Is there still time to tell your reps to support Conyers' bill to repeal the sequester bill?
Steven Brill's cover story in Time, "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us" pretty much tells the story, although not as well as we might like - but the gist is that medical bills really are too high, thanks to a friendly little racket our bought-and-paid-for political class has allowed the insurance companies and hospitals to run against Americans. Nicole Sandler calls that scam "Government Sanctioned Extortion" and interviewed Wendell Potter (author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans) to discuss the article, the scam, and the process that's killing more Americans than Osama bin Laden ever dreamed of.
"40% of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity gains."
Long-time Republican Bob Woodward, who refused to tell the truth about Bush's phony war until long after it was too late, instead choosing to try to make Bush look like a hero in his real-time reporting, decided not to do the same for Obama and the "sequestration" crises he invented, thus creating an interesting reaction from the right. You see, they are confused about Woodward's credentials since, a long, long time ago, Woodward worked with another reporter on articles that helped bring down Richard M. Nixon's presidency. His co-author, a guy called Carl Bernstein, was the one who pushed Woodward into doing the story, as people who followed the Watergate investigation probably already know - but like so much else, it is forgotten history. The fact that Woodward eventually released a book about Bush that told a more realistic story about Bush's White House and push for war has helped burnish (in the eyes of right-wingers) Woodward's supposedly "liberal" standing. And yet, to their utter surprise and delight, this member of our "liberal media" has spilled the beans on Obama. But anyway, despite the "defense" of Obama that flutters around in the comment thread at Politico, the simple fact remains, as Glen Ford points out, that we should "Remember: Sequestration was Obama's Idea." (But it is never a good idea to forget what Woodward really is - and he hasn't stopped reminding us.)
Don't kid yourself that Jonathan Alter's pernicious twaddle isn't precisely in line with what the White House wants to hear. The whole pre-K offer is just more hostage taking - you're not gonna let granny eat steak and deprive little kids of pre-K, are you? If these people were actually serious about improving things for kids and for the economy, they'd be talking about lowering the retirement age, not cutting benefits.
Does Mitch McConnell work for the Chinese?
Dean Baker: "This is the reason that we saw White House spokesman Jay Carney tell a press conference last week that Barack Obama is a macho man. He told the reporters that President Obama is still willing to cut Social Security benefits by using the Chained CPI as the basis for the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This willingness to cut the benefits of retirees establishes President Obama as a serious person in elite Washington circles."
In my experience, when Michael Moore gets called a liar by a "professional" journalist, it's not Michael Moore who is lying. (More here from MM.) It's not just racial profiling, though - journalists and artists have been getting a hostile reception from TSA for years, now, even if they're lily-white.
C. Everett Koop, Forceful U.S. Surgeon General, Dies at 96 - Believe it or not, he got a positive name-check from me in one of my books because he rather bravely admitted there was no support for certain Meese Commission claims about pornography. And I don't mean just any claims - I mean claims that even most pro-porn people assume to be true. Because he actually did the research - which, of course, was buried. (You'll notice there is no mention of pornography or the Meese Commission in his Wikipedia entry.)
Remember when Richard Nixon ignored the protests and watched a football game? Somehow, this feels even worse.
It's amazing how much this simple phototoon says about what's happened to democracy in the "free world".
Our founding fathers never dreamed that a member of Congress would be "representing" hundreds of thousands of constituents. George Washington reckoned it should be no more than 30,000. That would make sense - you might just be able to speak at enough block parties and picnics and town hall meetings to reach them all without buying ads on TV. You might even have time to personally meet with the ones who really want to talk to you (what real "lobbying" is supposed to be about). It's amazing to me that people spend more time talking about the Senate and the Electoral College and Citizens United than they do about this. The House is supposed to be where the real action is, where representation is assured. Well, it isn't. It isn't even close. Not when you have 700,000 constituents and you have to raise millions or even billions of dollars to have a prayer of talking to enough people in your own district to even know what's going on in it.
Dylan Ryan: "How I Became A Feminist Porn Star"