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Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

To Trump and His Supporters, Blacks and Muslims Are the Enemy

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:18
Sonali Kolhatkar

From Minneapolis to Chicago this week, thousands of Americans are marching to demand justice in the police shootings of two young black men, 24-year-old Jamar Clark and 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Despite the fact that fatal shootings at the hands of U.S. police far outnumber American deaths at the hands of terrorists, right-wing politicians in the U.S. are focused solely on the specter of Muslim fundamentalism in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

30 Seconds, 16 Shots, 400 Days: The Murder of Laquan McDonald

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:14
Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

On the night of Oct. 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old African-American teenager in Chicago, was walking down the street when two police cruisers sped up to him. Officers jumped out, and at least one of them, Jason Van Dyke, began firing. Laquan fell to the ground, his final, painful moments caught on the dashboard video camera of a third police vehicle that had arrived just seconds before. Laquan spun as he was shot. Two bullets hit him in the back. As the video clearly shows, the bullets were pumped into him, evidenced by clouds of dust exploding off the pavement.

Claiming Power, Creating the Future

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:11
Robert C. Koehler

“Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution . . .”

Ralph Nader writes in a recent essay that we should demand acknowledgement of this fact from our presidential candidates and ask what they will do to restore this sovereignty to the American people, in their various manifestations as voters, taxpayers, workers and consumers.

Stronger Locks, Better Security

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 04:49
Cindy Cohn

What if, in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, or cybersecurity attacks on companies and government agencies, the FBI had come to the American people and said: In order to keep you safe, we need you to remove all the locks on your doors and windows and replace them with weaker ones. It's because, if you were a terrorist and we needed to get to your house, your locks might slow us down or block us entirely.  So Americans, remove your locks! And American companies: stop making good locks!

21 Kids and a Climate Scientist Are Suing to Force Obama to Fight Climate Change

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 04:39
John Light

When the young people working with Our Children’s Trust talk about their lawsuits to compel governments to act on climate change, they like to use a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Workers Need a Better Deal on Thanksgiving Weekend

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 04:32
Jenny Wittner

We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may mean great deals for shoppers but they can be a terrible deal for the millions of retail and warehouse workers who are forced to work long, unpredictable hours. Recently, many stores have even stayed open on Thanksgiving, preventing workers from spending the holiday with their families and friends.

What Competing Thanksgiving Tales Share

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 04:19
Jim Hightower

Thanksgiving is here. Let’s eat!

America’s most food-focused holiday traces its roots back to the abundant feast that Pilgrims and Indians enjoyed together in the fall of 1621.

Only half of the Mayflower Pilgrims who’d arrived at Plymouth Rock the previous December survived their first year in the New World. (It was “new,” of course, only to those undocumented immigrants from England — not the locals).

Obama Administration Changed the Rationale for Why Assassinations Don’t Violate the Assassination Prohibition

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 13:20
Marcy Wheeler

As a number of outlets have reported, the Second Circuit last month upheld the government’s effort to keep a March 29, 2002 OLC memo pertaining to targeted killing secret; the opinion was unsealed yesterday. The government is probably doing so to keep changes in their rationale for why assassinations don’t violate the prohibition on assassination in EO 12333 secret.

Why the CIA is Smearing Edward Snowden After the Paris Attacks

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 13:08
Glenn Greenwald

Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity.

400 Days? Really, Alvarez? Really, McCarthy? Really, Rahm?

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 10:19
Eric Zorn

The release of the dash-cam video showing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot to death by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke will help members of the public answer some questions about the incident. Is it as bad as those who have seen it say it is? Does the viewer see any mitigating, justifying factors in the images?

But it will not answer what ought to be the central question here: What took so long for officials to act?

Tuesday marked 400 days since the shooting took place on Oct. 20, 2014.

One Year Later: Still No Justice For Tamir Rice

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 10:12
Terrance Heath

One year ago this week, Cleveland, Ohio police shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of encountering him. There is still no justice for Rice and his family. If the prosecutor has his way there will be no justice for Tamir Rice.

Home, Sweet Kleptocracy

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:47
Rebecca Gordon

A top government official with energy industry holdings huddles in secret with oil company executives to work out the details of a potentially lucrative “national energy policy.” Later, that same official steers billions of government dollars to his former oi

Turkey Provokes Russia with Shoot-down

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:36
Robert Parry

President Barack Obama – always sensitive to neocon criticism that he’s “weak” – continues to edge the world closer to a nuclear confrontation with Russia as he talks tough and tolerates more provocations against Moscow, now including Turkey’s intentional shoot-down of a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border.

Once Again, Media Terrorize the Public for the Terrorists

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:29
Adam Johnson

Another devastating terror spectacle and another media panic playing right into the script: spreading fear and sowing Islamophobia. Better writers than I have documented the latter, but not as much attention has been paid to the former—how in the wake of the Paris attacks 10 days ago, much of the media have needlessly stoked fears and acted, entirely predictably, as the PR wing for terrorists.

US Represents Cautionary Tale about Media System Dominated by Market Values

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:24
Victor Pickard

Taken as a whole, the American media system is atypical. It is a largely commercial system that is offset by weak public alternatives, it’s lightly regulated by public interest protections, and in many sectors it’s dominated by a few corporations. Other countries’ media systems may face one or two of these structural problems, but rarely all three.

A Holiday Reminder: Give Thanks for the Groups Who Resettle Refugees, and Live Up to American Ideals

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:16
Joan Walsh

In the shadow of terror attacks in Paris and Bamako, Mali, with the world closer to a widening war thanks to Turkey’s shooting down a Russian warplane, it’s hard to approach a holiday like Thanksgiving. It’s always a little tough: each year we celebrate a saccharine myth about the peaceful coming together of two peoples, those who lived on this continent to begin with, and those who came here, some of them refugees from religious persecution.

The Temptation of Expanding U.S. Military Involvement

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:52
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Hillary Clinton’s speech last week on the Islamic State at the Council on Foreign Relations has received more praise than parsing, benefiting from the contrast to the shameless fear-mongering of Republican presidential candidates. But sounding better than the cacophony coming out of the GOP ship of fools is a low bar. On the question of whether her strategy makes sense, the speech falls dramatically short.

Federal Court Preserves Secrecy Over Targeted Killing Memos

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:44
Brett Max Kaufman

A disappointing ruling released on Monday will keep crucial details about the government’s targeted killing program shielded from public review.

Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:40
Rajesh Makwana

Has the international community left it too late to prevent runaway climate change and widespread ecological degradation? Does the typical citizen and career politician have the inclination to accept the severity of the ‘planetary emergency’, let alone make the lifestyle changes and policy decisions needed to address it? And can the upcoming UN climate negotiations in Paris really signal an end to the unregulated dumping of carbon emissions, or mark a shift away from the business-as-usual approach to economic development?

Turkey Brings NATO to the Precipice of War With Russia

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:17
James Carden

Following today’s news that Turkey has shot a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft out of the sky, NATO ministers, former and current US government officials, and the wondrously pliable American punditocracy immediately began circling the wagons, pointing the finger of blame for the incident at Russian President Vladimir Putin. Indeed, only hours after the event, CNN’s Carol Costello put on-air two young Russia “analysts” who charged that Russian state media was “spinning” the story to the Russia government’s advantage. Quelle surprise!

State Integrity Investigation gives Oregon an F

The long-standing State Integrity Investigation of the Center for Public Integrity and Public Radio International has granted Oregon an overall F grade on avoiding corruption in state government.

The ranking is accompanied by a scathing, accurate article about Oregon's failure in fighting corruption.

Oregon's overall rank fell from 14th to 42nd, the biggest drop of any state.

We have been saying for years that Oregon's lack of limits on political contributions and repeal of laws requiring that political ads identify their funders makes Oregon government inherently corruptible. Now the leading national investigation of State integrity agrees with us.