Thursday, April 7, 2011


Robert Reich | Why We Must Raise Taxes on the Rich
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "It's tax time. It's also a time when right-wing Republicans are setting the agenda for massive spending cuts that will hurt most Americans. Here's the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich."
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Scott Walker's Attorney Says Justice David Prosser Is Vital to Anti-Worker Agenda
Travis Waldron, ThinkProgress: "The success of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's anti-worker agenda is hinging on the outcome of the state Supreme Court election, according to an e-mail sent to Walker's supporters by his chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn. The race is currently too close to call, with challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg holding a 309-vote lead over Walker ally Justice David Prosser with five precincts left to report."
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US Sees Array of New Threats at Japan's Nuclear Plant
James Glanz and William J. Broad, The New York Times: "United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."
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Robert Scheer | "The Peasants Need Pitchforks"
Robert Scheer, Truthdig: "The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy. It is a myth blown away by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz in the current issue of Vanity Fair. In an article titled 'Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%' Stiglitz states that the top thin layer of the superwealthy controls 40 percent of all wealth in what is now the most sharply class-divided of all developed nations: 'Americans have been watching protests against repressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet, in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation's income - an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.'"
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If US Government Shuts Down, Some Services Would Continue
Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers: "If the federal government runs out of money this weekend with no agreement to extend the budget, some essential services would continue even though the U.S. government would shutdown. But much of the government would shut down. Roughly 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed, including many civilian workers at the Pentagon, and much of the White House staff. National parks would close. Hand-mailed tax returns would go unopened. The National Institutes of Health would treat current patients, but deny admission to new ones. Social Security checks would still go out. Soldiers would remain on duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, and sailors off the coast of Libya. FBI agents would still work. Tax refunds for e-filed returns would go out."
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Jim Hightower | Sacrificing Teachers and Firefighters to Hoovernomics
Jim Hightower, Truthout: "America owes a debt of gratitude to such insightful Republican governors as Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder of Michigan and Chris Christie of New Jersey. Were it not for them, many Americans - myself included - would still be thinking that today's state budget messes are mainly the product of a national economic crash caused by the reckless greed of Wall Street banksters and rich speculators, as well as the abject failure by political leaders to tax their super-wealthy campaign contributors in order to meet the growing needs in education and other essentials. Luckily, the GOP guvs have set the record straight by explaining that the budget woes are the fault of teachers who have health coverage and firefighters who get pensions."
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Seventeen Rooms and What do You Get? Apparently, a Workforce in Rebellion
Dmitri Iglitzin, Campaign for America's Future: "According to a 2009 report in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, hotel employees, and especially housekeepers, have relatively higher rates of occupational injury, and sustain more severe injuries, than most other service workers. This was not a surprising conclusion. A 2005 survey of 941 hotel room cleaners found that during a twelve-month period, 75 percent experienced work-related pain, 83 percent report taking pain medication for discomfort due to work, and 62 percent reported work-related pain that forced them to visit a doctor."
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Former Afghan Lawmaker Joya Says US Soldiers Disregard Lives
Adam Ashton, The Tacoma News Tribune: "A former Afghan lawmaker told an audience of South Sound peace activists Tuesday that photos of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers grinning over the corpse of a boy they allegedly murdered revealed a disregard for civilian lives among U.S. forces fighting in her country. 'They are making fun with the dead bodies of my people,' said Malalai Joya, 32, a human rights activist who visited the University of Washington Tacoma on her U.S. speaking tour. About 80 people attended her talk, which was hosted by the group Peace Action of Washington and was her seventh in the Puget Sound area this week."
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Ten Everyday Acts of Resistance That Changed the World
Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson, Yes! Magazine: "The Arab spring of 2011 has already changed the region and the world. Ordinary people have lost their fear and shattered the perception that their rulers are invincible. Whatever happens next, the changes across the region in the first few months of 2011 will prove historic. In Tunisia, the now famous 'jasmine revolution' began with protests in December, triggered by the self-immolation of a 26-year-old vegetable seller, Mohammed Bouazizi. Bouazizi, remembered by his younger sister Basma as 'funny and generous,' could finally take no more of the official harassment and humiliation meted out to him."
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Mass Incarceration Creates Costly Disaster Across America
Linn Washington Jr., This Can't Be Happening: "Herman Garner doesn't dispute the drug charge that slammed him in prison for nine years. Garner does dispute the damning circumstance that doing the time for his crime still leaves him penalized despite his having ended his sentence in the penal system. Garner carries the 'former felon' stain."
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Opposition Forces Move on Ivory Coast Strongman
Adam Nossiter and Alan Cowell, The New York Times News Service: "Opposition forces in Ivory Coast said Wednesday that they had begun an assault to dislodge the nation's strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, from a bunker under his residence after he refused French and United Nations demands to leave. The aim was 'to seize Gbagbo physically and, if he is alive, to bring him to justice,' said Apollinaire Yapi, a spokesman for Alassane Ouattara, who is recognized internationally as the winner of the presidential elections last year. Mr. Gbagbo has rejected the outcome and refused to step down, reigniting a civil war."
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News in Brief: Wisconsin Supreme Court Election in Dead Heat, and More ...
A Wisconsin Supreme Court election that pits a longtime Republican incumbent against a relative unknown has resulted in a tight race; in Wisconsin, Walker ally defeated in race to succeed him for former position; Florida pastor Terry Jones says no more Quran burning - for now; the Senate voted to repeal the controversial 1099 component of the health care reform bill.
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Paul Krugman | Such Elegant Ideas, but Not Always Simple
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "One question that comes up occasionally from readers is: What would make me change my mind about how the economy works? Associated with this is the question of whether I have ever changed my views drastically in the face of events. Let me answer the latter question first. I had a major change of views in the late 1990s, driven by events in Asia."
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This Modern World: The Adventures of Middle Man!
Award-winning cartoonist Tom Tomorrow features Middle Man's "Budget Battle Royale."
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Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg holds an extremely narrow lead over incumbent pro-Scott Walker State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser. The eventual winner - and there will be a recount - will likely be the swing vote when Walker's union-crushing legislation comes before the state's highest court.
It's a testament to the strength and vitality of the progressive and pro-union forces that Kloppenburg ran such a strong race. Beating an incumbent Supreme Court justice in Wisconsin is a rare occurrence.
As we await - and it may take weeks - the final outcome of the Supreme Court election, let's not forget that Walker received a decisive proxy rejection by the voters of Milwaukee.
As Truthout notes, Republican state Rep. Jeff Stone - a Walker protege - was trounced by Democrat Chris Able for the office of Milwaukee County chief executive. Just a few weeks ago, Wisconsin political pundits had pegged Stone as a shoo-in. What makes this so politically significant is that Stone, who is a supporter of Walker's policies, was vying to fill the position left vacant by Walker when he became governor.
The landslide 61 percent to 39 percent victory of Able for Walker's former political job - which he held for many years - was a stinging rebuke to the policies, statements and actions of the current governor of Wisconsin. It should not go unnoticed.
Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Boehner's Budget Blowback
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Ann Davidow: For Republicans, It's Always Just About Politics, Not Our Common Good
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Glenn Beck to Exit Fox Stage Right
Read the Article at The Business Insider

Ryan Gets Roughly Two-Thirds of His Huge Budget Cuts From Programs for Lower-Income Americans
Read the Article at The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Why Republicans Persist in Demanding the Elimination of 700,000 Jobs: Must Read by Robert Creamer
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Federal Government Shutdown Would Furlough 800,000 Workers
Read the Article at The Washington Post

Is the Republican Base a Victim of the "Stockholm Syndrome"?
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

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