President Obama’s speech on Economic Mobility on Wednesday, was a much needed jolt of reality about the state of our economy and income inequality in America. I spent the past two weeks researching the topic of poverty in America in the past sixty years. Suffice to say, I was glad to read Obama’s speech after writing an eight page report on the topic of poverty. Paul Krugman wrote a must read piece in the NY Times today. Krugman said: Mr. Obama laid out a disturbing — and, unfortunately, all too accurate — vision of an America losing touch with its own ideals, an erstwhile land of opportunity becoming a class-ridden society. Not only do we have an ever-growing gap between … Continue reading →
by Rosemary and Walter Brasch Segued into a 10-second afterthought, smothered by 60-second Christmas commercials, is the media acknowledgement of Thanksgiving, which nudges us into a realization of all we are thankful for. But the usual litany, even with the omnipresent pictures of the less fortunate being fed by the more fortunate, doesn’t list well this year. Our thanks seem to be at best half-hearted or at least insensitive and shallow. All of us might be thankful for peace if America still hadn’t been involved in two recent wars. The Iraq war lasted almost nine years; the other, in Afghanistan, has lasted more than 12 years and is the nation’s longest war. And now it appears that we will be … Continue reading →
The New York Times has published a memo that outlines ”House Republicans’ response to the Affordable Care Act” which the Times points out, “is increasingly organized and orchestrated, including collections of stories about people who say they were harmed by the health care law.” The 18 page memo details Republican Talking Points to be used in their continued battle against Obamacare: The document, the product of a series of closed-door strategy sessions that began in mid-October, is part of an increasingly organized Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature legislative initiative. Republican strategists say that over the next several months, they intend to keep Democrats on their heels through a multilayered, sequenced assault. It boggles the mind that the … Continue reading →
Fracking—the process the oil and gas industry uses to extract fossil fuel as much as two miles below the ground—may directly impact the nation’s water supply, reduce water-based recreational and sports activity, and lead to an increase in the cost of food. The cocktail soup required for each well requires about two million pounds of silica sand, as much as 100,000 gallons of toxic chemicals, and three to nine million gallons of fresh water. There are more than 500,000 active wells in the country. In 2011, the last year for which data is available, Texas energy companies used about 26.5 billion gallons of water. Energy companies drilling Pennsylvania used the second greatest amount of water, followed by Colorado and Arkansas. … Continue reading →
If you are like me, you’re among the lower 93% still waiting for a break from the long recession/depression that we still haven’t recovered from. According to an analysis by Pew Research Center of newly released Census Bureau data, “During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%.” Honestly this is no surprise, it’s been a long shaky ride for most of America. The struggling class is still held down by the upper 7%. Time to turn that around, don’t you think?
By Walter Brasch In 2011, before he was the Republican nominee for vice-president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) proposed a federal budget. He called it, “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise.” Two years later, now in his second year as chair of the House budget committee, he dusted off and polished his old proposal. He calls this one: “The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible Balanced Budget.” His plan is to cut the federal deficit by $4.6 trillion in four years, reducing the deficit to about $12.1 trillion. While the Republicans blame President Obama and the Democrats for wild tax-and-spend policies that led to the huge deficit, they conveniently overlook the reality that Bill Clinton left George W. Bush … Continue reading →
by Walter Brasch Judges who wish to assure that a jury has no outside influence will sequester them. Legally, a sequestered jury is seized by authority and isolated from all outside influences. The jurors are escorted into and out of the courtroom. They aren’t allowed to read newspapers, listen to radio news, or watch TV news, ’lest they could be influenced by the media. They are escorted to and from meals, and isolated from other customers. They can’t discuss the case with family or friends. They can’t even go home at the end of the day; they’re housed in hotel rooms. In the summer of 2011, a bipartisan “super-committee” was supposed to come up with a reasonable budget to … Continue reading →
The Republican Party has done an outstanding job at defining President Obama’s administration as spending more of our hard earned taxpayer dollars than any other president in American history. When in fact the evidence speaks to something entirely different; Citing Marketwatch, Rick Ungar a Contributor to Forbes Magazine, reports that President Obama has actually spent less money than any United States President since Dwight Eisenhower. David Gray, a writer for policymic.com, states that the Republican Party is not being 100% honest with the American people. The raw numbers show that yes, President Obama has spent more money than any other president in the United States, however once you calculate inflation, which is what Republicans are not telling you, President Obama … Continue reading →