19 Feb

Truth Out Today, 19 February 2011

The last few weeks have been truly inspiring, as the spirit of democratic revolution has spread across the Middle East – and crossed the Atlantic, to the Midwest. This week, for the first time in a long while, progressive forces in the US stood firm against the horrifying overreach of slash-and-burn politicians aligned with their corporate profiteers.

Saturday 19 February 2011

George Lakoff | What Conservatives Really Want
George Lakoff, Truthout: “Conservatives really want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life… What is saddest of all is to see Democrats helping them. Democrats help radical conservatives by accepting the deficit frame and arguing about what to cut… Democrats help conservatives by not shouting out loud over and over that it was conservative values that caused the global economic collapse: lack of regulation and a greed-is-good ethic… Democrats help ‘conservatives when they use conservative words like ‘entitlements’ instead of ‘earnings’ and speak of government as providing ‘services’ instead of ‘necessities’… Is there hope? I see it in Wisconsin, where tens of thousands citizens see through the conservative frames and are willing to flood the streets of their capital to stand up for their rights.”
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Protesters Retake Square in Bahrain While Libya and Yemen Try to Suppress Protests
Michael Slackman and Jack Healy, The New York Times News Service: “Protesters in Bahrain fought past riot policemen who sprayed them with tear gas and shot at them with rubber bullets Saturday, retaking a central square and leading the country’s crown prince to say he had ordered the army out of the area. The announcement set off a wave of jubilation among the thousands of protesters in Pearl Square, the heart of the country’s uprising, and added new pressures for shaken governments in Libya, Algeria and Yemen as they made new moves to stifle protests.”
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Cecile Richards on Today’s House Vote Defunding Planned Parenthood: “We Need You Today, Tomorrow and the Next Day…”
Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check: “Friday, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Pence Amendment, eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood… Among the Democrats who voted to defund PPFA were Congressmen Dan Boren (OK), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Jerry Costello (Illinois), Dan Lipinski (Illinois), Mike McIntyre (North Carolina), Collin Peterson (Minnesota), Nick Rahall (West Virginia), Silvestre Reyes (Texas), Mike Ross (Arkansas), and Heath Shuler (North Carolina). See anything in common? Yep. They’re all men…. Each one of these men apparently bought into and perpetuated the charade that this was a discussion about federal funding of abortion. Which it was not. It was about eliminating federal funds that pay for cervical cancer and breast cancer screenings, for testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and for many primary preventive care services to which, without Planned Parenthood, millions of people will not have access.”
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Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money
Lisa Graves, PR Watch: “A new investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy documents the big money funneled by one of the richest men in America and one of the richest corporations in the world to put controversial Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in office. Walker was elected just over three months ago on the heels of an exceptionally expensive gubernatorial race in the Badger State, fueled by groups funded by the Koch brothers, David and Charles. David Koch, the son of a radical founding member of the John Birch Society, which has long been obsessed with claims about socialism and advocated the repeal of civil rights laws, personally donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) in June of last year. The RGA in turn spent $5 million in the race, mostly on TV ads attacking Walker’s political opponent, Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett.”
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Wagering With Our Lives
Stephen Cleghorn, Truthout: “For the past six months, I have been researching since I found out that it might happen, what it would mean if a Marcellus Shale natural gas well gobbles up five to ten acres of our 50-acre organic farm in western Pennsylvania… As this high-stakes gamble gets ever closer to my farm, my problem is that there is, at present, no scientific consensus that unconventional drilling for gas in the shale by a method called ‘hydraulic fracturing’ – which entails injecting millions of gallons of water and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals into each well bore at very high pressures – will not cause irreparable environmental harm, perhaps despoiling water aquifers that supply millions of people, including those in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City… There is no evidence that deep well drilling and hydrofracking is safe in places where people live – any people, whether living in densely populated cities, or on sparsely populated farm like ours that feeds the cities.”
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Wisconsin: the First Stop in an American Uprising?
Sarah Van Gelder, YES! Magazine: “The uprising that swept Tunisia, Egypt, and parts of Europe is showing signs of blossoming across the United States. In Wisconsin, public employees and their supporters are drawing the line at Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining and unilaterally cut benefits. School teachers, university students, firefighters, and others descended on the capital in the tens of thousands, and even the Superbowl champion Green Bay Packers have weighed in against the bill. Protests against similar anti-union measures are ramping up in Ohio. Meanwhile, another protest movement aimed at protecting the poor and middle class is in the works. Cities around the country are preparing for a February 26 Day of Action, ‘targeting corporate tax dodgers.'”
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Across the US, GOP Lawmakers Build States of Denial
Michael Winship, Truthout: “Last week, the Utah Senate passed a bill that would make the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol the state’s official firearm… In Missouri, state senator Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield) has introduced a bill that would, in the words of progressive website ThinkProgress, ‘dramatically claw back’ state child labor restrictions, including the prohibition on employment of children under the age of 14 and regulations on the number of hours a child may work during the day. South Dakota was contemplating – but just tabled, thank goodness – a bill that critics feared would expand the definition of justifiable homicide to include the murder of doctors who provide abortions. Idaho is debating a bill to nullify Obama’s health care reform, and in Arizona, legislators are sponsoring one that would allow the state to nullify any federal law it doesn’t particularly care for. I would ask what’s gotten into them, but I think we all know.”
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Politicians, Filmmakers Campaign for End to Afghanistan War
Nadia Prupis, Truthout: “Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation that would end combat operations in Afghanistan and provide limited funding for a withdrawal of US forces. The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act would ensure that the funds allocated for military operations in Afghanistan would be used for the ‘safe and orderly withdrawal’ of the US Army presence and Department of Defense (DOD) contractors. Lee introduced her bill on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s escalated military campaign in Afghanistan. Several other members of Congress, as well as the progressive new media company Brave New Foundation, are also utilizing this week’s timing to intensify their antiwar message. Brave New Foundation, which operates an antiwar campaign it named ‘Rethink Afghanistan,’ released a Washington, DC-based television ad of US residents telling the White House to end the war.”
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US House Goes Rogue Again, Passes Own Spending-Cut Bill
Read the Article at Reuters

Is Wisconsin the Tunisia for Labor Rights? Workers Fight Cuts in Other States
Read the Article at The New York Times

US Drops Criminal Probe of Former Countrywide Chief Angelo Mozilo
Read the Article at The LA Times

Local Business Community May Be Turning Against Gov. Scott Walker
Read the Article at ThinkProgress

US Vetoes Arab Resolution at the Security Council Condemning Israeli Settlements
Read the Article at BBC

Congresswomen Speak Openly About Their Unplanned Pregnancies and Abortion, Electrify Debate
Read the Article at The Daily Beast

Scott Walker Padded Salary Increases for Cronies During Budgetary Distress: 24 Percent Salary Increase for Aide With Two Public Pension
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

US in Secret Talks With the Taliban
Read the Article at New Yorker

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