The Mouse on Steroids 30 May 2006 | TruthOut.org by William Fisher We can’t be blamed if Venezuela’s mini-public diplomacy program reminds us of “The Mouse That Roared” – and we can almost hear the gnashing teeth in the White House SitRoom. I refer to the program being waged in the US by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez. Under that program, Citgo, Venezuela’s wholly-owned gas and oil subsidiary, provides discounts up to 60 per cent on heating oil to poor communities in the US. Known as petro-diplomacy, the program is currently operating in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode […]
24 May 2006 | TurhtOut.org by Dean Baker The New York Times had an article today that inadvertently revealed a huge amount about how wages are set in the US economy (“US Plan to Lure Nurses May Hurt Poor Nations,” 5-24-06; A1). We all know the official story – wages are supposed to be set by the market, our old friends supply and demand. When certain skills are in short supply, the wages for workers with these skills are bid up. This leads more people to acquire the skills and may also reduce the demand. Eventually, supply increases and demand […]
Music. If you have not heard the new Neil Young album, it is well worth it, and he is streaming it free at www.neilyoung.com. Apparently, he was inspired and composed the whole thing in three days. Comedy. If you have not seen Stephen Colbert’s performance at the 92nd Annual Dinner of the White House Correspondents’ Association from 29 April 2006, you ought to: it made the Bush cabal very uncomfortable (click here or search the CSPAN archive, which requires Real Player).
30 April 2006 | Boston Globe by Charlie Savage WASHINGTON President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, “whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research. Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions […]