Politics

We Don’t Need Private Health Insurance

New single-payer plans don’t need to worry about carving out roles for health-care profiteers. Adam Gaffney The Nation Does achieving “Medicare for All” mean mostly eliminating private health insurance? Single-payer proponents say yes: After all, if a public plan provides comprehensive, no-deductible coverage for everyone, nobody would want—much less be willing pay for—duplicative private coverage. Yet candidates who previously embraced single-payer sometimes seem a bit unsure. For instance, Senator Cory Booker, who co-sponsored Senator Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan back in ... Read More »

Russia to China: Together we can rule the world

Only Europe can prevent an Eastern bloc. Bruno Maçães Politico Europe’s obsession with Russia is unrequited. Moscow just isn’t interested in the Continent anymore. It doesn’t care about European integration, or moving toward Europe. But neither is it interested in Europe’s predicted disintegration, or in pulling countries away from the West and closer to its way of thinking. In the halls of the Kremlin these days, it’s all about China — and whether or not Moscow can convince Beijing to ... Read More »

A peace agreement in Afghanistan won’t last if there are no women at the table

Over the past weeks, the US government has been in peace negotiations with the Taliban. Susan Hutchinson The Conversation It has been 17 years since US and allied troops first deployed to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and support a democratically elected government. The current peace negotiations have progressed further than any other attempted during the conflict. But they have two serious problems. Firstly, they have have not included the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, led by President Ashraf Ghani. ... Read More »

Victories for human rights highlight Australia’s tarnished reputation

On February 13, 26-year-old Sudanese refugee, Aziz Muhamat, won a prestigious international human rights prize, the Martin Ennals Award, in Geneva, Switzerland. Elaine Pearson Brisbane Times Winners are selected because of their deep commitment to human rights, often working under threat of detention, torture, or worse. Last month, a Kurdish refugee from Iran, Behrouz Boochani, won Australia’s richest literary prize, the Victorian Prize for Literature. Both men achieved this recognition despite Australian government efforts to hide them away on Manus ... Read More »

Much like the UK, Spain’s broken politics are fraught with anxiety and boredom

Locked in a cycle of political infighting and pervasive uncertainty, the Spanish people are now facing their third general election in three-and-a-half years. Dan Hancox The National The UK’s politicians are advancing towards Brexit like wounded beasts – charging ahead falteringly, blindly and panicked. Last week, though, the academic and political writer William Davies summed up the national mood as a “mixture of anxiety and boredom”. It’s a confusing feeling, worrying about the chaos many believe will ensue after the ... Read More »

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

The Russian-produced Netflix series is selling worrying myths to the public. FP Two years ago, the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution of November 1917 set off carefully choreographed celebrations in Russia marking the overthrow of the ancien régime. RT, for example, created an… But there were some curious omissions from the historical record in this retelling of the rise of the Soviets. Public parades focused on the defeat of Nazism rather than celebrations of Bolshevism. Russian state-run media trotted ... Read More »

Pence: ‘We will not stand idly by’ as Turkey purchases S-400

MUNICH — Vice President Mike Pence repeated warnings to Turkey not to proceed with the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, a day after Turkey dismissed the first of two deadlines to cease with the… Tara Copp Military Times Pence, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, told attendees “we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the… The U.S. ... Read More »

Must the president be a moral leader?

The best presidents – including figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington – are celebrated not only as good leaders, but as good men. They embody not simply political skill, but… Michael Blake The Conversation Why, though, should anyone expect a president to demonstrate that sort of virtue? If someone is good at the difficult job of political leadership, must they demonstrate exceptional moral character as well? Character and democracy Voters disagree about the extent to which the president ... Read More »

This Is What the Beginning of a Real Israel Debate Looks Like

Before Ilhan Omar came to the national stage, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer tried to discuss pro-Israel lobbying. Ben Ehrenreich The New Republic They were shouted down. With all the shouting it was easy to miss, but something new happened in Washington this week. If you can’t see it yet, put yourself back in 2006, when everything about a Somali-American, Muslim congresswoman tweeting a line from a Puff Daddy song—as Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar did Sunday evening—would have been unthinkable. In March ... Read More »

Is Nancy Pelosi a Climate Skeptic?

It’s time to reckon with the internal contradictions of climate policy. Bret Stephens The New York Times Is Nancy Pelosi a climate skeptic? Of course not — and I would know. But you might be excused for thinking so, given the curt wave-off the House speaker delivered to the liberally ballyhooed, legislatively stillborn Green New Deal. “The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” That was Pelosi talking about the deal as ... Read More »

‘Amazon isn’t bigger than New York’: meet the man who killed the deal

Michael Gianaris turned his outrage into leverage when he was appointed to an obscure state board – and soon after, the company called the project off Erin Durkin The Guardian Αmazon made plenty of enemies with its plans for a new headquarters in New York, but one of those foes played an outsized role in sending the tech giant packing. The man who stared down Amazon is state senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat who represents Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood where the company ... Read More »

US updates warning over Turkey travel amid rising political tensions

Turkey announced it would purchase Russia’s missile system The US Department of State on Thursday updated its travel advisory for Turkey amid stalled US-Turkey talks on Syria and growing differences over Venezuela and Turkish S-400 deal with Russia. Joyce Karam The National Turkey announced Thursday it would be going ahead with a purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, ahead of an informal Friday deadline to respond to a rival US offer. Turkey, a NATO member, made repeated moves to buy ... Read More »

White-collar crooks face up to 15 years in jail under new penalties

Banking executives face up to 15 years in jail under tough new laws to stamp out white-collar crime as the corporate regulator prepares to crack down on misconduct in the sector. Sarah Danckert The Sydney Morning Herald On Friday, the Senate passed a long-awaited bill that drastically increases the penalties for white-collar crime. Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s deputy chairman, enforcement, Daniel Crennan, QC, welcomed the passing of the bill on Friday. “Now ASIC will be in a position to ... Read More »

Four lessons from 11 years of Closing the Gap reports

Scott Morrison today became the fifth prime minister to deliver a Closing the Gap report to parliament – the 11th since the strategy began in 2008. Nicholas Biddle The Conversation Closing the Gap has aimed to reduce disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with particular respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational achievement and employment outcomes. Almost every time a prime minister delivers the report, he or she states the need to move ... Read More »

Former far-right Dutch MP van Klaveren tells of reactions to his conversion to Islam

Joram van Klaveren spent several years serving far-right and anti-Islam politics in the Netherlands. But van Klaveren, once a right-hand man to Dutch anti-Islam politician GeertWilders, took the world by surprise when he announced his conversion to… Nalan Koçak – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “You are like a vegetarian working in a slaughterhouse,” Wilders told van Klaveren upon his shift to his newfound faith, the former MP recalled in an interview with Hürriyet Daily News on Feb. 12. Van Klaveren was a lawmaker for the Party of Freedom (PVV), led by the Dutch populist Wilders, from 2010 to ... Read More »

U.S. ally Turkey looks to Russia and Iran to protect its interests

Analysis: The U.S. organized a global conference on the Mideast in Warsaw, but Turkey’s leader is at a summit with Russian and Iranian leaders instead. By Dan De Luce NBC WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey. Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday ... Read More »