By Scott Kaufman
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Los Angeles Times has published an exhaustive account — based on over 23,000 pages of internal documents from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — of the former Archbishop of Los Angeles’s complicity in the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal.
The article documents Roger Mahony’s involvement at all levels of the attempted cover-up of priests who molested children, beginning with the day in December 1986 when Father Michael Baker confessed to Mahony that he had molested two boys.
According to Mahony in a video deposition, his initial reason for not reporting Baker to the police was that “you only call the police when you’ve victims that you can talk to,” because “the suspected child abuse form” contains “a big section about each victim and the victim’s parent, so you, obviously, if you can’t fill out the form, you can’t send it in.”
Instead of reporting Baker to the police, he had him sent to a church-run clinic in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where they “treat pedophilia.” When abusers were sent to therapists outside the church, Mahony and his aides selected ones they knew would not report the abuse to authorities.
Once the archdiocese was made aware of abuse allegations, Detective Dale Barraclough of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child unit told the Times, “we knew that the suspect, 99% sure, that he was going to be out of the country or out of state.”
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/06-8
Two days ago, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Bjorn Lomborg titled, “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels.” He began: “There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.” He reported: “About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes.”
Lomborg’s remedy for both global poverty and the cookstove fatalities: “Let’s face it. What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future.”
Lomborg cited no published source to support his claim that “cheap fossil fuels,” including coal, are the solution. Nor did he explain how building a massive fossil fuel infrastructure throughout sub-Saharan Africa, a focus of his piece, is at all consistent with a “transition to a greener energy future.” For one thing, there wouldn’t be any “green” future in Africa or anywhere else. And Lomborg’s fossil fuel advocacy isn’t supported by the published sources on these topics.
For example, a 2011 World Health Organization reportendorses “improved biomass cookstove designs that can substantially reduce indoor air pollution, as well as biogas stoves that very efficiently burn methane produced by sewage and animal waste as a clean household fuel.” The WHO report said nothing about fossil fuels.
Furthermore, in a 2011 resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The resolution’s chief concern was “that over three billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, [and] that one and a half billion people are without electricity.” While advocating “modern energy services for all,” the resolution issued no express preference for fossil fuels, and emphasized “the sustainability of energy sources … for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including … the protection of the global climate.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/06-8
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
December 4, 2013
President Obama on Tuesday bemoaned growing income inequality and declining economic opportunity, sounding the populist economic themes that he has invoked at critical moments in his presidency.
“There’s a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain: that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead,” Obama said at an event hosted by the left-leaning Center for American Progress at an arts and education center in Southeast Washington.
Obama invoked his and wife Michelle’s humble beginnings and the economic activism of past presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt in making the case that the country needs to do more to shrink the wage gap and ensure that children born to poverty have a chance to climb the economic ladder.
On issues such as the minimum wage, immigration, education, health care and jobs, Obama said the choices the nation’s political leaders make will have impact years down the road.
Thursday, Dec 5, 2013
I am very late to the Third Way-trashing party, but that’s a story in itself. I didn’t need to weigh in; progressives erupted in immediate backlash at the group’s latest attack on “economic populism.”
By now everyone knows that the pro-Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York’s Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, arguing that their “economic populism” was a “dead end” outside of the midnight-blue communards of Massachusetts and New York City.
Not only was Third Way’s argument immediately and widely debunked – Salon’s Elias Isquith did it very well here – but its domination by Wall Street became an issue in itself, thanks to folks at Daily Kos and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Warren herself responded by asking Wall Street CEOs to voluntarily disclose their think tank funding – without mentioning Third Way by name – suggesting it amounted to “little more than another form of corporate lobbying.”
And by Wednesday evening centrist Pennsylvania Rep. Alison Schwartz, a Third Way co-chair who’s running for governor next year, had disavowed the group’s attempted takedown of her party’s populist wing, calling it “outrageous.” (Update: Thursday afternoon another co-chair, Rep. Joe Crowley, joined Schwartz.)
Oh, and meanwhile, President Obama gave his best economic speech yet, calling income inequality “the defining challenge of our time.”
Is something going on here? I’d say yes. Wall Street’s domination of the Democratic Party is facing a genuine and sustained fight, and that’s a good thing for Democrats and the country.
Remember, it was only last year that Third Way made big news warning that ol’ devil economic populism would be a dead-end for Obama. No, it was worse than that: Third Way said its polling showed that Obama’s message of “fairness” was a loser; voters preferred to hear about “opportunity.” Fairness, people. They came out against a “fairness” message as too radical. Liberals debunked the poll, but Third Way got a big endorsement from the New York Times columnist Bill Keller, who used the group’s faulty data to warn Obama that he was turning off independents by being “a plutocrat-bashing firebrand” and pushing “Robin Hood” politics like the Buffett Rule.
In fact, as I argued back then, during Obama’s first term his political fortunes improved when he strengthened his message of economic populism, and plummeted the more he preached about bipartisan deficit-cutting and “shared sacrifice” as defined by plutocrats. If Third Way and Bill Keller were right, we’d be debating President Mitt Romney’s new tax cuts for the wealthy right now.
The always incisive Natalie Reed has an new blog.
I have added a link to her new blog to my blog roll and I recommend ya’ll check her new blog out.