Friday, February 19, 2010

Truthout 2/19

Tea Party 2.0 - No Representation Without Taxation
Kelpie Wilson, Truthout: "First of all, let's be honest. We were all so exhausted after eight years of Bush and so impressed with ourselves that we elected the first African-American president, that we decided it was O.K. to take a nice long break early last year. I don't know how else to explain the fact that MoveOn didn't start a real push for the public option until Sarah Palin's Tea Party shouters had done shock and awe all over Democrats in the August town hall meetings and health care reform was on life support in the ER."
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Anthem Blue Cross' Statement Justifying Rate Hike Contradicted by Internal Documents
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Anthem Blue Cross' parent company, WellPoint Inc., has been called out by Congressman Henry Waxman over discrepancies between the company's public statement explaining why it was hiking rates on individual insurance premiums in California and the health insurer's own internal documents, which tell a different story."
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Eugene Robinson | Cold Truths of a Harsh Winter
Eugene Robinson, Op-Ed: "We're the nation that put a man on the moon, so we can't be stupid. We're just pretending, right? We're not really taking seriously the 'argument' that the big snowstorms that have hit the Northeast in recent weeks constitute evidence - or even proof - that climate change is some kind of hoax."
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The President's Budget: A Mixed Bag for Women's Health
Susan Cohen, RH Reality Check: "On February 1, President Obama sent his proposed budget for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2010 to Congress. On the domestic front, the administration's top priority for reproductive health and rights is teen pregnancy prevention, for which the administration is recommending a significant boost in funding. With the abstinence-only-until-marriage approach of the bygone era defeated, the new initiative will emphasize an evidence-based approach to reducing teenage pregnancy and the underlying factors that put teens at risk."
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Robert Naiman | We've Caught the Taliban Chief! Can We Go Home Now?
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "How the US handles the Pakistani arrest of the top Afghan Taliban military commander, and the aftermath of the US military assault in Marjah, may have a decisive impact on whether we get to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan soon, or in the far-off future. Some analysts - like Gareth Porter - think the key motivation of the present US military escalation is political in the bad sense: in order to negotiate with the Afghan Taliban, first the US has to 'show that nobody pushes us around,' just as President Bush had to escalate militarily in Iraq before he could cut deals with the Sunni Awakening and the Mahdi Army militia. It's a grim world in which the most powerful country kills people to look tough; but right now, the way to minimize human suffering is for the US to take advantage of recent 'successes' to take a high road towards going home."
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Lobbying Firm Advising Corporate Clients How to Take Advantage of Campaign Finance Ruling
Kyle Berlin, Truthout: "A month after the Citizens United ruling, corporations are considering how to take advantage of their newfound ability to advocate directly for federal candidates, as indicated in a memo drafted by K&L Gates, a top Washington lobbying firm."
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Army Soldier Jailed for Rap Lyrics to Face Court-Martial in Iraq
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "US Army Spc. Marc Hall, jailed for writing a song about the personal impact of being forced to remain in the military, including lyrics the Army claims are veiled threats of violence, will face a military trial in Iraq instead of in the US. Attorneys for Hall - whose current whereabouts remain unknown - say this development threatens Hall's right to a public trial."
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Ann Wright | Olympics Recall Historic Collisions
Ann Wright, Truthout: "A couple of nights ago, I watched the expensive and extravagant opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Despite the opulence of today's Olympics, I still watch some Olympic events because 30 years ago I was the announcer for the luge events at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. That job enabled me to get a seat at the very modest opening ceremonies, and, a week later, for a wild, ice hockey game."
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Three in a Million - Voices From the Haitian Camps
Bill Quigley, Truthout: "The United Nations reported there are 1.2 million people living in 'spontaneous settlements' or homeless camps around Port-au-Prince. Three people living in the camps spoke with this author this week, before the hard rains hit."
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Joe Conason | The GOP's Mixed Medicare Message
Joe Conason, Truthout: "For voters listening to the Republican leadership over the past year, the most startling surprise was the shift in their attitude toward Medicare. Where faithfulness to true conservatism was once measured by fierce hostility to the popular insurance program for the elderly, as articulated by Ronald Reagan at the birth of Medicare in 1965, today the Republicans claim to be its staunchest defenders."
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4th World Congress Seeks to Abolish Death Penalty
Mary Susan Littlepage, Truthout: "More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the 4th World Congress Against the Death Penalty February 24-26 in Geneva. The Congress is organized by the French NGO Ensemple in partnership with the Swiss Confederation and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty."
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