DOJ Halts AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Today, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in federal court to halt AT&T’s $39 billion merger with T-Mobile. The department cited that a merger of the #2 and #4 biggest wireless providers would reduce competition, raise prices, and would violate US antitrust laws. This is fantastic news, because antitrust laws haven’t been enforced in nearly 30 years.
Dick Cheney is Infuriating While the former Vice President is on his book tour and taking credit for things that he has no business doing so (i.e. the Arab Spring), Dahlia Lithwick returns to the key point that everyone seems to be missing – he is a war criminal. Reading his memoir reminds us how important the rule of law is, not the silly debate wondering if torture works or not. If Cheney wants to have that argument, he should be able to – as long as the rightful charges have been brought against him.
Michael Vick and Prison Labor Yesterday, Michael Vick signed a $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Pretty impressive considering he’s two years removed from being incarcerated in a federal prison for dogfighting charges. Dave Zirin makes an important point in this narrative – when Vick was incarcerated in Leavenworth federal prison, he worked as a janitor for eleven cents an hour. This is a small window into a much larger problem. Prisoners are forced to work in jobs for a near slave wage. Regardless of what crimes a person might have committed, it is inhumane and should be illegal to pay them so little for any job.
Tim DeChristopher Speaks from Prison DeChristopher, who was sentenced to jail for two years earlier this year for posing as a bidder in a land auction as an act of civil disobedience, has sent a handwritten letter addressed to Grist’s Jennifer Prediger in which he explains his motivations and how his imprisonment is an attempt to quell dissent. You can feel DeChristopher’s passion in his writing, and I recommend reading this letter as a call to action.
Darrell Issa Determined to Defeat Unions Congressman Darrell Issa is heading a group of congressmen who are demonizing the National Labor Relations Board for having the gall to bring a lawsuit against Boeing for attempting to move their production from Washington to South Carolina to punish workers for striking – which is illegal. Truthout has an analysis of the overreach that Issa has taken to this point. Read it and share the message!
The Employment: Working for the Man Really interesting video posted by Common Dreams. It’s an Argentinian short film called El Empleo – or The Employment in English. It’s a surreal look into what having a job you hate feels like. Watch it to the end… it’s pretty powerful.
Pretty Girls don’t do Homework, and Other Gender Stereotypes This was particularly infuriating. JCPenny’s had a shirt for sale for girls 7-16 that said ‘I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.’ The product description was, ‘Who has time to do homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out?’ Get it?! Pretty girls can’t (and shouldn’t) be doing homework because they should be dumb as a rock! Also, the shirt is on sale for $9.99! JCPenny’s has taken the shirt off its website due to pressure and issued an apology. Jezebel treats this story with just as much respect as it deserves… and points out other questionable messages.
And now we conclude the post with a happier story to lighten the mood…
Dan Choi Trial Put on Hold Temporarily Choi’s trial has been put on hold after a judge has allowed Choi’s defense of ‘Vindictive Prosecution’ by the government. There will be a 10 day hold in which the defense will be able to assemble and present evidence that the Federal Government has singled out Lt. Dan Choi because of his vocal opposition to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and the military’s discrimination of LGBT individuals. The prosecution will fight this defense, but should they? At this point, they’re trying to punish Choi for being so vocal and silence future protesters. Kudos to U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola for accepting the defense (as of now, anyway)!
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Please read and share some of the other great posts on this site. Come back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Talking Points Memo, Think Progress, Slate, The Nation, Alternet, Truthout, Common Dreams, Jezebel, Metro Weekly
Wilkerson – “I am Willing to Testify” If Cheney’s Put on Trial Great segment on today’s Democracy Now. Based on the softball questions that Dick Cheney is facing on his press tour, Amy Goodman spoke to Glenn Greenwald and former Bush official Lawrence Wilkerson to get the truth out there – the media is ignoring the fact that Cheney is an admitted War Criminal. Wilkerson also dropped a bombshell – if the US or another country indicted Cheney on War Crime charges, he would be willing to testify in said trial.
The Paradox of Homeland Security Spending Glenn Greenwald weighs in on the problem that is Homeland Security spending. As a rule, funding can only rise or plateau because politicians would never allow themselves to be seen as opposed to homeland security. This is great news for the military-industrial complex but horrible news for America’s budget.
Former Romney Staffer Key Role in Islamophobia Movement Extrapolating from the Center for American Progress’ report on the funding of the Anti-Islam media push, Think Progress has found a connection – former Romney Staffer Chris Slick is heavily involved in the push to promote the lie that Sharia Law in invading this country. There’s a video at the end of the story detailing the U.S./Sharia Law connection that Fox News is desperately trying to legitimize.
Exxon Wins Access to Arctic to Drill Exxon Mobil is ecstatic that they won the bidding war to drill in a newly opened area in the Arctic Ocean from a Russian company. One thing that the media is missing in this analysis is why this area is now open to be drilled in. Enough sea ice melted to allow drilling access. Why did the sea ice melt? Global warming. Get ready oil companies, more extracted oil will lead to more carbon emissions… which will lead to less sea ice and more drilling areas.
Virginia Attempting to Make Abortion Practically Illegal Depressing story from Kate Sheppard. Virginia is becoming the latest example of states finding ways to make abortion illegal while still technically complying with Roe v. Wade. Virginia’s tactic is regulating the dimensions of pre-op rooms and even hallways in a fashion that eliminates existing clinics that provide abortion. By creating these guidelines, they effectively shut down these clinics and reduce access of abortions to the state as a whole.
Rethinking the Charter School Paradigm For anyone who watched Waiting for Superman and found the argument that Teachers Unions were solely at fault for our failing schools, Slate’s commentary of Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare clearly speaks its thesis – charter schools are not the panacea that they are made out to be and in fact aren’t necessarily any better than public schools. There’s far too much in the article for me to describe them all here, just read the information and see if your mind is changed.
Fox Host to Bill Nye – “You’re Confusing our Viewers” Kudos to Bill Nye for having the constitution to continually going onto Fox and discussing Climate Change. I don’t really fault the host in this video clip, he’s just uninformed, not antagonistic. Mr. the Science Guy spoke clearly and conveyed that the science is settled on the matter of Global Warming. Watch the clip and be happy that we’ve got Bill Nye on our side.
Once again we conclude with a happier story to lighten the mood a bit…
Balancing or Bandwagoning With God? Very funny post from Foreign Policy. It looks at Michele Bachmann’s statement that the recent earthquake and hurricane were signs from God that we needed to cut spending in Washington. From there, the discussion moves to how best we would react to God’s signs if He were another country in a foreign relations standpoint. My International Politics professor would be proud that I still knew what balancing and bandwagoning was! This whole post, including the possibility of a realpolitik temporary alliance with Satan, was quite enjoyable. Read and enjoy.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Alex will be taking a little break from the Daily News Drops, so I will be putting these out seven days a week. I hope you’ll stay with me! Come back tomorrow for more news, as well as reading and sharing other posts on The Progressive Playbook.
Sources: Democracy Now, Salon, Think Progress, New York Times, Mother Jones, Slate, Talking Points Memo, Foreign Relations
Poor children go fight in rich men’s wars. This phrase might be familiar. It turns out that most US Americans tend not to think of themselves as rich or poor, even if they are. Thus, this phrase has little influence on most the American psyche.
You may have lost a loved one in a recent war, or six times more likely, you may have a loved one seriously wounded in said war. If you are Iraqi, Pakistani or Afghani, you are 474 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured. Historically, the ratio was closer to 1 to 1 in a more even match.
It’s easy to fight other countries now. The United States has become Billy Badass. In the World Wars, one of the most dangerous professions was pilot. Pilots were brave men who flew behind enemy lines, fighting other pilots and dodging anti-air weapons.
This has totally changed.