"Renaissance Thinking About the Issues of Our Day"
On Tuesday, the Senate advanced legislation to extend long-term unemployment benefits, and all but six Republicans declined to vote for it. Instead of helping to restore this financial lifeline to out-of-work Americans, Conservative lawmakers say that they are launching their own plan to help the poor. Today, Senator Marco Rubio will deliver a speech marking the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B.
The polar vortex is moving across the United States, and a large area of our nation is facing bitter cold. As many Americans are dealing with temperatures well below zero, the Right-wing media is pointing to the cold snap as so-called proof that global warming is a myth.
Congress is back from vacation, but that doesn't mean Republicans are ready to get to work. Senate Democrats have already scheduled a test vote to restore unemployment insurance, but Republicans say they won't approve an extension without something in return.
Today, many Americans consider themselves “middle class.” However, compared to the standards of the 1960s, the so-called middle class is dead, and the war on unions is directly responsible. In 1965, Americans willing to take dangerous, difficult work – like a midnight shift shoveling waste at a steel mill – could earn about $2.30 an hour.
In our nation, finance has a hold on almost every single part of our lives – from the day we're born, until we take our last breath. Capitalism and the quest for larger profits have taken hold of our healthcare, our education, our homes, our communication, and even our government. Today, most babies are born in for-profit hospitals, and their medical claims are paid by for-profit insurance.
One point three million people have lost their unemployment benefits. Americans who have been out of work for six months or longer are suddenly without the vital lifeline that kept them from ending up homeless and hungry.
Three days after Christmas, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. And, another two million will stop receiving assistance if Congress doesn't extend long-term benefits by June.
This year, we've seen massive protests for higher wages all around our nation, but this fight is not just for those struggling to live on minimum wage. It's about our rights in the workplace and society saying “No” to corporate welfare. This year, corporate profits hit another all-time high, while wages as a percent of our economy saw an all-time low.
The super rich have skipped out on paying $100 billion dollars in estate taxes since 2000. And, that incredible number doesn't even factor in the billions that they saved using loopholes like capital gains, or by stashing their money in tax havens around the world.
On Monday, a Bush-appointed Federal District Court judge ruled that the N.S.A. is likely violating our Fourth Amendment rights. In a 68-page ruling, Judge Richard J. Leon called the government's collection of so-called meta data “almost Orwellian,” and he was unconvinced by the government's argument that these massive spying programs serve the public interest.
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