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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Breaking The Bank
There are bankers hanging in effigy and police pelted with fruit and Easter bunnies hopping through police cordons, but amidst the G-20 protests in London one iconic moment stands out – angry protesters breaking into the heavily guarded, bailed-out Bank of Scotland, and spray-painting it with "Thieves." Every now and then, symbolism is all.
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I Wanna Hold Your Hand
It's a small matter, I know, but still: It's refreshing to see pictures of the Obamas en route to Europe – not the usual stolid, wooden, frozen-smiled pair of strangers, but a vibrant caring couple, clearly in this together. Young people seeking a family role model, take note.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Let Them Eat Cake
Hundreds of French workers, angry about proposed layoffs at a Caterpillar plant, are holding company executives hostage in their office, the third time this month workers facing cutbacks have held their bosses captive to demand negotiations. The workers, irate that the company failed to show up at two earlier negotiating sessions, are allowing food to be brought in; no word on the menu.
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Why Jim Hightower Shouldn’t Be the Only One Debating John McCain on Afghanistan
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So Many Miscreants, So Little Time
With GM chairman Rick Wagoner booted from power and the wave of populist rage still rising, the Service Employees International Union, SEIU, has helpfully suggested the next deserving candidate for swift justice – Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. Why should he be fired? Let us count the ways...
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Legalizing Rape
In a move evidently aimed at appeasing Islamic fundamentalists, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has signed a bill restricting women's rights that critics charge amounts to "legalizing rape." Among other things, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples and limits a woman's right to leave home. "It is one of the worst bills passed by the parliament this century," said Shinkai Karokhail, who campaigned against the bill. "It is totally against women's rights."
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Monday, March 30, 2009
Help Ban the Use of Cluster Bombs
Today is the national call-in day (1-800-590-6313) for the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, S. 416, which would help prevent the use of cluster bombs. Our friends at the US Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs remind us that though the U.S. has banned the export of U.S.-made cluster bombs, it still hasn't signed on to the international treaty banning the use of cluster bombs.
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Nailing Bush
Republicans are gearing up to fight and possibly filibuster law professor Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's eminently qualified, pro-choice, pro-rule-of-law nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel – the office that under Bush approved torture and other illegal acts. With Jonhson publicly committed to revealing and reversing those abuses, forces on the right are waging an ugly campaign against her as a “radical, pro-abortion activist." For more on Johnsen and the campaign against her go here . To urge Congress to confirm her go here
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busy as bees, for better or worse
The $787 billion stimulus package -- along with an ambitious new federal budget, bank bailouts and the beginning of a regulatory overhaul -- has succeeded in stimulating the economy along Washington's avenue of influence. In the months since the November election, more than 2,000 cities, companies and associations have hired lobbyists to help them push their agendas on Capitol Hill and at the White House, easily outpacing such numbers after the previous two elections, according to disclosure records. Nearly every industry and every corner of the country has an issue, especially with so much money at stake.
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Busy As Bees
With billions in bailout and stimulus funds hovering enticingly on the horizon, lobbyists for everything from pharmaceuticals to wind energy are raking it in. Even Glenpool, Okla., pop. 10,000, has hired a consultant to be their "eyes and ears in Washington." With all that influence-peddling, let's hope some of the good guys win. For more go here
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