Left Jab’s very own David Goodfriend is back in the ring to weigh in on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the FCC’s Open Internet Order. This is a big deal! …Or is it? Plus, marketing guru Paco Underhill is in the Jab Room to tell us What Women Want and Why We Buy. We also brush up on our Shakespeare with director Robert Richmond and actor Drew Cortese, joining us from the Folger Shakespeare Theatre‘s production of Richard III in Washington, D.C. All this and more!
Dylan Matthews writes in Wonkblog:
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson declared “unconditional war” on poverty. Depending on your ideological priors, the ensuing effort was either “a catastrophe” (Heritage’s Robert Rector) or “lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being” (the White House’s news releaseon the anniversary). Luckily, we have actual data on these matters which clarify what exactly happened after Johnson’s declaration, and the role government programs played.
As West Virginians were learning Thursday of a devastating chemical spill in the Elk River that has rendered water undrinkable for 300,000 people, the US House of Representatives was busy gutting federal hazardous-waste cleanup law. Read more here.
One of the nation’s leading economists, Joel Naroff, is back in the ring for a look at the real costs and benefits of raising the minimum wage. Plus, Gary Arlen, founder and President of Arlen Communications, is in the Jab Room to tell us what turned him on at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas! With Dave Zirin, Sports Siren, luring us to the Edge of Sports with his song…
A number of listeners requested more information about the article Mark quoted during last night’s show, describing the Kentucky man who criticized “Obamacare” while receiving Medicaid. Here is the article by Beth Reinhard from The National Journal, in its entirety:
Republicans are launching a class war with racial undertones—and hurting the poor whites they’ll need to win in 2014.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The welfare queen, she has risen.
Spawned by Ronald Reagan to turn blue-collar whites against the Democratic Party, then buried by Bill Clinton with a law “ending welfare as we know it,” she’s been excavated under the first African-American president as Republicans inveigh against the costs of health insurance and food stamps for the poor.
Twenty-five Republican-led states have—astoundingly—rebuffed billions of federal dollars under Barack Obama’s signature health care law to offer Medicaid insurance to more poor people. To justify this unprecedented rejection of federal relief, these governors and state lawmakers say they just do not believe Washington will keep its promise to pick up the tab. Republicans in Congress are egging them on, denouncing Obamacare’s disastrous launch as proof of the arrogance and folly of big government.
But all of this opposition carries an unmistakable undertone of class warfare, a theme easy to exploit in states such as Kentucky, packed with low-income white voters who have a strong distaste for the federal government. To hear the rhetoric coming from Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, Medicaid and food-stamp recipients are a bunch of shiftless freeloaders living high on king crab legs and free health care, all on the backs of hardworking Americans.
Read the rest here.
You might want to take a look at Jab Room Regular John Nichols‘ Progressive Honor Roll of 2013 in its entirety, since we were only able to talk about a few who made the list last night:
We celebrate these heroes both for their accomplishments of the past year and their determination to do even more in 2014
(by John Nichols):
This past year was about a lot more than Ted Cruz and the surreal shutdown politics of the Republican right. Across America, grassroots groups, bold unions, inspired activists, crusading editors and courageous elected officials did great things. They are the real heroes of 2013, and The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll celebrates them for their accomplishments this year and their determination to do even more in 2014.
MOST VALUABLE SENATOR: Elizabeth Warren
When speculation about her prospects as a presidential contender spiked, the new senator from Massachusetts turned attention away from herself and toward the need to crack down on “too big to fail” banks. “Since when does Congress set deadlines, watch regulators miss most of them, and then take that failure as a reason not to act?” Warren asked in November. That’s how she rolls: while many other senators seek the spotlight, Warren uses it to rip the “corporate capture of the courts” and object to rules in trade agreements that limit the ability of nations to regulate the financial industry. Warren’s voice is amplified by groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which have identified her as their “north star” in the fight to renew the Democratic Party. That scares corporate interests, and Wall Street–aligned Democratic groups like Third Way have attacked her populism. But her populism makes Warren a dynamic force in the Senate and beyond, as was evident when she electrified the September AFL-CIO convention, where she said, “The American people know that the system is rigged against them, and they want us to level the playing field. That’s our mandate.”
MOST VALUABLE HOUSE MEMBER: George Miller
The senior Democrat on the powerful Education and the Workforce Committee, Miller has been in the House since 1975. But the California congressman has lost none of his fire. With Senator Tom Harkin, he introduced a plan in March to hike the minimum wage to $10.10—with automatic cost-of-living increases annually. Nor did Miller stop there. He cheered on fast-food workers as they struck for a $15-an-hour wage. He tore into Republicans over their “repeal Obamacare” obsession and was even blunter in denouncing GOP plans to cut food stamps. Miller did not simply toe the Democratic line; he opposed President Obama’s proposal to fast-track the corporate-friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. And he was superb on an issue most members of Congress rarely recognize: after a Bangladeshi garment factory collapse killed more than 1,100 workers, Miller denounced US retailers that have “led this race to the bottom over many years,” telling corporations like Walmart that they “have to make a decision now whether you want to have blood on your labels.”
MOST VALUABLE OBAMA NOMINEE: Thomas Perez
When then-Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez was nominated in March to replace Hilda Solis as labor secretary, it was no surprise that Republicans objected. The son of first-generation Dominican immigrants who served as a civil rights adviser to Senator Edward Kennedy and as Maryland’s labor secretary, Perez has a history of focusing on immigrant rights, voting rights, racial violence and discrimination against workers. But Senate committee chair Tom Harkin refused GOP efforts to delay hearings, and majority leader Harry Reid forced a cloture vote. Even then, Perez was the first cabinet nominee in US history to be confirmed on a party-line vote. Undaunted, he moved quickly to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and make it easier for whistleblowers to file complaints. And he hit the road advocating an extension of long-term unemployment benefits, new investment in job training and a serious minimum-wage hike. “It really is a matter of fairness,” Perez said. “Nobody who works a full-time job should have to live below poverty.”
MOST VALUABLE STATE LEGISLATOR: Wendy Davis
State Senator Wendy Davis captured the imagination not just of her fellow Texans but of the nation in June, when she put on her now-famous sneakers to filibuster for eleven hours against anti-choice legislation. Despite a massive “Stand With Wendy” outpouring of popular support, the Republicans eventually got their way, after Texas Governor Rick Perry and his allies called the legislature back into session. But perhaps not for long: Davis is running an insurgent Democratic campaign that says it’s time for the home state of Ann Richards to elect another pro-choice governor.
MOST VALUABLE MUNICIPAL RISING STAR: Tish James
Amid the excitement over Bill de Blasio’s landslide win as mayor of New York, little attention was paid to the fact that the citywide office of public advocate went to a woman who is at least as progressive as de Blasio. Newly elected Tish James is a former Legal Aid Society public defender who, as an assistant state attorney general, took on predatory lenders and assisted an investigation of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy. Elected to the City Council in 2003, James has battled developers and outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg on behalf of affordable housing and responsible policing. In 2011, she called on Bloomberg to investigate systemic corruption in the NYPD, and in her campaign for public advocate, James highlighted her role as one of four council members to sue the NYPD over its mistreatment of Occupy Wall Street activists. Taking Occupy themes to the campaign trail, James said New Yorkers “don’t need more billionaires…. What we need is to boost working families and create a middle class that’s built to last.” She won 84 percent of the vote, becoming the first woman of color to hold citywide office in the nation’s largest city.
Continue reading here.
Jab Room regular John Nichols weighed in on the budget “deal” on our latest show. Read his article here.