Pro-Israel Right Gangs Up on Chuck Hagel to Sink Defense Secretary Nomination

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 10:51 am

Empowering the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham to hold veto power over any nominee the Administration puts out is just deeply depressing.


Endorsing Social Security Cuts Gives Politicians the “Elite Bonus”

By: Friday October 26, 2012 9:41 am

Basically, Dean Baker implies that a stance of defending Social Security lowers your campaign contributions and labels you as “unserious” in major media. You can see this in the Washington Post’s endorsement of President Obama, mainly because he “understands the urgency of the (deficit) problems as well as anyone in the country and is committed to solving them in a balanced way.” They almost entirely based their endorsement on the likelihood of Obama reaching a deficit deal over Romney. And the Post ed board describes that “balanced way” as a combination of “entitlement reform and revenue increases.” There’s really no greater avatar of the DC elite mindset than Fred Hiatt’s scribbling crew.

Alan Simpson: “I get so damn sick and tired of listening to the little guy”

By: Friday October 5, 2012 12:00 pm

Alan Simpson is upset that somebody besides those with the accumulated wealth of a Pete Peterson gets a voice in our democracy.

Jeff Connaughton: “The public interest has become so outgunned”

By: Thursday October 4, 2012 12:30 pm

Before last night’s debate, Jeff Connaughton, former chief of staff to Senator Ted Kaufman and longtime aide to Joe Biden and President Clinton, offered some advice to Mitt Romney. He thought Romney should go after Barack Obama’s biggest weakness: the failure to prosecute Wall Street crimes.

In actuality, Romney only submitted a glancing blow with respect to Wall Street, claiming that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law “designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they’re effectively guaranteed by the federal government… There’ve been 122 community and small banks have closed since Dodd- Frank.”

Here is an edited transcript of our conversation, which covered financial reform, money in politics, and the insidious grip of Big Money over Washington.

Signposts of Democracy: How Americans Get Taught About the Political System They Have

By: Monday October 1, 2012 11:28 am

I’ve tried really hard to avoid this brouhaha over Conor Friedersdorf’s article on why he refuses to vote for Barack Obama. It’s probably generated far more discussion than it merited, since it amounted to an unsurprising statement of support for a libertarian candidate from a right-leaning civil libertarian. That liberals pounced on it as an example of Naderite perfidy, though the circumstances are quite different, is something that I found revealing of liberals, and this post can stand in for my thoughts there.

Money Talks: The MEK Episode as the Fundamental Display of Washington Lobbying Power

By: Monday September 24, 2012 6:00 am

If you want to understand how things get done in Washington, perhaps the best lesson of the year comes from the State Department’s decision late Friday to remove the Iranian exile group Mujahideen-e-Khalq from the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The MEK never really lessened the activities that got it listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in the first place; in fact, they have intensified inside Iran. No, their path to de-listing came simply from buying off practically every prominent figure in Washington and rallying DC opinion to their side. It didn’t hurt also that the object of their terrorist activities happens to be a foreign country we don’t like.

Niall Ferguson Has a Sad About Liberal Bloggers

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 5:00 pm

The Niall Ferguson Newsweek saga has moved swiftly from tragedy to farce. After getting called out for numerous factual errors in his cover story on his opposition to Barack Obama’s re-election, Ferguson has now struck back with a broadside against the messenger, specifically “liberal bloggers,” who had the temerity to point out his mistakes.

National Poverty Rate Approaching Pre-Great Society Highs

By: Monday July 23, 2012 11:30 am

The gains of the war on poverty have been almost totally wiped out. The Census Bureau will report that poverty will reach a 46-year high when they announce their numbers later in the fall. But Congress has given no indication that it cares enough; indeed, recent votes suggest they’re willing to make it worse.

Within 30 Minutes Conservative Activists Shut Down Talk of Keeping Parts of Obamacare

By: Friday May 18, 2012 3:15 pm

I’ve been on quite a few listservs in my career, including ones that were supposed to wield supreme influence. But I can assure you that I’ve never been involved with any listserv as effective as this. Basically, within 30 minutes of a story in Politico about how House Republicans may try to reinstate parts of Obamacare if it were overturned by the Supreme Court, pushback – at the Google group level – got the Speaker of the House to repudiate the article.

Revealed Preferences: Evidence Points to Banks Owning the Place

By: Thursday April 19, 2012 9:02 am

The arrogance of power comes through loud and clear here. Larry Summers and Robert Rubin did their business, and they will never admit to being wrong.

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