Recommended Audio: Beyond Our Differences.
Bill Moyers Journal presents the film BEYOND OUR DIFFERENCES which explores the common threads that unify the world's religious traditions. In BEYOND OUR DIFFERENCES, religious leaders, politicians and luminaries in their fields give voice to the positive effects of spirituality and morality, focusing on commonalities spanning all faiths. While the negative — even violent — side of religion is widely reported, director Peter Bisanz documents the hope for positive change and healing universal to so many.
How to Throw a Green New Year's Eve Party
Center for American Progress writes: "Another year is coming to an end, and that means it’s time to celebrate. Hosting your own party is the best way to make sure it’s sustainable, as it gives you control over the environment—not to mention you can pick your own music and save on gas or cabs. You can also skip paper invitations and send out Evites encouraging friends to carpool or use public transportation. By following the rest of the tips below, you can cut back on the amount of trash you have to clean up the next morning, make sure your guests eat healthy, and help with the inevitable post-party hangover."
Former Governor Back Antibiotics Limits
Clean Coal Smoke Screen
Daniel J. Weiss, Nick Kong, Sam Schiller, Alexandra Kougentakis write for the Center for American Progress: "A series of feel-good ads this year showcased a variety of people straight from central casting: the feisty grandma, the hip-looking teacher, the salt-of-the earth farmer. They all communicated the same message: "I believe in…” the future, technology, American ingenuity. Only at the end do we learn what they all believe in: “Clean Coal. America’s Power.'" To download the PDF version of the report, click here.
Recommended Audio: CounterSpin for 19 December.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's CounterSpin hears from Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, who explores why when the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report finding former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials responsible for abusive treatment of detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq and Afghanistan--with few exceptions, the media played the story down, preferring, for instance, righteous anger over embroiled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Michael Ratner's book, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld, was published in September.
Also on CounterSpin, Obama's pick for education secretary drew more attention than you might have expected--in large part because the press corps was lobbying Obama to make a more conservative choice. What do the media mean when they talk about things like education "reform"? We'll be joined by author and education expert Alfie Kohn to talk about the media's role in this debate, and what we should make of Obama's choice of Arnie Duncan. Read Kohn's Beware of School 'Reformers' that appeared in The Nation on December 10th.
Bush a Catalyst in America's Declining Influence
Paul Richter reports for The Los Angeles Times: "As President Bush's term comes to a close, the United States has the world's largest economy and its most powerful military. Yet its global influence is in decline. The United States emerged from the Cold War a solitary superpower whose political and economic leverage often enabled it to impose its will on others. Now, America usually needs to build alliances - and often finds that other powers aren't willing to go along."
Don't Fix the Economy -- Change it
Peter G. Brown and Geoffrey Garver write for the Toronto Star: "Amid the discordant clash of solutions being served up to address the global financial crisis, a common refrain can be heard: Most global leaders and their economic advisers key their policy prescriptions to "sustained economic growth." The prevailing debate is how to get there most quickly. In Canada, how this debate plays out could bring down the government in a matter of weeks.
Five Bailout Lesson from Katrina
Bill Quigley writes for CounterPunch: "Despite promises of buckets of bucks, New Orleans still has sixty thousand abandoned homes. Media reports say that 75% of the abandoned buildings have homeless people sleeping in them. Public healthcare and public education and public housing are all less available and being thoroughly privatized. Crime is sky high though we still have 100 National Guard members patrolling our streets. "
A New New Deal?
Robert L. Borosage and Eric Lotke write for The Nation: "While the old basics are crumbling, twenty-first-century needs are being ignored. We maintain our addiction to oil while forfeiting our lead in renewable-energy technologies that will drive the green markets of the future. As two-income and single-parent families spread, we are failing to provide the high-quality childcare and pre-kindergarten programs vital to educating the next generation. Even as college or advanced training are deemed essential in the modern economy, more and more Americans find them priced out of reach. Our health care system is broken, consuming too many resources while providing care for too few."
Update: New Orleans Police “Looking Into” Katrina Vigilantism
A. C. Thompson reports for ProPublica: "New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren J. Riley on Wednesday announced that he is investigating alleged crimes reported in a story co-published last week by The Nation and ProPublica. The story, “Katrina’s Hidden Race War,” shows how white residents in one New Orleans neighborhood attacked African American men in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with impunity." For related stories, see Clippings for 21 December.
Recommended Audio: Progressive Radio Interview of Fred Ho.
Progressive magazine editor, Matt Rothschild interviews Fred Ho, a scholar on the politics of African Americans and Asian Americans, as well as an innovative jazz musician. Very informative and insightful.
Cheney's Legacy of Deception
Robert Scheer writes for TruthDig.com: "In the end, the shame of Vice President Dick Cheney was total: unmitigated by any notion of a graceful departure, let alone the slightest obligation of honest accounting. Although firmly ensconced, even in the popular imagination, as an example of evil incarnate - nearly a quarter of those polled in this week's CNN poll rated him the worst vice president in US history, and 41 percent as 'poor' - Cheney exudes the confidence of one fully convinced that he will get away with it all. And why not? Nothing, not his suspect role in the Enron debacle, which foretold the economic meltdown, or his office's fabrication of the false reasons for invading Iraq, has ever been seriously investigated, because of White House stonewalling. Nor will the new president, committed as he is to nonpartisanship, be likely to open up Cheney's can of worms."
Will Move-On Live Up to Its Name?
Andie Coller writes for Politico.com: "Last week, the group’s members chose their top four priorities for the organization, winnowed down from a top-10 list culled from 50,000 suggestions. The decisions they weighed would determine in large part whether the group would become a friend or foe of the Obama administration, a player or a gadfly in progressive politics, a piece of the Democratic machine or a thorn in the party’s side."
Abby Scher writes for Public Eye: "From the podium at the Christian Right’s Values Voter Summit in mid-September, National Review Institute’s Kate O’Beirne, 59, pronounced that the 'selection of Sarah Palin [as the GOP vice presidential nominee] sounded the death knell of modern American feminism.'"
You're Likable Enough, Gay People
Frank Rich writes for the New York Times: "IN his first press conference after his re-election in 2004, President Bush memorably declared, 'I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.' We all know how that turned out. Barack Obama has little in common with George W. Bush, thank God, his obsessive workouts and message control notwithstanding. At a time when very few Americans feel very good about very much, Obama is generating huge hopes even before he takes office. So much so that his name and face, affixed to any product, may be the last commodity left in the marketplace that can still move Americans to shop."
How the Hell Did Rick Warren Get Inauguration Tickets?
Mike Madden writes for Salon.com: "For more than two years, cozying up to Rick Warren has been one of Barack Obama's favorite ways of showing evangelical Christians that he might not be so scary, after all -- and for just as long, palling around with Obama every once in a while has been Warren's way of trying to show more secular-minded people that he's not so bad, either."
Brown First in Decades to Go Against Voters
Bob Egelko writes for the San Francisco Chronicle that California Attorney General Jerry Brown's refusal to defend the Proposition 8 marriage ban in court marks the first such opposition to the outcome of a ballot measure since 1964. That year, Attorney General Thomas Lynch declined to defend a ban reversing a fair-housing law that would have permitted racial discrimination in property sales and rentals. Brown's decision is getting a mixed reaction from former attorneys general, according to this article.
Top Censored Stories for 2009
Founded by Carl Jensen in 1976, Project Censored is a media research program working in cooperation with numerous independent media groups in the US. Project Censored’s principle objective is training of SSU students in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for, and protection of, free press rights in the United States. Project Censored has trained over 1,500 students in investigative research in the past three decades.
Through a partnership of faculty, students, and the community, Project Censored conducts research on important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media. Each year, Project Censored publishes a ranking of the top 25 most censored nationally important news stories in the yearbook, Censored: Media Democracy in Action, which is released in September. Recent Censored books have been published in Spanish, Italian and Arabic.
Cecilia Kang reports in The Washington Post: "How is the transition likely to affect the Federal Communications Commission? What it does: The FCC was created by the Communications Act of 1934. It regulates communications by radio, telephone, television, wire, satellite and cable. The growth of the Internet and wireless technology has expanded the agency's profile, as it also oversees consumer prices and contracts, mergers among communications and media companies, and access to communications services during natural disasters. That has brought people such as Google co-founder Larry Page and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to lobby in the past year."
Broadband Stimulus Plan: How About Some Data First?
Ryan Singel writes for Wired: "During the Great Depression, the government tried to revive the economy with the New Deal's public work projects, and ended up paying people to dig unneeded ditches. In today's deep recession, digital age advocates are trying to persuade President-elect Barack Obama to put billions into a nationwide broadband build-out as part of his planned economic stimulus package."