DNC Infographic: Stop The Sequester

Just days before $85 billion in deep federal budget cuts are to take effect, the Democratic National Committee is circulating a new online infographic aimed at pressuring Republicans to back President Obama’s plan to avoid the so-called sequester. “If Republicans in Congress don’t act by Friday to stop the so-called sequester, there will be far-reaching consequences on our economy. These disastrous consequences are completely avoidable, and the President has a balanced plan to stop the sequester,” says DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard says in an email with the infographic. Gaspard asks supporters to share the infographic via Twitter, Facebook and other online tools. President Obama warned of the consequences of the sequester in his recent State of the Union address. The … Continue reading

Former Gen. McChrystal: Assault Rifles For Battlefields, Not Schools

Gun control is the hot topic of the day today and today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who led the Afghanistan war, jumped into the fray and endorsed stronger gun control laws: “I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.” McChrystal went on to say: “We’ve got to take … Continue reading

Obama Campaign Reactivates To Pressure GOP

Just a month after President Obama won his campaign for a second term, his campaign apparatus sprang back to life Wednesday, urging supporters to keep pressure on the GOP to sway towards the president’s favored tax policies. In an email to supporters, Obama campaign chief Jim Messina urged supporters to ask Americans in Republican districts to contact their members of Congress to back an extension of tax cuts for the middle class while allowing the cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers to expire at the end of the year. GOP House Speaker John Boehner so far has resisted that approach to resolving the so-called fiscal cliff. “Whether you voted for the President or not, he’s fighting to keep taxes low for … Continue reading

Obama Needs Good Convention, Strategists Say

As Democrats gather in Charlotte, N.C., to formally renominate President Obama for another term, it’s critical that convention go well to propel the president toward re-election in the fall, according to a pair of top Democratic strategists. “This is a close presidential race where President Obama and the Democrats still need a good convention to get momentum and define the choice in the election to lock in their 3- or 4- point lead.  In our view, that is very likely,” says an email from famed strategist James Carville and prominent pollster Stan Greenberg. A successful convention in Charlotte can refocus voters, they say, from the current dreary economy towards the president’s hopeful plans for the future. “In the survey we conducted just before … Continue reading

Labor Chief Blames GOP For Poor Jobs Growth

One of the nation’s most prominent labor leaders is blaming Republicans for poor jobs growth, saying that “the economy is simply not delivering right now.” The nation added just 80,000 jobs in the month of June, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, according to new data from the federal government out Friday. “The trend of slow job growth is both frustrating and heartbreaking. The economy added only 80,000 net new jobs last month – not nearly enough to bring unemployment down and fuel a robust recovery,” says Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO labor organization and often a key ally for President Obama. “Republicans in Congress have responded to a massive jobs shortage and weak economy with … Continue reading

F.T.C. Fines Debt Collector $2.5 Million

In the midst of this economic recession (or depression) the F.T.C. has been cracking down on debt collectors who “harass consumers for money they may not even be legally obligated to pay.” This is good news for consumers who have found themselves for whatever reason unable to pay their debts in this economy. In the second-largest penalty ever levied on a debt collector, the F.T.C. said that Asset Acceptance, one of the nation’s largest debt collection companies, had agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that the company deceived consumers when trying to collect old debts. The F.T.C. has “pursued eight cases related to debt collection companies over the last two years.” The recent settlement with Asset Acceptance “is … Continue reading

Stories We Will Still Have to Write in 2012

  by WALTER and ROSEMARY BRASCH   In January 2009, with a new president about to be inaugurated, we wrote a column about the stories we preferred not having to write, but knew we would. Three years later, we are still writing about those problems; three years from now, we’ll still be writing about them. We had wanted the U.S. Department of the Interior to stop the government-approved slaughter of wild horses and burros in the southwest, but were disappointed that the cattle industry used its money and influence to shelter politicians from Americans who asked for compassion and understanding of  breeds that roamed freely long before the nation’s “Manifest Destiny.” We wanted to see the federal government protect wolves, … Continue reading

Obama Maintains High Public Opinion

President Obama’s first months in the Oval Office have strengthened his “standing with the American public, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, giving him political capital for battles ahead.” As his 100th day as president approaches next Wednesday, the survey shows Obama has not only maintained robust approval ratings but also bolstered the sense that he is a strong and decisive leader who can manage the government effectively during a time of economic crisis. In fact, public opinion of Obama “as a “strong and decisive leader” has jumped 12 percentage points, and his image as an effective manager has gone up 11 points,” since October.