New investigation of government whistleblower retaliation

One of the most shameful episodes of the Obama administration has been the way that they have treated whistleblowers. Chelsea Manning has been severely and inhumanely punished and even tortured for her courageous act in 2010 of releasing the infamous Collateral Murder video that showed US troops in a gunship cheerfully murdering Iraqis that were walking the streets and then attacking a vehicle containing children that came to their rescue. Edward Snowden has been targeted for his courageous release of documents that showed that the US and its allies have been systematically spying on people all over the world. And of course, Julian Assange and WIkiLeaks have been targeted because of their role in releasing the Manning video and other documents. Those who are hoping for Obama to pardon Manning and Snowden expect too much from someone who has shown a massively vindictive streak when it comes to punishing those who dare to show that he and the US government are not driven by noble motives but act cruelly and illegally as it suits them.
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How the mainstream media also propagates fake news

Did you hear the news where recently Julian Assange of WikiLeaks had sharply criticized Hillary Clinton while praising Donald Trump, also saying that Russia had freedom of the press and that was why WikiLeaks has not been releasing documents that revealed secrets of that country, and that Assange had a long and close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin? This has been all over the mainstream media news and was largely based on an article published on December 24th in the Guardian newspaper, a paper that I read and link to regularly
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The white norm error

There is a peculiar tendency in America with many phenomena (and maybe it exists in other countries too), that when the data are disaggregated by race, to see the statistics for whites as the norm and use the statistics of minorities as a measure of the problem. I made this point strongly in my book The Achievement Gap in US Education where I said such a way of thinking led to people, even well meaning ones, proposing solutions to the educational system that were misguided. Looked at in that way, they see nothing fundamentally wrong with the educational system (after all, whites are doing ok) and the problem lies with the black community for not taking advantage of the educational opportunities. I argued that there were fundamental problems with the entire system and that white students were also not being served well. As a result, they were underachieving but black students were underachieving even more, thus leading to the achievement gap. But by seeing the levels of white achievement as acceptable, the real problem of widespread underachievement were being ignored and wrong, and even harmful, measures being proposed
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What the extremists will do under Trump

In a post a week ago I wondered about how many of the impossible promises Donald Trump made during the campaign he could renege on or water down before his supporters would turn on him. I think he could get away with a lot. Republicans (and many Democrats too if we are honest) are notorious for being able to abandon their loudly stated principles when it serves their partisan needs, and Trump supporters seem even more extreme in their almost cult-like devotion to him personally than run-of-the-mill party members.
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Samantha and Glenn sitting in a tree?

Glenn Beck has been one of the wildest right wing media personalities, advancing all manner of bizarre theories in his time. But for some reason, he took an intense dislike to Donald Trump and has been harshly criticizing him. Samantha Bee decided to see if this shared distaste could form the basis of a more positive relationship and paid him a visit to see what they might have in common.
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What will Trump and Fox News do about this war on Christmas?

The phony ‘War on Christmas’ has been one of the most ridiculous frenzies that grip right-wing Christians and politicians and media each year around this time. Donald Trump predictably pandered to this sentiment by ridiculously promising that when he is president people will say “Merry Christmas” again. But what are they going to do about this attack on Christmas by rabbis in Israel who are concerned by the rise in popularity of Christmas as a secular holiday in that country?
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UN resolution opposing Israeli settlements passes, with US abstaining

As has been obvious to any sentient being, Israeli has been on a steady path of annexing land in the Occupied Territories, using one flimsy excuse after another, even though those settlements and the walls that have been built that snake through Palestinian territory have been ruled illegal under international law. The US has been providing cover to Israel by vetoing all UN resolutions that seek to even mildly curtail these practices that have created an apartheid-like state in which Palestinians are subjected to degrading treatment and forced evacuations from their homes and other properties.
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Yet another bait-and-switch on the way

The infrastructure in the US is in sad shape and requires massive expenditure to upgrade it. The Obama administration, like pretty much everyone else, knew that and tried to push for such spending but the Republican majority in Congress thwarted it at every step for three reasons. One is that they had made it their policy to oppose Obama on anything that did not benefit the oligarchy. The second was to deny Obama the opportunity to point to any kind of success anywhere. And the third was because such spending would stimulate the economy and create jobs and make people think the economy was improving.
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