If Republicans were serious about deficits, they’d consider policies that might actually work

“…every other advanced country has much lower health costs than we do, and even within the US, the VHA and even Medicaid are much better at controlling costs than Medicare, and even more so relative to private insurance. The key is having a health insurance system that can say no — no, we won’t pay premium prices for drugs that are little if any better, we won’t pay for medical procedures that yield little or no benefit. But even as Republicans demand “entitlement reform”, they are dead set against anything like that. Bargaining over drug prices? Horrors! The Independent Payment Advisory Board? Death panels! They refuse to contemplate using approaches that have worked around the world; the only solution they will countenance is the solution that has never worked anywhere, namely, converting Medicare into an underfunded voucher system.”

— Paul Krugman

Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren scores Senate Banking Committee seat: Suck it, Wall Street!

Think Progress: “Sen-elect Elizabeth Warren, a dogged consumer advocate whose critique of Wall Street excess was a centerpiece of her campaign, will join the Senate Banking Committee. Wall Street spent boatloads of money to prevent Warren’s election, but now, as the Center for Responsive Politics noted, she will have oversight of the rules and regulations under which banks operate:

The securities and investments industry contributed just $245,000 to Warren and spent $3 million supporting her opponent Scott Brown,according to OpenSecrets data from mid-October. The industry was Brown’s top supporter.

The Financial/Insurance/Real Estate sector followed suit and contributed $6 million to Brown and a puny half-a-million to Warren…

“Several Senate candidates supported by Wall Street wound up losing. As a member of the Banking Committee, Warren will have the opportunity to stand against both the watering down of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and new misguided efforts to reduce limits on Wall Street.”

In Elizabeth Warren’s own words – NYTimes.com:

“Wall Street C.E.O.’s — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them,” she said in her speech at the Democratic National Convention in September.

“The people on Wall Street broke this country, and they did it one lousy mortgage at a time. It happened more than three years ago, and there has been no real accountability, and there has been no real effort to fix it,” she said in a debate last year.

It’s so great to realize that money can’t buy every American election.

Related:

Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee.

The bloom is off the Turdblossom: Fox benches Karl Rove (for now)

Daily Intel: “According to multiple Fox sources, [Fox News chief Roger Ailes] has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris. Both pundits made several appearances in the days after the election, but their visibility on the network has dropped markedly. Inside Fox News, Morris’s Romney boosterism and reality-denying predictions became a punch line… Multiple sources say that Ailes was angry at Rove’s election-night tantrum when he disputed the network’s call for Obama.”

Jon Stewart on Fox’s “War on Christmas”

“Since you asked the question, “Am I nuts to think there’s a war on Christmas?” it’s only polite for me to offer you a resounding, “Yes, you’re f*cking nuts.” Because, for whatever annoying local ticky-tac Christmas-abolishing story you and your merry band of persecution-seeking researchers can scour the wires to turn up, the rest of us can’t swing a dead elf without knocking over an inflatable snow globe or a giant blinking candy cane. For god’s sakes! Fox News itself is located in Midtown Manhattan, the epicenter of all that is godless, secular, gay, Jewy, and hellbound. And yet, even here, all around your studio, it looks like Santa’s balls exploded. In the olden days, before the “war on Christmas” the celebration of the birth of Jesus lasted a day, like birthdays do. … There’s a war on Christmas? Has anyone told Thanksgiving? ‘Cause this year, Black Friday, AKA Christmas’ opening bell, got pushed back a day to “Black Thursday.” Or as we used to call it: Thanksgiving. Christmas is so big now it’s eating other holidays.” — Jon Stewart, 12/3/2012


via reallyfoxnews

Darden Restaurants promises to keep prices low — by screwing over its employees

The company that owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden is feeling the effects of its well-publicized tantrum plan to not provide its employees — who get paid very low wages — with health insurance coverage. Of course we can expect that Darden’s owners / upper management will continue to receive outlandish salaries and bonuses, because that’s how American capitalism works.  But that has nothing to do with anything… right?

How not to succeed in business: Promise to dodge Obamacare mandates — Darden began testing a plan under which it would hire more part-time employees in October, who would work fewer than 40 hours a week. That would exempt the company from the health law’s mandate to provide health insurance coverage to all full-time workers. Separate research from YouGov suggests that other restaurant chains that have recently criticized the Affordable Care Act have seen their favorability dip shortly thereafter… As much as Americans have negative opinions about the larger health-care system, they also tend to have pretty positive views of their own health insurance. Politifact has sifted through this data before, and found that polls that ask Americans whether they’re satisfied with their health-care plan can find upwards of 80 percent of respondents agreeing with them.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Darden Restaurants Inc. shares fell 9% in premarket trades on Tuesday after it said it expects adjusted second-quarter profit of 25 to 26 cents a share. The Orlando, Fla., operator of Olive Garden and Red Lobster eateries was expected to earn 46 cents a share, according to a survey by FactSet.