The Virtues of Deglobalization
Walden Bello writes in Foreign Policy In Focus: "The current global downturn, the worst since the Great Depression 70 years ago, pounded the last nail into the coffin of globalization. Already beleaguered by evidence that showed global poverty and inequality increasing, even as most poor countries experienced little or no economic growth, globalization has been terminally discredited in the last two years. As the much-heralded process of financial and trade interdependence went into reverse, it became the transmission belt not of prosperity but of economic crisis and collapse."
It Could be the End of Our Democracy as We Know It
E. J. Dionne writes for Truthdig.com: "President Barack Obama’s health care speech on Wednesday will be only the second most consequential political moment of the week. Judged by the standard of an event’s potential long-term impact on our public life, the most important will be the argument before the Supreme Court (on the same day, as it happens) about a case that, if decided wrongly, could surrender control of our democracy to corporate interests."
A 9/11 Reality Check
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "What if eight years ago the World Trade Center had been leveled by a small nuclear bomb that took out most of lower Manhattan as well? How many millions of innocent civilians would we have killed in retaliation? Would we still be a free society, or would Dick Cheney have attained the power of a demented king, having moved on from snooping on our phone calls and outing honest CIA agents to destroying the last vestiges of the rule of law?"
How Dick Cheney's Radical Acts in the White House Still Treaten Our Democracy
David Swanson writes for Alternert: "The following is an excerpt from David Swanson's new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union (Seven Stories, 2009), drawn from Chapter 8: "The Cheney Branch on Dick Cheney's power grab and radical transformation of the vice presidency during Bush's presidency.
"On the same day that the CIA announced it will soon release hundreds of pages of once-classified documents that detail some of the agency's most closely guarded -- and controversial -- secrets of old, it was revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney has been resisting even his own Executive Branch's efforts to find out what kind of secret material his office has been stashing away over the last four years."
With US Forces in Iraq Beginning to Leave, Need for Private Guards Grows
Walter Pincus reports for The Washington Post: "As the United States withdraws its combat forces from Iraq, the government is hiring more private guards to protect U.S. installations at a cost that could near $1 billion, according to the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. On Sept. 1, the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) awarded contracts expected to be worth $485 million over the next two years to five firms to provide security and patrol services to U.S. bases in Iraq."
Think Vietnam Vets Were Screwed?
Penny Coleman writes for AlterNet: "Gordy Lane is a retired Syracuse police detective who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. As a cop, it was his job to put lawbreakers behind bars, but as a veteran, he understands that when you go to war, 'you come back a little different than when you went over there.' 'Listen,' he says, 'you pop up out of a foxhole, and you blow a guy's head open like a watermelon. The other two guys in the foxhole start patting you on the back and saying, "Good job!" because you just did the worst thing that you can do to another person. How do you translate that into civilian life?' For far too many soldiers, the simple answer is, you don't."
Censorship American Style: Hide the US War Dead from the American People
Dr. Evil's Payday
Daniel Schulman writes for MotherJones: "Early one morning in late April, as the Today Show broadcast live from Rockefeller Center, a group of onlookers gave Matt Lauer a T-shirt emblazoned with the Web address Econ4U.org. "Scored a T-shirt here from these folks promoting economic literacy, which is really nice," the good-natured anchor said, displaying the shirt to nearly 6 million viewers. Little did Lauer know, but he'd been duped into providing that free advertising for a group that promotes payday lending—an industry long accused of preying on low-income Americans with short-term loans carrying huge interest rates."
The Murtha Method
The Center for Public Integrity: "For months, a cloud has swirled around Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and the relationship that Murtha and other subcommittee members had with the PMA Group, a lobbying firm filled with former subcommittee aides. Murtha and fellow panel members Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) steered a host of earmarks to PMA clients, and those clients and PMA staffers gave campaign contributions to the lawmakers. Aspects of those relationships are the subject of a Justice Department probe, which is thought to be looking at whether there were explicit quid pro quo exchanges of favors for cash, which would make crimes out of relationships that are otherwise legal."
More People in the US Lack Health Insurance: Census
Recommended Audio - Democracy Now: “California’s Real Death Panels”–Data Reveals California’s Private Insurers Deny 21% of Claims
President Obama begins his final drive for healthcare reform tonight with a nationally televised prime-time address to a joint session of Congress. His speech comes after an explosive August recess consumed by raucous town halls and talk of government-run “death panels.” We take a look at California’s “real death panels.” That’s what the nation’s largest nurses group is calling private insurers, as new data reveals they denied one of every five claims over the past seven years. We speak with Charles Idelson of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
Mr. President, It's Time to Fight
Bill Moyers writes for Salon.com: "The editors of the Economist magazine say America's healthcare debate has become a touch delirious, with people accusing each other of being evil-mongers, dealers in death, and un-American. Well, that's charitable. I would say it's more deranged than delirious, and definitely not un-American."
Baucus May Move Health Bill Without Republicans
Donna Smith and David Alexandaer report for Reuters: "The Democratic U.S. senator leading an effort to write a bipartisan healthcare reform bill said on Wednesday he was ready to move forward without Republican support, but still hoped for a deal. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said his plan would be similar to one he discussed over the weekend, which included sweeping insurance market changes and a fee on companies to help pay for the uninsured."
Food is Power and the Powerful are Poising Us
Chris Hedges writes for Tuthdig.com: "Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system. If we continue to allow corporations to determine what we eat, as well as how food is harvested and distributed, then we will become captive to rising prices and shortages and increasingly dependent on cheap, mass-produced food filled with sugar and fat. Food, along with energy, will be the most pressing issue of our age. And if we do not build alternative food networks soon, the social and political ramifications of shortages and hunger will be devastating."
The Nightmare of Christianity
Max Blumenthal from his new book: Republican Gommorah: "A few miles down the road from Colorado Springs [a home to James Dobson's Focus on the Family], in the quiet bedroom community of Eldredge, a deeply disturbed young man named Matthew Murray followed the unfolding debacle at New Life Church [once under the stewardship of Pastor Ted Haggard] with an interest that bordered on obsession. Murray, a sallow-faced, bespectacled 24-year-old, had been indelibly scarred by a lifetime of psychological abuse at the hands of his charismatic Pentecostal parents. Murray's mind became crowded with thoughts of death, destruction, and the killings he would soon carry out in the name of avenging what he called his 'nightmare of Christianity.'"
Dan Kennedy writes for the Media Channel: "The fall of Van Jones is an example of the White House failing to innoculate itself against the rage of the paranoid right Fellow liberals, let’s be honest with ourselves. For weeks, the race-baiting right-winger Glenn Beck and his ilk had been gunning for Van Jones, a highly respected White House adviser on green jobs whose former organization, Colour of Change, is a leading force behind an advertiser boycott of Beck’s programme on the Fox News channel.