Planet on the Ballot. It appears that the goal of drastically reducing emissions is within reach, but the wrong leader could still get in the way of saving the planet.|By Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman: “We now have a pretty good idea who will be on the ballot in November: Hillary Clinton, almost surely (after the South Carolina blowout, prediction markets give her a 96 percent probability of securing her party’s nomination), and Donald Trump, with high likelihood (currently 80 percent probability on the markets). But even if there’s a stunning upset in what’s left of the primaries, we already know very well what will be at stake — namely, the fate of the planet.”

It appears that the goal of drastically reducing emissions is within reach, but the wrong leader could still get in the way of saving the planet.|By Paul Krugman

If Donald Trump Changed Genders, by Frank Bruni – The New York Times

“IMAGINE, for a moment, the presidential candidacy of a rich, brash real estate magnate and reality TV star named Donna Trump.Quizzically coifed and stubbornly sun-kissed, she’s on her third marriage. There’s clear evidence that infidelity factored into the demise of the first, and among her children is one conceived when The Donna wasn’t married to the other parent.Her sexual appetites have been prodigious, at least according to her frequent claims and vulgar cant. And she has a tendency — disturbing on its own, even more so in someone who aspires to civic leadership — to talk about men as sirloins and rump roasts of disparate succulence. She denigrates those who displease her on cosmetic grounds:”

Source: If Donald Trump Changed Genders – The New York Times

From Comments: gemli is a trusted commenter Boston 1 day ago

“Trump’s offense isn’t entirely sexual. It’s vulgar, which is a bit different, and broader. It represents not only crudeness toward women, but a general lack of decorum, sensitivity and intelligence that doesn’t befit a presidential contender. Can you imagine president Obama saying such things? Can you imagine the stumbling speech, the thoughtless insults and the adolescent smirks coming from the Oval Office?

The role of president is to represent the aspirations of the American people, young and old, men and women, liberal and conservative. I can’t imagine what electing a president Trump would say about us, or what message it would send to other countries. Sheer embarrassment should make any voter think twice about pulling that lever.

Bill Clinton may have behaved badly, but I’ve always felt that while he embarrassed himself and humiliated his family, he didn’t embarrass the country. His personal flaws were distinct from his intelligence and his political sensibilities.

While Bill Clinton was eloquent, Trump is incoherent. He’s also spiteful, insulting and small-minded. He’d be out of his depth in a wading pool, much less the ocean of responsibility that comes with the office.

But is seems that we can’t avoid him, and he isn’t going away any time soon. However there is one way that you can see the end of Trump. Just remove the T.”

506 Recommended

Showdown on Abortion at the Supreme Court – The New York Times

“The decades-long crusade to end legal abortion in America after Roe v. Wade has again reached the Supreme Court.On Wednesday, the eight justices will hear a case challenging a 2013 Texas law that has already shut down more than half of the state’s 41 health clinics that perform abortions.Since Roe was decided in 1973, there have been countless efforts by anti-abortion activists to enact state laws that restrict abortion rights, often in the guise of protecting women’s health. But few laws have gone as far as the Texas statute, which places so heavy a burden on hundreds of thousands of women across the state — particularly those in poorer rural areas — that it has effectively destroyed their constitutional right to an abortion.”

Source: Showdown on Abortion at the Supreme Court – The New York Times

From the comments at the Christine McMorrow is a trusted commenter Waltham, MA 20 hours ago

“The attempt to roll back Roe vs Wade is nothing less than a fight to give religion a role in shaping secular law. You hate abortions? Fine most of us do, so go ahead, don’t have one.

But don’t let your religious views spill over into secular law that protects a woman’s right to choose–any woman, of any political or religious persuasion, even those who have no political or religious affiliation at all.

Your religion doesn’t get to dictate how I, or any woman, gets to live. My religion can tell me what is or is not a sin if i choose to practice my faith, but I don’t have that right to impose it on others.”
421 Recommended

How the Story of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Has Changed – The New York Times

“March 10, 2015“When I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,” Mrs. Clinton said in March. “Looking back, it would’ve been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone.” Mrs. Clinton said that since a vast majority of her work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, they would be archived by the government.”

Source: How the Story of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Has Changed – The New York Times

Decline of Species That Pollinate Poses a Threat to Global Food Supply, Report Warns Many pollinator species are facing extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats.|By John Schwartz

“The birds and the bees need help. Also, the butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles and bats. Without an international effort, a new report warns, increasing numbers of species that promote the growth of hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of food each year face extinction.

The first global assessment of the threats to creatures that pollinate the world’s plants was released by a group affiliated with the United Nations on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The summary will be posted online Monday.

Pollinators, including some 20,000 species of wild bees, contribute to the growth of fruit, vegetables and many nuts, as well as flowering plants. Plants that depend on pollination make up 35 percent of global crop production volume with a value of as much as $577 billion a year. The agricultural system, for which pollinators play a key role, creates millions of jobs worldwide.”

Many pollinator species are facing extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats, according to the document.|By John Schwartz

To Fight Critics, Donald Trump Aims to Instill Fear in 140-Character Doses – The New York Times

“Cheri Jacobus, a Republican political strategist, did not think she had done anything out of the ordinary: On a cable television show, she criticized Donald J. Trump for skipping a debate in Iowa in late January and described him as a “bad debater.”But then Mr. Trump took to Twitter, repeatedly branding Ms. Jacobus as a disappointed job seeker who had begged to work for his campaign and had been rejected. “We said no and she went hostile,” he wrote. “A real dummy!” Mr. Trump’s campaign manager told the same story on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”Mr. Trump’s Twitter followers, who number about six million, piled on. For days, they replied to his posts with demeaning, often sexually charged insults aimed at Ms. Jacobus, including several with altered, vulgar photographs of her face.”

This is an ugly story of a real bully. The twittersphere lit up with ugly attacks on the woman, twitter bullying. In fact, the article reports that the attack by Trump was a complete lie.

Source: To Fight Critics, Donald Trump Aims to Instill Fear in 140-Character Doses – The New York Times

Imagining a Rikers Island With No Jail – The New York Times

“Any serious effort to repair criminal justice in New York City must do something about Rikers Island, the jail complex in the East River where justice goes to die, or at least be severely beaten.The City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, acknowledged this in her State of the City address this month, when she announced that the state’s former chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, would lead a commission to comprehensively examine the city’s criminal justice system. Its mission will be to reduce the jail population, now at about 10,000, enough to make it possible to consider shutting Rikers down for good.”

Source: Imagining a Rikers Island With No Jail – The New York Times

Maybe Rikers should be closed, because of the transportation problem, or the reduction of inmates in the system. But the problems of brutality and corruption in the system still need to be addressed. In a better world, we would ban prison guard and police unions. People with so much power over prisoners and the public should not be able to hide bad behavior behind curtains of union protection, which is a disgrace to unionism and the nation. And, the National Guard or the military should take over Riker’s Island immediately, with all the guards there eventually fired, laid off or prosecuted, after an intense study of who the real bullies and torturers wearing a uniform are. Union leaders who protected criminal behavior should also be prosecuted.

Cranks on Top – By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

“But what I do know is that one shouldn’t treat establishment support as an indication that Mr. Rubio is moderate and sensible. On the contrary, not long ago someone holding his policy views would have been considered a fringe crank.”

Source: Cranks on Top – The New York Times

I think Rubio is more dangerous than Trump, more of a water carrying ultra rightist with fascist tendencies. Of course, that might describe Cruze also. Why do I think Trump will be easier for the Democrats to beat than Rubio? Rubio is an articulate puppet, and he will say what ever his script writers give him. He will appear to move to the center, and say things that make more sense. Trump might be a jerk, but he is a genuine jerk. My instincts are that he will be the easier of the two for the Democrats to beat. The Republican elites, represented by Rubio more than Trump, pose a serious threat to the United States. It is climate change, caused by overpopulation, that is probably the greatest threat to U.S. security, and our democracy, followed by income inequality and the undoing of campaign finance reform by such court cases as Citizen’s United.

Why Is Mitch McConnell Picking This Fight? – The New York Times

“IN early 2009, as Barack Obama was about to take office, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, assembled his caucus at a retreat in West Virginia. There, he laid out his strategy for taking on the new president, who was sweeping into office on a tide of popularity, historical resonance and great expectations barely diminished by the economic free fall then underway.The key, Mr. McConnell told his fellow Republicans, was to stymie and undermine Mr. Obama, but to do so in subtle ways. As one of the senators present, Robert F. Bennett of Utah, later recalled to me: “Mitch said, ‘We have a new president with an approval rating in the 70 percent area. We do not take him on frontally. We find issues where we can win, and we begin to take him down, one issue at a time. We create an inventory of losses, so it’s Obama lost on this, Obama lost on that. And we wait for the time where the image has been damaged to the point where we can take him on.’ ”Seven years later, with the Republicans now in the Senate majority, the opposition led by Mr. McConnell is as frontal as can be. After word of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death emerged last weekend, it took the majority leader less than an hour to announce that the Senate would not entertain a replacement before November. “This vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” he said.Mr. McConnell’s blunt declaration was taken as the starkest exhibition yet of the obstructionism that has characterized the Kentucky senator’s stance toward President Obama and congressional Democrats. The resistance from Mr. McConnell has had an enormous influence on the shape of Obama’s presidency. It has limited the president’s accomplishments and denied him the mantle of the postpartisan unifier he sought back in 2008. But it has also brought the Senate, the institution to which Mr. McConnell has devoted his life, close to rupture.His declaration on the Supreme Court also represents a striking shift for the veteran politician. In throwing down the gauntlet so emphatically, and potentially riling up a Democratic electorate, Mr. McConnell was doing something deeply out of character: putting at risk his and his party’s prospects in the coming election.”

The last two paragraphs, not quoted here, are brilliant. McConnell will risk losing the senate, to stop Obama from appointed a supreme court justice who just might upturn Citizens United, which is what keeps the Republicans able to win.

Source: Why Is Mitch McConnell Picking This Fight? – The New York Times