Saturday, March 6, 2010

Truthout 3/6

Robert Reich | Bad Job Numbers Make it Harder to Pass Health Reform
Robert Reich, "The loss of 36,000 jobs in February is better than expected but it's still miserable. 26,000 were lost in January, according to the government's revised figures. And the 'underemployment' rate - including jobless workers who have given up looking for work and part-time workers who want full time jobs — rose from 16.5% in January to 16.8% in February, offsetting some of January's gains."
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Paul Loeb | Cynicism Costs Us
Paul Loeb, Truthout: "With over 100,000 copies in print, my book 'Soul of a Citizen' has inspired thousands of citizens to make their voices heard and actions count--and to stay involved for the long haul. I spent the past year writing a wholly revised new edition, which St Martin's will publish March 30..... I like to think of it as an antidote to the political demoralization, paralysis, and despair that so many people are feeling these days. Here's the first excerpt, adapted from the chapter called 'The Cynical Smirk.'"
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Michael Winship | Campaign 2010: Déjà Vu All Over Again
Michael Winship, "Truthout: "Comparisons are odious, the old saying goes, and certainly Democrats are dealing with some smelly, stinky realities as they stare down the next eight months until Election Day 2010 and pundits galore compare the party's prospects to debacles of the past."
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Rep. Massa's Early Exit From House May Ease Passage of Health Care Bill
Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor: "The planned resignation of Rep. Eric Massa (D) of New York on Monday may ultimately help fulfill President Obama's goal of passing healthcare reform soon....The freshman congressman voted against the bill when it passed the House in November by the narrow margin of 220 to 215. Mr. Massa was one of 39 Democrats to vote no."
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Michael Moore: President Obama: Replace Rahm with Me
Michael Moore, "Well, you and the Democrats have been in charge now for over a year and not one banking regulation has been reinstated. We don't have universal health care. The war in Afghanistan has escalated. And tens of thousands of Americans continue to lose their jobs and be thrown out of their homes. For most of us, it's just simply no longer good enough that Bush is gone. Woo hoo. Bush is gone. Yippee. That hasn't created one new friggin' job."
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With Avatar Poised to Win Big at the Oscars, James Cameron Should Help Some Na’vi Right Here on Earth
Francesca Fiorentini, The Indypendent: "With the Oscars upon us, many eyes will be on James Cameron and his sci-fi digital adventure, Avatar, which has already grossed $2.5 billion worldwide. It will win best special effects and may win for best director, best film, and six other awards for which it is nominated. But amid the clever jokes from lovable entertainers, the behind the scenes look at its making, the armfuls of awards and lists of people to thank, the actual message of the film may well be lost in the fray. How to preserve it? Put the money made from the blockbuster where it's needed most: into indigenous communities struggling for the conservation of their land and livelihood."
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As US Prepares to Leave After Seven Years, Iraq's Future Uncertain
Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers: "When the Bush administration invaded Iraq seven years ago, it pledged to leave behind a democracy that would be a model for the entire Middle East. Instead, it now appears that the United States will leave behind a big question mark....Sunday's parliamentary elections in Iraq will start the clock on the withdrawal of U.S. troops, with 50,000 soldiers remaining in an advisory role after Aug. 31 and all of them gone by the end of 2011, if current plans hold."
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Hillary Clinton's "Damage Control" Trip to Latin America
Mark Weisbrot, The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "Hillary Clinton's Latin America tour is turning out to be about as successful as George W. Bush's visit in 2005, when he ended up leaving Argentina a day ahead of schedule just to get the hell out of town. The main difference is that she is not being greeted with protests and riots. For that she can thank the positive media image that her boss, President Obama, has managed to maintain in the region, despite his continuation of his predecessor's policies."
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Maryland Wades in
Deb Price, Truthout: "One might think my sweet little county-operated pool complex would be given a summer break from anti-gay politics. But no, right there on the application for a pool pass, a 'family pass' is for 'a husband and wife, or up to two parents and/or guardians and up to four single legal dependent children.'"
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Can Workers Hope to be Safe at Last?
Dick Meister, Truthout: "It's called musculoskeletal disorder or MSD, the most common of the serious injuries suffered by US workers. But because corporate employers fear that greater public awareness would force them to spend more on job safety, MSD has remained one of the least understood of injuries."
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Why Can't Congress Do More to Help Create Jobs?
David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Despite reports of relentless job losses, including Friday's news that payrolls shed 36,000 more positions last month, Congress is having trouble approving significant legislation to create jobs."
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