Call Me a Socialist and I Won’t Get Mad

keith ellison

Berry Craig: Genuine socialists are proud of the socialist handle. They call their parties — you guessed it – “socialist,” or sometimes “social democratic” or “labor.”

The Republican Proposal to Increase Abortions

planned-parenthood-wide

Frank Dryden: Since you would assume that elected officials are neither stupid nor irrational, one can only conclude that it is their intention to raise the number of abortions in the country regardless of the cost.

Mandatory E-Verify Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

construction workers

Michele Waslin: While everyone agrees that high unemployment levels must be addressed, simplistic measures like mandating E-Verify are not going to open up jobs for millions of unemployed workers.

Obama’s Ironic Legacy Might Be That He Continued an Unconstitutional Act

original-intent-wide

Walter Brasch: Among the provisions of the PATRIOT Act, which 277 House members apparently believe is necessary for American security, is Section 215, which allows the government to seize all library records of any individual.

Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Government Health Care?

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)

Lee Fang: Evan as they rip the bill as some sort of “monstrosity” of “socialism,” nearly every Republican lawmaker eagerly accepts government health benefits afforded to them as members of Congress.

State of the Union Address 2011 – Full Video and Transcript

You can watch President Obama’s State of the Union Address, in its entirety and read the full transcript here. The president began by introducing the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He then went on to talk about the tragedy in Tucson, pointing out that Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ seat was empty. The hour long video offers insight into what we’re to expect in the coming year.

Expanding Gun Rights

gun violence

Carl Matthes: One last thought, Rep. King, to be even more safe, why not amend your bill to say that a gun may not be carried within your congressional district when you’re there?

The Unintended Consequences of the Loughner Rampage

Jasmyne Cannick: I can almost guarantee you that it’s going to be next to impossible for the average citizen to meet with their representative. Because if they didn’t have good cause for blatantly avoiding you before—you can betcha bottom tax dollar they do now.

Census Shows Population Gains Due to Growing Latino Population

Michele Waslin: States considering anti-immigrant legislation will have to reconsider whether forcing out immigrants is worth potentially losing a Congressional seat, federal funding for schools, roads, and infrastructure, and its reputation.

Banks, Bankers and Hedge Funds Robbing Us Dumb And Blind

chesboard

Jim Fuller: Americans have shut their eyes and their minds to the fact that they’ve been robbed; bankers, brokers and hedge fund managers continue to live high and to receive public respect, if not adulation.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

Comedy Congress

Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

Rocky Road Ahead for DREAM Act

dream act

Marcu Stern: even though the DREAM Act has drawn Republican support in the past, it’s unclear whether the White House can win over enough Senate Republicans to make up for the handful of Democrats who are expected to vote against the bill.

Needed: A Competency Test for Elected Officials

christine odonnell

David Love: Where do they find these people? I’m talking about those crazy-talking Tea Party types, ultra-conservative Republicans posing as legitimate lawmakers and politicians, some of them even passing themselves off as senators, members of Congress and governors.

The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

restore sanity keep fear alive

Robert Reich: In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. The center American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.

Election Guide for Election Haters

Raul Grijalva

David Swanson: I’ll admit it right now. My name is David and I hate elections. (HI, DAVID!) I hate choosing the evil of two lessers. I hate attack ads. I hate endless repetitive debates that exclude all the interesting questions. I hate painting one candidate as all bad and the other as infallible even when I have to squint to see a difference between them.

The Moderates’ Lament

hot tea

Tina Dupuy: The current Republican Party is counting on the Tea Party’s morphing into the attack wing of the GOP – isolating moderates and anyone with genuine new ideas. And that means there will be Representatives who are not actually representative.

SB1070-Inspired Activity Continues in the States

ELMIGRANTE

Michele Waslin: Even though a judge ruled that it could not be implemented, Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070, has sparked a great deal of activity across the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of activity that’s going to result in meaningful solutions.

United Farm Workers Encourage Americans To ‘Take Our Jobs’

farm worker

Andrea Nill: Contrary to what the anti-immigrant right might suggest, despite a major recession, most farmers and ranchers are still struggling to find the workers they need. “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed, so that America’s farmers and ranchers can continue to produce an abundant supply of safe, healthy food, as well as renewable fuels and fiber for our nation,” writes Ron Gaskill, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

A Lopsided Approach to Border Violence Doesn’t Solve Anything

mexico violence

Seth Hoy: while advocating for the allocation of more money and manpower to “secure the border” may make for good campaigning in an election year, experts find that beefing up the border actually does little to curb border violence. In fact, these “get tough” border initiatives—more troops, fencing and operations that target non-violent border crossers—pull valuable resources away from solving violent crimes.

U.S. Gun Nuts Help Mexican Drug Gangs

Mexican Drug Wars

Jim Fuller: Obviously, the peddling of weapons to Mexican drug gangs is highly profitable. Remember, 40,000 recovered weapons in 2008 alone, and nobody knows how many still in the hands of gangsters, but certainly many times that 40,000 figure. And there are thousands of sales to drug peddlers every day along the border. Money, money, money. America’s gun makers are going to protect that highly profitable business every way they can, and that inevitably means stirring up the knuckle draggers who front for them in every battle in the stupidly mistaken belief that they are “protecting our Second Amendment rights.”

High Time to Rethink the Cost of Wars

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Tracy Emblem: Why have we so readily forgotten that Americans were told there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq as the reason for our military invasion when this turned out to be false. Like Iraq, there is absolutely no guarantee our troops will be withdrawn by 2012. From the Russian-Afghanistan experience, we should readily expect it will take much longer than the six years we previously spent in Iraq.

With Immigration Low on List of Tea Party Priorities, Is Nativism Really on the Rise?

teabaggers amensty

Andrea Christina Nill: If Obama decides to tackle immigration reform next, some have wondered what the tea party response would be. Interestingly, it may not be an issue for most rank and file tea party members. When asked whether immigration was an issue that motivated how they voted, tea parties responded that it was just as low on their priority list as the average population.

A Klan by Any Other Name Would Smell as Racist

David A. Love: Those of you who remember the televised images of angry white protestors in the 1950s and 1960s know that this is nothing new. Whenever a black child tried to integrate a school in the Jim Crow South, the teabaggers of their day were out there to show their outrage. Whenever African Americans tried to register to vote or sit at a segregated lunch counter, the same crowd was out there. They came with their fists, their vulgarity, threats of violence and spitting.

An Extraordinary Achievement

bho-fdr

Joseph Palermo: President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick.

Exit Strategies for Afghanistan and Iraq

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

Tom Hayden: Rep. Dennis Kucinich will step into the crosswinds this week and force the House of Representatives to wake up, pay attention, and vote up or down on the Afghanistan war.

Obama and U.S. Foreign Policy

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K.C. Johnson: Unlike his predecessor, Obama has avoided any shattering foreign policy mistakes. But as our political culture shows no signs of improving, he will remain a President whose foreign policy choices are very much complicated by the poisonous atmosphere in which he operates.

Democrats Boosting Right-Wing Populism

Lost-wheel

Norman Solomon: For a year now, leading Democrats have steadily embraced more corporate formulas for “healthcare reform.” In the name of political realism, they have demobilized and demoralized the Democratic base. In the process, they’ve fueled right-wing populism.

Immigration Reform and Economic Justice

Immigration Pied Piper

Tracy Emblem: We must be honest and acknowledge that border “policing,” “security” and “prisons” are a substantial taxpayer drain but do not produce any gross domestic product. We should therefore remove the rhetoric and be open to examining all solutions.

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 [...]

The Hollow Politics of Escalation

Afghan-Monopoly

The next days and weeks will bring an avalanche of hype about insisting on measurable progress and shifting burdens onto the Afghan army — while the U.S. military expands the war.

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