economy

New Sanctions Against Russia Create a Bear Market Even a Shirtless Putin Can't Ride

New Sanctions Against Russia Create a Bear Market Even a Shirtless Putin Can't Ride
Citing Russia's stalled growth rate and a flow of foreign capital out of Moscow, U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen Russia's economic pain even further and force President Vladimir Putin to end provocations in Ukraine. Roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now constrained by U.S. sanctions, Obama administration officials said, shortly after announcing new penalties.
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Julie Pace and John-Thor Dahlburg
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Obama Speech: GOP Using Taxpayer Money to Sue Me for Doing a Good Job

Obama Speech: GOP Using Taxpayer Money to Sue Me for Doing a Good Job
President Obama had some great lines in Austin Thursday night, sure to get the GOP riled up. With jobs and the economy on the up, Republican intransigence is looking more and more childish and stubborn. Watch the video here.
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The Oligarchy's Patriarch: Koch Brothers Biography Paints Brutal Picture of Daddy Koch

The Oligarchy's Patriarch: Koch Brothers Biography Paints Brutal Picture of Daddy Koch
Until recently, the Koch family empire ruled from the shadows afforded by unimaginable wealth. As more and more Americans open their eyes to the powers behind the modern conservative movement — and a whole lot of climate change denial — the information about this secretive family is beginning to spill out into the open. With a biography on the Koch family hitting bookstores on Tuesday, that story may finally be available for all to read.
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Limited Wage Hike for Federal Workers Draws Praise, Disdain and Cautious Optimism

Limited Wage Hike for Federal Workers Draws Praise, Disdain and Cautious Optimism
President Barack Obama's plan to raise the minimum wage for federally contracted workers is winning praise from unions and labor activists, but it could take a year or more before any hikes take place and the impact may not be as widespread as some advocates had hoped.
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Sam Hananel
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Former Labor Secretary: Fear of Losing Jobs Keeps People Voting Against Their Own Job Safety

Former Labor Secretary: Fear of Losing Jobs Keeps People Voting Against Their Own Job Safety
Last week’s massive spill of the toxic chemical MCHM into West Virginia’s Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees eager to accept whatever job they can get. They are also also unwilling to demand healthy and safe environments.
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Robert Reich
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OPINION: Pushing Single Mothers to Marry Doesn't Help Them Find a Husband (or Feed Their Kids)

OPINION: Pushing Single Mothers to Marry Doesn't Help Them Find a Husband (or Feed Their Kids)
For years there has been a misguided attempt to curb single mother poverty by funding marriage initiatives that simply are not getting us anywhere. Finally, we’re getting a clue. The question remains, what can we do that is different to help these women transcend living at the poverty level? Because pushing initiatives that fit in a specific “moral” box are not the answer.
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Repealing the Prevailing Wage Would Cost IL 3,300 Jobs, $1B in GDP, $44M in Taxes, Says New Study

Repealing the Prevailing Wage Would Cost IL 3,300 Jobs, $1B in GDP, $44M in Taxes, Says New Study
Beginning January 1st, Tennessee eradicated the prevailing wage. Throughout California, cities are attempting to charterize in order to do the same thing. In Illinois, growing budget deficits and underfunded pensions have some lawmakers on the right calling for the repeal of this age-old wage protection in the name of “taxpayer savings.” This broad, counterproductive strategy does more to benefit special interests groups than the labor market on which prevailing wages have a clear, positive effect.
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Though Majority Supports It, CO Republicans Balk at Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Though Majority Supports It, CO Republicans Balk at Extension of Unemployment Benefits
House Republicans like Colorado's Mike Coffman seem to be blissfully unaware of the overwhelming support nationally for extending unemployment benefits. While they toy with yet another futile attempt to repeal the ACA, millions of Americans are suffering the consequences.
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Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits: The New 'Giant Sucking Sound'

Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits: The New 'Giant Sucking Sound'
Ross Perot coined the phrase “giant sucking sound” in the Presidential debates of 1998. He was talking about the jobs he (correctly) predicted that would leave the United States in the search for cheaper labor if we passed NAFTA. Today’s giant sucking sound is the $25 billion not going into our economy if Congress doesn’t pass an extension of the federal supplemental unemployment insurance for those facing long-term joblessness due to the Great Recession.
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Dem Senator to Obama: Trans-Pacific Partnership Secrecy Needs to End

Dem Senator to Obama: Trans-Pacific Partnership Secrecy Needs to End
The chairman of a Senate panel overseeing US foreign policy, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), said the Obama administration needs to be more open about the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. There are concerns that the TPP will undermine US workers' competitiveness, as happened after NAFTA.
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