Leaked: The Internet must go!

Hey! Are you on the internet right now? Of course you are! Then you should definitely check out this amazing video about what the internet companies are planning. This move could hurt both consumers and content creators--but of course would be a huge windfall for internet providers.

How weathly are Americans?

The disparity in wealth between the richest one percent of Americans and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the last thirty years — but the video, posted by user politizane and relying on data from a popular Mother Jones post, focuses on the difference between the ideal disparity that Americans would like to see and the reality.

Tax the Rich

So long! It's been fun.

Dear listeners,

In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.

This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.

The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.

Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.

Christopher E. Renner

25 November 2008

Clippings for 24 November

Click on titles to read complete stories.

Past and Future: Obama's Treasury Pick has All the Wrong Ideas
William Greider offers the following commit in The Nation: "A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. The president-elect's lineup for key governing positions has opted for continuity, not change. Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill. In some important ways, Obama's selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush. "

As Obama Taps Larry Summers, Recalling Summer's Days as a Regulation Foe
David Corn writes on Mother Jones' blog: "On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama announced his economic team, noting that Lawrence Summers would be the director of his National Economic Council. In touting Summers, Obama praised the former treasury secretary for his work during the Clinton years..."

The Fed's Secret $893 Billion Loan Portfolio
Ben Protess writes for ProPublica: "And you thought the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout was massive and secretive. In fact, the Federal Reserve is lending significantly more – $893 billion to a wide range of institutions — in a plan receiving even less public scrutiny, the Washington Post reports."

Zombie Economics: Don't Bail out the System that Gave Us SUVs and Strip Malls.

James Howard Kunstler in this week's The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle: "Though Citicorp is deemed too big to fail, it's hardly reassuring to know that it's been allowed to sink its fangs into the Mother Zombie that the US Treasury has become and sucked out a multi-billion dollar dose of embalming fluid so it can go on pretending to be a bank for a while longer. I employ this somewhat clunky metaphor to point out that the US Government is no more solvent than the financial zombies it is keeping on walking-dead support. And so this serial mummery of weekend bailout schemes is as much of a fraud and a swindle as the algorithm-derived-securities shenanigans that induced the disease of bank zombification in the first place. The main question it raises is whether, eventually, the creation of evermore zombified US dollars will exceed the amount of previously-created US dollars now vanishing into oblivion through compressive debt deflation." (Note: you'll need to scroll down some on Mr. Kunstler's webpage to find the article; you can also read the commentary on AlterNet.)

"Drop Dead" Conservatism, Part 1
Terrance Heath writes for the Camapign for America's Future: "Drop Dead. That's the best answer that some conservatives have been able to offer to a country in teeth of the worst financial crisis we've faced in a generation. When the Wall Street crisis loomed and the bailout was being debated: let the market fail, and risk another Great Depression, "for the sake of the altar of the free market." Now, the economic downturn having worsened — and in ways that are more deeply felt in parts of the country far from centers of financial or political power — their response to rescuing the largest remnant of our manufacturing sector? "Drop Dead," and devil take the hindmost. "

Fair Trade Victory
Todd Tucker and Lori Wallach write for Foreign Policy In Focus: "As the dust starts to settle from the historic election of our nation's first African-American president and first president who ran on fair trade, we have some time to contemplate other impressive changes voters brought to Congress. At least 41 new fair-traders were elected to House and Senate seats, which represent a net gain of 33 in Congress' overall economic justice contingent. This comes on top of the 37 net fair-trade pick-ups in the 2006 congressional elections."

Gates and the Urge To Surge
Recent Community Bridge guest Ray McGovern writes for Common Dreams: "It may become a biennial ritual. Every two years, if the commander-in-chief (or the commander-in-chief-elect) says he wants to throw more troops into an unwinnable war for no clear reason other than his political advantage, panderer-in-chief Robert Gates will shout 'Outstanding!'"

The Debate over Gates
Chris Bowers writes for the blog Open Left: "The most important appointment decision Obama will make during the transition, bar none, is who becomes, or remains, Secretary of Defense. As I have noted in the past, the Department of Defense oversees the expenditure of 52% of all discretionary spending, rendering it literally impossible for any other cabinet Secretary to oversee as much federal money."

Despite Army's Assurances, Violence at Home
Lizette Alvarez reports for The New York Times: "The Army says that the measures it has taken have been effective in curbing domestic violence. But advocates of victims of domestic violence say that among combat troops the violence has spiked in the past two years and that women are often disinclined to report violence for fear of angering their partners and hurting their careers. These advocates point to the gruesome murders of three female soldiers based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina within the last four months. One woman's body was dismembered and dumped in the woods. Another woman, seven months pregnant, was found dead in a motel bathtub. The third was stabbed to death."

What's Wrong with Discriminating Against Those Who Want to Discriminate?
Michael Russnow writes for the Hufffington Post: "After reading an article in the Los Angeles Times today about whether there should be "boycotts, blacklists, firing or de facto shunning of those who supported Proposition 8," it didn't take more than a moment for me to come up with a response: Why the hell not?"

Waxman Coup Has Loud Echo on K Street
Jeanne Cummings writes for Politico.com: "The overthrow of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) is reverberating beyond Capitol Hill and shuffling the balance of power on K Street and among advocacy groups. Environmental group leaders are thrilled to see a staunch supporter take the reins of the committee that is expected to draft a major global warming bill in the new Congress."

Police Spy on Climate Activist while Global Warming Goes Unarrested
Michael Tidwell writes for the Guardian UK: "I'm not sure what's more shocking: the news that the Maryland State Police wrongfully spied on me for months as a "suspected terrorist," or that, despite surveillance of me, officers apparently wouldn't recognize me if I walked into their police headquarters tomorrow."

Starving for Change
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Elba Figueroa worked as a nurse’s aide until she got Parkinson’s disease. She lost her job. She lost her health care. She receives $703 a month in government assistance. Her rent alone costs $750. And so she borrows money from friends and neighbors every month to stay in her apartment. She laboriously negotiates her wheelchair up and down steps and along the frigid sidewalks of Trenton, N.J., to get to soup kitchens and food pantries to eat. "

When Did Experience Become a Flaw?
Jamison Foser writes for Media Matters: "Midway through Bill Clinton's first year as president, Time magazine reported that among the new president's problems was "a staff that has almost no White House or executive experience," pointing to then-political director Rahm Emanuel as a prime example."

Bart Stupak Slams FCC
John Eggerton writes for Broadcasting & Cable: "'The way FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has run the commission is not the way it is supposed to be run,' said Bart Stupak in an interview on C-SPAN. Stupak is a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and is chairman of the investigations and oversight subcommittee, which has been investigating the FCC."

Obama, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News: A Look at Media in 2009
Josh Silver writes for the Huffignton Post: "Now that the champagne has been put away, it's time to realize that while the Bush administration is heading toward the exits, the disastrous members of mainstream media remain firmly in place. The work of media policy reform for the Internet, media ownership and public media needs to kick into high gear."

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