Another Democrat Acting Badly

Randy Shaw: He didn’t tweet a photo of his “package” to an unsuspecting woman, but California Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the state’s budget did much worse harm to Democrats and the public by setting the stage for massive education and public service cuts.

Republicans Giving Obama Re-Election Pass

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Randy Shaw: An obvious fact: the Republican Party is content with trying to take back the Senate in 2012 and does not see the presidential race as its top priority.

Labor Needs Organizing, Not Politics

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Randy Shaw: Many feel that unions have invested far too much time and money in electoral work that has not produced promised results, at the expense of ongoing worker organizing to build membership.

Weiner Coverage Highlights Media’s Troubling Priorities

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Randy Shaw: Lost amidst the Weiner mania was media analysis of the slowing economy, or the departure a few days later of Austan Goolsbee, President Obama’s top economic advisor.

How Obama Can Revive Hopes for Change

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Randy Shaw: In hindsight, activists should have taken it upon themselves to become the vessels of hope rather than trusting Barack Obama. But at this political moment, it is Obama who is best positioned to restore the hopes of his core supporters.

Hollywood’s Drive to Return to Pre-Feminist Era

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Randy Shaw: Intelligent, career-minded women unobsessed with their inadequacies are few and far between on television and movie screens, emblematic of a broader culture where even left-wing Socialist men like Strauss-Kahn can rise to power despite a history of sexual assaults.

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Immigration Activists Let Obama Fool Them Again

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Randy Shaw: Obama could show political courage by taking executive action to stop his administration from continuing to deport more immigrants than any other President; but taking concrete steps to help undocumented immigrants is something Obama refuses to do.

Blame Weak Democrats, Not Right Wing Media

Attorney General Jerry Brown

Randy Shaw: When Democrats aggressively push their own agendas, they put Republicans rather than themselves on the defensive.

Petraeus, Panetta Reflect Obama’s Support for Status Quo

President Obama’s announcement that C.I.A. director and longtime Washington insider Leon Panetta will become Secretary of Defense, replacing Robert Gates, and that General David Petraeus will take Mr. Panetta’s job at the C.I.A. reflects the type of appointments that could have been made had John McCain won the 2008 election. Obama’s commitment to business as [...]

Voters Rejecting Obama’s Rightward Shift

President Barack Obama waves to the people gathered on the street outside the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Randy Shaw: As dysfunctional as the Republican presidential contest is likely to be, when presidential elections are framed around Republican issues like deficits rather than Democratic issues like jobs, the Republican candidate nearly always wins.

For Obama Defenders, Words Speak Louder Than Actions

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Randy Shaw: Obama’s history includes many great speeches advocating for “change we can believe in,” but as even his most fervid admirers acknowledge, his governance has been quite different.

Obama Needs a Primary Challenge in 2012

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Randy Shaw: After last week’s budget deal, it is clear that Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, and progressives would all benefit from the President facing a primary challenge in 2012.

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Obama: We Won’t Sacrifice Schools for Wars

Randy Shaw: In a galvanizing April Fools’ Day speech in Madison, Wisconsin, President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would “no longer prioritize military spending over educating our children.”

Democrats Negotiate on Republican Terms

Randy Shaw: How much more evidence does Brown need that a shift to “Plan B” – moving on tax extensions without Republican support – is overdue?

Cesar Chavez: Change Needs More than “Yes We Can”

Jerry Brown and Cesar Chavez in 1976

Randy Shaw: It clearly appears that while candidate Obama insisted that change would not be easy, both he and many of his supporters assumed the 2008 elections would smooth the path to win victories that have never easily been won.

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NPR Should Hire Roger Ailes

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Randy Shaw: NPR cannot win its fight with Congressional Republicans without completely sacrificing its journalistic integrity. It must either rally the public in its defense or give up federal funding altogether.

The Attack on Community Organizing: Who’s Next?

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Randy Shaw: Instead of Obama’s election proving the type of launching point that conservative groups experienced after Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, community organizing opportunities are less available today than in past decades.

Public Universities Join Attack on Progressive Activism

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Randy Shaw: Just as Governor Walker is making headlines by attacking a liberal institution in a traditionally liberal state (you would not likely see nationwide protests over attacks on workers in Alabama or Georgia), school administrators in progressive cities like Santa Cruz and Santa Monica are also attacking progressive student activism.

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Wisconsin’s Troubling Message for Progressives

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Randy Shaw: As long as Democrats fail to hold those they elect politically accountable, and refuse to demand that their political leaders “ruffle feathers” in pursuing change, this dynamic will continue.

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Obama Returns U.S. Politics to 1995

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Randy Shaw: Republican policies that drove the U.S. economy into the deepest ditch since the Great Depression are given equal credibility with Obama’s. It is as if the past fifteen years and the 2008 elections never occurred. How did this happen?

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Channeling Reagan, Obama Moves to Slash Programs for Urban Poor

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Randy Shaw: The Obama Administration honored Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday on February 6 by proposing steep cuts to two of the leading programs for the urban poor: community service grants and community development block grants (CDBG).

Obama’s Choice of Charlotte a Slap in Face to Organized Labor

Randy Shaw: As most labor union leaders continue to publicly praise President Obama, it’s clear with each passing week that Obama feels he can actively court corporate America while taking labor support for granted.

Packers-Steelers Super Bowl Politics

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Randy Shaw: For those without a rooting interest in either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers, the teams’ politics might help you decide for whom to cheer.

Redevelopment Defenders Ignore Budget Realities

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Randy Shaw: The big mystery is why Housing California and the many health and human services groups are not demanding bigger cuts in California’s massive prison industrial complex.

Obama’s Progressive Enablers

Randy Shaw: It’s painful to remember that Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton by arguing that the Clinton presidency had not been as transformative as Ronald Reagan’s, and that he would go beyond small reforms to bring Change We Can Believe In.

How Redevelopment Agencies Subvert Democracy

Randy Shaw: As mayors, developers and Agency staff try to fend off Governor Brown’s proposed transfer of redevelopment funds to local governments – earning far more media coverage than cuts to programs serving more vulnerable Californians – little has been said about the fundamentally undemocratic nature of redevelopment agencies.

Arizona Shootings Add to Hopelessness About “Change”

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Randy Shaw: An Obama Administration that routinely caves in to Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and other powerful interest certainly has no appetite for a battle with the NRA.

New York Times Book Review Excludes Black, Latino Critics

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Randy Shaw: The latest example of the sad decline of the New York Times Book Review under editor Sam Tanenhaus is its January 2, 2010 edition on “Why Criticism Matters” that excludes African-American and Latino critics.

Our Predictions for 2011

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Randy Shaw: The biggest story will be President Obama’s “new” relationship with Congressional Republicans; as if the president had not reached out to obstructionist Republicans from the start. We will be deluged with stories describing the “idealism and vision” of newly seated House Republicans, despite their allegiance to large corporations and goal of restoring failed Hoover-era policies.

Progressive Heroes: David Ho’s Quiet Power

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Randy Shaw: Nobody in San Francisco is doing more to empower and engage the disenfranchised than David Ho, which is why he is our local unsung activist hero for 2010.

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