Saturday, March 27, 2010

Truthout 3/27

The Unbearable Lightness of Reform
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Truthout: "That wickedly satirical Ambrose Bierce described politics as 'the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.' Bierce vanished to Mexico nearly a hundred years ago - to the relief of the American political class of his day, one assumes - but in an eerie way he was forecasting America's political culture today. It seems like most efforts to reform a system that's gone awry - to clean house and make a fresh start - end up benefiting the very people who wrecked it in the first place."
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We Won a Robust Public Option ... on College Loans
Jeff Cohen, Truthout: "We won! When President Barack Obama signs the health care reconciliation bill on Tuesday, we can crow about a robust public option – en route perhaps to a more inclusive, cost-effective single-payer system. Soon, private profiteers (and subsidies to them) will be sidelined, and the government will save taxpayers billions by providing service directly to Americans in need."
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Justice for the Murder of Rachel Corrie
Max Ajl, Truthout: "Seven years ago, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) caterpillar crushed Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist, to death in Rafah, in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. She was wearing a fluorescent vest, screaming through a microphone at the armored vehicle as it bore down upon her as she tried to use her body to defend a Palestinian pharmacist's home. She was on a pile of dirt, and as the bulldozer rumbled forward, she tried to descend from it. She slipped and fell under the vehicle, which ran her over."
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Obama Wields New Tools to Try, Again, to Stem Home Foreclosures
Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor: "In a bid to meet its home foreclosure-prevention targets, the Obama administration is offering new incentives for lenders to reduce loan balances for at-risk borrowers. The program addresses a fundamental problem in the housing market: Because of falling home values, millions of borrowers now owe more than their homes are worth – with many so far 'under water' that default and foreclosure are likely."
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Jeremy Scahill: "We're At a Ground Zero Moment to Save Real Journalism"
Byard Duncan, AlterNet: "On March 24, 2010, the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY announced that award-winning independent journalist Jeremy Scahill would receive the second annual 'Izzy Award.' The Izzy, which is named after the legendary muckraker I.F. Stone, celebrates outstanding achievement in independent media. Last year's winners were Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Glenn Greenwald of"
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Immigration: Next Hot Button Issue for White House
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "Immigration reform has been pegged as the next big political battleground, according to an editorial in The Chicago Tribune and reports by CNN. Though it was overshadowed by the health care reform negotiations, advocates say a national march on Sunday, March 21, in Washington, DC, demanding immigration reform has set the stage for a move toward reforming the America's immigration law."
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Part II: Obama Continues Bush's Iran Policy
Daan de Wit, DeepJournal: "The battle against Iran has already begun. War is only one phase of this process - just as it was with Iraq. The preparation is the most important part of the battle. Whoever thought that the preparation for war ended when Barack Obama took office is advised to take note of the views of critical thinker Noam Chomsky in the previous installment of this DeepJournal series. He says that Obama's policy on Iran is a continuation of the policy of his predecessor, President Bush."
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Wittes, Goldsmith and KSM: "Absurd," "Cynical"
William Fisher, Truthout: "It's been a few days now since Benjamin Wittes and Jack Goldsmith wrote their op-ed in The Washington Post calling the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 'dispensable' and proffering that 'the politically draining fight about civilian vs. military trials is not worth the costs.'"
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New Millennium, Same Old Backlash?
Maya Schenwar, Ms. Magazine: "From the climate of angry machismo that accompanied the drive toward the Iraq war, to the Bush-led campaign against contraception and abortion that has overflowed into the current Congress, this past decade has seen a host of reactionary shifts in attitudes towards women. Barbara J. Berg chronicles this current backlash in Sexism in America: Alive, Well, and Ruining Our Future (Chicago Review Press)."
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Leslie Thatcher, Truthout, reviews Mary Sojourner's new novel, "Going Through Ghosts." "When a wannabe badass like Mary Sojourner writes a novel the underlying premise of which seems to be that if this man and this woman can be real together, can find their way together, the world is healed, then we are in even more trouble than I ever imagined. Or, we really can be healed - you decide - but not before reading this luminous, haunted and haunting story ..."
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EPA Proposes Blocking West Virginia Mountaintop Mine
Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers: "The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed to halt the largest mountaintop mine in Central Appalachia, saying the project would pollute drinking water and harm wildlife in mountain streams, and that the damage to the mountains would be irreversible."
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Despite US Pressure, Beijing Stands Firm in Currency Spat
Kit Gillet, Inter Press Service: "China may be under international pressure, especially from the United States, over the valuation of its currency, but is unlikely to back down in the short term given its worries about its export sector and the jobs that depend on it."
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The Witch Hunt Against ACORN (Video)
Laura Flanders, GRITtv: "The right wing's favorite political football, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has announced that it will be closing down. What brought down the once-strong force for justice for low-income Americans?"
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