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Tag: Government


White House / Pete Souza

Sotomayor Is No Leftist

Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE



hartmaninstitute.com

Conservatives Go After Arab Israelis

Feeling their power, Israel’s conservative parliamentarians are drafting laws that appear to target Arab citizens, causing both allies and civil libertarians to cringe. One measure would create a loyalty oath, while another would punish any “call to negate Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state” with a year in jail.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Keith Srakocic

‘Clean’ Energy and Poisoned Water

Natural gas companies have managed to convince Congress and the EPA that millions of gallons of toxic water left underground or collected in huge open pits pose no threat to watersheds, yet wells in 11 states have already been poisoned.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Lou Cannon on Ronald Reagan

The debate over our 40th president’s role in ending the Cold War continues with the publication of James Mann’s “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan.”

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


The End of the Middle Class as We Know It

This is how it ends. Or at least, this is how the latest, sad chapter in a story that has been ending for three decades is written.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sarihuella

Swine Flu on the Verge of Pandemic

With news of the first swine flu death outside of Mexico (U.S.) and the first infection of a patient with no connection to Mexico (Spain), the World Health Organization has reclassified the health scare one level short of a full pandemic and has urged governments to initiate emergency measures.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / be_khe

U.S. Declares Swine Flu Emergency

The administration is taking the threat of swine flu seriously, as congressional Republicans’ main interest in the health arena seems to be roping the president’s nominee to head Health and Human Services into an abortion fight. The Centers for Disease Control and the Homeland Security Department issued an emergency declaration Sunday, while the World Health Organization and governments around the globe scrambled to confront the potential crisis.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Iraqi Death Toll Tops 87,000 Since 2005

Citing data obtained from an Iraqi government official, the Associated Press reported Thursday that 87,215 Iraqis have died due to violence since 2005—and that could even be a conservative figure.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


‘Reform’ With No Reform

The defenders of the health care status quo have been frantically arguing these past few weeks that any coming reform of the health insurance system cannot include a public insurance plan, even if that’s the whole point.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

When Slapped, Slap Back

(Editor’s note: Eugene Robinson is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary.) It’s hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



NASA / U.S. Treasury

Treasury Covers for Stingy Banks

President Obama has said he doesn’t want public money going into a “black hole,” but his administration’s bank bailout looks more and more like an abyss of cosmic proportions. Not only are the bailed-out banks lending less than before, the Treasury Department appears to be engaging in creative math to obscure the gravity of the situation.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Underestimate the Tea-Baggers

The cool, cerebral White House might logically conclude that Wednesday’s decidedly uncool, uncerebral “tea bag” protests were intellectually and politically incoherent, and therefore not worth a second thought. That would be a dangerous mistake.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Columbine Questions We Still Don’t Ponder

As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn’t yet matured past gun control and video games.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Kani Ronningen

They Don’t Build Democracies Like They Used To

America promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but more than two months after provisional elections, things have gone from photo-op to fiasco. The New York Times reports on the “threats, intrigue, back-room deal-making, protests, political paralysis and, increasingly, popular discontent” that have come to characterize the Iraqi political process.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Wrong Road to Recovery

Once again we may be fooling ourselves into thinking that the buying and selling of paper assets is the same as the buying and selling of tangible goods made by real workers.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Castro’s Racial-Paradise Myth

In 10 trips to Cuba, I have met Afro-Cubans who told me with conviction of their opportunities under the Castro regime. But I’ve also heard bitter complaints about deep-seated racism that many black Cubans believe is getting worse.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / stan

You Can’t Teach an Old Predatory Lender New Tricks

Like an abused spouse, America continues to stand by the banks, hoping they’ll change their ways. TARP funds were supposed to trickle down to the average taxpayer, but Congress is now investigating complaints that bailed-out banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup are jacking up interest rates and engaging in predatory lending.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Avigdor Lieberman
AP photo / Tsafrir Abayov

Israel’s Racist in Chief

It was unthinkable, when I was based as a correspondent in Jerusalem two decades ago, that an Israeli politician who openly advocated ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territory, as well as forcing Arabs in Israel to take loyalty oaths or be forcibly relocated to the West Bank, could sit on the Cabinet.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

What do you get when you mix drugs, greed, God and a splash of Bristol Palin’s baby-daddy? The five most popular Truthdig stories from the last seven days.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Susan Jacoby on William Goetzmann’s ‘Beyond the Revolution’

The great divide between religion that accommodates itself to secular knowledge and biblically literal religion that rejects any such knowledge that contradicts the Bible is the insufficiently explored story at the center of this Pulitzer Prize-winning historian’s most recent and otherwise compelling book.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Muslims Still Under Siege

It turns out that people can still be arrested and deported based on the same charges they’ve been acquitted of in court. The U.S. Constitution protects people from “double jeopardy,” being charged twice with the same offense. But in the murky world of immigrant detention, double jeopardy is perfectly legal.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Albert F. Hunt

The Business of War

Pentagon whistle-blower Karen Kwiatowski returns to the Truthdig podcast to take stock of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she says are effectively “a government jobs program for the military and military contractors.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Albert F. Hunt

The Business of War

Pentagon whistle-blower Karen Kwiatowski returns to the Truthdig podcast to take stock of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which she says are effectively “a government jobs program for the military and military contractors.”

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Resist or Become Serfs

If we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum

Wall Street Showered Obama’s Top Economic Adviser With Riches

Lawrence Summers is the man President Obama turns to for insight into the economy, so it’s more than a little disturbing that the very financial institutions the taxpayers are now rescuing—to the tune of nearly $3 trillion—paid Summers almost $8 million last year. Goldman Sachs & Co., a major beneficiary of the government’s largesse, paid him $135,000 for one speech.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform at Last

Yes, this is the year Congress will finally give every American access to health insurance. For the first time since the passage of Medicare in the 1960s, the forces favoring action on health care reform are stronger than the forces of cynicism and obstruction.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE


The Irrelevance of Race

Not even three months have passed since Obama’s historic inauguration, and already it tends to slip the nation’s collective mind that the first black president is, in fact, black. There may be hope for us after all.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


America’s ‘Long War’ Will Be as Bloody and Pointless as Europe’s

The Thirty Years’ War occupies little space in the school texts of the English-speaking world, but its futility comes to mind when Richard Holbrooke speaks of the war he is supposed to manage, now the Af-Pak war.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


The Nobelists vs. Obama and Geithner

The president’s plan to bail out the banks reveals a deference to the existing financial system that puts him at odds with Nobel Prize-winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


Close These Refuges for Scoundrels

The story of former AIG executive Joseph Cassano points up once more how tax and regulatory havens across the world encourage nefarious conduct, lack of transparency, evasion of taxes and corporate criminality.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE



senate.gov by way of Wikimedia Commons

Justice Dept. Wants Stevens Conviction, Charges Dropped

Former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska probably lost his seat because he was convicted of corruption charges, but now his guilt may be in doubt. At the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment because of prosecutorial shenanigans.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dan Balilty

Most Israelis Disapprove of Their New Government, Poll Finds

There’s no putting it any better than Haaretz did: “The Knesset approved Benjamin Netanyahu’s return as prime minister last night amid allegations that his new government is bloated, convoluted and unprepared to deal with Israel’s many problems.” The newspaper surveyed the Israeli public and found that 54 percent already disapprove of the new regime.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Cars, Banks and Confusion

The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Change You Can Translate

If there is a trend in democratic nations now, it is toward younger politicians who express disenchantment with the status quo, more by questioning past approaches than by offering fully worked-out alternative systems.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Wolf

Obstruction of Justice

The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of Dr. Sami Al-Arian have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


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