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
Cameron Begins Crackdown on Riots In response to the violence that has exploded from Tottenham in London, David Cameron has looked into extreme measures – limiting social media, curfews, banning face masks. Up to this point, he has been unwilling to reassess the harsh austerity measures that have further impoverished those who began these riots while simultaneously weakening the police force charged with keeping order.
Fighting Turmoil with Beach Volleyball After four days of rioting, you would think that the government would have their undivided attention on quelling this violence and fixing the problem. They did manage to have a beach volleyball exhibition on imported sand in the city of London. This was in preparation of the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in London. These two events – the volleyball and the riots – are a clear example as to where England’s priorities are.
GOP Presidential Debate in Iowa Bachmann, Romney, Cain, Santorum, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Huntsman and Paul went at it in Iowa to prove who can be the most conservative and heartless. Think Progress had a live blog that both commentated and fact checked. Great way catch up if you missed the debate.
Recall Fight Continues in Wisconsin with Walker Pro Labor groups were unable to successfully replace enough Republican state senators to flip the Wisconsin senate from Republican to Democratic. There is still a path to repeal the law that stripped public unions of their bargaining rights – a recall of Governor Scott Walker. The governor was ineligible for recall up to this point because he hadn’t held office long enough to be recalled. Andy Kroll, from Mother Jones, writes that the Pro Union supporters should feel optimistic by Tuesday’s results and should want another statewide fight.
Pro-Labor Victories Nationwide Alternet put out a list of eight victories that Unions have had recently. After coming up short in the Wisconsin Senate Recall, it’s easy to feel pessimistic. But, after reading these eight success stories, there are definitely lessons to be learned for both unions and their supporters.
Romney – “Corporations are People, my Friends” Before the debate tonight, Mitt Romney had a bit of a gaffe. In front of a rowdy Iowa crowd, he gave his opinion on Corporate Personhood. This is an unprecedented step for someone seeking higher office. No legislature has ever voted to give corporations access to the Bill of Rights. This ‘right’ has been solely created by conservatives on the Supreme Court. The most heinous of these decisions was the Citizens United decision of two years ago which ruled that because corporations are ‘artificial persons’ and have access to all the rights that an individual has, their right to free speech allows them to spend any amount of money that they would like in the election process. The ability to spend an unlimited amount in effect drowns out the individual – because the corporation has more ‘speech’ (money). Romney’s slip-up is a window where you can see who he would fight for in his administration.
Hate Crime or Race Card? The answer is hate crime. James Anderson, an African-American, was leaving his job. A car full of white men was filmed running over Mr. Anderson and killing him after an audible cry of ‘White Power’ was heard from the car. The fact that the families of the indicted hate criminals are claiming reverse racism makes my blood boil.
Once again we end the post with a happier story…
Elizabeth Warren Likely Running for Senate Elizabeth Warren, creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and tireless fighter for the people against greedy banks, is likely planning a run for Senate in Massachusetts against Scott Brown next year. Normally, putting all your effort into electing an individual and hoping that they will fight for your principles can backfire (i.e. Obama). But, Warren has so fought for the people in ways that no one else has been willing to do, that I see her as the exception. I would love to see her raising hell in the Senate.
Thanks again for reading and staying informed! Keep coming to The Progressive Playbook for great commentary that isn’t beholden to any corporate overlord.
Sources: Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Think Progress, Mother Jones, Alternet, Huffington Post, Feministe, Firedoglake
Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Continues Because of our media’s short attention span, the calamity that was the near meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is very nearly forgotten. The problem remains, however. A recent test has shown not only a lethal level of radiation, but the highest recorded amount to date. It appears that the leak is anything but contained.
Right Wing Extremists Inspire Norway Killer Looking back at the tragedy in Oslo, Norway, it seems next to impossible to try and understand the motivations of Anders Brevik. We do have a rare insight into his psyche, a 1,500 page manifesto that he wrote in which he explains his political reasons for his killing spree. Blaming the downfall of Norway and Europe on the Feminist Movement and Multiculturalism, Brevik depended heavily on American Islamophobic writers, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Pam Geller. As easy as it is to write Brevik off as a lone nut, it’s imperative to look at what this hateful language can inspire. Freedom of Speech is a wonderful Constitutional protection, but it does not extend to calls to violence.
Koch Brothers-Funded Group Attempt to Suppress Voters Americans for Prosperity, an organization best known for their bankrolling of the initial Tea Party protests in the Summer of 2009, is heavily funded by the incredibly wealthy and conservative Koch Brothers. They are back in the news in the highly contentious Wisconsin Recall election. There have been reports of absentee ballots sent to registered Democrats by Americans for Prosperity that have the incorrect return date on them – a date two days after the election is over. This appears to be anything but an honest mistake, and Wisconsin Democrats have filed a complaint because of this act of voter suppression.
Israel Offers Border Talks… If PA Drops UN Bid The Palestinian Authority is currently waiting for a vote by the United Nations that would recognize an independent Palestinian state. This is completely unacceptable to both Israel and the United States. To try and coax the PA out of their search for UN approval, Israel stated that they would be willing to hold negotiations if the PA drops their petition to the United Nations. This is nothing more than blackmail. The UN would assuredly vote in favor of the independent Palestinian state, and Israel appears to be willing to do anything to prevent that from happening.
Obama’s Obsession with Independents, who aren’t Actually that Independent A really interesting piece by The New Republic. Statistics tell us that Independents are large percentage of the electorate, and look to be the portion that swing elections to either Republicans or Democrats. Because of this, Barack Obama has had an almost unhealthy obsession with appealing to Independents – always rhetorically pushing for ‘compromise’ and ‘bi-partisanship.’ When you delve further into the actual beliefs of these Independents, they really are individuals who have an ideological preference but just don’t have a party label. Thus, playing to center doesn’t actually do anything to endear Obama to them. Actually choosing a side and governing with convictions would be a much more effective strategy.
Romney Announces Legal Advisor – Robert Bork Robert Bork, a conservative Folk Hero, was a nominee for the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan that was rejected by the Senate for his extreme conservative views. Mitt Romney, trying to increase his credibility to conservatives, has made Bork an Advisor to his campaign. Some of Bork’s views – he thought that the Civil Rights act a ‘principle of unsurpassed ugliness,’ favors bans on both pornography and contraception as well as acceptance of gender discrimination – are very concerning. They not only remind you why Bork wasn’t confirmed to be in the Supreme Court, but also should concern you that this man will be the individual advising Romney on judicial nominations.
Why Abstinence-Only Doesn’t Work Ohio teens are given Jolly Ranchers, and then told not to eat them – that they will taste better if they wait to eat them. So begins abstinence-only sex education. One out of four Americans are taught using this method. Rather than explain what safe sex is and why it’s important, teenagers are told to just not do it at all. Unsurprisingly, telling teenagers not to do something isn’t that effective. Rather than metaphorically sticking your fingers in you ears and pretending that teens aren’t having sex, actually educating them how to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs would much more likely achieve the desired result.
Why The NBA Lockout is Here to Stay With the NFL ending their 18 week lockout, it’s easy to forget that another major sport is also embroiled in a labor dispute. The NBA remains in lockout and an end does not look to be in sight. One major roadblock is the unquestionable force that is NBA Commissioner David Stern. Ruling with almost complete authority, owners and players alike seem to be afraid of him. His intransigence when it comes to what will eventually be what will save the league, revenue sharing, might be the cause of the end of his de facto dictatorship of the league. Until this power relationship is changed, no progress seems possible.
Thanks again for reading and staying informed. Keep reading and sharing all of the blogs on the site and I will be back again tomorrow with more news!
Sources: Slate, Alternet, The Raw Story, Al Jazeera English, The New Republic, Think Progress, The Nation, Edge of Sports