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Meet The Big Wallets Pushing Obama Towards A New Cold War by Christian Stork
As President Obama mulls sending weaponry to the post-coup government in Ukraine, what’s driving America’s hard line against Russia? The bottom line. Christian Stork investigates.
One-Third of Americans at Risk of Financial Crisis
So, how’s that recovery coming along? According to new report from Bankrate, more than a third of Americans are one missed paycheck away from financial crisis. That’s because 24% of Americans hold more credit card debt than savings. Another 13% who don’t have credit card debt also do not have any savings. A stunning 36% of Americans have less than $1,000 in both investments and savings. Generation X is in a tough spot with 32% carrying more credit card debt than savings. And Millennials have a negative 2% savings rate … perhaps because of massive student loan debt.
Walker’s Anti-Union Law Has Labor Reeling in Wisconsin
Sure, it’s still only the start of 2015, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is emerging as a frontrunner in the pre-campaign for the GOP nomination. Last week, Walker, the son of a preacher man, hit the first potholes on the road to the nomination. At a Walker fundraiser, Rudy Giuliani questioned President Obama’s love of country, and reporters questioned Walker about the veracity of Obama’s Christianity. Walker fumbled both tests. But the issue that makes him the darling of big corporate donors like the Koch Brothers also makes him the bane of his political foes back in the Dairy State. It’s a key anti-union law passed four years ago that granted him instant GOP stardom. That’s because it stripped the collective-bargaining rights of most public-sector unions. Now, Walker is touting his victory over “big-government special interests.” But those “big-government special interests” are, in fact, teachers, groundskeepers at a state veteran’s home, and a variety of public sector workers who’ve seen union protections removed and their former unions fade.
The Spy Cables: A Glimpse into the World of Espionage
Al Jazeera is the latest recipient of leaked documents. This time, it’s “hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world’s spy agencies” that offer “insight into operational dealings of the shadowy and highly politicized realm of global espionage.” Working with The Guardian, Al Jazeera will begin exposing secret correspondence between major spy agencies including the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Among the key findings already itemized: the Mossad contradicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated warnings about Iran’s nuclear weapons program; new evidence of direct CIA contact with Hamas; and “damaging” details about the struggle of the South African security services in the days after 9/11 when it was, in essence, being manipulated by foreign intelligence services. It looks like someone decided to dredge up a little more of the Deep State.
Why Killer Whales Belong in the Ocean, Not SeaWorld
A former SeaWorld whale trainer is blowing the whistle on the abuses and tragic consequences of keeping orcas in captivity. In John Hargrove’s new book, Beneath the Surface, he elaborates on revelations and insights he first shared on camera for the much-celebrated documentary Blackfish. In addition to criticizing SeaWorld’s handling and exploitation of the whales, Hargrove explains the thrills and psychic connections he experienced working with orcas. SeaWorld, which is hastily constructing a new, larger enclosure for the whales after nearly two years of costly backlash to Blackfish, refuses to comment on the forthcoming book.
How Mexicans Became Hollywood’s Best Directors
Donald Trump is pissed. He was watching the Oscars and it made him mad to see some Mexican repeatedly getting up on the stage and taking away all that gold. Seriously. That’s what he said. But what Donnie Hairdo missed is that it might be too late to stop this Mexican “conspiracy” to make awesome movies. This is the second consecutive year a Mexican director has taken the top honor (last year’s Gravity was also directed by a Mexican, Alphonso Cuaron). The same Mexican cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, took home a statue for the consecutive second year. As Global Post explains, this signals the emergence of “transnational” filmmaking that, unlike the more conservative, profit-minded system dominating Hollywood, is willing to take risks, integrate new technologies and tests the limits of photography and storytelling. In other words, the Mexicans are making really good art. Hang that in your office, Donnie.
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