Why Young People Have Deserted Obama

barack michelle kids

Randy Shaw: Obama could regain young people’s support by lowering student loan rates, enacting immigration reform and rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, but time—and his political capital—is running out.

Can Elites Convince Victims of Top-Down Policies to Blame Themselves?

george packer

Randy Shaw: The GOP truly believes Americans will go back to the days of blaming themselves for high student loan debt, wage stagnation, and the inability to get a fulltime job. It’s just a question of finding the right message to convince them that it is their own lack of hard work and industriousness that put them in their situation.

Renewing California’s Labor-Tenant Alliance

yee deleon nunez perez

Randy Shaw: Organized labor promotes a broadly progressive agenda in Sacramento, but gives a pass to legislators who favor big landlords over working people. The once strong labor-tenant alliance is clearly broken, and must be renewed.

Why MSNBC Fell — And How It Can Rise Again

msnbc panel

Randy Shaw: What if activists closely following Keystone, immigration reform, the battle against federal budget austerity and other campaigns knew that each night MSNBC would have the latest on developments in all of these campaigns.

Can Obama Still Bring Real Change?

clinton obama bush

Randy Shaw: If activists continue mobilizing in favor of immigration reform and against Keystone, Obama’s second term could bring the real change that the millions who elected him have sought.

How Eric Garcetti Won

garcetti wins

Randy Shaw: Garcetti kept the progressive base he earned from this City Council record and combined it with conservative San Fernando Valley voters angry at the Valley-based Greuel for her campaign receiving million of dollars from unions representing Department of Water and Power workers.

As Cities Prosper, Poor People Relocate to Suburbs

suburban poor

Randy Shaw: Now that cities offer walkable, bicycle-friendly, public transit-available neighborhoods with desirable restaurants and a high quality of life, the poor are being shunted to car-dependent suburban areas in economic decline.

IRS, Benghazi “Scandals” Won’t Hurt Dems in 2014

election day

Randy Shaw: Democratic success in 2014 hinges not on the impact of the IRS and other “scandals” but on passing comprehensive immigration reform, rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, and avoiding a budget deal that undermines Social Security.

Pushing Budget Reform State by State

obama advisors

Randy Shaw: While progressives debate whether President Obama could have used his “bully pulpit” to overcome GOP opposition to reviving the nation’s economy, let’s accept that in 2013-14 activists can more effectively address economic justice measures at the state level.

Young People Should Think Twice About Teach for America

wendy kopp

Randy Shaw: Instead of becoming a vital training incubator for young teachers committed to improving schools, TFA is just as likely to demoralize young people and turn them away from schools and activism.

Don’t Blame Obama for Gun Control Defeat

obama with gun victims

Randy Shaw: The real culprit here is the GOP political leadership, who have gotten away again with overturning majority rule.

Excessive Military Spending Crushes the American Dream

pentagon spending

Randy Shaw: Tax Day has passed with little attention to the chief reason U.S. students are overwhelmed by debt, millions are homeless, children go to bed hungry and our public transit infrastructure is being destroyed — the allocation of half of every discretionary dollar to the military.

Corporate Media Loves Thatcher Because She Broke Unions

iron-lady-590

Randy Shaw: Wealthy media chieftains love Thatcher for eliminating working class jobs, cutting funding for free school milk programs, and dramatically increasing income inequality; they define such actions as strength rather than immorality.

Groundhog Day in Obama Land

tar sands protest

Randy Shaw: The President is repeating his own failed script from 2009, once again shifting right just as the GOP is on the ropes and his own base is primed for mobilizing.

The Occupy Movement and Revitalizing Democracy

occupy la

Randy Shaw: Graeber sees MoveOn.org, Rebuild the Dream, and other groups associated with the “left wing of the Democratic Party” as betraying the Occupy movement by not opposing police closures of Occupy camps.

The Crumbling of Corporate School “Reform”

chicago teachers

Randy Shaw: As corporate interests spend billions attacking teachers unions, the real obstacles to a quality public education—poverty, overcrowded classes, and physically rundown schools—are ignored.

Critics of Obama’s Organizing for Action Ignore Political Reality

obama college

Randy Shaw: I don’t hear any immigrant rights groups, labor unions, or progressive activist groups calling on the President to unilaterally disarm in the face of massive right-wing spending, and critics of OFA have virtually no base among those fighting each day for greater social justice.

Traditional Media Downplays Historic Keystone Pipeline Protests

keystone protest with darryl hannah

Randy Shaw: This disdain for activists working to combat climate change is illuminating. It reflects the powerful corporate interests opposed to such efforts, and the media’s framing Hurricane Sandy and other destructive weather as requiring powerful action from politicians, not activists.

Governor Jerry Brown’s Troubling View of Affordable Housing

jerry brown

Randy Shaw: Brown’s argument that the affordable housing crisis is actually one of distribution rather than supply–there is a shortage in the Bay Area and other places where jobs exist but there are plenty of vacant affordable rental units in the high-unemployment Central Valley–is not unique.

Obama’s Organizing for Action: A Boost for Progressives

organizing for action

Randy Shaw: President Obama’s second inaugural address struck a populist tone, but the real news for progressives came last Friday when it was announced that Obama’s campaign organization would continue under a new name, Organizing for Action.

What 2013 Will Bring Politically?

obama bb king

Randy Shaw: 2013 will lack the excitement of a presidential election year. But it is activism between elections that brings change.

What Activists (Should Have) Learned in 2012

Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.

Let’s Stop Talking About 2016!

hilllary clinton

Randy Shaw: Americans may “hate” politics, but the media cannot get enough of it. Since Obama’s re-election we have been deluged with stories not simply about Hillary Clinton, but also about Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush positioning themselves for runs in 2016.

Blame Politicians for Homelessness and Hunger in America

homeless man

Randy Shaw: While the media’s highlighting “the unfortunate” during the holiday season raises vital private donations to help their needs, letting the politicians responsible off the hook perpetuates the crisis.

Activists Should Back Obama’s Progressive Agenda

obama accepts

Randy Shaw: Activists now must write a new script for the post-2012 election by pushing the President to keep his progressive campaign commitments on taxes, the budget, and, most urgently, comprehensive immigration reform, where the time for action is now.

GOP Revives Housing-Bubble Hucksterism in Promoting “Mitt-Mentum”

mitt moderate

Randy Shaw: The same folks who “sold” the Iraq invasion and the housing bubble are all in on the “Mitt-mentum” theme, but this time the voters are not buying.

Obama Regains Momentum After Final Debate

obama leno

Randy Shaw: Obama lost a lot of volunteer enthusiasm after October 3. While he regained some of it after the second debate, the real resurgence did not occur until Obama’s commanding performance this week.

Obama Makes Strong Case for Second Term

obamas hug

Randy Shaw: President Barack Obama came out of the box breathing fire last night, offering the strongest debate performance of his political career.

Can Obama Come on Strong Tuesday Night?

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Randy Shaw: While Obama will be sure to hit most of the key talking points he missed on October 3, his past history raises questions about his capacity to deliver the highly partisan, aggressive arguments that Joe Biden energized Democrats with last week.

Biden Smokes Ryan, Energizes Democrats

ryan biden

Randy Shaw: Joe Biden gave the type of debate performance that, if given by Barack Obama last week, would have ended the race. Obama supporters can only hope that the President was carefully taking notes.

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