Posts tagged “obama”

  • Obama’s Agenda: What it means for economic inequality

    February 26, 2013

    When President Obama gave his State of the Union address on February 12th, hepizzigati_crdt_fredsolowey laid out his second-term agenda which included his plans to help reduce the growing economic inequality in our nation. He spoke of raising minimum wage, granting universal pre-kindergarten access to families in need, restoring the pay roll tax cut, and linking federal student aid to the rising college tuition costs. But what does his plan really mean for economic disparity?

    According to University of California economist Emmanuel Saez, the top ten percent in the US is making 46.5 percent of the nations income, which is the highest rate in nearly 100 years! This, amongst many other indicators, has sounded the alarms for government to address the this gap between the top-earners and the rest of the country. In an interview with Between the Lines‘ Scott Harris, Sam Pizzigati, veteran labor journalist and author of The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class, 1900-1970, assesses President Obama’s plan and how effectively it addresses the economic inequality.

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  • President Obama meets with Aung San Suu Kyi

    September 21, 2012

    President Obama met with Aung San Suu Kyi, author of The Voice of Hope, yesterday at the White House. During the meeting, the President expressed his deepest admiration for the author’s devotion to democracy and human rights.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize Laureate, mother of two, and devout Buddhist, is one of the most inspiring examples of spiritually infused politics and fearless leadership that the world has ever seen. Daughter of the martyred Burmese national hero who negotiated Burma’s independence from Britain in the 1940s, Aung San Suu Kyi led the pro-democracy movement in Burma in 1988. The movement was quickly and brutally crushed by the military junta, and Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. The Voice of Hope is a rare and intimate journey to the heart of her struggle.

    According to the official readout:

    “The President reaffirmed the determination of the United States to support their sustained efforts to promote political and economic reforms and to ensure full protection of the fundamental rights of the Burmese people.”

    To read more about the meeting, go to The White House Blog.

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  • Wojciech Jagielski on why he wrote Night Wanderers

    Wojciech Jagielski on why he wrote Night Wanderers

    October 28, 2011

    "Night Wanderers is my search for hope and humanity in all participants in the drama that is Africa today. I want the book to serve as a warning against indifference toward evil in the world, especially the evil that takes place out of our sight. The evil might be closer than we think." -- Jagielski

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  • Noam Chomsky on the assassination of Osama bin Laden

    Noam Chomsky on the assassination of Osama bin Laden

    May 20, 2011

    As the Atlantic inquiry observes, “The decision to kill bin Laden outright was the clearest illustration to date of a little-noticed aspect of the Obama administration's counterterror policy. The Bush administration captured thousands of suspected militants and sent them to detention camps in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration, by contrast, has focused on eliminating individual terrorists rather than attempting to take them alive.” That is one significant difference between Bush and Obama. The authors quote former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who “told German TV that the U.S. raid was ‘quite clearly a violation of international law’ and that bin Laden should have been detained and put on trial,” contrasting Schmidt with US Attorney General Eric Holder, who “defended the decision to kill bin Laden although he didn't pose an immediate threat to the Navy SEALs, telling a House panel on Tuesday that the assault had been ‘lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way’.”

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  • Guardian: US should nationalize the oil industry

    Guardian: US should nationalize the oil industry

    June 16, 2010

    ... In Sonia Shah's definitive history of the oil industry, Crude, the base greed and exploitative nature of oil company executives is detailed time and again, and the laissez-faire attitude of the respective governments involved in green-lighting their activities is an ubiquitous trait throughout every stage of the process. Public and private sector prospectors thought nothing of wreaking environmental havoc wherever they sought black gold, more often than not causing massive social upheaval to boot in the countries into which they expanded. Mass spillages and pollution across the world – in Alaska, Nigeria, Iraq and elsewhere – barely register with consumers in the west, so long as they don't occur in their backyard. The minute catastrophe occurs closer to home, suddenly everyone and their dog is a green campaigner, an environmental warrior ready to don cape and clutch sword in pursuit of a better future for Mother Earth and all her children. Which is all well and good, for about as long as the spills dominate the headlines and trend on Twitter, but when the crisis is over and the wells are recapped, all reverts to business as usual. And business as usual means a refusal to bring about serious, societal change. —Seth Freedman, Guardian

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  • David Swanson: What does $33 Billion look like?

    David Swanson: What does $33 Billion look like?

    May 12, 2010

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, Congress has already approved $345 billion for war in Afghanistan, not to mention $708 billion in Iraq. According to the National Priorities Project, for that same money we could have renewable energy in 1,083,271,391 homes for a year (or every home in the country for more than 10 years), or pay 17,188,969 elementary school teachers for a year. There may be 2.6 million elementary and middle school teachers in our country now. Assuming we could use 3 million teachers, we could hire them all for five years and employ that extra $13 billion or so to give them bonuses. "Honor our brave teachers" anyone? — from TomDispatch.com

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  • Ralph Nader on the health care reform bill

    Ralph Nader on the health care reform bill

    March 23, 2010

    The health insurance legislation is a major political symbol wrapped around a shredded substance. It does not provide coverage that is universal, comprehensive or affordable. It is a remnant even of its own initially compromised self — bereft of any public option, any safeguard for states desiring a single payer approach, any adequate antitrust protections, any shift of power toward consumers to defend themselves, any regulation of insurance prices, any authority for Uncle Sam to bargain with drug companies, and any re-importation of lower-priced drugs. — Ralph Nader, in the New York Times

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  • Kenneth Roth’s “Empty Promises?”: On Obama and Human Rights

    Kenneth Roth’s “Empty Promises?”: On Obama and Human Rights

    February 25, 2010

    ... Two days after taking office, [Obama] insisted that all U.S. interrogators, including those from the CIA, abide by the stringent standards adopted by the U.S. military in the wake of the Abu Ghraib debacle. He also ordered the shuttering of all secret CIA detention facilities, where many suspects "disappeared" and were tortured between 2001 and 2008. Finally, he promised to close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. But it is not enough for the government to stop using torture; perpetrators must also be punished. The Obama administration has so far refused to investigate and prosecute those who ordered or committed torture -- a necessary step to prevent future administrations from committing the crime. While in office, as he did during the campaign, Obama has repeatedly spoken of wanting to "look forward, not back." And although Attorney General Eric Holder has launched a "preliminary review" of interrogators who exceeded orders, he has until now refrained from prosecuting those who ordered torture or wrote the legal memos justifying it. This lets senior officials -- arguably those who are most culpable -- off the hook. Kenneth Roth

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  • Howard Zinn on Obama’s first year as president

    Howard Zinn on Obama’s first year as president

    January 22, 2010

    From Howard Zinn, in response to The Nation's asking what the highs and lows of Obama's first year in office have been: I've been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama's rhetoric; I don't see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies. As far as disappointments, I wasn't terribly disappointed because I didn't expect that much. I expected him to be a traditional Democratic president. On foreign policy, that's hardly any different from a Republican--as nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike. So in that sense, there's no expectation and no disappointment.

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  • David Swanson at the White House: Obama is a war president

    David Swanson at the White House: Obama is a war president

    January 8, 2010

    Take a look at this video from December 12, 2009, featuring Daybreak author David Swanson speaking at the White House about Barack Obama, about the ongoing war, and what Congress — and the people Congress supposedly represents — can do about ending it.

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