The Right Wing Outrage Industrial Complex’s Complicated Week

obama papers

Tina Dupuy: Benghazi is a cynical attempt to gain traction with a nontroversy. The more Congress spends time investigating the less time they have to spend being ineffective at negotiating with the President.

Kudos to Jerry Brown

jerry brown

Joseph Palero: Working hand-in-hand with California’s teachers, nurses, students of all ages, and the state’s labor unions, Governor Brown rallied the troops, and in doing so helped save from fiscal ruin not only the state’s public schools but also the nation’s biggest and most important system of public higher education.

Social Security Garnished for Student Debts

student loan debt

Ellen Brown: Congress has removed nearly every consumer protection from student loans, including not only standard bankruptcy protections, statutes of limitations, and truth in lending requirements, but protection from usury.

Don’t Panic – It’s Only South Carolina

newt race baiting

Scott Prosterman: Republicans are in a snit because their selection process is so Darwinian. Whatever rises to the top of that vat surely won’t be cream.

Celebrating Spiritual Death on Black Friday

black friday

Coleen Rowley: How many remember that this “Black Friday” marks the 10th anniversary of George Bush’s famous presidential advisory just after 9/11 for citizens to do their patriotic duty by pushing their worries aside and going shopping?

The GOP Campaign: It Would Be Funny If It Weren’t So Serious

cain perry monster

John Peeler: So now they’re left with, of all people, Newt Gingrich! This man has so much baggage he needs a train to haul it.

The Empty Bully Pulpit

Robert Reich: Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling.

President Jimmy Carter Was Right

chimpanzees

Brent Budowsky: The one national leader who understood was a prophet without honor in a nation addicted to oil: President Jimmy Carter.

Design to Fail: Of Supertrains and Sprawl

traffic

Adam Eran: One recent such sprawl-enabling designed-to-fail project is California’s proposed high speed “supertrain.” This would take years and cost billions to build.

Zealous Moderates: Barack Obama and William Howard Taft

howard taft barack obama

Kenneth Weisbrode: Barack Obama has been compared to a variety of other U.S. presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. But is he perhaps most like William Howard Taft? Historian Kenneth Weisbrode argues that a Taft-Obama comparison makes a good deal of sense.

Is Obama Following Jimmy Carter’s Path?

Randy Shaw: Progressives are full of great ideas for putting Republicans on the defensive, and for Democrats regaining the populist momentum. But if Obama follows Jimmy Carter’s example and continues to solely follow his own playbook, such efforts are doomed to failure.

After the Midterms: Why Democrats Move to the Center, and Republicans Don’t

voters lined up

Robert Reich: Republicans are cynical about politics from the jump. Political cynicism fuels them. Democrats are idealistic about politics. When they become cynical they tend to drop out.

No Good News for Democrats Because There’s No Good News

obama thinking

Joseph Palermo: Yet it’s hard to believe that the American people this November are going to return the party to power that not too long ago lied the nation into war, doubled the national debt, and collapsed the economy.

Washington May Be Broken Now, But the Future Is Up for Grabs

Rep. Wilbur Mills, long-time former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, with chief aide and swimming instructor Fanne Foxe.

Michael Sigman: But lest the healthy anger of progressives during the Bush years curdle into full-blown, hide-under-the-covers depression, it’s worth asking: When did Washington work, anyway?

Progressive Critics Help Obama and Democrats

Progressive Obama Critics Lt. Dan Choi and Rachel Maddow along with Goodwin Liu

Randy Shaw: Holding self-identified “progressive” politicians like Barack Obama accountable for fulfilling campaign commitments actually improves the chances for progressive election victories, as it pressures Democrats to satisfy their base. And as the critical midterm elections approach, ensuring this grassroots base is motivated and mobilizable by holding Obama and Congressional Democrats accountable is even more imperative.

Obama’s “Fireside Chat” (FDR or Jimmy Carter?)

Joseph Palermo: Tuesday night President Obama explained how his administration is going to respond to the most devastating human-made ecological catastrophe in the nation’s history. But he apparently doesn’t recognize how overwhelmingly popular it would be right now with the American people if he came out swinging against the malefactors of great corporate wealth like BP (or Goldman Sachs).

What Scott Brown’s Victory Really Means

Economic Grip

Robert Reich: Here’s what’s really going on. In Massachusetts, in New Jersey, all over the nation, voters are petrified of losing their jobs, their homes, and what’s left of their savings. Nothing counts more than the economy. Rightly or wrongly, presidents and the party in power are blamed when the economy is lousy.

Hey, Hey, LBJ! What Kind of Bill Would You Kill Today?

At a Christmas party a couple weeks ago, back when it looked as if the Senate bill’s compromise would include the Medicare buy-in, a friend of mine told me that he predicted Harry Reid was gong to go down in history as the next LBJ. When I reminded him that the deal was not yet [...]

Will the GOP Find a New Reagan?

catsam

The question is whether today’s conservative Republicans understand that they cannot save their party by destroying it. Too many on the right have tried to conciliate a base that craves ideological purity. But ideological purity does not lead to victory. It leads to irrelevance.

Health Care Reform Is Critically Important, But Getting Americans Back to Work Is More So

Urinal-cake

If Obama and the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress in the midterms, it will be because the president learned only the most superficial lesson of the Clinton years. Health-care reform is critically important. But when one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, getting the nation back to work is more so.

Was Obama’s Peace Prize Political?

The spokesperson went on to say that because Obama is contributing to the improvement of the international climate and is working to strengthen international bodies such as the United Nations, they felt it important to endorse and cultivate the principals for which he stands.

Why Jimmy Carter’s Malaise Speech Is More Relevant than Ever

jimmy carter

In 1979, President Carter jolted Americans with his so-called “malaise” speech. Contrary to most recollections, the speech received a positive response and, according to historian Kevin Mattson, remains timely.

The Walled Garden: Fading Away at the California Democratic Party

empty-promises

Like Dorothy and her intrepid trio of lovable dreamers arriving at Oz, the Progressive Movement barreled into the Democratic Party in 2005 with high ideals and even higher hopes. Now, four scintillating years later we realize it was all a mirage of our own creation. The Party of the Left has been reduced to an [...]

Will Obama Be Influenced by the Latest Big Task Force on Latin America?

cuban-revolution

Barack Obama is no exception. Although overshadowed and largely ignored by the mainstream media due to the ongoing global economic crisis, the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue presented its recommendations for Obama at a press briefing on March 10, in a reported entitled, A Second Chance: US Policy in the Americas.

Erasing Red Ink: Slash the Defense Budget

pentagon

A front page article in the New York Times starts out with the sentence: “The budget that President Obama proposed on Thursday is nothing less than an attempt to end a three-decade era of economic policy dominated by the ideas of Ronald Reagan and his supporters.” Not so much. Ronald Reagan, despite his carefully crafted [...]

Obama’s Policy on Civil Liberties: Bush Lite?

waterboarding

Barack Obama entered the presidency as one of the most rhetorically pro-civil liberties politicians in recent memory. And shortly after taking office, he drew applause from friends of liberty for promulgating executive orders closing Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons, ending CIA torture, suspending kangaroo proceedings at military tribunals, and pledging more openness than the secretive [...]

Who Should Obama Look to for Advice?: Jimmy Carter

carter obama

At the request of President-elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush convened an awkward meeting of all living former presidents at the White House to meet, and presumably give advice and encouragement to, the new guy. The body language of the participants in the summit photo, taken in the Oval Office, said it all. The [...]

The Inauguration: “It’s Priceless. I Cried Out of Happiness. There Is Hope.”

obama-family

The two of us threw our support behind Barack Obama’s candidacy early on and are deeply gratified that this gifted, inspiring man will become our president Tuesday. America and the world will be immensely better with Barack Obama and Joe Biden at the helm—and with Michelle Obama as First Lady. We tear up typing the [...]

Obama Can Learn From Jimmy Carter, Too

jimmy_carter

Jimmy Carter was the last president to ask the nation for collective sacrifice. Barack Obama ought to do the same. How should he do so? He should ask Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan and then specifically outline the sacrifices Americans will have to make over the next four years to achieve the national [...]

Speaking of Blanket Pardons

bush_legacy

There’s a blanket pardon I want President Bush to issue and one I want him not to. Both would involve preemptively pardoning people before they’re charged with any crime, much less convicted, and doing so without naming them. One would be decent, just, and Constitutional; the other would be none of those things. One would [...]

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