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Guest Commentary (4565)

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

 
By Nikolas Kozloff
 
            In the wake of Scott Brown’s electoral victory in Massachusetts, establishment pundits have been fretting about the new political landscape.  During a recent discussion on the PBS News Hour, New York Times columnist David Brooks worried that populism was coming into vogue.  The political zeitgeist, he said, was turning a lot of people into Ron Paul. 
            “A lot of serious people suddenly think, oh, if I bash the Fed, I can go home and say, oh, I told those Wall Street types,” Brooks declared.  “I think it is incredibly irresponsible,” he added.  Responding to Brooks, co-panelist Mark Shields sounded the alarm.  The Democrats were urging the White House to become more populist, he said, and sought to distance themselves from the excesses of Wall Street.  “Now it's every man for himself,” Shields declared, as if we were in the midst of the sinking of the Titanic.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

By Jacqueline Marcus 

The other day, CBS radio news reported that “Obama inherited some debt, but now he’s making it worse by adding to it.” The critic refused to say that we inherited an eight trillion dollar budget deficit from the Bush administration.  He used the word “some” as if it were a slight debt.   Even now, the corporate media continues to protect Bush and Cheney by not holding them accountable for irresponsible, “out of control” spending.   

In 1992 President George H. Bush left President Clinton a staggering budget deficit.  It’s important to remember the history.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Bill Berkowitz

Sarah Palin to help Tea Party Express launch its third nation-wide bus tour in Searchlight, Nevada, on March 27

The organizers of the Tea Party Express franchise are ready to roll once again. They recently announced plans for its “Tea Party Express III: Just Vote Them Out” tour. The national tour will kick-off on March 27th with a rally in Searchlight, NV (hometown to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) and will conclude at the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 15th (Tax Day). Along the way there will be stops in a number of cities including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona, Topeka, Kansas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Little Rock, Arkansas, Nashville, Tennessee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Detroit, and Boston.

“You, the politicians in Washington, have failed We The People with your bailouts, out-of-control deficit spending, government takeovers of sectors of the economy, Cap & Trade, government-run health care, and higher taxes! If you thought we were just going to quietly go away, or that this tea party movement would be just a passing fad, you were sadly mistaken. We’re taking our country back!” the Tea Party Express website exclaimed.

Thursday, 04 February 2010 01:51

Get the Message?

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Sue Wilson

Get the Message?

Last Friday, many Americans witnessed a rare bit of political theater when President Obama addressed the GOP Retreat in Baltimore.  By insisting that live TV cameras be allowed into the exchange, the President took a rare opportunity to take control of his message in full view of the public, calling out the GOP on their lies and dirty tricks, and challenging them to tone down their rhetoric so Washington could focus on issues rather than the next election.  Headlines burst from newspages: "Extraordinary!" "Remarkable!"  "Historic!"  The GOP instantly regretted their decision to allow cameras.  It was a big moment for Obama to get his message out; but how many more will he get?

CSPAN, CNN, and MSNBC ran and reran the discussion   But FOX News chose not to show the actual exchange at all, instead choosing to "characterize" it for their audience, editing an hour and twenty minutes into a few meaning-twisted soundbites, prompting Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman to confront FOX CEO Roger Ailes about his network's "deliberate misinformation" Sunday on ABC's This Week.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Chris Borland, The Democratic Activist

People,

The Bill of Rights was intended to provide inalienable rights to ordinary people, among them the right to free speech. The recent conservative Supreme Court ruling effectively eliminates the free speech rights of the American people, of ordinary citizens like you and me, by formally granting that right to ultra-rich, corporations -- which are NOT human, NOT people, NOT citizens, but artificial state-created entities -- to drown out every other competing voice in the political arena.

This is literally the theft of Americans' free speech rights by big-money right wing conservatives, who have been plotting for decades to ensure that NO other voices but theirs are spoken and heard in America. Their first victory was to buy and consolidate America's formerly free press (accomplished with the help of corporatist Democratic allies like Bill Clinton) into the hands of a few gargantuan media corporations. The goal of the conservative movement has always been free speech only for the rich, who they serve and wish to become, whose money they love and covet, and silence for everyone else.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 05:16

Decency and Strength

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Kathy Kelly

February 2, 2010

Here in Colorado Springs, student and community organizers recently invited me to try and help promote their campaign against a proposed “No Camping” ordinance, a law to ban the homeless from sleeping on sidewalks or public lands within the city limits.  The organizers insist it’s wrongful to criminalize the most desperate and endangered among us, that it instead seems quite criminal to persecute people already in need of far more care and compassion than we've been willing to offer, especially during these bitterly cold winter months.  But others in the area are intent on eliminating the tent encampments near the Monument Creek and Shooks Run trails, complaining that the encampments mar natural beauty, deter tourists, create fire hazards, and degrade the environment by strewing heaps of trash and debris near the creek and even in it.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 05:06

Twitter's Communications Evolution

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Andrew Lehman of Andrew Lehman Design, Ltd.

An article in the November 9 NY Times, "Refining the Twitter Explosion", described changes that Twitter programmers are making to Twitter, changes that are taking steps toward a dramatic realignment of our society.

The article noted that in January 2009, daily traffic was 2.4 million transmissions, but it grew to 26 million tweets by October.  Then, the writer Noam Cohen noted the importance of geographic location to high quality information: "Improvements like geolocation have the potential to make the Internet suddenly relevant to society as it is lived, not just relevant to what happens online."

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Olga Pierce, ProPublica

Last week in his State of the Union address, President Obama announced a spending freeze. This week, he unveiled a budget that would increase federal spending by 5 percent over this fiscal year’s budget and increase the federal deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion.

What gives?

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Lawrence S. Wittner

       Decades ago, rightwingers began championing cuts in income taxes for
the rich and -- when that lowered government revenue -- turned around
and claimed that government could no longer "afford" to maintain vital
public services like education and healthcare.  Unfortunately, in an
effort to curry favor with the wealthy and their corporations, many
state and national office-holders began to adopt the rightwing's
tax-cutting model.  In New York State, the tax rate for top income
earners was reduced from over 15 percent to less than half that
amount.  On the federal level, it plummeted from 91 percent (in the
early 1960s) to 35 percent (today).  As a result of such policies --
and of rising expenditures on the military -- there was a lot less
government revenue left for public services, and they were slashed
accordingly.

Tuesday, 02 February 2010 06:27

Don’t Call It a “Defense” Budget

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

By Norman Solomon


    This isn’t “defense.”

    The new budget from the White House will push U.S. military spending well above $2 billion a day.

    Foreclosing the future of our country should not be confused with defending it.

    “Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr.

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