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

Angry Left Needs Hugs and Kisses

Elizabeth Warren

Jules Siegel: The angry left presumes that the president is in full control of the government, when he’s obviously not. Even George W. Bush learned that and he was a Republican.

Are Seniors Right of Center?

Senior Citizens

Tina Dupuy: A right-of-center nation would have never embraced the extremely liberal notion of public retirement insurance for its citizens. And government-funded health care for seniors like Medicare?! That’s not “free market” – that’s not “freedom.”

State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War

Greg Jaffe-The Washington Post

Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.

Ending Gaza Blockade Might Help Israel as Much as Gaza

israel gaza blockade

Ivan Eland: In the wake of Israel’s botched attack on a Turkish ship bringing relief to Gazans from Israel’s (and Egypt’s) economic blockade of Gaza, the Israelis have responded to intensely negative world opinion by relaxing the blockade. That move may help Israel as much as Gazans. Ending the counterproductive economic embargo and blockade would help both parties even more.

Rage Against the Right: John Amato Speaks About Politics & Media

Sylvia Moore: John Amato is frustrated about the state of American politics. But he hasn’t let that frustration bring him down. Instead, for the last decade, Amato has been wielding his sword against the American right-wing machine from his computer.

Sarah Running in 2012

sarah palin with guns

Tom Degan: What if we were to wake up on the morning after the election to find the jackasses on FOX and Friends beside themselves with glee, chanting like rabid little myna birds , “PRESIDENT-ELECT PALIN! PRESIDENT-ELECT PALIN!”

Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan — What’s the Difference?

Joseph Palermo: Nobody in power seems to be listening to what teachers have to say about how best to improve public education. The Administration is telling teachers that all those envelopes they licked, and all those doors they knocked on, and all those phone calls they made to help elect Obama in 2008 were nothing but a goddamned waste of time.

Afghanistan Again

Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.

Hey! Where’s Dick?

Tom Degan: Dick Cheney’s days as a “beloved elder statesman” are seriously numbered. Very soon it will become apparent to damned near everybody (Tea Partiers excluded of course) what a hideous, dreadful mistake it was to send these people to Washington ten years ago. Take that to the bank.

Turkey’s Policy Toward Iran Is Worth Emulating

nuclear iran

Ivan Eland: The sad truth is that if Iran wants a nuclear weapon, it will likely eventually get one. So the United States should quit wasting valuable political capital beseeching, threatening, and horse-trading with China, Russia, and other UN Security Council members to incrementally ratchet up likely futile multilateral economic sanctions against I

Taking Bush’s Preventive War Doctrine Underground (Sort Of)

Ivan Eland: Just as he must have been pleased with Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq generating more Islamist radicalism, bin Laden would like to bait the United States into attacking its affiliate local groups around the world for the same reason. Foolishly, Obama is obliging him.

Helen Thomas: Asking the Questions Real Democracy Demands

helen thomas

Lydia Howell: When one considers how many scoundrels remain in powerful positions in both public and private life, the swiftness with which Helen Thomas was dumped after 50 years of reporting on U.S. presidents was breathtaking. More so when you listen to TV talking-heads blandly repeating corporate and Pentagon PR as “news” and Faux News blowhards like Beck and Limbaugh shamelessly make vicious slanders, perpetrate outright lies and create disinformation.

LA Progressive: 23 to 29 May 2010 Articles

Articles by Patrick Henningsen, Tom Hall, David Swanson, Randy Shaw, Irene Monroe, Paul Hogarth, Norman Solomon, Tracy Emblem, Andrea Nill, Michele Waslin, Michael Sigman, Linda Milazzo, Sharon Kyle, Walter Moss, Mike Price, K. Danielle Edwards, Brad Parker, Michele Waslin, David Love, Tina Dupuy, Michael Sigman, Joseph Palermo, Robert Reich, Carl Bloice, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Diane Lefer, and Adam Eran

What Do Teabaggers Stand For?

tinfoil hat

Tom Hall: Even as the extreme right wing of the Republican Party has gained control, it’s hard to know exactly what they want from the system. They call themselves fiscal conservatives and libertarians but they were horrified by Bill Clinton’s balanced budget.

Jim Dean Sorta Kinda Supports Marcy Winograd

Jim Dean

David Swanson: Marcy Winograd is a stand-out. She’s is campaigning against Congresswoman Jane Harman, a wealthy warmonger corporatist who has been caught conspiring against her nation with foreign agents, who suppressed the warranteless spying story until George W. Bush could get a second term in office, and who has referred to herself proudly as “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.” Marcy Winograd, on the other hand, has been a leader of Progressive Democrats of America and has perhaps the smartest and most progressive platform in the country. She also garnered 38% last time, with no help.

Financial Reform Too Small to Succeed

wall street reform

Joseph Palermo: The financial reform legislation currently winding its way through the Congress is a step in the right direction but it retains too much of the status quo that brought down the economy in the first place. The key problem, as many economists have been telling us, is that the top financial institutions remain “too big to fail.” Congress can enact all the regulations it wishes but even the best written rules won’t be enough to prevent another financial meltdown.

This Week in the LA Progressive: 2 May to 8 May 2010

With articles by Robert Reich, Joseph Palermo, Charley James, Randy Shaw, Nomiki Konst, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Nill, Tracy Emblem, Wayne Williams, Cathy Cockrell, Tina Dupuy, Ron Wolff, Tom Degan, Shamus Cooke, Michael Sigman, David A. Love, Sharon Kyle, Bob Letcher, Robert Illes, and Ivan Eland

Mainstream Media Swoon Over Rove’s Power Play

Michael Sigman: Karl Rove — chief political architect of George W. Bush’s presidency, the worst in modern history — is reentering frontline Republican Party politics. And the narrative-defining mainstream media have wasted no time in portraying Rove’s return as the most momentous development since Tiger Woods nearly re-mastered the Masters.

Speaker Pelosi and the Revival of Progressive Politics in America

Randy Shaw: Yet Ronald Peters’ and Cindy Simon Rosenthal’s just-released book, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics , shows that Nancy Pelosi played a far greater role than is realized in reviving progressive politics after the disappointing 2004 defeats. Pelosi shaped the Democrats message, framed attacks on Bush and the Republican Party, maintained party unity and then delivered for progressives after becoming Speaker in 2006. Nancy Pelosi is not only the most powerful female politician in United States history, but she may also be the most effective progressive national elected official of her time.

Michael Brown Spins the Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe

michael heckuva job brown

Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?

Oily Birds and Other Atrocities

oil spill

Tom Degan: How ever will they justify continued off-shore drilling in light of what is now happening in the Gulf of Mexico? In just a few short days we’ve gone from a tragedy to a disaster to a full blown catastrophe. It will be more than interesting to see the depths to which the right wing will now stoop in order to trivialize this hideous event. Rush Limbaugh is already floating the idea out to his half-witted “Dittoheads” that this was sabotage on the part of the “eco-nazis”; that some unnamed environmental organization plotted this disaster in order to further their evil socialist agenda.

Hate Crimes Legislation’s Torturous Path

matthew sheparad memorial

Carl Matthes: As you may remember, 21 year-old Matthew was pistol-whipped, bludgeoned and lashed to a fence post, just off an isolated rural road, during one of Wyoming’s cold, lonely October nights. He was left for dead by his killers. Eighteen hours later Matthew was discovered still alive, but in a coma. “I mistook him for a scarecrow,” said 18 year-old Aaron Kreifels. Five days later he died. In 1998 America, Matthew was just one of 33 anti-gay murders.

The Distant Horizon of a President

Kenneth Weisbrode: Whom does Obama admire? He speaks often of Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Reagan. Future historians of today’s zeitgeist will note that the best-selling presidential biographies are now of Polk and Wilson. These presidents had in common the setting of a few clear goals and great persistence in achieving them, sometimes against tremendous odds. The results only became evident years after they left office.

Obama’s New Path to Mideast Peace?

David Love: And as far as the U.S. is concerned, a laissez-faire policy of shoulder shrugging has not worked in the Mideast, and neither has the appearance of siding with one party over another. Obama realizes that if there is any hope for stability in the region, he must deal with the Israel-Palestine conflict. Hotheads and peddlers of extremism have a vested interest in the status quo, and would like nothing more than to derail any attempts to transform today’s sad state of affairs.

Facing Opportunities and Obstacles in Space

Jonathan Coopersmith: The Obama administration is discarding older NASA technologies in a quest for a new start. A historian of technology says that progress depends on finding ways to explore space at tolerable prices

Obama’s Nuclear Achievements Are Less Than Meets the Eye

Ivan Eland: Despite all the hoopla about President Barack Obama’s summit on nuclear security and a new arms control deal, the eventual results of his laudable efforts will probably be modest and will likely be dwarfed by the damage to nuclear security done by George W. Bush’s prior administration. . . . but at least Obama has refocused world attention on what is still the only existential threat in U.S. history—nuclear war—and the improbable, but potentially disastrous, threat of nuclear terrorism. In its pursuit of nation-building and military social work in overseas quagmires, the Bush administration had neglected both.

Time to Cut Goldman Sachs and Pals Down to Size

Joseph Palermo: In 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown , Simon Johnson and James Kwak point out that in September 2008 the high-flying masters of the universe were at their weakest point and had no choice but to do whatever the government demanded of them. Never mind the supreme irony of Wall Street bankers who claimed government had no place interfering in the miracles of the market begging the government to save them, it was at that time when we should have cut them down to size.

Calling the Right Wing Lie Machine to Account

Republican-party-party

Tom Hall: There has been a campaign to politicize loyalty. Those who hate government are loyal. Those who cling to old fashioned ideas that politics should be “of the people, by the people, and for the people” are disloyal. Those who question no-bid contracts for inadequate body armor, unsafe housing for our troops in war zones, or Bush’s $7++ billion gift to Wall Street bankers, are enemies of freedom.

Republican Strategy on Financial Reform: Make Democrats Look Like Patsies for the Street

Many faces of Mitch McConnell

Robert Reich: Republicans have been looking for a way to oppose Senate Dems on financial reform without looking like patsies for the Street. And now they think they’ve found it — by trying to make Democrats look like patsies for the Street. The strategy is surely the handiwork of Republican pollster Frank Luntz who for months has been telling Republicans “the single best way to kill any legislation is to link it to the Big Bank Bailout.”

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