Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Knife Play

Schwarzenegger

Now we have a Republican governor in California who sees the state’s current budget catastrophe as nothing but a big joke. Why else would Arnold Schwarzenegger post a tasteless Twitter video where he wields a two-foot-long folding knife boasting about his budget-cutting prowess?

Better Relations with Iran Require Change in U.S. Thinking and Policy

katherine_harris

One election in Iran will not significantly change U.S.-Iran relations—only a change in U.S. thinking and policy will do so. Historically, the U.S. government, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, has painted relatively poor third world regimes that don’t toe the empire’s line as “evil”—Moammar El-Gadhafi’s Libya in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the […]

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict—Why the U.S. Should Care Less

gaza

Hillary Clinton’s blunt public statement that President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements—not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions” made for good headlines. The Israelis were shocked and upset that their slavish ally had acted slightly less obsequious and engaged in a public spat with them. This ballyhooed baby step came […]

Nicaragua’s Revenge, Cuba, The OAS, and Iraq

reagan-statue

It was three o’clock this morning when I was awakened from a beautiful dream by police knocking on the door of my apartment to come down to the parking garage and identify my vandalized car. Downstairs, they had the suspect handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car, one of four parked in the […]

Crazy Man Ahead: Boehner Speaks Out On Cow Farts

john boehner

I’ve made no secret of my dislike of House Majority Leader John Boehner and his obstructionist approach to being a major voice of a minority party. But I always figured, what the hell, maybe there’s a method to his madness. Well, there’s madness afoot alright but of a different sort. “Man Tan” Boehner, one of […]

This Week in the LA Progressive: March 29 to April 4

commie-republicans

Equal Access, Equal Justice Rejecting Post-Raciality: An Ode to the Life of John Hope Franklin. Franklin proved that within our story is America’s story and America “Negro problem” was a refusal to acknowledge the equality of black America. –Anthony Asadullah Samad Diddy’s Dumb Deed. My “sistas” are finally no longer making excuses for self-haters. Why […]

Reagan the Socialist, Nixon the Commie, Eisenhower the Quisling

commie-republicans

Ronald Reagan was a socialist. I didn’t say it. Bill O’Reilly got permission from Republican Party policy chief Rush Limbaugh to explain, on the air, the economic logic that drives the Republican Party to now condemn Reagan as a socialist. As O’Reilly explained Republican policy, anyone who wants our wealthiest citizens to pay as little […]

From Oxy to Encino: Making Friends and Creating Waves

slave-to-media

If you’ve glanced at the LA Progressive recently, you know that our weekend last week was consumed with the media workshop at Occidental College, which this magazine sponsored and which Sharon and I helped organize. We learned a bit, met some interesting folks, and had a blast. Called “Local Media for Social Change,” the day-long […]

Red California Death Watch

red-counties

In 2007, right-wing political operatives tried to place a measure on the June 2008 ballot that – if successful – would have awarded California’s electoral votes by Congressional District. Democrats and progressives strongly opposed it, because everyone assumed it would give the G.O.P. presidential nominee an extra 19 votes. California is a deep blue 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

With Obama, It’s 1935 All Over Again

Obama, Roosevelt, Jindal, "Purcell"

As President Obama follows a $800 billion recovery act by proposing nearly $700 billion for universal health care, and financially ambitious programs for energy independence and education, the United States is experiencing 1935 all over again. That’s the year that followed huge Democratic gains in the 1934 election, and which saw Congress enact the two […]

Obama’s Policy on Civil Liberties: Bush Lite?

waterboarding

Barack Obama entered the presidency as one of the most rhetorically pro-civil liberties politicians in recent memory. And shortly after taking office, he drew applause from friends of liberty for promulgating executive orders closing Guantanamo and CIA secret prisons, ending CIA torture, suspending kangaroo proceedings at military tribunals, and pledging more openness than the secretive […]

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, […]

It’s Time to Resuscitate the FCC

media-victim

Channel surfing the other night, I caught a glimpse of Lou Dobbs on CNN waxing indignant about something Bill Clinton had said about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) possibly revisiting the Fairness Doctrine. What got Dobbs’s panties in a bunch was Clinton’s suggestion that there might be needed a bit more “balance” on talk radio. […]

Building a Bush Memorial

bush-the-end

A letter to the editor in my local newspaper, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, has persuaded me to rethink the truly remarkable accomplishments of President George W. Bush and inspired me to join the movement to erect a Bush Memorial on the National Mall. The letter, published on February 9th, was from David H. Edmunds of […]

The GOP Floats Out To Sea, Alone on a Shrinking Iceberg

repubs

There isn’t much point showing the Republican Party that they’ve lost it completely and are floating out to sea, alone and abandoned on a shrinking iceberg like an aged bull walrus driven from the herd. After all, new party chairman Michael Steele doesn’t know that when you work, you have a job and vice versa, […]

Housing Pushing Up Numbers of U.S. Homeless

homlessness

Every Christmas season a large electric star visible for miles is illuminated on a mountainside overlooking Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the time the holy family of Christianity took refuge in a manger on the night of Christ’s birth. This past Christmas, this city of 71,000 — whose principal landmark is the rusting remains of the […]

Retro-Hooverites All

bridge collapse

e’re lucky the Democrats have large majorities in Congress because every Republican member of the House of Representatives voted against the $825 billion stimulus bill today. The vote was 244 to 188, with 11 like-minded Democrats joining in the betrayal. Even a face-to-face meeting with the President on Capitol Hill failed to sway any of […]

Who Should Obama Look to for Advice?: Jimmy Carter

carter obama

At the request of President-elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush convened an awkward meeting of all living former presidents at the White House to meet, and presumably give advice and encouragement to, the new guy. The body language of the participants in the summit photo, taken in the Oval Office, said it all. 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 […]

They’re Just Not That Into You, George

bush_binladen

Mr. Bush, you shouldn’t have bothered. It wouldn’t have mattered what you said on your last Thursday evening as White House occupant. I’m sure many Americans did tune in out of curiosity as to how you were going to try to talk your way out of your mess this time. You used the same familiar […]

Ronald Reagan and the Day the Earth Stood Still

reagan_cowboy

by Robert Brent Toplin – Hollywood’s current sci-fi thriller, The Day the Earth Stood Still, features Keneau Reeves as a visitor from outer space who warns earthlings about impending ecological disaster and senses he must destroy mankind to save the earth. The movie is drawing a lot of young patrons to the theaters to enjoy […]

Milk: The Movie

harvey-milk

by Carl Matthes – Already gaining Oscar buzz is Sean Penn’s portrayal of Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s new movie “Milk.” It is the story of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay Americans to be elected to major political office — a San Francisco Supervisor. It is an inspiring and heroic film.

Winning with the Left, Governing from the Center

hillary-and-barack

by John Peeler – As President-Elect Obama goes about naming more and more of his cabinet and senior advisers, many of his left-of-center supporters are expressing increasing unease at the absence of certified progressives in the mix, and the prevalence of centrist Clintonites, including Hillary herself. This is very much in contrast with what happened […]