Posts Tagged ‘krugman

26
Jan
14

The President’s Fiscal Record

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Paul Krugman: Obama And The One Percent

Another week, another outburst by a one-percenter comparing progressive taxation to Nazi atrocities. Anyway, thinking about this sort of thing makes me realize that there’s a danger, especially for progressives, of confusing the proposition that Obama’s billionaire haters are stark raving mad — which is true — with the proposition that Obama has done nothing that hurts the plutocrats’ interests, which is false. Actually, Obama has been tougher on the one percent than most progressives give him credit for.

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Start with taxes. The Bush tax cuts haven’t gone completely away, but at the very high end they have been pretty much reversed; plus there are additional high-end taxes associated with Obamacare. The result is that taxes on wealthy Americans have basically been rolled back to pre-Reagan levels. No, Obama isn’t Hitler; but he is turning out to be a little bit of FDR, after all.

More here

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Perfect response to Krugman’s piece by a commenter named John

Nice to see you giving a bit of credit to the president and his team for a change. Yes he’s gradually pushed the top rates back to pre Reagan levels and he’s done it largely by stealth. It also needs to be pointed out that, despite all the endless hyperventilating, Federal spending levels IN REAL TERMS is 50% higher than it was when Clinton was in office in 2000. Partly this is a consequence of the war in Afghanistan but quite a lot of it is goodies handed out by Bush as cover for his tax cuts. In fact in overall terms Obama has been very effective at protecting overall federal spending despite a relentless assault. In a way the Republicans have reason to be ticked. When Obama leave office his progressive credentials are going to be looking pretty good even if the far left are disappointed that paradise has been postponed yet again.

Turning to Kristallnacht Perkins, you do have to wonder what the WSJ was thinking. I’ve seen lots of loopy letters there over the years but this was a beaut. Since it’s a conservative own goal, I suspect the letters editor will be getting bawled out by Gigot. How unfortunate.

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19
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

Completely random old pic (Portsmouth, N.H., Sept. 7, 2012)

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Today (all times Eastern)

11:0: President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

11:45: Meets with senior advisors

12:45: Josh Earnest briefs the press

2:15: President Obama meets with independent financial regulators

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A sign along Harding Hill in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, August 18

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USA Today: Coming off a week’s vacation, President Obama deals Monday with new rules on the financial system.

Obama holds a closed-door meeting with financial regulators to discuss the impact of new laws, the White House says, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill and the Consumer Protection Act.

The guest list includes the Comptroller of the Currency, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Also: The chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Times Tribune: Biden to join Obama in Scranton

In a rare occurrence, Vice President Joe Biden will join President Barack Obama in Scranton for the last stop on the president’s two-day bus tour promoting affordable higher education.

…. The president is scheduled to appear Friday at Lackawanna College, a school spokeswoman and the White House confirmed Friday. The school will be the last stop on a tour that takes Mr. Obama on Thursday to the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., and the State University of New York and Henninger High School in Syracuse. Hours before the Scranton stop, the president will take part in a town hall at Binghamton University.

“At each stop, the president will discuss the importance of ensuring that every American has the opportunity to achieve a quality education by reducing cost and improving the value of higher education for middle-class students and their families,” a White House official said…

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ThinkProgress: How Testicular Cancer Convinced A Former Republican Staffer To Leave His Party

Before he could realize the value of affordable health care, one Republican campaign staffer had to experience what it’s like to be without it.

Clint Murphy, who’s been involved with Republican campaigns since the 1990s, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000 when he was 25 years old. Four years and four rounds of chemo treatment later — all of which was covered by insurance — Murphy was in remission. Insurance wasn’t a problem in his subsequent political jobs — he worked on John McCain’s election campaign in 2008 — but when he quit politics in 2010 and entered real estate, he realized just how difficult obtaining insurance with a pre-existing condition could be.

…. That’s why Murphy had this to say to his Republican friends who oppose Obamacare on Facebook last week: “When you say you’re against it, you’re saying that you don’t want people like me to have health insurance.”

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Steve Benen: Far-right ‘ready to erupt’ over health care?

President Obama’s weekly addresses tend to be pretty tame, at least as far as political rhetoric goes, but over the weekend his latest weekly message included some fairly pointed language about Republican efforts to sabotage the federal health care system.

Some congressional Republicans, Obama said, are “working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they’ll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don’t get their way, they’ll shut down the government…. A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me. But they’d just be sticking it to you.”

And while the White House pushes against the GOP shutdown threats, far-right activists continue to push in the opposite direction.

More here

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Paul Krugman: One Reform, Indivisible

Recent political reporting suggests that Republican leaders are in a state of high anxiety, trapped between an angry base that still views Obamacare as the moral equivalent of slavery and the reality that health reform is the law of the land and is going to happen.

But those leaders don’t deserve any sympathy. For one thing, that irrational base is a Frankenstein monster of their own creation. Beyond that, everything I’ve seen indicates that members of the Republican elite still don’t get the basics of health reform — and that this lack of understanding is in the process of turning into a major political liability.

On the unstoppability of Obamacare: We have this system in which Congress passes laws, the president signs them, and then they go into effect. The Affordable Care Act went through this process, and there is no legitimate way for Republicans to stop it.

More here

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Reuters: Illinois expands background checks to all gun purchases

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a gun-control measure into law on Sunday that expands background checks to cover all firearms purchases in the state, closing what he said was a loophole that exempted gun sales between private parties.

The new law also requires all gun owners to report any lost or stolen firearms to local police within 72 hours.

“Guns are a plague on too many of our communities,” Quinn, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Making sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands is critical to keeping the people of Illinois safe. This commonsense law will help our law enforcement crack down on crime and make our streets safer.”

The expanded background checks go into effect on January 1, 2014.

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Michael Tomasky: Julian Assange Loves Rand Paul and His ‘Very Principled Positions’

Julian Assange, who back when he roamed the earth freely used to do things like show up on the steps of St. Paul’s to protest the wrongs of capitalism, has now apparently placed his faith in the man who is arguably the capitalists’ single biggest lickspittle in Washington, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). In and of itself, this is only mildly interesting. But Assange’s admirers on the left are so seduced by his oppositionalist posture and his desire to stick it to the man (as long as the man is the government of the United States) that they seem willing to follow him off any cliff, maybe even the cliff of voting for Paul in 2016. It’s a jejune politics, and ultimately a politics of leisure. No one whose day-to-day life is materially affected by the question of who is in office has time for such silly games, and therefore, no one who purports to be in solidarity with those people should either.

… these seemingly left-wing anti-establishment types should never be trusted. These are just playtime politics, luxuries for the leisure class. If you want a real left-winger, I say stick with Marx. At least he understood that politics is chiefly about economic relations. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is sending you down blind alleys, knows little about politics to begin with, and should be shunned by anyone who claims to be anywhere on the broad left side of the spectrum.

Full post here

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Ari Berman: Time to March on Washington — Again

They carried signs that demanded “Voting Rights,” “Jobs for All” and “Decent Housing.” They protested the vigilante killing of an unarmed black teenager in the South and his killer’s acquittal. They denounced racial profiling in the country’s largest city.

This isn’t 1963 but 2013, when so many of the issues that gave rise to the March on Washington fifty years ago remain unfulfilled or under siege today. That’s why, on August 24, a broad coalition of civil rights organizations, unions, progressive groups and Democratic Party leaders will rally at the Lincoln Memorial and proceed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the march and dramatize the contemporary fight. (President Obama will participate in a separate event commemorating the official anniversary on August 28.)

The Supreme Court’s decision gutting the Voting Rights Act in late June and the acquittal of George Zimmerman less than three weeks later make this year’s march “exponentially more urgent” with respect to pressuring Congress and arousing the conscience of the nation, says Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, a co-sponsor of the march.

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MoooOOOooorning!

05
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

Four years ago – Pete Souza: “I was sitting in the reception area outside the Oval Office when Sasha walked by and headed to the Oval. I suspected something was up, so I followed her. Sasha then crawled into the office, hiding behind the sofa, and when she reached the far end, jumped up and yelled trying spook her dad.” Aug. 5, 2009

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:45: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

6:0: The President meets with former Negro League baseball players

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The Week Ahead:

Tuesday: The President will travel to the Phoenix, Arizona area to continue talking with Americans about his better bargain for the middle class

That afternoon, the President will travel to Burbank, California, to tape an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Wednesday: The President will travel to Camp Pendleton to visit with troops and their families

Thursday: The President will welcome Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of Greece to the White House

Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

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USA Today: President Obama has a string of meetings on his schedule Monday, one of them with a group of legends.

Early this evening, Obama meets with former Negro League baseball players at the White House.

The president will honor the players’ “contributions to our nation’s history, civil rights, and professional baseball,” says the White House schedule.

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WCHB: Minnie Forbes Owner of the 1956 Detroit Stars Honored by President Obama

The Michigan Chapter of Negro League Baseball Players celebrate one of their members, Minnie Forbes. She is the former owner of the 1956 Detroit Stars Baseball Team. Forbes is credited with being the third woman in the United States to own a team in the Negro Leagues. After 1958, Forbes went on to be the fourth woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. She was the third basemen for the Kansas City Monarchs.

Louis Manley, Jr is a well-known Detroit historian and the president of The Michigan Chapter of Negro League Baseball. He is excited to be recognized nationally as a leader in Negro League Baseball. As he prepares to meet and greet President Obama on Monday August 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm in the White House, he is delighted to accompany Minnie Forbes.

More here

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The Grio: Obama turns 52: 52 things that the president has accomplished so far

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Dallas News: Obama order in wake of West blast a ‘game-changer’ in chemical safety, senator says

Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate’s environment and public works committee, sat visibly frustrated in a June congressional hearing. She finally told the Environmental Protection Agency official that “lives are being lost” while the agency failed to better safeguard the fertilizer chemical that blew up West.

Weeks later, Boxer wrote to the nation’s governors. She implored them to do what they could to improve the security of ammonium nitrate. Finally, the California Democrat turned to the White House. The results of her efforts became public last week when President Barack Obama issued an executive order directing the federal government to improve safety at chemical facilities.

“For me, it’s a game-changer,” Boxer said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “I saw the intransigence of some of the agencies. I saw them arguing and not committing. … We asked the president to help make sure this [type of disaster] never happens again.”….

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@BarackObama

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Greg Sargent: Be very afraid of a government shutdown

Eric Cantor’s lengthy interview yesterday on Fox News Sunday is really worth reading in full and pondering at some length. It perfectly captures why it’s looking more and more likely that we are genuinely headed for a government shutdown this fall.

In the interview, Fox host Chris Wallace practically begs Cantor to have a reality-based conversation about the coming shutdown fight, the sequester, and Obamacare. Again and again, Cantor steers the conversation back into pure fantasy….

More here

And see Steve Benen: The wrong way to play the shutdown blame game

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Paul Krugman: Republicans Against Reality

Last week House Republicans voted for the 40th time to repeal Obamacare. Like the previous 39 votes, this action will have no effect whatsoever. But it was a stand-in for what Republicans really want to do: repeal reality, and the laws of arithmetic in particular. The sad truth is that the modern G.O.P. is lost in fantasy, unable to participate in actual governing.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about policy substance. I may believe that Republicans have their priorities all wrong, but that’s not the issue here. Instead, I’m talking about their apparent inability to accept very basic reality constraints, like the fact that you can’t cut overall spending without cutting spending on particular programs, or the fact that voting to repeal legislation doesn’t change the law when the other party controls the Senate and the White House.

Am I exaggerating? Consider what went down in Congress last week….

More here

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Time: Obama’s Photographer Joins Instagram

On July 24, Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer, joined Instagram. However, his first photo was not of the President, but the instantly-recognizable Presidential Seal, along with the caption: “My maiden voyage on Instagram. Will bring you behind-the-scenes of the Presidency.” His second picture? Presidential grapes.

Since then, @petesouza has documented the inner workings of the White House and it’s staff, from Marine One’s shadow to the Presidential dog – Bo. Souza talked with TIME’s international picture editor, Patrick Witty, about Instagram and what we can expect to see on his feed (more Bo) and what we won’t see (selfies).

What made you take the plunge and open an Instagram account?

The digital folks here at the White House have been asking me to do this for some time and I thought the time was right to finally take the plunge.

More here

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Welcome to Twitter:

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But, truly, Twitter is a cesspit:

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Steve Benen: ‘It’s a critical first step’

In recent weeks, progressive activists in Florida have pushed a very specific message: in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial, state policymakers need to revisit the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Their task hasn’t been easy — Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has refused to consider changes to the status quo.

Late last week, however, there was an unexpected breakthrough….

More here

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MooooOOOOoooorning everyone! I’m half way through my break but reckoned after all her stupendous posting UT deserved a Monday morning lie-in – endless thank yous to her for the brilliant posting the past week, she’s like Wayne Rooney and Cheesy Puffs rolled in to one.

Hope everyone’s doing great?




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