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 The Clinton Rules, Tax Record Edition http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/clinton-rules-round-587 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I was sitting in the living room this afternoon and Hopper jumped into my lap. So I told Marian to turn the TV to CNN and I'd watch the news until Hopper released me. The first thing I saw was John Berman teasing a segment about Hillary Clinton releasing a <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_brianna_keilar.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">health statement plus eight years of tax records. In other words, pretty routine stuff for any serious presidential candidate. But when Berman tossed to Brianna Keilar, here's what she said:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>KEILAR:</strong> When you think of a document dump like this, you normally think of, uh, in a way, sort of having something to hide. But the Clinton campaign trying to make the point that they're putting out this information and they're trying to be very transparent.</p> </blockquote> <p>Talk about the Clinton rules! Hillary Clinton releases nearly a decade's worth of tax records, and the first thing that pops into Keilar's mind is that this is probably an effort to <em>hide</em> something. But hey! Let's be fair. The Clinton campaign says it's actually so that people can see her tax records. But they would say that, wouldn't they?</p> <p>Unbelievable. If any other candidate released eight years of tax records, it would be reported as the candidate releasing eight years of tax records. But when Hillary does it, there's very likely something nefarious going on. God help us.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:01:06 +0000 Kevin Drum 281086 at http://www.motherjones.com Huckabee Says He'd Consider Using Federal Troops to Stop Abortions http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/mike-huckabee-federal-troops-abortion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told supporters in Iowa on Thursday that if he were elected president he would consider using the FBI or National Guard <a href="http://cjonline.com/news/2015-07-31/mike-huckabee-republican-presidential-candidate-wont-rule-out-employing-us-troops" target="_blank">to end abortion by force</a>. Per the <em>Topeka Capital-Journal</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this," Huckabee said at the event, where a Topeka Capital-Journal correspondent was present.</p> <p>At his next stop, in Rockwell City, Huckabee answered follow-up questions from the correspondent, saying: "All American citizens should be protected."</p> <p>Asked by another reporter how he would stop abortion, and whether this would mean using the FBI or federal forces to accomplish this, Huckabee replied: "We'll see if I get to be president."</p> </blockquote> <p>That's crazy. The right to an abortion has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Huckabee is saying he might simply disregard the judicial branch and stop the practice unilaterally&mdash;that is, he'd remove the checks from "checks and balances." It's not the first time he's proposed a constitutional crisis as an antidote to things he doesn't like. Huckabee has also <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mike-huckabee-fight-gay-marriage-dred-scott-ruling-civil-disobedience" target="_blank">said</a> states should practice civil disobedience by ignoring the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.</p> <p>And to think, we're still nearly a week away <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/gop-debate-cruz-paul-huckabee-trump-santorum" target="_blank">from the first primary debate</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections mike huckabee Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:48:25 +0000 Tim Murphy 281076 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging - 31 July 2015 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/friday-cat-blogging-31-july-2015 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hopper (left) and Hilbert are so entranced by something or other that even my sister wants to know what they're looking at. My guess: a dust mote in the cat dimension.</p> <p>Speaking of my sister, she is promising some guest cat blogging for next week. Will she come through? Tune in next Friday to find out!</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_hilbert_2015_07_31.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 40px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:50:05 +0000 Kevin Drum 281066 at http://www.motherjones.com The HPV Vaccine Prevents Cancer. So Why Aren't Most Teens Getting It? http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/07/cdc-reports-not-enough-HPV-vaccinations <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>According to latest National Immunization Survey, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0730-hpv.html" target="_blank">released</a> by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday, around 60 percent of teenage girls and 78 percent of teenage boys haven't received all three of the recommended doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which helps prevent reproductive cancers and genital warts caused by the virus.</p> <p>Administered through three shots over a six month period, the vaccine protects against the most common types of the highly contagious virus, which is spread through sexual contact. Health officials recommend that adolescents receive the shots between the ages of 11 and 12 to boost the chances for immunity prior to any sexual activity, but the survey showed that 40 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys&nbsp;ages 13 to 17 hadn't received even the first dose.</p> <p>HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease&mdash;most people will contract one of the 40 strains at some point in their lives. Seventy-nine million people in the United States have HPV, and an additional 14 million people are infected annually. Many people don't even know they have the virus, and it often goes away on its own.</p> <p>But not everyone is so lucky: One in every 100 will develop genital warts and 23,000 are diagnosed with HPV-caused cancers each year. According to the CDC, the vaccine prevents almost all pre-cancers and warts caused by the virus in both males and females. Since the first HPV vaccine was developed <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/research/progress/discovery/hpv-vaccines" target="_blank">in 2006,</a> the vaccine has helped reduce HPV infections among teenage girls by 56 percent&mdash;even with vaccination rates as low as they are.</p> <p>Still, many parents are deciding to pass. A <a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2384.full.pdf+html" target="_blank">study published in <em>Pediatrics </em></a>in 2013 showed that the reasons most cited included unwarranted fears about vaccine safety and disbelief that their kids would be sexually active. Despite it's proven safety and effectiveness, the vaccine has become a politically divisive issue. In 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry was the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rick-perry-reverses-himself-calls-hpv-vaccine-mandate-a-mistake/2011/08/16/gIQAM2azJJ_story.html" target="_blank">first in the country to order a mandate</a>, sparking <a href="http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/694/" target="_blank">outrage from the religious right.</a> During a 2011 debate, Michele Bachmann claimed that the vaccine was "very dangerous" and caused "mental retardation," and Rick Santorum called vaccine mandates, "just wrong."</p> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;">HPV vaccine uptake has not kept pace with that of other adolescent vaccines and has stalled in the past few years. In 2012, only about one-third of 13- to 17-year-old girls received all three recommended doses. These levels fall considerably short of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services <span class="italic">Healthy People 2020</span> goal of having 80 percent of 13- to 15-year-old girls fully vaccinated against HPV. Immunization rates for U.S. boys are even lower than for girls. Less than 7 percent of boys ages 13 to 17 completed the series in 2012. This low rate is in large part because the ACIP recommendation for routine vaccination of boys was not made until 2011. However, it is even lower than what was observed for girls in 2007&mdash;the first year following the recommendation for females&mdash;suggesting that concerted efforts are needed to promote HPV vaccination of males. - See more at: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/HPV/ExecutiveSummary.htm#sthash.R6gsTr6L.dpuf</div> <p>The National Cancer Institute <a href="http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/HPV/ExecutiveSummary.htm#sthash.R6gsTr6L.dpbs" target="_blank">has called</a> for an "urgency of action" in closing vaccination gaps , citing that current vaccine rates are falling short of the US Department of Health and Human Services Goal for 80 percent coverage among 13 to 15 year old girls by 2020.</p> <p>Though the focus is more often on girls, men are at also risk for HPV-caused cancers, including throat cancer, which may soon replace cervical cancer as the <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/04/13/hpv-vaccine-in-men-would-save-costs-of-treating-throat-cancer" target="_blank">most common</a> caused by the virus.</p> <p>The survey did show there had been big gains in some parts of the country&mdash;Illinois, Montana, North Carolina and Utah all averaged increases of roughly 20 percent&mdash;which health officials say is an encouraging sign.</p> <p>"The large increases in these diverse parts of the country show us it is possible to do much better at protecting our nation's youth from cancers caused by HPV infections," Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC&rsquo;s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement released with the report. "We are missing crucial opportunities to protect the next generation from cancers caused by HPV."</p></body></html> Blue Marble Health Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:37:41 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 280986 at http://www.motherjones.com It's Republicans, Not Obama, Who Want to Bust the Sequestration Deal http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/its-republicans-not-obama-who-want-bust-sequestration-deal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The <em>LA Times</em> reports today that we might be headed for another government shutdown. Big surprise. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-budget-standoff-20150730-story.html" target="_blank">But these paragraphs are very peculiar:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>President Obama has signaled his intention to bust, once and for all, the severe 2011 spending caps known as sequestration.</strong> He's vowed to reject any GOP-backed appropriation bills that increase government funding for the military without also boosting domestic programs important to Democrats such as Head Start for preschoolers.</p> <p>The Republican-controlled Congress is also digging in. Since taking control in January, GOP leaders had promised to run Congress responsibly and prevent another shutdown like the one in 2013, but their spending proposals are defying the president's veto threat by bolstering defense accounts and leaving social-welfare programs to be slashed.</p> </blockquote> <p>It's true that Obama has proposed doing away with the sequestration caps. But his budgets have routinely been described as DOA by Republican leaders, so his plans have never gotten so much as a hearing. What's happening right now is entirely different. Republicans are claiming they want to keep the sequestration deal, but they don't like the fact that back in 2011 they agreed it would cut domestic and military spending equally. Instead, Republicans now want to <em>increase</em> military spending and <em>decrease</em> domestic spending. They're doing this by putting the additional defense money into an "emergency war-spending account," which technically allows them to get around the sequester caps. Unsurprisingly, Obama's not buying it.</p> <p>So how does this count as <em>Obama</em> planning to "bust" the sequestration caps? I don't get it. It sounds like Obama is willing to stick to the original deal if he has to, but he's quite naturally insisting that this means sticking to the entire deal. It's Republicans who are trying to renege. What am I missing here?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:21:51 +0000 Kevin Drum 281061 at http://www.motherjones.com A Supermarket Tabloid Company is Funding Chris Christie's Super PAC http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/chris-christie-super-pac-american-media <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The pro-Chris Christie super-PAC America Leads raised $11 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to filings released by the Federal Election Commission on Friday. <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/13/empire-edge" target="_blank">Controversial hedge-fund manager</a> Steven A. Cohen gave $1 million. Cleveland Cavaliers owner (and Quicken Loans chief) Dan Gilbert gave $750,000. Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and WWE magnate Linda McMahon each dropped $250,000. New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon dropped $100,000 that his team's fans dearly wish he'd spent on an outfielder.</p> <p>Oh, and it's hardly the biggest donation on the list, but America Leads also got $10,000 from an unusual source&mdash;a media company. The check came from American Media Inc., the parent company of supermarket tabloids like the <em>National Enquirer</em>, <em>OK!</em>, and <em>Star; </em>and fitness publications like <em>Men's Fitness</em>, <em>Muscle &amp; Fitness</em>; and <em>Flex</em>. What's the Christie connection? In June, the governor named American Media Inc.'s chairman, David Pecker, to his presidential leadership team.</p> <p>We can't speak for <em>Flex</em>, but the normally scandal-happy <em>Enquirer</em> has been bullish about Christie's chances. Last April, it <a href="http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/exclusive-chris-christies-white-house-dream-alive" target="_blank">published</a> an "EXCLUSIVE!" boasting that the governor's White House dreams were "alive" because "American politics is full of comeback stories." And in February, it <a href="http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/oval-office-dream-alive-republican-frontrunner-chris-christie-clear-over-hatchet-job" target="_blank">published</a> another item touting Christie's chances despite "hatchet job" corruption claims.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Money in Politics Chris Christie Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:06:50 +0000 Tim Murphy 281036 at http://www.motherjones.com California Really Doesn't Need to Worry About Losing Jobs to Texas http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/california-really-doesnt-need-worry-about-losing-jobs-texas <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Is California losing jobs to Texas, thanks to California's stringent anti-business regulations vs. Texas's wide-open business-friendly environment? It's a question I have only a modest interest in, since there are lots of reasons for states to gain or lose business. California has nice weather. Texas has cheap housing. Recessions hit different states at different times and with different intensities. Business regulations might be part of the mix, but it's all but impossible to say how much.</p> <p>But now I care even less. Lyman Stone ran some numbers and confirmed that, in fact, California has been losing jobs and Texas has been gaining jobs over the past couple of decades. But by itself that isn't very interesting. The real question is, how many jobs? <a href="https://medium.com/migration-issues/companies-migrate-too-e10b71462a57" target="_blank">Here is Stone's chart:</a></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_net_job_migration_california_texas.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;"></p> <p>Stone comments: "Net migration isn&rsquo;t 1% or 2%. <strong>It&rsquo;s plus or minus 0.05% in most cases.</strong> Even as a share of total change in employment, migration is massively overwhelmed by employment changes due to local startups and closures, and local expansions and contractions. The truth is, net employment changes due to firm migration are within the rounding error of total employment. Over time they may matter, but overall they&rsquo;re pretty miniscule."</p> <p>What's more, these numbers are for migration to and from every state in the union. They're far smaller if you look solely at California-Texas migration.</p> <p>Bottom line: An almost invisible number of workers are migrating from California to Texas each year due to firm relocation, probably less than .02 percent. The share of that due to burdensome business regulation is even less, probably no more than .01 percent. That's so small it belongs in the "Other" category of any employment analysis. No matter how you look at it, this is just not a big deal.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> In a Twitter conversation, Stone makes it clear that this is solely a look at job migration tied to firm relocation. The idea is to test the theory that Texas is "poaching" companies from California thanks to its anti-business climate, and it seems pretty clear that this just isn't happening in numbers large enough to be noticeable.</p> <p>There are lots of other things to say about this, including the number of new startup firms in each state, where existing firms choose to expand, and so forth. Those would be interesting things to look at, but for another day. This is strictly a look at the supposed poaching phenomenon.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:54:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 281046 at http://www.motherjones.com The New York Times Needs to do a Better Job of Explaining Its Epic Hillary Clinton Screw-Up http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/new-york-times-needs-do-better-job-explaining-its-epic-hillary-clinton-screw <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As you probably know, the <em>New York Times</em> screwed up epically last week by publishing a story claiming that Hillary Clinton was the target of a criminal probe over the mishandling of classified information in her private email system. In the end, virtually everything about the story turned out to be wrong. Clinton was not a <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_nyt_hillary_criminal_referral.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">target. The referral was not criminal. The emails in question had not been classified at the time Clinton saw them. When the dust settled, it appeared that the whole thing was little more than a squabble between State and CIA over whether certain emails that State is releasing to the public should or shouldn't be classified. In other words, just your garden-variety bureaucratic dispute. Hardly worth a blurb on A17, let alone a screaming headline on the front page.</p> <p>The Clinton campaign has now officially asked the <em>Times</em> to account for how it could have bollixed this story so badly. <a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/updates/2015/07/30/letter-to-nyt/" target="_blank">Here are the most interesting paragraphs:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><em>Times'</em> editors have attempted to explain these errors by claiming the fault for the misreporting resided with a Justice Department official whom other news outlets cited as confirming the <em>Times'</em> report after the fact. This suggestion does not add up. <strong>It is our understanding that this Justice Department official was not the original source of the <em>Times'</em> tip.</strong> Moreover, notwithstanding the official's inaccurate characterization of the referral as criminal in nature, this official does not appear to have told the <em>Times</em> that Mrs. Clinton was the target of that referral, as the paper falsely reported in its original story.</p> <p><strong>This raises the question of what other sources the <em>Times</em> may have relied on for its initial report.</strong> It clearly was not either of the referring officials&nbsp;&mdash; that is, the Inspectors General of either the State Department or intelligence agencies&nbsp;&mdash; since the <em>Times'</em> sources apparently lacked firsthand knowledge of the referral documents. It also seems unlikely the source could have been anyone affiliated with those offices, as it defies logic that anyone so closely involved could have so severely garbled the description of the referral.</p> </blockquote> <p>Yes indeedy. Who was the person who first tipped off the <em>Times</em> reporters? And does that source still deserve anonymity? Clinton's letter seems to be pretty clearly implying that it might have been Trey Gowdy or someone on his staff, who are currently running the Benghazi investigation that's recently morphed into a Hillary Clinton witch hunt. Apparently they knew about this DOJ referral a day before the <em>Times</em> story ran, so maybe they're the ones who passed along the garbled version.</p> <p>The Clinton campaign can't say that, of course, since they have no proof. Neither do I. But it sure seems to be the plain implication of their response. Pretty clearly, someone who didn't have direct access to the referral&mdash;but knew of its existence&mdash;was the original source, and it's a pretty good guess that this source was someone unfriendly to Clinton. In other words, someone whose word shouldn't have been accepted without the most stringent due diligence.</p> <p>But when you get oppo research, it's a pretty good bet that others are getting it too. So you have to publish quickly if you want to be first. But that's not all: you also have to be pretty willing to accept dirt on Hillary Clinton at face value and you have to care more about being first than being right. The authors of the story, Michael Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, really ought to address these issues in public at a press conference. After all, the press loves press conferences, right?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:27:54 +0000 Kevin Drum 281016 at http://www.motherjones.com Why Has Maine Turned Into Crackpot Central? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/why-has-maine-turned-crackpot-central <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Yesterday, Steve Benen got me up to date on the latest lunacy from Maine Gov. Paul LePage. A few weeks ago, LePage decided to ignore a bunch of bills he didn't like, figuring he would "pocket veto" them <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_paul_lepage.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">by simply withholding his signature. Unfortunately, he didn't understand how the Maine constitution works, which means that all the bills became law. So now he says he just won't enforce any of them. Uh huh.</p> <p>Next, a private school hired Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves, a man LePage especially loathes, so he told the school to either fire Eves or else they'd lose their state money. Unless Maine law is truly extraordinary, this is so blatantly illegal that only someone completely out of control would even try it. Unsurprisingly, Eves is suing LePage, <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/just-when-things-couldnt-get-worse-paul-lepage" target="_blank">and this is LePage's defense:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The Tea Party governor hasn&rsquo;t actually denied the allegations, and neither have LePage&rsquo;s allies. The Maine Republican did argue this morning, however, that when he threatened the school it was comparable to LePage intervening in a domestic-violence dispute.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just like one time when I stepped in &hellip; when a man was beating his wife,&rdquo; the governor said. &ldquo;Should have I stepped in? Legally, no. But I did. And I&rsquo;m not embarrassed about doing it.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Um, what? This is Sarah-Palin quality gibberish. And it's hardly the first sign that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/07/theres-some-serious-weirdness-state-maine" target="_blank">LePage isn't playing with a full deck.</a> (You can find much, much more like this with any old Google search.) So here's what I don't get. It's one thing to elect the guy once. But how did he manage to get reelected last year? It's not because it was a 3-way race. He won 48 percent of the vote and probably would have won even without a third-party spoiler. But by then his lunacy should have been obvious to all. Are Maine residents really that attracted to kooks? Did the Democratic candidate threaten to outlaw lobster rolls? Or what? What the hell is going on up in Maine?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:48:30 +0000 Kevin Drum 281011 at http://www.motherjones.com Fumes From Iowa Hog-Manure Pit Kill Father and Son http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/06/hog-cafo-fumes-deadly <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/07/video-were-hog-producer-world-yay-usa" target="_blank">another reason</a> why Americans should think twice about how the United States is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/07/bacon-jbs-cargill-pork" target="_blank">emerging as the globe's hog farm</a>: concentrating thousands of hogs in one place means concentrating huge amounts of their shit, too; and that shit puts off gases that are so noxious that they can kill people who work near them. Think I'm exaggerating? Get this, from the <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2015/07/28/iowa-father-son-die-manure-pit-fumes/30809037/" target="_blank"><em>Des Moines Register</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>A father and his son who were so close that they were &ldquo;like glue&rdquo; were killed Saturday by noxious fumes from a northwest Iowa hog manure pit&mdash;the second father and son in the Midwest to die of poisonous manure pit gases this month.</p> </blockquote> <p>These large, indoor facilities confine hogs above their own waste on a slatted floor&mdash;the waste falls through the slats and collects in a pit below. An incredibly putrid aroma&mdash;I've smelled it&mdash;shrouds these facilities. The air <a href="http://www.ecochem.com/t_hoginfo.html" target="_blank">contains</a> hydrogen sulfide, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and&nbsp;volatile organic compounds. Hogs can live above these poison-gas cesspools because giant fans keep the air moving. But when something goes wrong beneath the slats, workers have to venture into places where there is no effective ventilation. And that's what happened on this Iowa hog farm, to heartbreaking effect.</p> <blockquote> <p>The two were repairing a pump at a hog confinement when a piece of equipment they were using fell into the manure pit, Wempen [a relative] said. Austin Opheim went into the pit first to retrieve the equipment, and his father followed him after realizing his son had been overcome by gases, Wempen said. ...&nbsp; &ldquo;(Gene) was carrying Austin on his back and bringing him up and he got almost to the top and he got overcome, and down they went,&rdquo; she said.</p> </blockquote> <p>An <a href="http://www.thebullvine.com/news/wisconsin-father-and-son-died-after-falling-into-a-manure-pit-at-their-family-farm/" target="_blank">eerily similar father-son tragedy</a> occurred in Wisconsin earlier in July.</p> <p>Such disasters can usually be averted by donning proper breathing equipment when venturing beneath the slats. But in recent years, Midwestern hog facilities have been beset by a <a href="http://www.extension.org/pages/63144/manure-foaming#.VbqgA7c3wdt" target="_blank">mysterious foam</a> that settles at the surface of manure pits, which creates a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/05/menace-manure-foam-still-haunting-huge-hog-farms" target="_blank">buildup of volatile gases</a> that that has caused many explosions. Back in June, two workers at a Minnesota hog farm <a href="http://www.porknetwork.com/news/two-workers-killed-hog-barn-fire" target="_blank">died in a fire</a> that erupted after they had been cleaning the slats of an empty hog facility&mdash;<a href="http://www.porknetwork.com/community/brumm-speaks-out-safety-when-power-washing-above-foaming-pits" target="_blank">apparently the result</a> of "power-washing activities bursting the foam bubbles in the manure pit" below. And last year, <a href="http://www.porknetwork.com/news/two-workers-killed-hog-barn-fire" target="_blank">reports</a> the trade journal <em>Pork Network</em>, a "similar fire in<a href="http://www.porknetwork.com/pork-news/Former-IPPA-president-injured-in-hog-barn-fire-277243841.html" target="_blank"> Iowa severely burned Leon Sheets</a>, a past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, as he power-washed one of his hog barns."</p></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:56:19 +0000 Tom Philpott 280991 at http://www.motherjones.com For a Week, Walter Palmer Is the Worst Human Being Ever in History http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/week-walter-palmer-worst-human-being-ever-history <!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_lion.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">Max Fisher argues that the social media jihad against Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion, <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/7/30/9074865/cecil-lion-palmer-mob-justice" target="_blank">is wildly out of control:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Web users uncovered Palmer's personal information, including about his family, and published it online. They went after his business, a private dental practice, posting thousands of negative reviews on Yelp and other sites. The practice has since shut down. Users also went after professional websites that host his profile, leading the sites to remove his information. On Twitter and on his practice's public Facebook page, people made threats of physical violence.</p> <p>....Maybe you loved Cecil the lion, and believe that Palmer deserves all of this suffering. Maybe you believe that his family and employees also deserve to have their livelihoods threatened. But even if you believe that this particular mob made the correct decision in both identifying the targets and meting out punishments, the way its members reached these decisions &mdash; arbitrarily, based on what they thought would feel good to punish &mdash; should worry you.</p> </blockquote> <p>Social media is, famously, decentralized. With a few exceptions, this means that every individual blast at Palmer is just that: one person getting something off their chest. The problem is that there's no governor on a decentralized attack like this, no one leading the charge. That means it can easily spiral into a lynch mob regardless of whether anyone meant it to in the first place.</p> <p>But mob justice, Fisher says perceptively, "is not primarily about punishing the crime or the criminal, but rather about indulging the outrage of the mob and its thirst for vengeance. Sometimes that leads the mob to target people who perhaps legitimately deserve punishment, but typically it does not. And there is no reason to expect it to. That's not what mobs are about." That's right. Too often, mob justice is flatly misdirected, and even when it's not, it's frequently far out of proportion to the offense.</p> <p>Before the internet, for example, if a university student said something stupid, it would cause a few days of distress among a smallish group of people. Lesson learned. Young people say dumb things all the time. Today, <a href="http://gawker.com/5527355/meet-stephanie-grace-the-harvard-law-student-who-started-a-racist-email-war" target="_blank">if the student is unlucky,</a> it becomes a social media virus. Within a few days the entire world knows about it and the student is a pariah. This is far out of proportion to the offense. And it's even worse, as Fisher says, when the outrage is misdirected completely, as in the case of Sunil Tripathi's family, which was terrorized for weeks after the Boston bombing by a mob convinced he had been a part of the plot&mdash;which supposedly explained why he had gone missing. But it turned out that his absence was actually explained by something else: he had committed suicide.</p> <p>Maybe Walter Palmer deserves what he's gotten, maybe he doesn't. But I doubt the internet mob actually cares. It's just a spectacle, and when they get bored they'll train their sights on whatever the next shiny object is. Maybe it's somebody or something that deserves the spotlight. Maybe it's not. Who cares, right? I mean, have you seen the asshole in that video?</p> <p>In the end, I suppose this is yet another plea to tone down the volume on outrage culture, which has lately defined the internet more than either porn or cat videos. It's what I used to jokingly call the "death penalty for parking tickets" problem. Unfortunately, it's not so much of a joke anymore, because it turns out that Andy Warhol was wrong. Everybody doesn't get 15 minutes of fame these days. Instead, each week some randomly chosen schmo gets an onslaught of withering, life-destroying shame&mdash;whether they deserve it or not. It's not really an improvement.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:11:23 +0000 Kevin Drum 280971 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Activists Dangle Off a Portland Bridge to Block Shell's Arctic-Bound Ship http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/07/activists-dangle-portland-bridge-block-shell-arctic-ship <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update 7/31/15</strong>: Thursday evening, Shell's MSV Fennica made another attempt to pass through protestors on Portland's Willamette River. This time, the icebreaker was successful; the Fennica is now on its way back up to the Arctic. The video below shows the dramatic confrontation between the ship and the environmental activists:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JA8rXG4BH2A" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Environmental activists have taken to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/05/kayaktavistsv-take-over-seattles-elliott-bay-protest-shell-oil-rig" target="_blank">kayak</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/06/shell-protestors-arctic-challenger-oil-drilling" target="_blank">chain</a>, and even <a href="https://twitter.com/strangerslog/status/608324008203964416" target="_blank">rocking chair</a> to slow down Royal Dutch Shell's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/05/obama-just-gave-shell-green-light-drill-arctic" target="_blank">plans to drill for oil in the Arctic</a> this summer. For the past two days, they took their protest to a new extreme. Early Wednesday morning, around <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/activists-hang-from-bridge-portland-block-shells-arctic-oil-vessel" target="_blank">a dozen Greenpeace activists rappelled off a bridge</a> over the Willamette River in Portland, Ore. to stop a Shell ship stationed there for repairs from returning to the Arctic. This morning, it appears <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/07/greenpeace_protest_icebreaker.html#incart_gallery" target="_blank">they caused the ship to turn around</a> after it tried to rejoin Shell's fleet in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea.</p> <p>The ship, called the MSV Fennica, went all the way up to the Arctic only <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/13/us-usa-shell-arctic-idUSKCN0PN2IQ20150713" target="_blank">to find a 39-inch-long gash in its side</a>. The damage was so serious, the ship had to travel all the way back to Portland for repairs. The Fennica is an icebreaker, but also carries Shell's capping stack, needed to stop an underwater well leak; Shell can't begin its exploring until the Fennica and its equipment is back and functioning in the Arctic.</p> <p>In an effort to stop it from rejoining Shell's fleet in the Chukchi Sea, and delay the oil giant's drilling plans there, Greenpeace organized protestors to dangle from Portland's St. John's bridge and physically stop the ship from traveling down the Willamette River and back out to the Pacific. We reached out to Shell to confirm if the protestors have affected the Fennica's schedule, but have not heard back.</p> <p>Below, we collected some Twitter photos of the dramatic protest:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The ship is headed towards us <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/shellno?src=hash">#shellno</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/youshellnotpass?src=hash">#youshellnotpass</a> <a href="http://t.co/oXs4jsQsBX">pic.twitter.com/oXs4jsQsBX</a></p> &mdash; Dan Cannon (@DanEnviroCannon) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanEnviroCannon/status/626748320958943232">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The fennica is headed back to its dock where it belongs - not the arctic! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> <a href="http://t.co/wCwByWhgHD">pic.twitter.com/wCwByWhgHD</a></p> &mdash; Dan Cannon (@DanEnviroCannon) <a href="https://twitter.com/DanEnviroCannon/status/626767619228471296">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We have a beautiful view over the water. Supporters on the shore and in kayaks, and NO Fennica in sight. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> <a href="http://t.co/JkJqD61bGh">pic.twitter.com/JkJqD61bGh</a></p> &mdash; Kristina N. Flores (@KristinaNFlores) <a href="https://twitter.com/KristinaNFlores/status/626789090738831360">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> protesters cheer as the icebreaker backs down, turns around: <a href="http://t.co/YCFh5cFvxS">http://t.co/YCFh5cFvxS</a> <a href="http://t.co/h5mlh3BQb6">pic.twitter.com/h5mlh3BQb6</a></p> &mdash; The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/seattletimes/status/626774550823497728">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">These 13 folks are what stands between Shell and the Arctic. Many thanks for their courage and skill <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/shellno?src=hash">#shellno</a> <a href="http://t.co/ZzkyMQRfgO">pic.twitter.com/ZzkyMQRfgO</a></p> &mdash; Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) <a href="https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/626495189742436352">July 29, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/OregonGovBrown">@OregonGovBrown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MayorPDX">@MayorPDX</a> say <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> to drilling in the Arctic and let the St Johns climbers stay! <a href="http://t.co/FHLuE7rjk4">http://t.co/FHLuE7rjk4</a></p> &mdash; Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarkRuffalo/status/626583774424354816">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Demonstrators hang from Portland bridge to block Shell ship <a href="http://t.co/6ha2pbJsO4">http://t.co/6ha2pbJsO4</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KATUNews">@katunews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ActOnClimate?src=hash">#ActOnClimate</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a> <a href="http://t.co/ubTXyn0xGk">pic.twitter.com/ubTXyn0xGk</a></p> &mdash; Pipe Up Network (@PipeUpNetwork) <a href="https://twitter.com/PipeUpNetwork/status/626782116596953088">July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Shell's icebreaker was supposed to leave for the Arctic last night. Then <a href="https://twitter.com/greenpeaceusa">@GreenpeaceUSA</a> climbers said <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShellNo?src=hash">#ShellNo</a>: <a href="http://t.co/Ygj6jsKXPe">pic.twitter.com/Ygj6jsKXPe</a></p> &mdash; 350 dot org (@350) <a href="https://twitter.com/350/status/626368250557919232">July 29, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Blue Marble Climate Change Energy Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:59:44 +0000 Luke Whelan 280966 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Are Some Photos of Rep. John Lewis Holding Some Adorable Puppies http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/07/john-lewis-puppies <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Shortly after commemorating the <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-quick-cuts/watch/john-lewis--the-vote-is-almost-sacred-494198851513" target="_blank">50th anniversary</a> of the landmark Voting Rights Act on Thursday, Rep. John Lewis stopped by the ASPCA's Paws for Celebration event on Capitol Hill to meet some adorable puppies. Fortunately for the rest of us, cameras were present:</p> <center> <div id="fb-root">&nbsp;</div> <script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/RepJohnLewis/posts/10153411338078405" data-width="500"> <div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/RepJohnLewis/posts/10153411338078405"> <p>It was good to spend a little time with the wonderful puppies that the ASPCA brought to Capitol Hill.</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/RepJohnLewis">John Lewis</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/RepJohnLewis/posts/10153411338078405">Thursday, July 30, 2015</a></blockquote> </div> </div> </center> <p>That's right. It doesn't get much better than everyone's favorite congressman and iconic civil rights leader holding puppies.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Animals Congress Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:42:48 +0000 Inae Oh 280961 at http://www.motherjones.com Will the Tea Party Shoot Itself in the Foot Yet Again? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/will-tea-party-shoot-itself-foot-yet-again <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Paul Waldman notes today that although Jeb Bush is substantively pretty conservative, his tone on the campaign trail has remained resolutely moderate and affable. Waldman explains how this leads to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/07/30/maybe-jeb-bush-doesnt-have-to-pander-to-the-right-wing-after-all/" target="_blank">Bush winning the nomination:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>If you&rsquo;re Bush, your path to victory looks like this: Trump soaks up all the attention for a while, but eventually gets bored (and hasn&rsquo;t bothered to mount an actual campaign that can deliver votes), and either fades or just packs it in. <strong>Meanwhile, the conservative vote is split. Once the voting starts, the failing candidates will begin to fall away one by one. But by the time most of them are gone and their supporters have coalesced around a single candidate like Scott Walker, it&rsquo;s too late</strong> &mdash; Jeb has built his lead and is piling up delegates, <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/images/blog_tea_party_patriots.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">has all the money in the world, and can vanquish that last opponent on his way to the convention in Cleveland.</p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, a repeat of 2012, when all the hard-core conservatives split the tea party vote ten ways while Mitt Romney quietly vacuumed up the entire moderate vote. By the time Rick Santorum was the last tea partier standing, it was too late. Romney coasted to victory.</p> <p>This is the great conundrum of the tea-party wing of the Republican Party. What they <em>should</em> do is coalesce immediately around Scott Walker. He's the most plausible winner among the tea partiers, and if the race was basically between him and Bush from the start, there's a pretty good chance he could win. On the other hand, if he has to fight off a dozen challengers for months on end, it'll just be a rerun of 2012. He'll get a share of the tea party vote, but it won't be nearly enough to fend off Bush, who will have his own share of the tea partiers plus the vast majority of the moderate wing of the GOP, which is disgusted that their party has been taken over by loons. There are still quite a few of those folks around.</p> <p>I guess this is where a smoke-filled room would come in handy. This is a classic collective action problem, but without party bosses who can step in and take charge, there's really no answer to it. The tea-party candidates keep thinking that they can run and win because there are so many tea partiers among the Republican primary electorate. Unfortunately, there are too many of them who think so. The end result is that they tear each other to shreds and end up with John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush. And then they whine and complain about how "the party" has betrayed the conservative cause yet again.</p> <p>This isn't inevitable, of course. It's possible that Walker or one of the other mean-boy candidates will break out and become the de facto tea party standard bearer. It's just not as likely as it should be. It's a shame the tea partiers can't get their act together, isn't it?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:21:45 +0000 Kevin Drum 280951 at http://www.motherjones.com ISIS Is Losing the War, But That Doesn't Mean We're Winning It http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/isis-losing-war-doesnt-mean-were-winning-it <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Zack Beauchamp says that ISIS is losing the war. His evidence is the map on the right. ISIS may have taken over Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_isis_losses_2015.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 27px 0px 15px 30px;">in Syria, but overall they've lost about 9 percent of the territory <a href="http://www.vox.com/2015/7/30/9069705/isis-map-10-percent" target="_blank">they controlled at the beginning of the year:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>This points to one of ISIS's most fundamental problems: It has too many enemies....ISIS's fighters might be skilled, but they can't fight everyone at once.</p> </blockquote> <p>True enough. What may be more interesting, though, is <em>who</em> they lost that territory to. Here are the numbers for territorial gains:</p> <ul><li>+11% &mdash; Syrian rebels</li> <li>+10% &mdash; Kurdish forces</li> <li>+4.5% &mdash; Iraqi government</li> </ul><p>In other words, Iraqi forces were responsible for less than a fifth of the total gains from ISIS. Add to that their humiliating loss in Ramadi, about an hour's drive from Baghdad, and there's still not much evidence that the Iraqi government has a clue about how to fight ISIS. It remains unclear how and when that will change.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:05:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 280946 at http://www.motherjones.com Today's Trivia Quiz http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/todays-trivia-quiz <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Quick trivia question: When was the last time one of the two major parties nominated a candidate for president who was neither a politician nor a former general?</p> <p>The prize for the winner is that they get to relax about the possibility of Donald Trump becoming the 45th president of the United States.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> Such smart commenters! The answer is Wendell Wilkie, 75 years ago. He lost, of course.</p> <p>So who was the last person to <em>win</em> the presidency with no previous political or military experience? Answer: no one. The closest call is probably Herbert Hoover, whose only political experience before 1928 was eight years as the appointed Secretary of Commerce. And look what happened to him.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:18:17 +0000 Kevin Drum 280941 at http://www.motherjones.com Chart of the Day: The Economy Continues to Plod Along http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/chart-day-economy-continues-plod-along <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>GDP was up in the second quarter, but our economy is still not exactly a house afire. Preliminary results indicate an increase of 2.3 percent:</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_gdp_q2_2015.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 8px;"></p> <p>The BEA explains where <a href="http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm" target="_blank">last quarter's growth came from:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected an upturn in exports, an acceleration in PCE, a deceleration in imports, and an upturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by downturns in private inventory investment, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in federal government spending and a deceleration in residential fixed investment....<strong>Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the first.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Really, the chart tells the whole story. As you can see, 2.3 percent growth is about....average since the recession ended. Not great, not horrible. Every time we manage to get into third gear for a little while, we hit a bump and end up back in second. It's now been eight years since the economy imploded, and we're still just muddling along. It's not clear what it will take to improve things.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:51:47 +0000 Kevin Drum 280936 at http://www.motherjones.com This Map Shows What San Francisco Will Look Like After Sea Levels Rise http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/07/map-shows-what-san-francisco-bay-will-look-after-sea-level-rise <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Developers in the booming San Francisco Bay Area are busy planning everything from much-needed <a href="http://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2015/07/21/city-plans-to-transform-treasure-island-with-50-million-for-public-art/" target="_blank">new housing</a> to <a href="http://www.nba.com/warriors/sf" target="_blank">sports stadiums</a> and <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/02/27/googleplex_google_plans_new_headquarters_in_mountain_view_s_north_bayshore.html" target="_blank">gleaming tech campuses</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://sfpublicpress.org/searise" target="_blank">But according to a new report</a> just published by the<em> San Francisco Public Press</em>, many of these construction projects sit on land susceptible to rising waters due to climate change. And regulators and local governments are not doing much to prepare.&nbsp;</p> <p>The<em> Public Press</em> found 27 major commercial and residential developments that will be vulnerable to flooding if San Francisco Bay sea levels rise as much as climate researchers like the National Research Council project in the next century. These developments include a new stadium for the Golden State Warriors, campuses being built by Google and Facebook, and revamped public spaces like San Francisco's iconic ferry terminal and Jack London Square in Oakland.</p> <p>To make its maps, the <em>Public Press</em> partnered with the University of California-Berkeley Cartography and Geographic Information System Education Lab and used flooding and sea level projections from the US Geological Survey and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission predicts that in the next hundred years, water levels in the Bay could rise as much as 8 feet over high tide at current levels, including storm surge:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="900" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://amandabee.cartodb.com/viz/00d63d00-3598-11e5-adac-0e018d66dc29/embed_map" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Despite the fact that more than $21 billion of new development is at stake, the report found that very little is being done to prepare for potential waterfront flooding risk. While most cities and counties around the Bay Area have begun studying the effects of sea level rise, none have actually enacted climate adaptation plans, like updating flood plain ordinances and buildings codes. Only one county (Santa Clara) has revised its local flooding maps.</p> <p>We've <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/07/hurricane-sandy-global-warming-flooding" target="_blank">seen before</a> in other major urban areas that such short-sightedness can lead to staggering costs. Many scientists and environmental advocates believe the Bay Area could experience similar devastation if more is not done to adapt to climate change.</p> <p>Brian Beveridge, co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, told the <em>Public Press</em>, "It's going to fall down along lines of class and political power&mdash;who will be protected and who will be thrown to the dogs."</p></body></html> Blue Marble Maps Climate Change Wed, 29 Jul 2015 23:24:31 +0000 Luke Whelan 280811 at http://www.motherjones.com Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/opposition-iran-nuclear-deal-just-keeps-getting-weirder-and-weirder <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The congressional hearings into the Iran nuclear deal continue apace. <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/who-wins-the-war-between-us-and-iran" target="_blank">Steve Benen</a> points us today to this lovely exchange between Sen. Lindsey Graham and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter:</p> <blockquote> <p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="258" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nrc0vxejqas" style="margin: -5px 0px 15px 30px;" width="400"></iframe><strong>Graham:</strong> Does the Supreme Leader's religious views compel him over time to destroy Israel and attack America?</p> <p><strong>Carter:</strong> I don't know. I don't know the man. I only &mdash;</p> <p><strong>Graham:</strong> Well let me tell you, I do. I know the man. I know what he wants. And if you don't know that, this is not a good deal.</p> <p><strong>Graham:</strong> Could we win a war with Iran? Who wins the war between us and Iran? Who wins? Do you have any doubt who wins?</p> <p><strong>Carter:</strong> No. The United States.</p> <p><strong>Graham:</strong> We. Win.</p> </blockquote> <p>So there you have it: (a) the Ayatollah unquestionably wants to destroy Israel and attack America, and (b) there is no doubt America would win this war. This sounds like mighty poor strategic thinking on the Ayatollah's part to me, since presumably he knows as much as Lindsey Graham about the relative military strength of Iran and the United States. But I guess his pesky religious views compel him to commit national suicide anyway.</p> <p>Now, you might be skeptical that Graham knows the Ayatollah as well as he thinks he does, or knows his religious views in any depth either. But even if we give him the benefit of the doubt on that score, his apparent view of things still doesn't make sense. If the Ayatollah is as committed to war as Graham thinks, why would he bother with this deal in the first place? According to conservatives (I'm not sure what the CIA thinks these days), Iran is currently less than a year from being able to build a nuclear bomb. So why not just build a few and start the war? It can't be because the sanctions matter. If war is inevitable thanks to the Ayatollah's religious views, but America is going to win the war by reducing Iran to a glassy plain, who cares about a few more years of sanctions? Most Iranians are going to be dead a few hours after the war starts anyway.</p> <p>So....it's all still mysterious. Conservatives don't like the deal Obama negotiated. Fine. But we can't go back to the status quo. If we pull out of the deal, economic sanctions will decay pretty quickly and Iran will have lots of additional money <em>and</em> be a year away from building a bomb. The only other alternative is war. Graham is more open about this than most conservatives, but even he realizes he has to be cagey about it. He can't quite come out and just say that we should go to war with Iran before they build a bomb. So instead he tosses in an oddly pointless question about who would win a war between Iran and America. Why? Some kind of dog whistle, I guess. Those with ears to hear understand what it means: Graham wants to see cruise missiles flying. The rest of us are left scratching our chins.</p> <p>It all just gets weirder and weirder. The deal on the table, imperfect as it might be, doesn't restrict American freedom of action at all. Plus it has a pretty stringent inspection regime and would prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least ten years&mdash;probably longer. That's better than what we have now, so why not go ahead and sign the deal and then use the next ten years to figure out what to do next? What's the downside?</p> <p>I can't really think of one except that it makes a shooting war less likely over the next decade. I call that a feature. I guess Graham and his crowd call it a bug.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 29 Jul 2015 21:25:18 +0000 Kevin Drum 280911 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's Your Reminder That Donald Trump's 2 Sons Are Also Big-Game Hunters http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/07/donald-trumps-kids-are-also-big-game-hunters <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, an American dentist admitted to paying $50,000 to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/07/walter-palmer-cecil-lion-hunt" target="_blank">hunt and kill Cecil the lion</a>, a beloved animal and popular tourist attraction in Zimbabwe. News of the killing sparked swift condemnation on social media, with many calling for Walter Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe to stand trial.</p> <p>Amid the outrage, photos quickly resurfaced of Donald Trump's sons,&nbsp;Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, posing with the dead bodies of several exotic animals, including an African elephant and leopard, they had previously hunted for sport.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/osgAJOApXt0" width="630"></iframe></p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Donaldtrump?src=hash">#Donaldtrump</a> son kills African elephant,cuts off tail to show off <a href="http://t.co/74l9YouWv3">http://t.co/74l9YouWv3</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WalterPalmer?src=hash">#WalterPalmer</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CecilTheLion?src=hash">#CecilTheLion</a> <a href="http://t.co/P7ppYkm5Va">pic.twitter.com/P7ppYkm5Va</a></p> &mdash; Zimbabwe Today (@ZimToday) <a href="https://twitter.com/ZimToday/status/626073016032751616">July 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>When the photos initially emerged online back in 2012, the Trump brothers staunchly defended themselves, taking to Twitter to "make no apologies."</p> <p>"In some parts its over populated. Bottom line with out hunters $ there wouldn't be much left of africa. Eco is nice but no $," one tweet from <a href="https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/179507733672902657" target="_blank">Trump Jr. read. </a></p> <p>The public reminder is just the latest relic in Trump's past to stir controversy. This week alone, the <em>New York Times </em>dug up a series of depositions in which the GOP frontrunner for president once told a female lawyer she was <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB8QqQIwAGoVChMIyqzXlI-BxwIVwWk-Ch0ybQxf&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2015%2F07%2F29%2Fus%2Fpolitics%2Fdepositions-show-donald-trump-as-quick-to-exaggerate-and-insult.html&amp;ei=Vi-5VcqpL8HT-QGy2rH4BQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHdwo1AP8_88uKMErbZXVv6XDAbFw&amp;bvm=bv.99028883,d.cWw" target="_blank">"disgusting" for pumping milk</a> for her then three-month-old daughter. The day prior, the <em>Daily Beast</em> published a story resurfacing an old assertion from his former wife claiming he had once <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/27/ex-wife-donald-trump-made-feel-violated-during-sex.html" target="_blank">raped her. </a></p></body></html> Mixed Media 2016 Elections Animals Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:28:33 +0000 Inae Oh 280896 at http://www.motherjones.com Marco Rubio Uses Cecil the Lion to Shame Planned Parenthood Supporters http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/marco-rubio-cecil-lion-planned-parenthood <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today, Marco Rubio couldn't resist attempting to conflate two recent controversies&mdash;an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/07/walter-palmer-cecil-lion-hunt" target="_blank">American dentist's admission</a> he killed Cecil the lion and a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained" target="_blank">sting operation</a> currently targeting Planned Parenthood&mdash;for the following take:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies.</p> &mdash; Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) <a href="https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/626454765275361281">July 29, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The tweet, aside from demonstrating a clear lack of grammar skills, mirrors similar statements from the likes of <a href="http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/07/29/we_cry_over_the_death_of_cecil_the_lion_but_shrug_off_planned_parenthood" target="_blank">Rush Limbaugh</a> asserting the same blend of crazy. Rubio should probably lay off of Twitter and get back to actually <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/marco-rubio-2016-job-senator-absentee-120643.html" target="_blank">doing his job. </a></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Animals Reproductive Rights Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:16:31 +0000 Inae Oh 280891 at http://www.motherjones.com Millennials Living In Their Parents' Home Is Finally Starting to Taper Off http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/millennials-living-their-parents-home-finally-starting-taper <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Pew has a new report out showing that even five years after the recession ended, more young adults are living with their parents than before the recession. This is despite the fact that unemployment among 20-somethings has dropped dramatically. <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/07/29/more-millennials-living-with-family-despite-improved-job-market/" target="_blank">What's more, this trend is pretty widespread:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The decline in independent living since the recovery began is apparent among both better-educated young adults and their less-educated counterparts....This suggests that trends in young adult living arrangements are not being driven by labor market fortunes, as college-educated young adults have experienced a stronger labor market recovery than less-educated young adults.</p> <p>Trends in living arrangements also show no significant gender differences during the recovery. However, in 2015, 63% of Millennial men lived independently of family, compared with 72% of Millennial women. But a similar gender difference <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_pew_young_adults_living_parents.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">existed during the Great Recession, and both young men and young women are less likely to live independently today than they were five years ago.</p> </blockquote> <p>But the news might not be quite as bleak as Pew suggests. Take a look at the arrows in the chart on the right. The upward trend in living at home continued to rise through 2013, but it finally began to drop a couple of years ago. That's not surprising since it's pretty likely that there's a certain amount of hysteresis in this phenomenon; that is, a lag between the economy improving and kids moving into their own places. This might be because wages remained low for several years after the technical end of the recession. It might be because higher debt levels took a while to pay down. It might be that it simply took a few years for recession-induced fear to end. Why move out if you're not sure the economy is really on a long-term roll?</p> <p>There's not much question that 20-somethings of this generation have it worse than my generation, which in turn had it worse than the previous generation. That means the recession hit them especially hard. But if these trends are right, it looks like optimism about work and income is finally starting to slowly improve. It's not great news, but it's good news.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:47:40 +0000 Kevin Drum 280881 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch What It's Like to Live Amidst Industrial Hog Farms http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/07/video-were-hog-producer-world-yay-usa <!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/Q5MxvjYS2-E" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>As I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/07/bacon-jbs-cargill-pork" target="_blank">showed recently</a>, the United States is emerging as the world's hog farm&mdash;the country where massive foreign meat companies like Brazil's JBS and China's WH Group (formerly Shuanghui) alight when they want to take advantage of rising global demand for pork. (If JBS's recent deal to buy Cargill's US hog operations goes through, JBS and WH Group together will slaughter 45 percent of hogs grown in the United States.)</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://qz.com/433750/the-world-eats-cheap-bacon-at-the-expense-of-north-carolinas-rural-poor/" target="_blank">piece</a> by Lily Kuo in <em>Quartz</em> (companion video above) documents what our status as the world's source of cheap pork means for the people who live in industrial-hog country. It focuses on Duplin County in eastern North Carolina, which houses "about&nbsp;<a href="http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/animal-facility-map">530 hog operations</a>&nbsp;with capacity for over 2 million pigs &hellip;.one of the highest concentrations of large, tightly-controlled indoor hog operations, also known as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) in the world." In Duplin, "hogs outnumber humans almost 32 to 1," Kuo reports. And that means living amid lots and lots of pig shit&mdash;the county's hog facilities generate twice the annual waste of the entire population of New York City.</p> <p>As I've <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/11/industrial-scale-hog-farming-screws-small-towns" target="_blank">shown before</a>, the hog industry doesn't build wealth in the communities where it operates&mdash;the opposite, in fact. "Almost a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, making Duplin County one of the poorest counties in North Carolina," Kuo writes. "It is also disproportionately black and Hispanic compared to the rest of the state."</p></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:33:43 +0000 Tom Philpott 280866 at http://www.motherjones.com There's a New Planned Parenthood Video, But There's Just Nothing There http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/theres-new-planned-parenthood-video-theres-just-nothing-there <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Another day, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw2xi9mhmuo" target="_blank">another video hit job on Planned Parenthood.</a> Apparently the strategy here is to release new videos every three or four days and hope that mere repetition is enough to convince people that something&mdash;<em>something</em>&mdash;must <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hand_drawing_hand.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">be wrong here. Over at <em>National Review</em>, <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/planned-parenthood-video-baby-hands-ian-tuttle" target="_blank">Ian Tuttle is disturbed:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>At the 10:22 mark of the Center for Medical Progress&rsquo;s latest video, released today, there is a picture of a hand. By the curve of the thumb and the articulation of the fingers, one can see that it is a right hand. It was formerly the right hand of an 11.6-week-old fetus; it is now part of the various organic odds and ends being sifted through on a plate in the pathology lab of a Planned Parenthood clinic.</p> <p>....I keep calling it a hand. Maybe I shouldn&rsquo;t....But I see a hand &mdash; five fingers and lines across the joints, like you learn to sketch in art class. I see a hand in form no different from my own. Or no different from Horowitz&rsquo;s hands, or Edison&rsquo;s, or Michelangelo&rsquo;s.</p> <p>The most famous image Michelangelo painted was of hands: God&rsquo;s hand extended to Adam&rsquo;s....The sculptor Auguste Rodin spent much of his life fashioning hands....Rodin prefigured Heidegger&rsquo;s observation: &ldquo;My hand . . . is not a piece of me. I myself am entirely in each gesture of the hand, every single time.&rdquo;....Galen of Pergamon, the great Greek physician, in his treatise <em>On the Use of the Various Parts of the Body</em>, noted that to man alone had the Creator chosen to give the hand, the only instrument &ldquo;applicable to every art and occasion&rdquo;:</p> <p>....The gods, the arts, survival, history &mdash; all that we are has required, literally, many hands. In the hand, the whole man, and in the man, the whole cosmos.</p> <p>Now, in a pie dish, for sale.</p> </blockquote> <p>That's very poetic, but like the video itself, tells us nothing. Yes, Planned Parenthood donates fetal tissue to medical research facilities. They charge enough to cover their costs, nothing more. Among the tissue they donate are hands. And this is not a sinister "black market," as the video claims: It's done in the open with the permission of the mother, and the tissue is transferred only to qualified researchers.</p> <p>The idea behind the video, of course, is that it's supposed to automatically trigger disgust in us. And it does. After all, most of us felt a little disgusted when we dissected frogs in 9th grade biology. It's just part of human nature, and the Planned Parenthood haters are smart to take advantage of it.</p> <p>But you know what? I'm an organ donor. I'm not sure my organs are actually safe for harvesting anymore, but if they are, then my body will be chopped up and used for its best and highest purpose when I'm dead. Some organs will be used for transplants, I hope. Some will be given to research laboratories. Some may end up as the raw materials for other stuff. If I were alive and watching, I'd probably feel pretty queasy. And yet, no one really blinks an eye at the routine job of harvesting organs and tissue from dead people who have given their permission.</p> <p>This is no different. It's every bit as altruistic and admirable as harvesting useful tissue from adults. Period.</p> <p>So far, the worst anyone has come up with from these videos is that some of the Planned Parenthood folks caught on tape used a "tone" that was unfortunate. Give me a break. This is the way any doctor talks among other health care professionals. They're experienced enough to talk plainly about their work in private, and they make jokes about it like any normal person. It's simply wrong to pretend that this is anything ominous.</p> <p>And that hand on the pie dish? Who knows? It might save someone's life someday.</p> <p><strong>POSTSCRIPT:</strong> And I'll repeat what I said before. If you think abortion is murder, then of course you object to the use of organs and tissue from aborted fetuses. If you don't, then you think it's fine. There's nothing new going on here. It's just a slightly different twist on the same fight between pro-lifers and pro-choicers that's been going on for decades</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:57:56 +0000 Kevin Drum 280856 at http://www.motherjones.com Health Care Spending Growth Will Rise a Bit Over the Next Decade, But Only a Bit http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/health-care-spending-growth-will-rise-bit-over-next-decade-only-bit <!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_health_spending_growth.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">By coincidence, a new article in <em>Health Affairs</em> confirms an offhand guess I made a few days ago. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/medicare-cost-projections-are-down-stunningly-2015-report" target="_blank">I wrote,</a> "I happen to think the slowdown in medical costs is real, and will continue for some time (though not at the extremely low rates of the past few years)." <a href="http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2015/07/15/hlthaff.2015.0600" target="_blank">The <em>Health Affair</em>s researchers write:</a> "Recent historically low growth rates in the use of medical goods and services, as well as medical prices, are expected to gradually increase. However, in part because of the impact of continued cost-sharing increases that are anticipated among health plans, the acceleration of these growth rates is expected to be modest."</p> <p>As the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> notes, this is is similar to what <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-health-spending-growth-jumped-to-5-5-in-2014-1438114020" target="_blank">Medicare actuaries have been saying for a while:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>The actuaries again Tuesday pointed to the stronger economy and aging population as the main factors in shaping Medicare&rsquo;s future spending.</p> <p>Prescription-drug spending, long a target of warnings from the insurance industry, drew particular attention from the actuaries, who pointed to a big rise in spending growth there as costly new specialty drugs such as Sovaldi, for hepatitis C, came on the market in 2014. Spending growth on pharmaceutical products jumped by 12.6% in 2014, up from 2.5% in 2013....In all, health care will comprise about a fifth of the U.S. economy by 2024, <strong>and the growth rate will exceed the expected average growth in gross domestic product by 1.1 percentage points.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So: good news or bad news? The bad news is that health care spending keeps increasing steadily. It's currently about 17 percent of GDP and will increase to about 20 percent of GDP over the next decade. The good news is that this is slow growth: only about 1.1 percent higher than overall economic growth. Any other time in the past 30 years we would have killed for a growth rate that low.</p> <p>There's probably no way to avoid health care costs growing at least a little faster than the rest of the economy. We keep making advances, and our revealed preferences are pretty clear on at least one point: we value health care highly and are willing to pay more for it even at the expense of other items. That probably won't be true forever, but it's true for now.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:02:42 +0000 Kevin Drum 280846 at http://www.motherjones.com