American higher education's racial stratification will be cemented by the Republican Supreme Court's decision to uphold a Michigan ban on affirmative action. An objective analysis suggests that the label "the new Jim Crow" applies not only to the system of mass incarceration, but also to the groves of Antietam.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
Since the posting of "Becoming Two Americas", many readers have argued that we actually are becoming three or more Americas, while others cling to the dream of becoming One America again. The purpose of the original posting was not to propose breaking up the country, but to focus progressives on strategic questions of how to live and work through the political polarization paralyzing the country for the foreseeable future.
Until last week, New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was relatively untouchable among Democrats, while holding virtual veto power over US Cuba policy and being a military hawk on US policies towards Syria, Iran and Venezuela.
Not any more.
Reliable DC sources say the Republicans plan to stop immigration reform this year, figuring that gerrymandering will keep them safe, and then pass a bill by 2016 for protection during the national presidential election to protect the GOP candidate and party. House Republicans will do everything possible to keep any path to citizenship out of the bill. Democrats and advocates may be divided over whether to accept a half-measure which will protect against deportations while delaying the right to vote.
Let's at least agree that "Happy Days Are Here Again" cannot be the Democratic theme song between now and 2016. We are beyond the brink, in the danger zone, in many ways.
There are some who say I am "negative" for predicting Democratic defeats in 2014. But my role is not to be a cheerleader but a reality checker. Too many people burn out if we raise their expectations while we know they will crash in November. The best Democrats can do in the House of Representatives is narrow the margin. As for the Senate, we're in danger of losing that chamber, which would give Republicans, and their ideological vanguard, monopoly power over all branches of government. Unless the Republicans implode, the best the Democrats can hope for is a 51 or 52 Senate majority, and that's crucial even that majority includes conservatives. That's how much the Supreme Court means.
Rodney Watson Jr. is an Iraq War veteran and war resister, originally from Kansas City, who has been living in sanctuary at Vancouver’s First United Church for the past four-and-a half-years in order to avoid deportation by the Canadian government.
Located at the corner of Hastings and Gore, the Church that has taken in Rodney Watson also functions as an emergency shelter in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Rodney has a small living space on the upper floor.
California senators Holly Mitchell (D-SD26) and Mark Leno (D-SD11) have introduced legislation supporting a moratorium on fracking after previous efforts foundered on splits in the Legislature and opposition by Governor Jerry Brown.
SB 1132 would bring California into alignment with New York state, where a huge community-based movement finally succeeded in creating a de facto moratorium in 2008, which was extended by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011, pending an exhaustive study which will not be completed until after the New York governor's re-election campaign this November.
While the first Cold War was fought against communism, a successor Cold War is steadily unfolding against democratic electoral outcomes unfavorable to America's perceived interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin's illegal occupation of Crimea has for now revived raging Western memories of Joseph Stalin's top-down incorporation of the former Eastern Europe. Lost in the new anti-Russian narrative, however, is the growing US pattern of ignoring democratic electoral outcomes where they are inconvenient, in the name of "promoting democracy." Ultimately this process of "democracy through intervention" reinforces bureaucratic authoritarian trends in both East and West. The thrust of this US foreign policy mirrors conservatives’ efforts at home to limit and divide the ascending multicultural American political majority.
Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a famed guerilla commander during El Salvador's civil war, has been officially confirmed as the presidential winner by the slender margin of 50.1-49.8 over the candidate of the right-wing ARENA party.
It was a historic victory for Sanchez Ceren, who survived fierce sectarian strife, led a historic military offensive, pushed for a compromise peace settlement, and distinguished himself on education and social issues as the country's vice-president under outgoing Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes.
Secretary of State John Kerry offered support for US sanctions against Venezuela in Congressional testimony yesterday, playing into the hands of right wing Cuban Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who introduced sanctions legislation on the same day. Just last week the House of Representatives gave near unanimous support for a resolution condemning Venezuela offered by the right-wing Cuban representative from Miami, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.