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Mandate Of Heaven

Mandate Of Heaven

By Orville Schell

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Tag: Money

fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


Defense Auditors Can’t Keep Up

Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the privatization of the military and the surge in defense spending since 9/11, individual Pentagon auditors now have to keep track of more than three times as much money as they did 10 years ago. Because of limited resources, the Defense Department inspector general revealed in a recent report, about half of the military’s $316 billion weapons budget went under the radar last year.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Gene J. Puskar

Vermont Leads the Way for Progressives

The rise of the Vermont Progressive Party, which has six members in the 150-member Vermont House, is another indication that Vermont, which has battled back everything from Wal-Mart to urban sprawl to billboards, may be one of the few sane states left in the nation.

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


A Welcome ‘Shareholder Democracy’

This movement could be more critical than even presidential elections. One example: ExxonMobil stock owners could generate major steps in the area of renewable and alternative energy.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Shocking Discovery

Perhaps the senator hasn’t been paying attention for the past few decades, for he somehow seems to have surrounded himself with exactly the kind of Washington hustlers he professes to despise.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


When It Costs Too Much to Support the Troops

The comment was outrageous, but it was not the least bit surprising. A psychologist responsible for assessing returning war veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder—a psychological ailment that could entitle them to monthly disability payments—told staff members not to diagnose the illness because to do so would increase the government’s costs.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


Al Gore
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Al Gore to the Rescue

The former vice president’s “we” campaign has made a point of building bridges across the political spectrum, but it looks as though Al Gore is prepared to return to his partisan roots in order to get a Democrat back in the White House. Gore will preside over a major fundraiser that will unite Clinton and Obama donors in an effort to bring the DNC up to speed with the GOP.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


book cover
press.princeton.edu

Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’

Sheldon Wolin’s new book offers a controversial but ultimately convincing diagnosis of how America’s democracy has succumbed to an unacknowledged totalitarian temptation.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Cindy McCain Flaunts Her Privilege

Double standards are endemic in American journalism. But Cindy McCain, wife of the Republican presidential candidate, displayed poor taste in flaunting her family’s special immunity from press scrutiny.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


11 Million Reasons to Stay in the Race

Hillary Clinton is under immense pressure to exit the campaign, but thanks in part to one of her rivals, she would be saying goodbye to more than the presidency. Because of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, Clinton has until the convention in August to recoup her loans. After that, she could be out more than $11 million.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

The Super Problem

Throughout the primary campaign, Democrats have been explaining, equivocating and ultimately fretting over the role of superdelegates, but those unelected power brokers are themselves the result of previous party contortions. Perhaps the time has come for a new model.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE



time.com

Showing Hillary the Door

Everyone from Tim Russert to Time magazine seems to have decided that there’s absolutely no way Hillary Clinton can get the nomination. What happened? Sure, her chances of winning enough pledged delegates are nearly impossible, but wasn’t that true after Pennsylvania? Wasn’t it true before Pennsylvania?

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


The End of ‘American Idol’?

That might be going too far for a show that still averages 28.7 million viewers, but ratings are down. In part, the cause is the presence of an even more exciting reality show on television, and it’s not even really a show.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Plague of Potomac Fever

Congress is ravaged by a disease inside the Washington Beltway inhibiting emotions like compassion and integrity. As the housing crisis intensifies, this malady is getting worse.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Ticker Tape Ain’t Spaghetti

Food riots are erupting around the world. Behind the hunger, behind the riots, are so-called free-trade agreements, and the brutal emergency-loan agreements imposed on poor countries by financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


Progressive Jews Fight Back

There’s a new Jewish lobby in town, one that hopes to reclaim American Jews’ proud progressive tradition and counter the right-wingers who have managed to intimidate Washington in the name of the Jewish community. Unlike like-minded advocacy groups, J Street hopes to raise gobs of money in order to support lawmakers who take a more enlightened view, including a call for a more peaceful approach to American and Israeli foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 29, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

Hope for Corporate America

The corporate state is our shadow government. Candidates who aspire to higher office get corporate money if they promote corporate interests. Barack Obama’s campaign message, filled with lofty promises of change and hope, is also filled with repeated reassurances to the corporate elite.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Make It Stop

Who picked this movie? A few months ago, the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination looked as if it would be the feel-good political campaign of the decade, if not the century. Instead, we’re having to endure an endless loop of “Alien vs. Predator.”

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

The Left Has Lost Its Way

The failure of the American left is a failure of nerve. It has been neutralized and rendered ineffectual as a political force because of its refusal to hold fast on core issues.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Obama flyer
Flickr / FourthFloor

Obama Battles Tradition in Philly

The Barack Obama campaign’s “culture clash” in Philadelphia goes beyond the unwillingness to pay out “street money.” The L.A. Times details the many challenges of trying to wage a new kind of politics in the city where our nation’s politics began. Update: “Ward leaders are pretty pissed.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / djloche / jurvetson / seiu_international

Democrats Split the Hollywood Money

If you’re looking for an indicator of just how close the Democratic primary race is (delegate math notwithstanding), you need look no further than those all-important Hollywood donations. With nearly $6 million in entertainment industry contributions between them, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are separated by a mere $291.

Posted on Apr 15, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert

Colbert and the Anti-Penny Crusader

You may not have given the penny much thought, but it turns out that the least of our currency is essentially worthless and wastes Americans a surprising amount of money and time. Anti-penny advocate Jeff Gore would like to do away with the coin altogether—and he has a plan.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


In Utero Inc.

Renting the wombs of poor women in foreign countries has become a business, but is it a good business?

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


Life After Penn

The most striking critiques of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have come not from her opponents or her enemies but from her most loyal friends.

Posted on Apr 8, 2008 READ MORE


Clintons
commons.wikimedia.org

Clinton Releases Tax Returns

Hillary Clinton has released seven years of tax returns, which she filed jointly with her former president husband. While there is much poring over to do, one piece of information stands out: The Clintons are rich. America’s most famous power couple made about $109 million in seven years, thanks in large part to Bill Clinton’s speaking fees.

Posted on Apr 4, 2008 READ MORE


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The real John McCain is re-emerging: a politician who rakes in big bucks by being a hired gun for the corporations.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


March Fundraising Madness Leaves Obama Smiling

Barack Obama raised more than $40 million in March to Hillary Clinton’s $20 million. Between them, the Democrats took in about three times in March what John McCain raised in January and February combined. That’s good news for Democrats, but only, as Donna Brazile points out, if the money isn’t “used to tear the party apart.”

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


Where Do We Go From Here?

It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


submarine
AP photo / Carol Phelps

A Submarine to Fight al-Qaida?s Navy

A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there, and soon you’re talking real money. But when it comes to reporting on what the Bush war legacy has cost American taxpayers, the media have been shockingly indifferent to the highest run-up in military spending since World War II.

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 READ MORE


memorial
Flickr / Kevindooley

The $3-Trillion War

Harvard scholar Linda Bilmes speaks about her work with Joseph Stiglitz. The two former Truthdiggers of the Week have a new book and have been working hard to uncover even more hidden expenses for the war in Iraq, which they estimate will cost the taxpayers and their children trillions of dollars.

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Clinton Backlash

Even Obama has said his rival should stay in the race, but how will she campaign? Negativity has hurt the once-mighty Clinton brand.

Posted on Mar 31, 2008 READ MORE


Greed Is Not Good

The housing crisis brings to mind Gordon Gekko, that fictitious ambassador of Wall Street whose words, then and now, remind us why uninhibited capitalism just doesn’t work.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE


New Crisis, Old Isms

The Federal Reserve Bank’s decision last week to address the housing crisis by extending $200 billion of taxpayer-financed credit to Wall Street banks was met with a stunned reaction typical of surprising events. But really, the move was the expression of longstanding isms that routinely package corruption as sound public policy.

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE


Ethical Progress at Last

Elections do matter. Some people who win office really do keep campaign promises. And legislation the public wants—but which the politicians, by and large, don’t—actually can be enacted, even if the kicking and screaming can practically be heard coming from behind those infamously closed doors.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
nymag.com

AFL-CIO Eager to Hit McCain in $53-Million Drive

The AFL-CIO isn’t going to wait around for the Democrats to pick a nominee before it starts campaigning against John McCain. The largest union in America plans to spend a record $53 million to make sure the next president isn’t a Republican.

Posted on Mar 11, 2008 READ MORE


Putting Clinton and Obama on the Grill

Because superdelegates—not to mention Democrats in general—want a candidate who can beat McCain, they want answers to some very uncomfortable questions.

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Joe Crimmings

Feb. Not the Shortest Month for Obama

Though March dealt him some disappointments, February was very good to Barack Obama. His campaign blew away records by raising $55 million—that’s $20 million more than the amount taken in by Hillary Clinton, who had her best month yet. But the best news of all for Obama is that, according to The Hotline, $54 million of that money can be used in the primaries.

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain ad

The Money Behind the Anti-McCain Ad

A joint probe by the Center for Investigative Reporting and National Public Radio traces the money behind a new anti-McCain ad, revealing an alliance of top Democratic donors who’ve already raised millions to take back the White House.

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Gas Gaffe

Of all the reasons to be hopping mad, helplessly shaking your head or hoping beyond reasonable hope that somehow the Bush presidency will get better before it ends, blaming the president for failure to know the price of gas at the pump isn’t one of them.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Clinton
AP photo / Chris Carlson

Democrats Rake It In

It’s no wonder John McCain wants to get the Democrats to commit to public financing. In a reversal of tradition, the Democrats are far out-raising Republicans during this election cycle. The Clinton campaign just announced a $35-million month—Clinton’s biggest yet. Though the Obama campaign hasn’t announced its numbers yet, estimates are in the $50-million range.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


farm
international.wi.gov

Farm Bill Brings the Bacon

What has the power to unite progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans? According to a compelling article in the San Francisco Chronicle, agribusiness is having its way in Congress, even getting Democrats to cut food stamps to make room for subsidies.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary's feet
latimes.com

Clinton Backtracks on Tax Returns

Under pressure during Tuesday’s debate, Hillary Clinton hinted that she might release her tax returns earlier than “once I become the nominee,” a schedule that had drawn criticism from Barack Obama and the press. But aides speaking with the media the next day retreated from that opening.

Posted on Feb 27, 2008 READ MORE


militants
AP photo

The Calm Before the Conflagration

There’s an ugly secret behind the “success” of the surge: The United States is paying off Iraqi militants with weapons and cash. It’s a recipe for disaster, one that reminds Chris Hedges of “Yugoslavia before the storm.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


A Fair Question

Humor me while we conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that Barack Obama lost 10 states in a row.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


The Poppy Problem

While Pakistan steals headlines, neighboring Afghanistan offers a more realistic opportunity to crack down on the incubation of terrorists—if only the United States and other interested governments are willing to think outside the box.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s Soft Money Boost

Hillary Clinton has had difficulty keeping pace with Barack Obama’s fundraising, which could explain the launch of a new pro-Clinton 527 group called “American Leadership Project” that already has a commercial it plans to run in Ohio. The group is not subject to the same rules as the campaign and can theoretically raise unlimited amounts of money.

Posted on Feb 20, 2008 READ MORE


Dead Money Walking

Share
Posted on Feb 17, 2008 READ MORE


Outmaneuvering the ‘Inevitable’

What happened to Hillary Clinton? Last fall, she was the “inevitable” nominee whose “machine” would raise scads of cash and push her to an early victory.

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

Following the Money

Barack Obama has called for Hillary Clinton to release her tax returns in light of the $5 million she lent her campaign. Here he explains why, and Clinton promises she will—but only if she wins the nomination.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Mark Arax on California’s Capitalist Founders

It is said that behind every great fortune there is a crime. Here’s a true-life drama of self-invention, greed and ambition involving four larger-than-life men who singly, and together, helped create California. A book to be read after you’ve watched “There Will Be Blood.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


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