Bush Yoyos While the U.S. Burns: An Interview With Economist Jared Bernstein

The diary below was originally posted earlier today in the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

The conservative shift in American politics undermined the economic security of working people. Increasingly, individuals are absorbing more risks, working longer hours and earning less. Meanwhile, corporations and government benefit from less accountability to tax payers, consumers and employees. Renowned economist Jared Bernstein proposes in his new book, All Together Now: Common Sense For A Fair Economy, (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.) that we're ensnared in a "YOYO economy". The acronym YOYO means, "You're On Your Own." Bernstein's book illustrates how the "YOYOists" have schemed to transfer the burden of economic risk onto individuals and their families.

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Lancing the Boil

The conservative movement is irredeemable. What William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater launched decades ago was perverted into a corporate theocracy. In recent days, Kevin Phillips new book American Theocracy, has received much attention for his scholarly analysis of the movement's legacy. It's worth reading because Phillips also wrote The Emerging Republican Majority while working on the Nixon campaign. It was published a year later and proved prescient. This time Phillips documents the legacy of a movement he helped launch.

The rumblings of conservative intellectuals such as Phillips and Bruce Bartlett illustrate that the Republican crusade is sucking wind. Even President Reagan's former speechwriter Peggy Noonan openly asks whether Bush is a liberal.

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GOP: First Religious Party

(Cross posted on VoxMia.com)

Kevin Phillips, author of American Dynasty, among other books, has recently published American Theocracy, which takes a close look at the relationship between the Republican Party and the religious fundamentalists right in America. Kevin Phillips goes even further than merely describing the relationship, however. In fact, he suggests that the Republican Party is now the first religious party in American history and that it is this phenomenon that has influenced the Bush Administration's total lack of a policy apparatus — essentially, the Bush White House has given up on formulating a governing policy and, in stead, has catered to the demands of this extremely influential constituency within the Republican Party by using the White House as a political tool to consolidate control over this religious constituency. Now, Kevin Phillips is not some media pundit writing about the Republican Party from the outside, as he's been an inside player within the Republican Party when he was a member of Nixon's White House team. It was during that time, in the early to mid 1970s, that Kevin Phillips began to observe the inroads that the religious fundamentalist right was making within the Republican Party — just around the time that Nixon was launching its Southern Strategy to courtship Southern Whites unhappy with the progress of the Civil Rights movement. Now, of course, the Republican Party is apologizing for its use of race as a wedge issue to courtship the bigot vote in the South; never mind that they continue to use race and other social wedge issues to divide the public, and to attract the bigoted and close minded elements to the Republican Party come election day.

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