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Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed—and Why It Still Matters

Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed—and Why It Still Matters

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Tag: Economy

AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE

Elaine Chao

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

What Else Is New? Economy Slumps, Oil Profits Surge

Despite the massive federal stimulus package, national GDP only grew 1.9 percent from April to June, the Commerce Department has announced, and it actually shrank in the last quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, high gas prices, supposedly reflecting costs, spiked profits of oil companies, with Exxon recording its most profitable quarter ever. In fact, reports the NYT, “It was the highest quarterly profit ever for any American company, as Exxon made nearly $90,000 a minute.”

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE

Pascal Quiet

New World Trade Treaty Plowed Under

The World Trade Organization talks in Geneva finally imploded Wednesday, as negotiations over farm subsidies and labor standards collapsed into an immovable standstill between wealthy and poorer countries. The talks, defended heavily by the “developed world,” are seen by critics as an instrument to serve corporate interests.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE

Detroit Homeless Shelter
Detroit News / Ankur Dholakia

Chronically Homeless Numbers Down 30%, U.S. Claims

In the face of a U.S. housing crisis and a troubled economy, Bush administration officials claim that the past two years have seen a 30 percent drop in the levels of chronically homeless people, crediting the decrease to a strategy of finding permanent shelter for the long-ignored disabled and addicted.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and economic advisers
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Sucking Up to the Bankers: A Bipartisan Lovefest

This is a time to condemn the bankers, not to embrace them. They are the scoundrels who got us into the biggest economic mess since the Great Depression, lining their own pockets while destroying the life savings of those who trusted them.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE

George W. Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

From Surplus to a Record Deficit

George W. Bush rode into office with a budget surplus, courtesy of his predecessor. When he leaves in January, he will not return the favor. The White House estimated the budget deficit for next year at a record $482 billion—and that doesn’t include the full cost of two wars, the potential bailout of Fannie and Freddie, the full stimulus package or the loss of tax revenue from an economy in the toilet.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE

Fannie Mae

Bailout Time for Fannie and Freddie

Congress to the rescue! Mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being propped up in their time of dire need, thanks to a bill passed Saturday that will lift the world’s two largest financial institutions out of immediate danger and help some homeowners handle mortgage crises.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / PetroleumJelliffe

The Rich Get Richer

According to the most recent data from the IRS, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans took home a greater share of the nation’s income in 2006 than in any year of the previous 19. It’s possibly the biggest income disparity Americans have seen since the Great Depression. The average tax rate of the super-rich was at its lowest level in at least 18 years.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE

Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE

Starbucks logo
Flickr / M@rcopako

The Starbucks Economy

In its own way, Starbucks has a lot in common with SUVs, hot tubs and television screens wide enough to fill a wall. That is, it represents the bit-by-bit extravagances that helped get us into the tight economic jam we find ourselves in today.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE

Wiki Commons

NBA Ballers Responding to Strong Euro

Last week it was Budweiser that was sold to the Europeans, this week it is the NBA that fell victim to a global economic shift that’s seen the dollar nose-dive vis-à-vis the euro. Respected young forward Josh Childress accepted a fatter offer from a Greek club than the one his U.S. team reportedly was making. He may not be the last.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE

There’s More to the Economy Than Taxes

Using taxes as the centerpiece of—or as a substitute for—a more comprehensive economic policy is the idea that has dominated Washington since the rise of Reaganism nearly three decades ago, but the global forces shaping the U.S. economy are more powerful than a mere tax cut, or tax hike.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE

Struggling Economy Deters Working Women

The percentage of women in their prime earning years who work has gone down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers cut across demographics, and have more to do with a sluggish economy and a lack of opportunity than a rekindled interest in child rearing. As one congressional economist told The New York Times, “A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids. ... She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE

Gramm and McCain

Gramm Quits McCain Campaign

The backlash following Phil Gramm’s comments about the “mental recession” he believed Americans were bringing upon themselves through negative thinking has evidently caused the former Texas senator to leave his position as a top adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

William Pfaff on General Motors

Are workers to blame for the fix that General Motors (along with many other corporations) is in? A new book by Roger Lowenstein argues that they are. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE

The Democrats’ Visionary

On the issue of gasoline prices, Republicans think they have a winner in their call for new drilling and Democrats are playing defense. Democrats need—this is a technical term—a lot more oomph. Al Gore wants to help them.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE

Border Security

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE

Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid

While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

The Do-It-Yourself Economy

We are expected to interact with “labor-saving technology” without realizing that it’s labor-transferring technology. The job has not been “saved”; it’s been taken out of the paid sector, where employees have a nasty habit of expecting salaries, and put into the unpaid sector, where suckers ‘r’ us.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

gas prices
AP photo / Lisa Poole

Inflation Runs at a 26-Year High

The once-mighty U.S. dollar is full of hot air, or at least the rate of inflation is at a 26-year high due to the recent economic toils and astronomical energy prices. Prices U.S. consumers pay shot up 1.1 percent in June—or more directly, your paycheck just got 1.1 percent smaller.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / zoliblog

10 Troubled Banks

While depositors at IndyMac banks in California do battle for a chance to get their cash out, financial analysts have been crunching the numbers to identify other troubled lenders. ABC News snuck a peek to come up with this handy guide to banks with an unfortunate “Texas ratio.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

Foreclosure Karma

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Bush Angling to Help Fannie and Freddie

President Bush is still insisting that the U.S. economy is in generally good shape, even as he asks Congress to support legislation to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while insisting in the same breath that he’s not proposing a “bailout” for the ailing mortgage companies. Hmmm.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE

The House That Gramm Built

Phil Gramm’s dismissal of America’s economic suffering has forced him to the political sidelines, but as one of the congressional architects of Republican economics, the mess he made will haunt Americans no matter who the next president is.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE

‘A Nation of Whiners’

How does someone go from being a trusted economic adviser to being a prospective ambassador to Belarus? Ask McCain fixture Phil Gramm, who dismissed America’s economic problems as a figment. Here with more, the nation’s finest talking heads.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iran Shows Its Cards

Iran’s recent missile tests should remove all doubt that an attack by either the United States or Israel would be a terrible mistake.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE

Fannie Mae

The Rise and Fall of Fannie and Freddie

Although certain Washington denizens from both sides of the aisle might have been thrown when the two government-backed mortgage finance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, hit the skids last week, several of their current and former colleagues had long seen the crisis coming.

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE

Barnes on Fox

‘Mental Recession’ Is ‘Straight Talk’?

Next thing you know, they’re going to say unicorns are real, too. On an episode of Fox News’ “Special Report” late this week, Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes chimed in about McCain adviser Phil Gramm’s assessment that America was on the verge of a “mental recession,” calling Gramm’s statement “straight talk.”

Posted on Jul 12, 2008 READ MORE

Gramm and McCain

McCain Adviser: Recession All in Our Minds

According to Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who’s now a key economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, America’s economic woes, insofar as they actually exist, are the product of some stinking thinking by “a nation of whiners” and doom-and-gloom headlines from the U.S. media.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE

The Death of Reaganomics

The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE

Federal Reserve building
Flickr / wwarby

Fed Forecasts Economic Gloom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expects America’s economic struggles to continue well into next year and has asked Congress to expand his regulatory powers. Lawmakers are unlikely to fulfill his request any time soon. Bernanke also suggested that the Fed could continue to bail out investment banks.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE

John McCain ad

John McCain: A Fighter, Not a Summer-of-Love-r

What are we to make of this new John McCain campaign ad, in which colorful countercultural degenerates prance through the opening frames, and, near the end, a still of Noble Older McCain is superimposed over footage of Hunky Younger Ex-POW McCain?

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE

Gorby doll
Flickr / h-angele

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / jslander

Calif. Mandates Car Stickers With Global Warming Scores

Starting with 2009 models, new cars in California will sport a sticker that rates just how environmentally friendly they are, based on emissions and fuel economy. Not to be outdone, the European Union might require governments to monetize and budget for emissions.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE

A Loss of Transatlantic Harmony

The relationship among the three principal centers of world power of the past half-century is now at the edge of fundamental change.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE

Cold-Filtered Economics

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain unveiled details of his economic policy today, telling an audience in Ohio that if elected he would support a real-estate tax holiday for beer heiresses.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE

Starbucks cups

Starbucks Going From Venti to Grande

Fine, so the headline was a bit much, but this was one time we didn’t mind saying venti instead of large: Turns out that even the top bananas at Starbucks finally realized that they’ve overextended themselves, and due to the sagging economy, they’re closing 600 U.S. retail locations. Great—so that means there’ll be only eight Starbucks stores on every block instead of nine.

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Doug Henwood on the Global Power Elite

Are we now ruled by an international “superclass” that hollows out traditional notions of national sovereignty, and whose loyalties are only to the bottom line and its own members?

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 READ MORE

‘Did I Mention He’s Black?’

The question isn’t whether race will be an issue in the general election campaign between Obama and McCain. Race is already an issue, even if largely confined to the shadow world of implication and coded language.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay

The Clean-Energy State

The Guardian reports that New Mexico, with its thousands of square miles of sun-soaked, wind-swept land, is vying to become the epicenter of the new green economy. Given the right tax breaks and technological breakthroughs, the Land of Enchantment could become the Saudi Arabia of sun.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE

John McCain
Flickr / soggydan

John McCain Is Not Reading This

It turns out that the candidate who says he’s vetting his vice president with “a Google” may not actually know how to do so. Asked whether John McCain ever used a computer, his “deputy eCampaign director” replied, “You don’t need to use a computer to know how it shapes the country.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE

Countering Race With Class

In our us-versus-them culture, every political campaign is a battle to define who exactly the “us” and “them” are. At their most effective, Democrats parry by defining the “us” as the majority of working people, and the “them” as the tiny group of plutocrats who control the country.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE

Taxes, Integrity and Character

Once upon a time, there was a fiscally and socially responsible senator named John McCain.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / maveric2003

China Gives U.S. Some Economic Pointers

The United States has long enjoyed lecturing the communist government of China over the conduct of that nation’s economy. How times have changed. Chinese officials have recently criticized the United States’ “warped conception” of regulation, among other economic blunders.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE

Fiat Chief on the Global Finance Crisis

The Italian-Canadian chief executive of Fiat, the leading Italian industrial enterprise, Sergio Marchionne, speaking about the present economic crisis last weekend, mentioned the well-known argument first made by the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter about the function of “creative destruction” in modern capitalism.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE

John McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

John McCain’s Chilling Project for America

John McCain has long been a major player in a radical militaristic group driven by an ideology of global expansionism and dominance attained through perpetual, pre-emptive, unilateral, multiple wars. Over its two terms, the George W. Bush administration has planted the seeds for this geopolitical master plan, and now appears to be counting on the McCain administration, if one comes to power, to nurture it.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE

A Challenge Obama Should Accept

McCain has invited his rival to join him in a “town hall” tour. That would provide a forum for discussing the economy and for looking at just who has helped ease Americans’ pocketbook troubles in the past.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE

Getting Even

So is the glass half full or half empty after Clinton’s departure? Or to pick a better metaphor, is the “highest, hardest” glass ceiling now half shattered by the 18 million cracks or does it look as impermeable as ever after this unsuccessful battering?

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE

Firing Congress

In 225 days, at least one high-ranking politician will become unemployed. How many will join President Bush in retirement?

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE

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