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December-23-2011-575.jpgPhotograph via Flickr by La Flaf.

8 “Occupy” protesters arrested at Iowa Democratic Party headquarters

—Protesters were there to demand that President Obama veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the omnibus spending bill

December 19, 2011—Eight people affiliated with Occupy Des Moines were arrested this afternoon at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines. The eight, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, were placed in a police wagon and transported to the Des Moines police station, where they were cited and released. Each was to be charged with criminal trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Officers Turn in Credentials

December 22, 2011—Jail officers working for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio handed in their federal credentials during a news conference in Phoenix Wednesday, a day before civil rights attorneys will be in federal court to seek a ruling in a lawsuit that alleges Arpaio systematically discriminated against Latino residents in conducting traffic patrols and so-called “crime suppression sweeps.” Arpaio’s office organized the public turning-in of the badges after ICE rescinded their authority to run immigration checks on inmates.

Obama signs two-month extension of payroll tax cut

December 23, 2011—President Barack Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut Friday, ending what had been a heated political stalemate and sealing a hard-fought win for Democrats on an issue—taxes—that has historically favored the GOP. Earlier in the day, the measure cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives by unanimous consent, a procedural move allowing the measure to pass even though most members of Congress were already home for the holidays. Among other items, the $33 billion bill also includes a two-month extension of emergency federal unemployment benefits and the so-called “doc fix,” a delay in scheduled payment reductions to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

“Foreign agents behind Baghdad blasts”

December 22, 2011—Iran’s deputy foreign minister has condemned serial explosions in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad as schemes by some of the foreign countries aimed at sowing discord among Iraqi Muslims. “Such efforts are doomed to fail, and Iraq’s vigilant and wise people and the country’s [democratically] elected government as well as its police and security forces will give a crushing response to the plot’s perpetrators,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday. Warning about the effect of such terrorist attacks on regional security, Amir-Abdollahian said, “Those who have had a hand in these blasts must know that the region’s enemies are the only ones who benefit from these measures.”

Multiple bomb blasts kill 69 in Iraq

December 22, 2011—Sixty nine people have been killed and scores of others injured in multiple bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad, an official says. Ziad Tariq, spokesperson for the Iraqi health ministry, said people 69 were killed and 176 were injured in 10 bombing attacks that rocked nine neighborhoods of the capital on Thursday morning. The attacks were carried out in the Allawi, Bab al-Muatham and Karrada districts of central Baghdad, the Adhamiyah, Shuala and Shaab neighborhoods in the north, Jadriyah in the east, Ghazaliyah in the west and Amal and Dura in the south.

CEO pay raises jump a median of 27 percent in 2010, report finds

December 15, 2011—American CEOs raked in fat paychecks last year, as head honchos netted a median 27 percent increase in compensation in fiscal year 2010. Top executives from the S&P 500 scored a median 36.5 percent bump in realized compensation after two years of pay declines in 2008 and 2009, according to the ninth annual report from research group GMI. It’s sure to irk Occupy protesters, who have railed against the high-flying lifestyles of the 1% while the average American works more for less money and cuts back on spending.

8 U.S. soldiers charged in death of comrade in Afghanistan

December 21, 2011—The U.S. Army, which has struggled in recent years to combat a mounting suicide toll, took an unusual step when it announced Wednesday that it had charged eight American soldiers serving in Afghanistan in connection with the apparent suicide of one of their lower-ranking comrades. The charges in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19-year-old infantryman from New York City, came after a vigorous, weeks-long campaign by advocacy groups and family members hoping to pressure the Pentagon to investigate allegations that Chen had been the subject of hazing within the ranks and had been repeatedly taunted with racial slurs.

Boehner Signs On to Payroll Tax Deal Amid Isolation, Attacks

December 23, 2011—Deserted by many of his fellow Republicans, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner surrendered to attacks from President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats and agreed to a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut that he derided hours earlier. The decision kicks the fight over extending the tax cut for 160 million U.S. workers into early next year without resolving deep divides over how to cover the cost through 2012.


This link roundup originally appeared at

  Robert Reich: The Defining Issue: Mo’ money, mo’ problems. Why “big government” isn’t the problem. More
  Belén Fernández: The Latest Installment of the Iranian Terror Plot: Why is the Daily Beast buying into a right-wing plot to place Iranian “terrorists” in Latin America?. More
  Julia Grønnevet: Anders Breivik: Madman or Fighter for an Idea?: We bring you an extensive translation of Breivik’s psychological evaluation. More
  Rebecca Solnit: Our New Currency: How 2011 became the year of compassion. More


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