It is a national moral disgrace that there are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children in the United States of America -- the world's largest economy. It is also unnecessary, costly and the greatest threat to our future national, economic and military security.
San Juan, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Why not a Commonwealth of Texas? That thought occurred to me reading about political stalemate in Washington while celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Sierra Club's vibrant chapter here.
Instead of embracing and building on Obama's policies, where the U.S. has experienced 58 months of continued economic growth, Mitch wants to revert back to the policies under George W. Bush. Has he forgotten that those policies collapsed our economy?
The New York Times reported last week that in the closed-door Republican Senate Caucus retreat, Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell "encouraged the Republican troops to refocus policy on the stagnant middle class." That would be like asking the wolves of the world to stop hunting and refocus on cultivating asparagus.
Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.
Too often we begin with old assumptions about what government can accomplish or what business can do; we need to cast fixed ideas aside and remain open to learning from these examples, and many more, in order to find our way to restoring the promise of work.
Even if you're a just a talk-radio host, you shouldn't just say "Yap," as KHOW 630-AM's Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.
For every theater-goer, minimum wage-earner or maximum wage-maker who applauded, cried, or expressed righteous indignation at the story told in Selma, we'd like to remind them that the story of economic justice is still being written in our country, city and state.
The U.S. Constitution calls for a State of the Union Address. It doesn't call for fact checkers on these, but they exist anyway. Do they show that U. S. Presidents lie, or do they find that they generally tell the truth?
At the end of the day, money in politics cannot be "someone else's issue." Because it distorts who is heard by our elected officials, it affects what's in your paycheck, who ends up in prison, what kind of health care we have access to, what kind of environment we leave for our children, and much more.
President Obama begins his seventh year in office in good position. At this point in his eight-year term, the unemployment rate is a) lower than Reagan's at the same time; b) lower than Romney/Republican targets for the end of 2016 and St. Ronnie's for his entire term; c) Medicare is now solvent at least through 2031; and, d) ~10 million more people are covered by health insurance.
Cynics will point out that while Aetna may be a first mover in the health care industry, the total cost of Bertolini's announcement is chump change. Aetna's profits weigh in at about $2 billion per year.
We're not asking for gold. We're not asking for diamonds. We're asking to get paid enough to support our families.
I've been thinking a lot about the world we've created. And I've come to the conclusion that it makes absolutely no sense. None. Not even a little.
Now that the Republican Party -- the conservative voice in mainstream U.S. electoral politics -- has attained the most thoroughgoing control of Congress that it has enjoyed since 1928, it's an appropriate time to take a good look at modern conservatism.
By now, about 60 percent of the workforce is covered by minimum wages above the federal level. What with all these sub-national increases, do we even need a federal minimum wage anymore?