US Politics

US unions back historic assault on workers’ pensions

By Jerry White, 17 December 2014

Coming on the heels of the Detroit bankruptcy, the pension “reform” passed as part of last week’s bipartisan budget resolution will open the floodgates to the gutting of retirement benefits for millions of workers.

Obama CIA director defends “enhanced interrogation” torture program

By Niles Williamson and Joseph Kishore, 12 December 2014

CIA Director John Brennan gave an extraordinary press conference at CIA headquarters on Thursday, outlining the Obama administration’s response to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture.

Obama embraces Republican budget bill

By Patrick Martin, 12 December 2014

The White House said Obama would sign the bill funding the federal government, despite a provision that removes even the most limited restraints on Wall Street speculation.

US forces on global alert ahead of CIA torture report

By Patrick Martin, 9 December 2014

The CIA is backing a media campaign against the Senate report, warning that even a limited exposure of its crimes at secret prisons will produce a worldwide backlash against the US government.

US Supreme Court considers limits to online speech

By Ed Hightower, 6 December 2014

In oral arguments on a case involving Facebook “threats,” the Roberts Court indicated it is seriously considering a major attack on freedom of speech and expression.

Former Washington mayor Marion Barry mourned in US ruling class circles

By Fred Mazelis, 29 November 2014

Barry typified the layer that came to prominence in the ebb and decline of the mass civil rights movement.

Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder receive Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama

By David Walsh, 26 November 2014

The president bestowed America’s highest civilian honor on 18 politicians, artists, scientists and others in a ceremony Monday afternoon.

In Ukraine, US Vice President Biden issues new threats against Russia

By Niles Williamson, 24 November 2014

Biden traveled to Ukraine to shore up the right-wing regime in Kiev and threaten further economic sanctions against Russia.

Senate hearings on Wall Street crimes: The bankers rule

By Barry Grey, 24 November 2014

The two hearings were exercises in political theater, with politicians posturing as critics of Wall Street and bank executives and Fed officials making little effort to conceal their contempt.

Wall Street banks and commodities fraud

By Joseph Kishore, 21 November 2014

A new US Senate report documents yet another aspect of the criminality that pervades the American and global financial system.

James Risen on war and the US financial aristocracy

Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

By Eric London, 19 November 2014

James Risen’s latest book details crimes committed by the Bush and Obama administrations under the auspices of the “war on terror” and the profits made by corporate interests.

Obama at APEC: US steps up economic offensive against China

By Nick Beams, 14 November 2014

US trade policy is based on a drive to secure domination of the world economy, using both military and economic means.

Obama-Xi talks underscore US war threat in Asia

By Patrick Kelly, 13 November 2014

New military “confidence-building mechanisms” resolve none of the issues underlying Washington’s confrontation of China.

ASEAN summit opens in Myanmar

By Joseph Santolan, 13 November 2014

The summit’s first day was marked by an avoidance of the question of the South China Sea.

US federal appeals court upholds state bans on same-sex marriages

By John Andrews, 11 November 2014

In a reactionary ruling, a federal court of appeals has struck down lower court decisions upholding same-sex marriages, setting the stage for a US Supreme Court ruling.

New York Governor Cuomo wins reelection in record low turnout

By Fred Mazelis, 7 November 2014

The election reflected workers’ growing disgust with the Democrats, as well as the increasingly depraved character of big business politics.

Republicans, Obama prepare post-election escalation of war, social attacks

By Patrick Martin, 6 November 2014

The measures being discussed in Washington will fuel corporate profits and the wealth of the billionaires at the expense of working people.

The Democratic Party implosion

By Joseph Kishore, 6 November 2014

The 2014 US midterm election results are a reflection of widespread disaffection and hostility toward the Obama administration and the entire political system.

Minimum wage increase passes in five states

By our reporter, 6 November 2014

The votes counter the claim that the defeat of the Democrats is the product of a swing to the right in the American population.

Republicans win control of Senate in US congressional elections

By Patrick Martin, 5 November 2014

The result is a debacle for the Democratic Party and the Obama administration and presages a further shift to the right in official Washington.

Another shakeup hits US nuclear missile command

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2014

The firing of two commanders and the administrative punishment of a third follow a long string of crises and scandals in a command whose job is nuclear annihilation.

The political issues posed by the US midterm elections

By Patrick Martin, 4 November 2014

By agreement between the Democrats and Republicans, there has been no discussion in the election campaign of the stepped-up program of war, austerity and attacks on democratic rights that will unfold after November 4.

Obama in Detroit

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2014

The empty and cynical character of the election was epitomized by President Barack Obama’s campaign appearance Saturday in Detroit.

Report to UN condemns US government’s “international criminal program of torture”

By Thomas Gaist, 1 November 2014

The report to the UN Committee Against Torture calls for criminal prosecutions of all top US military and civilian officials implicated in the post-9/11 torture regime.

US election campaign staggers to the finish line

By Patrick Martin, 1 November 2014

Only one thing about the election is certain: whatever the division of power in the US Senate, House of Representatives, state governorships and state legislatures, the official two-party system will continue its inexorable shift to the right.

Republican-led purge of voter rolls targets seven million people

By our reporter, 1 November 2014

An investigative report by Al Jazeera America reveals that 27 state governments, most of them Republican-led, have joined in an effort to disqualify seven million registered voters.

Obama uses Ebola doctors as campaign prop

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2014

The media event at the White House, five days before the congressional election, was aimed at giving US imperialism a “humanitarian” face.

New book sheds further light on US government protection of ex-Nazis

By Thomas Gaist, 29 October 2014

US imperialism recruited thousands of Nazis after World War II, as detailed in a new book by New York Times journalist Eric Lichtblau.

The $2 billion Congress

By Andre Damon, 28 October 2014

The US government is not only controlled by, but increasingly composed of, the extremely rich.

The US elections and the American plutocracy

By Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, 27 October 2014

Popular alienation from the political system coincides with the ever more naked domination of both parties and manipulation of elections by a handful of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Blackwater mercenaries convicted for role in 2007 Iraq massacre

By Thomas Gaist, 23 October 2014

The crimes of the Blackwater mercenaries were a product of the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US government, for which the entire political and military establishment is guilty.

The US midterm elections and the bankruptcy of the capitalist system

By Joseph Kishore, 17 October 2014

The US midterm elections are taking place six years after the election of Obama, hailed as a “transformative” candidate who would alter the course of American politics.

CIA warned arming Syrian “rebels” unlikely to succeed

By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2014

The intelligence agency concluded on the basis of decades of experience that its arming of US-backed insurgents seldom proved successful.

White House publicity stunt offers no relief to long-term jobless workers

By Jerry White, 16 October 2014

With the mid-term elections approaching, the meeting was designed to counter the public perception that the administration is indifferent to the plight of the long-term unemployed.

Illinois governor race shows bipartisan lineup against workers

By Kristina Betinis, 13 October 2014

The unions are backing Democratic Governor Quinn, who has attacked pensions and teachers.

Court decisions stop voter ID requirements in Wisconsin, Texas

By Patrick Martin, 11 October 2014

The judicial actions block laws that would have prevented as many as 1.1 million people from voting on November 4.

US Supreme Court opens new term

By John Andrews, 11 October 2014

The Court declined to hear cases overturning bans on same-sex marriage, then held arguments on police stops and withholding pay for time spent clearing security.

“Chicago Socialist Campaign” seeks to head off opposition to Democrats

By Marcus Day and Jerry White, 11 October 2014

Jorge Mújica, a longtime Democratic Party activist, is running as an “independent socialist” candidate in next February’s election for Chicago City Council.

The Ben Affleck-Bill Maher-Sam Harris dispute: Anti-Muslim bigotry and American imperialist policy

By David Walsh, 9 October 2014

The argument that erupted on the October 3 edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” was revealing.

Biden’s admission: US allies armed ISIS

By Patrick Martin, 6 October 2014

Responding to a question at a Harvard forum, the US vice president said Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates supplied arms to the Islamic fundamentalist group the US is now bombing.

Australia, US back sham election staged by Fiji military regime

By Frank Gaglioti, 4 October 2014

The major powers are seeking to forge stronger ties with Fiji as a means of undercutting China’s influence in the South Pacific.

India tilts still closer to Washington

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 3 October 2014

During his summit meeting with Obama, Prime Minister Modi signaled his readiness to align India still more closely with the US’s predatory global agenda.

Protests and sick-outs continue in Colorado against “patriotic” curriculum

By D. Lencho, 1 October 2014

Teachers outside Denver, Colorado called in sick September 29, closing two high schools amidst continuing protests against the school board’s drive to rewrite the US history curriculum.

Recordings show Federal Reserve covered up Wall Street crimes

By Gabriel Black, 1 October 2014

The tapes were made public by a former Federal Reserve regulator who said she was fired because she would not “falsify” her findings.

Obama’s “best of all possible worlds”

By Andre Damon, 27 September 2014

Obama’s claim that “this is the best time in human history to be born,” is a self-deluded absurdity.

US generals challenge Obama on ground troops in Iraq, Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 20 September 2014

In a series of statements contradicting the president’s vow of no new “ground war” in Iraq, the Pentagon’s top brass has come close to insubordination.

Virginia officials announce massive state budget cuts

By Nick Barrickman, 20 September 2014

The deal would allow for the cutting of over $500 million in the next two years.

Ukrainian president delivers bellicose speech to the US Congress

By Niles Williamson, 19 September 2014

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered an address to a joint session of Congress in which he called for increased economic and military assistance to aid in a “war for the Free World.”

The NFL’s Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson—and the moral high ground of American corporations

By David Walsh, 19 September 2014

In response to recent incidents involving US professional football players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, a number of large corporations have expressed “concern” or even withdrawn sponsorships.

US House approves Obama plan for military intervention in Syria

By Patrick Martin, 18 September 2014

The bipartisan vote, with majorities of both Republicans and Democrats supporting the White House, is a major step towards a wider war in the Middle East.

US appeals court approves Wisconsin voter ID law for November election

By Barry Grey, 18 September 2014

The raft of laws in Wisconsin and other states imposing photo ID requirements and other restrictions on access to the ballot represents an attack on the fundamental democratic right to vote.

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.