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Michael S. Lofgren
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Entries by Michael S. Lofgren

Anatomy of the Deep State

(2) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 11:58 AM

On Friday, BillMoyers.com published this essay by former congressional analyst Mike Lofgren about what he calls the Deep State, a hybrid of corporate America and the national security state, which is "out of control" and "unconstrained." It is crossposted here and on our website. You can also watch...

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The NSA Affair: A Symptom, Not a Cause

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 10:31 AM

Any person of normal intelligence could have surmised long ago what the latest headlines about the National Security Agency purport to expose: that the government was engaged in massive surveillance involving the American public; that the surveillance far exceeded any reasonable interpretation both of the Fourth Amendment and...

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Christiane Amanpour Shills for U.S. Intervention in Syria

(4) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 8:34 AM

Having once misled the public during the year prior to the invasion of Iraq, the media appear to be reprising that role in order to lend an air of inevitability to potential U.S. military intervention in Syria. Exhibit A is the appearance of Christiane Amanpour on The Daily...

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Is War Good for the Economy?

(87) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 12:06 PM

The 1960s comedy show Laugh-In included an occasional sketch in which co-host Dan Rowan played a comic general whose tag-line was "war is good for business!" In an ironic echo of that skit, an April 27 Washington Post story delivers the same message: "A steep slowdown in defense...

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Crackpot Realism and the Education of David Stockman

(25) Comments | Posted April 7, 2013 | 8:10 PM

In a previous article I examined sociologist C. Wright Mills' thesis that American foreign policy in the post-World War II era has been dominated by the crackpot realist. Briefly, Mills held that our foreign policy elites evince a groupthink, endlessly reverberated in the echo chamber of modern mass...

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Syria and the Triumph of Crackpot Realism

(93) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 7:12 PM

More than 50 years ago, sociologist C. Wright Mills, in his book The Causes of World War III, introduced Americans to a new socio-political concept: the crackpot realist. Crackpot realists are amoral men and women of worldly affairs who possess exceptionally banal minds. These are the "serious people"...

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Iraq: 10 Years After, Have We Learned a Thing?

(5) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 11:20 PM

On the decennial of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the persons responsible have shown remarkably little guilt over launching an unprovoked war of aggression, even when the lamentable results might be expected to give one pause to rethink the enterprise. Marveling at the complacency about Iraq of America's foreign policy...

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Scientology for Rednecks: What the GOP Has Become

(577) Comments | Posted February 17, 2013 | 3:18 PM

As with many religions, political parties have a tendency to start as a movement, transform into a business, and finally degenerate into a racket designed to fleece the yokels. One organization which has gone out of its way to illustrate this evolution is the Republican Party. And it has done...

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The 'Führer' Over Gun Control

(138) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 9:23 PM

Wait for it... three... two... one... now! It was bound to happen. Just in case you thought political discourse in this country couldn't get any lower, Matt Drudge, the quasi-mainstream bellwether of the lunatic fringe, drags Adolf Hitler into the gun control policy debate.

The gun lobby's...

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Can the President Raise the Debt Limit?

(192) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 10:15 AM

I am sure we have all had it up to here with breathless reporting about the fiscal cliff. But within a month or two after the December 31, 2012 deadline for resolving the cliff, there looms another, more serious economic issue: extending the debt limit. The two matters are linked...

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The Austerity Trap: Is Past Prologue?

(4) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 9:42 PM

A German chancellor touts austerity as the sovereign remedy for the worst global economic crisis in most people's memory. Why? The great inflation of 1923 is still so seared into the consciousness of the German political class that keeping the stability of the currency is paramount. Therefore the decree goes...

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Paul Ryan -- What He Said and What I Saw

(44) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 11:22 AM

The really frightening thing about totalitarianism is not that it commits "atrocities" but that it attacks the concept of objective truth: it claims to control the past as well as the future.
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, February 4, 1944

We're not going to let...

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Iran and the Shape of Things to Come

(34) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Cet animal est tres mechant; quand on l'attaque, il se defend. (This animal is very wicked; when you attack it, it defends itself) - French proverb

It is hard not to think of that Gallic witticism when observing recent international events. Aside from almost daily threats from the governments of...

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Iran: War Drums Beating

(204) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 10:48 AM

For most of my three-decade career handling national security budgets in Congress, Iran was two or three years away from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The idea of an Islamic bomb exerts a peculiar fascination on American political culture and shines a searchlight on how the gross dysfunctionality of...

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How the Media Enable the Republican Tax Agenda

(136) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 1:13 PM

The media doesn't seem to understand the basics about budgets -- and the inescapable relationship between aggregate revenues, aggregate spending, and total deficits. Either that, or reporters just choose to play dumb. The end result is the same, however: Journalists don't probe deeply -- or they probe when it is...

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