Giving Chase: Egypt, OK – But What About America’s Oligarchs?

Reading Time: 3 minutes With all the attention on crowds of ordinary people rising up and asserting themselves against corruption and self-dealing by an oligarchy, we’re missing what the oligarchs are doing right at home. Take, for example, the activities of one of our biggest banks, JPMorgan Chase. Newly released documents show that high officials of the bank knew Read More

Covering The Assault On Working People

Reading Time: 4 minutes A common theme runs through a variety of news stories: there isn’t enough money around, and so working people must take a hit. But is that really the only solution? First, let’s look at the stories. There’s growing talk of letting state governments declare bankruptcy so they can get out of paying pension benefits to Read More

HOW NOT TO HONOR OUR TROOPS: Obama, Daley, Chase and the Military

Reading Time: 2 minutes This week, NBC News ran an important report about improprieties at a particularly well-connected bank. According to NBC, JP Morgan Chase has been forced by a lawsuit to admit that it has been overcharging thousands of military families for their mortgages—and had improperly foreclosed on more than a dozen such families. Now, news that a Read More

The Koch Brothers’ Climatologist

Reading Time: 4 minutes The other day, USA Today ran an article reporting that 2010 had tied 2005 as the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. That’s disturbing data, or course. But what really caught my eye was who they chose to question the significance of the news: a climatologist with….the Cato Institute. That’s a policy outfit heavily funded by the very companies whose emissions heat up the earth’s atmosphere.

Readers, Please Weigh In: K-GUN

Reading Time: 1 minute The local ABC affiliate tv station in Tucson is KGUN. It is referred to as “K-GUN.” A man named H.U. Garrett chose those call letters when he bought the station in 1957. Wikipedia says this man sought to reflect his interest in Western lore, and in collecting guns. Now that, half a century later, the Read More

The Meaning of Daley

Reading Time: 3 minutes A few days ago, the Obama Administration floated a trial balloon to see if there would be any opposition to the appointment of William Daley as the President’s Chief of Staff. There wasn’t, and so they’ve gone ahead and made it official. That they were concerned about a backlash is evident from the original reporting. Read More

Democracy=Corruption And Eggshells?

Reading Time: 2 minutes A recent Washington Post article reported on the not-so-coincidental timing of campaign contributions from corporate interests with votes on legislation affecting those interests. As thoughtful folks might say, “well DUH.” Who can be surprised by this? Certainly, the daily corruption of Congress must be covered, and I’m glad to see the Post writing: Numerous times Read More

Voters: The Horror Movie

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s like some kind of horror movie in which people are behaving verrrry strangely. First, though, we don’t see anything odd at all. For example, The Associated Press reports in a new poll that More than half the country backs raising taxes on the richest Americans But then there’s the vague notion of something slightly Read More

Bones to Pick With Obama

Reading Time: 2 minutes Barack Obama is on the road these days, taking off after the special interests and elites, and defending the middle class. He is talking about equity and openness. He wants to end tax cuts for the wealthiest. Given Obama’s rhetoric, one might think that in his appointment recently of a new chairman of the White Read More

Senators’ Confidential Worries About Democracy Itself

Reading Time: 3 minutes Amid the constant fracas of daily political life, it is often hard to see the big picture of power in America (and, for that matter, the world.) In researching my book, Family of Secrets, I came to a fresh appreciation of this big picture, assembling a vast amount of new evidence of the extent to Read More

Bush's New Bankruptcy

Reading Time: 2 minutes Just read breaking news that the Texas Rangers baseball team—the entity that put George W. Bush on the path to the presidency–has filed for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg News: The Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball team controlled by billionaire Thomas Hicks, filed for bankruptcy after the planned sale of the team fell through. The Arlington, Texas-based Read More

What Obama Is Up Against

Reading Time: 5 minutes The first anniversary of Barack Obama’s historic election finds many of his supporters already grousing. Fair enough: Obama has been more vigorous in some areas than others. But one essential question goes unasked: How much can any president accomplish against the wishes of recalcitrant power centers within his own government? We Americans harbor a quaint Read More

Déjà vu, all over again. And again. And again.

Reading Time: 2 minutes As the New York Times reports, Large batches of e-mail records from the Justice Department lawyers who worked on the 2002 legal opinions justifying the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation techniques are missing, and the Justice Department told lawmakers Friday that it would try to trace the disappearance. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Patrick J. Read More

The Comeback of Vice

Reading Time: 1 minute So, the Cheney family is fanning out on all fronts.  Younger daughter Mary is setting up a new family-run DC strategic consulting firm, modeled on Henry Kissinger’s. Eldest daughter Liz is partnering up in  a new advocacy group called “Keep America Safe.” And both, together with their father, are on the hustings attacking President Obama…

Something to Sleep On

Reading Time: 3 minutes The New York Times lead story describes how a series of private equity firms managed to repeatedly flip the venerable Simmons mattress company, earning themselves huge profits while the company became increasingly mired in debt and ultimately forced into bankruptcy and massive layoffs, with ordinary investors, employees, and company retirees taking a huge hit. I Read More

Wild Acorns?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Conservative activists and talk show hosts, continuing a crusade begun during the presidential campaign, have been calling for their compatriots to dig up dirt on appointees and beneficiaries of Obama administration funding. The result has been an effort by the Democrats to quickly blunt any controversy by terminating links with anyone deemed controversial. Recently, a Read More

Behind Clinton Backer's Arrest: a Bipartisan, International Affair

Reading Time: 5 minutes AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano whowhatwhy.org reports exclusively on the background of Hassan Nemazee, the top Hillary Clinton fundraiser who was arrested and charged with forging loan documents. Early media accounts cast the event as an embarrassment for Ms. Clinton and the Democratic Party involving the financial misdoings of one prominent backer. Actually it is much Read More