Economy

How Shutdown Hurts National Security

The Republican-induced shutdown of the federal government underscores the Right’s populist contempt for the nation’s democratic institutions. But the fiasco also has undercut America’s standing in the world and thus undermines U.S. security and global leadership, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Playing Chicken with Food Safety

The U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to “provide for the … general Welfare,” but free-market ideologues have distorted the Founding document’s plain language to fit their desires, including their new demands that food-safety rules be gutted, as Michael Winship explains.

The White Man’s Last Tantrum?

Exclusive: With the U.S. government shutdown and a threatened credit default, Tea Party Republicans are testing out a new system of national governance in which they get their way – or else. But is this the beginning of a new Jim Crow era of imposed white supremacy or just the white man’s last tantrum, asks Robert Parry.

America’s Government by Extortion

Exclusive: By forcing a U.S. government shutdown – and threatening a first-ever credit default – Tea Party Republicans are creating a new constitutional system which lets a determined white minority impose its will on the diverse American majority by inflicting so much pain that the extortionists prevail, writes Robert Parry.

Why Right’s Lemmings Don Suicide Vest

Exclusive: The government-sabotaging fervor of the Republican Right – likened by one GOP congressman to “lemmings with suicide vests” – can only be understood from inside the right-wing bubble where a distorted view of the Constitution prevails and actual democracy is disdained, writes Robert Parry.

What the IRS ‘Scandal’ Wrought

The anger of Tea Partiers, as they precipitate a federal government shutdown, still burns from the IRS “scandal” of earlier this year, even though the supposed singling out of conservative groups proved to be a myth. But the furor disrupted IRS policing of political money abuses, writes Michael Winship.

The Four Eras of the American Right

Exclusive: In the coming weeks, the Republican Party and its Tea Party extremists vow to create budgetary and fiscal crises if the Democrats don’t gut health-care reform and submit to a host of other right-wing demands. But a driving force in this craziness is an anti-historical view of the Constitution, writes Robert Parry.

Mystery of a Highway Safety Device

Though drivers hope they’ll never find out, those yellow-and-black devices on the end of guardrails are supposed to cushion the impact of a vehicle that veers off the road. But a legal dispute has erupted over whether a design change was properly evaluated, reports Daniel J. Goldstein.

NFL, ESPN and Big-Dollar Secrecy

Pro football is big business and America’s fascination with often violent sports has made Disney’s ESPN a lucrative franchise. So there is much money on the line over the issue of concussion-related disabilities, explaining the NFL’s desire to keep the medical science secret, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

How ‘Local’ Interests Trump Survival

The future of mankind is at risk from the worsening threat of global warming, but this scientific reality has been put in “doubt” by Tea Party and libertarian activists who profit from oil-industry largesse, just one example of how short-term interests trump the lives of our grandchildren, as Lawrence Davidson explains.