Bill Keller at The New York Times asks Is Glenn Greenwald the Future of News?
Glenn Greenwald broke what is probably the year’s biggest news story, Edward Snowden’s revelations of the vast surveillance apparatus constructed by the National Security Agency. He has also been an outspoken critic of the kind of journalism practiced at places like The New York Times, and an advocate of a more activist, more partisan kind of journalism. Earlier this month he announced he was joining a new journalistic venture, backed by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar, who has promised to invest $250 million and to “throw out all the old rules.” I invited Greenwald to join me in an online exchange about what, exactly, that means.Bernie Sanders in an Op-Ed at the Los Angeles Times writes The right way to make a federal budget:
Interestingly, today's "deficit hawks" in Congress — Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and other conservative Republicans — voted for those measures that drove up deficits. Now that they're worried about deficits again, they want to dismantle virtually every social program designed to protect working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor.Owen Jones at The Independent makes clear that ideological assaults against unions continues to be a global phenomenon in The Grangemouth dispute makes it clear who really runs the country:
In other words, it's OK to spend trillions on a war we should never have waged in Iraq and to provide huge tax breaks for billionaires and multinational corporations. But in the midst of very difficult economic times, we just can't afford to protect the most vulnerable people in our country. That's their view. I disagree.
So where do we go from here? How do we draft a federal budget that creates jobs, makes our country more productive, protects working families and lowers the deficit?
A Swiss-based private company has held to ransom not just hundreds of workers and their families, not just their community, but an entire nation. The Grangemouth dispute was not some parochial, localised affair, a potential tragedy for yet more livelihoods sacrificed on the altar of global capitalism. It wasn’t just that its closure would have had a shattering impact on the Scottish economy, as well as frightening implications for Britain’s fuel security. The whole episode raises again an age-old question, not whispered enough, let alone asked loudly: who runs Britain?You find links to and excerpts from other pundits below the fold.
Inevitably, in a country with a media institutionally hostile to what remains the country’s largest democratic movement, Fleet Street has embraced a narrative of scapegoating trade unions and ignored the fact that Ineos is the secretive, largest privately run company that operates in Britain. Having fled Britain’s tax regime in 2010, Ineos is a corporate giant that has legally saved millions from the greedy clutches of schools and hospitals by operating in up to six tax havens.
Paul Krugman at The New York Times ponders The Big Kludge:
The good news about HealthCare.gov, the portal to Obamacare’s health exchange, is that the administration is no longer minimizing its problems. That’s the first step toward fixing the mess—and it will get fixed, although it’s anyone’s guess whether the new promise of a smoothly functioning system by the end of November will be met. We know, after all, that Obamacare is workable, since many states that chose to run their own exchanges are doing quite well.The Editorial Board of the Washington Post concludes:
But while we wait for the geeks to do their stuff, let’s ask a related question: Why did this thing have to be so complicated in the first place?
Of all the official reactions to changing mores on marijuana, decriminalization is the best.Judge Richard Posner at The New Republic explains in I Did Not 'Recant' on Voter ID Laws that bloggers and other media were mistaken in their characterization of comments in his latest book as conceding that he was wrong in the case that sparked mandated photo IDs in several states for anyone to be allowed to vote:
I did not say that my decision, and the Supreme Court’s decision affirming it (written, be it noted, by the notably liberal Justice Stevens), were wrong, only that, in common with many other judges, I could not be confident that it was right, since I am one of the judges who doesn’t understand the electoral process sufficiently well to be able to gauge the consequences of decisions dealing with that process. I may well have been wrong in Crawford, because laws similar (I do not say identical) to Indiana’s represent a “type of law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention” (emphasis added)—“now” referring to the fact there has been a flurry of such laws since 2007, when my opinion in the Crawford case was issued, and they have been sharply criticized.John Nichols at The Nation discusses Lou Reed’s Politics:
Lou Reed, who has died at age 71, will be rightly remembered for creating a canon that was groundbreaking in the scope of its sociological and literary achievement. There was nothing unreasonable about Reed’s 1987 suggestion to Rolling Stone that “all through this, I’ve always thought that if you thought of all of it as a book then you have the Great American Novel, every record as a chapter. They’re all in chronological order. You take the whole thing, stack it and listen to it in order, there’s my Great American Novel.”Jim Hightower at The Progressive writes Gun-Loving Wackos Intend to Cage Themselves in Idaho:
Yet, Reed was, as well, an artist who understood and engaged in the political struggles of his times. No one who followed the remarkable career of the Velvet Underground co-founder and iconic solo artist over the better part of five decades failed to recognize his determination to speak up—and to show up.
I haven't heard such enthusiastic, downright raucous applause since Texas Gov. "Oops" Perry suggested in 2009 that his state just might withdraw from the union. Unfortunately for him, the applauders were not Texans, but the people of the other 49 states.E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post writes First, Admit the Problem:
This year, though, Idaho is the recipient of hip-hip-hoorays from across the country. Why? Because it has been selected as the site of an extraordinary new town to be named "III Citadel." This will be a walled, heavily-fortified, one-square-mile settlement of some 7,000 armed & angry, ideologically-pure, anti-government extremists drawn from cities, towns and gopher holes all across America. Lucky you, Idaho!
Here’s the mistake made by President Obama and the Democrats that nobody is talking about: They have been too fearful of confronting our country’s three-year obsession with the wrong problem.Alex Kirby at Climate News Network explains a little math problem in Carbon cut-off point ‘is 27 years away’:
And here is the tea party’s greatest victory: It has made the wrong problem the center of policymaking.
The wrong problem is the deficit. The right problem is sluggish growth and persistent unemployment.
Last month’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the world’s “climate budget”—the amount of CO2 it can afford to emit if it is to stay below 2°C—is a trillion tonnes.
Researchers at the University of Oxford, UK, say global emissions already amount to 574 billion tonnes—and show every sign of increasing. Based on emission trends over the past 20 years, they expect at the moment that the trillionth tonne will be emitted some time during November 2040 (the exact date is moving slowly closer).
To prevent the world emitting the trillionth tonne, the Oxford team says, CO2 emissions will have to be cut by 2.47% a year, and to keep falling at that rate until they reach zero.
The Oxford research may make sober reading, but it could be worse. It does not take into account emissions of greenhouse gases apart from CO2, and it does not allow for “feedbacks” – the possibility that global warming could itself trigger damaging consequences, for example the release from the Arctic permafrost of methane, a potent GHG.