Congressional Republicans are eager to ladle more subsidies onto agribusinesses while slashing, if not eliminating, food stamps for the poor, a twisted version of America’s own “Hunger Games,” writes Michael Winship.
While many reformers have focused on money in politics, a parallel danger comes from the billions of dollars that right-wing ideologues have poured into media. The likes of Rupert Murdoch have made an art form out of peddling “populism” that serves the financial elites, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
The U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government to “provide for the … general Welfare,” but free-market ideologues have distorted the Founding document’s plain language to fit their desires, including their new demands that food-safety rules be gutted, as Michael Winship explains.
The anger of Tea Partiers, as they precipitate a federal government shutdown, still burns from the IRS “scandal” of earlier this year, even though the supposed singling out of conservative groups proved to be a myth. But the furor disrupted IRS policing of political money abuses, writes Michael Winship.
Pro football is big business and America’s fascination with often violent sports has made Disney’s ESPN a lucrative franchise. So there is much money on the line over the issue of concussion-related disabilities, explaining the NFL’s desire to keep the medical science secret, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
Between a Congress dominated by Tea Party extremists and a Supreme Court controlled by corporate partisans, hopes for addressing America’s worsening income inequality are dim. But union leader Richard Trumka says the fight is more crucial than ever, writes Michael Winship.
Washington DC is a mix of several cities in one: a large but dwindling population of African-Americans, a solid middle class of government bureaucrats, and a growing uber-class of extremely well-paid corporate executives and lobbyists, a changing demographic that troubles Michael Winship.
Even the hyper-partisan Newt Gingrich has chastised his fellow Republicans for endless negativity and lack of positive ideas. Still, as the wheels of government grind to a standstill, business lobbyists continue to grease them with lots of money, notes Michael Winship.
Anti-government extremists of the American Right continue to insist that concern about global warming is some sort of “statist” plot as they block policies to address the worsening crisis and slash funds needed to respond to its effects like deadly wildfires, as Michael Winship explains.
The prevalence of low-wage jobs in the private sector and the scarcity of well-organized unions are among the explanations for America’s collapsing middle class. But the exploitation of cheap labor also extends into government jobs, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship report.