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Tag: Government

The Tortured Logic Continues

“Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for kidnapping. Just ask Maher Arar. He’s a Canadian citizen who was “rendered” by the U.S. to Syria, where he was tortured for almost a year.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / J. Scott Applewhite

The Best Justice That Money Can Buy

It is somewhat late in the day to lament the politicization of the judiciary, a condition that has always existed, but extravagant campaign contributions have now perilously altered the landscape.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Opium, Rape and the American Way

The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban.

Posted on Nov 2, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

TARP on Steroids

The former financial executives inside the Obama administration have labeled their bill the “Financial Stability Improvement Act,” but it’s more like the 9/11 of bailouts.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


When the Tough Should Get Going

The former Marine officer Matthew Hoh, who resigned his Foreign Service post in Afghanistan because he feels the war is pointless and not worth dying for, deserves all the attention he’s gotten and more.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Caveman 92223

Pot Politics: California Could Go All the Way

California was the first to legalize medicinal marijuana and, if three ballot measures and a bill floating around the state legislature have anything to say about it, the Golden State could be the first to legalize and tax adult marijuana use across the board. (continued)

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Dennis Cook

The Party of Choice

By acting on their convictions rather than their fears, the Democrats could ultimately find that the public option can be turned to their advantage for years to come.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Geithner’s Fed Made AIG Pay Banks to the Max

That Timothy Geithner must love the big banks he spends all day talking to. Back when he was in charge of things, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forced AIG to pay off Wall Street tycoons for all those toxic bets, even though the mega-insurer was busy trying to negotiate a better deal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



NLN / Thomas Good

Don’t Ruin the Public Option for Everyone Else, Arkansas

While the House is chugging along with what’s shaping up to be a strong public option, the Senate has come up with a compromise that might make room for government insurance. Essentially, states that don’t dig government-run health care wouldn’t have to have it.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


Wall Street ‘Crimes’ Need Better Policing

Slashing bonuses at bailed-out companies is like arresting jaywalkers while ignoring the bank robbery that’s happening in broad daylight down the block.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Tia P. Sokimson

The Country That Cries Wolf

European allies have tired of America’s cries of “wolf! wolf!” in Iraq (yesterday), Afghanistan (today), and (I fear) Pakistan or Somalia or Kashmir tomorrow.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rich Pedroncelli

Blinded by Reform

The Obama administration has committed serious money to education reform, but many of the Department of Education’s big ideas are flawed.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Monopoly With America’s Health

Anyone infuriated by the grossly inflated compensation of the masters of finance should check out the incredible earnings of the top executives in the health insurance business.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Lawrence Jackson

Nancy Pelosi Promises Public Option on the Cheap

The House speaker is thrilled to hear from the Congressional Budget Office that all three versions of the public option under consideration in the lower chamber would be cheaper than expected and would actually reduce the deficit over 10 years.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE



DEA

Boom Times for Pot Growers

The lousy economy has driven some Californians into the marijuana industry, which is doing a lot better than, say, construction. According to this Miller-McCune profile, California will grow an estimated $15 billion worth of weed in 2009, a good portion of it in the backyards and basements of amateurs and newcomers.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ItzaFineDay

Trick or Treat for Climate Change

Climate-change activists, from pranksters to presidents, are stepping up the pressure by staging elaborate stunts.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE


With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

Given the Western world’s obsession with al-Qaida, it’s remarkable that public discourse makes little mention of the fact that the terror group is going out of business.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / toddalert

Sorry Grandma, No COLA for You

For the first time in 34 years, Social Security beneficiaries will not get a benefit boost from a cost-of-living adjustment. Falling energy prices, in particular, should keep seniors flush with their monthly average $1,094 checks. So what if their health care costs have gone up by a third?

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Samory Santos

Looking for a Middle Class

The challenge of our time is to re-create America as a middle-class nation. [This is Marie Cocco’s last column.]

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Olympia Snowe
AP / Charles Dharapak

Snowe Helps Baucus Bill Pass Committee Hurdle

Maine’s Olympia Snowe explained her vote for health care reform by saying “when history calls, history calls.” It called, she answered, and now the Senate Finance Committee’s Baucus bill, which would force Americans to buy health insurance without offering a public option, is off to get married to the more progressive Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Bribe, Vote, Repeat

The votes of lawmakers are so routinely purchased by corporations that it takes a scandal of unusual proportions to generate news coverage.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


Night of the Living Deadbeats

Zombies have made a pop culture comeback. It might have something to do with all the undead banks and the bankers whose careers live on after the economic apocalypse they caused.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



speaker.gov

Pelosi Responds to Republicans’ Sexist Nonsense

Nancy Pelosi wasted no time slapping down a National Republican Congressional Committee press release that said “taxpayers can only hope [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal is able to put her in her place.” That’s “her,” as in the House speaker, whose place is running one of the coequal branches of government.

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Why Obama Must Spend More

If the president and Congress don’t come to the aid of workers, the political consequences will be severe, and deservedly so.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / G20Voice

Watch What You Tweet

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh to participate in the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at his home—all for using Twitter.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

The Missing Health Care Debate

One way to give people a good deal on their health care is the so-called public option. A better way is the kind of strong regulation that isn’t even being discussed.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE


A Slippery Slope on Guns

If it wins an upcoming battle in the Supreme Court, the gun lobby is prepared to challenge every gun control law enacted at any level of government.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



pagetutor.com

Pox Americana: The Real Cost of Bailing Out Wall Street

In the 20th century, smallpox killed more people than all of that bloody century’s wars combined. It cost $300 million to eradicate the disease. What might have been achieved with the $4 trillion we gave Wall Street?

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


‘Socialism’ and Sham in the Senate

Listening closely to the politicians with the most clout in the debate over health care, it is startling to discover how little they actually seem to know about the subject.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Who’s in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?

The Washington Establishment clearly believes elected officials should defer to the military, no matter what that pesky Constitution says.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Communist China Turns 60—and Reveals Its Insecurities

What could and should have been celebrated this week in Beijing is the resumption of effective power in the People’s Republic by the modernizer Deng Xiaoping.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Making Tragedy Out of Farce

The Senate Finance Committee’s health care debate has given Michael Moore hours of footage for his next cinematic assault on the system.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


The Public Option Only Looks Dead

The strangest aspect of the debate over a public option for health coverage is that the centrists who oppose it should actually love it.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


A Question of Health—and Equality

My favorite moment so far in the health care debate was when Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl argued against mandating maternity benefits as part of a basic insurance coverage. “I don’t need maternity care,” he blurted out. At which point, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow quipped, “I think your mom probably did.”

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


In Europe, the Left Has Run Out of Gas

While the Republican leadership in the United States would have people believe that the country is being remorselessly driven to the far left under Barack Obama, European voters are moving toward the right.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Charity Should Begin With Charities

If the uninsured can’t count on the do-gooders to help them, where else can they turn?

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


Health Reform Money Is Aimed at Red States

Sen. Max Baucus’ health care plan would shift massive amounts of tax money away from traditionally blue states.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE



CIA / JFK Presidential Library

Justice to Tackle Federal Secrecy Abuses

How about that Eric Holder? The Justice Department plans to make it harder for the government to hide behind “national security” in legal cases—a process that has been abused since a highly flawed Supreme Court decision first allowed wide latitude in such matters.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


President Zelaya and the Audacity of Action

Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected president of Honduras, is back in his country after being deposed in a military coup June 28.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


Olympia Snowe
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Talk of Bipartisanship Is Now Thoroughly Warped

All of the health bills on offer, even the supposedly “liberal” House bill, are already centrist compromises built on a private health insurance market. Above, Olympia Snowe, who may turn out to be the single Senate Republican voting for reform.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly Wants a Public Option

Bill O’Reilly says of the very public option that makes his Foxy friends’ heads explode: “I want that. ... [I]f the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.” Quick, look out your window to see the flying pigs.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Why We Fight the Tire War With China

We are warned it is dangerously protectionist to enforce existing trade laws against China’s cheap tire surge, but Obama is obligated to do so—and for good reason.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

All U.S. Presidents Need a War to Call Their Own—and Obama Has His

The more one hears the discussion among Democrats about the war in Afghanistan, the more one feels that it is a serious handicap that Barack Obama has no personal experience of international relations or of foreign policy or military service.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” (Full release after the jump.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP Photo / Toby Talbot

The Other Public Options

Overlooked in the health care debate is the recently reconfirmed fact that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are working better than ever.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s White House Is Woman and Girl Crazy—in a Good Way

From the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls to the State Department’s global focus on women’s rights, President Obama is scoring points with feminists who worked against him in the primaries.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE


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