Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "The light has gone out, and with it that infectious warm laugh and intensely progressive commitment of the best of the Kennedys. Not, at this point, to take anything away from the memory of his siblings—Bobby, whom I also got to know, was pretty terrific in his last years—but Sen. Ted Kennedy was the real deal."
Recommended Video: The Dream Lives On: A Tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy
Facts and Understanding Are Often in Conflict: Living in a Culture of Delusion Leads to Denial, Ignorance and Worse
Danny Schechter comments for The Media Channel: "What do we have a right to know? In this web-based age, where we can Google almost everything, you’d think we would be better informed than we are. We have Freedom of Information acts and a President who has promised transparency, offering some details on what he’s doing on an easy to access website. And yet, there is much more that we still don’t know, and maybe never will.
Town Hall Democracy or Mob Hysteria? Rethinking the Importance of the Public Sphere
Henry A. Giroux writes for Truthout: "The bitter debate that is unfolding over Obama's health care plan has garnered a great deal of media attention. The images are both familiar and disturbing - members of Congress are shouted down, taunted, hanged in effigy and, in some instances, received death threats. In some cases, mob scenes have produced violence and resulted in a number of arrests. Increasingly, people are showing up with guns at these meetings, revealing an intimate connection between an embrace of violence, politics and an unbridled hatred of both the public sphere and the conditions for real exchange, debate and dialogue over important social issues."
Town Halls and the Resurgence of the Radical Right: How the GOP Is Fueling Extremist Paranoia
James Ridgeway writes for Mother Jones: "Across the nation this summer, unknown numbers of people are hunkering down and arming up for what they believe is an imminent battle for the soul of America. Town halls and tea parties provide just a small glimpse of the rage, fear, and paranoia fomenting on front porches and in Internet chat rooms, in the conservative heartland and beyond. While the details may vary, the visions in such forums share a common theme: In one way or another, a fight to the death is coming, and coming soon."
Recommended Audio: Media Matters -Glenn Greenwald, author of Great American Hypocrites
This week on Media Matters Bob McChesney talks with Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of two New York Times Bestselling books: "How Would a Patriot Act?" (May, 2006), a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, and "A Tragic Legacy" (June, 2007), which examines the Bush legacy. His most recent book, "Great American Hypocrites", examines the manipulative electoral tactics used by the GOP and propagated by the establishment press.
The Deadly Choice at Memorial
Sheri Fink reports for ProPublica on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: "The smell of death was overpowering the moment a relief worker cracked open one of the hospital chapel’s wooden doors. Inside, more than a dozen bodies lay motionless on low cots and on the ground, shrouded in white sheets. Here, a wisp of gray hair peeked out. There, a knee was flung akimbo. A pallid hand reached across a blue gown."
The Secret Government
Christopher Hayes writes for The Nation:
It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered."Though these words echo his famous endorsement of working "the dark side" in order to triumph in the "war on terror," they were not, in fact, written by Dick Cheney. They come from the Doolittle Report, which was commissioned by President Eisenhower in 1954 to craft an intelligence strategy for winning the cold war. From a strategic perspective, the threat posed by global communism, headquartered in a massive, nuclear-armed superpower with almost 6 million men under arms, and Al Qaeda, a networked, globally distributed group of thousands of nonstate actors, could not be more different. But the national security state's understanding of each as an existential threat was, and continues to be, nearly identical. The enemy is ingenious, relentless and unencumbered by the procedural and moral niceties that hamstring the bureaucrats of a liberal democracy. Victory--indeed, survival--requires us to become more like them. "
Memos Suggest Legal Cherry-Picking in Justifying Torture
Daphne Eviatar reports for The Washington Independent: "On the same day that the government produced the 2004 CIA Inspector General's report on interrogations, it also turned over seven more memos and letters from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. The memos released on Monday were the Justice Department's legal justifications for continuing to use those controversial interrogation techniques, despite a new law passed by Congress and an intervening landmark Supreme Court ruling that governs U.S. detentions overseas."
July, August for Deadliest Month for US Troops in Eight-Year War in Afghanistan
Amir Shah reports for The Associated Press: "A U.S. service member died Thursday in a militant attack involving a roadside bomb and gunfire, a death that pushed August into a tie with July as the deadliest months of the eight-year war. The death brings to 44 the number of U.S. troops who have died in Afghanistan this month. But with four days left in the month, August is likely to set a new record."
Inside the Great American Bubble Machine
Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone: "The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates."
GOP: Having It Both Ways on Stimulus
Christopher Flavelle reports for ProPublica: "The Associated Press continues its impressive stimulus coverage with a report on Republicans who opposed the stimulus—then lobbied for stimulus funding. “Billions of dollars worth of Defense Department stimulus money is paying for repairs and construction at military installations in areas represented by lawmakers who said ‘no’ to the legislation,” the AP reports. Republicans respond that they can oppose wasteful spending over all and also back worthy projects."
Forging a Green Economic Recovery at Home
Edwin D. Hill writes for The Huffington Post: "Around the time President Obama was kicking off trade talks with Chinese leaders late last month, more than 100 workers in Lexington, Ky., found out they were about to become the latest victims of our existing unfair and unbalanced trade policies. General Electric Co. announced on July 23 that it was shutting down its Kentucky Glass Plant in July 2010, the last G.E. plant in the United States to make glass covering, known as envelopes, for household incandescent bulbs."
Recommended Video: Matt Taibbi on Health Care Reform - Sick and Wrong
Recommended reading: Health Care Reform: The Big Sellout in Rolling Stone Issue 1086. How Washington is screwing up health care reform — and why it may take a revolt to fix it.
Waxman Gears Up for Health Care Showdown
Bill Boyarsky writes for Truthdig.com: "By the time Congress returns from its recess and takes another whack at the health insurance mess, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., will have started revealing the deceit that protects health business profiteers. Waxman has already begun by demanding that major insurance companies reveal how much they pay top executives and board members and, most important, the size of their profits from selling policies."
This Isn't Reform, It's Robbery
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Capitalists, as my friend Father Michael Doyle says, should never be allowed near a health care system. They hold sick children hostage as they force parents to bankrupt themselves in the desperate scramble to pay for medical care. The sick do not have a choice. Medical care is not a consumable good. We can choose to buy a used car or a new car, shop at a boutique or a thrift store, but there is no choice between illness and health. And any debate about health care must acknowledge that the for-profit health care industry is the problem and must be destroyed. This is an industry that hires doctors and analysts to deny care to patients in order to increase profits. It is an industry that causes half of all bankruptcies. And the 20,000 Americans who died last year because they did not receive adequate care condemn these corporations as complicit in murder."
Polluting the Debate
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Nate Carlile, Zaid Jilani, and Brad Johnson write for The Progress Report: "Just as "death panels" and "swastikas" poison the debate over President Obama's health care reform agenda in town hall meetings across America, oil and coal interests are polluting Obama's effort to pass clean energy reform. Through a variety of front groups, companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Peabody Coal, and Koch Industries are fueling misinformation about global warming and fear about clean energy solutions. Lobbyists and public relations firms have established websites and Twitter feeds while crisscrossing the nation on "clean coal" and "energy citizens" tours. The oil industry's "American Energy Express" bus tour has now joined the coal industry's "Factuality" bus tour, going to state fairs and political events. A "Hot Air" balloon tour attacking "global warming alarmism" is being run by Koch's Americans for Prosperity, the polluter-funded group behind 'tea party' protests and 'hands off my health care' rallies. When the groups can't find enough radical right-wing activists to support their message, they resort to deception and intimidation. The coal industry forged letters to Congress opposing the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and oil company employees are being bused to rallies that attack the legislation as a job-killing menace. Conservative oil- and coal-powered millionaires are willing to go to any lengths to convince Americans that pollution standards are instead energy taxes, using methods as dirty as their fossil fuels."
Why Women Need Health Care Reform
Sharon Lerner writes for The Nation: "To be sure, no group is doing well under our network of private insurers, which is more holes than net. But women fare particularly badly in terms of health, being more likely than men to leave a prescription unfilled; forgo seeing a needed specialist; and skip a medical test, treatment or follow-up. Financially, women are worse off, too, in large part because they earn less money. Despite the fact that they skimp on their care to cut costs, three in five women are still unable to pay their medical bills. All of which makes it surprising that men and women support health reform in almost equal numbers (38 versus 40 percent consider it a top priority, according to a recent Kaiser poll). Odder and ickier still is the sight of Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey and other women leading, or sometimes blindly following, the wacko town hall movement against reform."
The Unfinished Agenda on Women's Equality Day
Carol Peasley writes for The Huffington Post: "Eighty-nine years ago today the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, finally giving women full voting rights. Thanks to Congresswoman Bella Abzug, since the early 1970s we have commemorated the anniversary as Women's Equality Day. It is indeed a day to step back and reflect on how far -- or not far -- women have come in achieving political equality over these nearly 90 years."
White House Takes Small Steps on Gay Rights
Kevin Bogardus reports for The Hill: "After a rocky start that led to complaints among the president’s supporters, the Obama administration has begun to take more concrete steps on gay rights issues. The Justice Department clarified a legal brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act last week, a statute that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, asking for the law to be repealed. In addition, the hire of a prominent gay rights adviser on President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign at the department’s civil rights office was reported. And the president himself awarded prominent gay activists Medals of Freedom, even saying one of them was a role model for his daughters, earlier this month."
Yahoo Wins US Court Ruling Over Webcasting Fees
Jonathan Stemple reports for Reuters: "A federal appeals court in New York ruled that a Yahoo Inc Internet radio service is not required to pay fees to copyright holders of songs it plays, a defeat for Sony Corp's BMG Music. In a case closely watched by the recording industry, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2007 jury verdict that Launchcast, a webcasting service run by Yahoo's Launch Media Inc unit, did not give listeners enough control to be an "interactive service" that would require the fees."
FCC Approves Sweeping Probe into Wireless Industry
The Wall Street Journal reports: "The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved a public inquiry designed to pave the way for further regulation of cell phone and mobile Internet providers. The commission also launched a widespread investigation into "innovation" in the wireless industry. A separate item on Thursday's agenda examines the state of competition in the wireless sector."
Files Prove Pentagon is Profiling Reporters
Stars and Stripes reports: "Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.” Moreover, the documents — recent confidential profiles of the work of individual reporters prepared by a Pentagon contractor — indicate that the ratings are intended to help Pentagon image-makers manipulate the types of stories that reporters produce while they are embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan."
Obama's FCC to Enforce 'Net Neutrality'
Kevin Bogardus and Kom Hart report for The Hill: "The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to keep the Internet free of increased user fees based on heavy Web traffic and slow downloads. Julius Genachowski, the FCC chairman, told The Hill that his agency will support “net neutrality” and go after anyone who violates its tenets."