Tomorrow’s the big day for the Tar Sands Action in DC. People from across the country will begin gathering in front of the White House to demand President Obama deny the Keystone XL permit. Follow us as we join in! Here’s your Roundup:
Wrong Way Jon: Bruning continues to stand in the limelight for him analogy comparing welfare recipients to scavenging raccoons—this time he made it on the Daily Show! Cindy Lange-Kubick pretty much sums up how we feel about his continued lack of apology and constructive use of the English language. Read here.
How You Can Help: The crisis in the Horn of Africa continues as thousands of Somalis continue to flee the devastating effects of drought. Relief organizations are calling upon the international community for aid, and you can choose where to send your help. Read here for a list of organizations and how to contact them.
Blue Collar Strong: In these hard times, there is one sector of the economy that continues to add jobs--the manufacturing sector. It’s been noted that this sector is actually having a hard time filling positions; employers particularly note that they are struggling to find applicants that can operate computerized equipment. There is also one organization that is working to expose girls to this sector, since they are drastically underrepresented in the current demographics. Gadget Camp is a summer camp that works to pique girls’ interest in manufacturing. Read here.
Loose Lips Sink Ships: At least, we hope they do. An insider voiced what the tar sands oil and pipeline companies really want, and what we already knew. Long story short: Canada wants to open up the market for their product, key refineries are on the Gulf, and the U.S. is underestimating the Asian market and its appetite for oil. If we hadn’t heard hints of this before, we’d say it’s a Glenn Beck conspiracy. Read here.
A Novel Idea: The downsides of dependence on oil have been addressed in Barcelona, where residents are part of a bike-sharing program that reduces spending on gas, reduces pollution, and provides a great way to exercise. It is also saving lives. Read here.
Farm Aid Amalgamation: Last weekend was the 26th year of Farm Aid, and we wish we could have been there. Fortunately, one of our favorite activists and musicians, Brad Kindler of the Amalgamators, has a fantastic recap and review. Next time John Mellencamp's in the neighborhood, we'll be there. Read here.
Thurs, August 18th
The 19th Amendment turns 91 today. That’s 91 years of women exercising their right to vote. Here’s your Roundup:
#MomsKnowBudgets: Grover Norquist’s making waves today after telling the NY Times, “the lady from Washington”--a reference to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)--“doesn’t do budgets.” Perhaps Norquist simply meant to point out that the six Repubs on the SuperCommittee have all signed his pledge, and that Sen. Murray hasn’t. However, his comments certainly carried a tone of sexism. And if there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s to tell liberal women that they don’t “do budgets.” Groups like Emily’s List have taken to Twitter using the hashtag #MomsKnowBudgets to push back on Norquist. Read here.
Jobs Talk, Finally: The thng that really bugged us about the whole manufactured debt ceiling crisis was that it had nothing to do with Americans’ real concern: jobs. The nation’s deficit is potatoes when people can’t find work, and we’ll never get our fiscal house in order when we’re teettering on a double dip recession. That’s why the President’s announcement that he will lay out a major jobs (and deficit redcution) plan after Labor Day has us on the edge of our seats. Hopefully he goes for something broad and bold. Read here.
Basic Math: Presidential hopeful Rick Perry has been touting the “Texas miracle” where his state created 40% of the nation’s new jobs since 2009. Well that’s a lovely number, but it’s more of a fairy tale than nonfiction. Because if you account for population growth in Texas over the last two years, Texas actually has the worst job creation numbers. So sure, Texas created a lot of jobs. But it had to do more with a high birth rate, immigrants from Mexico, and other Americans moving in-state rather than Perry’s policies. Read here.
The New Greatest Generation: TIME is profiling vets who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan who are making a difference back on American soil. They emphasize the importance of supportive communities and networks. Watch here.
Still Leaking: Royal Dutch Shell’s pipeline off the coast of Scotland is on it’s seventh day of leaking. It’s Britain’s worst oil spill in a decade. Further proof that pipeline’s leak, and the consequences aren’t pretty. Read here.
Wed, August 17th
A note to Michelle Bachmann (or any other candidate, for that matter): if you’re going to pander to the Elvis crowd, make sure you don’t confuse his birthday and his deathday. Here’s your Roundup:
Campaigning: The election is over a year away, but campaign news ruled the political wire yesterday. President Obama and Rick Perry awkwardly traveled near each other through Iowa, speaking on the same issue in very different terms. While Perry may have moved on, others have not forgotten his statement on Fed Chair Bernanke. He has faced a backlash across the political spectrum, including stout conservatives. Still, not to be out-crazied, Herman Cain stepped it up, suggesting that impeaching Obama is “a great thing to do.” Read here.
Be Heard: Think Terry’s idea to speed up the pipeline is horrendous, but don’t have the time to make a town hall meeting to voice this frustration? Thankfully there’s a website just for you. Head to LeeListens.com and explain your position in Terry’s own online forum. Refer more users to the website and win a $25 iTunes gift card. Express your opinion, and get free music? Sounds like a win-win. Get in the mix here.
A Fresh Alternative: Bold supports healthy, sustainable, and accessible farming. A low income Colorado school is breaking the stereotype that only elite, upper-class schools can expect fresh meals. At this institution, all meals will be made from scratch this year, doing away with the factory food that has become a staple of the education system in the U.S. and a contributing factor to the rising childhood obesity rates. Read here.
A tragedy in the horn: Hopefully by now you’ve seen and/or read about the devastation occurring in the famine stricken lands of Somalia. Its’ heart-wrenching and no doubt compels many of us to give what we can. If you feel so compelled, check HERE for a list of charities working for this cause. Sadly, it doesn’t end in Somalia. The entire horn of Africa is fighting intense drought and countries such as Ethiopia are facing their worst draught in 60 years. In Kenya, the country is joining together to fight draught and hunger. Read Here.
Tues, August 16th
Today, Obama kicks off his Midwest bus tour, Rick Perry threatens violence against the head of the Fed, and Wisconsin holds its final recall elections. Here’s your Roundup:
Bus Tour: Today, President Obama is set to announce several new initiatives aimed at sparking rural job creation at a forum in Peosta, Iowa. With no support from Republicans in Congress for new stimulus to address the nine-percent unemployment rate, the White House has been looking for ways to help without Congressional approval. Word is that the initiatives will include making loans available to rural hospitals, adding money to a rural small business investment fund, and possibly biofuels investment. Read here.
More Videos: On last night’s Daily Show, Stewart pointed out that the media is ignoring Ron Paul. The clips show pundits excluding Paul from their list of “top tier” candidates (Romney, Perry and Bachmann), even though he came in second in Iowa and has been ranked near the top of many polls. Today, Paul released a new video taking aim a “smooth talking politicians” - which includes Romney, Perry and Bachmann. Watch here.
Ready to Run: Apparently Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan is in the “final stages” of deciding on a presidential run. This is exciting several pundits on the right, including Karl Rove, who thinks Palin, Ryan and Christie will (and should) jump in the race. Read here.
Let Me Explain: Omaha’s Warren Buffet discussed his now viral NY Times op-ed on the Charlie Rose show last night, saying that spending should not be dramatically cut, and that Americans need to be educated about the economy. “They have to be educated on the reality of future promises. They have to be educated on it as a necessity of running significant deficits when the economy is weak.” Read here.
Dirty Water: A natural gasoline pipeline that runs under the Missouri River from Decatur, Nebraska to just west of Onawa, Iowa leaked into the water. The Houston-based pipeline company noticed a drop in pressure on Saturday, and has since shut down the pipeline on both sides of the river and began pumping an estimated 140,000 gallons of gasoline out of the pipeline. Read here.
Mon, August 15th
Ahh it's that peaceful time in the waning months of summer, when temperatures are beautiful, school is starting up again for many, and we pretend for a few weeks that the Ames Straw Poll actually means something. Here’s your Roundup:
Bachmann wins, Pawlenty out: The truth is that the Ames Poll matters to an extent. It led T-Paw to make an early exit and that will have a major impact. Having Bachmann win and Ron Paul take second place shows the Tea Party is definitely taking over the GOP. But there’s a catch-22: no one really believes these results are indicative of the candidates’ standings, but if they are, then the GOP is mighty frightened. Bachmann’s got new momentum, but we’ll have to see if she turns towards the middle to attract moderate GOP voters. Bachmann--the middle? That felt as funny writing it as it does to read it. Read here.
If you read anything today...: Read this. Warren Buffet’s appeal to raise taxes on the rich so that they share their fair portion of the burden is striking in its honesty, and at the end, you’re left with even greater respect for the Oracle of Omaha. We’ll let Buffet’s words speak for themselves, but it’s an appeal that speaks to the even further ignorance of the right wing when they refuse to budge on meaningful tax reform. Read here.
But for a lighter touch: Buffet is still hopeful he can appeal to your sanity. Paul Krugman--not so much. After months of writing in his New York Times blog about the terrible economics of drastic cuts during an economic recovery, he has gotten desperate. His final solution so that the government and people agree with him? A fake alien invasion. One so grand that it spurs investment akin that of World War II. At least we know the Noble Prize winner has a sense of humor, albeit a very frustrated one. Read and watch here.
Bus tours are all the rage: Obama and Sarah Palin have one thing in common now: they share an affinity for bus tours. President Obama heads out today on a three state bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois (next time we’d love to see you in Nebraska, Obama). After a summer spent struggling in Washington with Tea Party extremists, he heads to the heartland to sell his initiative. We wish him luck. We also hope he finishes the tour feeling empowered and willing to take a stronger stand in future debates with congressional leaders. Read here.
Expanding their influence: The Koch brothers continue to pick fights out of nowhere, issues that seem to be fine until extreme conservatism runs into them. In Wake County, North Carolina the method for ensuring an integrated school system is a law that disallows a school from having more than 40% of their students receiving subsidized lunches. Now, it’s a sad but proven fact that poverty stricken schools tend to have significantly lower results in academic testing, and this was Wake County’s way of combating that. That is until Americans for Prosperity got involved. This Koch brothers group with its Tea Party allies are trying to do away with the program. Their reasoning seems to be nothing but social issue politics, much like similar right wing campaigns to destroy Planned Parenthood. Read here.