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Truthout – 9.8 Percent: The Number That the Deficit Commission Left Out

From Truthout:

Sunday 05 December 2010

9.8 Percent: The Number That the Deficit Commission Left Out
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future: “Congress clearly doesn’t see what the rest of us see. If they did, how could they possibly do the things they are doing? There is an absolute emergency going on in the country and Congress refuses to even see it. With 9.8 percent of us jobless – that is the official rate, not counting the people who have given up or are ‘under’ employed or took pay cuts or whatever – Congress is debating tax cuts for the rich and cutting back on programs for the rest of us.”
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Rumors and Pessimism Reign Midway Through Cancun Summit
Emilio Godoy, Inter Press Service: “At the end of the first week of climate negotiations under way in this Mexican Caribbean resort city, it seems a distant possibility that the nearly 200 national delegations will agree on renewing the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.”
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Big Polluters Freed From Environmental Oversight by Stimulus
Kristen Lombardi and John Solomon, The Center for Public Integrity: “In the name of job creation and clean energy, the Obama administration has doled out billions of dollars in stimulus money to some of the nation’s biggest polluters and granted them sweeping exemptions from the most basic form of environmental oversight… The administration has awarded more than 179,000 ‘categorical exclusions’ to stimulus projects funded by federal agencies, freeing those projects from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.”
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Hammered in the Senate, Democrats Must Negotiate on Tax Cuts
Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor: “Washington Saturday was a picture of frustration and gridlock over government spending and taxes…. But the lack of specific legislative progress also brought signs that the negotiating parties – Republicans and Democrats, Congress and the White House – may be headed for some sort of compromise.”
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US Execution Capital Reconsiders the Death Penalty
William Fisher, Inter Press Service: “On Monday, Dec. 6, a district court in Texas will be asked – for the first time in that U.S. state’s history – to decide whether the death penalty is unconstitutional based on the ‘disproportionately high risk of wrongful convictions’ in Texas.”
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Phlogiston Economics: The Need to Dispel the Free Hand and Create Jobs Instead
Ellen Danin, Truthout: “Phlogiston is good for a laugh today, but economic ideas that control current decision-making are based not on tested experiments but on elegant theories. Economics’ equivalent of phlogiston appeared 23 years after Boyle’s experiment, in Adam Smith’s 1776 book, ‘The Wealth of Nations.’ Its phlogiston equivalent was the self-regulating market, described as an ‘invisible hand.’ The invisible hand’s efficient market was created by individual self-interest; interference with the market through regulation risked economic catastrophe.”
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Fighting the Black Anti-Abortion Campaign
Loretta J. Ross, On The Issues Magazine: “Sixty-five billboards were quickly erected in predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Atlanta on February 5, 2010. Each showed a sorrowful picture of a black male child proclaiming, ‘Black Children are an Endangered Species’…. This was the opening salvo in a campaign to pass new state legislation attempting to criminalize abortions provided to women of color allegedly because of the ‘race or sex’ of the fetus.”
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If Cancun Climate Talks Falter, Blame the US
Sarah Laskow, The Media Consortium: “If American negotiators have always been reluctant to make those promises, even if they did this year, their promises would ring empty. The results of the 2010 midterms mean there’s little chance Congress would ratify a treaty. Republicans just eliminated a special House committee on global warming. They certainly aren’t interested in making the sorts of concessions that international negotiators want and need to convince their own governments to move forward.”
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Privacy is Passe, So Broadcast Yourself (to Big Brother)
Adam Bessie, Truthout: “My student can be her own Big Brother – and what’s more, she wants to be. Unlike Winston, she hopes someone is watching and listening. This minute-by-minute sharing is not a fad; rather, it represents the emergence of a culture of digital exhibitionism.”
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