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The Last Time Carbon Dioxide Concentrations Were Around 400ppm: A Snapshot From Arctic Siberia

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The last time carbon dioxide concentrations were around 400ppm: a snapshot from Arctic Siberia (via Skeptical Science)

Posted on 14 May 2013 by John Mason Synopsis During the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene Series of the Cenozoic Era, 3.6 to 2.2 Ma (million years ago), the Arctic was much warmer than it is at the present day (with summer temperatures from 3.6-3.4 Ma some 8oC warmer than today). That is a key finding…


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Reflecting on the pursuit of equality and non-discrimination on LGBT Day

Reflecting on the pursuit of equality and non-discrimination on LGBT Day (via GlobalPost)

Commentary: Fallacious claims about homosexuality prevail in 76 UN-member countries. Boris Dittrich NEW YORK — Every year on May 17, people all around the world celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, while reflecting how to achieve full equality and non-discrimination…


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Slim comes second: Is Mexico's president a monopoly buster?

Slim comes second: Is Mexico's president a monopoly buster? (via GlobalPost)

Mexican mega-mogul Carlos Slim just lost the world's richest man title to Bill Gates. Will President Enrique Peña Nieto's reform agenda whittle down other tycoons? Dudley Althaus MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto vows big changes with the economic reforms he's pushing…


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Stewart mocks horse-race media for ‘attention span of a concussed goldfish’

Stewart mocks horse-race media for ‘attention span of a concussed goldfish’ (via Raw Story )

As President Barack Obama fights himself on a three-and-a-half-year long “race up shit’s creek,” Jon Stewart pointed out, his best hope would be the fact that Beltway media, cursed by “the attention span of a concussed goldfish,” was already laying out predictions for the 2016 elections,…


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Colbert: How dare you cast aspersions on Louie Gohmert’s asparagus!

Colbert: How dare you cast aspersions on Louie Gohmert’s asparagus! (via Raw Story )

Thursday night on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert replayed one of the stranger moments from Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday. At the end of a heated exchange with holder, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) accused the AG of attempting to “cast aspersions…


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Republican Texas judge orders lesbian couple to live apart or lose children

Republican Texas judge orders lesbian couple to live apart or lose children (via Raw Story )

A Republican Texas Judge has ordered a lesbian couple to live apart or give up custody of their children. According to Think Progress, Judge John Roach of McKinney, Texas has given Page Price 30 days to move out of the home she shares with Carolyn Compton and Compton’s two children from a previous…


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Rangel to IRS official: Citizens United was ‘invitation… for abuse’ of the tax code

Rangel to IRS official: Citizens United was ‘invitation… for abuse’ of the tax code (via Raw Story )

The outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service commissioner on Friday told Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) that applications for 501(c)4 groups had doubled since the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling, which opened the floodgates for unlimited political spending by corporations. “The applications for…


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Republican law would punish Ohio colleges for helping students vote

Republican law would punish Ohio colleges for helping students vote (via Raw Story )

Republicans in the Ohio state legislature are promoting an amendment to a state budget bill that would punish public universities that provide students with the necessary materials to register to vote. According to Talking Points Memo, the legislators say that they are trying to resolve discrepancies…


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Obama Announces IRS Resignation, Promises Safeguards and Oversight Cooperation

Obama Announces IRS Resignation, Promises Safeguards and Oversight Cooperation (via PBS News Hour)

GWEN IFILL: And now we go back to the IRS story. Just a few minutes ago, President Obama announced the acting director of the IRS has been forced out. He spoke in the East Room of the White House. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: First, we're going to hold the responsible parties accountable. Yesterday, I directed…


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Global Cities Get Help Preparing for Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather

Global Cities Get Help Preparing for Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather (via PBS News Hour)

GWEN IFILL: Now: helping cities better prepare for natural disasters and extreme weather. Judy Woodruff has the story JUDY WOODRUFF: The damage caused by major weather events in recent years has often been enormous, costly, and led to bigger problems, cities and towns flooded by Superstorm Sandy, electrical…


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Drones are cheaper and more powerful. In US, that's a problem, lawmakers told

Drones are cheaper and more powerful. In US, that's a problem, lawmakers told (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Copyright ImageClick to View In this file photo, Seattle Police officer Jim Britt demonstrates an unmanned aerial vehicle during at a meeting where the police answered questions about their drone program in Seattle, Wash. (Colin Diltz, The Seattle Times/AP/File) With much of Capitol Hill riveted by…


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For Sweden's gay Eurovision fans, it's about the music

For Sweden's gay Eurovision fans, it's about the music (via AFP)

When Finnish singer Krista Siegfrids ended her Eurovision Song Contest rehearsal performance last week by kissing one of her female dancers, few members of the audience raised an eyebrow. Eurovision has been a staple of gay culture for decades in western Europe, where gay bars and nightclubs traditionally…


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IRS chief insists abuses were not political

IRS chief insists abuses were not political (via AFP)

The outgoing head of the IRS told Congress that the US tax agency made "foolish mistakes" in targeting conservative groups, but insisted the action was not politically motivated. Lawmakers hammered Steven Miller, who resigned this week at the request of President Barack Obama, over abuse of power at…


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Lawrence O'Donnell Reminds Congress of the Real IRS Scandal


After House Speaker John Boehner's ridiculous statement that he wants to know "who is going to jail" over the recent scandal at the IRS -- and Nancy Pelosi's statement that we need a "clear definition of what a 501(c)(4) is -- MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell did his best to attempt to remind these politicians that there is no need to change existing law to fix this problem.

Ahead of this Friday's hearing, O'Donnell hopes that at least one of the members of Congress attending will ask the IRS why they decided to change the way they enforced the statute.

Via Crooks and Liars; click HERE for remainder.

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Military Sexual Assault Crisis Prompts Congress to Act

Military Sexual Assault Crisis Prompts Congress to Act (via PBS News Hour)

By: Kwame Holman President Barack Obama met with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, right, and other Pentagon leaders at the White House Thursday to discuss sexual assault in the military. The U.S. military vowed May 15 to address a wave…


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Issa's Criminal Past Being Ignored By Mainstream Media

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EU austerity hawks shrug off criticism of flawed academic paper

EU austerity hawks shrug off criticism of flawed academic paper (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Copyright ImageClick to View European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn addresses the media at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels earlier this month. Mr. Rehn wrote on his blog that despite flaws in the Rogoff-Reinhart paper that has been a cornerstone of pro-austerity…


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Revisiting Filibuster Reform? Remain Skeptical

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Google Glass: An early look at Google's next-gen spectacles

Google Glass: An early look at Google's next-gen spectacles (via The Christian Science Monitor)

An early Google Glass tester takes the new Google hardware for a spin in downtown San Francisco. (Google ) Today at the Google I/O conference, Timothy Jordan, a Senior Developer Advocate for Google, gave a talk on developing software for Google Glass. The event attracted overflow crowds – "doors…


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Conservatives Tout Umbrella-Gate

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Three Benghazi myths

Three Benghazi myths (via GlobalPost)

Analysis: There are at least three myths that have grown up around the terrible events on Sept. 11 of last autumn. Nicholas Burns Editor's Note: Nicholas Burns is GlobalPost's senior foreign affairs columnist. He writes a bimonthly column on the international issues that shape our world. CAMBRIDGE,…


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Pat Robertson, Love Guru: Relax, He Can Cheat, He's a Man

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France legalises same-sex marriage

France legalises same-sex marriage (via AFP)

France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate. Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had…


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From @MajorityFM: I Went To Jail For My Children (with Environmental Activist Sandra Steingraber)

Author, biologist, environmental activist, and mother Sandra Steingraber joins us to discuss why she went to jail for her environmental activism, the toxic assault on our children, and the environmental links to cancer and human health.

Part 1

Part 2

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Most gays in Europe 'still afraid to show sexuality'

Most gays in Europe 'still afraid to show sexuality' (via AFP)

Two-thirds of Europe's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are still afraid to show their sexuality in public and a quarter have been victims of physical or verbal attacks, an EU report said Friday, on the International Day Against Homophobia. "Fear, isolation and discrimination are everyday…


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A Week of "Scandal" (@SamSeder with @AriBerman)

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Colorado GOP state senator ducks questions from Aurora victim’s father


Colorado GOP state senator ducks questions from Aurora victim’s father (via Raw Story )

The father of one of the victims of the July 2012 mass shooting in Colorado told Talking Points Memo on Friday that his state’s Senate Minority Leader, Bill Cadman (R), rebuffed him while sharing pictures of his son. “I walked right up to him, and I handed him one of the pictures, and I said, ‘…


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Do These "Scandals" Politically Weaken Obama? (No.)

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Moore tells Maher: ‘The real problem with the IRS is that they let General Electric not pay any taxes’


Maher: IRS targeting Tea Partiers is ‘like when a cop gets shot’ (via Raw Story )

The dispute regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of Tea Party political groups didn’t strike Real Time host Bill Maher as a big deal on Friday night. “Is it unreasonable to target an anti-tax group?” Maher asked in response. “This is, after all, a group that named itself…


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Via @MajorityFM: #FitchTheHomeless: Demeaning and Exploitative of the Homeless

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IRS-Tea Party Flap Years in the Making


By Kim Barker and Justin Elliott, ProPublica
Friday, May 17, 2013 18:23 EDT


The IRS division responsible for flagging Tea Party groups has long been an agency afterthought, beset by mismanagement, financial constraints and an unwillingness to spell out just what it expects from social welfare nonprofits, former officials and experts say.

The controversy that erupted in the past week, leading to the ousting of the acting Internal Revenue Service commissioner, an investigation by the FBI, and congressional hearings that kicked off Friday, comes against a backdrop of dysfunction brewing for years.

Moves launched in the 1990s were designed to streamline the tax agency and make it more efficient. But they had unintended consequences for the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division.

Checks and balances once in place were taken away. Guidance frequently published by the IRS and closely read by tax lawyers and nonprofits disappeared. Even as political activity by social welfare nonprofits exploded in recent election cycles, repeated requests for the IRS to clarify exactly what was permitted for the secretly funded groups were met, at least publicly, with silence.

All this combined to create an isolated office in Cincinnati, plagued by what an inspector general this week described as “insufficient oversight,” of fewer than 200 low-level employees responsible for reviewing more than 60,000 nonprofit applications a year.

Remainder here.

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