News

Google+ Experiment

Hello NikkiNewsNetters! I'm trying an experiment over on Google+. I created a page called "Network XXIII News" (link) with the thought of having a collective news posting community like this one.

I can add up to 50 "managers", who will then have posting access. If you have a G+ account and want to post there, let me know!

Usage tips: after you're made a manager, I'm assuming you'll get the same thing I have, which is a drop-down arrow next to my profile photo in the upper right-hand corner. That menu shows the page identity; clicking on it opens a new window where I can make a post from the page. Unlike LJ, all G+ page posts come from the page rather than an individual, so we might want to add "From +Your Name" or something like that at the bottom of each post.

Goldman Sachs and the financial crisis

The People vs. Goldman Sachs. Shortest version: Goldman Sachs helped create the financial crisis, they knew they were doing it, they decided to make a profit on it, and then they lied to Congress about it. Don't blame this one on Bush - the financial deregulation started under Clinton, and the current Department of Justice has curiously decided not to go after any of the perpetrators.

Money quote:

To recap: Goldman, to get $1.2 billion in crap off its books, dumps a huge lot of deadly mortgages on its clients, lies about where that crap came from and claims it believes in the product even as it's betting $2 billion against it. When its victims try to run out of the burning house, Goldman stands in the doorway, blasts them all with gasoline before they can escape, and then has the balls to send a bill overcharging its victims for the pleasure of getting fried.
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New laws instituted in Toronto for G20: don't show ID, get arrested

In Toronto, if a police officer stops you on the street and demands to see your ID, you don't have to show it to him.

Well, except if you're in the G20 zone, where a newly instituted law means that if you don't show your ID you could go to jail for months. The Toronto Star tells the story of a man who was, to his shock, arrested on the sidewalk for not showing his ID.

mycrazyhair gives more detail on the new law here. Legally policemen can't ask for ID unless you're at a public works (like a power station, water works or railway). The government has just declared an entire section of Toronto a "public works," and if you fail to produce ID when asked you can be fined up to $500 and sent to jail for up to two months.

As mycrazyhair points out, this law will not be published until after the G20 is over; no one (on the non-government side) knew about it until the first person was arrested.

She's got a great breakdown of the zone under interdict in her journal as well as more detail; well worth reading.

Prisoners experimented on at Guantanamo Bay

According to Physicians for Human Rights, the CIA experimented on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. This is a violation of the Nuremberg Code, among many other laws. Groups such as The National Religious Campaign Against Torture are demanding an investigation, as is an editorial in the New York Times. Meanwhile, Post columnists are pointing to comments by Senators comparing these actions to those taken by Nazis and saying this wasn't nearly as bad as what the Nazis did. (Warning: graphic descriptions of Nazi torture.) The LA Times says it wasn't medical experimentation, just torture and PHR is overreaching.

Tea Partyers go wild as Scott Brown votes for cloture

When Scott Brown, Republican from Massachusetts, was elected, many conservatives trumpeted that the Democrats would never be able to get anything passed in the Senate again, as they did not have a filibuster-proof majority.

Yesterday Scott Brown voted to advance the jobs bill in the Senate, breaking a Republican-led filibuster. While other Repulicans also voted to break the filibuster, he was the first to do so and is viewed as the reason they felt safe to vote for cloture.

Tea Partyers are going ballistic, calling him a "Judas" (among many other things, but I like to think of this as a family news community, so I won't print those). As one commentator said, "Well the blush is not only off the rose, but many have taken Monsanto Roundup to the whole darn bush. The only way the Scott Brown honeymoon could have come to a louder, more sudden halt would be if he'd been revealed as a transvestite."

Meanwhile, Brown's former rival Anne Coakley praised him for his vote.

So - and especially to the Bay Staters in the audience - has this vote changed your opinion of Scott Brown?
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NNNICE

Quick hit from the Nikki News Net International Canadian Edition.

Federal Conservative MP and Cabinet Minister John Baird outed by Pamela Taylor, who is running for the Ontario provincial seat vacated by (actually openly gay) MPP George Smitherman. This happened in a morning interview on the CBC with outgoing host Andy Barrie.


ANDY BARRIE: Can you think of a single openly gay Conservative politician, either provincially or federally, who is gay?

TAYLOR: Openly gay? John Baird.

BARRIE: [Stunned] Thank you. You got me.

TAYLOR: And there are many others.

BARRIE: That was really dumb of me.


As of this morning's news cast, there has been no response from John Baird's office. According to Xtra, it's more or less a been a public secret up until now.

The political significance of this is pretty complex. The Conservative party as a whole has not been supportive of GLBT rights, but since the majority of Canadians arguably are, they've been pretty quiet about it. If Baird comes the restof the way out of the closet, there's a risk of a backlash aginst the Tories from thier more extreme right-wing supporters, but any action against Baird by the PMO would likely give rise to a strong backlash from the moderates. With the Tories already suffering in the polls after the most recent prorogation, this is a pretty delicate time for them. On the other hand, managed well, this could win over some of the GLBT friendly (or at least tolerant) moderates who have avoided the Tories because of the quiet air of intolerance taht hovers over them.

Scott Brown wins historically Democratic Senate seat in Massachusetts

Republican Scott Brown handily won the US Senate Seat in Massachusetts that had been held by Ted Kennedy for over 40 years, defeating Democrat Martha Coakley by a wide margin.

While voting was still going on, advisers to Martha Coakley said that they were going to lose because DC Democrats didn't do enough to support her. The Democratic Party responded that "The candidate in this race and the campaign have been involved in the worst case of political malpractice in memory..." Normally, this kind of acrimony is reserved for after a loss; it's being painted in the media as a sign that the Democrats have "formed a circular firing squad."

Though Coakley was considered by many in the state to be a poor candidate (Jon Stewart probably sums it up better than anyone else</a>), on a national level this vote was viewed as a referendum on the federal health care plan. Brown's win, in many eyes, means Americans don't want the health care bill to pass, as evidenced by the way health stocks have shot up in the past few days. Progressive organizations are saying that this election means the Democrats need to become more liberal, because disappointed progressives wouldn't vote for Coakley, who was considered too conservative. However, polled voters overwhelmingly said they voted for Brown so he would stop the health care bill, which puts another nail in the coffin for the bill and adds strength to Tea Party efforts.

Discuss below!