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Truthout: 2 August 2011

Truthout: 2 August 2011

Senate Passes, Obama Signs Debt Ceiling Bill
Jennifer Steinhauer and Carl Hulse, The New York Times News Service: "The Senate voted Tuesday to raise the government’s debt ceiling and cut trillions of dollars from its spending, finally ending a fractious partisan battle just hours before the government’s borrowing authority was set to run out. The bill, which passed 74 to 26 after a short debate devoid of the oratorical passion that had echoed through both chambers of Congress for weeks, was signed by President Obama later on Tuesday."
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Despite New Denials by Rumsfeld, Evidence Shows US Military Used Waterboarding-Style Torture
Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout: "In the controversy over whether torture, especially waterboarding, was used to gather information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News' Sean Hannity recently that 'no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo, period.' In his memoir, 'Known and Unknown,' Rumsfeld maintained, 'To my knowledge, no US military personnel involved in interrogations waterboarded any detainees, not at - or anywhere else in the world.' But as we shall see, Rumsfeld was either lying outright, or artfully twisting the truth."
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Isn't It Time to Lower America's War Ceiling?
Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: "One American world, one Washington, is devouring the other. Think of this as the half-hidden psychodrama of this American moment. Put another way, for months Americans have been focused on raising that debt ceiling, as onscreen countdown clocks ticked away to disaster. In the process, few have asked the obvious question: Isn't it time to lower America's war ceiling?"
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Paul Krugman | A Cult of Centrism, Poisoning the American Political System
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis in the United States - a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences - it's increasingly obvious that what we're looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system. And no, I don't mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, O.K., that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are."
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: John Boehner Brags He Got 98 Percent of What He Wanted in Debt Deal, and More
In today's On the News segment: Speaker of the House John Boehner bragged that he got 98 percent of what he wanted in the debt-limit deal, GOP goes on vacation and leaves FAA funding in limbo, GOP sending Wisconsin Democratic voters false ballots, billion-dollar corporations now reporting massive profits, Fukushima nuclear plant is still spewing radiation, and more. Scroll down to watch the newscast.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Fatal Radiation Level Found at Japanese Plant
Martin Fackler, The New York Times News Service: "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Monday that it measured the highest radiation levels within the plant since it was crippled by a devastating earthquake. However, it said the discovery would not slow continuing efforts to bring the plant's damaged reactors under control."
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Four Ways the Debt-Ceiling Deal Will Affect You Personally
Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign for America's Future: "How is this deal likely to affect your household? If you're in the top 1% of earners, there's no need to read any further because it probably won't affect you personally.... Don't forget how your elected officials behave as this deal makes its way through the process. Write it down if you need to, but be sure you remember everything when you vote next November."
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Unequal Protection: Corporate Control of Politics
Thom Hartmann, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: "Fascism is rising in America, this time calling itself 'compassionate conservatism,' and 'the free market' in a 'flat' world. The point of its spear is 'corporate personhood' and 'corporate free-speech rights.' The behavior of the Roberts Court in Citizens United eerily parallels the day in 1936 when Roosevelt said: 'In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.' Even before the Citizens United case blew open the doors to a corporate takeover of American politics, the corrosive influence of corporations' having 'rights' was already evident. Now these 'unequal consequences' have been put on steroids."
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Somalis Waste Away as Insurgents Block Escape From Famine
Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times: "The Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. The group is widely blamed for causing a famine in Somalia by forcing out many Western aid organizations, depriving drought victims of desperately needed food. The situation is growing bleaker by the day, with tens of thousands of Somalis already dead and more than 500,000 children on the brink of starvation."
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Why Have There Been No Great Woman Comics Artists? (Part 2)
The art world is different from the rest of the business world, right? All those creative people, making culture happen from their perch on the cutting edge, are sheltered from the humdrum problems the rest of us face in the workplace - right? Wrong, and wrong. And no one knows it better than the women who make comics happen while a sizable slice of their potential audience, and their colleagues, avert their gaze. Wanna draw and raise kids? Attend a conference without being mistaken for the hired eye candy? Comic pros Anne Elizabeth Moore and Christa Donner take us into their world for another ink-stained brainstorm about the mysterious shortage of accomplished lady drawers, and the absent praise for the women who've already more than earned it.
Read the Comic Strip

El Salvador: The Truth Commission and the Jesuit Massacre
Jennifer Nerby, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "Twenty Salvadoran soldiers await trial in Spain for crimes against humanity perpetrated during the Salvadoran Civil War.... The extradition of war criminals to be tried under the Spanish judicial system draws attention to profound weaknesses in Salvadoran trial.... A growing number of Salvadorans are beginning to show unease that the nation's moderate President Mauricio Funes will move the country beyond the social causes of conflict in the 1980s."
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Countdown With Keith Olbermann | Al Gore on Why Washington Is Broken (Video)
Keith Olbermann, Countdown With Keith Olbermann: "As leaders make a final push late Monday to pass a final debt deal and cut federal spending, voters aren't exactly cheering. Americans call the budget impasse 'ridiculous,' 'disgusting' and 'stupid,' according to a new poll. In this extended interview, Keith consults with former Vice President and Current TV Chairman Al Gore on why our government is in real trouble."
Watch the Video

Click here for more Truthout articles>
TRUTHOUT'S BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

Republicans can't stop feasting on pork, even as they denounce it.

Last week, BuzzFlash at Truthout asked the question, "Why is GOP hypocrisy so brazen and audacious?"

We focused on freshman Illinois Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh, who voted no on the debt ceiling/deficit reduction bill on Monday. Walsh, a favorite of cable TV, said he was opposing the bill in order to save a future for his children and grandchildren - and only more drastic deficit reduction would do that and show fiscal responsibility. Walsh, however, was revealed last week to be a deadbeat dad to the tune of owing more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife.

But there are a myriad of GOP hypocrisies, whether having to do with lapsed moral values (e.g. David Vitter paying for prostitutes, or John Ensign having an adulterous affair with his top aide's wife and then paying him off to hush it up) or financial improprieties (Ensign qualifies for a twofer in these two areas). And many, many more.

Which brings us to virtually the entire Republican delegation in Congress decrying pork (earmarks) as not being kosher for fiscal accountability, while indulging in bringing home the bacon to their districts or states (as Sarah Palin tried to do as governor with her "bridge to nowhere," among other federal projects).

The New York Times ran an editorial on Monday exposing just a few examples of GOP hypocrisy on pork:

The road to Washington is paved with broken campaign promises. But few are so rich in hypocrisy as those of House Republican freshmen caught engineering hometown pork even as they vow to slash the federal budget for the supposed good of the nation....

Representative Tim Scott, a Tea Party favorite from South Carolina, helped secure the down payment on a $300 million harbor dredging project back home. Not at all pork, said Mr. Scott, pronouncing the dredging a matter of the national interest. In the case of a new bridge in Wisconsin, Representative Sean Duffy reasons it's no earmark since the legislation listed no specific costs.

Representative Michele Bachmann, Minnesota's three-term incumbent and presidential aspirant, also supports the bridge - and calls for a "redefinition" of what an earmark is. "There's a big difference between funding a teapot museum and a bridge over a vital waterway," is Ms. Bachmann's head-scratching guidance.

No, it's not "head-scratching." It's just being fundamentally dishonest, annoyingly self-righteous and profoundly hypocritical, yet again.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

GOP's Disrespect of Obama Goes Beyond Debt Fight and Into the Racism Zone
Read the Article at USA Today

Government by Hostage Taking
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

How the Representatives Voted on the Debt Ceiling/Deficit Reduction "Compromise"
Read the Article at The Associated Press

The Tea Party's War on America
Read the Article at The New York Times

Homegrown Economic Terrorism
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Department of Justice Sues Alabama Over Draconian Immigration Law
Read the Article at Stateline

Giffords' Vote the Most Memorable of All
Read the Article at The Associated Press

Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

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