Science and Politics in Public Policy http://mys.tc/2dw
‘Foes of controversial legislation rally before expected vote next week, with scant success so far: latest draft still allows Internet companies to share customer data and communications with the National Security Agency.’
‘With the outrage in Congress over President Obama’s contraceptive mandate, and the continuous stream of zealous rhetoric coming from the Republican presidential candidates, it’s clear that politicians are becoming increasingly comfortable with using religion as a reliable pressure point for influencing policy. But they may choose to rethink their strategies in light of recent trends.
Several events in the past few weeks have affirmed the strengthening ties between church and state in 2012 America, at least as far as policymakers are concerned. Obama publicly invoked the example of Jesus Christ to push for higher taxes on the wealthy; the Komen Foundation, headed by outspoken pro-life politician Karen Handel, cut funding for Planned Parenthood over abortion issues (though public outcry has quickly reversed that PR disaster); and all four Republican candidates are falling over themselves to prove that they are the presidential hopeful with the most Christ-like policies.’
‘It matters what we believe and why we believe it. Not just in terms of religious identification, not just for deciding what and how we do things in our day-to-day lives, but also in relation to politics. Take such monumental policy decisions as those regarding health care, or the military. Do we go with what we feel is right and wrong, or—as is the more commonly understood basis for such policy decisions—do we do what will be best for the most people? How about suicide bombers? Why are they willing to lose their lives for their beliefs? Now, we can begin to better understand the mechanisms of such decisions by combining expertise in religion, philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, economics, and even genetics.’
Read more: Where Do ‘Sacred’ Values Live in the Brain?
1. Income is not all that unequal.
2. Inequality doesn’t matter because in America ambition and hard work can make a pauper a millionaire.
3. Income inequality is not a result of tax policy.
4. Taxing the rich will slow economic growth.
5. Taxing the rich would not raise much money.
Read more: 5 Republican Lies About Income Inequality
‘The other camp tends to acknowledge those ugly truths about Paul, but then points out that the Texas congressman has been one of the only politicians 1) fighting surveillance, indefinite detention and due-process-free assassination policies almost exclusively aimed at minorities; 2) opposing wars that often seem motivated by rank Islamophobia; and 3) railing against the bigotry of a drug war that disproportionately targets people of color. Summarizing this part of Paul’s record, the Atlantic Monthly’s Conor Friedersdorf has written: “When it comes to America’s most racist or racially fraught policies” affecting the world today, “Paul is arguably on the right side of all of them (while) his opponents are often on the wrong side.”’
Undermining Global Democracy: Seven Truths Inconvenient to American Foreign Policy http://mys.tc/1nz politics geopolitics US
1. Gaddafi Troops Did Not Engage In Mass Rapes.
2. The NATO-backed Libyan Rebels Have Committed Egregious Human Rights Abuses.
3. The U.S. Has Been Involved In Violent Attacks In Iran for Years.
4. The U.S. Was An Enemy of Democracy & Human Rights In Iran for Over a Quarter of a Century.
5. The U.S. Began The Conflict in Afghanistan That Helped Spawn al Qaeda.
6. The Worst Human Rights Abusers in the Western Hemisphere Are U.S. Allies
7. Cuba Has Played One of the Greatest Humanitarian Roles in the World, Especially given its small size and scant resources.
Blood on Whose Hands?: Bradley Manning, Washington and Civilian Deaths http://mys.tc/1nq war foreign policy mideast
9 Huge Blows to the Catastrophic War on Drugs — Will We Have Sane Drug Policy Some Day? http://mys.tc/1hf drugwar pot weed