The Drain of Blood, Taxes and Hope in Afghanistan

mission creep

Tom Hayden: Persistent waffling on dates for American troop withdrawals has eroded any remaining patience with the Obama White House among peace activists and voters, a majority of whom favors a timeline for US troop withdrawals.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996

Robert Reich: Obama shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Bill Clinton was reelected in 1996 because he moved to the center. I was there. Clinton was reelected because by then the economy had come roaring back to life.

After the Midterms: Why Democrats Move to the Center, and Republicans Don’t

voters lined up

Robert Reich: Republicans are cynical about politics from the jump. Political cynicism fuels them. Democrats are idealistic about politics. When they become cynical they tend to drop out.

Progressive Canaries in a Political Mine

Streakyheaded Canary on Aloe Flower

Norman Solomon: After more than 20 months of White House insistence that the only useful role for progressive canaries is to keep singing the president’s tune, the electoral coal mine is filled with the political equivalent of carbon monoxide and methane.

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?

A Big Fool Says to Push On

pete seeger

Ann Wright: On the eve of the beginning of the tenth year (October 7) of the U.S war in Afghanistan, Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s War” about presidential decision making on the war in Afghanistan is pretty scary reading. It sounds to me like folk singer Peter Seeger’s song about the Vietnam war “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” describes the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The President’s Backyard Discussion of the Economy (as It Could Be)

obama backyard

Robert Reich: As Obama continued his economic tour with backyard discussions on the challenges currently facing the middle class, according to the White House. Here’s an imagined version of that discussion

Obama Throws White House Support Behind DREAM Act

obama thinking

Seth Hoy: Although the President has pledged his support for the DREAM Act, mounting GOP opposition will make it increasingly difficult for Sen. Harry Reid to find the 60 votes necessary for cloture on the amendment next week, assuming the Defense Authorization bill makes it through round one, the motion to proceed, next Tuesday.

Rush Limbaugh’s “Just Say No” Strategy Succeeds

Randy Shaw: The greatest impact of the Limbaugh strategy was to erode popular faith in the capacity of the federal government to implement real progressive change.

Forecasting the 2010 Congressional Elections

vote

Ted Vaill: There is hope, in spite of what the pundits say, if we work hard over the next two months to get progressive Democrats elected.

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?

President John McCain’s First 18 Months in Office

ted vaill

Ted Vaill: President McCain has urged that the United Nations move its headquarters out of the U.S., and he has proposed that the U.S. leave the UN, which he calls “useless and corrupt”. He also has refused to meet with most foreign leaders in the White House, or to travel abroad, except for heavily guarded and secret trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Wrong Side of History: Immigration, the GOP and the Next Generation of Voters

Seth Hoy: Notwithstanding the fact that many GOP strategists and other leaders are arguing against using immigration as a wedge issue, politicians eager for votes gravitate toward each new anti-immigrant message like moths to a flame.

White House Press Corps Board Doesn’t Get It

Sylvia Moore: MoveOn and CREDO hailed the decision by the association’s board to deny FOX the center seat, but the fact that this nakedly right-wing propaganda outfit masquerading as a news channel now gets to sit in the front row is still an embarrassment.

The Enthusiasm Gap and You

hope revisited

Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor

Origins of the Enthusiasm Gap

reverse donkey

Robert Reich: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.

State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War

Greg Jaffe-The Washington Post

Norman Soloman: And if, these days, “U.S. troops in the field” are not as inclined to express “frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources,” the latest boosts of Pentagon outlays for war in Afghanistan merely reflect the unhinged escalation of a war effort that should not exist.

Deporting America’s Future: Harvard Student Pushes for DREAM Act

graduating latino student

Seth Hoy: Harvard sophomore, Eric Balderas, knows why the DREAM Act is important to so many. Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked up Balderas in Boston on his way to visit his mother in San Antonio, Texas. Balderas now faces the possibility of deportation at a hearing next month. The 19-year-old biology major was valedictorian of his high school class and is on a full scholarship at Harvard.

The White House Should Stop Pandering to the Street; Support Three Critical Banking Reforms

Goldman Sachs

Robert Reich: The White House dismisses all three of these three measures “populist,” as if that adjective is the equivalent of “irresponsible.” But in fact, these amendments are necessary in order to restore trust in our financial system. They would reduce Wall Street’s tendency to take huge risks, pocket the wins, and fob off the losses on the public.

The Birthers Ruined Schwarzenegger’s White House Chance

Arnold Swartzenegger

Tina Dupuy: The Republicans siding with the Birthers and generally ramping up of the anti-immigration sentiment, are shooting themselves in the foot. And not just with Latino voters. Schwarzenegger is by far the most popular and (gasp) competent of any other candidates vying for the nomination in 2012.

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.”

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.

The Obamas’ First Year Living In The White House: And I’m Just Wondering…

Anthony Samad

Anthony Asadullah Samad: In fact, I wonder if the White House will still be “the White House” when the Obamas leave. You know America got that thing about living where we’ve lived and leaving once we come to the neighborhood. They might come back eventually…but usually not immediately after we’ve been there.

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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Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

unemployment

Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

LGBT Reception at the White House

white_house

On Monday, June 29, 2009 President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reception with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) Community in honor of LGBT Pride Month. The reception was held in the East Room of the White House.