Michael Smallberg of the Project on Government Oversight talks about what it means when a powerful federal regulator leaves to join one of the entities he used to regulate. And NACLA's Keane Bhatt discusses what's missing in This American Life's coverage of Central America.
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Workers at Wal-Mart walked off the job this week and that is business far from usual at the retail giant. Reporter Josh Eidelson explains why it’s a game-changer. And U.S. media were rooting against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Journalist and activist Keane Bhatt will tell us about the worst of the coverage.
Washington Post’s prestige based on proximity to power
Vietnamese general’s obit recalls imperial grievances
During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon persuaded South Vietnam through back channels to withdraw from peace negotiations just as a breakthrough was imminent. Under a Nixon presidency, “they would get a much better deal,” he secretly promised through a campaign adviser (BBC, 3/22/13). With the peace process stymied, Nixon narrowly defeated Vice President Hubert Humphrey. He then expanded the conflict throughout the region via secret, illegal carpet bombings over Laos and Cambodia, overseen by National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Nixon presided over four more years of war and the deaths of over 20,000 US soldiers—more than a third of […]
Washington's role is a story not worth telling
On the evening of December 4, 1982, President Ronald Reagan informed reporters assembled at an Air Force base in Honduras that he had just engaged in a “useful exchange of ideas” with Efraín Rios Montt. The Guatemalan military general was the most recent in a succession of U.S.-backed dictators who had been governing the country since the CIA first toppled its democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, in 1954. “I know that President Rios Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment,” Reagan continued. “I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to […]
Don’t try this at home, voters
Over the past 30 years, the top 1 percent of the United States has experienced a 240 percent increase in its real annual income, while the median household income has barely budged (Economic Policy Institute, 6/18/12, 9/13/11). Imagine if this explosive, decades-long growth of inequality were somehow reversed—at an even faster rate than its original expansion. This has actually happened in Venezuela, and it goes a long way toward explaining why President Hugo Chávez was re-elected in October, despite many U.S. media pundits’ predictions of a victory by opposition leader Henrique Capriles (CounterSpin, 10/12/12). The likelihood of coming across an […]
Foreign policy differences no longer seem ‘profound’
“Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance,” warned the New York Times editorial board in October 2008 (10/23/08). In endorsing presidential candidate Barack Obama over John McCain, the Times stressed that the differences between the two candidates were “profound.” On issues related to the Constitution and the rule of law, the Times editorial decried Bush-era transgressions, like “the power to imprison men without charges,” the executive branch’s “unfettered authority to spy on Americans” and the creation of “secret prisons” around the world where torture was outsourced. Although the newspaper […]