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11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

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11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.09 Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

11.09 A new way to make steel could cut 5% of CO2 emissions at a stroke

11.08 Medicaid’s stunning victory

11.06 On Eve of Midterms, Americans Urged to Vote 'Like the Planet Depends On It—Because It Does'

11.06 Big Oil Spending Tens of Millions to Defeat Washington State's Groundbreaking Carbon Fee Initiative [2:09 video]

11.06 India: Delhi pollution level deteriorates to 'hazardous' category

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11.13 'You Sound Nervous': Gillum Mocks Trump as President Demands End to Florida Recount

11.13 Kyrsten Sinema wins Arizona Senate race in breakthrough for Democrats

11.12 When Obstruction of Justice Is Glaringly Obvious

11.11 These 14 Democrats Are at Core of What Bernie Sanders Calls the 'Most Progressive Freshman Class' in Modern US History

11.10 Dear Democrats: Don’t be corporate stooges too

11.10 Trump's acting attorney general involved in firm that scammed veterans out of life savings [Absense of morals and empathy are a prerequisite in the Trump administration]

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11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]

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11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]

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11.11 Tax reform: down with the ‘stepped-up basis’

11.08 Canada is richer than the US, according to a new wealth ranking — in fact, the US doesn't even make the top 10 [Graph of richest countries based on median wealth per adult]

11.05 Under Trump, Corporate Giants See Massive Drop in Penalties: NYT [Mafia-government...]

11.02 Los Angeles’ Measure B Is a Moonshot Aimed at Creating a Public Bank [Could save the public $Billions if setup smartly]

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11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

11.12 With Trump sitting nearby, Macron calls nationalism a betrayal [Trump was confused...; video]

11.11 The message from the midterms: a new, progressive US is slowly taking shape

11.09 US navy ship ignored sinking migrants' cries for help, say survivors [Making America Less Great Again...]

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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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