Bill Quigley, Truthout: "Point One. $100 Million - Are You Kidding Me? President Obama promised $100 million in aid to Haiti on January 14, 2010. A Kentucky couple won $128 million in a Powerball lottery on December 24, 2010. The richest nation in the history of the world is giving Powerball money to a neighbor already suffering tens of thousands of deaths?"
Special Report: Haiti After the Quake and How to Help
Alison Hamm reports for The Media Consortium: "Over 100,000 people are believed dead after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, Tuesday afternoon. The quake buried countless buildings, from shantytowns to the presidential palace. All hospitals in Port-au-Prince have been leveled or abandoned. The United Nations headquarters and the city's main prison have collapsed as well. Thousands of residents are homeless and without food, water or electricity."
What You're Not Hearing about Haiti, but Should Be
Carl Lindskoog writes for CommonDreams: "In the hours following Haiti's devastating earthquake, CNN, the New York Times and other major news sources adopted a common interpretation for the severe destruction: the 7.0 earthquake was so devastating because it struck an urban area that was extremely over-populated and extremely poor. Houses "built on top of each other" and constructed by the poor people themselves made for a fragile city. And the country's many years of underdevelopment and political turmoil made the Haitian government ill-prepared to respond to such a disaster. "
If MLK Were Around, He Wouldn't Care About Racial Brushfires in the Media -- He'd Be Talking About Poverty
Rich Benjamin writes for AlterNet: "What a tangle of racial controversies to embroil politicians, the media, and the public in recent days: Glenn Beck insisted that African-American is a "bogus, PC-term," the Census bureau insisted on keeping "Negro" among its list of racial categories, and Senator Harry Reid confessed to saying the President's appeal derives from his (relatively) fair skin and Negro-free dialect."
Homeowners Say Banks Not Following Rules for Loan Modifications
Paul Keil reports for ProPublica: "Nathan Reynolds is something of an expert on the government’s foreclosure prevention program. A mortgage broker who’s worked in the Chicago area since 1998, he’s seen both his business and his home’s value plummet in the past few years. After receiving his own trial loan modification from JPMorgan Chase, he’s helped others apply for modifications through the program on his own time."
Naomi Klein on How Corporate Branding Has Taken Over America
Naomi Klein writes in The Guardian: " In May 2009, Absolut Vodka launched a limited edition line called "Absolut No Label". The company's global public relations manager, Kristina Hagbard, explained that 'For the first time we dare to face the world completely naked. We launch a bottle with no label and no logo, to manifest the idea that no matter what's on the outside, it's the inside that really matters.'"
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reports for the New Internationalist: "Once upon a time, the CIA trained, financed and supported Osama bin Laden and his mujahidin networks in Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the end of the Cold War, bin Laden turned against the West and we no longer had any use for him. His persistent terrorist attacks against us for more than a decade, culminating in 9/11, provoked our own response, in the form of the ‘war on terror.’ This is the official narrative. And it’s false. Not only did Western intelligence services continue to foster Islamist extremist and terrorist groups connected to al-Qaeda after the Cold War; they continued to do so even after 9/11."
Army Files Charges Against Single Mother
Dahr Jamail reports for Truthout: "The Army has filed charges for a special court-martial against Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a single mother of a one-year-old baby. Hutchinson missed her deployment to Afghanistan late last year when her child-care plans for her son, Kamani, fell through at the last minute."
FBI Issues Results of Its Review Into The Fort Hood Investigation
The Public Record reports: "The FBI continues to work closely with the Department of the Army and others in the ongoing investigation into the November 5, 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. Given the pending nature of the case, we must continue to protect the ongoing investigation and the integrity of the prosecution."
Despite Prevention Efforts, US Military Suicides Rise
Halimah Abdullah reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "Eight years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq have etched indelible scars on the psyches of many of the nation's servicemen and women, and the U.S. military is losing a battle to stem an epidemic of suicides in its ranks."
Lawmakers Agree to Scale Back Tax on Health Plans
David Lightman and Margaret Talev report for McClatchy Newspapers: "The White House, Congressional leaders and union officials on Thursday announced a tentative agreement in their health care negotiations, to pare back a proposed excise tax on high-end insurance policies for middle-class workers."
Senate, House Health Reform Bills Change Abortion Status Quo
Jessica Arons writes for RH Reality Check: "Opponents and supporters of abortion rights agreed early on, in theory, to maintain the 'status quo' with 'abortion neutral' health care legislation. The idea was that health care reform is not the appropriate place to continue the fight over abortion and neither side should attempt to use health care reform as a vehicle to further expand or restrict access to abortion."
Hoping for a Brighter Future: Kansans Join to Fight for Responsible Tax Policy
Christopher Renner writes for the Kansas Free Press: "The conservatives in the Kansas Legislature are going to face a new kid on the playground this year. Kansans for Quality Communities has come out to play and they intend to change who gets to play on the swing set.Bringing together organizations representing education, health care, the disabled and state workers, Kansas for Quality Communities will provide a united front in reforming tax policy that has been inspired by the now discredited "starve the beast" mentality of the conservatives."
A Candidate I Can Support
Eric Doughty writes for Forward Kansas: "Much was made of the Wiggans fiasco recently. There was good reason behind it – we can’t win as Democrats, and uphold Democratic principles with those who have been imported and aren’t necessarily very strong D’s. Much stir has also been created lately in the search for candidates to fill the Democratic ticket for November. Monday afternoon I had the chance to meet with Cheryl Hudspeth, who is running in the second district – and I have to tell you, this is a candidate I can support."
Why Are They Dying?
Wayne Ellwood reports in the New Internationalist about the disappearance of bees: "It’s safe to say that the late John Muir would not recognize California’s vast Central Valley were he to visit today. When the intrepid Scots-American naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club travelled by foot through the region in the 1860s and 1870s he was astounded by the richness and diversity of the plants and flowers which carpeted the valley bottom and surged up the mountain slopes. In rapturous prose he described what he called the ‘bee pastures’:"
Keeping Same-Sex Marriage in the Dark
Marjorie Cohn writes in the Jurist: "On Wednesday, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court overturned a ruling made by a federal trial judge that would have allowed limited television coverage of a trial that will decide the fate of California’s Proposition 8. The trial, which is currently proceeding in San Francisco, is one of the most significant civil rights cases of our time. The plaintiffs are seeking to overturn a ballot initiative that makes same-sex marriage illegal in California."
Great Expectations as Congress Returns from Recess
Chris Johnson writes for DC Agenda: "As lawmakers hash out the 2010 legislative schedule for Congress, LGBT rights supporters are anticipating a House markup for the long-sought Employment Non-Discrimination Act within the next month. Sources familiar with Capitol Hill said the House Education & Labor Committee will take up ENDA, which would bar job bias against LGBT people in the public and private workforce, shortly after lawmakers return from holiday break."
Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama's closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama's head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for "overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs." In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens' faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper's abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here. "
Why the Right Is Wrong about Net Neutrality
Craig Aaron writes for the Huffington Post: "erhaps you've heard about this issue of "Net Neutrality." Doesn't ring a bell? Maybe you know it as "Internet socialism," "the Fairness Doctrine for the Internet," or simply the cornerstone of the Obama administration's frightening "vision of government ownership and control" over all communications and aspects of our lives. Or so you might think if you've caught any of the right-wing's sudden interest in telecommunications policy."
Newsflash: Right Is Not Center
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "'War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength'—more than a quarter-century after those oxymorons were supposed to pervade an Orwellian 1984, today’s media make such newspeak even more preposterous: On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe."
Tea Party Nation Convention Only Has Room for Friendly Press
Daniel Tencer reports for The Raw Story: "After taking some heat for barring the press altogether from their upcoming convention in Nashville, the organizers of the Nationwide Tea Party Convention say they will open the doors to the media -- but not all the media."
Is Sarah Palin a Natural Fox?
Leslie Savan comments in The Nation: "Only after Fox News announced that it had hired Sarah Palin as an "news analyst" did I realize that I've been subconsciously calling her Sarah Fox, Fox Palin, or Sarah Palin-Fox for a while now. She seems to be both the face that Fox wants to project and the audience it wants to capture: Palin represents the natural next stage in Fox's evolution from talking heads who pretend to know things that aren't true to those who sincerely believe things that aren't true."