The Crumbling of Corporate School “Reform”

chicago teachers

Randy Shaw: As corporate interests spend billions attacking teachers unions, the real obstacles to a quality public education—poverty, overcrowded classes, and physically rundown schools—are ignored.

School Daze: The Attack on Public Education Continues

chicago school closings

Vivian Rothstein: In the name of quality education, the business model reformers are working to contract out many of our public schools to private for-profit and non-profit charter schools which are largely excluded from the public decision-making processes.

Chicago Teachers Union Vs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (The Democrats’ Scott Walker?)

chicago teachers strike

Joseph Palermo: The 29,000 striking Chicago teachers are sending the message to Emanuel that their teacher bashing and privatization schemes for public education have become so onerous and destructive to the teachers’ mission and profession that they have no choice but to fight back.

All Eyes on Chicago’s Teachers

chicago teachers

Shamus Cooke: If the Chicago teachers’ union — 26,000 members strong — goes on strike, many critical yet ignored political issues will go into the national spotlight, exposing nastiness that many politicians and labor leaders would like ignored until after the presidential elections.

Bike Share King: LA’s Antonio 4,000 … Chicago’s Rahm 3,000

antonio villaraigosa

Stephen Box: Los Angeles is in an enviable position where it can select from the best yet it acted rashly and without public participation from the advocates who have been involved all along.

What If Obama Taxed the Rich but Never Told Anyone?

obama shopping

Paul Loeb: Did you know Obama’s health care bill contained a $20 billion a year tax on the richest Americans? I didn’t until I stumbled onto a mention of this the other day.

Wanted: A President Who is Tougher Than Terrycloth

obama-purple-heart

Gil Troy: Presidential power also comes from the ability to reward and punish, to create careers and destroy others – demanding a ruthlessness in domestic politics Barack Obama has rarely displayed.

Was Rahm Right (about Progressives)?

rahm-wide

Steven Hill: At this point, any progressive leader who does not pursue political reform relentlessly is a faux leader, and she or he should get off the stage and hand over the microphone to someone else.

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Sarah Palin: America’s Full-Time Professional Duelist

sarah palin and trig

Tina Dupuy: Palin is now our nation’s only full-time professional duelist. She fights with everyone. Her entire post-quitting career is centered on flame wars, most of which she starts.

Citizens United — Game Changer

Joseph Palermo

Joseph Palermo: The 2010 midterm campaigns have shown us that Alito and his four fellow Justices were not only wrong about the potential effects of Citizens United they greased the wheels for a corporate takeover of the governing institutions of the country.

When the Chips are Down, Democrats Defend Blue Dogs

Paul Hogarth: What good is defending a Democrat, who will simply give bi-partisan “cover” to right-wing forces of obstruction who want Obama to fail.

Which Democrats Are Being “Divisive”?

rachel maddow

Paul Hogarth: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are upset at progressive Democrats. But which Democrats are being divisive?

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

combat

Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

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?

Angry Left Needs Hugs and Kisses

Elizabeth Warren

Jules Siegel: The angry left presumes that the president is in full control of the government, when he’s obviously not. Even George W. Bush learned that and he was a Republican.

Mainstream Media Swoon Over Rove’s Power Play

Michael Sigman: Karl Rove — chief political architect of George W. Bush’s presidency, the worst in modern history — is reentering frontline Republican Party politics. And the narrative-defining mainstream media have wasted no time in portraying Rove’s return as the most momentous development since Tiger Woods nearly re-mastered the Masters.

Alert! George Will Speaks the Truth (Sometimes)

George Will

Ron Wolff: Democrats pushed health care reform, according to Will, because of liberals’ tendency to “lunge to maximize government growth.” Presumably, it was irrelevant that insurance companies were acting like bandits, taking policy-holders’ money and then withholding services when people got sick, and that millions of Americans were dying prematurely because they didn’t have access to quality medical care.

Liberals Lose to Fox Party, Corporate Party

Everything-for-sale

Jim Fuller: Conservatives and the nice, polite folks I think of as carriage liberals have no choice but to step out into the cold with the outspoken progressives or go on doing what they’ve been doing for years now – giving their money and their votes to people who despise them and routinely screw them over.

On Guantánamo, Symbolism Trumps Substance

Guantanamo-closure

Ivan Eland: Although closing Guantánamo would be important symbolically, the law-free sanctuary that the Bush administration had achieved there has already been eroded by the Supreme Court’s demand that detainees have some legal rights. And even if the Obama administration closes Gitmo, some of Bush’s unconstitutional policies would continue in prisons around the United States—for example, the use of military tribunals for some detainees and the detention of some former Guantánamo detainees indefinitely without trial.

What’s Up with Rahm?

Rahm

Carl Bloice: For anti-war activists in the Democratic Party, Emanuel is probably best known for his role after 2004 as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In primary races around the country he raised cash and secured endorsements for opponents of anti-war candidates.

Rahmifications of Obama’s Presidency

Joseph Palermo: Peter Baker’s profile of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the New York Times Magazine raises some interesting questions about President Barack Obama’s top aide. For Emanuel, it seems that all politics are electoral politics. He wouldn’t know a social movement if he saw one.

From “Fired Up and Ready to Go” to “Tired Out and Staying Home”

Barack

Joseph Palermo: During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years the center of American politics was pushed about a hundred degrees to the Right. Obama gets elected and tries to move it about a half degree leftward and all we hear are screams of “socialism!”

Michelle Obama: The Ultimate Insider?

michelle-obama

Kenneth Weisbode: Where do presidents’ wives fit in? Some have wielded power openly, some have been powers behind the throne, some have been all but invisible. After a year, the current first lady’s role is far from clear.

JFK’s “How To” Manual

obama and jfk

Joseph Palermo: Obama took so many daring chances during the 2008 presidential campaign but when it comes to governing it seems he has become risk averse. The Democrats’ slogan for 2010 should be: “If Ben Nelson Doesn’t Like It — We Won’t Do It!”

After Massachusetts: What Is to Be Done?

jules-siegel

Jules Siegel: Rahm Emanuel must make an accommodation with Dean. Otherwise, 2010 is going to be a repeat of Massachusetts, and Barack Hussein Obama will probably be a one-term president. The most troubling aspect of Massachusetts is that the GOP now has a viable presidential candidate and his name is Scott Brown. This is not Sarah Palin. This is a very astute politician who looks like a Ken Doll and can talk like a sane person when he wants to.

Paging Dr. Dean: Please Save the Democrats from Themselves

Howard Dean

Paul Hogarth: Now, the Democrats have managed to fumble Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – losing to a right-wing Republican who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan. Evidence shows that Martha Coakley’s numbers went down after the Senate passed the health care bill. Shouldn’t the Party leaders listen to Howard Dean? At least, they owe him an apology.

Friday Feedback: They Take Our Money and P__s on Our Boots

Friday Feedback: Two nights ago some right wing acquaintances accosted me at a meeting and were chortling because they were pulling for Smith and thought he would win. I fought back saying that we need national healthcare, (medicare for all), the EFCA, and other really progressive policies to be enacted and implemented and that the rich should be taxed to pay for the changes.

Massachusetts: Timidity of Hope Won’t Cut It

Democrats Need Spine

Joseph Palermo: The Obama Administration cut far too many deals with the same corporate special interests that have dominated Washington since the Reagan years. Obama watered down his agenda. The Democratic base stayed home. The Republicans were energized beyond belief. And the Democratic candidate in a Democratic state lost the “Lion of the Senate’s” seat.

Blaming the Left

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)

Randy Shaw: The Democratic Party is facing a voter revolt because it once again allowed its corporate wing to set its agenda. And while the media blames the left Obama and the Democrats either implement a progressive agenda and shape the midterm elections around populist themes, or face further electoral “upsets” in November.

Steve King: Undocumented Haitians Should Be Deported, Haiti in Great Need of Relief Workers

haitian immigrants

Andrea Nill: The Obama administration has agreed to halt the deportation of undocumented Haitians, though those currently held in detention centers will remain jailed unless TPS is granted.

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