From the Archive: On Presidents’ Day, opinion polls rate the greatest U.S. presidents, with Ronald Reagan now typically scoring at or near the top — and George W. Bush at or near the bottom. Though the Bush rating is hard to dispute, Robert Parry argued in 2009 that Reagan deserved a similar placement.
Exclusive: Virginia’s Republican-controlled government is moving to enact extreme anti-abortion laws based on a doctrinal belief that human life begins at conception, even if that judgment conflicts with the personal beliefs of many state residents — the latest round of America’s “Religion Wars,” writes Sam Parry.
Exclusive: It has become an article of faith on the American Right that the Founders opposed a strong central government and that federal activism — from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to President Obama’s health-care reform — violates the nation’s first principles. But that’s not the real history, writes Robert Parry.
Rick Santorum, the latest Republican “flavor of the month” for president, exudes a boyish enthusiasm that many Americans find personally appealing. But his vision for America would combine a moralistic theocracy with free-market capitalism and perpetual war, a nightmarish scenario, says Lawrence Davidson.
The dispute over requiring church-run hospitals and schools to cover birth control for female employees has stirred up longstanding confusion over what the First Amendment does and doesn’t do. Some on the Christian Right insist that it means religious doctrine can trump secular law, but Rev. Howard Bess says that’s a misunderstanding.
Exclusive: Republicans and the Right are on the offensive again, decrying an Obama administration ruling that some Catholic-run institutions must offer employees birth-control coverage in health care plans. Yet, this latest “war” rhetoric again misrepresents the countervailing principles, Robert Parry reports.
President Obama’s Super Bowl interview included the curious equal billing for U.S. security and that of Israel. And his Republican rivals sometimes act as if Israel’s security should be priority number one. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar asks, shouldn’t U.S. security stand alone for U.S. presidents?
Exclusive: In a televised interview before the Super Bowl, President Obama had the chance to send a clear signal to Israel not to launch a preemptive war against Iran but instead offered ambiguous remarks that Israeli hard-liners might read as a partial green light, reports ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Exclusive: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich claims President Obama has declared “war on the Catholic Church” with a ruling that contraception must be included in health plans for employees of church-led institutions, but Catholic moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire says it is the U.S. bishops (and Gingrich) who are wrong.
In demonizing the long-dead Saul Alinsky, Newt Gingrich is exploiting ignorance about the Chicago community organizer while blowing a dog whistle for some bigots on the Right over the “foreign-sounding” Russian-Jewish name. He’s also got his history wrong, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.