Friday, January 20, 2012


The War on Drug Addicts - and Everyone Else
Maya Schenwar, Truthout: "In at least 36 states, Republicans have introduced legislation requiring applicants to public assistance programs - including food stamps, unemployment benefits and heating subsidies - to pass a drug test before receiving help. They're selling it as a route to kill two societal ills with one budget-slashing stone. By erecting barriers to aid for all (and denying it to needy people suffering from addiction), these lawmakers claim they'll ameliorate both drug problems and economic hardship."
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Kim Jong-il's Enigmatic Young Son Steps Forward, or Seems To
Martin Fackler, The New York Times News Service: "The only precedent is the last transition in the current ruling dynasty, when Kim Jong-il took over after the 1994 death of his father, Kim Il-sung. In that case, the son observed a three-year period of traditional mourning before formally taking over control of the nation, a move that reflects the regime's odd mixing of the trappings of ancient Confucian monarchy with a 20th-century Stalinist cult of personality."
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Extension of Tax Cut Stalls in House as GOP Objects
Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times News Service: "The deal slid off the rails abruptly on Saturday, just hours after the Senate vote, when House Republicans balked after being briefed about the terms by their leaders. Even a sweetener provision to speed the decision process for construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast could not mollify them. Mr. Boehner had called the provision a 'victory.'"
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Occupy Climate Change: Anjali Appadurai Says, "Get It Done"
J.A. Myerson, Truthout: "She took the opportunity to tell them, 'Now is not the time for incremental action. In the long run, these will be seen as the defining moments of an era in which narrow self-interest prevailed over science, reason and common compassion.' That might have been radical enough, but upon finishing, Appadurai stepped away from the microphone up to the apron of the stage and shouted, 'Mic check!'"
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: The Tea Party Clown Show (Video)
In today's On the News segment: What the troops are coming home to after Iraq, GOP pollsters on the edge in Iowa, Occupy Wall Street marks its three-month anniversary, new record set for lightbulb eating and more.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Jim Hightower | Missoula's Supremely Important Vote
Jim Hightower, OtherWords: "Meanwhile, the national media paid no attention to another 'personhood' vote that took place on that same day. This was a referendum in Missoula, Montana, on a concept even more bizarre than declaring zygotes to be persons with full citizenship rights. It was a vote on overturning last year's democracy-killing decision by the US Supreme Court in the now-infamous Citizens United case."
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Noam Chomsky | The US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement Is "Part of a Global Program of World Militarization"
Noam Chomsky and the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, Waging Nonviolence: "My own feeling is that the most important consequence of the very significant peace efforts that are underway inside Afghanistan might well be to stimulate popular movements in the West through just people to people contact, which would help impose pressures on the United States, and particularly Britain, to end the military phase of this conflict and move towards what ought to be done: peaceful settlement and honest, realistic economic development."
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Without Autopsies, Hospitals Bury Their Mistakes
Marshall Allen, ProPublica: "As Royak-Schaler's husband, Jeffrey Schaler, discovered, even sudden unexpected deaths do not trigger postmortem reviews. Hospitals are not required to offer or perform autopsies. Insurers don't pay for them. Some facilities and doctors shy away from them, fearing they may reveal malpractice. The downward trend is well-known - it's been studied for years."
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If We Listened to the Pundits, We Would Still Be British Subjects
David Gespass, Truthout: "Why, then, are similar protests in this country, inspired in many ways by the events in Tahrir Square, not similarly defended by the government? The right to protest is not dependent on the degree of oppressiveness of the government. It is a fundamental human right that cannot be limited without damage to the entire body politic."
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The Cowardly Senator Wyden: Casting His Lot With Paul Ryan on Health Care
Dean Baker, Truthout: "A genuinely courageous senator from Oregon might stand up and suggest ways to get our payments more in line with the rest of the world. But some of the main beneficiaries of these overpayments are in the 1 percent. They are not interested in a solution to our health care cost problem that will reduce their income."
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How would you vote on this constitutional amendment?

Amendment to the US Constitution: Any Tea Party Member Over 65 Who Denounces "Obama Socialism," But Threatens the Government "Not to Touch My Medicare" Should Immediately be Removed From Medicare and Placed Into "NewtCare."
Preposterous, ludicrous, unlawful?
Yes, such an amendment to the Constitution would be all of the above.
But polling of the GOP right wing this year has shown about 70 percent or more of likely Republican voters support alternative realities that are no less absurd.
The strict constructionist wing of the Republican party has shown its fidelity to the nation's founding legal document by proposing more amendments to change the Constitution than you can shake a stick at.
Now, Newt Gingrich is running on a platform that includes a promise to defy Supreme Court decisions that he disagrees with should he become president. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Newt Gingrich says as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief, and he would press for impeaching judges or even abolishing certain courts if he disagreed with their rulings.
"I'm fed up with elitist judges" who seek to impose their "radically un-American" views, Gingrich said Saturday in a conference call with reporters.
Of course, true to the nature of this year's GOP cavalcade of narcissistic hypocrisy, Gingrich sidestepped a question about healthcare reform that hinted at the reality of his campaign of public policy molotov cocktails mixed with high-octane ego and ubiquitous double standards. According to the LA Times:
But the former House speaker demurred when asked whether President Obama could ignore a high court ruling next year if it declared unconstitutional the new healthcare law and its mandate that all Americans have health insurance by 2014.
Perhaps the best alternative is to let all the seniors on Medicare who are "anti-socialist-medicine" use "RonPaulCare" instead. It was at a September Republican debate that CNN's Wolf Blitzer pinned Paul down on what should happen to a young man without health insurance in dire medical need:
"But he doesn't have that [insurance]," Blitzer said. "He doesn't have it and he's - and he needs - he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?"
"That's what freedom is all about: taking your own risks," Paul said, repeating the standard libertarian view as some in the audience cheered.
"But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?" Blitzer asked.
"Yeah," came the shout from the audience.
Yes, "PaulCare" it is for Republican seniors who want to get rid of "socialized medicine." No Medicare for that group. Give them the medicine that they advocate: no care.
That might return this alternate-universe voting bloc to some semblance of reality.
Mark Karlin,
Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout
Fortune 500 CEOs See Average Pay Rise 36.5 Percent in 2010, While Report Indicates 1 of Every 2 Americans in or Near Poverty
Read the Article at BuzzFlash
Freedom Riders Return to Alabama
Read the Article at MSNBC
Payroll Tax Cut Extension in Doubt Amid House Republican Uproar
Read the Article at The Washington Post
Occupy the New Year
Read the Article at BuzzFlash
Inside The 1 Percent's Texas Enclave
Read the Article at Mother Jones
As US Troops Exit, Iraq's Political Crisis Deepens
Read the Article at McClatchy Newspapers
Newt Gingrich Would Send US Marshals to Arrest "Activist" Judges
Read the Article at ThinkProgress
Click here for more BuzzFlash headlines

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