Obama’s Base Pact with Colombia Accelerates Dangerous Trend

Colombia FARC

Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”

Why Would Union Members Vote Republican?

richard trumka

Berry Craig: The union-haters must still be in hog heaven over an AFL-CIO-sponsored poll that showed most Massachusetts union households supported Republican Scott Brown over union-endorsed Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.

What Obama Must Do, and Cannot

Free iPads

Tom Hayden: Obama may succeed in withdrawing 100,000 American troops from Iraq this year, and the rest by 2012. But even this goal faces opposition from the Green Zone to the Beltway, and any peace dividend will be swallowed by Afghanistan and the Long War.

The Power to Change the Debate

Corporate-Voice

Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.

Why Freeze Spending on Only Part of the Budget?

Budget-Pie

Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.

Replacing International Oppression with International Aid

President John F. Kennedy urging University of Michigan students to support and join the Peace Corp in 1960.

Lawrence Wittner: So why should humanitarian aid be extraordinary? Why not make it routine? Long before the earthquake, Haitians were the poorest people in the hemisphere, suffering from widespread hunger, disease, and illiteracy. Could not the United States — the richest nation in the world with a public whose major anxieties (to judge from the vast attention given to weight loss) seem to result from over-eating — manage to share a bit of its affluence by regularly providing food aid to starving Haitians?

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

Hubert Humphrey with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Berry Craig: I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I support a public option. But you can bet your snow boots if I were a Bay State voter, I’d have trudged through a blizzard to cast my ballot for Martha Coakley, Brown’s Democratic opponent.

Toward a More Complete MLK Day

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Simon Balto: King understood that the problems of America involved much more than racial inequality, and—in answer to LBJ’s question—what he in fact wanted was “a radical redistribution of power.”

Why Can’t Politicians Say “Light-Skinned Negro”?

mulatto

Sharon Kyle: Unless they’re compelled to address it, as Barack Obama was during the explosion of negativity around Rev. Jeremiah Wright, you can pretty much count on race not being discussed on the campaign trail.

A Year of Fall and Decline

sarahs-book

David Swanson: This year opened with the United States Supreme Court claiming further power to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, specifically by further opening up elections to the highest bidder.

Ridding America of Warmongers

War Dollars

Sherwood Ross: Disgusted Americans who vote for politicians that talk peace yet, once elected, support wars, need to get active in between elections. Just voting every four years won’t hack it.

No Chance Obama’s War in Afghanistan Will Succeed

Afghan-war

Sherwood Ross: If Afghans are dying by the thousands and Pakistanis have become refugees by the millions to ensure Obama’s political survival, the U.S. has lost any vestige of moral authority.

One Year Later: Ten Things President Obama HAS Done Since He’s Been in Office

Obama-Nobel

People need to stop complaining that he hasn’t done enough. Obama was elected President. He wasn’t elected Jesus. Like Al Sharpton said on Meet The Press this weekend, “we now realize that Obama doesn’t walk on water, but he’s still the fastest swimmer in America.”

Glenn Beck vs. Van Jones: McCarthyism Enters the 21st Century

mcbeck

What Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, and their allies did in drumming Van Jones out of the government was an example of 21st century McCarthyism. They smeared Jones’ past political remarks and associations the same way Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn smeared a young Boston lawyer named Fred Fisher for being a member of the National Lawyers Guild.

Bowling, Basketball, BCS, Baseball, and Birdies: Obama’s Use of Sport to Connect

obama-basketball

For the sheer frequency of sports appearances, pronouncements, and use however, Obama has set a pace that is beyond anything his predecessors did in office.

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Let Obama be Obama

JASON

President Obama was the one that was most in tuned to both the welfare of the Gay citizenry and the liberal views I hold near and dear. I campaigned for him, he won, and now it seems my role, and that of all his supporters is to support him.

Super Spy Fly On The Wall Report

Obama_and_Cheney

The NSA has developed incredibly complex and sensitive intelligence gathering methods and instruments, none more fantastic then the bio-genetically engineered hybrid Super Spy Fly on the Wall, Musca investigatus.

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

Veterans Reactivated Again and Again

veteran

Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW) has begun planning for the IRR direct action project. Many of us know that involuntary activation from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) has had a significant impact on the veterans’ community. Some vets may go two to three years without beginning to process their post-traumatic stress as they expect [...]

What the Specter Switch Ultimately Means

specter-flu

Arlen Specter?!?!?! The first time I blurted that out was during an industry screening of Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, in which his name came up in connection with the rogue “magic bullet” issue. I just had another Arlen Spector blurt a few minutes ago (as of this writing, anyway). He’s switching? Defecting? “Coming home,” as some [...]

Irish and Black Americans: Have the Parallel Lines Finally Met?

irishneednot-apply

Irish immigration to America discrimination On this St. Patrick’s Day, with a black president in the White House, it is interesting – and maybe even somewhat inspiring – to look back on the way the Irish-American and African-American stories have coursed through our history on parallel lines, each struggling against terrific prejudices and slanders. In [...]

The Return of the Mulatto: The Green-Eyed Monster

jonathan david farley

You can’t write that about the president of the NAACP. “Write what?” I said. “That,” Melissa told me, pointing at my notebook’s screen. “You’re calling him a ‘mulatto’?” “Well, that’s the definition, right? His father was white, his mother was black. I think.” I scratched my head. “Maybe he’s a quadroon .” Melissa rolled her [...]

U.S. Military Needs a Radical Homosexual

barney-frank

Is he the U.S. military’s worst nightmare? Imagine, a radical homosexual with his hands on the military’s purse strings. It’s hard to believe that after 15 years of repressive, misguided military policy (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”), which stigmatized and prevented gay men and lesbians from serving honestly and openly in our country’s Armed Forces, the [...]

Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother

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Back in December, when it was obvious that the economy was in bad shape and before we knew how precarious it could get, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, wrote, “For Obama to be remembered as a great president, he has to do nothing less than rescue [...]

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Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Governement Spending

“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]

Pardon Me, Scooter?

elivira-arellano

On July 2, 2007 George W. Bush commuted the sentence of convicted felon and former top White House staffer Scooter Libby for his convictions on five felony counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. He didn’t pardon Libby but, instead, issued a Grant of Executive Clemency before Scooter Libby even served a single [...]

Shrewdness, Thy Name Is Barack

obama-holder

One does not become POTUS after three years in the Senate without making shrewd moves. These two are genius: separating John McCain’s political legacy from the ‘Wasilla Hillbilly’ and letting others carry the torture debate so he can honestly say he has no choice but to pursue prosecution of highest Bush officials for war crimes. [...]

“Tis The Season To Be Obama:” Merchandise Cottage Industry and Its Impact on the Economy

obama-doll-copy

Politics of Merchandise Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency of the United States has had a residual effect on the economy in ways that are not (yet) reflected on the New York Stock Exchange. Barack Obama merchandise is huge. T-Shirts, hats, buttons, coins, photos, posters, calendars, bobble head dolls, and other paraphernalia has created a [...]

Where Is California’s Barack Obama?

Fresh off a thrilling presidential campaign, California Democrats face a Governor’s race without a candidate that can rally a multi-racial, class-crossing grassroots base. The three most talked about candidates — Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom — neither offer a sharply new direction nor provide the transformational message that was at the heart of [...]

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