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Archive

Date

February 6th, 2014

Obama's Chance To Steer The Debate on Inequality

    Much of the substance and tone of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address this week are predictable. So is the reaction: It won't change many minds or political stands.

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America on Probation

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From Canada, a New Gold Standard

    The 32,400 employees at Goldman Sachs averaged $383,374 each last year, the Wall Street banking giant has just disclosed.

    Typical employees at Goldman, of course, didn’t take home anything near that $383,374. Bank clerks nationally only average $24,100 a year. In 2012, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein took home $26 million. This means he’s making over 1,000 times that of the lowest paid Goldman Sachs employees.

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Science is telling us something

    Another insane cold wave -- not the infamous "polar vortex," but its evil twin -- is bringing sub-zero and single-digit temperatures to much of the nation. And global warming may be even more extreme, and potentially more catastrophic, than climate scientists had feared.

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Who Needs the Gestapo When You Have 'Angry Birds'?

    Somewhere in the lowest reaches of hell, Adolf Hitler and his coterie of lesser dictators must be tormented by the knowledge they did not live long enough to get their hands on "Angry Birds." How much diabolical power they would have had, not playing the game, but rather mining the data freely volunteered by its billion unsuspecting customers.

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The Great Pre-K Debate

    Against all odds, prekindergarten is gaining ground.

    President Barack Obama called again in his State of the Union address for Congress to support high-quality preschool for all, noting that 30 states are already moving ahead on this front (including New York).

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Short-Circuiting the Future

    Will our fossil-fueled economy make humans go the way of the dinosaurs?

    There are plenty of reasons to think so. Coal, oil, and gas continue to account for 87 percent of global energy consumption despite scientific consensus that drastic change is essential for avoiding a climate catastrophe.

    So, we’d better heed one of Barack Obama’s most memorable declarations in his State of the Union address:

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Right wing is still talking to itself

    Male lawmakers should not even vote on abortion.

    That was Alan Simpson's position before the Wyoming Republican retired from the Senate -- and it still is.

    Abortion is a "terrible" and "hideous thing," as I recently heard him reiterate in a seminar on the federal budget at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. "But it's a deeply intimate and personal thing. ... Men legislators shouldn't even vote on it."

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Republicans want a heart-to-heart with women

    The Republican Party spent much of its winter meeting last week adopting reforms suggested by its 2013 selfie, which was a snapshot of all that is wrong with the party ("scary," "narrow minded," dominated by "stuffy old men," and unlikely to win nationally unless it attracts minorities and women).

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Nuances that lead to trouble

    When it comes to dealing with women -- in particular, when it comes to dealing with issues of women, power and sexuality -- there is a surprising parallel between bumbling Republicans and bumbling media. Republicans have a hard time talking about women and sexuality. The media have difficulty talking about women and power. Both end up in trouble, in part because they are oblivious to the underlying discomfort that contributes to the offensive conduct or remark.

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