Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Truthout 3/30

Student Loans: The Government Is Now Officially in the Banking Business
Ellen Brown, Truthout: "William Jennings Bryan would have been pleased. The government is now officially in the banking business. With the passage of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) that was slipped into the health care bill, the federal government will lend directly to students, ending billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies to firms providing student loans."
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Jason Leopold | US Recants Claims on "High-Value" Detainee Abu Zubaydah
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "The Justice Department has quietly recanted nearly every major claim the Bush administration had made about 'high-value' detainee Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo prisoner who at one time was said to have planned the 9/11 attacks and was the No. 2 and 3 person in al-Qaeda. Additionally, Justice has backed away from claims intelligence officials working in the Clinton administration had also leveled against Zubaydah, specifically, that he was directly involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa as well as the 'Millennium' bomb plot in Los Angeles."
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Naomi Wolf: Tea Parties Help Fight Fascism
Justine Sharrock, AlterNet: "In her bestselling 'End of America,' Naomi Wolf outlines the 10 warning signs that America is headed toward a fascist takeover. Using historical precedents, she explains how our government is mimicking those of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin through practices like surveillance of ordinary citizens, restricting the press, developing paramilitary forces and arbitrarily detaining people."
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Ten Things You Didn't Know Were in the Health Bill
Emily Badger, Miller-McCune: "The 2,000-page health care bill that became law last week is packed with major reforms probably well-known (in concept if not in detail) by anyone who has channel-surfed through the nightly news over the past year. There's an individual mandate, a system of exchanges, new government subsidies and a ban on some of the worst practices of the insurance industry."
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George Lakoff | Brown vs. Democracy
George Lakoff, Truthout: "With the California Financial Crisis at stake, the impartiality of the California attorney general has come under scrutiny. Proponents of the California Democracy Act, a ballot initiative that would restore a majority vote for revenue and budget in the legislature, are asking Jerry Brown, the attorney general, for a new title and summary."
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Citizens United Against Citizens United
David Swanson, Truthout: "Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans tell pollsters when asked that they oppose the Supreme Court's decision in 'Citizens United,' which lifted limits on corporate political spending."
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Kathy Kelly, Truthout: "If the US public looked long and hard into a mirror reflecting the civilian atrocities that have occurred in Afghanistan over the past ten months, we would see ourselves as people who have collaborated with and paid for war crimes committed against innocent civilians who meant us no harm."
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Veterans Courts Try to Keep PTSD Victims Out of Jail
Mary Susan Littlepage, Truthout: "Zachariah Parzych, 23, spent eight months in Iraq checking areas for weapons and serving in combat. When he returned home to Orange County, California, his life started to change."
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Why Current Air Pollution Controls Won't Avert Climate Catastrophe
Joshua Frank and Christine Shearer, Truthout: "If you were told that a coal-fired power plant near your home was going to invest $500 million to upgrade the facility in order to reduce the amount of harmful air pollutants it spews, you would probably think to yourself that it was about time they did something."
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Van Jones and Billy Parish, the Two Bird Challenge
Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: "On Monday, March 22, Van Jones and Billy Parish appeared together for a presentation entitled 'Challenging America: Achieving Sustainability and Justice Through the Green Collar Economy' at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff."
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Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalized, Study Finds
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service: "Nearly two of every three male juveniles arrested in Afghanistan are physically abused, according to a study based on interviews with 40 percent of all those now incarcerated in the country's juvenile justice system."
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PR Firm Behind Propaganda Videos Wins Stimulus Contract
Sebastian Jones and Michael Grabell, ProPublica: "President Obama's push for electronic medical records has faced resistance from those who question whether health information technology systems can protect patient privacy. So last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services hired a public relations firm to try to win consumer trust."
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Forests May Depend on Survival of Native People
Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service: "After the failures in Copenhagen to agree on a new climate protection treaty, and more recently at the Doha meetings on trade in endangered species to prevent bluefin tuna from going extinct, indigenous forest communities may offer examples of sensible governance for shared resources on a small planet."
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