When You Got ‘Em By The …

grover norquist

John MacMurray: IThe picture so far shows Grover Norquist to be not much more than a well-dressed street thug. One of those people Garrison Keillor describes as “brownshirts in pin stripes.”

Save Money by Ending Costly Alliances

obama korea

Ivan Eland: I noted that if the United States continues to provide other nations’ security, they have no incentive to provide their own. After all, if someone offered to pay your mortgage, why would you pay it?

UN’s Dysfunction Just What Its Founders Intended

united-nations-wide

Adam Chapnik: Does North Korea’s rise to the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament prove that the organization is dysfunctional? Yes, in a way it does, but it is precisely the kind of creative and ultimately useful dysfunction that the founders of the U.N. had in mind.

Whom Do You Trust?

blackwater

Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?

Taking Bush’s Preventive War Doctrine Underground (Sort Of)

Ivan Eland: Just as he must have been pleased with Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq generating more Islamist radicalism, bin Laden would like to bait the United States into attacking its affiliate local groups around the world for the same reason. Foolishly, Obama is obliging him.

What’s Ahead for the Economy and Politics in 2010

Happy 2010 Really

Robert Reich: Issue Number One — the overriding concern that will determine more than anything how many seats the Dems lose next fall — is jobs. If unemployment is 10 percent or more next November, the Dems are in danger of losing the House and will almost certainly be short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate.

Reducing Our Only Existential Threat

Nuclear-nightmare

Ivan Eland: Despite its recession from the headlines, the Soviet Union and now Russia has been and still is the only country to have enough nuclear warheads to pose such a cataclysmic threat to the U.S. homeland.

The Ongoing Danger of Nuclear War

world-in-nuclear-balance

This August, when hundreds of Hiroshima Day vigils and related antinuclear activities occur around the United States, many Americans will wonder at their relevance. After all, the nuclear danger that characterized the Cold War is now far behind us, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it is not.

Better Relations with Iran Require Change in U.S. Thinking and Policy

katherine_harris

One election in Iran will not significantly change U.S.-Iran relations—only a change in U.S. thinking and policy will do so. Historically, the U.S. government, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, has painted relatively poor third world regimes that don’t toe the empire’s line as “evil”—Moammar El-Gadhafi’s Libya in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the [...]

China Holds the Key to the North Korea Problem

korea

As the international community struggles to respond effectively to the missile tests recently launched by the North Korean government, critics have blamed the Security Council of the United Nations for failing to deter aggression and preserve world peace. That blame is misplaced. In this case, responsibility for controlling North Korea, and the ability to do [...]

Wingnuts Take Aim at Supremes’ Nominee Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The right wing was gearing up for this fight even before Justice David Souter thought about retiring. This week, as President Obama was naming – as expected – Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill Souter’s chair on the Supreme Court, conservatives were lining up to throw brickbats before the words were out of his [...]

Cons, Convicts, and Government Contractors

christina_jewett

As President Barack Obama today puts out a strong call for reform in government contracting, it’s worth taking a look back at last week’s congressional hearing, artfully titled “How Convicts and Con Artists Receive New Federal Contracts.” Last week’s hearing was based on the findings of a report issued last week by the Government Accountability [...]

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 [...]

The Subliminal Slam-Dunk

I was going to start out by calling the second Presidential Candidates’ Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain a “running out the clock” affair for Obama. Basically a draw – no big wins or losses, with an edge to Obama because he didn’t give up any ground and McCain didn’t gain any.