Why a Higher Minimum Wage Is a Matter of Human Dignity
Mar09

Why a Higher Minimum Wage Is a Matter of Human Dignity

Let me suggest something radical: The purpose of the Federal government is to safeguard the safety and dignity of its citizens. Surely this is something that both of our major political parties can agree on? Once upon a time I’d have said that it’s only our approach to this issue that differs from party to party, but I’m not convinced of that anymore. Frankly, our leaders no longer seem to believe that each human being is entitled to...

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Teheran’s wins in likely nuclear deal with US
Mar06

Teheran’s wins in likely nuclear deal with US

There are increasing signs that Teheran is moving closer to a nuclear deal with Washington because it has already scored some wins. A main reason for the likely deal is political will in Teheran and Washington. Iran’s Hassan Rouhani thinks the surest way for him to win the 2016 parliamentary elections is to convince Iranians that they will never again suffer draconian Western economic and financial sanctions. His boss, Supreme Leader...

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Suicide Among Middle-Aged Linked To Money Troubles
Feb27

Suicide Among Middle-Aged Linked To Money Troubles

Money influences many decisions in our lives, and more than a few people would say too many. Since 1999, suicide rates among middle-aged adults have risen nearly 40 percent, with a noticeable uptick since the financial crash. Now, a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds economic factors, such as loss of a...

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Entitlements and Public Pensions- Still on Rocky Ground
Feb24

Entitlements and Public Pensions- Still on Rocky Ground

In March of 1988, the cover and an essay in The New Republic depicted selfish “greedy geezers” draining America of resources that might be utilized in a more constructive fashion to provide growth and economic development. Funding of the entitlement programs Medicare and Social Security were leaving less money available to be spent on education and preschool activities, and the maintenance and expansion of the nation’s infrastructure....

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‘Envy’ vs. ‘greed’
Feb05

‘Envy’ vs. ‘greed’

WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul Ryan values his reputation as a serious policy analyst and a genial soul. But he’s not above name-calling, and he insists that President Obama’s budget is the product of “envy economics.” Ryan’s label invites a comparable description of his own approach, which would slash taxes on the rich while cutting programs for the poor and many middle-income Americans. If Ryan wants to...

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Threatening TTIP
Feb02

Threatening TTIP

With Greece’s new left government, it faces some serious questions concerning the state’s future solvency and economic health. As previously mentioned, Greece is on track to renegotiate terms, or at least attempt to, for its eurozone debts, which were incurred as a result of European and Greek fiscal policies of years past. More than a week after the Greek elections, attention is now turning to another issue. Recent...

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Leftist Surge in Greece?
Jan23

Leftist Surge in Greece?

On Sunday, Greece will vote on their government and leadership, which shall determine the course of the nation for years to come. Antonio Samaras, leader of the center-right New Democracy political party and Prime Minister since 2012, has carried out austerity measures, accepting bailouts and making severe budget cuts. While Greece’s economy may be in a better situation today, albeit only slightly, people are still receiving the...

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Achieving Republican goals
Jan22

Achieving Republican goals

Take a fresh look at what Obama has achieved during the past six years. “We’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health-care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.” Maybe a Republican politician would put it slightly differently — maybe with a sneer and some added self-congratulation. But there it is. The smart guy at the...

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Obama: Damn the torpedoes
Jan21

Obama: Damn the torpedoes

WASHINGTON — “This is good news, people.” With those five words, President Obama made clear that he thinks it’s far more important to win a long-term argument with his partisan and ideological opponents than to pretend that they are eager to seize opportunities to work with him. He decided to deal with the Republican Party he has, not the Republican Party he wishes he had. Those ad-libbed words followed what...

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Obama Focuses on Income Inequality in State of the Union Address
Jan21

Obama Focuses on Income Inequality in State of the Union Address

Obama Focuses on Income Inequality in Annual Address Updated | WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama challenged the Republican-led Congress on Tuesday to break out of the “tired old patterns” of confrontational politics and back an effort to lift the middle class, with higher taxes on the rich and trade deals. Dogged since the start of presidency six years ago by an ailing...

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What change sounds like
Jan19

What change sounds like

WASHINGTON — When he opened the 114th Congress, House Speaker John Boehner declared that “too many are working harder only to lose ground to stagnant wages and rising costs.” Jeb Bush called the fundraising arm of his presidential exploration “The Right to Rise PAC,” a nice play on words emphasizing his hope for a conservative revival and his promise to put forward ideas that would help “all...

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Cutting Off Your Nose- Congress At Work
Jan13

Cutting Off Your Nose- Congress At Work

The recent budget bill contained a number of items that were unrelated to the budget and helped special interests. Two received the most publicity. The first was the provision that provided large banks with continued protection from the federal government (and thus taxpayers) for derivatives trading. This practice was a factor in initiating the last recession and was supposed to be eliminated by the Dodd-Frank bill. But Wall Street...

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A Vast Number of  New Jobs to Be  Created in and by  New Congress  (Updated)
Jan06

A Vast Number of New Jobs to Be Created in and by New Congress (Updated)

Update: And this is no satire: As the New Republican Congress gets ready to vote on a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House is sending signals that President Obama would veto such legislation. While the bill is all but guaranteed to pass the Senate, it is not clear whether there will be enough votes to override a presidential veto. In the meantime, an article in The Hill states most clearly, in my...

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A New Year’s Musing On America’s Dysfunctional Society & Broken Politics
Jan05

A New Year’s Musing On America’s Dysfunctional Society & Broken Politics

Scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. There is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. ~ FRANK ZAPPA The United States enters the new year a deeply dysfunctional society with a severely fractured political establishment and a dearth of ideas about how to confront either. Police routinely abuse black men and...

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Economic facts get in the way
Dec30

Economic facts get in the way

WASHINGTON — Uh-oh. Now that the economy is doing well, what are Republicans — especially those running for president — going to complain about? And what are Democrats willing to celebrate? Last week’s announcement that the economy grew at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter of 2014 — following 4.6 percent second-quarter growth — was the clearest and least debatable indication to date that...

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The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble
Dec26

The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble

Gas prices have plunged to the low $2 range—except in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the prices at the pump are in the mid-$2 range. That’s because Gov. Tom Corbett and the legislature imposed a 28-cent per gallon surcharge tax. Until 2019, Pennsylvanians will be paying an additional $2.3 billion a year in taxes and fees—$11.5 billion total—to improve the state’s infrastructure. In addition to the increased tax on gas at the pumps,...

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America’s Drug Trade Imports More Than Just Addiction
Dec22

America’s Drug Trade Imports More Than Just Addiction

America’s Drug Trade Imports More Than Just Addiction by Daniel Faris Drug use has been a hot topic in the U.S. for some time now. Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, and Washington, D.C. is going head-to-head with Congress over the city voters’ decision to legalize. But what isn’t often mentioned in the current national debates over drug trade imports is their massive toll on the environment,...

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Here They Go Again!!
Dec17

Here They Go Again!!

The political yahoos finally left for home. But before they did, the House and Senate passed a “compromise” spending bill last week. That had the pundits talking about how Washington was finally working again and that legislation that would not cause a presidential veto in the next session might be possible. But look what these scummy politicians inserted into the spending bill that had nothing to do with the running of the government...

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Warren on Big Banks
Dec11

Warren on Big Banks

Legislation to fund the government, and avoid a shutdown come Friday morning, has hit a new obstacle with Democratic lawmakers voicing criticism over the repeal of a key part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The matter at hand concerns the ability of financial institutions to engage in derivatives trading, and other high risk activities, with taxpayer funds. The provision was written by Citigroup and...

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Forgetting the Lessons of the 2008 Crash
Dec10

Forgetting the Lessons of the 2008 Crash

Kevin Drum warns about new FHFA mortgage policy on Mother Jones. Yesterday the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued new underwriting guidelines that allow some home buyers to take out mortgages with down payments as small as 3 percent…This decision by the FHFA is almost criminally myopic. After all, the go-go years that produced a towering housing bubble and then ended in an epic global financial meltdown are less than a decade...

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