Ecuador’s Social Spending Increase Lifted Many Out of Poverty

brian mcafee

Brian McAfee: An important aspect of President Correa’s policies has been a noticeable and ongoing reduction in poverty.

Geneva Conventions Redefined: The New U.S. Department of War

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Gary Corseri and Eric Shine: Today, the most disturbing sign of this take-over of all of the civilian commons by the military, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of a new, or reinvigorated, Department of War.

Obama Looking Like a Champ

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Alvaro Huerta: To be a real champ, Obama now needs to end the tax cuts for the rich, withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the DREAM Act passed.

More Truth About the American Economy

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Robert Reich: Democrats are behaving as if they’re powerless to affect the economy even though a Democrat occupies the White House and his appointees run the federal government.

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What Will It Take to Bring Obama Home? Civics 101

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Sharon Kyle: Progressives are asking what it will take to get the President to support the issues he ran on. My answer, the country needs to take Civics 101.

Why the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Is Still a Bad Idea

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Diane Lefer: The Uribe administration seemed more interested in catering to foreign investors than in protecting the environment. Under Santos, there are signs of change but this welcome shift is threatened by passage of the FTA.

Automakers’ Bailout and Bankruptcies Shortchanged Accident Victims

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Marian Wang: The U.S. Treasury still holds a stake in Chrysler that it intends to sell, and an Obama administration official has said that the government doesn’t expect to fully recover about $1.9 billion in remaining investments.

Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

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Ivan Eland: Deep down, both Republican and Democratic politicians believe something needs to be done about the monstrous and dangerous deficit and debt, but they are scared to do anything because, unfortunately, the American people want their government handouts but are unwilling to pay for them.

Arab Spring, Mideast Peace

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Brent Budowsky: The Arab Spring involves aspirations that move people around the world, across the continents and throughout the ages. Ultimately, it will prevail.

The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.

The Death of Public Service

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Steve Hochstadt: Republican governors across the country argue that teachers and police and all the other employees of local and state governments make much too much money.

The Republican Plan with Lipstick

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Robert Reich: Republicans figure that if they can’t sell the pig, they’ll just put lipstick on it and find some suckers who will think it’s something else.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren Demands Investigation into ICE’s Secure Communities Program

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Seth Hoy: This week, Rep. Lofgren called for an investigation into the actions of federal immigration officials whom she said lied about whether states and localities had the right to opt-out of the program.

Voters Rejecting Obama’s Rightward Shift

President Barack Obama waves to the people gathered on the street outside the Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela Community Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Randy Shaw: As dysfunctional as the Republican presidential contest is likely to be, when presidential elections are framed around Republican issues like deficits rather than Democratic issues like jobs, the Republican candidate nearly always wins.

Beware of the Racial Demagoguery

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Carl Bloice: With public opinion across the political spectrum clearly opposed to slashing the healthcare and retirement programs, any negotiated settlement would be undemocratic.

The Fake Budget Debate

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Shamus Cooke: This two-party big lie is not an accident, but an expression of a deeper held belief: that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations.

Tax War!

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Tina Dupuy: Republicans claim to be the arbiters of fiscal discipline, but their record says otherwise. The Ryan Plan, which passed the House, was like a cat burglar writing the charter for the neighborhood watch.

Extortion Politics

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Robert Reich: Monday Standard & Poor’s (hardly a beacon of reliability after the Crash of 2008, to be sure) downgraded America’s credit outlook. Expect more downgrades if the game of chicken continues.

Why Obama’s Proposal Is Risky

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Robert Reich: The underlying problem isn’t the budget deficit. It’s that so much income and wealth are going to the top that most Americans don’t have the purchasing power to sustain a strong recovery.

A ‘Vision’ for the New Century. Or, a Nightmare

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Carl Bloice: If the whole, hardly-nail-biting business accomplished nothing else it momentarily diverted attention away from the big budget fight coming up, the one that will probably shape the country’s economic and social reality for decades to come.

Budget Cuts Obama’s Transparency Sites

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Marian Wang: Though the budget deal struck by lawmakers over the weekend averted a shutdown of the federal government, it still has open-government advocates worried about a shutdown of another sort: a shutdown in transparency.

American Drug Users Fund Deadly Cartels

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Andrea Nill: Over the past couple of weeks, thousands of Mexicans have taken to the streets to protest the bloody drug war that has ravaged Latin America and left 35,000 people dead since 2006 in Mexico alone.

Paul Ryan’s Plan: What’s Really at Stake

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Robert Reich: Obama must show America that the basic choice is between two fundamental views of this nation. Either we’re all in this together, or we’re a bunch of individuals who happen to live within these borders and are mainly on their own.

Wheels Falling Off DHS’s Immigration Enforcement Wagon?

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Seth Hoy: Instead of defending the Administration’s enforcement strategy, however, maybe Secretary Napolitano should take a serious look at the egregious enforcement actions taking place right under her nose.

Double Dip Here We Come

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Republicans, for their part, worry that if they tell it like it is Americans will want government to do more rather than less. They’d rather not talk about jobs and wages, and put the focus instead on deficit reduction (or spread the lie that by reducing the deficit we’ll get more jobs and higher wages).

Issa’s Own Earmarks

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Lee Fang: Issa has said that an “earmark is tantamount to a bribe.” While Issa has handed out earmarks to his campaign donors in the past, in this case, he appears to be helping himself.

More Black Men Are in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

Black Man Exercise

Dick Price: “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday

ATF Gun Ops May Have Led To 1,800 Deaths

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Andrea Nill: MSNBC reported that Mexican cartels are taking advantage of lax U.S. gun laws which the NRA has lobbied hard for. At that time, around 80 percent of the 90,000 weapons confiscated by Mexican authorities were purchased in the U.S.

Women Will Decide 2012

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Brent Budowsky: Republicans face the real possibility that 2012 will bring them not a gender gap, but a gender deluge.

Save Libraries? Tax Oil Producers? Stop Pay to Play?

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Wendy Block: Here is one conglomerated guide, the result of studying the few remaining newspapers, endorsements from the LA County Democratic Party, DPSFV, the League of Women Voters, the Courage Campaign and LA Progressive; plus analysis from several progressive Dem clubs and recommendations from electeds.

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