Political Dirty Tricksters Exposed

donald segretti

Steven Mikulan: Trained by well-financed foundations, these dirty tricksters pose as pimps, sex traffickers and Muslim activists and record conversations surreptitiously. Then they release videos that have often been heavily edited.

ACLU Asks, More Jails or Better Sentencing?

prison overcrowding

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: California’s 58 counties must deal with a sudden influx of state prison inmates, straining their jails and requiring innovative sentencing and supervisory programs.

Wall Street Confidence Trick: Interest Rate Swaps Bankrupting Local Governments

goldman sachs

Ellen Brown: The creation of credit has too long been delegated to a cadre of private middlemen who have flagrantly abused the privilege. We can avoid the derivatives trap by cutting out the middlemen and creating our own credit.

Kony 2012, Does Social Media Oversimplify?

African Refugees

Matthew Kavanagh: From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate – but what about the dangers of oversimplification?

Why Goldman’s Greg Smith’s Critique Is Way Too Narrow

goldman sachs muppets

Robert Reich: If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you’d have left is pavement. The problem is endemic abuse of power and trust.

Can Capitalist Cultures Become More Humane?

homeless man

Walter Moss: The capitalist cultures of corporations and other capitalist institutions can become more humane. Whether they will or not is another question.

Gore Occupies, Soros Opines

al gore

Brent Budowsky: his week, former Vice President Al Gore called for an Occupy Democracy movement using the Internet to escalate the battle against the corruption of democracy.

Dog Days for the Mittster

mitt-dog-roof

Tom Degan: It must be a terribly frustrating thing to be Mitt Romney these days. Were he to be elected president (and that’s never gonna happen, I promise you) he would be an unerringly reliable water boy for the plutocracy.

Should We Crash the Prison System by Demanding Trials?

day-in-court-wide

Bruce Reilly: If everyone refused a plea bargain and went to trial, the system would crash. This maneuver is not new. I could have never organized these men to refuse plea bargains and go to trial for several reasons.

Hanging with Netanyahu at AIPAC

liz cheney

Carl Bloice: The AIPAC weekend turned out to be a disappointment for Cheney and the other homegrown U.S. political opportunists and reckless supporters of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing Likud party.

For Franklin Graham, The Crusades Never End

franklin graham

Tom Hayden: Thousands of American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are the legacy of a continuing Christian crusade promoted by Franklin Graham, who now is claiming in television interviews that President Obama is a born Muslim and a questionable convert to Christianity.

How Presidential War Power Is Made

obama-council

Mary Dudziak: “Liberals” and “conservatives” are often talking past each other on questions of national security, and there is a need to reshift the conversation, and get beyond partisan and left/right divides.

“The Future of News Is Now” Panel Set for March Summit at Oxy

Clockwise from upper left: Val Zavala, Maria Armoudian, Sharon McNary, and Jesse Thorn

Our “The Future of News Is Now” panel session has gathered four keen observers of today’s rapidly changing news-gathering scene.

Mitt Misses Middle Class’s Decline

entitlement society

Robert Reich: January’s increase in hiring is good news, but it masks a bigger and more disturbing story – the continuing downward mobility of the American middle class.

Apple’s Labor Pool: Job Market or Slave Auction?

apple assembly plant

Steven Mikulan: Everything about Apple (from the mocking irony of Jobs’ name to the outsourcing of its employees’ livelihoods to factories in a totalitarian police state) epitomizes big business’s attitude of contempt – not only for American workers but for America itself.

Cut Carriers Now

aircraft carrier

Ivan Eland: With yawning American budget deficits and a $15 trillion national debt, it would save significant amounts of money to reduce the number of carriers and carrier air wings well below the excessive 11 and 10, respectively.

For Mitt, Firing People Is the Context

mitt flip flop

Michael Sigman: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” may well become Mitt Romney’s most memorable line, if only because he actually meant it.

Conservativism, Compassion, and Cruelty: A Response to David Brooks

Peter Dreier: The real “community”-wide solution to our health care crisis is universal insurance, which can only be achieved with government setting the rules and providing subsidies.

A Billionaire Comes A’Whinin’

obama cafe

Joseph Palermo: Apparently for the captains of industry and high finance it’s not enough for Obama to be a faithful servant of their narrow class interests, they also want him to bend down and kiss their rings.

Long-time LA Timesman Decries Media Concentration

tim rutten

Justin Chapman: The coming concentration of the media is probably a bigger threat to your civil liberties than anything the government’s doing right now, according to Tim Rutten

A Growing Civilian-Military Gap, and its Consequences

war

Mary L. Dudziak: As Americans become more isolated from the costs of war, military engagement no longer seems to require the support of the American people. Their disengagement does not limit the reach of American military action, but enables its expansion.

Ross Douthat’s Hit Job on JFK

jfk

Joseph Palermo: Douthat practices the weird tactic, common among contemporary right-wingers, of criticizing whatever Democrat or “liberal” who is in their crosshairs from both the right and the left at the same time.

25 Million Unemployed: Why So Little Protest?

president obama

Sherwood Ross: Although America’s 25 million unemployed and underemployed could be a powerful force for social change, they aren’t combining in any effective way to protest, an eminent business authority writes.

Why Didn’t Mike McQueary Stop Jerry Sandusky? Why Didn’t Anyone Help Kitty Genovese?

kitty genovese

Joseph De May: McQueary, Paterno, and Penn State administrators had clarity and time to react that most of the Kitty Genovese witnesses simply did not.

Newt’s Nasty Narcissism

newt historian

Michael Sigman: When the Newt boomlet fades, there may yet be a role for Gingrich in public life. Given his obsession with such words as “fundamentally,” “profoundly,” “desperately” and “dramatically,” how about Ambassador of Adverb Abuse?

Pfizer’s Latest Twist on ‘Pay for Delay’

pfizer logo

Marian Wang: Pfizer is adding yet another twist to its efforts to delay generic competitors. As The New York Times reports, the company seems to have struck a deal with certain pharmacy benefit managers to block generic versions of Lipitor.

Wal-Mart Heiress Opens Lavish Art Museum As Company Cuts Worker Health Care

rosie the riverter

Randy Shaw: Alice Walton and her family have earned riches by denying workers adequate benefits and living wages. What the museum really needs is a large painting of a Wal-Mart worker suffering from unmet health problems,

Night Raids Killed over 1,500 Afghan Civilians

starlight scope

Gareth Porter: U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) killed well over 1,500 civilians in night raids in less than 10 months in 2010 and early 2011, analysis of official statistics on the raids released by the U.S.-NATO command reveals.

A Higher Truth in Libya

gaddafi

William Blum: In fact, it appears rather likely that a majority of Libyans supported Gaddafi. How else could the government have held off the most powerful military forces in the world for more than seven months?

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