Tag Archive for Politics News

Justice by the Numbers Chasing Immigrants While Bank Criminals Go Free

If you’re a banker who bought your estate with the millions you made from mortgage fraud, relax: The Justice Department isn’t looking for you. But if you’re an illegal immigrant working on that estate, look out. The Department of Justice is devoting most of its efforts to catching you, not your boss.
Joe Nocera of the New York Times contrasts the legal treatment that was given to one high-flying borrower with that received by Angelo Mozilo, CEO of the fraudulent lender Countrywide. But if stories like this one are bad, the numbers are even worse Read more

HuffPosts Amanda Terkel Discusses GOP Efforts To Restrict Union Rights On MSNBCs The Rachel Maddow Show VIDEO

Amanda Terkel, Senior Politics Reporter at The Huffington Post, appeared Monday on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ to discuss new anti-union measures being proposed by Republicans in Congress.
“They’re going right now after air and rail workers. The way it works right now is if you want to form a union, you just need to get a majority of the workers who turn out to vote. But the way that Republicans would like to do it, and the way that it’s been for many years, is you need to get a majority of all workers, even ones who don’t turn out to vote.

read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com

Howard Fineman Discusses The GOP Presidential Contest On MSNBCs The Last Word With Lawrence ODonnell VIDEO

Howard Fineman sat down with Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday to discuss the Republicans likely to seek the GOP Presidential nomination.
Fineman explained the current breakdown of the Republican party:
“There really are at least two Republican parties right now. There’s the Iowa Republican party, and that is the one that’s going to be the first to speak in the nominating race. And there’s sort of the establishment Republican party, and it’s a crude way of dividing things, but it’s pretty accurate.”
He continued, “People like Pawlenty and Romney and Barbour are the ones who think they can speak to the whole country, or at least they haven’t given up on the thought of doing so. Right now the other candidates are focused on one thing, getting 25-30% of the caucus votes in the Iowa caucuses early next winter Read more

Haley Barbour Endorses Union Victory in the Civil War

Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor and likely 2012 Republican presidential aspirant, has recently made a series of missteps involving race and the Civil Rights Movement. He seemed unclear about basic historical points.
But he has now made a forthright declaration about the events swirling around what some Southerners still call the Late Unpleasantness between the States – or the War of Northern Aggression. “Slavery was the primary, central, cause of secession,” Barbour told me Friday. “The Civil War was necessary to bring about the abolition of slavery,” he continued Read more

Fighting the Enemy Within

What would you do if someone told you that America was in grave danger — that a powerful enemy with almost unlimited resources had infiltrated every level of government, the media, both political parties and the Supreme Court? What if someone told you that it was up to you to save your country — to protect its promise, to save the dream?
Throughout history, our greatest leaders have warned of threats to our democracy. At the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin famously answered a woman’s question about what type of government had been created with the caution, “a republic madam, if you can keep it.” Theodore Roosevelt worked to bust the corporate trusts that threatened our democracy. Dwight Eisenhower warned that only an “aware and informed citizenry” could protect the country from the growing influence of the military-industrial complex (interestingly, an early version of his speech warned of the military-industrial-congressional complex).
If these leaders were with us today, they would likely reiterate their concerns. The wholesale deregulation of Wall Street, the financial crisis, the economic collapse, the multi-billion dollar bailout, and the subsequent GROWTH of the Too Big To Fail institutions at the center of the crisis indicate a system gone seriously wrong Read more

The Contract Society Its Time to Become Citizens Not Customers

In October of 2006, the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said on the floor of the Senate that “If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state… I will resign from this body.” Stevens was not using this threat to protect the civil liberties of the people of his state. He was instead objecting to a proposal to redirect $453 million in highway funds earmarked for two Alaska bridges to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. One of the bridges, at a projected cost of $223 million, would connect a small town to an island and thus was dubbed by critics as the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
As any resident of West Virginia well knows, pork was not just an Alaskan or Republican thing Read more

One Gun in the Wrong Hands Six Innocent Lives Lost

On the morning of January 8, I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary.
During my 24 years as a trauma surgeon in the U.S. Navy, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq, I treated many soldiers who were torn apart as a result of battlefield injuries.
In addition to my service overseas, I have worked in many trauma centers here in the U.S Read more

Two Grandmothers Two Priests and a Nun go to Prison for Peace

Two grandmothers, two priests and a nun were sentenced in federal court in Tacoma, WA Monday March 28, 2011, for confronting hundreds of US nuclear weapons stockpiled for use by the deadly Trident submarines.
Sentenced were: Sr. Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York, who was ordered to serve 2 months in federal prison and 4 months electronic home confinement; Fr. Bill Bischel, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington, ordered to serve 3 months in prison and 6 months electronic home confinement; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington, ordered to serve 6 months in federal prison; and Fr. Steve Kelly, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, ordered to serve 15 months in federal prison Read more

Welcome Mr President

A diplomat’s daughter growing up in NYC is something that I never thought twice about until way after the fact. It was full of “ups” and “downs”. Some of the “downs” I have mentioned in previous posts. Today I want to mention one of the marvelous “ups” which reached a summit a few years ago, or better said, came full circle Read more

Obama War Powers and Yoo

No one is always wrong, including former Bush administration lawyer and Berkeley law professor John Yoo. Yoo was right when he wrote in the Wall Street Journal on March 25 that Obama “flip-flopped” when the then-senator said in 2007 that presidents lacked the constitutional power “to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” but then apparently did so when he ordered military action against Libya on March 19. (While Obama complied with the terms of the War Powers Act, prior congressional approval rested on the slim reed of a March 1 Senate resolution.)
Yoo’s chief problem as a constitutional commentator stems not from his tendentious memos justifying torture in the weeks after 9/11 during his stint in the Bush administration, but because his underlying constitutional analysis of presidential power is literally the opposite of what the Founders intended and wrote. In Yoo’s analysis, American executive power in foreign policy was copied from the British monarchy, where the monarchs once maintained a monopoly of power over war and military matters Read more

On Social Security Beware the False Progressives

It looks like Halloween has come early this year for Wall Street Democrats. Costume season is months away, but the trend of Third Way types disguising their plans to gut Social Security as “progressive” is hotter than ever. Exhibit A: financial executive Robert Pozen, whose 2005 Social Security proposal was so “progressive” it earned the support of none other than George W. Bush Read more

AntiWar But Supporting Obama on Libya

The beginning of U.S. and NATO military attacks on Libya came as a surprise to most Americans — not least anti-war and pro-peace voters like myself who have supported President Obama as a candidate and now as chief executive. I was at the start, and remain, deeply concerned about the path the president is choosing.
There is a strong anti-war case for staying out of Libya Read more

We Cannot Go At It Alone

This week as we have watched the nuclear and humanitarian crisis unfold in Japan, along with the democratic uprisings in the Middle East and Libya, it is increasingly evident just how important multi-lateral engagement has become. We are an interconnected world; no country can afford to practice “cowboy politics” and go it alone. Since 1945, the United Nations has been the vehicle through which we ensure that national sovereignty, democracy and human rights — the values on which the UN was founded — are respected and enforced throughout the world.
Yet, the Majority party seems determined to withdraw the U.S Read more

Destroying the Democratic Party to Save It

Third Way released a brand new memo on how the Democratic Party’s only hope for the 2012 election is to cut the programs for the broad middle class that are their most popular legacy and the cornerstone of their brand: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is an interesting strategy based on this reasoning:
The deficit will be the key defining issue in 2012
Voters want to do something about it
Republicans are winning on the deficit issue
Democrats can’t win an election anymore by defending Social Security and Medicare
The public holds “nuanced” views on the issue of whether to cut Social Security and Medicare
Alongside these political arguments, naturally, they restate their long-held policy argument that cutting these benefits is the right thing — indeed the “progressive” thing — to do. And after making these points, they then do a tutorial for those Democrats who want to follow their lead as to how to talk about making these cuts, which leads with the exact same line the Republicans are using, which is that only by cutting these programs will we be able to preserve them for the long run. (Third Way’s talking points on how to sell these cuts to voters — i.e Read more

One Year Ago How the Era of WikiLeaks Began With Murder

Exactly one year ago this week, Julian Assange and a crew of WikiLeaks volunteers — including Birgitta Jonsdottir, who has since become a critic — assembled in Reykjavik, Iceland, to edit and add subtitles to a video of a 2007 incident in Baghdad that Assange himself would title, “Collateral Murder.”
At that point, WikiLeaks and Assange were far from household words in the U.S., despite three years of leaks that intermittently gained notice. Of course, everything has changed since.
A U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Pvc Read more

Why Any Deal to Cut Social Security Medicare or Medicaid Would be a Moral Economic and Political Disaster

Friday, the Democratic group Third Way published a memo arguing that Democrats should support “entitlement reform” — by which they mean cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I don’t doubt the sincerity or intentions of their proposal, but I believe that if Democrats took their advice it would result in a moral, economic and political disaster.
Here’s why:
The immorality of “entitlement reform.” The very idea that seniors on Social Security — whose average income is $18,000 a year — should be asked to tighten their belts while the Federal Government still gives huge tax breaks to millionaires and subsidies to oil companies is just plain wrong.
The principle voices for “entitlement reform” are the multi-millionaires from Wall Street who argue that we need to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as part of a bargain to reduce the long-term federal deficit and give the “markets” confidence Read more

Progressives Cry Out Obama Come Home

Barack Obama at times seems to be the unluckiest person on the face of the earth. He just can’t catch a break. Or maybe his bad luck is a result of ignoring his progressive base and scientific evidence and instead trying to negotiate and compromise with congressmen who are financially motivated toward helping banks and corporations more than our own people. When bad events happen that scientists and academics have been warning about for years it is difficult to chalk them up to bad luck Read more

Nuclear NaySayers and the National Interest

The events in Japan as they relate to issues of nuclear energy have been an urgent and important clarion call to all regarding the safety of our nuclear facilities and the role nuclear energy will play in our energy future. It is an issue of vital importance to the nation given its impact on global warming, national security and the economy. It is an issue that needs be examined openly and not simply left to those who are pre-programmed to present us with the familiar saws railing against nuclear energy with the tailwind of current events at their back.
Almost the first out of the box of nuclear energy dismissal was Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) who on March 13, but two days after the tsunami hit Japan set forth a list of nuclear policy objectives ranging from a call to imposing a moratorium on siting new reactors to requiring a review of the U.S Read more

Whats a Million Years

With a nuclear crisis ongoing it Japan, it may comfort you to know that our government has plans to keep America’s nuclear waste safe for a million years.
What a relief! Good to know that, unlike in Japan, America’s rulers have thought this stuff through.
Yes, the Energy Department says that it can keep all the waste from the nation’s 104 nuclear power plans, plus all the waste from nuclear weapons, safely stored under Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for one million years. Within that window, they have it broken down into two parts. For the first 10,000 years, the dose limit to “the public” from the stored waste is not supposed to exceed 15millirem per year of radiation. Then from 10,000 to a million years out, the dose to “the public” can go up to 100millirem per year Read more

Both Sides Now w Huffington and Matalin The Fog of Wars Education in America Palin in Israel

By Mark Green
Mary Matalin and Wayne Barrett (sitting in for Arianna until her return in two weeks) focus on two big issues: first, after the quicksands of Iraq and Afghanistan, can America intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war in a proportionate and successful way? And how should Washington best intervene in local classrooms to improve education? From the Situation Room to the classroom. (To hear entire show, click podcast below.)
*Getting a Little Bit Pregnant in Libya. Mary acknowledges changing her mind on the right role in Libya, first opposing it, then supporting it, now opposing it. (She took cover behind a for-it-before-against-it joke at John Kerry’s expense.) She worries about the confusion of goals — Saving civilians? Regime change? — and wonders what is the doctrine that allows this intervention but not others in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria Read more

An Honest Speech to the American People

Having written my fair share of speeches for secretaries of state and contributed to presidential ones, I’d love to hear President Obama give the following speech tomorrow night.
My fellow Americans. I want to speak to you tonight honestly and
directly about an issue of great importance.
America is a great country; but we are currently stuck in the Middle
East like some kind of modern day Gulliver tied up by tiny tribes whose
interests are often not our own, and by our own illusions of power,
which have often gotten us into trouble in this part of the world. Our
dilemma is clear: we are bogged down in a volatile region, which is
critical to our national interests, but we can’t fix it nor can we walk
away.
And these commitments come at a time when we can least afford it. Our
economic recovery is fragile; our future is clouded by too much debt;
too much dependence on hydro-carbons and not enough political will in
either major party to begin to take steps to make matters right.
At present, we are involved in three wars — the first since our own war
of independence fought by an all volunteer army — where victory is
measured not by can we win; but by when can we leave Read more

MondaleFerraro Changing History

Although 2008 was the year when America demonstrated that presidential politics was accessible to African-Americans and women, it was the 1984 campaign when the doors were first pushed open. And the two people most responsible for the change were Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Their campaign is most often recalled for the magnitude of their electoral defeat yet an enduring part of its legacy was its commitment to the principle that presidential politics was not simply a preserve of white males.
Prior to 1984, the pool of candidates for national tickets consisted entirely of white men Read more

End Tax Breaks for Profitable Corporations

Republicans in the House want to balance the budget by denying more than 200,000 little children the opportunity to receive an early education through Head Start; reducing or eliminating Pell Grants for 9.4 million college students; eliminating primary health care services to 11 million Americans; and delaying Social Security benefits to half a million eligible Americans, among other things.
Before Congress cuts funding for Head Start, Social Security, and financial aid for college, we have got to make sure that large, profitable corporations are paying their fair share of taxes.
At a time when we have a $14.2 trillion national debt and a $1.6 trillion federal deficit, it is unacceptable that Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Bank of America, Chevron, Boeing, and other large, profitable corporations are not only avoiding paying any federal income taxes at all but have actually received huge refund checks from the IRS.
Loopholes in the tax code, offshore tax havens, tax breaks to companies that export American jobs to China, and other tax breaks have allowed giant corporations in America to receive billions in refunds from the IRS.
Meanwhile corporations are sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash on hand, and big banks have nearly a trillion dollars in excess reserves parked at the Federal Reserve.
In 2005, one out of four large corporations paid no income taxes at all even though they collected $1.1 trillion in revenue over that one-year period.
In 2009, Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits. Not only did Exxon not pay any federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to SEC filings.
Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, even though it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year, received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
In 2008, Goldman Sachs only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S Read more