Local Fights Against Austerity Growing

michigan protests

Mark Vorpahl: Between sequestration and the billions of cuts to social programs that Obama is pushing, it is evident that the economic policies of both major parties are not intended to promote a recovery for working people.

‘Right-Wing Social Engineering’ Still Strong Despite Democratic Gains in 2012

newt gingrich

Joeseph Palermo: President Obama and the Democrats’ willingness to accept cuts to Social Security in the form of the gimmicky “chained CPI” right after an election where no candidate for federal office campaigned on it shows that the Right’s long-term project of undoing the New Deal marches on despite the electorate’s wishes.

Note to GOP: Stop Yammering About the Deficit and Debt

fiscal balloon

Charley James: Newspapers and cable are filled with counter GOP demands for massive spending cuts that would almost entirely hurt the poor, the working poor, the tattered remains of the middle class and the elderly.

The Grand Bargain Betrayal

black friday

Shamus Cooke: Corporations are on a public-sector union mopping up mission, using the city, state, and federal budget deficits as an excuse to target public sector unions.

A Nurse’s Care Plan for California

cna

DeAnn McEwen: Proposition 32 was written to limit the voice of nurses and other working people in Sacramento, while giving free reign for corporate interests and the wealthiest Californians to exert limitless influence over public policy.

Danny Boyle’s Olympic Minstrel Show

london olympics opening

Dave Zirin: This is the Olympics as nothing less than a neoliberal Trojan horse. Seeing the queen sit in observance of pantomime protests and Cameron cheer the very NHS he aims to slash is actually quite perverse.

Herds on the Street

homeless man

Charley James: For the first time in well over 15,000 consecutive nights, I will not have a roof over my head this evening. I don’t know where I will sleep, how I will eat tonight

A Civil Encounter at a Local Hospital

nick-capo

Nick Capo: Employees enrolled in employer-managed health-care plans and citizens enrolled in government-managed Medicare undoubtedly possess a lengthy list of grievances and desires, but towering over all such petty concerns should be an awareness of their great good fortune.

What’s Happening to the “Human” in Human Services?

bowery

Vivian Rothstein: We seem to be taking the humans out of a system that I thought was organized to make life better for actual people. As the cynics say, human services would be so much easier if it weren’t for the humans.

The Money Delusion

money mint

Mark Dempsey: Why does the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate sector, whose frauds caused the current economic meltdown, get trillions at the drop of a hat, and social safety net programs and revenue sharing with states, whose needs are far more modest, get the “one-finger salute”?

Who’s the Scrooge?

compassion

Steve Hochstadt: The calls to flatten the income tax, to eliminate welfare payments, and to repeal regulation of industry are about going back to an earlier America, where the rich and powerful could use their advantages without hindrance.

Occupy Wall Street: American as Apple Pie

crosby and nash

Those loud right-wing voices in our political discourse that are trying to make Occupy Wall Street look like something “foreign” to American culture are barking up the wrong tree. When David Crosby and Graham Nash recently showed up at Zuccotti Park for an impromptu sing-along with the protesters they linked OWS with the long American tradition of resistance to [...]

Crunch Time for Public Sector Unions

robin-doyno-10

Shamus Cooke: Public sector unions must mobilize their members and the community they serve to fight back. They have no other choice if they are to remain powerful or even relevant.

The Progressive Caucus Budget

What Do You Expect

We hear a lot about Ryan’s budget and the President’s budget but we’re not hearing very much about the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget which appears to be more in line with what the average middle class American wants and needs. What’s up with that?

Marcy Winograd for Congress 2011 Special Election

Marcy Wingrad Jobs not Wars

Marcy Winograd announced she is kicking off a campaign to fill Jane Harman’s vacated 36th CD seat. The kick off starts Saturday, Feb. 26, 10 am in front of Fox Drug of Torrance (Old Town), 1327 El Prado, Torrance, 90501. Last June, Marcy Winograd, a teacher at Crenshaw High School, ran against the incumbent Jane Harman and received 41% of the vote.

The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

labor strike

Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.

In Defense of Public School Teachers

Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.

When the Poor Conspire to Keep Themselves Poor

David Love: Although the history still has yet to be written on the Obama presidency, it looks as if the second coming of F.D.R. ain’t gonna happen just yet. There are very good intentions in this administration, mixed with conflicting allegiances and amateurism.

Waiting For Lefty: The Wait Is Over

Anthony Gruppuso and David Baer

Ed Rampell:: The wait is over, and Theatre West’s revival of Clifford Odets’ Waiting For Lefty is the most important play currently being presented in L.A., and possibly the best production of 2010.

Americans and the European Way

europes promise

Randy Shaw: As someone who thinks Hill’s work could convince the uncommitted and deserves the widest possible audience, I wish he had directly confronted — through interviews, for example — those who oppose the policies that work in Europe but are still not in place in the United States. For example, it would have been helpful for Republican and Democratic Party political leaders to explain why our nation follows the lead of Papua New Guinea in still not offering paid maternity leave.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Compassionless Conservatism

arnold1

Schwarzenegger doesn’t get the human costs of his actions. He seems to enjoy the attention he’s getting as well as playing on right-wing “populist” anger. He’s satisfying his Tea Bagger constituency by beating up on Californians who happen to be poor or work in the public sector.

Prop 1E Threatens Mental Health Services for Needy

poverty

As you know, the budget package adopted recently calls for a May 19 special election and puts six ballot measures before voters. One of these initiatives, Proposition 1E, asks voters to approve the diversion of $460 million over two years from Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) revenues to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and [...]

Republicans Playing a 1993 Strategy

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)

In 1995, the Republicans swept into the House of Representatives winning 57 seats and running on term limits and a balanced budget amendment that they never passed. They implemented a strategy of obstructing everything that President Bill Clinton wanted to do and initiated a huge set of overlapping and expensive Congressional investigations of every aspect [...]

Joe, Rush, Sarah, and especially Ann: Say Adios

ann coulter

Remember that crazy woman in Pittsburgh who carved a backwards “B” into her own cheek and then claimed that rampaging black men had assaulted her because they saw a “McCain-Palin” bumper sticker on her car? Well, Ann Coulter’s routine on The View this morning proved that she’s just as crazy as the Pittsburgh woman (although, [...]

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 [...]

The End of the Great Moderation, the Bailouts of Freddie & Fannie and Wall Street, and the Tattered Safety Net for Everyone Else

Robert Reich

by Robert Reich — As we bail out Wall Street along with Freddie and Fannie and all the top financial executives who have been pocketing tens of millions a year, yet allow millions of homeowners and jobless Americans to sink, it’s worth contemplating what’s happening to the American economy and to our social safety nets.

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