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Citizen Stan

By Patty Sharaf with Robert Scheer
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The Phantom Left

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE


No Final Victories

It was just four years ago that the Democratic Party began its comeback in what now seems like another country.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE


The Rise of Sewer Money

In New York, there is a traditional name for the kind of anonymous cash now cascading into the American electoral process.

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 READ MORE


What If? So What?

What if President Obama and the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill had pushed through an authentic, righteous, no-holds-barred progressive agenda, perhaps with a thick overlay of pitchfork populism?

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE


Karzai
Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Karzai Admits to Taking Cash From Iran

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s administration had been secretly accepting millions of dollars in cash from the Iranian government. Sketchy! And on Monday, Karzai owned up to his part in the clandestine funding program ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Dario Lopez-Mills

The World Liberal Opportunists Made

The lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, which looks set to make sweeping gains in the midterm elections, is the direct result of a collapse of liberalism.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE


The Scandal of 2010

If you travel any place where there is a contested race for the House or Senate, you are bombarded with attack ads, almost all against Democrats, paid for by groups that do not have to reveal where their money comes from.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Fibonacci Blue (CC-BY)

Tea Party Robber Barons

While our media wizards report a groundswell of anger against the president, tea party candidates and financiers appear to be as bothered by the policies of Franklin Roosevelt as those of Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 24, 2010 READ MORE


Thugs on the Right

Sometimes tea party ideologues are described as libertarians, but the behavior of their leading candidates betrays an authoritarian streak just beneath all the sonorous rhetoric.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010 READ MORE


When Banks Are the Robbers

The big banks that caused the collapse of the global finance market, and received tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts, have likely been engaging in wholesale fraud against homeowners and the courts.

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE


Waiting for Another Watergate

What is the most powerful political operation in the country in this 21st century? It’s the United States Supreme Court. The men and women in black are on their way to deciding their second national election in just the first decade of the century.

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE


The GOP’s Triple Play

The Republican Party is running a three-level campaign this year that gives its candidates a wealth of advantages—in flexibility, deniability, and determination.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 READ MORE


They All Do It

Both parties and their allies exploit and stretch campaign finance laws. To expect otherwise is to expect lions not to eat zebras when the opportunity arises.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE


Tory vs. Voodoo Conservatism

I’m not a witch. But if I were, the first spell I’d cast would be to turn House Minority Leader John Boehner into British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Matt York

How Democracy Dies: Lessons From a Master

The ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes spent his life battling the assault on democracy by tyrants. It is disheartening to be reminded that he lost.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 READ MORE


The Shadow Class War of 2010

The 2010 election is turning into a class war. The wealthy and the powerful started it. This is a strange development.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 READ MORE


If I Had a Hammer

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Posted on Oct 8, 2010 READ MORE    



Flickr / Gregg O'Connell (CC-BY)

Chamber of Commerce Goes on a Political Shopping Spree

The pro-business and, more often than not, pro-Republican group is spending $10 million on TV ads this week alone, and it doesn’t have to say who is paying for any of it. The ads, part of a reported $75 million campaign to shake up Congress, represent the biggest one-week spending spree by a non-party group, reports AP.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 READ MORE


Tom Perriello’s Political Experiment

Rep. Tom Perriello is this election’s test case of whether casting tough votes is better than ducking them, and whether a progressive who fashions an intelligent populism can survive in deeply conservative territory.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Ermindo Armino

Tea Party Socialism

Tea party candidates say big government is tyranny, but they don’t object when the tyranny flows their way in the form of taxpayer funded farm subsidies.

Posted on Oct 5, 2010 READ MORE


The Cash Cow of Anonymity

How sweet and innocent they seem, these mysterious organizations with names like Americans for Job Security. Who could argue with that? Who wants job insecurity?

Posted on Oct 4, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Amy Sancetta

This Isn’t ‘Entourage’: Hollywood’s Talented, Ambitious and Broke

A pall has been cast over the creative capital of the planet as the recession has blurred the distinction between emerging artist and mid-career artist, both willing to work on projects for little or no pay.

Posted on Oct 3, 2010 READ MORE


Look Who’s Killing Jobs Now

Republicans like to denounce President Obama and congressional Democrats for what they describe as “job-killing” policies. But in those red-hot rhetorical terms, congressional Republicans are guilty of mass murder when it comes to job creation.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010 READ MORE


Lies of the Tea Party

The disaffection and demoralization of Democrats have created a dangerous political vacuum that is being filled with misleading data, urban legends and outright lies.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Philippe Put (CC-BY-ND)

Banks Can’t Be Bothered With Foreclosure Paperwork

You know how financial institutions have a way of wielding fine print like a weapon? Well it turns out that when it comes to foreclosures, many of the nation’s lenders are either willfully ignoring procedure or are woefully incompetent at paperwork. Take your pick.

Posted on Sep 28, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Reed Saxon

The War of the McCourts

The story of Frank and Jamie McCourt, who turned the Dodgers into their own piggy bank, lived a life of mortgaged royalty and then decided to destroy one another, is like something out of Tom Wolfe.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Mary Schwalm

Retribution for a World Lost in Screens

Like the Ancients, we arrogant humans who turn ourselves into objects of worship and build ruthless systems of power to control the world around us will get what we are due.

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 READ MORE



20th Century Fox

Wall Street Revisited: Greed Is Good and Dull

The inherent problem with Oliver Stone’s follow-up to his 1987 classic is that it does not have the courage of its own nastiest convictions.

Posted on Sep 24, 2010 READ MORE


The Party of Nonsense

The Republicans were doing pretty well for themselves as the Party of No. So why did they decide to rebrand themselves as the Party of Nonsense?

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE


What the Pot Legalization Campaign Really Threatens

By their actions, alcohol companies are admitting that more sensible drug policies could cut into their government-created monopoly on mind-altering substances.

Posted on Sep 23, 2010 READ MORE


Tempest in a Very Small Teapot

Is the tea party one of the most successful scams in American political history?

Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE


Egads

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Posted on Sep 22, 2010 READ MORE


The Wrong Tax Cut Debate

It’s remarkable how timidity leads Democrats to fight this year’s campaign on Republican terms. Nowhere is this more obvious than on taxes.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Misserion (CC-BY)

One of Seven Americans Lives in Poverty

One out of every seven Americans lived through 2009 in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. Working Americans haven’t been this poor in 50 years. The poverty line—$21,954 or less annual income for a family of four—is quite low and the number of Americans struggling to get by is much higher still.

Posted on Sep 17, 2010 READ MORE


Master of the Palin Affect

Not to spoil the fun, but Democrats shouldn’t take the Republican Party’s bitter internal warfare—and the inexperienced, flaky candidates who’ve emerged from the fray—as any kind of reassurance about November.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Keith Allison (CC-BY-SA)

Will Big Tobacco’s Former Bagman Really Be the Next Speaker?

There is nothing fresh or surprising about Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the would-be speaker, a figure so closely associated with corporate special interests that he looks, sounds and behaves exactly like a lobbyist.

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / John Lewis (CC-BY)

Too Big to Fail, Except Online

JPMorgan Chase is America’s second biggest bank, further fattened from gobbling up the carcasses of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, so it stands to reason that millions of Americans have been inconvenienced by the inexplicable meltdown of the company’s website.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 READ MORE



© 2010 Reese Erlich

The Carbon Racket

Proponents say cap and trade will save the world, but an innovative green project in Nepal exposes the carbon market’s flaws.

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE


Money Talks

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Posted on Sep 13, 2010 READ MORE    



AP / Elise Amendola

Do Not Pity the Democrats

Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


A Chance for Supreme Court Damage Control

With Congress coming back this week, there’s a chance to limit the damage the Supreme Court has caused our democracy.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 READ MORE


A ‘Framework’ Seriously Bent

Just how corrupt is the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan? It should be clear by now that President Hamid Karzai doesn’t want us to know.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE


The Neoliberal Bait and Switch

Thirty years into the neoliberal experiment, the Great Recession is exposing the flaws of the Washington Consensus.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE


The Tax-Cut Hand Grenade

The president’s position that the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year should be extended permanently is fiscally reckless.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE



Bollywood Jesus

Today on the list: How human beings could have made the universe, the movement to move Tony Blair’s memoirs to the crime section, the Social Security con and the Bollywood movie ... about Jesus.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Mark Lennihan

Waking Up in the 1930s

In the year 2010, America once again embraced the bread line, and the neatly dressed, solidly middle class, once working folk who queue up are just becoming reconciled to a stark new reality.

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 READ MORE


Church Picnic With a Buzz

It has not been clear whether, or how, the tea party would seek to accommodate the religious aspect of the conservative movement. Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally illustrated one potential route.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE


Beck’s 15 Minutes of Fame

No puffed-up huckster like Glenn Beck could ever diminish the importance of the 1963 March on Washington or the impact of King’s unforgettable words. 

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 READ MORE


The Billionaire Right-Winger

It certainly seems unlikely that David Koch has ever encountered any of the folks who turn up at a typical tea party event or that he has ever showed up at a congressional town hall meeting to scream about health care reform. For Koch, the tea partyers are merely pawns.

Posted on Aug 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Alexandre Meneghini

Inching Away From Bullfighting and Its Macho B.S.

Catalonia has imposed a 2012 ban on the tradition, which is losing support throughout Spain. Could this toxic mix of blood lust and male preening finally be on its way out?

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE


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