16 Oct 2008

Open Enrollment Should Close The Book On McCain’s Un-Health Care Plan

On the heels of an explosive political document that has been hitting millions of mailboxes of potential voters— third-quarter 401(k) statements showing how much the Wall Street meltdown has hurt individual retirement savings—another potential game-changer is beginning to brew in employee conference rooms and lunch halls: the annual open enrollment sessions for health insurance benefits.

When workers hear—as I did earlier today—how much their health insurance premiums are about to rise or

27 Sep 2008

Conservative Clarion Call: Lending To Minorities Is A “Disaster”

Why does Neil Cavuto still have a job on the Fox News Channel?He should be sitting on the porch of some villa in Argentina, where he would probably stew over how he became the latest casualty of political correctness. Instead, he blithely slanders people of color and beyond some progressive circles it’s greeted with a collective shrug — or worse.In an interview on his show on Sept.

16 Sep 2008

The Violated Social Contract: A Debate Worth Having

When Sen. John McCain said on CNN this morning that “we are a victim of the violation of the social contract between capitalism and the American citizen,” he may not have fully appreciated the kind of national conversation that statement could-or at least should-provoke.

McCain’s statement, taken at face value, is dead on.

31 Jul 2008

Something Else To Apologize For: Neglecting AIDS in Black America

You knowYou know we have a real race problem in America when The New York Times, in the second paragraph of its story on the severity of AIDS infection in the African-American community, writes that a just-released report “provides a startling new perspective” on the epidemic. Where have y’all been? The report, by the Black AIDS Institute, is old news. The problem is that the news media has been so dazzled by the show of support for people living with HIV in Africa by President Bush and other conservatives that it doesn’t ask the question I always ask when I hear Bush talk oh-so-compassionately-conservative about AIDS in Africa: “What about us here in the U.S.A?”…

17 Jul 2008

McCain Channels Booker T. Washington

In a speech before the NAACP on Wednesday that displayed a remarkable but unsurprising detachment from the realities of the African-American community, it was nonetheless telling that Sen. John McCain, in reaching for a historical marker for his speech on equal opportunity, grabbed onto Booker T. Washington’s 1901 visit to President Theodore Roosevelt in the White House.

It would not have been lost on the delegates at the NAACP convention that it was Washington who in 1895 gave the infamous “Atlanta Compromise” speech, the one in which he counseled black people to “cast your buckets where you are,” to focus less on agitating to change the racist structures that limited their opportunities and to instead emphasize putting “brains and skill into the common occupations of life.” He cautioned patience and gradualism in eradicating racism, for “the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly.”

10 Jul 2008

School Children Thrown Under The (Private) Bus

It seems that whenever that old cliche applies, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Bush administration finds new ways to respond, “We’re breaking it. The fix is in.”

19 Jun 2008

Right-wing “Opportunity Scholarships” vs. Real Opportunity

Conservatives can’t vouch for the promises they’ve made about a school voucher program foisted onto District of Columbia residents in the name of helping poor, African-American children. But they keep pushing it anyway. It’s time to push back.

12 Jun 2008

Bobby Jindal: Worse Than Katrina?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is on a path to finish the job Hurricane Katrina started, destroying the public infrastructure that served, however imperfectly, poor and working-class New Orleans residents.

Jindal, the young wunderkind who is being touted as conservatism’s rising new star, has openly embraced some of the most extreme components of the right’s agenda, from tax cuts for the wealthy to public funding of private and religious schools.

04 Jun 2008

Barack Obama and the Man in My Basement

In a nation built on racism, Barack Obama stands to become the Democratic nominee for president. But I was preoccupied with the fate of another black man last night. He’s 20 years old, and for about six weeks, until this past Saturday, he was living in the basement of my house, teetering precariously between life at the ground floor of the nation’s economy and the pit of homelessness and desperation that lies below it.

22 May 2008

Boehner And Buddies Hope The Public Forgets Whose Energy Policy This Is

In one of the most laughable stunts ever to come out of the House Republican leadership, Minority Leader John Boehner and his minions are labeling the recent stratospheric rise in gasoline prices “the Pelosi premium.” The fumes from their oil company friends have finally gotten to them.

There is no credible case to be made that Democrats in general, and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi in particular, are responsible.