FRIENDS, WE NEED TO HAVE A HEART-TO-HEART, just among progressives. Close the door. I want say something.
I’m glad that Obama lost the debate. Yes, I just said that. It was painful, and it was maddening. For those of us who have stood with Barack Obama since 2007, it was even a bit humiliating. And it was just what we needed. It had to happen, the proverbial slap in the face.
As for outsourcing, I have a problem: I’m not sure that I believe in such a thing as an “American job.”
As the opening to his re-election campaign, President Obama’s rousing State of the Union address laid out a vision for a renewed American social compact, one in which hard work and responsibility offer everyone a decent life. It was a stirring message, aptly crystallizing the central theme of the 2012 campaign: Does our economy work for everyone? Or does it just work for the lucky, wealthy, or unusually talented few?
One of the reliable applause lines in the speech – and in politics more generally – was about saving and creating American jobs. The President assailed American companies that “outsource jobs” and “avoid paying [their] fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.” President Obama is absolutely right on that latter point: it’s time for American corporations to stop shirking their tax responsibilities through complex accounting and putting subsidiaries in tax havens like the Cayman Islands. In fact, as I wrote in a recent blog post, Congress’s latest desire to give these corporations a “tax holiday” to repatriate profits to the United States is both economically foolish and morally unacceptable.
"The only viable option is to turn the very name 'Romney' into a synonym for corporate malfeasance, for greed, for crony capitalism...'to Romney' a company will come to mean 'to pounce upon a weakened and struggling family company, rip into its jugular, tear out its guts, disperse its employees like bits of fatty flesh, and leave nothing behind but a looted husk,' preferably on a Superfund site.
I don’t pretend to know whether the work that Romney did at Bain Capital was more Captain America or Captain Kidd. But, in politics, that is largely beside the point. The point is 'what can sell.'"
I'm in a giving mood these days. But I can't say that I'm ready to give to Obama 2012 yet. Certainly, the most recent email that I got "from" the President can't help. What in the world are they thinking at Obama HQ?
Who needs a gift this holiday season? Multinational corporations. After all, they’re people, too.
That’s the logic behind the unlikely marriage of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) and New York’s own senior senator, Chuck Schumer (D), who are jointly leading the charge to grant American corporations a “tax holiday.” And their effort is “gaining momentum,” according to Roll Call, with 73 congressional co-sponsors. (I feel like all I do these days is bash New York Democrats.)
Yes, that’s right: the same Congress that nearly failed to grant a two-month extension to payroll tax cuts for workers at the price tag of $30 billion is contemplating excusing corporations from taxes on an estimated $1.4 trillion in profits.
It looks like Rick Perry isn't the only one with an "oops" moment these days. Like many primary-watchers, I completely misread the Newt Gingrich situation. Just a month ago, I referred to Intrade's seemingly overstated forecast of Gingrich's 11% chances of winning the nomination as "madness." Now, his Intrade odds stand at 35% and he leads in most polls, including those in Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Oops.
Obama campaign officials readily admit that they did not see Mr. Gingrich’s emergence as a Republican front-runner coming, and that they did not begin to focus on him as a truly viable and potential nominee until Herman Cain’s candidacy collapsed over the last several weeks.
While the world watches the Euro-zone crisis with a mix of fascination and horror, Congress is once again at work, making the next financial crisis more likely. Who can you thank this time? Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents swathes of the East Side and Queens, and her colleague, Rep. Scott Garrett, Tea Party zealot and one of the most conservative Republicans in the Northeast. What bi-partisanship!
Their bill, the impenetrably named "Swap Execution Facility Clarification Act," recently passed a subcommitee of the House Financial Services Committee by a voice vote. Its apparent aim: to undercut the (limited) Dodd-Frank Reforms that have taken a few steps toward regulatory sanity in the financial industry.
PBS's FRONTLINE recently aired a powerful report on the Obama Administration's "get tough" immigration policy. It's both alarming and heart-breaking, and I'd encourage you to watch. At the very least, take seven minutes to watch this clip, which tells the story of Roxana Garcia, who was deported to Mexico and torn from her five American-born children, after being stopped by police for failing to signal before changing lanes. (Their story begins at minute 3:00 of the clip.)
I keep waiting for it: the first general election attack on Mitt Romney. Though still well within the formal primary phase of the 2012 campaign, my view has largely moved to the seemingly inevitable head-to-head clash between Romney and President Obama. I don't like what I see.
It'll be a nasty fight.And I foresee some of the nastiest of it emanating from our side.
For months now, the political media have advanced the narrative that Mitt Romney is trapped under a ceiling of about 25% of the GOP primary electorate, that he can never win over the conservative wing. Hence the month-by-month hero worship (and inevitable disappointment) of Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and, now, Gingrich (please, please, please!). While it's plenty fun to watch the GOP flail around, there is little support for the view that Romney "cannot" win the nomination.
When in Rome, Run Like Hell! That might be prudent advice to politicians, investors, and Italian citizens these days, as the financial crisis threatens to overtake the world's eight largest economy.
I imagine that you've gotten pretty tired of hearing about the "Greek crisis." Well, you may want to prepare yourself for a much bigger Italian tragedy that could unfold in the coming months. This isn't just a matter of concern for central bankers, Euro-crats, and hedge fund managers. American progressives should be very worried about the impact of the Euro crisis on American jobs, the economic recovery, and President Obama's re-election prospects.