Truthdiggers of the Week: Iceland’s Leaders

One country refused to bail out its derelict banks and slash social spending amid the financial crisis. And guess what? Unlike the eurozone and the United States, it’s making a sturdy comeback.

Iceland’s stock market plunged 90 percent in 2008. Inflation reached 18 percent, unemployment shot up ninefold and its biggest banks failed. This was no recession. It was a full-blown depression.

Since then, the country has steadily improved. By September of this year, it repaid its IMF rescue loans ahead of schedule. Unemployment dropped by half and its economy will have grown by roughly 2.5 percent by the beginning of 2013.

So what’s Iceland’s secret? According to the editors at Bloomberg News, it’s a refusal to do what virtually every other nation that was pummeled by the crisis did: adopt policies of economic austerity.

For more on this story, visit: Truthdiggers of the Week: Iceland’s Leaders – Truthdigger of the Week – Truthdig.

Making peace means leaving the protected place where we are right

Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai wrote: 'From the place where we are right, flowers will never grow in the spring.' Photograph: AP/Zoom 77

… Poets understand tragedy better than politicians. For what makes tragedy tragic is not that the situation is sad there are other words for that but that it is where the sloganising binaries of right and wrong no longer function as a useful guide. Which is why making peace means leaving the protected place where we are right.

For more on this story, visit: Making peace means leaving the protected place where we are right | Giles Fraser | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Obama Rejects Boehner’s Fake Tax Compromise: We have to address our fiscal problems using math, not magic

We have to address our fiscal problems using math, not magic. President Obama received a mandate from voters to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Instead of trying recycle and repackage their failed plans, it’s time for Republicans to stop holding middle class tax cuts hostage and start making a deal.

What I will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says we’re going to sorta-kinda raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified. And the reason I won’t do that is I don’t want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now, where low-and-behold, the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle-class families.

For more on this story, visit: Obama Rejects Boehner’s Fake Tax Compromise | ThinkProgress.

U.K. bookie declares Obama victorious

U.K. bookie declares Obama victorious - CBS News

Pollsters and pundits in the United States may be hedging their bets, but a bookie in Britain is paying out even before the presidential race is over. Paddy Power, Europe’s largest book-maker and one of the big “bet shop” chains in Britain where they’ll bet on anything has decided that President Obama has already won reelection, and is handing over cash to those who placed bets on him.

For more on this story, visit: U.K. bookie declares Obama victorious – CBS News.

What Does Romney’s Campaign of Lies Say About Our Country?

By Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future | News Analysis

Last week Mitt Romney delivered possibly the most dishonest presidential campaign speech in American history. It contains lie after lie, distortion after distortion, and trick after trick. The fact that a person capable of giving such a speech has reached this level suggests that it may be too late to salvage the country. Our institutions may be corrupted beyond repair.

For more on this story, visit: What Does Romney’s Campaign of Lies Say About Our Country?.

How Fox News Created a New Culture of Idiots

 

The following is an excerpt from  “Assholes: A Theory”  by Aaron James. Reprinted with permission from Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc.

… Assholes largely share a thick sense of moral entitlement. Just as hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, late 19th and early 20th century businessmen like Cecil Rhodes, Albert Beveridge and John D. Rockefeller all felt a need to invoke entitlement on a cosmic scale, in effect sensing that something might be majorly amiss. In stark contrast with the grandiose reasoning of the era of colonialism, the asshole in more recent modern life often requires little or no pretext of larger cause for the special privileges he feels entitled to enjoy.

For more on this story, visit: How Fox News Created a New Culture of Idiots | Alternet.

Silences Louder Than Their Words: Effective Economic Policies Neither Candidate Advocates

By Richard D Wolff, Truthout | Op-Ed

Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama even mentions six alternative economic policies that, deployed together, would reduce unemployment, increase workers’ real earnings and decrease the federal deficit.

This presidential election arrives five years into a severe economic crisis that both Republican and Democratic policies failed to end. The latest unemployment rate (7.8 percent) is not even halfway back to the 2007 level of 5 percent, from the crisis high of 10 percent. Jobs have not recovered, but corporate profits and the stock market did, thanks to huge government bailouts. Average real weekly earnings of most workers fell 2.4 percent from October, 2010, to the present – during what business, media and political leaders enjoyed calling a “modest recovery.” That 2.4 percent real wage drop means that workers lost the equivalent of six days’ wages (one week and one day) per year between late 2010 and now. Income and wealth inequalities thus deepened further across the crisis. No end of these developments is in sight.

For more on this story, visit: Silences Louder Than Their Words: Effective Economic Policies Neither Candidate Advocates | TruthOut.

Chris Hedges: Why I’m Voting Green

The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction.

For more on this story, visit: Chris Hedges: Why I’m Voting Green – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig.

Helping Republicans Find Real Voter Fraud in America

The real electoral fraud being perpetrated across our country is the GOP’s frantic claim that hordes of ineligible Democrats are voting illegally. It just isn’t true.

Sugar Land, Texas, is the hometown of Catherine Engelbrecht, a tea party zealot, who founded an outfit called True the Vote, which has run a nationwide witch-hunt to find and indict those imaginary hordes of Democrats casting illegal ballots.

No luck there. But rather than charging pell-mell across the country, she could have sniffed out a real fraud case right under her nose.

Bruce Fleming, running for county commissioner in Engelbrecht’s very own precinct, turns out to be a serial violator of voter integrity laws. In 2006, 2008 and 2010, he voted in person in Sugar Land, then voted again by mail in Yardley, Pa., where he owns a home.

But he’s a Republican, and Engelbrecht’s fraud squad wasn’t looking for those.

For more on this story, visit: Helping Republicans Find Real Voter Fraud in America | Common Dreams.

Romney continues to back Mourdock in spite of Senate hopeful’s rape remarks | The Guardian

Mitt Romney’s campaign has refused to withdraw his support from Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who claimed that pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended to happen.”

Both Mourdock and Romney’s campaign said that an advert Romney recorded endorsing Mourdock’s Senate bid would not be pulled.

For more on this story, visit: Romney continues to back Mourdock in spite of Senate hopeful’s rape remarks | World news | The Guardian.

Iowan who made 17,000 calls for Obama gets backstage photo opp

Davenport, Ia. – The first person to get his photo taken backstage with President Barack Obama this morning was a volunteer who has made more than 17,000 telephone calls for his re-election campaign.

Davenport retiree Jim Murphy said Obama thanked him, then posed for some snapshots shortly before taking the stage at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds for a 10 a.m. campaign rally.

Murphy said Obama had called him on Aug. 6, back when he’d made only 10,000 phone calls.

“I sure hope it makes a difference,” Murphy said. “It’s hard to get volunteers. I don’t know why. They all want to get him elected but nobody wants to help.”

Murphy calls Iowans to remind them to vote and to persuade them to vote for the Democratic candidate. He spends about four to six hours a day, five days a week on the phones at either the Bettendorf or Davenport Obama campaign offices.

For more on this story, visit: Iowan who made 17,000 calls for Obama gets backstage photo opp | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs.

Democracy Now! Hosts 2-Hour Third-Party Presidential Debate After Obama, Romney debate

Just hours after President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney face-off in a secretly negotiated town-hall debate, Democracy Now! breaks the sound barrier by hosting a live two-hour debate between three additional presidential candidates: Jill Stein of the Green Party; Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party; and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. An invitation was extended to Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, but his campaign declined.

For more on this story, visit: Democracy Now!: Democracy Now! Hosts 2-Hour Third Party Presidential Debate After Obama and Romney Battle at Hofstra University.

Murphy says McMahon afraid of losing votes by publicizing her policies before election

“You have an obligation as a candidate to tell people where you stand, even if that wins you some votes and loses you other votes,” he told reporters after the debate. “I thought it was great that Linda McMahon finally admitted that the reason that she’s not telling her positions on issues that she’s worried that people will vote against her.”

For more on this story, visit: Murphy, McMahon square off in fourth debate – THE MYSTIC RIVER PRESS: Mystic River Press: News.

Big Electric Companies Behind ‘Grassroots’ Ad Campaign in Florida | Mother Jones

The dark money group Defend my Dividend is more Astroturf than grassroots.

By Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica

This story first appeared on the ProPublica website.

Since August, a dark money group called Defend My Dividend has spent nearly $90,000 running ads on South Florida TV stations warning seniors about a looming increase in the tax rate on dividends.

“You worked hard, saved for retirement, and dividends are a big part of it,” says one of the ads, which Defend My Dividend has posted on YouTube. “But if President Obama and Congress don’t act this year, tax rates on dividends will spike, almost tripling in some cases.” Time is running out, the ad intones, as phone numbers for Obama and Congress appear on the screen.

For more on this story, visit: Big Electric Companies Behind ‘Grassroots’ Ad Campaign in Florida | Mother Jones.

Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech: All War All the Time | The Progressive

He denounced “the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence” from Iraq, though he didn’t say how long he would have kept our troops there.

And he hinted broadly that he’d keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. “I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders,” he said. “And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.”

On Iran, he also threatened war, aligning himself squarely with Benjamin Netanyahu. “I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” he said.

For more on this story, visit: Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech: All War All the Time | The Progressive.

Could Biden deliver? The answer Thursday night was a resounding ‘Yes’ | Truthdig

The smile. That laugh. The look on Joe Biden’s face said it all during his commanding performance in Thursday’s vice presidential debate held in Danville, Ky.

Given President Obama’s less than stellar performance in last week’s first presidential debate, a lot was riding on Biden’s shoulders: the polls, which have swung Mitt Romney’s way in the past week, for one, and the critical undecided voter in swing states for another.

Could Biden deliver? The answer Thursday night was a resounding yes.

For more on this story, visit: Tracy Bloom: Biden Laughs His Way to Victory in Vice Presidential Debate – Politics Today – Truthdig.

Ignoring America’s poor – Inside Story: US 2012 | Al Jazeera English

With 46 million people living in poverty, why are the presidential candidates so quiet on issues affecting the poor?

Despite persistent poverty across the US, President Barack Obama, and his republican challenger, Mitt Romney, rarely mention the country’s most vulnerable. Why are the poor being ignored?

They are certainly not addressing it in the campaign, Obama may return to some of these issues after the elections – assuming he is re-elected – but even then we expect to see a grand bargain out of Obama in the lame duck period. And that is not necessarily going to help seniors … so Obama is better than Mitt, but neither one of them are addressing it in the campaign.

– Marcy Wheeler, investigative blogger

And while the economy will be the main focus of the first presidential debate on Wednesday, so far, the country’s poor have been left out of the conversation.

That is despite the more than 46 million people who now live below the poverty line. And tens of millions more are at risk, as median incomes continue to decline.

 

For more on this story, visit: Ignoring America’s poor – Inside Story: US 2012 – Al Jazeera English.

Mitt Tells the Truth & Democracy is Not For Sale | Bill Moyers via Common Dreams

There’s a groundswell for rooting the money out of politics, as Americans come to see that this is the one reform that enables all other reforms. Two polls released in the last few days report large majorities – as many as eight in ten – are in favor of clamping down on the amount of money that corporations, the super-rich, and those shadowyoutside groups are pouring into the campaigns. It’s up to all of us to put a sign on every lawn and stoop in the land: “Democracy is not for sale.”

For more on this story, visit: Mitt Tells the Truth | Common Dreams.

Stop A Couple Of People From Voting Republican This Year. Just Share This Hilariously Eye-Opening Video. | MoveOn.Org

We encourage users to engage in a respectful discussion of this post, below. Comments are not necessarily representative of MoveOn.org’s views or beliefs, nor are commenters necessarily MoveOn members. This is a community-moderated forum: If you see something offensive, please flag it. If a comment receives enough flags, it will be removed.

Stop A Couple Of People From Voting Republican This Year. Just Share This Hilariously Eye-Opening Video. | MoveOn.Org.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑