Blog UN Torture Chief Slams Bradley Manning's Treatment as Cruel, Inhuman

Treatment violates U.N. Convention against Torture, says Special Rapporteur on torture

The U. N. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez, has formally accused the U.S. government of harsh treatment of Bradley Manning that may amount to torture.

The Guardian reports:

Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier's arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.

"The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of

detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence," Mendez writes.

The findings of cruel and inhuman treatment are published as an addendum to the special rapporteur's report to the UN general assembly on the promotion and protection of human rights. They are likely to reignite criticism of the US government's harsh treatment of Manning ahead of his court martial later this year.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" while Article 1 of the U.N. Convention against Torture states in part: "torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishin

g him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. "

Yet, Méndez writes:

“[d]epending on the specific reason for its application, conditions, length, effects and other circumstances, solitary confinement can amount to a breach of article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to an act defined in article 1 or article 16 of the Convention against Torture.”

Méndez told the Guardian:

"I conclude that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) con

stitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture. If the effects in regards to pain and 

suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe, they could constitute torture."

The Guardian continues:

[Mendez] also said that the US government had tried to justify Manning's solitary confinement by calling it "prevention of harm watch". Yet the military had offered no details as to what actual harm was being prevented.

Mendez told the Guardian that he could not reach a definitive conclusion on whether Manning had been tortured because he has consistently been denied

permission by the US military to interview the prisoner under acceptable circumstances.

The Pentagon has refused to allow Mendez to see Manning in private, insisting that all conversations must be monitored. "You should have no expectation of privacy in your communications with Private Manning," the Pentagon wrote.

The lack of privacy is a violation of human rights procedures, the UN says, and considered unacceptable by the UN special rapporteur.

Link to original article on Common Dreams


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Want to Reclaim Solid Rock Congress from Mitch and Cantor Sinkhole

Jobs up, unemployment down: Imagine what a President could do if Congressional Corporatism wasn’t tunneling sinkholes beneath American recovery. Even in the wake of Ashley Judd, “Make Obama a One Term President,” Senate Minority Leader has a problem: ”What About Us,” working class guy, Ed Markey. Judging Mitch by the company he keeps in ‘good ol’ boy’ rebranding locker room, gun hands Glenn Beck, Teds Nugent & Cruz, Sarah Palin, Ricks Perry & Santorum, Eric Cantor and Wayne LaPierre, Congress needs a recall overhaul. Is it wrong to long for that old time American...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 05 May 2013 Hits:728 Blog Articles

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John Kerry Objects to a Presidential Election – Thirteen Years Too Late

John Kerry Objects to a Presidential Election – Thirteen Years Too Late

When I heard that Secretary of State John Kerry thought “there ought to be a recount” in the 2013 Venezuelan presidential election and said that the Obama Administration would be having “serious questions about the viability of that government" if “there are huge irregularities,” I did understand that this was pretty much pro forma stuff, not to be taken too seriously. The Cold War may be twenty years gone now, but the Administration probably still figures that it won’t hurt itself any by talking tough about people who sound like...

Tom Gallagher | Common Dreams 23 Apr 2013 Hits:815 Blog Articles

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Postal Service withdraws plan to end Saturday mail delivery

Postal Service withdraws plan to end Saturday mail delivery

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would cancel plans to end Saturday mail delivery this summer, saying the new stopgap budget that Congress recently passed would prohibit the move. The postal service’s board of governors made the decision Tuesday, according to a statement from the agency. “The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the board said in the statement. “The board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and...

Josh Hicks | The Washington Post 10 Apr 2013 Hits:1095 Blog Articles

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Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers

Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan collection of senators on Wednesday announced a compromise measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, increasing the chances that a viable package of new gun safety laws will soon hit the Senate floor.        Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, have spearheaded the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, background checks for gun buyers would expand to gun shows and online sales — a huge portion of gun sales that are made without the background...

Jennifer Steinhauer | New York Times 10 Apr 2013 Hits:593 Blog Articles

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Strategic Thinking on the U.S. Six Party System

Strategic Thinking on the U.S. Six Party System

Successful strategic thinking starts with gaining knowledge, particular gaining adequate knowledge of the big picture, of all the political and economic forces involved (Earth) and what they are thinking, about themselves and others, at any given time. (Heaven). It’s not a one-shot deal. Since both Heaven and Earth are always changing, strategic thinking must always be kept up to date, reassessed and revised. To make a political assessment of the forces commanded by the U.S. bourgeoisie and its subaltern allies and strata, it helps to make an examination of Congress, the...

Carl Davidson | Keep on Keepin' On 04 Apr 2013 Hits:1412 Blog Articles

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Please, No More April Fools

Please, No More April Fools

Who’s the one in your life who always injects the party with spoiler alert: “some things are not funny?” I love to laugh almost as much as I love making others laugh, but what if maybe, sometimes, some things are just not funny? Like the injustice of giving such a beautiful name as Antonin to someone too unpatriotic to do what’s least funny for his country: desert it in resignation, as easily as his judgment deserts equality statutes which could decree a nation, exceptional. Still, further down the funny slippery sloop,...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 01 Apr 2013 Hits:601 Blog Articles

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Bullying, Women an the ERA

Bullying, Women an the ERA

What’s the worst form of bullying in your workplace, household, community, neighborhood, or national experience?  Is it sexual, cyber, voting rights intimidation; was it Slavery, school related, or women being paid 77% of a man’s salary?  Is it football players being shocked to discover sexually assaulting a fellow student when she’s too incapacitated to consent or deny, has life changing consequences for both bully and victim?  Or media and parents warning exposing yourself on social media can be dangerous? Is it pollsters and media...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 18 Mar 2013 Hits:705 Blog Articles

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Power and the Internet

Power and the Internet

All disruptive technologies upset traditional power balances, and the Internet is no exception. The standard story is that it empowers the powerless, but that's only half the story. The Internet empowers everyone. Powerful institutions might be slow to make use of that new power, but since they are powerful, they can use it more effectively. Governments and corporations have woken up to the fact that not only can they use the Internet, they can control it for their interests. Unless we start deliberately debating the future we want to live...

Bruce Schneier | Schneier.com 20 Feb 2013 Hits:700 Blog Articles

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Show Me This Contract I Signed, Dagnabit!

Ahh, the famous Missouri Argument, favored by Internet Libertarians of all varieties.  What can you do about it?  It's so simple - If I'm under contract, I must be able to point to a piece of paper that details the contracts, right?  And if you can't produce such a thing, then any and all action taken against me is unlawful (heh) aggression! With less ranting, here's the usual formulation: Q: Can you please show me this contract that I signed obliging me to the agreement that you speak...

Roger Burgess | Zyx @ DailyKOS.com 06 Feb 2013 Hits:1073 Blog Articles

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Takeaways from the filibuster fight

Takeaways from the filibuster fight

Okay, before we decide once and for all whether this is a win or a loss, there are a few things I want out on the table. And the first point, appropriately enough, is that whenever you're talking about the Senate, since the answer to any question about it is either "well, yes and no," or, "it depends," the answer to whether this is a win or a loss will be the same. Yes and no. And, it depends. There's little sense in trying to tell...

David Waldman | Daily Kos 25 Jan 2013 Hits:789 Blog Articles

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Liberals, Progressives, Enemies of Democracy

Liberals, Progressives, Enemies of Democracy

When I traveled to Norway a few years ago to see for myself what it was like to live under “socialism” I soon discovered the lies corporate media propagandizes to the American people every day about so called “socialism”. Boldface and outrageous lies. Corporate lies in furtherance of a corporate agenda. Norway was teeming with corporate influence. Firestone, Ford, McDonalds, Burger King, TGIF among many others. Were all of these companies owned by the Norwegian government? Of course not. Corporate media propaganda. Oslo looks like most other cosmopolitan, sophisticated world class...

Milo Vannucci | Palm Beach Progressive Post 22 Jan 2013 Hits:859 Blog Articles

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PDA People's Inauguration live-- NOW

PDA People's Inauguration live-- NOW

The People's Inauguration-- sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)-- is live streaming now here. Great stuff-- War on Poverty, immigration reform, organizing the unemployed, Robin Hood Tax, eminent domain for economic development. Jesse Jackson, Randy Parraz, Congressman John Conyers, and labor leaders just spoke. Randy Parraz: "Change is coming to Arizona." Jesse Jackson: The US should be as tough on gun manufacturers as we are on tobacco companies. Bill Fletcher of the government employees union: Unions should organize the unemployed. He also called for the government to use eminent domain to...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog For Arizona.com 19 Jan 2013 Hits:847 Blog Articles

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PDA sponsors 'People's Inauguration' in DC on Jan 19: Watch live streaming

PDA sponsors 'People's Inauguration' in DC on Jan 19: Watch live streaming

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is hosting Progressive Central: The People's Inauguration on January 19 in Washington DC. Progressive pundits and politicians from around the country-- including our own Congressman Raul Grijalva-- will be there. If you're like me and will be in Tucson tomorrow, check out the live streaming of Progressive Central on the PDA home page, beginning at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time).  Bisbee's own Loneprotestor will be in DC-- so look for video from her on this blog. I attended Progressive Central in Charlotte...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog for Arizona 18 Jan 2013 Hits:721 Blog Articles

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Once Upon a Time in NRAmerica

Once Upon a Time in NRAmerica

Though separation of ribcage and shoulder blade rendered my body tardy to New Year opinion party, my mind was always here and not just for the dessert. Following potluck is neither depressing 2012 review, nor spoon full of sugar to help the 112th Congress go down. While I love an appetizer of language word games, this is no SE Cupp of tasteless murder most foul syntax, nor a sip of EPA approved Texas oil water. Before the main course of once upon a time, let’s Rush to dump the leftovers:...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 17 Jan 2013 Hits:701 Blog Articles

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Co-author of Platinum Coin Law Weighs in on Trillion Dollar Coin

Co-author of Platinum Coin Law Weighs in on Trillion Dollar Coin

Philip Diel ran the U.S. Mint from 1994 until 2000, and wasn't just the author of the 50-state quarters, but was also the co-author of the law that authorizes the Mint to issue commemorative coins—the same law that would authorize the Trillion Dollar Coin being discussed as a way to bypass Republican opposition to raising the debt limit. He dropped us an email, spurred on by this diary, to further discuss the idea.

Markos "kos" Moulitsas | Daily Kos 08 Jan 2013 Hits:810 Blog Articles

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The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff Comes the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff Comes the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

“It’s not all I would have liked,” says Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, speaking of the deal on the fiscal cliff, “so on to the debt ceiling.” For Republicans, the battle over the fiscal cliff is only a prelude to the coming battle over raising the debt ceiling – a battle that will likely continue through early March, when the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. The White House’s and Democrats’ single biggest failure in the...

Robert Reich | Robert Reich's Blog 02 Jan 2013 Hits:785 Blog Articles

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Eat Mor Chikin - Only Rhetoric Can Save Us Now

Eat Mor Chikin - Only Rhetoric Can Save Us Now

Getting my liberal friends to add emotive content to their arguments is like getting my three year old to eat anything we call chicken - it's not that she doesn't like chicken, but if we call it that, she won't eat it.  She'll instantly claim that she doesn't like it. Now, my wife and I know this cannot possibly be true, she loves real chicken: chicken soup, chicken and rice casserole and chicken fingers and more.  So it goes with my three year old (and most others' three...

31 Dec 2012 Hits:697 Blog Articles

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The Secret of How the GOP Has a Lock on the House for the Foreseeable Future

The Secret of How the GOP Has a Lock on the House for the Foreseeable Future

Tens of millions poured into a stealth redistricting project before the 2012 elections kept dozens of GOP Districts safe from Democratic challengers. If somewhere in the recesses of your mind you were wondering how, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election victory and the Democratic Party’s gains in the Senate, Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, think redistricting. Redistricting is the process that adjusts the lines of a state’s electoral districts, theoretically based on population shifts, following the decennial census. Gerrymandering is often part...

Bill Berkowitz | AlterNet 31 Dec 2012 Hits:1848 Blog Articles

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What Could Have Been: The Most Important Bills Blocked by Republicans in 2012

What Could Have Been: The Most Important Bills Blocked by Republicans in 2012

The bills we could have passed if it wasn't for GOP obstructionism -- from a minimum wage increase to the Buffett Rule. 1. A minimum wage increase. House Democrats proposed legislation in June that would have national minimum wage to $10 an hour, but Republicans blocked it. The minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, even though it would need to be raised to $9.92 to match the borrowing power it had in 1968. If it was indexed to inflation, it would be $10.40 today.raised the 2. Campaign finance...

ThinkProgress 29 Dec 2012 Hits:2110 Blog Articles

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America Faces Three Serious "Cliffs," None of Them Fiscal

America Faces Three Serious

The “fiscal cliff” is a a metaphor for a government that no longer responds to the biggest challenges we face because it’s paralyzed by intransigent Republicans, obsessed by the federal budget deficit, and overwhelmed by big money from corporations, Wall Street, and billionaires. If we had a functional government America would address three “cliffs” posing far larger dangers to us than the fiscal one: The child poverty cliff. Between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of American school-age children living in poor households grew from 17 to...

Robert Reich | AlterNet 07 Dec 2012 Hits:909 Blog Articles

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Bobby Jindal: Republicans Sound Like They're 'Fighting To Protect The Rich And Cut Benefits From Seniors'

Bobby Jindal: Republicans Sound Like They're 'Fighting To Protect The Rich And Cut Benefits From Seniors'

Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday called for Republicans to rethink their approach to the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations and instead fight for structural reforms, such as instituting a federal balanced budget amendment, requiring a super majority to raise taxes or creating term limits. While he didn't explicitly suggest that Republicans should drop their opposition to tax increases on the wealthy, he argued that the party's focus should be elsewhere. "[I]n the negotiations, Republicans certainly should fight to at least get something done that...

Ariel Edwards-Levy | Huffington Post 06 Dec 2012 Hits:822 Blog Articles

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Fighting Fiscal Phantoms

Fighting Fiscal Phantoms

These are difficult times for the deficit scolds who have dominated policy discussion for almost three years. One could almost feel sorry for them, if it weren’t for their role in diverting attention from the ongoing problem of inadequate recovery, and thereby helping to perpetuate catastrophically high unemployment. What has changed? For one thing, the crisis they predicted keeps not happening. Far from fleeing U.S. debt, investors have continued to pile in, driving interest rates to historical lows. Beyond that, suddenly the clear and...

Paul Krugman | Ny Times Op Ed 26 Nov 2012 Hits:836 Blog Articles

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Five Misconceptions about our Tattered Safety Net

Five Misconceptions about our Tattered Safety Net

Mitt Romney said he wasn't concerned about the very poor, because they have a safety net. This is typical of the widespread ignorance about inequality in our country. Struggling Americans want jobs, not handouts, and for the most part they've paid for their "safety net." The real problem is at the other end of the wealth gap. How many people know that out of 150 countries, we have the 4th-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Switzerland are worse. It's not just economic inequality that's plaguing our country....

Paul Buchheit | Common Dreams 17 Nov 2012 Hits:1684 Blog Articles

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How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

We need to assert a new culture of organizing capable of meeting the demands it will place on us, and now is the time to begin. Despite the efforts by the political Right to suppress the Democratic electorate, something very strange happened:  voters, angered by the attacks on their rights, turned out in even greater force in favor of Democratic candidates.  The deeper phenomenon is that the changing demographics of the USA also became more evident—45% of Obama voters were people of color, and young voters turned...

Bill Flether, Jr. and Carl Davidson 16 Nov 2012 Hits:1214 Blog Articles

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Bobby Jindal: GOP Should 'Stop Being The Stupid Party'

Bobby Jindal: GOP Should 'Stop Being The Stupid Party'

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal hurled harsh criticism at his own party after the GOP was blindsided in the 2012 elections, telling Republicans to end "dumbed-down conservatism" by putting a stop to "offensive, bizarre" comments. “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments -- enough of that,” Jindal told Politico. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had ...

Page Lavender | Huffington Post 15 Nov 2012 Hits:1871 Blog Articles

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When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

For much of the last forty years, ever since America “fixed” its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, “When are African Americans finally going to get over it? Now I want to ask:  “When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color? Recent reports that “Election Spurs Hundreds’ of Race Threats, Crimes” should frighten...

Andrew M. Manis | Macon Telegrah 01 Nov 2012 Hits:1315 Blog Articles

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Plague of Division Corrupts Ability to connect dots between National Inception and Romnesia Infection

 Plague of Division Corrupts Ability to connect dots between National Inception and Romnesia Infection

If you don’t know why Constitutional 12th Amendment was added to protect infant Republic from mob rule mentality, you might be a “Put the white back in the White House” Romnesiac If you believe we’re worse off than when Cheney’s burning Bush scorched our economy, you might be a cinder simmering in Romnesia But, if you know the difference between Socialism and Communism, you might be a high school graduate +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If you blame the President for high gas prices, but “remain silent” when they drop, you might be a Romnesiac If you Rush to mislead and...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 23 Oct 2012 Hits:1169 Blog Articles

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A Question for Anti-Choicers: How, Exactly, Would Your Rape Exception Work?

A Question for Anti-Choicers: How, Exactly, Would Your Rape Exception Work?

  There is much discussion these days of banning abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Setting aside the issue of whether this can possibly be true given the right's support for “personhood” amendments, I want the right to explain what the process would be to seek an exception from a ban on abortion. If efforts to criminalize abortion succeeded, would it be a medical, legal, or theological authority that would make the determination as to whether a...

Bridgette Dunlap | RH Reality Check 20 Oct 2012 Hits:1305 Blog Articles

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Presidential knockout: If you're still undecided after debate II, you're not paying attention

Presidential knockout: If you're still undecided after debate II, you're not paying attention

The second 2012 presidential debate was a rousing throwback to old school American politics. Both candidates were "fired up and ready to go." Both delivered a few zingers and gotcha moments. Both explained their plans for America's future... well, sort of. Republican challenger Mitt Romney-- obviously hoping for a repeat of the frist debate in which he appeared energized, arrogant, and on top of his game, if you ignore the lies and the moderator bullying-- started the second debate smiling and upbeat. About 30 minutes into it, Romney was scowling in...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog for Arizona 18 Oct 2012 Hits:902 Blog Articles

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Jobless claims show sharp improvement, drop to Obama-era low

 Jobless claims show sharp improvement, drop to Obama-era low

We've seen a general swing in the right direction on initial unemployment claims over the last several weeks, but I don't think anyone expected the new report from the Department of Labor to be this good. First-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell sharply in the latest week to their lowest level since February 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of initial claims in the week ending Oct. 6 fell 30,000 to 339,000. The decline was unexpected. The consensus...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 11 Oct 2012 Hits:1023 Blog Articles

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The Real Paul Ryan He voted to add $6.8 trillion to the national debt

 The Real Paul Ryan He voted to add $6.8 trillion to the national debt

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is taking a beating from fact-checkers, who have had to work overtime to try to verify the claims he made last week when accepting the nomination for vice president at the Republican National Convention. Perhaps Ryan's biggest whopper was this statement: “Back in 2008,” Ryan said, “candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt 'unpatriotic'—serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer. Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him,...

Lisa Kaiser | Express Milwaukee 08 Oct 2012 Hits:1715 Blog Articles

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The death of a talking point

The death of a talking point

If I had a nickel for every time Mitt Romney has said the unemployment rate has been above 8% throughout the Obama presidency, I'd have, well, nearly as much money as Mitt Romney. Today, however, the talking point died. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly, dropping from 8.1% to 7.8%.\ As we've discussed before, decreases in the jobless rate are not always good news -- the figure sometimes falls when discouraged Americans drop out of the workforce altogether -- but that's not the case with the new data. The employment-to-population ratio went up, job creation...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 05 Oct 2012 Hits:1145 Blog Articles

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Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Level of Obama’s Term

Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Level of Obama’s Term

The jobless rate abruptly dropped in September to its lowest level since the month President Obama took office, indicating a steadier recovery than previously thought and delivering another jolt to the presidential campaign. The improvement lent ballast to Mr. Obama’s case that the economy is on the mend and threatened the central argument of Mitt Romney’s candidacy, that Mr. Obama’s failed stewardship is reason enough to replace him. Employers added a modest 114,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported on Friday, but estimates for what...

Shaila Dewan and Mark Landler | New York Times 05 Oct 2012 Hits:1278 Blog Articles

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Romney Won the Debate, but Lost the Election

Romney Won the Debate, but Lost the Election

Romney won the debate, but lost the election. Here's why. Although many if not most pundits will immediately proclaim this debate a Romney victory and a turning point, and although they're definitely correct about some of all of that, they will miss the debate's real, lasting impact on the 2012 election. First, why and how Romney won. He won by using the Reagan Gambit. In 1980, Ronald Reagan befuddled, frustrated, and defeated Jimmy Carter by running far to the left of decades-long held positions. Carter was prepared to pound away at...

Mike Hersh | PDA 04 Oct 2012 Hits:2784 Blog Articles

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Obama, Dems enjoy favorability edge

Obama, Dems enjoy favorability edge

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll notes that Mitt Romney's favorability rating is still underwater: "[I]t's lower than every other presidential nominee's score at this similar point of time in the history of the poll -- except for George H.W. Bush's 34-52 rating in October 1992." The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows very similar results. It's safe to say the "47 percent" video took a severe toll on the Republican's public standing. But looking over the internals (pdf) of the NBC poll, it's not just Romney with...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 03 Oct 2012 Hits:1270 Blog Articles

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The 386,000 jobs we didn't know about

The 386,000 jobs we didn't know about

When August's disappointing job totals were released a few weeks ago, it was considered important news. With that in mind, this seems like at least as big a story. The government's estimates of job creation are not particularly accurate, a point that is often made and often ignored. On Thursday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided another reminder. The agency said it probably undercounted the extent of job creation between April 2011 and March 2012 by 20 percent. The agency, which issues a much-discussed monthly estimate, also...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 28 Sep 2012 Hits:1283 Blog Articles

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Fifteen Issues this Election is NOT About

Fifteen Issues this Election is NOT About

Neither candidate is interested in stopping the use of the death penalty for federal or state crimes. Neither candidate is interested in eliminating or reducing the 5,113 US nuclear warheads. Neither candidate is campaigning to close Guantanamo prison. Neither candidate has called for arresting and prosecuting high ranking people on Wall Street for the subprime mortgage catastrophe. Neither candidate is interested in holding anyone in the Bush administration accountable for the torture committed by US personnel against prisoners in Guantanamo or in Iraq or Afghanistan. Neither candidate is interested in stopping the...

Bill Quigley | Common Dreams 24 Sep 2012 Hits:994 Blog Articles

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Shocking Report Explodes 5 Myths About American Education

Shocking Report Explodes 5 Myths About American Education

A new international report demolishes several deeply held myths about our educational system. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, which compares the educational systems of over 30 developed nations, provides data that, when it comes to education, proves we’re so far from being number one, that the entire idea of American exceptionalism should be called into question. Rather than thumping our chests, we should be going to school on how other developed nations, especially those in Europe, invest in education....

Les Leopold | AlterNet 22 Sep 2012 Hits:1758 Blog Articles

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Flight to Mexico in His Memoir? Does Accuracy Matter?

Flight to Mexico in His Memoir? Does Accuracy Matter?

While presidential contender Mitt Romney attempted to sway Latino voters at a Univision Forum in Florida last night, the fallout over his taped quips at a Republican fundraiser also include a joke about his Mexican-born father, George Romney. If he had been "born of Mexican parents," Romney said, as opposed to his Mormon transplanted ones, "I'd have a better shot at winning this." One year ago, in a piece for Salon.com, I took a closer look at Romney's family history in Mexico, and more particularly, their illegal flight from...

Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post 22 Sep 2012 Hits:1198 Blog Articles

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A MESSAGE FOR MALES – especially in this demographically oriented election

A MESSAGE FOR MALES – especially in this demographically oriented election

Without regard to whether you are a Democrat, an Independent, or a Republican, no matter which of Mitt’s 47% groups you find yourself, there is lodged in the DNA of every man one concern and love. That love and concern exceeds a love for the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, our job or our work. This love and concern most often underlies our willingness to enlist for our country in time of war. We often sacrifice for this willingly and without question. Of all the above, this – exceeding even food as...

Rev. George Six 21 Sep 2012 Hits:1154 Blog Articles

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House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action

House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced Friday that after next week, the House will stand in recess until November 13. His plan for a nearly two month vacation will undoubtedly allow more time for campaigning, but will leave several vital bills awaiting action. Among the important legislation the House will likely not address before the November elections: 1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization. Though a bipartisan Senate majority passed the a strong re-authorization bill in April, the Republican House leadership refused to allow a vote on the Senate...

Josh Israel | ThinkProgress 16 Sep 2012 Hits:1376 Blog Articles

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Bush is gone, but not forgotten

 Bush is gone, but not forgotten

CNN released an interesting poll yesterday that, on the surface, appeared to offer bad news for incumbent officeholders, especially President Obama. A plurality of Americans believes they're worse off than they were four years ago, and only a third believes the economy is in good shape. ut the larger question is more important: who do Americans hold responsible for our ongoing challenges? I put together a simple chart to show why Republicans are discouraged by the results. (click to enlarge) Among registered voters, the results just aren't...

14 Sep 2012 Hits:1372 Blog Articles

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Universal Music Shuts Down Romney Girl

Universal Music Shuts Down Romney Girl

On Tuesday, Universal Music Group submitted a cease and desist letter to Heidi Svenda Bernasconi - better known as Romney Girl - threatening legal action if the Romney Girl video is not removed from the internet by tomorrow. In the letter, Universal Music Group attorney Cory Greenwell warns that: "In the event that you fail to comply with any of our demands... we shall take whatever legal action we deem necessary and appropriate to protect our rights and interests in and to 'Barbie Girl,' including, but not limited to, commencing legal action...

Agenda Project.org 13 Sep 2012 Hits:2063 Blog Articles

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Advertise on NYTimes.com Social Networks Can Affect Voter Turnout, Study Says

 Advertise on NYTimes.com Social Networks Can Affect Voter Turnout, Study Says

A study of millions of Facebook users on Election Day 2010 has found that online social networks can have a measurable if limited effect on voter turnout. The study, published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, suggests that a special “get out the vote” message, showing each user pictures of friends who said they had already voted, generated 340,000 additional votes nationwide — whether for Democrats or Republicans, the researchers could not determine. The scientists, from Facebook and the University of California, San Diego, ...

John Markoff | The New York Times 13 Sep 2012 Hits:1659 Blog Articles

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Will Americans stick with Obama? (video)

Progressive Democrats of America's Tim Carpenter on Al Jazeera Inside Story The US unemployment rate registered a drop on Friday, but mainly because so many have simply given up looking for work. Barack Obama was aware of the new figures as he took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday night to promise that he could still fulfill his pledge of hope he made in 2008. The US president spared no insult against his Republican opponents, taking on their plans...

Al Jazeera.com 08 Sep 2012 Hits:1828 Blog Articles

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Convention: Pulling Democrats’ platform to the left

Convention: Pulling Democrats’ platform to the left

Proudly liberal activist Tim Carpenter, who toiled in Orange County for more than 20 years before resettling in Massachusetts and co-founding Progressive Democrats of America, has made a career of standing staunchly to the left of mainstream Democrats, relentlessly beckoning and cajoling others to come a little closer. His 8-year-old PDA group was at it again Tuesday, with a “People’s Convention” at a Charlotte church and soup kitchen that featured the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, a couple Congress members, several Congressional hopefuls...

Martin Wisckol | OC Register 05 Sep 2012 Hits:1063 Blog Articles

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GOP Has Deal With the Devil

In the year 1960 Jack Kennedy ran against Dick Nixon for President.  Nixon had much going against him, including much less comfort with TV, which was becoming the medium of persuasion.  But many believe his biggest headwind was the willingness of Chicago Democrats led by Richard Daley the father to diddle the election in Chicago and thus deliver Illinois.   Whether he really did, the GOP believed he did and the election had been stolen.  They vowed “Never again.” In 1964 the GOP nominated Barry Goldwater, a man much too far to...

Philip L Marcus 04 Sep 2012 Hits:1251 Blog Articles

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Greatest Reasons to Vote Republican in November 2012

Greatest Reasons to Vote Republican in November 2012

If starting wars without exit or pay is better than two year end to Iraq today, and for troops in Afghanistan you have nothing to say, Vote to take back America to the Republican way With Convention preaching America in decline, while applauding how system helped parents and grandparents climb, being full of Red dread, Vote off center with Clint in prime time Defining “Exceptionalism” with Founding Father religious liberty hypocrisy, hailing birther jokes with praise of meritocracy, Vote Lady Statue torches hopes of immigrants by...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 02 Sep 2012 Hits:1671 Blog Articles

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Chairman Ryan's Big Red Ink

Chairman Ryan's Big Red Ink

Republicans, at their just-ended convention, featured not one but two "debt clocks." Led by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, they made countless references to President Obama's supposedly horrific tax policies, his failure to balance the budget and so on. Unfortunately for them, the U.S. Constitution is very explicit about who is responsible for budget, borrowing, spending, and tax policies: "Article One, Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide...

Mike Hersh | PDA Communications Coordinator 02 Sep 2012 Hits:1202 Blog Articles

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Conventions and puppets

Conventions and puppets

Police really hate puppets. (And we don't mean the politicians!) Every four years the United States becomes gripped in morbid fascination with our electoral machinations, and grassroots organizers often find their ongoing work derailed by the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions that precede our presidential elections. This 2012 cycle is no different. As activists prepare to protest, the police departments and ruling elites in the host cities are acquiring the newest non- and less- lethal weaponry, while passing laws and regulations that vie for...

Nadine Bloch | Waging Nonviolence 30 Aug 2012 Hits:1136 Blog Articles

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GOP Effort at Keeping US Citizens From Voting is Like Robbing a Bank in Broad Daylight

GOP Effort at Keeping US Citizens From Voting is Like Robbing a Bank in Broad Daylight

This is the skinny: lacking a majority of supporters for its extremist social and plutocratic economic policies, the Republicans can only win with three combined strategies: lie and make it appear that they support prosperity for all Americans; make appeals to racism and dividing the white working class (union vs. non-union); and suppressing the vote. The New York Times posted an August 22nd article, entitled "Racial Comment by Republican Official in Ohio Rekindles Battle Over Early Voting." Being status quo doormats as usual, the Times wouldn't put "Racist" in its headline....

Mark Karlin | BuzzFlash Blog 24 Aug 2012 Hits:1122 Blog Articles

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Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Water.  According to a new report by Food & Water Watch, a growing number of pirate equity firms are moving into struggling cities and buying out their public infrastructure – namely – the city’s water infrastructure.  Anyone who is familiar with Mitt Romney – is familiar with pirate equity firms like Bain Capital – which take over a company – strip it to the bones – and sell it off for a profit. When this strategy is used on public utilities – then consumers get...

Louise Hartmann | Thom Hartmann Blog 23 Aug 2012 Hits:1289 Blog Articles

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"Path to Prosperity?" Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan Looks Like a Path to the Poorhouse

If Americans who are embracing Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" -- and that now includes Mitt Romney -- spent a few minutes reviewing a few recent research reports, they just might conclude that the Wisconsin Republican's plan to reduce the deficit might better be renamed the "Path to the Poorhouse" because of what it would mean to the Medicare program and many senior citizens. Ryan's proposal, which will get new scrutiny now that Romney has made him his running mate, would end the current...

Wendell Potter | PR Watch 19 Aug 2012 Hits:1365 Blog Articles

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What I built — with government help

What I built — with government help

I was born in Detroit in 1961 and grew up in a working-class neighborhood just south of the famed 8 Mile Road. My block was stable; most of the fathers of my friends worked in the auto plants. In 1968 my parents divorced and my mother, armed with a high school degree, was thrust into the workforce. We were taken out of our Catholic school and moved into public schools. Dinner was often breakfast foods, which was fine with us. Mom is still a...

James C. Roumell | Washington Post 18 Aug 2012 Hits:1476 Blog Articles

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Will the Threat Ryan Poses to Rural America Swing Swing States? Yes

Will the Threat Ryan Poses to Rural America Swing Swing States? Yes

There are, of course, many reasons to attend the Iowa State Fair. As they say on the billboards: “Nothing Compares.” The Canned Food Sculpture is striking. Reserved seats are sold out for Saturday’s Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy show on the grandstand, but there is still standing-room-only space to be had for $40 a pop. The deep-fried butter on a stick is, by most accounts, scrumptious. And, if you are campaigning for, say, vice president of the United States, you could talk farm policy at the same place where Dwight Eisenhower,...

John Nichols | The Nation 17 Aug 2012 Hits:1334 Blog Articles

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Time to take the battery out of your cell phone

Time to take the battery out of your cell phone

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District threw the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution out the window, ruling that police can track cell phone GPS data – and thus track you – without a warrant.  The case of United States v. Skinner centered on a suspected drug trafficker who was tracked through his cell phone and arrested by the DEA.  The Judge in the case, John Rogers said in his ruling, “Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of...

Louise Hartmann | Thom Hartmann Blog 15 Aug 2012 Hits:1404 Blog Articles

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Recession, Like "Uncertainty" Is All In The Marketing

Recession, Like

Deep down we know if we keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome, we’re marketing victims. First step out of the fog of programmed thinking is asking our political, corporate and government leaders, different and better questions. As every magician’s trick needs to distract our attention, corporate hands in our pockets are trumping our thinking with marketing deceptions, as in ‘now you see a thriving economy, now you don’t.’ How did an America that produces fifteen trillion dollars worth of product internationally (in...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 13 Aug 2012 Hits:1068 Blog Articles

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Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities (video)

Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities (video)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing new scrutiny over revelations he founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. We’re joined by Huffington Post reporter Ryan...

Amy Goodman | Democracy Now 12 Aug 2012 Hits:1211 Blog Articles

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The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama's Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him

The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama's Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him

The 2012 election will be one of the most polarized and critical elections in recent history. Let’s cut to the chase. The November 2012 elections will be unlike anything that any of us can remember.  It is not just that this will be a close election.  It is also not just that the direction of Congress hangs in the balance.   Rather, this will be one of the most polarized and critical elections in recent history. Unfortunately what too few leftists and progressives have been prepared to...

Bill Fletcher, Jr., Carl Davidson | AlterNet 12 Aug 2012 Hits:1275 Blog Articles

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12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

 12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney has picked as his running mate 42 year-old Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP budget, which the New York Times has described as “the most extreme budget plan passed by a house of Congress in modern times.” Below are 12 things you should know about Ryan and his policies: 1.Ryan embraces the extreme philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ryan heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,”...

Igor Volsky | Think Progress 11 Aug 2012 Hits:1904 Blog Articles

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Why Is America's Most Progressive Voting Block Often Overlooked?

Why Is America's Most Progressive Voting Block Often Overlooked?

The renowned physicist Max Planck once said, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." And this isn't just true of science: the same principle holds true in the political arena. Most progressive advances don't come about because vast numbers of people are persuaded to drop their prejudices, but because younger generations to whom new ideas...

Adam Lee | AlterNet 07 Aug 2012 Hits:1405 Blog Articles

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Obama's Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid

Obama's Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid

This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s. As an experienced political hand told me, the two candidates are speaking not to the voters, but to the big money. They hold the same views, pursue the same policies, and are backed by similar interests. Mitt Romney implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts, or Obama implemented Romneycare nationally. Both are pro-choice or anti-choice as political needs change, both tend to be hawkish on foreign policy, both favor tax cuts for businesses, and both believe...

Matt Stoller | Naked Capitalism 04 Aug 2012 Hits:2064 Blog Articles

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Ex-Lobbyist Convicted For Corruption Is GOP's New 'Voter Fraud' Expert

Ex-Lobbyist Convicted For Corruption Is GOP's New 'Voter Fraud' Expert

A former lobbyist convicted in the Jack Abramoff congressional lobbying scandal has found a new line of work while still on probation: becoming a spokesman and self-appointed expert on allegedly rampant illegal voting by Democrats, according to an excellent report by Ryan Reilly in Talking Points Memo. The ex-lobbyist, Horace Cooper, has authored a 'paper' for the right-wing National Center for Public Policy Research that recites a litany of instances where Democrats allegedly impersonated voters or thousands of non-citizens were on voter rolls. Needless to say, Fox...

Steven Rosenfeld | AlterNet 04 Aug 2012 Hits:2315 Blog Articles

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US Veto for Sale

US Veto for Sale

Pre-empting Mitt Romney's campaign visit to Israel, President Barack Obama last Friday signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Co-operation Act of 2012. The bill was drafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and co-sponsored by Israeli firsters Barbara Boxer and Howard Berman, of the US Senate and House respectively. The omnipresence of Israeli lobbyists at the signing of the "rare bipartisan" bill provided a perfect background display of the foreign lobby's power in the US. President Obama used five pens to sign the Act as he was flanked by the...

Jamal Kanj | Children of Catastrophe 02 Aug 2012 Hits:1176 Blog Articles

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Hail and Farewell, Gore Vidal

Hail and Farewell, Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal in 1974. I remember Gore Vidal like a Bond villain. He was sitting on the edge of his bed in that same big house in the Hollywood Hills where he died Tuesday night. Holding on to a glass of whiskey with one hand, he used the other to stroke a giant white cat with an angry mouth and a cloudy gray eye. He called it “pussy.” Of course he did. I was there to record the great man with the booming voice while he...

Peter Z. Scheer | Truthdig 02 Aug 2012 Hits:1222 Blog Articles

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Population and Women’s Reproductive Rights

Population and Women’s Reproductive Rights

I recently retuned from population training by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club promotes the stabilization of world population through: Increased access to voluntary family planning and sex Advocating for women’s and girls’ basic rights Educating youth to support family planning Grass roots organizing to increase public awareness While PDA and the Sierra Club are different organizations both groups identify the importance of women’s reproductive rights and how birth control has elevated women’s lives. Birth control was not always legal in the United States. When it was it was often only provided...

Drew Martin | Palm Beach Progressive Post 31 Jul 2012 Hits:1084 Blog Articles

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Watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony Footage Censored By NBC [Video]

Watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony Footage Censored By NBC [Video]

A six-minute tribute to the victims of the London subway terror attacks of July 7, 2005, was cut from the American broadcast of the London Olympics opening ceremony. The NBC network showed a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps instead Choreographer Akram Khan told the BBC that he felt “disheartened and disappointed” by the NBC decision against airing his performance for U.S. television viewers.  He added that “I am really sad that I couldn’t show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don’t...

The Inquisitr 30 Jul 2012 Hits:1329 Blog Articles

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Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost The U.S. Government $1.3 Billion: Study

Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost The U.S. Government $1.3 Billion: Study

Here's something for Congress to maybe think about the next time it decides to have a big, stupid argument about the debt ceiling: These big, stupid arguments, while entertaining, cost a lot of money. How much money? The 2011 argument about the debt ceiling--the most recent battle--cost the U.S. government about $1.3 billion in extra borrowing costs, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan congressional watchdog. And that's just the costs that the GAO bothered to count. There are also probably extra...

Mark Gangoff | Huffington Post 23 Jul 2012 Hits:1264 Blog Articles

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The Voting Dilemma

The Voting Dilemma

Come NovemberSoon it will be presidential voting time again in the U.S.. That four year cycle comes to us with the regularity of a returning comet, accompanied by a shroud of campaign fog that makes a guessing game of discerning fact from fiction when it comes to political promises. A hefty minority have opted out of this process. Thus, if history runs consistent, when the designated day in November arrives, between 38 and 40% of America's eligible voters will automatically (without even thinking about it)...

Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses | Op-Ed 15 Jul 2012 Hits:1196 Blog Articles

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Obama riding on economic cycle

Obama riding on economic cycle

I'm writing from Oceanside California, where budget constraints forced the city to cancel July 4 fireworks for the third year in a row. This is just one example of many US cities cutting back on essential and non-essential programmes during hard economic downturns. The economy is the lead issue in the upcoming election between presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney and unopposed Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama. Despite the long and rigorous primary process, the voters' choice is limited to two candidates who have surrendered their worth to large campaign contributors. On...

Jamal Kanj | Gulf Daily News 13 Jul 2012 Hits:1211 Blog Articles

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Mass Arrests Likely at Political Conventions: 6 Historical Precedents

Mass Arrests Likely at Political Conventions: 6 Historical Precedents

Clinton's law designates political conventions National Special Security Events, a category of state security that virtually dooms the exercise of First Amendment Rights. The Republican and Democratic Party conventions later this summer will probably witness the mass arrest of many American citizens assembling to exercise their First Amendment rights. Mass arrests accompanied the Republican conventions held in New York in 2004, when 900 people were busted, and in St. Paul in 2008 when 300 were detained, including 30 journalists. A political convention is designated...

David Rosen | AlterNet 05 Jul 2012 Hits:1386 Blog Articles

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For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Heat In On, the Power Is Off. So Are We Ready for a Miracle or Another Lie We Tell Ourselve…

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Heat In On, the Power Is Off. So Are We Ready for a Miracle or Another Lie We Tell Ourselves?

Minions maneuvered by marketing minutes of minute manipulated memories of the biggest, best and most powerful nation in the world, blindsided by those benefiting most from dumping loads of the unnecessary on the sold, to blot out “average” in education. It’s easier to control someone who buys the over advertized, diminishing adrenalin, momentum and drive to, where’s the remote and pass the fries. Masters control best by prohibiting reading, writing, learning, knowing an educated people, inevitably transform from subservient property to dangerous minds. Corralling the masses to keep them “fat, lazy...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 05 Jul 2012 Hits:1115 Blog Articles

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Justice won't prosecute Holder for contempt

 Justice won't prosecute Holder for contempt

The Department of Justice is telling Congress that it won't prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress over his decision to withhold information about the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the department says that it will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that it will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general. Deputy Attorney General James Cole says the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice...

Steve Frank | The Ed Show MSNBC 29 Jun 2012 Hits:1705 Blog Articles

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Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen? It's been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don't know is that they're also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are. Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has...

Sara Robinson | AlterNet 29 Jun 2012 Hits:3182 Blog Articles

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Arizona's Immigrants Under 'Reasonable Suspicion'

Arizona's Immigrants Under 'Reasonable Suspicion'

Has the Supreme Court made it possible for hundreds of thousands of police officers throughout the country to racially profile millions of people? When she heard the Supreme Court decision upholding the “reasonable suspicion” (a k a “papers, please”) provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070, immigrant rights activist Isabel Garcia saw the Arizonification of the nation. “We’ve been fighting local ‘reasonable suspicion’ laws here in Arizona for decades,” said Garcia, a Pima County public defender and co-chair of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, an organization dedicated...

Roberto Lovato | The Nation 28 Jun 2012 Hits:1220 Blog Articles

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Why a sharp drop in gas prices matters

 Why a sharp drop in gas prices matters

Veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart recently conducted a focus group in Colorado, and if President Obama's supporters want to feel depressed, they should certainly read what the undecided voters had to say. One woman, a 49-year-old a customer service representative for an airline, said she'd consider voting for the president, but only if he "could do something huge, like really lower the price of gas." Of course, the notion that Obama, by sheer force of will, can lower the price of gas is deeply foolish. The public's expectations...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 26 Jun 2012 Hits:1233 Blog Articles

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How to Tell if Your Favorite Companies Are Truly Progressive or Secretly Selling Out

How to Tell if Your Favorite Companies Are Truly Progressive or Secretly Selling Out

Fran Hawthorne, author of "Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love," dishes on some big-name companies. Many progressives know that some of their favorite companies have dirty secrets. Many are also aware that in the last 30 years, a number of socially responsible independent companies have accepted buy-outs from larger corporations for various reasons. French Group Danone acquired organic yogurt purveyor Stonyfield Farms in several stages over the last decade. Unilever bought Vermont-based ice-cream company Ben & Jerry’s in 2000. Colgate-Palmolive...

Brittany Shoot | AlterNet 19 Jun 2012 Hits:1670 Blog Articles

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Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama So why does the US economy stink? Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country's economic...

Michael Cohen | The Guardian 11 Jun 2012 Hits:3383 Blog Articles

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The Case for Unions

The Case for Unions

When we hear progressive individuals speak about ‘special interests’ we are all pretty sure what they mean. Whether it is a financial conglomerate or a super PAC run by resource companies, we are clear on whom they are talking about. The term is a little less clear cut when we hear conservatives use it. Recently, Scott Walker declared that “finally someone has stood up against the powerful ‘Special interests’ and put the tax payers back in charge.” In this instance, it is obvious what Walker means. He means Unions. The...

David Joseph Deutch 09 Jun 2012 Hits:1605 Blog Articles

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Five Things the House is Doing to Attack Choice

Five Things the House is Doing to Attack Choice

Last week, a divisive bill introduced by anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Franks calls his bill the "Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act" (PreNDA), but contrary to its title, it does nothing to end sex discrimination or gender inequity. All forms of reproductive coercion are wrong -- including societal pressures to have a child of a particular sex. But the Franks bill exploits the very real problems of sex discrimination and gender inequity while failing to offer any genuine solutions that would eliminate disparities in...

Nancy Keenan | Huffington Post 06 Jun 2012 Hits:1119 Blog Articles

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Occupy Wall Street to rubber stamp money with anti-corporate slogans

Occupy Wall Street to rubber stamp money with anti-corporate slogans

Occupy Wall Street protestors march down Fifth Avenue towards Union Square (Monika Graff/Getty Images/AFP) One half of the ice cream duo Ben & Jerry’s has a message for Wall Street: Jamaican Me Crazy. The man behind flavors such as Cherry Garcia, Chubby Hubby and, yes, Jamaican Me Crazy, is rolling out a plan to stamp out corporate money in US politics. Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen might rake in a hefty paycheck for being on top of the American ice cream game, but he hasn’t lost touch with the 99 percent....

RT Question More 05 Jun 2012 Hits:1422 Blog Articles

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Northern Light

Northern Light

I gave a talk last week at Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or "squarely in the red," referring to those crushed by debt. The streets of Montreal are clogged nightly with as many as 100,000 protesters banging pots and pans and...

Chris Hedges | Truthdig 04 Jun 2012 Hits:1655 Blog Articles

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Forgiving -- Loving -- Thanking

Forgiving  --  Loving  --  Thanking

Three times in my life I’ve visited altars reputed to be “more powerful than a locomotive:” Lourdes, a NJ cloistered priests community and a tiny chapel in Lake Worth, Florida where a touring Madonna waited. Each time, I was struck dumb, save for the words “thank you for forgiving me” and “I love you.”  I always say, never miss an opportunity to say, I love you, but getting tongue tied on thank you and forgiveness, was perforce, a command performance. Our 2012 election year...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 03 Jun 2012 Hits:1078 Blog Articles

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The Mortgage Fraud Fraud

The Mortgage Fraud Fraud

I got an e-mail the other day from Richard Engle telling me that his son Charlie would be getting out of prison this month. I was happy to hear it. Charlie’s ordeal isn’t over yet, of course. When he leaves prison on June 20, Charlie, 49, will move temporarily to a halfway house, after which he will be on probation for another five years. And unless he can get the verdict overturned, he will have to spend the rest of his life with a felony...

Joe Nocera | New York Times OpEd 03 Jun 2012 Hits:1432 Blog Articles

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The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane throw macabre light on the consigliere-cum-priestly role that counterterrorist adviser John Brennan provides President Barack Obama. At the outset, Becker and Shane note that, although Obama vowed to “align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values,” he has now ordered the obedient Brennan to prepare a top secret “nominations” list of people whom the President may decide to...

Ray McGovern | Consortium News 30 May 2012 Hits:1227 Blog Articles

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Wrong message, wrong place, wrong time

Wrong message, wrong place, wrong time

  Mitt Romney appeared in Craig, Colorado, to deliver the same message he repeats at every campaign stop: the people in the area are "hurting right now under this president." The traditional Democratic response is that blaming President Obama for the economic crisis he inherited is ridiculous. But yesterday in Northern Colorado was a little different: the small town of Craig isn't really hurting at all. The community's economy is faring pretty well, it weathered the recession better than most, and locals are pretty optimistic about the...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 30 May 2012 Hits:1192 Blog Articles

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NURSES UNION ADVOCATING "PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY"

NURSES UNION ADVOCATING

National Nurses United (NNU), the union spearheading the drive for a Robin Hood Tax, also calls for a “participatory democracy,” evidence of the current vitality of a concept born at the Port Huron convention of SDS fifty years ago this June. Saying, "Democracy is not a spectator support,” a chart by the NNU envisions participatory democracy flowing into economic democracy, then political democracy, and finally into representative democracy. Paradigm Publishers is publishing Participatory Democracy this September, a volume including writings by Tom Hayden, Linda Gordon, Robby Cohen, and 12 original participants...

Tom Hayden | Tom Hayden.com 29 May 2012 Hits:1079 Blog Articles

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Remembering Who We Are, We Remember What to Honor

Remembering Who We Are, We Remember What to Honor

All my uncles were Veterans. My Dad, of both WWII and Korea. All said, wars change those who fight them. I say, corporations have now changed War, so only the funeral homes and they win them. Still as a Veteran who sang his way through wartime with The Soldiers Chorus of the Army Field Band, I bow before and salute all Veterans who have sacrificed their blood, body parts, time with loved ones and life here on earth, for they are the best among us. I ask only that as...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 28 May 2012 Hits:1092 Blog Articles

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How the Post Office Is Being Destroyed By a Phony Budget Crisis

How the Post Office Is Being Destroyed By a Phony Budget Crisis

     Local post offices all across the country, which function as community commons, including this one in Gerry, New York, are threatened with destruction because of Congress's shenanigans with the USPS budget. (Photo by Ross Griff under a Creative Commons license from flickr.com)   As every 6 year old learns, there is real and there is make believe. The massive Post Office deficit that is driving its management to commit institutional suicide by ending 6-day mail delivery, closing half of the nations’ 30,000 or so...

David Morris | Common Dreams 27 May 2012 Hits:3783 Blog Articles

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Quiet Drama in Philadelphia

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Quiet Drama in Philadelphia

“You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials, Because the revolution will not be televised. . . . The revolution will be live.” --From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron Last week, the city of Philadelphia's school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers. But...

Ellen Brown | Common Dreams 27 May 2012 Hits:1265 Blog Articles

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Former GOP Congresswoman Blasts New GOP Women’s Caucus: ‘They’re Not Voting In Best Interest Of All Women’

Former GOP Congresswoman Blasts New GOP Women’s Caucus: ‘They’re Not Voting In Best Interest Of All Women’

Former Rep. Claudine Schneider (R) was the first — and only — woman to represent Rhode Island in Congress. Over five terms in the House (from 1981 to 1991), she helped pass key environmental, health, and gender-equity laws, including the Economic Equity and the Pension Equity Acts. Like former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) and former Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), Schneider told ThinkProgress there is no longer a place for centrists like herself in the modern Republican Party: THINKPROGRESS: Why do you think today’s Republican Congresswomen are so much...

Josh Israel | Sourced from ThinkProgress 27 May 2012 Hits:1381 Blog Articles

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