How Gov. Walker, Republican lawmakers, Tea Party groups, Fox News and conservative pundits have gone after Wisconsin's public workers and their supporters. When conservatives seized townhall meetings, yelled racial insults at black lawmakers and threatened politicians who voted for health care, the right-wing celebrated their corporate-backed efforts as a populist uprising. And when teachers, police officers, firefighters and students took to Wisconsin's capitol in peaceful protest, the right-wing crusaders against government overreach have embraced creepy authoritarian tactics to shut down the demonstrations.
A huge coalition of progressive groups have organized rallies across the country to stand up against harsh budget cuts and tax cheats, and protect the middle class.
Barack Obama's administration is facing allegations that key officials have been furtively meeting with lobbyists, once derided by the President as Washington "influence peddlers." As part of his commitment to bring change to Washington, Mr Obama began made logs of visitors to the West Wing public, so anyone could keep track of who was being granted an audience with his aides and when. But administration officials have evaded public scrutiny by meeting lobbyists away from the White House, where no record will be kept of their meetings – and the President's pledge to keep them out of the White House will not be undermined.
While Fox News feeds its rabble the anti-union line, Murdoch's Wall Street Journal columnists front for Koch's Americans for Prosperity and coddle elite investors. In the week-long battle taking place in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, you'd expect Fox News to be doing what it's done: misreporting the story, mistakenly characterizing a poll supporting public workers to mean its opposite, featuring Glenn Beck painting the protests of union workers as something cooked up by Stalinists.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s ruling to destroy the young plants currently being grown to produce genetically modified sugar beet seeds with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genes.
Unions have the strength to block everything in Scott Walker's union-busting bill. THE BATTLE for Wisconsin's future has come to a crossroads--and the movement that has electrified the country with its opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's anti-labor assault needs to step up the fight to win.
It was not until Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walked to the George Washington University podium last week to enthusiastic applause that I decided I had to dissociate myself from the obsequious adulation of a person responsible for so much death, suffering and destruction. I was reminded of a spring day in Atlanta almost five years earlier when then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld strutted onto a similar stage to loud acclaim from another enraptured audience.
A conservative deputy AG let his emotions get out of hand. It wasn't the first time.
On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn't end up happening—one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: "Use live ammunition." From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a "typical leftist," adding, "liberals hate police." Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin spoke out forcefully Tuesday after it was discovered that the state Capitol had blocked a website that was attempting to organize those protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip unions of their rights. Anyone trying to use the state Capitol's Wi-Fi connection to access www.defendwisconsin.org Monday and early Tuesday received an error message.
Robin Gee, an editor at Madison Area Technical College, member of American Federation of Teachers Local 3872 and delegate to the Madison-area South Central Federation of Labor, reports on efforts to block Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting bill. Workers and students fill the Capitol building in Madison protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's attacks on unions (Jessie Reeder)Workers and students fill the Capitol building in Madison protesting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's attacks on unions (Jessie Reeder) FOLLOWING A weekend that included one of the largest protests in Wisconsin history, labor activists and the Madison-area labor council are organizing to oppose all provisions of Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting "budget repair bill."
The Wisconsin Assembly is set to begin debate today on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan to cut pay and eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. The unions have agreed to accept all of Walker’s proposed cuts, which would see them pay 12 percent of their health benefits and half their pension costs. But they have refused to relinquish their right to collective bargaining. We speak to Peter Rickman, an activist in the Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has helped occupy the Capitol building in Madison for the past week to protest the bill. “People understand that this is a fundamental attack on basic worker rights,” Rickman says. “So, people like ... the firefighters, steelworkers and other folks—nurses, home care workers—who are joining us are doing this because this is a struggle for all working folks.”
Deploying his customary technocratic aloofness in the service of the usual screw-the-workers narrative, President Obama sided with the union-busters: "Everybody has to make some adjustments to the new fiscal realities," he scolds. "Everybody," naturally, does not include ultrarich dudes like our multi-millionaire president. Obama, who declared a whopping $5.5 million in annual income for 2009 (the last year available), has neither reduced his salary nor donated a penny of his $7.7 million fortune to the Treasury to help adjust to those "new fiscal realities."
In the past 24 months, those of us who longed for positive change have gone from hope to heartbreak. But hope is returning to America -- at last -- thanks largely to the courageous stand of the heroes and heroines of Wisconsin. Opponents to Governor Scott Walker's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers are taking part in their seventh day of protesting. Reinvigorated by the idealism and fighting spirit on display right now in America's heartland, the movement for "hope and change" has a rare, second chance. It can renew itself and become again a national force with which to be reckoned.
Teachers. These are the people who put Obama in office. They did everything a candidate could ask of his supporters and more. And what have they gotten in return? A bigger war in Afghanistan, a renewal of the Patriot Act, a porno-scanning system at the airports, more blank checks for Wall Street, and a lot of empty posturing about Guantanamo. And when their pay and pensions and their jobs were on the line, Obama was no where to be found. Poof! The vanishing president. Name one thing that Obama has done for working people? Health care? That fetid trillion dollar giveaway to big pharma? That just doesn't cut it.
During my years of writing for Pravda.Ru, I have frequently been critical of America’s legal system, which, in turn, has prompted many readers to ask why and how this disillusionment took place. In truth, it is doubtful my disillusionment would ever have occurred had I entered law school with the requisite cynicism, selfishness, greed and lust for power typical of many who seek careers in the legal profession. Instead I entered with the idealistic notions that America’s legal system was about truth, justice and preserving the rights of the individual. Only after I graduated and opened a law practice did I come to realize that the “system” is really nothing more than a cesspool of hypocrisy, corruption, exploitation, blind ambition, cover-up, mendacity and even sadism.
In the largest rally yet, an estimated 80,000 people protested in Madison on Saturday against a "budget repair" bill that would strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights. The state’s Democratic Senators—who have fled the state to stall a vote on the bill—sent a letter to Gov. Scott Walker on Friday telling him labor would accept cuts to pensions and increased contributions to health and retirement plans if he would negotiate on collective bargaining. The cuts Walker has proposed in a sweeping budget bill would exclude public safety workers like police, state troopers and firefighters, but this does not mean they are in support of the legislation. To discuss this further, we are joined by Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association. “An assault on one is an assault on all,” Mitchell says.
Last week, in the face of protest demonstrations against Wisconsin’s new union-busting governor, Scott Walker — demonstrations that continued through the weekend, with huge crowds on Saturday — Representative Paul Ryan made an unintentionally apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.”
This must be what it’s like when a country goes insane, when it falls down a rabbit hole and tries to pretend that everything is normal. It can’t tell truths from lies. Hucksters pose as upright men, and people imagine they are Solons, avatars of insight come down from the ages. Sleazy operators pass themselves off as statesmen, as thinkers of deep gravitas, and the crowds, unable to distinguish sanctimony from sincerity, bravado from bullshit, lap it up. Let’s be clear. It was the Republicans who wrecked the economy. Both their people and their policies drove the economy into the ditch. They wrecked the economy not once, but twice in the last eighty years.
The fight over Republican Governor Scott Walker's Union-busting bill may have just begun. Here's a run-down on the unfolding events. The drama unfolding in Wisconsin enters its second week, and as tens of thousands of workers and their supporters ring the state's capitol expressing outrage over Union-busting Republican Governor Scott Walker's bill, the impasse doesn't appear to be headed towards a resolution anytime soon. AlterNet has stayed on top of this momentous story, and here are the latest developments.
An America that understands that the settlements are the obstacle should have joined in condemning them. This weekend, a new member enrolled in Likud - and not just in the ruling party, but in its most hawkish wing. Located somewhere between Tzipi Hotovely and Danny Danon, U.S. President Barack Obama bypassed Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan on the right and weakened their position. The first veto cast by the United States during Obama's term, a veto he promised in vain not to use as his predecessors did, was a veto against the chance and promise of change, a veto against hope. This is a veto that is not friendly to Israel; it supports the settlers and the Israeli right, and them alone.
As protests escalate in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker isn't showing any signs of backing down from his plan to slash union benefits and eliminate collective bargaining rights. Wisconsin's 14 Democratic state senators have gone into hiding to prevent Republicans from holding a vote on Walker's proposal.
Alan Greenspan has been strangely missing from the fierce battle over the future of public sector unions in Wisconsin and other states. His absence is strange because he bears more responsibility for the current conflict than anyone else alive.
US decision to use UN security council veto sparks furious reaction in West Bank and Gaza. Palestinians are planning a "day of rage" on Friday in response to the US wielding its veto against a UN security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements. "Obama cannot be trusted," he wrote in an open letter to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. "We knew his promises were lies. The time has come to spit in the face of the Americans."
The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy. The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on. Budget deficits are a ruse, as we've seen in Wisconsin, where the governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement.
GOP forces are trying to deflect attention from the growing wealth transfer to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish. The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class - pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don't believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.
Wisconsin's Republican governor on Sunday rejected any compromise with pro-union protesters filling the Capitol for a sixth day, predicting that his state would lead the way across the country in weakening unions that have negotiated unaffordable compensation packages.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warns that the Republican Party's deal to slash budget by $61bn will hit the economy's fragile recovery. President Obama has already pledged to veto the aggressive cuts. Fears over the strength of the US economic recovery were growing last night after a highly unusual all-night session of the Republican House of Representatives agreed to slash the federal budget by $61bn by the end of September.
So declared the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as he finished addressing a crowd of more than 40,000 at that had filled the grounds of Wisconsin’s state Capitol. A few minutes later , he would enter the Capitol and address a crowd estimated at 8,000, which filled what has been called America’s most beautiful government building to capacity.
So Far "Judicial activism" is way too tame a phrase for what Chief Justice Roberts & Co did here. This was a coup -- a plotted overthrow to enthrone corporate political interests.
Faced with a near-certain Republican victory that would end a half-century of collective bargaining for public workers, Wisconsin Democrats retaliated with the only weapon they had left: They fled.
Forced at gunpoint this weekend to clean out a lot of old paper files in anticipation of some home improvements, I ran across some articles and obituaries I had saved following the death, a little more than five and a half years ago, of the late, great Ann Richards, former governor of Texas.
What's happening in Wisconsin is not complicated. At the beginning of this year, the state was on course to end 2011 with a budget surplus of $120 million. As Ezra Klein explained, newly elected GOP Governor Scott Walker then " signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit."
A Senate proposal that has become known as the Internet "kill switch" bill was reintroduced this week, with a tweak its backers say eliminates the possibility of an Egypt-style disconnection happening in the United States. The 221-page bill hands Homeland Security the power to issue decrees to certain privately owned computer systems after the president declares a "national cyberemergency." A section in the new bill notes that does not include "the authority to shut down the Internet," and the name of the bill has been changed to include the phrase "Internet freedom."
The war on Wisconsin employees isn't just about the budget or Wisconsin: Koch toady Gov. Walker is just one soldier in the billionaire's offensive to kill labor. As some 30,000 protesters overwhelmed the state capitol building in Wisconsin today, Democratic state senators hit the road, reportedly with State Police officers in pursuit. The Dems left the state in order to deprive Republicans the necessary quorum for taking a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's bill to strip benefits and collective bargaining rights from state workers.
Coincidence or not, the fact that hundreds of National Guard troops are returning to Wisconsin today fresh from battling insurgents in Iraq is sure to alarm union protesters who labeled Governor Scott Walker’s move to put the Guard on alert last week a “threat” designed to intimidate demonstrators who are currently massed around the Capitol in Madison.
For the past three decades, the Federal Reserve has been given a dual mandate: keeping prices stable and maximizing employment. This policy relies not only on the fatal conceit of believing in the wisdom of supposed experts, but also on numerical chicanery.
Diplomats don’t carry guns. They aren’t supposed to drive around in cars, shooting and running people over. We have seen this behavior a lot recently, part of a pattern of organized banditry, terrorism and mayhem America used to call the Global War on Terror. That war is over, written off as a joke. The behaviors are there, the killings, the drones, the torture.
Ron Paul has made a huge impact on America. After winning two consecutive CPAC straw polls, the corporate media and powers that be are pulling out all the stops in a bid to destroy Ron Paul and his support for ending the Federal Reserve.
"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President. "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd US President
In a dramatic departure from longstanding policy, the United States intends to support a United Nations Security Council resolutions censuring Israel for building settlements in Palestinian territory.
Thousands of public workers marched in Wisconsin's capital before a legislative vote on Wednesday on whether to slash public worker pensions and curb collective bargaining rights of unions. It's a scene that may be played out in many states struggling with budget deficits.
"I have never been prouder of our movement than I am at this moment," shouted Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt, as he surveyed the crowds of union members and their supporters that surged around the state Capitol and into the streets of Madison Wednesday, literally closing the downtown as tens of thousands of Wisconsinites protested their Republican governor’s attempt to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.
Defendants had a common plan to engage in acts … that deceived the press and public … These infringing and fraudulent acts are antithetical to public debate on important issues, because they prevent the public and the press from knowing the true position … In short, such conduct is destructive of public discourse, and cannot be tolerated under the law. – Chamber of Commerce lawsuit against the Yes Men and "John and Jane Does 1 through 20", November 2009
Protesters flood the rotunda of the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s new Republican governor inadvertently issued a wake-up call to the state’s labor movement by announcing legislation February 11 that would crush public employee unions. Scott Walker made the proposals just two days after similar measures were unveiled in Ohio.
The below is a list of the House members that voted FOR extension of the PATRIOT Act:
This may be a highly distasteful proposition, but just for a moment, I want you to sit back, and imagine that you are a member of the corporate banking elite. You are a walking talking disease ridden power mad pustule who naively believes himself intellectually superior to the vast majority of humanity and above the inherent laws of conscience, honor, and general good taste. You are a villain in the purest sense, in that you not only do great harm to the world, you actually SEEK to do great harm to the world, if only to benefit yourself and your exclusive circle of “friends”; a clan of degenerate blood thirsty sociopaths with delusions of omnipotence that stalk the night like Armani wearing Chupacabra exsanguinating the joy from poor unsuspecting cultures. You are capable of anything, and sadly, you take “pride” in this fact…
Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them. Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."
Pricey political consultants and fame-seeking leaders: A grassroots group cozies up to the DC establishment and alienates the activists who put it on the map.
President Barack Obama's budget proposal that would cut $100 billion from Pell Grants and other higher education programs has some local university administrators concerned about how students will pay for their tuition.
Britain is to give more than £1billion in aid to India over the next four years, even though it has almost three times as many billionaires as we do.
On Monday, the Obama administration released its proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2012. After committing trillions in federal bailouts to the banks and billionaires, the White House is demanding cuts that will devastate the working class, and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sections. The $1.1 trillion in cuts for the next decade proposed by the White House is to be only the starting point for further cuts, as spokesmen for both big business parties acknowledge. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, declared, “We’ve got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next decade.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, “There’s no limit to the amount we’re willing to cut.”
Akasha Perez is an activist at San Francisco State University and a member of the SFSU chapter of CSU Students for Quality Education. She talked to David Elaine Alt about the impact of the budget cuts and fee hikes that have been imposed on California campuses--and the struggle ahead as activists prepare for a March 2 day of action to defend public education.
THE DAY before Hosni Mubarak officially became Egypt's ex-president, John Negroponte, the U.S. diplomat who has been deployed to war zones from Honduras to Iraq, took to the airwaves to defend his community. The U.S. intelligence community, that is.
President Obama has unveiled a budget plan seeking to trim the federal deficit by cutting or eliminating some 200 federal programs, many dedicated to social services and education, while increasing military spending and funding for the construction of nuclear power plants. Announcing his $3.7 trillion proposal, Obama touted his previously stated pledge to freeze funding for domestic programs outside of the military for five years. Obama’s plan includes two modest tax hikes for banks and oil companies. It also calls for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2013 and returning the estate tax to its higher 2009 levels. For analysis of Obama’s proposed budget, we are joined by John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine.
Memo to President Obama: Given the absence of intelligent intelligence and the inadequacy of your advisers’ advice, it’s not surprising that your handling of the Egyptian uprising has set new standards for foreign policy incoherence and incompetence. Perhaps a primer on how to judge the power that can be wielded by mass protest will prepare you better for the next round of political upheavals.
Less than a month after making a show of reading the U.S. Constitution into the Congressional Record, the leaders of the Republican-controlled U.S. House enginnered a vote to extend the surveillance authorities that both the Bush and Obama administrations have used to conduct “roving surveillance” of communications, to collect and examine business recordsand to target individuals who are not tied to terrorist groups for surveillance.
Now that establishment Republicans have managed to steer the Tea Party into the political Borg Hive and run off the real patriots, it is time to get the neocon total war agenda back on track.
Is Barack Obama trying to play a joke on all of us? The budget that the Obama administration has submitted for fiscal 2012 is so out of touch with reality that it may as well be a budget for "Narnia", "Fantasy Island", "Atlantis" or some other mythical land.
ROME- The demonstration by an estimated million women across Italy Sunday points to a continuing denial of fair opportunities for women at work.
The conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) announced Saturday that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) would be expelled from the group's National Advisory Board because of his "delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement."
Once upon a time in the Evil Empire, there arose to the Most Powerful Office in the Land, a very stupidly evil man named, George Walker Bush (the III George of the Empire). George the III had been a less than mediocre student in school, he failed in every business that he tried to operate and as governor of one of the far-flung provinces of the Evil Empire called Texas, he was an unmitigated disaster. The axe of his executioner swung wildly and he dismantled the education system while ruining the environment.
The fortune amassed by Egypt’s former president and his two sons (both billionaires) could reach $70 billion. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here. With Hosni Mubarak gone, let’s do a little Egyptian math on the Mubarak years.
On Feb 1, 2011 in a remark on the riots of the Egyptians Obama stated, “Now, it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt's leaders. Only the Egyptian people can do that.” This is the right position to take except that the actual role of the United States, and the Western counties in general, in the Middle East has been just the opposite. “We” – the dominant Western “we” – do believe in the freedom of every human being and all peoples of the world, but the problem is that “we” want them to be free in the ways we define freedom for them.
Obama administration officials reacted to yesterday’s ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with hypocritical declarations of solidarity with the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian masses. Their comments barely disguised, however, the alarm they felt at the downfall of a dictator the US government has backed for 31 years. In a perfunctory six-minute address, after which he took no questions, President Obama declared the United States to be a “friend and partner to Egypt.” He praised the “moral force of nonviolence” as the principle underlying the protests, saying it “bent the arc of history toward justice once more.”
The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to clear the road for an extension of controversial provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. The final vote was 248 to 176, largely along party lines. Just 4 Republicans voted against the extension, while only 15 Democrats voted for it.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) sounded like he was about to hit the campaign trail again during his speech at a right-wing forum Friday, but before he left the podium, he warned Americans that their federal government was in trouble. "Tragically, you're going to have the opportunity [to not ask the federal government for anything], because government is in the process of failing, and they can't deliver on the goods, just as the Soviets couldn't deliver the goods and maintain their own power," he said during the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s recently departed chief of staff, is running for mayor in Chicago. It was originally determined that Emanuel was not eligible to run because he lived in Washington for two years, but this was turned aside by the Illinois Supreme Court in late January.
I have never witnessed such a multi-faceted attack on Ron Paul, the Tea Party and the Freedom Movement as I have seen recently. The Elite are not taking any chances for the next “Most Important Election Ever” in 2012. For a guy that the Republican Establishment say can’t win, they sure do spend a lot of time attacking Ron Paul. The Elite are broadening the attack on Ron Paul and the Freedom Movement before the political pre-season even begins. Donald Trump fires the latest shot across the bow of the Ron Paul R3volution at the Conservative Political Action Committee today.nius
Once upon a time, the United States was the greatest industrial powerhouse that the world has ever seen. Our immense economic machinery was the envy of the rest of the globe and it provided the foundation for the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world. But now the once great U.S. economic machine is being dismantled piece by piece.
"I don't think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up," the employee, whose name was kept anonymous, told the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters. "They say one thing and do another," the former employee said. "They insist on maintaining this charade, this façade, that they’re balanced or that they’re not right-wing extreme propagandist."
"They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news," says a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch. Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”
The rapid rise of the Tea Party and its burgeoning alliance with the Religious Right are further proof of the staying power of theocratic movements in American politics. In late February, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) flew to Nashville to address a gathering of the National Religious Broadcasters, a group of mostly far-right television and radio personalities. While there, he took some time to chat with a reporter for TV preacher Pat Robertson’s “700 Club.”
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will ask Congress to cut $3 billion from home heating assistance for the poor next year, proposing the reduction just as a particularly harsh winter is driving up energy costs in Northern New York.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review. She is a frequent contributor on the subject of race and class and has written extensively on the struggle for housing justice. Her articles have also appeared on the Black Commentator, CounterPunch and Gaper's Block Web sites. In the unfolding Egyptian revolution and the revolt sweeping Northern Africa and the rest of the Arab world, the imperial West demonizes the struggle itself as "chaos" and raises the "threat" of Islamist regimes taking power where old autocrats fall as a greater evil than the dictatorships themselves.
President Barack Obama needs to stop being two-faced on Egypt. On one side of his public face he gives the impression of pressing Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak to consider his legacy and “leave power in a way that would give his country the best chance for peace and democracy.” But then he sent presidential envoy Frank Wisner to Cairo, who later publicly urged Mubarak to remain in power, saying, “President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical.”
Defeat for the proposed extension of the so called PATRIOT Act in the House Tuesday night made national headlines, yet the extension is set to pass by the end of the week anyway as it is brought back to the floor for another vote. But just in case anyone in Congress reaches the sudden epiphany that they are effectively voting on the Enabling Act, Big Sis Janet Napolitano has officially notified a congressional panel that the US faces the greatest possibility of a major terror attack since 9/11.
Canada and the U.S. have officially launched negotiations on a trade and security agreement which would take continental integration to the next level.
Secret China war plan: trillions in U.S. debt ... Yes, Americans love war. Yes, wars cost money. And pile on debt, new taxes ... Back in the ‘40s, WWII consumed 57% of our GDP. Today, war eats up about half America's budget. We're sinking under Iraq war debt. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates Iraq at $3 trillion, with $2 trillion for future costs, like VA medical. The Afghan war, maybe another $3 trillion. Plus endless terrorist threats. Future wars are "planned" years, even decades in advance, strategies based on Pentagon-Rand war games. America talks peace. But deep inside our collective brain is a dark monster: We're little kids who love playing war. – Paul B. Farrell/MarketWatch
On Monday, while Barack Obama was hob-nobbing with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hugo Chavez was busy handing out laptop computers to second graders at a school in Caracas. After that, the Venezuelan president rushed off to a food distribution plant which is providing $110 million in prepared meals for Venezuela's poor. Finally, he ended his afternoon by making an appearance at one of the many construction sites where new homes are being built for the victims of January's massive floods. It's all in day's work for Hugo Chavez.
On August 9, 2007, an incident took place at a bank in France that touched-off a financial crisis that that would eventually wipe out more than $30 trillion in capital and thrust the world into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. The event was recounted in a speech by Pimco's managing director Paul McCulley, at the 19th Annual Hyman Minsky Conference on the State of the U.S. and World Economies. Here's an excerpt from McCulley's speech:
With Daley and Immelt on board, our president is waltzing with the devil. When you dance with the devil, never fool yourself into thinking that you're leading. That would be my 50-cents-worth of advice to President Barack Obama as he remakes his presidency into a Clintonesque corporate enterprise. Following last fall's congressional elections, he immediately began blowing kisses to CEOs and big business lobbyists, and he's now filled his White House dance card with them.
Empire looks at the dramatic changes taking place in the Arab world and their strategic implications. The fear factor has been broken, the genie is out of the bottle. Arabs have taken to the streets demanding freedom. As the winds of change blew across the Arab world, the US, the power that has long dominated the region, has been particularly absent. With all its allies crumbling one after another, what will the US do to maintain its influence in the region? And what can be expected of Israel, the country's closest ally in the region?
The greatest danger to the Egyptian revolution and the prospects for a free and independent Egypt emanates not from the "baltagiyya" -- the mercenaries and thugs the regime sent to beat, stone, stab, shoot and kill protestors in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities last week -- but from Washington.
“We pray that the violence in Egypt will end, and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized, and that a better day will dawn over Egypt,” President Barack Obama solemnly intoned at the beginning of his remarks to the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning. This annual celebration of official righteousness is, appropriately enough, convened by the Fellowship Foundation, a shadowy, politically connected group with a long record of organizing “prayer circles” that bring together foreign dictators, American politicians and military contractors. Defending the practice, the group’s organizer noted, “the Bible is full of mass murderers.”
Anyone who has lived in Egypt for an extended period of time or has traveled there for extended stays over the past thirty years should not be surprised at the current uprising. The only surprising thing is that this uprising didn’t happen years or decades sooner.
A federal government insider tells me we should soon expect the Obama administration to push Congress to ratify the stalled Colombia Free Trade Agreement, a treaty strongly opposed by unions and human rights activists, in both the United States and Colombia. Obama inherited three such pending treaties—Colombia, Korea and Panama—and he could back all three as a package
At least three anti-government protesters in Egypt were shot dead after gunfire rained down on Cairo's Tahrir Square in violent overnight clashes. Protest organiser Mustafa el-Naggar said he saw the bodies of three dead protesters being carried towards an ambulance. More than 1,500 people were injured in the latest violence, which came before dawn, as protesters remained in the street through the night following a day of clashes between supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and dissidents.
An interview with Noam Chomsky about what this means for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region. In recent weeks, popular uprisings in the Arab world have led to the ouster of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the imminent end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, a new Jordanian government, and a pledge by Yemen’s longtime dictator to leave office at the end of his term. We speak to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky about what this means for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region. When asked about President Obama’s remarks last night on Mubarak, Chomsky said: "Obama very carefully didn’t say anything...
They made lots of promises -- and they already have broken many as they came out of the gate. It's only been a month since the new Tea Party lawmakers took office, but the entirely predictable results of their ascension are already coming in. The Republican Party's newest class of “mavericks” have again stormed into office intent on proving their theory that government is inherently evil by screwing up everything in sight.
With up to eight million Egyptian people defying nearly a week of military curfew in that country to insist implacably on the overthrow of the US-backed Mubarak regime, there can be little doubt that this is a people’s revolution. In this way alone, the people have succeeded already in defying bravely – over 300 have been killed by the regime in the past week – a brutal dictatorship that has ruled their country with an iron fist.
Group Charges That Justice Thomas Receiving Special Treatment The words "EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" are famously chiseled above the main portico of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. But it appears that Justice Clarence Thomas is instead receiving special treatment under the law, says the watchdog group, www.ProtectOurElections.org. Evidence is mounting that Justice Thomas violated federal law from 1989 through the present by failing to report his wife's annual salary by checking "NONE" on the box for "Non-Investment Income" on judicial AO 10 Financial Disclosure Reports. Seven of those forms can be found at http://protectourelections.org/index.php?q=node/105.
Organisers called it Egypt’s "million man march". Whether they achieved that targeted head count is unclear, but their message was unequivocal. "Mubarak get out!" protesters chanted. Tuesday’s rally in downtown Cairo was the largest anti-government demonstration in modern Egyptian history, drawing the full spectrum of Egyptian society. Wave after wave of men, women and children poured into the central square from morning until well after the government’s 3pm curfew.
The uprising in Egypt is a popular movement for democracy, but some media outlets are mainly missing the point, according to our guest, Egyptian columnist and commentator Mona Eltahawy. She urges the media to use the terms "uprising" and "revolt" rather than "chaos" and "unrest" when reporting on the events in Egypt.
On April 21, 2008, an assistant high school principal placed an advertisement in Al-Ahram, the largest daily newspaper in Egypt, pleading disparately with President Hosni Mubarak and his wife to intervene and release her daughter from prison. It turned out that her 27 year-old daughter, Israa’ Abd el-Fattah, was arrested 10 days earlier because of her role in placing a page on Facebook encouraging Egyptians to support a strike in the industrial city of al-Mahalla that had taken place on April 6.
During the final days of the 2008 presidential race, Bill Sammon used his position as a top Fox News editor to engage in a campaign to link then-Sen. Barack Obama to "Marxists" and "socialism," internal Fox documents and a review of his televised appearances show. How odd that Fox News would accuse Obama of being a socialist, when Obama is a fascist like fascist Fox News.
More than a million rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square as massive countrywide protests are held against President Mubarak. Al Jazeera reports on the latest developments in Tahrir Square and across Egypt. More than a million protesters flooded into central Cairo, turning Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital, into a sea of humanity as massive protests against President Hosni Mubarak swept across Middle East's most populous nation.
The Egyptian revolution was an earthquake to the israeli zionisit organization, which shows confusion in how to deal with the sudden situation where the majority of the Egyptian nation demands the departure of 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, his ruling party and his fascist military regime.
Barack Obama's efforts to end the inequity that leaves millions of Americans without healthcare insurance suffered a blow today when a federal judge ruled the entire reform package unconstitutional. A federal judge in Florida agreed with a coalition of 26 states from across the US that the provision in the law to oblige individuals to buy health insurance was in breach of their personal rights. Video
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited a regime that has held power for four decades, said he will push for more political reforms in his country, in a sign of how Egypt’s violent revolt is forcing leaders across the region to rethink their approaches.
In response to the mass protests of recent days, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed his first Vice President in his over 30 years rule, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. When Suleiman was first announced, Aljazeera commentators were describing him as a "distinguished" and "respected " man. It turns out, however, that he is distinguished for, among other things, his central role in Egyptian torture and in the US rendition to torture program. Further, he is "respected" by US officials for his cooperation with their torture plans, among other initiatives.
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