Archive

Date

July 3rd, 2014

The High Cost of Cheap Shrimp

    The Guardian recently revealed shocking results from a six-month investigation of the Thai fishing industry: Much of the shrimp sold in American and British supermarkets were produced with slave labor.

    While shrimp sold to U.S. consumers hail from a number of different countries, including our own, Thailand is the world’s biggest shrimp supplier. Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, the corporation at the heart of this story, is Thailand’s largest shrimp farmer.

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The Media vs. Hillary Clinton

    Exactly why the Washington press clique has always had it in for Hillary Clinton has never been entirely clear. Only that their collective sneer has been the single constant in her political career ever since she and Bill Clinton descended upon the capital from darkest Arkansas more than 20 years ago.

    That and her own dislike and mistrust of the press, which she makes only a perfunctory effort to hide. And boy, has she earned it.

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After Hobby Lobby

    It's not often that social and corporate conservatives come together, but the five right-of-center justices on the U.S. Supreme Court fashioned exactly this synthesis in their Hobby Lobby decision this week. In a religious freedom case related to birth control, the majority focused on the liberties of the company's owners, not of those who work for them.

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Is the Medium the Menace?

    An aspiring rapper posts his lyrics on Facebook, suggesting a Halloween costume with his estranged wife's "head on a stick."

    He goes on: "I'm not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts. Hurry up and die, bitch, so I can..." and so on and so forth.

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One of the worse Supreme Court decisions ever

    There have been some great landmark Supreme Court decisions: Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, U.S. v. Nixon, and Lawrence v. Texas, to name but a few. And there have been a number of doozies. Among them: Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. United States and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This week's Hobby Lobby decision now joins the ranks of the worst ever. It will be soon regretted and someday overturned.

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Obama stands firm on executive orders

    This Independence Day weekend is marked not only by patriotic, flag-waving parades and fireworks. It also features a sharp declaration of independence from Congress by a president frustrated by the legislative headlock its Republican members hold on him.

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June 26th

The Big Green Test

    On Sunday Henry Paulson, the former Treasury secretary and a lifelong Republican, had an op-ed article about climate policy in The New York Times. In the article, he declared that man-made climate change is "the challenge of our time," and called for a national tax on carbon emissions to encourage conservation and the adoption of green technologies. Considering the prevalence of climate denial within today's GOP, and the absolute opposition to any kind of tax increase, this was a brave stand to take.

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The Frustration Doctrine

    Americans' confidence in American leadership is flagging to such a degree that it poses a critical threat to our democracy, particularly as moneyed interests seek to manipulate the malaise and stir policy and politician away from principle and toward profit.

    President Barack Obama's approval ratings remain underwater, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week found that his numbers have gotten even worse on foreign policy. As NBC put it:

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New Leader, New Attack on Exports

    In the real world, markets aren't perfect.

    If they were, you wouldn't need Fannie Mae to play such a vital role in housing finance. You wouldn't need government to fund research. And you certainly wouldn't rely on an export credit agency to help promote American exports and create American jobs. Surely, the private sector can handle that.

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Calamity on an 'Ungrateful Volcano'

    Iraq is shattered and 300 U.S. military advisers can't put the pieces back together. So now what? An old saying about the Middle East comes to mind: Things can always get worse.

    The aim of U.S. policy at this point should be minimizing the calamity, not chasing rainbows of a unified, democratic, pluralistic Iraq -- which, sadly, is something the power brokers in Iraq do not want.

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