Thomas Hanna at In These Times reminds us that the next time the banksters collapse the economy, we'll need to have a better response than "save the banks" -- like "require a public ownership stake, with full voting rights, in any financial institution that has to be bailed out due to its own fraudulent or speculative activities." I'd just say "nationalize the banks," and anyone who responds by calling that a BIG GUMMINT TAKEOVURZ!!!! ought to take a good look around and see what all that "freedom" for banksters has done for us. And public banks now make up about a fifth of the banks in Old Europe, while the Bank of North Dakota made sure that state didn't go in the tank after the oil and gas bubble burst there (oh, and North Dakota weathered the 2008 economic armageddon pretty well, too).
Chinese government bans one of its many non-state-sanctioned Protestant churches, for, you know, refusing to allow the government to install closed-circuit cameras within. The Zion church is one of China's many "black market" churches -- or, as we'd call them in America, churches. Memo to right-wingers still gnashing teeth over transgender folks in their bathrooms: this is what government oppression of religious freedom actually looks like. Then again, the lesson may be lost on them, since this tale also has actual Communists in it, rather than the "Communists" in America whose main crime is "not being a cruel and heartless Republican."
Surprise, surprise, North Korea still seems to be going to some trouble to conceal its nuclear weapons program. Also, North Korea doesn't appear to have gotten rid of any of its nukes, and appears to have made new ones. But what happened to we don't have to worry about it anymore? We must remember that all of our President's pronouncements have an expiration date, and that expiration date is generally "just after now."
Ho hum, Dept. of Treasury Inspector General finds that the outsourcing of IRS functions to private corporations is going very badly. Not just because they've only collected one percent of the money these deadbeats owe, but also because the IRS isn't holding these corporations accountable, and because private corporations are contacting taxpayers over the phone, just like pretty much every identity thief (and precisely unlike the IRS). This is the third time we've tried to privatize IRS debt collection; when will we learn? When we stop electing politicians whose one dream is to destroy everything about government that works, that's when.
Finally, Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis spoke to the David Horowitz Freedom Center in 2017, which has, over the years, hosted a flotsam of racists and other unjustifiably aggrieved speakers. Naturally Mr. DeSantis calls the Freedom Center's apparent obsession with multiculturalism and diversity straight-shooting and truth-telling. But why would anyone expect any differently from a teabagger who has so obviously (and successfully) courted our President's support? And I wish I could say associating with this crowd would hurt him in Florida, as it would in, say, New Jersey.