HARVEY WASSERMAN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The projected price for Georgia's Vogtle Double Reactor Project has jumped at least $900 million in just three months....and that's just for starters.
Will you pay for it? The future of new atomic power in the US hangs in the balance.
Construction at Vogtle is defined by faulty concrete and non-spec rebar steel that threaten public safety and could delay completion dates beyond those projected even before construction began.
South Carolina's V.C. Summer, the only other new US reactor project now under construction, also admits to huge cost overruns. It is meeting fierce rate payer resistance in two states. From Iowa to Brazil, Japan to France, the global reactor industry is collapsing in tandem. But what other nations will it bankrupt and irradiate before it's finished?
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
If you've been eagerly consuming news stories about the powerful billionaire Koch Brothers, exposés of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the JP Morgan Chase debacle, the critical upcoming recall election in Wisconsin, and the Republican Party's increasingly weird War on Women, you probably haven't been thinking much about Glenn Beck; at least not since last summer when he was let go by Fox News.
Since Beck has seized the title of the "busiest man in show business" from Ryan Seacrest, it may behoove you to allow him back into your life!
Writing in the May issue of Vanity Fair magazine, journalist Todd S. Purdom warns that "just because he may have fallen off your radar" since his glorious days at Fox, "doesn't mean that millions of faithful listeners don't still harken to his every dog-whistle warning."
BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
US civilian and military employees regularly target and fire lethal unmanned drone guided missiles at people across the world. Thousands of people have been assassinated. Hundreds of those killed were civilians. Some of those killed were rescuers and mourners.
These killings would be criminal acts if they occurred inside the US. Does it make legal sense that these killings would be legal outside the US?
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Less than ten days after taking office in January 2001, President George W. Bush gathered a host of religious folks at the White House and announced his faith-based initiative, the cornerstone of his compassionate conservative agenda. It became, as The Christian Science Monitor's G. Jeffrey MacDonald recently termed it, "one of the flash points of the culture wars that raged as he came to office in 2001."
However, the clashes of the Bush era culture wars pale in comparison to the enmity of Religious Right activists who denounce President Barack Obama's all-out "War On Religion." This flies in the face of the evidence since less than a month into his presidency, President Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" These words, from poet Emma Lazarus, were inscribed on the Statue of Liberty over 100 years ago. Today the golden door has a lock on it, paid for with record profits from the health care, education and financial industries.
1. We're Near the Bottom of the Developed World in Children's Health and Safety
According to a 2007 The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report, the US ranked last among 21 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations in an assessment of child health and safety. The assessment measured infant mortality, immunization, and death from accidents and injuries.
A related 2009 OECD study generally agreed, placing the US 24th out of 30 OECD countries for children's health and safety. It also showed the devastating effects of inequality in our country. Despite having the second-highest average income for children among the 30 OECD countries, the US ranked 27th out of 30 for child poverty (percentage of children living in households that are below 50% of the median income).
2. We've Betrayed the Young People Who Were Advised to Stay in School
Over 40% of recent college graduates are living with their parents, dealing with government loans that average $27,200. The unemployment rate for young people is about 50%. More than 350,000 Americans with advanced degrees applied for food stamps in 2010.
As Washington lobbyists endeavor to kill a proposed bill to reduce the interest rates on student debt, federal loans remain readily available, and so colleges go right on increasing their tuition.
Meanwhile, corporations hold $2 trillion in cash while looking for investments and employees in foreign countries, and American students are forced to accept menial positions. Yet, delusions persist about our new generation of would-be workers. Conservatives are all bubbly about today's young entrepreneurs creating their own jobs - jobs that "don't yet exist."
The following is a news release from the Center for Constitutional Rights:
Lower courts to hear Iraqi civilians' claims of beatings, forced nudity, broken bones, and rape at hands of corporate defendants.
STEVEN JONAS for BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Well, Governor Romney seems well on his way to garnering the GOP nomination for the Presidency. It is hard to see how his quest could be derailed at this point, even by the revelation in the Washington Post that he bullied prep school classmates that he thought were gay. He acknowledged that he was involved in such "high jinks and pranks," but he had "no idea that this person might have been gay." (Sort of like Clinton and marijuana and "I didn't inhale." But that is another matter.) So, in this space we ask Governor Romney questions that might not otherwise be asked by journalists:
1. You have had significant experience in running a company that made its money (and still does, and you still benefit from its profitability) by closing down, downsizing, and exporting jobs from various companies. You are proud of that experience, in fact, because you made a lot of money doing it. How does such experience qualify you to "rescue an economy," an economy that has been trashed by corporate closures, downsizing, and the export of jobs?
2. Treason is generally defined as engaging in one or more acts designed to overthrow the sovereign power of one's own nation. It is also defined as consorting with the enemy in wartime (such as Prescott Bush's bank did with Germany, until February, 1942, when it was forced to stop by President Roosevelt under the threat of criminal prosecution). In this country, it is a crime that carries the death penalty. Of course Ann Coulter, in her 2003 book Treason, had another definition: In general terms, anyone who did not support US policy during the whole of the Cold War (generally "liberals") was a traitor. What is your understanding of the term? Whatever it is, do you agree with the woman who recently asked you if you thought that President Obama should be tried for treason?
ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The city of Chicago and the federal government will be putting on a $55 million security extravaganza later this month to protect NATO delegates, representing the most powerful military force on the planet, from nonviolent protesters who want to see an end to war.
Think of the mini-security state as an ironic projection of NATO's own agenda, which is control - by force - of as much of the world as possible. And of course the propaganda that accompanies the big show is that the protesters are the dangerous and disruptive ones, that NATO's violence is distant, necessary and somehow clean, despite the occasional awkward headline ("NATO Admits Killing Afghan Mother, 5 Children in Air Strike").
What the protesters really represent is what NATO, and all the forces of empire and domination, fear most: the impertinence to question and challenge authority and demand a say at the big table.