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The Roundup for July 3, 2012

Hello. While you’re re-reading those historical documents over the 4th, here’s a reminder of what was also intended for inclusion in the Bill of Rights, but didn’t make it. As Jefferson wrote to Madison on 31 Jul 1788 (emphasis added):

I sincerely rejoice at the acceptance of our new constitution by nine states. It is a good canvas, on which some strokes only want retouching. What these are, I think are sufficiently manifested by the general voice from North to South, which calls for a bill of rights. It seems pretty generally understood that this should go to Juries, Habeas corpus, Standing armies, Printing, Religion and Monopolies. I conceive there may be difficulty in finding general modification of these suited to the habits of all the states. But if such cannot be found then it is better to establish trials by jury, the right of Habeas corpus, freedom of the press and freedom of religion in all cases, and to abolish standing armies in time of peace, and Monopolies, in all cases, than not to do it in any.

International Developments

? “In a final vote of no confidence, Ireland’s ill-fated e-voting machines are finally headed to the scrap heap.”

? Human Rights Watch, based on a couple hundred interviews, asserts that there are “27 detention centers maintained by Syrian intelligence agencies throughout Syria” that are engaged in “multiple torture methods.”

? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military” when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers back in November. As a result of the apology, Pakistan is reopening those supply routes for NATO forces into Afghanistan.

? And another apology, this one from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who is “100%” sorry for shooting down that Turkish jet last month.

? Things are not looking up in Iraq, where 275 people “have died in attacks over the past month . . .” 40 people perished in an attack in a Baghdad market Tuesday.

? Uh-oh: “Japan recently altered its basic law on atomic energy to include ‘national security’ among its goals for nuclear power.”

International Economics

? Blow-by-blow account of what’s going on in England with Bob Diamond.

? “France needs ‘unprecedented’ spending cuts“, the conclusion of a report ordered by President Francois Hollande on his first day in office.

? “Greece will push for a better bailout agreement when it resumes long-stalled talks with international lenders this week . . ..” They also face an on-site visit by the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank on Thursday, which seems rather daunting.

? Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s home and office have been searched by investigators interested in the possibility of illegal campaign contributions.

Politics USA

? NC Democratic Governor Bev Perdue vetoed the “$20.2 billion 2012-13 state budget as well as a controversial measure to legalize fracking.” The General Assembly has overridden both vetoes, even though one of the votes was made in error but was not allowed to be changed.

? Vanity Fair has a big article on Mitt Romney’s off-shoring activities which “looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.”

? Party pooper. “Robert Diamond, Disgraced Barclay’s Banker, Pulls Out Of Romney Fundraiser.”

? Those “Nuns on the Bus” wrapped up their tour across the US in protest of budget cuts. Standing in the nation’s Capitol, the nuns blasted the Paul Ryan budget–which slashes food stamps, Medcaid, and so on–as “immoral”.

? A National Rifle Association-backed FL law prohibiting physicians from discussing firearms with their patients, has been blocked by a federal judge.

? The Michigan legislature passed a voter suppression law that was so bad Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed it.

? Los Angeles County prosecutors have been asked “to charge former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson with a crime” following his series of car crashes last month.

Money Matters USA

? There were some big winners in the national foreclosure settlement, thanks to whistleblower suits against Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial. Altogether, $46.5 million were awarded to the six people who sued.

? “A third company [NanoTailor Inc.] that received taxpayer funding through Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection . . ..”

? Mammoth Lakes, CA, ski resort town, will be filing for bankruptcy, since the refusal by creditor Mammoth Lakes Land Acquisition to negotiate a settlement over a “property development dispute that began in 2006.”

? Great analytical article on the “it will never happen again” litany from Wall Street. To wit: “Wall Street never seems to get the message that bribing government officials–and paying each other off–to get access to lucrative municipal-bond underwriting business is illegal. Wall Street has never learned this lesson because the minuscule price it ends up having to pay for misbehaving has absolutely no deterrent value whatsoever.” Precisely.

Working for A Living

? IA Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds “will begin paying 20 percent of their health care insurance premiums beginning Aug. 1”–and want Iowa state workers to do so, also. As he signed an executive order “allowing state employees to voluntarily pay,” Gov Branstad said he was “empowering Iowans to take ownership of their own health.”

? “Port Trucks in Southern California Will Be Getting More Labor Rights, After A Recent 46 To 15 Vote in Favor of Unionization.” This initial effort involves 61 Toll workers, but more than 100,000 port truckers are potential members and organizing will be ongoing according to Change To Win, labor union coalition.

Heads Up!

? A Manhattan criminal court judge has “ruled that law enforcement had the right to see tweets and other user data from Malcolm Harris, who is being prosecuted for disorderly conduct in connection with the Occupy Wall Street protest on the Brooklyn Bridge last year.” Twitter tried to quash the subpoena. “The American Civil Liberties Union and others have cited the case as a test of free speech online.” Stay tuned.

? Entergy Corporation is still operating the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, thanks to an extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and contrary to efforts by Vermont lawmakers to shut it down. Democracy Now! reports that 40 protestors at the site have been arrested.

The War on Women

? NJ Republican Gov Chris Christie “vetoed funding for women’s health clinics . . . [which would have] . . . provided $7.4 million to Planned Parenthood and other clinics . . ..” None was for abortions, so he can’t use that excuse.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Researchers have determined that spanking a child significantly increases chances of the child developing a mental illness as an adult.

? “The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first over-the-counter HIV test . . ..”

? Disturbing, and accurate, article on going from middle class to homeless in a few short years in these United States, and the toll homelessness takes from the human spirit.

? Purdue Pharma which manufactures OxyContin allegedly “is paying dozens of clinical sites to document the effects of the highly addictive painkiller on children as part of an effort to secure a Food and Drug Administration approval to label the drug for use by kids ages six and up”. Gah!

Latin America

? Mexico President-elect Pena Nieto has an op-ed in the New York Times in which he states that the “new” PRI is indeed different from the old PRI. He further outlines his plan to end the drug war-related slaughter on-going in Mexico. And he also calls on the US to “do more to curtail demand for drugs.”

Mixed Bag

? RIP, Andy Griffith.

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