US Politics Obama Years Public date: 25.02.2019 20:17:58

Publisher: Asia Times

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10 Feb 2012

Muslim ‘terror threat’ belied by numbers

The threat of terrorism carried out by Muslim Americans appears to have been exaggerated by US officials in recent years, according to a new study on domestic terrorism released Wednesday. The study, the third in an annual series by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina, found that both the number of plots by and indictments against radicalized Muslim Americans fell sharply last year from a high in 2009, defying predictions by law enforcement and other officials.
The threat of terrorism carried out by Muslim Americans appears to have been exaggerated by US officials in recent...
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Publisher: Black Listed News

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22 Dec 2011

First Amendment Under Attack: 18 Examples Of How They Are Coming For Our Free Speech

In the United States today, the First Amendment is under attack like never before. Technological innovations such as the Internet have made it possible for average Americans to communicate directly with one another in ways that completely bypass the mainstream media, and this is making the elite very uncomfortable.
In the United States today, the First Amendment is under attack like never before. Technological innovations such as the...
4 Dec 2011

Israel and Iran

The United States and Israel are preparing to attack Iran because of their alleged development of nuclear weapons, which Iran has denied on many occasions. Of the Iraqis who warned the United States that it was mistaken about the WMD - Saddam Hussein was executed, Tariq Aziz is awaiting execution. Which Iranian officials is USrael going to hang after their country is laid to waste?
The United States and Israel are preparing to attack Iran because of their alleged development of nuclear weapons, which...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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28 Nov 2011

Defence and democracy in America

The failure of the US Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on budget cuts now sets the stage for $1.2tn in automatic reductions to begin in January 2013. Should these cuts go into effect, the US Defence Department, which already must implement $450bn in reductions over ten years, will take half the hit. But pushback has already begun, with Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta arguing that further reductions will impose "substantial risk" to the national security of the US. But, if history is a guide, global events, not deficit hawks or military promoters, will have the ultimate say over how far defence reductions go.
The failure of the US Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach agreement on budget cuts now sets the...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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8 Sep 2011

Chomsky 9 11 – was there an alternative

A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the US. "He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the US from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them," Eric Margolis writes.
A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war...

Publisher: Spiegel

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6 Sep 2011

Questioning 9 11 The Politician Turned Conspiracy Theorist

Andreas von B low says he's never feared for his life. This is despite the fact that he harbors suspicions that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were not the work of 19 "suicide Muslims," as he calls them, but rather an ingenious, cold-blooded operation in psychological warfare organized by the United States itself; and despite the fact that he has published this view in book form.
Andreas von B low says he's never feared for his life. This is despite the fact that he harbors suspicions that the...
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Publisher: Wired

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2 Sep 2011

How the CIA Became ‘One Hell of a Killing Machine’

On April 14, 2004, CIA Director George Tenet looked so impotent he might have starred in a Viagra commercial. Tenet had come before the 9/11 Commission for what was sure to be a public flogging. In response, he alternately apologized for the agency s failure to stop 9/11 and explained it away. Finally, the exhausted panelists posed him a bottom-line question: how long would it take Tenet to get the CIA in a position to counterattack al-Qaida?
On April 14, 2004, CIA Director George Tenet looked so impotent he might have starred in a Viagra commercial. Tenet had...

Publisher: The Washington Post

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1 Sep 2011

CIA shifts focus to killing targets

Behind a nondescript door at CIA headquarters, the agency has assembled a new counterterrorism unit whose job is to find al-Qaeda targets in Yemen. A corresponding commotion has been underway in the Arabian Peninsula, where construction workers have been laying out a secret new runway for CIA drones.
Behind a nondescript door at CIA headquarters, the agency has assembled a new counterterrorism unit whose job is to find...

Publisher: Le Monde diplomatique

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8 Aug 2011

A secret war in 120 countries

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you re done... for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world s countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.
Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you re done... for...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

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11 Jul 2011

Reagan mythology is leading US off a cliff

As things stand today, the US is hurtling toward a budget showdown in less than a month. Either President Obama will once again capitulate to extreme Republican budget-slashing demands, making Democrats seem as  much of a threat to Medicare as Republicans, and virtually ensuring a GOP electoral sweep in 2012, or the US will default on its debt for the first time in its history, most likely plunging the world economy back into another five-continent recession, also costing Democrats the 2012 elections.
As things stand today, the US is hurtling toward a budget showdown in less than a month. Either President...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 Apr 2011

The New Anti-Abortion Math

Right now, the state is wrestling with a fiscal megacrisis that goes back to 2006, when the Legislature cut local property taxes and made up for the lost revenue with a new business tax. The new tax produced billions less than expected to the shock and horror of everyone except all the experts who had been predicting that all along.
Right now, the state is wrestling with a fiscal megacrisis that goes back to 2006, when the Legislature cut local...

Publisher: NYTimes

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27 Feb 2011

End of Bargaining in Indiana Informs Wisconsin’s Push

The experience of a nearby state, Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels eliminated bargaining for state employees six years ago, shows just how much is at stake, both for the government and for workers. His 2005 executive order has had a sweeping impact: no raises for state employees in some years, a weakening of seniority preferences and a far greater freedom to consolidate state operations or outsource them to private companies.
The experience of a nearby state, Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels eliminated bargaining for state employees six years...

Publisher: NYTimes

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17 Feb 2011

In Prison Interview, Madoff Says Banks ‘Had to Know’

During a private two-hour interview in a visitor room here on Tuesday, and in earlier e-mail exchanges, he asserted that unidentified banks and hedge funds were somehow 'complicit' in his elaborate fraud, an about-face from earlier claims that he was the only person involved.
During a private two-hour interview in a visitor room here on Tuesday, and in earlier e-mail exchanges, he asserted that...

Publisher: Asia Times

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26 Jan 2011

What’s fueling oil, food prices?

During German hyperinflation early in the last century, the German central bank claimed that there was a shortage of money, while blaming inflation on consumer demand, speculation, and manipulation by profiteers. All nonsense, of course, but present and future oil and commodity price inflation is and will be explained in like fashion. - Hossein Askari and Noureddine Krichene
During German hyperinflation early in the last century, the German central bank claimed that there was a shortage of...
18 Jan 2011

Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex: His farewell address has been completely misunderstood.

Eisenhower's fears about standing military power never outweighed his conviction that it was necessary. As Ledbetter writes, Ike was, "by any definition, a leading figure in that complex." He loved the army and devoted his life to it. Within the Republican Party, his great accomplishment was to drag the rank and file into the age of internationalism with his triumph over Robert Taft for the 1952 presidential nomination, which isolated the isolationists in the GOP.
Eisenhower's fears about standing military power never outweighed his conviction that it was necessary. As Ledbetter...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 Jan 2011

Hezbollah’s Latest Suicide Mission

THE collapse of Lebanon s government on Tuesday signaled the final stage in Hezbollah s rise from resistance group to ruling power. While Hezbollah technically remains the head of the political opposition in Beirut, make no mistake: the Party of God has fully consolidated its control in Lebanon, and will stop at nothing including civil war to protect its position.
THE collapse of Lebanon s government on Tuesday signaled the final stage in Hezbollah s rise from resistance group to...

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5 Jan 2011

Supreme Court justice Justice Antonin Scalia to talk about Constitution to House members

The decision by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to accept an invitation from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the founder of the House's Tea Party Caucus, to speak to incoming House members about the Constitution is drawing fire from some who worry the court is injecting itself into partisan politics.
The decision by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to accept an invitation from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the...

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3 Jan 2011

Helen Thomas – Thrown to the wolves

In 1960, I was fixated on emulating the courageous media personalities of the times, from Edward R. Murrow to a distinctive figure I came to admire at presidential press conferences - a wire service reporter named Helen Thomas.
In 1960, I was fixated on emulating the courageous media personalities of the times, from Edward R. Murrow to a...

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2 Jan 2011

For Real Estate Developers, Failures Hardly an Obstacle

Larry Gluck, the apartment building king whose company defaulted on loans in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, recently bought the Windermere Hotel in Manhattan and Tivoli Towers, a subsidized housing complex in Brooklyn.
Larry Gluck, the apartment building king whose company defaulted on loans in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and...

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27 Dec 2010

Challenging widespread hypocrisy

It s hypocritical when lecturers and activists give talks about Israeli oppression in the U.S and get silenced with accusations of 'anti-Semitism.'The video below is an example of a U.S professor being attacked and censored for his views on Palestine
It s hypocritical when lecturers and activists give talks about Israeli oppression in the U.S and get silenced with...
27 Dec 2010

Conversations with History Noam Chomsky

On this edition of Conversations with History, UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler is joined by linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky to discuss activism, anarchism and the role the United States plays in the world today.
On this edition of Conversations with History, UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler is joined by linguist and political activist...
25 Dec 2010

Don’t go, don’t kill!

The recent repeal of the US military policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" is far from being the human rights advancement some are touting it to be. I find it intellectually dishonest, in fact, illogical on any level to associate human rights with any military, let alone one that is currently dehumanising two populations as well as numerous other victims of it's clandestine "security" policies.
The recent repeal of the US military policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" is far from being the human rights advancement...
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25 Dec 2010

Snow! Hit the Panic Button

What we are witnessing on either side of the Channel is the double whammy of a debt-ridden public sector making cuts wherever it can and a bonus-addicted private sector making cuts wherever it s profitable with the resultant disaster foisted on a general public now so cowed and coddled and fearful and risk-averse in the age of terror and technology that an inch or two of snow sends everyone into a blind panic.
What we are witnessing on either side of the Channel is the double whammy of a debt-ridden public sector making cuts...

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19 Dec 2010

Business Finds Receptive Ear in Roberts Court

Almost 40 years ago, a Virginia lawyer named Lewis F. Powell Jr. warned that the nation s free enterprise system was under attack. He urged the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assemble a highly competent staff of lawyers and retain outside counsel of national standing and reputation to appear before the Supreme Court and advance the interests of American business.
Almost 40 years ago, a Virginia lawyer named Lewis F. Powell Jr. warned that the nation s free enterprise system was...

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13 Dec 2010

The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff Project was created by Annie Leonard to leverage and extend the film s impact. We amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world. Our on-line community includes over 150,000 activists and we partner with hundreds of environmental and social justice organizations worldwide to create and distribute our films, curricula and other content.
The Story of Stuff Project was created by Annie Leonard to leverage and extend the film s impact. We amplify public...

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30 Nov 2010

The Fragile Community

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, had moved 37 times by the time he reached his 14th birthday. His mother didn t enroll him in the local schools because, as Raffi Khatchadourian wrote in a New Yorker profile, she feared that formal education would inculcate an unhealthy respect for authority
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, had moved 37 times by the time he reached his 14th birthday. His mother didn t...

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29 Nov 2010

The WikiLeaks Hoax, Part I

WikiLeaks has done it again. For the second time in less than four months, the shadowy outfit has succeeded in publishing a leak that has completely dominated the news cycle. Even news outlets and commentators that are critical of its posting of tens of thousands of U.S. military reports on the war in Afghanistan are prepared to confer upon WikiLeaks the honorific of a 'whistleblower organization.' But is that what it is?
WikiLeaks has done it again. For the second time in less than four months, the shadowy outfit has succeeded in...
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29 Nov 2010

WikiLeaks Archive – Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides...

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28 Nov 2010

Still the Best Congress Money Can Buy

As John Cassidy underscored in a definitive article titled Who Needs Wall Street? in The New Yorker last week, the financial sector has paid little for bringing the world to near-collapse or for receiving the taxpayers bailout that was denied to most small-enough-to-fail Americans. The sector still rakes in more than a fourth of American business profits, up from a seventh 25 years ago. And what is its contribution to America in exchange for this quarter-century of ever-more over-the-top rewards? During a period in which American companies have created iPhones, Home Depot and Lipitor, Cassidy writes, the industry reaping the highest profits and compensation is one that doesn t design, build or sell a tangible thing.
As John Cassidy underscored in a definitive article titled Who Needs Wall Street? in The New Yorker last week, the...
28 Nov 2010

Economic analysis brought to you by Wall Street

When you see a Wall Street economist offering analysis on cable news or the op-ed pages, you figure you know where they're coming from -- whatever will profit Wall Street. When you see an economist identified as being from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Stanford, do you assume that it's a different story?
When you see a Wall Street economist offering analysis on cable news or the op-ed pages, you figure you know where...
28 Nov 2010

The Power of Failure

Despite the very dire consequences of the latest financial crisis that Wall Street perpetrated on the world, America cannot seem to shake its infatuation with Wall Street bankers and traders. We continue to shower them with riches, prestige and glory. We make movies about them. We write books about them. We seriously overpay and then envy them. This year alone, while millions of others suffer from the Great Recession, bankers and traders are expected to be paid incredibly another estimated $144 billion in compensation and benefits. Accordingly, Wall Street remains the No. 1 destination for our best and brightest.
Despite the very dire consequences of the latest financial crisis that Wall Street perpetrated on the world, America...

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20 Nov 2010

For every dollar you spend in tax cuts, you get back 30 cents to the economy

Fox News host Neil Cavuto forcefully accused his guest, Democratic strategist Chris Hahn, of lying when Hahn said of the Bush tax cuts, "For every dollar you spend in tax cuts, you get back 30 cents to the economy." In fact, the figure Hahn cited is both accurate and well documented.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto forcefully accused his guest, Democratic strategist Chris Hahn, of lying when Hahn said of the...
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19 Nov 2010

Weekness and Endurance

Magazines like Harper s, Saturday Review, Time and Newsweek arose to satisfy this tide of cultural aspiration. For decades, Time and Newsweek devoted more space to opera and art and theology than to Hollywood or health. You may never have visited New York City, but to be a respectable figure in your town in Wisconsin or Arizona, it was helpful to know what operas were playing or what people were reading in Paris. The magazines supplied this knowledge.
Magazines like Harper s, Saturday Review, Time and Newsweek arose to satisfy this tide of cultural aspiration. For...

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18 Nov 2010

Soros – China has better functioning government than U.S.

Mr. Soros even went so far as to say that at times China wields more power than the U.S. because of the political gridlock in Washington. "Today China has not only a more vigorous economy, but actually a better functioning government than the United States," he said, a hard statement for him to make because he spent much of his life donating to anti-communist groups in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Soros even went so far as to say that at times China wields more power than the U.S. because of the political...

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14 Nov 2010

Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich

The wealthy Americans we should worry about instead are the ones who implicitly won the election those who take far more from America than they give back. They were not on the ballot, and most of them are not household names. Unlike Whitman and the other defeated self-financing candidates, they are all but certain to cash in on the Nov. 2 results. There s no one in Washington in either party with the fortitude to try to stop them from grabbing anything that s not nailed down.
The wealthy Americans we should worry about instead are the ones who implicitly won the election those who take far more...

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5 Nov 2010

Midterm Election – Parsing the Myths — Political Memo

Every election develops its own mythology, usually before the official results are even certified, and this week s was no different. And like all mythology, the narrative that is being woven around the midterm elections by Bulfinches from both parties is a blend of history, facts and, yes, myths.
Every election develops its own mythology, usually before the official results are even certified, and this week s was...

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1 Nov 2010

Jon Stewart Rally Shifts Blame to the News Media

Jon Stewart took steady aim on the one American institution that everyone can agree to hate: The Media. Within the first minute of his deft, very articulate stump speech at the end of the rally, Mr. Stewart turned his gun sights on the, um, fake news, which he called, the country's 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator, which, he added, did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder.
Jon Stewart took steady aim on the one American institution that everyone can agree to hate: The Media. Within the...

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27 Oct 2010

Can’t Keep a Bad Idea Down

I confess, I find it dispiriting to read the polls and see candidates, mostly Republicans, leading in various midterm races while promoting many of the very same ideas that got us into this mess. Am I hearing right?
I confess, I find it dispiriting to read the polls and see candidates, mostly Republicans, leading in various midterm...

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26 Oct 2010

The Cook Political Report – The insider’s choice for election analysis

Charlie Cook is Publisher of The Cook Political Report, and political analyst for the National Journal Group, where he writes weekly for National Journal magazine and CongressDailyAM. He also writes a regular column for the Washington Quarterly, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is a political analyst for NBC News.
Charlie Cook is Publisher of The Cook Political Report, and political analyst for the National Journal Group, where he...

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26 Oct 2010

Turkey Steps Out

Zero problems with neighbors lay at the core of Davutoglu s (Turkeys foriegn minister) influential book 'Strategic Depth,' published in 2001. Annual trade with Russia has since soared to $40 billion. Syrian-Turkish relations have never been better. Turkey s commercial sway over northern Iraq is overwhelming. It has signed a free trade agreement with Jordan. And now Turkey says it aims - United Nations sanctions notwithstanding - to triple trade with Iran over the next five years.
Zero problems with neighbors lay at the core of Davutoglu s (Turkeys foriegn minister) influential book 'Strategic...

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25 Oct 2010

TARP – A success none dare mention

The Troubled Asset Relief Program is widely viewed as the original sin of the Obama administration - though it was put together under President George W. Bush and succeeded far beyond expectations. It s widely seen as the tipping point for disgust with elites and insiders of all kinds - though it could also be seen as those insiders finest moment, a successful attempt to at least partially fix their own mistakes.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program is widely viewed as the original sin of the Obama administration - though it was put...

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23 Oct 2010

Injustice in the age of Obama

Face it, we all know that since 9/11, there have been numerous false "terror" alerts and lies leading to the capture and torture of hundreds of innocent individuals - and the heinous treatment we have all witnessed to from Abu Ghraib. Additionally, we are supposed to believe that multi-war criminal, Colin Powell, was "fooled" by faulty intelligence so much so that he paved the way for the invasion of Iraq by his false testimony at the UN but we are also supposed to unquestioningly believe the US intelligence apparatus when they lie about others such as Dr. Siddiqui.
Face it, we all know that since 9/11, there have been numerous false "terror" alerts and lies leading to the capture and...

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21 Oct 2010

John Roberts’ America

I wish Chief Justice John Roberts could spend a day and a night in the Rocky Mountains experiencing what his activist Supreme Court majority has dumped on the American voter in 2010. The sludge flow from out-of-state, secretive political groups is unrelenting. All hours. All mediums. A football game-break brings three attacks in a row, calling a senator a liar, a vandal and a glutton for debt. A weather update is interrupted by a trio of hits from the other side, making the challenger out to be the worst thing for women since Neanderthal man took up a club as an accessory to romance.
I wish Chief Justice John Roberts could spend a day and a night in the Rocky Mountains experiencing what his activist...

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18 Oct 2010

Newt Gingrich, Sharia Law, And Islam Why Can’t Conservatives Understand That Not All Muslims Are Terrorists

The blanket demonization of the Holy Law can lead one to view Iraq s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most revered Shiite thinker in the world, and one who tried desperately and selflessly to keep his country from descending into internecine savagery, as a bigot and a terrorist engine. The same would be true for the late Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran s Green Movement and the nemesis of Ali Khamenei, Iran s ruler, himself a very mediocre student of the Sharia.
The blanket demonization of the Holy Law can lead one to view Iraq s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most revered...
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18 Oct 2010

The Rage Won’t End on Election Day

CARL Paladino began his New York gubernatorial campaign by bragging he'd "clean out Albany with a baseball bat." When an ally likened his main Albany target, the (Jewish) leader of the State Assembly, to "an antichrist or Hitler," he enthusiastically endorsed the slur. We also learned of Paladino s repertory of gag e-mails - among them a pornographic picture of a woman having sex with a horse and a photo of an African tribal ritual captioned "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal." How blind we were not to recognize that his victory in a Republican primary under the proud Tea Party banner was inevitable.
CARL Paladino began his New York gubernatorial campaign by bragging he'd "clean out Albany with a baseball bat." When an...

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11 Oct 2010

Facebook Politicians Are Not Your Friends

"THE Social Network," you re understandably sick of hearing, is a brilliant movie about the Harvard upstart Mark Zuckerberg and the messy birth of his fabulous start-up, Facebook, circa 2004. From the noisy debate over its harsh portrait of Zuckerberg, you d think it s a documentary. It s not. Its genre is historical fiction - with a sardonic undertow. The director David Fincher and the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin are after bigger ironies than the riddle of Zuckerberg, a disconnected geek destined to spawn a virtual community of 500 million friends. You leave the movie with the sinking feeling that the democratic utopia breathlessly promised by Facebook and its Web brethren is already gone with the wind.
"THE Social Network," you re understandably sick of hearing, is a brilliant movie about the Harvard upstart Mark...
13 Sep 2010

Repairing Citizens United becomes a test for three GOP senators

In a decision that was either the most Machiavellian in American history or the most naive, a 5 to 4 conservative majority broke with decades of precedent and said Congress had no right to ban corporate or labor union spending to influence the outcome of elections. The court ruled that corporations such as Consolidated Megacorp have to be treated the same as living, breathing "persons." The decision is Machiavellian if the conservatives on the court consciously want to bring us back to the 1890s. Or it's naive because the justices didn't consider what their ruling would mean in practice.
In a decision that was either the most Machiavellian in American history or the most naive, a 5 to 4 conservative...
15 Jul 2010

What the NAACP is really asking on racism within the Tea Party

The NAACP is doing what conservatives have done for decades in demanding that liberals and progressives separate themselves from left-wing extremists who trashed America, burned flags and praised foreign dictators. The racists are the Tea Party's flag-burners. It's fair to ask the democratic left to condemn extremism. It's fair to ask the same of the democratic right. (Note the small "d.")
The NAACP is doing what conservatives have done for decades in demanding that liberals and progressives separate...

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23 May 2010

Book review ‘Cyber War’ by Richard Clarke

Maybe that's why experts such as Richard A. Clarke, the former White House terrorism adviser who famously failed to excite George W. Bush's aides about al-Qaeda in the summer of 2001, have had such a hard time convincing top policymakers that cyber-war is "the next threat to national security," as the subtitle of Clarke's new book puts it.
Maybe that's why experts such as Richard A. Clarke, the former White House terrorism adviser who famously failed to...

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19 May 2010

Mr. Blumenthal’s Misdirection

There are few sins less forgivable in American politics than claiming unearned military valor. Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut, may consider his false claim to have served in Vietnam to be a few misplaced words, as he put it on Tuesday, but, in fact, this deception seems to have been part of a larger pattern of misleading voters.
There are few sins less forgivable in American politics than claiming unearned military valor. Richard Blumenthal, the...

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26 Apr 2010

Growing Split in Arizona Over Immigration

MESA, Ariz. They stood a few miles from each other, but as far apart as heat and cold.. Clutching a copy of a Spanish-language article on the tough new law making it a state crime for illegal immigrants to be in Arizona and requiring those suspected of being violators to show proof of legal status, Eric Ramirez, 29, still waited on a corner for work. He nervously kept watch for the police and wondered what his future held. We were already afraid, and I was thinking of leaving for California, Mr. Ramirez said as he waited on the corner in a heavily Latino enclave already drained of people by the recession and the fear of police harassment. We shop in their stores, we clean their yards, but they want us out and the police will be on us.
MESA, Ariz. They stood a few miles from each other, but as far apart as heat and cold.. Clutching a copy of a...

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24 Apr 2010

Arizona signs strict immigrant law

Jan Brewer, the governor of the US state of Arizona, has signed into law a controversial immigration bill, which Barack Obama, the US president, has criticised as "misguided". The law requires legal immigrants to carry documentation at all times and allows police officers to question and detain suspected illegal immigrants even if they are not believed to have committed a crime.
Jan Brewer, the governor of the US state of Arizona, has signed into law a controversial immigration bill, which Barack...

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20 Apr 2010

Riders on the Storm

In the mid-20th century, Americans got most of their news through a few big networks and mass-market magazines. People were forced to encounter political viewpoints different from their own. Moreover, the mass media gave Americans shared experiences. If you met strangers in a barbershop, you could be pretty sure you would have something in common to talk about from watching the same TV shows.
In the mid-20th century, Americans got most of their news through a few big networks and mass-market magazines. People...

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19 Apr 2010

Violence Is Unacceptable in a Democracy

Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials. But we do not have the right to resort to violence or the threat of violence when we don t get our way. Our founders constructed a system of government so that reason could prevail over fear. Oklahoma City proved once again that without the law there is no freedom.
Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the...

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21 Mar 2010

America’s Real Dream Team

Indeed, if you need any more convincing about the virtues of immigration, just come to the Intel science finals. I am a pro-immigration fanatic. I think keeping a constant flow of legal immigrants into our country whether they wear blue collars or lab coats is the key to keeping us ahead of China. Because when you mix all of these energetic, high-aspiring people with a democratic system and free markets, magic happens. If we hope to keep that magic, we need immigration reform that guarantees that we will always attract and retain, in an orderly fashion, the world s first-round aspirational and intellectual draft choices.
Indeed, if you need any more convincing about the virtues of immigration, just come to the Intel science finals. I am a...
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27 Feb 2010

Missing the Tea Party

The real surprise of the Supreme Court s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which magnified the ability of corporations to spend money in political campaigns, is how widely disliked the ruling is across the ideological spectrum. After more than a month, the storm set off by the Citizens United ruling is still raging.
The real surprise of the Supreme Court s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which magnified the...

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16 Feb 2010

What’s Wrong With Us

Gov. Ed Rendell likes to tell a story that goes back to his days as mayor of Philadelphia. As he recalled, the city had a long cold snap with about a month and a half of below-freezing temperatures. Then, abruptly, the mercury rose into the 60s, he said, and 58 of our water mains broke, causing all sorts of havoc.
Gov. Ed Rendell likes to tell a story that goes back to his days as mayor of Philadelphia. As he recalled, the city had...

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16 Feb 2010

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will...
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1 Feb 2010

Justice Alito’s candid response to Obama’s rebuke

The nation owes a substantial debt to Justice Samuel Alito for his display of unhappiness over President Obama's criticisms of the Supreme Court's recent legislation -- excuse me, decision -- opening our electoral system to a new torrent of corporate money.
The nation owes a substantial debt to Justice Samuel Alito for his display of unhappiness over President Obama's...
17 Jan 2010

Google rebels against China’s Internet censors

Reporters Without Borders hails US Internet giant Google s announcement yesterday that it will stop censoring the Chinese version of its search engine, Google.cn a move that could lead to Google.cn s closure and Google s withdrawal from the Chinese market. The company said it took the decision following sophisticated cyber-attacks on Gmail accounts coming from China.
Reporters Without Borders hails US Internet giant Google s announcement yesterday that it will stop censoring the...

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15 Jan 2010

The 10 Percent Rules

If Massachusetts was the Department of Homeland Security, the special election to fill Ted Kennedy s senate seat would have the Democrats about four-fifths of the way up the terror alert code.
If Massachusetts was the Department of Homeland Security, the special election to fill Ted Kennedy s senate seat would...

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10 Jan 2010

The Other Plot to Wreck America

THERE may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the underwear bomber from boarding that Christmas flight to Detroit. In the years since 9/11, we ve all become counterterrorists. But in the 16 months since that other calamity in downtown New York the crash precipitated by the 9/15 failure of Lehman Brothers most of us are still ignorant about what Warren Buffett called the financial weapons of mass destruction that wrecked our economy. Fluent as we are in Al Qaeda and body scanners, when it comes to synthetic C.D.O. s and credit-default swaps, not so much.
THERE may not be a person in America without a strong opinion about what coulda, shoulda been done to prevent the...

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7 Jan 2010

The Year the Senate Fell

ON Wednesday, Senator Chris Dodd announced his retirement after 30 years in the Senate. As a Senate Democratic staffer in 1980, I remember Mr. Dodd s election well it was the only bright spot on the night that changed the Senate drastically, and in ways we still feel today.
ON Wednesday, Senator Chris Dodd announced his retirement after 30 years in the Senate. As a Senate Democratic staffer...

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7 Jan 2010

The Happiest People

Hmmm. You think it s a coincidence? Costa Rica is one of the very few countries to have abolished its army, and it s also arguably the happiest nation on earth.
Hmmm. You think it s a coincidence? Costa Rica is one of the very few countries to have abolished its army, and it s...

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20 Dec 2009

Tiger Woods, Person of the Year

AS we say farewell to a dreadful year and decade, this much we can agree upon: The person of the year is not Ben Bernanke, no matter how insistently Time magazine tries to hype him into its pantheon. The Fed chairman was just as big a schnook as every other magical thinker in Washington and on Wall Street who believed that housing prices would go up in perpetuity to support an economy leveraged past the hilt. Unlike most of the others, it was Bernanke s job to be ahead of the curve. Yet as recently as June of last year he could be found minimizing the possibility of a substantial economic downturn. And now we re supposed to applaud him for putting his finger in the dike after disaster struck? This is defining American leadership down.
AS we say farewell to a dreadful year and decade, this much we can agree upon: The person of the year is not Ben...

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16 Nov 2009

100 new militia groups since Obama elected

Mark Potok told CNN that the Southern Poverty Law Center has found 100 new militia groups since President Barack Obama was elected. CNN’s Jim Acosta talked to members of one militia who are worried that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights. This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast Nov. 16, 2009. Download video via [...]
Mark Potok told CNN that the Southern Poverty Law Center has found 100 new militia groups since President Barack Obama...
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15 Nov 2009

Triumph of a Dreamer

Of all the people earning university degrees this year, perhaps the most remarkable story belongs to Tererai (pronounced TEH-reh-rye), a middle-aged woman who is one of my heroes. She is celebrating a personal triumph, but she s also a monument to the aid organizations and individuals who helped her. When you hear that foreign-aid groups just squander money or build dependency, remember that by all odds Tererai should be an illiterate, battered cattle-herd in Zimbabwe and instead ah, but I m getting ahead of my story.
Of all the people earning university degrees this year, perhaps the most remarkable story belongs to Tererai (pronounced...
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5 Nov 2009

Forecasting the Midterm Elections, Crystal Ball, U.Va.

The 2010 midterm election is still 14 months away. Fourteen months is a lifetime in politics. We don't know how many House and Senate incumbents from each party will be retiring, how many incumbents from each party will be facing serious challengers or what the national political climate will be like in the fall of 2010. Nevertheless, based on what we already know and the evidence from midterm elections over the past six decades we can make an educated guess about what is likely to happen in next year's House and Senate elections. The results of a statistical analysis of congressional election results since World War II indicate that Republicans are almost certain to make at least modest gains in the House of Representatives and could pick up a few seats in the Senate. However, their chances of regaining control of either chamber appear to range from slim in the case of the House to none in the case of the Senate.
The 2010 midterm election is still 14 months away. Fourteen months is a lifetime in politics. We don't know how many...

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22 Oct 2009

Charlie Rose Andrew Ross Sorkin Discusses His Book ‘Too Big to Fail’

From Charlie Rose on PBS, Andrew Ross Sorkin discusses his new book Too Big to Fail. I highly recommend watching the entire interview if you've got an hour to spare. Wall Street has not learned their lessons even after as Sorkin puts it "they saw the world was about to fall off of its axis".
From Charlie Rose on PBS, Andrew Ross Sorkin discusses his new book Too Big to Fail. I highly recommend watching the...
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13 Oct 2009

Behind the Laughter

Even as teachers by the tens of thousands are walking the plank to unemployment, we re learning, as The Times reported last week, that one in every 10 young male dropouts is locked up in jail or juvenile detention. As if that weren t gruesome enough, we find that the figure for blacks is one in four. What would it take to get the perpetual crisis facing these young people onto the radar screens of the rest of America?
Even as teachers by the tens of thousands are walking the plank to unemployment, we re learning, as The Times reported...

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10 Oct 2009

77-Cent Increase Per Gallon of Gas?

Q: Will the House cap-and-trade bill raise the cost of a gallon of gasoline by 77 cents? A: That extreme estimate comes from the oil and gas industry's lobby. Nonpartisan government experts project a lower increase, most likely between 12 and 67 cents per gallon in 2020. FULL QUESTION At a Valero gas ...
Q: Will the House cap-and-trade bill raise the cost of a gallon of gasoline by 77 cents? A: That extreme estimate comes...
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9 Oct 2009

The Uneducated American

If you had to explain America s economic success with one word, that word would be education. In the 19th century, America led the way in universal basic education. Then, as other nations followed suit, the high school revolution of the early 20th century took us to a whole new level. And in the years after World War II, America established a commanding position in higher education.
If you had to explain America s economic success with one word, that word would be education. In the 19th century,...
5 Oct 2009

If It’s Sunday, It’s Conservative An analysis of the Sunday talk show guests on ABC, CBS, and NBC, 1997 – 2005

The Sunday-morning talk shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC are where the prevailing opinions are aired and tested, policymakers state their cases, and the left and right in American politics debate the pressing issues of the day on equal ground. Both sides have their say and face probing questions. Or so you would think
The Sunday-morning talk shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC are where the prevailing opinions are aired and tested, policymakers...
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5 Oct 2009

Speaking of overexposed

Last week, ABC News ran a segment about the possibility -- promoted by conservatives and journalists but undermined by public polling -- that President Obama is "overexposed."
Last week, ABC News ran a segment about the possibility -- promoted by conservatives and journalists but undermined by...
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4 Oct 2009

Still Not Tired

In this war on terrorism, there is no good war or bad war. There is one war with many fronts, including Europe and our own backyard, requiring many different tactics. It is a war within Islam, between an often too-silent Muslim mainstream and a violent, motivated, often nihilistic jihadist minority.
In this war on terrorism, there is no good war or bad war. There is one war with many fronts, including Europe and our...
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4 Oct 2009

Lewin Group, Insurer-Owned Consulting Firm, Often Cited in Health Reform Debate

The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.
The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the...

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4 Oct 2009

The Health Insurers Have Already Won

As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling.
As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves...

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4 Oct 2009

White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost

Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.
Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a...
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