Thursday, May 20, 2010

Truthout 5/20

William Rivers Pitt | Short Tales From Election Day Bizarro World
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "Voters in Arkansas, Kentucky and Pennsylvania went to the polls on Tuesday in one of the first big events of the upcoming 2010 midterm election season, so of course, the 'mainstream' news media absolutely lathered itself in The Stupid. Before we get into the freshet of gibberish that came with the coverage of Tuesday's vote, let's get our facts straight first."
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Don't Miss Jason Leopold's Recent Investigative Report: How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution. West was the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week."
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The Mortgage Slick Could Be Stopped
Nick Mottern, Truthout: "Housing foreclosure is ebbing and flowing across the US like the oil cloud in the Gulf of Mexico, shifting and poisoning as it goes about silently attacking us and our communities. The latest bulletin on the progress of the mortgage slick came in a May 13, 2010, Reuters report quoting, saying that while mortgage lenders initiated fewer foreclosures in April than March 2010, they took control of 92,432 properties during April, an increase in home seizures of 1 percent from March and 45 percent from April 2009."
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The Heresy of the Greeks Offers Hope
John Pilger, Truthout: "As Britain's political class pretends that its arranged marriage of Tweedledee to Tweedledum is democracy, the inspiration for the rest of us is Greece. It is hardly surprising that Greece is presented not as a beacon, but as a 'junk country' getting its comeuppance for its 'bloated public sector' and 'culture of cutting corners' (the Observer). The heresy of Greece is that the uprising of its ordinary people provides an authentic hope unlike that lavished upon the warlord in the White House."
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US Says Only Reason for Talks With Iran Is Enrichment Halt
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service: "The agreement on draft Security Council resolution sanctions against Iran has grabbed the headlines on the Barack Obama administration's response to Iran's nuclear swap proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil. But the more consequential response is the acknowledgement by the U.S. State Department Monday that the administration is not willing to hold talks with Iran unless it agrees to a complete halt in uranium enrichment."
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Gulf Oil Spill May Be 19 Times Bigger Than Originally Thought
Renee Schoof and Lauren French, McClatchy Newspapers: "The latest glimpse of video footage of the oil spill deep under the Gulf of Mexico indicates that around 95,000 barrels, or 4 million gallons, a day of crude oil may be spewing from the leaking wellhead, 19 times the previous estimate, an engineering professor told Congress Wednesday."
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Texas Textbook War: "Slavery" or "Atlantic Triangular Trade"?
Amanda Paulson, The Christian Science Monitor: "Thomas Jefferson out, Phyllis Schlafly in? While the proposed changes to Texas social studies standards aren't quite so simple (and contrary to some reports, Thomas Jefferson would still be part of the curriculum), the debate over the standards pushed by a conservative majority of the Texas Board of Education - which will be voted on this week - has resulted in a partisan uproar and generated interest far beyond the Lone Star State."
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News in Brief: Army Begins Criminal Investigation Into Afghan Civilian Deaths and More ...
Army begins to investigate American culpability in death of Afghan civilians; Arizona politicians press for National Guard troops on US-Mexico border; tensions between North and South Korea escalate; Venezuela's government has taken control of currency trading.
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Elena Kagan? Jury Is Still Out
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout: "On Monday, May 10, President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Many see this selection as a prudent political move; as the sitting solicitor general, Kagan has already been vetted and confirmed by the current Senate. This means that President Obama will not have to expend much political capital in order to get his nominee approved."
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Putting the Pentagon on a Diet: Will Bad Times and a Bad Economy Finally Discipline the Pentagon?
Christopher Hellman, TomDispatch: "Is that the wake-up smell of coffee wafting through the halls of the Pentagon? After a decade and a half of unparalleled budget growth, top Defense Department officials are finally talking about the possible end of their spending spree. And they're not alone.""
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Robert Scheer | Who's Afraid of Rand Paul?
Robert Scheer, Truthout: "Tuesday's election results were pretty good for progressives. The retirement of that windbag chameleon Sen. Arlen Specter is long overdue, and pro-labor forces were able to push Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a runoff in Arkansas. Even the big tea party win in Kentucky has its bright side."
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Could Congress Block Antiworker IMF "Bailouts" in Europe?
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "Republicans in Congress are trying to block the US Treasury Department from supporting US tax funded International Monetary Fund (IMF) contributions to the so-called 'bailouts' in Europe, which, as economist Mark Weisbrot explained, aren't bailouts for working families at all - for working families, the IMF programs guarantee extreme hardship, and most Europeans would be much better off if these IMF packages collapse - but bailouts of European banks with bad loans."
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Sojourner Comes "Home"
Writer and activist Mary Sojourner returned to her old stomping grounds in Flagstaff Arizona, where, on Sunday April 18, 2010, Truthout's Leslie Thatcher interviewed her about "home," love, addiction, her new novel, "Going Through Ghosts" and the just-released nonfiction "She Bets Her Life."
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Rand Paul Questioned on Civil Rights (Video)
Rachel Maddow interviews Rand Paul and questions his stand on civil, federal and business rights.
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