Author: Carolyn

Carolyn Jackson has been an organizer at ACT NOW since 2004, campaigning for progressive candidates and issues. She blogs at

Multiple Obscenities

Few politicians are as irrepressible as Anthony Weiner, so I wasn’t shocked to learn via the New York Times online that he’s again considering running for mayor of New York. The whole interview was in print in Sunday’s magazine, but the news first appeared in cyberspace as befits a former congressman who lost it electronically with an eponymous Tweet. The interview reveals the anguish of his newly pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, when she learned he’d been sending photos of an … Read More

Mourning Sally Ride

Here’s to you, Tam O’Shaunessy. Ever since I read in astronaut Sally Ride’s obituary that she had been in a committed relationship with Tam O’Shaunessy for twenty-seven years, I’ve wondered how O’Shaunessy must feel now. I don’t know how Ride set up her estate, but O’Shaunessy won’t be receiving any survivor benefits from the military because it’s prohibited by the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Besides, they were not even married. Can’t do that in California.

A Healthy Reaction

Knowing that Supreme Court was going to hand down its decision about Obamacare yesterday morning, I did what any self-protecting progressive might be tempted to do: I took a walk. I try to do this every day, but yesterday it seemed essential to my sanity, and I lingered along my favorite spots. And rather than turn on the television where I might be flagellated when I came inside, I consulted my laptop. And that’s where I learned the astonishing news … Read More

Radical Hugs

(x-posted at progwoman) It’s too bad right-wing provocateur Andrew Breitbart never met Derrick Bell, because it might have made him a better man. Of all the news that surfaced after Breitbart’s sudden death, I was most stunned by the evidence that he was preparing to use Professor Bell to attack President Obama. Perhaps you’ve seen the clips of The Hug, taken by WGBH in 1991 while Obama was a student at Harvard Law School. Student Obama introduced Professor Bell to … Read More

Thinking Differently

[Cross-posted at progwoman] Mike Daisey looks nothing like Steve Jobs. He’s obese and pale-skinned, like you’d expect someone to look after spending too much time using technology rather than marketing it. He grew up in Maine, not California. At 35, he is not rich, and you suspect that even when he’s 56, as Jobs was when he died, Daisey still won’t be wealthy. The black shirts Daisey wears have an open collar, not a turtleneck, but I thought for a … Read More

My Preoccupation with Occupations

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”    -Abolitionist Frederick Douglass [Cross-posted at ProgWoman] When members of Occupy … Read More

One Person, One Vote? Hardly.

It’s painful to admit, but a voter in rural upstate New York has more clout than I do or you do, if you live in New York City or its suburbs. It’s been that way for a while, but it would get much worse with the ridiculous new maps drawn in Albany by the Republican-dominated New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. Scientific as it may sound, the task force is not the nonpartisan group promised … Read More

Who’s Counting? And Who Counts?

What can I tell you about the Iowa Republican Primary that you don’t know already? That Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were neck and neck for most of the evening? That Romney “won” by only eight votes? That libertarian Ron Paul was close on their heels? That Newt Gingrich seemed dead in the water, having missed the deadline for the South Carolina primary, but announced he was headed for New Hampshire? That Michelle Bachman dropped out today after her poor … Read More

A Must-Read Essay

For most New Yorkers, the word “public” is a good thing: public transportation, public libraries, public parks, public sanitation, and, much of the time, public schools and even public welfare and public housing. Not that we don’t have our complaints. Most of us are well aware that the services we depend on are too often diminished and undependable. But very few of us would venture that they should be abolished. Even our billionaire mayor takes the subway.

Reform You Can Chew On

Still chewing over ACT NOW’s screening last Saturday of “Gerrymandering,” in which it was pointed out that redistricting is but one of the possible reforms our Congress might enact. For example, why should we have only 435 Representatives when the U.S. population continues to expand? The House grew in numbers until the 1920s, when the seats got fixed, but, of course, members now represent many, many more constituents than they used to.