Health Care Reform: California’s Next Steps

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Diane Lefer: With the general practitioner or family practice doctor now a vanishing breed, yes we could and should put in place incentives to encourage more medical students to go into the field. But we also need to address the problem without delay.

How Progressives Can (and Must) Lobby for Social Change

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Diane Lefer: Citizen lobbying is most effective when the decision maker can see you face-to-face (in their district or Capitol office or at a town hall meeting) or at least hear your voice on the phone.

JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Case for Breaking Up Big Banks

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Robert Reich: Let’s also stop hoping Wall Street will mend itself. What just happened at J.P. Morgan reveals how fragile and opaque the banking system continues to be.

America’s Top Lobbyists on Criminal Justice Reform: Legal? Proper?

Martin Luther King Birmingham Jail

Bruce Reilly: For years I watched the full-time lobbyist of the Attorney General, their legislative specialist, testify against practically every attempt to reform the criminal justice system.

LA’s Redistricting War and the Health of Our Democracy

Madeline Janis: I wanted to see working people, middle-class and especially poor people down at the “ropes,” pulling council members and their staff aside and talking about how things should be done. I wanted the “people” to learn how to own the place.

Someone Is Watching You

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Steve Hochstadt: Right now we are being spied upon on a grand scale unimaginable a few years ago. Not by the government, but by the real Big Brother, Big Brother Computing.

An Ayn Rand Train Wreck

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Charles Hayes: Now they say it’s time to admit that the whole damn thing is your fault. If you were John Galt, they would let it slide. But you’re not. Your name is Barack Obama.

The Shameful Murder of Dodd Frank

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Robert Reich: Wall Street has effectively neutered the Dodd-Frank law, which is the best argument I know for applying the nation’s antitrust laws to the biggest banks and limiting their size.

The Rich Don’t Create Jobs; We Do

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Tina Dupuy: “The rich create jobs” is a well-worn catch phrase from right-leaning political yappers who give this 1% all the credit when it comes to the financial health of the country. But the rich are not, in fact, the venerated “job creators.”

If Lobbyists Hate It

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Tina Dupuy: We cannot hold our lawmakers accountable without transparency. And if we can’t hold them accountable – they’re not working for us. Actually we’ll never know who they work for.

Elizabeth Warren for Senator

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Brent Budowsky: If Elizabeth Warren runs, she would bring the serious, honest, baloney-free and respectful debate that is long overdue in American politics.

Done Biting My Tongue: An Open Letter to President Obama

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Miles Blue: I bit my tongue when the national economy was placed in the hands of the very people who were largely responsible for the recent economic debacle, with absolutely no explanation as to why such appointments were warranted.

The Hypocrisy of Being Earnest

Tom Hall: Of course the whole lying about being divorced, and cheating on his wife and child positions him to be the latest Republican spokesmodel for family values.

Wall Street’s Global Race to the Bottom

Robert Reich: So the race to the bottom is now official. Wall Street will set up its casino wherever financial gambling is least regulated.

How Corporations Own Congress

lobbyists

Shamus Cooke: A “lesser of two evils” approach to politics equals evil politicians for labor, no matter who wins. In fact, the lesser-evil Democrats have become increasingly evil over the years, to the point where the party as a whole is more Conservative than the Nixon-era Republicans.

The Possible Prosecution of WikiLeaks

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Ivan Eland: The U.S. Justice Department is apparently considering prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which is a Web site that publishes classified documents from governments, under the rarely used Espionage Act of 1917. Such a prosecution would have adverse effects on the American people’s right to know what their government is doing in a republic that is supposed to be run by them.

Versus China, We’re Not Even in the Right Game

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Denis Campbell: We are so screwed. We simply don’t get it in the USA and EU. After three weeks spent travelling around the globe, I see that the Chinese eat our lunch while we busy ourselves in silly ideological Left vs. Right fights over control of Washington, Westminster, and Brussels.

EPA, Coast Guard, and BP PR Tied to Airborne Corexit Denials

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Georgianne Nienaber: So, dispersants are clearly present in the air, both over sea and land. If Unified Command is suggesting that oil spill responders might want to reconsider using respirators, why have we been told by the EPA, at a press conference, that there are no dispersants in the air?

Yes on Prop 15: One Small Step for Democracy

Jesse Unruh and Willie Brown, former Democratic Speakers of the California Assembly

Michael Sigman: Californians can do something about time-consuming fundraising, nefarious corporate influence, and obscene personal spending in American politics on Tuesday, June 8. A victory for Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act, will mean that the race for the Golden State’s Secretary of State will be a “clean money election” in 2014 and 2018. A small step, but a necessary one.

The Obama Record

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Robert Watson: There is a lot of misinformation circulating on talk radio, at town hall meetings, in the blogosphere, and around office water coolers about President Barack Obama. For instance, Obama is criticized for allegedly doing nothing and for doing too much. While Obama, like all presidents, has made mistakes, his presidency has thus far been marked not just by bitter opposition but by an ambitious array of initiatives and numerous accomplishments. His is turning out to be one of the most active presidencies in history.

Support the Yes on Prop 15 Los Angeles Kickoff

Fair Elections Campaign

Proposition 15 changes the way we finance election campaigns so that politicians will focus on California’s serious problems rather than fundraising. It imposes strict reporting requirements, penalties for violators and bans the raising of money from lobbyists, their clients and anyone else for participating candidates.

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

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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?

Who’s Killing Financial Reform?

Senator Chris Dodd

Robert Reich: Congress isn’t doing a thing about Wall Street because it’s in the pocket of Wall Street. Dodd’s outburst at the Street is like the alcoholic who screams at a bartender “how dare you give me another drink when all I’ve done is pleaded with you for one!”

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

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.

Blue Dog Democrats Exposed as Frauds

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Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.

Time for a Shareholder Protection Act

Corporate Election Contributions

Robert Reich: Under a shareholder protection law, shareholders would not have to spend their share of corporate earnings on candidates who they personally oppose. If a company dedicates, say, $100,000 to a particular campaign in a given year — directly, or indirectly through a front organization — shareholders who don’t want their money used this way would get a special dividend or additional shares representing their pro rata share of that campaign expenditure.

Friday Feedback: Ignoring Lessons

At the present rate, historians will be speaking of the dozen years of the OBushma administrations. It’s getting very fast to look as if the only thing that MIGHT save the Obama presidency for a second term is the Gop death wish to nominate Ms Death Panel – i.e. Ms Death Palin – herself.

2009: The Year Change Fell Prey to Backroom Deals

Poltics

I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.

Senators, Thanks For Reminding Us Why We Don’t Like You

Lieberman-Plumber

If Washington is the place where “good ideas go to die,” as candidate Obama liked to say, then the Senate is the slaughterhouse. This white millionaires’ club where the biggest egos on Earth tell us how goddamn important they are has just screwed the middle class in this country — a middle class that is reeling after years of being beaten down by these Senators’ masters in private industry.

A Few Words about Philanthropy

Giving

In 2005, more than one in every four adults reported doing some volunteer work. I don’t know exactly what definition was used. Chances are that coaching your kid’s soccer team counted.

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