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In The Public Interest

Something’s happening on Wall Street

In The Public Interest

Inside the barricading bubbles surrounding the Wall Street plutocrats and the Washington oligarchs who service them, there must be worry. After three years of disclosed “lying, cheating and stealing,” as one prosecutor put it, with nary a visible stir from the masses, suddenly the barricades are beginning to quiver.

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Regulations: good for business

In The Public Interest

Masters of the repeated lying sound bite, the craven congressional Republicans are feasting on the health and safety of the American people with gleeful greed while making the corporate and trade association media swoon. “Job-killing regulations” exudes daily from the mouths of Speaker John Boehner, his Wall Street-licking sidekick Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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As The Drone Flies...

In The Public Interest

The fast developing predator drone technology, officially called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, is becoming so dominant and so beyond any restraining framework of law or ethics that its use by the U.S. government around the world may invite a horrific blowback.

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Keystone XL pipeline is a bad idea

In The Public Interest

It was the most extraordinary citizen organizing feat in recent White House history. More than 1,200 Americans from 50 states came to Washington and were arrested in front of the White House to demonstrate their opposition to a forthcoming Obama approval of the Keystone XL dirty oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, down to the Gulf Coast.
Anyone who has tried to mobilize people in open non-violent civil disobedience knows how hard it is to have that many people pay their way to Washington to join a select group of civic champions.

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To the president on Labor Day

In The Public Interest

Dear President Obama:
Happy Labor Day! This is your third opportunity as president to go beyond your past tepid Labor Day proclamations.
You could convey to 150 million workers that you’re going to start doing something about your 2008 campaign promises to labor. Recall that you clearly promised to press for a $9.50 federal minimum wage by 2011. Arguing that having millions of Walmart-type workers make the leap from the present $7.25 per hour will pump nearly $200 billion in consumer demand for our recessionary economy.

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Obama’s energy policy lacks a sensible solution

In The Public Interest

This is the second week of protests, led by Bill McKibben, in front of the White House demanding that President Barack Obama reject a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline transporting the dirtiest oil from Alberta, Canada, through fragile ecologies down to the Gulf Coast refineries.
One thousand people will be arrested there from all 50 states before their demonstration is over. The vast majority voted for Obama and they are plenty angry with his brittleness on environmental issues in general.

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Verizon Wireless should call itself Verizon Shameless

In The Public Interest

It was only a matter of time before the pull down NAFTA and WTO trade agreements on U.S. wages and jobs would be followed by pull down contract demands by U.S. corporations on their unionized workers toward levels of non-unionized laborers.
The most recent illustration of this three-decade reversal of nearly a century of American economic advances for employees is the numerous demands by Verizon.
Here are just a few of the concessions the new Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam, is insisting upon:

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It’s time for the tea party to simmer down

In The Public Interest

The Boston Tea Party in December 1773 threw the East India Co.’s tea overboard. The Republican Tea Party in August 2011 threw America overboard.
Only in Congress, with its rules for minority rule, can a minority of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives impose its havoc on the American people there, then on the Senate side and on Obama’s wilting White House.

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Obama deserves some blame for terrible debt deal

In The Public Interest

The headlines came quickly after President Obama concluded the deficit-debt deal with the Republicans Sunday evening. There were few shades of gray. The New York Times editorial was titled “To Escape Chaos, a Terrible Deal: Democrats won almost nothing they wanted except avoiding default.”
It was truly, as the Times pointed out, “a political environment laced with lunacy.” But don’t blame it all on the Republican “mad dogs” on Capitol Hill playing chicken with the economic plight of the American people and its wobbling economy. It was President Obama who surrendered.

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Tea-Party fanaticism is mob psychology deprived of reality

In The Public Interest

Legislating while under the influence of ideological inebriation is not yet a statutory offense. It is only a multi-directional menace to much of what anxious Americans hold dear for themselves and their children.
The dominant Republicans in Congress — both the new and many of the longer-term incumbents — are in heat. It is as if a mob psychology has seized them, starved them of facts and deprived them of reality. Their chief mad dog is Eric Cantor, he of the sneering soundbites so memorably described in a recent Washington Post column by Dana Milbank.

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