How to Beat Republican Fanatics: Call Their Bluff, Go Over Cliff

boehner sled

Robert Reich: The fanatics in the GOP have to be held accountable or they’ll continue to hold the nation hostage to their extremism. Even if it takes until the 2014 midterms to loosen their hold, the cost is worth it.

And Now: Forgive Us Our Debts!

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Peter Laarman: Just a word about the Next Big Thing: the coming lame duck session and the “fiscal cliff” and the prospect of a not-so-grand bargain in which Democrats will yield yet more ground to Pete Peterson’s baleful “austerity for you but not for me” proposals.

Issa’s Plot Theory Full of Holes

issa hearing

Karen Finney: Darrell Issa’s current request has crept again, seeking documents from a period even further from the initial incident and DOJ discovery, hoping still for evidence of a clandestine anti-gun-control plot.

The Republican Weapon of Mass Cynicism

privatizing-wide

Robert Reich: If we can’t trust government at a time like this, whom can we trust? Corporations? Wall Street? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? Or is each of us now simply on our own?

The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.

Why Obama Isn’t Fighting the Budget Battle

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Robert Reich: Obama won’t actively fight the budget battle if the current White House view of how he wins in 2012 continues to prevail.

Democrats Should Never Have Started Paying Ransom

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Robert Reich: Problem is, when you pay ransom once, you’re almost begging to pay it again. And that’s exactly the pickle the Obama administration is finding itself in.

A Winnable Jobs and Just Cause Campaign

GovKaine

Craig Williams: One way for the Democrats to approach a jobs campaign would be invest or launch a grassroots effort in districts where Republicans hold the Congressional seat.

Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap

reverse donkey

Robert Reich: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

Progressive Critics Help Obama and Democrats

Progressive Obama Critics Lt. Dan Choi and Rachel Maddow along with Goodwin Liu

Randy Shaw: Holding self-identified “progressive” politicians like Barack Obama accountable for fulfilling campaign commitments actually improves the chances for progressive election victories, as it pressures Democrats to satisfy their base. And as the critical midterm elections approach, ensuring this grassroots base is motivated and mobilizable by holding Obama and Congressional Democrats accountable is even more imperative.

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.

Massachusetts Calling: Harnessing Independents’ Anger and Disillusionment to Form a Second (i.e. Non-Corporate) Party

Corporate Free Speech

Gary Corseri: Can these radio jockeys really believe half of what they say? They serve the system that butters their croissants. They are the corporate media, they are the Republicratic party—two sides of the same coin—the tarnished coin, the cheapened, sinking coin of this realm.

What Scott Brown’s Victory Really Means

Economic Grip

Robert Reich: Here’s what’s really going on. In Massachusetts, in New Jersey, all over the nation, voters are petrified of losing their jobs, their homes, and what’s left of their savings. Nothing counts more than the economy. Rightly or wrongly, presidents and the party in power are blamed when the economy is lousy.

Slouching Toward Health Care Reform

Dead-in-the-water

Real reform has moved from a Medicare-like public option open to all, to a public option open to 6 million without employer coverage (still in the House bill), to a public option open only to those same people in states that opt for it, or about 4 million (the original Harry Reid version of the Senate bill), to no public option but expanded Medicare (the Senate compromise) to no expanded Medicare at all (the deal with Joe “I love all the attention” Lieberman).

What Obama Must Demand from Congress on Health Care

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In order to get anything meaningful through this session of Congress, then, the President will have to give Congressional Democrats far more leadership and more cover. Doing so is harder now than before the recess, when he was still basking in the afterglow of a honeymoon and 60% favorabilities.

The Only Sure Way to Fund Universal Health Care

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During the presidential campaign, I thought Obama made only one big policy mistake. He criticized John McCain for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. McCain’s overall health plan was regressive – he would have turned the savings into tax credits for purchasing health care – but he was right about where the revenues should [...]

“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 [...]

A Growing Sense of Anger at Obama – and Others

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I’m so angry I feel like concealing a loaded hand gun and walking into a national park. No, I’m not going postal. Once President Obama signs the new credit card law, it will be legal for anyone to march around Yellowstone packing heat just for the fun of it. Although it’s usually angry, bitter, little [...]

America’s Christian Soldiers Fight for Jesus in Afghanistan

Source: Alternet

Why does the military attract so many religious nuts, total loonies who think their real mission is to convert Moslems – and everyone else – to Jesus? Born-again officers at the Air Force Academy were so busy proselytizing to Jews, Catholics, agnostics and atheists, they didn’t have time to worry about minor irritants like numerous [...]

Against Truth, Reconciliation, and Commissions

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has introduced a bill, H.R. 104, that would create a commission to spend a year and a half looking at the various crimes of Bush and Cheney. While this might allow congressional Democrats to run election campaigns against Bush and Cheney yet again, even though those two will have [...]

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