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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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08.26 John Oliver Slams Charter Schools And His Critics Totally Miss The Point [18:12 video]

08.26 Diane Ravitch to Readers: Don't Let Charter Industry Silence John Oliver

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Health Care & Environment

08.28 The Unlimited Power of Ocean Winds

08.27 EV Revolution Set To Cripple More Than Just The Oil Industry

08.26 Fatigue, Migraines Linked to Fracking as Case Builds for National Ban

08.26 Study Finds Biofuels Worse for Climate than Gasoline

08.26 In Effort to Kill Pipeline, Groups Call Directly on Obama to Oppose Permits

08.26 Andrew Cuomo Administration Now Questions General Electric Move To End Hudson River Cleanup

08.26 NHS plans closures and radical cuts to combat growing deficit in health budget

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08.26 The newspaper ad collapse: Bad news for readers

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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

08.27 Which Republicans Oppose Donald Trump? A Cheat Sheet

08.27 A Guided Tour of the ‘Alt-Right,’ by the Trump Campaign Chief’s Website

08.27 Challenged Over 'Racist' Remarks, Maine Governor Leaves Unhinged Voicemail

08.27 Prison gerrymandering: incarceration weakens vulnerable voting communities

08.27 Steve Bannon, Trump campaign CEO, faced domestic violence charges

08.25 Could urban farming provide a much-needed oasis in the Tulsa food desert?

08.25 A sense that white identity is under attack’: making sense of the alt-right

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08.28 DoJ Says Jail for Not Making Bail is Unconstitutional [9:13 video & transcript]

08.27 Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon is registered voter at vacant Florida home [how many more states has Bannon registered to vote? Absent a national voter registry, who knows?]

08.26 Mississippi Parents Demand an Answer: Are Charter Schools Constitutional?

08.26 Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward

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08.28 How the Trumps Got Rich

08.28 Mylan CEO sold $5m worth of stock while EpiPen price drew scrutiny [Jay And The Americans.....Only In America]

08.27 Democrats Are Taking Full Advantage of Our ‘Broken Campaign-Finance System’

08.27 UBS whistleblower exposes 'political prostitution' all the way up to President Obama

08.26 Stiglitz Blasts 'Outrageous' TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal

International

08.28 Trump and the Transformation of Politics

08.28 Brexit 'will put 75% of workers at risk of pension shortfall'

08.28 Turkey targets Kurdish forces south of Syria's Jarablus

08.27 Theresa May announces audit to tackle public sector racial disparities

08.27 Brexit is not inevitable, says former civil service chief

08.27 Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Others Condemn 'Coup' in Brazil

08.27 Two Weeks in September: The Makings of Merkel's Decision to Accept Refugees

08.27 Syria à la Carte: Turkish Invasion Highlights Rapidly Shifting Alliances

08.26 The Guardian view on Turkey’s incursion into Syria: Ankara’s biggest concern is containing the Kurds

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  Checking ABC's Factcheck
FAILED DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN:

Pete Peterson's Real Crisis: America Speaks and Says the Wrong Thing

by Peter Hart for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Originally published on Wednesday, 30 June 2010
After being given "misleading background information about the federal deficit and economic options to achieve fiscal 'balance' and future prosperity," the public got a chance to weigh in on what they thought the most prudent course of action might be.

Billionaire Pete Peterson has spent a lot of money trying to convince people that Social Security is a serious threat to the country's finances. And it's a message that the corporate media love to echo. So when Peterson's group decided to hold "town hall" meetings to promote fiscal austerity by cutting Social Security and Medicare, one would have guessed that the media would give it some attention.

But a funny thing happened this weekend at these "America Speaks" events. Members of the public, after being given what Roger Hickey calls "misleading background information about the federal deficit and economic options to achieve fiscal 'balance' and future prosperity," got a chance to weigh in on what they thought the most prudent course of action might be. As Thomas Frank points out in the Wall Street Journal today (6/30/10; subscription required), the results were likely a huge disappointment to Peterson:

The event took place as scheduled last Saturday, with thousands of citizens meeting in different cities. They duly absorbed a booklet alerting them to the danger of deficits. They deliberated. And then something funny happened on the way to the consensus.

According to a preliminary compilation of results, participants supported "an extra 5 percent tax" on incomes of greater than $1 million per year (by 68 percent) and an increase in the corporate income tax rate (59 percent). They thought a "carbon tax" was a good idea (64 percent) as well as a "securities transactions tax" (61 percent). On Social Security, austerity was nowhere in sight as 85 percent backed raising the limit on taxable income, and only a miserable 27 percent thought that we should "create personal savings accounts." Majorities favored cutting defense spending and expressed support for further recovery measures even if they increase the deficit.

Raising taxes on the wealthy, a carbon tax, cutting military spending--who ARE these people? It sounds a political agenda that most pundits would tell you is politically impossible. (It also happens to be what a lot of people want, but never mind that.)

Given the media's general enthusiasm for Peterson's propaganda on austerity and Social Security, it's striking how little coverage these town halls have received. But it's hard not to conclude that the public rejection of the media's conventional wisdom is the explanation. A few weeks ago, Washington Post columnist David Broder (5/2/10) lamented the fact that Peterson was apparently not having as much impact on the political discussion as the Tea Party movement: "Peterson's foundation could do the country a favor by uncovering a credible populist Republican who will buck his party's orthodoxy and take that message of fiscal responsibility to the country."

Instead, Peterson's people are trying to spread their message--but the public apparently wants something else entirely.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.


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This story was published on July 3, 2010.

 

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