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

30 July 2009

Clippings for 30 July 3009

Better Balance Between Climate and Military Spending Urged
Marina Litvinsky and Jim Lobe report for Inter Press Service: "Despite its conviction that climate change represents a serious threat to national and global security, the administration of President Barack Obama has proposed spending one dollar on addressing the challenge for every nine dollars it intends to spend on the US military, according to a new report by the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)."

Casualties of War, Part I: The Hell of War Comes Home
Dave Philipps reports for The Colorado Springs Gazette: "Before the murders started, Anthony Marquez's mom dialed his sergeant at Fort Carson to warn that her son was poised to kill. It was February 2006, and the 21-year-old soldier had not been the same since being wounded and coming home from Iraq eight months before. He had violent outbursts and thrashing nightmares. He was devouring pain pills and drinking too much. He always packed a gun. 'It was a dangerous combination. I told them he was a walking time bomb,' said his mother, Teresa Hernandez."

Report Finds Advantages in Gov’t Takeover of Care for Injured Contractors
T Christian Miller reports for ProPublica: "The Congressional Research Service has found that the Defense Department was paying far higher premiums to insure civilians working in war zones than either the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development. The insurance is required by the Defense Base Act [1] and provides medical care and disability benefits for those injured while working under U.S. contracts overseas. Pentagon contractors negotiate rates individually with insurance firms, while the other agencies use a bidding process to set a blanket rate."

Happiness Consultants Won't Stop a Depression

Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Anthony Vasquez, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, worked at FedEx Kinkos for about two years. His store’s slogan was: 'Yes we can.' 'It meant that if a customer asked us to do a job for them, no matter what it was, we were to say "Yes we can!"' he said. Posters of the slogan were posted on telephones and in the backroom. Corporate auditors enforced the slogan by 'Yes we can' call audits. Employees would be punished as a group for failures, and individuals could be fired. Other slogans at the Santa Cruz, Calif., FedEx Kinkos included 'Winning by engaging the hearts and minds of every team member' and 'I promise to make every FedEx experience outstanding.'”

Military Commissions Debate Rages On in Senate
Daphne Eviatar reports in The Washington Independent: "Last week, President Obama's detention policy task force issued its preliminary recommendations on the prosecution of Guantanamo detainees. But as a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon revealed, there's little consensus in Congress over where and how to prosecute terror suspects, or the likely consequences of the various alternatives."

US Pressure Urged on Coup Regime in Honduras
Robert Naiman writes for Truthout: "It's been a month since Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a military coup. Negotiations on restoring democracy supported by the United States broke down when the coup regime refused to accept a compromise that would allow Zelaya to return."

US Citizens Wrongly Detained, Deported by ICE

Tyche Hendricks reports for the San Francisco Chronicle: "The son of a decorated Vietnam veteran, Hector Veloz is a US citizen, but in 2007 immigration officials mistook him for an illegal immigrant and locked him in an Arizona prison for 13 months. Veloz had to prove his citizenship from behind bars."

Obama Accused of Continuing Bush's Racial Profiling of Immigrants
Roberto Lovato writes for AlterNet: "Can a president who is, by any measure, far more forthright and lyrical than his predecessors about the pernicious effects of racism simultaneously promote and expand the racist policies of past administrations?"

Infamous Astroturf Lobbying Firm Behind New Anti-Health Reform Group

Lee Fang reports for Think Progress: "The new anti-health reform front group known as the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights, is being managed by the lobbying firm known as the DCI Group. After being contacted by ThinkProgress this afternoon about its sponsorship of CPPR’s press conference last week, DCI Group staffers acknowledged that they coordinate PR for the front group. Not be confused with Conservatives for Patients’ Rigths, another front group opposing health reform, CPPR has been organizing lobbying efforts against health reform and publishing op-eds across the country with misinformation about the public option."

Health Care - Sorting Myth from Reality
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, and Nate Carlile write in The Progress Report for Think Progress: "Congress may be moving one step closer to reforming health care, as the Senate Finance Committee nears agreement on a bipartisan compromise. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) vowed that the committee would wrap up its work by the end of next week. This deal, however, will most likely not contain a public option or a mandate for employers to provide employees with health insurance. While many progressives are upset with this outcome, it's important to remember that this is not the final legislation: After the bill passes the Senate Finance Committee, it will still need to be reconciled with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and House bills, both of which include a public option. While these lawmakers continue to hammer out the details, many Republicans, conservative activists, and industry lobbyists continue to spread misinformation and push for indefinite delays in the hope of killing any chance at change. Yesterday in a "tele-town hall" sponsored by AARP, President Obama addressed this obstruction, underscoring that no one is talking about 'socialized medicine,' despite what conservatives are charging. 'I think that we've been so accustomed to hearing those phrases that sometimes we can't sort out the myth from the reality,' Obama said."

Recommended Audio: Incredible Shrinking Health Reform
Real News Network reports that Republicans, conservative Democrats and the medical industry continue to chip away at President Barack Obama’s health care reform, leaving doubts that the final product will make much improvement at all. The Real News Network interviews New School economist Richard Wolff says the industry and its supporters in Congress are determined to permit “reform” only if the end result means more money or at least not a decline in profits for the industry. That means Americans would still be stuck with a remarkably inefficient health care system, Wolff says.

Nine More Go to Jail for Single Payer
David Swanson writes for After Downing Street: "Following a pattern of civil resistance in Washington D.C. and around the country, citizens in Des Moines Iowa on Monday risked arrest to press for the creation of single-payer healthcare, the establishment of healthcare as a human right, and an end to the deadly practices of Iowa's largest health insurance company, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield."

Birther Whack Jobs: Citizens of Idiot America
Dan Kennedy writes for Comment Is Free in the Guardian UK: "Just because there are people who believe some mighty peculiar things doesn't mean I'm obliged to pay them any attention. After all, there are folks who are convinced that the moon landing was a hoax, that Israel was behind the World Trade Center attacks and that the US government has been covering up the truth about the crash of a UFO in Roswell, New Mexico, for the past six decades. Not every ludicrous notion is worth the mental energy it would take to debunk it."

Recommended Audio: Huffington Post asks Republicans if Obama is American-born

Michael Tomasky watches the 'birthers' video from Huffington Post.

Recommened Audio: Jon Stewart Eviscerates The 'Birther' Movement
From the Huffington Post: "In a lengthy opening segment, Jon Stewart took on "birthers" last night, mocking their internal leadership and the media figures and politicians who support them. If you don't know by now (which is totally possible as a rational adult who does not engage with the lunatic fringe) "birthers" think that our president is not an American citizen, but instead a citizen of Kenya, who, through a massive government and familial conspiracy, tricked the American people into electing him.

Despite OVERWHELMING evidence that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen, "birthers" have created a media frenzy of late that has prompted conservative representatives to introduced the so called "birther bill" that would call for presidential candidates to provide their birth certificates before running. There has been some very responsible reporting on the subject, if you can ever call engaging crazy people responsible, by Rick Sanchez, Chris Matthews and others who called these people crazy and showed copies of the president's birth certificate amongst other documents proving he was born in Hawaii."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

America the Great ... Police State
Gore Vidal writes for Truthdig.com: "For those of us who had hoped that the Obama administration would present us with a rebirth of the old republic that was so rudely erased a few years ago by that team of judicial wreckers, Bush and Gonzales, which led, in turn, to a recent incident in Cambridge, Mass. that inspired a degree of alarm in many Americans. But what was most alarming was the plain fact that neither the president nor a “stupid” local policeman seemed to understand the rules of behavior in a new America, where we find ourselves marooned as well as guarded (is that the verb?) by armed police who have been instructed that they are indeed, once armed, the law and may not be criticized verbally or in any other way and are certainly not subject to any restrictions as to whom they arrest or otherwise torment."

The Dominance of Rich, White Men Is Eroding -- It's Time to Truly Fight for Diversity
Cortney Martin writes for AlterNet: "With crisis, comes opportunity. It’s a cliché that has soothed the displaced, the bankrupt, and the lovesick for generations. Our own moment of transition is certainly no exception. We’ve got an economy in shambles, multiple ill-conceived wars fumbling violently on, a dangerously warming climate, and broken healthcare and education systems. It’s enough to make even the powerful quake in their proverbial boots…which is precisely where the opportunity now lies."

Recommended Audio: How Monsanto and Fox News Prevented Americans from Learning About Bovine Growth Hormone

GMOs' Questionable Global Conquest
Truthout provides a translation of Antoine de Ravignan's article in Alternatives Internationales that surveys the main issues involved in the regulation and spread of genetically modified food crops, while in ZNet, Marie Trigona reports in Study Released in Argentina Puts Glyphosate Under Fire on an Argentine findings that criticizes the GMO soy model from a variety of perspectives.

26 July 2009

July 23 Extended Summer Programming

For our extended summer programming this week, we open with a review of the week's news featuring Kevin Drum, a California-base blogger, and David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones.

Then we continue our exploration into hunger in America with GritTV's Laura Flanders who interviews Sasha Abramsky, a senior fellow at Demos and the author of "Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It," Aubretia Edick, a longtime Wal-Mart employee, Franceska Dillella, a mother of three whose struggle to navigate New York’s homeless shelters with her three children was recently profiled in the Indypendent, Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless on why the subject of hunger and homelessness has received so little attention.

We follow this with a short clip about Food, Inc., from On The Media. Food, Inc. cost director Robert Kenner more in legal fees than his last 15 films combined.

MP3 File

July 23 - Mass Transit for Manhattan

Community Bridge welcomes Anne Smith, Director of aTa Bus, and Lisa Koch, Public Transit Manager at the Kansas Department of Transportation, to this week's show to discuss the growing need for a public mass transit system in Manhattan. We discuss the dramatic rise in usage of aTa Bus services, what is on the drawing board, and why public transportation has an important role to play in the future economic well-being of our community.

MP3 File

Clippings for 26 July 2009

1 Percenters Enjoy Unprecedented Protection: Rich Have Highest Wealth, Lowest Taxes Since 1929
David Sirota writes for the Coloradaoan.com: "Here's a truism: The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good. According to government figures, 1 percenters' share of America's total income is the highest it's been since 1929, and their tax rates are the lowest they've faced in two decades."

A Spike in Homeless Families
The Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board writes: "The recession is changing the makeup of homelessness in America to include more families and more people in suburbs and rural areas. Private and public services for the homeless – concentrated on individuals and in urban areas – must now quickly adjust."

The Cheney Plan to Deploy the U.S. Military on U.S. Soil
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "This new report today from The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti and David Johnston reveals an entirely unsurprising though still important event: in 2002, Dick Cheney and David Addington urged that U.S. military troops be used to arrest and detain American citizens, inside the U.S., who were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda. That was done pursuant to a previously released DOJ memo (.pdf) authored by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, addressed to Alberto Gonzales, dated October 23, 2001, and chillingly entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the U.S." That Memo had concluded that the President had authority to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens on U.S. soil. Far worse, it asserted that in exercising that power, the President could not be bound either by Congressional statutes prohibiting such use (such as the Posse Comitatus Act) or even by the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which -- the Memo concluded -- was 'inapplicable' to what it called 'domestic military operations.'"

U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

William Pfaff writes for Truthdig.com: "Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was in Washington this week to consult with Barack Obama and American military and political officials, three weeks after the Status of Forces Agreement concerning U.S. forces in Iraq came into effect. On the same day, in Iraq, tension was reported to be increasing between the Americans, whose combat forces were supposed to leave Baghdad and other cities at the end of June, and the Iraqi military and security forces, which were supposed to take over the Americans’ responsibilities."

A Better Way for Afghan Women than War
Katrina Vander Heuvel writes for The Nation: "Earlier this year, I challenged the notion put forth by some feminists and human rights groups that a US military presence in Afghanistan is both justified and necessary in order to protect Afghan women and girls. I interviewed Kavita Ramdas, President of the Global Fund for Women, who discussed how the women of Afghanistan are hardly united on the need for the US military in their country, and many make a strong case that the war in Afghanistan and US occupation in fact exacerbates the plight of women. "

Facing the American World We Created
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "We've just passed through the CIA assassination flap, already fading from the news after less than two weeks of media attention. Broken in several major newspapers, here's how the story goes: the Agency, evidently under Vice President Dick Cheney's orders, didn't inform Congress that, to assassinate al-Qaeda leaders, it was trying to develop and deploy global death squads. (Of course, just about no one is going to call them that, but the description fits.) Congress is now in high dudgeon. The CIA didn't keep that body's 'Gang of Eight' informed. A House investigation is now underway."

Blackwater Seeks Gag Order
Jeremy Scahill writes for The Nation: "It became common practice during the Iraq occupation for the US State Department to work with private security companies like Blackwater to help facilitate giving what amounted to hush money to the families of Iraqis shot dead by private security contractors. In fact, Blackwater's owner, Erik Prince, discussed this practice when he testified in front of Congress in October 2007 and admitted to paying $20,000 to a Blackwater victim's family and $5,000 to another."

Recommended Audio: Zelaya Just One of Millions

The Real News Network: The coup regime in Honduras – and its right-wing backers in the United States and Canada – say they objected to political abuses by ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but the bigger motive appears to have been fear of empowering the long-oppressed Honduran poor. Former Reagan-Bush official Otto Reich joined in supporting the coup-regime president Roberto Micheletti because, Reich said, elected president Zelaya was getting too close to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and had proposed a referendum on rewriting the constitution, which dates back to the 1980s and the days of the Honduran military dictatorship.

Clinton call Zelaya's Return 'Reckless'
PressTV writes: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called a move by ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to cross the border into his homeland "reckless." Zelaya briefly crossed the Honduran border on Friday before quickly returning to neighboring Nicaragua to avoid arrest. The incident occurred almost a month after the country's military sent him into exile."

Homeland Security Inspector General Report Echoes ProPublica Investigation
Joaquin Sapien reports for ProPublica: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to speedily react to a public health threat posed by formaldehyde-contaminated trailers it provided to Hurricane Katrina victims, according to a report [1] (PDF) released Thursday night by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. The report bolsters the findings of a ProPublica investigation [2] published last year, which found that FEMA misused a flawed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study to suppress public concerns about the formaldehyde problem. "

Obama's View of Education Is Stuck in Reverse
Henry A. Giroux comments for Truthout: "While President Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, have focused on public education, they have done so by largely embracing the Bush administration's view of educational reform, which includes more testing, more empirically based accountability measures, more charter schools, more military academies, defining the purpose of education in largely economic terms, and punishing public schools that don't measure up to high-stakes testing measures."

Waterloo or Water Down?
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "The Republicans have more than health care reform in their bombsights - they want a loss for Obama so crushing it will bring the administration to its knees and restore GOP control of Congress after next year's elections. In the words of Republican Senator Jim DeMint, 'If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.'"

Limbaugh's Lies Sabotage the Health Reform Debate
Sue Wilson writes for AlterNet: "There's a showdown at the House Energy and Commerce Committee corral. Seven Blue Dog Democrat members are banding together, and if they don't get their way, they can gun down the health care bill. The Blue Dog Seven are spooked by pressure from their constituents and recent polls that show American's approval of Obama's health care initiative has dropped below 50 percent for the first time."

The Wall Street-Health Care Connection: Fat Cats Want to Tax Your Benefits
Mike Elk writes for AlterNet: "When I heard Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., floating the idea of a tax on health benefits in order to raise revenue for health-care reform, I was baffled; how could this be? Barack Obama's victory in the presidential campaign was due, in part, to his promise to never tax health care benefits. And even as tax schemes on benefits for ordinary American workers gain traction in the Senate, many conservative House Democrats -- the so-called Blue Dogs -- balk at a tax increase on the country's wealthiest citizens to help pay for a much-needed health care fix."

Recommended Audio: Getting More Value from the Health Care System

Karen Davenport, Center for American Progress, discusses what modernizing the health care system would entail. Then asks: How quickly would health care modernization bring savings? And how can the federal government promote health system modernization?

An Abortion Battle, Fought to the Death
David Barstow writes for the New Yourk Time: "Shrewd and resourceful, Dr. Tiller made himself the nation’s pre-eminent abortion practitioner, advertising widely and drawing women to Wichita from all over with his willingness to perform late-term abortions, hundreds each year. As anti-abortion activists discovered, he gave as good as he got, wearing their contempt as a badge of honor. A “warrior,” they called him with grudging respect."

Odd Are Federal Marriage Lawsuits Could Deliver a Surprise
Lisa Keen writes for the Bay Area Reporter: "The shocker at the Kentucky Derby this year was that a little known horse with 50 to 1 odds came in first. Lawsuits, too, have odds, though not the type that translates into numbers. They can have a greater chance of success or failure due to which court they are filed in; which judge is randomly assigned to the case; the scope of the issue it challenges; what arguments the lawyers use to make their cases; and, of course, which lawyers have filed the lawsuit and which are lined up to oppose it."

No Newspaper Bailouts without Civic Representation
Guy Berger writes for PBS' MediaShift Idea Lab: "Government money to bail out newspapers is a rather "un-American" suggestion. It has been put forward by various commentators who feel that emergency circumstances call for drastic measures. After all, it's not just jobs at stake, but the survival of a key pillar of democracy. If newspapers go under, the argument goes, so too does the bulk of professional journalism."

"Hundreds of Billions" Invested In Broadband And Yet We Still Lag Behind
Goeff Daily writes for AppRising: "In starting to peruse the reply comments to the FCC on formulating a national broadband policy, something NCTA said caught my eye, namely that the FCC should acknowledge that one of the many successes in the broadband marketplace has been the hundreds of billions of dollars invested by private operators in building broadband networks."

"Net Neutrality" Gets White Hot as FCC Drafts Broadband Plan
Nate Anderson writes for Are Technica: "Net neutrality has largely died down as an issue in Congress, but the war over the idea has resumed at the FCC as the agency drafts its national broadband plan. Is it just a new "price control" or a precious part of the 'public interest'?"

Senator Wants FCC to Look Harder into "Fake News"
John Eggerton writes for Broadcasting & Cable: "'Our news folks have enough problems with credibility right now without fake news being aired,' said Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) at a subcommittee hearing Wednesday (July 22) on advertising and consumer protection. She said she was infuriated by ads that mimic newscasts, with actors or even news anchors from a TV station being paid 'to pretend like it is a newscast, with a ticker running underneath.'"

Online Poll: Jon Stewart Is America's Most Trusted Newsman
Jason Linkins writes for the Huffington Post: "Well, in a result that he will probably accept as downright apocalyptic for America, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart has been selected, in an online poll conducted by Time Magazine, as America's Most Trusted Newscaster, post-Cronkite. Matched up against Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, Stewart prevailed with 44 percent of the vote. Now, if we're being honest, he probably managed to prevail as the winner precisely because he was the odd man out in a field of network news anchors. Nevertheless, I think Jim Cramer should feel free to SNACK ON THAT."

23 July 2009

Clippings for 23 July 2009

About Mass Transit...

The Future of Transit
Adam Doster and Kate Sheppard write in In These Times: "More than 2.5 million people live in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area and most never step foot on public transit. The city’s bus system is slow and inefficient, and the region supports only two rail lines, a 15.5-mile light rail route that traverses the city from north to south and a heavy rail metro track that runs from the city center to the northwestern suburbs. Both lines serve only a combined 80,000 riders daily. Baltimoreans may not prefer driving, but they have little choice."

Environmental Benefits of Mass Transit
Bab Kanter writes for the Environmental Almanac: "When the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District moved to annex newer housing developments in southwest Champaign last year, it ignited a controversy that has yet to be fully resolved. I don’t mean to take on the legal or political ins and outs of annexation, and I don’t mean to speak for how the MTD operates. But I would like to recall to your attention the environmental benefits of mass transit, benefits that are enjoyed by everyone in the community served, riders and non-riders alike."

Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation
Adam Mizrahi writes for Urban City Architecture: "Being that National Dump the Pump Day is coming I thought it appropriate to share the following resource. Commissioned by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation outlines current and potential benefits of mass transit to energy preservation (gas) and the environment. Used in conjunction with “The Broader Connection“, which highlights the relationship between mass transit, the urban form, and vehicle miles traveled — this report helps quantify many of the environmental and energy benefits associated with increased use of public transportation and a transit oriented development policy that encourages walkable and livable streets."

Report Card on America's Infrastructure: Transportation
The American Society of Civil Engineers writes: "Transit use increased 25% between 1995 and 2005, faster than any other mode of transportation. 1 However, nearly half of American households do not have access to bus or rail transit, and only 25% have what they consider to be a "good option." The Federal Transit Administration estimates $15.8 billion is needed annually federal capital outlays for transit were only $9.8 billion."

Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation (PDF Download)
Robert Shapiro, Kevin Hassett and Frank Arnold report: "The role of transportation in our nation’s energy consumption and environmental quality is immense. Americans use more energy and generate more pollution in their daily lives than they do in the production of all the goods in the economy, the operations of all commercial enterprises, or the running of their homes. Any serious effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make significant environmental progress must address the way Americans travel."

MKS Futures (large PDF download, 300 pages)
K-State College of Architecture, Planning and Design, Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning, Studio Professors Blake Belanger and Jason Brody, and the students of LAR 646 write: "The City of Manhattan stands at a critical threshold. In addition to general population growth, Manhattan’s selection as the future site of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) and the ongoing expansion of Fort Riley, the population of Manhattan has been projected to increase by almost 40% in the next 20 years, from 51,707 to 69,887 people. Extended projections anticipate continued population growth in the following 20 years. This dramatic increase in population affords Manhattan tremendous opportunities for growth and development in the coming years. Businesses will be attracted to Manhattan, jobs will be created, and urban development will rapidly increase; the very face of the city will have to adjust to the influx of such a large number of people. Manhattan must plan ahead for the coming changes in order to take full advantage of the potential for expected development. Future development must be implemented in such a way that the existing cultural and natural identity of the place is not lost in the scramble to accommodate progress. Plans must be made so that issues and dilemmas that already face the city do not become worse."

News and Opinions for the Week...

Obama Comes Out Swinging at Cynical GOP on Health Care, Addresses Race Issues in Prof. Gates Arrest

Adele Stan writes for AlterNet: "At a press conference in the East Room of the White House, President Barack Obama came out swinging tonight at Republicans who would aim to make the debate over health-care reform the president's personal Waterloo. He finished the night with a big bang, when he took a question on a racially charged incident, and responded with ironic humor. In between, he was all wonk."

No More Excuses, Mr. President
Adam Howard writes for The Nation: "In an environment that resembled a revival much more than a conference, the NAACP repeatedly and enthusiastically sought to reaffirm its relevance last week as it celebrated its centennial anniversary. Speaker after speaker insisted, somewhat defensively, that we need the NAACP 'now more than ever' and with its young and charismatic new CEO, Benjamin Jealous, the organization made a significant push to court more youthful members. But every speech and presentation was inevitably overshadowed by the most prominent person of color on the planet--President Barack Obama. "

War Without Purpose
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We can bomb Afghan villages, hunt the Taliban in Helmand province, build a 100,000-strong client Afghan army, stand by passively as Afghan warlords execute hundreds, maybe thousands, of Taliban prisoners, build huge, elaborate military bases and send drones to drop bombs on Pakistan. It will make no difference. The war will not halt the attacks of Islamic radicals. Terrorist and insurgent groups are not conventional forces. They do not play by the rules of warfare our commanders have drilled into them in war colleges and service academies. And these underground groups are protean, changing shape and color as they drift from one failed state to the next, plan a terrorist attack and then fade back into the shadows. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq."

A Victory for Sensible Defense
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Nate Carlile, and Brad Johnson write for The Progress Report at Think Progress: "With his 'political capital on the line,' President Obama 'won a crucial victory on Tuesday when the Senate voted to strip out $1.75 billion in financing for seven more F-22 jet fighters from a military authorization bill.' The 'nation's premier fighter-jet program' was conceived in the waning days of the Cold War to defend against 'a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet,' but the jets have 'yet to fly a single combat mission in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else.' Limiting the F-22 to the 187 already authorized was 'a key policy victory for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has been campaigning against the plane since April' as a 'niche, silver bullet solution' against a non-existent threat. As Glenn Greenwald noted, this fight is not about the overall military budget: 'Barack Obama campaigned on a platform of increased defense spending. True to his word, Obama's 2010 fiscal year budget calls for $534 billion in defense spending (not including the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan).' Rather, it was a battle of political will between the influence of defense contractors and the legitimate national security interests of the United States. "If the Department of Defense can't figure out a way to defend the United States on a budget of more than half a trillion dollars a year," Gates argued during the F-22 debate, 'then our problems are much bigger than anything that can be cured by a few more ships and planes.' Following the dramatic vote, Obama responded, 'I reject the notion that we have to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on outdated and unnecessary defense projects to keep this nation secure.'"

Recommended Audio: Democracy Now! - Despite Pledge to Cut Military Ties to Coup Regime, US Continues to Train Honduran Soldiers at School of Americas
Amy Goodman writes: "While the European Union cut off aid to the coup regime in Honduras, the United States continues the money flow, and while the US says it has cut military ties, the National Catholic Reporter reveals Honduran army officers are still receiving military training at the notorious School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia."

America's Wars: How Serial War Became the American Way of Life
David Bromwich writes for TomDispatch.com: "We have begun to talk casually about our wars; and this should be surprising for several reasons. To begin with, in the history of the United States war has never been considered the normal state of things. For two centuries, Americans were taught to think war itself an aberration, and 'wars' in the plural could only have seemed doubly aberrant. Younger generations of Americans, however, are now being taught to expect no end of war -- and no end of wars."

Honduran Coup Reveals Crisis of Democracy in the United States as Well

Tom Loudon comments for Truthout: "Three weeks have passed since the military coup d'etat in Honduras, yet the United States has failed to join the international community in issuing a clear denunciation of the illegal overthrow of the government of Honduras. Despite a statement by President Obama calling the coup illegal and recognizing Zelaya as the legitimate president, the US State Department refuses to classify what occurred as a coup or to take decisive steps required by law, including cutting off aid to the Micheletti government. The crisis of democracy in Honduras has unmasked a crisis in the United States as well."

Who Caused the Economic Crisis?
Simon Johnson and John Talbot write for Salon.com: "John R. Talbott is a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs and the author of "The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street," "Contagion," "Obamanomics," and "The Coming Crash in the Housing Market." His books predicted the housing market crash, the financial crisis and the election of Barack Obama when Obama was still a little-known underdog. Talbott is currently engaged in trying to build what he calls "a grass-roots movement of ordinary Americans who want to take back the government from lobbyists and corporate interests." Anyone interested in learning more can e-mail him at johntalbs (at) hotmail (dot) com."

Recommended Audio - Turthdig podcast "Dennis vs. Goliath"
Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks about winning a big victory for health care reform, grilling Hank Paulson over the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger, and the battle against crony capitalism.

Republicans Will Be Toast in 2010 If the Dems Pass Health Reform, and They Know It
Adele M. Stan writes for AlterNet: "If President Barack Obama succeeds in signing a major health care reform bill into law - one that provides a public plan for people currently priced out of the system - he will achieve what at least three presidents before him had hoped for, and failed to do. And he will likely deprive the Republican minority in Congress from anything approaching a comeback in the 2010 midterm elections."

Gingrich agrees with Kristol: ‘Yeah,’ Republicans should ‘go for the kill’ on health reform.
Lee Fang writes for Think Progress: "Earlier this week, the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol urged conservative activists and Republicans to 'resist the temptation' to work with Democrats in crafting health reform and instead 'go for the kill.' Kristol famously wrote a memo before the Clinton health care debate similarly urging Republicans, and then Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA), 'to defeat any Democratic health reform bill' as a political strategy to 'send them to voters empty-handed.' At a press conference this morning, ThinkProgress asked Gingrich if he agrees with the “go for the kill” strategy Kristol is advocating:"

American Health Care: The View From Expatriate Who Came Home
Roger J. Newell reports for The Oregonian: "As the health care reform debate revs up, the vested interests in the status quo warn against any alterations that might damage 'the world's best health care system.' In the 1980's I was a temporary resident in Great Britain, first as a graduate student, later as a pastor."

The 21st Century Color Line
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: " W.E.B. Du Bois’ classic 1903 work “The Souls of Black Folk” opens with “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois helped form the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Henry Louis Gates Jr., who directs Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, knows much about the color line—not only from his life’s work, but from life experience, including last week, when he was arrested in his own home."

Action Alert: Organic Consumer Association - Why Organic Consumers and Fair Trade Advocates Are Pressuring Whole Foods and UNFI
In response to OCA's recent alerts on Whole Foods Market (WFM) and United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), WFM posted out a form letter to many of our readers. Below is a summary of OCA's response, which you can read in greater detail here http://organicconsumers.org/unfi.cfm

OCA Finds WFM and UNFI Guilty of the Following
  • Corporate takeovers and monopolistic practices undermining organics.
  • Pushing so-called "natural" foods at the expense of organic.
  • Excluding small and family-scale organic farms.
  • Marginalizing local and regional producers and brands.
  • Organic monopolies and the "Whole Paycheck" phenomena.
  • Selling personal care products misleadingly labeled as "organic."
  • Selling vitamins and supplements spiked with synthetic chemicals as "natural," "all natural" or "Whole Foods."
  • Violating labor rights and Domestic Fair Trade principles.

Learn more about each of these points here

US Car Manufacturers Plough a Lonely Furrow on Biofuels: The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to boost the ethanol blend in fuels in a misguided bid to cut emissions
George Monbiot reports for The Guardian UK: "When the motor manufacturers are in dispute with the US Environmental Protection Agency, you wouldn't win much for guessing which side I'm likely to be on. But this time you'd be wrong."

21 July 2009

The Great Tax Con Job

Thom Hartmann writes for Op-Ed News: "Republicans are using the T-word - taxes - to attack the Obama healthcare program. It's a strategy based in a lie. A very small niche of America's uber-wealthy have pulled off what may well be the biggest con job in the history of our republic, and they did it in a startlingly brief 30 or so years. True, they spent over three billion dollars to make it happen, but the reward to them was in the hundreds of billions - and will continue to be."

20 July 2009

Clippings for 19 july 2009

Who Is the CIA Allowed to Kill?
Mark Benjamin writes for Salon: "Media reports recently exposed efforts by the Bush administration to create a CIA "assassination squad" so secret that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the agency to keep Congress in the dark about it. The Wall Street Journal called it a secret plan to "capture or kill al Qaida operatives"; on Thursday, the Washington Post said the program was about to be activated when CIA director Leon Panetta pulled the plug."

The Democrats' Selective Amnesia on Assassination: Clinton Did It and Obama Does It Too
Jeremy Scahill writes for Rebel Reports: "Members of Congress have expressed outrage over the 'secret' CIA assassination program that former vice president Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress. But this program - and the media descriptions of it - sounds a lot like the assassination policy implemented by President Bill Clinton, particularly during his second term in office."

Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions
Ann Jones writes for TomDispatch.com: "I've come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security. The heart of the city is now hidden behind piles of Hescos - giant, grey sandbags produced somewhere in Great Britain. They're stacked against the walls of government buildings, UN agencies, embassies, NGO offices, and army camps (of which there are a lot) - and they only seem to grow and multiply."

Fights Over the F-22 Engulf Senate, House

Roxana Tiron reports for The Hill: "The Senate is kicking off next week with one of the most contentious issues engulfing the fiscal 2010 defense policy bill: whether to include money for more F-22 fighter jets and ultimately draw a presidential veto."

Krugman: White House Treatment of Stiglitz Reveals Lack of Respect for ‘Progressive-Economist Wing.’
Faiz Shakir writes for Think Progress: "Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh reports that progressive economist Joseph Stiglitz, 'the man who predicted the global financial meltdown,' is not getting his due respect from the Obama administration. Hirsh writes that the Nobel Prize-winning economist has “heard barely a word from the White House.” For his part, Stiglitz has been critical of the Obama administration:"

Pelosi's Toothless 'Commission'
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig: "Very soon, congressional leaders are expected to announce the creation of a new commission to investigate the causes of America’s crippling financial disaster. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that this investigative panel will be modeled on the legendary “Pecora Commission,” which held a series of hearings on Capitol Hill in 1933 that arraigned the nation’s biggest bankers and stock swindlers before an angry and suffering people. Named for Ferdinand Pecora, the cigar-chomping New York prosecutor who oversaw the proceedings, those confrontations mobilized public support for the financial reforms of the New Deal—which curbed the excesses of Wall Street’s overclass until a decade ago when the reforms were undone."

The Bank Lobby's Insane Assault on Consumer Protection
Zach Carter writes for ALterNEt: "If the administration's plan goes through, the existing sieve of consumer protections in the financial world will finally be consolidated into a single agency that answers only to consumers, not bank balance sheets. Anyone who sells financial products to consumers, from the lowliest mortgage brokers to high-flying Wall Street elites, will finally have to play by a single, fair set of rules."

TARP Watchdog Says Treasury Lacking Bank Data

Silla Brush reports for The Hill: "The top watchdog over the financial bailout package said the Treasury Department is rejecting 'common sense' by not requiring banks receiving billions of dollars in government money to say how they are using the money. In a report to be released on Monday, Neil Barofsky said banks that have received money from the $700 billion bailout package passed last year are able to indicate how they are using taxpayer money and that Treasury should require banks to be more transparent."

Wall Street Welfare Queen Average Bonuses $1 Million Per Employee
Michael Collins writes for Dissident Voice: "There are a number of stories out there about Goldman Sachs gaining unfair advantage in the financial markets. One concerns a former employee who allegedly swiped a special program to maximize automated stock trades. Questions were raised about the propriety of this since Goldman is hauling in tons of cash on a daily basis while others struggle. A variation of this story involves speculation that Goldman gets insider information through some internet scheme and uses that to maximize their haul."

Democracy Hangs by a Thread in Honduras
Hugh O'Shaughnessy reports for The Independent UK: "The international group of right-wingers who staged the coup d'etat against the democratic government of Honduras on 28 June are watching their plot fast unravel. There is stiffening international opposition to their protege, Roberto Micheletti, who, in his capacity as President of Congress, ordered President Manuel Zelaya to be expelled from the country by plane in his pyjamas."

Oysters for Health Care
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout: "This is a story of health care and two Americans; a tale of two citizens, if you will. This week, Regina Benjamin was nominated by President Obama as our next surgeon general, charged with educating Americans on medical issues and overseeing the United States Public Health Service. She was the first African-American woman to head a state medical society, a member of the board of trustees of the American Medical Association and last year was named the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation 'genius award.' But more important, she's a country doctor, a family physician along the Gulf Coast of Alabama, serving the poor and uninsured - white, black and Asian."

A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "Those of us who know that the only real cure for what ails the U.S. health care system is a universal public plan that provides health care for all Americans while controlling costs recognize the frustrating reality that there are many economic and political barriers to the federal action that would create a single-payer system. This makes clearing the way experimentation at the state level all the more important. And, remarkably, the forces of real reform have won a congressional victory on that front, a victory that ought not be underestimated."

From Tax Breaks To Tax Hits

Sam Pizzigati writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "The push to overhaul the system that takes care of America’s health may be on the verge of morphing into something even grander, a promising new offensive against the unhealthy concentration of America’s wealth. The entire House Democratic leadership now stands united behind health care reform legislation that hikes taxes on America’s richest well beyond the levels that pundits, over recent years, have deemed 'politically feasible.'"

Tracking the Influence of Frank Luntz’s Obstructionist Health Care Memo.
MattCorley writes for Think Progress: "In early May, conservative word guru Frank Luntz authored a messaging memo defining the Republican rhetoric on health care reform. In order to obstruct reform, Luntz offered a set of poll-tested words that he said 'should be used by everyone.' Some of those words were 'rationing,' 'doctor-patient,' 'takeover' and 'bureaucrats.' Using the Capitol Words search engine, the Sunlight Foundation’s Paul Blumenthal has found that Republicans are following Luntz’s advice:"

Grading a Climate Bill
William S. Becker writes for The Huffington Post: "If Mother Nature were handing out grades, she'd have a difficult time assigning one to the 1,200-page climate dissertation known as Waxman-Markey, approved by the House and now being considered by the Senate. For one thing, she'd have to grade on a curve. What looks like an 'A' in Washington may qualify for no more than a 'C' or 'D' outside the beltway - and may be no better than 'F' in the rest of the world."

Jimmy Carter: How Religion Subjugates Women
Frances Kissling comments for Salon: "The Words of God Do Not Justify Cruelty to Women: That's the title of an Op-Ed that ran in the U.K. Observer earlier this week. It wasn't written by a feminist theologian like Karen Armstrong or one of the women on President Obama's faith-based council -- but by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter."

Fox Nation Promotes Intelligent Design

Priscilla at New Hounds writes: "I guess the time hasn’t come to “say no to biased media” because Fox Nation links to an article (under “Culture”) titled “Jefferson’s Support for Intelligent Design.” But there is clearly a bias in that the article is written by Stephen C. Meyer who is director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture whose mission is to promote intelligent design. Undettered by the defeat of intelligent design, in the famous Kitzmiller vs. Dover court case, in which “ID” was shown to be recycled creationism, Mr. Meyer is still peddling his dogma which, not suprisingly, has been picked up by Fox Nation. That Jefferson was a commited Deist and the author of a New Testament in which all the miracles were excised doesn’t seem to be a problem for Meyer who speculates that Jefferson’s beliefs coincided with those of “ID.” But what is ironic is that the Gilder Lehrman Institute of History, an organization that promotes the study of history, is a 'friend' of Fox Nation. One suspects that they might take issue with the contention that Jefferson believed in repackaged creationism. It is worth noting that Fox Nation has other 'friends' and that is troubling as one questions whether the American Legion, the USO, and the VFW are aware of the ignorance, bigotry, and hatred that is peddled on Fox Nation."

19 July 2009

July 16 - Little Apple Jazz Festival and National Issues

Community Bridge's program on the 2009 Legislative session had to be rescheduled for a later date. We open this week's show with Cortney Smith, Summer UPC co-Chair, who discusses the Little Apple Jazz Festival.

Next we take on some of the myths that surround President Obama and which conspiracy theorist and right-wing pundits continue to repeat as if they were truth. Last weekend, Kris Kobach,- Republican candidate for the Kansas secretary of state position, showed his true colors and poor taste when he said in prepared comments at the Leavenworth County Republican Party barbecue that Obama is like God in that he doesn’t have a birth certificate. One of several lies the right-wing continues to repeat about the president. We hear why it is hard to correct misconceptions about President Obama in a clip from On The Media. Brooke Gladstone interviews Brennan Nighand in this clip from the July 3 edition of OTM.

We follow with a clip from CounterSpin featuring Janine Jackson interviewing Sasha Abramsky, author of Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It.

The NAACP turns 100 this month and the civil rights organization celebrated this week in New York. We the rebroadcast a panel discussion on the NAACP centennial hosted by Laura Flanders of Grit TV. Flanders interviews: Hilary Shelton, Director of the Washington, D.C. bureau of the NAACP, Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women in NY, Derrick Johnson, President of the Mississippi NAACP, and James Rucker, Executive Director of Color of Change.

This is followed by by a clip from April featuring Tavis Smiley interviewing Robert Greenwald about his film, In Their Booths, a documentary series about the impact the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on people here at home. Every episode features a documentary about how America’s servicemen and women, their families, and our communities have been profoundly changed by our nation's campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shot on location throughout the country, these stories stress the courage of our participants, and the valor of the people and organizations that help our heroes on their journey.

We close with the rebroadcast of another GRIT TV feature, The Cost of Health Care, that originally aired on July 9th. Laura Flanders interviews: Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Reed Abelson who covers healthcare for the NYT, and Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy at the New School on the real cost of healthcare reform.

MP3 File

16 July 2009

Clippings for 16 July 2009

Only Forceful Action Can Turn Foreclosure Crisis Tide
Mary Kane reports for The Washington Independent: "The time may be ripe for a shift in strategy as the foreclosure machine grinds on, and new foreclosure notices reach the troubling milestone of 10,000 per day. A weak economy has added job losses and falling home values to the mix of toxic loans that prompted the crisis two years ago, making an already difficult situation even more severe. Government measures from foreclosure freezes to loan modifications have only served, so far, to stall the inevitable - and to create an ominous backlog of millions of pending foreclosures."

'Government Sachs' Strikes Gold...Again
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig: "Connect the dots: Goldman Sachs made $3.44 billion in profit this past quarter, while the U.S deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history and appeared to be headed toward doubling that figure before the budget year is out. Since most of the increase in the federal deficit is due to bailing out the banks and salvaging the greater economy they helped destroy, why is the top investment bank doing so well?"

Recommended Audio - News Dissector Radio: Greening the Economy
Guest Dissectrix Cherie Welch from Atlanta discussing strategies for greening the economy and Danny’s dissections on corporate crime and the media.

Colonizing Iraq: The Obama Doctrine?
Michael Schwartz writes for TomDispatch.com: "Here's how reporters Steven Lee Myers and Marc Santora of The New York Times described the highly touted American withdrawal from Iraq's cities last week: 'Much of the complicated work of dismantling and removing millions of dollars of equipment from the combat outposts in the city has been done during the dark of night. Gen. Ray Odierno, the overall American commander in Iraq, has ordered that an increasing number of basic operations - transport and re-supply convoys, for example - take place at night, when fewer Iraqis are likely to see that the American withdrawal is not total.' Acting in the dark of night, in fact, seems to catch the nature of American plans for Iraq in a particularly striking way."

The Man Who Knew Cheney's Secret
Benjamin Sarlin writes for The Daily Beast: "The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh was mocked in March when he referred to Dick Cheney’s secret squad of CIA assassins. Now, he talks to The Daily Beast about the next shoe to drop. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh raised eyebrows back in March when he told an audience at the University of Minnesota that Dick Cheney ran a secret hit squad that he kept hidden from congressional oversigh."

Cognitive Deficiencies of Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
Ernest Canning writes for Brad Blog: "A fair reading of the full context of Judge Sotomayor's 2001 University of California remarks reveals that the above two statements are not inconsistent. In the first, Sotomayor was merely giving recognition to what cognitive science has long recognized --- that differences in culture, background and experience create frames through which our minds process data, or as George Lakoff observes in Don't Think of an Elephant and in greater depth in Moral Politics: 'Concepts are not things that can be changed by people telling us a fact. Frames are needed to make sense of the facts.'"

The Stench of Conservative Desperation
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ryan Powers, Nate Carlile, and Ian Millhiser write for The Progress Report at Think Progress: "Judge Sonia Sotomayor is well-qualified to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, with more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in 100 years. Her loyalty to settled law is, in the words of the Congressional Research Service, 'the most consistent characteristic of Sotomayor's approach as an appellate judge.' And she is tremendously popular; Americans overwhelmingly support her confirmation to the nation's highest court. Even Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), in a surprising moment of candor, told Sotomayor that she would be confirmed 'unless you have a complete meltdown.' Yet, as Sotomayor's elevation to the Court grows increasingly inevitable, conservatives are the ones melting down. They are using Sotomayor's confirmation hearings to hurl more and more desperate attacks."

Klobuchar's Contribution: Talking Law With Sotomayor
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar brought something rare and valuable to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor: a savvy questioning style that invited the nominee to offer extended and revealing answers regarding her views on the law. "

New Evidence Surfaces in Post-Katrina Crimes
A.C. Thompson reports for ProPublica: "Television news reports are casting new light on the violence that flourished in New Orleans in the anarchic days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The reports - broadcast Thursday by WTAE TV in Pittsburgh and WDSU in New Orleans - focus on two unsolved crimes: the near-fatal shooting of Donnell Herrington, who was allegedly attacked by a group of white vigilantes in the Algiers Point neighborhood, and the murder of Henry Glover, whose charred remains were discovered on a Mississippi River levee. Both victims are African American."

Bush Department of Justice Blacklisted Applicants from LGBT, Immigrant Advocacy Groups
Faiz Shakir writes for Think Progress: "The Washington Blade reports that, during the Bush administration, “applicants for Justice Department internships and honors programs may have been rejected based on their membership in LGBT” and immigrant advocacy groups. Pro-immigrant groups reportedly made up 25 percent of the list. "

Health Insurance Whistle-Blower Knows Where the Bodies are Buried
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig: "Wendell Potter is the health insurance industry’s worst nightmare. He’s a whistle-blower. Potter, the former chief spokesperson for insurance giant CIGNA, recently testified before Congress, 'I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick—all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.'"

Senate Panel Passes Health Reform Bill
Jeffrey Young reports for The Hill: "A Senate committee became the first Congressional panel to advance health care reform legislation this year, marking a significant step toward the achievement of President Obama's foremost domestic initiative. On a party-line, 13-10 tally, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to move its portion of the upper chamber's health care reform legislation to the floor."

PTSD Ignored on Active Duty
Maya Schenwar writes for Truthout: "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thrown post-traumatic stress disorder into stark public light. As of the end of March, 346,393 US veterans were being treated for PTSD, and that number continues to grow rapidly. However, PTSD symptoms don't always wait to emerge until soldiers return home. For active-duty soldiers like Airman Steven Flowers, stationed in Aviano, Italy, it can take years to receive even minimal care. And once treatment begins, the soldiers are often punished for revealing their problems."

Activists Push Ballot Initiative to End State Benefits for Illegal Immigrants and Their U.S.-born Children
Teresa Watanabe reports for The Los Angeles Times: "In a stretch of desert just north of the US-Mexico border, men and women in khakis and the colors of the American flag recently gathered at a border watch post they call Camp Vigilance and discussed their next offensive in the nation's immigration wars. The target: Illegal immigrants and their US-born children who receive public benefits."

Accountability to Women Could Upset Business-as-Usual
Sholain Govender-Bateman reports for Inter Press Service: "A public presentation of the 'Progress of the World's Women' report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Pretoria, South Africa, this week suggests that one of the most powerful constraints on realizing women's rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals is a lack of accountability to women's needs."

Fox New Targets Planned Parenthood -- Literally!
Priscilla writes for New Hounds: "As the “party of life,” the GOP seeks to end a woman’s right to an abortion. Planned Parenthood is on their enemies list as it is an abortion provider. That Planned Parenthood offers a whole range of reproductive related health services and education, especially in poorer communities, is of no concern to those conservatives who would seek to shut down this organization that offers help to those who need it. As the mouthpiece for conservative principals, Fox News offers a platform for those whose goal is to shut Planned Parenthood down. In addition to Sean Hannity’s hit piece on Planned Parenthood, Hannity, O’Reilly, and Beck have provided a platform for a group, whose “sting operations” against Planned Parenthood, are part of a greater effort to damage Planned Parenthood in the hope that state and federal funding will be cut off. Last week, subbing for Bill O’Reilly on “The Factor," Laura Ingraham interviewed one of these women and Alabama's Attorney General who was muy sympatico. While the interview contained the perfunctory anti abortion/Planned Parenthood memes, there was a troubling graphic which raised the question of whether Fox News was sending a signal to encourage domestic violence against Planned Parenthood."