IN THE NEWS: Paul Ryan and Julian Assange

I’ve just returned home after a week+ of (minor) injury and travel, so I’ve been doing a bit of catching up — and recuperating — of late.   As I’m still dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the next installment of the current blog series (“A Striking Lack of Empathy”), focusing on Syria, I couldn’t help noticing some of what’s dominating the headlines now: Governor Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate and the diplomatic dust-up between London and Quito over Ecuador’s sovereignty and Julian Assange’s freedom (the future of press freedom, if the authorities apply the law equally).

NEWS WELL DONE (a few recommendations):

HuffingtonPost’s Jason Linkins does a fine job of presenting an overview of the political career of the Ayn Rand disciple/denier who Mitt Romney just tapped to be his running mate: PAUL RYAN, the man with the Medicare-ending budget that virtually every sitting House Republican has voted for.

DemocracyNow! interviews JULIAN ASSANGE legal adviser Michael Ratner (of the Center for Constitutional Rights) about the extraordinary showdown between the U.K. and Ecuador over a man who has yet to be charged with a crime; an excellent companion piece to the preceding interview would be Glenn Greenwald’s recent article for Salon (one of his last, as he’s headed to The Guardian on Monday): “Secrecy Creep” explaining the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on honest government whistleblowers and the concomitant threat to the First Amendment.

– Finally, if you’re anticipating my next blog, focusing on America’s Syria policy and the current uprising, I found the following article by Institute for Policy Studies fellow, Phyllis Bennis, particularly insightful (up to her usual superb standard); and found very illuminating this article by The Guardian’s Charlie Skelton, laying out the U.S. role in funding and influencing the Syrian exiles who our media now quote exclusively, at the expense of Syria’s decades old, indigenous resistance (the people who began this uprising over a year ago and still reject the propagandists’ calls for foreign intervention).

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