sustainable economic vision. We need to make sure they get there – they should decide today to support these 5 policy proposals that address our immediate and future needs. Polling shows that there is wide public support for these proposals – there is no good reason they should not become law." Photo: csr-news.net
One in Three Americans Lack the Income Needed to "Make Ends Meet"
Shawn Fremstad reports for The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "The Census figures show that in 2009 one out of every three Americans had incomes that fell below the amount (roughly $45,000 for a family of four) that most Americans and various budget estimates show is needed to 'make ends meet' at a basic level. Also, of particular note, the report shows substantial increases in the poverty rate and the rate of people without health insurance, as well as declines in median income for various demographic groups."
The Role of Government and The Foreclosure Crisis
Obama: "Tea Party" Wrong on "Culprits" of Economic Woes
Dave Cook report for the Christian Science Monitor: "On a day when the nation's official economic umpires said the recession ended over a year ago, President Obama spent an hour on TV Monday defending his handling of the economy and charging critics from the 'Tea Party' with 'misidentifying who the culprits' are behind economic tough times."
The Angry Rich
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Post: "Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they’re out for revenge."
Intolerable Poverty In A Rich Nation
Current Population Survey, documenting the American population's access to health insurance and family economic well-being. One stunning fact revealed by the new Census data was that "the ranks of the American poor soared to their highest level in a half a century" and that nearly "44 million Americans -- one in seven -- lived last year in homes in which the income was below the poverty level, which is about $22,000 for a family of four. While this is the largest number of people since the Census began tracking poverty 51 years ago," this figure would have been much larger without the economic policies pursued by Congress and the administration. The data is sobering to a national discourse that often omits the poor. Yet, it also points towards continued action to bring the unemployment rate down and boost demand. The country must continue successful policy initiatives that have kept millions out of poverty thus far, such as the Recovery Act, and pursue additional policies aimed at addressing the alarming fact that the world's richest country now has more people in poverty than ever before."
US Contractor Accused of Fraud Still Winning Big Afghan Projects
Marisa Taylor and Warren P. Strobel report for McClatchy Newspapers: "On July 31, 2006, an employee of the Louis Berger Group, a contractor handling some of the most important US rebuilding projects in Afghanistan, handed federal investigators explosive evidence that the company was intentionally and systematically overbilling American taxpayers. Neither the whistleblower's computer disk full of incriminating documents nor a trail of allegations of waste, fraud and shoddy construction, however, prevented Louis Berger from continuing to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts."
Blackwater's Black Ops
Holt: FBI Anthrax Investigation Is Itself Subject of Probe
Matt Fair reports for NJ.com: "After years of questioning the conclusion and methods of an FBI investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened dozens of others, Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) announced yesterday that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is opening an inquiry into the matter. Holt, along with a handful of other legislators, had sent a letter to the GAO in May requesting an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the case. The FBI officially closed the case in February after concluding in 2008 that Dr. Bruce Ivins, a former biodefense scientist, was the sole culprit in the attacks."
The DREAM Act
announced that he will move a defense authorization bill next week that includes the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, along with a measure that begins the process of repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy. The DREAM Act is an immigration bill that would put undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children on a path to citizenship through completion of higher education or military service. While the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to include the DADT measure earlier this year, Reid has promised to attach the DREAM Act provisions to the defense measure and has scheduled a vote on proceeding to the bill for next week. Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) -- which, while consistently supportive of the DREAM Act, has long argued that it must be part of a comprehensive immigration bill -- announced its support. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who plans on introducing comprehensive legislation in October, stated on Wednesday that he backs a vote on the DREAM act without amendments "so we can know who stands with those students." That night, at the gala dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, President Obama promised to help win passage of the DREAM Act and assured Latinos that he was not walking away from immigration reform."
America's Decoupling From Reality
Robert Parry comments for Consortium News: "As Election Day 2010 approaches - as the United States wallows in the swamps of war, recession and environmental degradation - the consequences of the nation's three-decade-old decoupling from reality are becoming painfully obvious. Yet, despite the danger, the nation can't seem to move in a positive direction."
Huge Voter Suppression Plot Exposed in Wisconsin
Democrats Fear Donor Could Buy Clout if Brownback becomes Kansas Governor
Scaremongering Report About Islam Reveals Political Posturing
Yana Kunichoff and Mike Ludwig report for Truthout: "The conspiracy-minded conservatives with the Center for Security Policy lashed out at the global Islamic community on Wednesday with the release of a report that uses a narrow and radical definition of Islamic law to argue that the United States is threatened by a global Islamic 'mafia' that is waging a 'stealth jihad' through American organizations like the Muslim Student Association and the Islamic Medical Association. The authors liken their mission to a team of Cold Warriors who re-evaluated the threat of global Soviet Communism under then Director of Intelligence George Bush Sr. in the late 1970s, and the right wing is eating it up as controversies involving Muslim Americans continue to make headlines."
Ten Ways the Feds Are Leading the Green Charge
Wyoming Fracking Rules Would Disclose Drilling Chemicals
Nicholas Kusnetz reports for ProPublica: "New rules going into effect Wednesday will place Wyoming at the forefront of the national push to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique that's been suspected of polluting groundwater in parts of the country with vast reservoirs of untapped natural gas. If the rules work as promised, they should provide the most comprehensive accounting yet of exactly what substances drilling companies are injecting into particular wells, a level of specificity that goes beyond disclosures in Pennsylvania and New York, two states where drilling has been controversial."
Do 'Hypoallergenic' Products Really Cause Fewer Allergies?
Kiera Bulter writes for Mother Jones: "Since I have lots of allergies, and my skin is prone to bouts of itchiness, I've always chosen soaps and lotions labeled "hypoallergenic." That label means they won't cause me to have an allergic reaction, right? Wrong! Siobhan O'Connor, author of the new book No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, recently clued me in that the label 'hypoallergenic' is virtually meaningless. "Unless the product makes a medical claim, the definition of 'hypoallergenic' is entirely up to the company that makes the product," she says. But allergies are a medical problem, so isn't the term "hypoallergenic" a medical claim?"
Time for FCC Chair to Man Up
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America
Why Net Neutrality Needs to Be Extended to Mobile Platforms
Scott Jones writes for TechCrunch: "While the Federal Communications Commission fiddles with the issue of Net Neutrality, and by extension mobile broadband regulation, Rome has begun to burn. While the fires now are relatively small, they threaten to combust into an uncontrollable conflagration that will leave customers wondering why they don’t have access anymore to their favorite websites or mobile applications."
Berners-Lee Defends Net Neutrality, Promotes Global Net Access
Nokia World in London, Berners-Lee stated he wants to see everyone given a low-bandwidth connection "by default," as it could be vital in giving people access to critical services." Photo: Getty New Service
On the Media: Fake News Flourishes under the Feds' Noses
James Rainy reports for the LA Times: "An old actor I know would watch a plodding drama and growl, "If you watch closely, it almost moves." That's the feeling I'm getting, taking a look at the federal government's flimsy and fitful crackdown on news outlets and experts that fob off public relations drivel as news. I raised the subject earlier this week in a column about Elizabeth Werner, the perky spokesmom who pitches toys during news broadcasts on local stations around the country. She is just one of a pack of paid touts presented to viewers as if they were independent experts."
Megan Tady writes for In These Times: "Bloggers beware: a company is scouring the Internet for copyright infringement, and then filing lawsuits against virtually any website that hosts Las Vegas Review-Journal articles. The company, called Righthaven, has filed more than 120 lawsuits since March against bloggers, nonprofits, and political and community organizations for purportedly violating copyright law. While other news organizations, like the Associated Press, have attempted to crack down on blogs and other websites that re-post their content, Righthaven’s actions mark an unprecedented and chilling copyright effort by the newspaper industry."