VOICES FOR CHANGE

Stadium Subsidies Financed by Pension Cuts
David Sirota
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As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.

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Cheap Talk at the Fed
Dean Baker
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Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen made waves in her Congressional testimony last week when she argued that social media and biotech stocks were over-valued. She also said that the price of junk bonds was out of line with historic experience. By making these assertions in a highly visible public forum, Yellen was using the power of the Fed’s megaphone to stem the growth of incipient bubbles. This is an approach that some of us have advocated for close to twenty ...

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Gaza War Devastates Israeli Tourism Revenue, Points to Fragile Apartheid Future
Juan Cole
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A Hamas rocket hit and destroyed a house in Yahoud, a town only a mile from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday, raising severe alarm in among the international airlines and leading most of them to cancel flights to Tel Aviv.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called for a 24 hour moratorium on U.S. flights to Israel, and United Airlines, U.S. Airways and Delta Air lines said they would cease flying there “until further notice.”  The European Aviation ...

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Citigroup’s $7 Billion Wrist Slap
Jim Hightower
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When Citigroup accepted what the media hailed as a whopping $7 billion penalty for defrauding its own investors and wrecking our economy, the bank just shrugged.

 

“We believe that this settlement is in the best interest of our shareholders and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat said.

 

Note the lack of any regret, apology, or shame. And the total absence of any pledge that the bankers won’t do ...

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Can a $7 Billion Penalty Be a Good Deal?
Jim Hightower
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Media outlets across the country trumpeted the stunning news with headlines like this: "Citigroup Punished."

At last, went the storyline, the Justice Department brought down ...

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Will the Blabbermouths Wake Democrats Up?
Froma Harrop
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It is often said, believed and undoubtedly right that the Republicans' ace in midterm elections is apathetic Democrats not showing up at the polls. But that once predictable waltz into November is threatened by blabbermouths of the right's seeking self-aggrandizement by hurling darts at the sleeping Democratic bear. 

 

It's not that they don't know better. It's that their fame and fortune rests not on electing Republicans but on nurturing their ...

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The Actor and the Minister
Chris Hedges
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On June 30 I was at the First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, which had turned its hall over to Michael Milligan, traveling the country performing his one-man play about a husband and wife trapped in our dysfunctional health care system. I arrived early at the stone church, whose present structure was erected in 1853, to help set up the chairs and clear the stage. The minister, the Rev. Terry Burke, who was a classmate of mine at Harvard Divinity School, officially ...

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Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
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Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies.

This doesn’t include the millions of square miles of parking lots that go wasted every day as ...

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Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
"

Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies.

 

This doesn’t include the millions of square miles of parking lots that go wasted ...

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Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
"

Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies.

 

This doesn’t include the millions of square miles of parking lots that go wasted ...

" ::
Rand Paul to Rick Perry: Why Send US Troops to an Iraq that Won’t Defend Itself?
Juan Cole
"

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, apparently considering another run for president (assuming he can remember to do it), attacked Rand Paul as an “isolationist,” calling him “blind” to the danger of international “terrorism” and pointing especially to the rise of the so-called Islamic State in ...

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Requiem for the American Century
Tom Engelhardt
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First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.”  Luce died in 1967 at age 69.  Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s ...

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Bad Blood Between Israel and Palestine Boils Over
Ashley Curtin
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Bad blood between Israel and Palestine has boiled over and violence imprisons the Gaza Strip, creating an intense conflict with further risk of escalation.

 

After 10 days of both sea and air attacks on the Gaza Strip along with failed attempts by Egypt to form a truce between the two countries, Israel launched a Gaza land offensive on Thursday, which sent ground forces into the most densely-populated area of Palestine. But with land attacks already devastating the ...

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Congress Says Americans are Too Stupid to Read GMO Food Labels
Christina Sarich
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Now here’s a pot calling a kettle black. Congress members declared outright and out loud that they believe Americans are too stupid to read GMO labels were they to be mandatory. This was an important ‘conclusion’ made at the close of a meeting of the House Agriculture Committee this past week.

It wasn’t just a few folks who think Americans aren’t bright enough to read a label. Members of the subcommittee ...

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Citigroup: The Original Gangsta
Robert Scheer
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Barack Obama’s Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy.

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Border Crisis Tests Religious Faith, and Some Fail Badly
Joe Conason
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Flamboyant piety has long been fashionable on the political right, where activists, commentators and elected officials never hesitate to hector us about their great moral and theological rectitude. Wielding the Scriptures like a weapon, these righteous right-wingers are always eager to condemn the alleged sins of others but reluctant to examine their own. They seem to spend far more time in posturing and preening than spiritual reflection. Rarely does anyone call them out on ...

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The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted and Speaking Truth to Power
Juan Cole
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As part of my original posting, I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century. 

Andrew Sullivan then mirrored the map from my site, which set off a lot of thunder and noise among anti-Palestinian writers like Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, but shed very little light.  (PS, the map as a hard copy mapcard is available from ...

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World Bank and IMF Lies on Parade
Christina Sarich
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Monetary conspiracy? Global trade reset? Cabal inspired one world currency? What exactly is the World Bank and IMF up to?

A World Bank report just issued said that China’s economy was about to dwarf the US economy, and World Bank’s lawyer, Karen Hudes, who supposedly never left, but became a ‘whistleblower’ has been all over Youtube talking about high financial crimes and corruption, yet she was recently in Tokyo and sent ...

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Cargill’s Integrity-Free Soybean Oil
Jim Hightower
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Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

I don’t think so. But Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to invalidate the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow.

As a leading producer and user of ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms, the food conglomerate with $136.7 billion in yearly sales faces a marketing problem: By huge margins, consumers here and around the ...

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Fun Accounting and the Export-Import Bank
Dean Baker
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The establishment types in Washington have become really worried in recent weeks because one of their major troughs, the Export-Import Bank, may not be reauthorized by Congress. The Ex-Im Bank has long been a favored source of below market loans for Boeing, General Electric, and other major companies. If these companies have to pay market interest rates on their loans, it will cost them ...

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Dead is Dead
Peter Van Buren
Op-Ed
On Israel and Palestine
Patrick Youngblood
Op-Ed
The Path to a New 1914?
Jonathan Schell
Op-Ed
The Waste of War
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Op-Ed

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Political Scandal

Former President Jimmy Carter’s Grandson Might Soon Take Over Georgia Gov. Seat

Democrat Jason Carter is challenging first-term Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in the upcoming fall elections.

Water

Fracking-chemical spill in Monroe County, Ohio

State officials say the water is safe to drink now but environmentalists are skeptical - Would you drink it?

Tax Evasion

U.S. President Barack Obama calls for an end to corporate tax loopholes

Inversion...it could cost the US an estimated $17 billion in revenue over the next decade if we don't change this.

Food Health

Kids Prefer Healthier Lunches

Republican legislators have railed against around the new federal school lunch standards, but a study suggests 70 percent of students now like the new lunches.

Immigration

Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrants this Year Were Under the Age of 13

It's still mostly teens that travel solo to the United States, but an alarming 7,500 kids under are 13.

Wall Street

Wall Street Reform is Still in Limbo

GOP sabotage and bureaucratic foot-dragging have combined to prevent full implementation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

Obamacare

Lawsuit Over Obamacare Subsidy for Congress Dismissed

A federal judge has thrown out a U.S. Senator’s legal challenge to a part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Corporate Tax

Giant US Corporations that are Hurting the American Taxpayer

Corporations get enormous benefits, like limited liability, that regular “persons” do not.

Religion

Christian Political Activity Moving from Right to Left

Young Americans are tired of “partisan crap.”

Ukraine News

Ukraine Rebels Remove Bodies from Recent Crash Site

Reports say remains of 196 victims of jet disaster loaded on to train, with destination said to be a rebel-held town.

Immigration

Central America Leaders Meet with Obama to Plan Child Exodus

Central American leaders are asking President Obama to support a regional development and security plan to stem the tide of illegal child migrants to the United States.

Organic Food

Don’t Completely Trust that Organic Label

Just because food is labeled organic doesn’t mean it’s what you’re expecting.

Religion

Islamic State Threats Cause Christians to Flee

Hundreds of families reported to have left Iraqi city Mosul after group said they must convert, leave, pay tax or die.

Gun Rights

California Gets Stricter When it Comes to Handguns

Single-shot handguns have been banned in California.

Politics

Can the Democratic Party Return to Its Populist Roots?

Due to the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, unlimited money is pouring into politics.

Gaza Strip

The Crisis in Gaza is Immortal, It’s Time We Talk About It

The death toll in Gaza is unacceptable and it’s time mainstream media talks honestly about it.

California Economy

Six Californias?

The goal remains a mystery.

U.S. Economy

The House Passes Transportation Fund Extension through May 2015

The $10.9 billion extension overwhelmingly passed on Tuesday.

Drought

California’s Drought to Cost the State Billions of Dollars

The state is in a severe drought and the economic terms of the disaster are crippling.

Immigration

Obama’s Emergency Border Plan is Up Against the World

While a survey concluded that the majority of Americans approve of his plan, there is no real passion in favor of it.

FROM THE BLOGS

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