Monday, March 15, 2010

Truthout 3/15

Torture and the Imperial Presidency
Cary Fraser, Truthout: "In an ABC television interview on February 14, 2010, former Vice President Dick Cheney mounted a vigorous attack on the Obama administration's departure from its predecessor's embrace of torture as an instrument in the arsenal of the 'war on terror.'"
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Health Care 2010 and 1994, and the Political Lessons of History
Robert Reich, "Health care reform is necessary, and House Democrats should vote for it because it's best for the nation. They should also remember the political lessons of history. To paraphrase Mark Twain, history doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme."
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Policy Battle Over Afghan Peace Talks Intensifies
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service: "The struggle within the Barack Obama administration over Afghanistan policy entered a new phase when the president suggested at a meeting of his 'war cabinet' Friday that it might be time to start negotiations with the Taliban, according to a report in The New York Times Saturday."
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Lehman Brothers Used Accounting Trick Amid Financial Crisis - and Earlier
Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor: "Failed investment bank Lehman Brothers used an accounting trick at the end of each quarter to make its finances appear less shaky than they really were, says a report from an examiner."
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Palin With a Pedigree
Michael Isikoff and Michael Hirsh: "Liz Cheney is truly Dick's daughter, galvanizing the Republican base with her right-wing views and blistering critiques of Obama. Did somebody say 2012?"
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Hotlined Senate Bill Weakens Whistleblower Protection
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "Changes to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act currently working its way through the Senate would cover up intelligence failures and civil liberties abuses in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by repealing existing protections for FBI whistleblowers and strengthening the state secrets privilege."
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US Consulate Employee Slain in Drug-Ridden Mexican City
Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Mexican government pledged Sunday to investigate the brutal killings of a US consulate employee and two family members of consulate employees in violent, drug-plagued Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas."
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This Time It's Pregnant Women: Another American Atrocity in the Bush-Obama War in Afghanistan
Dave Lindorff, Truthout: "Another night-time raid on a housing compound in Afghanistan. Another bunch of innocent Afghans killed. Another round of lies by the US-led forces of the so-called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Only this time, among the dead are two pregnant mothers and a teenage girl."
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When the US Becomes Greece: Drivel From the Deficit Hawks
Dean Baker, Truthout: "The headlines about Greece's financial problems have provided a great backdrop to renewed attacks from the deficit hawks on Social Security and Medicare. Never mind that none of it really makes any sense. Not making sense is virtually a prerequisite for being taken seriously in Washington policy debates. This is the reason that the characters who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble dominated debate in the years leading up to the crisis, and still do today."
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Climate Change Isn't Just About Energy; It's About National Priorities
Christine Shearer, Truthout: "Polls show conservatives on average are much more likely to doubt the existence of anthropogenic, or human-influenced, climate changes, a stance that usually means opposition to regulatory action on greenhouse gas emissions. While creating resistance to changing America's energy sources, skepticism about climate change also helps preserve the current neoliberal priorities of the state."
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No Jewish Consensus on Israeli Policy
Michael Gould-Wartofsky, Truthout: "This week, New York City's Jewish community is riven by protests, counterprotests and, now, threats among Jews over the question of Israel and the Palestinians. On Tuesday night, over 500 people gathered and marched in silent protest outside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was appearing at a $1,000-a-plate dinner hosted by the New York-based Friends of the IDF."
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Sex Is Primarily a Political Issue
Le Monde hosted feminist philosopher Elsa Dorlin for a roundtable on the occasion of International Women's Day: "People often reduce 'equality of the sexes' to the erasure or homogenization of the sexes. I believe, on the contrary, that 'equality of the sexes' would allow consideration of individuals on the basis of their intrinsic qualities and not on the basis of their gender identity."
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