Time to Bell the Obama Cat?

obama thinking

Norman Solomon: Whether or not Obama’s vicious assault on Social Security is successful, it has already jolted an unprecedented number of longtime supporters. It should be the last straw, suffused with illumination.

Batting Third: In Support of Independent Political Parties

uncle sam picks

Rich Broderick: Suffice it to say that I must politely reject suggestions from my liberal friends that not voting for Obama is tantamount to voting for the Apocalypse.

Where You Will Find the Democratic Spirit This Fall

occupy schools

Mark Naison: The signs of popular initiative are all around us, if we care to look. They are the real hope of the future in a country where the mainstream economic and political systems have been rendered stagnant by a concentration of wealth at the top.

Stop-and-Frisk Citizen Journalists

Police Car Wide

Sharon Kyle: Do citizens have a right to monitor the behavior of law enforcement? What about citizen journalists? The case of citizen Joseph “Jazz” Hayden may be one of police retaliation. What do you think?

Obama Forced Out on Gay Marriage

obama evolves on gay marriage

Rev. Irene Monroe: There’s one thing that has always irked me about Obama’s evolutionary narrative on same-sex marriage—and that’s not his position on it per se so much as the insincerity of his homophobia.

Defending Civil Liberties: If They Take You In The Morning

black prisoners

Defending Civil Liberties in the Era of the Wars on Drugs, Terror, and Immigrants. Sunday, April 29, Neighborhood Church, Pasadena. With “Reckoning with Torture” and panel discussion.

Challenging Ron Paul’s Followers on Racism

ron paul and racism

Mark Naison: Ron Paul’s presidential run, either as a Republican or an independent, cannot gain traction without gaining support from at least some people of color, leftists and liberals.

Some New Year’s Resolutions

occupy los angeles ted fisher

I am going to continue to support the Occupy movements, which I consider the best hope for democratic change in the last 40 years, in every way I can

All I Want for Christmas Is My Civil Liberties!

ndaa

Coleen Rowley: Obama’s expected signature will not only de-link the “war on terror” from its original justification, the 9-11 attacks of more than a decade ago, to ensure the “long war” does not end.

Long-time LA Timesman Decries Media Concentration

tim rutten

Justin Chapman: The coming concentration of the media is probably a bigger threat to your civil liberties than anything the government’s doing right now, according to Tim Rutten

“Come Home America” Message Clear Winner at Iowa Straw Poll

coleen rowley

Colleen Rowley: Numerous polls confirm we’re approaching a unique moment where a variety of rationales for ending the wars are coming together that transcend prior political differences.

Liberals Need to Stop Making Excuses

tomahawk

Bernard A. Weisberger: The current situation is evidence of the crashing failure of liberal America to stand up for its forgotten principles of some sixty years ago, and its decision to chain itself to a Democratic Party now under the leadership of “centrists” or “moderates” who in fact occupy the terrain once held by the vanished race of liberal Republicans.

Why I May Run for Congress

norman solomon

Norman Solomon: Across the country, alarm is rising as corporate power escalates at the intersection of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ferial Masry: Surprised Political Legend

Ferial Masry and Barbara Boxer

Wendy Block: This Election Day, Masry hopes to make that scenario real by beating Jeff Gorell for the open seat in California’s 37th Assembly District (Ventura/LA County). If she wins, her victory will also be a victory for millions of people half a world away.

Progressive Canaries in a Political Mine

Streakyheaded Canary on Aloe Flower

Norman Solomon: After more than 20 months of White House insistence that the only useful role for progressive canaries is to keep singing the president’s tune, the electoral coal mine is filled with the political equivalent of carbon monoxide and methane.

Review of Dave Eggers’s “Zeitoun”

kartina

Jim Cullen: Zeitoun is revealing less in what it shows about those awful days in August and September of 2005 than as a lightning-illuminated snapshot of the ongoing decay of an egalitarian American democracy.

Those Evil-Doin’ Liberals

fdr unfinished

Tom Degan: Those in the extreme right who like to pretend that they’ve cornered the market on patriotism need to be exposed for what they are – ideological snake oil salesmen. All we have to do is open our eyes to see the damage that their thirty-year domination of our political conversation has done to this country.

Cesar Chavez Shows His Papers; So Does Jan Brewer

Robert Illes: So this AB1070 is perhaps not so much a “protect Arizonans from brown aliens” scheme as it is a protect the private prisons profits scheme. And of course, a fatten up the war chests of Republican politicians scheme.

When the Leaders Lead, the People Have Sorrow

marcy winograd

Norman Solomon: In sharp contrast to Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd would not just instantly join the Progressive Caucus — she would immediately be one of its most intrepid and resilient members. Anyone who has ever worked with Marcy is sure that her progressive commitments are unshakable. That’s why Democratic Party power brokers are doing all they can to defeat her.

The Media & the Murder of Aiyanna Jones

Aiyanna Jones

Sikivu Hutchinson: When a little white girl goes missing, online news, supermarket tabloids and cable network stations bombard us with up-to-the-minute dispatches on the crime, the victim, her shattered family and anguished community. When a little black girl is murdered in cold blood by a big city police department it is up to the community and those who care about social justice to ensure that the case doesn’t fade into the national obscurity that is usually reserved for the lives of people of color.

Kagan in Context: Shafting Progressive Values

Elena Kagan

Noman Solomon: If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens — and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very disturbing, especially because it’s part of a pattern. The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist wisdom. Grim results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities across the USA.

To the Tea Party: War and Liberty Aren’t Fellow Travelers

Boston Tea Party

Ivan Eland: The tea sippers extended their pinkies in a salute to torture, harsh policies toward Iran, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They didn’t seem to mind the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping and vacuuming up of ordinary Americans’ phone calls either, according to Bovard. Yet of all the causes of big government in human history, warfare is the most important. The nation-state originally came into being because wars had become too expensive for mere kingdoms to handle.

Catch 22 with President Obama

lydia howell

Lydia Howell: Ultimately, what is most important about Barack Obama may not be that he is an African-American president but, that — like Bill Clinton before him — he is a Corporate Democrat, who offers no real alternatives to Big Business As Usual and Endless Wars for Empire — (just like the Republicans

A Progressive Answer to the Oscars

Martina Gedeck in "The Baader-Meinhoff Complex"

Ed Rampell: The 2009 Progie Award winners include: Michael Moore’s anti-corporate documentary Capitalism, A Love Story; the Palestinian immigrant drama Amreeka; the German urban guerrilla feature The Baader-Meinhoff Complex; the psychic military unit satire The Men Who Stare At Goats and British director Ken Loach, all completely overlooked by this year’s Oscars.

Balancing Altruism and Self-Interest in Government

Charles Kuralt

Ron Wolff: No doubt some of the “conservatives” (for lack of a better label — generally I dislike labels as oversimplifications) who read my articles feel that I spend too much energy denigrating our society. I can almost hear them say “If you love Denmark so much, why don’t you move there?”

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

WWI

Of course, a case can be made that it is better for a nation to win a war than to lose it. But perhaps it is time to learn from the world’s tragic, blood-stained history that there is a third alternative: using our intelligence and creativity to resolve conflicts without war.

Countdown to Genocide in Iran

Khamenei and Ahmadinejad

Ten days before Christmas more than 3,000 people face eviction from their home of 20 years in what Labour peer and British civil liberties champion Lord Robin Corbett has described as ‘a pact with the devil’.

Thousands of Unite Here Disney Workers and Clergy March on Disneyland

disneyworkers

As Disney knows, It’s a Small World. And if the company undermines the health coverage for 2300 UNITE HERE Local 11 workers, they may find their parks resembling a modern day FrontierLand.

Local Police Report Makes the Case for Federal Enforcement of Immigration Laws

arrest

This week the Police Foundation issued a long awaited report, The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties. The Police Foundation found that because Congress has failed to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have spent more time and resources curbing immigration themselves at the high [...]

Inside Joe Arpaio: Arizona Deputy Calls Him a Disgrace to the Department

sheriff_arpaio

“It ain’t right,” the man with the soft, desert cowboy drawl says slowly into the phone. “These folks are human beings and he treats ‘em like swine. Well, actually, Joe treats everyone who ain’t white and rich like swine.” ”Here in Maricopa County, he thinks it’s a crime to be poor or have brown skin [...]

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