Melinda Burns

In-Depth Study Shows that the Primary Effect of Lobbyists Is to Block Change

Who can forget Jack Abramoff, the super-lobbyist? In a pleasant operation called “Gimme Five,” he took on Indian tribes as clients, ostensibly to lobby in support of their interests in casino gambling. Privately, Abramoff described them as “morons” and “troglodytes” as he and his associates grossly overbilled the tribes, raking in $85 million while, at times, covertly working against their interests.

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Study Claims Even the Most Sophisticated News Readers Can Be Manipulated

There's nobody more cynical about the media than your average European.

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Can California Be Drought-Proof by 2020?

California lawmakers are working on a historic plan -- the first of its kind in the United States -- to require a 20 percent reduction in per-capita urban water use by the year 2020. It signals the end of cheap water for water wasters, a change that's bound to come as a shock to some residents in the Golden State.

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Do Exports of Water-Intensive Crops Hurt Drought-Prone Areas?

In the Imperial Valley of California, a region drier than part of the Sahara Desert, farmers have found a lucrative market abroad for a crop they grow with Colorado River water: They export bales of hay to land-poor Japan.

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