28 Jun

Truth Out Today, June 28, 2011

Tuesday 28 June 2011Sen. Bernie Sanders: We Will Not Balance the Budget on the Backs of Working Families
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Mr. President, this is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. In the coming days and weeks, decisions will be made about our national budget that will impact the lives of virtually every American in this country for decades to come. At a time when the richest people and the largest corporations in our country are doing phenomenally well, and, in many cases, have never had it so good, while the middle class is disappearing and poverty is increasing, it is absolutely imperative that a deficit reduction package not include the disastrous cuts in programs for working families, the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor that the Republicans in Congress, dominated by the extreme right wing, are demanding.”
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William Rivers Pitt | A Boston Story
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: “It has been a wild June for the city of Boston. Two events have transpired in rapid succession, one that turned the city upside down, and another that threatens to turn it – along with the FBI and the Department of Justice – inside out.”
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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “Social Security Represents Freedom and Security for ALL Americans”
Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: “In a recent briefing with a small group of reporters and activists in Minneapolis, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) discussed the relentless right-wing attacks on Social Security and the need for a concerted strategy to counter them. According to Senator Whitehouse, any and all the proposals that would undermine the program should be vigorously opposed and debated now before the Biden Group releases its July 1 report, expected to offer a trillion dollars in cuts.”
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Wisconsin GOP Defunds Planned Parenthood
Marie Diamond, ThinkProgress: “Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a budget that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood, after pushing the measure through the state Legislature without a single Democratic vote. Planned Parenthood denounced the decision to choke off state and federal funding to nine health centers in small communities that will deny preventative health care to 12,000 women who don’t have health insurance.”
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Supreme Court Strikes Down Public Finance Law, Obama Gives in to GOP on Bush Tax Cuts, and More
The right wing of the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that provides public financing of elections; the war on women continues in Wisconsin; 11 US soldiers have died in Iraq this month; Sen. Bernie Sander’s letter to Obama tells him not to give in to Republican demands in the debt limit negotiations; judge strikes down the radical Georgia anti-immigrant law; a two-day strike has shut down Greece’s public transportation system and riot police are clashing with protesters in the streets of Athens today; Fox news ignores historic same-sex marriage law in New York that was passed last Friday.
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Sinking GOP Poll Numbers May Put Florida in Play
Don Van Natta Jr. and Gary Fineout, The New York Times News Service: “In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path. So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?… The promise of wholesale changes appealed to Florida voters, who overlooked Mr. Scott’s lack of experience and propelled him into the Governor’s Mansion last year as a Tea Party darling. But within six months of Mr. Scott’s swearing-in, many Floridians seem to have soured on the governor, an unflinching former health insurance executive whose leadership style strikes some as remote and uncaring.”
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New Expose: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Colluded With Industry (Video)
Democracy Now!: “Three US senators have called for a congressional probe on safety issues at the nation’s aging nuclear plants following a pair of new exposes. In a special series called ‘Aging Nukes,’ the Associated Press revealed that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry have been working in tandem to weaken safety standards to keep aging reactors within the rules. Just last year, the NRC weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels.”

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Andrew J. Bacevich | America Comes to Its Senses Ten Years After 9/11
Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch: “At periodic intervals, the American body politic has shown a marked susceptibility to messianic fevers. Whenever an especially acute attack occurs, a sort of delirium ensues, manifesting itself in delusions of grandeur and demented behavior. By the time the condition passes and a semblance of health is restored, recollection of what occurred during the illness tends to be hazy. What happened? How’d we get here? Most Americans prefer not to know. No sense dwelling on what’s behind us. Feeling much better now! Thanks!”
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Paul Krugman | Distressed Greece, Delusional Europe
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: “The reaction of European leaders and institutions to the Greek crisis is a sight to behold. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that default would be very inconvenient, both as a practical matter and in terms of prestige. Therefore, default must not be considered a possibility, even though it has long been obvious that nondefault is not an option.”
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Michele Bachmann as New American Boogeywoman
Rich Broderick, Twin Cities Daily Planet: “Over the past few weeks as Michele Bachmann’s star has risen in the firmament of GOP presidential hopefuls, I have been reading a flurry of emails, blogs, and Facebook status updates from fellow Minnesotans of a leftish bent decrying Bachmann not only for her extremist ideology but for being ‘insane’ or ‘crazy.’ Last week she was even treated to one of Matt Taibbi’s gonzo wrecking jobs in Rolling Stone that made essentially the same point – she’s bonkers, man. Whacko. Cuckoo. A runaway train with no crew on board.”
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Los Alamos Nuclear Lab: New Mexico Fire Forces Closure
Read the Article at The BBC

Spring Buying Boosts Home Prices Slightly in Major US Cities
Read the Article at The Associated Press

David Prosser and Clarence Thomas Are Strangling Justice: They Should Be Removed
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Margaret Thatcher Is the Latest “Reagan Icon” for the GOP
Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister, Appointed Head of IMF
Read the Article at The Wall Street Journal

Police Trial on Katrina Shootings Begins
Read the Article at The Associated Press

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In an era of petitioning our grievances via email, it is hard to remember that people have, in the past, put their lives on the line for justice in America. They changed the course of the US by making history, not by expecting politicians to do it for them.

That is the magnificently inspiring story of the documentary “Freedom Riders” directed by Stanley Nelson. “Freedom Riders” tells a complex political story about a simple goal: desegregating interstate buses and bus stations in the deep South.

Blacks and whites from around the United States signed their last wills and testaments 50 years ago this past May to board segregated Greyhound and Trailway buses through Alabama and Mississippi. All they traveled with was their moral authority, because the federal government wouldn’t – for days – protect them from attempts to burn them to death in a bus, brutal beatings, arrests and nearly deadly attacks by mobs.

The Kennedy brothers, both the president and attorney general, didn’t want to alienate what was then still the Democratic segregationist South. The Freedom Riders were an annoyance to them, and they worked through Martin Luther King, among others, to try and discourage the “agitators” from “stirring up” the racist white thugs, KKK and hostile police departments.

But the Freedom Riders rode on, greeted by lead pipes and Molotov cocktails. As one group would give up, more would follow, led – at a crucial point – by a young female student from Fisk University who taught the president of the United States and his attorney general the meaning of justice enshrined in our Constitution.

The power of the Freedom Riders came from their conviction and their determination – black and white – to be willing to die for a cause greater than themselves: the equality of all men and women in the United States.

In the end, after horrifying violence and imprisonment that affected around 400 Freedom Rider volunteers from across America, Robert F. Kennedy (on behalf of the president) reluctantly relented and had a regulation implemented that banned segregation on interstate bus lines and in bus station waiting rooms.

Anyone who wants to see how a relatively small group of committed people can force the president of the United States to take a stand on behalf of justice should see this documentary.

You can obtain it with a contribution to Truthout and BuzzFlash at Truthout by clicking here.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

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