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May 08-10, 2009


Government Could Destroy Records in Hundreds of Guantanamo Cases

A stockpile of documents about hundreds of Guantanamo Bay detainees, some written by the prisoners themselves, could be destroyed under a little-known provision of a federal court order the Bush administration obtained in 2004.  http://www.propublica.org/article/government-could-destroy-records-in-hundreds-of-guantanamo-cases-507

The Climate Debate Heats Up

A stalled clean energy bill needs to be revised, and quickly, if there is a chance for comprehensive climate change legislation to be passed by this Congress. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/opinion/08fri1.html

U.S. Debt on Default Path, by W Joseph Stroupe

Big government rescues on Wall Street and elsewhere, domestic stimulus plans, toxic asset replacement plans, and new government programs to address a wide range of other longstanding problems are causing the United States budget deficit to skyrocket. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/KE07Dj02.html

Stressing the Positive, by Paul Krugman

Washington has made a decision to muddle through the financial crisis, hoping that the banks can earn their way back to health.


Stanford Alumni Call for Condi Rice War Crimes Probe

During the Vietnam War, Stanford students succeeded in banning secret military research from campus. Last weekend, 150 activist alumni and present Stanford students targeted Condoleezza Rice for authorizing torture and misleading Americans into the illegal Iraq war. http://www.truthout.org/050709S

Corruption Is Dangerous to Your Health, by Robert Borosage

This isn't about America being a "center-right country," the myth that pundits still peddle about the American people. This is about Congress being bought and sold, pure and simple. Each night, Washington slurps on political fund-raisers. Each day, the deals get cut; the favors get done. Now with Republicans lining up lemming-like to obstruct anything Obama, Congress can be bought on the cheap. The lobbies have only to enlist (suborn, bribe, seduce, finance) a few of what the press insists on describing as "moderate Democrats" in the Senate to stop any reform they don't like. http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009051906/corruption-dangerous-your-health

Europe's Economies: A New Pecking Order

For years leaders in continental Europe have been told by the Americans, the British and even this newspaper that their economies are sclerotic, overregulated and too state-dominated, and that to prosper in true Anglo-Saxon style they need a dose of free-market reform. But the global economic meltdown has given them the satisfying triple whammy of exposing the risks in deregulation, giving the state a more important role and (best of all) laying low les Anglo-Saxons. http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13610767&source=hptextfeature

Senators Ponder the Future of Journalism

A string of U.S. senators delivered so many lofty odes to the American newspaper at a "Future of Journalism" hearing this week, it almost made me blush. When a Republican senator suggests you're something like a bulwark of democracy, you've got to smile.


KIM LONGINOTTO: A Film Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art

One of the foremost documentary filmmakers working today, Kim Longinotto is renowned internationally for her perceptive and complex portraits and her sensitive and compassionate treatment of unusual topics. This exhibition presents fourteen documentary works tackling a range of fascinating subjects from Japanese women wrestlers to divorce in Iran. The exhibition opens with the New York premiere of Rough Aunties (2009), winner of the Best Documentary, World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival and scheduled for broadcast on HBO in 2010. http://www.wmm.com/longinotto/


May 07, 2009


The Torture Debate: The Lawyers

Bar association disciplinary committees are not set up to do investigations into torture, but the use of documentary evidence is enough to proceed. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/opinion/07thu2.html

Who Will Protect the Forests?

President Obama should intervene to save the rule prohibiting commercial activity in nearly 60 million roadless acres of the national forests.


We Need a Green New Deal, by Norman Solomon

In the Arctic, sea ice is melting. In the United States, houses are foreclosing. And in Washington, the Senate is becoming a real-life Bermuda Triangle for progressive agendas. http://www.truthout.org/050609R?n

VIDEO: Bank Regulator William K. Black Interviewed

Famed bank regulator William K. Black, a consumer-protection hero of the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, speaks with The Young Turks radio show about the massive banking fraud perpetrated on the American people and the futility of the Obama administration's bank rescue plan. http://www.truthout.org/video/050609C?n

Obama Administration Spearheads Wage Cuts for American Workers

The wage cuts imposed on auto workers at Chrysler and General Motors at the insistence of the Obama administration demonstrate the class strategy that American big business as a whole is carrying out: to impose a reduction in the living standards of American workers on a scale unprecedented since the Great Depression. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/may2009/wage-m05.shtml

Australia's Chinese Entanglement

For all China’s commercial charms, Australia still looks to America as Asia’s sheriff


How to Protect Yourself from a Falling Dollar

If you believe that printing and/or borrowing $13 TRILLION dollars could just be, as the old Levi’s ads used to say as a euphemism for “fat”, a “skosh” more inflationary, then I have a relatively conservative way for you to protect yourself, and perhaps profit, from that sad fact. http://seekingalpha.com/article/135988-how-to-protect-yourself-from-a-falling-dollar

The Torture Debate: The Missing Voices

While the personal accounts from prisoners subjected to brutality are being suppressed, culpable ex-officials are busily trying to rewrite history.


Cashing In on ‘Government Sachs’, by Robert Scheer

We are so inured to tales of business corruption that even a devastating exposé in The Wall Street Journal no longer shocks us. The fact that the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank made millions off his secret purchase of Goldman Sachs stock, "in violation of Federal Reserve policy," as the WSJ put it, at a time when the N.Y. Fed was ostensibly overseeing the antics of the Wall Street firm, has barely registered a blip of outrage. http://www.truthout.org/050609C?n


May 06, 2009


Buying Brand Obama, by Chris Hedges

Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090503_buying_brand_obama/

Making the Punishment Fit the Crime

The Supreme Court has rightly called a halt to charging immigrants who applied for jobs using made-up Social Security numbers with felony identity theft. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/opinion/06wed2.html

A Complicated Question, by Maureen Dowd

Elizabeth Edwards has dragged her husband back into the public square for a flogging on "Oprah" and in Time and at bookstores near you, but what does she hope to gain? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/opinion/06dowd.html

Why Obama is Taking on Corporate Tax Havens, by Robert Reich

Why, one may ask, is Obama taking on yet another huge fight by taking aim at foreign tax havens? Yes, it's unfair that multinationals pay an average tax rate of only 2 percent on their foreign revenues, and it's unfair that some wealthy Americans are avoiding taxes altogether by parking their fortunes abroad. But, hey, these have been true for decades. So why take them on now, when the President is also taking on universal health insurance and global warming, and trying to get the economy going again? http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2009/05/why-obama-is-taking-on-corporate-tax.html

The Need to Hold the GOP Accountable, by Robert Parry

Perhaps it was the image of Jeb Bush expounding on the future of the Republican Party or Condoleezza Rice channeling her inner Richard Nixon with the imperial logic that “by definition, if it was authorized by the President, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.” http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/050509.html


May 05, 2009


Bailout Justice, by John Ashcroft

The government must hold accountable any individuals who acted illegally in this financial meltdown, while preserving the viability of the companies that received bailout funds or stimulus money.


Falling Wage Syndrome, by Paul Krugman

Even if the recession is declared over, there still are not enough jobs -- which is a recipe for continuing wage cuts, which will in turn keep the economy weak. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/opinion/04krugman.html

The Cost of Staying Home Sick

If President Obama is serious about responsible action to control infectious disease threats, he should back a law to grant Americans at least seven paid sick days a year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/opinion/05tue3.html

The Metropolitan Museum Looks Anew at Americana

After two years of construction and renovation, the museum's American Wing now houses marbles, bronzes and other pieces that can be examined up close. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/arts/design/05met.html


May 04, 2009


Why Latin America's Left Keeps Winning

Washington's foreign policy establishment has been proven wrong. Latin America is more stable and democratic than ever


Record Amount of Supercomputer Time Means New Science

The Department of Energy is releasing a record amount of supercomputing time, 1.3 billion processor hours, which has astrophysicists, biologists and everyone in between drooling in anticipation. Starting in 2010, some of them will have the chance to run the biggest and most intricate simulations ever, creating experimental galaxies, plasma fusion reactors and global climates to help solve some of science’s most complex problems. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/04/supercomputers-2/

After the Great Recession

President Obama discusses how his policies on schools, energy and health care might change daily life in America. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03Obama-t.html

Going Dutch

How an American in Holland learned to love the European welfare state.


Justice Souter Departs

The next Supreme Court justice should demonstrate the same commitment to core constitutional values as the man giving up the seat.


A Nation of Typhoid Marys, by Nicholas D. Kristof

The flu crisis should be a wake-up call, a reminder that one of the nation's vulnerabilities to the possible pandemic is our deeply flawed medical system. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/opinion/03kristof.html

An Affordable Salvation, by Paul Krugman

Gradually implementing an emissions-limitation program now might actually help the economy recover from its current slump.



May 01-03, 2009


VIDEO: Dr. Horowitz: Anglo-American Vaccine Industry Behind Swine Flu Outbreak

This unprecedented H1N1-H5N1 flu outbreak implicates the Ango-American Vaccine Pipeline, says world leading consumer health protector, Dr. Leonard Horowitz. Consider the skyrocketing stock values of Novavax, Inc., precipitated by dozens of alleged flu deaths in Mexico. Then investigate the leading Anglo-American network of genetic engineers manipulating, mutating, and distributing these viruses. The evidence compels you, for the benefit of public health and safety to seriously consider, even decree, a conspiracy to commit genocide, according to this Harvard trained expert in emerging diseases. http://republicbroadcasting.org/?p=1623

The Amtrak Connection, by Gail Collins

The importance of Arlen Specter's defection, with his unparalleled instinct for self-preservation, is that he became a Democrat because Pennsylvania likes the Democratic agenda better.


Dick Cheney’s Torture Hypocrisy, by Joseph C. Wilson IV

Dick Cheney has called for declassifying memos he claims will vindicate the Bush administration’s torture policy. Now former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV urges the former vice president to extend his demand for transparency to his still-secret testimony in the Scooter Libby obstruction of justice case. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-26/freedom-of-disinformation/

Calls For a 'Truth Commission' Will Lead to a Whitewash: We Must Keep Pressing for Prosecutions, by Michael Ratner

Today I awoke to read that a number of human rights type groups have called on President Obama to create a commission of accountability to investigate and report publicly on torture and the cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees. There is not a word in the petition about criminal prosecutions of the torture team. Yet, I know that some of these groups would say they still want prosecutions. Sadly, this call and a commission if set up, would almost guarantee that prosecutions won't happen. http://www.alternet.org/rights/138049/calls_for_a_'truth_commission'_will_lead_to_a_whitewash%3A_we_must_keep_pressing_for_prosecutions/

Obama Stands Firm on Torture, Goes Weak on Accountability, by John Nichols

Returning again and again to the theme that allowing torture would "undermine who we are," President Obama used an otherwise tepid press conference marking the 100th day of his presidency to aggressively reject the argument that waterboarding or other "enhanced interrogation techniques" should be used by the United States. But he avoided questions about holding members of the Bush-Cheney administration to account for sanctioning the use of those techniques. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/state_of_change/431524/obama_stands_firm_on_torture_goes_weak_on_accountability

New Works by Photography's Old Masters

A look inside Robert Capa's "Mexican Suitcase," photography from the Spanish Civil War that was long thought to be lost.



April 30, 2009


A Challenge to Voting Rights

The Supreme Court should not take away the power of Congress to protect minority voters from harassment and disenfranchisement.


Vice's Secret Vices

Dick Cheney, our former vice president, continues his 24/7 tour justifying the enhanced interrogation techniques of high value detainees.


Run Away to the Circus? No Need. It's Staying Here.

Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based circus empire, will establish a permanent presence in New York City next year. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/theater/29circ.html


April 29, 2009


The Criminalization of Journalism

Air France Flight 438, from Paris, was to land at Mexico City at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. Five hours before landing, the captain's voice announced that U.S. authorities had prohibited the plane from flying over U.S. territory. The explanation: among the passengers aboard was a person who was not welcome in the United States for reasons of national security. http://progreso-weekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=922&Itemid=1

Canadians Conclude Americans Largely Silent as Their Nation is Systematically Destroyed

An article by J.B. Williams in the Canadian Free Press paints a stark portrait of the actions of the current U.S. government -- actions that have been met with silence by the bulk of the U.S. populace. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/28/Canadians-Conclude-Americans-Largely-Silent-as-Their-Nation-is-Systematically-Destroyed.aspx

Swine Flu: Bringing Home the Bacon

As the world gears up once again for a flu pandemic that may or may not arrive (it actually seems possible this time), we might want to remember some of the lessons of the last flu scare. One of these is that there are winners as well as losers in every high-profile outbreak of infectious disease. First and foremost among them, of course, is Big Pharma, which can always be counted on to have its hand out wherever human misery presents an opportunity to rake in some cash. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/04/swine-flu-bringing-home-bacon

Shareholders Be Damned!

How the Washington gang brought Ken Lewis to heel and forced Bank of America to go through with its acquisition of loss-ridden Merrill Lynch. If everything's coming up roses, why are corporate insiders selling?


VIDEO: A Conversation With Rupert Murdoch


Barack Obama: Another Captured Pawn of Goldman Sachs' Wall Street

In 2006, The Los Angeles Times did a story entitled, “Goldman Sachs Rules The World,” pointing out that former President Bush’s team of economic experts were basically a team of former Goldman Sachs executives.  That list included Henry Paulson, who ran the Treasury Department and Josh Bolten, the former chief of staff among many others.  The article stated, “Not since John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil -- and maybe not even then -- has one firm exerted such muscle over national economic and fiscal policy.” http://www.marketrap.com/

Scientists Find 'Baffling' Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

Children who live in homes with vinyl floors, which can emit chemicals called phthalates, are more likely to have autism, according to new research. The study is among the first to find an apparent connection between an environmental chemical and autism. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/25/Scientists-Find-Baffling-Link-between-Autism-and-Vinyl-Flooring.aspx

The New Swine Flu

While health officials scramble to keep up with the virus, it is disquieting that the Obama administration has few of its top health officials in place.


When Banks Discriminate

The Supreme Court should allow state banking officials to investigate discriminatory lending by nationally chartered banks.


Workers Walk the Plank, by Bob Herbert

While Wall Street is breaking out the Champagne, the rest of the economy is beyond terrible, and will be for the foreseeable future.


Globalism Goes Viral, by David Brooks

Swine flu isn't only a health emergency. It's a test for how we're going to organize the 21st century. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/opinion/28brooks.html


April 28, 2009


The Capital Well is Running Dry and Some Economies Will Wither

The world is running out of capital. We cannot take it for granted that the global bond markets will prove deep enough to fund the $6 trillion or so needed for the Obama fiscal package, U.S.-European bank bail-outs, and ballooning deficits almost everywhere.


Reclaiming America's Soul, by Paul Krugman

The only way for the nation to regain its moral compass is to investigate how the government's interrogation abuses happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/opinion/24krugman.html

The Banality of Bush White House Evil, by Frank Rich

Torture was a tool in the campaign to exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would support a war that had nothing to do with Al Qaeda.


Time to Come Clean, by Nicholas D. Kristof

President Obama worries that a commission to investigate torture and tally its costs would distract from focusing on the economy, but the truth is the opposite. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/opinion/26kristof.html

Over the Limit

If President Obama is really serious about credit card relief, he could pressure Congress to end some of the banking industry's worst tricks right now. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/opinion/25sat1.html

The Siegelman Case

Attorney General Eric Holder should investigate the case against Don Siegelman, the Alabama governor convicted in 2006 on dubious corruption charges, for prosecutorial misconduct. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/25/opinion/25sat4.html

Try Some Quid Pro Nil

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ethics agenda should include legislation to bar lawmakers from taking contributions from anyone who benefits from their budget earmarks. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/opinion/27mon3.html

Five Questions for Robert Reich

In our lead story this week we say that the worst thing for the world economy would be to assume the worst is over. In order to reinforce our gloom, Democracy in America recently talked to another measured pessimist, Robert Reich. Mr Reich served as secretary of labour under Bill Clinton and is currently a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/04/five_questions_for_robert_reic.cfm


April 24-27, 2009


In the Spirit of Openness

The public must learn more about the Bush administration's interrogation programs to ensure that these abuses will not be repeated.


The Good Lobbyist

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, should be nominated as the administration's global human rights chief, though he is a registered lobbyist. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/opinion/23thu3.html

My Tortured Decision, by Ali Soufan

A former F.B.I. agent who questioned Abu Zubaydah in 2002 says the terrorist operative provided important intelligence under traditional interrogation methods. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/opinion/23soufan.html

How Things Change, by Paul Craig Roberts

Anyone who has been around for a while and who pays any attention to the news sees many disturbing changes.  Recently, I read a report that two children, ages seven and eight, had an altercation at school during recess.  They were carted off in handcuffs by the police.  The teachers or principal had dealt with the boys’ disagreement by calling in the law. http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/index.php/2009/04/20/how-things-change-out-from-under-us/


April 23, 2009


'Who Is Mark Twain?'

Previous uncollected stories and essays drawn mostly from his papers and correspondence show why he is so beloved.


Obama Feels the Love at the CIA, by Mike Madden

Were they clapping for the new president at Langley because he won't punish them, or because they don't have to torture anyone anymore? http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/04/21/torture/

The Inevitable Future: Peak Oil and Socialism

Worldwide peak oil is not a theory.  It has already occurred and the 2008 oil price shock represented the first real test of what can happen.  The after effect of the sudden oil price rise was so devastating that it temporarily crippled the entire world and was the primary trigger to what would become a financial meltdown. http://www.marketrap.com/article/view_article/9177/the-inevitable-future-peak-oil-and-socialism

Robots are Narrowing the Gap With Humans

Thanks to exponential increases in computer power — which is roughly doubling every two years — robots are getting smarter, more capable, more like flesh-and-blood people. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/100/story/66530.html

New York's $122 Billion Quagmire

The state should prohibit individuals or businesses that contribute to comptroller candidates from then participating in the investment of the state pension fund. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/opinion/22wed1.html


April 22, 2009


House Republicans Bring Strange Theories and Wacky Witnesses to Climate Hearings

Democratic leaders in the House are pushing hard to get a comprehensive climate and energy bill passed by summer, with discussion of their draft bill slated to begin this week. But at hearings designed to discuss the particulars of climate policy, Republican representatives and their witnesses have been bogging down the proceedings with skeptical rants and cockamamy theories. http://www.grist.org/article/2009-04-20-house-republicans-bring/

GOP's Civil Liberties Hypocrisy, by Nat Parry

Just as Republicans have refashioned themselves as fiscal conservatives in the age of Obama, apparently forgetting that they allowed a budget surplus to be transformed into a record deficit while George W. Bush was President, they now seem to be taking up the cause of civil liberties – at least as far as right-wing groups are concerned. http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/042009a.html

It Pays to Invest in Immigrants

The United States stands to profit economically from investing in immigrants, who help states thrive by paying taxes, exercising their buying power, and filling key posts in important industries, writes Pramila Jayapal, head of a Seattle-based democracy and justice group.


Inflation is Looming on America's Horizon

The U.S. last week showed its first signs of deflation for 55 years, prompting inevitable fears of further deflation in the future. Yet the primary reason for the negative rate of U.S. inflation is the dramatic 30 per cent fall of commodity prices. That will not happen again. http://money.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=803467

Children in Peril, by Bob Herbert

In a toxic mix for children, poverty and family homelessness are rising, the quality of public education is deteriorating and legions of people are losing access to health care. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/opinion/21herbert.html

Is There Any Wonder Some People Snap, by Dave Sirota

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn't yet matured past gun control and video games. http://www.alternet.org/story/137386/is_there_any_wonder_some_people_snap_like_in_binghamton_and_at_columbine_/


April 21, 2009


In Quotes: George W. Bush on Torture

From a commitment to the worldwide elimination of torture to a defence of waterboarding: President Bush in his own words


Erin Go Broke, by Paul Krugman

The slogan "Erin go bragh," used as a declaration of Irish identity, could also be read as a prediction for the world economy.


Woody Allen v. American Apparel Inc. - A Sign of Desperate Times

Woody Allen was an easy target for the clothing maker.  The Woody Allen fan demographic is the complete opposite of what American Apparel (APP) goes after, so why not start a war to get attention?  Woody Allen, the peculiar artist that he is, is well known for staying away from Hollywood and commercial promotion.  Surely, the advertising staff at American Apparel were aware of the need to license Mr. Allen's image when they plastered giant billboards of him dressed as a Hassidic Jew from his award winning movie, Annie Hall. http://www.marketrap.com/

The Book Chavez Gave to Obama

The 13 American colonies weren’t exploited and subjugated like Latin America was because they weren’t as resource-rich and economically important to the European powers, says the book presented by Hugo Chávez to President Obama over the weekend. http://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/the-book-chvez-gave-to-obama/

Why We Should Banish Larry Summers from Public Life, by Naomi Klein

I vote to banish Larry Summers. Not from the planet. That wouldn't be nice. Just from public life. The criticisms of President Obama's chief economic adviser are well known. He's too close to Wall Street. And he's a frightful bully, of both people and countries. Still, we're told we shouldn't care about such minor infractions. Why? Because Summers is brilliant, and the world needs his big brain. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/20-8

Is Goldman Sachs’ ‘Earnings Spike’ Based on Government Handouts

EPS: $3.23/share due primarily to Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities which generated record quarterly net revenues of $6.56 billion, 34% higher than its previous record, more than double the first quarter of 2008, "reflecting strength across most businesses, including record results in interest rate products and commodities." Wonder if GS's AIG CDS unwind trades falls into this group? (never mind, that is rhetorical) http://seekingalpha.com/article/130821-goldman-releases-earnings-early-has-world-gone-crazy

Why We're Not at the Beginning of the End, and Probably Not Even At the End of the Beginning, by Robert Reich

Are we at the beginning of the end? Mortgage interests are now so low (the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages was 4.87 percent Thursday, slightly higher than the 4.78 percent last week, but still the lowest level since 1971) that President Obama has begun urging Americans to refinance their homes so they can save money and start spending again. Presidential aide Larry Summers says the country is likely to see positive economic signs in the next few months.


Anatomy of Bush's Torture 'Paradigm', by Ray McGovern

The prose of the recently leaked report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on torture seems colorless. It is at the same time obscene — almost pornographic. http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/041409a.html

Politico: Palin 'Most Untrustworthy' Figure in American Politics

A new Politico poll released Tuesday finds that President Barack Obama enjoys broad support -- some 66 percent trust Obama a "great deal" or "some" -- and is named the most popular figure in politics today. http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Politico_Palin_most_untrustworthy_figure_in_0414.html


April 20, 2009


The Torturers' Manifesto

The Obama team must investigate the lawyers who wrote the memos on prisoner interrogation, which were written not to set legal limits, but to provide legal immunity for illegal and immoral acts.


Suppressing the Vote in Florida

The Florida Legislature is at it again -- threatening to pass bills that would make it harder for eligible voters to register and vote.


Obama and the New World Order, by Wilmer Leon III

In the 20th and early 21st centuries, a number of world leaders, such as Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger and Gordon Brown, have used the term "new world order" to refer to a new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. When President Bush 41 used the term, his phrasing sent shock waves through the Christian and secular hard-right world, since for decades the phrase has been used to represent a collectivist One World Government. http://www.truthout.org/041909B


April 17-19, 2009


Watch Out This Weekend

Martin Armstrong's story reads like a thriller. He was a globe-trotting and extremely contrarian investment manager, who in the late 1990s was accused of misappropriating Japanese investors of some $700 million in some kind of Ponzi scheme. http://www.moneyweek.com/news-and-charts/a-forecaster-you-cant-afford-to-ignore-14722.aspx

A 'Copper Standard' for the World's Currency System?

Hard money enthusiasts have long watched for signs that China is switching its foreign reserves from U.S. Treasury bonds into gold bullion. They may have been eyeing the wrong metal.


Geithner’s Biggest Problem Is Dollar, Not China, by William Pesek

It’s a bit rich for U.S. politicians to berate Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for not labeling China as a currency manipulator. Perhaps Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, hasn’t seen a newspaper in the last 12 months. With near-zero interest rates, the likely issuance of trillions of dollars of government debt and massive taxpayer-funded bailouts, the U.S. will soon make China look like a manipulation piker.


Wells Fargo’s Profit Looks Too Good to Be True, by Jonathan Weil

Wells Fargo & Co. stunned the world last week by proclaiming it had just finished its most profitable quarter ever. This will go down as the moment when lots of investors decided it was safe again to place blind faith in a big bank’s earnings.  Dig below the surface of Wells’s numbers, though, and there are reasons to be wary. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a6sv0hG.nW7g

The Battle Over Student Lending

President Obama's plan to allow students to borrow directly from the federal government, not private lenders, should be embraced by Congress.


Obama's Reality Check, by Mark Weisbrot

Many people, including most of the presidents and leaders of South America, were hoping that President Obama would initiate a serious change in US-Latin American relations, after the low point reached during the Bush years. Change will certainly come – it is happening every week - but there are few if any signs that the initiative will come from the north. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/apr/15/obama-summit-americas

The State of Immigrant U.S.A.

In the absence of immigration reform at the federal level, states are implementing their own laws—for better and worse. New Haven, Conneticut has granted residents municipal ID cards, making it easier for undocumented immigrants who don’t have identification to run ordinary errands like opening bank accounts. However, other states are enforcing harsh treatment. http://colorlines.com/article.php?ID=511

A Clear, Clean Water Act

The Obama team needs to get behind a bill to reinforce actions against developers who have been disturbing or plan to disturb once protected waters. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/opinion/17fri2.html

Economic Survivalists Take Root

When the economy started to squeeze the Wojtowicz family, they gave up vacation cruises, restaurant meals, new clothes and high-tech toys to become 21st-century homesteaders. http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2009-04-14-survivalistsinside14_N.htm


April 16, 2009


ACLU: Obama Administration May Destroy Torture Evidence

The Bush administration’s legacy of torture interrogation may dip further into obscurity if the Obama Administration authorizes the CIA to destroy evidence from interrogation “black sites” overseas. http://www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/39352prs20090413.html?s_src=RSS

The Bailout We Owe the Developing World, by James Ridgeway

One outcome of the G-20 meeting (as I wrote yesterday) was an agreement to earmark as much as $1 trillion for developing countries, where the economic crisis is having a life-threatening impact. This figure is in line with what the United Nations estimates is needed to "buffer the blows of the global downturn on the most vulnerable."  http://unsilentgeneration.com/2009/04/14/the-bailout-we-owe-to-the-developing-world/

Big Profits, Big Questions

The question many Wall Streeters are asking is just how Goldman Sachs once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.


U.S. News Media Fails America, Again, by Robert Parry

Watching Glenn Beck of Fox News rant about "progressive fascism" - and muse about armed insurrection - or listening to mainstream pundits prattle on about Barack Obama as the "most polarizing President ever," it is hard to escape the conclusion that today's U.S. news media represents a danger to the Republic. http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/041309.html

Failures to Communicate, by Richard Cohen

Former president George W. Bush and some of his White House aides are gathering in Dallas this week to plan the future George W. Bush Policy Institute. There, I guess, they will ponder grand themes and marble foyers, but I propose they begin by simply renaming the place. I suggest naming it the "George W. Bush Institute of Management Failure" and dedicating it to studying how this presidency went so wrong -- a task as big as Texas itself. Bush's tenure was truly remarkable. He left office with the lowest presidential poll ratings in 60 years, two wars begun and not ended, and the deepest recession since the Great Depression. If it's true that we learn from our mistakes, Bush's eight years represent a bonanza of lessons. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/13/AR2009041301949_pf.html


April 15, 2009


Obama’s DoJ Arguments for Warrantless Wiretaps Worse than Bush

The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes. This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way. 

This isn't change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.


Wall Street on the Tundra

Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy—its currency (the krona) is kaput, its debt is 850 percent of G.D.P., its people are hoarding food and cash and blowing up their new Range Rovers for the insurance—resulted from a stunning collective madness. What led a tiny fishing nation, population 300,000, to decide, around 2003, to re-invent itself as a global financial power? http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/04/iceland200904

The Cassandra Syndrome, by Michaeil Nagler

Last month, 57 people lost their lives in eight mass shootings across America. "The killing grounds," Timothy Egan wrote in The New York Times last week, "include a nursing home, a center for new immigrants, a child's bedroom. Before that it was a church, a college, a daycare center." It is hard to argue when he calls this epidemic "the cancer at the core of our democracy." http://www.truthout.org/041409L

America is Not a Christian Nation, by Michael Lind

In his press conference on April 6 in Turkey, President Obama explained: "One of the great strengths of the United States is … we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." Predictably, Obama's remarks have enraged conservative talking heads. But Obama's observations have ample precedent in American diplomacy and constitutional thought.


Socialism Has Failed. Now Capitalism is Bankrupt. So What Comes Next? By Eric  Hobsbawm

The 20th century is well behind us, but we have not yet learned to live in the 21st, or at least to think in a way that fits it. That should not be as difficult as it seems, because the basic idea that dominated economics and politics in the last century has patently disappeared down the plughole of history. This was the way of thinking about modern industrial economies, or for that matter any economies, in terms of two mutually exclusive opposites: capitalism or socialism.



April 14, 2009


Obama Sides With Banks Accused of Racism

A number of big national banks stand accused of systematically bilking black and Latino borrowers. And the administration of our first black president is siding with the banks. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/04/obama-sides-banks-accused-racism

Private Medicare Insurers Pump Up Propaganda to Preserve Profits, by James Ridgeway

Earlier this week, I wrote about the government’s long-overdue move to cut back  subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans, much to the chagrin of the insurance companies that have profited so handsomely from this setup. As reported by the Medicare Rights Center, these insurers are already threatening to pass on the cuts to the old and disabled people who subscribe to their private plans: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/04/private-medicare-insurers-pump-propaganda-preserve-profits

You Are Being Lied to About Pirates, by Johann Hari

Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as "one of the great menace of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell -- and some justice on their side. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/13-6


April 13, 2009


Bond Market Vigilantes Saddle Up

Efforts to reflate the economies of the U.S. and Britain are running into one potentially major problem; the bond market. Appetite for government debt in recent sales has been very poor, raising the cost to the two governments of borrowing and blunting their efforts to bring down market interest rates by buying back their debt. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2009/04/10/bond-market-vigilantes-saddle-up/#comment-12683

Predatory Brokers

Congress must take the necessary steps to rein in mortgage brokers that attracted obscene profits associated with the subprime lending binge.


Making Banking Boring, by Paul Krugman

The regulated era of banking that followed the Great Depression was far less lucrative than the previous era, but one of spectacular economic progress. Perhaps the political winds need to shift again. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/opinion/10krugman.html

Will Bill Give Obama Control of Internet?

A pair of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate would grant the White House sweeping new powers to access private online data, regulate the cybersecurity industry and even shut down Internet traffic during a declared "cyber emergency." http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=93966

Learning to Love the Bailout

Among the criticisms of the Obama administration's bank rescue proposal is that it's a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose proposition, with Wall Street flipping the coin and taxpayers coming up tails. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/opinion/12sun4.html

Cut O.T.S. to Bits

U.S. financial regulators have spent the last several years in a race to impotence. The clear winner of this chase to the bottom is the Office of Thrift Supervision (O.T.S.), the agency that served as chief financial regulator to a motley crew of credit crunch losers, including Countrywide, Washington Mutual, IndyMac and American International Group. Shuttering O.T.S. would be a good first prize. http://www.breakingviews.com/2009/04/08/OTS.aspx?sg=nytimes

Why Unions Matter, Book Review by Seth Sandronsky

Reviewing: "Why Unions Matter" (second edition) by Michael D. Yates, 240 pages, Monthly Review Press, (February 2009).  Back in the day, my mother took me to a big United Farm Workers rally. Until then, what I knew of large crowds came from sitting with my father at pro baseball games. That thrilled me. By contrast, the protesters and speakers at the lively UFW event totally rocked my world. To be a part of such cohesion changed my vision of what working people could do to improve their lives. http://www.truthout.org/041109C

Why We Need the New York Times, by Alec Baldwin

I still think people should read a newspaper every day and that children should be taught the importance of doing so in school. Television news can be good. It just isn't as good as the New York Times. And now more than ever. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alec-baldwin/why-we-need-the-inew-york_b_184650.html


April 10-12, 2009


The War on Yugoslavia, 10 Years Later

It has been 10 years since the U.S.-led war on Yugoslavia. For many leading Democrats, including some in top positions in the Obama administration, it was a "good" war, in contrast to the Bush administration's "bad" war on Iraq. And though the suffering and instability unleashed by the 1999 NATO military campaign wasn't as horrific as the U.S. invasion of Iraq four years later, the war was nevertheless unnecessary and illegal, and its political consequences are far from settled. http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/6017

Close Look at Accelerating Unemployment Rate

The trend in unemployment is unmistakably up and accelerating. Let's start with a discussion of widely followed data followed by many additional charts that you may not have seen before. http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/close-look-at-accelerating-rate-of.html

Happy Days Are Here Again? Really?

The market rally is starting to turn ridiculous and sublime. Investors now think the worst is over for banks and that consumers are spending freely again. Huh? http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/09/markets/thebuzz/index.htm?section=money_mostpopular

Humanity Even for Nonhumans, by Nicholas D. Kristof

Writings by a Princeton scholar have popularized a movement to grant basic protections to pigs and chickens -- and to limit human dominion over other species. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/opinion/09kristof.html

Obama Stakes His Fortunes on Failed Banksters, by Jonathan Weil

Why doesn’t the Obama administration force insolvent banks and insurance companies to come clean about their losses first? It’s the “why” that’s so vexing. The who, what, when, and how are mere details, by comparison. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aNMQDysdnKRc&refer=home

They Sent Me to Distant Lands to Fight Against Muslims ... Then I Became One, by Penny Coleman

Mike's attraction to Islam dates to 2001, when his Afghan interpreter gave him a Quran. Mike had a deep respect for the spirit of those he fought and wanted to better understand what it was about their belief system that roused such a fierce dedication to their cause. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/135550/they_sent_me_to_distant_lands_to_fight_against_muslims_..._then_i_became_one/

To Boycott Israel…or Not?

Naomi Klein and Rabbi Arthur Waskow debate whether divestment will bring peace to the Middle East.



April 09, 2009


Lawyers Face Jail Time for Writing Letter to Obama Concerning Detainee Mistreatment

Lawyers from Reprieve face a jail sentence after officials from the U.S. department of defence had the nerve to complain about their 'unprofessional conduct' http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/apr/02/torture-human-rights

CANADA: Fearing Galloway’s Message

Anyone who has ever seen George Galloway in action knows why he had to be stopped at the border. He definitely poses a threat – although not the security one alleged by the Harper government. http://www.thestar.com/article/614684

7 Reasons Why the Big, Bad Bear Will Return, by Sean Brodrick

We are only one year into the current crisis. After the crash of 1929, the world economy continued to shrink for three successive years, and world trade is falling much faster now than in 1929-30.


The Supreme Court Shouldn't Be Judging Judges

A West Virginia case could put state jurists' ethics under federal oversight.


The Rich Under Attack

Stones thrown through a banker’s windows in Edinburgh, workers “bossnapping” executives in France, retrospective 90% tax rates proposed in Washington, and now a riot in London as G20 leaders arrived for their summit (see article). A sea change in social attitudes that could have profound effects on politics and the world economy is under way. http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13405314&source=most_commented


April 08, 2009


Katherine Gunn: The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War

On March 19, Katharine Gun testified before British lawmakers, asking them to commit to a full public inquiry into the decision to invade Iraq. Gun is well-known to Members of Parliament. She was the young British secret service officer who was arrested for leaking an illegal US spy operation against members of the UN Security Council debating the decision for war. The operation, mounted by the NSA, targeted six nations whose vote for a preemptive strike was considered essential to winning broad international support for war. http://www.truthout.org/040709K

The Black Market is Thriving

At least one part of the economy is growing. Sadly it is the wrong part. The shadow economy is just about the only part of the economy that may be growing. According to Friedrich Schneider, a professor at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz and one of the world’s experts on the topic, that would mark a turnaround in its fortunes after nearly a decade of decline. He has estimated the value-added of the shadow economy in 21 of the 30 OECD countries. On average, it was equivalent to 16.8% of GDP in 1999. By 2008 that figure had fallen to 13.3%. This year he forecasts it will rise to 13.8%. Mr Schneider’s calculations do not include activities which are illegal in themselves. http://www.economist.com/finance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13415223&source=hptextfeature

Our Watchdogs and the Financial Scandal of the Century

“Accountability – Integrity – Reliability”  That’s the motto of the Government Accountability Office, and it almost makes you believe that there really is a functioning watchdog – somebody, aside from us Internet loons, to investigate and report on the incompetence and malfeasance that pervade our public institutions. http://www.marketrap.com/

In America, Labor Has an Unusually Long Fuse

The workers and other protesters who gathered en masse at the Group of 20 summit meeting last week in London were continuing a time-honored European tradition of taking their grievances into the streets. Two weeks earlier, more than a million workers in France demonstrated against layoffs and the government’s handling of the economic crisis, and in the last month alone, French workers took their bosses hostage four times in various labor disputes. When General Motors recently announced huge job cuts worldwide, 15,000 workers demonstrated at the company’s German headquarters. But in the United States, where G.M. plans its biggest layoffs, union members have seemed passive in comparison. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/weekinreview/05greenhouse.html

Piecing Together Guernica

Pablo Picasso's monochrome painting of the 1937 bombing of the town of Guernica remains one of his more famous works. The tapestry version just unveiled at London's Whitechapel Gallery usually sits at the UN, acting as a powerful visual statement against the horrors of war. But there is much meaning beneath this famous work, writes Picasso expert Gijs van Hensbergen. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7986540.stm

Goldbugs Rest Assured, Inflation Will Return

Much like an actor who can’t help looking sideways at any mirror he passes, the market has decided, based on its own technical action over the past couple of weeks, that it is in something more than a bear market rally. A rally, that is, in risk assets, but not in gold. The gold price, after bouncing around in a channel in the $900s, is, I believe, going to move decisively lower over the next several months, probably to somewhere below $800 an ounce. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b8d36560-21b1-11de-8380-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

The End of Philosophy, by David Brooks

Today, many psychologists, cognitive scientists and even philosophers embrace a different view of moral thinking based less on reason and deliberation and more on seeing and evaluating. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/opinion/07Brooks.html

A Global Epidemic of Violent Crime, by Tom Klare

The economic meltdown is playing into the hands of crime syndicates and corrupt governments, as people worldwide grow desperate to make ends meet. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/04/07/crime_wave/index.html?source=newsletter

Nimoy Stuns Austin Crowd With Secret Star Trek Premiere

A theater full of Trek fans showed up in Austin, Texas, thinking they were going to see a new print of the classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and 10 minutes of Abrams' reboot, all organized by Ain't It Cool News. But the original Spock shocked the house by announcing they would in fact see the entire new movie just hours before it made its international bow in Sydney. http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2009/04/nimoy-stuns-aus.html

Inside the CIA's (Sort of) Secret Document Stash

In a quiet, fluorescently lit room in the National Archives' auxiliary campus in suburban College Park, Maryland, 10 miles outside of Washington, are four computer terminals, each providing instant access to the more than 10 million pages of documents the CIA has declassified since 1995. There's only one problem: these are the only publicly available computers in the world that do so. At a time when Google is scanning and posting the contents of entire libraries to the Web, the agency refuses to link this large collection of documents—accessible through the CIA Records Search Tool, or CREST—to the Internet. This has effectively placed the CIA's declassified library beyond the reach of most Americans. So is the agency covering up what it has already uncovered? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/04/cias-open-secrets


April 07, 2009


Resist or Become Serfs, by Chris Hedges

America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090406_resist_or_become_serfs/

Cowardice in the Time of Torture, by Ray McGovern

One might say that Attorney General Holder is proving himself to be part of that “nation of cowards” that he called the United States in a different context, i.e. our unwillingness to address the issue of race. What about when the victims of torture are Muslims? Where’s Holder’s courage then? http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/040509c.html

Douglas Feith: “I was a major player” in Bush’s Torture Policies, by Jason Leopold

Doug Feith, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, is best known for cooking up bogus prewar Iraq intelligence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda and 9/11. http://www.truthout.org/040609A

Farm Workers' Rights, 70 Years Overdue

Farm and domestic workers deserve basic rights that others have long taken for granted, as well as improvements in safety and sanitary conditions. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/06/opinion/06mon1.html

No More Hummer Nation, by Maureen Dowd

How do we come to terms with the gluttony that exploded our economy and still retain our reptilian American desire for living large?


Obama's Ersatz Capitalism, by Joseph E. Stiglitz

What the Obama administration is doing with the banks is far worse than nationalization: it is the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses.


Coming soon: Higher Taxes, Bigger Government

When the dust of the bust settles, bet on beefed-up government, stronger Social Security - and, yes, higher taxes.


America the Tarnished, by Paul Krugman

These days America is looking like the Bernie Madoff of economies: for many years it was held in respect, even awe, but it turns out to have been a fraud all along. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/opinion/30krugman.html


April 06, 2009


The Quiet Coup, by Simon Johnson

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200905/imf-advice

A Scary Corporate Coup Is Under Way -- We've Got to Stop It

If Wall Street gets its way, Washington will pass new "reforms" that consolidate power and ratify a corporate state. http://www.alternet.org/democracy/134217/a_scary_corporate_coup_is_under_way_--_we%27ve_got_to_stop_it/

When a Strong Safety Net Begins to Fray

A slow-motion crisis unfolds in famed welfare states as the middle class feels the pinch of a sagging economy. The French are eating near-expired food, and Italians are shoplifting pasta and Parmesan.


Roubini: Go Ahead, Keep Dreaming of That "V-Shaped" Recovery

We'll still be in a recession through 2009, says Roubini (in contrast to most economists, who think the economy will be growing nicely by Q4). But then, finally, the economy will begin to recover. http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/223197/Roubini-Go-Ahead-Keep-Dreaming-of-That-%22V-Shaped%22-Recovery?tickers=xlf,^dji,^gspc

Syria Calling, by Seymour Hersch

American and foreign government officials, intelligence officers, diplomats, and politicians said in interviews that renewed Israeli-Syrian negotiations over the Golan Heights are now highly likely, despite Gaza and the elections in Israel in February, which left the Likud Party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the head of a coalition that includes both the far right and Labor. Those talks would depend largely on America’s willingness to act as the mediator, a role that could offer Barack Obama his first—and perhaps best—chance for engagement in the Middle East peace process. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/04/06/090406fa_fact_hersh?printable=true

How Our Public Colleges Are Turning into Gated Communities for the Wealthy, by Andy Kroll

Welcome to the other crisis spreading quietly across the country: the crisis of college affordability. Talk to enough students and families on a college campus like the University of Michigan, where I'm a student, and you'll hear plenty of stories like Bobby Stapleton's -- of families scraping by in increasingly tough times as tuition bills rise, of students working second and third jobs, of newly minted graduates staggering into an ever more jobless world under the weight of tens of thousands of dollars in student-loan debt. http://www.alternet.org/workplace/134770/a_crisis_of_affordability%3A_how_our_public_colleges_are_turning_into_gated_communities_for_the_wealthy/

Unemployment Rising

With the ranks of the unemployed now at 13.2 million, there is no doubt that current recession will be the longest yet In America since World War II. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/opinion/05sun1.html

The Market Mystique, by Paul Krugman

The top officials in the Obama administration still believe in the magic of the financial marketplace and in the prowess of the wizards who perform that magic. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/opinion/27krugman.html

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout, by Chris Hedges

We live in an age of moral nihilism. We have trashed our universities, turning them into vocational factories that produce corporate drones and chase after defense-related grants and funding. The humanities, the discipline that forces us to stand back and ask the broad moral questions of meaning and purpose, that challenges the validity of structures, that trains us to be self-reflective and critical of all cultural assumptions, have withered. http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/20090323_america_is_in_need_of_a_moral_bailout/


Last updated  May 11, 2009

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