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
Disbelief in the Wake of Troy Davis’ Killing Last night, at 11:08 pm, Troy Davis was killed by the state of Georgia. With no physical evidence and 7 of 9 eyewitnesses recanting their story, the Supreme Court still found it legitimate to kill Troy. This event has sparked a debate on the policy of the Death Penalty itself. This post by Dave Zirin epitomizes the sadness and questions that this killing has created in many Americans.
The Miseducation of the President Interesting post by Joan Walsh on the psychology of Barack Obama. This issue was raised by Ron Suskind’s new book, wherein he suggested that Obama has been beholden to his ‘Washington Insider’ advisors. Walsh hypothesizes that Obama might have read the book and be taking some steps to combat past failures. Personally, I need to see more evidence to be optimistic.
‘Ground Zero’ Mosque Opens… The World Doesn’t End The controversial ‘Ground Zero’ Park 51 Mosque opened on Wednesday… to little fanfare. As expected, the multi-faith community center was not the Sharia Law and Terror spouting machine that the Right Wing claimed it would be. This is a success story, if only more lessons would be learned from it.
Elizabeth Warren – Continuing to Fight the Good Fight Elizabeth Warren, riding high on her newly minted Senate run in Massachusetts, put out a campaign video where she plainly explains some liberal ideals. No one got rich on their own. They used public goods (Roads, Police/Fire, Public Schools) in their ascent, and they should pay their fair share of taxes in return. This is not Class Warfare.
Perry: Romney is Obama-Lite An Ohio Tea Party leader called Speaker John Boehner a ‘Socialist.’ Now Rick Perry is using a similar tactic – calling Mitt Romney ‘Obama-Lite.’ Seriously? Do these people know what a Socialist is? Because Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders might have something to say in his being grouped with men like Boehner and Romney.
Palestine to Continue Pursuing Bid for Statehood, Against U.S.’s Wishes Obama, in a last ditch effort, tried to stall Palestine’s effort to get a Statehood vote in the United Nations. Nicolas Sarcozy stepped up and put forward a plan that was starkly opposed to Obama’s wishes. This is a huge political hot potato for the Obama Administration – he can’t afford to disagree with Israel and AIPAC. But if it’s just him standing in the way of a free Palestinian state… it looks pretty awful for him around the world.
The Revolving Door Continues Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO, was the GOP’s rising star before losing in her California Gubernatorial race in 2010. Today, she agreed to take over as the head of HP. Give her a few years, let her increase company profits by offshoring more jobs, and she will once again have the ‘business cred’ to run for office again as a Republican.
We conclude today’s post with a happier story to lighten the mood…
Best. Memoir. Title. Ever. Arnold Schwarzenegger is releasing a memoir. What is its title? Total Recall. Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is releasing a memoir (that I assume is not a comedy book) with the same title as his 1990 movie. Also, Total Recall is a fantastic movie and I hope that the book does the name justice.
Thanks for reading and staying informed. Keep checking back to The Progressive Playbook for more insightful progressive commentary and more Daily News Drops!
Sources: The Nation, Alternet, Think Progress, Talking Points Memo, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Raw Story
Obama Caves on Attempt to Regulate Smog On the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, one of the slowest news days of the year, the Obama Administration dropped a bomb – they will no longer push for the EPA to be able to regulate smog. This latest disappointment was too much for Keith Olbermann. Watch his segment from Friday’s show and share his anger.
9/11′s True Cost to America Great piece in Slate by economist Joseph Stiglitz about what America lost after 9/11, whose 10th anniversary is rapidly approaching. The real cost had been more than $5 Trillion. We have wasted $5 Trillion in foreign wars that have made us less safe when we could have been building our nation from within.
S&P Rating Subprime Loans Higher than the United States Much sturm und drang was made after the rating agency S&P lowered the US’s credit rating to AA+ from AAA. Subsequently, the federal government opened up an investigation into S&P’s shady dealings. Almost on cue, reports have surfaced that the rating agency is now rating some bundles of subprime mortgages (the same mortgages that helped crash the global economy) as AAA. Higher than the credit of the US. Seriously!?
Wikileaks and Anonymous: Bastions of Truth? As governments and businesses show themselves time and time again to be unworthy of our trust, rogue entities like Wikileaks and Anonymous have emerged as tellers of uncomfortable truths. This piece in Alternet discusses the issues intelligently and without hyperbole. Do these actors always work with the noblest intentions? No, but they are vital in the world that we live in today.
The Funneling of Wealth In honor of Labor Day, this piece in Mother Jones delves into the conundrum that is this Jobless Recovery (quite possibly the most disgusting euphemism ever). As profits increase, corporate owners and the wealthiest individuals have found ways to funnel all of the created wealth to themselves. Improved productivity means less workers. Offshoring jobs earns businesses a tax credit. Our entire system has its incentives in the wrong places – directly because of the campaign contributions of monied interests.
US Stalls Vote on Palestinian Statehood Palestine is attempting to have a vote in the UN to achieve recognized statehood. The US, always the supporter of Israel regardless of what war crimes they might commit, will not let this come to fruition. Rather than taking the popularity hit of having to veto the vote, Obama is trying to restart peace talks with the condition of Palestine ending its push for UN statehood. Peace would be great, but these talks wouldn’t be started in good faith.
Michele Bachmann ‘Open To’ Eliminating Corporate Taxes Earlier, Michele Bachmann said she would be open to lowering the minimum wage. Now she’s open to eliminating the corporate income tax. No word yet on whether she’d be ‘open to’ letting poor people die, or whether she’ll continue to do everything but that.
And now we end with a happier story to lighten the mood…
US Uncut’s Carl Gibson Befuddles Rush Limbaugh Carl Gibson, one of the founders of the wonderful organization US Uncut – an organization committed to informing the public of the identity of tax dodging corporations and shaming said corporations – called into Rush Limbaugh to get the message out there. He was awesome. I can’t do it justice… follow the link and listen to the audio and read the transcript. It’s beautiful.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Please continue to read more of the fantastic pieces on The Progressive Playbook. Come on back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Huffington Post, Current TV, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Alternet, Mother Jones, The Raw Story, Think Progress
Welcome to the Sunday edition of the Daily News Drop. Lots of news out there, including 2012 elections updates! Let’s get down to business.
Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll At yesterday’s Ames Straw Poll, all of the declared Republicans were attempting to win the first vote of the 2012 election season. Here were the results – 1st: Bachmann, 2nd: Paul, 3rd: Pawlenty, 4th: Santorum, 5th: Cain, 6th: Romney, 7th: Gingrich, and 8th: Thad McCotter. Cain, Romney and Gingrich were not participating at the event. The result itself is a rather meaningless one, because bringing out the vote means busing potential voters out and feeding them (Meaning that this is one vote that you can quite literally ‘buy’). Still, Bachmann’s win has catapulted her into legitimacy in the eyes of the Mainstream Media.
Bachmann’s Views: ‘Wifely Submission’ One point of contention during the Iowa Republican debate was a question that Chris Wallace asked Bachmann. He asked a question in regards to a previous statement, in which Bachmann said that her job as a wife was to be ‘submissive’ to her husband. He asked if she would continue to be submissive if she were elected President. The Right clamored that even asking that question was sexist. Amanda Marcotte explains that questioning this view is not sexist – the view itself is.
Bachmann’s Views: DADT Think the struggle about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is over? Not if Michele Bachmann is elected President. In an interview on CNN, Bachmann said that she would probably reinstate the policy because Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has ‘worked very well.’ Yes, a policy that forces soldiers to lie about who they are, as well as damaging Army readiness by discharging necessary soldiers only on the basis of their sexual orientation. It’s important to bring up views such as this because as much as the media likes to paint Republicans as reasonable fiscal conservatives, these politicians are beholden to radical Social Conservatives.
Pawlenty, After Finishing 3rd, Drops Out of Race Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota who seems to have been running for President forever, has dropped out of the race following a disappointing showing at the Iowa Straw Poll. Having a relatively moderate record, Pawlenty has been pandering to the base by spouting extreme Right-Wing views. After calling Michele Bachmann unqualified to become President for weeks, he has backtracked with his exit.
Palestinians to Seek UN Statehood With peace talks deadlocked for months, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will seek a vote before the United Nations calling for recognition of Palestinian Statehood. This move is starkly opposed by Israel and the United States. Because the U.S.has veto power on the U.N. Security Council, Palestine’s move seems doomed before it has begun. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has decried such a unilateral action and calls for more talks. There is some hypocrisy with this statement when Israel has just unilaterally approved the creation of more settlements on Palestinian land.
Infuriating Clause in New Birth Control Ruling The ruling by the HHS that has will require health insurance providers to cover birth control without co-pays has been hailed by liberals as a huge success. There is a clause in the ruling that is quite troubling. The clause is one of religious refusal, also known as a ‘conscience clause.’ This clause would exempt religious employers from having to comply with the law. This is disappointing. If access to birth control is a positive act of preventative health care (which it is), then allowing some employers to refuse to comply is wrong. Why should employees of these companies be discriminated against?
5 Dead After Stage Collapse at Indiana State Fair Tragedy struck the Indiana State Fair last night. In between Sara Bareilles’ and Sugarland’s sets, a strong wind hit and collapsed the stage and all the scaffolding and lighting along with it. With much of it falling on the crowd, five were killed and dozens were injured. Horrors like this reach beyond politics and speak directly the human spirit.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Share this and other posts on the site and help promote the Progressive message. On a personal note, check out Kevin Shields’ latest post that ties together the professional sports unions to the unreported struggles of organized labor across the nation. The common thread is a familiar one – solidarity. It was a great post and I suggest you all read it.
Sources: Talking Points Memo, Jezebel, Pandagon, Think Progress, Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, CNN
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Continues Because of our media’s short attention span, the calamity that was the near meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is very nearly forgotten. The problem remains, however. A recent test has shown not only a lethal level of radiation, but the highest recorded amount to date. It appears that the leak is anything but contained.
Right Wing Extremists Inspire Norway Killer Looking back at the tragedy in Oslo, Norway, it seems next to impossible to try and understand the motivations of Anders Brevik. We do have a rare insight into his psyche, a 1,500 page manifesto that he wrote in which he explains his political reasons for his killing spree. Blaming the downfall of Norway and Europe on the Feminist Movement and Multiculturalism, Brevik depended heavily on American Islamophobic writers, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Pam Geller. As easy as it is to write Brevik off as a lone nut, it’s imperative to look at what this hateful language can inspire. Freedom of Speech is a wonderful Constitutional protection, but it does not extend to calls to violence.
Koch Brothers-Funded Group Attempt to Suppress Voters Americans for Prosperity, an organization best known for their bankrolling of the initial Tea Party protests in the Summer of 2009, is heavily funded by the incredibly wealthy and conservative Koch Brothers. They are back in the news in the highly contentious Wisconsin Recall election. There have been reports of absentee ballots sent to registered Democrats by Americans for Prosperity that have the incorrect return date on them – a date two days after the election is over. This appears to be anything but an honest mistake, and Wisconsin Democrats have filed a complaint because of this act of voter suppression.
Israel Offers Border Talks… If PA Drops UN Bid The Palestinian Authority is currently waiting for a vote by the United Nations that would recognize an independent Palestinian state. This is completely unacceptable to both Israel and the United States. To try and coax the PA out of their search for UN approval, Israel stated that they would be willing to hold negotiations if the PA drops their petition to the United Nations. This is nothing more than blackmail. The UN would assuredly vote in favor of the independent Palestinian state, and Israel appears to be willing to do anything to prevent that from happening.
Obama’s Obsession with Independents, who aren’t Actually that Independent A really interesting piece by The New Republic. Statistics tell us that Independents are large percentage of the electorate, and look to be the portion that swing elections to either Republicans or Democrats. Because of this, Barack Obama has had an almost unhealthy obsession with appealing to Independents – always rhetorically pushing for ‘compromise’ and ‘bi-partisanship.’ When you delve further into the actual beliefs of these Independents, they really are individuals who have an ideological preference but just don’t have a party label. Thus, playing to center doesn’t actually do anything to endear Obama to them. Actually choosing a side and governing with convictions would be a much more effective strategy.
Romney Announces Legal Advisor – Robert Bork Robert Bork, a conservative Folk Hero, was a nominee for the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan that was rejected by the Senate for his extreme conservative views. Mitt Romney, trying to increase his credibility to conservatives, has made Bork an Advisor to his campaign. Some of Bork’s views – he thought that the Civil Rights act a ‘principle of unsurpassed ugliness,’ favors bans on both pornography and contraception as well as acceptance of gender discrimination – are very concerning. They not only remind you why Bork wasn’t confirmed to be in the Supreme Court, but also should concern you that this man will be the individual advising Romney on judicial nominations.
Why Abstinence-Only Doesn’t Work Ohio teens are given Jolly Ranchers, and then told not to eat them – that they will taste better if they wait to eat them. So begins abstinence-only sex education. One out of four Americans are taught using this method. Rather than explain what safe sex is and why it’s important, teenagers are told to just not do it at all. Unsurprisingly, telling teenagers not to do something isn’t that effective. Rather than metaphorically sticking your fingers in you ears and pretending that teens aren’t having sex, actually educating them how to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs would much more likely achieve the desired result.
Why The NBA Lockout is Here to Stay With the NFL ending their 18 week lockout, it’s easy to forget that another major sport is also embroiled in a labor dispute. The NBA remains in lockout and an end does not look to be in sight. One major roadblock is the unquestionable force that is NBA Commissioner David Stern. Ruling with almost complete authority, owners and players alike seem to be afraid of him. His intransigence when it comes to what will eventually be what will save the league, revenue sharing, might be the cause of the end of his de facto dictatorship of the league. Until this power relationship is changed, no progress seems possible.
Thanks again for reading and staying informed. Keep reading and sharing all of the blogs on the site and I will be back again tomorrow with more news!
Sources: Slate, Alternet, The Raw Story, Al Jazeera English, The New Republic, Think Progress, The Nation, Edge of Sports