Politics

The Age of the Oligarchs

Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch.

Exclusive: The concentration of power in the hands of billionaire “oligarchs” may be most alarming in places like Ukraine but the United States is moving in the same direction as wealth is consolidated at the top — and both elections and media are up for sale, says Robert Parry.

The Perception Management Priority

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have pushed “perception management” to manage how Americans perceive the world. A key element is right-wing talk radio, which has now lured Rep. Mike Rogers from his powerful intelligence post to a seat behind a microphone, as JP Sottile explains.

Giving the Super-Rich More Clout

John Roberts at the Sept. 5, 2005, announcement at which President George W. Bush nominated Roberts to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (White House photo by Paul Morse)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to remove limits on how much a person can donate each election cycle represents another giant step toward giving the 1 percent out-sized control of the U.S. political process, as Public Citizen President Robert Weissman told Dennis J Bernstein.

Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine

Ukraine's acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. (Photo credit: Ybilyk)

Exclusive: Though lacking legitimacy from national elections, Ukraine’s coup regime has approved a harsh IMF austerity plan that hits Ukraine’s “99 percent” the hardest and asks little from the country’s “1 percent,” including the corrupt “oligarchs,” reports Robert Parry.

‘We’re All Cheneyites Now’

Vice President Dick Cheney.

In late 2008, when President Obama opted more for “continuity” than “change” — and ceded control over much of his foreign policy to hawkish “rivals” — he locked in many of Dick Cheney’s neocon theories that trampled constitutional principles, as retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce explains.

Forgetting the Lessons of Deterrence

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“Tough-guy/gal-ism” is rampant again in Official Washington with many New Cold Warriors lusting for a military confrontation with Russia. But few of these hawks have a clear idea how deterrence worked during the real Cold War, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Finding a Way to Execute

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

In a Red State like Oklahoma, the death penalty is politically popular, especially among Republican politicians looking over their shoulders at possible Tea Party challengers. So the state government is taking no chances that a couple of inmates escape execution, writes Richard L. Fricker.

The Danger of False Narrative

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in the Oval Office on March 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Like a decade ago with Iraq, Official Washington’s pundits and pols are locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a phalanx of misguided consensus on Ukraine, presenting a false narrative that is taking U.S. policy into dangerous directions, writes Robert Parry.

Sheldon Adelson’s Own GOP Primary

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

Part of Ukraine’s crisis stems from the political power of 10 “oligarchs,” billionaires in a society with vast income inequality. It is a future that Americans seem headed toward, as one U.S. “oligarch,” Sheldon Adelson, picks his Republican presidential favorite, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

GOP Looks to Take the Senate

President Barack Obama.

Leading political prognosticators see the Republicans winning total control of the U.S. Congress this fall, meaning that President Obama’s political agenda would be effectively finished. But will this bleak prospect finally force Democrats to fight back, wonders Beverly Bandler.