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Op-Ed
 

Robert Reich: Labor Day 2028

In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years – by 2028 – that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money.

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Ghita Schwarz: Fighting Local Lockup Quotas: Growing Momentum to End For-Profit Immigration Detention

Each year, 400,000 immigrants enter the immigration detention system, charged not with crimes but with civil violations of immigration law. Few have lawyers. The Obama Administration has deported more than 2 million immigrants, more than any president in history. At an annual cost of $2.2 billion per year, immigration detention is the fastest-growing component of the U.S. system of mass incarceration, due in no small part to the increasing influence of private prison contractors, who control 62% of the immigrant detention beds. Private contractors are the exclusive operators of the family detention centers that the Obama Administration has used to jail mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America. The millions they spend each year in lobbying and political contributions shape public policy toward refugees and long-time immigrants alike.

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Lawrence S. Wittner: Militarism Run Amok: Russians and Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

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Katie Taylor: Proposal for Guantanamo on US soil is despicable

'If at first you don’t succeed' might be a good motto for life. But it is a terrible motto when it comes to prison camps.

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Andrew Hartman: The Historical Ironies of the Right-Wing Movement Against Common Core

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, a recent effort to standardize math and English curricula across the nation that is better known simply as “Common Core,” has generated a growing opposition.

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David Leopold: Two Republican visions of America

“[I]n my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And (if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here). That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

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Robert Reich: The Upsurge in Uncertain Work

As Labor Day looms, more Americans than ever don’t know how much they’ll be earning next week or even tomorrow.

This varied group includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes.

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Andy Borowitz: Sentiment building to deport nation's billionaires for not paying taxes, circumventing laws
Full story: New Yorker


Michael Fix: Repealing Birthright Citizenship: The Unintended Consequences

Every few years, the issue of birthright citizenship flares briefly but brightly, unleashing a wave of news articles, pronouncements by politicians and pundits, and bills to repeal the guarantee of citizenship bestowed on virtually every single baby born on U.S. soil (those born to foreign diplomats being a notable exception). Thanks to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump the re-energized debate has turned anew to the question of whether birthright citizenship, enshrined in the Constitution in 1868 with the 14th Amendment and endorsed in 1898 by the Supreme Court, would have to be repealed via constitutional amendment or could be undone by act of Congress.

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Robert Reich: Corporate Welfare in California (VIDEO)

Corporate welfare is often camouflaged in taxes that seem neutral on their face but give windfalls to big entrenched corporations at the expense of average people and small businesses.

Take a look at commercial property taxes in California, for example.

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Captain Paul Watson: Danish Duplicity and Complicity in the Slaughter of Pilot Whales and Dolphins

Who are the deceitful Danes disguised as Faroese who kill whales?

A bit of research into Faroese holders of Danish passports is revealing. According to the attached Faroese article, 86% of the people of the Faroe Islands have chosen to hold the Danish passport.

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Cecilia Velasco: Scapegoating Immigrants Isn’t the Answer

About three years ago, my dad was driving the truck he uses for his landscaping business in Phoenix, Arizona when he was pulled over. Two patrol cars cornered him for making a wide right turn.

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Medea Benjamin: Who’s the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?

Except for maybe the Affordable Care Act, nothing gets Republican politicians fired up like Iran.

In the first GOP debate alone, Scott Walker promised that he’d tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency. Carly Fiorina blamed the country for “most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East.” Mike Huckabee vowed to topple the “terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.”

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Robert Reich: The Fraud of the New “Family-Friendly” Work

Netflix just announced it’s offering paid leave to new mothers and fathers for the first year after the birth of adoption of a child. Other high-tech firms are close behind.

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John Bailey: From Smokey Bear to climate change: the future of wildland fire management

Current conditions in the West demonstrate that our US fire management system is struggling and approaching a state of crisis. Spending on fighting fires has climbed dramatically since the 1990s. And there is growing risk of more intense fires with each passing year, given the effects of climate change, accumulated fuels in the landscape and our inability to extinguish all ignitions.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein: New FAA Data Point Out Need for Consumer Drone Safeguards

By the end of the year, it’s projected that more than 1 million recreational consumer drones, owned by individuals who have few rules to follow, will be in the sky. The new data released by the FAA should sound the alarm.

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Frank Sharry: Trump’s immigration proposals are as dangerous as they are stunning

Today Donald Trump’s campaign issued his immigration position paper. He also talked about immigration in an interview with Chuck Todd in which he said that undocumented immigrants “have to go”. Given that he sought and received the advice of Republican hardliner Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), perhaps it’s not surprising that his “plan” is nothing less than a nativist wish-list of ugly proposals. Among the elements: deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, triple the number of ICE agents, impose a moratorium on legal immigration and change the definition of the 14th Amendm

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Lauren Pagel: Sen. Heinrich focuses on root cause of the Animas River mine disaster -- the antiquated 1872 Mining Law

We applaud Senator Heinrich’s focus on the root cause of Colorado’s Animas River mine disaster -- the antiquated 1872 Mining Law. When he introduces his bill this fall, we will take a step towards finally creating a dedicated fund to clean up the half million old mines that plague the West. Mining law reform will ensure that other communities do not have to endure the tragedy that Colorado, New Mexico and Utah are currently living.

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Juan Cole: Memo to Jeb Bush: It was W’s Surge that created ISIL, not Hillary

Jeb Bush very unwisely went after Hillary Clinton last night on the grounds that her Iraq policies gave us Daesh (ISIS, ISIL). Bush may think he is cleverly pulling a Karl Rove, attacking his opponent on her strong point (foreign policy), as Rove swiftboated John Kerry in 2004. But this isn’t 2004, and virtually no one is excited about having more Bushes in the White House (apparently a third of Republicans want Trump and like 12 percent want Bush, despite his advantage in name recognition). The fact is, every time Jeb Bush says “Iraq,” he loses more votes.

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John Kiriakou: Former CIA leaders are writing a book that will whitewash their crimes against humanity

The CIA’s torture-era leadership won’t repent. Even after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report saying in no uncertain terms that the CIA had tortured its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that torture never elicited any actionable intelligence that saved American lives, Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings announced plans to release a book justifying torture.

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Chris Anders: No Thanks, Obama and McCain. Continuing Indefinite Detention Isn’t Closing Guantánamo.

A bad idea doesn’t somehow become a good idea just because five years have gone by. But the Obama White House and Sen. John McCain seem ready to recycle a proposal that was overwhelmingly rejected in 2010.

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Robert Reich: The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay

The Securities and Exchange Commission just ruled that large publicly held corporations must disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers.

About time.

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Wendell Potter: GOP candidates clueless about health insurance

If folks who watched Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate were expecting the candidates to tell us what they’d do to replace Obamacare if they could get rid of it, those folks would have been disappointed.

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David Leopold: Anti-immigrant debate shows GOP still hasn't learned from 2012 defeat

On November 7, 2012, the idea of Republicans embracing comprehensive immigration reform was a no-brainer. That was the day after Mitt Romney got hammered by Hispanic voters who rejected his candidacy for president by a 44 point margin.

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Kanya Bennett: 365 Days and 605 Armored Military Vehicles Later: Police Militarization a Year After Ferguson

Last August Ferguson and Fallujah had a lot in common. Those protesting the death of Michael Brown were met with “armored vehicles, noise-based crowd-control devices, shotguns, M4 rifles like those used by forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, rubber-coated pellets and tear gas.” The scene looked more like a foreign warzone than a Midwestern American town and no one could tell why local police were taking up arms against those they are sworn to protect and serve.

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Lisbeth Gronlund: The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Plain English Technical Primer

We’ve all seen the stories about the Iran nuclear deal, which was concluded on July 14 between Iran, Britain, China, France, Russia, Germany, the United States and the European Union. What does it really mean for U.S. and global security?

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Kumi Naidoo: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: remembering the power of peace

More than most, Japan is a nation whose modern history is tragically linked to the quest to use and tame nuclear power. This nuclear history is not noteworthy for its successes, but for how it reflects humanity's capacity for destruction – and peace.

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David Arkush: Groups Oppose Bill That Would Block EPA's Clean Power Plan

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported out S. 1324, the so-called Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), introduced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

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Mitch Merry: The Heavy Price of Trophy Hunting

The world came together last week in a rare moment of solidarity following the abhorrent slaughter of what was, by all accounts, a very popular lion. When the now-infamous dentist from Minnesota unleashed the bolt from his crossbow, he ignited a global fury by taking down this beloved lion – though it required another 40 hours of pursuit before the dentist finally found the badly wounded Cecil and ended his life with a rifle. Officials in both the United States and Zimbabwe are seeking the offending trophy hunter for questioning, and calls for indictments and policy changes rose out of the online outcry. Our own petition calls for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reconsider exempting some trophy hunters from what would otherwise be a solid ban on importing African lion trophies after a proposed listing is final.

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Captain Paul Watson: The Danish Giraffe Killer Applauds the American Lion Killer

What do the Grindadráp and the killing of Cecil the lion have in common?

It appears that the Director of the Copenhagen Zoo, Bengt Holst, is a fan of both.

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