California: Where Elections Don’t Matter

GOP_no

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.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Municipal Workers

memphis-wide

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.

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.

Tax Deal Will Normalize Bush Era

tax bill

Joseph Palermo: Whatever President Obama accomplished during his first two years in office, with most of the heavy lifting thrown on Nancy Pelosi’s shoulders, his decision to normalize the sweeping changes in American governance of the George W. Bush period will likely neutralize any lasting positive effects for Democrats.

WikiLeaks Exposes More Than Documents

Joseph Palermo: The State Department documents that WikiLeaks is making public expose the desire of many mainstream journalists and commentators to stand up and be counted as the dutiful water-carriers for the prerogatives of United States foreign policy.

Stupid Politics From a Smart Administration

tea party takes charge

Joseph Palermo: The whole tenor of the next two years is going to feel like George W. Bush never left office. The GOP will have de facto control over the nation’s politics and agenda. If President Obama goes down the Clinton path of triangulating against his progressive base (as seems likely) then he deserves to be a one-term president.

D-Day in the Class War

deficit

Joseph Palermo: After a decade of stagnant or declining real wages, “bipartisan” schemes are proliferating to shift the burden of Washington policymakers’ own catastrophic mismanagement of the nation’s fiscal policies right onto the shoulders of working people.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Party Like It’s 1994

barack obama bill clinton

The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

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