Economy

‘Money-in-Politics’ Amendment Ignored

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

A few right-wing pundits like George Will are livid over the prospect of curbing the power of billionaires to buy U.S. elections, but mostly the debate over a proposed constitutional amendment to allow regulation of money in politics is just being ignored, as Nat Parry notes.

The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Exclusive: Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what’s the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar’s dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.

Pols Line Up at Big Money Trough

Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch.

Money remains the nourishing milk of politics and both parties are lining up to get their fill by hobnobbing with the plutocrats who have the most to share. Whether the Koch Brothers or Vernon Jordan, the process of political corruption shows no sign of ending, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship lament.

Iraq and the Oil Wars

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica J. Wilkes)

Oil has always been part of U.S. decision-making on Iraq, a key motive for the 2003 invasion and the bloody occupation that followed. Now, as President Obama returns U.S. forces to Iraq, the issue of oil has bubbled back to the surface, as oil analyst Antonia Juhasz explained to Dennis J Bernstein.

The Fire Sale of the Post Offices

One of 13 murals in the Bronx Post Office created by New Deal artists Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson.

In an earlier time, U.S. post offices were more than just places to mail letters. They were noble structures, symbols of democracy, stone-and-mortar testimony to the value of community. But many are now neglected and up for sale, laments Gray Brechin.

Are US Banks Still ‘Too Big to Fail’?

President George W. Bush speaks on the phone in the Oval Office, Oct. 7, 2008, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, discussing efforts to solve the spreading global financial crisis. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

The U.S. economy’s long slog back from the 2008 financial crisis has tried to ignore the looming question of whether a repeat is likely. Some economists think the Dodd-Frank reforms have largely ended “too big to fail” risk-taking but others aren’t so sure, as Michael Winship notes.

Putting the Dollar in Jeopardy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., addresses the delegates to the Bretton Woods Conference, July 8, 1944. (Photo credit: World Bank)

For 70 years, a key element of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier currency. But Washington’s repeated use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy weapon has encouraged China and other powers to consider financial alternatives, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Business

'Iron Dome' anti-missile site near Sderot, Israel. (Photo credit: Natan Flayer)

The U.S. Congress is rushing to give Israel another $225 million to replenish its supply of “Iron Dome” anti-missile missiles depleted during its war with Gaza, a boost to Israel’s war effort and a shot in the arm for its arms industry, as Danny Schechter explains.

Postponing Costs for Bad Decisions

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

Politicians from Washington to Beijing to Tel Aviv like to put off the negative consequences of their decisions as long as possible, but that often adds to the eventual costs to their people and the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel and US Hit Self-Destruct

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Traditional U.S. policies – backing Israel whatever it does and assuming the dollar will remain king – are facing new challenges as Israel shocks the global conscience with its war on Gaza and emerging economic powers consider a new reserve currency, notes Danny Schechter.