S&P: So What!

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Mark Pash: Ongoing investigations by the SEC and Justice Department, Congress and federal regulators who are looking at ways to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, which contains provisions aimed at reducing the raters’ role in the financial system.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.

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Robert Reich: S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown.

From Casey Anthony to Wall Street: Crime Pays

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Brent Budowsky: One of the great sources of outrage in our age is that again and again, crime pays. The victims, from young girls who die while vermin eat their corpse to embezzled investors who lose their money, from tortured prisoners to jobless workers to homeless victims of mortgage fraud, pay the price.

The Carnage on Wall Street

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Robert Reich: Our representatives in the nation’s capital continue to obsess about future budget deficits and games of chicken over raising the debt ceiling — neither of which has anything at all to do with the stalled recovery and the carnage on the Street.

How to Get Washington’s Attention

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Robert Reich: The leaders of the Street and big business may now have to wake up to a reality they’ve tried to avoid — that the central economic problem of our time isn’t the long-term budget deficit but the immediate deficit in aggregate demand.

The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

Robert Reich: Tea Partiers have almost as much contempt for big business and the Street as they do for government. After all, the Tea Party was born in anger over the Wall Street bailout. This is the heart of the civil war in the GOP.

What Will It Take to Bring Obama Home?

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David A. Love: Part of the problem is Obama’s quixotic journey to the political center. There is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and road kill, and you’d better believe it. Although his campaign rhetoric was progressive, this president chooses to govern from the middle.

Disaster Capitalism in the Budget Debate

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Adam Eran: Historic tax reductions on the wealthy, and the Wall-Street-Fraud recession, have reduced public revenues, and this reduction now makes otherwise too-popular-to-cut programs vulnerable. But are such cuts really necessary?

Double Dip Here We Come

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Republicans, for their part, worry that if they tell it like it is Americans will want government to do more rather than less. They’d rather not talk about jobs and wages, and put the focus instead on deficit reduction (or spread the lie that by reducing the deficit we’ll get more jobs and higher wages).

Economic Powerhouse Germany

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Steven Hill: Germany has evolved a social capitalism which has proven to be more stable and efficient than America’s Wall Street capitalism, not to mention more ecologically sustainable.

Sacramento County’s General Plan, Part Deux

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Mark Dempsey: Besides the history of local development, recent lapses by our politicians, who regularly bow to speculation and greed, don’t exactly inspire confidence. Wall Street speculators absconded with 40% of the world’s wealth, and only Bernie Madoff is in jail.

Scott Walker Lies

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Walter Brasch: Newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-dominated Wisconsin legislature have proven themselves to be “quick studies,” having learned how to tell whoppers about the working class and unions.

The Republican Shakedown

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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.

The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies

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Robert Reich: With corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.

What Is To Be Done About the State of Our Union?

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Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.

The U.S. Economy in 2011

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Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.