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by Greg Kaufman
To follow the congressional debate about food stamp (SNAP) funding in the Farm Bill—and media coverage of that debate—you would think that the relevant issues are the deficit, rapists on food stamps, waste and abuse and defining our biblical obligation to the poor.
The only thing missing from that conversation is the state of hunger in America today and how we should respond to it.
by Bill Bigelow
In the Academy Award-winning documentary Hearts and Minds, Daniel Ellsberg, who secretly copied and then released the Pentagon Papers, offers a catalog of presidential lying about the U.S. role in Vietnam: Truman lied. Eisenhower lied. Kennedy lied. Johnson “lied and lied and lied.” Nixon lied.
Ellsberg concludes: “The American public was lied to month by month by each of these five administrations. As I say, it’s a tribute to the American public that their leaders perceived that they had to be lied to; it’s no tribute to us that it was so easy to fool the public.”
by Mark Weisbrot
When I was a student at the University of Michigan, the FBI took down the license plates numbers of the people who drove to our meetings of the local Latin American Solidarity Committee, which was trying to end the US-sponsored terrorism and wars in Central America. This we learned from documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. The surveillance of our local, peaceful, and law-abiding group – long before the Patriot Act or the "war on terror" – was so extensive that one of our members who wrote a history of the group had to thank the FBI for keeping such a complete and detailed record of our activities.
by Paul Buchheit
We hear a lot about corporations avoiding federal taxes. Less well known is their non-payment of state taxes, which along with local taxes make up 90% of U.S. education funding.
Pay Up Now just completed a review of 2011-12 tax data from the SEC filings of 155 of the largest U.S. corporations. The results show that the total cost of K-12 educational cutbacks in recent years is approximately equal to the amount of state taxes left unpaid by these companies.
Corporations Neglect Their State Tax Responsibilities
by Glenn Greenwood
In my first substantive discussion with Edward Snowden, which took place via encrypted online chat, he told me he had only one fear. It was that the disclosures he was making, momentous though they were, would fail to trigger a worldwide debate because the public had already been taught to accept that they have no right to privacy in the digital age.
Snowden, at least in that regard, can rest easy. The fallout from the Guardian's first week of revelations is intense and growing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2013
ACLU: New Report a Step Forward, but U.S. Still Needs National Plan of Action to Address Racism
WASHINGTON - June 14 - Yesterday, the State Department submitted a major report to a U.N. committee on the state of racial discrimination in the U.S.
The report was submitted to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which oversees compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), a treaty signed and ratified by the U.S. in 1994.
by Jodi Jacobson
Wednesday, an all-male panel of House Judiciary Committee members, led by Rep. Trent Franks (R-GA), passed a 20-week abortion ban. The bill, HR 1797, passed out of the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20 to 12. The vote count fell along party lines, with the exception of Congressman Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR), the only Democrat who voted in favor.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has promised a floor vote on the bill next week.
This is a dangerous piece of legislation. It is based on false and completely disproven assertions about “evidence” of fetal pain; it makes legislators, rather than doctors, the arbiters of gestational age; and it would result in the trial and imprisonment of medical professionals who provide safe abortion care. Yet in what can only be called an irresponsible quest for what they call “balance,” many media outlets are assisting in the perpetuation of lies about a critical aspect of reproductive health care in support of policies that will deeply harm women and criminalize providers.
by Philip Smith
OLYMPIA, WA — Voters approved the marijuana legalization initiative I-502 in Washington state last November, and it is now legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, but a full-blown marijuana commerce industry doesn’t just happen overnight. The state is still months away from having a functioning system of state-taxed and -regulated marijuana cultivators, processors, and retailers, but the process is well underway, and by most accounts, it is going relatively smoothly.
Last month, the Washington Liquor Control Board (LCB), the state agency charged with setting up the state’s marijuana industry, issued its initial draft rules. It took written comments on the initial draft rules through Monday and will issue revised draft rules later this month.
The LCB will hold public hearings on the rules for all three envisaged licenses — grower, processor, and retailer — in late July, promulgate final rules in August, begin accepting license applications in September, and begin issuing licenses in December.
Blue Steals Green
Linn Washington Jr.
Drug-related corruption within the Philadelphia Police Department – once again – is the target of federal authorities.
This latest action by federal authorities involves two patrolmen charged with trafficking drugs and robbing suspected drug dealers while on-duty and in full uniform.
A few days before federal authorities announced the early June indictments against those two patrolmen, Philadelphia authorities announced the arrest of a policeman arising from that officer’s scheme to rob drug dealers.
Curiously, this latest federal enforcement action against Philadelphia police tainted by drug corruption did not involve the six officers at the center of a mushrooming scandal that has resulted in Philadelphia city prosecutors refusing to prosecute drug arrests by those officers.