About Joseph Palermo

Joseph Palermo is Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento. Professor Palermo's most recent book is The Eighties (Pearson 2012). He has also written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Columbia, 2001); and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism (Pearson, 2008). Before earning a Master's degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in History from San Jose State University. His expertise includes the 1980s; political history; presidential politics and war powers; social movements of the 20th century; the 1960s; and the history of American foreign policy. Professor Palermo has also written articles for anthologies on the life of Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. in The Human Tradition in America Since 1945 (Scholarly Resources Press, 2003); and on the Watergate scandal in Watergate and the Resignation of Richard Nixon (CQ Press, 2004).

CIA: Fourth Branch of Government?

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CIA Oversight: The oversight institutions charged with protecting the public from CIA abuses have been rendered dysfunctional .

Plutocrats Despising the Poor: An American Tradition

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Hating the Poor: Adding insult to injury we’re forced to endure the incessant whining and moaning of billionaires.

“President Chris Christie”: How’s That Sound Now?

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President Chris Christie — The George Washington Bridge scandal is just a smaller version of the Washington GOP’s government shutdown.

Maybe It’s Time to Find a New Word for “Reform”

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What Reform Means — “Reform” used to mean government actions designed to give working people a leg up or expand democratic participation.

Nation’s “Paper of Record” Acknowledges the U.S. Invasion of Iraq Unleashed a Sectarian Bloodbath

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Iraq Invasion –The Establishment press has become comfortable with conceding the Iraq war was a spectacular waste of lives and money.

Had John Kennedy Lived

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Joseph Palermo: One of the reasons why the Kennedy assassination continues to affect millions of people the way it does, even 50 years later, is the sense that we are still fighting the same battle today.

JFK Assassination: Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald

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Joseph Palermo: It sounds pretty convenient that a loudmouthed “communist” would be responsible for killing President Kennedy given that the city of Dallas was not known for its large Pinko population, but for its right-wing fanatics.

JFK and the Lone Gunman

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Joe Palermo: Given its epic flaws and omissions, it’s little wonder that the Warren Report, which the Commission presented to President Johnson with great fanfare on September 28, 1964, has been over the years widely condemned as a monumental government fraud.

Now Who Is the Real “Narcissist”? Edward Snowden or the NSA?

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Joseph Palermo: The documents Snowden chose to share with the world have exposed the behavior, attitude, and culture of the NSA. The revelations alone about spying on allied heads of state, such as Brazil and Germany, have already caused real damage to bilateral relations between the U.S. and those countries. The NSA is clearly out of control.

Republican Shutdown: Time Magazine’s False Equivalency

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Joe Palermo: Scherer and Altman leave Time readers with the impression that somehow Nancy Pelosi is equally responsible for the Republican Tea Party crazies in the House who are driving the country into the ground to win concessions from the president they despise.

Worst Possible Time to Repeat 1995

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Joe Palermo: What remains eerily similar to the 1995 Republican shutdown is the arrogance, ignorance, lies and distortions the Far Right perpetrates against the American people.

House Republicans: “Yee-Haw! We’re Shuttin’ Down the Gov’mint!”

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Joseph Palermo: With a little luck there will be a point reached when the GOP’s paymasters among the giant corporations and billionaires get nervous about closing down a government which functions as a cash cow for them.

Can “Obama Derangement Syndrome” Help Stop the U.S. from Waging War in Syria?

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Joseph Palermo: When it comes to Syria, the old saying that even a broken clock is correct twice a day might apply to the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party.

If the British Can Stop Their Government From Waging War in Syria, Why Can’t We?

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Joseph Palermo: Today, once again, it feels like we’re being herded into supporting a military action in Syria that will end up, like the Iraq War, making the world an even more dangerous place than it is now. Then, as now, we see influential journalists tripping over themselves to fall into line.

March on Washington Anniversary Summons Painful History

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Joseph Palermo: Today, the ideological kinfolk of the white segregationists of 1963 are doing everything in their power to disfranchise African Americans and re-segregate or destroy public schools under the guise of school “reform.”

Mitch Daniels, Howard Zinn, and the Politics of History

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Joseph Palermo: Mitch Daniels’s attempt to erase Zinn from the Indiana curriculum unveils him as an anti-intellectual who is clueless about the discipline of History as well as the historical profession.

Wall Street Pulls an Enron With Commodities

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Joseph Palermo: Even before we’ve had a chance to recover from the Great Recession caused by their earlier malfeasance, the usual suspects among Wall Street’s “too big to fail” banks continue to plunder our society by artificially driving up commodity prices.

The Culture Wars are Alive and Kickin’

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Joseph Palermo: In Texas, Governor Rick Perry, the Religious Right, and their Republican allies, following Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis’s courageous filibuster last week, are literally working overtime to criminalize women’s reproductive rights.

“Don’t Tread On Me!” Unless You’re the NSA

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Joseph Palermo: Our political leaders and courts are clearly incapable of providing the needed “check” on the inevitable abuses that will occur when the government chooses to keep a domestic spying behemoth behind a veil of state secrecy.

Reagan, Genocide and Guatemala

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Joseph Palermo: Now that a Guatemalan court has convicted General Erfrain Rios Montt of “genocide” maybe we can better come to terms with the history of the early 1980s when the Reagan Administration was determined to vanquish communism in Central America.

Ten Years Since Mission Accomplished: Let’s Review the Imagery

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Joseph Palermo: In U.S.-occupied Iraq, every car bomb, every I.E.D., every suicide bomber, and every sectarian killing that followed that sunny day in May off the San Diego coast made a mockery of Bush’s premature spiking of the proverbial football and brought deserved derision from the rest of the world.

Getting College Wrong: Pedagogy of the Depressed

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Joseph Palermo: It’s as if the baby boomers, having gotten their own quality schooling for a fraction of the price students pay today, are kicking the ladder out from under their children and grandchildren and substituting it with a shoddy, privatized product to which they, in their youth, never would have succumbed.

Iraq: A Ten-Year Anniversary We’d Rather Forget

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Joseph Palermo: And after throwing away so many lives and so much money we’re now being told (by many of the same people who sold us the Iraq War) that we have no resources left to ensure that our children get a good education, or that our elderly can retire in dignity, or our poor people are given hope for a better future.

President Hugo Chavez and America’s “Backyard”

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Joseph Palermo: The simple fact remains: Chavez, who died of cancer at the age of 58, was the only president of Venezuela in modern memory who did ANYTHING for the poor people of that country who make up the vast majority of its nearly 30 million citizens.

The Sequestration Snooze: Californians Know It by Heart

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Joseph Palermo: Many of the same Washington “journalists” who ten years ago failed us miserably in their foreign policy reportage leading up to the Iraq war by serving as stenographers for those who hyped the WMD scare are now failing to report accurately on domestic policy. Now they’ve become stenographers for the deficit scolds, most of whom are Republicans.

Kerry, Hagel: Vietnam, Iraq

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Joe Palermo: Kerry and Hagel (like Colin Powell) missed their historical moment. Had they opposed Bush’s war they might have made a difference. Now perhaps they can use their cabinet posts to implement a policy or two of atonement.

Desiline Victor and Black History Month

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Joseph Palermo: Desiline Victor’s travails in trying to vote last November bring to mind Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964 when white vigilantes tortured and killed Micky Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney who had volunteered to register black voters.

Flaccid Filibuster Reform Throws a Wet Blanket on “Audacity”

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Joseph Palermo: For the U.S. Senate, after a hard-fought election where a Democratic president won re-election and Democrats picked up seats, this cloakroom deal ensures that Obama will be forced to govern like a lame duck.

The “Gun Wage”

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Joseph Palermo: Like the old Jim Crow “race wage” the “gun wage” allows lower middle-class white men to feel a little less besieged by immigrants, feminists, blacks and Others.

‘Right-Wing Social Engineering’ Still Strong Despite Democratic Gains in 2012

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Joeseph Palermo: President Obama and the Democrats’ willingness to accept cuts to Social Security in the form of the gimmicky “chained CPI” right after an election where no candidate for federal office campaigned on it shows that the Right’s long-term project of undoing the New Deal marches on despite the electorate’s wishes.

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