FROM Joe Bageant
Are 'Tea Parties' Real Politics? In the first year of the Obama Administration, the "tea party" movement made almost as much news as the federal stimulus, Wall Street, healthcare and the President himself. Who organizes tea parties? Who goes to them? Do they believe in "principles" or the slogans they chant for TV news cameras? Could they become a coherent "movement" that could be seized by a charismatic candidate, like Sarah Palin?
Are 'Tea Parties' Real Politics? Can They Make a Difference? In the first year of the Obama Administration, the “tea party” movement made almost as much news as the federal stimulus, Wall Street, healthcare and the President himself. But tea-party participants often insist they are “principled conservatives,” not scornful Republicans, even as some Republican leaders try to soak up their energy. Who organizes tea parties? Who goes to them? Do they believe in “principles” or the slogans they chant for TV news cameras? Could they become a coherent “movement” that could be seized by a charismatic candidate, like Sarah Palin?
Will 'Values Voters' Turn to the Economy? To upset Barack Obama next Tuesday, John McCain is counting on a conservative base in small towns, energized by running-mate Sarah Palin . It's the so-called "values vote," focused on social issues -- abortion, gay marriage and gun rights -- as well as cutting the size of government. Four years ago, Thomas Frank published What's the Matter with Kansas? , raising a question about the so-called "values voters" who were crucial to the election and re-election of George W. Bush. This year, big parts of America's "Heartland" have become battlegrounds between McCain and Obama. Is that a temporary phenomenon or will there be lasting political consequences? Is the economy trumping the culture wars? Has the population changed in the past eight years?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.