Whistleblowers Necessary for a Free Press

Bradley Manning

In a well-orchestrated effort to get ahead of the story, this week the Obama administration released a trove of secret information about domestic spying and the rules of how the domestic phone records may be accessed and used by intelligence analysts. And yesterday, the president met with congressional leaders to assure them that the secret NSA programs would be adjusted. But, the administration efforts failed miserably in heading off the growing outcry and only raised more questions than they answered. Too little, too late. Even as senators debated the program, The Guardian published a 32-page presentation,  downloaded by Edward J. Snowden, that describes a separate surveillance activity by the agency. It gives NSA analysts access to virtually any Internet browsing … Continue reading

Think Tank Proposes $100B ‘Politically Feasible’ Defense Cuts As Part of Fiscal Cliff Solution

Even as the headlines warn time is growing short to avert the coming so-called fiscal cliff, an influential progressive Washington think tank is proposing $100 billion in defense cuts which could be accepted by Democrats and Republicans alike. The Center for American Progress on Friday released “$100 Billion in Politically Feasible Defense Cuts for a Budget Deal,” an issue brief outlining targeted reductions in defense spending to put the nation on what it calls a more sustainable fiscal path, while eliminating unnecessary and ineffective programs without harming U.S. national security or economic recovery. “This issue brief recommends $100 billion in responsible reductions over 10 years as an initial target, a modest ‘down-payment’ that would bring the defense budget back to … Continue reading

Obama Maintains High Public Opinion

President Obama’s first months in the Oval Office have strengthened his “standing with the American public, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, giving him political capital for battles ahead.” As his 100th day as president approaches next Wednesday, the survey shows Obama has not only maintained robust approval ratings but also bolstered the sense that he is a strong and decisive leader who can manage the government effectively during a time of economic crisis. In fact, public opinion of Obama “as a “strong and decisive leader” has jumped 12 percentage points, and his image as an effective manager has gone up 11 points,” since October.