BARNEY FRANK – There were so many encouraging signs for liberals in the election results this year that one of the most significant has been overlooked.
PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernmentâ€™s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.
KATHY RUFFING – Social Securityâ€™s trustees recently reported that â€” over the next 75 years â€” Social Security will have a shortfall of 2.67 percent of taxable payroll, or 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That is, raising taxes by an average of 1 percent of GDP could put Social Security on a sound footing over 75 years. How does that compare with the stakes involved with extending President Bushâ€™s tax cuts?
STIMSOM CENTER – In a unique study, three quarters of respondents favored cutting defense as a way to reduce the deficit, including two thirds of Republicans as well as nine in 10 Democrats.
EYDER PERALTA – A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay in 2011. As Congress struggles to rein in the federal deficit, a new survey finds Americans preferred to cut defense spending more than any other program.
DR. JOSEPH GERSON -Beyond this hysteria, peace, labor and immigrant rights activists and scholars are gathering in Chicago for the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, to present the case against NATO-driven militarism.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS AND RYAN ALEXANDER – Since 1948 the federal government has spent more than $95 billion (in 2011 dollars) on nuclear energy R&D. That is more than four times the amount spent on solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, and hydropower combined.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER -“World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 — an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.”
GEORGE GOEHL – We live in an America where more than 46 million Americans live below the poverty level. This is the highest poverty rate since the Census Bureau began publishing such figures.
CRAIG CLINE – Last summer, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law that requires the DoD to reduce its enormous â€œbudgetâ€ by close to $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
ADAM ENTOUS – Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn’t yet capable of destroying Iran’s most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.
JOSH LEVS – The U.S. Defense Department cannot account for about $2 billion it was given to cover Iraq-related expenses and is not providing Iraq with a complete list of U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, according to two new government audits.
GLOBAL NETWORK – In one of the most blacked-out stories in America right now, the US military is preparing to send thousands of US troops, along with US Naval anti-missile ships and accompanying support personnel, to Israel. It took forever to find a second source for confirmation of this story and both relatively mainstream media outlets are in Israel.
MADELYN HOFFMAN – As 2011 ends, it is time to reflect upon continuing U.S. involvement in overseas wars and the impact that involvement has here at home. It is a good time to reflect on the role that protest played in getting us here and what those protests still want to achieve so the U.S. is genuinely safe and secure.
NORMAN SOLOMON – On a recent day in Petaluma, two very different events spotlighted grim results of upside-down priorities from the federal government.
Upwards of 600 people gathered for an early breakfast at the Veterans Memorial Hall to raise money for the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS), a nonprofit organization that last year sheltered nearly 2,000 individuals, served more than 127,000 hearty meals and distributed 800,000 pounds of food to the needy.
BETSY CRITES – The withdrawal from Iraq is to be celebrated like a migraine that finally subsides. It is what the majority of Americans have long asked for through pollsters and by their election of a president who promised to get us out.
KARL GROSSMAN – NASA intends in coming weeks to launch a rover to be deployed on Mars fueled with 10.6 pounds of plutonium. Opponents of the launch in Florida, concerned about an accident releasing deadly plutonium, such as the explosion of the rocket thatâ€™s to loft the rover, have created a Facebook page warning people not to visit Disney theme parks in Orlando during the November 25-to-December 15 launch window. â€œDonâ€™t Do Disney brought to you by NASA,â€ the Facebook page is titled. Other actions are planned.
DAVID SWANSON – We can fit our demands on a bumpersticker: “Majority Rule” or “People Over Profits” or “Love Not Greed.” But we don’t want to. Our government is doing everything wrong, and we should be allowed to present the full list of grievances. We can, however, give the world a thousand words’ worth in an image, a pie chart to be exact. Our federal budget funds the wrong things. We want it to fund the right things.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Should the U.S. government be building more nuclear weapons? Residents of Kansas City, Missouri donâ€™t appear to think so, for they are engaged in a bitter fight against the construction of a new nuclear weapons plant in their community.
NATIONAL PRIORITIES PROJECT – Friday, October 7, 2011 will mark ten years since the beginning of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. In light of an already increasing level of interest, the National Priorities Project (NPP) has released new numbers, analysis and tools around the costs of a decade at war.
PEACE ACTION – U.S. military spending is higher than it has been since World War II, at a level difficult to justify by any threats to the American people. A close look at U.S. military spending shows that it is directed toward threats posed by conventional opponents such as the Soviet Union. That is, we are preparing to fight the last war.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH – Libyan rebels have entered Tripoli. As gun battles break out across the city, it is timely to enter into a discussion as to how the rebels arrived there. It is time to review the curious role of NATO and the future of U.S. interventionism.
DAVE COHEN – It is mid-July, and the debt ceiling hysteria is peaking. What is the significance of this debate? What is its real meaning for ordinary Americans? These questions can be answered at two different levels, from inside the consensual reality box and from outside that box (and see here).
LAWRENCE KORB and MIRIAM PEMBERTON – Two of 2011â€™s most extraordinary developments point in a single direction.
First, the death of Osama bin Laden was accomplished by means that resembled a police action. A painstaking investigation preceded the operation by a group of special forces roughly the size of a SWAT team. Then came the extensive diplomatic work to improve the critical, complex, and challenging relationship between the United States and Pakistan.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In times of war, U.S. presidents have often talked about yearning for peace. But the last decade has brought a gradual shift in the rhetorical zeitgeist while a tacit assumption has taken hold — war must go on, one way or another.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – According to a recent report from the prestigious Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditures grew to a record $1.63 trillion in 2010. Middle East nations alone spent $111 billion on the military, with Saudi Arabia leading the way.
JOHN NORRIS – The United States is fundamentally getting it wrong when it comes to setting its priorities, particularly with regard to the budget and how Americans as a nation use their resources more broadly.
JO COMERFORD – [Today is Tax Day. It seems appropriate for Americans to know what their government is using their money for. Here is a comprehensive summary. â€“ Editor]
Six months after the start of the current fiscal year (FY2011), congressional leaders and President Obama have reached agreement on a budget for the second half of the year. In all the deal provides just over $1 trillion in spending over the last six months of the year, a cut of roughly $40 billion from FY2010 levels.
ROBERT DODGE, MD – The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Youth. This is in recognition of childrenâ€™s rights throughout the world and to realize the potential of children everywhere. The resolution proclaiming the Year signifies the importance the international community places on integrating youth-related issues into global, regional, and national development agendas. Under the theme â€œDialogue and Mutual Understanding,â€ the Year aims to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations.
PHYLLIS BENNIS – The United States and its allies launched the war against Libya on the eighth anniversary of the 2003invasion of Iraq. President Barack Obama says the U.S. will transfer command authority very soon, that military action should be over in “days, not weeks,” and that he wants no boots on the ground. But theparallels with other U.S. wars in the Middle East don’t bode well.
CRAIG CLINE – Iâ€™m a â€œbaby boomerâ€ — one of about 76 million American children born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom — between the years of 1946 and 1964. If youâ€™re a baby boomer, too, this message is especially for you. We have patriotic work to doâ€¦ again.
GREYWOLFE359 – This chart puts the class war in simple, visual terms. On the left you have the “shared sacrifices” and “painful cuts” that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order. On the right, you can plainly see why these cuts are “necessary.” The reason? Because we already gave away all that money to America’s wealthiest individuals and corporations.
NATIONAL PRIORITIES PROJECT — With all eyes on our nation’s budget, National Priorities Project (NPP) has overhauled its Trade Offs Tool designed to clarify the magnitude and localized impact of federal spending programs. The tool estimates FY2011 spending for select federal programs for individual states, counties, congressional districts, and towns. It then represents these dollar amounts in terms of localized costs of alternative goods and services such as police, teachers, or care for military veterans.
BARRY-LEE COYNE: Whether you are a conservative or liberal or lie somewhere in between, I have a challenging question to pose: Do you really want to suffer from the pitfalls of Government-on-the-Cheap?