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.

Walmart Dodges African “Blood Minerals” Rule

blood diamonds

t must have seemed like a good idea at the time, when Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank drew up the landmark regulatory bill that bears their names. One of its lesser-known provisions required U.S. companies to list the inclusion of any “conflict minerals,” mined in or near the violence-plagued Democratic Republic of the Congo, [...]

JP Morgan’s Loss Could Be America’s Gain

jamie dimon

Joseph Palermo: With new evidence mounting each day that the system is as broken as it was before the meltdown of September 2008 and will likely require another colossal taxpayer bailout at some point, the public might be able to compel even the isolated 1 percenters among Washington’s policy elite to take heed.

Obama’s and America’s Remarkable Evolution on Gay Rights

obama reno

Peter Dreier: Historians will no doubt view President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday favoring same-sex marriage as an equally historic statement, parallel to those of FDR on workers’ rights and LBJ on civil rights.

The Shameful Murder of Dodd Frank

dodd-frank-wide

Robert Reich: Wall Street has effectively neutered the Dodd-Frank law, which is the best argument I know for applying the nation’s antitrust laws to the biggest banks and limiting their size.

Answering The Anti-Tax Whiners

Grover Norquist

Mark Dempsey: After having reduced taxes without reducing spending, the Republicans can now get Jerry Brown and the California Democrats to do the politically unpopular work of terminating programs that would otherwise be too popular to touch. It’s clever, but hardly non-partisan.

America’s Runaway Military Spending

Lawrence Wittner: When it comes to military appropriations, the U.S. government already spends about seven times as much as China, thirteen times as much as Russia, and seventy-three times as much as Iran.

Watch “Deficit Hawks” Rush to Defend Pentagon Bloat

robert gates

Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.

Despite Extra Help, Weakest Bailed-Out Bank Still Among Worst

Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, confers with Rep. Maxine Waters. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Marian Wang: At the center of the ethics controversy enveloping Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, is OneUnited, the nation’s largest African-American-owned bank.

Why Tea Party Chairman Mark Williams Got Kicked Out

tea party

Anthony Samad: Don’t look for Tea Party activists to try to run racists hiding in their ranks out of the movement. For they can no more disavow the racists in their own Party than they could disavow their white grandfathers that raised them but said things that made them “uncomfortable.” They’ll just have to learn to keep their unspoken truths to themselves.

Financial Reform Too Small to Succeed

wall street reform

Joseph Palermo: The financial reform legislation currently winding its way through the Congress is a step in the right direction but it retains too much of the status quo that brought down the economy in the first place. The key problem, as many economists have been telling us, is that the top financial institutions remain “too big to fail.” Congress can enact all the regulations it wishes but even the best written rules won’t be enough to prevent another financial meltdown.

Tea Baggers, Ku Kluxers, and Red Shirts

Berry Craig: The Tea Bagger movement’s spiritual forebears – the White Citizens’ Councils and the George-Wallace-for-president-in-‘68 crowd come to mind – went apoplectic when Congress passed historic civil rights bills in the 1960s.

Mob Rules: Tea Party’s High Noon

Riding-the-Tiger

Sikivu Hutchinson: Reveling in nightly PR infusions from the corporate lapdogs of American journalism, the freshly evangelized macho racist right has ensured that its charge of a socialist government expansion is now viewed as a “reasonable” critique of an overhaul that effectively concedes universal coverage to the insurance industry.

Niello Sponsors a Whine-Fest for Business, As Usual.

Assemblyman Roger Niello

Adam Eran: Niello’s hearing is yet another bit of evidence that, no matter what the facts, the Republican narrative remains constant: We must reduce taxes and regulation, even if lack of effective regulation produced the current less-than-optimum outcome. And although “deficits don’t matter,” no matter how low they are, taxes are too high, especially on the wealthy.

Defiant Wall Street Welfare Kings Come to Washington

Lloyd Blankfein

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats ensconce themselves in huge amounts of Wall Street campaign money and in exchange they pursue the short-sighted prerogatives of a bunch of rich guys who have already been bailed out and have shown the world that they’re nothing but a gang of white-collar crooks.

LA Progressive: October 11 to 17, 2009

This week’s articles in the LA PROGRESSIVE

Is Barney Frank Relevant?

Barney Frank Cartoon

But as one of the most vocal critics of the National Equality March that took place in Washington this weekend, Frank has many LGBTQ Americans nationwide wondering if he has become a bureaucratic gatekeeper.

Gay Activist Divisions Are Political, Not Generational

act_up

It had to be frustrating for Sunday’s rally organizers President Obama get a standing ovation from HRC at a gala event for simply repeating his unfulfilled campaign pledges on gay rights. This smacks of the type of lack of political accountability that can kill progressive change.

So Much Happening in Washington and So Little to Show for It, So Far

Politics Elephant cartoon

The public doesn’t know what’s going on because the national media would rather report on the sexual escapades of famous people or social trends or high finance (a recent Pew study of economic reporting shows the vast majority of stories about the Great Recession have focused on Wall Street rather than Main Street).

Who’s a Nazi?

Salute

It occurred to me that calling somebody you dislike a “Nazi,” especially when they (or their programs) clearly are not, is a pretty Nazi thing to do.

Single-Payers Crashing the Gates

Marcy Winograd and Seniors

One of the many frustrations for advocates of single-payer health care is the relentless drive to marginalize us, not only by conservatives but also by members of our own party. Case in point: the accounting arm of Congress, the Congressional Budget Office, has yet to perform a financial analysis of the cost of implementing single [...]

This Week in the LA Progressive: March 29 to April 4

commie-republicans

Equal Access, Equal Justice Rejecting Post-Raciality: An Ode to the Life of John Hope Franklin. Franklin proved that within our story is America’s story and America “Negro problem” was a refusal to acknowledge the equality of black America. –Anthony Asadullah Samad Diddy’s Dumb Deed. My “sistas” are finally no longer making excuses for self-haters. Why [...]

Barney Frank Calls Justice Scalia a Homophobe

When Democratic U.S. Representative Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe,” criticizing his likely support of the Defense of Marriage Act, his remarks were wrongly taken as only a personal attack on Scalia. But Barney Frank’s remark was an accurate statement about the present-day climate and culture in our country’s highest judicial [...]

U.S. Military Needs a Radical Homosexual

barney-frank

Is he the U.S. military’s worst nightmare? Imagine, a radical homosexual with his hands on the military’s purse strings. It’s hard to believe that after 15 years of repressive, misguided military policy (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), which stigmatized and prevented gay men and lesbians from serving honestly and openly in our country’s Armed Forces, the [...]

A Nation of Tax-Evaders

boligandollarchicken

The furor over the non-payment of taxes by Tom Daschle and a few other recent nominees for public office should not obscure the deeper truth that the United States has become a nation of tax-evaders. On the simplest level, this tax evasion is exemplified by the fact that vast numbers of people, including some who [...]

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