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'
United States Imperialism Unleashed
BEN SCHREINER
With signs of a global economic downturn mounting, US aggression across the Middle East and North Africa ratchets up.  And once again, US imperialism stands poised to swing open the gates of Hell. The choice presently confronting humanity, then, is one between imp...
Why the Left is Losing and How We Can Win
CHARLENE OBERNAUER
Why We’re Losing Hope. It’s something that all activists need to sustain ourselves. Hope that we’ll win a fair union contract from our greedy employer. Hope that people will show up to our film screening or donate to our online fundraiser. Ho...
Obama’s War Record
Jack A. Smith
When Sen. Barack Obama ran for the presidency in 2008 many wishful-thinking Democratic voters viewed him as a peace candidate because he opposed the Iraq war (but voted yes on the war budgets while in the Senate). Some others assumed his foreign/military policy would be a...
The Housing Market’s “Phantom Inventory”
MIKE WHITNEY
The housing market is getting better. It’s getting better all the time. Foreclosure activity is down, sales are picking up, shadow inventory is shrinking, and prices are rising for the first time since President Obama launched his First-time Homebuyer Credit ...
Black Backlash Against Obama
LINN WASHINGTON JR.
After spending much of her 94-years as a civil rights activist this Washington, DC resident is understandably supportive of the Barack Obama presidency because she like many African-Americans never thought she’d ever see a black man sitting in that Oval Office seat desi...
Obama Dumped by the Money Men
DAVE LINDORFF
One thing you can say about the financial industry. It has no sense of loyalty. Back in 2008, most of the biggest contributors to presidential candidate Barack Obama were financial companies. According to the campaign fund tracking website ...
The Republican Or The War Criminal?
PETER BRESCHARD
Don’t worry, if you end up not voting for Obama, your home probably won’t be targeted for a drone attack. Is that what you’ve been afraid is going to happen if you don’t vote Democratic? A legitimate fear but one of low probability. After all, I doub...
New York Times Misses The Debate
NORMAN POLLACK
The Times’s coverage of Mr. Obama’s performance in the first debate, which supporters and opponents alike have characterized as ill-prepared or lackluster, and which he in his Denver speech and his staff sought to excuse as the surprising persona of Mr. Romney...
Ralph Nader’s 6 Favorite Books
RALPH NADER
Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained by Arthur D. Robbins (Acropolis, $35). This is t...
The Make-Believe Crisis in Iran
PATRICK FOY
What if the White House were deliberately misleading America and the world about a major foreign policy issue involving war and peace, would it not be something worth investigating? What if, on top of that, the US Congress and Senate were going along with the subterfuge, ...
Romney’s Tax Fairness Garbage
GERALD E. SCORSE
Answering a direct question on “60 Minutes” last Sunday, Mitt Romney said it was fair for him to pay a lower tax on $20 million in capital gains than a worker pays on $50,000 in wages “because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as hi...
Obama is Coming to My Town
RON JACOBS
Barack Obama is coming to the town where I live.  Like most other towns he will visit this election year, the state this town is in voted for Mr. Obama in 2008.  It is a state full of Democrats and liberals.  Many of those Democ...
Obama and the Art of the Cave-In
RALPH NADER
Ezra Klein, the bright, young, economic policy columnist for the “Washington Post” believes that Obama came out ahead last year in the “administration’s bitter, high-stakes negotiations with the Republicans in Congress.” He cites four ...
Lesser Evilism, 2012
MICHAEL KAUFMAN
At this time of year it is not uncommon to become wistful and look back at the time that has passed, but oddly enough, I find myself becoming nostalgic for the time of the last Bush administration. I remember it as a time when people still expressed opposition to a regime...
Why the US & Israel May Agree to Bombing Iran
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
The arguments for attacking Iran are crazy, like those for attacking Iraq in response to 9-11.  But that does not mean such an attack by the American and/or the Israelis will not occur. Indeed, I think the political pressure for such an attack is increasing.  My ...
The Lessons of Obamamania
ANDREW LEVINE
Ten years ago in America, War Party fervor was on the rise, the media was in tow, and many a liberal was on board.  Thus began the Bush-Cheney era, one of the darkest moments in American history.  Those years seem like only yesterday, probably because on matters of subs...
Occupy the System
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and JOSHUA FRANK
It’s not too cool to be ridiculed But you brought this upon yourself The world is tired of pacifiers We want the truth and nothing else And we are sick and tired of hearing your song Telling how you are gonna change right f...
Bye, Bye Barry
MIKE WHITNEY
Anyone who writes about the economy or politics will tell you that the chances of getting a 100 percent “positive” reaction to an article is virtually zilch. It just never happens. Until now. Of the 50-plus e mails I’ve gotten since yesterday when...
Is It Immoral to Vote for Obama?
MIKE WHITNEY
I don’t like mixing politics with morality, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. What I mean is this: how can anyone cast a ballot for a man who they know will continue to kill people in other countries merely to advance US policy objectives? That’s the quest...
A Warning to Barack Obama
ARIEL DORFMAN
For the last decade, I have been haunted by voices from the other side of death. In this way, back in 2003 I transcribed ...
Obama Did It, All By Himself
ANDREW LEVINE
“Change We Can Believe In.”  Those fine words fooled a lot of people in 2008.  Now they stick in the craw even of Obama apologists for whom all the hopes dashed over the past three years are the fault of Tea Party-Republican obstructionists.  Expect to hear a billi...
The Lost Opportunities of Barack Obama
ROBERT FANTINA
It was just three short years ago when much of the United States, and the rest of the world, thrilled to the idea of the ‘audacity of hope’ and ‘change we can believe in.’ After eight disastrous years of President George Bush, years of escalating poverty, war, fea...
Vets For Peace Votes to Impeach Obama for War Crimes
JOHN V. WALSH
Veterans for Peace (VFP), a progressive organization if ever there was one, took the courageous step of voting for the “impeachment of President Barack H. Obama for war crimes” at its annual national convention in Portland Oregon in August.  The resolution, which cal...
The Real Obama
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The White House that shook in last Tuesday’s earthquake has been home to its present incumbent for 32 months. Obama wasn’t around to watch the furniture shake. He’s up on Martha’s Vineyard for the third year in a row, with Michelle and their two daughters, bunkere...
Behind the Political Curtain
DAVID MACARAY
Philip Levine has just been named the new U.S. Poet Laureate.  How should we interpret that?  Did President Obama, who’s been a profound disappointment to organized labor, believe he could partially redeem himself in labor’s eyes by naming Levine, long celebrated as...
In the Ground
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
In 2009, my son went to Washington, DC. He was among hundreds of thousands swept to excitement by an unprecedented moment. I discouraged—didn’t want him on the road. Probably, had I been his age, 22, I’d have driven all night, too. It was one hell of a party...
The Fables of Obama
JOHN ESKOW
THE FABLE OF OBAMA AND THE SAND We are trekking through the Sahara at noon, canteens empty, dying of thirst. The Republicans cry: look! Look at the beautiful lake! We’re saved! Let’s kneel down and drink our fill! The scouts report: sadly, it’s a ...
Rod Blagojevich and the Audacity of Hope
ANDREW LEVINE
It is hard to believe but just a few years ago one could still say the words “audacity of hope” without irony.  That has become impossible now that the author of those words has become the world’s foremost destroyer of hope.  But even in a context w...
Token Withdrawals
PHYLLIS BENNIS
President Obama’s speech violated one of his most important campaign promises: to “end the mind-set that leads to war.” To the contrary, his announcement of a token shift of 10,000 soldiers leaving by the end of 2011,...
Sentimental Mass Murderer
LINH DINH
When Obama came into power, there were roughly 35,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Within two years, he tripled that number. Now, Obama announces that 10,000 soldiers will come home by the end of 2011, and 33,000 by the end of next summer. He surges twic...
Obama Doubles Down on the War on Terror
KAREN J. GREENBERG
In the seven weeks since the killing of Osama bin Laden, pundits and experts of many stripes have concluded that his death represents a marker of genuine significance in the story of America’s encounter with terrorism. Peter Bergen, a bin Laden exper...
Desperately Seeking Legitimacy
RALPH NADER
The meticulous Harvard Law Review editors should be rolling over in their footnotes. The recidivist violations of constitutional and statutory requirements by their celebrated predecessor at that journal ? Barack Obama has reached Orwellian dimensions in th...
A Realist’s Utopia
LANDON FRIM
This month marks the 44th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and the bordering states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.  It was this conflict in June of 1967 which has shaped Arab-Israeli relations ever since, primarily because of Israel’s continue...
Dying for Love
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
During Barack Obama’s presidency, we’ve witnessed a convergence of paths, a union of pathologies. Obama is Bush. Bush is Obama. One could have been fashioned from the other’s rib. Mission position accomplished. Mission expanded. ...
Obama’s Libya Defense
DAVID SWANSON
The arguments made to “legalize” war, torture, warrantless spying, and other crimes by John Yoo and Jay Bybee and their gang are looking rational, well-reasoned, and impeccably researched in comparison with Obama’s latest “legalizati...
The Sorrows of Afghanistan and Pakistan
VIJAY PRASHAD
Cleverly, the Washington establishment seeks to reorder events so that it can take credit for things it did not do and pass on the blame for things it did do. President Barack Obama not only wants to share the Arab Spring’s glory but, with the Group o...
Obama as the Bernie Madoff of the Democratic Party
SAM SMITH
For the next year and a half you will be subjected to the latest developments in the great contemporary American fairy tale: a presidential campaign. True, we will get to pick who we want to be Goldilocks and who the big bad bears, but...
Wanted
MEDEA BENJAMIN And CHARLES DAVIS
After campaigning as the candidate of change, the man awarded a Nobel Prize for peace has given the world nothing but more war. Yet despite Barack Obama’s continuation ? nay, escalation ? of the worst aspects of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, ...
Two Jobs Obama Would Be Good At
ANDREW LEVINE
Barack Obama was good at running for President when he was a Rorschach figure upon whom all but the most retrograde voters could project their hopes. Were there not inordinately many retrogrades among us, he’d have won by an unprecedented landslide. ...
Revamping the WPA
MIKE WHITNEY
When the recovery began 2 years ago, the rate of unemployment was 9.5 percent. Today it’s 9.1 percent. Think about that for a minute. Doesn’t that prove that the market isn’t really self-correcting after all? I mean, if the market was self...
Washington Chooses Its Battles
RON JACOBS
Earlier in his reign, Barack Obama told an audience in Egypt that “America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.”  Despite much evidence to the contrary, many people, especially Americans, believe this to be true.  Whether o...
Time to Panic? You Betcha!
STEPHANIE KELTON
Earlier this week, President Obama talked about the weakening state of the economy, telling us that he’s not worried about a double-dip recession and that the nation should “not panic.” It’s hard to imagine a more alarming statement ...
Pessimism, USA
DAVID ROSEN
The long hot summer is upon us and, as the temperature rises, Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about ever digging out of the Great Recession. More troubling, many believe that the country is on the verge sinking into a second Great Depressio...
What the Birthers Missed
THOMAS NAYLOR
In the brouhaha over whether President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii or not, few seem to realize, that in the eyes of many historians and legal scholars, Hawaii is not a legitimate state of the United States of America.  If the government of Hawaii had n...
Obama Trusted the Wrong Economists
MIKE WHITNEY
Barack Obama figured his reelection was in the bag. All he had to do was throw the progressive wing of his party a bone by pulling a few thousand troops out of Afghanistan, and then wait for the economy to gradually get stronger. What could be easier? 2012 ...
Who Cares What Obama Says?
ROBERT FISK
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945...
The Middle East Through the Looking Glass
IRA CHERNUS
Tuches aufn tish: Buttocks on the table. That’s the colorful way my Yiddish-speaking ancestors said, “Let’s cut the BS and talk about honest truth.” It seems like a particularly apt expression after a week watching the shadow-boxing ...
Did Obama’s Promise Trigger the Arab Revolt?
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
During his brilliantly run campaign of 2008, Barack Obama electrified the world with vague promises of change in foreign policy as well as domestic policy. (My take on his campaign strategy can be found here.) Two and a half years later, those promises are ashes. Nowhere ...
The Revolution Shall be Tweeted
BINOY KAMPMARK
The prophets of social media are getting excited.  Not only can such forms of media as Twitter and Facebook often prove to be banal time wasters, they can also generate revolutionary excitement.  Communities connected by messages instantaneously gather to promote their ...
The Night They Drove Old EFCA Down
STEVE EARLY
Scott Brown’s defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has been greeted as a “game changer” for Barack Obama and his political backers. This GOP victory has deprived Democrats of their “filibuster-proof” super-majority in the Sena...