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  • Russia's Addiction: How Oil, Gas, and the Soviet Legacy Have Shaped a Nation’s Fate : How Oil, Gas, and the Soviet Legacy Have Shaped a Nation’s Fate    ( Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 240pp. Get Notified When the Book is For Sale Why oil and natural gas are at the center of Russia’s economy and politics Russia’s dependence on its oil and gas is much deeper than generally recognized. Large parts of the economy that Russia inherited from its Soviet predecessor cannot survive without continuous infusions of value from the oil and gas sectors. The privatization of those sectors in the 1990s transferred their ownership to a small number of oligarchs, who promptly plunged into self-destructive internal warfare, putting their companies and the fate of millions of Russians at risk. In Russia’s Addiction, Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes describe how Vladimir Putin forced the oligarchs to end their strife and compelled them to share their oil and gas wealth with the rest of society. They argue that the system Putin implemented to manage the nation’s oil and gas resources has been the key to his power in Russia. But they ask the important question: What will happen to this system, and to Russia, when Putin is gone?  Clifford Gaddy, an economist specializing in Russia, is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program’s Center on the United States and Europe. He is a co-founder and senior scientific advisor of the joint Russian-American Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, based at Penn State University. Gaddy is the co-author of the recently released second edition of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings, 2015). Barry W. Ickes is a professor of economics and associate head, Department of Economics, The Pennsylvania State University. Ickes is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; director of the Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, Penn State; chair of the Research Committee, New Economic School in Moscow; and president of the American Friends of the New Economic School in Moscow. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Clifford G. Gaddy Barry W. Ickes Ordering Information: {9ABF977A-E4A6-41C8-B030-0FD655E07DBF}, 9780815727705, $30.00 Add to Cart         
  • Dilemmas of a Trading Nation : Japan and the Trans-Pacific Economic Order    (Mireya Solís, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 180pp. Japan is at a critical moment in determining its trade policy as it strives for renewed economic growth Its economy still struggling after two decades of low growth, Japan now faces a difficult moment as it confronts this ongoing challenge to economic renewal. Tokyo could deploy a proactive trade policy to help it rise again as one of the world's greatest trading nations. It could also, at the same time, attack the structural problems that have hindered its economic competitiveness and kept it from becoming a leading voice in the drafting of rules for this century's global economy.  Or, it could do nothing and remain shackled to the domestic political constraints that have kept it from playing a central role in international trade negotiations. In Dilemmas of a Trading Nation, Mireya Solís describes how Japan's economic choices are important for the United States, as well.  The two nations are the most important members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the trade agreement concluded in 2015 intended to spur trade in the world's fastest-growing economic region.  The arrest of Japan’s economic decline, the credibility of America’s resolve to remain a Pacific power, and the deepening of the bilateral alliance are all influenced significantly by the outcome of the TPP agreement. But the domestic politics of trade policy have never been as unwieldy as policymakers across the Pacific aim to negotiate ever more ambitious trade and to marshal domestic support for them. Dilemmas of a Trading Nation describes how, for both Japan and the United States, the stakes involved in addressing the tradeoffs of trade policy design could not be higher. Mireya Solís is the Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies and Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, where she specializes in Japan’s political economy, foreign policy, and Asia-Pacific trade integration. Her previous books include Banking on Multinationals: Public Credit and the Export of Japanese Sunset Industries, Competitive Regionalism: FTA Diffusion in the Pacific Rim (co-edited), and Cross-Regional Trade Agreements: Understanding Permeated Regionalism in East Asia (co-edited). ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mireya Solís Ordering Information: {9ABF977A-E4A6-41C8-B030-0FD655E07DBF}, 9780815729198, $32.00 Add to Cart         
  • Dream Hoarders : How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It    (Richard V. Reeves, 2019-01-28)
    Brookings Institution Press 2019 220pp. America is becoming a class-based society. It's now conventional wisdom to focus on the excesses of the top 1% — especially the top 0.01% — and how the ultra-rich are hoarding income and wealth while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the more important, and widening, gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else.  Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income isn't the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services.  As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is a fracturing of American society along class lines, not just an economic divide. Upper-middle-class children become upper-middle-class adults. These trends matter because the separation and perpetuation of the upper middle class corrode prospects for more progressive approaches to policy. Various forms of "opportunity hoarding" among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper middle class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society. Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society can take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity. This fascinating book shows how American society has become the very class-defined society that earlier Americans rebelled against — and what can be done to restore a more equitable society.   Richard V. Reeves is a senior fellow in Economic Studies, co-director of the Center on Children and Families, and editor-in-chief of the Social Mobility Memos blog. His research focuses on social mobility, inequality, and family change. Reeves appears regularly on radio and television as a political commentator, and writes for a variety of publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian and The Observer. He is also a regular contributor to the online 'Think Tank' section of the Wall Street Journal. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Richard V. Reeves Ordering Information: {BE4CBFE9-92F9-41D9-BDC8-0C2CC479A3F7}, 9780815729129, $24.00 Add to Cart         
  • Whatever happens, the GOP is bringing us a whole lot closer to single payer    (By Paul Waldman, 2017-06-27)
  • Weighing the benefits and costs of universal versus targeted pre-K programs    (Helen F. Ladd, 2017-06-27)
    A recent Brookings report reviewed the evidence on several specific issues related to public pre-K programs. These scaled-up state or district programs are intended to prepare four-year-olds for kindergarten. They are less intensive than the much smaller and heavily studied early childhood experiments, such as the Perry Preschool or Abecedarian programs, that have been shown…         
  • Partying with the engineers    (Garrison Keillor, 2017-06-27)
    It was Midsummer Day in Oslo.
  • The local papers' reviews for McConnell's Trumpcare bill are in, and are they brutal    (Joan McCarter, 2017-06-27)
    The great thing about Congressional Budget Office scores on the truly awful stuff, like Trumpcare, is that they write their own headlines. Like this: xShelly Moore Capito woke up to this front page at home pic.twitter.com/FL2VfPxoQL— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) June 27, 2017 And this: xFRONT PAGE of ALASKA NEWSPAPERS ON CBO (cc: @lisamurkowski) Alaska Dispatch News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner & Daily Sitka Sentinel pic.twitter.com/XI8GkVBCta— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) June 27, 2017 Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) haven’t yet said what they’ll do on Trumpcare. Maybe these headlines will help them decide. There’s even more pain for Republicans back home. The end of Medicaid as we know it? No exaggeration. The Senate version of Trumpcare has worse long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House version, to pay for tax breaks to the wealthy. Call your Republican senator at (202) 224-3121, and give them a piece of your mind. Tell us how it went.
  • Church and state go out on a date!    (By Tom Toles, 2017-06-27)
  • Trump makes America disdained again    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2017-06-27)
  • Same-sex marriage after Obergefell    (By Will Baude, 2017-06-27)
  • Hmm: Paul Ryan's op-ed touting all the GOP's 'good news' doesn't mention health care even once    (Kerry Eleveld, 2017-06-27)
    House Speaker Paul Ryan likely dreamed of shredding the social safety net at college keggers and now that he's delivering legislation that could do just that, he just doesn't think his good work is getting its due. So Ryan put pen to paper in an op-ed in the Independent Journal Review: Sometimes the noise drowns out the good news. And it certainly is right now. It would be hard to fault the average American for thinking all that’s going on in Washington these days is high-drama hearings and partisan sniping. But amid the countdown clocks and cable news chatter, something important is happening: Congress is getting things done to help improve people’s lives. (emphasis added) Let's stop right there. Honestly, it's unclear what he means by "getting things done" since Republicans haven't gotten any major pieces of legislation signed into law yet, but one might wager that he means passing a House healthcare repeal bill that would cut the number of insured Americans by 23 million. That would be logical, right? It is the biggest piece of legislation the House has passed—the one that warranted a big trip to the White House Rose Garden for a round of self-congratulatory glad-handing and backslapping. But apparently even Ryan couldn't find a way of framing that unconscionable monstrosity as an effort that would "improve people's lives." Of course, many of the people who would be stripped of healthcare insurance by Ryan's bill are on Medicaid, a program designed to help poor and disabled folks who for one reason or another can't afford to pay for health care themselves. But this must be the "good news," folks. It's all relative, and Ryan's a glass-half-full kinda guy. The more you can deprive indigent folks of basic care, the more money you can stuff back into the pockets of people who already have more wealth than they know what to do with. "Good news." Because other than robbing poor people of lifesaving care to further enrich the richest Americans, there's no "good news" to be had in that bill. It doesn't fix any of the problems Republicans have complained about for years. Deductibles will be higher, the individual markets will become less stable, people with pre-existing conditions will be priced out of the market, and premiums might go down but only because people will be getting less coverage.
  • Mitch McConnell issues dire warning: If Trumpcare fails, Republicans might have to talk to Democrats    (Mark Sumner, 2017-06-27)
    What happens if Republicans can’t get enough Republicans to vote for their all-Republican bill? The greatest horror imaginable. Mitch McConnell is delivering an urgent missive to staffers, Republican senators and even the president himself: If Obamacare repeal fails this week, then the GOP will lose all leverage and be forced to work with Chuck Schumer. Yes. If Republicans don’t pledge allegiance to Trump and sign on to condemn millions of Americans, they could be forced to talk to Democrats. That doesn’t mean Democrats will get anything they want, but … they’d have to talk to them. They might even get some of that democracy all over their tax cut plan. Voters expect Republicans to deliver on their long-held promise to repeal the law, McConnell said, according to those people. And failing to repeal the law would mean the GOP would lose its opportunity to do a partisan rewrite of the law that could scale back Medicaid spending, cut Obamacare’s taxes and repeal a host of industry mandates. Instead, Republicans would be forced to enter into bipartisan negotiations with Democrats to save failing insurance markets. It takes a very special kind of mind to think that “lose its opportunity to do a partisan rewrite” is a problem that should make people scramble. Of course, there’s only so long Republicans can keep maintaining the fabrication that the Affordable Care Act is dead.  “Of course, it’s also a big week for healthcare with an anticipated vote in the Senate later this week on the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Trump administration is holding events around the country highlighting the failure of Obamacare and what that failure has cost American families. ”
  • The role of special counsels and the Russia probe    (Norman Eisen, 2017-06-27)
    THE ISSUE: Special counsel Robert Mueller is currently overseeing an investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, and the possibility of obstruction of justice.  Despite threats of removal, Trump does not possess the direct authority to fire a special prosecutor, but could potentially order someone else to do so. Should Mueller remain and find…         
  • The gay marriage debate has been won    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2017-06-27)
  • On the Supreme Court’s travel ban decision    (Russell Wheeler, 2017-06-27)
    Russell Wheeler, visiting fellow in Governance Studies and president of the Governance Institute, examines the Supreme Court's decision to give temporary and limited approval to the Trump administration's travel ban. http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/5485737 Related content: What was most important in today's Supreme Court immigration decision Trump wants to "break up the Ninth Circuit." How would that help…         
  • The GOP has a stranglehold on 25 state governments. We can start to shatter one of them next month    (Carolyn Fiddler, 2017-06-27)
    After a painfully successful 2016 that saw them hold both houses of the legislature and pick up the governorship, Republicans now run the show in New Hampshire. And predictably, they immediately proceeded to push the same policies Republicans do everywhere as soon as they take control of a state's government: defund Planned Parenthood, restrict voting rights, and attack labor unions and working families. But Democrats will soon have a chance to unlock the GOP's stranglehold on this volatile swing state, and it starts with the state Senate. At only 24 seats, it's among the smallest legislative chambers in the country, so just one race can have a major impact, especially in a body as closely divided as this one. The New Hampshire Senate had a 14-to-10 Republican majority until recently; it's now 14-to-nine following Democratic Sen. Scott McGilvray's untimely death earlier this year. That means there will be a special election to fill his seat—the 16th District, which includes Dunbarton, Bow, Hooksett, Candia, and parts of Manchester—and it's coming up soon, on July 25. This seat is a key hold for Democrats, and keeping it won't be easy. Last fall, this district was Democrats' only red-to-blue flip in this chamber, with McGilvray defeating his GOP opponent by a narrow 51-49 margin. At the top of the ballot, the spread was even closer: Clinton eked out a 47.7-47.4 win. But this is exactly the kind of district Democrats need to retain in order to have a chance of flipping the state Senate in 2018, a realistic goal that's crucial to breaking the GOP's grasp on the state government "trifecta.” Manchester Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh won the primary earlier this month, and Daily Kos is pleased to give him our endorsement in this key contest. Cavanaugh is a product of local public schools, has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for 32 years, and also coaches Little League.
  • Cecile Richards wonders, 'If more members of Congress could get pregnant ...'    (By Jonathan Capehart, 2017-06-27)
  • Senate Repeal Bill Will Increase Average Costs for Exchange Enrollees by $2,294    (Topher Spiro, Emily Gee and Thomas Huelskoetter, 2017-06-27)
    The BCRA would significantly raise total health care costs for the average marketplace enrollee, especially for those who are older or low income. The post Senate Repeal Bill Will Increase Average Costs for Exchange Enrollees by $2,294 appeared first on Center for American Progress.
  • Did the CBO just tell the GOP that its ideology is dying?    (By Tom Toles, 2017-06-27)
  • Will GOP moderates fold and give Trump a win? If so, they lied to you.    (By Greg Sargent, 2017-06-27)
  • Do GOP senators have an escape hatch on the awful health-care bill?    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2017-06-27)
  • McConnell hits snag on moving Trumpcare forward    (Joan McCarter, 2017-06-27)
    Campaign Action Four Republican senators—Dean Heller (NV), Susan Collins (ME), Rand Paul (KY), and Ron Johnson (WI)—have announced they will vote against the procedural motion to proceed on the "Better Care Act," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's version of Trumpcare. One of those votes, Johnson's is . . . let's say "fluid." He's taken about four different positions in the last month and is frankly incoherent. Even after saying Monday night that he was a "no," he's telling CNN that he's "not opposed to this, I just said I'm not a yes yet." Johnson aside, there are still three votes that could torpedo the bill today or tomorrow, and two of them (Heller and Collins) seem pretty locked in. That leaves McConnell in full arm-twisting mode to get the necessary 51 votes for the bill to advance to a floor debate. GOP leaders said ultimately that even lawmakers who oppose the bill in its current form could be persuaded to allow the debate over the party’s long-sought Obamacare rollback to begin. “I would hope … our members would at least let us get on it,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 GOP leader. “Everybody wants to exert whatever leverage that they can, where they can get the most leverage, but I would expect we’d be able to get on the bill.” “I think we’re going to be in a good place,” added Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), the party’s chief vote counter. […] Senators from Medicaid expansion states huddled on Monday evening, hoping to persuade McConnell to pour more money into Medicaid and opioid treatment, but budget hawks are eyeing an opportunity to pocket the savings and decrease the deficit. That $188 billion McConnell has to play with in the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill is the crux there. McConnell probably counted on having that surplus to use to bribe the Medicaid senators—more funding to respond to the opioid crisis, maybe another "Klondike Kickback" type of tweak for Ohio and West Virginia, where Sens. Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito are under massive pressure to preserve Medicaid expansion. All we need is 3 Republican senators to block Trumpcare. If you have a GOP senator, we need you to call their office at (202) 224-3121. Demand that they put their constituents above their party. After the call, tell us how the call went.
  • How much can one strongman change a country?    (Shadi Hamid, 2017-06-27)
    Politicians—especially ideological ones—have to eventually deal with the “then what?” question. With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s narrow victory in a tense April referendum granting him sweeping new powers (amid opposition allegations of voter fraud), he could very well dominate the country’s politics through 2029. He would have more than a decade to reshape Turkey,…         
  • The GOP bill isn't just 22 million Americans losing health insurance—it's 28,600 murders    (Mark Sumner, 2017-06-27)
    In what may be the year’s most timely study, the Annuals of Internal Medicine published a study on Monday showing something that should be obvious, but needs to be stated: Insurance saves lives. The evidence strengthens confidence in the Institute of Medicine's conclusion that health insurance saves lives: The odds of dying among the insured relative to the uninsured is 0.71 to 0.97. What does that mean? It means that for every 1 million people who lose health insurance, 1,300 will die early. Combine that with the CBO score of the latest Senate healthcare bill and the cost for Republicans meeting their “repeal and replace” talking point isn’t just measured in the huge increases in cost to individuals. It’s 28,600 dead Americans who would be alive if Obamacare stays in place. It’s murder to score political points with their base. Where do those deaths come from? Uninsured people are less likely to engage in preventative care. They’re more likely to wait until conditions are more serious before seeking treatment. They’re less likely to get the best quality care or necessary follow-up care. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the ranks of the uninsured have been cut by 20 million. That’s 26,000 lives saved. But Trump and the Republicans are ready to throw those lives and more down the drain … because that’s the real price of getting revenge on Barack Obama. Doctors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, the authors of the study, served as unpaid advisers to the Bernie Sanders campaign where they helped to evaluate health policy. They point out the difficultly of doing such a study, considering all the different variables for which it’s hard to control, but searched the literature for situations where populations were similar except for whether or not they held health insurance. The result they achieved reflects the outcome of previous studies: health insurance saves lives.
  • In defense of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative    (Brahima Coulibaly, 2017-06-27)
    “Africa rising”—a reference to the strong economic performance across the continent over 2000-2014—is being questioned: Weak economic growth for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole since 2015, along with the subdued outlook for commodity prices, is reportedly undermining the region’s economic promise and reinforcing critics’ beliefs that the narrative is dead.  These skeptics, though, downplay several…         
  • Trump, Russia, and sanctions    (Steven Pifer, 2017-06-27)
    The Republican-controlled Congress does not trust President Trump on Russia or on sanctions. As a result, the House is now considering legislation passed by the Senate that would severely limit the administration’s flexibility regarding sanctions on Russia. How deep is the problem? The Senate approved the legislation on June 19 by a vote of 98-2,…         
  • Trump's unpopularity around the world is dragging down America's image    (Laura Clawson, 2017-06-27)
    Donald Trump is massively unpopular around the world and he’s bringing America’s image down with him, new set of polls finds: According to a new Pew Research Center survey spanning 37 nations, a median of just 22% has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. This stands in contrast to the final years of Barack Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64% expressed confidence in Trump’s predecessor to direct America’s role in the world. Only in Russia and Israel do people have more confidence in Trump than they did in President Obama at the end of his presidency. Russia shows up again as one of the only two countries—along with Vietnam—where the favorability rating for the United States as a whole has increased. In Canada, this is the first time a poll has found a majority having a negative view of the U.S., and:  The rise of Trump has almost certainly caused the precipitous fall. Under Obama last year, 83 percent of Canadians had confidence in the president to do the right thing in world affairs. Under Trump this year, it is a mere 22 percent. Of course, Trump probably thinks that being disliked around the world is a sign he’s doing something right. (Then again, what doesn’t Trump think is a sign he’s doing something right?)
  • Cartoon: GOP-care defended    (Jen Sorensen, 2017-06-27)
    Follow Jen on Twitter at @JenSorensen
  • Coverage Losses by State for the Senate Health Care Repeal Bill    (Emily Gee, 2017-06-27)
    The Congressional Budget Office projects 22 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026. The post Coverage Losses by State for the Senate Health Care Repeal Bill appeared first on Center for American Progress.
  • McConnell's response to CBO Trumpcare score: Clap harder ... and don't say the number 22 million    (Laura Clawson, 2017-06-27)
    It took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a few minutes to release a statement after the Congressional Budget Office released its verdict on the Senate Republican healthcare bill, and no wonder. When your bill will leave 22 million people without health coverage within a decade, 15 million of them by next year, you have to be careful what you say. Here's what McConnell came up with: Americans need relief from the failed Obamacare law. The Senate will soon take action on a bill that the Congressional Budget Office just confirmed will reduce the growth in premiums under Obamacare, reduce taxes on the middle class, and reduce the deficit. The American people need better care now, and this legislation includes the necessary tools to provide it. About that reduction in premium growth: xTrumpcare would reduce the price of insurance the same way removing the doors and the engine would reduce the price of a car— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 24, 2017 And reduced taxes on the middle class? If you consider people making $200,000 and above to be middle class, then sure. Because tax cuts start at income levels of $200,000 a year—not exactly middle class if you’re living in reality—and while people making between $200,000 and $500,000 a year get a tax cut of 0.2 percent of their income, that number rises to 0.8 percent of income for people making between $500,000 and $1 million, and two percent for people making more than $1 million. So even if you’re rich enough to get anything at all—and $200,000 a year places you solidly in the top 10 percent of American incomes—the real money goes to people making more than $1 million. Also, don’t you love how “better care” is almost an afterthought in McConnell’s statement? Which is still more of an emphasis on good care than exists in his actual bill—the Senate’s Trumpcare would make health coverage worse for most of us even after it’s done booting 22 million people off of insurance.
  • Three ways to make the Senate bill better - and disappear    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2017-06-27)
  • 'GLOW' is a period comedy about female wrestlers. Watching it will make you smarter.    (By Alyssa Rosenberg, 2017-06-27)
  • Purchase orders can get you a long way: export diversification in developed versus developing countries    (Dany Bahar, 2017-06-27)
    Export diversification is strongly associated with economic growth and stability. But, what explains export diversification in developing countries? Answering this question is extremely difficult—to say the least—as many forces simultaneously shape the export basket of countries: costs of local labor and other inputs, trade partners, productivity trends, and laws and regulations, among others. In fact,…         
  • Republicans have a solution to finding the votes they need for their healthcare bill—massive bribery    (Mark Sumner, 2017-06-27)
    The bad news? The evaluation of the new Senate Republican health care bill by the Congressional Budget Office shows that 22 million people will lose their health care over the next decade, most of those in the next year.  But there’s good news. Stripping Americans of their health care turns out to be more lucrative than expected. With the massive cuts to both individual subsidies and even more massive cuts to Medicaid, the Republicans looked into the bottom of the their plan and found some change left over. Republicans in the White House and in Congress were pleasantly surprised that the bill included more savings than they expected — and are trying to figure out if they can dole it out for votes. The Senate has about $188 billion to play with $188 billion represents a fraction of the cost of the plan. It’s not enough to reverse the cuts to Medicaid. It’s not enough to reverse the increase in what individuals would pay. It’s not enough to stem the bleeding, figurative and literal, that the bill will create. But while it won’t buy Americans health care, it can buy Republicans some votes. White House and Capitol Hill officials are exploring potential deals to divvy up billions of dollars to individual senators’ priorities in a wide-ranging bid to secure votes for the imperiled GOP health care bill. That makes today officially “side deal Tuesday,” as Mitch McConnell goes from senator to senator, offering to sweeten the deal. Which means that Republicans are moving toward a place where the bill not only puts 22 million Americans lives on the line, it does it to buy a few Republican senators something nice.
  • Israel's Arabian fantasy    (By Philip Gordon, 2017-06-27)
  • En banc D.C. Circuit splits over constitutionality of SEC administrative law judges    (By Jonathan H. Adler, 2017-06-27)
  • Trump’s chaos is covering for stealth escalation overseas    (Katrina vanden Heuvel, 2017-06-27)
    Americans are tired of wars without end. The response is to fight wars on the quiet.
  • An Iraq-war-vet NFL cheerleader allegedly abusing her boyfriend; a libel takedown lawsuit; and Public Citizen    (By Eugene Volokh, 2017-06-27)
  • Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday    (Bill in Portland Maine, 2017-06-27)
    From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE… Energize An Ally Tuesday It was a tough scene to watch last week when Capitol Police started dragging out dozens of physically disabled protesters who had gathered at Mitch McConnell's office door to protest the monstrous money grab for the wealthy he was trying to disguise as a health care bill. Leading the protest were members of ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit, so named for their original issue in the 70s and 80s: making city buses wheelchair-accessible), and it was both heartbreaking and inspiring to watch them, in spite of their vulnerabilities, fight the evil power right there at the source: “The American Health Care Act caps and significantly cuts Medicaid which will greatly reduce access to medical care and home and community based services for elderly and disabled Americans who will either die or be forced into institutions,” said Bruce Darling, an ADAPT organizer taking part in the protest. “Not only will AHCA take away our freedom,” said Dawn Russell, an ADAPT organizer from Colorado. “That lost freedom will also cost Americans much more money. The nursing facilities that people will be forced into are much more expensive than community-based services that AHCA would cut.” At the heart of the GOP heartlessness---aka "Trumpcare"---are drastic cuts to Medicaid. As Laura Clawson shared last week, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is stark in its assessment if this tax cut for the rich passes this week (or any week): People with disabilities account for more than 1 in 5 Medicaid beneficiaries under age 65.  Nationwide, nearly 13 million non-elderly Americans with disabilities receive health coverage through Medicaid, including more than 2 million children. Nearly half of non-elderly people with disabilities have their health care covered through Medicaid. Heckuva job, McConnell, Ryan and Donald. Way to punch down. Medicaid is crucial for people with disabilities. It provides comprehensive health benefits and serves as the primary payer for essential long-term services and supports that help people with disabilities stay independent in their homes. Can't put it any plainer than that. For the love of all that is godly and just, pick up your phone today and call your senators---both of them, even if they're asshole Republicans---and ask how they can justify upending and endangering people's lives like this. Then, if you're so inclined, reach into your wallet and make a donation to ADAPT here. (C&J, as with all of our Energize an Ally organizations, is tossing in $25.) For showing, once again, great courage and determination as they fight for so many rights we non-disabled take for granted, they deserve it. Like ADAPT on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter here. Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
  • Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!    (David Waldman, 2017-06-27)
    Republican Senators are beginning to either defect or troll us on the Medicaid repeal bill. Meanwhile, Trump is beginning to either unilaterally declare war with no notice to anyone, or troll the Pentagon. We’ll see what we can sort out before he kills us all. Listen LIVE (from your perspective, anyway), right here at 9:00 AM ET! Where else can you get live, unvarnished news, commentary and opinion from Daily Kos editors David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando? Well, sure, you could get that at Daily Kos. And this is Daily Kos. But that doesn’t count, because reasons. Besides, reading is overrated! Except for what you’re reading right now, that is. Especially this part: Help make the media you want, with a monthly, sustaining donation to our Patreon account! Or choose your own schedule with our Square Cash account. How can you be sure it’s worth your support? How about I let you check out our last show, for FREE: x YouTube Video YouTube | iTunes | LibSyn | Keep us on the air! Donate via Patreon or Square Cash Put on more sunscreen than David Waldman, get outside and have fun! Remember to pack your earbuds though—you don’t want to miss today’s KITM: Trumpcare is incredibly awful, astonishingly unpopular, and a failure all around. It is feared and hated coast to coast, but remains a make or break moment for Trump et al. So, how do the Republicans sell this nasty health care tax bill? Lie about it. Here are 3 lies they are using. Here’s another. Mitch McConnell also has designed the bill to let crocodile-tear senators amend it and claim victory. Greg Dworkin is here to explain that this is precisely the reason that backchannel negotiations might be the way Obamacare is rescued. It’s why Greg whispers “Cassidy-Collins” into ears at cocktail parties. Meanwhile, the CBO score will be the topic to bring up. The CBO score will show millions will lose coverage under the Senate health care tax bill. The Medicaid cuts will hurt even more. The largest gun organizations in Connecticut are getting behind Remington to fight families of 10 Sandy Hook shooting victims. Ivanka Trump, Senior Adviser to the President, with her own White House office, secure phone and such, tries to stay out of politics. So, when does her dad get out? Be patient, it’s coming. The current Russia fetish on the right is about white supremacy. White supremacy has been a priority for many in the US for a long while. Six Nazi spies were executed in Washington DC and white supremacists gave them a memorial on federal land. Russian bikers are connected to Putin. American bikers to Trump. Putin’s connected to American bikers. They are all connected to Trump. All this, plus Rosalyn MacGregor reports on the upcoming 2118 Gubernatorial race, and the issue of a “part-time legislature”, and who stands to gain. (Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
  • Morning Digest: Nevada Democrats beg Danny Tarkanian not to throw them into briar patch    (Daily Kos Elections, 2017-06-27)
    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● NV-Sen, NV-03: Wealthy perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian helped gift Democrats a swingy House district in the Las Vegas suburbs last year, so we may be pushing our luck in hoping he'll also give Team Blue a boosting in winning Nevada's Senate seat in 2018. But he just might! The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston reports that unnamed sources tell him Tarkanian is indeed mulling a primary bid against Republicans Sen. Dean Heller, who outraged Trumpworld when he said on Friday that he couldn't support the Senate GOP's bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (at least "right now"). However, Heller's failure to display slavish fealty to Republican leaders may only be part of Tarkanian's consideration here: He might also be looking to settle a score. Last year, Democrat Jacky Rosen beat Tarkanian 47-46 in Nevada's 3rd District, which Trump narrowly carried 48-47. Tarkanian, who is currently suing his old foe for defamation, is reportedly interested in challenging Rosen for re-election, but last week, Rosen said she was planning to take on Heller. According to Ralston's source, if Rosen runs for the Senate, Tarkanian feels he "must" consider doing so as well. As recently as Sunday, Ralston wrote that Tarkanian had ruled out a Senate bid, but he seems to have had an abrupt change of heart. Nevada Republicans can only hope he changes right back. Tarkanian has unsuccessfully run for office five times now, but his wealth and family name—his late father was the legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian—have elevated him above the rank of Some Dude. And powered by his belligerent conservatism, Tarkanian defeated state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, the choice of the GOP establishment, in the primary for the 3rd District last year. Tarkanian's many liabilities were well-known from his four prior campaigns (he was the nominee for a state Senate seat in 2004, for secretary of state in 2006, and for the 4th District in 2012, and he lost the primary for U.S. Senate in 2010), making it all too easy after the primary for Rosen and her allies to portray him as a shady businessman and non-stop office-seeker. Most notably, Tarkanian and his family guaranteed several bad loans in their failed effort to build an "equestrian destination resort." In 2012, Tarkanian was hit with a $17 million judgment as a result of that debacle, leading him to declare bankruptcy, because of course he didn't have anything like $17 million on hand to repay his creditors. (He finally settled the matter for just $525,000.) Tarkanian emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2015, just in time to launch yet another campaign. Democrats were only too happy to bludgeon him with the equestrian loan disaster. In the end, Tarkanian narrowly lost even though Trump carried his district—a rare Republican in a competitive seat who underperformed the top of the ticket. Who knows if he'll really do us a solid again, but he's been helpful so far.
  • Morning Bits    (By Jennifer Rubin, 2017-06-27)
  • The Supreme Court’s travel ban order shows that lawyers can’t save us from Trump    (By Diala Shamas, 2017-06-27)
    Only political organizing and popular mobilization can really bring change.
  • Abbreviated pundit roundup: CBO confirms Senate GOP health care bill is a disaster    (Georgia Logothetis, 2017-06-27)
    Higher deductibles? Check. Millions more uninsured? Check. Unaffordable plans that offer skimpy coverage? Check. Skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs? Check. The Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the Senate’s version of the House’s “mean” bill (to use Trump’s own description) is still a policy and political nightmare. We begin today’s roundup of the reaction to the CBO score with Michael Tomasky at Newsweek: The bill is a policy monstrosity. A health-care monstrosity. It will dramatically increase the number of uninsured, by 22 million over 10 years, as you’ve heard. But it will also increase premiums for most people, at least at first. [...]  All the cable networks on Monday night led with the 22 million uninsured, because it’s the biggest number and because it’s the “out-year” projection, which is what these reports always emphasize. But politically, the far more important number is 15 million. The CBO projects that the Senate bill would create 15 million more uninsured in 2018. That’s next year. An election year. That is to say that 68 percent of those expected to lose their coverage are going to lose it in the bill’s first year. The Republicans are gonna throw 15 million Americans off the insurance rolls in an election year? That’s a lot of people. Divided by 435, it’s around 34,000 people per congressional district, but of course the distribution won’t be even, and there will be many districts—toss-up districts—where 60,000 or 80,000 people will stand to lose their coverage. And states where half a million will lose coverage. How’d you like to be a Republican incumbent House member or senator defending that next fall? John Cassidy at The New Yorker highlights the toll the bill will take on the working poor: Whatever Trump and the Republicans might say, these figures make it very clear that the working poor would be huge losers under the bill. One of the progressive innovations of the A.C.A.’s expansion of Medicaid was that it allowed working families who subsisted just above the poverty line to get access to health care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about sixty per cent of the people who enrolled in the program were employed. Under the Senate bill (and the House bill), many of these workers, some of whom could be earning as little as fifteen thousand dollars a year, would no longer be eligible for Medicaid in a few years, and they would have to take their chances in the open market. For them and anybody else who buys individual insurance, the outlook would be grim. The C.B.O. analysis said that premiums in the private market would rise by about twenty per cent next year, on average, because of the elimination of the individual mandate. After that, price premiums would start to fall relative to the current law, but so would the quality of insurance plans. Plans would offer fewer health services, and deductibles would rise even further. All this would happen by design. Here’s Eugene Robinson’s take: Republicans have no great political options here, so maybe they should just do what is right: stop sabotaging Obamacare and start working with Democrats to make it better.
  • How Bush, Obama and Trump ended Pax Americana    (By David Rothkopf, 2017-06-27)
  • Seattle's higher minimum wage is actually working just fine    (Ben Spielberg, 2017-06-27)
    Here's what's wrong with a University of Washington study that found it hurt low-wage workers.
  • Jeff Sessions isn't making America safer. He might be making it more dangerous.    (Inimai Chettiar, 2017-06-27)
    Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stripped federal prosecutors of their traditional discretion to fit the punishment to the crime, directing them instead to seek the maximum penalty possible in all criminal cases. Last weekend in The Washington Post, Sessions defended this abrupt shift as necessary to confront the specter of rising crime, claiming “violent […]
  • How the terror of lynchings in the past haunt us today and our future    (By Jonathan Capehart, 2017-06-27)
  • It's the 21st century. Yet slavery is alive and well.    (By Holly Burkhalter, 2017-06-27)
  • Better data needed on job scenario    (Rakesh Mohan, 2017-06-27)
    "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics,” the 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli famously said. Today, his description of questionable data may be applied, somewhat facetiously, to Indian labour statistics. The problem is not that they are “fake”, but rather that they give only a partial and sometimes inaccurate view of India’s job…         


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