Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Truthout 3/3

Deficit Fear Mongering
Ellen Brown, Truthout: "In addition to mandatory private health insurance premiums, we may soon be hit with a 'mandatory savings' tax and other belt-tightening measures urged by the president's new budget task force. These radical austerity measures are not only unnecessary, but will actually make matters worse. The push for 'fiscal responsibility' is based on bad economics."
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Obama Looks To Reconciliation to Pass Health Care Bill
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "In a speech today at the White House, President Obama instructed Congress to make a final push for completion of the divisive health care reform legislation. He endorsed the use of 'reconciliation' rules to pass the bill with 'nothing more than a simple majority.'"
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How John Yoo and His Young Apprentice Tortured Health Care
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Last Sunday, Nancy Pelosi vowed to wrangle up the votes needed to pass a health care bill even if it meant some Democratic lawmakers would be voted out of office in November's midterm elections. 'The point is we have a responsibility here ... ' Pelosi said later on CNN's 'State of the Union,' explaining the urgency in passing legislation. If only Pelosi and other Democrats applied the same aggressive attitude toward holding Bush administration officials accountable for implementing a policy of torture against 'war on terror detainees' after 9/11."
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Mercenaries Circling Haiti
Bill Quigley, Truthout: "Triple Canopy, a private military company with extensive security operations in Iraq and Israel, is advertising for business in Haiti. According to human rights activist and investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, Triple Canopy took over the Xe/Blackwater security contract in Iraq in 2009. Scahill reported on a number of bloody incidents involving Triple Canopy, including one where a team leader told his group, 'I want to kill somebody today ... because I am going on vacation tomorrow.'"
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DoD Releases Records of Illegal Surveillance
William Fisher, Truthout: "Defense Department agencies improperly collected and disseminated intelligence on Planned Parenthood and a white supremacist group called the National Alliance, an Air Force briefing improperly included intelligence on an antiwar group called Alaskans for Peace and Justice, and Army Signals Intelligence in Louisiana unlawfully intercepted civilian cell phone conversations."
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How to Fight a Better War (Next Time): Three Fixes for the American Way of War
Tom Engelhardt, "Iraq remains a mess from which the US military seems increasingly uninterested in withdrawing fully and Afghanistan a disaster area, but it's never too soon to think about the next war. The subject is already on the minds of Pentagon planners. The question is: Are they focusing on how to manage future wars so that they won't last longer than the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II combined?"
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Bernard Weiner | Entering the Scary "Lacuna" of American Politics
Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers: "I finally finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's latest brilliant novel, 'The Lacuna,' and it's the kind of book that engenders discussion on a wide variety of important topics. For those who haven't read it yet, the sweep of the book - which clearly was composed during the Cheney/Bush years, for good reason - is epic in scale. Dealing with several decades of Mexican and American history, from 1929 to the early 1950's, it touches on the end of empires, the pandering mass-media, the use of fear by demagogues to herd the sheeple, the pain and isolation of gays pre-Stonewall, and much more. (The title refers to the hidden entryways that can lead one to different levels of understanding.)"
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Jacques Attali | Happiness, As in Bhutan
Jacques Attali, L'Express: "Is this minuscule nation, among the least populated in the world (roughly 700,000 habitants), stuck between two of the most densely populated countries in the world (India and China), totally isolated for millennia, whose penultimate monarch was the first, at the end of the nineteen seventies, to define and implement the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), happier than other countries?"
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Finding the American Dream - in China
Ashwini Srinivasamohan, Foreign Policy Journal: "US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu returned from China last July with a sober understanding of the degree to which China had advanced in green technology. Sino-US clean energy cooperation reached a milestone later in 2009, when the two presidents signed various bilateral agreements, including the establishment of the US-China Clean Energy Research Centre in Beijing to improve research and development in the field. But clean energy was caught in the political firestorm of the health care debacle. As the recent New York Times article on China's advancements in green technology reinforced, the Chinese have made exceptional progress in this field and are the leaders of our green revolution."
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In Haiti, Death Toll Remains a Mystery
Alfonso Chardy and Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald: "While many of the mass graves are clearly marked with white wooden crosses atop mounds of dirt, the precise number of people buried beneath them may never be known. That's because since the earthquake, the Haitian government has not provided a precise accounting of the number of victims."
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Bill Moyers Journal | Health Care Reform
After months of lobbying, grandstanding and political theater, Americans are wondering if there's any real reform left in the health reform bill. Bill Moyers sits down with former insurance executive turned public health advocate Wendell Potter, who argues that all is not lost in the health care bill and details what he likes about the legislation.
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