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Longwood Gardens.  February, 2013.  Photo by joanneleon.



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The Fossil Fuel Resistance

After decades of scant organized response to climate change, a truly powerful movement is quickly emerging, around the country and around the world. It has no great charismatic leader, and no central organization; it battles on a thousand fronts, many of them very local and small. But taken together, it’s now big enough to matter, and it’s growing fast.

So you could call it by many names. But for me it’s the Fossil Fuel Resistance.

Banks Got Nowhere to Run To, Baby

Last year, U.S. Bank held its annual shareholders meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of its corporate headquarters. The event was dominated by shareholders and proxies who are members of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, an alliance of community, faith and labor organizations working for a more equitable economy.

“Our members asked CEO Richard Davis direct questions about issues like principal reductions and foreclosures, and payday lending,” said Eric Fought, communications director of the organization. “We were really effective in holding them accountable, so this year they looked for another solution — to hide from us.”

On Tuesday, April 16, U.S. Bank officers will jet from their hometown to hold this year’s meeting in Boise, Idaho. If the bankers are hoping for a better reception in this reddest of states, or that activists will take a pass on the long distance travel required to get there, then Martha and the Vandellas have a word of advice: Got nowhere to run to, baby. Nowhere to hide.

More than 100 members of the Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN) — who are mostly rural, working poor and seniors — will travel to take direct, non-violent action both inside and outside of the meeting. More than half of these individuals will be driving 3 to 7 hours to reach the venue. Their allies from Minnesotans for a Fair Economy will be there to greet them, along with workers from SEIU Local 503 — the largest union in Oregon with 54,000 members.

Dems fear Obama’s Social Security cut will haunt them in 2014 races

A growing number of House Democrats are concerned that President Obama's proposal to cut Social Security benefits will haunt the party at the polls in 2014.

Although Democrats have long-championed the retirement program, they say Obama's plan to reduce payments for future beneficiaries through a chained consumer price index (CPI) has weakened their stance and opened the door for Republicans to vilify the president.

Truthdigger of the Week: Stéphane Hessel

During his years of work back home, Hessel retained the sense of moral outrage that drove him as a young man at war. He spoke up when he saw governments trampling citizens domestically and globally. In the late 1990s and 2000s, he condemned the Israeli government for deadly attacks on the Palestinian people and a planned strike on Lebanon. He denounced French officials for tolerating homelessness in violation of Article 25 of the declaration he helped write. He received numerous honors recognizing his efforts.

But Hessel wasn’t an international celebrity until he published the political pamphlet “Indignez-vous” at the age of 93 in late 2010. Written as a speech to commemorate the resistance to Hitler’s 1940s occupation of France, Hessel called on the young and old of France to renew the spirit of resistance that animated his generation and lead the world against the “international dictatorship of the financial markets.”

“Take over, keep going, get angry!” Hessel wrote, saying that peace was the way. “Those in positions of political responsibility, economic power and intellectual authority, in fact our whole society, must not give up or let ourselves be overwhelmed.”

John Brennan Says All the Bad Reports about CIA Are Inaccurate

Kudos to Jan Schakowsky, who used today’s hearing on global threats to ask John Brennan some of the questions he so rarely gets asked.

She started by asking him generally about drones and his previous public comments about them. He responded by noting that he was a White House figure then, now he’s CIA Director (implying, I guess, that he shouldn’t be held to his previous comments).

She then asked specifically about Jonathan Landay’s reporting on the drone strikes — which, as you’ll recall, is reported directly from intelligence reports on drone strikes. Brennan responded, ”A lot of things in press are reported inaccurately, in my opinion.” (Mind you, Landay’s reports did give Brennan an excuse for having lied so blatantly about civilian casualties in the past, so I guess his reporting is inaccurate, even though it helps Brennan!)



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