US Politics

The fraudulent debate over NSA reform

By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2015

Whether Section 215 of the Patriot Act is extended or allowed to expire, the vast US government apparatus for spying on the American people will continue unabated.

Former Republican speaker indicted on felony charges

By a reporter, 30 May 2015

Dennis Hastert was charged with illegally concealing cash payments made to cover up “past misconduct” and with lying to federal investigators.

US intelligence and media fail to debunk Seymour Hersh on bin Laden

By Patrick Martin, 22 May 2015

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has suddenly, after four years, released documents allegedly obtained during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Federal court blocks release of CIA torture report

By Ed Hightower, 22 May 2015

The court turned the facts and the law upside down to keep evidence of CIA torture and spying on Congress from seeing the light of day.

Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton, Inc. and the rape of Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2015

Revealed in the Blumenthal-Clinton memos is the real nature of the American government: a criminal conspiracy to enrich a ruling oligarchy through war and reaction.

The Clintons peddle populism while raking in corporate cash

By Patrick Martin, 20 May 2015

Financial disclosure forms filed May 15 show that Bill and Hillary Clinton have made more than $125 million since Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001.

US House of Representatives passes anti-abortion bill

By Evan Blake, 19 May 2015

The bill, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, highlights the precarious state of abortion rights in the US as the political system slides further to the right.

Is the US planning a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident in the South China Sea?

By Peter Symonds, 18 May 2015

No one should be surprised by a new US provocation suddenly emerging to try to stampede public opinion behind military operations against China.

Jeb Bush’s “gaffe”: A revealing comment on the Iraq war

By Patrick Martin, 16 May 2015

The younger Bush’s “gaffe” was that he spoke the truth about the warmongering by both imperialist parties, Democrats as well as Republicans.

Obama hosts Camp David summit for Gulf oil monarchies

By Bill Van Auken, 15 May 2015

Assembled at the Maryland retreat were the most reactionary rulers of the Middle East, Washington’s principal allies in the Arab world.

The right-wing political record of Bernie Sanders

By Tom Hall, 15 May 2015

Sander's announcement that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president is the outcome of four decades of establishment liberal politics, occasionally masked with “socialist” rhetoric.

US Senate reaches bipartisan deal to push trade pacts

By Patrick Martin, 14 May 2015

The deal came less than a day after Senate Democrats blocked a White House-supported effort to hold an immediate vote on Trade Promotion Authority.

White House authorizes Shell to resume drilling in the Arctic

By Thomas Gaist, 13 May 2015

Ending a three-year-long suspension, the Obama administration reopened U.S.-controlled Arctic waters to drilling operations by Royal Dutch Shell this week.

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down state pension cuts

By Alexander Fangmann, 11 May 2015

Despite the ruling, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel remain committed to slashing public employee pensions.

Kerry in Riyadh: A meeting of war criminals

By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2015

The visit by Kerry underscored Washington’s reliance on the most tyrannical and blood-soaked regimes to pursue its predatory interests in the region.

Skelos latest veteran New York State politician indicted for corruption

By Fred Mazelis, 8 May 2015

Republican Senate majority leader Dean Skelos is just one of an endless series of politicians from both big business parties who have been charged with criminal activity.

Three more Republican candidates join US presidential race

By Patrick Martin, 7 May 2015

None of the three, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina or Mike Huckabee, is likely to win the nomination, but their candidacy pushes the electoral process even further to the right.

Kerry visits Somalia as US prepares expanded intervention in East Africa

By Thomas Gaist, 6 May 2015

Though subject to decades of bombing, subversion, and special forces raids by US imperialism, Somalia had never before received a visit from America’s top diplomat.

Parasitism, plutocracy and economic depression

By Andre Damon, 2 May 2015

The ongoing global economic slump is inseparable from the parasitic activities of the financial oligarchy, aided and abetted by the state.

Pseudo-left to lay foundations for Syriza-type alliance at upcoming Chicago conference

By Eric London, 2 May 2015

Socialist Alternative, the International Socialist Organization, leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union, and various Green and Democratic elected officials will gather this weekend in Chicago to discuss the possibility of a pseudo-left electoral alliance.

Iran’s Zarif volunteers Tehran as US strategic partner

By Keith Jones, 22 April 2015

Zarif’s “message” is remarkable both for what it says and what it doesn’t say.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hired by hedge fund Citadel

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2015

Bernanke’s new job constitutes little more than a kickback for services rendered to Wall Street.

A historic attack on Medicare

By Kate Randall, 17 April 2015

The new Medicare bill, which takes aim at health care for seniors, has been hatched as a conspiracy behind the backs of the American people.

White House and Congress reach deal over Iran nuclear talks

By Thomas Gaist, 17 April 2015

The Obama administration signaled approval Tuesday for legislation that would give Congress a role in the event that a deal is reached on Iran’s nuclear program.

US Senate passes “milestone” bill to means-test Medicare, ration health care

By Andre Damon, 16 April 2015

The bill, overwhelmingly backed by both Democrats and Republicans, is a significant step in the ongoing drive to attack Medicare and health care in the United States.

Republican presidential hopeful proposes means testing of Social Security

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2015

The proposals from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are a political signal of the direction of social policy for the whole ruling elite in the United States.

Obama and Castro at the OAS summit

By Bill Van Auken, 14 April 2015

The Cuban leader praised Obama for his “humility” and “honesty,” while exonerating him for all the crimes of US imperialism.

Hillary Clinton announces presidential campaign

By Andre Damon, 13 April 2015

The Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential campaign formally announced her candidacy Sunday in an online video utterly devoid of political content.

Virginia’s Democratic governor moves to expand police surveillance powers

By Nick Barrickman, 13 April 2015

The move to undermine the population’s protections against police spying is of a piece with the anti-democratic policies undertaken by the Democratic Party nationwide.

US presidential campaign begins: A travesty of democracy

By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2015

Both Hillary Clinton and her Republican rivals are seeking the support of the billionaire financiers who will determine the course of the 2016 campaign.

The insider trading fix and class justice in America

By Barry Grey, 8 April 2015

In America, “justice” for the working class and poor is remorseless, brutal and final.

The political issues in the Chicago mayoral election

By Kristina Betinis and Patrick Martin, 7 April 2015

The phony “populist” campaign of “Chuy” Garcia has been mounted, under conditions of mass disaffection from the two-party system, to head off the emergence of a politically independent movement of the working class.

US faces another debacle on Pacific economic treaty

By Mike Head, 4 April 2015

Talks have broken down again on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed US-dominated bloc.

Chicago mayoral election rally

“Chuy” Garcia, Bernie Sanders promote trade unions, Democratic Party

By Marcus Day and George Marlowe, 4 April 2015

A rally held in the final days before Chicago’s runoff elections sought to rehabilitate the increasingly discredited Democratic Party and trade unions.

Iran makes sweeping concessions to US in nuclear “framework” deal

By Keith Jones, 3 April 2015

Obama touted the agreement as a diplomatic coup for the US, while boasting that Iran has been brought to heel by the “toughest sanctions in history.”

Federal judge dismisses private lawsuit based on “state secrets” doctrine

By John Burton, 3 April 2015

For the first time in any US courtroom, a judge has dismissed a purely private lawsuit based on the claim that government secrets might be exposed.

Democratic senator indicted on corruption charges

By Patrick Martin, 2 April 2015

Robert Menendez of New Jersey, former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the most powerful Democrats in the US Senate.

Twelve years after Iraq invasion

Middle East engulfed by war

By Bill Van Auken, 31 March 2015

With the entire region engulfed by war, Washington’s pursuit of seemingly contradictory policies in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere has provoked charges of “strategic incoherence.”

Republican budget plan slashes Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2015

Similar plans were passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday and the Senate early Friday.

US political establishment hails bipartisan bill attacking Medicare

By Kate Randall, 28 March 2015

The bill is designed to effect a paradigm shift in health care, away from “fee for service” to a system that rewards doctors for rationing care and cutting costs.

White House announces pro-corporate fracking rules

By Philip Guelpa, 27 March 2015

The Obama administration’s newly announced rules on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands will allow oil companies to continue endangering human health and the environment.

Ultra-right Texas senator is first official US presidential candidate

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2015

Senator Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign at Liberty University in Virginia, a Christian fundamentalist college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Official endorsements reveal Kshama Sawant’s close ties with Democratic Party

By Eric London, 25 March 2015

As Sawant racks up endorsements from prominent Democrats and Wall Street speculators, an internal Socialist Alternative memo exposes Sawant’s close ties to the two-party system.

Unemployment benefits availability in US at lowest level in history

By E.P. Bannon, 23 March 2015

Only 23.1 percent of unemployed workers were receiving benefits in December 2014, the lowest level since unemployment insurance benefits were first established.

The fraud of Obama’s “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

By Nancy Hanover, 23 March 2015

Obama’s proposal for student loan aid is both a publicity stunt to appease popular concern over ever-rising student loan debt and a plan to tighten enforcement on repayment.

Bellum Americanum: US imperialism’s delusions of world conquest

By Joseph Kishore, 21 March 2015

There is near-universal agreement among Democrats and Republicans in Washington to substantially increase funding for the already gargantuan Pentagon war machine.

Obama set to veto any cuts to Pentagon war machine

By Bill Van Auken, 19 March 2015

The president has made no threat to veto budget proposals imposing spending caps on vital social services.

Why the media silence on Lindsey Graham’s vow to use the military to force vote in Congress?

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2015

With the media poised to jump on candidates’ slightest “gaffes,” there are virtually no reports on Graham’s vow to “use the military” to push through a Pentagon budget.

US presidential election season begins

By Patrick Martin, 13 March 2015

The United States is entering a 2016 presidential election campaign that demonstrates the narrow basis of the two-party system and the oligarchical character of American society.

Obama’s criticism of right-to-work law: A defense of the corporatist bureaucracy

By Shannon Jones, 13 March 2015

Obama’s criticism of the recently enacted right-to-work law in Wisconsin reflects divisions in the ruling establishment over the best way to pursue attacks on the working class.

Lindsey Graham threatens troops to force Congress vote on military cuts

By Bill Van Auken, 13 March 2015

The Republican senator’s proposal for ringing the Capitol with soldiers to force through a Pentagon budget says a great deal about the US political setup.

With Senate letter, tensions mount over US policy toward Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 12 March 2015

The extraordinary intervention of Senate Republicans to derail any nuclear treaty with Iran is symptomatic of deep divisions within the US government.

Report alleges systemic neglect of special needs students at New Orleans charter school

By Tom Hall, 12 March 2015

The scandal exposes the social devastation wrought by the pro-corporate charter “reform” implemented following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Media furor over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email

By Patrick Martin, 11 March 2015

The presumed frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination held a brief press conference Tuesday in an effort to deflect the media barrage.

Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant attends Democratic Party fundraiser

By Eric London, 7 March 2015

Sawant’s support for a Democratic Party leader who recently voted to approve a $210 million prison for children is a damning exposure of her phony “socialist” pretensions.

FCC ruling sides with tech companies on “net neutrality”

By Mike Ingram, 6 March 2015

The decision of the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as a “telecommunications service” favors one set of corporate giants over another.

Netanyahu delivers anti-Iran tirade to US Congress

By Bill Van Auken, 4 March 2015

Underlying the acrimony between Washington and Tel Aviv are not merely differing assessments of Iran, but broader divergences in strategic interests.

Governor compares Wisconsin protesters to terrorists

By Patrick Martin, 28 February 2015

The remarks by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker demonstrate the ferocious hostility of the entire US ruling elite, Democrat as well as Republican, towards the working class.

Clinton Foundation raked in cash from right-wing regimes, corporations

By Tom Hall, 28 February 2015

Persian Gulf regimes and huge military contractors gave tens of millions of dollars to the foundation, which functions as an auxiliary institution in American imperialist foreign policy.

Missouri Republican candidate, apparent target of anti-Semitic comments, commits suicide

By Nick Barrickman, 28 February 2015

According to a spokesperson for Schweich, he had been preparing to go public with allegations of anti-Semitism against state Republican Party Chairman, John Hancock.

Conflict over DHS funding masks bipartisan attack on immigrants in US

By Patrick Martin, 25 February 2015

Both the Democrats and Republicans favor the repression and exploitation of immigrant workers.

Inmates riot against miserable conditions at south Texas prison

By Evan Blake, 23 February 2015

Willacy County Correctional Center is one of fifteen federal for-profit prisons that house mostly undocumented immigrants under deplorable conditions.

Senate approves Ashton Carter as new Pentagon chief

By Patrick Martin, 13 February 2015

The near-unanimous vote shows the lockstep support of both Republicans and Democrats for a policy of militarism and worldwide aggression.

Albuquerque moves to escalate evictions of homeless campers

By D. Lencho, 9 February 2015

Removal of the homeless has begun at a “tent city” near downtown, while new encampments have sprung up in other parts of the city.

National Security Strategy document affirms US drive for world domination

By Patrick Martin, 7 February 2015

The document elaborates the American ruling class’ view that the US is “the world’s leading global power with interests in every part of an increasingly interconnected world.”

Chicago mayoral race enters final weeks

By Kristina Betinis, 5 February 2015

None of the challengers to Mayor Rahm Emanuel—all Democrats—represent the interests of working people or offer any opposition to his right-wing austerity policies.

Obama’s “pro-middle class” budget: Cut corporate taxes, raise military spending, slash Medicare

By Andre Damon, 3 February 2015

Obama’s 2016 budget, cynically packaged as a populist boon to the middle class at the expense of the rich, in reality continues the reactionary policies of austerity, war and repression.

US Senator McCain calls police on anti-Kissinger protesters

By Patrick Martin, 31 January 2015

Official Washington can defend the crimes of US imperialism only with repression.

Obama administration moves to open US coastlines to offshore drilling

By Nick Barrickman, 31 January 2015

In a major giveaway to US energy corporations, the Department of the Interior announced that it would open a large section of the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling for the first time.

Koch brothers pledge to spend nearly $900 million on 2016 US elections

By Patrick Martin, 29 January 2015

Charles and David Koch plan to spend more money to elect right-wing candidates in 2016 than either the Democratic or Republican parties.

Politically driven hysteria over the New York City snowstorm that wasn’t

By Jerry White, 29 January 2015

The residents of New York City were subjected to warnings of a “historic snowstorm,” declarations of states of emergency and a virtual lockdown for what turned out to be a few inches of snow.

Obama’s State of the Union and the fraud of Kshama Sawant

By Eric London, 29 January 2015

The Seattle City Council member's response to Obama’s State of the Union address is a defense of US imperialism and the Democratic Party.

US announces plan to ration health care under Medicare

By Kate Randall, 28 January 2015

The realignment of Medicare more directly with the profit dictates of the market will become the model for the American health care system as a whole.

Concerns over Fed tightening as deflation fears grow

By Nick Beams, 28 January 2015

William White, former chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements, declared, “We’re seeing true currency wars and everybody is doing it, and I have no idea where this is going to end.”

Whistleblower who exposed CIA nuclear sabotage operation convicted under Espionage Act

By Thomas Gaist, 28 January 2015

Jeffrey Sterling faces a possible maximum sentence of nearly 100 years for allegedly speaking to investigative reporter James Risen about covert operations targeting Iran.

New figures show continued decline in US union membership

By Shannon Jones, 28 January 2015

The unionization rate in America is at its lowest point in 100 years.

Republican presidential campaign begins: A mixture of corporate cash and far-right politics

By Patrick Martin, 27 January 2015

The first significant events in the campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination took place this weekend in California and Iowa.

Top New York state Democrat indicted for corruption

By Philip Guelpa, 26 January 2015

Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, was indicted for accepting bribes and influence peddling.

New Senate Intelligence Committee chair moves to suppress CIA torture report

By Patrick Martin, 24 January 2015

The new Republican chairman of the committee has demanded the Obama administration return all copies of the report on CIA torture.

Mounting hunger in western Wisconsin

By Gary Joad, 24 January 2015

Hunger among working poor families continues to grow in western Wisconsin, where lumber and manufacturing remain deeply depressed.

Obama’s State of Delusion

By Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore, 22 January 2015

The delusional character of Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday is perhaps matched only by its presentation by the media and supporters of the Democratic Party.

Delusion and deception in Obama’s State of Union

By Patrick Martin, 21 January 2015

The State of the Union speech delivered by President Obama Tuesday night painted a picture of America and the world that is the diametric opposite of the real conditions of social crisis, economic breakdown and imperialist war.

US education secretary promises no let-up in standardized testing

By Michelle Ryan, 20 January 2015

In an address to educators at a Washington, D.C. elementary school, US education secretary Arne Duncan defended the Obama administration’s policy of scapegoating teachers.

The coming fight over wages in the US

By Jerry White, 19 January 2015

Several leading newspapers and think tanks have pointed to the long-term stagnation of wages as the catalyst for a potentially explosive movement over wages by the working class.

Behind whitewash of CIA spying: The trail leads to the White House

By Thomas Gaist and Patrick Martin, 17 January 2015

CIA Director John Brennan discussed plans to investigate the Senate Intelligence Committee staff with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

Spending by outside groups in US Senate elections has doubled since 2010

By E.P. Bannon, 17 January 2015

Campaign spending by outside groups like super PACs has doubled since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

Federal judge cuts BP oil spill fine by billions of dollars

By Tom Hall, 17 January 2015

BP’s maximum fine for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be $13.7 billion, far lower than the $18 billion fine called for by prosecutors.

White House to draft Iraq-Syria war resolution

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2015

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force would be the basis for a further escalation of US military operations in the Middle East.

Pennsylvania’s new Democratic Party governor prepares austerity measures

By Douglas Lyons, 14 January 2015

Governor-elect Tom Wolf is preparing reductions in spending on public education and other social programs along with deep cuts to the pensions and health benefits.

Justice Department considering felony charges against Petraeus

By Patrick Martin, 13 January 2015

The leaked report is another sign of a subterranean struggle within the US military-intelligence apparatus.

Elizabeth Warren speaks at AFL-CIO meeting

By Tom Hall, 13 January 2015

Warren’s speech Wednesday at the National Summit to Raise Wages was aimed at bolstering the Democrats’ flagging electoral support in the face of its right-wing record.

White House rejects petitions to fire prosecutors who drove Internet activist Aaron Swartz to suicide

By Nick Barrickman, 12 January 2015

The Obama administration had earlier defended the judicial hounding of the Internet pioneer as “a good use of prosecutorial discretion.”

Union shuts down strike, pushes sellout of Maryland sanitation workers

By Todd Mason and Nick Barrickman, 12 January 2015

Nearly 100 Maryland sanitation workers returned to work last Thursday after their union agreed to a federal mediator’s request to end the strike without securing any of the workers’ basic demands.

At Michigan auto factory, Obama says more “sacrifice” needed for economic turnaround

By Jerry White, 8 January 2015

President Obama pointed to the auto industry—where labor costs have been slashed by nearly a third over the last decade—as the model for building America’s “middle class.”

New Congress targets Social Security disability benefits

By Andre Damon, 8 January 2015

The 114th US Congress completed its first two days by preparing the passage of regressive, anti-social policies.

Obama backs beleaguered Mexican president

By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2015

Facing mounting calls for his resignation over the massacre of Mexican students, Peña Nieto discussed security, economic integration and immigration in a trip to Washington yesterday.

House Republicans re-elect Congressional whip with ties to neo-Nazi group

By Andre Damon, 7 January 2015

The appointment of Steve Scalse is a clear statement that a past relationship with a white supremacist organization does not disqualify someone from holding a top post in Congress.

As 114th Congress convenes

Washington resumes work on right-wing agenda

By Patrick Martin, 5 January 2015

The Obama administration and the new Republican majority in Congress have begun discussions on an agenda of militarism abroad and further attacks on working people at home.