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Common Dreams Highlights | Monday, 30 March 2015

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community


Taking Aim at Clinton, Former Maryland Governor Says Presidency ‘Not a Crown’
by Lauren McCauley
Testing the waters for potential nomination bid, Martin O’Malley calls for a president willing to take on ‘wealthy, special interests.’


TPP Opponents Mobilize as Powerful Forces Seek to Ram Through ‘Fast Track’ Trade Authority
by Deirdre Fulton
Lawmakers in favor of the pro-corporate trade deals hope to vote on Fast Track legislation in mid-April.
Syria’s President Assad: US Airstrikes a Recruiting Bonanza for ISIS
by Jon Queally
Americans would like to ‘sugar coat’ the situation, says Bashar al-Assad, but the situation in his country is only being made worse by airstrikes.
‘Heart Over Hard’: Thousands Protest Austerity in Brussels
by Deirdre Fulton
Demonstrators call for Belgian government to tackle fraud and enact higher taxes on the rich.
GMO Seed Theft Equals National Security Threat, Argues Government
by Lauren McCauley
Defense attorneys say spying on alleged Chinese seed plotters in trade dispute signifies ‘breathtaking’ overreach.
After Talking to Washington Post About Low Wages, Hotel Worker Fired
by Common Dreams staff
In original profile, journalist wrote that Shanna Tippen’s experience ‘reflects a more realistic picture’ of life on minimum wage.
As Chaos in Yemen Continues, Air Strike Kills Dozens at Refugee Camp
by Deirdre Fulton
Roughly 500 new families arrived in the camp over the last two days, escaping bombings in other parts of the country.
more news…


There’s a Reason the Big Banks Aren’t Mad with Hillary
by John Atcheson
And Why Those Emails Matter
Why the NCAA Should Move the Final Four Out of Indiana
by Dave Zirin
“Here is a time to say that despite the branding, the swooshes and the ads everywhere, money is really not the most important part of college athletics.”
Report: Big Education Firms Spend Millions Lobbying for Pro-Testing Policies
by Valerie Strauss
Four top testing companies collectively spent more than $20 million lobbying in states and on Capitol Hill from 2009 to 2014.
Balancing the Tensions of Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani
by Ralph Nader
“Above all, President Ghani wants to neutralize anybody or anything that undermines or distracts from his focus on building trust in government.”
You Owe Us, Corporations: Four Reasons Why, and One Way to Pay
by Paul Buchheit
Corporate profits are at their highest level in 85 years, growing by 171 percent in the first half of the Obama presidency.
Black America’s State of Surveillance
by Malkia Cyril
“Black people and other people of color have lived for centuries with surveillance practices aimed at maintaining a racial hierarchy.”
more views…


more newswire…


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Truthout Daily Digest | Friday, 30 January 2015

An Explosive Crisis: Government Bickering Clouds Cleanup Effort at Camp Minden

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: An explosion two years ago led investigators to 15 million pounds of hazardous and potentially explosive munitions waste, illegally stashed in northwest Louisiana, but cleanup is once again unclear as federal regulators haggle with an angry public and the Jindal administration.

Read the Article

Rep. Keith Ellison: Postpone Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

Robert Naiman, Truthout: Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after the Israeli election and after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.

Read the Article

Shedding Light on Three Big Lies About Systemic Pesticides and Bees

Maryam Henein, Truthout: Ridiculous misinformation is being planted in the media about honeybees and the systemic pesticides killing them. This begs the question: To what extent does Big Agriculture influence the way science is researched and reported to line its pockets and benefit its corporate agendas?

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Progressives Have Hope; Just Don’t Ask Jonathan Chait About It

Lisa Factora-Borchers, Truthout: To overlook writer Jonathan Chait’s self-appointed superiority complex as the work of one anachronistic guy would be to ignore the growing litany of complaints emerging from straight White men – claiming their own marginality.

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Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back?

Victoria Law, The Nation: On Tuesday, January 27, Marissa Alexander walked out of jail, but not as a free woman. As Alexander leaves prison for house arrest, it’s time to question the system that turns women into criminals for trying to stay alive.

Read the Article

Laura Flanders | Moving Your Money: An Interview With Finance Expert Michael Shuman

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: Why is it so hard to invest your money locally? Grassroots activists trying to build economic alternatives in the United States encourage investing in the businesses in your neighborhood, instead of in far-off corporations. It turns out that it’s not so easy to move your money; there are even laws against it in the United States.

Watch the Video and Read the Article

The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower

Norman Solomon, Expose Facts: The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling – after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower. Sterling’s indictment four years ago received fleeting news coverage that recited the government’s charges. From the outset, the Justice Department portrayed him as bitter and vengeful.

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Community-Owned Energy: How Nebraska Became the Only State to Bring Everyone Power From a Public Grid

Thomas Hanna, YES! Magazine: In this red state, publicly owned utilities provide electricity to all 1.8 million people. Here’s how Nebraska took its energy out of corporate hands and made it affordable for everyday residents.

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Trouble Already Brewing for Saudi Arabia’s New King

Lizabeth Paulat, Care2: The death of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz last Friday marked a passing of the torch in Saudi Arabia’s kingdom. His replacement – and brother – Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud has come at a tenuous time, with people now questioning his involvement in terrorist organizations and the country’s shaky human rights record.

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Fudging the Future

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: How precise is energy forecasting? To put it politely, the experts who get paid to predict these things aren’t the most accurate arrows in the quiver. Take the still-unfolding crude crash. Its cause boils down to one simple fact: The industry is producing way more oil than consumers want.

Read the Article

Richard D. Wolff | Economic Update: Economics and Revolutions

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode provides updates on political corruption, the Greek election results, Social Security taxes, debt jubilee, union membership and the lessons of revolutions.

Listen to the Audio Segment


Romney Is as Credible a Poverty Fighter as Kochs Are as Advocates of No Campaign Spending

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The statistical economic facts have shown that the trickle-down paradigm is a hoax: It has led to the greatest redistribution of wealth – from the poor and middle class to the rich – in US history.​

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

“Viper” Alert: Citizens United’s David Bossie Is on the Prowl

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Mitt Romney Will Not Run for President Again

Read the Article at The Washington Post

CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia, Senior Bush Administration Official Says

Read the Article at Vice

Manufacturing Terror: How the FBI Invents Some Plots and Ignores Others in the “war on freedom”

Read the Article at Occupy.com

Texas Legislature Introduces Bill Allowing Teachers to Shoot Students

Read the Article at Crooks & Liars

Air Pollution Actually Messes With Your Genes

Read the Article at Grist

One of the World’s Biggest Lakes Is Dying, and We’re to Blame

Read the Article at Mother Jones

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Truthout Daily Digest | Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Henry A. Giroux | Authoritarianism and the Assault on Public Education

Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: As public schools are privatized, succumbing to corporate interests, critical thought and agency are erased, and education emphasizes market values rather than democratic ideals. The emergence of larger radical social movements depends on public education maintaining its role as a democratic sphere.

Read the Article

Liberals, Trojan Horses and the Myth of Police-Community Relations

Josmar Trujillo, Truthout: Instead of having a conversation about how we’ve codified racism through law enforcement, we’re given a thick layer of public relations in the name of community policing. At its core, “community policing” serves as a Trojan horse for more policing and more funding of it.

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Robert W. McChesney: “Capitalism as We Know It Has Got to Go”

Robert W. McChesney, Monthly Review Press: In Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century, McChesney makes an urgent and compelling argument for ending communication monopolies and building a post-capitalist democracy that serves people over corporations.

Read the Excerpt

The Five Best Labor Stories of 2014

John Logan, Truthout: These stories demonstrate that despite extremely serious challenges, there’s life in the US labor movement – the last, best hope for reversing skyrocketing levels of economic inequality and restoring some measure of justice and decency to the US workplace.

Read the Article

It’s Time to Bring Domestic Violence Survivors Like Barbara Sheehan Home From Prison

Victoria Law, The Nation: Christmas is traditionally the time when state governors grant clemency to people in prison whose cases they find compelling – and many of the battered women behind bars have compelling cases.

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The True Costs of Corporate Welfare

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: It’s unconscionable and morally reprehensible that an employee working for the largest retailer in the United States, or for a fast food giant, isn’t making enough money to survive and provide for their family. We need to stop rewarding businesses for screwing over their employees.

Read the Article

Amy Goodman | The Afghan War Is Not Over: More Than 10,000 Troops Continue the Fight

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: The US-led NATO occupation has formally ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan. The move leaves Afghan forces in charge of security, though more than 17,000 foreign troops will remain, including more than 10,000 US troops.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Saudis Tell Shale Industry It Will Break Them, Plans to Keep Pumping Even at $20 a Barrel

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism: Saudi Arabia made it even more clear that it is not pulling out of its game of chicken with other energy-producing nations. The Saudis will keep pumping and, by implication, will force production cuts on others.

Read the Article

Guatemalan Genocide Trial Set to Resume Amid Amnesty Battles

Jo-Marie Burt, North American Congress on Latin America: Under pressure from entrenched economic and military interests, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court undid its historic genocide ruling in 2013. The trial is set to resume on January 5, but faces last-ditch efforts to derail it.

Read the Article

Okinawa: The Small Island Trying to Block the US Military’s “Pivot to Asia”

Christine Ahn, Foreign Policy in Focus: In November, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Takeshi Onaga, who ran on a gubernatorial platform opposing the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in northern Okinawa. Onaga pledged “to stop construction using every means at my disposal.”

Read the Article

Zombie Apocalypse and the Politics of Artificial Scarcity

Colin Jenkins, The Hampton Institute: If we are truly inclined to cooperate with one another, why is there so much division and turmoil in the world? The answer to this question may be found by assessing the creation of artificial scarcity as a means to maintain hierarchies.

Read the Article

Life in the Crosshairs – How Some Public Feminists, Atheists and Other Activists Cope With Death Threats

Valerie Tarico, Valerie Tarico’s Blog: Fear has the power to paralyze and silence even strong, determined people, which is why threats of violence are such a potent, common and toxic presence in political discourse. Consequently, it is a wonder, and a gift to us all, when engaged citizens refuse to be silenced.

Read the Article


Health Care Professionals Were “Legal Heat Shield” for Bush Administration’s Torture Project

Bill Berkowitz, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The role of health care workers in facilitating torture is one of the sickening details uncovered by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s 500-page executive summary of its investigation of George W. Bush’s administration’s torture program.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Activists Permanently Shut Down Vermont Yankee Nuke Plant

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Delaware-Size Gas Plume Over New Mexico Illustrates the Cost of Methane Leaking From Drilling Rigs

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee

Read the Article at Republic Report

2014 Was the Year We Finally Started to Do Something About Climate Change

Read the Article at Mother Jones

What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Police?

Read the Article at The Nation

A 17-Year-Old Rape Victim’s Demand for Justice Gains Momentum in Nepal

Read the Article at Global Voices

Kyle Orton and the Search for the NFL’s Liberals

Read the Article at The Guardian

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Truthout Daily Digest Sunday, 30 November 2014

Soy: Industry’s Miracle Bean in Brazil

Santiago Navarro F., Renata Bessi and Translated by Miriam Taylor, Truthout: Soy was initially introduced to Brazil as part of a US military aid package. Today, its industrial cultivation results in a number of negative consequences, including deforestation and the expulsion of small-scale farmers from their land.

Read the Article

Our Daily Poison: How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain

Marie-Monique Robin, The New Press: Our Daily Poisonexamines the origins of the modern chemical industry, from the epidemic of cancers and other diseases that exploded at the end of the 19th century to the idea of acceptable daily chemical intake.

Read the Excerpt

Racism and the Charter School Movement: Unveiling the Myths

Antonia Darder, Truthout: Rather than an oppressive and manipulative engine for capitalist accumulation, schools should function as centers of creativity and imagination where an ethos of democratic life is grounded upon cultural inclusiveness, social justice and economic democracy.

Read the Article

Truthout Interviews JP Sottile on the School of the Americas 2.0

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: JP Sottile discusses the rebranded School of the Americas, continued US military involvement in Central American conflicts and global military training with drug traffickers and terrorists replacing Communists.

Watch the Video

With Election Over, First Order of Business Is $450 Billion Corporate Tax Break

Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future: Every year Congress renews a package of “temporary” corporate tax breaks. Congress is working on this year’s extenders package, except this time it wants to make many of the tax breaks permanent.

Read the Article

Coal’s Black Wind: Pregnant Women in Parts of India Advised to Stay Away

Lindsey Konkel, Environmental Health News: The poor pay the highest cost of India’s dependence on coal. Already burdened by chronic disease, poor nutrition and inadequate health care, they also are highly exposed to air and water pollution.

Read the Article

Israeli, West Bank Arabs’ Divergent Lives Revealed in Olive Harvest

Daniella Cheslow, McClatchy Newspapers: The olive harvest reflects the growing disparities between Palestinians who live in the West Bank and their more prosperous brethren who hold Israeli citizenship and grapple with a divided loyalty to people and country.

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Obama: Don’t Sell Out the United States’ Women

Martha Burk, OtherWords: The Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated in secret. However, here’s what we do know: This so-called “partnership” is an insult to US workers, and it’s especially bad news for women.

Read the Article

Justice Department Takes Steps to Reform Grant Program Incentives

Inimai M. Chettiar and Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Brennan Center for Justice: The Department of Justice has made some subtle but important changes to its largest grant program, the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, which improve the program’s transparency and accountability.

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This week in Speakout:

The Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign, after hearing news of Marissa Alexander’s plea deal this week, vows to organize until she is free; Carmel Hannan details how Irish communities are taking to the streets to protest a new water tax, but it’s not just about water or austerity; Jason Cervone examines why rural Americans so often vote against their own self-interests; Collette Flanagan reflects on what it means to join a delegation of mothers who have lost children at the hands of the police; Dr. Hakim says both his Afghan and American friends wish for the Afghan conflict to be resolved, but not through expansive war; Michelle Corbin understands that what is happening in Ferguson is not only a personal question, but also a political and pedagogical challenge; Frank Seo argues that a new chapter for the immigrant rights movement is only just beginning; and more.

Read the Articles


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Ferguson Protesters March to Governor’s Mansion; Officer Darren Wilson Resigns

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Ohio Republicans Push Law to Keep All Details of Executions Secret

Read the Article at The Guardian

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 2014 Is Shaping Up as the Hottest Year on Record

Read the Article at CNN

How to Deal With Wall Street and Income Inequality in One Fell Swoop

Read the Article at Salon

Barbed Wire and Tear Gas in Cairo as Protesters Rise After Mubarak Acquittal

Read the Article at Common Dreams

Faces of Part-Time Workers: Food Stamps and Multiple Low-Paid Jobs

Read the Article at The Guardian

Florida Homeless Program Uses Unpaid, Destitute Residents as Steady Labor Force, Revenue Source

Read the Article at the Tampa Bay Times