PND Commentary

Sharyl Attkisson vs. Obama’s Police State

November 21, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"If the revelations of Edward Snowden didn't convince you that we're living in a police state, then Sharyl Attkisson's book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington, is the clincher. Indeed, it is more convincing insofar as the reporting that came out of Snowden's disclosures never definitively demonstrated how such powerful technology in the hands of unrestrained government has led to the targeting of political opponents by government officials. In Attkisson's book, the ultimate Orwellian nightmare comes true ..." (11/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lpu42pf  

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Uber forgot the charm, but not the offensive

November 21, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"When Uber hired one-time Obama whisperer David Plouffe, CEO Travis Kalanick wrote, 'We are in the middle of a political campaign and it turns out the candidate is Uber. Our opponent -- the Big Taxi cartel -- has used decades of political contributions and influence to restrict competition, reduce choice for consumers, and put a stranglehold on economic opportunity for its drivers.' Translation: This is war, and we’re going to use every weapon known to win." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mf23hr4  

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Why people are “walking in” for public schools

November 21, 2014
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Every school day in the Lincoln Park community on the North Side of Chicago greets students with well-appointed institutions that include some of the best facilities that American public schools have to offer. Click over to the Yelp ratings for the elementary schools and you’ll read parent reviews that talk about their elementary school’s band programs, afterschool programs, and recent innovative practices being implemented. ... This is not at all like the lived experience of students attending public schools on Chicago’s South Side." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwlucnf  

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Who rules the world?

November 21, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Benjamin Dangl  

"With a $4 billion price tag, the recent US midterm election was the most expensive in the country’s history. For the first time in eight years, the Republicans gained complete control of Congress, as well as won victories in key Senate and gubernatorial races across the country. With elections in the US, we are granted the illusion that voters generally have power over our elected leaders, the direction of the economy, and how to tackle climate change and other major issues. But where does the real power lie?" (11/20/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/11/20/who-rules-the-world/  

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Starting with Latinos, Obama seeks a lasting legacy

November 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Bill Schneider  

"Demographics is long. Politics is short. That’s what President Barack Obama is counting on with his executive action on immigration. President Obama is risking what may be short-term political setbacks in order to create a legacy for himself and the Democratic Party. He is seeking to shore up lasting support among key Democratic constituencies. The president and his party are counting on demographics. Demographics delivered a great Democratic victory in 2012. This year, however, politics trumped demographics, and the Democrats were done in." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lpfvkvb  

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Why Republicans are so mad about Obama’s immigration order

November 20, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"President Obama is going to detail some executive actions he plans to take on immigration in a speech tonight, and you may have noticed that the debate over this move is almost completely void of discussion of the particulars. Instead, we're discussing whether Obama is exceeding his powers. That's an important question to address, but it also frees Republicans (for the moment anyway) of having to visibly argue for things like deporting the parents of kids who are already allowed to stay in the United States." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o9pm97q  

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Sheldon Richman on The Scott Horton Show

November 20, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Sheldon Richman, vice president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses Hillary Clinton's gushing admiration of war criminal Henry Kissinger in her review of his new book World Order; and why progressives hoping for a successful Clinton 2016 presidential campaign should take a second look before they elect a power-hungry monster." [Flash audio or MP3] (11/19/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/11/19/111914-sheldon-richman/  

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Why I am pro-choice

November 20, 2014
posted by

Brendan O'Neill spiked
by Brendan O'Neill  

"The first rule of the politics of fear is that if you want to make something sound scarier than it actually is, you add the word 'culture' at the end of it. ... And so it is with abortion. How can you make what is a pretty mundane medical procedure that British women have been legally accessing for nearly 50 years sound like something terrifying? By adding the magic c-word. That is what we've been invited here tonight to talk about: 'abortion culture.' I've been asked to oppose the motion 'This House Believes Britain's Abortion Culture Hurts Us All.' The reason I'm happy to oppose this motion is because it is built on a fallacy. There is no 'abortion culture.'" (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mk3sxkt  

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Elizabeth Warren needs to run for President

November 20, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Ian Reifowitz  

"The midterms didn't go so well. The Democrats should have run on economic populism. They should have put forth a coherent vision of where they want to take our country, one that includes a frank assessment of our current problems, and a concrete set of proposals to address them. Instead they tried to run to the right of President Obama by distancing themselves from Obamacare and other administration priorities. One candidate even tried to keep 'private' the fact that she voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lc7valk  

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Why McDonald’s struggles are a good thing

November 20, 2014
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Juan Thompson  

"The year 2014 has not been kind to one of the biggest symbols of American capitalism. Last quarter, McDonald’s saw its U.S. sales fall 3 percent as profits tumbled 30 percent. It was the 12th straight month of falling sales at the fast food giant, which this summer posted its worst revenue decline in more than a decade. But critics, including McDonald’s employees, see a silver lining. They are hoping the company’s financial troubles will force McDonald’s to rethink how it does business at a time when it needs to address a growing number of problems." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pfyc3ek  

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After fearmongering kills NSA reform, what’s next?

November 20, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Zoe Carpenter  

"For a few hours on Tuesday, the Islamic State looked like the best thing that ever happened to the National Security Agency. The USA Freedom Act, a modest bill seen as the best chance for reforming one of the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs, failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate by two votes after Republicans insisted that it would precipitate a terrorist attack." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pe47lzy  

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Rand Paul sounds off to Salon on race, 2016, Hillary and Republicans

November 20, 2014
posted by

Salon
by Phillip Bailey  

Interview with US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Paul: "You know, I think there is a great deal of possibility for any candidate who can get out of either party, that doesn’t neatly fit in either party’s mold. So I think if you had a Democrat unusual enough to get through the primary system but to appeal to people outside of the Democrat mold, they could do well. Same goes for a Republican." (11/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/prxoa4x  

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Jason Ditz on The Scott Horton Show

November 20, 2014
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Jason Ditz, news editor for Antiwar.com, discusses Jundallah’s pledge of support for ISIS; and Mossad’s history of using Jundallah to commit terrorist attacks in Iran to damage US-Iran relations." [Flash audio or MP3] (11/18/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/11/18/111814-jason-ditz/  

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Uber is one startup that needs to grow up fast

November 20, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Robert Cyran  

"Uber is one startup that needs to grow up fast. The Silicon Valley taxi app’s disregard for rules has spurred it toward a $30 billion valuation. But executives who threaten to 'dig up dirt' on critics, use unsavory tactics against rivals, and post statistics on customers' one-night stands present an existential business risk and hurt its fledgling brand. Uber needs to rein in its laddish impulses. Ironically, the latest embarrassment for founder Travis Kalanick came at a dinner in New York hosted by Uber to try to improve the media’s perception of the company. Senior Vice President Emil Michael suggested Uber could look into 'your personal lives, your families,' and give the media a taste of its own medicine, according to Buzzfeed." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qbpwjer  

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Danger signals: ISIL, Hamas & the future of Israel

November 20, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"In Hebrew, 'black flag' refers to an immediate, glaring warning -- as in, the 'black flag of illegality' that figuratively flies over a military order that a soldier must refuse, or the actual flag put up by lifeguards to signal that the sea is too stormy for swimming. The symbolism of the color is entirely arbitrary. In Arab culture, a black flag recalls the battle standards of the Prophet Muhammad and of the Abbasid caliphate, which ruled from Baghdad over a vast Islamic empire. Traditionally, the connotations are positive. In recent months, though, the two meanings have converged. Inscribed with the words 'There is no god but God,' a black banner is now a symbol of danger, across the Middle East and beyond." (11/19/14)

http://prospect.org/article/isil-hamas-and-future-israel  

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Is there no limit to college tuition hikes?

November 20, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"If you are about to apply to college or send your children to an institution of higher learning, please make sure not to miss the CNN documentary, 'Ivory Tower,' by Andrew Rossi which looks at why college is so expensive. ... I was spellbound watching the what happened at Cooper Union, where President Jamshed Bharucha ended a 150-year policy of not charging tuition. The school made some bad investments and built a $175 million building. ... Some students at Cooper Union argued that college is a right, not just at Cooper Union, but everywhere. That’s not realistic. If a college education is a right, then no one has to earn it. And: While graduates benefit financially from a degree, they expect other people to pay for it. And if someone else pays for it, why would administrators ever control costs?" (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzbvkb6  

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Fracking the poor

November 19, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Hannah Guzik  

"It was supposed to be a good day. It was the first day of school and Johanna Romo, 12, had just woken up. It was already hot, and if she had looked out the window, she would have seen smog hugging the valley floor, obscuring the mountains, as it has almost every day this year. But she didn’t have a chance to look out the window. As Johanna sat up and prepared to put on her school uniform (a blue shirt and khaki pants) her body lurched backward onto the floor, violently shaking." (11/19/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17355/fracking_the_poor  

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Red Mist Rising: Inside the world’s most powerful terrorist organization

November 19, 2014
posted by

Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd  

"These days there is an overwhelming amount of blather about the political machinations on Capitol Hill in the wake of the recent elections. Who's in, who's out, how will this player out-play that player, and -- most important of all -- how will these machinations affect the all-important, historically decisive 2106 presidential campaign? All this earnest speculation, all this avid interest, all this heartfelt ardor -- and for what? To figure out which blood-soaked poltroon will be the temporary head of this monstrous, murderous terrorist apparatus -- an empire that brazenly kills scores of innocent people, week in, week out, year after year, all the while celebrating its own rectitude and righteousness and 'exceptional' virtue." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qeloza9  

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Left, right, left

November 19, 2014
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"Sean Gabb: 'If Kevin Carson can have an outreach to the left, why can't some of us have an outreach to the right?' My reply (with some typos corrected): Libertarianism and leftism are coterminous. That is, they are the same thing with the same originating point. Libertarianism is the extreme leftmost point on the political spectrum. Therefore, to the extent that someone is a libertarian he is also a leftist and vice versa and all libertarian outreach to non-libertarians is outreach 'to the right.'" (11/19/14)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2014/11/left-right-left.html  

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Immigration & shutdowns: Right things vs. wrong things

November 19, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Republicans don’t even take over the Senate until January, but already they’re talking about shutting down the government. This time it’s over the President’s effort to provide some relief for the millions of families and thousands of communities being harmed by a broken immigration system. Last time it was in an effort to stop Obamacare from helping millions of families. Their shutdowns are about obstruction and political strategy, not about what is good for the country and the people in it." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pt4khn4  

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The irrelevance of the US Congress in stopping NSA mass surveillance: What matters instead

November 19, 2014
posted by

Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald  

"The entire system in D.C. is designed at its core to prevent real reform. This Congress is not going to enact anything resembling fundamental limits on the NSA's powers of mass surveillance. Even if it somehow did, this White House would never sign it. Even if all that miraculously happened, the fact that the U.S. intelligence community and National Security State operates with no limits and no oversight means they'd easily co-opt the entire reform process: just like how the eavesdropping scandals of the mid-1970s led to the establishment of Intelligence Committees (which were instantly captured by putting in charge supreme IC servants like Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss and Congressmen Mike Rogers and 'Dutch' Ruppersberger) and the creation of FISA 'oversight' courts (instantly turned into rubber stamps by installing subservient judges and having it all function in total secrecy)." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o6qler4  

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NSA reform blocked by constitutionally disinclined GOP Senators

November 19, 2014
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"The vital cause of NSA reform (which seemed to be gaining strength, as not just citizens but their elected representatives came to recognize the consequences of the issues raised by Edward Snowden’s leaks) has hit a rough spot in recent weeks. Allies of the cause are being defeated or abandoning their principles and major initiatives are failing. The first bad news came November 4, when Colorado Senator Mark Udall lost his campaign for a second term. In his first term, the Democrat had emerged as one of the steadiest, and frequently most aggressive, critics of National Security Agency abuses." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndlbtz7  

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Metastasizing of the police state of America

November 19, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dave Lindorff  

"The latest news on the burgeoning police state in the US -- a page-one investigative report in the New York Times disclosing that at least 40 agencies of the US government from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Supreme Court (!) are using undercover agents to spy on and even to entrap law-abiding American citizens -- suggests that we have passed the tipping point. One can no longer speak in terms of the US as a country that is moving towards becoming a police state. We are living in a police state." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q3ughn7  

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Yes, Mitch McConnell is killing coal

November 19, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"In Alison Lundergan Grimes'[s] losing campaign, she ran an ad that made one of the most insightful points of any ad in the 2014 midterm elections. Standing in front of a coal-fired power plant Grimes said, 'They are shutting down half the plant and laying off their workers because [Senate Republican leader] Mitch McConnell didn’t fight to get the scrubbers it needs to reduce coal emissions.' The ad didn’t get attention for that line. It got attention for a trumped-up, and contradictory, charge that followed, that 'Mitch and his wife pocketed $600,000 from enemies of coal.' Most of the money came from McConnell’s wife serving on the board of a bank that made a decision five years prior to her arrival to cut back on its financing of mountaintop removals. Claiming that McConnell was a secret environmentalist was a factually flawed charge that fell flat, but the beginning of the ad was truthful and highly relevant." (11/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k57qbrq  

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Why the feds are fed up with the NFL

November 19, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Dave Zirin  

"Let’s be clear: the recent raid on five NFL teams by the Drug Enforcement Agency to see if teams were doubling as illegal painkiller dispensaries has little to do with concerns about how our nation’s Sunday heroes Novocain themselves for gridiron glory. The fact that the NFL and their teams of doctors and nurses give out prescription pills like Halloween candy and break out syringes to top off sessions of physical therapy has been public knowledge for over forty years. ... The real story here is that these raids happened at all. The NFL employs twenty-six full-time lobbyists and spends about $1.5 million per election cycle to make sure that the feds leave the league alone and no one looks too closely at how the sausages are made." (11/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k5s4f2g  

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