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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 2/21

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2014-02-21 -

As mass violence erupts in the Ukraine a leaked audio tape between top U.S. Officials suggests the U.S may have been plotting a coup in the country.

Top of the Alty World

“A New Cold War? Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup”--Democracy Now!

Drought in the west is forcing states to consider less wasteful water policies.--The Economist

After being fed up with negative press in the East Bay area of California, Chevron has started its own community “news” site serving the town where one of its major refineries is located.--East Bay Express

The GOP efforts to be more inclusive to minorities are plagued by racist emails that have surfaced between current Wisconsin Governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Scott Walker and some of his top aides.--The Root

Top of Alty Utah

Governor Herbert says a veto may be necessary if Legislature pushes forward on legislation to thwart Count My Vote initiative.--Salt Lake City Weekly

A bill to create an earned income tax credit for working Utahns and their families passes thanks to some creative funding.--Salt Lake City Weekly

In a press conference Count My Vote organizers called on the Legislature to stand down with Senate Bill 54, designed to circumvent their initiative (Video).--Utah Political Capitol

Regardless SB 54 cleared another hurdle on it's way to the Governor's desk.--Utah Policy

Rantosphere

With the disclosure that U.S. Officals are debating the use of drones to kill an American citizen in Pakistan, Truth-Out questions if the technology is really doing more good than harm as a militaryt ool that doesn't risk American combat forces.

“Although the Obama administration would have us believe that the "collateral damage" from drones has been minimal, independent observers have documented more than 2,500 killed in Pakistan alone. Moreover, drones that hover over remote communities 24/7 terrorize the villagers, causing fear and mental distress. Imagine how it would be to live under such a constant threat? What would we think about a country that inflicted such undeserved punishment? To put the question another way: Is resorting to terrorist tactics a morally just way to fight terrorism?”--Truth-Out

The Long View

While official lobbying expenditures in 2013 registered at $3.2 billion, the more accurate number of “shadow lobbying” expenses likely reached $9 billion.

“On paper, the lobbying industry is quickly disappearing. In January, records indicated that for a third straight year, overall spending on lobbying decreased. Lobbyists themselves continue to deregister. In 2013, the number of registered lobbyists dipped to 12,281, the lowest number on file since 2002. But experts say that lobbying isn’t dying; instead, it’s simply going underground. The problem, says American University professor James Thurber, who has studied congressional lobbying for more than thirty years, is that “most of what is going on in Washington is not covered” by the lobbyist-registration system. Thurber, who is currently advising the American Bar Association’s lobbying-reform task force, adds that his research suggests the true number of working lobbyists is closer to 100,000.”--The Nation

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