When financier Robert Allen Stanford was a high-flying billionaire, he spread his campaign donations around to powerful politicians of both parties, from Barack Obama to John McCain. But now – with Stanford convicted of fraud – a federal court is demanding refunds of his largesse, reports Michael Winship.
Exclusive: President Obama sent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu home with a warning that Israel cannot count on U.S. support if it unilaterally bombs Iran. Top neocons are fuming and Netanyahu must weigh the risk of defying Obama on Iran and trying to deny him reelection, writes Robert Parry.
The Obama administration has offered more information about its targeting of al-Qaeda-related figures, including U.S. citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki, for drone strikes and other lethal attacks. But the assurances of “due process” still lack the detailed explanation that the gravity of the policy demands, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: The Right’s attack machine, which these days questions President Obama’s birthplace and smears Georgetown student Sandra Fluke over contraceptives, arose in the wake of the Vietnam War and Watergate with young conservatives thinking they were the real victims, thus justifying whatever they did, reports Robert Parry.
President Obama is walking a political tightrope between constraining Iran’s nuclear program and restraining Israel’s war threats, while political critics are shaking the supports. But ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says Obama’s predicament may be even trickier, with Israeli hardliners possibly eyeing an October surprise.
Amid the pounding of war drums – on Capitol Hill, on newspaper op-ed pages and on the Republican campaign trail – President Obama has insisted on giving peace one more chance regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but he has conceded key ground on the possibility of another preemptive war, Winslow Myers notes.
Rush Limbaugh’s gross comments about a female college student who voiced support for President Obama’s birth-control insurance compromise have forced some old Republican allies to distance themselves from the talk-radio star, raising questions about Limbaugh losing his potency, says Peter Dreier.
Many of President Obama’s critics on the Left slam him for not doing more to reverse President George W. Bush’s war policies, but ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says the criticism misses the significance of Obama’s resistance to Bush’s moniker, “war president.”
American politicians forever talk about the nation’s “exceptionalism,” a special greatness that sets the U.S.A. apart from all others. But this jingoism requires whitewashing much of U.S. history and ignoring much of the present, too, says Lawrence Davidson.
Exclusive: The Blunt Amendment went down to a narrow defeat in the Senate on Thursday, but its contention that employers must be allowed to impose their religious beliefs on the medical insurance choices of their employees will remain a hot political topic – one dressed deceptively in the First Amendment, writes Robert Parry.