Admiring Sacrifice: Talking to Catholic Students

Presentation at Marymount University, April 7, 2005
Crystal asked me to come here because I had some connection to the hunger strike for a living wage at Georgetown University. When I told her that I was not a hunger striker, but primarily a reporter who wrote about it, she was kind enough to still ask me to speak, but asked if I could bring a hunger striker too. I couldn’t.

So, instead of hearing from one of these admirable young people who put their health and their lives on the line for read more

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Camejo, Selfa, and Debating the Rearrangement of Deck Chairs

April 8, 2005
The Socialist Worker’s Lance Selfa wrote an article opposing the idea of trying to turn the Democratic Party into a truly progressive force. Hopeless, he said. I sent him a response, which the Socialist Worker published together with a reply from Selfa. See the exchange here:
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-1/538/538_08_DebatingthePDA.shtml

At the same time, Ralph Nader running mate Peter Camejo published an article criticizing the same thing and denouncing various efforts read more

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DINOs Outshining RINOs

April 18, 2005

For more than a decade we’ve heard about a political animal called the RINO (Republican in Name Only), but most species of RINO have become endangered or at least threatened. Republicans in Congress have learned to close ranks and vote as a block.

On the recent bill restricting the rights of those who would file class action law suits, Republicans in the House voted 229 to 1 in favor of it, and in the Senate 54 to 0, with two not voting. On the latest increase in war spending, read more

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The Half-Baked Baker Carter Commission

April 19, 2005


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So, Jimmy Carter and James Baker are sitting at a table, and Carter starts talking about the disastrous election of 2000 in Florida…. It sounds like the start of a joke. It was actually the start of the first meeting of the Baker-Carter Commission on Federal Election Reform in Washington, D.C., on April 18th. Baker didn’t do much bragging about his role in Florida. In fact, there was more than one occasion during the meeting on which Baker read more

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What They Should Fight For

April 19, 2005
Harold Meyerson has an interesting article in the Spring 2005 Dissent Magazine called “Beyond The Consensus: Democrats Agree on How to Play Defense, but What Are They Fighting For?” http://www.dissentmagazine.org/

Meyerson encourages Democrats to “go to war against Democratic Wall Street elites,” to win back the white working class through progressive economic policies. I completely agree, but want to quibble with how Meyerson proposes we do this.

Meyerson read more

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Government Is Not a Father or Mother, But Our Child

April 20, 2005

George Lakoff has become perhaps the most listened to thinker by progressive activists. His instruction to take care in how a debate is initially framed is very persuasive. Clearly it is much harder to bring people to a conclusion that lies outside the possibilities created by a frame. It is also useful to argue in the terms that will appeal to the widest audience.

I don’t think a lack of these communications skills has much to do with the decline of progressive politics in read more

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Surprise Guest at Social Security Rally: An Opposition Party

April 26, 2005


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James Roosevelt stood on a large outdoor stage on Tuesday in a Washington, D.C., park filled with union members waving signs about Social Security. “Every American,” he said, “deserves what my grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out for them.”

The shouts that followed that remark must have been heard inside the nearby U.S. Capitol.

“Are we in this country ever a We, or is it I and Me all the time?” asked Roosevelt, read more

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A Press Conference for Theocracy

A Press Conference for Theocracy
April 26, 2005


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Two white Republican U.S. senators and a group of largely African-American preachers held a press conference in the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday to demand a vote on the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Brown’s is one of the nominations that Democratic senators are opposing by means of the filibuster.

Because the Democrats are in the minority, even if they could discipline read more

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Al Gore Attacks "Right-Wing Religious Zealotry"

April 27, 2005


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Former Vice President Al Gore gave a lengthy speech on Wednesday on the topic of Republicans’ attempt to eliminate the right to filibuster in the Senate.

The event was organized by MoveOn.org, and MoveOn member Sarah Landon introduced Gore. Landon pointed out that Gore had worked in an administration that saw more judicial nominees blocked by Republicans than the current one has seen blocked by Democrats. We hear about activist Democratic judges, read more

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U.S. Out of Iraq: Forum Features Conyers, Woolsey, Lee, Ellsberg

April 28, 2005

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A forum held in a US House of Representatives office building on April 28 brought together leaders of the movement to withdraw US troops from Iraq, including Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, both California Democrats and Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Woolsey is the sponsor of H. Con. Res. 35, a resolution calling for the withdrawal of troops to begin immediately.
http://www.woolsey.house.gov/newsarticle.asp?RecordID=391

Woolsey read more

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