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.'"
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.'"