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Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Pope Francis Embraced the Most Subversive Voices in Modern American Catholicism

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 05:02
Mike Scahill

I am not now nor have I ever been a journalist.  I am however a practicing Catholic who has closely followed the recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States.  I must say I was stunned when my wife called me at work to tell me that the pope had referenced Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton in his remarks to Congress.  The response was swift and immediate.  Within seconds, Google searches numbered in the thousands.  Who are these people?  It did not take long for the spin to begin.

A Pilgrimage for Love, Justice, and Dignity

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:07
Cecilia Velasco

One hundred women walked 100 miles to welcome Pope Francis to Washington. Their goal? To bring attention to the U.S. immigration crisis — and to touch the hearts of our nation’s leaders.

A Significant Step Forward on the Road to Reform

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:01
Karen Dolan

Weldon Angelos is a young father who wouldn’t have been able to be in his two children’s lives until he was 80 and his children were old and grey themselves. Angelos made mistakes and sold  some marijuana.  Because he also happened to have a gun in his possession, he got a 55 year mandatory minimum sentence.

Who’s the Guy in the White Suit Next to All Those Billionaires?

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:38
Michael Winship

Many of you know the words: “And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” So sayeth Jesus in the New Testament’s Book of Matthew, Chapter 19, Verse 24.

France's Government Aims to Give Itself—and the NSA—Carte Blanche to Spy on the World

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:29
Danny O'Brien

The United States makes an improper division between surveillance conducted on residents of the United States and the surveillance that is conducted with almost no restraint upon the rest of the world. This double standard has proved poisonous to the rights of Americans and non-Americans alike. In theory, Americans enjoy better protections. In practice there are no magical sets of servers and Internet connections that carry only American conversations. To violate the privacy of everyone else in the world, the U.S. inevitably scoops up its own citizens' data.

The Bass-Ackwards Detainee Transfer Provision in the FY2016 NDAA

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:20
Steve Vladeck

There’s a lot to say about the 1,915-page National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 that was unveiled yesterday by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees–and much of it ain’t good.

Big Industry’s All Out Assault on Democracy and Your Right to Know

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:12
George Kimbrell

In an op-ed published by Forbes last week, a pro-biotechnology mouthpiece who used to work for the tobacco industry wrote a provocative piece arguing that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision imperiled the constitutionality of mandatory genetically engineered food labeling.

Trumpocrisy: How 'The Donald' Became a Billionaire and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 06:51
Nomi Prins

The 2016 election campaign is certainly a billionaire’s playground when it comes to “establishment candidates” like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who cater to mega-donors and use their money to try to rally party bases.

The Middle East’s New Nakba

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 05:00
John Feffer

After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries.

What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule — quickly turned into one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. By the end of 1948, after an exodus of Muslims from India and a comparable hemorrhaging of Hindus from Pakistan, between 1 and 2 million people were dead. Extremists in both nascent countries had set out to create ethnically pure spaces by ruthlessly eliminating those that didn’t “fit in.”

No Papal Bull: Francis Hails Peace and the Activists Who Fight for It

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 04:47
Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

Pope Francis has left the building. His first trip to the United States created news at every turn.

You Knew the TPP Was Bad. Here's How It Gets Even Worse

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 04:43
Dave Johnson

Negotiators are meeting in Atlanta, trying to wrap up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It might be wrapped up as soon as Thursday. While the agreement is secret, there are reasons for people to be very, very concerned.

Here is a news article that explains why people should be alarmed about this secret “trade” agreement that the giant corporations have come up with. Reuters reports, in “U.S. business groups oppose exceptions in Pacific trade pact“:

The Moral Rabbit Hole

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 04:36
Robert C. Koehler

And down the moral rabbit hole we go.

The New York Times reported last week that U.S. soldiers still fighting the war in Afghanistan — 14 years on — are under orders to be “culturally sensitive” regarding different attitudes among our Afghan allies about, uh . . . the sexual abuse of children.

Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 10:10
Robert Parry

The U.S. government has dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs on Iraq alone in the last dozen years – and even hailed the start of the bombing campaign in 2003 as “shock and awe” – but now has coyly and repeatedly decried the Syrian government’s supposed use of crude “barrel bombs.”

The US Gazes Into the Islamophobic Abyss

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 07:16
Christian Christensen

"When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world.  Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace.  And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race -- out of every race. America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.  Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads.  And they need to be treated with respect."

Days of Miracle and Wonder

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 06:25
Tom Hayden

We are living in a time of miracles and wonder
Don't cry baby, don't cry
It was a dry wind and it swept across the desert and it curled into the circle of birth
and the dead sand falling on the children and the mothers and the fathers
                              —Paul Simon

When It Comes to War: Listen to the Pope, Not the Armchair Warriors

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 04:52
Katrina vanden Heuvel

In his historic visit to the United States, Pope Francis spoke frequently about the importance of peace and of negotiation and cooperation. His words clashed with a U.S. presidential debate marked by the bellicose postures of candidates in both parties. Francis speaks from a religious, not a political, frame, but ironically, he may have a greater grasp on American public opinion than many of those seeking to lead this country.

Single Payer and the Case Against 'Clicktivism'

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 04:42
Russell Mokhiber

Obamacare, with its promise of healthcare reform, took the wind out of the sails of the single payer movement.

In the House of Representatives, the number of co-sponsors of the single payer bill, HR 676, today is at 53 — down from a high of about 100.

Under Obamacare, 30 million Americans are still uninsured and tens of millions more are underinsured.

It’s a down year for single payer and activists are asking — what to do?

What’s the next step?

The Black Panthers are Back

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 04:32
Reese Erlich

Seeing a documentary on the Black Panthers while sitting next to Bobby Seale is quite an experience. As we watch a press preview of the film in an East Oakland home, the co-founder of the Panthers sometimes calls out the names of old comrades as they appear on screen, or he corrects an occasional error in the film.

Reaganism Has Been The Problem — Bernie Sanders Is The Solution

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 04:11
John Atcheson

One of the great mysteries in politics is how a country that polls well to the left of center, on an issue-by-issue basis keeps electing politicians from both parties who are to the right of center. 

The Best Movement Money Can Buy

Instead of Shaming the Poor, Let’s Raise the Minimum Wage

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:18
Rebecca Vallas

Yesterday I joined Fox and Friends for what they billed, in typical Fox News fashion, as a “fair and balanced debate.” The topic was a Maine mayor’s call to publish the names and addresses of all recipients of public assistance online as a sort of “poverty-offender registry.” Mayor Robert MacDonald of Lewistown announced this ugly proposal last week in an