‘Henny Penny’ Liberals

forsale

Berry Craig: Suddenly, it’s 1858 and gaffe-a-minute Mitt is Abe Lincoln and President Obama is Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the MSNBC TV talking heads show up for work tonight in sack cloth and ashes.

Why Kyoto Is So Beautiful

kyoto

Steve Hochstadt: Kyoto is a Japanese treasure, and a monument to the development of human culture. In shrines and gardens hundreds of years old, an American tourist can experience the common human striving for understanding, for beauty, and for peace.

Truman Moment for Democrats

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Brent Budowsky: The fighting spirit shown by President Obama in recent days suggests to me, and is confirmed by White House sources, that a defining moment has arrived for the Obama presidency. Great!

Look Away, Dixieland

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Tom Degan: Listening to some of them defending the the secession ball was amusing, to say the least. In their minds, the War Between the States had not a thing to do with human bondage. It was all about “states rights”. Oh, brother!

Let’s Rebuild America Now

Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill

Brent Budowsky: The voters want jobs. They do not want Washington to descend further into a Dark Age of vindictive partisan gridlock. We need a Rebuild America Bond to raise private capital to build roads, bridges, schools, military hospitals, vets centers and other shared priorities.

End the Silent Segregation in the U.S. Military

Don't Ask; Don't Tell

Tracy Emblem: Compare President Truman’s proclamation of equal opportunity and treatment in the military to today’s efforts to repeal the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy imposed by Congress. This discriminatory practice is tantamount to silent segregation of gay and lesbian personnel and puts them at continued risk to lose their jobs and all of their benefits.

Democrats’ Little Problem

Rep. Charley Rangel (D-NY)

Tom Degan: But as I’ve noted too many times to count in recent years, the “party of FDR” has developed a positive genius for taking a bottle of finely aged, twelve-year-old scotch and turning it into donkey piss.

Howard Zinn’s the Bomb

David Swanson: The late Howard Zinn’s new book The Bomb is a brilliant little dissection of some of the central myths of our militarized society.

The Second Coming of Petraeus

Petraeus

Ivan Eland: With the justified firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with Iraq water-walker David Petraeus, it’s as if people are hoping for a second coming of Jesus in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the replacement may be similar to the second coming of the water-walking Joe Gibbs as coach of the Washington Redskins.

The Presidents and the McGenerals

obama mcchrystal

Kenneth Weisbode: Gen. McChrystal is far from the first general to scoff at the White House. His fate echoes that of Generals MacArthur and McClellan but the comparison ends there, says historian Kenneth Weisbrode, because today there’s a greater reliance on the military in foreign relations.

American Arrogance Overseas Should End

haiti orphans

Ivan Eland: It’s fine for Americans to try to do good deeds overseas—if no ulterior motives are involved (which many times there are)—but arrogance and contempt for other nation’s laws, culture, and customs should be left at home.

Once Again the State of the Union Makes a President Strong

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Gil Troy: Obama quickly plunged into a much-needed defense of the bank bailout and his stimulus plan. In his most human moment, he acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans united in hating the bailout: “I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.” His stimulus defense appeared more substantive as he detailed the bill’s accomplishments. But to avoid being too professorial, Obama failed to connect the dots, not quite explaining how that controversial bill actually created the jobs he enumerated.

Obama’s Afghan Box Canyon

Escalation

Although Obama may enjoy a brief up-tick in poll numbers after his talk, as soon as larger numbers of American bodies come home in flag-draped coffins, and Walter Reed fills up again with the damaged bodies and minds of soldiers whose lives have been ruined, the country will turn against what it thought, in November, 2009, was a good idea.

Secretary Clinton — Leader or Figurehead?

Hillary

To be a reliable vicar, even for a president as cautious and deliberative as Barack Obama, she must still prove just how strong her backbone really is. She shouldn’t wait for the next crisis to do so. Now is the time to forge strong constituencies of her own at home and abroad, and to take those risks. At stake is not only her own reputation, but also that of her president and her country.

LA Progressive: October 18 to 24, 2009 — Articles

Swine-Flu

Drinking Motivational KoolAid: How It All Works Financially. Even the soberest fiscal conservatives cannot avoid the power of this pitch and will jump out of his or her seat with wallet wide open! You may get in for $19, but more than half of you will spend many hundreds if indeed not thousands more. – [...]

Fire McChrystal and Get Out of Afghanistan

War

McChrystal, much like Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, has publicly spoken out about decisions that are the exclusive purview of the elected civilian leadership. At great cost to his popularity, President Harry Truman cast a great blow for the critical republican principle of civilian control over the military by firing the insubordinate MacArthur. President Obama could do the same with far less cost; McChrystal just took his job and is not a popular war hero, as was MacArthur.

Empathy for ‘Adversaries’

Warfare

There are notorious dictatorships and terrorists in the world, but their threat to the United States has been exaggerated as an excuse to fulfill the foreign policy agendas of certain politicians, bureaucracies, or interest groups.

The Lessons from History on Health Care Reform

free-market

The ideal of universal care has revolved around two poles. In the 1930s, liberals imagined a universal right to health care tied to compulsory insurance, like Social Security. Johnson based Medicare on this idea, and it survives today as the “single-payer model” of universal health care, or “Medicare for all.” The alternative proposal, starting with Eisenhower, was to create a market for health care based on private insurers and employers.

Obama: It’s Up to Activists to Enact Real Health Care Reform

ambulance

Barack Obama has created the best opportunity to enact universal health care with a public option since Truman’s presidency. He has made a strong case for the public option, and used his personal popularity to drive the issue. But it is now up to constituency pressure to get the job done.

End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

soldiers

Shortly after Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he attempted to push the U.S. military to openly accept the reality that it had gays and lesbians in its ranks. Colin Powell, then Clinton’s top general, and Sam Nunn, the powerful Democratic Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, nixed the effort by arguing that coming [...]

Building a Bush Memorial

bush-the-end

A letter to the editor in my local newspaper, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, has persuaded me to rethink the truly remarkable accomplishments of President George W. Bush and inspired me to join the movement to erect a Bush Memorial on the National Mall. The letter, published on February 9th, was from David H. Edmunds of [...]

Guns and Butter (Again)

sinking-uncle-sam

When you stop to think about it, people measure how well their lives are going not by their absolute state of being but by their situation relative to their expectations. For example, a poor person in a developing country may be ecstatic about getting a pair of shoes for the first time; in contrast, a [...]

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