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Reader Selected News For The Week Of Aug 9 To Aug 15

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

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Avoid editorials or opinion pieces unless they are truly newsworthy.
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This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 8th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Reader Selected News For The Week Of Aug 9 To Aug 15”

  1. captstubby says:

    Reagan aide Jim Brady’s death ruled homicide
    Associated Press
    37 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — This week’s death of former White House press secretary James Brady, who survived a gunshot wound to the head in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has been ruled a homicide, District of Columbia police said Friday.
    John Hinckley Jr. shot Brady, who lived through hours of delicate surgery and further operations over the past 33 years, but never regained normal use of his limbs and was often in a wheelchair.

    An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a gunshot wound and its health consequences, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to a news release from District police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump. Nancy Bull, district administrator for the Virginia medical examiner’s office, which made the ruling, declined to disclose the results of the autopsy and referred inquiries to District police.
    Hinckley Jr., now 59, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of all charges in a 13-count indictment, including federal counts of attempted assassination of the president of the United States, assault on a federal officer, and use of a firearm in the commission of a federal offense, as well as District of Columbia offenses of attempted murder, assault, and weapons charges. The District of Columbia offenses included charges related to the shooting of Brady.

    William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, said the office “is reviewing the ruling on the death of Mr. Brady and has no further comment at this time.”

    Tung Yin, a professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, said Friday that it’s rare that the act that could be considered the cause of a murder occurred so long ago.

    “It seems a little bit unprecedented,” Yin said of the Virginia medical examiner’s ruling. He said such cases more likely involve a person in a coma who dies a year later.

    He said bringing such a case could cause problems for prosecutors, because Hinckley Jr. was found was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

    “A jury has already concluded on the same incident that he (Hinckley Jr.) was not guilty. Nothing today changes that,” Yin said, even if prosecutors say Hinckley is no longer insane. “That doesn’t change what he was 33 years ago.”


    “This case will probably not be tried as a murder because of the old common law rule that death must ensue within a year and a day after the blow was struck. This issue was squarely addressed by a three judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MICHAEL CLIFTON CHASE, Defendant-Appellant. No. 92-5639, 18 F.3d 1166 (1994) and the conviction of the Defendant overturned on that basis. The case involved the death of a woman as the result of an assault that had occurred 17 years earlier. While the authority is not controlling it will no doubt be very persuasive and even if Hinckley is prosecuted and the year and a day rule overturned it would very probably not apply to his case but prospectively only.”
    John P. Bowler, Esq.

  2. captstubby says:

    Hillary Clinton criticizes Obama’s foreign policy ‘failure’; strongly defends Israel
    ‘Great nations need organizing principles, and “Don’t do stupid stuff” is not an organizing principle,’ the former secretary of state says
    Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

    Ahead of a possible presidential run, Hillary Clinton appears to be distancing herself from what she called President Barack Obama’s foreign policy “failure”: the decision not to intervene during the early stages of the Syrian civil war.

    In an interview with the Atlantic published on Sunday, the former secretary of state says the “failure” of the United States to help those protesting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad led to the rise of al-Qaida-inspired groups like ISIL, the militants currently creating havoc in Syria and Iraq.

    “The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — that failure left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

    The former first lady and U.S. senator said she fears the jihadist groups currently gaining strength in the Middle East will expand their sights to Europe and the U.S.

    “One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States,” she continued. “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank — and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence and defeat.”


    Hillary Clinton Dismisses Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Sh*t’ Foreign Policy
    The Huffington Post | By Mollie Reilly

    Former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sharp words for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, dismissing the president’s “don’t do stupid sh-t” foreign policy approach for not being “an organizing principle” worthy of “great nations.”

    In recent months, “Don’t do stupid sh-t” has emerged as White House officials’ preferred label for Obama’s foreign policy (which aims to be “interventionist and internationalist, but not isolationist or unilateral,” as one aide told the Los Angeles Times). Clinton, however, believes the approach is not enough.

    The Atlantic reports:

    At one point, I mentioned the slogan President Obama recently coined to describe his foreign-policy doctrine: “Don’t do stupid sh-t” (an expression often rendered as “Don’t do stupid stuff” in less-than-private encounters).

    This is what Clinton said about Obama’s slogan: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

    She softened the blow by noting that Obama was “trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy,” but she repeatedly suggested that the U.S. sometimes appears to be withdrawing from the world stage.



    Will Phillips

    “To Don Bryan’s point: You are correct, politicians have been lowering the bar for themselves by claiming ___ is better than ____ (even though the first guy/gal is still horrible) But we’ve seen this before. Look to the fall of the Roman empire (or the Byzantine empire for that matter) The fall was pushed along because the honor, integrity and competency of administrators was replaced by the political pandering and correctness of the time.
    We American’s have ONLY our selves to blame for our leaders…..oh wait, I actually blame one group for leading us down these paths of folly: the media – the WHOLE stinking lot of them. The definition of “news” has been replaced with TV “Personalities” (former Miss America contestants, fat men with nothing better to do than yell, and former sports players) THESE are the people we turn to in order to understand what’s going on ?? Oh but wait a little more, we also turn to the actors…..the people who pretend to be someone else on stage/screen for a living. These, too, are who we “trust” to gain insight into our own democracy.

    One last rant: I’m sick and tired of hearing “representatives” pontificate about what THEY think. I didn’t send my representative to think, I sent them there to vote for what I and the majority of my neighbors believe. In today’s modern World of tweets and websites, you’d think our “representatives” would simply ask our opinion. My phone, email, voicemail, twitter account, etc etc etc has YET to ever be hit by my “representatives”. Until we vote ALL of them out, all at once – so not a one is beholden to their party elite (the money lenders behind the scenes), America will continue down this path of voting for ” the lesser of two evils” :-(

  3. BillK says:

    From the “Science” writer at the AP:

    Carbon dioxide emissions from Keystone pipeline would be 4 times what feds figure, study says

    By Seth Borenstein

    The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline could produce four times more global warming pollution than the State Department calculated earlier this year, a new study concludes.

    The U.S. estimates didn’t take into account that the added oil from the pipeline would drop prices by about $3 a barrel, spurring consumption that would create more pollution, the researchers said.

    Outside experts not connected to the study gave it mixed reviews. The American Petroleum Institute found the study to be irrelevant because regardless of the pipeline, the tar sands will be developed and oil will be shipped by railroad if not by pipeline, spokeswoman Sabrina Fang said.

    The researchers estimate that the proposed pipeline, which would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, would increase world greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 121 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.

    The department said this year that at most, the pipeline would increase world carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons.

    Such emissions have been on the mind of President Barack Obama, who has said his administration would allow the pipeline to be built “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

    The new estimates, from scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute, were published Sunday by the journal Nature Climate Change. Peter Erickson, lead author, said his work implies that the pipeline could basically wipe out reductions from some potential pollution-cutting policies under discussion.

    The State Department declined to comment on the research by Erickson and co-author Michael Lazarus.

    Lower prices may sound good, but there’s no free lunch, said Wesleyan University environmental economist Gary Yohe, who praised the work.

    Lower fuel prices are bad if they don’t include all of the social costs,” Yohe wrote in an email. “Consumers are happy, but the planet is not necessarily.” …


    So, to summarize, the Keystone pipeline is bad because it would lower oil prices causing people to, you know, use more oil.

    As reported in a journal devoted to climate change

    It seems to me this would make a great campaign ad for any Republican with the balls to run it.

    So in other words, we’ll never see it.

  4. yadayada says:

    —Reeducation camp for Californians who purchased more than their fair share of water —
    from a cheering AP —

    Drought lessons: Water wasters attend Water School

    By Martha Mendoza

    AP National Writer August 9, 2014

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Some overindulged their zucchini patch. Others didn’t bother with that dripping kitchen sink. But now every Monday night in this drought-stricken beach town, dozens of residents who violated their strict rations take a seat at Water School, hoping to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in distressing penalties waived.

    Nik Martinelli, a Santa Cruz water-conservation specialist who is up before dawn patrolling for overwatered lawns, launched a recent lesson.

    “We all know why you’re here. You all went over your allotment and got a big penalty,” he said.

    Margaret Hughes $210 water bill came with a $775 fine last month. She drove from her home four hours north of town to face the scolding, even though she had no idea the toilet in a vacant house she inherited had been leaking.

    Two hours later, everyone was ready to ace their Water School quiz, identifying the community’s sparse water sources, listing ways to conserve water, describing how to use their water meters to check for leaks.

    “We’re completely dependent on Mother Nature, so we’re vulnerable” Santa Cruz Water Director Rosemary Menard said. “There really is no carrot in the situation that we’re facing. We had to ration.”

    The city cracked down in May, deploying “drought busters,” whom locals call “water cops,” to warn — and then penalize — anyone openly watering between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., washing down pavement or refilling a spa. A hotline to tattle on water wasters and mandatory household limits, allowing just 249 gallons per day for a family of four, were set.

    In June, the first month of rationing rules, 1,635 Santa Cruz household accounts faced $341,000 in fines. In July, 2,121 accounts had penalties applied, totaling $175,725.

    Gov. Jerry Brown’s request in January that everyone cut back 20 percent had the opposite effect statewide. So starting in August, water cops are being hired and fines imposed.

    University of California, Davis, professor Jay Lund, who directs the Center for Watershed Sciences,
    “It makes sense, like traffic school. It has an educational purpose, but also a punishment aspect to it.”

    Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/08/09/3317414/drought-lessons-water-wasters.html#storylink=cpy

  5. captstubby says:

    Obama’s vacations and golf outings, by the numbers
    Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
    Obama and Bush Vacation

    View photo
    President Barack Obama walks along the fairway while playing golf at Farm Neck Golf Club, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha’s Vineyard., left and President George W. Bush holds up his catch during a fishing trip Saturday, June 30, 2007 near Kennebunkport, ME. (AP Photo)

    President Obama’s annual family vacation — an escape to tony Martha’s Vineyard — has once again served as an inviting target for critics. They ask how he can relax while the world burns, wring their hands about “optics” (aka “how it looks to the average American”) and recycle decades-old complaints about presidents enjoying high-end resorts and historically patrician sports like golf.

    Just how many vacations has Obama taken since January 2009? How does he compare to his two-term predecessor, George W. Bush?

    The authoritative figures come from CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller.

    Knoller has meticulously chronicled presidential data since 1996 with an attention to detail that has made successive White Houses regard his figures as more reliable than their own. He keeps tabs on everything from the number of trips overseas to the number of foreign leaders who visit the White House to the number of formal press conferences. He also tracks how often presidents flee Washington for what he calls “vacations” — always in quotes — which he notes can never be clean breaks from the job, thanks to modern communications, which bring global crises to the presidential doorstep no matter where it happens to be.

    Knoller graciously shared his latest data with Yahoo News.

    As of August 12, 2014, Obama has taken 20 “vacations” lasting 2 to 15 days. He has spent all or part of 129 days on “vacation.”

    And the president has made 33 visits to the official Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, totaling all or part of 84 days. (Knoller does not count Camp David trips as “vacation.”)

    Obama’s morning round of golf on Tuesday brought his total since January 2009 to 186, with 22 of them on Martha’s Vineyard.

    At this point in George W. Bush’s presidency, he had taken 58 trips to his Prairie Chapel ranch near Crawford, Texas, for all or part of 381 days. (Bush also frequently used the property to host world leaders).

    Bush had also spent all or part of 26 days at his family’s oceanside compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, over the course of seven trips there.

    And the former Texas governor had been to Camp David 108 times for a total of all or part of 341 days.

    Bush played 24 rounds of golf as president. He later explained his decision to stop in the fall of 2003 by saying he felt it was not appropriate to be seen golfing while American troops fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Like Obama’s, Bush’s vacations became a frequent target of criticism. But Bush also drew liberal protesters against his policies — the most famous of them antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who pitched a camp down the road from the Crawford ranch.

    And Bush drew liberal scorn in August 2002 when he began a round of golf in Kennebunkport with a somber denunciation of a bus bombing in Israel.

    “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers,” he said. “Now watch this drive.”




    Well, well, well. Is this a biased story? You tell me.
    ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security Adviser.


    “And the president (Obama) has made 33 visits to the official Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, totaling all or part of 84 days. (Knoller does not count Camp David trips as “vacation.”)
    “And the former Texas governor (Bush) had been to Camp David 108 times for a total of all or part of 341 days.”

    Why is it that Camp David visits by Obama are not counted as vacation days, but for Bush they are?. One fact is missing; Bush’s visits to Kennebunkport, Maine and Crawford, Texas did not cost the taxpayers hotel or rental lodging fees. The Bush’s owned those properties.

    Does a campaign trip count as a vacation day or a work day?

    How do you play 186 rounds of golf in only 129 days off? More #$%$ reporting and distortion of the facts

  6. captstubby says:

    hey boys and girls,
    for the price of a Starbucks cup of brewed coffee,you can you can turn our Nation into a socialist state .

    Ilya Sheyman,
    MoveOn.org Political Action.
    Aug. 14 2014

    “Hi there, I just wanted to make sure you saw this message the other day.
    Republicans are on the verge of taking control of the Senate—but we’ve got a breakthrough strategy to get Democratic voters to the polls if we can raise enough money to pull it off like we did in 2012. Can you chip in $3?”

    “Chip in $3

    Dear MoveOn member,

    “If you haven’t been paying attention to the midterm elections yet, here’s a quick update: Democrats are losing. Badly.”

    “Nate Silver, who picked every single state right in 2012, says the Republicans have a 60% chance of winning the Senate.1 The Washington Post’s polling experts put it at 82%.2 And if they’re right, the Tea Party’s entire agenda will be on a fast track through Congress.”

    “But there’s still time to turn this election around—and we’ve got a plan to do just that.”

    “Here’s the deal: In 2012, we quietly tested a groundbreaking new voter turnout strategy that proved to be one of the most effective tactics we’ve ever seen. In state after state, Democratic voter turnout increased by between 0.5% and 3.5%. That might not sound like much, but in a toss-up election, it’s huge. And because turnout is usually lower in a non-presidential election, our impact this year could be even bigger.”

    “Here’s the rub: in 2012, MoveOn members donated $850,000 for this project—enough to allow us to contact 12 million voters in 20 states. And we can only run projects like this again if MoveOn members pay for it—can you donate $3?”

    “Yes, I can contribute $3 to help stop the Tea Party takeover of the U.S. Senate.
    Maybe you’re thinking you’ll just take a break this election, that there isn’t that much at stake. If so, think again.”

    “If Republicans take over both houses of Congress, they’ll have total control over the budget. Can you imagine what a true Tea Party budget would look like? They’ll voucherize Medicaid, slash funding for the EPA, and the budget cuts in the sequester will seem like a warm-up act.”

    “And you can forget about getting any reasonable judges confirmed for the Supreme Court if there’s a retirement in Obama’s last two years. Republicans will shut down the entire court system before they allow Obama to replace Scalia or Kennedy with a progressive and overturn Citizens United.”

    “Polling experts agree that if the election were held today, Republicans most likely would take over the Senate. There’s still time to prevent it—but we need to get started NOW.”

    “Can you contribute $3 to help stop the Tea Party takeover of the U.S. Senate?
    As always, MoveOn is committed to electing not just any Democrats—

    but progressive Democrats.”

    “So if you donate here you can be sure none of your money will be wasted on pro-war, anti-choice, Wall Street-loving pseudo-Democrats. Chip in $3 today.”

    Thanks for all you do.

    –Ilya, Manny, Stephen, Corinne, and the rest of the team

    “P.S. If you’re wondering, the big breakthrough from 2012 is a simple voter report card letting people know how often they’ve voted in recent elections.
    Once people realize it’s a matter of public record whether they’ve voted or not, they feel a lot more obligated to do their civic duty. It’s a little guilt-trippy, but it works”
    ” And there’s too much at stake not to use tactics like it. Click here to chip in.”



    1. “Nate Silver: GOP Has 60 Percent Chance Of Winning The Senate,” Talking Points Memo, August 4, 2014

    2. “Election Lab,” The Washington Post, accessed August 11, 2014

    Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
    PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


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