The US could withdraw funding from the United Nations if its members decide to recognise and independent Palestinian state, a close ally of President Barack Obama has warned. Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the UN, said there was "no greater threat" to US support and funding of the UN than the prospect of Palestinian statehood being endorsed by member states.
If all goes as planned for the G-20 this year, leaders of the world’s most powerful economies will convene to issue bold proclamations, talk past each other, and quietly agree to do virtually nothing. The stakes might be a little higher now, though, as the political poker table will be stacked with millions of the world’s hungriest people. Guess who’ll come away empty handed?
President Obama's speech violated one of his most important campaign promises: to "end the mind-set that leads to war." To the contrary, his announcement of a token shift of 10,000 soldiers leaving by the end of 2011, and maybe another 23,000 in another year, makes clear that his claim tonight that "the tide of war is receding" remains untrue. The enormous current deployment of 250,000 U.S. and allied military forces (100,000 U.S. troops, 50,000 NATO troops and 100,000 Pentagon-paid contractors) in Afghanistan continues, and reflects not an end but an embrace of the mind-set of war
A team of 130 British and French agents are reportedly on a one-million-pound-a-week, do-or-die deep undercover mission in Libya to get Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Plus, slideshow of 16 photos on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billyclub/sets/72157626830472883/show/ On Monday, June 13, 2011, the AFL-CIO organized a rally in front of the “Newseum,” in Washington, D.C. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was inside via CBS holding a “town hall” meeting. Outside, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) spoke to the union activists ripping the Republican’s slash and burn budget measures and urging them to fight back before they destroy Medicare and give another tax break to their corporate cronies.
They Made The Whole Thing Up The real Osama bin Laden was someone few Americans knew anything about. He knew nothing of Al Qaeda, never planned 9/11, never advocated terrorism, not once, but he did make enemies. Bin Laden, in 2001, believed Israel would push the US into a war across the Middle East, a war that would go on for years.
Modern Republicans have a simple approach to politics when they are not in the White House: Make America as ungovernable as possible by using almost any means available, from challenging the legitimacy of opponents to spreading lies and disinformation to sabotaging the economy.
A fraud investigator helped expose the shocking world of multi-billion dollar drug laundering by American banks and the surprising lack of oversight by the Feds. Martin Woods, an Englishman in his mid-40s, is blessed with a Sherlock Holmes instinct and demeanor. Woods is an expert at sniffing out "dirty" money passing through International Banking Systems. A police officer for 18 years and later a detective with London Metro Police Agency, Woods capitalized on his unique expertise as a fraud expert by joining Wachovia's London-based Bank in March 2005 as an anti-money laundering officer.
Jim Tucker’s anonymous steering level Bilderberg inside source told him war in the Middle East is at the top of the elite’s agenda. Speaking with Alex Jones today, the long time Bilderberg sleuth said the elite believe the world is over-populated and war represents a partial solution. “They are unified on their war project,” said Tucker, citing his Trilateralist-Bilderberg source, “their rationalization the world is too crowded anyway, they have to limit the population growth, the one way to do it is with our wars. They have been emphasizing that all day.”
In an interview with a prominent Swiss banker by WeAreChange on the 30th of May 2011, the deeply interconnected relations between high level management of Swiss banks and the Bilderberg club are exposed. It becomes clear that Bilderberg uses Swiss banks for money laundering activities, funding of government overthrows, killings and bankrupting countries.
Industry regulators have known for years that Roundup, the world's best-selling herbicide produced by U.S. company Monsanto, causes birth defects, according to a new report released Tuesday.
When New Yorker Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Seymour Hersch, leaked our new NIE (National Intelligence Assessment) proving that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, no underground weapons development centers and no aggressive intentions of any kind, few were surprised. Few saw it. News suppression is a way of life in the United States.
Seldom has any country been as dependent on another as Israel is on the United States, and never in American history has the United States been as servile towards another country as it is towards this beneficiary of its diplomatic, economic and military largesse. Are geopolitical considerations the decisive factor joining the United States and Israel or is American domestic politics to blame?
The rapid and terrifying acceleration of global warming, which is disfiguring the ecosystem at a swifter pace than even the gloomiest scientific studies predicted a few years ago, has been confronted by the power elite with equal parts of self-delusion. There are those, many of whom hold elected office, who dismiss the science and empirical evidence as false.
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945. While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed.
Remember when Obama promised to bring the troops home? Well, it is all an illusion, as we noted after he was coronated. Now the Army Times is announcing Obama plans to send a few thousand more troops as the supposed deadline looms:
Was there ever a nation so marinated in hypocrisy as America? At home and abroad President Barack Obama trumpets Uncle Sam’s virtues and dispenses patronizing homilies to other nations on how to behave themselves and honor freedom and democracy. This last week it’s been Europe’s turn to hear these self-righteous preachments.
Israeli leader says Obama's call for future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders would leave country "indefensible". Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu affirmed their countries' "enduring friendship" at the White House. Israel is prepared to make "generous" concessions for peace in the Middle East, but cannot go back to the country's "indefensible" 1967 borders, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after White House talks with Barack Obama.
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
This great switch by the super rich – from paying the government taxes to lending the government money – has gone almost unnoticed. But it’s critical for understanding the budget predicament we’re now in. And for getting out of it. Over that four decades, tax rates on the very rich have plummeted. Between the end of World War II and 1980, the top tax bracket remained over 70 percent — and even after deductions and credits was well over 50 percent. Now it’s 36 percent. As recently as the late 1980s, the capital gains rate was 35 percent. Now it’s 15 percent.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." –Goethe
It did not take long, but the Treasury has started the thieving. Since we have not raised the debt ceiling yet, the Treasury has started to dip into pensions. They will buy a couple of days by not meeting its investment into government retirement funds. This is just tipping the toe in the water of the trillions that we will see before this is all over.
It was surprising that bilateral relations with the U.S. did not play a more prominent role during the recent Canadian election considering that both countries are pursuing a trade and security agreement. In fact, the issue did not really surface until the dying days of the campaign. After winning a much coveted majority government, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are moving ahead quickly with perimeter security and regulatory harmonization negotiations. NAFTA and the defunct Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) both addressed issues such as regulatory cooperation. The push for a single unified North American business-friendly regulatory regime continues on different fronts.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn remanded to custody by US judge over allegations he attempted to rape hotel maid. The allegations have seriously jeopardised Strauss-Kahn's political future in France. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been remanded to custody after a New York city judge denied him bail over charges that he attempted to rape a 32-year-old hotel maid. Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, who appeared in the court on Monday, said he would plead not guilty to the accusations. The IMF chief, a man accustomed to luxury hotel suites and first-class plane travel, will make his home for now at New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) is pushing a bill through congress that will repeal due process and give the President nearly-unlimited powers to wage war wherever and whenever he chooses without congressional approval.
The killing of Osama bin Laden, “a testament to the greatness of our country” according to President Obama, should not be allowed to obscure a central reality of our post-9/11 world. Our conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya remain instances of undeclared war, a fact that contributes to their remoteness from our American world. They are remote geographically, but also remote from our day-to-day interests and, unless you are in the military or have a loved one who serves, remote from our collective consciousness (not to speak of our consciences).
Exxon Mobil's accounting methods mask its low effective tax rate: it claims taxes that are paid by others, such as drivers at the pump and employee payroll taxes.
Following up on the murder of Osama Bin Laden, the Obama administration today announced the formation of a joint Military/Domestic Police Force (MDPF) to carry out a War on Humanity. Recognizing that the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on Poverty, the War on Crime, and the War on Illegal Immigration were all dismal failures, the Obama brain trust decided that by consolidating all of these campaigns into one simple war, encompassing all of humanity, the corporations that profited and built their empires upon these rationalizations could justify endless oppression, imprisonment, deportation, torture and accumulation of the wealth of the entire nation under one rubric.
More and more, we hear that nothing can be done to tax major corporations because of the threat of how they would respond. Likewise, we cannot stop their price-gouging or even the government subsidies and tax loopholes they enjoy. For example, as the oil majors reap stunning profits from high oil and gas prices, we are told it is impossible to tax their windfall profits or stop the billions they get in government subsidies and tax loopholes.
Almost 44 million fewer Americans would be eligible for Medicaid in 2021 if House Republicans' budget blueprint becomes law under the most dire scenario projected by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation. A new report tallies the deep cuts that states would make if the program was replaced with block grants and the number of people projected to become eligible for Medicaid under the healthcare reform law, which Republicans want to repeal. The worst scenario would leave 32.1 million people eligible for Medicaid, versus 75.9 million under current law.
On May 4, over the strenuous objections of organized labor, President Obama announced that the U.S. intends to sign an ambitious and expanded free trade agreement with the government of Colombia. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka described the treaty thus: “The action plan does not go nearly far enough in laying out concrete benchmarks for progress in the areas of violence and impunity, nor does it address many of the ways in which Colombian labor law falls short of international standards.”
"Where is Your Democracy?" On May 5, 2011, CNN World News asked whether killing Osama bin Laden was legal under international law. Other news commentary has questioned whether it would have been both possible and advantageous to bring Osama bin Laden to trial rather than kill him.
Elite media’s selective disdain for public activism is well known. Still, you’d think some things would garner a word or two. Like 300 disability rights activists, a couple hundred in wheelchairs, occupying the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The May 2 demonstration was organized by the rights group ADAPT to protest Republican budget plans for Medicaid. Ninety-one people were arrested and carted off by Capitol police.
Paul Ryan claims the protests heard so very loud and clear during the House Budget Committee chair’s town hall meetings in April had no influence on his thinking about Medicare. Perhaps Ryan really does have a tin ear. But the outcry over his plan to mess with Medicare, heard in Wisconsin communities from Milton to Kenosha, and at spring recess sessions in the districts of Republican freshmen from Pennsylvania to Florida, obviously influenced other Republicans.
Well before the catastrophe at Fukushima began unfolding, a familiar word was heard in discussions about plans to build a new generation of reactors in this country. That word: risk. With President Barack Obama and Congress pushing ahead with efforts to offer up federal construction loan guarantees totaling $54.5 billion, what was the risk of taxpayers getting stuck holding the bag in the event these nuclear projects defaulted? And, why should taxpayers even be expected to assume such a risk?
Exxon Mobil is by far the most profitable company in the new Fortune 500 list, riding “high oil prices to a staggering $30 billion in income” in 2010. Exxon made over $10 billion more than fellow oil giant Chevron, the third most profitable company (AT&T edged out Chevron for the number two spot). ConocoPhillips’ $11.4 billion in profits put it in the 16th spot, giving the three oil giants a combined $60.9 billion in profits in 2010. Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives celebrated this massive redistribution of wealth from American families to oil executives. With the support of 7 oil-patch Democrats, 234 Republicans voted to block a bill to eliminate a $1.8 billion annual subsidy that treats oil drilling as “domestic manufacturing”: House Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats Thursday to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on a bill to repeal a key oil industry tax break. As they did in March, House Republicans voted unanimously to defend these wasteful, unaffordable and unfair oil subsidies, even though several members told their constituents they want to end them.
Saudi Arabia, the oil rich kingdom that is the birthplace and former home of Osama bin Laden, has staved off the widespread popular protests that have swept across the region since January. The country’s oil-rich Eastern Province, bordering Bahrain, has witnessed protests from the minority Shia Muslim population.
Barack Obama, who pledged to restore ethical honor to the White House after the Bush years, is now burying himself under an active volcano of lies, mostly but not exclusively concerning the assassination of Osama bin Laden. There was scarcely a sentence in the President's Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.
Corporate interests are flouting election law by using anonymous donations, which are drowning out the voices and votes of working Americans.
On April 9, Condoleezza Rice delivered a talk in San Francisco. Or tried to. The former Secretary of State was interrupted repeatedly by cries from the audience of "war criminal" and "torturer". Rice made the kind of statement that has now become standard for high American officials under such circumstances: "The children of Iraq are actually not living under Saddam Hussein, thank God." My response to such a line is this: If you went into surgery to correct a knee problem and the surgeon mistakenly amputated your entire leg, what would you think if someone then remarked to you how nice it was that "you actually no longer have a knee problem, thank God." ... The people of Iraq no longer have a Saddam problem.
It’s been a common refrain of politicians in Washington for as long as the capitol has been unpopular: “It’s good to get outside the Beltway, good to go get back to the real America.” But in recent days that cliché might feel a bit stale for Republican House members, who voted last month for Representative Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. Inside the Beltway, Ryan is called “courageous,” a “visionary,” a “serious man,” for having the bravery to put forth a budget that pays for tax cuts for the wealthy by ending Medicare as we know it. Back home in his district, he’s becoming known as the leader of the most serious assault on seniors since President Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security.
The Fed may deny it, but Americans know that prices are rising. In this week’s Newsweek, Niall Ferguson takes a look at the Great Inflation of the 2010s. “I can’t eat an iPad.” This could go down in history as the line that launched the great inflation of the 2010s.
Tired of Afghanistan and all those messy, oil-ish wars in the Greater Middle East that just don’t seem to pan out? Count on one thing: part of the U.S. military feels just the way you do, especially a largely sidelined Navy -- and that’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why, a few months back, the specter of China as this country’s future enemy once again reared its ugly head.
For us, the death of Osama Bin Laden is a time of profound reflection. With his death, we remember and mourn all the lives lost on September 11. We remember and mourn all the lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. We remember and mourn the death of our soldiers. And we say, as we have been saying for the past nine years, “Enough.”
Protest groups claim Facebook has taken down dozens of pages over the weekend in a purge of activists' accounts. Facebook has removed dozens of profiles from its site, causing an outcry from campaigners trying to organise anti-austerity protests this weekend.
President Obama is expected to announce a major shuffling of his national security team today. Under his plan, CIA Director Leon Panetta will move to the Pentagon to replace the retiring Robert Gates. Gen. David Petraeus will become the new head of the CIA.
If you like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan then you’ll love what Senator John McCain and Congressman “Buck” McKeon, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, are proposing: Congress should give the President and the Secretary of Defense a blank check to wage war against anyone he or she declares “associated” with al-Qaeda or the Taliban – anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
Obama's complaints about the GOP version of austerity hide the scale of his own cuts. President Obama discusses the budget at a White House press conferencePresident Obama discusses the budget at a White House press conference YOU KNOW official politics have moved to the right when a plan to cut $4 trillion from the U.S. budget over 12 years can be passed off as "liberal."
The war in Afghanistan was planned long before 9/11, that war and Iraq too, wars were planned we haven’t even started yet and certainly will never live to finish. War is a business and creating war, manufacturing reasons for war including staging acts of terrorism and promoting worldwide strife is seen by “insiders” as “business as usual.”
With Democrats inexplicably failing to generate the requisite outrage at GOP plans to cut Medicare - and give more money to rich people who don't need it - Americans United for Change have begun an ad campaign blasting Paul Ryan and his mean-spirited cohorts. About time someone did it.
During his State of the Union address President Obama repeated this ancient canard: "We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in," he said. "That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same." Republicans have used this "families balance their budgets, so should government" line for years. Now Democrats are doing it too. Everyone is jumping aboard the pseudo-austerity bandwagon. (Why pseudo? Neither party really wants to balance the federal budget because it can only be done by bringing home the troops, shrinking the Pentagon by 90 percent, ending corporate welfare, and soaking the rich--i.e. major campaign donors--with higher taxes.)
When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Party—which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible—wither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?
Across the country, Republican lawmakers are resurrecting one of their party's favorite but most cowardly tactics to quote, win elections. They are seeking to create new barriers to voting by passing stricter voter ID laws intended to prevent the very electoral segments who helped to elect President Obama in 2008 from receiving ballots in 2012, particularly the young, poor and elderly, according to voting rights groups. "Touted under the guise of addressing so-called 'voter fraud,'
How the revolutions spreading across the Middle East may well mark the beginning of the end for American global power. Sign up to stay up to date on the latest World headlines via email. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here. In one of history’s lucky accidents, the juxtaposition of two extraordinary events has stripped the architecture of American global power bare for all to see.
Let's talk turkey. The dollar is getting hammered by the day. And the dollar is getting hammered by design, because the Fed wants a weaker currency to boost exports and lower the real burden of debt on the banks. (Yes, Martha, the banks are still insolvent) So, down goes the greenback, lower and lower, pushing up gas and food prices while the buying power of the average US worker vanishes down the plughole. And this process will continue for the foreseeable future because--as Obama stated earlier in the year--Washington is committed to "doubling exports in the next 5 years." Think about that: "the next 5 years". That's the same as saying that the American worker will be reduced to third-world poverty in a half decade or so. It's a death sentence.
The obvious answer is that rich people have political clout—but can it really be so simple? When even the New York Times, the supposed bleeding heart of the liberal media, is asking whether it’s more “perilous politically” to accept tax increases for 3 percent of households or benefit cuts for everyone, you’d assume that even Americans who aren’t rich are are opposed to raising taxes on those who are. But you’d be wrong: nearly three-quarters of Americans support raising taxes on the wealthy. So why is raising taxes on the wealthy so hard—or why do we think it is?
"Information Clearing House" -- The US department of justice (DOJ) has submitted a written defence of the US role in this new war in Libya to the US Congress. The DOJ claims the war serves the US national interest in regional stability and in maintaining the credibility of the United Nations. Who knew?
A U.S. drone attack in Pakistan killed 23 people this morning, and this is how The New York Times described that event in it headline and first paragraph: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An American drone attack killed 23 people in North Waziristan on Friday, Pakistani military officials said, in a strike against militants that appeared to signify unyielding pressure by the United States on Pakistan’s military amid increasing opposition to such strikes." When I saw that, I was going to ask how the NYT could possibly know that the people whose lives the U.S. just ended were “militants,” but then I read further in the article and it said this: "A government official in North Waziristan told Pakistani reporters that five children and four women were among the 23 who were killed." So at least 9 of the 23 people we killed -- at least -- were presumably not "militants" at all, but rather innocent civilians.
Many Americans increasingly feel like a trap door has suddenly dropped them into economic quicksand, with major corporations and their government allies pulling them further away from the middle-class security they once had. Today, as America's prolonged and severe employment crisis continues, multinational corporations continue to unilaterally repudiate their side of the “social contract.” The country's business leaders should hardly be surprised to hear Americans questioning the “free market” shield they use to justify their outrageous abandonment of American workers, their renewed attacks on decent wages by imposing two-tier wage structures, and their refusal to contribute their fair share of taxes to cope with the social damage that they are causing. A wave of public-sector union-busting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio that will encourage more private sector wage-cutting (already at a record level ), revelations about the extent of corporations “off-shoring” jobs while creating virtually no new jobs in the U.S. for the entire 1999-2009 decade and news that two-thirds of major corporations are paying no federal income taxes.
A professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa has found herself in hot water after responding to an email sent out by a campus Republican group with the simple inflammatory message, "F*** YOU, REPUBLICANS." The response was prompted by an email promoting "Conservative Coming Out Week" that was sent to the entire University of Iowa community. The email advertised a week of conservative events, such as the showing of a movie to honor George W. Bush.
As a series of US opinion polls showed massive popular opposition to the bipartisan drive to slash Medicare and other vital social programs, President Obama sought to reassure the financial markets that he would reach agreement with congressional Republicans on major spending cuts.
In the latest example of blatant Federal negligence (coverup), the valiant and ever vigilant FDA and EPA have determined they will not be testing ANY fish from the Gulf Of Alaska. This is another egregious (not that they give a rat's tail) abandonment of their obligation to watch over the public health and welfare. In this case, the Feds have chosen to protect the Alaskan fishing industry...the public's right to know and to be kept safe and informed be damned.
With help from the FDA and USDA, the biotech industry is set to completely take over our food supply with genetically modified ingredients, irrespective of the wishes of “we the people.” Through collusion, subterfuge, and a bit of back-door manipulation, Monsanto can write it’s own ticket with the U.S. Federal Government’s stamp of approval. If the rules get in the way, then change the rules, or at least their interpretation, to fit the situation.
In her book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein demonstrates how wealthy elites often use times of crisis and chaos to impose unpopular policies that restructure economies and political systems to further advance their interests. She calls these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities, “disaster capitalism.”
As I imagine everyone reading this will agree, the American empire our politicians have foisted on the world must be ended, and the sooner the better. The loss of life, the squandering of wealth and the inroads to our liberty engendered by their foolish quest to bring the world to heel all argue for it. Yet, nothing should be started without first thinking it through, and it must be realized that ending our empire brings with it a unique set of dangers. Specifically, we need to be wary about bringing onto our shores a large, standing army.
Just as the federal government is clamping down on medical marijuana dispensaries, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) may be set to give Big Pharma the clearance to take over the market. In 2007, GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it partnered with Otsuka to bring "Sativex" -- or liquefied marijuana -- to the U.S. The companies recently completed Phase II efficacy and safety trials testing and began discussion with the FDA for Phase III testing. Phase III is generally thought to be the final step before the drug can be marketed in the U.S.
Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's most outspoken advocate for cutting and privatizing Social Security, has already benefited from Social Security himself, in the form of survivor benefits he received after his father's untimely death.
The French and Italian governments said Wednesday that they would join Britain in sending a small number of military liaison officers to support the ragtag rebel army in Libya, offering a diplomatic boost for the insurgent leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, as he met with President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.
The documentary production company Citizens United has dedicated itself to furthering the interests of the far right and the super-rich. The 2010 Supreme Court decision permitting unlimited campaign spending by corporations, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, is one of the most momentous rulings in U.S. legal history. It transforms the long but unspoken truth of American politics – corporate wealth buys legislative power -- into the law of the land.
Speculation on the futures market, rather than supply and demand, is driving up costs, analysts say. The global economy and its recovery, and the living standards of millions of plain folks, are now at risk from the sudden rise in oil and commodity prices. Gas at the pump is up, and going higher. Food prices are following. The consequences are catastrophic for the global poor as their costs go up while their income doesn't. It's menacing American workers too, who in large part have not seen a meaningful raise since the days of Reagan (keeping it this way is clearly behind the current flurry of attacks on unions).
For more than 100 years the United States has been at the center of a war being waged around the clock by a cult-of-evil clawing and biting like a rabid dog at the heart of civilization. It has been an epic struggle of an outnumbered, outgunned regiment of courageous defenders of human individuality, dignity, and liberty against a tyranny intent on the enslavement of humanity. It has been a bloody war, a costly war, and even now the battles continue. But the tide is turning, finally, toward the side of good.
US worked to help Israel contain UN probes into possible war crimes committed in the 2008-2009 Gaza war The United States worked behind the scenes to help Israel contain UN probes into possible war crimes committed during the 2008-2009 Gaza war, Foreign Policy reported Tuesday.
Nearly a year after its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has broken a moratorium on political giving by making contributions to Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders. BP Corp. North America gave $5,000 contributions to Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) through its political action committee, according to a campaign finance report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
What could start a popular resurgence in this country against the abuses of concentrated, avaricious corporatism? Imagine the arrogance of passing on to already cheated working people and the jobless enormous corporate losses? This is achieved through government bailouts and tax escapes. History teaches us that the spark usually is smaller than expected and of a nature that is wholly unpredictable or even unimaginable. But if the dry tinder is all around, as many deprivations and polls reveal, the spark, no matter how small, can turn into a raging inferno.
Counter-protestors could not be seen, but they could be heard. Even with all the stage control, experienced Republican apparatchiks were rattled by the huge roar from the opposition which rang cow bells, blew Vuvuleza and endlessly chanted “Re-call Wal-ker,” making it impossible to hear the speakers. Every video of the day is backed by a muffled roar.
How is the global financial crisis effecting job seekers across the world? Does the job we do define who we are? And, if so, what does this largely Western mantra mean for the generation of youth faced with the prospect of mass unemployment for years to come? As countries around Europe brace for a long period of austerity, high unemployment and falling living standards, many fear society is set to become harsher on those the system leaves behind.
Tom Paine wrote at the toughest moment of the American revolutionary struggle: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." On Saturday, in Madison, Wisconsin, there was plenty to be thankful for.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans think wealth and money should be more evenly distributed and don’t think the current situation, with a hyper-concentration of money in the hands of a few, is fair, according to the latest Gallup poll.
As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's tax filing deadline, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all. The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.
One of the most important ideological commitments of the modern conservative movement is an opposition to tax increases. It is with this ideology that then-Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker signed Americans For Tax Reforms’ “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” a vow not to raise taxes on the people of his state.
Officials say plants are safe, but environmentalists are unconvinced following crisis in Japan. Two of the United States' most important nuclear power plants - the San Onofre plant and the plant at Diablo Canyon - are both built in active earthquake zones. One sits along the coast, while the other is along a geological faultline. In the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami - and fears of a radioactive meltdown there - nuclear industry officials in the US have reassured the public that there is nothing to worry about on home soil.
A sparsely attended Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., on March 31 in support of federal spending cuts received generous media attention. One report (Slate, 3/31/11) suggested there was "at least one reporter for every three or four activists," and a Republican politician joked that there might be more journalists than activists at the event.
As millions of Americans prepare to file their income taxes ahead of Monday’s deadline, we look at how corporations and the wealthy use offshore banks and tax havens to avoid paying taxes and other governmental regulations. "Tax havens have grown so fast in the era of globalization, since the 1970s, that they are now right at the heart of the global economy and are absolutely huge," says our guest, British journalist Nicholas Shaxson. "There are anywhere between $10 and $20 trillion sitting offshore at the moment. Half of world trade is processed in one way or another through tax havens." Shaxson is the author of the new book, Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens.
The joke's on us, folks. GE and tons of other corporations will have a tax bill for 2010 of ZERO. Do you wonder (like I do) what the tax accountants and executives are doing over at GE this weekend? Frantically rushing to fill out their IRS returns like the rest of us?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), on Capitol Hill for a hearing held by the House Oversight Committee on state budgets, had yet to even speak before Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) ripped into the Republican leader's anti-union record. "I strongly oppose efforts to falsely blame middle-class American workers for these current economic problems," Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said in his opening statement. "This recession was not caused by them. Working America - fire fighters, teachers and nurses - are not responsible for the reckless actions of Wall Street, which led to this crisis in the first place."
Sixteen police officers in northeastern Mexico detained on suspicion of protecting criminal gang wanted for "massacre". Mexico's ongoing drug war continues to claim lives and disrupt order in the country. Sixteen police officers have been arrested on suspicion of protecting a criminal gang wanted for the massacre of at least 126 people in northeastern Mexico. Marisela Morales, Mexico's attorney general, said the police were from San Fernando, Tamaulipas where authorities have unearthed mass graves holding the bodies of 126 people.
US vice president Joe Biden dropped off to sleep while his boss was delivering a much-hyped speech on saving the nation's economy.
This coming May 16, the U.S. Federal government debt ceiling will be breached; that is, the national credit card—currently topped at $14,294,000,000,000—will be maxed out. (Yeah, I know: It’s one thing to read “$14 trillion” and quite another to see the actual number, written out with all those zeroes.)
While our fiscal woes have led Congress to slash food aid this year to the world’s poor -- rest assured, fellow Americans -- the U.S. government will keep using your tax dollars to kill them. For while John Boehner and Barack Obama might disagree on some things, there's one area they can agree on: War. And the need for more of it.
The United States is attacking Libya based on vague hopes that peace will triumph after the NATO bombing ceases. There are plenty of reasons to doubt whether a few hundred cruise missiles will beget harmony in the Libyan desert. But one of the biggest mistakes would be to assume that U.S. government policymakers understand what they are doing.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that Congress will allow the country to borrow more by agreeing to increase the $14.3 trillion debt limit. "So you want Congress to move as quickly as possible to raise that, and of course, they recognize that they have to do that," he said.
On Tuesday, April 12, people in more than 35 countries, as well as Columbus, Dallas, Kansas City and dozens of other cities throughout the United States participated in the first Global Day of Action on Military Spending. In DC, they most definitely are sitting this one out. In fact, after weeks of budget brinksmanship, Congress emerged with a tentative so-called compromise that was unable to get a single cut made to spending on the US military. Christopher Hellman at TomDispatch recently added up all the hidden military-related spending in the budget and came to a startling number for fiscal year 2012. Something like $1.2 trillion dollars. That's trillion with a T. In this year's budget they admit to $670 billion or so, plus another $41 billion for Homeland Security and $76.6 billion for "military construction" and Veterans Affairs--an INCREASE over last year.
White House aides have confirmed the President Obama will outline a deficit reduction plan Wednesday that will put his administration on record in favor of substantial new cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, the major federal programs underwriting health care for the elderly and the poor.
Whilst looking up the word ‘austerity’ in a few online dictionaries I came across those listed below which seemed to fit in with our current economic climate and the use of the word frequently in relation to government comments on the need for such ‘austerity’ in our current turbulent economic times.
Princeton professor and famed black intellectual Cornel West has long been a supporter of President Barack Obama, but he’s recently changed his tune. In an interview last week, he suggested that Obama has sold out and become “a puppet” of powerful interests, merely promising change and not delivering. West warned that this would trust the U.S. into a “democratic awakening” the likes of which the nation had not seen in decades. Appearing on an MSNBC panel recently, West remained outspoken.
As the focus on Capitol Hill shifts to America's long-run fiscal woes, Congressional progressives are one step ahead of the White House and Democratic leaders in offering a counter-proposal to the House GOP approach.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisconsin) budget plan would cut $5.8 trillion over the next decade by cutting programs like Medicare. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan put out a budget proposal last week that will leave the vast majority of future retirees without decent health care by ending Medicare as we know it. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis, most middle-income retirees would have to pay almost half of their income to purchase a Medicare equivalent insurance package by 2030. They would be paying much more than half of their income in later years.
While Obama talks of saving civilians in Libya, information about innocents killed by U.S. drones is kept secret. April 11, 2011 "Salon" -- The big focus of the Obama administration in the last week has been, in President Obama's words, "to stop the violence against civilians." That's in Libya, of course, where Moammar Gadhafi was threatening to quell a rebellion based in Benghazi. In this context, it's particularly striking to read the news from the ACLU -- which has been waging a legal battle to wring information from the government about American drone strikes -- that the military doesn't even keep a tally of civilian deaths caused by drones:
Soon after the Fukushima accident last month, I stated publicly that a nuclear event of this size and catastrophic potential could present a medical problem of very large dimensions. Events have proven this observation to be true despite the nuclear industry's campaign about the "minimal" health effects of so-called low-level radiation. That billions of its dollars are at stake if the Fukushima event causes the "nuclear renaissance" to slow down appears to be evident from the industry's attacks on its critics, even in the face of an unresolved and escalating disaster at the reactor complex at Fukushima.
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