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From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?

<b>The clouds of a thunderstorm roll over neighborhoods heavily damaged in a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, May 23, 2013. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)</b><p>The potent combination of our powerful intelligence with our massive reality denial has led to a dangerous world<p>Ajit Varki • Danny Brower<p>May 25, 2013 8:30pm …

New light cast on dark matter

Following the discovery of the Higgs boson, perhaps the most pressing problem in particle physics is to determine the nature of dark matter. The …

Will Obamacare Reduce the Crazy Variation in Hospital Prices?

If you have been paying attention to US healthcare policy debates lately, you know that hospitals have a price problem. Walk across the street from one hospital to a competitor hospital, and you could easily find yourself facing a $30,000 increase in your medical bills. At one extreme for instance …

South Korea's Not-Really-Iron Lady

What should Park Geun Hye do about the North?<p>It wasn't supposed to be this way.<p>During her ultimately victorious presidential campaign last year, South Korea's new conservative president, Park Geun Hye, rarely touched on foreign policy. (Though it's a fair question as to whether North Korea really …

King No More: The Tragic Plight of Lions in Africa

Lions are becoming a threatened species. Trophy hunters and the loss of savannah grasslands have drastically reduced the number of prides. Scientists …

Spinning Benghazi

It’s a cliché, of course, but it really is true: in Washington, every scandal has a crime and a coverup. The ongoing debate about the attack on the United States facility in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, and the Obama Administration’s response to it, is no exception. For a long time, …

How The NRA Won The Gun Control Messaging Battle

They are his constituents and many were present in the chamber.<p>He's young - the youngest sitting senator, actually - and an early Obama supporter, given to occasional bouts of (understandably) overwrought emotional rhetoric.<p>During his very first floor speech as a senator last week, which itself …

Guns

The Senate shame campaign

<i>From my report tonight on the media and Manchin-Toomey:</i><p>If you thought President Obama was outraged after the Senate killed the plan to expand background checks on guns, you should have seen some members of the press.<p>Even by the standards of today’s partisan media environment, the response has been …

SimCity’s Evil Twin

The Museum of Modern Art’s inclusion of fourteen video games in their new “Applied Design” exhibition is a worthy, forward-thinking gesture, but as an exhibit it doesn’t quite work. To make any sense at all, games need to be not just played but played seriously, with a sweaty, childish abandon …

Budget Games: Is Obama Playing Chess or Checkers?

According to Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser at the White House, President Obama has three rules for his staff: no drama; be disciplined; play chess not checkers. But if that’s the case, how can we explain the President’s new budget proposal, which has riled up his liberal base and gained him …

How Jon Stewart Blew Up in China

Jon Stewart has decided, as he put it this week, that he might be working the wrong continent. In a segment called “Big Ratings in Giant China,” Stewart expounded on his recent discovery that he is racking up millions of hits, and thousands of favorable comments, from Chinese viewers, who see the …

Why Don't We Eliminate Farm Subsidies?

The R Street Institute's Eli Lehrer with a guest post on the reasons we should end farm subsidies<p>The 2014 White House budget includes some real cuts …

Israel's Perpetual State Of Emergency

This week, the Knesset renewed its Emergency Defense Regulations yet again. Who benefits when Israel is portrayed as a country in a perpetual state …

What Intolerant Buddhist Monks Are Doing to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka insists that all its inhabitants are equal citizens of the state. The government does not discriminate.<p>Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of …

The Gun Lobby’s Dumbest Argument

Do we expect that anti-pollution laws will end all pollution? Of course not. And neither, argues Michael Tomasky, should we expect that gun laws will …

Confident Hosni Mubarak Appears in Court

A confident Hosni Mubarak showed up for his retrial in Cairo. Too bad it was cut short.<p>When Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s one-time autocrat, reappeared …

In NASA's Budget: Plans To 'Shrink-Wrap' An Asteroid

When President Obama released his 2014 budget for the federal government on Wednesday, much of it was spreadsheets and tables. But one corner of NASA's budget looked like something out of a movie script.<p>The space agency is planning to capture a small asteroid, drag it to the moon and put it in …

How Portugal Became A Horrific Economic Mess

According to Nomura's Alastair Newton, this amounts to 20 percent of Portugal's austerity plan. This austerity was part of a bailout deal the country agreed to two years ago.<p><b>Click here to jump straight to the presentation ></b><p>Portugal, which has been undertaking comprehensive labor market reform, is …

Ministry of Finance

Donald Trump Says Checks He Signed On Payments For His Clothing Line Were A Mistake

ALM has alleged that it arranged a deal between Trump and apparel giant PVH, formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen, earning a 22.5 percent commission on royalties to start with and later a 10 percent commission on royalties received from the sale of shirts and neck ties. But Trump improperly …

Donald Trump

5 Things U.S. Must Do To Win At Fracking

The United States can use fracking as a bridge to a cleaner future, or it can damage land, pollute water, and spew even more greenhouse gases, an energy advisor to two presidents said at the University of Chicago Thursday night.<p>“I think as a rule it’s far more expensive to do something stupid and …

The Liberal Case for Entitlement Reform

As expected, the President proposed modest cuts in Social Security benefits in the Budget released today. Liberals were incensed. When the proposal was first leaked, Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee expressed the left wing’s angst, and a threat:<p>‘You can’t call yourself …

The Supreme Court Nominee-in-Waiting

The next Supreme Court confirmation hearing begins on Wednesday afternoon, April 10th. Technically, Sri Srinivasan is just a candidate for the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but few are misled. The stakes in this nomination are clear: if Srinivasan passes this test and wins …

Inside the cult of Kim

IT IS hard to talk about normality in North Korea. But as its leaders each day cranked up the threats of merciless all-out war with America and South …

Interest on government student loans set to double this summer

The interest rate on new government-subsidized Stafford loans is set to double on July 1 – to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent – unless Congress acts to stop it. And there’s no guarantee it will.<p>In his budget plan released on Wednesday, President Obama proposed having the interest rates on new Stafford …

Saturday mail service saved for now, USPS says

The United States Postal Service said Wednesday that it would delay its plan to cease delivery of first-class mail on Saturdays, rescuing for now a service that it says is costly but that many Americans rely on.<p>The USPS said in a statement that restrictive language in Congress' continuing …

Health Care

How Barack Obama Plans To Cut Social Security Spending By $130 Billion

President Obama released the White House budget today, and the official document gives a much better picture about what his cuts to Social Security would look like in more depth.<p>The White House plan — as a concession to House Republicans — included a shift in the way the government calculates …

The Economic Case For and Against Thatcherism

As I hope I made clear in my post on Monday, I’m willing to give the old devil her due. But let’s not get carried away. “Margaret Thatcher had more impact on the world than any woman ruler since Catherine the Great of Russia,” Paul Johnson wrote in the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>. In the <i>Times</i>, David Brooks, …

Believe It Or Not, The New Congress Is Actually Getting Things Done

On nearly every major legislative initiative, at least some bipartisan activity is under way, even if it isn't yielding everything its sponsors would like. From strengthening controls on firearms to immigration reform to renewed stirrings of a "grand bargain" on taxes and entitlement programs, …

Republicans

Should the Spanish king abdicate too?

IN 1496 a Spanish <i>infanta</i>, Princess Juana of Castile, sailed with 15,000 men to the Habsburg Netherlands to marry Philip the Handsome, its ruler. …

Team Obama to Banks: Issue Home Loans to Riskier Borrowers

The housing bust proved that the federal government isn't particularly good at anticipating how many people will default.<p>Reuters<p>But the notion that the federal government is a good judge of who can be given home loans without undue risk of widespread default has been rather spectacularly disproved …