Monday, May 17, 2010

Truthout 5/17

Arun Gupta | Republicans and the Tea Party of No
Arun Gupta, Truthout: "As much as they may grumble, there is a legitimate reason why the Republicans have been labeled the 'Party of No.' For decades, the party's kneejerk stance has been to oppose any legislation or policy involving social, economic or political progress."
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Robert Reich | BP Stands for Bad Petroleum
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "Saturday the White House warned BP that it expects the oil giant to pay all damages associated with the disastrous oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico, even if the costs exceed the $75 million liability cap under federal law. BP responded Sunday saying its public statements are 'absolutely consistent' with the Administration's request."
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Supreme Court Rules Juveniles Cannot Serve Life in Prison for Lesser Crimes
Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers: "A divided Supreme Court on Monday said Florida and 36 other states cannot sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole for non-homicide crimes."
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Making the US Withdrawal From Iraq Reality
Raed Jarrar, Truthout: "This week, rumors that the US might delay the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq led to much confusion and concern. These rumors are, thankfully, not true and both the US and Iraqi leaderships are going ahead with the agreed upon plan."
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Family Friendly Cuts to Social Security: The Myth of Affluence Testing
Dean Baker, Truthout: "Billionaire Wall Street investment banker Peter Peterson has come up with a focus group tested term for his plan to cut Social Security. He calls it 'affluence testing.' The idea is that we will just cut Social Security benefits for wealthy people like Peterson who don't need their Social Security. We won't touch benefits for ordinary working people."
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Goldman Sachs Publicly Backs Financial Reform - While Dispatching Army of Lobbyists
Adele Hampton, The Huffington Post Investigative Fund: "Amid attempts to rein in Wall Street, persuaders safeguard bank's interests. For all of Goldman Sachs' professed support for an overhaul of financial regulations, the megabank hasn't exactly withdrawn its army of lobbyists. Far from wearing out its welcome, the firm is busier than ever safeguarding its interests while a Wall Street crackdown takes shape in Washington."
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Mexico Manhunt for Missing Politician Diego Fernandez de Cevallos
Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor: "A former presidential candidate in Mexico and prominent member of President Felipe CalderÛn's National Action Party (PAN) was declared missing over the weekend, which could be the latest escalation of violence by drug traffickers here."
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Ode to Arizona
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: "The desert stretched for miles in every direction before yielding to grasslands and juniper forests. Behind me lay the vast, unchanging terrain of isolation and despair; ahead the close comfort and dynamic transience of the boomtown. The impossible openness was perfectly balanced by the burgeoning cul-de-sac, and in that moment came the rustling of an abandoned thought: I am home."
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Taking Back Homes From the Banks: Exercising the Human Right to Housing
Bill Quigley, Truthout: "May has seen an upsurge in local organizations exercising their human rights to housing. Most people recognize that international human rights guarantee all humans a right to housing. With millions of homeless living in our communities and millions of empty foreclosed houses all across our communities, groups have decided to put them together."
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BP Finally Connects Mile-Long Pipe to Begin Capping
Jaweed Kaleem, McClatchy Newspapers: "Oil giant BP succeeded Sunday in connecting a mile-long pipe to help capture what it hoped will be a majority of the oil flowing from a damaged well into the Gulf of Mexico - 'an important step' toward capping the massive spill, the company said, but not a complete solution."
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Obama Has Learned Nothing From the BP Blowout
Dave Lindorff, ThisCan'tBeHappening: "President Obama claims to have learned a lesson from the disastrous blowout of British Petroleum drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico: a 'cozy relationship' between the agency that regulates oil drilling, the Minerals Management Service, and the oil industry, he charges, allowed companies to drill in vulnerable offshore areas without properly assessing the risks to the ocean and its ecology."
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Africa Has Less Say After Changes in World Bank Voting
Hilaire Avril, Inter Press Service: "The World Bank has described its recent increase of 3.13 percent in the voting power of emerging economies as a reform 'to enhance voice and participation of developing and transition countries.' But the shift has actually decreased a third of African countries' share of votes."
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Hitler, Human Will and Reality
Dallas Darling, Truthout: "In 'The Anatomy Of Human Destructiveness,' Erich Fromm writes that Hitler himself considered his greatest asset to be his unbending will. The reason I mention this is on May 10, 1940, Adolf Hitler ordered the invasion of Western Europe. After remilitarizing the Rhineland, absorbing Austria, annexing the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia through a plebiscite, and after sweeping through Poland in just 27 days, Hitler issued the order for the domination of Western Europe. Even with 122 infantry divisions, 3,500 tanks, and 5000 warplanes, Hitler still attributed his expansionist efforts to his will."
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