General Keith Alexander is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. In his telling, the cyber threat is so huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger.
The 2012-13 high court session, which concluded June 26, saw the justices continue a multiyear pattern of interpreting regulations and statutes in a manner that insulates corporations from liability risks. The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has narrowed the avenues available to employees and consumers seeking to take their grievances before a judge.
Viewed in isolation, the Supreme Court term that just ended had elements of modesty, but Chief Justice Roberts is a canny strategist with a tough side whose methodical approach has allowed him to establish a robustly conservative record. When the court struck down a part of the Voting Rights Act, Roberts harvested seeds he had planted four years before.
In an opinion brimming with a self-confidence that he hides behind a cloak of judicial minimalism, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for a conservative Supreme Court majority in Shelby County v. Holder, cripples Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The decision is characteristic of a pattern in the Roberts court, in which the conservative justices tee up major constitutional issues for dramatic reversal.
White House national security officials have released two key documents. The first, US Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism, lays out the standards now being used to decide whether to deploy ‘lethal force’ outside the battlefield. The White House has also released the transcript of a background briefing for journalists, in which anonymous senior administration officials offer their interpretation of the new guidance.
In defending the NSA’s sweeping collection of Americans’ phone call records, Obama administration officials have repeatedly pointed out how it could have helped thwart the 9/11 attacks. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has invoked the same argument. They have all ignored a key aspect of historical record.
Various NSA defenders beginning with President Obama have sought to assure the public that NSA surveillance is done under robust judicial oversight and that they do not target Americans. These claims are highly misleading, and in some cases outright false As part of the FISA court approval process, the NSA must submit a document describing how communications of US persons are collected and what is done with them; indeed, the principle purpose of the 2008 FISA Amendment Act was to allow government collection of Americans’ international communications. The Obama DOJ has repeatedly thwarted any efforts to obtain judicial rulings on whether this law is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.
Events in the greater Middle East are making it difficult for the United States to limit its involvement there. The irony is inescapable: a decade ago, Washington chose to immerse itself in the region when it did not have to, but now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.
Like industries that preceded it, Silicon Valley is not a philosophy, a revolution, or a cause. If this new generation of smart, wealthy, successful tech leaders want to make a difference in terms of policy, it’s the right idea to leave their cool headquarters and gorgeous campuses and actually engage.
Drone warfare is here to stay, and it is likely to expand in the years to come. Washington must continue to improve its drone policy, spelling out clearer rules for extrajudicial and extraterritorial killings so that tyrannical regimes will have a harder time pointing to the U.S. drone program to justify attacks against political opponents.
Detroit, which grew and prospered for much of the last century, has become a wasteland of abandoned buildings, lawlessness, and municipal debts. Somebody’s going to pay for that. It’s not going to be the politicians whose decisions undermined Detroit, nor the executives who made bad decisions yet retired with their full pensions and portfolios.
The Millennium Development Goals have unified, galvanized, and expanded efforts to help the world’s poorest people. The goals will expire on December 31, 2015, and the debate over what should come next is now in full swing. But prior to deciding on a new framework, the world community must evaluate exactly what the MDG effort has achieved so far.
Far from being a passive victim, the United States has fostered as rich a tradition of illicit trade as any other country in the world. Since its founding, the United States has had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce, and contraband capitalism was integral to the rise of the U.S. economy.
Verizon has been supplying the National Security Agency (NSA) with phone records for all domestic calls, and the NSA and FBI are datamining nine technology companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs enabling analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
Mr. Obama has used some of the same aggressive powers in the name of guarding national security as his predecessor, even at the expense of civil liberties. Rather than dismantling Mr. Bush’s approach to national security, Mr. Obama has to some extent validated it and put it on a more sustainable footing.
The struggle in Iceland is ongoing, but the nation’s people have achieved monumental results in a relatively short amount of time due to the nature of their movement building – five goals should be sought in the US: Strive For Unity, Turn a Few Central Demands into Goals, Be the Banks, Be the Government, Crowdsource a New Constitution.
With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news. Obama administration officials, accusing a reporter of being a “co-conspirator,” on top of other zealous and secretive investigations, show a heavy tilt toward secrecy and insufficient concern about a free press.
During its audit of the IRS 2012 financial statements, GAO identified one new internal control deficiency that contributed to material weakness in internal control over unpaid tax assessments – IRS’s controls over estimating the balances of federal taxes receivable and other unpaid tax assessments were not effectively implemented.
The Centrist Party need not be a mush of compromises between extreme positions. It should take the best of each party and ditch the nonsense. The Centrists will be fiscally sensible, socially progressive, and committed to the kinds of compromises that will appeal to the tens of millions of voters, particularly younger voters, who are currently without a political home.
As founders of the Common Sense Coalition, we came together in 2011 because we share a belief that our country has serious problems and that the current political environment leaves little hope of solving them. As we began to explore the consequences of inaction, it became clear that the America we leave our children would be greatly diminished, if we didn’t act.
No Labels is a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and everything in between dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. No Labels promotes its politics of problem solving in three ways: by organizing citizens across America, providing a space for legislators who want to solve problems to convene and by pushing for common-sense reforms to make our government work.
GAO’s 2013 annual report identifies 31 new areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness – many areas involve fragmentation, overlap, or duplication – the Department of Defense could realize up to $82 million in cost savings and ensure equivalent performance by taking addressing its fragmented approach to developing and acquiring combat uniforms.
Once a non-bank financial institution has been designated as a SIFI, very real questions arise as to how best to regulate these institutions. The Fed has promised to pay careful attention to the differences between banks and other financial institutions that are designated as SIFIs. Elliott emphasizes it is crucial that they be rigorous in doing so.
The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
The opponents of immigration reform have many small complaints, but they really have one core concern. It’s about control. America doesn’t control its borders. But the opponents rarely say what exactly it is they are trying to control. They talk about border security and various mechanisms to achieve that, but they rarely go into detail about what we should be so vigilant about restricting.
Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His books include Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.
Economic growth, when widely shared, does more than increase living standards, it helps ease tensions within societies. Trade has an important role to play in boosting both growth and security, even more so when complemented by policies to ensure that its benefits are widely shared. Geopolitics is back. Or at least it should be – what we have been seeing instead is a paradox.
The $85 billion in federal budget cuts known as sequestration are beginning to be felt far from the nation’s capital, some programs are coping, some are struggling and others appear to be out of luck. While not everyone is feeling the pain, the good-news stories are eclipsed by the bad. At issue for many programs is politics — specifically the politics of President Obama’s health care law.
At first glance, the latest economic growth report, released Friday, appears to show the economy revving up. In reality, the economy is either stuck in low gear, or worse, slowing to a stop as budget cuts harm not only the users of overstretched government services but the overall economy.
Repealing laws by failing to fund their enforcement or implementation works because the public doesn’t know it’s happening. The strategy bolsters the Republican view that government is incompetent – the public doesn’t know the reason why the government isn’t doing its job is it’s being hollowed out.
The Supreme Court’s business decisions are almost always overshadowed by cases on controversial social issues. But the business docket reflects something truly distinctive about the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. They have been, a new study finds, far friendlier to business than those of any court since at least World War II.
Espionage of any kind is serious, of course, but some do not understand how spying in the cyber world is different from spying in the physical world. Few realize that the same tools required to conduct digital espionage could allow intruders to go a step further and commit digital destruction.
SILICON VALLEY has long tried to keep Washington, DC, at arm’s length. But as Google, Facebook and other web firms have grown too big for the government to ignore, their executives have been spending more time in the nation’s capital. Among their ports of call are the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
Names make news, but names also make opinions. In politics, the naming is almost always with malice (or niceness) aforethought. “Entitlements” – or “entitlement programs” – is now the standard descriptor for what ought to be called, more accurately and less tendentiously, social insurance.
Thatcher was a breaker of consensus, not a builder of it. And she did not care about everybody. She seemed not to care about the poor and the near-poor, whose misfortunes she tended to regard as failures of character. The moral high point of her tenure was a passionate speech on global warming, delivered at the United Nations in 1989.
Stuart Taylor, Jr. examines how the federal government and the eighteen states (plus the District of Columbia) that have partially legalized medical or recreational marijuana or both since 1996 can be true to their respective laws, and can agree on how to enforce them wisely while avoiding federal-state clashes that would increase confusion and harm communities and consumers.
American University professor Akbar Ahmed’s new book, The Thistle and the Drone, cautions wisely about the geostrategic dangers that can result if Washington is seen as using force disproportionately or carelessly in ways that hurt innocent people. However, the United States has made huge progress in minimizing civilian casualties.
In November, two states, Colorado and Washington, passed ballot initiatives — by strong margins — to legalize marijuana use. Avoiding a state-federal train wreck over marijuana policy will not happen automatically. Finding a cooperative path requires creativity and energy from both levels of government. But the alternative won’t satisfy anyone, at least not for long.
Despite bipartisan consensus in favor of retaining foreign students studying at U.S. universities to make America economically competitive, Congress continues to disagree over the details. Very soon, the American public will see some version of these proposals in a much-anticipated comprehensive immigration reform bill.
However one feels about Thatcher’s politics, there’s no question that she chose crusades and framed arguments with great care. For her pragmatism, much of today’s Republican right would have panned Thatcher as “socialist,” “statist” and, heaven forfend, “European” — though they now hail her.
In 2001, George W. Bush signed a military order concerning the “Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism.” Suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without charge, denied knowledge of the evidence against them, and, if tried, sentenced by courts following no previously established rules.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg turns eighty this month. There is some irony in Ginsburg’s reputation for reserve, because she is, by far, the current Court’s most accomplished litigator. Ginsburg, during the 1970s, argued several of the most important women’s-rights cases in the Court’s history.
For a country exhausted after more than a decade of war, remote-controlled drones are undeniably tempting. Obama has yet to explain the basics of the broader policy, but that wall of silence is starting to erode. This new pledge of accountability comes amid growing international criticism.
Republicans and Democrats’ fibs rest on ill-concealed contempt for an undeserving other: the feckless poor, the immoral rich, those who live in states of the wrong partisan hue. Mutual dislike is the dirty secret that best explains European paralysis. American politicians have no business stoking it in their far more ambitious union.
FREE-THE-WEED campaigners speak not of “legalising” marijuana but of “taxing and regulating” it. The ballot measure they placed before Colorado’s voters last November, which won the support of 55% of them, was called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and contained provisions for a 15% excise tax.
Mr Obama named the officials charged with fulfilling his climate policy: Gina McCarthy, his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest Moniz, the prospective new secretary of energy. Their selection suggests that Mr Obama is indeed serious about tackling climate change, but not doctrinaire in his approach.
Study shows that in the United States, voting rights do not translate into much actual political power. You could predict what the government would do based on the preferences of the top 10% income level. When the preferences of middle class and poor income levels diverged from the affluent, there was no impact at all on the policies that were adopted.
Secure World Foundation envisions the secure, sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space contributing to global stability on Earth. SWF works with governments, industry, international organizations and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions that achieve the secure, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails. The ruling illustrated how hard it is to mount court challenges to a wide array of antiterrorism measures, including renditions of terrorism suspects to foreign countries and targeted killings using drones.
A dream Obama would point out that the issue is not size but sclerosis of government. The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment. The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s whether it is spent on the present or future.
The IISS believes climate change could have a serious effect on regional and global stability. Its Climate Change and Security Programme explores how global warming may affect disputes over territory, water and other resources, or could otherwise threaten peace and stability, and considers international mechanisms for producing the best solutions for climate security.
Nearly 365 years ago, more than 100 warring diplomats and princes got together and created the basic framework for territorial sovereignty: nation-states, demarcated by borders. But 30 years ago, humanity gave birth to the internet. With the flip of a switch, three engineers had undone the work of more than 100 princes and diplomats.
The U.S. government faces a tough fiscal future. Absent significant changes to current taxation and spending policies, debt held by the public will mount within two decades to levels never before experienced by this country. The consequences for the American economy and for the nation’s place in the world could be severe.
Now, more than ever, the United States might be tempted to pull back from the world. That would be a mistake, since an engaged grand strategy has served the country exceptionally well for the past six decades — helping prevent the outbreak of conflict in the world’s most important regions, keeping the global economy humming, and facilitating international cooperation.
The United States has consistently spent hundreds of billions of dollars per year on its military. This undisciplined, expensive, and bloody strategy has done untold harm to U.S. national security. This undisciplined strategy has done untold harm to U.S. national security. It is time to abandon the United States’ hegemonic strategy and replace it with one of restraint.
The Obama administration’s attempt to develop a more coherent doctrine of cyber-warfare is sensible so long as it is not just an excuse for hyping something that has yet to kill anybody. The essence of cyber-warfare is ambiguity and uncertainty, that makes policy both hard to construct and harder still to explain.
In November 2012, the Chinese Communist Party held its 18th National Congress. Some in China and the West have gone so far as to predict the demise of the one-party state, which they allege cannot survive if leading politicians stop delivering economic miracles. Such pessimism is misplaced; in the next decade, China will continue to rise, not fade.
Commentators are prone to seeing the challenges of the moment in unnecessarily apocalyptic terms, yet American democracy is more dysfunctional and commands less authority than ever — and it has fewer levers to pull in a globalized economy. This time, the pessimists might be right.
The Brennan nomination crystallizes the ways in which Obama has also cemented and expanded the Bush approach to counterterrorism. We have a far-flung drone campaign that deals death, even to American citizens, on the say-so of the president and a secret administration “nominations” process.
George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. He is known for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society.
The “super PACs” and secret-money groups that polluted this year’s election with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of largely ineffective attack ads are not slinking away in shame. Many are regrouping and raising more money to lobby Congress and the White House on behalf of their special-interest donors.
President Barack Obama has closely followed the policy of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to tactics used in the “war on terror” — from rendition, targeted killings, state secrets, Guantanamo Bay to domestic spying, according to Michael Hayden, Bush’s former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. The heavily fortified $2 billion center will store all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.
If Barack Obama is re-elected on November 6, he will owe more to his first lady than any president ever to win a second term. Michelle Obama gave one of the finest speeches ever delivered at a national political convention. More important, it could have more impact on the immediate future of the country than her husband’s celebrated 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change, is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Amnesty International works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. As the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, it investigates and exposes abuses, educates the public, and helps transform societies to create a safer, more just world.
The CPR believes sensible safeguards in the areas of health, safety, and the environment, serve important values including doing the best we can to prevent harm to people and the environment, distributing environmental harms and benefits fairly, and protecting the earth for future generations.
ACS works for positive change by shaping debate on vitally important legal and constitutional issues through development and promotion of high-impact ideas to opinion leaders and the media, and by building networks of lawyers, law students, judges and policymakers dedicated to those ideas.
The National Security Archive is an investigative journalism center, a research institute, an archive of U.S. documents, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, a global advocate of open government, and an indexer and publisher of former secrets.
The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. The organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government.
Maybe it’s a sign that the public has given up on honesty from presidential candidates. The assumption seems to be that politicians will always lie and that voters’ defense against that is fact checking by journalists. But … why do voters let politicians lie to them?
On April 21, 2012, Leonard Mlodinow published an Op-Ed in the New York Times Sunday Review titled, A Facial Theory of Politics. The article describes studies made into the effect of visual cues on electoral results. “How important is a political candidate’s appearance? We’re all worldly enough to understand that looks matter. You probably know about the famous 1960 presidential debate between an unshaven and tired Richard Nixon and a tanned and rested John F. Kennedy: those who watched on television generally thought Kennedy won the debate, while those who listened over the radio overwhelmingly favored Nixon. Still, even the most jaded politico assumes that appearance is a relatively small factor — and one that we are basically aware of. Everyone knew that part of Kennedy’s appeal was how he looked…”
In their New York Times article, Secret Kill List Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will, Jo Becker and Scott Shane discuss the Obama Administration’s approach to the fight against terrorism. The article is the third in a series of articles, called A Measure of Change, that assess President Obama’s record.
Fareed Zakaria hosts CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, is Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, and a Washington Post columnist. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of the books: The Post-American World: Release 2.0, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and author of the book: The Future of Power in the 21st Century, which provides a roadmap for a foreign policy to deal with the challenges of a global information age.
Michael Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University. He has been teaching political philosophy at Harvard for more than 30 years. He is the author of the books, Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do?, and, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.
The OECD Int’l Regulation Database compiles a set of quantitative indicators to measure cross-country differences in product market regulations in recent years. The database is used in reviews of regulatory reform and analyses of regulation on economic performance in Member countries.
The Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) research shows a need for significant public investment to reverse decades of neglect to US infrastructure and society. Investment will create jobs and modernize the US economy. Experts include Josh Bivens, Andrew Fieldhouse, Ethan Pollack, and Rebecca Thiess.
The Institute for Policy Studies Cities for Progress is a growing network of locally-elected officials and community-based activists working together for social change. CFP is a network that incorporates local, national and global approaches to issues that affect us in our own communities.
The Peterson Institute’s US Economic Policy research pertains to the topics: Economic Sanctions; Foreign Aid and Technical Assistance; Trade Disputes; Trade Promotion Authority; US Monetary and Fiscal Policy; and US Trade Policy. Research includes Policy Briefs and Working Papers.
The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance are the benchmark for good corporate governance. They are used by governments, regulators, investors, corporations and stakeholders and have been adopted by the Financial Stability Board as one of the Twelve Key Standards for Sound Financial Systems.
American taxpayers spend over $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, a “think tank” that provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. Open CRS provides access to CRS Reports that are already in the public domain.
The US Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Tax Policy and Administration. The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress – it investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to International Affairs. Covered topics include Terrorism, Human Rights, Aids Relief, Export Controls, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Humanitarian and Development Assistance, and Diplomacy.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Government Operations. Covered topics include Streamlining Government, Management, Social Security, Federal Employees, US Postal Service, Lobbying, Federal Contracting, and Transportation.
The Government Accountability Office provides public access to its wide-ranging research related to Budgets and Spending. Covered topics include Fiscal Outlook, Government Operations, Strategic Sourcing, Budget and Spending, Medicaid, Streamlining Government, and Public Transportation.