Obama’s lame duck quackery

 By BILL ONASCH The annual ritual of President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress (SOTU), required by law and custom, comes without any mandate for action. It has evolved into Reality TV viewed by tens of millions—but with less lasting impact than the style decrees of Fashion Police. It is one component of…

Obama’s Fake Immigration Reform

By JOHN ORLAND The Great Deporter’s new executive order for a “sweeping overhaul of the immigration system” deserves no praise. If there is anything “sweeping” about President Obama’s immigration policy, it is his six years of deporting 2.4 million immigrants, his repeated lies regarding his so-called legal incapacity to issue presidential executive orders to mitigate…

The Promise of Beijing

By BILL ONASCH It was a startling sidebar to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing. The heads of state of two economic and military titans, who between them are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions warming our planet and altering our climate, announced measures to reduce them. President Obama and…

The U.S. election charade

BY JEFF MACKLER The results are in: The Republican Party won at least seven more seats in the Senate, and now controls both houses of the U.S. Congress. Disaster is in the making! Right? The Democrats and Republicans spent an unprecedented mid-term, if not all-time, election total of $4 billion, roughly $2 billion each. The…

Obama’s climate proposals fall short

By CHRISTINE FRANK At Georgetown University on June 25, President Obama gave a major speech outlining his proposals to mitigate and adapt to climate change after making mention of its importance in his inaugural address several months ago. Obama presented what he called “a new national climate action plan,” which calls for cutting carbon pollution…

Obama’s spy methods exposed by Snowden

BY JEFF MACKLER President Obama’s well-publicized May 23 speech to the nation was aimed at moderating the present U.S. dictum that the country is and should remain in a never-ending state of war—that is, the undeclared, undefined “war on terror.” This “war,” codified since 9-11 in the Patriot Act and the associated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance…

Congress makes workers pay for crisis

By JEFF MACKLER In today’s era of U.S. and worldwide capitalist austerity, not a day or month passes when the corporate media do not inform us that the nation faces yet another economic crisis. From the deficit crisis, in which the U.S. budget falls short $1 trillion yearly; to the “fiscal cliff” crisis, wherein “across-the-board”…

Obama: Corporate politics in disguise

BY JEFF MACKLER President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address on Jan. 21 represented a verbal departure from the record of corporate subservience that marked his first four years in office. His 2009 inaugural opened with, “I thank George Bush for his service to our nation,” a promise to the corporate elites who run the United States…

Obama and the Black community

By GLENN FORD Presentation given on Dec. 14 in New York City by Glenn Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report (www.Blackagendareport.com). Ford’s speech was at a forum, “Post-presidential Election Analysis: Domestic & Global Impact — Will Things Fall Apart?” Transcription and slight editing by Marty Goodman. Usually when people talk about post-election assessments they want an…

Congress: Smaller paychecks for workers

By USMAN KHAN YUSUFZAI New Year’s Day has come and gone; the impending “fiscal cliff” disaster that so occupied the fears of politicos and businessmen throughout the country has, at the 11th hour, been averted by heroic deal-making by Republican and Democratic legislators. They made some  “tough decisions” in the face of the (manufactured) crisis…

Obama plan: no real immigrant ‘reforms’

By LISA LUINENBURG The Los Angeles Times recently reported that President Obama is planning a major push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in early 2013. Early reports state that the proposed bill would likely include provisions for increased border militarization, more employer sanctions (which could include increased use of programs like E-verify), and special work visas…

‘Fiscal cliff’ is like ‘austerity chicken!’

By USMAN KHAN YUSUFZAI As we head into the New Year, Washington is buzzing about the impending “fiscal cliff.” The topic was debated at length between both parties of the ruling class, the Democrats and the Republicans; and for all the wailing and doom-saying during and after the November election, one would think that we…

Obama: The corporate choice

BY JEFF MACKLER The $6 billion U.S. election extravaganza—conducted virtually year round in the modern era to consciously dull the senses of capitalism’s working masses with an unending torrent of myths, half truths, and lies—is over. The mask of a progressive, humanistic, caring, environmentally concerned, if not antiwar president, Barak Obama, has been carefully fitted…

Lessons of Chicago teachers’ strike

By DAVID BERNT CHICAGO—In the aftermath of the historic Chicago teachers’ strike there are many lessons to be learned. The strike of 26,000 teachers was the most significant strike in the United States since 15 years ago, when UPS workers walked out in a national strike. In striking, the Chicago Teachers Union was able to…

Washington threatens new military strikes

By DANIEL XAVIER  As the presidential election rapidly approaches, it is predictably clear that the imperialist foreign policy agenda of the U.S. government will continue to advance unabated regardless of whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney occupies the White House come January. Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner (!), has continued and expanded U.S. military…

Presidential Debate: Where are the women?

By ALICE RICHARD  On Oct. 3, President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney squared off in the first presidential debate, in which independent parties were prohibited from participating. The debate was focused on domestic policy, and the candidates primarily sparred on taxes, Social Security, and the federal deficit. Despite the White House’s assurances that…

Democrats Defeated in Wisconsin

The Gov. Scott Walker victory in Wisconsin’s recall election last month should not surprise us. The Democrats are incapable of defeating the right. Don’t the last 30 years demonstrate that? Every vote for a Democrat has meant the success of the “Republican” agenda, based on the loyalty of both parties to the 1%. In fact,…

AFL-CIO calls unions to ‘Stand for America’ rally

By BILL ONASCH Last month, AP ran a story about union officials expressing their displeasure with Democrats by organizing what was described as a “shadow convention” in Philadelphia prior to the boss parties’ nominating rituals. But those organizing the Workers Stand for America rally on Aug. 11 reject that term. I suppose they don’t like…

Elections USA: Paying your way

By MARTY GOODMAN “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.” — Mark Hanna, a 19th-century mining baron and Republican fundraiser. It was expected that the Democrats would beat the Republicans in fundraising. So far, Obama tops Romney in individual donations,…

Presidential campaign loot

By MARTY GOODMAN “Anybody who wants to be an ambassador must at least give $250,000.” — Richard Nixon’s price check to his Chief of Staff on campaign donations. This year’s U.S. presidential campaign fundraising is expected to double the record-breaking $1 billion presidential campaign haul of 2008. Everything has its price under capitalism, including democracy.…

What Libya’s Elections Mean for the People

Millions of Libyans cast their ballots on July 7 in the first “free” election Libya has seen in over four decades. Throngs of people packed into voting booths to select the country’s new 200-seat National Assembly, which will be tasked with creating a new government and writing up a draft constitution. In response to the…

Will Enbridge spills kill XL and Gateway pipelines?

By BARRY WEISLEDER A U.S. government enquiry into the July 25, 2010, spill of 843,444 gallons of crude oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, by Canada’s Enbridge Inc., has fueled doubts about such proposed pipelines as Keystone XL and Northern Gateway. Environmental groups on both sides of the border seized upon the findings of the National…

Wisconsin: Reason 1,000,001 why we need a Labor Party!

<!–[if !mso]><![endif]–> The Gov. Scott Walker victory in Wisconsin’s recall election last month should not surprise us. The Democrats are incapable of defeating the right. Don’t the last 30 years demonstrate that? Every vote for a Democrat has meant the success of the “Republican” agenda, based on the loyalty of both parties to the 1%. In…

Chicago Teachers Union authorizes strike

<!–[if !mso]><![endif]–> CHICAGO—In a strong show of rank-and-file unity, close to 90% of the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union authorized the union to strike if the union’s leadership is unable to negotiate a contract with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s handpicked school board. The strike vote was conducted as the mayor has conducted a union-busting campaign against…