NOW LIVE ON WhoWhatWhy
The ISIS Truth We Hide From by Bob Hennelly
Is it possible that American foreign policy, rather than exporting democracy and building nations, has in fact been fomenting terrorism and destroying countries? Bob Hennelly examines the disturbing evidence.
Boston Bombing Trial Finally Gets A Date For Opening Statements by The WhoWhatWhy Team
After 21 days of jury selection in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial for the Boston Marathon Bombing, the court has finally set a date for the opening statements.
The Dangerous Candidacy of Scott Walker
John Cassidy of The New Yorker doesn’t like Wisconsin Governor and GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker. Cassidy pulls no punches, calling Walker a “craven” politician willing to pander to right-wing evangelicals while carrying water for super-rich donors like the Koch Brothers. The national spotlight is focusing on Walker’s main currency with big GOP donors—his anti-union record in the Dairy State. In fact, he plans on burnishing his anti-union credentials by signing a just-passed law barring unions from requiring workers to pay the equivalent of dues. Previous laws have focused on breaking public sector unions, while this new law takes on private sector unions. Apparently, Walker is unbowed after a few recent stumbles that spun through the news cycle. His confidence is well-founded, according to Cassidy. He thinks Walker is a legit frontrunner and that a Walker presidency would be a “disaster”
Foreign Governments Gave Millions to Foundation While Clinton was at State Dept.
“Scrutiny” is the name of the game today, and the Clinton Foundation is getting its fair share of it. At issue now is the pipeline of cash donations to the foundation while Hillary was serving as Secretary of State. One of those donations—$500k from Algeria—violated an ethics agreement between the foundation and the Obama Administration. The agreement was supposed to eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest if the foreign governments handing cash to her husband’s post-presidential project also had business before the U.S. Government. The “violation” was simply a failure to submit for approval and, therefore, merely procedural. More troubling is that the “ethics” agreement didn’t stop donations coming “from countries with complicated diplomatic, military and financial relationships with the U.S. government, including Kuwait, Qatar and Oman,” according to The Washington Post.
Banksy Unveils a New Series of Pieces in Gaza, Palestine
Internationally-renowned street artist Banksy has struck again—this time with a number of works around the Occupied Territories. Banksy always draws a great deal of attention and the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. The Israeli Elections are coming on March 17, and there is mounting criticism of Bibi Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, his domestic housing policy and his policy of settlement expansion.
The Secret World of Government Debt Collection
CNNMoney digs into the growing governmental practice of hiring private debt collectors to track down public debts ranging from unpaid taxes to delinquent parking tickets and even unpaid tolls. It’s a way for cash-strapped states, counties and cities to fill their coffers, and it certainly is a windfall for the debt collection industry. They are one of the big winners in post-Crash America and now they’ve got a new gravy train. Not only do they get a new pool of profit, their government clients often empower them to “threaten debtors with the suspension of their driver’s license, garnishment of their wages, foreclosure and arrest to get them to pay up.” It’s all perfectly legal and incredibly profitable—with some states allowing them to charge fees of as much as 40% of debtors’ outstanding balances.
Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
Glenn Greenwald writes about the much-ballyhooed thwarting of a “terrorist plot” by the NYPD. Sadly, in what has become a familiar story, the alleged plotters may be yet another example of the FBI targeting a disaffected or isolated Muslim and then building a plot around that “suspect.” The targets rarely have a pre-existing association with a known terrorist group. Rather, the FBI becomes the “terrorist group” and guides the “suspect” into a trap that becomes a media-ready “plot” delivered to an eager audience of “reporters.”
Is the Junk-Food Era Drawing to a Close?
Tom Philpott of Mother Jones wonders why the processed food industry is suffering from lagging sales and declining profits. Part of the problem can be traced to currency fluctuations that cut overseas sales when the dollar is strong, as it is right now. But Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison thinks there might be a bigger and longer-term problem afoot—the “mounting distrust of so-called Big Food, the large food companies and legacy brands on which millions of consumers have relied … for so long.” And it seems that growing concerns over the healthfulness, or lack thereof, of processed foods is fueling a rapid increase in sales at farmers markets. Philpott points to a recent Department of Agriculture report showing 8,268 farmers markets nationwide—a jump of 180 percent since 2006. Fresh food. It’s m’mm, m’mm good!
Like what you see? Sign up to subscribe.