President Obama gave a ringing defense of progressive government and the good it can do for the nation and the people. But a little-noticed addition to the fiscal-cliff bill was a reminder of how politics can work to the advantage of corporate special interests, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
Israel’s elections rebuffed the hard-right politics of recent years, but the new government is still unlikely to stop Jewish settlers from seizing Palestinian land or to recognize equality for Arabs, many of whom have no say in the Israeli occupation that constrains their lives, reports Dennis J. Bernstein.
The core challenge facing today’s U.S. political process is whether the daunting threats to the planet and its people can be addressed, responsibly and cooperatively. Another hope is that in building these solutions, America can break loose from the chains of soulless mediocrity, as Phil Rockstroh explains.
Exclusive: House Speaker John Boehner warned his fellow Republicans that President Obama may be preparing “to annihilate” the GOP, surely an overly dramatic claim but one that marks a stunning reversal of fortune for swaggering Republicans who once dreamt of their own one-party state, says Robert Parry.
Though U.S. observers tend to view Egypt’s politics through a secular-vs.-Islamist lens, a clearer way of seeing what’s happening in that important Arab country is to examine other issues, like the economy, that are motivating Egyptians, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In his two Inaugural Addresses, President Obama has called for diplomacy to replace military bluster, but his failure to rein in U.S. imperial impulses during his first term has made the world dubious of his rhetoric as he enters his second, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at GoingToTehran.com.
Exclusive: In his Second Inaugural Address, President Obama offered a powerful rejoinder to the Right by arguing that progressive reform fits firmly within the Founders’ vision of a strong country advancing the “general Welfare” and securing “Blessings of Liberty.” But does his rhetoric reflect the real Obama, asks Robert Parry.
Seeking consistent standards for using lethal drones, the Obama administration is drafting a manual to govern when such attacks can be unleashed. But the secret guidelines carry other risks, including the acceptance of assassination as a routine part of U.S. foreign policy, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address surprised some pundits with his strong messages on climate change, immigration reform, gun safety and other social issues. But whether real action follows will depend on a shift in public consciousness, says Robert F. Dodge.
Pundits talk about presidential Inaugurals as celebrations of democracy, but the pomp and circumstance – attended by Marine guards and punctuated by cannon fire – carry an implicit message of intimidation that is closer to monarchy than a people’s government, writes Joe Lauria.