* PROTESTERS KETTLED AND ARRESTED AT OCCUPY NATIONAL GATHERING
VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOugpD_ivD8&feature=youtu.be
* U.S. BUILDING AFGHANISTAN A HUGE $92 MILLION MILITARY HEADQUARTERS
By Joshua Partlow, Washington Post
The United States is spending $92 million to build Afghanistan a new “Pentagon,” a massive five-story military headquarters with domed roofs and a high-tech basement command center that will link Afghan generals with their troops fighting the Taliban nationwide.
But when Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak asked for a bigger office in the building — a change that would cost about $300,000 — he got a firm “no.” Such changes cost time and money, U.S. military officials said, and in Afghanistan, both are in ever-shorter supply. […]
* TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS, A CORPORATE COUP IS UNDERWAY
The highly secretive pact, dubbed “NAFTA on steroids,” is so invasive it would even limit how governments can spend tax dollars.
By Lori Wallach, AlterNet
Have you heard about the small U.S. government agency engaged in years of closed-door negotiations that could undermine the Obama administration’s declared goals of creating jobs, reregulating the financial sector and lowering healthcare costs?
With the direct participation of 600 corporations and shocking levels of secrecy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is rushing to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Branded as a trade agreement (yawn) by its corporate proponents, TPP largely has evaded public and congressional scrutiny since negotiations were launched in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration.
But trade is the least of it. Only two of TPP’s 26 chapters actually have to do with trade. The rest is about new enforceable corporate rights and privileges and constraints on government regulation. This includes new extensions of price-raising drug patent monopolies, corporate rights to attack government drug formulary pricing plans, safeguards to facilitate job offshoring and new corporate controls over natural resources. […]
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: The 1% Strike Back Against Occupy Movement By aquabuddha @ http://99getsmart.com/?p=3715
* PENA NIETO WINS MEXICO PRESIDENTIAL VOTE
Enrique Pena Nieto, the young face of Mexico’s oldest political party, looks to have been chosen to lead his country out of arguably the most turbulent period in its history since the Mexican Revolution.
Pena Nieto’s PRI, which governed Mexico for 71 years until losing in 2000, has staged a comeback since the candidate was chosen.
The challenges facing any new president are enormous, including reducing poverty and combating the corruption and violence of organised crime.
But exit polls appear to show that there are enough Mexicans who believe Pena Nieto when he says his victory is not a regression to the past, but a transition to a new, less violent and more democratic era.
* BOEHNER APPEALS DOMA CASES TO SUPREME COURT
By Chris Johnson, Washington Blade
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) attorneys on Friday formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court an appeals court decision determining the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
Drew Hammill, spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), told the Washington Blade on Friday afternoon Republicans had notified Democratic leadership that House counsel filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.
The court ruling that was appealed was the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, which was filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services. On May 31, the appellate court issued a decision that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional as a result of both cases. […]
* CRITICAL THINKING FOR DUMMIES
By digby, Hullabaloo
[…] The 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform, adopted June 9 at the state convention in Forth Worth, seems to take a stand against, well, the teaching of critical thinking skills. Read it for yourself:
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. […]