Economy

Why Europe Shies from Ukraine Showdown

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photo credit: א (Aleph))

Exclusive: Despite pressure from President Obama to escalate the fight with Russian President Putin over Ukraine, the Europeans are reluctant to stoke the crisis any further because it could consume their fragile recovery and ignite more fires of political discontent, notes Andrés Cala.

The Pampered, Delusional Rich

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

America’s rich, who are consolidating more and more of the nation’s wealth in their own hands and giving less and less back, see themselves as “victims” of class envy, and some billionaires even liken their plight to the Holocaust, a stunning deviation from reality, notes Michael Winship.

Why UK’s Tony Benn Didn’t Bend

Tony Benn, a Labour politician in the UK.

Since the Thatcher/Reagan era, “liberals” like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton have scurried toward “safer” political terrain, whether that meant endorsing aggressive wars or embracing deregulation. But some progressives, like UK’s Tony Benn, refused to bend, as Michael Winship recalls.

Europe’s Not So Shiny ‘Recovery’

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. (Screen shot from BBC)

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. press explains the overwhelming Crimean vote to leave Ukraine as vote-rigging or coercion, but the reality is that “European aspirations” are not so attractive to people aware of the painful life for many in the EU’s “periphery,” from Spain to Greece, as Andrés Cala reports.

Corporate Interests Behind Ukraine Putsch

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at a session sponsored by Chevron.

Behind the U.S.-backed coup that ousted the democratically elected president of Ukraine are the economic interests of giant corporations – from Cargill to Chevron – which see the country as a potential “gold mine” of profits from agricultural and energy exploitation, reports JP Sottile.

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.

The Sanctions Madness on Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin taking the presidential oath at his third inauguration ceremony  on May 7, 2012. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington is in full meltdown mode as politicians and pundits frantically one-up each other in over-the-top rhetoric on the Ukraine crisis. But now the madness is shifting into legislative excesses to sanction Russia, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Conundrum of ‘Democratic’ Coups

ukraine-map

The U.S. government says it wants to spread “democracy,” a questionable claim considering the history. Think Iran-1953, Guatemala-1954, Chile-1973, Haiti-1991/2004, etc. Just this past year, the U.S. has embraced coups against elected presidents in Egypt and now Ukraine, as Lawrence Davidson observes.

What Will the Discharged US Soldiers Do?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in his official "portrait" at the Pentagon.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plans to trim the size of the standing U.S. army may represent a welcome step toward reining in the huge military budget, but the lack of training and work for discharged soldiers could contribute to the social crisis facing America, writes JP Sottile.

Income Inequality on US Campuses

Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago.

Even as some college presidents – and athletic coaches – pull down salaries over $1 million, “adjunct professors,” who make up a majority of the teachers, often earn poverty-level pay, another example of America’s income inequality, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.