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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 8, 2010

BREVITAS

POLITICS

Thirty-five percent of Greens running for public office - 50 out of 144 - won election in 2009

Alex Kppelman, Salon - There's been a fair amount of talk recently about disaffection in President Obama's liberal base. . . For now, though, it doesn't seem like those critics have had much effect on the opinion of most liberal Democrats. In an article for the National Journal, Pollster.com's Mark Blumenthal makes a convincing case based on polling that there's not really any evidence of a larger backlash against Obama: "While Obama's [Gallup approval] rating has declined across the political spectrum, nearly nine out of 10 liberal Democrats -- an average of 87 percent in December -- approve of the job Obama is doing as president. . . Among liberal Democrats, the ABC/Post poll found a decline in strong approval from 78 percent in the first three months of the Obama presidency to 69 percent over the last three. A decline, to be sure, but at least two-thirds of liberal Democrats still say they strongly approve of the job Obama is doing as president.

JUSTICE

Radley Balko, Reason - Washington, D.C. is suing AT&T because some customers who buy its prepaid calling cards don't always use up all the minutes. The city isn't suing on behalf of the customers, of course (though even that would be sort of silly). It's suing on the notion that when a customer doesn't use up all of a product or service they purchase, the remainder belongs to the government. So they want the company to pay what the minutes are worth to the D.C. government, where they might be better used on, oh I don't know, maybe to pay overtime for Mayor Adrian Fenty's mountain bike detail. Next up, D.C. sues Burger King for stray fries that go uneaten after falling to the bottom of the drive-thru bag.

HEALTH

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine are asking for a 23% increase in fees for individual health insurance plans. The filing follows a 11 percent fee increase still awaiting a judge's ruling. 11,000 Maine residents would be affected.

ENERGY

Julia Whitty, Mother Jones - Despite the passage of 23 years, normalcy is not returning to Chernobyl nearly as fast as predicted, according to Wired Science. Specifically, the cesium 137 in Chernobyl's soils isn't decaying as fast as its 30-year half-life. Or as fast as we once thought it might based on theoretically accelerated dispersal rates in the wild. The ecological half-life of strontium is proving shorter than its physical half-life, with natural dispersion diluting the radioactive material faster. But not so for cesium. Nastiest of all, no one knows why. And so the idea that Ukraine could repopulate the Chernobyl dead zone in "only" 180 to 320 years is proving pure fantasy. . . . Nuclear power a solution? Nuclear power needs a solution.

INDICATORS

Zogby - Nearly half of Americans (47%) say their financial situation is worse now than it was a year ago, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. Just 19% say their personal finances are better off now than they were a year ago and 33% say their finances are about the same.

LINK CORRECTION

MILDER SWINE FLU THAN PREDICTED RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WARNINGS


2 Comments:

Blogger Lars said...

Liberal democrats? It's hard for polling numbers to change in a fictional population.

January 8, 2010 10:08 PM  
Anonymous webster's new dictionary said...

Liberal democrat: one who is willing to sell out his friends, his family, his neighbors, and his country in the hope the neocons will eat him last.

January 9, 2010 9:19 AM  

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