Forecasting the Midterm Elections in the West
The 2018 midterm elections will occur on November 6th. Democrats have been predicting a "blue wave," but recently there's been an uptick of support for President Trump and, as a result, Democrats are nervous. Nonetheless, the eleven western states look positive for Dems.
Friday, February 9, 2018
I like Nancy Pelosi. She's a smart, hard-working, progressive leader. But she's getting old, so there have been calls for her to step aside. That's why her February 7th, 8 hour 10 minute filibuster is worthy of mention. When it counts, Pelosi still has what it takes.
Friday, February 2, 2018(2 comments)
The Great Imposters: Reagan and Trump
Donald Trump likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan. Trump and Reagan do have a lot in common, both in terms of ideology and their approach to the office of the President. They're imposters. Reagan was an actor playing the role of President; so is Trump.
Friday, January 26, 2018
5 Shutdown Lessons
On January 19th the federal government shut down. Two days later, Democratic leaders blinked and called off the shutdown. Even though Dems didn't get what they wanted, there were important lessons learned.
Friday, January 19, 2018
The Politics of Sustainability
As Democrats embark on a ten-month campaign to take back Congress, it's clear they need a unifying message. Because Republicans are defined by Trump, Dems could unite on the theme, "lock him up." While satisfying, this slogan doesn't capture the depravity of Trump's reign or the fact that Republicans have sold their souls uniting behind him. A better solution for Democrats would be to focus on sustainability.
Friday, January 12, 2018
What to Expect in 2018
As we slosh into 2018, it's clear that while there are some negative carryovers from 2017, there's a lot that has changed for the positive over the past 12 months. We're still stuck with predator Trump and the associated madness. On the other hand, there has been a huge wave forming for -- lacking a better term -- a new women's movement. That bodes well for 2018.
Friday, December 22, 2017(1 comments)
Make America Weak Again
Humorist P. J. O'Rourke famously said, "Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." After 11 months of total Republican control in Washington, the United States has been weakened across-the-board. Here are ten ways that Donald Trump and company have diminished American society.
Friday, December 15, 2017(3 comments)
Trump Should Resign
The news story of the year has not been Donald Trump; it has been the "#MeToo" movement, where brave women denounced sexual assault and harassment. This movement brought down Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Now it has prompted new demands for Trump's resignation.
Friday, December 8, 2017(7 comments)
The Rape of the United States of America
2017 political news contained two preeminent images: Donald Trump and sexual assault. Beginning with revelations about the sexual behavior of movie producer Harvey Weinstein, Trump tidings were pushed aside by reports of celebrity sexual misconduct. The two images are connected. Trump has been accused of sexual assault. And the Republican Party is engaged in systematic rape of American workers.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Ten Reasons to be Thankful
Even though we're struggling through the darkness of Trump year one, Americans have much to be thankful for. Here are ten political reasons to give thanks.
Friday, November 10, 2017
One Year Later: Ten Lessons Learned
On election day in 2016, Donald Trump surprised most of us by defeating Hillary Clinton (although he garnered only 46.1 percent of the popular vote). One year later, what have we learned?
Friday, November 3, 2017(1 comments)
Trump's Tax Cut Challenge
After 9 plus months in office, Donald Trump has accomplished little. He's very unpopular and has failed to fulfill his major campaign promises, Major Republican donors are withdrawing funding. In response, Trump has embarked on a desperate campaign to cut taxes. Even though Republicans control Congress, tax reform faces an uphill battle.
Friday, October 27, 2017(6 comments)
Have We Reached Trump's Tipping Point?
Even by Trump regime standards, the past several weeks have been unusually tumultuous. First, Trump botched aid to Puerto Rico; then he muffed condolence calls to widows. Now he's being condemned by two Republican Senators. Have we reached the long-awaited 'tipping point"? Is this the beginning of the end of the Trump era?
Friday, October 13, 2017
Marching with Trump "Through the Valley of the Shadow"
American cultural history offers many images of walking through difficult times: "Going down the road feeling bad," "You got to walk that lonesome valley," and Psalm 23, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." At the moment, Donald Trump is marching us "through the valley of the shadow."
Friday, October 6, 2017
Martin Luther King Jr asked "Chaos or Community?"
Fifty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his last book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" Reading it again, in the hate-filled Trump era, brings the painful recognition that in many regards the civil rights struggle has stagnated for decades.
Friday, September 29, 2017(1 comments)
Trump Now Owns White Supremacy
Even though despicable, Donald Trump's white-supremacist proclivities have an upside: Trump now owns white supremacy. That's an opportunity for progressives to do more than protest; it opens a window for social justice.
Friday, September 22, 2017(1 comments)
The Unbearable Whiteness of Being
"The First White President," an Atlantic essay by Ta-Nehishi Coats, is a must read for progressives. Coats argues that Donald Trump was elected for one reason: his unapologetic whiteness. "It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true--his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power."
Friday, September 15, 2017
The Aftermath of Hurricane Donald
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Americans have an initial estimate of the damage. However we have yet to assess the costs of "Hurricane" Donald Trump.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Trump's Big Deal
Even though Donald Trump often appears to be out of control, he's executing a disciplined political strategy to tighten his grip on the Republican base. Nonetheless, to hold onto power, Trump's going to have to move beyond his base. To accomplish this, he's working on his biggest deal.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Game of Trump: The Battle of Charlottesville
We're more than half way through season 1 of "Game of Trump" and each week's episode brings new surprises. The aftermath of the battle of Charlottesville caused Emperor Trump to reveal his true character. Meanwhile, the resistance found new energy.
Friday, August 18, 2017(3 comments)
Make America Safe Again
Through six months of Donald Trump the progressive resistance has been united by opposition to his policies. The good news is that we have stopped his legislative program. The bad news is that most Americans don't understand what progressives stand for, other than opposing Trump. Now's the time to bring forward an agenda that emphasizes safety.
Trump: Bring Back the Fifties
In March of 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump was asked: "Your slogan is 'Make America Great Again,' When was America actually great?" Trump responded that America was last great in the late forties and the fifties. Sorry Donald; I remember that period and it wasn't great.
Friday, July 21, 2017(2 comments)
As Trump Decompensates, GOP Disintegrates
We're sailing in uncharted presidential waters. Donald Trump has moved beyond incompetency to the designation: "a danger to himself and others." One small solace, before Trump blows up the planet he'll probably first destroy the Republican Party.
Friday, July 7, 2017(1 comments)
The Resistance Bookshelf
If you're part of the Trump resistance, here are four books you should add to your summer reading list.
Friday, June 30, 2017
Searching for the Soul of the Democratic Party
Writing in Politico, Bruce Bartlett complains the Republican Party has lost its way because it has ceased to champion ideas; he says the GOP has become the Party that panders "to the lowest common denominator in American politics." What Bartlett says is true, but the Democratic Party has also lost its way. Not because its ceased to champion ideas but rather because Democrats have forgotten who they are, they've lost their soul
Friday, June 23, 2017
Five Months of Trump: The Tipping Point
Five months into the Trump regime, we've reached the tipping point. It may take more than a year to play out, but the presidency of Donald Trump is coming to an end. Meantime, congressional Republicans -- acknowledging the Administration is running out of runway -- have decided to ram through as much toxic legislation as they can while Trump is in the White House.
Friday, June 16, 2017(2 comments)
When Will Trump Lose His Base?
After the Trump White House careened through another terrible week, Washington insiders wonder how long Trump can survive. The answer is: as long as he holds his base. Trump and his voters are locked in a deadly embrace: his base desperately wants to believe he will address their grievances and Trump is willing to lie to keep their support.
Friday, June 9, 2017(1 comments)
Angry Trump, Angry Supporters
Five months into the Trump presidency, Donald's erratic behavior has spawned an avalanche of "what's wrong with Trump" theories. Rather than speculate on his psyche, it's sufficient to label Trump: an angry man whose actions are fueled by the anger of his supporters.
Friday, May 26, 2017
The Four Faces of Trump
After four enervating months of Donald Trump's presidency, Americans have seen four different sides of Trump.
Friday, May 19, 2017(2 comments)
Preparing for Trump's Coup
In the fifties, in Los Angeles schools, students routinely participated in civil defense drills. We were taught "appropriate" actions to take in the event of a Russian nuclear attack, such as "duck and cover." Sixty years later, many Americans are bracing for Donald Trump's attack on the foundations of our democracy. How will we respond when Trump uses some traumatic event as an excuse to claim dictatorial power?
Berkeley Gets Trolled
"What's happening to Berkeley? Are you safe?" our friends ask. National headlines scream: "Riots in Berkeley!" "The Death of Free Speech!" Yes, something is happening in Berkeley. We've been trolled by the hard right. And our "leaders" haven't responded effectively. Now it's time for the true defenders of free speech to step forward.
Friday, April 21, 2017(3 comments)
Reaching Out to Trump Voters
On April 17th, my Berkeley Indivisible group hosted a two-hour discussion on "Reaching out to Trump voters," featuring UC professors Arlie Hochschild and George Lakoff. Participants learned how to approach a group that some consider a lost cause.
Friday, April 14, 2017(1 comments)
While the Media Slept
Donald Trump has called the mainstream media "the enemy." But since January 20th, the media has been Trump's best friend because they have, in the main, ignored the big stories about his disastrous presidency.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Inside Devin Nunes
One of the bizarre consequences of the Congressional investigation into the connections between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia is the media attention given to a banal Republican congressman, Devin Nunes. As the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has singlehandedly blocked the House investigation into the Trump-Russia affair.
Saturday, March 25, 2017(1 comments)
Trump's Huge Failure
After promising to "repeal and replace Obamacare on day one [of his presidency]", Donald Trump suffered an ignominious rejection on day 64.
Indivisible: Social Action Startup
Some of the most exciting days of my life occurred in the late 80's when I was involved in a technology startup, Cisco Systems. 29 years later I'm involved in another exciting startup, Indivisible.
Friday, March 3, 2017(18 comments)
Trump's Kremlin Konnection
In "Hamlet," Shakespeare wrote, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." What fun Shakespeare would have with Donald Trump! Imagine a play where Trump, the character, tries to dismiss his ties with Russia, and Shakespeare responds, "The scoundrel protests too much."
Friday, February 24, 2017(4 comments)
Coping with Trump Stress Disorder
A month into the Trump Administration, many Americans are stressed out. A recent study by the American Psychological Association revealed, "More Americans reporting symptoms of stress and citing personal safety and terrorism as sources of stress." 57 percent of respondents said "the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress."
Friday, February 17, 2017
One Month of Trump
28 days into the Trump regime it's worse than expected. Here's what we've learned.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Trump's Immigration Policy Leads to War
In the wake of Donald Trump's abrasive January 27th immigration order, some critics have described a White House in chaos and characterized Trump's policy czar, Steve Bannon, as "in his over his head." Wrong. Trump and Bannon know exactly what they are doing. Trump's immigration orders portend a devastating campaign against immigrants, one that will lead to war in the Middle East.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Trump's First Week
To get an idea of what to expect from Donald Trump for the next four years, we only have to examine his first week in office.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017(3 comments)
Understanding Trump Voters
In the days after the November 8th disaster, Berkeley liberals shook their heads and muttered, "We must talk to Trump voters; we've got to understand them." But we faced a common problem, we didn't know anyone that voted for Trump. Fortunately, UC Berkeley Sociology professor Arlie Hochshild, did our work for us. In "Strangers in Their Own Land" Hochschild studies Trump's Tea Party supporters.
Friday, January 20, 2017(1 comments)
It's Midnight in America
33 years ago, Ronald Reagan was elected President in large part because of his TV ad, "It's morning in America." "It's morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better." For many Americans, the inauguration of Donald Trump foretells a period of darkness, "It's midnight in America."
Tuesday, January 17, 2017(2 comments)
Lessons Liberals Learned
It's been over two months since the devastating presidential election; time enough for liberals to ask each other, "What lessons did we learn?" Four come to mind.
Thursday, January 12, 2017(3 comments)
Meet Trump's Politburo
For your convenience, here's a guide to the working relationships that will guide the Trump presidency:
Thursday, January 5, 2017(2 comments)
California vs Trump
On election day, Californians favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a near 2 to 1 margin -- 61.7 percent to 31.6 percent. Now, faced with a President many of us detest, California's best stance is to become a model of Democratic principles. But the Golden State faces intriguing challenges.
Trump and Hitler
It's impossible to read Volker Ulrich's remarkable biography, "Hitler, Ascent: 1889-1939," without being struck by the parallels between Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump.
Friday, December 16, 2016(1 comments)
From Russia With Love: Donald Trump
As Donald Trump's inauguration looms, there's been a lot of speculation about the nature of his relationship with Russia. Trump has frequently spoken of his admiration for the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin; Trump refers to Russia as a "partner" rather than an "adversary." Meanwhile, the CIA believes that Russian hackers helped Trump win the election. What's going on?
Tuesday, December 13, 2016(2 comments)
What do Trump Voters Want?
Election exit polls tell us the typical Trump voter was white (non-Hispanic), male, older, rural, and had no college degree. But that doesn't explain why they voted for Trump. There were four types of Trump voters; each having different expectations.
Thursday, December 8, 2016(2 comments)
Donald Trump, Cult Leader
Donald Trump's unexpected presidential win is best understood as a pseudo-religious event. Trump voters saw November 8th as their last chance to "save" America. Out of desperation they joined the cult of Trump.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
When historians work out the details of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential victory, the most important date will be August 19th when Paul Manafort resigned as Trump campaign director. While Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon replaced Manafort, the real change happened behind the scene when reclusive billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, took control of the Trump campaign.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Building the Trump Resistance
With the election of Donald Trump, the US has lurched towards political and social turmoil, an era where democracy is under attack. Progressives have a moral obligation to resist autocracy and injustice. Here are eight steps for building an effective resistance to Trump.
Monday, November 21, 2016(2 comments)
Was Hillary Cheated?
At this writing, Hillary Clinton has won the 2016 presidential popular vote by 1.7 million votes (1.3 percent). Unfortunately, she lost the electoral college (232 to 290) because Donald Trump carried the 13 swing states by an aggregate 850,000 votes (1.9 percent). Many Democrats think Hillary was cheated; they believe there were nefarious political tricks that cost her the election. There's not a clear-cut case.
Thursday, November 17, 2016(2 comments)
Trump's First Mistake
Given his electoral-college victory, Donald Trump has amassed short-term political capital. Early indications are that he will fritter it away.
Monday, November 14, 2016(3 comments)
Why Hillary Lost
It's essential that progressives learn from Hillary Clinton's devastating defeat. There are two competing theories about happened: Hillary's campaign blew it or she was cheated.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Republicans have created a monster and on November 8th he was unleashed on the entire nation. What are progressives going to do about this?