US Politics

US Congress to vote to fund Syrian “rebels”

By Patrick Martin, 15 September 2014

The House will act on Monday, followed shortly by the Senate, with both parties expected to provide top-heavy majorities for stepped-up US intervention in the Syrian civil war.

Rhode Island pension-cutter wins Democratic primary

By John Marion, 15 September 2014

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, a former hedge fund manger with ties to the ultra-right Manhattan Institute, has made a national reputation as an enemy of public employees.

Senate hearing whitewashes militarization of American police

By Tom Hall and E. P. Bannon, 12 September 2014

Tuesday’s hearing was aimed at reinforcing and intensifying the federal government’s arming of police forces under the guise of a “review.”

Regional authority a prelude for privatization of Detroit water system

By Jerry White, 12 September 2014

The Detroit bankruptcy and moves toward the privatization of the water department are fully backed by the Obama administration, which has encouraged cities to enter “public-private partnerships” to fill the gap from reduced federal and state funding.

US election campaign: Two right-wing parties offer no solution to social crisis

By Patrick Martin, 3 September 2014

There is growing popular disillusionment with both the Democrats and the Republicans and the political institutions they control.

Florida Democrats nominate former Republican governor

By Patrick Martin, 28 August 2014

Once reveling in the title “chain-gang Charlie” for his savage law-and-order policies, Crist has been nominated by the Democratic Party for the upcoming gubernatorial election.

Obama administration “review” aimed at systematizing transfer of military arms to police

By Andre Damon, 25 August 2014

The White House’s “review” of its programs to arm local law enforcement will serve to intensify, regularize and professionalize the militarization of domestic police.

Top US general suggests lifting ban on arms sales to Vietnam

By John Roberts, 25 August 2014

Ending or easing the US ban on arms sales would be a significant further step in closer US ties with the Vietnamese regime—directed against China.

Federal judge refuses to halt “keep moving” order in Ferguson

By Tom Carter, 21 August 2014

Standing still for as little as five seconds is sufficient to be taken to the ground and handcuffed by a swarm of police.

Executive order 12333 authorizes NSA to collect vast quantities of US data

By Thomas Gaist, 16 August 2014

The NSA is empowered by executive decrees to conduct limitless surveillance of overseas servers, even though they process large quantities of US data

India and US to further expand military-strategic ties

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 August 2014

US Defense Secretary Hagel claimed that Washington is offering India military co-development and co-production deals unlike those the US has “with any other country.”

US terror list ensnares hundreds of thousands

By Tom Eley, 6 August 2014

A newly leaked document reveals that over 40 percent of those named on a US terror watch list—some 280,000 people—do not even have an alleged connection to terrorism.

Frictions over trade at US-India Strategic Dialogue

By Deepal Jayasekera, 6 August 2014

Despite disagreements on economic issues, US and Indian leaders consolidated their strategic and military partnership directed against China.

Obama hosts Africa summit amid deepening global crises

By Bill Van Auken, 5 August 2014

The summit, convened amid the crises in Gaza, Ukraine and Iraq, is part of a bid to compete with China in the scramble for African markets and resources.

House of Representatives authorizes constitutional lawsuit against Obama

By Patrick Martin, 4 August 2014

Behind the façade of bitter partisan divisions, the two big business parties are united in attacking the social conditions and democratic rights of the working class.

State Department acknowledges widespread torture in leaked memo

By Eric London, 2 August 2014

An internal State Department memo accidentally emailed to a journalist exposes the Obama administration’s continued efforts to cover up CIA torture programs.

Maine governor met repeatedly with violent ultra-right group

By John Marion, 1 August 2014

Republican Governor Paul LePage held a series of meetings with members of a neo-fascist group that had called for executing prominent state Democrats.

Wisconsin high court rules public workers have no constitutional right to organize

By Jerry White, 1 August 2014

In a reactionary ruling with far-ranging implications for democratic rights, the state supreme court upheld Republican Governor Scott Walker’s 2011 anti-worker law.

Thousands imprisoned, some executed, based on false FBI lab reports

By Nick Barrickman, 31 July 2014

A Department of Justice inquiry has found hundreds of instances in which FBI forensic units provided false information.

US prosecutors routinely violate attorney-client privilege

By Ed Hightower, 31 July 2014

The fact that prosecutors systematically read emails between inmates and their attorneys reveals a corroded legal system.

US officials push for closer military-strategic ties with India

By Deepal Jayasekera, 31 July 2014

The Secretary of State and Defense Secretary are visiting India to strengthen the partnership between the two countries as Washington intensifies its war preparations against China and Russia.

Democratic senator boasts NSA “reform” bill vetted by US intelligence agencies

By Thomas Gaist, 30 July 2014

The bill seeks to institutionalize the bulk collection of telephone records by the NSA.

Bipartisan US veterans’ health deal provides $10 billion for private care

By Kate Randall, 30 July 2014

The scandal at Veterans Affairs has been seized on as a pretext for opening up veterans’ health care to privatization.

Record-low US primary voting shows mass alienation from two-party system

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2014

Popular participation in Democratic midterm primaries has fallen by 70 percent over the past 44 years.

Federal guidelines lay out loose criteria for terrorism watch list

By Nick Barrickman, 26 July 2014

US officials have adopted procedures that allow virtually anyone to be designated a “suspected” or “known” terrorist by intelligence agencies, subjecting them to increased monitoring.

US courts deliver conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies

By Kate Randall, 23 July 2014

Striking down subsidies on the federal health care exchange would do away with one of the few remaining supposedly progressive features of Obamacare.

Friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect found guilty of obstructing justice

By Nick Barrickman, 23 July 2014

The trial of Tazhayakov was the first of a number of trials of acquaintances of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Officials hail anti-democratic vote in Detroit to sanction attack on pension rights

By Jerry White, 23 July 2014

More than half of the city workers and retirees eligible to take part in the bankruptcy court’s ballot on the plan of adjustment refused to vote.

Netroots conference applauds Democratic Party demagogy

By Patrick Martin, 19 July 2014

Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren and other leading Democrats made speeches that completely ignored the social catastrophe unfolding in Detroit.

Netroots meeting in Detroit: “Progressive” cover for right-wing Democrats

By Patrick Martin, 17 July 2014

The four-day conference is an attempt to revive illusions in the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

Who ordered the water shutoffs in Detroit?

By Jake Dean, 17 July 2014

A profile of the corporate executives who sit on the seven-member Board of Water Commissioners in Detroit.

US Congress considers legislation to fast-track deportation of children

By David Brown, 16 July 2014

Legislators in the US are proposing a variety of measures to remove the right of child migrants to an immigration hearing before being deported.

In congressional testimony, Fed Chair Yellen reassures Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 16 July 2014

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated her determination to keep interest rates at historic lows for the indefinite future.

US Veterans Affairs agency manipulated disability data

By Kate Randall, 16 July 2014

New revelations of manipulation of disability data point to systemic corruption at the VA that extends beyond the scandal over the agency’s medical treatment of veterans.

Obama administration drops investigation into CIA spying on US Senate

By Patrick Martin, 12 July 2014

The Justice Department has announced that it will not investigate the CIA spying on the legislative branch, even though CIA Director John Brennan admitted that it had taken place.

Obama administration to shield Citigroup executives in mortgage fraud settlement

By Gabriel Black, 12 July 2014

Citigroup, the third-largest US bank, is set to reach a $7 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over charges that it sold fraudulent mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 crash.

The US spy scandal and the return of German imperialism

By Peter Schwarz, 12 July 2014

The expulsion of the CIA station chief is directly linked to the revival of German imperialism.

Obama and the CIA—who runs Washington?

By Bill Van Auken, 11 July 2014

Either the US president is lying about being unaware of espionage in Germany, or he is patently not in control of the military-intelligence complex.

Trial begins for friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect accused of obstruction

By Nick Barrickman, 11 July 2014

Azamat Tazhayakov faces charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy and could face up to 25 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines if found guilty.

Obama calls for $3.7 billion border security “surge”

By Andre Damon, 9 July 2014

The funds will go toward building detention facilities, stepping up border checkpoints, and expanding the domestic use of military surveillance drones.

Family of Tariq Khdeir denounces beating by Israeli police

By Matthew MacEgan, 8 July 2014

At a press conference on Monday, the family of the 15-year-old US citizen denounced the Israeli police beating and the American government’s failure to secure Khdeir’s return home.

Clinton on Edward Snowden: Who are the real criminals?

By Patrick Martin, 8 July 2014

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that whistleblower Edward Snowden should return to the United States and stand trial for of his actions in leaking top-secret documents that exposed illegal and unconstitutional spying by the National Security Agency.

Equality and the Fourth of July

By Joseph Kishore, 4 July 2014

The social, political and cultural state of present-day America make a mockery of the principles that are recalled and celebrated on July 4.

A telling incident: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ exchange with Sen. Elizabeth Warren

By David Walsh, 4 July 2014

The conversation that took place on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” between the host and the “progressive” senator from Massachusetts is deserving of at least a brief comment.

NZ government aligns more closely with US amid rising tensions with China

By Tom Peters, 2 July 2014

Visiting the US, Prime Minister John Key joined President Obama in siding against China in its territorial disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines.

“Hobby Lobby” contraception ruling

US Supreme Court attacks First Amendment, workers’ rights

By John Burton and Barry Grey, 1 July 2014

The US Supreme Court has upheld a reactionary challenge by employers claiming to oppose contraception on religious grounds to a provision of Obama’s health care law mandating that employee insurance plans include coverage for birth control.

US Supreme Court rules against SEIU in union dues case

By Tom Carter, 1 July 2014

The US Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Illinois “fair share” statute that compelled home health care workers to pay union dues even if they were not members of the union.

Obama nominates ex-CEO to head Veterans Affairs

By Kate Randall, 1 July 2014

Robert McDonald has been chosen to lead the VA not for his experience in health care or civil service administration, but as an executive at a Fortune 500 company.

Obama seeks $2 billion to speed up deportation of child immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 30 June 2014

The White House will ask Congress Monday for $2 billion to detain and deport Central American child migrants in south Texas.

How Bill Clinton cashed in after leaving White House

By Gabriel Black, 30 June 2014

Bill Clinton has made millions of dollars speaking before Wall Street bankers.

US primary elections show low level of popular interest

By Patrick Martin, 26 June 2014

Prominent black Democratic politicians called for a vote for the incumbent Republican senator in Mississippi to defeat his Tea Party challenger.

Multi-millionaire Hillary Clinton denies she is part of the “truly well-off”

By Andre Damon, 25 June 2014

Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned more than $100 million in speaking fees from corporations and business foundations.

US House Republican leader defeated in primary election

By Patrick Martin, 12 June 2014

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a right-wing Republican, lost to a challenger who managed to outflank him from the right on immigration and budget-cutting.

VA audit shows nearly 60,000 US veterans face delays receiving health care

By Kate Randall, 11 June 2014

The audit found that 13 percent of schedulers at hospitals and clinics reported being told by supervisors to falsify appointment records.

Obama signs executive order on student loans

By Gabriel Black, 11 June 2014

President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will allow the capping of interest rates on some student loans. This will extend the loans over 20 years and increase the total amount due for most lenders.

Head of US Chamber of Commerce visits Cuba

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 June 2014

The president of the US Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donahue, along with a dozen representatives of American companies, met with Cuban officials in preparation for deeper US involvement in Cuba.

The Value of Water Coalition: Corporate greed masquerading as activism

By John Marion, 9 June 2014

Large corporations are seeking to make a profit from the privatization of public utilities in the United States and the replacement of decaying water infrastructure.

Bipartisan deal on US veterans’ health care includes step toward privatization

By Kate Randall, 6 June 2014

Under a two-year trial, veterans who live 40 miles or more from a VHA facility “will be able to go to the doctor of your choice, under the direct supervision of the VA.”

Obama administration global warming regulation incorporates shift already underway

By Gabriel Black, 4 June 2014

The Obama administration has announced it will mandate a 30 percent reduction in CO2 levels from power plants between 2005 and 2030.

Obama heads to Europe for week of meetings directed against Russia

By Patrick Martin, 3 June 2014

The US is seeking to rally Eastern European countries and the G-7 powers for stepped-up economic and military pressure against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

New York’s Working Families Party once again backs Democrat Cuomo

By Fred Mazelis, 3 June 2014

The Working Families Party delivered its endorsement for the governor after bitter recriminations at its convention.

Obama’s West Point speech: A prescription for unending war

By Bill Van Auken, 30 May 2014

The speech must be taken as a warning that the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is only setting the stage for a far more explosive eruption of US imperialism.

US veterans health care scandal used to push for privatization

By Tom Carter, 26 May 2014

Calls for the privatization of veterans’ health care make clear that the VA scandal will be exploited to accelerate the dismantling of the American health care system.

NSA “reform” bill would continue to allow for bulk phone record collection

By Matthew MacEgan, 24 May 2014

The “USA Freedom Act” is aimed at institutionalizing illegal NSA spying under the pretext of “reform.”

Senate Democrats confirm drone memo author for second-highest US court

By Patrick Martin, 23 May 2014

Every Senate liberal voted for a lifetime judicial appointment for the official who drafted the legal justification for a presidential “right” to assassinate American citizens.

Obama administration asserts unlimited war powers without Congressional authorization

By Joseph Kishore, 22 May 2014

Administration lawyers argued that the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force is essentially superfluous, and that the president has unlimited war powers under the US Constitution.

White House hit by scandal over veterans’ health care

By Patrick Martin, 22 May 2014

Obama is seeking to evade responsibility for deteriorating conditions and fraudulent record keeping at VA hospitals.

Tea Party candidates defeated in Republican primaries

By Patrick Martin, 22 May 2014

Vast amounts of money enabled the Republican Party establishment to beat back ultra-right challengers.

A clarification on Detroit’s plan of adjustment vote

By the Socialist Equality Party, 21 May 2014

In this statement, the SEP clarifies its position on a vote currently being carried out on a plan of adjustment submitted by Detroit’s emergency manager.

“More Detroits are on their way”

Top Democratic advisor calls for nationwide pension cuts and financial restructuring

By Thomas Gaist, 21 May 2014

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Ravitch called for federal measures forcing states to slash pension and health care spending.

Decision by US federal agency opens way to two-tier Internet

By Mike Ingram, 19 May 2014

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to accept proposals that will allow broadband companies to charge content providers for access to their networks, in a move that opens the way for a two-tier Internet.

Ras Baraka succeeds Cory Booker as mayor of Newark, New Jersey

By Fred Mazelis, 16 May 2014

Baraka is a veteran Democratic Party politician who will do nothing to improve the conditions facing the great majority of the city’s population.

US Vice President Biden’s son, Kerry fundraiser take positions with Ukrainian gas firm

By Patrick Martin, 15 May 2014

Hunter Biden, the US vice president’s younger son, will become a director and legal adviser to the largest private natural gas production company in Ukraine.

Geopolitical tensions harm international research

By John Marion, 14 May 2014

Research on space, human health, energy, physics, and other subjects suffers as US imperialism promotes war with China and Russia.

Democrats turn further to the right in Wisconsin gubernatorial campaign

By Niles Williamson, 13 May 2014

The selection of former Trek Bike executive Mary Burke as its gubernatorial candidate represents a further turn to the right by the Democratic Party.

US climate report points to human activity as primary cause of climate change

By Bryan Dyne, 13 May 2014

The report provides a comprehensive look at the shifts in the global climate over the past half-century.

Protests force Condoleezza Rice to skip Rutgers University commencement speech

By Philip Guelpa, 10 May 2014

The selection of Rice sparked a strong reaction in the university community due to her role in the launching the Iraq war and the torture policies of the Bush administration.

Obama administration’s phony crackdown on the banks

By Gabriel Black, 9 May 2014

The US Department of Justice posted a video Monday in which Attorney General Eric Holder sought to dismiss the widely held, and completely justified, belief that the Obama administration treats the major American banks as being above the law.

Obama nominates author of drone memo for appellate court judge

By Ed Hightower, 8 May 2014

President Barack Obama has nominated David Barron, the author of pseudo-legal memos that authorize the drone assassination of US citizens, as a judge for a top appellate court.

White House Correspondents Association gala

Wealth, celebrity and decadence in Obama’s Washington

By Patrick Martin, 6 May 2014

Saturday’s gala of the White House Correspondents Association flaunted the ever more degraded state of American politics.

White House cynicism on the Holocaust

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2014

Obama mourns the victims of Nazism while promoting fascist elements in Ukraine.

Nevada standoff highlights role of the ultra-right in US politics

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2014

Politicians and media pundits who hailed rancher Cliven Bundy are now denouncing his racist views.

Kerry’s statement on Ukraine: A lying brief for war

By Alex Lantier, 26 April 2014

Declaring confrontation with Russia to be all but inevitable, Kerry turned reality on its head, blaming the crisis entirely on Russia and clearing Kiev of all responsibility.

US sends Apache attack helicopters to Egyptian junta

By Patrick Martin, 25 April 2014

US weaponry will soon be turned against the working people of Egypt.

Lawsuit accuses FBI of using no-fly list to recruit American Muslim informants

By Fred Mazelis, 25 April 2014

Four plaintiffs charge a brazen violation of their basic democratic rights.

Obama’s tour to reinforce “pivot to Asia”

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2014

Obama’s overriding aim is to signal his intention to press ahead with the “pivot to Asia,” which seeks to ensure US hegemony in the region.

Inequality and the drive to war

By Andre Damon, 16 April 2014

The eruption of US militarism is bound up with the enormous growth of social inequality.

Detroit pension deal sets stage for unions to push through bankruptcy plan

By Jerry White, 16 April 2014

The retiree association representing 6,500 former policemen and firefighters has reached an agreement with the city on pension and health care cuts.

Al Sharpton: FBI informer and proud of it

By Dan Brennan, 15 April 2014

As Sharpton hosted a who’s who of Democratic politicians at his National Action Network convention, new revelations of his role as FBI informant surfaced.

Sebelius out at US Department of Health and Human Services

By Kate Randall, 12 April 2014

The HHS secretary’s ouster is a crass political maneuver by the White House aimed at damage control in advance of the mid-term elections.

US defence secretary’s provocative tour of Asia

By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2014

Hagel’s trip has been an emphatic declaration that the US will not back away from its “pivot to Asia” against China, even as its confrontation with Russia over Ukraine intensifies.

Fifty years since the US Civil Rights Act

By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2014

The weeklong official commemoration of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act under President Lyndon Johnson has sought to cover up, rather than illuminate, the historical issues involved.

Obama’s empty eulogy for Fort Hood shooting victims

By Jerry White, 10 April 2014

The hollow remarks of the president and the general atmosphere of the memorial left an impression of callousness combined with perplexed anxiety over the mounting signs of crisis within the ranks of the American military.

US Senate passes token bill to restore long-term jobless benefits

By Barry Grey, 9 April 2014

The absurdly narrow scope of the measure, under conditions of near-record long-term unemployment in the US, reflects the cynical political calculations that underlie it.

US defence secretary clashes with Chinese counterpart

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2014

The public display of hostility is another warning of the dangerous tensions that the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” has provoked throughout the region.

US defense secretary threatens China during Japan visit

By James Cogan, 8 April 2014

Hagel publicly stressed that the Obama administration is prepared to go to war alongside Japan against China.

The Supreme Court ruling on campaign donations: Government of, by and for the rich

By Andre Damon, 4 April 2014

The ruling is the latest in a series of anti-democratic decisions relating to election laws.

California State Senate suspends three Democratic lawmakers under indictment

By Alan Gilman, 4 April 2014

The suspensions mean that the Democrats lost the two-thirds majority in the upper house that gave them full control of the California state government.

Senate panel votes to declassify part of report on CIA torture

By Patrick Martin, 4 April 2014

The Intelligence Committee voted to make public its executive summary, while continuing to keep secret a more detailed accounting of the CIA torture program.