Jobless Benefits Battle Holds Millions of Americans Hostage

In this July 2, 2010 photo, Mischelle Mitchell looks online for job listings at the at the Oakland Career Center in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

David Love: A group of mostly Republican lawmakers refuses to reauthorize an extension of $33 billion in unemployment benefits. And in blocking the legislation during desperate times, they are holding 2.5 million Americans hostage, all for a political stunt. T

SB-1070 Proponents Accuse DOJ for Not Going After ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Andrea Nill: Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented.

BP’s Oiled Pelicans: “They Look Like Dead Angels in the Sand”

oily pelican

Georgianne Nienaber: Rehabilitation of wildlife has become a moneymaking government enabled bureaucracy with a bunch of federal sock-puppets taking orders from BP.

Undocumented Youth Pin DREAMs on Congressional Action

Michelle Waslin: Research has shown that the DREAM Act would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. Moreover, the DREAM Act create an opportunity for many young people to get on the path to permanent legal status, improve their education, invest in themselves and their communities, and serve their country.

No Jobs – The Theory of “Structural” Unemployment

factory

Carl Bloice: With high unemployment and no jobs, the actions of those in Congress who hold up the extension of benefits to the unemployed are morally repugnant. making it. The fellow who said the jobs are not coming back failed to say where they went.

Kyl Now Admits Obama Is ‘Doing A Lot’ To Secure the Border, But It’s a Question of ‘Strategy’

Roger-Nygard

Andrea Nill: However, according to Kyl, securing the border is like the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s not enough to say ‘gee, we have a lot of people down there’ — the question is but are you succeeding,” explained Kyl. Kyl believes it boils down to “different strategies that need to be employed.”

Border More Secure than Ever: Now What?

Michele Waslin: Once again, those who call for “enforcement first” have been put on the spot. Will any amount of enforcement ever be enough to move them to the next step? Will they continue to move the goalposts? Or will they finally recognize that comprehensive immigration reform is ultimately about securing our borders?

Deporting America’s Future: Harvard Student Pushes for DREAM Act

graduating latino student

Seth Hoy: Harvard sophomore, Eric Balderas, knows why the DREAM Act is important to so many. Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked up Balderas in Boston on his way to visit his mother in San Antonio, Texas. Balderas now faces the possibility of deportation at a hearing next month. The 19-year-old biology major was valedictorian of his high school class and is on a full scholarship at Harvard.

Winograd Stops Concert – Condemns Attacks

Winograd stops concert to condemn the actions of the attackers of the flotilla carrying aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

Invisible Hands, Invisible Liberty

free market

Mark Bowen: Kentucky does appear to be a state red enough that Rand Paul, no matter how many times he slips up and tells his constituents how he really feels, is still likely to be their next Senator. But in many ways Republicans will be hurt more nationally if he is, making it a minimum of six more years, rather than six more months, that he’ll be their problem.

Primaries, Immigration, and an Appetite for Change

welcome to arizona

Michele Waslin: Immigrant advocates will be asking themselves what role immigration played in the primaries. The fact is that the immigration issue probably plays a small role, if any. Quite frankly, Members don’t have much of a record on the issue for voters to base their votes on because Congress has been too scared to take on the issue and see what their constituents say about it. But the sentiments behind the immigration debate echo what we saw in the polls—the public has grown tired with inaction.

Exec Bonuses/Newsroom Outsourcing a Virtueless Circle

Michael Sigman: The decimation of the media industry, and particularly the newspaper business, has meant the elimination of health insurance benefits not only for the tens of thousands thrown out of work but also for the many writers, designers and others now forced to freelance. Media companies have to make cuts to stay in business, and some outsourcing is inevitable. But rewarding execs with big bonuses for, in effect, taking away workers’ health insurance is unconscionable.

Gazillionaire Meg Whitman Goes Right for the Jugular

Joseph Palermo: he Republicans, who control the state’s finances through the “two-thirds rule,” tell us every day that in a $1.8 trillion economy we can’t do anything but cut, cut, cut because we simply “don’t have the money.” They tell us that a $19 billion budget deficit — about 1 percent of the state’s GDP — requires us to dismantle the higher education system, lay off teachers and social servants, close parks, and demolish public institutions that took a generation to build.

Democratic “Accomplishments” Not Nearly Enough

Democratic spine

Joseph Palermo: Unless the Congress moves some progressive legislation quickly there’s going to be trouble this fall because any political party that is stupid enough to allow a couple of shmucks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, or the outcome of a special election in New England, to unravel its governing coalition doesn’t deserve to be in power.

Blue Shield Cares — About What?

Hairdresser

Wendy Block: My criticism of Blue Shield (substitute Blue Cross or Aetna or…) is that the medical experts who know and have treated me for many years, got disgusted and finally left. My HMO doc gives me normal prescriptions and orders routine lab tests. But often, normal isn’t enough.

Immigration Reform and Economic Justice

Immigration Pied Piper

Tracy Emblem: We must be honest and acknowledge that border “policing,” “security” and “prisons” are a substantial taxpayer drain but do not produce any gross domestic product. We should therefore remove the rhetoric and be open to examining all solutions.

The Oligarchy Wins Again!

CEO

Something, anything, has to be done at some point to show that the Obama Administration is not just the latest group of good people with good ideas that are absorbed into a system that makes Hamid Karzai look like a clean government activist. The corporate money so clogs the arteries of our body political the whole damn thing is sclerotic, choked off from the life-giving oxygen of democracy.

The Black Men’s New “Little Black Book”

bill-releford

Changing the mindset of black men to see a doctor is a difficult one. Fear of doctors is tied to a vestige of slavery where black male illness was totally ignored. Distrusting doctors has a long history, even before the Tuskegee experiment.

HR 3962 Passes After Generations of Americans Ignored

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962.  It’s being touted as a major step forward but for those who support Single Payer, it is anything but. From the house floor, Speaker House Nancy Pelosi called the passing of H.R. 3962, “an historic moment for our nation”. [...]

Friday Feedback: Supreme Court to Block Fair Election Efforts?

Not only do I expect Chief Justice Roberts to break his promise to the American people and legislate from the bench by overturning McCain-Feingold, but I expect him to work with the other conservatives on the court to overturn any laws that Congress passes in this area.

Half Measures and Lukewarm “Reform” Won’t Save the Middle Class

liberty

The 30-year class war the rich launched against the working people in this country (and reached its apogee during the George W. Bush years), has left the middle class reeling and wounded. Only bold federal action that puts something concrete in the palms of middle-class Americans can begin to turn these dire social conditions around.

How Bad Is America’s Healthcare Crisis?

public-option

Drawn from a presentation Dr. Matt Hendrickson gave at a Single-Payer Healthcare forum given in Santa Monica last month, our LA Progressive survey was designed to underscore just how dire America’s healthcare system has become—and to give you a chance to test your knowledge and intuitions.

Lou Dobbs Show Promotes Myth That ‘Gaping Loophole’ Will Provide Health Care Coverage For ‘Illegals’

border-wall

If Congress decides to take up comprehensive immigration reform, there’s also the likely possibility that illegal immigration will be addressed head-on by putting undocumented immigrants on a path to legalization

Long and Winding Road to Universal Healthcare

State Senator (Ret.) Sheila Kuehl

Even as Obama takes his case for comprehensive health care reform to the country, only a cockeyed optimist could believe Congress will soon produce anything remotely resembling the universal healthcare.

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

A New Study Reinforces Growing Influence of Second Generation Latinos

Photo by the Danbury Public Library

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that Latino children now make up 22% of all children under the age of 18 in the U.S.—a huge increase from 9% in 1980. A majority of these kids (52%) are “second generation,” meaning that they are the U.S.-born children of at least one foreign-born parent. [...]

“Of Course (The CIA) Misled Congress. We Were Trained How.”

gitmo_cheney

The voice of the former CIA briefer on the phone is strong and direct, unapologetic in either tone or words. “Of course we misled Congress on torture. The White House and (George) Tenet demanded it, and we were trained how to do it without lying,” he says to me. “People (former Vice President Dick) Cheney [...]

Congress’s Potemkin Populism

bushido

It’s nice to see that when the public gets sufficiently angry about something, Congress responds. In a rare show of bipartisanship, members are eagerly registering shock and outrage at AIG’s bonus payments by coming up with an assortment of ways to reclaim the bonanza, including taxing them away retroactively. Who says democracy is dead? But [...]

Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Triangulation

pet-republicans

Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has served up a devastating critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken recently. “If figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off,” Ms. McCain writes, “then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well.” She understands that when the GOP’s dominant personalities are [...]

Between the Lines: New York Post “Chimp” Cartoon — Incendiary Satire Has a Dangerous Past

chimp-cartoon

The New York Post issued a “sideways” explanation (I really wouldn’t call it an apology) on a provocative and highly incendiary political cartoon it ran on February 18th. Combining two news events of the day, one in which a Connecticut woman named Charla Nash was attacked by her “pet” chimpanzee — which nearly ripped off [...]

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