The passing scene – August 21, 2015

Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment by Christopher Ingraham for the Washington Post.  Hat tip to the Mahablog.

The phony unprincipled war on Planned Parenthood by Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star (via the Baltimore Sun)

The American infant mortality rate is the highest among developed nations.  The infants of rich Americans have as good a chance of survival as children anywhere in the world, but in the United States, like in countries such as Austria and Finland, the survival rate of children of poor, uneducated parents is much less.

Also, the United States has the same maternal mortality rate as Hungary and Iran.  People who are pro-life and pro-choice ought to agree that something should be done about this.

President Jimmy Carter’s amazing last wish by Sarah Kliff and Dylan Matthews for Vice news.

The Carter Center has nearly eradicated a horrible disease called Guinea worm, which was prevalent in Africa, by promoting common-sense public health measures.  President Carter’s last wish, expressed in his press conference on his brain cancer, is to follow through to eradicate the Guinea worm entirely.

Finland considers basic income to reform welfare system by Maija Unkuri for BBC News.

Finland is experimenting with a pilot project to guarantee everyone a basic minimum income regardless of whether they are employed or not.  It will be very interesting to see how this works out.

Election 2016: Jeb Bush and John Kasich’s Work at Lehman Spotlights Different Revolving Door Between Business and Government by David Sirota for International Business Times.

Lehman Brothers didn’t employ former Govs. Jeb Bush and John Kasich as lobbyists.  It used their names to drum up business, including business from governments.

The Former U.S. Military Top Brass Working for Companies Profiting From Drone Warfare by Solomon Hughes for Vice news.

There’s nothing wrong with retired military officers using their skills and knowledge in private industry.  But they shouldn’t be asked to speak as impartial experts on the benefits of what they’re working on.

What Is Killing America’s Bees and What Does It Mean for Us? by Alex Morris for Rolling Stone.

Bees but not bodies: Insufficient date on deaths in custody by Shawn Musgrave for Muckrock.

Massive honeybee deaths are a serious problem, and the federal government does a good job of keeping track of them.  It would be good if the government did just as good a job in tracking the deaths of human beings in police custody.

Undelivered Goods by Alexander Cockburn for Harper’s magazine.

Thanks to the corrupt Ukrainian oligarchy and neo-con Victoria Nuland in the U.S. State Department, $1.8 billion in aid to Ukraine wound up in an offshore tax haven.

The Iranian Threat by Noam Chomsky.

The USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia have all engaged in more military aggression than Iran.

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