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 May 2010

Clippings for 30 May 2010

DoD Investigating Nine Cases of "Terrorism-Related Acts" by US Military and Contractors?
Jeremy Scahill reports for The Nation: "Buried within the new Department of Defense Inspector General's report, "Contingency Contracting: A Framework for Reform," is the eye-opening revelation that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service has nine open investigations into alleged "Terrorism-Related Acts" by "U.S. contractor personnel, U.S. Military, Government personnel." No other details are provided. DCIS is the criminal investigative agency working for the DoD's Inspector General."

Homeless Iraqis Prompt Fears of Social Crisis
Ali Kareem writes for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting: "The alarming spread of illegal squatter settlements has aid groups fearful of a looming social crisis, one which a senior United Nations official considers the greatest humanitarian problem facing Iraq.  Recent reports from two international agencies found that of Iraq’s 1.5 million internally displaced people, or IDPs, at least 500,000 have been forced to dwell in squalid squatter camps without access to health care or public services." Photo: Tracey Shelton

Obama Talks Left To Move Right, As Wall Street Criminals Are Given A Free Pass And Reforms Are Watered Down
Danny Schechter writes for the Media Channel: "We now know that it was the Obama Administration, led by the President himself, who used techniques well understood and denounced decades earlier by none other than Mao TseTung. He talked left, to move right. In several high profile speeches, he lashed out at Wall Street for its greed and mendacity, proposing financial reforms that appeared to be hard hitting, if only because of the way the lobbyists for the financial services industry squealed about them."

Disclosing the Meekness of the "Disclose" Bill
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "At last, after weeks of analyzing, calculating, pondering, consulting and crafting, Democratic leaders in Washington have unveiled their much-awaited legislative response to the Supreme Court's January decision in the infamous case of Citizens United. That's the destructive dictate that allows oceans of corporate cash to flood America's elections and drown out the voices of ordinary people."

Rose Aguilar writes for Your Call: "After spending four years in a minimum security prison, the convicted Washington lobbyists Jack Abramoff is scheduled to go to a halfway house next month. The former B-movie filmmaker, anti-communist, college Republican became a powerful lobbyist in 1994. He had strong ties with then House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican Karl Rove, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, and the Christian Coalition's former head Ralph Reed."

Criminal Investigations of Massey Energy Go Forward as Citizen Pressure Builds for Prosecution
Kevin Zeese provides the following analysis for Truthout: "Just over a month ago, I wrote urging criminal prosecution of Massey Energy executives for the deaths of coal miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Since then, more evidence of criminal wrongdoing has been shown and federal prosecutors and the FBI are investigating the corporation and its executives. In addition, citizen pressure urging prosecution is growing and financial problems for the corporation are showing."

Gov Carves Out Line-item Vetoes
Barbara Hollingsworth writes for the Topeka Daily Capital: "Gov. Mark Parkinson restored family planning funds to Planned Parenthood, eliminated a proposed budget cut to public broadcasting and rejected a state snub of clean air regulations. In approving a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Parkinson carved out his objections in 11 line-item vetoes. As with much that happens in the Statehouse, his actions drew praise and disdain."

Book Review: "The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom and the End of the American University"
Eleanor J. Bader comments for Truthout: "Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City's Yeshiva University, starts 'The Lost Soul of Higher Education' with a blunt assessment: 'In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation's colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good.'"

California Passes Bill to Counteract ‘Disturbing’ Texas Curriculum
Sahill Kapur writes for The Raw Story: "The California Senate on Friday approved legislation that sends a clear message to Texas and textbook publishers: don't mess with our kids' minds. 'My bill begins the process of ensuring that California students will not end up being taught with Texas standards,' State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who authored and sponsored the legislation, said in an interview. Texas standards had better not 'creep into our textbooks,' he said."

After Long Argument, BP Official Made Fatal Decision on Drilling Rig
Erika Bolstad, Joseph Goodman and Marisa Taylor report for McClatchy Newspapers: "Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding."

More Deepwater Disasters on the Horizon?
Hannah Rubenstein, Inter Press Service: "Despite a federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling, new permits and controversial environmental waivers for oil rigs continue to be granted, sparking criticism from policymakers and environmentalists. On Thursday, President Barack Obama issued a six-month extension of the moratorium on permits and environmental waivers for the drilling of new deepwater wells." Photo: U.S. Coastguard

Gulf Oil Spill Should Spur Move Away from Fossil Fuels
Anchorage Daily News comments: "Most of the attention to President Barack Obama's press conference Thursday about the Gulf of Mexico focused on the government's role and responsibility, the frustration of Gulf residents and the decision to halt or cancel new offshore drilling and deep-water operations in the Gulf."

Peak Oil and Apocalypse Then
Melinda Burns reports for Miller-McCune: "Oil is the backbone resource of industrial society, but the Oil Age will come to an end, someday. The pessimists say the world reached maximum oil production in 2008. Middle-of-the-road optimists say peak oil won't occur until 2030. Either way, production is already past its peak and on a terminal decline in 54 of the 65 largest oil-producing countries in the world, including Mexico, Norway, Indonesia and Australia."

Rediscover the Great American Road Trip Along Kansas’ Scenic Byways This Summer
Kansas Travel and Tourism Division writes: "With miles of rolling hills, shining lakes and natural stone formations, the nine Kansas Scenic Byways tell the history of Kansas. From the remnants left by ancient glaciers to the Wild West, these beautiful drives offer panoramic vistas, family friendly activities, and an affordable way to discover the US of America’s heartland."

Christian 'Pregnancy Crisis Centers' Masquerading as Health Clinics Tell Women Abortion Causes Cancer and Infertility -- And You're Helping Pay for Them
Ted Cox writes for AlterNet: "She sat in the counseling room, looking at the posters of fetal development covering the walls. In her hands she held the pamphlets urging her to forgo abortion. Together with a partner, the young woman, Alexa Cole, had entered the crisis pregnancy center – CPC, for short – hoping to get more information about abortion and birth control options."

Why Teen Pregnancy Is No Accident
Lynn harris writes for The Nation: "Leyla W. couldn't figure out where her birth control pills kept going. One day a few tablets would be missing; the next, the whole container. Her then-boyfriend shrugged and said he hadn’t seen them. She believed him—until she found them in his drawer. When she confronted him, he hit her. "That was his way of shutting me up," says Leyla, who is in her mid-20s and living in Northern California. (For her safety, Leyla wishes to withhold her last name and hometown.) He also raped her and, most days, left her locked in a bedroom with a bit of food and water while he went to work. (A roommate took pity and let her out until he came home.) Thanks to the missed pills, she got pregnant twice, the second time deciding against abortion."

Harold Ford's Corporate Crusade Against Net Neutrality
Josh Silver writes for the Huffington Post: "This week, Harold Ford, Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, showed how completely the DLC is captured by industry money, why the US congress is mired in gridlock, and why the government continues to fail to protect the American public: from oil spills to banking crises to mining disasters, and now to the Internet. Big money lobbyists and their puppet politicians' blind abandonment of reasonable government oversight."

Rep. Doyle (D-PA) Shows Washington How To Stand Up To Corporate Front Groups
Harold Feld writes for Public Knowledge: "The faux populist group Americans For Prosperity has been running ads against network neutrality in Mike Doyle’s (D-PA) district in Pittsburgh. Doyle’s response? A letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski telling him to ignore faux populist FUD from AFP, hold firm, and move full speed ahead to protect consumers while Congress takes up the work of updating the Communications Act for a more comprehensive approach."

73 Democrats Tell FCC: Drop Net Neutrality Rules
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "A slew of House Democrats have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission warning the agency not to go forward with its plan to partially reclassify ISPs as common carriers, a move needed to impose net neutrality rules."

Laura Sydell writes for NPR: "It's easy to lose your temper on the Internet. Anyone who reads — or writes — comments on blogs and news sites knows that the conversation can quickly stray from civil discourse to scathing personal attacks. For years, many websites just let users go at it, and free speech reigned. But now editors are rethinking just how open their sites should be."

The Infuriating Cell Phone Racket
Scott Thill writes for AlterNet: "f you're not angry with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint -- America's four national wireless providers that reportedly control 90 percent of the market -- then here's some ridiculous news to raise your righteous ire. Perhaps you'd be interested to know about one of the most outrageous cell phone scams? It's simple: Charge customers for being forced to listen to 15 seconds of unnecessary voicemail instructions reminding them how to leave a message after the beep. According to New York Times technology writer David Pogue, if Verizon customers leave voicemails or check their messages twice a day, the mammoth New Jersey-based telco takes in around $620 million. In return, you lose wasted hours of your life and have to pay for it."

Kansas Public Broadcasting Spared $1 Million Dollar Cut
Craig Andres writes for KSN.com: "A devastating punch to Kansas public broadcasting is now going away with the stroke of the governor's pen. 'I know it's gonna save programming,' says KPTS President and CEO, Michele Gors Paris, 'and some of the work we do in the community, because that's a lot of money.' Lawmakers in Kansas had cut about a million dollars from public broadcasting to help balance the Kansas budget."

Genachowski Gets 'Dingell-gram' Against FCC Power Boost
Sara Jerome writes for The Hill: "Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) sided with major phone and cable companies in a letter discouraging Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski from a plan to boost the agency’s authority over broadband access providers.  Dingell expressed grave concern that the plan risks reversal by the courts, putting “at risk significant past and future investments, perhaps to the detriment of the Nation’s economic recovery and continued technological leadership,” he wrote Thursday."

Verizon Wireless’s New Plan: So Long Unlimited Data, Hello Buckets?
Jacqueline Emigh reports for PC World: "Remember the bad old days, before the advent of unlimited wireless data plans? Well unfortunately, with the vaunted arrival of 4G, it looks like those times might be returning if Verizon Wireless has its way. At the Barclays Capital conference in New York City this week, Verizon Wireless’s CEO Lowell McAdam said he hopes to ditch unlimited plans entirely on the company’s upcoming 4G LTE network, charging instead for “buckets” of megabytes."

28 May 2010

Latino Informational Network of Kansas

This week's show opens with Lalo Muñoz, executive director of the Latino Information Network of Kansas, discussing the services the Network provides, SB 1070 in Arizona, the growing strength of the Latino population in Kansas and other concerns.

Then Jonathan Mertz, chair of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, joins us in studio to respond to the provocative editorial the Manhattan Mercury ran on May 21st in response to the recent efforts to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

MP3 File

2010 Lesgislative Wrap-up

For our second hour, we open with this week's Media Minutes. Then Community Bridge welcomes Rep. Sydney Carlin and Sen. Roger Reitz to discuss the winner and losers of the 2010 legislative session and the battle for a state budget that did not do further harm to Kansans.

MP3 File

26 May 2010

Clippings for 26 May 2010

Financial Reform Won't Alter Capitalism's Icarus Trajectory
Stuart Whatley writes for the Huffington Post: "My mother used to have a cat that wasn't declawed. As such, most of the plushier furniture items around the house inevitably ended up shredded. She would take the cat to the veterinarian now and then for the claws to be clipped down, which was effective for a time before they grew back, after which point more evisceration would ensue. Cats do this not as some devious Garfieldian machination (the comic strip, not the president), but rather as a means for sharpening, or upkeep, driven by an irresistible evolutionary compulsion. Thus for the maintenance of their claws, they are beholden to an uncontrollable and sometimes destructive urge."

Another Jobless Benefits Fight Looms in Congress
David Lightman and William Douglas, McClatchy Newspapers: "Congress is braced for a new, unpredictable battle this week over whether to fund more aid for jobless workers as an estimated 1.2 million people face having their benefits cut off next month unless lawmakers act. The debate, expected to begin Tuesday in the House of Representatives, will be the third time this year that these provisions have faced expired funding."

The Corporate Stranglehold: How BP Will Make out Like Bandits from Its Massive, Still Gushing Oil Disaster
Zack Carter writes for AlterNet: "You've got to hand it to BP. After witnessing the Great Financial Crash of 2008, it seemed like it would be decades before any corporation could eclipse Wall Street's reckless rush to place its own short-term profits ahead of the public interest. But the epic drilling disaster off the Louisiana coast demonstrates that many of the problems that wrecked Wall Street are deeply embedded in other sectors of the American economy. Over the past 30 years, corporate titans have so thoroughly corrupted the notion of "free markets" that many of the world's riskiest businesses are not only insulated from regulatory supervision, they have been immunized from even minimum standards of market discipline."

Grayson's Bill Makes War Costs Real
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "Congressman Alan Grayson is at it again. This time, the Florida Democrat who shook up the health-care debate by saying Republicans were the real death-panel party and who shook up the bank reform debate by leading (with Texas Congressman Ron Paul) the “Audit the Fed” fight, is shaking up the debate about so-called “emergency” supplemental spending to fund the occupations of foreign lands."

McChrystal Strategy Shifts to Raids - and Wali Karzai
Gareth Porter provides analysis for Inter Press Service: "Gen. Stanley McChrystal's team once talked openly about the need to remove Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother and the most powerful man in Kandahar, from power. Last October, as reports of Wali Karzai's role in the opium trade were circulating, McChrystal's intelligence chief Gen. Michael T. Flynn said, 'If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves.'"

General Petraeus's Secret Ops
Robert Dreyfus writes for The Nation: "A secret military directive signed last September 30 by General David Petraeus, the Centcom commander, authorizes a vast expansion of secret US military special ops from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East to Central Asia and “appears to authorize specific operations in Iran,” according to the New York Times."

The Absence of Debate over War
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt ponders how little attention our various wars received during the primary campaigns that were just conducted:  "You would hardly know, from following this year's election campaign or the extensive coverage of last week's primaries, that America is at war. . . . those wars, and the wisdom of committing to or withdrawing from them, have hardly been mentioned in the hard-fought campaigns of the spring."  Hiatt is right in that observation, and it's worth examining the reasons for this."

Rage Against the Machine Gun
Adam Weinstein reports for Mother Jones: "Thousands of frontline troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have been relying on World War I-era machine guns to survive combat—and as the weapons wear out, US contractors have been shipping the soldiers defective replacement parts, a Pentagon investigation has found. The cash loss doesn't amount to much—at most, $11 million—but the faulty parts left those thousands of soldiers in peril, the Department of Defense inspector general’s office (DODIG) said in a report released in January. The Pentagon's logistics agency, which was responsible for the gun-parts contracts, "is not providing effective customer support to the warfighter and is missing opportunities to identify contractors with performance problems and to obtain adequate compensation for deficient parts," the report concluded."  Photo: US Army Staff Sgt. Liesl Marelli, Colorado National Guard / Flickr

Citizen Alioune: How Not to Deal With Muslims in America
Stephan Salisbury comments for TomDispatch: "Alioune Niass, the Sengalese Muslim vendor who first spotted the now infamous smoking SUV in Times Square and alerted police, is no hero. If it were not for the Times of London, we would not even know of his pivotal role in the story. No mainstream American newspaper bothered to mention or profile Niass, who peddles framed photographs of celebs and the Manhattan skyline. None of the big television stations interviewed him."

Dumbing Down Teachers: Attacking Colleges of Education in the Name of Reform
Henry A. Giroux comments for Truthout: "As the Obama administration's educational reform movement increasingly adopts the interests and values of a "free-market' culture, many students graduate public schooling and higher education with an impoverished political imagination, unable to recognize injustice and unfairness." Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t

Talk Points Memo writes:  "Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) went head-to-head with Bill O'Reilly last night over the Democrat's attack on Goldline and conservative pundits like Glenn Beck who have ties to the gold seller. 'Defending someone that gouges consumers? You ought to be ashamed of yourself,' Weiner scolded O'Reilly. Last week, Weiner (D-NY) released a report that said Goldline 'uses aggressive sales tactics, conservative spokespeople and rhetoric to sell over-priced gold coins to unsuspecting consumers.' He also excoriated what he called the "unholy alliance between Goldline and conservative pundits."

Blame Clinton, Not Paul
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "What is so great about our bloated federal government that when a libertarian threatens to become a senator, otherwise rational and mostly liberal pundits start frothing at the mouth? What Rand Paul thinks about the Civil Rights Act, passed 46 years ago, hardly seems the most pressing issue of social justice before us. It’s a done deal that he clearly accepts."

Palin Refuses to Learn Anything
Ruth Marcus writes for Truthdig.com: "Has Sarah Palin learned anything since she was plucked from obscurity almost two years ago? Not that I can tell. It was not Palin’s fault that she was woefully unprepared to be the Republican vice presidential nominee. For that one, blame the petulant, impetuous John McCain. But Palin has had ample time now, outside the crash course of a presidential campaign, to develop and exhibit some understanding of the issues. Her learning curve, from all the available evidence, is a flat line."

How Bad Is Gulf Oil Spill? A Global Q and A on Offshore Oil Spills
Kristen Chick reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has put a spotlight on the dangerous world of offshore oil drilling. With a well spewing thousands of barrels of crude (estimates range from 5,000 to 100,000 barrels) a day into the Gulf of Mexico, many are wondering if the industry has been too lightly regulated." Photo: Daniel Beltrá/Greenpeace/AP

BP's Shocking Memo
Rick Outzen writes for the Daily Beast: "his is a story about the Three Little Pigs. A lot of dead oil workers. And British Petroleum. From the minute the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig exploded, BP has hewed to a party line: it did everything it could to prevent the April 20 accident that killed 11 men and has been spewing millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico ever since. Some critics have questioned the veracity of that position."

Will BP Be Held Responsible? Not if Senator Lisa Murkowski Can Help It
Byard Duncan reports for AlterNet: "On Tuesday, May 11, Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, led questioning in a Senate hearing designed to hash out the details of what caused the Deepwater Horizon explosion. After briefly mentioning the 11 workers who were lost following the blast, Murkowski affirmed that despite its risk, offshore drilling is essential to America’s energy future."

Anti-Choice Woman-Hating Goes Mainstream
Carole Joffe writes for RH Reality Check: "'She consented in the murder of an unborn child. There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child.' With this brief quote, the speaker, the Rev. John Ehrich, medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix, deserves credit for achieving a twofer in a recently revived (if not formally declared) misogyny competition that is now sweeping the anti-choice world."

A Mother's Catch-22
Willian Greider writes for The Nation: "When Congress and Bill Clinton decided to end "welfare as we know it," they made a deal with the poor folks who were being cut loose from their AFDC checks. Go out and find a job, they told the mothers with dependent children. Government will help by providing a modest subsidy to pay for child care. As a practical matter, most mothers with small children couldn't go to work without it."

Making Latin America's Cities Women-Friendly
Marcela Valente reports for Inter Press Service: "'Violence against women is not only domestic, it also happens in the streets. Not having the right to feel safe in a city square or at a bus stop without someone bothering us, that's also violence.' This 'discovery,' as she called it, was described to IPS by Ofelia Retamoso, who lives in the east-central Argentine city of Rosario, 300 km northwest of Buenos Aires."

Building Community through Radio: New Community Radio Station for Kansas
Christopher E. Renner writes for the Kansas Free Press: "'A dedicated group of people are starting a new radio station that serves the public interest.' Now there's a headline we get to read about everyday in the for-profit media. NOT! But that very thing is happening in Manhattan, Kansas. In 2005 and 2007 a group of Manhattanites, community members and K-State students, attended the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis and Memphis sponsored by Free Press. Free Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media. Free Press uses education, organizing and advocacy to promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications."

Our Media Are "Post-Reason," and We Dutifully Follow
Leonce Gaiter writes for the Huffington Post: "The web is a visual medium. It grows more similar to television while it severs ties to traditional reading and increases its dominance of our political conversation. It is the bitterest of ironies that a format once touted as heralding a new era of enlightened participatory democracy (remember Thomas Friedman's Lexus and the Olive Tree?) is picking up where television left off and doing infinitely more to erode traditional American democratic ideals than to promote them. The web, with its short, choppy text bites and reliance on imagery and video is just as ill-suited to the complex language of American democracy as television. It is more dynamic when (and better utilized to) convey unreasoning kick-in-the-gut emotionalism than Enlightenment era abstractions on the rights of men."

Justice Department Cracks Down on Leaks
Josh Gerstein writes for Politico.com: "The Obama administration’s crackdown on leaks to the press has snared a high-profile conviction of an FBI linguist, who was sentenced to 20 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to giving classified information to a blogger."

Communications Law to be Reviewed
Edward Wyatt writes for the New York Times: "Two top Democratic legislators said Monday that they would begin a process to modernize telecommunications laws that were last overhauled in 1996 but barely mention the Internet. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said in a joint statement that they would hold meetings in June to examine how the Communications Act meets the current needs of consumers, the telecommunications industry and the Federal Communications Commission."

Congress: It's Time to Rewrite the Telecommunications Bible
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "To telecom industry lawyers, it is the Five Books of Moses, The New Testament, The Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Ultimate API for Everything. We're talking about the Communications Act, and Capitol Hill leaders say it's time to "develop proposals" to update the law."

23 May 2010

Clippings for 23 May 2010

Obama Administration on the Verge of Giant Sell-Out to Conservatives -- How to Stop Them
George Lakoff writes for AlterNet: "The Obama Administration’s move to the right is about to give conservatives a victory they could not have anticipated, even under Bush. HUD, under Obama, submitted legislation called PETRA to Congress that would result in the privatization of all public housing in America.  The new owners would charge ten percent above market rates to impoverished tenants, money that would be mostly paid by the US government (you and me, the taxpayers). To maintain the property, the new owners would take out a mortgage for building repair and maintenance (like a home equity loan), with no cap on interest rates."

US Soldiers Face Probe Into Afghan Deaths; Civilian Casualties Still Rising
Dion Nissenbaum reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "The US military is investigating allegations that a small group of American soldiers deliberately killed three Afghan civilians in a series of shootings earlier this year, Western officials familiar with the case said Friday.... If the allegations prove to be true, they could undermine the US military's already shaky credibility in southern Afghanistan as it gears up to target the Taliban's spiritual capital in Kandahar."

Bill for Afghan War Could Run Into the Trillions
Eli Clifton, Inter Press Service: "The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a 59-billion-dollar spending bill, of which 33.5 billion dollars would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan. However, some experts here in Washington are raising concerns that the war may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in Afghanistan could be better spent."

Putting the Pentagon on a Diet: Will Bad Times and a Bad Economy Finally Discipline the Pentagon?
Christopher Hellman writes for TomDispatch: "Is that the wake-up smell of coffee wafting through the halls of the Pentagon? After a decade and a half of unparalleled budget growth, top Defense Department officials are finally talking about the possible end of their spending spree. And they're not alone.  In recent years, Republicans and Democrats in Congress and successive administrations have not only repeatedly resisted efforts to control Pentagon spending, but regularly pushed for more dollars to go into the defense and national security budgets. And many of them still are."

In April, it was revealed that the Obama Administration has authorized the CIA to target and kill American-born Islamic cleric, and alleged Al Qaeda operative, Anwar al-Awlaki. According to the subsequent testimony of Admiral Dennis Blair, the administration's Director of National Security, the targeted hit on al-Awlaki was not an exception to the rule; it fell within the legal rights granted to the executive. The unrestricted bullseye attached to al-Awlaki has many human rights activists, civil libertarians and legal scholars increasingly concerned about expanding executive authority. If the administration reserves the right to kill US citizens without due process, where does the slippery slope end? To explore the legality of assassination and targeted killings, this week's Breakdown with Christopher Hayes welcomes Vanderbilt law professor Mike Newton.

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Six Key Fights for Wall Street Reform's Next Phase
Zach Carter writes for the Campaign for America's Future: "Thursday night's passage of Wall Street reform by the U.S. Senate is an event to be celebrated, but several key issues remain in play as the House and Senate seek to iron out differences between their respective versions of the legislation. And while the final bill will provide regulators with important new tools to fight financial excess, many of the most critical issues facing our economy will simply not be addressed, leaving the next Congress with plenty of work to do."

Study Shows Blacks Will NEVER Gain Wealth Parity With Whites Under the Current System
Glen Ford report for Black Agenda Report: "The gap between Black and white household [accumulated] wealth quadrupled from 1984 to 2007, totally discrediting the conventional wisdom that the U.S. is slowly and fitfully moving towards racial equality, or some rough economic parity between the races. Like most American myths, it’s the direct opposite of the truth. When measured over decades, Blacks are being propelled economically downward relative to whites at quickening speed, according to a new study by Brandeis University."

How to Think Like a Feminist Economist
Susan Feiner writes for On the Issues: "As a feminist economist I am constantly amazed - though I suppose I should be used to it by now - by the ways conventional analyses of economic matters completely ignore gender asymmetries. Because I am a feminist economist, I am hypersensitive to differences in women's and men's economic circumstances." 

Confronting Blame-the-Worker Safety Programs
Nancy Lessin writes for Labor Notes: "In a Missouri food warehouse, 150 workers load and unload trucks, lift boxes, drive fork trucks, and move endless pallets. Each month that no one reports an injury, all workers receive prizes, such as $50 gift certificates. If someone reports an injury, no prizes are given that month. Last year, management added a new element to this 'safety incentive' program: if a worker reported an injury, not only would co-workers forgo monthly prizes but the injured worker had to wear a fluorescent orange vest for a week.... Blame-the-worker programs like this are flourishing, and they are harmful for workplace health and safety."

Kansas Legislative Winners and Losers
Budett Loomis comments for the Hutchinson News: "Any legislative session leaves in its wake some clear winners and losers, as well some prospective gifts and time bombs for campaigns and policy decisions to come. The historic (and it was) 2010 session did not disappoint in producing all of the above, in abundance."

Has Obama Created a Social Security 'death panel'?
Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson write for Nieman Watchdog: "President Obama and the leadership in Congress have delegated enormous, unaccountable authority to 18 unrepresentative, inordinately wealthy individuals. The 18 individuals are meeting regularly, in secret, behind closed doors, until safely beyond this year’s mid-term election. If they reach agreement, their proposal will be voted on in December by a lame duck Congress, without the benefit of open hearings and deliberations in the pertinent committees and without the opportunity for open debate and amendment on the floors of the House and Senate. Despite the speed and lack of accountability, the legislation will affect, in substantial ways, every man, woman, and child in this nation."

Arizona, Institutional Racism & Assimilation
Solomon Comissiong writes for the Daily Censored: "The Southwestern US state of Arizona has recently garnered a lot of public attention for its blatantly racist legislation. In April (2010) the closet racist governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, signed into law SB-1070. SB-1070 was paraded around by her administration as some sort of law aimed at reducing the number of so-called “illegal immigrants” from coming into Arizona. As if signing into state law a bill that condones the racial profiling of people of color was not xenophobic enough; she helped (along with Arizona education chief: Tom Horne) push through a law that significantly prevents the progressive teaching of “Ethnic Studies” within Arizonan public schools. This ban states that a school will lose state based funding if they offer courses thatpromote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” That particular detail within the so-called “law” should tell us more of what is wrong with the state of Arizona, and America in general, than anything else. The recent trends within Arizona are not particularly surprising to the author; however, for many living in denial about the institutionally racist nature of the US, I can see where this has jolted their illusionary American Dream."

Minding the Education Gap
Emily Badger reports for Miller-McCune: "The minority education gap, if not addressed, will have a huge impact on the U.S. economy in the future as good-paying jobs increasingly require college degrees. Americans aren't exactly making progress in closing the country's deep education gap. Thirty-two percent of Asians and whites held a bachelor's degree in 2008, compared to only 15 percent of blacks and Hispanics - a larger disparity than a decade ago."

Laying Bare the Myth of ‘The Left’
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "I’m always amused by popular references to the allegedly all-powerful American “Left.” The term suggests that progressives today possess the same kind of robust, ideologically driven political apparatus as the Right—a machine putting principles before party affiliation. This notion is hilarious because it is so absurd."

The 'Mad-As-Hell' Party Scores as the Anxious Class Stews
Robert Reich writes for the Huffington Post: "Kentucky Tea Party hero Rand Paul scores a knockout victory over Republican Trey Grayson. Before that, Utah Senator Robert Bennett loses to a Tea Party-fueled Republican insurgent. Is the lesson here the rise once again of the Republican right?"

A Closing of the Conservative Mind?
Allen McDuffee reports for Truthout: "In an election year when Republicans are mounting a comeback, the last thing they need is in-fighting among conservatives. But that's precisely what is happening thanks to a series of exchanges kicked off by a blog post from Cato research fellow Julian Sanchez, who is warning of a closing of the conservative mind. The firestorm that has ensued has become something of a spectator sport, with, among others, Andrew Sullivan writing regular posts called "Epistemic Closure Watch" at the Daily Dish." Photo: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Chuckumentary, Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL), StewBl@ck

Sarah Palin's Sandidate, Vaughn Ward, Calls Puerto Rico a 'Country'
Sean J. Miller writes for The Hill: "Idaho House candidate Vaughn Ward (R) is under a microscope of media attention because of some recent misteps and another that came last night, when he misidentified Puerto Rico in a debate with his primary opponent, Raul Labrador, who was born on the island."

On May 19th's Rachel Maddow show, Maddow pressed GOP Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul to clarify remarks suggesting that the Civil Rights Act overreached by forcing private businesses to end discrimination based on race. Paul tried to evade Maddow’s questions, but could not quite explain how he can oppose discrimination, yet believe that a private business should have the right to discriminate.

How Libertarian is Rand Paul?
Josh Harkinson reports for Mother Jones: "In an effort to explain what Rand Paul meant when he suggested that private businesses should be able to discriminate against black people, most writers have assumed that the Tea Party fave is no racist but instead a dogmatic, don't-tread-on-me libertarian. As TPM convincingly points out today, the GOP's Kentucky Senate candidate's (now recanted) statements about the 1964 Civil Rights Act fall well within the libertarian mainstream."

In Texas, Social Studies Textbooks Get a Conservative Make-over
Brad Knickerbocker reports in the Christian Science Monitor: “In a move that has potential national impact, the Texas State Board of Education has approved controversial changes to social studies textbooks – pushing high school teaching in a more conservative direction.  The Dallas Morning news reports that the curriculum standards adopted Friday by a 9-5 vote along party lines on the elected board have 'a definite political and philosophical bent in many areas.'”

Oil Rules
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "The more we learn about the BP oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the more we ought to question the basic assumptions that led us here. Like the explosion of the housing bubble that ruptured the world economy, this human and environmental tragedy resulted from a system that encourages reckless profiteering without effective regulation." Photo: Deep Water Horizon Response

EPA Scolds BP in Gulf Oil Spill: Dispersant Is Too Toxic, Change It
Mark Guarino, The Christian Science Monitor: "After saying last week that it had no authority to tell BP which dispersant to use for the Gulf oil spill, the EPA on Thursday told BP to switch dispersants to one that is less toxic. The US Environmental Protection Agency reversed course in the Gulf oil spill cleanup effort Thursday, telling BP that had three days to stop using a chemical dispersant that the EPA's own data suggests is unnecessarily toxic."

How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution. West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week."

Trucking Toward Climate Change
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "The tar sands mining project in Alberta, Canada, is possibly the largest industrial project in human history and critics claim it could also be the most destructive. The mining procedure for extracting oil from a region referred to as the 'tar sands,' located north of Edmonton, releases at least three times the CO2 emissions as regular oil production procedures and will likely become North America's single largest industrial contributor to climate change. Most of the oil produced by the project will likely be consumed by the United States, a country that, along with Canada, is already heavily invested, on many levels, in the project."

The Graph That Should Be on the Front Page of Every Newspaper: The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet
Peter H. Gleick writes for the Huffington Post: "The following graph should be on the front page of every single newspaper in the country. It shows, clearly and unambiguously, that the Earth has been heating up over the past 130 years (through the end of 2009), and especially over the past 30 years. And it's getting worse: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just announced that the first four months of 2010 were the hottest in the entire 130-year record for the planet. 

Climate change deniers have been trying hard to confuse the public and policy makers about climate change. But their claims about climate science and what we see in the world around us are based on ideology and bad science, not reality. The graph below is reality."

Co-authors of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media, Jessica Clark (Director of the Future of Public Media project at American University's Center for Social Media) and Tracy van Slyke (Director of The Media Consortium) talk about the hijacking of the media by the right wing and how progressive media organizations have reclaimed their stories by using the internet as a distribution tool. The important lesson for progressive media organizations is highlighted in their chapter: Beyond Pale, Male and Stale. Progressive organizations have to work to keep their message diverse and keep their audience engaged.

The Master of Debunk: W. Joseph Campbell corrects the record on 10 important misreported stories
Jack Schafer writes for Slate: "Despite what you might read in my cranky press columns, most reporters—make that practically all reporters—strive to get the story right. And when they get it wrong, most (but, alas, not all) reporters do their best to correct the record they've botched."

Comcast: Too Crapy to Fail?
Tim Karr writes for FireDogLake: "I don’t subscribe to Comcast, but my mom does. And the mere mention of the company’s name sets this peace-loving vegetable gardener into a rage. And it’s not just the nine-hour repair window that keeps her home waiting for the cable van that never arrives. Nor is it the customer service line that leaves her stranded for 45 minutes at the dead end of an automated service. It’s the costs that have doubled since she and Dad first signed up for Comcast’s crappy "Triple Play" –- television, Internet and phone. And it’s about to get a whole lot worse."

Public Media Discussion Heating Up
Megan Tady writes for NewPublicMedia.org: "The public broadcasting community converges in Austin this week for PBS’ annual meeting to talk a little shop, see sneak peeks of the newest programming and well…face a bit of the inevitable discussion: What is the future of public media? In the midst of panels and the workshops, the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting honored David Fanning, executive producer of FRONTLINE, as this year’s recipient of the Ralph Lowell medal – the most prestigious award in public television. And as he thanked the public media community for the honor, he delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of journalism..."

The Future of the Internet Depends on Good Public Policy
Jessica Newman writes for CampusProgress: "Free Press is a nonprofit organization that believes in reforming media policy to transform democracy. Misty Perez Truedson conducts strategic communications and outreach activities to advance Free Press’ legislative and movement building initiatives. She works with community-based organizations, public interest groups, academics, and other allies to encourage participation in Free Press campaigns and events, with a particular focus on the Save the Internet campaign. Prior to joining Free Press, Misty was the statewide grassroots organizing coordinator for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in community development and planning from Clark University in Worcester, Mass."

19 May 2010

Clippings for 19 May 2010

Recommended Audio: 1,000 Dead in Afghanistan
David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "It shouldn't matter. Not at all. But the Afghanistan war hit a milestone on Tuesday: 1,000 dead American soldiers. The $100-billion-per-year war itself—and the daily losses in lives—should be front-and-center in the media most days, but that often is not the case. Consequently, when the number of lives lost reaches an odometer-tripping moment, attention is paid, if only briefly.  Brave New Films, the Robert Greenwald outfit that released the anti-war film Rethink Afghanistan, has put out a video marking the 1,000-lives mark:"

Aiding the Insurgency
Luke Mogelson writes for The Nation: "Last summer the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) closed one of its largest projects in Iraq, declaring that it had been a virtually unqualified success. The Community Stabilization Program (CSP), which cost $675 million over its three years of operation, has been lauded as one of the war's most effective counterinsurgency operations. Launched in May 2006, it was USAID's chief contribution to the Bush plan of rescuing a tailspinning military adventure with a civilian surge and increased focus on economic development. "Bottom line: it worked," said Jeanne Pryor, USAID's deputy director for Iraq reconstruction, during a recent colloquy on the CSP at the United States Institute of Peace. An evaluator contracted by USAID recommended that the CSP be replicated elsewhere, and in Afghanistan recent cash-for-work projects have emerged that appear to be based on the model it pioneered."

Holder Gambles With Terrorism Suspects' Miranda Rights
Aziz Huq writes for The Nation: "Lost against the predictable hubbub about the predictable Kagan nomination, Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he will ask Congress to cut back on a decades-old constitutional protection for criminal suspects. He wants Congress to legislate an emergency “public safety” exception to the Miranda warnings that are given by police to suspects upon arrest to inform them of their constitutional rights. With some sharp liberal commentators endorsing the proposal, should progressives tone down their usual opposition to limits on criminal suspects’ rights?"

Nouriel Roubini: How to Break Up the Banks, Stop Massive Bonuses and Rein in Wall Street Greed
Zach Carter writes for AlterNet: "New York University economist Nouriel Roubini is the author of, most recently, 'Crisis Economics: A Crash Course In The Future Of Finance.' He is considered one of the most prominent and respected economists in the world. When both Wall Street bankers and Bush administration policymakers were insisting that everything was just fine, Roubini was warning about the most dire financial crisis since the Great Depression. In 2007, the financial elite laughed him off, but Roubini was vindicated by the crash of 2008."

Goldman Sachs Publicly Backs Financial Reform - While Dispatching Army of Lobbyists
Adele Hampton reports for The Huffington Post Investigative Fund: "Amid attempts to rein in Wall Street, persuaders safeguard bank's interests. For all of Goldman Sachs' professed support for an overhaul of financial regulations, the megabank hasn't exactly withdrawn its army of lobbyists. Far from wearing out its welcome, the firm is busier than ever safeguarding its interests while a Wall Street crackdown takes shape in Washington."

Happy Days Aren't Here Again
Moshe Adler writes for Truthdig.com: "The torrent of good news started before the first bailout dollars had even been paid. First, we were told that the bailout would prevent a significant increase in unemployment, and President George W. Bush even balked at extending unemployment benefits. Then we were told that without the bailout, the unemployment rate would reach 25 percent. Less talk about the unemployment rate followed when the story changed and we were told that the recession was actually over, since “the economy” was growing. Next we were told that we had turned the corner because the rate of unemployment was already decreasing. And finally, when the April unemployment figures were released on May 7 and showed that the rate of unemployment increased from 9.7 percent to 9.9 percent, the bad news appeared beneath headlines that announced the arrival of what was apparently the best news yet. Economy Gains Impetus as U.S. Adds 290,000 Jobs, read the headline in The New York Times. In the Los Angeles Times, the headline was April Hiring Surge Largest in Four Years."

White Wealth and Black Debt Shot Up in "Growth" Years
Kai Wright reports for ColorLines: "The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites has grown by fourfold over the course of Generation X's lifetime, exploding to $95,000, a study released today found. And the debt burden among African American families has nearly doubled.  The study comes from Brandeis University’s Tom Shapiro, who’s among the pioneers in measuring economic equality by considering overall household wealth—your assets minus your debts—rather than just income. Shapiro’s research team looked at data from a decades-long, national survey of family economics and discovered that, between 1984 and 2007, the wealth gap saw unprecedented growth, as assets among high-income White households shot up while debt among all Black households did the same. "

Will the Senate Give Predatory Student Loans a Pass?
Andy Kroll writes for Mother Jones: "You've heard of subprime mortgages—the risky, high-interest-rate, often toxic home loans doled out like candy to borrowers who lacked the ability to repay them. In the Senate's financial reform overhaul, a new consumer protection bureau would crack down on these shady loans and the predatory brokers who peddled them. But the Senate is poised to give a big pass to another form of subprime lending on the rise—high-risk student loans, a corner of the financial industry New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo branded the "Wild West" of lending." Photo: Flickr /Bernal KC

Getting to Know Elena Kagan
Ralph Nader writes fro CounterPunch: "Given the Niagara of commentary on the nomination of Elena Kagan to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, we know very little about the nominee. For friend and critic alike, the predominant view of Ms. Kagan is that she has publically uttered or written remarkably little of her own views on any subject that directly or remotely relates to her forthcoming position."

Airlines Against Democracy
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Pat Garofalo, and Alex Seitz-Wald write The Progress Report for Think Progress: "Last week, the National Mediation Board (NMB) -- which is tasked with overseeing labor-management relations under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) -- issued a ruling making elections for union representation more democratic. Previously, under the RLA (which governs railroads and airlines), workers who did not cast votes in an election were counted as having voted against unionization. Now, however, they will simply not be counted at all, like non-voters in any election for political office. The change brings the RLA's process into line with elections held under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which covers most workplaces. The NMB said that the change "will provide a more reliable measure/indicator of employee sentiment in representation disputes and provide employees with clear choices in representation matters." "The board will no longer presume that the failure or refusal of an eligible employee to vote is a vote against representation," it added. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said that the NMB's ruling represents "a new era of democracy." "For far too long, flight attendants and other aviation and railway employees have faced significant obstacles in their quest for collective bargaining rights," it said. However, since the ruling came down, the affected companies and their pro-corporate allies have been in an uproar, defending the antiquated previous rule, which unfairly tilted the playing field against workers trying to organize."

Billions of Dollars Leaving State Economies Annually to Import Coal, Report Finds
The Union of Concerned Scientists report: "Economies in three dozen states are collectively hemorrhaging tens of billions of dollars annually on imported coal to generate electricity, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Residents in those states would be better served, the report concludes, if more money were spent in-state on local renewable energy technology and energy efficiency programs. The first-of-its-kind report, which ranks the 38 states that are net importers of domestic and foreign coal based on the most recent available data, found that 11 of them each spent more than $1 billion annually on imported coal in 2008. Sixty-three percent of domestic coal comes from just three states: Wyoming, West Virginia and Kentucky. Foreign coal burned in U.S. coal plants mainly comes from Colombia." Photo: Codrington, Stephen. Planet Geography 3rd Edition (2005).

How Long Will the Oil Spill Last?
David Biello writes for the Scientific American: "More than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez foundered off the coast of Alaska, puddles of oil can still be found in Prince William Sound. Nearly 25 years after a storage tank ruptured, spilling oil into the mangrove swamps and coral reefs of Bahia Las Minas in Panama, oil slicks can still be found on the water. And more than 40 years after the barge Florida grounded off Cape Cod, dumping fuel oil, the muck beneath the marsh grasses still smells like a gas station."

BP and the ‘Little Eichmanns’
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global."

Which Household Cleaners Contain Secret Toxic Ingredients?
Kiera Bulter reports for Mother Jones: "The label on my shower spray cleaner claims it's supposed to smell like ylang ylang. To me it smells like, well, chemicals. I was curious to see whether any real ylang ylang actually made its way into my cleaner, so I looked up the ingredients online. No ylang ylang (or any other plant for that matter) in sight. Near the end of a long list of ingredients were the words "fragrance oil." Mysterious. Is my shower spray hiding something?"

Rage Against the Machine
Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., comments for Truthout: "It's morning in America, and the nativists are getting restless. Often cited amidst the moderate chagrin over rightwing rampaging in recent weeks is the dubious proposition that these factions are openly rebelling against 'business as usual' in US politics. While social movement activities in general are worthwhile, we ought to distinguish between those that actually challenge power and those that are supported by it. In the case of the Tea Party and their ilk, we are witnessing a unique posture whereby people are raging against the system even as they epitomize it."  Photo:  Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Video4net, City On Fire, .sandhu

Kansas House Proposes 50% Cut In Public Broadcasting Allocation
AllAccess.com reports: "The KANSAS House has proposed a $903,161 cut in the annual budget allocation for public radio and television. The 50% cut affects stations statewide but has particular impact on stations in the western portion of the state, where the state funding represents a larger portion of the budget.

HIGH PLAINS PUBLIC RADIO in GARDEN CITY, KS told listeners, "For HPPR, that amounts to a cut of more than $120,000 -- money that HPPR was budgeted to receive this fiscal year. These cuts are drastic, without precedent, and threaten each public broadcasting station's ability to bring high-quality, independent, informative programs to KANSAS.  With only five months left in our fiscal year, it will be nearly impossible to raise that kind shortage from membership and underwriting."  The station said that the cuts are equivalent to the budget for NPR programming ($65,000) plus two of the station's 10 full-time staff positions ($60,000).

The station is urging listeners to tell Gov. MARK PARKINSON to line-item-veto the cut, which is reallocating the funds to the KANSAS COMMISSION ON VETERANS AFFAIRS.  If PARKINSON signs the bill as-is, the cuts will be effective on JULY 1st.

Delete Your Facebook Account: 'Quit Facebook Day' Wants Users To Leave
Catharine Smith reports for the Huffington Post: "As controversy swells around Facebook's latest changes to its privacy policy--which is now longer than the Constitution and offers some 50 settings and over 170 options--users' interest in deleting their Facebook accounts has soared.  A group of dissatisfied Facebook users have teamed up in an effort to organize a mass, coordinated exodus from Facebook--and they're using social networks to do it."

Rep. Weiner Goes After Beck's House Of Gold
Will Bunch reports for Media Matters for America: "Throughout Glenn Beck's meteoric rise to become king of all right-wing media, a once-obscure Santa Monica peddler of gold coins called Goldline International has been along for the ride. The support of Beck and other radio hosts -- mainly conservatives like Mark Levin and Fred Thompson -- who spend 55 minutes creating fear of an economic collapse and then five minutes telling you why coins from a company like Goldline are the only safe haven has helped Goldline become a $500 million company."