Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


Huffington Post
"Leaderless: Senate Pushes For Public Option Without Obama's Support...
President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan 'triggered' into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks.

The administration retreat runs counter to the letter and the spirit of Obama's presidential campaign. The man who ran on the 'Audacity of Hope' has now taken a more conservative stand than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), leaving progressives with a mix of confusion and outrage."

-->According to the NY Times story: "Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, told President Obama on Thursday that he would try to press for a government-run insurance program." No word of Obama's undermining of the public option, or his sellout to the insurance companies.


Common Dreams
"KABUL, Afghanistan - Flipping a switch on one of Afghanistan's long-awaited electrical power plants in August, U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry urged Afghans to think of U.S. taxpayers' support when they turn their lights on at night.

President Hamid Karzai opened the first 35MW block of a 100 MW diesel power plant in Kabul August 5, 2009, significantly expanding power to the capital and surrounding area. Only about 6 percent of Afghans are estimated to have electricity, and in his appearance with President Hamid Karzai east of Kabul, Eikenberry hailed the project as part of the country's emergence out of the 'darkness' of oppression and isolation.

To some U.S. experts, however, the project is the latest example of exaggerated political expectations and wasted American taxpayers' dollars in the effort to rebuild Afghanistan.

Plagued by delays and rising costs, the project reveals how the U.S. government continues to ignore the hard lessons of Iraq, critics say, where contractors received billions of dollars with little oversight and inspectors have found rampant waste, fraud and abuse."

-->The NY Times has no stomach for reporting waste, fraud and abuse by government contractors operating in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. Our newspaper of record would prefer to keep its readers in "darkness" when it comes to billions in Pentagon waste.

"What kind of a public debate can we have on the most vital issues of the day in the United States? A lot depends on the media, which determines how these issues are framed for most people.

Take the war in Afghanistan, which has been subject to major debate here lately, as Barack Obama has to decide whether to take the advice of his commanding officer in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, and send tens of thousands more troops there, or heed public opinion, which actually favors an end to the war. This month, one of America's most important and most-watched TV news programmes, NBC's Meet the Press, took up the issue. The lineup:

Retired General Barry McCaffrey, former army general...(who has) earned at least $500,000 from his work for Veritas Capital, a private equity firm in New York that has grown into a defence industry powerhouse by buying contractors whose profits soared from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.' McCaffrey has appeared on NBC more than 1000 times since 11 September 2001.

Retired General Richard Myers, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under George Bush. He is currently on the board of directors of Northrop Grumman Corporation...

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, a pro-war spokesperson that is one of the most regular guests on the Sunday talkshows.

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a Democrat, was apparently intended to represent the 'other side' of the debate. Here is what he said: 'Clearly we should keep the number of forces that we have. No one's talking about removing forces.'"

-->Even when a majority of citizens are in favor of something like withdrawing from Afghanistan, the media is there to support the opinion of the elite. A huge majority of Americans are in favor of raising taxes on corporations. When is the last time you read or listened to that opinion in the corporate media?

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