Progressive News Digest

News


| Commentary | Events |

France: Inquiry after drones buzz nuclear sites

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"An investigation has been launched after France's state-owned EDF power company said unidentified drones had flown over seven of its nuclear plants. The first unmanned aircraft was spotted on 5 October and there had been further sightings up to 20 October, EDF said. Who is behind the drones is unclear but pressure group Greenpeace has denied any involvement. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says measures are being taken to 'neutralize' the drones." (10/30/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29831897

No Comments »

NY 11: Worst Congressional race in US?

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"In this House race, one candidate is facing a 20-count federal indictment. He once threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony for asking an impertinent question. The other knows little about the district and speaks in bursts of clichés. He points to involvement with a student exchange program as evidence of his knowledge of foreign affairs. Asked at a debate the title of the last book they’ve read, neither could answer. ... This is the contest for New York’s 11th congressional district. ... It pits incumbent Rep. Michael Grimm (R) against former New York City Council member Dominic Recchia (D) for the right to represent a district that includes Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mr272n7

No Comments »

ME: US nurse defies Ebola quarantine, takes bike ride

Reuters Reuters

"A nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has tested negative for the virus ventured out of her home in Maine and took a bike ride on Thursday, defying a quarantine order and setting up a legal collision with state authorities. Attorneys for Kaci Hickox, 33, said they had not yet been served with a court order to enforce a 21-day quarantine (matching the virus's maximum incubation period) but remained prepared to fight such an order if necessary. Hickox left her home in the small Maine town of Fort Kent, along the Canadian border, and television news images showed her taking a morning bicycle ride with her boyfriend. Hickox has given the state a deadline of Thursday to lift an order that she remain at home until Nov. 10, or she will go to court." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nwzpf72

No Comments »

US turns up heat on Takata over air bag problem

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"U.S. safety regulators are ordering Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp. to provide more information about air bags that can explode and shoot shrapnel toward drivers and passengers. The order sent Thursday makes 36 separate requests for information on production mistakes, lawsuit settlements and reports of deaths or injuries that the Tokyo-based company has received. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also wants to know how many replacement parts Takata can make each day and what it has discussed with automakers and competitors. Takata has until Dec. 1 to turn in the information or it could face fines of $7,000 per day. A Takata spokesman said the company is cooperating and will work to meet the agency's requests." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qzschlw

No Comments »

MO: Ending abortions, one law at a time

Raw Story Raw Story

"The lawmaker who represents Christian county in the Missouri state legislature has little doubt as to why there is just one remaining abortion clinic in his state. 'They don’t exist right now because, over the years, other ones have been closed because there’s no demand for them,' said Kevin Elmer, a Republican member of Missouri’s House of Representatives. 'There’s nothing that precludes anybody from opening multiple abortion clinics around the state.' That’s not strictly true. Elmer is the architect of the latest piece of legislation in a legal war of attrition to limit access to abortions in a state that already has some of the toughest in the US." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pkydfxg

No Comments »

NFL seeks to dismiss ex-players’ painkillers lawsuit

Fox News Fox News

"The National Football League on Thursday is expected to ask a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former players who say team officials gave them powerful painkillers and other drugs to keep them on the field without regard for their long-term health. NFL lawyers in court papers deny the allegations and argue that the former players waited too long to file the lawsuit. The NFL says that a two-year statute of limitations claiming personal injury has expired. The former players filed the lawsuit in May. Several prominent former players have publicly joined the lawsuit, including Marcellus Wiley, Jim McMahon, Richard Dent, Keith Van Horne and Jeremy Newberry." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/moepu7x

No Comments »

Medicare agency is focus of insider trading investigations

Fox News Fox News

"Employees of the federal agency that oversees Medicare and the federal health exchange website are the focus of three Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations to determine whether they leaked news about pending health policy decisions that would up in the hands of Wall Street traders. According to The Wall Street Journal, nearly a dozen officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have spoken to investigators, with some receiving immunity in exchange for their information. The Jounal reported that one of the probes is centered on a CMS decision in June 2010 to set coverage limits on a prostate cancer drug made by Dendreon Corp." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjfm72x

No Comments »

Report: SEC probing private equity performance figures

Reuters Reuters

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is examining how private equity firms report a key metric of their past performance when they market new funds to investors, as the regulator boosts its scrutiny of the industry, according to people familiar with the matter. At issue is how private equity firms report how they calculate average net returns in past funds in their marketing materials, the sources said. Net returns, also known as the net internal rate of return (IRR) and an indicator of investors' actual profits, deduct private equity fund investors' fees and expenses from a fund's gross profits. " (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obuxf64

No Comments »

KY: Lyrics poster won’t face charges

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Prosecutors dismissed a felony charge against a western Kentucky man who spent more than a week in jail for posting violent song lyrics to his Facebook page. The lyrics 31-year-old James E. Evans posted in August included the words 'student bodies lying dead in the halls' and prompted complaints to school officials in Muhlenberg County. He had posted a portion of the lyrics from the song 'Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)' by the California heavy metal band Exodus. The band released a statement at the time of Evans' arrest expressing disappointment over the criminal charge." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o3ek56z

No Comments »

White House distances itself from Netanyahu “chickenshit” comment

Foreign Policy

"The White House is in damage control after an anonymous Obama administration official was quoted in the Atlantic calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a 'chickenshit' while a second told the magazine that the Israeli leader was a 'coward' when it came to Iran. 'Certainly the comments in the article do not represent the administration's view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive,' Alistair Baskey, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement. ... The flap began after the Atlantic magazine's Jeffrey Goldberg quoted an anonymous U.S. official saying Netanyahu is a 'chickenshit prime minister,' whose only concern was his political survival." [editor's note: Well, US-Israeli relations do seem to have a rather strong "let's you and him fight" component ... - TLK] (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m6mnph7

No Comments »

Millennial poll: Youth vote now “leans Republican”

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"America’s young voters are no longer reliably Democratic and should be considered 'swing voters,' a new poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics finds. Among 18-to-29-year-olds who say they will 'definitely' vote in the Nov. 4 midterms, 51 percent prefer a Republican-led Congress, while only 47 percent want the Democrats in charge, the survey finds. That’s a significant reversal from just before the last midterm election in 2010, when young voters told the survey they preferred Democrats by a spread of 12 points. " [editor's note: I wonder how the results would look had they asked broader questions ("Do you support EITHER wing of the War Party?)" - SAT] (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nrxnckh

No Comments »

ME: LePage wants nurse quarantined

Chicago Tribune

"Gov. Paul LePage, R, said he would try to force nurse Kaci Hickox to abide by Maine's Ebola quarantine, escalating the confrontation between the previously little-known aid worker and the political leaders of two states. Hickox, who has shown no symptoms since a brief fever, was kept in a tent at a New Jersey hospital after returning from treating patients in Sierra Leone before being released by Gov. Chris Christie, R. She said Wednesday she wouldn't follow isolation orders in Maine, where she lives. LePage, 66, who faces a re-election fight Nov. 4, said he would try to make her." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nhzmmd7

No Comments »

Egypt: Regime demolishes Sinai homes for Gaza border buffer

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Egypt has begun demolishing homes along its border with the Gaza Strip as part of a planned 500-meter buffer zone that is intended to prevent weapons smuggling. Residents living along the border with the Palestinian territory have been given 48 hours (and promised compensation) to leave their homes. The buffer will include water-filled trenches to prevent tunnelling. Egyptian media accuses Gaza's Hamas administration of aiding militants in Sinai. Hamas denies the charge." (10/29/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29825889

No Comments »

Report: Hackers break into White House computer network

Raw Story Raw Story

"The White House’s unclassified computer network was recently breached by intruders, a US official said Tuesday, with the Washington Post reporting that the Russian government was thought to be behind the act. 'In the course of assessing recent threats, we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network,' said the White House official, speaking on condition of not being named. 'Any such activity is something we take very seriously. In this case, we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity.' The Washington Post quoted sources as saying hackers believed to be working for the Russian government were believed to be responsible." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nervz54

No Comments »

Nurse infected by first US Ebola patient released

Reuters Reuters

"The second of two American nurses who became infected with Ebola while treating a Liberian man who died of the disease in Texas was released from an Atlanta hospital on Tuesday having been declared free of the virus. 'I'm so grateful to be well,' a smiling Amber Vinson, 29, told reporters at Emory University Hospital before hugging the doctors and nurses who had treated her since her Oct. 15 arrival." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7hwb2y

No Comments »

Report: Spying on US Postal Service customers by police, feds fails audit

Concord Monitor

"The U.S. Postal Service granted 49,000 requests by law enforcement to track people’s mail in 2013 under a program that often lacked proper approval, adequate justification and required annual reviews, a recent audit found. Those deficiencies can 'hinder the Postal Inspection Service’s ability to conduct effective investigations, lead to public concerns over privacy of mail, and harm the Postal Service's brand,' according to an inspector general’s audit published in May. Names of the agencies and police departments that requested the tracking were redacted." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwddewt

No Comments »

FBI creates fake Seattle Times website to plant malware

KGW News

"The FBI created a fake news story on a phony webpage designed in the style of a Seattle newspaper to nab a bomb threat suspect in 2007, according to documents obtained by a civil liberties group. The bogus link was sent to a suspect tied to a series of bomb threats received by Timberline High School in Lacey, Washington, from May 2007 to June 2007. Once the link was opened, the FBI in Seattle was able to plant software on the suspect's computer, according to the documents released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based non-profit that defends civil liberties online." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q3bwqbd

No Comments »

Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China?

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"The last British soldier left Afghanistan over the weekend. The last American combat troops will be gone by Christmas. Afghanistan’s beleaguered government is looking in new directions for help, and new President Ashraf Ghani arrived Tuesday in Beijing, where Chinese authorities are anxious to oblige. If 2014 marks an endpoint for Western policy in Afghanistan, it is more of a starting point for China. ... Beijing, which offered Mr. Ghani hundreds of millions in aid Tuesday, is gearing up to play a leading role in Afghanistan’s future -- fearful that if its neighbor descends into chaos, more trouble will spread into China’s restless, predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k4uass2

No Comments »

Feinstein: San Francisco has no room for Airbnb

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein tells me that if Mayor Ed Lee signs the Board of Supervisors’ legislation legalizing Airbnb-style rentals, she’ll support an effort to overturn it at the ballot. It would be one heck of a fight for Lee to face when he’s up for re-election next year, but Feinstein is serious in her belief that the proliferation of short-term rentals in the city will destroy the neighborhoods. When we talked the other day, she had pictures of some of the homes that are being rented out to tourists and the like. ... Her fear is that speculators are going to start buying houses throughout the city just to farm them out at daily rates that get around rent laws." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m7kcndp

No Comments »

Study: BP oil spill left “bathtub ring”

Fox News Fox News

"The BP oil spill left an oily 'bathub ring' on the sea floor that's about the size of Rhode Island, new research shows. The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig. Valentine, a geochemistry professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, said the spill from the Macondo well left other splotches containing even more oil. He said it is obvious where the oil is from, even though there were no chemical signature tests because over time the oil has degraded." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pan4z37

No Comments »

China “to protect whistle-blowers” amid corruption fight

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Chinese authorities say whistle-blowers will be protected, amid an ongoing crackdown on corruption. China's top prosecuting body said it has, for the first time, laid out rights for those exposing malpractice. It urged citizens to file reports in a 'lawful manner' via official channels and promised a quick response. China's President Xi Jinping has prioritised stamping out corruption in the Communist Party and government since he took office in 2012." (10/28/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-29797985

No Comments »

Pope Francis gets with the science

USA Today

"Pope Francis has waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it. The pope was addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which gathered Monday at the Vatican to discuss 'Evolving Concepts of Nature.' ... Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics, welcomed Francis' comments, saying he had buried the 'pseudo theories' of creationists." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/odd59h9

No Comments »

New seven-year peak for US consumer confidence

MarketWatch

"Consumer confidence in October rose to a seven-year peak, helped by a growing belief in the jobs market and the likelihood that wage growth will come next. The Conference Board said Tuesday that consumer confidence in October rose to a reading of 94.5, up from 89 in September. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected an 87.3 reading." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n8r6z35

No Comments »

US Army to quarantine all troops returning from Liberia

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com

"The US Army has announced that it intends to quarantine every single US soldier returning from deployment to Liberia out of 'an abundance of caution' about the possibility of Ebola exposure. Dozens of soldiers have already been placed in 21-day quarantine in Italy over the weekend, including Major General Darryl Williams, the outgoing commander of the operations in Liberia. ... The White House downplayed the announcement, saying it did not represent a shift in Defense Department policy but rather the decision of a single commander, and hinted that the announcement was not set in stone and could be subject to change." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pn2wu9y

No Comments »

Report: Population controls “will not solve environment issues”

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Restricting population growth will not solve global issues of sustainability in the short term, new research says. A worldwide one-child policy would mean the number of people in 2100 remained around current levels, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Even a catastrophic event that killed billions of people would have little effect on the overall impact, it said. There may be 12 billion humans on Earth by 2100, latest projections suggest. Concerns about the impact of people on the planet's resources have been growing, especially if the population continues to increase." (10/27/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29788754

No Comments »


Commentary


| News | Events |

New voting restrictions could swing election

The Nation The Nation
by Ari Berman

"On Monday, October 27, eight activists with Moral Monday Georgia occupied the office of Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp, holding signs that read 'Let Us Vote.' There are 800,000 unregistered African-American, Hispanic and Asian eligible voters in Georgia. This year, the New Georgia Project registered 85,000 of them. After the applications were submitted, Kemp subpoenaed the group's records and accused them of voter registration fraud. It turned out that only 25 of the forms were fraudulent and the group was required by law to turn them in regardless. Despite the scant evidence of voter fraud, 40,000 new voter registration applications have yet to be processed in the state, according to the New Georgia Project." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kftfvxc

No Comments »

GOP: They’re all Randians now

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"In public opinion, the battle over the Affordable Care Act has come to a stalemate. Depending on how you ask the question, a majority of the public disapproves of the law, but a majority also doesn't agree with Republicans that it should be repealed. On the simple approval question, poll results look just about the same as they did five years ago, which is remarkable given all the fighting over it and everything that has happened, good and bad, in its implementation. But there's something remarkable in this new article in the New England Journal of Medicine that we really need to take notice of, because it represents a significant shift in how some Americans think about healthcare." (10/30/14)

http://prospect.org/article/theyre-all-randians-now

No Comments »

Secret manuals show the spyware sold to despots and cops worldwide

The Intercept The Intercept
by Cora Currier and Morgan Marquis-Boire

"When Apple and Google unveiled new encryption schemes last month, law enforcement officials complained that they wouldn't be able to unlock evidence on criminals' digital devices. What they didn't say is that there are already methods to bypass encryption, thanks to off-the-shelf digital implants readily available to the smallest national agencies and the largest city police forces -- easy-to-use software that takes over and monitors digital devices in real time, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. We're publishing in full, for the first time, manuals explaining the prominent commercial implant software 'Remote Control System,' manufactured by the Italian company Hacking Team." (10/30/14)

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/30/hacking-team/

No Comments »

Hysteria epidemics

The Cagle Post
by Jeff Darcy

Cartoon. (10/29/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/10/voter-id-4/

No Comments »

Trying to silence Bill Maher in cradle of free speech

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"'The students at the University of California at Berkeley represent a diverse array of students from all walks of life,' begins the student petition. Somehow you just know that before the end, the document would demand that the administration muzzle someone -- for the sake of diversity. The spirit of far-left censors trumps exposure to novel ideas. Hence the new student group: Stop Bill Maher from Speaking at UC Berkeley’s December Graduation, which almost prevailed. 'It is the responsibility of the University of California to protect all students and uphold a standard of civility,' quoth the petition, which has gathered close to 4,000 signatures. Protect students from a comedian? O brave new university that has such delicate flowers in it." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mrq9unh

No Comments »

The awful truth about free speech

spiked spiked
by Mick Hume

"Almost everybody in Western society with more than two brain cells to rub together supports freedom of speech. Or so they say. Blasphemers might be sentenced to death in Islamic states, and the internet might be censored to death in China. But in the UK, US and elsewhere in the West, we still enjoy freedom of expression. Or so we think. So how is it then that, everywhere from Twitter to television, from the theatrical stage to the football stand, in student bars and in serious debates, free speech is under siege? It seems that our hard-won historic liberty is often being given up without a serious fight, and even offered up for sacrifice." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/km9kr6z

No Comments »

Israel doesn’t care what Obama thinks

Reuters Reuters
by Dimi Reider

"When a senior U.S. official calls Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 'chickenshit,' you know the Israeli-American relationship has reached a new low point. The putdown was reported in The Atlantic just days after the Israeli defense minister’s request to meet with U.S. national security officials was rebuffed. Adding insult to injury, the rebuff was leaked to the press. While the White House distanced itself somewhat from the mudslinging, it did not retract any of the more substantive claims about U.S. discontent with Netanyahu’s policies. Still, however embarrassing this spat is, it will barely make a dent in the U.S.-Israeli 'special relationship.'" (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l8b9ke7

No Comments »

Corporations act to make Congress a wholly owned subsidiary

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"As Election Day approaches, two reports show us exactly how corrupted our political system has become. Unless voters come out in force, it looks like corporate money is about to buy itself another house of Congress. The Wall Street Journal ... found that corporate PACs gave most of their donations to Democrats in the early part of the campaign. That fits with a longstanding pattern: big-business interests shower incumbents with money to encourage special treatment, both during the election year and in the upcoming term. But giving has shifted dramatically since June. The Journal discovered that Republican candidates received the lion’s share of corporate campaign contributions in the July-to-September time period. The cash-generating power of incumbency had faded -- for Democrats." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k23rphs

No Comments »

Some hard facts about “terror”

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by John Chuckman

"Today we call people terrorists as easily as we more accurately might have called them reckless or mad. The word terrorist has been given an almost frightening, superstitious connotation much resembling the word witch in the seventeenth century when any poor old soul who suffered from a mental illness like schizophrenia might be burnt alive for her mumblings and delusions." (10/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/29/some-hard-facts-about-terror/

No Comments »

“Yelp for Guestworkers” shines light on recruiting process

In These Times In These Times
by Rachel Luban

"In 2007, Adarely Ponce Hernández saw an announcement in her hometown of Chapulhuacan, Mexico, for jobs picking apples in the United States. Not only were the wages far higher than what she could make in Chapulhuacan, but the work was completely legal, secured through a U.S. temporary visa program known as H-2. She and her sister went straight to the recruiter who placed the announcement and paid 2,000 pesos apiece (about $180 at the time) to reserve their spots. But the recruiter kept pushing back the date of their interview for the visa: 'Next month, next month.' He started demanding more payments. Hernandez and her sister reluctantly obliged with another 1,500 pesos each. Then the recruiter disappeared, taking their money and the promise of jobs with him. Hernandez’s experience is common for people in Mexico looking for legal work in the U.S. as 'guestworkers,' temporary laborers who return to their home countries when their jobs are finished." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mpgyzqe

No Comments »

Federal agencies just doing whatever they want now

Lucy Steigerwald Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"As great as Edward Snowden's leaks were for shedding light on the abuses of power within the NSA -- and for actually getting them into the damn media for months at a time! -- the problem of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies doing whatever the hell they want dates back to the dawn of law enforcement and intelligence agencies." (10/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oq8hlj7

No Comments »

Ed Snowden taught me how to smuggle secrets past incredible danger. Now I teach you.

The Intercept The Intercept
by Micah Lee

"Late on the evening of January 11, 2013, someone sent me an interesting email. It was encrypted, and sent from the sort of anonymous email service that smart people use when they want to hide their identity. Sitting at the kitchen table in the small cottage where I lived in Berkeley with my wife and two cats, I decrypted it. The anonymous emailer wanted to know if I could help him communicate securely with Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who had repeatedly cast a critical eye on American foreign policy. ... I didn’t know it at the time, but I had just been contacted by Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who was then preparing a momentous leak of government data." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/op7t6al

No Comments »

Signs the global “war on drugs” may be ending

Reuters Reuters
by John Collins

"The contentious debate over international drug policy was potentially transformed a few weeks ago, when the United States strongly reiterated a major shift in policy. William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs summed up the key idea underpinning the shift at the United Nations on Oct. 9. ... The statement is hugely significant as it represents a new diplomatic doctrine and a potential tipping point in efforts to end the disastrous 'war on drugs' that has lasted six decades." (10/28/24)

http://tinyurl.com/qe74zlx

No Comments »

The moral blindness of our leading liberals

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Chris Floyd

"Behold the quintessential earnest progressive liberal in the highest moral dudgeon: Digby railing with thunderous fury at the possibility (the very distinct possibility) that Barack Obama is going to suppress the Senate’s report on CIA torture. ... Old cynic that I am, I must admit that even my grizzled jaw dropped as I read these words. 'Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations.' This, again, is from one of our leading liberal lights. She thinks dirty wars -- secret incursions into other nations to murder, subvert, wreak havoc, terrorize -- are open to debate. She thinks that 'targeted assassination programs' ... will be argued about for generations. The morality of death squads and dirty wars is something about which serious, concerned citizens can disagree and debate, apparently." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l4kcnes

No Comments »

When did Christie & Cuomo go to medical school?

William Greider The Nation
by William Greider

"Just when you thought the Republican slime ballers had run out of muck, you discover, no, they have more mud to throw at honorable people. And they are not just smearing Barack Obama. This time, they are disparaging the doctors and scientists at the National Institutes of Health and depicting them as weak-willed tools of the Democratic Party. If Americans fall for this, they may get the government they deserve: stripped of honest science and trustworthy decisions. Republicans are not stupid, but they are shameless. They know people are rattled by the stealthy emergence of Ebola and that media hype has reflexively pumped up the danger and public confusion. ... The GOP saw opportunity in unfolding tragedy and rushed to exploit it." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n5zfamt

No Comments »

Terkel’s torch-bearers

In These Times In These Times
by Theo Anderson

"In San Francisco, activists with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project are inviting people who have been evicted to record their stories. The goal is to document and resist the city's rapid gentrification by creating a website that connects the stories to a map of evictions. This website is expected to launch next year. Projects like this are part of a recent flourishing in the art of oral history. Studs Terkel, its most famous advocate, died in 2008, but his legacy thrives. Practitioners continue to believe oral history can be a powerful tool for building the progressive movement." (10/29/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17248/terkels_torch_bearers

No Comments »

Gimme a fucking break, Joe

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"We already knew Joe Biden was a useful idiot for the 'Green' (actually greenwashed) or 'Progressive' wing of corporate capital, because of his indignation over the 'theft' of 'intellectual property.' He denounced 'stealing' songs or movies as morally equivalent to a 'smash-and-grab at Macy's' -- and in keeping with that belief has supervised FBI actions to shut down alleged 'file-sharing' websites, based entirely on executive fiat, from Disney headquarters. But as demonstrated by his recent scolding on the state of America’s infrastructure (Emily Badger, 'Joe Biden is very angry at us for skimping on America’s infrastructure,' Washington Post, Oct. 21), that’s not the only aspect of the 'Progressive' Capitalist model he endorses." (10/29/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/33082

No Comments »

Who DIDN’T get rich in Congress?

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"CQ Roll Call came out with its annual list of members of Congress by wealth. California politicians have done well for themselves. GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who made a small fortune in car alarms before running for office, leads the list with a net worth of $357 million. ... Roll Call reports. Sen. Dianne Feinstein‘s net worth is $43 million. She’s No. 9. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi placed 14th with a net worth of $29 million. Sen. Barbara Boxer was No. 175 with a net worth of $1.1 million. There are 188 millionaires in Congress. ... But you’ve read about the rich guys and gals on Capitol Hill before. I found it interesting how many politicians don’t claim many assets at all. " (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndpucyz

No Comments »

House could get even nuttier after this election

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"With all the attention focused on the Senate in next Tuesday's elections, it would be easy to forget that there's an election for the House happening as well. The consensus is that Republicans will probably add a few seats to their majority -- not a defeat, but not a blow-out victory either. Which means that nothing changes, right? Well, not exactly. ... House Republicans will get even more conservative, something you may not have thought possible." (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/np8bkzh

No Comments »

Polling irony: Economy is rigged; GOP can fix it

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

“'It's the economy, stupid' is from a sign that hung in the Clinton 'war room' during the 1992 election. The point was that the economy was the only thing that really mattered in the election. This election is a statement that the economy is not working for people. However else you analyze what happens next week, this is the core of all of it. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows why the Republicans are doing so well in the polls right now." [editor's note: Again, they might have gotten different results with broader questions, but I still keep seeing that cartoon with the car between the walls ... "Let's try reverse again..." - SAT] (10/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mb9c9ed

No Comments »

Nancy Pelosi talks up the agony & the organization

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders

"'We don't agonize. We organize,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chimed after an editorial board meeting with The Chronicle Monday. 2014 is probably not her favorite year. In 2010, the Democrats lost the House and she lost the speakership. The New York Times reports that Democrats most likely will lose more seats in November. Pelosi has become the other face of the Democratic Party, second only to the unpopular President Obama. Republicans raise money by dangling her name in front of donors. She even mused about leaving Washington. Some day. Now even the rare Democrat is moving away from the party leader." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pg4647s

No Comments »

Mandatory quarantine policies: Unscientific & dangerous

Reuters Reuters
by Celine Gounder

"On Thursday, Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey announced a mandatory 21-day quarantine for returning healthcare workers from Ebola-ravaged Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn followed suit a day later. Other U.S. states, including Minnesota, Georgia and Connecticut, have introduced similar measures. ... The governors’ quarantine policies are not based on science, but fear and political opportunism." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2acpoo

No Comments »

Democracy lite: All form and no substance

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati

"The most revealing moment of our ongoing 2014 election season? That may have come last week in a Florida gubernatorial debate when former governor Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, and current governor Rick Scott, a Republican, went mano a mano over who 'has led a more privileged life.' Crist (net worth, $1.2 million) pronounced that Scott’s lavish 'oceanfront mansion' lifestyle had him out of touch with average Floridians. Scott (net worth, over $132 million) countered that he had grown up in a much more hardscrabble home than Crist." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oh8emra

No Comments »

21st century technology, 19th century worker protections

In These Times In These Times
by Amanda Armstrong

"This summer, the California legislature passed two bills designed to protect workers and consumers caught up in the growing temp and 'sharing' economies. While improvements upon the status quo, these legislative reforms, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, exclude some of the most vulnerable workers from the protections they provide. Most significantly, the bills do not establish protections for those working in the sharing economy, including those driving for Uber and Lyft. The state continues to classify these workers as 'independent contractors,' thus denying them workers’ compensation benefits and other labor rights." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nslbgbc

No Comments »

Nader on Hillary: “corporatist militarist” and “menace to the USA!”

Raw Story Raw Story
by Eric W. Dolan

"Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader slammed two of the major contenders for the White House in 2016. 'Hillary [Clinton] is a corporatist and a militarist,' he said during an recent interview with We Are Change. 'Do we want another corporatist and militarist? She thinks Obama is too weak. He doesn’t kill enough people overseas. So she’s a menace to the United States of America. What we need is people (regardless of whether they are libertarians or not) that pull back on the empire and make Wall Street subordinate to main street.' ... Nader wasn’t too fond of Clinton’s potential Republican rival, Rand Paul, either." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p56txpx

No Comments »

The government we deserve

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"This may be the most expensive midterm election in history, but it isn't necessarily the dumbest. That's not because it's smart in any way, just that elections in America are always dumb. To take just one tiny data point, the hottest Senate race in the country may be in Iowa, where everything turns on just how mad the Democratic candidate got when his neighbor's chickens kept crapping in his yard. Madison and Jefferson would be so proud. Commentators with brows set high and low periodically try to redeem a public that falls for this kind of stuff, with varying degrees of success." (10/28/14)

http://prospect.org/article/government-we-deserve

No Comments »

Will black voters help protect abortion rights in Tennessee?

The Nation The Nation
by Dani McClain

"Voters in Tennessee will soon decide whether to change the state’s Constitution to allow lawmakers to impose new restrictions on abortion. Tennessee, a kind of oasis in the South for abortion rights, has strict privacy protections enshrined in the Constitution, preventing passage of the onerous anti-choice regulations that have passed legislatures elsewhere. Amendment 1 sets out to change all that. How black Tennesseans vote on Amendment 1 may prove to be decisive. Seventeen percent of Tennessee’s population is African-American. In the state’s most populous cities, Memphis and Nashville, that percentage jumps to 63 and 29 respectively." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlo7hcz

No Comments »

Iraq war now being fought by people who were just kids when it started

Murtaza Hussain The Intercept
by Murtaza Hussain

"Last week, the Pentagon announced the death of the first American serviceman in the war against ISIS. Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal was killed in what was described as a 'non-combat incident' in Iraq, making him the first American to die in 'Operation Inherent Resolve' -- America's latest military excursion into that country. Cpl. Neal was only 19 years old. He would have only been eight at the outset of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and merely six on 9/11 -- a child at the time of both these events." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lbuxlx7

No Comments »

New rules or a game without rules?

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Vladimir Putin

"The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements on respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called 'victors' in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition. 

Pardon the analogy, but this is the way nouveaux riches behave when they suddenly end up with a great fortune, in this case, in the shape of world leadership and domination. Instead of managing their wealth wisely, for their own benefit too of course, I think they have committed many follies." (10/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nxduxuq

No Comments »

“Intellectual property” is why we can’t have nice things

Thomas L. Knapp Center for a Stateless Society
by Thomas L. Knapp

"So now we don't have Twitpic. Twitpic is dead. Twitter's users, and therefore Twitter, are worse off. All over competing claims of 'intellectual property' in a word. Claims which would be risible if they hadn't destroyed a valuable application. Twitpic's demise doesn't showcase a bug in the 'intellectual property' system. Rather it highlights a feature of that system, a system designed for the sole purpose of using state power to protect established actors from market competition ..." (10/27/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/32951

No Comments »

Interview: Edward Snowden

The Nation The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel & Stephen F. Cohen

"On October 6, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel and contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen (professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton) sat down in Moscow for a wide-ranging discussion with Edward Snowden. Throughout their nearly four-hour conversation, which lasted considerably longer than planned, the youthful-appearing Snowden was affable, forthcoming, thoughtful and occasionally humorous. Among other issues, he discussed the price he has paid for speaking truth to power, his definition of patriotism and accountability, and his frustration with America’s media and political system." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mvvv3nd

No Comments »

How congressional hawks plan to kill Obama’s Iran deal

Reuters Reuters
by Trita Parsi

"Negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program have not even concluded yet some members of Congress are preparing to manufacture a political crisis over a deal. Their beef? President Barack Obama may initially bypass Congress and suspend sanctions imposed on Iran to make a deal possible and only later ask lawmakers to end them permanently when it is determined that Iran has complied fully with its obligations under the deal. ... So what’s really going on? It’s very simple: If you prefer war with Iran over a deal with Iran -- even one that would prevent it from building a bomb -- your best and possibly last opportunity to kill the deal is immediately after the nuclear talks have concluded." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m8dogep

No Comments »

Obama’s immigration delay: Shameful, but savvy

In These Times In These Times
by Achy Obejas

"Here’s the secret about all that Latino anger over President Obama delaying promised immigration reform until after the midterms: It’s not going to make that much difference to Latino support for Democrats. Have no doubt: It is infuriating that Obama has again sacrificed immigration reform. In the eleventh hour of his presidency, he still has barely moved a ball he put in play when he was a long-shot presidential candidate. ... Obama has always had something more pressing to take care of: wars without end, the economic meltdown, the pivot to Asia. His current priority is preserving the Democratic majority in the Senate, which is his only hope of getting anything done during the rest of his term." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/prrsxon

No Comments »

No love for Obama as Election Day approaches

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"If Republicans win a significant victory in next Tuesday's election (and it now looks like they will indeed take the Senate) get ready for a whole lot of Obama-bashing, not only from the press and Republicans, but from liberals, as well. Some will go so far as to declare his presidency over, and I suspect more than a few genuine leftists will heap scorn on their liberal friends for their naïve embrace of a politician promising (as politicians always do) to change Washington." [editor's note: He's predicting a GOP Senate takeover? Oh boy, guaranteed gridlock (with Obombya having to use his veto at long last, or show his true imperialist colors?) - SAT] (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mdomvgq

No Comments »

Will Ebola finish off the US blockade of Cuba?

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by WT Whitney Jr., MD

"The United States and Cuba are at opposite poles as they deal with Ebola. One seemingly is stuck in paralysis and a siege mentality. The other offers a confident, collective approach to calamity. As opposed to Cuba’s well-established ties of solidarity with African nations, the U. S. record is of helter-skelter private charities, military interventions under the aegis of the United States Africa Command, and sponsorship of global capitalism, plunderer in Africa. For the epidemic to be halted and the U.S. population protected, the U. S. government seems to need Cuba." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l45nao3

No Comments »


Events


| News | Commentary |

Standard Model goes pear-shaped in CERN experiment

The Register [UK]

"It's only a small thing, but it could be big news: researchers at CERN have turned up the first evidence of exotic (and short-lived) atoms with pear-shaped nuclei. The reasons the boffins are excited is they believe the eccentric nuclei can help them probe one of physics' official Big Questions: how come there's something instead of nothing?" (05/09/13)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/09/pear_shaped_exotic_nuclei/

No Comments »

FDA issues warning for over-the-counter diarrhea drug

Fox News

"The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use an over-the-counter drug called Intestinomicina because the anti-diarrhea treatment contains a drug linked to life-threatening injuries. The El Salvador-manufactured drug comes in pills and liquid forms and is sold as a treatment for infectious diarrhea at international grocery stores and specialty stores in the U.S. Regulators say Intestinomicina contains the drug chloramphenicol, which can interfere with the production of red and white blood cells. People with anemia and other low blood cell counts are at greater risk of injury or death from using the drug." (09/19/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8t3oo49

No Comments »

Egypt: Push strengthens for blasphemy clause in constitution

Christian Science Monitor

"Last week's protests in reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube clip have led to Egyptian demands that the US prosecute the filmmakers and may give a decisive push to an effort to enshrine in the Egyptian constitution the criminalization of blasphemy, or insulting religious figures. While the US-based filmmakers are protected under the First Amendment in the US, in some parts of the Middle East they could be prosecuted under laws that criminalize disparaging religion. In Egypt, the backlash could bolster a preexisting effort to insert a clause banning religious insults into Egypt’s new constitution." [editor's note: Yes, that's surely why constitutions were created ... NOT! - SAT] (09/16/12)

http://tinyurl.com/9zodrvb

No Comments »

In unusual “snub,” Obama wont be meeting Netanyahu

Reuters

"In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday President Barack Obama would not meet Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli prime minister's U.S. visit later this month. The apparent snub, coupled with Netanyahu's sharpened demands for a tougher U.S. line against Iran, threatened to plunge U.S.-Israeli relations into crisis and add pressure on Obama in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign." [editor's note: I changed their headline to indicate the reality; two world leaders both happen to be speaking at the U.N. ... on different days - SAT] (09/12/12)

http://tinyurl.com/96g2uqw

No Comments »

Report: In Nigeria, a concrete get-rich scheme

Reuters

"Aliko Dangote has always liked making things to sell. As a child he boiled up sugar to make sweets he sold around town; these days he cooks up limestone in factories that produce millions of tonnes of cement. Dangote's entrepreneurial skills have helped make him Africa's richest person, with cement plants opened or under construction everywhere from Senegal to Ethiopia to South Africa. He dreams of owning the largest cement firm on the planet. By 2015, he hopes, his industrial conglomerate will be worth four times its current estimated $15 billion." (09/11/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8scc49g

No Comments »


Our Sponsors




Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?