President Obama has made headlines for his promises to withdraw US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, seemingly scaling back America’s commitment to military intervention overseas and especially the Muslim world. But that public imagery is utterly false, as the Obama administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the United States military’s global reach and given it a virtual blank check for targeted intervention almost anywhere on the globe. Such “counterterrorism” protocol has led to a massive build-up of US special forces and drone aircraft — an “industrial-scale…killing machine” — with the authority and ability to kill anyone suspected of being an “al Qaeda” member or one of its “affiliates and adherents.” And such “dirty war” tactics are not relegated to the slums of Pakistan or the mountains of Afghanistan. The official government document laying out such a strategy includes “The Homeland” and Europe among the long list of approved zones of operation.
President Obama’s lust for compromise with a party that has little interest in such deals has reached a crescendo with the debt limit negotiations and a search for a “grand bargain” to stave off a government default. The president has told the country to “eat your peas,” which would be about all many Americans could survive on in the wake of a pledge to fiscal austerity reaching into the trillions of dollars in cuts and spending reductions. But while the common perception is that “peas” are good for you, the economics of austerity may not be. Evidence from other countries that legislated aggressive spending cuts and data from the International Monetary Fund finds nothing to conclude that austerity initiates any economic growth or leap in private-sector prosperity.
SUBPRIME MORTGAGE COLLAPSE? WHAT SUBPRIME MORTGAGE COLLAPSE? THE “BOOM” DAYS OF REAL ESTATE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS…
(Wall Street Journal)
Almost three years after playing a starring role in one of America’s worst economic crises in history, some banks and lending companies are again trotting out the subprime mortgage as the silver bullet for “desperate” Americans looking to own a home on the cheap. Those people that now fail the new standards for home loans followed by most financial institutions are being offered a break by “private investment firms,” obscure companies that aren’t mandated to follow the tighter regulations on lending that mainstream banks do. These companies insist what they are doing is fine and much safer than what went on before the crash in 2008, where low-credit Americans were given subprime mortgages and swept into “McMansions” they could not afford. Some experts are more skeptical, pointing out the bad terms of most of these kinds of loans and finding little difference between 2011′s version of the subprime and the boom days of the 2000′s that led to economic catastrophe.
WITH THE MADE-FOR-TV DRAMA OF THE CASEY ANTHONY CASE NOW OVER, TIME TO SHIFT FOCUS TO REAL KIDS THAT NEED REAL HELP.
Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel writes that the local and national obsession with the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony and the central Florida murder trial against her mother, Casey, obscured the more tragic and pervasive problems facing children that are still alive and dealing with real hardships every day, especially in the Sunshine State. From health care to education to abuse rates, Florida is ranked among the most worst states in terms of the well-being of children in the country. Maxwell writes that while the tragic death of Caylee and the subsequent legal drama was “compelling,” it should not obscure the “plight” of Florida kids that is an all-too-harsh reality.
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