Friday, May 16, 2008

Action Point with Cynthia Black 05-18-2008: The Reference Shelf

This week's article and item links:
  • POLITICS: NATIONAL: CAMPAIGN 2008: What's McCain have against education benefits for veterans? The "Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act" sounds like the kind of rally-round-the-flag plan that John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all could embrace. Instead, it's become one of the starkest dividing lines between McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, and his likely Democratic opponent.
  • ENVIRONMENT: Fighting the False Solution of Nuclear Power: If it's a bill it must be flawed: "Although the word 'nuclear' has been carefully omitted from the bill, it is clear that this is a covert attempt to bolster a failing nuclear power industry in the name of addressing climate change," said Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder. "It's time to focus on real global warming solutions like solar, wind and energy efficiency, not to further fatten the moribund nuclear calf."
  • NATIONAL SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENT: From one of my favorite resources, The Mainstream Media Project, this bulletin came across my desk:
    While many news stories focus on the potential threat from Iran in developing nuclear weapons... on Monday, The Washington Post reported that 40 or more nations worldwide have informed the UN that they wish to build nuclear power plants. The fear is this may be the first step in enriching plutonium for weapons... In order to back down from the increasing global momentum towards more nuclear weapons, the U.S. must take an active part in pursuing nuclear nonproliferation.
    So what to do? Interview someone exciting of course! With Dr. Arjun Makhijani we'll show how one of those Obama-electing "egghead" types can get the job of carbon cutting with free-market NON-nuclear technologies done! Now, wouldn't that be a nice change?! You can freely download Arjun's real Dr. Egghead book, Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for US Energy HERE.
  • POLITICS: ELECTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS-- NEW WEB SITE: Advanced campaign contribution effect database (hat-tip to Joy Marx-Mendoza):
    The site is a database of campaign contributions related to congressional voting and combines three data sets: Bill texts and legislative voting records; Supporting and opposing interests for each bill and Campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Combining this data makes visible key information that could never before be determined easily. For example: Contributions given by interests supporting and opposing each bill; Average donations given to legislators voting Yes and No on each bill and a Timeline of contributions and votes for each bill, graphically identifying when legislators received large donations before or after their vote.
  • MUST READ: Toward A New Washington Consensus: From David Sirota:
    You've probably heard that John McCain once said, "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues." This line is regularly referenced by Democratic television pundits as evidence that McCain is unprepared to lead the country during arecession. The criticism is certainly valid, but it ignores something more troubling. It's not that politicians like McCain "need to be educated" about economics, as he admitted. It's that they do not comprehend how economics impacts international affairs.

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