Paternalism News

  • Russia's Addiction: How Oil, Gas, and the Soviet Legacy Have Shaped a Nation’s Fate : How Oil, Gas, and the Soviet Legacy Have Shaped a Nation’s Fate    ( Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 240pp. Get Notified When the Book is For Sale Why oil and natural gas are at the center of Russia’s economy and politics Russia’s dependence on its oil and gas is much deeper than generally recognized. Large parts of the economy that Russia inherited from its Soviet predecessor cannot survive without continuous infusions of value from the oil and gas sectors. The privatization of those sectors in the 1990s transferred their ownership to a small number of oligarchs, who promptly plunged into self-destructive internal warfare, putting their companies and the fate of millions of Russians at risk. In Russia’s Addiction, Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes describe how Vladimir Putin forced the oligarchs to end their strife and compelled them to share their oil and gas wealth with the rest of society. They argue that the system Putin implemented to manage the nation’s oil and gas resources has been the key to his power in Russia. But they ask the important question: What will happen to this system, and to Russia, when Putin is gone?  Clifford Gaddy, an economist specializing in Russia, is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program’s Center on the United States and Europe. He is a co-founder and senior scientific advisor of the joint Russian-American Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, based at Penn State University. Gaddy is the co-author of the recently released second edition of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings, 2015). Barry W. Ickes is a professor of economics and associate head, Department of Economics, The Pennsylvania State University. Ickes is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; director of the Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, Penn State; chair of the Research Committee, New Economic School in Moscow; and president of the American Friends of the New Economic School in Moscow. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Clifford G. Gaddy Barry W. Ickes Ordering Information: {9ABF977A-E4A6-41C8-B030-0FD655E07DBF}, 9780815727705, $30.00 Add to Cart         
  • Dilemmas of a Trading Nation : Japan and the Trans-Pacific Economic Order    (Mireya Solís, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 180pp. Japan is at a critical moment in determining its trade policy as it strives for renewed economic growth Its economy still struggling after two decades of low growth, Japan now faces a difficult moment as it confronts this ongoing challenge to economic renewal. Tokyo could deploy a proactive trade policy to help it rise again as one of the world's greatest trading nations. It could also, at the same time, attack the structural problems that have hindered its economic competitiveness and kept it from becoming a leading voice in the drafting of rules for this century's global economy.  Or, it could do nothing and remain shackled to the domestic political constraints that have kept it from playing a central role in international trade negotiations. In Dilemmas of a Trading Nation, Mireya Solís describes how Japan's economic choices are important for the United States, as well.  The two nations are the most important members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the trade agreement concluded in 2015 intended to spur trade in the world's fastest-growing economic region.  The arrest of Japan’s economic decline, the credibility of America’s resolve to remain a Pacific power, and the deepening of the bilateral alliance are all influenced significantly by the outcome of the TPP agreement. But the domestic politics of trade policy have never been as unwieldy as policymakers across the Pacific aim to negotiate ever more ambitious trade and to marshal domestic support for them. Dilemmas of a Trading Nation describes how, for both Japan and the United States, the stakes involved in addressing the tradeoffs of trade policy design could not be higher. Mireya Solís is the Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies and Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, where she specializes in Japan’s political economy, foreign policy, and Asia-Pacific trade integration. Her previous books include Banking on Multinationals: Public Credit and the Export of Japanese Sunset Industries, Competitive Regionalism: FTA Diffusion in the Pacific Rim (co-edited), and Cross-Regional Trade Agreements: Understanding Permeated Regionalism in East Asia (co-edited). ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mireya Solís Ordering Information: {9ABF977A-E4A6-41C8-B030-0FD655E07DBF}, 9780815729198, $32.00 Add to Cart         
  • Dream Hoarders : How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It    (Richard V. Reeves, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 220pp. America is becoming a class-based society. It's now conventional wisdom to focus on the excesses of the top 1% — especially the top 0.01% — and how the ultra-rich are hoarding income and wealth while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the more important, and widening, gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else.  Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income isn't the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services.  As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is a fracturing of American society along class lines, not just an economic divide. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults. These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of "opportunity hoarding" among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper middle class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society. Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against — and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.   Richard V. Reeves is a senior fellow in Economic Studies, co-director of the Center on Children and Families, and editor-in-chief of the Social Mobility Memos blog. His research focuses on social mobility, inequality, and family change. Reeves appears regularly on radio and television as a political commentator, and writes for a variety of publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian and The Observer. He is also a regular contributor to the online 'Think Tank' section of the Wall Street Journal. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard V. Reeves Ordering Information: {BE4CBFE9-92F9-41D9-BDC8-0C2CC479A3F7}, 9780815729129, $24.00 Add to Cart         
  • Open thread for night owls: 'It's the end of the road for me', says Republican megadonor to GOP    (Hunter, 2018-02-18)
    Republican megadonor Al Hoffman Jr. says he's out: He will no longer contribute to any Republican candidate who does not support an assault weapons ban. “For how many years now have we been doing this — having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings — and how many years has it been that nothing’s been done?” Mr. Hoffman said in an interview. “It’s the end of the road for me.” Mr. Hoffman announced his ultimatum in an email to half a dozen Republican leaders, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. He wrote in the email that he would not give money to Mr. Scott, who is considering a campaign for the Senate in 2018, or other Florida Republicans he has backed in the past, including Representative Brian Mast, if they did not support new gun legislation. “I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he wrote. “Enough is enough!” TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES • THE WEEK’S HIGH IMPACT STORIES TWEET OF THE DAY xI 100% support arming teachers: Arm them with higher salaries, smaller classes, more supplies, meals for their students, better benefits...Not with guns.— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) February 17, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2010—Vice President Biden: 'The test ban treaty is as important as ever.’ It's turning out to be a rather eventful week for nuclear weapons news, on both the domestic front and the international stage. For the sake of clarity, I'm going to deal with what's going on in the US in this post, and address international issues separately. First of all, the Obama administration is in the home stretch regarding the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR); the President's national security team met yesterday to discuss the options they will present to the president, so he can make his final decision regarding "U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture" for at least half of the next decade. It is a legislatively mandated review, and I've written about it in several previous posts. Since the meeting was behind closed doors, we don't know many specifics, but national security expert and Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione has laid out what form he thinks the final NPR should take. Secondly, today, the administration continued to prove its ability to multitask on nuclear weapons issues. Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech at the National Defense University in which he basically expanded on his Wall Street Journal op-ed piece from several weeks ago, in which he discussed the proposed budget for the nuclear weapons complex, and why it is important in the overall national security picture. As Travis Sharp noted over at the Nukes of Hazard, Biden's speech today took the middle ground regarding criticism of the new nuclear budget. Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
  • I can't wait for people of every color to be wearing Black Panther costumes    (Ian Reifowitz, 2018-02-18)
    There are a lot of shitty things going on in the country I love. Kids are being shot in school—and not once in a while, either. The (mostly) Republicans under the sway of the NRA stand in the way of taking any actions that might reduce the “American carnage” that’s getting worse on Mr. Popular Vote Loser’s watch. Additionally, people who’ve known no country other than ours are in danger of being deported because he remains in thrall to his white supremacist base and the senior policy adviser who reminds him every day just what they believe. And that’s just in the past few days. In spite of all this, or perhaps because of it, I’m going to ask you to indulge me (and possibly yourself) for a few minutes to revel in something good. Something that will nudge our society in the right direction, toward greater love and fellowship and a sense of community across the boundaries of race and culture; boundaries that some among us—those who control the lion’s share of wealth and power—would like nothing more than to exploit in order to keep us divided and ruled by them. Don’t laugh, but I’m talking about a movie and the impact it is expected to have. The movie is called Black Panther and it was released nationwide here in America on Friday. To say that people are excited about it would be an understatement. xThis morning felt like the first day of school all over again. My outfit and hair are ready for #BlackPanter! I haven’t had this much pep in my step since Obama won in 2008. I’m giving everybody the nod like I see you AND I’ll be at the theatre with or without ya!#WAKANDAFOREVER pic.twitter.com/8CDcTqZBaV— Lisa Barber (@PhysicalCanvas) February 15, 2018 Oh, and screw the haters.
  • The Munich Security Conference in winter    (Daniel W. Drezner, 2018-02-18)
    Numerous locals in Munich assured me that the winters there are normally sunny. This past weekend, however, the weather during the 2018 Munich Security Conference (MSC) was cold and gray. The climate inside the meetings was equally forbidding. As a first-time attendee to this premier security forum, I found it difficult to gauge the tenor of this meeting in […]
  • We, the people, were attacked as a people. We need to respond as a people, as well.    (Danielle Allen, 2018-02-18)
    The Russians exploited our differences to make things seem worse; it’s up to Americans to work on the institutions that can ward off the threat of faction.
  • The nuclear agreement is ‘the worst deal ever’ — for Iran    (Jackson Diehl, 2018-02-18)
    It is creating a rift between the public and the regime. Trump should leave it be.
  • On gun violence, we are a failed state    (E.J. Dionne Jr., 2018-02-18)
    How else to describe the corruption and political paralysis surrounding gun violence in the United States?
  • Waking up to China’s infiltration of American colleges    (Josh Rogin, 2018-02-18)
    Confucius Institutes are the Communist Party’s outposts in the West.
  • Today, inflation. Tomorrow, crisis?    (Robert J. Samuelson, 2018-02-18)
    New Fed chair Jerome Powell has his work cut out for him.
  • Soaring stakes for Metro funding    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-18)
    Amazon’s HQ2 decision lends yet more urgency to bills in Md. and Va. to adequately fund the transit system.
  • If Democrats provide an answer to these types of problems, they will be unbeatable    (Egberto Willies, 2018-02-18)
    Wednesday was a productive morning. I completed some research and was feeling accomplished. Then two stories hit as I left Starbucks on my way to record my political program. First, word came down that once more a murderer gunned down many students at a high school. This time it was in Florida. I was disappointed with my initial reaction. It was kind of: “There we go again. Next story.” Second, NPR featured a story about the difficulty teachers are having purchasing a home in Denver. Did you know Denver was the second-least affordable city for teachers because of real estate prices? The Florida massacre will be well covered. It is likely to follow the same lame coverage where the excitement is rampant for three to five days. People scream for gun control. And then America loses its attention span for a few weeks, until the next massacre. These events are graphic and painful but sadly, not enough people are dying to make most in the nation feel it is an existential problem for them. Our national level of empathy is still very lacking. Like the latest school shooting, the story about the teachers is not just a Denver story: it is a national story. Folks in my country of origin revere teachers. It’s appalling that we disregard and disrespect teachers the way we do in the United States. Educating is the most important profession in the country, as educators are the ones who maintain the continuum of knowledge over time.
  • Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-18)
    Congress and state legislatures may need to act in light of a Trump administration push affecting restaurant workers.
  • The sad truth this Presidents’ Day    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-18)
    A holiday created to recognize the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln reminds us of the leadership we’re missing.
  • The D.C. schools chancellor put his child’s needs over that of his students    (2018-02-18)
  • Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11    (Max Boot, 2018-02-18)
    We’re taking no steps to prevent further Russian interference in our elections.
  • Despite Trump's praise of Rob Porter, domestic violence remains a deadly threat    (Sher Watts Spooner, 2018-02-18)
    The emerging facts and photos about former White House staff secretary Rob Porter spell out a dark truth about the prevalence of domestic abuse. It happens no matter how “strong” women are. White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway foolishly argued in a CNN interview that White House communications director Hope Hicks, who is dating Porter, was "immune” to such abuse because she was a "strong woman.” Earth to Kellyanne: The perpetrator can be a Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, like Porter, or a high school dropout. He can work at the White House or be unemployed. He can be a Mormon or not take part in any religion at all. As Porter’s first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, the one with the black eye in the photos, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post: Abuse comes in many forms. It is visited on the poor and the rich, the least educated and the most, people with a strong and deep network of friends and family and those without a support structure. And an abusive nature is certainly not something most colleagues are able to spot in a professional setting, especially if they are blinded by a stellar résumé and background. Domestic violence is an equal-opportunity evil. It transcends race, economic status, income level, education level, religion, political party, sexual orientation, and ethnic background. Of course, in the case of this White House, it wasn’t just one case. Speechwriter David Sorensen also resigned amid allegations of domestic abuse. Instead of having a black eye like Colbie Holderness, Sorensen’s ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, alleged that Sorenson ran a car over her foot and put out a cigarette on her hand. Rob Porter was one of more than 100 White House staffers with only an interim rather than a permanent security clearance (a scandal all by itself) as late as last November. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders keeps telling ever-changing stories on why that’s so. When she’s not spouting that nonsense, she’s making laughable claims that “we’ve condemned domestic violence in every way possible.” Sanders touted the fact that the budget proposed by Donald Trump “fully funds” the Violence Against Women Act. As if there should ever be any question about that funding. But in the age of President Grab-’em-by-the-pussy, nothing is sure.
  • Hatch apologizes to ex-wives of Rob Porter for initial statement in scandal    (By Erik Wemple, 2018-02-18)
  • Celebrating the life my mom lived rather than the one we had hoped for her    (Kerry Eleveld, 2018-02-18)
    When my mother, Lynn Eleveld, passed away this week at 78, little more than a handful of folks attended her modest funeral service in Grand Rapids, MI, the place of her birth. Mom's extended family had largely become the staff members at her group home who had given her excellent care for over a decade in the waning years of her life. It was a sweet little gathering but profoundly different from the bash we threw to mark my father's death just last year, complete with shrimp and prime rib, beer and wine, and some 500 of the many friends he had made along his journey.  To some, the lack of fanfare for my mother might seem sad, but to me the experience of her passing was equally as meaningful, even if in a different way. My mother lived with a debilitating mental illness most of her adult life. Prior to showing the first noticeable signs of paranoia and delusions in her early 40s, she was a woman ahead of her time. She earned both a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Michigan State University, married in 1961, and worked full time while still being the main caregiver for my older brother and me through the '70s. Women's liberation was certainly a concept by then, but in practice, most of Mom's peers in Midwestern suburbia were still stay-at-home moms. She was unique in many ways—sharp witted, highly intellectual, and incredibly elegant, according to many descriptions I've heard over the years. A family friend once told me she was one of the most beautiful women he had ever met. But although she inspired a good deal of admiration in those around her, she was also aloof. As one or her high school friends once told me, many people put her on a pedestal and she found it difficult to connect—though she certainly longed for that connection. By the time I was around 11, Mom began having trouble. Throughout most of my teens and twenties, she was in and out of crisis units. She had as many different diagnoses over the years as she did prescription treatments coursing through her veins. She would often travel during fits of mania and we wouldn't know where she was until a hospital or a law enforcement agency called. She turned up in places ranging from New York to Colorado to Alaska. I'm not going to lie, it was an agonizing couple of decades. She and my father divorced even before the onset of her symptoms and my brother and I lived with him until we went off to college and ventured into adulthood. While living in San Francisco in my early thirties, I decided to make a 20-minute "short" documentary about my mother's struggles as a thesis project for my Master's in journalism. In preparation, I had the good fortune of spending a summer back in Grand Rapids. I saw Mom regularly during that time: 2-3 times a week and the consistency of our interactions seemed to calm her. She quit the revolving-door tour of hospitals she had been on and settled into a group home that provided a more familial atmosphere to her. Even after I returned to Berkeley, Mom mostly thrived in her new situation. As much as she always longed to live independently one day, she needed the assistance and daily interactions that the home facilitated by Hope Network offered her. Though she never let go of her dream of leaving, she clearly found her new surroundings containing. 
  • Mass shooting survivor to Donald Trump: 'You sicken me'    (Hunter, 2018-02-18)
    On Sunday morning, five survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 students and adults dead, appeared on Face the Nation. They were emphatic in their condemnation of the politicians and organizations who continue to allow such shootings to take place. Some of their words, taken from the transcript: Cameron Kasky: [T]he adults in office have let us down. Absolutely. And fortunately we have a lot of support from the older generations here, but what we're trying to do here March for Our Lives is say, the adult politicians have been playing around while my generation has been losing our lives. [...] [F]rom here on, we are creating a badge of shame for any politicians who are accepting money from the NRA. It is a special interest group that has most certainly not our best interests in mind. And this cannot be the normal. This can be changed and it will be changed. Emma Gonzalez: [A]t this point I don't even know if the adults in power who are funded by the NRA I don't even think we need them anymore because they're going to be gone by midterm election. There's-- there's barely any time for them to save their skins. And if they don't turn around right now and state their open support for this movement they're going to be left behind. Because you are either with us or against us at this point.
  • To honor victims of latest mass shooting, White House says Trump will skip one game of golf    (Hunter, 2018-02-18)
    After flying to Florida to meet with some of the victims of this nation's latest mass shooting and the law enforcement officers who responded to that shooting, Donald Trump's team quietly announced that he would be making the ultimate sacrifice. President Trump reportedly skipped a day at the golf course on Saturday following the Florida school shooting that took place just miles from his Mar-a-Lago resort. White House aides told Bloomberg that the decision not to golf was a show of respect for the victims and grieving families of the school shooting in Florida. Mar-a-Lago is uncomfortably close the Broward County high school at which the shooting took place, and so Trump went to his club both before and after meeting with victims. xPresident Trump and the First Lady stopped by a Studio 54-themed disco party in the ballroom at Mar-a-Lago last night after returning from the Broward sheriff’s department— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) February 17, 2018 Note that the message only suggests Trump skipped Saturday's planned golf outing in a show of respect for the victims; it does not say he would be skipping a game of golf today as well. That seems a significant omission.
  • Sunday wrap: Inspiration from teenagers, not from POTUS    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2018-02-18)
  • The first rule of White House Wife-Beaters Club is don't talk about ... the wives    (Frank Vyan Walton, 2018-02-18)
    Have you ever faced an integrity test? For example: someone reaches into their pocket and when they pull out their hand, a $20 bill slips out and lands or the floor. Or someone ahead of you in line at the grocery accidentally forgets their wallet and leaves it on the counter. Do you immediately alert this person about their potential loss, or do you simply pocket what they’ve carelessly left behind for your own gain? Do you do what’s right, or simply what’s expedient and convenient? If someone behind you in line sees you pick up the item and just before you stuff it in your pocket they say “HEY!”—do you deserve credit for finally giving it back only after you’ve been caught in the act? I think not. We face small and large tests like these all the time.  How we respond to them is a testament to our underlying character. How the Trump White House has responded to such challenges over the past year is a clear testament to their complete lack of the same.
  • Trump’s staggering dereliction of duty    (Ruth Marcus, 2018-02-18)
    Only a person devoid of empathy could do these things.
  • Trump is furiously tweeting about Russia—but we already know his campaign sought collusion    (Hunter, 2018-02-18)
    On Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller's team unveiled indictments against 13 Russian nationals in a wide-ranging, ambitious plot to undermine the integrity of the 2016 presidential elections. As any casual observer of the garbage fire in the White House expected, this led to a furious weekend-long tweetstorm from the conflagration masquerading as a president. His message: stop investigating. But before we get to that, a reminder: It was revealed last year that Donald Trump Jr. received an email in June, 2016 from a group of Russians seeking to talk about the U.S. presidential campaign. The offer was, in the text of the email: to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin. Trump Jr.'s emailed response is now famous: "if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer." The top members of the Trump campaign arranged to meet the Russian team in Trump Tower, where the Russians delivered a folder of documents relating the Clinton campaign. When questioned on this meeting, Trump Jr. originally claimed it was to talk about Russian "adoptions"; we now know that wildly misleading statement was in fact authored by Donald Trump himself, on Air Force One. That act is now under investigation by Robert Mueller's team. With that reminder in place, let us now have a look at what Trump has been furiously tweeting, in the immediate aftermath of these new indictments.
  • We've just hit a new presidential low    (Karen Tumulty, 2018-02-18)
    Yes, Moscow must be laughing.
  • How the Republicans stole the Second Amendment    (Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza, 2018-02-18)
    Republicans stole the Second Amendment. Over the course of 30 years, the right waged a war on political, legal, and academic fronts to redefine that amendment, contrary to history, text, and precedent, as creating an individual right to bear arms. Of course, none of those efforts, nor their aggregate effect, would have been enough to accomplish the right’s aims without a far-right ideologue on the Supreme Court, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, to codify them.  The right’s misappropriation of the Second Amendment ranks among the most stunning legal feats in U.S. history. 
  • Somebody found a hole in Trump's reasoning about his budget    (By Tom Toles, 2018-02-18)
  • What has changed in the Russia investigation?    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2018-02-18)
  • This week in cartoons: Gun control, Trump’s military parade and Mike Pence at the Olympics    (By Tom Toles, 2018-02-18)
  • Thoughts and prayers are not doing a damn thing    (Mark E Andersen, 2018-02-18)
    The headlines read, “17 killed in mass shooting at high school.” It doesn’t matter which community this happened in: it is a national disgrace. This does not happen in any other country in the world with the regularity that it happens here in America. We are No. 1 in school shootings. Of all the things we could lead the world in, it is the taking of innocent lives. Seven weeks into 2018 and this is the eighth time (at the time of this writing) there has been a school shooting with fatalities. Immediately after this most recent shooting at a Florida high school, arguments were made that we need to arm the teachers. Great idea—let’s put the kids in the crossfire. The answer to gun violence is not more damn guns. The problem is not mental illness, nor is it the firearm itself. The problem is that we live in a culture that glorifies violence, and firearms policy is being driven by a vocal minority. In 2014, 31 percent of American households reported owning a firearm, down from 47 percent in 1973, according to a report from National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Gun ownership has become more concentrated as a result, with a small sliver of gun owners owning a growing segment of America’s firearms inventory, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. These gun buyers have come to be known as “super owners” and one study, conducted by Harvard and Northeastern universities, concluded that about half the guns in America are owned by only 3 percent of the adult population, with an average of 17 firearms each. (Emphasis added)
  • Black History Month: The vejigante masks and bomba music of Puerto Rico    (Denise Oliver Velez, 2018-02-18)
    Throughout the Caribbean, in Brazil and here on the U.S. mainland Carnival, Mardi Gras and other heavily African-influenced traditions are a testament to the survival and persistence of black cultures in the diaspora. Carnival season in Puerto Rico came and went this year, ending on Fat Tuesday as it does every year—with an explosion of music, dance and vejigante masks. Carnival In Ponce, Puerto Rico, known as “Carnaval Ponceño” has been celebrated for 160 years, and this year was dedicated to to the volunteers who worked tirelessly for hurricane relief. No hurricane, no Donald Trump bullying and racist neglect of the island will ever be able to extinguish the deeply rooted traditions that provide both strength and joy to the island’s people. Looking at the devastation wrought by Irma and Maria to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and the ongoing crisis for people on the islands, fueled by the failure of the president and Republican-controlled Congress to shoulder its responsibility—one wonders how people can celebrate?  The answer is simple—how can they not? A people without joy, without music, without song and dance are defeated. Puerto Ricans will not be defeated. Puerto Rico se levanta! Join the celebration and continue to contribute. 
  • Distinguished persons of the week: They remind us of our obligations to one another    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2018-02-18)
  • Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Forget the thoughts, shove the prayers, bring action    (Mark Sumner, 2018-02-18)
    Here’s some news from the land of really sick irony. On May 4, the NRA will hold it’s annual “leadership forum” in Dallas. The speakers list for the event promises the standard mouth-foaming of the NRA’s own Wayne LaPierre. It will bring the reqisite irrational screeds in the form of the latest model Anne Coulter, Tomi Lauren. And it will bring a slate of political speakers. Those speakers include North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson, who Americans can thank for a bill that would let people carry concealed weapons in any state, no matter what the state laws say. A bill that Hudson brags is “the greatest gun rights boost since ratification of Second Amendment in 1791.” It includes Ted Cruz. Who is … Ted Cruz. It includes Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is best known for blocking enforcement of background checks in Nevada. A little legal finagling that has endeared Laxalt to the NRA, though maybe not to the 527 people in Las Vegas who wish he’d taken his task a little more seriously. And the list of featured speakers includes one more big Republican name — Florida Governor Rick Scott.  Yes, while Rick Scott has been out there on the thoughts and prayers circuit this week, his reptilian smile has also been gracing the literature handed out to promote the NRA conference. And why not?  Scott was also a featured speaker at the 2017 event, where he praised the NRA in saying that “no one had done more” to elect Donald Trump. His 2017 speech called for replacing any justice on the Supreme Court who didn’t “believe in the Second Amendment” so that there was a “9-0” vote in favor of more guns, and for a larger Republican majority in the Senate so that the NRA didn’t have to worry about the “least conservative” Republicans when it came to passing more laws they liked.  He spent a lot of time asserting that the phrase “shall not infringe” meant that no law of any sort could be passed limiting firearms. Somehow the phrase, “ a well regulated Militia,” did not come up. I’m sure the parents and students of his state would be fascinated by Scott’s speech declaring that nothing, but nothing, can stand between a shooter and his gun. And by the way, Rick Scott, if you’re going to spend half your speech talking about this “three word phrase” and how critical it is, you might want to note that “shall not infringe” isn’t in there, It’s four words — “shall not be infringed.” Picky, I know. But you’d think if you were going to repeat something fifty times, you would at least double-check the source. Screwing it up the way Scott did makes it sounds as if he doesn’t really care about the Second Amendment at all — just about the money the NRA pays him. It makes him sound like a money-grubbing hypocrite willing to go down on his knees in front of the people who are assiting in the murder of the children of his state. But hey, he’ll keep giving those thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers. Come on inside, let’s read pundits.
  • Sunday Open Thread    (By Greg Sargent, 2018-02-18)
  • Trump can’t block the Democratic memo on Russia. Here’s why.    (Norman Eisen, Victoria Bassetti, 2018-02-18)
    If the House of Representatives wants to release the Democratic response to the "Nunes memo," its members can do so now. President Trump can’t stop them—though he surely will tweet about it. The House just has to do what it does best: Vote. The controversial memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, purported to show that the FBI abused its surveillance authority and that the Russia…         
  • Saturday open thread for night owls. Stacy Mitchell: '6 ways to rein in today's toxic monopolies'    (Meteor Blades, 2018-02-17)
    Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, where her research focuses on economic concentration and the health of local economies. At The Nation, she writes—6 Ways to Rein In Today’s Toxic Monopolies: After nearly four decades of lax antitrust policy, during which a handful of corporations have been allowed to gobble up market share like a horde of deranged amoebas, the consequences of unfettered monopoly have become painfully apparent. Competition has fizzled, replaced by pockets of extreme concentration. The number of new businesses has plunged. Wages have stagnated. Inequality has spiked. And extreme wealth—alongside its evil twin, extreme power—has pooled in fewer and fewer hands. Mercifully, smart minds have been busy mulling smart solutions, brainstorming ways to begin reining in today’s mega-monopolies. Here are six suggestions. —The Nation 1. HOLD FIELD HEARINGS ON THE IMPACT OF CONCENTRATED ECONOMIC POWER Many Americans feel the consequences of monopoly in their daily lives. Nurses in Michigan saw their income depressed by an estimated 20 percent as a result of alleged collusion among dominant hospitals seeking to keep labor costs low. Dairy farmers in the Southeast contend they have been denied a fair price for their milk by two dominant firms that control the processing and distribution of milk.  It’s no wonder that about two-thirds of Americans believe the economic system “unfairly favors powerful interests.” That sentiment should prompt members of Congress to organize regional field hearings to investigate the real-world impacts of concentrated economic power and engage citizens in a conversation about what to do about it. 2. BRING DAYLIGHT TO THE NATION’S ANTITRUST AGENCIES [...] 3. SET A HIGHER BAR FOR APPROVING MERGERS [...] 4. BREAK UP BIG TECH [...]  5. BLOCK BIG CORPORATIONS FROM USING THEIR FINANCIAL MIGHT TO CRUSH SMALLER COMPETITORS [...] 6. PASS ANTI-MONOPOLY POLICIES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL [...] Cities and states can take significant steps to protect their citizens from monopolies, while dispersing opportunity and promoting competition. (My organization, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, focuses on providing policy ideas to help them do so.) A growing number of places are taking up the cause. [...] In 2014, the citizens of North Dakota voted overwhelmingly to keep their state’s pharmacy ownership law, which mandates that pharmacies be independently owned and has largely spared North Dakotans from the higher prices and other harms that the rest of the country is seeing as a result of concentration in the prescription benefits industry. TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES TWEET OF THE DAY xPoliticians saying they want to arm teachers when they won’t even fund feeding children is the most absurd thing.So you’ll pay for every teacher to have a Beretta, but not for every kid to have a decent meal?Seriously, vote them out. Idiots.— David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) February 17, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2005—"Controversial" Negroponte Nominated to Be First Director of National Intelligence: The current U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, has been nominated to become the first Director of National Intelligence […] Negroponte began his diplomatic career in 1960 and served in South Vietnam before becoming an aide to Henry Kissinger during negotiations in Paris with North Vietnam. From 1981 to 1985, he was U.S. ambassador to Honduras, where he helped carry out the Reagan administration's efforts, using the Contra rebels, to oust the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He also served as ambassador to Mexico and the Philippines. After leaving the diplomatic service in 1997, Negroponte worked as a senior executive with the McGraw-Hill publishing company. In 2001, Bush appointed him as ambassador to the United Nations, a post he held until he was named ambassador to Iraq last year. A 1960 graduate of Yale University, the London-born son of a Greek shipping magnate speaks five languages. Billmon provides "context": "The DNI [National Directorate of Investigation] maintained a secret unit - the Honduran Anti-Communist Liberation Army (ELACH), a rightist paramilitary organization which conducted operations against Honduran leftists. According to DELETED, during the period ELACH operated (1980-1984), ELACH's operations included surveillance, kidnappings, interrogation under duress, and execution of prisoners who were Honduran revolutionaries." Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
  • Nuts & Bolts: Inside Democratic campaigns—Don't sweat the small tasks!    (Chris Reeves, 2018-02-17)
    Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. While this guide exists to cover a subject matter related to running large and small campaigns, in the beginning of the series, I wrote a companion piece “AARGH! Mistakes you should avoid.” This week’s entry goes back to those roots, and we’re going to have a little bit of fun discussing an easy mistake a lot of campaigns make that is equally easy to avoid.  In an effort to get things right, it is pretty easy to get tied up, overanalyze, overthink and just burn yourself out on small items which will have almost no impact on your small campaign. Sometimes, the best response is just let go—or to realize not everything has to be perfect all the time. While campaigns have to worry about making sure some items click together, and continual missing of small things can signal problems, the reason why these items become problematic often isn’t inbuilt dysfunction, too often it is because too much work on making sure you achieve perfection results in paralysis that slows everything down. This week: don’t sweat the small tasks. Campaigns face a lot of big decisions, policy profiles, advertising strategies, scheduling and how to spend money. These items rise to the top of every discussion within a campaign. Campaigns also run into small decisions that make almost no difference but can become so overwhelming that little happens. Because Nuts & Bolts here is written with the small candidate in mind rather than a large, presidential campaign, realize that some of these items may scale differently in larger federal races, but the time associated is still in accordance to the level of staff and resources.
  • Arrogance and dissembling at the VA    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-17)
    Following a European boondoggle, a Cabinet secretary is the latest Trump administration scandal.
  • A victory for democracy in South Africa    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-17)
    Jacob Zuma is forced out, and his successor promises to tackle corruption and speed land reform.
  • This week in science: ring around the rosy    (Steven Andrew, 2018-02-17)
    I got that image form Bad Astronomy over at the Sy-Fi Wire and thought it was so cool, it had to be shared! While there, I noticed an excellent post wherein the Bad Astronomer takes down Trump’s anti-science-y budget in precise, fisky detail. Short version, the WFIRST telescope is sacrificed, but the ambitious Europa and the Mars 2020 Lander are spared, for now. Eric Berger, at Ars Technica, has some more on the lunar return budget: Perhaps the most significant thing about this budget proposal is that, although the White House has made a big show about returning humans to the surface of the Moon, there are no giant leaps toward that goal in this plan. Rather there are incremental steps that, if followed over the next decade, may allow astronauts to eventually set foot on the lunar surface again. Whew, we barely dodged a witch being elected president in 2016! See how this clever researcher managed to image a single atom using relatively ordinary equipment. The weird mystery of what is afflicting high-level foreigners in Cuba is getting weirder and weirder. Lost in the Porter scandal and subsequent tragedy in Florida, this week, our head intel honcho flatly contradicted Trump et al on climate change: The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent — and possibly upheaval — through 2018,” said Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Mr. Trump to the ‘dreamers’: Drop dead.    (Editorial Board, 2018-02-17)
    By refusing any compromise, the president sealed the fate of those he said he’d help.
  • This week in the war on workers: Who will be hurt most if Supreme Court rules against public unions?    (Laura Clawson, 2018-02-17)
    Who’s going to lose out the most if (when) the Supreme Court deals a body blow to public sector unions in the Janus case?  While the outcome of the case will affect about 17 million public-sector workers across the country, black women in particular could be hurt by Janus, as they are disproportionately represented in public sector jobs. They make up 17.7 percent of public-sector workers, or about 1.5 million workers. Black women have traditionally faced a double pay gap—a gender pay gap and a racial wage gap. EPI research has shown that black women are paid only 65 cents of the dollar that their white male counterparts are paid. However, unions help reduce these pay gaps. Working black women in unions are paid 94.9 percent of what their black male counterparts make, while nonunion black women are paid just 91 percent of their counterparts. Wounding that is part of the Republican payoff for stealing a Supreme Court seat.
  • Spotlight on green news & views: Polar vortex splits; mountain glaciers melt; Pruitt flies high    (Meteor Blades, 2018-02-17)
    This is the 545th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) usually appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here is the February 7 Green Spotlight. More than 28,(380) environmentally oriented stories have been rescued to appear in this series since 2006. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it. OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES Besame writes—Daily Bucket: Rogue Wolf Girl Looking for Hot California Lover: “A young female wolf from Oregon’s Rogue Pack was tracked entering eastern Siskiyou County California in late January. OR-54 probably is the daughter of the first wolf to enter California in a 100 years, OR-7, and likely is dispersing in search of a mate or another pack. She was trapped in Oregon in early October 2017 and outfitted with a radio collar to help key tabs on southern Oregon’s Rogue Pack and is the only member of that pack wearing a tracking collar. Around the time she was trapped, biologists also spotted OR-7 on a camera trap so as of last fall, he was still alive and well. In 2014, OR-7 fathered the first wolf pack in southwestern Oregon in more than six decades. He and his mate also had litters each of the next three springs. OR-7 will turn 9 years old this spring. The average life span of wolves in the wild is 6 years, fish and wildlife statistics show. [...]  If I were a young wolf in Oregon, I’d want to GTFO too. Some ranchers don’t bother to follow livestock predation risk reduction practices and then are fired up when they lose cattle. They want the state to list wolves as “invasive species” (because yeah sure cattle are totally natural and have precedence due to their ecosystem importance). Wolves have been killed for the joy of being a mighty wolf hunter AKA poaching.” The stratospheric polar vortex, which normally in winter is one cold vortex spinning around the pole has split in two. The light blue color shows areas of intense heating caused by atmospheric wave energy that spun up from the lower atmosphere. The map shows Northern Hemispheric circulation at 10mb in the high stratosphere for 12Feb18 10amEST. Powerful heating is driven by planetary wave number 2. FishOutofWater writes—Polar vortex splits, record high heat into polar stratosphere, record low Arctic sea ice: “The most powerful episode of poleward heat transport into the stratosphere on record has split the stratospheric polar vortex in two. The polar vortex forms in the winter in the stratosphere when there is no UV energy to heat the ozone in the upper stratosphere. A zone of high winds, called the polar night jet, normally spins high above the Arctic. Normally there is one cyclonic vortex centered near the pole. Right now, there is a weak, warm anticyclone above the pole and there are two cold cyclonic vortices spinning over north America and Eurasia. There is intense compressional heating above the Labrador sea and central Eurasia caused by this planetary wave number 2 of unprecedented power. The image [below] shows what Northern Hemisphere planetary wave no. 2 looks like — warm over the Arctic and oceans — cold over the continents. This wave pattern is intensified by the presence of warm water and the loss of sea ice on the Atlantic side of the Arctic. [...] The possible impact of the polar vortex split on the weather is complicated, but there has been consistency between models and consistency within models that cold air will be be displaced towards northern Eurasia for the next six weeks. Thus, northern and central Siberia, which are normally very cold this time of year will be even colder than normal.  Western Europe may also be colder than normal because cold easterly flow off of the continent will be enhanced by strong Siberian high pressure. Most of the continental U.S. will likely be cooler than normal in March while Alaska will be likely be warmer than normal.”
  • Steve Scalise gets Jefferson wrong, but that's nothing compared to everything else he's wrong on    (Hunter, 2018-02-17)
    All right, fine, so House Whip Steve Scalise plopped himself down at the National Prayer Breakfast and said a thing, and what do we even do with this: “This was a nation founded with a deep belief in God. Our founding fathers talked about it when they were preparing to draft the Constitution. In fact, Thomas Jefferson – who was the author of the Constitution – if you go to the Jefferson Memorial right now, go read this inscription from Thomas Jefferson: ‘God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?’ “You can’t separate church from state …. People would say, you know, when you’re voting on issues, how do you separate your faith from the way you vote? Faith is part of who you are.” This is one of those things that really ought to be ignored by us, and yet the temptation to do otherwise is irresistible. What to do? First off, Thomas Jefferson was not the author of the Constitution. He wrote the other one, the Declaration of Bugger-Off King George, whose famous lines are forever being confused with the Constitution because modern-day schoolchildren blow through learning about both of them in the span of a week or two and some of those school children grow up, eventually, to be ambitious stains on the nation who give ambitious public speeches without ever once bothering, in the decades between, to thumb through either document before pompously declaring What The Founders Intended In Their Own Minds. It is rote, at this point. And, as Steve Benen's rebuttal points out, Jefferson was one of the nation's most aggressive advocates of that separation between church and state. The man spent more than a little time contemplating the divide between faith and religion, and his pointed thoughts on the matter have been grist for historians and academics and preachers alike for two centuries now; Jefferson was a veritable quote machine when it came to the need for government to butt out of organized religious expression. And we're not even going to go through any of that here because it would be abso-tootly pointless. Go look it up if you want to—this isn't a college course, I don't have a tweed jacket and if you're in ruinous debt right now, it's for reasons other than textbook acquisition. The reason we know that whole discussion would be pointless? Scalise's second pronouncement. Declaring Thomas Jefferson to be the real author of the Constitution is small potatoes compared to this dreck, which is the equivalent of exhuming Jefferson's corpse and using his skull as a spittoon.
  • The D.C. schools chancellor's apology leaves much to be desired    (By Colbert I. King, 2018-02-17)
  • This week at progressive state blogs: VA ranks 38th in solar; LA cranks create $1 billion shortfall    (Meteor Blades, 2018-02-17)
    This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the Feb. 10 edition. Inclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—or endorsement of—its contents. At Blue Virginia, A Siegel writes—Here comes the sun … though Virginia remains solar straggler: Former Governor Terry McAuliffe exclaimed, more than once, that Virginia was a true leader in solar power, with growth rates that should amaze one and all.  While McAuliffe deserves credit for a number of actions, recognizing the reality of a GOP run legislature and heavy Dominion Power opposition to solar, reality didn’t seem to match the rhetoric. Pulling back the curtains on Virginia solar left one scratching one’s head trying to figure out the justification for this.  Yes, there was growth — primarily because of two things: the starting point (due in no small part to Dominion Virginia Power (primarily) working its magic in the legislature to suppress solar) was so low; and major players (such as Amazon data centers and universities) demanding solar (often, as with Amazon, as part of their choice to develop in Virginia). McAuliffe pointed to high percentage growth and then pointed to all the potential projects in the pipeline with wording that would make most casual observers think that those ‘maybe’ projects were done deals and, well, perhaps even already generating electrons. Show-barker exclamations, however, didn’t represent the reality of Virginia’s renewable energy world. [...]  While ’20th’ rank of current status with 13th in growth might not seem so bad, putting Virginia in the upper half of the 51 states and DC, we shouldn’t be fooled into any form of complacency. Each year Solar Power Rocks, a firm that focuses on helping homeowners and small businesses go solar, analyzes those 51 as to solar attractiveness for those potential customers. [...] In the 2018 ranking, as in 2017, Virginia is ranked 38th and earns a merited D.
  • Russia is at war with our democracy. When will we finally start defending it?    (By Brian Klaas, 2018-02-17)
  • Saturday midday open thread: Mulvaney making consumer crime easier; Calif. indy registrations rise    (Meteor Blades, 2018-02-17)
    261 days until the November 2018 election ••• ••• ••• • What’s coming up on Sunday Kos … ° How Republicans stole the Second Amendment, Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza ° I can’t wait for people of every color to be wearing Black Panther costumes, by Ian Reifowitz ° The first rule of White House Wife Beaters Club is don’t talk about … the wives, by Frank Vyan Walton ° Despite Trump’s praise of Rob Porter, domestic violence remains a deadly threat, by Sher Watts Spooner ° If Democrats provide an answer to these types of problems, they are unbeatable, by Egberto Willies ° Thoughts and prayers are not doing a damn thing, by Mark E Andersen ° Black History Month: The vejigante masks and bomba music of Puerto Rico, by Denise Oliver Velez • By November, California could have more registered independents than Republicans: Democrats still dominate the voter rolls in California, but the number of independents is rising and could, by November, exceed the number of Republicans. Currently, Democrats account for 44.6 percent of California's registered voters, giving the party a 19 percentage point advantage over the GOP at 25.4 percent, with voters stating “no preference” at 25 percent, and 5 percent registered with other parties, registration figures show. Democratic registrations have barely budged in the past two decades, slipping not quite 2 percent since 1997, while Republican registrations have fallen by nearly 11 percent, and independent registrations risen by more than 13 percent. Paul Mitchell, who runs the data firm Political Data Inc., told the Los Angeles Times that more and more millennials, college students, young Latinos and Asian Americans are registering as independents. "Democrats are celebrating Republicans losing registration. But they should be mourning," Mitchell said. "This new registrant population looks like Democrats but they are registering as independents." In past elections, "no party preference" voters in California have leaned heavily Democratic at the polls.  • Mike Mulvaney’s objective is to wreck the CFPB and leave a hollow shell. If that sounds to you like what’s happening throughout the Trump regime, you’re not imagining things. Former Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat who served on the House Financial Services Committee, was one of the leading voices in Congress for consumer finance protection: "I think we'll be right back to where we were in 2007 and 2008," Miller said. "Where it's open season on consumers. Where anything you sign may have hidden in the tiny little print . . provisions that just screw you blind." He noted, "That was true of credit cards. It was true of mortgages, and it will be true again. It's never really stopped being true; consumer finance has continued to be a problem." "What the Trump administration is going to do, and Mulvaney is going to do, is strip away all the protections that were intended to keep that [a major financial crash] from happening again," Miller explained.  MIDDAY TWEET The woman's back was once Catalonian hills • New scanning method can reveal what’s beneath master works:  U.S. researchers have employed a new technique that let them see beneath one of Pablo Picasso's major works, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). The new x-ray fluorescence scanning system was used to find a landscape of Barcelona under the Picasso. The technique is cheaper than other art scanning systems, and being portable, any gallery can use it on their own turf. The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso's blue period. The landscape painting beneath, which researchers say is probably the work of a student, is turned 90 degrees. The woman has been painted to take on the contour of the Catalan hills in the background. • Trio of studies indicate people would positively greet news of extraterrestrial life being discovered. • Elon Musk’s Boring Company flamethrowers quickly sold out, but the Do-It-Yourself crowd is filling the gap: 20,000 of the flamethrowers at $500 apiece were sold to raise money for the Boring Company. The entire stock was off the shelves in a mere four days. That led others to imitate the device at home. For instance, Jason Salerno uploaded video of his Boring Company clone early this month. His creation is a combination of an airsoft gun, a propane torch, a propane tank, a propane extension hose, and a bottle holder taken from a bicycle. Other imitators have arisen, too. Not everybody thinks the devices are cool, however. In the House of Representatives, New York Reps. Eliot Engel and Carolyn Maloney introduced H.R. 4901 (known as the “Flamethrowers? Really? Act”) to ban flamethrowers that shoot fire more than six feet. It would "treat flamethrowers like machine guns." Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.” LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

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