US Soldiers Face Probe Into Afghan Deaths; Civilian Casualties Still Rising
Dion Nissenbaum reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "The US military is investigating allegations that a small group of American soldiers deliberately killed three Afghan civilians in a series of shootings earlier this year, Western officials familiar with the case said Friday.... If the allegations prove to be true, they could undermine the US military's already shaky credibility in southern Afghanistan as it gears up to target the Taliban's spiritual capital in Kandahar."
Bill for Afghan War Could Run Into the Trillions
Eli Clifton, Inter Press Service: "The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a 59-billion-dollar spending bill, of which 33.5 billion dollars would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan. However, some experts here in Washington are raising concerns that the war may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in Afghanistan could be better spent."
Putting the Pentagon on a Diet: Will Bad Times and a Bad Economy Finally Discipline the Pentagon?
Six Key Fights for Wall Street Reform's Next Phase
Zach Carter writes for the Campaign for America's Future: "Thursday night's passage of Wall Street reform by the U.S. Senate is an event to be celebrated, but several key issues remain in play as the House and Senate seek to iron out differences between their respective versions of the legislation. And while the final bill will provide regulators with important new tools to fight financial excess, many of the most critical issues facing our economy will simply not be addressed, leaving the next Congress with plenty of work to do."
Study Shows Blacks Will NEVER Gain Wealth Parity With Whites Under the Current System
How to Think Like a Feminist Economist
Susan Feiner writes for On the Issues: "As a feminist economist I am constantly amazed - though I suppose I should be used to it by now - by the ways conventional analyses of economic matters completely ignore gender asymmetries. Because I am a feminist economist, I am hypersensitive to differences in women's and men's economic circumstances."
Confronting Blame-the-Worker Safety Programs
Nancy Lessin writes for Labor Notes: "In a Missouri food warehouse, 150 workers load and unload trucks, lift boxes, drive fork trucks, and move endless pallets. Each month that no one reports an injury, all workers receive prizes, such as $50 gift certificates. If someone reports an injury, no prizes are given that month. Last year, management added a new element to this 'safety incentive' program: if a worker reported an injury, not only would co-workers forgo monthly prizes but the injured worker had to wear a fluorescent orange vest for a week.... Blame-the-worker programs like this are flourishing, and they are harmful for workplace health and safety."
Kansas Legislative Winners and Losers
Has Obama Created a Social Security 'death panel'?
Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson write for Nieman Watchdog: "President Obama and the leadership in Congress have delegated enormous, unaccountable authority to 18 unrepresentative, inordinately wealthy individuals. The 18 individuals are meeting regularly, in secret, behind closed doors, until safely beyond this year’s mid-term election. If they reach agreement, their proposal will be voted on in December by a lame duck Congress, without the benefit of open hearings and deliberations in the pertinent committees and without the opportunity for open debate and amendment on the floors of the House and Senate. Despite the speed and lack of accountability, the legislation will affect, in substantial ways, every man, woman, and child in this nation."
Arizona, Institutional Racism & Assimilation
“promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” That particular detail within the so-called “law” should tell us more of what is wrong with the state of Arizona, and America in general, than anything else. The recent trends within Arizona are not particularly surprising to the author; however, for many living in denial about the institutionally racist nature of the US, I can see where this has jolted their illusionary American Dream."
Minding the Education Gap
Laying Bare the Myth of ‘The Left’
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "I’m always amused by popular references to the allegedly all-powerful American “Left.” The term suggests that progressives today possess the same kind of robust, ideologically driven political apparatus as the Right—a machine putting principles before party affiliation. This notion is hilarious because it is so absurd."
The 'Mad-As-Hell' Party Scores as the Anxious Class Stews
Robert Reich writes for the Huffington Post: "Kentucky Tea Party hero Rand Paul scores a knockout victory over Republican Trey Grayson. Before that, Utah Senator Robert Bennett loses to a Tea Party-fueled Republican insurgent. Is the lesson here the rise once again of the Republican right?"
A Closing of the Conservative Mind?
Daily Dish." Photo: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Chuckumentary, Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL), StewBl@ck
Sarah Palin's Sandidate, Vaughn Ward, Calls Puerto Rico a 'Country'
Sean J. Miller writes for The Hill: "Idaho House candidate Vaughn Ward (R) is under a microscope of media attention because of some recent misteps and another that came last night, when he misidentified Puerto Rico in a debate with his primary opponent, Raul Labrador, who was born on the island."
How Libertarian is Rand Paul?
Josh Harkinson reports for Mother Jones: "In an effort to explain what Rand Paul meant when he suggested that private businesses should be able to discriminate against black people, most writers have assumed that the Tea Party fave is no racist but instead a dogmatic, don't-tread-on-me libertarian. As TPM convincingly points out today, the GOP's Kentucky Senate candidate's (now recanted) statements about the 1964 Civil Rights Act fall well within the libertarian mainstream."
In Texas, Social Studies Textbooks Get a Conservative Make-over
Brad Knickerbocker reports in the Christian Science Monitor: “In a move that has potential national impact, the Texas State Board of Education has approved controversial changes to social studies textbooks – pushing high school teaching in a more conservative direction. The Dallas Morning news reports that the curriculum standards adopted Friday by a 9-5 vote along party lines on the elected board have 'a definite political and philosophical bent in many areas.'”
Photo: Deep Water Horizon Response
EPA Scolds BP in Gulf Oil Spill: Dispersant Is Too Toxic, Change It
Mark Guarino, The Christian Science Monitor: "After saying last week that it had no authority to tell BP which dispersant to use for the Gulf oil spill, the EPA on Thursday told BP to switch dispersants to one that is less toxic. The US Environmental Protection Agency reversed course in the Gulf oil spill cleanup effort Thursday, telling BP that had three days to stop using a chemical dispersant that the EPA's own data suggests is unnecessarily toxic."
How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution. West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week."
Trucking Toward Climate Change
The Graph That Should Be on the Front Page of Every Newspaper: The Unambiguous Warming of the Planet
Peter H. Gleick writes for the Huffington Post: "The following graph should be on the front page of every single newspaper in the country. It shows, clearly and unambiguously, that the Earth has been heating up over the past 130 years (through the end of 2009), and especially over the past 30 years. And it's getting worse: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just announced that the first four months of 2010 were the hottest in the entire 130-year record for the planet.
Climate change deniers have been trying hard to confuse the public and policy makers about climate change. But their claims about climate science and what we see in the world around us are based on ideology and bad science, not reality. The graph below is reality."
The Master of Debunk: W. Joseph Campbell corrects the record on 10 important misreported stories
Comcast: Too Crapy to Fail?
Tim Karr writes for FireDogLake: "I don’t subscribe to Comcast, but my mom does. And the mere mention of the company’s name sets this peace-loving vegetable gardener into a rage. And it’s not just the nine-hour repair window that keeps her home waiting for the cable van that never arrives. Nor is it the customer service line that leaves her stranded for 45 minutes at the dead end of an automated service. It’s the costs that have doubled since she and Dad first signed up for Comcast’s crappy "Triple Play" –- television, Internet and phone. And it’s about to get a whole lot worse."
Public Media Discussion Heating Up
Megan Tady writes for NewPublicMedia.org: "The public broadcasting community converges in Austin this week for PBS’ annual meeting to talk a little shop, see sneak peeks of the newest programming and well…face a bit of the inevitable discussion: What is the future of public media? In the midst of panels and the workshops, the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting honored David Fanning, executive producer of FRONTLINE, as this year’s recipient of the Ralph Lowell medal – the most prestigious award in public television. And as he thanked the public media community for the honor, he delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of journalism..."
The Future of the Internet Depends on Good Public Policy
Jessica Newman writes for CampusProgress: "Free Press is a nonprofit organization that believes in reforming media policy to transform democracy. Misty Perez Truedson conducts strategic communications and outreach activities to advance Free Press’ legislative and movement building initiatives. She works with community-based organizations, public interest groups, academics, and other allies to encourage participation in Free Press campaigns and events, with a particular focus on the Save the Internet campaign. Prior to joining Free Press, Misty was the statewide grassroots organizing coordinator for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in community development and planning from Clark University in Worcester, Mass."