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U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) (L), along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R), speaks at a news conference after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 3, 2015. The White House has said Pre
These two guys are moving toward a vote on Thursday of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Jordain Carney reports that the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 is likely to pass this week:
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday that he expects an “overwhelming vote” on Thursday in favor of legislation that would allow Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran.

Corker also said he believes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will file cloture on the bill and end debate, which could prevent the Senate from voting on a controversial amendment that would require Iran to recognize Israel as part of the deal.

“My sense is that cloture is going to be filed,” Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters. “My sense is that Thursday there's a very strong chance that we'll get an overwhelming vote.”

Corker's goal is to get a bill passed with strong bipartisan support. But "poison pill" amendments introduced by ultra-rightist senators could make it a useless exercise by stripping away Democratic support and leaving it open to a presidential veto that couldn't be overridden.

It's not known whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose to allow a vote on the amendment to mandate that any deal with Iran over its nuclear program must include Tehran's recognition of Israel. Thanks to the Democratic objections created by a parliamentary maneuver engineered last week by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to get that amendment voted on, many other proposed amendments are now destined for the dustbin as McConnell and Corker seek to hang onto support for the over bill. Of the 66 co-sponsors, 20 are Democrats. But passing the Israel recognition amendment and a few others would undoubtedly spur many of them to withdraw their backing.

Corker is working with the ranking committee Democrat Ben Cardin to come up with a manager's package of softer amendments. That approach is what led to the current form of the bill passing the Foreign Relations Committee by a unanimous vote, and to President Obama's reluctant decision to sign it.

Ali Gharib, an Iranian-American journalist who writes regularly on Iranian affairs, has posted an interesting background piece discussing how the fight over the review act has pitted some neoconservatives against other neoconservatives and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The wrangle, Gharib says, has isolated William Kristol and his protégé, Tom Cotton, on the matter of the amendments. While AIPAC and some neoconservatives would, of course, prefer a tougher bill, they've chosen a more pragmatic course, apparently believing the current diluted bill is better than none at all. Kristol and his pals would just as soon kill it.

  • Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is Texas takeover:
    Cartoon by Jen Sorensen -- Texas takeover
  • Soooooo sad. Top 25 hedge fund managers earned more than $11 billion last year, but it was one of their worst years ever:
    Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine, which conducts the annual hedge fund pay survey, described the earnings as “paltry” despite their collective personal earnings being more than the gross domestic product of Nicaragua, Laos or Madagascar.

    “How bad was [2014]?,” Alpha magazine said. “The 25 hedge fund managers on our 14th annual Rich List made a paltry $11.62bn combined, barely half of the $21.15bn the top 25 gained the previous year and roughly equal to what they took home during nightmarish 2008.

  • 3rd-graders aren't learning cursive, but maybe robots will:
    For Military Appreciation Month, KIND Snacks has partnered with robot-printing tech startup Bond to transform your thank-you tweet to a U.S. military member or veteran into a personal, handwritten note. Bond's handwriting robots will transcribe any military thank you with the hashtag #thankskindly.
  • These Daily Kos community posts were the most shared on Facebook May 4:
    Now Tell Me There's No GOP War On Women!, by Eyesbright

    9 Reasons Most Conservatives Are Not 'Christian', by Jerry Nelson

    Officers Charged in Gray Case Get Lower Bail Than Rioters, by ExpatGirl

  • Apparent road rage spurs attack with sword and flail.
  • Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter laments that superheroines aren't money-makers: Thanks to a Wikileaks release uploaded from the Sony hacking, an email from CEO Ike Perlmutter noting that movies about the popular comic characters Catwoman, Electra and Supergirl were financial disasters has become public. But Laura Berger at Women in Hollywood points out:
    Thirdly, as the source, Oh No They Didn't, correctly points out, a list of "Male Movies" that did poorly at the box office could just as easily be compiled—"Green Lantern," "The Lone Ranger," "Superman IV," and "Daredevil," to name a few. These movies were based on very popular male characters and failed spectacularly, yet no mention of them is being made, and we've certainly never heard anyone attribute their lack of success to the fact that they focused on male characters.

    We're totally unsurprised by Perlmutter's mentality, which is all too common in Hollywood: male-centric movies that fail are treated as anomalies, whereas female-centric movies that fail are designated as failures on account of the gender of the protagonist.

  • Talking Edison dolls from the 1890s are still as  creepy as when they were made.
  • Ellen Albertini Dow, rapping granny in The Wedding Singer dead at 101:
    Born in Pennsylvania in 1913, she studied dance and piano as a child before moving to New York, where she pursued acting. In addition to performing comedy in the Borscht Belt and directing stage productions, she also worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques LeCog in Paris. She later moved to California, teaching drama at Los Angeles City College and Pierce College, where her husband Eugene Dow founded the theater program.

    She landed her first on-screen credit in the 1980s when she was in her 70s, and she went on to act in films like Patch Adams, Sister Act, and Wedding Crashers. Perhaps best known for her role in The Wedding Singer, her performance of “Rapper’s Delight” appeared on the film’s soundtrack, which went double platinum and made the Billboard Top 5.

  • Briny water may exist—now—on surface of Mars:
    Data collected on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover and analyzed by University of Arkansas researchers indicate that water, in the form of brine, may exist under certain conditions on the planet's surface.

    The finding, published in the May 2015 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, is based on almost two years of weather data collected from an impact crater near the planet's equatorial region.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin on Fiorina's launch and webFAIL. New polls: race, Hillary and 2016 field. Charlie Hebdo vs. Garland, no comparison. Kinloch follow-up. Wienerschnitzelpalooza! The benefit corporation revolution, from citisven, h/t: where4art!

Daily Kos Tee Shirt Store - Orange Flag Guy footer
Allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day is a smart idea that boosts turnout and makes things easier for the most mobile Americans. It has been tested for problems for decades in the pioneering states of Maine, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Fraud is almost non-existent and implementation costs are minimal. And Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jon Tester (D-MT) want it to be a nationwide practice. To that end they have reintroduced the Same Day Registration Act, an amendment to the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Jordain Carney reports:
“The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy," [Klobuchar] said in a statement. "We should be doing everything we can to foster this right."

Tester added that the legislation could help combat "voter disenfranchisement."

"States that continue to deny folks access to the polls on Election Day are fueling voter disenfranchisement,” Tester said. “Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and we should make every effort to increase voter participation and allow more folks to have a say in their representation.”

Quite right. We should make every effort. Not allowing people to register to vote on Election Day suppresses turnout.

Currently, the majority of states impose a registration deadline as much as 30 days before an election. But, starting in the mid-70s, 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed Election Day registration laws, although three have not yet implemented them. In addition to the three pioneers and D.C., Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire and Wyoming have implemented the reform. Three other states have passed it and will soon implement it—California (2016), Hawaii (2016) and Illinois (June 2015). Two other states, North Carolina and Maryland, have passed same-day registration during early voting, but not for Election Day itself.

Bills proposing the reform were introduced in 17 other states in the past two years, but none passed. Some never emerged from committee.

Why does this matter? Find out below the fold.

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In case you can't see the video here, try this link.

This video debuted on the third season of Inside Amy Schumer on April 21. Now it's going viral on social media. And for good reason. Christine Nangle, one of the show's writers, told Cosmopolitan in an interview:

I had the idea [for the birth control sketch] in 2012. [...] I remember when [stories about birth control] died down a little bit I was like, "Oh man, I wish I could have done that idea," and then also being excited and super disappointed that birth control became topical again [with Hobby Lobby]. It was like, "How are we still fighting about this? ... Oh shit, I had a funny take on this!" Unfortunately it will be topical again in the future.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004A View From Two Oceans:

Rice in TV plea over abuse photos
US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice took to Arab airwaves to appeal for trust from a sceptical public after a scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in US custody. "We have a democratic system that holds people accountable for their actions," Rice said on Al-Jazeera satellite television station, which is widely seen across the Arab world and by Arab and Muslim communities elsewhere. "The president guarantees that those who did that be held accountable," Rice said in remarks dubbed into Arabic by the station.   

US troops 'told to abuse prisoners'
Abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers may be widespread and orchestrated by US intelligence agencies including the CIA, it has been claimed. A secret investigation by a US General into abuse allegations uncovered "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" of prisoners to soften them up for interrogation. Meanwhile, lawyers for some of the soldiers shown humiliating Iraqi detainees in photographs claimed that the service men and women were following orders.

There's more in the extended text. But clearly the US is not being spared. The snips are from a Blair-friendly Brit paper (PA via the Times).

Tweet of the Day
In 1978, a student working minimum wage job could pay for 4 year of college with no debt. If only that were true today. #BraveNewEdu

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Fiorina and Carson are in. Noted crazy person goads with a "Draw Muhammad" cartoon contest, curiously herding her flock into a "gun-free zone," though they all miraculously survive. Guns Everywhere Georgia GunFAIL roundup: Gwinnett Co. sheriff accidentally shoots a real estate agent at a home showing; 1 year-old kids accidentally shot three days in a row in Augusta, Macon and Alabama border town of Phenix City. Republicans resume reconciliation rumblings. Drone strikes. Baltimore. Where's Rand? Policing crisis and the Clinton crime bill. Can you run from the cops? Depends! 7th Circuit Court upholds assault weapons ban. Mutual funds and inequality. Are they the new trusts?

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Coal power plant
Curbing coal plant emissions would save lots of lives. Not that this matters to EPA haters.
A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan proposed rules curbing CO2 emissions at electricity-generating plants will have a powerful side benefit: saving thousands of people from death as a result of respiratory ailments from emissions of soot, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and other pollutants. The rules are a major element in the Obama administration's Climate Action Plan to be finalized in mid-summer. They are under serious attack from industry, Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress, and some state governments.

Charles Driscoll, a professor of environmental systems engineering at Syracuse who is the lead author of the study, said: “The bottom line is, the more the standards promote cleaner fuels and energy efficiency, the greater the added health benefits.” Although the number of lives saved varies depending on the scenario, the authors concluded that the strongest version would save 3,500 lives annually. The study also said more than a thousand heart attacks would be prevented. The benefits would be immediate.

David Doniger, a lawyer who is the director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air Program, writes:

We can likely save even more than 3,500 lives if the EPA strengthens the final Clean Power Plan rule, expected out this summer. NRDC's analysis shows that we can economically cut power plants' carbon pollution by 50 percent more than the EPA proposed, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. "There's definitely room for additional benefits," says lead researcher Dr. Charles Driscoll, a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Syracuse University. "You can push further."

The lives saved will come from cutting the hundreds of thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen that pour out of our nation's power-plant smokestacks along with carbon dioxide. These pollutants form dangerous soot and smog as they float downwind and cook in the atmosphere. These pollutants increase our risk of heart attacks, asthma attacks, respiratory diseases like emphysema, and even lung cancer.

The rules' biggest beneficiaries live in states such as Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio. The latter two are home to some of the loudest foes of the rules. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who represents coal-rich Kentucky, has urged states not to go along with the EPA's call for each of them to come up with its own plans to comply with the rules.

The study comes on the heels of a report that said the Clean Power Plan would generate up to 273,000 jobs. That is a five times more than the EPA had forecast, writes John H. Cushman Jr., "because the agency had looked only at the direct impact of its proposal while the new analysis calculated the ripple effect across the whole economy." That's also more than five times as many jobs as are expected to be lost in the coal and utility industries because of the rules.

Cleaner environment? Better health? More jobs? Not something the fossil fuelists and their marionettes in Congress have the slightest interest in.

  • Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is Responses to Baltimore:
    Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow -- Responses to Baltimore
  • What you may have missed on Sunday Kos ...
    'Sir, are you injured anywhere?' vs. 'f*ck your breath'. Only one kind of approach provokes riots, by Ian Reifowitz

    Reclaiming secularism is the key to protecting religious liberty, by Jon Perr

    On "riots" and roots, by Denise Oliver Velez

    The White House Correspondents' Dinner: America's political saturnalia, by Dante Atkins

    The most racist areas in the United States, by Susan Grigsby

    Happy Birthday, Customer, by Mark E Andersen

    Do we all live in a giant hologram, by DarkSyde

    Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy: Critical Perspectives from the Left, by koNko

    A constitutional amendment is the only solution to our fraudulent politics, by Egberto Willies

  • Execution was meant for the worst of the worst. Research shows that's far from the reality.:
    The authors of a study published last year in the Hastings Law Journal took a closer look at the most recent 100 executions (as of June 2013) to determine whether any of those defendants might have been spared in accordance with the law. As it turned out, the overwhelming majority met one or more of the criteria: One-third of the executed prisoners had a documented intellectual disability, borderline intellectual functioning, or a traumatic brain injury—and eight scored below 70 on an IQ test, a level of disability that should exempt a defendant from execution. Four were 18 at the time of their crimes.

    Although the Supreme Court has twice ruled that states may not execute someone who is insane, 54 of the 100 executions studied involved prisoners who showed symptoms of severe mental illness, including six cases of schizophrenia, three of bipolar disorder, and eight of PTSD. Six had tried to kill themselves at least once.

  • Kent State plaque, one of a series on the campus, explaining the shooting 45 years ago.
    One of a series of plaques with details on the slayings by
    National Guardsmen on the Kent State University campus, May 4, 1970.
  • Employee spent half his time at work watching porn:
    Baltimore City officials estimate the 39 hours an employee spent watching pornography on the job during a two-week period equated to about $1,166 in salary. They fired him in January after monitoring and documenting the employee's porn viewing.

    The maintenance supervisor with the Department of Public Works—who city officials did not identify, citing personnel confidentiality—was bringing a pornography DVD to work and watching it at his computer, according to a report released last week by the Office of the Inspector General.

  • Woman waging war against Lucifer. Please donate:
    The woman who was arrested for tearing down a holiday display set up by the Satanic Temple in Florida has launched a crowdfunding campaign so that she may continue to wage her Earthly war to “keep Satan out of our Capitols and out of our schools.”

    Florida prosecutors dropped the charges against Susan Hemeryck after she destroyed the display containing an angel descending into a pit of fire.

    Ironically, she looks a bit like the late professional atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair.
  • Her last night on the job, waitress gives a tip to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, and it goes viral: Chloe Hough, 22, was working at Boss Hawg’s Barbecue when Brownback showed up. She went to social media to ask friends what she should tell the governor since she had the chance. She has long been concerned about the state of education in Kansas. Recently, Brownback signed a bill that changes the funding method for the schools, which, unsurprisingly included cutting how much money they get.
    Before Hough took the tab to the governor—which rang in at $52.16—she put an X in the line where he would leave a tip. And to the left of that she wrote, “Tip the schools.”
    Her tip went viral.
  • As predicted, "slyly, brilliantly done" obituary for "Santa" mentions man's biggest claim to fame.
  • EPI: Minimum wage increase hits the bullseye:
    Social or labor market policies are measured by their reach, their adequacy, and their costs. By these metrics, a minimum wage increase is a slam dunk. A generation of research now demonstrates pretty decisively that markets can accommodate a reasonably higher minimum at no significant threat to job creation—especially when ancillary gains (productivity gains, less turnover, increase in aggregate demand) are taken into account. Raising the minimum wage makes almost no demands on the public purse, and could in fact recoup much of the current public subsidy (through working families’ reliance on means-tested tax credits, cash assistance, health care, and food security programs) of low-wage employment. Even a small increase promises to make a big difference: in 2013, Arin Dube estimated that an increase to $10.10 would raise the incomes of poor families (those at the 10th percentile) by 12 percent and lift five to seven million out of poverty. An increase to $12 would likely have even larger poverty-fighting effects.

    While much of our social and tax policy is either poorly targeted (it reaches the poor unevenly) or aimed in in the wrong direction (it benefits those who don’t need it), a minimum wage increase hits the bull’s-eye. As EPI’s new estimates of the impact of the “Raise the Wage Act” (bringing the minimum to $12.00/hour by 2020) underscore, the benefits of an increase would flow overwhelmingly to those—young workers, single parents, workers of color—who need it the most.

  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Garland gun-free zone: how did anyone survive? Guns Everywhere GA roundup. Where's Rand? Policing crisis & the Clinton crime bill. Can you run from the cops? Depends! 7th cir. upholds assault weapons ban. Mutual funds & inequality.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) at CPAC 2015.
Even though the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act most likely will pass the Senate by a large majority, the superhawks, pushed by Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and president-wannabe Marco Rubio (R-FL), appear to have been defeated in their efforts to get a vote on amendments that would make a deal with Iran over its nuclear program impossible. And they have only themselves to blame.

Thanks to a parliamentary maneuver by Cotton last week to get a vote on amendments that would make any deal with Iran contingent on Tehran recognizing Israel, disclosing all its nuclear history and closing all its nuclear facilities, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering moving ahead this week to a vote on the full bill without voting on several other amendments Republican senators wanted. He has yet to make up his mind.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, together with ranking committee Democrat Ben Cardin (D-MD), had been working both sides of the aisle to get a vote on several amendments, including Cotton's, considered without losing needed Democrat support. But Cotton's move made a mess of things. Hence, despite the right's view that the bill is toothless, McConnell may very well just ram it through in something close to its current form.

When the bill first cleared committee it was widely viewed as a case of President Obama blinking and thus a Republican victory since he said he would back it after some items were removed, particularly a requirement for him to certify that Iran is not supporting terrorism that harms Americans, an impossible task. As I noted at the time, it was not a GOP win. If McConnell does move ahead to floor consideration, the bill that is voted on will be substantially the one that the committee approved unanimously last month.

Bill Scher argues, quite rightly, that passing the bill as it stands won't stop Obama from making a deal and neither would defeating the bill. Lose-lose:

What they haven’t come to grips with is that Obama has the power to indefinitely waive sanctions on Iran, because Congress gave that power to him.

All the various sanctions bills passed by Congress, including those passed with bipartisan votes during Obama’s presidency, grant waiver authority to the executive branch. (And one of the main sanctions laws expires completely at the end of 2016.)

Not only does Obama have that authority under current law, his negotiations with Iran are premised on him using that authority. If Congress didn’t want him to do that, it shouldn’t have given him the power in the first place, especially since lawmakers can’t revoke it without a veto-proof supermajority.

The situation could, of course, change. But for now it appears that the efforts of Cotton, et al., to wreck any nuclear deal before it actually happens has failed.

Molly Redden at Mother Jones writes Want an Abortion This Year? Get Ready to Wait:

For women seeking an abortion, 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the long wait.

Since the beginning of the year, six states have proposed or passed laws that would require a woman to wait days before she has an abortion—laws that critics say place an especially harsh burden on poor and rural women.

Conservative lawmakers in Arkansas and Tennessee have passed bills forcing women seeking abortions to attend an initial appointment and then wait 48 hours before the actual procedure. The Florida Legislature has passed a measure, which GOP Gov. Rick Scott promises to sign, creating a 24-hour waiting period between two appointments. A bill that died in Kentucky, which already requires women to receive counseling 24 hours before an abortion, would have forced women to receive that counseling in person.

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes A senator’s faith -- and humility:
There are few moments of grace in our politics these days, especially where conflicts over religion are concerned. Last week, I witnessed one. Perhaps it was a mere drop in an ocean of suspicion and mistrust, but it was instructive and even encouraging.

The venue, in a small meeting room at a Holiday Inn not far from the U.S. Capitol, was a gathering of members of the Secular Coalition for America whose mission is “to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.” One cause of the contentiousness of our politics is that both secular and very religious Americans feel misunderstood and under assault.

Enter Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

The secular coalition invited Coons to speak because, as he said of himself last Thursday night, he is “dedicated to the separation of church and state and to the equal protection under the Constitution, which I swore to uphold, whether you are religious or secular.”

More pundits can be found below the fold.
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Excerpted by Alternet from Michael Bader's More than Bread and Butter: A Psychologist Speaks to Progressives About What People Really Need in Order to Win and Change the World—Let's Get Progressives to Better Make Emotional Connections When They Organize:
As progressives, we have a huge job in front of us in the fight for economic justice. But our leaders are trying to do their work with one hand tied behind their backs. The better ones may often do quite well fighting with one hand; many cannot. The problem and solution are more obvious than they think: People become active in social-change movements because these movements speak to deep longings for meaning, recognition, relationship, and agency, as well as for economic survival and justice.

The civil rights movement demanded basic economic and political equality. But it also spoke to a hunger to be connected to something bigger than the self. The institution that provided the base of this movement, the black church, grew and thrived on its power to provide meaning and recognition in dozens of way to its members. It provided meaning, in part, through the intense spirituality of its congregations, but also because it was wedded to a vision of social justice; recognition was afforded through the extensive social life in and around church life. The four girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 were on their way to give a performance, one of the many public ways that the church honored and recognized people in its community. [...]

The power of human needs that go beyond the material would seem obvious. But progressive organizations instinctively and implicitly operate according to a “common sense” notion—one supported by researchers like Abraham Maslow, famous for his hierarchy or pyramid of human needs—that physical survival precedes those nonmaterial needs. This logic is simple: Without satisfying the basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, people can't effectively address and gratify “higher” emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The strategic result is that we count on economic grievances and bread-and-butter issues like wages and benefits alone to move people to action.

But the compelling noneconomic needs for recognition, meaning, relationships, and agency can be sources of motivation every bit as powerful as survival needs. We see evidence of this every day. A terrorist commits suicide for the sake of Allah. An Indian demonstrator at a salt mine walks directly into the violent batons of the British Army in nonviolent resistance for the cause of independence; an African-American marcher sits down in front of Bull Connor’s dogs. A marine risks his life for his buddy; a parent does the same for a child.

Everyone wants to earn money. But a great deal of research shows that people value meaning, connection, recognition, and agency as much as a bigger paycheck, and sometimes more. Many activists we’ve worked with in progressive organizations routinely give up higher-paying jobs in the private sector to work for social change. Even a lot of money can’t always cure the deficit of other unmet needs. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is currently worth $13 billion. Yet his autobiography prominently features his bitterness about being exploited by co-founder Bill Gates. Thirteen billion dollars did not make him feel good enough about the emotional conditions of his work. [...]

Blindness to these obvious needs is an important reason why the progressive movement is struggling today. So while the Left decries economic injustice and tries to organize campaigns against it, the response from the victims of injustice can be tepid. The Left helplessly watches as conservative megachurches, the evangelical movement, and the Tea Party draw people to communities that support a political and economic system that we see as inimical to their needs for material security. The reasons, though, have little to do with anyone’s economic bottom line: These organizations and movements appear to address multiple levels of suffering and multiple needs. [...]


    1.    People become active in social-change movements because these movements speak to deep longings for meaning, recognition, relationship, and agency.

    2.    The common-sense notion that we need to satisfy people’s material needs before we can speak to their psychological, social, and spiritual needs is wrong.

    3.    Both the private sector and the Right are better than progressives in speaking to people’s noneconomic needs.

    4.    Feelings matter more than facts.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009How Freedom Was Lost:

On Halloween night, 1948, a fog rolled in to blanket the town of Donora, Pennsylvania. What came from that cloud wasn't the ghosts of vengeful pirates, or horror movie zombies. It was worse.

This wasn't the first time the industrial town of 13,000 had been socked in by a brown, pollution tinged smog. But this time the air had a peculiar, acrid smell. Those who breathed the fog felt as if they were breathing fire. It scorched their eyes, their throat, their lungs. Still, Donora was a mill town. Workers squinted against the bitter air and went on to their jobs. That night, as people were walking back to their houses, some of them began to die.

Soon doctors' offices were overrun and the hospital was filled with the sick and the dying. The fog held on the next day. And the next. A local hotel was pressed into service as an extension to the hospital, with volunteers serving as nurses. As bodies piled up at local funeral homes, the ground floor of that hotel became a makeshift morgue. Within five days, twenty people had died. Hundreds more were seriously injured with damage that would shorten their lives or affect their ability to work. A decade later, local papers still told the story of lives cut short.

The villain in Donora was the a toxic stew spit out by a local zinc refinery. It wasn't the first time the plant's fumes had turned the air around the town toxic, but this time a temperature inversion capped the smog. In the midst of the crisis, suspicion about the cause brought town officials to the zinc works, where they asked that the plant's operations be reduced until the weather changed. The plant operators refused. After five days, the inversion layer broke and the brown fog blew away. Eleven of those who died did so on that final day. A local doctor estimated that if the weather had held another day, the death toll would have been in the hundreds, rather than the tens.

That Sunday, as the sky broke and rains came, the zinc works finally agreed to reduce operations. They went back to normal the next day.

Tweet of the Day
Of the 390K worker deaths since 1970, only 88 cases have been criminally prosecuted. #dotj15

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at, and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."

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Progressive State Blog Banner #1
This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should be watching. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At Montana Cowgirl, Cowgirl writes—In Montana, No One is Minding the Store for Legislative Ethics:

Cowgirl of Montana logo
Unlike many states, Montana lacks an  independent commission that regulates conduct of state legislators – such as conflicts of interest, abuse of power, abuse of office, post-term employment restrictions, and financial disclosure.

The only oversight of ethics in the Montana legislature is an “ethics committee” made up of legislators themselves. But in our state, the fox isn’t even bothering to guard the henhouse.  As far as I can tell, the ethics committee never meets.

There is no one watching out for whether they pass legislation or budget appropriations which would benefit their employers, their families, or themselves.

Montana legislative candidates are required to disclose their business interests, but such disclosures are not audited.  No one knows whether they have really disclosed their investments nor not.  Many lawmakers simply put a profession, such as “real estate”  and don’t list who their employer is.

State legislators in Montana are not required to disclose the junkets they attend on lobbyists’ dime.  For example, it has been an open secret in the 2015 session that Fred Thomas, Art Wittich, Cary Smith and others were treated to a trip to Florida by the Florida “Foundation for Government Accountability” the ALEC-affiliated right-wing think tank that works with AFP to oppose Medicaid expansions.  Nor must they disclose how many steak dinners or gifts they accept on behalf of lobbying organizations. [...]

Please continue below the orange gerrymander for more excerpts from progressive state blogs.
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Three tropical cyclones churned the waters around Australia on March 11, 2015, including Pam, one of the strongest storms ever in the region.
Three tropical cyclones churned the waters around Australia on March 11, 2015,
including Pam, one of the strongest storms ever in the region. See FishOutofWater's post here
Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) normally appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. More than 22,400 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Super El Nino Likely as Huge Warm Water Wave Hits West Coast, Extreme Marine Die Off Developing—by FishOutofWater: "In early March, the strongest wave of tropical convection ever measured (known as the Madden Julian Oscillation) by modern meteorology moved into the western Pacific from Indonesian waters bringing an outbreak of 3 tropical cyclones, including deadly category 5 Pam which ravaged the south Pacific islands of Vanuatu. This extreme outburst of tropical storms and organized thunderstorms pulled strong westerly winds across the equator, unleashing a huge surge of warm water below the ocean surface. Normally, trade winds blow warm water across the Pacific from the Americas to Australia and Indonesia, pushing up sea level in the west Pacific. When the trade winds suddenly reversed to strong westerlies, it was as if a dam burst, but on the scale of the earth's largest ocean, the Pacific. The front edge of that massive equatorial wave, called a Kelvin wave, is now coming ashore on the Americas. [...] The forecast of a strong El Nino brings good news to California. NOAA's CFSv2 model is forecasting above well above normal precipitation for October through December, 2015. Because models are forecasting El Nino conditions to continue through January 2016 there is a good chance that heavy winter rains will break the California drought. The downside will be massive landslides and flooding in areas that have been affected by recent wild fires."
New Oil Drilling in West Scarred Land, Harmed Ecosystems, Used Water = 3 Lake Superiors—by Steven D: "A recent study published in the prestigious journal Science shows that the fragile ecosystems of the West have suffered extensive damage as a result of increased drilling for oil and gas. This damage resulted from the complete removal of all native trees, shrubs and grasses on land used used for new (not existing) drilling operations conducted during the years of 2000-2012. How large is the affected area? It's huge. From Scientific American: New research shows that an area larger than the land area of Maryland—more than 11,500 square miles—was completely stripped of trees, grasses and shrubs to make way for more than 50,000 new oil and gas wells that were developed each year between 2000 and 2012. Such broad industrialization may harm the ability of some regions to recover from drought and damage the ability of the land to store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As this graphic from the research paper, 'Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America,' published on April 24, 2015, shows, most of this new drilling occurred in the Rocky Mountain and Northern Plains region of the US and Canada."

You can find more rescued green diaries below the orange garden layout.

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At Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Jim Naureckaswrites NYT Lets Economic Pundit Disappear TPP’s Economist Critics:
The New York Times (4/24/15) handed its readers an exploding cigar this weekend–in the form of an “Economic View” piece by Greg Mankiw headlined “Economists Actually Agree on This: The Wisdom of Free Trade.” In this piece, Mankiw–an economic adviser to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney who writes regularly for the Times–put forward an argument in favor of fast-tracking the TPP and TIPP trade pacts whose logic was so tortured it might shock Dick Cheney.
“The issue at hand,” wrote Mankiw, is whether Congress will give President Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate a trade deal with our trading partners in the Pacific…. Among economists, the issue is a no-brainer…. Economists are famous for disagreeing with one another…. But economists reach near unanimity on some topics, including international trade.

So all economists are for TPP because TPP is a “free trade” bill and all economists are for “free trade.” Simple, right? The only reason Congress wouldn’t pass fast track, Mankiw suggests, is if politicians listened to voters who were “worse than ignorant about the principles of good policy.”

You would never know, reading Mankiw’s piece, that many economists in factoppose TPP and fast track. Or that economists can and do reject the characterization of TPP and the like as “free trade” bills. Or that there is no consensus in the economics field that free trade necessarily benefits most people. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005Buffett: Thumbs Down on Bush's SS Piratization:

Warren Buffet doesn't think much of Bush's SS scam. This quote below is from the Omaha World-Herald (registration required):

Warren Buffett, the 74-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and his 81-year-old partner, Charlie Munger, launched an impassioned defense of Social Security at the company's annual meeting Saturday, with Munger terming Republican efforts to overhaul the program "twaddle."

While they did not directly discuss President Bush's proposal to allow Americans to divert some of their Social Security taxes to individual investment accounts, Buffett and Munger said the country faces far more pressing problems than the projected Social Security insolvency in 40 or 50 years. [...]
Munger, who called himself a "right-wing Republican," said, "Republicans are out of their cotton-picking minds to be taking on this issue now. "Munger cited nuclear tensions with North Korea and Iran as issues the administration should be working on instead of "wasting its good will over some twaddle." [...]

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in the 60s, cons used "law + order" to get into power, but WHAT IF we on the left decided that LAW AND JUSTICE could be a change catalyst?

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Capitol GunFAIL! Greg Dworkin rounds up Bridgegate, Sanders, Republican demands for work requirements for Medicaid expansion, Rick Scott's continuing contortions, and Jeb's Charles Murray fandom. The invasion of TX is underway. Conservatives prepare their gay marriage freak-out. A near "perfect storm" of GunFAIL: school cop shoots himself with a derringer in his pocket while at Walmart. Armando on VT's GMO labeling law & TPP, plus Dickerson's thoughts on Sanders. More on ShotSpotter; Samsung's TV that listens to you; the surveillance we "volunteer" for, and; how Motel 6 reportedly started faxing all its guests' names to the cops!

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