Checks and Balances, Part II

fat cats

Ron Wolff: Here I reveal how a coalition of sub-populations cutting in an entirely different direction (connecting selected people with powerful segments of government) can become destabilizing — possibly even undemocratic (dare I say dictatorial?).

Student Anti-Sweatshop Activists Win Historic Breakthrough

USAS students celebrate with factory workers

Randy Shaw: Numerous experts argue that the global “race to the bottom” is inevitable and beyond the power of activists to change. Fortunately, student anti-sweatshop activists ignored these claims, and have now defied the conventional wisdom.

The Second Coming of Petraeus

Petraeus

Ivan Eland: With the justified firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with Iraq water-walker David Petraeus, it’s as if people are hoping for a second coming of Jesus in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the replacement may be similar to the second coming of the water-walking Joe Gibbs as coach of the Washington Redskins.

From Great Man to Great Screwup: Behind the McChrystal Uproar

mcchrystal

Norman Solomon: For months, the McChrystal star had been slipping. A few days before the Rolling Stone piece caused a sudden plunge from war-making grace, Time Magazine’s conventional-wisdom weathervane Joe Klein was notably down on McChrystal’s results: “Six months after Barack Obama announced his new Afghan strategy in a speech at West Point, the policy seems stymied.”

Magic Johnson and AIDS Healthcare Foundation

c & c magic

Carl Matthes: It will soon be 20 years – Nov. 7, 1991 – since Magic Johnson went before a packed news conference at the Forum in Inglewood, California, to reveal that he was HIV positive and would be retiring from basketball. For the world of sports, it was a devastating announcement.

Why CNN Fails

CNN

Randy Shaw: CNN’s chief problem is not a lack of partisanship. Instead, it is that CNN’s “news” primarily consists of opinions from partisan political hacks. Most work for CNN because no candidate wants to hire them, and it’s an easy gig because they don’t have to know much about the subjects they pontificate about. Does CNN really believe viewers are still interested in the opinions of the corporate-funded James Carville? Or that CNN will steal viewers from FOX News by hiring Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, who publicly threatened to shoot census workers? CNN is failing because it’s selling stale conventional wisdom, which viewers are rejecting.

Could 2010 Be a Good Year for Democrats After All?

barack obama

Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?

Obama, Gandhi, and King: Reflections on His Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Gene Rothman: we progressives need to follow King’s advice and not merely listen to, but to learn from others in the world. “Compassion and non-violence help us see the enemies point of view . . . . We may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own . . . [and] may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of our brothers who are called the opposition.” Most significantly, he noted that it is the U.S. that is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”

Fire McChrystal and Get Out of Afghanistan

War

McChrystal, much like Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, has publicly spoken out about decisions that are the exclusive purview of the elected civilian leadership. At great cost to his popularity, President Harry Truman cast a great blow for the critical republican principle of civilian control over the military by firing the insubordinate MacArthur. President Obama could do the same with far less cost; McChrystal just took his job and is not a popular war hero, as was MacArthur.

The Incredible Shrinking Healthcare Reform

healthcare

Under pressure from industry and their lobbyists, the public plan has been watered down to a small and ineffectual option at best, if it ever survives to being enacted

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