Archives for News

Wall Street Quietly Working To Undo New Financial Rules

WASHINGTON — The heavy hitters of finance lost big battles earlier this year during the overhaul of financial regulation, but they’re working hard to win the war. They’re quietly trying to soften, if not kill, some of the more controversial provisions. Lobbyists for Big Finance are working hardest to neutralize the so-called Volcker Rule, which would force big banks to spin off their lucrative proprietary trading operations, in which they invest their own capital in speculative deals. The measure_ named after its proponent, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker — seeks to prevent big banks from betting against trades they
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David Chura: Time to "Think Outside the Box" on CORI Reform

At the beginning of my ten years teaching teenagers in a county lockup, years I chronicle in I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup(Beacon Press), I was always surprised, and yes, disappointed, when one of my students got rearrested. Jail’s a sobering place no matter how tough you want to think you are. The deprivation, brutality, and oppression gets your attention, especially if you’re 15 years old. So once locked up, many of the kids I taught saw my jailhouse classroom as an opportunity to do something productive. Along with education,
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Tea Party Pushes Hardline Post-Election Strategy To Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON — Tea party activists and other conservatives, eager to transform electoral gains into clout on Capitol Hill, are pressuring Republican leaders to take a hardline approach in the next Congress, shunning compromise for confrontation with Democrats. The strategy is likely to bring gridlock on major issues – particularly tax cuts and spending – and make it more difficult for President Barack Obama and Congress to find common ground on virtually any measure. It’s also leaving key Republicans, in charge of the House and with larger numbers in the Senate, less room to maneuver as they seek to show they
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Peggy Drexler: Will mean politics scare off good women?

Veteran political reporter Sam Donaldson once said “Only the amateurs stay mad.” For the times, it was a nice summary of the bare-knuckles rules of politics. You give, you get, you move on. But as we close this mean season of pandemic political nastiness, I wonder if his statement still stands. Or have we crossed some threshold of incivility to a place where everybody stays mad, nobody moves on, and we’re locked into a perpetual cycle of political blood feuds. Payback’s a bitch? No. It’s an obligation. With the smoke still rising from the debris field of trashed reputations and
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Rick Santorum: Sharron Angle & Christine O’Donnell ‘Not Really Who The Tea Party Is’

Rick Santorum, a former GOP senator possibly eyeing a 2012 presidential run from his perch in the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an aviary for conservative social and international issues, spoke recently about the Tea Party’s image and how he believed it had been tainted by some of the movement’s most famous figures. Candidates such as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller — all unsuccessful — were not the true embodiment of the Tea Party, Santorum said in a recent interview with conservative blog Red State. That title goes to people like Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s newest senator, Santorum argued.
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Jobless Benefits About To Lapse As Senate Dems Mull Strategy

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are discussing their strategy for reauthorizing extended unemployment insurance on Tuesday as the expiration date for the jobless aid is fast approaching. Neither the House nor the Senate will be in session next week, aides say, so extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless will need to be reauthorized this week before they expire on Nov. 30. Two million people could prematurely lose their benefits by New Year’s Day, according to the National Employment Law Project. Currently five million people are receiving aid under two federally-funded programs for the long-term unemployed. Yet no clear path forward
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GOP insider blasts Michel Steele for blowing RNC millions

Gentry Collins, a well-connected GOP insider and political director of the Republican National Committee, quit his job Tuesday with a blistering letter of resignation accusing RNC chairman Michael Steele of blowing the group’s millions and leaving the party broke during a critical period in the just-completed mid-term elections. Collins said Steele’s extravagant spending habits leaves the RNC deeply in debt. “In the previous two non-presidential cycles, the RNC carried over $4.8 million and $3.1 million respectively in cash reserve balances into the presidential cycles,” Collins wrote in his two-page letter. “In stark contrast, we enter the 2012 presidential cycle with
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MSNBC President threatened to fire Keith Olbermann

MSNBC President Phil Griffin threatened to fire bombastic host Keith Olbermann during his suspension over donations to political candidates. Media writer Howard Kurtz reports in The Daily Beast that Griffin told Olbermann’s manager that he would fire the problem child “news” show host if Olbermann went public on rival networks with comments about his suspension. Meanwhile, NBC news insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that NBC news icon Tom Brokaw and other prominent news personalities have warned GriffIn that Olbermann’s blatant partisanship is damaging the network’s reputation as a new organization. Brokaw reportedly has told Griffin that MSNBC would “be better
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Olympia Snowe Begins Her (Non) Critical Deliberations On The Bush Tax Cuts

Everybody pretty much knows what’s going on with the Bush tax cuts, and have since before the election, when the Democrats punted on doing something decisive about it because they were convinced they’d already set the matter up as a “winning issue” for the midterm elections. As you know, that worked out like gangbusters for them! So, now, facing the issue in the lame duck session, the GOP wants to extend all the Bush era tax cuts “permanently,” while the Democrats hope that the GOP will “compromise” on “decoupling” the tax cuts for the middle class from the tax cuts
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