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Archive for June, 2011

Andrew Cuomo Faces Strategic Choices In Filling Anthony Weiner’s Seat

Huffington Post – Sam Stein

First Posted: 06/16/11 12:09 PM ET Updated: 06/16/11 02:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON — The process to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) may not be as smooth or as simple as initial reports suggest.

New York State officials have had no shortage of practice in the art of hosting a special election, having completed one just recently to fill the seat of another scandal-submarined lawmaker: former Republican Rep. Chris Lee.

But the timing of Weiner’s resignation presents some strategic choices for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Under a just-passed New York law, a special election can take place no less than 70 days and no more than 80 days after called for by the governor. Should Cuomo choose that path and announce a special election immediately after Weiner submits his resignation (likely this week), it would mean that a vote to fill the seat would take place either in the dead-days of late August or right around Labor Day weekend. Turnout, in short, would be abysmal.

An alternative would be to let the process take its course.

According to John Conklin, a spokesman for New York State’s Board of Elections, Cuomo could simply leave Weiner’s seat vacant. If he did that, the vote for a replacement would take place on the general election ballot this fall — a date more likely to encourage wider voter participation.

If that happens, however, prospective candidates would have to make a mad dash to get on the ballot. “People should be out passing petitions in his district today or tomorrow,” said Conklin, “because the petition process closes on July 14.” Candidates from one of the six parties in the state –Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green — would then have to collect 1,250 signatures to qualify. Those attempting to run as an independent or third party candidate, would need 3,000. A primary would be held in September for that election on the first Tuesday in November.

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Berlin – Take My Breath Away (Top Gun soundtrack)

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Conservative Journalist Takes Every Single Republican To Task

Politicususa
June 15, 2011

By Ray Medeiros

Will the GOP listen to one of their own? Liberals have been saying this for 10+ years now, but had obviously been cast aside by the GOP and conservatives as not important, divisive, and just plain old class warfare. The subject is simply wages, American workers’ share of total national income and the decline of the American workers’ former exceptional standard of living.

The gentleman in question is an author of the many conservative books, including In January 2003, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, an End to Evil was co-written with Richard Perle. It defended the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria, and finally in 2008 he published Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, a work which garnered “lavish praise from his friends.” Former Congressman David M. McIntosh called “required reading for all GOP candidates.”

The author is by no means liberal. His name is David Frum and he simply asks TWO questions to the Republicans Presidential candidates. Is this a problem? If yes, what can be done about it? The two questions were regarding new statistics from the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau Of Labor and Statistics.

What the new statistics indicate is that over the last TEN YEARS, specifically right after the 2001 recession, non-farm wages have been on a steep decline. The wages of working class Americans continued to decline even from 2003-2007, which was during economic growth and plummeted again with the current enduring Republican recession.

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Look What the Republicans Have Done to My Country

Politicususa

June 11, 2011

On March 14 we published a list of thirty pieces of Republican legislation “that Republicans are using to destroy America.” That list was updated on March 17 with several new items and now we present a completely updated list including those additions from March 17 along with additional pieces of legislation. Furthermore, the list has been rearranged and several new categories introduced, including The War on National Public Radio and The War on Net Neutrality.It has become impossible, due to the sheer volume of nihilistic Republican and Tea Party legislation, to keep this list down to 30 items, and has therefore received a new name, one that matches our level of bewilderment at how one of our major political parties could so hate America: “Look What the Republicans Have Done to My Country, Ma.”

Keep in mind this list, long as it is, is not exhaustive and that it represents a list of Republican legislation that has been proposed, whether signed into law or not. Reader feedback is appreciated; if you have legislation to add that we have missed here, please let us know and it will be on the next list a month or so down the road.

The War on Women’s Reproductive Rights

There is no doubt that the GOP’s first goal is to deprive women of their reproductive rights. It’s so important that we find Mike Huckabee promising Christian conservatives that his number one priority if he runs for president will be abortion. Alternet lists the 10 worst states in which to be a woman.

o    Anti-abortion Laws

Republican legislators have introduced a wide array of laws designed to either outlaw abortion outright or to discourage it by making ridiculous and sometimes humiliating requirements of women who might consider having a pregnancy terminated.

  • Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has proposed a bill (House Bill 2988) that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.
  • In Georgia, a bill (SB 209) sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would close all abortion clinics in the state and require abortions to be performed in hospitals
  • South Dakota wants to require “spiritual” counseling (House Bill 1217) at religious centers before allowing an abortion to take place
  • The Texas State House of Representatives has passed the Sonogram Bill (HB 15), a measure requiring women to get a sonogram before ending a pregnancy, forcing even victims of rape to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Gov. Rick Perry has signed the bill into law, which takes effect September 1, 2011. There are exceptions in cases of rape and incest.
  • Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that would not only make abortion illegal but would make miscarriages illegal.
  • Indiana (House Bill 1210) wants to force doctors to lie to women about abortion causing breast cancer despite medical evidence to the contrary in order to discourage women from having abortions
  • Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” (HR 3) that would limit the rape exemption for abortion to “forcible rape” which would have defined many rapes, for example, statutory rape of a minor, as non-forcible and therefore not covered by federal assistance. Mother Jones has reported another aspect of this legislation, that the IRS would be turned into abortion-cops: “Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest,” says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. “If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it.”
  • Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA) introduced a bill (HR 358) would allow states to deny insurance coverage for birth control meaning hospitals could deny abortion procedures and transport to a facility that would provide a woman with an abortion even if failure to provide an abortion would mean the death of the woman
  • · Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie wants to sentence both women and doctors who commit this crime the ban to 15 years hard labor. The law would make no exceptions for cases of danger to the health of the mother, incest or rape.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed (by a 234-182 vote) an amendment sponsored by Virginia Foxx (R-NC) prohibiting teaching hospitals from receiving federal funding if they teach doctors how to perform abortions. Unfortunately, as a result of this legislation new physicians will not receive the training needed to save women’s lives. As Correntewire.com puts it, “234 members of the House voted to ban the teaching of medical procedures that are vital in saving the lives of women who have miscarried, or have complications that endanger their health, or who aren’t even pregnant.”

o    Arguing that it is “morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions,” Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind, introduced a bill (HR 217) in the U.S. House of Representatives to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, despite the many other services Planned Parenthood provides to both men and women, including contraception and STD testing

o    Legalizing the Murder of Abortion Doctors

  • South Dakota flirted with a law to make the murder of an abortion doctor legal as self-defense
  • When South Dakota was forced to drop the idea of murdering abortion doctors, Nebraska and Iowa picked up the idea

o   “Personhood Laws” and Fetal Rights

Seven states are now considering laws that would give fertilized eggs the rights of “personhood” – in other words, fertilized eggs would have the same rights as you or me – a blatant ploy to attack women’s reproductive rights.

MORE HERE

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America’s Energy Ethos: Do, Regardless of Harm

Sunday 12 June 2011
by: David Sirota, Truthout

Laugh me off as the idealistic son of a physician (which I am), but I still thought the doctor’s ethos of “first do no harm” was a notion we could all agree on. Even in this hyper-polarized Era of the Screaming Red-Faced Partisan, I thought we would witness the recent Fukushima reactor meltdown or footage of Americans setting their tap water on fire and at least agree to stop pursuing energy policies that we know endanger our health and safety — if not out of altruism, then out of self-interest.

How embarrassingly naive I was. That, or I momentarily forgot that this isn’t just any industrialized country — this is America circa 2011, a haven of hubris that has become hostile to the “do no harm” principle.

This makes us different than, say, Japan and Germany when it comes to nuclear power. Scarred by fallout, the former has canceled plans to build 14 new nuclear plants and has radically altered its energy agenda, now moving to pursue solar rather than atomic energy. Likewise, according to the Associated Press, the latter reacted to Japan’s plight by “vot(ing) in favor of a ban on nuclear power from 2022 onward.”

By contrast, in the days after the Fukushima disaster, the Obama administration not only reaffirmed its commitment to expanding nuclear power, but, according to ProPublica, also continued the policy of “routinely waiving fire rule violations at nearly half the nation’s 104 commercial reactors, even though fire presents one of the chief hazards at nuclear plants.”

Additionally, the Associated Press reports that two congressional lawmakers are now pushing the government to “back a new generation of miniature nuclear reactors” that would be sited throughout the country.

Incredibly, these moves come even as a nuclear reactor in Washington State just experienced a fire scare and even as a new study of U.S. Geological Survey data shows many of the nation’s reactors sit near active fault lines.

The same story is playing out in the quest to find natural gas. Over the last few years, more evidence has surfaced that suggests drinking water may be getting contaminated by fracking — a drilling technique that involves injecting toxic chemicals into the earth. This evidence runs the gamut from a new Duke University study into methane, to a New York Times report on fracking wastewater being dumped into rivers, to Pennsylvania gas companies acknowledging that fracking is contaminating drinking water, to those now-famous YouTube videos of combustible tap water.

MORE HERE

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Muse – Resistance

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Making the US Economy “Scream”

Friday 10 June 2011
by: Robert Parry, Consortium News   Via:  Truthout

Modern Republicans have a simple approach to politics when they are not in the White House: Make America as ungovernable as possible by using almost any means available, from challenging the legitimacy of opponents to spreading lies and disinformation to sabotaging the economy.

Over the past four decades or so, the Republicans have simply not played by the old give-and-take rules of politics. Indeed, if one were to step back and assess this Republican approach, what you would see is something akin to how the CIA has destabilized target countries, especially those that seek to organize themselves in defiance of capitalist orthodoxy.

To stop this spread of “socialism,” nearly anything goes. Take, for example, Chile in the early 1970s when socialist President Salvador Allende won an election and took steps aimed at improving the conditions of the country’s poor.

Under the direction of President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the CIA was dispatched to engage in psychological warfare against Allende’s government and to make the Chilean economy “scream.”

U.S. intelligence agencies secretly sponsored Chilean news outlets, like the influential newspaper El Mercurio, and supported “populist” uprisings of truckers and housewives. On the economic front, the CIA coordinated efforts to starve the Chilean government of funds and to drive unemployment higher.

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Billy Idol- White Wedding

 

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Bill Moyers: ‘Democracy Should Be a Brake on Unbridled Greed and Power’

Crooks and Liars
By Heather

June 08, 2011 12:00 PM

Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now spent the hour with Bill Moyers discussing his new book and his career as a journalist. I really miss his weekly show on PBS now that he’s off the air there.

Bill Moyers on His Legendary Journalism Career: “Democracy Should Be a Brake on Unbridled Greed and Power”:

moyers_button.jpg

In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we are joined by legendary journalist Bill Moyers, a founding organizer of the Peace Corps, press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, a publisher of Newsday, and senior correspondent for CBS News. Public television is where he has made his home, producing many groundbreaking shows and winning more than 30 Emmy Awards. Moyers has just published a new book, “Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues,” a collection of interviews from his popular PBS show that aired from 2007 to 2010. “The greatest change in politics in my time has been the transformation of democracy, America, from a citizens’ society, the moral agency of all those people in the civil rights movement who stood up against the weight of authority and against persecution and acted as agents of change—the change from a citizens’ society to a consumer society, where most of us are caught up on that treadmill, trying to get more,” Moyers says. In a wide-ranging interview, he also discusses the state of the public media infrastructure he helped to establish as part of the Johnson administration. “Public broadcasting, which remains a place that treats you as a citizen and not a consumer, is also threatened. We must defend it. We must call it back to its heights. We must continue to support it, because without it, we’re at the mercy, totally, of corporate power.”

Full transcript available at Democracy Now’s site.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Price Tag- Jessie J

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