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Tag: Democracy

Are Obama’s Hands Tied?

A splendid and courageous new book describes with lucidity the degree to which the power of the American presidency over war and peace has been weakened in our day, and, in important respects, superseded.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE


FBI Raids and the Criminalization of Dissent

Early in the morning on Friday, Sept. 24, FBI agents in Chicago and Minnesota’s Twin Cities kicked in the doors of anti-war activists, brandishing guns, spending hours rifling through their homes.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / openDemocracy (CC-BY-SA)

Opposition Gains on Hugo Chavez

They just had an election in Venezuela and Hugo Chavez’s party easily won a majority, so why is the opposition celebrating? Because big gains by the anti-Chavez crowd mean the president will not be able to count on a two-thirds majority to push through his legislative agenda, which sometimes coincides with his personal agenda.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Oded Balilty

The China Superpower Hoax

How is a country with a lower per capita income than Kazakhstan, one of the worst environmental records of any major nation and a dictatorship, besides, hailed by so many as the next global superpower?

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE


Tempest in a Very Small Teapot

Is the tea party one of the most successful scams in American political history?

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Pat Wellenbach

Is It Lady Who’s Gaga or the Senate?

We live in two simultaneous but radically incongruous realities, where undemocratic arrangements negotiated in the 18th century contend with commercial media industries that covet the enlightened youth.

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE


U.S. Could Be Alone as Europe Turns Inward

The relationship between Western Europe and the colonies that became the United States was complicated from the beginning. The situation reversed, it is now Europe that tires of America’s imperial wars.

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 READ MORE


Torture in Iraq Continues, Unabated

Combat operations in Iraq are over, if you believe President Barack Obama’s rhetoric. But torture in Iraq’s prisons, first exposed during the Abu Ghraib scandal, is thriving, increasingly distant from any scrutiny or accountability.

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama and Iraq: ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’

The president and the American people will all too soon come to recognize that the quagmire in Iraq is far from over. In fact, one might say it has only just begun.

Posted on Sep 20, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Javier Galeano

The Forever Fidel Obsession

After three hours of conversation, it is clear that Fidel Castro has definitely retired and now spends his time underlining President Obama’s books and reflecting on decades of revolution. Anyone who thinks Cuba is going capitalist, however, should check more carefully with the facts.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Elise Amendola

Do Not Pity the Democrats

Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


A Chance for Supreme Court Damage Control

With Congress coming back this week, there’s a chance to limit the damage the Supreme Court has caused our democracy.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


Sept. 11: A Day Without War

The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States should serve as a moment to reflect on tolerance. It should be a day of peace.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE


Missing ‘Big Labor’

Remembering the labor movement’s heroic battles is bittersweet on a Labor Day when so many Americans are unemployed, when wages are stagnant or dropping, and when the labor movement itself is in stark decline.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Altaf Qadri

More Mao Than Thou: What the Hell Is Happening in Nepal?

Nepal’s parliament will attempt to elect a prime minister, the sixth try in almost three months. The impasse reflects the deep antagonism between the Maoists, Leninists, Marxists and socialists who are all fighting for control.

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Giorgio Montersino (CC-BY-SA)

Our Enabling Media Is Worse Than Ever

Once he tasted the realities of political life, Thomas Jefferson had harsh words for the free press. What would he have made of the irresponsible, shoddy, pernicious zeal that passes for news today?

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE



White House

Obama: ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom Is Over’ (Full Video and Text)

The president began his address to the nation on the end of combat operations in Iraq by acknowledging that “this historic moment comes at a time of great uncertainty for many Americans.”

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE


Eve Ensler: Bald, Brave and Beautiful

The author of the hit play “The Vagina Monologues” sat down with me last week, in the midst of her battle with uterine cancer, to talk about New Orleans and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Perry Aston

The Ambiguity of War’s End

Now that the Iraq war is over—for U.S. combat troops, at least—only one thing is clear about the outcome: We didn’t win.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons/April Sikorski

This Side of Democracy

As it is an election year amidst the Great Recession, talk of the American plutocracy is very much in vogue. But to label the situation as unique belies centuries of history.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama and the Virtues of ‘Politicking’

President Obama’s address to the nation on Iraq this week underscores the agony of his presidency, and its core political problem. In a democracy, separating governing from “politicking” is impossible.

Posted on Aug 29, 2010 READ MORE


The Billionaire Right-Winger

It certainly seems unlikely that David Koch has ever encountered any of the folks who turn up at a typical tea party event or that he has ever showed up at a congressional town hall meeting to scream about health care reform. For Koch, the tea partyers are merely pawns.

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Alexandre Meneghini

Inching Away From Bullfighting and Its Macho B.S.

Catalonia has imposed a 2012 ban on the tradition, which is losing support throughout Spain. Could this toxic mix of blood lust and male preening finally be on its way out?

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE


Rotten Eggs and Our Broken Democracy

The massive recall of salmonella-infected eggs, the largest egg recall in U.S. history, opens a window on the power of large corporations over not only our health, but over our government.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail

Why Gen. Petraeus’ Assassination Inc. Threatens Us All

Greatly expanded U.S. military Special Ops teams, U.S. drone strikes and private espionage networks run by former CIA assassins create a threat to our security.

Posted on Aug 24, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC2 Ted Green

U.S. Leaves Iraq Much Worse Off

Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 READ MORE



Norman Podhoretz in Black and White

Norman Birnbaum, the noted sociologist and thinker, analyzes two worthy new books, by Thomas L. Jeffers and Benjamin Balint, on the longtime editor of Commentary and the magazine he shaped.

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

There’s Nothing Surgical About Cluster Bombs

The globalist militarism that remains the dominant force among the American policy class in Washington (Democrats prominently involved) now has its members talking to the press about its new use of “the scalpel” rather than “the hammer.”

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


Mosque-Issippi Burning

Salman Hamdani died on Sept. 11, 2001. The 23-year-old police cadet raced to Ground Zero to save others. His selfless act cost him his life.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century

None of America’s problems are likely to be tackled in a serious or successful way as long as we continue to spend our wealth on armies, weapons, wars, global garrisons, and bribes for petty dictators.

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 READ MORE


Elites’ Democratic Days Are Numbered

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s narrow primary victory over former state legislator Andrew Romanoff in Colorado can be summed up by Mel Brooks’ expression “evil will always triumph because good is dumb.” Make it “dumb and broke.”

Posted on Aug 15, 2010 READ MORE


Democratic Values, Islam and the Judeo-Christian Tradition Fallacy

There are now warnings emanating from some circles that Muslim leaders are seeking gateways through which to implement an “Islamification” of American politics and society.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 READ MORE


Chris Dodd and the Politics of Joy

When I sat down last week at the Capitol with Chris Dodd to talk about his 36 years in Congress, he didn’t change my attitude toward the longest-winded legislative body in the world. But he reminded me of something missing in our public life: an ebullient joy about what democratic politics can accomplish.

Posted on Aug 8, 2010 READ MORE


‘Dropping Babies,’ Abandoning Principles

Rather than shout, I’ll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party’s greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jason DeCrow

Journalism’s Big Investigations Sliding Into a Big Pit

Massive projects like The Washington Post’s “Top Secret America” are on the endangered-species list as the large metropolitan dailies go into decline, and that’s bad for the nation.

Posted on Aug 2, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Angelita Lawrence

The No-Win War

In Afghanistan, momentum has become a substitute for logic. We’re not fighting because we have a clear set of achievable goals. We’re at war, apparently, because we’re at war.

Posted on Aug 2, 2010 READ MORE


The Deception of Real-World Inception

In this epoch of confusion, our society has achieved the goal of “Inception’s” idea-implanting protagonists—only without all the technological subterfuge.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE



Photo illustration based on an image by Flickr user cometstarmoon (CC-BY)

The Politics of Stupidity Strike Again

Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? While we’re at it, does any other democracy have a powerful legislative branch as undemocratic as the U.S. Senate?

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez

Afghanistan: The Pentagon’s Lost War

While it is unquestionable that Barack Obama made the war in Afghanistan “his” war, it also is true that it was served to him on a platter and with a gun pressed against his back.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 READ MORE


WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diary

Wikileaks.org has done it again, publishing thousands of classified documents about the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Posted on Jul 27, 2010 READ MORE



bismark.se

Electronic Voting That Might Actually Work

The digital age hasn’t been very good for elections, at least when it comes to the actual recording and counting of votes. But some big brains are out to change all that. Here is a system that would let you vote anonymously and allow you to verify that your vote was recorded accurately. (continued)

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 READ MORE



One-Third of U.S. Counties Face Water Shortage

Today on the list: Britain’s new prime minister flies business class, one-third of U.S. cities face water shortages, the history of canned laughter, and the art professor who squirts paint from the worst possible place.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 READ MORE


Our Secret Leviathan

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War—when mutual nuclear annihilation was a policy option—a culture of secrecy arose in Washington. What wise observers understood even then was that while governments tried to keep secrets from each other, their chief concern was to keep secrets from their own people.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE


Celebrity Cures All

Sarah Palin’s failed candidacy and her ascendance to the ranks of political celebrity were, it turns out, the best thing that could have happened to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Deficit Doves

Getting out of the red is the new black. Deficit hawks have swooped down on the U.S. budget. This week, they attacked unemployment benefits.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE


The NAACP and the Tea Party’s Flag-Burners

Good for the NAACP. We need an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the tea party. Thanks to a resolution passed this week at the venerable organization’s national convention, we’ll get it.

Posted on Jul 14, 2010 READ MORE


Let Steele Speak

The Republican National Committee chairman is a wonderful distraction, a constant source of gaffes, laughs, clarifications and denials. But it’s the Democrats reciting Dick Cheney talking points who should be embarrassed.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE



NASA

If Only Information Flowed as Freely as Oil

“Deep Spill 2” sounds like a sequel to a Hollywood thriller. Unfortunately, it is more of a reality show. “Deep Spill 2” is the name of an ambitious series of proposed scientific experiments that should be happening right now.

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE


Judicial Change to Believe In

Here’s when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court’s role: When Republicans largely give up talking about “judicial activism,” when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


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