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Everything You Need To Know About The Anti-Abortion Groups Trying To Discredit Planned Parenthood

Everything You Need To Know About The Anti-Abortion Groups Trying To Discredit Planned Parenthood

(ThinkProgress) Controversy is swirling around Planned Parenthood following the release of several videos claiming that the national women’s health organization is inappropriately profiting from the sale of aborted fetuses. On the surface, the allegations are quite concerning. However, the story takes on a different tone when considering the source of the inflammatory claims…

The Center for Medical Progress’ investigation into Planned Parenthood is being led by David Daleiden, an activist who used to work at a different organization named Live Action.

Live Action, a group founded by leading abortion opponent Lila Rose when she was just 15 years old, has become infamous for conducting undercover “stings” designed to discredit Planned Parenthood. Live Action typically releases videos that have been heavily edited to cast abortion providers in an unflattering light; however, upon further scrutiny, their claims that Planned Parenthood is breaking the law don’t hold up…

According to Planned Parenthood’s attorney, Daleiden has participated in at least 10 separate undercover investigations designed to target Planned Parenthood over the past eight years. His efforts have allegedly involved lying about his intentions to gain access to clinics, taping staff without their knowledge, and releasing several deceptive recordings to the public. In a letter to Congress, the group’s lawyer said this fits into a decades-long pattern of harassment aimed at doctors who provide abortion care.

Panel: More Public Health $$ Will Save $$ — and Lives

New posts at Many Years Young 7/22/15

Panel: More Public Health $$ Will Save $$ — and Lives

Neighborhood Revitalization Motivated Exercise

With help from bystanders, cardiac arrest outcomes improving

Acupuncture Impacts Same Biologic Pathways in Rats That Pain Drugs Target in Humans

Plus lots more.

Minimum Wage or Living Income?

Minimum Wage or Living Income?

(Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, Warwick University) As robots increasingly replace human labor, humans will need incomes to replace wages from work. Whereas tax credits point in the direction of replacement incomes, raising the minimum wage points in the opposite direction, by making income more dependent on jobs. In fact, focusing on the minimum wage would almost certainly speed up the automation process. Previous evidence that minimum-wage legislation does not reduce the demand for labor might not stand up against the rapidly falling cost of automating the production of goods and services…

A simple way forward would be to provide all citizens an unconditional tax credit, which could be built up gradually as the rewards from work fall.

Both free-market [including conservative icon Milton Friedman] and socialist thinkers have long advocated implementing a basic-income scheme. But the idea has always fallen foul of two objections: societies are too poor to afford it, and it would be a disincentive to work.

The first objection is surely no longer true of the advanced economies, while the second is irrelevant, given that the goal is not to strengthen the incentive to work, but to enable people to live without work. An unconditional basic income would make part-time work a possibility for many who now have to work full-time at non-living wages. And all workers would begin to gain the freedom to make the same choices regarding how much to work, and under what conditions, that owners of substantial capital now have.

Why Hillary Clinton Is Focused On The Short-Term Culture Of Corporate America

Why Hillary Clinton Is Focused On The Short-Term Culture Of Corporate America

(ThinkProgress) Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laid out a profit-sharing proposal that would give companies a 15 percent tax credit for sharing some of those earnings with employees. Then this week, she is expected to propose changing taxes on capital gains, which are currently subject to a 23.8 percent rate that is lower than the rate for most ordinary income, so that rates would be higher for short-term investments and lower for longer ones.

Both of these proposals share something in common: They are aimed at a corporate culture that has fixated on the short term over longer-term investments in things like employee compensation.

And there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that this is a real problem for the economy, one that is only getting worse…

A big part of this shift has been the increasing move to tie executive compensation to the short-term performance of a company’s stock price…

One of the investments that’s being sacrificed for shareholder payouts is worker pay. Wages are growing 2 percent year over year, despite the unemployment rate steadily falling and jobs being added to the economy. That’s the slowest rate since the 1960s. But Americans in the bottom 60 percent of the income distribution have experienced flat or falling wages for a decade. At least part of this is because big companies are choosing to reward shareholders over employees.

More children living in poverty now than during recession

More children living in poverty now than during recession

(USA Today) A higher percentage of children live in poverty now than did during the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Tuesday.

About 22% of children in the U.S. lived below the poverty line in 2013, compared with 18% in 2008, the foundation’s 2015 Kids Count Data Book reported. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Human and Health Service’s official poverty line was $23,624 for a family with two adults and two children.

“The fact that it’s happening is disturbing on lots of levels,” said Laura Speer, the associate director for policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, a non-profit based in Baltimore. “Those kids often don’t have the access to the things they need to thrive.”

Effect of poverty on brains may explain poor kids’ lower test scores

Effect of poverty on brains may explain poor kids’ lower test scores

(Reuters Health) The effect of poverty on children’s brains may explain why poor youngsters tend to score lower on standardized tests compared to wealthier students, a new study suggests.

“What was already discovered is there is an achievement gap between poor children and middle-class children,” the study’s senior author Seth Pollak told Reuters Health. “Even when they move to better neighborhoods, children growing up in poor families tend to do less well in school than their less poor counterparts.”…

[Dr. Joan] Luby told Reuters Health that with scientists having collected the data on the problem, it’s now up to the policymakers to make the changes.

A number of interventions have been tested and carried out, she said, including programs that connect new parents with nurses who provide guidance and support.

“It’s really focusing on the primary caregiver on the first five years of the child’s life,” Luby said.

Pollak said the interventions are low-hanging fruit, because “you just need the support and funding for it.”

State healthcare regulations linked to late cancer diagnoses

State healthcare regulations linked to late cancer diagnoses

(UPI) Among people younger than 65, state regulations for health insurance and medical practitioners are often the culprit for late diagnoses of colorectal and breast cancers, according to a new study.

Researchers said that increased access to care could have an effect on colorectal cancer incidences that have been rising since 1998, as well as on breast cancer rates that have remained relatively stable since 2003.

Here’s a Way to Control Guns

Here’s a Way to Control Guns

(The Rev. David K. Brawley, the Rev. Otis Moss III, the Rev. David Benke and Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Metro Industrial Areas Foundation) For more than a year, we and fellow religious leaders across the nation have worked to persuade President Obama to use what we believe is the most powerful tool government has in this area: its purchasing power. The federal government is the nation’s top gun buyer. It purchases more than a quarter of the guns and ammunition sold legally in the United States. State and local law enforcement agencies also purchase a large share. Major gun manufacturers depend on these taxpayer-funded purchases. For the government to keep buying guns from these companies — purchases meant to ensure public safety — without making demands for change is to squander its leverage…

What could gun manufacturers do to protect the public?

They could distribute their guns exclusively through dealers that sell guns responsibly, and end their relationships with the small percentage of bad-apple dealers that sell a disproportionate number of the guns used in crimes. They could produce “smart guns” that can be fired only by authorized users, and that therefore are far less likely to be used in accidental or intentional shootings. These measures, over time, would prevent many thousands of deaths.

But companies will innovate in these areas only if their major customers ask them to.

The president can push companies to compete in the area of safer guns and more responsible distribution.

Give Rocks to all of the Kids

Give Rocks To All Of The Kids

Thanks to John Stone

Interesting Stuff from Discover Magazine

Researchers Wire Monkey Brains Together to Make a Super-Brain
The “organic computer” performed simple tasks and computations better than an animal flying solo.

Is this animal abuse? I don’t know, but I really worry about how we sometimes mistreat other living beings. – Caro

The Blind Individuals Who See By Sound
How the human brain adapts to blindness and allows us to see our world through echolocation.

On-Demand Meteor Showers Could Soon Be For Sale in Japan

A tiny satellite would eject a stream of 1-inch balls that glow as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

9 Ways to Store Energy on the Grid
Innovative energy storage is key to a future of renewable, but unpredictable, solar and wind power.

Green Buildings Go Beyond Net Zero
Designing buildings that produce more power than they consume.

Trees Make People Feel Healthier

New posts at Many Years Young 7/21/15

Trees Make People Feel Healthier

Coffee drinking may lower inflammation, reduce diabetes risk

You can lower your risk for heart failure

Some Foods Can Help Prevent Stroke

Plus lots more.

The Donald

Trump Builds One Brand and Damages Another

(Charles M. Blow, New York Times) Donald Trump is exactly what the Republican Party deserves.

The Republican Party has nurtured anti-immigrant, xenophobic nastiness for years, but it has tried to do so, at least at the national level, in language that disguised it as a simple issue of law and order.

Trump has blown all that to bits.

Trump is now leading in the polls as measured by support of likely Republican primary/caucus voters, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released this week. Although, it should be noted, he leads with only 17 percentage points in the crowded field, just three points ahead of Jeb Bush, a gap that is still within the poll’s margin of error…

As long as portions of the Republican Party laud the divisive, fact-challenged Trump as a terrific truth-teller, the party’s brand will continue to sustain incalculable damage, particularly among the vital immigrant population.

There is no need for anyone to have one ounce of sympathy for the G.O.P. Its chicken has come home to roost.

Huffington Post Stops Covering Trump in Politics Section

(Political Wire) The Huffington Post announced that they would no longer cover the candidate as a political story.

“After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post‘s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section… Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.”

#TrumpYourCat

 #TrumpYourCat

I would not abuse my cat in such a manner. – Caro

ACORNing Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood accused of selling organs
(CNN) Activist video showing official discussing fetal tissues sparks anger at Planned Parenthood. CNN’s Athena Jones reports.

James O’Keefe appears to be behind this ridiculousness. He’s the guy who faked videos about ACORN employees. Watch the Republicans fall in line. – Caro

Candidates condemn purported Planned Parenthood video
(CNN) GOP candidates are criticizing Planned Parenthood after viewing a controversial new video circulated on Tuesday by an undercover group.

Lawmakers call for Hill hearings on Planned Parenthood
(CNN) A group of lawmakers joined John Boehner in expressing outrage and calling for hearings to investigate the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood flap misses point
(CNN) Research on fetal tissues has the potential to help millions of people every year. But will new video overshadow an important discussion on the issue?

Science be damned. Saving lives be damned. Gotta rile the troops! – Caro

Atticus Finch’s racism is no shock

Atticus Finch’s racism is no shock – many real-life white allies were hypocrites

(Kimberly C Ellis, The Guardian) The Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird is a civil-rights hero – a larger-than-life, heroic figure who fearlessly defended a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl. But the Atticus in Go Set a Watchman, the new book that Harper Lee actually wrote as an early Mockingbird draft, is a deep segregationist who attends White Citizens Council meetings, and this is driving some white people mad: how can a character who embarks on a fool’s errand like defending a black man in the Jim Crow south also have racist attributes?

The discrepancy is only a source of cognitive dissonance for those who retain the naive notion that white people who engage in progressive actions can escape white, racial socialization and the system of white supremacy. As Al Sharpton noted to the Observer: “Finch reflects the reality of finding out that a lot of those we thought were on our side harbored some personal different feelings”. American history supports his view.

My comment – Caro:

It’s not necessarily hypocrisy for Finch, apparently patterned after Lee’s attorney father, to have felt one way about a black man being railroaded by the political and legal system, and another way about integrating the schools. Southerners’ feelings and beliefs about racial issues are more complex than purists want to believe. And maybe it’s time we faced that fact.

News flash: None of us is perfect. Not even Al Sharpton.

Exercising 300 Minutes Per Week Better for Reducing Total Fat in Postmenopausal Women

New posts at Many Years Young 7/18/15

Exercising 300 Minutes Per Week Better for Reducing Total Fat in Postmenopausal Women

Cannabis May Be Used to Treat Fractures

Americans want Medicare to help negotiate down drug prices: poll

U.S. fracking linked to higher hospitalization rates: researchers

Plus lots more.

Four Marines Dead: Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons Are a Security Problem for the U.S.

Four Marines Dead: Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons Are a Security Problem for the U.S.

(Juan Cole) Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez on Thursday rented a Mustang convertible and drove to a military recruitment facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., where eyewitnesses reported that he fired some 30 rounds from a rifle in just a matter of minutes. It sounded, one said, like a jackhammer. In other words, he used a semi-automatic weapon. He then drove seven miles to a reserve center for the Navy and Marines where he parked, propped up his assault weapon on the door of the car and opened fire, killing four Marines and wounding four others, including a policeman…

Assault weapons are what make mass killings possible. They are not used in most of the roughly 14,000 murders committed every year in the United States. But they are used in half of all mass killings. Mass killings are traumatizing for the nation in a way that most murders are not. Individual murders are often not reported in detail on television news, and most are not national news.

A mass killing of 20 children, such as at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012, (along with six adult staff members), each riddled with multiple bullet holes, produces powerful social anxieties. This is a kind of evil worth avoiding, as Australia’s Parliament decided in the 1990s, and it can be avoided, as Australia has demonstrated. No hunters would be inconvenienced by an assault weapons ban, and if they are firing 100 rounds in rapid succession at deer, they should be publicly shamed.

The shootings in Chattanooga underline, however, that a society flooded with assault weapons is at special security risk.

Liberals and Wages

Liberals and Wages

(Paul Krugman) Hillary Clinton gave her first big economic speech on Monday, and progressives were by and large gratified. For Mrs. Clinton’s core message was that the federal government can and should use its influence to push for higher wages.

Conservatives, however — at least those who could stop chanting “Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!” long enough to pay attention — seemed bemused. They believe that Ronald Reagan proved that government is the problem, not the solution. So wasn’t Mrs. Clinton just reviving defunct “paleoliberalism”? And don’t we know that government intervention in markets produces terrible side effects?

No, she wasn’t, and no, we don’t. In fact, Mrs. Clinton’s speech reflected major changes, deeply grounded in evidence, in our understanding of what determines wages. And a key implication of that new understanding is that public policy can do a lot to help workers without bringing down the wrath of the invisible hand…

And for those trying to play gotcha by pointing out that some of what she said differed from ideas that prevailed when her husband was president, well, many liberals have changed their views in response to new evidence. It’s an interesting experience; conservatives should try it some time.

As I’ve said before, we have three choices when it comes to wages. – Caro

How Did the NYT Determine that the Social Welfare Systems in France and Italy Are Too Generous?

How Did the NYT Determine that the Social Welfare Systems in France and Italy Are Too Generous?

(Dean Baker, Beat the Press) That’s what millions of readers are asking after reading a NYT article on the fallout from Germany’s hardline in negotiations with Greece over its debt. The piece noted the lukewarm support given to Greece from France and Italy…

It’s hard to see the basis for this assertion. According to the I.M.F., France has a structural budget deficit of 2.0 percent of GDP, Italy’s structural deficit is just 0.3 percent of GDP. Deficits of this size could be sustained indefinitely.

Both countries are running larger actual deficits at present because their economies are operating below full employment.

Greece should seize Germany’s botched offer of a velvet Grexit

Greece should seize Germany’s botched offer of a velvet Grexit

(Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor, The Daily Telegraph) What Greece is being asked to do is scientifically impossible. Almost everybody involved in the talks knows this. Yet the lie goes on because the dysfunctional nature of EMU politics and governance makes it impossible to come clean. The country is dishonestly kept in a permanent state of crisis.

Wolfgang Schauble is one of the very few figures who has behaved honourably in this latest chapter. As readers know, I have been highly critical of the hard-bitten finance minister for a long time, holding him directly responsible for the 1930s regime of debt-deflation and contraction imposed on much of Europe, and for refusing to accept that the eurozone’s North-South divide must be closed by both sides. Any policy that puts all the burden of adjustment on the South is destructive and doomed to failure.

But he is entirely right to argue that a velvet divorce and an orderly exit from the euro for five years would be a “better way” for Greece, as he did on German radio this morning.

It would allow the country to regain competitiveness at a stroke without a disastrous over-shoot or the risk that events might spin out of control. It would clear the way for proper debt relief – or a standard IMF-style package.

Angela Merkel brings refugee girl to tears

Angela Merkel brings refugee girl to tears

(Bloomberg) Tough love is hard to sell, especially if you’re the German chancellor and head of a party that opposes same-sex marriage and wants to stem an influx of refugees.

Just as Angela Merkel faces criticism for backing more austerity for Greece, she drove a schoolgirl to tears who said her parents came to Germany from a refugee camp in Lebanon and were still waiting for a decision on their asylum application four years later…

“Angela Merkel brings refugee girl to tears,” said the online headline of Bild, Germany’s most-read newspaper.

“Politics can be tough,” Merkel told the girl.

Tough shit, little girl. – Caro

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