Blogs | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/Kevin http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Michael B. Jordan Just Slammed People Who Can’t Deal With One of The Fantastic Four Being Black—And It’s Great http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/michael-b-jordan-trolls-human-torch-can-be-black-too <!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/_rRoD28-WgU" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>These days, when the fate of the world hangs in the balance, the superheroes that end up saving the day are normally straight, white men&mdash;at least on the big screen.&nbsp;</p> <p>While Marvel's comics have become increasingly more diverse over the years with a <a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Next-Spider-Man-May-Another-White-Guy-69939.html" target="_blank">half-black, half-Hispanic Spiderman</a> and a <a href="http://www.vulture.com/2015/05/marvels-female-superhero-renaissance.html" target="_blank">female version of Thor</a>, its cinematic universe <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/women-superheroes-movies-marvel-sony-hunger-games" target="_blank">remains largely male</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vulture.com/2013/10/marvel-diversity-problem-avengers-shield-comics.html" target="_blank">whitewashed</a>. This is why the backlash to Michael B. Jordan being cast in the highly-anticipated reboot of&nbsp;<em>Fantastic </em><em>Four</em>is so disheartening. When the actor was originally confirmed to play Johnny Storm a.k.a the Human Torch, naysayers took to social media to complain about the black actor would be playing a traditionally white character. (When <em>TMZ</em> <a href="http://screenrant.com/fantastic-four-michael-b-jordan-human-torch-criticism/" target="_blank">asked</a> what he thought of the criticism, Jordan quipped: "They're still going to see [the movie] anyway.")</p> <p>Attention, trolls and comic book purists:&nbsp;The idea that Jordan shouldn't be Johnny Storm because he's black is misguided, because, you know, comic books are fictional and so are the movies.&nbsp;Anyone can fill these roles and&nbsp;do a great job (see Idris Elba<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZXjQee9VA4" target="_blank"> as a Norse god in&nbsp;<em>Thor</em></a>).</p> <p><a href="http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/22/michael-b-jordan-fantastic-four-race" target="_blank">In an essay</a>&nbsp;published Friday&nbsp;in <em>Entertainment Weekly</em>, Jordan slammed&nbsp; people who are having a hard time accepting that in the new movie only three&nbsp; of the fantastic four are white.</p> <blockquote> <p>This is a family movie about four friends&mdash;two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister&mdash;who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That&rsquo;s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.</p> <p>Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, "I&rsquo;ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I&rsquo;ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations."&nbsp;I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won&rsquo;t talk about it as much. Maybe, if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that "it has to be true to the comic book."&nbsp;Or maybe we have to reach past them.</p> <p>To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends&rsquo; friends and who they&rsquo;re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It&rsquo;s okay to like it.</p> </blockquote> <p>Let's sum up Jordan's smackdown in one line: The Human Torch is whatever&nbsp;Marvel says it is. You can see how Jordan does in theaters on August 7.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Race and Ethnicity Sun, 24 May 2015 00:25:19 +0000 Edwin Rios 275781 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama's Plan to Save the Monarch Butterflies' Epic Migration http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/05/whats-deal-obamas-plan-save-monarch-butterflys-epic-migration <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Earlier this week, amid negotiating <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/obama-leadership-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp" target="_blank">major trade deals</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/barack-obama-finally-joins-twitter" target="_blank">joining</a> Twitter, Obama put forth a major infrastructure project: a highway for monarch butterflies.</p> <p>That's right, monarch butterflies. The pollinators are crucial to the health of our ecosystems but, like bees, their populations have <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/09/the-monarch-massacre-nearly-a-billion-butterflies-have-vanished/" target="_blank">seen</a> startling drops. Some groups are even <a href="http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/monarch_butterfly/index.html" target="_blank">calling</a> for their protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Obama administration wants to do something about it as part of its&nbsp;strategy to protect pollinating insects, but that turns out to be a tricky task given the monarch's&nbsp;complex life cycle.</p> <p>Each year, millions of monarch butterflies complete a 2,000-mile migration circuit from Mexico to the border of the United States and Canada that is so epic it has inspired <a href="http://makewayformonarchs.org/i/poetry" target="_blank">poetry</a>, <a href="http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780062124265" target="_blank">a novel </a>and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YatyW5ozRAs" target="_blank">documentary</a> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le1snq0ROXM" target="_blank">after</a> <a href="http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/butterfly_monarch" target="_blank">documentary</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YatyW5ozRAs" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The whole process revolves around the butterflies' favorite plant, milkweed, on whose leaves they lay eggs. Milkweed grows in the northern&nbsp;United States and southern Canada, so each spring they <a href="http://www.monarchbutterflyfund.org/node/148" target="_blank">migrate</a> north from Mexico (a process that requires multiple generations), resting along the way on trees like this.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Monarch butterflies in trees" class="image" src="/files/butterflies%20on%20trees.jpg" style="height: 420px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">Rebecca Blackwell/AP</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Monarch butterflies on branch" class="image" src="/files/butteflies%20on%20branch.jpg" style="height: 422px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">Rebecca Blackwell/AP</div> </div> <p>The generation that arrives up north has just enough energy to lay eggs on milkweed leaves before dying themselves. The new generation, bolstered by the milkweed, then grows up with the strength to make make the autumn trip back to Mexico before the cold, continuing the cycle.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ocWgSgMGxOc" width="630"></iframe></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Monarch butterflies" class="image" src="/files/shutterstock_143452636_0.jpg" style="height: 418px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">Noradoa/Shutterstock</div> </div> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;">But a mixture of climate change, development, and herbicide use has </span><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/01/how-gmo-crops-dethrone-monarch-butterfly" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">wiped out</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> the milkweed-hungry monarchs. The US Fish and Wildlife Service </span><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/09/the-monarch-massacre-nearly-a-billion-butterflies-have-vanished/" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">estimated</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> that nearly one billion butterflies have died since 1990, a&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/invertebrates/monarch_butterfly/pdfs/Monarch_ESA_Petition_QA.pdf" style="line-height: 2em;" target="_blank">90 percent</a><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 2em;"> population decline.</span></p> <p>Enter Obama. As part of his "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators," his administration&nbsp;has <a href="http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/politics/national-strategy-to-promote-the-health-of-honey-bees-and-other-pollinators/1554/" target="_blank">introduced</a>&nbsp;a plan to <span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">restore the monarch butterflies' habitat and&nbsp;</span>increase their population by 225 million. The centerpiece of the&nbsp;plan is a "flyway" along Interstate 35, which stretches from Texas to Minnesota. The plan calls for turning federally owned land along the interstate corridor into milkweed refuges for the butterflies.</p> <p>Will it work? Many don't think it's enough, including Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The goal the strategy sets for the monarch butterfly migration is far too low for the population to be resilient," she said in an email adding&nbsp;more protection and a ban of harmful pesticides are needed to save them.</p> <p>One source of hope for the insect is its beauty. No one wants to see these iconic butterflies go away.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="600" src="https://vine.co/v/O9rFPxu9Yql/embed/simple" width="630"></iframe><script src="https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js"></script></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="monarch butterfly" class="image" src="/files/shutterstock_93648106.jpg" style="height: 367px; width: 630px; float: left;"><div class="caption">Jean-Edouard Rozey/Shutterstock</div> <div class="caption"> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="monarch butterfly" class="image" src="/files/AP166429473329.jpg" style="height: 452px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">Rebecca Blackwell/AP</div> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Blue Marble Animals Climate Change Sat, 23 May 2015 19:52:56 +0000 Luke Whelan 275751 at http://www.motherjones.com So How Did My Experiment Turn Out? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/so-how-did-my-experiment-turn-out <!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/its-experiment-week" target="_blank">On Monday</a> I announced that this was Experiment Week. Today is Saturday, and Science&trade; has spoken.</p> <p>It turns out that I'm kinda sorta OK for about four or five hours in the morning. As long as I rest every hour or so, I can indeed write a couple of light blog posts, <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_2_oclock.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">take a walk around the block, and shower and shave. That's the good news.</p> <p>However, the deadline for my second walk of the day is about 2 pm. On Monday I walked at 5 pm, and when I was done I felt like I'd just run a marathon. It took me all evening to recover. On Tuesday I walked at 4 pm. This time it felt like I'd run a mile, and I recovered in about an hour. Basically, I've learned that my body wants to crash at about 2 pm every day. Maybe I doze for a couple of hours, maybe I actually sleep a bit, but either way I'm good for nothing. By 5 pm I'm back up, but all my chemo side effects have started to get worse. The neuropathy is worse, the nausea is worse, and the fatigue is worse. This continues until bedtime, getting steadily worse the entire time.</p> <p>So that's that. I have the energy for light activity from about 7 am to 2 pm. Then I collapse, and when I get up I spend the next five or six hours enduring crappy side effects of the chemo. Oh, and this includes a terrible taste in my mouth that never goes away. Ugh.</p> <p>But it could be worse! In fact, it's <em>been</em> worse before. Still, it's frustrating that recovery seems to come so slowly. I don't know if I'll be spending another week like this or another couple of months. All I can do is wait and see.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 23 May 2015 17:42:23 +0000 Kevin Drum 275776 at http://www.motherjones.com Ireland Is Latest Country to Approve Gay Marriage http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/ireland-latest-country-approve-gay-marriage <!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_ireland_gay_marriage.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">I don't have anything profound to say about this, but it's just a nice piece of good news. And I could use <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/yes-side-joyous-as-count-starts-in-irish-gay-marriage-vote/2015/05/23/3e7d509a-012b-11e5-8c77-bf274685e1df_story.html?hpid=z1" target="_blank">some good news these day:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday after the world&rsquo;s first national vote on the issue.</p> <p>As the official ballot counting continued, the only question appeared to be how large the &ldquo;yes&rdquo; margin of victory from Friday&rsquo;s vote would be. Analysts said the &ldquo;yes&rdquo; support was likely to exceed 60 percent nationally when official results are announced later Saturday.</p> </blockquote> <p>Congratulations to Ireland. This is both a human <em>and</em> humane gesture in a world that could use more of them.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 23 May 2015 15:38:12 +0000 Kevin Drum 275771 at http://www.motherjones.com This GoPro Video From Inside An F-18 Fighter Jet Is Absolutely Bonkers http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/05/planes-are-neat-fun-cool-flying-is-neat-fun-cool <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/clipgif.gif"><div class="caption">ABC News</div> </div> <p>GoPro videos are cool. Fighter jets (<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/f-35-pentagon-budget-deal-cupcakes" target="_blank">that aren't the F-35</a>) are cool. GoPro videos from fighter jets are unsurprisingly cool.</p> <p>This one was <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/cockpit-blue-angel-pilot-23056307" target="_blank">featured on ABC News</a> last year but I only discovered it just now courtesy of Nightline producer <a href="https://twitter.com/MeredithFrost/status/601941330625835009" target="_blank">Meredith Frost on Twitter.</a> (<a href="http://twitter.com/meredithfrost" target="_blank">Follow her</a>.)</p> <p>You should watch it! Or not. I mean, you don't have to. It takes all sorts to make a world. Maybe you want to leave a comment asking incredulously "why is this news?" Either way, have a great night!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe height="354" scrolling="no" src="http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=23056307" style="border:none;" width="630"></iframe><br><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/video">ABC News Videos</a> | <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/entertainment">ABC Entertainment News</a></p></body></html> Contributor Video Sat, 23 May 2015 03:28:10 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 275766 at http://www.motherjones.com Holy Shit. This Is How the Duggars' Homeschooling Curriculum Allegedly Dealt With Sexual Abuse. http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/05/holy-shit-how-duggars-homeschooling-curriculum-allegedly-dealt-sexual-abuse <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>All I can tell you about this tweet is that the Duggars <a href="http://jezebel.com/conservative-leader-with-ties-to-duggar-family-faces-ab-1536648157" target="_blank">are/were fans of Bill Gothard</a> and that this sexual abuse "lesson" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/micah-j-murray/growing-up-in-bill-gothar_b_5228166.html" target="_blank">does appear</a> to have been a part of his curriculum at one time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The Duggars use Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute for homeschooling. This is how sexual abuse is approached: <a href="http://t.co/hSqOKUk0uv">pic.twitter.com/hSqOKUk0uv</a></p> &mdash; Sarah Galo (@SarahEvonne) <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahEvonne/status/601838249959620608">May 22, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><a href="http://powderroom.kinja.com/how-are-the-duggars-dealing-with-the-gothard-sex-scanda-1581883720" target="_blank">Gothard himself has been the subject of sordid allegations</a>.</p> <p><em><strong>Update</strong></em>: "This is what purity culture does. More than anything else, it silences victims." &mdash;<a href="http://twitter.com/samanthapfield" target="_blank">Samantha Field</a>, whose <a href="http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/how-josh-duggar-is-getting-away-with-it/" target="_blank">thoughtful post "how Josh Duggar is getting away with it"</a> served as <a href="https://twitter.com/SarahEvonne/status/601886676764463105" target="_blank">Sarah Galo's source</a> for Gothard's insane sexual abuse counseling sheet. <a href="http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/how-josh-duggar-is-getting-away-with-it/" target="_blank">Go read the whole thing.</a></p></body></html> Contributor Fri, 22 May 2015 22:11:22 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 275761 at http://www.motherjones.com For the First Time Ever, Social Conservatives No Longer Outnumber Social Liberals in America http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/first-time-ever-conservatives-no-longer-outnumber-liberals-america <!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.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_05/no_more_social_conservative_te055694.php" target="_blank">Via Ed Kilgore,</a> here's an interesting chart <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/183386/social-ideology-left-catches-right.aspx" target="_blank">from the good folks at Gallup:</a></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_gallup_liberal_conservative_1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 55px;"></p> <p>What's interesting about this is that the change is due almost entirely to Democrats and Democratic leaners. Since 1999, that group has gone from 35 percent socially liberal to 53 percent, and from 20 percent socially conservative to 14 percent conservative.</p> <p>Republicans and Republican leaners, by contrast, have barely budged. In the 2015 polling there's a slight dip in conservative ID and a slight spike in moderate ID, but it's probably just noise. Generally speaking, the lines are pretty flat over the past couple of decades.</p> <p>So why have Democrats changed so much? Perhaps it's the impact of Millennials. Perhaps it's the impact of gay marriage, which Democrats have been far more willing to accept than Republicans. Maybe MSNBC and liberal blogs have had a bigger impact than I would have guessed. I'm not sure. But the increase has been steady enough that it can't be blamed on any specific event, like the Bush presidency or the financial crisis.</p> <p>In any case, this really is a milestone. For a long time, one of the rocks of political analysis in America has been the simple fact that conservatives outnumber liberals. That's been true since at least the 60s, and probably for the entire postwar period&mdash;and it's been a perpetual millstone around Democratic necks. They couldn't win national elections just by getting the liberal vote and a little bit of the center-right vote. They had to get a <em>lot</em> of the center-right vote.</p> <p>But it now looks like that era is coming to an end. With social issues increasingly defining politics, a social liberal is, for all practical purposes, just a plain old liberal&mdash;and the trend of <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/180452/liberals-record-trail-conservatives.aspx" target="_blank">increasing liberal ID is already underway.</a> It's still got a ways to go, but the liberal-conservative gap is definitely closing. This probably goes a long way toward explaining why Hillary Clinton and other Democrats seem much more willing to move left than in the past. It's because they no longer think they have to capture a huge chunk of the moderate vote to win. They still need some moderates in their camp, but they no longer need to capture two-thirds or more of them. Like Republicans, they can make do with half or even a bit less.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> The headline initially just said "liberal" and "conservative" without mentioning that it was about <em>social</em> liberals and conservatives. Too much shorthand. Sorry about that. I've changed the headline and a few words of the text to make everything clear.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 22 May 2015 16:40:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 275726 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging Counterpoint: I Don't Care About Your Cute Cat http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/cats-dogs-pets-pandas-whatever <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>While Kevin Drum is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/housekeeping-note" target="_blank">focused on getting better</a>, we've invited some remarkable writers, thinkers, and Friends of Kevin to contribute posts and keep the conversation going. Today, in the spirit of open debate, we interrupt our regularly scheduled <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/friday-cat-blogging-22-may-2015" target="_blank">cat blogging</a> for a counterpoint by <a href="http://annfriedman.com/clips" target="_blank">writer</a>, <a href="http://annfriedman.com/day-jobs" target="_blank">editor</a>, <a href="http://annfriedman.com/cyg" target="_blank">podcaster</a>, <a href="http://annfriedman.com/speaking" target="_blank">speaker</a>, <a href="http://annfriedman.com/tagged/pie+charts" target="_blank">chartisan</a>, <a href="https://tinyletter.com/annfriedman" target="_blank">newsletterer</a>, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/11/mail-order-abortions" target="_blank">former </a></em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/11/mail-order-abortions" target="_blank">MoJo</a><em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/11/mail-order-abortions" target="_blank">er</a></em><em> <a href="http://annfriedman.com/bio" target="_blank">Ann Friedman</a>.</em></p> <p>I don't like cats. And it's even worse than you think: I don't like dogs, either. In fact, I have virtually no interest in animals at all&mdash;even eating them. I am really happy that you are comforted by the presence of your dog. I am thrilled that you and your cat "rescued each other." But, no, I do not want to cuddle with or even see photos of your pet. And please don't bother sending me that video of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Se6flT2EWs">baby red pandas</a> cuddling each other or a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co3N4-6B2pM">lion reuniting</a> with its long-lost human pal.</p> <p>I feel nothing.</p> <p>On this point, especially among my feminist peers on the internet, I am in the minority. In honor of the man who <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/28/technology/circuits/28cats.html">pioneered Friday cat blogging</a>, I'm going to reckon with the fact that I am just not very interested in furry creatures. The last time I wrote about this was seven years ago, in ancient internet times when I was a blogger for <em>Feministing</em> and <a href="http://feministing.com/2007/08/31/friday_anticat_blogging_1/">dared</a> to do some "Friday anti-catblogging." The commenters weren't having it. "I honestly think that there is a valuable conversation to be had about the correlation of cat-hating with misogyny," one wrote.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/kevin-drum/2015/05/cats-dogs-pets-pandas-whatever"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Kevin Drum Animals Top Stories Fri, 22 May 2015 16:34:47 +0000 Ann Friedman 275621 at http://www.motherjones.com Kansas Republicans Have Come Up with a Disgraceful New Way to Screw the Poor http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/heres-how-kansas-republicans-are-screwing-poor <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Starting in July, a new law in Kansas will restrict the amount of cash a welfare recipient can take out of ATM's to just $25 a day&mdash;a move that critics say introduces a whole new host of financial burdens&mdash;including high ATM fees and travel costs&mdash;when they access cash.</p> <p>Max Ehrenfreund at the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/21/kansas-has-found-the-ultimate-way-to-punish-the-poor/" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post </em></a>explains:</p> <blockquote> <p>Since&nbsp;most banking machines&nbsp;are stocked only with $20 bills, the $25 limit is effectively a $20 limit.&nbsp;A family seeking to withdraw even $200 in cash would have to&nbsp;visit an&nbsp;ATM 10 times a month, a real burden for a parent&nbsp;who might not have a car and might not live in a neighborhood where ATMs are easy to find.</p> </blockquote> <p>The law, backed by a GOP-dominated Kansas legislature and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, will benefit the pockets of large banks while taking money from poor families who rely on food stamps.</p> <blockquote> <p>In Kansas's system, every withdrawal incurs a $1 fee, and if the beneficiary doesn't have a bank account, they will have to pay the ATM fee, too. Those fees might be worth it for some families, though, because the card issued by the&nbsp;state of&nbsp;Kansas isn't like a debit card from&nbsp;an ordinary bank. Ordinary debit cards allow their holders to make purchases for free in stores.&nbsp;In Kansas, beneficiaries get two free purchases a month. After that, they pay 40 cents&nbsp;every time they&nbsp;use the card&nbsp;to buy something.</p> </blockquote> <p>The ostensible rationale for this redistribution of wealth is to minimize waste and prevent low income residents from spending their money on non-essentials like alcohol and the much-feared <a href="https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqID3R19Voj8AGCQsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWc0dGJtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMQ--?p=Jon+Stewart+Welfare+Lobster&amp;vid=18b18abf873d9a1be0d926b9b75785fa&amp;l=4%3A46&amp;turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DWN.%252fdXqe5QFyMSifoOUVN2FVQ%26pid%3D15.1&amp;rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHxBDhoIpl5g&amp;tit=Jon+Stewart+slams+Kansas+for+welfare+hypocrisy+and+gun+insanity+%5BFULL+HD%5D&amp;c=0&amp;sigr=11bm6l0bl&amp;sigt=129lccqen&amp;sigi=12141uhgf&amp;age=1428684620&amp;fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av&amp;fr=yhs-mozilla-001&amp;hsimp=yhs-001&amp;hspart=mozilla&amp;tt=b" target="_blank">lobster feast</a>. This is the demonizing-the-poor trope that Republican lawmakers frequently deploy to justify punitive control over how low income people spend their money. In addition to the limit on withdrawals, the state's new law carries restrictions to ludicrous levels by prohibiting spending on items such as <a href="http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/measures/documents/hb2258_02_0000.pdf" target="_blank">swimming pools and fortune telling sessions.</a></p> <p>As <em>Mother Jones </em>has written in the past, such <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/10-poverty-myths-busted" target="_blank">concerns</a> are wildly misplaced and seriously hurt the poor. President Obama recently addressed this conservative characterization, calling out Fox News for portraying the poor as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/fox-news-probably-never-even-read-the-grapes-of-wrath" target="_blank">lazy "leeches"</a> eager to waste government funds.</p> <p>Fortunately, Kansas' controversial new provision may actually turn out to be <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/05/17/266888/kansas-could-lose-millions-for.html" target="_blank">illegal,</a> violating federal law that mandates welfare recipients "have adequate access to their cash assistance" without enduring high fees.<br> &nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Economy Income Inequality Fri, 22 May 2015 16:19:19 +0000 Inae Oh 275716 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging - 22 May 2015 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/friday-cat-blogging-22-may-2015 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>One of the reasons we got a pair of sibling cats last year is because I've always wanted a couple of cats who would sleep together in an adorable little kitty pile. And that's worked out pretty well. Is there anything cuter than Hilbert and Hopper snoozing together in the picture below? I don't think so. I really don't.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hilbert_hopper_2015_05_21.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 40px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 22 May 2015 16:00:12 +0000 Kevin Drum 275711 at http://www.motherjones.com Don't Panic: Health Insurance Rates Aren't About to Rise by 50 Percent http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/dont-panic-health-insurance-rates-arent-about-rise-50-percent <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's the latest Fox News bait <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/health-insurers-seek-hefty-rate-boosts-1432244042?mod=trending_now_1" target="_blank">from the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law&rsquo;s impact.</p> <p>In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products. Moda Health, the largest insurer on the Oregon health exchange, seeks an average boost of around 25%.</p> <p><strong>All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Well, of course they do. It's a handy excuse, so why not use it?</p> <p>In any case, we've all seen this movie before. Republicans will latch onto it as evidence of how Obamacare is destroying American health care and it will enjoy a nice little run for them. Then, a few months from now, the real rate increases&mdash;the ones approved by state and federal authorities&mdash;will begin to trickle out. They'll mostly be in single digits, with a few in the low teens. The average for the entire country will end up being something like 4-8 percent.</p> <p>So don't panic. Sure, it's possible that the Obamacare shit has finally hit the fan, but probably not. Check back in October before you worry too much about stories like this.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Health Care Fri, 22 May 2015 14:53:32 +0000 Kevin Drum 275721 at http://www.motherjones.com Josh Duggar Resigns From Family Research Council Amid Molestation Allegations http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/josh-duggar-resigns-family-research-council-amid-molestation-allegations <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday, Josh Duggar <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-apologizes-resigns-from-family-research-council-amid-molestation-allegations/" target="_blank">resigned</a> as head of the Family Research Council's lobbying arm amid allegations from a sealed police report <a href="http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/bombshell-duggar-police-report-jim-bob-duggar-didn-t-report-son-josh-s-alleged-sex-offenses-for-more-than-a-year-58906" target="_blank">obtained by <em>In Touch Weekly</em></a> that he sexually molested multiple underage girls when he was a teenager.</p> <p>Duggar, the eldest son of the reality TV family on TLC's <em>19 and Counting</em>, expressed regret for his actions <a href="https://www.facebook.com/duggarfamilyofficial/posts/653931128073873" target="_blank">in a statement on the Duggar family's Facebook page</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.</p> </blockquote> <p>Josh's parents Jim Bob and and Michelle Duggar <a href="http://defamer.gawker.com/josh-duggar-accused-of-molesting-several-sisters-as-a-t-1706096839" target="_blank">reportedly knew</a> about the alleged sexual misconduct, which began in 2002, for more than a year before reporting it to the authorities. After the Springdale Police Department received an anonymous tip in 2006, they investigated, but Duggar was never charged with anything. You can read the partially redacted police report <a href="http://imgur.com/a/zqPMi#0" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Duggars <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/duggars-huckabee-santorum-2016" target="_blank">emerged</a> as political players for the social conservative right in 2007, when Jim Bob, a one-time state representative, endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for president. After the 2012 election, when the family backed Rick Santorum, Josh Duggar <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-apologizes-resigns-from-family-research-council-amid-molestation-allegations/" target="_blank">catapulted</a> into conservative circles in Washington as the executive director of FRC Action.</p> <p>The family <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/rick-santorums-secret-weapon-duggars" target="_blank">remains</a> an influential force among social conservatives due to its <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/inside-duggar-familys-conservative-ideology-76547" target="_blank">pro-life views and strong Christian faith</a>. In December, Michelle Duggar <a href="http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/08/18/michelle-duggar-and-the-family-council-try-to-torpedo-fayetteville-non-discrimination-ordinance-with-lies" target="_blank">pushed</a> for the repeal of a measure in Arkansas that would have prevented housing and employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.</p> <p>In May, Jim Bob and Michelle endorsed Huckabee, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/duggar-family-deserts-rick-santorum-for-mike-huckabee-2015-5" target="_blank">calling him "a man of faith."</a> As of Thursday night, Jim Bob's endorsement is still on Huckabee's presidential campaign site. <em>Mother Jones</em> has reached out to the Huckabee camp for comment.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Jim%20Bob%20Duggar%20Endorsement%20Huckabee.png"><div class="caption">mikehuckabee.com</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections The Right mike huckabee Fri, 22 May 2015 02:56:49 +0000 Edwin Rios 275706 at http://www.motherjones.com Could LA's $15 Minimum Wage Sweep the Nation? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/how-15-minimum-wage-could-sweep-nation <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, Los Angeles became the third major West Coast city to pass a $15 minimum wage ordinance. Though the law won't fully go into effect until 2020, it's a huge deal. LA is larger than San Francisco and Seattle, the two other $15-an-hour cities, combined. It also has a much larger contingent of low-wage workers. The ordinance will give a raise to an estimated 750,000 Angelenos, or about 46 percent of the city's workforce.</p> <p>LA's wage hike points to the potential for a major minimum wage boost to sweep the country. Although experts <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/5/20/8631639/los-angeles-minimum-wage" target="_blank">disagree</a> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/21/opinion/a-15-minimum-wage-bombshell-in-los-angeles.html" target="_blank">about</a> the LA measure's impact on growth and employment, the City Council passed it by a 14-to-1 margin. The $15 wage polls well in LA <a href="https://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/2015/03/Minimum-Wage-Poll-Memo-Jan-2015.pdf" target="_blank">and nationally</a>, despite a dearth of national politicians pushing for such a large increase. If organizers play their cards right, this suggests a $15 wage could gain traction in other cities.</p> <p>So how did it happen? The original proposal, after all, was a more modest one. The measure's backers attribute their success to a combination of grassroots and national organizing. The umbrella group leading the push, the Raise the Wage Coalition, includes more than 260 local organizations from labor, business, entertainment, and the civil rights movement. It marshaled <a href="http://economicrt.org/publication/los-angeles-rising/" target="_blank">economic studies</a> to justify a $15 wage and delivered more than 100,000 petition signatures in favor. But it also benefited from what organizers call "air support"&mdash;the national campaign to pressure Walmart and McDonald's into implementing a $15-an-hour base wage.</p> <p>"It created a narrative that made it really hard for council members to simply look past the realities of what hard-working people are experiencing," says Rusty Hicks, executive secretary treasurer of the LA County Federation of Labor. "The facts and campaign brought to bear in LA were in many ways only a next step in the move to address income inequality."</p> <p>The organizers are already eyeing other SoCal cities. "It is not our intention to just stop in LA," says Laphonza Butler, president of the Service Employees International Union in California and co-organizer, with Hicks, of Raise the Wage Coalition. "We need to raise the wage all across the region."</p> <p>The group's next most likely contenders are Pasadena and West Hollywood.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Labor Top Stories minimum wage Thu, 21 May 2015 20:46:40 +0000 Josh Harkinson 275681 at http://www.motherjones.com New York City Is Not the Bohemia You May Think It Is http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/05/hey-nyu-graduates-we-found-a-place-for-you-to-apply-for-jobs-from-so-you-can-pay-off-your-student-debt <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=thWVcHVixF4C&amp;pg=RA1-PA262&amp;lpg=RA1-PA262&amp;dq=On+a+cold+winter%27s+night+in+January+1917,&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=f1WfYYFGdR&amp;sig=QeslCdMtGH9-8ycRTLKKgP8m4rc&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=uiFeVafSHfD8sASEtYMQ&amp;ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&amp;q=On%20a%20cold%20winter%27s%20night%20in%20January%201917%2C&amp;f=false" target="_blank">Greenwich Village, 1917</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>On a cold winter's night in January 1917, [socialist artists] mounted to the top of Washington Arch and strung up some balloons. [Gertrude Drick] then read aloud the document she and <a href="http://www.askart.com/artist/Charles_Frederick_Ellis/10016234/Charles_Frederick_Ellis.aspx" target="_blank">Ellis</a> had prepared, declaring the secession of Greenwich Village from the America of big business and small minds. They called on President Wilson to extend protection to their domain as one of the small nations, the "Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/copy-of-doi-greenwich-republic.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>"Declaration of Independence of the Greenwich Republic" </strong> John Sloan Manuscript Collection, Delaware Art Museum.</div> </div> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://ny.eater.com/2015/5/20/8631441/capital-one-opening-coffee-shop-meets-bank-concept-on-union-square" target="_blank">Greenwich Village, 2015:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><a href="http://ny.eater.com/2015/5/20/8631441/capital-one-opening-coffee-shop-meets-bank-concept-on-union-square" target="_blank">Capital One Opening Coffee-Shop-Meets-Bank Concept on Union Square</a></p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <blockquote> <blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Our savvy NYC &amp; SF Caf&eacute; Associates demo&rsquo;d mbl check deposits to on-the-go Savers. No paper cuts, no writer&rsquo;s cramp. <a href="http://t.co/NWhCb2hkCQ">pic.twitter.com/NWhCb2hkCQ</a></p> &mdash; Capital One 360 (@CapitalOne360) <a href="https://twitter.com/CapitalOne360/status/339516438861713409">May 28, 2013</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></blockquote> </blockquote> </blockquote></body></html> Contributor Ben's Thoughts Thu, 21 May 2015 18:50:08 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 275676 at http://www.motherjones.com The President of the Boy Scouts of America Just Endorsed Dropping the Ban on Gay Leaders http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/boys-scouts <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The president of Boy Scouts of America is <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/boy-scouts-leader-ban-gay-adults-sustainable-31208269#.VV4Qzqyn5P0.twitter" target="_blank">calling for an end</a> to the organization's ban on gay leaders, saying the "status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained." Robert Gates, who was speaking at the group's annual summit on Thursday, said the changes would not be made at the meeting, but indicated officials should look into revisions in the future.</p> <p>In Gates's remarks, the former defense secretary&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/us/boy-scouts-president-calls-for-end-to-ban-on-gay-leaders.html?smid=tw-bna&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">urged the organization</a> to "deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it be." His address, sure to <a href="https://twitter.com/DrewStoddard/status/601440765290512385" target="_blank">ruffle a few feathers</a>, stopped short of supporting gay rights outright. Instead, Gates said that the policy shift was necessary to keep the organization nationally relevant.</p> <p>"While our work won't be done until we see a full end to their ban on gay adults once and for all, today's announcement is a significant step in that direction," Zach Wahls, director for Equality, said in response to Thursday's announcement. "I'm proud to see Dr. Gates charting a course towards full equality in the BSA."</p> <p>In 2013, the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly <a href="http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a23825/boy-scouts-1014/?click=welcome-ad" target="_blank">gay scout</a>s&mdash;gay leaders however were not included in the changes. Just yesterday, the Girls Scouts of America double downed on the group's welcoming of <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/living/girl-scouts-welcomes-transgender-girls-feat/index.html" target="_blank">transgender girls.</a></p></body></html> Mixed Media Gay Rights Thu, 21 May 2015 18:14:35 +0000 Inae Oh 275671 at http://www.motherjones.com Republicans Hate Obamacare Even If They Like Their Own Obamacare Plans http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/republicans-hate-obamacare-even-if-they-their-own-obamacare-plans <!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://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/survey-of-non-group-health-insurance-enrollees-wave-2/" target="_blank">A new Kaiser poll</a> gives us an in-depth look at what people think about health insurance plans purchased through an Obamacare exchange. Some of the results are unsurprising: people like plans with low deductibles; most say it was easy to shop for a plan; and most were pretty satisfied with the plans they purchased. But unless I'm badly misreading something, there's one result that's pretty gobsmacking. First off, here's a chart showing basic satisfaction levels with Obamacare plans:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_kaiser_obamacare_satisfaction_q1_2015.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;"></p> <p>That's pretty good. Positive responses increased a bit from 72 percent to 74 percent. That compares very favorably with satisfaction levels toward employer plans. But now take a look at this chart that breaks down Obamacare favorability attitudes by party:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_kaiser_obamacare_party_breakdown_q1_2015.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 15px;"></p> <p>This is crazy. This isn't a general survey of all Americans. It's a survey specifically of people who don't have group coverage. Most of them (probably more than two-thirds) have actually purchased Obamacare plans and therefore have personal experience with them, but favorability is nonetheless still driven mostly by party ID. You can buy an ACA plan on the marketplace, get a subsidy, and be happy with your plan&mdash;but if you're a Republican you <em>still</em> overwhelmingly hate Obamacare by 74-25 percent.</p> <p>Folks, that is hardcore.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Health Care Thu, 21 May 2015 17:17:00 +0000 Kevin Drum 275666 at http://www.motherjones.com This Story Maggie Gyllenhaal Just Told Perfectly Explains the Hollywood Sexism Complex http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/maggie-gyllenhaal-hollywood-ageism <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Maggie Gyllenhaal recently lost a film role because she was apparently "too old" to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man, the 37-year-old actress revealed in a new interview with <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/maggie-gyllenhaal-on-hollywood-ageism-i-was-told-37-is-too-old-for-a-55-year-old-love-interest/" target="_blank"><em>The Wrap.</em></a></p> <p>"There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,&rdquo; Gyllenhall said. "I'm 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me."</p> <p>While she declined to identify the project's name&mdash;because Gyllenhall is all class&mdash;she said she was eventually able to laugh off the rejection.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh."</p> <p>Back in January, Gyllenhaal picked up a Golden Globe award for her performance in the BBC miniseries <em>The Honourable Woman</em>. During her acceptance speech, she stressed the importance of Hollywood <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/01/watch-maggie-gyllenhaal-just-gave-perfect-golden-globes-speech" target="_blank">embracing the roles of real women.</a></p> <p>"When I look around the room at the women who are here and I think about the performances that I've watched this year what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not," she said onstage. "What I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film. That's what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary and it's what's turning me on."</p> <p>Despite Gyllenhaal's optimism, it sure looks like Hollywood is hell bent on keeping ageism securely intact.&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Media Sex and Gender Thu, 21 May 2015 16:46:14 +0000 Inae Oh 275651 at http://www.motherjones.com CNN Plans to Feature Peanut Gallery Debate as Warmup for Main Event http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/cnn-plans-feature-peanut-gallery-debate-warmup-main-event <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>CNN will be hosting the second Republican debate, and they've come up with a....unique way of dealing with the fact that there are just too damn many candidates. To handle the crowd, <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/05/cnn-sets-criteria-for-second-gop-debate-207470.html?hp=rc2_4" target="_blank">they're going to have two separate debates:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>"The first 10 candidates&nbsp;&mdash; ranked from highest to lowest in polling order from an average of all qualifying polls released between July 16 and September 10 who satisfy the criteria requirements ... will be invited to participate in 'Segment B' of the September 16, 2015 Republican Presidential Primary Debate," the network states in its candidate criteria. "Candidates who satisfy the criteria and achieve an average of at least 1 percent in three national polls, but are not ranked in the top 10 of polling order will <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_cnn_debate_stage.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">be invited to participate in 'Segment A' of the September 16, 2015 Republican Presidential Primary Debate."</p> </blockquote> <p>Did you get that? All the yokels&mdash;Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, etc.&mdash;will go on first. They'll be sort of the warm-up act. Then they'll get shuffled off the stage and the big guns will have prime time all to themselves. This is pretty humiliating for the also-rans, but presumably if they play by the rules they'll have a chance to move up, just like in English Premier League soccer. Perhaps Rick Perry will stumble and get relegated to the minor leagues for the next debate, while Jindal will knock everyone's socks off and get promoted to the show. I don't know if I'd quite call this "fun," but it would certainly make for some interesting office pools.</p> <p>The first debate, which is hosted by Fox, will feature none of this nonsense. The top ten candidates will be invited to the debate, and that's that. If you're outside the top ten, you can watch the debate on your big-screen TV at home. Or, if Fox is feeling generous, perhaps the sad sacks polling at the 1% level will be allowed to while away their time in the spin room, where they can try to buttonhole reporters and explain why they really should have been up on the stage. Maybe the saddest story will win a prize.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 21 May 2015 15:29:12 +0000 Kevin Drum 275656 at http://www.motherjones.com Job-Seeker Hillary Clinton Posts Resume on LinkedIn http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/area-woman-looking-employment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Have you heard the news? Hillary Clinton is on the hunt for a new gig.</p> <p>And in an effort to attract prospective employers, the former secretary of state just joined <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/hillaryclinton" target="_blank">LinkedIn with her very own profile</a>. She even dressed up her page with an article on how to "jump-start small business."&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/clintonlinkedin.png"></div> <p>Enjoy the imminent deluge of spammy messages, Hillary!&nbsp;Everyone deserves a distraction from <a href="http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/us/politics/first-batch-of-hillary-clinton-emails-captures-concerns-over-libya.html?_r=2&amp;referrer=" target="_blank">"sensitive but unclassified"</a> emails.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton Tech Thu, 21 May 2015 14:38:28 +0000 Inae Oh 275641 at http://www.motherjones.com By About 2020, We'll Probably Finally Know Whether a $15 Minimum Wage Is a Good Idea http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/2020-or-so-well-probably-finally-know-whether-15-minimum-wage-good-idea <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So my near neighbor of Los Angeles is poised to raise the minimum wage to $15. How should we think of that?</p> <p>Personally, I'm thrilled. Not because I think it's a slam-dunk good idea, but because along with Seattle and San Francisco it will give us a great set of natural experiments to figure out what happens when you raise the minimum wage a lot. We can argue all we want; we can extrapolate from other countries; and we can create complex Greek-letter models to predict the effects&mdash;but we can't <em>know</em> until someone actually does it.</p> <p>So what do I think will happen? Several things:</p> <p>In the tradeable sector, such as clothing piece work and agriculture, the results are very likely to be devastating. Luckily, LA doesn't have much agriculture left, but it <em>does</em> have a lot of apparel manufacture. That could evaporate completely (worst case) or <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_los_angeles_15_minimum_wage.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">perhaps migrate just across the borders into Ventura, San Bernardino, and other nearby counties. Heavier manufacturing will likely be unaffected since most workers already make more than $15.</p> <p>In the food sector, people still need to eat, and they need to eat in Los Angeles. So there will probably be little damage there from outside competition. However, the higher minimum wage will almost certainly increase the incentive for fast food places to try to automate further and cut back on jobs. How many jobs this will affect is entirely speculative at this point.</p> <p>Other service industries, including everything from nail salons to education to health care will probably not be affected much. They pretty much have to stay in place in order to serve their local clientele, so they'll just raise wages and pass the higher prices on to customers.</p> <p>Likewise, retail, real estate, the arts, and professional services probably won't be affected too much. Retail has no place to go (though they might be able to automate some jobs away) while the others mostly pay more than $15 already. The hotel industry, by contrast, could easily become less competitive for convention business and end up shedding jobs.</p> <p>On the bright side, of course, a large number of low-income workers will see their wages rise. On the less bright side, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/19/the-best-indication-of-what-a-federal-12-minimum-wage-could-mean-for-poor-places-comes-from-puerto-rico/" target="_blank">the experience of Puerto Rico</a> suggests that (a) employment losses could be as high as 9 percent, and (b) lots of low-wage workers will flee to other places.</p> <p>So if I had to guess, I'd say that Los Angeles will see (a) less poverty for low-wage workers who keep their jobs, and (b) higher prices for middle-class consumers, who will end up paying for the minimum wage hike. Since the poor spend more than the middle-class, this could be a net stimulus for the LA economy. On the downside, we're also pretty likely to see significant job losses. In other words, I agree with Adam Ozimek that we should not treat this as terra incognita <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2015/05/20/uncertainty-about-15-minimum-wages-is-not-a-good-thing/" target="_blank">just because it's never been done before:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>It&rsquo;s true that the farther we go out of the historical sample, the more uncertain we are about the magnitude of the impact. But I think minimum wage advocates are taking the wrong message from this. After all, a $100 minimum wage would also be out of sample and subject to the same &ldquo;we have no clue&rdquo; and &ldquo;can&rsquo;t be on solid ground&rdquo; statements from Dube and Neumark. But this uncertainty is all in the direction of more job losses. <strong>When you enter unprecedented minimum wage hike territory your uncertainty goes up, but so undeniably does your risk of job losses.</strong> The idea that a minimum wage hike being of an unprecedented magnitude creates neutral uncertainty is like someone drinking more beer than they ever have just being uncertain about what it will do to their driving ability.</p> </blockquote> <p>So we'll see. My own guess is that $15 is too high. I would have supported something in the $10-12 range for a city as large and basically prosperous as Los Angeles. But $15? There's just too much uncertainty in a number that big, and the uncertainty almost all points in the direction of significant job losses.</p> <p>But I could be wrong! We now have three cities that are jumping into the deep end of the minimum wage debate, and that will eventually tell us more than all the speculation in the world combined. Fasten your seat belts.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 21 May 2015 14:23:46 +0000 Kevin Drum 275646 at http://www.motherjones.com School Lunches Just Got Way Better in These 6 Cities (and It's Not the Food) http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/05/school-lunches-just-got-way-better-these-major-school-districts <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>School lunches may <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/pity-poor-school-food-professional" target="_blank">be healthier</a> than when you were a kid, but the wasteful and polluting materials that cafeterias serve them on have actually gotten worse. In an effort to save on labor and equipment costs, many schools <a href="http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/baltsun/offers.html?url=%2Fbaltsun%2Fdoc%2F406806979.html%3FFMT%3DFT%26FMTS%3DABS%3AFT%26type%3Dcurrent%26date%3DAug%2B26%252C%2B1993%26author%3DNguyen%252C%2BLan%26pub%3DThe%2BSun%26edition%3D%26startpage%3D%26desc%3DSchool%2Bboard%2Burged%2Bto%2Bbuy%2Bdisposable%2Blunch%2Btrays%2BWashables%2Bare%2Btoo%2Bcostly%252C%2Breport%2Bsays" target="_blank">switched</a> from washable trays to disposable foam ones over the past couple of decades. But this trend is now beginning to change.</p> <p>The school districts of six major cities&mdash;New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Orlando&mdash; <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mizeman/big_cities_once_again_step_up.html" target="_blank">announced today</a> that they will stop using polystyrene foam trays, and begin serving lunch on compostable plates.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.urbanschoolfoodalliance.org/" target="_blank">Urban School Food Alliance</a>, which counts the country's largest school districts among its members, coordinated the change after developing an affordable compostable plate made from recycled newspaper that costs just a penny more than its foam counterpart.</p> <p>"Shifting from polystyrene trays to compostable plates will allow these cities to dramatically slash waste sent to landfills, reduce plastics pollution in our communities and oceans, and create valuable compost that can be re-used on our farms," said Mark Izeman, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which partners with the Alliance.</p> <p>This shift to compostable plates by more than <a href="http://www.urbanschoolfoodalliance.org/#section-the-numbers" target="_blank">4,000</a> schools will <a href="http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mbrown/serving_up_a_better_school_pla.html" target="_blank">save</a> an estimated 225 million petroleum-based plastic trays from going into landfill each year.</p> <p>What's next? The Alliance hopes to introduce compostable cutlery by next school year.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/FINAL.CompostablePlateGraphic.NRDC_.Alliance.5.20.15.jpg" style="height: 473px; width: 630px;"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Blue Marble Education Food and Ag Thu, 21 May 2015 10:00:12 +0000 Luke Whelan 275606 at http://www.motherjones.com This New Study Shows Sexual Assault on College Campuses Has Reached "Epidemic" Levels http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/campus-sexual-assault-study <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A new study published online by the <a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2015/images/05/20/carey_jah_proof.pdf" target="_blank"><em>Journal of Adolescent Health</em></a> suggests college sexual assault may be far more prevalent than previously believed. The study, titled "Incapacitated and Forcible Rape of College Women: Prevalence Across the First Year," which focused on first-year female students at one New York college, attempted to measure how frequently rape or attempted rape occurred by having female students fill out surveys throughout their freshman year.</p> <p>Of the 483 women who completed the questionnaires,&nbsp;18.6 percent reported instances of attempted rape. Incidences of rape were significantly higher when alcohol or drugs were involved.</p> <p>"Sexual violence on campus has reached epidemic levels," the study's authors wrote. "During their first year in college, one in seven women will have experienced incapacitated assault or rape and nearly one in 10 will have experienced forcible assault or rape. Interventions to reduce sexual violence on campus are urgently needed."</p> <p>Past studies have posted similar rates. One study reported <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/campus-sexual-assault-rape-stats-charts" target="_blank">one in five women suffering from some form of sexual violence during their college careers.&nbsp;</a> What is striking about these new findings is that they indicate high levels of such sexual assault in just a single year and early on in a woman's college experience.</p> <p>As Jesse Singal at the <a href="http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/05/what-new-survey-can-tell-about-rape.html" target="_blank"><em>Science of Us</em></a> blog notes, scientifically measuring the frequency of sexual violence is a complex and difficult task: What one person considers to be sexual assault someone else might not.&nbsp; In addition, this latest study only focused on one campus&mdash;making it impossible to generalize on a national scale.</p> <p>But as recent events have shown, sexual violence on college campuses is a persistent problem. For decades, conservatives have resisted calls for campuses to better protect women by dismissing the issue. With the fallout over <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/12/what-rolling-stone-owes-readers-jackie-and-victims-everywhere" target="_blank"><em>Rolling Stone</em>'s botched campus rape</a> investigation only fueling detractors, it's especially important for studies like the one published by the <em>Journal of Adolescent Health</em> to provide solid data to legitimize the problem so that potential assaults might be avoided.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Crime and Justice Education Sex and Gender Wed, 20 May 2015 20:19:37 +0000 Inae Oh 275591 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul's Latest Fundraiser Now Underway http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/rand-pauls-latest-fundraiser-now-underway <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I see from the intertubes that Sen. Rand Paul has <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2015/may/20/rand-paul-senate-filibuster-nsa-spying-patriot-act-live" target="_blank">begun another talking filibuster.</a> This time it's to protest <em>any</em> legislation that extends the NSA's ability to access metadata from phone calls, even if the data is held by <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_rand_paul_filibuster_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">the phone companies and available only by court order. Paul's filibuster will annoy a lot of people, but in the end I think I agree, for once, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-rand-paul-filibuster-20150520-story.html#page=1" target="_blank">with John McCain:</a> "He'll get his headline and then we'll move on."</p> <p>That's pretty much the lay of the land. Paul will chew up some floor time, which might end up eating into Memorial Day weekend for the Senate, but since virtually no one agrees with his position, it's simply not going to accomplish anything. I'm even a little skeptical about the headlines. Frankly, once you've done the Jimmy Stewart bit once, its entertainment value starts to plummet.</p> <p>On the other hand, Paul seems to be mostly treating this as another great fundraising opportunity, and it might very well be. But that's probably all it will be.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 20 May 2015 19:17:37 +0000 Kevin Drum 275601 at http://www.motherjones.com The Science of Why New York's Bagels Taste So Damn Good http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2015/05/nyc-bagels-best <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>MANHATTAN&mdash;New York City has the best bagels in America. This is a truth handed down from generation to generation. Why are the bagels here better than the bagels in Boston, Boise, Birmingham, or even cities that begin with letters other than B? Legend has it that it has something to do with the water that's piped down here from upstate. That's never really felt right. I'm not a water scientist but it just seems like some nonsense that sounds like it could be true so what the hell, sure, it's true! Doctor Oz probably credits NY bagels to the water.</p> <p>So, anyway, some cats from the A<a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/ACSReactions" target="_blank">merican Chemical Society</a> got together and ran some tests and spoke to some chefs and concluded that indeed it's not the magical properties of the Empire State's water supply that makes NYC bagels unique, but rather the unique competence of NYC bakers. Yes, the softness of the water plays a role but not an integral one. The baking method used in New York is just better than the baking method bakers in other cities use&mdash;but there is no reason why those bakers couldn't start using the NYC method (with some slight modifications), or so <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrjLz207SzY" target="_blank">sayeth the video</a>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MrjLz207SzY" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Is this video accurate? I have no idea. I am not a professor of baked goods. I<a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/chemistry-secret-to-nyc-bagels-water/" target="_blank">t sounds maybe reasonable to me. </a>It sort of makes sense, right? Because, yeah, New York has the best bagels but I've certainly had good bagels other places. But those bagels are normally the exception to the bagel culture of the area. I've definitely had one or two okay bagels in LA. Maybe those bakers are using the NY method? I don't know. What do you think?</p></body></html> Contributor Ben's Thoughts Wed, 20 May 2015 19:11:11 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 275596 at http://www.motherjones.com Eight Good Lessons About Health Care — Plus a Ninth http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/eight-good-lessons-about-health-care-%E2%80%94-plus-ninth <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Over at Vox today, Sarah Kliff and Julia Belluz have a list of <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/5/20/8621527/health-tips-reporter" target="_blank">eight things they now do differently</a> after reporting on health care for a combined decade between them. It's a great list, and unless I missed something I think I agree with every word on it. Even item #3, which has been, um, a bit of a challenge for me over the past six months.</p> <p>Of course, as with all collections of advice, even good ones, this one has an underlying ninth item: <em>don't be an idiot</em>. Sometimes guidelines need to be broken. But they're still good to keep in mind.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 20 May 2015 17:20:02 +0000 Kevin Drum 275581 at http://www.motherjones.com