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Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East

Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East

By Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac

The Best American Essays 2007

The Best American Essays 2007

By David Foster Wallace (Editor), Robert Atwan (Series Editor)

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Tag: Bailout

Money Wars: Goldman Sachs vs. OWS

In this clip from Tuesday’s “Democracy Now!” we hear the story of Goldman Sachs’ recent move to back out of a fundraiser for the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union after the financial giant caught wind that the event would pay tribute to the Occupy Wall Street movement. But, as Amy Goodman and investigative reporter … (more)

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 READ MORE

WikiLeaks Goes Into Emergency Triage Mode

WikiLeaks’ days may be numbered, or at least its function as Web-based whistle-blower may be seriously compromised, if the muckraking site Julian Assange built doesn’t sort out its money issues soon. These issues, Assange was careful to note on Monday, were caused by the deliberate stranglehold ... (more)

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / respres (CC-BY)

Obama Rolls Out New Plan to Help Homeowners

President Obama is doing an end run around Congress with a new strategy to target one of the most crucial sectors of the U.S. economy, and one clearly in need of serious resuscitation—the mortgage market. This first installment of Obama’s proposed economic rehab program, which he dubbed the “We Can’t Wait” campaign ... (more)

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Isaac Brekken

No Hope for the Jobless if a Republican Wins

Almost 20 miles from the Occupy L.A. encampment and 265 miles from the Las Vegas Republican presidential debate, the state employment office in Norwalk, Calif., was a sad, quiet reminder of what the presidential campaign should be about—unemployment that is dooming the prospects of this generation and its children.

Posted on Oct 21, 2011 READ MORE

The Choice Between Democracy and Autocracy

His Majesty King John Hickenlooper, the sovereign governor of the Kingdom of Colorado, handed down an edict closing the grounds of the Capitol palace to the public and ordering his praetorian guard to arrest the peaceful Occupy Denver protesters assembled at the castle gates.

Posted on Oct 21, 2011 READ MORE

Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Package

While the international media zoomed in on Libya on Thursday, another important story was unfolding in Athens, where two days of strikes and protests failed to sway parliament members from passing a bill of austerity measures the Greek government insisted was necessary to avoid an even more catastrophic economic mess.

Posted on Oct 20, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Andrew Burton

Let Them Eat Keller

Funny, he doesn’t look like Marie Antoinette. But when former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller asks his readers if they are “bored by the soggy sleep-ins and warmed-over anarchism of Occupy Wall Street,” it displays the arrogance of disoriented royal privilege.

Posted on Oct 20, 2011 READ MORE

White House / Pete Souza

The Occupy Windfall

“Defend Wall Street” is not likely to be a winning campaign slogan in 2012. For Republicans, this is an obvious problem. For President Obama and the Democrats, it’s a golden—if largely undeserved—opportunity.

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr/_PaulS_ (CC-BY-SA)

Our Delusions of Grandeur Will Save the World

It’s easy to see that apathy among a subset of middle-class youth is turning to politicization, and the natural form of this politicization is protest against the neoliberal state’s slashing of the social benefits that created the modern middle class in the first place.

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 READ MORE

Mr. Fish

Nude in Black and White

I thought about Susan Dey and blisters and being a hippie last Thursday when I found myself driving around outside the Air and Space Museum looking for a place to park. I was in D.C. for the purpose of lending my body and rancor to the Occupy Wall Street protesters gathering in Freedom Plaza for their first day of rabble-rousing.

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 READ MORE    

Flickr/david_shankbone (CC-BY)

OWS, The American Dream and You

Taking a cue from the 99 percenters, some conservatives are hoping to make their own play on demographics by redirecting the national discourse about class struggle and revising the cherished American story of meritocracy for these, our troubled times.

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Mary Altaffer

OWS Declares Victory as Liberty Plaza Cleanup Is Postponed

Occupy Wall Street: 1, Mayor Bloomberg: 0. After the New York City mayor’s sketchy sanitation plan for Zuccotti Park—or, if you will, Liberty Plaza—was postponed on Friday, OWS members were bullish, making it clear on their website that this development constituted a victory ... (more)

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 READ MORE

Taibbi’s List: Five Demands for OWS

Much has been made—including a lot of noise—about the Occupy Wall Street movement’s supposed lack of a cohesive message or handy list of bullet points to rally around, which even New York Times editors noted is somewhat beside the point. Regardless, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has come up with five action items for OWS, which ... (more)

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 READ MORE

Anonymous via Eddie Colla

Anonymous Wants You to Move Your Money

Camping out by Wall Street and peacefully protesting are but two ways of signaling collective displeasure about America’s compromised economic system, but here comes Anonymous with another handy tip for would-be opponents of our nation’s banking behemoths: Let the currency of their realm do the talking.

Posted on Oct 11, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Jason DeCrow

What Do They Want? Justice

How can anyone possessed of the faintest sense of social justice not thrill to the Occupy Wall Street movement now spreading throughout the country?

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 READ MORE

AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Men We Trusted to Lead Us

Why are Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama just now discovering that there is a jobs crisis in this country?

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 READ MORE

When Socialism Saves Capitalism

Have you noticed that one of the Obama administration’s most successful programs is also its most “socialist” initiative?

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 READ MORE

America the Passive

Democrats should be building statues of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, or at least giving away copies of her new book, "A Governor’s Story."

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 READ MORE

Italy Inclined

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 READ MORE

European Union Life Raft

Posted on Sep 18, 2011 READ MORE

Greek Euro

Posted on Sep 15, 2011 READ MORE

Office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Elizabeth Warren Is Running for the Senate

In the past few years, Elizabeth Warren proved herself one of the very few people in government committed to actually doing something about Wall Street greed, and she got kicked to the curb as a result. Now she is hoping to win back Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat from Republican Scott Brown. (more)

Posted on Sep 14, 2011 READ MORE

Obama Labor Day Speech (Video and Transcript)

On Monday the president celebrated working people and the contributions of unions to our society and he previewed some of the proposals in his forthcoming jobs plan at an AFL-CIO-sponsored speech in a GM parking lot.

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 READ MORE

White House / Samantha Appleton

Obama Previews Jobs Agenda

The president will officially unveil his plan to create jobs and rescue the economy at a joint session of Congress on Thursday, but he offered a sneak peek Monday to union workers in Detroit. It comes down to bridges and taxes. (more)

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 READ MORE

Bush White House / Paul Morse

Always Some Bushie There to Remind Us

Thank you, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, for emerging from your secure, undisclosed locations to remind us how we got into this mess: It didn’t happen by accident.

Posted on Sep 1, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / Wonderlane (CC-BY)

Buffett Pumps Up Bank of America

Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway negotiated a $5 billion investment with Bank of America on Thursday, a vote of confidence in the recently ailing institution. (more) [Earlier Thursday, Truthdig erroneously reported the figure as $5 million.]

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / stevendamron

A Look at the ‘Bush-Obama’ Presidency

Essayist, Yale English professor and TomDispatch contributor David Bromwich takes a careful accounting of the “sacked” and “saved” members of the Obama administration in an attempt to reveal the similarities between his presidency and George W. Bush’s. (more)

Posted on Aug 22, 2011 READ MORE

how will i ever (CC-BY-SA)

Naomi Klein on Riots and Resistance

Britain’s riots were not political, we are assured, and looting is simply un-British, but “Shock Doctrine” author Naomi Klein takes a different view: From Iraq to Argentina, when corrupt elites pass the bill to the struggling masses, civil unrest is to be expected.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 READ MORE

Jacob Bøtter (CC-BY)

Another Bailout Joins the Goofball Economy

The whole thing is nuts. The economy is a shambles, saved from a free fall only by the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented promise of free money for banks for at least two years.

Posted on Aug 9, 2011 READ MORE

Tony the Misfit (CC-BY)

The Bizarro FDR

Barack Obama is a lot of things—eloquent, dissembling, conniving, intelligent and above all, calm. But one thing he is not is weak.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Carolyn Kaster

Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security

Republican hypocrites are out to settle ideological scores that have nothing to do with the debt they themselves ran up.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 READ MORE

Greece Bailout

Posted on Jul 24, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Sorry Elizabeth, Wall Street Said No

Obama’s gutless decision to abandon Elizabeth Warren comes after the president populated his administration with the very people who created the financial meltdown.

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 READ MORE

Kebab Obama

Posted on Jul 19, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The GOP’s Sick Priorities

These threatened programs are not government handouts to a privileged class, like defense contractors and bailed-out bankers, who do feel eminently entitled to pig out at the federal trough.

Posted on Jul 12, 2011 READ MORE


Posted on Jul 10, 2011 READ MORE

Papandreou Among the Ruins

Posted on Jul 10, 2011 READ MORE

Greek Lessons

Posted on Jul 1, 2011 READ MORE

Greece and EU Attempt to Avoid Disastrous Default

Athens in recent days has experienced continuing popular protest, sporadically violent, against the economic austerity program demanded of Greece by the IMF.

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Giorgos Kontarinis / Eurokinissi

In Greece, ‘Fiscal Suicide’ Was Not an Option

Despite thousands of protesters’ fierce opposition to the PM’s austerity plan and with calls of “traitor” ringing in their ears, members of the Greek Parliament voted Wednesday in favor of economic solvency rather than popular opinion. (more)

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 READ MORE

Ten and Out?

Posted on Jun 21, 2011 READ MORE

Greek Austerity Protests

Posted on Jun 19, 2011 READ MORE


Posted on Jun 18, 2011 READ MORE

The Difference Between Rhetoric and Reality

President Obama went over to Toledo, Ohio, to thank the workers at a Chrysler plant for the bailed-out auto industry’s newfound profitability, but, as this video attests, the workers of that community are not feeling the love from Obama’s corporate welfare.

Posted on Jun 16, 2011 READ MORE

Greece’s Economic Crisis

Posted on Jun 14, 2011 READ MORE

Wall Street
Wikimedia Commons / Martin St.-Amant

Obama Pitches Woo to Wall Street

Though he once referred to them as “fat cats,” President Obama now has to sing a different tune to Wall Street’s bigwigs in order to persuade them to open their wallets as he revs up for campaign 2012. Awkward!

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Paul Sakuma

Three Banks Spanked for Subpar Mortgage Practices

In a startling move, the Obama administration is holding three major banks—Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase—accountable for their bad lending habits on the mortgage market, cutting off funds from the Home Affordable Modification Program until they shape up.

Posted on Jun 10, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Alex Brandon

The Bernanke Scandal: Full-Frontal Cluelessness

How I wish that Ben Bernanke would get caught emailing photos of his underwear-clad groin. Otherwise we don’t stand a chance of reversing this administration’s economic policy, which is shaping up to be every bit as disastrous as that of its predecessor. 

Posted on Jun 7, 2011 READ MORE

Greek Economy

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 READ MORE

Playing With Default

The current puppet play in Congress—where Republicans sponsored a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling only because they wanted to vote it down—would be funny, if only they weren’t risking economic disaster.

Posted on Jun 5, 2011 READ MORE

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