Economy

GOP Obstructs Planet-Saving Moves

Though Republicans lost the popular vote for Congress by more than one million votes, they kept control of the House thanks to aggressive gerrymandering. Now, the GOP is using that “majority” to force spending cuts and obstruct work on vital issues like global warming, notes Robert F. Dodge.

The Ever-Spinning Revolving Door

Federal conflict-of-interest laws restrict what former government officials can do if they leave to take jobs as lobbyists, but there remains much flexibility both in Washington and state capitals for the revolving door to keep spinning, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

Making ‘Other America’ Fail

Exclusive: Behind today’s fight over government spending is a bigger struggle for U.S.  democracy’s future, pitting the traditional white-ruled country against a new multicultural nation, or the Right’s Real America against Other America. To win, Real America must make Other America fail, says Robert Parry.

Cracks in Sanctions on Iran

As the U.S. and other world powers resume talks with Iran on its nuclear program, key questions relate to U.S.-sponsored sanctions, how effective they’ve been and when they might be eased. But there’s also doubt they can be sustained, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Retrofitting War to Global Warming

The U.S. government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year to fight – or prepare to fight – wars against supposed security threats around the world. But far less money is invested in what many experts believe will be the greatest security threat, global warming, as John M. Repp explains.

The Geopolitics of Pistachios

The two top producers of pistachios are the United States and Iran, which have squared off over grievances for more than three decades. Now, there’s news that Israel has a preference for the Iranian variety and Prime Minister Netanyahu has a special budget item for pistachio ice cream, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The SEC’s Golden Revolving Door

Many Americans are still shocked that Wall Street bankers who ruined the economy escaped any serious punishment from government regulators. But one problem is that many of those regulators, including the new choice to head the SEC, have been rotating through the golden revolving door, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.

Empire of Panic and Illusion

Americans have been sold on the promise of perfect security, whether protecting “the homeland” with gadgets of death or guarding “the homestead” with high-powered assault rifles firing 100-round magazines. But this “safety” is an illusion, making Americans less secure than if they engaged the world around them, as Phil Rockstroh observes.

Guardrail Design Raises Concerns

Update: In recent years, highways have been made safer by guardrail end units that absorb the impact of collisions and redistribute the energy to protect drivers and passengers. But one popular system is now generating concerns over a slight design change, reports Daniel J. Goldstein, with new company comment.

The Choice of Guns Over Butter

The American political system continues to ignore President Eisenhower’s dour warning about the Military-Industrial Complex and embrace President Reagan’s happy “We’re No. 1” illusions. The long-term consequences of this choice have been devastating to most U.S. citizens and to the world, writes Gary G. Kohls.