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(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 30, 2012 The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012
It's undertaxed corporations and billionaires who are living beyond our nation's means, by claiming an inordinate and unearned share of our nation's wealth and not paying their fair share of taxes for it. We have the means to be the country we've always been. What we've lacked is the political will to buck the moneyed forces who are dismantling a system that's worked for 75 years.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story
The motive for inciting fear of the Other is the same it's always been. It distracts the vast majority of people -- members of the 99 Percent like George Zimmerman -- from the real threat to their safety and well-being: corporate control. Corporate control has robbed them of their jobs, their livelihoods, their savings. It's not about George Zimmerman. It never was. He's only a pawn in their game.
(51 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 26, 2013 What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way
You've heard it from Sen. Rand Paul and other conservatives this winter: unemployment benefits increase unemployment. It's an enormously destructive idea, though absurd on its face. It's like the argument that hospitals create sick people; after all, there are so many of them there. We usually consider such thinking "primitive" in modern societies.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 23, 2015 "His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz
This war has been the greatest failure in American history. The American people will be paying the price for it for generations to come, in more ways than one. But Jeb Bush has reminded us that there is no price to be paid for failure, or for ethical lapses, among the elites who govern us.
(14 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 2, 2012 "F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now
Obama can make the moral case for America's homeowners in a clear, strong voice. So far he hasn't done that -- partly because some key members of his team buy into the unfair notion that underwater homeowners, unlike Wall Street bankers, don't deserve to be helped.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 21, 2013 The Price of Evil at JPMorgan Chase
The bank executives who committed those crimes haven't paid a penny in restitution, nor have they been charged with crimes. Those fines have been paid by the bank's shareholders, who in some cases were the victims of the very crimes that led to the fine in the first place! In banking, the victim's expected to pay restitution to the criminal.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 17, 2013 2014 Will Be The Year of "Economic Populism." Then What?
There will come a time when the American people demand, not just discussion and research, but solutions. What happens in today's debates could determine whether or not voters are able to vote for policies which represent their interests, in 2014 and the election years which follow.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 3, 2017 Land Taken From Freed Slave's Descendants for Amazon Data Center?
It's a story of reality, both physical and virtual. It's a story that begins with humans in chains, moves through Disney's desire to make a theme park out of our most painful history, and ends with the descendants of slaves dispossessed by a company owned by one of the richest people in the world, a company named for a river.
(84 comments) SHARE Friday, February 28, 2014 Has the Left Surrendered? The Overdue Conversation We Need
For too long, the American left has identified so deeply with their rulers that they deny themselves the permission to work toward, or even to dream about, a better future for themselves. It needs to unleash its own imagination and courage. It must broaden its vision of what is possible so that it can break the bonds of impossibility.
(18 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Health Care Is a Right, Not a Business
By any objective measure, the U.S. insurance industry has failed to manage either the cost or the quality of health care. Health care is a human right, and private insurers have failed to safeguard it. They had their shot, and they blew it. Health care is a right, not a business.
(14 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 5, 2012 Hey, Sarah Palin! Some "Marxists" Here Want a Word With You
For all their hollerin', the radicals on the right can't point to a single statement by Warren and Obama that isn't objectively and literally true. Has any factory owner ever transported his goods to market on roads the rest of us didn't pay for? Hired workers the rest of us didn't educate? Of course not. But when that's pointed out they pivot to their next gambit: Obama and Warren are "Marxists."
(15 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 24, 2014 A Secret Plan to Close Social Security's Offices and Outsource Its Work
The fact that neither the SSA, the administration, nor the president himself are publicly fighting these brutal cuts is a betrayal of Social Security's promise. That betrayal is made even more acute by the fact that cuts to Social Security's administrative budgets do not help the deficit in any way, since the SSA is fully funded from Social Security's revenues.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, August 14, 2017 Trump Won't Say It, But We Will: White Terror in Charlottesville
"Many sides"? There are only two sides here: Right and wrong. Murderer and victim. Hatred and love. In the clutch, when it really mattered, the president of the United States refused to pick a side. But we can. We can lay down our lives, one by one if necessary, until we have won.
SHARE Saturday, April 4, 2015 Four Charts With What Everyone Should Know About the Student Debt Crisis
The total amount of student debt in this country is currently estimated at $1.3 trillion. There are many reasons for this surge in debt, including soaring college tuitions and an increase in the number of people attending college. The growing number of for-profit corporations in the education business is another major factor in the rise of this debt.
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 26, 2014 Crime Doesn't Pay? JPMorgan Chase Begs to Differ
Stock prices are based on expectation. As Dimon made it clear he could negotiate cheaper settlements with the government than expected -- that is, settlements that were less fair toward the banks victims -- the stock market rewarded him for his ability to manipulate the political and regulatory system on behalf of his own fraudulent bank.
(20 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 12, 2013 11 Questions You Should Ask Libertarians to See if They're Hypocrites
They call themselves "realists" but rely on fanciful theories that have never predicted real-world behavior. They claim that selfishness makes things better for everybody, when history shows exactly the opposite is true. They claim that a mythical "free market" is better at everything than the government is, yet when they really need government protection, they're the first to clamor for it.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 21, 2012 Wall Street Finds a "Third Way" to Plunder Our Wealth
Cutting Social Security benefits will reduce political pressure on the undertaxed wealthy, while creating new investment markets for Wall Street reitirement funds. Directly or indirectly slashing Medicare and Medicaid benefits also reduces that pressure.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 4, 2018 Ben Carson's Redecoration of HUD is Worse Than You Think
As Carson was being pampered with office furnishings reminiscent of Louis XIV, his department was seeking $8.8 billion in cuts to programs that help low-income Americans. He wanted them to include massive cuts to the housing voucher program.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 1, 2012 Desolation Row: Five Pictures of the Future in a Paul Ryan/Mitt Romney America
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would turn our nation into an armed fortress, ringed on the outside with expensive but often nonfunctional science-fiction weaponry and rotting from within from poverty and fear. Voters need to understand what that means. When they talk about budgets they're not talking about numbers on a page. They're talking about us.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Jamie Dimon's JPMorgan Chase: Why It's the Scandal of Our Time
The JPMorgan Chase story is the story behind the financial crisis that has thrown millions of people out of work. It's the story behind our ever-growing wealth inequity. It's the story behind Washington's inability to prosecute criminal bankers, regulate reckless ones, and propose the economic solutions the rest of us urgently need.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 16, 2014 JPMorgan Chase's $13 Billion Shadow
If the public really understood how badly this bank's employees acted, consumers and investors might stop doing business with them. Banks don't commit fraud; bankers do. The fraud which led to this $13 billion settlement was committed by people -- real people, people whose identities were often known to investigators.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 1, 2012 If Fighting for the Majority Is "Radical," Call Me Radical
If it's radical to defend important and successful social programs, and to work to make them even stronger, count me in. Here's a news flash for the folks at WorldNetDaily: If they think it's "radical" to defend Social Security, fight for Medicare, and make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, then stick around. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 22, 2015 The Surprise Issue of the 2016 Election?
In recent years Democrats have had a knack for giving away the advantages Social Security brings to their party. That's what happened in 2010, after two years of equivocation and deficit-reduction obsession from President Obama squandered their good will on this issue.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 25, 2014 From Secret McConnell Audio, 12 Destructive Things a GOP Senate Will Do
If Republicans take the Senate next month (and if he wins his own reelection race), Sen. Mitch McConnell will be that body's next majority leader. Then what happens? McConnell's been frank about what the GOP would do with the Senate -- at least when he thinks nobody's listening.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 30, 2015 Big-Bank Bad Guys Bully Democracy -- And Blow It
Readers may well wonder whether these banks are even permitted to band together for the purpose of blackmailing a political party. They are -- campaign cash is "speech," remember? But then, bankers collude with one another even when it's not legal. Why wouldn't bankers engage in unlawful conspiracy and fraud? It's not like any of them have gone to prison for it.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 27, 2012 Europe's Agony Could Become Our Future Under Mitt Romney
All we hear from Washington is chatter about a "Grand Bargain," when we should be talking about a "Grand Borrowing" -- a smart and targeted short-term plan that would jump-start our economy, put millions of people back to work, and cut the debt more effectively in the long run.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, April 13, 2012 Chris Christie: The Heartless, Smug, Bullying Embodiment of Today's Republican Party
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the embodiment of today's Republican Party and everything it has come to represent. You name it, Christie's got it: Disingenuous, smug, nasty? Check. Robotic servant of the corporate class, foisting its lobbyists' prefabricated laws on an unsuspecting public? Check. Hostile toward women? Double-check.
(47 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Clinton Must Go Bold -- and Go Left -- For VP
Clinton must energize and excite the Democratic base, along with millions of millennials who have never voted. She needs to bring excitement, and a sense of the new, to a campaign conspicuously lacking in those qualities. Voters remain deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. Clinton's biggest problem, and the greatest threat to her candidacy, is the fact that she's seen as the candidate of the status quo.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 9, 2015 In Rahm Emanuel's "Embarrassing" Victory, a Warning for Democrats
Emanuel has been rebranded -- some might say "unmasked" -- as a tool of corporate interests. The agenda he reflects would have a hard time succeeding outside Chicago's unique environment. His "huge national embarrassment" is an object lesson for Democrats everywhere: There is no cheap grace to be purchased if you ally yourselves with moneyed interests.
SHARE Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Mulvaney's In, Bankers Win, and Trump Shafts Americans Again
On his first day on the job, Mulvaney froze all hiring and rule-making, bringing the bureau's critical work to an effective standstill. The banks had won the first round. And Trump proved once again that, when it comes to fighting for working Americans, he's just another fast-talking huckster.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, April 10, 2015 Social Security: The Anti-Populist Empire Strikes Back
The anti-Social Security crowd has been playing by the same rules for decades: Ignore the needs and wishes of the majority, mislead the public about the fiscal facts and your opponents' arguments, and stigmatize the elderly (a cohort which most of us will eventually join) as a morally flawed "special interest."
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 27, 2018 Trump's General Just Announced a New Cold War. Who Will Stop It?
Tensions were already on the rise in 2016, before Trump took office, after U.S.-backed NATO troops began conducting maneuvers and taking positions on Russia's front line. In that sense, Mattis is simply making an existing state of cold-war hostility official.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 16, 2013 The Great Wage Robbery
The real "job creators" aren't the ultra-wealthy. If they could create jobs with all their added wealth, they would have done it already. The real job creators are working people with jobs. They don't invest their money in hedge funds or stash it in offshore accounts. They spend it: on food, transportation, their kids' education, maybe a night at the movies ... And then other people get jobs making those things possible.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 26, 2013 If the ACA Rollout Seems Rough, Wait Until the Right "Reforms" Medicare
Be careful, Republicans! Every critique you offer against the ACA rollout is a damning indictment of your own vision for privatizing Social Security and Medicare. Whether you want to call the customer service line at your private health insurer, or are eager to slam the healthcare.gov website, our advice to you is the same: Don't go there.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 7, 2017 Tough Trade Talk Fades as Trump and Pence Toe the Koch Line
The Kochs were reportedly prepared to mount a "billionaire resistance" to Trump policies they oppose, but so far that hasn't seemed to be necessary. The president's personnel choices quickly led Politico to dub it "Trump's Koch Administration." The brothers met Trump at Mar-a-Lago in April. The Kochs were undoubtedly pleased to see Mike Pence, a longtime Koch ally and beneficiary, tapped as Trump's Vice President.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, May 18, 2015 Obama's Trade War Against Warren Wounds His Party -- and His Legacy
The war for the TPP and fast-track -- and against Warren -- is not the only one the president is currently waging. Obama is also in the process of shaping his presidential legacy. That may be why he's "unusually irritated" with Warren and other progressives. He may recognize that he is at risk of being remembered as a president who, when the nation stood at an economic crossroads, cast his lot with the corporations.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, June 25, 2012 Romney and the Rise of the Corporate Super-predator Class
How "radically self-regarding" are today's super-predator CEOs? It's not enough to escape censure or conviction for their deeds. Like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, they demand adoration from the public that they've so badly abused, and they're furious if they don't get it.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 24, 2015 Hillary's Challengers -- and the Anti-Wall Street Wave
Hillary Clinton might prefer to see the challenge against Wall Street go away, but that's not likely to happen. That means she has a choice: she can offer her own strategy for reining in Wall Street, or run the risk of allowing others to define her position on this issue -- in ways that could harm both her prospects and her party's.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, June 20, 2016 Bernie Sanders' Leverage Isn't Going Anywhere. Deal With It.
Sanders' voters can't be handed off to Clinton and her party like a football. They are deeply skeptical about her, and not without reason. It will take concessions to win their support. And those concessions -- especially on popular issues like tuition-free higher education, Wall Street reform, and Social Security -- will make the Democrats a stronger party.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 27, 2017 Orrin Hatch's "Bullcrap" on Taxes Is Exactly That
The GOP tax bill is exactly what Sherrod Brown says it is: a tax giveaway to the rich. And it takes away from working-class students to give to those who need it least. Behind all the bellowing and bluster, Hatch's tax plan is nothing more than another giveaway to his rich patrons.
"Bullcrap"? Ask not for whom the bull tolls, Senator. The whole country can see this bull tolls for thee.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, August 29, 2014 The 7 Strangest Libertarian Ideas
Few movements in the United States today harbor stranger political ideas than the self-proclaimed libertarians. The Rand Paul school of libertarianism is at least as far outside the mainstream on the right as, say, a rather doctrinaire old-school form of Marxism/Leninism is on the left.
(20 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 17, 2015 Today's GOP: Too Much "Rand" and Not Enough "Paul"
Ayn Rand's face seems to hover, pale and sepulchral, over everything the modern Republican Party does. Her contempt for those in need, and her deep hatred for those who try to help them, seem to have seized possession of today's GOP like a demon in a B movie.
(15 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Pyrrhic Party: The Democratic Establishment's War on Progressives
A truly clear-eyed assessment of the Democratic Party's recent record would show that, under its current leaders, the party lost both houses of Congress and roughly 1,000 seats in state legislatures during the Obama years. The fact that the electoral tide seems to have shifted this year says little about their leadership. The shift is largely due to the party base's understandable horror at Trump's leadership.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 14, 2017 Charles Barkley's Wise Words to Democrats on Alabama
Barkley is right when he says this vote is a "wake-up call" for Democrats. They will not always have the good fortune to run against a candidate who reaches Moore's staggering levels of venality, ineptitude, and moral perversion. Barkley's meaning couldn't have been clearer: Democrats can't take black voters, or poor voters of any race, for granted.
SHARE Friday, February 7, 2020 Of Course Bloomberg's an Oligarch -- and He's Coming For Your Social Security
Given his virtually unlimited resources, Bloomberg could theoretically win both the nomination and the presidency. Bloomberg could pay the same "unit price" he paid to make himself mayor of New York -- $88 per voter -- and make himself president for $12 billion. He'd even have $50 billion set aside for a rainy day.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 22, 2014 Elizabeth Warren: "Enough is Enough" With Obama's Wall Street Appointees
Underwater homeowners have been directly or indirectly victimized by bank predation. But the administration's senior economic officials have shown a disturbing tendency to treat them as if they were morally tainted and unworthy of support. At the same time, the administration has seeded top posts with executives from wrongdoing banks and has given Wall Street bankers a pass for widespread criminal fraud.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, October 6, 2017 The "Center-Left" Had Its Chance; It's Time For Something New
The center-left rarely even chastised, much less prosecuted, bankers for their criminality in the runup to the economic crisis, whose devastation is still felt around the globe. Instead, it left them in charge of their institutions and in possession of their freedom and their ill-gotten gains.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 21, 2015 Social Security Reversal in Md. Senate Race: Six Lessons For Democrats
When the political mood shifts, the public doesn't necessarily forget. That's why it was wise for Rep. Van Hollen to support Social Security expansion. But it's also why he needs to do more: The public has grown used to seeing politicians express support for a program at election time, only to offer it up for sacrifice later.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 23, 2017 Paul Ryan Is Fundraising Off Healthcare While Working to Kill It For Millions
Ryan and the House Republicans want to phase out Medicare in its current form and replace it with a voucher program, a move that would effectively gut these payment rules and lead to higher incomes for medical specialists. Ryan is determined to raise as much money as possible to fuel his own rise, and his party's, no matter how many people's health may suffer in the process.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 6, 2015 "Open Borders": A Gimmick, Not a Solution
Open borders resembles NAFTA-style corporate trade: both give corporations the ability to apply their economic power across national boundaries in pursuit of maximal profits at minimal cost, either by outsourcing jobs to workers overseas or paying minimal wages to workers at home. We need a systemic solution to global wealth inequality, rather than intellectual gimmicks designed to promote exploitation and sow confusion.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 12, 2013 8 Signs the Rich Have WAY Too Much Money
Wall Street greed and criminality caused the crisis of 2008, but government efforts since then have concentrated on rescuing banks, and on boosting stock market performance and other forms of profitability for corporations. And it shows: Corporate earnings have risen by more than 20 percent each year on average since then, while disposable income has only risen by a meager 1.4 percent on average.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 13, 2018 Forget Trump ... His Party Is the Problem Now
The Russia investigation is something of a Rorschach test. Many party loyalists see it as an open-and-shut case: Trump has treasonously conspired with a foreign power and must be impeached. I hate to be a killjoy, but that does not seem to have been confirmed by any independent investigation, including Robert Mueller's. It may be someday, but that's far from certain.
(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 16, 2013 While Washington Sleeps, a Nation Crumbles
If Washington's going to act, it's going to have to act now. It's not too late. But time's running out. As Bob Dylan says, "It's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there."
If the power grid fails or gets hacked, it could stay dark for a long, long time.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 11, 2018 When Will Democrats Start #Resisting GOP Voter Suppression?
Democrats need to come up with social and economic policies that are strong enough to bring their base to the polls. But these voters also deserve to know that their rights are being systematically suppressed -- and that they can do something about it by voting incumbents out of office.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 10, 2018 The GOP's 100-Year War Is Bigger Than Taxes or Trump
While the nation obsesses about Trump, he and his fellow Republicans are radically rewiring our political and economic order. The tax bill they passed at the end of last year proves it. While we ponder Trump's state of mind, the leaders of his party are busy reshaping the country in their own morally misshapen image.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 11, 2018 Progressives Beware: The United States of Care Is Not What It Seems
Every other developed nation on earth has done a much better job providing medical care and controlling costs than this country's private sector. So has Medicare. We don't need magical fresh thinking. We need to take policies that have worked elsewhere and apply them to our entire health system. Liberals should withhold their trust from anybody who promises political miracles without answering tough questions.
(11 comments) SHARE Friday, September 23, 2016 Immigrants Don't Steal Jobs Or Wages. Billionaires Do.
Thanks to political science research published at Princeton University: political decision-making in this country is driven by corporate and ultra-wealthy elites, not by the democratic majority. This oligarchical usurpation of influence has led office holders at all levels to implement policies that kill jobs, depress wages, and increase inequality.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 19, 2018 Trump's "Harvest Box" Delivers an Empty Promise
There is a strong subtext of racism in the "harvest box" pitch, although 37 percent of people receiving food assistance are white. Nearly two-thirds of recipients are children, elderly, or disabled. Others are single parents. Some have been impoverished by structural racism, others by the economic collapse that has gripped entire swaths of our nation.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Ten Reasons To be Suspicious About Wall Street's Facebook Fiasco
Three of Wall Street biggest and best-known financial institutions handled the Facebook IPO, so why were people immediately suspicious when the stock soared and then promptly tanked? Easy answer: Because three of Wall Street biggest and best-known financial institutions handled the Facebook IPO.
SHARE Tuesday, November 14, 2017 Go Left, Dems: 7 Ways Democrats Are Misreading the November 7 Results
Last week's victories offer only a temporary distraction from the Democratic Party's ongoing troubles. Voter approval of the party is at a 25-year low, down to 37 percent from March of this year. Perhaps even more significantly, approval is down markedly among nonwhites and young voters, two groups the party needs for long-term success.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Al Capone, Meet Wells Fargo
Every major bank on Wall Street has a rap sheet that would make a Chicago gangster blush. Nevertheless, bank-servile Republicans -- including Donald Trump -- have been calling to disband the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even as it brings Wells Fargo to something like justice.
SHARE Friday, November 17, 2017 Trump's HHS Pick Alex Azar Is the Worst Pharma Bro of All
Nominating Alexander Azar to run Health and Human Services is like pinning a sheriff's badge on Billy the Kid. For all his polish and small-town charm, when it comes to pharmaceutical predation, the mild-mannered Azar puts blowhard "pharma bros" like Martin Shkreli to shame. Now, unless his nomination is blocked, he's about to be handed the keys to our nation's health.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, March 27, 2020 Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
As we change the way we live our lives, corporations like Boeing should change the way they are run. Corporate mismanagement made this crisis worse and, if it doesn't change, will make the recovery more difficult.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 10, 2019 Can Bloomberg Buy the Election for $12 Billion? If So, He Can Write the Check Today
If anybody can buy this election with personal funds, "Mike" can. He is one of the richest people in the world. According to Forbes, a source that is hardly hostile to the wealthy, Bloomberg currently has a net worth of $52.3 billion. He may have certain restrictions on his investments and assets, but borrowing against them would be easy.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, April 8, 2013 Why Obama's Social Security Cuts Are Our Wake-Up Call
The president leads his party. Unless Democrats mount a concerted opposition to this budget, they'll have gone on record as the party that wants to cut Social Security. Democrats who support it will help inflict a deep wound on their party's electoral chances. We have a moral obligation to future generations, and to ourselves, to actively oppose the cuts in this budget.
SHARE Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Kochs and Trump Team Up to Cut Billionaires' Taxes
Virtually all of the cuts -- 99.6 percent of them -- would go to the top 1 percent, according to Americans for Tax Fairness, cutting approximately $1.5 trillion from Medicaid while giving roughly $2 trillion in tax cuts to corporations. The House's "reform" plan would also cut nearly $500 billion from Medicare. These cuts will make you sick -- perhaps literally.
(8 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Beware: Huge Media Companies Are Selling Corporate Ideology as the "New American Center"
The Esquire/NBC News poll shows that 42% of respondents said they agreed with the statement that "financial reform should only be used to curb abuses, and shouldn't interfere with banks' and investors' ability to make profits." Esquire's editors say that journalists and advisers "better be substantive" and "leave their hobbyhorses at home." This study fails on both counts. If a "bleeding heart" won't tell you, who will?
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 24, 2012 The Dumbest 'Bipartisan' Move Since Repealing Glass-Steagall
Once again the 'bipartisan' consensus in Washington, fueled by an intoxicating brew of conventional wisdom laced with campaign cash, has repealed some of those 'cumbersome regulations' that do nothing of value -- nothing, that is, except prevent catastrophes.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 20, 2018 The Resistance Needs Better Heroes
Donald Trump is both corrupt and unstable. I share the hope Mueller succeeds in bringing him to justice, although a President Pence could conceivably do more legislative damage than Trump has done thus far. Trump's escalating war of words against Mueller, even as his lawyer argues that Mueller's investigation should be shut down, is deeply worrisome.
SHARE Friday, June 23, 2017 GOP "Health" Bill: Death, Disaster and Gilded Age Greed
The Republican Senate's draft health bill differs from the House version, but its basic purpose is the same: give millionaires and billionaires a massive new tax cut by slashing health benefits for millions of Americans, and take care away altogether from millions more. Republicans want to give us less and make us think it's more. It's time to tell them we've had enough.
(7 comments) SHARE Friday, February 17, 2017 A Big Day for Trump's Budget Pick, Social Security -- and Millionaires
As OMB Director, it would be Mulvaney's responsibility to explain the financial implications of budget choices to the president. That makes Mulvaney's habit of describing Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" especially disturbing. It reveals a basic lack of financial literacy.
(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Dems Want to Ditch Leaders and Move Left; They're Right
Movements have energy, independence, and commitment. They can reshape a party's leadership, infuse it with new ideas, and populate it with activists. That's because a movement is more than a party. It's something broader and deeper, something that infuses its members' lives with purpose and meaning.
SHARE Monday, November 13, 2017 Why We Need to Confront the Billionaires' Paradise
This concentration of power must be investigated, and then it must be confronted -- by a majority determined to take back the economy and democracy from the powerful few who have made it their plaything, before it's too late. It's time to "strike back" -- not against wealthy individuals, but against oligarchy itself.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 21, 2017 Trump's Muslim Bans Impoverish Us All
At its heart, this isn't an economic issue. It's about who we are. For many years we thought of the United States as the last, best hope for refugees feeling oppression and immigrants seeking a better life. We should welcome refugees and immigrants to the United States because it's good for our society, for our economy, and for our nation. But most of all, we should welcome them because it is the right and moral thing to do.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 30, 2015 In Search of the Democratic Soul
Thirteen Democrats voted for fast-track last week. Democrats risk being tarred with this lousy deal for a generation. And more battles are coming. Where will these Dems stand on the investment needed to repair our crumbling infrastructure -- and the taxes on the wealthy to pay for it?
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 8, 2015 The Human Cost of the GOP's Social Security Assault
This GOP move doesn't just hurt an abstract entity called "Social Security." It hurts people -- living, breathing human beings. This particular move targeted the disabled. Here's how: The overall Social Security fund is well-funded for the next two decades or so (and easily remedied beyond that point), but the disability insurance trust fund needs a short-term cash infusion from the larger retirement account.
SHARE Saturday, August 5, 2017 Uber Democrats: Workers Should Cooperate, Not "Compete"
Instead of training workers to "compete" for non-existent jobs, Democrats should create those jobs -- by investing in infrastructure, by renegotiating bad trade deals, and by making the government the employer of last resort. And they should do more: they should call us together, by working with outside activists to form a broad coalition for economic and social justice.
SHARE Sunday, July 22, 2018 Geithner's Grift, Paydays and Democratic Drift
A recent poll showed that most Democrats want this year's Congressional candidates to be "more like Bernie Sanders." Unfortunately, too many Democratic operatives would still rather be like Tim Geithner, even if their party -- and the country -- pays for it in the end.
SHARE Sunday, October 14, 2012 Diamond Jamie: Latest News on the JPMorgan Chase Crime Watch
Dimon wasn't acting like somebody who was worried about accounting for his own actions this week. He was too busy traveling to Washington to lecture the government on what it's doing wrong financially. It's not cutting spending quickly enough to please him. Some people still have the silly notion that we need to help the millions of people who have been economically victimized by people like, well, like Jamie Dimon.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 6, 2016 Inequality's Getting Worse. How Do We End This?
A society with such extreme and growing inequality can't sustain itself forever. Inequality interferes with economic growth, robs people of opportunity (and with it, hope), dooms millions to poverty or near-impoverished conditions, and offends that part of the human spirit that constantly searches for fairness and equality.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Two New Fraud Deals Show Wall Street's Washington Insiders at Work
Fannie Mae's CEO hasn't been there long. His last job was as General Counsel for...Bank of America. In fact, he was BofA's top attorney in 2008, at the height of its foreclosure misdeeds. Now he's settling those misdeeds as part of a wave of deals that will allow the bank's executives to escape criminal prosecution. So he had a seat at both sides of the table.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, April 7, 2014 Is Charles Koch "Un-American"? Let Thomas Jefferson Decide
What Koch calls "character assassination," others would describe as a simple recounting of the facts. Koch and his brother David are known for injecting massive amounts of their (partially inherited) wealth into the political process, academia, and propaganda in order to promote their right-wing (and self-serving) point of view.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Social Security 10 Years From Now: A Choice of Two Futures
The past 10 years have shown us that, when it comes to the politics of Social Security, we can make major progress as a nation. The future of this vital and popular program is in our hands. It can be strengthened if we fight for it. It can also be taken from us, piece by piece, if we don't. The responsibility for Social Security's future, as always, lies with us.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 26, 2014 An Emotional, Poorly-Argued Attack on Elizabeth Warren from Times' Sorkin
Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times has attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Her offense? Criticizing the appointment of yet another Wall Street banker to a top economic post. But Sen. Warren's fundamental point remains unrefuted: Wall Street dominates our government's decision-making apparatus to the detriment of our economy and our society, and that must change.
SHARE Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Will Social Security Decide Maryland's Senate Race?
A few years ago pundits were assuring politicians that voters would reward them for supporting the Simpson-Bowles plan. Now we know better. Chris Van Hollen -- and other Democratic candidates -- would be well advised to take MoveOn.org's advice and offer their unequivocal support for Social Security instead.
SHARE Monday, November 6, 2017 Donna Brazile, the DNC, and Democratizing the Democrats
It's easy to be cynical about the tone Brazile adopts as she tells her story. She's shocked, shocked, to learn that money and insider connections wield undue influence inside her party's establishment. And she's quick to pronounce the DNC innocent of actions, including her own, that are already widely known.
(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 12, 2017 What Matters Is What Happens Next, Not "What Happened"
The Democratic party faces a turning point. It can devote itself to economic populism and find new sources of both funding and energy, as the Sanders campaign did. Or, it can rededicate itself to the Wall Street centrism of its last three decades and continue to fail.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 31, 2019 The Fatal Flaw in Kamala Harris' Health Plan
In the end, we're likely to find ourselves exactly where we are today: with a Democratic plan that has been damaged before it can be fully rolled out. Kamala Harris' plan is too fragile, too complex, and most of all too trusting of the predatory private sector to succeed.
(22 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Medicare For All Is Coming, No Matter What They Say
One-third of our health economy is already managed through government programs. Our best minds should be tackling the challenge of reforming the remaining two-thirds. We have already have built some of the infrastructure and expertise we will need. Medicare For All is not only achievable. It's inevitable.
SHARE Saturday, February 1, 2020 "Balfouristans" for Bibi: "Apartheid" Isn't an Insult, It's a Blueprint
The Palestinians don't need any more advice. If they ever do, they can always look to the South African freedom struggle. It will remind them of the path forward, a path for justice they have long known lies before them, the only path that will lead to a decent future for the generations to come: no compromise on basic rights, no colonialism, and full nationhood for the Palestinian people.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 18, 2017 How to Profit from the Coming Trump Apocalypse
Trump, unstable as he is, is not an aberration in today's political system. He's a reflection of it. Our political process was broken before he came along. It will still be broken after he's gone, unless something is done to change it. Trump must be opposed, just as Ryan, McConnell, and Vice President Mike Pence must be opposed. But so must the system that gave them power.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Did JPMorgan Chase Really Take a 'Ten Billion Dollar Hit' For Uncle Sam?
Jamie Dimon's the same guy who assured investors that reported losses from that unit were just a "tempest in a teapot." And he's the same guy who said those losses, once they were revealed, would be roughly $2 billion. At last report, the bank said total losses amounted to $6.2 billion. You'd think a track record like that would inspire a little healthy skepticism among our nation's journalists.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 3, 2012 Romney's Hopey-Changey, Hostage-Taking "Closing Argument"
Behind Romney's sweet-sounding words is an ugly, ugly threat: elect me or we'll paralyze the government and shatter the economy. "You know that if the president is reelected," Romney said, "he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress." He forgot to mention why.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 6, 2014 Why Demographics Can't Save the Democrats -- But Populism Can
Personality alone isn't likely to win the day. Nor will fragmented appeals to disparate population groups. Yes, Democrats should support issues like humane immigration, marriage equality, and justice for African-American communities. But they should do so for moral reasons, not because they think it will lead to some imagined electoral panacea.
SHARE Friday, August 25, 2017 Open Letter to Louise Linton About Angels and Humanity
Dear Ms. Linton...Nobody enjoys the sudden onrush of hostile attention that comes when something they've said goes viral, and not in a good way. Your public record, and even your recent infamous post, suggests you want to be a good person -- or, at the very least, that you'd like to be seen as one.
SHARE Monday, May 4, 2015 After Baltimore: Soul Searching in Another America
Violence, like the nation itself, takes different forms. The events in Baltimore were manifestations of personal violence, amplified by crowd behavior. They were triggered by state violence, represented by the unrestrained excesses of police officers. That form of violence seems to have been especially severe in Baltimore.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 7, 2013 60 Minutes and the Billionaire Agenda: Part 1, "Counterinsurgency Cops"
Three stories were aired Sunday night: Counterinsurgency Cops, Robin Hood, and Invisible Wounds. The first two pieces advanced the anti-government billionaires' agenda with almost Orwellian efficiency. The third was less driven by that agenda, although it also reflected the biases which big-money interests have built into the institutions of journalism and politics.
SHARE Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Grow Up and Apologize, Ted Cruz
All but one member of Cruz's Texas GOP delegation voted against aid for Sandy's victims. Now that their constituents are in need, they're singing a different tune. Ted Cruz was the loudest and most aggressive Texas Republican who voted to deny aid for Sandy's victims. Now it's time for Cruz to step up, grow up, and admit he was wrong.
SHARE Saturday, September 17, 2016 Stiglitz Speaks: Globalization's Grand Failure, Apple & Bad Trade Deals
Why have so many policymakers in Europe and the United States continued to push globalization, despite the evidence? "In American politics," Stiglitz replied, "part of the reason is of course the influence of money." He pointed out that both presidential candidates now say they oppose the TPP, which he takes as a hopeful sign.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 19, 2015 A "Moral Document": GOP Again Targets Social Security, Medicare
For all the deception and evasion which permeates these documents, one thing comes through clearly: the Republicans have no interest in the well-being of seniors or the disabled. Theirs is an anti-tax agenda for the wealthy, and an anti-social contract agenda for everyone else.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 6, 2016 The Birds on Trump's Brain
Here's what Trump said about wind power: "The wind kills all your birds. All your birds, killed. You know, the environmentalists never talk about that."Trump is still the Republican Party candidate. And when it comes to climate change, and regulations, and fossil fuels, he's more typically Republican than you might think. But when it comes to bird brains, he's in a class by himself.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Why "Centrists" Will Sink the Democrats, If They Haven't Already
The bipartisan, centrist political consensus is breaking down. That's not an accident, and it's not an injustice. It's the result of repeated failures, both abroad and at home. The question is, what will replace it: something better, or something worse? If Democrats continue to follow the losing ways of the past, we probably won't like the answer.
SHARE Friday, July 21, 2017 On the CFPB's Birthday, Stand Against Sharks
Bankers may break the law -- and be unpopular with voters -- but they've still got friends on Capitol Hill. Right now Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotten are working to undermine the CFPB's new arbitration rule, which is set to take effect in September. House Republicans passed the "Financial Choice Act" -- a bill that would gut the CFPB and strip away other consumer protections.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, April 16, 2018 Seven Questions About the Syria Airstrikes That Aren't Being Asked
The drumbeat of political pressure has forced Trump's hand. He has now directed missiles against Syria, twice. Both attacks carried the risk of military confrontation with the world's other nuclear superpower. Whatever his personal involvement with the Russian government turns out to have been, it is in nobody's best interests to heighten tensions between two nuclear superpowers.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, May 22, 2015 The Big Banks Are Corrupt -- And Getting Worse
In "deferred prosecution" agreements the Justice Department agrees not to prosecute a bank for crimes it has committed if it keeps a promise not to commit those crimes again. It was not clear whether this would lead to any real-world consequences for the bank, however.
SHARE Wednesday, September 21, 2016 Wells Fargo Had a Bad Day. That's a Start.
Wells Fargo's CEO faced a rough grilling. That's a start. But John Stumpf is undoubtedly decompressing somewhere right now, waiting in comfort for the heat to die down. Wall Street's fraud won't end until its senior executives are held fully accountable for their actions -- and not just for a day.
(14 comments) SHARE Friday, March 3, 2017 Resign, Jeff Sessions. It's Not About Russia, It's About Justice
Jeff Sessions is a man out of time, a holdover from an age when some people believed that certain groups were exempt from the rule of law. He may be out of time in another way, too: His days as Attorney General might be numbered. Recusal is not enough. Jeff Sessions has shown that he is not fit to serve as Attorney General. In the name of equal justice for all, he must resign.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 6, 2012 GOP Offers to Throw Middle Class, Elderly Over the "Fiscal Cliff"
Republicans also propose to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, which would force 65- and 66-year-olds to seek private, individual health-care coverage on the open insurance market. And since they'd also repeal the new health-care law, these older Americans would get no help in that process.
SHARE Monday, January 22, 2018 Death by Inequality: Poverty and Racism Are Killing America's Children
We can't address poverty or inadequate health care without addressing inequality. And we must pay more attention to the deaths of America's children. If terrorists had taken their lives, we'd hear about it night and day. But these children were killed instead by bigotry, political cynicism, and greed. Politicians and the press will keep looking the other way, and the deaths will continue.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 10, 2021 Medicare and Drug Costs Can Drive Elections
House reforms are focused on allowing the government to negotiate prices with drug corporations on behalf of Medicare and other government programs, and then making those negotiated rates available to private health insurers.
SHARE Monday, December 5, 2016 How Trump's Grift Gave Government to the 0.01 Percent
It's not just their wealth that distinguishes Trump's team from the vast majority of Americans. It's their class exclusivity. Trump has largely drawn from people who, like him, were born into wealth and privilege. This insularity, combined with the heartlessness of the policies they espouse, makes it even less likely that they will empathize with -- or even understand -- the problems of ordinary people.
SHARE Wednesday, March 14, 2018 The $24 Million Reasons Dems Back America's Worst Banks
Why would Democratic senators join their Republican colleagues in pushing a bill that lays out a rich banquet of goodies before some of America's worst bankers, and increases the risk that taxpayers will have to bail them out? With this vote, these senators have thrown their constituents under the last bus out of town.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 9, 2014 How Big Is a $16 Billion Bank Fraud Settlement, Really?
Settlements do not require banks to provide principal relief for these underwater homeowners. They don't ask banks to return homes that they wrongfully took from their owners. They don't ask banks to forfeit every penny of earnings received through forgery or perjury. They don't even ask them to restore the credit ratings of defrauded customers.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 21, 2017 The Tax Bill Is a Lifeline for Democrats. Will They Sink or Swim?
With this tax bill, the Republican Party has issued its legislative manifesto. It has declared its allegiance to the wealthiest and most powerful among us, and proclaimed its willingness to sacrifice everyone else on the flaming altar of unbridled greed. That's an opportunity for Democrats, but it's not a guarantee of victory.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 5, 2017 Why We Need to Know What Trump Says Behind Closed Doors
Trump's fundraiser was held June 28th at his own Washington, D.C. hotel, which is steps down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House in the historic Old Post Office Pavilion. In this luxurious setting, Trump held forth for more than 40 minutes, mocking his enemies, humiliating his friends, and committing at least one major diplomatic gaffe.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 1, 2016 This Trump Hire is Hazardous to Your Health (And Not Just Your Medicare)
Trump's opposition to Medicare cuts distinguished him from other Republican contenders and helped him win the presidency. With this choice, he's made it clear that his campaign was a lie. Tom Price's nomination will have an adverse impact on Americans' health. If someone tells you someday that this year's election made them sick, they may be telling the truth.
(13 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 18, 2014 For the GOP, an Abyss Instead of Ideas
The Republican Party may not have an ideology anymore, but it still has an agenda: the continued enrichment of the corporations and billionaires that finance it, at the expense of everyone else. Democrats would be wise to stop celebrating the deals they strike with these folks, at least until they explain the absurd things they were forced to do to get those deals.
(8 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 23, 2014 5 Reasons Why Democrats Should Push Social Security Expansion -- Now
Voters understand that cuts in Social Security's operating budget deprive them of something they've been paying for throughout their working lives. The next phase of Social Security expansion should also call for expanding, not shrinking, Social Security's administrative functions.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, March 26, 2018 This Is What Makes John Bolton so Dangerous
With or without nuclear weapons, there are likely to be many more deaths now that Bolton has been appointed. Bolton is the ambassador of chaos. His proposed attack on nuclear-armed North Korea would almost certainly bring war to South Korea as well. He also advocates preemptive war against Iran. Either action would lead to mass death and chaos.
SHARE Monday, August 8, 2016 American Greed: Trump's Economic Team Is a Who's Who of What's Wrong
Trump's team isn't just monochromatic and male. At least four, and perhaps as many six, of the men are billionaires. They range in age from 50 to 74 -- or, from "younger old white guy" to "older old white guy." Five team members are named Steve -- which means that eight of them are not. For diversity, that will have to do. There are only two economists on the team -- and one of them believes in the flat tax.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, June 24, 2016 Brexit and the New Global Rebellion
The "Leave" vote was a rejection of globalization, at least as it's currently structured. This was a revolt of working class Britons who have seen their postwar prosperity erode around them and their social contract eviscerated by the corporate and financial oligarchy.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 6, 2020 After Iowa, The Democratic Party Faces a Crisis of Legitimacy
The Democratic Party's Iowa caucuses wasn't a failure of technology. It was a failure of values. This failure casts a shadow on the party's ability to carry out its basic responsibilities. Worse, it suggests that its leaders care more about helping their friends than serving the public interest.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 20, 2016 Trump's Estate Tax: An Aristocrat's Gift to His Friends and Family
If anybody is a "little guy" it's Trump -- and I'm not talking about his hands. It takes a little heart to be born into such wealth and yet be filled with such self-regard and selfishness. It takes a little heart to want so much for himself and so little for others, to bring out the worst in our neighbors and be so cruel to the strangers at our door. Maybe we should call this spoiled child of privilege a "little prince."
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, March 29, 2013 Slick, Paranoid Tea Party Video Aims for Violent Insurrection
Many members of the Tea Party Patriots, and groups like it, are undoubtedly good people who have been manipulated into believing terrible things. Cracks in the group's wall of secrecy have offered glimpses of those manipulators by revealing its relationship with big-money Republican operators.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, January 12, 2015 Populism Rises -- And The "Center" Strikes Back
It's no surprise that "centrist" Democrats are troubled by the challenge posed by senators like Warren, Ohio's Sherrod Brown, and Vermont's Bernie Sanders. These senators' positions aren't just good policy; they're good politics, too. While the well-funded "centrists" have too much money and media influence to be counted out, this movement poses a real threat to their dominance over the Democratic Party.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 30, 2017 What Hugh Hefner Had in Common With Right-Wing Christian Doctrine
When I read that the conservative media was attacking Hugh Hefner, my first reaction was surprise. Yes, he was progressive on a number of issues. But there was a deeply conservative dimension to his exploitation of women and his rejection of societal limits on that exploitation.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 27, 2018 Picture the United States Without Student Debt
In the US, 70 percent of college graduates have some level of student debt. The average four-year graduate owes more than $37,000. People who were unable to complete their education, often for reasons beyond their control, owed an average of nearly $9,000. Once they graduate, they face a labor economy where under-employment remains widespread.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 11, 2013 An Etiquette Lesson For Elizabeth Warren From "El Loco"
Politicians and regulators serve criminal banks for the very same reason that Willie Sutton robbed them: That's where the money is. If these Senators don't figure that out pretty soon, they're going to have to go to the people to raise money. And going to the people is a ghastly experience. The people are messy, over-emotional, and have all sorts of opinions about their government.
(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Why *Wouldn't* Obama Cut Social Security and Medicare?
Polls continue to show that voters across the political spectrum oppose these kinds of cuts -- "hate" isn't too strong a word -- and would even be willing to pay more in taxes to protect Social Security. These cuts might become be the most unpopular domestic policy decision in modern history.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 25, 2012 Fix the Debt's New Email: Too Cruel to Laugh, Too Ridiculous to Cry
It's easy to make fun of something this inept, and the overpaid cynics at Fix the Debt -- and fellow shell organizations like the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget -- certainly have it coming. But this time they've crossed a line. They're claiming to speak in the very interests of the people who would be most hurt by their actions.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 23, 2014 Bernie Madoff Sounds a Lot Like These Angry Billionaires
Some of the most powerful and wealthy people in America are feeling persecuted. The Langone/Perkins crowd is powerful, angry, afraid and unrepentant. That doesn't bode well -- for them or anyone else. Many of these angry billionaires have earned their wealth through intelligence and hard work. They've also been lucky, and have been aided by the society whose citizens they now castigate in the harshest terms.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 24, 2013 7 Institutions That Have Grown So Monstrously Big They Threaten to Destroy America
Corporations, databases, storehouses of personal and institutional wealth all are expanding at ever-increasing speed, threatening to engulf our economy and our lives as they do. That's the problem with Big Things: Once they reached a certain size, they keep on getting bigger. When businesses become so large that competition's squeezed out, everybody suffers.
(18 comments) SHARE Friday, November 9, 2012 7 Exciting, Inspiring -- and Overlooked -- Lessons From the "99 Percent" Election
This election was a clear and unequivocal victory for the populist positions the president took on the campaign trail. Don't believe the hype: This was a great night for progressives, populists and agents of change. Our political system may be dominated by Big Money, but this was a victory for the 99 Percent.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 25, 2013 Tom Friedman: A New Ayn Rand for A Dark Digital Future
Thomas Friedman is the perfect mirror for the undeserved self-infatuation which has infected our corporate, media, and political class. He's the chief fabulist of the detached elite, the unfettered Id of the global aristocracy, the Horatio Alger of self-deluded, self-serving, self-promoting techno-hucksterism.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 18, 2014 One Nation Under Siege: "Counterinsurgency Cops" in Ferguson -- and on TV
The transfer of used military equipment from the armed forces to police departments around the country has been accompanied, at least to a certain extent, by a shift in public thinking. The news media have played a critical part in that shift, both in its coverage and in what it chooses not to cover.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, May 1, 2020 It's Not a "Chinese Virus." The Correct Name Is "The Capitalism Virus"
COVID-19 reached New York primarily from Europe, not China. Italy was a center of the infection in Europe, and the deep business ties between Italy and China -- including the manufacture of designer bags and cheap clothing in Tuscany -- contributed to its devastating spread there.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Where the Hell Is the Outrage?
It's not that things aren't changing. It's that people don't know they're changing. Without that knowledge the public becomes a canary in a coalmine, only aware of its declining oxygen supply when it keels over and dies. The media has failed to tell the story of our broken economy. The two-party system is failing, too, as corporate forces complete their corruption of the GOP and seize an ever-increasing chunk of the Democracy.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, October 17, 2016 Her First 100 Days: A Pledge to Take On Wells Fargo and Wall Street
Hillary should demonstrate in word and deed what has unfortunately yet to be demonstrated in the nation's capital: that the law will be enforced on Wall Street as well as on Main Street without fear or favor. Whether those crimes consist of investor fraud, consumer fraud, theft, or racial discrimination, no bank executive should ever again believe he or she is above the law.
(9 comments) SHARE Monday, October 21, 2013 The Road From Here: What About Medicare and Social Security?
The posturing has begun. The position taken by Durbin, and apparently by the President as well, is that Republicans must agree to tax increases in return for entitlement cuts. Republicans say they're willing to give up the harmful cuts known as sequestration -- and only those cuts -- in return for Social Security and Medicare benefit reductions.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 29, 2013 Believe It or Not! -- 13 Mindblowing Facts About America's Tax-Dodging Corporations
The "chained CPI" cut, proposed by President Obama and supported by Republicans, is projected to "save" a total of $122 billion to $130 billion over the same time period by denying benefits to seniors and disabled people. It's true. "Serious" politicians and pundits are demanding that ordinary people sacrifice earned benefits, while at the same time allowing corporations to avoid more than 10 times as much in taxes.
SHARE Saturday, August 8, 2015 The GOP Debate: It's What Oligarchy Looks Like
Interests of big-money donors were reflected in Thursday's debate -- in what we heard, and even more so in what we didn't hear. There was no mention of the great income transfer to the wealthiest among us, perils of climate change, economic threat posed by big banks, or the struggle of a declining middle class. Candidates never offered specific proposals to help working Americans, even when asked to do so by the moderators.
SHARE Thursday, May 14, 2015 Opportunity or Inequality? That's No Choice At All
We need to create jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, strengthen wages, and increase education funding. These are "opportunity" items. But if they are to succeed, they will require some redistributive policies, including higher taxes on the wealthy and greater sharing of productivity gains with workers (using mechanisms like minimum wage increases and increased collective bargaining).
SHARE Thursday, February 15, 2018 A Kingdom Where Nobody Dies
When we reached adulthood, each of us made an unspoken promise to the children of this country. We said we would protect them, support them, help them lead beautiful lives. Today, once again, that promise has been broken. America's rifle. America's promise. And America's childhood, a kingdom we've surrendered for no good reason at all.
(11 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 4, 2016 In a Populist Moment, Hillary Clinton's Left-Leaning Economic Vision
Clinton is acknowledging that the political reality about Wall Street fraud has changed. Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and his millions of supporters, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other key players, have moved her to the left on this subject, at least rhetorically. Activists can use these fierce words to press for additional bank reform, should she become president.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 13, 2016 The Fiscal Myth That's Killing The Economy, In 7 Steps
The crisis of 2008, and the events that followed, disproved austerity economics and other hallmarks of conservative economic thought. But it remains popular in powerful circles -- perhaps because, as Upton Sinclair said (in the gendered language of his time): "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Who Will Lead the Anti-Trump Resistance?
Trump's diehard followers will undoubtedly seek out fake news from faux sources, including his own Twitter feed, to cling to the illusion that he's fighting for them for as long as possible. But even they may be forced to face facts when Congressional Republicans target Medicare and Social Security, while Trump's billionaire cabinet despoils the environment, attacks public schools, and cuts cushy deals for Big Pharma.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 15, 2014 Bill Clinton's Out of Touch Economically -- and That's a Big Deal
Bill Clinton brushes aside the day-to-day trials of millions of Americans, dismissing them as nothing more than a few "bad headlines." He pitches a glossy-brochure version of our national condition instead of addressing the real-life problems many people face every day.
SHARE Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Democrats Who Vote For Pompeo Will Disgrace Themselves and Their Party
If Mike Pompeo becomes Secretary of State, the global face of the United States will be that of a man who fears and despises 1.8 billion Muslims. That's not just wrong. It's also placing our foreign policy in the hands of someone who has expressed hostility toward nearly one out of every four people on the planet. As Secretary of State, Pompeo will be a voice for hate and repression rather than justice and equality.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, February 6, 2015 13 Questions: About Greece, Europe, Austerity -- and Us
Leaders like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown are likely to keep resisting Wall Street's unwholesome influence on our democracy. With every day that passes, however, it's less likely that any major banker will be prosecuted for the major acts of fraud committed in their institutions. There's a lot of moral hazard going around these days.
SHARE Friday, June 9, 2017 Kitchen Logic: Don't Let Trump's GOP Privatize America
Privatization -- the transfer of government-owned resources to private interests -- is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Governments use it to get an expense item off their books, but citizens often find themselves saddled with all sorts of additional costs for years to come.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 7, 2017 Disaster Recovery Should Heal, Not Divide, Our Communities
The science is settled. Hurricanes are getting more severe because of climate change. Even as we fight to minimize the harm we're doing to the environment, we need to accept the fact that disasters like Katrina, Harvey, and Irma are going to shape our world for the foreseeable future.
SHARE Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Death in a Dead Land
We still haven't stopped this endless river of blood, and it looks like we never will -- at least, not until the oil stops flowing and the coal stops burning and we all drown in the waters of a flood that turns the Las Vegas desert green, a flood we knew was coming but did nothing to prevent.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 17, 2012 Dimon, Simpson, Geithner: This Week's Three Horsemen of the Corporate-Politics Apocalypse
The Democratic Party must prove that it's something more than the oligarchy's more genteel rubber stamp. And it's not going to be able to do that unless it rejects the wildly unpopular and unfair Simpson-Bowles plan in favor of the only approach that can rescue the middle class and our economy over all.
But that would involve standing up to Jamie Dimon -- and his campaign checks.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 29, 2014 On the Economy, It's Been One Snafu After Another
This was the worst quarter for the GDP since the peak of the Great Recession five years ago. At this point American people might be forgiven for doubting the experts and leaders who should be counted on to make responsible decisions. "SNAFU" is an old military term that means "situation normal, all 'effed' up." That's been the state of play in economic policy for some time now.
SHARE Saturday, October 4, 2014 Progressive Champion Bill de Blasio Models Populist Change
Bill de Blasio ran for mayor as a populist, and he has governed as one. He's already achieved impressive things -- and he's only one-fifth of the way through his first term. His populist-themed campaign offered important lessons for candidates and elected officials everywhere. And his mayoralty is becoming a model for the nation's cities to follow.
(18 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 6, 2014 Warren Brings Populism Down South. Is Hillary Paying Attention?
What should Democrats in Washington take away from Warren's visit to Kentucky? In addition to demonstrating that populism sells everywhere, it's also a clear sign that the discredited "Third Way" agenda of corporate Democrats -- an agenda that has dominated the national party for more than two decades -- doesn't sell.
SHARE Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Marc Short: Koch Dark-Money Operative Is Trump's Liaison to Congress
Short isn't really a policy wonk. He's an operative in Republican and right-wing circles. After serving as finance director for Oliver North's failed senatorial campaign, Short reportedly helped Pence run the House Republican Conference, managed the Reagan Ranch, and was a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security under Bush.
(9 comments) SHARE Friday, February 24, 2017 Principles for Progressives to Follow on Trump's Ties to Russia
We deserve the truth. But until we have the truth about Russia's ties to Trump -- from reputable, public and trustworthy sources -- let's fight President Trump with the weapons we already have at hand: the weapons of truth, accountability and justice. Those weapons will never hurt the hands that hold them.
SHARE Thursday, March 26, 2020 No, I Will Not Die for This Damned Economy
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick received a lot of attention Monday night when, according to many progressives, he seemed to tell Tucker Carlson that he was willing to die in order to preserve the American economy.
SHARE Thursday, November 28, 2013 A Walmart Thanksgiving, by Charles Dickens
"A pretty high energy day" for employees. That's how a Walmart executive described Thanksgiving after the corporation announced that this year's "Black Friday" would begin on Thursday evening, leaving many of its workers unable to spend the holiday with family or friends.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, November 4, 2016 Behind the Job Numbers, Millions Are Being Left Behind
Underneath these favorable numbers, a darker story is being told. The labor force participation rate -- the number of Americans who are working or are actively looking for a job -- slipped by a small fraction and remains near its lowest level in four decades. Many workers have simply been left out of the job economy.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 24, 2016 The Better Business Bureau Downgraded Wells Fargo. It's Not Enough.
Wells Fargo's latest scandal has captured the public's attention because it's easier to understand than other, more esoteric forms of bank crime. Those crimes won't end until banks, and bankers, pay a price for their misdeeds. Banking must be demystified, so that Wall Street institutions and their CEOs can be judged like other business people.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 7, 2016 Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real "Progressive Who Gets Things Done"
As he has so many times in recent months, Barney Frank had some harsh things to say about Bernie Sanders, and has written several nasty, petty, and personal attacks on Bernie Sanders in his capacity as a Clinton surrogate. He and Clinton both argue that Bernie Sanders got little done on Capitol Hill. However, Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 12, 2015 The "New Democrats" Confront a New Reality
The corporate-friendly policies of the Democratic party's more conservative wing have fared poorly, both as policy and as politics, and as a result the party has moved to the left. The insurgent candidacy of Bernie Sanders is the most conspicuous sign of this shift. It's a major setback for the so-called "New Democrats" who have dominated the party since the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 21, 2018 There's Fake News on Your Television, Too
In 1983, 90 percent of American media was controlled by 50 companies. Forty years later, 90 percent of the media was controlled by only five companies. The Sinclair/Tribune merger would accelerate that trend. Sinclair is a case study in the threat that media consolidation poses to democracy. This merger must be stopped.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 21, 2013 Wall Street's Misdeeds Cost Trillions, But It's Main Street Who's Getting Nickel-and-Dimed
As Washington argues about whether it should spend millions to save Main Street's residents trillions, both parties are reportedly open to a budget agreement that would cut $130 billion in Social Security benefits for the elderly and disabled over the next 10 years (according to White House estimates). In Washington that's an acceptable "buy-partisan" solution.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 1, 2017 Trump's Supreme Court Pageant: a Silly Show to Fill a Stolen Seat
We're talking about a seat on a divided Supreme Court, not a year as a "goodwill ambassador," and the nation is entering a period of chaos and challenge. Trump's erratic behavior, his sweeping and ill-framed executive orders, and the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates have provoked a crisis of confidence and governance; a full-blown constitutional crisis is probably not far behind.
SHARE Friday, January 27, 2017 Five Groups of Americans Who'll Get Shafted Under Trump's Hiring Freeze
The overall impact of Trump's hiring freeze is clear: it shows a reckless disregard for the health, safety, and well-being of the American people. Trump's just getting started. His memo instructs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to come up with a broader long-term plan for reducing the federal workforce through attrition.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, August 3, 2018 Pandering to Deficit Hawks Is a Losing Strategy
Calls for Democratic unity are premature. Democrats are debating important ideas, including the importance of deficit reduction and the "pay as you go" principle. If the left loses that debate, the party is likely to lose later -- either this year, or in years to come. It shouldn't be silenced.
SHARE Thursday, December 25, 2014 Wall Street Had a Merry Christmas. The New Year's Still Up For Grabs.
Some in Congress will make positive and even brave proposals -- to break up the big banks, increase Social Security benefits, raise wages, and take other much-needed steps to repair our damaged economy. But, overall, our elected officials will only have as much courage as the public demands of them.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 14, 2017 Medicare For All Can Reshape the "Art of the Possible"
Medicare For All can be the flag for all of these health activism fronts, and all of them can be pursued with a single, unifying goal in mind: Dollar by dollar, life by life, public health insurance must be defended and expanded until it is available to everyone.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 29, 2013 A Vision for Social Security
Social Security is based on simple moral principles: Children who lose one or both parents shouldn't be forced to into child labor; disabled people shouldn't be condemned to poverty; and people should be able to retire with financial security after a full working life.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, August 29, 2016 The "People's Fed" and the Oracles of Jackson Hole
As long as the Fed's organizational culture is dominated by the financial sector, it cannot reflect the American people's needs, hopes and values. And as long as its ownership and accountability remain hazy, even an oracle won't be able to tell us who it's really here to serve.
SHARE Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Pete Peterson's Ghost
Peterson's family deserves our condolences. But Pete Peterson was not the "profoundly good man" mourned by Bill Clinton -- at least, not for the rest of us. Peterson did great harm to people who were far more vulnerable than he was. And, unfortunately, his work lives on.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 30, 2018 How Trump and the GOP's SCOTUS Screw Workers
The Supreme Court's conservatives are now an openly partisan cadre. They're political operatives, not jurists. They're part of a vast and well-funded Republican machine that seeks to screw American workers so it can further enrich its wealthy patrons.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, December 15, 2014 We Lost the "CRomnibus" Fight, But at Least Someone's Fighting
Democrats should see every lost vote -- especially those votes lost to low turnout -- as an opportunity. What's more, not every battle will be lost. Progressives nearly defeated this deal in the House. Next time, perhaps they will. Either way, they are hopefully now a force to be reckoned with.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 20, 2014 Hillary's Choice: "Anti-Gridlock" or "Anti-Wall Street"?
A candidate who "supports Wall Street within reason" -- offering only unsupportable tactical promises while most Americans fret about the economy -- is a candidate in danger of losing, no matter what the polls may say today.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 26, 2014 So You've Read (or Read About) Piketty. Now What?
"Capital" offers activists, analysts and lawmakers a new pair of glasses with which to view our economic landscape. If some of that landscape already looks familiar, that's to be expected. And even when we choose to plot a slightly different course than the one Piketty recommends, he has provided a valuable service. Where we go from here is up to us.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Anti-Koch: The Fight For Green Energy is a Fight for the 99 Percent
It's getting harder to defend our economic and environmental interests against the corrupting influence of campaign cash. The struggle for a fairer economy is inseparable from the struggle to protect the planet -- and both will be more successful once we've removed big money from our political process.
SHARE Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Will the Senate's "Good Republicans" Reject a Dishonest Nominee?
There's compelling evidence to show that Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of the Treasury, lied to the Senate in both written and verbal testimony. Senate Republicans seem to be taking these offenses in stride. None of the GOP's "independents" and "mavericks" have indicated that they will oppose his nomination.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 29, 2016 Bernie's Right. Wall Street's Business Model Really Is Fraud.
The major offenses committed by our largest banks include "price fixing, bid rigging, market manipulation, money laundering, document forgery, lying to investors, sanctions-evading, and tax dodging." For bankers, Rule #1 is "win at any cost." As long as they can commit fraud without suffering personal consequences, fraud will be the business model for Wall Street.
SHARE Friday, March 17, 2017 "America First" Budget Is Unworthy of Our Nation
This is a "shock and awe" budget, designed to dazzle and confuse Trump's political enemies and the general public. When Republicans on Capitol Hill dial back a few of its more extreme cuts, as is almost inevitable, the public will be expected to sigh with relief. That would be a mistake, since the result will almost certainly remain draconian.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 11, 2018 As the World Watches Syria, Don't Forget About Yemen
liberal interventionism has always been packaged in American politics: with the notion that our highest ideals are best expressed, not through diplomacy, but through the projection of military force outside our borders. In this telling, history has ended. We are the indispensable nation. We alone must balance the war-torn world on our khaki-clad shoulders.
(21 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Look Out, Wall Street, the New Populism Is Coming
The public's mood, despite years of attempts by most Republicans and many Democrats to placate them, is distinctly populist. And much of that populist sentiment is directed toward the financial institutions which have so badly damaged our economy.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 1, 2016 New Study Confirms: Private "Trade" Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy
The "investor-state dispute settlement" process, or ISDS, is built into treaties like NAFTA and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It allows foreign investors to sue participating governments if they do anything that harms their investment in that nation. Corporations can sue governments through this process, but governments can't sue corporations.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 7, 2017 "Every Darn Penny": The GOP's Philosophy on Death and Taxes
The Republican tax bill remains extremely unpopular, according to current polls. Unless they can distract the public with other issues, they may pay a steep political price for it. Apparently, voters know when Republicans are lying -- excuse me, when they're being philosophical -- about taxes. As many observers have noted, the GOP bill is an act of class warfare.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Don't Stop the Revolution: The Sanders Movement After Orlando
Platforms are promises. That makes them useful in the hands of activists willing to hold politicians to them. It's easy to lose faith when important battles are lost, or to become overconfident when they're won. But, in both defeat and victory, this revolution must go on. This is the most progressive Democratic platform in history, but only because millions of people demanded it -- with their votes and their activism.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Fifty Shades of Austerity: The Germans, The Greeks, and the GOP
Germany's leaders have shown that they can be as hypocritical as American bankers, especially when it comes to extending the kind of helping hand to others which they've already enjoyed themselves. Germany benefited from a generous program of debt forgiveness in a 1953 write-off that was proportionally larger than anything being requested for Greece.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 12, 2016 Through the GOP, the Wealthy Are Waging War on the Old
The war on the elderly has two primary fronts: Medicare and Social Security. As a candidate, Donald Trump distinguished himself from other Republicans by insisting that he didn't want to cut either one. Once elected, however, Trump nominated rabidly anti-Medicare partisan Tom Price to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 23, 2016 Trump's Terrifying Pitch: It Was Better Than You Think
Trump's acceptance speech was Demagoguery 101: Terrify, then reassure. Threaten people with destruction, then reassure them with the warm embrace of your fatherly arms. It's what kidnappers do to instill Stockholm syndrome in their prisoners. And Trump's eerily good at it.
SHARE Wednesday, March 26, 2014 The Cost of Empire, in Ukraine and at Home
Long-term unemployment remains at crisis levels. Wage stagnation is strangling the middle class, and debate over minimum-wage legislation is also being sidelined for this imperial posturing. We urgently need a national debate about economic policy. Instead we're treated to endless empty tirades from the likes of Lindsay Graham and John McCain in the Senate, and from Sarah Palin and her ilk in the media circus.
SHARE Tuesday, February 24, 2015 A New Rule, and a Brave Official, Gain Allies Against Wall Street
The fiduciary rule's new allies are perhaps even more interesting than its opponents. While it was not originally one of her core causes, the White House has been able to bring Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on board as an advocate. The fact that the White House sought her support is a sign of her growing influence and visibility.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Would a Berniecrat Have Won Ossoff's Georgia Race?
The Ossoff campaign would have been wise to spend less on television buys and invest a lot more in doorbell-ringing and other forms of voter-to-voter outreach. That could have proved especially critical in communities of color and among workers who are struggling economically.
SHARE Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Populism: A Light Against Republican Darkness
People are saying there's a darkness on the edge of town. It's born of the fear, pessimism and uncertainty that have become the Republican political brand. And if the polls are right, there's every chance that its shadow will fall upon Capitol Hill and envelop both houses of Congress.
SHARE Friday, October 14, 2016 The Republicans' Civil War -- And Everyone Else's
Parties, like people, eventually get the face they deserve. The Republicans deserve Trump's -- a face that took on so many hostile expressions in the last debate that they could have illustrated the Big Book of American Scowls. His is the face of the true GOP, the red, angry, babylike yowling face of the American right.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, February 23, 2018 A Pledge to Transform the Resistance, and America
Voters want leaders who will work for change. While this agenda was not designed as a litmus test, it certainly represents a platform that activists can use to assess political candidates. Conversely, candidates can use it to drum up support, knowing that it is backed by strong policy analysis and good politics.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 8, 2014 Reagan Remembered: The Failed Legacy of Our First Corporate Politician
Reagan, who would mock "special interests" in his first inaugural speech, then became a spokesperson for one of the most powerful of them -- doctors. He deployed scare tactics, hard-right imagery and merciless Red-baiting in a failed attempt to defeat Medicare. That program, along with Social Security, is one of the most successful and popular government programs in American history.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 4, 2012 It's Time to Re-Declare Independence - Politically, Economically and Spiritually
That's how our country was born -- in dreams. That's how it will be reborn into a brighter future, if we hold fast. They say idealism isn't practical. Actually, it's the most practical political force in the world. The idealistic dream of freedom and independence has transformed the entire globe. It changes lives. It changes hearts. It changes .... everything.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 26, 2016 What Does It Take to Survive Where You Live?
Many of the jobs created since the Wall Street-driven financial crisis of 2008 have been in low-paying fields like food and drinking services (i.e., bars and restaurants), where the average weekly pay is only $339 a week, and home-health care services, a largely female workforce whose average weekly income is $548.
SHARE Monday, September 19, 2016 Despite Some Good Economic News, The Status Quo Is Not Enough
How can Democrats convince struggling voters that they understand their needs while at the same time celebrating an economy that has left these voters behind? That job got even harder last week when the president teamed up with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and other Republicans to push another job-killing trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 22, 2015 Yes, Obama "Won Twice" -- as a Progressive. Deal With It, Everybody
Democrats must provide bolder and stronger alternatives to the "bipartisan" consensus that has led this country rightward and has accelerated wealth inequality for decades.
The president and his party should own their victories, along with the ideas -- and the movement -- that made them possible. If they do, they're likely to see more victories in the years to come. And Republicans will just have to deal with it.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 6, 2018 The Kerner Report at 50: Still Separate, More Unequal
Racism, economic inequality, police violence, and media bias: these were the instrumentalities of oppression the commissioners found 50 years ago. They are still with us today. The fact that the Kerner report still rings so true is its greatest accomplishment -- and our greatest failure.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 10, 2018 For Captured Regulators, Repealing the Volcker Rule is Child's Play
The next recession may not be an ordinary one. While employment has recovered, wage growth has remained weak. A new study shows that almost half of all Americans are unable to pay for their basic necessities. Half of those polled in another study say they would be unable to come up with $400 for a financial emergency.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, September 26, 2016 We Need a Real People's Debate, Not the "Fight of the Century"
The Clinton campaign says it's worried the media will give Trump a "passing grade" even if he lies extravagantly. That's a legitimate concern. But it's part of a larger problem: a "political/media industrial complex" that leaves media more concerned about ratings than reality and politicians more worried about posturing than policies.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, September 2, 2016 How Much Will the War On Unions Cost You This Labor Day?
We can't change the past, but we can change the future. Unions are exploring new ways to reach nonunion workers. The Fight for $15 is gaining momentum. Progressive populism is on the rise. Working people can hope for a better life in Labor Days yet to come. Better yet, they can fight for it.
SHARE Friday, May 10, 2013 Tick-Tick-Tick: Do 60 Minutes and America's Billionaires Want Us to Beg?
60 Minutes was once a shining light of independent journalism. Now it's a covert mouthpiece for the far-right, anti-government values crowd. Once it spoke to, and for, a majority whose interests it fought to defend. Now it represents an atavistically self-centered billionaire class which expects flattery from its subjects whenever it deigns to take notice of their misery.
SHARE Saturday, June 17, 2017 Resistance in a Time of Gunfire
The country's leaders understandably tend to call for unity after acts of political violence. But unity doesn't mean silence. There are sharp political differences in this country. Important issues like health care and gun violence need debate, and lives are at stake.
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 16, 2013 Fighting For Our Classrooms, and For the Human Beings Inside Them
We're told that our children are citizens of a great, powerful, and democratic nation. Their education must be equal to those claims. They should be prepared to assume the full rights and duties of citizenship, prepared to determine their society's fate. The System may not want that kind of education for our children. But we do. That's why we have a democracy.
SHARE Saturday, June 30, 2018 How to Cover a Revolution
A way to describe Our Revolution's record is that it won nearly half its races, even though it often faced well-established political machines with greater financial and institutional resources. That winning streak has just been extended. Ocasio-Cortez, who was endorsed by both DSA and Our Revolution, defeated the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House, despite being outspent 10 to one.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 20, 2018 We Need a Housing Revolution Now
To end this national disgrace, we need to come up with big and bold housing initiatives -- and we need to make them a fundamental part of the progressive agenda. They should start from a simple, clear declaration: Housing is a human right.
(8 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Memo to Washington: The Occupy Movement Is Very Much Alive
The Occupy movement isn't dead. It lives on in the political will of the American people. They want a president and a party that will represent the 99 percent, not the 1 percent who write campaign checks and give them cushy post-government jobs. Summers' failure was their latest memo to our leaders in Washington, and here's what it said: If you won't fight for us, we'll find somebody who will.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, December 30, 2013 Social Security: The Social Contract's Comeback Year?
Why is Social Security such a target? A number of government programs embody our social contract. Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food assistance -- each reflects the vision of a society which recognizes that its shared interests are reflected in the safety and well-being of each of its members. But perhaps no program in this country reflects the social contract more clearly than Social Security.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10 Things We Learned (or Re-Learned) In Chase's Latest Fraud Deal
If you steal something and don't have to give it back when you're caught, you'll keep right on stealing. It's called "deterrence" in professional circles. Speaking of deterrence: Until a senior bank executive goes to prison, as more than 800 did after the much smaller savings and loan scandal, things aren't likely to change very much -- at JPMorgan Chase or any other big bank.
SHARE Monday, January 15, 2018 Would Dr. King Take a Knee? 6 Ways His Radical Spirit Lives Today
This Monday, the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If he hadn't been murdered, he would be 89 years old. How would Dr. King view today's activists? Would he join them to walk picket lines for a higher minimum wage, or take a knee as the national anthem is played?
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 21, 2014 The "Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich" Corporate Tax-Dodge Crisis
When these companies use American resources to become American success stories, and then refuse to pay American taxes, that's unfair. It may not be illegal -- at least, not after their highly-priced lobbyists game the system for them on the front end while equally high-priced lawyers cover their rear ends. But it's wrong just the same.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Republicans Discover Government, Promptly Convene "Imperial Congress"
Democrats have already made too many concessions. They're right to stand up to the Imperial Congress. But that won't be enough. It's time for the people to take their government back from the extremists, before their empire collapses and takes us all down with it.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, April 2, 2018 Is the "Liberal World Order" Worth Saving?
The "liberal world order" hasn't helped competing nations get along. It has helped a small number of people, representing powerful interests in competing nations, work for their shared self-interest. It has permitted an international system of tax havens that undercuts national sovereignty and accelerates wealth inequality. And it has left most other people behind.
SHARE Tuesday, July 24, 2018 Was Goldman's CEO "Inspiring" or Good for the Economy? Nope, and Nope
There was the financial crisis, which was primarily the product of Wall Street firms. The recovery from that crisis has been lopsided, with only upper-income households seeing an increase in their median wealth. Middle- and lower-income families are worse off, and the wealth gap between upper-income families and everyone else is now rarely recorded.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 23, 2012 The Minimum Wage Is So Low That It's Immoral -- and Foolish
Under current wage levels, neither parent has the option of taking care of the children at home. To do so would be to to doom them to a life of poverty -- a life which, among other things, has been shown to damage both their health and their earning ability for life. Sometimes both parents are working and the family is trapped in poverty anyway.
SHARE Sunday, September 23, 2012 Romney's Backers, Romney's Brain: The Money, the Thinking, the Plan
Who are the powerful people Mitt Romney represents? They're the Bookies. They build nothing, create nothing, contribute nothing. They gamble on the futures of others and don't care who wins or loses. They're radical, and they're angry. And, increasingly, they're in control. And they'll be dead and gone before the coming generations pay the greatest price of their success.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, December 5, 2014 The Unseen Heart of the Violence: Eric Garner at the Terminal Point
Our moral leaders have told us time and time again that violence against any one of us wounds us all. Until we recognize and address both forms of violence -- the seen and the unseen, the overt and the structural -- our society cannot be made whole. Until the hidden heart of violence is made visible, none of us will be able to breathe.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 8, 2016 Can the Democratic Platform Change the Future of American Banking?
Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, politics is too important to be left to the politicians. This platform language may not be binding, but it's a useful tool in the hands of committed activists. An independent movement -- call it a "political revolution" if you like -- can demand that Democrats honor the commitments they made during this campaign.
SHARE Tuesday, September 27, 2016 The People's Issues Came Second in the First Debate
The debate was largely a clash of personalities, rather than visions for the nation's future. Moderator Lester Holt asked some excellent questions, including a number we had hoped would be asked about the economy and racial justice. But at times it felt as if NORAD should deploy its Christmas Eve "Santa tracker" to find Holt, as the candidates railed for long stretches about whatever they wanted with no sign of his presence.
SHARE Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Real Corruption: Mick "Pay and We'll Talk" Mulvaney
Private planes, $31,000 dining room sets, and other lavish expenditures at public expense are the petty rewards of narcissists. The corruption that matters most is the kind that hurts millions of Americans to enrich the tiny class of billionaires that is this regime's true constituency. When it comes to this kind of deep corruption, Mick Mulvaney is a master of the art.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 29, 2014 Bill Clinton and Steny Hoyer: The "Wall Street Democrats" Fight Back
There's a struggle underway over the future of the Democratic Party. The populist movement has scored some significant recent wins, including the electoral victories of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Its ideas resonate with the public. But the remarks from Clinton and Hoyer demonstrate that the party's Wall Street wing is still riding tall in the saddle despite its discredited ideas.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 15, 2016 Workers of the Future, Unite
Power isn't won by waiting for tomorrow. It's won by challenging entrenched interests, here and now. We need to prepare for a future in which advances in productivity -- from technology or other sources -- are shared more equally than they are today. To do that, we must build a more equitable economy today.
SHARE Monday, February 13, 2017 Steve Mnuchin Is No Joe Kennedy and He's Unfit for His New Gig
Assuming that his confirmation proceeds as expected, Mnuchin and Trump -- together with Mnuchin's ex-Goldman Sachs colleagues -- will work with a Republican-led House and Senate that shares a basic antipathy to banking regulation and has increasingly diverted Wall Street campaign contributions from the Democrats.
SHARE Tuesday, June 26, 2018 For Immigrant Children, Empathy Is Not Enough
it's time to look into ourselves, so we can change the policies that displaced these children and their families in the first place. That means ending our love affairs with dictators, abolishing ICE, and providing economic restitution to the countries -- and to the people -- we have hurt. It also means criticizing leaders from either political party when they support repressive regimes.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, August 16, 2013 The "Bankization" of America
The financialization of the U.S. economy is the result of very deliberate governmental choices. Unless different choices are made going forward, we will continue to become a "Bankistan" whose wealth and economic fate is increasingly hijacked by Wall Street.
SHARE Tuesday, October 16, 2012 Morgan Stanley: Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself ...
The latest lawsuit against Morgan Stanley raises the question again: Are a whole lot of Wall Street executives "just no damned good"? The evidence is overwhelming: They cheated. They lied. They used racial discrimination to make a fast buck at the expense of African Americans, ripped off their own investors and then took a huge bailout from the American people.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 9, 2016 The Incredible Shrinking Populist: Donald Trump's Tiny Economic Vision
This is Trump's biggest contradiction: He exhorts Americans to "think big" and "dream great things." But Donald Trump is all talk and no action. In the end he's just another selfish and small-minded Republican, with tiny dreams and a tiny vision in a nation that is still capable of greatness.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, February 6, 2017 Trump Stands Up for Bad Bankers
On February 3, President Trump signed executive actions rolling back financial regulations that were put into place after Congress passed the Dodd-Frank banking reform bill in 2010. With these actions, Trump has let the American people know whose side he's on, and it's not theirs. Millions of people are now more likely to be robbed of their savings, their homes and their retirement security.
SHARE Thursday, September 28, 2017 Can Centrism Be a Movement? The Answer May Surprise You
Voter-based centrism could become the movement of the future. But insider centrism, the kind that brings leaders of both parties together with their corporate funders, will always be the plaything of the elite. If the Democrats don't turn their backs on it, their party will be as dead as the stars that shine in the autumn sky over Washington.
SHARE Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Third Way's Anti-Populist, Anti-Warren and Deceptive "Dead End"
The predations of Wall Street banking firms -- many of whom provide funding for Third Way and sit on its board -- crashed the economy in 2008, throwing millions of people out of work and leaving millions more underemployed. Jobless people don't contribute to Social Security, and underemployed people contribute less than they normally would.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, August 19, 2016 Will The "Fix the Debt" Manipulators Ever Reform Themselves?
There's no need to revisit the evidence against Wall Street's top executives, or the fact that many Wall Streeters are involved with Fix the Debt. There's no need to recap the hidden agenda behind this campaign, or the fact that these would-be Social Security slashers all have great retirement plans of their own.
SHARE Thursday, April 14, 2016 Wall Street's Fraud of the Week Club
How many settlements, how many billions, will it take to convince some fact-resistant pundits and politicians that there is an epidemic of fraud on Wall Street? No matter how hard some politicians and press try to persuade us otherwise, the evidence shows that the banking community is rife with unpunished fraudsters. Its political influence, however, apparently remains undiminished.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Derailed in D.C.: "Bomb Trains," Poison Tracks and My Chemical Exposure
It's strange that we don't seem to worry very much about this ever-present threat of poison clouds and massive explosions. If these incidents had been caused by terrorists, rather than trains, our entire way of life would have changed. Instead very little has. The nation's lack of interest in this subject is striking.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 7, 2012 Tea Party Quitter DeMint Cashes In, Exposing DC's Dark Side
How many politicians want to vote against big-money interests when they know there's a pot of gold at the end of the political rainbow? Some can't wait and cash out early, like DeMint. "Will You Help Save the American Dream?" asks the Heritage Foundation website. But that's just another sales ploy. These politicians have already cashed in on their dreams -- by selling yours.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Increasing Social Security Benefits: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Profits for large corporations are at record highs. Income inequality in the United States is greater than at any time since the Great Depression. And yet the perpetrators of this multi-generational scam have somehow convinced leaders in both parties that we need to cut Social Security -- either through the "chained CPI" benefit cut, by raising the eligibility age even further, or both.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 4, 2015 Needed: A Bold Left to Challenge Government Downsizing
We need an active, independent left willing to challenge the push for smaller government. A well-managed government can revitalize the economy, even as it makes our world a better place to live. Many Americans seem to understand that instinctively. Where, then, is the movement that will make that argument?
SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Welcome to Swamp Trump. Please Don't Feed the Gators.
It's already a Washington truism that Donald Trump, who promised to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists and others who exploit government for personal gain, has turned to it instead for his key appointments. It's true. The reptiles are taking over. Trump's only doing what his fellow developers did in the Florida Land Rush of the 1920s: He's selling people paradise, but giving them swampland instead.
SHARE Saturday, February 11, 2017 We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight Tom Price
Tom Price believes that government can't do anything right. He's wrong. He believes government doesn't need to care for the poor, people with disabilities and the elderly, or manage the economy, protect our health, or keep its covenant with working Americans when they retire.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 26, 2014 A Stock-Market Milestone is Reached, But Who Cares?
What can be said about a political process that so faithfully executes the wishes of the wealthy and powerful at everyone else's expense? The ever-widening gulf between our two economies reflects a breakdown in our democracy -- or, rather, a corruption of it on behalf of special interests.
SHARE Tuesday, November 22, 2016 "Financial Elder Abuse Charges" Against Trump. Business As Usual in DC.
Donald Trump's abuses and excesses cannot be normalized. But neither should they become a free pass for the misbehavior of our business-as-usual political class, whose members have their own problems with honesty and fair play. What they do may be legal, but that doesn't make it right.
SHARE Friday, January 20, 2017 Inauguration Day: Letter to a Trump Voter
Even harder times are coming. Trump's administration is planning deep government cuts that will hurt millions of Americans. You may be excited about his victory now, but you're facing some big disappointments in the coming months and years.
SHARE Friday, January 24, 2014 They're Fast-Tracking the Future, TPP Style -- But We Can Stop Them
The "TPP," or Trans-Pacific Partnership, is our nation's newest proposed trade deal. It was negotiated without democratic input, and they're trying to ram it through Congress the same way. Like NAFTA before it, the TPP would kill jobs. It would also cause lasting harm to democracy, here in the United States and around the world.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 7, 2014 Democrats, Meet the Minimum-Wage Movement
The fast-food workers' issue, a higher minimum wage, is one most Americans understand. It is a cause, and a source of political energy, that Democrats would be wise to embrace. With the midterm elections only two months away, the Democratic Party's prospects seem doubtful. Experts give Democrats little chance of retaking the House, and they are in grave danger of losing the Senate.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 2, 2012 Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.
Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. We're abandoning our elderly and disabled. We can't afford medicine for our sick and injured. We have 311 million souls on board. We are in urgent need of assistance.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 18, 2014 Sanders Speaks: Bernie Wants to Break Up the Big Banks
Sanders' bill, which he says he will introduce at the start of the next session, is given very little chance of passage. Sanders deserves praise for introducing a measure that is designed to put members of the United States Senate on record before the voters: Are they willing to break up the big banks or not?
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 3, 2014 10 Mind-Bending Questions About the "Hobby Lobby" Decision
It is the Court which has arguably transgressed here, by declaring that a bloodless corporation is capable of belief. It has suggested that an economic and legal entity is capable of sharing in the profound and uniquely human phenomenon that is the spiritual experience. That notion could be described as disrespectful toward humanity.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 17, 2014 What Does Hillary Believe? Populists Want to Know
It seems clear that President Clinton is characterizing populism -- and the majority's will -- as violent, irrational, and insatiable. It's reasonable to ask whether that viewpoint is shared by the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee. These comments suggest that Bill Clinton perceives a state of war between two classes -- and that he's chosen his side.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 12, 2013 The Shamelessness of Bankers
How can legal safeguards be maintained when the money these institutions spend taints the political process from beginning to end? How can bank executives learn "respect for law, regulation and the public trust" when they are subject to the flattery of journalists, rather than the scrutiny of journalists?
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 27, 2013 A Surprise Ending for Larry Summers and the Fed?
The President is very forgiving of Summers' flaws, which include his apparently shocking attitudes toward women, his spectacular failure to foresee the financial crisis, his pivotal role in deregulation, the many millions he's made from the same Wall Street bankers he'd have to regulate, and his long record as a bully to subordinates, peers, and colleagues.
SHARE Wednesday, March 1, 2017 Trump Offers "A Nation of Miracles." Your Move, Democrats
The speech hewed to themes laid out by Trump political adviser Stephen Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "The center core of what we believe," Bannon said, "(is) that we're a nation with an economy... a culture and a reason for being." Democrats undoubtedly walked away disappointed. It looks like they're going to have to learn to fight for themselves.
SHARE Friday, August 14, 2015 80 Years Later, Republicans Are Still Fighting Social Security
Polls have consistently shown that Americans are extremely pleased with Social Security, which provides benefits are costs far below those in the private sector. To campaign against Social Security is to court political suicide. It therefore becomes imperative to convince voters instead that the program is unreliable. That's the Republican strategy.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 11, 2018 "Establishment Wins" Are Bad for Democrats -- and the Country
The Democratic party base seems to be energized by hatred of Trump and his Republicans this year, just as it was energized by hatred of Bush and his Republicans in 2008. That could be enough to give Democrats the House, or even the Senate, even with bland establishment Democrats on the ballot.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Too Big to Fail, Too Dangerous to Ignore
Not one senior banking executive was indicted by President Obama's Justice Department, even though banks have paid out some $200 billion to settle fraud charges. Those frauds didn't commit themselves -- but nobody's gone to jail, or even paid back their ill-gotten bonuses. There's only one way to protect the global economy from the dangers of too-big-to-fail banks: Break them up.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, August 17, 2012 On Social Security, Say It IS So, Joe!
There's a highly-funded, highly misinformed, highly misleading manufactured "consensus" in Washington around the idea that cuts in Social Security benefits need to be cut. They trade in a small but widely disseminated body of lies, and they're going to fight this with everything they've got.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 20, 2012 Defense Lobby Wins, Middle Class Loses In Obama Debt Proposal
The President's latest budget offer slashes a 95-year-old retiree's Social Security benefits by more than nine percent -- and trims the defense budget by less than one percent. Nancy Pelosi insists that these benefit reductions aren't "cuts" which is consistent with the propensity to describe the slowed growth or freezing of military spending as a "reduction."
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 19, 2013 McDonald's Accidentally Served Up a Minimum Wage "McManifesto"
McDonald's should join the wage movement it so ably served this week, because economic misery is hurting its bottom line in the US and worldwide. And while its new and successful "dollar menu" shows that it's willing to profit from hard times, that's only a short-term fix in a declining economy. Pay your workers what they deserve, McDonald's. Every dollar makes a difference.
SHARE Thursday, May 21, 2015 The Left Matters -- Now, More Than Ever
The independent left may not be an important voting bloc. But it holds the key to energizing disaffected voters across the political spectrum. They're the voters who believe that neither political party is speaking to their most deeply-felt needs: for a living wage, a secure retirement, a chance to put their kids to college and keep their family healthy.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Something's Happening Here: The Minimum-Wage Wave
Fast food corporations are increasing their profits by refusing to pay their workers a living wage. And taxpayers are subsidizing their profits, along with the misery of their workers, to the tune of billions of dollars a year nationwide. Voters understand this. Where is the political party organizing around this issue? If none can be found, isn't it time to support the workers' movement which is organizing around it?
SHARE Monday, June 9, 2014 The Koching of America -- and of PBS: Tia Lessin of "Citizen Koch"
After decades of seeing it attacked by the right wing, most Americans probably consider PBS a bastion of liberal thought -- that is, if they think about it at all. The truth is that years of funding cuts have led to an increasing reliance on billionaires and their foundations. The Public Broadcasting System isn't really public anymore -- at least, not to the extent it once was.
SHARE Tuesday, July 31, 2018 An Economy in the Fast Lane -- With No Brakes
Trump has been bragging about the economy a lot lately. He says the United States is now the "economic envy" of the world. Unfortunately, Trump is once again trying to reshape reality to fit his own delusions. Reality is refusing to cooperate. Is the world likely to "envy" the tens of millions of Americans living in poverty, including the estimated 5.3 million Americans living in deep poverty?
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 20, 2016 Our Long National Debate Nightmare is Over
A media circus was inevitable once Trump became the Republican nominee, and many people will be glad to see this campaign draw to a close. Donald Trump will probably never grace a national debate stage again, so there's that. But national campaigns, and the media's coverage of them, have been shortchanging voters for a long time. That's not likely to change.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 11, 2019 Medicare For All: Accept No Substitutes
It's misleading to argue that Medicare for All would "eliminate" the current Medicare system. It would keep and enhance its positive features, while eliminating the out-of-pocket costs and administrative challenges that bedevil so many of its current recipients. Worse, the word "eliminate" is likely to sow unfounded panic among fearful elders.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 2, 2015 The "Cadillac" Tax is Coming, And Could Hit Your Midsize Health Plan
When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, an amendment was offered -- by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) -- that would have removed the health excise tax and replaced the revenue through a surtax on the extremely wealthy. That was a sensible approach, but it was rejected.
SHARE Thursday, June 16, 2016 Would You Trust Henry Kissinger with Your Social Security?
Kissinger supported the violent overthrow of the Chilean government by a right-wing dictator. Kissinger gave the go-ahead to the Indonesian government's massacre in East Timor. Kissinger's other offenses and blunders are too numerous to list here. Would you trust this man with your Social Security? Do you think he'd make wise and humane decisions about our society's priorities?
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, October 23, 2020 The Sunset Gun: One Nation, Under the Influence of Hate
It's always 5 o'clock somewhere. The chamber of the gun is loaded, and evening is almost upon us. The choice -- to tighten our finger around the trigger, or put it down and look toward the dawn -- is up to us
SHARE Thursday, September 13, 2012 When It Comes To The DoJ And Wall Street, Don't Call It "Justice"
Why is the Attorney General, along with others in the Administration, arguing against indicting Wall Street bankers When there's a preponderance of evidence suggesting a crime was committed, it's the defense attorney's job to argue there wasn't - or that it will be too hard to obtain a conviction. It's the defense attorney who usually meets with reporters to explain why the case won't hold up.
SHARE Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Five Reasons Moderate Democrats Should Oppose Neil Gorsuch
If Gorsuch is approved, the Supreme Court will rule in favor of corporations and against working people. It will continue to lift restrictions on the high-dollar campaign contributions that are killing democracy and stifling the voices of ordinary voters. It will obstruct individual freedoms and endanger our environment.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Could Democrats Be Rebranded As the "Anti-Social Security Party"?
Democratic activists say that, no matter what happens this year, it "wouldn't be fair" to characterize them as Social Security cutters or the relentlessly hostile Republicans as its defenders. If we're being completely fair, it's not altogether unreasonable to think of someone who voted to cut Social Security benefits as...well, as someone who voted to cut Social Security benefits.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 22, 2015 "Sowers of Change": The Pope Arrives At a Critical Moment
This pope is an optimist. He said of his social vision: "Such an economy is not only desirable and necessary, but also possible. It is no utopia or chimera. It is an extremely realistic prospect. We can achieve it." He has called for "the globalization of hope" to replace "the globalization of exclusion and indifference,"
SHARE Thursday, December 11, 2014 This is Not a Drill -- The Budget Deal Must Be Stopped
The budget deal hammered out this week between Republican and Democratic negotiators literally imperils the economy. If it becomes law, our nation's biggest banks will once again have a green light to gamble on the derivatives that helped create the 2008 financial crisis. Congress is doing Wall Street's bidding with this budget, and it needs to be stopped.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 14, 2016 12 Notes From a Political Autopsy
This was a devastating defeat. Trump faced multiple accusations of sexual assault. He was so psychopathically unhinged during the campaign that even many of his own voters doubted his fitness for the job. His party's ideas are disliked by a majority of the public. On topics like Social Security, they're even disliked by a majority of its own voters.Under the circumstances, Trump and his party should have lost overwhelmingly.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 26, 2014 Chiding CEOs, At Walgreens & Other Corporate Defectors
Call it the "Inversion Evasion." Walgreens would become a "Swiss company" for tax avoidance purposes only. The combined corporation would do a small percentage of its business there. In all other respects, however, it would remain fully American -- headquartered here, making most of its profits here, and continuing to use its lobbying dollars and campaign money to distort the political process HERE.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, November 18, 2013 For Democrats, a Tax-the-Rich Road to Victory
The conclusion is inescapable: if Democrats make this budget battle a fight over who has the smartest spending cuts, they're fighting on the Republicans' turf. That will weaken them as they enter the 2014 campaigns. But if they make this a fight over taxes and jobs, that's a fight they can win.
SHARE Monday, March 13, 2017 The GOP Health Bill Is an Assault on People of Color
Paul Ryan and other Republicans want to replace today's Medicare program with a program of federally-subsidized vouchers to purchase insurance from the private market. These vouchers would quickly become incapable of purchasing equivalent coverage, given the typical rates of medical inflation, and Medicare recipients would be dependent on the inefficient, rapacious, and confusing world of private insurance for their care.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 5, 2013 Have Wall Street's "Third Way" Democrats Ever Been Right About Anything?
We're currently experiencing crisis-level unemployment, record-high poverty (than includes one American child in six), wage stagnation, and a decline in social mobility. Citizens struggling with these problems will be surprised to learn that deficits are a more "pressing long-term problem" than their future, or that of their children.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Obamacare's Biggest Problem is Profit, Not Government
The ACA differed from these Republican plans in several key ways, including its expansion of Medicaid and the small additional tax it imposed on high earners. But it has Republican DNA. If President Obama hoped that would bring in some GOP support, he miscalculated. As the president himself said, "Republicans reversed course and rejected their own ideas once they appeared in the text of a bill I supported."
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 24, 2013 Washington's Stupid, Destructive Game
The President is insisting on $100 billion in cuts to Social Security payments for the elderly and disabled -- an offer which Republicans have shrugged off but which he has placed back on the table again and again. Those offered cuts are accompanied by other proposed cuts to Medicare, which seem to include limitations on choice of medical providers.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 7, 2016 We Were All Outsiders in Trump's America Once -- Even Trump
We were all strangers here once, all except the first people of this land. Some people can't remember that, because they're too consumed with hate, or fear, or anger, or ambition. Some see themselves as different from the black, the brown, the LGBT, the differently gendered, the Muslim, the Jew. But it's true. We were all strangers once.
SHARE Sunday, October 27, 2013 7 Reasons to Take 7 Seconds to Save Social Security and Medicare
The president's latest budget does include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: the chained CPI benefit cuts; $57 billion in increased out-of-pocket contributions from Medicare enrollees; $306 billion in reduced Medicare provider reimbursements; and $19 billion in Medicaid cuts. No wonder Republicans see entitlement cuts as the "smarter spending cuts" to help forge common ground with Democratic negotiating partners.
SHARE Monday, May 16, 2016 What's Killing the American Middle Class?
Many families are "middle class" and still don't make enough to get by. And these numbers don't take into account the decline in quality of life that many families have experienced. Americans work more hours than citizens of any Western European country, a burden that keeps them away from their families, friends, and personal activities. A robust middle class is the ladder that leads out of poverty.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 22, 2012 The "Fiscal Cliff" Failed. Now Kill It And Get Back to Work.
The "fiscal cliff" was never real. It was virtual reality. Now it's time for our leaders to take off the goggles and get back to work. The artificial crisis limited the discourse. Newspapers talked of little else. They certainly didn't pay much attention to the more pressing economic problems we face. The show's over. Get over it, Washington, and get to work.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 11, 2012 Don't Cut Taxes For Billionaires. Double Them.
Fair taxation is vital to the country. Right wing antagonism toward taxes is greed disguised as love of freedom, patriotism disguised as rejection of moral responsibility.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Trump 2016: The Three Shadows Haunting Cleveland
As for Republicans, consider their ethics. In December Paul Ryan condemned Trump on moral grounds, saying his anti-Muslim bigotry is "not who we are as a people or a country." Ryan will address the convention on Tuesday night. They'll all be making their deals with the devil this week, these cut-rate Fausts in the Quicken Loans Arena.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 28, 2012 The Court and the Mandate: Let the 'Left' Be Left Again
This bill's Republican opponents have given Democrats another chance. The White House shouldn't wait for the Supreme Court's decision. It should take a public position immediately, saying that individual mandates were only offered to appease the right and that it's willing to remove them immediately.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 20, 2014 "Think Locally, Act Globally": 6 Takeaways From The Scotland Vote
Scotland had seen its voter participation rate fall to near-US levels in recent decades, especially for European Parliament votes. But with an estimated 85 percent of the electorate participating in this vote, it's clear that people will come to the polls if they feel that the election will have an impact on their own destiny.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 2, 2016 Inequality Against Democracy: 10 Facts About the 0.01 Percent
We are living through the greatest "wealth grab" in history. But inequality is not produced by immutable forces. It's the result of a legislative agenda promoted by the rich and executed by their political allies. The struggle to change this agenda and end inequality is inseparable from the other critical struggles of our time.
SHARE Wednesday, June 26, 2013 The Court, the Corporate Coup, and the Call to Struggle
Our democracy was under siege even before the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act. This decision caps the Court's clean sweep on behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce and is part of a concerted effort to seize democracy on behalf of moneyed interests. It's a mistake to view this decision in isolation. It's part of an ongoing, corporate-backed constitutional coup.
SHARE Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7 Reasons Consumers Won't Love the $7 Billion Citigroup Deal
Apparently the fraud settlement was anything but a mortal blow for the bank, an entity created by the actions of both Democrats and Republicans in Washington. Citigroup was subsequently saved from collapse with a $45 billion emergency loan from the government, after participating in the crime wave that helped precipitate a financial crisis.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Your Household Lost Seven Thousand Dollars Last Year. Where Did It Go?
It's shameful when a nation whose wealthiest individuals saw their income increase by one-third in a single year allows 15 percent of its people to live in poverty. It's shameful when a nation with record corporate profits allows those corporations to pay a tax rate that's near its 60-year low while more than one in five of its children live in poverty.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Social Security's Enemies Are Down -- But They're Not Out
Social Security's adversaries are still out there. Republicans still embrace the economic austerity that has wounded Europe and hamstrung our own recovery. Democrats at the Summit kowtowed to their hosts' fiscal fixations. And the media personalities in attendance (were they paid?) offered chipper testimonials -- pitches, really -- for deficit reduction.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 4, 2014 "Jobs or Inequality"? That's No Choice at All
Inequality is the result of economic forces such as increased financial speculation, financialization of economic profits, deregulation, trade policy, tax breaks, and other government policies which favor the wealthy and corporate interests. These forces have also led to today's high levels of unemployment and poverty.
SHARE Friday, November 1, 2013 Confirm Mel Watt Now
The Senate's role in presidential nominations is usually described as "advise and consent," not "obstruct and prevent." Republicans are afraid that Rep. Watt might "take more aggressive steps to help the housing market, such as reducing principal on mortgages." That would cut into Wall Street's profits. As the old saying goes: Follow the money.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, August 6, 2012 Happy 151st Birthday, Federal Income Tax!
The rich will get even richer under the Romney/GOP plan, while the rest of us pick up their tab -- again. Their plan's an economy killer -- who'll buy anything anymore, except them? -- which would starve the government of funds needed to do its job and repair their last mess. How selfish. How reckless. How...un-American.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 19, 2016 The Last Debate: How Low Will It Go?
Trump's vulgarity and demagoguery, together with the media's insatiable appetite for ratings, have made this campaign a race to the bottom. The night's biggest question won't be asked by the moderator. The question is: How low can this race go before it's over? We're about to find out.
SHARE Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Big Money and the NSA Scandal ... How Dangerous is the "Security/Digital Complex"?
A lot of people are getting rich from national security data contracts. And, coincidentally or not, this corporate-driven national security apparatus seems especially interested in protecting Wall Street banks and bankers. In a very real way, financial institutions are now data institutions -- and the "too-big-to-fail" ones are grabbing all the power that comes with the hoarding of information.
SHARE Monday, August 19, 2013 Don't Get Complacent About Social Security -- They Still Want to Cut It
If you expect to depend on Social Security, now would be a good time to get worried -- and get active. If you're a Democrat who cares about the political fate of your party, complacency about Social Security would be an even bigger mistake. The president's misguided notions about a Social Security deal may well have cost Democrats the House in 2010.
SHARE Monday, January 6, 2014 The Generations Should Fight Their Retirement Battles Together
The generational war is a hoax. In this global economy the fight for retirement security should unite us, not divide us, across barriers of age and race. The generations share a common agenda: for job creation, stronger Social Security, and economic equality; and against job-killing and wage-suppressing trade deals, usurious debt, and runaway banks.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 13, 2014 "Running as Democrats While Sounding Republican" -- Hey, What Could Go Wrong?
If choosing to echo Republican messaging becomes a common pattern among Democrats, voters would lose an essential feature of democracy: the ability to choose between two competing visions. The nation would be deprived of a debate on critical economic issues, and the future would become darker for everyone.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 4, 2013 The Long Depression
They're taking our economy apart, one piece at a time. We have a way out: through concerted action. But there's no World War-sized event looming that could summon our will -- or our willingness to accept government spending. There's no sign of a new "Greatest Generation," either.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 5, 2013 Mushroom Clouds Over Texas, 500 Deaths in Bangladesh -- That's Why We Need Unions
The Texas plant did not report the fact that it was storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate to the Department of Homeland Security as required by law, even though that's more than 200 times the amount Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Federal building in Oklahoma City. We're expected to suspend our civil liberties in the name of national security, but businesses aren't even being asked to follow safety regulations.
SHARE Tuesday, February 3, 2015 Budget Wars: Europe Has the Germans; We Have the GOP
The struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party isn't over. But the president's dismissal of "mindless austerity" draws a useful parallel between Germany's harmful policies and those of the GOP, while the Democratic populists offer a clear alternative to the greed-driven magical thinking of our financial elites.
SHARE Thursday, May 17, 2018 Real Corruption: The Scott Pruitt Story
The real reason Scott Pruitt should be removed from office is because he is causing lasting harm to current and future generations. Scott Pruitt abuses the public trust by using his position to serve the Koch brothers and other fossil-fuel magnates, and he is killing us and our kids in the bargain.
SHARE Thursday, May 30, 2013 Our Ongoing Health Crisis, Part 2: The Cadillac Tax Is Still Foolish and Cruel
Despite some modifications which the labor movement pressured the Administration into making (another unsung victory for the labor movement), the tax still punishes plans more for including sick people than it does for anything else. It punishes people for decisions made by their doctors, not them. It even punishes people for living in the wrong area.
SHARE Friday, October 19, 2012 For the Unemployed, Romney's Debate Was Full of "Wind Jobs"
Romney's the candidate who'll say or do anything to close the deal. He's flip-flopped on everything from reproductive rights to environmental protection. Now, as a paid spokesperson for mega-corporations, he mocks climate change as a myth as he pretends he's standing up for the Mom and Pop companies across the country.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, January 10, 2014 Chris Christie Is the True Face of the Republican Party
The GOP's culture is shockingly insensitive to the human consequences of its actions. George W. Bush "joked" about not finding weapons of mass destruction after hundreds of thousands of people died under false pretenses in Iraq. Christie joked that he was no longer in the "traffic study" business. "I am not a bully" -- Pure Nixon. Grandiosity, paired with a refusal to accept responsibility -- Pure Cheney.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, February 4, 2013 14 Reasons to Rise Up -- For Jobs, and Against More Spending Cuts
We've patiently endured lectures about "tightening our belts" while most Americans watched their wages decline. We've stood by as corporate forces manipulated politicians and the press into a manufactured sense of deficit hysteria, watched several rounds of spending cuts make our problems worse, and seen our austerity ideologies discredited by events.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Republicans Win Standoff, Shoot Hostages Anyway
A party that has been cynical and greedy for a long time has now become something even more disturbing: It has become irrational. This is no longer a hostage negotiation. It has become something far more unpredictable, and much more frightening. Republicans have come full circle from when Ronald Reagan proclaimed "it's morning in America." It's midnight in John Boehner's America and the shutdown has officially begun.
(9 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 23, 2014 100 Zephyrs: Why The Left Must Challenge Corporate Democrats
If there is no pressure from the left, political debate will continue to shift ever rightward, just as it has under Bill Clinton and during Obama's first term. Without that pressure, important policy options will go unmentioned, depriving the public of the policy debate it needs and deserves. Primary challenges are a critical part of that effort.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 12, 2015 New Front In #RepublicanClassWar: Social Security for the Disabled
Social Security expansion would help offset the effects of lost middle-class wealth. That's an important point. Inequality is our era's gravest economic challenge. When it comes to meeting that challenge, Social Security isn't a problem; it's part of the solution. The Republicans won't tell you that, of course. They're too busy waging class war.
SHARE Saturday, May 12, 2018 Primary Day: Lessons for Democrats
In November, the Democrats' fate depends largely on turnout. Dems have a good chance of retaking the House of Representatives this fall, but that's by no means certain, and the Senate is more of a stretch. With Democratic support reportedly falling among millennials and turnout a lingering problem for voters of color, complacency may be the party's biggest threat.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 8, 2014 The War on Poverty is Our Moral Challenge Now
The War on Poverty isn't an isolated struggle. Even as we've made progress against poverty, we've fallen back on other fronts. Employment, especially long-term unemployment, is at record highs for the modern era. Higher education is increasingly expensive. We are living in an increasingly inequitable economy. Each of these developments makes it more difficult to fight our war against poverty.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 15, 2012 Fat Pythons And Hungry Humans: Last Week's Real Economic Story
The government has the right rockets at its disposal. Here are two of the biggest: It can hire more employees, and it can finance more infrastructure work. But our leaders aren't willing to fire those rockets. They'd rather pretend that tax cuts will magically do tomorrow what they haven't done yesterday or today.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, February 9, 2015 More Evidence "Centrist" Solutions Can't Save Us
The entire "envy" and "vilification" framing is counterproductive. It's a rhetorical ploy that, whether intentionally or not, characterizes a genuine national crisis -- and the hardship of millions -- as a transitory and less than admirable emotional state. We are dealing with a problem that threatens to tear our social fabric apart, and it must be discussed that way.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, March 25, 2013 147 People
The circle of right-wing Republicans and corporatist Clintonite Democrats is still intact. That means Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders will keep on promoting the right-wing agenda known as Simpson Bowles until their party loses all its political power at the polls.
SHARE Friday, July 6, 2012 Is Obama's Corporate-Friendly Approach Really "How Liberals Win"?
A Romney Presidency and increased Republican control on the Hill would endanger much they hold dear, including representative democracy, our social safety net, and workplace rights. Wherever the truth lies, the road ahead is clear: We can't allow the radical right to take power this year. But we need to fight for results, not politicians, by building a mobilized and truly independent citizens' movement.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 11, 2013 GOP's Not-So-Shocking "Shocking Attack" On Obama's Chained-CPI Cuts
It's hard to understand why so few pundits seemed to understand that President Obama was walking into a trap. Republicans want the chained CPI. But they've never been reluctant to use policies they support as a club to bludgeon any opponent foolish enough to agree with them. And only the President has included in a budget.
SHARE Saturday, August 25, 2012 Banker Bill Harrison's Bogus Brief for (Broken) Big Banks
The nation should be haunted by this image of zombie-like bankers waltzing, St. Vitus-like, to the eternal music of greed. Their banks died, revived only by the electrical jolts of government buyouts. And they'll die a thousand deaths, leaving the rest of us to disinter them and revive them once more so they can prey on us again.
SHARE Monday, February 27, 2017 CPAC and the DNC: A Party Is Not a Movement
The Democratic party won't change until it's confronted with a strong movement determined to change it. That's why it's encouraging to see progressives move to take control of the party at the state and local level. That, along with a concerted program of independent activism, could revolutionize politics.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 2, 2020 How a Rahm Emanuel Appointment Would Hurt Biden and the Democrats
Rahm Emanuel is on the wrong side of many critical issues that Democratic voters (and, in many cases, the electorate as a whole) care deeply about. It would be a deeply divisive and unpopular choice, with serious implications for the administration's political and policy future.
SHARE Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Lords of Disorder: Billions for Wall Street, Sacrifice for Everyone Else
All of those banks' CEOs, men (they're all men) who preen and strut before the cameras and lecture Washington on its profligacy, would not only have lost their jobs and fortunes in 2008 because of their incompetence -- they would probably lose their jobs again today. We have a clear choice: Demand solutions that are more just and democratic -- or submit willingly to the Lords of Disorder.
SHARE Sunday, September 9, 2012 Cap'n Mitt and the Pirates of Cracker Bay
The trail grew warmer when we learned about the yacht party thrown by a Florida developer for "bundlers" who had raised $1 million or more for Mitt Romney's campaign. ABC reports that more than 50 people were entertained aboard the Cracker Bay, a yacht flying the ensign of the Cayman Islands, where the American-owned vessel was registered. The boat shares its nationality with a big chunk of Mitt Romney's money.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 16, 2016 Beyond Resistance: The Story of 2016
There's no soft-pedaling it: Any year that gives us Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Steve Bannon -- and takes David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen -- is a terrible year. But millions of people were excited by the Sanders campaign. As the Trump era begins, millions more are starting to see that real resistance must be affirmative and real change must come from below.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Holder Says Leak Required "Very Aggressive Action"... Bank Crimes, Not So Much
Bank crime doesn't seem to appear on the Obama Administration's radar, and it doesn't seem to interest the Holder Justice Department. Law enforcement spends a lot more time evicting homeowners -- including the victims of illegal foreclosure -- than it does arresting lawbreaking bankers. They're wiretapping reporters and jailing leakers, while letting executive-suite criminals go free.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 22, 2014 How Wall Street Won the War (And What Happens Next)
The Republican Party is still a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street, the kind of place where a GOP Banking Committee chair feels free to say that "Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks." Too many Democrats are also eager to play along, too. That's how "bipartisan" deregulation gets passed -- and how bankers escape indictment.
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 5, 2016 Muhammad Ali Speaks to the Activist Soul
Muhammad Ali never claimed to be political. His activism wasn't a career choice. When he spoke out on civil rights, when he refused the draft, he was being true to his deepest ethical core. "I don't have to be what you want me to be," he said. "I'm free to be what I want."
SHARE Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Social Security and Medicare: Behind the Numbers and the Spin
Social Security's Trust Fund has grown to $2.7 trillion dollars, and that Social Security will be able to pay all its benefits in full for a quarter of a century. After that, if no changes are made, it will be able to pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits without changes.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, June 7, 2013 Trash Talking Economists
There's a war on. Corporate interests are killing the middle class and depriving poorer people of hope, opportunity, and basic human needs, and they're using economics as a weapon They say truth is the first casualty in any war, and maybe so. But can't we give it a decent funeral, or is that too "uncivil" to mention?
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 10, 2013 As Republicans Fight a Civil War, An Economy Hangs in the Balance
If Republicans remain deadlocked, or if the Tea Partiers prevail, we could be facing a full-scale depression. But that realization could leave us in the odd position of rooting for the corporate interests. It's true that they're a safer and more predictable adversary, because they're rational and won't let the economy collapse. But their greed is profound and their resources all but limitless.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 30, 2014 On Wall Street, Sounds of Silence From the President
The president didn't mention the enormous fines and settlements banks have paid in the past year as the result of the fraudulent behavior. Leaving aside the issue of whether those payments were sufficient, one would think the president might have touted them -- if only as a modest first step. But they weren't mentioned. Even JPMorgan Chase's record payouts for fraud -- $20 billion in a single year -- went unremarked.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 26, 2013 Do Hill Dems Think High Health Premiums Are Okay -- Sometimes?
There are plausible economic arguments for requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance (although they're not as conclusive as their proponents usually claim). But they certainly don't outweigh the dire economic effect healthcare costs have on most Americans.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, August 31, 2012 Are Republicans 'Crazy?' Not If You Follow the Money
Their opponents shouldn't be too quick to call Republicans "crazy." It makes more sense to employ that time-honored investigative principle: Follow the money. Sure, they've said crazy things -- in their speeches and in their official platform. But, crazy? Like a fox.
SHARE Saturday, March 30, 2013 Yes, We Can Have Banks That Work For the People
It boils down to a very simple principle: We control our currency, and for too long we've ceded that control to corruptible private parties. Private-sector bankers should run banks, not the economy. Public banking can help to reinvigorate economic growth while restoring balance to our financial system.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, October 2, 2015 Sanders vs. Clinton: Who Has the Best Plan for College Students?
Middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet -- a situation that already forced many to take on debt. The difference between the Sanders and Clinton plans isn't just financial. It also reflects different views of ourselves as a nation, and different attitudes toward the middle class and the young.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 6, 2012 You Don't Know Jack
We elevate these executives into figures to be admired and emulated, as if bank balances alone conferred wisdom or morality on their possessors. We're the misguided ones, for treating them like sages. Sure, there are exceptions, but the typical high-powered executive isn't likely to be a wise elder -- especially about economic policy, which is a reflection of our national values.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Invisible Social Security Cuts: Now You See Them, Now You Don't
Congress has cut 14 out of the last 16 SSA budget requests. There's only one rational explanation for that: a hostility toward government itself, combined with the determination to place more public resources in corporate hands through "privatization." It's a simple game. Slash funding for well-run government programs, then use the resulting chaos as "evidence" that "government isn't the solution, it's the problem."
SHARE Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Why JPMorgan Chase Doesn't Deserve Your Sympathy
This deal was not hammered out in a back room in some dusty courthouse, as the suspects sweated under the glare of naked light bulbs. It came about because Jamie Dimon called Attorney General Eric Holder four hours before the Justice Department was going to announce new civil charges against his bank -- we wonder how he got wind of that, exactly?
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 18, 2014 What Democrats Can Learn from Cantor's Loss
Brat's candidacy doesn't belong in the standard tea-party basket. Cantor more closely fit this mold, with his fiery tea party-like rhetoric belying the fact that he was very much part of the Beltway elite, a Republican apparatchik, and a friend of the corporate class. We need a real debate about how to break the corporate stranglehold on politics and the economy.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 17, 2013 As Senators Roast JPMorgan Chase, Are The Winds Shifting for Diamond Jamie?
Well-connected hucksters like Dimon have a way of slipping away at the last second. The ending to this story is still unwritten, and Dimon's still likely to come out on top -- or, at the very least, to avoid legal scrutiny -- as long as the current team stays in charge at the Justice Department and other agencies.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 22, 2013 Cynicism is Corporate America's Greatest Weapon. Disarm It.
our national security system's definition of "terrorism" has become so broad that it apparently now includes lawful and peaceful protests by citizens exercising their constitutional freedoms of speech and assembly. That seems like a sign of totalitarian behavior. But it's also a sign of fear. A mobilized public can change the world at any moment. Those who oppose your cause know that.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 17, 2013 How Extreme Is the Business Roundtable? Check Out Its Attack on the Elderly
Rich CEOs have used every tax loophole in the book to add to their own wealth, have been bailed out directly or indirectly by the American taxpayer, and have rigged corporate governance so that they make far more than they're worth. Now, to make sure the milk and honey keeps flowing their way, they want to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits for the beleaguered American majority.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Five Reasons Glass-Steagall Matters
The nation's six largest banks issue more than two-thirds of all credit cards and more than a third of all mortgages. They control 95 percent of all derivatives and hold more than 40 percent of all U.S. bank deposits. These banks continue to pose a grave risk to the economy. They have continued to engage in sanctions violations and money laundering -- behavior that suggests they are still out of control.
SHARE Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Liberate 41 Million Americans From Student Loan Debt
The statistics paint a clear picture: Student debt has soared, and continues to rise. The total amount owed is now $1.3 trillion. Approximately 41 million Americans now carry student debt, a figure which rose 40 percent between 2004 and 2012. Student debt is a dark betrayal at the heart of the American promise, and it must come to an end.
SHARE Monday, June 2, 2014 The Real Piketty Scandal (Is Right-Wing Deception)
To distort the facts or make false accusations is to poison that marketplace with tainted goods. When conservatives do it as a matter of routine -- on economics, climate change and so many other issues -- it also sends the subliminal message that they don't believe they can win an argument on its merits.
SHARE Sunday, April 21, 2013 Real Faces of the Minimum Wage
Last month Republicans in Congress rejected a proposal that would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10. They've also indicated they would reject the President's more modest proposal for a $9.00 minimum. Most minimum-wage workers are women. The GOP certainly doesn't want people to notice that this is one more policy that disproportionately harms women.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 8, 2013 It's a "Big Deal" When Red-state Senators Defy Obama on Social Security Cuts
The "chained CPI," a Social Security cut and middle-class tax hike rolled into one, is despised across the political spectrum. Washington's "center" is formed by the consensus of lobbyists, politicians, mainstream media employees, and other beneficiaries of corporate largesse. But the real political center -- the one where most voters live -- loathes these one-percent-friendly cuts.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, November 2, 2012 Arbitraging Catastrophe: We're All in Danger -- And It Could Get a Lot Worse
Here's what everybody in this conversation seems to be overlooking: If it's going to cost banks $2 trillion or $14 trillion or $30 trillion to cover their own bets, then they shouldn't be making those bets. Because the next time bankers get their bets wrong -- which they have powerful economic incentives to do -- we're going to have another financial crisis.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Grading Geithner -- And Waiting For Obama
Geithner knew about the Libor scandal in 2007, wrote a sternly worded "cover your ass" memo, and then promptly ignored the entire affair. Worst of all, he bailed out a number of banks that should have immediately been liquidated after the financial crisis. Chief among them was the disastrous wreck known as Citigroup. Where it mattered most, Geithner failed one test of leadership after another.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Contemplating War
The debate we're about to have will affect the lives of many people, and will determine whether fellow human beings live or die. A decision this grave can't be made in haste, or out of anger. It must be considered and discussed carefully and thoroughly. There are moments in history when we're called upon to act as if the future is watching us -- because it is.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, February 26, 2014 The President Says the "Era of Austerity" Is Over -- Is It?
Obama declared inequality "the defining moral challenge of our time." Early reports about the White House budget show no signs of such broad moral sweep or scope. The language is bold. But, the proposals don't match up. It's one thing to proclaim the "end of the era of austerity." It's another to explain precisely what that era was, why it came into being, and what we've learned from its tragic failures.
SHARE Wednesday, September 16, 2015 Waiting for the Fed's Answer: There Shouldn't Even Be a Question
Many observers believe the Fed will not raise rates this week. But many of them feel it will do so in the coming months, perhaps in March. Public statements from Fed officials have certainly left the impression that a rate increase could be imminent.
SHARE Monday, October 22, 2012 Welcome to the RomneyZone: Foreign Policy's Economic Home Front
Here's the dirtiest secret behind the Romney agenda: It rewards totalitarianism and abuse across the political spectrum. China's leaders and World dictators are undoubtedly looking forward to Romney's trade agenda with a shared sense of eager anticipation.
SHARE Friday, May 9, 2014 Bill de Blasio Knows: Affordable Housing is a Civil Right
What happens if this plan isn't carried out? Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn will increasingly become white, wealthy enclaves. ederal officials should be working to replicate it in cities and towns all across the country. Without fair and affordable housing in the heart of our urban centers, we can never become the egalitarian and democratic society that should be our destiny and our legacy.
SHARE Wednesday, July 4, 2012 The "Younger" Games: Phony Age War Strikes Again ... and Again ... and Again
A government system which encourages oldsters to sacrifice themselves for youngsters -- and even uses their Social Security numbers? All presumably accompanied by propaganda campaigns encouraging seniors to give up their benefits and stigmatizing those who don't? If you're not a senior yet, it means you still have the chance to become the star of somebody's dystopian science-fiction novel.
SHARE Friday, November 15, 2013 The Hearing: Reality, Delusion, and the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve was created by the American people. It should serve their interests, not those of the bankers it regulates. Yellen, a mainstream economist, isn't likely to transform it into the central bank our nation needs. Janet Yellen will be a good Chair for today's Federal Reserve. But the Federal Reserve needs to change.
(4 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 23, 2013 A Federal Bailout For Detroit's Pensions?
If Detroit fails it will hurt our nation as a whole. It will send a message to minority and urban youth that their futures are as hopeless as they seem and the country doesn't care. It will add to a national atmosphere of hopelessness and decay. And we will have missed an opportunity to turn the tide for America's cities.
SHARE Friday, June 17, 2016 For Nine Souls in Charleston, One Year Later
Trump delivered a speech this week that should chill all reasonable people to the bone. He's prepared to punish all of our nation's Muslims for the actions of one deluded killer. New Jersey Governor and Trump supporter Chris Christie upped the ante, threatening to bomb a foreign country for the crime of one sick individual born in Queens, N.Y.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Debunking the Spin: Voters Want Change, Not "Centrism"
The Republican Party is, not to put too fine a point on it, going insane. That's an opportunity for Democrats. Will their party run with an uninspiring and unpopular "centrist" agenda, and pray that their opponents will always be as incompetent as Cuccinelli? Or will they build an agenda for the future, based on the world -- and the electorate?
SHARE Monday, September 8, 2014 Democrats in D.C. Must Fight For More Jobs -- Or Risk Losing Their Own
Voters go to the polls in less than 60 days. Democrats have very little time in which to tell that voters exactly what they would do to create more and better jobs, how that would benefit both the unemployed and the underpaid middle class, and who is preventing them from creating those jobs.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 3, 2012 In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Republicans Have Nowhere to Run
The GOP is boxed in -- as long as Democrats hang tough. If Republicans really "run" from those talks, that will trigger the "fiscal cliff" provisions they've been describing in such apocalyptic terms. They can't win: Either the "cliff" apocalypse won't come, which will make them liars, or it will -- which will make them destroyers of the economy.
SHARE Friday, September 7, 2012 Silence is Golden: What Democrats Aren't Saying in Charlotte
Wednesday night Bill Clinton rallied the crowd for Barack Obama. But he didn't criticize the Wall Street interests that financed his political career and made him wealthy once he left office. It was Clinton who rebuked Obama for using anti-hedge fund rhetoric to attack Mitt Romney. If you're campaigning as a liberal and don't want to limit your career opportunities, sometimes the best course is silence.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 9, 2013 The Larry Summers Confirmation Hearing Would Be a Political Nightmare
There's a knotty procedural problem. Summers' appointment has to pass the 22-member Senate Banking Committee before moving on to the full Senate. Democrats have a two-member majority on that committee, but three Democratic Senators have already said they will not vote for Summers. The three -- Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, and Sherrod Brown -- are highly respected by the Democratic base.
SHARE Friday, March 30, 2012 The Bowles-Simpson Medicine Show Is Back in Town
This is a radical plan that sharply cuts financial security for the elderly, guts other vital government programs, and -- perhaps most radically of all -- lowers taxes on the wealthy while raising them for everyone else. It's even more radical than the Bowles-Simpson proposal.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, December 10, 2012 Four Republican Medicare Secrets ... and a $600 Billion Funeral
Republicans are demanding $600 billion in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years. Their only concrete proposal is to deny Medicare coverage to Americans during what is now their first two years of eligibility, at ages 65 and 66. But their official offer isn't even that specific. It just throws out that figure: $600 billion. But you can't get there from here.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Time to Declare Victory Over the Deficit -- And Start Fixing Our Real Problems
Let's stop pretending this is a debate about "fiscal responsibility" or "facing reality": It's about keeping taxes as low as possible for the wealthy and corporations while shifting as much pain as possible onto lower-and middle-income Americans. Stop talking about the deficit and start fixing the problem by investing in our future.
SHARE Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Happy Birthday, Social Security! Now About Your Gift ...
Despite all the scare talk, no program in US history is on a firmer financial footing than Social Security. It's a stand-alone program which isn't allowed to contribute to the overall government deficit, and is absolutely solvent until the mid-2030's.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 25, 2015 In Troubled Times, the Federal Reserve Must Work for Everyone
We are still paying the price for allowing big-money interests to dominate both lawmaking on Capitol Hill and monetary policy at the Federal Reserve. That must change. Congress and the Fed, acting together, should ensure that our nation's policies benefit the many who are in need of help, not the few who already have more than they need.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Unions 2.0? Trumka on Austerity, Elizabeth Warren, and Progressives
The labor movement must transform itself to meet the changing circumstances the 21st century. Its future will depend on the imagination and accessibility of its current leaders, as well as its ability to develop the leaders of the future. At a time when we face catastrophic and potentially irreversible changes in everything from wealth inequality to climate change, there will be many more questions to come.
SHARE Tuesday, May 20, 2014 Did Washington Rescue the Wrong Economy?
Timothy Geithner's recent public statements got the bailout exactly backwards. Geithner has argued that rescuing homeowners who were left underwater after the 2008 financial crisis wasn't worth the effort, and that rescuing the banking system was our most urgent priority.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 2, 2013 "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" In the Minimum Wage Fight
The minimum wage struggle is occurring at the intersection of powerful forces. It's taking place at a time of growing economic inequality, the erosion of working people's rights, and the globalization of an economic oligarchy whose scope of power is unprecedented in modern times.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 18, 2013 Simpson-Bowles Austerity Gang: Go Home
"Go big or go home," bellow Bowles and Simpson, and for once they're right. Go home, all of you, and take the sequester with you. Then the grown-ups can start working on real ways to fix the economy, with jobs and growth and other things that really work.
SHARE Thursday, October 3, 2013 The GOP's Shutdown Tab: One Billion Dollars and Counting
Fox News' editors and television personalities have taking to describing the shutdown as a "slimdown." Their amusement won't be shared by the mothers of hungry children in Arkansas, where 85,000 meals for lower-income kids will not be served as a result of the GOP's actions.
SHARE Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Bankers: The Real House Thieves of New Jersey
The "Real House Thieves of New Jersey," and of the nation -- America's big banks -- continue to enjoy the fruits of government assistance. That aid's moved from direct bailouts to indirect subsidies like the implicit market advantage that comes with being "too big to fail"; immunity from prosecution; low tax rates as corporations and as individuals; and a string of cushy settlement deals.
SHARE Monday, January 14, 2013 JetBlue and Its Friends Are Trying to Ruin Your Old Age
JetBlue has joined some of the nation's most hypocritical recipients of corporate welfare, like Goldman Sachs and Pentagon contractor Honeywell, in an effort to maximize their own already-swollen bank accounts by destroying your financial future.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 4, 2014 As Congress Adjourns, GOP Declares "Omission Accomplished"
The shameful record of Congress is not an example of "government failure." It is a demonstration of what happens when people who are opposed to government, for reasons of both ideology and self-interest, are given positions of power within it and do not face a sufficiently eloquent and well-organized opposition.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, November 2, 2015 How Unions Fight Inequality and Strengthen Democracy
Tax policy clearly needs to be changed so that millionaires, billionaires, and corporations once again pay their fair share of taxes. Actual tax rates for all three groups have fallen dramatically in the last 50 years. And campaign financing needs to be reformed so that the wealthy can no longer "buy" candidates or single-handedly sponsor presidential campaigns. We need a stronger union movement, too.
SHARE Thursday, August 1, 2013 The New Economic Math = Jobs
Republicans are still ignoring reality. They're trying to extend and even double down on the sequester's destructive spending cuts, despite the economic evidence -- and despite our crumbling infrastructure. It's time to invest in jobs, as well as roads, highways, bridges, and schools.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 10, 2016 The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death
Over three decades, the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest among us has more than doubled for both men and women. Every year that is taken from these Americans is a loss, not just for them, but for the people who care about them. It is one more year of grief and emptiness -- for husbands and wives, children and grandchildren, neighborhoods and communities.
SHARE Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Barack Obama, Wall Street Warrior?
The preamble to the Dodd Frank bill specifically mentions the profound economic threat of "too big to fail" banks. Much more needs to be done to address this critical problem, including a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and a wind-down of banks which pose systemic threats. Let's hope the President is doing more than simply stating his awareness of these problems for posterity.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, August 5, 2013 Fighting the GOP's Hateful Agenda -- Without Hate
Republicans turned the filibuster and other procedural rules from rarely-invoked options into routinely deployed paralyzing maneuvers. Republicans under Mitch McConnell have transformed the Senate from a collegial body into an armed camp, and effectively changed it from a body which employs majority rule into one in which a minority can block any piece of legislation.
SHARE Friday, April 4, 2014 McCutcheon, the Majority, and the Challenge of Our Time
One compelling way to look at the Supreme Court's McCutcheon ruling is by contrasting its immediate and long-term effects with the American people's aspirations for their government. They are at cross purposes. Even before this ruling, 64 percent of those polled believed that our country's economic rules unfairly favor the rich. This ruling will rig the game even further.
SHARE Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Why the Government's Lawsuit Against Standard & Poor's Matters
There's an extremely strong case for fraud in the government's new lawsuit against Standard & Poor's. The suit says S&P lied to the SEC in order to be certified as a credit rating agency, and that it lied to investors about the objectivity and thoroughness of its reviews. This lawsuit is at least a hopeful sign, and a step in the right direction.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Making The "New Populism" A Reality: Lessons From The Conference
Profound social change -- whether in the agrarian economy of the 1900s, the growth of labor rights, civil rights, women's rights, or in other transformative historical moments -- has always begun with a popular movement. "Politicians see the light when they feel the heat," as Rep. Ellison said.
SHARE Tuesday, August 6, 2013 Which Jeff Bezos Is Buying the Washington Post?
Jeff Bezos isn't likely to become the Post's Perry White. He'll probably stick to being the publisher. He could become an important one. The best kind of publisher any editor could want is the kind who backs his team when the pressure's on -- from the government, from powerful business interests, from anyone who doesn't want the truth to be told.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 24, 2013 When Senators Vote Against Voting (And Reporters Don't Report It)
Begich didn't vote against this measure to expand background checks for gun purchases. He voted against allowing other senators to vote on it. So it failed, even though a majority of senators supported it and it was overwhelmingly backed by voters.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 26, 2013 Thanks For Asking, Fix the Debt!
One of the most insidious effects of Fix the Debt and its many sister groups has been to shift the national conversation from our real crises -- massive unemployment, poverty (especially child poverty), and the wage stagnation which is killing our middle class.
SHARE Wednesday, October 30, 2013 A Four-Point "Scorecard" for the Budget Talks
The House-Senate budget negotiations, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, are an opportunity for our leaders to finally have a meaningful discussion about healing our damaged economy. That's the discussion Washington should have been having all along, but which it hasn't had yet.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 18, 2013 Winning The Peace: The Post-Shutdown Challenge
Congratulations are in order. The President vowed not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, and he was as good as his word. He stood up to the closet ideologues of the artificial "center," the ones who unwisely argued that being the "adult in the room" meant surrendering to the tantrums of children.
SHARE Thursday, July 10, 2014 The President Sounds a Wall Street Warning. And Then " ?
It was good to hear President Obama say that reining in Wall Street's high-risk behavior is an "unfinished piece of business." Let's hope the president is doing more than simply stating his awareness of these problems for posterity. If he genuinely wants to shine a light on some much-needed solutions, he should employ the old movie-business maxim: Show, don't tell.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 1, 2013 My Dark Night of the Sequester
The only sensible thing to do is to cancel the entire sequester. And stop trying to use it to gin up hysteria so they can put through other unpopular cuts. Just can it. If it will help, they can cancel everything except the delayed flights. I'd gladly volunteer to keep enduring flights like last week's if we could scrap the rest of this foolish austerity program right now.
SHARE Monday, April 29, 2013 Second Thoughts on Health Exchanges and Hill Staffers
A financially-secure middle class pays its bills, educates its children, and buys the goods and services that bring prosperity to other working people like themselves. Adequate health insurance, both during their working years and after retirement, is a critical element of their financial security. The battle for better benefits isn't over, it's just beginning.
SHARE Monday, April 15, 2013 The Upside of Taxes
Sometimes our tax dollars are wasted. Two unnecessary wars and the accompanying loss of life are our most tragic examples of that. Every wasted tax dollar that enriches a corporate executive is a "democracy tax." We pay it whenever money's political influence overrules the people's will. Tea Partiers should join in the fight against this "taxation without representation."