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Blue Dogged: Meet Steve Israel, The Incoming Chair Of The DCCC

“Long Island Democrat Steve Israel, the incoming DCCC chairman isn’t a typical Nancy Pelosi ally. Among other things, he’s a former Blue Dog who voted for the Iraq war and the 2001 Bush tax cuts. But last week, after urging his fellow Democrats to support Pelosi’s continued leadership of their party, Pelosi nominated him to head the election committee over the perceived favorite, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Wasserman-Schultz and Pelosi have clashed in the past, but the former’s fundraising acumen is unquestioned and, in a challenging environment for Democrats, she was seen as a natural choice.

But Israel didn’t come out of nowhere.”

Poll: Republicans Want Anti-HCR GOPers To Just Say No To Gov’t Health Care

“Republicans and independents have decided that incoming members of Congress who ran against health care reform and still take their government-funded benefits are hypocrites. Democrats, not so much.

That’s one conclusion from a new national poll from Democratic firm PPP, which shows big majorities of GOP and independent voters saying the politicians who ran against the health care reform law should forgo the health care benefits they’re entitled to as employees of the federal government.

Just 28% of Republican respondents said that new anti-reform members should take their federal benefits, while a whopping 58% said they shouldn’t. Among independents — who voted for the GOP in big numbers on Nov. 2 — 56% say politicians who made health care repeal a cornerstone of their campaigns should deny themselves their government benefits. Only 27% said they should take them.”

Minnesota Recount Part II Set To Begin — As Board Figures Out The How

“The Minnesota State Canvassing Board held a busy meeting this morning, as they begin to make some crucial decisions on how the recount will proceed in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Mark Dayton and Republican Tom Emmer.

With the counties finished proofreading their spreadsheets, as well as routine hand recounts in randomly selected precincts to double-check the accuracy rate of the optical-scan machines, Dayton leads by 8,770 votes, or 0.42%. While this is within the 0.5% needed to trigger a statewide recount, many observers have doubted that Emmer could pull ahead, as Dayton’s lead is probably too wide to be reversed barring any surprising discoveries in the hand count. However, a possible drawn-out legal contest could potentially result in Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty staying in office in the interim, with the opportunity to work with a newly elected Republican legislature.”

‘Eager Beaver’ FBI Agent’s Attempt To Flip Witness Exposed Feds’ Big Insider Trading Case

“John Kinnucan, an independent analyst with a financial services firm, was sitting on his front porch in Portland, Oregon sipping wine on Oct. 25 when two men in business suits emerged from a gray sedan and identified themselves as FBI agents.

They were there to flip him, to have him cooperate and give them an inside look at his clients as part of a wide-ranging investigation of insider trading which has lead to searches of hedge funds in recent days.

Kinnucan’s disclosure of the FBI’s attempt to flip him in an e-mail to about 20 hedge-fund and mutual-fund clients lead to a Wall Street Journal report over the weekend, which apparently forced the FBI’s hand. “

Voters Would Change Constitution To Limit Corporate Spending In Elections

“When the Supreme Court invalidated a decades-long ban on corporate spending in federal elections in their Citizens United decision, it was by the narrowest of margins — only one justice. The public is less split on the issue, however. A new poll by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which was provided to the Huffington Post, shows that by a double-digit margin, voters want Congress to use a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision and once again restrict corporations from directly spending on elections.

Forty-six percent of voters said that “Congress should consider drastic measures such as a constitutional amendment overturning” Citizens United, while 36 percent disagreed. Only a fifth of voters were undecided on the matter.”

Corporations Post Record Profits As Republicans Call For Eliminating The ‘Insidious’ Corporate Income Tax

“Last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – a man ThinkProgress readers are familiar with – took to the House floor to bemoan the “insidious” tax on corporations. “We can compete with anybody,” Gohmert declared, “if you take off that insidious tax” on business. Watch it:

Gohmert’s defense of corporations are not the words of a single rogue congressman. Rather, sticking up for the big guy is an orthodoxy that pervades the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin has pledged to repeal the state’s corporate income tax. Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants to slash the federal corporate income tax. And Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) proposes completely eliminating the tax in his radical Roadmap for America.

Conservatives’ attempts to portray corporations as victims in this economy is dubious for two reasons. First, despite right-wing misinformation, American corporations actually already pay far less in taxes than those in other industrialized nations. Secondly, despite the myths that corporate taxes are “strangling” business, and that President Obama is “anti-business,” a report released today from the Commerce Department shows that American companies actually brought in record profits during the last quarter.
Corporate Taxes by Country

Tiny Fla. Island Debates Joining Electric Grid

“No Name Key remains one of the few communities in America that are totally off the grid. Even though most of the houses are powered by solar energy, residents are debating whether to electrify the island so that they can get rid of generators and sell green power back to the grid.”

Holiday cheer: Congress set to let jobless benefits expire

“Voters clearly want lawmakers to ease the nation's unemployment pain, but a sharply divided Congress is still balking at extending jobless benefits for those out of work a long time. Unless Congress acts by Nov. 30, an estimated 2 million people slated to receive extended benefits will not get them on time, if ever.”

Economic Scene: In China, Uneven Progress in Health

“China’s economy has grown rapidly for two decades, but life expectancy there has not kept pace.”

China’s ‘Little Emperors’ Lucky, Yet Lonely In Life

“A world with no siblings is the reality for tens of millions of young urban Chinese, born since the one-child policy was introduced in 1976. Now, they are dealing with unique challenges when it comes to their own relationships and families.”

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