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Shi’ism and Social Protest

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Tag: Government


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



Flickr / Roger@elaws ?

Nothing Has Changed on Wall Street

A year after Lehman Brothers went under—taking a big chunk of the economy with it—the deregulation and lax oversight that enabled the crisis are still a problem. According to this New York Times report, things might even be worse.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE



California Emergency Management Agency

Homeland Security Spending Marked by Waste, Shoddy Oversight

Records show that communities across California had difficulty managing millions in anti-terrorism grants handed out by Congress after Sept. 11.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joseph Kaczmarek

A Hundred Holocausts: An Insider’s Window Into U.S. Nuclear Policy

The document in his hand was almost unthinkable: It projected roughly 600 million deaths in a U.S.-Soviet war. Here’s the first installment of a memoir of the nuclear era by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who revealed the Pentagon Papers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

A Speech Even Insurance Companies Could Love

President Barack Obama’s health care reform speech to Congress Wednesday night was impassioned, but it also echoed a lot of ideas from insurance company lobbying.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Health Care Reset

By joining specifics, a powerful moral argument and an unapologetic defense of government’s role in promoting social justice, the president sought to rescue the health care debate from the mire of a congressional system that has encouraged delay and obstruction.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


Full Text of the President’s Speech to Congress

The president’s speech to Congress on Wednesday was not without surprises, including a Ted Kennedy-inspired appeal to the “character of our nation” and a rowdy (and democratically elected) heckler. Here is the full text.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 READ MORE


The United States of Plutocracy

Since the 1970s, the nation has been in a dizzying downward spin in the effective purchase of public office by corporations.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE


States Ignoring Stimulus Welfare Fund

Congress created a $5 billion emergency fund for needy families that can be used to immediately create jobs or pay rent for families facing eviction, but many states say they can’t afford to take advantage of the windfall.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rick Rycroft

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


From ‘Do No Harm’ to Torture

A new report by Physicians for Human Rights reaches a sickening but inescapable conclusion: “Health professionals played central roles in developing, implementing and providing justification for torture.”

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



Project on Government Oversight

Kabul Contractor Parties Aren’t the Half of It

Much of the furor over the conduct of private embassy guards in Kabul appears preoccupied with what one whistle-blower describes as the “gay shit” rather than the exploitation of young Afghan women or the deteriorating security situation at the embassy. The latter, after all, was the major focus of the complaint that blew this story open.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care’s Senior Moments

When exactly did the Republicans start operating one of those marketing scams that target the elderly?

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE



ABC

‘Death With Dignity’ for the Public Option?

The White House is about to relaunch its health reform campaign and some, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are hopeful that the president will “more aggressively fight for a strong health reform bill with a strong public option.” Behind the scenes, however, his staff may be looking for the best way to kill it.

Posted on Sep 2, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


New Light on Copenhagen Climate Talks

The 2009 Copenhagen climate conference will be critical to the success or failure of establishing a practical, binding global plan of action before human-caused climate change reaches the point of no return, creating a cascade of catastrophes.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy
Mr. Fish

Ted Kennedy’s Humanity

Ted Kennedy’s suffering and failures fed a humane humility that led him to reach out to others who fell, to empathize with those burdened by pain, to understand human folly, and to appreciate the quest for redemption.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


Who Is Obama Playing Ball With?

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with a top executive from UBS, a bank that sheltered wealthy tax dodgers while hardworking U.S. taxpayers were bailing it out.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Status Quo Is Not an Option

The summer of disinformation seems to have accomplished its goal: to preserve for the private insurance industry an effective monopoly over how much most Americans pay for health care, and on what terms they can buy it.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Bob Child

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

The proposed health reform plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Invisible Achievement

If governments had not acted aggressively, the economic situation would have become a cataclysm. But because the cataclysm was avoided, this is an invisible achievement.

Posted on Aug 23, 2009 READ MORE



A Bomb in Every Issue

Peter Richardson’s fascinating new book explores the short, unruly life of Ramparts Magazine and its extraordinary effect on American politics and media.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Missing: Democrats’ Passion

Here’s the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party. The wonder is that it’s taken so long for public opinion to curdle.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
Kremlin / Presidential Press and Information Office

Putin’s Pecs and Political Roid Rage

According to a report in Miller-McCune, scientists have determined that muscles make men irritable and politically aggressive. That makes Vladimir Putin’s pecs troublesome, say the researchers: “If governmental decision-makers are like other humans, then their musculature may be playing a role, unconnected from rational evaluation, in their decisions to go to war.”

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Master Sgt. James M. Bowman

The Pentagon Can’t Stop Baghdad Bombs

Coordinated bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday targeted the Foreign and Finance ministries, killing at least 95 and wounding hundreds more. It may feel like a flashback, but the violence never really left, as Patrick Cockburn, Scott Ritter, William Pfaff and Chris Hedges explain after the jump.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

You Can’t Blame Obama for American Stubbornness

The president is simply too decent to get the job done. His advisers never learn from their mistakes and the American public is intolerant and hasn’t a clue as to what really is going on in the world.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



Facebook / Boycott Whole Foods

Can Whole Foods Repair Its Image?

Turns out comparing unions to herpes and raving against health care reform in The Wall Street Journal isn’t great for business, at least when your business sells granola to progressives, hippies and other Truthdig readers. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s efforts have earned him a boycott. Guess we’ll just have to get our gluten-free almond cookies elsewhere.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

‘Nothing Has Changed’ for Public Option

Press secretary Robert Gibbs called the media’s determination that the president had abandoned the public option “one of the more curious things I’ve ever seen in my life.” Is this a case of spin or spine? Read Gibbs’ entertaining back-and-forth with reporters (full text after the jump) and come to your own conclusion.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera

Red-faced people are now hurling the same falsehoods at the nonexistent Obama plan that they hurled at Clinton’s plan—and Harry Truman’s national health insurance proposal, and Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Defense Isn’t Working

It’s true that politics is the art of the possible, but it’s also true that great leaders expand the scope of possibility.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Pulling the Plug on the Public Option

Obama, under political pressure, has softened his call for that element of health care reform, and a Congress awash in industry money is likely to be all too happy to bid it adieu.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Cpl. Kristofer Atkinson

Only Time Can Heal Some Iraqi Wounds

Don’t let the bombings fool you: The American military withdrawal stabilizes Iraq to a degree never admitted by protagonists of the original invasion.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


10 Awesome Reasons to Pass Health Reform

Forget the fearmongering scare tactics of the right, here’s how your life will actually be better.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Rahmbo
White House / Pete Souza

Team Obama Ready to Surrender Public Option?

The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. ... ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Pioneering Sadists: A Tale From the ‘War on Terror’ Dark Side

Little mainstream comment seems to have appeared on the latest revelations of incompetence and sadistic fantasy that have been published this week about the ways in which the American nation lost its honor and international reputation because of the Bush administration’s infatuation with torture.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


The Real Death Panels

The ugly fact is that every year we fail to reform the existing system, that failure condemns tens of thousands of people to die—either because they have no insurance or because their insurance companies deny coverage or benefits when they become ill.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC1 Nicholas Lingo

Contractor Waste of Tax Dollars Continues

DynCorp International got caught charging the government $50 million over contract for providing living facilities in Kuwait. The company’s CEO told a congressional commission, “If we’re not competitive [in costs], it’s possible for the government to replace us.” But the opposite seems to be true when it comes to contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, where fraud, waste and abuse have been all too common for years.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE



tvguide.com

Health Care Reform Needs an Action Hero

The 50 people a day who die from inadequate health care might be tempted to call on Jack Bauer—or the grandfather of the man who plays him.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


A Reason for All the Health Care Rage

The nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Paul Krugman: Big Government Prevented a Second Depression

The Nobel Prize-winning economist writes that “around a million more Americans are working now than would have been employed without that [stimulus] plan. ... ” He also argues that “it’s possible to be dissatisfied, even angry, about the way the financial bailouts have worked while acknowledging that without these bailouts things would have been much worse.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Markus Schreiber

Playing Politics With a Ghost

Now that the remains of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Speicher have been recovered from Iraq, Sen. Pat Roberts and other politicians will have to stop shamelessly exploiting his disappearance to sell their war agenda. Update from the author

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Willow Run factory
U.S. Army Signal Corps

Hiroshima Day: America Has Been Asleep at the Wheel for 64 Years

Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame writes that “official secrecy and deceptions about our nuclear weapons posture and policies and their possible consequences have threatened the survival of the human species.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Read My Lips: We Need to Raise Taxes

Does President Obama care about passing health care reform that truly gets costs under control and getting the nation’s fiscal house in order or does he care more about getting re-elected?

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE


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