The Big Con
Blogs and Opinion
BLOGS AND OPINION
Obama Realigns, the GOP Declines: The New Political Paradigm by Robert Shrum, thedailybeast.com | February 1, 2013
The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: Out of Gas? by David Brock, Huffington Post | February 1, 2013
Where the Wingers Won by Abby Rapoport, prospect.org | January 31, 2013
Why Immigration Reform Won't Cure the GOP's Struggles with Hispanics by Michael Catalini, nationaljournal.com | January 31, 2013
Republicans In Disarray Over Immigration by Joan McCarter, dailykos.com | January 31, 2013
Lost In Their Own Wilderness by Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post | January 29, 2013
The Folly Of DC's Desperate Deficit Fearmongers by Dean Baker, The Guardian | January 29, 2013
Palin, Fox and the End of An Era by Eric Boehlert, Huffington Post | January 29, 2013
If It Is Not Stopped, The Republican War On Democracy Will Tear This Nation Apart by Laurence Lewis, dailykos.com | January 28, 2013
Makers, Takers, Fakers by Paul Krugman, The New York Times | January 28, 2013
The Senate, having struck its compromise, has gone home. The House, controlled by delusional Republicans, has gone home. Payroll taxes are slated to rise, and unemployment insurance is set to expire before they return in January. The compromise wasn’t just between the two parties in the Senate, apparently. According to Wednesday’s Washington Post, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor met with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell on Friday and told him they’d get the votes to pass the two-month extension deal he’d worked out with Harry Reid. But Boehner, who is turning out to be the weakest speaker since the House was first gaveled to order in 1789, couldn’t hold his troops, whose caucus meetings, by numerous accounts, increasingly resemble the pep rallies of cults that have lost all feel for how other humans think.
No doubt Republicans know the fight over extending the payroll tax is one they could lose. Thus, they've pivoted away from opposing the extension, and have presented a plan of their own — one that Timothy Noah says the Democrats should be willing to work with because it "doesn't stink."
Well, in my experience, just because you can't smell something doesn't mean it doesn't sink. Some things "pass the smell test" because of a faulty sniffer; not because they don't stink. And the GOP's payroll tax plan does so stink.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently announced his legislative priorities for the upcoming months, and they consist of the same old reckless attacks on health and environmental safeguards for all Americans. Creating an apocalyptically titled hit list of his "Top 10 Job-Destroying Regulations," Cantor takes aim at an astonishing 12 clean air safeguards, and five other labor, environmental, and health care standards. But problems with basic arithmetic are the least of the concerns with this "top 10" list. The House Republican dirty air hit list reflects a baseless and ideological tirade against clean air protections that would put Americans' lives at risk, while doing nothing to create jobs. American families cannot afford to see these clean air standards rolled back.
From the debates in Wisconsin and elsewhere about public sector unions, you might get the impression that we’re going bust because teachers are overpaid. That’s a pernicious fallacy. A basic educational challenge is not that teachers are raking it in, but that they are underpaid. If we want to compete with other countries, and chip away at poverty across America, then we need to pay teachers more so as to attract better people into the profession.
A battle between leaders of the two parties over campaign finance rules intensified this week as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused Republicans of flat-out threatening the Internal Revenue Service after they warned the agency not to tighten oversight of anonymous money groups misusing the tax code. The squabble is about how forcefully to crack down on groups approved under special 501(c)(4) tax status by claiming to primarily engage in “social welfare,” but which pour significant resources into political activities. Democrats want a strict cap on how much money they may spend for politics; Republicans prefer the ambiguity of the status quo. Beneath the issue is a sea of anonymous spending in which pro-GOP groups are drowning Democrats.
"We need to drive home the fact that anybody who calls themselves an American cannot, in the same breath, declare that they are in any sense entirely 'self-made.'" says Sara Robinson in her latest essay. In our interdependence lies our greatness, and "bringing that interdependence back out into the light and putting it at the center of our politics shifts the entire dialogue in ways that can help progressives over the long haul." Read more »
Congressional Republicans have released their "Pledge to America," but it is a threat to Americans struggling in today's economy. This slate of proposals will slash needed spending, kill jobs, declare open season on the public's health and safety, and end any hope of growing the economy. Read Richard Eskow's analysis »
Author Jacob Hacker discussed his latest book, a probe of "the DNA evidence" behind the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich, at an October 14 talk co-sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the Institute for America's Future. "Winner-Take-All Politics" shows how to take back a political system hijacked by the super rich.
» Watch video highlights
» Buy the book