Monday, March 22, 2010

Truthout 3/22

William Rivers Pitt | True Colors
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "There was an awful lot of stupid flying around Washington, DC, in the run-up to Sunday night's historic House vote on President Obama's health care reform initiative, and it didn't stop with the dawn. A New York Times news analysis on Monday morning carried the following tidbit: 'Now, armed with a specific piece of legislation that offers concrete benefits to millions of people - and that promises to guarantee insurance for many who found it unaffordable or unattainable - the White House and Democrats believe they may have gained the upper hand.'"
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House Democrats Pass Historic Health Overhaul, 219 to 212
David Lightman and William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers: "The House of Representatives late Sunday passed by a 219 to 212 vote the biggest overhaul of the nation's health care system in more than four decades, sweeping changes expected to make coverage easier and cheaper to obtain."
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Robert Reich | The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really Means
Robert Reich, "It's not nearly as momentous as the passage of Medicare in 1965 and won't fundamentally alter how Americans think about social safety nets. But the likely passage of Obama's health care reform bill is the biggest thing Congress has done in decades, and has enormous political significance for the future."
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David Bacon | Immigration Reform: We Need a Better Alternative
David Bacon, Truthout: "Sens. Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham announced Thursday their plan for immigration reform. Unfortunately, it is a retread, recycling the same bad ideas that led to the defeat of reform efforts over the last five years. In some ways, their proposal is even worse."
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An Open Letter to Republicans From Michael Moore
Michael Moore, "To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans: Thanks to last night's vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition. Thanks to last night's vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy."
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$6 Billion Later, Afghan Cops Aren't Ready to Serve
T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, Mark Hosenball and Ron Moreau, Newsweek: "Mohammad Moqim watches in despair as his men struggle with their AK-47 automatic rifles, doing their best to hit man-size targets 50 meters away. A few of the police trainees lying prone in the mud are decent shots, but the rest shoot clumsily, and fumble as they try to reload their weapons. The Afghan National Police (ANP) captain sighs as he dismisses one group of trainees and orders 25 more to take their places on the firing line. 'We are still at zero,' says Captain Moqim, 35, an eight-year veteran of the force. 'They don't listen, are undisciplined, and will never be real policemen.'"
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E.J. Dionne Jr. | Yes, They Made History
E.J. Dionne Jr.: "Yes, we did. Finally, President Obama can use those words. The passage of health care reform provided the first piece of incontestable evidence that Washington has changed. Congress is, indeed, capable of carrying through fundamental social reform. No longer will the United States be the outlier among wealthy nations in leaving so many of its citizens without basic health coverage."
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Change Is Dead; Long Live Change
Alyce Santoro, Truthout: "The debate on climate change needs to end immediately and we need to begin focusing on ways to build a healthier society instead. How can anyone be expected to believe that their actions cause damage to the planet when they have difficulty accepting that their actions have immediate effects on their own personal health and that of their children?"
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Though LandAmerica Clients Lost Millions, No Bailout Granted
Chris Adams, McClatchy Newspapers: "As LandAmerica Financial Group lurched toward bankruptcy in late 2008, its leaders looked to the one place they thought could help: Washington. Congress had just passed the controversial $700 billion bank bailout bill. The country's biggest banks either had failed or were in danger of doing so."
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Policing Afghanistan: How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck
Pratap Chatterjee, "The Pentagon faces a tough choice: Should it award a new contract to Xe (formerly Blackwater), a company made infamous when its employees killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007, or to DynCorp, a company made infamous in Bosnia in 1999 when some of its employees were caught trafficking young girls for sex?"
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