Monday ReadsPosted: September 23, 2013 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Hillary Clintont, Income Inequality in the US, Kenya Mall Shooting, Robert Reich 18 Comments
You probably should start today’s reading with the New York Magazine interview with Hillary Clinton.
There’s a weightlessness about Hillary Clinton these days. She’s in midair, launched from the State Department toward … what? For the first time since 1992, unencumbered by the demands of a national political campaign or public office, she is saddled only with expectations about what she’s going to do next. And she is clearly enjoying it.
“It feels great,” she says, “because I have been on this high wire for twenty years, and I was really yearning to just have more control over my time and my life, spend a lot of that time with my family and my friends, do things that I find relaxing and enjoyable, and return to the work that I had done for most of my life.”
Relaxing, for a Clinton, especially one who, should she decide to run, is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2016, does not seem exactly restful. The day before we speak, she was awarded the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia—presented by Jeb Bush, another politician weighted with dynastic expectations and family intrigue, who took the opportunity to jest that both he and Clinton cared deeply about Americans—especially those in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Afterward, Clinton stepped backstage, a red-white-and-blue ribbon around her neck pulled taut by a saucer-size gold medal. “It is really heavy,” she said, with that plain-home midwestern tone she deploys when she wants to not appear the heavy herself. In the room with her were some of her close advisers—Nick Merrill, a communications staffer and acolyte of Hillary’s suffering top aide, Huma Abedin; and Dan Schwerin, the 31-year-old speechwriter who wrote all the words she had spoken moments ago. Local policemen with whom Clinton had posed for photos milled about behind her.
Outside was the usual chorus accompanying a Clinton appearance, befitting her status as the most popular Democrat in America: news helicopters buzzing overhead and protesters amassed across the street who raised signs that read benghazi in bloodred paint and chanted antiwar slogans directly at her as she spoke at the outdoor lectern.
You may also want to check out this blog radio cast of an interview with digby and Susie Madrak on Virtually Speaking Sundays, You’ll recognize many of the VS panel names too.
Political & social commentators digby and Susie Madrak, offer a counter point to the Sunday morning talk shows. They compare notes from their observations, investigations and considerations of the past week. Culture of Truth satirizes the Sunday Morning talk shows. Sherry Reson moderates.
Chuck Todd – the relationship between gov’t, citizens and media
Grand bargain rising: Defunding Food stamp, Obamacare
Debt Ceiling Trainwreck
Guns as Acts of God
Robert Reich is out giving us a taste of the movie ‘Inequality for All”.
As the above chart suggests, the U.S. enjoyed a Golden Age from 1945 to roughly 1975 when the economy was growing strongly (as measured in Gross Domestic Product and stock market prices) while at the same time, inequality fell steadily. Some of this prosperity was sheer luck: the U.S., thanks to being separated by two oceans from the battlegrounds of World War II, had the only industrial capacity in the world that hadn’t been bombed into smoking ruins.
But, Reich points out, inequality fell as productivity rose for several reasons: Workers had strong negotiating power through unions. Globalization had yet to pit U.S. workers against low-cost foreign labor. Higher education (the key to economic advancement) was very affordable. And taxes at the top brackets were high: as much as a 70 percent marginal rate for much of this period.
But starting around 1980, much of this changed. Globalization and anti-union legislation drove down wages. College costs rose much faster than inflation. Marginal income tax rates at the top came down fast. Meanwhile, the taxes that mostly fall on the middle class (such as sales taxes and payroll taxes) went up.
As a result, all but the highest earners saw a decrease in inflation-adjusted take-home pay:
Robert Reich @RBReich21 Sep
Most Americans now agree that poor aren’t lazy; they work for a living, and are poor because their wages are lousy.
Here’s a recent study showing the impact of growing inequality and our billionaire bail-out mentality on this country.
Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States, by Lane Kenworthy Timothy Smeeding, Country Report for the United States: …
We conclude that living standards in the middle of the distribution were and are falling during the Great Recession . Moreover, with faint prospects of a rapid recovery, the losses of the Great Recession increasingly mount. The forecast is that unemployment will not return to 6.5 percent levels for another three years or longer. While the trend in inequality i n the United States has been ever upward, we believe that i t will be politically and socially difficult for U.S. inequality to continue to grow at the top at the expense of the collapsing middle class, the majority of whom believe , perhaps rightly so, that their children will be worse off economically than they are. If so, we might expect some moderation in the growth of United States inequality in the next decade.
Go read the executive summary. It’s really talks about how wages have been falling steeply while all gains in productivity have gone to capital while showing the actual numbers.
Sounds like Senator Ted Cruz is making a rather bad impression on his Republican colleagues in the beltway. Look at this headline from Mediate: “Fox’s Wallace Stunned: GOP Leaders Sent Me Opposition Research on Ted Cruz“. Ouch!
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said Sunday morning that he’d received opposition research from other Republicans about SenatorTed Cruz (R-TX) in advance of Cruz’s appearance this morning, a serious indication of how upset the GOP is with the Senator leading the risky charge to defund ObamaCare.
“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington,” Wallace said. “As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.”
“This was a strategy laid out by Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz without any consultation with their colleagues,” said Karl Rove. “With all due respect to my junior Senator from Texas, I suspect this is the first time that the end game was described to any Republican Senator. They had to tune in to listen to you to find out what Ted’s next step was in the strategy.”
I’m not sure if you’ve been following the mall take over and shootings in Kenya. Some of the information coming out of thereis very disturbing including a link to citizens of Canada, the US, and the UK.
Late Sunday, the Kenyan military announced that it had retaken “most” of the Westgate mall — the attackers had been confined to the third floor since their initial assault on Saturday — and freed more hostages, though details could not be confirmed. Helicopters circled the mall building through the night, and occasional explosions and bursts of gunfire were heard above a rainstorm in the area.
“This will end tonight — our forces will prevail,” the police command center said in a Twitter post. “Kenyans are standing firm against aggression, and we will win.”
The Shabab, a militant group mostly based in neighboring Somalia, answered with messages of their own, including warning that “Kenyan forces who’ve just attempted a roof landing must know that they are jeopardizing the lives of all the hostages at #Westgate.”
Later, officials said that at least four members of the security forces had been wounded. But there were no other details about additional casualties on either side.
The attack on the mall deeply distressed Kenya, a nation that has grown in stature as a force against terrorism in East Africa. As the toll mounted — at least 68 were reported dead by late Sunday, with several people still unaccounted for — the potential for even greater loss of life seemed tangible.
So, that’s my suggested reads this morning. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Good post, Dak. Thanks for the article on Hillary. I hadn’t heard about it. I’m kind of dreading the upcoming media focus on her, but I still hope she runs.
Ditto, I enjoyed reading the article, and she is right “people everywhere want good jobs”.
I wasn’t in tune to “considgliere, Doug Band”…………..so will read more about his role. I didn’t like the term “bimbo eruptions” in the article………………do you think that term is rather sexist?
At least she is having a good rest now!
From Esquire: Ted Cruz: The Distinguished Wacko Bird from Texas
Read More http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201310/ted-cruz-republican-senator-october-2013#ixzz2fiwCPoE0
Sounds like a remake of the Demint career … bombastic and not effective any where but the whacko voters in his state.
I read this and thought to share:
We’re losing up to $400 billion annually to tax evasion. That’s five times more than the entire SNAP (food stamps) program cost to feed 50 million people. Think about that the next time you try to blame the struggling Mom for our debt.
and think about all the military suppliers–like GE–who get caught overbilling, etc with fraud. That’s amounted to huge dollars.
Just hearing that Bristish Intelligence is pointing to the White Widow (Samantha Lewthwaite) as the person behind the Kenya Mall attack……..she being the white woman involved in 2005 terrorist attacks in England. Don’t know how accurate this bit of information is.
I never heard of her, but I just saw this:
Gunmen who stormed Kenya mall reportedly spoke English, were from different countries
Loved reading this today! Been out of hospital since Friday. My surgery wasn’t bad but recovery will be a while ending. See you all in a couple of weeks. Love to you all!.
Take Care Ralph and heal quickly!!!!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope your recovery goes well. We’ll miss you lots!
Take good care, Ralph! Lots of good energy sent your way – even if rehab is awful, keep at it. It does work! xo
Been thinking about you, Ralph, and hoping that the surgery went well. So glad you checked in to say hello. Take care. Do your rehab and get plenty of rest, too. We miss you and look forward to having you back feeling healthy and fighting the good fight again. xoxo.
Happy to hear from you Ralph….We want you back when you are well into recovery………take care, and love to you too.
So happy to see that you are doing well Ralph, feel better and heal fast!