America's Wars of Self-Destruction
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate. The poison of war courses unchecked through the body politic of the United States. We believe that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war. We embrace the dangerous self-delusion that we are on a providential mission to save the rest of the world from itself, to implant our virtues-which we see as superior to all other virtues-on others, and that we have a right to do this by force. This belief has corrupted Republicans and Democrats alike. And if Barack Obama drinks, as it appears he will, the dark elixir of war and imperial power offered to him by the national security state, he will accelerate the downward spiral of the American empire."
Naomi Klein: The Borderline Illegal Deal Behind the $700 Billion Bailout
Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! summaries her interview with Klein. The bailout is a parting gift to the people that George Bush once referred to jokingly as "my base."
Stripping Paulson of His Remaining Power and Money
David Sirota writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "US Senator Jim Inhofe said Saturday that Congress was not told the truth about the bailout of the nation's financial system and should take back what is left of the $700 billion 'blank check'' it gave the Bush administration. 'It is just outrageous that the American people don't know that Congress doesn't know how much money he (Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson) has given away to anyone,' the Oklahoma Republican told the Tulsa World."
It's Going to Be a Wal-Mart Christmas
Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group, writes:Wal-Mart is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford anything, and so it keeps posting big profits amid the retail bloodbath.
Texas Jury Indicts Cheney, Gonzales in Prison Abuse Case
Reuters: "A grand jury in South Texas indicted U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday for 'organized criminal activity' related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons."
Taxpayers Will Pay for Gonzales's Private Attorney
Marisa Taylor writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "The Justice Department has agreed to pay for a private lawyer to defend former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against allegations that he encouraged officials to inject partisan politics into the department's hiring and firing practices. Lawyers from the Justice Department's civil division often represent department employees who're sued in connection with their official actions. However, Gonzales' attorney recently revealed in court papers that the Justice Department had approved his request to pay private attorney's fees arising from the federal lawsuit."
Bush Administration Moves to Protect Key Appointees
Juliet Eilperin and Carol D. Leonnig, The Washington Post: "Just weeks before leaving office, the Interior Department's top lawyer has shifted half a dozen key deputies - including two former political appointees who have been involved in controversial environmental decisions - into senior civil service posts. The transfer of political appointees into permanent federal positions, called 'burrowing' by career officials, creates security for those employees, and at least initially will deprive the incoming Obama administration of the chance to install its preferred appointees in some key jobs."
Obama and the Promise of Education
Henry Giroux writes for Truthout: "Needless to say, like many Americans, I am both delighted and cautious about Barack Obama's election. Symbolically, this is an unprecedented moment in the fight against the legacy of racism while at the same time offering new possibilities for addressing how racism works in a post-Bush period."
After the Torture Era
Eugene Robinson writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post: "'I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture, and I'm going to make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world.' That unequivocal passage from President-elect Barack Obama's first extended interview since the election, broadcast on '60 Minutes' Sunday night, was a big step toward healing the damage that the Bush administration has done not just to our nation's image but to its soul."
Panel: Gulf War Illness Confirmed
Thomas D. Williams writes for Truthout: "A federal health panel released conclusions Monday that evidence strongly and consistently indicates hundreds of thousands of US troops in the first Gulf War contracted long-term illnesses from use of pills, given by their own military to protect them from effects of chemical weaponized nerve agents, and from their military's pesticide use during deployment."
What How for Broadband and the Telecoms
Secrets of Talk Radio
Dan Shelley writes for Milwaukee Magazine: "To succeed, a talk show host must perpetuate the notion that his or her listeners are victims, and the host is the vehicle by which they can become empowered. The host frames virtually every issue in us-versus-them terms. There has to be a bad guy against whom the host will emphatically defend those loyal listeners."
Rather's Lawsuit Shows Role of GOP in Inquiry
Jacques Steinberg reports for The New York Times: "When Dan Rather filed suit against CBS 14 months ago - claiming, among other things, that his former employer had commissioned a politically biased investigation into his work on a '60 Minutes' segment about President Bush's National Guard service - the network predicted the quick and favorable dismissal of the case, which it derided as 'old news.' So far, Mr. Rather has spent more than $2 million of his own money on the suit. And according to documents filed recently in court, he may be getting something for his money."
Post-Election Narrative: Tale of Two Women
Pew Reseazrch Center for Excellence in Journalism: "President-elect Barack Obama may have toured his new home with President George W. Bush, but much of last week's media coverage also focused on two women who ran losing campaigns for the Executive Branch. "
The Media's Minnesota Debacle
Jamison Foser writes for Media Matters: "With only about 200 votes out of nearly 3 million cast separating Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman and his Democratic challenger, Al Franken, the race is headed to a recount. Naturally, conservative radio hosts are working themselves into a lather, baselessly accusing Democrats of trying to 'steal' the election. That shouldn't surprise anyone. But NBC and The New York Times have also pushed the dubious notion that the Minnesota recount has been plagued by chaos and impropriety."
Recommended Multimedia: Anti Prop. 8 Protests Around the Country
On Saturday, people took to the streets all around the U.S. to protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8 and to show their support for same-sex marriage. We’ve compiled 40 of our favorite photos from Spokane to Houston to New York City.
For more information on the protests, visit Citizen Crain: Stonewall 2.0 news round up.
Admirals, Generals: Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Brian Witte writes for the Associate Press: "More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays so they can serve openly, according to a statement obtained by The Associated Press."
A My Lai a Month
Nick Turse writes for The Nation: "In late 1969 Seymour Hersh broke the story of the 1968 My Lai massacre, during which US troops slaughtered more than 500 civilians in Quang Ngai Province, far north of the Delta. Some months later, in May 1970, a self-described 'grunt' who participated in Speedy Express wrote a confidential letter to William Westmoreland, then Army chief of staff, saying that the Ninth Division's atrocities amounted to 'a My Lay each month for over a year.'"
Profligate Water Use in the U.S. Is Fueling the Flight of Mexicans Across the Border
Jo-Shing Yang writes for AlterNet: "On October 21, 2008, the US Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne inaugurated the ground breaking of the new Imperial Valley water reservoir near the US-Mexico border. The 500-acre $172.2 million reservoir, to be completed in August 2010, will store surplus Colorado River water for use by coastal Southern California, Southern Nevada, and Central Arizona; previously this water had been flowing to Mexico and used by its cities and thousands of Mexican farmers."