The Right Prescription for an Ailing Economy
Dean Baker writes for The Nation: "The roots of this economic crisis are very much centered in the growth in inequality over the past three decades. This becomes clear once we recognize that the financial turmoil is a minor aspect of the overall crisis, and that its primary cause is the economic imbalances created by the housing bubble."
Glenn Beck's Golden Fleece
Illustration by: Dale Stephanos.
Survey: Homeowners Working with Servicers Often Blindsided by Foreclosures
Paul Kiel reports for ProPublica: "In May, we published a story about how disorganization at the big banks has led to mistaken foreclosures : homeowners were under review for a modification, but were suddenly foreclosed on because of a communication breakdown within the mortgage servicer. A recent survey of California housing counselors demonstrates that’s a widespread problem, at least in the Golden State."
Stage-Managing the War on Terror
Stephan Salisbury writes for TomDispatch: "Informers have by now become our first line of defense in our battles with the evildoers, the go-to guys in the never-ending domestic war on terror. They regularly do the dirty work - suggesting and encouraging the plots, laboring as bag men to move the money, fashioning the bombs, and eliciting the flamboyant dialogue, even while following the scripts of their handlers to the letter. They have attended to all the little details that make for the successful and now familiar arrests, criminal complaints, trials, and (for the most part) convictions in the ever-distracting war against ... what? Al-Qaeda? Terror? Muslims? The inept? The poor?"
Losing in Afghanistan
What Eisenhower Could Teach Obama, Part I
Melvin A. Goodman writes for Consortium News: "Fifty years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the Oval Office of the White House, 'God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn't know the military as well as I do.' Several months later, he issued his famous warning about the military-industrial complex."
The Right Wing's Addiction to War
Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Tanya Somanader write The Progress Report for Think Progress: "On Friday, a video surfaced of Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele speaking at a fundraiser in Connecticut about the war in Afghanistan. While some of Steele's comments about the war were clearly inaccurate -- such as his claim that the war was of "Obama's choosing," even though President Bush started it nine years ago -- he also made reasonable, debate-worthy arguments about the wisdom of engaging in a prolonged land war in Afghanistan. Yet conservatives -- from neoconservative thought leader Bill Kristol to former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) -- lashed out at Steele, choosing not just to refute the historical inaccuracies in his statements but to lambaste him for daring to voice skepticism about the war. The controversy over Steele's comments sheds light on a wider truth about the modern conservative movement: With few exceptions, escalating wars has become their favorite foreign policy, and they tolerate little dissent from those in their ranks who believe in other ways to conduct our international affairs."
Justice Department to File Suit Against Arizona Law
Yana Kunichoff reports for Truthout: "The Justice Department will file suit against Arizona on the basis that the state's recent anti-immigrant legislation intrudes on the role of the federal government in immigration enforcement, according to anonymous sources contacted by the Washington Post."
Shipping freight over a melting Arctic." Illustration: Christoph Hitz.
Gulf Oil Spill: Containment Cap Could Stop Leak Within 3 Days
Associate Press reports (via Huffington Post): "The federal official leading the Gulf oil spill cleanup said Friday a new containment cap and an additional ship collecting oil could effectively contain the spill in the next three days. The work to replace a leaky containment cap on the well head with a tighter one will begin Saturday, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said. At the same time, a ship connecting to a different part of the leak is expected to come online Sunday."
CEO of Alaska Pipeline, a Former BP Exec, Steps Down
reported, BP’s company safety record in Alaska has been marked cost cuts, alleged intimidation from workers, and a "run-to-failure" mentality when it comes to equipment maintenance. This week, Kevin Hostler, CEO of the company that operates the pipeline—a company called Alyeska, and largely controlled by BP thanks to its 47 percent ownership of the pipeline—announced he was retiring, reported the Los Angeles Times. The announcement comes as Congressional panels investigate some of the safety complaints about Alyeska and BP." Photo: BP's Prudhoe Bay oil field facility in Alaska (Photo handout from BP).
Hundreds of workers in the Gulf Coast cleaning up BP’s oil disaster have reported symptoms of nausea, vomiting, nose bleeds, and headaches, but those “almost all have been heat related,” according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab.So reported Michael Whitney for FireDogLake, who has been following the struggle of workers and Gulf Coast natives affected by the disaster. Whitney joins Laura Flanders along with Jordan Flaherty, via Skype from Louisiana, to discuss the ongoing struggle of fishermen and the other local communities that make their living and run their lives around the water in the Gulf.
BP Shows US It's Time for a New Energy Policy Like Europe's
Steven Hill provides an analysis for Truthout: "With toxic black ooze spreading throughout the Gulf of Mexico, it is time for the Obama administration to think seriously about national energy policy. They could learn plenty by looking across the Atlantic to Europe. By forging ahead with widespread implementation of innovative conservation practices, renewable energy technologies and fuel efficient transportation, Europe has managed to reduce its 'ecological footprint' to half that of the United States for the same standard of living."
Meet the 'Patriots'
see timeline) is the result of several factors, including anger over major political, demographic and economic changes in America, along with the popularization of radical ideas and conspiracy theories by ostensibly mainstream politicians and media commentators."
Unsweet Tea: Exploring the Ideas of the Antigovernment Movement
Mark Potok writes for the Southern Poverty Law Center: "Martial law is around the corner. The federal government is storing 30,000 guillotines to use on dissident Americans. High officials plotted the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building and the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, too. Secret concentration camps have been set up on military bases around the country. The Federal Reserve is part of a plot to strip us of our riches."
Defending Arizona: Pundits scramble to justify anti-immigrant law
Jim Naureckas writes for EXTRA!: "When Arizona passed a patently unconstitutional law, SB 1070, requiring residents to prove their citizenship to any suspicious police officer, the state did not lack for defenders in the corporate press. One of the first out of the box was George Will, who concluded his April 28 Washington Post column with this observation: Arizonans should not be judged disdainfully and from a distance by people whose closest contacts with Hispanics are with fine men and women who trim their lawns and put plates in front of them at restaurants, not with illegal immigrants passing through their back yards at 3 a.m. Given that there are 47 million Latinos in the United States, Will’s assumption that his readers will likely only know them as waiters or gardeners was rather bizarre. Perhaps the state needed another champion."
Glenn Beck's Disturbing Plans to Co-opt MLK's 'I Have a Dream' Speech
Alexander Zaitchik writes for AlterNet: "Glenn Beck deserves every shell of heavy fire he's getting for his "Restoring Honor" rally scheduled for August 28 on the National Mall. His critics are right about the absurd audacity of his loud claims on the legacy of Martin Luther King, who delivered his "I Have a Dream speech" 47 years to the day before Beck's own planned (and long coveted) spotlight on the Mall."
Corporate Media Buys Into Right-Wing-Backed Fake Scandal at Justice Department
Devona Walker reports for AlterNet: "Ripping a page right out of the white supremacist training book, conservative bloggers are crying about the blatant “trampling of white rights” by the Department of Justice simply because it chose not to take up a case where the New Black Panther party was alleged to have insulted white voters. Check them out here, here and here."