David Brooks’s Anti-Poverty Program: “Bourgeois Paternalism”

david brooks

Joseph Palermo: After telling his readers he isn’t going to blame the poor for being poor because of their bad behavior, David Brooks plows right ahead and blames the poor for being poor because of their bad behavior.

Stephen Colbert Befuddles Even “Liberal” Chuck Todd

cain colbert

Joseph Palermo: If someone like Todd who represents a “liberal” network can’t see Colbert’s parody for what it is then it truly illustrates how disconnected the corporate media have become.

5 Right-Wing Obstacles That Must Be Overcome

grover norquist

Joseph Palermo: These powerful right-wing political obstacles that must be sidelined if progressive change can have any chance of success, whether Obama is at the helm or any number of the string of future presidents he now tells us we’ll probably need.

A “Peace Dividend?” Not Likely

obama-flight-deck

Joseph Palermo: Despite the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq, during this dismal period of “austerity” the public isn’t likely to see any discernible difference in the government’s misplaced priorities.

A Billionaire Comes A’Whinin’

obama cafe

Joseph Palermo: Apparently for the captains of industry and high finance it’s not enough for Obama to be a faithful servant of their narrow class interests, they also want him to bend down and kiss their rings.

Ross Douthat’s Hit Job on JFK

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Joseph Palermo: Douthat practices the weird tactic, common among contemporary right-wingers, of criticizing whatever Democrat or “liberal” who is in their crosshairs from both the right and the left at the same time.

Occupy Wall Street: American as Apple Pie

crosby and nash

Those loud right-wing voices in our political discourse that are trying to make Occupy Wall Street look like something “foreign” to American culture are barking up the wrong tree. When David Crosby and Graham Nash recently showed up at Zuccotti Park for an impromptu sing-along with the protesters they linked OWS with the long American tradition of resistance to [...]

Occupy Wall Street: “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”

where's my bailout

Joseph Palermo: Out in the real world people are showing a spirit that hasn’t been around since the 1930s; a genuine feeling of solidarity like we’re all in it together and to hell with the elites that stand in our way. The illegitimacy of a rigged economic system is beginning to sink in.

Occupy Wall Street’s “Gullible” and “Unsophisticated” Protesters

wall street okotoberfest

Joseph Palermo: Prosperity never “trickles down.” And people are finally catching on. The housing bubble went too far. It destroyed too many lives and livelihoods to go unquestioned and unpunished, as Wall Street (and Washington) would like it.

Banks Lose Control of the Optics

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Joseph Palermo: If JPMorgan Chase and the rest of the money cartel cared one whit about people perceiving them as being slightly more tolerable corporate citizens, they would have long ago voluntarily offered a lifeline to underwater mortgage holders and to local governments.

“Jobs Creators” Brand Tarnished

wall street protests

Joseph Palermo: Even hardcore capitalists are displaying a lack of faith in U.S. economic leadership, compounding the legitimacy crisis that has already engulfed millions of less exalted members of the global community.

A President Standing In Quicksand

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Joseph Palermo: Obama and the Democrats are in trouble politically not because they did too much to help hurting Americans, but because they did too little.

Obama’s Jobs Speech: Prepare to Be Underwhelmed

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Joseph Palermo: President Obama’s much anticipated speech outlining his jobs agenda for the 2012 election year will sound a lot like a tiny mouse trying to make a loud roar. Instead of clarity, we’ll get hedging; instead of “bold,” we’ll get wishy-washy.

The Perils for Obama of Not Talking About Poverty in America

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Joseph Palermo: By not speaking about the poor and poverty in America President Obama allows the Reagan era “welfare queen” construct to go unchallenged and, even worse, creates a vacuum that’s already being filled by right-wing pseudo-scholars.

For Progressives, Debt Ceiling “Deal” Was a Real Downer

wall-street-vulture-wide

Joseph Palermo: The last-minute lobbying by the titans of industry and finance shows that President Obama might have had more leverage over the Republicans in the debt ceiling “negotiations” than he chose to exercise. We now breathlessly await the arrival of the “Super Committee,” the tragedy that follows the farce.

It’ll Be an All-Cuts Budget “Deal” (Just Like California)

Joseph Palermo: The debt ceiling gambit that Republicans in the House of Representatives have used to tie the U.S. government in knots in recent months is simply the California GOP’s tactic writ large.

California: Democrat vs. Democrat

Joseph Palermo: Jerry’s triangulating. He’s aligning himself with the Republican minority in forging a path forward out of California’s deep crisis.

Anthony Weiner Hands Republicans a Twofer

andrew breitbart

Joseph Palermo: The credibility of Anthony Weiner’s loud liberal voice in the House of Representatives, who recently showed the temerity to take on Justice Clarence Thomas for his conflict of interest in Citizens United, is now toast

Supremes Stick It to the Little Guy, Again

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Joseph Palermo: It’s kind of funny when we see Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romeny, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich pandering to the “little guy” denouncing “elites” who are trampling on their rights only to remain mute on the fact that their beloved Republican Supreme Court never, ever rules in favor of the “little guy.”

A Tale of Two Town Halls

accidental-parenthood-wide

Joseph Palermo: The Republican House members who voted for Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand wet-dream budget are apparently getting an earful from their constituents.

California’s Struggle to Save Higher Education Continues

Joe Palermo: We aren’t going to sit idly by and watch as this precious public resource that contributes so much to our state and to our local communities is torn apart in service of an extremist ideological agenda of a recalcitrant Republican minority

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The Saccharine Republican Ire

paper-scissors

Joseph Palermo: The “conservatives” and “Tea Partiers” are quite convincing at playing the aggrieved victims, but what, exactly, do they have to be “aggrieved” about?

Libya and Obama’s Embrace of the Imperial Presidency

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Joseph Palermo: Obama believes that as commander-in-chief he has the power to order the U.S. military into battle. By attacking Libya he has greatly expanded the unchecked executive powers that Bush’s excesses and overreach established.

California: Where Elections Don’t Matter

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Joseph Palermo: We elected a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in the State Assembly and the Senate. Yet five members of the Republican minority once again are in the driver’s seat and they’re determined to run the state right over the cliff.

Losing the Narrative on Public Employee Unions

rachel-maddow

Joseph Palermo: Despite what some polls are telling us the Democrats at the national level are rapidly losing the narrative thread on the issue of collective bargaining rights for public employees.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. and Municipal Workers

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Joseph Palermo: I cannot believe that in the 21st Century we are having this kind of a debate on the role of labor unions in this country. But I suppose it isn’t surprising since we have a new Gilded Age going on.

D-Day For Public Employees

wisconsin teachers

Joseph Palermo: With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.

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The Reagan Centennial: Celebrating Reaganomics

ronald reagan

Joseph Palmero: If you like the way things are in the United States today — with Gilded Age levels of inequality, weak labor unions, low-wage service jobs for most of the workforce, and a public sector that’s dying on the vine — then you can thank Ronald Reagan.

“Ripples of Hope” in Egypt

egypt

Joseph Palermo: It took decades of inaction, repression, and neglect to produce the mass demonstrations we’re seeing in Egypt. The only real surprise is that something on this scale didn’t happen years earlier.

When Violence Comes From the Right, Media Hear No Evil

Joseph Palermo: Despite the work of media watchdog groups like Media Matters, and groups that track right-wing extremism, like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, the corporate media insist on ignoring the influence of the Far Right’s toxic rhetorical drumbeat of hatred and anger in promoting a political context where violence can break out.

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