When Work Disappears: The Silent Reality of Chronic Black Unemployment

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Anthony Samad: Damn near every street in the southland is torn up from construction, as is damn near every freeway. I purposely look for BMWs (Black Men Working). I rarely see any and I’m not the only one who notices this. It’s often a point of conversation in the circles I run in.

Obama’s Afghanistan Speech: A Guide to the Perplexed

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Tom Hayden: Obama spoke directly to public opinion when he refused to leave “immediately,” on the grounds that Afghanistan will need “an opportunity to stabilize,” an observation which the vast majority of Americans will accept, for now.

Cesar Chavez Day Recalls 50 Years of Struggle

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Randy Shaw: The 50-year period since Cesar Chavez set out to organize California farmworkers has seen a remarkable growth in Latino political power, electoral clout, and in unionized Latino workers, while the plight of farmworkers has gone backward since the UFW’s high point at the end of the 1970’s.

The Oddness of the President’s Upcoming Deficit-Reduction Plan

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Robert Reich: When unemployment is still in the stratosphere, it would be insane to start cutting the deficit by $3 trillion to $4 trillion. That would push unemployment into outer space.

Obama’s Jobs Speech: Prepare to Be Underwhelmed

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Joseph Palermo: President Obama’s much anticipated speech outlining his jobs agenda for the 2012 election year will sound a lot like a tiny mouse trying to make a loud roar. Instead of clarity, we’ll get hedging; instead of “bold,” we’ll get wishy-washy.

Why Washington Isn’t Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages

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Robert Reich: The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why?

Is Obama Following Jimmy Carter’s Path?

Randy Shaw: Progressives are full of great ideas for putting Republicans on the defensive, and for Democrats regaining the populist momentum. But if Obama follows Jimmy Carter’s example and continues to solely follow his own playbook, such efforts are doomed to failure.

Which Democrats Are Being “Divisive”?

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Paul Hogarth: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are upset at progressive Democrats. But which Democrats are being divisive?

Let Our Fear Be More Accurate

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Tina Dupuy: The U.S. just spent a trillion dollars “liberating” Muslims in two countries and helping them democratically elect leaders. You’d think we’d all be super pro-Muslim judging by our national budget. But no, “Muslim” has a negative connotation because of terrorists on 9/11.

Why the President’s Next Big Thing Should Be Jobs

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Robert Reich: Including all those who have entered the job market since the bottom fell out, the nation is about 11 million jobs short. The President ought to use his second honeymoon to get a jobs bill that will make a difference.

Bet on Barbara Boxer in November

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Randy Shaw: The media always promotes Republicans like Campbell or John McCain who are reactionary and corporate-owned on most issues but have a few stands that are common to Democrats. This makes them “mavericks,” and allegedly shows they can appeal to Democrats.

Schwarzenegger Affirms That Undocumented Immigrants Are Not To Blame For California’s Economic Woes

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Andrea Christina Nill: A study by Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California found that immigration reform would increase California’s “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.” A separate study by Raul Hinojosa of the University of California, Los Angeles similarly found that immigration reform which includes a path legalization could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years.

Bad Job Numbers and the Secret Second Stimulus

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Robert Reich: Bottom line: Obama will be going into an election year with a higher total level of unemployment than before the Great Recession. He will have to argue that, were it not for his policies, things would be even worse. Counter-factuals like this do not sit well on bumper stickers.

Political Predictions for 2010

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Paul Hogarth: California desperately needs to abolish the two-thirds requirement to pass a state budget, and even an amendment that does not include taxes would be incremental progress. But unless labor unions start putting real money in this effort, and the Democratic Party makes it the priority it must be, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle – and we won’t have what it takes to run a winning campaign.

The Campaign: The Audacity of Hope Did Not Die in Maine

Image: Christie Herring © Scott Mansfield

If I have grandchildren, I have some hope that the world they enter will allow them to make the simple and profound choice to love whom they wish. Films like The Campaign will provide the historical blueprint and record of how the fight was waged, how battles were won–and lost.

30 Days To Go …

Alright, so it’s been an unpredictable election year. When the primaries began, Hillary Clinton was the heavy favorite and John McCain was all but dead in the water with Fred Thompson’s entry in the race being eagerly awaited by conservative and moderate Republicans alike. And something may yet happen – the oft-cited, much worried about, [...]

Obamanos! A Man with the Courage of Robert Kennedy

Finally, after eight years there is a budget and a plan for the Latino voter! It must really gall a bunch of folks within the Democratic National Committee (DNC) (who have bought off on the Dean theory of kumbaya and let us do a 50 state plan) to see that Obama gets it. You have [...]

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