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A few well-written words can convey a wealth of information, particularly when there is no lag time between when they are written and when they are read. The IPS blog gives you an opportunity to hear directly from IPS scholars and staff on ideas large and small and for us to hear back from you.

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Entries since May 2010

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From the Frontlines: May 19th, 2010

May 19, 2010 ·

The victories of Sestak and Halter sent a clear message that the people are sick and tired of the establishment (whether Democrat or Republican) capitulation to special interests. Glenn Greenwald elaborates. And the new GOP candidate for Kentucky, Rand Paul, is against Wall Street giveaways, so that's something.

Haitian farmers are furious at Monsanto's donation of genetically modified, pesticide-laden seeds.

Younger people are more likely to oppose restricting immigration, more likely to disagree with the AZ bill (Via Wiretap/Campus Progress).  

Small oil and gas companies line up to file lawsuits against BP and Goldman Sachs.  

Ugh. Hundreds of tiny fish wash up on Louisiana's marshes.  

Glenn Beck's ties to gold mania. In case you were wondering why Cash 4 Gold stopped advertising on his show.  

Mark Souder is the best thing to ever happen to Richard Blumenthal. Who's Richard Blumenthal?  Exactly.

Bonus: Apparently straight women also play softball. Who knew?

The Lost Chapters of Malcolm X

May 19, 2010 ·

Malcolm X. Credit: Wikimedia CommonsToday in honor of the 85th birthday of Malcolm X, I'm participating in an hour long discussion on the living legacy of Malcolm X and what Malcolm means in Obama's America.  

This discussion will occur on the Marc Steiner show 5pm to 6pm on 88.9FM for those in the Baltimore area.  For those not in the Baltimore area, go to Marc Steiner's website tomorrow and catch the podcast.  

Also participating in the show will be:

  • Minister Akbar Muhammad, who was in the Nation of Islam under Malcolm X; 
  • Omar Musa a Washington DC community activist, and
  • Lalit Clarkson from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

In honor of this birthday the lost chapters of the Autobiography of Malcolm X are to be revealed in New York City. These chapters are said to highlight Malcolm’s view of the means to overcome the racial divide in the United States.  During this time of America’s war against Islamic terrorism, I believe further discussion on one of the country’s most well known radical, anti-Western Muslims will be quite enlightening.

From the Frontlines: May 18th, 2010

May 18, 2010 ·

The bill for Afghanistan could run into the trillions, as another suicide bomber hits another U.S. convoy. IPS fellow Miriam Pemberton, who studies the military budget, wrote that the era of Bush-style spending isn't quite over.

Noam Chomsky has to settle for talking to Birzeit University by teleconference in Amman, after he's denied entry into Israel.  

The racial wealth gap has "more than quadrupled over the course of a generation," according to a new study. Dedrick Muhammad has been studying this for awhile and has said that we need a huge shift in focus if we're going to narrow this gap.

Undocumented students stage a sit-in at John McCain's office, calling on him to support the DREAM Act so they can obtain scholarships and work their way through college while going through the process of legal residency.  

The Dept. of the Interior, despite the BP oil mess, still continues to approve offshore drilling plans in the Gulf of Mexico without environmental review. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing Sec. Salazar to stop this.

CBPP says that the growing budget shouldn't be an obstacle to passing the jobs bill: "Most of the provisions in this bill, which is now in the final stages of development, are strictly temporary measures that will stimulate additional demand for goods and services and create jobs while the recovery is still struggling to gain traction; they are not permanent measures that add to the long-term budget deficit."

Main Street Protests Wall Street and K Street

May 17, 2010 ·

Protesters on K Street. Credit: IPSA steady rain fell on the large crowd of protesters who gathered at McPherson Square, on K Street. I juggled my umbrella, a camera, and a soggy sign that said "MAKE FINANCE PAY," wishing another pair of arms would magically appear.  

Despite the chilly, wet weather, thousands of people – representing groups like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFT (link to an article about their Pink Hearts, not Pink Slips campaign), Jobs with Justice, National People's Action, the Other 98%, and many others I didn't catch – chanted, banged drums, and held up banners protesting the K Street lobbyists who've hijacked our democracy.  

AFL-CIO sign. Credit: IPS"K Street is Washington's counterpart to Wall Street," writes our director, John Cavanagh, "and powerful men on both streets have been working hard, in tandem, to preserve our casino economy, our plunder economy, and our military economy." 

We marched around a few blocks of K Street closed off for the protest. At the end of the closed-off area there was a giant evil-looking banker, holding a marionette of the Senate building. Boo hiss!  

Wall St Banker. Credit: IPSAll in all, it was great to see so many people brave the weather to civilly demand their rights. Brian, our friendly neighborhood tech guy, filmed the protest and interviewed a few people about why they were here today. I saw a few news camera crews there too, so hopefully we'll get some key footage up soon.  You can see the rest of our photos on Flickr.

Were you at the protest? Tell us about it.

From the Frontlines: May 17th, 2010

May 17, 2010 ·

We're headed to the Showdown on K Street! Update on the rally later this afternoon. We'll also be showing the film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time, tonight at Busboys.

Another Gitmo detainee is set free, making the tally 35-13 for freed detainees vs. those held indefinitely.

The financial reform bill is a start, but it looks like there's a few glaring loopholes.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is heading to the UK this week, as British troops face the most violent assault since the start of the war nine years ago. A report mentioned in the article says opium trade is behind the increase in violence. IPSer Phyllis Bennis says it'll take more players and less soldiers if we want peace there.

The Gulf Coast's Vietnamese and Cambodian fishing communities are some of the hardest hit in the wake of the BP oil crisis.

In related news, BP chose a more toxic, less effective oil dispersant because it hates the Earth is produced by a company with close ties to the oil giant. Jim Hightower's convinced we've been slicked by Big Oil.

Local DC group Save Our Safety Net is headed to City Council on Wednesday to call for progressive tax rates.

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