Articles by Michael Reiser

Obama releases 2012 budget

President Barack Obama released his much awaited budget plan for 2012 earlier this week, and called for Republicans to join him in a bipartisan effort to reduce the gargantuan national deficit. In an effort to reduce what is expected to be a $1.6 trillion deficit this year, Obama’s $3.7 trillion budget called for a reduction…

The Reiser's Edge: ObamaCare: selling hope and headaches

When you ask people what the purpose of government is, you’re going to get a lot of different answers. “Government exists to protect its citizens,” or “government exists to serve the people,” or something along either of those lines. What President Barack Obama plans to do with his health care plan is to do exactly…

Bush cancels Swiss trip after human rights groups threaten action

It’s no secret that former President George W. Bush has received his fair share of criticism over the years for his stance on waterboarding and torture. Last week, however, Bush tasted a new flavor of criticism. He was forced to cancel a trip to Geneva, where he was to speak at a Jewish charity dinner,…

The Reiser's Edge: We’re not the only “Land of Opportunity”

Along with 12 of my fellow students, I partook in one of the school’s immersion trips over winter break to the Dominican Republic and had a wonderful experience. After witnessing the lack of opportunity for the people that we met in one of the nation’s many small villages (called bateys) made up of poor sugar…

In second State of the Union, Obama focuses on debt and economy

President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address on Jan. 25 in which he called for both new spending on government programs in an effort to keep up with ever-increasing global competition, and for deep budget cuts to help with the gargantuan national deficit. Obama set the tone for the need to…

Obama, GOP hunker down for budget battle amid tough economic times

With it being the week President Barack Obama is expected to release his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, the newly-elected Tea Party Republican representatives have begun to make their presence known on the political stage. Last week, the freshman members of Congress called for even larger spending cuts than Republican House members initially…

WikiLeaks exposes secret U.S. foreign policy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange takes his seat during a news conference at the Geneva press club in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 4. Thanks to independent Australian journalist and hacker Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, the curtain has been pulled back on hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic documents and cables, otherwise kept secret from the…

Bush defends presidency in ‘Decision Points’

Former President George W. Bush waves as he signs copies of his book, “Decision Points,” at a store near his Dallas home on Nov. 9. (AP) Following the release of his much-anticipated book, “Decision Points,” former President George W. Bush has received both praise and criticism for his memoir. Released last week, “Decision Points” talks…

GOP takes House, sends message to Obama

Last Tuesday’s House elections turned out to be a landslide victory for Republican candidates across the country, halfway through President Barack Obama’s first term in office.  In order to regain the majority, Republicans needed to gain 39 seats. But for angry voters and Tea Party activists, the simple majority wasn’t enough. Sixty seats were picked…

Colbert, Stewart hold rally in D.C.

Comedian Stephen Colbert shouts to the crowd during the “Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)” on the National Mall in Washington on Oct. 30. (AP) The much anticipated “Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)” was held this past Saturday on the National Mall in Washington D.C. by Comedy Central duo Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.…

Afghan president admits to accepting aid from Iran, draws ire of U.S.

In a news conference on Monday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted that his government accepts financial aid, up to millions of dollars at a time, from the Iranian government “once or twice a year,” further straining relations between the troubled government and the United States.  While Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Feda Hussein Maliki, initially denied…

UN report adds twist to Rwandan genocide

A report published by the United Nations claims that Rwandan and Ugandan troops were involved in attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout the 1990s. (Image from english.aljazeera.net) The United Nations has released an official report accusing potential crimes of genocide committed by the Tutsi-led Rwandan forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

Threatening peace talks, Israel refuses to extend ban on settlements

Recently renewed yet fragile peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine became even more fragile Sunday when a 10-month building ban on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank ended at midnight.  Despite flak from his coalition of right-wing parties, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressured by the U.S., agreed to the building ban last November. …

Despite threats, Afghans take to polls

Afghanistan took another step toward democracy this past weekend with their third major election, but not without violence and reports of mass fraud. However, for the most part, the election went on as planned. According to the Washington Post, 40 percent of the registered population cast their votes, but 17 of the country’s 34 provinces…

Obama brings home troops from Iraq

Seven years ago, President George W. Bush spoke to the American people from the Oval Office, announcing the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Tuesday of last week, President Barack Obama, sitting at the same desk, declared the end of that same military operation: “I am announcing the American combat mission in Iraq, has ended.”…

As oil spill continues, cleaning up won’t be easy

After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, operated by British Petroleum, exploded and sank, the resultant oil spill has ran virtually unchecked for the past two weeks. An estimated 210,000 gallons a day are gushing out of a broken pipe 5,000 feet below sea level.  President Barack Obama called the spill “a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.”…

French president calls for ban on veils

A veiled French woman in Nantes, a town in western France, on April 23. (AP) Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, released a statement last Wednesday saying he will propose legislation banning the wearing of full veils in public by Muslim women, saying the “veil hurts the dignity of women and is unacceptable in French…

Volcano paralyzes air traffic in Europe

The crater at the summit of the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier on April 17, which has released a lingering volcanic ash plume that has paralyzed air traffic in Europe. (AP) Eyjafjallajökull. No, that is not a misprint, but the name of a large volcano on Iceland’s southern coast that is spewing ash across…

Obama reaches arms control treaty with Russia

President Barack Obama and Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev finally reached an agreement regarding arms control last Thursday. The two world powers put aside their differences over the issue and began a new era of friendly negotiations. The New START pact was signed in the luxurious Prague Castle, and was filled with signs of mutual agreement…

U.S. and Russia continue nuclear talks

Perhaps one of the most storied issues in American political history continued with a new chapter this past weekend. President Barack Obama and Russian Pres. Dmitri Medvedev of Russia spoke about taking steps toward a disarmament agreement between the two nuclear-weapon powerhouses that would decrease both arsenals by about 25 percent. The talks stem from…

BBC host admits to taking part in suicide

Ray Gosling, a documentary maker for the BBC, made a chilling confession during a narration for a documentary about death and dying. Gosling drifted away from the script and said, “I killed someone once.” That person was Gosling’s terminally ill partner who was dying of HIV/AIDS. Gosling revealed that he asked the doctor to leave…