Friday, July 2, 2010

Truthout 7/2

Who Will Pay, Wall Street or Main Street - the Tobin Tax or the VAT?
Ellen Brown, Truthout: "The financial reform bill agreed to on June 25 may have carved out some protections for consumers, but for Goldman Sachs and the derivatives lobby, the bill was a clear win, leaving the Wall Street gambling business intact. In a June 25 Newsweek article titled 'Financial Reform Makes Biggest Banks Stronger,' Michael Hirsh wrote that the bill 'effectively anoints the existing banking elite. The bill makes it likely that they will be the future giants of banking as well.'"
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David Bacon | Another Immigration Policy Is Possible!
David Bacon, Truthout: "Thousands of left-wing activists just spent a week at the US Social Forum in Detroit, gathered again under the banner 'Another World is Possible.' Among them hundreds added a new subtext: 'Another Immigration Policy is Possible!'"
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US House Approves Bill Increasing Compensation for Oil Spill Victims
Sarah Miley, Jurist: "The US House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would increase compensation for injured workers and victims' families that have filed claims against BP as a result of the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill marks the first piece of legislation passed by the House in response to the oil spill."
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Senate Fails to Extend Unemployment Benefits Before Break
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "Senate Republicans successfully filibustered a bill Wednesday night that would extend unemployment benefits for two million Americans, according to a report in The Hill. The Senate has adjourned for the Fourth of July weekend."
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David Sirota | A New Deregulatory Push in the Energy Heartland
David Sirota, Truthout: "In recent weeks, Washington has provided ample evidence that the fossil fuel industry remains as powerful as ever in the wake of the Gulf Coast apocalypse. Whether it's Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu demanding more offshore drilling as her state gets covered in sludge, or Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton criticizing the government for forcing BP to finance a spill relief fund, major political players in D.C. still do energy firms' bidding, leaving both national parties disinclined to champion stronger environmental statutes."
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Slavery in Haiti, Again: What's the Worth of a Haitian Child?
Beverly Bell and Tory Field, Truthout: "'I'm struggling to end slavery because I know how I suffered,' said Helia Lajeunesse, a former restavek, child slave, who is now a children's rights advocate. Today, there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world, according to the research of Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves."
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Dean Baker | Decline in Labor Force Leads to Drop in Unemployment
Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research: "The June drop in hours suggests that hiring will slow further. The Labor Department reported that 652,000 people left the labor force in June, causing the unemployment rate to edge down to 9.5 percent, even as the number of employed reportedly dropped by 301,000. The establishment survey showed a gain of 100,000 jobs, excluding the 225,000 Census workers who lost their jobs in June."
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? Panel Pushes Goldman on AIG Collapse
Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers: "Goldman Sachs executives first threatened to stop making exotic trades with the American International Group in July 2007 unless the insurance giant posted $1.8 billion in cash collateral to compensate for a slide in the mortgage securities market, internal AIG e-mails show."
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Delegation From Oil-Afflicted Amazon Visits Louisiana Tribes Hit by BP Disaster
Sue Sturgis, Facing South: "From 1964 until it pulled out in 1992, Texaco - which merged with Chevron a decade ago - dumped some 17 million gallons of crude oil and 20 billion gallons of drilling waste water into waterways and pits in the Ecuadorean Amazon. The contamination has seeped into water supplies, where it's killed fish and is blamed for health problems among local residents, who suffer from elevated rates of cancers, reproductive disorders and respiratory ailments."
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Finance Must Be Put Back in Its Place
Christian Chavagneux, Alternatives Economiques: "The G20 display a desire to limit the instability of the financial sector. If it succeeds, it will still have to put that sector back to serving the economy. Is the power of finance unlimited? During the 2000s, bankers, hedge funds, and other financiers enriched themselves by feeding a speculative frenzy of historic scope. Governments had to mobilize trillions of euros to save the banks and avoid having the economy plunge into depression."
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ACLU Suit Challenges No-Fly List
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "Calling the government's terrorist screening system 'broken' and 'ineffective,' the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of ten US citizens, military members and legal permanent residents who have been barred from flying because they are wrongfully included on the government's no-fly list."
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And It's One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For?
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: "It was 1967, and the world was on fire. War at home and abroad demonstrably began to rear its head, and long-held American values of moral exceptionalism and widespread prosperity were rapidly destabilizing. A Democratic president escalated warfare half a world away, and the generals offered red-herring rationales about resource control and the necessity of finishing the job in order to defeat evil."
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