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National

Justice Department to Recharge Civil Rights Enforcement

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 09/28/2009 - 12:26pm
Source: 


WASHINGTON — Seven months after taking office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is reshaping the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division by pushing it back into some of the most important areas of American political life, including voting rights, housing, employment, bank lending practices and redistricting after the 2010 census.

“I think the wounds that were inflicted on this division were deep, and it will take some time for them to fully heal,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

New National Youth Campaign Launches Nationwide, Targets Specific States

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 11:27am
Source: 
‘Consequence’ Youth Organizing Campaign to Push for  Urgent Congressional Action on Climate, Clean Energy Plan

 The Consequence campaign, a new national grassroots organizing effort, kicked off today with a nationwide online advertising campaign, print and radio advertisements in targeted states, and the launch of an innovative social networking site, www.consequence09.org, that will lie at the heart of the youth-focused campaign. Consequence will organize young people in states across America to demand urgent Congressional action on a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan that will unleash investment in clean energy sources like wind and solar, creates millions of clean energy jobs, reduces our dependence on oil and place firm limits on the carbon pollution that causes global warming.

When Racism Comes A Knockin...

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 11:18am
Can white liberals keep their eye on the prize?


I've been disappointed by white liberals and progressives' unwillingness and incompetence combating racism for 20 years. The inaction of large green groups on Van Jones resignation is yet another example.

The NAACP, Equal Justice Society and Color of Change explicitely supported Van Jones before his resignation. On the white side, Treehugger, Grist and a few other small white organizations did. But the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, and NRDC, who together must represent more than $100 million of mostly liberal and progressive foundations, big donors, and individual contributors money, were MIA. These groups either took a dive because the attacks on Van were racist, or they incompetently let the right set the terms of debate before entering. Either way America deserves better greens.

Racism Blindness in Van Jones Political Lynching

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 11:02am

White liberal leaders generally racismblind response to Van Jones’ political lynching bodes badly for next right wing wedge attack

My previous piece "Can white liberals keep their eye on the prize when racism comes a knockin?" (Firedoglake, TheRoot, Alternet) pointed out that while significant people of color groups including the NAACP and the Equal Justice Society released statements supporting former WH Green Jobs advisor Van Jones before his resignation, no major white green groups--Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, or Greenpeace--did (environmental online magazines Grist and Treehugger, and Campaign for America's Future's blogger notwithstanding). This, despite their heavy beltway-focused staffing, alleged connections to the administration and congress, and political expertise.

Ready for an overhaul

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 10:55am


A pastor and a developer might make unusual bedfellows, but like many other Americans, we are concerned about how Congress intends to spend the many billions of dollars we send to Washington to pay for transportation projects.

The current transportation funding bill expires at the end of the month, and it is due for a major overhaul. Despite the billions we've spent, there are too many crumbling roads and bridges; congested streets that are unsafe for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists; and public transportation systems in financial crisis, even with ridership at an historic high.

White House Environmental Adviser Van Jones Resigns Citing “Vicious Smear Campaign Against Me”

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/09/2009 - 3:15pm
Source: 


The Obama administration’s special adviser for environmental jobs, Van Jones, has resigned citing what he described as a “vicious smear campaign” against him. For the past month, Fox News has run a series of reports on Jones’s alleged association with communists and his decision to sign a petition calling for a congressional probe of the 9/11 attacks. Jones is the founding president of Green for All and author of the book The Green Collar Economy. We speak with James Rucker, who co-founded the group Color of Change with Van Jones, and with Malkia Cyril, founder of the Center for Media Justice. We also talk to Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.

The Uninsured

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 09/09/2009 - 2:49pm
Source: 

New York Times Editorial

One of the major goals of health care reform is to cover the vast numbers of uninsured. But how vast, really, is that pool of people? Who are they? And how important is it to cover all or most of them?

Critics play down the seriousness of the problem by pointing out that the ranks of the uninsured include many people who have chosen to forgo coverage or are only temporarily uninsured: workers who could afford to pay but decline their employers’ coverage; the self-employed who choose not to pay for more expensive individual coverage; healthy young people who prefer not to buy insurance they may never need; people who are changing jobs; poor people who are eligible for Medicaid but have failed to enroll. And then there are the illegal immigrants, a favorite target of critics.

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