Workers and Environmentalists Unite!

Shamus Cooke: It should be painfully clear to even the most reality-blind politicians that the private sector has no interest in creating jobs; they are quite content sitting on their mountains of cash until wages fall low enough — due to massive unemployment — for them to hire more labor.

The Great Health Care Takeaway

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Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.

Walter M. Plumbs the Depths of Homophobia

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Adam Eran: Intolerance is costly in other ways, too. The U.S. doesn’t get the cheaper, more effective single-pay­er health care now because racist Dixiecrats in Congress were concerned that federally-­sponsored health care would mix the races in Southern hospitals.

The Dichotomy of Mitt Romney

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Tracy Emblem: Mitt Romney offers no solutions on how individuals and states will be able to reduce health care costs. Without buying power or other cost containment provisions, the economics of “market” is always what the market will bear. There is no incentive to lower costs because people need medical care – it’s a commodity that must be purchased.

The Republican Death Wish

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Robert Reich: Instead of talking about Medicare as a problem to be fixed, Democrats should start talking about it as a potential solution to the challenge of rising health-care costs — as well as to our long-term budget problem.

National Fiscal Hypocrisy Week

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Robert Reich: The best outcome would be an agreement to extend the tax cuts for the bottom 99 percent, for two years. This would stimulate the economy in the short term when it most needs it, and reduce the long-term deficit.

Why We Should Beware Budget-Deficit Mania

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson

Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

An Extraordinary Achievement

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Joseph Palermo: President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick.

Continuing Bad Job Numbers Make It Harder — But Even More Important — to Pass Health Care Reform

Chart Mender

Robert Reich: In politics as in economics and love, timing is everything. Obama can’t wait much longer if he wants to convince waivering and worried conservative Dems to join him in a last ditch 51-vote reconciliation measure to get health care through the Senate. We’re already in the gravititational pull of November’s mid-term elections. But the economy is taking a longer time to turn around than anyone expected, and telling Americans the jobs numbers are getting worse more slowly isn’t exactly reassuring.

On Curling, U.S.-Canada Relations, and Tiger Woods

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Randy Shaw: The worldwide recession deepens, the impacts of climate change worsen, and health care costs continue to skyrocket — yet people are primarily discussing other matters. Chief among them is why curling is an Olympic sport, since it is the on-ice equivalent of bocce or shuffleboard, two games that do not require much athletic talent.

US Political Process Haunted by Paralysis

Obama state of the union

Ron Wolff: “So we’re paralyzed in the face of mass unemployment and out-of-control health care costs…Blame our political culture, a culture that rewards hypocrisy and irresponsibility rather than serious efforts to solve America’s problems…I’m sorry to say this, but the state of the union — not the speech, but the thing itself — isn’t looking very good.”

An Open Letter to Harry Reid on Controlling Health Care Costs

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Wrap these reforms together — a public option open to everyone (allow states to opt out of this if they dare), Medicare-negotiated drug benefits, no 12-year monopoly for new drugs, and a major squeeze on Medicare reimbursements for doctors — and have CBO score the savings. I guarantee you, the number will be large. Then you should dare anyone, Democrat or Republican, to vote against saving Americans so much money in years ahead.