Author Archive

Wall Street & big corporations got what they wanted … this time

June 25, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Fast track passes. Our Congress (the supposed representatives of We the People) voted to cut themselves and us out of the process of deciding what 'the rules' for doing business 'in the 21st Century' will be. How do the plutocrats and oligarchs and their giant multinational corporations get what they want when a pesky democracy is in their way? They push that pesky democracy out of their way. Because of fast track, when the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and any other secretly negotiated 'trade' agreements are completed Congress must vote in a hurry with only limited debate, cannot make any amendments no matter what is in the agreement, and they can’t be filibustered. Nothing else coming before our Congress gets that kind of skid-greasing, only corporate-written 'trade' agreements -- and it doesn’t matter how far the contents go beyond actual 'trade.'" (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pz97x8r  

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Poll: 47% of Americans would vote for a Socialist

June 25, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Marc Daalder  

"A new Gallup poll shows that 47 percent of Americans would consider voting for a socialist candidate. Gallup has been polling Americans on their voting preferences for candidates of different backgrounds since 1937, but this year was the first time they inquired about socialism. When broken down on party lines, a socialist candidate would earn the consideration of 59 percent of Democrats, 49 percent of Independents, and only 26 percent of Republicans. Overall, socialism charted the lowest of all the backgrounds referenced in the poll." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogr4svs  

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NY: Whole Foods grocery chain “overcharged” customers

June 25, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Upmarket US grocery chain Whole Foods has been accused in New York of routinely overcharging customers. The natural foods and organic retailer, which has outlets in the UK, is said to have overstated weights of pre-packaged meat, dairy and baked products New York's Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) commissioner Julie Menin said it was 'incredibly troubling.' Whole Foods said it rejected the DCA's 'overreaching allegations' and that customers were its number one priority. The New York City consumer affairs office said on Wednesday it had found mislabelled weights on 80 types of pre-packaged products it tested." [editor's note: This is hardly news to anyone who has shopped there - SAT] (06/24/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33264745  

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How to make the Fed more transparent & accountable

June 25, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Ady Barkan  

"The Federal Reserve has long faced fierce scrutiny from members of Congress, community leaders, and the press for its lack of transparency. Fed Chair Janet Yellen, still early in her term, has signaled an intention to improve transparency and hold the Fed accountable to the public interest, and she’ll face an important test this month as she starts deciding whom to appoint to the newly formed Community Advisory Council. In the most recent example of Fed’s insular system of governance, Bloomberg Business revealed concerning news about the recent appointment of Patrick Harker as president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve." [editor's note: Contrary to this drivel, Step 1: audit the damned thing; Step 2: abolish it! - SAT] (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pomw5vj  

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WI: Walker signs bill repealing handgun waiting period

June 25, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday signed into law a bill repealing the state’s 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases, a measure supporters said will make buying a gun more convenient and opponents said will lead to increased violence. Walker, a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016, also signed a bill that allows off-duty and retired law-enforcement officers to carry concealed guns on school grounds. The signing of the repeal comes a week after a gunman killed nine worshippers in a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in the latest mass shooting in the United States. Walker said at the signing ceremony that the instant national background check system makes the waiting period law obsolete." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/opxcf2g  

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Streep takes crusade for women’s rights to Capitol Hill

June 25, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Members of Congress received a package in the mail Tuesday addressed from three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. The packet, which included a letter and a book, is part of the actress's efforts to revive the debate around the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which among other things, guarantees equal pay for women in the workplace. 'I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality -- for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself -- by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment,' Ms. Streep wrote in the letter. 'A whole new generation of women and girls are talking about equality -- equal pay, equal protection from sexual assault, equal rights.'" (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pnzvbc6  

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Stein fighting for open debates & real [sic] democracy

June 25, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation    

"Dr. Jill Stein has some great ideas about how to create 'deep system change, moving from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered economy that puts people, planet and peace over profit.' If the 2012 Green Party presidential nominee and contender for the party’s 2016 nod gets a hearing, those ideas will expand and improve the national debate. They could also strike a chord with the millions of Americans who are ready for a plan to 'end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society and our world.'" (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pys45gf  

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FL: Tampa fire reveals huge weed grow house

June 25, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"What started a routine fire at a Tampa-area home early Wednesday turned into the bust of a massive marijuana grow house, reported My Fox Tampa Bay. Fire rescue crews from Tampa and Temple Terrace received a call at 2 a.m. reporting that a house had caught fire. Firefighters worked for nearly an hour before getting the flames under control. It was then that they discovered a room containing 306 pounds of marijuana. After obtaining a search warrant, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies spent four hours removing 15 marijuana plants, estimated to be worth $765,000. According to sheriff's office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez, it was clear that the 'rooms had been converted for the sole purpose of cultivating marijuana.' Fire investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire, but deputies say several suspects have been identified and arrests are forthcoming." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogy5pcb  

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Report: US military conducting large exercise over Alaska

June 24, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"The sparse expanses above Alaska are a little more crowded this month as nearly 200 military aircraft are taking part in an annual training exercise. Nearly 6,000 military members from all four branches of the military are taking part in Northern Edge 2015, which includes naval exercises in the Gulf of Alaska and some operations involving ground troops. The U.S. Pacific Command exercise, coordinated by command leaders in Alaska, tests the readiness of the nation's troops and isn't in response to any increased tensions with any other nation, said Lt. Col. Tim Bobinsky, who is helping lead the exercise. Northern Edge is normally held every two years, but this is the first exercise since 2011." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pgab2ux  

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White House lifts restriction on medical marijuana research

June 24, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The federal government has lifted a key restriction on medical marijuana that, to date, had made the substance difficult to research. A broad coalition of politicians supported the move, first proposed in a letter from bipartisan members of Congress to the secretary of health and human services in May of last year. Before now, any proposals for research on marijuana had to go through what’s called a Public Health Service review, which delayed and sometimes prevented the projects from ever coming to fruition due to the burdensome bureaucratic wrangling it involved. But in a notice published Tuesday, the White House has eliminated this step." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/opgo99j  

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Are the Dems being sucker-punched on trade?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Thanks to a last-minute deal last Thursday between President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress, the fast-track bill is still alive. Its passage depends on whether a handful of Senate Democrats can be persuaded to go along. Quick recap: The trade negotiating authority that Obama needs to complete his cherished Trans-Pacific Partnership has been linked to passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The House at first voted down assistance in order to kill the whole deal, but then Republicans promised a separate vote on adjustment assistance; and so the House on Thursday narrowly approved fast track, 218-208, with 28 Democrats in support. Now the Senate has to concur." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2cq5fa  

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Does Hillary really believe in the Hillary Doctrine?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jordan Michael Smith  

"In the run-up to her official 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton spoke at the Women in the World Summit in New York City in April. Some interpreted Clinton’s remarks as evidence of her commitment to feminism. 'The choice of the location in itself sends a strong signal,' wrote Slate’s Amanda Marcotte; 'If there was any doubt that Clinton intends to run a woman-centric campaign, her speech erased it.' Others viewed the speech as just another calculated exercise. 'Hillary Unveils Her Plan to Advance Women’s Rights (and Her Own Campaign)' read the headline of an article on New York magazine’s website. Such is the ambiguous nature of Clinton’s image: Even more than most politicians, she inspires contrasting views about her authenticity. Does she really mean what she says?" (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncwcua7  

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Venezuela: Vet held over “drugs implanted into puppies”

June 24, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Spanish police have arrested a Venezuelan vet who allegedly tried to smuggle drugs from Colombia to the US by implanting them into puppies. The veterinarian, on the run for 10 years, is wanted by US authorities for extradition on drugs charges. He had been in charge of a veterinary clinic in the Colombian city of Medellin in which police found a number of puppies with bags of liquid heroin implanted into their stomachs. He was detained in north-western Spain. Colombian police found the Labrador and Rottweiler puppies with the drug implants in 2005 in a Medellin veterinary clinic." [editor's note: Drugs stuffed into puppies? Labs and Rotties? The death penalty is far too kind for this asshole - SAT] (06/23/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-33237391  

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Time to take down a symbol of white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peniel E. Joseph  

"The removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, as Republican Governor Nikki Haley called for on Monday, would be a major victory for racial justice -- though it required the blood of nine black innocents martyrs whose senseless murder at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has galvanized the nation. Surrounded by an interracial group of SC's elected legislators (most notably Representative James Clyburn [D] and Senators Tim Scott [R] and Lindsey Graham [R]) Haley announced the bipartisan decision on Monday afternoon. ... [Her] words were culled from the mass carnage allegedly committed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist whose online posting of blood-soaked fantasies of race war have spurred a week of national mourning, political outrage and community organizing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppn4ct8  

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MA: Boston’s faltering bid for 2024 Summer Games a warning for Olympics

June 24, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Boston’s faltering bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics is in danger of becoming a cautionary tale -- both for cities bidding to host the games and for the entire Olympic movement. Even when the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) selected Boston as its bid city in January, only 51 percent of Boston-area voters supported the idea. By the end of March, that number had sunk to less than 40 percent, where it remains. The tepid support throws Boston’s bid into doubt, since it is subject to a statewide public referendum. Indeed, the USOC could drop the city's bid, according to a document obtained by Boston.com, and choose a different city before Sept. 15. Paris’s decision Tuesday to throw its hat in the ring for 2024 raises the stakes." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqunqzc  

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Christians forgive the unspeakable

June 24, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Kirsten Powers  

"When Christians are in the news, it's usually because they have done something wrong: they've gotten on the wrong side of a culture war or cheated on their wife, or worse. What the world rarely gets to see is the powerful grace that flows from a deep faith predicated on the belief that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. The family members of those slain at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church bore witness to this central tenet of Christianity last week as the nation gasped in awe. 'I forgive you,' one after another told the stone-faced and unrepentant alleged killer, Dylann Roof, at his bond hearing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p235dsz  

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Dad & daughter: 39 random acts of kindness to celebrate birthdays

June 24, 2015
posted by

AOL News    

"Birthdays are the one day of the year that you can be the center of attention and be showered with gifts from friends and family. But for one daddy-daughter duo, their birthdays were the perfect occasion to give back. Lee Beck and his daughter Amelie of Oxford, England decided they'd celebrate their May birthdays, his 32nd and her 7th, doing random acts of kindness -- 39 in total. For two weeks, the pair performed the 39 random acts all over Oxford, and Beck posted the video of their good deeds on his YouTube page last week. Highlights from their 39 acts included leaving money on some vending machines, writing a letter to a restaurant manager to compliment their server, leaving a $20 Toys R Us gift card in the mailbox of someone who they thought could use it, donating books to the Oxford Children's Hospital, and even leaving pennies at their favorite wishing bridge for people to enjoy. Beck also became an organ donor." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pfgqoh3  

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Elites still don’t understand white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"The thwarted talk of race in America is testimony to the myth of progress. When those in the white citadels of cultural power aren’t declaring racism dead, they are, with a stunning lack of self-awareness, perpetuating the crudest kinds of racial reaction. In the immediate wake of the anti-police brutality protests in Baltimore in April, when Michelle Obama delivered a relatively anodyne commencement speech at Tuskegee University (pointing out the countless ways she and her husband had been perceived throughout their lives as reflexively angry, dangerously uppity ... or just plain dangerous) she was greeted by a deafening chorus of chidings from the pundit caste, declaring how sadly counterproductive her dour observations were. Not since Dan Quayle tried to tie the depiction of single motherhood in a Candice Bergen sitcom to the root causes of the 1992 Rodney King riots, had the American political establishment so concertedly and grandiosely missed the fucking point." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfzbc93  

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Cannabis is medicine, JAMA concludes

June 24, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Marijuana [sic] is 100% a form of medicine, researchers conclude in a bombshell series of reports released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cannabis (which has been used medicinally for thousands of years) reduces nausea, vomiting and pain, as well as spasticity, a panel of researchers have concluded, after reviewing a total of 79 trials. 'Use of marijuana for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is supported by high-quality evidence,' one of the reports found. Researchers bemoan the lack of high-quality trials of marijuana, which can be laid at the feet of cannabis prohibition. ... Researchers must cut through more red tape to research a pot plant than any other substance on the planet, doctors say." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oshhpb4  

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Blackness as being, whiteness as nothingness

June 24, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Greg Grandin  

"Last week, in the aftermath of the Rachel Dolezal revelations and the Charleston massacre (the trivial and tragic, a very American dialectic) the historian Nell Irvin Painter, professor emerita at Princeton University and author of a great many great books, wrote an essay in The New York Times, “What is Whiteness?” In it, Painter defined 'whiteness' as an existential choice: 'Whiteness,' Painter writes, 'is on a toggle switch between "bland nothingness" and "racist hatred"'To back up that point, Painter runs through the social history of the emergence of whiteness, by now a familiar story (among academics if not the broader public)." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orsstpt  

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Whose race (and gender) is it, anyway?

June 22, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Marilyn Katz  

"So much has been said in the past week about Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal and the porous boundaries of gender and race. But neither the questions nor answers are definitive. As most everyone who is digitally aware knows, Jenner says she is a woman. Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal says she 'identif[ies] as black.' However, while Jenner’s self-identification as a woman is being widely praised, Dolezal’s self-identification as black is being widely condemned. Dolezal, who has lived as a black woman for many years (with two black sons), has been denounced as a fraud. Jenner, who says that she felt like a fraud while living as a man, is now lauded for finding her true voice as a woman. Still, their choices open up a long overdue conversation concerning race and gender: are these categories natural occurrences or just useful ways of seeing and understanding who people are?" [editor's note: This is a very provocative, yet perceptive, column - SAT] (06/19/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18090/whose-race-and-gender  

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Exposing the college accreditation ripoff

June 22, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Emily Foster  

"Colleges and universities depend on positive ratings from private accrediting organizations to not only attract students but to be eligible for the federal loans and grants those students receive. But too often, those ratings don’t reflect reality; top ratings go to schools that are actively ripping off taxpayers, and leaving students with worthless degrees and mounds of debt. That prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday to ask sharp questions of a representative of the college accreditation business about the shady practices of the accreditors and their private interests." (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oejpxtf  

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Give the dying one last shot at life

June 22, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Jonathan Johnson  

"For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had a 'compassionate use' application process meant to provide patients expanded access to investigational medical products not yet approved by the FDA. However, for the terminally ill this process is impractical and has denied them access to potentially life-saving treatments and devices. I know this from personal experience." (06/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9heg69  

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ConAgra’s smorgasbord is ready to carve

June 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"ConAgra Foods’ smorgasbord is ready to carve. The Hunt’s-to-Swiss Miss conglomerate’s $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp in 2013 has left a bad taste for shareholders. Pushy investor Jana Partners is ready to shake up the board. ConAgra’s myriad brands probably fit better elsewhere. The question is how to slice it. The $17 billion packaged-food group’s shares jumped 10 percent after Barry Rosenstein’s hedge fund on Thursday disclosed a 7.2 percent stake and that it was prepared to nominate three new directors. Jana hasn’t said what more should be done but reckons ConAgra has inadequately addressed the failure of its deal for the maker of white-label goods." (06/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ogkkkm4  

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NJ: School bans Harvard-bound valedictorian from graduation for “aggression” [sic]

June 21, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A suburban New Jersey high school is holding its graduation Tuesday, but the big day’s pomp and circumstance won’t include a speech by the Harvard-bound valedictorian. Devan Solanki, 18, an honors student at Lodi High School, has been told to stay home on graduation day despite his 4.3032 grade-point average and No. 1 class ranking. He was suspended for five days after allegedly threatening a guidance counselor. The incident also led the school to order the teen to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. 'Not only did they take this away from me, they took it away from my family,' Solanki told NBC 4 New York Saturday." [editor's note: Read this story to the end, then tell me how this student did anything "aggressive" given the circumstances - SAT] (06/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q8br9nm  

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