Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services. The insurance companies responsible for their treatment under taxpayer-funded [...]

Military Recruiters? Afghanistan?

shirlee-smith

Is the military, with so many career paths open to graduating seniors, an option families really want their sons or daughters to grab on to? Families need to know the real story and not just what the all too friendly recruiters tell our kids. Military recruiters, like college recruiters, have access to students on the [...]

Mission Accomplished: Bush Gets the Last Laugh

conquest

For years, George W. Bush has been roundly criticized, even lampooned, for declaring “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq while wearing a flight suit and landing on an aircraft carrier. But like so many other catastrophes associated with the Bush administration, in the end, Bush always seems to get the last laugh. Maybe declaring “Mission Accomplished” was [...]

The Drug Wars: Is Half a Century of Bloody Futility Enough?

drug-wars1

Drug wars in northern Mexico, fed by guns and money from the United States, and spilling over into this country, remind us that the trade in illegal drugs remains a huge problem. We have been engaged since around 1970 in a succession of efforts by successive administrations to wage war on illegal drug trafficking, and [...]

Canada To Bush: Y’all Don’t Come Back Soon!

calgary_bush

A few weeks ago, George W. Bush slunk into Calgary, Alberta where he was paid a reported $50,000 to address a gathering of oil men; in Alberta, there’s no such thing as oil women because, even in the 21st century, the province still revels in its rough-n’-ready, real cowboys are men, way of thinking. It [...]

My Lunch With Drew: K Street Makes Hay Either Way

lobbyists

Now that Obama has been in the White House awhile, I asked my friend Drew, a lifelong GOP contributor, to lunch at a seafood restaurant near his K Street office to see how he was managing to get along. “So is your public relations business suffering since the Democrats are in power?” I began, to [...]

This Week in The LA Progressive: March 22 to March 28

cuban-revolution1

Avoiding the Greater Depression New York, City of the Poor. This city that never sleeps, and others, will experience economic and social death without a vibrant middle class and viable opportunities to earn a living. –David A. Love The Magical Mystery Majority Budget. The bills passed, the Republicans threatened to sue, the Governor announced he [...]

Why Doesn’t Obama Make Iraq the 51st State?

oilbarrels

If President Obama plans to keep 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely after 2010, why doesn’t he just annex Iraq as the 51st State now? Iraqis would have our solemn promise we will never again lay their country to waste and we would work out a deal so that their motorists could have any oil [...]

Detainee Rights: Make a Clean Break

chopping-bush

After the shameful, embarrassing performance of the Bush administration in denying the most basic human rights to detainees at Guantánamo, Bagram, Afghanistan, and at CIA black sites elsewhere, the record of the Obama admininstration on this issue has been mixed at best. Initially, Obama canceled Bush executive orders that permitted torture (while denying such a [...]

Erasing Red Ink: Slash the Defense Budget

pentagon

A front page article in the New York Times starts out with the sentence: “The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.” Not so much. Ronald Reagan, despite his carefully crafted [...]

Afghan War Haunted by Bush’s War Crimes

michael haas

While additional American troops are being deployed to Afghanistan, George W. Bush’s misdeeds continue to handicap combat effectiveness there. Past disrespect to the country must be reversed by an immediate apology to the Afghan people and new orders to field commanders to follow the Geneva Conventions on the battlefield. The U.S. war in Afghanistan began [...]

Bringing Veterans and Military Personnel into the Democratic Party

mays_01

As Democrats, we need to support military families and veterans, and set aside the politics! For too long, we have not done well at separating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the troops who must fight them. As a result, we have been missing in action in outreach and philanthropic endeavors to the troops, [...]

Can the New Administration Keep Canada as an Ally in Afghanistan?

canadian-armed-forces

As Barack Obama looks abroad for allies in the war in Afghanistan, he should move fast to put Canada at the top of his list. Thus far, however, the incoming administration’s message to Canadians has been disappointing. The principal problem is Obama’s use of Defense Secretary Robert Gates as his primary recruiter of Canadian support. [...]

Who Should Obama Look to for Advice?: Jimmy Carter

carter obama

At the request of President-elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush convened an awkward meeting of all living former presidents at the White House to meet, and presumably give advice and encouragement to, the new guy. The body language of the participants in the summit photo, taken in the Oval Office, said it all. The [...]

w(me) the People: w’s Legacy Project

bush_sunset

President w, by way of a reporter, gave the nation a forewarning, regarding his awful, illegitimate, prevaricating, corrupt, woeful, horrible, horrendous, dreadful, terrible, appalling, deplorable, treasonous, frightful, ghastly, horrifying, revolting, hideous, despicable, monstrous, gruesome, (reader’s choice)–legacy, after his first presidential election coup. Very early into w’s presidency, a press party was held at the White [...]

The War on Drugs Redux

opium1

Opium is in the news again. Afghanistan is producing bumper crops of opium poppies, funding Taliban attacks and simultaneously enriching some of the Afghani government’s warlord allies. Low heroin prices worldwide suggest that the marketplace is saturated, and American policy abroad is aimed narrowly at crop eradification while at home we are incarcerating drug users [...]

Obama Can Learn From Jimmy Carter, Too

jimmy_carter

Jimmy Carter was the last president to ask the nation for collective sacrifice. Barack Obama ought to do the same. How should he do so? He should ask Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan and then specifically outline the sacrifices Americans will have to make over the next four years to achieve the national [...]

We Can No Longer Afford the Empire

french_indochina

Somebody is going to have to whisper in President-elect Obama’s ear that the unipolar moment has passed and that the United States can no longer afford its informal worldwide empire. Even though the looming economic meltdown will likely be serious—and maybe even cataclysmic—the foreign policy chattering classes of both parties are on autopilot and have [...]

Speaking of Blanket Pardons

bush_legacy

There’s a blanket pardon I want President Bush to issue and one I want him not to. Both would involve preemptively pardoning people before they’re charged with any crime, much less convicted, and doing so without naming them. One would be decent, just, and Constitutional; the other would be none of those things. One would [...]

A Big ‘Hoorah!’ to the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins

opium

In a devastatingly critical examination of the narco-state formerly known as Afghanistan, the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins today documents case after case of widespread corruption on a massive scale in the Afghan government, including officials ranging from low-level, local bureaucrats right up to the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Filkins shows the difficult situation [...]

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

bleeding-india

by Ivan Eland – As rage coursed through India after the Mumbai terrorist bombings, Condoleezza Rice, the Bush administration’s Secretary of State, flew to India and cautioned the Indian government on avoiding a knee-jerk and counterproductive response. She warned the Indians that “any response needs to be judged by its effectiveness in prevention and also [...]

Good Bye Neoconservatives. Hello to Their Liberal Brethren?

The media and the Washington foreign policy elite breathed a sigh of relief when Barack Obama thumped John McCain in the election. Had John McCain won, there was always the chance that the neoconservatives would have beaten out the Republican realists for his foreign policy soul. With a victory by the liberal Obama, however, the [...]

We Don’t Need a War on Terrorism

Many opponents of the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq have always argued that this conflict is an irrelevant and even counterproductive sideshow to the real “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan. In fact, Barack Obama led the parade to initiate a troop surge in Afghanistan after having opposed it in Iraq.

Republicans are Cowards

Cowardice

I have concluded that Republicans are, by their very nature, cowards. Let us look at the evidence. First, instead of fighting a war that we really should have been fighting (like addressing real issues about who we are in the world community), we went to a trumped up war based upon lies and innuendo in [...]

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