Budget

image_pdfimage_print

Congress Plays Santa to the Rich

The U.S. Congress has balked at approving a war resolution against the Islamic State, while moving aggressively to derail negotiations to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful.

As Congress rushes to wrap up business before the Christmas holidays, it traditionally dangles pricy ornaments – favors to rich donors – on an omnibus bill called a “Christmas tree,” one activity that has survived the current legislative dysfunction, writes Michael Winship.

Who Wants to Weaponize Outer Space?

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

U.S. military hardliners are pushing for military dominance of outer space – and U.S. diplomats are blocking international efforts to ban its weaponization – but the Obama administration pretends that Russia and China are the problem, as Sam Husseini explains.

Israel’s ‘Successful’ Defeat on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Israel’s defeat in its bid to get Congress to block President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran may have represented a loss of face, but the fight generated lots of money and set a marker for Obama and his successors on the price to pay for crossing Israel’s lobby, writes Trita Parsi.

Humanity’s ‘Hail Mary’ on Global Warming

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

The growing crisis over global warming must be addressed seriously now or require risky “geoengineering” strategies as a last resort in the not-too-distant future, a dangerous “Hail Mary” pass for humanity’s survival, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

How Republicans Shred the Republic

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

The anti-government ideology that drives today’s Republican Party claims to support the U.S. Constitution but is actually its antithesis. Rather than “We the People” providing for the “general Welfare,” the goal is to starve government and cede all power to the rich and ruthless, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.

Near Boiling Point on Global Warming

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

Rising global temperatures – if they exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels – threaten to unleash havoc across the planet, including mass dislocations of desperate people that will make the current flood of Syrian refugees look like a tiny warm-up, writes Nat Parry.

Fretting the Wrong Entry Program

UD-visa-security_HIGHRES-1028x717

Politicians are scoring points with a frightened U.S. population by hyping the supposed danger of letting in up to 10,000 Syrian refugees, but a much greater or actual risk exists in the current gaps in a visa-waiver program, write Coleen Rowley and Georgianne Nienaber. (Clarification added on Dec. 18, 2015.)

The Saudi Connection to Terror

Saudi King Salman meets with President Barack Obama at Erga Palace during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: While Official Washington devotes much sound and fury to demands for a wider war in Syria and the need to turn away Syrian refugees, Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists, writes Daniel Lazare.

The ‘War on Terror’ Has Been Lost

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

After 14 years, trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people dead – with violence expanding, not abating – perhaps it’s finally time to admit that the Bush-Obama “War on Terror” has been lost and that a new strategy addressing root causes is required, as Nat Parry describes.

Neocons Make Rubio Their Favorite

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

With Sen. Marco Rubio surging in the polls – closing the gap on Donald Trump and easily besting Hillary Clinton in some general-election match-ups – the neocons have found their favorite candidate, a fresh face who would put them firmly back in the driver’s seat of U.S. foreign policy, as JP Sottile explains.