HOLD THE PHONE COMPANIES

Nation contributing editor Marc Cooper is involved in a lawsuit–the good kind. He’s one of the journalistic plaintiffs (Robert Scheer is another) in a suit brought by the California ACLU against AT&T and Verizon. The suit charges that divulging private consumer records to NSA data-miners violates the California Constitution’s privacy provisions and the state’s privacy act, which prohibits telephone companies from providing information about customers’ calling patterns except with their consent or in response to a court order. Twenty other ACLU chapters have raised similar complaints in their states.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR

Calvin Trillin, The Nation‘s Deadline Poet, has a new book out, A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme. It’s a collection of his weekly poems, mainly from this publication–a sequel to his earlier Obliviously On He Sails, which made the New York Times bestseller list. Nation columnist and Guardian correspondent Gary Younge also has a new book of collected writings out. The title tells it all: Stranger in a Strange Land: Encounters in the Disunited States.

ON THE WEB

Dave Zirin examines the militaristic mindset of Team America at the World Cup. Nicholas von Hoffman writes that while the United States is making no headway on rebuilding Iraq, one secret project is on track: a sumptuous American Embassy to house 8,000 employees. John Nichols reports on the media policy fight of the year–now under way at the FCC–over whether consolidation will be allowed to accelerate.