Lydia Howell: Sandy Hook penetrated our national numbness to gun violence but, we could get stuck in stubborn circular arguments like Roe. V. Wade opponents make, deliberately distracting from real issues.
Lydia Howell: Madison is ground zero for resistance to the dismantling of workers’ rights and cutting anything in government budgets that serves human needs while corporate “persons” get subsidies and tax cuts and are in effect made exempt from law supposedly governing such offenses as pollution and worker safety.
Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.
Lydia Howell: The Democratic and Republican parties’ political monopoly works just like Wal-Mart does in small towns across the country: competition is crushed and an already powerful, wealthy minority is furthered emboldened to act against the public interest; it faces neither accountability nor electoral opposition.
Lydia Howell: To foment fear of Democrats’ allegedly “socialist” policies, Republicans “No taxes! No spending!” (except for war and prisons) cry has been amplified to an absurd degree. Of course, there also is the now standard howl: “The Muslims will get you unless we keep ‘The War On Terror’ going at home and abroad.”
Lydia Howell: When one considers how many scoundrels remain in powerful positions in both public and private life, the swiftness with which Helen Thomas was dumped after 50 years of reporting on U.S. presidents was breathtaking. More so when you listen to TV talking-heads blandly repeating corporate and Pentagon PR as “news” and Faux News blowhards like Beck and Limbaugh shamelessly make vicious slanders, perpetrate outright lies and create disinformation.
Lydia Howell: The nesting place for migrating birds and the womb for shrimp and oysters is being destroyed. No one — not British Petroleum or the Coast Guard — was there trying to prevent or clean up the silent horror. CNN’s Anderson Cooper dipped his rubber-gloved hand into the Gulf water and it came up coated with oil. Phillipe Cousteau, son of famous oceanographe Jacques Cousteau, dove into the toxic soup of oil particles and dispersant, a dead sea emptied of creatures.
Lydia Howell: It’s high time for progressives to escalate our own mass movement, to make it loud enough it cannot be ignored. The immigrant rights movement’s recent May Day marches have gotten far more media attention than any peace rallies since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The labor movement needs a jump-start. It’s crucial to have a broad, united progressive counter to the reactionary, racist Tea Parties.
Lycia Howell: To be blunt, all but a couple of Tea Party people were unable to express why they are angry in any specific terms.They voice sentiments along the lines that “Obama is ruining the country” or that immigrants are hurting us and some referred to a nasty rap song, “Press One For English,” but they could offer no specifics to back their feelings.
Lydia Howell: Ultimately, what is most important about Barack Obama may not be that he is an African-American president but, that — like Bill Clinton before him — he is a Corporate Democrat, who offers no real alternatives to Big Business As Usual and Endless Wars for Empire — (just like the Republicans
Presidential elections don’t create change. Grassroots social movements, putting pressure on politicians, does. However, who’s in the Oval Office creates the context we have to work within. If anyone doubts that, Bush-Cheney should be hard evidence. For the first time in 40 years, there’s a huge wave of “mainstream” progressive energy—much of it fueled by [...]