What Activists Can Learn from Schwarzenegger and Obama

obama and arnold

Randy Shaw: Why did California progressives do so well in the midterm elections, in contrast to conservatives’ success nationally? A major reason is that the state’s activists pushed progressive policies without seeking approval from politicians.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

It’s Nonsensical

we the people

Berry Craig: Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much.

On 10-10-10 Fight Big Oil and Big Coal

10-10-10

Lauren Steiner: Stand up and be counted at rallies and public hearings. Make telephone calls, sign petitions and write letters to public officials and newspapers and get your friends to do the same. Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” There is so much you can do. Learn more here.

No, Higher Consciousness Won’t Save Us

robert reich

Norman Solomon: When social movements seem to be no match for a destructive status quo, people are apt to look around for alternative strategies. One of the big ones involves pursuing individual transformations as keys to social change.

The Great Collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange

cap in hand

Patrick Henningsen: Plagued by a free fall in carbon emissions prices and the perennial failure of Washington to pass any binding Cap and Trade Bill, it seems that the Chicago Climate Exchange is on its last leg, announcing that it will be scaling back its operations.

Does Protecting Our Children Mean Political Action For Them And For Us?

Marian Wright Edelman

Paul Loeb: Particularly in these difficult times, we often use our children as reasons to avoid getting involved in critical issues. We’ve got all we can handle holding on to our jobs and spending a little time with them. We fear political commitments will make their lives more insecure. Especially when they’re young, it may be all we can do just to go to work, come home, pay attention to their needs, and catch a few scarce hours of sleep. Yet when we do find ways to get engaged, our children can give us powerful reasons to act.

Reid on Immigration vs. Climate: Whatever Comes First

Mario Solis-Marich: As the pressure mounts around the country on the police state known as Arizona, eyes turn to Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. Top Senate aides informed me this morning that despite news stories to the contrary, Majority Leader Harry Reid has not backed off of the idea of pursing an immigration bill as the next order of Senate business. The clarification is one that may be too nuanced for some but is an indication of the balancing act the Leader feels he must make to hold the Democratic caucus together while trying to pursue legislative remedies to the huge problems left to fester during the days of the past Republican majority. The clarification however will probably not satisfy the Latino community as the disrespectful sting of the slap in the face delivered by Arizona lingers.

After Peak Oil, Are We Heading Towards Social Collapse?

coal wagons

Emily Spence: With the current peak-oil interval, we have a grace period when oil is still fairly inexpensive and abundant. At the same time, we cannot expect our government leaders to help society transition off of heavy oil dependence on account of their being controlled by “big business” interests. Therefore, it is up to average citizens to create the reforms that lead into localized economic and social development.

LA Progressive: March 28 to April 3, 2010 — Articles

Articles by H. Scott Prosterman, Carl Bloice, Carl Matthes, Adam Eran, Alfee Enciso, Robert Reich, Diane Lefer, Anthony Samad, Jim Fuller, Tom Degan, Michele Waslin, Georgianne Nienaber, Ron Briley, Tracy Emblem, Rev. Irene Monroe, Nomiki Konst, Randy Shaw, Jane Baek, Mario Solis-Marich, Andrea Christina Nill, Shamus Cooke, Ron Wolff, Sikivu Hutchinson, Marcy Winograd, Walter Moss, and Sharon Kyle

Niello’s April Foolery

Adam Eran: Appropriately for April Fool’s, Republican California Assemblyman Roger Niello’s editorial appears in the Sacramento Bee protesting California’s public policy response to climate change (AB32). As evidence that AB32 is misguided, he cites the discredited Varshney study and the similiarly biased California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) oil-industry-funded study of AB32.

After Health Care, Activists Must Continue Pressure for Change

Sunday's Immigration March

Randy Shaw: One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill.

More than Merely Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Global-Warming

Bob Letcher: If we agree simply to total up CO2 emissions, China ends up being the world’s biggest emitter. But, if we agree to account for China’s much larger population, by ranking per capita emission, the US can go back to its familiar cheer: “We’re #1! We’re #1! Whhoooa!!”

California State Senator Cox on Climate Change: Ignorance Is Bliss

oil-wells

Adam Eran: The one thing we don’t want to do is subsidize even more petroleum consumption. If we gave oil producers a special tax break (like the “depletion allowance”), or paid for the military protection for those increasingly important overseas oilfields, gas would be artificially cheaper at the pump, and we would have abandoned the “magic of the marketplace” for crony captalism, where a few favored interests get the lion’s share of public policy benefit.

Defying Progressives, Obama Revives Nuclear Power

Nuclear-Power

Randy Shaw: Many progressives are so excited that Obama is not Sarah Palin that they accept any small step as a great leap forward. The irony is that many of these progressives saw a night and day difference between Obama and Clinton in the primaries, yet now accept policies from Obama that are virtually identical — if not more conservative — than those we feared from a President Hilary Clinton.

Mr. Obama, You Need to Forcefully Take the Lead

obama-one-year

Emily Spence: You cannot leave critical matters for future administrations to sort out in a meaningful manner. Despite vicious backlash for your stance, you must vigorously work to change our collective course now rather than continue the same old policies that your predecessors in office had and that, obviously, do not work.

Gibbs: Obama’s Immigration Position Unchanged

robert gibbs

Andrea Christina Nill: According to Gibbs, the question isn’t whether President Obama still supports passing comprehensive immigration reform, but rather, whether the White House can be convinced that there is enough bipartisan support to get it passed. A recent affirmative statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicates that at least one key GOP member is reaching out to his colleagues and encouraging them to embrace the immigration issue. Meanwhile, themajority of Republican and Independent voters already support comprehensive immigration reform.

Despite Obama, “Yes We Can” Spirit Survives

meridien rally

Randy Shaw: In the Beltway, the Obama Administration frustrated key constituency groups and organizations by failing to push for transformative change. In the world where most people live and work, activists were not deterred by Obama’s inaction and instead seized upon the “Si Se Puede” spirit to build successful campaigns for justice.

Political Predictions for 2010

2010-clock

Paul Hogarth: California desperately needs to abolish the two-thirds requirement to pass a state budget, and even an amendment that does not include taxes would be incremental progress. But unless labor unions start putting real money in this effort, and the Democratic Party makes it the priority it must be, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle – and we won’t have what it takes to run a winning campaign.

Holding Obama Accountable

Obama-Magician

Randy Shaw: pecifically, activists must employ what I describe in The Activist’s Handbook as the “fear and loathing” approach that has long proved necessary to get most politicians to do the right thing. Activists must make Obama fear the political repercussions of not backing progressive positions, even to the extent that the President comes to “loathe” those creating such pressures.

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