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.'"
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."
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."
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."