Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com: "It was amazing. Every story on the front page of Monday's New York Times told the story of the Age of Greed during which a system known as capitalism is slowly, but surely, killing us: Insurance company greed: 'Millions Spent to Sway Democrats on Health Care.'"
Lame Bill from a Lame Duck
Dodd’s Bill on Financial Regulation Doesn’t Go Far Enough
Matthew Rothschild writes for the Progressive: "It’s been more than a year and a half since Lehman Brothers went bust and the entire edifice of Wall Street came tumbling down, only to be put back together by trillions of taxpayer dollars. And still, to this day, Congress hasn’t passed any financial reform."
New Data Shows Loan Modification Logjam Continues
When the US Becomes Greece: Drivel From the Deficit Hawks
Dean Baker writes for Truthout: "The headlines about Greece's financial problems have provided a great backdrop to renewed attacks from the deficit hawks on Social Security and Medicare. Never mind that none of it really makes any sense. Not making sense is virtually a prerequisite for being taken seriously in Washington policy debates. This is the reason that the characters who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble dominated debate in the years leading up to the crisis, and still do today."
Torture and the Imperial Presidency
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: U.S. Military, Hendricks Photos)
Yoo Besmirches Legacy of Jefferson
Ray McGovern writes for Common Dreams: "Initially I was shocked at the thought of the University of Virginia welcoming former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo to the "Academical Village" founded by Thomas Jefferson. There was something very wrong about that picture. Was it not Mr. Jefferson who condemned tyrannical acts-including ones that fell far short of waterboarding-in the Declaration of Independence?"
Military Sexual Assault Reports Rose 11 Percent in 2009
Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers: "The number of sexual assaults reported in the US military rose 11 percent last year, the Defense Department said Tuesday, but Pentagon officials conceded that they still don't know how common sexual assaults are because many troops fear retribution if the attacks come to the attention of their commanders."
The Lies of Karl Rove
Melvin A. Goodman writes for Truthout: "Joseph Goebbels, the leading propagandist of the Third Reich, believed in the power of the lie; the greater the lie, the greater the power. Goebbels would have loved Karl Rove's 'Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight,' a pastiche of lies, fabrications and distortions designed to rehabilitate the record of the Bush-Cheney years. There are too many lies to treat in this one column, but his greatest lie is that the Bush administration would not have invaded Iraq if it had known there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) there."
Sweatshops Won't Save Haiti
Tope Folarin writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "The United Nations will host a Haiti donors' conference at the end of March. This conference will be quite different from last year's event, of course, coming as it does on the heels of the worst earthquake to strike Haiti in two centuries. An agenda has already begun to take shape: It's already clear that a future Haiti must be populated with environmentally sustainable, earthquake-resistant buildings, for example, and it's also clear that the international community must do something to ease Haiti's massive debt burden."
One Cent Will Save Public Education
Acceptance Is Crucial for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youths
David Ellison reports for the Oakland Tribune: "MY FAVORITE professor in college once remarked that, for many students, education was like 'so much grain stored against a winter they never expect to come.' The same could be said for the research I will share in this column.Many parents, for example, especially those of young children, may believe, "This has nothing to do with me and my kids." The truth is, this research just might save one of your children's lives. A study called "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Young Adults" appeared in the January 2009 issue of the prestigious journal Pediatrics."
Your Boss Can Secretly Film You in the Bathroom -- The Countless Ways You Are Losing Privacy at Work
Lewis Maltby writes for the AFL-CIO (via AlterNet): "Privacy is dead. Get over it. So says Scott McNealy, former president of Sun Microsystems. He's right. Workplace privacy is dead and buried. Employers can and do read e-mail, eavesdrop on telephone calls, monitor Internet access and watch workers with hidden cameras (even in bathrooms and locker rooms). Virtually all of this is legal. Technically, employers aren’t supposed to listen to personal telephone calls, but it happens all the time and you have no way of knowing. Some judges have found bathroom cameras to be an invasion of privacy, but other judges allow it."
How the FCC's Exciting New Broadband Plan Is a Fraud
Bruce Kushnick comments for Nieman Watchdog: "The FCC today sent Congress a new plan that pretends to solve the nation’s broadband problem, but is in fact a testament to how corrupt America has gotten. The new national broadband policy is tailored to reward telcom behemoths AT&T and Verizon, the very same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place. Meanwhile, the hard questions that need to be asked are being ignored."
Spinning for Bush, Then Spinning the Spin
David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "Spinners gotta spin. And Brad Blakeman, a Republican strategist and commentator, is an expert at keeping his own gyrations turning. On Tuesday, he and I appeared on MSNBC to discuss Karl Rove's new book. The main issue at hand was Rove's assertion that George W. Bush did not 'lie us' into the Iraq war. I went first and explained how the Bush administration had overstated iffy intelligence regarding Iraq's WMD capabilities to grease the way to the invasion. Defending Bush's war, Blakeman, who had worked in the Bush White House's scheduling office, noted that Saddam Hussein had used WMDs against the Kurds—without mentioning that this had happened 15 years before the Iraq war and that UN inspectors had subsequently reported destroying Iraq's WMD facilities. He then asserted that another reason for the war was that Saddam 'was preventing inspectors from coming in and inspecting the [suspected WMD] sites that the UN demanded be inspected.'"
Control of Public Media as a Social Justice Issue
Scott Sanders and James Owens, Truthout: "Media justice organizers at the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) and MAG-Net have recently produced a brilliant campaign plan ('The Campaign for universal broadband') to win three policies crucial for just and democratic communication: network neutrality, universal broadband and universal service fund reform."
Beck's War Against Social Justice
run as fast as you can' if they find their church preaching 'social justice,' claiming it is a 'perversion of the Gospel.' "Social justice was the rallying cry," he argued, 'on both the communist front and the fascist front. This is not an American idea.' Beck even told his listeners to report preachers of social justice to the authorities: 'If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop.' Christian leaders of all denominations -- from progressive Jim Wallis to arch-conservative Southern Baptist theologian Albert Mohler -- have challenged Beck's attack on social justice. Religious scholars of Beck's adopted faith, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, have explained that social justice is essential to Mormonism. Bread for the World is asking Beck to '[q]uit using [his] bully pulpit to spread misinformation and fear.' Wallis has initiated a petition at Sojourners, his social justice organization, for people to let Glenn Beck know they are social justice Christians. In response, Beck has announced that the 'hammer is coming' down on Sojourners and Wallis, whom he claims is a "Marxist." Despite Beck's threats, Wallis has repeated his invitation to sit down and have 'an open and public discussion on what social justice really means.'"
Erick Erickson Is the New CNN Go-to Bigot, Misogynist and Homophobe
Devona Walker writes for AlterNet: "In this quote, unquote 'post racial' age, CNN has hired a guy who is not just an apparent bigot, but a misogynist and avid homophobe. Erick Erickson, the editor of redstate.com. will begin working at CNN as a political commentaor opposite John King on John King USA. Guess the brass at CNN haven’t entirely recovered from their rabid racist withdrawals since Glenn Beck left went to Fox News. Those withdrawals probably worsened when Lou Dobbs quit a few months back."