Tuesday November 25, 2014
With the world going crazy, I tried running away from the news. It didn't work.
In recent decisions, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has made clear its view that corporations are people, with all the attendant rights. They are entitled to free speech, which in their case means spending lots of money to bend the political process to their ends. They are entitled to religious beliefs, including those that mean denying benefits to their workers. Up next, the right to bear arms?
Remember how Democrats rushed into passing President Obama's Affordable Care Act back in 2010 while they still had the votes? Now health care for millions teeters on a typo.
The fate of ACA, also known -- thanks to clever conservative wordsmiths -- as "Obamacare," was thrown into jeopardy last week by two Republican-appointed judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit who struck down a key part of the law.
A group of white gun-rights advocates plan to sling rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic assault weapons onto their bodies, and walk through a Black neighborhood in Houston.
What could possibly go wrong with that?!
The march through Houston’s Fifth Ward is planned for August 16 to educate Texans about their rights to openly carry firearms.
For more than 60 years with hardly a break, the Republican Party has chosen as its standard-bearer someone who has been able to claim it's his turn. Not since military hero Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio, whose supporters so contended in 1952, has a conspicuous outsider run away with the prize.
Rather than getting on with the country's business and focusing solely on can't-wait issues before they jet out of town this weekend - like the unfinished bill to fix veterans' health care and the stalled bill to deal with the humanitarian crisis of Central American children arriving at the border - House Republicans are gearing up for a grand maneuver: an apparently unprecedented move by the House to sue the president over his use of executive orders.
Talk about misplaced priorities.
Spain was where the "right to be forgotten" began, with the European Commission recently ruling that individuals can demand that Google remove unfavorable links about them from search results. Now a new copyright law is stirring controversy in the country and is part of a bigger European debate about Internet rules.
Paul Ryan is counting on this: Because he says he wants to preserve a safety net, speaks with concern about poor people and put out a 73-page report, many will elide over the details of the proposals he made last week in his major anti-poverty speech.
Don't be so sure the Supreme Court is going to save Obamacare. Again.
The question is enormously important: Are health care consumers entitled to subsidies if they buy coverage on insurance exchanges established by the federal government, as they are from state exchanges?
For much of the past five years readers of the political and economic news were left in little doubt that budget deficits and rising debt were the most important issue facing America. Serious people constantly issued dire warnings that the United States risked turning into another Greece any day now. President Barack Obama appointed a special, bipartisan commission to propose solutions to the alleged fiscal crisis, and spent much of his first term trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain on the budget with Republicans.