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The Nation

June 12, 2007
Ari Berman
Ari Berman

The mainstream media is starting to pay attention to Fred Thompson's decades-long gig as a well-heeled Washington lobbyist. His client list has been noted in this space and elsewhere. What Thompson actually did for one of these clients, the British insurance firm Equitas Ltd, was fleshed out in a must-read column by the Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum today.

 

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June 12, 2007
Peter Rothberg
Peter Rothberg

Concerned citizens nationwide are rallying to stop the latest phone and cable company assault on Internet freedom as the Federal Communications Commission weighs new rules to protect net neutrality.

What's net neutrality exactly? Put simply, net neutrality ensures that network operators provide nondiscriminatory access to the network and online content. Think about it like this: When you make a phone call, the telephone company can't keep you from talking to whomever you want, or prevent you from talking about whatever you like or charge you more for talking to some people than others. Net neutrality applies the same operating principle to Internet communication.

Net neutrality is nothing new; these provisions have been in place since the Internet's inception. Indeed, these guidelines helped make the Internet a vehicle for technological innovation and democratic communication. But if the telephone and cable television industries have their way, net neutrality will soon be a thing of the past.

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June 11, 2007
TomDispatch

Here's the strange thing: Since 2001, our media has been filled with terrifying nuclear headlines. The Iraqi bomb (you remember those "mushroom clouds" about to rise over American cities), the North Korean bomb, and the Iranian bomb have been almost obsessively in the news. Of course, the Iraqi bomb turned out to be embarrassingly nonexistent; experts still consider the Iranian bomb years away (if it happens); and the North Korean bomb, while quite real, remains a less than impressive weapon, based on a less than spectacular nuclear test in October 2006.

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June 11, 2007
Peter Rothberg
Peter Rothberg

Since she's not yet blogging herself, I wanted to draw some web users' attention to Nation columnist Katha Pollitt's call for donations to the Bosnian Initiative Frankfurt. Pollitt has been virtually alone among Americans in highlighting the great work being down by the group on behalf of children traumatized by war. As she writes in the June 25 issue of the magazine:

"As usual around this time, I'm passing the hat for the Bosnian Initiative Frankfurt, a German group that runs fantastic summer camps in Bosnia for Bosnian and other ex-Yugoslav children and weeklong gatherings in Germany for Israeli and Palestinian youth. Nation readers have been a mainstay of this effort, which helps the cause of peace by breaking down ethnic barriers. All amounts are welcome, but $150 makes you a 'godparent,' supporting a child's 'vacation from war.' Send checks made out to 'Bosnian Initiative Frankfurt' to me, c/o The Nation, 33 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003, and I will forward them."

You need to make donations by check but click here for more info on the initiative.

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June 11, 2007
Ari Berman
Ari Berman

The Brookings Institution's Iraq Index provides the most authoritative measure of how much progress is being made in Iraq. Their recent findings? Not much.

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June 10, 2007
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Paying for a college education has become a burden many Americans can no longer afford. Tuition has outpaced the rate of inflation for the last 16 years, some private schools are charging more than $40,000 annually and students are being forced to take on unprecedented levels of debt from an industry that is mired in scandals.

Moreover, not only has the federal government done little to improve the situation, it has made things worse: In 2006, with the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, the federal government cut $12.7 billion from the education budget– the largest cut in the nation's history. Moreover, Pell Grants, a key source of aid for low-income students, have remained stagnant and only pay for about a third of a college education, down from 60 percent 20 years ago.

The consequences of this are grave. According to Campus Progress, it is estimated that between 2001 and 2010 "two million academically qualified students will not go to college because they can't afford it."

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June 9, 2007
Christopher Hayes

A brilliant, humane scholar. A public intellectual in the finest sense, and a profound influence on the way I think about politics, long-time Nation contributor Richard Rorty has died.

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June 9, 2007
John Nichols
John Nichols

New York Senator Chuck Schumer has for some weeks been calling for a vote of "no confidence" in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. And it looks like he may get one – or, to be more precise, the start of a process that could lead to one -- on Monday.

But don't bet that the Senate will hold the scandal-plagued Gonzales to account.

In fact, the real issue will be holding senators to account.

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June 8, 2007
Ari Berman
Ari Berman

Corporate and CEO profits are at an all-time high. The richest 1 percent in America posses the wealth of the bottom 95 percent combined. Companies deploy hundreds of lobbyists and spend millions of dollars courting members of Congress to win legislative favors. The presidential election in '08 promises to be the priciest in history, largely underwritten by big business and top dollar donors.

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