In a panel discussion moderated by Katrina vanden Heuvel entitled "Obama and the World: Is There a New National Security Policy?" Lt. General Robert Gard and Nation writers Jeremy Scahill, Stephen Cohen and John Nichols discuss how far Obama has diverted from his promise to end the culture of fear that led the US into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Instead, as the panelists discuss in detail, foreign policy isn't that different today from what it was during the Bush years—if anything, Obama has increased secrecy around issues like torture and targeted killings abroad, and has expanded the power of government to spy on US citizens.
Listen for more on how the war in Iraq is over in name only, the danger of a new Cold War on the horizon and what kind of real change we should be demanding on the foreign policy front.
Download MP3 file.
Wall Street Wins Again
Nomi Prins writes for Truthdig.com: "The Republicans may have stormed the House, but it was Wall Street and the Fed that won the election. Regardless of party power plays and posturing, there are two constants that remain unaltered after the election. First, Wall Street will continue on with business as usual while shifting its campaign and lobbying dollars to the new winning team. And second, the Fed will keep on pretending to prop up the economy by buying more U.S. debt, thereby keeping interest rates low, the dollar weak and money cheap for the banking system to inhale. This fictional boosting of the financial economy, absent the real boosting of the general economy, will march on sans debate, inspection or restriction."
Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Simpson And Bowles Release Eye-Popping Recommendations
Is the Deficit Commission Serious?
Kevin Drum writes for Mother Jones: "I've been trying to figure out whether I have anything to say about the "chairman's mark" of the deficit commission report that was released today. In a sense, I don't. This is not a piece of legislation, after all. Or a proposed piece of legislation. Or even a report from the deficit commission itself. It's just a draft presentation put together by two guys. Do you know how many deficit reduction proposals are out there that have the backing of two guys? Thousands. Another one just doesn't matter."
The Coming War on Health Reform, Government Cheese, and how CPCs Incubate Anti-Choice Violence
healthcare reform in 2011."
Fiscal Commission Recommendations: VA Co-Pays, Top Tax Rate 23%
David Dayen writesf ro FireDogLake: "OK, here’s the draft document for the cat food commission co-chair’s mark. In addition, there’s a page with specific “illustrative cuts”, $100 billion in domestic spending and $100 billion in military spending. Between the two, you can get a sense of what Bowles and Simpson have planned. Keep in mind that this is more of a shock doctrine document than a blueprint; they have no support on the commission for all this, and they’re trying to gather it with this early release."
at just 26%. Every member of this commission, every member of Congress, and President Obama himself must reject these insane ideas. We’re starting an emergency petition to President Obama, and his Catfood Commission to take Social Security cuts off the table.
Sign our petition to President Obama and his Catfood Commission: hands off Social Security. Click here to add your name.
Measuring America--New Book Presents Current Data on the American Human Development Index
"The Human Development Index--A Better Measure Of Where We Stand". It was a response to an entry in the NY Times Economix blog, "Going Back in Time: Progress, or Lack Thereof, Around the Country" by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, co-directors of the American Human Development Project. Today, Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps have a new book coming out, The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience. There's a truly overwhelming amount of information in this book, I'm only going to be able to give you a small of taste of what it contains here."
Americans Aren't Buying the GOP Agenda
Katrina vanden Heuvel comments in the Washington Post: "In the wake of the election, conservatives are full of advice for President Obama. The "unmistakable message" of the election, says presumptive House Speaker John Boehner, is "change course," and that begins by cutting spending and lowering taxes. The election, writes a dyspeptic George F. Will, was 'nationwide recoil against Barack Obama's idea of unlimited government.' A rational and alarmed American majority, says Will, believed that 'government commands and controls' were 'superseding and suffocating the creativity of a market society's spontaneous order.'"
Certified Right-Wing Extremists Set to Take Control of House Foreign Affairs Panels
Alexander Main writes for Truthout: "In the early years of the past decade, two hard-line cold warriors, closely associated with radical Cuban exile groups in Florida, occupied strategic positions in the US foreign policy machine. Otto Reich, former head of the Reagan administration's covert propaganda operations in Central America, and Roger Noriega, co-author of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, took turns running the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and held other influential administration posts such as ambassador to the Organization of American States and White House Special Envoy to the Western Hemisphere."
As Deportations Increase, So Have Officials’ Attempts to Deport the Wrong People
Marian Wang reports for ProPublica: "As deportations have increased under the Obama administration, immigration judges have also increasingly denied requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people who were legitimately entitled to stay in the country , according to new data obtained by Syracuse University’s Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse."
New Shipping Lanes in Melting Arctic Will Accelerate Global Warming
What's Abstinence Got to do With Degrading Single-Parent Families?
Brigitte Amiri, Reproductive Freedom Project, and Tricia Herzfeld, ACLU of Tennessee, write on the ACLU Blog of Rights: "Mom, am I more likely to go to jail because you and Dad aren't married?" Imagine your sixth grader coming home and asking you that question after being taught family life in school. That's what happened to Caroleigh Heaton in Maryville, Tennessee. Ms. Heaton contacted us, and we obtained the abstinence-only-until-marriage program used throughout the Maryville school district. We found that in addition to withholding vital information that kids need to make healthy decisions about sex, the program also advanced questionable "facts" that implied that children from single-parent homes — especially homes without a father — were doomed to a lower rate of success than their classmates from two-parent homes. The program emphasized that kids from fatherless homes were significantly more likely to exhibit behavioral disorders, drop-out of school or go to prison.
The Anti-Abortion Clinic Across the Street
Sources: Pentagon Group Finds There Is Minimal Risk to Lifting Gay Ban During War
Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe report for the Washington Post: "A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1."
How will We Know When the Internet Is Dead?
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "Are we moving towards two Internets? Or are we devolving towards an Internet along with something that superficially resembles the 'Net, but isn't? A small battalion of noted broadband engineers, developers, and academics have sent the Federal Communications Commission a thank you letter for simply noticing this dichotomy—an "open" version of cyberspace that treats all packets equally, versus an emergent space where ISPs will spawn a range of priority accessed products that the agency calls 'specialized services.'"
Bogus Neutrality Story Highlights Very Broken U.S. Press: Verizon talking point travels the world, nobody bothers to fact check
Karl Bode comments for Broadband/DSLReports.com: "As we mentioned the other day, Scott Cleland, a paid PR representative for major ISPs including AT&T and Verizon, began spreading a talking point claiming that network neutrality was the reason so many people lost recent elections. Cleland's "evidence" was that every politician that signed a recent pledge to network neutrality by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) lost their race. The talking point quickly circulated around countless major news outlets as truth, despite the fact that if you actually looked at voting results and other "pledges," it was perfectly clear that neutrality had little to nothing to do with election losses."
Comcast Control of NBC Will Add $2 Billion to Consumers' Bills, Group Says
Todd Shields reports for Bloomberg: "Comcast Corp.’s purchase of NBC Universal would add at least $2.4 billion to consumers’ pay- television bills over nine years because the combined company would gain power to raise prices, a cable-industry group said today. The enlarged Comcast might demand that customers pay more for NBC programming, and charge more in markets where it has a regional sports network, the American Cable Association said in an e-mailed news release. The Pittsburgh-based group says it represents almost 900 small- and medium-sized cable companies."