Feb 26 2010

Weekly Digest – 02/26/10

Weekly Digest | Published 26 Feb 2010, 1:48 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 02/26/10 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* Afghanistan Marja Offensive Aimed At Convincing US Public
* Banks Manage to Sidestep Credit Card Reform
* Black Agenda Report on Police Brutality in New York
* Extreme Right Wing Attempts Takeover of Republican Party

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Afghanistan Marja Offensive Aimed At Convincing US Public

An Afghan flag fluttered symbolically over the small town of Marja in Southern Afghanistan on Thursday, signifying that the rural area is now officially out of the Taliban’s hands and under the control of the central government. On February 12th, 15,000 international troops, including 11,000 troops from the U.S. and Afghanistan, were deployed to Marja to fight the few hundred Taliban fighters allegedly tucked away there. The offensive was the first installment in a new military campaign conceived by top U.S. and NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal. In 12 days of combat, at least 28 civilians, including 13 children, were killed, and over 70 wounded. Even as some of the 24,000 civilians displaced by the attacks begin to trickle back to their homes, scattered fighting continues. Twenty year old Juma Gul, whose grandfather was shot and killed in front of his home during the offensive, said that “The operation was painful and full of miseries for our family…We want them [the military] to leave. For us, both the Taliban and Marines are the same.” But to General McChrystal, the war is one of “perceptions,” and he hopes that offensives like the one in Marja could convince war-weary Americans and Afghans alike that, with more time and troops, the U.S. can win in Afghanistan.

GUEST: Gareth Porter, is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam”, was published in 2006.

Banks Manage to Sidestep Credit Card Reform

An act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President last May sought to regulate rampant abuses by the credit card industry. That law just went into effect after a nine-month waiting period that in effect enabled companies to adjust their rules and policies. The changes were designed to to bypass the most stringent regulatory measures such as sudden hikes in interest rates and excessive fees. Now, some companies have begun charging annual fees, long considered a thing of the past, “inactivity fees” if an account has not been used for six months, as well as a host of smaller fees, to make up for the revenue loss. Lines of credit have also been dramatically reduced or dropped altogether. However, the newly implemented law does limit credit card solicitation to people under the age of 21, and on college campuses, as well as the use of T-shirt and coupon giveaways in exchange for signing up.

GUEST: Robert Manning, co-founder of the newly created non-profit Responsible Debt Relief Institute, and author of Credit Card Nation

Black Agenda Report on Police Brutality in New York

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on Indicting Bush, Cheney, and Rice.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Extreme Right Wing Attempts Takeover of Republican Party

An annual gathering of conservatives in Northwest Washington revealed that the Republican Party is in serious trouble apparently from members of its own base. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in mid-February attracted more than ten thousand people, many of them touting extreme right wing rhetoric including expressing support for torture policies and for wiretapping citizens. CPAC attendees promised to challenge Republicans who they claimed were not espousing conservative values. Fox News’s Glenn Beck and former Vice President Dick Cheney were among the conference speakers. Cheney’s effusive projections, saying that “2010 was going to be a phenomenal year for the conservative cause,” and that Obama would be a “one-term President,” prompted calls for Cheney himself to run for President. Extreme right-wing blogger Andrew Brietbart, and his protege Hannah Giles, who dressed up as a prostitute in the ACORN video scandal, were also present, and were among those who mobbed my guest Max Blumenthal. Max Blumenthal, an acclaimed writer and reporter, who authored “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party,” often attends conservative gatherings with a camera-person. Blumenthal has attended several CPAC conferences over the years, but discovered this year that his book’s fame has made him an open target.

GUEST: Max Blumenthal, author of “Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party.”

Watch the video of Max Blumenthal being mobbed at his website www.maxblumenthal.com.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.” — John W Gardner

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