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  • A Republican's Guide to Gotcha Questions

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:35 am
    Are "gotcha" questions unfair? It depends. I'm personally averse to Jeopardy-style factual quizzes, but not because it's out of line to probe presidential candidates about what they know. Rather, it's the form of the question itself. It treats presidential candidates like schoolchildren being quizzed in front of the class. It's inherently demeaning for any self-respecting adult—and for politicians too. That said, there are gotchas and there are gotchas, and some are worse than others. Here's a taxonomy: SEVERE: "Can you name the president of Chechnya? The president of Taiwan? The…
  • Guatemala's President Resigned and Spent the Night in Jail. What's Next?

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    AJ Vicens
    4 Sep 2015 | 7:50 am
    Otto Pérez Molina resigned as president of Guatemala late Wednesday night, stepping down after being implicated in a widespreadcorruption scheme that earlier this year cost his vice president her job. Pérez Molina, a former military general, had refused to leave office almost until the end, defying the wishes of tens of thousands of protesters who have been calling for his resignation for months. Now he sits in jail, awaiting the results of a hearing examining the evidence against him. But it is what happens next that is of interest to Guatemalans and regional experts. Alejandro…
  • A Republican's Guide to Gotcha Questions

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:35 am
    Are "gotcha" questions unfair? It depends. I'm personally averse to Jeopardy-style factual quizzes, but not because it's out of line to probe presidential candidates about what they know. Rather, it's the form of the question itself. It treats presidential candidates like schoolchildren being quizzed in front of the class. It's inherently demeaning for any self-respecting adult—and for politicians too. That said, there are gotchas and there are gotchas, and some are worse than others. Here's a taxonomy: SEVERE: "Can you name the president of Chechnya? The president of Taiwan? The…
  • First Gay Couple Can Marry in County Where Clerk Went to Jail

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    Inae Oh
    4 Sep 2015 | 6:39 am
    On Friday, William Smith and James Yates became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky. BREAKING: William Smith and James Yates just obtained a marriage license from the Rowan County Clerk's Office. pic.twitter.com/rBcxunFZxb — Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) September 4, 2015 Video of first couple leaving the courthouse after getting their marriage license #wsaz #ky #kimdavis pic.twitter.com/bcAWGPJozq — Taylor Eaton (@WSAZTaylorEaton) September 4, 2015 Since the Supreme Court's historic decision invalidating gay marriage bans…
  • Kids Who Breathe More Pollution Have Lower Grades

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    Gabrielle Canon
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    A growing body of evidence suggests pollution can do a number on the brain. The July/August Mother Jones cover story chronicled the research connecting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to the dirty air we breathe; studies have found that pollution may also age the brain prematurely. And according to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution's damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed to exhaust emissions, researchers found, don't do as well in school as their peers who breathe cleaner…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • A Republican's Guide to Gotcha Questions

    Kevin Drum
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:35 am
    Are "gotcha" questions unfair? It depends. I'm personally averse to Jeopardy-style factual quizzes, but not because it's out of line to probe presidential candidates about what they know. Rather, it's the form of the question itself. It treats presidential candidates like schoolchildren being quizzed in front of the class. It's inherently demeaning for any self-respecting adult—and for politicians too. That said, there are gotchas and there are gotchas, and some are worse than others. Here's a taxonomy: SEVERE: "Can you name the president of Chechnya? The president of Taiwan? The…
  • Kids Who Breathe More Pollution Have Lower Grades

    Gabrielle Canon
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    A growing body of evidence suggests pollution can do a number on the brain. The July/August Mother Jones cover story chronicled the research connecting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to the dirty air we breathe; studies have found that pollution may also age the brain prematurely. And according to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution's damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed to exhaust emissions, researchers found, don't do as well in school as their peers who breathe cleaner…
  • California Is About to Ban Those Little Pieces of Plastic in Your Toothpaste and Face Scrub

    Julia Lurie
    4 Sep 2015 | 4:49 pm
    On Friday, the California Senate passed legislation that will ban the sale of microbeads—​those colorful bits of plastic that you find in face scrub, body wash, and toothpaste—in personal care products by 2020.  Though a handful of other states ​have already passed microbead bans, California's is by far the most stringent, as it doesn't provide exemptions for "biodegradeable" plastics. (No plastics have proven to break down in marine environments so far.) Because California makes up roughly one-eighth of the American market for…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 4 September 2015

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Like Hillary Clinton, we've been watching a lot of HGTV lately. This has inspired Marian to create a long list of renovation projects she'd like to do. It's inspired me to wonder if literally everyone in the world wants an open-concept floor plan these days. And one other thing: It's also made it clear that most interior designers on TV are dog people. How do I know? Because they seem to be very fond of rectangular sinks in bathrooms. However, as we more refined types know, this is entirely unacceptable. Ovals fit the requirements of a properly outfitted household much better. BONUS FEATURE…
  • The Iran Deal Highlights the Crackup of the Israel Lobby

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 11:54 am
    Jonathan Chait writes that AIPAC's failure to stop the Iran deal shows that "there is no more 'Israel lobby'; there is a red Israel lobby and a blue one." And that matters a lot: As a simple matter of political mechanics, acquiring a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress meant hawks needed liberal Democrats to take their side. But they did not have arguments that could appeal to liberals — even liberals with a deep emotional connection to Israel. ....This underscores the most important tectonic forces moving beneath the Israel lobby’s feet. Over the last 15 years, the…
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • Guatemala's President Resigned and Spent the Night in Jail. What's Next?

    AJ Vicens
    4 Sep 2015 | 7:50 am
    Otto Pérez Molina resigned as president of Guatemala late Wednesday night, stepping down after being implicated in a widespreadcorruption scheme that earlier this year cost his vice president her job. Pérez Molina, a former military general, had refused to leave office almost until the end, defying the wishes of tens of thousands of protesters who have been calling for his resignation for months. Now he sits in jail, awaiting the results of a hearing examining the evidence against him. But it is what happens next that is of interest to Guatemalans and regional experts. Alejandro…
  • More School Choice Means Long, Lonely Commutes for Kids

    Stephanie Mencimer
    4 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    The school choice movement has sent low-income students commuting far and wide in search of a better education, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University. Whether those long commutes to school are worth the sacrifice isn't so clear. In a study of more than 24,000 records of Chicago students entering high school in the fall of 2009, JHU education professor Julia Burdick-Will found that the poorer a student's neighborhood, the farther that student was likely to travel to get to school. In areas where the median income was $25,000 or less, kids spread out to an average of 13…
  • This Map Shows Who Wants to Move to Your Country

    AJ Vicens
    3 Sep 2015 | 1:21 pm
    As the migration crisis in Europe continues to unfold, images of dead children, crowded train platforms, and people trying not to be sent to migrant camps have triggered worldwide concern. The individuals jammed in Hungarian train stations or washing up on the shores of Greece all have very specific stories, but they're also a part of a long history of displacement. As long as there has been starvation and war, there has been migration to countries of peace and economic opportunity. What is new, however, is the ability to look for information about a potential destination before going there.
  • If Only Every Lawmaker in the Country Performed a Whip/Nae Nae YouTube Dance to Get the Budget Passed

    AJ Vicens
    3 Sep 2015 | 12:38 pm
    In an attempt to draw attention to a state budget impasse and its effects on education funding, a group of Pennsylvania state Democratic legislators have come together in the spirit of dance. Not just any dance. These lawmakers thought it was best to show the kids they care by deploying the Whip/Nae Nae, featured in the song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento. Fan tributes—like this one by a group of Texas senior citizens, or this one performed by a mom and her adorably precocious daughter—have made the hit song a kind of sleeper viral sensation across summer. Whether the dance…
  • Nuclear Weapons Complex That Couldn't Keep Out 82-Year-Old Nun Is Still Unsafe

    Patrick Malone and Center for Public Integrity
    3 Sep 2015 | 11:42 am
    A good security system would seem essential for the federal repository holding virtually all of the nation’s highly enriched uranium, a key ingredient of nuclear weapons, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. But the high-tech system installed at a cost of roughly $50 million over the past decade at the Department of Energy’s Y-12 complex is still riddled with flaws that impede its operation, according to a newly released report by the department’s top auditor. Moreover, no one knows how much the government will have to spend to fix the system or when that task might be…
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    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • A Republican's Guide to Gotcha Questions

    Kevin Drum
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:35 am
    Are "gotcha" questions unfair? It depends. I'm personally averse to Jeopardy-style factual quizzes, but not because it's out of line to probe presidential candidates about what they know. Rather, it's the form of the question itself. It treats presidential candidates like schoolchildren being quizzed in front of the class. It's inherently demeaning for any self-respecting adult—and for politicians too. That said, there are gotchas and there are gotchas, and some are worse than others. Here's a taxonomy: SEVERE: "Can you name the president of Chechnya? The president of Taiwan? The…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 4 September 2015

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Like Hillary Clinton, we've been watching a lot of HGTV lately. This has inspired Marian to create a long list of renovation projects she'd like to do. It's inspired me to wonder if literally everyone in the world wants an open-concept floor plan these days. And one other thing: It's also made it clear that most interior designers on TV are dog people. How do I know? Because they seem to be very fond of rectangular sinks in bathrooms. However, as we more refined types know, this is entirely unacceptable. Ovals fit the requirements of a properly outfitted household much better. BONUS FEATURE…
  • The Iran Deal Highlights the Crackup of the Israel Lobby

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 11:54 am
    Jonathan Chait writes that AIPAC's failure to stop the Iran deal shows that "there is no more 'Israel lobby'; there is a red Israel lobby and a blue one." And that matters a lot: As a simple matter of political mechanics, acquiring a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress meant hawks needed liberal Democrats to take their side. But they did not have arguments that could appeal to liberals — even liberals with a deep emotional connection to Israel. ....This underscores the most important tectonic forces moving beneath the Israel lobby’s feet. Over the last 15 years, the…
  • Tip O' the Day: Don't Be Trapped by the Tyranny of the List

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 10:40 am
    A couple of days ago I stumbled across a story about the weekly email that NBER sends out touting its latest working papers. They recently decided to randomize the order of the papers separately for each of the 23,000 emails they send out. "This will mean that roughly the same number of message recipients will see a given paper in the first position, in the second position, and so on." One thing led to another, and I never wrote about this. But Neil Irwin picks up the ball today: No editorial judgment goes into the sequence in which the working papers appear. It is random, based on the order…
  • In Shocker, Media Learns That Donald Trump Doesn't Know Anything

    Kevin Drum
    4 Sep 2015 | 8:53 am
    Color me surprised. I read Hugh Hewitt's interview with Donald Trump yesterday and commented on it, but it didn't even occur to me to say anything about the substance of Trump's replies. I mentioned as an aside that Trump, as usual, was "comically ignorant" of pretty much everything, and thought no more about it. That's just standard Trump. But today's headlines are all about Trump's "struggles," "stumbles," and "gaffes." That's all totally fair, but why did it take this interview to suddenly wake everyone up? Trump has been responding to questions this way for the entire campaign. Ask him…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • First Gay Couple Can Marry in County Where Clerk Went to Jail

    Inae Oh
    4 Sep 2015 | 6:39 am
    On Friday, William Smith and James Yates became the first same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license in Rowan County, Kentucky. BREAKING: William Smith and James Yates just obtained a marriage license from the Rowan County Clerk's Office. pic.twitter.com/rBcxunFZxb — Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) September 4, 2015 Video of first couple leaving the courthouse after getting their marriage license #wsaz #ky #kimdavis pic.twitter.com/bcAWGPJozq — Taylor Eaton (@WSAZTaylorEaton) September 4, 2015 Since the Supreme Court's historic decision invalidating gay marriage bans…
  • Here's the Conservative Playbook for Tearing Down Black Lives Matter

    Brandon Ellington Patterson
    4 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    In the wake of last Friday's murder of a Harris County, Texas, police deputy, Fox News pundits have bent over backward to find a way to connect the killing to the Black Lives Matter movement. A guest on the Fox talk show The Five on Monday called the movement a "criminal organization," and several hosts, including Bill O'Reilly, described it as a "hate group." Harris County law enforcement officials have yet to determine a motive for the shooting, and suspect Shannon Miles had been found mentally incompetentto stand trial on a felony assault charge in 2012. But that hasn't stopped Fox News…
  • Germany Has Taken In 800,000 Refugees. Guess How Many the US Has Taken In?

    Ben Dreyfuss
    3 Sep 2015 | 3:10 pm
    Germany is set to take in 800,000 refugees by the end of the year. America, a country that won two World Wars, went to the moon, and did "the other things," has taken in, well, far fewer. Quoth the Guardian: The US has admitted approximately 1,500 Syrian refugees since the beginning of the civil war there in 2011, mostly within the last fiscal year. Since April, the number of admitted refugees has more than doubled from an estimate of 700. ... Anna Greene, IRC’s director of policy & advocacy for US programs, said the 1,500 people the US has admitted thus far…
  • Donald Trump Screws Up GOP Loyalty Pledge, Making it Extra-Meaningless

    Inae Oh
    3 Sep 2015 | 11:41 am
    On Thursday, Donald Trump pledged his fealty to the Republican Party with a largely meaningless pledge not to run as an independent candidate during the 2016 campaign for the White House. In doing so, it appears the billionaire presidential hopeful also affixed the wrong date to his signature: Dear @realDonaldTrump, it's September, not August. pic.twitter.com/R3Jw72Wobt — Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 3, 2015 Brilliant.
  • Kansas Republicans May Have Just Shut Down the State's Court System

    Pema Levy
    3 Sep 2015 | 10:42 am
    What happens to a legal appeal when there's no court to hear it? That's the tricky question before Kansas Republicans today as they grapple with the results of their own law, which threatens to shutter the state court system. On Wednesday night, a district judge in Kansas struck down a 2014 law that stripped the state Supreme Court of some of its administrative powers. The ruling has set off a bizarre constitutional power struggle between the Republican-controlled legislature and the state Supreme Court. At stake is whether the Kansas court system will lose its funding and shut down. Last…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • Kids Who Breathe More Pollution Have Lower Grades

    Gabrielle Canon
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    A growing body of evidence suggests pollution can do a number on the brain. The July/August Mother Jones cover story chronicled the research connecting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to the dirty air we breathe; studies have found that pollution may also age the brain prematurely. And according to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution's damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed to exhaust emissions, researchers found, don't do as well in school as their peers who breathe cleaner…
  • California Is About to Ban Those Little Pieces of Plastic in Your Toothpaste and Face Scrub

    Julia Lurie
    4 Sep 2015 | 4:49 pm
    On Friday, the California Senate passed legislation that will ban the sale of microbeads—​those colorful bits of plastic that you find in face scrub, body wash, and toothpaste—in personal care products by 2020.  Though a handful of other states ​have already passed microbead bans, California's is by far the most stringent, as it doesn't provide exemptions for "biodegradeable" plastics. (No plastics have proven to break down in marine environments so far.) Because California makes up roughly one-eighth of the American market for…
  • California Is Fining a Company That's Supplied Starbucks' Bottled Water—for Making the Drought Worse

    Anna Lenzer
    4 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    Sugar Pine Spring Water, a California company that has supplied bottled water to Starbucks, was hit on Tuesday with a complaint and draft cease-and-desist order by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) for alleged illegal diversion and bulk delivery of water in 2014 and 2015. It's the first enforcement action taken against a bottled-water supplier since the state declared a drought emergency in January 2014.   As I reported this spring, Starbucks' Ethos Water brand has sourced water sold in the chain's western US stores from suppliers tapping the foothills of the…
  • Maybe We'll Win the War Against HIV After All

    Gabrielle Canon
    3 Sep 2015 | 5:04 pm
    A new study published Tuesday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases shows a HIV-prevention treatment may have been successful at preventing new cases of the disease. The regimen, which is called preexposure prophylaxix (or PrEP), involves administering antiviral medication to those at-risk for contracting HIV—stopping infections before they become permanent. This is the largest evaluation of PrEP, administered daily as a single pill called Truvada, since the Food and Drug Administration approved the drugs in 2012. Also, it's the first study done outside a clinical setting. During…
  • 3 Hurricanes Are Hitting the Pacific at the Same Time, and the View From Space Is Amazing

    James West
    2 Sep 2015 | 11:05 am
    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are marveling at a particularly awesome view from orbit right now. This week marks the first time that three major hurricanes—dubbed Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena—have been captured simultaneously churning across the Pacific Ocean, according to the United Kingdom's Met Office. (The National Hurricane Center agrees.) The storms are being fueled by warmer waters caused by this year's El Niño, the global climate event that occurs every five to seven years, bringing drought to places like Australia, while heaping rain on the Western…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • Guatemala's President Resigned and Spent the Night in Jail. What's Next?

    AJ Vicens
    4 Sep 2015 | 7:50 am
    Otto Pérez Molina resigned as president of Guatemala late Wednesday night, stepping down after being implicated in a widespreadcorruption scheme that earlier this year cost his vice president her job. Pérez Molina, a former military general, had refused to leave office almost until the end, defying the wishes of tens of thousands of protesters who have been calling for his resignation for months. Now he sits in jail, awaiting the results of a hearing examining the evidence against him. But it is what happens next that is of interest to Guatemalans and regional experts. Alejandro…
  • More School Choice Means Long, Lonely Commutes for Kids

    Stephanie Mencimer
    4 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    The school choice movement has sent low-income students commuting far and wide in search of a better education, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins University. Whether those long commutes to school are worth the sacrifice isn't so clear. In a study of more than 24,000 records of Chicago students entering high school in the fall of 2009, JHU education professor Julia Burdick-Will found that the poorer a student's neighborhood, the farther that student was likely to travel to get to school. In areas where the median income was $25,000 or less, kids spread out to an average of 13…
  • This Map Shows Who Wants to Move to Your Country

    AJ Vicens
    3 Sep 2015 | 1:21 pm
    As the migration crisis in Europe continues to unfold, images of dead children, crowded train platforms, and people trying not to be sent to migrant camps have triggered worldwide concern. The individuals jammed in Hungarian train stations or washing up on the shores of Greece all have very specific stories, but they're also a part of a long history of displacement. As long as there has been starvation and war, there has been migration to countries of peace and economic opportunity. What is new, however, is the ability to look for information about a potential destination before going there.
  • If Only Every Lawmaker in the Country Performed a Whip/Nae Nae YouTube Dance to Get the Budget Passed

    AJ Vicens
    3 Sep 2015 | 12:38 pm
    In an attempt to draw attention to a state budget impasse and its effects on education funding, a group of Pennsylvania state Democratic legislators have come together in the spirit of dance. Not just any dance. These lawmakers thought it was best to show the kids they care by deploying the Whip/Nae Nae, featured in the song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento. Fan tributes—like this one by a group of Texas senior citizens, or this one performed by a mom and her adorably precocious daughter—have made the hit song a kind of sleeper viral sensation across summer. Whether the dance…
  • Nuclear Weapons Complex That Couldn't Keep Out 82-Year-Old Nun Is Still Unsafe

    Patrick Malone and Center for Public Integrity
    3 Sep 2015 | 11:42 am
    A good security system would seem essential for the federal repository holding virtually all of the nation’s highly enriched uranium, a key ingredient of nuclear weapons, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. But the high-tech system installed at a cost of roughly $50 million over the past decade at the Department of Energy’s Y-12 complex is still riddled with flaws that impede its operation, according to a newly released report by the department’s top auditor. Moreover, no one knows how much the government will have to spend to fix the system or when that task might be…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • Kids Who Breathe More Pollution Have Lower Grades

    Gabrielle Canon
    5 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    A growing body of evidence suggests pollution can do a number on the brain. The July/August Mother Jones cover story chronicled the research connecting neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to the dirty air we breathe; studies have found that pollution may also age the brain prematurely. And according to new research from the University of Texas-El Paso, pollution's damage to the brain may start even sooner than was previously thought: Fourth and fifth graders exposed to exhaust emissions, researchers found, don't do as well in school as their peers who breathe cleaner…
  • California Is About to Do Something Great That No State Has Ever Done Before

    Tim McDonnell
    3 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    Back in January, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made a promise. His state, he said, would pursue a new package of climate goals that are the most ambitious in the nation (and among the most ambitious in the world). California was already a leader in efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy. Brown pledged to go further. By 2030, he declared, California would double the energy efficiency of state buildings; get half its electricity from renewables; and halve consumption of gasoline by cars and trucks. At the time, all those nice-sounding goals were just words in a…
  • Coal Companies Are Dying While Their Execs Grab More Cash

    Tim McDonnell
    2 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    These are dark days for coal. In July, the industry hit a milestone when a major power company announced plans to shutter several coal-fired power plants in Iowa: More than 200 coal plants have been scheduled for closure since 2010, meaning nearly one-fifth of the US coal fleet is headed for retirement. President Barack Obama's recently completed climate plan, which sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, is designed to keep this trend going over the next decade. But the industry was in deep trouble even before Obama's crackdown, thanks to the rock-bottom price of natural…
  • Obama Is a Climate Hypocrite. His Trip to Alaska Proves It.

    Eric Holthaus
    1 Sep 2015 | 9:18 am
    This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On Monday morning President Obama headed to Alaska—the front lines of climate change—for a trip the White House is calling "a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, it is being driven by human activity, and it is disrupting Americans' lives right now." Problem is, those words fall flat when compared with Obama's mixed record on climate. The widely publicized trip comes at a delicate…
  • A Lot of American Catholics Have Never Heard of Pope Francis' Most Important New Message

    James West
    1 Sep 2015 | 3:00 am
    Pope Francis has so far had a tough time selling his high-profile climate campaign to Americans—even to the faithful. Two recent national surveys asked whether American Catholics were familiar with the pope's call for action, and the results were decidedly mixed. Polling data released Monday by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service shows that one in five Catholics are still unfamiliar with the pope's position on climate change, outlined in his landmark encyclical—or papal letter—in which he said humans were contributing to the "unprecedented…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • Music Review: "Sign Spinners" by Natural Information Society and Bitchin Bajas

    Jon Young
    29 Aug 2015 | 3:00 am
    TRACK 4 "Sign Spinners" From Natural Information Society and Bitchin Bajas' Autoimaginary DRAG CITY Liner notes: Spectral keyboards, hypnotic bass lines, and lighter-than-air percussion make for a spooky-fun instrumental. Behind the music: Joshua Abrams launched Natural Information Society to showcase the guimbri, an African lute. Cooper Crain started Bitchin Bajas as a low-key alternative to his techno band Cave. Check it out if you like: The Doors' "Riders on the Storm" (minus Jim Morrison).
  • Book Review: $2.00 a Day by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer

    Stephanie Mencimer
    27 Aug 2015 | 3:00 am
    Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $2.00 a Day By Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT Two dollars per person per day is a poverty threshold in the developing world that's rarely evoked when discussing the United States. It should be, say academics Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, whose new book documents a troubling rise in the number of Americans—including as many as 3 million kids—who survive on almost nothing. $2.00 a Day is an intimate chronicle of the "cashless economy" and also serves as an indictment of the welfare reform that began under…
  • 19 Heartbreaking Photos of Hurricane Katrina's Aftermath

    Mark Murrmann
    27 Aug 2015 | 3:00 am
    Without having been there—actually seeing it for yourself in person—it's hard to comprehend just how hard Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, particularly the Lower Ninth Ward. When the levees broke, this neighborhood bore the brunt of the damage, altering the landscape in ways that defied logic. Roofs of houses lay in the middle of the street. Cars had been tossed around, littering yards, streets, and even front porches. Whole houses were lifted off their foundations. Personal items—remnants of people's lives—scattered everywhere. Hurricane Katrina Coverage Will New…
  • Keeping Up With British Folk Rocker Richard Thompson

    Jacob Blickenstaff
    15 Aug 2015 | 3:00 am
    Richard Thompson Jacob Blickenstaff As guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson, 66, was coming of age as a musician in 1960s England, the majority of British rock bands tended to cover and repurpose American rock and roll and R&B. With their 1967 band Fairport Convention, Thompson and fellow bandmates instead chose to draw from Britain's own history—its broadside ballads, field recordings, and social and religious tunes. The result was a new "folk-rock" hybrid grown from British soil. Throughout his career, Thompson continued to incorporate distinctly British sounds in his…
  • Film Review: We Come as Friends

    Luke Whelan
    14 Aug 2015 | 3:00 am
    We Come As Friends BBC WORLDWIDE Halfway through director Hubert Sauper's latest doc, we meet a woman waiting to vote for South Sudanese independence. "Bye-bye slavery, and welcome to the new state!" she says. But Sauper travels the land in a tiny self-built plane to expose neocolonialism's stubborn stranglehold. In intimate, surreal scenes, he introduces us to Chinese oil workers, a British land mine detonator, drunk UN peacemakers, Texan missionaries, and Western businessmen who have no qualms getting rich off a dirt-poor country. The strongest moments belong to the locals trying to make…
 
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