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Showing posts from March 2, 2014

High-profile conservatives urge government action on environment

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["Focusing on environmental policy isn't exclusively a question of morality. Increasingly, it's an economic imperative," says Jim Prentice. *RON*]
By Margo McDiarmid, Environment Unit, CBC News, Last Updated: Mar 01, 2014
Some high-profile conservatives are urging the Harper government to improve its green credentials with Canadians and the rest of the world.

Former environment minister Jim Prentice and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall told a conference of conservative political thinkers the government needs to move on environmental action and regulations.

In a speech Friday in Ottawa, Prentice said there's new wave of concern over the environment coming and Canada is in a precarious position because its economy relies so heavily on resources such as Alberta's oilsands.

McDomination: How corporations conquered America and ruined our health

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[Good (long) book excerpt on corporatocracy and public health. The corporate class has accumulated a staggering level of power in Washington — and we've all paid the price. *RON*]

NICHOLAS FREUDENBERG, Salon, FEB 23, 2014
Excerpted from “Lethal but Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health”

On August 23, 1971, Lewis Powell sent a confidential memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memo was both a call to arms and a battle plan for a business response to its growing legion of opponents. Powell was a corporate lawyer, a former president of the American Bar Association, and a board member of eleven corporations, including Philip Morris and the Ethyl Corporation, a company that made the lead for leaded gasoline. Powell had also represented the Tobacco Institute, the research arm of the tobacco industry, and various tobacco companies. Later that year, President Richard Nixon would nomina…

Fox News Host: Government ‘Hands Out Spoils Based On Skin Color’

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[A good illustration of the increasingly radical political polarization of the media on grounds of race, gender and class. *RON*]

BY CARIMAH TOWNES, ThinkProgress.org, March 2, 2014

While discussing political and racial discourse in the U.S. last Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the federal government is guilty of a kind of reverse racism, making policy to favor people of color.

“The federal government takes sides and hands out spoils based on skin color,” Carlson claimed while speaking on the radio show of Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist and head of Infowars.com. Carlson expressed his disgust of the country’s previous segregation, and likened present-day “handouts” to the government “[taking] sides based on race” as it did in the past.

Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Party Strategy

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[A beautifully pure expression of corporatocracy and rule by the 1 per cent. “The Karl Rove thing is out. The Koch thing is in.” *RON*]

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, New York Times, March 1, 2014

The Republican donors who have financed the party’s vast outside-spending machine are turning against the consultants and political strategists they once lavished with hundreds of millions of dollars.

In recent months, they have begun holding back checks from Republican “super PACs” like American Crossroads, unsatisfied with the groups’ explanations for their failure to unseat President Obama or win back the Senate. Others, less willing than in the past to defer to the party elders and former congressional staff members who control the biggest groups, are demanding a bigger voice in creating strategy in exchange for their continued support.

Donors like Paul Singer, the billionaire Republican investor, have expanded their in-house political shops, building teams of loyal …

What’s Putin Up To?

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[Also see the BBC story New head of Ukraine's navy 'defects' in Crimea, and an interesting piece from the Russian perspective on AlArabiya.net, Russian intervention in Crimea: for peace, not war. *RON*] 

By Andrew Kydd, politicalviolenceataglance, March 2, 2014
Russian troops have moved into the Crimean peninsula, but Vladimir Putin is running silent as Clarence Thomas. We can only speculate on his goals and strategy. Is he trying to acquire a beachfront locale for a summer Olympics bid? Probably not, but what other reasons could possibly explain his behavior? The key, I think, is that Putin is determined to overcome Russia’s quarter century of humiliation. He is the anti-Gorbachev, the anti-Yeltsin. He wants to make it clear that he is not averse to using force to prevent westward drift within Russia’s sphere of influence.