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Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (www.crisispapers.org).
The Post-Trump "Restoration"
When he was finally gone, nothing less than a thoroughgoing cleansing of the foul-smelling stable was in order. That was "The Restoration" era, years of undoing the great damage his administration had foisted on the country.
Friday, November 4, 2016
James Comey Visits His Shrink
The embattled FBI director is an emotional wreck. He finally locates someone that he can vent to about the untenable situation at the Bureau.
It's the Stupid, Stupid
Barack Obama is not stupid and he says he doesn't want his administration to do "stupid things" in foreign policy. So why, then, has he done a reckless, stupid thing by starting a new, two-theater war in the Middle East? And why did that war in Syria have to commence immediately as an existential necessity?
Saturday, August 2, 2014(3 comments)
A Successful "Negotiation" of Israel/Palestine Peace Treaty
Something has to change if there is to be any serious movement toward peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. If there is no such movement, we can expect yet another generation of hatred, intransigence, slaughter of the innocents. So here's one dramatic scenario for how peace might be obtained.
Friday, March 7, 2014(7 comments)
Cutting Through Fukushima Fog: Radiation in U.S.?
If the reactor-meltdown disaster at the Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima is as dire as much of the evidence suggests -- a "ticking time bomb," now with more radiation crossing the Pacific by air and ocean -- what can the U.S. and international community do to mitigate the worst effects?
Saturday, January 4, 2014(9 comments)
Capitalism in Crisis: Who Are the REAL "Takers"?
While capitalism is struggling to redefine itself in the face of obvious disfunction and populist anger, how should progressives react? We may be getting closer to a revolutionary tipping point than appears to be the case.
The Momentous Confrontation in Turkey
Precis: The Erdogan government in Turkey made a bad mistake in unleashing massive violence against those opposing its Istanbul redevelopment project -- like going after a bothersome gnat with a howitzer -- and now it's not clear which side will emerge victorious. Either way, it's going to be of monumental importance in the region.
Friday, March 22, 2013(4 comments)
Where's "The Revolution"?
In America and across the globe, citizens are desperate and angry at the social, economic, political forces crushing their hopes and dreams. The "objective conditions" for revolution would seem to be in place. What's keeping it from happening?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012(5 comments)
"A Modest Proposal": Bring Back the Inquisition!
American society is in desperate shape. Wimpy liberalism can't really solve the various problems. It's time for something more muscular, more robust, more (how shall we say?) medieval in its effectiveness.
The Water Is Wide: Building a Revolution
There are outbreaks of positive, activist responses to GOP extremism in the U.S. -- but there's not a coordinated effort to create a national movement against the worst excesses of the HardRight. With so many citizens turned off by Obama and Dem fecklessness and refusal to fight, here are some ideas for how the Left can battle its political despair.
Inside Karl Rove's Diary: Return to Permanent Political War
Rove (aka Turdblossom, Bush's pet name for him) has returned to center stage with renewed desire to playmake the GOP's return to power. He has plenty to say about the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, the Big Dog, the GOP's "Big Lie" practice, and his plans to destroy the Obama presidency and the Democratic Party.
Saturday, October 23, 2010(1 comments)
Mystery of American Political Madness
In our current plutocratic system, rarely do leaders in positions of power ever have to pay a real penalty for their bad, or even illegal, acts. Either they are given a free pass or they find a "bad-apple" scapegoat. Republicans had one goal and one goal only: destroying his presidency in order to regain their political power, and all the perk$ that go with that power.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010(101 comments)
WTF?: A Letter to Appalled, Puzzled European Friends
Friends from Germany and France raise provocative questions about America's current descent into the crazier-than-usual midterm election circus. The answers in response are not always pleasant, but they have to be faced. God help us, everyone!
Monday, September 20, 2010(10 comments)
Let's Get Real About the November Election
There's a self-defeating listlessness on the left about the upcoming midterm election, refusing to recognize the horrific consequences of a GOP victory. As frustrated as we may be at the Democrats, we must re-energize ourself to work for the defeat of the extremist Republicans. Not to do so is to commit political suicide.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010(21 comments)
Come the Revolution: Are We There Yet?
The country is in such an economic and political mess that the "objective conditions" for potential revolution are increasingly visible. What the HardRight means by revolution (with its incitement to violence) is not what the progressive left means by that term. Here are some ideas for how to guide the movement toward a massive, non-violent restructuring of America's corrupt institutions.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010(1 comments)
Potholes, Petroleum, Pashtuns: Afghanistan As a Local Issue
What happens in the Gulf of Mexico and South Asia affects us all locally, and vice versa. We need to get the oil gush stopped and the mess cleaned up, we need to change policy in Afghanistan and re-think our role in the world. Merely maintaining the status quo is tantamount to moral suicide.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The Incendiary Danger of Unchecked Power: Bibi As Bullyboy
Even after Israel's horrific, murderous behavior on the Gaza
Flotilla ships, probably nothing much will change since neither the U.S. nor Europe is prepared to cut off military and financial aid to Israel. Netanyahu needs to go, and Obama needs to show him the door.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010(3 comments)
Mr. Obama: Tear Down This War!
The U.S. cannot "win" in Afghanistan. Even Obama admits this. So why is he doubling down on Bush's war? The best that can be hoped for is endless stalemate. Mr. Obama: Remember what happened to the Brits and Soviets there, and get out ASAP.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010(3 comments)
Rage & Rebellion: How Will the Left Respond?
Yes, there is racism and ignorance in the Tea Party. But progressives dismiss what the movement represents in the body politic -- fury and frustration at the system's inability to come through for the middle class -- at our peril. How the left might best deal with this phenomenon.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010(15 comments)
What Happens When We Don't See the Tipping Points
In the midst of the daily onslaught of news and opinion, we sometimes miss seeing the true import of events at the time. Here are a number of recent and current examples that could well shape our polity -- both negatively and positively -- and we'd do well to pay attention to them.
Thursday, March 25, 2010(3 comments)
"Shallow Throat": Obama, the GOP and "Potomac Fever"
"Shallow Throat" lets fly the zinger darts aimed at the obstructionist Republican leadership, at Obama for his willingness to sell out his base (and consumers) on health-care reform, and at the elitists who pull the power strings in D.C.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010(3 comments)
"The Hurt Locker": When Great Art Meets Lousy Politics
How should progressives react to great art that comes from artists whose politics suck? Can we, should we, separate the two? All of this occasioned by discussion of the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker," the somewhat ambivalent film about U.S. troops in Iraq. How can we interpret this brilliant movie?
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Entering the Scary "Lacuna" of American Politics
Barbara Kingsolver's sweeping new novel, "The Lacuna," set in Mexico and the U.S. from 1929 to the 1950s, deals with the fall of empire, political witch-hunting, the logic of social revolution. It was written during the CheneyBush years, naturally.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010(1 comments)
Can the Ticking Middle East Conflict Be Defused?
In this online debate about the Israel/Palestine conundrum, the passions are high, but preliminary signs for a way out of the Middle East bloodbath poke through the arguments. Or maybe not. You judge.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Drifting Toward Catastrophe: A Seven-Headed Beast
The temptation is great to stick to the minor, more gossipy items in the political news. The Larger Issues (here are seven) are damn difficult to deal with. Are there political leaders ready to take them seriously? Or do we continue slouching toward a kind of national suicide?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010(1 comments)
Behind the Veils of Power: Hope for Progressives
There is citizen rage roiling in the polity based on what we've all witnessed in the past few years as the Veils of Power have been lifted. Are we progressives finally going to organize ourselves and help shape that citizen anger? Or, out of ennui or fear or laziness, do we cede the battleground to the extremist right?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A Peek Inside Sarah Palin's Diary
The Republican contender lets down her hair in her journal, revealing her political ambition, her plans for how she'll take down Obama in the 2012 debates, and how she intends to ride God and "real Americans" all the way into the Oval Office.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009(1 comments)
The Self-Destruction of Barack Obama
President Obama has lost his 2012 bid for re-election. He has made key decisions in three areas that could well guarantee a GOP victory: an embarrassingly rolled-out, badly-compromised health care reform bill; his continuing slavish subservience to those on Wall Street that took the country into the economic toilet; and his sad imitation of CheneyBush's imperial campaign in Afghanistan.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009(3 comments)
"Shallow Throat": Is Obama Turning Into Bush Lite?
The Republican mole, a high-placed Washington insider, delivers some unsettling revelations about Obama, the Democratic and GOP leadership, and muses about the possibility of a big-tent populist third party.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009(6 comments)
"Angler": The Rise and (Finally!) Fall of Dick Cheney
Here's the Pulitzer Prize-winning inside view of how Cheney wound up running his own personal government inside the Bush Administration. It's a scary tale of unparalleled duplicity, hunger for power, idelogical fanaticism. For many years to come, we will be dealing with the ruinous results of his stranglehold on the levers of federal power.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Why the GOP Is Going Down While Seeming to Go Up
The minority Republicans can still effect major political damage. Obama and the Democrats can start to change all that by using their electoral mandate to really fight for genuine reforms -- but will they? That will depend largely on whether progressives choose to use their considerable clout and join the bare-knuckles battle.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009(1 comments)
"Shallow Throat" on Obama and GOP Obstructionism
The former mole inside the Bush Administration uncorks some insights into Obama's early days in power, how the minority Republicans are flailing about recklessly as they try to gain some political traction, and what dangers lie ahead for the damaged U.S. political/economic system.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009(7 comments)
Obama and Gaza: Exiting the Vortex of Violence
The never-ceasing war between Israelis and Palestinians speaks both to a kind of political mental-illness and to a failure of will and creative imagination on a grand regional and global scale. But, if the desire of peace can be enlarged, there are ways out of the maelstrom of slaughter
Wednesday, December 17, 2008(1 comments)
Great Trauma As a Great Teacher: Peering Into the New Year
Yes, depressions -- psychological, economic -- are painful beyond description. But if you can survive the trauma, major growth is possible, and systemic changes can be put into place. Can Obama take advantage of the opportunities offered him in this crisis situation to become the president of major, required change? Probably only if we push him to do so.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008(16 comments)
The Moral Imperative to Change "The System"
The corrupt, rigged "System," as was the case in the tumultuous 1960s, is in need of a radical shakeup. Even the overwhelming victory of Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress may not be enough to effect that change. That part of the equation is up to us, the citizenry, to ratchet up the progressive pressure and make sure it happens.
When a Country Gets Lost -- And Finds Its Way Back
After eight years in the dark shadow world of HardRight ideology and incompetence, with Barack Obama America is moving once again back into the light. Progress likely will be two steps forward, one step back (or vice versa). So how, and when, should progressives oppose Obama initiatives, especially in foreign/military policy?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008(13 comments)
Getting Through the Coming Depression
Recession doesn't even begin to describe where the U.S. and global economies are going. We have to recognize that likelihood and take steps now to build the social infrastructure that will help carry us all through the coming Depression. It ain't gonna be easy, but, if we do it right, our generation will be able to look back and feel proud of our efforts to help everybody rise out of the economic swamp.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008(5 comments)
Progressives Have Leverage NOW: Use It Or Lose It
Obama needs the progressive Democratic wing of the party, and we need him. He's being pulled by the forces on the right to govern at least from the center, and he may be tempted to do so to get his bills through the Senate. Here are five key areas where progressives need to pull him leftward. Remember: It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Approaching the Finishing Line: Hope and Passion in Nevada
My fellow volunteers canvassing for Obama in Nevada, like me, were guardedly optimistic but wary about Obama's chances in that state and nationally: We'd all been badly Roved before. So we kept trudging and knocking on doors. Being inside "the ground game" is exhilarating, enervating, saddening, hope-inducing. It's the messy glory that is democracy.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008(4 comments)
This Election Could Transform the Country, the GOP, and Capitalism
If Obama wins, as seems likely, the blood-letting civil war in the Republican Party between the pragmatists and the extreme wingnuts, barely contained now, will lead to a very public night of the long knives. Similarly, free-market capitalists will be doing battle with their new semi-"socialist" GOP cousins. It's the new world order, baby.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008(1 comments)
A 10-Point Primer for Wavering Voters
Looking for some cogent arguments to convince those still on the fence to vote for Obama? Here are ten such reasons, covering the financial meltdown, women's rights, torture, domestic spying and civil liberties, vice presidential nominees, etc. Feel free to pass on this list to others.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008(1 comments)
Foundational Dry-Rot the Work of Greedy GOP Termites
Those political/financial systems that ignore reality don't last all that long. Laissez-faire capitalism, as engineered under Republican deregulationist theory, could well undergo deep transformations as a result of its worst excesses in our current economic crisis. It's about time.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Peeks Into the Diaries of the Candidates and Hank Paulson
What politicians write in their private journals is far closer to the truth than what they say in public. So let's see what McCain, Obama, Palin and Biden have to say about the campaign and what their chances are for success. Bonus: Czar Hank confesses in his diary to some doubts about his own bailout plan.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Political Jabs, Sarah Sinking, and the Bailout Opera
What a week! McCain goes politically berserk, Palin's debate-prepping goes "disastrous," the first presidential debate goes optical, and the Democrats were the ones pushing hardest to bail out failing Wall Street investment houses. Here are some explanations.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008(5 comments)
European Friends Write: "Are You Americans Crazy?"
Just like Americans, many Europeans are thoroughly puzzled by the political and financial events of the past several days, where Republicans turn into nationalizing-industry socialists and many Democrats wind up in Bush's economic-policy corner. How'd we get to this strange place? Here are some answers.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008(1 comments)
Inside Rove's Diary: The "Magic" of Presidential Street-Fighting
Karl Rove, the "Boy Genius" architect of Republican power, has a few eye-opening things to say to his diary about George W. Bush, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Sarah Palin, the Big Lie technique, the art of political prestidigitation, and how to fight dirty in the partisan trenches and steal elections. Right now, he's one happy, if nervous, fella.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008(8 comments)
Twenty-Six Things We Now Know Seven Years After 9/11
Here's an updated list that documents how Bush&Co. have used the tragedy of 9/11 for their own nefarious ends, and how much we still don't know, even seven years out. It's not a pretty picture, but it should stiffen the spine of anyone who loves this country to fight even harder to change the system from the top-down and from the bottom-up.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008(1 comments)
Violating Someone's "Sphere of Influence" Can Be Dangerous
Major nations react angrily when their perceived "sphere of influence" is violated. GOP and Dem leaders are behaving recklessly with their red-hot comments about Russian behavior in the Caucasus. Regional history needs to be understood, and the tone of discourse needs to be toned down before a renewed Cold War morphs into a hot one.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008(2 comments)
"Shallow Throat": McCain Is a "Catastrophe Waiting to Happen"
The high-ranking GOP mole in the Bush Administration -- appalled at his party's extremist nominee -- explains how the Democrats can win the presidency, but it's going to require a LOT of hard work. If the Dems don't organize well on the ground, McCain becomes Bush's third-term.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008(3 comments)
Lies and Criminality About Justice Department and Georgia -- "So?"
The aggressive, in-your-face tactics of the CheneyBush Administration are evident with regard both to excusing law-breaking in the DoJ, and in how it's trying to gin up a new neo-con, oil-related confrontation with Russia over the South Ossieta region of Georgia. Dangerous and scary.
McCain's Painful Dilemma: Iraq as Vietnam 2.0
Events in Iraq and in the presidential race at home are whip-sawing poor John McCain back and forth as he's forced to change positions on a dime and make his conversion seem believable. He believes Iraq is like Vietnam and if you just keep plowing on you'll achieve eventual victory. McCain was wrong then, and political realities demonstrate that he's wrong now.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Inside Bush's Diary: Lame Ducks & Lame Dems
What does the country's most unpopular resident in the White House do while he's waiting to exit the place? Take a peek into his journal and you'll see how he's obsessed with escaping jail time, punishing his political enemies, marveling at the wimpiness of the Democrats, and searching for some, ANY, positive legacy.