Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guardian UK:
“A network of Republican lawmakers and their rightwing corporate funders are battling behind closed doors to block minimum wage increases in cities across the US, in a step-by-step counter-attack that could cut back the incomes of millions of Americans despite an economic upswing.

According to strategic details obtained by the Guardian, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – along with its localised sister organization, ACCE – is trying to prevent elected city representatives from raising the minimum wage to levels above those set by their states. The group has launched an aggressive dual-track mission that combines legislation and litigation in what Alec calls a ‘new battleground over worker compensation.’

… With an increasingly national and political focus on the inequality chasm between the so-called “1%” and a middle class that continues to struggle against wage stagnation, individual US cities have been forcing the pace of change by setting their own progressive standards. …

Alec’s response, Sullivan went on to explain at the meeting, is to frame and then lobby for model legislation in state assemblies across the country. She said that so far 12 states, most recently Oklahoma, have submitted anti-increase legislation based on the rightwing lobbyists’ language.”

—>The NYT doesn’t like to cover the class wars being waged by the 1%. It didn’t print this story. 

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Common Dreams:
“Persecuted New York Times journalist James Risen accused U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of being the ‘nation's top censorship officer’ in a searing rebuke to comments made by Holder on Tuesday that the way his department handled the case of the now-imprisoned CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling should exemplify ‘how the Justice Department can proceed.’

Holder made the comments at the National Press Club on Tuesday when answering a question about the DOJ's crackdown on leaks and whistleblowers. After years of doggedly pursuing Risen's testimony against Sterling, the DOJ finally dropped their case after Risen vowed he would go to jail rather than reveal his source. The prize-winning journalist has previously described the Obama administration as ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.’ "

—>Strange that The NYT did print this story of Risen’s comments on Obama’s war against press freedom, especially since Risen was one of its reporters. The only mention of the story was in the Public Editor’s Journal, an on-line feature. 

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Common Dreams:
“Fossil fuel corporations and a Canadian trade agency that has promoted the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline have donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, which is jointly run by Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea. Climate campaigners say that the payments raise concerns about industry influence on Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate who has so far remained mum on her position on the tar sands pipeline, despite a call from 30 environmental organizations—issued over a year ago—urging her to take a stand against it. …

According to a voluntary disclosure from the Foundation, in 2014 the not-for-profit received between $250,000 and $500,000 from Canada's Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development department, which has pressed for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This Canadian agency is not the only donor aligned with big oil. Numerous fossil fuel giants sent direct payments to the foundation in 2014, including Exxon Mobil Corp., which donated up to $5 million, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., BP, ConocoPhillips Co., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Citgo Petroleum Co”

—>The NY Times has questioned the Clinton slush fund, but for taking donations from foreign countries. Why no mention of Big Oil’s massive payments to this foundation?

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