Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'Obama'
The Tail Instructs the Dog
FRANKLIN LAMB
On 2/26/2013 Iran is expected to meet with other world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan to discuss its nuclear program. Discussions that the occupiers of Palestine fervently hope will not be successful. It is toward this end that their key demand this week to the US Congress,...
Perils of the Keystone XL Pipeline Confront Obama
RALPH NADER
Bill McKibben, a prolific writer and organizer on global warming and climate change, has had a busy year teaching environmentalists not to despair and will soon be learning some lessons himself. In August 2011, he organized an unprecedented demonstration in front o...
Rafael Correa, An Anti-Obama in Ecuador?
ADAM CHIMIENTI AND CARMEN L. ARIAS
Latin American elections always seem to get it these days. Western journalists cannot deny an opportunity to pass without throwing some stones. So it was hardly surprising when the words “dictator”(Reuters, BBC) and “handouts”(USA Today, CBS News) were thrown into...
The Iranians and Unconditional Friendship
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tehran Truth be told, this American observer has attended his share of international  conferences and has traveled in more than 70 countries. But never has he  visited such a complex, evolving, striving and energized society, populated by idealistic peop...
Power, Privilege, and Climate Change
JOSEPH NEVINS
As I watched a video of Barack Obama delivering his second...
Hillary Clinton’s Record of Failure as Secretary of State
ERIC ZUESSE
Although many ...
How To Sell “Hard Choices”
ALAN NASSER
In his State of the Union address president Obama told us that “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.” We have learned to beware when elites talk of “hard” and “tough” choices. These terms are synonymous w...
‘Obama Recession’ or Full Employment?
Dr. MARGARET FLOWERS AND KEVIN ZEESE
There are lots of inter...
Elite Optimism Amid Endless Crisis
BEN SCHREINER
An economic recovery has begun. - President Obama, Second Inaugural Address President Obama’s optimism — baseless as it may be — was s...
Obama Endorses Stonewall?
GARY LEUPP
At first I wasn’t sure I had heard right. “…Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” Does Obama, I wondered, mean that Stonewall? Or is there some battle by that name I’ve never learned about? It soon became clear, that yes, he was referri...
The Fed’s Plan B
MIKE WHITNEY
“How do you solve a problem when you’re running a 10% fiscal budget deficit? You are not going to get growth without private sector credit demand. The government’s idea right now is that we’re going to export our way out of this, and when I asked a...
On Obama’s Second Inauguration
DAVE LINDORFF
There were no memorable lines in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Certainly nothing like Franklin Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which was in his first inaugural, or like John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can...
ExxonMobil Donates $260,000 to Obama Inauguration
STEVE HORN
President Barack Obama will be publicly sworn in today – on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – to serve his second t...
Obama’s EPA Shuts Down Damning Fracking Study
STEVE HORN
The Associated Press has a ...
Who Will Be the Next Secretary of Labor?
DAVID MACARAY
With Hilda Solis resigning as Labor Secretary (presumably, to run for LA County Board of Supervisors, the first step in the former congresswoman’s renewal of her political career), President Obama has the opportunity to appoint someone who can make a real difference. No...
Oliver Stone, Obama, and the War in Vietnam
MICHAEL D. YATES
Oliver Stone’s Showtime series, Untold History of the United States...
Fiscal Cliff Averted?
JOSH BIVENS
The House and Senate passed a budget deal over the long weekend. Headlines reported it as a deal about the “fiscal cliff.” It wasn’t. It had some good and some bad elements, but it did nearly nothing to address the actual problem that was always meant to be describe...
Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game
DAVE LINDORFF
If President Obama had been the commander of Allied forces during the invasion of Normandy 1944, he would have cut a deal with the Nazis when they launched the counter-offensive called the Battle of the Bulge, and WWII would have ended in Europe with a divided France and ...
Do Arabs Cry For Their Children Too?
TOM MCNAMARA
Rennes, France. Once more tragedy befalls America. But this time the tragedy is even more bitter due to the fact that such a large number of young children were involved. A gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children &#...
A New Obama?
ANDREW LEVINE
As President Obama negotiates with House Speaker John Boehner and other leading Republicans on avoiding the “fiscal cliff” and addressing the ballyhooed  “deficit problem,” he is adamant on one point – that marginal tax rates on the top two percent of earners b...
Why UN Climate Agreements Fail
SHAMUS COOKE
History will undoubtedly deliver the harshest condemnations of  the UN climate talks currently underway in Doha, Qatar. But the conference was laughable before it began; the inept “goals” of the talks stand in tragic-comic opposition to what we already know a...
Name That Foreign Policy Legacy
JOHN FEFFER
In re-electing President Barack Obama, voters decisively rejected the Republican version of economic reform. Obama is already angling to use his mandate to solve the nation’s fiscal woes by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the rich. But the election d...
Netanyahu Gives Obama His Comeuppance
ANDREW LEVINE
Pity the reporters and editors of the “quality press” and their NPR counterparts who must struggle to reinforce one of conventional wisdom’s more preposterous tenets: that Israel has to massacre Gazans every now and then to protect its citizens from “terrorist” ...
Grand Theft Wall Street
MIKE WHITNEY
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) needs a bailout, but don’t expect the media to tell you why. Instead, they’ll give you some baloney about how the agency was used to “stabilize the housing market” following the gov...
Obama’s Biggest Environmental ‘Victory’ Was A Huge Win for Frackers
Joshua Frank
Greenhouse gas emissions are hot news these days — especially in the lead up to an election when candidates, at least those who claim to believe in climate science, vow to do something about the biggest environmental crisis facing our little blue planet: climate cha...
Broadwell Defended Petraeus’ Village Destruction Policy
GARETH PORTER
Paula Broadwell, whose affair with Gen. David Petraeus brought his career to a sudden end last week, had sought to help defend his decision in 2010 to allow village destruction in Afghanistan that not only violated his own previous guidance but the international laws of w...
Obama, Cuba and United States
BENJAMIN WILLIS
Although most progressives would agree that last Tuesday’s elections did little to resolve the overwhelming list of challenges that faces our nation there is a glimmer of hope that the United States is inevitably moving towards a policy of engagement and normalizati...
The First 10 Things Obama Needs to Do in His Second Term
DAVID MACARAY
1. Don’t spend one dime on a gala inauguration. In fact, don’t do anything more than you are legally bound to do, which is placing your hand on a Bible and swearing to uphold the Constitution. Keep it austere. Show the public you’re aware of the challenges ahead and...
Obama and the Triumph of Small Margins
BINOY KAMPMARK
‘No way Mittiepoo!’  ‘Mitt Romney is checking the math.  That’s why its taking so long.’   The hubris, the excitement, and the ugliness of the cheering.   The swear words on social media are being cast with a good dosage of bile.  There have been “O...
Obama, the Popular Vote, and the Left
CARLOS VILLARREAL
It’s hard to not be delighted that so many bigots and right-wingers were horribly disappointed this week when Barack Obama won a second term, but it’s still difficult for me to be all that enthusiastic about the Democratic President. I know what youR...
Don’t Worry About A Romney Appointed Court
WILLIAM KAUFMAN
Halloween has been over for nearly a week, but prepare yourselves for another autumn haunting this Tuesday: a swarm of Democratic liberal zombies, perhaps numbering in the millions, will darken the streets of the nation, staggering in desperate half steps toward the neare...
Obama’s Secret Wars
PATRICK COCKBURN
Drones or their equivalent have long attracted political and military leaders dreaming of the surgical removal of their enemies. In 1812, the governor of Moscow, Count Rostopchin, devised a plan to get a hot-air balloon to hover over the French lines at Borodino and drop ...
Your Brain on Obama
RANDY SHIELDS
This is your brain on Obama: Smoking Obama increases apathy and reduces empathy, regardless of race, creed or color. Now blacks, as well as whites, don’t care in the least how many dark-skinned people America kills throughout the world. Before the Obama epidemic,...
Advice for the Votelorn
GREG KOBAYASHI-MCBRYDE
I’d like to give some advice to those who are planning to vote in the American election on November 6. Before I do, a couple of caveats: First, no one I have ever voted for has been elected in a federal or provincial election. Mayoral, either. I may have voted for a...
The Stolen Child
KATHLEEN PEINE
Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand. “The Stolen Child” WB Yeats “I believ...
Five Easy Post-Election Predictions
SHAMUS COOKE
It’s true that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have many political differences. But they also agree on many essential policies; enough to make the next four years easily predictable, no matter who wins. Here are five predictions based on the most important shared belie...
How McGovern Tamed the Anti-War Movement
SARAH BLASKEY and PHIL GASPER
Was George McGovern a political saint—a man of such total moral purity that he transcended the day-to-day realities of money and power that usually dominate American politics? That’s certainly the impression one might get from reading the tributes that appeared...
Enough Already!
ANDREW LEVINE
With the (likely) reelection of Barack Obama only a week off, do any Obama supporters have anything but lesser evil arguments to offer in his behalf? The ever loyal Melissa Harris-Perry does.  She wrote in The Nation (Nov. 5) that Obama’s reelection wil...
Survival and Dignity in an Afghan Winter
KATHY KELLY
“Mirwais, son of Hayatullah Haideri. He was 1½ years old and had just started to learn how to walk, holding unsteadily to the poles of the family tent before flopping onto the frozen razorbacks of the muddy floor. “Abdul Hadi, son of Abdul Ghani. ...
The Banal Evil of Voting
JOSHUA SPERBER
A 2004 Pew poll showed that while 38 percent of Americans would be reluctant to vote for a Muslim presidential...
Obama in 2012, American Death Squads in 2016
AMOS BURRITT
What would be best sign of a true dictatorship in this country?   Most people would probably say it would be the government’s power to kill you, or lock you away forever in prison, without ever needing clear evidence that you are guilty of any crime, and without ever ...
Barack Obama is the True Conservative
MICHAEL TRACEY
Listen to the right-wing these days, and you’re bound to hear ad nauseum about Barack Obama’s allegedly ‘radical socialist’ agenda. Box office record-smashing documentary “2016: Obama’s America” argues that the president endeavors to actua...
Clean Coal Killed My Father
DANIEL BORGSTRÖM
“Clean Coal.”  Really?  I heard the debate the other night and the president was promoting it.  Yes, tell me about “Clean Coal”!  My father died of black lung.  It was a slow, agonizing death, several years in the making, till at last it did h...
A Letter to Obama Supporters
DAVID MASCIOTRA
I am writing this letter as a friend who believes in the same principles that you proudly trumpet: fairness, human rights, honesty, and communitarian commitment to the common interest and public good. Over the past three years, but especially during the past six months, I...
Self Immolation and The Left
JOHN HALLE
Even in the age of extreme reality television, nationally broadcasted suicides remain a blessedly rare occurrence.  And so the suicide which occurred during a Huffington Post sponsored debate on third party voting probably should have received more attention that it did....
Obama’s Endless Kill List
BEN SCHREINER
Of the three presidential debates, Monday’s saw the only mention of U.S. drone warfare.  But after the challenger Romney quickly affirmed his support of President Obama’s drone program, stating that it is “absolutely the right thing to do,” the issue was summaril...
Time for Full-Time Town Jesters
RALPH NADER
There’s an old saying “in humor there is truth.” Until the 18th century, British monarchs, surrounded by sycophantic entourages, retained court Jesters to tell them the truth in the garb of satire and motley costumes with donkey ears, red-flannel coxcomb and bells....
Debate #2: Is This All There Is?
DAN DEWALT
Tuesday’s Presidential debate spoke volumes about the sorry state of politics today. Granted, both contenders gave a good show: Obama was back on his game and Romney did his best to sound like Ronald Reagan. The pundits have been given a lovely hopper of fodder to h...
A Socialist Joins the Presidential Debates
BRUCE LESNICK
As everyone knows, the Democratic and Republican parties have limited and controlled the political narrative for generations.  In this way, they hope to convince people that the only “realistic” choice is between one or another party of the 1%.  At no time is this p...
And Then God Said…
DAVID MACARAY
No matter how disillusioned we are with Barack Obama—no matter how disgruntled or disappointed we are with the job he’s done as president—none of us would be silly enough to suggest that if only we had paid the man, say, $1,000,000 a year instead of that measly $400...