Progressivism and a Tea Party Approach to State Government

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Walter G. Moss: Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott, is demonstrating why most of us who consider ourselves progressives dislike the politics of Tea-Party-backed candidates. For many of us, compassion and empathy are central political values, and Scott’s first budget proposal, unveiled on February 7th, reflects little of either value.

Crying Wolf – The Republican Playbook

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Peter Dreier: Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, expect to hear a lot more complaints from business, corporate-sponsored think thanks, and their political allies in Congress about “job-killing” government regulations.

Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire

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Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.

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.

The Myth of the Overtaxed Europeans

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Steven Hill: In return for their taxes, Europeans get valuable support systems like childcare, senior care, university tuition and healthcare. Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, for these support services often going without because the cost is prohibitive.

D-Day in the Class War

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Joseph Palermo: After a decade of stagnant or declining real wages, “bipartisan” schemes are proliferating to shift the burden of Washington policymakers’ own catastrophic mismanagement of the nation’s fiscal policies right onto the shoulders of working people.

The Fight to Save Social Security Begins Now

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Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.

Getting Real About Obama

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Jim Fuller: Obama has done that time and again. He gives away everything important on all major issues before a fight begins. With perfect precision, the Republicans kick him in the groin each time by way of thanks.

In Praise of “ObamaCare”

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Diana Peterson-More: I thank President Obama enormously for having persevered against much rancor and dis-information to pass health reform. My family, along with all American families, will benefit a great deal.

The GOP’s Two Tents (Too Tense)

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Jerry Drucker: The Tea Party People have GOP reign drops falling on their heads and most seem totally unaware how they’re being used.

Go Figure: Elections in the World’s Greatest Democracy

John Peeler: Republicans stand to win an election even though more voters oppose their ideas than support them. What’s going on?

Health Care Reform – Six Months Later

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Peter Dreier: Lots of reporters and pundits-all of whom have good, employer-provided health insurance plans-now say that Obama invested too much capital getting the Affordable Care Act through Congress when he should have been concentrating on the economy.

Recession Is Over! (If You Want It)

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Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.

Mad As Hell Doctors Coming to Town

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The Mad As Hell Doctors (MAHD), a group of activist physicians, nurses and other health care providers who are fighting for a Single Payer National Health Insurance Program for all Americans, will tour California with 26 educational, entertaining events beginning September 23 in Arcata and ending in Sacramento on October 12.

9/11 Responders Bill Not Controversial: Illegal Immigrants Were Heroes, Too

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Lucia Brawley: 9/11 was the single largest attack on U.S. soil, killing 3,000 Americans of every color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and level of physical ability. Those who responded to this tragedy with total disregard for their own personal safety are unequivocally American heroes. And yes, some illegal immigrants rank among those heroes. I saw them with my own eyes.

Economic “Recovery?” Not for You and Me

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Jim Fuller: The essential hidden fact of economics in 21st century America: What we have is exactly what the tiny economic elite, the one or two percent of richest Americans, wants us to have.

Should Citizens Be Human Beings?

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Citizens United Case Disenfranchises Human Beings I was talking to a friend one day about how to teach children to be fair with one another.  He told me that when he was a kid, his mother had a great way of squashing fairness disputes between him and his sister. When an argument arose around someone [...]

Hollywood’s Fix for America’s Three and a Half Trillion-Dollar Lobbying Addiction

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Nomiki Konst: The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion.

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.

Haiti: Time for an NGO Police?

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Georgianne Nienaber: Keenan is especially critical of NGOs that “overstate what they have done since the quake. They want their names stamped all over this (disaster).” What she says is true. The logos of international “charitable” organizations are more numerous than the number of tents in the IDP camps. Make no mistake about it charity is “corporate business” in Haiti.

How Democrats Can Reclaim the Youth Vote

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Paul Loeb: Dashed hopes also matter. Politics may be the art of compromise, but from health care to Guantanamo to Afghanistan and the bank bailouts, the compromises of the Obama administration have added up to belie the image of a candidacy of change.

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

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David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.

Medicare-for-All: The Answer to a President’s Call and a Nation’s Woes

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Dr. Margaret Flowers: I was overjoyed to hear you say in your State of the Union address on Wednesday night: “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” My colleagues, fellow health advocates and I have been trying to meet with you for over a year now because we have an approach which will meet all of your goals and more.

The Power to Change the Debate

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Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

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Berry Craig: I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I support a public option. But you can bet your snow boots if I were a Bay State voter, I’d have trudged through a blizzard to cast my ballot for Martha Coakley, Brown’s Democratic opponent.

Hypocritical Outrage: Why the Process of Engineering This Health Reform Bill Is No Uglier Than the Rest of Congress’ Handiwork

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Tanya Acker: Twice last week I was on panels with Republicans who expressed surprise about the “unseemly” tactics employed by Democrats in passing health care reform. The horsetrading was so “venal!” The process so “hyperpartisan!” Noble Americans, we should all be so very shocked! Well, not really.

Top 5 Reasons Joe Lieberman Sticks It to Us

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Senator Joe Lieberman continues to threaten filibuster of the Senate health reform bill even in the face of the recent Harvard study showing that 45 thousand Americans die each year because of lack of sufficient health care.

California’s Initiative Process Could Lead the Way on Real Health Insurance Reform

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Given a chance to do something simple, clear, and fair to limit insurance company death panels and to punish bad faith insurance decisions, many people might stand up for beginning health insurance reform the way they stood up for car insurance reform.

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What Obama Must Demand from Congress on Health Care

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In order to get anything meaningful through this session of Congress, then, the President will have to give Congressional Democrats far more leadership and more cover. Doing so is harder now than before the recess, when he was still basking in the afterglow of a honeymoon and 60% favorabilities.

The Guns of August, and Why the Republican Right Was So Adept at Using Them on Health Care

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What we learned in August is something we’ve long known but keep forgetting: The most important difference between America’s Democratic Left and Republican Right is that the left has ideas and the right has discipline.

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