Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th


The FCC wants to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies control over what we see and do online.

If they get their way, they’ll allow widespread throttling, blocking, censorship, and extra fees.

Source: Join the Day of Action for Net Neutrality on July 12th

Feeling That Trump Will ‘Say Anything,’ Europe Is Less Restrained, Too | The New York Times

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The Europeans have stopped trying to paper over their differences with President Trump and the United States.

.. here at the Group of 20 summit meeting, public splits with Mr. Trump were the order of the day.

Those rifts have been reflected in European domestic politics, too, from Britain and France to Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Europe must “take our fate into our own hands” and stop “glossing over” clear differences.

Source: Feeling That Trump Will ‘Say Anything,’ Europe Is Less Restrained, Too – The New York Times

Big financial woes linger in Illinois’ new budget | Reuters


To address the state’s nearly $15 billion in unpaid bills, Illinois depends heavily on borrowing. Lawmakers approved $6 billion of 12-year bonds to raise money for repayments.

But State Representative Greg Harris, the House Democrats’ point person on the budget, has acknowledged there is only enough revenue to support half of that borrowing amount.

Illinois will also borrow up to $1.2 billion from various state accounts that have accumulated cash for specific purposes, while “sweeping” cash from other accounts –a government version of looking under couch cushions that is expected to yield $300 million.

Source: Big financial woes linger in Illinois’ new budget | Reuters

Jawbone’s demise a case of ‘death by overfunding’ in Silicon Valley | Reuters


Top-tier venture capital firms Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and then a sovereign wealth fund, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Jawbone, lifting its valuation to $3.2 billion in 2014.

Ultimately, all that money couldn’t save San Francisco-based Jawbone, which began liquidating proceedings in June after its fitness-tracker product failed to take off. It now ranks as the second largest failure among venture-backed companies, based on total funding raised, according to the research firm CB Insights.

Source: Jawbone’s demise a case of ‘death by overfunding’ in Silicon Valley | Reuters

Here’s Why Most Most of the Meat Americans Eat Is Banned in Other Industrialized Countries


.. antibiotics are the least of the unlabeled drugs and chemicals lurking in meat.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. chickens continue to be fed with inorganic arsenic to produce quicker weight gain with less food (the same reason antibiotics are given) despite some public outcry a few years ago.

Arsenic is also given to turkeys, hogs and chickens for enhanced color. Such use “contribute[s] to arsenic exposure in the U.S. population,” says according to research in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The appealing pink color of farmed salmon is also achieved with the chemicals astaxanthin and canthaxanthin.

In the wild, salmon eat crustaceans and algae which make them pink; on farms they are an unappetizing and unmarketable gray.

Source: Here’s Why Most Most of the Meat Americans Eat Is Banned in Other Industrialized Countries

Watchdog groups fear for ethics office after resignation | TheHill


Shaub’s five-year term was set to end in January 2018, but he said Thursday that he would be leaving the agency on July 19 to join the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that specializes in political and election law issues.

“His resignation places the integrity of the OGE in doubt. President Donald Trump now has the opportunity to select the next head of the ethics agency,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen.

Source: Watchdog groups fear for ethics office after resignation | TheHill

Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission: A Malicious, Bumbling Unicorn Hunt | US News


Leave it to Team Trump to unite officials from California to Mississippi in common cause. But the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, is such an obvious artifact of toxic Trumpian rubbish that it can have that effect.

Actually the panel, which the president announced May, is so very Trump: a noxious mix of the bumbling dysfunction and malicious partisanship that marks this administration. And that, ironically, might be what saves us from real harm from this malignant farce.

Source: Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission: A Malicious, Bumbling Unicorn Hunt | The Report: Opinion | US News

Why Can’t Congress Figure Out Health Care Reform? | US News


Health care includes myriad players and often competing interest groups, including hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, state governments, drug manufacturers, medical technology developers and, of course, patients. And there are divisions within those groups – rural vs. urban hospitals, for example, and states with his opioid addiction problems vs. states with high poverty or older residents – that can force groups to battle for coverage support.

“Fundamentally, it’s because there’s so much money on the table. And there’s so much money in so many pockets of our health care system,” says John McDonough, a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an instrumental player in the passage of both Massachusetts’ universal health care plan and the ACA.

Source: Why Can’t Congress Figure Out Health Care Reform? | The Report | US News

The Psychology of Eye Contact, Digested | Research Digest


When it comes to deciding whether we trust another person, it turns out that it’s not only a question of how much eye contact they make, but also what we see in their eyes.

Remarkably, it seems that we pay attention at a subconscious level to the behavior of their pupils, and if they dilate – a sign of attraction and emotional arousal – we judge them to be more trustworthy, whereas if they constrict – a sign of fear or feeling threatened – then we judge them less trustworthy.

Also, when we trust a partner with dilating pupils, our own pupils tend to mimic theirs and show similar dilation.

Source: The Psychology of Eye Contact, Digested – Research Digest

Politicians – when you dodge the question, it makes you look dodgy | Research Digest


The results seem to suggest that observing a politician dodge a question influences our attitude about their trustworthiness.

But it’s also possible that our existing attitude affects whether we observe the dodge in the first place – perhaps we’re less likely to spot dodges made by people we trust.

This study design can’t answer this for certain, but Clementson conducted some further statistical analysis and based on this he thinks there’s some causality in both directions. If so, it’s all the more reason for us to pay attention to the facts of the matter, and not mere appearances: detect, or get dodged on.

Source: Politicians – when you dodge the question, it makes you look dodgy – Research Digest