When Woolsey Met Harman

Progressive Caucus Chair Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin)

David Swanson: Fortunately, I get the impression that a great many Angelenos and Americans are principled, decent, and sophisticated enough to support Woolsey when she does right and oppose her when she does wrong, and to overwhelm her misplaced advocacy with our support, donations, and volunteer time for the woman who will be the leader of the fight for the people’s views against the corporate agenda in the 112th Congress, Marcy Winograd.

Stop Wasting Money on the Death Penalty!

Death Penalty

Natasha Minsker: let’s consider something the governor can actually do right now to make a serious dent in the corrections budget: convert all 700 death sentences in California to permanent imprisonment saving the state $1 billion over the next five years.

Tea Baggers Repackaging America’s Right Wing

Marco Rubio and Jesse Helms

Randy Shaw: If anyone still doubts that politics is all about branding, the rise of the “teabagger” closes the case. Here we have a group of overwhelmingly white anti-tax crusaders with a long history of political backing for right-wing causes suddenly re-branded by the media as populist crusaders for the common good.

The Wars in Yemen: More Complex Than We’re Being Told

Where Is Yemen?

Carl Bloice: With Al Qaeda now in the picture and linked to an attempted physical attack on the U.S., the Obama Administration, obsessively carrying on the “war against terrorism,” has suddenly become enmeshed in still another civil war.

Lame Duck Terminator

Joseph Palermo: Schwarzenegger’s hackneyed “State of the State” address was pathetic and unconvincing. If it weren’t for his acting chops and his ability to emote on cue, he couldn’t get away with the simplistic platitudes that roll off his tongue. Then again, if he couldn’t act he wouldn’t be governor either.

Winograd Nails Waxman

Marcy Winograd

On January 3, 2010 congressional candidate Marcy Winograd wrote an open letter to Congressman Henry Waxman addressing his praise for Blue Dog Democrat Jane Harman for her position on energy and the environment, never acknowledging that Harman’s support of perpetual war leaves the worst carbon foot print of all – a scorched earth.

Alan Kuperman: Another Benny Morris School Armchair General

Alan Kuperman

Joseph Palermo: And after urging the United States military to do the dirty work Kuperman believes there would be an international deterrent effect from the U.S. military aggression “because the American military has global reach, air strikes against Iran would be a strong warning to other would-be [nuclear] proliferators.”

Neo-Con Renews Call to Bomb Iran in NY Times Op-Ed

Nuclear-wire

Charley James: The saddest thing about Kuperman is that the Times gave him serious space in a supposedly serious newspaper to spout the same discredited nonsense that got us into a mess in the Middle East at the same time President Obama is trying to extricate the world from the chaos unleashed the last time the neo-con war mongers had their way.

What Would a Space Invader Think?

Giant-Leap

I’d love to see an intelligent creature from outer space slap a few people in the face and say “Wake up! You are destroying each other and the planet! Use your mental capacities for something more meaningful than voting for the next American Idol!”

Rethink Reform

RR_Stacked_Square

So, I ask you, who really paid for this “Rethink Reform” ad? If we’re going to exercise our right to free speech (yes, we all believe in it), is there at least an ethical responsibility to stand up and say it publicly, without hiding your identity?

Weekend Mysteries, Scandals, and Speculations

Donny Hathaway

The nation’s unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. These people will be waiting to hear Obama explain how adding to the $10 billion monthly price tag for Iraq and Afghanistan will help them find work. African American men, 17.1 percent of whom are unemployed, want a word from Obama on this,” wrote Columnist Colbert King in the Washington Post last week.

Lobbying (Not Again!)

Lobbyists

I have a suggestion for members of Congress: if you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep silent until you’ve done some real homework. And don’t expect the self-serving statements of hired guns to always represent the truth.

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.

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.

Obama Administration Never Considered Diplomacy in Afghanistan

Afghan War

The military-industrial complex will support Obama’s escalation of these wars in order to cash in on those lucrative defense contracts valued at $700 billion a year while good jobs in other sectors of the U.S. economy, starved for investment capital, continue to shrink

False Atrocity Tales from the War in Vietnam

Vietnam War stamp

A young lance corporal, who could not distinguish between a legal and an illegal order, shot an unresisting, unarmed, and unnamed woman in the back, in front of children that were likely hers. He and his company commander were court-martialed.

International Corruption Fuels Congo’s Repressive War

Ilona Jablonski at Rwandan Refugee Camp

Considering that the United States, China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and rotating member Uganda are all on the Security Council and all have been implicated in the report, it is no wonder the report was disseminated by rogues before it was dissected.

Once Again on the President, the Congress, and the Jobless

Jobless

As we note, the heightened attention to the crisis, and hopefully proposals for Congressional action, the alarming jobless figures will be repeated over and over. The employment situation is dire and from all indications it is going to get worse.

New York Times: “American Workers Are Overpaid”

Maze

If recent resistance by IBEW and UNITE HERE members are any indication, the Times’ BreakingNews folks and corporate America have a long way to go before convincing workers that it is they, rather than their high-paid, amply-bonused bosses, whose compensation should be downsized.

Will We Ever Stop the Killings?

Gun-violence

New York Times columnist Bob Herbert last April 24th estimated 12,000 Americans are shot dead each year, 2,000 of them children, and 70,000 more are wounded but survive. Read my personal story.

Think First About the Unemployed, Not the Politicians … and Act

unemployed

What’s happening to the lives of the legions out of work – particularly the young men and women – has to take second place to the fortune of the President and his party. The human crisis would be real regardless of who is in the Oval Office and is what should move the President and the Congress to do the right thing.

The Goldilocks Principle and Afghan War Options

Goldilocks

Maybe the Iraq debacle has dulled our senses but there should be something stunning about a general at this late date requesting 40,000 to 80,000 more American soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan.

The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Public-Option

The official position of the California Democratic Party is unequivocally in favor of single-payer healthcare. And yet Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did what she could to sabotage the single-payer position of her own party in her own state.

Confessions of a Techno-Luddite

Technology

While Pew concludes that cell “refuseniks” generally are less educated and poorer than people who have them, it concedes grudgingly there is “a subset of adults who resist cell phones simply because they do not want them.

Too Big to Fail: Why the White House and Congress Won’t Break up the Big Banks

Wizard

The right idea is to break up the giant banks. I don’t often agree with Alan Greenspan but he was right when he said last week that “[i]f they’re too big to fail, they’re too big.”

Is Adulation of the Military Really Patriotic?

Soldier-color

And the American public, still feeling guilty over the admittedly terrible treatment of returning draftees from the Vietnam War, has retained its awe of the now voluntary military as an institution, even as it has soured on the Iraq and Afghan Wars.

The Chandlers Invent and Reinvent L.A.

Bob Nelson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Those of us who were a part of the Golden Age cannot hope to see its likes again in today’s faltering fortunes of print journalism. Perhaps a sequel to this book would be not so much inventing L.A., but reinventing the Los Angeles Times.

Surprise: The Left Is Not Going Away

lenin statue

The much touted decline of the European left turned out to be pretty much of a mirage. The continent’s politics are being realigned not in spite of but because of the economic crisis. And the much of the gain has gone to the left – taken as a whole.

What If Your Child Is Gay?

Family

But I have to ask myself, what if my children are gay? How would I react? Does my back story provide me with the emotional armaments to love them regardless without the taint of disappointment or disgruntlement?

Was William Calley a Scapegoat?

Calley

Ever since the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, many have held that higher-ups were more responsible than William Calley, who was convicted of murder and now has issued his first public apology. Gary Kulik, himself a Vietnam veteran, declines to shift the blame.

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