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?

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.

Copenhagen Failed Us; What Do We Do Next?

Global warming

Nick Arguimbau: All considered, we have lost twenty years for bringing about meaningful climate change mitigation and we have little time left because every year that the atmospheric CO2 load increases, there is even a lesser chance that the dangerous processes can be reversed.

Boehner, Cantor, and Mitch!

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell

Berry Craig: I’m glad to see Obama starting to show some spunk. His recent performance at the televised Q&A with the House GOP brass was a great start. It got rave reviews at our central labor council. “He looked those Republicans right in the eye and kicked their butts,” said one delegate, a retired Machinist. “But he needs to do more than that.”

A Little Perspective, Yes?

Barack

Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.

Friday Feedback: Idiot Responds

Fridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Robert Illes responding to comments on his article, Obama, Never Mind FDR, How about JKP?, by Ianam. Here’s Robert’s comment: Idiot responds: The point of the article was that Polk, the only President in history [...]

2009: The Year Change Fell Prey to Backroom Deals

Poltics

I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.

Activists Giving Obama a Pass

Obama2bush

Obama still has time to deliver for his base. But this will require activists and constituency groups to ramp up public demands for such a course, rather than thinking they are helping the progressive cause by making excuses for a president whose inspirational words about social transformation have not been matched by actions.

Germany, 1939; America, 2009; And Perverted Science

fdr and barack

It has become commonplace for Congress to ignore the public’s yearnings for peace and to support the Pentagon’s now habitual wars of aggression. Last November’s anti-war vote illustrates this disconnect between public opinion and public policy. War-weary Americans went to the polls believing they were voting for peace but President Obama has instead merely shifted [...]

“What Can I Do?”

sticker-shock

Someone recently approached me at the cheese counter of a local supermarket, asking “what can I do?” At first I thought the person was seeking advice about a choice of cheese. But I soon realized the question was larger than that. It was: what can I do about the way things are going in Washington? [...]

Friday Feedback: Oligarchs Will Not Play Fair

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Carole Lutness, writing in response to Anthony Asadullah Samad’s Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan.” Carole  writes: The oligarchs will not play fair. They are not built that way. [...]

The Auto Bailout: A Bad Deal

obama-detroit

With the economy tanking and unemployment skyrocketing, you’d think the Obama administration would be doing all it could to save jobs. But if its auto bailout plan is any indicator of its current direction, we’re on our way to losing a lot more jobs.

Blue Dogs and Citigroup Fight the Employee Free Choice Act

BARACK OBAMA RALLY10#62960

Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of [...]

With Obama, It’s 1935 All Over Again

Obama, Roosevelt, Jindal, "Purcell"

As President Obama follows a $800 billion recovery act by proposing nearly $700 billion for universal health care, and financially ambitious programs for energy independence and education, the United States is experiencing 1935 all over again. That’s the year that followed huge Democratic gains in the 1934 election, and which saw Congress enact the two [...]

The New Deal and the New New Deal: Countering Conservative Claptrap

gop-on-automatic

The stock market reached a six-year low today. Why? Some blame loose talk (including that of former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan) about nationalizing the nation’s banks. Others blame Obama’s new plan for helping homeowners who may not be able to pay their mortgages. But the real culprit is the accelerating decline in aggregate demand — [...]

Guess What? The New Deal Worked!

wpa

Since the economic crisis we’re now in is being compared to the Great Depression, the solutions being offered are being routinely compared to the New Deal. Republicans in particular have been quick to pronounce the New Deal a failure as a way of justifying their opposition to the new stimulus package and any other federal [...]

Enough of This Bipartisan Nonsense

bipartisanship

I started to laugh when I heard that Michael Steele was selected as the first African American to chair the Republican National Committee. I don’t think much of the “new” Republican Party, but then again, that doesn’t prevent me from writing about it. But don’t get me wrong, I think that the former Maryland lieutenant [...]

Obama’s Opportunity to be a Transformational Leader

obama-expectations

The election of Barack Obama has generated speculation that he can—and will—emulate the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the manner in which he manages the problems that overwhelmed George W. Bush in his second term. In The Politics Presidents Make, Stephen Skoronek argues that presidents who come into office opposed to an existing vulnerable [...]

Is It Time for a Green New Deal?

ccc

Tuesday, January 20th, marks the beginning of Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. On that day the new President will begin tackling a host of economic problems currently plaguing the nation, including the loss of nearly 2 million jobs in 2008. Obama’s economic team has already formulated a recovery plan to create jobs, over [...]

A New New Deal Must Be For ALL

rosieweb

by Eileen Boris, Lisa Levenstein, and Sonya Michel President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan has provoked comparisons with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Like Roosevelt, Obama is promising to pull the country out of a depression with massive job creation through infrastructure spending. But, like FDR before him, it looks as if Obama is on [...]

What Obama Owes Bush — That’s Right

the worst president in history

by Robert Illes – Here’s the thing about racism. If you’re a drowning Klansman, and someone offers you their hand in order to save your life, you don’t — at least I don’t think you do — you don’t stop to consider what color the hand is. You grab hold of it, even if it’s [...]

The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days?

BHO and FDR

by Ira Chernus – Looking back on Barack Obama’s first post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” no one should be surprised that he admitted he’s reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first hundred days in office. In fact, the president-elect — evidently taking no chances — is reportedly reading two books: Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s [...]

Shall We Call It a Depression Now?

economy

by Robert Reich – Friday’s employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September — for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months — begs the question of whether the meltdown we’re experiencing should be called a Depression.

Why Those Pearl Harbor “Conspiracy” Theories Ain’t So

pearl-harbor

by Sherwood Ross – As the anniversary of the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor rolls around, critics of President Franklin Roosevelt will again claim he had advance knowledge of the strike and allowed it to happen. That would be treasonable on FDR’s part, of course. A rational examination of events, though, shows [...]

A Global New Deal

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

s the economic crisis ripples through the world, some liberal commentators say that the only solution to it is a Global New Deal.  A Global New Deal is a fine idea if it globalizes the heart of the domestic New Deal: the promise of protecting everyone from the threat of abject poverty. U.S. foreign policy [...]