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  • Friday Cat Blogging - 28 November 2014

    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Today's theme is cat TV. On the left, Hilbert is camped out in front of the small TV in the dining room, perhaps hoping for a rerun of the squirrel docudrama that aired last week. On the right, Hopper is entranced by the big-screen TV in the study, probably watching the hummingbird reality series that seems to air constantly around here. It never gets old, though. Have a happy black-and-white Friday. Also, a happy gray-and-white Friday. And be sure to watch lots of cat-approved TV.
  • "Wild's" Cheryl Strayed Becomes One With Reese Witherspoon

    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones
    Maddie Oatman
    28 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Her pack was too heavy, her boots too tight. She didn't know how to read a compass. But that didn't stop first-time backpacker Cheryl Strayed, then 26, from embarking on a soul-searching 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, from Southern California's Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. Yet the physical feat of the hike is not the true star of Strayed's 2012 memoir about the journey, Wild. Rather, Strayed's recovery from a near-addiction to heroine, a young divorce, and her mother's death from cancer take center stage. The story so resonated with readers,…
  • Friday Cat Blogging - 28 November 2014

    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones
    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Today's theme is cat TV. On the left, Hilbert is camped out in front of the small TV in the dining room, perhaps hoping for a rerun of the squirrel docudrama that aired last week. On the right, Hopper is entranced by the big-screen TV in the study, probably watching the hummingbird reality series that seems to air constantly around here. It never gets old, though. Have a happy black-and-white Friday. Also, a happy gray-and-white Friday. And be sure to watch lots of cat-approved TV.
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Heart Surgery

    Political Mojo | Mother Jones
    Inae Oh
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:14 am
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is "resting comfortably" after undergoing a coronary catheterization procedure, a press release from the nation's highest court announced Wednesday morning. Ginsburg, who at 81 is the Supreme Court's oldest member, is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours. From the release: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a coronary catheterization procedure this morning at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center to place a stent in her right coronary artery. The coronary blockage was discovered after Justice…
  • We Fact Checked Aaron Sorkin's Climate Science on "The Newsroom"

    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones
    James West
    26 Nov 2014 | 9:29 am
    I watch too much TV drama, so I can say this with a degree of certainty: It's rare that climate change comes up. (Television news programs also contain "tepid" coverage, in general, according to watchdog group Media Matters). That's why it was so weird/exciting for this climate reporter when global warming received its very own subplot on Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom over the last two episodes. First, a little context: Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) is the show's once daffy news producer whose role this season seems exclusively designed to reverse earlier charges of sexism against…
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    MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones

  • Friday Cat Blogging - 28 November 2014

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Today's theme is cat TV. On the left, Hilbert is camped out in front of the small TV in the dining room, perhaps hoping for a rerun of the squirrel docudrama that aired last week. On the right, Hopper is entranced by the big-screen TV in the study, probably watching the hummingbird reality series that seems to air constantly around here. It never gets old, though. Have a happy black-and-white Friday. Also, a happy gray-and-white Friday. And be sure to watch lots of cat-approved TV.
  • Chart of the Day: Oil Prices Are Plunging Thanks to OPEC

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 11:40 am
    OPEC finished up its winter meeting yesterday and decided not to cut oil production. This came as a surprise to those who still think of OPEC as the maniacal oil hawks who roiled global petroleum markets in the 70s, but less so to those who know that cartels are notoriously difficult to hold together—especially when it's a leaky cartel that's missing some key producers. In any case, OPEC members couldn't agree on just who would pay the price of cutting production, and the Saudis, for reasons still unclear, were unwilling to shoulder the burden themselves this time around. So OPEC oil…
  • Good News from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    Everyone's favorite CDC publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, passes along some great news today: cigarette smoking is down. Among Americans 18 and older, only 17.8 percent now smoke cigarettes, down from 20.9 percent in 2005. What's more, the proportion of daily smokers declined from 16.9 percent to 13.7 percent, and among daily smokers the number of cigarettes smoked also declined. By region, the highest level of smoking is found in the Midwest, followed by the South, the Northeast, and the West. Poor people smoke more than non-poor, and generally speaking, those with less…
  • Everyone Loves Charts! Except For Those Who Don't.

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 8:54 am
    This post is going to end up being insufferably nerdly, so bear with me. It comes via Justin Wolfers, who tells us about a new study showing that if you present information, it's more persuasive if it includes a chart. Since my Wikipedia entry says I'm known for "offering original statistical and graphical analysis," this is thrilling news—especially since I've never really believed that my charts have influenced anyone who didn't already believe what I was saying in the first place. So let's go to the source. First off, I love the title of the paper: Blinded with science: Trivial…
  • After a Year Off, the Triumphant Return of My Annual Black Friday Post

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 7:00 am
    According to the retail industry, "Black Friday" is the day when retail profits for the year go from red to black. Are you skeptical that this is really the origin of the term? You should be. After all, the term Black ___day, in other contexts, has always signified something terrible, like a stock market crash or the start of the Blitz. Is it reasonable to think that retailers deliberately chose this phrase to memorialize their biggest day of the year? Not really. But to get the real story, we'll have to trace its origins back in time. Here's a 1985 article from the Philadelphia Inquirer:…
 
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    MoJo Articles | Mother Jones

  • "Wild's" Cheryl Strayed Becomes One With Reese Witherspoon

    Maddie Oatman
    28 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Her pack was too heavy, her boots too tight. She didn't know how to read a compass. But that didn't stop first-time backpacker Cheryl Strayed, then 26, from embarking on a soul-searching 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, from Southern California's Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. Yet the physical feat of the hike is not the true star of Strayed's 2012 memoir about the journey, Wild. Rather, Strayed's recovery from a near-addiction to heroine, a young divorce, and her mother's death from cancer take center stage. The story so resonated with readers,…
  • Walmart Is Seeing Its Biggest Black Friday Protests Ever Today

    Josh Harkinson
    28 Nov 2014 | 1:19 am
    Black Friday is best known as the day when big-box retailers rake in money, but it has also become a time for some of their employees to demand a share of the proceeds. At Walmart, this year's Black Friday protests will be the widest-reaching ever, organizers say, with pickets and strikes planned at 1600 stores in 49 states to remind shoppers that the people serving them often can't afford to feed themselves. "I have to depend on the government mostly," says Fatmata Jabbie, a 21-year-old single mother of two who earns $8.40 an hour working at a Walmart in Alexandria, Virginia. She makes ends…
  • 5 Key Inconsistencies in What Happened During the Michael Brown Shooting

    Jaeah Lee and AJ Vicens
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:49 pm
    Since the St. Louis County prosecutor's office released a trove of documents and evidence reviewed by the grand jury that decided to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, there have been numerous reports pointing out the discrepancies between Wilson's and various witness accounts of what happened on the day that Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. While the grand jury has put an end to the state's case against Wilson, questions about witness accounts could still sway the outcome of the Justice Department's ongoing investigation. The Washington Post, Vox, St.
  • This Article Has Been Retracted

    26 Nov 2014 | 1:18 pm
    This story included erroneous information. Waterford, NY, fire chief Donald Baldwin was not the commenter in question. We regret the error and are investigating.
  • Will Obama Pull the Plug on Wind Energy?

    Tim McDonnell
    26 Nov 2014 | 11:19 am
    Yesterday President Obama threatened to veto a $440 billion package of tax breaks negotiated by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The bill, a White House spokesperson said, disproportionately benefits businesses over families. The bill excludes a child tax credit for the working poor that had been a top goal for Obama, but makes permanent a group of tax incentives for big businesses that had been provisional. But if Obama does kill the deal, he'll also create a casualty that seems odd for a president who in recent weeks has made climate…
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    Kevin Drum Feed | Mother Jones

  • Friday Cat Blogging - 28 November 2014

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Today's theme is cat TV. On the left, Hilbert is camped out in front of the small TV in the dining room, perhaps hoping for a rerun of the squirrel docudrama that aired last week. On the right, Hopper is entranced by the big-screen TV in the study, probably watching the hummingbird reality series that seems to air constantly around here. It never gets old, though. Have a happy black-and-white Friday. Also, a happy gray-and-white Friday. And be sure to watch lots of cat-approved TV.
  • Chart of the Day: Oil Prices Are Plunging Thanks to OPEC

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 11:40 am
    OPEC finished up its winter meeting yesterday and decided not to cut oil production. This came as a surprise to those who still think of OPEC as the maniacal oil hawks who roiled global petroleum markets in the 70s, but less so to those who know that cartels are notoriously difficult to hold together—especially when it's a leaky cartel that's missing some key producers. In any case, OPEC members couldn't agree on just who would pay the price of cutting production, and the Saudis, for reasons still unclear, were unwilling to shoulder the burden themselves this time around. So OPEC oil…
  • Good News from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    Everyone's favorite CDC publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, passes along some great news today: cigarette smoking is down. Among Americans 18 and older, only 17.8 percent now smoke cigarettes, down from 20.9 percent in 2005. What's more, the proportion of daily smokers declined from 16.9 percent to 13.7 percent, and among daily smokers the number of cigarettes smoked also declined. By region, the highest level of smoking is found in the Midwest, followed by the South, the Northeast, and the West. Poor people smoke more than non-poor, and generally speaking, those with less…
  • Everyone Loves Charts! Except For Those Who Don't.

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 8:54 am
    This post is going to end up being insufferably nerdly, so bear with me. It comes via Justin Wolfers, who tells us about a new study showing that if you present information, it's more persuasive if it includes a chart. Since my Wikipedia entry says I'm known for "offering original statistical and graphical analysis," this is thrilling news—especially since I've never really believed that my charts have influenced anyone who didn't already believe what I was saying in the first place. So let's go to the source. First off, I love the title of the paper: Blinded with science: Trivial…
  • After a Year Off, the Triumphant Return of My Annual Black Friday Post

    Kevin Drum
    28 Nov 2014 | 7:00 am
    According to the retail industry, "Black Friday" is the day when retail profits for the year go from red to black. Are you skeptical that this is really the origin of the term? You should be. After all, the term Black ___day, in other contexts, has always signified something terrible, like a stock market crash or the start of the Blitz. Is it reasonable to think that retailers deliberately chose this phrase to memorialize their biggest day of the year? Not really. But to get the real story, we'll have to trace its origins back in time. Here's a 1985 article from the Philadelphia Inquirer:…
 
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    Political Mojo | Mother Jones

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Heart Surgery

    Inae Oh
    26 Nov 2014 | 8:14 am
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is "resting comfortably" after undergoing a coronary catheterization procedure, a press release from the nation's highest court announced Wednesday morning. Ginsburg, who at 81 is the Supreme Court's oldest member, is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours. From the release: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a coronary catheterization procedure this morning at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center to place a stent in her right coronary artery. The coronary blockage was discovered after Justice…
  • Media Goes Wild Over Hagel Firing But Not Obama's Secret Afghanistan Reversal

    David Corn
    24 Nov 2014 | 8:03 am
    There's little the Washington-centric political-media universe loves more than the story of a fallen star. The defenestration of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reporters and pundits in a schadenfreude-driven tizzy. Was he fired? Was he in over his head? OMG, look at how the White House is dumping on him, as he departs! Who's passing nasty notes in class about him? The presumably forced resignation of Hagel is indeed big news. The Obama administration is confronting a host of new national security challenges: ISIS, Ukraine, Ebola. So the guy (or gal) in charge of the Pentagon has to be…
  • Chuck Hagel Resigning as Secretary of Defense

    Inae Oh
    24 Nov 2014 | 7:36 am
    President Barack Obama is expected to announce the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday. The New York Times reports that the president's decision to ask Hagel to step down follows a series of meetings, which concluded that a change in leadership was needed in order to deal with international threats including the Islamic State. Candidates for Hagel's replacement reportedly include former Undersecretary of Defense Michelle Flournoy, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) Hagel, the only Republican in the president's national…
  • The Ohlone People Were Forced Out of San Francisco. Now They Want Part of Their Land Back.

    Prashanth Kamalakanthan
    22 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    "There are only three ways to get land," said Tony Cerda, chairman of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, in 2010. "You can buy it, have it given to you, or steal it." It's clear which one of those applies to his people, the Ohlone, who lived in the central California coastal region for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1700s. The Ohlone once numbered as many as 15,000 on lands stretching from the San Francisco Bay to Big Sur. But following years of enslavement under the Spanish mission system and, later, persecution by settlers, they are now largely a…
  • Native Children Have the Same Rate of PTSD as Combat Veterans

    Tim Murphy
    21 Nov 2014 | 12:22 pm
    Here's the most sobering statistic you'll see today: American-Indian and Alaskan Native children experience PTSD at the same rate at veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to a new report from a Department of Justice advisory committee, 22 percent of American-Indian and Alaskan Native juveniles have PTSD—three times higher than the national rate. Among other proposals, the committee recommends Congress grant tribes the ability to prosecute non-Indians who abuse children. Under the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Congress empowered tribes to…
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    Blue Marble Feed | Mother Jones

  • We Fact Checked Aaron Sorkin's Climate Science on "The Newsroom"

    James West
    26 Nov 2014 | 9:29 am
    I watch too much TV drama, so I can say this with a degree of certainty: It's rare that climate change comes up. (Television news programs also contain "tepid" coverage, in general, according to watchdog group Media Matters). That's why it was so weird/exciting for this climate reporter when global warming received its very own subplot on Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom over the last two episodes. First, a little context: Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) is the show's once daffy news producer whose role this season seems exclusively designed to reverse earlier charges of sexism against…
  • Video: A Drone Shoots Hauntingly Beautiful Footage of Buffalo's Snowstorm

    James West
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:02 pm
    James Grimaldi/YouTube Flying personal camera-equipped drones directly over big events like the Hong Kong protests and Independence Day fireworks is becoming commonplace. Now come these amazing aerial images of Buffalo, New York, besieged by snow for the third day in a row. The Buffalo area was coated with up to six feet of snow on Wednesday and there's been even more today. The eighth storm-related death was annouced this morning. When the storm first set in, James Grimaldi of West Seneca, New York, sent his drone into the blizzard to film a bizarre world drained of color, and uploaded the…
  • We Just Had the Hottest October on Record

    Tim McDonnell
    20 Nov 2014 | 9:29 am
    NOAA It's cold outside, which means it'll soon be time for the annual rousing chorus of climate change denial from people who think snow means global warming is fake. Good thing NOAA is here to help. Today the agency released two new maps illustrating that even if you're cold right now, the planet is still getting hotter. In fact, 2014 is on track to be the warmest year on record. The map above shows where global temperatures for the month of October stood relative to the 20th century average. Overall, this was the warmest October since record-keeping began in 1880. And it's not just October…
  • Watch a Wall of Snow Consume Buffalo, N.Y.

    Tim McDonnell
    19 Nov 2014 | 9:59 am
    Today it is literally freezing in every state in America. But no where has been hit harder than Buffalo, New York, which yesterday got buried under 70 inches of snow. Yeah, seven-zero, as in nearly six feet. At least six people there have died, and one hundred are still trapped. The video below, from Buffalo-based producer Joseph DeBenedictis, shows yesterday's apocalyptic storm sweeping across the city. The insane snowfall was brought on by something called the "lake effect," which could grow more severe with global warming—our friend Eric Holthaus at Slate has the details on that.
  • BREAKING: The Senate Just Voted Not to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline

    Tim McDonnell
    17 Nov 2014 | 12:19 pm
    UPDATE 11/18/14, 6:17 pm ET A controversial bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline failed in the US Senate Tuesday evening. It received 59 "aye" votes, just shy of the 60 needed to send the bill to President Obama's desk. The fight isn't over yet; Republicans have said they plan to prioritize approving the pipeline once they take control of the Senate next year. Below the headlines last week about President Obama's major climate agreement with China, another environmental story was gaining steam: a vote in Congress to force approval of Keystone XL, a controversial…
 
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    Politics | Mother Jones

  • Walmart Is Seeing Its Biggest Black Friday Protests Ever Today

    Josh Harkinson
    28 Nov 2014 | 1:19 am
    Black Friday is best known as the day when big-box retailers rake in money, but it has also become a time for some of their employees to demand a share of the proceeds. At Walmart, this year's Black Friday protests will be the widest-reaching ever, organizers say, with pickets and strikes planned at 1600 stores in 49 states to remind shoppers that the people serving them often can't afford to feed themselves. "I have to depend on the government mostly," says Fatmata Jabbie, a 21-year-old single mother of two who earns $8.40 an hour working at a Walmart in Alexandria, Virginia. She makes ends…
  • 5 Key Inconsistencies in What Happened During the Michael Brown Shooting

    Jaeah Lee and AJ Vicens
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:49 pm
    Since the St. Louis County prosecutor's office released a trove of documents and evidence reviewed by the grand jury that decided to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, there have been numerous reports pointing out the discrepancies between Wilson's and various witness accounts of what happened on the day that Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. While the grand jury has put an end to the state's case against Wilson, questions about witness accounts could still sway the outcome of the Justice Department's ongoing investigation. The Washington Post, Vox, St.
  • This Article Has Been Retracted

    26 Nov 2014 | 1:18 pm
    This story included erroneous information. Waterford, NY, fire chief Donald Baldwin was not the commenter in question. We regret the error and are investigating.
  • What If Your Boss Suddenly Told You to Come to Work on Thanksgiving?

    Josh Harkinson
    26 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Michelle Flores thought she had everything worked out for Thanksgiving. The 20-year-old San Francisco State junior was planning to join friends this Thursday to make pineapple-crusted ham, a family favorite. But last Friday, the Safeway where Flores works as a part-time cashier informed her that she'd be expected to work during on the holiday. She reluctantly called her friends to cancel their Thanksgiving plans. Flores is well acquainted with the stressful unpredictability of part-time work. Last semester, she found out just three days before her midterm exams that the supermarket expected…
  • Can Ron Paul and Conservative Evangelicals Save a Texas Death-Row Inmate?

    Stephanie Mencimer
    26 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    When Scott Panetti represented himself in a Texas capital murder case in 1995, wearing a purple cowboy suit and calling himself "Sarge," he called as a witness a veterinarian who once lived across the street from him. Panetti questioned the vet about the time he euthanized Little Blue, Panetti's old dog. The episode had nothing to do with the case. Other witnesses Panetti tried to call to the stand: John F. Kennedy and Jesus. Trial transcripts, medical records, and expert witness testimony have documented that Panetti suffers from severe schizophrenia. He believes Texas is going to execute…
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    Environment | Mother Jones

  • The Looming Olive Oil Apocalypse

    Tom Philpott
    26 Nov 2014 | 1:02 pm
    The world's most celebrated olive oil comes from sun-drenched groves of Italy. But Italy is also a hotbed of olive oil subterfuge, counterfeit, and adulteration—and has been since Roman times, as Tom Muellar showed in an eye-opening 2007 New Yorker piece (which grew into a book called Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.)  Next year, getting real olive oil from Italy is going to be even harder than usual. Here's the LA Times' Russ Parsons: As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of Italian Olive Oil,”…
  • Will Obama Pull the Plug on Wind Energy?

    Tim McDonnell
    26 Nov 2014 | 11:19 am
    Yesterday President Obama threatened to veto a $440 billion package of tax breaks negotiated by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The bill, a White House spokesperson said, disproportionately benefits businesses over families. The bill excludes a child tax credit for the working poor that had been a top goal for Obama, but makes permanent a group of tax incentives for big businesses that had been provisional. But if Obama does kill the deal, he'll also create a casualty that seems odd for a president who in recent weeks has made climate…
  • Another Side Effect of Climate Change and El NiƱo Events? Shorter Kids.

    Jenna McLaughlin
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The weather pattern known as El Niño could be stunting kids' growth—even years after the extreme storms abate, a new study finds. Researchers at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, led by assistant professor of medicine and international health William Checkley, say they have conducted the first study on the long-term health consequences of El Niño weather systems. According to the paper published today in BioMed Central, children born around the time of the severe 1997-'98 El Niño living in coastal Peru, one of the regions hardest hit by the weather…
  • A Thanksgiving Snowstorm Could Make America's Busiest Travel Day A Living Hell

    Eric Holthaus
    24 Nov 2014 | 1:24 pm
    NWS Weather Prediction Service This story originally appeared in Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. If you've ever wanted to make post-stuffing snow angels, this year could be your chance. Forget for a moment that Monday will feature near-record highs on the East Coast. (However, if you're in Washington or New York City, you should bask in this afternoon's highs in the low to mid-70s, if you can swing it.) Forget, too, that in my post on Friday I said not to worry (yet) about a looming Thanksgiving Eve nor'easter. At the time, weather models were all over…
  • Even Global Warming Can't Convince Republicans That Global Warming Exists

    Tim McDonnell
    24 Nov 2014 | 8:03 am
    Scientists and science journalists like to say that one of the best ways to tell that climate change is real is to take a look at the changes we can already see: This year is on track to be the hottest ever recorded, and glaciers, corn, and even grizzly bears are responding to the warming. But all those shifts won't be enough to convince most conservative climate skeptics, a new study in Nature Climate Change finds. A growing body of recent research suggests a person's political ideology, economic philosophy, and religious beliefs tend to overwhelm observed facts about global warming. The new…
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    Culture | Mother Jones

  • "Wild's" Cheryl Strayed Becomes One With Reese Witherspoon

    Maddie Oatman
    28 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Her pack was too heavy, her boots too tight. She didn't know how to read a compass. But that didn't stop first-time backpacker Cheryl Strayed, then 26, from embarking on a soul-searching 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, from Southern California's Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. Yet the physical feat of the hike is not the true star of Strayed's 2012 memoir about the journey, Wild. Rather, Strayed's recovery from a near-addiction to heroine, a young divorce, and her mother's death from cancer take center stage. The story so resonated with readers,…
  • RATKING: Gritty, Grimy Hip-Hop That Totally Grows on You

    Prashanth Kamalakanthan
    24 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    The rat king is a haunting image from European folklore: a bevy of rats, tangled together by their tails and thought to grow together as a bunch. (Rat king characters also make appearances in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics and the animated show Adventure Time.) Then there's RATKING, a left-field hip-hop group that's one of the most exciting recent acts to come out of New York City. The mythical metaphor is apt. In an age of hypersleek solo rappers like Drake and Kanye, the three-member posse celebrates the grime of the streets, the everyday beauty of faces passing on the subway, the…
  • The Ohlone People Were Forced Out of San Francisco. Now They Want Part of Their Land Back.

    Prashanth Kamalakanthan
    22 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    "There are only three ways to get land," said Tony Cerda, chairman of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, in 2010. "You can buy it, have it given to you, or steal it." It's clear which one of those applies to his people, the Ohlone, who lived in the central California coastal region for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1700s. The Ohlone once numbered as many as 15,000 on lands stretching from the San Francisco Bay to Big Sur. But following years of enslavement under the Spanish mission system and, later, persecution by settlers, they are now largely a…
  • If You're White and Feel Discriminated Against, Jose Antonio Vargas Wants to Talk to You

    Inae Oh
    21 Nov 2014 | 12:21 pm
    "Do you think some people treat you unfairly because you're white?" "Do you feel you're missing out on an important job, school, or other opportunity because you're white?" These questions were included in a recent casting call for an MTV documentary in Washington DC. It swiftly raised eyebrows across the internet: Do white people really need yet another medium to showcase, well, white people problems?  But when it came out that the man behind the documentary was actually journalist and prominent immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas and his organization Define American, the…
  • New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent

    James West
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:40 am
    The New York Times indicated today that it's getting close to a round of forced layoffs of its journalists. The newsroom-wide email sent Thursday morning, obtained by Mother Jones, details responses to employee questions about a scheduled buyout program from Janet Elder, a deputy executive editor at the company. The email states that, "the most frequently asked question is about scale and whether or not there will be enough buyouts to avoid layoffs. Given that the buyout window is still open, it's hard to have an absolute answer to that question just yet. Early efforts to handicap…
 
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