Monday, November 21, 2011

"Failure" of the Super Committee??

This concept has been kicked around for a few days, but TPM boils it down nicely -- if Congress were to do nothing, then deficits would go WAY down.  Now, that's different than what a specific desired policy outcome might be -- for instance, payroll taxes go up in 2012 and Medicare payments to doctors go down -- but defense cuts are triggered and the Bush tax cuts would expire at end of 2012.  Now ask yourself - do you see those things actually occurring?  Or will Congress have to "do" something to "fix" it??

End point being that our current political discourse isn't all that helpful in framing what's really going on for the American people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lobbyist memo details how to attack OWS

Memo from banking lobbyist offering specific tactics to attack OWS. Can you say #motivation?

Who are lawmakers making pledges to?

This is so true. Who is Grover Norquist anyway and why does he have such a hold on one of the two major parties in the United States?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

Police crossing the line

Police yesterday pepper sprayed a SITTING group of protesters at UC Davis.  As Kevin Drum says, don't watch unless you have a fairly strong stomach for casual brutality.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elizabeth Warren - the voice of reason

Every time I listen to Elizabeth Warren I think she's one of the few who crystallizes the social contract essential to a free and democratic society.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Why we need a jobs bill

Explained plainly by Robert Reich.

Obama pulls proposed EPA ozone standard regs

I have to say this is quite depressing. I thought I had hit the bottom of my disappointment with e debt ceiling deal but this is just ridiculous. What is he going to stand for? Jobs? Environment? Real tax reform? Labor? Guantanamo? Financial reform and accountability? Defense/wars? It is like the health care bill took everything out of the white house. Here is another really good article on it. Seriously someone help me with this.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Standard & Poor's and its U.S. debt downgrade

As most of you know the ratings agency Standard & Poor's recently lowered its rating of U.S. Treasury debt from AAA to AA+.  I've read a lot of pieces talking about why S&P should or shouldn't be listened to, but Nate Silver's view is one I found particularly interesting.  The pull quote from it is his judgment on the matter, but if you have the slightest bit of wonkination interest on the debt issue than this makes for fascinating reading.

The fact that billions of dollars in wealth are tied up in the judgments of a company with such a poor record is all the proof you should require that the global financial system is in need of reform.
Via Steve Benen.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt deal madness

Intellectually I know politicians have a complete lack of awareness about the impact of their decisions on real, working people - or people who are unemployed but trying to get a job.  But sometimes the callousness of what comes out of the government just slices through to the bone.
But it appeared Obama's proposal to extend the current payroll tax holiday beyond the end of 2011 would not be included, nor his call for extended unemployment benefits for victims of the recession.
Think about this -- put aside for a second whether using the debt limit as a vehicle for this debate was wise -- this entire ideological debate was over whether taxes would be raised for wealthy folks.  No new revenues/taxes, period.  Oh wait -- whoops -- except the one that directly impacts lower and middle class people - both the ones with jobs and the ones looking for jobs.   I am outraged - this, coupled with the cuts to critical programs, is an epic capitulation to the protection of special interests and a direct stab into the heart of America.

And yet they have to sign it now.  This entire process has been disgusting.  I post this to highlight the fact that when people say the playing field of the debate has been built and drawn by the GOP, and the Democrats are conceding this fact and engaging on these terms, this is what they're talking about.