Archive for 2010

 
Could eccentric Tea-Party-backed candidates distract from their backers’ agenda?

Could eccentric Tea-Party-backed candidates distract from their backers’ agenda?

In Sunday’s New York Times, Frank Rich suggests that focusing on the eccentricities of some of the insurgent Republican candidates — dabbling in witchcraft, expressing suppport for Scientology — only serves to distract voters from the wealthy interests that they would serve if elected.  His prime example is the controversial Christine O’Donnell of Delaware:
While O’Donnell’s résumé has proved [...]

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Tea Partiers crash the party

Tea Partiers crash the party

Fall has officially begun, and the Tea Party has proven it’s here to stay, winning big victories in last week’s primaries.
That is, if we can decide exactly what the Tea Party is, points out the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn.  Is it a decentralized, grass-roots organization, comparable to liberal and leftist groups like Moveon.org or even [...]

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How the 1970s killed the Working Class

How the 1970s killed the Working Class

Jefferson Cowie, an associate professor of labor history at Cornell, has written a book on the pivotal events of the 1970s as the New Deal coalition shattered and Thomas Frank’s “Great Backlash” took hold : Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class.
Today he writes a Labor Day Op-Ed for the [...]

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Billionaire Koch Brothers: “out to destroy progressivism”

Billionaire Koch Brothers: “out to destroy progressivism”

Do you suspect that the Tea Party movement isn’t quite the spontaneous, grass-roots popular uprising its followers would have you believe?  Then this is the read for you:
This week’s issue of the New Yorker has a comprehensive expose on the secretive right-wing political activism of the billionaire Koch brothers, whose Wichita-based energy company has made [...]

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A Kansas Farmer goes to Africa

A Kansas Farmer goes to Africa

Donn Teske, a self-described “red-neck farmer from Kansas” who”d never left the country before, recently found himself in Senegal on fairly short notice.
President of the Kansas Farmers Union, and a star of the movie “What”s the Matter with Kansas?” Donn just returned from two weeks in Kaolack and Dakar.  He participated in an international farmer [...]

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FiveThirtyEight: Is Obama losing his cool?

FiveThirtyEight: Is Obama losing his cool?

Nate Silver, the political forecaster who famously called Obama’s 2008 victory six months before election day, reacts to Robert Gibb’s rant against “the professional left” in an interview with The Hill:
The euphoric feeling among liberals in the days between the election and the inauguration seems so quaint now — like something that happened decades ago [...]

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Village Voice gives the thumbs up

Village Voice gives the thumbs up

The movie opens in New York tonight, and the Village Voice weighs in:
The subtle structure and elegant editing build to the pointed insight that the vast gulf in the country isn’t between right and left but between secular and religious. Wisely, Winston includes only a couple of the narrow-minded comments that provoke viewers to snort, [...]

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Get Involved–Organize a Screening Today!

Get Involved–Organize a Screening Today!

After the sea change of the 2010 midterm elections, understanding the conservative movement, who is in it, where they come from, and what they want – is more important than ever. A screening of What’s the Matter with Kansas? is the perfect tool to energize the conversation, get beyond the shouting and the stereotypes and engage people in a way that can make a difference.

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NYC: Thomas Frank & Barbara Ehrenreich at Borders Park Ave. 7/28/10

NYC: Thomas Frank & Barbara Ehrenreich at Borders Park Ave. 7/28/10

UPDATED 7/24/10 – Barbara Ehrenreich will join Thomas Frank for this special event!
Barbara Ehrenreich and Thomas Frank will speak and sign books (including copies of Franks recently-revived Baffler magazine) on Wednesday, July 28, at Borders Park Avenue, 461 Park Avenue (at 57th Street) in New York City.
The title of the forum is: “What’s the Matter with [...]

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Young viewers were welcome, and well-behaved

Wichita reacts to “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

For audiences across the country, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” is a fascinating journey into the heart of American conservatism, a place that for many of us is warmly familiar yet utterly foreign — in the best documentary fashion, the movie gets viewers close to people they don’t really know. In Wichita, however, everybody feels they already know these folks, they are their neighbors.

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Robert Reich:  Guilded Age-level inequality threatens us all

Robert Reich: Guilded Age-level inequality threatens us all

Robert Reich, economist and former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, contributes an opinion piece in The Nation which is a particularly eloquent statement of the liberal case for sweeping economic reform.
Reich begins with the familiar outlines of the situation we face: for a variety of reasons, since the 1970s, a tiny share of the [...]

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