LA Progressive: August 2 to 8, 2009

world-in-nuclear-balanceFewer than Half of Returning Vets Suffering Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Seek Help, VA Doctor Says. Veterans returning from the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are displaying many of the same post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms of troops that fought in Viet Nam, yet most do not seek treatment. -Sherwood Ross

Lou Dobbs Show Cites Fear Mongering Anti-Immigrant Astronomist As Population Growth Expert. Last night, in a segment warning of the environmental perils associated with US population growth, The Lou Dobbs Show featured Ben Zuckerman — an anti-immigrant activist who attempted a nativist takeover of the Sierra Club. -Andrea Nill

Panetta Seeks to Whitewash CIA Crimes. As the U.S. has 15 other intelligence agencies, it has no need of one that feeds it false information. Congress could shut the Agency down by turning off its funding and the sun will come up tomorrow just the same. -Sherwood Ross

ICE Begins Immigration Detention System Overhaul. While improvements to the detention system are necessary and welcomed, it is important to recognize that detaining immigrants is not a long-term solution to a broken immigration system. -Michele Waslin

The New Employment Numbers: Things are Worsening More Slowly. So let’s be grateful that the economy is getting worse more slowly than it was. But don’t be lured into thinking we’re ever going back to where we were. Most of the jobs that have been lost are never coming back. -Robert Reich

War Stories: Explaining Why We Fight to the American Home Front. When U.S. forces in Iraq located no weapons of mass destruction, the George W. Bush administration shifted emphasis to the goal of spreading democracy. In this case, the familiar invocation of America’s mission won some support, but did not avert disappointment and distrust. -Susan Brewer

Texas Now in Play? Is That a Typo?!? That means eight new Red states, including Texas(!) are solidly in play. Texas, the home of George W. Bush and, until now, as Red a Red State as they come, at 42% Democrat and 40% Republican is too close to call. When the Republican Party loses Texas that is their tipping point. -Denis Campbell

Hiroshima, Poem based on the content of the book “Hiroshima” by John Hersey. -Sherwood Ross

Astroturf Along American Highways, and the Republican Plan. This Republican disruption strategy will fail. 2010 will not be 1994. There’s too much momentum behind universal health care right now to stop it. -Robert Reich

Louis Armstrong Walked On The Moon . . . Or Was He That Biker Guy? As a child in the late 1950s, my parents took me to see The Five Pennies, a depressing movie with some great jazz played by Armstrong and other greats. Benny Carter was the musical director, and Danny Kaye played Red Nichols, the band leader whose child was stricken by polio. I fell in love with Louis Armstrong before I was five years old. No turning back. -H. Scott Prosterman

The Incredible Shrinking Healthcare Reform. Under pressure from industry and their lobbyists, the public plan has been watered down to a small and ineffectual option at best, if it ever survives to being enacted. -Norman Solomon

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No, Mr. President, I Will Not “Back Off.” One of the reasons so many of us worked so tirelessly for nearly two exhausting years was because of your long-standing commitment to genuine change in the way health care is delivered and paid for in the United States. -Charley James

The Ongoing Danger of Nuclear War. This August, when hundreds of Hiroshima Day vigils and related antinuclear activities occur around the United States, many Americans will wonder at their relevance. After all, the nuclear danger that characterized the Cold War is now far behind us, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it is not. -Lawrence S. Wittner

Want Fair Elections? Special interests pump millions of dollars into elections, giving them more influence over our political system than the rest of us. Until we fix our broken campaign finance laws, these special interests will.

Dear Secretary Clinton: Could You Please Find Out if This Congolese Child Is Still Alive? Don’t be snowed by Kabila and what he will tell you while you are in Kinshasa. It is more important what you will see in eastern Congo. -Georgianne Nienaber

Wanted: Persistent Progressive Propositions. Right-wingers at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association understand that elections are transitory – and a long-term approach requires going back to the voters over and over again. -Paul Hogarth

More Orly Taitz! No wonder even Ann Coulter — Ann Coulter! — has distanced herself from Taitz saying, in effect: “I don’t want to encourage that woman, she’s a nutjob!” -Joseph Palermo

Iraq: Take Yes for an Answer. The more we insist on staying when we’re clearly not wanted, the more we reinforce the widely held Iraqi suspicion that we really intend a long-term, colonial-style occupation. -John Peeler

“Cash for Clunkers” Exposes Media’s Anti-Government Bias. If anyone seeks further evidence of the traditional media’s profound anti-government bias, consider its response to the enormously popular “Cash for Clunkers” program. -Randy Shaw

Was Rummy Really Wrong? If the U.S. gives up fighting such ill-advised wars of choice and concomitant occupations, Rumsfeld’s concept of fewer ground forces and a heavier reliance on airpower can be viable. The concept is not the problem, but it’s not going to work if the United States continues such drawn-out imperial quagmires. -Ivan Eland

Confronted With Truth, Blue Dog Ben Nelson Throws Hissy Fit. Since the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seem unwilling to take on Blue Dogs blocking desperately needed public option from health care and insurance reform, the job of calling them out is falling to advocates and Keith Olbermann. -Charley James

Obama: It’s Up to Activists to Enact Real Health Care Reform. Barack Obama has created the best opportunity to enact universal health care with a public option since Truman’s presidency. He has made a strong case for the public option, and used his personal popularity to drive the issue. But it is now up to constituency pressure to get the job done. -Randy Shaw

For a Man May Smile and Smile and Still Be a Villain. “Why do they keep sending me budgets I won’t sign?”, the Governor asked, after saying no, once again, to any proposal but his own, cuts-only solution. And, since he had all the guns, no one in the Legislature asked in return, “Why does he keep refusing our budgets?” - Sheila Kuehl

Obama Says Dr. King Paved His Way But King Would Reject Obama’s Wars. If President Obama wants to honor Dr. King’s memory for all that he did for him, he might begin by bringing U.S. troops home from the Middle East now. As for visions, how about an America that does not live by the sword? -Sherwood Ross

Single Payer Summer: We Demand National Single-Payer Or At Least the Right for States to Do It. If the goal is providing more people with better healthcare, if the goal is not to avoid making the federal government look second best, if the goal is not to achieve a perverse hyper-simplicity of “messaging,” then including the state single-payer language in August demands is the way to go. -David Swanson

Warfare Over Health Care. The Blue Dogs and other fellow travelers ask us to be frugal when considering the general health of our citizens. But where were these spendthrift “deficit hawks” when Congress pushed through the lavish Pentagon spending. -Joseph Palermo

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