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Pages tagged "United States"


How the Political Right Bullied the US Department of Homeland Security Into Ignoring the Threat of Right-Wing Extremism

by Rania Khalek

After right-wingers freaked out about a report detailing the rise in right-wing extremism, Homeland Security effectively dismantled a unit tasked with tracking it.
 

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Norway by right-wing Christian extremist Anders Breivik, conservative media pundits rushed to vilify anyone who brought up the underlying far-right ideology that fueled Breivik’s violence.

The uproar that follows any suggestion that right-wing extremism is on the rise works to silence the conversation about the danger of right-wing militancy. According to disturbing revelations by a former US Homeland Security Intelligence Analyst, the consequences of this dynamic extend to the highest branches of the US government.

For six years, Darryl Johnson headed a Department of Homeland Security team tracking domestic extremist groups. Now Johnson, who is no longer with DHS, says that conservative furor over the report's findings pressured Homeland Security to abandon reporting on and monitoring the rising threat of right-wing extremism for the past two years.

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A financial storm gathers: one we can weather

by James Dunn

Recently it has seemed as if a grey cloud has swept across the world economy with the major players battling crises in Europe and North America, with worrying implications for the rest of us.

As a relatively small player it seems we, Australia, are watching helplessly. But times have been particularly difficult for Barak Obama lately, who struggled to end the impasse with the fiery Republican opposition in Congress; achieving an outcome that impressed few.

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The Storm after the Calm

By Michel Rocard

Could the financial crisis of 2007-2008 happen again? Since the crisis erupted, there has been no shortage of opportunities – in the form of inadequate conclusions and decisions by officials – to nurture one’s anxiety about that prospect.

Over the course of the three G-20 summits held since the crisis, world leaders have agreed to tighten financial regulation slightly, but only for banks, while leaving other market players free of restrictions and scrutiny. As was true before the crisis, no one is monitoring the almost limitless “virtual” market for derivatives, where money moves freely without official rules or contact with the real economy.

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Rudd's hidden economic legacy; or why we still have an economy to debate over

by John August

Looking back past the controversies around the Carbon Tax, before Tony Abbott took over the Liberal Party, there was the Global Financial Crisis. Rudd, Tanner and others took a stand, and initiated their stimulus package.  Many saw this as meaning Australia "dodged a bullet", but the Libs and other commentators felt otherwise. But, now its something I want to look at again; maybe it's the only reason we even *have* an economy where we can debate the effects of a carbon tax on it.

There were claims Australia was buoyed up by the Chinese economy, so the stimulus package wasn't needed.

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Immigration reform Obama style

by Jo Coghlan

America has more than 11 million (and as possibly as high as 20 million) people living inside its borders who do not have legal status. They account for 3.7% of America’s population. For American President Barrack Obama, immigration is the political elephant in the room particularly as he faces re-election next year. Recently Obama has significant speeches on immigration ‘reform’ but it is domestic politics that is driving his policies.

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Want to Solve All your Problems, Rupert Murdoch? Become A Banker.

by Richard (RJ) Eskow

Rupert Murdoch's got problems. His employees are being arrested, he's losing his latest acquisition, and he's just been called to testify before the UK Parliament. But there's an easy way for Mr. Murdoch to protect himself from these inquiries and save his company at the same time: Turn the News Corporation into a Wall Street bank. There won't be any prosecutions, and the US  government will even sweeten the deal with billions of dollars in easy money. And if Murdoch follows the trail blazed by bankers like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, soon they'll be begging him to acquire more companies.

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Progressive Entrepreneurship: A Work in Progress

by William A. Galston

A few years ago, the noted economist Benjamin Friedman laid out the moral case for a progressive commitment to robust economic growth. Growth, he argued, increases opportunity and mobility, makes fairness more likely, and strengthens support for tolerance and democracy. At the same time, he offered two caveats. First, to achieve these results, growth must be widely shared. If those at the top commandeer its fruits, opportunity and mobility will stagnate, and social tensions will rise. Second, if the right kind of growth is valuable in part because it provides public goods, then a basic tenet of public-choice theory holds that the market by itself will undersupply those goods. The right kind of collective action can improve on pure market outcomes.

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The Five Smartest US Congressional Bills You've Never Heard Of

by Ryan Rafaty

During any given Congressional term, literally thousands of proposals never make it past the committee stage of the legislative process. In recent years, less than 5 percent of all bills introduced ultimately became law. The scope of proposals in Congress garnering considerable media attention is similarly narrow. The pieces of legislation that attract the most publicity from the beltway media—like Paul Ryan’s radically unpopular plan to scrap Medicare—tend to drown out more sensible ideas that hardly stand any chance of enactment without public pressure on lawmakers to move the agenda forward.

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Re-Energizing The Progressive Movement

By Zaid Jilani

This past Thursday, over 2,000 progressives — including the team from ThinkProgress (see http://www.thinkprogress.org/ )  — attended Netroots Nation 2011, where bloggers, elected officials, and activists came together to strategize about how to reinvigorate the US progressive movement and more effectively battle the right. During the four-day event, conference-goers attended panels on topics ranging from the Federal Reserve to the Arab Spring, heard speeches from members of Congress, peppered a high-ranking White House official with questions, and strategized with some of the nation’s biggest names in progressive politics. Although the blogosphere has often been derided by traditional media and the political class, Netroots Nation was a clear demonstration of a simple fact: the blogs and social media outlets that make up the netroots are a pivotal part of shaping not only the progressive movement but the very future of America.

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How to Fulfill the Promise of Opportunity for All

by Isabel V. Sawhill, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Policy Network

Centre-left governments face a number of critical domestic challenges. This memo is written primarily from a US perspective and with a recognition that the problems differ from country to country. Indeed, in some areas the United States has a lot to learn from our friends in other advanced countries.

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