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Tag: Government

Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on China’s ‘Factory Girls’

There’s a revolution underway in Chinese culture as young women flock from villages to factory employment in the cities, leaving traditional values behind.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Beauty of Free Money

No, the federal government isn’t going to discover new billions under some rock in a national park. But with the economic downturn, the new president’s imperative will be to spend as fast as he can, to the tune of perhaps $500 billion, to keep the economy from going belly up.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Remaking the World in America’s Image

The evidence suggests that American policy under Barack Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Puts Fresh Cash Into the Drug War

While the rest of the world has been preoccupied with a financial meltdown, a handful of wars and a terrorist attack or two, Mexico has been waging war on its homegrown drug industry, and the death count is mounting. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza announced that El Norte is sending a couple hundred million down south to aid the cause.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / mlb.com

Bailout Ballpark

The U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for more than $300 billion of Citigroup’s junk investments, so where did the ailing bank find $400 million to put its name on the New York Mets’ new stadium?

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Was There Any Point to the Bloodshed in Mumbai?

What is the message of a terrorist attack that fails to deliver a message? Threats and warnings are being exchanged by India and Pakistan over the attack on Mumbai, carried out by presumed Muslim extremists. But acting to what purpose, and under whose instructions?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Taking Over Bush’s Endless War

Terrorism (for the umpteenth time) is a tactic, not an enemy. One of the most urgent tasks for President-elect Barack Obama’s “team of rivals” is coming up with a coherent intellectual framework—and a winning battle plan—for George W. Bush’s globe-spanning “war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Our Dear Leader

Judging by the proliferation of capital letters in the e-mail correspondence I receive, many seem worried that Barack Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Shrewd Choices

Barack Obama’s appointees will implement the Obama program, not only because that is what he tells them to do but because that is what they have come to believe is best for the country.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Last but Not Least: Obama Taps Volcker

After a series of depressing announcements, Barack Obama will finally turn to an economic adviser who wasn’t directly responsible for the current crisis or mentored by someone who was. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the president-elect wants former Fed Chair Paul Volcker to lead a new presidential advisory board focused on saving America from financial ruin. Update

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers

Bush’s Follies Will Destroy Obama If He Lets Them

Barack Obama has no choice but to accept responsibility for America’s foreign policy crises. But why should he accept them on the distorted and even hysterical terms by which the Bush administration has defined world affairs since 2001?

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s E-Team

Obama’s selection of a team of highly skilled pragmatists has already been described as a move to the political center, but Obama advisers and longtime acquaintances say that this is a misreading of the incoming president and his approach.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


The Smoke Is Clearing

This week marks a decade since a consortium of state attorneys general negotiated the landmark settlement of lawsuits against tobacco companies. The results are in: Cigarette consumption has declined by 28 percent in the past 10 years.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse (altered)

No One In Charge

Having two presidents is starting to feel like having no president, and that’s the situation we’ll face until Inauguration Day. Heaven help us.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kiichiro Sato, file

Starving for Change

The swelling numbers waiting outside homeless shelters and food pantries around the country have grown by at least 30 percent since the summer. If Barack Obama continues to turn to the elites who created the mess, if he does not radically redirect the nation’s resources to assist the working class and the poor, we will become a third-world country.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE


Sooner or Later, They’ll Bail Out Detroit

The Big Three left Capitol Hill empty-handed, but they’re bound to get some kind of federal help, however grudging. In the end, I don’t think either George W. Bush or Barack Obama wants to be remembered as the president who lost the auto industry.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


To Each His Own Nuke

The cynical view of national sovereignty holds that it belongs only to those who can defend it. This was said recently at the Pentagon concerning American manned and unmanned attacks inside Pakistan.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Fannie Mae
foreclosurewearhouse.com

Fannie, Freddie to Give Foreclosures a Holiday

Starting on Nov. 26, mortgage finance mega-firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will take a time out from foreclosures and evictions until Jan. 9—a welcome holiday break for struggling homeowners that hopefully will catch on among other corporate players in the mortgage market.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo

No More Torture

We will look back on the Bush years and find it incredible, and disgraceful, that individuals were “purchased” from tribal warlords, tortured at Abu Ghraib, abducted to secret CIA prisons, whisked to Guantanamo and held for years without charges.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Abortion Is the Right Issue for Starting the Healing

Obama’s most urgent task is to repair an ailing economy. But one of his most important promises was to end the cultural and religious wars that have disfigured politics for four decades.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick

Now that the presidential election has liberated Barack Obama from the need to play to the fickle whim of domestic politics, he should put away the saber and take a more enlightened approach to Iran.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


From Barracuda to Scapegoat

Have you ever seen a transformation this fast? Think of it as evolution on steroids. But don’t think Sarah Palin will go quietly into that good Arctic night.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Googs Flu
google.org/flutrends

Google: ‘I’m Feeling Sicky’

While worries over Google’s “big brother” surveillance practices still worry many, a softer, more health-conscious side of the search giant is partnering with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The tool, “Google Flu Trends,” uses the aggregate regional data obtained from flu-related searches to predict epidemics weeks before they can be diagnosed by traditional measures.

Posted on Nov 12, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Rain Rannu

What’s a Few Trillion Yuan Between Comrades?

Instead of buying lots of new cheap things, people are busy stuffing what’s left of their money in mattresses. That has China, where the goodies come from, worried. The Chinese government has decided a stimulus is in order, to the tune of 4 trillion yuan (more than $550 billion).

Posted on Nov 9, 2008 READ MORE


Is-Pal
AP photo / Khalil Hamra

Some Things Never Change

While many in the world are looking forward to change, an Israeli airstrike proved that some things never will. After a four-month cease-fire between Israeli and Palestinian fighters, Israel launched an attack into the Gaza Strip Tuesday evening, killing six in an allegedly pre-emptive strike.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE


A New Era of Hope

With Obama’s victory, it’s time to hope that the era of racial backlash and wedge politics is over. Time to imagine that the patriotism of dissenters will no longer be questioned and that the world will no longer be divided between “values voters” and those without a moral compass.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE


The Red Is Fading in a Virginia Bellwether

The line for early voting wound up one side of a corridor in the Loudoun County voter registration office and down the other. Those in line were, collectively, the face of change in Virginia that could tip the state into the Democratic column for the first time since the LBJ landslide of 1964.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Only Nader Is Right on the Issues

Tomorrow I will go to a polling station in Princeton, N.J., and vote for Ralph Nader. I know the tired arguments against a Nader vote. But there is little disagreement among liberals and progressives about the Nader and Obama campaign issues. Nader would win among us in a landslide if this was based on issues.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


Bishop Dave Thomas

Does the Palin Administration Have a Race Issue?

Some African-Americans in Alaska have questions, which they pose to journalist Max Blumenthal in this clip from his series of video shorts on Alaska’s governor, about Sarah Palin’s administration with regard to its hiring practices and activities (or lack thereof) involving Alaska’s black community.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Al Grillo

Homeland Security Pays Dividends for Alaska

When Sarah Palin brags about the self-reliance of her state, she doesn’t mention the mobile command communications vehicle, bought with federal dollars to help keep her home town of 7,028 safe from terrorism. Thanks in part to an anti-terrorism bonanza, Alaska is one of the greatest per-capita beneficiaries of federal funding among the 50 states.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Is the Superior Decider

The real issues of the American presidential election are the future of the economy and the future of American foreign policy. The one seems already settled. The second seems to unite John McCain and Barack Obama in support of a program doomed to fail.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: AP photo / Chip Somodevilla, pool / Wikimedia Commons

Virtual JFK: The 44th President’s Foreign Policy Challenge

The leading issue in the current face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain is the economy. Once elected and inaugurated, however, a U.S. president’s politics become global literally overnight.

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE



An ‘Emergency Effort to Stop Barack Obama’

Every election season, some independent groups sizzle with controversy and impact, and others fizzle. We couldn’t tell at first, but the National Republican Trust PAC appears to be of the sizzling variety.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / edited for effect

Populism Arising—but Will It Be the Killer Kind?

The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org / youtube

Citizen Tim Takes On Obama by Himself

The one form of political advertising that’s completely unregulated and free is the speech of an individual citizen, even when money amplifies that speech by putting it on the airwaves. Tim D’Annunzio, who describes himself as a “concerned North Carolina businessman,” is doing just that.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Shealah Craighead

Greenspan Admits Ideological Flaw

The former Fed chair told angry lawmakers on Thursday that after 40 years of buying into free-market ideology he had “found a flaw.” Rep. Henry Waxman told Greenspan “our whole economy is paying the price” because he ignored advice and resisted regulation.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Socialist Delusion

Wherever John McCain appears on the stump in these waning days of the presidential campaign, he is always accompanied by his imaginary friend “Joe the Plumber,” but it is the specter of Karl Marx that lurks just offstage.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE


Russia’s Resentment of the West Began With a Broken Promise

It did not take the clash between Russia and Georgia to reveal that relations between Russia and the West have taken a bad turn. They have been deteriorating since the mid-1990s, when the decision was taken to expand NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact states.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Seth Perlman

No Child Left Behind Fails Us All

Truthdig asked Demitrious C. Sinor, an inspirational educator, to sound off on the state of our schools. He warns that unless the No Child Left Behind regime ends soon, America’s classrooms could unravel. It’s a reality that neither presidential candidate seems to fully understand, but one he sees every day, from where he sits.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


How to Win Votes and Influence People

Conservatives fear a “period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy” should Barack Obama and the Democrats sweep in November, but the voters care more about competent government than ideology.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



Federal Reserve

Fed Chief Wants More Stimulation

Ben Bernanke doesn’t really care if you call it a recession or, in his words, “a very serious slowdown in the economy.” Whatever it is, the chairman of the Federal Reserve thinks a new stimulus package is needed to get those terrified Americans dipping into their mattresses and buying things again.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

The Idiots Who Rule America

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE



collage: DoD / Flickr (Marcn)

What Do John McCain and Saddam Hussein Have in Common?

The answer is William Timmons, a lobbyist tapped by McCain to head his transition team. Timmons was connected to a lobbying effort on behalf of the Hussein regime, though he has denied any wrongdoing.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America’s Political Cannibalism

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE



Rosa Lowinger on Cuba Before Castro

Two new books resurrect the seductions and corruptions of pre-revolutionary Cuba.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE


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