Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


Huffington Post:
"Concerned that President Obama's deficit-reduction commission is going to look in the wrong places for budget cuts, Barney Frank has appointed his own bipartisan commission. This one will specifically look at ways to reduce the bloated military budget.

Defense cuts seems to be politically off-limits these days, but the group convened by the outspoken liberal congressman from Massachusetts shares a belief that America is "overextended and overcommitted" and that there should be a "substantial reduction in the reach of American military commitments," Frank told HuffPost.

He expects the group to propose reducing the number of overseas bases, especially in the rich countries of Western Europe and Japan. 'There's a big debate right now about where 3,000 Marines in Okinawa should go. My suggestion is Nebraska,' he said.

And he expects it will propose cutting weapons systems that don't meet any plausible need...

Frank despairs that the deficit-reduction debate plays out in Washington as if there are only two choices: raise taxes or cut entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare."

-- >Readers of The New York Times are limited to the same two choices. Our newspaper of record didn't cover Barney Frank's new commission, nor his comments on the runaway defense budget. Some things are just too sacred to question.


Guardian UK:
"Meanwhile in the United States, a rebellion is growing in Congress against the war. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, House Democrat Jim McGovern from Massachusetts, and House Republican Walter Jones from North Carolina have introduced legislation that would require President Obama to establish a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. The bill has quickly picked up 29 co-sponsors, and could reach 100 within the next few weeks.

How does this get us out of Afghanistan? My colleague Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy explains:
'A signal like this is likely to have dramatic political effects in Afghanistan, just as these things had dramatic political effects in Iraq. In 2007, Congress never succeeded legislatively in writing a military withdrawal timetable into US law. But the fact that the majority of the House and Senate went on the record in favour of a timetable had dramatic effects in Iraq. It put pressure on the Bush administration to compromise its objectives, to start serious negotiations with people it had previously been trying to kill.'"

-- >Not a word about any of this from The NY Times. A signal being sent to stop the war in Afghanistan? You have to read newspapers in England to learn about it.


"Indifference has given way to curiosity, and -in recent weeks especially- to a nearly manic obsession that sometimes seems to place the tea partiers somewhere near the suffragettes and the America-Firsters in the historical ranking of mass political movements.

Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism, which tracks media reports, found that the tea parties consumed a steady measure of news for most of this year before exploding during tax week to compete with the Icelandic volcano for attention and outstripping health care with 6% of all media reports that week.

But various sides have their own reasons for finding something new and arresting in the spasms of outrage personified by the tea partiers. The right sees the protests as evidence of a popular revolt against President Barack Obama-proof of a changing tide they believe will bring massive victories in 2010 and 2012. The left sees them as evidence of incipient fascism and an opposition to Obama rooted in racism-proof of the beyond-the-pale illegitimacy of large swaths of the conservative moment."

-- >Obsessed with the Tea Party movement, mainstream media is incapable of this type of political assessment. A reporter would have to step out of the two party paradigm to write such a thing. Even to think such a thing.

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