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Monday, March 9, 2009
New Poll Reveals 56 Percent Of Americans Favor Bank Nationalization
New poll from Newsweek asks Americans: Which do YOU think is the better way to deal with failing banks? 56% - Nationalization, where the government takes temporary control.
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The Slow, Sometimes Imperceptible March of History
It was only one stirring moment in a long and ugly history, but still. On Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder and the daughter of segregationist governor George Wallace embraced and celebrated the historic 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act. "I am a beneficiary of Selma," said Holder. Ditto President Obama, Selma's black mayor George Evans, the 1,000-plus people, including civil rights icons, who recreated the march, and all of us. As a child watching the marchers, said Peggy Wallace Kennedy, who endorsed Obama last fall, "I knew their cause was just." Next time, hopefully, it won't take 44 years for justice to prevail.
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Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Hardest Fight
Of all the rallies and marches in honor of International Women's Day, the most inspiring have to be those drawing the thousands of women who had to fight hardest to get there. Many are the women of poor Muslim countries who face rape, beatings, forced marriages, honor killings, domestic violence – never mind the garden-variety discrimination of developed countries – with little recourse to legal or political help. The 10,000 women marching in Kinshasa to protest violence against women and children in the Congo's war, the women in Bangalore in southern India protesting violent attacks by religious extremists in the name of "moral policing," the women in Islamabad chanting for equal rights in Pakistan – this is courage. We hope the Obama administration hears the voices of activists urging the U.S. to adopt U.N.-sponsored global initiatives aimed at protecting women – from our lush perch, the least we can do.
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Saturday, March 7, 2009
Oratory Unequalled, and His Level of Optimism Is Right Up There Too
Improbably, RNC Chairman Michael Steele just keeps getting better. Guest-hosting a conservative talk radio program , he responded to a caller's suggestion he might be pressured to resign with, "Not me baby! Nuh-uh. Not happening." Steele also called the last disastrous week "a good week, an instructive week." Yup, and the economy is looking just swell, thanks.
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Friday, March 6, 2009
Fighting Global Hunger
American Jewish World Services , which supports grassroots organizations promoting sustainable agriculture in 36 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, is looking for donations for a matching grant to help fight global hunger. With fundraising especially hard right now, AJWS cites some horrific facts to move us to action. Among them: each day, more than 854 million people around the world go hungry, and some 25,000 people die from hunger-related causes, three quarters of them children under the age of five. For more go here
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The Black Hole Gets Bigger, But Can Be Hard To See
In more grim economic news , the U.S. lost another 651,000 jobs in February, with unemployment surging to 8.1 percent. The figures, even worse than expected, moved pundits to blithely deem 2009 "probably a lost cause." That's easy to say for the pundits, who remain employed and thus immune. But for machine toolmaker Kim Allgeyer of Westland, Mich. and so many more they can become hard to visualize, the news is painfully real. "The people who do what I do in the Detroit area are a dime a dozen," he says. “Who’s going to put me to work?...It’s just a great big black hole.”
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The Most Gladdening Five Minutes on Television
Shaun the Sheep, a brilliant, hilarious world unto itself from Aardman Animations, the quintessentially British creators of Wallace and Gromit. Features the witty wily Shaun, the long-suffering sheepdog Bitzer, the clueless Farmer, and alot of your basic sheep. Perfect for when the world gets you down. If you don't have a kid who watches cartoons with her fruit course before school and obligingly yells "Sheep!" at 7:55 to alert you, there is, I should have known, a website here
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Banks: 472, Homeowners: 1
In what's being hailed in some gleeful quarters as a major blow to the banking industry, the House Thursday passed a mortgage relief bill that gives troubled homeowners a break by allowing bankruptcy judges to lower their mortgage payments. In the you've-gotta-be-kidding department, Republicans opposed to the 'Helping Families Save Their Homes Act' argued that it rewarded irresponsible behavior and bad choices. Okay, repeat after us. AIG, Citibank, Merrill Lynch...
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The Best CD I've Bought In a Long Time
Mavis Staples' "We'll Never Turn Back," a collection of songs from the civil-rights movement. Produced by Ry Cooder. Stellar arrangements, superb back-up. High points: "My Own Eyes" and "We Shall Not Be Moved." Timeless. Incomparable.
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Subtly, Profoundly (If Way Late), America Grows Up
Today in CD Views, a great, thoughtful piece by David Michael Green about the amorphous but welcome change the Obama presidency brings to the level of our national political discourse. "Whatever one feels about Barack Obama's policies, watching his thoughtful, respectful and intelligent approach to the politics of our time provides a stunning contrast to the faux swagger, willful stupidity, and inherent contempt for the public of his predecessor..... Impoverished, deceived, broken and isolated, America is finally growing up."
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