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Harold Meyerson

How politicians can kick the Wall Street habit

So, protesters are occupying Wall Street and downtown banking districts in scores of other cities. Many Democratic politicos have endorsed the movement’s spirit and goals.

Now what?

The pols are in no position to enact any further left-populist reforms — laws that create, say, a financial transaction tax, or that make it easier for employees to form unions — so long as Republicans control the House and have veto power in the Senate. For that matter, the Democrats couldn’t even get those bills enacted when they controlled both houses of Congress. So what, besides affirming their solidarity with the demonstrators, can they do?

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How the Times Have Changed, Part 386

On Wednesday afternoon, within a few minutes of one another, many of America’s leading unions—the Service Employees, the Teamsters, the American Federation of Teachers—not to mention labor’s omnibus federation, the AFL-CIO—all released endorsements of Occupy Wall Street and its ongoing demonstrations in New York’s (and the world’s) financial center. Nothing surprising here—other individual unions and numerous local unions had already released statements of support for OSW, and the AFL-CIO itself has held several demonstrations on Wall Street since the financial collapse of 2008.

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Rescuing America from Wall Street

Better late than never, the movement to take America back from Wall Street has arrived. On Wednesday, the ranks of the Occupy Wall Street encampment will swell as Move­On.org members, union activists and ordinary disgruntled citizens join the demonstration against our financial sector’s misrule of the American economy. What’s more, long-planned anti-bank demonstrations in major cities this week are growing beyond their organizers’ fondest hopes as the Wall Street protest movement catches fire.

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In Senate vote, a win for the middle class and a rebuke to China

The news that our trade with China has been bad for the American middle class has finally reached the U.S. Senate. On Monday, the Senate will take up legislation that would impose tariffs on Chinese goods so long as China depresses the value of its currency. Despite the partisan polarization that grinds lawmaking to a halt these days, the bill’s support is thoroughly bipartisan, with sponsors ranging from such conservative Republicans as South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham to liberal Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown. The legislation is expected to clear the Senate’s 60-vote hurdle for a floor vote and move on to the House.

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When Even the Good News Is Bad

There are two ways to look at new four-year contract between the United Auto Workers and General Motors that was unveiled yesterday. The first is to note that by the standards of today’s economy, the auto workers got about as good a deal as anyone could imagine. The second is to note that the standards of today’s economy don’t allow for the kind of vibrant, sizable middle class for which America was once famed—and which the UAW’s contracts in particular did so much to build.

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The GOP is trying to rig the electoral college

Like Poe’s purloined letter, the Republican plan to heist the 2012 presidential election sits before us in plain view. And going Poe one better, it is perfectly legal.

The first part of the strategy has been unfolding for months. Since the 2010 elections brought Republicans to power in numerous swing states, officials in many of those states have made it harder for minority, poor and young voters to cast their ballots. GOP governments have been curtailing early voting (in Ohio and Florida) and requiring voters to produce official photo-identification cards (in Wisconsin). In South Carolina, the poll tax lives again: Voters who want an official photo-ID card must present a passport or a birth certificate, neither of which can be obtained for free.

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Harold Meyerson Named One of Nation’s Top 50 Columnists!

awardIn September, 2009 Atlantic Monthly named Harold Meyerson one of 50 Most Influential Columnists. Calling its list “its all-star team,” Atlantic Monthly’s Top 50 are the most influential commentators in the nation – the columnists and bloggers and broadcast pundits who shape the national debates. Harold Meyerson is honored to be in their midst.

To get a complete list of the country’s Top 50 Idea-meisters, click here.

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