Blogs | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2010/%2003/%E2%80%9Dhttp%3A/www.american.edu/soc/americanforum/%E2%80%9Dhttp%3A/www.american.edu/http%3A/%5Bhttp%3A/en.wikipedia.org http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Literally the Only Good FIFA News You’ll Hear This Week http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/virtual-fifa-is-way-better-than-actual-fifa <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Electronic Arts, the gaming company that makes the popular FIFA video game franchise, is bringing women<strong> </strong>to the virtual pitch, adding 12 women's national teams to FIFA 16 this September. &nbsp;</p> <p>From <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/05/28/eas-fifa-soccer-game-to-include-womens-national-teams/?mod=ST1" target="_blank">the </a><a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/05/28/eas-fifa-soccer-game-to-include-womens-national-teams/?mod=ST1" target="_blank"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>EA announced Thursday that a dozen women's international soccer teams will be included in the coming FIFA 16 game scheduled for release in September. EA didn't say in its announcement why it took so long to mend the gender gap or whether the petition played a role. In an email, EA said it had been considering adding women for years and that it had made the necessary advancements to more accurately represent how the characters run and sprint, for example. The game's motion capturing tracked four members of the U.S. Women's National Team: Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe.</p> </blockquote> <p>EA's decision came three years after <a href="https://www.change.org/p/tell-ea-sports-to-include-female-characters-on-their-soccer-games" target="_blank">an online petition called for inclusion</a>&mdash;and right before this year's Women's World Cup starts next week in Canada. (It also came a day before Sepp Blatter <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/sports/soccer/fifa-soccer-sepp-blatter-congress-vote.html?_r=0" target="_blank">won his fifth term</a> as FIFA president, with the governing body embroiled in the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/05/fifa-corruption-sepp-blatter-historian" target="_blank">ongoing corruption crisis</a>.)</p> <p>Last fall, a group of women's soccer stars, including US forward Abby Wambach, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2014/10/01/3574803/womens-soccer-players-file-gender-discrimination-lawsuit-against-fifa-canadian-soccer-association/" target="_blank">filed a gender discrimination lawsuit claim</a> against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over the organization's decision to play this year's World Cup games on artificial turf, even though the men's games are played on grass. The group later <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2015/01/21/3613871/womens-world-cup-players-withdraw-gender-discrimination-claim-in-turf-dispute/" target="_blank">withdrew the suit</a>. And in an <a href="http://time.com/3893949/sepp-blatter-alex-morgan/" target="_blank">interview with <em>Time</em></a>, star US forward Alex Morgan, who will be featured in the new game, said that Blatter didn't recognize her at the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year event&mdash;even though she'd just been named one of the three best women's players in the world.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Sex and Gender Sports Fri, 29 May 2015 20:18:48 +0000 Edwin Rios 276261 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging - 29 May 2015 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/friday-cat-blogging-29-may-2015 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For the past two weeks, Hopper and Hilbert have apparently been fighting a rearguard battle over their latest acquisition: a cardboard box. Hilbert took possession first, but Hopper got into the act pretty quickly. Her expression is clearly a declaration that this is <em>her</em> box now, and other cats better stay away. I'm reliably informed that she backed this up with some fancy paw action and sent Hilbert scampering away.</p> <p>And with that, let's all give three cheers for my sister, who has taken such good care of Hilbert and Hopper that we're not sure they'll even recognize us when they come home. I should add that her six weeks of catsitting was an even bigger favor than you might think, given H&amp;H's penchant for destruction of anything left lying around accidentally. But tomorrow they come home. Marian has been catproofing our house for the past week, and on Saturday Karen will deliver the furballs back to us. I'm sure they'll show us very quickly if there are any catproofing spots we missed.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hilbert_2015_may_29.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 60px;"></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_2015_may_29.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 5px 0px 5px 60px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 29 May 2015 18:30:04 +0000 Kevin Drum 276256 at http://www.motherjones.com News Flash: Bill Clinton Has a Pretty High Speaking Fee http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/news-flash-bill-clinton-has-pretty-high-speaking-fee <!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.nytimes.com/2015/05/30/us/politics/an-award-for-bill-clinton-came-with-500000-for-his-foundation.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">Over in the <em>New York Times</em> today,</a> Deborah Sontag has a 2,000-word piece about a charity called the Happy Hearts Fund. There seem to be two big takeaways: (a) celebrities use their fame to promote their charities, and (b) Bill Clinton usually won't appear at your event for free. His speaking fee is a donation to the Clinton Foundation. In this particular case, Happy Hearts donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and in return Clinton appeared at their event to receive a lifetime achievement award.</p> <p>I'm racking my brain here. I know I'm partisan about this and would just as soon not attribute dark motives to Clinton. But even putting that aside, what's the story here? Celebrities use their fame to promote their pet causes? Bill Clinton commands a high speaking fee? Is there something that's even unsavory about this, let alone scandalous? Is there something that's out of the ordinary or not already common knowledge? If the story featured, say, George W. Bush instead of Clinton, would I be more outraged? What am I missing?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 29 May 2015 17:36:21 +0000 Kevin Drum 276251 at http://www.motherjones.com A New Poll Has Good News for Pro-Choicers http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/pro-choice-pro-life-abortion-gallup <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After seven years on the outs, choice is back. For the first time since 2008, significantly more Americans identify as pro-choice (50 percent) than pro-life (44 percent), according to a <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/183434/americans-choose-pro-choice-first-time-seven-years.aspx" target="_blank">Gallup poll</a> released Friday.</p> <p>"This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans' abortion views," the survey notes. In the intervening years, Americans were split fairly evenly on the issue of abortion&mdash;except in 2012, when pro-life sentiment outpaced pro-choice views 50 percent to 41 percent.</p> <p>The poll found that in the past three years, women have become more pro-choice (54 percent) than men (46 percent). Since 2012, Democrats, Republicans and independents have all become increasingly pro-choice. But Democrats show the biggest long-term jump in pro-choice views, from 55 percent in 2001 to 68 percent today. By contrast, 30 percent of Republicans were pro-choice in 2001 and 31 percent identify as pro-choice today&mdash;a statistically insignificant change.</p> <p>The years since the last pro-choice peak in 2008 have been rough for abortion rights advocates. Republican legislatures across the country have sought to roll back access to abortions&mdash;banning the procedure after 20 weeks (and even earlier in some cases), requiring additional doctor visits and ultrasounds, and placing onerous regulations on clinics that forced many to shut their doors. Gallup didn't touch on these issues, simply noting that "the momentum for the pro-life position that began when Barack Obama took office has yielded to a pro-choice rebound."</p> <p>Gallup raised the possibility that abortion views are riding on the coattails of a "broader liberal shift in Americans' ideology of late" that "could mean the recent pro-choice expansion has some staying power."</p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Fri, 29 May 2015 17:07:48 +0000 Pema Levy 276246 at http://www.motherjones.com If You Want to Be Part of the Top 1 Percent, You'd Better Be Working For a Top 1 Percent Firm http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/if-you-want-be-part-top-1-youd-better-be-working-top-1-firm <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>What has caused the explosive growth of income inequality over the past three decades? Is it the fact the CEO pay has skyrocketed, leaving everyone else behind? Maybe. <a href="http://www.nber.org/papers/w21199.pdf" target="_blank">But according to a new paper,</a> that's not quite the right story.</p> <p>Basically a group of researchers at NBER have concluded that inequality <em>between firms</em> has skyrocketed, and employees of those firms all go along for the ride. A small number of "super firms" have become enormously successful, and within these super firms inequality between the CEO and the worker bees hasn't changed much at all. They pay <em>all</em> their employees more than the average firm, from the CEO down.</p> <p>The chart on the right tells the story. Ignore the green line for the moment and just look at the blue and red lines. The red line shows that the top tenth of firms have far outperformed everyone else. The blue line shows <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_firm_individual_income_inequality.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">that workers follow the same pattern. The ones who work for the top firms get paid a lot more than the folks who work for average firms.</p> <p>As it turns out, some industries have more super firms than others and thus contribute more to growing income inequality. The FIRE sector&mdash;Finance, Insurance, Real Estate&mdash;is the most obvious example. Both firm revenue and individual compensation has gone up far more than in any sector. But other sectors have their superstars too, and individuals at those firms get paid a lot more than a similar worker at a firm that's not doing so well.</p> <p>So in addition to talking about the top 1% of individuals, we should be talking about the top 1% of firms. But what does that mean? Things get a little hazy at this point:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Instead of top incomes rising within firms, top-paying firms are now paying even higher wages.</strong> This may tend to make inequality more invisible, as individuals do not see rising inequality among their peers. More research needs to be done to understand why inequality between firms has increased so much more than inequality within them. <strong>But this fact of stable inequality within firms should inform our understanding of the great increase in inequality within the United States over the last three decades.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/29/economists-have-figured-out-whos-really-to-blame-for-inequality/" target="_blank">Matt O'Brien suggests</a> that this means nearly every industry is now part of the winner-take-all economy. In the same way that modern technology allows a tiny subset of superstar singers or actors to earn huge audiences (and huge paychecks), perhaps it also enables modern firms to do the same. And it could be self-reinforcing. The super firms can afford to hire the best workers, and that in turn drives even more unequal growth.</p> <p>In any case, if the authors are right, it matters a lot which firm you work for. If you pick the right one, you might ride the income inequality gravy train right to the top. In not, you probably won't.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 29 May 2015 15:53:59 +0000 Kevin Drum 276241 at http://www.motherjones.com US Officially Removes Cuba From List of State Sponsors of Terrorism http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/us-officially-removes-cuba-list-state-sponsors-terrorism <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday, the State Department <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/05/242986.htm" target="_blank">announced</a> the decision to drop Cuba from a list of states sponsoring terrorism. The official press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>In December 2014, the President instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch a review of Cuba&rsquo;s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and provide a report to him within six months regarding Cuba's support for international terrorism. On April 8, 2015, the Secretary of State completed that review and recommended to the President that Cuba no longer be designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.</p> <p>Accordingly, on April 14, the President submitted to Congress the statutorily required report indicating the Administration&rsquo;s intent to rescind Cuba&rsquo;s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, including the certification that Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six-months; and that Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future. The 45-day Congressional pre-notification period has expired, and the Secretary of State has made the final decision to rescind Cuba&rsquo;s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, effective today, May 29, 2015.</p> <p>The rescission of Cuba&rsquo;s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission. While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba&rsquo;s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation</p> </blockquote> <p>The decision is a major step toward normalizing diplomatic relations with Havana. Among other activities, Friday's announcement will allow Cuba to do <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32926821" target="_blank">banking</a> in the United States. However, the move does not lift the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-29/u-s-takes-cuba-off-terror-list-paving-the-way-for-normal-ties" target="_blank">trade embargo,</a> which requires congressional approval.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo International Fri, 29 May 2015 15:45:55 +0000 Inae Oh 276231 at http://www.motherjones.com Economy Shrinks in Q1; Annual Growth Still Stuck in the Doldrums http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/economy-shrinks-q1-annual-growth-still-stuck-doldrums <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today brings disappointing economic news. The economy didn't just grow slowly in the first quarter, it actually shrunk by 0.7 percent. As usual, winter weather is getting part of the blame, and some economists are going even further, wondering if we need to step back and take a look at the formula for seasonal adjustments. Perhaps, for some reason, the formula is no longer reflecting reality during the winter quarter.</p> <p>Maybe. But what this shows is that although the US economy continues to putter along in decent shape, it still hasn't reached takeoff velocity. The economy has been growing at a rate of 2-3 percent per year for the past five years, and there's little evidence this is going to change anytime soon.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_gdp_2015_q1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 15px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 29 May 2015 14:29:41 +0000 Kevin Drum 276221 at http://www.motherjones.com This Girl's Yearbook Quote Has the Most Amazing Feminist Message http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/yearbook-quote <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Before leaving high school, Caitlyn Cannon, a 17-year-old who just graduated from Oak Hills High School in California, gifted her senior class with an amazing yearbook quote that nails feminism and sticks up for LGBT rights&mdash;all in just one line:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">this is all I honestly care about right now <a href="http://t.co/5J0YauhezN">pic.twitter.com/5J0YauhezN</a></p> &mdash; lil snowball (@casualnosebleed) <a href="https://twitter.com/casualnosebleed/status/603085032744493056">May 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Her powerful message has since gone viral. Cannon, who describes herself as both "feminist" and "really gay" on <a href="https://twitter.com/C_to_the_Cizzle" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, told the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/caitlyn-cannon-feminist-yearbook-quote_n_7453754.html" target="_blank"><em>Huffington Post</em></a>, "I was tired of seeing the same old quotes from popular books and movies and authors, and I wanted to call attention to a problem that women face. I've never really been ashamed to say that I am gay, so the LGBT aspect was simply who I am."</p> <p>The future is looking so bright.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Gay Rights Sex and Gender Fri, 29 May 2015 13:14:23 +0000 Inae Oh 276216 at http://www.motherjones.com Havana Nights, Indoors http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/havana-nights-indoors <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>Friend of the blog Jay Jaroch recently spent some time in Cuba. Here's the third of three posts about what he observed while he was there.</em></p> <hr width="20%"><p>One of the nice things about getting out of LA is taking a break from listening to your friends talk about all the television shows they <em>can&rsquo;t believe you&rsquo;re not watching.</em> I&rsquo;m not sure I&rsquo;ll be accepted back at work until I&rsquo;ve turned in my term paper on the Mad Men finale. In terms of getting a reprieve, I figured Cuba was as good a place as any.</p> <p>Little did I know that many Cubans are binge watching the same shows we are.</p> <p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_tv.jpg" style="margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">&ldquo;I watched all seasons of Dexter,&rdquo; one Havana man told a wide-eyed me. &ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m watching The Following. You like The Following?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Which one is that?&rdquo; I asked.</p> <p>&ldquo;With Kevin Bacon.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Oh, right.&rdquo;</p> <p>Homeland, Game of Thrones, Orange Is the New Black&mdash;you name it. They may be a few episodes behind your friends in the states, but not by much. In a country where cable and satellite dishes are banned, and internet service is mostly confined to hotels and about as functional as the dial-up days, Cubans get their favorite shows via something called &ldquo;the package.&rdquo; Basically, it&rsquo;s a cross between Netflix and a drug deal&mdash;for a small fee and a handshake, someone will hook you up with a flash drive full of Hollywood.</p> <p>&ldquo;You order what you want to see, which season, and a few days later you get the package,&rdquo; a guide in Havana explained to me. &ldquo;With Spanish subtitles. A good way to learn English.&rdquo;</p> <p>It was technically illegal, but also ubiquitous. And apparently Raul&rsquo;s government doesn&rsquo;t care.</p> <p>&ldquo;As long as you are not bringing in pornography, they don&rsquo;t bother you,&rdquo; the guide said.</p> <p>(Cuba takes their anti-pornography laws seriously. My surly immigration official asked me only two questions: had I been to any Ebola affected areas, and was I bringing in pornography? One got the sense that you could have just about anything in your bag so long as it wasn&rsquo;t an old copy of <em>Swank</em>.)</p> <p>Another option in Havana was to watch TV in one of the better hotels, some of which were equipped with cable for their international clientele. One man I met seemed to be more up on American television than I was, and I work in <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_us_interest_section_havana.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">television. I almost wanted to say &ldquo;Clear eyes, full hearts!&rdquo; just to see if he&rsquo;d yell, &ldquo;Can&rsquo;t lose!&rdquo; back at me.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t worry. I didn&rsquo;t.</p> <p>This is new territory, and not for Hollywood&mdash;we&rsquo;re used to having our product stolen and distributed on foreign streets. As recently as a few years ago, getting any sort of American dispatch, much less television, would have been impossible in Cuba. In 2006, at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana (what passes for our embassy) we began broadcasting news and pro-American messages from an electronic ticker we&rsquo;d installed at the top of the building. In response, Castro&rsquo;s government erected 140 flagpoles in front of the ticker so Cubans couldn&rsquo;t see the messages. Now, in 2015, Cubans are freely downloading American Idol, or any of our wonderful shows about pawn shops.</p> <p>Change is afoot, and there&rsquo;s certainly more to come. As I sat waiting for my flight out of Jos&eacute; Mart&iacute; Airport, half of the lights in the terminal flickered, and then went out. None of the electronic screens worked, and there was little evidence that they ever had. An announcement came over the loudspeaker telling us that the air conditioning was also out, and that they were working on it. No one seemed surprised at any of this. We all just continued fanning ourselves with our boarding passes.</p> <p>As my Cubana plane finally arrived at the gate, I noticed an American Airlines plane was landing on the runway. It seemed appropriate. In Cuba, nobody knows what kind of change is on its way. But everyone knows that it&rsquo;s coming.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 29 May 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Kevin Drum 276206 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Sepp Blatter Lash Out Against FIFA's Critics in 2013 http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/watch-sepp-blatter-lash-out-against-fifas-critics-2013 <!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="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iInTdexhnbw" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In October 2013, at the Oxford Union, FIFA president Sepp Blatter took aim at critics who viewed soccer's international governing body as "a faceless machine printing money at the expense of the beautiful game." (He also <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/oct/29/real-madrid-sepp-blatter-cristiano-ronaldo-hairdresser" target="_blank">mocked Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo</a> for how much <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/oct/29/real-madrid-sepp-blatter-cristiano-ronaldo-hairdresser" target="_blank">he spends on his hair</a>.) Blatter <a href="http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/president/02/20/54/90/25_10_2013_pdt_speech_oxford_neutral.pdf" target="_blank">told the crowd</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>There are those who will tell you that football is just a heartless, money-spinning game or just a pointless kick about on the grass. There are those who will tell you that FIFA is just a conspiracy, a scam, accountable to nobody and too powerful for anyone to resist. There are those who will tell you of the supposed sordid secrets that lie deep in our Bond villain headquarters in the hills above Zurich, where we apparently plot to exploit the unfortunate and the weak. They would have you believe that I sit in my office with a sinister grin, gently stroking the chin of an expensive, white Persian cat as my terrible sidekicks scour the earth to force countries to host the World Cup and to hand over all of their money. You might laugh. It is strange how fantasy so easily becomes confused with fact. And it feels almost absurd to have to say this. But that is not who we are. Not FIFA. Not me.</p> </blockquote> <p>(You can watch the whole speech below&mdash;It's very long! He talks very slowly!&mdash;but the key bits are in the video up top.)&nbsp;</p> <p>These words resonate now, as Blatter <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/05/fifa-corruption-sepp-blatter-historian" target="_blank">sets his sights on a fifth term</a> at&nbsp;the head of the organization amid pressure and criticism following a series of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/sports/soccer/fifa-officials-face-corruption-charges-in-us.html" target="_blank">corruption-related charges</a> on senior FIFA officials that have roiled the sport.</p> <p>But remember that "Bond villain headquarters in the hills above Zurich" Blatter was talking about? Well, Swiss photographer Luca Zanier snapped a photo of FIFA executive committee's boardroom in Zurich, and it <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/soccer-dirty-tackle/fifa-s-executive-boardroom-looks-exactly-as-menacing-as-you-would-expect-190204422.html" target="_blank">looks villain-esque</a>. John Oliver even <a href="https://youtu.be/DlJEt2KU33I?t=7m17s" target="_blank">likened it</a> to the war room in Dr. Strangelove.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">FIFA's executive boardroom looks like a James Bond Super villain's lair. <a href="http://t.co/7IVn92ie3C">pic.twitter.com/7IVn92ie3C</a></p> &mdash; Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) <a href="https://twitter.com/Gotham3/status/581033290674479105">March 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Here is Blatter's full speech, courtesy of the Oxford Union:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7QWAxbkTzsg" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Mixed Media International Sports Fri, 29 May 2015 01:54:35 +0000 Edwin Rios 276211 at http://www.motherjones.com Health Update http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/health-update-1 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I spent all morning up at City of Hope for a follow-up appointment with my transplant doctor. My counts all look good. My white blood count is 5500 and my ANC count is at 2800. Both are right in the middle of the normal range, which means my immune system is rebounding as expected. That's very encouraging.</p> <p>On the actual cancer front, the lab results are frustratingly hazy. The key thing my doctor wants to see is a big drop in my M protein level. Today I got the results from two weeks ago (it takes a while for the lab to do this particular test), and my M protein level had dropped from 1.0 to 0.38. The good news is that this means I responded to the chemotherapy. The hazier news is that it hasn't dropped to zero, as we'd like it to. I won't have the results of today's test until next week, but hopefully it will show a drop that gets me close to zero. Following that, around the end of June, I'll have a biopsy that will provide firm results on how well I responded to the chemo.</p> <p>So....we wait. I'm not super thrilled with the 0.38 number, but my doctor assures me that this might represent nothing more than old cells lying around that haven't quite died off yet. We'll see.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 28 May 2015 22:53:41 +0000 Kevin Drum 276196 at http://www.motherjones.com Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" Music Video Set to the DuckTales Theme Song Is Amazing http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/05/beyonc%C3%A9-ducktales <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>This is so perfect. I love it so much. I love Beyonc&eacute; and I love the <em>DuckTales</em> and I love whoever made this video and I love America and I love the internet and I love George Washington for founding this wonderful country.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O_2pKNWthJ4" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Contributor Thu, 28 May 2015 22:42:03 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 276191 at http://www.motherjones.com Editor of Leading Conservative Magazine Declares That "Some Black Lives Don't Matter" to Activists http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/rich-lowry-someblacklivesdontmatter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rich Lowry, editor of <em>National Review</em><em> </em>magazine, has a plan for restoring stability to America's currently troubled inner cities: Arrest and imprison more black people. It's basically a long-running conservative argument, but can we get real for a minute about how he's making it?</p> <p>Here's the profoundly cynical and callous way that he's decided to tweak some social media language to argue <a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/ferguson-freddie-gray-policing-118348.html#ixzz3bSA8v1K9" target="_blank">in <em>Politico</em></a> that the #BlackLivesMatter movement is "a lie." Its supporters, he suggests, are opportunistically anti-police and don't otherwise care about inner city deaths that don't make national news:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Lowry_Screen_new.jpg"></div> <p>That high-octane <a href="http://twitter.com/RichLowry/status/603907770996363264" target="_blank">trolling</a> is accompanied by an equally cynical take on the underlying problem. Baltimore reportedly saw an uptick in murders in recent weeks, which Lowry blames on police "shrinking from doing their job" in the wake of upheaval over <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/know-freddie-grays-death/" target="_blank">Freddie Gray's death</a> in police custody. The city's "dangerous, overwhelmingly black neighborhoods," he writes, "need disproportionate police attention, even if that attention is easily mischaracterized as racism. The alternative is a deadly chaos that destroys and blights the lives of poor blacks."</p> <p>Never mind that a rising awareness of policing problems in America may also have something to do with acute underlying socioeconomic ills, which, you know, destroy and blight the lives of poor blacks.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/LowryNRO_0.jpg"><div class="caption"> <p><strong>Rich Lowry. </strong><em><a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/author/rich-lowry" target="_blank">National Review Online</a></em></p> </div> </div> <p>Lowry's theme ignores the reality of what many Americans have found so outrageous about the cases that have drawn national media attention. Say, the fact that the white cop who instantly shot a 12-year-old black kid and then watched him bleed out on the pavement without providing any first aid <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police" target="_blank">still hasn't been questioned by investigators six months after the killing</a>. Or the fact that a black woman whose family called 911 in need of mental health assistance for her <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tanisha-anderson-killing-cleveland-police" target="_blank">ended up dead from police use of force less than two hours later</a>.</p> <p>Perhaps Lowry should spend a little time watching <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/police-shootings-caught-on-tape-video" target="_blank">these 13 videos from the past year</a> that show mostly white cops killing mostly black men who were mostly unarmed. They are a kind of vivid, disturbing evidence that may well bring some different hashtags to mind.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Thu, 28 May 2015 20:45:05 +0000 Mark Follman 276146 at http://www.motherjones.com The Artist Behind the "Hope" Poster Is Mad At Obama http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/shepard-fairey-obama-hope <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Shepard Fairey's hopes are dashed.</p> <p>Fairey, the artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster during Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, says in a new interview that he is disappointed by Obama's performance as president.</p> <p>While discussing his new web series "Rebel Music" with <em><a href="http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/interviews/a35288/shepard-fairey-street-art-obama-hope-poster/" target="_blank">Esquire</a>,</em>&nbsp;Fairey was asked if Obama had lived up to the poster's expectations. He answered, "Not even close." Fairey explained:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>Obama has had a really tough time, but there have been a lot of things that he's compromised on that I never would have expected. I mean, drones and domestic spying are the last things I would have thought [he'd support]. I've met Obama a few times, and I think Obama's a quality human being, but I think that he finds himself in a position where your actions are largely dictated by things out of your control.</p> </blockquote> <p>Don't expect him to look to <a href="http://www.ap.org/Content/AP-In-The-News/2012/Obama-HOPE-poster-artist-Shepard-Fairey-gets-probation" target="_blank"><em>copyrighted Associated Press</em> photos</a> to create an image for Hillary, either.&nbsp;A jaded Fairey says that while he agrees with her on most issues, the "campaign finance structure makes [him] very angry."&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>And with this, the street artist may have provided the Republicans with the perfect tagline come 2016: Democrats, a hope deferred!</p></body></html> Mixed Media Obama Thu, 28 May 2015 20:07:26 +0000 Inae Oh 276151 at http://www.motherjones.com Americans Now Approve of Suicide, But Only With a Doctor's Note http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/americans-now-approve-suicide-only-doctors-note <!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.vox.com/2015/5/28/8673403/social-issues-poll" target="_blank">Via Matt Yglesias,</a> here's an interesting Gallup poll measuring American attitudes toward a variety of social behaviors. Unsurprisingly, there's been a general shift leftward. Support is higher than it was 2001 for gay relations, sex between unmarried partners, medical research on human embryos, etc. <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/183413/americans-continue-shift-left-key-moral-issues.aspx" target="_blank">Here's the full table,</a> with the result I found oddest highlighted in red:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_suicide.jpg" style="margin: 15px 0px 15px 50px;"></p> <p>Note that the moral acceptability of suicide has gone up slightly, but it's still very low. Less than one-fifth of the country approves of it. But <em>doctor-assisted</em> suicide is a whole different story. More than half of all Americans approve of it.</p> <p>I'm not quite sure what this means. Does approval by a guy in a white coat really mean that much to most Americans? Is there an assumption that "doctor-assisted" means that everything possible has been done to talk the patient out of suicide? Or is there an assumption that doctor-assisted suicide is always for people with end-stage diseases that leave them in constant pain?</p> <p>I'm not sure. In any case, it's also worth noting that public opinion has barely budged on several hot button issues. In particular, support for abortion, cloning, marital affairs, and the death penalty remains virtually unchanged over the past 15 years.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 28 May 2015 14:59:28 +0000 Kevin Drum 276131 at http://www.motherjones.com Jon Stewart Blasts 24 Years of FIFA Corruption that "Started a Jennifer Lawrence Ago" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/jon-stewart-fifa <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>"For years, and I say this with all due respect, American soccer fans have stood by while the media obsesses over other sports crimes and scandals," Jon Stewart <a href="http://thedailyshow.cc.com/full-episodes/j17rjd/may-27--2015---rosabeth-moss-kanter" target="_blank">said on</a> "The Daily Show" Wednesday. "Well now finally, soccer is getting its perp walk."</p> <p>Stewart was, of course, addressing this week's stunning FIFA indictments that have sent shockwaves within the international sports community over allegations of routine corruption and kickbacks by FIFA's top officials.</p> <p>"FIFA is so bad they got arrested by the SWISS, a country whose official policy on Nazi gold was 'We'll allow it,'" he explained.</p> <p>But such allegations are far from new. Stewart went on to question why investigators took 24 years&mdash;or as he put it into perspective a, "Jennifer Lawrence ago"&mdash;to finally crack down on officials.</p> <p>As for big banks long dogged by corruption allegations, Stewart says we may have to wait another 24 years for the Justice Department to start doing something&mdash;anything!&mdash;to punish shady bankers.</p> <p><strong>Watch below:</strong></p> <div style="width: 640px; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;</div> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:640px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:arc:video:thedailyshow.com:6c9cc17b-d4fc-4aaa-9b1c-2bc663e8c722" width="630"></iframe></div> </div></body></html> Mixed Media International Media Sports Thu, 28 May 2015 13:34:27 +0000 Inae Oh 276121 at http://www.motherjones.com Cubans Really Don't Like Marco Rubio http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/cubans-really-dont-marco-rubio <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>Friend of the blog Jay Jaroch recently spent some time in Cuba. Here's the second of three posts about what he observed while he was there.</em></p> <hr width="20%"><p>For obvious reasons, it can be difficult to get a Cuban to open up about their political views. It usually took some time to establish trust, and a certain amount of privacy. Sharing a few rum drinks didn&rsquo;t seem to hurt either.</p> <p>But they often did open up, especially when I offered to answer any questions they had for me. And the one question virtually everyone had was this: is Hillary Clinton going to be the next president? When I&rsquo;d tell them I gave her a 75%-80% chance of winning based on demographic trends alone, they&rsquo;d exhale. It wasn&rsquo;t because they had any particular love for <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_marco_rubio.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">Hillary Clinton. It&rsquo;s that they expected that she would continue Obama&rsquo;s Cuba policies, whereas a Republican president would reinstate the full embargo. So, viva Hillary.</p> <p>The more interesting thing, to me, was that they saved a particular brand of venom for Marco Rubio. Cab drivers, bartenders, artists&mdash;everyone seem to have something to say about Marco Rubio, and none of it was kind. A few suggested that as a Cuban-American Rubio should display some concern for economic struggles of every day Cubans, or to at least recognize that he was afforded an opportunity that millions of poorer Cubans never had, namely having parents who moved to the United States before Castro took over. (Or as Rubio used to tell it, barely escaping the revolution while Castro personally shot at their raft.) The fact that he was pledging to double down on the embargo was a pledge to make their lives worse, to deny them the new hope they&rsquo;ve been given these last few years, all to suck up to the aging exile community in Florida.</p> <p>Yes, I found something Cubans don&rsquo;t like about America&mdash;it&rsquo;s where Marco Rubio lives.</p> <p>President Obama, on the other hand, received a fair amount of praise. According to a recent Gallup survey, Obama enjoys a 80% approval rating among Cubans. And it was pretty obvious why. &ldquo;I loved Obama when he was elected,&rdquo; one man in Havana told me. &ldquo;Then I hated him when he turned out to be like every other president. But now, I like him again.&rdquo;</p> <p>Not surprisingly, when it came to their view of American politics and politicians, the embargo was a bit of a litmus test. Opinions on our Cuba policy ranged from anger to bewilderment. One man in Cienfuegos asked me, &ldquo;Why do you bother? You have all the money. We are a poor island. Only 11 million people. Why do you care?&rdquo;</p> <p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_rincon_cretinos.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">Another made a smart point. &ldquo;Our government blames all our problems on you. If you don&rsquo;t have the embargo, then who can they blame?&rdquo;</p> <p>A visit to the Museo de la Revoluci&oacute;n in Havana drove the man&rsquo;s point home. Before you even exit the lobby you come to the Rincon de los Cretinos, or &ldquo;The Corner of the Pricks.&rdquo; Four panels featuring cartoon versions of Fulgencio Batista, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, each with a note of thanks translated into three languages.</p> <p>On George W. Bush&rsquo;s panel the note read, &ldquo;Thank you cretin for helping us MAKE SOCIALISM IRREVOCABLE!&rdquo;</p> <p>Socialism was misspelled.</p> <p><strong>Next: How Cubans binge-watch American television.</strong></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 28 May 2015 13:00:07 +0000 Kevin Drum 276116 at http://www.motherjones.com This Chart Shows the Staggering Human Cost of Staging a World Cup in Qatar http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/chart-fifa-deaths-qatar-move-it-to-the-united-states <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nine-fifa-officials-and-five-corporate-executives-indicted-racketeering-conspiracy-and" target="_blank">dropped the hammer</a> on FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, indicting nine senior FIFA officials and five sports marketing execs on charges of corruption, wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.</p> <p><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/may/10/millions-bribes-qatar-2022-world-cup-claims" target="_blank">Allegations of bribery</a> have long plagued FIFA, especially since its controversial decision to grant Qatar the 2022 World Cup. But much worse is the plight of South Asian migrant workers brought in to build the stadium infrastructure there:&nbsp;Since 2010, more than 1,200 migrant workers have died in Qatar under hazardous working conditions, and a 2013 <em>Guardian</em> investigation <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/qatar-world-cup-migrant-workers-dead" target="_blank">found</a> that at least 4,000 total are projected to die before the 2022 World Cup even starts. And as we reported yesterday, Nepali workers <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/world-cup-qatar-nepal-earthquake-soccer" target="_blank">weren't even allowed </a>to return home after the country's recent devastating earthquake.</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/27/a-body-count-in-qatar-illustrates-the-consequences-of-fifa-corruption/" target="_blank">Christopher </a><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/27/a-body-count-in-qatar-illustrates-the-consequences-of-fifa-corruption/" target="_blank">Ingraham</a> at the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/27/a-body-count-in-qatar-illustrates-the-consequences-of-fifa-corruption/" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a> put that toll in perspective in a striking infographic. He compared the number of workers who died in the run-up to several Olympics and World Cups with the number of those who have died in Qatar so far. It's horrifying:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Toll-Of-FIFA%27s-Corruption.jpg"><div class="caption">Christopher Ingraham/<em>Washington Post</em></div> </div></body></html> Mixed Media Charts Human Rights International Sports Wed, 27 May 2015 23:17:42 +0000 Edwin Rios 276091 at http://www.motherjones.com Nebraska Becomes First Conservative State in 40 Years to Repeal the Death Penalty http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/nebraska-repeals-death-penalty-thanks-conservatives <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Nebraska legislators on Wednesday overrode the Republican governor's veto to repeal the state's death penalty, a major victory for a small but growing conservative movement to end executions. The push to end capital punishment divided Nebraska conservatives, with 18 conservatives joining the legislature's liberals to provide the <a href="http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/nebraska-senators-override-governor-s-veto-repeal-death-penalty/article_32726c27-0ef4-5415-9d07-f90f08707602.html" target="_blank">30 to 19 vote</a> to override Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto&mdash;barely reaching the 30 votes necessary for repeal.</p> <p>Today's vote makes Nebraska "the first predominantly Republican state to abolish the death penalty in more than 40 years," said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, in a statement shortly after the vote. Dunham's statement singled out conservatives for rallying against the death penalty and said their work in Nebraska is "part of an emerging trend in the Republican Party." (Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan legislature, so lawmakers do not have official party affiliations.)</p> <p>For conservative opponents of the death penalty, Wednesday's vote represents a breakthrough. &nbsp;A month ago, overcoming the governor's veto <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/nebraska-republicans-take-gop-governor-over-death-penalty" target="_blank">still looked like a long-shot</a>.&nbsp; Conservatives make a number of arguments against the death penalty, including the high costs and a religion-inspired argument about taking life. "I may be old-fashioned, but I believe God should be the only one who decides when it is time to call a person home," Nebraska state Sen. Tommy Garrett, a conservative Republican who opposes the death penalty, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/nebraska-republicans-take-gop-governor-over-death-penalty" target="_blank">said</a> last month.</p> <p>"I think this will become more common," Marc Hyden, national coordinator of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, said in a statement following the repeal vote. "Conservatives have sponsored repeal bills in Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Missouri, and Kentucky in recent years."</p> <p>But conservative opponents of the death penalty have a tough slog ahead. Though support for the death penalty has reached its lowest point in 40 years, according to the <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/16/less-support-for-death-penalty-especially-among-democrats/" target="_blank">latest Pew Research Center survey</a>, 77 percent of Republicans still support it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice death penalty Wed, 27 May 2015 21:59:14 +0000 Pema Levy 276031 at http://www.motherjones.com Scott Walker Says Mandatory Ultrasounds Are "Just a Cool Thing" for Women http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/scott-walker-mandatory-ultrasounds <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After months of keeping a <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/05/where-is-scott-walker.html" target="_blank">low profile</a> for a man very likely running for president, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is back in the headlines today with quite the <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/scott-walker-ultrasounds-should-be-mandatory-theyre-cool-thing-out-there" target="_blank">outrageous quote</a>. Walker, who was speaking in defense of a <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/wisconsin-governor-signs-abortion-bill-requiring-ultrasound-93762.html" target="_blank">controversial abortion bill </a>he signed into law that forces women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound, said in an interview on Friday the mandatory exams are "just a cool thing" for women.</p> <blockquote> <p>I'll give you an example. I'm pro-life, I've passed pro-life legislation. We defunded Planned Parenthood, we signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they're pro-life or not, I find people all the time who'll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids' ultrasound and how excited they are, so that's a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It's just a cool thing out there.</p> </blockquote> <p>He went onto say Republicans shouldn't solely focus on abortion, but also embrace other key conservative issues. Nevertheless:</p> <blockquote> <p>It certainly is a part of who we are and we shouldn't be afraid to talk about it, and we shouldn't be afraid to push back. When you think about Hillary Clinton, and you think about some others on the left, you say, I think it's reasonable, whether you're pro-life or not to say that taxpayers dollars shouldn't be spent to support abortion or abortion-related activities. Most Americans believe in that. There are many candidates on the left who don't share that belief.</p> </blockquote> <p>Seriously, ladies. Why keep fighting for autonomous control over your bodies, when clearly mandatory ultrasounds are just so darn neat? Put down the pitchfork and embrace the red wave!</p> <p>Listen to the Walker's interview, recorded by <em><a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/" target="_blank">Right Wing Watch</a></em>, below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="250" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207319871&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Reproductive Rights Scott Walker Sex and Gender Wed, 27 May 2015 19:23:04 +0000 Inae Oh 275956 at http://www.motherjones.com Your Snobby Wine Friends Are Full of Shit http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/cheap-wine-rules <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Find yourself in the company of an intolerable, self-annointed&nbsp;wine connoisseur? Don't bother arguing about how great the $7 bottle of supermarket merlot is. The best way to deal with the inevitable snobbery headed your way might be to show them the following video <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/5/20/8625785/expensive-wine-taste-cheap" target="_blank">produced by Vox</a>, which slays the belief expensive wines are more delicious.&nbsp;</p> <center> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mVKuCbjFfIY" width="630"></iframe></p> </center> <p>When 19 staffers blind-tested three different red wines from the same grape, the average ratings for the cheapest and most expensive wines were exactly the same! And while half of those tested were able to correctly identify which wine was the most expensive, they actually reported enjoying it <em>less </em>than the cheaper offerings. That's because, according to the video, more complex wines tend to challenge our plebian palates.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks Vox. Now here is <em>Mother Jones</em>' contribution to you oenophiles:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/05/how-open-wine-bottle-your-shoe" target="_blank">"How to Open a Wine Bottle With Your Shoe."</a></p> <center> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9XyvC8LyvXQ" width="630"></iframe></p> </center></body></html> Mixed Media Food and Ag Wed, 27 May 2015 18:43:54 +0000 Inae Oh 275951 at http://www.motherjones.com Health Update http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/health-update-0 <!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.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/so-how-did-my-experiment-turn-out" target="_blank">Last Saturday</a> I wrote a post whining about how tired and nauseous I was and how I crashed every day around 2 pm. I wrote that post a little before noon, and then....nothing. No crash. Sunday: no crash. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: no crash. And the nausea has improved dramatically. There are two possible explanations for this:</p> <ul><li>It's just a coincidence.</li> <li>Whining in public is really therapeutic and helped me feel better.</li> </ul><p>So which is it? Who knows. I suppose it was just a coincidence, but that's not a very satisfying explanation for us pattern-obsessed primates, is it? In any case, I'm still tired and I still make sure to rest frequently throughout the day. But my energy level is distinctly better than last week, and my nausea is clearly getting better too. Genuine progress! Hooray!</p> <p>Unfortunately, the foul taste in my mouth is still hanging around. In theory, full recovery from the chemo side effects should take 6-7 weeks, and I'm now at week 5. Hopefully this means in another week or two I'll be feeling pretty sprightly and foulness free. We'll see.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 27 May 2015 18:39:20 +0000 Kevin Drum 275961 at http://www.motherjones.com Your City Is Probably Not Going to Be Hit By A Terrorist Attack http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/list-cities-most-risk-terrorist-attacks-probably-wont-suprise-you <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Americans are understandably<a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/american-fear-74-see-catastrophic-terrorist-attack-inside-united-states/article/2558294" target="_blank"> terrified of terror attacks</a>. But good news! These fears have nothing to do with actual data. According to a new tool released last week, n<a href="http://maplecroft.com/portfolio/new-analysis/2015/05/20/abuja-cairo-nairobi-and-islamabad-among-12-capital-cities-facing-extreme-terrorism-risks-verisk-maplecroft/" target="_blank">o US cities are among the world's 50 most at risk of terror attacks</a>.</p> <p>The index, designed by UK based Verisk Maplecroft, a global risk assessment firm, calculates the risk of terror attacks in "1,300 of the world&rsquo;s most important commercial hubs and urban centers" using historic trends. By logging and analyzing every reported attack or event per 100 square meters and calculating the frequency and severity of those&nbsp;incidents, Maplecroft's tool establishes a baseline for the past five years. Then, it compares that data with the number, frequency, and severity of attacks for the most recent year. Depending on the most recent statistics, cities move up or down on the list of cities at risk for terror attacks.</p> <p>What cities are in danger? Cities near ISIS.&nbsp;Baghdad&nbsp;is the most terror prone city, followed by five other places in Iraq&mdash;including Mosul, an ISIS stronghold in northern Iraq, and Al Ramadi, ISIS's <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/26/middleeast/iraq-ramadi-inside-the-fight/" target="_blank">most recent </a>hostile takeover. In just one year, as of February, over 1,000 residents of Baghdad lost their lives in one of the almost 400 terror attacks the city endured.</p> <p>A total of 27 of the 64 countries at "extreme risk" are located in the Middle East, and 19 are in Asia. Residents living in the capital cities of Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Tripoli face some of the strongest risks of terror attacks as well. Maplecroft <a href="http://maplecroft.com/portfolio/new-analysis/2015/05/20/abuja-cairo-nairobi-and-islamabad-among-12-capital-cities-facing-extreme-terrorism-risks-verisk-maplecroft/" target="_blank">points</a> to the risk of terror incidents in high-ranking countries like Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, and Pakistan as major threats to US commercial interests.</p> <p>And, recent events have triggered some cities to climb in the rankings. Prior to the Charlie Hebdo attack, Paris didn't even make the top 200 most at risk cities. But according to the current index, the French capital jumped over 100 spots, now coming in at&nbsp;97. Increasing violence purported by African militant groups, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia, have heightened the risk of terror incidents in African nations, landing 14 countries in the top 64.</p> <p>So stop freaking out about terror attacks, America.</p></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Foreign Policy Human Rights International Top Stories National Security Wed, 27 May 2015 18:32:15 +0000 Jenna McLaughlin 275941 at http://www.motherjones.com Note to Politicians: Stop Being So Self-Centered About Medical Research Funding http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/note-politicians-stop-being-so-self-centered-about-medical-research-funding <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_test_tubes.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">Steve Benen mentions one of my pet peeves today: politicians who want to cut spending on everything except for research on one particular disease that happens to affect them personally. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/politicians-should-learn-bigger-lessons-their-pet-causes" target="_blank">A couple of years ago,</a> for example, Sen. Mark Kirk suddenly became interested in Medicaid's approach to treating strokes after he himself suffered a stroke. The latest example is Jeb Bush, whose mother-in-law has Alzheimer's. I suppose you can guess what's coming next. <a href="http://mariashriver.com/blog/2015/05/i-emailed-jeb-bush-about-alzheimers-and-he-responded-maria-shriver-jeb-bush/" target="_blank">Here's Jeb in a letter he sent to Maria Shriver:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>I have gotten lots of emails based on my comments regarding Alzheimer&rsquo;s and dementia at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. It is not the first time I have spoken about this disease. I have done so regularly.</p> <p>Here is what I believe:</p> <p><strong>We need to increase funding to find a cure.</strong> We need to reform FDA [regulations] to accelerate the approval process for drug and device approval at a much lower cost. We need to find more community based solutions for care.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/why-jeb-bushs-line-alzheimers-matters" target="_blank">As Benen points out,</a> Bush vetoed a bunch of bills that would have assisted Alzheimer's patients when he was governor of Florida. I guess that's changed now that he actually knows someone with the disease. However, it doesn't seem to have affected his attitude toward any other kind of medical research spending.</p> <p>I'm not even sure what to call this syndrome, but it's mighty common. It's also wildly inappropriate. If Jeb wants to personally start a charity that helps fund Alzheimer's research, that's great. But if he's running for president, he should be concerned with medical research for everyone. I mean, where's the billion dollars that <em>I'd</em> like to see invested in multiple myeloma research? Huh?</p> <p>Presidents and members of Congress represent the country, not their own families. They should get straight on the fact that if their pet disease is being underfunded, then maybe a lot of other diseases are being underfunded too. It shouldn't take a family member getting sick to get them to figure that out.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 27 May 2015 17:14:04 +0000 Kevin Drum 275946 at http://www.motherjones.com Texas Wants Its Own Fort Knox http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/texas-fort-knox-gold-new-york <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Texas independence&mdash;or paranoia&mdash;strikes again. In&nbsp;recent years, some Lone Star officials, including former Gov. Rick Perry, have flirted with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/12/rick-perry-secession_n_2120453.html" target="_blank">secession</a>. Last month the new Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, asked the state national guard to monitor a US military exercise that some residents fear is cover for a federal takeover of the state that will use Walmarts as staging areas. And now the state is on the verge of seizing the gold owned by the state that is stored in New York City and building a massive bunker to hoard&nbsp;this booty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2015/04/30/abbotts-letter-puts-jade-helm-national-stage/" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">Per the </a><a href="http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Senate-Let-Texas-establish-its-own-Fort-Knox-6287035.php" target="_blank"><em>Houston Chronicle</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>AUSTIN &mdash; Texas could get its own version of Fort Knox, the impenetrable depository for gold bullion, if the Legislature gets its way.</p> <p>Under House Bill 483, approved unanimously on Tuesday by the state Senate, Comptroller Glenn Hegar would be authorized to establish and administer the state's first bullion depository at a site not yet determined.</p> <p>No other state has its own state bullion depository, officials said.</p> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">The state government has about $1 billion in gold bullion stored outside the state, mostly in the basement of the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan. The gold has been there for years&mdash;because it's so annoying to move, it's easier to keep everyone's gold in the same place, and the financial center of the world is the most obvious place. When bullion changes hands, it's mostly on paper. So</span>&nbsp;why does Texas now need to grab all its gold? Is it just because Texans don't trust New Yorkers? Is it really that simple?</p> <p><a href="http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Senate-Let-Texas-establish-its-own-Fort-Knox-6287035.php" target="_blank">Yes</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>"New York will hate this," [state sen. Lois] Kolkhorst said of the bill that now goes to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law. "To me, that and the fact that it will save Texas money makes it a golden idea."</p> </blockquote> <p>The cost-cutting bit refers to the storage fees Texas has to pay to keep its gold offsite, although Texas would still have to shell out money for upkeep and security if it went the DIY route. Incidentally, Perry supported the Texas Bullion Depository when it was first proposed in 2013, <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2013/03/21/perry-some-lawmakers-want-states-gold-back-texas/" target="_blank">telling</a> Glenn Beck, "If we own it, I will suggest to you that that's not someone else&rsquo;s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not."</p> <p>But building a giant vault to house all the state's gold will be the easy part. The tough task? Safely and securely moving&nbsp;57,000 pounds of gold from Gotham to Texas. Perhaps we now know the plot for the <a href="http://www.bustle.com/articles/73979-when-will-fast-furious-8-be-released-the-story-isnt-over-for-the-crew-just" target="_blank">eighth <em>Fast and Furious</em> movie</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Economy Texas Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:57 +0000 Tim Murphy 275936 at http://www.motherjones.com