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.
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.
The FBI and other federal agencies coordinated with banks and local authorities in reacting to the Occupy Movement, which was put in the category of a domestic terrorist threat despite the group’s advocacy of nonviolence, Dennis J. Bernstein reports.
The end of the year brings reflection on what happened in the past 12 months and what lies ahead. But these retrospectives usually offer no more context – and often less – than the thin gruel of news as the events played out, News Dissector Danny Schechter notes.
After years of tip-toeing around the too-big-to-fail banks – despite their key role in devastating the world’s economy – the U.S. government has finally signaled a couple of fraud prosecutions. However, the effort is not only way too late, but way too little, argues Danny Schechter.
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.
Americans are grieving over the 20 schoolchildren and six teachers mowed down in Newtown, Connecticut, by a deranged gunman with a semi-automatic assault rifle. But national grief may not be enough to overcome the cold calculations of profit and politics, says Danny Schechter.
Outgoing members of Congress – even as they consider legislation in the lame-duck session – are preparing their exits through the revolving door to lucrative lobbying jobs, often with industries they assisted while doing the “people’s business,” as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.
Exclusive: Libertarians and Tea Partiers pretend they are the only Americans who believe in “limited government” as envisioned by the Framers, but that is a false conceit. The real history is that Madison and Washington devised a Constitution with broad powers to promote the “general Welfare,” says Robert Parry.
It may appear that Japanese voters have opted for a “back-to-the-future” election, reinstalling Shinzo Abe and his once-dominant Liberal Democratic Party to power. But the move reflects a desire to move forward out of Japan’s economic rut, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.