Thursday, May 19, 2011

‘Electronic Brownshirts’

Amy Goodman reports on another Andrew Breitbart-inspired video smear campaign, this time directed at two professors teaching a labor history course. Footage from the online video was re-edited and statements were taken out of context, again, resulting in one dismissal and death threats before everyone realized the videos had been doctored. I'm getting tired of these fear-mongering extremists who will go to such lengths to deprive the progressive agenda through misinformation and lies.

One Lawman With the Guts to Go After Wall Street

This piece hails the recent actions of the NY Attorney General to investigate major banks regarding their behavior in the mortgage crisis. I look forward to what will hopefully be a hard-hitting prosecution of bankers for their fraudulent actions against American investors and homeowners.

An A-Team for Progressive Messaging in the States

A very interesting article on the coordinating role played by the group Alliance for a Better Minnesota in harnessing the collective power of individual advocacy groups into a longterm oriented and organized force for progressive politics.

Thank God Environmentalism Is Dead

Oddly, many organizations of the Christian Right actively oppose environmentalists and regulations to reduce pollution, global warming and toxic dumping. This is despite studies that demonstrate that society received $20 in health and productivity benefits for every $1 spent in enacting and enforcing the Clean Air Act. It appears that these religious organizations have been co-opted by their fervent right-wing, pro-business supporters.

John Nichols: Effort to thwart voter suppression necessary and appropriate

Efforts by senate Democrats in Wisconsin to defeat a Voter ID bill counters a nationwide trend of limiting voting access in what amounts to voter suppression initiatives based on spurious assertions of voter fraud.

California Internet Privacy Bill: Facebook, Google Explain 'Strong' Opposition

Social networking sites come out in opposition to a new internet privacy law in California. While there may be some problems with the legislation, it's clearly in the public's interest to have increased control over personal data that is shared by the likes of Google, Facebook and other networking sites.

Websites Skew Views of the News

No Exemptions for Wisconsin Firefighters and Police

A new bill in Wisconsin would limit collective bargaining rights for police and firefighters in that state. An Ohio anti-union bill also strips these workers of organizing and bargaining rights. Wisconsin emergency union workers have stood with other public sector workers since the beginning of the Walker assault on labor, and it would make a big difference in this battle if the rest of the country's police and firefighters also stood up for the rights of labor.

New trade pacts will kill jobs, and Obama knows it

An expose of the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration in claiming that the new free trade agreement with South Korea, Panama and Columbia will create American jobs. In an acknowledgement that the agreement will actual result in job losses, the administration is insisting on expanded assistance for Americans impacted by the deal.

How gas drilling contaminates your food

The dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas, known as Fracking, to drinking water supplies have been revealed over the past couple of months. The fracking process, which was exempted under Cheney's 'Halliburton loophole' from the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, CLEAR Act, and EPA regulation, not only threatens our drinking water but is a disaster for sustainable agriculture. Unless fracking is banned because of the toxic wastewater it creates, thousands of small farmers will be ruined by the poisons released into the environment by the natural gas industry.

Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can't Say No to Gas Drilling

Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data Needed by Researchers to Assess Risk to Water Quality

Democrat wins special election in heavily Republican New Hampshire state legislature district

In the third recent special election victory in GOP-controlled states for Democrats, Jennifer Daler of New Hampshire's win signals that there is a strong public backlash building against the extremist right-wing anti-worker agenda.

Emergency vents in 31 U.S. reactors same as ones that failed in Fukushima

Let's not allow our government and the NRC to mislead us about the safety of nuclear energy in the US. There are many compelling reasons why we should not accept the party lines of industry and regulators that are aging reactors are managed to protect public safety at all costs. It simply is not true. The priority for operators and their advocates in government is to keep costs down, both in old and new projects, by promoting exemptions to existing rules and systemic passivity in safety oversight.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Sits in Prison While the IMF Keeps Ravaging Entire Economies Every Day

After a salacious week filled with revelations of sexual misconduct by the erstwhile head of the International Monetary Fund, AlterNet focusses on the impact of the IMF on countries impoverished by the global financial meltdown of 2008. Countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal have received IMF loans in return for selling off state assets and other austerity measures.

"But that’s what the IMF has always done. It provides loans at cheaper rates than countries would receive any other way during times of economic distress, in return for forcing them to open their economies to hot money looking for a good deal. This is based on the premise that public infrastructure and social safety nets are the cause of financial woes, and not the over-leveraged banks that funneled in the hot money to begin with."