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AlterNet's Weekly Zeitgeist: Phony Drilling, Afghan Escalation, Never-Ending Financial Crisis and Much More

From Bush's oil hoax to the New Yorker's sorry attempt at satire, our Zeitgeist list tracks the progressive issues of the week.
 
 
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This week's Zeitgeist rundown shows new issues have busted through to the consciousness of progressives, including the escalating war in Afghanistan (and with it the serious complexities of Pakistan), the rescinded presidential moratorium on offshore oil drilling, which critics say is all for show, and the huge brouhaha provoked by the New Yorker magazine's extremely provocative cover of Michelle and Barack Obama.

Still, the AlterNet Zeitgeist has some unfinished business, including the residue of anger about the newly passed FISA law, the constant reminder that Iraq is still all about the oil, and the ongoing debate about the future of feminism.

1. Phony drilling: once again the oilman in the White House is doing Big Oil's bidding
The Bush plan is a hoax and will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence. But Bush and McCain sound good to beleaguered drivers with $4.50 gas prices. Oil companies should start drilling on the 68 million acres of public land they already lease.

The Three Biggest Myths the Bush Administration Wants You to Believe About Offshore Drilling
By Faiz Shakir

2. Afghan War escalates: more American solders killed there than in Iraq
From the frying pan to the fire, perhaps, as Obama commits to expanding the wars in Afghanistan, where there are already 70,000 troops and counterinsurgency personnel, and Pakistan, where the United States is extremely unpopular.

Obama Wants to Shrink One War, But Expand Two Others: Obama is serious about a withdrawal plan for Iraq, but he's committed himself to expand the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
By Tom Hayden

3. Our seemingly never-ending financial crisis
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in the headlines, with dire warnings of imminent collapse. How worried should we be?

Fannie, Freddie and the Threat of Economic Meltdown
By Paul Krugman

4. Provocative New Yorker cover jolts nation into heated debate
A shocking cover -- a caricature of Barack and Michelle Obama depicting the presidential candidate in a turban, fist-bumping his wife, who has a machine gun slung over her shoulder, while the American flag burns in the fireplace -- raises many questions about racism, stereotypes and bad satire.

The Bad Frame: Why Are the New Yorker, Salon and Other Liberal Media Doing the Right's Dirty Work?
By Don Hazen

5. Nuclear power is an illusion as a solution to the climate change crisis
Get real! Far too slow to come on line, and unbelievably expensive, not to mention the problems of waste, security and proliferation -- nuclear power is far from a realistic alternative to our energy needs.

Let's Kick Nuclear Power out of the Climate Change Debate
By Linda Gunter

6. Feminism's generational debate, provoked by the Hillary Clinton candidacy, is still going strong

Last week we heard from a Gen Y "intersectionalist feminist" and Obama supporter. This week, our writer suggests that '70s feminists have a lot more to offer than some think, and women will continue to be oppressed unless they stop prioritizing other causes over their own.

Think '70s Feminists Are Out of Touch? Not So Fast.
By Heidi Schnakenberg

7. In Iraq it is still about the oil
U.S. war planners have always aimed for an obedient client state housing major U.S. military bases right at the heart of the world's major energy reserves.

Chomsky: Bush & Cheney Always Saw Iraq as a Sweetheart Oil Deal
By Noam Chomsky

8. Feds launch their annual reefer madness campaign
The summer is heating up, and the DEA is raiding pot farms across the country, looking tough, posing with their machetes in front of piles of slashed, innocent plants. The DEA's latest catch: 7,200 pot plants near San Diego.

As an antidote, watch Jim Hightower on pot -- Hightower sharing thoughts on pot, that is. That's Jim Hightower talking to the Marijuana Policy Project about the colossal stupidity of the drug war.

9. Progressives licking their wounds over painful FISA defeat
The legislation that Obama supported can use terrorism as a pretext for wholesale spying and could negatively impact our free press.

FISA Bill's Real Target: What Remains of Our Open Society
By Chris Hedges

10. Progressive audience keeping satirical flick "War, Inc." alive despite blackout
John Cusack's anti-war polemic, "War, Inc." continues to defy expectations, despite the traditional media's dismissive reception.

John Cusack: Bypassing the Corporate Media
By Joshua Holland

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.