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Bob Costas CHALLENGES gun-rights supporters: 'Let's make a bet'

“Here’s what I would say to anybody who any time they hear the word guns automatically goes off, like, ‘Oh, they’re going to repeal the Second Amendment,’” he said. “Let’s make a bet, you and me. Let’s say over the next five years — we’ll do a Google search, we’ll have an independent party monitor it — you keep track of how many good and constructive things are associated with athletes having a gun, and I’ll keep track of all the tragedies and criminality and folly. And let’s see who comes out ahead or behind as the case may be. These things are directly connected.”

 
How To Be The Parent Your Child Always Wanted

How To Be The Parent Your Child Always Wanted

By Laura Markham, Ph.D.

What one thing could you do today to support yourself to be the parent you want to be?

Kids like to get their way. But there's something every child wants even more: Someone who loves you, no matter what. Someone who doesn't yell when you make mistakes. Who loves you even when you're mad or whining, who listens and empathizes ...even when you're wrong, even when you were so upset you were rude, even when you hit your sister. Someone who loves you enough to overcome their own upsets to help you through yours. Someone who holds a vision of you as your best self, even when you can't find that self.

 
Germs Rule the World

Germs Rule the World

 Thomas Goetz

Infections play a role many, many diseases—in ways scientists are just beginning to understand.

In the last decade, several diseases understood as strictly noninfectious have, in fact, been found to have significant infectious components. Several forms of cancer, gastrointenstinal diseases, autoimmune illnesses including diabetes, and even some categories of heart disease are all being reconsidered in light of new research. Together, this research amounts to nothing less than a new germ theory, one that could once again alter contemporary definitions of medicine.
 
How McCutcheon Could Come Back to Haunt the Republican Party

How McCutcheon Could Come Back to Haunt the Republican Party

Peter Beinart 

Just as liberal judges trapped 1970s Democrats in a "soft on crime" paradigm, conservatives on the Court will make it harder for the GOP to shake a reputation as the party of plutocrats.

When my kids were younger, I loved to roughhouse with them. For a while, we’d all have fun. But then I’d get tired and want to stop, only to realize, to my dismay, that they were just getting started. I’d created something I could no longer control.

Something similar sometimes happens with political parties and the Supreme Court. In the early decades of the 20th century, conservative Republican presidents appointed conservative Supreme Court justices who went on to strike down chunks of the New Deal. For Republicans, this turned out to be a problem. To adapt to a political environment transformed by the Great Depression, the GOP needed to stop rigidly opposing federal intervention in the economy. But the Supreme Court wouldn’t stop, and Franklin Roosevelt shrewdly used the justices as his political foil. Republicans had created something they could no longer control.

 
Jeffrey Toobin: Money Talks

PHOTOGRAPH: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY

Money Talks

by Jeffrey Toobin

For Chief Justice John Roberts, deregulating campaign contributions is the “whole point” of the First Amendment.

Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder’s official duties, does not give rise to such quid pro quo corruption. Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner “influence over or access to” elected officials or political parties. And because the Government’s interest in preventing the appearance of corruption is equally confined to the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, the Government may not seek to limit the appearance of mere influence or access. 

 
Can Obamacare Be Fixed? Part II

Can Obamacare Be Fixed? Part II

By John C. Goodman, Ph.D.

Four changes to the Affordable Care Act would greatly improve the healthcare choices we make.

The reason we have so many problems in health care is that almost everywhere we look, people face perverse incentives — patients, doctors, employers, employees, etc. When they respond to those incentives, they do things that make costs higher, quality lower, and access to care more difficult than otherwise would have been the case.

 
Welcome to the Modern Mediterranean Diet

Welcome to the Modern Mediterranean Diet

By Conner Middelmann-Whitney

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Modern Mediterranean Diet. What makes this way of eating so irresistible? Its deliciousness? The way it's simple to adopt and maintain? Its many scientifically proven health benefits? The fact that it's low-glycemic and gluten-free? This may just be the health fix you've been looking for.

 
NATO Military Chief Warns on Russian Forces

NATO Military Chief Warns on Russian Forces

By Naftali Bendavid 

The top military commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said that Russian forces could take large swaths of Ukraine in three to five days.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, also said in an interview that he will recommend a "reassurance package" to NATO representatives by April 15. The measures will be aimed at enhancing the alliance's response to Russia's newly aggressive approach.

 

Gen. Breedlove said the Russian force is in a high state of readiness and could move at any time. It could accomplish a major incursion into eastern or southern Ukraine, he said.

"We think that it is ready to go, and we think it could accomplish its objectives in between three and five days, if it was directed to make the actions," he said.

The Kremlin has said in recent days that it is pulling back troops from the border, but Gen. Breedlove said only a small force has shown movement. "We have zero indication that it is moving to the rear or returning to barracks," he added. "We cannot confirm in any way, shape or form that it is moving off the battlefield area."

 
Remote Cabin Enjoys World's Fastest Internet

Remote Cabin Enjoys World's Fastest Internet

 By Christina Zander

Svein Nordahl Has No Running Water, but Quick Access to the Web; More Polar Bears Than People

He has no running water and not one of Svalbard's 31 miles of roads stretches as far as Bjørndalen, the small community of scattered shacks where he has made his home. But the isolated outpost has been fitted with some of the highest quality Internet available, allowing Mr. Nordahl and his neighbors lightning-quick access to the World Wide Web.

"There's no safety net," Kåre Stensen, a Dane working at the local watering hole, the "Svalbar," said while serving coffee and wiping down tables. "You're on your own." A quarter of the people living here leave every year, making room for a fresh batch of adventurers unlikely to linger very long.

 64-year-old Mr. Nordahl spends hours luxuriating in a kingdom of iPads, PCs and a flight simulator connected to a 10-foot-long screen that lowers from the ceiling. His entire household being powered by diesel generator, his computers have 43 terabytes of capacity, or enough to store at least 60,000 full-length HD movies.

Mr. Nordahl lives in a 750-square-foot cabin built on the tip of a rock that juts out into a body of water known as Ice Fjord. When he got wind of plans by Telenor to bring fiber-optic broadband to every household in Longyearbyen, Svalbard's main hub of 2,000 people located 5 miles to the southwest, he began hatching a moonshot plan to get in on the action.

 
U.S. troubled by Iran U.N. nominee with hostage crisis ties

**FILE** In this Nov. 9, 1979, file photo, one of the hostages being held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran is displayed to the crowd, blindfolded and with his hands bound, outside the embassy. Fifty-two of the hostages endured 444 days of captivity.  (AP Photo/File)

U.S. troubled by Iran U.N. nominee with hostage crisis ties

By Ashish Kumar Sen - The Washington Times

Iran’s nomination of Hamid Aboutalebi would be “extremely troubling,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf. On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers, including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, have described Mr. Aboutalebi’s nomination as an insult to the U.S.

 
Court Rejects Donation Cap in U.S. Races

5-4 Ruling Expected to Increase the Role of Money in Politics

The Supreme Court’s decision did not disturb familiar base limits on contributions from individuals to candidates, but it said that overall limits for contributions to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment.

It did not affect familiar base limits on contributions from individuals to candidates, currently $2,600 per candidate in primary and general elections. But it said that overall limits of $48,600 by individuals every two years for contributions to all federal candidates violated the First Amendment, as did separate aggregate limits on contributions to political party committees, currently $74,600.

 
The Tyranny of Youth Sports

The Tyranny of Youth Sports

By Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP

In America we seem to do everything in a big way and on steroids. And when it comes to youth sports we go big or go home. My concern is that kids get overwhelmed, burned out, and just plain fried by the time they are 18 and entering college. And their youth gets robbed along the way too. Maybe we need to call for a time out.

 
Rip the Money From the NCAA

Rip the Money From the NCAA

By Robert Silverman

The indentured servitude of college sports must end. If the schools don’t want to pay their athletes, take the profits away from the schools.

It would be nice to think that players played and schools doled out uniforms based solely on their love of the game.

 
SparklyMorons

Some of these SparklyMorons cause blurred vision...

 
Fellow Musicians Still Crazy After All These Years About Paul Simon’s Music

Fellow Musicians Still Crazy After All These Years About Paul Simon’s Music

  • By Jim Fusilli

Last night at New York’s Carnegie Hall a multitude of musicians explored the lengthy, adventurous career of Paul Simon.

A fundraiser for New York City music-education programs, the concert featured Judy Collins, John Doe, Joe Henry – who performed with his son Levon and Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids – Angélique Kidjo, Bob Mould, Allen Toussaint and others, backed by Antibalas, an inspired choice for a house band.

 
U.S. Catholics take to border to pray Obama lets illegals stay

Cardinal Sean O'Malley blesses a family after Mass, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, along the international border wall in Nogales, Ariz. O'Malley was several Bishops who serve along the U.S./Mexico border were visiting the border town to bring awareness to immigration reform and to remember those who have died trying to cross the border in years past. (AP Photo/Matt York)

U.S. Catholics take to border to pray Obama lets illegals stay

By Cheryl K. Chumley - The Washington Times

Catholics led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston took their recent Mass to the Arizona-Mexico border to stage a transnational prayer event aimed at pressing President Obama to hold back on deportations and save lives.

 
Study Raises More Doubts About Mammograms

Study Raises More Doubts About Mammograms

A large study adds to the growing body of research concluding that screening mammograms save relatively few lives from breast cancer while finding many cancers that would not have caused problems if left alone.

Younger women had the least benefit, researchers found. They estimate that for every 10,000 women in their 40s who undergo annual mammograms for 10 years, 190 will be diagnosed with breast cancer. But only five of those women would avoid dying of breast cancer as a result of the screening. Of the remainder, about 25 would die despite being treated, and 36 would be treated unnecessarily because the cancer wouldn't have become life-threatening.

For women in their 50s, 10 breast-cancerdeaths would be averted for every 10,000 women screened annually for 10 years. For women in their 60s, 42 breast-cancer deaths would be averted. But as many as 137 women in their 50s, and 194 in their 60s would be diagnosed and treated unnecessarily.

 
How assault weapons are made legal

Assault Weapons

How assault weapons are made legal

The Safe Act was billed as the nation's toughest, but a simple modification makes the weapons legal to sell

As well as banning the sale of assault weapons in New York state, the Safe Act required all those who already own such a weapon to register them with the state by 15 April 2014. The law also introduced a stricter definition of assault weapon: a semi-automatic rifle that takes a detachable magazine and has one of 10 features, such as a "bayonet mount" and a "grenade launcher" but also a "protruding pistol grip".

But many gun shops in New York are offering to replace the grip on a banned weapon to make it compliant with the law. The modified gun still fires at the same rate and with the same power; the shooter just holds it slightly differently. These modified weapons do not have to be registered with the state.
 
With Earth’s Slip, Steelhead Drive Is Gone

Workers on Tuesday in Oso, Wash., combed through the debris field of the March 22 landslide, searching for at least 20 residents of a neighborhood where 49 homes were destroyed.

Michael Hanson for The New York Times

With Earth’s Slip, Steelhead Drive Is Gone

By KIRK JOHNSON, JACK HEALY and IAN LOVETT

“All the homes on Steelhead Drive are gone” 

Those eight words proved bleakly authoritative. Though there were victims from elsewhere in the narrow Stillaguamish River Valley among the 28 confirmed dead by the medical examiner and 20 others still missing, Steelhead Drive is the name that rolls out again and again, like the chorus of a dirge.

The Ruthvens and the Sattlerlees, the Spillers and the Halsteads — among many other families missing and now presumed dead by responders who continue to search the one-square-mile debris field where 49 homes were destroyed that day — did not just live on Steelhead Drive. They defined it with their lives.

Thom and Marcy Satterlee had been at home on Steelhead Drive with their granddaughter and her fiancé.

 
Can the U.S. Still Confront Autocrats?

Can the U.S. Still Confront Autocrats?

 David Rohde

On this question, "we are kind of confused as a country," a former ambassador says.

A quarter-century after the fall of the Soviet Union, authoritarian rulers such as Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad are showing they can and will defy international norms, suppress dissent, and use military force. American policymakers are struggling with how to respond.

"It's a big philosophical question about how to deal with a strong state with anti-Western and autocratic proclivities," said Michael McFaul, the most recent American ambassador to Moscow. "I would say on that score we are kind of confused as a country."

Citing the sweeping unpopularity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American officials have embraced economic sanctions as their primary means of pressuring foreign governments. In an interconnected, 21st-century global economy, President Barack Obama argues, economic sanctions are more powerful than ever. If Russia continues on its current course, Obama warned last week, "the isolation will deepen, sanctions will increase, and there will be more consequences for the Russian economy."

 
4 Ways to Avoid Risky Sex While Drinking

4 Ways to Avoid Risky Sex While Drinking

By Richard Taite

Predators keep an eye out for easy targets. When you're drinking, use these four simple tips to help you stay safe.

 
Obamacare Is as American as the Founding Fathers

Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act springs from a radical individualism that’s antithetical to why the nation was founded.

Put aside, for a second, the fact that Obamacare is essentially a system for strengthening individual access to private insurance options within the free market.  Even put aside, if you can, the fact that not only the Heritage Foundation but Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Mitt Romney, John McCain and a host of other Republicans embraced the individual mandate in the past.  Conservatives now say they object to the idea that, for the sake of improving health care access and outcomes for everyone and lowering costs as well, anyone should be compelled to purchase health insurance—let alone that such insurance should meet basic standards and include universal preventative care.  The government making people buy health insurance, or otherwise face a penalty, is an “unconstitutional violation of personal liberty and strikes at the heart of American federalism” 

 
What Does Kobe Bryant Stand For?

PHOTOGRAPH: LISA BLUMENFELD/GETTY

What Does Kobe Bryant Stand For?

by Ben McGrath

Bryant sparked controversy when he distanced himself from his teammates’ protests of the Trayvon Martin case. But he hasn’t bowed out of political debate.

“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and as a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, if we’ve progressed as a society, then you don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

 
Mexico admits soldiers drew guns on U.S. Border Patrol in January

Border fence

By Richard A. Serrano and Tracy Wilkinson

After issuing denials, Mexican officials admit that two Mexican soldiers were in a standoff with U.S. agents in Arizona.

Two heavily armed, camouflaged Mexican soldiers crossed 50 yards inside Arizona in January and drew their guns against U.S. Border Patrol agents who confronted them in a tense standoff, according to documents obtained by The Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.

U.S. officials said it was one of nearly two dozen border incursions by Mexican soldiers into southern Arizona in the last four years.

The Jan. 26 confrontation, described in a Border Patrol foreign military incursion report and confirmed in a separate letter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, ended when the Mexican soldiers retreated back over the border after U.S. agents — who also drew their weapons — summoned assistance. The soldiers, who misidentified themselves to border agents, claimed to be pursuing drug smugglers, documents show.

U.S. officials characterized the incident as one of the most serious incursions in recent years. Though gunfire was averted, the 35-minute confrontation underscored the continuing friction between the U.S. and Mexico when it comes to policing the often chaotic and violent Southwest border. It also raised questions among some U.S. officials about whether the Mexican soldiers were chasing drug smugglers, as they claimed, or protecting cartels as they used drug routes to Arizona.

 
How Much Should You Reveal in Your Relationships?

How Much Should You Reveal in Your Relationships?

By Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

It can be tricky negotiating the right amount to disclose about yourself with your relationship partners. If you reveal too much too early, you’ll seem a bit too eager, and if you always hold back, people will wonder what you’re hiding. Research on self-disclosure suggests some ways to find that happy balance.

 
If Women's Wages Are Rising, Why Are So Many Families Getting Poorer?

If Women's Wages Are Rising, Why Are So Many Families Getting Poorer?

 W. Bradford Wilcox

The answer is in the trend in men's wages over time.

What accounts for the paradox that women’s income is rising across the board yet family income is falling for the bottom 40 percent of families? Mainly, to paraphrase Hanna Rosin, the end of marriage and men in working-class and poor communities across the nation, coupled with the fact that maternal labor-force participation has plateaued since the 1990s. That is, a dramatic retreat from marriage, declines in men’s employment and income, and a leveling off of maternal labor-force participation have all combined to limit the income available to lower-income families, and to offset the increases in women’s income documented in this new report. 

 
U.S. Intel Committee Chiefs Blast Deal for Israeli Spy

top-box

U.S. Intel Committee Chiefs Blast Deal for Israeli Spy

The Obama administration’s proposed deal for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is facing a bipartisan backlash from Congress.

Both the Democratic and Republican heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee are staunchly opposed to a proposal floated by the Obama administration to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison as part of a deal for continued Israeli participation in ongoing Mideast peace talks.

 
The Dissing of the President

The Dissing of the President

 By Bret Stephens

The world is treating Obama like another failed American leader.

 "If your image is feebleness, it doesn't pay in the world," Moshe Ya'alon, Israel's defense minister, said last month at Tel Aviv University. "At some stage, the United States entered into negotiations with them [the Iranians], and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better."

The administration later demanded an apology from Mr. Ya'alon, which he dutifully delivered. But this isn't the first time he's dissed the administration. In January, he called Mr. Kerry"obsessive and messianic," adding that "the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us alone."

 
Obamacare ‘here to stay,’ president declares

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obamacare ‘here to stay,’ president declares

By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times

President Obama on Tuesday hailed the enrollment of more than 7 million people in insurance under his signature health law as “a big step forward” that will give Americans peace of mind and change the landscape of health care for years to come.

 
Doc's L.A. Story

Doc's L.A. Story

Paul Flannery

Trading a winter of discontent for West Coast revival

"He's a person, a human being, a father and an ex-player, all those things before he's a coach," said Ryan Hollins who has played for Rivers in Boston and here in Los Angeles. "He's a very good coach on top of that. He takes the little everyday things and approach it to a bigger picture that he sees. He might say, ‘I need you to set a better screen. I need you to get at this angle because in a game at a certain point I'm going to need you to set a screen and that's the difference between us winning and losing a game.' It seems like such a small concept, but it's a huge, huge thing.

 
NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans' calls and emails – Clapper

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence.

NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans' calls and emails – Clapper

Spencer Ackerman in Washington and James Ball in New York 

Director of national intelligence confirms for first time that NSA has used 'backdoor' in surveillance law to search for data related to 'US persons'

“There have been queries, using US person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-US persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States,” Clapper wrote in the letter, which has been obtained by the Guardian.

“These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.”

The legal authority to perform the searches, revealed in top-secret NSA documents provided to the Guardian by Edward Snowden, was denounced by Wyden as a “backdoor search loophole.”

Many of the NSA's most controversial programs collect information under the law affected by the so-called loophole. These include Prism, which allows the agency to collect data from Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and other tech companies, and the agency's Upstream program – a huge network of internet cable taps
 
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