Tag: Norman Solomon

Full Speed Ahead on the Global Titanic

NORMAN SOLOMON – Yes, the Doomsday Clock keeps ticking — it’s now at 90 seconds to midnight, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — but the ultimate time bomb never gets the attention that it deserves. Even as the possibility of nuclear annihilation looms, this century’s many warning signs retain the status of Cassandras.

Magical Thinking About Biden 2024 Paves the Way for Another Trump Presidency

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Defenders of sticking with Biden glibly dismiss negative poll numbers while noting that polls in January can’t tell us where persuadable voters will end up in November. But there’s a serious problem beyond just polls. It’s the disaffection of activists – pivotal because thousands of talented, hard-working activists are needed to help persuade voters on the fence, and to get-out-the-vote of traditional Democrats who are only “occasional voters.” 

Israel’s Military Is Part of the U.S. War Machine

NORMAN SOLOMON – In January 2019, House speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi was recorded on video at a forum sponsored by the Israeli American Council as she declared: “I have said to people when they ask me — if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid, I don’t even call it aid — our cooperation — with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.” Even making allowances for bizarre hyperbole, Pelosi’s statement is revealing of the kind of mentality that continues to hold sway in official Washington. It won’t change without a huge grassroots movement that refuses to go away.

As RFK Jr. Shifts His 2024 Strategy, He’s Bad News for Progressives

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. follows through on his apparent plans to run for president in the fall 2024 general election, that will make it all the more important for progressives to have a clear understanding of who Kennedy is and what he really stands for. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. offers progressives a mishmash of appealing statements, “free market” corporatism and assorted political toxins. Not a good deal.

The Patriotism of Killing and Being Killed

NORMAN SOLOMON – The Fourth of July — the ultimate patriotic holiday — is [here] again. Politicians orate, American Flags proliferate and, even more than usual, many windows on the world are tinted red, white and blue. But an important question remains unasked: Why are patriotism and war so intertwined in U.S. media and politics?

The Urbanity of Evil: 20 Years After the Invasion of Iraq

NORMAN SOLOMON – Vast quantities of lies from top U.S. government officials led up to the Iraq invasion. Now, marking its 20th anniversary, the same media outlets that eagerly boosted those lies are offering retrospectives. Don’t expect them to shed light on the most difficult truths, including their own complicity in pushing for war. What propelled the United States to start the war on Iraq in March 2003 were dynamics of media and politics that are still very much with us today.

The Myth of the “Moderate Republican” — and Why It’s So Dangerous

NORMAN SOLOMON and JEFF COHEN – Applying adjectives like “moderate” to congressional Republicans is much worse than merely bad word choices. Our language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish,” George Orwell wrote, “but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” And dangerous ones.

Grassroots Organizing Should Dump Biden and Clear the Path for a Better Nominee in 2024

NORMAN SOLOMON – It’s time to create a grassroots groundswell that can compel Joe Biden to give public notice — preferably soon — that he won’t provide an assist to Republican forces by trying to extend his presidency for another four years. A pledge to voluntarily retire at the end of his first term would boost the Democratic Party’s chances of getting a stronger and more progressive ticket in 2024 — and would convey in the meantime that Democratic candidates and the Biden presidency are not one and the same.

Progressives Can’t Depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – The Progressive Caucus leadership approach that gave up leverage for Build Back Better is akin to the one that just endorsed Shontel Brown against Nina Turner. Progressives around the country should take note and not forget: We can’t depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus to provide the kind of leadership we need. It must come from the grassroots.

Bob Dylan and the Ukraine Crisis

NORMAN SOLOMON – Desperately needed is a new European security framework, to demilitarize and defuse conflicts between Russia and U.S. allies. But the same approach that for three decades pushed to expand NATO to Russia’s borders is now gung-ho to keep upping the ante, no matter how much doing so increases the chances of a direct clash between the world’s two nuclear-weapons superpowers.

Current Dispute Over ICBMs Is a Quarrel Over How to Fine-Tune the Doomsday Machinery

NORMAN SOLOMON – Nuclear weapons are at the pinnacle of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” If you’d rather not think about them, that’s understandable. But such a coping strategy has limited value. And those who are making vast profits from preparations for global annihilation are further empowered by our avoidance.

Corporate Liberalism Is No Match for Trumpism

NORMAN SOLOMON – A vital challenge for progressives is to not only block Republican agendas but also to effectively campaign for policy changes that go far beyond the talking points of current Democratic leaders offering to tinker with the status quo. Merely promising a kinder, gentler version of grim social realities just won’t be enough to counter the faux populism of a neofascist Republican Party.

In 18 Months, Republicans Are Very Likely to Control Congress. Being in Denial Makes It Worse.

NORMAN SOLOMON – Next year, if Republicans gain just five House seats, Rep. Kevin McCarthy or some other right-wing ideologue will become the House speaker, giving the GOP control over all committees and legislation. In the Senate, where the historic midterm pattern has been similar, a Republican gain of just one seat will reinstall Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader.

The Urgent Need for a Biden-Putin Summit

NORMAN SOLOMON – The outbreak of rhetorical hostilities between the White House and the Kremlin has heightened the urgent need for a summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The spate of mutual denunciations is catnip for mass media and fuel for hardliners in both countries. But for the world at large, under the doomsday shadow of nuclear arsenals brandished by the United States and Russia, the latest developments are terribly ominous.

Rahm Emanuel is in the Running for a Top Ambassador Post. The Prospect is Appalling.

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Rahm Emanuel has never been associated with the word “diplomatic,” but news reports say that President Biden is seriously considering him for a top position as U.S. ambassador to Japan or China. Naming Emanuel to such a post would be an affront to many of the constituencies that got Biden elected. The saga of Emanuel’s three decades in politics is an epic tale of methodical contempt for progressive values.

Don’t Just Denounce Trump. Demand Progressive Policies from Biden Too.

NORMAN SOLOMON – The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now — while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers — deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.

Why Progressives Must Not Give Joe Biden a Political Honeymoon

NORMAN SOLOMON – Silence or grumbling acquiescence as the Biden presidency takes shape would amount to a political repetition disorder of the sort that ushered in disastrous political results under the Clinton and Obama administrations. Progressives must now take responsibility and take action. As Nina Turner says, “everything we love is on the line.”

Announcing “No Honeymoon” for Biden

ROOTSACTION.ORG – On December 16, the progressive activist group RootsAction.org announced the launch of “No Honeymoon” — a sustained campaign that will mobilize grassroots pressure on Joe Biden from across the country. The group’s NoHoneymoon.org website invites activists “to join with RootsAction to push back against the destructive forces of corporate power, racial injustice, extreme income inequality, environmental assault and the military-industrial complex.”

Corporate Democrats Are to Blame for Congressional Losses — So Naturally They’re Blaming Progressives

NORMAN SOLOMON – Corporate Democrats got the presidential nominee they wanted, along with control over huge campaign ad budgets and nationwide messaging to implement “moderate” strategies. But, as the Washington Post noted, Joe Biden’s victory “came with no coattails down ballot.” Democratic losses left just a razor-thin cushion in the House, and the party failed to win a Senate majority. Now, corporate Democrats are scapegoating progressives.

Progressives Made Trump’s Defeat Possible. Now It’s Time to Challenge Biden and Other Corporate Democrats.

NORMAN SOLOMON – The evident defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives. Now, on vital issues — climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more — it’s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party.

California’s Internal Democratic Leadership Struggle Has National Implications

NORMAN SOLOMAN – After events of 2016, when facts emerged showing that the Democratic National Committee put anti-Sanders thumbs on the scales, many progressives have become acutely sensitive to shortages of fairness in party proceedings. The last thing we need are fresh examples of powerful politicians opting for self-serving actions over democratic principles.

Power in a Time of Coronavirus

NORMAN SOLOMON – Every day now we’re waking up into an extreme real-life nightmare, while responses are still routinely lagging far behind what’s at stake. Urgency is reality. The horrific momentum of the coronavirus is personal, social and political. In those realms, a baseline formula is “passivity = death.” The imperative is to do vastly better.

Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge

NORMAN SOLOMON – The extremely rich Americans who are now frantically trying to figure out how to intervene in the Democratic presidential campaign make me wonder how different they are from the animated character who loved frolicking in money and kissing dollar bills while counting them. If Uncle Scrooge existed as a billionaire in human form today, it’s easy to picture him aligned with fellow plutocrats against the “threat” of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The Crass Warfare of Billionaires Against Sanders and Warren

NORMAN SOLOMON – The billionaire class is worried. For the first time in memory, there’s a real chance that the next president could threaten the very existence of billionaires — or at least significantly reduce their unconscionable rate of wealth accumulation — in a country and on a planet with so much human misery due to extreme economic disparities.

Why So Many Journalists Are Clueless About the Bernie 2020 Campaign

NORMAN SOLOMON – Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as they’re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues. Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as they’re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues.

Rep. Barbara Lee’s Startling Vote to Boost Military Spending

NORMAN SOLOMON – What Barbara Lee did on the House floor three days after 9/11 — speaking prophetic words and casting the only vote against a green light for endless war — remains the bravest wise action in Congress during this century. The contrast was jolting last week when her vote enabled the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.

Sanders Spells Out a Progressive Prescription

NORMAN SOLOMON – Bernie Sanders wrapped up a weekend campaign swing through California with a Sunday afternoon speech to 16,000 of us a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. News coverage seemed unlikely to convey much about the event. The multiracial crowd reflected the latest polling that shows great diversity of support for Bernie, contrary to corporate media spin. High energy for basic social change was in the air.

What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives

NORMAN SOLOMON – In the obvious contrasts with Kamala Harris and in the less obvious yet significant contrasts with Elizabeth Warren on matters of economic justice as well as on foreign policy, Bernie Sanders represents a different approach to the root causes of — and possible solutions to — extreme economic inequality, systemic injustice and a dire shortage of democracy.

Democrats Are Afraid Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Too. And That’s A Good Thing.

NORMAN SOLOMON – Turning the Democratic Party into a truly progressive force will require turning “primary” into a verb. The corporate Democrats who dominate the party’s power structure in Congress should fear losing their seats because they’re out of step with constituents. And Democratic voters should understand that if they want to change the party, the only path to do so is to change the people who represent them. Otherwise, the leverage of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex will continue to hold sway.

Beto, We Hardly Knew Ye

NORMAN SOLOMON – As candidates and in office, the last two Democratic presidents have been young, dynamic and often progressive-sounding, while largely serving the interests of Wall Street, big banks, military contractors and the like. Do we need to make it three in a row?