Wisconsin, Meet the Military

Reading Time: 3 minutes Anyone concerned about excessive government spending—and looking to make cuts to be financially prudent—would look at the biggest cost categories. Right? Wrong.
In all the talk about the outrageous salaries and benefits of teachers and government employees, how much discussion is there about the budget for the military and the spy establishment? Well, um, almost none at all.

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

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How Does Their Garden Grow? The Bitter Fruits of The Iraq Invasion

Reading Time: < 1 minute Bet you haven’t heard how Iraqi agriculture has been destroyed since the invasion—and how US agribusiness benefits. That’s a huge story, and one you won’t see in the corporate-owned US media. It’s a sad story, a tragedy, something that provides infinite perspective on the purposes and consequences of unnecessary war, and begins to explain why Read More

From the “Hell in a Handbasket” Department: Domestic Drones and Tainted Milk?

Reading Time: 3 minutes So have you heard? Any day, there will be these mini-drones, little unmanned planes, following you around. And no, you won’t have to be a member of the Taliban. Just an American who is suspected of something or other.  When you aren’t panicked about this new, inevitable expansion of the police state, you can at 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

Gun Roundup

Reading Time: < 1 minute A couple of gun items—both not new but relevant—that seem worth noting. In one, Bloomberg reported several days after the Tucson shootings how sales of Glock semi-automatic pistols doubled in Arizona right after the tragic events. In the other, the Dallas Morning News reported on how reporters in Texas are getting gun permits as way 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 Urge to Merge-And Some Questions

Reading Time: 2 minutes So the Comcast-NBC merger is almost certainly going through, says the Washington Post The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission issued a draft order approving Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal on Thursday, putting the deal up for vote before the agency’s other members. Senior FCC officials said in a news conference that the merger Read More

Supremely Courting Disaster

Reading Time: 2 minutes Only infrequently does the New York Times really go for the jugular and spell out for us the extent to which the system is rigged against ordinary people and their interests. One such rare example is a recent article by the Times’ thoughtful legal writer, Adam Liptak, based on new academic research out of Chicago. 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

Keeping The War Far From Home

Reading Time: 2 minutes The other day, I received a press release about an upcoming event. The release had been forwarded to me after the event, and, since I found it compelling,  I wondered how much media attention it got. The answer in a minute…. But first, the release: DETROIT — On  June 26, at 2pm, a group of Read More

Oil Execs On Safety: “I Am the Walrus..”

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a remarkable display of finger-pointing, oil company executives went after BP today, claiming that if they had been running the Deepwater Horizon rig, no accident would have been possible. But as several congressmen pointed out, all the companies’ safety procedures are absurdly inadequate. Which raises the question: how well do we, as a society, Read More

Examining Split Hairs In a Disaster

Reading Time: 2 minutes There’s some fancy footwork going on, but the New York Times doesn’t seem willing to deal with it head on. Let’s consider a short section of an article on the New York Times’ website, headlined U.S. Plans ‘for Worst’ in Gulf, Seeing Risk in Leak Strategy. The section deals with BP’s culpability: Mr. Dudley denied 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

Taxidermy, or the Big Game of Freebies

Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m constantly struck by ways in which the privileged and the powerful manage to define the terms of discussion. Things like “welfare reform” and “compassionate conservatism.” Hard to be against those things, unless one knows something about what the nasty business they really involve. Thus, I was intrigued by a recent essay from Martin Lobel, Read More