Talking Points Memo: Michele Bachmann’s latest batsh*t crazy conspiracy theory has Lebanon’s Shiite Hizbullah hooking up with Castro’s Communist Cuba.
Tomdispatch: A State Department official is being threatened with losing his job for linking to a Wikileaks cable at his blog. Perhaps not coincidentally, he blew the whistle on the SNAFU that was the American administration of provincial Iraq. The growing US government doctrine that for government employees to see or cite or link to leaked classified documents is illegal or actionable is stupidly stupid and is also a dire threat to the US first amendment. The settled law on these issues is that the US government has a right to try to keep documents secret. But once it fails to do so, they are public documents (paid for by the US public, which has a right to see more of them anyway).
Daily Kos: In a new poll, 73% of Americans agree with the ‘Buffett Rule’ proposed by billionaire Warren Buffett, that people making over a million dollars a year should have to pay taxes at at least the same percentage rate as people who make less than that. We’ve long known that a majority of Americans favors higher taxes on the rich, but this polling result is huge. Even two-thirds of Republicans polled agreed with the proposition, against only 16% who disagreed!
Sandy Tolan nails it at Tomdispatch: The very fact that the Palestinian West Bank is occupied has been successfully covered up for the American public.
Len Levitt looks at the evidence unearthed by AP that the NYPD has illegally placed Muslim-Americans under domestic surveillance, and wonders if anyone cares. He can’t find much evidence of newspaper coverage of the abuse, but does locate a couple of supportive editorials! What I can’t understand is that they targeted Moroccans. Moroccans? I say what is behind this is that the rice lobby is afraid of couscous becoming more popular.
Former NYT journalist Chris Hedges of Truthdig joins the Occupy Wall Street protests. Some brokerage firms are well run, but there were those that did illegal things and others that did very unwise things, and there has never been much accountability for either.
P.Z. Myers: In a new book, Stephen Pinker argues that human violence is declining rapidly over time.
A survey of 54 countries finds that a more progressive taxation system(where the rich pay higher tax rates than workers and the poor) actually makes the general population happier and more satisfied. Lowering taxes on the rich makes them increasingly wealthy at the expense of the rest of society, causing psychological pathologies.