Saturday, January 05, 2013

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 to keep from the public eye.


The Nation:
"Preserving Social Security should never have been all that difficult. But it took Harry Reid to settle the issue —at least as regards the miserably long and absurdly inappropriate debate of 2012.

'We’re not going to have any Social Security cuts,' the Senate majority leader said on the floor of the chamber Sunday. 'It’s just doesn’t seem appropriate at this time.'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, had attempted Saturday to use the 'fiscal cliff' fight to advance a proposal to adopt a chained consumer price index...scheme that would slash cost-of-living increases for Americans who rely on Social Security and other government programs. The Obama administration had entertained the 'chained CPI' switch earlier in December. But as the critical point when a deal to cut Social Security might have been made, Reid said “No.”

That simple rejection of the false premises of Paul Ryan and all the other fantasists who have tried to push Social Security over the 'fiscal cliff' and into the grips of the Wall Street speculators confounded the political pawns and the 'expert' pundits who imagined that 'entitlement reforms' (Washington for Social Security cuts) were 'inevitable.' "

-- >The mainstream media had gotten it all wrong for the last year. Social Security had nothing to do with the deficit. And although Obama was willing to give it all away, one Democrat in power finally said no. In fact, it was Bernie Sanders who had really fought for Social Security, maybe in the end shaming the Democrats into protecting it. It's enough to make one a socialist (Sanders is the only socialist in Congress).


"Under the cover of holiday weekend slumber, President Obama signed into law a five-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, successfully solidifying unchecked surveillance authority for the remainder of his presidency.

Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law extends powers of the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance of Americans’ international emails and phone calls without obtaining a court order for each intercept...

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald remarked that passage of the law, ushered to the president's desk with broad Democratic support, represented one of the 'defining attributes of the Obama legacy' in which a previously radical right-wing policy, in this case warrantless eavesdropping, is meekly accepted by empowered Democrats and then codified as law with 'bipartisan consensus.' "

-- >The NY Times referred to the controversy around the FISA extension in its coverage, and then stated incredibly that the law was all about "extending the government’s power to intercept electronic communications of spy and terrorism suspects..." What a convenient assumption by our newspaper of record. Of course this unchecked surveillance is about catching the "bad guys" rather than spying on all Americans to suppress dissent.


The Guardian:
"It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens."

-- >The NY Times did report this news, but failed to express any surprise or consternation that the US media had failed to uncover this major civil liberties story.

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