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Richard Brodsky - Huffington Post.
December has brought a sea-change to American politics. The absolutist anti-tax message embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike has begun to collapse, beginning in New York. And it spite of what you hear in the loonier moments of Republican Presidential debates, it's a bipartisan change. Over the past week Republican and Democratic officials in Albany have forged a consensus to enact a millionaire's tax, cut middle class taxes and fund government services. Read more »
By E.J. Dionne Jr - The Washington Post.
The deficit that should most worry us is a deficit of reasonableness. The problems the United States confronts are large but not insoluble. Yet sensible solutions that are broadly popular can’t be enacted.
Why? Because an ideological bloc that sees every crisis as an opportunity to reduce the size of government holds enough power in Congress to stop us from doing what needs to be done.Read more »
By Elizabeth Grossman, Yale Environment 360
The acidification of the world's oceans from an excess of CO2 has already begun, as evidenced recently by the widespread mortality of oyster larvae in the Pacific Northwest. Scientists say this is just a harbinger of things to come if greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar. Read more »
By Travis Waldron and Pat Garofalo - ThinkProgress.org
Last year, 17.2 million households in the United States were food insecure, the highest level on record, as the Great Recession continued to wreak havoc on families across the country. Of those 17.2 million households, 3.9 million included children. On Thanksgiving Day, here’s a look at hunger in America, as millions of Americans struggle to get enough to eat in the wake of the economic crisis:Read more »
By Paul Krugman
“We are the 99 percent” is a great slogan. It correctly defines the issue as being the middle class versus the elite (as opposed to the middle class versus the poor). And it also gets past the common but wrong establishment notion that rising inequality is mainly about the well educated doing better than the less educated; the big winners in this new Gilded Age have been a handful of very wealthy people, not college graduates in general. Read more »
By Kevin Drawbaugh, Reuters
Thirty large and profitable U.S. corporations paid no income taxes in 2008 through 2010, said a study on Thursday that arrives as Congress faces rising demands for tax reform but seems unable or unwilling to act.
Pepco Holdings Inc , a Washington, D.C.-area power company, had the lowest effective tax rate, at negative 57.6 percent, among the 280 Fortune 500 companies studied.Read more »
By Robert Scheer - TruthDig.com
Can we all agree that a $1 billion swindle represents a lot of money, and the fact that Citigroup agreed last week to pay a $285 million fine to settle SEC charges for “misleading investors” demonstrates a damning admission of culpability?
So why has Robert Rubin, the onetime treasury secretary who went on to become Citigroup chairman during the time of the corporation’s financial shenanigans, never been held accountable for this and other deep damage done to the U.S. economy on his watch?Read more »
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
As the lead Republican negotiator during the manufactured debt crisis, Eric Cantor had the podium all summer long. He walked out of the early debt talks, insisting on a cuts-only solution. The House Majority Leader readily dismissed sensible proposals like ending billions in wasteful tax giveaways for corporations and the super-rich. Cantor's callousness is legendary - he even withheld FEMA assistance to his own and other hurricane-ravaged districts until disaster-relief spending was offset by cuts.Read more »
By PAUL KRUGMAN - New York Times.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a complete turkey! It’s the supercommittee!
By next Wednesday, the so-called supercommittee, a bipartisan group of legislators, is supposed to reach an agreement on how to reduce future deficits. Barring an evil miracle — I’ll explain the evil part later — the committee will fail to meet that deadline.
If this news surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. If it depresses you, cheer up: In this case, failure is good.Read more »
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By Susan King, Los Angeles Times - LA Times.
Their longtime bond includes the new album 'What Matters Most.' On it, Barbra Streisand sings 10 Bergman numbers she had not previously performed. The lyricists reflect on their connection with the singer.Read more »
The debut of Barbra Streisand's new Columbia album, "What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman" at Number Four on the Billboard ratings announced today marks the CD as her 31st album to chart in the Top 10, moving her into third place among all recording artists in that category of achievement. With today’s placement, Streisand passes the Beatles to the number three position behind only Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones. The new CD's ranking extends her lead over all female artists and acts in number of Top Tens.Read more »
Veteran American husband-and-wife lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman talk about their long association with Barbra Streisand, which includes songs written for her new album What Matters Most. They discuss their prolific 50-year career which has included hits such as The Windmills Of Your Mind, You Don't Bring Me Flowers and The Way We Were, and involved saying no to Frank Sinatra.
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0138xmm">Click here</a> to listen to the interview.
Here are a selection of fan reviews for Barbra's new album...
Sublime, divine, sexy, heartbreaking, uplifting, moving, stunning, swinging, romantic, superb and one for the ages in a voice that is so defiant of time that it now borders on the supernatural. Every brilliant track exudes a timeless quality that sounds both vintage and brand new at the same time. Oh baby she's done it again. Damn!
- Chris Nickens.
This morning I bought Barbra's CD in my local record store and have been listening to it for the last 2 hours and I have been crying for the last 2 hours!Read more »
What Matters Most—Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, a lush, 10-song album written by husband-and-wife lyricist team the Bergmans, long-time Streisand collaborators.
“[They’ve] been in my life since I was 18-years-old,” says 69-year-old Streisand, who’s covered more than 50 of the duo’s songs. “It’s wonderful to work with people that you love on several levels.”Read more »
I have it in my hand, the gorgeous deluxe edition of Barbra Streisand’s “What Matters Most” album. This is her self-produced tribute to her old friends, the great lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. If the Bergmans didn’t quite “invent” Barbra, in the manner of John Kander and Fred Ebb, a la Liza Minnelli, they are responsible for so many of Streisand’s signature tunes—including the score for “Yentl”—that they have become vital to Barbra’s enduring legend. The Bergmans know her voice, her personality, her heart.Read more »
By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY
Barbra Streisand has long enjoyed the luxury of taking on only those projects that she's passionate about. But her latest album , she insists, is a particular "labor of love."
What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, out Tuesday, features 10 songs by the beloved husband-and-wife team, Streisand's longtime collaborators and friends. All were recorded by the singer for the first time — a notable detail, as Streisand, 69, had covered more than 50 of the duo's songs before. Read more »
Express.co.uk - By Jane Clinton
THEY met her when she was an 18-year-old new kid on the block performing in a tiny club. Wearing an outfit of her own creation (a white blouse and a long herringbone skirt) she opened her mouth, began to sing and brought one woman in the audience to tears.
“I started to cry and I did not stop throughout this little gig in Greenwich Village,” says celebrated lyricist Marilyn Bergman who was with her husband and co-lyricist, Alan Bergman.Read more »
Talk about the ultimate engagement gift. When young Brooklynite Alan Bergman wanted to mark his upcoming marriage to fiancé Marilyn Katz, he wrote a song for her called "That Face," and arranged for Fred Astaire to record it.
The Bergmans, now three-time Academy Award winners for their song lyrics, have been married for 54 years. And for many of them, there has been another woman in their life — the singer they call their "muse" and close collaborator, Barbra Streisand.Read more »