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Truthout Daily Digest Friday, 20 June 2014


William Rivers Pitt | They Belong in Prison, Not on TV

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: “I spent the first decade of the 21st century dealing with these blood-sodden bastards from the Bush administration. Now, it appears, I will spend a chunk of a second decade watching them run around trying desperately to wash that blood from their hands… and the “news” media, is all too happy to help them do it.”

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The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria

Robert Naiman, Truthout: At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria. Before using military force, the President should come to Congress with a specific plan and get explicit Congressional approval for it.

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The Grim Reality of Unaccompanied Migrant Children


Erika L. Sánchez, Truthout: Unaccompanied, undocumented minors experience extreme trauma and hardships. The recent surge in children apprehended at the border draws attention to the poverty and violence ravaging Latin America and the lack of resources available to this vulnerable population.

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Tackling Debtors’ Prisons: Reflecting on the Death of Eileen DiNino

James Kilgore, Truthout: The death of a Pennsylvania mother in jail last week has once again highlighted the punitive cycle of criminal justice, debt and the depth of social change needed to reverse this trend.

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Dear Defense Contractor CEOs: Why Is the Pentagon Buying Weapons With Chinese Parts Instead of US Parts?

Victoria Bruce, Truthout: The National Rare Earth Cooperative Act of 2014 would begin to address Pentagon dependence on Chinese components for essential US defense material: so why don’t defense contractors and the Department of Defense back it?

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Protest in Venezuela: The Difference Between the Violent and Nonviolent Right Is Smaller Than You May Think

Steve Ellner, North American Congress on Latin America: The insurgent tactics employed by the opposition belie its central argument that the errors of the government on economic policies and the inherent failings of socialism on the economic front have led Venezuela down a disastrous path with no hope in sight.

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Take a Walk on a Leaky Uintah Basin Oil Well With a Whistleblowing Oil and Gas CEO

Heather Murdock and Emerson Urry, EnviroNews: In response to national news in late May that pointed to a potential cluster of stillborn births in the heavily drilled and fracked Uintah Basin, the hosts take you inside a leaky and sadly typical oil well in this vastly exploited area.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Bradley Foundation Bankrolled Groups Pushing Back on Scott Walker John Doe Criminal Probe

Brendan Fischer, PR Watch: The campaign against Wisconsin’s John Doe criminal probe is being led by groups bankrolled by the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which has $600 million in assets and is led by Scott Walker’s campaign chair, according to a new analysis.

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Meet the Navajo Activist Who Got the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Revoked: Amanda Blackhorse

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: The growing movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins football team has scored a surprising victory. The US Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the team’s trademark registration after concluding its name and logo are disparaging to Native Americans.

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Among Doctors With Unusual Billing Patterns, Disciplinary Actions Common

Charles Ornstein, ProPublica: Over the past couple of months, media organizations have been busy dissecting data released by Medicare on payments made to health professionals in 2012. Unusual billing patterns have been uncovered such as doctors who only bill for the most complicated and high-priced office visits.

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Soccer Is Democratic. The World Cup Is Oligarchy

Nathalie Baptiste, Foreign Policy In Focus: Soccer is a democratic sport. Anyone anywhere can pick up a ball, kick it around, and learn to play. But what’s happening in Brazil is not representative of that sentiment.

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Bike Share: Safe or Not Safe? A New Study on Brain Trauma Raises Questions

Anna Brones, Care2: As more and more cities add bike share programs, it’s important that we talk about safety, and for a lot of people that discussion comes down to helmets. Rentals through bike share don’t usually offer bike helmets along with the bike.

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Fracking Train Shipments Allegedly Delay Amtrak Trains and Passengers for Hours

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Add Amtrak getting fracked to your list of reasons to oppose the process that injects toxic chemicals into the earth, releases methane (that is estimated to be 34 times more potent than carbon emissions, according to the EPA) and generally is destructive to life as we know it.

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Chuck Todd, Ed Henry Caught Mocking John McCain on Hot Mic

Watch the Video at BuzzFlash

Here Comes Climate Change: Scientists Predict Increased Rain, Floods for Northeast

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Global Refugee Figure Passes 50 Million for First Time Since Second World War

Read the Article at The Guardian

Princeton Study: Up to 900,000 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Pollute Pennsylvania’s Air

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Doctors Without Borders: Ebola Outbreak in West Africa Is “Out of Control”

Read the Article at the Associated Press

“Politically Explosive” Documents Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth

Read the Article at Common Dreams

NYC to Settle With Wrongly-Convicted “Central Park Five” for $40 Million

Read the Article at The Washington Post