31 May 2010

Stories in the news

I tried - diligently - to find some good news stories this week, but there's more crappy news than in a whole Billy Joel song. These stories prolly won't help if you're in a news-funk, but here are some things less covered this past week:

1. On the topic of the Closet, a forcefully written piece saying some of the things I was trying to get across in my post yesterday. Worth a read.

David Laws: Yet again, hiding in the closet proves a politician's undoing
It is hardly credible that in 2010, after all the progress that has been made, the gay liberation message still needs to be heard
(Graham McKerrow guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 May 2010 16.30 BST; full article here.)

2. And I can't believe that asshole McCain has threatened to filibuster the Senate to prevent a vote on Don't Ask, Don't Tell - in essence, demanding that our brave women and men who serve stay in the closet. It's disgusting, ands it's directly counter to his previous views. But he's lost all integrity in trying to win his GOP primary. By tacking so far to the right, will he be vulnerable to an energized push by the Democratic party in Arizona to vote him out? It'll be one race to watch in September and October.

3. The Green Party Australia has seen a surge in support, basically because voters on the left are fed up with Labor, according to the Australian. It's still only on 16%, but it's up 4% over the past month. Full story here.

4. According to a poll published in L’Actualité (mérci encore, Celeste!), Americans are among the most sceptical in the world when it comes to believing the science that human inputs are responsible for climate change. In the US, 59% don't believe it; Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the North Americans who come closest at 52%. I'm afraid the inference is clear: we're a nation of Prairie Provinces. Full results here (in French; scroll down for the full table).

5. In political news from Hawai'i, Ed Case has dropped out of the race for the HI-1 Congressional seat. Why is this noteworthy? A Republican, Charles Djou, won the seat held for the previous ten terms by Neil Abercrombie, a staunch old lefty who surrendered the seat to run for governor. It's Barack Obama's home district - well, of course, his home district outside of Kenya. The Dem vote was split in the special election by two strong candidates, and Djou won. It's fundamentally a liberal Democratic seat and Case dropping out gives Colleen Hanabusa, the remaining Democrat candidate, a great chance to win it back. It'll be another one to watch in November.

6. I can't say anything about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. What can be said? It's disgusting, disheartening and demoralizing. Longer post later. Let me just close with this:

BP's Safety record isn't great, have you heard? According to a story by ABC news and others,

According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last three years, BP refineries in Ohio and Texas have accounted for 97 percent of the "egregious, willful" violations handed out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)... OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 "egregious, willful" safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had eight, Citgo had two and Exxon had one comparable citation.
But that's okay - corporations are people, too, and have a constitutional right to spend as much as they want to support their candidates in elections. Just ask the 5/4ths of the Supreme Court.

And that's all I got. Here's to a better June.

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