Michelle Goldberg – The Nation
The phrase “Clinton rules” has two very distinct meanings. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s enemies use it to mean that the couple flout rules that apply to everyone else. (See, for example, the recent anti-Clinton Wall Street Journal editorial “The Clinton Rules.”) In the early years of the blogosphere, however, liberals used “Clinton rules” as shorthand for the way journalists regularly abandoned ordinary standards of evidence to breathlessly pursue Clinton pseudo-scandals, often cooked up by right-wing operatives. As the Daily Howler wrote in 2007, “Under ‘the Clinton rules of journalism,’ you can say any goddamn thing you want—as long as you say it about the Clintons.”
Rasna Warah* – PAMBAZUKA NEWS (1)
The United Nations is notorious for not protecting whistleblowers, despite a 2005 whistleblower protection policy, and rarely, if ever, takes disciplinary action against corrupt individuals.
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
It will not end well if those involved cling to false beliefs
The Greek epic continues. It will not end well if the people involved do not recognise they are clinging on to myths. Here are six, each of which poses intellectual and emotional obstacles to reaching a solution.
Exclusive: Confidential draft from summit reveals that only 5,000 migrants will be allowed to resettle in Europe with large numbers likely to be repatriated
Only 5,000 resettlement places across Europe are to be offered to refugees under the emergency summit crisis package to be agreed by EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday.
A confidential draft summit statement seen by the Guardian indicates that the vast majority of those who survive the journey and make it to Italy – 150,000 did so last year – will be sent back as irregular migrants under a new rapid-return programme co-ordinated by the EU’s border agency, Frontex. More than 36,000 boat survivors have reached Italy, Malta and Greece so far this year.
By Ashoka Mody* / Posted by Yves Smith – Naked Capitalism
The Greek government’s mounting financial woes are leading it to contemplate the previously unthinkable: defaulting on a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Instead of demanding repayment and further austerity, the IMF should recognize its responsibility for the country’s predicament and forgive much of the debt.
By Roberto Savio
ROME, Apr 2015 (IPS) – This month’s World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.
Zoë Carpenter – The Nation
Since its founding in 1865, The Nation has been a home for writers instigating, reporting on and arguing about struggles for social and economic justice. We have held fast to our “Nation Ideals”— from racial justice to feminism, from a fair economy to civil liberties, from environmental sustainability to peace and disarmament—throughout our 150-year history. During our anniversary year, TheNation.com will highlight one Nation Ideal every month or two. We’ll celebrate by asking prominent contemporary Nation voices to read and respond to important pieces from our archive. Below, Zoë Carpenter reflects on two 1970 Nation articles on the emergence of the environmental movement. Learn more about our 150th anniversary events and special content here.
Submitted by Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge
Few individuals polarize the public with their opinions, statements and mere presence, like Noam Chomsky. The 86 year old linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator, social justice activist, and anarcho-syndicalist advocate, has strong opinions (and in some cases, entire schools of thought) on everything from philosophy, to sociology, to linguistics, but he is perhaps best known in recent years for his political activism which has led to death threats due to his staunch and far-reaching criticism of US foreign policy (allegedly the Anti-Defamation League “spied on” Chomsky’s appearances).
Leonid Bershidsky *
The continued scandals surrounding IMF’s past leaders aren’t helping the institution’s image
Has the International Monetary Fund (IMF) been hexed?
First, the former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was embroiled in sex scandals and charged with aggravated pimping. Then his successor, Christine Lagarde, was placed under investigation, while still in office, for alleged negligence at her previous job as economy minister in France. And now Rodrigo Rato, who ran IMF before Strauss-Kahn, has been briefly detained in Madrid, in connection with one of four fraud and money-laundering accusations against him.
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
As Francesco Saraceno notes, the IMF’s research department, which was always excellent, has become an extraordinary source of information and ideas in this Age of Blanchard. In particular, these days you can pretty much count on the semiannual World Economic Outlook to offer some dramatic new insight into how the world works. And the latest edition is no exception.
By Karlos Zurutuza
GENEVA, Apr 17 2015 (IPS) – Nasser Boladai is the spokesperson of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), an umbrella movement aimed at expanding support for a secular, democratic and federal Iran. IPS spoke with him in Geneva, where he was invited to speak at a recent conference on Human Rights and Global Perspectives in his native Balochistan region.
Paul Krugman* – The New York Times
BRUSSELS — America has yet to achieve a full recovery from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Still, it seems fair to say that we’ve made up much, though by no means all, of the lost ground.
By Simon Johnson – baseline scenario
The political debate about finance in the US is often cast as markets versus regulation, as if “more regulation” means the efficiency of private sector decisions will necessarily be impeded or distorted. But this is the wrong way to think about the real policy choices that – like it or not – are now being made. The question is actually what kind of markets do you want: fair and well-functioning, with widely shared benefits; or deceptive, dangerous, and favoring just a relatively few powerful people?
Stephen F. Cohen*
The choice is either a New Détente or a more perilous Cold War.
(The text below is a somewhat expanded version of remarks I delivered at the annual US-Russia Forum in Washington, DC, held in the Hart Senate Office Building, on March 26.)
When I spoke at this forum nine months ago, in June 2014, I warned that the Ukrainian crisis was the worst US-Russian confrontation in many decades. It had already plunged us into a new (or renewed) Cold War potentially even more perilous than its forty-year US-Soviet predecessor because the epicenter of this one was on Russia’s borders; because it lacked the stabilizing rules developed during the preceding Cold War; and because, unlike before, there was no significant opposition to it in the American political-media establishment. I also warned that we might soon be closer to actual war with Russia than we had been since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
by David I. Kertzer
The New York Review of Books
April 23, 2015 Issue
The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
During the past fifty years, most of the debate on the Catholic Church’s relationship with fascism has focused on the wartime period and the Vatican’s response to the Holocaust. Did the virtual silence of Pius XII, who became pope in early 1939, about the mistreatment and extermination of Europe’s Jews facilitate Hitler’s Final Solution, as his critics insist, or was it, as Pius’s defenders maintain, a heroic act of self-discipline that prevented Nazi reprisals against the many thousands of Catholic institutions that were secretly hiding and helping Jews?
Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge
Over the centuries there have been many stories, some based on loose facts, others based on hearsay, conjecture, speculation and outright lies, about groups of people who “control the world.” Some of these are partially accurate, others are wildly hyperbolic, but when it comes to the historic record, nothing comes closer to the stereotypical, secretive group determining the fate of over 7 billion people, than the Bank of International Settlements, which hides in such plain sight, that few have ever paid much attention.
This is their story.
By Richard D. Wolff* – Truthout | News Analysis
As economic crises, declines and dislocations increasingly hurt or threaten people around the globe, they provoke questions. How are we to understand the forces that produced the 2008 crisis, the crisis itself, with its quick bailouts and stimulus programs, and now the debts, austerity policies and deepening economic inequalities that do not go away? Economies this troubled force people to think and react. Some resign themselves to “hard times” as if they were natural events. Some pursue individual strategies trying to escape the troubles. Some mobilize to fight whoever they blame for it all.
By Chakravarthi Raghavan*
Geneva, 8 Apr (SUNS) – Having given away ‘for free’ the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the only leverage they had over the US and the EU, to ensure good faith negotiations by the two and reaching agreements on the Doha Development Round, developing countries are facing an uphill battle at the WTO to ensure a permanent solution to food security issues and translate into binding commitments the ‘best endeavour’ decisions of the 2013 Bali Ministerial Conference.
By Kanya D’Almeida
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 10 2015 (IPS) – If you are reading this article, consider yourself one of the lucky ones; lucky enough to have received an education, or to be secure in the knowledge that your child will receive one. Lucky enough to be literate in a world where – more often than not – the ability to read and write can mean the difference between a decent life and abject poverty.
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
Ben Bernanke comes down firmly against the idea that concerns about financial instability should lead central banks to raise interest rates even in a depressed economy. Good — and I was especially pleased to see him citing the Swedish example and the Ignoring of Lars Svensson as a case study.