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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

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

(86) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 4:34 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 | 10:14 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

(670) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 6:39 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 | 3:23 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 | 12:33 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 | 10:19 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 | 5:13 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 | 3:28 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 | 4:18 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 | 6:01 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 | 9:17 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 | 6:11 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 | 7:54 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 | 10:26 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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Ken Burns' 'The Roosevelts' Reveals Everything Wrong With Our Current Political Class

(17) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 8:39 PM

Ken Burns' seven-part PBS series on the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, is a remarkable achievement. Burns sheds a poignant new light on the personal and public lives of three monumental figures in 20th Century American history. And in doing so,...

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The Real Winners (and Losers) in America's New War Against ISIL

(14) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Che Guevara famously called for "one, two, many Vietnams!" The idea was that constant warfare around the globe could at some point bleed dry the United States. Today, we hear similar calls for "one, two, many Iraqs!" Yet these noises aren't coming from a charismatic socialist revolutionary but from American...

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Ferguson, Missouri: Opening Up Old Wounds

(6) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 6:49 PM

It's difficult to write about the racial and political implications of the killing in Ferguson, Missouri, of an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, at the hands of a white police officer without rehashing what has been said a million times. When the inevitable incidents of police brutality or racially-tinged violence...

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It Can Be Done: Negotiate an End to the Siege in Gaza

(8) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 7:10 PM

The gutless American political class has abdicated its responsibility for the actions of the Israel Defense Forces. Few people living in the Middle East or anywhere else make the distinction between the United States and Israel, nor should they with all those weapons stamped "made in the USA." It's supremely...

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Iraq and the Neocons: The Sequel

(157) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 8:43 AM

It makes perfect sense that out of the horrors of the war in Iraq a resistance army would arise that is far more pernicious, ruthless, and fanatical than the original enemy the US sought to defeat. The level of sectarian violence Iraq has experienced from 2003...

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Smearing Private Bergdahl: the Republican Right Descends to a New Low

(18) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 8:32 AM

I thought Karl Rove's 2004 Swift Boating of John Kerry's Vietnam service record in the US Navy was pretty disgusting, but the recent smears against President Barack Obama for winning Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release have descended to a new low. Instead of rejoicing in the homecoming...

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