Blog Wonkbook: Why the Republican budgets make the poor pay

PaulRyanI don't think Paul Ryan intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. Similarly, I don't think Mitt Romney intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. But there's a reason their budgets turned out so similar: The Republican Party has settled on four overlapping fiscal commitments that leave them with few other choices.

The Republican plans we've seen share a few basic premises. First, taxes are too high, and must be cut. Second, defense spending is too low, and should be raised. Third, major changes to entitlement programs should be passed now, but they shouldn't affect the current generation of retirees. That would all be fine, except for the fourth premise, which is that short-term deficits are a serious threat to the country and they need to be swiftly cut.

The first three budget premises means that taxes and defense will contribute more to the deficit, and Medicare and Social Security aren't available for quick savings. That leaves programs for the poor as the only major programs available to bear cuts. But now cuts to those programs have to pay for the deficit reduction, the increased defense spending, andthe tax cuts. That means the cuts to those programs have to be really, really, really deep. The authors have no other choice.

In Ryan's plan, for instance, revenues are approximately $2 trillion below the levels in Obama's budget, spending on defense is about $200 billion higher, Social Security is unchanged, and Medicare is about $200 billion lower. So that's approximately $2 trillion in lost revenues that need to be made up -- and then Ryan reaches for more than $3 trillion in deficit reduction atop that.

So the cuts to programs that mainly help the poor are correspondingly deep. The $1.5 trillion the Affordable Care Act was going to spend on subsidizing health insurance for low-income Americans is gone. But then Medicaid and other non-Medicare health programs take an $800 billion cut on top of that. Education and worker training loses $200 billion. Income security loses $800 billion. These are huge cuts.

And that's just in the first 10 years. As time goes on, the scheduled cuts become much deeper in programs for the poor than in programs for the rich. Medicaid, for instance, is only allowed to grow at the rate of inflation, while Medicare can grow at GDP+0.5 percent, which is substantially higher. Food stamps also see their growth capped at a low rate, while Social Security is left untouched. And while Ryan does take aim at tax breaks that he says benefits the wealthy, he intends to close them and use the proceeds to fund a tax cut.

As I said at the top; I don't take this as evidence that Paul Ryan wants to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. I take it as evidence that, given the set of commitments Republicans have made to their base, he didn't really have a choice. It was the only way to make his numbers work.

But that doesn't make the end result any different: Ryan's budget asks for enormous sacrifice from, say, disabled Medicaid beneficiaries even as it appears to provide enormous tax benefits to wealthier Americans. The same is true for Romney's budget, and, in even more exaggerated ways, for the fiscal promises made by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. The Republican Party has backed itself into a fiscal strategy in which this kind of concentrated sacrifice on the part of the poor is the only possible path forward.

Top stories

1) GOP Budgetpalooza! "Paul Ryan’s budget would spend $5.3 trillion less over the next decade than President Obama’s budget. Part of this is health care: Ryan would trim Medicare and Medicaid for a portion of his savings. But he’d also spend $2.2 trillion less on everything else. So what, specifically, is Ryan planning to cut?...Over the next decade, Ryan plans to spend about 16 percent less than the White House on 'income security' programs for the poor -- that’s everything from food stamps to housing assistance to the earned-income tax credit. (Ryan’s budget would authorize $4.8 trillion between 2013 and 2022; the White House’s would spend $5.7 trillion.) Compared with Obama, Ryan would spend 25 percent less on transportation and 13 percent less on veterans. He’d spend 6 percent less on 'General science, space, and basic technology.' And, compared with the White House’s proposal, he’d shell out 33 percent less for 'Education, training, employment, and social services.'" Brad Plumer in The Washington Post.

It relies on some unrealistic assumptions. "There’s an important disclaimer in the very first paragraph of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Paul Ryan’s budget plan...Translated out of CBO-ese, what that means is that CBO hasn’t looked at whether Ryan’s budget will achieve the results Ryan says it will. Rather, it looked at what will happen assuming Ryan’s budget achieves the results that Ryan says it will...He’s saying that in 2050, spending on defense, on food stamps, on infrastructure, on education, on research and development, on the federal workforce, and everything other non-entitlement program combined will be less than four percentage points of GDP. Consider that defense spending has never fallen below three percentage points of GDP, and Mitt Romney has promised to keep it above four percentage points of GDP. Ryan has not outlined a realistic goal." Ezra Klein in The Washington Post.

Paul Ryan still needs to find $6.2 trillion in revenue: http://wapo.st/GFJDhV.

Read the full plan: http://1.usa.gov/GBFNWf.

Read the CBO's analysis: http://1.usa.gov/GCvZwi.

@petersuderman: Budget budget bo-budget banana-fana fo-fudget

@igorvolsky: Asked about what "tough" cuts he would make to balance budget, Ryan says "I can go on and on" -- offers no specifics.

@ezraklein: Today was fun. Politicians should release more budgets! And yes, that means you, Dems.

The WashPost's Editorial Board is not impressed: "There is no credible path to deficit reduction without a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. This is the fundamental conclusion of every responsible group that has examined the issue, most prominently the Simpson-Bowles commission, and it is the fundamental failure of the budget blueprint released Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Instead, and unfortunately, Mr. Ryan’s plan lunges in the opposite direction. He dangles the carrots of lower income and corporate tax rates. He says he would maintain tax revenue and in fact have it grow to 19 percent of the gross domestic product by 2025. Yet he fails to do the hard, and politically treacherous, work of specifying what deductions and credits he would eliminate in order to make all that happen."

2) Mitt Romney: Winner! "Mitt Romney is the winner of Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary in Illinois, a victory that widened his lead over his chief rival for the nomination and will likely provide a jolt of energy to his campaign. In a contest that had whittled down to a head-to-head matchup between the two front-runners, the former Massachusetts governor was leading Rick Santorum by more than12 points. With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had collected 47.1 percent of the vote to Santorum’s 34.8 percent. The results will likely renew questions about Santorum’s viability and prompt Romney to more forcefully embrace the rhetoric of a general election candidate...Despite the solid victory for Romney, who has eeked out more modest wins elsewhere in the Midwest, the contest is unlikely to dramatically shake up the basic geometry of the race." Sandhya Somashekhar in The Washington Post.

@fivethirtyeight: Romney unable to break through with key constituencies tonight, like voters who do not like Mitt Romney.

@anamariecox: bhnjmklhnnvc bnmjhgfdxmnbgnvlk,ghdxnbv. And Romney will have a tough slog but eventual gain the nomination. -30-

3) GOP candidates are relying more on super PACs. "The Republican presidential candidates are running low on campaign cash as expensive primaries in states like Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania loom, leaving them increasingly reliant on a small group of supporters funneling millions of dollars in unlimited contributions into 'super PACs.'...Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mr. Romney, spent more than $12 million in February, most of it on advertisements attacking his rivals as he battled in seven primaries and caucuses that month, according to campaign filings released on Tuesday. That followed close to $14 million in spending on Mr. Romney’s behalf in January."Nicholas Confessore in The New York Times.

4) The housing market continued its slow gains. "U.S. home building fell in February, but permits for new construction reached their highest levels in nearly 3½ years, reflecting housing's uneven and protracted recovery. Home construction decreased 1.1% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Construction of single-family homes, which makes up more than 70% of housing starts, fell by 9.9%--the largest drop in a year. Meanwhile, multifamily homes with at least two units, a volatile part of the market, posted a 21.1% gain. Still, January's figures were raised to 706,000 starts overall, a 3.7% improvement from December and the highest level since October 2008. In a positive sign for future construction, the February data showed new building permits rose by 5.1% from a month earlier to an annual rate of 717,000--also the highest level since October 2008. The housing sector has been healing slowly after prices collapsed more than five years ago." Eric Morath and Tom Barkley inThe Wall Street Journal.

5) The U.S. will impose a small tariff on Chinese solar panels. "The Commerce Department announced Tuesday it will impose small import duties on Chinese-made solar cells, disappointing a handful of U.S. solar panel makers who complained of being undercut by subsidized Chinese firms and who wanted stiffer penalties. The Commerce Department set preliminary countervailing duties for subsidized Chinese firms at 4.73 percent for Trina, 2.9 percent for Suntech and 3.61 for all others. The decision was hailed by U.S. companies that install solar panels and U.S. companies that export solar manufacturing equipment. Investors also welcomed the news; Suntech’s shares soared 14 percent and Trina’s jumped 7.85 percent. But the manufacturers who brought the case said they still hope that higher tariffs might be added in mid-May for separate dumping allegations." Steven Mufson in The Washington Post.

Top op-eds

1) COHN: Paul Ryan's budget plan is morally bankrupt. "Imagine a politician held a press conference in order to boast about a plan that would take health insurance away from tens of millions of people, while effectively eliminating the federal government except for entitlements and defense spending. You probably can’t, because no politician would ever do that. Except Paul Ryan just did. No, he didn’t put it in quite those terms. Instead, Ryan on Tuesday unveiled the latest version of his proposal for the federal budget, which he calls the 'Path to Prosperity.' He vowed that it would reduce deficits, promote economic growth, and strengthen the safety net. The first two claims are dubious, at best. The third is just dishonest--and, if taken literally, morally bankrupt...The reality of our fiscal situation hasn't changed: Restoring fiscal balance will require a mix of spending cuts and new revenue. This proposal, like Ryan's last proposal, tries to achieve balance entirely with the former. It's not going to work, nor should it." Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.

2) HOLTZ-EAKIN: Ryan's budget is right for our values: "The House budget is a strong statement of social, economic, and political values. It is courageous at a time when presidential leadership is weak. It is honest at a time when Americans are misled into believing that they can keep “Medicare as we know it,” expand the welfare state, control the debt, remain safe, and . . . tax only the 1 percent. It should be the legislative agenda for 2012. I hope it is the agenda for 2013." Doug Holtz-Eakin in the National Review .

3) MILBANK: The thinking behind Ryan's budget is downright Dickensian."Ryan’s justification was straight out of Dickens. He wants to improve the moral fiber of the poor. There is, he told the audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute later Tuesday, an 'insidious moral tipping point, and I think the president is accelerating this.' Too many Americans, he said, are receiving more from the government than they pay in taxes. After recalling his family’s immigration from Ireland generations ago, and his belief in the virtue of people who 'pull themselves up by the bootstraps,' Ryan warned that a generous safety net 'lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency, which drains them of their very will and incentive to make the most of their lives. It’s demeaning.' How very kind: To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut." Dana Milbank in The Washington Post .

4) PORTER: Income inequality undermines democracy. "Americans have never been too worried about the income gap. The gap between the rich and the rest has been much wider in the United States than in other developed nations for decades. Still, polls show we are much less concerned about it than people in those other nations are. Policy makers haven’t cared much either. The United States does less than other rich countries to transfer income from the affluent to the less fortunate. Even as the income gap has grown enormously over the last 30 years, government has done little to curb the trend...A growing income gap has bred a gap in political clout that could entrench inequality for a very long time...If the very rich can use the political system to slow or stop the ascent of the rest, the United States could become a hereditary plutocracy under the trappings of liberal democracy." Eduardo Porter in The New York Times.

5) KELLY: The U.S. should focus on developing more oil close to home."Thanks in part to surging oil imports from our continental neighbors, Persian Gulf oil now constitutes a significantly smaller share of American oil imports than it did just 20 years ago. At the same time, domestic oil production is actually increasing after decades of decline, meaning we have to import less than before. Taken together, these trends suggest that the oil weapon, at least in the hands of Persian Gulf producers, may no longer have the same edge for the United States...This geopolitical paradigm shift means that America needs to realign its energy policy in several key places. For one thing, we should review the estimated $50 billion a year we now spend to maintain a military presence in the Persian Gulf, not counting the costs of the wars we’ve been fighting in the region." Stephen Kelly inThe New York Times.

6) MARCUS: Overturning the mandate would drive up premiums. "The mandate is by far the most unpopular feature of a law on which Americans are otherwise evenly divided. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll this month found that two-thirds of those surveyed disliked the mandate. Even among Democrats, a majority (53 percent) opposed the requirement; independents (66 percent) and Republicans (77 percent) were even more hostile. Yet this is a provision that the overwhelming majority -- those with insurance -- should support, for the simple reason that these people currently end up footing the bill for much of that $116 billion. As the government’s brief notes, 'Congress found that this cost-shifting increases the average premium for insured families by more than $1,000 per year.' In other words, those worried about having to pay ever-higher premiums should be clamoring for the individual mandate, not agitating for repeal. " Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post.

Top Longreads

Alec MacGillis on how Obama offended his onetime friends in the hedge fund world: "In one sense, the rhetoric was restrained—Obama never declared of the plutocrats, as Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1936, “I welcome their hatred.” Yet it wasn’t hard to imagine a fund manager discerning a declaration of sorts in the answer to Scaramucci and in other moments over the past few years, one that was less aggressive than Roosevelt’s but potentially more upsetting. Namely, that Barack Obama, the man with whom the managers had once felt a true bond, simply did not think very much of them. That, in between his relatively measured lines about tax codes and financial reform, he was delivering an unmistakable moral judgment about the worth of the profession they had chosen. That the story they were telling themselves about their own lives was highly questionable."

Roger Lowenstein profiles Ben Bernanke: "Mankiw says there is a bizarre disconnect between the chairman’s reputation among experts, who mostly respect him, and the public’s disapproval. Professional colleagues speak of his courage and resourcefulness. Larry Summers, formerly President Obama’s economic adviser, who is known for his caustic tongue, told me that among Washington insiders, 'I don’t think anyone dislikes him.' Even some of his critics, on closer inspection, are not so critical. Kevin Hassett, a conservative economist who helped organize the November 2010 open letter against quantitative easing, told me that while he disagrees with Bernanke about that easing program, overall, 'I don’t see how anyone could do a better job.' Sounding embarrassed about the attacks by some Republicans, Hassett added, 'I don’t see how you can hate him.'"

Albuquerque rock interlude: The Shins play "Simple Song" live on KEXP.

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Still to come: Banks want to slow down the 'Volcker rule'; IPAB repeal has run into some unexpected pushback; 'right to work' is dividing conservative lawmakers; some activists say the EPA's rule delays are driven by politics; and two year-old dances the the jive to Elvis.

Economy

Some are calling for more action on unemployment from the Fed. "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has left his mark on economic history not once but twice, using almost every weapon in his arsenal to quell the financial panic of 2008 and then to lift the U.S. economy out of the recession that followed. But now, in the latest and perhaps final chapter of his public life, that legacy could be recast if he misjudges the nation’s slow-going economic recovery. A debate is raging over whether Bernanke should become more aggressive about reducing joblessness or continue a more restrained approach. With the Fed’s policymakers taking no new action at their meeting last week, Bernanke is staying cautious for the time being, reserving the central bank’s more powerful weapons in case the recovery stalls. Some economists say this is the right policy for a recovery that seems to be gaining stream. But, if the unemployment rate, which stands at 8.3 percent, does not continue to decline at a fast pace, critics say Bernanke’s legacy could be impugned." Zachary Goldfarb in The Washington Post.

Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank failed to move forward. "The Senate voted Tuesday not to reauthorize an export bank that its supporters -- a coalition of Democrats, some Republicans and prominent business interests -- say generates thousands of jobs. The vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, part of an overall package that would lift a half-dozen regulations for small businesses, failed 55-44. The measure needed 60 votes to proceed...The Ex-Im Bank’s mandate is set to expire in May, but its $100 billion lending cap is on course to max out earlier than that. The amendment, sponsored by Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Richard Shelby of Alabama, would have upped the Ex-Im Bank’s lending cap to $140 billion and reauthorized the agency through 2015." Seung Min Kim in Politico.

Two Fed nominees moved closer to confirmation. "Two of the White House’s nominees to fill vacancies on the Federal Reserve board moved closer to confirmation on Tuesday after a routine Senate hearing. The Senate banking committee held a hearing to test the two candidates, the Harvard economist Jeremy C. Stein and Jerome H. Powell, a former private equity executive and Treasury official. If the committee approves the two candidates as expected, perhaps as early as next week, and they pass a Senate vote, the Fed would have a full roster of seven confirmed governors for the first time in six years. The confirmation process for the two capital markets experts comes amid a tense political climate. For months, the White House has lashed out at Congress for failing to vote on confirming important economic policy makers, including nominees to the Fed board. Lawmakers, in turn, have criticized the White House for starting to vault over the traditional confirmation process." Annie Lowrey in The New York Times.

Banks are pushing for a delay of the 'Volcker rule.' "For Wall Street banks worried about the controversial 'Volcker rule,' help may be on the way. Senators from both parties are working to give regulators more time to write the rule, potentially easing banks' concerns that their activities will run afoul of the law as a July deadline passes. The Volcker rule, which restricts banks' ability to trade with their own money, is set to take effect July 21, whether or not regulators have a final rule in place, according to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that regulators likely wouldn't have a rule in time. A group representing banks and others involved in bundling and selling loans is warning that deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars may need to be shut down because of wording in the law requiring compliance with a rule that doesn't yet exist." Victoria McGrane in The Wall Street Journal.

Dance party interlude: Japan's Wrecking Crew Orchestra has a dance party while wearing electroluminescent wire garments.

Health Care

The Ryan plan has an Obamacare connection. "The White House and House Republicans don’t hold many similar views on how to reform health care, but as of Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget, they do agree on the goal: Both have outlined plans that would slow the growth of health costs. Both try to hit a target of slowing Medicare’s growth to just 0.5 percent faster than the rest of the economy. And if you dig into how they would get there, the policies start looking pretty similar. The Republicans’ budget, released today, would rely on competitive bidding...If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same process the Affordable Care Act uses to set premiums on the exchanges that launch in 2014. There, insurance subsidies are tethered to the cost of the exchange’s second-cheapest (or 'silver') health insurance plan. A person who wants to purchase a more expensive plan would have to foot the bill for the difference." Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

A bill to repeal IPAB is facing some conservative opposition. "A mix of conservative ideologies came into sharp collision Tuesday as Republicans readied to repeal yet another piece of President Barack Obama’s health-care law. The problems came when Republicans were preparing legislation to wipe out the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created as part of the Democrats’ health-care law. Its purpose: Keep Medicare spending down. To pay for repealing that provision costs big money, and Republicans wanted to offset the cost with medical malpractice reform -- something they think can save tens of billions of dollars. But a gaggle of Republican lawmakers came alive to the fact that changing malpractice laws at the federal level would interfere with existing state laws -- in some cases, nullifying states’ constitutions. States’ rights advocates got up into a tizzy." Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer in Politico.

@ezraklein: It would be very interesting to see CBO estimate the uninsured population under Ryan's budget.

Domestic Policy

The Senate will vote on the House's insider trading bill. "Seeking to break a deadlock on a high-profile reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has moved to force a Senate vote on legislation to bar insider trading by lawmakers and staff. Reid filed a cloture petition on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act on Tuesday, setting up a Thursday vote to move forward on the bill. The legislation would bar lawmakers and their aides from trading stocks, bonds and other financial investments using non-public information gained through their congressional positions. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who also wants to pass the bill, is backing Reid’s move for the cloture vote...Reid and McConnell want to move forward on the House version of the legislation. Two significant provisions were dropped by the lower chamber, angering some Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both chambers. The House also expanded the bill to cover executive branch agencies." John Bresnahan and Anna Palmer in Politico.

'Right to work' bills are dividing legislators. "After costly, bruising political showdowns with union forces last year in Wisconsin and Ohio, Republicans in some state legislatures are facing a tugging match within their party -- between passionate conservative members like Mr. Thompson, a freshman who was among hundreds of legislators swept into statehouses in 2010 who want to push forward, and a more moderate bloc not sure it is wise to take on labor so directly now. The dueling pressure comes at a key moment in an election year -- not only for the presidency, but for more than 5,900 state legislative seats around the nation -- with Republican leaders eager to keep newfound legislative majorities in capitals like this one. The much-publicized union battles last year, which led to a recall campaign against Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin and to the repeal of a bill limiting collective bargaining backed by Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, seemed likely to quiet such efforts. But some Republicans have pushed ahead, to the discomfort, in some cases, of their fellow Republicans." Monica Davey in The New York Times.

Adorable small children being adorable interlude: A two year old dances to the jailhouse rock, is adorable.

Energy

Some see politics in the EPA's rule delays. "The Environmental Protection Agency’s silence on a slew of pending rulemakings is worrying some supporters, who fear the regulations will remain trapped in the White House when an election-year window for new announcements slams shut. Administrators have repeatedly assured interest groups and lawmakers that the EPA is preparing to release numerous proposed and final rules for greenhouse gases, coal ash, sulfur in gasoline and particulate matter. But in reality, few are moving, and announced deadlines are passing...Regulations requiring new power plants to limit greenhouse gas emissions are bottled up at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and negotiations with environmental litigants have not yielded a specific date for release. 'In two weeks' has become EPA standard rolling timeline since January. Meanwhile, the agency has gradually tamped down expectations for other greenhouse gas regulations that were expected to follow the new power plant rules." Erica Martinson inPolitico.

The House will vote on another short-term transportation bill extension. "The House will move another short-term transportation bill extension in a bid to avoid shutting down the federal government’s ability to collect and spend gas tax revenues at the end of the month. A senior House GOP aide confirmed that the House’s extension will be free of extraneous policy riders. The current law will expire on March 31...The lobbying world expects the extension will be on the short side, between one and three months. The realities of the congressional schedule suggest a one-month extension may be less likely, considering both chambers will be in recess for half of April...It remains to be seen how the Senate will handle whatever the House sends over, but the most likely course on Tuesday morning seemed to be just clearing whatever the House sends over, presuming it is clean." Kathryn Wolfe in Politico.

The money to close aging nuclear reactors is lacking. "The operators of 20 of the nation’s aging nuclear reactors, including some whose licenses expire soon, have not saved nearly enough money for prompt and proper dismantling. If it turns out that they must close, the owners intend to let them sit like industrial relics for 20 to 60 years or even longer while interest accrues in the reactors’ retirement accounts. Decommissioning a reactor is a painstaking and expensive process that involves taking down huge structures and transporting the radioactive materials to the few sites around the country that can bury them. The cost is projected at $400 million to $1 billion per reactor, which in some cases is more than what it cost to build the plants in the 1960s and ’70s. Mothballing the plants makes hundreds of acres of prime industrial land unavailable for decades and leaves open the possibility that radioactive contamination in the structures could spread. While the radioactivity levels decline over time, many communities worry about safe oversight."Matthew Wald in The New York Times.

@brianbeutler: By my count, the GOP budget refers to "alternative" energy twice, "clean" energy zero times, and "Solyndra" once.

Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Karl Singer and Michelle Williams.

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Bernie Sanders Might Just Have to Run for President

Bernie Sanders is not burning with presidential ambition. He doubts that he would consider bidding for the nation’s top job if another prominent progressive was gearing up for a 2016 run that would provide a seriously-focused and seriously competitive populist alternative to politics as usual. But if the fundamental issues that are of concern to the great mass of Americans—“the collapse of the middle class, growing wealth and income inequality, growth in poverty, global warming”—are not being discussed by the 2016 candidates, Sanders says, “Well, then maybe I have to do...

John Nichols | The Nation 20 Nov 2013 Hits:591 Blog Articles

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Bernie Sanders Open To 2016 Presidential Run

Bernie Sanders Open To 2016 Presidential Run

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to make sure that there is a strong progressive voice in the 2016 presidential field, and he's willing to jump in if no one else does. "There are people in this world who, ever since they were 12 years of age, they decided they wanted to be president of the United States. That is honestly not me," Sanders told the Burlington Free Press last week. "Anyone who really, really wants to be president is slightly crazy because this is an unbelievably difficult job given the crises...

Amanda Terkel | The Huffington Post 19 Nov 2013 Hits:673 Blog Articles

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Kennedy died, but the haters did not win

Kennedy died, but the haters did not win

Fifty years ago, on a cold day in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated. To my mind, what is extraordinary about the Kennedy assassination is that the haters did not win. Instead, crucifixion led to resurrection. As a result, for decades, African-American homes across the nation featured pictures of three people: Jesus Christ, Dr. Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. JFK was a cautious, pragmatic and stylish politician. He was a moderate in temperament and politics. His focus, to a large extent, was on the Cold...

Rev. Jesse Jackson | Chicago Sun Times 18 Nov 2013 Hits:389 Blog Articles

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A Message to Progressives

A Message to Progressives

Last night, I was glued to my television set like many others around the country, watching and waiting for election results to pour in. It was a historic evening to say the least. A liberal Democrat won in Virginia, a non-tea party candidate who openly worked with President Obama was reelected in the state of New Jersey and a proud progressive who campaigned against current stop-and-frisk policies will be the next Mayor of New York City. In short, we witnessed a voter rebellion against the tea party that has strangled...

Rev. Al Sharpton | Huffington Post 06 Nov 2013 Hits:457 Blog Articles

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Elizabeth Warren: Tribune of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren: Tribune of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party

On November 6, Elizabeth Warren will do a star turn before 400 progressive leaders, activists and legislators at the annual gala sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future. Her prominence is a tribute to her stunningly rapid ascension as a leader of what former Senator Paul Wellstone dubbed "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." (Full disclosure: I am a director of the Campaign.) Like Barack Obama, Warren captured national attention with an electric speech at the Democratic Convention in 2012 while still a Senate candidate. She called herself the "warm-up...

Robert L. Borosage | Huffington Post 05 Nov 2013 Hits:437 Blog Articles

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Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend, America?!?

Where’s America? Filibuster or Exceptional? Regaining sense of decency or starving children? It’s not just a question for Presidents and members of Congress. It’s the question for We the People. We need to ask it of each other over morning coffee, then by day’s end, answer it for ourselves. This isn’t the banality of, “Is America headed in the right direction?” The question is, what are we doing to regain balance after being betrayed by our Wall Street Financial institutions in 2008? America’s Right direction uses fake patriotism to cover up American...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 03 Nov 2013 Hits:378 Blog Articles

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With JPMorgan Under Spotlight, Growing Calls to Jail the Banksters

With JPMorgan Under Spotlight, Growing Calls to Jail the Banksters

Bank executives facing prison time for illegal activity would be better sanction than fine, say Wall Street reform advocates (Photo: JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. | Fortune Live Media/cc/flickr) While JPMorgan Chase's $13 billion settlement for its "shady practices that five years ago helped trigger the financial meltdown, including manipulating mortgages and sending millions of Americans into bankruptcy or foreclosure" has gained attention for its record amount, a number of banking reform advocates are saying real accountability will come when executives are prosecuted and sent to jail for illegal activity. As Matt...

Andrea Germanos | Common Dreams 03 Nov 2013 Hits:572 Blog Articles

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Maybe What Congress Doesn’t Know is Hurting Us

Do you know what our 100 Senators and 435 Representatives know about running the government, the country, foreign policy and domestic programs?  Do you know what’s required of them to run for and be elected to Congress?  Do you know what our elected officials know most and best about working in government of, by and for the people at federal, state and local levels?  Did you know that whether elected to the Senate or House of Representatives, you are by law, a member of Congress, and therefore a Congressman/woman/person responsible...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 28 Oct 2013 Hits:414 Blog Articles

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Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia

Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia

WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, said in an extensive interview this month that he did not take any secret N.S.A. documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June, assuring that Russian intelligence officials could not get access to them.       Mr. Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself. He did not take the files to Russia...

James Risen | The New York Times 17 Oct 2013 Hits:507 Blog Articles

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What to Expect During the Cease-Fire

What to Expect During the Cease-Fire

The war isn't over. It's only a cease-fire. Republicans have agreed to fund the federal government through January 15 and extend the government's ability to borrow (raise the debt ceiling) through Feb. 7. The two sides have committed themselves to negotiate a long-term budget plan by mid-December. Regardless of what happens in the upcoming budget negotiations, it seems doubtful House Republicans will try to prevent the debt ceiling from being raised next February. Saner heads in the GOP will be able to point to the debacle Tea Partiers created this time around...

Robert Reich | Huffington Post 17 Oct 2013 Hits:503 Blog Articles

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Dem polls show shutdown hurt GOP chances in Senate races

Dem polls show shutdown hurt GOP chances in Senate races

The government shutdown has hurt the GOP's chances across the Senate landscape, according to new polling conducted for the liberal group Americans United for Change. Democrats lead in a number of Senate contests, according to the polls, and their leads expand in several of those races when voters are informed that the Republicans in the race "voted to support shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place." In all of the tested states, voters oppose the government shutdown...

Cameron Joseph | The Hill 16 Oct 2013 Hits:419 Blog Articles

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What Lessons Learned

What Lessons Learned

What discoveries has the turn of the 21st century revealed to us? After 2008 or nine months in 2013? What have we learned since October first? And from whom have we chosen to learn? Keep in mind, for a mind to engage in learning, it must be open as wide as possible to all that is possible, and, listen. Now with the vast starry universe full of mysterious miracles above us, Mother Earth and all that lives upon it at our feet, and a whispering world swirling all around us, what lessons...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 16 Oct 2013 Hits:360 Blog Articles

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Neo-Confederate Rebellion Could End Badly

Neo-Confederate Rebellion Could End Badly

We were treated to a sad sight recently, as right-wing Republicans rallied in Washington against the President and the laws he has passed. Demonstrations are a measure of free speech, but this one featured a level of anger seldom seen and strange, ridiculous charges against the man in the White House. He was called a Muslim and told to get up off his knees, lay down his Koran, come out with his hands up, and resign. And he could look out the windows of his White House home and see...

Jack Burgess 16 Oct 2013 Hits:309 Blog Articles

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Government shutdown ads target GOP lawmakers

Government shutdown ads target GOP lawmakers

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday will begin running 60-second radio ads targeting 10 House Republicans – each facing tough 2014 reelection campaigns – over the government shutdown. The spots imagine a conversation between a Republican lawmaker and a constituent. (Rep. Mike Coffman is one of the Republicans being targeted by the DCCC. | AP Photo) “Hello, Congressman Coffman here, just in from Washington,” begins the ad taking aim at Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman. The constituent responds: “Uh. Hi. Aren’t you supposed to be doing something about that shutdown?” Coffman: “I’m here to talk...

Alex Isenstadt | Politico 15 Oct 2013 Hits:409 Blog Articles

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Poll: Republicans losing no-win game

Poll: Republicans losing no-win game

All of Washington’s elected leaders earn negative marks for handling budget negotiations, but the public’s ire toward Republicans in Congress has hardened quicker than disapproval of President Obama and Democrats through a fortnight of failed negotiations. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds political independents are the most frustrated: 58 percent of independents disapprove of Obama, 68 percent are unhappy with congressional Democrats and 76 percent disapprove of congressional Republicans. Barely one in five Americans (21 percent) approve of the way Republicans in Congress are handling negotiations over the budget, while nearly...

Scott Clement and Peyton M Craighill | Washington Post 14 Oct 2013 Hits:549 Blog Articles

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House Republicans Changed The Rules So A Majority Vote Couldn't Stop The Government Shutdown

House Republicans Changed The Rules So A Majority Vote Couldn't Stop The Government Shutdown

In its effort to extract concessions from Democrats in exchange for opening the government, the GOP has faced a fundamental strategic obstacle: They don't have the votes. A majority of the members of the House have gone on record saying that if they were given the opportunity to vote, they would support what's known as a "clean" continuing resolution to fund the government. So House Republican leaders made sure no such vote could happen. In the hours working up to the government shutdown on Sept. 30, Republican members of the House Rules...

Ashley Alman | Huffington Post 14 Oct 2013 Hits:450 Blog Articles

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Democrats Are Winning -- Must Be Time To Cave, Say Democrats

 Democrats Are Winning -- Must Be Time To Cave, Say Democrats

WASHINGTON -- For Senate Democrats, the surest sign the party is on the brink of handing significant concessions to Republicans is that Democrats are so clearly winning the struggle. "We are so totally, completely winning this thing that naturally it means we're gonna cave, right? I mean they're [the Republicans] getting hammered," a Democratic Senate aide said. "So when are we going to give them what they want?" A Senate Democratic leadership aide, who has been buoyed throughout the showdown by the toughness displayed by the president, said he was getting signals...

Ryan Grim | Huffington Post 12 Oct 2013 Hits:669 Blog Articles

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GOP In Danger Of Losing House As Popularity Plummets: Poll

 GOP In Danger Of Losing House As Popularity Plummets: Poll

  A new survey of voters in a dozen Republican-held districts indicates that the government shutdown has made the House increasingly vulnerable to a Democratic takeover. Polling in the districts, conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling and paid for by MoveOn.org, follows similar polling that found voters hostile to lawmakers supporting the shutdown. Democrats need a net increase of 17 seats to retake control of the lower chamber, and the prior polling found 17 Republicans trailing generic Democratic opponents before voters were told they had supported the shutdown. After they were told...

Ryan Grim | Huffington Post 11 Oct 2013 Hits:596 Blog Articles

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5 ways the shutdown is killing Republicans

5 ways the shutdown is killing Republicans

Forget the idea that this is both parties fault, or people aren't blaming the GOP. These facts show that's a crock                         John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachmann (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Joshua Lott)   Many analysts have compared the lopsided blame Republicans took for the 1995-96 government shutdown to today’s debacle and concluded that the public is more evenly split over who’s to blame this time around. Beyond the fact that hemorrhoids are polling better than Congress these days, here are five other data...

Kerry Eleveld | Salon 10 Oct 2013 Hits:544 Blog Articles

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Their Real Goal: To Make Us All So Cynical About Government, We Give Up

Their Real Goal: To Make Us All So Cynical About Government, We Give Up

An old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he's giving up. "I can't stomach what's going on in Washington anymore," he says. "The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life." My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into -- such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics. Then they're free to take over everything. Republicans blame the shutdown of Washington and possible default...

Robert Reich | Huffington Post 08 Oct 2013 Hits:1150 Blog Articles

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Shut It Down

Shut It Down

Our eagles wings are provided by promises kept to each other -- birds cheerfully singing and honey bees pollenating our survival, we’re awaken by promises to ourselves of Exceptionalism, beckoning: l'avant toujours de l'avant. Or we could just shut it all down. Even the most subtle gesture or tiniest injection of courageous wonder for what’s new beyond conservative nose tips, ventures us forward embraced by the possibilities of living from a life changing point of view, and voila: The New World. Chasing her, a new puppy saves the life of a lazy...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 30 Sep 2013 Hits:546 Blog Articles

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America, are we OK?!?

America, are we OK?!?

Despite failing bees, flagellant Congress, fraudulent banks and flailing pay check to pay check, each new dawn gives our mental sun opportunity to burn off the fog of yesterday, and clothed our vision with the promise, it’s going to be OK. Then, we lift every voice for all with the courage to listen, and for all to see, guide the way to that place where all is peace; that place where we’re all OK. So let us rejoice and be glad, prosperous, successful, loving, giving and forgiving in it – rising above...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 22 Sep 2013 Hits:739 Blog Articles

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Get Ready to Support the Kochs, Liberal Apple Fans

   Get Ready to Support the Kochs, Liberal Apple Fans

The right-wing billionaire brothers just bought one of Apple’s key suppliers, meaning lefty Apple lovers are about to be lining the pockets of their No. 1 political enemy.   Well, this is awkward: imagine if every time you went out and patronized your favorite store and bought your favorite product, you were putting money into the pocket of someone you loathe. That’s the exquisite dilemma that Apple fanboys and fangirls of a liberal bent are about to face, now that a pair of left-wing hate objects have acquired a key supplier to...

Daniel Gross | The Daily Beast 11 Sep 2013 Hits:552 Blog Articles

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NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds

 NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. (click image to enlarge) Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls. The documents, provided earlier...

Barton Gellman | Washington Post 15 Aug 2013 Hits:432 Blog Articles

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XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'

•XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history• NSA's XKeyscore program – read one of the presentations   (One presentation claims the XKeyscore program covers 'nearly everything a typical user does on the internet') A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in...

Glenn Greenwald | The Guardian 31 Jul 2013 Hits:650 Blog Articles

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U.S. charges Snowden with espionage

U.S. charges Snowden with espionage

Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials. Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said. The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered, and a district with a long track record in prosecuting...

Peter Finn and Sari Horwitz, | Washington Post 21 Jun 2013 Hits:648 Blog Articles

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Cummings gets tired of waiting for Issa

Cummings gets tired of waiting for Issa

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, has seen the same interview transcripts as Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), documenting the interviews investigators conducted with IRS officials in Cincinnati. And with that in mind, Cummings was getting a little tired of Issa playing partisan games, releasing carefully edited, cherry-picked quotes from the transcripts in the hopes of keeping a "scandal" alive. Indeed, Cummings has declared publicly, more than once, than if Issa didn't provide the public with all of the information -- rather than the portions...

Steve Bennen | Maddow Blog 18 Jun 2013 Hits:591 Blog Articles

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Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment

Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment

Google is preparing to ask the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests it makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it’s forced to give the government. The legal filing, which cites the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about sweeping National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic. Google, one of nine companies named in NSA documents as providing information to...

Craig Timber | Washington Post 18 Jun 2013 Hits:506 Blog Articles

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The Senate's Next Feingolds Must Step Up to Defend Privacy Rights

The Senate's Next Feingolds Must Step Up to Defend Privacy Rights

Russ Feingold is no longer in the US Senate. And that is unfortunate. No one took more seriously the duty to defend privacy rights than the civil libertarian senator from Wisconsin, who served for the better part of two decades as the essential member of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee—and who cast the only Senate vote against the Patriot Act because of the threat he recognized to the guarantees outline in the Fourth Amendment. But with the report by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald that the NSA has been tracking every...

John Nichols | The Nation 06 Jun 2013 Hits:542 Blog Articles

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Scandals or Solutions - It's Our Choice

Scandals or Solutions - It's Our Choice

Pick a scandal, any scandal, whichever GOP “look over there” distraction you prefer, but know, we are the central intelligence for solutions: first step – stop electing pretend patriots. If your head is spinning from media hyperbole, you might be a misinformed patriot, but when you use the power of distractions from building a Walmart to save a JC Penny from pounds of Bangladesh flesh, trapped in GAP of collapsed Target fashions, you might be a corporate patriot. If you think putting men in charge of preventing rape in the Military is...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 20 May 2013 Hits:453 Blog Articles

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Henry Waxman will support Chained CPI in trade for “things we want”

Henry Waxman will support Chained CPI in trade for “things we want”

I’ve said before that everyone can be an activist because everyone has reach. Some have more and some have less, but even if you think your reach is small, using it can have a large effect. This is a story about an AMERICAblog reader who used her reach to question Dem. House member Henry Waxman (CA-33) at a town hall meeting about his support for Chained CPI. She asked him if he would sign the strong Grayson-Takano No Cuts letter (promising a No vote on any benefit cuts). It turns out Waxman...

Gaius Publius | America Bog 14 May 2013 Hits:736 Blog Articles

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Want to Reclaim Solid Rock Congress from Mitch and Cantor Sinkhole

Jobs up, unemployment down: Imagine what a President could do if Congressional Corporatism wasn’t tunneling sinkholes beneath American recovery. Even in the wake of Ashley Judd, “Make Obama a One Term President,” Senate Minority Leader has a problem: ”What About Us,” working class guy, Ed Markey. Judging Mitch by the company he keeps in ‘good ol’ boy’ rebranding locker room, gun hands Glenn Beck, Teds Nugent & Cruz, Sarah Palin, Ricks Perry & Santorum, Eric Cantor and Wayne LaPierre, Congress needs a recall overhaul. Is it wrong to long for that old time American...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 05 May 2013 Hits:668 Blog Articles

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John Kerry Objects to a Presidential Election – Thirteen Years Too Late

John Kerry Objects to a Presidential Election – Thirteen Years Too Late

When I heard that Secretary of State John Kerry thought “there ought to be a recount” in the 2013 Venezuelan presidential election and said that the Obama Administration would be having “serious questions about the viability of that government" if “there are huge irregularities,” I did understand that this was pretty much pro forma stuff, not to be taken too seriously. The Cold War may be twenty years gone now, but the Administration probably still figures that it won’t hurt itself any by talking tough about people who sound like...

Tom Gallagher | Common Dreams 23 Apr 2013 Hits:753 Blog Articles

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Postal Service withdraws plan to end Saturday mail delivery

Postal Service withdraws plan to end Saturday mail delivery

The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would cancel plans to end Saturday mail delivery this summer, saying the new stopgap budget that Congress recently passed would prohibit the move. The postal service’s board of governors made the decision Tuesday, according to a statement from the agency. “The board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time,” the board said in the statement. “The board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and...

Josh Hicks | The Washington Post 10 Apr 2013 Hits:959 Blog Articles

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Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers

Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Checks of Gun Buyers

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan collection of senators on Wednesday announced a compromise measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, increasing the chances that a viable package of new gun safety laws will soon hit the Senate floor.        Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, have spearheaded the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, background checks for gun buyers would expand to gun shows and online sales — a huge portion of gun sales that are made without the background...

Jennifer Steinhauer | New York Times 10 Apr 2013 Hits:522 Blog Articles

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Strategic Thinking on the U.S. Six Party System

Strategic Thinking on the U.S. Six Party System

Successful strategic thinking starts with gaining knowledge, particular gaining adequate knowledge of the big picture, of all the political and economic forces involved (Earth) and what they are thinking, about themselves and others, at any given time. (Heaven). It’s not a one-shot deal. Since both Heaven and Earth are always changing, strategic thinking must always be kept up to date, reassessed and revised. To make a political assessment of the forces commanded by the U.S. bourgeoisie and its subaltern allies and strata, it helps to make an examination of Congress, the...

Carl Davidson | Keep on Keepin' On 04 Apr 2013 Hits:1031 Blog Articles

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Please, No More April Fools

Please, No More April Fools

Who’s the one in your life who always injects the party with spoiler alert: “some things are not funny?” I love to laugh almost as much as I love making others laugh, but what if maybe, sometimes, some things are just not funny? Like the injustice of giving such a beautiful name as Antonin to someone too unpatriotic to do what’s least funny for his country: desert it in resignation, as easily as his judgment deserts equality statutes which could decree a nation, exceptional. Still, further down the funny slippery sloop,...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 01 Apr 2013 Hits:487 Blog Articles

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Bullying, Women an the ERA

Bullying, Women an the ERA

What’s the worst form of bullying in your workplace, household, community, neighborhood, or national experience?  Is it sexual, cyber, voting rights intimidation; was it Slavery, school related, or women being paid 77% of a man’s salary?  Is it football players being shocked to discover sexually assaulting a fellow student when she’s too incapacitated to consent or deny, has life changing consequences for both bully and victim?  Or media and parents warning exposing yourself on social media can be dangerous? Is it pollsters and media...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 18 Mar 2013 Hits:641 Blog Articles

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Power and the Internet

Power and the Internet

All disruptive technologies upset traditional power balances, and the Internet is no exception. The standard story is that it empowers the powerless, but that's only half the story. The Internet empowers everyone. Powerful institutions might be slow to make use of that new power, but since they are powerful, they can use it more effectively. Governments and corporations have woken up to the fact that not only can they use the Internet, they can control it for their interests. Unless we start deliberately debating the future we want to live...

Bruce Schneier | Schneier.com 20 Feb 2013 Hits:651 Blog Articles

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Show Me This Contract I Signed, Dagnabit!

Ahh, the famous Missouri Argument, favored by Internet Libertarians of all varieties.  What can you do about it?  It's so simple - If I'm under contract, I must be able to point to a piece of paper that details the contracts, right?  And if you can't produce such a thing, then any and all action taken against me is unlawful (heh) aggression! With less ranting, here's the usual formulation: Q: Can you please show me this contract that I signed obliging me to the agreement that you speak...

Roger Burgess | Zyx @ DailyKOS.com 06 Feb 2013 Hits:938 Blog Articles

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Takeaways from the filibuster fight

Takeaways from the filibuster fight

Okay, before we decide once and for all whether this is a win or a loss, there are a few things I want out on the table. And the first point, appropriately enough, is that whenever you're talking about the Senate, since the answer to any question about it is either "well, yes and no," or, "it depends," the answer to whether this is a win or a loss will be the same. Yes and no. And, it depends. There's little sense in trying to tell...

David Waldman | Daily Kos 25 Jan 2013 Hits:720 Blog Articles

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Liberals, Progressives, Enemies of Democracy

Liberals, Progressives, Enemies of Democracy

When I traveled to Norway a few years ago to see for myself what it was like to live under “socialism” I soon discovered the lies corporate media propagandizes to the American people every day about so called “socialism”. Boldface and outrageous lies. Corporate lies in furtherance of a corporate agenda. Norway was teeming with corporate influence. Firestone, Ford, McDonalds, Burger King, TGIF among many others. Were all of these companies owned by the Norwegian government? Of course not. Corporate media propaganda. Oslo looks like most other cosmopolitan, sophisticated world class...

Milo Vannucci | Palm Beach Progressive Post 22 Jan 2013 Hits:788 Blog Articles

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PDA People's Inauguration live-- NOW

PDA People's Inauguration live-- NOW

The People's Inauguration-- sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)-- is live streaming now here. Great stuff-- War on Poverty, immigration reform, organizing the unemployed, Robin Hood Tax, eminent domain for economic development. Jesse Jackson, Randy Parraz, Congressman John Conyers, and labor leaders just spoke. Randy Parraz: "Change is coming to Arizona." Jesse Jackson: The US should be as tough on gun manufacturers as we are on tobacco companies. Bill Fletcher of the government employees union: Unions should organize the unemployed. He also called for the government to use eminent domain to...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog For Arizona.com 19 Jan 2013 Hits:780 Blog Articles

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PDA sponsors 'People's Inauguration' in DC on Jan 19: Watch live streaming

PDA sponsors 'People's Inauguration' in DC on Jan 19: Watch live streaming

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is hosting Progressive Central: The People's Inauguration on January 19 in Washington DC. Progressive pundits and politicians from around the country-- including our own Congressman Raul Grijalva-- will be there. If you're like me and will be in Tucson tomorrow, check out the live streaming of Progressive Central on the PDA home page, beginning at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time).  Bisbee's own Loneprotestor will be in DC-- so look for video from her on this blog. I attended Progressive Central in Charlotte...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog for Arizona 18 Jan 2013 Hits:657 Blog Articles

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Once Upon a Time in NRAmerica

Once Upon a Time in NRAmerica

Though separation of ribcage and shoulder blade rendered my body tardy to New Year opinion party, my mind was always here and not just for the dessert. Following potluck is neither depressing 2012 review, nor spoon full of sugar to help the 112th Congress go down. While I love an appetizer of language word games, this is no SE Cupp of tasteless murder most foul syntax, nor a sip of EPA approved Texas oil water. Before the main course of once upon a time, let’s Rush to dump the leftovers:...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 17 Jan 2013 Hits:636 Blog Articles

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Co-author of Platinum Coin Law Weighs in on Trillion Dollar Coin

Co-author of Platinum Coin Law Weighs in on Trillion Dollar Coin

Philip Diel ran the U.S. Mint from 1994 until 2000, and wasn't just the author of the 50-state quarters, but was also the co-author of the law that authorizes the Mint to issue commemorative coins—the same law that would authorize the Trillion Dollar Coin being discussed as a way to bypass Republican opposition to raising the debt limit. He dropped us an email, spurred on by this diary, to further discuss the idea.

Markos "kos" Moulitsas | Daily Kos 08 Jan 2013 Hits:720 Blog Articles

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The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff Comes the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

The Ongoing War: After the Battle Over the Cliff Comes the Battle Over the Debt Ceiling

“It’s not all I would have liked,” says Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, speaking of the deal on the fiscal cliff, “so on to the debt ceiling.” For Republicans, the battle over the fiscal cliff is only a prelude to the coming battle over raising the debt ceiling – a battle that will likely continue through early March, when the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. The White House’s and Democrats’ single biggest failure in the...

Robert Reich | Robert Reich's Blog 02 Jan 2013 Hits:728 Blog Articles

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Eat Mor Chikin - Only Rhetoric Can Save Us Now

Eat Mor Chikin - Only Rhetoric Can Save Us Now

Getting my liberal friends to add emotive content to their arguments is like getting my three year old to eat anything we call chicken - it's not that she doesn't like chicken, but if we call it that, she won't eat it.  She'll instantly claim that she doesn't like it. Now, my wife and I know this cannot possibly be true, she loves real chicken: chicken soup, chicken and rice casserole and chicken fingers and more.  So it goes with my three year old (and most others' three...

31 Dec 2012 Hits:613 Blog Articles

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The Secret of How the GOP Has a Lock on the House for the Foreseeable Future

The Secret of How the GOP Has a Lock on the House for the Foreseeable Future

Tens of millions poured into a stealth redistricting project before the 2012 elections kept dozens of GOP Districts safe from Democratic challengers. If somewhere in the recesses of your mind you were wondering how, despite President Barack Obama’s re-election victory and the Democratic Party’s gains in the Senate, Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, think redistricting. Redistricting is the process that adjusts the lines of a state’s electoral districts, theoretically based on population shifts, following the decennial census. Gerrymandering is often part...

Bill Berkowitz | AlterNet 31 Dec 2012 Hits:1767 Blog Articles

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What Could Have Been: The Most Important Bills Blocked by Republicans in 2012

What Could Have Been: The Most Important Bills Blocked by Republicans in 2012

The bills we could have passed if it wasn't for GOP obstructionism -- from a minimum wage increase to the Buffett Rule. 1. A minimum wage increase. House Democrats proposed legislation in June that would have national minimum wage to $10 an hour, but Republicans blocked it. The minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, even though it would need to be raised to $9.92 to match the borrowing power it had in 1968. If it was indexed to inflation, it would be $10.40 today.raised the 2. Campaign finance...

ThinkProgress 29 Dec 2012 Hits:2024 Blog Articles

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America Faces Three Serious "Cliffs," None of Them Fiscal

America Faces Three Serious

The “fiscal cliff” is a a metaphor for a government that no longer responds to the biggest challenges we face because it’s paralyzed by intransigent Republicans, obsessed by the federal budget deficit, and overwhelmed by big money from corporations, Wall Street, and billionaires. If we had a functional government America would address three “cliffs” posing far larger dangers to us than the fiscal one: The child poverty cliff. Between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of American school-age children living in poor households grew from 17 to...

Robert Reich | AlterNet 07 Dec 2012 Hits:844 Blog Articles

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Bobby Jindal: Republicans Sound Like They're 'Fighting To Protect The Rich And Cut Benefits From Seniors'

Bobby Jindal: Republicans Sound Like They're 'Fighting To Protect The Rich And Cut Benefits From Seniors'

Louisana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Thursday called for Republicans to rethink their approach to the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations and instead fight for structural reforms, such as instituting a federal balanced budget amendment, requiring a super majority to raise taxes or creating term limits. While he didn't explicitly suggest that Republicans should drop their opposition to tax increases on the wealthy, he argued that the party's focus should be elsewhere. "[I]n the negotiations, Republicans certainly should fight to at least get something done that...

Ariel Edwards-Levy | Huffington Post 06 Dec 2012 Hits:771 Blog Articles

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Fighting Fiscal Phantoms

Fighting Fiscal Phantoms

These are difficult times for the deficit scolds who have dominated policy discussion for almost three years. One could almost feel sorry for them, if it weren’t for their role in diverting attention from the ongoing problem of inadequate recovery, and thereby helping to perpetuate catastrophically high unemployment. What has changed? For one thing, the crisis they predicted keeps not happening. Far from fleeing U.S. debt, investors have continued to pile in, driving interest rates to historical lows. Beyond that, suddenly the clear and...

Paul Krugman | Ny Times Op Ed 26 Nov 2012 Hits:785 Blog Articles

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Five Misconceptions about our Tattered Safety Net

Five Misconceptions about our Tattered Safety Net

Mitt Romney said he wasn't concerned about the very poor, because they have a safety net. This is typical of the widespread ignorance about inequality in our country. Struggling Americans want jobs, not handouts, and for the most part they've paid for their "safety net." The real problem is at the other end of the wealth gap. How many people know that out of 150 countries, we have the 4th-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Switzerland are worse. It's not just economic inequality that's plaguing our country....

Paul Buchheit | Common Dreams 17 Nov 2012 Hits:1545 Blog Articles

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How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

We need to assert a new culture of organizing capable of meeting the demands it will place on us, and now is the time to begin. Despite the efforts by the political Right to suppress the Democratic electorate, something very strange happened:  voters, angered by the attacks on their rights, turned out in even greater force in favor of Democratic candidates.  The deeper phenomenon is that the changing demographics of the USA also became more evident—45% of Obama voters were people of color, and young voters turned...

Bill Flether, Jr. and Carl Davidson 16 Nov 2012 Hits:1153 Blog Articles

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Bobby Jindal: GOP Should 'Stop Being The Stupid Party'

Bobby Jindal: GOP Should 'Stop Being The Stupid Party'

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal hurled harsh criticism at his own party after the GOP was blindsided in the 2012 elections, telling Republicans to end "dumbed-down conservatism" by putting a stop to "offensive, bizarre" comments. “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments -- enough of that,” Jindal told Politico. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had ...

Page Lavender | Huffington Post 15 Nov 2012 Hits:1801 Blog Articles

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When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

When Are WE Going to Get Over It?

For much of the last forty years, ever since America “fixed” its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, “When are African Americans finally going to get over it? Now I want to ask:  “When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color? Recent reports that “Election Spurs Hundreds’ of Race Threats, Crimes” should frighten...

Andrew M. Manis | Macon Telegrah 01 Nov 2012 Hits:1260 Blog Articles

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Plague of Division Corrupts Ability to connect dots between National Inception and Romnesia Infection

 Plague of Division Corrupts Ability to connect dots between National Inception and Romnesia Infection

If you don’t know why Constitutional 12th Amendment was added to protect infant Republic from mob rule mentality, you might be a “Put the white back in the White House” Romnesiac If you believe we’re worse off than when Cheney’s burning Bush scorched our economy, you might be a cinder simmering in Romnesia But, if you know the difference between Socialism and Communism, you might be a high school graduate +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If you blame the President for high gas prices, but “remain silent” when they drop, you might be a Romnesiac If you Rush to mislead and...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 23 Oct 2012 Hits:1121 Blog Articles

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A Question for Anti-Choicers: How, Exactly, Would Your Rape Exception Work?

A Question for Anti-Choicers: How, Exactly, Would Your Rape Exception Work?

  There is much discussion these days of banning abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Setting aside the issue of whether this can possibly be true given the right's support for “personhood” amendments, I want the right to explain what the process would be to seek an exception from a ban on abortion. If efforts to criminalize abortion succeeded, would it be a medical, legal, or theological authority that would make the determination as to whether a...

Bridgette Dunlap | RH Reality Check 20 Oct 2012 Hits:1209 Blog Articles

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Presidential knockout: If you're still undecided after debate II, you're not paying attention

Presidential knockout: If you're still undecided after debate II, you're not paying attention

The second 2012 presidential debate was a rousing throwback to old school American politics. Both candidates were "fired up and ready to go." Both delivered a few zingers and gotcha moments. Both explained their plans for America's future... well, sort of. Republican challenger Mitt Romney-- obviously hoping for a repeat of the frist debate in which he appeared energized, arrogant, and on top of his game, if you ignore the lies and the moderator bullying-- started the second debate smiling and upbeat. About 30 minutes into it, Romney was scowling in...

Pamela Powers Hannley | Blog for Arizona 18 Oct 2012 Hits:841 Blog Articles

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Jobless claims show sharp improvement, drop to Obama-era low

 Jobless claims show sharp improvement, drop to Obama-era low

We've seen a general swing in the right direction on initial unemployment claims over the last several weeks, but I don't think anyone expected the new report from the Department of Labor to be this good. First-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell sharply in the latest week to their lowest level since February 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of initial claims in the week ending Oct. 6 fell 30,000 to 339,000. The decline was unexpected. The consensus...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 11 Oct 2012 Hits:947 Blog Articles

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The Real Paul Ryan He voted to add $6.8 trillion to the national debt

 The Real Paul Ryan He voted to add $6.8 trillion to the national debt

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is taking a beating from fact-checkers, who have had to work overtime to try to verify the claims he made last week when accepting the nomination for vice president at the Republican National Convention. Perhaps Ryan's biggest whopper was this statement: “Back in 2008,” Ryan said, “candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt 'unpatriotic'—serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer. Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him,...

Lisa Kaiser | Express Milwaukee 08 Oct 2012 Hits:1576 Blog Articles

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The death of a talking point

The death of a talking point

If I had a nickel for every time Mitt Romney has said the unemployment rate has been above 8% throughout the Obama presidency, I'd have, well, nearly as much money as Mitt Romney. Today, however, the talking point died. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly, dropping from 8.1% to 7.8%.\ As we've discussed before, decreases in the jobless rate are not always good news -- the figure sometimes falls when discouraged Americans drop out of the workforce altogether -- but that's not the case with the new data. The employment-to-population ratio went up, job creation...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 05 Oct 2012 Hits:1072 Blog Articles

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Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Level of Obama’s Term

Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Level of Obama’s Term

The jobless rate abruptly dropped in September to its lowest level since the month President Obama took office, indicating a steadier recovery than previously thought and delivering another jolt to the presidential campaign. The improvement lent ballast to Mr. Obama’s case that the economy is on the mend and threatened the central argument of Mitt Romney’s candidacy, that Mr. Obama’s failed stewardship is reason enough to replace him. Employers added a modest 114,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported on Friday, but estimates for what...

Shaila Dewan and Mark Landler | New York Times 05 Oct 2012 Hits:1207 Blog Articles

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Romney Won the Debate, but Lost the Election

Romney Won the Debate, but Lost the Election

Romney won the debate, but lost the election. Here's why. Although many if not most pundits will immediately proclaim this debate a Romney victory and a turning point, and although they're definitely correct about some of all of that, they will miss the debate's real, lasting impact on the 2012 election. First, why and how Romney won. He won by using the Reagan Gambit. In 1980, Ronald Reagan befuddled, frustrated, and defeated Jimmy Carter by running far to the left of decades-long held positions. Carter was prepared to pound away at...

Mike Hersh | PDA 04 Oct 2012 Hits:2686 Blog Articles

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Obama, Dems enjoy favorability edge

Obama, Dems enjoy favorability edge

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll notes that Mitt Romney's favorability rating is still underwater: "[I]t's lower than every other presidential nominee's score at this similar point of time in the history of the poll -- except for George H.W. Bush's 34-52 rating in October 1992." The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows very similar results. It's safe to say the "47 percent" video took a severe toll on the Republican's public standing. But looking over the internals (pdf) of the NBC poll, it's not just Romney with...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 03 Oct 2012 Hits:1204 Blog Articles

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The 386,000 jobs we didn't know about

The 386,000 jobs we didn't know about

When August's disappointing job totals were released a few weeks ago, it was considered important news. With that in mind, this seems like at least as big a story. The government's estimates of job creation are not particularly accurate, a point that is often made and often ignored. On Thursday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided another reminder. The agency said it probably undercounted the extent of job creation between April 2011 and March 2012 by 20 percent. The agency, which issues a much-discussed monthly estimate, also...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 28 Sep 2012 Hits:1196 Blog Articles

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Fifteen Issues this Election is NOT About

Fifteen Issues this Election is NOT About

Neither candidate is interested in stopping the use of the death penalty for federal or state crimes. Neither candidate is interested in eliminating or reducing the 5,113 US nuclear warheads. Neither candidate is campaigning to close Guantanamo prison. Neither candidate has called for arresting and prosecuting high ranking people on Wall Street for the subprime mortgage catastrophe. Neither candidate is interested in holding anyone in the Bush administration accountable for the torture committed by US personnel against prisoners in Guantanamo or in Iraq or Afghanistan. Neither candidate is interested in stopping the...

Bill Quigley | Common Dreams 24 Sep 2012 Hits:945 Blog Articles

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Shocking Report Explodes 5 Myths About American Education

Shocking Report Explodes 5 Myths About American Education

A new international report demolishes several deeply held myths about our educational system. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report, which compares the educational systems of over 30 developed nations, provides data that, when it comes to education, proves we’re so far from being number one, that the entire idea of American exceptionalism should be called into question. Rather than thumping our chests, we should be going to school on how other developed nations, especially those in Europe, invest in education....

Les Leopold | AlterNet 22 Sep 2012 Hits:1679 Blog Articles

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Flight to Mexico in His Memoir? Does Accuracy Matter?

Flight to Mexico in His Memoir? Does Accuracy Matter?

While presidential contender Mitt Romney attempted to sway Latino voters at a Univision Forum in Florida last night, the fallout over his taped quips at a Republican fundraiser also include a joke about his Mexican-born father, George Romney. If he had been "born of Mexican parents," Romney said, as opposed to his Mormon transplanted ones, "I'd have a better shot at winning this." One year ago, in a piece for Salon.com, I took a closer look at Romney's family history in Mexico, and more particularly, their illegal flight from...

Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post 22 Sep 2012 Hits:1141 Blog Articles

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A MESSAGE FOR MALES – especially in this demographically oriented election

A MESSAGE FOR MALES – especially in this demographically oriented election

Without regard to whether you are a Democrat, an Independent, or a Republican, no matter which of Mitt’s 47% groups you find yourself, there is lodged in the DNA of every man one concern and love. That love and concern exceeds a love for the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, our job or our work. This love and concern most often underlies our willingness to enlist for our country in time of war. We often sacrifice for this willingly and without question. Of all the above, this – exceeding even food as...

Rev. George Six 21 Sep 2012 Hits:1085 Blog Articles

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House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action

House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced Friday that after next week, the House will stand in recess until November 13. His plan for a nearly two month vacation will undoubtedly allow more time for campaigning, but will leave several vital bills awaiting action. Among the important legislation the House will likely not address before the November elections: 1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization. Though a bipartisan Senate majority passed the a strong re-authorization bill in April, the Republican House leadership refused to allow a vote on the Senate...

Josh Israel | ThinkProgress 16 Sep 2012 Hits:1302 Blog Articles

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Bush is gone, but not forgotten

 Bush is gone, but not forgotten

CNN released an interesting poll yesterday that, on the surface, appeared to offer bad news for incumbent officeholders, especially President Obama. A plurality of Americans believes they're worse off than they were four years ago, and only a third believes the economy is in good shape. ut the larger question is more important: who do Americans hold responsible for our ongoing challenges? I put together a simple chart to show why Republicans are discouraged by the results. (click to enlarge) Among registered voters, the results just aren't...

14 Sep 2012 Hits:1289 Blog Articles

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Universal Music Shuts Down Romney Girl

Universal Music Shuts Down Romney Girl

On Tuesday, Universal Music Group submitted a cease and desist letter to Heidi Svenda Bernasconi - better known as Romney Girl - threatening legal action if the Romney Girl video is not removed from the internet by tomorrow. In the letter, Universal Music Group attorney Cory Greenwell warns that: "In the event that you fail to comply with any of our demands... we shall take whatever legal action we deem necessary and appropriate to protect our rights and interests in and to 'Barbie Girl,' including, but not limited to, commencing legal action...

Agenda Project.org 13 Sep 2012 Hits:1929 Blog Articles

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Advertise on NYTimes.com Social Networks Can Affect Voter Turnout, Study Says

 Advertise on NYTimes.com Social Networks Can Affect Voter Turnout, Study Says

A study of millions of Facebook users on Election Day 2010 has found that online social networks can have a measurable if limited effect on voter turnout. The study, published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature, suggests that a special “get out the vote” message, showing each user pictures of friends who said they had already voted, generated 340,000 additional votes nationwide — whether for Democrats or Republicans, the researchers could not determine. The scientists, from Facebook and the University of California, San Diego, ...

John Markoff | The New York Times 13 Sep 2012 Hits:1593 Blog Articles

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Will Americans stick with Obama? (video)

Progressive Democrats of America's Tim Carpenter on Al Jazeera Inside Story The US unemployment rate registered a drop on Friday, but mainly because so many have simply given up looking for work. Barack Obama was aware of the new figures as he took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday night to promise that he could still fulfill his pledge of hope he made in 2008. The US president spared no insult against his Republican opponents, taking on their plans...

Al Jazeera.com 08 Sep 2012 Hits:1758 Blog Articles

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Convention: Pulling Democrats’ platform to the left

Convention: Pulling Democrats’ platform to the left

Proudly liberal activist Tim Carpenter, who toiled in Orange County for more than 20 years before resettling in Massachusetts and co-founding Progressive Democrats of America, has made a career of standing staunchly to the left of mainstream Democrats, relentlessly beckoning and cajoling others to come a little closer. His 8-year-old PDA group was at it again Tuesday, with a “People’s Convention” at a Charlotte church and soup kitchen that featured the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, a couple Congress members, several Congressional hopefuls...

Martin Wisckol | OC Register 05 Sep 2012 Hits:999 Blog Articles

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GOP Has Deal With the Devil

In the year 1960 Jack Kennedy ran against Dick Nixon for President.  Nixon had much going against him, including much less comfort with TV, which was becoming the medium of persuasion.  But many believe his biggest headwind was the willingness of Chicago Democrats led by Richard Daley the father to diddle the election in Chicago and thus deliver Illinois.   Whether he really did, the GOP believed he did and the election had been stolen.  They vowed “Never again.” In 1964 the GOP nominated Barry Goldwater, a man much too far to...

Philip L Marcus 04 Sep 2012 Hits:1186 Blog Articles

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Greatest Reasons to Vote Republican in November 2012

Greatest Reasons to Vote Republican in November 2012

If starting wars without exit or pay is better than two year end to Iraq today, and for troops in Afghanistan you have nothing to say, Vote to take back America to the Republican way With Convention preaching America in decline, while applauding how system helped parents and grandparents climb, being full of Red dread, Vote off center with Clint in prime time Defining “Exceptionalism” with Founding Father religious liberty hypocrisy, hailing birther jokes with praise of meritocracy, Vote Lady Statue torches hopes of immigrants by...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 02 Sep 2012 Hits:1515 Blog Articles

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Chairman Ryan's Big Red Ink

Chairman Ryan's Big Red Ink

Republicans, at their just-ended convention, featured not one but two "debt clocks." Led by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, they made countless references to President Obama's supposedly horrific tax policies, his failure to balance the budget and so on. Unfortunately for them, the U.S. Constitution is very explicit about who is responsible for budget, borrowing, spending, and tax policies: "Article One, Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide...

Mike Hersh | PDA Communications Coordinator 02 Sep 2012 Hits:1137 Blog Articles

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Conventions and puppets

Conventions and puppets

Police really hate puppets. (And we don't mean the politicians!) Every four years the United States becomes gripped in morbid fascination with our electoral machinations, and grassroots organizers often find their ongoing work derailed by the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions that precede our presidential elections. This 2012 cycle is no different. As activists prepare to protest, the police departments and ruling elites in the host cities are acquiring the newest non- and less- lethal weaponry, while passing laws and regulations that vie for...

Nadine Bloch | Waging Nonviolence 30 Aug 2012 Hits:1075 Blog Articles

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GOP Effort at Keeping US Citizens From Voting is Like Robbing a Bank in Broad Daylight

GOP Effort at Keeping US Citizens From Voting is Like Robbing a Bank in Broad Daylight

This is the skinny: lacking a majority of supporters for its extremist social and plutocratic economic policies, the Republicans can only win with three combined strategies: lie and make it appear that they support prosperity for all Americans; make appeals to racism and dividing the white working class (union vs. non-union); and suppressing the vote. The New York Times posted an August 22nd article, entitled "Racial Comment by Republican Official in Ohio Rekindles Battle Over Early Voting." Being status quo doormats as usual, the Times wouldn't put "Racist" in its headline....

Mark Karlin | BuzzFlash Blog 24 Aug 2012 Hits:1061 Blog Articles

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Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Water.  According to a new report by Food & Water Watch, a growing number of pirate equity firms are moving into struggling cities and buying out their public infrastructure – namely – the city’s water infrastructure.  Anyone who is familiar with Mitt Romney – is familiar with pirate equity firms like Bain Capital – which take over a company – strip it to the bones – and sell it off for a profit. When this strategy is used on public utilities – then consumers get...

Louise Hartmann | Thom Hartmann Blog 23 Aug 2012 Hits:1228 Blog Articles

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"Path to Prosperity?" Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan Looks Like a Path to the Poorhouse

If Americans who are embracing Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" -- and that now includes Mitt Romney -- spent a few minutes reviewing a few recent research reports, they just might conclude that the Wisconsin Republican's plan to reduce the deficit might better be renamed the "Path to the Poorhouse" because of what it would mean to the Medicare program and many senior citizens. Ryan's proposal, which will get new scrutiny now that Romney has made him his running mate, would end the current...

Wendell Potter | PR Watch 19 Aug 2012 Hits:1280 Blog Articles

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What I built — with government help

What I built — with government help

I was born in Detroit in 1961 and grew up in a working-class neighborhood just south of the famed 8 Mile Road. My block was stable; most of the fathers of my friends worked in the auto plants. In 1968 my parents divorced and my mother, armed with a high school degree, was thrust into the workforce. We were taken out of our Catholic school and moved into public schools. Dinner was often breakfast foods, which was fine with us. Mom is still a...

James C. Roumell | Washington Post 18 Aug 2012 Hits:1397 Blog Articles

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Will the Threat Ryan Poses to Rural America Swing Swing States? Yes

Will the Threat Ryan Poses to Rural America Swing Swing States? Yes

There are, of course, many reasons to attend the Iowa State Fair. As they say on the billboards: “Nothing Compares.” The Canned Food Sculpture is striking. Reserved seats are sold out for Saturday’s Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy show on the grandstand, but there is still standing-room-only space to be had for $40 a pop. The deep-fried butter on a stick is, by most accounts, scrumptious. And, if you are campaigning for, say, vice president of the United States, you could talk farm policy at the same place where Dwight Eisenhower,...

John Nichols | The Nation 17 Aug 2012 Hits:1275 Blog Articles

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Time to take the battery out of your cell phone

Time to take the battery out of your cell phone

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District threw the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution out the window, ruling that police can track cell phone GPS data – and thus track you – without a warrant.  The case of United States v. Skinner centered on a suspected drug trafficker who was tracked through his cell phone and arrested by the DEA.  The Judge in the case, John Rogers said in his ruling, “Skinner did not have a reasonable expectation of...

Louise Hartmann | Thom Hartmann Blog 15 Aug 2012 Hits:1343 Blog Articles

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Recession, Like "Uncertainty" Is All In The Marketing

Recession, Like

Deep down we know if we keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome, we’re marketing victims. First step out of the fog of programmed thinking is asking our political, corporate and government leaders, different and better questions. As every magician’s trick needs to distract our attention, corporate hands in our pockets are trumping our thinking with marketing deceptions, as in ‘now you see a thriving economy, now you don’t.’ How did an America that produces fifteen trillion dollars worth of product internationally (in...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 13 Aug 2012 Hits:1010 Blog Articles

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Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities (video)

Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities (video)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing new scrutiny over revelations he founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. We’re joined by Huffington Post reporter Ryan...

Amy Goodman | Democracy Now 12 Aug 2012 Hits:1161 Blog Articles

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The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama's Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him

The 2012 Elections Have Little To Do With Obama's Record … Which Is Why We Are Voting For Him

The 2012 election will be one of the most polarized and critical elections in recent history. Let’s cut to the chase. The November 2012 elections will be unlike anything that any of us can remember.  It is not just that this will be a close election.  It is also not just that the direction of Congress hangs in the balance.   Rather, this will be one of the most polarized and critical elections in recent history. Unfortunately what too few leftists and progressives have been prepared to...

Bill Fletcher, Jr., Carl Davidson | AlterNet 12 Aug 2012 Hits:1209 Blog Articles

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12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

 12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney has picked as his running mate 42 year-old Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP budget, which the New York Times has described as “the most extreme budget plan passed by a house of Congress in modern times.” Below are 12 things you should know about Ryan and his policies: 1.Ryan embraces the extreme philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ryan heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,”...

Igor Volsky | Think Progress 11 Aug 2012 Hits:1813 Blog Articles

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Why Is America's Most Progressive Voting Block Often Overlooked?

Why Is America's Most Progressive Voting Block Often Overlooked?

The renowned physicist Max Planck once said, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." And this isn't just true of science: the same principle holds true in the political arena. Most progressive advances don't come about because vast numbers of people are persuaded to drop their prejudices, but because younger generations to whom new ideas...

Adam Lee | AlterNet 07 Aug 2012 Hits:1334 Blog Articles

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Obama's Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid

Obama's Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid

This is probably the least important Presidential election since the 1950s. As an experienced political hand told me, the two candidates are speaking not to the voters, but to the big money. They hold the same views, pursue the same policies, and are backed by similar interests. Mitt Romney implemented Obamacare in Massachusetts, or Obama implemented Romneycare nationally. Both are pro-choice or anti-choice as political needs change, both tend to be hawkish on foreign policy, both favor tax cuts for businesses, and both believe...

Matt Stoller | Naked Capitalism 04 Aug 2012 Hits:1986 Blog Articles

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Ex-Lobbyist Convicted For Corruption Is GOP's New 'Voter Fraud' Expert

Ex-Lobbyist Convicted For Corruption Is GOP's New 'Voter Fraud' Expert

A former lobbyist convicted in the Jack Abramoff congressional lobbying scandal has found a new line of work while still on probation: becoming a spokesman and self-appointed expert on allegedly rampant illegal voting by Democrats, according to an excellent report by Ryan Reilly in Talking Points Memo. The ex-lobbyist, Horace Cooper, has authored a 'paper' for the right-wing National Center for Public Policy Research that recites a litany of instances where Democrats allegedly impersonated voters or thousands of non-citizens were on voter rolls. Needless to say, Fox...

Steven Rosenfeld | AlterNet 04 Aug 2012 Hits:2253 Blog Articles

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US Veto for Sale

US Veto for Sale

Pre-empting Mitt Romney's campaign visit to Israel, President Barack Obama last Friday signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Co-operation Act of 2012. The bill was drafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and co-sponsored by Israeli firsters Barbara Boxer and Howard Berman, of the US Senate and House respectively. The omnipresence of Israeli lobbyists at the signing of the "rare bipartisan" bill provided a perfect background display of the foreign lobby's power in the US. President Obama used five pens to sign the Act as he was flanked by the...

Jamal Kanj | Children of Catastrophe 02 Aug 2012 Hits:1109 Blog Articles

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Hail and Farewell, Gore Vidal

Hail and Farewell, Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal in 1974. I remember Gore Vidal like a Bond villain. He was sitting on the edge of his bed in that same big house in the Hollywood Hills where he died Tuesday night. Holding on to a glass of whiskey with one hand, he used the other to stroke a giant white cat with an angry mouth and a cloudy gray eye. He called it “pussy.” Of course he did. I was there to record the great man with the booming voice while he...

Peter Z. Scheer | Truthdig 02 Aug 2012 Hits:1144 Blog Articles

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Population and Women’s Reproductive Rights

Population and Women’s Reproductive Rights

I recently retuned from population training by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club promotes the stabilization of world population through: Increased access to voluntary family planning and sex Advocating for women’s and girls’ basic rights Educating youth to support family planning Grass roots organizing to increase public awareness While PDA and the Sierra Club are different organizations both groups identify the importance of women’s reproductive rights and how birth control has elevated women’s lives. Birth control was not always legal in the United States. When it was it was often only provided...

Drew Martin | Palm Beach Progressive Post 31 Jul 2012 Hits:1021 Blog Articles

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Watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony Footage Censored By NBC [Video]

Watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony Footage Censored By NBC [Video]

A six-minute tribute to the victims of the London subway terror attacks of July 7, 2005, was cut from the American broadcast of the London Olympics opening ceremony. The NBC network showed a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps instead Choreographer Akram Khan told the BBC that he felt “disheartened and disappointed” by the NBC decision against airing his performance for U.S. television viewers.  He added that “I am really sad that I couldn’t show the work in America, and that really upsets me, because I don’t...

The Inquisitr 30 Jul 2012 Hits:1257 Blog Articles

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Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost The U.S. Government $1.3 Billion: Study

Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost The U.S. Government $1.3 Billion: Study

Here's something for Congress to maybe think about the next time it decides to have a big, stupid argument about the debt ceiling: These big, stupid arguments, while entertaining, cost a lot of money. How much money? The 2011 argument about the debt ceiling--the most recent battle--cost the U.S. government about $1.3 billion in extra borrowing costs, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan congressional watchdog. And that's just the costs that the GAO bothered to count. There are also probably extra...

Mark Gangoff | Huffington Post 23 Jul 2012 Hits:1173 Blog Articles

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The Voting Dilemma

The Voting Dilemma

Come NovemberSoon it will be presidential voting time again in the U.S.. That four year cycle comes to us with the regularity of a returning comet, accompanied by a shroud of campaign fog that makes a guessing game of discerning fact from fiction when it comes to political promises. A hefty minority have opted out of this process. Thus, if history runs consistent, when the designated day in November arrives, between 38 and 40% of America's eligible voters will automatically (without even thinking about it)...

Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses | Op-Ed 15 Jul 2012 Hits:1112 Blog Articles

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Obama riding on economic cycle

Obama riding on economic cycle

I'm writing from Oceanside California, where budget constraints forced the city to cancel July 4 fireworks for the third year in a row. This is just one example of many US cities cutting back on essential and non-essential programmes during hard economic downturns. The economy is the lead issue in the upcoming election between presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney and unopposed Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama. Despite the long and rigorous primary process, the voters' choice is limited to two candidates who have surrendered their worth to large campaign contributors. On...

Jamal Kanj | Gulf Daily News 13 Jul 2012 Hits:1154 Blog Articles

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Mass Arrests Likely at Political Conventions: 6 Historical Precedents

Mass Arrests Likely at Political Conventions: 6 Historical Precedents

Clinton's law designates political conventions National Special Security Events, a category of state security that virtually dooms the exercise of First Amendment Rights. The Republican and Democratic Party conventions later this summer will probably witness the mass arrest of many American citizens assembling to exercise their First Amendment rights. Mass arrests accompanied the Republican conventions held in New York in 2004, when 900 people were busted, and in St. Paul in 2008 when 300 were detained, including 30 journalists. A political convention is designated...

David Rosen | AlterNet 05 Jul 2012 Hits:1320 Blog Articles

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For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Heat In On, the Power Is Off. So Are We Ready for a Miracle or Another Lie We Tell Ourselve…

For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Heat In On, the Power Is Off. So Are We Ready for a Miracle or Another Lie We Tell Ourselves?

Minions maneuvered by marketing minutes of minute manipulated memories of the biggest, best and most powerful nation in the world, blindsided by those benefiting most from dumping loads of the unnecessary on the sold, to blot out “average” in education. It’s easier to control someone who buys the over advertized, diminishing adrenalin, momentum and drive to, where’s the remote and pass the fries. Masters control best by prohibiting reading, writing, learning, knowing an educated people, inevitably transform from subservient property to dangerous minds. Corralling the masses to keep them “fat, lazy...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 05 Jul 2012 Hits:1049 Blog Articles

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Justice won't prosecute Holder for contempt

 Justice won't prosecute Holder for contempt

The Department of Justice is telling Congress that it won't prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress over his decision to withhold information about the "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the department says that it will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that it will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general. Deputy Attorney General James Cole says the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice...

Steve Frank | The Ed Show MSNBC 29 Jun 2012 Hits:1645 Blog Articles

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Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America

America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen? It's been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don't know is that they're also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are. Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has...

Sara Robinson | AlterNet 29 Jun 2012 Hits:2921 Blog Articles

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Arizona's Immigrants Under 'Reasonable Suspicion'

Arizona's Immigrants Under 'Reasonable Suspicion'

Has the Supreme Court made it possible for hundreds of thousands of police officers throughout the country to racially profile millions of people? When she heard the Supreme Court decision upholding the “reasonable suspicion” (a k a “papers, please”) provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070, immigrant rights activist Isabel Garcia saw the Arizonification of the nation. “We’ve been fighting local ‘reasonable suspicion’ laws here in Arizona for decades,” said Garcia, a Pima County public defender and co-chair of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, an organization dedicated...

Roberto Lovato | The Nation 28 Jun 2012 Hits:1151 Blog Articles

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Why a sharp drop in gas prices matters

 Why a sharp drop in gas prices matters

Veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart recently conducted a focus group in Colorado, and if President Obama's supporters want to feel depressed, they should certainly read what the undecided voters had to say. One woman, a 49-year-old a customer service representative for an airline, said she'd consider voting for the president, but only if he "could do something huge, like really lower the price of gas." Of course, the notion that Obama, by sheer force of will, can lower the price of gas is deeply foolish. The public's expectations...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 26 Jun 2012 Hits:1180 Blog Articles

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How to Tell if Your Favorite Companies Are Truly Progressive or Secretly Selling Out

How to Tell if Your Favorite Companies Are Truly Progressive or Secretly Selling Out

Fran Hawthorne, author of "Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love," dishes on some big-name companies. Many progressives know that some of their favorite companies have dirty secrets. Many are also aware that in the last 30 years, a number of socially responsible independent companies have accepted buy-outs from larger corporations for various reasons. French Group Danone acquired organic yogurt purveyor Stonyfield Farms in several stages over the last decade. Unilever bought Vermont-based ice-cream company Ben & Jerry’s in 2000. Colgate-Palmolive...

Brittany Shoot | AlterNet 19 Jun 2012 Hits:1548 Blog Articles

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Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama So why does the US economy stink? Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country's economic...

Michael Cohen | The Guardian 11 Jun 2012 Hits:3326 Blog Articles

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The Case for Unions

The Case for Unions

When we hear progressive individuals speak about ‘special interests’ we are all pretty sure what they mean. Whether it is a financial conglomerate or a super PAC run by resource companies, we are clear on whom they are talking about. The term is a little less clear cut when we hear conservatives use it. Recently, Scott Walker declared that “finally someone has stood up against the powerful ‘Special interests’ and put the tax payers back in charge.” In this instance, it is obvious what Walker means. He means Unions. The...

David Joseph Deutch 09 Jun 2012 Hits:1540 Blog Articles

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Five Things the House is Doing to Attack Choice

Five Things the House is Doing to Attack Choice

Last week, a divisive bill introduced by anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) failed to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Franks calls his bill the "Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act" (PreNDA), but contrary to its title, it does nothing to end sex discrimination or gender inequity. All forms of reproductive coercion are wrong -- including societal pressures to have a child of a particular sex. But the Franks bill exploits the very real problems of sex discrimination and gender inequity while failing to offer any genuine solutions that would eliminate disparities in...

Nancy Keenan | Huffington Post 06 Jun 2012 Hits:1044 Blog Articles

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Occupy Wall Street to rubber stamp money with anti-corporate slogans

Occupy Wall Street to rubber stamp money with anti-corporate slogans

Occupy Wall Street protestors march down Fifth Avenue towards Union Square (Monika Graff/Getty Images/AFP) One half of the ice cream duo Ben & Jerry’s has a message for Wall Street: Jamaican Me Crazy. The man behind flavors such as Cherry Garcia, Chubby Hubby and, yes, Jamaican Me Crazy, is rolling out a plan to stamp out corporate money in US politics. Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen might rake in a hefty paycheck for being on top of the American ice cream game, but he hasn’t lost touch with the 99 percent....

RT Question More 05 Jun 2012 Hits:1333 Blog Articles

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Northern Light

Northern Light

I gave a talk last week at Canada's Wilfrid Laurier University to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or "squarely in the red," referring to those crushed by debt. The streets of Montreal are clogged nightly with as many as 100,000 protesters banging pots and pans and...

Chris Hedges | Truthdig 04 Jun 2012 Hits:1573 Blog Articles

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Forgiving -- Loving -- Thanking

Forgiving  --  Loving  --  Thanking

Three times in my life I’ve visited altars reputed to be “more powerful than a locomotive:” Lourdes, a NJ cloistered priests community and a tiny chapel in Lake Worth, Florida where a touring Madonna waited. Each time, I was struck dumb, save for the words “thank you for forgiving me” and “I love you.”  I always say, never miss an opportunity to say, I love you, but getting tongue tied on thank you and forgiveness, was perforce, a command performance. Our 2012 election year...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 03 Jun 2012 Hits:1028 Blog Articles

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The Mortgage Fraud Fraud

The Mortgage Fraud Fraud

I got an e-mail the other day from Richard Engle telling me that his son Charlie would be getting out of prison this month. I was happy to hear it. Charlie’s ordeal isn’t over yet, of course. When he leaves prison on June 20, Charlie, 49, will move temporarily to a halfway house, after which he will be on probation for another five years. And unless he can get the verdict overturned, he will have to spend the rest of his life with a felony...

Joe Nocera | New York Times OpEd 03 Jun 2012 Hits:1332 Blog Articles

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The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane throw macabre light on the consigliere-cum-priestly role that counterterrorist adviser John Brennan provides President Barack Obama. At the outset, Becker and Shane note that, although Obama vowed to “align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values,” he has now ordered the obedient Brennan to prepare a top secret “nominations” list of people whom the President may decide to...

Ray McGovern | Consortium News 30 May 2012 Hits:1160 Blog Articles

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Wrong message, wrong place, wrong time

Wrong message, wrong place, wrong time

  Mitt Romney appeared in Craig, Colorado, to deliver the same message he repeats at every campaign stop: the people in the area are "hurting right now under this president." The traditional Democratic response is that blaming President Obama for the economic crisis he inherited is ridiculous. But yesterday in Northern Colorado was a little different: the small town of Craig isn't really hurting at all. The community's economy is faring pretty well, it weathered the recession better than most, and locals are pretty optimistic about the...

Steve Benen | The Maddow Blog 30 May 2012 Hits:1128 Blog Articles

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NURSES UNION ADVOCATING "PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY"

NURSES UNION ADVOCATING

National Nurses United (NNU), the union spearheading the drive for a Robin Hood Tax, also calls for a “participatory democracy,” evidence of the current vitality of a concept born at the Port Huron convention of SDS fifty years ago this June. Saying, "Democracy is not a spectator support,” a chart by the NNU envisions participatory democracy flowing into economic democracy, then political democracy, and finally into representative democracy. Paradigm Publishers is publishing Participatory Democracy this September, a volume including writings by Tom Hayden, Linda Gordon, Robby Cohen, and 12 original participants...

Tom Hayden | Tom Hayden.com 29 May 2012 Hits:1007 Blog Articles

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Remembering Who We Are, We Remember What to Honor

Remembering Who We Are, We Remember What to Honor

All my uncles were Veterans. My Dad, of both WWII and Korea. All said, wars change those who fight them. I say, corporations have now changed War, so only the funeral homes and they win them. Still as a Veteran who sang his way through wartime with The Soldiers Chorus of the Army Field Band, I bow before and salute all Veterans who have sacrificed their blood, body parts, time with loved ones and life here on earth, for they are the best among us. I ask only that as...

Marcello Rollando | The Reasonable Voice 28 May 2012 Hits:1026 Blog Articles

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How the Post Office Is Being Destroyed By a Phony Budget Crisis

How the Post Office Is Being Destroyed By a Phony Budget Crisis

     Local post offices all across the country, which function as community commons, including this one in Gerry, New York, are threatened with destruction because of Congress's shenanigans with the USPS budget. (Photo by Ross Griff under a Creative Commons license from flickr.com)   As every 6 year old learns, there is real and there is make believe. The massive Post Office deficit that is driving its management to commit institutional suicide by ending 6-day mail delivery, closing half of the nations’ 30,000 or so...

David Morris | Common Dreams 27 May 2012 Hits:3626 Blog Articles

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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Quiet Drama in Philadelphia

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Quiet Drama in Philadelphia

“You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials, Because the revolution will not be televised. . . . The revolution will be live.” --From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron Last week, the city of Philadelphia's school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers. But...

Ellen Brown | Common Dreams 27 May 2012 Hits:1179 Blog Articles

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Former GOP Congresswoman Blasts New GOP Women’s Caucus: ‘They’re Not Voting In Best Interest Of All Women’

Former GOP Congresswoman Blasts New GOP Women’s Caucus: ‘They’re Not Voting In Best Interest Of All Women’

Former Rep. Claudine Schneider (R) was the first — and only — woman to represent Rhode Island in Congress. Over five terms in the House (from 1981 to 1991), she helped pass key environmental, health, and gender-equity laws, including the Economic Equity and the Pension Equity Acts. Like former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) and former Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), Schneider told ThinkProgress there is no longer a place for centrists like herself in the modern Republican Party: THINKPROGRESS: Why do you think today’s Republican Congresswomen are so much...

Josh Israel | Sourced from ThinkProgress 27 May 2012 Hits:1310 Blog Articles

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Can Occupy Fight Back Against the War on Women?

Can Occupy Fight Back Against the War on Women?

Three hundred feminists blanketed the concrete in Washington Square Park last night, their attention focused by the now-familiar mic check. The “Raging Grannies” had just performed. A banner, framed by the park’s iconic arch, declared that the first NYC Feminist General Assembly, presented by Women Occupying Wall Street (WOWS), was in full swing. After seven months of reporting on feminism and the work of women activists in the Occupy movement, I wanted to know: could this meeting be a model for how OWS collaborates with...

Sarah Seltzer | The Nation 22 May 2012 Hits:1474 Blog Articles

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Are Democrats Bent on Political Suicide?

Are Democrats Bent on Political Suicide?

With the Republicans outspending progressives 20-to-one, Obama’s Democratic National Committee stubbornly refuses to invest a penny in the battle to unseat Walker. Jerry Brown, my California state’s Democratic governor, is a crushing disappointment. We voted for him over the former Ebay CEO, rightwing Republican Meg Whitman, who promised to fire 40,000 public workers and end welfare, mainly because Brown trailed nostalgic clouds of progressive glory.  A one-time governor himself, he banked on us remembering that he is also the semi-hippie son of a much-loved 1960s two-term governor,...

Clancy Sigal | Counterpunch 20 May 2012 Hits:1333 Blog Articles

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Koch Brothers, Republicans Join Forces To Close Technology Gap On Obama, Democrats

Koch Brothers, Republicans Join Forces To Close Technology Gap On Obama, Democrats

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama was famously effective in using new technologies to raise money, mobilize voters and target his message of change. In this year's campaign, his opponents are determined to turn the tables. Republican political operatives, some with deep financial backing from the billionaire Koch brothers and others, are unleashing about a half dozen major projects that take advantage of advanced database technologies to manage campaigns and target voters with personalized messages. Few doubt...

Peter Henderson | Huffington Post 17 May 2012 Hits:1442 Blog Articles

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  • The Chicano Chronicles

    Host Jacque DelRio

  • The Chicano Chronicles

    Host Jacque DelRio with special guests Monica Patrick Lewis of the Detroit Water Brigade and We the People of Detroit.and Ben Ptashnik, National Coordinator of the National Election Integrity Coalition. Tune in to get the latest news on the...

  • Detroit Water Shutoffs

    Special guests Monica Patrick Lewis, We the People of Detroit and the Detroit Water Brigade and Ben Zion Ptashnik Monica Lewis Patrick is a mother, organizer, educator, entrepreneur, activist, mentor and motivational speaker. She is the founder...

  • The Chicano Chronicles

    Host Jacque DelRio - Special Guest today is Rafael Bautiste Rafael Bautista was going to put his young daughter's feet into the ocean for the first time when he was approached by a couple of ‘not so nice' cops. What happened next was another...

  • Mississippi Freedom Summer 2014

    In the summer of 1964, hundreds of summer volunteers from across America convened in Mississippi to put an end to the system of rigid segregation. The civil rights workers and the summer volunteers successfully challenged the denial by the state...

  • The Chicano Chronicles

    Host Jacque DelRio

  • The Chicano Chronicles

    Host Jacque DelRio interviews guests Chris Silva (brother of slain David Silva) and their attorney David Kohn.

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    Join Andrea Miller and Jacque DelRio for a look at the Chicano Community and the Democratic Party. The DNC believes that states like Texas will soon turn blue because of the large number of potential Hispanic voters. Who are these voters and...

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    The Rev. Dr. Sid Gates is an ordained Presbyterian (USA) minister and licensed marriage and family therapist (partner) in a private psychotherapy practice in Augusta, GA. He was conferred degrees from the University of Georgia (B.A.), Valdosta...

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    Introducing our newest show, The Chicano Chronicle

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