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Showing posts from August, 2010

Is a Dream a Lie If It Don't Come True, Or Is It Something Worse?

"Obama owns George Bush's wars now. And tonight each of us will own a piece of Obama's lies"
Common Dreams - This evening, Tuesday, the last day of the month of August, 2010, our president Barack Obama will lie to us.
Smoother than G. W. Bush, slicker, and of course smarter, this lying president will not likely be goofed up in buckled and pocketed flight gear, and he will be accompanied by the mandatory American flag on a sturdy stand rather than a blatant Mission Accomplished banner. But the substance will be the same: we did it; don't worry, don't doubt, don't question. The big lie will adhere to us with a greasy butter of calming reassurance.
Here is why this story is a lie. Read more.

The August Day Plutocracy Would Love Us to Forget

Common Dreams - Ex-Presidents almost always follow a small number of well-worn scripts. Some rush to cash in on their celebrity. Some do charitable good deeds. Some just lay low.
Exactly one century ago, on August 31, 1910, we had an ex-President who took a brash and bold leap that took him far beyond these narrowly circumscribed roles. On that day, in the middle of Middle America, a former President — Theodore Roosevelt — essentially called on his fellow citizens to smash the nation’s rich down to democratic size.
We need, Roosevelt told a massive assembly of 30,000 listeners, to “destroy privilege.” Ruin for our democracy, he warned, will be “inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few.” Read more.

Spengler for Dummies

Common Dreams - So it's basically God, guns and country, which is familiar enough, but what made this event truly bizarre was Beck's decision to claim Martin Luther King as predecessor and inspiration. King spoke out against our military adventurism, while Beck and Palin celebrate it. King thought the money wasted on bombs and more bombs should be redirected to social programs, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." The Beck and Palin crowd, on the other hand, only scream about big government when public funds are allocated humanely, not destructively. They hate taxes, yet never rail against the biggest looter of our treasury, the military industrial complex. Read more.

Spengler for Dummies

Common Dreams - So it's basically God, guns and country, which is familiar enough, but what made this event truly bizarre was Beck's decision to claim Martin Luther King as predecessor and inspiration. King spoke out against our military adventurism, while Beck and Palin celebrate it. King thought the money wasted on bombs and more bombs should be redirected to social programs, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." The Beck and Palin crowd, on the other hand, only scream about big government when public funds are allocated humanely, not destructively. They hate taxes, yet never rail against the biggest looter of our treasury, the military industrial complex. Read more.

Greenpeace 'Shuts Down' Arctic Oil Rig

Guardian UK - Greenpeace claims to have shut down offshore drilling by a British oil company at a controversial site in the Arctic after four climbers began an occupation of the rig just after dawn.
The environment campaigners said the four protesters evaded a small flotilla of armed Danish navy and police boats which have been guarding the rigs in Baffin Bay off Greenland since the Greenpeace protest ship Esperanza arrived last week.
Several multinational oil companies, including Exxon. Chevron and Shell, are waiting for permission from Greenland to begin deep sea drilling in the Arctic's pristine waters. Read more.

'Palestinian Gandhi' Convicted for Protesting; U.S. Silent

Robert Naiman @ Common Dreams - Last week, an Israeli military court convicted Abdallah Abu Rahmah, whom progressive Zionists have called a "Palestinian Gandhi," of "incitement" and "organizing and participating in illegal demonstrations" for organizing protests against the confiscation of Palestinian land by the "Apartheid Wall" in the village of Bilin in the West Bank, following an eight month trial, during which he was kept in prison.
The European Union issued a protest. But as far as I am aware, no U.S. official has said anything and no U.S. newspaper columnist has denounced this act of repression; indeed, the U.S. press hasn't even reported the news. Read more.

Remembering Hurricane Katrina: An unnatural disaster

Portland Press Herald - The crowd, estimated at more than 300, gathered at Post Office Park in Portland, where the Maine chapter of Veterans for Peace held a rally to mark the organization's 25th anniversary.
The rally capped the national Veterans for Peace annual convention and business meeting held last week in Portland and themed "Lifting the Fog of War."
"It's about connecting the war spending to the economic collapse," said Bruce Gagnon, of Bath, who organized the march and rally. "We are spending $7 billion a month in Afghanistan. You can't spend that kind of money and not have a negative impact on your economy. Read more.

On the Fifth Anniversary of Katrina, Displacement Continues

Common Dreams - Poet Sunni Patterson is one of New Orleans' most beloved artists. She has performed in nearly every venue in the city, toured the US, and frequently appears on television and radio, from Democracy Now to Def Poetry Jam. When she performs her poems in local venues, half the crowd recites the words along with her. But, like many who grew up here, she was forced to move away from the city she loves. She left as part of a wave of displacement that began with Katrina and still continues to this day. While hers is just one story, it is emblematic of the situation of many African Americans from New Orleanians, who no longer feel welcomed in the city they were born in.
Patterson comes from New Orleans's Ninth Ward. Her family's house was cut in half by the floodwaters and has since been demolished. Despite the loss of her home, she was soon back in the city, living in the Treme neighborhood. Read more.

Friends of the Earth urges end to 'land grab' for biofuels

Guardian UK - European Union countries must drop their biofuels targets or else risk plunging more Africans into hunger and raising carbon emissions, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE).
In a campaign launching today, the charity accuses European companies of land-grabbing throughout Africa to grow biofuel crops that directly compete with food crops. Biofuel companies counter that they consult with local governments, bring investment and jobs, and often produce fuels for the local market. Read more.

Despite "All Clear," Mississippi Sound Tests Positive for Oil

Truthout - The State of Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources (DMR) opened all of its territorial waters to fishing on August 6. This was done in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns from commercial fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida about the presence of oil and toxic dispersants from the BP oil disaster.
On August 19, Truthout accompanied two commercial fishermen from Mississippi on a trip into the Mississippi Sound in order to test for the presence of submerged oil. Laboratory test results from samples taken on that trip show extremely high concentrations of oil in the Mississippi Sound. Read more.

In New Orleans, Kindness Trumped Chaos

YES! Magazine - The taxi driver called me "girlfriend" and "sweetheart" with the familiar sweetness of New Orleanians, so I figured I could ask a few personal questions. He was from the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the neighborhoods inundated by Katrina--a mostly poor, mostly black edge of the city isolated and imperiled by two manmade canals--and it had taken him three and a half years to return to New Orleans. He still wasn't in his neighborhood, but he was back in the city, and his family was back, and they were determined to come back all the way.
What happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is more remarkable than almost anyone has told. More than a million volunteers came to New Orleans to gut houses, rebuild, and stand in solidarity with the people who endured not just a hurricane but a deluge of Bush Administration incompetence and institutionalized racism at all levels of government, which temporarily turned the drowned city into a prison. Read mor…

Neo-Supremacy Chic: Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s Tea-Scalding of MLK

Flagler Live - They don’t call it white supremacy for nothing.
One of the ways this country’s reactionaries have made racism and neo-segregation chic is by co-opting the language of emancipation, equality and civil rights.
The “tea party” broods—the richest, most pampered, most welfared generation in the history of mankind—portray themselves as the put-upon victims of high taxes, disenfranchisement and debt, though this is the same generation that since 1981, and more so since 2001, has benefited from the lowest taxes this country has known going back to the 1920s, contributed to the greatest debt it’s known, and is now profiting from the richest retirement benefits this or any other country has ever known. Rich enough, that is, to give rise to sprawls like Palm Coast, which was created to suck on that hog.
You don’t need to call the president a nigger to get your point across in this era of “darkness.” Especially not to a sea of whites joined on the Washington Mall by the single resent…

A land left to drown by the ‘timber mafia’

Herald Scotland - The warnings regularly given by all manner of experts had been ignored for decades.
If Pakistan's authorities continued to allow the country's timber mafia and a benighted and oppressed peasantry to strip the country's forests at a faster rate than anywhere else in Asia, as is happening, floods of Biblical proportions would be inevitable. They would not be acts of God. They would be man-made catastrophes.
And so it came to pass – as August began – that heavier than usual, but not unprecedented, monsoon rains fell on the largely forest-denuded northwest Himalayan, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains and foothills, swelling the mighty 2000 mile-long Indus river, originating in Tibet, and others such as the Jhelum, Swat, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and their many tributaries.
What then happened, reports by Pakistani journalists and environmental campaigners have steadily established, was truly terrifying.
Trees felled by so-called illegal loggers – an infamous “t…

90 Years After Suffrage, Impoverished Mothers Need Another Kind of Equality

Michele Chen @ In These Times - Just in time for Women's Equality Day, a new study has dampened the anniversary of women's suffrage 90 years ago by highlighting the despair of women in poverty today.
The study by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute decisively links depression, economic struggles, and family well-being. The Washington Post explains, “researchers reported that one in nine infants in poverty had a mother with severe depression and that such mothers typically breastfed their children for shorter periods than other mothers who were poor.”
Researcher Olivia Golden told the Post, "A mom who is too sad to get up in the morning won't be able to take care of all of her child's practical needs,” including constructive play with the child that fosters intellectual development. Read more.

Living in New Orleans After Katrina: A Graphic Essay

- Below is the first of the 8 panels comprising the illustrated essay -

Bush'd again? New Orleans, Mr. O and Mr. Go

Greg Palast - Five years ago this week, a beast drowned New Orleans. Don't blame Katrina: the lady never, in fact, touched the city. The hurricane swept east of it.
You want to know the name of the S.O.B. who attacked New Orleans? Locals call him "Mr. Go" - the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO).
MR-GO was undoubtedly the most bone-headed, deadly insane project ever built by the Army Corps of Engineers. It's a 76-mile long canal, straight as a gun barrel, running right up from the Gulf of Mexico to the heart of New Orleans.
In effect, MR-GO was a welcome mat to the city for Katrina. Experts call it "the Hurricane Highway." Read more.

Fish Kills Worry Gulf Scientists, Fishers, Environmentalists

Dahr Jamail @ Inter Press Service - Another massive fish kill, this time in Louisiana, has alarmed scientists, fishers and environmentalists who believe they are caused by oil and dispersants.
On Aug. 22, St. Bernard Parish authorities reported a huge fish kill at the mouth of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.
"By our estimates there were thousands - and I'm talking about 5,000 to 15,000 - dead fish," St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro told reporters. "Different species were found dead, including crabs, sting rays, eel, drum, speckled trout, red fish, you name it, included in that kill." Read more.

Election Watchdog: 'Most brutal voter disenfranchisement, election tampering case we have witnessed yet...like watching a 2 week bank robbery in proce

Brad Blog - While barreling westward across the Great Plains yesterday, I received an urgent text message from Bev Harris of the non-partisan election integrity watchdog organization BlackBoxVoting.org. She and Susan Pynchon, an election integrity advocate from Florida Fair Elections Coalition, had traveled to Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee, following reports of massive voter disenfranchisement during the state's August 5th elections.
She and Pynchon have been in the county, on behalf of a number of the candidates affected by the apparent disaster for the last two weeks.
"Wildest election tampering yet in memphis," Harris' detailed text message read. "7 out of eight candidates black in black locations with 70 percent dems but white republican sweep." Read more.

President Carter secures the release of American from North Korean prison

The Huffington Post - An American held captive for seven months in North Korea stepped off a plane in his hometown Friday, looking thin but joyful as he hugged the former president who had helped win his release and family and friends surrounded him in a group embrace.
Aijalon Gomes was accompanied by former President Jimmy Carter, who had flown to Pyongyang to negotiate his freedom. Gomes, who had been teaching English in South Korea, was imprisoned and sentenced to eight years' hard labor for crossing into the North from China on Jan. 25 for unknown reasons. Read more.

Study of Coal Ash Sites Finds Extensive Water Contamination

McClatchy Newspapers - A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated.
"This is a huge and very real public health issue for Americans," said the director of the study, Jeff Stant of the Environmental Integrity Project. "Coal ash is putting drinking water around these sites at risk." Read more.

Hate Crime Victim Speaks Out About Surge Of Anti-Gay Incidents In Kentucky City

The Huffington Post - The city of Covington, KY has been hit with a recent spate of incidents targeted toward LGBT individuals, and the community is now trying to come together and respond.
One particularly violent attack that has become a catalyst for greater awareness occurred at 1:00 a.m. on Aug. 15, when a group of men and women, both gay and straight, were attacked by four people, including a man with Swastika tattoos and Aryan Nation symbols all over his body. On Wednesday, one of the victims of the incident spoke with the Huffington Post and described what happened. She has asked that her identity be kept private. From the interview: Read more.

GM salmon may go on sale in US after public consultation

Guardian UK - US authorities today began the process to approve the first GM animal for human consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a 60-day period of consultation and public meetings over whether to permit a GM strain of salmon to be eaten by humans, even though it has been called a "frankenfish" by critics. The approval process could take less than a year, and if it gets the green light the fish could be on the market in 18 months. Read more.

Katrina's toll includes rise in suicide, mental illness

McClatchy Newspapers - The last five years have been a mental health roller coaster for many among the Mississippi Gulf Coast's post-Hurricane Katrina population.
Suicides are up since Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005. More people are seeking treatment for substance abuse, therapists say, and post-traumatic stress disorder is on the rebound.
Though suicide numbers were higher in 2004 than in the years immediately after the storm, they have climbed in the years that followed. In Harrison County, the largest county on the Mississippi Coast, the number of people who committed suicide has increased since the storm from 30 in 2005 to 32 in 2006, 36 in 2007 and 44 in 2008. Read more.

Wal-Mart asks Supreme Court to block giant gender bias lawsuit

Christian Science Monitor - Retail giant Wal-Mart on Wednesday asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling allowing more than 1.5 million women employees of the company to join together in what would become the largest class-action employment lawsuit in history.
The lawsuit filed by six women in 2001 charges that Wal-Mart engaged in gender discrimination by paying female employees less than men, and in passing women over for promotions that went to men. It seeks billions of dollars in damages. Read more.

Rotten Eggs and Our Broken Democracy

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - What do a half-billion eggs have to do with democracy? The massive recall of salmonella-infected eggs, the largest egg recall in U.S. history, opens a window on the power of large corporations over not only our health, but over our government.
While scores of brands have been recalled, they all can be traced back to just two egg farms. Our food supply is increasingly in the hands of larger and larger companies, which wield enormous power in our political process. As with the food industry, so, too, is it with oil and with banks: Giant corporations, some with budgets larger than most nations, are controlling our health, our environment, our economy and increasingly, our elections.
The salmonella outbreak is just the most recent episode of many that point to a food industry run amok. Read more.

Chase Bank and Obama's "Make Home Affordable" Scam

Common Dreams - From Chase's website: "No matter what your individual situation is, you may have options. Whether your want to stay in your home or sell it, we may be able to help."
Key word: "May." Translation: "May" = "Won't."
As I can now attest from personal experience, "Make Home Affordable" is a scam. MHA is cited by bank ads as evidence that they get it, that their "greed is good" days are over, that we don't need to nationalize the sons of bitches and ship them off to reeducation labor camps.
In reality, it exists solely to give banks like Chase political cover. They deliberately give homeowners the runaround, dragging out the process so they can foreclose. As of the end of 2009, only four percent of applicants received any help. By June 2010 the vast majority of that "lucky" four percent had lost their homes anyway--because the amount of relief they got was too small. Read more.

The Real Story of How the Media Created a Monster: Sarah Palin

The Huffington Post - It's often said these days that Sarah Palin is a "media creation." That is, the media promote and elevate her as one of America's most popular and influential leaders, even though her approval ratings remain in the tank, by covering every appearance and statement (whether speech or tweet) as if she is the Junior President from Alaska.
But the "creation" part goes well beyond what's happened since the 2008 campaign to keep her constantly in the public eye. Read more.

Charlie Rangel On Obama: He Hasn't 'Been Around Long Enough To Determine What My Dignity Is'

The Huffington Post - New York Rep. Charles Rangel has shot back at President Barack Obama's recent comment that he "end his career with dignity."
Speaking at a candidate's forum Monday night in New York City, Rangel said the president hasn't "been around long enough to determine what my dignity is." Read more.

Is Your Museum Too White?

Max Eternity @ Truthout - For some years now, behind the scenes and in galleries and museums, artists and curators have been discussing the transformative effects electronic and digital technologies are having in the arts. As a curatorial adviser on digital art - the founder of Art Digital Magazine, which has the largest online archive in the world of feature-length interviews with new media artists, writers and educators - I've participated in quite a few of these debates.
With some expected delay, works of art made with digital tools are becoming more accepted in the mainstream, as the intersection between the arts and sciences becomes intractably intertwined. This has led some to wonder: Is the word "artist" becoming outdated? We now have nomenclature for new mediums and genres, so what about the people creating those works? Who's a "technologist" versus who's an "artist"? Or does it make better sense to just call a person on the cutting-ed…

Are Arizona's Political Leaders Deliberately Blocking Electronic Voting Machine Transparency?

Truthout - Why did Arizona's two main gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Jan Brewer, former secretary of state/head of elections, who contracted for highly criticized and easily-hacked Diebold and Sequoia ballot scanning systems, and Attorney General (AG) Terry Goddard, with his three-year "criminal investigation" into a 2006 Pima County (Tucson) local election allegedly hacked, according to a whistleblower, do everything in their power for years to stifle polling accountability while expensively fighting enforcement of Arizona's election laws?
"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." - Joseph Stalin
Arizona voters head Tuesday 24 August to primary polling places. They will mark paper ballots that will be optically scanned by Diebold and Sequoia vote scan machines. And there is absolutely no guarantee their vote will ever be tabulated. Read more.

How Has It Come to This?

Truthout - The scene is post-apocalyptic. Under a grey sky, two families play in the surf just off the beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana. To get to the beach, we walk past a red, plastic barrier fence that until very recently was there to keep people away from the oil-soaked area. Now, there are a few openings that beach goers can use. The fence is left largely intact, I presume, for when they will need to close the beach again when the next invasion of BP’s oil occurs. Read more.

America Cannot Go to War for Israel

The Huffington Post - The Zionists Benjamin Netanyahu, Jeffrey Goldberg and George Will want young American men and women to attack Iran on behalf of Israel. These are the same men who wanted young American men to attack Iraq. But Iran is not Iraq, and many thousands of Americans will die in the next war. This will not be a cakewalk or a slam dunk. And no enwreathed children will greet Americans in the streets with lily-white flower petals.
Benjamin Netanyahu is a dangerously delusional man. His mind is encumbered by a fixation on the holocaust and Hitler. He zealously reanimates Hitler at every opportunity, thrusting him onto real world objects. Hiter is among us, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is his present day incarnation, or worse. That's how the Israeli Prime Minister can say the following, to an audience suffering from the same affliction:
"Hitler went out on a world campaign first, and then tried to get nuclear weapons. Iran is trying to get nuclear arms first. Therefore from…

Hamid Karzai: U.S. Taxpayer-Funded Private Contractors Engaging In Terrorist, Mafia-Like Activity

The Huffington Post - Afghanistan's embattled president Hamid Karzai said on Sunday that U.S. taxpayers were indirectly funding "mafia-like groups" and terrorist activities with the American government's support of private contractors inside his country.
In a rare U.S. media appearance, Karzai continued to press for the removal of the vast majority of U.S. private contractors by the end of this year. Read more.

Support builds for boycotts against Israel, activists say

Boston Globe - In May, rock legend Elvis Costello canceled his gig in Israel. Then, in June, a group of unionized dock workers in San Francisco refused to unload an Israeli ship. In August, a food co-op in Washington state removed Israeli products from its shelves.
The so-called “boycott, divestment, and sanctions’’ movement aimed at pressuring Israel to withdraw from land claimed by Palestinians has long been considered a fringe effort inside the United States, with no hope of garnering mainstream support enjoyed by the anti-apartheid campaign against South Africa of the 1980s.
But in recent months, particularly after an Israeli raid on a flotilla delivering supplies to Palestinians, organizers are pointing to evidence that the movement has picked up momentum...read more.

Too Long Ignored

Bob Herbert - A tragic crisis of enormous magnitude is facing black boys and men in America.
The Schott Foundation for Public Education tells us in a new report that the on-time high school graduation rate for black males in 2008 was an abysmal 47 percent, and even worse in several major urban areas — for example, 28 percent in New York City.
The astronomical jobless rates for black men in inner-city neighborhoods are both mind-boggling and heartbreaking. There are many areas where virtually no one has a legitimate job. Read more.

Appalachia Rising: On September 27th, A Resounding “No!” to Mountaintop Removal

Common Dreams - Goldman prize-winner and fellow Appalachian Maria Gunnoe has said: "Go to the most peaceful, beautiful place in the word that you can imagine. And then watch somebody drop a bomb on it. That's, basically, what's happening right here" - here, in Central Appalachia.
The "bomb" is mountaintop removal strip mining. The most beautiful places that Maria and I know, the most beautiful places that generations before us have treasured in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, are now, literally, being blown out of existence. Read more.

Arrest Warrant for Assange DROPPED

Al Jazeera - Swedish prosecutors have cancelled an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange, the founder of controversial whistleblower website Wikileaks.
Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing WikiLeaksThe warrant was issued following a sexual assault complaint against him.
But on Saturday night, as international media outlets were beginning to pick up the story, Eva Finne, Sweden's chief prosecutor, announced that Assange was no longer wanted.
"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape," the chief prosecutor said, but declined to go into any more details.
Assange had denied the allegations, saying via Twitter that the charges were "without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing". Read more.

ShoreBank Among 8 FDIC Bank Closures: Total Of 118 Seized In 2010

The Huffington Post - Regulators on Friday shut down a big community bank based in Chicago that has been known for its social activism but racked by financial troubles in recent months. A consortium funded by several of the biggest U.S. financial firms is buying its assets and pledging to operate the new bank by the same principles.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over ShoreBank, with $2.16 billion in assets and $1.54 billion in deposits. Read more.

COINTELPRO 2.0?: Julian Assange accused of pedophilia

The Huffington Post - The founder of WikiLeaks was accused of rape in a Swedish arrest warrant Saturday that turned the spotlight onto the former hacker who's infuriated governments with his self-proclaimed mission to make secrets public.
The accusation was labeled a dirty trick by Julian Assange and his group, who are preparing to release a fresh batch of classified U.S. documents from the Afghan war.
Swedish prosecutors urged Assange – a nomadic 39-year-old Australian whose whereabouts were unclear – to turn himself in to police to face questioning in one case involving suspicions of rape and another based on an accusation of molestation. Read more.

Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor About To Start Up

The Huffington Post - Iranian and Russian nuclear technicians made final preparations to start up Iran's first reactor on Saturday after years of delays, an operation that will mark a milestone in what Tehran considers its right to produce nuclear energy.
Nationwide celebrations are planned for the fuel loading at the Bushehr facility in southern Iran, while Russia pledges to safeguard the plant and prevent spent nuclear fuel from being shifted to a possible weapons program.
"The startup operations will be a big success for Iran," conservative lawmaker Javad Karimi said in Tehran. "It also shows Iran's resolve and capability in pursuing its nuclear activities." Read more.

BP oil spill: scientists find 22-mile plume plume of oil droplets 'missed' by official account

The Guardian UK - Scientists have mapped a 22-mile plume of oil droplets from BP's rogue well in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, providing the strongest evidence yet of the fate of the crude that spewed into the sea for months.
The report offers the most authoritative challenge to date to White House assertions that most of the 5m barrels of oil that spewed into the Gulf is gone.
"These results indicate that efforts to book-keep where the oil went must now include this plume," said Christopher Reddy one of the members of the team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Read more.

Memo to America's Middle Class: Obama Is Just Not That Into You

Arianna Huffington @ The Huffington Post - I get that the progressives, and the activists, and the young people who voted for the first time, and the disillusioned voters who returned to the polls in '08, feel slighted by the president. You thought you had a special connection with him, but it turns out he'd rather hang out with Larry Summers, flirt with Olympia Snowe, or play war games late into the night with David Petraeus. Face it: he just isn't that into you. But, in the end, it doesn't matter where the president's heart is -- it matters what he does. LBJ wasn't that into the National Voting Rights Act until Martin Luther King and the Selma march pushed him into it.
If Obama is going to do the right thing for America's middle class by sticking to his promise to start winding down (for real) the war in Afghanistan in July 2011, and by prioritizing jobs over the long-term deficit, the passion is going to have to come from outside the White House. Read m…

Rep. Ed Markey demands Obama administration surrender data behind increasingly controversial BP oil spill estimate

The Huffington Post - Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Thursday demanded that the Obama administration surrender the data and algorithms behind its increasingly controversial estimate that most of the oil spilled in the Gulf no longer presents a risk of harm.
At an unusual recess hearing of his Energy and Environment Subcommittee, Markey said the report, issued with great fanfare by the administration earlier this month but now being challenged by independent scientists, may be lulling emergency responders and the public into complacency.
"People want to believe that everything is OK and I think this report and the way it is being discussed is giving many people a false sense of confidence regarding the state of the Gulf," he said. Read more.

Why WikiLeaks must be protected

John Pilger @ New Statesman - The WikiLeaks revelations shame the dominant section of journalism, devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it. This is state stenography, not journalism. Look on the WikiLeaks site and read a Ministry of Defense document that describes the "threat" of real journalism. And so it should be a threat. Having skilfully published the WikiLeaks exposé of a fraudulent war, the Guardian should now give its most powerful and unreserved editorial support to the protection of Assange and his colleagues, whose truth-telling is as important as any in my lifetime. Read more.

Chris Coons, Dem Senate Candidate, Wants Lifetime Ban On Senators Becoming Lobbyists

The Huffington Post - Chris Coons, a Democrat running for Joe Biden's vacated Senate seat in Delaware, wants to cut Senate pay 10 percent and to ban former senators from ever becoming lobbyists.
"People are mad, and people really question whether Washington is working for them. Americans are willing to sacrifice, but that's just not what they're seeing out of D.C.," Coons told HuffPost. "There's a broad concern lobbyists and special interests have too much control over the outcomes." Read more.

Regulatory Agencies’ Attempts to Sweep Oil Under the Rug Raise Questions

Truthout - Washington, DC - A recent report by the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center (a collaboration between the federal government and BP) claiming that only 25 percent of spilled oil remains in the Gulf has been refuted by researchers with the Georgia Sea Grant and University of Georgia, who released a report yesterday concluding that in fact nearly 80 percent of the oil remains in the Gulf. The report confirms the fact that the federal government should have taken a more cautious and responsible approach to testing marine life before opening the Gulf for fishing.
The report affirms what many have thought: that the oil could not have realistically vanished like ‘sugar dissolves into water’ — a ludicrous statement the federal officials used to describe what happened to the millions of gallons spilled into the Gulf. Read more.

You and I Can’t Yield - Not Now, Not Ever

Truthout - Back in March, I delivered a speech to an NAACP Freedom Fund banquet in my home state of Georgia. I drew on my personal life story to urge poor people, white and black, to pull together and overcome racial divisions. We have to understand that our struggle is against poverty and against those who are blocking our path out of poverty.
Unless we figure this out, I warned, our communities won't thrive and our children won't prosper.
As you know, a Tea Party blogger named Andrew Breitbart released an intentionally deceptive, heavily edited clip from that speech to make it look as if I was delivering exactly the opposite message. Then Fox News blasted that false message across America's airwaves, creating a firestorm that led to my ouster as the USDA State Director here in Georgia. Read more.

President Obama Says Gulf Beaches Are Safe—But Are They? The Gulf is Dying, Environmentally and Economically

Buzzflash - I hope you enjoyed your little dip in the ocean Mr. President? I noticed that you didn’t go snorkeling, perhaps fearing that you might swim into a glob of crude oil mixed with a heavy dose of dispersants?
Well, listen, we know you’re in a tough spot. The Gulf is dying, environmentally and economically. Gulf residents are suffering from severe depression. Sea birds and fish have been washing up on the oil-stained shores for months, fishermen turned clean-up workers are being hospitalized from exposure to the toxic dispersant Corexit and are being treated for symptoms that include vomiting brown stuff, discolored urine, and respiratory problems. There are schools of residents lined up to see shrinks… It’s not a pretty picture. So someone’s got to pitch a positive message: Read more.

Does the Past Exist Yet? Evidence Suggests Your Past Isn't Set in Stone

The Huffington Post - Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history. "The histories of the universe," said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking "depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history."
Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future -- and may even depend on actions that you haven't taken yet. Read more.

Congress Members Deliver Smackdown to Google and Verizon over Net Neutrality

Computerworld @ Common Dreams - Four Democratic congressmen have joined together to denounce a Google-Verizon proposal that they believe will spell the death of net neutrality. They've written to the head of the FCC, asking that he act soon, and not allow "two large communications companies with a vested interest in the outcome" to decide the Internet's future.
The congressmen are all on the House Energy and Commerce committee --- Ed Markey (D-MA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Jay Inslee (D-WA), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Markey has a long-time interest in telecommunications issues, is the author of H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act and has long been a leading voice for net neutrality. Read more.

Dear Mr. President: Progressive Left Denouce Obama's Drift

Dear Mr. President... by Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party
President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, D.C. 20500 August 14, 2010
Dear Mr. President:
Your Press Secretary has recently been quoted as strongly criticizing those of us Democratic Party activists who feel that you have failed in some of the most important promises you made, stated or implied, during your campaign and that you are not steering our country in the right direction. He dismisses us as the "professional left" as if we were the ones making a living from politics.
We worked very hard for your election as we do for all candidates who seem able and willing to work for progressive social change, and to make a better life for our citizens and for the world. Your rhetoric often suggests that you share this goal, but your actions frequently prove otherwise. We do not simply disagree with you on a single small issue. Unfortunately our unhappiness and disappointment has…

Teen Hearing Loss: 1-In-5 U.S. Teenagers Has Slight Hearing Loss

The Huffington Post - A stunning one in five teens has lost a little bit of hearing, and the problem has increased substantially in recent years, a new national study has found.
Some experts are urging teenagers to turn down the volume on their digital music players, suggesting loud music through earbuds may be to blame – although hard evidence is lacking. They warn that slight hearing loss can cause problems in school and set the stage for hearing aids in later life. Read more.

Homeless Black man serves 8 years in prison for stealing food

The Huffington Post - After 13 years behind bars for trying to break in to a church kitchen to find something to eat, a man who became an example of the harsh sentences allowed by California's three-strikes law has been ordered released from prison.
A Superior Court judge amended Gregory Taylor's sentence to eight years already served and the 47-year-old, who was sentenced in 1997 to 25 years to life, will be a free man in a few days. Read more.

Cindy Sheehan: "War is a Racket"

Cindy Sheehan @ Common Dreams - I remember when the US war dead in Iraq reached 1000 sometime in the summer of 2005. My youngest child and her boyfriend accompanied me to a vigil in Davis, Ca. where we held candles, pictures of Casey, each other, and sobbed-not just for Casey, but for all the rest, also. And not just for the Americans, but for the Iraqis, too. Read more.

Obama’s two-step on NY mosque

The Boston Globe - PRESIDENT OBAMA had it right the first time in talking about the mosque proposed near ground zero of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Speaking last Friday at the White House celebration of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Obama said, “The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
“But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.’’
Unfortunately, Obama and his aides were clearly shaken by poll numbers aga…

National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquires Savoy Collection

The New York Times - For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique. Multimedia After 70 years that wait has now ended. This year the National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the entire set of nearly 1,000 discs, made at the height of the swing era, and has begun digitizing recordings of inspired performances by Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Bunny Berigan, Harry James and others that had been thought to be lost forever. Some of these remarkable long-form performances simply could not fit on the standard discs of the time, forcing Mr. Savory to find alternatives. The Savory Collection also contains examp…

Oil Has Not Disappeared In Gulf: University Study Contradicts Government Estimates, Up To 79% Of Oil Could Remain

The Huffington Post - A group of scientists say that most of that BP oil the government claimed was gone from the Gulf of Mexico is actually still there.
Charles Hopkinson, who helped lead the investigation, claims "the oil is still out there, and it will likely take years to completely degrade." The UGA marine sciences professor, and director of the Georgia Sea Grant, added, "We are still far from a complete understanding of what its impacts are." Read more.

Oprah Winfrey Network SUED

The Huffington Post - Catherine Dunn, a former assistant at the Oprah Winfrey Network, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Friday claiming she was "subjected to a hostile work environment" because she suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.
According to TMZ, Dunn is suing for wrongful termination, claiming she was made to take a leave of absence due to stress and her MS symptoms and then was replaced by "a non-disabled and younger employee." Read more.

The Death Toll Does Not Lie -- Afghanistan Is Obama's War

The Huffington Post - 575. That's how many U.S. soldiers have lost their lives in the Afghanistan war since Barack Obama became President at noon on January 20, 2009, according to the icasualties.org website, which tracks U.S. soldiers' deaths using reports received from the Department of Defense -- and which is widely cited in the media as a source of information on U.S. deaths.
According to the same website, 575 is also the number of U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in the Afghanistan war during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Read more.

France's debt of dishonour to Haiti

Guardian UK - Nearly seven months after a devastating earthquake killed upwards of 250,000 people in Haiti, UN special envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton told the Associated Press (AP) that international donors have yet to make good on their promises of billions of dollars to rebuild the ravaged country. Haiti's rebuilding could cost $14bn, according to a recent Inter-American Development Bank study. Yet only "five countries – Brazil, Norway, Australia, Colombia and Estonia – have so far provided $506m, less than 10% of the $5.3bn pledged for Haiti at a March donors' conference," according to AP.
On Monday, dozens of leading academics, authors and activists from around the world propose a bold solution to this desperate financial shortfall. Why not reimburse Haiti for the illegitimate "independence debt" it paid France? Read more.

Formalizing Israel’s Land Grab

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Time is running out for Israel. And the Israeli government knows it. The Jewish Diaspora, especially the young, has a waning emotional and ideological investment in Israel. The demographic boom means that Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories will soon outnumber Jews. And Israel’s increasing status as a pariah nation means that informal and eventually formal state sanctions against the country are probably inevitable.
Desperate Israeli politicians, watching opposition to their apartheid state mount, have proposed a perverted form of what they term “the one-state solution.” It is the latest tool to thwart a Palestinian state and allow Israel to retain its huge settlement complexes and land seizures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Read more.

Who's a Jew? Redefining Jewish Identity for the 21st Century

The Huffington Post - There is arguably no more challenging question for the Jewish community than, "Who's a Jew?" It continually arises, over issues ranging from politics (most recently, the ultra-Orthodox control over Israeli conversions) to entertainment and even sports (is Amar'e or isn't he?). One thing is certain: the overwhelming majority of Jews globally were born into it. There's more than a little truth to the expression "members of the tribe."
For those not born Jewish, joining the Jewish religion requires overcoming high barriers, even within the more liberal streams of Judaism. To put it in its simplest terms: for men, blood must be drawn. Get past the circumcision, the studying, and the meetings with rabbis to become an official Jew, and there is often still, shamefully, some other Jew questioning a convert's sincerity or authenticity. Read more.

Reigning in bank overdraft fees

The Huffington Post - The era of the $35 cup of coffee has come to an end, for most.
Unless a consumer chooses to opt-in for overdraft protection, their ATM and debit purchases will be declined if an account has insufficient funds. Prior to Sunday, banks could automatically enroll their customers in the service, which covers the point-of-sale transaction but can result in steep penalties. Shoppers at the counter might turn red with embarrassment when their purchase is refused, but the alternative is for their account to go further into the red -- with fees up to $35 for each swipe of the card. Read more.

Eastern US Headed for Many More Extreme Heat Waves With Warming, Study Finds

Inter Press Service - Washington D.C. is projected to see 100 summer days above 90 degrees by 2050, if emissions continue unabated.
Washington - When "snowmageddon" buried the nation's capital in February, Sen. Jim Inhofe's grandchildren delved into the record-shattering drifts to construct an igloo near the U.S. Capitol.
They jokingly labeled it Al Gore's new home.
Six months later, the thought of taking refuge in an icy shelter is quite appealing to heat-weary Washingtonians. Read more.

Punishing the WikiLeaker misses the point

George Margolis @ The Toronto Sun - George Orwell wrote: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
A true journalist’s job is to expose government wrongdoing and propaganda, skewer hypocrites, and speak for those with no voice. And wage war against mankind’s two worst scourges: Nationalism and religious bigotry. Not to lick the boots of government. Read more.

START Now

Foreign Policy In Focus - After 65 years, is there anything new to say about nuclear weapons? Their immense and almost incomprehensible destructive power is well known. Their tenacious endurance as the weapon, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, is an unavoidable fact as nine nations currently stockpile these world menacers. Their superpower allure to emerging states remains untarnished despite international treaties discouraging proliferation.
This year, on the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima - an act that incinerated more than 70,000 in an instant - the U.S. ambassador to Japan attended a memorial ceremony for the very first time. Ambassador John Roos laid a wreath during the ceremony but did not make a speech or issue a statement. Most notably to the thousands who attended, he did not apologize on behalf of the United States. Read more.

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon: Pakistan Floods Are Worst Disaster I've Ever Seen

The Huffington Post- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday he has never seen anything like the flood disaster in Pakistan after surveying the devastation and urged foreign donors to speed up assistance to the 20 million people affected.
"This has been a heart-wrenching day for me," Ban said after flying over the hard-hit areas with President Asif Ali Zardari. "I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this." Read more.

Is Any Job Better Than No Job?

Slate - A front-page article in the Wall Street Journal presents a fascinating mystery: Despite persistent high unemployment, some employers are having a tough time filling jobs.
"In Bloomington, Ill., machine shop Mechanical Devices can't find the workers it needs to handle a sharp jump in business. Job fairs run by airline Emirates attract fewer applicants in the U.S. than in other countries. Truck-stop operator Pilot Flying J says job postings don't elicit many more applicants than they did when the unemployment rate was below 5 percent."
What gives? Employers these days seem taken aback when highly qualified, experienced people fail to rush to apply for the openings they post. The article supplies several possible explanations: For jobs that require specialized skills, there simply might not be enough qualified applicants; employees accustomed to working at higher-paying office jobs aren't eager to take lower-paying jobs at truck stops and restaurants; some of…

A letter from a freed man to his former slave owner

Common Dreams - In 1865, the former slave sent a memorable letter to his former owner, who had asked him and his family to return to ye olde plantation. Sure, politely writes the now-free man, but first please send us the $11,608 in wages you owe to "make us forget and forgive old scores." Read more.
Boing Boing - ...a letter, reportedly dictated to a letter-writer in 1865 by one Jordan Anderson, former slave and then-current stableman, to former slave owner P.H. Anderson of Wilson County, Tenn.
The letter appeared in the Aug. 22, 1865 issue of the New York Daily Tribune, apparently in response to letter P.H. Anderson sent Jordan Anderson, suggesting that Jordan and his family ought to come back and work on the old plantation. Read more.

WikiLeaks says It Won't be Threatened by Pentagon

AP @ Common Dreams - WikiLeaks will publish its remaining 15,000 Afghan war documents within a month, despite warnings from the U.S. government, the organization's founder said Saturday.
The Pentagon has said that secret information will be even more damaging to security and risk more lives than WikiLeaks' initial release of some 76,000 war documents.
"This organization will not be threatened by the Pentagon or any other group," Assange told reporters in Stockholm. Read more.

Tea Party Groups Out AGAINST Net Neutrality

The Huffington Post - Following the release of Google and Verizon's controversial proposal on managing Internet traffic, which comes less than a week after the FCC abandoned efforts at a hammering out a compromise, Tea Party groups have taken a strong stance on the issue of net neutrality.
Specifically, they're against it. The head of one Tea Party organization says she is concerned that the policy would increase government regulation and power, calling net neutrality one of many "assaults on individual liberties." Read more.

Interesting facts about Wikipedia

Gulf Health Problems Blamed on Dispersed Oil

Dahr Jamail - BP has been using two oil dispersants, Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527, both of which are banned in Britain. More than 1.9 million gallons of dispersant has been used to date on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
Pathways of exposure are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, dizziness, chest pains and tightness, irritation of eyes, nose, throat and lungs, difficulty breathing, respiratory system damage, skin irrigation and sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, genetic damage and mutations, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiovascular damage, among several others.
Not along ago, at the same marina, WKRG News 5 took a water sample to test for dispersants. The sample literally exploded when it was mixed with an organic solvent separating the oil from the water. Read more.

The Academic-Industrial Complex

The New York Times - William G. Bowen was president of Princeton University for 16 years and served on two boards, including Merck’s. It was an experience, he says, that was invaluable in helping him build up Princeton’s then-fledgling life sciences activities.
“It influenced my understanding of how the field was evolving, where new ideas were most likely to appear, where to look for talent,” he recalls. “It was one long seminar in the sciences and molecular biology.”
There are benefits for the company, too.
One obvious advantage is having an outsider who thinks about alternative solutions to corporate problems. Another is diversity.
Phyllis M. Wise, the provost of the University of Washington, is on Nike’s board. Nike said it hired Dr. Wise, an Asian-American, “because of her impressive accomplishments and her record of independent thought, and we believe that through the exchange of ideas, both Nike and the University of Washington will benefit.”
But according to James H. Finkelstein, a…

Pat Tillman's Father To Army Investigator: 'F--- You... And Yours'

The Huffington Post - There always was a dark cinematic thread to the story of Pat Tillman: the football star imbued with post-9/11 patriotism who was killed in a friendly-fire incident in the Afghan mountains and the allegations of a massive bureaucratic cover-up involving the highest levels of the U.S. Army in the wake of the tragedy.
So it wasn't terribly shocking when word broke this past winter that "The Tillman Story," a documentary film, was being purchased by the powerhouse Weinstein Company. The story, even without a director applying his artistic license to the script, obviously had many elements of a political thriller. Read more.

Pakistan Floods: U.N. officials estimate that up to one-fifth of the country is underwater

AP @ The Huffington Post - A shipload of U.S. Marines and helicopters arrived to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan on Thursday, but the prime minister told The Associated Press his country needs more international help to cope with one of the worst natural disasters in its history.
The United Nations warned the crisis was far from over, saying dams in Sindh province could still burst in the coming days. More rain fell around the country, and monsoon season is forecast to last several weeks still.
U.N. officials estimate that up to one-fifth of the country is underwater. Read more.

"This Time We Went Too Far Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion" by Norman G. Finkelstein

Leslie Thatcher @ Truthout - Norman Finkelstein's "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering" provided a transgressive thrill that has not worn off after a decade, and the intervening and deliciously outrageous fictional assertion of a similar principle in Tova Reich's "My Holocaust." The ideas that I as a nonscholar had found astringently liberating from a kind of creeping corruption in American Jewish culture and that premier Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg endorsed were anathema to what Peter Beinart in his essential article on its failure calls "The American Jewish Establishment." Finkelstein has been accused of being a self-hating Jew and a sloppy academic, while the fact that both his parents were death camp survivors, far from being perceived as support for the authority of his views, has been used as an opportunity to sneer at his pretension in making reference to them. However much he has been repudiate…

The Hidden Tragedy of the CIA's Experiments on Children

Truthout - From early 1940 to 1953, Dr. Lauretta Bender, a highly respected child neuropsychiatrist practicing at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, experimented extensively with electroshock therapy on children who had been diagnosed with "autistic schizophrenia." In all, it has been reported that Bender administered electroconvulsive therapy to at least 100 children ranging in age from three years old to 12 years, with some reports indicating the total may be twice that number. One source reports that, inclusive of Bender's work, electroconvulsive treatment was used on more than 500 children at Bellevue Hospital from 1942 to 1956, and then at Creedmoor State Hospital Children's Service from 1956 to 1969. Bender was a confident and dogmatic woman, who bristled at criticism, oftentimes refused to acknowledge reality even when it stood starkly before her.
Despite publicly claiming good results with electroshock treatment, privately Bender said she was seriously disap…

Google and Verizon propose Internet ghettos

Colorlines - It’s official: Google and Verizon have teamed up and introduced their own net neutrality plan. In short, the plan makes a vague promise to maintain the Web’s longstanding principles of net neutrality, but leaves open the possibility of a deregulated wireless framework.
What does this all mean? For starters, it’s already suspected that any plan by the two Internet giants could set the bar for further negotiations by the FCC. Secondly, several studies have hinted at the fact that users of color heavily rely on mobile technology to access the Internet. Which means that both companies have left the window wide open to charge higher fees to mobile users, many of whom already can’t afford home-based broadband connections. Read more.

The GOP Drift

John Zogby @ Truthout - Republicans have dug a deep hole for themselves on matters related to the Middle East and Islam, reflecting the extent to which the Party has become captive of the neo-conservative "clash of civilization" crowd and their partners on the evangelical Christian right. This drift becomes clear listening to statements by Republican leaders and surveying the attitudes of the party's base.
Comments, a few weeks back, by 2012 presidential aspirants Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich in opposition to the building of a mosque in New York City are a case in point (Palin called the mosque a "stab to the heart" while Gingrich claimed that "America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization"). Other top Republican contenders are no better. Mike Huckabee, a leader of the religious right, has made disparaging comments about Muslims and is so bizarrely pro-Israel that he has stated &qu…

Single Women Fend for Themselves in Recession

Michele Chen @ Colorlines - On the heels of another dismal job report and a flaming national debate over the meaning of marriage, the Center for American Progress presents a snapshot of the unmarried in today’s economy. It turns out that single women of color, despite their vital economic contributions as consumers, parents and workers, bear the brunt of the economy’s decline and the failed policies that have deepened the recession. Read more.

U.N. appeals for Pakistan aid as flood threat continues

McClatchy Newspapers - The United Nations appealed Wednesday for $459 million in emergency aid for Pakistan as fresh monsoon rains raised fears that new flooding could drive more people from their homes, deepening the humanitarian catastrophe.
Storms lashed the mountainous northwest, close to the border with Afghanistan, and the northeastern Gilgit region, swelling rivers that empty into the central Indus River before it reaches the city of Sukkur in southern Sindh province, which already is full of people displaced from surrounding areas.
More flooding would prevent vital repairs to Indus River embankments and dikes that protect farmland, allowing water to spread even further when the fresh flows reach Sukkur sometime next week, officials warned. Read more.

Florida Immigrant Crackdown Aims to Outdo Arizona Laws

Guardian UK - Florida's attorney general today promised to introduce laws emulating – and exceeding – the draconian clampdown on undocumented immigrants recently attempted by Arizona.
Architects of the plans boast they will be the harshest anti-illegal immigration laws yet, a claim that could have an incendiary effect in Florida given the state's high proportion of Latinos.
Bill McCollum, Florida's attorney general, is the main proponent of the clampdown. He said the legislation would "provide new enforcement tools for protecting our citizens and will help our state fight the on-going problems created by illegal immigration. Florida will not be a sanctuary state for illegal aliens." Read more.

Housing crisis results in inhumane treatment of those in need

The AJC - Thirty thousand people turned out in East Point on Wednesday seeking applications for government-subsidized housing, and their confusion and frustration, combined with the summer heat, led to a chaotic mob scene that left 62 people injured.
Renee Gray, a single mother holding her one-year-old daughter, Marion, came looking for a housing break and nearly got trampled, forcing her to run from the crowd and into the street.
"It could have been better organized," said Gray, a customer service employee. "A lot of adults lost focus.” Read more.

"Principles should trump partisanship and personality"

John Nichols - Progressives should, of course, thank White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for the small favor of distinguishing the Obama administration from the left.
Principle progressives should be at odds with the Obama administration on issues of principle: Afghanistan, marriage equality, renewing civil liberties protections and the economic justice agenda on which this White House has so frequently pulled its punches. On all of these issues, Obama and his aides have adopted stances too similar to those of former President George Bush and his aides.
Principles should trump partisanship and personality. There are plenty of cheerleaders in politics -- from White House press secretaries to pundits and precinct captains. What we need are more people who speak truth to power -- on the left and the right. Read more.

Couple Charged With Refusing To Sell Home To Black Buyers

The Huffington Post - A Chicago couple faces federal discrimination charges after allegedly refusing to sell their South Side home to a black couple because of their race.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced charges against Daniel and Adrienne Sabbia, and their real estate agent Jeffrey Lowe after they allegedly took their home off the market when a black couple submitted the highest offer, Fox Chicago reports. Read more.