Prisoners’ Rights: An Oxymoron?

prison

More than 100 people of all races and all ages traveled to Watts from several California counties on Saturday May 30, sharing a single desire: Bring our loved ones homes. They weren’t talking about family members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. These are the families torn apart when someone is sent to prison with an [...]

How I Witnessed Sarah Palin’s Fuming Anti-Abortion Fanatics

Sarah Palin rally in Carson. (Photo by Linda Milazzo)

The following is an excerpt of an article I published after attending a Sarah Palin rally in Southern California where I witnessed reinvigorated anti-abortion fanatics spurred on by Palin’s inflammatory rhetoric. At that time, as evidenced by the text of my earlier article (below), it was clear to me that a similar threat of domestic [...]

The GOP Has Become A Bugs Bunny Cartoon

fredo

According to the loonie chorus on the right, we’re all sons of bitches now. When they’re not bashing Sonia Sotomayor for asking sharp questions from the bench – which would seem to be a pretty basic part of the job description for a judge – or wondering whether her taste in spicy food clouds her [...]

Sotomayor and the Republicans

sotomayor1

Put on your seatbelts. Many Republicans have been itching for this fight. They figure if they can make Sonia Sotomayor appear “too liberal,” “too activist,” or “intemperate” — and cause Obama to withdraw her nomination, or if they can defeat her outright — they can slow the Obamomentum that’s leading to universal health care, cap-and-trade, [...]

Reports from Flies on Cheney’s Wall and Undisclosed Bunkers

cheney1

The average life of a spy fly, Musca ivestigatus, is two weeks. That means for the past 10 years, there has been approximately 260 generations of spy flies doing surveillance work on or about former V.P. Cheney’s walls and undisclosed bunkers. Some authorities suggest the fly has been more reliable in gathering and digesting investigative [...]

The Arlen Spectacle

arlen

There was only one possible explanation. The bullet entered the president’s neck, bounced off his necktie, made a right turn in midair, entered Governor Connolly’s back, broke a rib, and exited his arm after breaking his wrist. Following perhaps the most exhaustive trip ever taken by a rifle round, it was found — in pristine [...]

A Growing Sense of Anger at Obama – and Others

obama-bo-running

I’m so angry I feel like concealing a loaded hand gun and walking into a national park. No, I’m not going postal. Once President Obama signs the new credit card law, it will be legal for anyone to march around Yellowstone packing heat just for the fun of it. Although it’s usually angry, bitter, little [...]

Community Organizer Obama Asks Activists: “Where’s Your Base”?

organizer_obama

Some activists excited about Barack Obama’s community organizing background forget what this fully means – namely, that he expects groups seeking progressive measures to mobilize their base. Community organizers do not expect politicians to challenge entrenched interests absent grassroots pressure, and President Obama is not about to spend political capital on issues like Afghanistan, the [...]

The Speech Not Given

obama-biden

During the last weekend of April I attended the annual convention of the California Democratic Party. In much of the convention we heard various state and federal office holders deliver speeches, some of which were informative and even, occasionally, inspiring. Others tended toward platitudes. But I was disappointed that none of our leaders there — [...]

A Progressive Challenge to Jane Harman

Jane Harman and Marcy Winograd

There are many reasons why progressives will mobilize behind the campaign of Marcy Winograd, who announced on Monday that she’ll challenge incumbent Congresswoman Jane Harman in the 2010 Democratic primary. Some will speak of Harman’s pro-war record. Some will recall her support for warrantless wiretapping, followed by her irony-free indignation when it turned out that [...]

Has a Stake Been Driven through Neo-Conservative Foreign Policy?

gop-comeback

Neo-conservatives used the Republican Party as a vehicle to promote and employ their policies of muscular nation-building overseas. But like the parasite that eventually kills its host, the Republican Party’s virtual collapse, in large part because of the failed nation-building adventure in Iraq, has left neo-conservatives discredited and facing policy extinction. Unfortunately, neo-conservatism will probably [...]

Why Arlen Specter’s Defection Should Terrify the GOP

lindsay_specter

On August 11, 1971, John Lindsay, the Republican mayor of New York City, radiating calm and charm after a 10-day camping trip in Colorado and Utah, stepped before a crowd in the ballroom of Gracie Mansion to announce that he was becoming a Democrat. After explaining where he believed his party had gone astray—Vietnam, wiretapping, [...]

The Decline (and Fall) of the G.O.P.?

gop

It’s hard to believe that less than five years ago George W. Bush won re-election, and the G.O.P. secured control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Since that time, the Republican Party has gone through one of the greatest meltdowns in political history. Americans have been leaving the party in droves. And [...]

How Do You Know Who to Vote For?

dont-vote

Don’t Vote? — Don’t Complain! We’ve all heard this sentiment — some of us have used it ourselves. I was going to write a story about the upcoming May 19 election and how important it is that we get out there and yada yada yada. . . . Click here for a list of recommended [...]

100 Days: Is Obama’s Probation Period Over?

102-days

The benchmarks in which we in America seek to establish “acceptance” in the labor force generally come without much fanfare. New hires commonly have 90-day, sometimes six-month, probation periods that affirm their competency and synergetic fit in the workplace. Now, we’ve seen probation periods before. We generally see them come and go. But never has [...]

Forget About Obama’s 100 Days, What About Ours?

Grace Lee Boggs

Lately, I have found myself absorbed in continual political debate on various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or my own personal blog. Some begin as friendly banter but quickly escalate to the point that I am pulling my car to the side of the road so I can furiously text a targeted retort [...]

Obama’s Surprising First 100 Days

100-daze

Barack Obama is the first candidate I have supported at any level of government whose first 100 days greatly exceeded my expectations. What has Obama done differently from the rest? First, he did not spend three months learning how to get things done in his new job. Second, he did not follow his swearing in [...]

What the Specter Switch Ultimately Means

specter-flu

Arlen Specter?!?!?! The first time I blurted that out was during an industry screening of Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, in which his name came up in connection with the rogue “magic bullet” issue. I just had another Arlen Spector blurt a few minutes ago (as of this writing, anyway). He’s switching? Defecting? “Coming home,” as some [...]

Specter Dumps GOP; Few Rats Remain on Sinking GOP Ship

specter

Arlen Specter’s stunning announcement that he is changing parties to become a Democrat is merely the latest example of the how the Republic Party is losing its grip on America. “Since my election in 1980 as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right,” Specter tells reporters, not [...]

Antonio and the Fine Art of Political Seduction

villaraigosa1

The mayor’s first road-show appearance selling his hypothetical $7 billion city budget took me around the corner Thursday afternoon to Providence Tarzana Medical Center where I kibbitzed with leaders of VICA and the United Chambers waiting for the inevitably late Antonio to arrive. Suddenly, as the program began with introductions, someone grabbed me from behind [...]

WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!!! Cries the State Legislature

cry-wolf

At the April meeting of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, we considered the initiatives on the upcoming May 19 ballot. We urge you to READ them as well as the analysis pieces. These were put onto the ballot at the end of the budget session in February when Republican Abel Maldonado, Santa Maria, cut a [...]

His First One Hundred Days

A new ABC poll just out indicates that President Obama enjoys a 69% approval rating. George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week says Obama has sparked a surge of optimism, with 50% of Americans now believing we are headed in the right direction compared to just 19% as recently as January 16th. But the economy continues [...]

The Only Thing We Have Is Fear Itself

sweating-bullets

Fear is the Republicans’ most muscular media manipulation, which is a methodical, maniacal measured matrix, used as a political attack tool. Besides the “sky is falling” and “mushroom clouds,” there is: “The *Democrats will raise taxes, take away the Republicans’ sacred God-given guns,” “kill unborn zygotes,” and “want to practice, (horror of horrors) Socialized Medicine,” [...]

A Welfare-Receiving Conservative Who Hates “Socialism” Hits The Streets

Photo: Jim Commentucci / The Post-Standard

Thanks to the Syracuse Post-Standard we have a fascinating glimpse into the mind-set of tea baggers spurred into action last week by Fox News’ increasingly deranged secessionist Glenn Beck and yo-yo’s like CNBC’s Brooks Brothers populist Rick Santelli. The Syracuse daily spotlighted a local organizer to give its readers a sense of who took to [...]

Antonio’s State of the City: Can’t We All Get Along — It’s Now or Never

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Here’s my favorite line from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s “State of the City” speech Tuesday: “When challenges seem daunting, it’s always helpful to recall the old Japanese proverb: ‘Adversity is the foundation of virtue.’ ” My personal favorite proverb comes from my mother: “Actions speak louder than words.” I’ve been struggling since last night to put [...]

The Walled Garden: Fading Away at the California Democratic Party

empty-promises

Like Dorothy and her intrepid trio of lovable dreamers arriving at Oz, the Progressive Movement barreled into the Democratic Party in 2005 with high ideals and even higher hopes. Now, four scintillating years later we realize it was all a mirage of our own creation. The Party of the Left has been reduced to an [...]

Is Eric Cantor The GOP’s Ralph Wiggum?

cantor_wiggum

Poor Ralph Wiggum. The hapless, slow-witted, frequently annoying son of Chief Wiggum on The Simpson’s is always getting picked on by kids at Springfield Elementary because he keeps saying totally out-of-context things like “I use the poddy now!” and “I wear rubber underpants!” Ever since Congress reconvened in January, I’ve been trying to figure out [...]

An Odd, Totally Otherworldly, Experience

marilyn

I had one of those weird, otherworldly experiences this morning. I’ve been sick for much of the last week but finally felt well enough to drag myself out of bed to plop in front of the television. I switched on Bravo! and was sort of half-dozing when, through my fevered haze, I saw something that [...]

My Lunch With Drew: K Street Makes Hay Either Way

lobbyists

Now that Obama has been in the White House awhile, I asked my friend Drew, a lifelong GOP contributor, to lunch at a seafood restaurant near his K Street office to see how he was managing to get along. “So is your public relations business suffering since the Democrats are in power?” I began, to [...]

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