A Major Deal Over a Minor Issue

medical-marijuana

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government would no longer “target” medical cannabis providers who operated within state law. It remains unclear how the federal government will decide who provides marijuana within state law and who does not. One thing is clear; the feds do not fully understand state [...]

Media Cries “Deficit” to Defeat Progressive Agenda

lucy-football

Despite all of the economic history of the past 30 years, the traditional media is brushing off its favorite bogeyman – the budget deficit – to defeat and/or scale back President Obama’s progressive budget, education, and health care agenda. The New York Times warned in a front page story on March 21 that a new [...]

Close Down Guantanamo? What About Our Own Hellholes?

Senator Jim Web (D-Virgina) with wife Hong Le Webb

As Tom Paine once opined on this subject: “When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive’— when these things can be said then may that country boast of its constitution and its government.” Folks, we gotta ways to go.

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 [...]

Is iTunes New Economic Model for Failing Newspapers?

tweeting

As the San Francisco Chronicle faces its last days, the question is whether any comparable news alternative for the Bay Area can emerge. Much of this centers on creating new models of economic viability for the news business. Some, including former Chronicle business columnist David Lazarus, now writing for the Los Angeles Times, believe that [...]

The Stimulus and the “Threat to Stability”

uncle-sam-crutches

Well, now it appears that, as the New York Times put it Monday, the “Rise in Jobless Poses Threat to Stability Worldwide.” This comes just after the new United States Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, told Congress instability caused by the global economic crisis had become the biggest security threat facing the United States, [...]

U.S. Troops to Stay in Iraq Until 2012?

wounded-soldier

by Joseph Palermo – In yet another cynical ploy from the good offices of the George W. Bush Administration, we are now told that after “tough” negotiations the Iraqi Parliament has approved a December 31, 2011 exit date for American combat troops.

Federal Judges Accepting All-Expense Paid Junkets to Right-Wing Conferences

judicial-corruption

Federal judges were attending corporation-sponsored conferences at posh watering holes, at times on the very subjects of cases they have pending before them, a prominent law school dean wrote in a 2008 book of essays. While at these sessions, “judges not only hear right wing views propagandized to them, but also hobnob with, speak with, [...]

On Cabinet Picks, Obama Savvier than Progressive Critics

obamacabinet

by Randy Shaw – As Barack Obama’s Cabinet fills with Clinton Administration veterans, some are raising concerns why no “movement progressive” has been selected. Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State galvanized fears that Obama’s cabinet is unduly “centrist,” a concern amplified by the daily parade of predominately white male Clinton veterans in the “possible [...]

Reaching Out to Returning Veterans

by Charley James – Since neither the Pentagon nor the Veterans Administration seems to show much real interest in the plight of returning Afghan and Iraqi vets beyond a few discredited talking points spouted during interviews, organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are taking the lead.

The Strong Wind at His Back

Well, the pundits were wrong. White voters didn’t change their minds in the voting booth. Barack Obama’s victory proves that some analysts gave too much weight to race, not only in gauging today’s opinions but also in judging how the American people’s attitudes have been taking shape for decades.

GOP Voter Suppression May Stop Joe the Plumber From Voting

by Charley James – It might be the supreme, ironic, twist of Republicans efforts to keep people from voting. It turns out that Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – the infamous Joe the Plumber – may not be able to vote.

A New Look at Campaign Finance

It is widely known that Barack Obama decided to forgo public financing for his general election campaign, while John McCain chose to accept it. This reflects Obama’s greater success in fund-raising, and it also represents an historic reversal of the traditional Republican dominance in campaign finance. Obama’s success was foreshadowed by that of Bill Clinton, [...]

What Happened To GOP Outrage Over $400 Haircuts?

I suppose when the Republican vice presidential candidate is discovered spending $150,000 on a campaign wardrobe, it’s hard for the GOP to remember being shocked – Shocked, I tell you! – over John Edwards’ $400 haircut.

Gloves off, Heels on: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Incites Florida Racists

Hang on to your hats, indeed. News reports say Florida may be moving into the blue column, so Sarah Palin goes to the Sunshine State to bring some maverick change to the people. Turns out the change she’s inspiring so far is not change at all, but a move back to the days when brown-colored [...]

30 Days To Go …

Alright, so it’s been an unpredictable election year. When the primaries began, Hillary Clinton was the heavy favorite and John McCain was all but dead in the water with Fred Thompson’s entry in the race being eagerly awaited by conservative and moderate Republicans alike. And something may yet happen – the oft-cited, much worried about, [...]

Surprise, Tom Friedman, the World Is Wrinkled!

In “Green the Bailout,” (New York Times, September 28, 2008, WK 11) Thomas Friedman argues that, confronting the crisis on Wall Street, “we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering.” Citing an Indian-American immigrant friend, he argues [...]

John McCain’s Gambling Past Rolls Craps

“Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!” and the dice cubes fly. John McCain loves craps. It is routine for him to wager and lose $25,000 in a session as to play the “suspend the campaign and return to Washington to save the Bailout” gambit or petulantly select an unknown for vice president as the [...]

Sarah Palin’s Feminine Wiles Fall Short

Shortly after the Katie Couric-Sarah Palin interview, a slew of reports hit the Internet assessing the VP candidate’s performance. Try as I might, I was hard pressed to find a single report that looked favorably on Palin’s delivery. Slate‘s Christopher Beam said that Palin resembled, “a high-schooler trying to BS her way through a book [...]

What Leaving Really Means, Rick Davis

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis (at left) seems to have truthiness problems. At least he cannot remember when or if he left the lobbying firm he was or is it still is a partner in. Jill Hazelbaker, the campaign’s communications director, said in an e-mail Tuesday that Davis “left” Davis Manafort in 2006. In a [...]

Little Sarah Palin: Witchcraft Free At Last!

I’ve finally found a positive quality Sarah Palin might bring to the vice presidency: She would be the first veep guaranteed to be witchcraft-free, thanks to Rev. Thomas Muthee. This would be a refreshing change from Dick Cheney who clearly is a warlock; it’s one of the few things that can explain adequately his darker-than-the-night [...]

Paulson, Bernanke, Try Hustling Congress

Wimpie

Here we go again. As the Bush administration did with the Patriot Act and Iraq War resolution, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke spent today trying to hustle Congress into new territory using the familiar administration tactic of hysteria. Fortunately, this time it looks as if more than a few members have read the fine print [...]

Talking Heads

I am, or at least I was for much of my life, an inveterate newspaper reader. Once I left my childhood home in Minneapolis and moved to New York City at 17, later to Washington D.C., and then out here in Los Angeles beginning in the late 70s, my day couldn’t start without a half [...]

Thoughts on a Black First Lady in Waiting

“Barack has a handicap the other candidates don’t have: Barack Obama has a black wife. And I don’t think a black woman can be first lady of the United States. Yeah, I said it! A black woman can be president, no problem. First lady? Can’t do it. You know why? Because a black woman cannot [...]

Obama and the Legacy of the 1963 March on Washington

August 28, 2008 marks the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington. Forty-fifth anniversaries rarely garner the kind of attention reserved for their quarter and half-century counterparts. But as the Democratic Party prepares to nominate a black man as its presidential candidate on the anniversary of the march, the Obama campaign is doing its best [...]

Edwards The Confessor vs. McCain’s Ongoing Philandering

charley-james

Frankly, for decades my view is that if someone wants to fool around on their spouse, it’s their business and we should all butt out. Even presidential candidates are entitled to a sliver of privacy. But we live in an age that craves mixing its puritanical attitude about sex with a voyeuristic demand for celebrity [...]

Why John McCain’s “Surge” Success Story Is A Lie

Joe Palermo

It really makes the Iraq debate easy for John McCain when he throws around words like “win” and “victory” and “prevail” and “success” without really defining what they mean. A short time ago he was calling for American troops to remain in Iraq forever and that Obama was “naive” for suggesting otherwise. Now that the [...]

The First Black President

President Harding

by John MacMurray – For most Progressives, the idea that the Republican Party got out in front of us on a major social issue is both galling, and difficult to believe.

An Aggressive and Hypocritical U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Iran

by Ivan Eland – The chauvinistic American news media have focused on evil Iran’s missile tests and the indignant Bush administration reaction, while missing some key causes of the event.

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