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The Pretenders:

Waterloo sunset

The Kinks:

Imagine that

When you buy a judge, he stays bought!

A study released on Tuesday by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy identified a “statistically significant” relationship between ballooning campaign contributions by business interest to state supreme court candidates and pro-business decisions by those courts.

Researchers studied more than 2,345 business-related state high court opinions between 2010 and 2012 and campaign contributions during that same time to sitting state high court judges. As the percentage of contributions from business groups went up, the probability of a pro-business vote by judges — defined as any decision that made a business better off — went up as well.

The study’s author was Joanna Shepherd, a professor at Emory University School of Law. During a teleconference, she said the findings demonstrated that state court elections were becoming increasingly politicized and expensive. She pointed to surveys showing concern within the judiciary and among the general public about the influence of outside dollars on the courts.

“The more campaign contributions from business interests the justices receive, the more likely they are to vote for business litigants when they appear before them in court,” she concluded in her report.

Thomas Drake, whistleblower

Talks about Edward Snowden.


So Frank Luntz is going to craft language to whitewash the racist name of Washington’s football team?

This Washington football team was named by one of the most vehement racists in the history of American professional sports. When George Marshall bought the team in 1932, they were called the Boston Braves. He changed the name — to a slur, because he was a racist — and moved them to Washington. He made “Dixie” one of the team’s fight songs and refused to hire black players well into the 1960s. The NFL integrated in 1946 but Marshall’s team held out until the federal government actually forced them to field black players in 1963. The all-white Washington teams of the 1950s and 1960s were among the worst in the league, but segregation was more important to Marshall than winning football games. The NFL had actually already been raciallyintegrated until black players were suddenly banned in 1933. Interviews with owners suggest that Marshall was responsible for the ban.

This is the man who named the team and white supremacy and racism obviously informed his every decision. In his will he insisted that his foundation not spend any money on “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” It is extremely hard to believe that this man selected the name — specially changed the name from a less offensive term for American Indians to this term — to “honor” anyone, the usual argument used by the team’s modern defenders.

The current owner of the team, an incompetent lying corporate buffoon named Dan Snyder, is not as racist as George Marshall. (Few living people are.) He is merely dumb, vain, greedy and stubborn. He attempted to sue the Washington City Paper out of existence for printing a story that accurately described him as a thin-skinned moronic avatar of greed dedicated to bleeding fans of his team dry. He eventually dropped the case.

The City Paper, it should be noted, refuses to use the teams’ name, and refers to it as the “Pigskins,” which would be a fine replacement. The Kansas City Star has a similar policy but, notably, none of the other major Washington-area media outlets do. If the Washington Post — or Disney-owned ESPN! — adopted a similar policy, it could actually force a change, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. Some Post columnists have written about their opposition to the name, but the paper needs access to the team to be able to have a sports section. It should be noted that even Jack Abramoff knows the name is gross. (It should also be noted that he and Snyder were quite friendly: “A few seasons later, I was given first choice of the new suites in the former press section and our expenditures at Fed Ex Field grew exponentially.”)

Success story


This is Jonathan Allen. His parents kicked him out of the house on his eighteenth birthday because they don’t “agree with his lifestyle.” You will see that not only did they kick his “lifestyle” out of their home, they may have kicked one of the world’s next great opera voices out of their home.


Interns certified in class action suit

This is very good news.

On Tuesday, federal judge William Pauley issued a ruling that is very favorable to the suing interns.
Regarding Footman and Glatt, the judge grants summary judgment to them that Searchlight was their “employer” as that term is defined in the Fair Standards Labor Act and New York Labor Laws.

Fox attempted to convince Judge Pauley that the production companies — like Lake of Tiers Inc instead of Searchlight — were responsible for hiring and controlling the interns, but the judge doesn’t buy it. Judge Pauley writes that “Searchlight’s power to fire Black Swan production staff was unbridled,” that “Searchlight closely supervised work on Black Swan,” that “the crew of Black Swan was tied to Searchlight, not Lake of Tears,” and so forth.

The judge also looks at whether the internship program qualified as a bona fide training program under the Labor Department’s six criteria for determining whether an internship may be unpaid. These factors include whether the internship is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment, whether it is for the benefit of the intern, whether the intern displaces regular employees, whether the employer derives immediate advantage, whether intern isn’t necessarily entitled to a job after the conclusion of the internship and the understanding about no entitlement to wages.


Some are more equal than others.

Coming attractions

So we have another Dust Bowl to look forward to!

The amount of dust being blown across the landscape has increased over the last 17 years in large swaths of the West, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The escalation in dust emissions — which may be due to the interplay of several factors, including increased windstorm frequency, drought cycles and changing land-use patterns — has implications both for the areas where the dust is first picked up by the winds and for the places where the dust is put back down.

“Dust storms cause a large-scale reorganization of nutrients on the surface of the Earth,” said Janice Brahney, who led the study as a CU-Boulder doctoral student. “And we don’t routinely monitor dust in most places, which means we don’t have a good handle on how the material is moving, when it’s moving and where it’s going.”

Based on anecdotal evidence, such as incidents of dust coating the snowpack in the southern Rockies and a seemingly greater number of dust storms noticed by Western residents, scientists have suspected that dust emissions were increasing. But because dust has not been routinely measured over long periods of time, it was difficult to say for sure.

“What we know is that there are a lot of dust storms, and if you ask people on the Western Slope of Colorado, or in Utah or Arizona, you’ll often hear them say, ‘Yeah, I grew up in this area, and I don’t remember it ever being like this before,’ ” said CU-Boulder geological sciences Associate Professor Jason Neff, Brahney’s adviser and a co-author of the paper. “So there is anecdotal evidence out there that things are changing, but no scientific data that can tell us whether or not that’s true, at least for the recent past.”
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Just wanted to let you know that thanks to your help, my neighbor has worked out an arrangement with her landlord, and if she can keep up with her payments, she can stay.

So thanks to each and every one of you who donated!

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