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President Obama smacks down Republican attempt to block new NLRB rule making it easier for workers to unionize

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a new rule to “modernize and streamline the process” of forming a union.

The new rule:

  • Provides for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensures that employees, employers and unions receive timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Eliminates or reduces unnecessary litigation, duplication and delay;
  • Adopts best practices and uniform procedures across regions;
  • Requires that additional contact information (personal telephone numbers and email addresses) be included in voter lists, to the extent that information is available to the employer, in order to enhance a fair and free exchange of ideas by permitting other parties to the election to communicate with voters about the election using modern technology; and
  • Allows parties to consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single appeals process.
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No, Washington Post, President Obama didn’t “suggest requiring everyone to vote”

Ya gotta admit, it’s terrific clickbait, though, right?

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a piece titled “Obama suggests requiring everyone to vote”. It was total clickbait that went nuts on Facebook. Other media outlets followed suit but it was the WashPo piece that went viral. And it’s pretty provocative, right? I mean, what sort of dictator would take away your hard-earned patriotic right to not vote? We didn’t send men and women to war for that! Here in the greatest nation on earth we have the liberty and freedom to not exercise our franchise and no dictator is going to take that away from us.…

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5 reasons you can call the 2016 election the most important election of our lifetime

Republicans are so supportive these days!

Matt Drudge is thrilled about the presidential candidacy of Martin O’Malley. William Kristol and Karl Rove want to see Elizabeth Warren get into the 2016 Democratic primary. Reihan Salam has five progressives he’d like to see oppose Hillary.

Either our conservative friends want a candidate who would be tougher on corporate greed or they don’t seem thrilled about facing the the “strongest non-incumbent” since at least Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I’m guessing it’s the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, a strong Democratic primary is always good for the party for multiple reasons. It builds consensus.…

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It’s hard to put down Our Kids

Robert D. Putnam wants to have a debate without starting an argument. And he may succeed.

His new book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis succeeds in displaying the kind of canniness that makes the Harvard professor a favorite of both President Obama and Jeb Bush. To maintain the kind of equanimity that keeps your work at the heart of American political power, Putnam takes on the greatest and contentious economic challenge of our time — income inequality — using the widest and least controversial entry point imaginable.

We may dispute the motives of our fellow adults. “But to hold kids responsible for their parents’ failings,” Putnam writes, “violates most Americans’ moral sensibility.”

He further lowers the temperature of the debate by separating the issue into two: equality of income and wealth and equality of opportunity and social mobility.…

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NEWS ROUND-UP: This week in GOP idiocy in Michigan

There’s been so much in the news about over-the-top idiocy from Michigan Republicans lately that I thought I’d just put them all in one post. Over the past week or so, they’ve been trying to further degrade a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion and to corrupt our democracy by rigging the electoral system in favor of Republicans. But, sadly, they didn’t stop there.

So, without further ado, here’s the round-up.

SNYDER ADMINISTRATION AWARDS FAILED OUTGOING DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS EMERGENCY MANAGER $50,000 BONUS

In his outstanding piece for The Metro Times, Curt Guyette showed how, after four Emergency Managers and being under state control for six years, the Detroit Public Schools system is further in debt than ever.…

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5 disasters to expect if the Supreme Court guts the Affordable Care Act

If Republicans are trying to show people how crucial Obamacare is, King v. Burwell could be the perfect way to do it.

The lawsuit that could end subsidies to the millions of Americans in 34 states who purchased insurance through the federal health care exchange will be argued on March 4. But we already have hints of what the impact will be if Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court gut President Obama’s signature health care law over complete nonsense.

1. $340 billion in tax credits and cost sharing reductions over the next 10 years will be revoked.
Obamacare has even turned Republicans against the thing they love the most — tax breaks.…

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BREAKING: President Obama vetoes Republican Keystone XL pipeline legislation

The first bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this session was a bill to compel the federal government to issue a permit to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This afternoon, President Obama vetoed it.

Here is his veto statement:

February 24, 2015

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.

The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously.

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Republicans love America — and they want to show it by taking insurance from 8.2 million working Americans

This week a somewhat abstruse debate about whether America should purposely try to antagonize 1.6 billion Muslims morphed into an impossibly stupid debate about whether the President of the United States really loves the United States.

Meanwhile, in actual news, there’s an absurd lawsuit that threatens to wreak havoc on our health care system.

The Urban Institute projects a victory in the plaintiff’s in the case of King v. Burwell that would result in 8.2 million Americans losing insurance as $340 billion in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are eliminated over the ten years. Premiums for those buying individual coverage in the 34 affected states would rise up to 35 percent.…

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The GOP’s nightmare: Obama and Obamacare both hit new highs

After a rough year, Democrats should savor what happened on Monday February 17, 2015.

President Obama and Obamacare both hit 50 percent.

The president’s approval rating is back at 50 percent in the Gallup daily tracking poll. He hit the halfway mark for the first time since June 2013 just after his most recent State of the Union and then fell back slightly.

Buoyed by a growing economy and low gas prices — which America has little-to-no control over — Obama’s approval is now higher than Ronald Reagan’s was at this point the Reagan presidency. (Conservative Gipper Defenders argue, “Well, that’s only because the administration had been caught selling missiles to Iran to fund an illegal war.” To which I say, “That’s a defense of Reagan?”) And it’s almost 20 percent higher than George W.…

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5 ways Obama can ensure he will go down as great and not just a great-ish president

A new poll of 162 members of the American Political Science Association ranks President Obama 18th among the 43 men who have served as President of the United States.

The poll indicts itself as being an immediate relic of this historical moment by placing Obama as the second most polarizing chief executive in U.S. history, behind George W. Bush, who is ranked 35th overall. The fact is we’ve entered into the “cable news” era of the presidency. We should probably expect every current president to be seen as the most polarizing when s/he is in office. And none of them will ever be as polarizing as the man who cut taxes on the rich while starting two wars.…

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