By Steve Benen, The MaddowBlog
In recent months, high-profile Republicans, sounding quite a bit like class warriors, have complained bitterly about the wealthy benefiting most from the recent economic recovery. Even House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), without a hint of irony, complained that recent trends point to “exacerbated inequality.” The far-right congressman added that only “the wealthy are doing really well.”
It’s genuinely impossible to reconcile Republican rhetoric and Republican priorities in light of votes like these.Read more »
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday.
As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage.
Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to be a high-water mark for President Barack Obama's health care law, or a milestone on the path toward his goal of getting virtually all U.S. residents covered, remains to be seen.Read more »
By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."
new poll shows that Americans who were unconcerned about climate change as it wreaked havoc around the world are beginning to worry, now that global warming is affecting the appearance of their lawns.Read more »
New York Times.
As Republican presidential hopefuls trot out their policy agendas — which always involve cutting taxes on the rich while slashing benefits for the poor and middle class — some real new thinking is happening on the other side of the aisle. Suddenly, it seems, many Democrats have decided to break with Beltway orthodoxy, which always calls for cuts in “entitlements.” Instead, they’re proposing that Social Security benefits actually be expanded.Read more »
PARIS — An influential European scientific body said on Wednesday that a group of pesticides believed to contribute to mass deaths of honeybees is probably more damaging to ecosystems than previously thought and questioned whether the substances had a place in sustainable agriculture.
The finding could have repercussions on both sides of the Atlantic for the companies that produce the chemicals, which are known as neonicotinoids because of their chemical similarity to nicotine. Global sales of the chemicals reach into the billions of dollars.Read more »
By ERIK ECKHOLM and FRANCES ROBLES
Kansas on Tuesday became the first state to sharply restrict or alter the most common technique used for second-trimester abortions, opening a new, emotionally charged line of attack by anti-abortion forces who hope to take it swiftly to other states.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican and longtime abortion opponent, outlaws what it calls “dismemberment abortion,” defined in part as “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus.”Read more »
By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog
Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of thecongregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy.
He said he didn’t want to antagonize certain wealthycongregants on whose generosity the congregation depended.Read more »
By Bill McKibben, EcoWatch
Here’s how far we’ve come in just a couple of years: One of the world’s most respected and influential news organizations—the Guardian Media Group—announced Wednesday that it will divest from fossil fuels.
The move follows the launch of The Guardian‘s own climate change campaign, in partnership with 350.org, to press two of the world’s largest charitable foundations to stop investing in oil, coal and gas companies.Read more »
On Wednesday, McDonald’s — which has been facing demonstrations denouncing its low wages — announced that it would give workers a raise. The pay increase won’t, in itself, be a very big deal: the new wage floor is just $1 above the local minimum wage, and even that policy only applies to outlets McDonald’s owns directly, not the many outlets owned by people who bought franchises. But it’s at least possible that this latest announcement, like Walmart’s much bigger pay-raise announcement a couple of months ago, is a harbinger of an important change in U.S. labor relations.Read more »
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — The United States pledged Tuesday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent as its contribution to a global treaty aimed at preventing the worst effects of climate change.
The Obama administration's contribution to the treaty, which world leaders expect to finalize in December, codifies a commitment President Barack Obama first made late last year in Beijing, when he announced a joint U.S.-China climate deal that raised global hopes that developed and developing nations can come together to fight climate change.Read more »
By Barbra Streisand
In the wake of the financial crisis, President Obama took the helm of a sinking economic ship and help to right it. The unemployment rate is now once again at pre-recession levels -- the lowest in seven years (5.5%).Read more »