Democrats Return to Slumber after Massachusetts Wake Up Call

Harry-and-Nancy

Randy Shaw: Consider the Democrats top concerns. Health care? “We’ll get to it sometime.” Comprehensive immigration reform? “It’s still a priority.” EFCA? Off the political radar screen. Climate Change? “We don’t have the votes.” The Budget? Freeze all domestic spending but education and research but protect defense.

Once Again the State of the Union Makes a President Strong

Obama+Addresses+Marines+Camp+Lejeune+3WFi-9n1JHol

Gil Troy: Obama quickly plunged into a much-needed defense of the bank bailout and his stimulus plan. In his most human moment, he acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans united in hating the bailout: “I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.” His stimulus defense appeared more substantive as he detailed the bill’s accomplishments. But to avoid being too professorial, Obama failed to connect the dots, not quite explaining how that controversial bill actually created the jobs he enumerated.

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.

What Obama Must Do, and Cannot

Free iPads

Tom Hayden: Obama may succeed in withdrawing 100,000 American troops from Iraq this year, and the rest by 2012. But even this goal faces opposition from the Green Zone to the Beltway, and any peace dividend will be swallowed by Afghanistan and the Long War.

The Power to Change the Debate

Corporate-Voice

Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.

Blue Dog Democrats Exposed as Frauds

Blue-Dogs

Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Mister Obama, Do You Believe Us Now?

More-Bailouts

Tim Gatto: There’s one way to stop this coup on democracy, and that is for Congress to introduce a law specifying campaign limits and while they are at it, take corporate “personhood” and throw it in the trash bin where it belongs.

A Conversation Between We The People and a Corporation

Corporate Donations

Jerry Drucker: Okay Corporation. This time you’ve gone too far! We the People will take on you huge Corporations and the Republican Party, as well as the Blue Dog Dems and finally fight back. That’s what real democracies do. Damn your torturous nation changing lies and full steam ahead. We’ll fight you in the Congress until we see the waves of their AYES!

OFA Should Reassess Organizing Strategy

Real Captain America

Craig Williams: An old Teamster organizer once told me “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” It’s also an insult to working people and the tradition of organizing.

Glenn Beck on Woolsey, Harman and Winograd

Glenn Beck weighs in on the congressional race in California against Marcy Winograd and Jane Harman

The End of Freedom and Liberty

Liberty Denied

Ron Wolff: OK, it’s a fund-raising letter. I didn’t expect it to be scholarly. But neither did I expect an organization that claims to be a “think tank” to utilize the linguistic legerdemain (yes, I made that phrase up, and I’m mighty proud of it) that is the quintessential opposite of critical thinking.

Winograd Challenges Harman to Return Corporate PAC Money

Winograd endorses the federal Fair Elections Now Act, as well as the California Fair Elections Act. Both efforts would enable candidates to run for office without relying on large contributions from corporations and big money bundlers.

What the “I’m Mad-As-Hell” Party Could Do

tea bag protester

Robert Reich: Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

Hubert Humphrey with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Berry Craig: I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I support a public option. But you can bet your snow boots if I were a Bay State voter, I’d have trudged through a blizzard to cast my ballot for Martha Coakley, Brown’s Democratic opponent.

Perseverance

Corporate vote

Timothy V. Gatto: The pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies along with their Congressional minions stopped any real hope of true health reform. The current package is a windfall for health insurers, giving the 50,000,000 new clients who must take health insurance or pay a fine. That doesn’t sound very progressive to me.

After Massachusetts: What Is to Be Done?

jules-siegel

Jules Siegel: Rahm Emanuel must make an accommodation with Dean. Otherwise, 2010 is going to be a repeat of Massachusetts, and Barack Hussein Obama will probably be a one-term president. The most troubling aspect of Massachusetts is that the GOP now has a viable presidential candidate and his name is Scott Brown. This is not Sarah Palin. This is a very astute politician who looks like a Ken Doll and can talk like a sane person when he wants to.

Paging Dr. Dean: Please Save the Democrats from Themselves

Howard Dean

Paul Hogarth: Now, the Democrats have managed to fumble Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – losing to a right-wing Republican who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan. Evidence shows that Martha Coakley’s numbers went down after the Senate passed the health care bill. Shouldn’t the Party leaders listen to Howard Dean? At least, they owe him an apology.

A Little Perspective, Yes?

Barack

Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.

Black Robes, Black Shirts

Ravensbruck slave labor

Joseph Palermo: With the latest Supreme Court ruling by the “fabulous five,” Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a single corporation will be able to disfranchise a million citizens. What’s to stop these conglomerates from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government?

Obama: Grow Spine, Become Party’s Dictator

Obama Massachusetts

Denis Campbell: Love them or hate them, Republicans get members to toe the line. Democrats need to placate EVERYONE within many constituencies. That bogs them down and they end up pleasing no one. Republicans say sit down, shut up and do as you are told. Democrats beg, cajole, plead and, even with this huge electoral majority, cower in the corner chanting the mantra “please don’t hurt me.”

Time for a Shareholder Protection Act

Corporate Election Contributions

Robert Reich: Under a shareholder protection law, shareholders would not have to spend their share of corporate earnings on candidates who they personally oppose. If a company dedicates, say, $100,000 to a particular campaign in a given year — directly, or indirectly through a front organization — shareholders who don’t want their money used this way would get a special dividend or additional shares representing their pro rata share of that campaign expenditure.

Eulogy for the Left

Obama Year One

Timothy V. Gatto: The old maxim that hindsight is 20/20 while foresight is practically blind fits well in this example. Let me illustrate how I believe Obama has manipulated the system to the point where the political Left is for all intents and purposes, a dead political entity. The only thing left at this point is to hold the funeral and send flowers.

Democrats Boosting Right-Wing Populism

Lost-wheel

Norman Solomon: For a year now, leading Democrats have steadily embraced more corporate formulas for “healthcare reform.” In the name of political realism, they have demobilized and demoralized the Democratic base. In the process, they’ve fueled right-wing populism.

Massachusetts: Timidity of Hope Won’t Cut It

Democrats Need Spine

Joseph Palermo: The Obama Administration cut far too many deals with the same corporate special interests that have dominated Washington since the Reagan years. Obama watered down his agenda. The Democratic base stayed home. The Republicans were energized beyond belief. And the Democratic candidate in a Democratic state lost the “Lion of the Senate’s” seat.

Massachusetts Debacle

Obama first year

John Peeler: The defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy certainly shows the folly of taking victory for granted and failing to mount a serious campaign. But it also puts on display the complete political incompetence of the Obama administration and the national leadership of the Democratic Party and the Congress.

Republican Money Terrorists

Money-Talks

Jerry Drucker: The G.O.P. does it for greed and power and they don’t believe anyone can stop them if they stay in lock-step and continue to stick to the lying talking points, the powerful CEO’s and the huge corporations that continue to control the mass media.

Tea Baggers and “Populist Anger”

Berry Craig

Berry Craig: The Tea Baggers have bought into Social Darwinism, the 19th century gospel of the rich and powerful that extolled the “free market” as almost divinely inspired. “God gave me my money,” Rockefeller said. Social Darwinists said if you’re poor and powerless, it’s your own fault. Some Tea Baggers feel that way about health care. “YOUR HEALTH YOUR PROBLEM,” said another sign at a Tea Bagger rally.

When Woolsey Met Harman

Progressive Caucus Chair Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin)

David Swanson: Fortunately, I get the impression that a great many Angelenos and Americans are principled, decent, and sophisticated enough to support Woolsey when she does right and oppose her when she does wrong, and to overwhelm her misplaced advocacy with our support, donations, and volunteer time for the woman who will be the leader of the fight for the people’s views against the corporate agenda in the 112th Congress, Marcy Winograd.

The Peter Principle on Steroids: Lane Kiffin as Sarah Palin’s Running Mate in 2012

Sarah Palin Lane Kifin

H. Scott Prosterman: When all is said and done, the “Peter Principle” will be known as the “Kiffin Effect” – or perhaps the “Putz Principle” -that is, people will be promoted until they reach a level of gross incompetence, if garden variety incompetence does not suffice.

Why Would Progressive Congresswoman Woolsey Endorse Pro-War Blue Dog Jane Harman?

mike copass

Mike Copass: It looks like the netroots is not exactly pleased with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey’s recent decision to help raise money for Congresswoman Jane Harman’s re-election.

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