LBO #121 out!

I’ve been reticent about promoting LBO, the newsletter, on LBO News, the “blog,” but why should I? Anyway, emailed to electronic subscribers and on press for the crushed-tree kind, #121, the third issue in three months, includes: Obama and the duelling caricatures • Adolph Reed on how racism is like the Easter bunny • How this recession stacks up vs. its ancestors • Life after crises • The media bloodletting • Rupert celebrates For a taste, see LBO 121 contents. I suspect many readers of this site already subscribe to the newsletter, for… Read More

Ralph Nader & the plutocrats

I’ve long been struck by Ralph Nader’s imperious view of politics—his preference for progressive change via litigation, not legislation, and a career (during which he accomplished many very good things, don’t get me wrong) capped by a few celebrity presidential campaigns in which he never made any effort to build a movement out of the crowds and publicity they generated. So now he’s out with a “novel” that apparently argues that a small posse of enlightened plutocrats will save us. Citizens’ groups aren’t up to the task, Ralph tells Amy Goodman. Only enlightened… Read More

WBAI elections: endorsements

Dear friends, We are writing to enlist your support for some important changes that are in the works at WBAI, where Beyond the Pale, Asia Pacific Forum, and Behind the News have been broadcasting for many years. If you are a dues-paying WBAI member, you should have likely just received a ballot in elections for the Local Station Board (LSB). We are asking for your help in electing some strong, independent candidates. The LSB plays an important role at WBAI, by making recommendations to Pacifica’s director for the hiring of the station’s… Read More

Radio commentary, September 17, 2009

Mixed news on the economic front, as has been the case for weeks going on months. Which is better than what went before, meaning unmixed negatives, but is still a sign of how weak and tentative the economic stabilization has been so far. Thursday morning we learned that first-time claims for unemployment insurance declined last week by 12,000, exending the previous week’s decline of 19,000. But over the last couple of months, the decline that began in March and ran through July, seems to have stalled. And so-called continuing claims, that is… Read More

Talking to kids about war

Indulge me some promotional efforts for my brilliant wife: Why Are We Fighting? How to talk to kids about war.By Liza Featherstone.


I’ve complained before about all the attention that the angry liberals—Air America, Keith Olbermann, The Huffington Posties, etc.—are paying to the nutters on the right, and I’m going to do it again. Not only does this obsession absolve them of developing and selling an agenda, and put them in the position of being mouthpieces for a centrist, business-friendly administration—it reinforces the role of Glenn Beck as an agenda-setter. Just as Olbermann can’t let go of Cheney, Obama’s clearly still in the discursive grip of Reagan. I’m no fan of economic crises as… Read More


First post from my iPhone. I am now a certifed geek.

Fresh audio

September 10 show, with: Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah, on the takeover of the GOP by the fundie nuts • Michael Yates, author of In and Out of the Working Class, on the working class, teaching economics, and the UFW (see his LBO piece on César Chávez here) now posted in my radio archives. Opening commentary at here.

Radio commentary, September 10, 2009

Thursday morning brought the release of the annual income, poverty, and health insurance numbers from the Census Bureau for 2008. As you might have guessed, the first year of the recession was pretty bad news for just about everyone. Median household income—the income right at the middle of the income distribution, with half of all households having higher incomes, and half lower—fell by 3.6%, the biggest yearly decline since these figures begin in 1967. All racial and ethnic groups took a hit: non-Hispanic whites were off 2.6%; blacks, off 2.8%; Asians, 4.4%;… Read More

Liveblogging BHO

I’m be doing my first-ever “liveblogging” tonight. I’ll be punditizing for the Institute for Public Accuracy: here.

Delusions on the left

So it’s looking like the buzz around the Internet left is that Van Jones’s ouster is all about race. No doubt that’s part of the story—but does anyone really think the reaction from the right would have been much different had Obama appointed a white ex-Maoist to the job? For God’s sake, the right thinks cap and trade, the most conservative approach to the carbon crisis you could imagine, is a socialist plot to expropriate property, just like Obama’s scheme to subsidize the health insurance industry (aka “reform”) is socialized medicine. Obama… Read More

Now accepting apologies

Ha, so Van Jones is out (“White House Adviser on ‘Green Jobs’ Resigns”). All you people who said I was being too “cynical” in my reading (“Obamamania, a febrile disease”) of Obamamania during the campaign: I’ll be holding an at home today and tomorrow to accept apologies. Line forms just outside the door. PS: Why did they appoint him in the first place? Did they not get just how relentlessly nasty—and principled, actually—the right-wing is? Did they think they’d be reasonable about the appointment of a former Maoist, even one who’s been running… Read More

New radio show

Freshly posted audio: Behind the News for September 5 (a day ahead of time!).

Radio commentary, September 5, 2009

[No, it’s not time travel. The commentary I read on WBAI on Thursday, September 3, came out before the August employment report. I added an analysis of that for the KPFA version, included here, to be broadcast on the morning of September 5.] If you watch MSNBC, which I do most nights (before switching to Fox, because it’s so much more energetic and perversely entertaining), you’ll hear that the Republicans are unfairly demonizing a president with a fundamentally popular agenda. Uh, not exactly. Obama’s slide in the polls is actually one for… Read More

Ciao, public option

So it’s looking like Obama’s not only dropping the public option, he may be using the rejection as a way of distancing himself from the “left.” As Politico reports: On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done. It’s all… Read More