background preloader

Politics & Such

Facebook Twitter

The unspeakable and the unelectable, joined... The Magazine - The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama. March/ April 2012The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama He’s gotten more done in three years than any president in decades.

The Magazine - The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama

Too bad the American public still thinks he hasn’t accomplished anything. By Paul Glastris In mid-January, pollsters for the Washington Post and ABC News asked a representative sampling of Americans the following question: “Obama has been president for about three years. Listen. Occupy Together 

New NDAA's Loopholes Make Its Military Detention Provisions Almost Pointless. The version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that emerged from a House-Senate conference meeting Tuesday morning contains many of the same provisions that administration officials and national security experts have warned would harm national security.

New NDAA's Loopholes Make Its Military Detention Provisions Almost Pointless

But while earlier incarnations of the detention provisions were confusing and harmful, now they're confusing and largely symbolic. "Those who were big supporters of this provision, well, this doesn't accomplish what they wanted. Their enthusiasm is misplaced," said Robert Chesney, a national security law expert who teaches at the University of Texas School of Law. NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed. The volume of sheer, unadulterated nonsense zipping around the internet about the NDAA boggles the mind.

NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed

There was a time–only a few months ago–when the NDAA detention provisions were the obscure province of a small group of national security law nerds. Now, however, this bill has rocketed to international notoriety. The added attention to it is a good thing. It’s an important subject and warrants genuine debate and discussion. Taking the Initiative in a Struggle Against Excessive Rate Increases. The biggest applause line Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) got at a gathering of Democratic Party activists last week came when she endorsed a ballot initiative to give the California Insurance Commissioner power to reject excessive health insurance rate increases.

Taking the Initiative in a Struggle Against Excessive Rate Increases

Consumer advocates there decided to go the ballot initiative route after the insurance industry’s friends in the legislature blocked a bill last year that would do the same thing. Feinstein became the first Californian to sign a petition. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones became the second. To get the measure before voters in November, the advocates, led by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, must collect half a million more signatures. In her San Diego speech before the party faithful, Feinstein pointed out that in the first quarter of this year, the five largest health insurers — UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, CIGNA and Humana — posted profits of $3.6 billion, 16 percent more than the same period a year earlier. The Definition of Insanity: Deregulating Over and Over and Expecting Different Results.

A cynic might argue that business leaders and their friends in Congress weren't expecting different results.

The Definition of Insanity: Deregulating Over and Over and Expecting Different Results

In either case, we've become a bipolar nation, 1% manic and 99% depressive. Our affliction is caused by a 30-year experiment in the dismal economics of delusion. Deregulation for corporations and tax cuts for the wealthy have defined conservative policy since the 1970s, when University of Chicago economist Arthur Laffer convinced Dick Cheney and other Republican officials that lowering taxes on the rich would generate more revenue. Ronald Reagan complied in the 1980s by dramatically reducing the top marginal tax rate. And while declaring government "the problem" he eased a half-century of protective regulations on mortgage lending. How to Put People Back in Charge. Most Americans know we’ve got problems with corporate power.

How to Put People Back in Charge

Eighty-six percent say Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence in Washington, D.C., and 80 percent oppose Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates to corporate campaign contributions. But how do we change that when corporations have so much wealth with which to protect their privileges? Petition to Break up Bank of America Pushes Forward. David Koch Admits Big Spending to Help Scott Walker Bust ‘Union Power’ Billionaire campaign donor David Koch, heir to a fortune and a political legacy created by one of the driving forces behind the John Birch Society, makes no secret of his enthusiasm for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

David Koch Admits Big Spending to Help Scott Walker Bust ‘Union Power’

“What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics. ReFund California Coalition. New Study Reveals That Stupidity Can Make You Conservative And Racist. Science has already established that people with right leaning political ideology are more apt to be prejudiced and that people with low education tend to be prejudiced, but now they’ve also shown that low IQs and conservative beliefs are linked to prejudice.

New Study Reveals That Stupidity Can Make You Conservative And Racist

Cue the screaming poutrage of the Right. Stephanie Pappas reported for Yahoo: There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario.

Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. And you wondered why conservatives don’t believe in science. “Are you praying for his death?”