Chicago St. Pats Day


Each year, as part of its St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the Chicago River runs green!

In three weeks, Chicago – and many of us around the country – will possibly be celebrating a progressive win and the end of Rahm Emanuel’s reign as mayor.

As I discussed with Chicagoan Rick Perlstein this morning on the show, political tidal waves will be felt globally if the people rise up and replace Emanuel’s conserva-Dem, privatization and charter school-loving ass with an actual progressive, with the record to back it up, in the person of Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Although Rick Perlstein is best known for his great books – Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American ConsensusNixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of Americaand his latest one, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reaganhe also occasionally graces us with his insights online.

At In These Times, Perlstein caught my attention with this indictment of Rahm Emanuel in advance of the primary in February. He reported on Rahm’s surprisingly shoddy showing at the polls, and “Chuy” Garcia, the man who out-performed expectations, forcing a runoff (with some more dirt on Rahm to boot).

And last week, he answered the questions many of us outside of Chicago were asking, “What has Jesus “Chuy” Garcia actually accomplished in office?” (Hint: it’s a lot!)

In fact, Rick Perlstein has become such a fan that he’s hosting an “Authors for Chuy” event this Saturday afternoon. Follow the link for details.

I was introduced to Rick Perlstein by our mutual friend Howie Klein who, along with Digby and John Amato, runs the Blue America PAC and is my arbiter on candidates’ progressive bona fides.

Today at Down with Tyranny, Howie posted “Three Weeks from Today — Showdown in Chicago,” underscoring the need to help now, as he put it

If Rahm loses, it will shake up Democratic politics to its core, a shake-up that is long overdue. Please consider contributing what you can– today, 3 weeks out– via ActBlue. There is no such thing as a contribution being too small to make a difference.

Meanwhile, this Friday marks the 12th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. To mark the occasion, Cindy Sheehan, David Swanson and other peace activists and concerned citizens are gathering in Washington DC for Spring Rising, Wednesday through Sunday,

four days of creative resistance; theater, teach-ins; rallies and marches marking the anniversary of the United States’ “shock and awe” attack on Iraq and its invasion and occupation in a completely illegitimate, immoral war.

David joined me today to talk about the endless wars we’re involved with, and to encourage listeners to participate this week – either in DC or wherever they live.

The last time David was on the show, we discussed the launch of World Beyond War, an organization dedicated to making the group’s name a reality. They’ve written and have just released A Global Security System: An Alternative to War, and everyone needs to read this.

 It describes the “hardware” of creating a peace system, and the “software” — the values and concepts — necessary to operate a peace system and the means to spread these globally. Key sections include:

* Why is an Alternative Global Security System both Desirable and Necessary?
* Why we Think a Peace System is Possible
* Common Security
* Demilitarizing Security
* Managing International and Civil Conflicts
* International Non-government Organizations: The Role of Global Civil Society
* Creating a Culture of Peace
* Accelerating the Transition To An Alternative Security System

This report is based on the work of many experts in international relations and peace studies and on the experience of many activists. It is intended to be an evolving plan as we gain more and more experience. The historic end of war is now possible if we muster the will to act and so save ourselves and the planet from ever greater catastrophe. World Beyond War firmly believes that we can do this.

If we can oust Rahm Emanuel and send a big message to the Democratic Party and the rest of the world in the process, there’s no reason to think we can’t, once again, have peace in our lifetimes. We just have to work for it!

Tomorrow, we’ll find out if the people of Israel are through with Netanyahu and his evil ways, and Gaius Publius will explain the Obama administrations Republican-like tactics in pushing the Trans Pacific Partnership. See you then, radio or not!