Tuesday, April 21 2015

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Nathaniel Frank: New Research Analysis Finds No Credible Evidence "Ex-Gay" Therapy Works

Last week Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced a bill in Congress asking states to ban sexual orientation conversion therapy, often abbreviated as CT, for minors. California is one of two states that have prohibited licensed professionals from offering the practice, which includes efforts to change not only sexual orientation but also gender identity.

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Ryan Kiesel and Brady Henderson: 'Buy-a-Badge' Programs Are a Recipe for Disaster, and Eric Harris Paid the Price

Bob Bates’ badge looked real enough, but the man wearing it had less than half the training of his fellow deputies, far less accountability to his supervisors, and a gun that was just as deadly. Real guns loaded with real bullets, but behind a badge that was bought rather than earned. This is a big part of the reason that Eric Harris is dead today.

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Donald Kaul: The Road to Ruin

That harsh whine you hear in the background — like a buzzsaw getting ready for a log to come down the chute — is the vast right-wing conspiracy revving its engines.

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Elizabeth O'Connell: Did Slaves Catch Your Seafood?

A few years ago, a friend promised Asorasak Thama a job in the Thai fishing industry. The job offered good pay for a few weeks of work. Instead, he wound up trapped at sea for a year, working in terrible conditions for no pay at all. Thama had become a slave.

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Hannah McKinnon: Mind the gap: Shell's inadequate Arctic spill plan

There are some things that are simply irreconcilable. And as hard as Big Oil and politicians try, they never will be.

Take for instance climate action and arctic oil. Secretary Jewell at the Department of the Interior is in the final phases of considering Shell’s proposal to take another shot at their mishap-driven hunt for Arctic oil.

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Amit Narang: Still Regulating at a Snail's Pace After BP Oil Disaster

The U.S. Department of Interior today unveiled a new rule on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP disaster cost more than $50 billion, disrupted the lives of millions of Gulf Coast residents, destroyed many local small businesses and devastated local ecosystems.

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Andy Rowell: US Shale Boom "Goes Bust"

The global oil price rose slightly this morning on the back of the news from the US government that US shale oil output is expected to fall for the first time in four years.

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Lynn Tramonte: Marco Rubio's Immigration Backtrack Destroys Theory of His Candidacy

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is set to be the newest official entrant into the 2016 Republican presidential field. Much of the spotlight and analysis on Sen. Rubio focuses on his immigration record, especially his infamous backtracking away from the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill he helped author. If the larger theory to Sen. Rubio’s candidacy is centered around supposed fresh leadership and his ability to appeal to Latino and other fast-growing portions of the electorate, Rubio’s repositioning on immigration destroys that theory.

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Robert Reich: The Defining Moment, and Hillary Rodham Clinton

Almost all the economic gains are still going to the top, leaving America’s vast middle class with stagnant wages and little or no job security. Two-thirds of Americans are working paycheck to paycheck.

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Democracy 21: Reform Groups Strongly Oppose Efforts in the States to Call a Constitutional Convention

Our groups support a number of campaign finance measures to respond to the destructive and indefensible Supreme Court decision in the Citizen United case. Many of us support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Others are focused on building the case for a new jurisprudence to serve as the basis for reversing the Citizens United decision.

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Tom Steyer: Jeb Bush: Wrong on Keystone XL

As the 2016 campaign begins to heat up, Republican presidential hopefuls are traveling around the country trying to win the support of Americans. A topic that has been noticeably absent from their campaign platform is a plan to address climate change, which comes as no surprise given the fact that these candidates have been bought and paid for by Big Oil. However, Keystone XL is a topic that continues to arise.

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Richard Martin: Mitch McConnell's quest to undermine the Clean Power Plan won't rescue Appalachia

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell recently took the extraordinary step of calling on governors to ignore Washington’s Clean Power Plan, an EPA mandate to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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Jeffrey Taylor: Our coming theocratic hell: Look out, the right's "religious freedom" push is just the beginning
Full story: Salon.com

Dahlia Litwick: Complicit as Sin: The Real Origins of the Religious Freedom Argument Against Gay Marriage
Full story: Slate.com

Jill Richardson: The Right to Eat: The government shouldn't deny food stamps on the basis of a criminal record

There’s one group of people in this country who probably get less sympathy than anyone else: felons.

If you’re a convicted felon, very few Americans care about your plight. Can’t find a job or an apartment because of your record? Too bad, we tell them, you shouldn’t have committed a crime.

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Jim Hightower: Bacon-Wrapped Cholesterol Bomb

Let me say one word to you: Bacon.

Not only is it delicious, it’s practically irresistible — I even know vegans who sneak bites of the stuff.

And these days, it’s hard to avoid the pork strip. It’s in snack foods, on school lunch trays, and in bars, breakfast joints, food trailers, and fine dining establishments. Full-blown bacon festivals are the latest thing.

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Mountain Lion Foundation: Debunking the myth hunters are the only true conservationists

It's a myth commonly voiced by hunters that they finance wildlife conservation in America through their hunting fees and the tax dollars paid for ammunition and other equipment purchases.

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Chuck Collins: America's Billionaires Owe You a Thank You Note This Tax Season

This tax season, America’s billionaires are toasting you, the ordinary taxpayer. That’s because you’re the one picking up the tab for our nation’s ailing infrastructure of roads, bridges, and rail transport. You’re also footing the bill for military forces, disaster relief, veterans’ health services, and national park protection.

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Chris Toensing: Footing the Bill While Israel Thumbs Its Nose

It’s tax season again. How about a little accounting? Every year, Washington sends $3.1 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money to Israel. It’s only fair to ask what Americans are getting in return. That seems especially appropriate now.

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Robert Reich | The Big Chill: How Big Money Is Buying Off Criticism of Big Money

Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of the congregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy.

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Arab American Institute, J Street and NIAC: Leading Arab, Jewish and Iranian Groups Jointly Welcome Framework for Preventing Nuclear-Armed Iran

We congratulate President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and the U.S. negotiating team for successfully reaching an historic agreement that provides a framework for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and averts a disastrous war. While there is much work to be done to address our remaining concerns regarding Iran's objectionable policies, reaching a final agreement by June on the nuclear issue is an important step to enhancing American and regional security.

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Matt Maiorana: Why is David Koch on the board of these museums?

David Koch, the climate change-denying billionaire, currently sits on the board of two of our nation’s largest and most respected natural history museums.

That’s right, the same person who makes millions peddling dirty fossil fuels and recently pledged to spend $889 million with his brother in an attempt to buy the upcoming elections, is on the boards of both the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in D.C. and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

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Sarah Anderson: Will Congress Be Duped Again on Offshore Taxes?

Like a savvy bargainer on a used car lot, big multinational corporations have mastered the art of feigning indifference and walking away.

What they walk away with is their profits, stockpiling them abroad where they legally remain untaxed until returned to the United States. Then these corporations threaten to keep the cash offshore permanently unless Uncle Sam gives them a deep discount on their tax rates.

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Sophia A. McClennen: Ted Cruz Isn't an Idiot -- He's Delusional and That's Far More Dangerous
Full story: AlterNet.org

Joel Connelly: Arctic wildlife refuge is no place for oil rigs
Full story: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

David Suzuki: Water is life; we can't afford to waste it

How long can you go without water? You could probably survive a few weeks without water for cooking. If you stopped washing, the threat to your life might only come from people who can’t stand the smell. But most people won’t live for more than three days without water to drink. It makes sense: our bodies are about 65 per cent water.

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Adam Scott: It's official. TransCanada has finally admitted Energy East carries major risks for Canada

Statement from Environmental Defence’s Adam Scott on the confirmation that TransCanada will abandon plans for an oil tanker terminal in Cacouna, QC on the St. Lawrence River’s south shore.

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Dahlia Lithwick: Two Pretexts Walk Into a Bar: Arguments against gay marriage can't be reconciled with arguments for religious freedom acts.
Full story: Slate.com

Brad Woodhouse: AUFC Issues Glacier-Sized Apology to Climate Science Denying Republicans

The following statement was released from Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse in light of damning new footage pulling back the curtain once and for all on greatest hoax every perpetrated on the American people, a.k.a. “climate change”:

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Peter Dykstra: Retro news: Cronkite's 1980 global warming alert

On April 3, 1980, Cronkite tossed to a news piece from CBS veteran Nelson Benton. Thirty-five years ago, for two and half minutes – an eternity even then by TV news standards and a near-impossibility today – a broadcast anchored by The Most Trusted Man in America tried to warn us about climate change.

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