In the face of popular protest, a vindictive leader scapegoats the protesters, blaming outside agitators for the very real frustrations of his citizens. He seeks to take away the rights of the opposition and continues a crusade on behalf of the oligarchs against the masses. Middle East or Midwest?
I understand the logic behind the legal challenges that political parties have to primary rules allowing independents - and sometimes registered members of other parties - from voting in their primaries. While there really has never been any evidence that outside efforts have led to sabotaging of primary elections, there certainly is evidence that they've led to different candidates getting elected.
Snyder v. Phelps pitted the free speech rights of a group of arguably mean-spirited but dedicated religious zealots against the asserted privacy rights of a sympathetic military family. Classic case. Sounds like a tough decision; but it's easy.
There are giant college funds for blacks, Latinos and Native Americans. There are scholarships for women. There are scholarships for black, Latino and Native American women. Some college kid in Texas raises a few thousand dollars to give to low income white guys... and this is controversial?
That this sometimes-Republican billionaire would assert a value to unions must have made the heads of countless Republicans explode and the hearts of certain fellow billionaires seethe. Mayor Bloomberg was clearly distancing himself from the Tea Party-fueled anti-union rhetoric sweeping across the country’s right wing.
However, in true Bloomberg fashion, this wasn’t just a move with one party or another: he was blazing his own trail. While he didn’t win many friends in the GOP, his op-ed didn’t win any friends among public sector employees and their supporters either.
Of all the things that have surprised me about the economic crisis that began almost three summers ago, the most surprising thing of all has been the indifference of American political and policy elites to the trauma of the generations below them. The elders tell the young what they should be worried about — the national debt — but refuse to listen when the young try to express what they actually are worried about — the waste of their first years, the forfeit of life opportunities.
Christopher Hitchens, continuing to punch out some of the best writing around as he battles with esophageal cancer, rakes President Obama over the coals in his latest op-ed at Slate. Hitch is right on here, taking the Obama administration to task for it's overly cautious response to uprisings in the Middle East, especially with what is going on now in Libya.
American multi-national companies continue to hoard as much as a trillion dollars off-shore from profits they attribute to their foreign subsidiaries overseas. Back in December, the Obama administration got the message that US multi-nationals were not inclined to repatriate that cash into the US economy because of the federal government's 35 percent effective tax rate. They want a tax holiday.
It would bring in new tax revenue, but opinions are mixed on whether it's a good idea.
While America has a valuable role to play in supporting the cause of democracy around the world, it would be foolish to take credit for the events of the past two months. The months ahead will show us where this trajectory leads, and we can’t predict the future. But it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the past and know that George W. Bush wasn’t the inspiration for Tahrir Square any more than the Beastie Boys.
Let's all stop and take a deep breath to reconsider the news of this week.
The Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
With protests sweeping the Middle East from Bahrain to Yemen to Jordan and, of course, to Libya, and with the departure of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak from Egypt, now seems like a good time to remind everyone: Bush was right.
The surprising strength and stamina of the protests in Wisconsin are galvanizing Americans. People will rally in all 50 state capitals this Saturday, an amazing demonstration of support for those on the streets in Madison as well as for the importance of respecting working Americans across the country. This is the sort of energy many on the left haven’t felt since the election of 2008, when throngs of enthusiastic supporters poured across the land in support of the audaciously hopeful candidate Barack Obama.
Same-sex marriage has become one of the most contentious issues of our time. There is one thing, however, proponents and opponents would likely agree upon: these battles being waged in the states are all part of a larger war about what we stand for as a nation. Is ours a limited democracy — retrenched, traditional and exclusionary? Or is our democracy expansive and inclusive — one that evolves over time? On Wednesday, the Obama administration placed itself on the side of an expansive and inclusive democracy.
Tens of thousands of Americans gather in the streets of Madison, prompting solidarity rallies around the country as they defend the rights of workers. Big banks, having received record bailouts, continue predatory practices on regular Americans while seeing their own profits increase. The ultra-rich horde more and more of our nation’s wealth while convincing public servants to help decrease their tax burden. Is this the "new normal"?
It is, according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Tens of thousands of regular folks have been clogging the Wisconsin statehouse and the plazas around it for days. The duration and force of the protests have been surprising to many Americans, who are accustomed to our rallying culture resembling outdoor concerts on the Washington Mall. The scene out of Wisconsin is more spontaneous, less produced, more authentic, and therefore, more captivating. It less resembles Glenn Beck’s revival or Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and looks akin to another set of images we’ve seen recently — those out of the Middle East.
When President Obama released his 2012 budget proposal, he spoke of hard choices and investments. What he left out were the real jaw-dropping numbers contained in an obscure Department of the Treasury Report from the Office of Debt Management that was released two weeks earlier.
The 24-page document in charts and graphs dispassionately lays out the explosion in costs associated with just servicing the nation's rolling multi-trillion dollar deficit.
This weekend, actor Martin Lawrence will reprise his role as FBI Agent Malcolm Turner, a law enforcement crusader who goes undercover as an ever-present figure familiar to most in urban communities, “Big Momma." It got me to thinking about what would happen if someone like Big Momma tossed her big red church hat in the proverbial political ring and ran for elected office.
Normally, I wouldn’t waste your eyeball energy talking about professional sports players. They represent the group I call The Entertainment Caste—a minority of the population paid vast sums of money based upon how much we consume the entertainment they generate. There is, however, a connection between underfunded teachers and millionaire football players. Both are represented by steadfast labor unions.