Jan 29, 2011

A Simple Question for Jean-Fran├žois Julliard


Fear Extreme Islamists in Egypt and the Arab World? Blame Washington


and other good reading you won't find available in our controlled media......

Saturday 29 January 2011

Fear Extreme Islamists in Egypt and the Arab World? Blame Washington
Jeff Cohen, Truthout: "For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.... One of the mantras on US television news all day Friday was: Be fearful of the democratic uprisings against US allies in Egypt (and Tunisia and elsewhere). After all, we were told by Fox News and CNN and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, it could end up as bad as when 'our ally' in Iran was overthrown and the extremists came to power in 1979." 
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Will Mubarak Heed Obama's Call to Listen to Protesters?
Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: "President Barack Obama dramatically increased pressure Friday on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to overhaul the political system in response to nationwide protests, telling Mubarak it's time to open 'a meaningful dialogue' with his opponents.... Obama's remarks were the most blunt from the US government since the protests began Tuesday, and suggested that Mubarak's days in power could be numbered following the worst violence in 60 years." 
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Dahr Jamail | New Mexico Supreme Court Blocks Governor From Violating Constitution for Polluters
Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "On January 26, New Mexico's Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was dealt a serious blow by her state's Supreme Court, when it ruled unanimously that Governor Martinez had violated the state Constitution when she prevented a rule that reduced carbon pollution from being published as codified state law.... The lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit group New Energy Economy (NEE) and reflects a growing number of claims that Governor Martinez arbitrarily and illegally sought to suppress the aforementioned rule in an attempt to appease major carbon polluters, which made huge financial contributions to her gubernatorial campaign." 
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Simon Johnson | Davos: Two Worlds, Ready or Not
Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario: "On the fringes of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos this week, there was plenty of substantive discussion - including about the dangers posed by our 'too big to fail'/'too big to save' banks, the consequences of widening inequality (reinforced by persistent unemployment in some countries), and why the jobs picture in the US looks so bad. But in the core keynote events and more generally around any kind of CEO-related interaction, such themes completely failed to resonate. There is, of course, variation in views across CEOs and the people work intellectual agendas on their behalf, but still the mood among this group was uniformly positive - it was hard to detect any note of serious concern." 
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Michael Winship | The Bush Legacy Strikes Out American Justice
Michael Winship, Truthout: "Just this week, the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) released a long overdue, 118-page report concluding that George Jr.'s White House used government agencies for Republican pep rallies and sent officials off on electioneering trips using taxpayer money, especially in the lead-up to the 2006 midterm elections. These reported activities are violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities in the workplace and forbids the use of tax revenues for political purposes." 
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For Governors, Medicaid Looks Ripe for Slashing
Kevin Sack, The New York Times News Service: "Hamstrung by federal prohibitions against lowering Medicaid eligibility, governors from both parties are exercising their remaining options in proposing bone-deep cuts to the program during the fourth consecutive year of brutal economic conditions.... Because states confront budget gaps estimated at $125 billion, few essential services - schools, roads, parks - are likely to escape the ax. But the election of tough-minded governors, the evaporation of federal aid, the relentless growth of Medicaid rolls and the exhaustion of alternatives have made the program, which primarily covers low-income children and disabled adults, an outsize target." 
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Of Pensions, and Piggybanks: The Challenges of Ensuring a Secure Retirement
Ellen Dannin, Employment Policy Research Network: "Imagine that every week, decade after decade, you faithfully put aside part of your pay in a special piggy bank to provide for your golden years. But when you are ready to retire, your employer takes all your savings back. Or imagine that, instead of money, your employer deducts money from your paycheck in exchange for IOUs stamped: 'Money to paid upon retirement.' But when you retire, your employer says no money has been put aside for you. You did nothing wrong, but you will not have a secure retirement." 
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New White House Press Secretary Part of Makeover
Michael D. Shear and Jackie Calmes, The New York Times News Service: "Jay Carney, the spokesman for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and a former Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, will become White House press secretary as part of a final flurry of personnel changes in a months-long makeover of the West Wing. William Daley, the new White House chief of staff, announced Mr. Carney's role in a memorandum Thursday that also announced more than a dozen other appointments intended to give the administration a new look and new energy after the Democratic losses in the midterm elections and heading into President Obama's re-election campaign." 
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The Not-So-Neutral Net
Jenn Ettinger, YES! Magazine: "The FCC's new rules on Net Neutrality open the Internet to corporate discrimination. But it's not too late to preserve Internet freedom. The Internet was created as an 'open' or 'neutral' platform, and net neutrality is the principle that ensures that Internet providers can't interfere with a user's ability to access any content on the Web, whether it's a community blog, a YouTube video, or a major news site. It's essentially the First Amendment of the Internet. In late December, the Federal Communications Commission enacted new rules on net neutrality - rules that are supposed to protect Internet users from discrimination and to prevent Internet providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from acting as gatekeepers on the Web." 
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Guyanese President Leaves a Tattered Legacy
Robert Cavooris and Elcin Chang, The Council on Hemispheric Affairs: "Stagnation, violence, corruption, arch-sectarianism, and unfettered crime - this is the heritage that President Bharrat Jagdeo will bequeath to his country. Now that Jagdeo has announced that he will not seek a third term in the upcoming August election, he may well ask, as a New York mayor once did, 'How did I do?' The answer, in this instance, must be: 'terribly.' As the Guyanese use every strategy, legal and illegal, to flee the dysfunctional country, Jagdeo will go down in history as a man who did almost nothing for his nation while in office." 
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In a FOX interview, Sarah Palin reveals herself to a be a "Spudnut" and calls President Obama's State of the Union a "WTF" moment.

In a rant that, even by Sarah Palin standards, straddled from the profane to the farcical to the illogical to the economically ignorant, it is easy to become haughty and disdainful of right-wing populism based on ignorance, contradictions and slogans.

First of all, given Palin's obsession with raising our children free of profanity, it was strikingly odd to hear her declare President Obama's speech a "WTF" moment. Then she managed to attribute the collapse of the Soviet Union to their launching of the sputnik - a clearly laughable reading of history.

Then came the pre-prepared "Spudnut" moment. What is a "Spudnut"? Well, it is a coffee shop/bakery in Richland, Washington - according to Palin - that has been open for several generations. It was Palin's way of saying Americans survive because of hard work and not government help.

Except that family-owned businesses in America are closing shop at an epidemic rate because they don't have enough customers with money - and because big chain stores, restaurants and malls have put them out of business. "Spudnut" is an anachronism, not the wave of the future, however quaint the anecdote.

The one thing this rather mind-boggling interview reveals is that Palin's brain is caught up in some type of washing machine, with images from 1950's television shows, economic fallacies, revisionist history - along with a little profanity - tumbling around in her head.

Palin is the "Spudnut" of right-wing populist delusion. As Ann Davidow writes for BuzzFlash at Truthout, "We are once again deluged by ignorance and insulted by the least able among us."

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Message to Tea Party Seniors: Medicare for Everyone in US - Regardless of Age - or Medicare for No One. Got It?
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Egyptian Police Using US-Made Tear Gas Against Demonstrators
Read the Article at ABC News

Pentagon to Start Training on DADT Repeal
Read the Article at The Washington Post

Charles Blow on President Obama Forgetting About Poverty in SOTU
Read the Article at The New York Times

Israel Watches Egypt Uprising With Fear
Read the Article at The Los Angeles Times

Ann Davidow: We Are Once Again Deluged by Ignorance and Insulted by the Least Able Among Us
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

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