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Nancy Scola

Blog Entries by Nancy Scola

Racing Toward a Roundup-Ready Food Future

Posted July 17, 2009 | 18:30:58 (EST)

So last night I devoted some free time to two of my great loves -- open government data and food policy -- and checked out the data on the rate of U.S. adoption of genetically-modified food crops in the United States that was released by U.S. Department of...

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Can New Media's Obsessiveness Redeem the Vote?

Posted September 16, 2008 | 19:22:01 (EST)

With the world's attention understandably focused on the epic electoral battle between Obama and McCain, a development central to what will happen on November 4th has flown under the radar. Electronic voting machines that lack paper trails are, as NPR recently reported, being mothballed across the U.S.:


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Fighting Smears Begins at Home, Mr. Gore

Posted July 21, 2008 | 16:42:44 (EST)

Sadly, Al Gore played right into the hands of his detractors while at Netroots Nation this weekend. When he surprised the gathering during a session with Nancy Pelosi, the speaker filled in the crowd on who their guest was, in case they had perhaps been residing under a rock...

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The Politics of the Twitter Dome Scandal

Posted July 10, 2008 | 16:18:38 (EST)

Those of us obsessed with both politics and technology have a juicy new piece of red meat to sink our teeth into this week. Republican Congressman John Culberson of Texas, is leading the charge against a three-week old letter (in pdf) written by Democratic Congressman Mike Capuano of...

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Howard Dean as a Model Candidate

Posted May 3, 2008 | 19:28:13 (EST)

In the in midst of this chaotic presidential season, while we wait for the people of Guam to help finally crown a Democratic nominee, I took a few moments today to look back on a quieter, simpler time -- and by that I mean, of course, the 2004 presidential race....

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A West Coast Coder Goes to Washington

Posted February 25, 2008 | 10:54:14 (EST)

Stanford professor and Internet guru Larry Lessig is on the cusp of making a decision on whether or not to run for the open seat in California's 12th congressional district. As a geek of sorts with a background on Capitol Hill, it is to me a particularly exciting prospect....

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Let's Get Real: America's Ready for High-Def Sex

Posted February 19, 2008 | 17:36:59 (EST)

Our nation's pornographers are letting us down, and I for one am disappointed in them. Time was, it was precisely those who made coin making and distributing images of people fornicating and copulating led us down the path of acceptance to some of our most beloved technologies -- hand...

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Things to Do in Denver When You're Dems

Posted February 12, 2008 | 16:30:05 (EST)

A much despised war, a hated president, and a Democratic primary process characterized by wild ups and downs. I'm talking, of course, of the year 1968. The nomination race we on the left have been watching and participating in over the last many, many months has been terrifically compelling --...

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The Green Revolution 2.0

Posted January 25, 2008 | 14:26:41 (EST)

This much is clear today -- Bill Gates doesn't waste his time dreaming small dreams. The man who revolutionized personal computing announced at Davos this morning that he intends to spread the so-called Green Revolution to Africa and South Asia. It's a praiseworthy ambition, no doubt. The Green Revolution...

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The Wire's Final Season: David Simon's Bleak Vision Meets the Age of Hope

Posted January 7, 2008 | 18:09:05 (EST)

While a critical darling, HBO's gritty series The Wire has struggled over its last four seasons to build up much in the way of viewing audience. And if the victories of the upbeat Barack Obama and the optimistic Mike Huckabee in last week's Iowa caucuses are any indication, the...

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Believing the Vote: On Electoral Faith in Kenya and Closer to Home

Posted January 3, 2008 | 17:27:24 (EST)

As we come within mere hours of when the first Iowans will trudge into their caucus sites, the post-election horror engulfing Kenya puts the American presidential contest in sharp relief. The latest reports have upwards of 300 citizens killed. Yesterday's death-by-fire of 50 or so huddled in an...

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Debt and Development, Presidential-Style

Posted October 29, 2007 | 11:20:47 (EST)

Co-reported alongside the news that Hunt Oil Company of Dallas had entered into an oil development contract in Iraqi Kurdistan was the fact that Hunt Oil's head honcho was a multi-million dollar contributor to the planned George W. Bush Presidential Library project. The thought was no doubt tempting: ...

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Somebody Has the Upper Hand, But It Isn't the American Farmer

Posted October 24, 2007 | 16:29:28 (EST)

On the soundtrack of the documentary Life and Debt, about the impact of the World Bank and the IMF in Jamaica, there's a song by Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka that contains this line: "American farmers get the upper hand/while our farmers [are] going one to one." Watch the movie,...

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Payment for the Message, But Not on That Medium

Posted October 22, 2007 | 11:41:25 (EST)

Flexing your creative muscles and posting what you come up with to the Internet can be so fun, so exhilarating that it's easy to lose the thought that perhaps all that work should put some cash in your pocket. Lost in that LCD glow, it's easy to overlook that in...

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Home, Sweet New Orleans?

Posted August 29, 2007 | 18:29:57 (EST)

Hundreds of thousands of New Orleanians can't, or won't, go home again. Why?

I drove through the streets of New Orleans East about three months ago. In one neighborhood, I slammed on my breaks at a remarkable sight -- one young boy of maybe 10, absentmindedly dribbling a basketball...

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On the Gulf Coast, It's Always August 29th

Posted August 28, 2007 | 15:51:07 (EST)

While I'm generally and somewhat notoriously bad at remembering what happened when, tomorrow, August 29th, sticks in my head both because (a) it's my birthday (!), and (b) it's the day when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast, in both Louisiana and Mississippi, two years ago. Just after...

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How HRC Outted the Democrats Last Night

Posted August 10, 2007 | 18:18:11 (EST)

I've been aggressively avoiding reading any commentary about last night's Human Rights Campaign/LOGO forum with the Democratic presidential candidates. So I have no idea how the gays of America took to it. But here's my uncorrupted take.

Like most political theater, last night got much right and a little...

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"I Want My Internet Radio"

Posted July 15, 2007 | 11:06:13 (EST)

I came of age in a time when "I Want My MTV" felt like a battle cry. In retrospect, of course, we were millions of American youngsters parroting a corporate marketing slogan designed to get local broadcasters to add the music channel to their lineup. We were kids and teens...

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The Suffrage of I. Lewis Libby

Posted July 5, 2007 | 13:07:38 (EST)

"Scooter has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country." So said George Bush, and he has hardly been alone in praising the service Scooter Libby rendered in his long career in government. But there's one simple act of service...

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Who Killed the Liberal Radio Star?

Posted June 27, 2007 | 17:54:33 (EST)

Fairness Doctrine Alert! Conservative commentators like Jonah Goldberg would like discussion about the structural imbalance of political talk radio to begin and end with the flagellation of the dread telecommunications principle that dares suggest that broadcasters who license the public airwaves have the responsibility to serve the public...

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