All Further Articles

Monday, February 23, 2009
Useless Marvels: Cutting the Military Budget
Progressive Democrats of America and other grassroots groups are urging people to contact their legislators to express support for a proposal by Rep. Barney Frank to cut wasteful military spending by 25 per cent in order to meet domestic needs like health care, green energy and education. Frank will hold a briefing on Tuesday to explore ways of cutting a bloated budget that almost doubled during the Bush/Cheney years. The Chairman of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee, Frank argues that the U.S. is wasting billions, not just in Iraq, but on developing weapons that "might have been useful against the Soviet Union." "Many of these weapons are technological marvels, but they have a central flaw: no conceivable enemy. It ought to be a requirement in spending all this money for a weapon that there be some need for it. In some cases we are developing weapons – in part because of nothing more than momentum – that lack not only a current military need but even a plausible use in any foreseeable future." To see examples of expenditures that make no sense, and take action against them, go here
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Rage and Shame: Park of the Grateful
It is hard to read about the lives of Iraq's war widows – begging for food or blankets, sifting through garbage, forced into "temporary marriages" or prostitution, living with their children in gas station bathrooms – and not feel at least partly responsible. There is no mercy here: Of an estimated 740,000 who are homeless, 750 get to live in a trailer park named Al Waffa, or "Park of the Grateful." There is little help forthcoming for these women from their government or religious leaders. To do something besides feel helpless shame at their plight, you can help Madre help them through the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq here
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Friday, February 20, 2009
President Obama: It's Time to Nationalize Insolvent Banks
We know that President Obama is hearing from Wall Street. We know that he is hearing from the financial 'wizards' and the lobbyists who helped wreck our economy in the first place. And we know that he's hearing from the inside-the-beltway Democrats who are terrified of the "N" word - nationalize. As part of our effort to help President Obama "do the right thing" CommonDreams.org has just launched a petition to President Obama urging him to nationalize the insolvent banks. Sign here...
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Deja Vu All Over Again: Anybody Listening?
The news that NATO members are essentially ignoring misguided American calls for more military support in Afghanistan is entirely logical. Hopefully, it will also prove instructive to an Obama administration that seems determined to escalate the war there despite widespread skepticism at home and across Europe. A cogent definition of insanity is the insistence on doing the same thing over and over despite disastrous results. Repeat after us: Iraq.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009
To Infinity and Beyond
Following in a fine old Republican tradition of non sequitur, stereotyping, and incoherent visions for the future, new RNC Chairman Michael Steele says his party will soon make radical changes to broaden its appeal, including an "off the hook" public relations campaign to "uptick our image with everyone," including "one-armed midgets” and "moms of all shapes." For more on a RNC campaign that he promises will go "beyond cutting edge," go here
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We Know How You Feel, Though Of Course Not Quite
Iraqi journalist Muntadher al-Zaidi, who appeared in court Thursday to cheers and loud applause, said he threw his shoes at then-president Bush at a December press conference because he couldn't stand looking at the "bloodless and soulless smile" of "the man who killed our nation." "I could only see Bush and feel the blood of the innocents flow under his feet... I was expressing my inner feelings and those of all the Iraqi people from east to west and north to south and the feelings of hatred they hold for him."
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
One More Red Flag: Bribes, Kickbacks, Profiteering, aka Reconstruction
In Afghanistan, mismanagement, incompetence and corruption have claimed up to a third of the $15 billion already spent on so-called reconstruction, international aid workers say. Along with wasting an obscene amount of money, the flawed rebuilding efforts have also deepened Afghan resentment toward foreign troops whose numbers will soon be rising. For more on the alarming realities of for-profit reconstruction, go here
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A Nation of Cowards
In a blunt assessment of American race relations at a Justice Department ceremony honoring Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder called the U.S. "a nation of cowards" that has "still not come to grips with its racial past, nor has it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way, the diverse future it is fated to have." He urged "a period of dialogue" between races that remain, still and all, divided. This will be, at first, a process that is both awkward and painful, but the rewards are, I believe, potentially great. The alternative is to allow to continue the polite, restrained mixing that now passes as meaningful interaction, but that in reality, accomplishes very little.
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NY Post's Racist Cartoon
NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Post is standing behind a cartoon that some have interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee gunned down by police.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Uh, Sorry, Could You Make That Another Five Billion? Or Sixteen, Maybe?
General Motors told the Federal government Tuesday it may need over $16 billion more to stay afloat, bringing its total federal loans to $30 billion. Even then, it will have to cut 47,000 jobs and close five plants. The same day, Chrysler said it needs $5 billion more, bringing its total bailout to $9 billion; it also announced it lost $8 billion last year. Jeez: If people ran their households the way these guys run their companies, what Chrysler calls "the current economic challenges" would have washed even more of us overboard by now.
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