“Many Americans are ambivalent on abortion. But Trump has now turned the attention back from the fetus to the woman. And remember that three in 10 American women get an abortion at some point in their lives.Second, the data suggests that one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of abortions would be to increase the availability of publicly funded family planning. In 2013, publicly funded family planning prevented two million unintended pregnancies, including almost 700,000 abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”
The Invisible Catastrophe. Over the course of 4 months, 97,100 metric tons of methane quietly leaked out of a single well into California’s sky.Scientists and residents are still trying tofigure out just how much damage was done.By NATHANIEL RICHMARCH 31, 2016
“For half a century, climate scientists have seen the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, as a sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization.The great ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur.Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner.Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century.With ice melting in other regions, too, the total rise of the sea could reach five or six feet by 2100, the researchers found. That is roughly twice the increase reported as a plausible worst-case scenario by a United Nations panel just three years ago, and so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.”
“Last summer, after deceptively edited videos were used to accuse Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue, congressional Republicans voted to block all federal financing for the organization, and threatened to shut down the entire federal government if they didn’t get their way.
The charges against Planned Parenthood were completely bogus — investigations in 12 states found no wrongdoing, and one, in Texas, resulted in the indictment in January of the video makers.
By then, however, the damage was done. Even before the push in Congress failed, state governments had begun to cut funds for Planned Parenthood, without much national attention.Since last July, 23 states have tried various ways of cutting money for the organization. So far 11 have succeeded, most recently Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed HB 1411, a sweeping anti-abortion bill that, among many destructive provisions, prohibits Medicaid and other public funds from being used to reimburse organizations that work with abortion providers.”
Andy Grove, CEO of Intel, in 2010, Businessweek:
“You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work—and much of the profits—remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work—and masses of unemployed? ”
” We got to our current state as a consequence of many of us taking actions focused on our own companies’ next milestones. An example: Five years ago a friend joined a large VC firm as a partner. His responsibility was to make sure that all the startups they funded had a “China strategy,” meaning a plan to move what jobs they could to China. He was going around with an oil can, applying drops to the guillotine in case it was stuck. We should put away our oil cans. VCs should have a partner in charge of every startup’s “U.S. strategy.”
The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars—fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability—and stability—we may have taken for granted.”
“Mr. Grove acknowledged that it was cheaper and thus more profitable for companies to hire workers and build factories in Asia than in the United States. But in his view, those lower Asian costs masked the high price of offshoring as measured by lost jobs and lost expertise. Silicon Valley misjudged the severity of those losses, he wrote, because of a “misplaced faith in the power of start-ups to create U.S. jobs.” ”
“The triumph of free-market principles over planned economies in the 20th century, he said, did not make those principles infallible or immutable. There was room for improvement, he argued, for what he called “job-centric” economics and politics. In a job-centric system, job creation would be the nation’s No. 1 objective, with the government setting priorities and arraying the forces necessary to achieve the goal, and with businesses operating not only in their immediate profit interest but also in the interests of “employees, and employees yet to be hired.” “
“An important new report makes clear the principal cause of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.: the state government’s blatant disregard for the lives and health of poor and black residents of a distressed city.
The report released Wednesday by a task force appointed last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to study how Flint’s drinking water became poisoned by lead makes for chilling reading. While it avoids using the word “racism,” it clearly identifies the central role that race and poverty play in this story. “Flint residents, who are majority black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report said.”
“As awful as Donald Trump is, it will be exciting to witness the coming re-creation of the Republican Party.” NYT
I liked this piece, and admire David Brooks, but not on politics. There was so much missing form his pretty description of a changing GOP.
Short on time and energy and brains, I went straight to the Comments for some firepower.
Here is one of many excellent comments I enjoyed:
gemli is a trusted commenter Boston 1 day ago
“Spin it as a model failure if you must, Mr. Brooks, but Republicans are responsible for their undoing.
The Reagan era marked the transition from a time of social and economic progress to one of naked greed and self-righteous fundamentalism. From covert wars to the savings and loan crisis it unleashed the forces of greed and power that characterize conservative policies today. It also heralded in the rise of the religious right with the Moral Majority and created social havoc with simplistic “Just say no” drug policies and mandatory sentencing.
The dumbing down of America was preceded by the dumbing down of its leadership, reaching its nadir with the Republican reaction to Barack Obama. Trump was midwife at the birth of the birther movement, and carried the banner for ignorance and spite that marshalled the forces of the Tea Party, the science-deniers and the Christian fundamentalists.
David Brooks and his fellow pundits were apologists for a destructive Republican philosophy that chipped away at the wall between church and state while it built one between ordinary people and the economic benefits of living in the richest country in the world.
Republicans tried to stop Obama by grinding the wheels of government to a halt. Trump is the low-information response to stagnation and economic abandonment.
Now these same pundits are wringing their hands and wondering how things could have gotten so far out of control. To find the answer, they need only look in the mirror.”
“And then there’s a subject dear to my heart: monetary policy. You might be surprised to learn that few of the subjects I write on inspire as much passion — or as much hate mail. And it’s a subject on which Mr. Cruz has staked out a distinctive position, by calling for a return to the gold standard.
This is, in case you’re wondering, very much a fringe position among economists. When members of a large bipartisan panel on economic policy, run by the University of Chicago business school, were asked whether a gold standard would be an improvement on current arrangements, not one said yes.
In fact, many economists believe that a destructive focus on gold played a major role in the spread of the Great Depression. And Mr. Cruz’s obsession with gold is one reason to believe that he would do even more economic damage in the White House than Mr. Trump would.”
“Cleveland Heights, Ohio — MATTHEW DESMOND, a Harvard sociology professor, moved into poor Milwaukee neighborhoods and wrote this year’s hottest ethnographic tome about it: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” While working on the book, he kept a journal. He wrote, “I feel dirty, collecting these stories and hardships like so many trophies.”
I collect stories and hardships, too — and rent. I’m a landlord. Eviction notices — I buy them by the carton from Ohio Legal Blank. I’ve probably evicted 100 people, two or three a year for 40 years. Two weeks ago I evicted a recovering, or not so recovering, drug addict. He was stealing from his wife, and she wanted him out, so I evicted him. When the locksmith changed the lock, I gave the wife but not the husband new keys.I’m familiar with the bailiffs and magistrates at municipal court. I carry a clip-on tie in my car so I look sharp — blue tie over a green shirt, the middle-school art-teacher look. I’m not a lawyer, but I know what “forcible entry and detainer” means. Eviction.I try to give my apartments a middle-class feel.”