One of Washington’s thriving industries is the business of destroying political opponents (sometimes called “oppo”) while making allies look good (under the rubric of “perception management”). These techniques (and the flood of money) are changing U.S. politics, says Danny Schechter.
President Obama has taken personal command over lethal drone strikes against alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen and other countries. To some, this is an inappropriate use of presidential power. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees some benefit in Obama accepting direct responsibility.
Billionaires, who are in the process of buying elections across the United States, want to carry out these “investments” in secret. They bristle at demands for disclosure and say listing their names and business interests may open them to public criticism, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship report.
Exclusive: The U.S. news media has been quick to cite the lousy May jobs report as proof that President Obama’s economic stimulus has failed and that Mitt Romney’s odds of winning have improved. But the real winner is the Republican strategy to make the U.S. economy “scream,” writes Robert Parry.
Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two veteran centrists who disdain partisan labels, finally said what nearly everyone knows to be true. In April, they penned a Washington Post article entitled, “Let’s just say it, the Republicans are the problem.” Yet, the GOP “problem” goes even deeper, says Beverly Bandler.
Exclusive: Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has been called President Obama’s “priest” as they wrestle with the moral dilemma of assembling a “kill list” of “bad guys,” a role that recalls how established religions have justified slaughters over the centuries, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
After conservative U.S. Catholic Bishops sued the Obama administration over its health-insurance requirement for contraceptives, many assumed the Bishops were upholding settled doctrine. But Catholic theologian Paul Surlis says Pope Paul VI incorrectly removed the issue from the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
In a new book, Predator Nation, Charles Ferguson (who directed the Oscar-winning film “Inside Job”) says banking executives implicated in the fraud that devastated the economy in 2008 should go to jail, a position applauded by Danny Schechter, who has long advocated the same.
In rebuffing Iran’s concessions on its nuclear program, the Obama administration is bending to hard-line neocon pressures at home and Israeli demands abroad. But it also appears stuck on the notion of permanent U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, says national security expert Flynt Leverett at www.RaceForIran.com.
Exclusive: A top Republican indictment of President Obama has been the surge in gas prices and his supposed inability to constrain them. But gas prices have been dropping and are now lower than they were last Memorial Day – and lower even than the last Memorial Day under President George W. Bush – notes Robert Parry.