Five Great Progressive Columnists' Advice and Ideas on the Coming Obama Era
AlterNet invites Amy Goodman, Sean Gonsalves, Robert Scheer, David Sirota and Norm Solomon to write on what kind of White House Obama will create.
Obama’s Shrewd Choices
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.cvom that Barack Obama’s appointees will implement the Obama program, not only because that is what he tells them to do but because that is what they have come to believe is best for the country.
Obama Says Change Is in His Vision - if Not Appointments
Steven Thomma writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "As a presidential candidate, Obama's central theme was that he'd change the way politics and the government work, and suggested that it'd take a fresh, outsider approach to do that. 'Change doesn't come from Washington,' he said. 'Change comes to Washington.'"
Labor Secretary Not on Econ Team
Ben Smith reports for The Politico: "The markets rose on the news of Barack Obama's economic policy team Monday, but some labor spirits fell. Obama's team of treasury secretary and four top economic advisers, introduced as the hands that will steer America's economy, had no particular ties to the labor movement. And Obama's secretary of labor was not introduced as part of that team - a suggestion that that post will retain its second-tier status and quiet voice in matters central to economic policy."
Gates Agrees to Stay on under Obama
Mike Allen writes for The Politico: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to stay on under President-elect Barack Obama, according to officials in both parties. Obama plans to announce a national security team early next week that includes Gates at the Pentagon and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) as secretary of state, officials said. Retired Marine General James Jones, former Marine commandant and commander of US and NATO forces in Europe, will be named national security adviser, the officials said."
The Ideology of No Ideology
Norman Solomon comments for Truthout: "On Monday, hours before Obama's formal announcement of his economic team, USA Today explained that he is forming a Cabinet with 'records that display more pragmatism than ideology.' The ideology of no ideology is nifty. No matter how tilted in favor of powerful interests, it can be a deft way to keep touting policy agendas as common-sense pragmatism - virtuous enough to draw opposition only from ideologues. Meanwhile, the end of ideology among policymakers is about as imminent as the end of history."
Custodians of Empire
Tom Engelhardt writes for The Nation: "The Obama national security 'team' - part of that much-hailed 'team of rivals' - does not yet exist, but it does seem to be heaving into view. And so far, its views seem anything but rivalrous. Mainstream reporters and pundits lovingly refer to them as 'centrist,' but, in a Democratic context, they are distinctly right of center. The next secretary of state looks to be Hillary Clinton, a hawk on the Middle East. During the campaign, she spoke of our ability to 'totally obliterate' Iran, should that country carry out a nuclear strike against Israel. She will evidently be allowed to bring her own (hawkish) subordinates into the State Department with her. Her prospective appointment is now being praised by the likes of Newt Gingrich and Henry Kissinger."
The Rebirth of Keynes, and the Debate to Come
Robert Reich writes on Robert Reich Blog: "The economy has just about come to a standstill - not so much because credit markets are clogged as because there's not enough demand in the economy to keep it going. Consumer spending has fallen off a cliff. Investment is drying up. And exports are dropping because the recession has now spread around the world. So are we about to return to Keynesianism? Hopefully."
US Consumer Loan Aid Will Trickle Only So Far
Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard write for The New York Times: "If you're buying a home, refinancing a mortgage or seeking an auto or student loan, the new government plans to make borrowing cheaper and easier sound like a gift. One problem, however, is that whole categories of people may be ineligible."
Former UBS CEO's Returned Bonus: An Incomplete Gesture
Frederic Lelievre reports for Geneva's Le Temps: "The street has something to celebrate. It's got hold of its number one culprit, Marcel Ospel. Under popular pressure, the former UBS boss ended up giving back some 22 million Francs, so as to align himself 'with the reality of the present situation.' A lovely formula to describe the ruin of the bank - which owes its survival to public money." For original article in French click here.
The Most Disappointing Gift: Take a Holiday from ... Clothes Shopping
Former Community Bridg guest Stan Cox writes for Counter Punch: "A deep recession — or worse — is in the holiday forecast, but belt-tightening doesn’t have to ruin the festive mood. Here’s one painless way to cut expenses while giving the planet a much-needed break: Resolve not to buy any new clothes — not even a tight new belt! — for anyone for a whole year, starting now."
Rape's Vast Toll in Iraq War Remains Largely Ignored
Anna Badkhen reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "As though recoiling from her own memories, Khalida shrank deeper into her faded armchair with each sentence she told: of how gunmen apparently working for Iraq's Interior Ministry kidnapped her, beat and raped her; of how they discarded her on a Baghdad sidewalk. But her suffering did not end when she fled Iraq and became a refugee in Jordan's capital, Amman. When Khalida's husband learned that she had been raped, he abandoned her and their two young sons."
Overstressed Parents, Kids Need Help
Leonard Pitts Jr. writes for the Miami Herald: "At one level, it sounds like a very bad joke. In September, a safe-haven law took effect in the state of Nebraska allowing parents to leave their children at hospitals without fear of prosecution. This, as a means of saving the lives of unwanted newborns who would otherwise be left in garbage heaps and motel rooms or simply murdered outright. Nebraska was the last state in the union to pass such a law and unlike the other 49 states, it did not limit the ages of children that could be legally abandoned."
Recommended Audio: Buy Nothing Day November 28
More Recommended Audio: Feast of Fools #882 - Rev. Straight Talks About Prop. 8 - 11.18.08
How do you stop the hate in 2008? The recent passing of Proposition 8, a California State ballot aimed to take away the State’s ability to issue same-sex marriage licenses is raising questions on the role of race and sexuality in this last election. It’s also making people highly aware of the differences. Not everyone who voted for Obama was for marriage equality. How could that possibly be?
Although the African American religious vote made a small but significant difference in passing this ordinance, many people are pitting gay rights advocates against the black church.
Did queer folks fail to reach out to black churches or did these Churches fail to see the universal struggle for equality in their own back yard?
Why wasn’t Barack Obama’s rejection of the measure a bigger part of the campaign against the proposition?
On today’s show we have Chicago’s very own, the Rev. Charles Straight- Pastor of Faith United Methodist Church, in Dalton Illinois.
He’s here to help us make sense of what happened and what we can learn from this setback in order to fight against injustice wherever it rears it’s ugly head, even when it means taking a good hard look at ourselves.