17512 Columbia

Archive for March 16th, 2012|Daily archive page

today’s news … Friday, March 16

In Uncategorized on March 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

today’s news and information gleanings from here and there! 

Quote for today… “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.” – Samuel Goldwyn

  • “A state program that pays for bus rides to doctor appointments, pharmacies and dialysis centers and takes children to summer camps will continue for a few more weeks with an infusion of funds…. Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority board voted last month to suspend the Medical Assistance Transportation Program service on April 1, when the $2.2 million provided by the state this fiscal year was expected to run out.” – Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era
  • “The average older American living independently does not have the means to meet basic standards of living, according to a report published by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The report, “Seniors Nationwide Are Nowhere Near Economic Security,” calculates the average income for retirees for each state in the country, as well as their costs of living. While older Americans in some regions are faring better than in others, their costs exceed Read the rest of this entry »

“Revenge of the PACMan: how corporations are eating away at US democracy”

In Everyday Living, History and Heritage, Opinions, Opportunities on March 16, 2012 at 5:28 am

(SOURCE: The Conversation)

In the US, corporate personhood has enabled corporations to exercise undue influence on the electoral process. takomabibelot

A Supreme Court ruling in 2010, designed to clarify the parameters of free speech, has created a monster. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission made much of corporate rights. It paid significantly less attention to corporate responsibilities. In enabling a literal reading of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court voided precedent and has allowed corporate entities to circumvent already flimsy campaign finance restrictions. In doing so, it has reduced transparency and accountability.

Concern over the capacity of corporate power to influence electoral outcomes has long exercised Congress. Legislative restrictions date back to 1907. Each reform, culminating in the McCain-Feingold Act, limit the amount any one individual or corporation can contribute in a given electoral cycle. The system is augmented by the provision of capped federal financing. Already weakened by the decision by Barack Obama to withdraw from federal financing in 2008 because of his campaign’s spectacular grassroots funding success, the system was completely destroyed by the Supreme Court’s decision.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court held that so-called independent Super political action committees (Super PACs) can raise unlimited funds from corporate interests or trade unions as long as there is no formal link to political campaigns.

The decision has transformed the electoral landscape. As The Economist noted on February 25 this year, Super PACs linked to each of the remaining Republican contenders for the forthcoming presidential election raised more than the campaigns themselves. By no means is this a phenomena linked to the Republican Party; President Obama’s campaign is equally indebted to the structure.

The Supreme Court had intended to protect free speech. The majority opinion was set out by Justice Kennedy. “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens or associations of citizens for simply engaging in political speech,” he argued. “Political speech is indispensable to decision-making in a democracy and this is not less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual.”

Far from strengthening free speech, the decision in Citizens United has contributed to its erosion. To make matters worse, the Read the rest of this entry »

fact-driven is another way of saying “investigative reporting”

In Government, Opinions, Opportunities on March 16, 2012 at 4:46 am

(SOURCE: Columbia news, views & reviews, March 2011)

A www.columbianewsandviews.com reader sent this newspaper clipping (below) to us.

At the March borough council meeting (March 14, 2011), the mayor rebuked those who write “online blogs” who do not “get the facts” and post unsubstantiated rumors as truth before posting purported information. Since this news source came alive, our efforts continue to post “fact-based” writings. We do scrutinize the information or comments submitted by every unidentified email, comment, call or letter that comes in. Then, to the best of our capability, try to do the diligence process to discover the documented, black and white supporting evidence to reveal facts as they exist. We will cite official sources and obtain and publish public right-to-know documents. Citizens deserve to see the truth of documentation, and that is something we intend to deliver.

misinformation is disinformation

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act gives the public (not just property owners or those seemingly most directly impacted, immediately or potentially) the right to attend the meetings of a large number of government bodies at the state and local level in Pennsylvania. The law also entitles you to notice of these meetings and gives you the ability to inspect and copy meeting minutes. The Governor’s single-point Website provides information such as this, the Open Meetings Guide – The Sunshine Act.

“The Pennsylvania Sunshine Act covers all Read the rest of this entry »

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