Browsed by
Category: 2009

Obama Plays Hardball with the Russians

Obama Plays Hardball with the Russians

In 1981, at the height of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president of the United States. He immediately heightened tensions using belligerent rhetoric attacking the Soviet Union as “The Evil Empire” while authorizing an enormous military buildup against “the focus of evil in the modern world.” A significant number of Americans were worried about the harsh negatives of the Reagan initiatives. One manifestation was the Nuclear Freeze Movement that sought to decrease tensions as well as the nuclear…

Read More Read More

The Politics of Health Care

The Politics of Health Care

President Barack Obama has been pushing hard for his plan to overhaul the health-care system: speaking to all kinds of audiences across the country; seizing every opportunity on television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet; meeting with countless group leaders including Republicans and conservatives. He is everywhere, talking to everybody. Pay attention to one of Obama’s favorite lines: “We have been waiting for health reform since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. We have been waiting since the days of Harry Truman. We’ve…

Read More Read More

Amateur Hour on Afghanistan

Amateur Hour on Afghanistan

A clash is coming on U.S. policy in Afghanistan. President Obama is exploring alternatives to a major troop increase there. One plan, advocated by Vice President Joe Biden, would “scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan.” Greater reliance would be placed on drone airplanes attacking insurgent leaders and less on nation-building. However, the 66 page classified report by the commanding general on the ground, Stanley McChrystal, assessed the deteriorating situation in…

Read More Read More

Don’t Let Them Do It Again

Don’t Let Them Do It Again

The same neo-conservatives who promoted the mistaken war in Iraq, are now urging President Barack Obama to greatly increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan and to stay there as long as it takes to conquer that country and defeat the native resistance. Led by William Kristol, the same ideologues who insisted that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass distraction and was involved with Al Qaeda, both not true, have sent an open letter to the White House describing…

Read More Read More

Thank You, George Will

Thank You, George Will

Suddenly, American popular opinion is turning against the war in Afghanistan. And the catalyst is the conservative columnist, George Will, who shook up the establishment by writing in his nationally syndicated column that U.S. “forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small potent special force units, concentrating on the porous 1500 mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually…

Read More Read More

End Torture and Illegal Detention, Once and For All

End Torture and Illegal Detention, Once and For All

Amnesty International USA reports on the case of Mohammed Jawad, detained by U. S. intelligence five years ago at age 12 to 17 somewhere in the Middle East, sent to Guantánamo Bay prison, beaten, subjected to sleep deprivation and intense interrogation techniques, told his family would be killed if he did not confess, denied access to a lawyer. Recently the U.S. Supreme Court gave Jawad his day in court, he was ordered released, all charges were dropped and this week…

Read More Read More

Big Business Loves Health-care Reform

Big Business Loves Health-care Reform

The liberals achieve their maximum political strength in the Democratic Party primary elections: they speak up at meetings, define the issues, make early political contributions, and rarely miss a vote. As political consciousness spreads slowly through the rest of the electorate, the liberal influence and vote diminishes in importance. They know that agreements on issues with candidates must be made early in the campaign and are likely to be modified under the pressures of the wider campaign. In the 2008…

Read More Read More

The Devil in the Details

The Devil in the Details

Despite President Barack Obama’s brilliant performance at his primetime press conference on health care, Republicans and some conservative Democrats are balking at the details of the proposed legislation. But the devil is not in the details. It is in the commitment of the nation to the national health. The president needs to activate the conscience of America to take care of all of its citizens. The president needs to challenge the country to declare that health care is a natural…

Read More Read More

Eliminate Unemployment

Eliminate Unemployment

7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The effects of these layoffs have been horrendous on the workers and their families. The recession is making us sick, the employed as well as the unemployed. For most, losing your job means losing your health insurance. You drop your gym membership if you have one. You delay medical care to save the cost. You eat cheaper, less healthy foods. You roam the streets applying for jobs…

Read More Read More

Put another Frances Perkins on the Obama Team

Put another Frances Perkins on the Obama Team

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Frances Perkins to be his Secretary of Labor in 1932, she said she would accept only if he would support her social justice agenda: Federal relief and large-scale public works programs to help victims of the Depression, federal minimum wage and maximum hour’s law, a ban on child labor, and unemployment and old age insurance. The New Deal was born. These were revolutionary goals for the time, but Roosevelt agreed. “I suppose you are going…

Read More Read More