The revelations of the United States performing mass surveillance on an international scale have also unleashed an avalanche of government misstatements aimed at defending, or even denying, the NSA’s dragnet surveillance. We’ve gone through them and picked out some of the biggest whoppers.
Read on ...
Everything ██████ ███ is ██████ fine. The government ███ ██████ is ██████ ███ ████ here ███ █ to █████ ██████ protect █████ ███ you.
The U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United v. FEC ruling has allowed corporate CEOs to unleash a torrent of secret corporate spending into our political system.
Indefensibly, CEOs are able to keep both the public and their own shareholders in the dark about the use of company funds for political ends.
This give CEOs free rein to make political expenditures that they would never be able to justify publicly -- including campaigns so toxic they would inevitably tarnish the company's brand were the funding source made public.
And the results have been absolutely corrosive to our democracy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is a federal agency, can require publicly traded companies to disclose the money they spend on politics. And they are accepting public comments on the merits of doing so.
So I just submitted a public comment telling the SEC not to let corporations hide their political spending. I hope you do, too.
Please join me by submitting your own comment.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management is planning to lease 400 acres of taxpayer-owned land to a dirty coal company for a dirt cheap price -- ripping off taxpayers and fueling climate change just to give the coal industry a big handout.
Colorado residents are already seeing the impacts of climate change locally, with devastating wildfires and record droughts inflicting a heavy toll. The last thing we should be doing is accelerating climate change by basically giving away our publicly owned dirty coal.
In advance of Wednesday's lease sale, let's make sure the Bureau of Land Management knows that Coloradans are strongly opposed to this deeply misguided policy.
Prickly City by Scott Stantis -- 26 April 2012
Development of the Space Launch System currently includes a lot of computer simulations.
It's possible that no NASA Administrator has enjoyed appearing in front of Congress since the 1960's. Charlie Bolden's testimony in front of both the Senate and House oversight committees for his agency last Wednesday was likely to continue that trend.
Although there was some argument over the 20 percent cuts to the Mars exploration program and NASA's commitments to the ESA, the key issue in both the Senate and House hearings was a philosophical difference over how to get humans into orbit. The legislators favored NASA's Space Launch System, known among its detractors as the "Senate Launch System," over CCDev, the Commercial Crew Development program. The two shouldn't conflict, given that they are meant for completely different purposes, but in these highly-politicized times, they do.
Read on ...
Should Corporations Bankroll National Parks? -- Mother Jones
I love national parks—from the regal slopes of Yellowstone to the mind-bending vastness of the Grand Canyon. Like everyone else, I go to parks to get away from the bells and whistles of everyday life. So I can completely understand why a lot of people are creeped out by the mere prospect of private companies playing a role in the National Park Service.
And yet, our parks are strapped for cash. A few bucks from a big business could go a long way toward better trails, nicer facilities, and more ranger programs. So should companies fund the parks, or are these natural spaces best left free of corporate interference? The question has been debated over the years, with flare-ups around the time the Bush administration attempted to privatize parts of the park service back in 2003 and last fall when there was concern that Coca-Cola had interfered in a plan to stop selling disposable plastic water bottles in the parks.
Read on ...