Today was an uneventful day . . . church, lunch, snuggling with the furbabes, short nap, snuggling with the furbabes, reading and preparing this post, snuggling with the furbabes, and so on. This coming week will be busy with various appointments/commitments as was last week, so relaxing was the order of the day. I hope you all did some relaxing too!
The Nation — The whole mess has also cost Planned Parenthood millions of dollars—so the organization claims in a major lawsuit filed Thursday against CMP and affiliated individuals. The 65-page complaint accuses the group of racketeering, fraud, and a variety of other charges. It seeks compensation for financial losses due to the videos and the public backlash, as well as other damages. Although Planned Parenthood has sued a handful of states that sought to revoke public funding in the wake of the videos, this is the first legal challenge the organization has made directly to the makers of the videos. Planned Parenthood waited months to file the suit because it was a “very complex conspiracy,” according to Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens, who spoke with reporters Thursday. “It really has taken some time to investigate the network of people who perpetrated this fraud and the multiple laws that they broke in the process.”
I for one am extremely happy that Planned Parenthood is taking this step. It should not be necessary, but extremists have made it so. As to the first amendment rights of CMP, surely those rights do not extend to the fabrication of erroneous claims!
Washington Post — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders would raise income taxes across the board — and by substantially more on high earners — to pay for an ambitious single-payer health-care plan, under details released Sunday night.
The senator from Vermont said the $1.38-trillion-a-year plan, which was outlined before a Democratic debate here, would ultimately save most families thousands of dollars a year on out-of-pocket health-care costs.
Sanders would pay for it largely through higher income taxes. Those making more than $250,000 a year would pay a marginal tax rate of 37 percent, up a few percentage points from what they now pay.
Sanders would add three more tax brackets, with marginal rates topping out at 52 percent for those making $10 million a year — significantly more than the current top rate of 39.6 percent.
Do I like the idea of universal health care? . . . absolutely! Assuming that Sanders' numbers are correct, go for it. However, I also know that the Congress as it stands, will never approve it. There has to be a wholesale political revolution that says 'No' to the party of 'No' before universal health care can rise.
Foreign Policy — It has been more than a decade since warring parties signed a deal to end Liberia’s bloody conflict. Fueled by the pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources — diamonds, gold, iron, and timber — the two civil wars that raged across 14 years left more than 250,000 people dead and displaced more than 1 million others. When the final peace deal was signedin 2003, however, the resources that had sustained the war for so long were not mentioned at all. The oversight, though common, has often proved disastrous for countries trying to break free from years of violence.
According to a new report by the international nonprofit Forest Trends, which analyzed more than 800 peace agreements signed since 1945, fewer than 15 percent mentioned natural resources. Even fewer take the necessary steps to prevent these resources from being used to sustain — or even restart — fighting. It is a glaring omission considering that the U.N. Environment Program estimates that at least 40 percent of conflicts have a link to natural resources. About half of all peace agreements fail within five years, often because the warring factions exploit resources in order to fuel the return to conflict.
As globalization drives growing markets for more commodities and a changing climate upsets existing patterns of resource use, the international community must take the governance of natural resources much more seriously — simply as a matter of peace and security. Restarting resource extraction post-conflict before rebuilding broken governments not only fails to deliver on promises of a revitalized national economy — often a primary goal in rebuilding war-torn countries — but also threatens the peace. And without the safeguards of governance, unregulated extraction risks returning countries to conflict by reviving the unsustainable and inequitable practices that fueled grievance in the first place.
What are most, if not all, wars about? . . . power . . . the acquiring of and maintaining of power. To do that requires money for manpower and materiel. And money is generated by exploiting natural resources. Natural resources must be acknowledged in the peace process.
My Universe —
Who needs Brauny papertowel when you have a toddler and 3 cats?