alternet.org — So, Mitt Romney now tells Sean Hannity he was “completely wrong” about the 47%. On the surface that looks like a typical etch-a-sketch campaign pivot. But I think there is more to it than a little clean up in aisle three. My theory is that after careful research and analysis, the smartest guys at 1% World Headquarters reached a disturbing conclusion. They decided that the whole fiasco needs to be contained as much as possible because it has the potential for serious damage well beyond the November election. How? Let’s see. First, the setting. This is how they think and talk among themselves. It’s not just at fundraisers, but in their churches, country clubs and board rooms as well. Their servants hear them all the time. But they can’t tell for fear of being easily dismissed. Thanks to YouTube we now get to see and hear for ourselves.
WASHINGTON — Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat, threw cold water Tuesday on what had been an emerging consensus for a bipartisan deficit- reduction plan — an overhaul of the tax code that lowers top income tax rates but raises more revenue. Mr. Schumer’s position greatly complicates efforts to win bipartisan support for a deal before January, when the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and automatic spending cuts goes into effect.
That bastard, coming along and ruining everything.
But the meat of the article is interesting, because it shows that Shumer is doing no such thing:
huffingtonpost.com — Debates are as much about style points as substance. But substance with style points will win every time. And this is where Obama can always beat Romney. It starts with his record that Romney has run against. It's an astoundingly productive, and perfectly defensible record that keeps the focus on these crucial make-or-break election issues, the economy and health care, and then, his handling of foreign policy. Obama can say and keep saying that the economy despite the towering problems has shown clear signs of rebound, with unemployment down, with most economic indicators indicating positive growth, and the administration has proposed measures to reduce the deficit without putting at mortal risk Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
economix.blogs.nytimes.com — Economic policy is always torn between helping the broader social interest – lots of ordinary people – and favoring particular special interests. Unfortunately, special interests typically win out in the kind of situation we have in America in 2012, when it’s all about spending money to win friends and influence people. The most effective way to push back against powerful special interests is to have the same rules for everyone – and to enforce those rules fairly, even when they are broken by the richest and most politically connected people in the land. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York took a major step toward restoring the rule of law this week, by bringing a case against JPMorgan Chase. But it will be an uphill battle; the forces against him are incredibly strong, including some within the Obama administration.
alternet.org — Drastic changes are being made to American college and university life -- changes that are fundamentally altering the ecology of higher education in this country and undercutting the very mission of the college experience as we know it. A growing culture of reform has turned the campus quad away from preparing students for citizenship -- that combination of “intelligence plus character” the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. once famously described. In its place, we now have campus environments that hold certain aspects of student life hostage to corporate interests, molding students into consumers at the same time the voices and opinions of the student body are increasingly silenced. As a result, higher education, often noted as the best insurance policy toward social mobility, is now no such thing (at least good insurance policies pay their claims). Here’s a look at some disturbing changes taking place on campuses across the country.
thedailybeast.com — During the financial crisis and bailouts of 2008, it probably occurred to very few average people that we were entering a period of hardship for billionaires. But among the nation’s economic titans, the idea of billionaire victimhood caught on immediately. And so, in the months and years that followed, the believers in true capitalism gathered in the nation’s parks to make their voices heard—and to complain sorrowfully about how this nation of moochers and looters persists in making snippy remarks about the successful. I admit that I was impressed at first by the unconflicted way in which these proud voices of the strong advanced their war on the world by means of tearful weepy-woo. But then I started to get it: self-pity is central in the consciousness of the resurgent right. Depicting themselves as victimized in any and every situation is not merely a fun game of upside-down; it is essential to their self-understanding.
The conventional wisdom says that when a President runs for re-election the race becomes a referendum on the economy. Unemployment's still at record highs, poverty has soared, and middle-class Americans are struggling to stay afloat. And yet the President has a commanding lead in the polls. more »
The complicated story of how the 1%ers and their corporations evade democracy's taxes is the story of our crumbling schools and infrastructure and the flow of all the gains of our economy to a very few at the top. This tax evasion is also part of the story of our deficits and debt. The tax evasion is "legal" -- because the tax evaders pay the people who write the tax laws. more »