Cover of November 29, 2010 Issue

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November 29, 2010 Issue

Benjamin Barber on America's knowledge deficit, Alexander Cockburn on Russ Feingold and a poem by Elisa Sampedrín

Cover art by: Cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

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Liliana Segura on the sentencing of Oscar Grant's killer, Kate Murphy on the achievement gap in public schools and Jennifer O'Mahoney




Hobnobbing With Lou Dobbs Isabel Macdonald's "Lou Dobbs, American Hypocrite" [Oct. 25], and her subsequent media appearances, drew a barrage of mail, positive ("informative, well-written article"; "Ms. Macdonald, will you marry me!") and negative ("the biggest crock of bullcrap"). Herewith, a sample.—The Editors   Tempe, Ariz. Isabel Macdonald, my new hero! Way to stick to your guns. I wish all writers would show half the guts!   CHRISTOPHER HILL   Bronx, N.Y. Awful, despicable, an example of the worst sort of libel—perpetrated because you feel shielded by the First Amendment. Who is the hypocrite? Disgusted, ARTHUR T. DALLAS   Gilroy, Calif. I'm an antiwar, prochoice, prounion, pro-environment, pro–gun control Vietnam veteran, and I especially believe that a man (or woman) is innocent until proven guilty. Obviously, your rabid, pathetic excuse for a "reporter," in her attempt to assassinate the character of Lou Dobbs with no evidence (only hearsay) to support her claim—her own version of yellow journalism—does not share such values. Cancel my subscription to your magazine; no longer can I trust what your reporters write. THOMAS LISTER   San Francisco Isabel Macdonald did an awesome job on her article and TV appearances, and debating the disgusting Lou Dobbs. HISPANIC/LATINO ANTI-DEFAMATION COALITION   Watertown, Wis. Lou Dobbs's duplicity reminds me of members of Congress in Abe Lincoln's time, voting to abolish slavery while using slave labor at home for everything from cooking and cleaning to picking cotton. CATHERINE A. MORENCY   Bow, Wash. Lou Dobbs says he is being "attacked" by The Nation as a fundraising mechanism. It works for me! I'm glad to subscribe and support this type of investigative reporting. Congratulations to The Nation and to Isabel Macdonald for truly courageous work—and for exposing this hypocrite. KATE ANDERSON   Atlanta Lou Dobbs denies employing illegal immigrants. They may not be under his roof, but he knows they are being employed by some of the companies he deals with. Such a hardliner should take his horses out of any competition where there is illegal activity. LARRY SANTOS   Montrose, Colo. C'mon folks, as much as I dislike Lou Dobbs and his ilk, it really is not his responsibility to check out the status of a contractor's employees! If I hire a roofing contractor or a plumber, it is not my responsibility to check whether his employees are "legal." I understand that this is a complicated problem. I don't have the answers, but I feel this is an unfair accusation. LARRY SIMS   West Grove, Pa. Ask Lou Dobbs if he intends to look into the matter of his using illegals. If he says no, he's proclaiming that he is unconcerned and above the law. If he says yes, he's admitting to his oversight and hypocrisy. H.K. PETERS JR.   Granbury, Tex. Thanks to Isabel Macdonald for exposing Lou "hypocrite" Dobbs. Time and time again we see the loudest voice against something is neck deep in it! JEFF HANSON   Rohnert Park, Calif. Isabel Macdonald refers to stable hands riding in vans with horses. Riding with horses in transfer trailers is against state laws everywhere, yet these trailers are called the Greyhound lines for stable workers. The good living quarters go to the horses; people don't do so hot. Inside the eight-by-nine-foot tack rooms I have seen as many as four children younger than 3, unattended, on filthy, straw-covered concrete flooring with an electric wall heater of a type not made in the past forty years. The showers are cold water, and women must be alert for rapists. Theft is not worth reporting. Only a few own vehicles. No schools know the children are here; no public health agency gives out inoculations. If your track worker papers are pulled at one racetrack, get on the Greyhound to another track and start over. Thousands would jump at the chance to work for the "American hypocrite." JOE BOYLE   Rocklin, Calif. This article, and the TV debate it provoked, sheds no new light on what needs to happen to achieve immigration reform. It merely confirms the sad fact that the immigration debate remains confused, misrepresented and irreconcilable. TOM McMAHON   ACORN—Not Resting in Peace Montclair, N.J. Eric Alterman's "Barbarians at the Gate" ["The Liberal Media," Oct. 25] mentions "the mainstream media's role in empowering this bizarre barrage of BS" that comes from the right-wing echo chamber. My book Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group shows that in this case, when the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post empowered the Murdoch-led echo chamber, they aided and abetted the destruction of the country's most effective antipoverty group, ACORN. JOHN ATLAS   How Do You Pronounce That, Anyway? Kensington, Md. Rarely do we see an opportunity to improve Calvin Trillin's deadline poems, but the one in the October 4 issue begs for a different final line. As published: It couldn't be plainer. It's just a no-brainer. The fat cats own Boehner. He's on a retainer. We suggest the following last line: Down to the last donor. ANDREA MEDICI, CARL EICHENWALD   Correction & Emendation Re Christopher Hayes's "The Perriello Way" [Nov. 22]: Dick Armey is not affiliated with Americans for Prosperity; he is chairman of the board of FreedomWorks. We regret that in the heat of the election returns we got our corporate-backed right-wing front groups confused. Peter Dreier, in "The Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century" [Oct. 4], states that Walter Reuther was an early opponent of the Vietnam War. Although his brother Victor said he was privately against the war, Reuther chose to support Johnson administration policies in Vietnam, if only because he saw LBJ as an ally on collective bargaining and domestic reform issues of vital concern to the UAW.   Read More


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