The road to political and economic ruin for the Democrats began in the late spring of 2013, when President Obama agreed to a budget grand bargain that cut deficits by 2.8 trillion dollars over ten years, deflated a fragile recovery, and left no room for more than token domestic spending on jobs or infrastructure. The cuts were somewhat "back-loaded" -- bigger later in the decade. But in 2014 they took $200 billion out of the budget. According to CBO, that cut the growth rate by a full percentage point. As part of the deal, more Medicare costs were shifted to patients, and the cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security was cut. Both changes, proposed in Obama's own budget, reduced purchasing power by over $100 billion among the elderly -- who surprised experts by backing Republicans by a margin of 59-41, according to exit polls. The 2013 budget deal, according to Roger Hickey of Campaign for America's Future, "left the Democrats with bragging rights as deficit hawks, but not on the real economy."
President Obama brought his campaign to curb gun violence to Minnesota on Monday, and the North Star State offers valuable lessons for a nation in the midst of a critical public debate.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems we've entered a lull in the election. Maybe it's just my own exhaustion with our quadrennial political circus, but it seems things have settled in for the bitter end of the campaign.
Most obituaries described Wellstone as a quixotic radical, out of step with the times -- a progressive in a conservative era. But Wellstone understood the importance of pushing the debate to the left while also fighting for concrete gains in legislation.
Here is the takeaway from last week's saturation-level political activity, revealed by carefully-staged theater and by the moments in which the actors went off-script: Mitt Romney is not a particularly great decision-maker, and Paul Ryan is a liar.
While the nation bemoans a "gridlocked" Congress and Comedy Central's Messrs. Stewart and Colbert aptly ridicule both presidential candidates for a disregard of specificity on one hand and hubris on the other, I have borne witness to a very different vision of our elected leadership.
We're not going to have our normal partisan talking points today. We're going to follow the lead set by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and we're just not going to go there today.
What does it say about us as a nation where patients waiting in an emergency room or lying in (or near) recovery rooms after surgery can be confronted by a special "relative" or friend at their bedside? It's your friendly medical debt collector, holding an invoice.
Hundreds of people of faith across the nation undertook a 23-hour fast, symbolizing the 23 hours per day that tens of thousands of prisoners, inmates and detainees are warehoused in solitary confinement.
It's no secret that Americans are losing faith in many of our institutions. It's no wonder, either. Reading the news makes you think that there isn't anybody on our side anymore.
Barbara Lee turned out to be 100% right about the wrongful wars launched on Afghanistan and Iraq and she is certainly right again -- to try and stop an even more catastrophic and illegal preemptive war on Iran!
Historically, corporations were understood to be responsible to a complex web of constituencies, including employees, communities, society at large, suppliers, and shareholders. But in the era of deregulation, the interests of shareholders began to trump all the others.
Most Americans don't think about antitrust law when they look at their cable bill, flip channels on TV, or worry about what their favorite website knows about them. But they should.
It seems that SOPA and PIPA are dead in their current forms, but like zombies they'll be back under different names. I think there are a couple of lessons worth taking away from Wednesday's protest.
It is an important Sherman Act question if Google used its profits from its dominance in search to subsidize its dominance in video through YouTube. Google should honestly answer that question.
"As a society, we have to understand that science is a way of understanding the truth about the way things actually are in the physical world independent of how we wish they would be," Sen. Al Franken said.