UPDATE: Since we first published this piece two weeks ago, embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed (on August 15) — after days of tense standoff that brought the possibility of a military coup — to relinquish power and accept the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as the country’s new leader. Abadi, also a Shiite, belongs to the same party as his predecessor. Additionally, on August 18, President Obama announced that Iraqi special forces and Kurdish fighters, backed by American war planes, had retaken a strategic dam near the northern city of Mosul, which had previously been captured by Islamic extremists. Continue reading
NOTE: This was originally published on Jan. 15, 2014
More Americans are attending college today than ever before. And that’s generally considered a good thing. But college tuition at both public and private universities has skyrocketed, leaving a growing number of graduates mired in debt and struggling to find decent employment in a sluggish economy. All of which begs the question: is the studying and sacrifice really worth it? With pencil in hand, comic journalist Andy Warner explores the issue. Continue reading
Note: This post was originally published on May 20, 2014
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Mark Twain may never have actually said it himself, but that doesn’t make the statement any less true. Continue reading
Remember when U.S. immigration reform seemed like it was finally in the cards?
That was so 2013.
The brief burst of fanfare following passage of the Senate’s comprehensive bill last year faded quickly when the debate hit the bitterly divided House, where prospects for getting anything done have now been all but extinguished. Continue reading
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted again in early July after the bodies of three Israeli youth turned up in Palestinian territory. It’s the most deadly face-off between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip since the last series of rocket attacks in 2009.
The saga seems infinite: tenuous periods of calm punctuated by spates of extreme violence and desperation. At the most basic level, the struggle is over a slice of territory not much bigger than New Jersey, to which both sides claim ownership. But the roots of the conflict are deep and tangled, mired in complex issues of identity and displacement dating back to World War I. In examining the current situation in context, these four unbiased resources offer clues to why peace in this region remains so stubbornly elusive. Continue reading
Click on different points on the map below to see which counties would be part of each one of California’s six new states, as outlined in a proposed ballot initiative. Per capita income and population figures are listed for each “state,” based on an analysis by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office. The new jurisdictions underscore California’s extreme wealth disparities.
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Think California’s just too darn big for its own good? Well now there’s a strong likelihood you’ll get to vote on it.
A Silicon Valley venture capitalist today submitted what he claims are enough petition signatures to get his initiative, to split California into six states, on the 2016 statewide ballot.
And no, this is not a joke. Continue reading
Inflation. We hear about it an awful lot. But what’s it actually mean? What causes it? And why is grandpa always complaining about stuff getting more expensive? Stop motion guru Josh Kurz explains it all in this two-part video (you can also watch the whole thing as a single video here).
The Supreme Court this week dealt a blow to the nation’s struggling labor unions. In a 5-4 decision along ideological lines, the court ruled that some government workers who decline membership in the unions that represent them can’t be forced to pay collective bargaining fees.
Just over 11 percent of the U.S. workforce belongs to a union today, the lowest rate in more than 70 years. Continue reading
UPDATE: On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, under the Clean Air Act, to regulate carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters like power plants and factories.
The Obama administration dropped the proverbial climate change bomb earlier this month when it announced a groundbreaking plan — without congressional approval — to significantly reduce the nation’s carbon emissions over the next 15 years. Cartoon journalist Andy Warner explains what these new rules set out to do.