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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Economist’s View – “Springtime for Hypocrites”

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Economist’s View:

“Springtime for Hypocrites”

Paul Krugman:

Just two weeks ago, the deficit was the great evil, and all the VSPs insisted that we needed fiscal austerity now now now. Then, magically, a big tax cut — increasing federal debt by more than the original Obama stimulus, and substantially raising the probability of making unaffordable tax cuts permanent — was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Why, it’s almost as if all the concern about the deficit was a front for opposing anything progressives might want, to be dropped as soon as debt was being run up on behalf of conservative goals. But that can’t be true, can it?

Many Republicans are still playing starve the beast. The next step for the GOP is to use the deficit problems that are created by the tax cut legislation as evidence that government spending is out of control. The biggest target for cuts will be social insurance programs. I wonder how many people realize that the revenue loss from the tax cuts will be more than three times the shortfall in Social Security (the tax cuts to those making over $250,000 alone would eliminate the Social Security shortfall)?

Mike Hall – Health Insurers Raised Premiums at Staggering Pace in Past Decade

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

From the AFL-CIO Now Blog:

Health Insurers Raised Premiums at Staggering Pace in Past Decade

by Mike Hall, Dec 15, 2010

Here’s more evidence that the past decade has been very, very good for the health insurance industry and more insight into why Big Insurance fought so hard to derail health care reform, especially the new law’s requirement that companies actually spend premium dollars on health care.

Family health insurance premiums more than doubled between 1999 and 2009, far outpacing the growth in workers’ earnings and overall inflation, reports the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Those premium dollars fueled nearly annual levels of record profits along with outrageous CEO salaries and extravagant executive perks and bonuses.

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Robert Reich – Commonwealth Club

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Kaiser Health News – Drug Lobby’s Tax Filings Reveal Health Debate Role

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

From Kaiser Health News:

Drug Lobby’s Tax Filings Reveal Health Debate Role

By Bara Vaida and Christopher Weaver

Dec 01, 2010

It’s official. The drug industry’s chief lobbyists – the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America – raised and spent at least $101.2 million in 2009 on advocacy efforts during the contentious health care debate, according to IRS documents the group filed in mid-November.

Former PhRMA CEO Billy Tauzin says the lobby used the money – special contributions from member companies – for broadcast and print advertising, grassroots and direct lobbying, polling and consulting. Tauzin, who has a two-year contract to advise PhRMA’s new leader, recently opened his own DC-based lobbying shop with his son Tom.

The former Republican Louisiana lawmaker was sweetly rewarded. He pulled down a $2.1 million salary, as well as a bonus of $2.3 million in 2009, according to the tax filing. Including other benefits, Tauzin’s total compensation was $4.6 million, just up from his $4.4 million the year before.

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Kaiser Health News – The Roadmap Lives

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

From Kaiser Health News:

The Roadmap Lives

James C. Capretta, Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Nov 22, 2010

View all previous columns »

Last year, Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” — his far-reaching plan to restore long-term budget balance through tax and entitlement reform — was the subject of relentless attacks by those favoring a larger government role in American life. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called Ryan the “Flimflam Man” in a widely cited opinion piece in which he tried to dismiss the Roadmap as not a credible solution to the nation’s budget problems. The congressional Democratic leadership followed up with an organized campaign aimed at demonizing the plan as a callous assault on Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. Their clear intention was to use the Roadmap to damage scores of Republican candidates for House and Senate seats by association.

None of it worked. In fact, not only did the Roadmap survive the 2010 mid-term campaign, the election results — and the dominoes that have fallen since — have made it far safer politically for Roadmap proponents to advance the plan’s ideas in the public square.

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Julianne Escobedo Shepherd – Republican Health Care Haters Should Reject Theirs Too, Say Dems

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

Republican Health Care Haters Should Reject Theirs Too, Say Dems

In the “hypocrite accountability” files: a letter is circulating around the House suggesting that Republicans who want to cut health care should reject their own government-funded health care, too. Drafted by New York Rep. Joe Crowley, the letter points out that Republican calls for health care repeal are a sham:

If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk,” Crowley writes in a letter to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).    Read more

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 07:51 AM

Also…

GOP Sabotage of START Treaty Will Only Make Iran and North Korea Happy

Republicans Vote Against Equal Pay for Women–Unanimously

Judge Rules in Favor of Tennessee Mosque, Against Xenophobes

FBI Asks Google, Facebook, To Aid Wiretapping

Bummer: Dutch Gov’t Mulls Closing Cannabis “Coffee Shops” to Tourists

WATCH: Despite Abysmal Poll Numbers, Palin Claims She Could Win in 2012

Reid: DADT Vote Will Happen

Who Ordered Fox’s Hit Job on Sarah Palin This Morning?

Nancy Pelosi Has Kept Leadership Post — She Must Use Bully Pulpit to Frame Dems’ Agenda

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David Doody – The Deficit Commission Misses the Point

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From UTNE Reader:

The Deficit Commission Misses the Point

By David Doody

Graph Federal Outlays

Revenues and Spending Excluding Interest, by Category, as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product Under [Congressional Budget Office’s] Long-Term Budget Scenario.*

Economist Robert Reich and Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum agree on the proposal put forth by co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson last week to reduce the federal budget deficit. They agree that they disagree with it, that is. Or they at least disagree with where the report places its emphasis.

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Noam Chomsky – Obama Administration and US Foreign Policy

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Noam Chomsky on The Young Turks

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Henry A. Giroux – Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Truthout:

Henry A. Giroux | Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia. How else to explain the electoral sweep that just put the most egregious Republican Party candidates back in power? These are the people who gave us Katrina, made torture a state policy, promoted racial McCarthyism, celebrated immigrant bashing, pushed the country into two disastrous wars, built more prisons than schools, bankrupted the public treasury, celebrated ignorance over scientific evidence (‘half of new Congressmen do not believe in global warming’) and promoted the merging of corporate and political power.”
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Legal Schnauzer – The Dixiecrats Are Gone, But Their Influence Lives on in the 2010 Midterm Elections

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Legal Schnauzer:

The Dixiecrats Are Gone, But Their Influence Lives on in the 2010 Midterm Elections

Boutwell Auditorium

Many pundits attributed yesterday’s midterm election results to the rise of the modern Tea Party movement. But a political scientist argues that the Republican advances of 2010 have their roots in 1948. That notion hits close to home because those roots of 62 years ago were planted in my home city, Birmingham, Alabama. And it reminds us that white resentment over integration and associated issues never has gone away.

Wilmer J. Leon III argues in an essay at Truthout that the Republican uprising of 2010 is just an extension of the Dixiecrat movement that split the Democratic Party in 1948. Leon, a political scientist at Howard University, says Tea Partiers are Dixiecrats dressed up in new clothing.

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TPM – The Crazy Class Of 2010: Meet The New GOP Stars

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From TPM:

The Crazy Class Of 2010: Meet The New GOP Stars

With the 60-odd gains for the House Republicans, let’s take a special look at a particular brand of Republicans, whose ranks have potentially been enlarged tonight: The Crazy Caucus, those members of Congress who become especially well known for saying and doing things that are not just very conservative, not just right-wing… but really out there. Read more »

Also…

All 95 Candidates Who Pledged Support For Net Neutrality Lost On Tuesday

Democratic Congressman’s Career-Killing Outburst Was Engineered by GOP Tricksters

Bush: I Gave The Order To Waterboard

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Zach Carter – Campaign Cash: Citizens United Becomes Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Corporate Criminals

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Media Consortium:

Campaign Cash: Citizens United Becomes Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Corporate Criminals

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The votes are in, and while some close races are still being tallied, there is a clear winner from the 2010 elections: Secret corporate cash.

Such unaccounted for political donations may end up allowing those accused of wrongdoing to go free. As Joshua Holland details for AlterNet, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission may have provided a lifetime supply of get-out-of-jail-free cards to corporate criminals.

The Kentucky senate race serves as a prime example. The Democratic candidate, Jack Conway, is currently Kentucky’s attorney general. Conway is also currently prosecuting a nursing home for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of one of its residents.

But that nursing home is owned by Terry Forcht, a millionaire who gives prodigiously to right-wing causes. He poured money into Karl Rove’s organization, American Crossroads GPS, which ran ads backing Conway’s Republican opponent, Rand Paul. Guess who came away with the victory last night?

As Holland emphasizes, the mid-term elections are just how the first phase of the justice system’s corruption plays out. Eventually the mere threat of attack ads could be enough to prevent needed prosecutions. Corporate bigwigs could literally get away with murder, and pay for it only through attack ads.

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Consortium Report

  • Campaign Cash: Tea Party Vows to Block Campaign Finance Reform
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Welcome to the final edition of Campaign Cash, which tracked political spending during this year’s midterm elections. Stay tuned for more reporting on money in politics from members of The Media Consortium. To see more stories on campaign funding, follo…
  • Weekly Pulse: What Do GOP Gains Mean for Health Care? Abortion Rights?
    by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger The Republicans gained ground in last night’s midterm elections, recapturing the House and gaining seats in the Senate. The future House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) wasted no time in affirming that the GOP will try to repeal health care r…
  • Campaign Cash: Citizens United Becomes Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card for Corporate Criminals
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger The votes are in, and while some close races are still being tallied, there is a clear winner from the 2010 elections: Secret corporate cash. Such unaccounted for political donations may end up allowing those accused of wrongdoing to go free. As Joshua Holla…
  • Weekly Audit: Your Vote, Your Economy—Why Today’s Election Matters to Your Pocketbook
    by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger Election Day is finally here, and control of the House and the Senate hangs in the balance. The differences between parties could not be more stark. Republicans have promised to repeal health care reform and slash government spending for social progra…
  • Campaign Cash: Why Conservative Attack Ads Won’t Stop After Election Day
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Today is the first election in American history in which corporations have been allowed to spend their own money to buy political favors. This legalized corruption comes courtesy of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Co…
  • Campaign Cash: Biggest Loser Corporate Edition—Spending $2 Million on a Losing Race in Iowa
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Corporate America is on the attack in every state. As Joshua Holland explains for AlterNet, outside groups have spent somewhere between $750,000 and more than $2 million in an attempt to unseat Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) in a state where ad buys come cheap. …
  • Weekly Mulch: Why Energy Reform is on Shaky Ground
    by Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium blogger Since national energy reform is on the rocks, ethanol subsidies for the Midwest and ballot propositions to roll back progressive energy legislation in California are the most important policy fights to watch right now. Neither will revolutionize the way Amer…
  • Campaign Cash: The Tea Party Jets to Grassroots Rallies, Wall Street-Style
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Two Tea Party leaders, Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, have been jet-setting all over the country ginning up support for conservative politicians. Literally. They’ve been flying around in a private jet like Wall Street CEOs, except they’re heading to …
  • Weekly Diaspora: Lawless Judges, Immigrant Soldiers, and Deportee Pardons
    by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger Here’s the harsh truth about our immigration system: When 392,000 immigrants are detained per year and 33,000 more are detained everyday with limited staff and minimal federal oversight, institutional misconduct is inevitable. The Department of Ho…
  • Campaign Cash: Sen. Jim DeMint’s Making a Mint with Corporate Cash
    by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Corporate cash does funny things to people. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) got into office by pledging to fight “special interests,” but just a decade or so later, he’s running one of the biggest special interest shows in Washington. It’s easy…
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Economist’s View – “Foreign Money, National Security, And The Midterm Elections”

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment
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Paul Rogat Loeb – The Republican War on Reality

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

From UTNE Reader:

The Republican War on Reality

10/29/2010 4:58:45 PM

by Paul Rogat Loeb

…it takes some massive level of denial to claim that it does no harm to the public good to allow corporations to buy and sell politicians of either party like baseball trading cards. In an even greater affront to reality, Republicans who’ve long claimed that transparency solves the problems of opening up the floodgates to unlimited cash have fought unanimously against the barest attempts to impose this accountability through the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that would have at least required ads to list the names of their prime corporate backers.

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Also…


Crackers and Tea

In a cutting commentary on race and politics, Steven Thrasher tries to pinpoint the exact moment that contemporary white America lost its collective mind.

Read More >>

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David Sirota – Thank You Sir, May I Have Another: Labor Leaders Destroy Their Own Ability to Influence Democrats

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From Open Left:

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another: Labor Leaders Destroy Their Own Ability to Influence Democrats

by: David Sirota

Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 13:30

A few weeks back, I wrote a post on the politics of organized labor – a post that was fundamentally about how political power is wielded through both both the carrot of reward and the stick of punishment. Same thing for the converse: If you only use the carrot – or worse, if you hand over the carrot without something in return – you incinerate whatever political power you have, as politicians will know they never have to do anything you ask.

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NEJM – A “Broader Regulatory Scheme” — The Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

From the New England Journal of Medicine:

A “Broader Regulatory Scheme” — The Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

NEJM | October 27, 2010 | Topics: Health Law, Politics of Health Care Reform

Sara Rosenbaum, J.D.

Although a federal court in Florida has allowed a state challenge to the constitutionality of health care reform to proceed to the next stage of litigation,1 a second federal court in Michigan has already swiftly dispatched identical claims on the merits. In rejecting the plaintiffs’ claim, in Thomas More Law Center et al. v. Barack Hussein Obama et al., that the 2010 health care reform is unconstitutional, Judge George Steeh wrote on October 7 that according to a wealth of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Congress’s power to regulate individual activity under the Commerce Clause (in this case, through a mandate that individuals obtain health insurance) rests on whether the activity amounts to an “integral part of a broader regulatory statutory scheme that permissibly regulates interstate commerce.”2 In this regard, Steeh’s opinion contains two central and intertwined conclusions. First, “economic decisions as to how to pay for health care services have direct and substantial impact on the interstate health care market.” Second, the “minimum coverage provision is essential to the Act’s larger regulation of the interstate business of health insurance.”2

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California Progress Report – Meg Whitman Reaps What Pete Wilson Sowed

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

From California Progress Report:

Meg Whitman Reaps What Pete Wilson Sowed
The controversy surrounding California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman’s employment of Nicky Diaz Santillan, an unauthorized immigrant housekeeper, is the latest in what has become a staple of U.S. politics. Since the early 1990s, hardly a political season has gone by without the “outing” of a high-level candidate or nominee for privately employing the very “illegals” they publicly decry. And if one individual deserves credit for creating the climate that makes such exposés common and effective, it is Whitman’s own campaign manager, former California governor Pete Wilson.
– Joseph Nevins

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McClatchy – Tidal wave of outside money swamping 2010 elections

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From McClatchy:

Tidal wave of outside money swamping 2010 elections

Half a billion dollars from independent groups with strong but unofficial connections to Republicans and Democrats is flooding into congressional campaigns across the country this year, according to a study released Monday.

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RSA – Talking to a Brick Wall – Why We Need a New Politics

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

The Brennan Center for Justice

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2000-2009: Decade of Change

Aug. 16 – Spending on state Supreme Court elections has more than doubled in the past decade, from $83.3 million in 1990-1999 to $206.9 million in 2000-2009, according to a report released today by the Justice at Stake Campaign, the Brennan Center, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. For more than a decade, partisans and special interests of all stripes have grown more organized in their efforts to tilt the scales of justice their way. This surge in spending—much of it funneled through secret channels—has fundamentally transformed state Supreme Court elections. “This crisis of confidence in the judiciary is real and growing,” Justice O’Connor warns in the foreword of the report. “Left unaddressed, the perception that justice is for sale will undermine the rule of law that the courts are supposed to uphold.” Click here to read the report. Read coverage in the Washington Post and on NPR. Click here to read the press release.

Kaiser Health News

September 8, 2010 1 comment

From Kaiser Health News:

Health Reform Myths Debunked

The Associated Press examines political ads on health reform. “With the country sharply divided over the sweeping new insurance law, Republicans and their allies are taking to the airwaves to attack it as elections near, often resorting to exaggeration and omissions to make their points.” For instance, one ad claims that Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak, of Pennsylvania, voted to “gut” Medicare by cutting $500 billion (over 10 years), though budget scorekeepers place the overall cost of Medicare over 10 years at $7.1 trillion. “Not exactly a ‘gutting,'” the AP reports, adding: “a portion of the reductions in spending would come from cuts to Medicare Advantage, a system of private insurance plans that now covers about one out of four seniors. Those seniors now receive more coverage than typical Medicare recipients” (Kuhnhenn, 9/8).

Kaiser Health News‘ Health On The Hill also discussed health reform myths, including one that the health law mandates people who participate in a “public option” for health insurance — which isn’t present in the law — get a microchip implanted in them. Another myth is that people will begin paying tax on the value of their health insurance plans next year — which is also not true (Judd, Carey and Rovner, 9/7).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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