We citizens have one small chit in our Democracy- the vote. But without a robust and truly free news media, our vote is worth nothing.  Knowledge is power, and in an age of moneyed interests- interests that control the media itself- it is the only power, as exercised through our vote, we citizens have a hope of possessing.  Advance The Dialog is a tool for the public.  It asks the media to follow common sense Rules designed to elicit factual data, Calls Them Out when they do not, and holds them accountable in the performance of their duty as The Fourth Pillar of Democracy.

So Welcome to ATD.  I hope you will join me by adding Your Input to this site-  Vote on the issues.  Comment on my blogs.  And Call Them Out when they break The Rules!

Vote! (right): Ask the Question Poll- ACA Video of Week! (bottom): C. Rose Toadies to Tim Geithner
  

In the quest for answers to Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore, the attendant focus on unemployment and urban blight, and the role they play in the tragic encounters between blacks and the police, reminded me of a story reported in March on the ‘Minneapolis Miracle’, a story with proven answers.

The joint piece between News Hour and The Atlantic tells of the broad regional prosperity that resulted from shared wealth policies in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area in the 1970’s, and the subsequent decline after policies were rolled back. Though the Twin Cities still enjoys high ratings in both affordability and … read more »

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An all time high of $4B in political spending was reached this past election, with another $200M in dark money, even though less people donated than in previous elections.  And money got results. Of the biggest spenders for House elections, 94% won; in the Senate it was 82%.  All this, according to a Nov. 10 News Hour report.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here are 2 things you probably know:
   There is too much money in politics.
   The news media reaps huge financial rewards from campaign ads.

And 1 you may not know:
   There was virtually no … read more »

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Planet’s burning up, and I’m seeing red.

In the last 5 years, not one of the broadcast networks- ABC, CBS or NBC- Covered the Topic of carbon tax on their nightly news shows, and only CBS reported on cap and trade, with a single segment in that entire period. The concept behind both– putting a price on carbon emissions as incentive to curtail them– is favored by many as the best method to reduce emissions and help slow global warming.

That’s right.  On the major network’s news- carbon tax: 0, cap and trade: 1.  In 5 years.

Meanwhile, there … read more »

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Over the past year, debate over raising the minimum wage has converged on 3 points:

    o its effect on employment  (particularly, on teens)
    o its effect on consumer prices
    o whether the Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a better solution for the poor

The non-partisan CBO’s February 2014 report, which analyzes the impact of raising the MW to $10.10 by 2016, paints a clear picture on the first point- employment, or jobs lost.

The CBO report states:

    . 16.5 million people (10% of total employment) will get a raise*
    . revenue will increase by $31 billion
    . 19% of … read more »

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With the media’s focus on cancelled plans, higher premiums and the website launch, ATQ Poll turns its attention to other ACA issues:  Medicaid expansion, access to doctors and hospitals, and employer sponsored plans.

What benefits and costs (coverage, financial) do states weigh when deciding whether to opt in vs. out of ACA Medicaid expansion?

The goal of this question is to expose the decision making process that states use in determining whether to opt-in or out of Medicaid expansion, and to do so in clear, monetary/human, cost/benefit terms.

At last update, 27 states have opted-in for MC expansion, 21- out, … read more »

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