Plastic sacks? They are going, going gone. More and more areas of the country are banning them. This is from NPR:
Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.
It was only about 40 years ago that plastic bags became standard at U.S. grocery stores. This also made them standard in sewers, landfills, rivers and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They clog drains and cause floods, litter landscapes and kill wildlife. The national movement to get rid of them is gaining steam — with more than 240 cities and counties passing laws that ban or tax them since 2007. New York recently became the second U.S. state to ban them. But these bans may be hurting the environment more than helping it.
University of Sydney economist Rebecca Taylor started studying bag regulations because it seemed as though every time she moved for a new job — from Washington, D.C., to California, to Australia — bag restrictions were implemented shortly after. "Yeah, these policies might be following me," she jokes. Taylor recently published a study of bag regulations in California. It's a classic tale of unintended consequences.
Before California banned plastic shopping bags statewide in late 2016, a wave of 139 Californian cities and countiesimplemented the policy themselves. Taylor and colleagues compared bag use in cities with bans to those without them. For six months, they spent weekends in grocery stores tallying the types of bags people carried out (she admits these weren't her wildest weekends). She also analyzed these stores' sales data.
Taylor found these bag bans did what they were supposed to do. People in the cities with the bans used fewer plastic bags, which led to about 40 million fewer pounds of plastic trash per year. But people who used to reuse their shopping bags for other purposes, like picking up dog poop or lining trash bins, still needed bags. "What I found was that sales of garbage bags actually skyrocketed after plastic grocery bags were banned," she says. This was particularly the case for small, 4-gallon bags, which saw a 120 percent increase in sales after bans went into effect.
Now in terms of states, only two states have banned them so far, as noted above: New York and California. Those states have state-wide bans. Many states have cities and counties that have banned the plastic bags but only New York and California have a state-wide ban. In Alabama, a state legislator is proposing a state-wide ban on banning plastic bags. And there is also Tennessee:
So some states are going for it and some are not. I use the cloth bags. And I see benefits. If I am getting two liter bottles of soda, cloth bags are much easier. I can get five bottles in there and carry it in one trip, with one hand.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Our thoughts are with the families of the three service members killed today in Afghanistan.
Three more lives lost in the endless wars.
That's the reality and reality scares a lot of people. The laughable Glenn Kessler at THE WASHINGTON POST is scared by these remarks by Beto O'Rourke:
“And then if we really mean it, if we really mean it, we will ensure that this country does not start yet another war before every peaceful, diplomatic, nonviolent alternative is explored and pursued. And those wars that we ask our fellow Americans, these service members to fight on our behalf, 17 years and counting in Afghanistan, 27 years and counting in Iraq, let’s bring these wars to a close and bring these service members back home to their families, to their communities and to their country.”
— Former congressman Beto O’Rourke (D) in El Paso on March 30, 2019
“Do we really want to fight wars forever? Twenty-seven years in Iraq, 18 years, almost, in Afghanistan and counting with no definition or strategy or end in sight. Trillions of dollars we are spending to fight and to rebuild countries that we’ve invaded.”
— O’Rourke in Ames, Iowa, on April 3
“Given what others are already sacrificing in this country, men and women who are deployed right now in wars that have gone for 17, 27 years in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
— O’Rourke in Storm Lake, Iowa, on April 5
Glenn sets out to destroy Beto because that's what Glenn does.
Liars keep wars going and there's no bigger liar in the world than Glenn Kessler. He disputes the timeline that Beto offers -- though he does note it's the same one the Air Force's vice chief of staff Gen Stephen W. Wilson has offered in Congressional testimony.
Little Glenn knows so much better than everyone, doesn't he?
Which is why his timeline includes -- oh, wait, it doesn't include the sanctions during the Clinton presidency that killed over a half million.
Mad Maddie Albright, taking a moment from feeding on the bones of the dead to declare that "the price is worth it."
It's a funny sort of timeline that fails to note the long, long war the US government has carried out on Iraq.
Of course, Glenn being the whore he is, he pretends that troops left in 2011.
Dropping back to the December 12, 2011 snapshot:
US House Rep Ron Paul: Well -- well I want to -- extend the tax cut, because if you don't, you raise the taxes. But I want to pay for it. And it's not that difficult. In my proposal, in my budget, I want to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from overseas. The trust fund is gone. But how are we gonna restore it? We have to quit the spending. We have to quit this being the policemen of the world. We don't need another war in Syria and another war in Iran. Just get rid of the embassy in Baghdad. We're pretending we're coming home from Baghdad. We built an embassy there that cost a billion dollars and we're putting 17,000 contractors in there and pretending our troops are coming home.
Yes, a lot of people want to pretend things are different than they actually are. It was an important point -- made by someone who truly was against the Iraq War. And one of the few functioning members of the press noted that on yesterday's Meet The Press (NBC).
Ted Koppel: The point is Ron Paul was almost right last night. You remember, and it was one of the overlooked points in the debate, he spoke of the 17,000, he spoke about civilian contractors who are still in Iraq. We do have 17,000 people still in Iraq. They're not all civilian contractors, but a great many of them are. You've got a consulate in Basra, a consulate in Erbil. The one in Basra is just less than 20 miles from the Iranian border; 1,320 Americans down there. They are rocketed two or three times a week. They are about as vulnerable as any Americans have been since 1979 at the embassy in Tehran. And if they were to be frontally attacked, and I'm suggesting that that's not unlikely at all, you're going to see the U.S. military come back in. Because, while the ambassador said, "No, no, no, we're going to rely on the Iraqis to do the job," there is no way that the U.S. military will wait for the Iraqis to save those Americans, and they're going to need saving.
Also on Meet The Press, they highlighted a small segment of an interview Ted did with US Ambassador James Jeffery as part of a report to air tonight on Rock Center (NBC):
MR. KOPPEL: I realize you can't go into it in any detail, but I would assume that there is a healthy CIA mission here. I would assume that JSOC may still be active in this country, the joint special operations. You've got FBI here. You've got DEA here. Can, can you give me sort of a, a menu of, of who all falls under your control?
AMB. JAMES JEFFREY: You're actually doing pretty well, were I authorized to talk about half of this stuff.
Yes, the CIA will still be there (and in a new subdivision in Turkey) and so will Special Ops. And this has been addressed. But there aren't a lot of grown ups in the press. When Ted left Nightline, it wasn't just that program that suffered, it was the quality of news.
Rock Center airs tonight at 10:00 pm. EST and Pacific, 9:00 pm Central. Rock Center's Tom Bettag notes of Ted Koppel's report tonight:
But is America really leaving? Many people have the impression that the U.S. presence -- and U.S. government spending -- is finally ending in Iraq. Koppel makes it clear that this is far from the truth.
He tells the story of some 16,000 people who will be left behind. Koppel and his team obtained extraordinary access to the U.S. embassy, the largest embassy in the world, with a footprint the size of Vatican City. He also traveled to the U.S. consulate in Basra, which faces regular rocket attacks from Iranian-funded militia.
For them, it isn't over; it's just about to begin.
So grown ups should tune in to Rock Center tonight on NBC.
It's a little late in the game for the self-declared fact checker Glenn Kessler to pretend that Ted Koppel and his reporting never existed. But liars lie.
Awhile back, Beto was a press darling. Less so today. What changed? He's speaking about real issues. This is the second wave of press attacks on him regarding Iraq. If Beto would be part of the war machine, the press would give him the sloppy, open mouthed kiss they do Joe Biden. While the press enthusiasm wanes, Beto is reaching voters. There's more enthusiasm for him than any other candidate besides Bernie Sanders to the groups we're speaking to. Will be heading to campuses in the south over the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see if he has support there as well. But he is very popular with college students and one of the reasons is because he talks seriously about issues like the never-ending wars.
Our infrastructure is crumbling. We need leadership that puts #PeopleBeforeProfits, to end regime change wars, the new Cold War and arms race, and keep the money in people’s pockets and/or rebuild our country’s bridges, airports, roads, sewer lines, etc.
US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard is correct that we can't pour all the money into these endless wars and still be able to take care of the infrastructure here at home. Tulsi is also running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
Tulsi has a following on campuses. It would be larger -- and will probably increase with the debates -- were some not so eager to smear her.
Hilarious. @JillFilipovic wrote a whole column about how young female candidates aren't taken seriously, whereas young male candidates like 37-year-old Mayor Pete get celebrated. She brings up Tulsi, but only to dismiss her. Tulsi is the same age as Pete
Jill's not really a feminist. She's a whore and a lot worse. I need to disclose, as I have noted many times before, that she asked Rebecca for links and promised them back but never delivered. That's a whore, that's a bitch, that's a liar. If I were Cher, I'd trot out the c-word. I have no respect for her. While people were protesting the Iraq War what was Jill doing? Oh, yeah, her elitist ass was on a beach posting bikini photos of herself. Oh, Jill, you're a woman, that doesn't make you a feminist. You've never addressed war and peace in any serious context. You're the ESQUIRE do-me feminism of the 90s, push-up bra supplied on demand.
She's not going to take Tulsi seriously because Tulsi stands for real issues and Jill stands for nothing. Post some more T&A photos, Jill! That's about what you can handle as you pose as a feminist.
If your scope of the suffering women endure does not include war, you're really not a feminist. In fact, I doubt you have a fully functioning brain. In any war zone, women and girls suffer even more.
She's a homely piece of trash who should have her jaw fixed before posing for attempted beauty shots. She's completing her in depth series on tipping. Yes, first world problems, that's all the fake ass can manage. War and peace? Her brain doesn't function on that level.
People say I'm a bitch -- I agree, by the way -- but I'm a bitch who has used her time online to focus on serious issues. I'm appalled frequently by the fact that so many other feminists online think doing a gossipy and glossy pop culture scope means they've done heavy lifting. They haven't.
(I'm also aware that a lot of serious feminist bloggers left the online world in 2008 due to the attacks on all of us who called out the sexism aimed at Hillary. I understand that was upsetting to many. It didn't bother me because I don't seek out support and love. On any set, I'm always more comfortable if the director hates my guts than if he or she likes me. I can do my work there -- or online -- just fine if I don't have to worry about the expectations of others. But a lot of women left because of the abuse and the threats of 2008. I miss many of them -- especially Delilah Boyd.)
A lot of women -- Jill and Samantha Bee, to name only two -- are working overtime to assist in the smearing of Tulsi. She just finished her latest National Guard rotation a few days ago -- I guess that's how Samantha, Jill and the others 'honor' those who serve?
Tulsi is real and that is what her supporters respond to. The smears have made some people hesitant to support her but that's fine, we're early in the process and efforts like those have a way of forming stronger bonds between the candidates and their supporters.
(It's called campaign politics -- poli sci, Jill, study it some time.)
Still waiting for the US press to cover the flooding in Iraq.
Iraq: Iraq: Floods - Mar 2019 - ngo-impact.com/2019/04/09/ira…
Press reports:The actions taken by the government in Iraq to hinder the flood in (Wasit) &(Missan)south of the country;are not practical especially after opening a gap west of the Tigris River on the pretext of absorbing the water;which will cause sinking of the villages there.
Let's wind down with this from the Center for Constitutional Rights, about the Abu Ghraib trial being suspended:
Judge Brinkema issued an order April 3 suspending our April 23 trial date; CACI is seeking an expedited appeal of the ruling that this for-profit contractor doesn't get "derivative sovereign immunity" for grave breaches of law.
The next step is an expedited briefing in April and May, before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals – the 5th time this case goes to appellate court. We have fought to keep this case alive over the last 11 years of litigation. Our clients deserve justice and redress.
Survivors deserve to have their stories heard and to see CACI held accountable for its role in torture and other human rights violations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Justice requires truth and accountability. We will continue to fight. Stay tuned.
Head to our case page for more information.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute pen joint submission to UN Special Repporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights, in partnership with the Human Rights in the U.S. Project of the Columbia Law School (HRI), sent a submission March 29 to Professor Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
The submission is in response to the Special Rapporteur's request for input regarding what is known as the "Recognition, Institutionalization, and Accountability Framework" (RIA Framework) for Economic and Social Rights, a framework that outlines three crucial ingredients for the protection of social and economic rights to be realized: recognition, institutionalization, and accountability.
In February, he asked for public input about what conditions and institutions have contributed to the success or stood in the way of the protection of economic and social rights for those living in poverty conditions.
Our submission touches on four points: (1) how the lack of legal recognition and institutionalization of economic and social rights marginalizes individuals living in poverty; (2) recent federal efforts to penalize and deny permanent immigration status to individuals who seek basic social protections (i.e., the proposed public charge rule, which we oppose); (3) some promising local initiatives as a result of grassroots organizing; and (4) suggested actions to improve recognition and protection of economic and social rights, even in the absence of constitutional and legal recognition of these fundamental rights.
The document can be read in full on our website.
Upcoming events: "The Women of Cancer Alley" Freedom Flicks screening and more
Reminder to visit our website to stay up to date about our upcoming events. This month we’re excited to invite you to join us for two events:
- April 18: "The Women of Cancer Alley" – a Freedom Flicks screening: a ground-breaking collection of short films produced by women who live among chemical plants, tank farms, and refineries in the area along the Mississippi River known as "Cancer Alley," in south Louisiana. Make sure to RSVP!
- April 12: Securing Basic Economic and Social Rights by Challenging the Criminalization of Poverty, Identity and Status where The Center for Constitutional Rights's very own Brittany Thomas will be speaking on a panel concerning laws and policies for the protection of human rights.
The following sites updated: