US Politics

The dark side of American politics

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2015

The New York Times has retracted its claim that the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, without revealing which government officials made the false allegation.

Failure of Iran nuclear pact will lead to war, Kerry warns

By Thomas Gaist, 29 July 2015

In response to bipartisan warmongering, Kerry insisted that the nuclear pact would serve as a stepping stone toward intensified confrontation with Tehran.

Obama promotes militarism and murder

By Patrick Martin, 23 July 2015

In a speech Tuesday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the US president boasted of the success of US drone missile and assassination programs, listing a series of victims.

The US presidency for sale

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2015

The 2016 US presidential election will be decided, not by the votes of the people, but by a flood of dollars from a small number of billionaires.

American Federation of Teachers endorses Clinton

By Tom Hall, 20 July 2015

The teachers’ union endorsement follows years of political subordination to the Democratic Party by top AFT bureaucrats.

Campaign fundraising in 2016 US election cycle soars to new records

By Andre Damon, 17 July 2015

Candidates have spent twice as much in the first half of this year as at the same point in the last presidential election cycle, with the total cost of the election expected to rise to $10 billion.

Wisconsin governor Walker implements draconian state budget

By George Gallanis, 16 July 2015

The 2015-2017 Wisconsin budget slashes hundreds of millions of dollars from the UW system, implements drug testing for public assistance and eliminates a number of labor protections.

Hillary Clinton outlines right-wing economic policies in New York City speech

By Andre Damon, 14 July 2015

Speaking at the New School in New York City, Clinton declared that her presidency would “empower” US businesses by cutting taxes and regulation.

Behind New York’s Cuomo-de Blasio feud

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 14 July 2015

The two leading New York Democrats are governing at a time of growing crisis and disgust with capitalist politics.

Eric Holder returns to law firm that represents Wall Street banks

By Tom Carter, 11 July 2015

For six years, Holder used the office of attorney general to benefit the financial elite. Now he is going back to work for them directly.

Trump redoubles racist invective against Mexican immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 9 July 2015

A three-page written statement claimed that Mexican immigration amounted to “infectious disease … pouring over the border.”

Republican candidates split over racist remarks by Donald Trump

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2015

The billionaire developer and presidential candidate has made a series of fascistic rants against Mexican immigrants.

Bernie Sanders holds rally of 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin

By Patrick Martin, 3 July 2015

The growth of support for Sanders is a reflection of widespread opposition to social inequality, which the senator is seeking to channel back into the framework of the Democratic Party.

Obama proposes rules to expand overtime pay for salaried workers

By Andre Damon, 1 July 2015

Despite being touted as a major new policy initiative by the White House, the proposed change to overtime rules would affect just 3.5 percent of US workers.

The economic nationalism of Bernie Sanders

By Tom Hall, 1 July 2015

The “socialist” senator and Democratic presidential candidate's nationalist appeals are designed to head off the emergence of an independent movement of the working class.

US Supreme Court upholds “excruciating” executions

By Joseph Kishore, 30 June 2015

The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that executions using the sedative midazolam can go forward.

Why the politicians have united to take down the Confederate flag

By Barry Grey, 30 June 2015

The rush to take down symbols of racism that the American political establishment has kept in place for decades is a defensive response to an outpouring of public horror over the Charleston killings and popular hostility to racism.

Obama’s eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina

By Andre Damon, 29 June 2015

President Obama’s eulogy for the victims of this month’s shooting in Charleston was remarkable for its religious obscurantism and inability to seriously address any of the issues that led to the horrendous mass murder.

The US Supreme Court and marriage equality

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2015

The Supreme Court decision invalidates laws in a minority of US states that prohibit recognition of same-sex marriage and arbitrarily discriminate against homosexuals.

Paul Krugman’s apologia for Obamacare

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2015

Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act by declaring the health care overhaul a “policy triumph.”

US Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies

By Kate Randall, 26 June 2015

The majority opinion states that without the subsidies the ACA would collapse, sending the insurance market into a “death spiral.”

The social roots of racism in America

By Andre Damon, 23 June 2015

The political establishment has seized upon the tragedy in Charleston to promote the conception that race is the fundamental category in American society.

Sanders campaign seeks to channel anger over inequality behind Democrats

By Patrick Martin, 22 June 2015

The Vermont senator offers no program for working people, but his attacks on economic inequality and the “billionaire class” have gained a hearing.

With appointment of Kenneth Feinberg to oversee cuts

White House steps up assault on pensions

By Andre Damon, 20 June 2015

The White House said Wednesday that it will grant long-time Washington fixer Kenneth Feinberg the power to unilaterally slash the benefits of retirees in multiemployer pension funds.

As efforts to train new Iraqi army flounder

US secretary of defense threatens breakup of Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 19 June 2015

Washington increasingly seeks to rule Iraq through a network of tribal-based sectarian proxy forces, reinforced by thousands of US “advisers.”

Delay on TPP prompts warnings to US from Asia

By Nick Beams, 19 June 2015

The US has received a blunt warning about shifting relations in Asia from Singapore’s foreign minister.

Jeb Bush launches campaign for Republican presidential nomination

By Patrick Martin, 18 June 2015

The official two-party system has shifted so far to the right that Bush is regarded as too moderate by much of the Republican Party base.

Obama, Republicans join forces to salvage trade bill

By Patrick Martin, 17 June 2015

The campaign of the White House and congressional Republicans in support of the TPP shatters the conventional picture of official Washington, supposedly divided into intransigent partisan camps.

US House approves measure blocking training of neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine

By Niles Williamson, 17 June 2015

The passage of the amendment to the House’s Pentagon budget bill restricting support for the Azov Battalion is a further confirmation of the leading role played by fascist forces in Ukraine.

Hillary Clinton launches her presidential campaign

By Patrick Martin, 15 June 2015

Speaking before an audience of Democratic Party hacks and union officials, Clinton combined empty demagogy with contempt for the intelligence of the population.

House vote deals setback to Obama trade bill

By Patrick Martin, 13 June 2015

Sections of both the Democratic and Republican parties combined to block passage of a Trade Promotion Authority bill.

Mounting opposition to Democratic politicians in New York

By Fred Mazelis, 9 June 2015

A new poll provides a pale reflection of the depth of public anger over corruption and inequality.

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.