How to Get Washington’s Attention

wall-street-follies-wide

Robert Reich: The leaders of the Street and big business may now have to wake up to a reality they’ve tried to avoid — that the central economic problem of our time isn’t the long-term budget deficit but the immediate deficit in aggregate demand.

Depression for Blacks, Recession for Whites

chicago-ghetto-wide

Sherwood Ross: Instead of investing in a framework to help blacks advance by their own initiative, the Federal government has flushed billions down the toilets of friendly foreign strongmen such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarek.

Sleepwalking into the Imperial Dark

empire

Tom Engelhardt: Facing the challenges of a world at the edge — from Japan to the Greater Middle East, from a shaky global economic system to weather that has become anything but entertainment — the United States looks increasingly incapable of coping.

When “Good” Dictators Go Bad

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Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”

The End of America’s Middle East Empire

middle east empire

As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line [...]

The Reagan Centennial: Celebrating Reaganomics

ronald reagan

Joseph Palmero: If you like the way things are in the United States today — with Gilded Age levels of inequality, weak labor unions, low-wage service jobs for most of the workforce, and a public sector that’s dying on the vine — then you can thank Ronald Reagan.

The Jasmine Revolution: Testing Time for the White House

Carl Bloice: To do something meaningful the Obama Administration must go beyond lecturing the local establishment leaders about human rights and political plurality. It must be to move to respond positively to the aspiration of the kids with the rocks in the streets. It should not involve telling the Pakistanis how to price gas.

Jerry Brown’s Karma

California Governor Jerry Brown

Tom Hayden: It’s possible that Brown will take to blaming Washington’s priorities for California’s ills, but not any time soon. For now, he wants Californians to see themselves in the mirror.

The American Jobs Emergency Requires Action

economy

Robert Reich: Not only do we need extended unemployment benefits. We need a new WPA, modeled after the WPA of the Great Depression, to put jobless Americans to work. We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.

The Revolution Will (Barely) Be Publicized

one nation working together

Sylvia Moore: The pro-corporate, anti-tax Tea Party movement has gotten wall-to-wall press coverage, even though only about 30 percent of the population actually supports it. Saturday’s event did get some national coverage from the major television networks, but that paled in comparison to the kind of attention the Tea Partiers are getting on a routine basis. Locally, all I could find was this 37-second clip from ABC7 News. Kudos to ABC for showing up.

The Jobs Emergency

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Robert Reich: We need a response proportional to the crisis. Obama, Pelosi, and Reed should summon Congress back to Washington for action on the jobs emergency.

Versus China, We’re Not Even in the Right Game

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Denis Campbell: We are so screwed. We simply don’t get it in the USA and EU. After three weeks spent travelling around the globe, I see that the Chinese eat our lunch while we busy ourselves in silly ideological Left vs. Right fights over control of Washington, Westminster, and Brussels.

Budget Cowardice Compounds Problem

deficit hawks

Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.

Obama Suggests Lincoln-Like Humility

President Barack Obama's spring 2010 commencement address at the University of Michigan will come 10 years and one day after President Bill Clinton delivered the commencement address at Eastern Michigan University in 2000.  (AP Photo)

Walter Moss: One of the great ego traps for any president is being surrounded by “yes men and women” who tell him (and maybe someday her) that he is always right. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote of an occasion when President Bush’s “eyes became fixed, his voice took on the agitated, rapid tone of someone neither accustomed to nor welcoming interruption. His easy affability was replaced by an almost messianic certainty. As I watched my mostly Republican Senate colleagues hang on his every word, I was reminded of the dangerous isolation that power can bring, and appreciated the founders’ wisdom in designing a system to keep power in check.”

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

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.

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