By Zach Cartwright for Public Banking Institute – The recent kerfuffle over private health insurance companies refusing to accommodate those with plans acquired through the Affordable Care Act exchanges has exposed a glaring issue — why don’t we have a public option to compete with private health insurance profiteers? The same could be said for banking, as well. When health insurance giant Aetna pulled out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, ACA opponents calling for its repeal celebrated the measure as proof that President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation was too cumbersome and too expensive for insurers to accommodate.
By Staff of AP and NORC – Seventy percent of Americans say they feel frustrated about this year’s presidential election, including roughly equal proportions of Democrats and Republicans, according to a recent national poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. More than half feel helpless and a similar percent are angry. Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country’s political system, and among a normally polarized electorate, there are few partisan differences in the public’s lack of faith in the political parties, the nominating process, and the branches of government.
By David Sirota in IB Times – Two years ago this month, a 29-year-old government contractor named Edward Snowden became the Daniel Ellsberg of his generation, delivering to journalists a tranche of secret documents shedding light on the government’s national security apparatus. But while Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers detailing one specific military conflict in Southeast Asia, Snowden released details of the U.S. government’s sprawling surveillance machine that operates around the globe. In the years since Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, the politics of surveillance have evolved. For much of the early 2000s, politicians of both parties competed to show who could be a bigger booster of the National Security Agency’s operations, fearing that any focus on civil liberties might make them look soft on terrorism.
Americans mostly oppose direct U.S. military action to help the Iraqi government fight Islamic militants threatening to take control of that country. A June 20-21 Gallup poll finds 54% of Americans opposed to and 39% in favor of taking such action, lower than the level of support for other potential U.S. military actions in recent decades. Americans were much more likely to favor taking military action against Iraq before the previous wars in 1991 and 2003, although both of those efforts were undertaken to oppose Saddam Hussein’s regime. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the percentage in favor of sending U.S. troops there started out low at 23%. By the fall, after President George H.W. Bush built an international coalition in favor of military action, a majority of Americans were in favor, including 55% in January 1991 just before the Persian Gulf War began. A consistent majority of Americans supported sending U.S. ground troops to Iraq “in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power” from the time the question was first asked in 1992 until the U.S. actually did so in March 2003. A March 14-15, 2003, poll conducted on the eve of the war found 64% of Americans in favor of taking such action.