The most recent RetroReport video covers the theory of nuclear winter and how it affected nuclear arms issues, particularly during the Reagan Administration. Scientists are more likely to think the effect would be more like "nuclear fall" now than nuclear winter, but when even a drop of a few degrees across the planet could wreak havoc on food production (and, ah, indirectly lead to more war), that's not exactly a comfort. Time of video: 11 minutes, 58 seconds.
Ari Berman and Michael Waldman discuss, at length, how voting law changes (including Voter ID laws and the Supreme Court's invalidation of a critical part of the Voting Rights Act) could affect the 2016 elections. I'd say "good to know someone else has noticed," but I always hope I'm wrong about the worst. Among the things you may not know: Texas's Voter ID law considers a concealed-carry permit "valid ID" but not a college student's ID, wonder why that is. Mr. Waldman's book, The Fight to Vote, looks like a good one.
In a peripherally-related note, Eleanor J. Bader at TruthOut reviews Jane Mayer's book, Dark Money, which describes the decades-long plan by America's überwealthy to deform democracy along corporatist lines. Among the many items of note: the extent to which the Koch brothers literally funded the Tea Party movement, a fact missed by most of the "liberal" media at the time, though not missed by you or I. If Occupy had had that kind of money, the Democrats would have retaken the House in 2012.
Gov. Bryant of Mississippi has declared April "Confederate Heritage Month," which sadly is not in and of itself unusual in the South, but his declaration omits any mention of slavery, which actually is unusual. Hip revisionists are wrong -- the South seceded not over "states' rights" but over the "right" to own black folks, and President Lincoln fought the Civil War not just to reunify America but to end slavery. Naturally, Gov. Bryant's spokeshack says the Governor "believes Mississippi’s history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be," without mentioning that the Governor left the most "unpleasant" part of that history out.
Finally, Nick Engelfried, writing at Waging Nonviolence, describes "How Montanans Stopped the Largest New Coal Mine in North America." You'll recognize much of the story -- big government agencies plotting "coal sacrifice zones," coal-hauling railroads running through lower-income areas -- plus lots of direct action, including protestors chaining themselves to desks, sit-ins at the Montana state capitol building, protests and blockades on the rail lines themselves, and the 100,000 public comments activists were able to gather opposing the Otter Creek Mine. External factors also helped (China's declining coal demand, Arch Coal's bankruptcy), but what's the shame in that? Good Montanans did a good job helping to protect their air and water from pollution.