, it’s a case of all lands needed on deck. We can’t afford not to restore the productivity of salt-affected lands.”

Some of the areas characterized in this study include the Aral Sea Basin in Central Asia, the Indo-Gangetic Basin in India, Indus Basin in Pakistan, Yellow River Basin in China, Euphrates Basin in Syria, Iraq, Murray-Darling Basin in Australia, and the San Joaquin Valley, United States.


Reminds me of "Idiocracy"
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