Articles by tonyviner

By Richard Mynick for the World Socialist Web Site: Since first appearing in the popular lexicon, the term “Orwellian” has conjured up a vision of the prototypical “totalitarian state”: a one-party dictatorship…

BBC News reports:

Greece is “on the brink of the abyss”, President Karolos Papoulias has warned, after three people died during protests over planned austerity measures. “We are all responsible so that it does not take the step into the void,” the president said in a statement.

It followed a day of violence during which protesters set fire to a bank, killing three employees. Greece’s government has vowed to pursue the spending cuts — a condition of its 110bn euro ($142bn; £95bn) bail-out.

“We are prepared to pay the heavy political cost,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told parliament during Wednesday’s debate on the bill. “We will not take a single step backwards.”

The euro hit a fresh 13-month low against the dollar and European stock markets were also hit, amid concerns over Greek bail-out plans. There are also fears Greece’s debt crisis could spread to other countries.

From CNN: Two days before his official trip to Afghanistan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a “big lie” intended to pave the way for the…

Ben Smith writes on the Politico:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

Secret RNC Fundraising Presentation

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

The presentation explains the Republican fundraising in simple terms.

By Dan Balz for the Washington Post:

Sen. Evan Bayh’s surprise decision not to seek reelection touched off a debate Tuesday among strategists and scholars about whether the Indiana senator’s depiction of the “brain dead” politics and hyper-partisanship of Congress is accurate or overblown — and, if accurate, whether walking away was the right decision.

Bayh dealt a triple blow to his Democratic Party and to President Obama with his announcement Monday that he is sick of the partisanship in Washington and will not seek a third term…

Family_GuyBecky Bohrer for Yahoo News/AP:

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sarah Palin is lashing out at the portrayal of a character with Down syndrome on the Fox animated comedy Family Guy:

In a Facebook posting headlined “Fox Hollywood — What a Disappointment,” the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and current Fox News contributor said Sunday night’s episode felt like “another kick in the gut.” Palin’s youngest son, Trig, has Down syndrome.

The episode features the character Chris falling for a girl with Down syndrome. On a date, he asks what her parents do.

She replies: “My dad’s an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska.”

Palin resigned as Alaska governor last summer. Palin’s oldest daughter, Bristol, also was quoted on her mother’s Facebook page, calling the show’s writers “heartless jerks.”…

From AP: The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded greenhouse gases are endangering people’s health and must be regulated, signaling that the Obama administration is prepared to contain global warming without congressional action…