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Jul 31st

Liberal Lens

David Sirota, a member of the Denver Jewish community, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author.

Pension cuts finance stadium subsidies

AS states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.

Detroit last week became the most prominent example of this trend. Officials in the financially devastated city announced that their plan to slash public workers’ pension benefits will move forward.

On the same day, the billionaire owners of the Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family, unveiled details of an already approved taxpayer-financed stadium for the professional hockey team.

Many Detroit retirees now face big cuts to their previously negotiated retirement benefits. At the same time, the public is on the hook for $283 million toward the new stadium.

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Big money behind a big merger

THERE are plenty of reasons to worry about the proposal to combine Comcast, America’s largest cable and broadband company, with Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable firm and third-largest broadband provider. For one, there’s ever more consolidated control over content. There’s also the possibility of certain types of content being given special (or worse) treatment based on the provider’s relationship with Comcast and Time Warner Cable. And there’s the prospect of even higher p...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:06 )

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Is journalism losing its nerve?

WHEN I went into journalism, one of the first things I was told as a freshman is that journalism is different from stenography. It is supposed to be — or at least has been — about using rights granted under the First Amendment to be a check on government and corporate power. Yet, the hedge in that last sentence is deliberate — and appropriate. That’s because a new survey from the Indiana University suggests things are fast changing in the news industry — and not for the better. The l...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 01:49 )

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Other people’s corruption

IN America, there is regular ol’ corruption, and then there is Chicago Corruption, with a capital “C.” America’s third largest city is so notoriously corrupt, all you have to do is say “Chicago politics” and many people instantly start making jokes about payoffs and reciting lines from “The Untouchables.” Yet, while the Windy City’s brand of corruption is extreme, it is also emblematic, as a recent spate of revelations prove. Chicago is facing a pension shortfall for its poli...
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Don’t pity the billionaire

THE rich have never been richer and the poor keep getting poorer. The financial Masters of the Universe enjoy indefinite taxpayer-funded bailouts, while the social safety net for the poor is gutted. The ruling class that engineers crushing economic inequality gathers at the World Economic Forum in Davos to pretend to care about said inequality, and then promises no concrete actions to combat the crisis. Many high-income earners pay a lower effective tax rate than low-income earners, and IRS da...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Israel, Hamas agree to 72-hour cease-fire, with Israeli troops in place

Ron Kampeas Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour unconditional cease-fire. ... [Link]

Protesters threaten British cosmetics store that sells Israeli products

Marcy Oster A cosmetics store in Manchester, England, that sells Israeli cosmetics has been victimized by callers threatening to kill the staff and burn down the store. ... [Link]

NYT on why it hasn’t shown photos of Hamas fighters: We don’t have any

Uriel Heilman The New York Times says it eagerly pursues photos from both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict, but so far their photographer in Gaza hasn’t even seen anyone carrying a gun. ... [Link]

Israeli tourists evacuated from Maldives

Marcy Oster Israeli tourists in the Maldives had to be evacuated from the island nation after an Israeli surfer removed an anti-Israel sign from outside a guest house. ... [Link]

Obama spokesmen urge Israel to exercise greater caution with civilians

Ron Kampeas An array of Obama administration spokesmen said Israel had to exercise greater caution in avoiding civilian casualties during the current Gaza conflict, citing shelling on a shelter that killed at lea... [Link]

Detroit-area USPS clarifies position after local branch refuses mail to Israel

Ron Kampeas The metropolitan Detroit regional office of the U.S. Postal Service issued a clarification to its branches after a local post office said it could not accept mail sent to Israel. ... [Link]

U.S. sells munitions to Israel from its surplus stockpile

Ron Kampeas The U.S. Defense Department sold to Israel munitions from its Israel-based surplus stockpile. ... [Link]

Thousands attend pro-Israel rally in Paris

Cnaan Liphshiz Thousands of people attended France’s largest pro-Israel rally since the launch of the Israel Defense Forces’ offensive in Gaza. ... [Link]

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