|The Bush years were grim for progressives, but they did offer one small consolation: the hope that if only a smart and decent person could ascend to the White House, our politics could be repaired. Now, after years of destructive austerity and hopeless stalemate, that faith is dead. People on the left will debate where to lay the blame, but few will disagree that our federal institutions seem utterly unequal to the challenges of a country still reeling from economic crisis.
Indeed, our national politics are so deformed that it’s hard even to imagine the steps necessary to fix things. […]
At the city level, though, things are very different. Among those who study urban governance and those who practice it, there’s an extraordinary sense of political excitement. An outpouring of books like If Mayors Ruled the World, Triumph of the City and The Metropolitan Revolution hymns urban dynamism. Not all the new urban optimists are on the left, but that’s where most of the energy is. With the federal government frozen, cities are seizing the initiative and becoming laboratories for progressive policy innovation. Amid widespread despair about national politics, cities have become new sources of hope.
“It’s a movement that reflects the paralyzed nature of the political system in Washington right now and the polarization of the political process,” says Neal Peirce, editor of Citiscope, an online magazine about cities that launched earlier this year. “On the local level, you can have these arguments without getting as much into partisan politics. At the same time, we’re having much more discussion about income inequality.” The result is a raft of local legislation intended to address problems that national politicians have let fester. “It’s quite a shift,” says Peirce. “It’s grown dramatically in the last year or so.” […]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—American Exceptionalism and Iraq:
|Ever since I chose two months ago to support Barack Obama as the better remaining choice after John Edwards left the presidential race, I’ve not had second thoughts. But neither have I made a secret of my misgivings about various policy stances of the Senator from Illinois. Nowhere have these misgivings been stronger than when it comes to reshaping foreign policy, in general, dealing with the military-industrial-congressional complex, in particular, and, most immediately, figuring out what the United States should do next in Iraq.
While much campaign discussion among partisans has focused on the differences between what Senator Obama said in his October 2, 2002, speech about Iraq and what Senator Clinton said in her October 10 speech before she voted on the authorization to use force, what matters now has very little to do with they said and did more than five years ago. What matters is where we go from here in the sixth year of occupation.
During Tuesday’s hearings on Iraq, as refreshing as it would be—and as accurate—neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton (nor any other Senator who questions General David Petraeus) will say "imperialist" in reference to the bloody U.S. visitation on Iraq or its larger foreign policy. Nor "hegemony." Whether it be politicians, or textbook writers, or megamedia mavens, or, sadly, many historians, America simply cannot be attached to "empire" no matter the evidence. It’s just so ... un-American. [..]
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we're back from the weekend, and Greg Dworkin notes how Gop ACA opponents are still inventing new metrics to be outraged about. Chili's reverses course on their anti-vax error. Jeb looks for a seam to squeeze through. Will it basically be "I'm too reasonable (on exactly one thing) to win?" BiPM's Cheers & Jeers updates us on OK. The multi-faceted Mozilla mess. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) enjoyed much Twitter love for pushing back against Dick Cheney on torture, but Cheney needs to be steamrollered. Privatization FAIL: rural fire hydrants shut down by water company, because their water "is for farms and homes, not fires."