Monday, July 30, 2012

Military Spending Can Be Funny

In this British send-up of an Admiral's interview, we learn the "thinking" that goes into aircraft carrier procurement.  It is sure to make you laugh.  Go to

Is Air A "Public Trust"?

The common law has always held that water resources are a "public trust," and that no one has the right to pollute or destroy waterways and water sources at the expense of the people who use the water.  Now suits have been brought in Texas and New Mexico claiming the same rights for users of the atmosphere. And the suits are so far successful!  This could be a real turning point in the fight against polluters who use our atmosphere as a free dump for their waste.  Stay tuned!

What Is "Rent-Seeking"?

Nobel Prize winner Josepg Stiglitz of Columbia says it is the cause of inequality, and that is the cause of our economic woes.  Well worth a read.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This Is About Paul Krugman

This article by Jeff Gelles of the Inquirer is about the general agreement among economists with Paul Krugman that the Chicago School's ideas about free unregulated markets have no place in our current situation.  Anyone considering a chilling dose of austerity has only to look at Europe.  Justin Wolfers and Betsy Stevenson of Wharton School think it's pretty obvious what must be done - in spite of the deficit - in an economy with millions unemployed, borrowing rates at their lowest in years, bridges and roads to be built, and thousands of police, firemen, teachers and school nurses to be reemployed.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Time To De-Alert

This Washington Post editorial calls for a big step back from the hair-trigger status of our nuclear missiles.  For a start, let's de-alert them.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Toomey Has Plans For You

“The Senate may take up, as early as this week, a budget proposal from Senator Patrick J. Toomey that is similar in most important respects to the budget resolution from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which the House passed on March 29. Like the Ryan budget, the Toomey plan (S. Con. Res. 37) would protect and extend tax cuts that disproportionately benefit higher-income Americans, while reducing deficits through steep cuts in programs that benefit average citizens and people on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder — from low-income programs like Medicaid, to Medicare, to the entire array of non-defense discretionary programs, such as Head Start and food safety inspections.”

View the full analysis: 8 pp.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Great Was Ronald Reagan?

Before our Republican friends start mooning about Ronald Reagan and remarking on their candidate's likeness to him, we thought we should quickly review those memorable Reagan years.

The Forgotten Bomb

The First Friday film at the Peace Center of Delaware County August 3 will be "The Forgotten Bomb," a 95-minute documentary about nuclear weapons - still with us by the thousands decades after the Cold War ended.  Big screen.  7pm.  Doors open 6:30.  1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Must-See Moyers & Company

If you missed Moyers & Company on PBS today, you owe it to yourself to set aside an hour of your time, click on the link, and witness one of the most moving, powerful, and meaningful interviews and conversations you are ever likely to see. Journalist Chris Hedges talks with Bill Moyers about his new book "Days of Destruction, Days of Hope" about journeys he and artist Joe Sacco made recently to Camden, New Jersey, the Appalachian mountaintop coal-mining communities, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and Okolokee, Florida where "illegal" aliens are harvesting our food.  Bill and Chris, both former seminarians, talk about despair, hope, faith, and how they look toward the future.  Worth every minute.

Nathan Detroit Explains LIBOR

A clever bit of writing that equates LIBOR with the goings on in Guys and Dolls.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Rich Are Different....

Our favorite economist discusses the curious reaction of the Romney people to ciriticism of their business and tax-paying history.  A little deference please.

Panetta To Valparaiso

Just when you thought there was hope of reining in the number of overseas US bases (now above 1,000), Defense Secretary Penetta is off to Chile to help set up yet another US outpost, not far from Valparaiso (pictured).  The Obama administration says it's to  get ready for humanitarian rescue efforts (?), but area Chileans, remembering the old days of Dictator Pinochet, say it's to control civilians.  Who do you believe?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Marc Bittman On Climate Change

Marc Bittman doesn't just write well about food.  His column about climate change certainly deserves attention, as does Bill McKibbens's article to be published in Rolling Stone today.  We have to all  become environmental activists.  We have to all identify the fossil-fuel industry as our mortal enemy.

House Votes Defense Budget

This bill will still have to be reconciled with another budget bill to be passed by the Senate in August. We attended a very hot Washington Nationals baseball game yesterday.  Before the first pitch we had to witness four Marines in dress blues marching around with flags and rifles.  Why?  What is the connection between baseball and militarism?  Is it because Marines, like baseball, are so "Amurikan?" If you need such symbolism, why not carry around an electric chair or a drone?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Four Federal Spending Myths

As the Defense budget approaches, as sequestration looms, as we get nearer to what has been called the "Fiscal Cliff" in January, it is important that we have our facts straight.  This article is about four myths that have been floated by people who want more millitary spending, less domestic spending, and lower taxes for the rich and for corporations.  Well worth a read.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

American Nuns' Response To Vatican

This article is about an interview with Sr. Pat Farrell of the Leadership Council of Women Religious by Terry Gross this afternoon at 3pm on NPR, WHYY-FM (90.9) in Philadelphia.  If you miss the broadcast, you can hear a recording on the NPR website starting about 5pm.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Independent Candidates In CD-07!

Two independent candidates for Congress in Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district met before 18 citizens at the Peace Center for Delaware County on the evening of July 14 and talked about the election and what is to be done.  Neither "major" party candidate was willing to take part.

The New York Times Is Concerned

It is difficult to justify these mindbogglingly expensive jet fighters when their enemy these days is operating out of caves.  This editorial is about the new F-22 and F-35 planes - both performing unsatisfactorily and way over budget.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Money Missing In Iraq

Our government auditors have no idea how much of $51,000,000,000 authorized for the reconstruction of Iraq actually got used for that.  This is what wars do to budgets.

Who Could Have Stopped The Libor Scandal?

This NY Times article suggests that regulators were ill-equipped to reign in big bank misconduct.  It seems that NY Fed President Tim Geithner knew what was going on in 2008 but did not blow the whistle. Congressional hearings are in the works.

Moyers & Company Sunday

The weekly program airs in Philadelphia at Noon Sundays on WHYY-TV, Ch. 12. The July 15 show is devoted to a discussion of bad bank behavior and what can be done to get the new Dodd-Frank legislation up to speed to regulate it, and a look at engineered seeds and what they're doing to our diet, our farms, and our environment.  You can see the program on line by clicking on this link and then clicking on the "Watch Now" box.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jobs And Military Spending

Chris Hellman at National Priorities talks about how cutting government spending will affect various jobs.  You're going to hear a lot about job loss from cuts to military spending.  Here are the facts.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Fixing The Future" At BMFI

"Fixing the Future," a film about how local communities across America are finding new ways to improve the economy for the people, will be shown Thursday, July 19, at 7:30pm at Bryn Mawr Film Institute.  Tickets are $7-$10.

Something Is Rotten In LIBOR

Even The Economist smells something bad.  Barclays has gotten a giant fine for rate-fixing, and now the scandal is crossing the Atlantic.  Big trouble for someone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stop The "Monsanto Rider"

Monsanto and friends in the monsterfood industry are trying to pull a fast one in Congress right now that will seriously imperil our food supply.  Please read this and take action.

Is Labor A Lost Cause?

If you missed the program, click on the link below and then click on "Watch Now," and you can see it whenever you want.  It's worth watching.

Moyers & Co Sunday Noon to 1pm.  Philadelphia WHYY-TV.  What's happening to labor?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Paul Krugman Today

"In short, what was good for Bain Capital definitely wasn't good for the United States."  Our favorite economist, Paul Krugman.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feeling Warm?

Amy Goodman writes about global warming and recent evidence of it.

Gail Collins Answers Your Questions

You may be feeling blue now that July 4 is past and the temperature outside is unspeakable.  Let Gail Collins explain about swing states, political volunteering, Karl Rove, and other interesting things.  It will cheer you up.  And she doesn't even mention the dog on the roof.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Philly And Military Spending

Here's a fine article from the Philadelphia Tribune about homeless veterans and others suffering in Philly because of military spending, and about our resolution passed by City Council June 21, making us the second largest city in the US to take such a position.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Texts from Hill

Romney's Greatest Acievement

Will Mitt Romney have to attack his greatest (only?) legislative achievement while governor of Massachusetts?  Is this his supreme burden?  Or is it something about a dog on the roof?