Economy

The Anti-Empirical Empire

New York Times graphic based on data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In many ways, America has become the anti-empirical empire, a superpower where many political leaders divorce themselves from facts. Few examples are more glaring or dangerous than the continued denial of global warming despite the latest evidence of impending catastrophe, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a crowd on May 9, 2014, celebrating the 69th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Crimean port city of  Sevastopol from the Nazis. (Russian government photo)

Today’s American foreign policy “elite” rarely thinks through the dangerous consequences of its “tough-guy” actions, including its new plan to provoke economic and political chaos in nuclear-armed Russia, a “strategy” that is also spreading pain and disorder to Europe, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964, a powerful example of how dissenters have addressed injustice in America and given meaning to democracy.

From the Archive: Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over his message is intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a radical call for profound change,…

Behind the Saudi Oil-Price Gambit

King Abdullah, the ailing monarch of Saudi Arabia whose country is playing a power game with its oil.

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is wielding its oil weapon by keeping production high and prices low – all the better to punish some rivals and consolidate market share – but the gambit may come back to bite the House of Saud, as Andrés Cala explains.

Is a Clinton Revival Timed-Out?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

There may not be a big demand for 1990s nostalgia, but the 2016 presidential race could offer one more contest involving a Clinton and a Bush. Yet, some Democrats fear Hillary Clinton could ultimately fail because she lacks a vision for addressing today’s problems, says Beverly Bandler.

Obama’s Narrative of Deceits

President Barack Obama talks with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker following a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Though President Obama promised “transparency” and “openness,” he has slipped so far from those goals that some wonder how many sides of his mouth he can speak through. He has surely not broken from the longstanding pattern of presidential deceits that have eroded the Republic, as Jason Hirthler writes.

The Oil-Crash Diplomatic Mirage

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 14, 2014. (State Department photo)

Official Washington’s latest “group think” is that the drop in oil prices will bring Russia and Iran to their knees ready to do whatever the U.S. demands. But this analysis is a miscalculation that could cause President Obama to miss diplomatic opportunities to resolve disputes, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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.