VOICES FOR CHANGE

Fox News Asks Rand Paul If Harry Reid Is Right to ‘Call Americans Domestic Terrorists’
Juan Cole
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Not since George W. Bush complained that the problem with the American economy was that “too many of our imports come from abroad” has such hilarious use of the English language been on display.  The furor on the Right about Harry Reid terming “domestic terrorists” the militiamen who brought sniper rifles across state lines to confront the Bureau of Land Management produced the following interview by Fox News of Rand Paul.

Eric ...

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Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
Robert Reich
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We’re in a new gilded age of wealth and power similar to the first gilded age when the nation’s antitrust laws were enacted. Those laws should prevent or bust up concentrations of economic power that not only harm consumers but also undermine our democracy — such as the pending Comcast acquisition of Time-Warner. 

In 1890, when Republican Senator John Sherman of Ohio urged his congressional colleagues to act against the centralized ...

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Top 6 Pulitzer Prize ‘Traitors’ in American Journalism
Juan Cole
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The Pulitzer Prize committee’s opinion that Edward Snowden is a public servant rather than a traitor or criminal, as evidenced in its award to The Guardian and The Washington Post for their reporting from his trove of government documents, is a scandal on the American Right.  But it is not a new scandal.  Journalism is about the public’s right to know what our government is up to.  The National Security State is about preventing us from knowing what ...

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Hijacking the American Plane of State
Tom Engelhardt
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Isn’t there something strangely reassuring when your eyeballs are gripped by a “mystery” on the news that has no greater meaning and yet sweeps all else away?  This, of course, is the essence of the ongoing tale of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Except to the relatives of those on board, it never really mattered what happened in the cockpit that day.  To the extent that the plane’s disappearance was solvable, the ...

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Yawning at Anonymous Posts
Froma Harrop
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Beats me how new apps like "Secret" and "Whisper" are going to make big money. Presumably, that is the objective of their Silicon Valley creators.

These apps combine ...

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People Sin, Not Music Festivals
Froma Harrop
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A curious discussion followed the tragedy at the recent South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Many of the festival's fans and critics turned the awful event into a call for "soul-searching" about what the festival had become.

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Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage
Chris Hedges
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Last Thursday Chris Hedges opened a team debate at the Oxford Union at Oxford University with this speech arguing in favor of the proposition “This house would call Edward Snowden a hero.” The others on the Hedges team, which won the debate by an audience vote of 212 to 171, were William E. Binney, a former National Security Agency official and a whistle-blower; Chris Huhne, a former member of the British Parliament; and Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer ...

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Inequality, Productivity and WhatsApp
Robert Reich
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If you ever wonder what’s fueling America’s staggering inequality, ponder Facebook’s acquisition of the mobile messaging company WhatsApp .

According to news reports today, Facebook has agreed to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion.

That’s the highest price paid for a startup in history. It’s $3 billion more than Facebook raised when it was first listed, and more than twice what Microsoft paid for Skype.

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Honoring the ‘Accomplices’ to Truth Who Caught Clapper in a Lie
Robert Scheer
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The tide is turning. Yesterday’s traitor is today’s hero, and the brave journalists who helped Edward Snowden get the word out are at last being honored for their public service. Or so one hopes.

On Sunday it ...

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The Comcast-Time Warner Merger Threatens Democracy
Amy Goodman
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Comcast has announced it intends to merge with Time Warner Cable, joining together the largest and second-largest cable and broadband providers in the country. The merger must be approved by both the Justice Department and the FCC. Given the financial and political power of Comcast, and the Obama administration’s miserable record of protecting the public interest, the time to speak out and organize is now.

“This is just such a far-reaching deal, it ...

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Our Sinister Dual State
Chris Hedges
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On Thursday the former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William E. Binney and I will debate Stewart A. Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA, P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesman, and the media pundit Jeffrey Toobin. The debate, at Oxford University, will center on whether Edward Snowden’s leaks ...

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The Super Bowl of War: Three Decades of Failure in Afghanistan
Robert Scheer
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A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most joyous homecoming for a U.S. veteran of the Afghan War. It was a fitting tribute to the fact that he survived, but you would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice that the three decades since the United States first meddled in Afghanistan have been an unequivocal disaster and that those who did not survive—NATO combatants and far larger number of Afghan natives—died in ...

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The Cheapening of American Politics: Why Did Obama Reward O’Reilly With an Interview?
Juan Cole
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President Obama subjected himself to an interview by Bill O’Reilly of Fox “News” on Sunday before the Superbowl. Obviously, intellectually it was Obama Seahawks rolling over O’Reilly Broncos. And maybe it felt good to tell Fox News off for its serial propaganda against the administration. But I just regret that he lent either of these any credibility by a presidential appearance.

Fox News is a far right wing media conspiracy hatched by corrupt billionaire and ...

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The Class War on Drug Users
Froma Harrop
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Philip Seymour Hoffman's death at the end of a heroin needle again spotlights the dangers of a poisonous drug. And so did the Vermont governor's plea last month to confront the "full-blown heroin crisis" plaguing his rural state.

His population is far poorer and more isolated than an Oscar-winning actor in New York's Greenwich Village. But though drug overdoses are democratic in choosing victims, the War on Drugs is anything but.

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The Golden Age of Journalism?
Tom Engelhardt
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It was 1949.  My mother -- known in the gossip columns of that era as “New York’s girl caricaturist” -- was freelancing theatrical sketches to a number of New York’s newspapers and magazines, including the Brooklyn Eagle.  That ...

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Flashing Too Little Editorial Integrity
Jim Hightower
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Attention, class. Here’s today’s new word: “Native advertising.”

OK, that’s two words. But it’s one concept, and it has ...

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The Downton Diet
Froma Harrop
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Some enterprising writer must do a book titled "The Downton Diet." It would explain how to get and stay slim without moving a muscle, as the aristocratic women in the wildly popular British drama series demonstrate.

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The NSA Plays Mad King George in This Revolution
Robert Scheer
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It’s the revolt of the geeks. Edward Snowden is John Peter Zenger digitized, a post-Internet free-press hero soaring above the security obsessions of the past decade to assert the inalienable requirements of individual sovereignty in a wired world. 

It was ...

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Centrists Have No Right to Lecture Anyone on Growth
Dean Baker
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Last week former New York Times editor Bill Keller had a column that distinguished the “left-left” and the center-left. His left-left included people like Senator Elizabeth Warren and incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio while his center-left included President Obama, most of the Democratic Party leadership and the DC-based policy group Third Way.

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Merry Christmas, Right-Wingers, The Red Pope, and Jesus
Jim Hightower
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Ah, 'tis the season for family, friends, eggnog, chipmunks singing Christmas carols — and all-out, no-mercy, blow-'em-all-to-hell WAR.

Not war like in Afghanistan. No, no — this is the far-right's God-awful "War on the War on Christmas." In this season of Peace on Earth, a delusional faction of rightist has cooked up a hokey "cultural crisis" to foment hatred of ... well, of whom? Blasphemist-liberal-Democrat-atheist-humanists, they ...

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FROM AROUND THE WEB

Media

Reasons Behind News Stations Running the Same Stories

A massive wave of consolidation by big conglomerates leaves you, the viewer, with dreck.

National Security Agency

Academic Researchers Reveal Two Encryption Tools Developed by NSA Greatly Increase Spy Ability

The RSA, a company within the security industry, developed these tools to give the NSA greater ability to eavesdrop on Internet communications.

Plane Crash

Credible Images from French Satellite Shows Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight

A French satellite image shows 122 objects, a possible debris field.

Political Scandal

Reports Claim New Jersey Governor Christie’s Name Cleared in Traffic Scandal

The New York Times reported that after a review into the traffic scandal, Chris Christie had nothing to do with the orchestrated scheme.

Edward Snowden

Snowden’s “Call to Arms”

The whistle-blower’s remarks at SXSW not only called upon technologists, but all of us to resist mass surveillance

Education

Private Companies to Donate Software to Classrooms

President Obama will make an announcement today that reveals private companies’ donations of software and software licenses to bring more technology to students.

Egypt

Al Jazeera Launches Global Push to Free Staff

Journalists gather for global day of action calling on Egypt to release staff arrested for practising journalism.

Politics

Unreleased Emails Examined in a Secret Investigation of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Staff

The media had the opportunity to examine previously unreleased emails in the “John Doe” investigation in charges against Walker’s staff.

Bombing

Explosive Found in Carry-On Bag at Anchorage Airport

Device appeared to be a pipe bomb used to trigger avalanches, Airport Manager says.

Boston Bombing

Boston Bombing Suspect Trial Set for November

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev faces execution if convicted of the largest mass-casualty attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

Obama Administration

President Obama Calls Out Bill O’Reilly and Fox News for Promoting Conspiracy Theories

In his much-hyped pre-Super Bowl interview with the president, Bill O'Reilly asks about...the IRS

Edward Snowden

Norwegian Member of Parliament Nominated Edward Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize

Baard Vegar Solhjell nominated the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor because his “release of classified documents made the world a safer place.”

Animals

What Animal Planet Doesn’t Show You

An exclusive investigation reveals how animals suffer on the network’s top reality show.

Political Scandal

Did Scott Walker Receive Help to Win His Recall?

Before Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election two years ago, two TV ads ran on stations statewide attacking the very notion of holding a recall election.

Health

Historic Smoking Report Marks 50-Year Anniversary

Smoking definitely bad for you since 1964

Egypt

Team of Journalist Still Held in Captivity in Egypt

A week later and still in detention, three Al Jazeera journalists are being accused of joining a terrorist group.

Obamacare

Koch-Backed Group Starts New Year With Obamacare Ad Assault

Americans for Prosperity have kicked off the New Year with a TV ad campaign hammering three Democratic senators for their support of the Affordable Care Act.

Government Surveillance

U.S. Judge Says NSA Phone Surveillance Is Lawful

Termed a “Counter-Punch” to Terrorism

National Security

Snowden Feeling Accomplished

Six months after his initial leak of NSA documents, Edward Snowden has said he accomplished what he set out to do.

Tea Party

The Tea Party was Created by Media

How “melodrama, misrepresentative exaggeration and mockery” became the dominant tone on cable and talk radio.

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