The Two Stories of This Terrible Economy, Yet Obama and the Dems Won’t Tell Theirs

gop gloom and doom

Robert Reich: Republicans lack specific policies but they have a story. Obama and the Democrats have lots of specific policies but don’t have a story. That spells even more trouble for Democrats.

Tax Jujitsu: Why Democrats Should Propose a “People’s Tax Cut”

taxes

Robert Reich: Democrats should propose eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income, and making up the revenue loss by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000.

For You To Succeed, Must Someone Else Fail?

meditation

Michael Sigman: Is this just human nature, or can we be happy about our achievements without causing an equal amount of suffering in someone else?

Are Teachers and Democrats Headed for Divorce?

Randi Weingarten

Shamus Cooke: The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of “stronger teacher evaluations” to undermine “underperforming” schools and teachers — thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce.

Democrats Doomed If They Run as Incumbents

Paul Hogarth: The anti-incumbent mood is not confined to the racist Tea Parties on the Right – but is just as potent on the Left, where progressives are disenchanted by a President who promised hope and change, only to capitulate to Joe Lieberman to pass a health care bill that requires us to all buy private insurance.

Sarah Palin Tells Bill O’Reilly What She Would Do About Immigration As ‘President Palin’

Andrea Nill: Palin informed O’Reilly that she would do “whatever it takes” to secure the border, including “militarizing” the border with 10,000-15,000 National Guard troops and building a wall.

Alvin Greene’s South Carolina Win: The Inside Scoop

Singer Al Green

Michael Sigman: Roughly a third of Al’s votes came from soul and pop music lovers who believed they were voting for sexy Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Al Green, nee Albert Greene. Green, who was a superstar who sold millions of records in the ’70s, also evoked sympathy from voters who remembered he was once doused by his girlfriend in a sea of boiling grits.

Winograd vs. Incumbent Harman: The Margin Narrows

With less than 3 weeks to go in the primary election, a new poll shows the Winograd/Harman race is competitive and may be reflecting an anti-incumbency wave. The IVR Poll of nearly 1,000 Likely Voters Indicates Winograd is within four points of the embattled incumbent. The poll of likely primary voters shows Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36) may well defeat opponent Jane Harman in the June 8th Democratic Party primary.

Mandela’s Ubuntu: We Are Human Only Through the Humanity of Others

Carl Matthes: “Mandela’s Way” is about life and one’s reaction to it. It demonstrates the need for us to understand our own motivations and the need for us to develop and articulate our own sense of Life, Love and Courage. The almost three years it took for Richard Stengel to chronicle Nelson Mandela’s life’s lessons and then condense it to enjoyable readable form, makes this book indispensable.

Information Terrorists Hijack Our Airwaves

birthers

Nomiki Konst: While Obama has done an admirable job ignoring the Tea Party outbursts and outlandish claims and focusing on moving his agenda forward, Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, Colbert, Stewart, Cooper, Crowley, Sanchez and Shultz have missed an incredible opportunity to vocalize the progressive agenda while they have the floor. For eight years, progressives were unable to bring their agenda to the table and had to constantly act on the defensive.

With Immigration Low on List of Tea Party Priorities, Is Nativism Really on the Rise?

teabaggers amensty

Andrea Christina Nill: If Obama decides to tackle immigration reform next, some have wondered what the tea party response would be. Interestingly, it may not be an issue for most rank and file tea party members. When asked whether immigration was an issue that motivated how they voted, tea parties responded that it was just as low on their priority list as the average population.

Extremism in the Defense of Librium

Rep. Michelle Backman (Rep. Stillwater, Minnesota)

Tom Degan: On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We’re talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let’s face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.

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?

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!”

Chuck Grassley Claims ‘Illegal Workers’ And Their Employers Will Benefit From Jobs Bill’

Andrea Christina Nill: despite his concerns relating to foreign workers, Grassley has already asserted that he isn’t interested in working towards a productive solution that involves even touching a “general immigration reform bill” with a ten-foot pole.

Public Option Only Way Out of Health Care Mess

Obama_and_Reid

Paul Hogarth: Polling in key states where hot Senate seats are in play (Illinois, Colorado and Harry Reid’s own Nevada) shows the public option is still popular, and putting it back in the health care bill would improve things. Only 34% of Nevadans liked the Senate bill that passed in December, but 56% like the public option. The gap grows to 31 points in Illinois and 37 points in Minnesota, so why not use it?

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.

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.

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.

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”. [...]

Health-Care Reform Key Issue in 2008 Campaign: What Happened?

summer-heat-wave

The current state of the health care “debate” illustrates, even with the election of Barack Obama and large Democratic majorities in Congress, we might have already lost the vocabulary for collective moral discourse.

Single-Payer Healthcare HR 676 Gets a Vote

health-change

A single-payer system would cover everyone at all times with no exceptions and create a net gain of 2.6 million jobs, $317 billion in business revenue, and $100 billion in wages.

Has a Stake Been Driven through Neo-Conservative Foreign Policy?

gop-comeback

Neo-conservatives used the Republican Party as a vehicle to promote and employ their policies of muscular nation-building overseas. But like the parasite that eventually kills its host, the Republican Party’s virtual collapse, in large part because of the failed nation-building adventure in Iraq, has left neo-conservatives discredited and facing policy extinction. Unfortunately, neo-conservatism will probably [...]

Republican Dinosaurs Cling to Power

dinosaur

When a side that “plays to win” is in the political minority, they assert whatever power they can get. This is the position Republicans, after two elections of solid blue victories, are stuck in at the federal and state level. Shut out of the presidency and the U.S. House of Representatives, the G.O.P. clings to [...]

Bringing Veterans and Military Personnel into the Democratic Party

mays_01

As Democrats, we need to support military families and veterans, and set aside the politics! For too long, we have not done well at separating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the troops who must fight them. As a result, we have been missing in action in outreach and philanthropic endeavors to the troops, [...]

Ending the Annual Budget Impasse Ritual

terminator

The California budget process is broken due to the requirement for a two-thirds vote to pass the budget. I would like to suggest a different procedure that preserves the minority protections of the two-thirds requirement while encouraging negotiation and ensuring that there definitely will be a budget passed. Proposal: If no budget passes by the [...]

Analyzing the Argument: What Must Change Mean?

Matt Bai

In The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, Matt Bai details his close up view of various groups and activities hoping to mark out new strategies and tactics towards national Democratic electoral victory. With insider access and experience as a political reporter, Bai follows three distinct groups committing serious time, efforts, [...]

2009: Year of the Filibuster

Filibuster

by David Swanson – Trying to squeeze any sort of peace on earth out of our government in Washington has been a steep uphill climb for years. For the most part we no longer have representatives in Congress, because of the corruption of money, the weakness of the media, and the strength of parties. There [...]

Fair and Balanced Districts?

gerrymandering

by Richard M. Mathews – In a November 25 editorial (“Prop. 11′s point”), the Los Angeles Times stated, “California is supposed to end up with a lot more of those evenly balanced districts.” The Times does not understand of the process of gerrymandering. Balanced districts must not be our goal.

The Obama Tide

by Carl Matthes – The tide didn’t seem very strong when reports from the first closed polls were broadcast in Los Angeles from back East, late Tuesday afternoon, November 4. True, the previous night, there was the slightest of ripples when results from tiny New Hampshire towns, which historically vote Republican, gave Obama a winning [...]

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