Senate Rubber Stamps Army Increase on 93-1 Vote

JASON DITZ: In a 93-1 vote, the U.S. Senate has agreed to authorize a “temporary” increase of the size of the army by up to 30,000 additional troops. The vote appears to be little more than a rubber stamp approving an announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates about his intention to increase the military by at least 22,000. The bill only authorizes the increased size for the next three years and would leave making it permanent to a future vote.

Lust for Profit is Out of Control

PETER BERGEL: $700 billion is a number that rings a bell for most Americans these days. It was the first installment U.S. taxpayers were forced to pony up for Wall Street to “stimulate” the economy. But, according to analyst Don Monkrude, that sum is also, coincidentally, the amount by which the 400 richest Americans increased their net worth during the Bush years.

Seeing Obama as Norwegians See Him

GEORGE LAKEY: I just returned from a research trip to Norway where the people I interviewed often brought up the topic of our new President. The first was Kristin Clemet, the director of a conservative think tank. “This spring on a delegation to Washington I was struck again,” she said, “by how different the political spectrum is in Norway from your country. Here, Obama would be on the right wing.” I checked her view with others — academics, politicians, activists all over the Norwegian spectrum — and all but one agreed. In Norwegian terms, our President’s positions are very conservative.