Category Archives: Featured

VIDEO, TRANSCRIPT: Noam Chomsky on Egypt, Obama, Gaza, & Middle East

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Featured, History, International Politics, News, Policy, Radio show, World News

2012: The Record (Health Reform)

Over the latter days of 2010 & the early days of 2011, The Political Prescription will break down the issues that will likely shape the 2012 political landscape.

By Kevin Hagler

Perhaps the trickiest part of what the “Davids” (Axelrod and Plouffe) must do in 2011 involves the process of filtering out which accomplishments of President Obama are not only politically safe, but politically strong to tout to the American public in 2012.

Health Care Reform

If health care remains unchallenged overall, the Obama administration will focus mostly on patient protections – the patients’ bill of rights – as well as the politically popular aspects of reform which have already gone into effect or will in 2011:

  • Health Insurers cannot deny children health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies can no longer cut someone when he or she gets sick.
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums.
  • Seniors will get a rebate to fill the so-named “doughnut hole” in Medicare drug coverage, which severely limits prescription medication coverage expenditures over $2,700. As of 2011, 50 percent of the doughnut hole will be filled. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Elections, Featured, Policy, Uncategorized, US Politics

2012: Tax Overhaul

Over the latter days of 2010 & the early days of 2011, The Political Prescription will break down the issues that will likely shape the 2012 political landscape.

By Kevin Hagler

President Obama took a huge hit with his liberal base over extending the Bush tax cuts to those making $250,000 or  even $1M or above. What better way to avoid this topic directly then by broadening the debate to an entire tax overhaul?

The president, in an NPR interview, made clear his idea to reform taxes altogether. “I think we’re going to have to have a conversation over the next year”, the president said. “The idea is simplifying the system, hopefully lowering rates, broadening the base — that’s something that I think most economists think would help us propel economic growth. But it’s a very complicated conversation.”

Using language like “complicated” probably won’t help his proposal politically, but the reality is that this issue may play well for the president and the Democratic party in the end. Part of what Mr. Obama has proposed in the interview already has bipartisan support: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Elections, Featured, Policy, US Politics

DADT: Our Morphing Moral Zeitgeist

By Kevin Hagler

After two years of pressure from the left and public advocacy groups, the president Wednesday signed legislation to kill “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the policy which banned gays from openly serving in the military. In his speech during the signing ceremony, the president declared that “we are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.'” but, “out of many, we are one.”

The idea that gays are just now allowed to serve openly in our armed forces reminds me of our ever-changing “moral zeitgeist” – a phrase popularized by Richard Dawkins. The term “zeitgeist” is German. It refers to the “spirit of the times”. The changing moral zeitgeist, as Dawkins’ defines it, means Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Featured, History, Politics, US Politics

Tax Cuts: Another View

By Joel Mendelson

Democrats, liberals and progressives throughout the country are irate that President Obama compromised with Republicans and agreed to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years. While I vehemently disagree with the notion that tax cuts should be extended to the wealthiest Americans, what choice could the president do?

Republicans have used obstructionist tactics to such an extent over the last two years that it’s only by miracle (and healthy majorities) that allowed Democrats to pass the stimulus, health care reform and financial reform. If an agreement wasn’t reached and tax cuts were not extended for all Americans, we would see Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) remain in effect, the START treaty would never see ratification and don’t get me started on the prospects of the DREAM Act passing.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Featured, News, Politics, US News, US Politics

Why Republicans win the argument

…& How Democrats can win it back

By Kevin Hagler

Republicans fascinate me. Really. They do. The sheer brilliance in simple, simple politics: “small government, low taxes”. Again, brilliant. And when that doesn’t work, they pull out some complete red herring issues that will get people to the polls like prop 8.

I’ve been youtube-ing old videos of politicians and political punditry of the past decade and the arguments are pretty much the  same. The right-wing has always had the same mantra: “small government, low taxes.” I can almost hear it howling in the wind outside my window. Pretty dramatic stuff I know but that’s how much this has been picking my brain.

That same simple argument has kept the Republicans in power and has, at least, maintained right wing dominance in the political arena if not the policy one. Of course, we know that conservatives don’t exactly abide by their own argument. A Republican administration hasn’t exactly balanced the budget since, well, ever.  But this is where the Republicans take the message away from the Democrats.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Featured, Politics, US Politics

My Take: Federal Pay Freeze

By Kevin Hagler

Pres. Obama announces pay freeze, lip: cut

So, the title is a bit of a misnomer in that I’m still developing my opinion on the matter. Liberals – and I use that term as an endearing one – have been quick to criticize the administration for proposing this. The left leaning blog, Daily Kos conducted an online poll where respondents overwhelmingly disapproved of the proposal. I was watching the news and frequent CNN-er and ex Clinton aide, Paul Begala mostly criticized Obama for beginning deficit negotiations with what some would consider a liberal concession. This scares liberals because they see this type of political posturing as the reason the health care bill was watered down. The rest of the CNN talking heads agreed that the measure was largely symbolic as it takes up a fraction a percentage of the entire debt.

One of my favorite outspoken, wonky, and semi-frequent guest on the old Sunday show, economist Mark Thoma, criticized the administration on a policy level:

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Featured, News, US Politics