Image: Vince O'Farrell/Illawarra Mercury
Treasury’s ‘Point Man’ on AIG Bailout That Benefited Goldman, Owned Goldman Stock
Karen Weise reports for ProPublica: "Deep in an article today on the government's bailout of AIG, The New York Times cites sources saying that the Treasury Department's "point man" on AIG, Don Jester, was a former Goldman Sachs employee who owned stock in the bank even as he was making decisions on the bailout that ultimately channeled billions of taxpayer dollars to Goldman."
G20: Paving the Way for a New Great Depression?
Peter Grier reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "World leaders have pledged to slash the government deficits of industrialized countries by half over the next three years. Is that goal, set at the just-concluded G20 summit in Toronto, fiscal prudence - or the prelude to the next Great Depression?"
We Can't Afford War
Photo: AFP, Alex Wong.
Summer in Iraq
William River Pitt writes for Truthout: "Afghanistan has been getting all the ink lately, and for good reason. General Stanley McChrystal's act of self-immolation by way of Rolling Stone magazine kicked off a genuine no-bones-about-it constitutional crisis over civilian control of the military, until President Obama sacked him at pretty close to the speed of light. The number of troop deaths has reached 100, making June the deadliest month for the coalition since this war began eight years ago. Civilians continue to die all over the place, the poppies continue to flourish, and there's talk about talks with the Taliban, but nobody really wants to talk about that. The so-called "mainstream" media was kind enough to wait for a Democrat to be in the White House before publicly coming to the conclusion that the war looks unwinnable. Somewhere, George W. Bush is smirking over that one, but that's just par for the course."
What Price for Defense?
William D. Hartung writes for The Nation: "There's no question that President Obama's new National Security Strategy, released late last month, is an improvement over the 'shoot first, ask questions later' approach favored by the Bush/Cheney administration. But it is not different enough. On the positive side of the ledger, the Obama administration's strategy document pledges to increase funds for diplomacy and foreign assistance, and to favor strong alliances over go-it-alone approaches. It defines the spread of nuclear weapons as 'the gravest danger' facing the United States, and reiterates the administration's pledge to seek a world free of nuclear weapons. And it acknowledges that some of the most urgent threats we face have nothing to do with terrorism."
Pentagon Shifts Its Story About Departure of Leader of Brain Injury Center
T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR, report for ProPublica: "The Pentagon has pledged in recent days to improve its care for soldiers with mild traumatic brain injury -- and one place that might need some attention is communications at the top. Earlier this month, we reported that the military was routinely failing to diagnose such injuries, which are the most common head wounds sustained by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also found that soldiers had trouble getting adequate treatment at one of America's largest military bases, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas."
How Many Americans Are Targeted for Assassination?
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "When The Washington Post's Dana Priest first revealed (in passing) back in January that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens targeted for assassination, she wrote that 'as of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens.' In April, both the Post and the NYT confirmed that the administration had specifically authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. Today, The Washington Times' Eli Lake has an interview with Obama's top Terrorism adviser John Brennan in which Brennan strongly suggests that the number of U.S. citizens targeted for assassination could actually be 'dozens'..."
Is the Obama Presidency Unraveling?
Big Footsteps for Elena Kagan
John Davidson writes for the Huffington Post: "The U.S. Senate begins its consideration of the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on June 28th, just two days after the seventh anniversary of the high court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. The juxtaposition of these events points to critical issues that senators and the nation need to consider about the legacy of the position Kagan has been nominated to fill and the responsibilities of all our country's top justices."
Michael Steele's Thurgood Marshall Fail
attacking Marshall as a 'judicial activist' and suggesting that the same could be expected of Kagan. This wasn't a surprise. Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, kick-started this bash-Marshall campaign last month by pouncing on Kagan for praising a 1987 Marshall speech in which the ex-justice said the Constitution, "as originally drafted and conceived," was 'defective.' Marshall had been referring to the Constitution's definition of slaves as three-fifths of 'free persons.' But Steele's oppo gang at the RNC seized on this and zapped out a memo hammering Kagan: 'Does Kagan Still View Constitution 'As Originally Drafted And Conceived' As ‘Defective’?'" Photo illustration based on photo by Flickr user Cory Brown (Creative Commons).
NYT Attacks "Border" With False Rant of Pro-Coup Reporter
Robert Naiman comments for Truthout: "No reasonable person would have bet serious money that news editors at The New York Times would be huge fans of Oliver Stone's new documentary about South America, 'South of the Border.' A key point of the film is that mainstream US press coverage of South America in recent years has generally followed State Department priorities more than objective news standards."
Oliver Stone Responds to the New York Times
Larry Rohter attacks our film, “South of the Border,” for “mistakes, misstatements and missing details.” But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements, and missing details are his own, and that the film is factually accurate. We will document this for each one of his attacks. We then show that there is evidence of animus and conflict of interest, in his attempt to discredit the film. Finally, we ask that you consider the many factual errors in Rohter’s attacks, outlined below, and the pervasive evidence of animus and conflict of interest in his attempt to discredit the film; and we ask that The New York Times publish a full correction for these numerous mistakes."
For more from Oliver Stone about his new documentary and clips from “South of the Border,” click here.
Drugsters in Academia: How Big Pharma “Educates” American Doctors
James Ridheway writes for Unsilent Generation The pharmaceutical industry has wormed its way into the hearts and minds of the medical professions in any number of ways—wining and dining doctors, sending them off to vacation in splendid spas, and even buying their names to put on industry-written articles promoting different drugs.
Unhinged on the Right
Ruth Marcus writes for Truthdig.com: "The campaign video is such a transparent ploy, the temptation is to ignore it. After all, tea party candidate Rick Barber is a long shot in his July runoff race for the Republican nomination for an Alabama congressional seat. But then you hit replay, and see again the iconic images you think you must have imagined. They last a fraction of a second, but they are so imprinted on the modern brain that is all it takes to recognize the photographs. Arbeit Macht Frei, spelled out in cold metal on the concentration camp gates. And the skeletal survivors, packed naked in bunks four tiers high."
BP in the Gulf - the Persian Gulf
Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: ali reza_parsi, visionshare.
BP's Ombudsman Gave Congress Wrong Information About Employee Retaliation
Jason Leopold reports for Truthout: "Last January, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-California) and Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) sent a letter to John Minge, BP's Alaska president, seeking information about how the company was managing its Prudhoe Bay operations on Alaska's North Slope, as well as internal reports about the circumstances behind five serious incidents dating back to September 2008."
EPA’s Initial Testing Finds Dispersants Roughly Equal, But Raises Questions
Is Washing Out Sandwich Baggies a Waste of Time?
Kiera Butler writes for Mother Jones: "Is it environmentally efficient to wash all of our Ziploc bags for reuse, or do we use more resources than it is worth? And do the bags maintain their integrity for continuous washing, or does the hot water affect their chemical structure? —Econundrums reader Susan B."
Live Dangerously: Ten Easy Steps to Becoming a Radical Homemaker
Shannon Hayes writes for YES Magazine: "When Shannon Hayes made a list of easy steps for becoming a radical homemaker, she didn't realize just how revolutionary they were. When I first released Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, I was advised to make a list of 'easy steps for becoming a radical homemaker' as part of my publicity outreach materials. My shoulders slumped at the very thought: Three years of research about the social, economic, and ecological significance of homemaking, and I had to reduce it to 10 easy tips?"
Garden City’s Racial Diversity Is a Look at America’s Future
Photo: Crossroads of Fremont, CA.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand writes for Pam's House Blend: "It was on June 28, 1969 that a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers stood up, fought back, and openly challenged a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Sheridan Square. Gay New Yorkers, for the first time, took to the streets and publicly identified themselves and the modern gay rights movement was born. The Stonewall Uprising was an act of unheralded bravery that kicked off a battle for LGBT equality, a fight that we are still waging to this day."
Opponents of Net Neutrality Attending Congressional Telecom Meetings Spend More on Lobbying
Paul Blumenthal writes for The Sunlight Foundation: "Last Friday, two congressional committees held closed door discussions with 31 representatives from industry and activist groups to discuss writing a new broadband Internet policy, largely focused on whether and how to implement net neutrality rules, into the Telecommunications Act of 1996. While the meeting contained more proponents of net neutrality, opponents of implementing the policy hold a lop-sided advantage in lobbying spending and contributing to political campaigns."
The Battle for Broadband
White House Plans Explosion in Mobile Broadband by Making Spectrum Available
David Dayen writes for FireDogLake: "Yesterday (June 28, 2010), the President issued a memorandum making available 500 MHz of spectrum over the next ten years, to be offered at auction for wireless broadband services. It’s part of the implementation of the national broadband strategy laid out by the FCC in a policy document earlier this year."
Jodi Enda reports for the American Journalism Review: "In the late 1990s, AJR began to systematically track coverage of federal departments and agencies through the Project on the State of the American Newspaper. One of the goals was to determine how coverage by newspapers and wire services had changed over time. To do that, AJR selected departments and agencies that deal with everyday issues such as food safety, taxes, airline policy, the economy, veterans' benefits and workplace rules. Four times--in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004--we checked to see whether they were covered by full-time beat reporters and, if so, by which news outlets. We defined full time as two- thirds of a reporter's time covering the department and closely related issues."
Click to see an interactive chart and spreadsheet of news organizations covering federal agencies
Reforming Journalism: The Rest of the Story
Burton St. John and Jeff South write for The Quill: "By now, it’s clear that traditional journalism outlets — especially daily newspapers and local television — are witnessing a continual erosion of their audiences. The Pew Research Center provided a clear summary of this decline in late 2008. In the previous decade, local TV news had lost 12 percent of declared viewers. Newspapers fared worse: In just two years, print editions saw a 9 percent decline in readership. Not surprisingly, journalists and scholars have issued a slew of recommendations on how the industry can regain its financial footing."