Politics and Government

Body Politic, You Are Always On My Mind

The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – Facebook always asks “what’s on your mind” in the Status Update box. But rather than answering that question on Facebook, I will reveal my thoughts for today here and then put the link on Facebook for people to read. That’s the way I roll. Like Willie Nelson…

In Tectonic Demographic Shift, American Electorate Grows More Progressive

By Steve Rosenthal – Not too long ago, everyone was declaring American politics a lost cause for progressives. The religious right supposedly had a stranglehold on elections. Then it was the tea party that had the political establishment — initially Democrats and Republicans — quaking. The media and the general public took hold of a…

Eyes on the Prize: 100 Percent Clean Energy

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Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – I’ve written a lot about the consequences of relying on fossil fuels for energy, but the chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River still comes as a shock. Almost a week later, thousands are still without drinking water, and many of those who’ve been given the “all clear”…

Sierra Club Demands that Governor Bentley Release Water Policy Report

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Letter to the Editor – By Margo Rebar – Chair, Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club The people of Alabama need to know what the recommendations are for securing our water resources from the threats of outside neighboring states and inside competing uses. But it seems water in Alabama is something of a political football.…

Washington Federal Court Strikes Blow Against Internet Neutrality

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By Glynn Wilson – A three-judge panel of federal judges all appointed to the court before there was an open Internet or a Web Press has struck down a complicated set of rules set forth by the Federal Communications Commission to preserve competition on the Web in what critics call a major blow to what’s…

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Delivers State of the State Address

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MONTGOMERY — This is the prepared text for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s address to a joint session of the Legislature Tuesday night, as released by the governor’s office. Can you point out the lies? Watch on Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television – Lt. Governor Ivey, Speaker Hubbard, President Marsh, distinguished guests, members of the…

Viruses of the Mind Spread by Flawed Communications Systems

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The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – SWEET HOME ALABAMALAND – The big wheels in my head keep on turning, trying to figure out a way to communicate an accurate message that can be understood by a diverse audience with widely variable education levels. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Ask Lynyrd…

Record-High 42 Percent of Americans Identify as Political Independents

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Republican Identification the Lowest in 25 Years – By Glynn Wilson – Forty-two percent of Americans identified themselves as political independents in 2013, the highest percentage Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago. Meanwhile, Americans identifying themselves as Republicans fell to 25 percent, the lowest recorded since the Reagan…

Organized Labor Pushes for Unemployment Compensation Extension in Congress

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By Glynn Wilson – Pushed by organized labor, other advocacy groups and President Barack Obama, the U.S. Senate unexpectedly voted 60-37 in a test vote to limit further debate on legislation extending unemployment benefits, although Republicans in the House are likely to oppose the compromise, even if it adds nothing to the federal budget deficit.…

President Obama to Fill Vacancies in Alabama Federal Court Seats

By Glynn Wilson – Now that a major logjam has been broken in the U.S. Senate with a change in the filibuster rules to allow votes on judicial nominees by simple majority, President Obama will soon have an opportunity to fill at least three Alabama vacancies on the federal courts. Six Alabama lawyers have been…

Planet Likely to Warm by Four Degrees Celsius by the Year 2100

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A new climate model shows a warming planet means less cloud formation, which in turn contributes to increased temperatures – By Damian Carrington – Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were…

EPA Proposes Tougher Air Standards for Wood Stoves and Heaters

By Glynn Wilson – In the effort to continue strengthening federal regulations to control and reduce air pollution, the Obama administration is proposing new, tougher air standards for wood stoves and heaters. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing standards for the amount of air pollution that can be emitted by new wood stoves and heaters…

The Crystal Ball for 2014 is Partly Cloudy

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The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – Sitting here in the semi-dark looking out at a grey sky and into a blank screen, the modern equivalent of a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter, it’s a bit hard to see what’s in the crystal ball for 2014. According to a new AP poll,…

White House Says Repeal of Affordable Care Act Would Hurt People

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In States Like Alabama, Health Care Costs Would Rise, Families Would Be Hurt – Helping ordinary Americans and businesses take advantage of the benefits of America’s new health care law is a top priority for the President and Democrats in Congress, according to a White House press release sent out Thursday with facts for people…

A Letter to the People of Brazil and the World

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By Edward Snowden – Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and…

The Year In Review for 2013

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The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – Facebook users are faced with a new link on their pages promoting them to “See Your 2013 Year in Review: Look back at your 20 biggest moments from the past year.” The problem is, as usual with new technology, programming code is choosing those big moments for…