Apr 30 2010

Weekly Digest – 04/30/10

Weekly Digest | Published 30 Apr 2010, 12:26 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 04/30/10 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* BP Oil Spill Could Be Worse Than “Exxon-Valdez”
* Matt Taibbi on Goldman Sachs Under Fire From Congress, SEC
* Black Agenda Report on the Need for a Constitutional Amendment
* Oklahoma Passes Misogynist Abortion Measures

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BP Oil Spill Could Be Worse Than “Exxon-Valdez”

BP oil spillA massive oil spill emanating from an exploding rig in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening to kill marine life and endanger the Gulf Coast. Eleven workers went missing and are now presumed dead when the Deepwater Horizon rig burst into flames on April 20th and sank two days later. The rig is owned by Transocean and was operated by UK-based oil giant BP, who is now responsible for the financial costs of clean-up. The oil spill has spread so far that it is about 600 miles in circumference, an area bigger than the state of West Virginia. As of Friday when this show is being recorded, the spill has reached the Louisiana coast. The rate of the spill was understood to be about 1000 barrels a day but that estimate was just revised to 5000 barrels a day. After days of debate over how to handle the spill, the US Coast Guard has begun “small, controlled burns” and the US Military has also joined the effort. But while the burning could slow the spread of the spill, it does not address the continuous expelling of oil from the ocean floor. Currently eight underwater robots are attempting to stop the oil from gushing out. According to the BBC, “The scale of the operation to contain the oil spill and protect both the US coastline and wildlife is unprecedented.” Recently, much to the dismay of environmentalists, President Obama had backed off on a campaign promise of a moratorium on oil drilling, by announcing expanded offshore drilling rights. But now, with the timing of the Deepwater Horizon spill, political allies on the issue seem to be backing off. This week the heads of Homeland Security and the Interior Department launched a joint investigation into the causes of the explosion, which could lead to public hearings and subpoenas. Additionally President Obama has vowed that no new offshore oil rig leases would be signed until the review is complete.

GUEST: Marcie Keever, Director of Friends of the Earth’s Clean Vessels Program; Former Program Director of San Francisco Beautiful; Former Staff Attorney of Our Children’s Earth Foundation

Find out more at www.foe.org. Sign a petition against offshore oil drilling here: http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2792

Goldman Sachs Under Fire From Congress, SEC

goldmanMembers of a Senate Subcommittee grilled executives from Goldman Sachs earlier this week attempting to finish up an investigation of the investment giant that has lasted more than a year. Both current and former executives were questioned for hours about the ethics and legality of their actions which included knowingly selling faulty mortgage-backed securities to customers. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein testified for the first time since the investigation began, in the hearing headed by Senator Carl Levin for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Meanwhile, the company was sued earlier this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud. That civil case is centered on a young bond trader named Fabrice Tourre whose emails to his girlfriend sent from his company account were released by Goldman Sachs and reveal that he was well aware of the impending subprime mortgage crash. Tourre sold securities backed by those mortgages aggressively. The emails from Tourre are among the approximately 2 million internal emails released recently by Goldman to members of the sub-committee. Fabrice Tourre also testified at the hearing, categorically denying any wrong-doing on his part in the SEC probe.

GUEST: Matt Taibbi, national affairs editor of Rolling Stone

NOTE: A few days after my interview with Matt Taibbi, Goldman Sachs’ shares finally plunged 9% after being downgraded by two investment analysts on Friday. Also, on Friday the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into possible securities fraud in mortgage trading at Goldman Sachs.

Read his latest article about Goldman Sachs here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/24/will-goldman-prove-greed-is-god

Black Agenda Report on a Constitutional Amendment

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is about a Constitutional Amendment .

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Oklahoma Passes Misogynist Measures

Oklahoma AbortionThe state of Oklahoma passed two new draconian abortion laws on Tuesday. The first requires women to have an ultrasound in clear sight and listen to a detailed description of their fetus before undergoing an abortion. The second protects doctors from being sued for withholding information about birth defects evident in the womb from women. Both laws have been vetoed twice. Oklahoma governor Brad Henry vetoed a law containing both provisions in 2008, but it was overridden before being declared unconstitutional by an Oklahoma County judge on the technical grounds that it dealt with multiple subjects. The laws were then passed separately and vetoed once more this month by Governor Henry, who said that the ultrasound law provided for unconstitutional intrusions into a woman’s privacy and violated a doctor’s right to free speech. Of the other law, Henry said “it is unconscionable to grant a physician legal protection to mislead or misinform pregnant women in an effort to impose his or her personal beliefs on a patient.” The Oklahoma legislature overrode Governor Henry’s vetoes and passed the laws anyway. There are only 3 doctors in Oklahoma willing to perform abortions. Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi have passed laws requiring that doctors give women the option of seeing their ultrasound image. Several other states have passed similar laws and the Florida State Senate voted this Wednesday to require women seeking abortions to view an ultrasound unless they prove they were raped or abused.

GUEST: Anita Fream, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma

For more information, visit www.ppcok.org and www.reproductiverights.org.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Young women need to know that abortion rights and abortion access are not presents bestowed or retracted by powerful men (or women) — Presidents, Supreme Court justices, legislators, lobbyists — but freedoms won, as freedom always is, by people struggling on their own behalf.” – Katha Pollitt

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