Apr 30, 2012

POLITICO Breaking News


POLITICO Breaking News
Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn made strong statements of support for Bob Woodward and his Watergate reporting on Monday, moving to defuse damaging questions raised by a new biography that includes musing by Bradlee about whether some details had been embellished. "No editor, no reader, can hope for more than Bob Woodward's byline on a story that really matters," Bradlee said in the two-sentence statement, read to POLITICO by his wife, the journalist Sally Quinn. "I always trusted him, and I always will." Quinn told POLITICO: "There was nothing specific that Ben had doubts about. ... The story stands up. No one is questioning Bob's veracity. ... Nixon resigned."

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Worcester Mag Top Stories

Monday, April 30, 2012

Best of Worcester 2012

It has arrived! The Best of Worcester 2012 – the biggest issue of the year! We put the categories out on the runway and you, our readers, took flight with an array of choices. So many great Worcester establishments, organizations and events – but only ONE can rise to the top (well, there's one runner up as well). Check out who made the flight list and revel in the fact that we have so much to celebrate in the city.


Even before the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced late last week that it would end tree inoculation as a way of fighting the spread of the Asian Longhorned Beetle in favor of more surveying, removal of infested trees and regulatory activities, residents in Worcester's deeply impacted and deforested Greendale and Burncoat areas already saw the decision looming.

After Direct Air

It's an easy punching bag, Worcester Regional Airport (code: ORH). Even when Direct Air was up and running; before it canceled promised plans to fly to Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, before the company abruptly canceled service stranding passengers across the country and leaving customers wondering if purchased tickets for upcoming flights were still valid, before a U.S. Bankruptcy judge forced the company to liquefy its assets so it could pay creditors rather than have it try and stagger back to life as a company with a damaged brand name and dubious finances, questions remained as to the cost-effectiveness of ORH, and debate raged about the best way to use it.

A state senator, a doctor and a tattoo artist walk into the state house…

For many getting their first tattoo, it might come as a shock that in Massachusetts the legal tattoo industry is little older than a decade. Between 1962 and 2000, Massachusetts was one of a handful of states that banned tattooing after hepatitis outbreaks and unsanitary tattoo businesses sparked public-health concerns.



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via The Ethics of Madness by Space Trucker on 4/27/12

Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality. Thomas Aquinas
You hear it all the time: "There is no difference between the parties". "Both parties are crooked". Blah, blah, fucking blah.
This mentality isn't something that accidentally came into being. No fucking way. It is a planned strategy by the Republican Party to create voter apathy and to either reduce voter turnout or send otherwise Democratic voting citizens to a third party.
I find it extremely disturbing that otherwise intelligent individuals are spouting this horseshit.
Take the whole Ron Paul thing for example. Here is a person who is running for president on the Republican ticket and has about a much chance of winning as I do.
Paul has managed to capture the attention of many people by promising to end the Forever Wars, legalizing pot, eliminating the Fed, (or anything federal other than the Pentagon) and hosts of other libertarian issues, some as looney as a Warner Bros. cartoon, some valid.
I know some very intelligent and progressive people who voted for Obama and are now upset because they didn't get a pony or something and now are going to throw their vote away by writing in for Ron Paul because in their minds, Obama is no different than Romney.
Don't get me wrong, President Obama has disappointed me greatly on many things, but to jump to the conclusion that he is do different than Romney is absurd beyond words.
While Obama has been less than satisfactory on labor issues, Romney has made it abundantly clear that he hates unions, enjoys firing people, and believes that corporations are people. Can you seriously say this is no different than Obama?
Romney has made his wealth (other than what he was born into) by taking over American manufacturing plants, closing them down and moving the work to China.
He would be an terrifying disaster to the working class of America. Maybe even on par with the Bastard Regan and the Idiot Bush. Maybe even worse.
Think of the Supreme Court justices this man would nominate. Do you honestly think that their would be no differences between those nominees?
During the 2000 campaign, Karl Rove pushed the "no difference" bullshit.
Look what happened. A significant portion of the American people actually didn't think their was any difference between the most liberal D.C. politician in years and a Texas fucktard that was so conservative, he made Regan look leftist.
How did that turn out for us?
Stop this false equivalency bullshit.
It is easy to call them on it. Very easy.
When they start their "I'm voting for Ron Paul, because their is no difference in the partys anymore" nonsense, ask them if so, why is Ron Paul a fucking Republican then?
Hell, at least when that shit was being pulled in 2000, Ralph Nader was a member of the Green Party.
Ask them, how come this shit ALWAYS favors the Republicans? All things being equal, the Democrats should get a bone occasionally, don't you think?
Lets face the fucking facts;
In January of 2013, it will either be Mitt Romney or Barrak Obama being sworn in as president. No Ron Pauls, no Ralph Naders, no magical unicorns. Get over your hurt feelings and vote to keep the corporate bastards out, or at least put the brakes on them.
Obama may not have given you your pony, but that is nothing compared to the horse dick size fucking your ass will get if Magic Underpants gets the job.
Think about it.


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Apr 29, 2012

Solidarity forever - (Utah Phillips)

Fwd: What we've been up to


We wanted to take a step back out of our normal email schedule and update you on the status of the important campaigns we've taken on as a community over the past few months. It's a bit long (because we've been busy!), so we also put it up on our website to make it easier to read and share with friends.

- Taren, Kaytee, Emma, Claiborne, Becky and the rest of the team

Campaign updates

Starbucks: Thank you for standing up for gay rights

Starbucks Thank You cardBackground: In late March, the homophobic National Organization for Marriage (NOM) launched a boycott of Starbucks for its public support of marriage equality in Washington State. We thought that Starbucks, and other businesses, deserved to know that we will support them when they support equality.

Update: We crushed NOM! Our campaign to thank Starbucks for supporting gay marriage went viral, and almost 650,000 people have signed our card -- more than 18 times the number of people pledging to boycott Starbucks. Reporters as far away as Shanghai declared NOM's boycott an utter failure. Dozens of local SumOfUs.org members joined members of Washington United for Marriage in presenting our giant card -- which won our online poll -- to Starbucks officials at the company's headquarters in Seattle. Our own campaigner Emma Pullman even dressed up as a Starbucks cup! Hundreds of you provided a personal touch by delivering copies of the card to your local Starbucks.

Read More: SumOfUs press statement on our Thank You card delivery | The original action | Photos from the delivery | Thank You Starbucks crowdsourced Tumblr 

Press coverage: The Advocate | NPR | ThinkProgress


Trader Joe's: Sign the Fair Food Agreement
(US-only campaign)

Immokalee workersBackground: Trader Joe's CEO was refusing to sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group of farm workers in Florida who have successfully pressured corporate giants like Taco Bell and McDonald's to agree to ensure that farm workers in their supply chains get treated humanely and get paid at least one penny more per pound of tomatoes they pick.

Update: We won! After partnering up with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, we got over 65,000 people to send messages to Trader Joe's. Days after we scaled up our actions -- hundreds of us called Trader Joe's HQ in California, or dropped off letters of support for the Immokalee Workers at our local stores -- Trader Joe's caved to the CIW's demands and signed the Fair Food Agreement.

Read More: Original petition | Press statement on our victory 


Dump Rush!
(US-only campaign)

Limbaugh advertiser graphicBackground: Rush Limbaugh viciously attacked Georgetown Law Student Sandra Fluke for speaking publicly about the importance of birth control. Our good friends at Reddit and Media Matters began to compile a list of companies that advertised on Rush's show. Within 12 hours, the internet was abuzz with calls for Rush's advertisers to stop supporting his bigotry.

Update: SumOfUs.org members joined the chorus calling for Rush's sponsors to drop his show. In a matter of days, dozens fled, including AOL and ProFlowers. For the past month, Limbaugh's ad space has been mostly filled with public service announcements.

Read More: Original petition


Apple: Make the next iPhone and all other products ethically

Apple factory workersBackground: In January, the New York Times published an exposé of the horrendous working conditions at Apple's suppliers in China. Workers were forced to work illegal amounts of overtime, and the lack of basic safety precautions -- like ventilators to clear out industrial dust and prevent explosions -- meant people were dying to make our iGadgets. Apple knew about all of this, but has turned a blind eye to inconsistencies with their Supplier Code of Conduct.

Update: Major news! After 130,000 SumOfUs.org members signed our petition calling for Apple to make their products ethically, Apple made a public commitment to reducing illegal overtime hours and raising wages for the workers who make its products. This is a very big step, and we are dedicated to the next step: Ensuring that Apple keeps its promise.

Here's how we got to this point: We kept up the pressure on Apple by delivering your petition to Apple's management -- along with a letter by Apple factory workers poisoned while on the job -- at its shareholder meeting in February. When the new iPad came out, we pressed Apple to release worker time cards to show whether or not Apple supplier Foxconn was violating Chinese labor law by forcing workers to work illegal overtime to get the iPad made "on time".

In response to the pressure from SumOfUs.org members, along with thousands of others, Apple hired the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to investigate the issue -- a move that was simultaneously encouraging and frustrating. The FLA is funded by the very same organizations that it investigates, and the inspections were announced in advance, giving management time to push workers' issues under the rug. And in his first days on the job, FLA President Auret van Heerden seemed more concerned about protecting Apple's image than protecting its workers.

While imperfect, the investigation did reap significant benefits. The FLA confirmed that workers at Apple suppliers are forced to work illegal amounts of overtime while still being paid such meager wages that many can't afford to feed and house their families. It also documented scores of health and safety violations and other labor abuses. In response, Apple pledged to clean up its supply chain within fifteen months.

We want to be clear: The solutions Apple has pledged are not perfect. For instance, they fail to recognize the importance of empowered trade unions at these factories. But even so, Apple's pledge is momentous and could transform as many as one million lives.

However, those lives will only be improved if Apple keeps its promise, which is certainly not guaranteed. To that end, hundreds of SumOfUs.org members have collectively pitched in over $10,000 to make sure we have the resources we need to go the distance with Apple and see this campaign through to complete victory. We have some exciting ideas on the horizon. We are planning to keep up the pressure by publicly tracking Apple's commitment and pressuring Apple employees at key moments over the next fifteen months. We will not forget Apple's promise, nor allow CEO Tim Cook to either. We look forward to our continued work with you on this important campaign.

Read more: SumOfUs.org statement on the FLA Report | Photos from the petition delivery at the shareholder meeting | The original petition 

Press coverage: Washington Post | International Business Times | Los Angeles Times


London Olympics: Reject Dow as a sponsor

BackgrouSanjay Vermand: Dow is responsible for the worst industrial accident in history, the chemical spill in Bhopal, India that has killed tens of thousands of people, and injured hundreds of thousands more. To make matters worse, the site hasn't been cleaned up for 27 years. Dow is also a sponsor of the Olympics, prompting Indian athletes to threaten a boycott unless the Olympics rejects Dow's sponsorship.

Update: Nearly 50,000 SumOfUs.org members signed our petition to the Chair of the London Olympics, Lord Coe, and our signatures were delivered to the London Olympic Committee in March. Then Lord Coe committed to meet with Sanjay Verma, an activist and survivor of the tragedy who lost most of his family in the wake of the catastrophe. In the lead-up to the meeting, Sanjay penned a letter to SumOfUs.org members asking us to email Lord Coe directly. Over 20,000 of us flooded Lord Coe's inbox with messages calling for him to renounce Dow as the sponsor of the London Olympics. Sanjay's meeting with Lord Coe is coming up soon and we'll let you know how it goes.

Read More: Original petition | Sanjay's letter

Press coverage: The Telegraph | Drop Dow Now | Bhopal.com.


Walmart: Don't sell Monsanto's new unlabeled, genetically-modified corn

Monsanto GMO cornBackground: Monsanto has created a new breed of genetically-modified sweet corn laced with Bt toxin -- a pesticide that ruptures the stomachs of any insect that ingests it. This toxin has not been fully tested on humans, and the corn will be unlabeled and available for sale in US supermarkets as soon as this summer. Walmart had been silent about whether it would stock this potentially toxic corn, or if it would go in the same direction as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and refuse to stock it.

Update: Over 100,000 of us joined our allies at Food and Water Watch asking Walmart not to sell GMO corn. In total, nearly 500,000 people from half a dozen organizations joined in the campaign. How did Walmart respond to this massive outcry? By declaring that it "follows all local and state regulations." Other than highlighting the need for government regulation of GMO foods, Walmart's response is exceedingly disappointing. We are considering what actions to take once GMO corn hits Walmart's shelves.

Read More: Original petition for Americans | Petition for people outside the US | Joint statement on Walmart's response to the petition


Novartis: Put patients before profits

Novartis protestBackground: India is the world's largest producer of generic medicines for the developing world. Millions of people with HIV, malaria, cancer and other deadly diseases are dependent on affordable generic medicines to remain alive. Pharmaceutical giant Novartis is challenging a patent law in India that prevents "evergreening" — a tactic that drug companies use to extend patents on drugs that are about to expire by making tiny tweaks to the medication. If Novartis wins this lawsuit, millions of people worldwide will lose access to affordable medicines in the future.

Update: SumOfUs.org partnered with Oxfam, ACT UP Paris, ACT UP Basel, Health GAP, and the Lawyer's Collective in India to collect over 50,000 signatures on our global petition calling for Novartis to drop the lawsuit. Thousands of us phoned Novartis directly to tell them to quit trying to bully the Indian courts into protecting their profits alone. At this point, the case is scheduled to be heard in July -- but it has already been postponed several times and could be again. Our allies on the ground will deliver our petition to executives at Novartis' Swiss HQ at the right moment to maximize pressure on Novartis.

Read More: Original petition


Beyond all of this, we've been waging a number of shorter-term campaigns you may have seen that aren't included here in this big round-up. If you have specific questions about what is happening with any campaigns, let us know through our contact form.


So those are some of the highlights of the campaigns our community has been working on for the past few months. It's a lot -- and there are lots more super-important campaigns ongoing right now and to come soon!

One last thing: We are still a tiny organization, with just four full-time staff members. We don't take any money from corporations or governments, which allows us to be truly independent and able to run campaigns like the ones above. But that also means we depend on our members. Any donation--even $5--that you can make not only improves our ability to campaign for corporate responsibility, but also energizes us, knowing that you are invested in what the SumOfUs can do.

So, if you'd like to donate to support our work, please know that we'll really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading this far, and continuing to support our growing movement for corporate accountability.


SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Was this email forwarded to you? Click here to add yourself to SumOfUs.

If you don't want to receive emails from us anymore, you can remove yourself trrytrvrs@gmail.com from our list by clicking here. But just know, we'll miss you!

If Everybody likes what you are doing, You’re doing it wrong


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Go Right – Tribute to the 2D platform games


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via Ufunk.net by ufunk on 4/28/12

"Go Right" is a short film in tribute to the 2D platform games.



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Two Blue Dogs lose Democratic primaries

Tqnews, two Blue Dog Democrats—aka, corporate Democrats—were defeated for re-election in Democratic primaries last week.

This is huge: if Democrats who frequently side with Republicans and Wall Street keep losing primaries, then all Democrats in Congress will be motivated to more effectively stand up against Republicans and Wall Street.

On June 5 in New Mexico, we have a chance to hand the Blue Dogs another loss.

In the Democratic primary for Congress in New Mexico's first congressional district, two of the three major candidates are outspoken progressive Eric Griego and conservative, anti-labor Marty Chavez. Making sure that Griego wins and Chavez loses will keep the anti-Blue Dog momentum going, and be an important step toward building a better Democratic Party.

Please, contribute $5 to Eric Griego, and help build a better Democratic Party.

Griego is in a strong position. Because of national grassroots support, he is ahead of Chavez in fundraising. Back in March, Griego won the local Democratic Party's preprimary nominating convention, leading analysts to start calling him the frontrunner. Griego is running an extremely well-organized voter turnout campaign, and will hit the airwaves with ads this week.

This is a moment where a small donation will make a big difference. Not only will it go to a smart campaign that uses money effectively, and not only will it go to a candidate who has been endorsed by both co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but it will play a strategic role in a larger movement that has a real shot to build a better Democratic Party.

Please, contribute $5 to Eric Griego.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos
Daily Kos Home Unsubscribe

Cosplay of the day – Cardboard Robot


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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: L.A. Times Politics <newsletters@e-mail.latimes.com>
Date: Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM
Subject: Today's Headlines in Politics
To: tqnews@yahoo.com

View mobile version | View in Browser Sunday, April  29,  2012
Los Angeles Times
In rural Ohio, the presidential campaign feels far away
By Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
In rural Ohio, the presidential campaign feels far away
Working-class voters in the southeast corner of this crucial state express some anger at President Obama, but feel little enthusiasm for rival Mitt Romney.
More in Politics
•  After sensational start to John Edwards trial, an uphill push for prosecutors
•  Wedge issues may boost Obama's prospects
•  Romney pounces on Obama's economic policies

Spotlight from the Los Angeles Times

Hero Complex festival
Hero Complex festival
Hurry! Get tix to the film festival on May 18-21 at L.A. Live.
California Politics
Assemblyman Calderon's son Ian aims to uphold political dynasty Assemblyman Calderon's son Ian aims to uphold political dynasty
Homeowners may nominate themselves for election to association board


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Apr 28, 2012

Today's Headlines in Politics

Welcoming a new contributor this morning. 
View mobile version | View in Browser Saturday, April  28,  2012
Los Angeles Times
Romney pounces on Obama's economic policies
By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times
Romney pounces on Obama's economic policies
The Republican presidential hopeful criticizes the president's stimulus package and tackles the student loan issue while addressing young voters at Otterbein University in Ohio.
More in Politics
•  Wedge issues may boost Obama's prospects
•  House approves student loan bill, paid for with healthcare funds
•  Obama signs order to stop colleges that prey on veterans

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Hero Complex festival
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Hurry! Get tix to the film festival on May 18-21 at L.A. Live.
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Brown orders consideration of single-drug execution method   Brown orders consideration of single-drug execution method
Sacramento's letter openers help state get its slice of the pie   Sacramento's letter openers help state get its slice of the pie
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