The Republican Shakedown

wall-street-wide

Robert Reich: As long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all about government and unions.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ Income Tax Oversight?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Miles Blue: Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, over a four year period, failed to report his wife’s rather substantial income. A one-time failure may be human error; a four-time failure is a willful, criminal, act. Thomas deserves impeachment. His behavior is not acceptable for a Supreme Court Justice.

Don’t Let the Russ Feingolds Go Down for the Sins of the Blanche Lincolns

russ feingold

Paul Loeb: To stand back in the next critical weeks and hand victory to the most greed-driven interests in America seems an unconscionable moral lapse. Far better to help make what difference you can in electing the electoral allies you most respect, and then keep on with all the other organizing that needs to be done.

Of Course Poverty Is On the Rise In Charles Dickens’ America

poverty

David Love: That anyone can actually utter the words “the recession is over” at a time of mass unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness and general despair tells you all you need to know about America. The nation actually exists as two nations: the few that have, and the many who don’t.

Does Protecting Our Children Mean Political Action For Them And For Us?

Marian Wright Edelman

Paul Loeb: Particularly in these difficult times, we often use our children as reasons to avoid getting involved in critical issues. We’ve got all we can handle holding on to our jobs and spending a little time with them. We fear political commitments will make their lives more insecure. Especially when they’re young, it may be all we can do just to go to work, come home, pay attention to their needs, and catch a few scarce hours of sleep. Yet when we do find ways to get engaged, our children can give us powerful reasons to act.

From an Economy of Consumption to an Economy of Sustainability

Walter Moss: As we face the simultaneous challenges of creating more jobs and a more sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren, are we not capable of new thinking? Are we not capable of demonstrating that yes, we can evolve toward an economy that evidences more of what Schumacher thought it should — Beauty, Truth, and Goodness?

Charity CEOs Get Rich by Taking From the Poor

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Emily Spence: Years ago, the founder of central Massachusetts’ food bank told me of the obscenely high salaries that the directors of a major, well-known Massachusetts charity providing funds for hungry Americans received every year, an amount that was purposefully not readily made public. The reason is that all of the volunteers for this charity, that raises millions of dollars each year, would be greatly dismayed that around a fourth of them were, actually, working to enrich upper management.

Crony’s Triangulating Fog: Grifters, Greed and the Gullible Americans

Crony

Brad Parker: Americans, behavior-modified to trust advertising, swimming in the dead pool of propaganda environmentally disguised as benign advertising and Infotainment, continue to cop to the Triangulating Fog Machine’s all sizzle no steak obfuscation. The only question left to ask, now that the confidence game is more widely known, is – will they keep buying it like a beaten dog or wake up and demand their money and government back?

Us Greedy Geezers and the “Commission” Plot

Lucky, Ronald Reagan, Lady Thatcher

There are not two groups involved, the young and the old. It’s a continuum starting from entrance into the workforce until retirement. While he says he speaks in the interest of the young, if there is a severe curtailment of Medicare and Social Security those hurt most will be the youngsters when they reach the age where they need them both.

Friday Feedback: Politicians Caused the Credit Crunch

I will not name any bankers or politicians as my favorites in causing this credit crunch we are now having. I will say the politicians were the only people tasked with acting in our interest so as a group they are the most to blame. They developed and passed the laws that now haunt us and did not provide adequate over sight.

The Surge We Need At Home

Warhorse

America is a mess. Unemployment is over 10 percent, while the effective unemployment rate—which also includes the underemployed—is more like 19.2 percent.

One Year Later: Ten Things President Obama HAS Done Since He’s Been in Office

Obama-Nobel

People need to stop complaining that he hasn’t done enough. Obama was elected President. He wasn’t elected Jesus. Like Al Sharpton said on Meet The Press this weekend, “we now realize that Obama doesn’t walk on water, but he’s still the fastest swimmer in America.”

The Audacity of Greed: How Private Health Insurers Just Blew Their Cover

Health Care System Lock Out

So, insurance companies, we’ve got news for you. We’re going to make sure Americans have the freedom to choose a public insurance option that’s cheaper and better, and you’re going to have to work hard to keep them your customers.

Step Up To Mike’s Challenge

michael_moore

The Democrats may control the House, Senate, and the Presidency, but the corporate sadists, like health insurers and Wall Street financiers, control the Democrats and Republicans. As long as there are back room deals with big money special interests, the American people will suffer.

A Progressive Dream: Obama’s Poker Game on Healthcare

obama_-bw

Once upon a time, in a land far closer than we care to admit, a leader was elected, not selected, by a majority of those who voted, based on a dream of hope. The hope was that he was smarter than the last leader, willing to make us less fearful, safer, and better than we [...]

Washing Dishes for Change

evolution

The companies too big to fail have grown larger. The financial companies still run under the same model and free of much regulation like before.

The New Volt and an Old Nash Rambler

1956_Nash_Rambler

American Motors and Nash have long-since disappeared. But if the auto industry could build that kind of fuel-efficient, gas-powered engine in the 1950s, why did it stop and why is the Volt such a big deal?

Healthcare in America

This video was provided by Bill Moyer’s PBS Television show.  It is available on YouTube.  Here, Bill Moyer’s interviews Wendell Potter a former healthcare insurance executive.  The interview is approximately 37 mins long. The following message was sent to the LA Progressive by a reader who calls himself jacksmith: We have the 37th worst quality [...]

Does the Obama Plan for Reforming Wall Street Measure Up?

evasive-money

In a word: No. The plan doesn’t stop stop bankers from making huge, risky bets with other peoples’ money. It does increase capital requirements and oversight, but it doesn’t require bankers to take their pay in long-term stock options or warrants, and it doesn’t even hint that banks should go back to being partnerships instead [...]

Friday Feedback: Crony, the Corporate Clown

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Wayne,  commenting on Carol V. Hamilton’s “Right Wing Sedition.” Here’s Wayne’s comment: The real sedition is coming from within the Democratic Party, which is now rapidly becoming the party of Crony the Corporate Clown [...]

The Great Debt Scare: Why Has It Returned?

broken economy

It’s the kind of thing I expect to hear from deficit hawks and chicken littles — from the self-described “fiscally responsible” right, from the scolds Ross Perot and Pete Peterson, from my former cabinet colleague Bob Rubin. But yesterday I was shown slides developed by the putatively liberal Center for American Progress intended to make [...]

Friday Feedback: Torture and America’s Moral Compass

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Magic StarER commenting on Charley James’ “Suppresssed Abu Ghraib Photos Published Down Under.” Here’s Magic StarER’s comment: Americans have certainly lost their moral compass and this is why they are not shocked by the [...]

The President’s American Recovery & Reinvestment Act: What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us

shovel-ready

One of the first things President Barack Obama did as our nation’s Chief Executive was to urge Congress to pass, then sign, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as the nation’s “economic stimulus” package. The $787 billion bill, the largest taxpayer footed bill ever passed, was viewed as the primary vehicle to [...]

The Auto Bailout Is Going Off the Road

chrysler

GM just announced it was laying of 21,000 more of its workers, as a means of assuring the Treasury Department the company is worthy of more bailout money. A Treasury official was quoted as saying approvingly that the goal is a “slimmed-down” GM. What? Having General Motors or Chrysler cut tens of thousands of jobs [...]

The Great Credit Card Battle To Come

credit-card-sharks

The next front in the banking wars will be over credit cards. Some of the nation’s biggest bankers — including representatives of Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and other recipients of billions of taxpayer dollars — are meeting today with the President to ask him back off his move to reform credit-card lending practices. What’s happening [...]

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 [...]

Where Government Spending Should be Trimmed — And Why It’s Necessary to Fast-Track Universal Health Care

play-aig

It’s no accident that as Congress returns this week from its two-week recess and begins debate on the $3.5 trillion budget plans for the fiscal year starting in October — which may or may not include a provision that fast-tracks Obama’s health care proposal by allowing it to pass the Senate with a mere majority [...]

Stimulus Mania: Is It The 21st Century Soup Line?

soupline

The efforts to jump start the economy in the United States, in hopes of causing a global ripple, have taken on an entirely new meaning as people and industry alike wait for the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package to drop. It’s like a “mania” as so many cities, states, industries, school districts, homeowners, small [...]

A Short Citizen’s Guide to Kooks, Demagogues, and Right-Wingers On Tax Day

what-are-we-protesting

No one likes to pay taxes, so tax day typically attracts a range of right-wing Republicans, kooks, and demagogues, all of whom tell us how awful we have it. Herewith a short citizen’s guide (that is, a citizen’s guide that’s short rather than a guide for short citizens) responding to the predictable charges: “Americans pay [...]

We Need More Stimulus, Not More Bailout

patching panks

With only $110 billion remaining in the TARP bailout fund, all signs are that Tim Geithner is preparing to return to Congress seeking more bailout money. He’ll bring along the results of his bank “stress tests,” which will probably show many that big banks are still technically insolvent, along with bankruptcy scenarios for General Motors [...]

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