Monday, March 30, 2009

Torture Metrics
by digby
Dick Cheney is going to hell. But we knew that. And so are Bush and Rice and all the rest who insisted on torturing Abu Zubaida, a brain damaged man who was so desperate that he made up fantastical terrorist plots just to make the torture stop. They not only committed a war crime, they made us all less safe by sending investigators all over the world on wild goose chases.
Standing up for justice in the age of Obama
by Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn is a veteran of more than half a century of struggles for peace, justice and democracy. He's the renowned author of numerous books such as A People's History of the United States [2] and You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train [3], as well as the play Marx in Soho [4], about Karl Marx.

In early February--a few weeks after Barack Obama was inaugurated as president--Howard spoke at the independent bookstore and gathering place Busboys and Poets. Here, with his permission, we publish his thoughts on the future of the struggle in the Obama era.

The president sounds like he's channeling Cheney or McCain -- or a Cold War hawk afraid of international communism -- when he talks about the war in Afghanistan.
By Juan Cole

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Republican Budget Details
by Hunter

Fresh from the GOP think tanks, we've got even more details on the super-duper Republican budget plan.

Heck, I just can't figure out how eight years of rule by these folks led to an economic disaster. I mean, this is good stuff, right?

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Right’s Twisted Blame Game By Joe Conason
Listening to the president’s critics, it would be easy to believe that Obama is responsible for the deficits, bailouts, bonuses, nationalized institutions and careening markets. It would be easy to believe but it’s entirely false.

Inside Bush’s War on Birth Control By Marie Cocco
A court ruling offers a chilling compendium of accounts by doctors and other FDA professionals who were routinely thwarted as they tried to make the “morning after” pill available, especially to teenagers.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Populism and Paranoia
by George Packer
Step out of the A.I.G. bonus frenzy, the bailout conundrum, and other matters of the moment to think a bit about American history. It’s all related.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A time for global action
By Barack Obama

March 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — We are living through a time of global economic challenges that cannot be met by half measures or the isolated efforts of any nation. Now, the leaders of the G-20 have a responsibility to take bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again.

No one can deny the urgency of action. A crisis in credit and confidence has swept across borders, with consequences for every corner of the world. We have learned that the success of the American economy is inextricably linked to the global economy. If people in other countries cannot spend, markets dry up—already we've seen the biggest drop in American exports in nearly four decades, which has led directly to American job losses. And if we continue to let financial institutions around the world act recklessly and irresponsibly, we will remain trapped in a cycle of bubble and bust. That is why the upcoming London Summit is directly relevant to our recovery at home.

My message is clear: The United States is ready to lead, and we call upon our partners to join us with a sense of urgency and common purpose. Our leadership is grounded in a simple premise: We will lift the American economy out of crisis and reform our regulatory structure, and these actions will be strengthened by complementary action abroad. Through example, the United States can promote a global recovery and build confidence around the world; and if the London Summit helps galvanize collective action, we can forge a secure recovery, and future crises can be averted.

Our efforts must begin with swift action to stimulate growth. The U.S. has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the most dramatic effort to jump-start job creation and lay a foundation for growth in a generation. Other G-20 members have pursued fiscal stimulus as well, and these efforts should be sustained until demand is restored. We should embrace a collective commitment to encourage open trade and investment, while resisting the protectionism that would deepen this crisis.

We must restore the credit that businesses and consumers depend upon. We are working aggressively to stabilize our financial system. This includes an honest assessment of the balance sheets of major banks, and will lead directly to lending that can help Americans purchase goods, stay in their homes and grow businesses. This must continue to be amplified by the actions of our G-20 partners. Together, we can embrace a common framework that insists on transparency, accountability and restoring the flow of credit that is the lifeblood of a growing global economy. And the G-20, together with multilateral institutions, can provide trade finance to help lift up exports and create jobs.

Third, we have an economic, security and moral obligation to extend a hand to countries and people who face the greatest risk. If we turn our backs on them, the suffering caused by this crisis will be enlarged, and our recovery will be delayed because markets for our goods will shrink further and more American jobs will be lost. The G-20 should quickly deploy resources to stabilize emerging markets, substantially boost the emergency capacity of the International Monetary Fund and help regional development banks accelerate lending. Meanwhile, America will support meaningful investments in food security that can help the poorest.

While these actions can help get us out of crisis, we cannot settle for a return to the status quo. We must put an end to the reckless speculation and spending beyond our means, and to the bad credit, overleveraged banks and absence of oversight that condemns us to bubbles that inevitably bust. Only coordinated international action can prevent the irresponsible risk-taking that caused this crisis.

All of our financial institutions—on Wall Street and around the globe—need strong oversight and common sense rules of the road. All markets should have standards for stability and a mechanism for disclosure. A strong framework of capital requirements should protect against future crises. We must crack down on offshore tax havens and money laundering. Rigorous transparency and accountability must check abuse, and the days of out-of-control compensation must end. Instead of patchwork efforts that enable a race to the bottom, we must provide the clear incentives for good behavior that foster a race to the top.

I know that America bears our share of responsibility for the mess that we all face.

But I also know that we need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people. This G-20 meeting provides a forum for a new kind of global economic cooperation.

The nations of the world have a stake in one another, and the United States is ready to join a global effort on behalf of new jobs and sustainable growth.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's time to find corporate America's hidden billions
By Joe Conason
It's time to reform offshore banking, and see what untaxed wealth big business is hiding in overseas tax shelters.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We are not suffering from an excess of citizen outrage, but rather, from a lack of it.
by Glenn Greenwald

Friday, March 20, 2009

If You’re a ‘Little Guy,’ a Contract Means Nothing By Marie Cocco —
If only the contracts entered into by shop-floor workers at auto plants were as inviolate as those secured by the incompetent pirates of the American International Group.

The Geithner Problem By Eugene Robinson —
The treasury secretary may indeed be the hardest-working man in Washington. But in order to survive, let alone succeed, he’s going to have to make a more convincing case that he’s part of the solution and not part of the problem.

A Government of Men, Not Laws By David Sirota —
In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Conservatives have argued for decades that the sins most dangerous to our society were rooted in lust when in fact they were rooted in greed.

Bob Cesca: The Weird Contradictions of the Tea Bag Revolution
It turns out that that the tea baggers, led in part by Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds and the Coward Rick Santelli, are politically more in line with the tax policies of King George than the views of the colonial patriots.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Perp Walks Instead of Bonuses
By Robert Scheer —
There must be a criminal investigation of the AIG debacle, and it looks as if New York’s top lawman is on the case. The collusion to save this toxic company in order to salvage the rogue financiers who conspired to enrich themselves by impoverishing millions is being revealed as the greatest financial scandal in U.S. history.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Culture Warriors Get Laid Off
by Frank Rich
What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

By Joe Conason —
Things are bad, and very likely to get worse—but the Republicans seem determined to plunge us into a real depression, gambling that catastrophe would return them to power.

The GOP can't stomach the prospect of American consumers having free choice over their healthcare programs.
By David Sirota

Friday, March 13, 2009

Full Episode: Jim Cramer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Affirmative action, Republican-style, doomed party Chairman Michael Steele to failure before he ever took the job.
By Joe Conason

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Charlie Rose, a conversation with Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reviving the Dream
by Bob Herbert
With the economy in free fall, Americans have an opportunity to reshape the society, and then to move it in a fairer and ultimately more productive direction.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The questions our healthcare debate ignores
Why does every developed nation except the U.S. have universal healthcare? Why do they pay half as much in medical costs? Why are their infant mortality and longevity statistics superior?
By Joe Conason

by Bob Herbert
The renegade clowns who ruined this economy, the Republican right in alliance with big business and some feckless Democrats, have no basis for waging war against efforts to get us out of their mess.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

D.L. Hughley: Frank Schaeffer Author of Crazy for God on What's Left of the GOP

Friday, March 06, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

If the GOP stays on this path -- if they embrace Rush Limbaugh as a leader now -- then there's more good news here than just the fun of the infighting. The good news is that he can't lead them into a victorious future, but he sure can lead the rest of us there.
By Joe Conason —
Once, conservatives liked to say that “ideas matter.” Although many of their theories later proved flimsy, they at least attempted to address real problems with fresh thinking. But ideas no longer matter—and in fact they’re dangerous, according to the maximum leader of the right.
Obama Vows to End Stalemate on Health Care
By ROBERT PEAR and DAVID STOUT President Obama told participants in a conference that he would not allow “special interests” to block an overhaul.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Why is John McCain being such a jerk?
The post-election lovefest is over. The defeated senator has even learned Twitter to attack Obama. But don't call him jealous.
By Mike Madden

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Critics say it weakened protections for endangered animals, plants

Monday, March 02, 2009

Tom Watson-Limbaugh in the Lead: A Gift for Obama
Looking for all the world like the sweating floor manager on the late afternoon shift...
He told the truth about Limbaugh on D.L. Hughley's show, but he joined the GOP's growing Spineless Caucus when he apologized.
by Joan Walsh
Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine
By E.J. Dionne —
The well-off will pay more in taxes. And before the howling on the right gets too loud, consider that we have just gone through a long era involving a far less frank form of redistribution—upward.

Some Iraq war critics are fretting about Obama's speech on Friday, and his plan to stay a little longer. But here's why there's no reason for alarm.
By Juan Cole

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Franklin Delano Obama
If President Obama can move the country toward universal health coverage, even gradually, he has a chance to join the pantheon of truly great presidents.

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