Budget

Hearing US ‘Allies’ Whine

President Barack Obama talks with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during a state call at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, April 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Official Washington is abuzz with punditry about President Obama showing weakness around the world, with the old-reliable antidote being more Pentagon spending and more foreign military adventures. But this “debate” misses how real U.S. interests are served, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy Returns

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

America likes to think of itself as a land of the Great Middle Class with a government “of, by and for the people.” But that reality has changed drastically over the past several decades, as money and power have created a dominant American Oligarchy, writes Danny Schechter.

America’s Mad Dash to Oligarchy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Since Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” tax cuts for the rich – followed by other giveaways like eliminating the “death tax” so billionaires can pass on their fortunes to lucky heirs – the United States has been on a mad dash to oligarchy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Will ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ Banks Fail Again?

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

Despite Wall Street’s booming recovery, Main Street continues to struggle with high unemployment and low wages, making another bust more likely. And, the “too-big-to-fail” banks may be more vulnerable than they appear, writes Danny Schechter.

The War Activists

Neoconservative pundit William Kristol. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Having evaded accountability for the Iraq War and other bloody disasters, star neocons – William Kristol and Robert Kagan – have refashioned their pro-war arguments, dressing them up in humanitarian garb, with glamorous accessories of national greatness, as David Swanson explains.

Much Bank Crime, Little Punishment

Attorney General Eric Holder. (Photo credit: Department of Justice)

Wall Street banks made a bundle on securitized subprime mortgages until the bubble began to burst in 2007 inflicting devastating harm on average people around the world. Yet, despite government rhetoric to the contrary, the key culprits have escaped punishment, writes Danny Schechter.

FDR’s Legacy of Can-Do Government

President Franklin Roosevelt

Born to a well-to-do family 132 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt would earn the hatred of America’s plutocrats when – as President – he deployed the federal government to battle the Great Depression, an animosity toward FDR that the modern Right continues to this day, writes Beverly Bandler.

The Weapons of the Poor

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many on the American Right define themselves as Christians and angrily defend the religion’s symbols and myths, but this Christian Right ignores a core reality about Jesus, that he spoke to and for the poor, decried the rich, and demanded social justice for all, as Rev. Howard Bess recounts.

The War on Poverty at 50

President Lyndon Johnson

The Right has long cited President Johnson’s War on Poverty as proof that “guv-mint” has no place in providing for “the general Welfare,” that the “free market” must rule as the master of American society. But there are real lessons to be learned from the past half century, writes Alice O’Connor.

Obama’s Not-So-Terrible Year

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Official Washington is giving a big thumb down to President Obama’s performance in 2013. But his diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East and even some of his troubles with Obamacare and the NSA could ultimately make the year a historic turning point, says Robert Parry.