Remembering Fascism: Learning From the Past
Noam Chomsky comments for Truthout: "As I mentioned, I am just old enough to remember those chilling and ominous days of Germany's descent from decency to Nazi barbarism, to borrow the words of the distinguished scholar of German history Fritz Stern. He tells us that he has the future of the United States in mind when he reviews 'a historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason.' The world is too complex for history to repeat, but there are nevertheless lessons to keep in mind."
Goldman Plays, We Pay
Robert Scheer writes for Truthdig.com: "The story of the financial debacle will end the way it began, with the super-hustlers from Goldman Sachs at the center of the action and profiting wildly. Never in U.S. history has one company wielded such destructive power over our political economy, irrespective of whether a Republican or a Democrat happened to be president."
The SEC's Dangerous Gamble
The Sanders Standard for Serious Bank Reform
John Nichols writes for The Nation: "There will be a lot of talk about holding big banks and Wall Street to account in coming days, as the Senate takes up the question of how to overhaul a financial-services industry that is currently defined by a toxic combination of blind greed, unsustainable speculation and "too-big-to-fail" threats not just to the economy but to the stability of this country's democratic experiment."
The Paycheck Fairness Act: Now an Economic Imperative
Linda D. Hallman writes for the Women's Media Center: "Today, as we do every year in April, AAUW and our allies mark Equal Pay Day. This day represents how far into the next year the average woman must work to earn what the average man took home the previous calendar year. In other words, every year women start out more than 100 days behind."
How Bubble Barons Protected Their Influence While the Economy Tanked
Iraq Election: Can Maliki Win With a Baghdad Recount?
A Neocon Split on Afghanistan?
David Corn writes for Mother Jones: "Last September, as President Barack Obama was conducting a strategic review of his Afghanistan policy, leading members of the neoconservative crowd—Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, David Frum, Thomas Donnelly, Danielle Pletka, John Podhoretz, and others—sent an open letter to Obama praising him for changing the military leadership in Afghanistan and for devoting more resources to the war. The letter, which was also signed by Sarah Palin and Karl Rove, decried the "errors of previous years" and indicated that the neocons and their allies would back Obama if he would continue granting "full support" to the war effort. This letter signaled that the neoconservatives shared a fundamental view: The United States had to commit to a full-fledged "counterinsurgency strategy" aimed not at containing but defeating the Taliban—an endeavor which would entail sending tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan for as long as it takes. The influential group that had helped lead the nation into war in Iraq looked unified on Afghanistan."
Seven Years of (Unconvincing) Lies in 39 Minutes: A Primer
Dr. Matthew Feldman comments for Truthout: "No wonder the US military said the tape was lost. Those murderous images leave you gasping for air like a punch in the gut at boot camp. Then you hear a bit of cackling, some banter and more shooting. Dahr Jamail reported in Truthout that a dozen people were killed in the massacre, including two Reuters news staff, with another two children wounded but (amazingly) alive. The US troops sounded as if they were having fun, like aiming for high-score on an arcade game."
RommeyCare Vs. ObamaCare
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Igor Volsky, Zaid Jilani, and Alex Seitz-Wald write The Progress Report for Think Progress: "As former Republican Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney travels around the country promoting his new book No Apology and feeling out a potential 2012 presidential bid, he continues to struggle with questions about why he wants to repeal a new federal health care law that is so similar to the reform he signed in 2006 as governor. If he wants to promote "himself as a problem-solving pragmatist, Mr. Romney can justifiably point to the landmark universal coverage law in Massachusetts that he, as governor, proposed in 2006," the New York Times observes. "But as he appeals to conservative activists and Republican primary voters, he is trying to draw nuanced distinctions between his Massachusetts law and the federal legislation that shares many of its fundamental elements, including a requirement that people have insurance." Indeed, Romney is attempting to present himself as a pragmatist and a principled conservative who opposes federal intervention into health policy. Thus, Romney has had to embrace his plan while, at the same time, attacking President Obama's in an effort to appease the GOP and the conservative base, which adamantly oppose it."
Is the NRA Encouraging Anti-Government Extremism?
National Rifle Association member Timothy McVeigh didn't teach the organization that its violent anti-government rhetoric can have dangerous consequences. On a day when thousands of Tea Party activists are taking to the streets to protest Tax Day, the Violence Policy Center has released a report today chronicling the increasing ties between the gun lobby and the Tea Party movement, and the NRA's adoption of much of the "Patriot movement's" anti-government language. The center sees direct parallels between the NRA's current activities and those in the years leading up to McVeigh's fateful decision to blow up the Oklahoma federal building..."
Tea Baggers Fail to See Their Own Hypocrisy
Irene North writes for The Daily Censored: "So, there was yet another tea party rally, this time in Boston. They’re still pissed off at health care reform, calling it socialist and communist without ever understanding the definition of those two words. I wonder where they were a few years ago when Medicare part D was push through with no vote and why they weren’t rioting against socialized medicine then. Welfare queen, Valerie Shirk, however, seems to be the biggest hypocrite of them all."
The Populism of the Privileged
E.J. Dionne writes for Truthdig.com: "The tea party is nothing new, it represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics, and it will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections. In fact, both parties stand to lose if they accept the laughable notion that this media-created protest movement is the voice of true populism. Democrats will spend their time chasing votes that they will never win. Republicans will turn their party into an angry and narrow redoubt with no hope of building a durable majority.
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Shipping freight over a melting Arctic." — Illustration: Christoph Hitz
Attractive Nuisance: Can federal courts help tackle global warming?
Doug Kendall and Hanna McCrea write for Slate: "If Congress and the president fail to tackle global warming, can courts step in? Can federal judges allow people struggling with the losses of global warming to sue polluters directly? The idea may at first seem crazy. In a legal world obsessed with claims of judicial activism, the image of a judge taking on a global problem like climate change seems like the punch line to a bad joke at an Exxon board meeting. But it turns out there is a long and proud history of judges addressing pollution in the absence of environmental regulation. For much of the last century—long before Congress acted—federal courts allowed plaintiffs to seek injunctions to stop all kinds of pollution. Successful suits prevented an ore smelter from releasing deadly atmospheric arsenic over the homes and families of Utah, the City of Chicago from draining its sewage into St. Louis' drinking supply, and New York City from dumping its garbage into the Atlantic, where it washed up on the beaches of the New Jersey Shore. Today, states and environmentalists are turning to these and other historic precedents to make the case that climate change, too, belongs in the courts—when the other branches of government refuse to act."
Obama's Caution on Gay Rights, Other Issues, Frustrates Some Liberals Who Want More
Chales Babington and Philip Elliott write for AP and the Los Angeles Times: "President Barack Obama's move to grant same-sex partners full visitation rights in hospitals is the latest example of his making concessions to liberals without getting too far ahead of public opinion. Obama has moved just as cautiously, if not more so, on immigration and gays in the military. Supporters and some critics agree that he tries to walk a line that neither angers liberals who helped elect him, nor fires up conservatives hoping to defeat Democrats this fall and to oust Obama in 2012."
Draft of Secretive International Copyright Treaty Leaked -- Confirms Fears About Internet Freedom
NPR And Trust in Government
Robert Shetterly writes for Common Dreams: "I was just sitting down in my kitchen this morning -- Sunday, April 18th, 2010 -- to a bowl of oatmeal topped with walnuts, some pieces of ginger, and a little brown sugar when I heard the host of NPR's Sunday Weekend Edition program, Liane Hansen, say that the next segment would begin a series of programs focusing on Trust in Government. She said, as we all know, that cynicism about our political leadership has metastasized. The new series would look at how it got this way and how it could be different."
Public Outcry over Comcast Ruling Reaches the FCC
Tim Karr writes for Save the Internet: "The public outrage over last week's appeals court decision against an open Internet reached Washington this week. People are doing all they can to stop a decision that would effectively give phone and cable companies power to control Internet content and undermine the open architecture that has transformed the Web into a democratic force in society."
Net Neutrality is Not Dead
Newspaper Guild President to FCC: Media Consolidation Impairs Journalism, Democracy
Editor and Publisher staff writes: "Newspaper Guild-CWA President Bernard Lunzer, scheduled to speak Tuesday afternoon in Tampa, Fla., at a Federal Communications Commission workshop on broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership, set out to deliver the message that media consolidation is the enemy of quality journalism -- and, in effect, democracy."