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The Nature and Destiny of Man

The Nature and Destiny of Man

By Reinhold Niebuhr; Robin W. Lovin (Introduction by)

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Tag: Sirota

For Competition Before They Were Against It

Republicans insist that “competition solves health care,” and tell us that government programs are worse than private health insurance. So, don’t they welcome a private-versus-public competition, believing that the former will trump the latter? Well ... uh ... no.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


The A Word

Recently, I’ve been groping for the precise word to characterize the zeitgeist of this (unfortunately) historic moment—a word I finally found during a visit last week to central Mexico.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Robin-Hood Republicanism?

Only months after the 2008 primaries, most Americans probably don’t remember Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. But that doesn’t mean the conservative populism they championed during their campaigns is as fleeting as their dark-horse candidacies.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Past the Point of No Return

It’s fitting that Barack Obama went to Denver to sign the stimulus bill. We’re just now starting to climb the challenging “Rocky Mountains” of this economic odyssey.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Addicted to Fake Outrage

One thing is obvious after Michael Phelps’ marijuana “scandal”: Our society is addicted to fake outrage—and to break our dependence, we’re going to need far more potent medicine than the herb Phelps was smoking.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


A Team of Zombies

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a “team of rivals,” but instead President Obama has populated his administration with Bush yes-men and Wall Street kleptocrats whose discredited theologies cannot be killed.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Making Him Do It

Intragovernmental squabbling probably makes the conflict-averse Obama uncomfortable. But the “make him do it” dynamic could finally bring the center of Washington’s political debate closer to the progressive center of American public opinion.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE


The Gulf Between Hope and Change

Though presidential festivities and media superlatives tried to numb any feeling other than happiness, it’s only natural to experience a twinge of anxiety while celebrating at the edge of an abyss.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Fool Me Once

Somehow, immediately releasing more bailout funds is being portrayed as a self-evident necessity. Amid Barack Obama’s paeans to “new politics,” we’re watching old-school paybacks from a politician who raised more Wall Street dough than any other.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


FDR Prolonged the Depression? Really?

If you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself speechless when confronted with abject insanity, such as conservatives’ newest talking point—the one designed to stop Congress from passing an economic stimulus package.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Economic Death and Millionaire Taxes

For most of us, Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1789 still apply: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” However, millionaires, by definition, are not most of us.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Vegas strip
letstravelvacations.com

We Are All Las Vegans Now

A voyage to Sin City in this moment of ecological and economic crisis is a journey to a giant concave mirror reflecting back the magnified—and ugly—truths about this epoch of cataclysmic consumption and hubristic hedonism.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


We Told You So

With the release of three new reports, there’s no debate anymore about who was correct and who wasn’t concerning the economic collapse and the Wall Street bailout. The studies prove that progressive critics were right and the Washington ideologues and the pundits were wrong.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Those Other Elections

A month after Barack Obama’s triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America’s only authentic national religion, and it isn’t Christianity—it’s presidentialism.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE


Our Dear Leader

Judging by the proliferation of capital letters in the e-mail correspondence I receive, many seem worried that Barack Obama may not deliver the promised “change we can believe in.”

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 READ MORE


Tuning Out the Braindead Megaphone

If you’re having trouble remembering what the recent election was all about, rest easy: You’re probably not going senile – you’re likely experiencing the momentary effects of brainwashing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Knowing When to Walk Away

Bush reportedly suggested to Obama he might support an economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if Democrats drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia. Strange behavior? Yes and no.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE


Only One Good Path for the Democrats: Go Big

Obama and the rest of the party should retire the Innocent Bystander Fable—the myth about being powerless onlookers.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Banking on a Confederacy of Dunces

Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That’s the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to “redistribute the wealth” with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE


Signs of an Earthquake in Oregon

No Republican says aristocrat like Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon. And no Senate election could more intensely shift economic politics than his state’s.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE


It’s Henry Paulson’s Move

Is Henry Paulson a crony communist or a businessman? The answer could be the difference between economic disaster and recovery.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE


Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Back in the USSR

In the late 1990s, Washington was in the throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned Rep. Bernie Sanders’ opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that in a few years our country would become the United States’ Socialist Republic.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


No Time for a Minimalist

Barack Obama isn’t going to win any arguments about the economy if he keeps winking at the robber barons who helped wreck Wall Street.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


Country First? Hardly

Stripping away the partisanship, passion and propaganda, what about the veracity of the claim that the GOP puts this country first? Well, let’s just say it’s a little dicey.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Making Goliath Walk

In the imminent confrontation over the Employee Free Choice Act, an almost embarrassingly modest proposal, corporations are actually billing themselves as the underdog—the poor, overmatched peasant David against the Philistine monster Goliath.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


An Unconventional Convention

When I first heard about the Democratic convention coming to my hometown of Denver, I wasn’t all that excited. For many reasons, in fact, I was pretty unhappy with the whole idea.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Conquest by Presidentialism

McCain’s ads are (inadvertently) incisive commentary on the death of Jeffersonian democracy. They aim to mock Obama, but they really lampoon “presidentialism”: our paternalistic view that presidents are godlike saviors—and therefore democracy’s only important figures.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE


Will Obama Wave Bayh-Bye to the White House?

If you believe the chatter, Barack Obama is desperately seeking a white guy—any white guy—to be his running mate. Hopefully, he doesn’t choose Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, whose only major accomplishment is helping to bend his party to the will of corporations.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 READ MORE


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Denver

Twenty-two Electoral College votes in the Rocky Mountain West are up for grabs, meaning this vast expanse is more pivotal than Ohio. And that’s only the beginning of the region’s burgeoning influence on energy, taxes, trade and health care.

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


The 5 Best Political Comedies

Millions of Americans will flock to movie theaters in the coming months to escape their troubles, but they’d be better off renting one of these five classic political films.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE


Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


‘Centrists’ Running the Asylum

In the asylum that is American politics, beware a candidate like Barack Obama when he is lauded for moving to “the center”—because usually that means he is drifting away from it.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Anywhere Becomes Everywhere

America has become homogenized. From suburb to suburb, what people eat, think and enjoy is the same. This is not good for a democracy.

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE


This Summer’s Trilogy of Truth

Books have survived radio and television for the same reason they will survive the Internet. Human life is simply too complex to be represented by a news spot or a blog post.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE


Countering Race With Class

In our us-versus-them culture, every political campaign is a battle to define who exactly the “us” and “them” are. At their most effective, Democrats parry by defining the “us” as the majority of working people, and the “them” as the tiny group of plutocrats who control the country.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


An Anti-Clinton for VP

Some say Hillary Clinton’s defeat was the victory of sexism—but Obama faced at least as much racism. No, this resounding defeat goes beyond pernicious isms and beyond one candidate—it is a fist-pounding rejection of a corrupt ideology.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


The Populist Uprising

American history is the history of populist uprisings. From the Revolutionary War to the coalfield wars, from labor organizers to anti-tax crusaders, from the New Deal to the current conservative era, backlashes to the status quo have defined every major political era.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Lamont Lesson

Though he lost in the general election, Ned Lamont showed that representing the public’s anti-war sentiment and ignoring Washington’s self-appointed gurus wins national elections. And as the current campaign unfolds, the Lamont Lesson is resurfacing.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


A Welcome ‘Shareholder Democracy’

This movement could be more critical than even presidential elections. One example: ExxonMobil stock owners could generate major steps in the area of renewable and alternative energy.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Toward a New Washington Consensus

What passes for smart economic policy is actually a set of right-wing globalization measures that destabilizes the world economy. For the sake of Americans and others, our politicians need to wise up.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Acknowledging the Race Chasm

American politics is as polarized as a red and blue election map. On one side are those who try to distract from the issue; on the other side are those who work to sensationalize it. What unifies both is bigotry.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Plague of Potomac Fever

Congress is ravaged by a disease inside the Washington Beltway inhibiting emotions like compassion and integrity. As the housing crisis intensifies, this malady is getting worse.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Matthews vs. McNulty

If television is the nation’s mirror, then no two TV characters reflect the intensifying “two Americas” gap better than Chris Matthews and “The Wire’s” Jimmy McNulty.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Pennsylvaina
Agence France-Presse

Pennsylvania and the Persistence of the Race Chasm

Hillary Clinton’s win over Barack Obama Tuesday highlights the racial motivations of at least some Pennsylvania voters.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 READ MORE


Colorado Still Sneers at Labor

The state in which an infamous slaughter of labor organizers occurred in 1914 may not be killing unionists these days but its persecution of them continues.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


The Long, Sorrowful Ludlow Legacy

A straight line can be drawn between the 1914 labor massacre in Colorado and today’s killing fields in Colombia. And one of the villains in both cases is the U.S. government.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The real John McCain is re-emerging: a politician who rakes in big bucks by being a hired gun for the corporations.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


Is Wright Right About Racism?

Since the 1960s, bigotry has undergone an aesthetic makeover. Today, the most pernicious racists do not wear pointy hoods, scream epithets and anonymously burn crosses from behind masks. They don starched suits, recite sententious bromides and stage political lynchings before television cameras.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


New Crisis, Old Isms

The Federal Reserve Bank’s decision last week to address the housing crisis by extending $200 billion of taxpayer-financed credit to Wall Street banks was met with a stunned reaction typical of surprising events. But really, the move was the expression of longstanding isms that routinely package corruption as sound public policy.

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE


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