Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out most everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week, and please use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
“Congressional Millionaires To Weigh Obama’s Proposed ‘Buffett Rule,’” by Michael Beckel. OpenSecrets.org, Sept. 20, 2011.
Despite broad public support for a tax hike on the wealthiest individuals, congressional Republicans attacked President Obama’s proposed “Buffett Rule” this week as an incitement of class warfare. How could Congress be so out of touch with the American people? The Center for Responsive Politics explores its glaring conflict of interest.
“Killings alarm Mexico bloggers.” Al Jazeera, Sept. 16, 2011. The bodies of two young people were found in Nuevo Laredo, a town on the Texas border with Mexico, tortured to death by the members of the Zetas drug cartel. The man and woman were victims of Mexican drug cartels’ deadly attacks on citizen reporters and professional journalists.
“Got Cheap Milk?: Why ditching your fancy, organic, locavore lifestyle is good for the world’s poor,” by Charles Kenny. Foreign Policy, Sept. 12, 2011. Kenny’s article is provocative, to say the least. Contrary to popular belief, he argues, buying local and eating non-genetically modified organic food is not in the best interest of the developing world’s poor—and is some cases is not particularly good for the environment either. An original, well-researched argument, and definitely worth a read.
“Rabbani’s death and Afghanistan’s future,” by Anand Gopal. Foreign Policy, Sept. 20, 2011. I chose this article because of the importance of the historical moment in recent Afghan history. The death of Rabbani further complicates the possibility of negotiation with neo-Taliban, and it is also a symbolic strike for those envisaging a peaceful Afghanistan in the near future.
“A War Against Food Waste,” by Dylan Walsh. The New York Times, Sept. 15, 2011. 50 million American households suffer from food insecurity. At the same time, 200 pounds of food is thrown away every year for every man, woman and child in the US. Check out Dylan Walsh’s NY Times Green blog post on the initiative being planned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to reduce food waste sent to landfills and increase donations to food banks.
“Grocery strike avoided; deal called ‘win-win’ for both sides,” by P.J. Huffstutter. Los Angeles Times, Sept. 19, 2011. Hours before a potential strike by 54,000 union grocery store workers in Southern California, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons chains. UFCW leaders say the deal protects workers’ comprehensive family health insurance. Workers will be voting on it Friday and Saturday. If they hadn’t made a credible strike threat, their negotiations would have looked very different.
“When Did Trickle-Down Get Respectable?” by Timothy Noah. The New Republic, Sept. 19, 2011. This post is a brief nod to an insidious and under-covered development in American political culture: the loss of the rhetorical and conceptual toolbox used previously by the left to combat the fallacies of "supply-side," "Reagonomics,""trickle-down," "the Laffer curve," etc. Somehow these are no longer active disparagements; hence, among other things, Republicans are able to repeat assertions about the dangers of "raising taxes on job creators" without a coherent framework in which to debunk them.
“When the Death Penalty Hits Home,” by Helena Andrews. The Root, Sept. 21, 2011. The execution of Troy Davis has rightfully taken its place front and center in progressive media. But Davis’s story piqued my interest in the lives of those effected by victims of capital punishment. Helena Andrews’s piece is a brave meditation on her cousin’s fate and the deterioration of their relationship.
"Revealed: Aid to Ethiopia increases despite serious human rights abuses,” by Angus Stickler and Caelainn Barr. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Aug. 6, 2011. This piece, though only a part of the Ethiopia Aid Exposed series published by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, serves as an excellent overview of the entire project. It declares that the EU, despite contributing massive aid to the country, has repeatedly adopted a policy of "hear no evil, see no evil" when it comes to human rights violations there. It’s a brutal examination of international benevolence tangled in competing interests and outright ignorance.
Aumentan ataques contra mexicanos de la etnia triqui en NY,” (Increasing attacks against the Triqui Mexican in NY). NTRZacatecas.com, Sept. 16, 2011. A recent AP story reminds us of Marcelo Lucero’s murder in 2008 and anti-immigrant violence that remains an issue of contention among concerned groups and those in law enforcement. This article I came across on a Mexican website (and another on the same topic) tells us the story of an even more vulnerable Hispanic group, Triquis, who live in upstate New York. Because the majority of them do not speak English or Spanish and many of them are unclear about their immigration status, Triquis often fall victims of not only criminal/violent attacks but sometimes police abuse.