MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki
has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy
on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law.
The product of a strict party line vote following a
of debate, disinformation
, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act
would (among other popular reforms
) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool
for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives
(including presidential contender Mitt Romney
) is the central question facing the justices today
. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step
of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured
, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state
But despite the pessimism of bettors
, some believe
the Court will demur, wary of damaging
its already-fragile reputation
with another partisan 5-4 decision
. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know
. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog
for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
- Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider
) has investigated News Corporation
for PBS Frontline [transcript]
. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered
" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air
But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK
. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
Sotomayor, Kagan shift Supreme Court debates to the left.
The liberal wing is no longer drowned out by Scalia and his fellow conservatives during oral arguments.
Why a Progressive Presidency Is Impossible, for Now. And what we should do about it. (one-page link
"The symbiotic relationship between the press and the power elite worked for nearly a century. It worked as long as our power elite, no matter how ruthless or insensitive, was competent. But once our power elite became incompetent and morally bankrupt, the press, along with the power elite, lost its final vestige of credibility." "The Creed of Objectivity Killed the News" by Chris Hedges
The NYT reports
that GE has brokered a deal between MSNBC and Fox News to "reconcile" Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly, preventing further criticism of each other or GE. The deal went into effect June 1, the very same day Olbermann declared he was "quarantining" Fox
, avoiding discussion of the channel in the future. Mr. Olbermann, who is on vacation, said by e-mail message, “I am party to no deal.” Glenn Greenwald breaks down the political consequences
of the deal.
The Bush administration is busy preparing for a possible military conflict with China.
"The most important strategic decision the United States will make in the next decade is not about Iraq, Iran or North Korea. It is about China.
What will America's basic attitude be toward the rise of China? And similarly, the most important strategic decision that Beijing will make in the next decade is: how should it relate to the United States? Depending on whether the answer to these questions is 'cooperation' or 'confrontation', one can imagine two very different 21st centuries." The Bush administration's containment strategy for China may herald the next cold war.
As the Pentagon ousts plans to turn insects into cyber war machines
you'd be forgiven for asking the question: Where does the real digital end
and the faked life begin?
Are we simulating life synthetically
? or just speeding up
an entirely natural process
? Technologically engineered life is here to stay
. Its not far fetched to speculate
may become all there is.
Don't Bomb Us.
In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar
on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues
, firsthand accounts of US attacks
on their offices, links to relevant reports
on the controversy
, Flickr photosets
of protests calling for an official investigation
, and al Jazeera's code of ethics
. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!
" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
Are the counter protests today
pro-war or something else? Photos coming into the news wires show a mixture of devout Bush loyalty
, people erecting giant Ten Commandments and traitor paranoia
... and not to forget.. supporting the troops
So is this just a misfire of people who simply hate protestors or do they believe in something besides waving the flag
's photographs have documented
of refugees in camps
across Central and East Africa and the Middle East. However, his photographs
are distinctly different
from the images of refugees we commonly see in printed news articles
. Sheikh's photographs implicitly assert that the individual refugees
share humanity with their oppressive rulers. He does so by depicting the individuals
rather than as victims of a social and political drama. Sheikh, an American citizen, was just awarded the Grand Prix International Henri Cartier-Bresson
Bush and Kerry Hit Road, Trade Blows on Jobs
I can only guess that someone at Reuters has a sense of humor.
Intern : I was told to mislead the FBI.
Yet another good looking young woman finds her beauty has landed her in a tough spot. How many young people working as interns will be forced to suffer embarrassment as a result of the misconduct of their employers?
US media cowed by patriotic fever
claims Dan Rather. As a non-American, I have no idea what news broadcasts have been like in America since September 11th. Is Rather correct?
Another interview with Greg Palast.
This is a follow-up to the previously discussed interview
with the self-imposed exile journalist.
Dan Rather vs. The World
(NY Times link) -- While the conspiracy theorists
and much of the mainstream media were jumping down Gary Condit's throat, Rather and company held firm and kept the "news" off the Evening News. Despite airing a few reports, they intend to keep a comparatively low level of coverage in the future. Is this how we'd like to see the media behave, or is this just a more notable example of The Media's Liberal Bias™ showing through?
The Baltimore Sun has a series of articles that explore the possible failure of Columbia, MD
to live up to expectations after 30 years.