Budget

Strategic Threat of Climate Change

As the American Right loses credibility – from the Tea Party to the neocons – there’s a chance for the reassertion of rationality, a new respect for empirical evidence and disdain for propaganda. Perhaps most importantly is the recognition of the grave threat from climate change, says Winslow Myers.

Tea Party Extremism and the ‘Cliff’

With a late-night vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a partial plan – negotiated by the Senate and the White House – to avert the “fiscal cliff,” but most House Republicans voted no, with Tea Partiers continuing to flaunt their nihilistic extremism, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

War Spending and the ‘Fiscal Cliff’

The short-term danger of the “fiscal cliff” may be resolved either before or after the New Year, but the longer-term threat to the Republic is the never-ending demand from the Military-Industrial Complex for more and more money to finance war and empire, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

Bending to Military Contractors

Regarding the “fiscal cliff,” a consensus is forming in Official Washington that a top priority must be elimination of automatic Pentagon “cuts,” with the word “draconian” much tossed around. But the planned reductions are really quite modest, as the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains.

Learning from Endless War

The backdrop of the Newtown massacre and similar slaughters across America is how frequently the U.S. government opts for violence to settle problems around the world, a message that might influence a troubled individual with access to a gun, says Laura Finley.

The Beat-Down of ‘Public Servants’

For several decades, the American Right has heaped contempt on government employees as part of a strategy to delegitimize federal regulation of the private sector, contributing to such disasters as the Wall Street meltdown of 2008. But the beat-down of “public servants” goes on, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama’s Challenge at Treasury

With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner planning to step down, President Obama is faced with an important appointment. Much of Official Washington wants a “deficit hawk,” but Obama and the country would be better served by someone who cares more about recovery than austerity, says Beverly Bandler.

Anti-Government Economic Orthodoxy

Financial news network CNBC is dominated by correspondents and anchors who worship at the altar of the Market, preaching the right-wing theology of unrestrained capitalism and tightly constrained government. Amid that religious certainty, CNBC’s Becky Quick breezily mocks economist Paul Krugman, Beverly Bandler notes.

Schwarzenegger’s Selective Recall

Exclusive: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to burnish his tarnished image with a new memoir, Total Recall. But the “Governator” forgets to include how a mix of Enron’s dirty tricks and their exploitation by Republican operatives brought him to power, writes Jim DiEugenio.

How Romney Harms the Middle Class

When seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney promised to keep the Bush tax cuts and tack on a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Now, he struggles to explain how that would work, but even the status quo has helped the rich and damaged the middle class, says former Republican William Frey.