GLENN GREENWALD: American media officials are incredibly subservient to American political officials. That’s been—you know, American media figures are. But when it comes to Israeli political officials, it’s virtually cringe-inducing to watch how accommodating and deferential and submissive they become.
There’s a fundamental problem in our world today: neither our governments nor our press are doing their jobs. Both groups seem to be working for someone else, because governments are either trying to conceal their motives (hence their love for secrecy) or they try to obfuscate by presenting a false motive for their actions.
The press is worse than useless, because they go along with the desire of the politicians to hide their motives and conceal their bad behavior from the people. The press behaves more like a cheering section than “the fourth estate,” whose job is to inform the people. As the old champions die off or retire, they are not being replaced. The news media are more concerned with entertaining their audience than they are with informing them. Poor show, as the Brits would say! Shame on you!
We believe there is a strong case for Internet Providers to be regulated as “Common Carriers” by the FCC. Our reasons follow.
Over the last several years, there has been some controversy over the role that the FCC should play with regard to telecommunications companies. In part, this controversy has been fuelled by the right-wing’s love of laissez-faire capitalism: they demand that government avoid regulation, even when such regulation would ‘even the playing field,’ as between large corporations and individual subscribers. For years, the FCC has caved in to these demands, and has ‘forborne’ to act on its appointed role as communications regulator, with regard to these ‘new’ Internet services. Read More
In a major change in policy, Egypt now supports of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. The shift in policy reflects the Egyptian military’s characterization of the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood protesters as terrorists and the close alignment of the deposed Morsi government and its Muslim Brotherhood supporters with the Syrian rebel cause.
Policies shifted after the June 30 revolution during which Mohamed Morsi was ousted as president. The army chief who removed the Muslim Brotherhood aligned Morsi, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, stopped the recruitment and transport of Egyptian citizens to fight for the Syrian rebel cause. The new Egyptian government quickly restored diplomatic relations with Syria which were severed under Morsi.
What you are going to see over the next week is an overt effort by Democrats to politicize the issue of disaster response. They’re right to do it. Conservatives are already complaining about this, but the attempt to wall disaster response off from politics in the aftermath of a disaster is an attempt to insulate Republicans from the consequences of their policies.
Funding for FEMA is something the parties wrangle over, with Republicans pushing to limit the agency’s budget, and Democrats pushing back. FEMA has to fight for its share of a constricted pot of money for domestic non-entitlement spending, a pot of money that the Republicans propose to radically constrict. How radically? Romney’s budget promises require shrinking domestic non-entitlement spending as a share of the economy by about two-thirds.
The Republican proposal to eviscerate this wide array of public functions is one of the underdiscussed questions of the election. Republicans have defended it using a very clever trick. They don’t explain how they would allocate the massive cuts to all these programs. When President Obama explains what would happen if those cuts were allocated in an across-the-board fashion, Republicans scream bloody murder. And when any single one of those programs enters the political debate, they can deny plans to make any specific cuts: They won’t cut education, they won’t cut support for veterans, and so on.
The GOP is the party arguing for splurging on a long vacation at the beach rather than repairing the roof. Naturally, they want to have this argument only when it’s sunny and never when it’s raining. There’s no reason to accommodate them.
As Scott Lemieux (h/t) rightly notes, “Policies have consequences… . It’s “political” to point this out, but not in any negative sense.” Sandy has highlighted (and further widened) the measurable gap between the respective policy platforms of the Obama & Romney campaigns relating to critical federal infrastructure and crisis management resources. And no amount of frantic Etch-a-Sketching (nor simian-esque shit-flinging from the sub-literate wingnut fringe) will damn that hemorrhagic fissure.