Reclaiming Our Hope

Nelson Mandela

Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.

The Myth of the Sensible Center

David Frum

Carl Bloice: The “moderate Republican” has gone the way of the typewriter. As the tea party people and their ilk become more racist and reactionary – and their rhetoric more incendiary, each day – the GOP encourages them and endeavors to pull them into its embrace. Meanwhile the “bluedog Democrats” become increasingly irrelevant with each passing day, their bark more in evidence than their bite.

An Extraordinary Achievement

bho-fdr

Joseph Palermo: President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick.

Rahmifications of Obama’s Presidency

Joseph Palermo: Peter Baker’s profile of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the New York Times Magazine raises some interesting questions about President Barack Obama’s top aide. For Emanuel, it seems that all politics are electoral politics. He wouldn’t know a social movement if he saw one.

From “Fired Up and Ready to Go” to “Tired Out and Staying Home”

Barack

Joseph Palermo: During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years the center of American politics was pushed about a hundred degrees to the Right. Obama gets elected and tries to move it about a half degree leftward and all we hear are screams of “socialism!”

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.

Who’s Killing Financial Reform?

Senator Chris Dodd

Robert Reich: Congress isn’t doing a thing about Wall Street because it’s in the pocket of Wall Street. Dodd’s outburst at the Street is like the alcoholic who screams at a bartender “how dare you give me another drink when all I’ve done is pleaded with you for one!”

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

Why Would Union Members Vote Republican?

richard trumka

Berry Craig: The union-haters must still be in hog heaven over an AFL-CIO-sponsored poll that showed most Massachusetts union households supported Republican Scott Brown over union-endorsed Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

Hubert Humphrey with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Berry Craig: I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I support a public option. But you can bet your snow boots if I were a Bay State voter, I’d have trudged through a blizzard to cast my ballot for Martha Coakley, Brown’s Democratic opponent.

Massachusetts?!! Ask the Model Minority

Japanese-American evacuation during World War II

John Delloro: With a rise in right-wing populism, I am worried. Our history tells us that immigration will become the key hot button issue these next coming elections and, in the past, hate crimes against AAPIs and Latina/os have consistently risen with increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, especially during low economic periods.

Massachusetts Debacle

Obama first year

John Peeler: The defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy certainly shows the folly of taking victory for granted and failing to mount a serious campaign. But it also puts on display the complete political incompetence of the Obama administration and the national leadership of the Democratic Party and the Congress.

Top 5 Reasons Joe Lieberman Sticks It to Us

lieberman

Senator Joe Lieberman continues to threaten filibuster of the Senate health reform bill even in the face of the recent Harvard study showing that 45 thousand Americans die each year because of lack of sufficient health care.

Is Jerry Brown Really the Only Democrat Left Standing?

Any trace of the Jerry Brown who sounded like Dennis Kucinich when he ran for President is gone. At this weekend’s California Democratic Party E-Board meeting, Brown got into an argument with Party Chair John Burton about single-payer health care. Brown insisted single payer “will not happen” – even though the state legislature passed it twice, only to have Arnold Schwarzenegger veto it. The only thing stopping single payer in California from happening is a Republican Governor – yet the only Democratic candidate left in the race has insisted that it will not happen.

Progressives Mobilize to Save Obama, Democratic Party

Clockwise from top: Nancy Pelosi, Jed Lewison, Howard Dean and Jane Hamsher.

Republicans thought the “just say no” strategy that killed the Clinton plan would also work in 2009. But they forgot that this strategy now lacks the element of surprise, and that the Internet now prevents the corporate media from entirely controlling the debate.

Friday Feedback: Crony, the Corporate Clown

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Wayne,  commenting on Carol V. Hamilton’s “Right Wing Sedition.” Here’s Wayne’s comment: The real sedition is coming from within the Democratic Party, which is now rapidly becoming the party of Crony the Corporate Clown [...]

Good Hair v Nappy Hair

iStock_000017068698Small-Optimized

The N Word We Rarely Discuss: NAPPY ike most blacks in America, I was raised in an environment where hair like mine, kinky hair, was frequently referred to as “bad hair.”  Conversely, straight hair or kink-less hair was characterized as “good hair“.  I grew up receiving a steady stream of messages that directly or indirectly [...]

The Arlen Spectacle

arlen

There was only one possible explanation. The bullet entered the president’s neck, bounced off his necktie, made a right turn in midair, entered Governor Connolly’s back, broke a rib, and exited his arm after breaking his wrist. Following perhaps the most exhaustive trip ever taken by a rifle round, it was found — in pristine [...]

The Walled Garden: Fading Away at the California Democratic Party

empty-promises

Like Dorothy and her intrepid trio of lovable dreamers arriving at Oz, the Progressive Movement barreled into the Democratic Party in 2005 with high ideals and even higher hopes. Now, four scintillating years later we realize it was all a mirage of our own creation. The Party of the Left has been reduced to an [...]

Red California Death Watch

red-counties

In 2007, right-wing political operatives tried to place a measure on the June 2008 ballot that – if successful – would have awarded California’s electoral votes by Congressional District. Democrats and progressives strongly opposed it, because everyone assumed it would give the G.O.P. presidential nominee an extra 19 votes. California is a deep blue state, [...]

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 [...]

Howard Dean’s Return to DFA Can Spark National Activism

howard_dean

After presiding over the Democratic Party’s most successful national grassroots mobilizing campaign since the New Deal, Howard Dean is returning to Democracy for America, the organization he founded nearly five years ago. Dean’s return to DFA got scant attention in the traditional media, which has underestimated the former Vermont Governor from his 2004 presidential campaign [...]

February Is a Poignant Month

mothers-day

February is a poignant month for it marks my parent’s wedding anniversary and mother’s birthday and both come a few weeks after the 10th commemoration of her death. Probably because Barack Obama’s inauguration is still fresh in my mind, and she was a lifelong progressive Democrat, I’ve been thinking a lot about Joyce lately: More [...]

Wiped? Back to Work

falling-uncle-sam

This past Sunday I ran for re-election as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party (CDP). I was on the Progressive Slate, from the 42nd Assembly District which covers parts of LA and the San Fernando Valley. Two years ago when I first ran, local progressive Dems were fired up and ready to give the [...]

Joe the Trucker and “Real” America’s Pocketbook Politics

Shane Hamilton

by Shane Hamilton – Apparently “Joe the Plumber,” the McCain-Palin mascot for the “real [read: white, small-town, anti-elitist] America,” did not represent the political views of the majority of voters in the 2008 presidential election. Strikingly, a mixed-race, big-city, Harvard Law graduate garnered votes from more than just latte-drinking Volvo drivers.

The Costs of War: Missing in Action

vietnam veteran

Social workers invariably cite values such as social justice, inclusiveness, and respect for self-determination when advocating for domestic needs such as health care and other issues. What is missing from the agenda is an effort to address the costs of war that rob domestic programs of their full potential.

Can You Feel It?

David Sirota’s prescient new book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington is coming to life and we’re in it! It’s been a terrifying and illuminating few weeks living amidst the fury of millions of Americans from left, right and center. Many of us are accusing our elected [...]

Obama Proves the Pundits Wrong

After Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses by a surprisingly large margin, the punditocracy was troubled. Pundits had virtually conceded the nomination to Hillary Clinton, and now went into high gear explaining the Illinois Senator’s deficiencies.

Vice President Clinton: A Humble Opinion

While I do not believe that presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama really knows who his vice-presidential nominee will be, if ever there was a time to give an opinion on the matter, it is now. Who knows, someone may actually be listening. The choice for President of the United States is perhaps one of the [...]

Obama, Black Voters and the Myth of Reverse Racism

Senior Citizens

omehow I knew it would happen. In fact, I had even made a note to myself, indicating how long I thought it might take: twenty-four hours was my guesstimate, in case you’re interested. Turns out I was overly optimistic, because it only took about nine hours from the time that my latest essay hit cyberspace–a [...]

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