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The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats

John Stauber

This article was originally published by CounterPunch. There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run “the Progressive Movement.” More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars, will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations. It will […]

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Obama’s Still Shopping for a Grand Bargain

Obama's Still Shopping for a Grand Bargain By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

President Obama’s recent closed-door sessions with Republican congressmen to reach a “grand bargain” has roused suspiciously little attention in the mainstream media. What scant reporting has occurred presents the following narrative: President Obama is a “middle ground” politician attempting to breach political divides with erstwhile Republican opponents. In reality these meetings are not between political […]

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What the 1% Heard During Obama’s State of the Union Speech

Shamus Cooke

When President Obama speaks, most Americans hear what he wants them to hear: lofty rhetoric and a “progressive” vision. But just below the surface the president has a subtly-delivered message for the 1%, whose ears prick up when their buzzwords are mentioned. Obama’s state of the union address was such a speech — a pro-corporate […]

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Will 2012 be the Final Election of Lesser Evilism?

Shamus Cooke

Just when the Obama campaign couldn’t appear any less inspiring, Paul Ryan was put forth as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Suddenly team Obama was supplied with enough political munitions to scare every last American over the possible Ryan destruction of Medicare, Medicaid, cuts to Social Security and the various other evils inherent in his proposed […]

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Money, Power, and Politics

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

When it is a question of the efficacy of money in politics and workers fail to put up a fight, money prevails. The moral is: money counts — but only if we let it.

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Obama, Labor and Marriage Equality

Mark Vorpahl

Mark Vorpahl Since President Obama made his very calculated public statement announcing that he was “personally” in favor of same sex marriage, among the many commentators who have rushed to his support have been a significant number of Labor leaders. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, stated “Look, I support that position. We support it […]

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Why Labor’s Rank and File Won’t Campaign for Obama

Shamus Cooke

“What is Obama promising unions this election? Nothing. Why make promises to organizations like labor that don’t seem to care if you break them?”

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Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence

Workers Action

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Introduction by Workers Action Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this speech at a Clergy and Laity Concerned meeting at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967. In it he stressed the connection between the U.S. wars abroad and the economic and racial injustice here at […]

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Reform versus Revolution in Occupy

Shamus Cooke

Many Occupiers have expressed a valid concern over the Obama campaign attempting to hijack the Occupy movement. To avoid this pitfall some Occupiers advocate more radical methods, ideas and strategies. But sometimes these tactics create new problems while swerving safely far to the left of the Democrats’ grasp. Some Occupiers have also overreached and exited the […]

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Labor Must Choose: The 99% or the Democrats

Shamus Cooke

The Occupy Movement couldn’t have come along at a worse time, from the viewpoint of the Democrats. Election season is just getting started and Occupy has thrown a giant wrench into the political machinery. Some labor leaders too are sensing “politics as usual” shifting under their feet; the “get out the vote” for the Democrats […]

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The Great Health Care Takeaway

Shamus Cooke

The health care crisis in the United States is getting worse with no visible end. The popular anger over unattainable or unaffordable health care has been diverted away from corporations by crafty politicians, always seeking to exploit a social disaster for their benefactors. Instead of making health care more affordable for the average person, politicians […]

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Can Labor Confront Obama Over Jobs?

Shamus Cooke

As the seeds of Obama’s 2012 electoral campaign begin to sprout, labor unions are being forced either to pledge their allegiance or distance themselves from the incumbent president. There has already emerged some hefty splits in the labor movement over the issue, based on the President’s complete lack of action on creating jobs combined with […]

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Fake Debt Crisis Strikes Blow at Safety Net

Shamus Cooke

The debt crisis has been averted and people across the globe are breathing sighs of relief. But in the back rooms of Congress politicians are celebrating for a different reason. It’s the kind of celebration that erupts when a group executes a complicated plan to perfection. The objective in this case was to strike the […]

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A Tale of Three Flaws: The Democratic Party and Its Vision for America

Tobias Michaels

Tobias Michaels Introduction At the time of this article, the United States of America is approximately 17 months away from the 2012 Presidential election. The last three years of President Barack Obama’s term has been instructive for workers. His election as president was greeted with fanfare, much like that of a prince being crowned king […]

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Unsafe At Any Speed: Another BART Police Shooting

Adam Richmond

Adam Richmond On Monday, July 11, 2011, approximately 250 people flooded the San Francisco Civic Center Station of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to protest the killing of Charles Hill. Hill, aged 45, a long time alcoholic and intoxicated at the time of being shot by an unnamed BART Transit cop. The cop reported that […]

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Living in the Wasteland of the Free

Workers Action

Iris Demint watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hhgb9hYjX3g Living in the wasteland of the free… We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines and their speech is growing increasingly unkind They say they are Christ’s disciples but they don’t look like Jesus to me and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free We got […]

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Who is James Johnson? By David Brooks, with an Introduction by Workers Action

Workers Action

The following op-ed article by David Brooks appeared in The New York Times, June 17, 2011. Brooks’ description of the corruption behind the demise of Fannie Mae, a government-backed lending institution that has since been nationalized, is based on a recent book, “Reckless Endangerment,” by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. The striking element of Brooks’ analysis is his repeated equation of this specific act of corruption, in which Representative Barney Frank is implicated, with business as usual in Washington. As he puts it: “The scandal has sent the message that the leadership class is fundamentally self-dealing.” And he adds: “The final message is that members of the leadership class have done nothing to police themselves. The Wall Street-Industry-Regulator-Lobbyist tangle is even more deeply enmeshed.”

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The Democrats Attack Unions Nationwide

Shamus Cooke

Fighting the concessionary cancer is the essence of the problem. This is the real lesson of Wisconsin: workers want to fight back against the nationwide attack against their livelihoods, whether it be wages and benefits or collective bargaining. The AFL-CIO and Change to Win realize this to a certain degree; they are separately creating campaigns to deal with the attack, with SEIU jumping out in front with its Fight for a Fair Economy.

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The Fake Budget Debate in Washington D.C.

Shamus Cooke

By definition, a “debate” requires two opposing sides holding mutually exclusive opinions. In the U.S. Congress, however, real debate has all but vanished. Instead, we are subjected to endless blather that — if you listen closely — is a simple discussion over splitting hairs. There can be no U.S. budget debate when both sides have already agreed that […]

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Building Unity To Defeat Union-Busting And Concessions: Report On Emergency Labor Meeting

Emergency Labor Network

Ninety-six union leaders and activists from 26 states and from a broad cross-section of the labor movement gathered at the Laborers Local 310 Hall in Cleveland on March 4-5, 2011, in response to an invitation sent out in January urging them to “explore together what we can do to mount a more militant and robust […]

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How to Win in Wisconsin and Beyond

Shamus Cooke

The eruption of protests in Madison, Wisconsin against a rabidly anti-union Governor and legislature has become “ground zero” in a fight that, on the surface, appears to be labor unions vs. Republicans. Digging deeper will reveal a conflict brewing for decades in American society that pits working people in general against an increasingly bold corporate […]

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The Two Roads Out of Recession

Shamus Cooke

Recent events in Washington, D.C. should provoke fear and outrage in the average American worker. As the jobs recession staggers on, politicians and labor leaders alike seem bizarrely distanced from reality, unable to advance any ideas that remotely correspond to the basic demands of those tens of millions of unemployed, under-employed, or poorly paid workers. Instead, […]

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Obama’s Corporate State of the Union

Shamus Cooke

Finally, Obama will be delivering real change. But not the kind envisaged by those who voted for him. Rather, Obama’s revolutionary change builds upon the foundations laid by Reagan, who drastically altered American society by promoting the corporate sector at the expense of working people. Obama’s state of the union speech was the culmination of months of right-wing policies […]

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The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

Mark Vorpahl

In the political theater exhibited last December where 13 months of unemployment extensions were linked to continuing tax breaks for the rich, a significant issue was left out of the drama, though it directly impacts the lives of millions. That is the fate of those who have become known as the 99ers. The 99ers are […]

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The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now!

Shamus Cooke

Trumka is right. He also has a responsibility to back up his words with action. The AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions need to embark on a massive educational campaign about the above bipartisan proposals that will be implemented, not just by the Republicans, but by Obama and the Democrats. The unions then need to mobilize a united labor fightback where they demand of the government that it create a massive public works project to put 20 million people back to work, including not only the officially unemployed but the partially employed and those who have given up looking, while taxing Wall Street to pay for it. Labor officials, from the state, city, and workplace level must lead a broad labor-community alliance to confront these attacks on working people.

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The Democrats Prepare to Move Right

Shamus Cooke

On the eve of the Republican-dominated mid term election, working people were told to vote Democrat to prevent a “truly dangerous” Republican party from taking power. There is an element of truth in this: the Republican Party has been sprinting to the far right for decades, to the point where they are incapable of speaking […]

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Interpreting Jon Stewart’s Politics

Shamus Cooke

Any criticism of Jon Stewart must begin with enthusiastic praise: his Daily Show is where millions of people go for important news that is purposely ignored by the mainstream media. Consequently, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have become icons of the political Left. During the Bush administration, their shows highlighted the lies and hypocrisies used to engage […]

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Republicans Poised for Success

Brad Forrest

Brad Forrest The Democratic Party majorities in Congress may be a thing of the past, if campaign spending has anything to do with it. It’s the age of austerity! This is the battle cry of the ruling class as a response to the greatest slump since the Great Depression. “Bond markets” demand that the public […]

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We Must Fight! (WERC Flyer for the G20 Protest in Pittsburgh)

WERC

Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign The Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign (WERC), a national campaign dedicated to organizing working people to fight for their own interests, strongly supports the protest demonstration organized by the Bailout People, Not Banks at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. The G20 represents the wealthiest people from the wealthiest nations in the […]

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How Corporations Own Congress

Shamus Cooke

  With the November elections quickly approaching, the majority of Americans will be thinking one thing: “Who cares?” This apathy isn’t due to ignorance, as some accuse. Rather, working people’s disinterest in the two party system implies intelligence: millions of people understand that both the Democrats and Republicans will not represent their interests in Congress.This […]

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Jerry Brown Widens The Chasm Between Labor and the Democratic Party

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer With the November elections rapidly approaching, most Americans are unimpressed and uninvolved, having concluded that elections have changed little in their struggling lives, despite all the promises of politicians. But a minority of the population is intensely immersed in partisan politics, doing whatever they can to promote the politicians of […]

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All Out for October 2nd, But For Which Demands?

Workers Action

Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign The official organizing for the October 2nd Washington, D.C. demonstration, which we hope will be massive, has allowed us to catch a glimpse of a crucial ambiguity underlying the event. Will this demonstration be aimed at demanding that the government finally address the real needs of working people, now that it […]

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The Disaster in Pakistan: Legacy of Colonialism

Brad Forrest

Brad Forrest The humanitarian disaster that is engulfing Pakistan due to the monstrous monsoon rains is partly due to the nature of the unavoidable natural disaster, the worst rains in a generation, but it is partly also due to the baneful effects of colonial slavery in the economically backward region. The torrent of rain has […]

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Teachers and Democrats Head for Divorce

Shamus Cooke

It’s best to quickly recognize the red flags in any failing relationship. This way, ties can be severed rather than allow things to linger forever in dysfunction. For Democrats and teachers’ unions, the writing is on the wall. The two are simply going in opposite directions.  The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using […]

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Venezuela: The Imperfect Revolution

EvaGolinger

Workers Action Introduction We believe that the following article provides useful information about Venezuela’s current situation. However, there is one formulation which we would like to comment on. Eva Golinger states: “Venezuela — like it or not — is on an irrevocable path to revolution.” We do not believe that Venezuela has crossed the point […]

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