Moonlighting in Vermont

November 30, 2009

It has long been a truism that thousands of Vermonters squeak by on very small wages (and benefits) and that many hold second, and even third, jobs in order to make ends meet.

The state’s largest newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, has a story on this in today’s edition. The story, which leads with a white-collar trade association manager who has a sideline business, really doesn’t get to the core of the problem, which is low wages in a state who’s largest employment category is retail clerks (who earn about $18,000 a year). But it’s worth perusing as an introduction to the situation – Second jobs in VT

Later,


They screwed up just about everything they touched

November 29, 2009

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee releases a report on how the self-described “Vulcans” in the Bush administration botched the effort to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden – Three Stooges go to Afghanistan

Later,


The Roosevelt Institute on job creation and the economy

November 25, 2009

Well worth your while. I liked James K. Galbraith’s piece quite a bit:

Getting us (all of us) out of this mess

Later,


Albert, Albert, Albert

November 25, 2009

Pujols has his hat-trick
MVP

Later,


One of my faves – Susie Madrak, over at C&L, thinks Reid is selling us out

November 22, 2009

Triggering trouble in the caucus

It’s long past time to worry about getting to 60 votes for passage. The public option and Stupak’s coat hanger amendment attached to the House bill are two issues that appear to be impossible to Solomonically resolve. So, let’s get the bill we really need – okay, it isn’t single-payer or national health, but at least a bill for now – and go to reconciliation and be done with it.

Later,


Featured new (to me) site – Arms Control Wonk

November 22, 2009

These folks are talking `way deeper than any public conversation I’ve ever heard. I’m making them a regular stop on my daily blog surfing.

Arms Control Wonk

Later,


Big day today

November 21, 2009

First, it appears Harry Reid can at least move the health care reform bill to the Senate floor – Dems have the votes, for now

It also appears that there will still be a fight for passage. ConservaDems may balk, and our own Sen. Bernie Sanders has said Reid cannot count on his vote for passage if the bill doesn’t go far enough to ensure things like coverage and affordability:

I voted to proceed on health care reform because our current health care system is disintegrating and must be reformed. Forty-six million Americans are uninsured, [it’s actually closer to 50 million now – SG] and 45,000 die every year because they don’t have access to a doctor. We have almost one million Americans going bankrupt because of medically-related diseases, health care costs are soaring and we end up spending almost twice as much per person on health care as any other nation. It is clear that we need real health care reform.

While I voted to proceed to the health care legislation tonight, I have made it clear to the administration and Democratic leadership that my vote for the final bill is by no means guaranteed. In the weeks to come I intend to do everything I can to make this legislation stronger and more effective for working families and taxpayers in Vermont and America and something all Americans can be proud of.

AARP is still not on-board with the Senate version, although they endorsed the House bill (thanks, TPM) – AARP letter to Reid

Blanche Lambert Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and Mary Landrieu are not yet confirmed as being on-board, either. Meanwhile, that twerp Joe Lieberman continues to try to extend his 15 minutes.

Over on the other side of the Hill, the House Financial Services Committee voted to audit the Fed – Voting for transparency at the Fed

While this is a big deal, don’t count on it seeing the light of day. The amendment was proposed by a couple of back-benchers, while heavyweights – like Committee Chair Barney Frank – are worried about getting the political camel’s nose under the tent. DC is VERY respectful of institutions and their privileges, and this would upset some of those.

Later,