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Reich writes: "What people do in their bedrooms shouldn't be the public's business. Women should have rights over their own bodies. Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. But what powerful people do in their boardrooms is the public's business. Our democracy needs to be protected from the depredations of big money. Our economy needs to be guarded against the excesses of too-big-to-fail banks."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


The Morality Brigade

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

26 March 13

 

e're still legislating and regulating private morality, while at the same time ignoring the much larger crisis of public morality in America.

In recent weeks Republican state legislators have decided to thwart the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in "Roe v. Wade," which gave women the right to have an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Legislators in North Dakota passed a bill banning abortions after six weeks or after a fetal heart beat had been detected, and approved a fall referendum that would ban all abortions by defining human life as beginning with conception. Lawmakers in Arkansas have banned abortions within twelve weeks of conception.

The morality brigade worries about fetuses, but not what happens to children after they're born. They and other conservatives have been cutting funding for child nutrition, healthcare for infants and their mothers, and schools.

The new House Republican budget gets a big chunk of its savings from programs designed to help poor kids. The budget sequester already in effect takes aim at programs like Head Start, designed to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.

Meanwhile, the morality brigade continues to battle same-sex marriage.

Despite the Supreme Court's willingness to consider the constitutionality of California's ban, no one should assume a majority of the justices will strike it down. The Court could just as easily decide the issue is up to the states, or strike down California's law while allowing other states to continue their bans.

Conservative moralists don't want women to have control over their bodies or same-sex couples to marry, but they don't give a hoot about billionaires taking over our democracy for personal gain or big bankers taking over our economy.

Yet these violations of public morality are far more dangerous to our society because they undermine the public trust that's essential to both our democracy and economy.

Three years ago, at the behest of a right-wing group called "Citizen's United," the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in politics by deciding corporations were "people" under the First Amendment.

A record $12 billion was spent on election campaigns in 2012, affecting all levels of government. Much of it came from billionaires like the Koch brothers and casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson - seeking fewer regulations, lower taxes, and weaker trade unions.

They didn't entirely succeed but the billionaires established a beachhead for the midterm elections of 2014 and beyond.

Yet where is the morality brigade when it comes to these moves to take over our democracy?

Among the worst violators of public morality have been executives and traders on Wall Street.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase, the nation's biggest bank, was found to have misled its shareholders and the public about its $6 billion "London Whale" losses in 2012.

This is the same JPMorgan that's lead the charge against the Dodd-Frank Act, designed to protect the public from another Wall Street meltdown and taxpayer-funded bailout.

Lobbyists for the giant banks have been systematically taking the teeth out of Dodd-Frank, leaving nothing but the gums.

The so-called "Volcker Rule," intended to prevent the banks from making risky bets with federally-insured commercial deposits - itself a watered-down version of the old Glass-Steagall Act - still hasn't seen the light of day.

Last week, Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee passed bills to weaken Dodd-Frank - expanding exemptions and allowing banks that do their derivative trading in other countries (i.e., JPMorgan) to avoid the new rules altogether.

Meanwhile, House Republicans voted to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act in its entirety, as part of their budget plan.

And still no major Wall Street executives have been held accountable for the wild betting that led to the near meltdown in 2008. Attorney General Eric Holder says the big banks are too big to prosecute.

Why doesn't the morality brigade complain about the rampant greed on the Street that's already brought the economy to its knees, wiping out the savings of millions of Americans and subjecting countless others to joblessness and insecurity - and seems set on doing it again?

What people do in their bedrooms shouldn't be the public's business. Women should have rights over their own bodies. Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

But what powerful people do in their boardrooms is the public's business. Our democracy needs to be protected from the depredations of big money. Our economy needs to be guarded against the excesses of too-big-to-fail banks.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

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+47 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-03-26 10:52
Well said, Mr. Reich. "Society needs to be guarded" ... not only from too big to fail... but from too big to jail.

Society needs to be protected from the boorishness of big government that is avaricious in growth and lust for money.

No one individual, company or government can borrow its way out of debt. Totally illogical !!
 
 
-24 # Ken Halt 2013-03-26 17:55
You're crossing a desert, you have one cup of water, you come to a well with a hand pump. Do you prime the pump with your one cup of water or do you walk on by? Your understanding of economics is just as limited.
 
 
+10 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-26 20:02
Frankly, there is no proof that the pump actually works or that there is water in the well. I would first drink the cup of water and then "pee" in the pump. Nothing lost. OK, so you don't like pee in your water and the pump works and there is water in the well. "keep pumping." OK, my humor could use a good bath, I know.
 
 
+11 # Hey There 2013-03-26 22:02
Well first you should figure out why there is a well with a hand pump in the desert. Who put it there and for what purpose? How many people make use of the pump and where are they? Will someone challenge your use of the pump? And what in the heck are you doing crossing the desert with one cup of water? Or is the pump just a hallucination like the idea that if the rich get richer those below in the money pool benefit?
 
 
+3 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:41
8^) Well said. Pun intended.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-03-27 09:34
So, in other words those that refinance their mortgage (i.e., borrow) at a lower interest rate than their current mortgage are not borrowing their way out of debt? What about a company that is in debt but which borrows to modernize their equipment that makes them more competitive/pro fitable such that they are now able to pay off their debt but were not able to prior to that borrowing because they were using older less profitable/less competitive technology? What about a company that borrows at say 5% in order to expand their operations which net a profit-rate of 8% (are they not borrowing their way out of debt)?

What is illogical is to compare a sovereign nation that has the power to create (i.e., "print") it's own currency with an individual or company that does not. In economic terms, you simply cannot compare them.

Debt in and of itself is neither a good nor a bad thing...it is only so in relation to one's ability to pay off the debt (i.e., the income generated by borrowing)...in the case of a homeowner, for example, with such low interest rates some have been able to buy a home (by borrowing) and lower their housing costs (i.e., they were paying more in rent).
 
 
+2 # cafetomo 2013-03-28 12:22
Their conditions on our debt, amounts to slavery. Their distinction is not on whether they can be repaid, but whether we can continue paying. Why else would Chase bank be bashing us over the head with commercials for their "freedom" card? The same reason stores tell you how to "save". The only freedom they wish, is to continue having someone else pay for their mistakes in speculating away the Brobdingnagian profits they have extorted to date.

Money is something of value. Currency is a representation thereof. Since Nixon took the nation off the gold standard, this country has dug itself only deeper into deficit. But had I not been able to borrow against my house, I would have neither found nor married my wife. So I split hairs to disagree, debt is both a good and a bad thing.

Like a knife, it makes dinner, or opens our veins in the tub. Some think one better than the other. But that is in the realm of opinion.

Morality is selective and self-serving. Not to be confused with caring, despite the plethora of rationale used to sell it as such. Motivation is more to the point, though most often obscured for the simple reason that it reveals the truth.
 
 
+59 # Susan W 2013-03-26 12:04
It's all about money. This is becoming a very nasty, mean-spirited country set up for the few at the top while the rabble fights it out at the bottom.
 
 
+12 # Byronator 2013-03-26 21:40
This has always been a nasty, mean-spirited country! We just hoped it could evolve.
 
 
+59 # vicortiz 2013-03-26 12:26
Robert, once again you are saying what I have been thinking. How is it that those who favor "small government" can justify the most personally invasive infringements on personal liberty and dignity while ignoring the rampages of the multitude of publicly damaging policies pursued in the interest of short-term profit? Thanks again from Victor from Walnut Creek
 
 
-70 # Robt Eagle 2013-03-26 12:33
Reich, what about Super Huge Federal Government taking away our rights? Why shouldn't free enterprise thrive, since if the product is no good, no one would buy it. Instead we have terrible laws, like oBamaCare that is going to bankrupt us all.
 
 
+26 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-26 16:17
TO: # ROBT EAGLE: Free enterprise? Remember the sub prime mortgages that were "sold" and bankrupted hundreds of thousands of families in this country and put so many of those families on the street? Well, "they still bought that crap and that crap was no good." Your math needs a "tune up," The Affordable Care Act legislation prevents the CEOs of the health insurance companies from adding million dollar expansions to their mansions but rather diverts that money to its primary purpose, actual patient care. Do you know that before the Affordable Care became law, 45,000 Americans needlessly died each year because they were denied medical care. It is in the interest of each country which wants to compete on a global scale to keep its citizens healthy. If you are a Republican, as I assume by your remarks, you and people like you live in a bubble. Nothing, no sense of logic, reasoning can change your views. Math and science is the basis of wisdom. How full is your "bag" of math and science or lack of it? Is your bag enriching your life? One of the smartest men who ever lived made this statement:"when you are on your death bed, you need only ask one question. Did I pursue the good and the beautiful?" If you did pursue the good and the beautiful, you deserve to die in peace. If, at the moment of your death, you Robt Eagle laugh at your fellow man as he needlessly dies if The affordable Care Act were to be repealed, you will reap your reward.
 
 
-10 # MidwestTom 2013-03-27 07:03
According to a report released yesterday by a national accounting group the Affordable care act will raise health insurance premiums for those now insured by 65% in California and 89% in Ohio, and 25% in Florida. Not what we were told two years ago.
 
 
+10 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-27 10:24
"According to a report released....... ....." "Nothing is real unless it is observed." Which national accounting group? What report? The CBO has an answer. I'll listen to them. Figures don't lie, but liers figure.
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2013-03-28 13:13
Quoting MidwestTom:
According to a report released yesterday by a national accounting group the Affordable care act will raise health insurance premiums for those now insured by 65% in California and 89% in Ohio, and 25% in Florida. Not what we were told two years ago.


Was that the same "national accounting group" that slapped a AAA rating on all of those securitized toxic mortgage derivatives?
 
 
+14 # Hey There 2013-03-26 22:25
Workers that are little more than slaves where absolute free enterprise flourishes such as the Mariana Islands would hardly consider themselves as engaging in free enterprise.Self regulation doesn't work. Workers are killed and injured in this country. jobs have been outsourced to other countries and health care isn't available to all as in Canada which doesn't seem to be in as bad a financial mess as the United States which bailed out banks and Wall St. Obama care won't bankrupt us. What helped that condition to come about was conducting war while lowering taxes.
The point of all of this is that countries function better when there is less of a gap between those at the top and the rest of the population.
Actually the rich dictate how many jobs there will be and whether or not the jobs will be in the United States. They decide how much freedom you will have thru lobbyists and donations to those in power.
 
 
+9 # Doubter 2013-03-26 23:05
"Red in tooth claw."
Unmitigated Darwinian Evolution.
Caveat Emptor.
Buyer Beware.
Women & children last.

WHAT FREE ENTERPRISE are you yacking about? (all I see are gigantic powerful financial/comme rcial/industria l institutions owning and running ALMOST everything. And now you want them to have ALL of it.)

You're telling me it is grandma, not Goldman Sacks (and GE) that has sunk us!?

I just looked up "boorish," and you might find it an appropriate definition, Mr. Eagle.
 
 
+9 # dkonstruction 2013-03-27 09:24
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Reich, what about Super Huge Federal Government taking away our rights? Why shouldn't free enterprise thrive, since if the product is no good, no one would buy it. Instead we have terrible laws, like oBamaCare that is going to bankrupt us all.


So, I suppose no one bought the Ford Pinto?

And, I suppose no one bought or used Asbestos? And, does "free enterprise" include a corporation's right to decide not to inform the public that their product is harmful (as was the case with Asbestos when the medical reports showing just that were tucked away in the back of the files and not released to the public?). And, how is the public to know, for example, whether a drug is "no good" or has harmful effects/side effects if there is nothing forcing (i.e., regulation) the company to disclose this information.

The notion that "if the product is no good, no one would buy it" is simply not true based on many real world historical examples.
 
 
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-27 12:42
#DKONSTRUCTION: Great post.

I watch a couple who are taking "the latest drug." Hand in hand,the sun is bright in the sky, birds are chirping, and the man and woman lovingly gaze at each other while sitting in a bathtub down by the beautiful sea, waves lovingly washing the silver beach. The TV audio is playing in the background:"if you experience swollen hands, tongue, feet. lips and sudden dizziness after taking this product, call your doctor right away. Tell your doctor if you have liver problems, blurry vision. This product may subject you to a sudden heart attack." All this audio quietly playing in the background as the couple lovingly look at each other. Frankly, I'll put up with the disease I had before I took the product, if I had a disease, rather than end up with all the diseases I could get by taking the "product.".
 
 
+8 # giraffee2012 2013-03-27 10:06
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Reich, what about Super Huge Federal Government taking away our rights? Why shouldn't free enterprise thrive, since if the product is no good, no one would buy it. Instead we have terrible laws, like oBamaCare that is going to bankrupt us all.

Stupidity is incurable!
 
 
+5 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:50
Quoting giraffee2012:
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Reich, what about Super Huge Federal Government taking away our rights? Why shouldn't free enterprise thrive, since if the product is no good, no one would buy it. Instead we have terrible laws, like oBamaCare that is going to bankrupt us all.

Stupidity is incurable!


True, but ignorance isn't. Perhaps he's just ignorant. Of course seeing the facts over and over and continuing to post the same ol' same ol' drivel does seem to support the stupidity theory.
 
 
+4 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:46
Quoting Robt Eagle:
Reich, what about Super Huge Federal Government taking away our rights? Why shouldn't free enterprise thrive, since if the product is no good, no one would buy it. Instead we have terrible laws, like oBamaCare that is going to bankrupt us all.


Obamacare, first proposed by Nixon and later by the arch conservative Heritage Foundation actually saves hundreds of billions of dollars. All its' faults are the resyult of Republican amendments and the fact that insurance companies are involved.

Free enterprise should be allowed to thrive, but not by the current out of control theft of the public. Caspitalism always self destructs in the long run without tight governmental oversight.
 
 
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-29 22:56
A friend of mine, who is a football player once commented,"Capi talism wants to play by their own rules and only their own rules. When Capitalism does not want to serve the public, with sheer economic and political power, Capitalism can and usually, always does screw the public." He commented, "suppose Capitalism is like a football team. Eleven players is the rule. Capitalism would like to get rid of the referees, play with 14 players on the field and the public or the other team, gets maybe nine players. The Capitalists then love to bask and watch the score board.
 
 
+1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-30 16:36
Let's turn this around. Suppose those who know a bad product is no good before they sell it. Then, why sell it? I know, you will bitch, "we are losing out rights to sell a bad product. Damn that government." Foot in the mouth disease.
 
 
-56 # jtatu 2013-03-26 12:44
Reich needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The federal programs "designed to help poor kids" aren't working. The growing number of poor kids being born to single teenage drop outs with no life or work skills don't have much of a chance, Head Start or no Head Start. We need to try something new and that would encourage young people to finish school and get married before having children. The present programs that Reich supports clearly don't do that.
 
 
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-03-26 18:11
We could teach them birth control. I fly to China 5 of so times a year. I'm beginning to know and understand the Chinese culture as time progresses. First and foremost, there is almost no incidence of unwed mothers in China as we experience in the U.S. For a girl in China to have a baby outside of marriage is considered a disgrace to herself, her family and friends. One day the Republicans "may" understand their 11th Commandment: "IT IS A CRIME TO ENJOY SEX" is bull shit. It becomes a crime perpetrated upon oneself and the community when two enjoy unprotected sex and ask the community to pick up the tab to raise the baby. With some exceptions, Chinese couples are allowed to have only one child.
 
 
+2 # jtatu 2013-03-27 09:02
This is a good examle of where our culture is today. It is no longer considered a disgrace to have babies outside of marriage in this country. I believe over 40% of babies born in the US are born outside of marriage. There are no government programs that can give these children the advantage of being raised by a mother and father that are married.
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2013-03-28 07:12
Quoting jtatu:
This is a good examle of where our culture is today. It is no longer considered a disgrace to have babies outside of marriage in this country. I believe over 40% of babies born in the US are born outside of marriage. There are no government programs that can give these children the advantage of being raised by a mother and father that are married.


Interesting how conservatives like to talk about these issues as if they are somehow new and due to the moral degeneration of the "liberal, secular" culture." How long after they were married did Ron and Nancy Reagan have their first child (used to be a question included in the Canadian version of Trivial Pursuits but they wouldn't include it in the American version....hmmm , wonder why?). And of course, "virtuous" white male slave owners never slept with (i.e., raped) their African American slaves! And, of course in colonial America chattel bond laborers (both white and black) were never prevented from marrying (or from engaging in sexual activities) so that their "fornication" could be considered acceptable. So, to present this "moral degeneration" is simply to deny what has been going on in this country since before the founding and cannot be blamed on the "liberal, secular" culture that today's conservatives like to pin it on.
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2013-03-27 09:26
Quoting jtatu:
Reich needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The federal programs "designed to help poor kids" aren't working. The growing number of poor kids being born to single teenage drop outs with no life or work skills don't have much of a chance, Head Start or no Head Start. We need to try something new and that would encourage young people to finish school and get married before having children. The present programs that Reich supports clearly don't do that.


It does not in any way logically follow that if a program or programs "aren't working" that no program will work or is the answer to the problem.

So, it is one thing to say that the "present programs that Reich supports" are not working but, again, it simply does not follow that this means that the answer is not to have any program that tries to address the problem.
 
 
+1 # jtatu 2013-04-09 11:45
I agree.
 
 
+28 # MylesJ 2013-03-26 13:01
I'd like to know how these states intend to support the children of rape and incest in these states. What happens when the state has to defend the fetus against a suit pressed by the rape victim for loss of income, etc?
 
 
+29 # Dhimmi 2013-03-26 13:19
If a struggling little nation like Cyprus can solve its financial disaster by taxing the high-rollers, how come a stupendous nation like the US seems unable to do the same?
 
 
+14 # DPM 2013-03-26 13:20
Unfortunately, Mr. Reich is "preaching to the choir", here. Corporate and therefore political action, is taken for themselves and against "the people". It is up to "the people" to take action. In whatever form. Doesn't look as though voting is working out so well.
 
 
+17 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-03-26 14:04
Prof. Robert, here's some info. for you, I honestly believe, worthy of your so intelligent consideration:

Advertising 101 (may also be referred to as karlroving MSD - manipulation, spin, distraction) teaches villainaires and wannabe villainaires how best to get/keep we the sheeple's attention, and teaches sellers how to sell us on whatever it is they wish for us to buy and/or buy into: use sexual distraction (i.e. war on women, taking away of rights to abortion, same sex marriage, etc.); use manufactured emergencies (i.e. manufactured economic collapse and continuation of same, lied into need for war, war, war, etc.).

And, then there's spin that the villainaires, by and through their bought off politician puppets from both major parties, employ endlessly: campaign and other promises made with little or no follow up (also known as talking the talk but not walking the walk).

Keep us MSD'ed the villainaires must, in order to ward off our recognizing the evil, greedy coup d'etat they've been perfecting for some time, and now have in place.
 
 
+15 # Lolanne 2013-03-26 14:07
Dear Professor Reich,

You are one of my favorite commentators on the economic/politi cal scene in America today. I ALWAYS read your columns on RSN, and I usually agree with and have the greatest respect for your opinions. Thank you for your integrity and common sense -- sorely needed in today's world.

But please, please, get yourself a new proofreader/edi tor. Ex: "This is the same JPMorgan that's lead the charge against the Dodd-Frank Act,..." The past tense of the verb "to lead" is LED, NOT LEAD!

Not that you're the only one...I see this same error all over the place, and it really sets my teeth on edge.

Sincerely,
Lolanne (an old-school grammarian, a rare breed these days)
 
 
+7 # ghw 2013-03-26 17:45
Possibly should be leading?
 
 
+5 # Lolanne 2013-03-26 20:01
Quoting ghw:
Possibly should be leading?

Oh gosh, could be. Didn't think of that. Guess I've seen that error just one time too many! :-(
 
 
+2 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:54
My pet peeve is looser for loser. Although if Mitt Romney were one he might not be the other.
 
 
+9 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-03-26 14:07
The morality police are needed in our houses of Congress. These elected officials are called representatives , well maybe they are---but not of their constituents. They vote to please the people that give them bribes. They were all handed a nice check when they voted for the Monsanto protection bill. It is at this point that the morality police should swoop down on these corrupt beings and carry them off to prison cell. Of course the corporations will try to buy the officials. The evil is on the part of the elected officials when they take bribes, referred to as 'political donations'. Be prepared. THe Trans Pacific Partnership is coming up. MAJOR bribes will be given to our elected officials. I have NO doubt that this trade bill, which strips our nation of any sense of sovereignty will pass on the fast track through our rotten government. Those of you who continue to vote for these bastards are hurting all of us and destroying our democracy. How do you know an elected official is corrupt? He or she puts a little D or an R after their name.
 
 
+12 # peterjmck1 2013-03-26 14:12
Robert Reich - as usual and in plain English - makes just too much sense!!! what comes to mind is JK Gailbraith's now famous comment about the US and our failure to invest in our public sector as resulting in "private affluence and public squalor". Here we seem to have - at the very least - a case of "private rectitude and public amorality". What's left now for the banks to excel in ? Money laundering for Al Quaeda? Oh that's right - a done deal - HSBC bank has that market cornered. or perhaps not? What will it take to get ANY action...???
 
 
-5 # indian weaver 2013-03-26 14:47
"Yet these violations of public morality are far more dangerous to our society because they undermine the public trust that's essential to both our democracy and economy...." Reich.

In fact, I've totally lost confidence in our government. I do not believe or trust anything oh-mama says, and that goes for most politicians now. I do not believe our government represents The People or me. I do not believe we want this government to exist any longer. I wouldn't need my SS check were it not for the regime having destroyed our economy. In my opinion, oh-mama has done nothing worthwhile. He's dubya II. He lies constantly. Has followed through on nothing. His health care system is laughable and gifts $billions to health care companies, ignoring what The People need. This is what lies in our future as far as I can see: a fascist terrorist regime operated by banks. Our government is owned by banks and the Wehrmacht. We no longer have a government. We have the mitt romneys and cowardly losers like ob-mama running and ruining the lives of The People. We can do much better without this version of a government.
 
 
+12 # giraffee2012 2013-03-26 15:34
These GOP/TP legislators regulating women's rights are covering up their real dirty deeds: Giving our wealth to the $$ that puts them in office.

But, worse, they are eroding or democracy and the ignoring the Constitution/Bi ll of Rights that made us "better" than other so-called civilized nations.

We complain how badly women are treated in some Muslim nations but when we tell a woman WHAT she can/cannot do with her life - we are no better (maybe worse)

Put it all together - our government and the Supreme Court should NEVER EVER rule against a human right or equality rights for some and not others.

Today and tomorrow - the U.S. Supreme court (in that nobody can veto their decisions) will hear the case for gay marriages and partners' rights (of same -sex couples) - their decision should follow the constitution: ALL people (regardless of color, race, sexual orientation, whatever) can form whatever unions they wish.

The bible-thumpers who cry "marriage is between man/woman" - seem to forget that ADAM and EVE were not married and were told keep away from the "forbidden fruit" - .... i.e. somewhere down the line somebody said "marriage is..." and it wasn't anybody's g-d. It was a human being!
 
 
+17 # Robyn 2013-03-26 15:41
Reading this has made me wonder, when was it that the United States lost their way?
When exactly was it that extreme right wing conservatives started holding this country to ransom? When was it that the very fundamental rights of it's citizens came under attack so that women cannot terminate and unwanted pregnancy and gay are being shoved back into the closest. Where the interests of big business became more important than the interest of the people?
Was it when The States launched an illegal war against another country with lies about it having WMD? Or was it when they launched yet another war against a country so poor that it left the rest of the world so horrified and sickened by their actions.
The country I live in is not perfect but we have a Prime Minister that stood up to the huge mining companies and told them that their interests do not overtake that of the people. A Prime Minister that called out the leader of the Opposition as a misogynist.
A country where gays and lesbians have rights that are not questioned and that nearly 99% of the population of this country support gay marriage.
Where we have strict gun laws and we react to the slaughter of innocent children with horror and not with arguments to allow even more guns into circulation. We also have a tax system that taxes the rich, has free healthcare for all, a fair social security system and laws that protect women, children and the elderly from violence.
Maybe it's time to demand change.
 
 
+3 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:57
It's cyclical. It's happened before and will again. Eventually the people wake up and end it. Then you get a Roosevelt (either) type who fixes it until wingnut policies come back into vogue as the media gets bought off again.
 
 
+5 # Walter J Smith 2013-03-26 23:47
The GOP is certainly the most recalcitrant in every respect regarding their public duties. The are the world's most immoral morality brigade.

However, they are not alone. Remember, it was the Democratic Party controlled both houses of Congress that passed that Dodd-Frank legislation with no teeth in it, except a few loose snags designed to be easily pulled by the usual suspects in the political tooth-pulling industry.

Yes, the GOP is focusing on controlling everything about our sex life, while showing no interest in controlling their own behavior.

And what are the Democrats doing? A tiny handful are trying to get some public governance over the ungoverned banks & finance giants; a handful are trying to get some governance over the long ungoverned illegal immigrants issue; perhaps most are Democrats.

But for that dozen or so who are doing the public's business, what are the other two hundred plus elected Democrats doing? Taking all governance off Monsanto's insanely wild genetic roulette with our food chain; helping the GOP keep open the public welfare channels for Big Oil; making sure the GOP can filibuster everything that might assert governance we need anywhere. The list is too long to complete.

The same thing the GOP is doing, only hiding behind the GOP while doing it.

If Robert Reich could overcome his Democratic Party apologetics, he could become a truly great political economist.
 
 
+4 # flippancy 2013-03-28 05:59
Dodd-Frank had teeth before the Republican amendments necessary to get it passed. It's still a good thing, but not the great thing it started out as.
 
 
+6 # Sweet Pea 2013-03-27 13:30
Doesn't it sometimes seem like we are constantly banging our heads against the brick wall? We see many people without adequate food, lodging, and clothing; yet we also see our legislators passing laws for the benefit of banks and corporations.Th en, after they have saved the banks and corporations, they start worrying about stupid things like banning same-sex marriage. Why don't they concentrate on passing laws for the benefit of the citizens and quit trying to force their "beliefs" on others?
 

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