In its study of the nation’s top twenty-five think tanks, FAIR finds that all have received money from corporations, foundations, government, or major individual donors. In many cases, these donors not only get a tax deduction for their contributions, they also can influence the think tank’s formulation of policy.
Congress is expanding the Pentagon 2014 budget by $32 billion. The Pentagon currently receives over $600 billion, when its current budget is combined with supplemental war funding. One out of every five US tax dollars is spent on defense, cumulatively more than the total of the next ten countries’ defense budgets combined. Where does the money go? “The exact answer is a mystery,” wrote Dave Gilson for Mother Jones. “That’s because the Pentagon’s books are a complete mess.” As the Government Accountability Office dryly noted, the Pentagon has “serious financial management problems” that render its financial statements “inauditable.”
A lawsuit filed by lawyers on behalf of 1,415 plaintiffs, including 38 residents of Fukushima and 357 persons from outside Japan, holds not only the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) but also Toshiba, Hitachi, and General Electric responsible for the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant…As NSNBC International reported, the Fukushima case is a “landmark challenge” to nuclear power plant manufacturers’ immunity from liability in nuclear accidents.
A proposed bill before the Kansas state legislature would require women to report miscarriages at any stage in pregnancy. This has been described as the first step along the path to criminalizing pregnant women’s bodies.
Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.
If demagoguery and fear-mongering were treason, there would be almost no one left in Congress. Bogus pontification in support of political positioning is never pretty, but it’s hardly the sole province of Republicans, even if they’re better at it than most. Dishonest posturing to gull the ignorant is hardly the stuff of treason. Real treason requires some real courage. Treason is a limited-opportunity option in the Constitution. The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes treason, and it’s not just any lawless, stupid, unprincipled act that threatens to draw the nation into a war with Iran that only a tiny minority of Americans and some Israelis really want, or even want to risk.
After Bibi Netanyahu’s provocative speech to Congress, The New York Times provided helpful clarifications in an article headlined “What Iran Won’t Say About the Bomb.” Written by two superbly expert reporters, William Broad and David Sanger, the piece walked through the technical complexities for non-experts (myself included) and explained key questions Iranians have failed to answer. But this leads me to ask a different question: What about Israel’s bomb?
Shared agendas may forge new alliances between liberals and conservatives against crony corporatism.
Ex-members of the IRA and the British military have rarely encountered each other since the 1998 Good Friday agreement brought to an end 30 years of violence that had claimed more than 3,700 lives. Four former members of the British army and four former members of the Irish Republican Army commenced a meeting that was intended to start a process of reconciliation among men who had once been the most implacable of enemies.
Condemning Netanyahu’s efforts to “sabotage diplomacy,” grassroots groups called on lawmakers ahead of time to skip his speech before the US Congress.
A state lawmaker in Missouri has proposed an earth-shattering bill: The Missouri Anti-Corruption Act, which would put an end to unlimited gifts from lobbyists by restoring campaign contribution limits, and also close other loopholes that lead to corruption. But, perhaps most surprisingly, it was a Republican who introduced this bill.
President Barack Obama on Monday announced a new proposal as part of his 2016 budget to tax the trillions in offshore profits made by U.S.-based multinational corporations, but critics say the plan leaves in place a system that “encourages companies to game the system to avoid U.S. taxes.”
Fed up with conservative economics and fueled by Syriza’s recent victory in Greece, tens of thousands of Spaniards flooded the streets of Madrid on Saturday to say: “No to Austerity and Yes to Change!” The march, dubbed the “March for Change,” is the first mass demonstration in support of the country’s new leftist party, Podemos, which is Spanish for “We Can.”