Thursday, March 31, 2011

The GOP's Pathetic Attack on Elizabeth Warren

The GOP offensive to derail the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is directed at Warren, a fierce advocate of financial fraud protections for citizens. These attacks are a greedy push to allow the financial sector to maximize profits at the expense of ordinary folks and avoid regulations designed to prevent a repeat of the mortgage crisis. It is a moment reminiscent of the failed attempt to establish the Consumer Protection Agency championed by Ralph Nader in 1978, in which President Carter failed to actively seek votes for passage. Clearly, Obama will need to step up if the CFPB is to be nothing more than a shell of what it promises to the public.

What Is ALEC? Dragging the Secretive Conservative Organization Out of the Shadows

AlterNet reports on the conservative-funded legislative council that prepares and disseminates legislative draft proposals to Republican lawmakers. Perhaps after reading this piece you'll agree that, at the very least, ALEC should be stripped of its 501c3 tax-exempt status as a charitable organization.

50,000 people tell the Senate to protect people, not polluters

Burning coal costs voters as much as $500 billion each year on top of energy costs, and coal pollution kills as many as 34,000 Americans each year. That price doesn't even consider the environmental degradation that flows from mountaintop removal in Appalachian states like West Virginia and Kentucky.

Any Radiation Can Be Harmful

This report from Food & Water Watch asserts that no level of radiation in food or water is safe, and contends that the government should be telling people how to protest themselves rather than simply saying not to worry.

"Let’s start with the bottom line: the National Academy of Sciences says that exposure to even low levels of radiation can be harmful..."

Ohio to host second major union-fueled election of 2011

Ohio voters can force a referendum in November on the draconian GOP Senate Bill 5, severely stripping collective bargaining rights for 350,000 workers, if they get 6% of the electorate in the last election to sign a petition. Currently Ohio residents oppose the law by a 54%-31% margin and a victory in this referendum on labor rights could galvanize millions of workers for future elections.

Ohio Legislature OKs Collective Bargaining Limits

This action against organized labor in Ohio strips over 350,000 workers, including police and firefighters, of collective bargaining rights on heath care, sick time, pension benefits, and bans the workers from striking. In Wisconsin the cops and fire unions were exempted from the union-busting law, presumably to ensure their cooperation in maintaining order. This could change the ballgame.

Ohio Collective Bargaining Restrictions Spark Strong Reaction From Police, Firefighters

Sometimes It Takes a Fire to Wake Us Up

What will it take to wake up the populace now. Will the anti-union extremism of the GOP result in sustained opposition to unfair labor practices? Will people rise off of their couches to protest the 30-year transfer of taxation burdens onto working families? Is it possible that anything can bring us together to fight for social justice in this entertainment and misinformation culture in which we live? Let us not forget that generations of laborers fought for the rights which we now take for granted. We must fight for what we believe in or it will all be lost.

"In 1911, the world was shocked when it came to light that the owners of the Triangle Factory had locked workers inside a death trap. Yet just seven years ago, we learned that Walmart had regularly locked workers inside its stores overnight, claiming it was necessary to prevent theft, heedless of the fact that it prevented critically injured workers from obtaining badly needed medical care."

Big Pharma Strikes Again

"Republicans often bemoan what they view as the heavy burden of government regulation. But the absence of such regulation, combined with the prevalence of industry-bought loopholes, adversely affects Americans every single day." 
This story is about faulty hip replacement devices that a company, DePuy Orthopaedics knowingly marketed to patients despite doctors complaints of serious infections...

Truthout Articles Vandalized Last Night

I received the email message below from Truthout this morning. There may be several links on the Ransacked Nation site with links that go to Truthout and say "page not found." The "Chapter Three: Banding Together For The Common Good" and "WikiLeaks and the First Amendment" are one such cases. Hopefully, these pages will be restored quickly.

Dear Readers,
Late last night, was attacked and our content over the past ten days was deleted. We're working to capture the cache versions of those stories that are no longer available and republish them on our website.
You may find that some links will take you to "Page Not Found." Right now we're working to restore the vandalized stories.
We will update you as soon as we have more information, and hope to be back in full force very soon.
Thank you for your patience and your support!

The Truthout Team

Breaking: The Republican attack on clean air isn’t popular

Grist provides a lengthy sampling of reporting against the GOP's proposals to severely inhibit the EPA and limit the Clean Air Act.

Low Levels Of Radiation Found In U.S. Milk

The sample, taken in Washington State, is said to be harmless and well below safety thresholds. Let's hope so, and continue to contemplate whether the risks of nuclear energy are simply too high.

Chapter Three: Banding Together for the Common Good

This serialized book chapter from Thom Hartman recounts the origins of social and communal human relationships, democratic government and the unanticipated rise to power of corporations.

The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All - Persona Management Strategies to Build Consensus

Emails released in an Anonymous raid on the security software firm HB Gary show details of an automated software-driven program to create and propagate personas through social media for the purpose of manufacturing artificial 'consensus' on issues.

At the end of this piece the author cites a US government request for Persona Management Software for use in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing a document and a link. The site, alas, no longer lists the solicitation number from the document.