Friday, July 16, 2010

Truthout 7/16

BP, Obama and the Economics of Disaster
Max Ajl, Truthout: "The unceasing dribble of bad news from the Gulf of Mexico has been running before our eyes for weeks now: dead plankton; hypoxic zones looming and worsening, the product of massive methane releases into the Gulf waters; withered marsh grass; dolphin carcasses. This ruin is plenty bad on its own terms. No one wants to live in a filthy post-industrial wasteland. But a healthy ecology does a lot more than make the world aesthetically enchanting."
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Temporary Seal for Oil Spill Seems To Be Holding
Erika Bolstad, McClatchy Newspapers: "A top BP official said the team working on its runaway oil well was encouraged Friday morning that a temporary seal will continue to keep oil from its deadly gush into the Gulf of Mexico even as they work to complete a permanent relief well."
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Robert Reich | The New Finance Bill: A Mountain of Legislative Paper, a Molehill of Reform
Robert Reich: "Thursday, the President pronounced that 'because of this [financial reform] bill the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes.' As if to prove him wrong, Goldman Sachs simultaneously announced it had struck a deal with federal prosecutors to pay $550 million to settle federal claims it misled investors, a sum representing a mere 15 days profit for the firm based on its 2009 earnings."
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Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools
Jessica Arons, RH Reality Check: "This week, a commotion arose over the question of whether Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, also known as high risk pools, can include abortion coverage. The Obama Administration responded immediately by imposing a total ban on abortion coverage in the pools that echoes the Stupak Amendment, even though nothing in the law requires such action."
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Goldman to Pay $550 Million to Settle SEC Fraud Charges
Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers: "Goldman Sachs agreed Thursday to pay $550 million - the largest penalty ever imposed on an investment bank - to settle civil fraud charges over its 'incomplete' disclosures to investors who lost $1 billion in an exotic offshore mortgage securities deal."
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Utah Vigilante Group Disseminates Deportation Hit List
Notimex, La Jornada (Translation: Ryan Croken): "An anonymous letter, recently distributed to law enforcement agencies and media outlets in Utah, contains a list of the names and addresses of over 1,300 supposedly undocumented immigrants that reside in that state, and calls for their immediate deportation."
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At Least 27 Killed in Suicide Bombing at Iran Mosque
Huma Yusuf, The Christian Science Monitor: "An Iran mosque twin suicide bombing killed at least 27 people Thursday. It is in an event that is expected to intensify tensions between Tehran and Washington, as Iran alleges that the US, UK, and other external powers trained and funded the attackers."
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New Orleans Police Charged With Killings After Katrina
Jordan Flaherty, ColorLines: "As revelations of police violence and corruption shake New Orleans, the city's new mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has signaled the disturbing direction he plans to take, asking the Department of Justice to help restructure the police department while at the same time appointing a new police chief whose daughter lives with a police officer involved in a racist brawl now under federal investigation."
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GOP: No More Help for Jobless, but Rich Must Keep Tax Cuts
David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Republicans almost unanimously oppose spending $33.9 billion for extended unemployment benefits for some 2.5 million people who've lost them, because they say it would increase federal budget deficits. At the same time, they're pushing a permanent extension of Bush administration tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, which could increase federal budget deficits by trillions of dollars over the next 10 years."
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Clues Suggest Amiri Defection Was an Iranian Plant
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service: "US officials are explaining Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri's return to Iran as the result of a defector having a change of heart because of his concern about Iranian government threats to his family. Iran and Amiri himself have insisted that it is a simple case of a victim of abduction escaping his captors."
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George Lakoff | Double Dividend: Make Money by Saving Nature
George Lakoff, Truthout: "Saving nature is the central issue. Carbon fuels destroy nature. The Gulf Death Gusher is the most visible sign. But signs are everywhere. Overall global warming increases hurricanes and floods; destroys habitats for plants, fish, birds and ground animals; spreads deserts; causes deadly waves; and destroys glaciers and our polar ice caps. The use of carbon fuels has been destroying nature. Our job now is to save it."
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Red Sea: The Other Oil Spill
Jon Jensen, GlobalPost: "When Hamdy Shahat and his four-man crew first set sail from this resort town last month, he expected to return with a boatload full of red snapper to sell at the market later that night. Instead, the 33-year-old skipper came back empty-handed, except for several streaks of thick, brown oil gummed along the hull of his wooden boat."
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