December 17, 2006

Lawsuit stirs up guacamole labeling controversy
If consumers read the fine print, they would discover that Kraft Dips Guacamole contains less than 2% avocado.
By Jerry Hirsch

Peanut butter is made from peanuts, tomato paste is made from tomatoes, and guacamole is made from avocados, right?

Wrong. The guacamole sold by Kraft Foods Inc., one of the bestselling avocado dips in the nation, includes modified food starch, hefty amounts of coconut and soybean oils, and a dose of food coloring. The dip contains precious little avocado, but many customers mistake it for wholly guacamole.

On Wednesday, a Los Angeles woman sued the Northfield, Ill.-based food company, alleging that it committed fraud by calling its dip "guacamole." Her lawyer says suits against other purveyors of "fake guacamole" could be filed soon.

FOR THE RECORD:
Guacamole lawsuit: An article in Thursday's Business section about a lawsuit alleging that Kraft Foods Inc. committed fraud in labeling a dip as guacamole referred to the product as one of the bestselling avocado dips in the nation. In fact, Kraft's product is ranked No. 13 among guacamole dips and has only a 3% dollar share of the guacamole-flavored-dip segment, according to market researcher ACNielsen. ų

The suit, which seeks class-action status, highlights the liberty some food companies take in labeling their products. more...

December 16, 2006

Ten Reasons to Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney

Sign here

**********

Impeachment: 'It's Not Up to Pelosi,' Say Grassroots Leaders
by Haider Rizvi  

When Democratic lawmakers return to Washington next month to take over Congressional leadership positions, many will be under heavy pressure from their supporters to start impeachment hearings against President George W. Bush.

From civil libertarians to antiwar groups, hundreds of grassroots organizations are currently engaged in a nationwide campaign for impeachment, even though some leading Democratic politicians have publicly said it's not an option. more...

December 15, 2006

Justice Deported
Tuesday‚s immigration raids on meatpacking plants weren‚t about curbing identity theft, they were about union-busting.
By David Bacon

In 1947, Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the crash of a plane carrying Mexican immigrant farm workers back to the border. In haunting lyrics he describes how it caught fire as it flew low over Los Gatos Canyon, near Coalinga at the edge of California's San Joaquin Valley. Observers below saw people and belongings flung out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, falling like leaves, he wrote.

No record was kept of the workers' identities. They were simply listed as "deportee," and that became the name of the song. Far from being recognized as workers or even human beings, Guthrie lamented, the dead were treated as criminals. „They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves."

---snip---

The real motivation for these immigration raids is more cynical. The Swift action follows months of ICE pressuring employers to fire workers whose Social Security numbers don't match the agency's database. These no-match actions have been concentrated in workplaces where immigrants are organizing unions or standing up for their rights. more...

December 14, 2006

Building on the Progressive Victory
by George Lakoff
In short, the Democratic candidate who campaigned on conservative values lost; those who may have had such values, but campaigned on their progressive values, won.

As the 110th Congress prepares to take office, the post-election tug-of-war for the soul of the Democratic Party continues, with DLC folks spinning the election as a victory for centrism and others pointing to the role of economic populism.

The tug-of-war began on November 7, as Rahm Emanuel sprang to the podium in front of national TV cameras to announce a victory for centrism.

Two days later fellow centrist James Carville called, unsuccessfully, for the resignation from the DNC of Howard Dean. Dean's 50-state strategy had been crucial in the Democratic victory. Carville and Emanuel are veterans of Bill Clinton's administration. They appear to want a centrist Congress and a centrist DNC in preparation for Hillary Clinton's presidential run.

The struggle to explain the election continues because it may well affect how Congressional Democrats will decide to act. Economic populism or centrism? The truth, I think, is both more complex and more interesting -- and brings progressive values to center stage.

Framing has been part of the controversy. Framing has been about the deepest progressive values, ideas, and principles, future progressive policies, and the enterprise of accurately framing reality. Centrists, because of their concern with moving the party to the right, away from progressive values, have falsely framed framing itself as being mere messaging and spin.

It is time to return to accurate framing, beginning with the election itself. more...

December 13, 2006

Rep. Kucinich: Why I‚m Running for President
By Joshua Scheer

TRUTHDIG: What made you decide to run?
KUCINICH: Someone has to rally the American people, to let them know that the money is there right now to bring our troops home. Democrats were put in power in November to chart a new direction in Iraq. It‚s inconceivable that having been given the constitutional responsibility to guide the fortunes of America in a new direction, that Democratic leaders would respond by supporting the administration‚s call for up to $160 billion in new funding for the war in Iraq.

For me this is a call of conscience to stand up and speak out about what‚s going onųto let the American people know that the money is there to bring our troops home now, that we need to begin now to take a new direction in Iraq, and that to pass a supplemental in the spring for another $160 billion would keep the war going until the end of George Bush‚s term. Someone needs to stand up and speak out, and I decided it was my responsibility as the person who has been consistently opposed to this war since its inception, who has been a leader in challenging this thinking that led to war, that I would stand up and rally Democrats to change the course that the party has embarked on with respect to continued funding of the war. more...

December 12, 2006

America's Shame: Brought Low By a Gang of Cretins
Written by Chris Floyd   

Only Six Fluent in Arabic at U.S. Embassy in Iraq (Reuters)
Among the 1,000 people who work in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, only 33 are Arabic speakers and only six speak the language fluently, according to the Iraq Study Group report released on Wednesday.

This tells you pretty much all you need to know about the American debacle in Iraq. Imagine the arrogance and stupidity of conquering, occupying and trying to run a country without being able to speak its language. A nation of 26 million people – and your embassy has only six people who can actually understand what is being said, written, and broadcast there. This is a folly that amounts to a monstrous crime in itself, aside from the inherent evil of launching an unprovoked war of aggression. more...

December 11, 2006

It's still about oil in Iraq
By Antonia Juhasz

A centerpiece of the Iraq Study Group's report is its advocacy for securing foreign companies' long-term access to Iraqi oil fields.

WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq's importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met. more...
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