Looking Forward

Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

Social Security

Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Can Dubya Reinvent His Presidency?

Ivan Eland: Although Bush can’t change his domestic catastrophes, such as the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the horrendous financial crisis and the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, if Iraq and Afghanistan eventually reach some stability, he may be regarded as the man who threw out the despotic regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.

Europe Ponders U.S. Election Results

Christian Stoffaes

Steven Hill: Europeans are puzzled by the success of the populist Tea Party movement, which seemingly wants to roll back the last two years and return to how things were at the end of the Bush-Cheney years.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Obama at Midterm – Grading on a Presidential Curve

sad obama

Gil Troy: The “Yes We Can” Candidate of 2008 – who seemingly could do no wrong – is now seen by millions as the President who can do no right leading a sobered “No We Can’t” citizenry, many of whom have lost jobs, lost hope for the future, and lost faith in the man who seemed so promising as a leader just two years ago.

Party Like It’s 1994

barack obama bill clinton

The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

Civic-Minded Plutocrats

joseph palermo

Joseph Palermo: Wouldn’t it be something if the Bin Ladens of the world funneled untraceable cash into Republican candidates’ coffers because they know they can count on the GOP to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of their greatest recruiting vehicles?

In Search of the Real Tea Party

dennis campbell

Denis Campbell: Almost all feared what looks to become the continual flip-flopping of the government every two years that will prevent a single problem from being fixed and create an even more polarized and angry electorate. Said Marilyn from Delaware, “This will be like Israel, where no one can agree and they just fight all of the time.”

Continued Foibles in Iraq and Afghanistan

hunting taliban

Ivan Eland: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has been blinded by desired TV images of having the locals sport blue thumbs—emphasizing democratic elections versus an increased appreciation for individual rights.

Blame Obama for Democrats’ Problems

randy shaw

Randy Shaw: President Obama spent nearly his entire first year playing “bipartisanship” with those out to destroy him. As much as many of us cheered Obama’s election and still admire many of his skills, the sad reality is that his failure to aggressively push for change in 2009 is the chief cause of the celebrated enthusiasm gap.

What Is a Republican?

Democrats and Republicans working together: Hubert Humphrey, Everett Dirksen, and Lyndon Johnson.

Ted Vaill: The Republican Party has been scoured of all moderates (except for the two Maine female Senators), leaving the Republicans in Congress consisting of hard right, fundamentalist, often Tea Party – supporting ideologues.

Republican Economics as Social Darwinism

john-boehner

Robert Reich: John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.”

The Politics of Taxes

republican tax cuts

Tracy Emblem: Bush Tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households – those least in need of additional resources – at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

combat

Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

Wall Street: Oliver Stone’s Das Kapital-ist

oliver stone

Ed Rampell: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a bold, visually stunning movie and the best critique of the capitalist system and its 2008 financial meltdown since Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.

Inflation May Be Under Control, But Watch Out for Conflation

brangelina

Michael Sigman: Just last week, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer almost got away with conflating immigration and beheadings. When it became crystal clear she’d made it all up, she reached an Orwellian summit of non-apology-apology, acknowledging only that “If I said that, I misspoke.”

Assessing the Iraq War

iraq war amputee

Ivan Eland: The Iraq War was not only disastrous, it was one of the worst strategic blunders in the history of U.S. foreign policy. President Obama should not renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any government in Iraq.

Obama’s Summer of Discontent

michelle and barack obama

John Peeler: Overall, Obama has been successful as the leader of Washington. Where he is failing is as the leader of the country. That’s a surprise, given his short political career, and his very impressive rhetorical skills.

The Enthusiasm Gap and You

hope revisited

Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor

LA Progressive — July 25 to 31, 2010

Articles by Jules Siegel, Wendy Block, Robert Reich, Randy Shaw, Ivan Eland, Michele Waslin, Steve Hochstadt, Tina Dupuy, Norman Soloman, Gene Rothman, Andrea Nill, Randy Shaw, Will Coiley, Michael Sigman, Paul Hogarth, Shamus Cooke, Peter Dreier, Robert Reich, Diane Lefer, Sharon Kyle, Ivan Eland, Matthew Kavanagh, Jonathan David Farley,Rev. Irene Monroe, Georgianne Nienaber, Jerry Drucker, Anthony Samad, Sherwood Ross, Michael Sigman, and Tom Degan

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