Americans Are Still In Debt
Jul30

Americans Are Still In Debt

Even years after the great rescission 35 percent of Americans are still deep in debt. According to a new report by the Urban Institute, more than 35 percent of Americans owe nonmortgage debt that’s been turned over to a collection agency—including anything from credit card balances to student loans to medical bills and parking tickets. If that sounds especially shocking, consider: In 2004, the Federal Reserve found that 36.4 percent...

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Gaza and MH17: France Pays the Price for its Moribund Diplomacy (Le Figaro, France)
Jul27

Gaza and MH17: France Pays the Price for its Moribund Diplomacy (Le Figaro, France)

France is not only home to the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe, but with the Kremlin in the global doghouse over MH17 and Ukraine, Paris is in the process of selling Russia two massive Mistral warships for $1.6 billion. For Le Figaro, columnist Pierre Rousselin writes that with pro-Palestinian protests erupting across the country, and allies losing patience with the French for selling such powerful weapons to Russia,...

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The ‘Power’ of Satire and the Power of Poetry
Jul26

The ‘Power’ of Satire and the Power of Poetry

A little less than two years ago, when we were getting ready to elect a new president, or re-elect Barack Obama, I wrote a little piece at the Huffington Post that created somewhat of a mini uproar. In the article I explained why “I [Was] Voting for Mitt Romney on Nov. 7.” It was satire, of course. There were two clues I thought would signal such. First, November 7 was the day after the 2012 elections. Second, my concluding paragraph...

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Working Less
Jul23

Working Less

People can be critical of France and Germany’s   reduced work weeks and lower retirement ages but they really don’t know why they did it.  They did it to reduce unemployment – when people work fewer hours and retire earlier more people are working.  We have reached a point where there are more people who need jobs than there are available jobs.  Some of this is because of outsourcing but also because of automation...

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Inversion or Perversion?
Jul22

Inversion or Perversion?

The house is on fire and the occupants are eating dinner and not paying attention. While our tax base is being whittled away by large American corporations, members of Congress are twiddling their thumbs and doing nothing. The willingness of Congress to allow these “inversions” to occur is another sign of the dysfunction in Washington and the “perversion” in the American political system. To escape higher corporate taxes in the U.S.,...

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Obama’s Sanctions on Russia are the ‘Only Real Sanctions’ (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)
Jul20

Obama’s Sanctions on Russia are the ‘Only Real Sanctions’ (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)

If President Obama is ‘weak,’ than everyone else is weaker. For Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza, Mariusz Zawadzki reminds Obama’s ever-expanding number of critics that the president has not only been the most consistent leader since the Ukraine crisis began, but that the sanctions he has imposed on Russia have been the toughest in the world, and what’s more, they work. For the Gazeta Wyborcza, Mariusz Zawadzki...

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Putin’s Hard Hat of Indifference
Jul20

Putin’s Hard Hat of Indifference

Balloon Payment For The Sochi Olympics Invade Now For Best Financing Terms The View From The Virgin Islands By John McCarthy TMV Columnist Remember when the worst thing we had to fear from Vladimir Putin was another garish bare-chested, bareback photo opportunity? There had come a time in the career of President Putin when he was even taking flack from Pussy Riot band members and seemed destined for irrelevance. Not any more. The...

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The Mass Migration of Children Mexican Authorities ‘Missed’ (El Universal and Excelsior, Mexico)
Jul17

The Mass Migration of Children Mexican Authorities ‘Missed’ (El Universal and Excelsior, Mexico)

Today we have three columns on the immigration crises from Mexican newspapers El Universal and Excelsior, and from La Prensa of Honduras. All three reflect frustration with the handling of the crisis by the governments in Mexico and Central America, and notably, none expresses any real consternation with the United States. First, as the flow of child migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S. border continues to build, this...

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Pro-business populism?
Jul17

Pro-business populism?

WASHINGTON — Here’s the thing to watch in this year’s campaign: Democrats are trying to be populists and pro-business moderates at the same time. The tea party’s success in transforming the Republican Party is making this two-step possible as conservatism’s increasingly ferocious opposition to government creates points of friction with both business and middle-class constituencies. On the one hand: Sen....

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You Have Never Been Right About Anything (Up Dated)
Jul14

You Have Never Been Right About Anything (Up Dated)

This was good to see. Rick Santelli is CNBC’s equivalent of Sarah Palin so I really enjoyed seeing his fellow CNBC corespondents taking him on. If you’re at all familiar with CNBC’s Rick Santelli, you know he almost never appears on the network without a shoutfest ensuing. The financial commentator — long considered the godfather of the tea party movement for his 2009 remarks — tends to battle with his colleague Steve Liesman...

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Crude Oil Prices Going Down
Jul13

Crude Oil Prices Going Down

Now that the Kurds have control of the oil in Northern Iraq and the Shia continue to control the oil in Southern Iraq the crude oil price is going down after a dramatic rise after the ISIS incursion. To get the WTI oil price, please enable...

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Is This Country Getting Better or Worse?
Jul13

Is This Country Getting Better or Worse?

When the religious right turned itself into a political action tool, they changed the very nature of our country. Republicans aligned themselves to their movement. It represents a large block of votes. That is what politicians focus on when they are campaigning—blocks of votes. Career politicians spout a lot of rhetoric on the campaign trail, but their biggest concern is getting elected…and re-elected…and re-elected. Before the...

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A Day in the Life of a President – in  Austin, Texas
Jul12

A Day in the Life of a President – in Austin, Texas

As most know, President Obama traveled to Austin this week where, according to the White House, he simply “sat down for coffee with a letter writer, delivered a speech on the economy, and grabbed some lunch at a local BBQ joint.” Of course the President did much more than that. For example, that unassuming “delivered a speech” represents, in my opinion, one of the best, frank, spirited, passionate, telling-it-like-it-really-is,...

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The reality of sudden poverty
Jul09

The reality of sudden poverty

My boyfriend proposed, and we bought a house. Then, just three weeks after we closed, the market crashed. The house we’d paid $240,000 for was suddenly worth $150,000. It was okay, though — we were still making enough money to cover the exorbitant mortgage payments. Then we weren’t. This is the story of an educated, white, middle-class couple (both employed in journalism, but that’s a different story) and what happened to them...

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Corporations and the Courts
Jul08

Corporations and the Courts

Are consumers and employees getting a fair shake from the courts when they institute legal challenges against corporations? Many legal scholars would say no, arguing that the justice system has become skewed in favor of corporate interests and that the average American cannot expect to get a fair hearing from the court system when fighting corporate adversaries. This disparity exists at the lowest level of the court system up to the...

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Open Carry
Jul02

Open Carry

Even back in the days of the “wild west”  Wyatt Earp  banned guns from Dodge City.  Within hours of Georgia’s new carry everywhere law went into effect two guys drew their guns on each other.  Some small businesses and bars in Georgia have posted no guns allowed signs, their right under the law.  But this is big: Big Win For Gun Control Groups: Target Bans Guns In Its Stores Target has finally made its decision about...

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Free Will and Food Intake
Jul01

Free Will and Food Intake

When Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Department of Health limited the size of sodas and other sugary drinks that could be sold to sixteen ounces, there was an outcry from many convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and food outlets who felt this would impact their business negatively. It was particularly true of minority-owned establishments and was also opposed by many minority legislators. This was in spite of the fact...

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Democrats’ panic time? Odds increase that Republicans will win Senate
Jun26

Democrats’ panic time? Odds increase that Republicans will win Senate

For months, as pundits suggested the Senate was poised to be taken over by the Republicans in 2014, some Democrats suggested there really was no need to panic. Now it sounds as if Democrats feel it’s time to panic: it’s sinking in that Tuesday night’s election results suggest Democrats can’t rely this year on madcap Republican candidates to chase voters to them or on President Barack Obama’s popularity or...

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Night Of The Incumbents
Jun25

Night Of The Incumbents

Last night was a good night for incumbents. Thad Cochran, widely written off as doomed, managed to beat Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. His victory was partly attributed to cross over support from black voters but he also benefited from higher turnout among his supporters. Some of McDaniel’s supporters aren’t giving up so easily though. I don’t expect McDaniel to run because he knows it would doom his future in...

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Where’s the bread and butter?
Jun16

Where’s the bread and butter?

WASHINGTON — What if they held an election and nobody talked about how to improve people’s lives? The 2014 campaign is being waged against a backdrop of national news dominated by everything except the core economic worries of most Americans. Benghazi and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have been getting more attention than job opportunities and student borrowing costs. We are said to be a nation focused on the home front, yet the...

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