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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 13th, 2010

May 13, 2010 ·

The forgotten men and women of America, via Firedoglake and The New York Times. Just more evidence that we need a new social safety net.  

Salon: Arizona bans ethnic studies courses in schools, which "relies on is the assumption that white people's history is history, and everyone else’s is 'ethnic studies,' or worse, 'teaching hate.'"  

The Boston Globe has horrible, striking photos from the Gulf.  

Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Carl Levin (MI) have introduced an amendment to the financial reform bill that would "rein in proprietary trading (i.e. subprime securities, derivatives) by 'regular' banks; impose capital requirements on 'systemically important' nonbanks (think Goldman, AIG, Morgan Stanley) so when their crappy bets don’t pan out we don’t have to pick up the tab; and prevent investment banks from betting against the very securities they peddle to their clients."  

Labor unions may have to abandon Obama to fight corporate power.

The New America Foundation has mapped areas of known drone strikes in Pakistan.

Senate Introduces Climate Bill

May 12, 2010 ·

A Coast Guard crew skims oil on the Gulf. CC license: Wikimedia commonsJohn Kerry and Joe Lieberman managed to introduce the climate bill today, despite both the growing off shore oil disaster in the Gulf (now with dying dolphins) and the recent coal mine tragedy. John Kerry believes the bill has a good chance of passing by the end of the year, despite Republicans throwing oil and gas industry fundraisers for some of their candidates. Lieberman said it "represents a market-driven partnership between the public and private sectors, to reduce carbon pollution and lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil."

How does this bill compare with the House bill and the clean energy bill? There's a great chart, via ClimateProgress, that compares the three.  

But this legislation, in whatever form the sausage-makers spit out, is far from perfect. Our own Daphne Wysham, who heads our environmental project (SEEN), is concerned that the bill does far too little. And in light of the BP oil disaster, it's clear that there needs to be much more regulation and oversight of corporations like oil companies that are involved with toxic substances. And Jeff Biggers wonders about the merits of "ensuring coal's future," as outlined in the bill.  

We need to hold up the BP and Massey incidents as evidence that we need to move beyond petroleum and get serious about alternative energy and curbing emissions. Especially since, according to The Onion, the stupid environment isn't even willing to meet us halfway.

From the Frontlines: May 11th, 2010

May 11, 2010 ·

Sen. Benigno "NoyNoy" Aquino won the Philippine elections with about 75 percent of the vote, despite a communist rebel skirmish in the Mindinao region. He vowed to tamp down corruption (although FPIF columnist Walden Bello wonders if that's the real cause of poverty).

On Democracy Now!, Glenn Greenwald and Jamin Raskin debate the progressive reaction to Elena Kagan.

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is a comprehensive source for the latest citizen reports on what's happening in the Gulf, as a result of the BP oil spill. Oil is now washing up on the shores of the Mississippi Delta.  

As Daphne Wysham reports, this isn't the first time BP has hurt people in the Gulf—but thanks to lax regulation, they were hardly punished for it. Representatives from BP, Halliburton, and Transocean will appear before a Senate committee investigating the spill today.  

How can cultural boycott help the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel? Cathy Gulkin of Point of View magazine explains (via IMEU).  

Two AlterNet reporters ask: Why do we let economically essential banks gamble with our money? Our own Sarah Anderson says that taxing financial speculation is key to halting the casino. OpenLeft has a great roundup of developments in financial reform.

From the Frontlines: May 10th, 2010

May 10, 2010 ·

BP oil spill. From the Seattle Times.The seven stupidest statements made about the BP oil hemorrhage.  

BP's first plan to contain the spill failed, but Alabama and Mississippi lawmakers still support offshore drilling.  

Glenn Greenwald has an impressive roundup of articles questioning Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's credentials. But another Salon author wonders if the "liberal case against" Kagan is overblown.  

In Iraq, at least 65 people were killed and 243 injured in a series of attacks. And the Taliban announced a new offensive starting today, against foreign troops, security contractors, and the Afghans that work with them.  

Community health care clinics are a main source of care for the U.S. poor. With the reform bill's passage, what is their future?  

Left-wing parties celebrate victory in Germany.  

In Greece, protesters focus their wrath on the IMF, as a "majority of Greeks not only see it as the harbinger of harsh economic reforms but the symbol of foreign occupation."

From the Frontlines: May 7th, 2010

May 7, 2010 ·

Deregulation and carcinogens, racial foreclosure gaps, and the Fed audit: today's news and notes.

Might want to reconsider how "microwaveable" your Tupperware is: Nicholas Kristof highlights a new report that shows the connections between industry deregulation and increased cancer rates. 

Why is the foreclosure rate three times higher among blacks than whites? IPS scholar Dedrick Muhammad appears on CNN to discuss.  

Danny Schecter's new movie, Plunder, shows that the story of our economic collapse is even darker than you'd think. Truthdig has the preview; we've got the film screening in DC.  

After the BP oil spill, 55 percent of Floridians now oppose offshore drilling.  Almost a year ago, 55 percent were for it. Via Think Progress.  

Score one for government transparency: Dean Baker reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders reached a deal with Sen. Chris Dodd to get the GAO to audit the Fed. "Any interested journalist, academic, blogger or generic snoop can read through the data and find exactly how much money Goldman Sachs got, at what interest rate, with what collateral and when they paid it back."

New Yorkers will gather outside of Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev’s New York store this Saturday, to protest his involvement in human rights violations and settlement building in Gaza.

How will the British elections affect Africa and the Global South?

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