Published on Friday, December 6, 2013 by Common Dreams
Radioactive Fukushima Water Headed for US West Coast
As nuclear industry and allies in government play down risk, scientists warn there is no such thing as safe radiation
- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
Radioactive water contaminated by Japan’s ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant will soon reach the west coast of the United States, according to Chairwoman of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Allison Macfarlane, Bloomberg reports.
As the nuclear industry and its allies in government attempt to play down the danger of the contaminated ocean waters, scientists warn there is no such thing as safe radiation.
“The highest amount of radiation that will reach the U.S. is two orders of magnitude — 100 times — less than the drinking water standard,” Macfarlane told Bloomberg. “So, if you could drink the salt water, which you won’t be able to do, it’s still fairly low.”
Monsanto – one of the most influential corporations among members of Congress – has hired former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln’s lobbying firm, the Lincoln Policy Group, to do its bidding in Washington, D.C.
Cashing in on her public service by helping massive corporations like Monsanto gut food safety, public health and transparency laws is just wrong. That’s why I started my own campaign on CREDOMobilize.com, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to former Senator Blanche Lincoln, says the following:
Cashing in on public service by lobbying for unethical corporations is offensive to the American people. Senator Lincoln: Stop lobbying for Monsanto.
Earlier this month, Monsanto helped defeat an initiative that would have required genetically modified foods sold in my home state of Washington to be labeled. The company dumped millions of dollars into misleading TV ads to confuse Washington state residents and keep us in the dark about what we’re eating.
Lincoln’s lobbying firm has also hired her former staffer Robert Holifield — who served as her staff director on the Senate Agriculture Committee when she was the committee chair — as a partner at her lobbying firm. This shows that Lincoln is going beyond using her own connections she developed as a senator to cash in – she’s actively recruiting former congressional staff to boost her efforts to influence leaders on Capitol Hill.
Monsanto is clearly already far too influential in the halls of Congress, as evidenced by the “Monsanto Protection Act.” This legislation, which was anonymously added to a must-pass budget bill in March, allowed Monsanto to ignore food safety laws and disregard court opinions.
Lincoln has also done lobbying work for telecommunications company Nokia and major credit reporting bureau Experian — and she’s continuing to seek new clients as she grows her firm. By shining a public spotlight on Lincoln’s lobbying for Monsanto we can damage her firm’s reputation with other potential clients and send a strong message to elected officials that cashing in on public service by lobbying for unethical corporations is unacceptable.
Thank you for your support.
Clear Channel to Remove L.A. and San Francisco’s Only Commercial Progressive Talk Radio Stations, Replace Them with More Rightwing Talk
Non-RW listeners in largest and most progressive media markets to be almost completely unserved over our publicly-owned airwaves…
The largest media market in the world is about to lose its only non-Rightwing commercial talk radio station. Los Angeles’ KTLK 1150am will be flipped to a far Rightwing station featuring hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other rightwing talkers. The same is to happen to San Francisco’s KNEW 960am, in the most progressive city in the nation. Both stations will reportedly flip to Rightwing stations — added to numerous others in the same cities — on the first broadcast day of 2014.
Both stations are owned by Clear Channel, the nation’s largest station owner, and the Rightwing hosts mentioned above are syndicated by Premiere Networks, the largest syndicator in the nation. After the flip, both cities will be left without a single commercial progressive talk radio station on the public airwaves…
FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=10413
In Return to Vietnam, Vets Tackle Mess They Left Behind
By Jeff Stein / December 02 2013 6:54 PM
A handful of former U.S. servicemen have moved to Vietnam permanently to clean up devastation left by American bombs and Agent Orange. AP Photo
It’s not easy to find a turkey dinner in Hanoi, but a handful of Americans and their Vietnamese friends gathered last Thursday over an imported bird cooked for them at a fancy restaurant in the capital’s old quarter, and they gave thanks.
One of them was Chuck Searcy, who was a U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Saigon 45 years ago. Another was Manus Campbell, who survived some of the war’s bloodiest fighting as a Marine draftee in Quang Tri Province. Both are nearly 70 now.
ALEC Is Not Where Visa Wants to Be
Posted by Brendan Fischer on December 04, 2013
Financial services company Visa has dropped its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), providing further evidence of ALEC’s dwindling membership in the wake of a major expose by The Guardian. Visa (whose slogan is “everywhere you want to be”) made the announcement to Boston Common Asset Management, which had been engaging with Visa over the past year on lobbying disclosure.
VISA logoCMD counted 50 corporations that had publicly dropped their ALEC membership, but according to internal ALEC documents published by The Guardian, ALEC estimates they’ve lost around 60 corporate members in the past two years, in the fallout over ALEC’s role in promoting Stand Your Ground legislation, voter ID, and an array of other controversial bills. As a result of that shrinking roster of corporate members, “in the first six months of this year [ALEC] suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income,”The Guardian reports.
Visa’s departure won’t help close up those budgetary gaps. In addition to supporting ALEC through its membership dues and participation in the Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force, Visa was a “Chairman” level sponsor of 2011 ALEC Annual Conference, which cost $50,000 the previous year. It also sponsored a Plenary Session at the 2011 meeting featuring FreedomWorks founder Dick Armey.
Celebs use star power in bid to halt NYU expansion
By Tara Palmeri
December 4, 2013 | 5:56am
Not in my neighborhood!
Greenwich Village celebs are so desperate to stop the NYU expansion that they’re putting their talents on the block at a silent auction next week to raise money for the legal battle.
What started as a local online holiday auction has expanded into a star-studded affair, with more than 140 items — including a two-hour acting lesson with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, starting at $2,500, and a shopping spree “to curate your pantry and spice collection” with “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi.
ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row
• Rightwing lobby group appealing to major donors to return
• Internal documents reveal so-called ‘Prodigal Son Project’
• Network lost almost 400 state legislators over past two years
Ed Pilkington in New York and Suzanne Goldenberg
theguardian.com, Tuesday 3 December 2013 13.06 EST
An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws.
The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the “Prodigal Son Project”.
The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald’s and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.
Welcome to the Memory Hole
Peter Van Buren
Posted: 12/03/2013 10:56 am
What if Edward Snowden was made to disappear? No, I’m not suggesting some future CIA rendition effort or a who-killed-Snowden conspiracy theory of a disappearance, but a more ominous kind.
What if everything a whistleblower had ever exposed could simply be made to go away? What if every National Security Agency (NSA) document Snowden released, every interview he gave, every documented trace of a national security state careening out of control could be made to disappear in real-time? What if the very posting of such revelations could be turned into a fruitless, record-less endeavor?
Am I suggesting the plot for a novel by some twenty-first century George Orwell? Hardly. As we edge toward a fully digital world, such things may soon be possible, not in science fiction but in our world — and at the push of a button. In fact, the earliest prototypes of a new kind of “disappearance” are already being tested. We are closer to a shocking, dystopian reality that might once have been the stuff of futuristic novels than we imagine. Welcome to the memory hole.
Guardian editor defends publication of Snowden files
By Anthony Faiola, Published: December 3
LONDON — Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on Tuesday vigorously defended his decision to publish a series of articles based on the secret files leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, telling a parliamentary committee that the right to continue pursuing the story goes to the heart of press freedoms and democracy in Britain.
Rusbridger also told lawmakers that the Guardian had published only 1 percent of the 58,000 files it had received from Snowden.
“I would not expect us to be publishing a huge amount more,” he said.
The hearing on the Guardian’s handling of intelligence data leaked by Snowden, who is living in self-imposed exile in Moscow, drew the attention of free-speech advocates on both sides of the Atlantic. Rusbridger faced more than an hour of questioning during the Home Affairs Select Committee’s counterterrorism hearing, testifying in an occasionally combative public grilling of both the Guardian and its editor.
Contra-Cocaine Was a Real Conspiracy
December 2, 2013
Exclusive: The 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination saw a mainstream media blackout of nearly all evidence of conspiracy in that case. But New York Magazine went even further, mocking the proven Contra-cocaine scandal as a “conspiracy theory,” Robert Parry writes.
By Robert Parry
In the insular world of Manhattan media, there’s much handwringing over the latest blow to print publications as New York Magazine scales back from a weekly to a biweekly. But the real lesson might be the commercial failure of snarky writing, the kind that New York demonstrated in its recent hit piece on “conspiracy theories.”
What was most stunning to me about the article, pegged to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, was that it began by ridiculing what is actually one of the best-documented real conspiracies of recent decades, the CIA’s tolerance and even protection of cocaine trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contra rebels in the 1980s.
Journalist Gary Webb.
The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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