Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn has unveiled plans for a net neutrality law she professes will "protect the open internet," but is far more likely to do the exact opposite. We just got done noting how ISPs like Comcast have begun pushing hard for net neutrality legislation. Why? Comcast knows the FCC's recent repeal of net neutrality rests on shaky legal ground thanks to the numerous instances of fraud and bizarre FCC behavior during the proceeding.
The FCC will also struggle to prove the broadband market changed so substantially in just two years to warrant such an unpopular reversal, which could nullify the repeal as "arbitrary and capricious" under the Administrative Procedure Act. read more
It was the kind of sitdown that China had long resisted: Top US officials telling Chinese counterparts how American troops would enter North Korea if the hermit regime collapsed. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent revelation that such a discussion took place would -- if true -- suggest a major shift in Chinese policy as Beijing comes under pressure to rein in its Korean War ally. For years Beijing had refused US entreaties to discuss the possible collapse of its neighbor, but top US and Chinese military officials have finally met to discuss the once-taboo topic, Tillerson said last week. Some stark topics were broached, Tillerson said: Refugees flooding across the Chinese-North Korean border, US troops entering the hermit country -- and leaving again once they had prevented nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
President Donald Trump is trying out a new campaign slogan: "How's your 401(k) doing?" The answer for more than half of Americans is that they don't have one. Trump has tested out the line this month at a fundraiser, a campaign rally and in a White House meeting, predicting that the rising U.S. stock market will help him win re-election. But only about 45 percent of private-sector workers participate in any employer-sponsored retirement plan, and the lower-income workers in Trump's political base are the least likely to hold money in such an account, according to the Government Accountability Office. read more
In the three and a half years since news broke of a major scandal at the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the public has heard a depressing story of dysfunction, pettiness, and malfeasance at the heart of the VA health system.
Employees manipulated their computer scheduling system to make it look like veterans were being served in a timely fashion, for which the staff was then able to collect bonuses. Veterans, meanwhile, waited months and years without being able to see a doctor. Some died as a result.
But the sting of that scandal was only one of many. There were plenty more to come from the vipers' nest that was the VA. Benefit applications from troops returning from war were being hoarded and unprocessed, whistleblowers faced retaliation, staff stole money, and others committed felonies and kept their jobs. read more
Sea-level rise is one of the more challenging effects of climate change to project. It's not that the direction of the change is unclear -- sea level will rise as the planet warms -- but it's extraordinarily difficult to know when which sections of which glaciers will slide into the sea. Many factors are involved besides temperatures, including ocean currents and the topography of the bedrock below ice sheets.
As a result, the projections of sea-level rise presented to entities like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been heavily caveated and have changed significantly over time. The 2013 IPCC report, for example, projected considerably higher sea-level rise than the 2007 report, which explained that it was leaving out important ice-sheet processes that needed more research. And the recent 2017 US National Climate Assessment again increased projections of sea-level rise based on the current state of the science. read more