I don’t think it’s going to change the debate in Washington, because people are impervious to the evidence. The folks pushing austerity are going to push austerity no matter what the numbers say.

Pat Garofalo, assistant opinions editor for U.S. News & World Report: “Obama’s tax increases are actually bringing the deficit down”

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting a smaller deficit in 2013. Garofalo joined Viewpoint’s John Fugelsang to discuss why this positive news won’t have an impact on conservatives.

Some of it was startling, close to Pulitzer Prize fiction in its inventiveness.
Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on the Benghazi reports he saw while serving as co-chair on the Accountability & Review Board. Pickering joined John Fugelsang on Viewpoint to talk about the review process and Sen. Darrell Issa’s criticism of the final report. Watch it here.
Climate change scientist and Stanford professor Ken Caldeira came on The Young Turks yesterday to discuss the atmosphere hitting the critical 400 ppm point. Ana Kasparian asked: OK, so what can we do about it as individuals?
Caldeira says: “It’s good to do these things, like try to drive less and to use compact fluorescent light bulbs … but I really think that the most important thing we can do is let our politicians know how we feel. We’re not going to solve this problem by telling people, ‘You can’t plug in your toaster.’’ … Right now, politicians … are more afraid of the fossil fuel lobby than they are afraid of losing votes.”
Watch the full interview here.

Climate change scientist and Stanford professor Ken Caldeira came on The Young Turks yesterday to discuss the atmosphere hitting the critical 400 ppm point. Ana Kasparian asked: OK, so what can we do about it as individuals?

Caldeira says: “It’s good to do these things, like try to drive less and to use compact fluorescent light bulbs … but I really think that the most important thing we can do is let our politicians know how we feel. We’re not going to solve this problem by telling people, ‘You can’t plug in your toaster.’’ … Right now, politicians … are more afraid of the fossil fuel lobby than they are afraid of losing votes.”

Watch the full interview here.

I think we’re a less moral nation when we don’t let gay people marry.

Michael Shure on The Young Turks. (via mattbirnbaum)

GOP strategist Jack Burkman came on TYT this week and suggested same-sex marriage was making the nation “immoral.” Guest host Michael Shure wasn’t having it.

On July 1, student loan interest rates are set to double - from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced her first piece of legislation on the Senate floor: students paying back federally subsidized loans would have an interest rate of .75 percent. That’s the same rate that major banks are charged for borrowing money from the government. Her argument is that students shouldn’t have to pay nine times as much interest as banks for their loans.

Her statement, via Americablog:

Big banks pay interest that is one-ninth the rate that students will pay. That is wrong. It doesn’t reflect our values. We shouldn’t be profiting from our students who are drowning in debt while we’re giving great deals to big banks. We should be investing in our young people so they can get good jobs and grow this economy, so let’s give them the same great deal the banks get….

If the Federal Reserve can float trillions of dollars to large financial institutions at low interest rates to grow the economy, surely they can float the Department of Education the money to fund our students, keep us competitive, and grow our middle class.

She continuesto explain how her own student debt repayments were equal to her rent back in 1989, which caused her to put off major purchases like buying a home.

What do you think? Should students get the same interest rate as the banks? Or are they apples and oranges when it comes to borrowing money?

Should students get to pay the same interest rate as banks?

Rick Ungar, a Forbes.com contributor, joined Current TV’s John Fugelsang to assess a new study released by the conservative Heritage Foundation — now helmed by former Sen. Jim DeMint — which claims immigration reform would cost the country $6.3 trillion. Some Republicans, including senators Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, have pushed back against the study.

Ungar says the Heritage Foundation came up with its massive projected price tag by assuming that “every single immigrant will come to this country, sit on a street corner — because that’s free — never eat a speck, because they won’t be spending anything into the economy.”

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, political reporter Joe Williams and Brown University Professor Tricia Rose debate why the U.S. continues to expand the drone program despite evidence of hundreds of civilian deaths.

In America we don’t fight problems, we fight each other over symptoms of problems. We don’t prevent poverty and under-funded education, we fight criminals. We don’t prevent the Mideast injustice that drives people to fanaticism, we fight terrorism. And we don’t prevent unwanted pregnancies, we fight each other over abortion.

Which brings us to the alleged and presumed monster that is Philadelphia abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell.

Now, if you followed this trial you know his former employees have said that until a few years ago, Dr. Gosnell mostly performed first and second trimester abortions. But his clinic had a poor rep and soon he was only able to attract poor, desperate women who couldn’t terminate pregnancies elsewhere.

And so he came to embody every ugly, murderous, right-wing stereotype about abortion providers. According to the prosecution, this guy killed viable babies — after illegally delivering them. He overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, nothing was sterilized, body parts were kept and stored in disgusting conditions, he perforated the wombs of his patients, gave them venereal diseases through infected instruments, made his staff do unspeakable things and apparently directly caused the deaths of at least two of his patients. Illegal top to bottom. Everything rabid anti-Roe v. Wade people say about abortion — this guy allegedly, apparently, really did. The defense called no witnesses.

Now in the past, when someone ran a business as poorly and as incompetently with such rank indifference to human life as Kermit Gosnell, they were offered a no-bid contract by the Bush/Cheney administration.

But the right wing has tried to exploit these crimes to help further their grand goal — overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating all abortions.

And they’ve never been more wrong.

Not just because they don’t really believe their own mantra that all human life is sacred — only in America can you be pro-death penalty, pro-torture, pro-euthanasia, pro-drones, pro-pre-emptive war, pro-NRA, pro-assault weapons and still call yourself pro-life.

They’re wrong because the practices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell are exactly what they’re inadvertently fighting for.

See, the anti-Roe v. Wade folks think it’s disgusting that this guy would give the public a peek into what all abortion clinics would look like if they finally did overturn Roe v. Wade.

But this is the most painfully clear look at what would happen if women are denied access to safe, regulated reproductive health services — including legal abortions.

Now, I’d like to think this could be a chance for our anti-Roe v. Wade friends to finally realize that those who support women’s reproductive freedom aren’t “pro-abortion.” You know why? Because nobody has ever been pro-abortion.

Every last liberal, moderate and conservative who support Roe v. Wade would love a world with no abortion. You think abortion’s fun, pro-life people? “Hey, what should we do tonight? Oh, ‘Game of Thrones’ is a re-run, let’s have abortions!”

And you’d think that everyone would be opposed to a return to the day of unsafe back alley abortion providers — but if you overturn Roe, abortion’s not going to end. You can’t end it. You can either work together as a society to reduce unwanted pregnancies, or you can make it illegal and unsafe.

The only thing we know for sure is that the right isn’t fighting for an end to abortion — they’re really fighting for more Kermit Gosnells. In every state. Unsafe, unregulated, under the radar.

We don’t know how many Kermit Gosnells are already doing this — exploiting poor women. All we do know is that if men could get pregnant, all abortion would be safe and free — and macho schmucks in locker rooms would be bragging over who’s had the most.

John Fugelsang. Watch this epic rant here.
John Fugelsang: Nobody has ever been pro-abortion
May 1 is a labor holiday known as International Worker’s Day, or May Day. On Monday, people rallied all across the globe in support of workers’ rights. Many of the protests are centered around the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh that has claimed more than 400 victims. In the United States, people are also rallying for a number of labor-related issues, including immigration, unions, and other workers’ rights and protections.

Thirty years ago, it was generally expected that employers would provide a living wage, health insurance and a pension. Now, many companies cut costs by hiring “independent contractors” to fill positions. Legally, they don’t have to provide any sort of benefits to these employees. And pensions are harder and harder to come by. In 1981, more than 80 percent of full-time employees at large companies participated in a pension plan; in 2011, it was less than 20 percent for all workers. As an op-ed in The New York Times stated Monday, It’s a 401(k) world.

Unions – the traditional defenders of the middle class in America – have come under fire lately. Over the past few years, some politicians have demonized unions, particularly the ones that protect government employees. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker notoriously ran on a campaign that proposed business tax cuts paid for by government workers’ pensions.

Meanwhile, corporate profits are at an all-time high, and the stock market just hit another record high. Wages have hit a record low.

How could employers do right by their employees? Some companies are innovating. Yahoo! announced it would be extending parental leave for new fathers and mothers.

What basic rights and protections should workers expect in the United States?

In honor of May Day, what could employers do in the U.S. to improve worker conditions?