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Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as 'gladiatorial combat' - Los Angeles Times

Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as 'gladiatorial combat' - Los Angeles Times | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as 'gladiatorial combat' Los Angeles Times Barry Glassner first detailed how politicians use fear-mongering in his 1999 book “The Culture of Fear.” He wrote of politicians claiming America was on the...
Greg Russak's insight:

Good question:

 

"Geoffrey Kabaservice said he set out to answer one question before writing his latest work: Whatever happened to the moderate Republican?"

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-politics-media-panel-20140413,0,4396741.story#ixzz2z4LNqGPV

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Why Democrats Can’t Win the House

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Thanks to demographics, the Republicans have a virtual stranglehold on the House of Representatives.
Greg Russak's insight:

"If Democratic losses in that part of the country <the South> are irreversible, Democrats might be forced to wait for demographic and generational change to spread beyond urban centers and suburbs, giving the party a chance to build a more decisive majority. Until that happens, the long-anticipated Democratic majority has little chance of enacting the most ambitious elements of its agenda." - Nate Cohen


Rural Americans who are outside the 2% seem to insist on voting for Republicans and against their own self-interests. When they come to their senses and stop doing that, this country will progress and improve.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality (HBO) - YouTube

Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they're doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren't covering it...
Greg Russak's insight:

STOP!!!!!!

Stop right now!!!

Don't do another thing until you watch this video.

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, September 13, 2:10 PM

OK! YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS ! IT IS TOO FUNNY AND ALL TOO TRUE AT THE SAME TIME! 

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Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon : Sam Harris

Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon : Sam Harris | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Landscape.
Greg Russak's insight:

I find myself agreeing with Sam Harris once again. We refuse to have an honest discussion in this country about religion. Until we do, we probably shouldn't expect much to change in our domestic or foreign policies.

 

"...it is this misguided respect for revelation that explains why, in response to the starkest conceivable expression of religious fanaticism, President Obama has responded with euphemisms—and missiles. This may be the best we can hope for, given the state of our discourse about religion. Perhaps one day we will do “everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.” But today, we won’t even honestly describe the motivations of our enemies. And in the act of lying to ourselves, we continue to pay lip service to the very delusions that empower them." - Sam Harris

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Roll Call Vote - Question: On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19 )

Roll Call Vote on...

 

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19; A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.

 

What's the common denominator?

Doesn't this say it all?

 

NAYs ---18

Barrasso (R-WY)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)

Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)

Greg Russak's insight:

Roll Call Vote on...

 

Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.J.Res. 19; A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.

 

What's the common denominator?

Doesn't this say it all?

 

NAYs ---18

Barrasso (R-WY)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)

Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)

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Flooding the Zone: Gas Industry Pours Millions into Lobbying Pa. | The Allegheny Front

Flooding the Zone: Gas Industry Pours Millions into Lobbying Pa. | The Allegheny Front | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When big portions of Act 13 were overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year, it meant the state would likely debate its landmark Marcellus shale law for years to come. Before it was passed, Act 13 was a subject of intense focus by the oil and gas industry. Critics of the law say that lobbying push had excessive influence on the process. The industry says it wants to have its voice heard in Harrisburg. As Act 13 showed, it’s willing to pay big money to do so.
Greg Russak's insight:

She must take us for idiots.

 

"To think that kind of activity <lobbying> could sway a decision either way,” is wrong, says Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, a division of the American Petroleum Institute. Wissman says industry lobbying is more about educating lawmakers on what impact different laws can have on its business."

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Michael Brown is not a metaphor, Joe Klein

Host Melissa Harris-Perry delivers a stinging open letter to Time Magazine scribe Joe Klein in response to his column on Michael Brown, Ferguson, and race.
Greg Russak's insight:

And, then there's this....

Police Don’t Shoot BMW-Driving White Teen Who Committed Three Hit-And-Runs And Assaulted Officer (VIDEO)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/09/07/police-dont-shoot-bmw-driving-white-teen-who-committed-three-hit-and-runs-and-assaulted-officer-video/

 

We shouldn't be upset with the rich white girl.

 

We should be upset with the police and with ourselves.

 

We've become a nation of gullible and fearful sheep since 9/11. Is it any wonder that police have become untrained and unqualified military units with armored vehicles and grenade launchers?

 

Oh. By the way.

 

There is nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about militarized police departments or the absurdity claimed by some that we live in a post-racial America.

 

We shouldn't be upset or surprised that rich white girls and poor black men get treated differently by society and by the police unless we're prepared to get off our asses and do something about it.

 

That "something" is to vote for people with the courage to shrink our military, to disarm our police, and to stand up for justice.

 

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You Try Living on Minimum Wage #StrikeFastFood #HomeCare15 #15AndAUnion

You Try Living on Minimum Wage  #StrikeFastFood #HomeCare15 #15AndAUnion | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I stand with them. All of them. We all should. Now, I don't eat fast food, so I honestly don't care if the price of a Big Mac goes up. I do, however, care about my fellow citizens outside the wealt...
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Watch John Oliver's Hilarious Attack on Native Advertising | The Media Guy - Advertising Age

Greg Russak's insight:

Native Advertising, a.k.a. Sponsored Content. Why corporate news, especially in print, isn't always news.

 

p.s. Sponsored content is nothing new. It's just getting out of control and hidden from us much better than ever.

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Politicians are cowards. More than that, they are cowardly followers. So are we.

Politicians are cowards. More than that, they are cowardly followers. So are we. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I recently received this in an email from a friend. Brilliant! Anger is the only way. You have won me over.  This is America.  American’s respond emotionally.  We have to rile them up against the r...
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Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing' Stones Solved

Mystery of Death Valley's 'Sailing' Stones Solved | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
There's a place in Death Valley National Park where a mystery that has puzzled scientists and park visitors for decades finally has been solved.

Via Seth Dixon
Greg Russak's insight:

It's probably not what you think. It wasn't what I thought.....then again, I had no idea what was happening.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 28, 6:51 PM

The video in this article (weather.com) nicely explains how the non-aerodynamic rocks of Death Valley's Racetrack Playa move, leaving behind their trail in the hot desert.  Numerous attempts using GPS receivers (NatGeo.com) and good ol' fashioned observations have been made, but observing ice in Death Valley is so rare that no one had ever seen it until now (phys.org).  On very rare occasions, when it rains in the region, water will accumulate in the playa (discovermagazine.com).  If the wind is powerful and consistent enough, the wind will push the panels of ice against these rocks and over time, the ice floes will push these rocks, leaving behind distinctive trails (latimes.com). This perfect combination of water, wind, ice and heat creates a remarkable signature on the landscape (livescience.com).


Tags: physical, geomorphology, landforms, deserterosion, weather and climate, landscape.

Riaz Ahmad Baboojee's curator insight, August 28, 9:59 PM

Think

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Study Finds 'De Facto' Segregation Among PA Charter Schools

Charter schools in Pennsylvania are defined by their flexibility and freedom from many state regulations.A new study shows they’re also marked by their
Greg Russak's insight:

The only form of education I oppose more than charter schools is home schooling.

 

Now, it seems, the numbers are starting to come in on charters. 

 

Not everything should be privatized.

 

Public education needs to be properly funded and supported to work properly. Abandoning it isn't the answer, and making education of our children a for-profit endeavor might produce well-trained employees, but it won't produce well-rounded and thoughtful citizens.

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When it comes to Facebook, we all just want to be popular, study finds | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

When it comes to Facebook, we all just want to be popular, study finds | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If you think your Facebook NewsFeed or Twitter timeline is becoming an echo chamber of the same material, you’re right. According to a new Pew Research Center report on the role of social media in civil discourse, Facebook might not be the best place to have a lively debate on a difficult topic. Continue reading →
Greg Russak's insight:

I guess I never got the memo about the "silence" part, and I do agree that democracy is better when practiced in-person.

 

"But the problem with the “spiral of silence” is that it confirms the worst of conversing via social media — that it’s all talk and less walk. The study showed that while Facebook and Twitter might be useful for participating in political issues or social campaigns like the ice bucket challenge, they aren’t providing a forum for true deliberation, an activity Hampton and Rainie believe is necessary for a healthy democracy."

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U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context: Five Questions Answered

U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context: Five Questions Answered | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Recent studies by Thomas Piketty and others have told us a lot more about income among the richest 1 percent in America. But doing the same for America’s poorest is a much murkier proposition. Laurence Chandy and Cory Smith weigh in on five key questions raised by his latest research.
Greg Russak's insight:

I don't know precisely when it happened, but it feels to me like the raging vilification of the poor we're seeing these days is a fairly recent phenomenon. 

 

It, for sure, feels like it comes from one side and only one side of the socio-political spectrum.

 

I don't understand how some people think cutting back on social programs is supposed to miraculously make conditions better. Do we really think there are millions and millions of Americans who "like" being poor; who "choose" to be poor; who would rather live on 2 dollars or even a whopping 16 dollars a day, then to have an opportunity to learn a skill or to work for living wages so they can have some small taste of something better for themselves and their loved ones?

 

When I start seeing corporations sending their human resource recruiters and hiring managers out into the street to hire and train homeless and impoverished people to work living wage jobs.....

 

When what we call a minimum wage actually becomes a living wage even if that means - EGAD!! - the owners, executives, and shareholders make a little less money.....

 

When there's even the tiniest bit of empirical evidence that trickle-down economics is anything but the greatest lie ever perpetrated on a gullible society, then I might start accepting that tax cuts for the wealthy coupled with cuts to social programs work for anyone but the rich.

 

Until that day comes, how about we stop blaming the poor and the working poor and start electing people who will, yes, take from the rich and give to the poor.

 

I suspect there are libertarian and conservative narratives out there to dispute this, but as far as the rest of us are concerned, Robin Hood, while mythical, was and still is a hero to the rest of us.

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Why is American internet so slow?

Why is American internet so slow? | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The country that literally invented the internet is now behind Estonia in terms of download speeds
Greg Russak's insight:

"The idea of a regulated market being more conducive to competition may be alien to free market ideologues, but telecoms and internet is a real world example of deregulation leading to monopolization instead of competition in lots of markets."

- John Aziz, The Week


Too much deregulation and crony capitalism is on bold display in the telecommunications industry.

 

When any president, but especially a Democratic president, makes an industry lobbyist the chairman of the FCC, we have been betrayed and we must speak up.

 

Make your concerns known to the FCC.

http://www.fcc.gov/comments


Other online places with great info and more links:

 

Freepress.net's SaveTheInternet

http://www.savetheinternet.com/what-can-i-do

 

ACLU

https://www.aclu.org/net-neutrality

 

 

(Below is the text I submitted to the FCC. Feel free to copy, change, and paste as you see fit.)

 

I'm certain you're aware that we have fallen behind as a country when it comes to Internet speeds because of the lack of competition. (See http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/)

 

That has happened by all accounts because of a lack of competition.

 

To allow fewer and fewer ISPs to control markets and to hold all of us hostage - whether it's activists, news outlets, content providers, or consumers - to the pricing whims of monopolies is going to hurt everyone except for the large ISPs like Comcast, TW, AT&T, and Verizon.

 

Please do the right thing.

 

Please enforce strong net neutrality rules, and please consider taking former FCC commissioner Michael Copps's recommendation to re-regulate ISPs as Title II common carriers.

 

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Civility is for suckers: Campus hypocrisy and the “polite behavior” lie

Civility is for suckers: Campus hypocrisy and the “polite behavior” lie | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When campus administrators hide behind the fig-leaf of "community," they're usually protecting a powerful agenda
Greg Russak's insight:

"Now, who gets to determine what “civil” behavior and speech is, and what is not?  Even as administrators espouse the value of “community” it is clear that the final arbiters of civility are they themselves.  And this is what makes signing on to civility something one should think twice about—civility is in the eye of the powerful." - David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor at Stanford University

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Main Street: Your recovery will come from the left, not the right. #GetMoneyOut #NeverForget915

Main Street: Your recovery will come from the left, not the right. #GetMoneyOut #NeverForget915 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

The American public got played (again) for chumps back in 1999 when we weren't in the streets protesting Slick Willy's signature of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.


It wasn't the first time, and it undoubtedly won't be the last unless we're willing stand up to the failed ideology and policies of conservatism.

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CALL ALERT: Senate votes TODAY on overturning Citizens United. CALL YOUR SENATORS!

The U.S. Senate votes TODAY (Sept 8) on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Click here to call your Senators and tell them to vote YES on the constitutional amendment!

Greg Russak's insight:

I just called Senator Toomey's office. The aide that answered was very friendly. When I stated the purpose of my call and asked what Senator Toomey's stance was, the aide told me that the Senator does not yet have an official position on the amendment to overturn Citizens United. I expressed my disappointment that he was not on the side of most citizens like me who support the amendment. I asked him to tell the Senator that I wanted him to come out in support. I made sure to give the aide my full name and address so that the Senator would know it was a call from an actual named constituent. It was a very professional and even pleasant conversation, and I encourage every citizen to do the same.


Our elected officials work for us (at least they're supposed to), and we should never be afraid or reluctant to contact them to share our concerns in calm and mature ways.

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Companion to the forgotten: Narayan Krishnan

Companion to the forgotten: Narayan Krishnan | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

Mr. Krishnan established a non-profit trust to further his work. The trust, named “Akshaya” for the Sanskrit word meaning “‘undecaying’ or ‘imperishable,’ ...[signifies that] human compassion should never decay or perish. ... The spirit of helping others must prevail for ever." 


How much better would this world would be for all of us if we all were just a little bit more like Narayan Krishnan?

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Note to poor and middle class conservatives: You have it wrong. You should join the #FightFor15

Note to poor and middle class conservatives: You have it wrong. You should join the #FightFor15 | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Instead of suggesting that the fast food or retail or any other worker would be OVERPAID at 15, why aren't EMTs, tree climbers, and construction laborers protesting WITH their fellow UNDERPAID work...
Greg Russak's insight:

How does holding down or fighting against increases in fast food wages HELP these other workers?

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David Ignatius: The Senate Republicans’ foolish fight over ambassadors

David Ignatius: The Senate Republicans’ foolish fight over ambassadors | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Senate Republicans harm U.S. foreign policy with foolish delays.
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Republican Data Firms Agree to Voter-Data Swap | Campaign Trail - Advertising Age

Greg Russak's insight:

These Republican firms look at have leap-frogged the Democratic firms, at least when it comes to integration.

 

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Celebrate Labor on Labor Day - YouTube

Published on Aug 29, 2013

Robert Reich, the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration and the subject of the upcoming documentary "Inequality for All," shares a Labor Day message about how we can do better by workers. In the video, he announces a petition campaign to pressure McDonald's' and Walmart's CEOs to pay their workers a fair wage of $15/hour.

 

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mcdonalds-and-walmart.fb48?source=s.fb&r_by=48422

Greg Russak's insight:

Celebrate labor on Labor Day and everyday. It's time more of us stood up for labor and stopped allowing the lie of trickle down economics to go unchallenged.


It was labor and the middle class who made this country great. It was not capital, it was not Wall Street and it was not and never will be the wealthy. They are nothing without the rest of us.

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10 States With Lowest Uninsured Rates Post-ACA

While the uninsured rate has dropped to a record low of 13.4% nationwide, according to Gallup figures, rates differ dramatically across states. Here are the top 10 states with the best uninsured rates in the aftermath of health care reform implementation, according to Wallethub.
Greg Russak's insight:

What's one of the things all 10 states have in common?

 

They've all expanded Medicaid. 

http://familiesusa.org/product/50-state-look-medicaid-expansion-2014

 

See how that works?

 

Medicaid is expanded (almost entirely with the feds picking up the tab), and poor people get health insurance.

 

Where's the bad news?

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Study Finds Social Media Users Actually Less Likely to Share their Opinions, Online and Off

People who use Facebook and Twitter are less likely than others to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research...
Greg Russak's insight:

I also agree with this:

 

"While many people might be relieved and say keeping political debate off Facebook is a matter of tact, Hampton said there is a concern that fear of offending someone on social media is stifling debate, adding, "A society where people aren't able to share their opinions openly and gain from understanding alternative perspectives is a polarized society."


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What Does Earth Look Like?


Via Seth Dixon
Greg Russak's insight:

Fellow map lovers will LOVE this!!!

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, August 27, 9:37 AM

Unit 1

MsPerry's curator insight, September 1, 6:51 AM

APHG-Unit 1

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, September 5, 6:18 AM

Mapping and Satellite Imagery