All Hail the Failure of the Supercommittee

The supercommittee of Republicans and Democrats has failed to come up with ways to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Even though $1.2 trillion dollars seems like a lot, it pales in comparison to the whopping accumulated national debt of $15 trillion, which is dragging the economy into … Continue reading “All Hail the Failure of the Supercommittee”

Whose Congress and State Department?

August is generally a quiet month for news, but riots in Britain, continuing conflict in Libya and Syria, and concerns that Israel and the United States might be preparing some military moves against Iran have generated a bit of unease. Israel has also decided to take advantage of the summer holidays to help along the … Continue reading “Whose Congress and State Department?”

Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up

You might think that 20 percent of the American Congress going on all-expenses-paid, weeklong junkets to a foreign country — paid for by a lobby for that country — would be newsworthy, especially when the top congressional leaders of both parties are leading the trips. You would be wrong. Eighty-one congressional representatives from all over … Continue reading “Israel Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up”

What’s So Important About a Declaration of War?

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul insists that the U.S. government shouldn’t go to war without a declaration of war. His son Rand has also taken this position, as have several libertarian-leaning Tea Party candidates. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress is invested with the power to declare war. These constitutionalists say that obtaining a declaration should … Continue reading “What’s So Important About a Declaration of War?”

Dear Congress: Study War Some More

Dear 112th Congress: You are surely as inspired by events in Cairo, Tunis, and Benghazi as the rest of us. And you are surely as distressed by events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as your fellow Americans. Now is as good a time as any to face a grim fact: you and your recent predecessors … Continue reading “Dear Congress: Study War Some More”

Israel Represses Israelis, and Congress Approves

It’s been two years since Israel initiated the Operation Cast Lead military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. Since then, the right-wing Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an unprecedented wave of intimidation against Israeli peace and human rights groups. These groups say they are “working in an increasingly hostile environment,” according … Continue reading “Israel Represses Israelis, and Congress Approves”

Politics in the Terrordome, 2011

Here in the United States of Fear, official voices are again rising in a remarkable crescendo of hysteria. My advice: don’t even try getting on the subway car filled with American politicians and their acolytes accusing WikiLeaks and Julian Assange of terrorist activity. It’s already standing room only. Among those who have recently spoken out: … Continue reading “Politics in the Terrordome, 2011”

The Military-Industrial Complex, Plus Congress

In his farewell address to the nation, Jan. 17, 1961, President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex. At the time, the U.S. defense budget accounted for 47 percent of the world’s arms expenditures; today it is over 50 percent. Eisenhower advised: “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new … Continue reading “The Military-Industrial Complex, Plus Congress”

Congress Slows Unilateral Sanctions Drive Against Iran

President Barack Obama’s efforts to gain greater flexibility in dealing with Iran received a small but potentially important boost Tuesday when a key congressional committee announced that the deadline for a unilateral U.S. sanctions package will be put off until next month. The Democratic co-chairs of the “conference committee” charged with reconciling competing versions of … Continue reading “Congress Slows Unilateral Sanctions Drive Against Iran”

Did You Say $33 Billion?

In case you hadn’t noticed, our Afghan War, like some oil-slicked bird in the Gulf of Mexico, has been dragged under the waves. It’s largely off front pages and out of the TV spotlight (despite the possible linkage of the Times Square failed car bombing to the Pakistani Taliban). As a result, most Americans undoubtedly … Continue reading “Did You Say $33 Billion?”