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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

The following is a press release on behalf of Senate Democrats.

Legislation granting Presidential Commission subpoena power would facilitate complete, accurate investigation into BP oil spill

(Washington, D.C.)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with nine Senate colleagues, today introduced legislation to grant subpoena power to the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, which President Obama created by executive order on May 22.  Congress has previously granted subpoena power to presidential commissions investigating national crises, including the Warren Commission and the Three Mile Island Commission.  Joining Shaheen on this legislation are Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA),  Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The Senators strongly believe that the BP Commission must have subpoena power to ensure access to all the evidence it needs to undertake a complete investigation on the causes of the spill and make meaningful recommendations on how to prevent similar disasters. Today, Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) plan to introduce similar legislation in the House.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

The following is a press release from Human Rights Campaign.

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign today hailed a proposal by the California Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) that would fine The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) for failing to report all of its late non-monetary contributions in its efforts to pass Proposition 8 in California in 2008. While the recommended fine of just more than $5,500 for the unreported late contributions of $36,968 to the Yes on 8 campaign may seem inconsequential, it represents a pattern of blatant disregard for California election laws and provides ongoing evidence that the Mormon Church was a significant leader in the campaign to repeal marriage equality, even while it evaded standard reporting requirements and denied its involvement.

HRC President Joe Solmonese also commended the efforts of Fred Karger of Californians Against Hate for filing the initial FPPC complaint that has shed light on the anti-equality activities of the Mormon Church. The issue, scheduled to be discussed at its June 10th meeting, follows the January 2009 admission by the Mormon Church to the FPPC that it failed to report in-kind contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign of $190,000. Previously the Mormon Church had failed to disclose its real involvement in the Proposition 8 campaign, as California law required it to do.

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BUZZFLASH ALERT

Chase bank officials agreed at their annual shareholder meeting to stop underwriting the strip-mining called “Mountaintop Removal (MTR).” Less than two years ago, the bank managed a $690 million bond offering with the top MTR mining company, Massey Energy.

Most environmental orgs, including Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Sierra Club, joined citizens’ coalitions, including “Alliance for Appalachia” as well as activists willing to block gates and tree-sit – a group called “Climate Ground Zero.” RAN pressured the bank from within, buying shares and agitating at annual meetings, including the most recent meeting on May 18, 2010.

In New York City, The Life After Shopping Church, led by Reverend Billy Talen and Savitri D, sculpted “mountains in lobbies” in branch banks throughout the city. This is the practice of leaving little peaks of damaged West Virginia mountain soil in front of ATMs with information sheets that describe the impact of MTR.

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BUZZFLASH ALERT

Newt Gingrich published a book during the 2008 spike in oil prices.  The book had the extremely creative title of: "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis"

Here are some exerpts from the portion of the book (page 99) subtitled "Debunking The Critics Of Offshore Drilling":

When people say that drilling offshore would destroy our oceans and damage our beaches, don’t believe it. They are wrong and our environmental record for offshore oil and gas drilling proves it... 

...The Royal Society of Canada studied the annual risk of a large oil spill resulting from offshore drilling and found that the chances are about 1 in 10,000 or 0.0001 percent per well. That means there’s a 99.9999 percent chance each year that there will be no significant oil spill from any given offshore well. And that estimate didn’t even consider all kinds of advances in technology or all the regulations that apply to drilling in the United States. So the real risk is probably much lower... 

...And even when a large oil spill does occur, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to see thousands of dead fish washed up on the beach. A Coast Guard study looked at the likely impact of small, medium and large spills on an extensive list of organisms that could be affected by the oil in every region offshore. It found that in the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, there was never more than a moderate risk to organisms, and the risk was almost always minimal even for large spills. This is important since these are three of the areas where the most offshore drilling would occur if the moratorium were lifted....

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MARC PERKEL FOR BUZZFLASH

I'm just hoping that after the worst oil disaster in history that if it's really going to be bad that it is bad enough to shut up the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd and those who keep saying that we don't need government regulation. Without regulating these companies the Taxpayer's have to pick up the cost of these corporate mistakes. They want to play "capitalist" and "free market," but when they fail we have to bail them out. I wonder if the Tea Party thinks that the Taxpayer should bail out the oil companies in the name of corporate freedom?

We deregulated the electric companies and had rolling blackouts. We deregulated the Savings and Loans in the 1980s and they collapsed and had to have a taxpayer bailout. Then we deregulated the banks and the securities and we had the taxpayer bailout of 2008. We didn't regulate the mines enough and miners die in explosions. Now the oil companies have liability caps which means that someone else has to pay for their mistakes. Where were the government regulators? They were literally downloading porn, doing drugs, and having sex with corporate lobbyists.

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MARJORIE COHN FOR BUZZFLASH

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) condemns in
the strongest possible terms Israel’s murder of human rights workers
who were attempting to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the
people of Gaza. At least 19 people were reportedly killed and dozens
injured when Israeli troops boarded the 6-ship Freedom Flotilla convoy
in international waters and immediately fired live ammunition at the
people on board the ships. The convoy was comprised of 700 people from
50 nationalities and included a Nobel laureate, members of parliament
from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Malaysia, as well as
Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset and a Holocaust survivor.

Israel’s armed attack on these human rights workers constitutes a
clear breach of international law. IADL demands the immediate release
of the human rights workers, medical treatment for the wounded, and
the immediate transfer of all humanitarian aid materials to Gaza.

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THEODORE ROOSEVELT

  • Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
  • We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices.
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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

One look no further than Pat Buchanan to understand how far corporate mainstream media has gone not only to the right, but to a dangerous tolerance of "pundits" who regard anyone by white males and their "little ladies" as un-American.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

On Friday, after glorifying shooting and guns to the NRA convention, Sarah Palin may have put the female members of her cult in fear for their lives. At an anti-abortion speech in Washington earlier in the day, she referred to her right wing distaff followers as "Mama Grizzlies."

But aren't shooting "Mama Grizzlies" with big bad-assed guns part of the Alaksan "spirit" that Palin glorifies at pit stops like her one at the NRA Convention on Saturday?

Palin may be setting up a scenario where she's putting a target scope on here own "Mama Grizzly" followers, because any Alaskan frontiersman will tell you, you shoot first with "Mama Grizzlies" and ask questions later.

So Sarah Palin "Mama Grizzlies," if you see Sarah Palin aiming a shotgun at you just before she pulls the trigger, don't say BuzzFlash didn't tell you so.

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BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

According to breast cancer survivor Elaine Sloan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is engaged in "Pinkwashing" by using a public relations stunt to donate money to breast cancer research with the consumer purchase of a pink bucket of fried fowl.

But Sloan contends that Kentucky Fried Chicken sells fast food that is a likely cause of cancer: 

As a breast cancer survivor, I've seen many tasteless examples of "pinkwashing" over the years. But KFC's new "Buckets for the Cure" campaign takes the cake. The chicken chain is peddling pink buckets of chicken—available in stores through the end of May—ostensibly to raise funds for breast cancer research.

This is the same company that recently introduced the fat and sodium nightmare known as the Double Down sandwich—slices of bacon and cheese tucked between two chicken fillets.

Finding a cure for breast cancer is certainly a noble goal. But so is preventing cancer in the first place. And this won't happen if consumers are encouraged to eat unhealthy foods by the bucketful.

Among the many posssible carcinogens linked to KFC chicken, Sloan notes the most basic one: "A Washington Post blog entry about Buckets for the Cure reminds us that according to the National Cancer Institute, 'studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats.' Researchers have long known that cooking certain meats—including chicken—at high temperatures can create carcinogenic chemicals." 

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