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William Rivers Pitt | Next Stop: Train Wreck

Friday 12 August 2011
William Rivers Pitt | Next Stop: Train Wreck
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "Leadership in both the House and Senate have tapped the twelve members who will make up the so-called 'Super-Committee,' which will be responsible for coming up with a plan to cobble together $1.2 trillion in spending cuts by Thanksgiving. It is a motley crew, to be sure."
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Zinn's "on Race" Traces Violence, Victories in Civil Rights Movement
Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: "As the white, Jewish chairman of the history department at Atlanta's Spelman College, the oldest historically black academy for women in the US, Zinn did not anticipate being a central player in the period's racial upheaval. But he was, and the 14 pieces in 'on Race' bring the realities of segregation, and the moral outrage and rebellion it generated, into such vivid relief that readers will literally feel the era's passionate momentum."
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Kathy Kelly | More Lost by the Second in Afghanistan
Kathy Kelly, Waging Nonviolence: "The US JSO forces that came in the middle of the night to the home of a 12-year-old girl, Nilofer, who had been asleep on her cot in the courtyard, began their raid by throwing a grenade into the courtyard, landing at Nilofer's head. She died instantly."
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Appeals Court Finds Individual Mandate Unconstitutional
Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress: "In a 2-1 decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, ruling that Congress cannot 'mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.' The court kept the rest of the law enact."
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What's the Real Lesson of Wisconsin for Progressives?
Amy Dean, Truthout: "Despite coming up short of retaking control of the Wisconsin Senate, Tuesday's recall elections sent a clear signal to conservative politicians who are using false pretenses to slash social safety nets, scapegoat public employees and immigrants and take away the rights of working people. The message: Beware. The public will no longer accept your abuses of power."
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When Is a "Riot" a Revolt?
Carl Finamore, Truthout: "It appears, this week at least, after years of ignoring glaring inequality and injustice, it is safe to say that all of England took notice of the crowded south London neighborhood of Tottenham and to similar minority communities in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol where an explosive, fiery social consciousness has been rekindled."
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Postal Service Planning to Break Union Contracts, and More
In today's On the News segment: Republican candidates debate, but not one single question about Republican plans to voucherize Medicare, turn Social Security over to Wall Street and end all support to college students; United States Postal Service planning to break union contracts with employees; US child poverty jumped 10 percent between 2008 and 2009; Elizabeth Warren gearing up to run in 2012; Securities and Exchange Commission questioning insider training by some within the credit rating agency aware of pending US credit downgrade; and more.
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GOP Contenders Engage in Feisty Debate, Blasting Each Other, Obama
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "For months, Republicans vying for their party's presidential nomination focused their criticisms on the record of Democratic President Barack Obama. On Thursday, they fought to defend their own records. For two hours, eight of the candidates clashed sharply over their resumes in a fiery debate that saw the first face-to-face attacks in the fast-developing campaign."
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The People Beg to Differ, Mr. Romney: Corporations Aren't People
Isaiah J. Poole, Campaign for America's Future: "Romney has taken the view codified by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which says that corporations are people when it comes to our political system, and since money is their vocal chord, government can't tell them to lower their volume so other voices can be heard. But Romney's basic point is an economic one, that corporations are just part of a virtuous cycle of which we are all a part. Money goes in, money comes out."
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Rick Perry Says Social Security and Medicare Are Unconstitutional
Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress: "Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has, to say the least, a very odd understanding of the Constitution. He thinks Texas should be able to opt out of Social Security, and he believes that everything from federal public school programs to clean air laws are unconstitutional. Yet in an interview with the Daily Beast's Andrew Romano, Perry makes his most outlandish claim to date - Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional."
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England's Ashes - Our Future?
Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign for America's Future: "Hopefully the worst of the violence is over in Great Britain. London's fires are cooling into ashes, and with any luck they won't be rekindled. But even though the British economy is still a tinderbox, nothing that's happened has dampened some people's enthusiasm for doing the same thing over here ..."
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War Budget Cuts Are Possible if We Counter Contractors' Multimillion-Dollar Campaign Spending
Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe, War Costs Blog: "The deal worked out to allow a rise in the debt ceiling gives us our first real chance in more than a decade to make significant cuts to our country's out-of-control war budget, but we are going to have to fight for them. The war industry is already deploying their favorite kind of stealth weapon on Capitol Hill to protect their profits: money and influence."
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S&P Downgrade Brought on by Republican Obstructionism
Jeff Madrick, New Deal 2.0: "Does anyone really think that Standard & Poor's downgrade of US debt would have occurred unless there had been the Congressional stand-off on raising the debt ceiling? For all of S&P's handwringing about the nation's debt problems, Congressional recalcitrance was the driving issue. So when the press says neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can escape blame, it is in truth nonsense."
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Eight Union Victories Progressives Should Be Watching - and Learning From
Erik Loomis, AlterNet: "Yet despite the odds, over the past few months unions have achieved significant victories around the nation. Workers continue to fight for better wages, job security, safe workplaces, and health care, regardless of the struggles unions face. Their long-term struggles have not changed. But their success rate may be improving."
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So, what was Mitt Romney thinking when he responded to hecklers at the Iowa State Fair with the declaration that "corporations are people" ?
He was proudly reconfirming the Citizens United decision and the Supreme Court view that corporations indeed share the rights of citizens.
Who will Romney call when he is in need of a friend's advice if he were president, GE?
Carol King many years ago wrote the popular song, "You've Got a Friend" :
When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

How could large corporations that purposefully abandon Americans in need of work - in the pursuit of profit - be a friend ?
Romney made his fortune, in part, by downsizing companies and putting US workers on unemployment.
Corporations aren't people; they are private institutions that are created for the financial benefit of owners and stockholders. They are large institutions that value money over people.
Maybe Romney has a shot of bourbon at night and socializes with his stock certificates. He must get a thrill out of cuddling up to his shares in - let's say - Wal-Mart or Goldman Sachs.
Because that's what friends are for: greed.
Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Paul Krugman: The Hijacked Crisis
Read the Article at The New York Times
"Crazy Eyes" Bachmann: For Tea Party Voters, Ignorance Is Bliss
Read the Article at BuzzFlash
Fiscal Meltdowns in the States
Read the Article at Mother Jones
Elizabeth Warren Takes Steps Toward Possible Senate Run in Massachusetts
Read the Article at The Hill
Former George W. Bush "Compassionate Conservative" Religious Guru Accuses Gingrich of Betrayal
Read the Article at BuzzFlash
Rick Perry Is a Climate Denier to Boot
Read the Article at Grist
UK Conservative Prime Minister Wants to Ban Social Media to Stop Uprising
Read the Article at CNN
Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

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