Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Truthout 7/27

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Maya Schenwar | Time to Make a Fuss
Maya Schenwar, Truthout: "Obama's latest supplemental spending request, which would sign away $33 billion more for Afghanistan and Iraq, is hovering on the brink of passage. Those billions would be heaped on top of the $159.3 billion that Congress approved (with little fuss) for the wars in May. Now, if ever, Congress should be fussing - and so should the rest of us."
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WikiLeaks: Time to Celebrate, Time to Mourn
Jeff Cohen, Truthout: "It's a big win for Internet-based, indie media that WikiLeaks.org posted its 'Afghan War Diary,' based on 90,000 leaked US military records detailing a failing war in which US and allied forces have repeatedly killed innocent civilians. This on-the-ground material is vaster than the Daniel Ellsberg-leaked Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War and was much faster in reaching the public."
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Elizabeth Warren and Her Discontents
Richard Eskow, The Campaign for America's Future: "Somebody really, really doesn't want Elizabeth Warren to run the new Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, or 'CFPB,' which she first envisioned and proposed. Who? The big banks, for sure, as well as others who don't want their misbehavior brought to light. And Tim Geithner, whose vision of Wall Street and its problems is fundamentally different from Warren's. There are others, too - ideologues like Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, who has made something of a cottage industry out of attacking Warren on specious grounds."
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Robert Reich | The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits From Jobs
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "Second-quarter earnings reports are coming in, and they're making Wall Street smile. Corporate profits are up. And big American companies are sitting on a gigantic pile of money. The 500 largest non-financial firms held almost a trillion dollars in the second quarter, and that money pile is growing larger this quarter. Profits that plummeted in the recession have bounced back. Big businesses have recovered almost 90 percent of what they lost."
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Defense News: War Supplemental Not Needed to Fund Troops
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "According to a plausible AP report last Thursday, heavy political pressure was expected on the House Democratic leadership this week to approve a war supplemental for Afghanistan that contains no money to avoid impending layoffs of schoolteachers and other public employees, nor any kind timetable for military drawdown from Afghanistan."
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Labor and Money Clash in 15 Cities
Carl Finamore, Truthout: "Contracts expire in 2010 for 45,000 hotel workers in ten cities and, on July 22, several thousand supporters demonstrated across the US and Canada. This time Hyatt Hotels were targeted because 'Hyatt wants to take more away and lock workers into recession contracts even as the economy rebounds,' according to the union UNITE-HERE, AFL-CIO."
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New Questions Raised About Prosecutor Who Cleared Bush Officials in US Attorney Firings
Andrew Kreig, Nieman Watchdog: "In September 2008, the Bush Justice Department appointed career federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy to investigate allegations that Bush officials in 2006 illegally fired nine U.S. attorneys who wouldn't politicize official corruption investigations."
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Congress' Response to WikiLeaks: Shoot the Messenger
Gail Russell Chaddock, The Christian Science Monitor: "Despite the release of some 92,000 classified documents that cast doubt on the success of the US war effort in Afghanistan, all but the staunchest antiwar members of Congress focused their most scathing words Monday on WikiLeaks, the website that published the material."
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Raul Castro Silent at Cuban Rally
Nick Miroff, GlobalPost: "In Cuba's inscrutable political culture, silence is often just as significant as speech-making. And Raul Castro's decision to stay quiet during a major annual government rally Monday is likely to add to growing intrigue about recent political developments on the island."
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Obama Urges Senate to Pass Campaign Ad Disclosure Bill
William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers: "President Barack Obama implored the Senate Monday to pass a campaign finance law that Republicans and business groups are attacking as political censorship and an effort to limit the number of ads aimed at Democratic incumbents in November's elections."
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In Arizona, Feds Are Fighting a Monster They Built
Aarti Shahani, Colorlines: "President Obama's lawyer has argued more than a hundred cases before the Supreme Court. Last Thursday in Arizona, he got served. Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler came to challenge SB 1070, the controversial law that would make police arrest and prosecute people suspected of not having papers. It's set to go into effect on Thursday, July 29. The Justice Department has argued the law oversteps constitutional bounds by creating a parallel immigration system that threatens the federal one and interfering with foreign relations. Latin American governments are up in arms."
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The End of the Fox News Era?
E.J. Dionne Jr.: "The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now trivialized phrase has it, a 'teachable moment.' It is a time for action. The mainstream media and the Obama administration alike must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its own propaganda to be accepted as news by persuading traditional journalists that 'fairness' requires treating extremist rants as 'one side of the story.'"
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