Norman Solomon

A seat in Congress for the 99 percent

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For the first time in two decades, voters north of the Golden Gate will choose a new member of Congress. Given the overwhelming party registration, a Democrat will fill the open seat. But what kind of Democrat?

We need a truly independent, progressive Democrat — determined to support the party leadership when it upholds our principles, and just as willing to challenge when it doesn't.Read more »

Campaign for the Woolsey legacy

We have to hold the North Bay congressional seat for the values that Lynn Woolsey has represented

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Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Marin, Sonoma counties) is a rarity on Capitol Hill. She's a lawmaker with guts who speaks from the heart.

Whether focusing on children and seniors at home or the victims of war far away, Woolsey insists on advocating for humane priorities. Several hundred times, she has gone to the House floor to speak out against war. She stands for peace, social justice, human rights, a green future, and so much more.

Last week, after more than 18 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Woolsey announced that she will not run for reelection next year.Read more »

The madness of nuclear power

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By Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon is president of the Institute for Public Accuracy and a senior fellow at RootsAction. His books include “Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation” (1982), co-authored with Harvey Wasserman.

Like every other president since the 1940s, Barack Obama has promoted nuclear power. Now, with reactors melting down in Japan, the official stance is more disconnected from reality than ever.

Political elites are still clinging to the oxymoron of “safe nuclear power.” It’s up to us -- people around the world -- to peacefully and insistently shut those plants down.

There is no more techno-advanced country in the world than Japan. Nuclear power is not safe there, and it is not safe anywhere. Read more »

Why I may run for Congress

Across the country, alarm is rising as corporate power escalates at the intersection of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

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OPINION One of the most inspiring political leaders in recent decades, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), famously declared: "I represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Today we need progressives in Congress who will represent the progressive wing of the Progressive Caucus.

That's the largest caucus on Capitol Hill — but having 80 members on the roster won't do much good if many cave under pressure.Read more »

WikiLeaks: demystifying diplomacy

With the nation's ongoing war efforts at full throttle, the contradictions between public rationales and hidden goals cannot stand the light of day

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OPINION Compared to the kind of secret cables that WikiLeaks just shared with the world, everyday public statements from government officials are exercises in make-believe.

In a democracy, people have a right to know what their government is actually doing. In a pseudo-democracy, a bunch of fairy tales from high places will do the trick.

Diplomatic facades routinely masquerade as realities. But sometimes the mask slips — for all the world to see — and that's what just happened with the humongous leak of State Department cables.Read more »

How to fight the GOP

The stakes are too high and crises too extreme to accept "moderate" accommodation

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OPINION Now what?

Now we need to build a grassroots progressive movement — wide, deep, and strong enough to fight the right and challenge the corporate center of the Democratic Party.

The stakes are too high and crises too extreme to accept "moderate" accommodation to unending war, regressive taxation, massive unemployment, routine foreclosures, and environmental destruction.

A common formula to avoid is what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called "the paralysis of analysis." Profuse theory + scant practice = immobilization.Read more »

From great man to great screw-up: behind the McChrystal uproar

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Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

When the wheels are coming off, it doesn’t do much good to change the driver.

Whatever the name of the commanding general in Afghanistan, the U.S. war effort will continue its carnage and futility.

Between the lines, some news accounts are implying as much. Hours before Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, the New York Times reported that “the firestorm was fueled by increasing doubts -- even in the military -- that Afghanistan can be won and by crumbling public support for the nine-year war as American casualties rise.”

It now does McChrystal little good that news media have trumpeted everything from his Spartan personal habits (scarcely eats or sleeps) to his physical stamina (runs a lot) to his steel-trap alloy of military smarts and scholarship (reads history). Any individual is expendable. Read more »

Flares in the Political Dark

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Norman Solomon is a nationally syndicated columnist on media and politics. He wrote the weekly "Media Beat" column from 1992 to 2009. His latest book is "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State" (2007). To read more from Solomon, visit www.normansolomon.com.

The winter solstice of 2009 arrived as a grim metaphor for the current politics of healthcare, war and a lot more. “In a dark time,” wrote the poet Theodore Roethke, “the eye begins to see.”Read more »

San Francisco, meet Joe Nation

Progressives should vote for Leno
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OPINION How would you like to be represented by someone who flacks for the insurance industry, serves real estate developers and landlords with zeal, opposes consumer privacy, and is a role model for corporate Democrats with a firm allegiance to big business?

You wouldn't know it from the vague aura of his slick ads, but Joe Nation is hoping to be that someone in the state Senate. Read more »

Edwards Reconsidered

Edwards could be the most progressive Democrat to top the national ticket in more than half a century.
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There have been good reasons not to support John Edwards for president. For years, his foreign-policy outlook has been a hodgepodge of insights and dangerous conventional wisdom; his health-care prescriptions have not taken the leap to single payer; and all told, from a progressive standpoint, his positions have been inferior to those of Dennis Kucinich.

But Edwards was the most improved presidential candidate of 2007. He sharpened his attacks on corporate power and honed his calls for economic justice. He laid down a clear position against nuclear power. Read more »