Monday, August 15, 2011

SOME NEWS: bonus at the end...

SOME NEWS FOR Monday, 15 August 2011

Special Ops: The New Face of War

John Grant, Op-Ed: How does modern warfare in a nation-state system that evolved out of feudalism continue to evolve as new communication systems increase? What does modern warfare look like as that nation state system breaks down, to be replaced by a confusing, “globalized” world of power centers and power vacuums? The answer for the United States seems to be a growing concentration on what is known as Special Operations, which includes Special Forces, Seals and a host of other lethal military forces that emphasize mobility, efficiency, secrecy and unaccountability."


Democrats Urge Obama: Be More Aggressive on Jobs

Peter Nicholas, News Report: “Obama's jobs agenda, which he plans to tout on his Midwestern tour, calls for $30 billion to rebuild roads, bridges and ports; improvements to the patent system to spur innovation; trade deals with a trio of countries to boost exports; a $40 billion extension of unemployment insurance benefits; and renewal of the current one-year reduction of the payroll tax at a cost of up to $120 billion. A range of economists and Democratic critics call those ideas inadequate. Asked about Obama's support for free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a center-left think tank, said, ""I would think they would be embarrassed to mention it."


Robert Reich | New Healthcare Law Should Have Been Based on Medicare

Robert Reich, Op-Ed: The Republican strategy should now be clear: Privatize anything that might otherwise be a public program financed by tax dollars. Then argue in the courts that any mandatory purchase of it is unconstitutional, and rally the public against the requirement. Remember this next time you hear the GOP touting Paul Ryan’s plan for turning Medicare into vouchers for seniors to buy private health insurance. So what do Obama and the Democrats do if the individual mandate in the new healthcare law gets struck down by the Supreme Court?


Rethink Rhetoric Against Islam

Julio Godoy, News Analysis: “Conservative governments and centre-right parties in Europe were attacking multiculturalism and denigrating Muslim immigrants long before Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik used similar arguments to justify mass killings in Oslo and Utoya Island. Now, more than three weeks after the massacres in Norway, many experts are calling on governments and parties ‘to disarm their rhetoric against Islam,’ Armin Laschet, former minister for integration in the German federal state of North Rhine Westphalia, told IPS. ‘A critique on some practices of Islam, and on deficits on the integration of Muslims in European societies should still be possible,’ he said.”


Why Pawlenty Went Bust

Bill Scher, Op-Ed: Perhaps Pawlenty was acting rationally. Perhaps there is simply no home in today's Republican Party for even a smidgen of sanity, a dose of reality, an ounce of fact-based policymaking on behalf of the middle class. But Pawlenty's fizzle proves that there is only so much pandering to the conservative fringe that the market can bear. There isn't enough room on the stage for eight candidates all mouthing the same crackpot lines. What if Pawlenty stuck to his vision? What if Pawlenty tried to shake up a Republican Party that hit its highest unfavorable rating in CNN polling history after the public recoiled from its debt limit posturing.


New Study Blames Human Beings for Ice Melt

Richard Mauer, News Analysis: “About half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study by scientists from the nation's leading climate research center. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science Foundation is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution. The study used supercomputers and one of the world's most sophisticated climate models to reach its conclusions, said lead author Jennifer Kay, a staff scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. The paper was published last week in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.”


Jim Hightower | The Illegal Foreclosure Epidemic

Jim Hightower, Op-Ed: "That's the virtue of the "ouchie" that Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and other big financiers got last year when they ran into the law after racing wildly through home foreclosure paperwork. They were caught falsifying thousands of documents and taking illegal shortcuts that were causing innocent families to lose their homes. They had to pay fines, make restitution, suspend foreclosures, and pledge to clean up their act. But at least they learned their lesson."


VIDEO: U.S. Drone Attacks in Pakistan

Video Report: “A new report from a team of British and Pakistani journalists finds one U.S. drone strike occurs every four days in Pakistan. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed as many as 775 civilians, including 168 children, since 2004. The report also challenges a recent claim by President Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, that no civilians have been killed in the drone attacks for nearly a year. According to the Bureau’s researchers, at least 45 civilians were killed in 10 U.S. attacks during the last year.”


The New Old Obama

E.J. Dionne Jr., Op-Ed: The president's loyalists still have faith in him and still love to criticize media narratives they think underestimate him. But this time, both he and they are expressing a level of frustration that may be the healthiest thing happening to Obama in what is an otherwise dismal moment in his presidency. A White House crowd often too sure of itself is fully aware of the ferocious fight Obama faces and the seriousness of the problems he confronts. Their mood and past experience suggests that a new Obama -- or, in many ways, the old Obama of 2008 -- is about to reappear.


ANALYSIS: Romney and Scott in Wonderland

Wendell Potter, News Analysis: “On the campaign trail in Iowa last week, former corporate executive and Republican governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney shot back at hecklers who were challenging his stance that it would unfair and unwise to raise taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations to reduce the deficit. ‘Corporations are people, my friend,’ Romney said. ‘Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? People’s pockets! Human beings, my friend.’ Democrats were quick to pounce.”


President Obama Joins the Cult of Economics Deniers

Dean Baker, Op-Ed: “President Obama is no longer paying attention to economists and economics in designing economic policy. Instead, he will do what his campaign people tell him will get him re-elected, presumably by getting lots of money from Wall Street. resident Obama intends to focus on reducing government spending and cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare. In other words, President Obama intends to ignore the path for getting the economy back to full employment that most economists advocate. Instead he is going to cut government spending because his chief of staff and former J.P. Morgan vice-president Bill Daley and his top campaign adviser David Plouffe both say this is a good idea.”


Right-Wing Media Attack New Fuel-Efficiency Standards

News Analysis: Right-wing media have attacked new fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks by seizing on reports that the plan would increase the cost of the trucks. But both the Obama administration and the trucking industry say the costs would be quickly recouped in money saved on fuel expenses, and industry officials largely support the new standards. Trucking companies, who will bear the up-front costs of more expensive technology, will pay for the investments through fuel savings in 18 months to 24 months, said Bill Graves, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations in Arlington, Virginia. “It's an exciting time for our industry,” Graves said to reporters outside the White House. “It was a win-win for everyone.”



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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.