Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services?
"Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 20, 2012 -
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee.
Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 25, 2012 -
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 17, 2012 -
In 1991, Troy Davis
was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of policeman Mark MacPhail in a Savannah, Georgia parking lot. Since then, seven of the nine prosecution eyewitnesses have recanted
all or part of their testimony, with some citing pressure from the police to make false statements. An exception is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who made the initial report of Davis’s guilt, and is regarded by the defense as the chief suspect. New witnesses have sworn affidavits that Coles confessed the crime to them. An array
of figures have called for a stay of execution, including death-penalty supporters Senator Bob Barr and former FBI director William S. Sessions. Today
, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles
denied clemency; barring action
from the District Attorney, Davis is set to be executed
by lethal injection tomorrow at 7pm. [Previously
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on Sep 20, 2011 -
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive
A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 28, 2011 -
Fareed Zakaria: Are America's Best Days Behind Us?
- "We have an Electoral College that no one understands and a Senate that doesn't work, with rules and traditions that allow a single Senator to obstruct democracy without even explaining why. We have a crazy-quilt patchwork of towns, municipalities and states with overlapping authority, bureaucracies and resulting waste. We have a political system geared toward ceaseless fundraising and pandering to the interests of the present with no ability to plan, invest or build for the future. And if one mentions any of this, why, one is being unpatriotic, because we have the perfect system of government, handed down to us by demigods who walked the earth in the late 18th century and who serve as models for us today and forever. America's founders would have been profoundly annoyed by this kind of unreflective ancestor worship." [for
posted by kliuless
on Apr 17, 2011 -
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
Cost of Government Day
the date of the calendar year, counting from January 1, on which the average American has earned enough in cumulative gross income to pay for his or her share of government spending (total federal, state, and local) plus the cost of regulation."
posted by Gyan
on Dec 3, 2006 -
the American God? The herders of this remote mountain village know little about America, but have learned from those who run a US-funded aid program about the American God. A Christian God. ...
posted by amberglow
on Oct 11, 2006 -
The Office of Human Radiation Experiments
, established in March 1994, leads the Department of Energy's efforts to tell the agency's Cold War story of radiation research using human subjects. We have undertaken an intensive effort to identify and catalog relevant historical documents from DOE's 3.2 million cubic feet of records scattered across the country. Internet access to these resources is a key part of making DOE more open and responsive to the American public.
posted by Dome-O-Rama
on Feb 16, 2006 -
Cheyney the Torturer?
According to Dan Froomkin
today, Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff to the secretary of state) said that he had uncovered a "visible audit trail" tracing the practice of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly back to Vice President Cheney's office.
posted by shiska
on Nov 4, 2005 -
Promoting Freedom or Fueling Conflict?
U.S. Military Aid and Arms Transfers Since September 11--from the World Policy Institute,
a report on whether we put our money where our mouth is. Statements like "Freedom will be the future of every nation and every people on Earth"
might sound nice and even inspiring, but why is our own government funding overwhelmingly anti-democratic and abusive governments?
... When countries designated by the State Department’s Human Rights Report to have poor human rights records or serious patterns of abuse are factored in, 20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003 -- a full 80% -- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses. ...
posted by amberglow
on May 24, 2005 -
Understanding elections beyond the red and blue axis.
Since 1987, the Pew Research center has been conducting a political survey that divides voters into various typologies
based on core beliefs-- upbeats and disaffected, enterprisers and bystanders -- and tracking political opinions and votes. The biggest trends
have been the rise of disadvantaged pro-government conservatives and the shift of the middle to the right. Fortunately, there is a survey
that will determine your type. Where does the typical MeFi visitor fit? (Hint from the typology: "Liberals- Affluent and highly secular...ideologically consistent on social issues, foreign policy and the role of government..nearly four-in-10 cite the Internet as their main source of news.")
posted by blahblahblah
on May 11, 2005 -
US demands war crimes immunity But human rights campaigners said the Iraq prison abuse scandal proves that the US needs to be held to account.
"Given the recent revelations... the US has picked one hell of a moment to ask for special treatment," said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch.
-- the annual renewal of US protection from international prosecution for war crimes when serving under UN auspices comes to a vote on Monday.
posted by amberglow
on May 22, 2004 -
The bait and switch.
A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill
that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure.
posted by four panels
on May 29, 2003 -
He does return favors,
but how does it affect the workers? Eugene Scalia is President Bush's nominee for Labor Department solicitor. Scalia is one of nine children of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was a driving force behind the court ruling that stopped the counting of disputed presidential votes in Florida last year.
posted by semmi
on Dec 17, 2001 -
"First they came..."
Just a friendly reminder for all those folks who think it is somehow acceptable to allow the US government to infringe upon our civil liberties in the name of...[fill in the blank].
posted by mapalm
on Oct 1, 2001 -