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Obama Realigns, the GOP Declines: The New Political Paradigm by Robert Shrum, thedailybeast.com | February 1, 2013It’s a word seldom heard since Karl Rove brandished it after the 2004 election. On the basis of an Electoral College win secured by the precarious margin of one state, an Ohio rife with voter suppression, “Bush’s brain”—is that a compliment to Rove?—proclaimed an era of Republican realignment. Rove’s fantasy was demolished in 2012, when the GOP waged a backward-looking campaign directed to the American electorate of a decade and more ago—two white, too old, too rural, too Southern. Instead, the crabbed, plutocratic, intolerant Republican appeal did succeed—in mobilizing the new America, which convincingly voted for a second Obama term. But something more has happened here than the reelection of one president, as consequential as that is. We are witnessing a Rove in reverse—but this time, an authentic and accelerating realignment in the demography, ideology, and political identity of the American mainstream. read more »
The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy: Out of Gas? by David Brock, Huffington Post | February 1, 2013Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is departing from the State Department on her own terms and with a formidable legacy intact. Given that Clinton, no matter what she decides about 2016, will undoubtedly remain an influential figure in American public life for years to come, one might have expected her long-time detractors, who have been trying for more than 20 years to trip her up, to land some solid blows to her widely admired reputation for leadership on the global stage. Instead, we've been treated to salvos that were silly, at best; and on the one potentially serious issue raised, the Fox News-initiated and Mitt Romney-fortified Benghazi craze, all the attacks fell flat. read more »
Where the Wingers Won by Abby Rapoport, prospect.org | January 31, 2013Liberals had every reason to burst with optimism as the November election results began to set in. Not only did Democrats hold on to the White House, but they also won major Senate battles. In battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin, a majority of voters chose more progressive visions for the future in both the presidential and Senate races. You might assume that this would have repercussions at the state level too—that these moderate-to-progressive states would work with the federal government in forging a more liberal set of policies. But you’d be wrong. read more »
Why Immigration Reform Won't Cure the GOP's Struggles with Hispanics by Michael Catalini, nationaljournal.com | January 31, 2013Leading Republicans are jumping on the immigration reform bandwagon, hoping that taking the issue off the table will give them a second chance to make inroads with Hispanic voters. But even with a bipartisan deal looking within reach, the Republican party may not benefit as much as strategists expect. Indeed, there’s evidence that Hispanic resistance to the Republican party is as rooted in the GOP’s skeptical view of government, as it is their disagreement with GOP hardliners on immigration. The Republican Party calls for smaller government, but many Latinos look to government assistance as a necessity. Forty-two percent of Hispanic voters say that a government job offers the best chance of gaining career success, compared to only one-third of white voters. read more »
Republicans In Disarray Over Immigration by Joan McCarter, dailykos.com | January 31, 2013The immigration debate is exposing the fissures in the Republican Party more than any other debate has yet, between the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove faction and the crazy teabagger Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Michelle Malkin crowd. For them, electoral politics takes second place to hating on brown people, apparently. It parallels, basically, the split between the Senate Republicans, who can't rely on extreme gerrymandering to keep their seats, and House Republicans, who can be crazy as they want to be. The results are, at the very least, fun to watch. read more »
Lost In Their Own Wilderness by Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post | January 29, 2013Republicans shouldn’t worry that President Obama is trying to destroy the GOP. Why would he bother? The party’s leaders are doing a pretty good job of it themselves. As they try to understand why the party lost an election it was confident of winning — and why it keeps losing budget showdowns in Congress — Republican grandees are asking the wrong questions. Predictably, they are also coming up with the wrong answers. They prefer to focus on flawed tactics and ineffectual “messaging” rather than confront the essential problem, which is that voters don’t much care for the policies the GOP espouses. read more »
The Folly Of DC's Desperate Deficit Fearmongers by Dean Baker, The Guardian | January 29, 2013The news that the UK, with negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, faces the prospect of a triple-dip recession, should be the final blow to the intellectual credibility of deficit hawks. You just can't get more wrong than this flat-earth bunch of economic policy-makers. They're pretty much batting zero. They failed to foresee the collapse of housing bubbles in the US and Europe and its consequent downturn. They grossly underestimated its severity after it hit. And their policy prescription of austerity has been shown to be wrong everywhere that applied it: in the US, the eurozone and, especially, the UK. By all rights, these folks should be laughed out of town. They should be retrained for a job more suited to their skill set – preferably, something that doesn't involve numbers, or people. read more »
Palin, Fox and the End of An Era by Eric Boehlert, Huffington Post | January 29, 2013Wasn't it fitting that Sarah Palin's exit from Fox News was made official the same week President Obama celebrated his second inauguration? Didn't it just seem apt that the once-future star of Fox News and the Tea Party movement lost her national media platform just days after the president she tried to demonize for four years basked in the glow of his easy reelection victory? Palin's breakup with Fox was expected, but it's still significant. A "milestone," is how former Bush speechwriter David Frum put it. The move represents the end of a brief, ill-conceived era within the conservative media movement, and specifically at Fox, where in the wake of Obama's first White House win Palin, along with preposterous cohort Glenn Beck, was irresponsibly tapped to become a high-priced pundit who trafficked in hate. read more »
If It Is Not Stopped, The Republican War On Democracy Will Tear This Nation Apart by Laurence Lewis, dailykos.com | January 28, 2013Republicans can't win national elections anymore, having lost the popular vote in five of the last six, and with demographics shifts moving solidly against them, rather than try to better represent the will of the American electorate, they're instead going to try to break the system so that the will of the American electorate no longer matters. And it would be perfectly legal, because we choose our presidents through the Electoral College, and there are very few rules about how the electors are allocated. Make no mistake: This is a war on the very concept of democracy and republic. This is a war on the very nature of our system of governance. If it succeeds, it will tear this country apart. read more »
Makers, Takers, Fakers by Paul Krugman, The New York Times | January 28, 2013Republicans have a problem. For years they could shout down any attempt to point out the extent to which their policies favored the elite over the poor and the middle class; all they had to do was yell “Class warfare!” and Democrats scurried away. In the 2012 election, however, that didn’t work: the picture of the G.O.P. as the party of sneering plutocrats stuck, even as Democrats became more openly populist than they have been in decades. As a result, prominent Republicans have begun acknowledging that their party needs to improve its image. But here’s the thing: Their proposals for a makeover all involve changing the sales pitch rather than the product. When it comes to substance, the G.O.P. is more committed than ever to policies that take from most Americans and give to a wealthy handful. Consider, as a case in point, how a widely reported recent speech by Bobby Jindal the governor of Louisiana, compares with his actual policies. read more »
FAA Whistleblower Says He Was Threatened, cbsnews.com | April 4, 2011
Take a good look at the dateline CHICAGO, April 3, 2008
"...The whistleblowers who exposed maintenance and inspection problems at Southwest Airlines told Congress their jobs were threatened and their reports of noncompliance were ignored for years by their superiors..." more »
WSJ: Banks Hit for Credit Union Ills , The Wall Street Journal | March 23, 2011
In one of the broadest accusations that Wall Street helped cripple financial institutions during the crisis, the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, has threatened to sue several investment banks unless they refund over $50 billion of mortgage-backed securities sold to the five institutions, called wholesale credit unions.
Not Paying Tax: How Corporations Have Mastered the Art, alternet.org | February 23, 2011
Those official and theoretical tax obligations have been used to support conservatives' claims that corporations pay half or more of their profits to federal, state and local levels of government combined. However, because of loopholes, the truth is very different. more »
The 16 Profitable Companies That Pay Almost Nothing In Taxes, businessinsider.com | February 19, 2011
Barclays: £11.6bn profit, 1% tax, The Guardian | February 19, 2011
WikiLeaks: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices, The Guardian | February 10, 2011
Argentina's Roundup Human Tragedy, i-sis.org.uk | February 5, 2011
According to the US EPA, Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup is “relatively low in toxicity, and without carcinogenic or teratogenic effects.”.
In Argentina science has proven this wrong, and a tragedy has occurred. This is especially important because of the USDA's approval of GM Roundup Ready (RR) Alfalfa for unregulated introduction to the US food chain. more »
Crisis Panel: Wall Street Appears To Have Violated Federal Securities Law, Huffington Post | January 28, 2011
JP Morgan Boss - Dimon - remarked recently at Davos it was time to "stop denigrating banks".
Were he illegally thrown out of his home by a ruthless immoral bank and communicating this wisdom while living under a plastic sheet in America's growing third world style shanty towns he and people like him might have a shred of credibility. more »
Rudolf Elmer to hand over rich and famous offshore banking secrets, The Guardian | January 16, 2011
Rudolf Elms wants to educate us with the help of Wikileaks.
Now assuming he makes it to the Frontline Club in London with the damning CDs in his sweaty palms we are going to have a ring side seat at some serious scrutiny of the mega-rich. Corruption, tax evasion, general gratuitous abuse of civilised business norms. Who knows what the coming weeks will bring.
Will he make it?
WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops, The Guardian | January 3, 2011