Saturday, April 14, 2007

Some Updates About Genocide in Darfur

  • Nongovernmental organizations and other groups appear to have scored a surprising success in an effort to link the 2008 Olympics, which the Chinese government holds very dear, to the killings in Darfur, which, until recently, Beijing had not seemed too concerned about.

  • Darfur activists have planned 195 events nationwide as part of the Global Days for Darfur from April 23rd-30th. Rally participants will come together to call on world leaders to adopt - and enforce - tough sanctions on Sudan until it allows the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to Darfur. Click here to find an event near you and RSVP.

  • In Darfur is a play that follows an aid-worker’s mission to save and protect lives, a journalist’s pursuit to deliver a front page story and a Darfuri woman’s quest for safety. It will be showing in New York at Public Theater from April 13 – April 29. Check out the play's website here.

  • Unfortunately, the Bush administration continues to deny that a genocide is actually taking place.

Alternative Energy Weekend Links

  • Hybrids are quietly starting to show up in other transportation uses besides just autos, from locomotives to construction equipment.

  • ConocoPhillips announced its support for a mandatory national framework to address greenhouse gas emissions and has joined the US Climate Action Partnership, a business-environmental leadership group dedicated to the quick enactment of national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced the availability of $31.4 million in grants to help businesses and organizations develop clean energy and alternative fuel projects.

  • North Dakota, the state ranked #1 in wind-energy potential by the American Wind Energy Association, will soon be home to a 159-megawatt wind farm in the northeast corner of the state.

  • Nearly half of all U.S. states are using enough renewable energy to make significant cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, a scientific group said Tuesday.

Weekend Links

  • The Senate this week passed a bipartisan measure that eases limits on the federal financing of embryonic stem cell research, which Bush has of course threatened to veto.

  • Roughly half of Arkansas's National Guard has been called to duty in Iraq. Now, 2,800 Arkansas troops are on alert for possible redeployment by October, in what would be their second tour of duty in less than two years.

  • Bush is threatening to veto a Senate intelligence bill that would force the White House and spy agencies to be (gasp!) more responsive to Congress. Doing anything out in the open, with any chance of oversight, is anathema to Bush and his incompetent crew.

  • As many as 6 million prepared meals stockpiled near potential victims of the 2006 hurricane season spoiled in the Gulf Coast heat last summer when FEMA ran short of warehouse and refrigeration space. The heckuva job continues.

  • The White House has withdrawan its choice to head the EPA's air pollution office. William Wehrum, a former lawyer for chemical and utility companies, was nominated after having been the architect of rules to regulate harmful power plant emissions that environmental groups and many Democrats (and anyone who doesn't hate the environment) blasted as too lenient. This is a great example of what Democrats in charge in Congress can do to stem the tide of Bush destruction in a way that even Bush's veto pen can't stop.

  • And, of course, the U.S. Attorney scandal has continued to grow more and more disturbing this week. We encourage all Angry Progressive readers to check daily for updates.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to become a "social" bank

1. In the middle of everyone talking about Imus and never bringing up race seriously in the US as an issue needing to be addressed, WATCH PBS FRONTLINE!

2. Be sure to follow up on ideas like the one I saw in the excellent Frontline/World piece last night.

3. Mention the terrific and cool organization that is reponsible for the idea (or at least their version of microlending) that excited you: KIVA.ORG

4. Think of what you can do to further the economies of not just poorer countries, but also your own - maybe what these guys are doing works.

5. Remind all Americans that predatory lending hurts everyone, not just those getting the loans.

6. Add water, mix and be proud of the lady Scarlet Knights!

Wednesday Links

  • In case you were wondering if the Bush administration is even thinking about ending this war anytime soon if it isn't foreced to, ABC News has learned that the Pentagon is considering extending the tours of duty for every active duty soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • President Bush's spy chief is pushing to expand the government's surveillance authority at the same time the administration is under attack for stretching its domestic eavesdropping powers. Remember, Republicans think government is the problem when it comes to helping people; but when it comes to telling us what to do and spying on us, the GOP wants to be in our bedrooms 24/7.

  • Every year, tens of thousands of Americans who are unable to work due to injury or illness discover that they have to wait two years to be eligible for Medicare, the federal health program for elderly and disabled people.

  • A proposal that could raise the minimum wage in Alabama from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over 26 months faces a key vote in a legislative committee today. Come on Alabama, you know you can do it. Just pretend the Crimson Tide is just paying its players another $2.10 an hour to not go to a bowl game.

  • Congrats to same-sex couples in the state of Washington. A domestic-partnership bill for gay and lesbian couples cleared the state Legislature on Tuesday and now goes to Democratic Governor Gregoire, who is expected to sign it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 10, 2007

  • The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced a $100-million grant-making initiative to help build a clean-energy economy that can reduce the threat of global climate change to people and the environment.

  • Hybrid car sales are growing worldwide and politicians are pledging money for their development. But is the local car industry ready to go green?

  • Supermarkets see green in going green.

  • Santa Cruz, CA schools may be converted to all solar power.

Tuesday Links

  • The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed new documents Tuesday from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as part of its investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors, with the panel chairman saying he had run out of patience.

  • is hosting a "live 'virtual town hall' forum about the Iraq war, in what is being billed as the largest and most ambitious experiment yet in harnessing the power of Internet technology to reshape participatory democracy." Seven Democratic presidential candidates are expected to take part in the event tonight.

  • McDonald's Corp. agreed Monday to pay a penny more per pound for its Florida-grown tomatoes to help boost wages for the migrant workers who harvest them, following a two-year campaign by the nonprofit advocacy group Coalition of Immokalee Worker that called for the increase.

  • Maryland will be the first state to provide a living wage. Individual cities across the country have taken similar steps; let's hope that other states follow suit.

  • Don't believe the talking heads that say that Democrats taking on Bush over Iraq and other issues are taking unpopular issues. According to an AP poll, public approval for Congress is at its highest level in a year as Democrats mark 100 days in power.

  • The Bush administration will soon pull the plug on federal funding for Medicaid services in Wisconsin despite having saved the federal government $669 million in Medicaid costs over five years.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Don't Let Lieberman Give Bush a Pass on Katrina


Ten months ago, Senator Joe Lieberman blasted the White House for obstructing a Senate committee's investigation into the federal response to Katrina. Now he controls that committee, but instead of forcing the White House to participate, he's called off the investigation altogether!
Lieberman is side-stepping his responsibility to hold the White House accountable and betraying the citizens of the Gulf Coast. is calling him out and demanding that others in Congress conduct a full investigation if he won't.

You can click here to do the same.

Alternative Energy Daily News - April 9, 2007

  • In an effort to keep its town clean and its environment unspoiled the aptly named Canadian town of Leaf Rapids has banned retailers from using plastic bags.

  • Can New York's East River generate electricity?

  • Europe is putting enormous faith in U.S. states to drive federal U.S. action against climate change, the top environmental aide to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told Reuters.

  • Building on efforts to expand the use of clean and renewable energy, Dallas, TX has started running much of its fleet on biodiesel. The city is taking it a step further by becoming the first fleet in the nation to utilize a new biodiesel additive that reduces NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions, one of the primary causes of the ozone pollution problem in North Texas.

  • Thousands of federal buildings would get more efficient lights and other equipment to reduce energy use under a Senate bill with bipartisan and White House support.

Monday Links

  • San Francisco mayor's office is trying to stem a massive exodus of African-American residents from the city.

  • Ranchers are trying to protect thousands of acres of land from being acquired by the Army to "train soldiers in the nuances of modern warfare."

  • The New York Times calls for an investigation of a "loyal Bushie" U.S. Attorney in Wisconsin. "The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?"

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it is considering reclassifying the manatee as threatened instead of endangered, a move that would cause the animal to lose its endangered species protection.

  • As another update to a post from last week, Senators John Kerry, and Robert Casey have joined Christopher Dodd in calling for an investigation into whether President Bush acted illegally in recess-appointing Swift Boat funder Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. "We view the recess appointment of Mr. Fox as a clear abuse of the President's recess appointment power," they wrote in a letter to the Government Accountability Office.

  • A senior official at the federal Education Department sold more than $100,000 in shares in a student loan company even as he was helping oversee lenders in the federal student loan program.

  • Congratulations to Planned Parenthood. In response to the organization's grassroots advocacy campaign “Fill My Pills Now,” Wal-Mart has notified Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) that it has revised its nationwide corporate policy with regard to emergency contraception. The new Wal-Mart policy ensures customers “will now receive their prescriptions or OTC products in store without discrimination (no harassment or lectures),” “without delay,” and “without judgment.”

  • A new Amnesty International report states that conditions at Guantanamo Bay prison have worsened.

Bush and the GOP Just Can't Stop Supporting the Troops

In this article on Salon, author Mark Benjamin details further evidence that the military, in a desperate effort to fill its ranks for President Bush's escalation, "sent soldiers with acute post-traumatic stress disorder, severe back injuries and other serious war wounds back to Iraq."

Those remaining 20-some-odd percent of the people who still approve of this war are as much of a joke as Bush and his cheerleaders like McCain and Liberman who continue to throw more soldiers, healthy or not, into the meat grinder.