This week, the government is still shut down and now faces the debt ceiling, which looms ever closer. Senator Elizabeth Warren takes the initiative to explain exactly why the debt ceiling is important. But other topics across the web caught TCF’s attention, on issues ranging from education reform, press freedoms and a secretly overwhelming military presence in Africa. Read our picks below and tweet us your #TCFBest selections to @tcfdotorg.
U.S. Military “Pivots to Asia”
It’s a classic tale of “he said, she said,” except in this scenario U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Washington are the storytellers. Outwardly, AFRICOM’s chief spokesman asserts the U.S. military has a “small footprint” in Africa, but internally, Washington declares a “pivot to Asia” in the form of a military presence without actual policy changes to support the shift. These ad hoc arrangements as a whole show a sweeping effort on the part of the U.S. military to cover the map. This investigation by Mother Jones “has found recent US military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations.” Special ops and drone bases in Africa are also on the hidden agenda and official spokespeople aren’t disclosing any details. It remains to be seen if the alleged “light footprint” will start to make a more visible dent as the story reaches the public. Read the entire scoop here.
Special Report Places Obama and the Press in the Ring
“War on the press” is the new battle cry of the day. A collaboration from the Committee to Protect Journalists launched a damning report at the Obama administration this week, singling out a lack of press freedoms and harsh vendettas against whistleblowers as evidence of warfare. In the report, journalists and watchdogs speak out against the chilling effect the administration’s actions have had on sources. Others suggest these actions are nothing new, with every administration doubling the efforts of the previous one. The 40+ page report names everyone from Chelsea Manning to Dick Cheney. Click here to give it a read, but check over your shoulder first.
Teaching for Corporate America
A former Teach for America corps member lays out her arguments against the organization in Slate. In this well-written op-ed, Catherine Michna discusses how TFA plays into the hands of education privatization, often undermining the qualified and dedicated teaching staff already in place at the disadvantaged schools. Michna’s main argument highlights the high turnover of TFA corps members which depletes the participating schools of needed stability. “Schools and districts fire their unionized, more expensive professional staff in order to make slots for the cheaper, eternally revolving wheel of TFA and other nontraditionally certified recruits, who quickly burn out.” Get the entire opine if you dare.