Politics

FCC Delivers a Free Speech Victory

Free Press President Craig Aaron (Photo: Michael Winship)

The Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission sided with millions of Internet users, voting to prevent the Web from being turned into a high-speed super-highway for some and a slower-speed roadway for many, a victory for free speech and democracy, says Michael Winship.

Needed: Leaders Like JFK and Khrushchev

President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation regarding the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Three days ago, former U.S. diplomat William R. Polk, who served President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, warned that the West was risking a similar crisis in reverse by pressing NATO forces aggressively onto Russia’s borders. He has now added this postscript about the need for wise leaders.

A ‘Downton Abbey’ World of US Politics

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U.S. pundits and pols often lecture other countries for their lapses in democracy, sometimes citing barriers that some candidates may face to get on the ballot. But American politics has its own major barrier, the need to raise lots and lots of money, as Michael Winship notes.

Jeb Bush’s Iraq War Cop-Out

President George W. Bush is introduced by his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before delivering remarks at Sun City Center, Florida, on May 9, 2006. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

Very few promoters of the Iraq War faced any accountability for their aggressive war, nor it seems were many lessons learned. This failure is being tested again as President George W. Bush’s brother Jeb seeks the White House without a serious critique of this bloody disaster, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

President Lyndon Johnson announces "retaliatory" strike against North Vietnam in response to the supposed attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. (Photo credit: LBJ Library)

Exclusive: As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.

The Obama-Netanyahu Showdown

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office, Oct 1, 2014. The meeting was described as chilly, reflecting the strained relationship between the two leaders. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has been reduced to asking Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for permission to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, recognizing Netanyahu’s power over the U.S. Congress. But Netanyahu’s determination to block any deal has left Obama traversing a difficult negotiating path, writes Gareth Porter.

Tick-Tock-ing toward Oblivion

The Doomsday Clock set at three minutes to midnight.

Blithely, the world’s political, military and financial leaders strut toward existential catastrophes while never questioning the rightness of their actions. This arrogance has caused leading scientists to push the symbolic clock of global destruction to three minutes to midnight, notes Nicolas J S Davies.

Giving Obama Even More War Powers

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As much as Republicans hate President Obama, their love of war seems to be winning out as they ratchet up his request for powers to attack the Islamic State, another sign that the Founders’ vision of restraining armed conflicts is being lost, as Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland notes.

Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Netanyahu Uses US Congress as Prop

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

By addressing the U.S. Congress for a third time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will again demonstrate his mastery of the American political process, using the backdrop of repeated standing ovations to keep Israelis from thinking too much about economic troubles, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.