Greek Eurozone Crisis Greece has been at a crossroad for months now. Their debt crisis has put the entire continued existence of the European Union and the Euro currency into doubt.This debt was built by the government and the mandatory austerity measures that go along with the very necessary bailout of Greece will affect predominantly the poor and working classes. Now, with it looking very unlikely that the Grecian people would vote for these austerity measures in a referendum, Greek politicians have decided to not put the measures up for referendum – instead deciding to agree to the proposals amongst themselves without the consent of the people. Pretty nice guys, finding a way to balance the budget on the backs of the poor without even have to pretend to get their consent.
Public Opinion Support End of Iraq War Republicans think that they have found a political victory in Obama’s announcement that all troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by early 2012. Looking beyond the fact that this date was set up by former President Bush in the Status of Forces Agreement that he entered into with the Iraqi government, the real reason that the GOP won’t make political hay on this subject is this – the American people are in favor of the withdrawal. 75% of the public is in favor of the move, as well as 77% believing that Obama made the right decision when it comes to Iraq. Now if we can only get him to withdraw from Afghanistan for political reasons…
Uprising in Oakland: Occupy Occupy Oakland has been a powder keg on the West Coast. After instances of police violence, support for the movement has expanded dramatically. A drastic measure was announced to occur on November 2nd, a General Strike supported by some of the local unions. As a result of these actions, the protesters apparently shut down the Port of Oakland (the 4th largest port in the US). There are many details to report on this story, and I haven’t found a better compilation on the subject than Allison Kilkenny’s story on her Uprising blog from In These Times.
The Real Story About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace The Right has been demonizing the accusers of Herman Cain of sexual harassment, even going back to the media’s reaction to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn alleged sexual assault, and their main thesis is this – allegations of sexual misconduct are overstated, unnecessary, and usually false. Think Progress has posted about a recent study that the University of Michigan just completed. The study found that nine in ten women have been subject to sexist language or have been told that they could not do their job properly because of their sex. Moreover, one in ten women will at some point be promised promotion or better treatment if they are ‘sexually cooperative’ with a co-worker or supervisor. This is appalling, and as long as these are the trends, I will always initially give female accusers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to sexual harassment.
WARNING: The Culture of Christian Child Abuse This was a very disturbing post from Amanda Marcotte. The video that goes along with the post is quite disturbing, and I should warn you before you watch. The video was posted by Hillary Adams, daughter of Judge William Adams from Texas. In it, he whips his daughter with a belt with an enthusiasm that should leave everyone disconcerted. Marcotte’s argument is one that ties fundamentalist Christianity’s love of whipping and ‘discipline’ to their desire to stifle the push for equality and progress.
Thanks for reading and staying informed. Keep reading The Progressive Playbook for wonderful progressive commentary and come back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop.
Sources: Washington Post, The Raw Story, In These Times, Think Progress, Pandagon
Happy Halloween! Hope that all is well, and I hope that you’re in the mood for some news! Today, the 7 Billionth person will be born today, and as the fanfare is going out, Mother Jones has a great piece describing why this isn’t a good thing (obviously). Now, without further ado, here are today’s batch of stories.
Why I hate Herman Cain
A Pair of Scandals for Herman Two scandals have arisen that might finally take down the former CEO of Godfather Pizza. First, documents have surfaced that prove that a dummy corporation, Prosperity USA, was created by Cain’s Chief of Staff Mark Block (the smoking guy from Cain’s latest campaign ad) and Deputy Chief of Staff Linda Hansen that funneled money into Cain’s campaign and acted in Cain’s interest. This would be a violation of campaign finance law (I know, I was shocked to hear that we still had any of those after the Supreme Court butchered it with the Citizens United decision). Second, allegations have been made by two women that Cain sexually harassed them while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. The women were given a financial settlement to leave the association and keep their mouths shut. The combination of these scandals, along with the fact that people are wising up to the fact that his 999 Plan makes no sense at all, might make Herman Cain the latest ‘Not Romney’ candidate to fall by the wayside.
BREAKING: Planned Parenthood’s Committing Genocide According to Herman Cain, anyway. This is the story that inspired my overarching title and hatred. On Face the Nation yesterday, Cain doubled down on his claim that Planned Parenthood’s agenda is one of genocide of the African Americans in this country. He pointed to Planned Parenthood’s history and founder Margaret Sanger as proof of this. Think Progress notes that only one out of ten Planned Parenthood centers are located in predominantly African American neighborhoods, which would mean that their plan isn’t being enacted very well at all… Or maybe Herman Cain doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
UPDATE: After looking at some of Margaret Sanger’s quotes, there was some evidence of racism and her involvement in the Eugenics movement. It’s important to note that these words were spoken at the turn of the 20th century, and that one person’s racist tendencies shouldn’t damn what their organization has become after a century. I stand by the fact that Cain is completely wrong in his account. I found a very rational analysis of the situation that you can read here
UNESCO admits Palestine as Full Member As it seems more and more likely that Palestine’s bid for UN Statehood is a non-starter (because of the inevitable US veto if it ever came to that), a shocking development has emerged. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization came out and admitted Palestine as a full member in its organization, in spite of threats by the United States of cutting tens of thousands of dollars in annual funding. Israel and the U.S. call this a tragic moment. Are you kidding me? What harm could be done by this except possibly raising the visibility of the fact that continued occupation and further Israeli settling of Palestinian land is an act of aggression in and of itself.
Bank of America Walks Back Monthly Debit Card Fee Bank of America is the latest big bank to start to back off their plans of charging nearly all customers a $5 monthly fee for the privilege of using a debit card. Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase have already backed off on the tactic. With antagonistic practices and the rise of Occupy Wall Street, perhaps more customers will realize that they don’t need these criminal institutions and will move their money to local credit unions and community banks. That’s what Bank of America is terrified of.
Libyan Rebels Reportedly find Ghaddafi’s Nuclear Weapons Libya’s Transitional Council has announced that they have discovered a cache of nuclear weapons that Ghaddafi had. The world community had been assured that no such weapons existed. In fact, Bush had us in a war with Iraq in 2006 that began under the demonstrably false claim that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear weapons at the exact time he was welcoming Mummar Ghaddafi back into the fold as an example of a Middle Eastern leader who had willingly stopped trying to develop WMD. Way to go W. UN Inspectors will be in Libya this week to verify the existence of said weapons.
Occupy Wall Street Update A great piece from Allison Kilkenny at In These Times exposes the NYPD’s apparent system of sending addicts to Zuccotti Park and Occupy Wall Street. Harry Siegel, the former editor of the New York Sun, makes this claim in an op-ed in the New York Daily News today. After witnessing multiple instances of NYPD officers almost reciting a script to addicts and mentally ill individuals in other parks in the city. The phrase always used at the end was ‘take it to Zuccotti.’ On a lighter note, there was a very amusing op-ed on Truthout by Dr. Brian Moench, addressed to Rush Limbaugh from the ‘human debris’ (Limbaugh’s hilarious description of OWS protesters). Plus it’s festive because its thesis revolves around Halloween. Check it out!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! I want to wish all of the Occupy protesters the best and all the luck in the world. You are truly fighting the good fight. Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back soon for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo, Politico, Think Progress, Feminists for Choice, Al Jazeera English, Firedoglake, The Raw Story, In These Times, Truthout
Police Massacre at Occupy Oakland As Allison Kilkenny reported, this morning at 4:40 the Oakland Police lined up around the Occupy Oakland protest in riot gear. They then assaulted the sleeping protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and noise cannons. Video of the scene can be found at the post. This is disgusting example of what can happen to popular uprisings like these, but the fact that evidence of the wrongs committed can get out to everyone will be crucial in swaying public opinion and building support for the Occupy movement in general.
The GOP’s War on Reproductive Rights
‘Personhood’ Measures Threaten In Vitro Fertilization Anti abortion advocates have been able to get measures on the ballot that would criminalize a woman’s constitutionally mandated right to an abortion – by defining personhood at the fertilization of an embryo. This would not only outlaw abortion, but also the majority of women’s forms of contraception (including the pill). Also, as Think Progress notes, concerns have arisen that even the process of In Vitro fertilization would be subject to scrutiny due to the strict language of the measure. How is this a serious position? Passing these measures (that are still up for election in several states) would deal a huge blow to a woman’s ability to control her own body in this country.
Judge Blocks N. Carolina Anti-Abortion Law A federal judge has stopped the implementation of a North Carolina law that forced doctors to show women wanting an abortion an ultrasound within four hours of the procedure along with asking if the woman would like to hear the fetus’s heartbeat. These tactics are clear examples of legislating obstacles to scare women away from ever getting an abortion. I thank U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles for deciding this way, and even though this injunction is temporary while she hears arguments, I am optimistic that this law will be found unconstitutional.
Mitt Romney Doesn’t Hate Unions Enough Mitt Romney was in Ohio and gave some support to Ohio’s SB-5, the Ohio bill that stripped public unions of the right to collectively bargain and has been subsequently brought up on referendum because of voter signatures. Romney, being interested in staying electable in the general election, might not want to be seen as anti-worker. This was unacceptable to conservatives in Ohio. This is another example of the GOP being willing to eat their own rather than accept multiple views.
Wow, Herman Cain, Just Wow So, I saw this campaign ad for Herman Cain on Amanda Marcotte’s blog. The person in the ad is Cain’s Chief of Staff. It’s the perfect combination of anger, craziness, hilariously literal music. Watch the video and enjoy!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! I apologize for the infrequency of the posts for these News Drops, but until we get someone in to assist I will post as often as I can. I thank you for your patience. Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back for more Daily News Drops.
Sources: In These Times, Think Progress, Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, Pandagon
Gov. Cuomo Lines up Against the 99 Percent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in New York last night, accepting the Huffington Post/AOL Gamechanger Award. Cuomo, the Democratic governor, has drawn the ire of a powerful group – Occupy Wall Street. Cuomo has decided not to renew a Millionaire’s Tax, that has helped bridge New York’s budget gap. No matter how much the establishment Democratic Party might be on Cuomo’s side, if his policies continue to be in the interest of the top 1% he will be protested against. Author Naomi Wolf was arrested outside the Huffington Awards where she was protesting with 150 Occupy Wall Street-ers. Video of the event can be found at the link.
Hispanics Disapprove of GOP Rhetoric, and GOP Doesn’t Care As anti-illegal immigrant bills have spread throughout several states – notably Arizona and Alabama – through Republican legislatures, GOP strategists have seemingly decided that their electoral strategy for 2012 will include demonizing illegal immigrants. That kind of talk won’t endear Hispanic American voters to the Republican party. Hopefully, blatant racism won’t be an effective electoral strategy in 2012.
Demographics of OWS There was a really interesting academic paper by a Sociology Professor at CUNY that has attempted to show the demographics of the Occupy Wall Street protest. And, unsurprisingly, it isn’t the hippy commune that the media has made it out to be. 70 percent of the occupiers identify as independent, compared to only 27 percent democrat and 3 percent republican. One in three were over 35, along with one in five being over 45. This information, the first of its kind, is really telling about who is upset at the economic and political system – independent voters decide elections, and if more independents start becoming hostile to Wall Street then maybe we might have some true electoral change.
Who’s Hypocritical Now? President Obama denounced Iran for propping up Syria (who is killing their own people) while their economy is hurting. It was just announced that the U.S. has finalized a $53 million weapons deal with Bahrain (who is also killing their own people). Glenn Greenwald, along with myself, sees something a bit hypocritical about our rhetoric compared to our actions.
Cain’s Regressive 999 Plan Ron Paul did have one coherent point at last night’s debate – Herman Cain’s 999 Plan would be incredibly regressive. This means that the tax burden would be substantially placed on the middle class and the poor in America. Matt Yglesias has a couple shocking graphs that encapsulate this point perfectly. Look at them and share with everyone you know.
Thanks for reading and staying informed. Because of a new job, my time has become more limited. I am committed to putting out these News Drops as often as I can until such time that there is someone there to assist me. If anyone would be interested in sharing this responsibility with me, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Until tomorrow, Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and keep watching for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Alternet, Raw Story, The New York Times, Talking Points Memo, Salon, Think Progress
Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Daily News Drop. I apologize for the absence of the past two days, I’ve been at Occupy Wall Street and I will blog about my experiences and thoughts on the movement tomorrow. Now that we’ve gotten by that, there is a ton of news to get to today! Including why this might be one of the last photos of the occupation… Let’s get to it.
Occupy Wall Street
Impending Possible Eviction of OWS Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (the 13th richest individual in the US) went down to Zuccotti Park to survey the scene. After the visit, it seems his intentions were anything but understanding. He called for the temporary clearing of the park so it can be cleaned by the city. Protesters are legitimately wary because this has been the modus operandi of Bloomberg to end protests – call for clearing for cleaning purposes and never letting anyone back in. OWS made an offer to Bloomberg to voluntarily clean the area thoroughly, which they are doing all night tonight. Already banning the use of any structures (tents), occupiers have had to construct makeshift shelters with sleeping bags and tarps. Bloomberg then changed rules for parks in NYC in a way that now bans sleeping bags, tarps and laying down. Weird how that happens, huh? Now, it looks like there might be a standoff at midnight tonight where the NYPD will try to forcibly evict the occupiers. Click the link to read Sarah Jaffe’s wonderful piece that describes the amazing infrastructure and services that OWS has been able to provide for itself, and everything Bloomberg wants to tear down.
Why ‘They’ Are Intent on Crushing OWS The ‘They’ is of course the one percent super-rich who obviously have the ear of Bloomberg. Allison Kilkenny and David Atkins expose the clear reason for this sudden change from mocking to calls for a shutdown – it is WORKING. Yes, this little protest that drew the mockery of everyone in the mainstream media has perfectly sparked the discontent of the 99 percent of America who this economy has apparently forgotten about. This broad discontent has spread globally, as can be seen by the multitude of solidarity occupations that have sprouted up. Atkins hits the core fear of the rich, that both the OWS and the Tea Party both came into existence as a reaction of the financial sector and TARP – that the rich will gladly accept socialism if it benefits themselves while the try to starve everyone else. If that connection was ever made… then true revolution would be more than just a possibility.
Job Killing Trade Deals Passed with Bipartisan Support Three Free Trade Agreement passed both the House and Senate yesterday: with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. As the Beltway applauds these as good for our economy, it is very important to look at past free trade agreements and how those turned out for our countries. Each time, it is sold to Americans as opening new markets for America to sell its goods to… but each time, the real market opening up is a labor market. Corporations are able to hire workers in foreign countries for pennies and pocket the profits, thus offshoring American jobs. This will continue to happen. Oh, and Colombia holds the record for the most murders of Trade Union activists. Sounds like an awesome partner for companies who have no regard for anything but profit.
GOP Nominee Herman Cain?
Cain Leads New WSJ/NBC Poll This is the second national poll that has put the pizza mogul at the head of the pack. I have no real commentary on this… His economic plan was lifted from Sim City (Sid Meier should get a shout out from Cain), he openly claims that Sharia Law is infesting America… I see no reason why the GOP wouldn’t nominate Cain over Mitt Romney (who, other than possible being an Android, is by far the most electable Republican in the race).
Rush Limbaugh Hates Romney Oh. That’s why. Rush Limbaugh is the one man litmus test for any Republican. Piss him off and you’re persona non grata in the Republican Party. His latest claim? That Romney, while being a nice gentleman (which I also see as a slight insult), is ‘not a conservative.’ Ouch. In the primaries, where the base of the party has the most sway, being called out for a lack of conservatism is pretty much a death sentence. With New Hampshire possibly moving up their primary to December 6th, pushing Iowa’s Caucuses into November, voting might begin in a month. Cain’s lead shouldn’t be taken lightly.
One Last Story that Explains Occupy Wall Street
Hedge Fund Manager Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison Raj Rajaratnam, the head of the Galleon Group hedge fund, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for insider trading. He made off with between $70 and $75 million dollars by gaming the system. Galleon Group was ordered to pay $10 million in fines, but Rajaratnam’s case is the exception that proves the rule. Many, if not everyone, knew that the housing bubble was a house of cards that they gladly stacked higher for short term bonuses. Then, when it collapsed, they threatened to take down the global economy with them if we didn’t bail them out with taxpayer money. That was economic terrorism. If Rajaratnam can be jailed, then any banker could. This is why the top 1% is so intent on crushing the 99 Percent Movement.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop.
Sources: Alternet, In These Times, Digby’s Hullabaloo, The New York Times, Talking Points Memo, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English
Happy Sunday everyone. I hope that you all had a good weekend. Even on a lazy Sunday, there’s still plenty of news that doesn’t have to conform to the Primary horse race that the media loves to cover. Here are today’s batch of stories.
Update on Occupy DC: Agent Provocateur This is an update on the ongoing controversy that happened yesterday in DC. Patrick Howley, an editor at the conservative magazine The American Spectator, has announced that he infiltrated the Stop the Machine protest to discredit the movement for ‘journalistic reasons.’ He posted a blog for the American Spectator where he referred to the Air and Space Museum as ‘the scene of my crime.’ This raises real concerns whether the protest march would have attempted to enter the museum without Howley’s coaxing. His leadership role is clear because he was the first one into the museum. This biased, dishonest excuse for ‘journalism’ does more to discredit Howley and his tactics than the larger Stop the Machine and Occupy Movements.
The Mainstream Media Begins to Back OWS For quite a while, Occupy Wall Street has only been endorsed by liberal heroes like Michael Moore and Naomi Klein. This liberal support was tempered by the mainstream media’s mocking and derision. The New York Times’ evolution in their coverage of Occupy Wall Street and the larger 99 Percent Movement. Initially, on the 23rd of September, Ginia Bellafante put out an article that derided the protest as aimless and silly. It took a couple weeks, but finally the NYT put out an editorial that essentially agrees with the motivations for the protest… and actually back it up with facts and statistics. The Washington Post also had a column today calling for the Obama Administration to listen to and join the OWS movement. If media as mainstream and concerned with the Washington conventional wisdom can get behind this movement, the sky might be the limit. Populism is pretty damn popular.
Republicans Continue to Support Wall Street Over The People Remember when Rick Santorum said that he understood the motivation behind the OWS protesters and that, of course, Wall Street should pay for the consequences of their actions? Well, that didn’t become a trend by any means. Fire Dog Lake has accumulated a few of the recent quotes from Republican leaders denouncing the protest, notably House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Presidential front runner Herman Cain. I feel the need to comment on the success of Herman Cain. Are you serious? The pizza mogul and the guy who’s economic plan has a name (The 999 Plan), but no explanation or details as to what this radically new tax structure would be? Republicans must really hate Mormons to even be considering electing this guy. Anyway, beyond the quotes, there is a new ‘movement’ that is beginning from the Right. They call it the 53 Percent Movement, named for the 53 percent of people who pay income taxes. I find these tactics of painting the rich as small business owners so disgustingly inaccurate. Read the article in Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze, with several grains of salt. (Thanks to Carlos from The Progressive Playbook for pointing me to the article!)
Some Semblance of Sanity In California, Governor Jerry Brown has just signed the DREAM Act for the state. This act, which failed to pass federally last year, would make children of illegal immigrants eligible for financial aid for higher education. This is such an obviously reasonable step. Why would you punish children by not letting them go to college and get the education that would help them become both successful citizens and taxpayers? Successes like this or Vermont’s recent vote to start a single payer health insurance system show us that positive changes are possible legislatively – at the state level at least.
More Details on the Legal Memo for Awlaki Glenn Greenwald’s latest post on the al-Awlaki killing brought a new fact to my attention. The legal memo that justified the killing of Awlaki was drafted several months after Obama had already designated Awlaki for assassination. This makes it look even more dubious than it already had. Greenwald continues to describe the legal minutiae and explain why these explanations are wholly inadequate and the killing of Awlaki shouldn’t have been covered under the authorization of the War on Terror, thus it was illegal. It’s a bit dry in terms of a read, but very informative.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Fire Dog Lake, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Blaze, Digby’s Hullabaloo, Salon