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Truthout: August 11, 2011

Truthout: August 11, 2011

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Jan Schakowsky Introduces Plan to Create 2.2 Million Jobs, and More
In today's On the News segment: Jan Schakowsky introduces a plan to create 2.2 million jobs, again; stocks plummeted 519 points; 79 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the United States government, secret peace negotiations between United States officials and the Taliban have collapsed; Democrats vow to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year; Kentucky Christian theme park given 75 percent discount on property taxes over next 30 years; and more.
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Economic Crisis or Nonviolent Opportunity? Gandhi's Answer to Financial Collapse
Michael Nagler, Waging Nonviolence: "The real purpose of an economic system is to guarantee to every person in its circle the fundamentals of physical existence (food, clothing, shelter) and the tools of meaningful work so that they can get on with the business of living together and working out our common destiny. This was Gandhi’s vision, among others'."
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Verizon's Workers Strike Back at Corporate Greed - You Can Join Them!
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future: "Right now Verizon is greedily trying to put the squeeze on its workers, cutting pensions, sick pay, health insurance, even disability for employees injured on the job. If this story sounds all too familiar, this part won't: Their workers are fighting back with a strike! And you can join them!"
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Pelosi Picks Members for "Super Committee"
Lisa Mascaro, The Los Angeles Times: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader, named the three final appointees Thursday to the super committee on deficit reduction, adding diversity along with budget expertise to a panel that was all white and includes only one woman."
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Obama's Legal Duty to Create Jobs Now
Jeanne Mirer and Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: "The debate about the debt ceiling should have been a conversation about how to create jobs. It is time for progressives to remind the government that it has a legal duty to create jobs and must act immediately - if not through Congress, then through the Federal Reserve."
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United Snakes of America: Obama, the Republicans and the Media
Dr. Brian Moench, Truthout: "I was thrilled to vote for Obama. My wife and I donated more money to his campaign than we have given to any candidate running for any office. I believed he was more than just pocket 'change we could believe in.' I still have an Obama bumper sticker on my car. This weekend, with gusto, I'm tearing it off."
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US Relies on Contractors in Somalia Conflict
Jeffrey Gettleman, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times News Service: "The fight against the Shabab, a group that United States officials fear could someday carry out strikes against the West, has mostly been outsourced to African soldiers and private companies out of reluctance to send American troops back into a country they hastily exited nearly two decades ago."
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Paul Krugman | United States vs. Europe: Who Is Worse Off?
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "America is hamstrung by its crazy right; Europe by its single currency that can be neither abandoned nor accompanied by sufficient reforms to make it work; Japan by lousy demography and monetary timidity that is now deeply ingrained in expectations."
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US Navy Vet Sues Donald Rumsfeld for Torture in Iraq, Court Allows Case to Move Forward (Video)
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: "On Monday, a federal appeals court refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two U.S. citizens against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and unnamed others for developing, authorizing and using harsh interrogation techniques against detainees in Iraq."
Watch the Video

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Why did the right wing react with such ferocity to the Newsweek cover that featured a photographic portrait of Michelle Bachmann with "crazy eyes"?

The Republicans have packaged candidates for TV for decades and know the importance that appearance has over substance. Progressives tend to laugh at Bachmann's outrageous inaccuracies (watch this video compilation for examples).

However, in the television age, how a candidate appears on TV in terms of confidence, presence and reassuring personal image is of extreme importance, whatever their factual errors and even ignorance. No television image packaging represented this more than the Reagan campaign and presidencies. Like Bachmann, off script Reagan was often laughably factually inaccurate.

Bachmann, in general, has a positive television presence, even when she is spouting whoppers such as stating that the Revolutionary War began in New Hampshire or mistaking John Wayne Gacy for John Wayne. To the reptilian lizard mind, she is generally emotionally appealing and upbeat in her packaged TV appearances. In fact, she has a much stronger TV presence than Sarah Palin, who makes even some of her followers a little bit nervous with her edgy twang and often fumbling interviews.

So, it's worthy of note that a recent MIT study reaffirmed the importance of appearance and personal chemistry on television:

Frequent TV viewers who don't get any kinds of other political news are the voters most likely to be influenced by a candidate's physical appearance, a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows.

"Voters who watch a lot of television but don't really know much about the candidates besides how they look are particularly susceptible," Chappell Lawson, coauthor of the study, told MIT News.

In fact, among uninformed viewers, the study estimates that "there was a 5 percent increase in support for that [high television chemistry] candidate from uninformed voters who said they watch a lot of television." That's a significant advantage in any election.

That is why the radical supporters of Bachmann were upset that the Newsweek cover, which she posed for, took a chip out of her visual brand image. The MIT study "suggests that the effect of television remains present but diminishes as voter-information levels rise."

In short, ignorance is bliss for a Republican candidate when it comes to modern-day television campaigns. And Michele Bachmann is counting on a lot of that know-nothingness in Republican primary voters.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

GOP Hypocrite of the Week: Florida Gov. Rick Scott Pays Less Than $400 Annually for Subsidized Health Care
Read the Article at The Tampa Tribune

Will US Take Advantage of Chavez's Serious Cancer and Possible Demise to Try to Derail Leftist Tilt in South America?
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Prime Minister Cameron Threatens Anti-austerity Protesters in UK
Read the Article at Reuters

Standard & Poor's, Others Lobby Government While Rating Its Credit
Read the Article at The Washington Post

Large Corporations Are Getting Tax Cuts to Send Jobs Overseas and Pocket Bigger Profits: It's That Simple
Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Rick Perry's Army of God
Read the Article at The Texas Observer

Boehner Golfs While Jobs Burn
Read the Article at The AFL-CIO Blog

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