robertreich:

It’s often assumed that people are paid what they’re worth. According to this logic, minimum wage workers aren’t worth more than the $7.25 an hour they now receive. If they were worth more, they’d earn more. Any attempt to force employers to pay them more will only kill jobs.

According to this…

shortformblog:

Ever wonder what it’d be like if someone protested during a Supreme Court oral argument session—and someone got it on tape? Wonder no more: here’s a video of someone doing just that in a protest against Citizens United.

kateoplis:

Nobody wins, Everybody Pays
“On Sunday, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed amount to ensure that its videos stream smoothly to Comcast customers. But fans of Francis Underwood’s manipulations on House of Cards might want to temper their celebrations.
This is more than a deal between two giant companies: It will affect everyone who uses the Internet. And as with so many things involving Comcast, consumers will end up paying for it in the end.”
"Let’s be clear. The Comcast-Netflix agreement is not the outcome of a free market. This is Comcast having Netflix over a barrel, and backing off only when it became clear that this sort of trickery could potentially derail its mega-merger with Time Warner Cable."
"This is a critical moment for our country. If Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable, it will control 55 percent of the U.S. market’s pay-TV/Internet bundled customers. It will be the only provider of this advanced communications package to nearly four out of every 10 U.S. homes. With this much control over the platform we all use to communicate and share with the outside world, the new normal will be whatever Comcast wants it to be.
Our country used to guard against the consolidation of this much market power, but in recent years policymakers have forgotten the lessons of history. We need to put the “public” back into public policy and some teeth back into our antitrust enforcement.
The average Internet user is at the mercy of companies like Comcast and Verizon, which won’t hesitate to degrade their services as a negotiating ploy. We need a watchdog in Washington who will demand transparency and who has the authority to stop discrimination and anti-competitive behavior.”
Why The Comcast-Netflix Deal Should Worry You [*]

kateoplis:

Nobody wins, Everybody Pays

On Sunday, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed amount to ensure that its videos stream smoothly to Comcast customers. But fans of Francis Underwood’s manipulations on House of Cards might want to temper their celebrations.

This is more than a deal between two giant companies: It will affect everyone who uses the Internet. And as with so many things involving Comcast, consumers will end up paying for it in the end.”

"Let’s be clear. The Comcast-Netflix agreement is not the outcome of a free market. This is Comcast having Netflix over a barrel, and backing off only when it became clear that this sort of trickery could potentially derail its mega-merger with Time Warner Cable."

"This is a critical moment for our country. If Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable, it will control 55 percent of the U.S. market’s pay-TV/Internet bundled customers. It will be the only provider of this advanced communications package to nearly four out of every 10 U.S. homes. With this much control over the platform we all use to communicate and share with the outside world, the new normal will be whatever Comcast wants it to be.

Our country used to guard against the consolidation of this much market power, but in recent years policymakers have forgotten the lessons of history. We need to put the “public” back into public policy and some teeth back into our antitrust enforcement.

The average Internet user is at the mercy of companies like Comcast and Verizon, which won’t hesitate to degrade their services as a negotiating ploy. We need a watchdog in Washington who will demand transparency and who has the authority to stop discrimination and anti-competitive behavior.”

Why The Comcast-Netflix Deal Should Worry You [*]

Support a Constitutional amendment saying that corporations are not people and they do not have the right to spend money to buy our politicians.

Read more.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.
Egypt announces new charges against Mohammed Morsi.
Riek Machar, the head of South Sudan’s opposition, is denying involvement in a coup attempt. 
400-500 are estimated dead in South Sudan as a result of violence in the region along ethnic lines. 
More than 1200 people have been killed in Boko Haram-related violence in the northeast of Nigeria since the declaration of a state of emergency in May.
The French military deployed into Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, to flush out a Christian militia known as anti-Balaka. 
UN investigators accuse the Syrian government of a “widespread campaign of terror” against the civilian population, including enforced disappearances.
The Project on Middle East Political Science gathered memos from 18 top scholars of civil war and insurgency about Syria and its future. Marc Lynch summarizes what they had to say over at Foreign Policy.
The UN is seeking $6.5 billion worth of aid to assist Syria in 2014.
Russian armored ships will transport Syria’s chemical weapons out to sea where they will be loaded on a modified US Navy ship for destruction.
The Islamist militant group ISIS is expanding rapidly in Syria.
Tension between Israel and Lebanon following cross-border shootings.
Two Guantánamo inmates have been transferred home to Saudi Arabia.
Following last week’s strike on a wedding convoy, Yemen’s parliament is calling for an end to drone strikes in the country.
36 Shi’ite pilgrims were killed by suicide bombings in Iraq on Thursday. 11 were killed Wednesday. More than 70 were killed Monday.
The overall death toll this year in Iraq is between 7900 and 8700. 2013 is the deadliest year for Iraq since 2008. The Huffington Post did a great job of presenting and assessing the casualty data.
The US says that Iranian commandos were part of a September 1 raid on Camp Ashraf in Iraq which killed 50 members of Mujahideen-e-Khalq, an Iranian dissident group. Seven members of the group were then taken back to Iran.
Iran claims to have captured an MI6 agent working in Kerman.
A local cease-fire and turf-sharing deal with the Taliban was brokered by a member of the Afghan army in Sangin province. This concerns the US that territorial gains will be returned to Taliban control in local agreements as the US leaves the country.
6 US soldiers were killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
Russia passed a new amnesty law that will free mostly first time offenders, women with small children and minors. Those freed will include the two Pussy Riot band members and Greenpeace’s “Arctic 30.”
Separately from the new amnesty law, Putin has pardoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a political prisoner who has been in jail since 2003.
The Senate Foreign Relations committee approved a bill that would increase US ability to have aid dealings with military governments (see: Egypt). 
A White House review panel released a 300-page report detailing 46 recommendations for curbing the NSA’s surveillance powers, among them ending bulk storage of telephone metadata and restrictions on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s abilities to compel companies like telephone service providers to give user information to the government. Read the full report for yourself.
A Federal District Court judge ruled that that same bulk collection and storage of phone records by the NSA was not only “Orwellian,” but almost certainly an infringement of the privacy rights offered by the Fourth Amendment. 
The Gibson inquiry concluded that the British government and intelligence were involved in rendition operations. MI5 and MI6 have a month to answer questions about their involvement in the abduction and torture of terror suspects. 
Data artist Josh Begley mapped all known US military bases globally.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is requesting the CIA hand over an internal study of the detention and interrogation program.
Jeh Johnson will be the next Homeland Security secretary.
2013 is the second worst year on record for imprisonment of journalists, according to CPJ. The worst was 2012. 211 journalists remain imprisoned worldwide, with Turkey being the leading offender, followed by Iran and China. CPJ reports one behind bars in the US (although that should probably be two, since they leave out Barrett Brown).
Google has acquired a military robotics company.
Photo: Refugee camp in Bossangoa, Central African Republic. People gather to prepare food. Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Photo: Refugee camp in Bossangoa, Central African Republic. People gather to prepare food. Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

politics   war  
theatlantic:

Experts Decisive Against Multivitamins: ‘Stop Wasting Money’

"We believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."
So reads an authoritative editorial today in one of the widest-read U.S. medical journals, Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in the U.K., including one of the journal’s senior editors. Each has at least five letters worth of postgraduate degrees after their name.
"Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,” they specify. “Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.” 
Read more. [Image: lovingyourwork/flickr]

theatlantic:

Experts Decisive Against Multivitamins: ‘Stop Wasting Money’

"We believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."

So reads an authoritative editorial today in one of the widest-read U.S. medical journals, Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in the U.K., including one of the journal’s senior editors. Each has at least five letters worth of postgraduate degrees after their name.

"Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,” they specify. “Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.”

Read more. [Image: lovingyourwork/flickr]

latimes:

Why are so many young Californian veterans dying?

The death rate for California veterans below the age of 35 is above that of active-duty soldiers and civilians, with 1,363 passing away between 2006 and 2011 alone.

Possible causes for that trend were all too apparent after a careful look into state records.

Veterans were more than twice as likely as other civilians to commit suicide. They were twice as likely to be a victim of a fatal motor vehicle crash and a quarter more likely to suffer other deadly accidents.

This isn’t the first time death rates for veterans returning home from war have spiked. Those who served during Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars were more likely to die after coming home - but studying and solving the phenomenon has largely been far from the government’s top priority.

Read our full report here.

Photos: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

theatlantic:

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About the Minimum Wage

2013 was a good year for supporters of a higher minimum wage. States including New York, California, and New Jersey passed hikes. Residents of SeaTac, Washington, voted to turn their tiny city into a living economics experiment by increasing its minimum to a $15 an-hour. Washington, D.C., seems poised to raise its own wage. And President Obama threw his support behind a bill that would increase the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour and require it to rise with the cost of living.
You can expect to hear more liberal agitating for a higher wage in 2014. And of course, you can also expect to hear conservatives shout back that the idea is a job killer. To prepare you for the inevitable policy argument, here’s your FAQ.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About the Minimum Wage

2013 was a good year for supporters of a higher minimum wage. States including New York, California, and New Jersey passed hikes. Residents of SeaTac, Washington, voted to turn their tiny city into a living economics experiment by increasing its minimum to a $15 an-hour. Washington, D.C., seems poised to raise its own wage. And President Obama threw his support behind a bill that would increase the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour and require it to rise with the cost of living.

You can expect to hear more liberal agitating for a higher wage in 2014. And of course, you can also expect to hear conservatives shout back that the idea is a job killer. To prepare you for the inevitable policy argument, here’s your FAQ.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]