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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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R.Reich As awful as is the Trans Pacific Partnership, there’s something even worse on the horizon...

Robert Reich on FB

As awful as is the Trans Pacific Partnership, there’s something even worse on the horizon: It’s called the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) -- currently being negotiated in Geneva, Switzerland with 51 participants representing 70 percent of the world's trade in services. Even more secrecy surrounds TISA than TPP, but the parts that have been released by WikiLeaks show TISA would dramatically reduce how much governments can protect their own peoples’ health, safety, labor, and even the environment.

For example, governments wouldn’t be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, prevent banks from becoming too large, ban fracking, improve safety controls on airlines, refuse accreditation to schools and universities, or prevent the importation of genetically modified foods. And governments couldn’t restrict foreign investment – they’d have to allow global corporations to run public services such as communications, postal services, health care, even education. Giant banks and other global financial institutions would have the power to transfer client data out of a country regardless of national privacy laws or banking regulations. And global corporations would have the right to comment on any new proposed national regulations, and contest them in a dispute mechanism similar to the investor-state dispute settlement in the Trans Pacific Partnership – where the corporations can get compensated for any “expected future profits” lost through such regulations.

The fast-track authority already granted the Trans Pacific Partnership – moving through Congress without amendment – would apply to TISA as well, since fast track lasts six years. Which means TISA is already being teed up. Yet not one presidential candidate has been asked about or said anything about TISA. Europeans have been loudly demonstrating against this global corporate takeover of their democracies. We should be making a ruckus, too.
What do you think? If you're European, what's the view of TISA from there?


Any Bernie groups in Sussex?

For the future of solar, we’ve got the tech—it’s the economics, stupid

For the future of solar, we’ve got the tech—it’s the economics, stupid
California's push for renewables may provide a preview of our changing grid.

by John Timmer - Oct 28, 2015 8:00am EDT


This is an outstanding, easy to grasp overview of where we are in the transition of the global energy system away from carbon.

Highly recommended.

“We’ve restored learning and memory 100 per cent, to a level comparable with youth”

Old rat brains rejuvenated and new neurons grown by asthma drug

It’s as good as new. An asthma drug has rejuvenated rat brains, making old rats perform as well as young rats in tests of memory and cognition. The drug also encouraged the birth of new brain cells.

As we get older, most of us will experience some kind of brain degeneration. Typically, we lose the ability to make new neurons. Another problem is chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain, which is implicated in many age-related brain disorders.


A drug called montelukast (Singulair), regularly prescribed for asthma and allergic rhinitis, blocks these receptors, so Aigner and his colleagues tried it on young and old rats. The team used oral doses equivalent to those taken by people with asthma. The older animals were 20 months old – roughly equivalent to between 65 and 75 in human years. The younger rats were 4 months old – about 17 in human years. The animals were fed the drug daily for six weeks, while another set of young and old rats were left untreated. There were 20 young and 14 old rats in total.


By the end of their six-week drug regime, though, old animals performed as well as their younger companions. “We’ve restored learning and memory 100 per cent, to a level comparable with youth,” says Aigner. He presented his findings last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.

When the team studied the brains of the animals, they found that old rats that had been given montelukast had 80 per cent less inflammation. They also had an enhanced level of new neuron growth compared with untreated old rats – about 50 per cent of that seen in young rats, says Aigner.

The team also found that the blood-brain barrier – which stops infectious agents reaching the brain and which weakens in old age – was stronger in treated old rats. “Structurally, the brain had rejuvenated,” says Aigner.

First, the drug is know to be psychoactive and has suicide as a possible side effect. I thought that was an important warning to include in case anyone is wanting to experiment.

From my own experienceI believe times of intense learning can also trigger a lot of effects that are pretty strange. The dreams, in particular become very vivid and intense. No particular point to that item, t's just something I noticed when I found myself immersed for a prolonged period in a totally different culture.

Favorability Ratings Show Hillary Clinton Is Unelectable and Bernie Sanders Wins a General Election

Favorability Ratings Show Hillary Clinton Is Unelectable and Bernie Sanders Wins a General Election

Democrats must win swing states in 2016 to prevent Trump or another Republican from sitting in the Oval Office. Since voters in general elections normally won't vote for a candidate they don't like or at least find trustworthy, it's imperative that a Democratic nominee hold positive favorability ratings going into Election Day.

...Regarding swing states in 2016, Quinnipiac University's July and August Swing State Polls highlight that voters in Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania don't find Hillary Clinton to be trustworthy:


A total of 95 electoral votes among these states could be lost...


I pulled the insert with the numbers and tidied up the formatting to enhance clarity:

Colorado voters say
62% - 34% not honest and trustworthy;
52% - 46% has strong leadership qualities
57% - 39% does not care about their needs and problems

59% - 33% not honest and trustworthy,
52% - 43% is a strong leader
55% - 39% does not care about their needs and problems

55% - 39% is not honest and trustworthy
54% - 42% is a strong leader
50% - 45% does not care about their needs and problems

37% favorable - 55% unfavorable
64% - 32% not honest and trustworthy.

36% favorable 54% unfavorable rating
60% - 34% is not honest and trustworthy.

38% favorable - 55% unfavorable rating
63% - 32% is not honest and trustworthy.

WTF is wrong with Americans?

"Feel the Bern"

Breaking! First Pictures of UK's Hinkley C Nuclear Power Station

Why October 21 will become known as International Embarrassment Day

Dear Hillary Supporters

I'm supporting Bernie, but I would like to acknowledge that Hillary's record as a social progressive is very good in relation to the continuum of political persons on the national stage.

But that isn't the only metric for being a liberal.

Can you make the case for Hillary as an Economic Leftist?

The 1% has worked diligently through their right wing minions for more than 50 years trying to divide the 'lower classes' with crowbars fashioned from various social agenda - race, abortion, religion to name the most effective.

They didn't do this because they actually support racism, forced parenting or "America is a Christian Nation"; they did it because they wanted to divert energy from opposition to their policies on the economic front.

Hitting the limits of their power grab within the Republican party only got them part of the way toward putting the nation on an economic policy path securely under their total domination.

Enter the 3rd Way. In my opinion, Hillary is a poster child for this Democratic party face of the 1%'s divide and conquer strategy.

Can you provide evidence that this view the situation, held by most Bernie supporters, is false?

PS: My interest in politics was rather lethargic until I saw Bill's impeachment trial and the Republican behavior towards the Clinton's generally. I'd never felt such disgust towards any public figure as I did the Republican's pressing the impeachment hearings. I have long liked and sympathized with the Clintons.

Volkswagen announce 500 km AWD Electric Phaeton Tesla clone

Volkswagen announce 500 km AWD Electric Phaeton Tesla clone
OCTOBER 13, 2015

In the wake of the ongoing diesel-emissions scandal, Volkswagen has announced that an all-electric Volkswagen Phaeton sedan is in the product pipeline.

"The Volkswagen Phaeton has embodied the brand's technological competence and brand ambition from the first generation onward," Volkswagen AG said in a statement. "The future generation of the Phaeton will once again be the flagship for the brand's profile over the next decade."

The Phaeton EV will lead a new VW product portfolio that features "plug-in hybrids with an even greater range, high-volume electric vehicles with a radius of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), a 48-volt power supply system (mild hybrids) as well as ever more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG concepts," VW said.

VW talking up its zero emissions technology is no surprise, with the Porsche Mission E and Audi E-tron Quattro proving the requisite technology is being developed within the group.

Wolfsburg insiders with knowledge of Volkswagen's future model plans suggest it will share its platform architecture, electric drive system and battery technology with the upcoming Audi Q6 etron ...

More detail at http://www.electric-vehiclenews.com/2015/10/in-wake-of-ongoing-diesel-emissions.html

Energy Policy 2016: Democratic Candidates Differ On Energy Priorities

Energy Policy 2016: Democratic Candidates Differ On Energy Priorities
by R. Kress | October 14, 2015

The first Democratic debate for the 2016 presidential campaign revealed two things. First, for many of the Democrats, energy is one of their top policy priorities for this campaign season. Second, while Republican candidates have generally walked the same line on policy positions, the Democratic candidates have substantial differences in their views for how to address the country’s energy challenges.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the first to address energy issues. Among his top policy priorities came an adamant plea to change the nation’s energy future: “We have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and our grandchildren.”

In this moment, Sanders’ remarks set the tone for many of his arguments throughout the night, as he advocated for radical changes in energy on moral grounds.

The only other candidate to discuss energy policy in her introductory remarks was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, in contrast to Sanders’ moral argument, Clinton approached her energy plan from a perspective of how to leverage clean technology and innovation to create jobs: “I’ve put forward specific plans about how we’re going to create more good-paying jobs: By investing in infrastructure and clean energy, by making it possible once again to invest in science and research, and taking the opportunity posed by climate change to grow our economy.”

From this standpoint, Clinton laid out an energy policy that views crisis as opportunity in dealing with pressing issues such as the labor market and economic growth.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley...
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