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Stuart Carlson | Get Out There and Shop! / Slate.com

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The battle over Elizabeth Warren

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  • Real consumer protection against fraud and misinformation in financial services is something the "financial sector" has fought for years. The catastrophe that required a $4 trillion public fiscal and credit injection into the economy makes no impression on the people whose reckless, unregulated behavior caused it, and whose bread is now buttered with its spoils.
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  • The Case For Elizabeth Warren
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John Case, People's World

Who is surprised that the banking industry is drawing a line in the sand to prevent the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer financial protection agency?

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Sen. Chris Dodd - who wanted to leave a legacy as a pragmatic financial reformer - has begun a frankly humiliating process of damning with faint praise the one individual who has conducted herself with striking integrity throughout the entire bailout and rescue drama of the past two years. "Elizabeth would be a terrific nominee," said Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who leads the Senate Banking Committee. "The question is, ‘Is she confirmable?' And there's a serious question about it."

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This compares in spinelessness to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's termination of Shirley Sherrod, and his subsequent "acceptance of responsibility" - what does that mean exactly?

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The Case For Elizabeth Warren, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation
Elizabeth Warren should be the top contender to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. After all, it was her brainchild, her baby.

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American-made streetcars: Portland company rebuilds lost industry

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  • More than 65 U.S. cities are currently looking into implementing streetcars. Portland, though, is leading the way in public transportation.
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  • Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track
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Jacob Wheeler, People's World

United Streetcar, a union company in Portland, Ore., and wholly owned subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, has built the first American-made streetcar in over half a century. United Streetcar already has a deal in place to build thirteen of its streetcars for the cities of Portland and Tucson, Ariz.

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The initial streetcar was unveiled in July 2009 in a ceremony attended by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called Portland the transportation, streetcar and livable community capital of the United States. "I believe this is the dawn of a new era for public transportation in the United States," said LaHood. "A new opportunity to claim ‘Made in America.' It's a chance to generate good-paying union jobs right here in the region."

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Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track, Hart Van Denburg, City Pages | MN
"Last Friday (April 2), the Council took a big step forward toward make sure we put modern streetcars where they belong -- along the commercial corridors in Minneapolis that used to have them." -- RT Ryback, Minneapolis Mayor

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A Tale of Two Spills

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  • Want to know how long it will take to clean up the BP spill, and how little BP could end up paying? Take a look at the Exxon Valdez spill, 20+ years on.
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  • To make BP pay, Obama must learn from his predecessors’ mistakes.
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Antonia Juhasz, Dollars & Sense

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On March 24, 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez spilled more than 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, in what was until recently the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

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More than 26,600 gallons of oil remain from the spill, readily oozing up on beaches. For its part, Exxon emerged virtually unscathed from the incident and is, today, the most profitable corporation the world has ever known.

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In 1990, the George H.W. Bush administration indicted Exxon on five criminal charges, with potential penalties totaling $5 billion. It then gave Exxon a “get out of jail free” card: Exxon pled guilty to just three counts and agreed to a fine of a mere $25 million, or less than 1% of the total potential criminal fine, plus $900 million in civil fines to be paid over a 10-year period.

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Target's $150,000 Donation To Fund Anti-Gay Politics

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  • Send the company a message right now, urging them to explain why their money is being used to fund a politics that not only serves to prevent LGBT equality, but breeds homophobia, transphobia and hatred.
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  • Mother of Gay Son Stands Up to Target for Anti-Gay Donation
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  • After political gift, Target feels backlash
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  • Corporate interests backing Emmer sue for right to donate to him
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Michael A. Jones, Change.org

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Target, practically everyone's favorite discount retail store, is headquartered in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. But along with precious bodies of water, Minnesota is home to some pretty rabid anti-gay politicians and groups. Among them include Tom Emmer. And Target, it seems, is apparently filling  his campaign coffers with nearly $150,000.

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Follow the money. At least, that's the message delivered by an article at sfist.com by Matt Baume<>, who tracks $150,000 from Target's coffers, through a political action committee (PAC) known as Minnesota Forward, all the way to Tom Emmer, who himself supports a Christian rock band in Minnesota that travels around the state saying that it's moral and righteous for religious people to kill gays and lesbians.
For those into algebra, it looks a little like this: Target + Minnesota Forward + Tom Emmer = Support for a rather dangerous and radical political philosophy that diminishes LGBT people to pests that should be murdered. And Target is cool with this?

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Send the company a message right now, urging them to explain why their money is being used to fund a politics that not only serves to prevent LGBT equality, but breeds homophobia, transphobia and hatred.

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Mother of Gay Son Stands Up to Target for Anti-Gay Donation, Michael A. Jones, Change.org
Get your Kleenex ready, because one of the sweetest mothers in the entire country just smacked back at Target for its anti-gay donation of $150,000 to an organization supporting a politician in Minnesota, Tom Emmer, who believes that gay and lesbian Americans should be second class citizens.

After political gift, Target feels backlash, Jackie Crosby and Baird Helgeson, Star Tribune | MN
After criticism from gay-rights advocates, CEO Gregg Steinhafel defended the gift to MN Forward.

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Corporate interests backing Emmer sue for right to donate to him, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
Minnesota case the next phase of national battle over campaign finance reform

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