Political Articles from 2017

America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama’s reign

[Political]
America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end to Obama’s reign
by Medea Benjamin
Posted January 19,2017

victims of drone murderWhile candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush’s wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.

Looking back at President Obama’s legacy, the Council on Foreign Relation’s Micah Zenko added up the defense department’s data on airstrikes and made a startling revelation: in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. More…

Should We Choose Ranked Choice Voting?

[Political]
Should We Choose Ranked Choice Voting?
By Rob Richie
Posted January 18, 2017

ranked choice votingRanked choice voting (sometimes called “instant runoff voting” and “preferential voting”) is a proven voting method designed to accommodate having more than two choices in our elections. When used to elect one candidate, RCV essentially simulates the math of traditional majority runoffs, but in one trip to the polls. Voters have the freedom to rank candidates in order of choice: first, second, third, and so on.

RCV upholds majority rule while accommodating increased voter choice. It creates incentives for winning candidates to reach out to all voters in order to get a higher ranking and allows a voter to consider more choices with a greatly reduced likelihood of “splitting” their vote in a manner that might otherwise result in an unrepresentative outcome. Based on the context of its use, RCV can mitigate partisan inflexibility, foster greater accountability for incumbents, increase civic engagement, and reduce the impact of campaign spending. More…

Not Acting Is a Decision: The Obama Legacy’s Empty Spaces

[Political]
Not Acting Is a Decision: The Obama Legacy’s Empty Spaces
By William Rivers Pitt
Posted January 11, 2017

Obama's legacyNot acting is also a decision, and in this case, the decision to let torture stand unpunished means that torture itself will not only stand, but expand. The Obama administration could have set a legal precedent by prosecuting the perpetrators. It chose not to, and so this corpse flower of a policy will bloom once again. This was not the hope and change we were looking for.

Then there is the matter of Wall Street and the financial collapse of 2008. President Obama and his administration did yeoman’s work holding the economy together after all the gaskets blew, and the recovery we have enjoyed since those dark days is not to be sneezed at. Yet that recovery is merely an accent in the symphony of financial fiction we labor under like so many cheese-seeking mice in an endless maze. More…

[Photos] Before & After in Aleppo and Why We Need an Antiwar Movement

[Political] 
[Photos] Before & After in Aleppo and Why We Need an Antiwar Movement
by Dylan Charles
Posted January 8, 2017

Allepo - before and after2016 marked the most terribly divisive election in U.S. history and while people found many issues to argue about, practically no one on either side of the left/right paradigm stood against the Orwellian permanent war and asked the candidates what they could or would do to bring an end to conflict.

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing more than smiling at the cameras and smoothly reading a teleprompter, yet he stands as the only U.S. president in the entire 240 year history of America to serve an entire two terms in office while being at war every single day. And somehow, people are still willing to boast of his benevolence and good will, all the while bombs keep falling on foreign nations with absolutely zero effort, interest or leadership in forging a path to peace. More…

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