White House Asks for Scrutiny
Mary Pat Flaherty reports in The Washington Post: "The White House has asked the Department of Justice to look into whether 200,000 new Ohio voters must reconfirm their registration information before November 4, taking up an issue that Republicans and Democrats in the battleground state have been fighting over in court for weeks."
Justice Department Targets ACORN but Ignores GOP Voter Suppression
Steven Rosenfeld writes for AlterNet: "Partisan considerations still appear to be contributing to the Department of Justice's actions when it comes to enforcing the nation's voting rights laws. With Election Day less than two weeks away, proponents of more tightly regulating the voting process - this time led by congressional Republicans - have gotten their desired response from the nation's guardian of civil rights' laws: a FBI investigation into ACORN, the low-income advocacy coalition that registered 1.3 million new voters in 2008."
The GOP's Blame ACORN Game
Peter Dreier and John Atlas writes for The Nation: "An increasingly desperate Republican attack machine has recently identified the community organizing group ACORN as Public Enemy Number One. Among ACORN's alleged crimes, perhaps the most serious is that it caused, nearly single-handedly, the world's financial crisis. That's the fantasy. In the reality-based world, it was ACORN that sounded the alarm about the exploitative lending practices that led to the current mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. "
Recommend Audio: Progressive Radio interview with Moustafa Bayoumi
Mather Rothschild interviews Moustafa Bayoumi, author of "How Does It Feel to Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America." Highly recommended.
When the Gloves Come Off
Jonathan Schell writes for The Nation: "'Every tree in the forest will fall,' said James McCord, the Watergate conspirator, as he prepared to blow the lid off the cover-up of the scandal, leading to the forced midterm resignation of President Nixon. The phrase comes to mind as one surveys the condition of the United States today. The country's military power is evaporating in failing ground wars in two pulverized, impoverished countries, leaving its recent pretensions to global imperial grandeur in ashes. Its economic power is crumbling daily as its banking system collapses and its instruments of credit seize up in what Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke has told Congress may be a 'heart attack.'"
Recommended Audio: CounterSpin for October 24 - Bush's War on Science
Of particular interest, given what is at stake in the Kansas State Board of Education races here in Kansas, Community Bridge recommends listening to the second half of this week's CounterSpin podcast. We've heard about the battles between the Bush White House and various government scientific agencies--what reporter Chris Mooney dubbed the "Republican war on science." But how does that battle play out in the media? If agency scientists can't speak to the press, what effect does that have on journalists'--and more broadly, the public's--right to know? Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists will joins CounterSpin to talk about her group's new report on government science and the press.
The New Yorker endorses Obama - some of the best writing I have read in some time, well maybe not as good as the Marysville Advocate's endorsement of my candidacy, but still good writing...
"Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that’s the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast. And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true? When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has—at the levels of competence, vision, and integrity—undermined the country and its ideals?"
Good Thing We're Going to Have to Live with Less Stuff -- We'll Stay Alive on Earth for Longer That Way
Former Community Bridge guest, Stan Cox writes for AlterNet: "As the most serious economic crisis in 80 years rolls across the planet, financial panic has shoved food shortages, public-health emergencies, and ecological disasters into the background. With fantastic fortunes at stake, the number-one priority of governments and businesses must be economic growth; those "green" initiatives announced not long ago with such fanfare have already been deferred or forgotten."
GLBT History Month
Advocates for Youth write: October is GLBT History Month. GLBT History Month is a time to celebrate GLBT heritage and remember pioneers of the GLBTQ civil rights movement. Each day the GLBT History Month Web site profiles another icon of the community. 2008's icons include Phyllis Lion and the late Del Martin, founders of the first national political organization for lesbians; author Alice Walker, E.M. Forster, and Tennessee Williams; and anthropologist Margaret Mead.
The Gay and Lesbian Times published a two-part feature on coming out in adolescence and the special challenges for those who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender while they are in high school or even middle school. Part One examines school safety as well as GLBTQ youth on the Internet; Part Two looks at high schools for gay and lesbian students and special challenges faced by transgender youth.
Finally, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released the 2007 National School Climate Survey. GLSEN researchers surveyed over 6000 young people who self-identified as GLBTQ to learn about their experiences in school and if they had experienced discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender expression.
- 86.2 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 44.1 percent reported being physically harassed and 22.1 percent reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
- 73.6 percent heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school. Over 90 percent heard "gay" used in a negative way frequently or often.
- More than half (60.8 percent) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (38.4 percent) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
- About 61 percent of students who experienced harassment did not report it because they feared no action would be taken or the situation would become worse if they reported. Of those who did report, 31 percent said the school did nothing in response.
Authors noted that these statistics haven't improved significantly since 1999, the first year of the School Climate survey. They recommend safe spaces at school and gay-straight alliances (GSA's) as one solution. They also urge bullying laws that specifically address harassment - research shows that GLBTQ students at schools with blanket, non-specific anti bullying laws experience as much harassment as students with no bullying laws at all.
The Case Against the Escalation of the War in Afghanistan
Camillo "Mac" Bica writes for Truthout: "Despite some subtle nuances regarding a timetable for the phased withdrawal of at least a portion of the combat troops from Iraq, the positions of both John McCain and Barack Obama regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are quite similar. Under both their plans, American young men and women, despite their eventually being withdrawn from Iraq - 'with honor' for McCain, 'responsibly' for Obama - will not be returning home but, rather, redeployed to another battlefield upon which to continue to kill or be killed. Both candidates have promised a surge in Afghanistan, and a commitment to continue the 'war on terrorism' until our enemies, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, perhaps Iran, are defeated and Osama Bin Laden is killed or captured."
Mitch Betts writes for ComputerWorld: "Once considered "the fertile crescent of Internet innovation," the United States is trailing the world in broadband Internet. According to a new report, this a "Sputnik moment" for the country, a point at which we need concerted national policy to boost broadband penetration and speed."
The Clouded Wrath of the Crowd
Jamison Foser writes for Media Matters: "As Election Day approaches, the right-wing media are becoming increasingly vitriolic and irrational. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Jerome Corsi, and others have attacked Barack Obama over his visit to his ailing grandmother. On Monday, Savage responded to Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama by insisting, "The only people who don't seem to vote based on race are whites of European origin." Later in the week, Savage said welfare recipients shouldn't be allowed to vote. Fellow radio host Jim Quinn went a step further over the edge, declaring that there was "good reason" for allowing only landowners to vote."
Greenspan: "Shocked Disbelief"
Robert Borosage writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "It marks the end of an era. Alan Greenspan, the maestro, defender of the market fundamentalist faith, champion of deregulation, celebrator of exotic banking inventions, admitted Thursday in a hearing before Rep. Henry Waxman's House Committee and Oversight and Government Reform that he got it wrong."
EPA Weakens New Lead Rule After White House Objects
Renee Schoof reports for the McClatchy Newspapers: "After the White House intervened, the Environmental Protection Agency last week weakened a rule on airborne lead standards at the last minute so that fewer polluters would have their emissions monitored."