Monthly Archive: January 2015

Jan 31 2015

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

True Grits

Anson Mills Polenta or Grits with Beans & Chard photo recipehealthwellpromo-tmagArticle_zpsc9fdecde.jpg

Most life-changing food experiences involve exotic or high-end foods like truffles. But my latest life-changing food experience involved humble grits and polenta – cornmeal mush. [..]

And I have long been a polenta enthusiast, but I was mostly content with my generic oven-baked polenta. But Italian heirloom corn, ground with 17th and 18th century artisan techniques, is an altogether different dish. I cook it on top of the stove, not in the oven. It has a creamier texture and more intense corn/floral flavor and aroma than any polenta I have cooked in the past.

~ Martha Rose Shulman ~

Simple Pencil Cob Breakfast Grits

A humble, simple dish with luxurious flavor.

Pencil Cob Grits Rancheras

Grits make a delicious substitute for the traditional corn tortillas in this dish.

Soft Anson Mills Polenta With Wild Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce

A new way to cook your grits.

Polenta or Grits With Beans and Chard

The beans can be cooked through Step 2 up to 3 days ahead and can be frozen.

Crispy Polenta Medallions

Crispy Polenta Medallions : These crispy rounds can be topped with a variety of cheese or sauces.

Jan 31 2015

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Trevor Timm: The government loves the policy ‘technology for me but not for thee’

Three seemingly unrelated events explain a lot about the federal government’s complicated and hypocritical reaction to the proliferation of drones and other technology – technology they love to use to track millions of citizens but to which they don’t want citizens to have access.

First, a drunk intelligence agency employee crashed a two-foot toy drone into the White House lawn at 3am earlier this week, while the Federal Aviation Administration banned drones from flying over the Super Bowl on Sunday in Arizona. Then, police started loudly complaining about a traffic app called Waze that also alerts travelers about the location of police cars operating speed traps.

It may be hard to remember now, but the number one privacy issue in America before Edward Snowden came along was invasive police drones, which sparked broad left-right coalitions in state governments across the country. The NSA’s repeated invasions of Americans’ privacy replaced drones on the front pages, but that hasn’t stopped law enforcement from trying to acquire the technology or the federal government from trying to warn of the vast dangers of civilians doing the same thing.

Eugene Robinson: The Boehner-Bibi Backfire

The political ramifications are clear: House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a colossal mistake by conspiring behind President Obama’s back, and the move has ricocheted on both of them.

The big, scary issue underlying the contretemps-how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program-is a more complicated story. I believe strongly that Obama’s approach, which requires the patience to give negotiations a chance, is the right one. To the extent that a case can be made for a more bellicose approach, Boehner and Netanyahu have undermined it.

First, the politics. Why on earth would anyone think it was a good idea to arrange for Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without telling Obama or anyone in his administration about the invitation?

Jim Hightower: A Whining Wall Street Banker Pleads for Pity

J.P. Morgan was recently socked in the wallet by financial regulators who levied yet another multibillion-dollar fine against the Wall Street baron for massive illegalities.

Well, not a fine against John Pierpont Morgan, the man. This 19th-century robber baron was born to a great banking fortune and, by hook and crook, leveraged it to become the “King of American Finance.” During the Gilded Age, Morgan cornered the U.S. financial markets, gained monopoly ownership of railroads, amassed a vast supply of the nation’s gold and used his investment power to create U.S. Steel and take control of that market. [..]

Moving the clock forward, we come to JPMorgan Chase, today’s financial powerhouse bearing J.P.’s name. The bank also inherited his pattern of committing multiple illegalities-and walking away scot-free.

Oh, sure, the bank was hit with big fines, but not a single one of the top bankers who committed gross wrongdoings were charged or even fired-much less sent to jail.

Jared Bernstein: The 529 Microcosm: A Revealing Political Train Wreck with Regard to an Inefficient Tax Break

This little train wreck over the White House’s proposal and then retraction of a plan to cut back on a wasteful yet beloved tax benefit is highly instructive. It’s a clear example of how much hot air there is in these fiscal debates, where policy makers and pundits scold everyone within earshot of the need for “fiscal responsibility,” then punt when they’ve got a chance to actually… you know… do something responsible.

The benefit in question is the 529 college savings plan, a tax break that allows people to save as much as they want without paying tax on either accruals or withdrawals (the accounts must be used to pay for college). It turns out that 70 percent of the benefits of 529s go to the top five percent of households — those with incomes above $200,000. The problem with that, as higher education scholar Sandy Baum recently noted, is that “[529s] primarily provide a subsidy to people who would save in other forms anyway.”

So the WH, to their credit, proposed to tax withdrawals from the plans (accruals would remain untaxed) while significantly boosting better targeted measures to help lower-income households afford college (the 529 change was to be grandfathered in, i.e., applied solely to new plans).

Joe Conason: End Poverty? Reduce Inequality? What Republicans Must Do First

The latest fad among would-be Republican presidential contenders is to proclaim their deep commitment to fighting poverty and inequality-which sounds as plausible as a promise by McDonald’s to abolish greasy food.

Decades of abuse of the nation’s poor and working families, which reached a crescendo in Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” campaign in 2012, hasn’t left much space for Republicans to follow the public morality of Pope Francis. Yet for the moment at least, they seem to think that they must.

They also seem to believe that reminiscing about bread-bag overshoes, like Senator Joni Ernst, or jeering the wealth of the Clintons, like RNC chair Reince Priebus, will somehow transform them into Franciscan populists. But such delusional ploys only make them look ridiculous.

So in the gracious spirit of the pontiff, who told us that even atheists can be saved, let’s help our Republican brothers and sisters.

Jan 31 2015

The Breakfast Club (In The Navy)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgNot that Marines aren’t part of the Navy but one Band Leader is known primarily for his marches and one is… well, not.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was an active duty officer in the Russian Navy with a lot of time on his hands during his 2 year tours of duty.  He felt his early works too derivative of Beethoven and abandonded many of them, but hated Navy life more than music and took a position at the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he was a teacher of ‘Practical Composition’ and studied far more than he taught in fact abandoning composing for over 3 years.  He kept his job in the Navy as an on shore clerk and frequently taught his classes in uniform.

He was much influenced by his mentor Mily Balakirev and came to be associated with him in a group of five Russian composers known as The Mighty Handful.  The other 3 members were César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Alexander Borodin.

They were very representative of the Romantic Nationalist movement and drew much inspiration from folk songs and peasant dances.  Of the group Rimsky-Korsakov was the most mainstream during his lifetime because he wrote in traditional ‘Art Music’ formats like Fugues, Sonatas, Symphonies, and Opera.

They all had a strong mix of what is called ‘Orientalism’ in their music, though it’s really mostly Arabic and Mughal influence, not what we would call oriental today (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and is based on their heavy use of a Pentatonic scale and other self concious musical tropes that were highly artificial and not really representative of any authentic or strictly Russian (or Oriental for that matter) tradition.  Rimsky-Korsakov added elements he had encountered at ports of call in Greece, England, the United States, and South America.

In 1873 he was named Inspector of Naval Bands and retired from active service.  At about this same time (and after his 3 year hiatus) he started re-writing his old pieces to bring their orchestration up to date and make them more mature and finished compositions.  He also published 2 collections of folk songs which he would use to provide musical themes for much of his later work.  By the time he left that position in 1884 he was well established as a composer and professor of music theory.

While considered innovative by some Rimsky-Korsakov was quite rigid and conservative.  He didn’t like Tchaikovsky at all and though like many (but not the rest of the Five) he thought Wagner exciting and fresh where he was merely long winded and bombastic, Rimsky-Korsakov never really warmed to the works of Strauss and Debussy.

He’s best known for things like “The Flight of the Bumblebee” from The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Scheherazade but today I present you Mozart and Salieri, a late work full of his most controversial mannerisms that perpetuates the myth that Salieri poisoned Mozart out of jealousy at his talent.

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

Jan 31 2015

On This Day In History January 31

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 31 is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 334 days remaining until the end of the year (335 in leap years).

On this day in 1865, The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery, submitting it to the states for ratification.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, Secretary of State William H. Seward, in a proclamation, declared it to have been adopted. It was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments.

President Lincoln was concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation, which outlawed slavery in the ten Confederate states still in rebellion in 1863, would be seen as a temporary war measure, since it was based on his war powers and did not abolish slavery in the border states.

Text

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

History

The first twelve amendments were adopted within fifteen years of the Constitution’s adoption. The first ten (the Bill of Rights) were adopted in 1791, the Eleventh Amendment in 1795 and the Twelfth Amendment in 1804. When the Thirteenth Amendment was proposed there had been no new amendments adopted in more than sixty years.

During the secession crisis, but prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, the majority of slavery-related bills had protected slavery. The United States had ceased slave importation and intervened militarily against the Atlantic slave trade, but had made few proposals to abolish domestic slavery, and only a small number to abolish the domestic slave trade. Representative John Quincy Adams had made a proposal in 1839, but there were no new proposals until December 14, 1863, when a bill to support an amendment to abolish slavery throughout the entire United States was introduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley (Republican, Ohio). This was soon followed by a similar proposal made by Representative James F. Wilson(Republican, Iowa).

Eventually the Congress and the public began to take notice and a number of additional legislative proposals were brought forward. On January 11, 1864, Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri submitted a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The abolition of slavery had historically been associated with Republicans, but Henderson was one of the War Democrats. The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Lyman Trumbull (Republican, Illinois), became involved in merging different proposals for an amendment. On February 8 of that year, another Republican, Senator Charles Sumner (Radical Republican, Massachusetts), submitted a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery as well as guarantee equality. As the number of proposals and the extent of their scope began to grow, the Senate Judiciary Committee presented the Senate with an amendment proposal combining the drafts of Ashley, Wilson and Henderson.

Originally the amendment was co-authored and sponsored by Representatives James Mitchell Ashley (Republican, Ohio) and James F. Wilson (Republican, Iowa) and Senator John B. Henderson (Democrat, Missouri).

While the Senate did pass the amendment on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6, the House declined to do so. After it was reintroduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley, President Lincoln took an active role in working for its passage through the House by ensuring the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections. His efforts came to fruition when the House passed the bill on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56. The Thirteenth Amendment’s archival copy bears an apparent Presidential signature, under the usual ones of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, after the words “Approved February 1, 1865”.

The Thirteenth Amendment completed the abolition of slavery, which had begun with the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

Shortly after the amendment’s adoption, selective enforcement of certain laws, such as laws against vagrancy, allowed blacks to continue to be subjected to involuntary servitude in some cases. See also Black Codes.

The Thirteenth Amendment was followed by the Fourteenth Amendment (civil rights in the states), in 1868, and the Fifteenth Amendment (which bans racial voting restrictions), in 1870.

Jan 30 2015

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

New York Times Editorial Board: Washington and Havana Break the Ice

A couple of years after America’s attempted invasion of Cuba in 1961, the disastrous intervention known as the Bay of Pigs, an envoy President John F. Kennedy secretly dispatched to Havana posed an odd question to the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.

“Do you know how porcupines make love?” James Donovan asked, to make a point about how hard it would be to establish a trustful relationship between Washington and Havana. “Very carefully.”

More than a half century later, as American and Cuban officials faced each other last week for historic talks to begin normalizing relations, it was evident that trust remains in short supply. But this first step in the present détente bodes well for a process that will require patience and deft managing of expectations in both countries.

Paul Krugman: Europe’s Greek Test

In the five years (!) that have passed since the euro crisis began, clear thinking has been in notably short supply. But that fuzziness must now end. Recent events in Greece pose a fundamental challenge for Europe: Can it get past the myths and the moralizing, and deal with reality in a way that respects the Continent’s core values? If not, the whole European project – the attempt to build peace and democracy through shared prosperity – will suffer a terrible, perhaps mortal blow.

First, about those myths: Many people seem to believe that the loans Athens has received since the crisis broke have been subsidizing Greek spending.

The truth, however, is that the great bulk of the money lent to Greece (pdf) has been used simply to pay interest and principal on debt. In fact, for the past two years, more than all of the money going to Greece has been recycled in this way: the Greek government is taking in more revenue than it spends on things other than interest, and handing the extra funds over to its creditors.

Linda Sarsour: Republicans need to learn that Muslim and American are not mutually exclusive

Texas legislator Molly White joined some more famous conservatives in the ‘Super Bowl of Bigotry’ this week, vying for the title of Biggest Islamophobe

In many parts of the United States, if you want to win an election, you need talking points full of misinformation and bigotry towards Muslims to scare the wits out of non-Muslim Americans in to voting for you (and others to fund your campaign). Events in the Middle East simply provide more fuel to an already-raging fire, and convince officials elected to serve all of their constituents that their inappropriate and bigoted comments will not only go unchallenged but will be applauded. [..]

Meanwhile, American Muslims continue to build civic and electoral power. From serving on state party committees in California to founding the first-ever Muslim Democratic Club in New York City (dedicated to electing Muslims on all levels of government across the nation, which I co-founded and of which I am currently the president), American Muslims are an emerging political bloc. We are not waiting for validation from bigoted politicians or to pass tests of our allegiance from the likes of White – and we will respond to bigotry, regardless of party affiliation. As the 2016 elections quickly approach, we as voters expect real debates on issues impacting all Americans: the economy, education, healthcare and national security. It is our responsibility to keep elected officials and candidates accountable to all the people they serve; that is how we pledge our allegiance.

Ladar Levison: Prosecutors used the same legal strategy against Barrett Brown as they did me. Are you next?

FBI agents and the state’s lawyers misrepresented events to create a false narrative, and the judges in both our cases bought it

When it happened to me, I dismissed it as an anomaly. The government – while trying to access the private emails of my company’s 410,000 users – made material misrepresentations to the courts in a coordinated campaign to portray me as obstinate and uncooperative. Their intent? To manipulate a judge into accepting an unconstitutional legal theory. It cost me my business.

Barrett Brown, whose investigative journalism frequently embarrassed the DOJ and FBI, wasn’t quite so lucky. Last week, he was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by another two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $890K in restitution. That was the penalty for pleading guilty to three charges: “accessory after the fact”, a charge he faced for attempting to negotiate redactions in the stolen data, “obstructing justice” because he moved his laptop from a table to a cabinet, and “threatening a federal agent” in a video posted on the internet. The justification provided for his harsh sentence was a “trafficking in stolen authentication features” charge, for sharing a hyperlink to a public website, that the prosecution dropped before his plea. ]..]

Barrett Brown and I don’t have a lot in common: I’m a clean-cut, successful American entrepreneur, and, at the time of his arrest, Barrett was eking out an existence as an independent journalist while attempting to cope with a series of personal problems. We were both singled out by the government for what they thought we could – and would – tell them about other people. When we resisted, they twisted our words, our actions and the law. The result has been a set of disturbing court decisions that may give the government the ability to selectively prosecute anyone they wish. This time it was a journalist. Next time it could be you.

Andrew Bacevich: Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries

En route back to Washington at the tail end of his most recent overseas trip, John Kerry, America’s peripatetic secretary of state, stopped off in France “to share a hug with all of Paris.” Whether Paris reciprocated the secretary’s embrace went unrecorded.

Despite the requisite reference to General Pershing (“Lafayette, we are here!”) and flying James Taylor in from the 1960s to assure Parisians that “You’ve Got a Friend,” in the annals of American diplomacy Kerry’s hug will likely rank with President Eisenhower’s award of the Legion of Merit to Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza for “exceptionally meritorious conduct” and Jimmy Carter’s acknowledgment of the “admiration and love” said to define the relationship between the Iranian people and their Shah.  In short, it was a moment best forgotten.

Alas, this vapid, profoundly silly event is all too emblematic of statecraft in the Obama era.  Seldom have well-credentialed and well-meaning people worked so hard to produce so little of substance.

Steven W. Thrasher: Legal same sex marriage is coming to Alabama – it’s just a question of when

In a state where interracial marriage remained unconstitutional until the year 2000, is there hope for same sex couples who want to wed right now?

“Honestly, I thought it was a hoax,” Kacie Reeves of Jasper, Alabama said of when she heard that a federal judge ruled that same sex marriages would be allowed in her home state. She and her fiancée, Brittany Rush, had long planned a wedding for friends and family in May – after which they planned to “take a vacation and drive to some other state where we could make it legal.” [..]

The brides-to-be still have good reasons to be skeptical about getting legally wed at home. Shortly after the jubilant news, a 14-day stay was put in effect. Then, in a letter to Alabama governor Robert Bentley, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore wrote that nothing “grants the federal government the authority to redefine the institution of marriage” and vowed to “stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority.”

Judge Moore is as wrong about same sex marriage as he was about refusing to remove a 2.6 ton statue of the 10 Commandments from government property (which saw him removed from the bench more than a decade ago): the federal ruling indeed applies to all Alabama officials. But while a ruling in favor of same sex marriage by the Supreme Court this spring could potentially create a right to it in all 50 states, will that stop Alabama’s legal obfuscation and insurrection on marriage equality, given its history?

Jan 30 2015

Most Transparent Administration Evah!

A Year After Reform Push, NSA Still Collects Bulk Domestic Data, Still Lacks Way to Assess Value

By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept

1/29/15

The presidential advisory board on privacy that recommended a slew of domestic surveillance reforms in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations reported today that many of its suggestions have been agreed to “in principle” by the Obama administration, but in practice, very little has changed.



“The Administration accepted our recommendation in principle. However, it has not ended the bulk telephone records program on its own, opting instead to seek legislation to create an alternative to the existing program,” the report notes.

And while Congress has variously debated, proposed, neutered, and failed to agree on any action, the report’s authors point the finger of blame squarely at President Obama. “It should be noted that the Administration can end the bulk telephone records program at any time, without congressional involvement,” the report says.



The board noted that Obama has accepted some, but not all, of the privacy safeguards it recommended – somewhat reducing the ease and depth with which National Security Agency agents can dig through the domestic data, but not, for instance, agreeing to delete the data after three years, instead of five.

A year ago, the board also recommended that Congress enact legislation enabling the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which currently approves both specific and blanket warrant applications without allowing anyone to argue otherwise, to hear independent views. It recommended more appellate reviews of that court’s rulings.

There’s been no progress on either front.

A year ago, the board recommended that “the scope of surveillance authorities affecting Americans should be public,” and that the intelligence community should “develop principles and criteria for the public articulation of the legal authorities under which it conducts surveillance affecting Americans.”

Something is apparently brewing in that area, but it’s not entirely clear what. “Intelligence Community representatives have advised us that they are committed to implementing this recommendation,” with principles “that they will soon be releasing,” the report says.



But one recommendation in particular – that the intelligence community develop some sort of methodology to assess whether any of this stuff is actually doing any good – has been notably “not implemented.”

“Determining the efficacy and value of particular counterterrorism programs is critical,” the board says. “Without such determinations, policymakers and courts cannot effectively weigh the interests of the government in conducting a program against the intrusions on privacy and civil liberties that it may cause.”

Yup.  It’s transparent alright.

Jan 30 2015

The Breakfast Club (Freedom’s Just Another Word)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

This Day in History

Tet offensive begins in Vietnam; Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany; Franklin D. Roosevelt born; Mahatma Gandhi assassinated; ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Northern Ireland; The Lone Ranger debuts on radio.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma Gandhi

Jan 30 2015

On This Day In History January 30

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

January 30 is the 30th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 335 days remaining until the end of the year (336 in leap years).

On this day in 1969, The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

A din erupted in the sky above London’s staid garment district. Gray-suited businessmen, their expressions ranging from amused curiosity to disgust, gathered alongside miniskirted teenagers to stare up at the roof of the Georgian building at 3 Savile Row. As camera crews swirled around, whispered conjecture solidified into confirmed fact: The Beatles, who hadn’t performed live since August 1966, were playing an unannounced concert on their office roof. Crowds gathered on scaffolding, behind windows, and on neighboring rooftops to watch the four men who had revolutionized pop culture play again. But what only the pessimistic among them could have guessed-what the Beatles themselves could not yet even decide for sure-was that this was to be their last public performance ever. . . . . .

When the world beyond London’s garment district finally got to see the Beatles’ last concert, it was with the knowledge, unshared by the original, live audience, that it was the band’s swan song. On Abbey Road Paul had sung grandly about “the end,” but it was John’s closing words on the roof that made the more fitting epitaph for the group that had struggled out of working-class Liverpool to rewrite pop history: “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”

Jan 30 2015

The Daily/Nightly Show (Competitive Advantage)

So tonight we talk about lying in sports and of course the only answer is if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.  Seriously, this is why they have refs.

If this were the only NFL scandal it might be worth noticing but in a year punctuated by child abuse and domestic violence along with the continued problem of blunt force concussion it’s hard to really care that much.

And of course the NFL is hardly the only sport effected, if you really want to talk corruption what about Formula One, the Olympics or World Cup.  Their governing bodies are pure graft from bottom to top which is why the sailors at Sao Paulo will be competing in an open air sewer and soccer players in the simmering oven that is Qatar to say nothing of the police brutality to hide the homeless in Rio or the Shia majority in Bahrain or the Nepalise slave labor.

So we’re not even all that exceptional and unless the conversation is sparkling and goes in a different direction than I expect this won’t be the most exciting Nightly Show in the series and the Koch last night was a little flat.

Continuity

Kristen Schaal was pretty funny though.

Show us what we’re fighting for

I’ve never understood why guys talk about their ‘man parts’ as if they were someone else.

Next week’s guests-

The Daily Show

Sarah Chayes is a former reporter for NPR and advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Recently she’s been working to get Afghan farmers producing perfume precursors instead of Opium.  She may have a thing or two to say about the SIGAR Report on waste, fraud, and abuse in Afghanistan the the Pentagon is now trying to suppress by refusing to co-operate with the Special Inspector General.

As always the real news below.

Jan 30 2015

Keystone XL Pipeline Gets Senate OK

This afternoon the Senate passed a bill that approves the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill passes after several marathons session that saw many amendments to improve the safety of the pipeline, which will originate in Canada, carrying the dirtiest oil extracted from the Alberta Canada tar sands. The bill passed by 62 – 36 with nine Democrats joining the unanimous Republican caucus. The bill already has passed the House by 266 to 153, with 28 Democrats voting with the Republican majority. The bill now moves to conference committee to rectify minor differences between the two bills. It will then be sent to President Barack Obama, who has said that he would veto the bill. Republicans have not been able to muster the votes in either the House or the Senate needed to overcome a presidential veto.

According to the State Department impact study, the pipeline would only create about 35 permanent jobs,  despite the oft repeated, and usually unchallenged, GOP and industry lie that it would create thousands of jobs. One popular blogger tweeted that more Senators voted for the bill than the number of jobs it would create.

Besides the impact on climate change that would be caused by refining and using this oil, the oil if spilled is nearly impossible to clean up from the soil and riverbeds, not to mention extremely expensive. The route that the pipeline would take across the US could have a severe impact on the water supply in the Midwest if there was a leak.

As MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out pipelines leak

and blow up

There is also a need for inspectors

The environment does not need another pipeline, nor do we.

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