Friday, May 28, 2010

Truthout 5/27

BP: Obama's Do-Nothing "Root Causes" Commission
Max Ajl, Truthout: "Obama had this frozen, robotic expression on his face when he announced that he'd put his signature on the executive order establishing the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He looked a bit like he'd been replaced with an animatronic doll, one programmed to speak very eloquently and say precisely nothing. Obama's commission is supposed to carry out a six-month investigation into the reasons underlying the explosion of the Deepwater Horizons offshore drilling rig. Securely informed and enlightened by such knowledge, the United States will be able to 'prevent and mitigate the impact of any spills that result from offshore drilling.'"
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Obama to Suspend Arctic Drilling
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers, "The Obama administration Thursday will suspend planned exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska until at least 2011, a casualty of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill."
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The American Century Is So Over
Dilip Hiro, "Irrespective of their politics, flawed leaders share a common trait. They generally remain remarkably oblivious to the harm they do to the nation they lead. George W. Bush is a salient recent example, as is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. When it comes to foreign policy, we are now witnessing a similar phenomenon at the Obama White House."
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Chief Drill Regulator Birnbaum Fired
Steve Thomma and Lesley Clark, McClatchy Newspapers: "The director of the Minerals Management Service, Elizabeth Birnbaum, has been fired in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, a government official told McClatchy Newspapers today."
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Screw the Environment: BP and the Audacity of Corporate Greed
Dave Lindorff, Truthout: "Even as BP's blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed into the Gulf Stream for a trip past the Everglades and on up the East Coast, the company is demanding that Canada lift its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean."
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The US-Russia START Treaty: Just What Does "Arms Control" Really Mean?
Darwin Bond-Graham, Truthout: "There's a funny if intimidating gun-nut bumper sticker you may have seen on the road: 'Gun control means using both hands.' It's clever, invoking and mocking gun control at the same time."
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BP Worker Takes Fifth, Making Prosecution a Possibility
Erika Bolstad, Joseph Goodman and Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Newspapers: "A top BP worker who was aboard the Deepwater Horizon in the hours leading up to the explosion declined to testify in front of a federal panel investigating the deadly oil rig blowout, telling the US Coast Guard he was invoking his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination."
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News in Brief: BP Stabilizes Gushing Flow of Oil and More ...
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "BP has stabilized the gushing flow of oil and gas from a ruptured well into the Gulf of Mexico, according to US officials, hoping to mitigate the catastrophic environmental effects of the leak. The BBC reported that Thad Allen, the Coast Guard commander, said it was too early to declare success, but the company's 'top kill' effort had 'stabilized the wellhead.' BP is using mud and cement to seal the well, which opened after an explosion took place on the Deepwater Horizon rig five weeks ago, killing 11 people and sending millions of gallons of oil into the sea."
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What Rand Really Believes
Joe Conason, Truthout: "Rand Paul, tea party flavor of the month, is said to be avoiding 'overexposure.' Senior Republican Party operatives, worried by the Kentucky Senate nominee's all-too-revealing remarks after his primary victory, have urged him not to grant any interviews for a while. So he flip-flopped on his criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, flaked out on a 'Meet the Press 'appearance and has scarcely been heard from since."
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Karzai's Washington Visit: The War Awaiting Kandahar
Ramzy Baroud, Truthout: "Clad in his usual attire of a colorful, striped robe, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeared more like an emperor as he began his fourth day in Washington. Accompanying him on a somber visit to the Arlington National Cemetery were US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and top US (and NATO) commander in Afghanistan Stanley A. McChrystal - the very men responsible for the war and occupation of his own country."
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The Muddle Oozing From the Gulf
E.J. Dionne Jr.: "So who is in charge of stopping the oil spill, BP or the federal government? The fact that the answer to this question seems as murky as the water around the exploded oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico suggests that this is an excellent moment to recognize that our arguments pitting capitalism against socialism and the government against the private sector muddle far more than they clarify."
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Is the Parthenon Sculpture a Permanent Hostage at the British Museum?
Evaggelos Vallianatos, Truthout: "On March 8, 2010, Dyfri Williams, Research Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum, delivered a lecture on 'The Parthenon Sculptures' at the University of Southern California....Williams justified the holding by the British Museum of the plundered Parthenon treasures. I found the reasons why the British government refuses to return the Parthenon 'marbles' to Greece unacceptable - and not a little insulting."
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To Fix Immigration, Look North
Froma Harrop,Truthout: "Ripped from the news: Haitians are illegally crossing into Vermont from Canada, looking for work. Why didn't the Haitians stay in Canada, where the social safety net is far cushier? Because, as the head of a Haitian radio station in Montreal told The New York Times, 'they saw that they had no chance to become Canadian permanent residents.' And, he added, 'people thought that the United States were going to receive all the Haitians.'"
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Activists in Chicago Push Against Rahm Emmanuel
Micah Uetricht, Truthout: "Activists in Chicago are some of the nation's fiercest agitators for immigration reform, as more than two dozen were arrested at a civil disobedience at the entrance to a detention facility in the city's downtown area yesterday, the second such action in a month."
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