MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Attention Sunday Shows: Here Are 5 Republicans Who Won't Lie to Your Viewers About Climate Change <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>On Wednesday, I <a href="" target="_blank">wrote</a> about a new Media Matters for America <a href="" target="_blank">study</a> that shines a light on a big problem with how TV news shows cover climate change. Scientists overwhelmingly agree that humans are warming the planet, but Media Matters found that the highly influential Sunday morning talk shows often feature misleading talking points from global warming skeptics. Frequently, these segments turn into bizarre debates between those who accept science and those who reject it.</p> <p>On NBC's <em>Meet the Press</em>, for example, almost two-thirds of the climate coverage last year included "false balance," according to Media Matters. <em>Fox News Sunday</em> and ABC's <em>This Week</em> had similar problems:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="mmfa_chart6" class="image" src="/files/mmfa_chart6_1.png"></div> <p>The Media Matters study drew the attention of Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). In a press release, he slammed the news networks for misleading viewers "by framing the facts of climate change as a 'debate.'" He urged them "to stop creating a false debate about the reality of climate change and engage in the real debate about how we can solve it."</p> <p>This presents something of a dilemma for the Sunday shows. Interviewing elected officials from both sides of the aisle is a big part of the reason these programs exist in the first place; they can't host a debate about climate policy and invite only Democrats. At the same time, however, global warming denial is so ingrained on the right that it's becoming increasingly difficult to find Republicans who can talk about the issue without misinforming viewers. The Media Matters report cites a couple examples of this: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) <a href="" target="_blank">saying on <em>Meet the Press </em></a>that there's no scientific consensus on climate change, and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) <a href="" target="_blank">saying on <em>This Week</em></a> that "the big debate is how much of it is manmade and how much it will just naturally happen as Earth evolves."</p> <p>Fortunately&mdash;thanks to Schatz&mdash;TV bookers now have a <a href=";session=1&amp;vote=00012" target="_blank">handy list of GOP senators</a> who acknowledge the scientific facts surrounding climate change and who, presumably, can participate in an intelligent discussion of what should actually be done about the problem. Last week, Schatz introduced legislation <a href="" target="_blank">declaring it the "sense of Congress" that climate change is real</a> and that human activity contributes significantly to it. Five Republicans voted in favor of Schatz's amendment: Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and Mark Kirk (Ill.). The other 49 voted no.</p> <p>There's plenty of room for disagreement on policy matters, of course. Alexander and Graham, for example, <a href=";ContentRecord_id=43fa4416-e921-87b1-ab6b-f8a9a291e798" target="_blank">have called on</a> the Obama administration to withdraw its proposed greenhouse gas emissions rules, the centerpiece of the president's climate plan. But if the networks are looking for Republicans who can speak accurately about the science, at least now they know where to find them.</p> <p><em>(Disclosure: I used to work at Media Matters.)</em></p></body></html> Blue Marble Climate Change Climate Desk Media Science Top Stories Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:48:20 +0000 269341 at This Massive New Project Is Great News for Homeless Vets in Los Angeles <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>After a three-year legal battle, the US Department of Veterans Affairs <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> on Wednesday that it will rededicate its <a href="" target="_blank">giant</a> West Los Angeles Medical Center campus to provide much-needed housing and services for the city's homeless veterans.</p> <p>The announcement stems from a settlement in a 2011 lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of disabled veterans. The Los Angeles property,&nbsp;nearly 400 acres, was deeded to the federal government in 1888 to house veterans with disabilities. Instead, the campus, which is located in an affluent area, has been used for commercial rental agreements with, among others, entertainment companies, UCLA, and hotel laundry services. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>NPR</em></a>, Veterans Affairs had accepted between $28 million and $40 million in leasing agreements that a federal judge ruled illegal.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-01-29%20at%2011.06.33%20AM.png" style="height: 533px; width: 350px;"></div> <p>The settlement includes a plan, set for completion by October, to build long-term housing combined with support services designed to <a href="" target="_blank">help ensure</a> that the formerly homeless, especially veterans who are physically and mentally disabled, remain housed.</p> <p>The effort is part of a larger Obama administration <a href="" target="_blank">initiative</a> to house all homeless vets by the end of 2015. Los Angeles has the nation's <a href="" target="_blank">highest number</a> of homeless vets&mdash;more than 3,700&mdash;and the newly announced plan could go a long way toward solving the problem.</p> <p>"This agreement offers VA a historic opportunity to build new community relationships in Los Angeles and continue the work needed to end veteran homelessness here," Veteran's Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said in a statement. "VA is proud of the progress we've made in ending veteran homelessness&mdash;down 33 percent since 2010&mdash;but we won't be satisfied until every veteran has a home."</p> <p>According to a <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> released last January by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, close to 50,000 vets were homeless on any given night. States are now gearing up for their annual "Point-In-Time" count, a HUD-led event that deploys volunteers to conduct a census of the homeless in their communities. The results will indicate how much work remains to meet Obama's 2015 deadline. McDonald said he <a href="" target="_blank">plans to participate</a> in the Los Angeles count:&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>"There is no question that the goal to end veteran homelessness is within reach, and we remain laser-focused on it," he said. "It's about helping communities put a system in place that can house every veteran."</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Military Top Stories Homeless Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:19:44 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 269331 at Lawmaker: Cheerleaders Should Get Paid a Real Wage <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>While football fans are getting ready for the Super Bowl this weekend, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has turned her attention to the women on the sidelines. Gonzalez, a former cheerleader and labor leader, introduced a bill today that would require California's professional sports teams to classify cheerleaders as employees, thus forcing teams to provide minimum wage, paid overtime, and workers compensation.</p> <p>The bill was inspired by a <a href="" target="_blank">spate of lawsuits</a> last year in which NFL cheerleaders sued their teams for workplace violations. The first lawsuit, <em>Lacy T. et al vs. The Oakland Raiders</em>, exposed a "stunning system of abuses against cheerleaders," says Gonzalez, including sub-minimum wage pay, unpaid practices and appearances, and fines for things like <a href="" target="_blank">bringing the wrong pom-poms</a> to practice. According to an <a href=""><em>ESPN the Magazine</em> article</a>, a Raiderettes handbook simply says that it's possible to "find yourself with no salary at all at the end of the season." (Read more of our coverage of the indignities of NFL cheerleaders <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, and of NHL's ice girls <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>).</p> <p>"NFL teams and their billionaire owners have used professional cheerleaders as part of the game day experience for decades.&nbsp; They have capitalized on their talents without providing even the most basic workplace protections like a minimum wage," Gonzalez said in a statement. Reached by phone, she added, "Nobody would never, ever question that the guy who brings you beer is going to get minimum wage, but we're not gonna pay the woman on the field who's entertaining you?" Asked whether she was concerned about pushback from NFL teams, she replied, "I don't think it's a good PR move for the NFL to be opposing minimum wage for women's workers. Let's be honest."</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Income Inequality Sex and Gender Sports Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:18:47 +0000 Julia Lurie 269326 at The Senate Just Approved Keystone XL <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The Senate has been a very busy bunch of beavers over the last month. After just a week of being in session, they had already <a href="" target="_blank">taken more votes than they did in all of 2014</a>. It's all thanks to the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been the primary topic of floor debate for the last three weeks.</p> <p>Almost immediately after the new Congress got started, the House passed a bill to approve construction of the pipeline. As new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had promised, the Senate then took up its own Keystone bill, which President Barack Obama promptly promised to veto. (The president has long maintained that he wants the pipeline to be approved&mdash;or not&mdash;through the normal State Department process, which is the usual protocol for cross-border infrastructure projects.) Democrats and Republicans alike have sought to load up the Keystone bill with a staggering number of amendments, ranging from an agreement that <a href="" target="_blank">climate change is "not a hoax"</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">removing the lesser prairie-chicken</a> from the endangered species list. As of this morning, <a href="" target="_blank">only five had passed</a>.</p> <p>Over the last few days, McConnell and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have urged their peers to wrap up and take a final vote on the bill, with leading Democrats and environmentalists responding that Republicans were trying to <a href="" target="_blank">"aggressively"</a> shut down debate.</p> <p>This afternoon it finally happened, and the Senate bill passed 62-36. <a href="" target="_blank">According to </a><em><a href="" target="_blank">Politico</a>,</em> House leaders have yet to decide whether to take a straight vote on the Senate bill or send it to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the two versions. Either way, the bill faces an assured veto once it reaches the Oval Office. And unless more Democrats change their tune soon, there is not enough support in the Congress to override the veto.</p> <p>What's next for the embattled pipeline? Earlier this month, the Nebraska State Supreme Court <a href="" target="_blank">ruled in favor of Keystone XL's proposed route</a>, a ruling the White House had said was the last piece of the puzzle needed before the Obama administration makes a final decision. So now, once again, the ball is back in the president's court.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp; <div class="caption"> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/slack-imgs-1.com_.jpeg"><div class="caption"><strong>Via the State Department, the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, shown in yellow. </strong></div> </div> </div> </div></body></html> Blue Marble Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Top Stories Infrastructure Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:10:13 +0000 Tim McDonnell 269321 at This Chart Shows That Americans Are Way Out of Step With Scientists on Pretty Much Everything <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Here's one big reason why the US has been so slow to take aggressive action on climate change: Despite the wide consensus among scientists that it's real and caused by humans, the general public&mdash;not to mention a <a href="" target="_blank">disconcerting number</a> of prominent politicians&mdash;remains divided.</p> <p>It's not just climate change. On a range of pressing social issues, scientists and the public rarely see eye-to-eye. That's the result of a new Pew <a href="" target="_blank">poll</a> released today that compared views of a sample of 2,000 US adults to those of 3,700 scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the group that publishes the journal <em>Science</em>.</p> <p>The biggest split was over the safety of genetically modified foods: 88 percent of scientists think GMOs are safe, compared to only 37 percent in the general public. Interestingly, college graduates were split 50-50. The gap between scientists and the public is smaller on the question of whether to mandate childhood vaccines. But it's still there. Eighty-six percent of scientists and 68 percent of all adults think vaccines should be required.</p> <p>The poll didn't attempt to explain the gaps between scientists and the general public. On some issues there are clearly factors beyond pure science, like ethics and politics, that influence opinions. For example, scientists show <em>more</em> support for nuclear power, but <em>less </em>support for fracking, than the public. As our friend Chris Mooney has reported many times, these outside factors <a href="" target="_blank">tend to creep into peoples' opinions</a> even on objective questions like whether humans have evolved.</p> <p>Lee Rainie, Pew's director of science research, added that trust in scientists can be a big factor. On GMOs, for example, 67 percent of the public believe scientists don't fully understand the health risks. And on issues like climate and evolution, the public believes there to be more disagreement within the scientific community than there actually is, he said.</p> <p>More interesting findings are below:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/pew-poll-2.jpg"><div class="caption">Pew</div> </div></body></html> Blue Marble Charts Climate Change Climate Desk Food and Ag Science Top Stories Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:08:58 +0000 Tim McDonnell 269286 at Bill Nye: Screw Deflategate. You Should "Give a Fuck" About Climate Change Instead. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>This <a href=";ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000048" target="_blank">article</a> originally appeared in the <a href="" target="_blank">Huffington Post</a> and is republished here as part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Desk</a> collaboration.</em></p> <p>Bill Nye is weighing in on <a href="" target="_hplink">Deflategate</a> again, but this time he has a few props and a message to share about something far more important.</p> <p>New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick claimed <a href="" target="_hplink">atmospheric conditions</a> and temperature changes could have caused footballs to lose air pressure during the team's AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts.</p> <p>On Sunday, Nye said <a href="" target="_hplink">taking that much air out of a ball would require an inflation needle</a>. But in a new video posted on Funny or Die, The Science Guy declared that "<a href="" target="_hplink">one test is worth 1,000 expert opinions</a>," and put some footballs into a fridge set to 51 degrees, or the temperature at the Jan. 18 game.</p> <p>That's where the video takes a very different turn.</p> <p>"While we're all obsessed with Deflategate, let's keep in mind that there's something about which you should give a fuck," Nye said. "Yes, like Tom Brady, the world is getting hotter and hotter, and you know why? Because we humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."</p> <p>Nye then began listing things that contribute to climate change&mdash;including long-winded Deflategate press conferences&mdash;and followed that up with a rallying cry.</p> <p>"You should vote for congressmen and senators that appreciate the threat of climate change and the rate at which the world is getting warmer, so that we can preserve the earth for humankind for generations to come," Nye said.</p> <p>Oh, and about those balls&hellip;</p> <p>Nye took one out of the fridge, gave it a squeeze, pronounced it "pretty much the same," and said "the Patriots probably bent the rules a little bit."</p> <p>Nye, who lived in Seattle for a number of years, ended the video with a message that's bound to rankle the New England faithful: "Go Seahawks!"</p></body></html> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Sports Thu, 29 Jan 2015 18:54:37 +0000 Ed Mazza 269301 at Here's How Boehner and Netanyahu Really Screwed Up <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>Mother Jones </em>DC bureau chief David Corn appeared on MSNBC's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Hardball </em></a>to discuss the ongoing fallout from <a href="" target="_blank">John Boehner's decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu</a> to address Congress:</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe border="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Congress International Media Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:22:31 +0000 269281 at Watch Larry Wilmore Explain How You Can't Escape the Koch Brothers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>After learning that the Koch brothers and their allies plan on spending a whopping <a href="" target="_blank">$889 million</a> on 2016 elections, Larry Wilmore took to his TV show Wednesday&nbsp;evening to announce his intention to boycott all Koch Industries products.</p> <p>"I'm sorry, I can't get behind these guys," Wilmore explained. "This just doesn't smell right to me. So what do they make again?"</p> <p>But after learning that the&nbsp;answer is <em>virtually everything</em> from Dixie cups to greeting cards to Lycra, the <em>Nightly Show</em>&nbsp;host realized that&nbsp;any attempt to free himself from the Koch <a href="" target="_blank">web of influence</a> was doomed. Wilmore then reminded viewers&nbsp;that&nbsp;it's not just the Koch brothers who dole out millions to score political advantages, pointing out Michael Bloomberg and George Soros as similar examples. (It's true that there are big money liberal donors but their networks&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">pale&nbsp;in comparison</a>&nbsp;to the on the Koch brothers maintain.)</p> <p>"It's called dark money. Keeping with the white privilege convention of saying that everything bad is dark."</p> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="width: 640px; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;</div> <div style="background-color:#000000;width:640px;"> <div style="padding:4px;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></div> </div></body></html> Mixed Media Video 2016 Elections Dark Money Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:15:09 +0000 Inae Oh 269276 at Housekeeping Note <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>My chemotherapy, which until now has had fairly predictable side effects, seems to have entered a less predictable phase. This means that my fatigue level changes from day to day, and with it my blogging output. So some days you'll see a bunch of posts, and other days you'll see one or two. It doesn't really mean anything is wrong. It just means I'm having a predictably unpredictable bad day.</p> <p>In addition, today I have several appointments, and Marian is undergoing major surgery. Nothing life-threatening, so no worries on that score. But a very big deal nonetheless.</p> <p>In other words, there's not likely to be any blogging today. Tomorrow, who knows? As they say, tomorrow is another day.</p> <p><strong>4 PM UPDATE:</strong> According to the surgeons, Marian's surgery was entirely successful. She's still waking up from the anesthesia and has several weeks of recovery ahead of her, but everything went fine.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:00:08 +0000 Kevin Drum 269271 at Step Aside, Steve King: Meet the Right's Most Powerful Immigration Foe <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><span class="section-lead">It wasn't long ago</span> that Sen. Jeff Sessions was waging a lonely battle against comprehensive immigration reform. ABC News called the Alabama Republican a "<a href=";singlePage=true">lone wolf</a>" in his dogged quest to kill the Senate's immigration reform bill, which passed the upper chamber in June 2013 on a 68-32 bipartisan vote. At one point, Sessions introduced an amendment <a href="">to slash</a> the number of immigrants allowed to enter the country legally&mdash;not even Texas firebrand Ted Cruz voted for it.</p> <p>But Sessions' days of fighting immigration reform from the sidelines are over. Last week, he became chair of the Senate judiciary subcommittee on immigration. The new face of Republican immigration policy has yet to make headlines like his anti-reform ally in the House, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), whose inflammatory rhetoric about undocumented immigrants ("<a href="" target="_blank">deportables</a>") has made him a household name within the Latino community. But Sessions is just as hardline as King. And now his party has place him in a high profile position in the nation's ongoing and contentious immigration debate.</p> <p>"By choosing Sessions, Senate Republicans are handing over the agenda and a megaphone to their leading anti-immigrant voice," America's Voice, a pro-immigration-reform group, said in a seven-page memo circulated to reporters that enumerated Sessions' anti-immigration track record.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2015/01/jeff-sessions-immigration-reform-border"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Immigration The Right Top Stories Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:15:06 +0000 Pema Levy 269076 at