Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, Who's Pivoting Where in Eurasia? (2 comments)
If you want to know why no key country in Asia has been willing to "isolate" Russia in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis -- and in defiance of the Obama administration -- look no further than Pipelineistan. possibility of a push, led again by China and Russia, toward a new international reserve currency -- actually a basket of currencies -- that would supersede the dollar (at least in the optimistic dreams of BRICS members).
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Tomgram: Bill McKibben, How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Democrats? (4 comments)
We probably need to think, most of the time, about how to change the country, not the Democrats. If we build a movement strong enough to transform the national mood, then perhaps the trembling leaders of the Democrats will eventually follow. At which point we'll get an end to things like the Keystone pipeline, and maybe even a price on carbon.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Tomgram: Steve Fraser, The National Museum of Industrial Homicide
For the first time in American history, the life expectancy of white people, men and women, has actually dropped. Life spans for the least educated, in particular, have fallen by about four years since 1990. Whatever combination of factors produced this social statistic, it may be the rawest measure of a society in the throes of economic anorexia.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Tomgram: Kramer and Hellman, It's the Politics, Stupid
Among all the spending and tax changes in the queue, and all the hype around the cliff, the great unknown is whether it's finally farewell to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. It would raise tens of billions of dollars in desperately-needed tax revenue next year. Ending these tax cuts for the wealthy would bring in cash to reduce deficits or increase funding for cash-starved priorities like higher education.
Tomgram: Jeremiah Goulka, The Urge to Bomb Iran (1 comments)
Unlike with Iraq in 2002 and 2003, they have it easier today. Then, they and their mentors had to go on a sales roadshow, painting pictures of phantom WMDs to build up support for an invasion. Today, a large majority of Americans already believe that Iran is building nuclear weapons.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, Preparing for a Digital 9/11 (6 comments)
When it comes to issues like access to information and civil liberties protections, it could very well be that the era of Big Brother is almost upon us, whether we like it or not, and that fighting against it is obsolete behavior. On the other hand, perhaps we're heading into a future in which the government will have to accept that it cannot keep secrets as it once did.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, A Recipe for American Decline That No One Will Be Debating (2 comments)
Yes, there will be questions and answers focused on deficits, taxes, Medicare, the Pentagon, and education, to which you already more or less know the responses each candidate will offer. What you won't get from either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is a little genuine tough talk about the actual state of reality in these United States of ours.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
William Hartung, Why No One Notices Our MAD Planet
The only way to be safe from nuclear weapons is to get rid of them -- not just the Iranian one that doesn't yet exist, but all of them. It's a daunting task. It's also a subject that's out of the news and off anyone's agenda at the moment, but if it is ever to be achieved, we at least need to start talking about it. Soon.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Cheney Effect (in the Obama Administration) (1 comments)
When it comes to international energy politics, it is not Bush but his vice president, Dick Cheney, who has been providing the role model for the president. As recent events have demonstrated, Obama's energy policies globally bear an eerie likeness to Cheney's, especially in the way he has engaged in the geopolitics of oil as part of an American global struggle for future dominance among the major powers.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Tomgram: Andy Kroll, How the Wisconsin Uprising Got Hijacked (1 comments)
Walker's win has emboldened the Republican Party. And here's another likelihood: Republican governors and state legislators nationwide will emulate Walker's "divide and conquer" agenda -- his own words -- in the months and possibly years ahead.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Bill McKibben, Climate-Change Deniers Have Done Their Job Well (3 comments)
In just the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands have signed on to demand an end to fossil-fuel subsidies. And new polling data already show more Americans worried about our changing climate, because they've noticed the freakish weather of the last few years and drawn the obvious conclusion.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
How to Forget on Memorial Day: Whistling Past the Graveyard of Empires
When it comes to the major war the United States is still fighting, now in its 11th year, the word remembrance is surely inappropriate, as is the "Memorial" in Memorial Day. The dead of the Afghan War have largely been tossed down the memory hole of history. Even the fact that Americans are still dying in Afghanistan seems largely to have been forgotten, along with the war itself.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Tomgram: Bill McKibben, The Most Important Story of Our Lives (1 comments)
After a year with a record number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters, seven in ten Americans now believe that "global warming is affecting the weather." No less striking, 35% of the respondents reported that extreme weather had affected them personally in 2011.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Too Hot Not to Notice? A Planet Connected by Wild Weather (1 comments)
Who in Washington isn't reading the polls the way a New Ager might read Tarot cards? So when President Obama suddenly starts talking -- quite voluntarily -- about global warming as a campaign issue, you know something's up. What's up, it turns out, is public concern over climate change after years of polling in which Americans claimed to be ever less worried about the phenomenon.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Peter Van Buren, Joining The Whistleblowers' Club
What I saw while serving the State Department at a forward operating base in Iraq was, however, different. There, the space between what we were doing (the eye-watering waste and mismanagement), and what we were saying (the endless claims of success and progress), was filled with numb soldiers and devastated Iraqis, not scaredy-cat bureaucrats.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tomgram: Engelhardt, War as the President's Private Preserve
Whether he meant to or not, in his latest version of Iran war policy President Obama has built on the Bush precedent. His represents, however, an even more extreme version, which should perhaps be labeled the 0% Doctrine. In holding off an Israeli strike that may itself be nothing but a bluff, he has defined a future Iranian decision to build a nuclear weapon as a new form of aggression against the United States.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Eyal Press, Chilling Dissent on Wall Street
The Obama administration has set a record by accusing no fewer than six government employees, who allegedly leaked classified information to reporters, of violating the Espionage Act, a draconian law dating back to 1917.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Why the Tea Party Needs Mitt (1 comments)
Here comes Mitt Romney, the soul of American capitalism in the flesh. Look back over his career as a predator drone at Bain Capital: Isn't it the exact sort of background you always insist politicians ought to have? Isn't it the sort of titanic enterprise for which you lust, as you wave your copy of Atlas Shrugged in the air?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Life and Death of American Drones
The recent losses of the Pentagon's robot Sentinel in Iran, the Reaper in the Seychelles, and the Predator in Kandahar, however, offer a window into a future in which the global skies will be filled with drones that may prove far less wondrous than Americans have been led to believe. The United States could turn out to be relying on a fleet of robots with wings of clay.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Noam Chomsky, The Imperial Mentality and 9/11 (1 comments)
Perhaps the Bin Laden assassination was perceived by the administration as an "act of vengeance." And perhaps the rejection of the legal option of a trial reflects a difference between the moral culture of 1945 and today.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
On Americans (Not) Getting By (Again) (1 comments)
In defiance of all reason and compassion, the criminalization of poverty has actually intensified as the weakened economy generates ever more poverty. The number of ordinances against the publicly poor has been rising since 2006, along with the harassment of the poor for more "neutral" infractions like jaywalking, littering, or carrying an open container.
Monday, August 8, 2011
The Secret War in 120 Countries
Growth has been exponential since September 11, 2001, as SOCOM's baseline budget almost tripled from $2.3 billion to $6.3 billion. If you add in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has actually more than quadrupled to $9.8 billion in these years.
Monday, November 1, 2010
William Astore: The New American Isolationism (1 comments)
Marked by a calculated estrangement from war's horrific realities and mercenary purposes, the new isolationism magically turns an historic term on its head, for it keeps us in wars, rather than out of them.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tomgram: Robert Dreyfuss, Heck of a Job, Maliki!
In this piece, Dreyfuss, who first brought the swirling rumors in Baghdad (and Washington) about a coup d'etat that might end Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's brief, disastrous reign to our attention, follows the latest twists and turns in the story, exploring just where a desperate White House and a desperate Iraqi government may be headed -- and the answer seems to be: over a cliff.