Archive for September, 2011

Strike Force

Posted on September 29, 2011 by

I wrote this review for The Frying Pan, a new progressive L.A. – based site. REVIVING THE STRIKE: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America by Joe Burns The American labor movement needs a jolt and Joe Burns’ new book, Reviving the Strike,  delivers just the right shock treatment. Debunking commonly held assumptions [...]

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Go Perry

Posted on September 24, 2011 by

You can’t blame Barack Obama for the Tea Party.  But the president’s failure to channel populist anger against corrupt corporate and financial elites may have enabled the right wing revolt.  America’s conservative impulse is always lurking below the surface.  Sometimes presidents can diffuse it by pointing the finger at those elements which are holding back [...]

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Next Stop: The Euro Zone

Posted on September 16, 2011 by

The European democracies – France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands (name your favorite) – were once idealized by the American left for enlightened market-driven socialism: For balancing enterprise, democratic government, successful social safety-nets and strong unions (compared to ours).  Today’s Euro Zone debt crisis exposes cracks in these once-affluent societies and makes it harder for American progressives [...]

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The Irreplaceable Justice Ginsburg

Posted on September 14, 2011 by

Let’s hope Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is O.K after sliding down the emergency chute at Dulles following the captain’s orders to evacuate the plane because of “engine problems” before takeoff.  A solid and thoughtful liberal, Ginsburg had us worried a few years ago with a cancer scare and – as the court’s oldest [...]

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Remembering Brooklyn and Vermont

Posted on September 10, 2011 by

I’ve lived in three places:  Brooklyn, Vermont and Los Angeles.  I picked up my “street smarts” as a working-class kid from Bensonhurst.  Though it’s tempting to characterize myself as a tough guy from the boroughs, I’d be exaggerating if I suggested that I grew up using my fists and my wits.  My neighborhood around Bay Parkway and [...]

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In L.A., Labor is in the House

Posted on September 8, 2011 by

Whatever you may think about pro football, a downtown L.A. stadium or international sports venue developer Phil Anshutz, the soon-to-be-approved project demonstrates the power of Southern California unions.  City Council votes to greenlight the development and proposed state legislation to fast-track the process were spurred by the Los Angeles Labor Movement.  The payback is big:  [...]

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Don’t Hate Obama

Posted on September 6, 2011 by

Barack Obama may have failed.  He may lack judgment, courage or principles.  But he is not immoral, indecent or malicious.  This Huff Po piece by Michael Brenner is over-the-top.  Beyond criticism, it’s character assassination.  Brenner, professor of international affairs at the University of  Pittsburgh, accuses Obama of a “betrayal” which will “resonate in history” and [...]

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Coping with Obama – and Smog

Posted on September 3, 2011 by

Almost everyday, I’m angry, disappointed and frustrated by something I hear or read about Barack Obama.  I suspect there are millions of progressive and activist democrats across America with a similar experience.  Today, for example, I was depressed by the news that the administration is rolling back smog standards.   It’s a very familiar pattern.  The [...]

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Trumka’s “Super PAC” Lifts Labor’s Voice

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

American unions may be declining, but Rich Trumka’s star is rising.  His “everyman” speaking style and strong progressive advocacy attract considerable media attention and coverage as top-tier reporters flock to AFL-CIO press events.  Trumka is particularly adroit at giving reporters just what they want:  Playing the D.C. “tease” by criticizing administration policy and prodding Barack [...]

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