Are Democrats Too Complacent About the Threat of Red States Refusing the Medicaid Expansion?

By: Tuesday July 3, 2012 8:40 am

Democrats may be too complacent about potential loss of Medicaid expansion. Ten states have already vowed to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, with more potentially on the way. The fact that these states sued to overturn the entire law should have been a tipoff that they wouldn’t exactly jump at the chance to incorporate one important portion of the law if they were given the opportunity to opt out.

“Refreshing Contacts”: The Revolving Door Shuffle in Washington

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 11:50 am

I always find the revolving door to be an intriguing subject of inquiry. The combination of big money in influencing policy, as well as the transient nature of most political jobs, combines to ensure that members of Congress and their staffs put in their time building relationships on Capitol Hill, only to jump over to [...]

Guess Who’s Investigating JP Morgan’s Fail Whale Trades, Now Up to a $7 Billion Loss?

By: Tuesday May 22, 2012 12:10 pm

The London Independent comes out with the largest estimate I’ve seen of losses on JPMorgan’s Fail Whale trades: $7 billion. Another concern is the Senate Banking Committee’s chief investigator for any hearings: a former lobbyist for JP Morgan.

St. Louis Fed President: Break Up the Banks

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 7:20 pm

James Bullard, the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, has become the second regional bank President in the last couple months to endorse the concept of breaking up large banks.

CFPB Holds the Keys to Fixing Servicing, Not the States

By: Monday May 7, 2012 8:15 am

I wanted to take note of this one story from last week, about the fact that the foreclosure fraud settlement is only a three-year agreement, meaning that all the vaunted reforms of the servicing market end up expiring at the end of the time period. But the solution lies with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to adopt permanent standards for servicers.

ALEC Retreats on Non-Economic Legislation

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 12:50 pm

In what at first glance looks like a major concession, ALEC, the embattled right-wing legislation factory for state and local government, announced they would refocus their efforts solely on economic issues, and eliminate a task force they had devoted to social and cultural issues, like guns and voter ID laws and abortion.

EPA to Release Fracking Rule Today

By: Tuesday April 17, 2012 7:45 am

The EPA will announce the first federal rules against fracking. Curiously, the rules have nothing to do with the Clean Water Act, but seek to reduce the air pollution around fracking sites, also a serious concern, though much of the attention around the corrosive side effects of fracking has revolved around water contamination.

Administration Meets With Industry Trade Reps Moments After Announcing Interagency Group on Fracking

By: Friday April 13, 2012 3:30 pm

I mentioned earlier today that the President issued an executive order to create an interagency working group to oversee hydraulic fracturing, the process used in extracting natural gas. This order creates no regulations on fracking on federal lands, or on the development of environmental and public health standards associated with fracking generally. It just coordinates the “Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources,” between 13 different federal agencies and headed up by the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

FDA Seeks “Voluntary” Limits on Antibiotics in Livestock

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Instead of setting clear limits, or just banning multiple types of antibiotics for use in livestock (as this legislation from Louise Slaughter would do), the FDA just prescribed “voluntary limits.” Why? Because they’ve been trying to ban antibiotics in livestock since 1977. And agribusiness along with pharmaceutical companies lobby against it, and it doesn’t happen. So we’re reduced to begging drugmakers to stop facilitating the fact that the hamburger on our plates is filled with penicillin and tetracycline.

Apple Holding $60 Billion in Offshore Reserves for Ransom

By: Tuesday March 20, 2012 3:16 pm

Apple announced a roughly $10 billion annual dividend and a share buy-back program, designed to make use of their hundreds of billions in cash reserves. They estimate it will cost about $45 billion over the next three years, but that leaves tens of billions in profits oversees, while Apple lobbies Congress for a tax-free repatriation of foreign profits.

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