US Politics

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.

US Supreme Court strikes down limits on political contributions

By John Burton, 3 April 2014

The Supreme Court has invalidated the provision of the federal election finance law that limits wealthy individuals from donating more than $123,000 to candidates and committees during any two-year election cycle.

As victims’ families call for criminal prosecution

Senate hearing sets stage for cover-up of GM, government role in fatal crashes

By Barry Grey, 3 April 2014

For the second consecutive day, General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared before a congressional panel and refused to provide answers regarding the company’s cover-up of an ignition switch defect linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 crashes.

Republican presidential hopefuls begin the “money primary”

By Patrick Martin, 2 April 2014

Billionaire casino boss Sheldon Adelson held an audience last week for five prospective candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Port Authority chairman resigns as George Washington Bridge traffic scandal drags on

By Fred Mazelis, 1 April 2014

Investigations continue into Governor Christie’s role in last year’s traffic chaos.

White House ally reveals anti-working class agenda behind Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 31 March 2014

Ezekiel Emanuel, former adviser to the White House on health care reform, predicts that few private-sector employers will still be providing health insurance to their workers by 2025.

Obama’s speech on Ukraine: Propaganda and lies

By Patrick Martin, 27 March 2014

The US president delivered a speech of pure propaganda, aimed at justifying an aggressive and confrontational policy in Ukraine.

Obama’s 2015 budget continues attack on public education

By Isabelle Belanger, 25 March 2014

Obama’s 2015 education budget includes more “competitive grants” to reward school districts that tailor their programs to meet the needs of corporate America.

Constitutional conflict escalates between US Senate and CIA

By Patrick Martin, 22 March 2014

A letter from the Senate Majority Leader to the Justice Department renewed charges of unconstitutional CIA spying on the Senate.

US court ruling upholds state efforts to disenfranchise voters

By Patrick Martin, 21 March 2014

A judge in Wichita, Kansas has ordered the federal government to assist efforts to restrict voting by state officials in Kansas and Arizona.

Anti-Russia propaganda and the fabrication of a new pro-war consensus

By Alex Lantier, 21 March 2014

Claims that Washington is defending Ukraine against Russian aggression are lies, promoted to give discredited policies of imperialist war a new lease on life.

Republican house speaker rejects US Senate deal to restore long-term unemployment benefits

By Andre Damon, 21 March 2014

Obama and the Democrats are in practice carrying out the same class-war policy as the Republicans, but seeking to mask it with demagogy and maneuvering.

Financial backer of Washington, DC mayor pleads guilty to illegal contributions

By Nick Barrickman, 19 March 2014

Last week, Jeffrey E. Thompson, a regional powerbroker and government contractor in Washington, DC, pleaded guilty to felony charges.

The US media and the CIA’s spying on Congress

By Patrick Martin, 18 March 2014

A virtual blanket of silence covers the explosive allegations that the CIA spied on the US Senate committee charged with overseeing its activities.

White House withholding documents from CIA torture probe

By Patrick Martin, 15 March 2014

The Obama administration has blocked the release of documents that likely include a presidential finding to authorize CIA torture of prisoners.

Senate Armed Services Committee hearing promotes cyberwarfare and illegal spying

By Ed Hightower, 15 March 2014

Senators took the hearing as an opportunity to attack Edward Snowden and to inquire about the “PR” issues around the burgeoning military intelligence apparatus.

The CIA, the Senate and the breakdown of American democracy

By Patrick Martin, 13 March 2014

The public clash between the Senate and the CIA reflects the effective collapse of democratic forms of governance in the United States.

Obama peddles private health care to young people in web interview

By Andre Damon, 13 March 2014

President Barack Obama appeared in an episode of the comedy interview web series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis Tuesday in an effort to salvage the pro-corporate Obamacare program.

Republican wins special election in Florida

By Matthew MacEgan, 13 March 2014

Republican David Jolly narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink, due in part to Sink’s support for the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration.

Senate Intelligence head accuses CIA of undermining US “constitutional framework”

By Barry Grey, 12 March 2014

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday accused the CIA of spying on committee staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s program of interrogation and torture under President Bush.

Probes continue in scandal involving New Jersey governor

By Fred Mazelis, 10 March 2014

The scandal that erupted two months ago over unscheduled lane closings at the George Washington Bridge continues to simmer.

Sexual assault case against US Army general begins

By Gabriel Black, 8 March 2014

The first day of General Jeffrey Sinclair’s court-martial came as a bill to reform sexual abuse litigation in the military was rejected by the US Senate.

US presents new UNHRC resolution on Sri Lankan human rights

By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 8 March 2014

Though the draft does not call for an international probe, it is a sharp warning to Colombo to align with the US.

Former state treasurer gets job at firm cashing in from Detroit bankruptcy.

By Thomas Gaist, 6 March 2014

After helping select the financial consulting firm for a $19 million contract to restructure Detroit, Michigan’s former state treasurer has been hired as a “project adviser” by Conway MacKenzie

Obama budget: Populist demagogy and empty promises

By Patrick Martin, 5 March 2014

The budget proposes to restore sequester cuts to Pentagon spending but not to domestic social programs.

FBI, CIA lied to 9/11 Commission on bin Laden ties

By a reporter, 1 March 2014

The FBI had recruited an informant who had close contact with bin Laden years before the 9/11 attacks.

New York City budget exposes contrast between mayor’s rhetoric and reality

By Philip Guelpa, 27 February 2014

New mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposals reveal the emptiness of his campaign promises to address the growing poverty and unemployment that have made New York one of the most unequal cities in the world.

New York mayor de Blasio and unions prepare new attacks on city workers

By Fred Mazelis, 24 February 2014

The stage is being set for concessions deals between the Democrat in City Hall and his partners in the trade unions.

Another US provocation: Obama meets the Dalai Lama

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2014

The meeting was designed to reinforce US support for the Tibetan government-in-exile and the threat to China of Tibetan separatism.

The US minimum wage “debate”

By Andre Damon, 21 February 2014

That a minor increase in the minimum wage provokes such controversy in the political establishment only underscores the bankruptcy of the entire political system and its contempt for the great majority of the population.

Kerry’s Asian trip and the build-up to war with China

By Peter Symonds, 17 February 2014

Having deliberately inflamed dangerous flashpoints in Asia, the US is seeking to press home its advantage, regardless of the consequences.

Comcast, Time Warner in $45 billion merger

By Tom Eley, 17 February 2014

David Cohen, Comcast’s executive vice president, is linked closely to the Democratic Party and President Obama. Last week, Cohen and his wife dined in the White House with the Obamas and French President Francoise Hollande.

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin found guilty of corruption

By Tom Hall, 17 February 2014

Nagin was found guilty in federal court of 20 charges related to corruption while in office.

US secretary of state’s new round of bullying in Beijing

By Peter Symonds, 15 February 2014

Having deliberately inflamed dangerous flashpoints in the region as part of its “pivot to Asia”, Washington is making provocative new demands on Beijing.

US Congress lifts federal debt ceiling

By Patrick Martin, 15 February 2014

The swift passage of the bill through the House and Senate this week demonstrates that Wall Street holds the whip hand, not the Tea Party faction.

Former NSA chief Hayden praises Obama for “doubling down” on Bush-era spying

By Gabriel Black, 13 February 2014

Michael Hayden gave a lecture Monday in which he described Obama’s “reform” of the NSA as largely cosmetic.

Hollande’s state visit to Washington: France embraces global neo-colonialist war

By Alex Lantier, 13 February 2014

French imperialism has signed on as a junior partner to the US agenda of world domination exemplified by the US invasion of Iraq over a decade ago.

Growing unease in Iran over rapprochement with Washington

By Keith Jones, 13 February 2014

Serious differences within Iran’s ruling elite over the attempted rapprochement with Washington have been repeatedly voiced in recent days.

US Fed Chair Janet Yellen reassures Wall Street on easy money policy

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2014

US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reassured Wall Street in her first congressional testimony Tuesday that the Federal Reserve would continue its zero-interest-rate policies into the indefinite future.

New Yorkers condemn food stamp cuts

By a WSWS reporting team, 12 February 2014

Nearly two million in the financial capital rely on food stamps to survive.

Mass unemployment in America

By Andre Damon, 11 February 2014

Speaking Friday in advance of signing a bill slashing $8.7 billion from the food stamp program, President Obama hailed the dismal jobs report for January.

Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington’s gangsterism

By Bill Van Auken, 10 February 2014

The leaked tape of a phone call between the State Department’s Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine provides an unvarnished expression of the gangster methods employed by US imperialism.

US regime-change operation in Ukraine exposed in leaked diplomatic phone call

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 February 2014

US officials discussed which right-wing opposition figures were to be placed in power in Ukraine.

US Senate fails to pass bill to extend unemployment benefits

By Joseph Kishore, 7 February 2014

The Democrats' proposal would pay for a three-month extension of benefits by allowing companies to cut back on pension contributions, thereby boosting corporate profits and taxable income.

US Senate votes to slash $8.7 billion in food assistance

By Andre Damon, 5 February 2014

The US Senate voted Tuesday to make $8.7 billion in cuts to food stamps, as part of the Farm Bill package of agricultural legislation.

NY Times calls JPMorgan CEO’s pay raise “laudable”

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 4 February 2014

The Times felt compelled to go into print in defense of Dimon after news of his pay increase raised eyebrows in the media and fueled popular outrage over the avarice and criminality of Wall Street.

Obama names advocate of cyber-warfare to head NSA

By Eric London, 3 February 2014

By appointing Admiral Michael Rogers to head the NSA, President Obama will further entrench and expand the unconstitutional police state apparatus.

New York’s “progressive” mayor de Blasio continues right-wing policies

By Fred Mazelis, 3 February 2014

De Blasio’s “reforms” add up to more of the same as far as the working class in the financial capital of the US is concerned.

Obama’s plan for long-term jobless: A teaspoon to bail out the ocean

By Patrick Martin, 1 February 2014

The heavily publicized meeting between Obama and hundreds of corporate CEOs and other business leaders will do little or nothing to alleviate long-term unemployment.

US attorney general seeks death penalty for Boston Marathon bombing suspect

By Nick Barrickman, 31 January 2014

In seeking the death penalty, US authorities are creating the best conditions for extracting a plea deal that would prevent unwanted testimony from ever being heard in an open court.

Obama administration officials escalate attack on Snowden and “accomplices”

By Ed Hightower, 31 January 2014

Among those who attacked Snowden this week was Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who, as a result of the NSA leaks, has been shown to have committed perjury.

New scandals rock US nuclear command

By Bill Van Auken, 31 January 2014

The Pentagon has been forced to pull one out of every five of its nuclear launch officers from their posts as a result of spiraling drugs and cheating scandals.

US House of Representatives votes to slash $8.7 billion from food stamps

By Andre Damon, 30 January 2014

The House voted to slash the federal food stamp program by $8.7 billion over 10 years, cutting benefits by an average of $90 per month for 850,000 people.

State of the Union: A bankrupt ruling class talking to itself

By Bill Van Auken, 30 January 2014

Obama’s State of the Union speech was a piece of cynical propaganda, a ruling establishment speaking to itself as it prepares a new wave of assaults on the population.

Obama’s State of the Union address: An empty and reactionary charade

By Joseph Kishore, 29 January 2014

Obama’s address on Tuesday was characterized, perhaps even more than any of his previous addresses, by tired rhetoric and right-wing policies.

Democrats, Republicans reach deal to slash $8.7 billion from food stamp program

By Andre Damon, 29 January 2014

House and Senate negotiators announced a deal Monday to slash more than $8 billion from a program that provides food assistance to 48 million people.

Obama’s legacy

By Joseph Kishore, 28 January 2014

This evening, Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address, an annual political tradition that over the years has become a hollow ritual, with little or no relationship between the president’s words and the actual state of American society.

Obama defends police state spying

By Eric London and Barry Grey, 18 January 2014

As Obama’s speech underscored, for the US ruling elite, the Constitution and its Bill of Rights are virtually dead letters.

US Congress unveils austerity budget as Senate delays extension of jobless benefits

By Thomas Gaist, 15 January 2014

Developments this week have underscored the commitment of both parties to the war against the working class and further exposed the bogus character of the Obama administration’s “campaign against inequality.”

Desert Hot Springs, California, declares “fiscal emergency”

By Juan Verala Luz, 15 January 2014

Desert Hot Springs declared a “fiscal emergency,” paving the way for attacks on pensions and salaries as well as an increase in taxes.

"This deal should have the swap counterparties paying the city"

Further evidence shows illegality of Detroit interest rate swaps

By Thomas Gaist, 14 January 2014

Witnesses testified Monday that the 2005 interest rate swaps deal, which has drained hundreds of millions from Detroit's budget, was made in violation of Michigan state law.

Worst US jobs report in three years shatters claims of economic recovery

By Andre Damon, 11 January 2014

In the so-called “recovery” since the Wall Street crash of 2008, a decline in the official jobless rate has perversely become an indicator of deepening social crisis rather than a sign of expanding production.

Why is Dan Gilbert on the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force?

By Kevin Reed, 11 January 2014

An examination of the Blight Removal Task Force co-chaired by billionaire Dan Gilbert shows it has nothing to do with improving the conditions of life of the people of Detroit.

Obama’s phony campaign against inequality

By Andre Damon, 10 January 2014

Announcing his “economic promise zone” initiative on Thursday, President Obama gave a performance that expressed the cynical and contemptuous attitude of his administration and the entire ruling class to the plight of working people in America.

The strange case of Dennis Rodman in North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 January 2014

Incongruous as it might seem, Rodman appears to be functioning as something of a go-between on behalf of Washington in Pyongyang.

New Jersey Governor Christie caught up in scandal over bridge vendetta

By Fred Mazelis, 10 January 2014

The “Bridgegate” episode has the potential to destroy the Republican’s plans for a presidential run in 2016.

Obama’s cheap-labor “promise zone” fraud

By Barry Grey, 9 January 2014

The zones do not constitute an antipoverty program at all. Rather, like free enterprise zones internationally, they are an inducement to private companies to profit from highly exploited, low-paid labor.

US imperialism and Iraq’s descent into civil war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 January 2014

A decade after the US military waged two barbaric sieges of Fallujah, the Iraqi city is once again the scene of a bloody armed conflict.

Obama crony joins Carlyle Group

By Patrick Martin, 9 January 2014

Julius Genachowski moves from regulating telecommunications and media to profiting from those industries.

The cynical charade of Obama’s campaign for jobless benefits

By Andre Damon, 8 January 2014

Having ensured that jobless benefits expire for over a million people by not including the provision in a budget deal worked out with the Republicans, the White House is now attempting to posture as the defender of the unemployed.

Fifty years since Johnson’s declaration of the “War on Poverty”

By Tom Mackaman, 8 January 2014

President Lyndon Johnson's “War on Poverty,” declared 50 years ago Wednesday, proved to be liberal reformism's last gasp.

Senate confirms Janet Yellen as Fed Chair

Move signifies continued free money to Wall Street

By Andre Damon, 7 January 2014

The US Senate confirmed Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, signaling continuity with pro-Wall Street easy money policies.

Why aren’t the Wall Street criminals prosecuted?

By Barry Grey, 7 January 2014

What prevails in America is not democracy, but a revival of aristocratic privilege.

Obama’s fraudulent defense of the unemployed

By Andre Damon, 6 January 2014

Having overseen the expiration of extended jobless benefits for 1.3 million workers at Christmas time, the White House is now posturing as the defender of the unemployed.

New Year’s launch of Obamacare: A health care counter-reform in action

By Kate Randall, 31 December 2013

The revelations of the high costs and shoddy coverage being offered through Obamacare expose the fundamental basis of the Affordable Care Act—the for-profit health care system.

After years of privatization, Detroit charter school enrollment tops public schools

By Walter Gilberti and Nancy Hanover, 31 December 2013

Long before Michigan’s emergency manager law was used to throw Detroit into bankruptcy, the anti-democratic measure was first used to restructure Detroit schools and create a profit driven school system.

A cruel Christmas gift: Jobless benefits cut off for 1.3 million Americans

By Kate Randall and Barry Grey, 28 December 2013

The cutoff of benefits threatens millions of unemployed workers and their families with poverty.

Barack Obama’s Christmas gift to workers

Washington, DC workers speak out on federal budget cuts

By Nick Barrickman, Danielle DeSaxe and Leon Gutierrez, 24 December 2013

The budget agreement will end federal extended unemployment benefits, cutting off 1.3 million from assistance days after Christmas.

White House grants new Obamacare exemptions as enrollment deadline hits

By Kate Randall, 23 December 2013

People whose policies have been canceled will be allowed to purchase “catastrophic” coverage or be granted a “hardship exemption” to avoid a penalty for not having insurance.

US Congress passes $633 billion military spending bill

By Kate Randall, 21 December 2013

The sums spent on the military dwarf spending on critical social programs, such as food stamps and unemployment insurance, that face deep cuts.

Behind the Obama-Raúl Castro handshake at Mandela memorial

By Alexander Fangmann, 17 December 2013

Underlying Obama's gesture is concern among major US interests that they are losing out on opportunities opening up in Cuba.

White House-backed panel to call for cosmetic changes to illegal spying programs

By Joseph Kishore, 14 December 2013

A hand-picked panel is due to submit recommendations to the White House this weekend, part of efforts to ensure the continuation of mass spying programs revealed by Edward Snowden.

US defence secretary warns Pakistan to end NATO supply blockade

By Sampath Perera, 14 December 2013

Washington is threatening to cut aid to Pakistan unless the Sharif government secures the supply route to Afghanistan.

US mayors’ report: Hunger and homelessness rise as aid programs are cut

By Kate Randall, 13 December 2013

The federal government is preparing to carry out new cuts in food stamps and eliminate or slash extended jobless benefits even as the need grows for food assistance and services for the homeless.

Over 1 million US unemployed set to lose benefits after Christmas

Democratic, Republican negotiators reach agreement on austerity budget

By Andre Damon, 11 December 2013

Congressional negotiators have reached agreement on a budget that will leave in place over a trillion dollars in sequester spending cuts over 10 years while setting the stage for the elimination of jobless benefits for over a million people.

Obama and Mandela

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2013

The attempt by the US president to cloak himself in the legacy of Mandela’s years of sacrifice and persecution was an obscene exercise in hypocrisy.

Before Detroit bankruptcy Democratic Party-led task force demanded huge pension cuts

By Thomas Gaist, 11 December 2013

The 2012 “Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force” makes the case for massive cuts to social benefits and social infrastructure.

Seymour Hersh exposes US government lies on Syrian sarin attack

By Barry Grey, 10 December 2013

Hersh’s detailed account exposes as a calculated fraud the propaganda churned out by the administration and uncritically repeated by the media to provide a pretext for a military attack on Syria.