nymag.com — Of the various expressions of right-wing hysteria that have flowered over the past three years — goldbuggery, birtherism, death panels at home and imaginary apology tours by President Obama abroad — perhaps the strain that has taken deepest root within mainstream Republican circles is the terror that the achievements of the Obama administration may be irreversible, and that the time remaining to stop permanent nightfall is dwindling away. The Republican Party is in the grips of many fever dreams. But this is not one of them. The Republican Party is in the grips of many fever dreams. But this is not one of them. To be sure, the apocalyptic ideological analysis is pure crazy. But the panicked strategic analysis, and the sense of urgency it gives rise to, is actually quite sound. The modern GOP is staring down its own demographic extinction. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency.
washingtonpost.com — We’ve heard this quickening drumbeat before. Last time, it led to the tragic invasion and occupation of Iraq. This time, if we let the drummers provoke us into war with Iran, the consequences will likely be far worse. Rat-ta-tat-tat. Weapons of mass destruction. Boom-shakka-boom. A madman in charge. Thump-thump-thump. Mushroom clouds. Tune out the anxiety-inducing percussion and think for a minute. Yes, there are good reasons to be concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. But it doesn’t follow that launching a military attack — or providing support for an attack by Israel — would necessarily be effective, let alone wise. The evidence suggests it would be neither.
politics.salon.com — So far, this primary season has produced plenty of reasons for Republicans to worry about their November prospects. Mitt Romney, supposedly their most electable option, has struggled mightily to win over the party base and has been forced dangerously far to the right in the process. Of course, it’s not like the three Romney alternatives left standing are better fall bets. Rick Santorum seems incapable of opening his mouth without inflaming the culture wars, Newt Gingrich is Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul … well, he’s just not going to be the nominee. This week, though, has provided a new twist: It’s not just the top of the ticket that could cause Republicans headaches this year. The headlines of the past few days have raised or reinforced questions about the viability of two of the top prospects for the No. 2 slot.
On January 3rd, America lost one of the greatest champions of equal opportunity and human rights that our nation has ever known. Judge Robert L. Carter, civil rights lawyer, jurist, and fierce defender of justice, passed away at age 94 after suffering a stroke.
Judge Carter was a primary architect behind the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. more »
This past Friday night in Washington, a New York Mets pitcher threw the type of pitch President Obama must use in his march to stop any new proposals to cut Social Security if he plans to make it through the game of the deficit talks and his reelection. In the recent past the President and his teams have pitched a slew of failed curveballs that would cut our Social Security. The number 43 Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey helped beat the Nationals 7-3 with his slow velocity, highly unpredictable knuckleball. The 44th President and his multitude of committees have taken an approach to cutting the deficit that replicates a tied baseball game, with no end in sight. Could knuckle balls from a President battling to win the game, save the economy, and win reelection save the tied ball game called the deficit debate? Let’s take a look at the tape.
As we return to work after Labor Day weekend, it is important to recognize all that Social Security does for American workers. The best way to do that is to make sure workers know the facts about the program.
huffingtonpost.com — The debate we have just witnessed has shown Washington, D.C. not just to be broken, but corrupt. The American people are disgusted watching politicians play political chicken with the nation's economy and future. In such a bitter and unprincipled atmosphere, whoever has the political clout to enforce their self-interest and retain their privileges wins the battles. But there are two casualties in such political warfare: the common good and the most vulnerable. So how will vulnerable people fair under this deal?
feeds.guardian.co.uk — You'd think Congress would be too busy wrecking the economy to attack the environment. Yet, in the midst of a packed schedule snapping at President Obama's heels and lunging for each other's throats, Republicans have found time to try and rip the heart out of the Environmental Protection Agency, killing 40 years of protections for water, air, endangered species, wildlife habitat and national parks. Instead of taking direct shots at the environment – not even Tea Tendency zealots come out and say they're pro-pollution -- Republicans are going after the EPA.
thenation.com — Most of the endless rehashing of the debt deal has correctly focused on the fact that corporate interests and Tea Party politics have prevailed again, at the expense of the middle class, children in poverty, students and the elderly. But in understanding the long-term impact of this drawn-out debate, too little attention has been paid to the blow it has dealt to the foundational principles of our democracy. When all is said and done, the process that created the deal may end up being as destructive as the deal’s effects. While the country watched helplessly, each new turn and every talking head in the seemingly endless saga demonstrated that ordinary people had no real part to play. Unless we employ an army of lobbyists or have a key to the Congressional washroom, it seemed there was no reconciling the debate on the Hill with the needs and desires of those most affected by the final deal.
motherjones.com — When the voting began on the controversial—and ugly—debt ceiling bill in the House of Representatives on Monday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, did not know how many votes House Speaker John Boehner had for the measure that had been crafted by President Barack Obama and the Republicans. Boehner had not reached out to her to make certain that the crucial legislation designed to prevent a potentially disastrous U.S default would be approved. When Boehner "went to the table"—brought the bill to a vote—he "had no idea" how many votes he had, Pelosi says. The speaker, as it turned out, did not have enough Republican votes to pass the bill—only 174—and he had made no arrangement to guarantee its success. When there were minutes left for the vote, and it became apparent that Boehner would fall far short of the 216 votes necessary for passage, Pelosi's Democrats began voting in favor of the measure.