News Roundup, March 18th

National News:

 Iraq 10 Years Later: The Deadly Consequences of Spin

Krugman:  Marches of Folly

Tim Price: Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, Paul Krugman looks back on how the U.S. was persuaded to act against its best interests by a deceitful and manipulative political elite and a compliant media. Thank goodness we all learned our lesson that time.


 Ever More Shocked, Never Yet Awed

Bush Speechwriter: I Met Ahmed Chalabi At Christopher Hitchens’s Apartment

A decade later, veterans weigh in on “A War, Before and After”

VA’s ability to quickly provide benefits plummets under Obama’s-ability-quickly-provide-benefits-plummets-under-obama-4241

A war’s misleading anniversary

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake on the US Secrecy State as Predator of the First Amendment

Rupert Murdoch Wins Contract to Develop Common Core Tests

A Tough Road for Charter Proposal
Dan Patrick, the Texas Senate education chairman, has plans to expand the state’s charter school system, but they will have to pass a Legislature that defeated more modest proposals just two years ago.

Alabama: Governor Signs Law Granting Private School Tax Credits
Gov. Robert Bentley signed a law on Thursday granting tax credits to families who want to send their children to private schools or better-performing public schools.


Most low-income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges

Justice official Thomas Perez to be nominated to top Labor slot

Get ready to hear a lot about this from the GOP when they surely move to block him:
 Obama to nominate Justice official cited in negative report for Cabinet

Gideon’s Muted Trumpet
“A poor person has a much greater chance of being incarcerated now than when Gideon was decided, 50 years ago today [This is] because of prosecutorial policies that essentially target the poor and relegate their lawyers to negotiating guilty pleas, rather than mounting a defense.”

Bill in North Dakota Bans Abortion After Heartbeat Is Found
Shortly after Arkansas adopted the country’s most stringent abortion limits, North Dakota’s Legislature approved a bill blocking the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy.


 Ohio Teenagers Guilty in Rape That Social Media Brought to Light

Steubenville Rape Guilty Verdict: The Case That Social Media Won

In Some States, Gun Rights Trump Orders of Protection — Facing Protective Orders for Abuse, yet Allowed to Keep Guns

In the mid-1990s, Wisconsin became one of the first states to require the surrender of firearms with full protective orders. But in 2010, seeking to strengthen enforcement, advocates for domestic violence victims pushed for the statewide adoption of procedures that had been successful in a few counties. Among a host of provisions, people subject to protective orders would have been required to list their firearms and surrender them to the county sheriff or a third party within 48 hours.
The N.R.A. mobilized, calling the measure “a blatant violation of Americans’ Fifth Amendment rights” in an alert to its members. Jordan Austin, an N.R.A. lobbyist, expanded in his testimony on the bill before an Assembly committee: “Once a person has an injunction issued against him, he is already a prohibited person. He cannot, under the Fifth Amendment, be forced to disclose whether he is in possession of firearms, because that would be tantamount to forcing him to admit a crime.”
The bill died in the State Senate.


Weld County, Colorado Sheriff  Cooke won’t enforce new state gun laws


Drones: A Booming Business?
Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, may soon become commercialized. In Grand Forks, N.D., people are preparing for a coming boom in drones-related business.

Court Orders the C.I.A. to Disclose Drone Data


For the second year in a row the Justice Department has been given the not-so-prestigious Rosemary Award by the National Security Archive. The group gives the award annually to a public agency with a bad track record of transparency and openness over the past year.


Obama Inc.: What businesses want to learn from the president’s campaign
The president raised a billion dollars for his reelection campaign, but the staffers who engineered his victory may be worth even more to corporations and other groups that are eager to unlock the trade secrets that made the Obama brand so successful.


A Look Behind the Curtain at Wall Street’s 24/7 Effort to Gut Finance Reform

{about this huge article:}
He Who Makes the Rules — Barack Obama’s biggest second-term challenge isn’t guns or immigration. It’s saving his biggest first-term achievements, like the Dodd-Frank law, from being dismembered by lobbyists and conservative jurists in the shadowy, Byzantine “rule-making” process.


Records show Detroit’s emergency manager has tax liens on Maryland home


More Work and No Play Puts Today’s Moms in a Tough Bind (Forbes)

Bryce Covert notes that a study finds men have stepped up their presence at home since the ’60s (in that they no longer behave like visitors from out of town), but women still shoulder the burden of work whether they’re at home or, well, work.


Still true after 40 years: Voters prefer cuts in theory, spending in practice


NYT editorial board:  The Real Spending Problem (is $1.1 trillion in tax breaks annually)


Generational wealth in decline:
“People in their 30s and younger currently have a net worth half of what” their parents had at the same age.


Wall Street Execs Should Face Criminal Consequences

President of Dallas Fed Says Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Need To Be Broken Up

Steve Cohen’s SAC will pay more than $600 million to settle insider trading allegations

 JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon showed too much hubris and too little humility: The JP Morgan debacle was not a momentary lapse. It was an issue of culture – and it reflects badly on its charismatic CEO

Counterparties: Ina the belly of the London whale

Trading Hearings Put Focus Back on JPMorgan’s Chief

Elizabeth Warren: St. Patrick drove snakes out of Ireland…to Wall Street


White House Urged to Fire a Housing Regulator
Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has been at odds with the White House over a proposal to reduce the principal on underwater mortgages.

Yet Another Bank Fined for a Magnetar Deal, With Yet More Revealing Emails

Number of Cases Filed by SEC Slows

“The Securities and Exchange Commission is filing significantly fewer civil fraud cases this year, as its efforts to punish misconduct related to the financial crisis start to ebb. The agency is likely to fall short this fiscal year of its record-breaking number of enforcement actions in the previous two years, said people familiar with the matter But the new chairman may have to explain later this year how her tough rhetoric dovetails with a fall in the annual level of enforcement actions.”



Resistance in Cyprus Grows to Europe’s Bailout Plan
President Nicos Anastasiades delayed a vote on a $13 billion bailout that set off outrage for calling on bank depositors in Cyprus to bear part of the cost, while stocks markets faltered on concerns over the plan.

Things to know about the Cyprus bailout, in one FAQ

 Cyprus: The next blunder






National Politics:

How Republican consultants launched Tea Party Express & much more by repeatedly raising money to fight “Obama’s socialist agenda”:
 Inside Game: Creating PACs and then Spending Their Money

Obama-Republican Budget Battle Isn’t Only Taxes and Cuts
“The wrangling of President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over the federal budget underscores a clash of core philosophies about how the economy works that supersedes any skirmish on taxes or spending cuts.”

Speaker Boehner Admits ‘We Do Not Have An Immediate Debt Crisis’

Even Paul Ryan Admits That America Isn’t Facing A Debt Crisis

House Appropriations Chair Takes Down Republican Budget: It ‘Cuts Too Much’

Competing Visions: Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Patty Murray, and House Progressives Release Budget Proposals for 2014

NYT editorial:  Senate Democrats Finally Take a Stand

The Budget Wars: An Outbreak of Sanity or the Foundations for a New Offensive?

Nun wishes Pope Francis would write to Paul Ryan about his ‘extremely unjust’ budget

Chris van Hollen: House budget ‘Romney plan on steroids’

The Congress-Does-Nothing Deficit Reduction Plan — How “bracket creep” (the good kind) could make the long-term fiscal outlook better than everyone thinks.

In its much-awaited “autopsy” report of the GOP’s problems and path forward, the Republican National Committee on Monday endorsed comprehensive immigration reform, committed to a $10 million outreach effort primarily in minority communities, and proposed major reforms to its digital operations to catch up with Democrats. The committee also suggests shortening the Republican presidential primary process and moving up its nominating convention several months, among dozens of recommendations.

The full report can be viewed here:

It’s The Policy, Stupid: 4 Policies That Undermine The GOP’s New Voter Outreach Strategy

Conflicts of interest run rampant in state legislatures — Rules are few, oversight weak so lawmakers vote regularly on bills that affect their outside interests

 Obama’s support group OFA off to sluggish start

 Club for Growth targets look to John Boehner for help

Gingrich’s American Solutions Reborn as Nonprofit

 Mitch McConnell Will Fundraise With Billionaires After Saying the GOP Is Not The Party of Billionaires

Game on: Early GOP auditions for 2016 election

How could that be?
 RNC: Voters see GOP as ‘scary’ and ‘out of touch’

Anyone who may’ve missed this over the weekend, this is a disturbing must-read:
CPAC’s ‘Trump the Race Card’ Panel Derailed by Actual Segregationist

CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive

At CPAC, Hunger for New Leadership

Marxists Infiltrated The Catholic Church, And Four Other Crazy Things We Learned At CPAC

Priebus Announces Minority Outreach Initiative at RNC

Dallas Fed’s Fisher And CPAC’s Fishy Too-Big-To-Fail Event







 How Monsanto Outfoxed the Obama Administration — The inside story of how the government let one company squash biotech innovation, and dominate an entire industry

New ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Gives Monsanto Power Over US Government

Bills seek end to farm animal abuse videos

How to Force Ethics on the Food Industry

 University of Tennessee Wins Approval for Hydraulic Fracturing Plan
  The university says leasing land to a gas company to conduct hydraulic fracturing would allow researchers to study the impact in a closed environment.

Shale formation in Montana frustrates oil drillers
“What we haven’t been able to crack the code on is how to make these wells produce economically”

Bill McKibben:  America’s Dirtiest Coal Company

In the fall of 2007, Peabody Energy Corp., the coal-mining giant, spun off all its unionized mines into a new company, Patriot Coal Corp.  In the process, it got rid of the promises it had made over generations to coal miners and their families.
Or, as Peabody’s chief executive officer put it, “We’re reducing our legacy liabilities roughly $1 billion.” This was such a good idea that another coal giant, Arch Coal Inc. (ACI), unloaded its union mines on Patriot as well, though it cycled them first through yet another front. All totted up, Patriot now had 10,000 retirees and their health-care benefits on its books.
This company was designed to fail. Patriot is almost certainly the only five-year-old company on earth with three times as many retirees as employees, 90 percent of whom never worked for the company. And fail it did, declaring bankruptcy last summer. Now it’s going through Chapter 11 reorganization and hoping to emerge freed of its obligations for the pensions and medical care of those miners.


Oil giant BP is taking legal action in the US to limit payouts by a fund set up to compensate those affected by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

How Vernal, Utah, Learned to Love Big Oil

Cars in the U.S. are more fuel-efficient than ever. Here’s why.

“Modern chicken has no flavor” — let’s make it in a lab.  KFC, Chipotle and other chains know natural flavors don’t survive mass production. Here’s how they fake it

Research Finds Wind Farm Health Concerns Probably Caused By Anti-Wind Scare Campaigns

Spring Rain, Then Foul Algae in Ailing Lake Erie








Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism The State of the News Media 2013 – An Annual Report on American Journalism

Nearly one-third of U.S. adults have abandoned a news outlet due to dissatisfaction

U.S. Looked at Wall Street Journal Over Claims of Bribery[]

Alberta lobbies for Keystone XL in New York Times ad — Influential newspaper ran editorial last week urging Obama to reject pipeline

 Could Twitter Have Stopped The Media’s Rush To War In Iraq?

Kochtopus Tentacles Reaching For Media Outlets

Lawsuit tests bloggers’ freedom of speech rights
A colleague of the late conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart is asking a federal court of appeals to throw out a defamation case brought against him by former government employee Shirley Sherrod, saying the lawsuit violates the blogger’s right to freedom of speech.
The Cyprus bailout fiasco  Get ready for a week (if we’re lucky) of euro crisis news

Security reporter speaks about hacked 911 call that sent SWAT team to his house

 Bizarre New York Times Article on Lousy Finances of the Young Gives Undue Prominence to Housing as an Investment

Insult to injury: stolen wages, weak enforcement

CNN’s Steubenville coverage called too sympathetic to teens found guilty

How the media took sides in the Steubenville rape case

This Week in Review: The lessons of Google Reader’s death, and the free labor of news sources

Dean Baker:  Capitalism, Steven Pearlstein, and Morality

Circulation down, challenges up at alt-weeklies

The Boston Phoenix closing is another sign that glossing up print doesn’t work miracles
 The alt weekly, one of the nation’s best, announced its closure Thursday after nearly 50 years of publishing.




Washington Post. Scott Walker says he would consider run for president. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Tennessean. DPW. 

Wis. governor thrills gathering of conservatives

Janesville Gazette. GOP superintendent’s campaign blacklists news reporters.
LFB. Summary of Governor’s 2013-15 budget recommendations.
 DOA could sell off state property in governor’s budget proposal

Appleton Post Crescent. Budget language over land sales raise concerns.

The state would have much broader power to sell or lease state-owned properties — including buildings overseen by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents — under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2013-15 budget, according to a newly released budget summary by the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The state Department of Administration could sell those and other properties with or without the approval of the agency having jurisdiction over them.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Paul Ryan, Scott Walker tout conservative views on TV talk shows.
 Paul Ryan Warns of Debt Crisis on ‘Face The Nation’

 Reince Priebus: “We’ve Got To Win The Heart War”

Reince Priebus says Republican Party will spend $10 million to connect with (brown-skinned) voters at community level

U.S. Rep. Ryan. Remarks on the passage of the SKILLS Act.
Sheboygan Press. Dems see Ryan budget as campaign sledgehammer.

How the Social Security issue exemplifies the politics of deceit — Sure, the program needs tweaking, but Wisconsin Republicans like Paul Ryan ‘star’ in a misleading political dialogue that prevents it.

On BloggingBlue, blogger James Richard Bailey compares today’s corporate power to that of King George in pre-revolutionary America. He blames the U.S. Supreme Court for creating this anomaly and recommends two actions to overcome it: an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that spells out corporations aren’t citizens and one that provides public financing for all elections.

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Bill denies purchase of unhealthy foods with food stamps.
La Crosse Tribune. Bill would change retirement age for Wisconsin public employees.

Will a New Mining Law Erode the Quality of Life and Water in the Northwoods?  Metallic mining in Wisconsin used to be tightly regulated. Mining Bill SB 1, signed into law by Scott Walker on Monday, is changing that.

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Editorial: Boon or disaster? Let mining experts study and report.
Green Bay Press Gazette. After decades of mining, industry remains unpredictable.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Challenges to iron-ore mine likely to wind up in Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Enbridge seeks to pipe more Canada oil to Superior

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Conflict region mineral rule could prove costly for manufacturers.

The Chief and The Sheriff: Two views of Milwaukee’s homicide picture

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter. Jobs outlook in Wisconsin a ‘mixed bag.’
WJFW. Jobless benefits affected by sequester.

In her Isthmus column, Ruth Conniff of the Progressive writes that federal budget cuts are having serious consequences in Wisconsin, impacting everything from school funding to Head Start.

DFER Wisconsin, American Federation for Children, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, Wisconsin Charter Schools Association.  Letter to Joint Finance Co-Chairs in support of independent charter school expansion.


Let the sunshine on the Legislature, the Beloit Daily News editorializes, pointing out that the Assembly and Senate make rules for everyone else, but then exempt themselves.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Walker proposal to end residency rule opposed by municipalities’ board.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Proposed bill looks to light up Wisconsin’s solar sector.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Roggensack gets backing of police union.
As if the corporate media isn’t biased enough, contends  blogger Chris Liebenthal, now the news that the Koch brothers may be buying the Chicago Tribune newspapers. Apparently Charlie Sykes isn’t effective enough, he chortles. On FightingBob, Ed Garvey notes that the Koch news is a reason to start worrying.

Madison  blogger Brenda Konkel contends that she was harassed by the cops when she and others helped move the homeless from their temporary shelter at Token Creek Park.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. J.B. Van Hollen wants to appoint solicitor general.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Botched signature on paratransit bid takes taxpayers for $8.6 million ride.
DWD. Lt. Gov. Kleefisch Sec. Newson praise Second Chance Partners as model for educating, training new generation of skilled workers.

Right Wisconsin’s “Key Reads”

Week In Review: Wisconsin could use a little more sunshine

Wisconsin Reporter. Workforce Development calls bull on BLS’ Wisconsin employment numbers.

Rep. John Jagler:   School Choice Opponents Should Be Careful What They Wish For

 You Can Join the Fight for Educational Freedom

Also is a sponsored post at Right Wisconsin:

Van Hollen Says Tuesday’s Decision Doesn’t Matter

This entry was posted in Newz. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s