Economy

What Would Jesus Do at Christmas?

Jesus, driving the money-changers from the Temple, in a painting by El Greco.

America’s widening gap between rich and poor is especially noticeable at Christmastime when the rich shower themselves with extravagant gifts and assuage their self-images by donating a few turkeys and a toy or two to the poor, a tradition that troubles Rev. Howard Bess.

The Future the US Budget Foretells

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

The key drafters of the U.S. Constitution may have had dreams of a government to “promote the general Welfare” but that goal has long since been lost to factionalism and special interests, a reality that is growing worse as money increasingly buys American politics, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

Neocons Link Cuba Opening to Iran Deal

President Barack Obama talks with Ricardo Zuniga, National Security Council's Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, after the President delivered a statement on Cuba, in the Oval Office, Dec. 17, 2014. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice watches from the doorway. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Neocons are hoping that by raising the political cost of President Obama’s diplomatic opening to Cuba, they can scare him away from reaching a final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program and thus keep alive their Mideast “regime change” agenda, as Andrés Cala explains.

Ayn Rand v. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Actor Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra's classic, "It's a Wonderful Life."

During the Red Scare of the late 1940s, novelist Ayn Rand and other right-wing zealots targeted Hollywood for supposedly subversive messages, like the criticism of bankers and the praise of community in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as Michael Winship recalls.

US Democracy’s Failure at Racial Justice

Michael Brown, the victim of a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

The unprovoked murder of two New York policemen has prompted understandable outrage, but the larger context remains the U.S. failure to address legacies of slavery and segregation, compounded by recent police violence targeting young black men, as Dustin Axe explains.

The Liberal Idiocy on Russia/Ukraine

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

Exclusive: American pundits are often more interested in scoring points against their partisan rivals than in the pain that U.S. policies inflict on people in faraway lands, as columnists Paul Krugman and Thomas L. Friedman are showing regarding Russia and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

Krugman Joins the Anti-Putin Pack

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. (Photo credit: David Shankbone)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s “group think” on the Ukraine crisis now has a totalitarian feel to it as “everyone who matters” joins in the ritualistic stoning of Russian President Putin and takes joy in Russia’s economic pain, with liberal economist Paul Krugman the latest to hoist a rock, reports Robert Parry.

Obama’s Belated Realism on Cuba

President Barack Obama talks on the phone at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Dec. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has been what you might call a “closet realist,” favoring pragmatic approaches to world problems but afraid to buck Official Washington’s dominant “tough-guy-ism.” But he came out of the closet at least briefly in ending the Cuban embargo, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Finally, US Leadership on Global Warming

Image of Planet Earth taken from Apollo 17

For years as global warming grew worse, the U.S. government found reasons not to act, but finally the Obama administration has not only talked the talk but walked the walk with tighter CO2 regulations, an example of real leadership, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Facing Realities of Race

Eric Garner, suspected of selling "loose cigarettes" who died when New York police placed him a chokehold and sat on his chest.

Many white Americans think that racism is a problem of the past and that troubling realities – like mass incarceration and murder rates for black and brown men as well as inferior government services in racially diverse communities – have other explanations. But recent events have shaken that certainty, as Tony Jenkins explains.