State of the Union Places Entitlement Above Equity

by Michelle Chen on January 27 2010, 7:59PM

Wrapped up in tonight’s stream of glossy oratory was a familiar sense of entitlement. The State of the Union address emphasized rebuilding the middle class, supporting small businesses, boosting financial markets—in other words, soothing the anxieties of people who…

Topics: Economy, News Items, Politics

The State of Immigration Reform: Going Rogue and the Cost of Doing Nothing

by Michelle Chen on January 27 2010, 4:48PM

On the eve of the State of the Union Address, protesters rallied in the nation’s capital to pressure the federal government to act on immigration reform. It was clear that immigrant advocacy groups fall into a long queue of communities…

Topics: Immigration, Politics

ACORN Saga Continues in “Louisiana Watergate”

by Michelle Chen on January 26 2010, 5:23PM

How you like me now? You knew it wouldn’t be long before we heard again from the ACORN scandal-mongers. This time, rather than demonizing an activist group, the goons are reportedly going straight for the jugular by invading a…

Topics: Politics

Perversion of Justice: Citizens United, Corporate Power and Black Disenfranchisement

by Michelle Chen on January 25 2010, 5:56AM

Corporations are people, too. That was the logic behind the Supreme Court’s latest assault on the electoral process. Divined from a wildly creative reading of the law, the concept has been manipulated over the years to grant extraordinary powers…

Topics: Politics

Democracy Begins at Home: Public Housing Tenants Without a Voice

by Michelle Chen on January 23 2010, 9:03AM

Walk through a typical New York City public housing complex, and you’re not likely to see many signs of civic life among drab high-rises and asphalt lots. But once upon a time, public housing was seen as a foundation…

Topics: Politics

Loss for Words: Reid, Obama and Semantic Silliness on Race

by Michelle Chen on January 11 2010, 10:08PM

The 24-hour news cycle is still ravishing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s fumbling words on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, skin tone, and lack of “Negro dialect.” And as usual, all this analysis just leaves us more confused about what…

Topics: Politics

Schwarzenegger Calls For…What Was that? More Education Spending!

by Julianne Hing on January 6 2010, 6:11PM

Okay, so California’s action hero governor also called for an overhaul of the tax and pension systems and demanded more privately run prisons in his state of the state address today. These moves toward privatization will surely not be good…

Topics: Politics, Schools & Youth

Divorced from Reality, Bushies Debate Racial Profiling

by Michelle Chen on January 4 2010, 6:54PM

Think Progress reports: In the wake of the underpants terror plot that caught everyone off guard, former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff says profiling is “arguably dangerous” on Meet the Press:…when David Gregory asked former Bush CIA director Michael…

Topics: Criminal Justice, National Security, Politics

Holiday Vindication Ends Nutty Year for ACORN

by Michelle Chen on December 24 2009, 10:06AM

It’s been a trough year for ACORN, fraught with YouTube scandals and right-wing radio gotchas. But the organization—a powerful anti-poverty advocacy group and favorite whipping post of GOP conspiranoiacs—got a little holiday cheer recently with two reports that essentially…

Topics: Politics

In Health Debate, GOP Plays the Slavery Card—and Loses

by Michelle Chen on December 8 2009, 8:18AM

Conservatives on the Hill were shocked—shocked!—when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared conservatives’ obstructionism on health care reform to resistance, in an earlier era, to the abolition of that “peculiar institution.” “Outrageous!” cried Rush Limbaugh, following up with a…

Topics: Health, Politics

Sarah Palin’s Delusional “Real America”

by Terry Keleher on November 18 2009, 2:33PM

Former Alaska Governor and Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is embarking on a national tour touting her new book “Going Rogue.” What’s curious, however, is that her book tour will skip a lot of the big cities—and major book sale markets—like…

Topics: Politics

Congressional Coffee-and-Collating CAIR Conspiracy Clearly a Crock

by Channing Kennedy on October 22 2009, 10:43AM

In case you forgot to look out for the well-being of your country last week, four brave Congressional Republicans have uncovered a conspiracy at the highest levels of American government: an established lobbying group is working to get unpaid…

Topics: Politics

A NY Politician Speaks Subtly About Interracial Marriage

by Michelle Chen on October 21 2009, 9:08PM

Having won the Democratic primary, New York City Councilmember Bill de Blasio’s quest to become the city’s next public advocate is now all but certain to lead to victory. But his campaign—which has run “eye-catching” ads featuring his wife…

Topics: Politics

Latinos Sue Modesto City, CA

by Leticia Miranda on October 20 2009, 9:00AM

Ah, Modesto –- the proud producers of the nation’s milk, almonds, chickens, cattle, and walnuts. This agro-business-rich city touted $2.5 billion in agricultural production two years ago. But in classic San Joaquin Valley agro-business style, it doesn’t look like…

Topics: Politics

Another Take on Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

by Terry Keleher on October 9 2009, 1:32PM

Sometimes, I can be of two minds on the same subject, such as President Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. On one hand, I can identify with the criticism and cynicism that the so-called leader of the free world…

Topics: Politics

FBI to Muslim Man: Spy for Us or We’ll Deport You

by Leticia Miranda on October 7 2009, 1:00PM

Foad Farahi is just one of many people caught between the political crosscurrents of nationhood, xenophobia and the Bush-led “war on terror.” He came here on a student visa and when it expired, he sought political asylum from persecution…

Topics: Immigration, National Security, Politics

Congresswoman Hits Back with New ACORN Bill

by Guest Columnist on October 6 2009, 12:46PM

By Paul Blumenthal This post originally appeared on OpenCongress. A few weeks ago Congress passed the Defund ACORN Act (it was attached to another bill during a motion to recommit), a bill designed at defunding the beleaguered community organization. While…

Topics: Politics

Die Quickly, You Tired, Poor, and Huddled Masses

by Tracy Kronzak on October 2 2009, 6:00AM

Congressman Alan Grayson rocked my little world this week. When I talked about fighting fire with fire last week, this is exactly what I meant. The Republicans want you to die quickly. Insurance companies want you to die quickly….

Topics: Health, Politics

ACORN is the New Dirty Word: Rinku Sen at New America Media

by Channing Kennedy on October 1 2009, 11:47AM

Check out ColorLines publisher Rinku Sen’s new op-ed at New America Media, in which she takes on the dangerous double standard behind the attacks on ACORN, and the consequences of not fighting back: The attack on ACORN isn’t about fighting…

Topics: Politics

Bipartisanship Works Great (For Killing the Public Option)

by Channing Kennedy on September 29 2009, 1:53PM

“I voted bipartisanly! LOL” Earlier this morning, the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Max “Bipartisanship Over Public Good” Baucus (D-MT), voted down Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) relatively robust public option amendment to their version of the health care…

Topics: Health, Politics