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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Benjamin Wittes, Cody Poplin
The War in Afghanistan is Over, says the President. Not, Says the Justice Department
Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered remarks before a Memorial Day service at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, in which he celebrated the day as the first Memorial Day since the end of the war...
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John Feffer
The Worst of All Possible Worlds: Did Market Leninism Win the Cold War?
Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge,...
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Raúl Grijalva
The Climate Change Fight Cannot Be Won with White Liberal America Alone
The biggest issue in conservation – bigger than any mining project, power plant or climate plan – is diversity. The environmental movement needs to start looking like modern America. To continue our...
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Jim Naureckas
Right-Wing Pundits’ Anti-Memorial Day
Memorial Day is the day the United States sets aside to remember those who died in wars–a legacy of our Civil War , which killed 625,000 people out of a nation of some 35 million. But to hear some...
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Robert Dodge
A Nuclear Weapons Ban Emerging
Every moment of every day, all of humanity is held hostage by the nuclear nine. The nine nuclear nations are made up of the P5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and their...
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Monday, May 25, 2015
Gary Younge
Far from Facing the Truth, the US Is Telling New Lies about Iraq
A couple of weeks ago, the Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was asked in an interview with Fox News whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have invaded Iraq. It’s the kind of...
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Vandana Shiva
Save the World's Small-Scale Farmers
The peasants and farmers of India are the most resilient and independent community I have ever known. They have defended their rights and fought injustice and bounced back after every flood, drought...
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Robert Reich
Whatever Happened to Antitrust?
Last week’s settlement between the Justice Department and five giant banks reveals the appalling weakness of modern antitrust. The banks had engaged in the biggest price-fixing conspiracy in modern...
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Brian Terrell
Taking Responsibility for Drone Killings- President Obama and the Fog of War
When President Barack Obama apologized on April 23 to the families of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, an American and an Italian, both hostages killed in a drone attack in Pakistan in January...
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Stephen Janis, Nadia Kanji
Chris Christie Uses Prisoners to Fix His Office Furniture
For years, inmates in New Jersey prisons have labored to repair office furniture for the state government and other public entities. This past spring, they had a new customer: Governor Chris Christie...
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Chris Hedges
Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse
The naive belief that history is linear, that moral progress accompanies technical progress, is a form of collective self-delusion. It cripples our capacity for radical action and lulls us into a...
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Ray McGovern
Remember This on Memorial Day: They Didn't Fall, They Were Pushed
How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great...
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Helen Epstein
Who’s Afraid of African Democracy?
Poor Burundi. Landlocked, tiny, and known mainly for ethnic conflict, it was for years the subject of one of the most intense international peace-building efforts in history. By the time the Arusha...
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Bill Quigley
2015 Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?
Memorial Day is, by federal law , a day of prayer for permanent peace. But is it possible to honestly pray for peace while our country is far and away number one in the world in waging war, military...
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
John Wight
The West and ISIS
Far from the boasts made by the US, British, and French governments that IS would be destroyed, they have been unable to even contain the extremist jihadi group as it marches from city to city and...
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Diane Ravitch
Do Reformers Actually Care About Education or About Cutting Costs?
One question that I have puzzled over again and again is why anyone who really cares about the quality of education would be a proponent of school choice, for example, vouchers for religious schools...
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Dani McClain
#SayHerName Shows Black Women Face Police Violence, Too—and Pregnancy and Motherhood Are No Refuge
A new front in #BlackLivesMatter organizing is advancing today as concerned people nationwide gather to draw attention to black women and girls harmed or killed by police violence. According to...
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Jameel Jaffer
Scaremongering About the Patriot Act Sunset
In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that...
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Juan Cole
US Kneejerk Support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
After four weeks of negotiations, a revised UN treaty on nuclear disarmament has been torpedoed by the United States, leaving the issue of global disarmament dead in the water for the next five years...
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
Christopher Brauchli
Banks and Punishments
And watten penance will ye drie for that, Edward, Edward? A Scottish Ballad (about a man who killed his father) Occasionally people inquire as to the different treatment of different kinds of persons...
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Ajamu Baraka
The Political Economy of Black Opposition to Free-Trade Neoliberalism
“ The debased conditions of black working class existence in the U.S. is produced and reproduced as a result of the inner logic of this system .” President Obama and the corporate Democrats continue...
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Ralph Nader
The Other One Percent
As a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be...
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James Abro
Social Services: Listen to People Who Have Experienced Poverty
In 2009, after caring for a terminally ill parent, I became homeless and destitute due to circumstances beyond my control. The Unites States Interagency Counsel on Homelessness provides funding to...
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Allie Yee
Pressure Mounts to Shut Down Immigrant Family Detention Centers
In recent weeks immigrant rights advocates have increased pressure on the Obama administration to end its punitive policy of holding in prison-like conditions mothers and children fleeing danger and...
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Glen Ford
Obama, Master of Diversion, Proposes Bogus Reforms of Militarized Police
“It is the MISSION of the police that is lethal, racist, oppressive and unacceptable to Black America; the equipment and clothing is incidental.” President Obama took his police “reform” shell game...
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Marcy Wheeler
The Section 215 Rap Sheet
Marco Rubio, who is running for President as an authoritarian, claims that “There is not a single documented case of abuse of this program.” He’s not alone. One after another defender of the dragnet...
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Victoria Law
Despite Advances, the Trans Struggle for Justice Behind Bars is Just Beginning
For the past three years, Ashley Diamond has been denied health care as well as protection from recurring violence from the men around her. But she has been fighting back — and her fight has been...
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Michelle Chen
LA’s Minimum Wage Workers Just Won $15 an Hour—How Many Will Actually Be Paid That?
Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its...
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Friday, May 22, 2015
Michelle Richardson
An Extension of the Patriot Act Is a Vote for Unconstitutional Snooping
When you hear the phrase "Patriot Act," if you think of massive government surveillance, top-secret data collection, and the enormous National Security Agency program gathering information about...
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Richard Eskow
The Big Banks Are Corrupt – And Getting Worse
The Justice Department’s latest settlement with felonious big banks was announced this week, but the repercussions were limited to a few headlines and some scattered protestations. That’s not enough...
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John Nichols
No Debate Equals No Democracy: The Folly of Fast Track
The decision on whether to surrender the authority of the US Congress to amend and potentially improve trade agreements goes to the very heart of whether the United States respects democracy . If...
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Trevor Timm
Justice Department Report Directly Contradicts the Attorney General's Claims about the Patriot Act
In the midst of the last-minute Congressional debate about whether to re-authorize Patriot Act Section 215, the Justice Department Inspector General (IG) released a long awaited report on Thursday on...
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Neema Singh Guliani
After Rand Paul’s Sort-of Filibuster, What’s Next for Surveillance Reform?
While technically Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) stand against the NSA on Wednesday night wasn't a filibuster, any time a member of Congress talks for over ten hours without a bathroom break, it's close...
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Amy Goodman
An Act of Protest, Not Sabotage, at the Birthplace of the Bomb
There is a vast military complex deep in the hills of eastern Tennessee called “Y-12.” This is where all of the highly enriched uranium is produced and stored for the production of the U.S. nuclear-...
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Dahr Jamail
Destroying What Remains
I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, "the...
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Dave Johnson
Make One More Call To Senators To Stop Fast Track
The fast track trade promotion authority vote in the Senate is itself being fast tracked . The last time fast track was in front of the Senate, members spent three weeks discussing it. This time the...
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Naomi Klein
The TPP Is a Grave Threat to Climate Action
MoveOn.org sent out the following message and accompanying petition its members on May 21. Make sure to sign the petition here . Dear MoveOn member, I’m writing because President Obama and the U.S...
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Laura Flanders
From Belfast to Baltimore Bad Police Tactics Spread. So Can Justice.
It’s an old adage but it’s true, especially when it comes to policing: an injury to one really is an injury to all. That’s because like a bad movie, bad police tactics spread the globe...
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Alex Lenferna
Why We Divest
On May 14th, the University of Washington made fossil fuel divestment movement history by becoming both the richest public university and the school with the biggest student body to divest so far –...
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John Atcheson
As Long as We're Talking about Bush, Iraq, and the Patriot Act...
Republican Candidates have been tripping over their own tongues when it comes to Iraq. Rubio and Jeb Bush have been blithering idiots when asked if they would have invaded Iraq knowing what we know...
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Thursday, May 21, 2015
Sonali Kolhatkar
If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back
It is not often that members of Congress get the opportunity to weigh in on international trade. But negotiations over fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in recent months...
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Said Arikat
Lies, Damned Lies and the Invasion of Iraq
For almost two weeks, the political buzz in the US has focused on those who have already declared their candidacy for the 2016 presidential run, Republicans and Democrats, and their reaction to "...
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Juan Cole
Washington Asks, 'Who Lost Ramadi?' But Washington Never Had Ramadi
The inside-the-Beltway debate set off by the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) on Sunday is, as usual, Dadaistic in its disconnection from reality. Republican talking points...
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Michelle Chen
EU Officials Are Considering Bombing Libyan Smuggling Boats. That’s the Last Thing Refugees Need.
Just days after European Union ministers floated a proposal to rescue African migrants on the Mediterranean, the plan is already sinking amid a political impasse on the question of “sharing the...
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Dean Baker
The Trade-Agreements-Are-Good-for-You Ideology
Two years ago, my colleague David Rosnick put out a paper that analyzed the impact of recent patterns in trade, based on research showing that trade both tended to promote growth but also worsen...
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Ben Lilliston & Gary Ruskin
Monsanto Wants to Move to Switzerland. Why Is Obama Doing It Favors?
The longstanding principal goal of U.S. trade policy is to advance U.S. economic interests. So, why is the Obama administration fighting so hard to help Monsanto – a company that is openly trying to...
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Glenn Greenwald
In the Same Week, the US and UK Hide Their War Crimes by Invoking “National Security”
Colonel Ian Henderson was a British official dubbed “the Butcher of Bahrain” because of atrocities he repeatedly committed during the 30 years he served as chief security official of that Middle...
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John Nichols
How Defunding Derails Our Infrastructure
House Speaker John Boehner blew a gasket when a reporter asked him whether the Republicans’ refusal to adequately fund Amtrak might have played a role in the May 12 derailment of a Northeast Corridor...
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Adam Federman
Kinder Morgan Paid Pennsylvania Police Department to ‘Deter Protests’
Between June and October 2013, Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, paid a local Pennsylvania police department more than $50,000 to patrol a controversial...
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Chad Marlow
A Plug-and-Play Model Policy for Police Body Cameras
Ferguson . Staten Island . Pasco . North Charleston . Baltimore . An unarmed person of color. Dead at the hands of law enforcement. And then another. And another. And another. And another. Seeking to...
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Tom Gallagher
Only in America? The False Dichotomy Between Movement Building and Electoral Politics
Most people we might think of as being on the American left don’t generally embrace the idea of “American exceptionalism.” There is one apparent exception to this unexceptional point of view, however...
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Charles Davis
The Gambit to Free Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning was an all-American patriot when she joined the U.S. military in 2007 at the height of the surge in Iraq. But when she saw what her country was actually doing abroad — handing over...
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Robert C. Koehler
'Zero Tolerance' in Our Struggling Schools Makes Zero Sense
“As I walked down the hall, one of the police officers employed in the school noticed I did not have my identification badge with me.” The speaker is testifying before the President’s Task Force on...
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Linda McQuaig & Neil Brooks
Why are Canadians Subsidizing Executive Stock Options?
If you’re a top executive at a major corporation, no need to read further; you’ll know all this. But if you’re an ordinary person, you may not. You’ve probably heard of “executive stock options” — a...
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Peter Dreier
The Wage War's Two Battlegrounds: The Ballot Box and the Board Room
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to adopt a citywide minimum wage of $15/hour by 2020. The next day, marching behind a giant banner that read, "McDonald's: $15 and Union Rights,...
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Richard Eskow
The Left Matters – Now, More Than Ever
Some leading Democrats seem to have a love-hate relationship with the left. Sure, progressives seem to have more influence than ever in the party this year, at least rhetorically. But it doesn’t look...
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Mark Jaycox
The Senate’s Excuses for Reauthorizing Section 215–and Why They’re Wrong
Three provisions of the Patriot Act expire on June 1 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to delay taking action on the issue by calling for a two month or 5-year reauthorization of...
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Bill Quigley
Dear God, Please Just Say No To Gov. Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal yesterday announced he is praying over his decision whether to run for president. Yesterday he also issued an executive order yesterday supporting discrimination...
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Digby
When Hollywood Sold America on Evil: Stunning PBS Frontline Doc Reveals the Depths of CIA Propaganda
In recent days, there’s been quite a bit of discussion about the 2011 raid in Abottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin laden, based upon reporting by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books...
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Rev. John Dear
Honoring Oscar Romero of El Salvador
This week, I’m in El Salvador to join the national celebration on Saturday, May 23rd, for the beatification ceremony of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the great peacemaker who was shot dead while saying...
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Stacy Bannerman
Presidential Hopefuls “Mistaken” on Iraq
The Iraq war was many things, but it was not was a mistake, as the current cluster of presidential hopefuls are claiming . Taking a wrong exit off the interstate is a mistake. Taking a wrong premise...
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John Kiriakou
Jeffrey Sterling: The Latest Victim in the War on Whistleblowers
Jeffrey Sterling recently stood before a judge as his sentence was read. The former CIA officer, the judge declared, would spend 42 months — that’s three and half years — behind bars. The feds had...
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Tiffany Finck-Haynes
Why President Obama’s Pollinator Strategy Won’t Solve Bee Crisis
Yesterday, the Obama administration released its long awaited National Pollinator Health Strategy , a requirement of a presidential memorandum released last June, which directed federal agencies to...
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Katrina vanden Heuvel
The GOP Still Doesn’t Get It on Iraq
During a friendly interview on Fox News, a Republican presidential hopeful from Florida was asked a simple question: Was it a mistake to go to war in Iraq? “No, I don’t believe it was. The world is a...
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Medea Benjamin
Crossing the Korean DMZ for Peace
The George W. Bush administration famously dubbed Iran, Iraq, and North Korea the “Axis of Evil.” The White House accused that ominous-sounding triumvirate of funding terrorism and developing weapons...
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Stephen A. Crockett, Jr.
How Did a 26-Year-Old Iraq War Veteran Die Serving a 2-Day Jail Sentence?
Twenty-six-year-old James Brown served two tours in Iraq. He didn't make it two days in a Texas jail. In 2012, Brown was arrested in El Paso, Texas, where he was living with his family while on...
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Roberto Savio
The Crisis of the Left and the Decline of Europe and the United States
The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the...
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Adam Johnson
White House Reveals ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria, but Media Too Giddy Over Special Ops Porn to Notice
The White House announced on Saturday that a team of Delta Force soldiers had gone into sovereign Syrian territory to kill an alleged ISIS “commander” and a few dozen other faceless bad guys. Per...
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Vandana Shiva
Women and Biodiversity Feed the World, Not Corporations and GMOs
The two great ecological challenges of our times are biodiversity erosion and climate change. And both are interconnected, in their causes and their solutions. Industrial agiculture is the biggest...
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Kirsten West Savali
Malcolm X Matters: Icon’s Words Still Ring True
As the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to grow in strength like the perfect storm, the prescient words of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) slice with laser-sharp precision through the...
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Dave Johnson
Let The Public Read The Completed Parts Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership
Basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are under public dispute. Fast track must not be approved until this is cleared up. We the People deserve to know what is being voted on with...
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Debbie Nathan
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the End of Innocence
In the days when Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s jury was deliberating about whether to sentence him to life in prison or death, I thought often about members of his legal team who’d...
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John Buell
Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Is Latest Threat to Our Democracy
Conservatives warn us that deficit spending will turn the U.S. into a fiscal basket case, like Greece. No longer truly independent, Greece is ruled by the IMF, the ECB, and the European Commission...
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Louise Rouse
5 Ways Shell’s Not Walking Its Talk on Climate Change
Shell says a lot about the need for the oil industry to be credible on climate change. It talks about the fight against climate change being a moral obligation , about the expectations it has of its...
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Peter Maass
The CIA and the Myths of the Bin Laden Raid
If you read the sketchy New York Times article on the Delta Force raid into Syria a few days ago — how an ISIS leader was killed when he “tried to engage” American commandos while his fighters used...
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John D’Amanda Jr.
Trying to Survive in a Broken Economy (Confessions of a McDonald's Employee)
My name is John D’Amanda, and I have been a loyal employee at a McDonald’s in Oakland, California for five years. Prior to working in fast food, I was a small business owner like millions of...
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Tom Engelhardt
Tomorrow's News Today: 9 Surefire Future Headlines From a Bizarro American World
It’s commonplace to speak of “the fog of war,” of what can’t be known in the midst of battle, of the inability of both generals and foot soldiers to foresee developments once fighting is underway...
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Michael Wessel
I’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned.
"You need to tell me what’s wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago,” a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific...
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Trevor Timm
US Officials Leak Information About the ISIS Raid That’s More Sensitive Than Anything Snowden Ever Leaked
Over the weekend, the US government announced that special forces soldiers entered Syria to conduct a raid that killed an alleged leader of ISIS, Abu Sayyaf. In the process, anonymous US officials...
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Kevin Gosztola
Obama Task Force Recommends Array of Measures to Curb Warrior Mindset Among Police
A task force on policing setup by President Barack Obama issued its report and a number of the recommendations appear to be geared toward reducing the warrior mindset adopted by officers in police...
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Robert Fisk
Canada's Plan To Make Boycotting Israel a 'Hate Crime' Is Stupid and Counterproductive
I’ve never been keen on boycotts. The one against Italy for invading Abyssinia didn’t work. Nor did the arms blockade on Spain. I’m still not sure that boycotting South Africa really brought down...
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Robert Reich
The Revolt of Small Business Republicans
Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent...
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Monday, May 18, 2015
Richard Eskow
Obama’s Trade War Against Warren Wounds His Party – and His Legacy
Well, this is awkward. A few days ago President Obama literally laughed off Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s concern that his so-called “fast track” provision, which would limit Congressional power regarding...
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Ray McGovern
William & Mary Honors War Criminal
Nothing better illustrates the extent to which the United States has turned its back on the rule of law than when the likes of Condoleezza Rice are asked to address graduates and receive doctoral...
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Mark Jaycox
Senate Intelligence Chair to Constituents: I Don't Care What You Think
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed HR 2048, the USA Freedom Act last week. The bill is an attempt by lawmakers to rein in the NSA and fix the infamous "business records program,"...
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Sarah Anderson
Civil War Rages On for Black America
Hundreds of African-American men marched to the White House this past Sunday. They were not wearing hoodies in honor of Trayvon Martin. They were not making the “hands up don’t shoot” gesture in...
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Daniel P. Sullivan
Flight of the Rohingya
This article is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and TheNation.com. The names of the refugees below have been changed to protect their identities. Imagine the choice between throwing...
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Jim Naureckas
Establishment Journalists Pride Themselves on Staying on the Official Rails
In his brilliant analysis in Columbia Journalism Review ( 3/15/15 ) of establishment media reaction to Seymour Hersh’s re-examination of the killing of Osama bin Laden ( London Review of Books , 5/21...
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Andy Rowell
The Arctic is Shell’s New Corporate Crisis
Twenty years ago, the oil giant Shell was plunged into a corporate crisis after it was internationally criticised for trying to dump the redundant Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea and for...
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Medea Benjamin, Doug Hughes
Gyrocopter Pilot Flew for Reform, Might Land in Prison
Doug Hughes, a mailman from Florida who recently made headline news for flying his gyrocopter onto the West Lawn at the U.S. Capitol Building, will be in Washington DC for his first court hearing on...
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Jeff Faux
Why Are We in the Middle East?
To placate their pique at his effort to get a non-proliferation agreement with Iran, Barack Obama met last Thursday at Camp David with Saudi royals and leaders of the other five feudal dictatorships...
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Nick Turse
The Kids Aren't All Right: The Child Soldiers of an American-Made Army in Africa
MALAKAL, South Sudan -- I didn’t really think he was going to shoot me. There was no anger in his eyes. His finger may not have been anywhere near the trigger. He didn’t draw a bead on me. Still, he...
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Paul Buchheit
The Plundering of a Nation by a Beloved Company
An emotional response to any criticism of the Apple Corporation might be anticipated from the users of the company's powerful, practical, popular, and entertaining devices. Accolades to the company...
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Sunday, May 17, 2015
Zillah Eisenstein
Towards An Abolitionist Feminism
As an anti-racist white feminist, I wonder if it is enough to be an “ally” in this present and “newest” moment of racist/militarist/carceral violence. Or, is there something more to do? I am thinking...
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Dave Lindorff
If 'Too-Big-to-Fail' Means 'Too-Big-To-Jail,' It Should Mean 'Too-Big-to-Be'
In a couple of days, the so-called US Justice Department will be announcing an “agreement” reached with five large banks, including two of the largest in the US—JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, the...
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Karen Hansen-Kuhn
Trade Rules Create Obstacle Course for a Better Food System
There were some decidedly Kafkaesque aspects of the Congressional debate this week on Fast Track legislation, designed to speed through the passage of secret trade deals that could have a serious...
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Eric Margolis
Young Kim and His Underwater Nukes
This week, North Korea’s dynastic leader, Kim Jong-un, was beaming from ear to ear as a Pukgeukseong-1 missile shot out of the water, apparently launched by a new “Sinpo” class strategic submarine...
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Daniel P. Sullivan
Flight of the Rohingya
This article is a joint publication of Foreign Policy In Focus and TheNation.com. The names of the refugees below have been changed to protect their identities. Imagine the choice between throwing...
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Saturday, May 16, 2015
Wenonah Hauter
Why The Food Movement Must Build Power
Mark Bittman’s recent op-ed on the faults of the food movement provides a great opportunity to discuss how we should be engaging politically to demand a better food system; unfortunately, it misses...
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Philip Caper
Obamacare’s Health Plan Choice Benefits are Vastly Overrated
It is well documented that many other countries have created health care systems that are more popular than ours, cover everybody, are more effective as measured by better health outcomes, are better...
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