Happy Sunday everyone. I hope that you all had a good weekend. Even on a lazy Sunday, there’s still plenty of news that doesn’t have to conform to the Primary horse race that the media loves to cover. Here are today’s batch of stories.
Update on Occupy DC: Agent Provocateur This is an update on the ongoing controversy that happened yesterday in DC. Patrick Howley, an editor at the conservative magazine The American Spectator, has announced that he infiltrated the Stop the Machine protest to discredit the movement for ‘journalistic reasons.’ He posted a blog for the American Spectator where he referred to the Air and Space Museum as ‘the scene of my crime.’ This raises real concerns whether the protest march would have attempted to enter the museum without Howley’s coaxing. His leadership role is clear because he was the first one into the museum. This biased, dishonest excuse for ‘journalism’ does more to discredit Howley and his tactics than the larger Stop the Machine and Occupy Movements.
The Mainstream Media Begins to Back OWS For quite a while, Occupy Wall Street has only been endorsed by liberal heroes like Michael Moore and Naomi Klein. This liberal support was tempered by the mainstream media’s mocking and derision. The New York Times’ evolution in their coverage of Occupy Wall Street and the larger 99 Percent Movement. Initially, on the 23rd of September, Ginia Bellafante put out an article that derided the protest as aimless and silly. It took a couple weeks, but finally the NYT put out an editorial that essentially agrees with the motivations for the protest… and actually back it up with facts and statistics. The Washington Post also had a column today calling for the Obama Administration to listen to and join the OWS movement. If media as mainstream and concerned with the Washington conventional wisdom can get behind this movement, the sky might be the limit. Populism is pretty damn popular.
Republicans Continue to Support Wall Street Over The People Remember when Rick Santorum said that he understood the motivation behind the OWS protesters and that, of course, Wall Street should pay for the consequences of their actions? Well, that didn’t become a trend by any means. Fire Dog Lake has accumulated a few of the recent quotes from Republican leaders denouncing the protest, notably House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Presidential front runner Herman Cain. I feel the need to comment on the success of Herman Cain. Are you serious? The pizza mogul and the guy who’s economic plan has a name (The 999 Plan), but no explanation or details as to what this radically new tax structure would be? Republicans must really hate Mormons to even be considering electing this guy. Anyway, beyond the quotes, there is a new ‘movement’ that is beginning from the Right. They call it the 53 Percent Movement, named for the 53 percent of people who pay income taxes. I find these tactics of painting the rich as small business owners so disgustingly inaccurate. Read the article in Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze, with several grains of salt. (Thanks to Carlos from The Progressive Playbook for pointing me to the article!)
Some Semblance of Sanity In California, Governor Jerry Brown has just signed the DREAM Act for the state. This act, which failed to pass federally last year, would make children of illegal immigrants eligible for financial aid for higher education. This is such an obviously reasonable step. Why would you punish children by not letting them go to college and get the education that would help them become both successful citizens and taxpayers? Successes like this or Vermont’s recent vote to start a single payer health insurance system show us that positive changes are possible legislatively – at the state level at least.
More Details on the Legal Memo for Awlaki Glenn Greenwald’s latest post on the al-Awlaki killing brought a new fact to my attention. The legal memo that justified the killing of Awlaki was drafted several months after Obama had already designated Awlaki for assassination. This makes it look even more dubious than it already had. Greenwald continues to describe the legal minutiae and explain why these explanations are wholly inadequate and the killing of Awlaki shouldn’t have been covered under the authorization of the War on Terror, thus it was illegal. It’s a bit dry in terms of a read, but very informative.
Thanks for reading and staying informed! Keep reading The Progressive Playbook and come back tomorrow for another Daily News Drop!
Sources: Fire Dog Lake, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Blaze, Digby’s Hullabaloo, Salon
Debt Ceiling Talks It seems that our country’s leaders have struck a deal! It’s not a great deal, and a lot of the damage has already been done as far as our reputation with the rest of the world, but it may save us from default. Of course, the House and Senate still have to vote on this plan, but we’re a step closer. It’s too bad that tomorrow is the deadline, so if this doesn’t go through, who knows what will happen. Also, check out this fun little word cloud, put together by The Daily Kos.
Torture or “Coercive Interrogation” Dahlia Lithwick wrote this really interesting article how former Bush Administration members still, today, view what they did regarding torture to be ok. In fact, they seem to feel that by stopping their torture program, the United Service was done some sort of disservice. This article uses their own words, and they speak very loudly.
The Lost Decade on Steroids This article outlines exactly why what the United States’ economy is going through right now is worse than Japan’s “lost decade” and how it paints a bleak picture for the future. It’s a really depressing read, but it’s honest, and it’s something we all should be aware of. Our elected leaders have proven that they fall short of what we need to get this country out of the economic mess that it’s in, so voters are the ones that can possibly change the direction we’re going by voting new, competent people into office, and the first step towards doing that is having knowledge of what’s going on.
Students Selling Themselves Ah yes, the dreaded student loan. Unfortunately, students today are graduating with higher debt than ever before, and with the way the economy has been going, many are having trouble them off. Loan companies really don’t make life easier for grads, and it’s a seemingly uphill (and crushing) battle for many people. Students are now turning to “Sugar Daddy” websites to find a way to pay for those loans, often selling their bodies, and at least their time, just to pay their debts back, which they incurred by daring to get an education. A sign of the times, I guess.
Si Se Puede! Today, Illinois took the bull by the horns and signed its own Dream Act, despite what the federal government did (or rather, didn’t do). In Chicago’s largely Latino neighborhood of Pilsen, the governor signed into law a bill that would enable grants to be given to undocumented children who complete three years and graduate from high school in this country. Good for them!
Students Getting Screwed Under Debt Deal Leave it to Congress to continue to screw the future of this country. As if loan debts aren’t bad enough, now this deal will make it HARDER for Students – but no revenue increases, right? God forbid we tax those yacht owners a little bit more. The state of our country is really disgusting.
How Abortion Caused the Debt Crisis Amanda Marcotte presents us with a really good article about how conservatives have tied women’s reproductive rights and freedoms to the Democratic party and the Federal Government. It’s a really interesting read, if not maddening.
That’s it for today – PLEASE come back tomorrow for more news in the Daily News Drop!
Sources: The Washington Post, Slate, Daily Kos, The Raw Story, Crooks and Liars, The Huffington Post, CNN, RHRealityCheck.com
This post is a part of the “What Democracy Looks Like” weekly column, which covers left-wing movements and activism. Formerly known as “The Active Left.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, and numbers of young undocumented immigrants are changing the meaning of what it is to be American.
Vargas, a renowned writer, shocked the country two weeks ago when he admitted he was an undocumented immigrant.
In his captivating essay, Vargas went into detail about his arrival to the United States. Also explained how people all around him helped him in what he considered his own Underground Railroad on his journey to an education and what led to his eventual success.
According to Vargas, his motive for coming out of the shadows was to push forward talks for immigration reform and to bring momentum to the DREAM Act.