Archive for supreme court decision

We must climb out of the black hole of American injustice and apathy

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As regular readers know, I do a weekly radio spot with Nicole Sandler, and today we tried to climb out of the black hole of American injustice and apathy as we discussed some of the stories you won't hear or see in the corporate media.

Every week, Nicole has someone on from Talk Radio News Service who fills her in on the morning's breaking news. Chief White House correspondent and global analyst Victoria Jones was her TRNS guest this week, and this is the disturbing report that she brought us. Ready? Emphasis mine:

Intel Chief Issues Press Limits:

The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission. The directive, issued by DNI James Clapper, also requires agencies' employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists (NYT, Hill, me) [Laffy Note: If you recall, Clapper wasn't exactly forthcoming with Congress about NSA surveillance.]

• Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired. The directive was issued in March. Clapper also issued rules to protect whistle-blowers who report info about waste, fraud or abuse via approved govt channels, although not to the news media

• Those rules, carrying out a presidential order, don't apply to intel contractors, only agency employees, a gap that's attracted scrutiny amid the debate over leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden - who pointed out he wasn't covered

The directive was reported by Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on Govt Secrecy. He wrote: "So under most circumstances, an intel community employee is at liberty to discuss unclassified "intelligence-related information" with his or her next-door neighbor,"

• "But if the neighbor happened to be a member of the media, then the contact would be prohibited altogether without prior authorization." (well, when you put it like that...)

You can read more details here, at the New York Times. This is not easy news to process, let alone accept.

Needless to say, Nicole and I lamented about the state of our dwindling rights, the decrease in feasible ways to organize and fight back, our abysmal lack of real news, and the mounting difficulty in disseminating accurate information, the soon-to-be extinct liberal radio outlets (did I mention Randi Rhodes is going off the air on May 16th?), among other things. The Political Carnival will post the podcast covering all of this later today.

The account above followed news of the terrible Supreme Court ruling that upheld Michigan’s affirmative action ban.

Jacob Dean of Filter Free Radio posted this quote in the chat room during the show:

"We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

Chris Hedges

We clearly have our work cut out for us.

Voting is only part of the answer. Growing a movement, using social media, forcing our elected officials to hear us, supporting Progressive candidates for local offices on up, and refusing to accept the status quo matter. Pay attention, Progressives, organize, speak out loudly, and never ever give in or give up.

Between these reports, the (sometimes violent) extremists on the right, their lies, fear tactics, and propaganda, the growing polarization of this country, the threats of climate change and assault on civil rights, and the (often willful) ignorance of voters, it's time to wake up and act before it's too late.

We can do this. But we have to start right now.

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Cartoons of the Day- DOMA and Prop 8

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Nate Beeler

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Steve Sack

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Bruce Plante

There are just too many killer cartoons on this subject, go here and here to check them out for yourself.

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Supreme Court makes decision in genes patent case

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I could never understand the basis of this to begin with.

(CNN) -- The Supreme Court has made a decision in a case examining whether human genes are patentable. Details of the ruling are expected shortly.

The case involves Utah-based company Myriad Genetics, which was sued over its claim of patents relating to two types of biological material that it identified -- BCRA-1 and BCRA-2, whose mutations are linked to increased hereditary risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Since Myriad owns the patent on breast cancer genes, it is the only company that can perform tests for potential abnormalities.

At issue is whether "products of nature" can be treated the same as "human-made" inventions, allowing them to be held as the exclusive intellectual property of individuals and companies.

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VIDEO- DCCC goes on health care offensive: GOP Congress member "shouldn’t repeal our benefits if he wants to keep his."

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Along with Willard Romney, John Boehner, and Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, Rep. Dan Lungren, Rep. Bob Dold, Rep. Judy Biggert, Rep. Bobby Schilling, Rep. Nan Hayworth, Rep. Chris Gibson and others want a full repeal of President Obama's constitutional, legal, conservative Chief Justice Roberts-supported Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is going after them.

(CNN) – Pushed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the ads target seven House Republicans the group considers "vulnerable" in November. Democrats are aggressively trying to pick up 25 House seats this fall in order to take the House majority.

"House Republicans are sending an unmistakable message to voters that Republicans want to cut benefits for middle class families and protect insurance companies instead," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. "The American people don't want more of these political stunts from Republicans to pander to special interests, they want action to strengthen the middle class and create jobs."

Don't let up.

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