Over at Huffington Post Robert Greenwald discovers that Obama has been killing children with drones
During my recent trip to Pakistan as part of our upcoming documentary film, Drones Exposed, I was struck most by the stories told to me by children who had experienced a U.S. drone strike firsthand. The impact of America’s drone war in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen will linger on, especially for the loved ones of the 178 children killed in those countries by U.S. drone strikes.
War Costs’ latest video (with accompanying report) brings attention to the children who have died as a result of drone strikes. The video names some of the children who perished in these strikes, and points out the obfuscation tactics of American officials who will not own up to the significant amount of civilian casualties that have occurred due to this legally- and morally-dubious policy.
In addition to the video, War Costs offers this report detailing the effects of drone strikes on children. The findings come mainly from the diligent investigative reporting of TBIJ and the groundbreaking reports on the impact of drone strikes by Stanford and New York University researchers (Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan) and researchers at Columbia University (The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions).
In an effort to compel answers about why these innocent civilians have died without acknowledgement or explanation from the U.S. government, War Costs is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to debate and pass Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s bill that calls for more transparency regarding U.S. drone strike policy.
The hat was too tight
Dana Milbank discovers that Obama lied about being transparent:
“My administration,” President Obama wrote on his first day in office, “is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.”
Those were strong and hopeful words. Four years later, it is becoming more and more clear that they were just words.
But these don’t amount to the “unprecedented level of openness” Obama promised. The few advances that have been made are mostly administrative changes that will end with the Obama administration. “We haven’t seen that many, if any, legislative initiatives from the White House,” Weismann lamented at Monday’s gathering of the open-government advocates.
Consider the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, a bill with bipartisan support that would make it easier to track government spending by requiring agencies to report expenditures in a uniform way online. The legislation is so uncontroversial that it passed the House on a voice vote. But the Obama administration raised objections — and the transparency law has yet to see the light of day.
All those new jobs over the last five months? We discover that three quarters of them were created by the government:
Seventy-three percent of the new civilian jobs created in the United States over the last five months are in government, according to official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In June, a total of 142,415,000 people were employed in the U.S, according to the BLS, including 19,938,000 who were employed by federal, state and local governments.
By November, according to data BLS released today, the total number of people employed had climbed to 143,262,000, an overall increase of 847,000 in the six months since June.
In the same five-month period since June, the number of people employed by government increased by 621,000 to 20,559,000. These 621,000 new government jobs created in the last five months equal 73.3 percent of the 847,000 new jobs created overall.
Greg Mankiw discovers Barack Obama is no uniter:
Back in 2008, when President Obama was running for his first term, he promised to be a post-partisan leader. While a Democrat, he said he would accept good ideas when they came from Republicans. At the time, I believed him, at least to some degree. And I wrote about it in this NY Times column.
Sadly, I was wrong. The short version of the story is this: As a candidate, President Obama campaigned on a platform of raising taxes on the rich. Yet he and his economic advisers also said they wanted to raise dividend taxes only slightly, from 15 to 20 percent. For reasons I explained in the Times article, keeping dividend taxes low was a position bolstered by good economics. Now, however, the president wants to raise dividend taxes to ordinary income tax rates (plus, for high-income taxpayers, the new tax of 3.8 percent that is part of the Obamacare legislation).
To be it another way, he campaigned as a moderate, willing to concede that the other party had some good ideas on tax policy. Once in office, he gave up on those ideas.
A similar thing happened with Bowles-Simpson. During his first term, he appointed a bipartisan panel, which concluded we could address our long-term fiscal problem with lower tax rates and a broader tax base. Now, the President goes around the country lambasting that approach.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether President Obama is a good or bad president. But the claim that he has tried to transcend partisanship and find a middle ground is just impossible to square with the facts.
The Labor Department discovers it overstated job gains in September and October:
The Labor Department revised job growth in previous months downward somewhat. October growth fell to 138,000 from an initial estimate 171,000, and September’s declined to 132,000 from 148,000.
Funny how we discover these things only after Obama was re-elected. Next I imagine that we’ll discover Obama is a redistributionist.