The Media’s Big Fail, Jeb’s Manhood & The Green Tea Party: Feb. 18, 2015

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MediaFail: Jeb Bush, the Media, and the Public as Dunce by Russ Baker
WhoWhatWhy Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker weighs in on an early salvo in the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign, fired off in disguise as journalism. See why the big media appears to think we’re all dunces.

WHO

Republican Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy Views: ‘I Am My Own Man’
The Next Bush In Line made his first foray into foreign policy with a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. His challenge is to differentiate himself from the legacy of his father and, most importantly, his brother. However, his new catchphrase—“I am my own man”—is belied by the roster of advisers he’s enlisted. Reuters was given a list of 20 “diplomatic and national security veterans” Jeb will lean on in the coming months. It’s populated with familiar names from past Republican administrations. Jeb will consult his dad’s Secretary of State, James Baker; Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz; W’s Homeland security chiefs Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff; White House Iraq groupie Stephen Hadley; and two well-worn CIA directors, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden. The launch of Jeb’s drive for the White House is even being called the “Shock and Awe” campaign. Everything old is new again.

Stephen Kim Spoke to a Reporter. Now He’s in Jail. This Is His Story.
Peter Maass of The Intercept reports on the far-too underreported story of Stephen Kim, a State Department expert on rogue nations and weapons of mass destruction who became another casualty in Obama’s war on whistleblowers. After Kim leaked a report on North Korea’s nuclear program that “merely confirmed the conventional wisdom,” he was prosecuted and convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917. That creaky law has become a de facto dragnet scooping up whistleblowers and the reporters who try to tell their stories. In this case, the reporter is James Rosen of FOX News. Although Rosen and FOX ultimately regarded the story as pedestrian, the Obama Administration used the leak to make an example of Kim. And they did. His marriage is broken. His life is a shambles. And the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in history” continues to prosecute those who dare to speak out.

Greening the Tea Party
The solar energy business is booming. The cost of installing solar panels has been cut in half over the last four years and America is installing a new solar system every four minutes. That head of steam grew last week when Apple announced an $850 million investment in a solar farm to power its operations in California. Of course, Big Hydrocarbon—oil, gas and coal—isn’t taking that lying down. Working with utilities, conservative advocacy groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity are lobbying at the state level to weaken the industry. But they may have met their match. So, who are the new—and surprising—crusaders for the freedom to generate your own power and get off the grid? The New Yorker profiles the “tough-minded, pro-solar branches of the Tea Party” that are working in places like Georgia to effect a grass-roots revolution powered by the sun.

WHAT

How “Omnipotent” Hackers Tied to NSA Hid for 14 Years—and Were Found at Last
Ars Technica unpacks the efforts by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab to track down “The Equation Group”—a sophisticated hacking group likely linked to the NSA. The report issued by Kaspersky earlier this week is making headlines around the world. That’s because the Equation Group distributed 500 infections in at least 42 countries and may be the single greatest source of malware in history. Among the infections are the infamous Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program. Kaspersky details a much larger set of infections and efforts that spans the globe and paints picture of an NSA—if, in fact, the NSA turns out to be the culprit—that makes Anonymous look like the Super Mario Brothers.

7 Charts That Suggest the Rising Stock Market May Be Wrong
When Wall Street is in a bull market, investors often find it hard to let go—even when the bears are knocking down the doors. This has been true on the eve of the last two recessions, when the performance of stocks and key economic data headed on diverging paths. One keeps on going up in spite of the other trending downward. Marketwatch has put together seven charts that show history repeating itself … again. The real GDP vs. the S&P 500, retail sales vs. the S&P 500, and even corporate profits vs. the S&P 500 are all diverging. The next chart to watch out for in this record-setting market? The S&P 500 vs. reality.

WHY

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Pot Causes the Munchies
Scientists have been hard at work cracking the marijuana code. And they’ve finally figured out why people who use marijuana inexplicably seem to be hungry, in spite of having an otherwise full stomach. Drum-roll, please … it’s because the drug affects the part of your brain that tells you that your hunger is satiated and flips the switch to the “eat now” position. Now ain’t that a trip?

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