Archive | Politics

Can Herman Cain Deliver?

Presidential hopeful Herman Cain, while controversial, has a possible chance of winning the Republican nomination.

Recent polls show Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tied for the lead with Mitt Romney (GALLO/GETTY)

“Many of the Muslims, they are not totally dedicated to this country,” GOP campaigner Herman Cain said in March. “They are not dedicated to our Constitution. Many of them are trying to force Sharia law on the people of this country.”

Prior to this defence, a reporter had asked Cain if he would appoint a Muslim to his administration if he were elected president of the US, to which Cain replied unequivocally, “No”.

While he later apologised to Muslims in the US for his inflammatory comments, this was not the only time Cain has made controversial statements.

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Rick Perry: Too Big to Fail?

As the race for the US presidency begins, another Texas governor has emerged as a leading contender.

Texas Governor Rick Perry's quest for the White House is enabled by the fact that President Obama is saddled with a massive economic crisis and two unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (GALLO/GETTY)

The dilemma facing American voters as the 2012 presidential election season begins might be summed up in one colourful question:

“Is America ready for another set of cowboy boots in the White House?”

The man posing the question is Ross Ramsey, managing editor of The Texas Tribune. The boots belong to Texas Governor James Richard “Rick” Perry, an undefeated conservative darling and gubernatorial successor to George W Bush, who’s hoping his skill at rallying dissatisfied Republicans and the religious right can propel him into the White House.

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Arizona’s War on Immigrants

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: miss karen, JohnnyWood

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: miss karen, JohnnyWood

“Most immigrants are economic refugees,” Bob Kee explained as we drove across the rolling arid hills of south-central Arizona towards the border of Mexico. “US policy in the post-9/11 world states that the government knew there would be ‘collateral damage,’ meaning more dead migrants because of the increasing militarization of the borders. But when people are desperate, they’ll do what they need to do to feed their families. It’s a survival situation, and that’s where we’re at.”

Kee is a volunteer with the group the Samaritans, a migrant advocacy organization whose stated goals include “to save lives and relieve suffering of migrants in southern Arizona” and “to encourage elected leaders to humanize border policy.”

 

The Samaritans have their hands full, and while they are, from what Truthout saw, doing a great job on the former, clearly every group or person sympathetic to the plight of immigrants in that state are shocked by the recent legal machinations of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law (SB1070) granting law enforcement personnel the right to detain people based on the “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented immigrants recently elicited strong condemnation from six UN human rights experts, who on May 11 claimed that the law may violate international standards that are binding in the US.

“A disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established with the adoption of an immigration law that may allow for police action targeting individuals on the basis of their perceived ethnic origin,” the experts said.

Isabel Garcia, an immigration advocate and federal public defender, told CNN on April 20 that the legislation “legalizes racial profiling” and added, “I think this bill represents the most dangerous precedent in this country, violating all of our due process rights. We have not seen this kind of legislation since the Jim Crow laws.”

Brewer also signed a controversial bill that bans ethnic studies in Arizona schools, just three weeks after signing SB1070. The more recent law banning ethnic studies affects specialized courses in African American and Native American studies, and will probably shut down a popular Mexican-American studies program in the Tucson school district. Continue Reading →

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Insider: Palin Failed to Lead on Oil and Gas Safety in Alaska

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: djeo, auburnxc)

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: djeo, auburnxc)

There have been several recent oil spills and other environmental problems linked to the oil/gas production industry in Alaska. On December 23, a tugboat hit the Bligh Reef, the same reef struck by the Exxon Valdez 20 years ago. The recent grounding may have caused as much as 33,500 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into Prince William Sound.

The Prince William Sound tug spill followed several other recent environmental incidents on the oil production and delivery system that crosses the state to bring oil from the nation’s largest oil complex to Alaska and the Lower 48. On November 28, there was a spill at a refinery in the town of North Pole. On November 29, there was a large spill at an oil field on Alaska’s North Slope that further underscored British Petroleum’s failure to conduct its work in an environmentally sound manner, among other contamination problems.

All elements of Alaska’s North Slope oil system have been hit in recent weeks, this in the wake of the ongoing book tour by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin, who continues to promote herself as a politician who mirrors the needs of her constituents, has touted the tour of her book, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” as that of an old-fashioned bus tour, largely across Midwestern states. However, it has been revealed that while Palin has ordered her staff to take the bus, she has flown from event to event in a private jet.

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