Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

New York Times, By Helene Cooper, November 24

Washington – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises…

The officials described […]

The Downside of the Boom

North Dakota took on the oversight of a multibillion-dollar oil industry with a regulatory system built on trust, warnings and second chances. The cooperative approach doesn’t seem to generate results.

NYT -In early August 2013, Arlene Skurupey of Blacksburg, Va., got an animated call from the normally taciturn farmer who rents her family […]

New Benghazi report says security flaws were known, but not why Stevens was there

McClatchy, By Nancy A. Youssef, November 21

Washington — A House Intelligence Committee investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. outposts in Benghazi concludes that while the Central intelligence Agency had properly secured its compound in the Libyan city, the State Department knew its security precautions were inadequate at the U.S. Special Mission […]

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to ‘transition’ in Syria

McClatchy, By Roy Gutman, November 22

Istanbul — Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On a fence-mending trip […]

Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

CNN, By Salma Abdelaziz & Mariano Castillo, November 23

In the two months since the United States and coalition allies first launched airstrikes against ISIS targets inside of Syria, the missions have killed more than 900 people, nearly all militants, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But 52 civilians, including eight children and five women, are […]

Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse

What a new report on theology and global warming means for public policy

The Atlantic, By Emma Green, November 22

Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, just snow. Superstorm Sandy, receding shorelines, and more. Hurricanes Isaac, Ivan, and Irene, with cousins Rammasun, Bopha, and Haiyan.

The parade of geological changes and extreme weather events around the world since […]

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat

New York Times, By Mark Mazzetti & Eric Schmitt, November 21

Washington — President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least […]

Why Sherman was right to burn Atlanta

The New York Time’s Phil Leigh really deserves this smack-down, the kind only the war nerd Gary Brecher can provide:

There are times when the sheer ignorance and ingratitude of the American public makes you sick.

This week marks the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s March from Atlanta to the Sea, which set off on […]

Court rules Michigan has no responsibility to provide quality public education

The Michigan Citizen, November 13

Detroit, MI — In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling […]

US Federal Reserve Initiates Investigation of New York Federal Reserve

Value Walk, By Mark Melin, November 21

After press reports reveal more than a cozy relationship, but sharing of confidential documents, investigation called for on eve of Senate testimony on the issue

After a withering expose in The New York Times that showed bank regulators at the New York Federal Reserve sharing confidential information with […]

Senate Report: Banks Had Unfair Commodity-Market Advantages

Report Notes Deals Between Goldman, Deutsche and Others Drove Up Aluminum Prices

The Wall Street Journal, by Christian Berthelsen & Ryan Tracy, November 19

Washington — A U.S. Senate report on commodity-market activities at big Wall Street banks accuses the firms of being so powerful they were able to influence prices, gain trading advantages and […]

White House Putting Up ‘Fierce’ Fight to Conceal Torture Report

Foreign Policy, By John Hudson, November 19

The White House is fiercely resisting the release of a 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, Senate aides tell Foreign Policy, raising fears that the public will never receive a full accounting of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 torture practices.

At issue is the report’s […]

Dry San Diego to look to sewers as water source

AP, By Elliot Spagat, November 19

San Diego – Acknowledging California’s parched new reality, the city of San Diego has embraced a once-toxic idea: turning sewer water into drinking water.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a $2.5-billion plan to recycle wastewater, the latest example of how California cities are looking for new […]

Senate fails to pass NSA reform bill

IDG News Service, By Grant Gross, November 18

The U.S. Senate has voted against a bill that would rein in the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records within the country, possibly killing any NSA reforms until next year.

Supporters of the USA Freedom Act, in a Senate vote late Tuesday, failed to get […]

Quote for the day

“How can I prepare kids for the world if I’m not preparing the world for the kids?”

-Tory Russell, youth worker and co-founder of resistance group Hands Up United, Ferguson, MO, from his interview today on NPR’s Here and Now.

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