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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Lock him up

Pic of the Moment

Danger sign

Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought
ocean sunset GIF by Living StillsHeat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than previously thought, concludes an analysis of four recent ocean-heating observations. The results provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or “hiatus” in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded.

“If you want to see where global warming is happening, look in our oceans,” said Zeke Hausfather, a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and co-author of the paper. “Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change, and we have robust evidence that it is warming more rapidly than we thought.”

Ocean heating is critical marker of climate change because an estimated 93 percent of the excess solar energy trapped by greenhouse gases accumulates in the world’s oceans. And, unlike surface temperatures, ocean temperatures are not affected by year-to-year variations caused by climate events like El Nino or volcanic eruptions.

EPA Approves Treating Orange Groves With Antibiotics

Move Could Reduce the Effectiveness of Drugs Used to Combat Human Diseases   
By Sarah Okeson

furze chan food eat orange fruit GIFThe Trump EPA recently approved spraying orange groves with an antibiotic used to treat a common sexually-transmitted disease. The move increases the risk that the antibiotic, oxytetracycline, might eventually not work to treat chlamydia and other human diseases.

People have until Feb. 4 to request hearings or raise objections about residue from this antibiotic on oranges and other citrus fruits.

“Researchers have been telling us for decades to curb the use of antibiotics in agriculture or risk losing them forever,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Trump administration has chosen to ignore the science and blindly sprint down a path that could dead-end at bacterial resistance.”

Oxytetracycline and similar antibiotics work by interfering with the ability of bacteria to grow and multiply. Florida orange growers have used the drug and another antibiotic, streptomycin, on an emergency basis against citrus greening, a disease with no cure that stunts the growth of oranges.

The cost of bad conduct

Banks, Big Pharma, Wal-Mart Rank High for Penalties in Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Cases
Good Jobs First 

Related imageA new report on employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases finds that major banks rank high among those big companies that have paid the most in damages and settlements.

Bank of America (including its subsidiary Merrill Lynch) has paid a total of $210 million since 2000, more than any other big company.

Morgan Stanley ranks fourth at $150 million and Wells Fargo ranks ninth at $68 million.
The financial services industry overall has paid a total of $530 million in penalties. The retail sector has paid the same amount, so the two industries have the dubious distinction of being tied for first place.

These findings, based on an extensive examination of court records, are contained in Big Business Bias: Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment at Large Corporations published today by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. It is available at

Friday, January 18, 2019

Trump shutdown hurts real people

Unemployment is low, but federal employees are lining up at food banks. They aren’t alone.

Image result for Trump shutdownAs the government shutdown drags on, the image of federal workers lining up at food pantries has dramatized just how many workers live financially close to the edge.

By one estimate, almost 80 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck. Miss one check and you’re taking a second look at what’s in the back of the pantry cupboard.

From federal prison guards in small towns to airline safety inspectors in major cities, the partial government shutdown has forced 800,000 federal workers — and many contractors, too — to survive without a paycheck.

The shutdown is a Trump-made disaster, with an estimated 420,000 “essential workers” required to show up for work without a paycheck. They have full-time responsibilities, which makes finding another part-time job nearly impossible.

Another 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed, including Coast Guard employees that are being encouraged to take on babysitting gigs and organize garage sales. They saw their last paycheck on December 22 and are scrambling to pay rent, mortgages, alimony, and credit card bills, let alone the groceries.

If it works for schools, why not the border?

Good to know

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Charlestown is the release site for first seal of 2019

Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program Releases Seal Just Weeks into the New Year
Thursday may have been “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day,” but Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program did anything but that earlier that morning, as each and every day they resolve to care for stranded seals with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the ocean.

Such was the case for Laysan, a young harbor seal that was released in Charlestown, RI. He is the last of rehabilitated seals rescued during the Program’s 2018 season.

Laysan was rescued in Falmouth, ME, by the Marine Mammals of Maine and was transferred to the Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Clinic at the start of May. 

Can't have too many trout

DEM Stocking Trout Now for Winter Fishing Season

winter fishing GIFThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds across Rhode Island this week with several thousand brook and rainbow trout for the winter trout fishing season.

The one to one-and-a-half-pound, hatchery-raised trout will be stocked in the following waterways:

• Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond 
• Silver Spring Pond, North Kingstown 
• Big Round Top Pond, Burrillville 
• Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth

"I hope anglers of all ages will take time this winter to venture out to a favorite fishing spot to reel in these beautiful, hatchery-raised trout," said DEM Director Janet Coit. 

"Fishing is a popular winter activity for people of all ages in Rhode Island and a great way to connect with the outdoors, unwind, and create memories with family and friends. Grab your fishing gear and head out to one of these prime fishing locations!"

Right-wing Senator becomes medical tourist

By Matt Osborne 

‪Like Sarah Palin and hypocrites before him, #singlepayer-hating GOP Senator Rand Paul is going to Canada to get hernia surgery.‬

‪‬Libertarian ophthalmologist and Kentucky  Senator Rand Paul has decried the health care hellscape of Canada’s single-payer system throughout his career.

In fact, he calls it “slavery.” So it is ironic and totally in line with his everyday hypocrisy that we learn Sen. Paul has scheduled major surgery in Canada.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the procedure will repair a lingering injury from the brutal 2017 attack by his neighbor, Rene Boucher, over a long-running dispute about Sen. Paul’s landscaping habits. 

As you might expect, the senator is spinning his Canadian health care as totally different from regular Canadian health care.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why does Trump want to hide what he told Putin?

Trump violates law by confiscating Putin notes
Miles Mogulescu

Related imageThe Washington Post has reported that Trump “has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter, and ordering the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.

As a result, U.S. officials have said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years.    

This is unprecedented in Presidential history, and truly chilling. After all, fourteen U.S. intelligence agencies have already concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections, and Trump and his campaign is under investigation for possible conspiracy and obstruction of the probe.

Without a written record, there is no way for the American public, Robert Mueller, or even top Trump national security advisors to know what he discussed with Putin on multiple occasions, what promises he may have made to the Russians, or even what instructions he may have received from Putin.


For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.

Trump logic

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Shutdown may have shuttered parks, but not offshore drilling process

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

sunset oil GIFDespite the government shutdown, federal agencies are moving forward with permitting for seismic airgun surveying and the offshore drilling for natural gas and oil that may follow.

Press liaisons are furloughed, so it’s difficult to know the status of pending permits before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Department of Interior.

Nevertheless, the five exploration companies approved for sonic airgun blasting are still expected to hear from the Department of Interior this month, after which they can immediately begin surveying.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is processing paperwork, as more than half of the agency’s 803 employees remain on the job, paid by “non-lapsing funds,” according to BSEE.

“During the shut-down BSEE will continue critical permitting and oversight activities associated with energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf, so as to allow the bureau to continue to support the sustained exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf during the shut-down,” according to a Dec. 17, 2018 BSEE statement.

Blasts from seismic airguns disrupt many aquatic ecosystems and harm sea mammals such as North Atlantic right whales, dolphins, and sea turtles, according to research. 

Fishing and wind power

Fishermen survey finds varied perceptions of impacts of Block Island Wind Farm
water photography GIFCommercial fishermen have very different perceptions of the impact of the Block Island Wind Farm than do recreational fishermen, according to a survey of both groups by a University of Rhode Island doctoral student.

Of the 25 fishermen interviewed, all of whom said they regularly fish in the area of the wind farm, the recreational fishermen generally perceive the turbines positively while the commercial fishermen see them as mostly negative.

The results of the study, funded by Rhode Island Sea Grant, were reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C., in December.

“Little is known about the impacts of offshore wind farms on marine users in the United States, and it’s critical to understand these impacts in context,” said Tayla ten Brink, the URI student who conducted the survey with Professor Tracey Dalton. 

“Generally, our findings show there are uneven impacts on the different fishing sectors.”

According to ten Brink, almost all of the fishermen agreed that there is more recreational fishing taking place in the vicinity of the wind turbines than before the turbines were installed. 

That’s because the turbine support structures serve as artificial reefs that attract a wide variety of fish and marine invertebrates to the area. Cod and other species not found in the area before are now observed, for instance.

New England workers struggle with effects of Trump shutdown

"It's getting harder and harder to afford even the routine daily expenses like gas and child care."
Image result for Trump shutdownRobert Literman is dreading the arrival of the heating bill.

Temperatures have plummeted in recent weeks in New England and, in tandem, gas, electric, and oil bills will inevitably rise. Literman is not a federal employee, but his income has been cut off as a result of the ongoing government shutdown, which, this week, became the longest in U.S. history, at 26 days.

As a post-doctoral fellow working at the University of Rhode Island, Literman’s fellowship is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), one of the dozens of federal agencies that are closed during the shutdown. 

Until a funding bill is passed, Literman cannot draw a salary. He has stopped commuting to the university as much as possible to save money on gas, but most of his family’s expenses are fixed, so there are few corners to cut.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Treating the government as a bargaining chip

understand donald trump GIFThe only redeeming aspect to Trump’s presidency is he brings us back to basics. And what could be more basic than the difference between democracy and dictatorship?

Democracy is about means, not ends. If we all agreed on the ends (such as whether to build a wall along the Mexican border) there’d be no need for democracy.

But of course we don’t agree, which is why the means by which we resolve our differences are so important. Those means include a Constitution, a  system of government based on the rule of law, and an independent judiciary.

A dictatorship, by contrast, is only about ends. Those ends are the goals of the dictator – preserving and accumulating personal power. To achieve those ends, a dictator will use any means necessary.
Which brings us back to Trump.

The conventional criticism of Trump is that he’s unfit to be president because he continuously breaks the norms of how a president should behave.

Trump’s norm-breaking is unsettling, to be sure, but Trump’s more fundamental offense is he continuously sacrifices means in order to preserve and accumulate personal power.

VIDEO: There is nothin like a wall

To watch this video on YouTube:

Food Bank prepares for increased food demand from Trump Shutdown

Donate Now

The shutdown, “reminds us that the safety net for a contingency in this state is our Food Bank and food pantry programs… I always encourage people to ensure that those local organizations and of course the Rhode Island Community Food Bank have the resources that they need, so that in a crisis we can call on them to help us.
Courtney Hawkins, Director
Rhode Island Department of Human Services
Government Shutdown Threatens Food Assistance Safety Net
With the government shutdown continuing indefinitely, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is asking the public for assistance to ensure that they have enough food to meet the increasing demand.
Of particular concern is the shutdown’s impact on SNAP benefits, the primary source of food assistance for approximately 157,000 Rhode Islanders. The next round of benefits will be distributed early, on January 20 instead of February 1, which means funds may run short for many families in February. After that, there are no guarantees that there will be benefits for March should the shutdown continue.
“We’re concerned that many more families will start visiting our pantries and meal sites beginning in February as they begin to run out of food,” said Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff. “Although we hope the shutdown ends soon, we need to be prepared to respond should it continue indefinitely.”
Visit Our Website
In addition, government employees who have been furloughed and are not receiving a paycheck may also seek food assistance through the Food Bank’s network of 158 agencies located throughout the state.
“We want to be prepared to provide food to anyone in need in Rhode Island, no matter what the reason, and no matter how long this crisis continues” said Schiff, “so we are asking our friends and neighbors to donate funds so that we can acquire enough food to help ensure that no one goes hungry.”
To make a donation or to find other ways to get involved, visit
Donate Now
© 2018 Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
Phone: (401) 942‑MEAL (6325)

URI to host third annual Food System Summit this weekend

Hundreds of local food movement supporters expected to attend
Image result for URI to host third annual Food System Summit this weekendRhode Island’s farmers, growers, producers, distributors, retailers, servers and other small businesses each play a role in our state’s food system, a burgeoning economic sector with growing momentum behind it.

The Rhode Island Food Center at the University of Rhode Island is hosting its third annual Food System Summit, at which hundreds of food system representatives will join with state and national food system leaders to identify ways to better support the state’s food economy.

Experts will discuss the role of food-related businesses, as well as that of state policy makers and consumers, in the state’s comprehensive Food Strategy, and its main areas of focus: production, sustaining and creating markets, enhancing the climate for food-related businesses, food security and food waste.

Where:           University of Rhode Island’s Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Road, Kingston.

When:            Friday, January 18, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (See complete agenda link with time breakdowns at the bottom of this advisory)

Thursday: workshop on plastics problem

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

trash ugh GIF by Melissa DeckertThe Task Force to Tackle Plastics has so far focused on removing single-use plastics, such as bags, straws, and foam containers, from the state’s waste stream. 

Nuisance plastic Items that can’t be taken out of circulation, such as plastic bottles, will be tackled through new or improved recycling and education programs, perhaps through something like a bottle-deposit law.

The likely initial recommendation from the task force is advocating for a bill that bans single-use plastics bags across Rhode Island, with a 5-cent fee on paper bags. 

Businesses would be allowed to collect and keep the fee. No businesses would be exempt from the ban. 

The bill will likely require that the statewide ban supersede Rhode Island's 10 existing municipal bans. A plan to enforce the ban has yet to be decided, nor has it been settled if the fee will be mandatory.

"As advertised on TV"

Medical marketing has skyrocketed in the past two decades, while oversight remains limited
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice

vintage 1960s GIFHealthcare spending in the United States is the highest in the world: totaling $3.3 trillion -- or 17.8% of the GDP -- in 2016. 

To capture market share -- and to expand the market -- drug companies and healthcare organizations use a wide array of promotional activities, including TV and digital advertising, social media, disease awareness campaigns targeting consumers, and marketing to professionals via free drug samples or consulting payments. 

In an article recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice reviewed medical marketing (the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, laboratory tests and health services to consumers and professionals) over a 20-year period from 1997 through 2016 and found that while it had increased dramatically from about $17.7 billion to $29.9 billion, regulation has not.

Sheldon Whitehouse challenges Trump pick for Attorney General

Senator corners Trump nominee Bill Barr over Matt Whitaker’s mysterious million-dollar payoff
Image result for Whitaker and $1.2 millionSen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) grilled President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Justice Department over a mysterious payment to acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker.

The acting attorney general received more than $1.2 million in salary from a conservative nonprofit that does not reveal its donors, and Whitehouse asked nominee William Barr whether he would investigate the payments.

“In my letter to you I expressed my concern that Mr. Whitaker was paid $1.2 million through what I consider to be a front group that has very little reality to it,” Whitehouse said, “and that the funding that came to that front group to pay him, the million dollars came through another entity that is essentially an identity-laundering operation that has no independent business operation.”

Whitehouse said the payment’s mysterious origins made it impossible to comply with ethics regulations.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Here’s a list of specific, documented reasons to believe Trump is a witting or unwitting Russian agent

If Trump isn’t a Russian agent, ‘he is doing a pretty good imitation of one’

On Friday, The New York Times revealed that the FBI probe now run by special counsel Robert Mueller investigated President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, starting in the aftermath of the president’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey.

But this is not a surprise to Max Boot, a conservative opponent of Trump. 

In an editorial for the Washington Post in Sunday, Boot outlined examples of how Trump’s history and behavior makes him look like he prioritizes Russian interests over American ones.

Among the reasons Boot cites:
  •  $109 billion in all-cash purchases of Trump real estate properties by people in the former Soviet Union;
  • Trump’s alleged attempts to build in Moscow during the campaign;
  • Trump’s urging of Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mails on the campaign trail on the same day that Russia-linked hackers tried to do exactly that; 
  • Dozens of contacts between the campaign and Russian operatives including the infamous Trump Tower meeting;
  • His campaign manager Paul Manafort sharing poll data with a Russian intelligence operative while in debt to a Russian oligarch;
  • His adviser Roger Stone’s alleged advance noticeof the Russia-linked WikiLeaks dump of the Podesta emails;
  • Trump bragging to the Russian ambassador about how the Comey firing took pressure off of him in the Russia investigation;
  • Trump’s refusal to consistently acknowledge Russian interference in the election and attacks on U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials who offer evidence they did;
  • Trump’s praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the right-wing puppet dictators he supports;
  • Trump’s attacks on institutions like the European Union and NATO that challenge Putin’s power;
  • Trump’s total servility to Putin at the Helsinki meeting;
  • Trump’s support for Russian military aggression both past and present; and
  • Trump’s pro-Russia foreign policy decisions like withdrawing from Syria.

No government? No problem.

For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.

Here, Mitch. Here, Mitch

Pic of the Moment

Dog of the week

Meet Gawain.
Animal Rescue RI

One-year old Gawain would like to start the new year in a new home!

This affectionate, happy-go-lucky guy is also energetic and curious.

He is a well-adjusted, playful guy who likes the company of other dogs.

Stop by and meet this well-versed dog today!

How dangerous is microplastic?

The scary thing is we don’t know

Image result for microplastics in foodAfter early reports of microplastic pollution in our oceans and beaches sounded the alarm, the global scientific community intensified its focus into this area. Researchers have since found evidence of microplastic contamination seemingly everywhere – also in lakes and rivers, beverages and food supplies. Dr. Natalia Ivleva, a researcher with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed new analytical methods for the identification and quantification of microplastic. In this interview, she shares her latest findings.

What exactly is microplastic?

According to current definitions, microplastic is any piece of plastic measuring five millimeters in size down to one micrometer, that is one-thousandth of a millimeter. Plastic particles that are smaller – from one micrometer down to 100 nanometers – are defined as sub-microplastic. Particles below 100 nm are called nanoplastic. Studies show, that most of the plastic particles possess sizes in lower micrometer range.

Both microplastics and nanoplastics are usually formed by the breakdown of larger pieces of plastic – for example, from shopping bags to the wear and tear on a car’s tires or when we wash an article of microfiber clothing. And since some manufacturers are still adding microplastics to personal care products like toothpaste and scrubs – they are a source of microplastic pollution, too.

Why do we need to be worried about microplastic pollution?

Actually, it’s not yet totally clear just how dangerous microplastics are for living organisms. What is known: aquatic organisms and other species, including humans, can absorb microplastic particles. But that alone doesn’t prove toxicity. However, we have also ascertained  that smaller-sized particles might have the ability to be absorbed in certain types of body tissue in aquatic organisms.

Each year, humans produce around 400 million tons of plastic worldwide. A significant proportion of this plastic ends up in the environment as litter, and most types of plastic take several hundred years to completely degrade.

The result? Over the next few decades, we will probably be facing a massive increase in the amount of microplastic pollution in the environment. We all know that even inert and non-toxic substances can have unforeseen effects once they reach a certain level of concentration in the environment.

Charlestown choice makes some life changes

Aaron Regunberg's next steps
By Will Collette

Related imageAaron Regunberg ran against incumbent Dan McKee for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in the 2018 primary. 

He ran with the enthusiastic endorsement of Charlestown Democrats and carried Charlestown by more than 10 percentage points

Unfortunately, he was not able to squeak out a  win statewide, losing by only 2% against an entrenched incumbent.

In a January 11 e-mail, Aaron stated:
I am actively considering another run for public office in 2022. I still believe deeply in the vision I ran on last year - that our government can and must work for everyone in our state. Growing up, my mom always taught me if you get knocked down, you get back up and try again.
He is staying in politics, becoming Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's Senior Advisor on Policy today. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Trump’s crimes cannot go unpunished

Prosecute Donald Trump to the Full Extent of the Law
Jeff Hauser, Guest Writer, Huffington Post

Image result for trump in jailWant Americans to feel like the country is fair? Think the rule of law is important? Prosecute powerful people when they commit crimes. Even people who worked for a president. Even a former president.

The story of 21st-century America is complex, but the narrative of powerful people behaving terribly and getting away with it is arguably the common thread. 

Consider the illegal torture operations of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and John Yoo. Reflect on the financial frauds perpetrated by Wall Street bankers and foreclosure mills last decade (they’re not exactly complying with the law this decade, either). 

Contemplate the big lies of fossil fuel executives like Exxon chair turned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. 

Think about the violations of consent decrees, tax laws and antitrust statutes by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and the rest of Silicon Valley. 

Reckon with the horrifying conduct brought front and center by #MeToo. And then come to terms with the number of the aforementioned elites whose potential criminal liability has been taken seriously by prosecutors ― approximately zero.

This is all the evidence you need to see how things are likely to go whenever the Trump administration meets its demise.

Image result for equal justice under law

Welcome to the Stupidverse

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

After all, who could have known?

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Bert the Pelican, lost in Rhode Island, a victim of Trump shutdown

By TODD McLEISH/ecoRI News contributor

Bert is waiting for a federal government OK to return to the South. (Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of R.I.)A young brown pelican that wandered far north of its usual winter range showed up on a dock in Galilee Harbor on Jan. 4 and was eventually captured and brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island in Saunderstown to be cared for, but not before causing a commotion.

It’s return south has been delayed by the federal government shutdown.

The bird, named Bert by fishermen who were hand-feeding it fish, appeared healthy and unharmed, according to birders who observed it. 

But the attention it generated from a crowd of curiosity-seekers, including some who tried to catch it by hand, likely raised its stress level. 

Within days it had become lethargic, perhaps because of the cold temperatures.

“From the reports we received, the bird was acting aggressively because it felt threatened by the number of people that were approaching it and taking pictures,” said Gail Mastrati, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

DEM and the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association received numerous calls about the bird from concerned residents, and on Jan. 7 a DEM enforcement officer observed and assessed the bird, captured it, and delivered it to the clinic.

“My initial response was that it was within the bird’s decision-making power to turn around and fly south, because at that point it was still flying around and doing well,” said Kristin Fletcher, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. 

“But then the temperature started dropping and people reported it on the ground and not moving much. They said it was shivering, so it probably had a bit of hypothermia.”

More fiber!

High intake of dietary fiber and whole grains may reduce risk of non-communicable diseases
The Lancet

Image result for more fiberPeople who eat higher levels of dietary fibre and whole grains have lower rates of non-communicable diseases compared with people who eat lesser amounts, while links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear. 

Observational studies and clinical trials conducted over nearly 40 years reveal the health benefits of eating at least 25g to 29g or more of dietary fibre a day, according to a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in The Lancet.

The results suggest a 15-30% decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality when comparing people who eat the highest amount of fibre to those who eat the least. 

Eating fibre-rich foods also reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-24%. Per 1,000 participants, the impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease.

In addition, a meta-analysis of clinical trials suggested that increasing fibre intakes was associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intakes.

Government by extortion

The White House's "rule or ruin" strategy — wall or shutdown! — is anti-democratic.
News outlets are treating the Trump shutdown as a power struggle between two willful forces, the president and the Democrats — rather than the president’s disturbing rule-or-ruin strategy. 

Let’s call it what it is: extortion, an attack on our democracy and the fundamental principle of majority rule.

Under our constitution, the executive branch cannot simply decree that government money will be spent on something. 

Image may contain: text that says 'If Obama had built a wall Trump would be tearing it down right now.'Congress must pass a law authorizing the government to spend the money.
So the only way to build Trump’s is to introduce a bill in Congress — and pass a law — allocating money for a border wall. 

Surveys show that most Americans oppose a wall, and Trump doesn’t have the votes in Congress for the $5 billion he wants to start building one (much less the $22 to $70 billion the whole thing could cost.)

So he decided he’ll take his ball and go home. The shutdown will go on for months or years, he now says, until he gets his way.

Except that it’s not his ball. It’s ours.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

FBI concerned Trump is a traitor for the Russians

Jen Hayden  Daily Kos Staff

Image result for trump and treasonMove over Tea Pot Dome scandal and move over Watergate, there’s a newer, bigger, more dangerous political scandal coming to light—the FBI initiated an investigation into whether Donald Trump, President of the United States, is working on behalf of the Russian government, against American interests.

Repeat: the FBI opened a counterintelligence operation because they had reason to believe the president was not acting in the interests of the United States. 

If true, it amounts to nothing short of treason. To gauge just how big this scandal truly is, let’s look at reactions from legal experts, former U.S. Intelligence officers and journalists. 

First up, Frank Figliuzzi, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He’s somebody who understands precisely what it would take for the FBI to take the drastic step of opening a criminal investigation into the sitting President of the United States.

Figliuzzi says the FBI would never open such an investigation based purely on Trump’s behavior, that they would have other hard evidence, such as damning audio intercepts.