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Monday, Jul 06th

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Robert Reich: Colleges, Churches and Non-Profits Doing the Wealthy's Dirty Work

robert reich editotial

Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of the congregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy.

He said he didn’t want to antagonize certain wealthy congregants on whose generosity the congregation depended.

I had a similar exchange last year with the president of a small college who had invited me to give a lecture that his board of trustees would be attending. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t criticize Wall Street,” he said, explaining that several of the trustees were investment bankers.

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Voodoo Economics: The morning after the tea party

Tea partyConservative U.S. governors who came to power during the 2010 tea party electoral wave are facing a reality check. A few years ago, catering to a far-right constituency, they campaigned on pledges of slashing taxes and bolstering business. Their subsequent policies have benefited the wealthy but failed to bring trickle-down prosperity to their states.

It is the morning after the tea party. Republican governors are waking up to a sluggish job market, stagnant wages, state deficits and impoverished services. The party’s trickle-down ideology is no way to manage a government. And a state cannot be run on tax cuts alone.

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Ted Cruz is Going on Obamacare as Wife Takes Goldman Sachs Leave

Ted CruzThe Goldman Sachs health insurance plan has lost a high profile customer. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare. With his wife Heidi taking leave to help her husband campaign for president, the Cruzes are leaving the $20,000 per year coverage she enjoyed at Goldman.

"We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," Cruz told the Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs. "It is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans... I think the same rules should apply to all of us."

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Barack Obama’s top aide says Israeli ‘occupation’ must end

Denis McDonoughWhite House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made clear in a speech to a left-leaning Israel advocacy group that President Barack Obama isn’t letting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off the hook for his dismissal of a two-state solution.

That stance, as well as Netanyahu’s suggestion also made in the closing days before last week’s Israeli elections that he’d approved settlements in contested territory in Jerusalem for the strategic purpose of changing the borders are “so very troubling,” McDonough told J Street’s annual conference in Washington. He called the pro-Israel group, which opposes some of Netanyahu’s policies, “our partner.”

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PM Netanyahu's Takeover Bid

Netnyahu speechThe speech that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, will deliver to Congress on March 3rd aims to scuttle an agreement on nuclear inspections and technology between Iran and the United States.

Netanyahu would like to sow a suspicion between these countries so fraught and durable that it will also prevent any possible future agreement. For that purpose he will restate his drastic and persistent belief on the subject. To permit Iran to go beyond the most primitive use of its nuclear facilities would pose an "existential threat" to Israel.

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How Kerry foiled Boehner's Israel Stunt

Boehner's israel stunt House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared to have pulled off a masterful political victory against the Obama administration Wednesday when he revealed that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on the dangers of the administration's negotiations with Iran.

Coming a day after President Barack Obama threatened to veto new Iran-related sanctions legislation that he said could harm the negotiations, Boehner's move looked like a smart way to reinforce support for such bills -- a priority for the Republican-led Congress -- by showing that the U.S.'s top ally in the region supported them.

Then things started to fall apart.

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Obama to pass on meeting Netanyahu during Washington visit

Obama will not meet with NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned trip to Washington in March is kicking up a diplomatic dust storm in the nation's capital.

On Thursday, the White House said President Barack Obama would not meet the prime minister when he comes to the U.S. to address a joint session of Congress. The official White House explanation was that Netanyahu's visit fell too close to the Israeli election and the Obama administration wanted to avoid the appearance of taking sides.

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