Whom Do You Trust?

blackwater

Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?

Undocumented Immigrants Giving Social Security, Baby Boomers a Big Boost

social security

Seth Hoy: So as we pull out of the recession, employment rates return to normal and more and more Baby Boomers retire, who, exactly, is going to fill this gap? Enter immigration.

Financial Depression Spreads Among Seniors

depressed-lady

Sherwood Ross: President Obama has U.S. taxpayers paying billions to meet the costly payrolls of 50,000 troops and 190,000 contractors in Iraq while 20-million-plus jobless are looking for work in USA and can’t find it.

Losing the Drug War

Adam Eran: Criminalizing drug consumption, rather than bad behavior, leads to enormous corruption–both domestic and international–and disrespect for the law.

Marijuana Initiative Challenges Costly, Bloody Drug War

Tom Hayden: I support the November ballot initiative because our country’s long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.

Tale of Three Bureaucracies

Bureaucracy

Ron Wolff: Could it be that we might actually get 19.1% better insurance coverage if we allowed the government to run the program? I don’t know; you tell me.

GOP: Bring Back ‘Corruption of Blood’

latino ophan

Tina Dupuy: Now, to drum up hysteria about this alleged rash of pregnant Mexican border hoppers, the GOP’s idea is to change the Constitution so that being without papers is treated more harshly than treason.

What to Do About the Wars

afghanistan can of worms

Ivan Eland: Most analysts believe that the U.S. government will renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any new Iraqi government—making the heroic assumption that there is a new Iraqi government by next year—to leave some forces permanently in that country.

We’re Even Deeper in the Hole

Works Projects Administration

Robert Reich: An extraordinary number of Americans are still hurting. It’s more important than ever for the US government to step in with a larger stimulus that puts more people to work and tax cuts for people who will spend them

Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Herbert Hoover

herbert hoover

Robert Reich: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.

The Hidden Story Behind the Sherrod Case: USDA Racism

pete daniel

Pete Daniel: The rush to dismiss Shirley Sherrod based on an edited video contrasts remarkably with the tens of thousands of cases of USDA bureaucrats denying African American farmers loans, jobs, acreage, information, and courtesy who were neither dismissed or reprimanded.

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem

deficit hawks

Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.

Progressives Face Uphill Climb Designed to Make Them Fail

cycling

Paul Hogarth: In Washington, the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate have stalled our federal agenda. In Sacramento, the two-thirds vote requirement has given us a blue state with an Alabama budget.

Checks and Balances

Ron Wolff: Government is simply the institutionalization over time of the collective will of the people at any given moment, established with at least one essential objective in mind: the prevention of the inevitable chaos that would result in its absence.

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.

What Teabaggers Owe Liberals

recovery

Sherwood Ross: Get it straight: the best remedy for what ails America is to pay working people fairly. It is the toil and dollars of the American people that made America great.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

tax chart

Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

As Progressives Predicted, Clinton Welfare Reform Law Fails Families

Randy Shaw: After President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it,” many highlighted this “common sense” solution and criticized progressives for opposing the bill. Soon after passage, politicians and the media said it had not caused the downsides that activists had predicted, ignoring that the law had not been fully implemented. But troubling reports soon emerged.

How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste

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Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.

Obama’s Base Pact with Colombia Accelerates Dangerous Trend

Colombia FARC

Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”

Why Freeze Spending on Only Part of the Budget?

Budget-Pie

Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.

How Bad Is America’s Healthcare Crisis?

public-option

Drawn from a presentation Dr. Matt Hendrickson gave at a Single-Payer Healthcare forum given in Santa Monica last month, our LA Progressive survey was designed to underscore just how dire America’s healthcare system has become—and to give you a chance to test your knowledge and intuitions.

Rep. Michele Bachmann Distorts Immigration To Block Health Care Bill

michelle bachman

Bachmann doesn’t point out that 9.5 million of uninsured noncitizens that she cites includes both legal and undocumented immigrants.

Super Spy Fly On The Wall Report

Obama_and_Cheney

The NSA has developed incredibly complex and sensitive intelligence gathering methods and instruments, none more fantastic then the bio-genetically engineered hybrid Super Spy Fly on the Wall, Musca investigatus.

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Governement Spending

“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]

Pardon Me, Scooter?

elivira-arellano

On July 2, 2007 George W. Bush commuted the sentence of convicted felon and former top White House staffer Scooter Libby for his convictions on five felony counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. He didn’t pardon Libby but, instead, issued a Grant of Executive Clemency before Scooter Libby even served a single [...]

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