The good news about Affordable Care Act implementation.
Great news from California, where premiums in the new ACA exchanges are going to be lower than they were before the exchange.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer attacked by legislators from her own party as she tries to accept expanded Medicaid funds.
The same is happening to governors in Michigan and Ohio.
A scary bridge collapse in Washington state.
Which raises an important point: How about we put people to work actually building stuff?
Marcus Hedger, fired for trying to organize, might lose his house thanks to the ongoing Senate Republican obstruction of the NLRB.
Bank lobbyists are drafting bank regulation bills.
How it works: Look at the language Citi wrote compared to the final House bill.
Saxophonists, bakers and Fox News camera operators: Jobs you didn’t know were union.
An Ohio investigation shows the pointlessness of voter suppression rules.
A happy Memorial Day to everyone and a special thanks to those who have served and their families.
Fact-checking Chicago’s claims about why it’s closing so many schools.
This new reality show sounds like everything wrong with our economy, played as entertainment.
Fast Food Crime Wave: Employees share their stories of wage theft.
The problems with Penny Pritzker.
Unemployment: It’s mostly a demand problem, not a skills problem.
The vicious cycle of austerity: “corporate hoarding is both a symptom of shaky economic growth and a contributing factor to it.”
A calm, reasonable explanation of why the argument for austerity is bunk.
Michigan’s car factories are seeing higher demand, putting more people to work this summer.
Bernanke to Congress: You’re blowing it, guys.
Senators of both parties go along with a terrible proposal on food stamps.
Related: two House members who quoted the Bible in support of food stamp cuts are themselves benefiting from huge farm subsidies.
Sen. Mitch McConnell thinks rich people’s political spending needs special protection.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage is a small, petulant child.
America’s teachers: heroes in a crisis but too often embattled.
More than 50 Chicago public schools are being closed down.
A view from this week’s DC protests by low-wage workers and homeowners.
How student debt is dragging down the housing market.
Washington state passes a bill protecting employees’ Facebook passwords from their employers.
Sen. Harry Reid delays key nomination votes to set up a showdown over the filibuster.
The loathsome “pitchbook” of one of Wall Street’s most notorious firms.
How to make voting easier.
Gov. Rick Scott reverses himself and restores early voting days in Florida.
Iowa’s Gov. Terry Branstad is the latest Republican to accept expanded Medicaid funds.
In the deep South, people overwhelmingly want Medicaid expansion funds even as their governors reject them.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has an important question for Ben Bernanke.
In the coming days, the Senate will have the opportunity to vote on some extremely important nominees for jobs that protect working people—unless, as has so often happened with important votes, the Senate’s Republican minority blocks the vote from happening in the first place. What’s at stake isn’t just the people nominated, but the very laws they’re being nominated to enforce.
The National Labor Relations Board: Since the 1930s, workers who are subject to abuse on the job have had a federal body tasked with hearing their complaints and remedying them. But right now, the very ability to enforce laws protecting workers’ rights at all is in doubt. As former chair Wilma Liebman notes, the board hasn’t been fully staffed with Senate-confirmed appointees in 10 years and has been in chaos since 2008 thanks to court cases and the refusal of Senate Republicans to allow nominations to proceed. That has real consequences for workers like Marcus Hedger, who was fired for advocating for a union. That’s illegal, but without anyone to enforce the law, it doesn’t matter—it’s as if Hedger’s house had been broken into, and when he called 911, he was told that the police had been shut down.
President Obama has nominated a bipartisan slate of five people to the NLRB, but they have to get Senate confirmation before the board can function.
The Department of Labor: Thomas Perez, currently an assistant Attorney General, is a great choice to be the next Secretary of Labor. He has a long record of enforcing civil rights and workplace law, and last week, his nomination was approved by a Senate committee. So naturally he’s the target of a filibuster threat, for the most tenuous of reasons. But why rush to fill the position? After all, all the Department does is oversee wage and hour laws, workplace safety, medical leave and pensions (among other things).
The CFPB: Here we go again. This week Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, will schedule a vote on Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board. The CFPB is a huge success—one of the best things to come out of the 2010 Wall Street reform bill that most Senate Republicans opposed. Rather than let a duly-passed law take effect, Republicans are attempting to nullify it by preventing a vote on Cordray. Without a director, the CFPB can’t do its job.
By blocking these nominees, Senate Republicans are wiping the laws they’re meant to enforce off the books without taking a single vote. These are laws that protect people from mistreatment by corporations that have enormous power over their lives. This is not an accident—Senate Republicans know exactly what they’re doing here.
The first attempt at fixing the Senate’s nominations process this year fell flat. Sen. Reid is looking at the possibility of giving filibuster reform another try. As Ed Kilgore notes, it’s about time.
“We should all worry that the middle classes aren’t getting pay increases commensurate with the wealth they create for their bosses.”
Republicans’ goal was never reducing the deficit–it’s eliminating the safety net.
In response to proposed food-stamp cuts, Sen. Chris Murphy decides to see what life is like on the meager budget they’d provide.
Charlotte, Detroit and Minneapolis are among the key mayoral races this year.
Reports from five states indicate that the Affordable Care Act will reduce insurance prices.
Related: what can we learn from Oregon’s experiments with health care?
Victims of foreclosure fraud held a protest in Washington today.
Banks are slow-walking the mortgage fraud settlement, leaving homeowners waiting for their compensation.
The biggest banks are still too big–and there’s a bipartisan bill to help fix the problem.
How underfunding the IRS is a subsidy to the very richest.
Walmart, Gap still holding out on signing a Bangladesh worker-safety pact.
Map of the day: your right to vote, state by state.
“First, do nothing to mitigate harm.” Analyzing the psychology behind austerity.
Related: “We have to pay a price for past sins” is a lousy argument for austerity.
In reality, we need to stop worrying about debt and worry more about jobs.
Labor nominee Thomas Perez gets a 12-10 vote in committee, heads to full Senate.
The challenges of Senate reform.
White-collar workers–paralegals, secretaries, insurance agents and even lawyers–are increasingly looking to organize at work.
Sen. Warren to administration: take the banks to court.
What would Obama say if he “went Bulworth?”
The Affordable Care Act won’t make employers drop coverage, a new study finds.
Five voting-rights fights you need to care about.
New York Attorney General Schneiderman pursues wage theft in the fast food industry.
“Deficit hawks” are getting what they say they want, but they’re unmoved by the facts.
The rapidly-falling deficit really isn’t anything to brag about.
Fight for 15: the people who are driving the new wave of fast food activism.
In Milwaukee, African American workers have a special connection to the fast food strikes.
Walmart refuses to sign on to other retailers’ Bangladesh supplier safety plans.
Sad but unsurprising: a diagnosis of cancer greatly increases your odds of bankruptcy.
Good news: Washington state officials “pleasantly surprised” by potential lower rates under Affordable Care Act.
Don’t believe the spin: Potential Obama housing nominee Watt pushed for policies that could have prevented the housing crisis.
The failure of the NLRB to function is a real concern for workers.
Labor Secretary nominee Perez deserves a vote, says Sen. Reid.
LA Times: Let’s get past the filibuster, because it’s time for a vote on labor nominees.
By blocking nominations to the NLRB, Senate Republicans are nullifying decades of labor law and leaving workers stranded.
Meanwhile, wage and hour lawsuits have increased for the fifth year running.
With key nominations pending, Senate Democrats are looking once again to see if they can get past the filibuster.
No, millennials aren’t “lazy” or “entitled.”
Related: student loan debt is dragging down a generation.
Yes, the deficit is falling.
The case for austerity has crumbled.
Australia abandons austerity in favor of investing in jobs.
Huge cuts to food aid are coming through Congress.
Sen. Warren pushes for real oversight of lawbreaking in the banking industry.