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Truthout Daily Digest | Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I’m glad Truthout chose to address the community college thing. It didn’t feel right or make sense that President Obama who is very educated and intelligent would propose a plan so poorly designed and thought out. I’m frankly tired of the moneyed monsters behind the scenes using Barack Obama as their tool. At least for me it’s fairly obvious when he is speaking from his own heart and mind and when he’s a mouthpiece. I’m in no doubt at all that HE knows-and that he uses his intelligence by purposefully making their plans and ideas as ridiculous as possible (“We tortured some folks”? You can’t seriously think a man that intelligent would say that -that way-if HE really believed in what he was supposedly defending or sweeping under the rug!)

I believe he is using their racism and superiority complex to drive the “hidden powers” agenda, actions and plans right into the public spotlight.

Of course plenty of die-hard Democrats will support whatever he proposed simply because ANYTHING has got to be better than what Boehner and friends are serving.

I realized something was odd about the community college thing when first my gut instincts rejected it without reason and second, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with a column about it by David Brooks, a conservative commentator in my local newspaper. I appreciate his writing but have never read a column I agreed with so fully.

I think issues like this highlight the fact that America has functioned as well as it has because the tug of war between left and right has often resulted in solutions that incorporated the best ideas from both sides in a compromise that all could accept.

Since the Republican party was taken over by extremists for whom compromise is a four letter word, we have lost that blessing. However, the right wing going insane didn’t suddenly make every supposedly left wing idea perfect. Like a bird, our country does need BOTH wings to fly.

One idea I, like many other liberals, can relate to from conservative views is the concern for invasive control tactics from government or corporations (more usually from corporations, enacted by government).

I see things being manipulated where there is no need. Much like the sovereignty conceding trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP etc) and the obscene levels of surveillance, excessive control of community colleges seems to be another step on the stairway down to fascist totalitarian capitalism.

Perhaps I think too much, but it seems ever more apparent to me that the time has come for all aware Americans from all political philosophies to stow our differences and work together to stop the fascist oligarchy from destroying our country.

Surely we can all agree that freedom, real democracy, an environment and food that is safe and clean are required by us all?

Twenty Pounds of BS in a Ten-Pound Bag

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said we’ve “turned the page” on the economic wasteland created by our neocon/neoliberal brain trust in Washington. In reality, however, countless Americans are economically scared to death, and most of them are living paycheck to paycheck.

Read the Article

Trading Away Our Environmental Future: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Martha Baskin, Truthout: Although making sure trade deals don’t harm communities and the planet may not be a government priority yet, activists are convinced that if we can stop fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it could mean an improvement for future trade negotiations.

Read the Article

Simon Johnson: GOP and Wall Street Say, “To Hell With Protecting the Public!”

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: In the last election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions. Their spending strategy appears to be working. Just last week, the House passed further legislation that would delay by two years some key provisions of Dodd-Frank.

Read the Interview

Dysfunctional Drones Underscore Mission Mess at Homeland Security

Tom Barry, Truthout: A new report confirms that the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection program is not clear about its mission, lacks any clear and pragmatic definition of what constitutes a secure border and cannot set realistic performance goals to measure its effectiveness.

Read the Article

The Trojan Horse of “Free” Community College

Adam Bessie, Truthout: Will the strings likely to be attached to President Obama’s plan for “free community college” fundamentally alter the nature of the institution? If open access is sacrificed, and high-stakes testing is instituted, the community college model may be changed for the worse.

Read the Article

Ralph Nader on What Was Missing in President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: Much of President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the economy and efforts to bolster the middle class with a push for education, child care and tax breaks. But did he go far enough? Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate, discusses the speech.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The Myth of Obama Moving to the Left

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: The so-called “middle-class economics” espoused by President Obama in the State of the Union was, many decades ago, the conservative position here in the United States. So to say that Obama is moving to the left, as many Republicans claim, ignores our own history.

Read the Article

Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change

Kathy Kelly, teleSUR: People in the United States must see every detainee in Guantánamo as human, someone to be called by name and not by a prison number. The cartoon versions of foreign policy handed to Americans, designating heroes and villains, create a dangerously under-educated public unable to engage in democratic decision-making.

Read the Article

The Astronomical Scale of Money in Politics

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Brennan Center for Justice: Since the Supreme Court issued theCitizens United ruling, it’s clear average Americans are not funding our elections. The major individuals driving political spending are the 1% of the 1%.

Read the Article

Seven Reproductive Rights Issues to Watch in 2015

Nina Martin, ProPublica: Changes for abortion, contraception and more top the agenda with Republicans in the majority in Congress and many state legislatures.

Read the Article

Boehner’s Constitution Read Should Only Be a Beginning

Robert Weiner and Autumn Kelly, The Hill: An informed electorate would create a more productive, representative government. Not reading the US Constitution is like asking coach to put you into the game when you haven’t studied the playbook.

Read the Article


Why I Didn’t Watch the State of the Union

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: It is a mistake to expect deliverance from the outcome of an election or the fleeting promises contained in a speech.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

High Levels of Cancer-Causing Benzene Found in Public Water Supplies After Montana Pipeline Spill

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

Government Health-Care Website Quietly Sharing Personal Data

Read the Article at the Associated Press

Swing State Ohio Is Plunging Ever Deeper Into the Fossil Fuel and Nuke Abyss

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

France Unveils Raft of “Anti-Terrorism” Measures After Paris Attacks

Read the Article at AFP

Faced With Land Seizures, Defiant Nebraskans Vow to Halt Keystone XL

Read the Article at Common Dreams

The Secret History of the GOP’s New Abortion Ban

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Mike Huckabee’s Hashtag Should Be #Hypocrisy

Read the Article at BuzzFlash