The general overseeing the US military campaign in Afghanistan has warned that the offensive against the Taliban in southern Helmand province's Marjah town is just the start of an operation that could last 18 months. General David Petraeus, the commander of US Central Command, said on Sunday that the months ahead will be "tough". "I have repeatedly said that these types of efforts are hard and they're hard all the time. I don't use words like optimist or pessimist, I use realist but the reality is that it's hard and we're there for a very, very important reason and we can't forget that.
Last year, the New York Times told us it's difficult for people to make ends meet on $500,000 a year, and the Washington Post insisted that it's hard to "squeak by" on $300,000 a year. Now the Denver Post insists that if you make $250,000 a year, you may only be "middle class":
Tomorrow, the US Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the first encounter with the free speech and association rights of American citizens in the context of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, and in the first test of the constitutionality of a provision of the USA Patriot Act.
While researchers and scientists investigate the cause of our diabetes, obesity, asthma and ADHD epidemics, they should ask why the FDA approved a livestock drug banned in 160 nations and responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown and 10 percent mortality in pigs, according to angry farmers who phoned the manufacturer.
Since November last year, the public has been bombarded with the story of stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, revealing a supposed “scandal” of scientific malpractice, stupidly and lazily named “climategate”. Further media frenzy erupted over an erroneous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change statement that 80 per cent of Himalayan glacier area would very likely be gone by 2035. Other climate-related storms in a teacup have been appearing in the corporate media almost on a daily basis. This nonsense is distracting attention from a mountain of evidence that human-induced climate change is accelerating and poses a deadly threat to civilisation
Great catch by Matt Yglesias, who quotes some all-too-typical centrist Obama-bashing from The Economist: If, instead of handing over health care to his party’s left wing, he had lived up to his promise to be a bipartisan president and courted conservatives by offering, say, reform of the tort system, he might have got health care through …
Abandoned farmAn overflow crowd of about 20,000 family farmers filled the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on February 27, 1985. They were protesting credit conditions that had led to ruin for hundreds of thousands of small farms in the preceding years and impoverished rural communities across the US Midwest. Farmers were devastated by the high interest rates put in effect by Paul Volcker, President Carter’s selection to head the Federal Reserve Board. Volcker raised the federal funds rate to as high as 20 percent in 1981. As interest rates skyrocketed, farm debt compounded, doubling to $215 billion between 1978 and 1984.
Distinguished Princeton economist, Alan Blinder, projected a few years ago that the United States would lose thirty to forty million jobs in the next ten years to off-shoring. In a Washington Post (2/19/10) editorial, “Getting the biggest bang for job- creation bucks,” Blinder writes about job creation when the problem is job loss from off-shoring. It’s intentional. The economists don’t want to recognize that globalization is nothing more than a trade or economic war with production looking for a cheaper country to produce. And the government is the “comparative advantage.” But the economists insist that our government do nothing.
In a last-ditch effort to secure passage of a major health care reform, the White House is finally taking a firm stand on the minutiae issues that comprise the bill before Thursday’s bipartisan health care summit.
Unless labor leaders can produce a miracle, it appears that the failed North American Free Trade Agreement is set to claim another victim. Appliance manufacturing giant Whirlpool plans to relocate an Indiana refrigerator factory to Mexico this summer, costing thousands of American jobs.
Two years ago the Labor Party won a decisive election victory in part by riding a public mood demanding action on climate change after years of stonewalling. The new Government promised to spearhead world efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today it's on the run, retreating from a surge of militant anti-climate activism that believes climate science is a left-wing plot aimed at promoting elites, wrecking the economy and screwing the little man. What happened?
A federal judge said Monday he would reluctantly approve an amended $150 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America to end civil charges accusing the bank of misleading shareholders when it acquired Merrill Lynch.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Monday that domestic violence by men has increased due to U.S. joblessness. Reid, speaking in the midst of a Senate debate over whether to pass a $15 billion package meant to spur job creation, appeared to argue that joblessness would lead to more domestic violence.
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner in Berkshire Hathaway, warns in a new column that the U.S. economic empire is crumbling before our eyes, thanks to federal debt and poor planning. In an article penned for Slate.com, Munger uses the form of a parable to explain how Wall Street’s love affair with gambling has destroyed America’s Main Street. The article leads with this headline: “Basically, It’s Over.”
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