Let’s Get Our Own Foreign Policy House in Order Before Criticizing Others

Putin as Priest

Ivan Eland: On March 31, 2010, the New York Times wrote an editorial that briefly expressed horror in response to the Moscow subway terror bombings, then warned that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin might yet again use terrorist attacks to further consolidate his power, and finally lectured Russia that the only way to defeat such extremism was to deal with the underlying causes. Such a sermonizing editorial by any Russian publication after the 9/11 attacks would have engendered outrage in America

Trust in the GOP’s Dearth of Experience

Tina Dupuy

Tina Dupuy: When Republicans warn that a policy is a job-killer – Americans should listen. If any group of lawmakers and thinkers know about killing jobs it’s the Grand Old Party. In 2008, the final year of the Bush Administration, after two terms of careless deregulation implemented with bastardized pseudo-free market battle cries, the economy lost 2.6 million jobs. An annual job loss not equaled since 1945. When it comes to job extermination the GOP’s display case has a full assortment of trophies. So, of course Republicans are now the best authority on how not to kill jobs. Basically, don’t do what they did.

9/11, Financial Crisis, Church Sex Scandal? Imagine That!

Paranoia

Michael Sigman: Isn’t it precisely the job of political, financial and religious leaders to imagine disasters and then prepare for them? (Plausible ones, that is, as opposed to, say, anti-asteroid Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s crusade for funds to combat “objects coming from space that could cause colossal loss of lives on our planet.”) And if their imaginations fail them, and us, shouldn’t they be held accountable — morally and, when appropriate, criminally?

On Guantánamo, Symbolism Trumps Substance

Guantanamo-closure

Ivan Eland: Although closing Guantánamo would be important symbolically, the law-free sanctuary that the Bush administration had achieved there has already been eroded by the Supreme Court’s demand that detainees have some legal rights. And even if the Obama administration closes Gitmo, some of Bush’s unconstitutional policies would continue in prisons around the United States—for example, the use of military tribunals for some detainees and the detention of some former Guantánamo detainees indefinitely without trial.

American Empire: How the Military-Industrial Complex Is Warping America’s Values

Venezuelan offshore oil platform

Tim Gatto: The U.S. has brought back the 5th Fleet that will patrol Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. has also leased seven military bases in Colombia (Venezuela’s next door neighbor) for a 10-year period. These bases are being promoted as a way of interdicting the supply of cocaine that reaches America. According to the L.A. Times, back in 2003 the U.S. and Columbian governments were successfully eradicating coca plants. We can all see how well that has worked out. Personally, I am very skeptical about America’s resolve in wiping out the coca crop. I am also skeptical about Columbia’s commitment to stopping the flow of cocaine into the United States.

What the “I’m Mad-As-Hell” Party Could Do

tea bag protester

Robert Reich: Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.

Niello Sponsors a Whine-Fest for Business, As Usual.

Assemblyman Roger Niello

Adam Eran: Niello’s hearing is yet another bit of evidence that, no matter what the facts, the Republican narrative remains constant: We must reduce taxes and regulation, even if lack of effective regulation produced the current less-than-optimum outcome. And although “deficits don’t matter,” no matter how low they are, taxes are too high, especially on the wealthy.

Bogged Down in Wars

Warfare

I don’t doubt Obama’s strategic intelligence, his seriousness of purpose, his American patriotism, or his decision-making process. But I think his decision is wrong. We can’t do anything there but continue to lose lives and money.

The Surge We Need At Home

Warhorse

America is a mess. Unemployment is over 10 percent, while the effective unemployment rate—which also includes the underemployed—is more like 19.2 percent.

Friday Feedback: Fox News, Glenn Beck and the Haters

We the people, of all races and cultures must unite to fight the corporate take over of our country that has arisen since deregulation began and trickle down economics have proven disasterous. We cannot truly be a civilized nation until we act responsibly, morally, and truly assert that “all men are created equal”. Quality health care and education for all are civil rights the masses are being deprived of. Quality Education and Health Care for All, Not Warfare!

No Nonsense Census

Rea Carey, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

There’s been another informed and intelligent decision by the Obama administration. In August 2008, in an LA Progressive article entitled “Census Nonsense,” which decried the Bush administration’s move to exclude legally married same-sex couples from being counted as married couples during upcoming the 2010 census, I wrote, “…to capsulize the situation, as it stands now, [...]

The Curious Incident of a US Extradition in the Night Time

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon of Crouch End, North London, was branded a ‘cyber-terrorist’ by the US government. In 2002, he was arrested for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers. The US Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security Departments have been fighting a seven-year-long extradition battle to the USA under the 2003 UK Extradition Act. They want him brought [...]

Public Rejects Newspapers’ Survivalist Rhetoric

dying newspapers

arkos Moulitsas, whose DailyKos helped shift the nation’s politics leftward, once noted that newspaper circulation began its steady decline in 1993, well before the rise of the Internet, and that “what the newspaper industry is trying to save right now isn’t ‘journalism’, it’s ‘shareholder value’.” Moulitsas created a site that regularly produces critical news “missed” [...]

Will the Out of Iraq Caucus Live Up to Its Name?

Maxine Waters

After the near comatose nod to escalation of US troops in Afghanistan, passage of H.R. 2346, the 97-billion Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, is in doubt in the House – not because of the strength of the anti-war movement, which morphed into the elect-Obama-movement, nor due to the high suicide rate amongst veterans, but because [...]

American Torture: No Knowledge of History, No Sense of Tragedy

"Judgement at Nuremberg" Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich 1961 U/A Photo by Al St. Hilaire - Image courtesy mptvimages.com

Recently in the New York Times, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti showed that the Bush Administration, the CIA, and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees failed to ask for any historical context before approving so-called “harsh interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, in 2002. No one apparently knew, or wanted to know, that the U.S. had defined [...]

Torture? What About the Crime of Waging Aggressive War?

mission-accomplished

Right after the climactic finish of World War Two, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, while picking through the aftermath of the world’s biggest bloodbath to date, famously called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing.” “[T]o initiate war of aggression,” the tribunal concluded, “is not only an international crime; it is the [...]

Can You Imagine?

obama-press-conference

Can you imagine the pickle we’d be in if George Bush still occupied the White House? Or if we had a McCain-Palin administration making the problems facing America today that much worse? That thought kept crossing my mind as I listened to Barack Obama’s press conference on my drive home from work this evening. America’s [...]

Torture Memos: Don’t Prosecute, But Change Law

what-me-worry

The recent release of memoranda used by the Bush administration to justify various aggressive interrogation techniques for use on suspected terrorists has led to widespread calls for prosecution, either against those who wrote the memos, those who approved them, or those who carried them out. The grounds for such prosecutions would be that the techniques [...]

Friday Feedback: Eight Years of Job Declines Under Bush II

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Richard Mathews, updating his own article, “Who Creates Jobs? Democratic Presidents Do!” Richard writes: UPDATE: With today’s final job numbers for January, we can now close the books on Bush II. After eight years, [...]

A Major Deal Over a Minor Issue

medical-marijuana

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would no longer “target” medical cannabis providers who operated within state law. It remains unclear how the federal government will decide who provides marijuana within state law and who does not. One thing is clear; the feds do not fully understand state [...]

Returning to the Rule of Law: Bogus Republican Complaints about AIG Bailout

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Last week, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) weighed in to express his outrage at the lack of government control which led to the AIG bailout scandal. This isn’t the first time that Sessions has expressed outrage over wasteful spending and lack of government control. Back when the Iraq war was young, news broke that Paul Bremer [...]

Hypocrisy in Government

broken-liberty

Recent statements by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, admitting that they were going to use the economic crisis to get other things done, is at least surprisingly honest. But it is also hypocritical. Remember when some of these same people criticized George W. Bush [...]

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 [...]

Humvees in Tijuana: The US and the Mexican Narco-Wars

drug-wars

How worried should Americans be about the drug wars being fought just across the border? Under the Merida Initiative, the Bush administration committed $1.4 billion in military assistance to Mexico and the Senate is now considering a House move to increase this year’s figure by $410 million. This seems as foolhardy to me as the [...]

Why We Need a “Truth Commission” to Investigate Torture

uncle-sam-torture

The American people’s faith in their government—even with the election of Barack Obama—remains compromised. One reason is obvious. Americans see low-level military operatives being imprisoned for mistreatment, even murder, of prisoners. At the same time, high-level officials go uninvestigated and unpunished. In their case, we’re told to look forward rather than backward, an empty phrase [...]

Republicans: Spare Me Your Newfound “Fiscal Responsibility”

recession-republicans

At his press conference on Monday, President Barack Obama had to remind Mara Liasson of Fox News and NPR that it was the Republicans who doubled the national debt over the past eight years and it’s a little strange to be hearing lectures from them now about how to be fiscally responsible. That interchange was [...]

What Took You So Long to Figure It Out? Bush Has Always Been Rotten Even When He Had a 91% Approval Rating

bush_obama_ladyliberty

They are trying so very hard it is almost sad, in a way—were it not for all the broke people, and scared people. And dead people. It’s the Bush people, including Mr. Bush himself, trying to gather up some shreds of dignity before they are out the door. Their final con game: “We did a [...]

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