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

07 May 2009

Clippings for 7 May 2009

We Need a Green New Deal
Norman Solomon writes for Truthout: "In the Arctic, sea ice is melting. In the United States, houses are foreclosing. And in Washington, the Senate is becoming a real-life Bermuda Triangle for progressive agendas. Proposals for major limits on carbon emissions aren't getting far in the Senate, where the corporate war on the environment has an abundance of powerful allies."

Getting Serious about Clean Energy
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ali Frick, and Ryan Powers write for the Progress Report: "Yesterday, President Obama and Vice President Biden 'urged a group of House Democrats at a White House meeting...to move forward with climate-change legislation,' asking for 'quick action' on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. After Blue Dog Democrats, representing oil and coal interests, stalled subcommittee negotiations on the bill last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) announced yesterday that he could potentially 'bypass regular order on a major climate change and energy bill and mark up the legislation before the entire 59-member panel,' E&E News reported. However, Waxman said that '[n]o final decisions on process have been made.' Beyond negotiating with fellow Democrats, Waxman and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the authors of the bill, are facing steep opposition from conservatives, whose 'solutions' amount to drilling for more oil and completely denying the climate catastrophe. Obama is hoping Congress can take a visionary approach. 'He told us, sometimes we do things of real impact,' Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) said after the White House meeting yesterday. 'And none of us would want to look back in twenty to thirty years and think we had punted on something of a historic nature.'"

Dem Centerists Press Pelosi to Shelve Climate Bill
Mike Soraghan writes for The Hill: "Democratic centrists are pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to set aside a flagging climate change bill to focus on what they think is a more achievable goal: overhauling the nation's healthcare system. But those close to Pelosi (D-Calif.) say she is charging forward on cap-and-trade legislation, despite the potential defections of Democrats who represent states with industries that would be adversely affected by the bill. Pelosi views the bill's troubles as predictable and solvable aspects of the legislative process."

Representative Waxman Hits Back on Climate Change
Sam Youngman and Mike Sorghan write for The Hill: "Rep. Henry Waxman, fresh out of a White House meeting with President Obama on Tuesday, pushed back against those who have suggested climate change legislation might need to be put on the backburner. Waxman (D-Calif.) said his Energy and Commerce Committee expects to mark up a climate change bill by the Memorial Day recess and present a bill for Obama’s signature by the end of the year. He also said Obama is fully supportive of that timetable."

Why Obama Is Taking On Corporate Tax Havens
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Why, one may ask, is Obama taking on yet another huge fight by taking aim at foreign tax havens? Yes, it's unfair that multinationals pay an average tax rate of only 2 percent on their foreign revenues, and it's unfair that some wealthy Americans are avoiding taxes altogether by parking their fortunes abroad. But, hey, these have been true for decades. So why take them on now, when the president is also taking on universal health insurance and global warming, and trying to get the economy going again?"

Cashing In on "Government Sachs"
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig: "We are so inured to tales of business corruption that even a devastating expose in The Wall Street Journal no longer shocks us. The fact that the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank made millions off his secret purchase of Goldman Sachs stock, 'in violation of Federal Reserve policy,' as the WSJ put it, at a time when the N.Y. Fed was ostensibly overseeing the antics of the Wall Street firm, has barely registered a blip of outrage. When N.Y. Fed Chairman Stephen Friedman bought stock in the company that he once headed, and where he still serves as a director, he was already in violation of Federal Reserve policy and was hoping for a waiver to permit him to hold his existing multi-million-dollar stock stash and to remain on the Goldman board."

A.I.G. Bonuses Four Times Higher
Eamon Javers writes on The Politico: "The 2008 AIG bonus pool just keeps getting larger and larger. In a response to detailed questions from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the company has offered a third assessment of exactly how much it paid out in bonuses last year. And the new number, offered in a document submitted to Cummings on May 1, is the highest figure the company has disclosed to date. AIG now says it paid out more than $454 million in bonuses to its employees for work performed in 2008. That is nearly four times more than the company revealed in late March."

Dare We Use the S-Word
Scott Tucker writes for Truthdig: "Finally we got someone other than another white guy in the White House. Finally, after the long linguistic train wreck of the Bush years, we got someone who speaks in complete sentences. Finally we got someone who shows an interest in the world beyond the borders of border fences and country clubs. And now that we’ve got the son of a Kansan mother and a Kenyan father presiding in Washington, the right-wing guttersnipes have gone back to an old game. They have set up Barack Obama for target practice as a socialist."

Dems Hammer O'Neal on Staff Bonuses
Jason Croucher writes for Kansas Jackass: "Democrats continue to pound the Republican House leadership offices for advocating pay cuts for state employees even after they gave their personal staff members massive, massive bonuses."

The Court's Other Diversity Problem
Paul Campos writes for The Daily Beast: "Anyone who looks at a 50-year-old photograph of the Supreme Court will probably be struck first by the uniform race and gender of the nine older white men. Given that the court today includes only one woman justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and that she was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, there's nothing wrong with limiting the search for David Souter's replacement to women. Whatever one's views on the value of gender and ethnic diversity, it's probable that not too many people today remain comfortable with the notion of an all-male Supreme Court. Still, other forms of diversity shouldn't be ignored - and in a crucial sense the Supreme Court today is a far less diverse institution than it was a half-century ago."

When Women Rule, It Makes a Difference
Christina L. Boyd and Lee Epstein comment for The Washington Post: "When Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the US Supreme Court in 2005, national polls suggested that the public overwhelmingly supported replacing her with a female juror. O'Connor seemed to agree. "He's good in every way, except he's not a woman" is what she had to say about the nomination of John G. Roberts Jr."

The Truth About Health Care and Tort Reform, Part I

Barbara O'Brien writes for AlterNet: "Preface: As the fight for health care reform heats up this year, we’re going to be hearing a lot about 'tort reform.' Just as “tax cuts” are the Right’s one-size-fits-all answer to all economic problems, 'tort reform' is the Right’s favorite magic bullet for fixing the health care crisis."

The Truth About Health Care and Tort Reform, Part II
Barbara O'Brien writes for AlterNet: "In 1992, tort reform found its poster child in a product liability suit — Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants, more commonly known as the McDonald’s Coffee Case. The complainant, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck, spilled a cup of McDonald’s coffee on herself and suffered third-degree burns serious enough to require skin grafts."

Pence: I’m Not ‘Anti-Science’…But I Don’t Believe In Global Warming, Stem Cell Research, Or Evolution
Satyam Khanna writes for Think Progress: "Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) announced the creation of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, which will “work on crafting Republican solutions to lower energy prices for American families and small businesses.” Undermining the seriousness of the task force, the GOP announced that it was appointing climate change denier Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to the group."

Springsteen to Seeger: "You Outlasted the Bastards"
Katrina Vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: "'You outlasted the bastards, man,' Bruce Springsteen told the roaring crowd. I think that was my favorite line at the rollicking birthday concert celebrating Pete Seeger's 90th! There were other uplifting, astonishing moments Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, at a five-hour concert which Seeger only OK'd because it raised much-needed funds for his Clearwater project--a non profit organization which the oft-maligned bard started in 1969 to clean up his beloved, polluted Hudson River. Fifteen thousand people, of all ages, (okay, median age was probably 55) danced, clapped and sang along as Seeger did a soaring version of 'Amazing Grace' and the saintly looking Joan Baez sang 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone.'"

Clueless O'Reilly Mutilates the Meaning of Bruce Springsteen's Comment
Ellen writes for News Hounds: "On Tuesday, May 5th, on The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly trumpeted, “How the Republican Party can make a comeback – that is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.' Okay, that's not the dumb part. Keep reading.'Right now the Democratic Party holds almost all the cards, as you know,' he began. 'If President Obama is successful turning the economy around the Dems may even become more dominant in the years to come. That scenario's not really healthy for the USA as a vibrant two-party system is needed in order to solve complex problems and preventing arrogance and corruption of entrenched idealogy.' Damn, Bill, I didn't listen to every segment for the past eight years, but a Google search doesn't turn up any evidence that you ever felt it was, what did you say, 'not really healthy' when Republicans controlled everything during the Bush Administration. Funny, too, that you should find all these ill winds blowing now that the Democrats are almost completely in control. So, okay, that's pretty dumb, but not the worst, yet. Read on."

When the Watchdogs Are Asleep, We All Get Robbed
Greg Mitchell writes for Editor and Publisher: "Sometimes, pieces that may not really fit come together in revealing ways, especially nowadays, thanks to immediate distribution and then saturation via the Web. It happened again recently. Several leading newspapers announced new layoffs, furloughs and/or pay cuts. A few hours later, a new Rasmussen poll revealed that one in four Americans now believe that the 'faux' news delivered by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is replacing 'real' news sources as viable outlets."

Murdoch's Secret Plan to Charge for Content
The Daily Beast's Stryker McGuire has learned that News Corp. has tasked a global team—reporting directly to the 78-year-old media mogul—with creating a model to charge for online content. Stryker McGuire writes: "Only a few years ago, Rupert Murdoch described himself as a 'digital immigrant' and the Internet as 'an emerging medium that is not my native language.' Since then, he has gobbled up social-networking sites like MySpace and digital-content delivery systems like Factiva."

Public Knowledge and the Google Book Search Agreement

Jef Pearlman writes for Public Knowledge: "This week, the Honorable Judge Chin of the Southern District of New York granted us permission to file an amicus brief regarding the proposed Google Book Search settlement. Since the proposal’s announcement back in October, we’ve been poring over the 320 pages of text and attachments, meeting with parties on all sides of the issue, and weighing the upsides and the downsides of the deal. In the end, we have some serious concerns about aspects of the proposed settlement, and plan to bring those concerns to the attention of the Court before Judge Chin makes a final ruling. On Wednesday, he granted a 4-month extension for those who wish to file, so there is still much to be done, but we thought we’d give you a preview of the issues we plan to raise."

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