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

08 September 2009

Clippings for 6 September 2008

Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Nate Carlile, and Zaid Jilani write for The Progres Report at Think Progress: "On Monday, President Obama will celebrate America's 127th Labor Day by giving a speech on "jobs, the economy and maybe a little health care" at the annual AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati, OH. Despite positive indications that the U.S. economy is beginning to "climb out of the worst recession in decades," Obama's speech will come at a difficult time for America's workers as job losses continue. In the current recession, 6.7 million jobs have been lost through July, with another 216,000 jobs lost in August. Even those who are still working are facing significant challenges. Earlier this week, a new report financed by the Ford, Joyce, Haynes, and Russell Sage Foundations found that labor protections in America "are failing significant numbers of workers." According to the survey, which was "the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade," 68 percent of the low wage workers who were interviewed said they were subjected to pay violations in their previous work week alone. This included 26 percent who were paid less than the minimum wage and 76 percent who didn't receive legally required overtime pay. In all, the researchers discovered that "the typical worker had lost $51 the previous week through wage violations, out of average weekly earnings of $339," adding up to a 15 percent loss in pay. The report "clearly shows we still have a major task before us," said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in a statement, promising that the Department of Labor in the Obama administration "will be marked by an emphasis on the protection" of the rights of America's workers."

Bill Moyers comments on the Bill Moyers Journal: "Bill Maher asked me on his show last week if America is still a great nation. I should have said it's the greatest show on earth. Forget what you learned in civics about the Founding Fathers - we're the children of Barnum and Bailey, our founding con men. Their freak show was the forerunner of today's talk radio."

David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "The difference between parties and movements is simple: Parties are loyal to their own power regardless of policy agenda; movements are loyal to their own policy agenda regardless of which party champions it. This is one of the few enduring political axioms, and it explains why the organizations purporting to lead an American progressive “movement” have yet to build a real movement, much less a successful one."

Bernie Horn writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "It has come to this: Americans cannot get the health care reform we need without using the 'reconciliation' process in the U.S. Senate. We can't get 60 votes. Senator Kennedy's seat will remain vacant for 5 months. Senator Byrd remains very ill. A handful of 'moderate' Democrats and Republicans stand in the way of achieving cloture. It's time to craft and pass a bill that requires a majority vote."


Recommended Reading: Republican Gomorrah

Nation Books announces the release of Republican Gomorrah, award-winning journalist and videographer Max Blumenthal's heralded debut. As Ambassador Joe Wilson puts it, this muckracking tour de force is "a powerful study of right-wing extremism, replete with perversions perpetrated on all Americans in the name of the Culture Wars."

Republican Gomorrah exposes the deep dysfunction transforming modern conservative thought and party organization. It shows how establishment Republicans like John McCain have to bow to extreme forces from the Christian Right if they are to have any hope of running for office.

The book also explores how an alarming number of the movement's leading figures have more in common than just the power they command within conservative ranks. Their personal lives have been stained by crisis and scandal: depression, mental illness, extramarital affairs, struggles with homosexual urges, heavy medication, addiction to pornography, serial domestic abuse, and even murder. Using the work of psychologist Erich Fromm as a framework, Blumenthal examines how such histories compel these right-wingers to embrace an authoritarian ethos.

An impossible-to-put-down account, Republican Gomorrah shows us how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical Right, how it has transformed the nature of the Republican Party for the next generation and how it has helped shape the future of American politics.

Diane Stafford reports for The Kansas City Star: "Chief executives of the top 20 financial firms that received taxpayer bailout funds averaged $13.78 million in personal compensation last year, according to a report released today."

Ed Vulliamy reports for the Guardian UK: "Bruno Avangera, a 40-year-old web designer from Tucumán in Argentina, pauses to relight a half-smoked joint of cannabis. Then he speaks approvingly of "progress and the right decision" by the country's seven supreme court judges, who decided last week that prosecuting people for the private consumption of small amounts of narcotics was unconstitutional."

Bob Egelko reports for The San Francisco Chronicle: "Former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be sued for damages for ordering Muslims jailed as material witnesses in criminal cases, allegedly as a pretext to investigate their possible links to terrorism, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Friday."

Roxana Tiron reports for The Hill: "A whistleblower was forced to resign after he helped a government watchdog organization expose the scandalous behavior of security contractors guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul." 

Ralph Lopez comments for Truthout: "As public opinion tips against the US military presence in Afghanistan, and Congress talks about 'doubling down,' as the pullout from Iraq is accompanied by steadily increasing violence, and talk turns to slowing or halting the pull-out, the question the anti-war public must ask itself is: What now? War funding for Iraq continues despite two consecutive Democratic majorities elected expressly to stop it ... Very few people know that on average 80 percent of their Congress members' and senators' campaign funds come from outside the district, and largely from outside the state. They come from industries like defense, telecommunications and financial services. What do they get for these contributions, even in cases when the Congress member votes against those contributors' positions on certain bills?"

Former Community Bridge guest, Ray McGovern comments for Truthout: "I'm going to ask for my money back. I've seen this Afghanistan movie before. The first time, Vietnam was in the title. As in an early scene from the Vietnam version, U.S. military officials are surprised to discover that the insurgents in Afghanistan are stronger than previously realized." 

Joseph L. Galloway comments for the McClatchy Newspapers: "The debate over our creeping military mission in distant Afghanistan grows ever hotter, and before we march even deeper into trouble, perhaps it’s time to dig out the old Powell Doctrine and answer the eight questions it poses."

Fairness and Accuracy in Reports reports: "August 29 marked the fourth anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The devastation wrought by both the hurricane itself and the government's inept response prompted remarkably critical corporate media coverage that promised to fight for Katrina survivors and change the way we talk about poverty and race (FAIR Media Advisory, 9/9/05)."

David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "'It had better be wrong.'  That was the response of Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to Wednesday's Politico story  that the Obama White House, as it retools its strategy for health care reform, has no intention of fighting for the inclusion of a public option that would offer government-run health insurance to companies and people who can't obtain affordable coverage elsewhere. And Jacob Hacker, a health policy expert who can be called the godfather of the public option, says, 'The White House...has to be told in no uncertain terms that dropping the public plan is stupid and premature.'"

Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "Congress returns next week to one of the fiercest and most important debates in recent memory -- whether and to what extent the nation will provide health care to all Americans, and how we will reign in the soaring costs of health care overall. But do not expect unusual courage from this Congress in standing up to demagogic lies and money-toting lobbyists. An unusually large portion is facing close races in 2010, both in primaries and in the general election. Republicans have many primary challenges from the right. A record number of Democrats, who took over Congress in 2006, hail from traditionally Republican or swing states and districts."

Bill Boyarsky writes for Truthdig.com: "While the media are transfixed by all the screaming in town halls and on television, the real work of health care reform is being done in secret by congressional staff technocrats, government bureaucrats, health industry lobbyists and sometimes even a member of the Senate or House."

Jonathan Watts reports for The Guardian UK: "John Prescott, the former UK climate negotiator, called on developed nations today to accept a new model of economic growth that would create a more equitable spread of carbon emissions in the world. Speaking to the Guardian in Beijing, Prescott said talks at Copenhagen would probably not be decided until an 11th-hour crisis, but that no global consensus could be reached without a fairer spread of emissions."

Renee Schoof reports for the McClatchy Newspapers: "The Arctic was cooling for 1,900 years because of a natural change in Earth's orbit until greenhouse gas accumulation from the use of fossil fuels reversed the trend in recent decades, according to a study published Friday in Science magazine."

Amy Cavanaugh reports for the Washington Blave: "Lawmakers, celebrities and well-known LGBT activists are lining up to support the National Equality March, a weekend gathering set to begin Oct. 10.  Judy Shepard, the mother Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in an anti-gay attack in Wyoming in October 1998, is joining lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), bisexual actor Alan Cumming and about 140 others in endorsing the march.  Other supporters include radio host Michelangelo Signorile, actress Charlize Theron, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Daniel Choi, a U.S. Army lieutenant who was ordered out of the military after he revealed he is gay."

Ellen writes for News Hounds: "The latest example of blatant anti-Obama hate mongering on Fox Nation (Fox News’ website that boasts about its tolerance and love for civil discourse) is its latest top headline that encourages parents to “sound off” about Obama’s upcoming address to school children. You’d think that conservatives who care about family values and education would be pleased that Obama plans to speak to our country’s young students about staying in school and the importance of education. But when you’re dedicated 24/7 to undermining every thing the opposing Party’s president does, you’ll grab anything and not just oppose it but turn it into incendiary rabble rousing. Predictably, the Fox Nation article offers one side, the anti-Obama side, only. It also offers an inflammatory quote about “socialism” and “indoctrination.”"

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