THE COHEN COLUMN--This is a resource to give you a reliable voice of political truth and hopefully will productive activism.
NEW GEOGRAPHY--When President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords, embraced coal, and stacked his administration from people from fossil-fuel producing states, the environmental movement reacted with near-apocalyptic fear and fury. They would have been better off beginning to understand precisely why the country has become so indifferent to their cause, as evidenced by the victory not only of Trump but of unsympathetic Republicans at every level of government. (Photo: Leonardo de Caprio.)
GUEST WORDS--Recently, at the Community Church in Woodland Hills, California, a woman sang “Amazing Grace.” She sang slow with sweet, lilting sorrow, letting each dolorous, weighty note saturate the space with sound. She sang right in front of the same pulpit where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once preached, on his birthday, on January 15, 1961. (Photo above: Ohio Governor John Kasich.)
I want to be the first to congratulate the Republican Party on passing a health care bill based on conservative principles that will help millions of people. It's called Obamacare. The Democrats passed it for you in 2010.
THE COHEN FILE--A lot of people may not know that Benedict Arnold, the most infamous of colonial traitors, a prominent revolutionary war general who endeavored to sell the surrender of the fort at West Point for a price, had published a series of open letters to the "Inhabitants of the Colonies" justifying himself. Here are some selected excerpts from those letters.
LEANING RIGHT--While it's entirely fair to blame the GOP-led Congress for not having a plan or consensus to replace or improve ObamaCare after years of running for election/re-election against it, it isn't fair to not place the blame that belongs to so many Americans who want their health care for free. Particularly because so much of the "free" health care that we believe works so preciously well in Europe and Canada is being paid for indirectly by US, the American people. (Graphic above.)
With the revelation that Donald Trump, Jr. leaped at the opportunity to find some dirt on Hillary Clinton, we have our first clear idea of what his father is hiding concerning the Russia connection.
THE COHEN COLUMN--The person we will support for president in 2020 is the person who will actually introduce a single payer Medicare-For-All bill in the US Senate NOW!
GUEST WORDS--As a lawyer, there's little I've wanted less than to be part of a lawsuit. Contrary to movie and television portrayals, going to court is rarely the best way to fix a problem. There's no Judge Judy to dispense quips and quick resolution. Cases are more likely to drain money and energy without concluding in a way that satisfies anyone. But sometimes going to court is the only way to resolve things. Like when the president of the United States is violating your constitutional rights.
AT LENGTH-Far and wide, we’ve all heard the Republicans’ Obamacare complaints. They have consistently called it a failure and some kind of attack on the freedom to choose our own doctors.
HUMAN RIGHTS--In some respects, it's easy to claim that LGBTQ rights are thriving in the United States. After all, marriage equality is the law of the land, and, just last year, the country bore witness as the first openly transgender person spoke at a national party convention. Still, too often, apparent progress toward queer equality can obscure an undertow of anti-LGBTQ violence.
EMPLOYEMENT WATCH--What will it take to create the five million apprenticeships in the next five years that President Trump is proposing? Support for the apprenticeship concept is high across the political spectrum, left and right. What have we learned in recent years, though, about the challenges in creating apprenticeships in practice?
GUEST WORDS--Every real problem this country — and this planet — face is replaced by a fantasy problem, which all the powers of government then pretend to address. Meet Donald Trump, master of the street con, trickster extraordinaire.
ALPERN AT LARGE--If ever there was a reason to respect law enforcement, it is that understanding that if a crazy guy is running around naked and causing havoc, that it's law enforcement we run to in order to deal with him.
URBAN PERSPECTIVE--"The White House judges nominees on the merits of their character and not on the clients they once represented as counsel.” This was the terse statement that #45 Trump issued in defense of the instant and loud criticism of his pick, Eric Dreiband to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
ACTIVIST JOURNALISM-When I’m not writing for OurFuture, I host a weekly news and opinion program on syndicated radio and cable TV called The Zero Hour. My team there recently faced a major challenge when we received a secret recording of Donald Trump’s remarks to a closed-door, $35,000-a-head fundraiser.
INDEPENDENCE DAY THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS--With a long holiday weekend lined up for the 4th of July most people are probably worried about having enough food for the barbeque, or hoping that their get-togethers aren’t too political. Facebook will be littered with messages of freedom, and assorted dissents. I post a link to Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech "What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?" to mark the occasion most years. For many people this year will be different and it is important that we pay attention. The freedoms marked by the day are under attack. The Declaration of Independence declares:
JULY 4, 2017--We keep hearing that the Fourth of July is more than fireworks, barbecues, and the like--but let's get real. Our exhausting, pressure-filled lives demand time off ... but seriously, despite the rhetoric of Angelenos and other Californians being free-thinking, are we really "independent"?
CALLING OUT HYPOCRICY-Most media reports have portrayed Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski as aggrieved victims of Donald Trump’s Thursday Twitter tantrum. It can’t be pleasant to be attacked so personally by the president, but Scarborough and Brzezinski are fighting back. On their MSNBC show “Morning Joe” on Friday and in an op-ed column in the Washington Post entitled “President Trump Is Not Well,” they chastised Trump for his vicious and vulgar attacks on her appearance, for referring to her as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and him as “Psycho Joe.”
GELFAND’S WORLD--Last week, the international press was aflutter with stories about German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly distancing herself from the Trump administration. This represents a new step in the loss of American prestige in the Trump era. Merkel's statement is not just an escalation. It is a whole new level of attack that represents a shift in the post WWII balance of power. It's been more than 70 years since Germany talked back to the U.S., and Trump has managed to accomplish this feat in less than six months. The New York Times foreshadowed the increasing downslope in American influence in an editorial, Allies start planning a life without America.