Blogs | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/cbc-ottawa-shootings-cable-news <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting.</p> <p>Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/shooting-canadian-parliament-ottawa" target="_blank">shootings in Ottawa</a> unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.</p> <p>This live bit of level-headed reporting by Mansbridge, from around 11:10am Wednesday, should be given to journalism students around the country. It basically contains everything you need to know about why CBC did its audience proud:</p> <blockquote> <p>MANSBRIDGE: And so, the situation is, as we say, tense and unclear. And it's on days like this&mdash;we keep reminding you of this and it's important&mdash;it's on days like this, where a story takes a number of different pathways, a number of changes occur, and often rumors start in a situation like this. We try to keep them out of our coverage, but when they come, sometimes from official sources, like members of Parliament, you tend to give them some credence. But you carefully weigh it with what we're also witnessing. It's clear that the situation is not over. It is clear the police are in an intense standby situation and continue to be on the lookout, and until somebody blows the all-clear on this we will continue to stay on top of it and watch as the events unfold.</p> </blockquote> <p>Watch below, courtesy of the CBC:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MLORytusZ4c" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The broadcast was deliberative and deferential to the facts even when they were sparse. Exacting and painstaking, but never slow or boring, Mansbridge weighed the credibility of every detail, constantly framing and reframing what we knew and, most crucially, <em>how we knew it</em>. He literally <em>spoke</em> the news as it happened, using his experience not to opine nor fill the gaps in his knowledge, but to provide the necessary support for his team's reporting.</p> <p>Getting things wrong during fast-moving live coverage is, of course, common. Coverage of the Washington Navy Yard shooting last year got the details wrong early and often: It misstated the perpetrator's name, age, and how many guns he had. Following the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, there was false coverage about the identity of the bombers, and anonymous sources leading journalists to nonexistent bombs and arrests. <em>On The Media</em>'s handy <a href="http://www.onthemedia.org/story/breaking-news-consumers-handbook-pdf/" target="_blank">"breaking news consumer's handbook"</a> is a great round-up of the reporting errors that get repeated every time there is a mass shooting.</p> <p>No newscast, especially live news, is immune to mistakes, and during the initial haze of leads and counter-leads, it's easy to point fingers. But for the six-some hours of CBC broadcasting I watched off-and-on (mostly on) today, I never once felt lost in the wall-to-wall speculation that has characterized so many recent breaking news broadcasts in the United States.</p> <p>It seems like others on Twitter agree that CBC did pretty damn well today:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Exactly right. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@cbcnews</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/petermansbridge">@petermansbridge</a> covered today&rsquo;s awful events properly: calmly, carefully and accurately. <a href="http://t.co/Ij2dOPlGmz">http://t.co/Ij2dOPlGmz</a></p> &mdash; Mike Wickett (@mwickett) <a href="https://twitter.com/mwickett/status/525023274661855232">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>CBC, by the way, has not gone to break in over two hours. Peter Mansbridge has barely exhaled. Grand work by our public broadcaster.</p> &mdash; Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) <a href="https://twitter.com/ArashMadani/status/524964924033089536">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@CBCNews</a> anchor <a href="https://twitter.com/petermansbridge">@petermansbridge</a> has been brilliant today, and US news could learn a lot: <a href="http://t.co/PvnyhNVzLs">http://t.co/PvnyhNVzLs</a> <a href="http://t.co/gKaO6lo6n5">pic.twitter.com/gKaO6lo6n5</a></p> &mdash; Mark Joyella (@standupkid) <a href="https://twitter.com/standupkid/status/524991532454412288">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Media Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:28:39 +0000 James West 263076 at http://www.motherjones.com Map: The Most Popular NFL Teams Everywhere in America—According to Twitter http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nfl-team-twitter-map-popularity <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For now, even after all the concussions, the domestic violence, and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/timeline-history-offensive-sports-mascots-redskins-snyder" target="_blank">still-horribly named</a> team from Washington, DC, Americans still love their pro football. Twitter took a stab at measuring <a href="http://blog.twitter.com/2014/nfl-fan-map-where-are-your-team-s-followers" target="_blank">the popularity of every NFL franchise</a> by looking at the official Twitter handle for each team and then counting followers of those teams in each county. It's an imperfect measure, for sure, but it's a nifty interface and a lot of fun! Take a look:</p> <p><iframe src="https://interactive.twitter.com/nfl_followers2014/#?mode=team&amp;team=all" style="border:none;height:1100px;width:100%;"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Maps Sports Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:39:59 +0000 AJ Vicens 263066 at http://www.motherjones.com Fox News Thinks Young Women Are Too Busy with Tinder to "Get" Voting http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/fox-news-young-women-voting-tinder <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, a woman, shared some advice for us <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/10/21/right-wing-media-discourage-young-women-from-vo/201259" target="_blank">feeble-minded young ladies out here</a>: Let's not burden ourselves with voting! After all, we're far too busy swiping for a man on Tinder to cast an educated vote in the midterm elections, or any election for that matter.</p> <p>"It's the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea," Guilfoyle explained to her approving co-hosts. "They don't get it!"</p> <p>"They&rsquo;re not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, healthcare. They&rsquo;re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world," she added.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EOY3StMKLME" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>But what to do with all of our overabundant, perky energy!? Guilfoyle says not to worry&ndash;just "go back on Tinder or Match.com" and all will be right in the world.</p> <p>Sigh. For a more detailed look into what a war on voting looks like, check out <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/voting-rights-november-voter-suppression-states" target="_blank">our coverage here. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Elections Media Sex and Gender Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:09:40 +0000 Inae Oh 263056 at http://www.motherjones.com The Midwest's Vast Farms Are Losing a Ton of Money This Year http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/10/farmers-are-losing-225-each-acre-corn <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Think you have it tough at work? Consider the plight of the Midwest's corn and soybean farmers. They churn out the basic raw materials of our food system: the stuff that gets turned into animal feed, sweetener, cooking fat, and even a substantial amount of our car fuel. What do they get for their trouble? According to a <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/files/ifo100114.pdf" target="_blank">stunning analysis</a> (PDF) by Iowa State ag economist Chad Hart, crop prices have fallen so low (a bumper crop has <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-20/farmers-may-reap-subsidy-boom-on-record-crops.html" target="_blank">driven down corn prices to their lowest level since 2006</a>), and input costs (think seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) have gotten so high, that they're losing $225 per acre of corn and $100 per acre of soybeans.&nbsp; So if you're an Iowa farmer with a 2,000-acre farm, and you planted it half and half in these two dominant crops, you stand to lose $325,000 on this year's harvest.</p> <p>Over on Big Picture Agriculture&mdash;the excellent blog that alerted me to Hart's assessment&mdash;Kay McDonald <a href="http://www.bigpictureagriculture.com/2014/10/is-organic-corn-the-way-to-go-next-year.html" target="_blank">wonders</a>: "Is organic corn the way to go next year?" She points out organic corn receives a large premium in the market, and key input costs&mdash;seeds, fertilizers, and insecticides&mdash;are much lower, making the economics better.</p> <p>Another possibility is one I've been <a href="http://grist.org/article/farmbelt/" target="_blank">banging on about for years</a>: why not take some of the Midwest's vast stock of farmland&mdash;say, 10 percent?&mdash;and devote it to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/dining/the-seeds-of-a-new-generation.html?_r=0" target="_blank">vegetable and fruit production</a>? And take another slice of it and bring it back to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/04/our-corn-driven-agriculture-vulnerable-climate-change" target="_blank">perennial grass for pasture-based beef and pork production?</a> Both vegetables and pastured meat deliver much more income pre acre than commodity corn and soybeans, once the systems are up and running and the infrastructure in place. And considering how much of our produce comes from drought-stricken California, that would likely be a wise move from a food security standpoint.</p> <p>Alas, none of this is likely to happen, at least not anytime soon. That's because crop subsidies, enshrined by the farm bill signed in February, will likely wipe out much of the huge gap between farmers' costs and what the market gives them. According to <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-20/farmers-may-reap-subsidy-boom-on-record-crops.html" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>, taxpayers are set to pay "billions of dollars more to subsidize farmers than anticipated just months ago," before crop prices plunged.</p> <p>I don't begrudge federal support for farming. As I argued in a <a href="http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/agcycles/hart.pdf" target="_blank">post</a> last year, large-scale commodity farming is a vicious business&mdash;farmers are caught in a vice between a small handful of buyers (Archers Daniels Midland, Cargill, Bunge) that are always looking to drive crop prices down, and a small handful of input suppliers (Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, etc) always looking to push the price of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides up. It's no wonder, as Iowa State's Hart has <a href="http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/agcycles/hart.pdf" target="_blank">shown</a>, that the "long run profitability" of such farming is "zero."</p> <p>But as it's structured now, the subsidy system keeps farmers chugging along on the corn-soy treadmill. Meanwhile, transitioning to organic ag and diversifying crops to include vegetables and pastured meat would also require much more hands-on labor and a new set of skills for Midwestern farmers, who have been operating in a corn-soy-chemical system for decades. It would also require the rebuilding of infrastructure&mdash;small-scale slaughterhouses, canneries, cold storage, etc.&mdash;that were dismantled as corn and soy came to dominance. Supporting such a transition, and not propping up an unhealthy food system suffused with cheap corn and soy, seems like a good use of the billions of federal dollars that are about to be spent.</p></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:57:44 +0000 Tom Philpott 263006 at http://www.motherjones.com I Am Being Followed By an Army of Twitter Lady Bots http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/i-am-being-followed-army-twitter-lady-bots <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I've been making a real effort to be better at Twitter lately. I've been tweeting more, striking a conversational tone, and trying to "just be myself," like people who know more about Twitter than me told me to. So I was thrilled this week when my follower count zoomed up from 3,030 to 3,066 over the course of just a few days. My efforts must have paid off, I thought.</p> <p>But then, I looked at my new followers. They all seemed pretty annoying. IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Check it out:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/twitter-bots-small.gif"></div> </div> <p>"Hipster-friendly music practitioner"? "Total travel advocate"? "Beer practitioner"? Ew!</p> <p>The formula for the handles seems to be: first name, middle initial, last name. And the bio items look like they're generated from a list of bland hobbies and jobs or something. All over the backdrop of some irrelevant stock art.</p> <p>Here are some of their tweets:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>You can't just wish for a better life. You have to create it.</p> &mdash; SarahSSmall (@SarahSSmall) <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahSSmall/status/523864409522049024">October 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Tonight on <a href="https://twitter.com/WNTonight">@WNTonight</a> investors react to Ebola scare, fears of global slowdown. What does it mean for your retirement savings?</p> &mdash; BerniceWHenry (@BerniceWHenry) <a href="https://twitter.com/BerniceWHenry/status/523039210585227265">October 17, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Those of you who "elected" obama, this is all on you. He's a fake, you're confused, and now we ALL are having to pay for this foolishness...</p> &mdash; AdelineJBuckingham (@AdelineJBucking) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdelineJBucking/status/523965356411334656">October 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Creepy Twitter lady bots, what do you want from me?</p></body></html> Mixed Media Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:50:57 +0000 Kiera Butler 263061 at http://www.motherjones.com Housekeeping Update http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/10/housekeeping-update <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Just a quick update. Yesterday my doctor decided to do a "little bedside test" to get a better reading on the state of my bones. It was indeed bedside, and it was indeed done with just a local anesthetic, but I guess it wasn't a very powerful one. Hoo boy, did that hurt, and naturally I was a total baby about it. In any case, they want to keep me here for at least another day to make sure I didn't get infected etc. Also, today I get my first monthly dose of some bone-strengthening med whose name escapes me. So it looks like it'll be tomorrow at the earliest before I go home. It depends on how I'm doing and what the doctor gods decree. But I walked 300 feet this morning without too much trouble, so that has to be a positive sign, doesn't it?</p> <p>When will blogging recommence? I'm not sure. In the meantime, though, enjoy a bonus cat.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_2014_10_22.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 60px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:49 +0000 Kevin Drum 263031 at http://www.motherjones.com In Just 15 Years, Wind Could Provide A Fifth Of The World's Electricity http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/10/wind-energy-electricity-one-fifth-global-2030 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Up to one fifth of the world's electricity supply could come from wind turbines by 2030, according to a <a href="http://www.gwec.net/" target="_blank">new report</a> released this week by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). That would be an increase of 530 percent compared to the end of last year.</p> <p>The report says the coming global boom in wind power will be driven largely by China's rebounding wind energy market&mdash;and a continued trend of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/04/renewable-energy-spending-bnef" target="_blank">high levels of Chinese green energy investment</a>&mdash;as well as by steady growth in the United States and new large-scale projects in Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa.</p> <p>The report, called the "Global Wind Energy Outlook," explains how wind energy could provide 2,000 gigawatts of electricity by 2030, which would account for 17 to 19 percent of global electricity. And by 2050, wind's share of the electricity market could reach 30 percent. That's a huge jump from the end of 2013, when wind provided around 3 percent of electricity worldwide.</p> <p>The report is an annually produced industry digest co-authored by the GWEC, which represents 1,500 wind power producers. It examines three "energy scenarios" based on projections used by the International Energy Agency. The "New Policies" scenario attempts to capture the direction and intentions of international climate policy, even if some of these policies have yet to be fully implemented. From there, GWEC has fashioned two other scenarios&mdash;"moderate" and "advanced"&mdash;which reflect two different ways&nbsp;nations might cut carbon and keep their commitments to global climate change policies.&nbsp;In the most ambitious scenario, "advanced," wind could help slash more than 3 billion tons of climate-warning carbon dioxide emissions each year. The following chart has been adapted and simplified from the report:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/chart1_5.jpg"></div> <p>In the best case scenario, China leads the way in 2020 and in 2030:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/chart2_2_0.jpg"></div> <p>But as the report's authors note, there is still substantial uncertainty in the market. "There is much that we don't know about the future," they write, "and there will no doubt be unforeseen shifts and shocks in the global economy as well as political ups and downs." The more optimistic results contained in the report are dependent on whether the global community is going to respond "proactively to the threat of climate change, or try to do damage control after the fact," the report says.</p></body></html> Blue Marble Charts Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Infrastructure Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:36:44 +0000 James West 262981 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 22, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-22-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Marine Sgt. speaks with a local child while on patrol in Afghanistan. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Military Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:28:42 +0000 263021 at http://www.motherjones.com RIP Ben Bradlee, 1921-2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/ben-bradlee-rip <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ben Bradlee, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/business/media/ben-bradlee-editor-who-directed-watergate-coverage-dies-at-93.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=LargeMediaHeadlineSumCentered&amp;module=photo-spot-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">legendary <em>Washington Post</em> editor</a>, who led the paper during its Watergate era and turned it into a national and global reporting powerhouse, died on Tuesday at the age of 93.</p> <p>"I don't mean to sound arrogant, but we are in a holy profession," Bradlee <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/American-Journalism-Icon-Ben-Bradlee-Dies-Washington-Post-277527721.html" target="_blank">once said.</a></p> <p>He was the <em>Post's</em> executive editor from 1968 to 1991. RIP.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Media Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:58:27 +0000 Inae Oh 263011 at http://www.motherjones.com Voter's Boyfriend to Obama: "Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/mr-president-dont-touch-my-girlfriend <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Barack Obama was in Chicago on Monday to cast an <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/politics/obama-early-voting-jokes/index.html" target="_blank">early vote</a> for the midterm elections. He did so while standing next to fellow voter Aia Cooper. Cooper's boyfriend, who was also standing nearby, issued a remarkable warning to the president:</p> <p>"Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend."</p> <p>With Cooper laughing, but clearly mortified, the exchange that follows is just priceless. (Well played, Mr. President.) Watch below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="357" src="http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/politics/2014/10/21/newday-ip-obama-votes-joke.cnn" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Obama Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:11:10 +0000 Inae Oh 262971 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren Demands An Investigation Of Mortgage Companies http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-nonbank-mortgage-servicer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the Government Accountability Office to investigate non-bank companies that service Americans' mortgages, <a href="http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2014-10-20%20EEC%20%26%20EW%20to%20GAO%20re%20Non-Bank%20Servicers_0.pdf" target="_blank">noting in a letter</a> co-signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) that an increasing number of lawsuits has been filed in recent years against these firms&mdash;which are not regulated as strictly as banks.</p> <p>Mortgage servicers, whether they are owned by banks or not, handle mortgages after they've been sold to a customer. That means they take care of administrative business including collecting mortgage payments and dealing with delinquent borrowers. What Warren and Cummings are worried about is that the share of non-banks servicing mortgages has grown astronomically&mdash;300 percent between 2011 and 2013&mdash;and it appears that the increased workload has led to shoddier service.</p> <p>The rise of the industry, which typically services <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/30/us-mortgage-servicers-lending-idUSKBN0FZ1EY20140730" target="_blank">lower-income borrowers</a>, "has been accompanied by consumer complaints, lawsuits, and other regulatory actions as the servicers' workload outstrips their processing capacity," according to a recent report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Last December, for instance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau&mdash;the agency Warren helped create&mdash;entered a $2 billion settlement with the nation's largest non-bank servicer over mortgage mismanagement. Financial industry watchdogs and consumer advocates have <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/fhfa-inspector-general-cites-risks-on-nonbank-mortgage-servicers-1404187344" target="_blank">charged</a> that the non-bank home loan servicing companies are often unwilling to work with troubled borrowers to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosures.</p> <p>In their letter, Warren and Cummings also urge the Government Accountability Office to investigate how consumers might be harmed in the event that a large non-bank servicer collapses during a economic downturn. Non-bank mortgage companies are not subject to the regulations governing banks that perform the same functions, such as the requirement that they hold onto a certain amount of emergency funds in case of a financial collapse.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Economy Regulatory Affairs Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:12:28 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 262961 at http://www.motherjones.com Rwanda Hits Back at America's Ebola Paranoia http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/rwanda-ebola-americans-screening <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rwanda will be begin <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/10/21/rwanda-united-statees-ebola-screening/17653947/" target="_blank">screening</a> all Americans entering the country for Ebola, regardless if they're exhibiting symptoms or not, government officials in the East African nation announced Tuesday. Coincidence? The new measure comes just days after <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-panic-hysteria" target="_blank">two Rwandan students </a>were denied enrollment at a New Jersey school over Ebola fears, even though Rwanda has had zero cases of Ebola. The United States, on the other hand, has had three confirmed cases. Rwanda is also more than <a href="http://www.nj.com/burlington/index.ssf/2014/10/amid_ebola_fears_students_from_africa_kept_home_in_south_jersey.html" target="_blank">2,500 miles</a> from the closest Ebola outbreak in West Africa.</p> <p>The US Embassy in Rwanda <a href="http://rwanda.usembassy.gov/mobile//sm-102114.html" target="_blank">explains the situation: </a></p> <blockquote> <p>On October 19, the Rwandan Ministry of Health introduced new Ebola Virus Disease screening requirements. Visitors who have been in the United States or Spain during the last 22 days are now required to report their medical condition&mdash;regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms of Ebola&mdash;by telephone by dialing 114 between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for the duration of their visit to Rwanda (if less than 21 days), or for the first 21 days of their visit to Rwanda. Rwandan authorities continue to deny entry to visitors who traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, or Sierra Leone within the past 22 days.</p> </blockquote> <p>Although there's no way to tell if the screenings are indeed motivated by retaliation for the ignorant panic displayed by the New Jersey school, this sure is an interesting turn of events.</p></body></html> MoJo Health Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:40:55 +0000 Inae Oh 262946 at http://www.motherjones.com Everything You Need to Know About Ebola in America, in One Fantastic Quote http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-one-sentence-pan <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2014/10/man_not_worried_about_ebola_af.html" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">Meet a man made of very stern stuff indeed</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">:</span></p> <blockquote> <p>Peter Pattakos spent 20 minutes Saturday in an Akron bridal shop, getting fitted for a tux for his friend's wedding. Thursday, his friend sent a text message, telling him that Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson had been in the store around the same time.</p> <p>[...]</p> <p>Pattakos, 36, a Cleveland attorney who lives in Bath Township, called the health department, which told him to call back if he exhibits any Ebola symptoms. He called a doctor, who told him not to worry.</p> <p>"I didn't exchange any bodily fluids with anyone, so I'm not worried about it," he said. "I'm much more likely to be mistakenly killed by a police officer in this country than to be killed by Ebola, even if you were in the same bridal shop."</p> </blockquote> <p>Yep.</p></body></html> MoJo Ebola Tue, 21 Oct 2014 03:13:21 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 262936 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren Was on Fire This Weekend. Here Were Her 5 Best Lines. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/elizabeth-warren-was-fire-weekend-here-were-her-5-best-lines <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It's good to be Elizabeth Warren. The senior senator from Massachusetts spent her weekend campaigning for Democrats in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/10/18/warren-in-minnesota-the-game-is-rigged/" target="_blank">Minnesota</a>, <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750364/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">Colorado</a>, and <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-stumps-for-bruce-braley-in-iowa/17579175/" target="_blank">Iowa</a>, and by all accounts, she tore it up, and got <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750364/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">more than a few calls</a> to run for president. (Breaking: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/10/18/warren-in-minnesota-the-game-is-rigged/" target="_blank">she still insists</a> she isn't going to.) These were some of her biggest red-meat lines from the campaign trail:</p> <p><strong>1. "<a href="http://www.southernminn.com/northfield_news/news/local/article_c4b42b9a-155d-5f07-acdc-0bae1e04a6b9.html" target="_blank">The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it.</a> </strong>We can whine, we can whimper or we can fight back, and we&rsquo;re here to fight back. We know what we&rsquo;re fighting for and what we&rsquo;re up against. We&rsquo;ve got our voices, or votes and our willingness to fight. This is about democracy, about your future, and about the kind of country we want to build.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>2. <a href="http://www.radioiowa.com/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-urges-iowa-democrats-to-fight-back-in-2014-audio/" target="_blank">"[W]ho does this government work for?</a></strong>&hellip;Does it work just for the millionaires, just for the billionaires, just for those who have armies of lobbyists and lawyers or does it work for the people? That&rsquo;s the question in this race.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>3. "<a href="http://www.denverpost.com/election2014/ci_26750818/elizabeth-warren-helps-launch-udall-bus-tour-ignite" target="_blank">Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich</a></strong>, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers."</p> <p><strong>4. <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-stumps-for-bruce-braley-in-iowa/17579175/" target="_blank">When conservatives came to power in the 1980s, the first thing they did was "fire the cops on Wall Street. </a></strong>They called it deregulation. But what it really meant was have at 'em boys. They were saying in effect to the biggest financial institutions: Any way you can trick or trap or fool anybody into signing anything, man, you can just rake in the profits."</p> <p><strong>5. <a href="http://www.radioiowa.com/2014/10/19/elizabeth-warren-urges-iowa-democrats-to-fight-back-in-2014-audio/" target="_blank">"They ought to be wearing a T-shirt [that says]...'I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.' </a></strong>We can hang back, we can whine about what the Republicans have done&hellip;or we can fight back. Me, I&rsquo;m fighting back!"</p> <p>Contrast Warren's rock star treatment with the President's reception this weekend: he spoke at a campaign event in Maryland, and attendees <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/19/us-usa-politics-obama-idUSKCN0I80V320141019" target="_blank">filed out as soon as he started speaking</a>. Obama is being <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/run-midterms-obama-scarce-campaign-trail/story?id=26155808" target="_blank">kept at arms' length</a> in close races&mdash;Warren, on the other hand, <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/10/20/elizabeth-warren-campaign-for-jeanne-shaheen-tight-race-against-scott-brown/CkGXN0DUKFbpFzQWmOjqWM/story.html" target="_blank">will head to New Hampshire</a> this weekend to campaign for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who's running against Warren's old nemesis, Scott Brown.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:21:59 +0000 Sam Brodey 262891 at http://www.motherjones.com The 5 Stupidest Paranoid Responses to Ebola http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/ebola-america-panic-hysteria <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As President Barack Obama noted in his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u08u8GA_rg" target="_blank">weekly address</a> Saturday, Ebola is a serious public health issue. But the level of paranoia that has surfaced across the country since Thomas Duncan became the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States is not only unwarranted&mdash;it's&nbsp; dangerous. Ripped straight from the headlines, here are just five of the more surreal incidents of Ebola panic.</p> <p><strong>Syracuse University disinvites photographer.</strong> Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks. If someone hasn't gotten sick within 21 days of exposure, they're in the clear. But <a href="https://nppa.org/news/syracuse-disinvites-washpost-pulitzer-photographer-due-ebola-fears" target="_blank"><em>News Photographer </em>magazine</a> reported last week that "three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille of <em>The Washington Post</em>, who returned from covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia 21 days ago and who is symptom free, was asked by Syracuse University officials today not to come to campus, where he was scheduled to participate in a journalism program." Cille was not pleased:</p> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille/posts/10205406871357643" data-width="466"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille/posts/10205406871357643">Post</a> by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/michel.ducille">Michel du Cille</a>.</div> </div> <p><strong>Maine teacher put on leave after traveling to Dallas.</strong> "A teacher at Strong Elementary School was placed on a 21-day paid leave of absence after parents told the school board they were concerned that she might have been exposed to Ebola during a trip to Dallas for an educational conference," the <a href="http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/17/fearing-ebola-strong-elementary-teacher-on-leave-after-traveling-to-dallas/" target="_blank"><em>Portland Press Herald</em> recently reported</a>. Dallas, where Duncan's case was first diagnosed, is a city of 1.25 million. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/20/health/ebola-overreaction/index.html" target="_blank">Five million people</a> travel to and from Dallas every month.</p> <p><strong>Rwandan students kept home from New Jersey elementary school. </strong>Two students who moved from Rwanda&mdash;where there have been zero cases of Ebola&mdash;are being kept home from school in Burlington County, New Jersey, for 21 days in response to concerns from parents. Rwanda "is about 2,600 miles away from the closest affected country in West Africa," <a href="http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/26826190/burlington-county-students-kept-home-from-school-due-to-ebola-fears" target="_blank">notes Philadelphia's local Fox station</a>. "That's about as close as Seattle, Washington, is to Philadelphia. But for some parents it really doesn't matter."</p> <p><strong>Cleveland man charged with felony after stupid joke.</strong> "Bond is set at $10,000 for a Cleveland man charged with inducing panic after being accused of telling a Horseshoe Casino&nbsp;worker that he was gambling to avoid his Ebola-stricken ex-wife," <em>Cleveland.com</em> <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/10/cleveland_man_accused_of_jokin.html#incart_river" target="_blank">reported last week</a>. Needless to say, neither the man nor his wife has Ebola.</p> <p><strong>Texas college rejects applicants from Ebola-free Nigeria.</strong> Officials at Navarro College in Texas <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/texas-college-banning-students-ebola-countries" target="_blank">cited Ebola</a> as a basis for refusing admission to two Nigerian students.&nbsp;Nigeria has been extraordinarily effective in fighting its recent outbreak, which included just 20 confirmed cases&mdash;so extraordinary, in fact, that as of today, the World's Health Organization <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/nigeria-ebola-cdc" target="_blank">officially declared the country</a> Ebola-free. After the media caught wind of the story, an official from Navarro pushed back against "misinformation" by saying that the college is focusing on students from China and Indonesia for the next year.</p> <p>There's much, much more out there, but we leave you with this note from Bloomberg's Gabriel Snyder.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>An impressively diverse array of Ebola paranoia here: <a href="http://t.co/BAAcHmYhvO">pic.twitter.com/BAAcHmYhvO</a></p> &mdash; Gabriel Snyder (@gabrielsnyder) <a href="https://twitter.com/gabrielsnyder/status/524266023361720320">October 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Health Top Stories Ebola Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:41:56 +0000 Inae Oh 262861 at http://www.motherjones.com Drinking a "Medium" Soda Every Day Can Age You As Much As Smoking Does http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/10/study-drinking-daily-soda-ages-you-smoking <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Just as soda companies <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/berkeley-measure-d-soda-tax-advertising-sugar" target="_blank">plunk down millions</a> of dollars to defeat local soda-tax ballot measures, researchers have found a link between regular soda consumption and premature aging.</p> <p>Published in the peer-reviewed <em>Journal of Public Health</em>, a <a href="http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302151?journalCode=ajph&amp;" target="_blank">study</a> of 5,300 adults compared the cells of people who drink soda every day to those of their non-soda-drinking counterparts. In the soda group, the ends of the chromosomes&mdash;known as telomeres&mdash;were shorter, a sign of their cells' diminished ability to regenerate. Our telomeres naturally shorten as we age, but scientists have discovered that a few behaviors&mdash;including smoking&mdash;can shorten them prematurely.</p> <p>And here's the really interesting part: People who drank a 20-ounce soda every day experienced an additional 4.6 years of telomere aging&mdash;the same amount observed in smokers. "The extremely high dose of sugar that we can put into our body within seconds by drinking sugared beverages is uniquely toxic to metabolism," lead author Elissa Epel, a professor of psychiatry at University of California-San Francisco, <a href="http://time.com/3513875/soda-may-age-you-as-much-as-smoking/" target="_blank">told</a> <em>Time</em>.</p> <p>The researchers didn't find the same effect in those who drank diet sodas or 100 percent fruit juice.</p></body></html> Blue Marble Food and Ag Health Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:28:31 +0000 Kiera Butler 262881 at http://www.motherjones.com Which Dad is More Embarrassing: Ron Paul or Rafael Cruz? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/rand-ron-paul-ted-rafael-cruz-embarrassing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>If Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) do battle for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, they'll have to carefully manage their most popular yet embarrassing surrogates: their fathers. Here's a quick guide to the septuagenarian bomb-throwers.</p> <div id="test">&nbsp;</div> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/plugins/pym.js/src/pym.js"></script><script> var pymParent = new pym.Parent('test', 'http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/projects/2014/10/paul-cruz-table-2/index.html', {}); </script></body></html> MoJo Congress Elections Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:10:37 +0000 Tim Murphy 262721 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for October 20, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/were-still-war-photo-day-october-20-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Army Corporal carries a detonation cord to blow up expired ordinance in Afghanistan. <span class="photographer"><span id="ctl00_cphBody_lblCredit">(US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)</span></span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:16:26 +0000 262871 at http://www.motherjones.com John Oliver Shows the Supreme Court How to Make Their Boring Recordings Way More Adorable http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/john-oliver-supreme-court-animals <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Supreme Court bars cameras from televising its oral arguments, with the only window into the minds of justices being lame audio recordings paired with awkward illustrations. No one wants to watch that.</p> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tug71xZL7yc&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">John Oliver</a> has a brilliant alternative: Dogs. Cats. Real adorable animals with fake moving paws.</p> <p>"The visual makes it irresistible. Why? Because a cat's paws are doing things you wouldn't expect them to do. And if it works for shitty piano music it can work for the Supreme Court."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fJ9prhPV2PI" width="630"></iframe>Consider us sold.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Video Supreme Court Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:02:36 +0000 Inae Oh 262856 at http://www.motherjones.com Housekeeping Note http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/10/housekeeping-note <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>No blogging today, I'm afraid. I've been having lower back problems for several months, and on Friday night it got a lot worse. Saturday morning I couldn't get out of bed, and had to be transported to the ER. It turns out that I had a compression fracture of one of my lumbar bones. I've been in the hospital ever since.</p> <p>I can walk again, but I'm pretty much bedbound for a while. Beyond that, further tests will tell us what's going on here. Without either oversharing or being coy, there's a chance this could turn out to be pretty serious. We'll know more by the end of the week. In the meantime, blogging will obviously be pretty limited.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Kevin Drum 262851 at http://www.motherjones.com Numero Group Releases a Stellar Retrospective http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/numero-group-unwound-retrospective <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WilH0XISBUQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Unwound</strong><br><em><strong>No Energy</strong></em><br><strong>Numero Group</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/image001%5B1%5D.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Part three of Numero Group's stellar <em>Unwound</em> retrospective picks up with the 1995 album <em>The Future of What,</em> followed by 1996's <em>Repetition</em>, and includes eight singles sides and some previously unreleased recordings. What's most immediately striking about these 33 tracks is how little interest the Olympia, Washington, trio has in repeating itself. While Justin Trosper (vocals, guitar), Vern Rumsey (bass) and Sara Lund (drums) still draw on deep roots in punk and hard rock, they often seem to be navigating uncharted territory. The songs are dark and jagged, more likely to generate brooding unease than provide easy catharsis. Check out either version of the tortured eight-minute epic "Swan" for an unpredictable, genre-defying experience that's thoroughly fascinating.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:22 +0000 Jon Young 262831 at http://www.motherjones.com Sallie Ford, the Exhilarating Provocateur http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/10/portland-sallie-ford-slap-back <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6-q1HAAtMzo" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Sallie Ford<br><em>Slap Back</em><br> Vanguard</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="sallie ford" class="image" src="/files/SallieFordSlapBack-Cover-2-300x300.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px;"></div> <p>Raucous, profane, and unapologetic, Sallie Ford relishes playing the provocateur. On the exhilarating <em>Slap Back</em>, the Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter debuts her new all-female backing band, sounding like the early, badass Elvis Costello who fronted the Attractions. Buoyed by waves of punky garage rock, Ford addresses urgent issues like romance and lust in her usual blunt language ("Give Me Your Lovin'"), while illuminating her own struggles ("So Damn Low") and pausing for moments of surprising tenderness, observing, "Loves may come and lovers may go. But I'm here for the long haul, I hope you know" in "Hey Girl." For all the catchy tunes and tough grooves, Ford's greatest asset is her rowdy charisma.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:21 +0000 Jon Young 262826 at http://www.motherjones.com Why Did Top Scientific Journals Reject This Dr. Bronner's Ad? http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/10/read-dr-bronners-gmo-ad-thats-too-hot-nature-and-science <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, presides over a company with famously wacky product labels. Sample sentence, from the <a href="http://file:///Users/remote_mojo/Downloads/drbronner_32oz_Pep%20(1).pdf" target="_blank">18-in-1 Hemp PEPPERMINT</a> soap bottle: "Each swallow works hard to be perfect pilot-provider-teacher-lover-mate, no half-true hate!" But Bronner himself, grandson of the founder (the one with the elaborate prose style), has emerged as a serious, though fun-loving, activist, particularly around pesticides and genetically modified crops, as Josh Harkinson's recent <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/dr-bronners-magic-soap-david-bronner-gmo-hemp">profile</a> shows.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/bronner-thumb-2.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Read "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/dr-bronners-magic-soap-david-bronner-gmo-hemp" target="_blank">How Dr. Bronner's Turned Activism Into Good Clean Fun</a>" </strong></div> </div> <p>But apparently, Bronner's writing on GMOs is too hot for the advertising pages of the English-speaking world's two most renowned science journals, <em>Science</em> and <em>Nature&mdash;</em>even though a slew of magazines, including <em>Scientific American, The New Yorker, Harper's, The Nation, Harvard,</em> and, yes, <em>Mother Jones</em>, accepted the Bronner ad. It consists of a short essay, known in publishing as an advertorial, that's nothing like the wild-eyed rants on his company's soap bottles. Bronner's ad (<a href="https://www.motherjones.com/files/davidbronner_seidler_endorsement_advertorial-2.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>) focuses on how GMO crops have led to a net increase in pesticide use in the United States, citing an analysis by Ramon Seidler, a retired senior staff scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency.</p> <p>Bronner wrote his essay in response to Michael Specter's recent <em>New Yorker</em> <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/25/seeds-of-doubt">takedown</a> of anti-GMO crusader Vandana Shiva. He first published his critique on <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bronner/herbicide-insecticide-use_b_5791304.html"><em>Huffington Post</em></a>, and then decided to publish it as an ad in a variety of high-profile magazines, because he felt that <em>The New Yorker</em> is highly influential among liberal elites, and he wanted to get his dissenting view out, he told me.</p> <p><em>Science</em> was close to accepting it, emails shared with me by Bronner show&mdash;an ad sales manager for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which published the magazine, emailed on September 15 that she would send over paper work "in a bit," adding that "[a]fter you sign it, I can take your credit card info by phone and submit to accounting." The price: $9,911.00. But hours later, she wrote back, squashing the deal:</p> <blockquote> <p>Sorry to say there has [been] a reversal opinion. This has gone up the ladder quite far and our CEO along with the board&nbsp;have come back saying that we cannot accept the&nbsp;ad. We're&nbsp;concerned about backlash from our members&nbsp;and potentially getting into a battle with the&nbsp;GMO industry.</p> </blockquote> <p>Something quite similar happened at <em>Nature</em>, a UK-based publication with ad sales operations in the United States. On September 16, an ad sales rep told the Bronner team via email that "I will have an IO [insert order&mdash;the contract for an advertisement] for you once I get the thumbs up from Editorial (usually takes them a day or two)." Once that's signed, he added, "I can call and get your credit&nbsp;card information over the phone, [and] then we are all good."</p> <p>But a few days later, instead of closing the deal, the rep asked if Bronner would consider placing the ad in a smaller, related journal called <em>Nature Biotechnology.</em> Bronner declined, and asked again to place it in <em>Nature</em>. The ad rep replied, "We have to do a detailed process for all ad approvals, especially if the ad is not within specs (our terms and conditions). We have passed on the ad for <em>Nature</em>, that's why the emails about seeking out other options [i.e., <em>Nature Biotechnology</em>] for you." End of discussion&mdash;the sales rep offered no explanation, and soon stopped returning calls or emails. Nor did he return my email and call seeking comment.</p> <p>As for <em>Science</em>, I talked to Laurie Faraday, the journal's East regional ad-sales manager, who worked with Bronner's team on the failed ad deal. She explained that the editorial side weighs in on decisions over advertorial-style ads. <em>Science</em>'s management found it "a little bit controversial," and worried that "if we allowed that kind of a piece to be printed in <em>Science, </em>then maybe we'd be subject to the GMO world coming after us." She added: "Ironically, it's not that anyone in the organization disagreed with what it [the ad] said. It's just that we had to consider that the opposite side of the coin might want to start a war in our magazine."</p> <p>I asked if the magazine had rejected advertorials on similar grounds in the past. She replied that a couple of years ago, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ran ads in <em>Science</em> alleging cruelty to animals in labs. "It kind of got past us at first," Faraday said, "but after the campaign ran, I was told by the publisher we would not accept them any further."</p> <p>Stan Schmidt, an ad rep for <em>Scientific American,</em> which accepted the ad, told me that his magazine has a broader policy on advertorials&mdash;it accepts them unless they contain offensive or "wild-eyed" material, and the Bronner ad easily passed the test, he said.</p> <p>"I'm concerned how lame and weak the leading scientific publications in the world are being here, although I appreciate <em>Science</em>'s upfront explanation," Bronner said. "<em>Science </em>and <em>Nature </em>magazines, like the scientific enterprise in general, are not above the fray."</p></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Media Science Top Stories Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:00:19 +0000 Tom Philpott 262616 at http://www.motherjones.com NBA Player Kisses Sideline Reporter, Calls Her the Wrong Name http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nba-player-kisses-sideline-reporter-calls-her-wrong-name <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Before Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers took the court Friday to play the Dallas Mavericks, Allie Clifton, a Fox News Ohio reporter, tried to interview him about his game strategy.</p> <p>After haphazardly answering one of her questions, Thompson calls her "Tina," winks at the camera, and then kisses her on the cheek before running away.</p> <p>Here's video of the incident:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mmlTByKgX6w" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Contrary to some of the sports media's reporting, kissing a reporter on air while she is working is not "<a href="http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2014/10/cleveland_cavaliers_forward_tr_6.html">an unexpected gift</a>" or "<a href="http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/10/18/tristan-thompson-kisses-cavaliers-sideline-reporter-video/">harmless, and nothing more than an awkward one-sided exchange</a>." It's downright uncomfortable and belittling, even if Clifton maintained utter professionalism throughout. As Kelly Dwyer at <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/tristan-thompson-kisses-a-sideline-reporter--and-he-really--really-screwed-up--video-174239361.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo Sports</em></a> put it: "This isn't cute or funny or meme-worthy&hellip;Just because you're working with someone of the opposite sex, it doesn't mean a sly innuendo, pat on the rear, or kiss on national television is in any way appropriate."</p></body></html> MoJo Sex and Gender Sports Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:56:15 +0000 Hannah Levintova 262836 at http://www.motherjones.com EPA: Those Bee-Killing Pesticides? They're Actually Pretty Useless http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/10/epa-those-bee-killing-pesticides-theyre-pretty-useless-otherwise <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So, there's this widely used class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, marketed by chemical giants Bayer and Syngenta, that have emerged as a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/03/bayer-pesticide-bees-studies" target="_blank">prime</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/05/smoking-gun-bee-collapse" target="_blank">suspect</a> in honeybee collapse, and may also be harming <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/03/not-just-bees-bayers-pesticide-may-harm-birds-too" target="_blank">birds</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/07/federal-agency-finds-neonic-pesticides-midwestern-water" target="_blank">water-borne critters</a>. But at least they provide benefits to farmers, right?</p> <p>Well, not soybean farmers, according to a blunt economic assessment released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency (<a href="http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-10/documents/benefits_of_neonicotinoid_seed_treatments_to_soybean_production_2.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>). Conclusion: "There are no clear or consistent economic benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybeans."</p> <p>Wait, what?</p> <p>The report goes on: "This analysis provides evidence that US soybean growers derive limited to no benefit from neonicotinoid seed treatments in most instances."</p> <p>Hmmm. But at least they're better for farmers than no pesticide at all?</p> <p>Nope: "Published data indicate that most usage of neonicotinoid seed treatments does not protect soybean yield any better than doing no pest control."</p> <p>Ouch.</p> <p>The EPA notes that in recent years, US farmers have been planting on average 76 million acres of soybeans each season. Of those acres, an average 31 percent are planted in seeds treated with neonics&mdash;that is, farmers buy treated seeds, which suffuse the soybean plants with the chemical as they grow. So that's about 24 million acres of neonic-treated seeds&mdash;an area equal in size to the <a href="http://www.statemaster.com/graph/geo_lan_acr_tot-geography-land-acreage-total" target="_blank">state of Indiana</a>. Why would farmers pay up for a seed treatment that doesn't do them any good, yet may be doing considerable harm to pollinators and birds? The EPA report has insights: "data from researchers and extension experts ... indicate that some growers currently have some difficulty obtaining untreated seed." The report points to one small poll that found 45 percent of respondents reported finding non-treated seeds "difficult to obtain" or "not available."</p> <p>Another reason may be marketing. Syngenta, for example, promotes its <a href="http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/prodpreview/index.aspx?prodID=940&amp;ProdNM=CruiserMaxx%20Beans" target="_blank">"CruiserMaxx"</a> seed treatment for soybeans, which combines a <a href="http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/prodrender/index.aspx?prodid=721" target="_blank">neonic insecticide</a> with two different fungicides. The pitch: "Promotes better emergence, faster speed to canopy, improved vigor and higher yield potential.<br> Protects against damaging chewing and sucking insect pests. ... Increases yield even under low insect pressure."</p> <p>Only one US crop is planted more abundantly than soybeans: corn, which typically <a href="http://www.agriview.com/news/crop/usda-fewer-acres-of-corn-but-potential-for-record-crop/article_c01c112f-cf2f-5537-a8cb-da5f350428f4.html" target="_blank">covers around 90 million acres</a>. According to Purdue entomologist Christian Krupke, <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029268" target="_blank">"virtually all"</a> of it is from neonic-treated seeds. That's a land mass just 10 percent smaller than <a href="http://www.statemaster.com/graph/geo_lan_acr_tot-geography-land-acreage-total" target="_blank">California</a>. You have to wonder what bang those farmers are getting for their buck. I have a query into the EPA to see whether it has plans to conduct a similar assessment for corn. Meanwhile, this March <a href="http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/neonic-efficacy_digital_29226.pdf" target="_blank">2014 Center for Food Safety research report,</a> which was reviewed by Krupke and Jonathan Lundgren, a research entomologist at the US Department of Agriculture, found that the bee-killing pesticides offer at best limited benefits to corn farmers, too.</p></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Regulatory Affairs Top Stories Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Tom Philpott 262791 at http://www.motherjones.com