Thursday, December 30, 2010

Truthout... News Briefs 12/30/10

News Briefs
Thursday 30 December 2010  

The "Family" - Who Really Is Behind This Secret Organization?
Yana Kunichoff, Truthout: "Jesus plus nothing' is the mantra of the Fellowship, also known as the Family, a secret, fundamentalist Christian organization peopled primarily by devout policy makers and high-ranking individuals. 
Though the nonbeliever's view of religion can often be dismissive when faced with such catchphrases, in 'C Street,' a nonfiction account of the extended reach of the Family, these phrases fuel moral crusades with real, and terrifying, impact.... In his latest book, Sharlet traces the powerful orthodoxy's chilling influence on governments both inside and outside of the United States as well as the devastating effects of fundamentalism within the military."

Serfing USA: Corporate America Is Robbing American Workers
Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening: "Along with the staggering theft in broad daylight of Americans' assets that has occurred in the course of the ongoing financial crisis, as taxpayers funded multi-trillion bank bailouts and banks stole homes through foreclosures with the help of fraudulent paperwork, American companies have also been picking the pockets of workers more directly."

With Ink Barely Dry on START, Fight Looms Over Test-Ban Treaty
Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: "Gorbachev, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990, is a leading advocate of nuclear disarmament. His call for U.S. ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, foreshadows the next major battle over arms control policy following Obama's victory on Dec. 22, when the Senate ratified a new U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction treaty."

Robert Reich | The Tea Party Conservative Strategy for 2011
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What's their strategy? What will they rally around? ... My betting is Tea Party conservatives wouldn't mind a government shutdown over the healthcare mandate. Unlike Bill Clinton's showdown with Newt Gingrich, which hurt the conservative cause, Tea Partiers believe this one could be helpful. In their view, it would enable them to stand on principle, dramatize their argument that the Obama administration overstepped with healthcare, and generate a particular event around which they can summon the energy and enthusiasm of their ground troops - all with an eye on mobilizing for the 2012 general election."

Max Fraad-Wolff | Sell Local
Max Fraad-Wolff, Truthout: "The states are in serious difficulty. As the recession began in late 2007, states were already spending at a fairly high clip and taxing at relatively low rate levels. As recession took hold, demands for state services - direct and through aid to localities - increased sharply. States rely heavily on income and sales taxes. Consumption fell, employment fell and wages were stagnant to down."

News in Brief: Corporate Executives Asked Obama to Authorize a "Tax Holiday" for Their Firms, and More ...
Corporate executives ask Obama to give them a "tax holiday"; EPA takes Texas to task on pollution; Afghan war vets can't find employment; former Israeli president convicted of rape; FBI seizes Texas business computers while investigating Operation Payback; and more ...

Paul Krugman | For Ireland, a Question of Scale
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "Many readers have asked how I reconcile my disdain for Ireland's bank bailout in 2008 (and praise for Iceland's refusal to put taxpayers on the hook) with my support for the bank bailout that took place in the United States the same year, via the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The answer is that numbers matter."

Government Report: Rich White Men Are Most Likely to Survive Nuclear Blast
Ira Chernus, AlterNet: "Good news! You've got a pretty good chance of surviving a terrorist's nuclear blast in your city - especially if you're a rich white man. Women, ethnic minorities and lower socioeconomic classes are more likely to be 'stricken by psychiatric disorders,' and once they start going crazy they're less likely to survive. That's just one of the startling revelations in the new second edition of 'Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation,' a 130-page report produced, thanks to your tax dollars, by the Obama administration's National Security Staff Interagency Policy Coordination Subcommittee for Preparedness and Response to Radiological and Nuclear Threats. (I'm not making this up, honest.)"

Mumbai Case Offers Rare Picture of Ties Between Pakistan's Intelligence Service, Militants
Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica: "A US investigation into the 2008 Mumbai attacks finds that Pakistan's intelligence service collaborated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group responsible for the bombing, while simultaneously fronting as a US ally in counterterrorism efforts."

Will Arizona Hijack the 2011 Immigration Debate?
Catherine A. Traywick, The Media Consortium: "After commanding the world's attention in 2010 with its cavalier stance on immigration, the Arizona state legislature is threatening - once again - to dominate national immigration discourse and policy."

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