Leaked: The Internet must go!

Hey! Are you on the internet right now? Of course you are! Then you should definitely check out this amazing video about what the internet companies are planning. This move could hurt both consumers and content creators--but of course would be a huge windfall for internet providers.

How weathly are Americans?

The disparity in wealth between the richest one percent of Americans and the bottom 80 percent has grown exponentially over the last thirty years — but the video, posted by user politizane and relying on data from a popular Mother Jones post, focuses on the difference between the ideal disparity that Americans would like to see and the reality.

Tax the Rich

So long! It's been fun.

Dear listeners,

In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.

This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.

The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.

Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.

Christopher E. Renner

31 October 2009

Soil, Not Oil: Food Security in an Age of Climate Change

Trained as a physicist, Dr. Vandana Shiva is internationally recognized as an environmental activist, ecofeminist, and champion of sustainable and organic agriculture, biodiversity, and economic justice. She has mobilized against GATT, genetic engineering, and Monsanto. She is the author of over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals, and more than a dozen books, including Ecofeminism; Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Survival in India; Biopiracy: The Plunder of Earth and Knowledge; and Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply. Dr. Shiva spoke on the campus of Kansas State University on October 16, 2009.

MP3 File

29 October 2009

Clippings for 29 October 2009

War is a Hate Crime
Chris Hedges writes for Turthdig.com: "Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is wrong. So is violence against people in Afghanistan and Iraq. But in the bizarre culture of identity politics, there are no alliances among the oppressed. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first major federal civil rights law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, passed last week, was attached to a $680-billion measure outlining the Pentagon’s budget, which includes $130 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democratic majority in Congress, under the cover of protecting some innocents, authorized massive acts of violence against other innocents."

The War Condolences Obama Hasn't Sent
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Chancellor Keesling died in Iraq on June 19, 2009, from “a non-combat related incident,” according to the Pentagon. Keesling had killed himself. He was just one in what is turning out to be a record year for suicides in the U.S. military. In August, President Barack Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, saying, “[T]here is nothing more sobering than signing a letter of condolence to the family of [a] serviceman or -woman who has given their life for our country.” To their surprise, Jannett and Gregg Keesling, Chance’s parents, won’t be getting such a letter. Obama does not write condolence letters to loved ones of those who commit suicide in the theater of combat. [After making inquiries, the Keeslings discovered that this was not because of an oversight. Instead, it’s because of a longstanding U.S. policy to deny presidential condolence letters to the families of soldiers who take their own lives.]

Why Obama's Iran Policy will Fail
Dilip Hiro writes for TomDispatch: "While the tone of the Obama administration is different from that of its predecessor, and some of its foreign policies diverge from those of George W. Bush, at their core both administrations subscribe to the same doctrine: Whatever the White House perceives as a threat -- whether it be Iran, North Korea, or the proliferation of long-range missiles -- must be viewed as such by Moscow and Beijing."

Democrats: CIA Lied to or Misled Congress at Least Five Times Since 2001
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday that the CIA misled and/or lied to Congress at least five times since 2001 about it's intelligence programs, including one previously alleged instance in which the agency failed to disclose to top members of the House and Senate intelligence committees that the CIA tortured war on terror detainees."

Depleted Uranium Causes Cancer
HenryW reports for Project Censored: "Depleted Uranium is nuclear waste…quite literally…and it causes cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium is extracted from spent nuclear fuel.  It is a waste byproduct of 'enriching' uranium. It is a substance with some remarkable properties.  It is denser than lead, harder than steel.   Munitions tipped with DU are extremely effective, especially when engaging enemies using armored vehicles.  These shells cut right through tank armor and then the uranium itself burns…at 500 degrees Celsius, (932 Fahrenheit).  The only tanks or fixed fortifications that can repel depleted uranium munitions are those which themselves have armor made from depleted uranium.  The use of DU on the battlefield is increasing, and it is used in “bunker buster” bombs, a variety of missiles and now in 30mm ammunition as well.  Since the early 90’s it has been associated mostly with the M1A1 'Abrams' tank."

Too Big to Fail: Why The Big Banks Should Be Broken Up, But Why The White House and Congress Don't Want To
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich's Blog: "And now there are five - five Wall Street behemoths, bigger than they were before the Great Meltdown, paying fatter salaries and bonuses to retain their so-called 'talent,' and raking in huge profits. The biggest difference between now and last October is these biggies didn't know then that they were too big to fail and the government would bail them out if they got into trouble. Now they do. And like a giant, gawking adolescent who's just discovered he can crash the Lexus convertible his rich dad gave him and the next morning have a new one waiting in his driveway courtesy of a dad who can't say no, the biggies will drive even faster now, taking even bigger risks."

Did Hank Paulson Break the Law?
Nick Baumann writes for Mother Jones: "Did Henry Paulson, George W. Bush's Treasury secretary, break the law? According to a new book on the financial meltdown by New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, in June 2008, Paulson, who was the chairman of Goldman Sachs before joining the Bush administration, held a secret meeting in Moscow with the board of directors of his former employer. The problem for Paulson—then and possibly now—was that after he had been nominated in 2006 to the Treasury post he had signed an ethics letter vowing to stay clear of potential conflicts of interest with Goldman Sachs and promising not to take any action that might affect the firm's ability to cover his multimillion-dollar pension."

Chamber Rejects Use of Term "3 Million Members"
Josh Harkinson writes for Mother Jones: "For the first time, the US Chamber of Commerce has admitted that its membership should be reported at one tenth the size that many major media outlets have listed it for more than a decade.  In an interview on Friday, Greg Marx of the Columbia Journalism Review asked Chamber spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel to comment on two competing newspaper accounts. Presented with a Wall Street Journal article that said the Chamber claims '300,000 members,' Wohlschlegel said, 'That's accurate.' Read an Associated Press article that said the Chamber claims 'a membership of 3 million,' he responded, 'That's not exactly reported correctly.'"

Health Care Hypocrites
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "How do you spell 'hypocrisy'? Try this: 'H-Y-P-O-C-O-N-G-R-E-S-S.' The hypocongress consists of those Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who have risen up on their hind legs in recent weeks to snarl and howl at any mention of a government role in meeting America's health care needs. 'Socialism,' they bark -- we won't allow Barack Obama and the liberals to create a Washington-run, big-government intrusion into the hallowed private market. Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, even pledged to fight so ferociously that the health care battle would be Obama's 'Waterloo.'"

The Tide Is Turning on Health Care Reform
Peter Dreier writes for The Nation: "Social movements are messy, so it is often difficult to know, in the midst of the battle, which side is winning. But in the past month, momentum on healthcare reform has unmistakably shifted as liberals and progressives have taken to the streets, the Internet, the airwaves and the halls of Congress to push for a bold public option, strong regulations on insurance abuses and a progressive tax plan to finance reform.  The Obama administration and its allies in Congress now understand that permitting the unholy alliance of insurance industry muscle, conservative Democratic obfuscation and right-wing mob tactics to defeat the president's healthcare proposal would write the conservative playbook for blocking other key components of his agenda--including action on climate change, immigration reform and labor laws. So in just the past few weeks, we've seen a change in strategy, a strong grassroots movement and markedly firmer resolve by the White House and liberal Democrats in Congress."

What's So Scary About Michael Pollan? Why Corporate Agriculture Tried to Censor His University Speech
Martha Rosenberg writes for AlterNet: "Even if agribusiness could shut Michael Pollan up, the outspoken author of Omnivore's Dilemma and a journalism professor at University of California, Berkeley, it still has the Los Angeles Times to contend with. Last week, the Times blasted California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo for downgrading a scheduled Pollan lecture because it received pressure from David E. Wood, a university donor who happens to be chairman of the Harris Ranch Beef Co."

Events In 181 Countries Urge International Action On Climate Change
Alec Sprague reports for Project Censored: "A total of 5,200 actions were held around the world to urge action on climate change, according to 350.org who sponsered an International Day of Climate Action this past Saturday. The number, 350, refers to the goal of three hundred fifty parts per million of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, which is claimed by scientists to be the safe upper limit. The current level is about 387 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. A recent report in the Journal of Science shows that the last time levels were this high was fifteen million years ago."

Future of Abstinence-Only Programs Unclear Without Federal Funding, Newsweek Reports
Women's Health Policy Report writes: "Abstinence-only sex education programs that received substantial federal grants under the Bush administration are turning to private donors as an attempt to keep their programs running, Newsweek reports. Since 1997, the abstinence-only industry has received a total of $1.9 billion in government funding, including $1.5 billion from the federal government. However, the "next decade may well be its bust," as President Obama's 2010 budget cut federal funding for abstinence-only programs in favor of programs that have been proven effective, Newsweek reports."

A History of Failed Press Coverage of Afghanistan
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould comment for Nieman Watchdog: "For almost 30 years – ever since we got a close-in view of it – American press coverage of Afghanistan has been simplistic, misleading, unexamining, accepting and echoing government propaganda, and just plain wrong. There have been exceptions…but not many."

Recommended Audio: Democracy Now! - House Advances Measure to Create Hundreds of New Low Power FM Radio Stations
The Local Community Radio Act of 2009 is on its way to a full House vote after sailing through the Energy and Commerce Committee with little opposition. The measure would repeal legislation which requires the FCC to protect full-power broadcasters from interference from Low Power FM stations being placed on third-adjacent channels. We speak to Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle, a co-sponsor of the bill; and Cory Fischer-Hoffman, campaign director of the Prometheus Radio Project.

Kids Watch more than a Day of TV Each Week
Matea Gold reports for the LA Times: "Reporting from New York - More than an entire day -- that's how long children sit in front of the television in an average week, according to new findings released Monday by Nielsen.  The amount of television usage by children reached an eight-year high, with kids ages 2 to 5 watching the screen for more than 32 hours a week on average and those ages 6 to 11 watching more than 28 hours. The analysis, based on the fourth quarter of 2008, measured children's consumption of live and recorded TV, as well as VCR and game console usage."

CNN's Lou Dobbs Problem
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Pat Garofalo, and Zaid Jilani write for the Progress Report at Think Progress: "Last week, CNN aired the four-hour documentary, 'Latino in America,' which explored 'how Latinos are reshaping our communities and culture and forcing a nation of immigrants to rediscover what it means to be an American.' The documentary has become a 'rallying cry for activist groups' that are attempting to get CNN to take action against nightly news anchor Lou Dobbs. As one of CNN's leading TV personalities, Dobbs has used his stature to infuse hate and vitriol into the immigration debate. Latino and immigrants' rights activists have launched several campaign -- including Drop Dobbs, Tell CNN Enough is Enough, and Basta Dobbs (Basta is Spanish and Italian for 'stop' or 'enough') -- that are aimed at pressuring CNN to hold Dobbs to journalistic standards or drop him altogether and raising awareness about Dobbs to his show's advertisers. 'Lou Dobbs is the gigantic anti-immigration elephant in the room at CNN,' said Roberto Lovato, one of the organizers of Basta Dobbs. "If CNN won't drop Dobbs, it's time that his advertisers did. It's time to do more than simply highlight the damage Dobbs does and the threat he poses," wrote John Santore of Media Matters for America, one of the organizations behind the Drop Dobbs campaign. Dobbs has responded to the efforts against him by claiming that liberals think Hispanics 'are so stupid that they'll believe that I am some sort of racist.'"

26 October 2009

After the Sunday Morning Talk Shows Oct 25

On this edition of After The Sunday Morning Talk Shows we first hear from GRIT TV as Laura Flanders interviews Barbara Ehrenreich about her new book: Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. This clip originally aired on October 21st.  Next we hear an interview of Noah Shachtman from the October 22nd edition of Democracy Now that explores his reporting in Wired magazine that revealed the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency has invested in a software firm called Visible Technologies that specializes in monitoring social media sites, including blogs, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon.  Finally we hear the October 11th edition of Progressive Radio featuring Matt Rothschild interviewing investigative reporter Greg Palast.

MP3 File

25 October 2009

Turning from War to Peace: The Contagious Love Experiment

Community Bridge opens this week with an interview taped in September featuring Josh Stieber and Conor Curran who discuss their Contagious Love Experiment - a walk across the US. Both Stieber and Curran are veterans of the War in Iraq and as a result of their experiences there have decided that war is not the answer.

Following the interview with Stieber and Curran, Commnity Bridge will air part one of "It's Up to Us Alone" - a two-act radio drama set in the echoes of recent Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli military incursions, which had its worldwide broadcast debut on Friday, Oct. 16 on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. Starring Ed Asner as Ari Shalom, the radio play features a full cast of actors taking on a script that looks at both the broader, international implications of war as well as the personal costs of conflict.

MP3 File

Clippings for 25 October 2009

'War on Terror' II
Julian Sanchez writes for The Nation: "We know the rules by now, the strange conventions and stilted Kabuki scripts that govern our cartoon facsimile of a national security debate. The Obama administration makes vague, reassuring noises about constraining executive power and protecting civil liberties, but then merrily adopts whatever appalling policy George W. Bush put in place. Conservatives hit the panic button on the right-wing noise machine anyway, keeping the delicate ecosystem in balance by creating the false impression that something has changed. We've watched the formula play out with Guantánamo Bay, torture prosecutions and the invocation of "state secrets." We appear to be on the verge of doing the same with national security surveillance."

In the Name of Fighting Terror
Dinyar Godrej writes for The New Internationalist: "On 30 July 2005, Masood Janjua, a Rawalpindi entrepreneur, set off for a bus trip to Peshawar – and vanished without a trace. A friend he was supposed to be travelling with, Faisal Faraz, also disappeared. The bus company confirmed bookings in the men’s names but in the short distance from their homes to the bus station, it seemed as if they had slipped into another dimension. Most of us have, at some point, experienced the failure of a loved one to turn up at the expected time and place, and the delirium that follows. The repeated checking of the clock, the monitoring of the silent phone, the paranoid worst-case scenarios ticked off by a racing mind. As time slips by, numerous internal struggles start – should one call the police or is it too early? Should the missing person be worried over or blamed for not arriving? Had anything happened in the past days that could have prompted this absence?"

Uncle Sam in Afghanistan
Norman Solomon writes for CounterPunch: "Almost eight years after choosing Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan government, Uncle Sam would like to give him a pink slip. But it’s not easy. And the grim fiasco of Afghanistan’s last election is shadowing the next. Another display of electioneering and voting has been ordered up from Washington. But after a chemical mix has blown a hole through the roof -- with all the elements for massive fraud still in place -- what’s the point of throwing together the same ingredients? This time, the spinners in Washington hope to be better prepared."

Judge Refuses to Dismiss War Crimes Case Against Blackwater
Jeremy Scahill writes for The Nation: "On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected a series of arguments by lawyers for the mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater seeking to dismiss five high-stakes war crimes cases brought by Iraqi victims against both the company and its owner, Erik Prince. At the same time, Judge T.S. Ellis III sent the Iraqis' lawyers back to the legal drawing board to amend and refile their cases, saying that the Iraqi plaintiffs need to provide more specific details on the alleged crimes before a final decision can be made on whether or not the lawsuits will proceed."

Trade Your Job
Valerie Saturen writes in Yes! Magazine: "In the last 30 years, wages have dropped for people without college degrees. But in Pierce County, Washington, high school students who aren't headed for college are learning to retrofit houses; they stand to make up to $50 an hour once they're experienced journeymen. In Lansing, Michigan, unemployed auto workers can get up to $10,000 to train for new careers in renewable energy. These people, and others nationwide, are part of a rapidly expanding market for green-collar workers."

Freddie Mac, Given Oversight of Mortgage Mod Program, Falls Down on Job
Paul Kiel reports for ProPublica: "Since its March launch, the government's $50 billion program to prevent foreclosures has been marked by confusion, delays and doubts. A little-noticed conclusion in a government report released on Wednesday reveals that the program's auditor is no different: Freddie Mac - yes, that Freddie Mac - has been given responsibility for auditing the program. And it turns out, Freddie is stuck at square one."

Playing Monopoly with America's Health
Jon Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "Popular disgust over the fat premiums that financial executives bestow upon themselves is burgeoning, and rightly so. Those Wall Street piggy banks are filling up with billions upon billions of government-subsidized dollars. But anyone infuriated by the grossly inflated compensation of the masters of finance should check out the incredible earnings of the top executives in the health insurance business. They’re among the most highly paid suits in the country—not owing to any skill in providing health care, which they don’t do, but because they have succeeded in denying care, quashing competition, driving up costs and winning federal subsidies for their companies."

Not Dead Yet
William Rivers Pitt comments for Truthout: "For the last several weeks, politicians, political action groups and pundits have been declaring the 'Public Option' portion of President Obama's health care reform push all but dead. Republicans, with typical shoulder-to-shoulder unanimity, have been shouting it down with bull-throated ferocity. Well-heeled interest groups have been spraying the airways with anti-public-option propaganda."

The Cost of Being a Woman
Srah Kliff writes for Newsweek: "At a recent Capitol Hill press conference on women and health care reform, Sen. Barbara Mikulski started things off with rallying cry: "Equal insurance for equal premiums!" Four female senators spent the event discussing disparities women face in the individual health-care market, where eight states and D.C. consider domestic abuse a preexisting condition and maternity coverage is often lacking. Chief among concerns about health-care discrimination is gender rating, the health-insurance practice of charging different premiums based on gender. Mikulski reiterated the point on Larry King last Thursday: 'Just like we didn't get equal pay for equal work, we haven't got equal insurance benefits for equal insurance premiums.'"

Blinded by Reform
Mike Rose writes for Truthdig.com: "It’s gotten lost in the splashier news, but big things are going on at the U.S. Department of Education. Following on the unprecedented federal reach of No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration is extending further and putting serious money behind its education initiatives, inviting states and districts to compete for federal dollars. The department wants to increase the community college graduation rate. For K-12, it wants to stimulate the production of better state standards and tests, measure teacher effectiveness, turn around failing schools and increase the number of charter schools. Through a third initiative it wants to spark innovation and scale up the best of local academic programs."

Taking Stock in Our Children's Education
Danny Weil writes for The Daily Censored: "Your public schools are failing and your children aren’t learning. The school system is choked by bureaucracy and over-regulation and it is being held hostage by teacher unions that won’t respond to parents’ concerns nor adopt meaningful reforms. Principals are weak and refuse to fire teachers who underperform. The public schools are overcrowded and in disrepair and state and local municipalities are broke and cannot afford the cost of curriculum, books, and repairs to the infrastructure of schools, not to mention the personnel, supplies and technology needed to educate students. What can be done? Privatize the management of schools, says the burgeoning educational industry; only a huge, vibrant and creative private sector can fix what is ailing schools, parents and their children."

Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality
Leslie Harris comments for ABC News: "You've probably heard the term or read it online and simply skipped past it without a second thought. Maybe it seemed abstract, arcane or a bit geeky, not something you as an Internet user needed to worry about. But now it's time to pay attention, because this week the Federal Communications Commission turned up the heat on a long-simmering debate known as 'Internet neutrality.'"

Fighting net neutrality, telecom companies, outside lobbyists, cluster contributions to members of Congress
Bill Allison writes for the Sunlight Foundation: "While the Federal Communications Commission considers the first steps toward ensuring net neutrality–making certain that broadband providers do not discriminate against high traffic sites–the telecom firms that would be affected by the rules and their trade groups have been swamping Congress with a one-two punch of campaign contributions from the companies and their registered lobbyists. Some 244 members of Congress were the beneficiaries of these contribution clusters–totaling more than $9.4 million–from January 2007 to June 2009, an investigative collaboration of the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics has found. Telecom interests and their lobbyists engaged in more clustered giving than any industry save pharmaceuticals."

McCain Introduces Bill to Block Net Neutrality
Republican strategy is to paint Net neutrality as government 'control' of Internet
Daniel Tenscer writes for The Raw Story: "Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced a bill in the Senate on Thursday that would effectively allow Internet service providers to slow down or block Internet content or applications of their choosing.  The move came the same day as the federal government decided to move forward on an official Net neutrality policy that would prevent ISPs from making those types of decisions."

AT&T "Encourages" Employees and Their Families to Complain to the FCC about Net Neutrality
Matt Buchanan writes for Gizmodo: "Remember the Comcastard-stacked FCC hearing on BitTorrent? AT&T thinks that's a good strategy, since AT&T's main lobbyist sent a letter to 300,000 employees U.S. managers 'encouraging' them and their families to protest the FCC's net neutrality rules. Update: AT&T says that the letter was sent to "U.S. managers only" and that they "were providing important information to our employees, and it was up to them to respond personally. If they use their company email that is fine, too."  Specifically, he tells employees how to register to post comments on the FCC's net neutrality site using their 'personal' email accounts, so it doesn't look like they're from AT&T shills, and lays out talking points for them to use, like "competition in the wireless industry is strong" and, hmmmmm, 'the rules should apply to more than just network operators and should also include Web content companies like search engines.' They're really pulling out all the stops, aren't they? Which should show you how truly scared they are of the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules."

Wired magazine has revealed the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency has invested in a software firm called Visible Technologies that specializes in monitoring social media sites, including blogs, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Wired reporter Noah Shachtman writes, “America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates—even check out your book reviews on Amazon.” Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales interviews NOAH SHACHTMAN of Wired.

Grayson: Fox News in the 'Enemy of America"
David Edwards and Muriel Kane write for The Raw Story: "Since the Obama administration began accusing Fox News of being "a wing of the Republican Party," the war of words has intensified.  The latest counterattack from Fox's defenders is the claim that the White House is putting Fox on a Nixon-like enemies list, a list which Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) describes as also including the insurance companies and the US Chamber of Commerce.  Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), however, believes that an enemies list is exactly where Fox belongs.

Recommended Video: The Ten Most Egregious Fox News Distortions
The Huffington Post: "Fox News has defended itself against administration criticism by saying the White House has confused its pundit shows with its news programs. But the network constantly, misleadingly disparages Obama and his administration in its supposedly straight reporting. Here are the ten of the worst examples; there are many more."

20 October 2009

18 Oct. 09 - After the Sunday Morning Talk Shows

On this week's edition of After the Sunday Morning Talk Shows, we open with Robert McChensey, Media Matters, interviewing Michael Moore about his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Then we hear from Lauran Flanders who interviews Robert Greenwald about his film, Rethink Afghanistan. We close with a GRIT TV panel discussion entitled "Opting Out of Healthcare Reform?" featuring: Paul Waldman from The American Prospect, Adam Thompson from the Progressive States Network, Representative Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, and Sharon Lerner, contributor to The Nation and author of The War On Moms: Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation.  They discuss the many options for the public option, including the new suggestion of an opt-out provision that would let states choose not to take part in a public health care plan.

MP3 File

19 October 2009

Clippings for 18 October 2009

A Nobel for Defeating Cheneyism
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "Outraged babble and sanctimonious tut-tutting over President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize will pour forth until the very evening he accepts the prize in Oslo, and then for years afterward. His critics are infuriated, they say, because he didn’t earn the prestigious award, or because he didn’t refuse it—or just because those left-wing Norwegians have a lot of nerve. How dare they insult us by bestowing their highest honor on the president of the United States and inviting him to deliver a lecture?"

Health, War, Hypocrisy and Taxes
Roberto Rodriguez writes for Truthout.org: "Over the past several months, conservatives seemingly made headway convincing a good portion of the US public that Congress may not be able to produce a national health care plan that will not bust the budget - something that President Barack Obama has promised not to sign. And then came Afghanistan."

The New Confederacy of Republicans
Michael Hittleman comments for Truthout: "South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint travels to Honduras to endorse the military coup. Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk tells China not to believe our government's figures. Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe will tell the upcoming Copenhagen climate summit that global warming is a hoax as he shadows President Obama. South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouts, "You lie!" at the president at a joint session of Congress. What do these events have in common? I believe the answer is that the Republican Party's 1968 "Southern Strategy" has morphed into the Southern Democratic Party's 1860 strategy - do not recognize the federal government as a legitimate institution and advocate policies reminiscent of the antebellum South."

Veteran Army Office Urges Afghan Troop Drawdown
Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service: "A veteran Army officer who has served in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars warns in an analysis now circulating in Washington that the counterinsurgency strategy urged by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal is likely to strengthen the Afghan insurgency, and calls for withdrawal of the bulk of US combat forces from the country over 18 months."

The Imperial Presidency 2.0
David Swanson writes for TomDispatch: "October 7th marked the eighth anniversary of the Bush administration's invasion of Afghanistan and so of the... well, can we really call it a war?... that won't end, that American commanders there now predict could last for another decade or more. And yet, here's the weird thing: because Congress no longer actually declares war, we officially must be fighting something else entirely. Put another way, we are now heading for the longest undeclared war in U.S. history (depending on how you count up the Vietnam years)."

House Sneakly Passes Bill Banning Release of Photos Showing Detainee Abuse
Dick Baumann writes for AlterNet: "President Obama has won his fight to ensure that the Defense Department can conceal evidence of its employees' wrongdoing. On Thursday, the House passed a measure allowing the DoD to withhold essentially any photos of detainee abuse that it doesn't want the public to see. The move is a huge defeat for the ACLU, which has been fighting a years-long legal battle to obtain such photos under the Freedom of Information Act. But now an amendment  sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), makes all that moot and slashes a huge hole in FOIA. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) was a key figure in stopping Lieberman's photo suppression bill the first time around. In a floor speech Thursday, she explained that this time, the provision was slipped into the Homeland Security spending bill during the conference between House and Senate negotiators -- 'apparently under direct orders from the Administration.'"

UN Vote to Endorse Goldstone Report Increases Pressure on Israel
Joshua Mitnick reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "The United Nations Human Rights Council's decision Friday to adopt the controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza war increases the pressure on Israel to conduct its own investigation into alleged war crimes."

Financial Regulation Bill Passed Despite Financial Lobbying
Yana Kunichoff writes for Truthout: "The Obama administration achieved one small step Thursday, successfully passing legislation that would guarantee oversight of the financial derivatives market. This bill, passed by the House Financial Services Committee on a 43-26 vote, would be the first time the market would be forced to rein in this multi-trillion-dollar industry."

Replacing America’s Accountable Democracy with Unaccountable Corporatism – Privateering
Andy Hailey writes for The Daily Censored: "The following is based on chapter seven of George Lakoff’s The Political Mind:  Privateering is a special blend of privatizing and profiteering.  Privateering is the surreptitious destruction of the government’s capacity to carry out its critical moral missions of protection and empowerment.  Privateering results in the loss of public accountability and the transfer of wealth from the public coffers to corporations.   Each instance of privateering that diminishes the governments moral responsibilities damages the foundation of our American democracy."

Feds bust Twitter Tweeter, Impound Curious George and Buffy Videos in Terror Probe
Michale Niman writes for ArtVoice: "I love headlines like this—I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. This story begins last month at the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, where finance ministers and leaders from the 20 richest nations met to scheme on how to prop up global capitalism for another year. Protesters from around the world came to Pittsburgh to demand economic justice from the G-20. And New York City social worker Elliot Madison came to Pittsburgh to work with the Tin Can Communications Collective a group of anarchist communications activists providing real-time logistical reporting for, as they explain on their Web site, 'activists fighting the state and capitalism.'"

2010 Census Faces Challenges
Desiree Evans writes for Facing South: "Lawmakers and community advocates continue to work to ensure accuracy in the rapidly approaching 2010 Census. The count will play an important role in determining the amount of dollars flowing to communities across the nation and in the South over the next decade, as well as political representation. But the Census continues to face challenges on several fronts."

Charter Schools, The Repression of Free Speech and Authoritarian Autocracy: The New but Old, Educational Reform
Danny Weil writes for The Daily Censored: "You might have heard of Marisol Alba and Sean Strauss, but chances are you haven’t.  They were two courageous charter school teachers who worked at the Celerity Nascent Charter School in southwest Los Angeles until 2007.  In concert with some of their students, they tried to learn about the story of Emmet Till and participate in power and decision-making at their school in terms of what curriculum they found appropriate for student learning. That is when the two teachers were fired and the students’ resistance was suffocated.  Their story, like many other disenfranchised narratives left out of the corporate press, is simply one more in the sordid saga of surveillance and authoritarianism cropping up in the neo-liberal minds of the new charter school CEO’s; it is a reflection of the thinking deeply implicated in the need for vaulted test scores and intensely imbedded in the autocratic charter school movement in general.  But it’s a must tell story, for its rancid resonance seems to broaden each day. "

American Health Care's Big Secret
David Drumm writes for Mother Jones: "It's become sort of a truism over the years that America has the best healthcare in the world. By nearly any measure this isn't true, but that's never stopped a truism before.
   Until now. In a recent Pew poll only 39 percent of respondents rated American health care above average. The rest rated it average or below. So even if this year's health care debate has done nothing else, it's apparently convinced people of what was once unthinkable. We're not #1. We're #37. (According to the World Health Organization, anyway. France ranks #1.)
   But here's something even more interesting: When it comes to health care, the more money you make the less you know. When Pew broke out the results by income, 50 percent of those with incomes over $100,000 thought American health care was above average. That number dropped steadily with income, with only 32 percent of those reporting incomes under $30,000 giving American healthcare a positive rating. It's easy to understand why people responded this way, since the well-off get better health care than the poor. But it turns out that being well off also blinded them to the broader reality. And it's an ironic reality, too, because the well-off are the ones who pay the most for the distinctly mediocre care that most of us get. They just don't know it.

Is the Climate Bill Being Fossil/Nuked? 
Harvey Wasserman writes for The Free Press: "Is the Climate Bill morphing into an excuse to promote fossil fuels and new nuclear power plants? Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) recent promotion of a pro-nuke/pro-drilling/pro-coal agenda in the name of Climate Protection has been highlighted in a New York Times op ed co-authored with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC). The piece brands nuke power 'our single largest contributor of emissions-free power.' It advocates abolishing 'cumbersome regulations' so utilities can 'secure financing for more plants.' And it wants 'serious investment' to 'find solutions to our nuclear waste problem.'" 

National Equality March: It's Time for a Change
Christopher Renner writes for the Kansas Free Press: "The National Equality March organized by Equality Across America drew an estimated 200,000 marchers to Washington, DC, on Sunday October 11th. Included in the sea of marchers were 13 marchers from Manhattan - 11 students from Kansas State University's LGBTQ & More organization and two from the Flint Hills Human Rights Project. This was my third march for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. At the height of the AIDS crisis, I had returned to the US in 1987 from my then home in Italy to be part of a very angry march as the LGBT community dealt with President Reagan who refused to respond to the growing AIDS crisis or even speak of it in public. By the time the NAMES Project Memorial Quilt was unfolded on the Mall at that march, I had made eight panels, including one for my former partner."

More McCarthyism: 53 Republicans Seek Ouster of Obama Schools Official
David Kirkpatrick reports for the New York Times: "Fifty-three House Republicans have signed a letter to the Obama administration asking for the ouster of Kevin Jennings, an official charged with promoting school safety, because of his career as an advocate of teaching tolerance of homosexuality."

DOMA Repeal Bill Tops 100 Cosponsors
Carlos Santoscoy writes for On Top magazine: "Sponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act said Tuesday the bill has exceeded 100 co-sponsors. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the bill that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at a Washington outdoor press conference in September. DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton 13 years ago. The law defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies and allows states to ignore gay marriages performed in other states. Under DOMA legally married gay and lesbian couples cannot access federal benefits, including Social Security and pensions."

Noam Chomsky criticizes right-wing media outlets, which he describes as delivering a message of paranoia and economic populism comparable to Nazis during the Weimar Republic.

Faux News
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, and Zaid Jilani write for The Progress Report at Think Progress: "In recent days, a war of words has erupted between Fox News and the White House. It began last week when White House communications director Anita Dunn told Time magazine, '[Fox News] is opinion journalism masquerading as news.' Last weekend, she told CNN, 'Fox News operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.' This set off a blustering reaction from Fox, whose senior vice president Michael Clemente responded, 'It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming. It seems self-serving on their part.' Fox News host Glenn Beck went further, comparing the White House effort to call out Fox News's partisanship to Richard Nixon's attacks on the press and compiling of an enemies list. The truth is, Fox engages in practices that a legitimate news network would never do, regularly promoting GOP talking points and misinforming its audience on key policy debates."

FCC Study: Open Access Spurs Broadband Growth
Roy Mark reports for eWeek.com: "Nations that have exceeded the United States in a number of broadband metrics embraced a policy of open access for competitors to traditional carriers. Open access was originally a policy objective of the 1996 Telecommunications Act but the FCC abandoned the idea when the United States began transitioning from dial-up to broadband. Industrialized nations that rank above the United States in broadband in a variety of metrics implemented; open access policies -- unbundling, bitstream access, collocation requirements, wholesaling, and/or functional separation -- to achieve their success, according to a study commissioned by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and conducted by Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society."

CNN to Disclose Contributor's Ties to Advocacy Group
Brian Stelter reprots for the New York Times: "CNN said Thursday that it would disclose one of its contributors’ ties to an insurance industry advocacy group in the future, but did not explain why it had not done so in the past.  The cable news network was reacting to a claim by Media Matters for America, a progressive media monitoring group, that one of its regular commentators, Alex Castellanos, was tied to an advertising campaign by America’s Health Insurance Plans, an association of about 1,300 insurers. AHIP opposes a government-run plan."

National Amusements to Sell Shares of Viacom, CBS
Andrew Vanacore and Ryan Nakashima write for The Huffington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone's holding company, National Amusements Inc., is selling some of its stake in CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. as well as 35 movie theaters to pay off its debts.  The stock sale will raise nearly $1 billion in cash and allow National Amusements to meet a $500 million debt payment this month, alleviating concerns that the company could lose control of the media conglomerates or run into trouble with its creditors."

In His Latest McCarthyism, Hannity Distorts And Smears Obama’s Muslim Advisor
Ellen writes for News Hounds: "So many smears, so little time! That could have been the motto for a one-minute portion of Hannity’s America last night (10/15/09). In that brief time, Sean Hannity and his producers misrepresented the background of the CEO of Britain’s The Islam Channel, attacked a member of President Obama’s Faith Advisory Council for appearing on the station and suggested she’s a terrorist-sympathizer because she expressed a willingness to accept Sharia law for Muslim-majority societies. So where was Hannity’s outrage when the Bush administration backed Islamic law in Iraq? Answer: nowhere to be seen. With video."

18 October 2009

Voices from the National Equality March

On this edition of Community Bridge, we hear the voices form the National Equality March hosted by Equality Across America on October 11, 2009. In order of appearance we hear: Cleve Jones; Courage Camp participants; voices from 15th and I Streets; Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC; Reverend Troy Perry; Robin McGehee and Kip Williams; David Mixner, Corrine Mina; Tobias Packer; Aiyi’nah Ford; Mario Nguyen, Lady Gaga, Billy Myer and Dave Koz; Maxin Thorne; Julian Bond; Kate Clinton; Urvashi Vaid; and conclude with the voices of the DC Gay Men’s Chorus. C-Span has recorded all the speakers at the rally. Visit: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/video.php?progid=213759 to watch.

MP3 File

16 October 2009

Clippings for 15 October 2009

Obama Quietly Deploying 13,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
Ewen MacAskill reports for The Guardian UK: "President Barack Obama is quietly deploying an extra 13,000 troops to Afghanistan, an unannounced move that is separate from a request by the US commander in the country for even more reinforcements."

Cheney & Co.: All Quite on the Counterterrot Front?
David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "On Tuesday, President Barack Obama visited the National Counterterrorism Center outside Washington and declared that "because of our efforts" al Qaeda and its allies have "lost operational capacity." He cited recent arrests of terrorist suspects in Colorado, New York, Illinois, and Texas, asserting that these actions have made the nation safer. Afterward, his critics responded with...silence. Since Obama was sworn in, conservative hawks, led by former Vice President Dick Cheney, have been pounding the president for being weak on national security, accusing him of leaving the country vulnerable to another catastrophic attack. But this chorus of scaremongers tends to go mute when the Obama administration scores apparent counterterrorism successes. Cheney, for instance, hasn't said anything publicly about the arrest last month of Najibullah Zazi, the Denver airport shuttle driver, and others accused of planning an al Qaeda bombing operation."

A War of Absurdity
Robert Scheer comments for Truthout: "There is no indication that any of the contending forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, are interested in bringing al-Qaeda back. On the contrary, all the available evidence indicates that the Arab fighters are unwelcome and that it is their isolation from their former patrons that has led to their demise. Every once in a while, a statistic just jumps out at you in a way that makes everything else you hear on a subject seem beside the point, if not downright absurd."

Attorney Reports Human Rights Abuses of GI Resisters
Dahr Jamail reports for Turthout.org: "Attorneys and veteran's groups are alarmed by recent reports that two US Army soldiers imprisoned at the Fort Lewis Regional Correctional Facility (RCF) have been subjected to human rights abuses and violations of their constitutional rights."

Memo to Investigators: Dig Deep!
William Greider writes for The Nation: "When the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission opened for business on September 17, it was a nonevent for the media. Leading newspapers brushed aside chairman Phil Angelides, the former California state treasurer, and his declaration of purpose--'uncovering the facts and providing an unbiased historical accounting of what brought our financial system and our economy to its knees.' As Angelides put it, 'The fuses for that cataclysm were undoubtedly lit years before. It is our job to diligently and doggedly follow those fuses to their origins.'"

Moore: Banks Rewarded for 'Burning Down Our Economy'
Davis Edwards and Stephen Webster write for The Raw Story: "As the Dow Jones Industrial Average celebrates its triumphant return to 10,000 and Wall Street's infamous, massive bonuses return, The Los Angeles Times was left wondering Thursday morning: 'Where's the outrage?' As if to answer their question, filmmaker Michael Moore made an appearance on NBC's Today Show, explaining to interviewer Matt Lauer that such numbers are echoing from America's financial sector because bankers are being rewarded for 'burning down our economy.'"

Truthout reporter Jason Leopold interviews Ralph Nader to discuss his latest book, "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us," a fictional account involving real-life public figures, including Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, Yoko Ono and Phil Donahue, who set off to start a progressive revolution using their enormous wealth. In addition, Nader gives analysis on President Obama's job performance thus far and on the debate surrounding health care reform.

Obama Isn't Helping. At Least the World Argued with Bush.
Naomi Klein comments for The Guardian UK: "Of all the explanations for Barack Obama's Nobel peace prize, the one that rang truest came from Nicolas Sarkozy. "It sets the seal on America's return to the heart of all the world's peoples." In other words, this was Europe's way of saying to America, "We love you again", like those weird renewal-of-vows ceremonies couples have after a rough patch."

Think Progress Makes Its Mark
Daniel Libit reports for Politico: "Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era – a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame – still make its mark in the age of Obama?  In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."'

Former Right-wing Leader Warns of Religious Right Violence: 'Anyone Can Be Killed'
Larisa Alexandrovna writes for The Raw Story: "Frank Schaeffer is an outspoken critic of the politicized Christian evangelical right. He sees the “End Times” movement as anti-Semitic. He fears that a right-wing terrorist might assassinate the President of the United States. None of these talking points would be novel on the left, but Schaeffer is hardly a bleeding heart liberal. His father, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, is considered to be the godfather of the modern religious right movement. Schaeffer himself took up the family mission and became a prominent speaker and writer, promoting many of the sentiments that have given rise to the politically active, extremely well organized and zealous movement of today. He left the religious right in the 1980s, and was a Republican until 2000."

Public Health before Wall Street Wealth
Robert Scheer comments for Truthdig.com: "Wonderful. The 13 Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee get one faintly rational Republican to join them in a meaningless stab at health care reform and it throws the media into a titillated frenzy about what it all means. It means very little."

Baucus Committee OKs a Health Bill, but not Reform
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "If every kid in class finishes their homework except for one, guess which kid will get the most attention. That's right, the slacker.  And, when the slacker finally does turn in the assignment, it is invariably a slapdash job that fails to meet minimum standards.  So it is in the U.S. Senate, where the Finance Committee finally got around to finishing its health care reform assignment."

In Washington, the Revolving Door is Hazardous to Your Health
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship comment for Truthout.org: " On Tuesday, October 13, the Senate Finance Committee finally is scheduled to vote on its version of health care insurance reform. And therein lies yet another story in the endless saga of money and politics. In most polls, the majority of Americans favor a non-profit alternative - like Medicare - that would give the private health industry some competition. So if so many of us, including President Obama himself, want that public option, how come we're not getting one?"

Bush-era EPA Document on Climate Change Released
Jim Tankersley and Alexander C. Hart report for The Los Angeles Times: "The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday released a long-suppressed report by George W. Bush administration officials who had concluded - based on science - that the government should begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions because global warming posed serious risks to the country. The report, known as an 'endangerment finding,' was done in 2007. The Bush White House refused to make it public because it opposed new government efforts to regulate the gases most scientists see as the major cause of global warming."

First Woman to Win Nobel Prize for Economics
David Usborne and Sean O'Grady report for The Independent UK: "The grip enjoyed by men on the Nobel Prize for Economics was broken at last yesterday when Elinor Ostrom, a professor at the University of Indiana, became the first woman to be honoured with the award. Her win ensured that 2009 was a record-breaking Nobel year for women, with five female winners. "

Do Women Have the Blues
Barbara Ehrenreich writes for TomDispatch.com: "Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular takeaway from 'The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,' a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers that purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972. Maureen Dowd and Arianna Huffington greeted the news with somber perplexity, but the more common response has been a triumphant: I told you so."

Empowered Women Bring Rich Rewards
Michelle Metallidis writes for The National: "It was while interviewing two teenage sex workers in Cambodia that Nicholas Kristof first felt a pang of conscience.  The New York Times journalist had travelled to Phnom Penh in 1996 to report on Cambodia’s sex trafficking industry, and, while sitting in one of the village’s brothels, found himself contemplating the dismal fate of his subjects. 'I walked out of there thinking I had this great story – that it was going to be front-page news and I was going to receive all this recognition for it – and then I thought: these girls are locked up in this brothel and they’re probably going to die of Aids unless something is done. As a human you can’t be neutral. So I chose the side of those girls.'”

The Struggle for Equal Rights
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, and Zaid Jilani write for The Progress Report at Think Progress: "As the Obama administration and congressional leadership push forward on health care, the fiscal stimulus, and the war in Afghanistan, many of their supporters are becoming frustrated that there hasn't been more aggressive movement on one of Obama's other campaign promises: equal rights for gays and lesbians, particularly on the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). On Sunday, tens of thousands of people marched on the nation's capital and demanded progress. The National Equality March coincided with National Coming Out Day and featured speeches by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and Judy Shepard, whose son, Matthew, was brutally killed in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. The march came one day after LGBT advocates warmly welcomed President Obama at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) annual dinner, where he acknowledged frustrations at the pace of progress but promised to keep pushing for equal rights. "I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight," Obama said to rousing applause, adding, "[I]t's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans petitioning for equal rights half a century ago. But I will say this: We have made progress and we will make more."

Equality March Draws Protesters from Across the Nation
Amy Cavanaugh and Chris Johnson write for the Washington Blade: "From as far away as Alaska, thousands of LGBT people demanding marriage, adoption and immigration rights rallied Sunday at the National Equality March.  Jason Lee of Akron, Ohio, said that coming to D.C. to participate in the march was part of his 'year of coming out.' 'I’ve been out for a while, but this year I’m becoming a part of everything I can,' he said. 'I’m helping with Pride and joining anything I can be a part of.'”

Lt. Choi Won't Lie for His Country
Any Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "Lt. Dan Choi doesn’t want to lie. Choi, an Iraq war veteran and a graduate of West Point, declared last March 19 on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “I am gay.” Under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regulations, those three words are enough to get Choi kicked out of the military. Choi has become a vocal advocate for repealing the policy, having spoken before tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their allies at last Sunday’s National Equality March in Washington, D.C."

Covering the March's Coverage
Christopher Lisotta reports for The Advocate: "For many journalists, covering the National Equality March meant traveling to Washington, D.C., following the demonstrators as they marched from the White House, reporting on the energy of the event, and analyzing the panoply of speakers who addressed the crowds assembled in front of the Capitol building. For me, all I had to do was turn the TV on and fire up my laptop. It sounds easier, but I was trying to track the mainstream media coverage the march generated, no small task in a lightning-fast world where news outlets update almost instantly."

NYT: FAIR Had a Point
Fairness and accuracy in Reporting reports: "In response to FAIR's September 22 action alert, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt agreed (10/11/09) that the paper's September 20 article about Medicare for all excluded supporters of a single-payer healthcare system. FAIR pointed out that the article, written by Katharine Seelye, laid out many arguments against single-payer--it would mean a big tax increase, it would hurt doctors, and so on--without including balancing responses from supporters."

Action Alert: Rush Limbaug Is a Racist Petition
Professional sports has always served to unite Americans across class, creed and race. Now Rush Limbaugh, whose career is driven by dividing Americans precisely along those lines, wants to buy an NFL football team. We stand with former and current NFL players in urging the league to reject Limbaugh's ownership bid. Sports fans deserve better.

Robert Greenwald Talks about Rush Limbaugh on The Ed Show

FOX Nation Uses Russell Simmons to Divide and Demonize America
Ellen writes for News Hounds: "Fox Nation, the website that boasts about its commitment to tolerance and civil discourse and its dedication to 'those who believe in the United States of America,' has made what can only be a calculated effort to lay on the hate with one of its top stories, Russell Simmons: God Will Destroy Us If We Don't Follow Obama. Clicking through to the post, you get the following 'fair and balanced' report. 'Over at HuffPo, Russell Simmons has let go of the wheel and bounced off a guard rail. His apocalyptic melodrama sounds like the typical Hollywood cliche of a Christian right-winger. But these lefties are all about projection, so that’s to be expected.'"

11 October 2009

One Book, One Community and National Coming Out Day 09

his week's Community Bridge opens with Susan Withee from the Manhattan Public Library to discuss this year's One Book, One Community. This event works to bring together the community by reading one book together. Manhattan will discuss "Dandelion Wine" by Ray Bradbury on Tuesday October 20th at 7:00 pm. Marcy Allen, Collection Development Librarian will moderate the discussion. For more information visit the MPL webpage at: http://www.manhattan.lib.ks.us/onebook/intro.shtml

Then we will hear from Ana Abente and Lukus Ray Elbert from K-State LGBT & More group about National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), what's happening on K-State for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender students, and what Manhattan could be do to improve the quality of life for its LGBT residents. We will also be joined by Dusty Garner who will share insights into just how homophobic Aggieville businesses really are. And we well close out the show hearing a essay written by a LGBT member of the armed services reflecting on what "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means to them.

MP3 File

09 October 2009

Clippings for 8 October 2009

An ACORN Amendment for Pfizer
Jeremy Scahill writes for The Nation: "In the wake of the Congressional witch hunt against the community organization ACORN, initiated by Republican minority leader John Boehner and supported by all but seventy-five Democrats in the House and ten in the Senate (Independent Bernie Sanders also voted no), a small number of Democratic lawmakers are pushing back. Last week, in response to the Defund ACORN Act, which seeks to prohibit federal funds to the community group, Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced an ACORN act of her own. It is titled the "Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-off the Nation Act of 2009," also referred to simply as the ACORN Act. HR 3679 seeks to 'prohibit the Federal Government from awarding contracts, grants, or other agreements to, providing any other Federal funds to, or engaging in activities that promote certain corporations or companies guilty of certain felony convictions.'"

Eight Years Is Long Enough: What You Can Do to End the War in Afghanistan
Robert Rothberg writes for the nation (via AlterNet): "Within a matter of months a majority of Americans have shifted from supporting to opposing the Afghanistan war as we approach the eighth anniversary of the start of the conflict. According to recent polls, a solid 57 percent of Americans now object to the military effort. At the same time, Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for additional troops to prosecute the war is being studied by the White House, which will soon make a decision that could define the Obama presidency, as The Nation's editorial laying out the case against escalation, notes."

Are Pentagon Contracts Funding the Taliban?
Jean MacKenzie reports for GlobalPost: "It seemed like such a good idea at the time. At a staff meeting in 2006, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, who was then commander of Combined Forces Afghanistan, took a sip of bottled water. Then he looked at the label of one of the Western companies that were being paid millions of dollars a year to ship bottled water by the container load into Afghanistan."

What Is Not Being Discussed in the Iran Nuclear Story
Bill Fletcher Jr. writes for The Black Commentator: " Last week's announcement of the discovery of a previously unknown but suspected nuclear research and production site became a major story in the Western media. The Obama administration, along with its allies in Europe, saw this as evidence of Iranian duplicity on the matter of its nuclear intentions. Though Iran admitted the existence of this facility, the manner in which it did so seemed to be directed at heading off the expose' from other sources."

Greg Grandin writes for The Nation: "How long can the Honduran crisis drag on, with President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in a military coup more than three months ago, trapped in Tegucigalpa's Brazilian Embassy? Well, in early 1949 in Peru, Víctor Haya de la Torre--one of last century's most important Latin American politicians--sought asylum in the Colombian Embassy in Lima, also following a military coup. There he remained for nearly six years, playing chess, baking cakes for the embassy staff's children and writing books. Soldiers surrounded the building for the duration, with Peru's authoritarian regime ignoring calls from the international community to end the siege, which was condemned by the Washington Post as a 'canker in hemisphere relations.'"

Terry Gross interviews author Max Blumenthal.  In his new book Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party, investigative reporter Max Blumenthal theorizes that a culture of "personal crisis" has transformed the Grand Old Party — and threatened its future.

Not All Vets Are Treated Equally Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill
Phillip Crystal writes for Truthdig.com: "The GI Bill was created in 1944 to help veterans returning from World War II not only to integrate back into society but also to give them a leg up in furthering their education. The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 was hailed by various media outlets and veterans organizations as the GI Bill of the future. However, through my own experience in dealing with Veterans Affairs regarding the GI Bill, I have found that the help is far less than what we were led to believe."

Goofing Up Health Care Reform
Jim Hightower writes for Truthout: "America's shouting match over health care reform has turned completely goofy - and I'm not talking about confused seniors at teabag rallies getting red-faced with anger after being told by the right-wing scare machine that 'government is trying to taker over Medicare.' No, I'm talking about our United States senators. Take Max Baucus. Please! He's the lightweight Montana Democrat to whom President Obama entrusted the heavy job of shepherding health care reform through the upper chamber. It was like asking Tweety Bird to lift a bowling ball."

Peter Dreier and Todd Gitlin write for AlterNet: "No one packed heat, no one screamed at a member of Congress, no one called anybody a Nazi, no fistfights broke out. So—no story.  All that happened was that on Thursday, Oct. 1, a moving van pulled up in front of the largest house in a Main Line neighborhood just outside Philadelphia—the home of H. Edward Hanway, CEO of CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies—and eight demonstrators from Health Care for America Now (HCAN) got out. One was Stacie Ritter, a former CIGNA customer whose twin girls were afflicted with cancer at the age of four. Their treatment left permanent damage. CIGNA refused to pay for the human growth hormones that her doctor prescribed to help her daughters grow properly. When her husband was briefly unemployed, they were bankrupted."

Rural Health Care, the Public Option and the Opt Out Compromise
Christopher Hayes writes for The Nation: "The latest health care legislative compromise being floated is one in which states would be allowed to opt out of offering a public option. Chris Bowers lists the problems with the proposal here. Ezra's more sanguine.  I suppose if someone put a gun to my head and the options were no public option or an opt-out compromise, I'd opt for the latter. (I should point out we're not at the gun-at-the-head stage yet). But it's also important to point out just how perverse the results of this compromise would be."

White House Religion Adviser Trying to Hijack Health Care For Anti-Choice Cause
Adele Stan writes from Mother Jones: "The Rev. Jim Wallis is sitting pretty these days. He's the evangelist the media love—so much so that Democrats kow-tow before him. He says he's progressive, and has some credentials to back up the claim: anti-poverty work and opposition to the Vietnam War. But he's opposed to legal abortion and same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, eager for an evangelical partner, President Obama named Wallis to the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, giving Wallis the ideal platform from which to try to subvert the debate over health-care reform for his anti-choice cause."

Painful Lessons in the Pedagogy of School Violence
Henry A. Giroux writes for Truthout: "On May 20, 2009, Marshawn Pitts, a 15-year-old African-American boy, who is also a special needs student, was walking down the corridor of the Academy for Learning High School in Dolton, Illinois. A police officer in the school noticed that the boy's shirt was not tucked in and started shouting and swearing at him. Pitts claims that he immediately started to tuck in his shirt, but it was too late. Within seconds, the police officer pushed him into the lockers, repeatedly punched him and then slammed him to the ground and pushed his face to the floor."