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07.29 The Health Benefits of Trees

07.29 Delaying climate action will carry heavy economic cost, White House warns

07.29 Obama leasing millions of Gulf acres for offshore oil & gas drilling

07.28 Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit

07.28 Why Warren Buffett Loves Renewable Energy

07.28 Report shows 1 in 3 Texans chooses renewable energy options

07.28 Half of Britain to be opened up to fracking

07.28 Wishful Thinking About Natural Gas: Why Fossil Fuels Can’t Solve the Problems Created by Fossil Fuels

07.27 JOHN FRANCO: A DIGESTABLE WAY TO SINGLE-PAYER

07.25 Antarctica’s Point of No Return

07.24 Top Doctor Working To Contain Current Ebola Outbreak Is Now Infected With Ebola

07.24 Under Water: The EPA’s Struggle to Combat Pollution

07.24 Why Do Other Rich Nations Spend So Much Less on Healthcare?

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07.24 The Leader of the Unfree World [Scary charts]

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07.29 Hillary Clinton vs. Elizabeth Warren: Big Differences, Despite Claims To The Contrary

07.29 The State's Unwitting Attack on Parenting While Poor

07.28 My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats

07.27 Repeal Prohibition, Again

07.26 Krugman Divulges Real Reason Conservatives Freak Out About California Success Story

07.26 What is Paul Ryan's plan to expand the EITC?

07.25 Black Homeowners Are Worse Off Today Than They Were 40 Years Ago

High Crimes?

07.29 To Summarize the Israeli/Gaza War

07.28 As the Gaza crisis deepens, boycotts can raise the price of Israel’s impunity

07.27 Palestinian Resistance: an icon for those who long to live free

07.27 Wyden Ponders Release of CIA Torture Report Without White House Consent

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07.29 The black hole of US government contracting

07.27 PRIVATE EQUITY’S FREE PASS

07.27 The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less

07.27 Federal regulators let utilities gouge customers

07.26 You Can’t Taper a Ponzi Scheme: Time to Reboot

International

07.29 Israel Creates ‘No Man’s Land’ in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40 Percent

07.29 Huge blaze out of control in Tripoli battle as Libya slides into chaos

07.29 Weapons paid for by US are Missing in Afghanistan: Did they go to the Taliban?

07.29 Unlike Iraq, Iran, Libya, N. Korea, Israel has Impunity from Defying UNSC (Gaza Ceasefire)

07.29 The Wake-Up Call: Europe Toughens Stance against Putin

07.29 Gaza pounded by Israel after Netanyahu promises prolonged battle

07.29 When I served, the Israeli military was the most moral in the world. No more

07.28 Why Is Israel Losing a War It's Winning?

07.28 Stopping Putin: The Time Has Come for Europe to Act

07.27 North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un [3:29 video]

07.27 Gaza death toll over 1,000 - Israeli toll up to 42 [videos, photos]

07.26 Gangs, guns and Judas Priest: the secret history of a US-inflicted border crisis

07.26 Central American leaders meet Barack Obama to criticise US border policy

07.26 Iraq: Isis warns women to wear full veil or face punishment

07.25 America Is the Only Country with a Favorable View of Israel [graphs]

07.25 The Gaza war has done terrible things to Israeli society

07.25 Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: 'All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion'

07.25 West Bank erupts as UN deplores Gaza school attack

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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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