New Essay at the Progressive: Why You Shouldn’t Care about Gas Prices

I’ve written a new essay for The Progressive Magazine. I ridicule the hypocritical and foolish obsession with gas prices, calling on American political culture to give more attention to the costs that actually transform everyday life into a financial struggle – housing, health care, education, and debt (major increases in these burdens receive almost no coverage from the press).

Relentlessly focusing on gas prices also acts as a propaganda victory for the oil industry by distracting the public from the impending catastrophe of global warming.

Read it at the Progressive.

New Essay on Fascism in the United States

I’ve written an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books about two insightful and important new books about Donald Trump, and the dangers of the fascist American right: historian Paul Street’s, It Happened Here, and political scientist Anthony DiMaggio’s, Rising Fascism.

These books provide masterful analyses and urgent warnings regarding the extreme threat facing the American people, and our beleaguered democracy. Read at LARB.

New Essay at the Daily Beast: The Plot to Kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Escalating Threat of Right Wing Violence

I have a new essay at the Daily Beast on the terrorist plot to kidnap and kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and how it is emblematic of the escalating violence and danger from the American right.

“More than any story other than the attempted right-wing coup d’état of Jan. 6, the conspiracy to assassinate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer illustrates the escalating threat of political violence, the diminution of America’s civil society and the growing menace of a Republican Party willing to excuse, diminish, and at times, even encourage extralegal extremism as a means to achieve its political ends…”

Read the rest at the Beast.

Interview with Mike Lofgren about Ukraine, and why the Far Right Idolizes Putin

I’ve interviewed Mike Lofgren, a former high level Republican Senate aide who denounced his old party in 2010 and has since become an acerbic and insightful analyst, about Russia’s war crime in Ukraine, and the bizarre and troubling sympathy for Putin on the American right.

The interview is short, but offers tremendous clarity on many vital issues related to the war in Ukraine, and politics in the US. Read at The Progressive Magazine.

Profile of National Book Award-Winning Poet, Martín Espada

I recently had the immense pleasure of interviewing recent National Book Award winner, Martín Espada. We discussed his life and work, including poetry and radical politics, and right wing book bans, which have twice eliminated his work.

My lengthy profile of Espada is available to CounterPunch subscribers: “‘Put the Blood Back In’: Martín Espada on Poetry, Book Banning, and Radical Politics”



New Essay at the Progressive: Neil Young’s Righteous Crusade

I have a new story at the Progressive on Neil Young’s “righteous crusade” against Spotify. In my analysis, it represents a much larger fight against the corporate capture of the arts, and the dominance of greed as a decision-making calculus, no matter how destructive to public health or the common good. As Neil himself sings, “Have to shut the whole system down!”

extrachill.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/neil-...

At the Bottom of the Empire: Homelessness, Housing Injustice, and Jesse Jackson’s Call to “Eradicate Poverty”

Last week, I attended a press conference that Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition hosted in the Martin Luther King Legacy Apartments in Chicago. Jackson, and other speakers, condemned the “moral disgrace” of widespread poverty, housing injustice, and homelessness in the world’s wealthiest country.

I’ve written a story on the press conference, the history of King and Jackson’s anti-poverty and anti-racism work in Chicago, and the related issues of oppression and exploitation in the present. Read at CounterPunch.

Jesse Jackson recalls Martin Luther King Jr.'s last birthday - Chicago  Tribune

A New Essay on Joan Didion’s Political Writing

I have a new essay at Salon about the political writing of the recently deceased Joan Didion. It is obvious that Didion was one of the greatest literary artists in the US, but most people do not realize that she was also one the country’s most astute political analysts. Like few others, she sliced through the layers of lies in our public discourse, exposing how racism, middle class fear and complacency, and oligarchic oppression sabotage genuine democracy.

Read the essay at Salon.

The Most Revealing Moment in the New Joan Didion Documentary | The New  Yorker

America’s “Culture of Death”: Covid-19, Gun Insanity, White Supremacy, Ecological Destruction, and Public Indifference

I wrote an essay for the December 17 Weekend Edition of CounterPunch – a broad exploration of the deep problems within the United States, turning on my appropriation of the late Pope John Paul II’s phrase, “culture of death.”

Read it at CounterPunch.