Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alternate Realities Roundup 4/18

Posted By on April 17, 2014, 5:50 PM

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ProPublica looks at the shocking resegregation of schools in the south.---

Top of the Alty World

“Resegregation Now”--ProPublica

One year after the deadly explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant, Mother Jones maps scary chemical plants across the country.--Mother Jones

Former drone operators discuss the Air Force's role in secret assassinations.--Democracy Now!

An overlooked pipeline built years ago will soon start exporting Rocky Mountain gas to Asia.--High Country News

Top of Alty Utah

Governor Herbert's “Healthy Utah” Medicaid expansion plan could cause a lot of political fallout.--Utah Policy

Planners offer a glimpse of how Utah will accommodate a doubling of its population in 2050.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George, seeks to become House Majority Leader.--Utah Politico Hub

UDOT releases list of top 10 construction project that will affect drivers this year.--Utah Political Capitol

Rantosphere

City Weekly founder John Saltas calls out the Joint Operating Agreement between the publishers of the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune for hurting both papers.

“One can argue the merits of having one or several newspapers in any given city, or the merits of a JOA operation and the economics of the publishing business, but what is seldom discussed is whether any JOA (nearly 75 percent of them no longer exist—ours is a dinosaur) actually makes for better newspapering in the first place. I believe it hurts a newspaper, and as evidence, I point to the Deseret News on my kitchen table. It’s not much of a major metro newspaper these days, is it? Woefully, the same can be said of The Salt Lake Tribune, which today is one part newspaper, two parts anemia.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

The Long View

Mother Jones looks at how the “refund anticipation loan” or tax prep business preys on the poor and low income.

“Over the years, entrepreneurs and corporate executives have devised any number of clever ways for getting rich off the working poor, but you'd have to look long and hard to find one more diabolically inventive than the RAL. Say you have a $2,000 tax refund due and you don't want to wait a week or two for the IRS to deposit that money in your bank account. Your tax preparer would be delighted to act as the middleman for a very short-term bank loan—the RAL.

You get your check that day or the next, minus various fees and interest charges, and in return sign your pending refund over to the bank. Within 15 days, the IRS wires your refund straight to the lender. It's a safe bet for the banks, but that hasn't stopped them from charging astronomical interest rates.”--Mother Jones

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