Bloomberg and the election terrain

I have said more than once that the presidential campaign and its outcome could well depend on what is happening in the larger political environment over the coming year. And that environment isn’t entirely predictable. It can change in unanticipated ways. And these changes can quickly alter – even turn upside down – the election terrain and the prospects of candidates, parties, and the coalitions and movements that support them.

Martin Luther King – One of a kind

Martin Luther King was the preeminent leader of the people’s movement in the 20th century. No one inspired and provided such extraordinary leadership to a nation searching for its better self as he did. No one combined the vision, passion, courage, self-reflection, and strategic and tactical depth as he did. No one left behind such a rich and relevant legacy as he did. He was one of a kind.

Let’s hope that we have the good sense and enough wisdom to fully appreciate and glean the many lessons from the life and struggles of this remarkable human being.



Stand up for Flint’s children

Please sign the petition below.

Governor Snyder and other state officials should be held fully accountable for their role in the poisoning of the children of Flint. What they did is morally reprehensible and criminal. It is one more example of how class exploitation and racial oppression interpenetrate in catastrophic, sometimes even deadly, ways in this beleaguered city.

The actions (or inactions) of Governor Snyder and others in high places should land them in prison. There is no justifiable defense for the harm done to the children of Flint. The next news cycle shouldn’t turn this travesty into yesterday’s news.

Imagine the reaction if children in the superrich neighborhoods of Grosse Pointe tested positively for lead poisoning due to governmental negligence. The uproar would be immediate and the culprits held accountable. Their excuses, no matter how plausible sounding, would be contemptuously dismissed. Prison time would be in their future for such an egregious and callous breach of the public trust.

The life of every child should be precious, fulfilling, and magical no matter where they live or the color of their skin or the class background of their parents. A life of endless opportunities for some and cramped possibilities for the rest shouldn’t be a standard that decent people tolerate.

So, please sign the petition. It’s a small way that you can stand up for the children of Flint and their families in their struggle for justice.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: The federal and state investigations of what caused and who is behind the water crisis in Flint. In an already economically beleaguered city, the latest outrage is the contamination of its water supply system. And the finger of responsibility points to the Republican governor and state officials. If that turns out to be true, impeachment and resignations are in order as are criminal trials. For more info, I highly recommend:

The Bad: The continuing instability of the Chinese economy. Everyone agrees that it will have a negative impact on the global economy, but the unsettled question is to what degree. And here is where opinions differ. Some believe that the impact will be shallow and fleeing; others that it could be much worse. If the latter are right, everything becomes unpredictable.

The Ugly: once again the Republican Party presidential debate where New Jersey Governor Christie said of President Obama, “The American people have rejected your agenda and now you are trying to go around it? That is not right and it is not constitutional and we are going to kick your rear end out of the White House come this fall.” Could he have forgotten that the American people twice elected the president twice by substantial margins. No, this guy is a punk, a bully, and a demagogue, although those qualities hardly separate him from the Republican Party presidential front runners – Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.

State of the Union

President Obama’s SOTU was very impressive in many ways. He set the table for this year’s elections, appealed to people’s better angels, and spoke of some of the longer term challenges that we face. Is there anyone better at puncturing the ideological balloons of the extreme right? The President isn’t a radical, but he isn’t a centrist Democrat pure and simple either, as some suggest. He possesses a deep democratic sensibility and soberness that were once again evident last night.