Our Incredible Shrinking Democracy

Democracy

Robert Reich: It seems as if more and more decisions that should be made democratically are being shunted off somewhere to a few people who make them in back rooms. Which programs should be cut, which entitlements pared back, and what taxes raised in order to reduce the long-term budget deficit? Hmmm. Let’s convene a commission and have them decide.

Mister Obama, Do You Believe Us Now?

More-Bailouts

Tim Gatto: There’s one way to stop this coup on democracy, and that is for Congress to introduce a law specifying campaign limits and while they are at it, take corporate “personhood” and throw it in the trash bin where it belongs.

Government, Cafeteria Style

Cafeteria

Ron Wolff: Not only would cafeteria-style government be a logistical nightmare if it were attempted, but nearly every important function of an organized society would be under-funded, because a significant portion of the population would opt out.

The Housing Crisis and Wall Street Shame

Housing Crisis

The $75 billion federal program designed to bribe banks to modify mortgages has been a bust. No one knows the exact number of mortgages that have been modified (that will be reported next month) but housing experts I’ve talked with say it’s a tiny fraction of the number of homeowners in trouble. Seems that the big banks can’t be bothered.

Friday Feedback: Divestment Is the Answer

Single Payer is by far the best path, actually the only path. The pitch and claim for the Public Option is “Keeping the insurance companies honest.” Really? If I break the law I get prosecuted, fined, and jailed, that simple – do the crime – pay the time or the fine. That should keep them honest. Congress passes laws, and if they violate those or cheat they are out of the game.

Contractors in Iraq Are Hidden Casualties of War

Mother Dorothy Turpen (left) and caregiver Bev Glasgow sit next to Reggie Lane during a memorial service for his wife, Linda, in July 2009. Linda had been hospitalized after suffering respiratory distress. Under the shade of scrub oak and aspen, Reggie watched as Linda’s family and friends sang 'Amazing Grace' and looked at old photos of the couple. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

“These guys are like the Vietnam vets of this generation,” said Lee Frederiksen, a psychologist who worked for Mission Critical Psychological Services. “The normal support that you would get if you were injured in the line of duty as a police officer or if you were injured in the military . . . just doesn’t exist.”

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services. The insurance companies responsible for their treatment under taxpayer-funded […]

My Lunch With Drew: K Street Makes Hay Either Way

lobbyists

Now that Obama has been in the White House awhile, I asked my friend Drew, a lifelong GOP contributor, to lunch at a seafood restaurant near his K Street office to see how he was managing to get along. “So is your public relations business suffering since the Democrats are in power?” I began, to […]

Color of Law: New York, City of the Poor

poverty1

As the song goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, New York, New York.” The problem is that if you are counting on making it in New York City, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. A recent report by The Center for an Urban Future […]

Returning to the Rule of Law: Bogus Republican Complaints about AIG Bailout

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Last week, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) weighed in to express his outrage at the lack of government control which led to the AIG bailout scandal. This isn’t the first time that Sessions has expressed outrage over wasteful spending and lack of government control. Back when the Iraq war was young, news broke that Paul Bremer […]

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