• Congress needs to act on pension debt disclosures


    In an extensive report on Puerto Rico’s flagging public employee pension systems, Reuters notes that:

    Since Puerto Rico gained self-rule in the late 1940s, improvident populist governments have lavished additional pension benefits on public employees, from holiday bonuses to loans for international travel. These measures have rarely been accompanied by moves to pay for them, and occasional efforts to fill the funding gap have fallen short.

    But if you think it’s only Puerto Rico that did this, think again. Numerous state and local pension plans have increased benefits beyond any capacity to pay them. And, despite funding rules that allow state and local governments to contribute about one-quarter as much toward their pensions as a corporate sponsor would be required to pay, almost 60 percent of state and local governments failed to make their “full” pension contribution last year. READ MORE...

  • Bring The Gaypocalypse To Tupelo!


    Statue of Dinah Shore, not a lesbian, but a lesbian icon (a href=”http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-278150726/stock-photo-rancho-mirage-california-april-statue-of-dinah-shore-at-the-ana-inspiration-golf.html?src=Ei_pmuRYuA9q1QeMawv-yg-1-1″>photogolfer/Shutterstock)

    There was a time not too long ago when, had this Guardian story been written as is for a major media outlet, it would not have been published because it would have been seen as aiding and abetting the cause of the Religious Right (by feeding prejudice). Times have changed. Vice is a virtue, and debauchery is now liberation of a politically advantageous kind. Arwa Madhawi reports from Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, California. Excerpts: READ MORE...

  • Shock: Man Who Called 911 To Report Walmart Threat To Be Charged After POLICE Shoot and Kill Suspect


    “See Something, Say Something.” That’s the motto of the Department of Homeland Security. If you see suspicious activity or believe there is a danger to the general public you’re supposed to call police.

    When Ronald Ritchie saw what he believed to be a man wielding a gun at an Ohio Walmart that’s exactly what he did. There’s no way Ritchie could have known the gun John Crawford was playing around with was a BB-gun.

    Raw footage of the incident shows Crawford walking around the store with the BB-gun shortly before being shot by police. At the time, Ritchie, who had no idea the man was playing with a BB-gun, called law enforcement, like any concerned citizen would have: READ MORE...

  • Private sector wisely acts to protect power grid


    A recent initiative by a group of power companies to increase the resilience of the power grid represents an important step in letting market forces solve our problems instead of pushing for federal action.

    Every American has dealt with the inconvenience of an electrical blackout. Typically, these blackouts range from a few hours to a few days and the number of people impacted decreases with each passing day, as the power companies repair lines. Americans have not had to deal with an extended loss of electricity in which a large number of people go without refrigeration, healthcare devices, and other vital needs for a week or more. Experts have warned about this possibility for several years, especially with the rise of cyber attacks and terrorist chatter. READ MORE...

  • Private sector wisely acts to protect power grid


    A recent initiative by a group of power companies to increase the resilience of the power grid represents an important step in letting market forces solve our problems instead of pushing for federal action.

    Every American has dealt with the inconvenience of an electrical blackout. Typically, these blackouts range from a few hours to a few days and the number of people impacted decreases with each passing day, as the power companies repair lines. Americans have not had to deal with an extended loss of electricity in which a large number of people go without refrigeration, healthcare devices, and other vital needs for a week or more. Experts have warned about this possibility for several years, especially with the rise of cyber attacks and terrorist chatter. READ MORE...

  • Barrett Guns & The Bible Embraced by Tennessee


    This has been a banner week for the state of Tennessee as Republican lawmakers have chosen to make two popular objects official state emblems.

    First, state leader chose to make the .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle the official state gun. Then they followed up by voting to make the Bible the official state book! Republican state Senator Steve Southerland, who sponsored the bill, argued that its purpose was to highlight the important historical and cultural contributions the Bible has made on the state. Southerland said that opponents’ concerns that this bill would either trivialize the Bible’s importance or that the bill would mean that the state was illegally “sponsoring” one religion over another, were both misplaced. READ MORE...

  • Al Qaeda Is the Only Winner in Yemen


    Reuters reports on the growing power of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been made possible in large part by the Saudi-led war on Yemen supported by the U.S.:

    If Islamic State’s capital is the Syrian city of Raqqa, then al Qaeda’s is Mukalla, a southeastern Yemeni port city of 500,000 people. Al Qaeda fighters there have abolished taxes for local residents, operate speedboats manned by RPG-wielding fighters who impose fees on ship traffic, and make propaganda videos in which they boast about paving local roads and stocking hospitals. READ MORE...