Mora County, New Mexico becomes the first American county to ban oil and gas extraction. Small government at work! But most of today's "conservatives" will hate it -- or mislabel it "socialism."
Study finds that promoting certain energy-efficiency appliances as "good for the environment" (versus "more efficient," for example) actually turns off conservatives to their product. Are they sure they surveyed conservatives, though? Because it sounds like they surveyed brats.
James Kwak suggests a novel approach to helping Social Security: end tax preferences for private retirement plans and use the savings (some $200 billion a year!) to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund. I'm not a fan of dedicating revenues to a particular project, but I agree that we don't need to subsidize IRAs and 401(k)s. We're doing the right thing merely by letting those options exist.
Our government wants to fine big telecoms that don't comply with wiretap orders. And give them immunity when they violate your privacy through warrantless wiretaps, or when they give up your private info to our government! Calling it "Kafkaesque" would insult Mr. Kafka, for these are piddling ironies. So "Bizarro World America" it is.
Jesse Eisinger reviews the Brown-Vitter bill aimed at preventing banks from becoming "too big to fail." He finds some things he likes and some things he doesn't like, but boy are banksters tone-deaf to what regular folks think of them. Banksters are afraid the bill would "punish" them. What does the rest of America say? We can only hope!
In a possibly related note, big corporations still resist the Dodd-Frank mandate to disclose ratios between CEO pay and lowest-paid worker pay. One spokeshack actually has the nerve to say (even before he has the nerve to say computing a ratio would be too hard) that "(w)e don’t believe the information would be material to investors." Does he think all investors are assholes?