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Joseph A. Palermo
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Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento. Professor Palermo's most recent book is The Eighties (Pearson 2013). He has also written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Columbia, 2001); and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism (Pearson, 2008). Before earning a Master's degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in History from San Jose State University. His expertise includes Robert F. Kennedy; the 1960s; political history; presidential politics and war powers; social movements of the 20th century; the 1980s; and the history of American foreign policy. Professor Palermo's most recent academic article appears in A Companion to John F. Kennedy edited by Marc Selverstone (Wiley Blackwell, 2014) titled Robert F. Kennedy. He has also written articles for anthologies on the life of Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. in The Human Tradition in America Since 1945 (Scholarly Resources Press, 2003); and on the Watergate scandal in Watergate and the Resignation of Richard Nixon (CQ Press, 2004).

Entries by Joseph A. Palermo

Robert F. Kennedy Would Be 90 Years Old Today

(10) Comments | Posted November 20, 2015 | 7:46 AM

Today would be Robert Francis Kennedy's 90th birthday, November 20th, 2015. Killed at the age of 42, he has been gone now six years longer than he was alive. In the forty-eight years since we've not only seen a rightward lurch in American politics but (of late) the wholesale debasing...

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"Freedom Fries" and the Republican Right's Faux Solidarity with France

(388) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 4:52 PM

Republican myth-makers like Judith Miller, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, and other ideologues, along with the GOP presidential candidates from Donald Trump to Marco Rubio, couldn't wait for all the victims in Paris to be identified before they unleashed...

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Dr. Ben Carson: Obamacare and Slavery

(128) Comments | Posted November 4, 2015 | 2:17 PM

The whining on the part of the Republican presidential candidates, the RNC, and right-wing radio hosts about CNBC's "gotcha" questions at the last debate ignores the free pass the "liberal media" have already bestowed upon their clownish candidates.

The Republicans' have denounced the "unfairness" of CNBC, canceled a scheduled...

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The U.S. and Russia, Syria and Ukraine: Neo-Cons vs. Liberal Interventionists

(36) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 10:50 AM

As it stands today, United States policy in Syria insists that President Bashar al-Assad must go. But if the U.S. succeeds and the Assad government is scattered to the wind it raises the question: Who will defend the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria from the Islamic State, the al-Nusra...

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Reclaiming the Master Plan for Higher Education in California

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2015 | 3:43 PM

The following is a presentation given by Professor Joseph A. Palermo as part of a panel discussion at the Reclaim the Master Plan Conference in Sacramento, California, September 26, 2015:

In equal importance to the text of the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 are the idealistic assumptions...

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Sometimes a Movement Needs a Leader: The Bernie Sanders Campaign

(111) Comments | Posted August 23, 2015 | 6:51 PM

According to a recent above-the-fold, front-page article in the New York Times by Jason Horowitz, Senator Bernie Sanders "bellows" "snarls" and "glares" his way through campaign appearances. His candidacy, Horowitz writes, amounts to little more than giving "disaffected Democrats" the opportunity "to vent their anger at the list...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership: Obama Sides With the Wrong People for the Wrong Reasons at the Wrong Time

(87) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 5:34 PM

By siding with the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in passing "fast-track" trade authority as a step toward signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), President Barack Obama triangulated against labor unions, environmentalists, consumer activists, and the base of his party.

The 60-38 vote...

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Jeb Bush Enters the GOP Presidential Debate -- But What Are They 'Debating?'

(97) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 11:14 AM

John Ellis Bush has formally announced his 2016 campaign to bring another Bush to the White House. He's banking on the amnesia of the American people, hoping we've already forgotten his brother's catastrophic presidency. Now that the Republican party's Great Establishment Hope has entered the crowded field of...

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Jeb Bush Re-Writes the History of the Iraq War

(668) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 7:39 PM

Nothing illustrates better the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican war hawks who call themselves presidential candidates than their attempts to whitewash the history of how this nation went to war in Iraq.

John Ellis "Jeb" Bush stood by his brother's side while he demolished a...

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The Baltimore Riots, Inequality and Federal Inaction

(33) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 4:23 PM

We hear politicians across the ideological spectrum talking about the "problem" of wealth and income inequality in America, yet few offer any concrete solutions. The rioting in Baltimore shows that inequality is not an abstraction or a talking point, but a real sociological phenomenon that is...

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Judith Miller Clings to Her Own Stubborn Myths

(19) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 1:33 PM

Judith Miller recently popped out of the Fox News bubble for a quick jaunt to the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the home base for John Bolton, Max Boot, and other neo-con hawks, to give her forthcoming book a little free advertising. In the process she attempts to...

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The 50th Anniversary of U.S. Marines Landing in Vietnam

(42) Comments | Posted March 8, 2015 | 11:19 AM

Fifty years ago, on March 8, 1965, although few Americans could see it at the time, President Lyndon Johnson embarked on a war in Vietnam that would fundamentally transform both societies. He opened up a new phase in the U.S. military's ongoing goal of keeping afloat the Saigon government.

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Mitch McConnell Is Just Getting Started

(12) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 6:13 PM

Anyone who doubts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's drive and ability to wield power unhindered by any sense of fair play in pursuit of plutocratic ends should read Allen Raymond's 2008 book titled: How To Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative. Raymond recounts his career as a political...

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The 25th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Panama

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 4:28 PM

With President Barack Obama's decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba we might be entering a new era where the ghosts of America's past military interventions in the Caribbean and Central America finally can be placed in a more realistic perspective.

Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan administration...

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'We Tortured Some Folks,' But 'That's Not Who We Are'

(55) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 5:18 PM

Last August, President Barack Obama admitted to the press: "we tortured some folks." But he also added that torturing people "is not who we are." His CIA director, John Brennan, calls the CIA torturers "patriots." So which is it? Are they "patriots," deserving of our admiration,...

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The Incredible Shrinking Democratic Party

(16) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 7:01 PM

The internal sniping and bickering has already begun among Democratic ranks but it's their own damn fault. The internal debates following the 2014 midterm elections highlight the ideological schizophrenia that continues to plague the Democratic Party.

Is the Democratic Party the party of labor unions or the...

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The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

(2) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 10:17 AM

Many historians trace the seeds of the momentous events of November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, as being planted back in August 1975 when 35 nations, including the United States, unanimously approved the Helsinki Accords. Helsinki's "Final Act" recognized the sovereignty of East Germany and other Soviet...

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Midterms 2014: An Extremely Brief Autopsy

(3) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 7:11 PM

With the dust still settling around the 2014 midterms and so much bloviating commentary inundating us as every pundit in the land tries to interpret the meaning of the elections, we might step back for a moment and try to analyze some of the reasons for this latest Republican romp....

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The Gary Webb Story: Still Killing the Messenger

(3) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 8:54 PM

Few things are better at getting the word out about a past injustice than a Hollywood movie and Kill the Messenger starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Michael Cuesta does so with depth and drama. For the first time the true story about the courageous investigative...

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Students of Jefferson County Colorado Give the Nation a History Lesson

(2) Comments | Posted September 28, 2014 | 11:26 PM

When high school students in Jefferson County, Colorado walked out in protest against the right-wingers on the school board who purged their history curriculum of content they deemed "unpatriotic" they probably learned more in a week of direct action than they could...

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