Saturday, March 26, 2016

News you can share: 4-4 Supreme Court decisions, Obamacare successes, and new climate data

Organizing for Action

Diane, you're one of the best messengers we've got in this movement. Here's some recommended reading that's easy to share.

Split decision turns up heat on Senate to find ninth justice for the Supreme Court
Kansas City Star // Dave Helling

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a simple one-sentence ruling this week in a case involving a Raymore bank and two Kansas City area developers. The particulars of the legal dispute drew little attention. But the manner of the decision made national news: for the first time since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the nation's highest court split 4-4 on a case. The tie meant lower court decisions would remain intact, but there would be no formal legal guidance for similar disputes to come.

Six years later, 'Obamacare' gets credit for successes
MSNBC // Steve Benen

Exactly six years ago tomorrow, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, vowing that the landmark reform effort would reduce the nation's uninsured rate while bringing renewed health security to tens of millions more. By every metric, "Obamacare" has delivered on its goals.

Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries
New York Times // Justin Gillis

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous. The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world's coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

The Unemployment Rate for Veterans Is the Lowest in Seven Years
Wall Street Journal // Jeffrey Sparshott

The unemployment rate for American veterans fell to the lowest level in seven years in 2015, a reflection of an improving jobs market alongside programs to put servicemen and women to work. The unemployment rate for all veterans was 4.6% last year, the Labor Department said Tuesday, matching the rate in 2008.

Vice President Biden Rips Supposed 'Biden Rule'
NBC News // Corky Siemaszko

The vice president dismissed the so-called "Biden Rule" on judicial nominee hearings during election years Thursday and insisted that President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court should get a Senate hearing. "It's frankly ridiculous...there is no Biden Rule," Vice President Joe Biden said in a speech at the Georgetown University Law Center. Biden said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership has been "quoting selectively" from a speech he made in 1992 about Supreme Court nominations during an election year to justify their refusal to even consider Judge Merrick Garland -- President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Wind and solar are growing at a stunning pace (just not yet enough to stop climate change)
Vox // Brad Plumer

There's great news and gloomy news on climate change in this hefty new report on wind, solar, and other renewables from the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. First, the confetti-tossing: Renewable energy -- mainly solar and wind -- has been growing at an astounding pace worldwide. Last year, countries plunked down $286 billion on renewable energy investments, twice what they spent on coal and gas. For the first time ever, renewables made up half of all new electric capacity installed worldwide, with 118 gigawatts coming online. Next time someone says renewables are a niche market, send them this PDF.

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