ron spell

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Science can help you beat writer’s block

Lots of people want to write—but many find the process of actually getting words on the page to be pure torture. As an author, journalism professor and therapist who specializes in working with writers, I can attest to the fact that it’s perfectly normal to struggle with writing. However, there’s a …

Creative Writing

GOP Form Letter to Victims of Mass Shootings

Dear Distraught Citizens of [blank],<p>I was deeply saddened to learn of the mass shooting in your fine community. I want you to know that the victims, their families, the brave first responders and, indeed, your entire community are in my thoughts and prayers after this senseless shooting at your …

Does Anyone Really Believe We Can Trust Anyone in GOP Field With Our National Security?

Imagine a world in which an egotistical bloviator like Donald Trump had his hand on the nuclear trigger.<p>The Paris terrorist tragedy has once again put into sharp relief the fact that our president is also the Commander-in-Chief.<p>Let's take a quick tour of the GOP field and try to visualize which of …

The House Committee on Science and Intimidation

It is perhaps no surprise that, with a month to go before the start of the international conference in Paris to control carbon emissions, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has issued a subpoena to Tom Karl, Head of the National Centers for Environmental Information.<p>In this, they …

Conservative Certitude Is Frightening!

Conservatives are certain of everything from man-made global warming being a hoax or just being explained by natural climate fluctuations to Benghazi being an issue critical to our national security interests to the assumption that George W. Bush kept us safe. And, oh yes, Obamacare was replete …

Political Science

Why I Still Think Fiorina Was a Terrible CEO

She can diss me all she wants on live TV, but personal attacks won’t take her from colossal business failure to leader of the free world.<p>As a professor, hearing my name once, let alone twice, before 25 million TV viewers in an historic U.S. presidential debate is a surreal experience. “The head of …

Government

Obama Administration Rails Against GOP Bill To Deregulate Wall Street

Obama's budget director plants a flag against bank-friendly funding plan.<p>WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Wednesday came out swinging against a bill that would hold funding for bank regulators hostage by tying it to the rollback of key financial rules and consumer protections. <b></b><p>What's left …

Obama Administration

President Obama links public health and climate change

<b>(CNN) —</b> Debates on climate change can break down fairly fast. There are those who believe that mankind's activities are changing the planet's climate, and those who don't.<p>But a new way to talk about climate change is emerging, which shifts focus from impersonal discussions about greenhouse gas …

Public Health

Phil Robertson’s barbaric faith: “Duck Dynasty” star and Fox News’ Sean Hannity turn drivel into God’s word

The Fox News host keeps turning to the “Swamp Sage” for wisdom. No one comes out of this looking good<p>Sean Hannity, I’m almost embarrassed to admit, is not all bad. Just after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, he conducted an honest, hard-hitting (merciless even) interrogation of Amjem Choudary, …

This Ballot Measure Would Make ‘Sodomy’ Punishable by Death. California’s Attorney General Might Not Be Able to Keep It Off the Ballot.

There’s an initiative in the works in California that would impose the death penalty for homosexual acts — and the state’s attorney general might not be able to keep it off the ballot.<p>An activist waves a rainbow flag (Photo: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images)<p>The “Sodomite Suppression Act,” proposed …

Racism’s sinister word games: What a white-supremacist talking point tells us about modern politics

How a neo-Confederate’s bizarre self-justification helps explain the remarkable persistence of American racism<p>In a striking recent video interview, a Guardian reporter presses Pat Godwin, president of Selma, Alabama’s United Daughters of the Confederacy, on the question of whether viewers are right …

GOP’s “black magic” budget: Using voodoo to conjure trillions in savings

Senate Republicans plan to balance the budget and save Medicare with sleight of hand and sorcery<p>The Republican-controlled Congress’ budget extravaganza continued this week as the Senate GOP released their FY2016 budgetary framework. It differs significantly from the House Republicans’ budget …

Help NASA discover new asteroids with this free app

You can now help NASA find new asteroids. At South by Southwest today, the space agency released its asteroid tracker desktop software, produced in conjunction with asteroid mining company Planetary Resources in an online competition. The software, which will run on any standard Mac or PC, will …

On immigration policy, the GOP is out of touch with the rest of America

CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS are so busy this week flirting with a partial government shutdown — their target is the Department of Homeland Security and its 240,000 employees — that they may have missed fresh evidence of how badly out of step with the American public they are on the issue of illegal …

Immigration

Jeb Bush to meet with anti-gay activist who thinks LGBT rights could lead to a new Holocaust

GOP presidential contender set to meet with anti-LGBT extremist Tony Perkins tomorrow<p>That Jeb Bush is the putative "moderate" in the Republican Party's 2016 presidential field says far more about the ever-rightward movement of the contemporary GOP than it does about Bush's ideological proclivities. …

How Bill O’Reilly lashed out at detractors while pretending to take the high road

As allegations mount, Fox News has gone silent—but that didn’t stop O’Reilly from sneakily having his say<p>On Wednesday evening's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," Bill O'Reilly refrained from commenting on recent accusations that he fabricated stories about his early days as a reporter. Or, at …

LIVE FROM CPAC: Ben Carson unveils earth-shattering plan to defeat ISIS

The huge right-wing confab is just underway — and already they’ve solved the world’s most intractable problems<p>Your trusty Salon reporter is boots-on-the-ground this morning in National Harbor, Maryland, for the first day of the Conservative political action conference. Yes, he is already …

The Inside Story Of How Citizens United Has Changed Washington Lawmaking

<i>Lobbyists and trade groups have pumped huge sums into the coffers of super PACs and nonprofits connected to Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ever since the Citizens United decision. (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)</i><p>When Supreme …

With Shutdown Looming, Boehner and McConnell Aren't on the Same Page

House Speaker John Boehner told a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Wednesday that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hadn’t …

Mitch McConnell

Why the right hates American history

Thomas Jefferson knew that education is vital to a functioning Democratic Republic. Conservatives have other ideas<p>Sure, the war on education helps Republican lawmakers destroy unions and slash government spending, but it's our history of progressive change that makes Conservatives hate accurate …

The right’s fear of education: What I learned as a (former) conservative military man

Why are Republicans constantly bashing college these days? I was one of them — and the answer may surprise you<p>My first college experience was failing half my classes at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1992. The highlight was getting a “D” in English 101. Like many small town kids, I was …