Bipartisanship No, Working Majority Yes

Republican demanding bipartisanship


The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


In the grown up world, honorable and reasonable people may initially disagree but eventually compromise upon a collective review of empirical evidence. It was in this spirit, that the nascent Obama administration reached out to Republicans with respect to their proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which finally passed both houses of congress yesterday.

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Reinventing Our Relations With the Muslim World: An Interview With Former CIA Analyst Emile Nakhleh

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Building consensus within America's body politic and national security establishment for a new way forward with Muslims worldwide is a formidable challenge. Many Americans still don't appreciate the complex nuances of Muslim society and remain stubbornly Islamophobic almost seven and half years after 9/11. Equally formidable is earning the goodwill of Muslims worldwide following the Iraq War as well as American atrocities perpetrated upon Islamic detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Hopefully, President Obama's historic election has finally opened a path for constructive conversation about how America can most effectively engage the Muslim world.

The CIA's former point man on Islam, Emile Nakahleh, has vigorously entered this conversation with his new book, A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations With the Muslim World (Princeton University Press). From 1991 to 2006, Nakahleh served as the director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program in the Directorate of Intelligence at the CIA. He holds a PhD in international relations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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America, It's Time To Say Goodbye To Wall Street: An Interview With Author David Korten

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal..

"We face a monumental economic challenge that goes far beyond anything being discussed in the U.S. Congress or the corporate press. The hardships imposed by temporarily frozen credit markets pale in comparison to what lies ahead.

Even the significant funds that the Obama administration is committed to spending on economic stimulus will do nothing to address the deeper structural causes of our threefold financial, social, and environmental crisis. On the positive side, the financial crisis has put to rest the myths that our economic institutions are sound and that markets work best when deregulated. This creates an opportune moment to open a national conversation about what we can and must do to create an economic system that can for work for all people for all time."

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When America Burned After the King Assassination: An Interview With Author Clay Risen

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


Tomorrow, America honors the birthday of heroic civil rights activist Martin Luther King. Americans revere King across the political and ethnic spectrum for his wisdom, idealism, courage and practice of non-violent civil disobedience against the forces of racial oppression. Thanks in large part to the trailblazing efforts of King and his followers; America inaugurates its first black president the very next day when Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20th. Yet even as Americans celebrate the historical arc from Martin Luther King to Barack Obama, the scars of racial injustice remain woven into our country's fabric.


Understandably, historians have overlooked the immediate aftermath of King's assassination in a Memphis, Tennessee hotel on April 4th, 1968. The meaning of King's life as well as the tragedy his loss represented has received considerable attention from historians and the body politic. Yet the immediate aftermath of King's death was dwarfed by his iconic life as well as the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the violence that took place during the Democratic National Convention later that year.

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Renegade Justice: An Interview With Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias

PhotobucketThe topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

David Iglesias is the prototype twenty first century Republican: charismatic, Hispanic, an evangelical Christian and a captain in the Navy Reserve who served for many years in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps ("JAG"). In  1998, Iglesias campaigned to become Attorney General of New Mexico against the heavily favored Patricia Madrid. He nearly pulled off an upset and the Republican Party took notice. In 2000, Iglesias paid his party dues and worked for George W. Bush's election.

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Shari'a and The Muslim World: An Interview With Author Noah Feldman

PhotobucketThe topic below was originally posted on my blog on Thursday, June 19th, when the interview took place.

Shari'a is a code of law based on the Koran. In the Muslim world, many want to replace corrupt autocratic regimes with the Shari'a and establish traditional Islamic states. Western countries regard the Shari'a as a threat. Islamic parties are winning elections on it. Militants have used the Shari'a to justify acts of terrorism. Meanwhile, secular minded people find their most severe provisions repugnant.


In his latest book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press), Noah Feldman tells the story behind the populist movement in the Muslim world to establish the Shari'a. Feldman addresses questions about why the Shari'a is popular in spite of its harsh code and whether the Islamic state can succeed.

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Chronicling The Uprising: An Interview With David Sirota

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal and cross-posted at Progressive Historians, the Wild Wild Left,The Peace Tree, the Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.


The centrifugal force in American politics today is the establishment's failure to deliver prosperity and security. In 2006, Americans voted for a change of direction in Iraq and economic policies at home. Instead, President Bush's "surge" in Iraq was enabled by a feckless congress as fuel prices soared, the cost of healthcare kept spiraling out of control and corporate CEOs continued to enjoy the benefits of a twenty-first century Gilded Age. Senseless privatization, predatory crony capitalism, political corruption, incompetence and corporate greed have combined to put the American Dream out of reach for people who work hard and play by the rules.

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Crunch Time In America: An Interview With Economist Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein's Book

The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal on April 6th and x-posted today at The Wild, Wild Left, The Peace Tree,The Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.

How many economists have you read or watched on television in recent years that claimed the economy was performing well while you struggled to make ends meat and keep up with the cost of living? Indeed, until recently a happy talk virus had infected a cabal of conservative plutocrats who preached the virtues of limited regulation, market forces and free trade as wages declined and predatory lenders had a party. It seemed we were hearing conservative politicians and their mouthpieces at the Heritage Foundation or Fox news refer to the economy as "the greatest story never told" at every opportunity.

Now that the housing and credit crisis has metastasized, conservative apparatchiks are fighting to minimize government intervention on behalf of regular folks while preserving corporate welfare. They accuse anyone who raises a fuss of waging class warfare. Instead these agents of the status quo prefer we erroneously obsess about Social Security going bust and agree to privatize it for Wall Street's benefit.

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An Interview With Lifetime Activist and Social Entrepreneur Charles Halpern

Charles Halpern

The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal, as well as The Wild Wild Left, The Peace Tree, Independent Bloggers Alliance and Worldwide Sawdust.

Effective change agents and activists must blend their cognitive skills and passions with deep reservoirs of inner strength. It's a life path requiring self-sacrifice, discipline, a tough hide combined with empathy, idealism joined with pragmatism, a willingness to put ego aside, resiliency and a perspective beyond the moment of immediate conflict.

Alas, many of us dedicated to pursuing the cause of peace, justice and economic fairness are demoralized by setbacks and criticisms overtime. Personal lives are also easily consumed by the flames of devotion to causes larger than ourselves, such as reversing global warming or stopping genocide. It's so easy to lose our balance as we stand apart from professional colleagues, friends and relatives who don't share our passions or devotion to change the world for the better.

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An Interview With Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Author Fred Kaplan

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The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as The Wild Wild Left, the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.

Most Americans are eager to turn the page on the Bush years. Yet even as we elect a new president we're still coming to terms with an era that has both tarnished America's reputation and diminished its influence.

Fred Kaplan chronicles the folly of the Bush years in his new book, Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power (John Wiley & Sons).

Kaplan writes that,

"Nearly all of America's blunders in war and peace these past few years stem from a single grand misconception: that the world changed after 9/11, when in fact it didn't.

Certainly, things about the world changed, not least Americans' sudden awareness that they were vulnerable. But the way the world works - the nature of power, warfare, and politics among nations - remained essentially the same."

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