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Monday, October 22

22.Oct.2012, PART 2 (Monday) - Anti-War George McGovern, Problem of Plutocrats, Big Lie About Tax Cuts, Foreign to Foreign Policy, Optimistic New Atheism Scares Christians, Danger of Wealth, Crucial Debate on Libya and Iran, IRS Suspends Church Audits, 14 Most Extreme Candidates, America's Crumbling Democracy, Voting Against One's Best Interest, GMOs' Growing Doubt, Will the Apocalypse Arrive Online?

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern talks about the bombs being used in Vietnam at a $250-a-person fundraising dinner in Los Angeles on Sept. 27, 1972.

George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement

If George McGovern often seemed miscast as a presidential candidate, he was at least as improbable as an icon of the anti-war movement. 

The Problem of Plutocrats: What a 19th-Century Economist Can Teach Us About Today's Capitalism

politicsToday, 'the wealth-producing power' of those inventions is indisputable. Even at a time of weak economic growth, and after decades of stagnant wages, middle class Americans enjoy a standard of living beyond the reach of the robber barons of George's day -- electricity, plumbing, hot running water, cars, jet travel and longer lives. But in March, 1879, whenProgress and Poverty was published, the 'Long Depression,' a 65-month long period of economic contraction which afflicted both the U.S. and Europe, was just whimpering to an end. From that perspective, the perplexing reality was that the industrial revolution wasn't delivering: "We are coming into collision with facts which there can be no mistaking. From all parts of the civilized world come complaints of industrial depression; of labor condemned to involuntary idleness; of capital massed and wasting; of pecuniary distress among businessmen; of want and suffering and anxiety among the working classes."

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama share the stage at their first debate

The big lie about tax cuts and jobs

Tax cuts for business have been a complete failure at creating jobs, but they serve another purpose for political leaders: creating a fiscal train wreck to justify austerity.

Nonprofit that sued to extend Citizens United ruling to states may have misled IRS

The US Supreme Court is illuminated on April 25 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court Monday said it would address the issue of retroactively applying a 2010 decision that immigrants have the right to be told if a guilty plea may lead to deportation. (AFP Photo/Mark Wilson)A western nonprofit that played a key role in freeing corporate spending on elections nationwide appears to have misled the IRS when it applied for the tax-exempt status that shields its donors from being publicly disclosed. Documents obtained by ProPublica and Frontline show that Western Tradition Partnership, now known as American Tradition Partnership, said it would not attempt to sway elections when it asked the IRS to recognize it as a tax-exempt social welfare organization in late 2008.

New Atheism scares a Christian because it’s too optimistic

This is the second time I’ve heard this criticism of atheism, the first being the bizarre lucubrations of Francis Spufford, who didn’t like the atheist bus slogan (“There probably is no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life”) because it was too optimistic.  There is more to life, said Spufford, than merely enjoying it. Now, over at PuffHo‘s “Religion” section, Paul Wallace (self-described as “a professor of physics [at Agnes Scott College] and a former working scientist”), Wallace diagnoses this optimism as “The real problem with New Atheism:

The Danger of Wealth at the Top

For years, Mitt Romney has advocated tax breaks tilted toward the rich in a classic “supply-side” strategy, but is now trying to obscure that position. His shift comes as even conservative economists say the concentration of wealth at the top is hurting economic progress, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

Crucial Debate May Focus on Libya and Iran
Middle East Policy Takes Center Stage in Neck-and-Neck Race

IRS Has Suspended Church Audits Until Rule Changes Are Finalized

BNA Daily Report for Executives dated 10/22/2012 (subscription required) reports that the the Internal Revenue Service has temporarily suspended tax audits of churches pending final adoption of IRS rule changes to clarify which high level Treasury official has authority to make a determination under IRC Sec. 7611 that there are reasonable grounds to begin a church tax inquiry. (See prior posting.) At an American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education conference, IRS speaker Russell Renwicks, area group manager from the Mid-Atlantic region of the Tax-Exempt and Government Entities division, said the IRS has been bombarded with complaints about churches becoming involved in the elections, but it has been unable to respond even to potentially egregious cases. The rule changes are necessitated by a 2009 Minnesota federal district court ruling. (See prior posting.)

Two defenders of American imperialismObama-Romney foreign policy debate

John Kiriakou (Image from Twitter/@JohnKiriakou)Government wants to jail whistleblower for revealing CIA's 'Prime Torturer'

The former CIA analyst who went public with the US government’s torturing of suspected terrorists has suffered a major setback this week in his attempt to avoid imprisonment amid a federal witch-hunt targeting whistleblowers.

14 Most Extreme Candidates

In recent years, this country has seen its electoral politics polarized to an extent that has only rarely been paralleled in American history.

Will the Apocalypse Arrive Online?

How fear of cyber attack could take down your liberties and the Constitution.

6 Things We Need To Do To Repair America's Crumbling Democracy

The need for progressive, pro-democracy reforms has never been greater.

6 Global Issues the Foreign Policy Debate Between Obama and Romney Won't Touch

World issues routinely get short thrift in presidential debates, especially in yet another election year characterized by economic malaise and divisive social issues.

Why the Right to Know What's in Our Food Has Become One of the Biggest Fights of the Election

This campaign is shaping up to be more about the place of money in politics and the power of television marketing—not to mention the advantages of breaking federal law—than the value of GMO labels.

The Secret of Our Non-Success

The U.S. economy finally seems to be recovering in earnest, with housing on the rebound and job creation outpacing growth in the working-age population. But the news is good, not great - it will still take years to restore full employment - and it has been a very long time coming. Why has the slump been so protracted?

Head shots

Not just in Pakistan

Mormon temple Endowment ceremony

Noam Chomsky: Voting against one's best interests

Growing Doubt: GMOs

Kirsten's new TV ad

Cops with Machine Guns & Michael Lee Nida

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