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Hedge fund managers are back to work after the U.S. debt ceiling crisis

There are likely few characters less loved in America these days than hedge fund managers -- widely regarded as among the arch villains of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown.

So, months ago, when Washington embarked on a frenzied search for ways to reduce the massive U.S. deficit, a tax loophole that allowed hedge fund managers to pay tax at the exceptionally low rate of 15 per cent certainly seemed like low-hanging fruit.

Cancelling the loophole would save the treasury $20 billion over 10 years, and the public would surely be unmoved by the pain inflicted on hedge fund managers -- the top 25 of whom took home an average pay last year of $880 million each.

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Delivering the mail and the crazy: The attack on unions and the attack on sense

June 15, 2011
| Canadian postal workers go on strike for the first time in fifteen years and you would think they were burning flags. The attack on labour is crazy as is what passes for electoral politics in the U.S.
Length: 43:12
| June 14, 2011

Tar party: The Koch brothers come to Canada to protect their tar sands interests

Why are the tentacles of the Kochtopus heading north to lobby here? They fear the campaign by environmental groups and First Nations against the expansion of the tar sands is gaining traction. Photo: Velcrow Ripper

The first time I heard of the Koch brothers, I was out for beer with some friends I hadn't seen since high school. We were sharing what we'd been up to, and one of them looked at me (the enviro) oddly as he said he now had his own company, but he'd been previously working for Koch Industries.

Intrigued, I asked him what Koch Industries did. He looked at me like I was a half-wit and said "Evil, man. That's what they do."

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Tea Party architects lobby Alberta for input into tar sands industry

The Koch Brothers, architects of the Tea Party and bankrollers of climate-change denial, have recently set up shop to lobby the Alberta government, according to the Edmonton Journal

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An American uprising? Wisconsin workers rally

Teachers in Wisconsin rally, Feb. 15, 2011. Photo: MarkonF1re/Flickr
Public employees and supporters draw the line at the governor's plan to eliminate collective bargaining and unilaterally cut benefits.

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Columnists

U.S. political extremism leads to violence

Anyone who follows the news knows that last month U.S. Congress Woman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tucson. Those who follow a lot of news also know that this incident has generated a lot of finger pointing and other reactions (some might say overreactions) from both sides of the political spectrum. Given the degree of polarization and lack of civil dialogue in the U.S. at the moment, none of this is surprising.

Before the smoke had even cleared in the shopping mall blame was being laid on the Tea Party and their ilk for creating a poisonous atmosphere in the country that led to this sort of violence. Of course the TP types struck back with all sorts of rationalizations as to why they were in no way to blame for something like this. That, of course, is a fantasy.

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Bad deal: Nasty trade agreements and nasty arguments

January 21, 2011
| In this episode we talk abut the bad trade deal that most haven't heard of (CETA), why things are so nasty in Arizona and elsewhere, plus news on volcanos, India, state bankruptcy and more.
Length: 36:48
| January 17, 2011
Columnists

Linking toxic political rhetoric and violence

The Tucson massacre that left six dead and 14 injured, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, brought into sharp public focus the local sheriff, Clarence Dupnik. He's been the sheriff of Pima County, which includes Tucson, Arizona's second-largest city, for 30 years. For the 20 years before that, he was a police officer. Dupnik has gained attention this week for linking the shooting to the vitriolic political climate in the U.S., and in particular, Arizona.

Speaking at a press conference shortly after the shooting, Sheriff Dupnik said: "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

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