washingtonpost.com — Mitt Romney likes to say that this election is a battle for “the soul of America.” He’s right — just not in the way that he thinks. Romney asserts that President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform America,” turning the country “into a European-style entitlement society.” In fact, Romney and his Republican presidential rivals have a far more radical transformation in mind. They envision a dramatically shrunken federal government and a dangerously unraveled social safety net.
There are so many unanswered questions and contradictions all around us. But like the families of alcoholics in denial we stay quiet and try not to rock the boat. Here are some questions that need to be asked, and maybe 2012 can be the year we start demanding answers.
1) Who is our economy for, anyway?
2) Why did we invade Iraq? more »
In the New York Times on Tuesday, David Brooks attributed Rick Santorum’s last-minute surge in the polls to the appeal of his family values platform with working-class whites. If Brooks is right, then those same voters should take a second look at Santorum’s position on Social Security, a program that represents the best of American family values.
dailykos.com — Smart people know that who gets food stamps and covered by Medicaid has nothing to do with race and everything to do with poverty. Unless, of course, you're a Republican candidate looking for whatever wedge issue you can dredge up to distinguish yourself from all the other candidates in the final moments of the first big contest of the 2012 season.
In the iconic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” an angel offers the beleaguered main character, George Bailey, the stark choice between a hometown named for a cruel banker or one created by and for the middle class.
The banker’s town, Pottersville, is filled with bars, gambling dens and despair. more »
The Strengthen Social Security Campaign has created a guide evaluating the “friendliness” of six Republican candidates, “Among Republican Candidates, Not a Single Friend of Social Security.” The Campaign has also produced longer individual profiles of more »
inthesetimes.com — Newt Gingrich’s recent utterances about poor children — they “have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works” — reflect not only the inability of conservatives to talk seriously about poverty, but a mean-spiritedness that, unfortunately, largely eludes public scrutiny. Gingrich’s false and primitive protestations about the poor were distinguished by what he left out. The GOP’s newest presidential frontrunner failed to mention the constellation of forces that conspire to marginalize and degrade poor communities — including policies he and his party have long championed. Of course, no one expects Gingrich and the right-wing crowds to which he panders to engage in critical thinking about race and poverty. They are invested in avoiding systemic analysis that illuminates the influence of external factors on the human condition.
Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security. Bill Scher returns Wednesday.