Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Liberal Perspective 12-09-10

From Sojourner:…


DREAM Act. Senate Dems put DREAM Act on hold after House passage “Senate Democrats voted Thursday to postpone consideration of the DREAM Act, giving themselves a chance to take up a House-passed version of the bill after this week.” House sends DREAM Act to Senate “A bill that would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants cleared the House on Wednesday night but now faces a daunting test in the Senate.” Why DREAM Act passed House, but may fall in Senate “House lawmakers passed the latest incarnation of the DREAM Act 216 to 198 late Wednesday. The Senate is expected to take it up Thursday, but its prospects there look dim.”
Tax deal. Democrats in Senate warming to tax deal “Senate leaders are planning to begin debate on a far-reaching tax package as soon as Thursday as rank-and-file Democrats warm to an agreement between the White House and Republicans to extend a host of expiring tax cuts and pump fresh cash into the economy.” Tax Deal Is Key to Avoid Recession, Obama Adviser Says “With President Obama on the defensive with his own party, the White House marshaled an offensive that included circulating dozens of economic analyses and endorsements from public officials.” Unhappy Democrats say tax bill likely to pass as White House warns of possible recession “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Thursday congressional Democrats have no choice but to accept the tax package negotiated by President Barack Obama and GOP lawmakers, even as some fellow Democrats continue to resist.”
Social Security. Republicans block extra $250 for those on Social Security “A proposal to provide Social Security recipients with a lump-sum payment of $250 as a modest income boost in difficult economic times was blocked Wednesday by Republican-led opposition in the House and Senate.”
Reid’s political gamble. In political gamble, Reid holds Senate votes he knows he’ll lose “Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) planned votes where his favored bills were expected to fail. For Reid, failure is actually the point. He wants to put Republicans on record as blocking all four.”
Homelessness and food insecurity. As cold sets in, shelters are overrun “The plastic chairs next to the pop machine aren’t meant for sleeping. But with shelter beds full and even the extra floor mats taken, a bare room is all that Faith Mission [Columbus, OH] had left to offer several homeless women seeking refuge from bitter cold.” Young, alone, and homeless “City, state, and federal officials say there is a rising number of homeless youths and young adults. Every year, tens of thousands of them become too old to remain in state custody or land on the streets because of broken families.”  Food stamps: Another half million sign up “The latest data released by the Department of Agriculture shows that in September, an additional 521,428 new recipients were added to the food stamps program, an increase of 15.42% on a year-over-year basis, while household participation increased 18.27%.”
Arizona immigration law. Arizona employer-sanctions law defended in Supreme Court “An unlikely Arizona political trio stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and expressed confidence that the nation’s high court would uphold an Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.” Supreme Court appears divided over state laws against illegal immigration “The Supreme Court’s showdown over whether states can aggressively enforce laws against illegal immigrants may have ended in a draw Wednesday.” Ariz. defends law on hiring illegal immigrants “The Supreme Court sounded conflicted Wednesday about whether Arizona’s attempt to revoke the licenses of businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants intrudes on federal law or complements it.”
16 tycoons to give away fortunes. 16 Tycoons to Give Away Fortunes “The billionaire founder of social network Facebook Inc. has agreed to give the majority of his wealth to charity, part of a broader group of rich entrepreneurs committing to philanthropy earlier in their lives.”
WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks vs The Machine “The American corporations blamed for trying to silence WikiLeaks are under sustained attack from a loose global alliance of anonymous cyber hackers.” WikiLeaks’ resilience shows strength of Internet-age lifelines “The Web site’s resilience in the face of repeated setbacks has underscored a lesson already absorbed by more repressive governments that have tried to control the Internet: It is nearly impossible to do.”


Haiti. Port-au-Prince burns as election fury takes hold “Violence broke out across Haiti yesterday with the headquarters of the ruling government coalition set on fire after crowds protested against election results widely regarded as fraudulent.” Election Violence Flares in Haiti “Violent protests, ignited by preliminary presidential election results that were widely considered suspect, shut down this troubled country on Wednesday and threatened the fragile stability that has held since the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.” Haitian candidate calls for calm “Haiti presidential election candidate Michel Martelly calls for calm amid mass protests by his supporters after he narrowly misses out on the run-off.”
Students demonstrate in UK. UK protesters mass ahead of key vote “Student demonstrators are clashing with police in Westminster as MPs debate plans to raise tuition fees in England to £9,000 [about $14,000] a year.”
Israel. Israel draws international rebuke over refusal to freeze settlement construction “The European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League have rebuked Israel after its refusal to halt settlement construction forced Washington to drop efforts to relaunch Mideast peace talks.” U.S. tactics in Mideast talks criticized “The Obama administration’s decision to stop seeking a new Israeli settlement freeze as a way back into talks with the Palestinians has diminished prospects of achieving a peace accord within a year and eroded U.S. credibility in the region, analysts said Wednesday.”
Afghanistan. Gates says troop infusion is making a difference in Afghanistan “After two days in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he was convinced the massive infusion of American troops over the last year is turning around the 9-year-old war, even as U.S. soldiers remain locked in a grinding fight to control many parts of the country.” On Afghan trip, Gates says war strategy is working “Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that progress in the war in Afghanistan has “exceeded my expectations,” giving a strong endorsement of the U.S. approach days before the White House is scheduled to complete a major review of its strategy.”
Afghan women. Afghan women still suffer – UN “Millions of Afghan women continue to suffer from violence and harmful practices despite a new law aimed at curbing such abuse, the UN says.”
Canada-U.S. perimeter security deal. Canada negotiating perimeter security deal with U.S. “Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are negotiating a perimeter security agreement with the United States – a deal designed to ensure the vital trade flow between Canada and its largest trading partner is not choked off by the aggressive U.S. security bureaucracy.”
UN climate talks. Leaked documents reveal alternative deal “Europe and a group of small island Pacific states have jointly proposed a new international treaty at the UN climate talks in Cancún, Mexico, to commit developing and developed countries to reducing their climate emissions” At climate summit, the real action is behind the scenes “Hundreds of bleary-eyed bureaucrats – from powerhouse countries , tiny island nations and almost everything in between – have begun the serious wheeling and dealing in climate talks here, jostling over individual words in final texts that will steer how hundreds of billions of dollars could be spent trying to save the planet”

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