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Friday Morning News: Back to School Edition


Fall is just around the corner, and I’m so sorry to see summer go. In New England we didn’t really have much of a summer. It was raining and cold practically every day in June and we never had a real heat wave. I’m still in Indiana, but I’ll be heading back to Boston tomorrow morning. I have to start teaching next Wednesday, and I’m not ready. I guess I’ll pull it all together somehow. So what’s happening in the news?

Ted Kennedy

From what I’ve seen on the tube, it looks like the 24/7 Kennedy nostalgia is going to continue for the next few days. The LA Times discusses the memorial events Here’s The New York Times’ schedule of events.

From Truthdig: Ted Kennedy in Pictures.

Thousands view Kennedy’s last ride from Hyannisport

Who Will be Ted Kennedy’s successor in the Senate?

Once all the memorials are finished, the big news will be the process of filling Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate. It’s been quite awhile since a senate seat became available in Massachusetts, and I’m sure there will be lots of politicos interested in winning it. But thank goodness, Mitt Romney has decided not to run! Personally, I’d like to see a woman in take Ted’s place, and, as Politico notes, Martha Coakley would be a good candidate. She supported Hillary and fought to have Florida and Michigan delegates counted at the Convention.

Massachusetts political operatives consider state Attorney General Martha Coakley an early front-runner because of her high statewide name recognition and strong favorable ratings. With a law enforcement

background — she served as the district attorney of Middlesex County before winning election as attorney general — Coakley would have the opportunity to forge a coalition of law-and-order Democrats and female voters.

Though she would start a race without any money in the bank — she can’t transfer money from her statewide account — Coakley would be well-positioned to win support from national women’s groups like EMILY’s List to help raise the millions necessary for a campaign.

And Coakley has already signaled an interest in running for the Senate: When Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was mentioned for a possible Cabinet appointment late last year, Coakley commissioned a poll testing her viability as a statewide candidate.

That’s assuming either Ted’s wife Vicki or his nephew Joseph Kennedy II doesn’t decide to run. Frankly, I don’t think Massachusetts voters would be that enthused about Vicki. Joe Kennedy might have a shot, but it sounds like he isn’t interested. It’s time for some new blood, IMHO.

Health Care Reform

A very good op-ed. I’m surprised the Washington Post published it.

Is True Health Care Reform Doomed?

Here’s an older story, but a good one:

Chris Hedges: This isn’t reform, it’s robbery

Dontcha just love Pete Stark?

Key Dem: Brain Dead Blue Dogs Just Out for Insurance Money

Cardiologists Crying Foul Over Medicare Cuts Hurt Obama Revamp

Joe Conason: Ted Kennedy Wanted the Public Option


Krugman: Till Debt Does Its Part

Black Swan author objects to distortions by Guardian UK (This one’s for you, Dakinikat!)


“Danny” looks to be a bust, thank goodness.

Alternet: Crude: The Film Chevron Doesn’t Want You to See

Are wind farms disrupting weather radar?

This expert takes on the story, which isn’t really new.


Gene Lyons: The Media Can’t Handle the Truth

Big media reflexively villifies bloggers who actually pay attention to evidence instead of trusting administration sources.

Huffpo blogger notes Obama’s tendency to condescend to “progressives.”

I think that there is a crucial element of the Obama administration that has yet to be highlighted–namely, his unsettling willingness to mock and trivialize those on the left. In his almost nine months in office, I count at least three instances in which Obama has treated a serious question or criticism from the left with scorn and derision. This pattern of behavior–from a president who owes a large part of his overwhelming electoral mandate to progressives–is troubling, to say the least. After eight years of being treated like unserious children by the Bush administration and the corporate media that so dutifully carried their water, to see the same type of behavior manifesting itself in a new Democratic president is something of which all progressives should take note.

Murder by Fast Food?

Is KFC trying to kill us?

North Korea tries fast food. Juche burgers for the masses?

Fast food industry’s 7 most heinous concoctions

Human Interest

Here’s an amazing and very tragic story.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A California girl who was kidnapped at the age of 11 in 1991 has been found alive, having spent 18 years living in sheds and tents behind the home of her accused abductor, a convicted rapist who fathered two children with her, police said on Thursday.

Jaycee Dugard had been missing since she was snatched off a street by two people in a gray sedan while walking to a bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe, east of San Francisco, on June 10, 1991.

According to The New York Times,

On Wednesday, the police arrested Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, and charged them with Ms. Dugard’s abduction.

Mr. Garrido, a convicted sex offender who was on federal parole for a 1971 rape and kidnapping, was also charged with rape and acts of child molestation and sexual penetration of a minor. The police said that he had apparently fathered two girls — now 11 and 15 — with Ms. Dugard.

Ms. Dugard, 29, and her two children had apparently lived in a collection of ragged tents and sheds secreted behind the Garridos’ home, a ranch-style house in a ramshackle neighborhood in an unincorporated area outside Antioch, a Bay Area suburb of 100,000.

“None have ever gone to school, none have ever gone to a doctor,” Fred Kollar, the under sheriff for El Dorado County, said at an afternoon press conference. “They were kept in complete isolation.”

That’s a lot of messed up lives. I hope some of them can be salvaged.

Alternet: There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History

One hundred forty-three years after passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and 60 years after Article 4 of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights banned slavery and the slave trade worldwide, there are more slaves than at any time in human history — 27 million.

Today’s slavery focuses on big profits and cheap lives. It is not about owning people like before, but about using them as completely disposable tools for making money.

I’m having some computer problems at the moment. I may add a few more links later.

Have a great Friday!!

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