"Bosco Ntaganda loves a dinner party. Hell, even a brunch party. And pretty much any time of day is perfect at Le Chalet, Goma’s premier restaurant, where the inside is all slate floors and licheche-wood furniture and Latin jazz, and outside tables dot a manicured lawn that slopes down to Lake Kivu. It has what may be the best selection of booze—Blue Label, pastis, whatever you like—in this provincial capital in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The chicken samosas in curry sauce with pineapple are delightful. And Bosco, a man about town who owns the bar Kivu Light and the Bunyole cheesery, is a fixture here, enough that the first time I walk in, someone says casually, “Oh! You just missed Bosco."
Two years ago, MoJo’s Mac McClelland left the DRC with a simple question: If she could find one of the world’s most notorious warlords, why couldn’t the UN?
"Ol Jogi is owned by a trust benefiting the Wildenstein family, a secretive, embattled Franco-American aristocratic line; the clan has been accused of buying art looted by the Nazis, among other misdeeds. Over five generations, the Wildensteins have amassed a fortune estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion by dealing art, breeding horses, and—according to French authorities—evading a reported $800 million in taxes. One family member received a multimillion-dollar mansion for her 17th birthday; another has spent millions on plastic surgery to make herself look more like a cat."
If you read just one thing this morning, it will, by definition, have been this short post on Tumblr.
To get to the Nimitz, 100 miles off Honolulu, our turboprop is flying a 50-50 blend of biofuel and standard JP-5 shipboard aviation fuel. The biofuel is made from algae plus waste cooking oil. This makes us part of history, my aircrewman says, players in what the Navy calls the Great Green Fleet demonstration of July 2012. It’s paired with a three-year, $510 million energy reform effort in conjunction with the departments of Agriculture and Energy as part of a larger push to change the way the US military sails, flies, marches, and thinks.
The story of an immigrant student, Maria, and how one “failing” San Francisco high school is helping her get ahead:
Maria’s middle-school experience all but ensured she’d join the 52 percent of foreign-born Latinos who drop out of high school. She graduated from eighth grade without learning to speak English. She had a hard time writing in Spanish and didn’t know how to multiply.
And then everything changed. At Mission High, the struggling school she’d chosen against the advice of her friends and relatives, Maria earned high grades in math and some days caught herself speaking English even with her Spanish-speaking teachers. By 11th grade, she wrote long papers on complex topics like desegregation and the war in Iraq. She became addicted to winning debates in class, despite her shyness and heavy accent. In her junior year, she became the go-to translator and advocate for her mother, her aunts, and for other Latino kids at school. In March, Maria and her teachers were celebrating acceptance letters to five colleges and two prestigious scholarships, including one from Dave Eggers’ writing center, 826 Valencia.
But on the big state tests—the days-long multiple-choice exams that students in California take once a year—Maria scored poorly. And these standardized tests, she understood, were how her school was graded. According to the scores, Mission High is among the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the country, and it has consistently failed to meet the ever-rising benchmarks set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
"It wasn’t until 1967, in the midst of the anti-Vietnam War movement, that Ickes entered the political fray by teaming with liberal activist Allard Lowenstein on a national “Dump Johnson” campaign. Ickes’ now-infamous temper flared early on: John Podesta, who would also go on to be a key Democratic strategist, recalls first meeting an irate Ickes at Eugene McCarthy’s Manhattan campaign headquarters in 1968. Podesta watched as Ickes, spewing profanities, hurled a chair against a wall, narrowly missing an open window looking out on Midtown. “I got in the habit of looking up for flying objects every time I’m in a room with Harold,” Podesta told me, chuckling."
“He’s our local rock star!” says a voice in the crowd. She’s holding a copy of a book about radical Islam for which West wrote the foreword. The cover features a flaming Islamic crescent and star behind the Statue of Liberty. She grows gravely serious. “Just protect him, God. Protect him, Lord.”
Sixty years ago Wellington was pure Everglades, part of an undulating expanse of saw grass and cypress that stretched for hundreds of miles down into Florida Bay. In the years since, the land has been drained, filled in, bought and sold and repossessed. In its place, a fever swamp of an entirely different sort has emerged. Allen West, tea party rock star, is its champion
In this 2010 piece for Mother Jones, Julia Whitty looks at the issues we face as global population swells over the next half century and why no one wants to talk about the problem.
In The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted inevitable mass starvation as early as the 1970s and 1980s—notably in India, which he claimed could not possibly attain food self-sufficiency. Instead, American agronomist Norman Borlaug’s “Green Revolution” brought dwarf wheat strains and chemical fertilizers to increase India’s crop yields 168 percent within a decade. This monumental achievement defused the bomb and earned Ehrlich the dismissive title of Malthusian: just one more in a line of pessimists forecasting phantom famines. Ever since, the subject has been largely taboo. Scientists from a variety of fields privately tell me the issue of overpopulation is simply too controversial—too inflamed with passions to get funded, too strong a magnet for ideologues. Those who’ve tackled it tell me of harassment, even physical threats, from a frightening fringe.
These ideas may sound like a bold new approach in an urgent moment—but in fact, the push for pension cuts and other corporate “reforms” at the Pentagon originates from an obscure advisory panel that has existed for a decade: The Defense Business Board. Its 21 members know little about military affairs, but they are rich in Wall Street experience, including with some of the biggest companies implicated in the 2008 financial meltdown. They are investment bank CEOs and CFOs, outsourcing experts, and layoff specialists who promote a corporate agenda of “behavior change” and “business solutions” in the military bureaucracy. The board proposes not only to slash and privatize military pensions, but also to have the Pentagon invest in oil futures, boost pay for its executives and political appointees, and make it easier for them to fire rank-and-file employees while scaling back those workers’ collective bargaining rights.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, I filed a request under Alaska’s open records law, for all—yes, all—of Palin’s gubernatorial emails. Other journalists and citizen activists later did the same. And after many delays—see here and here—the state is finally preparing to release those emails, probably within the next week or so.
In collaboration with our friends at ProPublica and MSNBC (get on Tumblr, guys!), we’ll be posting all of the emails in a searchable archive so you can look them over yourselves. If, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.