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Feb 21 2015

The Breakfast Club (Let us pray with Aphrodite)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: Old Time Religion (Arlo Guthrie/Pete Seeger – Precioius Friend)

Today in History



This day in history: Malcolm X assassinated; President Richard Nixon visits China; Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart makes a tearful confession; Steve Fossett is the first to fly across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

News

‘Gun to Greece’s Head Pulled Away’ As Tentative Deal Struck in Brussels

The newly-elected Syriza government of Greece and its creditors from the 19-nation Eurozone have reportedly reached a draft deal for a loan extension to the country for another four months.

The specifics of the agreement, and the conditions imposed on Greece, have not yet been fully revealed to the public, but according to Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)in Washington, DC, the deal represents a “significant retreat” by the so-called troika and “shows that their austerity program, which has failed miserably, is no longer politically enforceable.”

According to CEPR’s preliminary analysis, the agreement gives Greece fiscal flexibility, lowering previous fiscal surplus constraints and forestalls the immediate threat of Greece being forced out of the eurozone through a loss of support from the European Central Bank (ECB). Media reports citing Greek officials familiar with the deal indicated that additional tax increases and cuts to pensions were not part of the agreement.

How a powerful rightwing lobby is plotting to stop minimum wage hikes

A network of Republican lawmakers and their rightwing corporate funders are battling behind closed doors to block minimum wage increases in cities across the US, in a step-by-step counter-attack that could cut back the incomes of millions of Americans despite an economic upswing.

According to strategic details obtained by the Guardian, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) – along with its localised sister organization, ACCE – is trying to prevent elected city representatives from raising the minimum wage to levels above those set by their states. The group has launched an aggressive dual-track mission that combines legislation and litigation in what Alec calls a “new battleground” over worker compensation.

The anti-wage increase moves come as Walmart, a former corporate member of the Alec network and the largest private employer in the US, responded to a barrage of criticism over the company’s low wages this week by agreeing to raise its base rate to at least $9 an hour for about 40% of its employees. The hike will marginally improve the earnings of about 500,000 Walmart workers, though it falls far short of the $15 per hour that staff – and labor advocates in cities across the country – have been demanding.

Port labor deal reached

LOS ANGELES_Shipping companies and dockworkers reached a tentative deal late Friday on a new labor contract, avoiding a shutdown of 29 ports that would have choked off trade through the West Coast.

The agreement, which still needs approval from union members and individual employers, should start easing severe congestion that’s been building for months at the nation’s busiest ports, in Los Angeles and Long Beach, along with other major gateways.



According to people familiar with the talks, the sticking point was the union’s desire to remove one man: arbitrator David Miller, who handles disputes in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The union president, without naming Miller, said in a letter to members that the dispute was over “retaining arbitrators who have openly engaged in conduct that clearly compromises their impartiality.”

In Arizona, a controversial federal land swap leaves Apaches in the lurch

SUPERIOR, Ariz. – A place of great natural beauty, popular among rock climbers and campers, a part of Tonto National Forest known as Oak Flat has been under federal protection from mining since 1955, by special order of President Eisenhower.

On the nearby San Carlos Apache reservation, many consider Oak Flat to be sacred, ancestral land – the home of one of their gods and the site of traditional Apache ceremonies.

But Oak Flat also sits on top of one of the world’s largest deposits of copper ore. Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of British-Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has sought ownership of the land for a decade, lobbying Congress to enact special legislation on its behalf more than a dozen times since 2005.

Year after year the bills failed to pass. But in December, the legislation was  was quietly passed into law as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. …

To Save the Planet, Eat Less Meat, Report Urges

To prevent ruinous climate change and stave off an influx of preventable chronic diseases, Americans must reduce their meat intake and switch to a sustainable, plant-based diet, the top U.S. nutritional panel has announced for the first time.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which convenes every five years, released its newest report Thursday calling for Americans to change the way they think about food and make the health of the planet as much of a priority as their own well-being.

According to the report, “The average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use,” compared to vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean-style diets, which favor fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes over red meat, dairy, sugar, and processed foods.

Blogs

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac:

I don’t appreciate a preacher who commits adultery and then goes out and blames me.

Jimmy Swaggart

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