U.S. Justice Department grants immunity to big telecoms who snoop for data they'd otherwise be breaking the law to collect. What, the FISA Amendments Act wasn't giveaway enough? No Executive branch, even that belonging to "the most transparent government in history," ever gave up power willingly, and no corporation ever gave up power willingly, either. And by the way, if CISPA becomes law, all of this will be legal.
If the whole "chained CPI" debate about Social Security benefits still seems a little esoteric to you (it's almost like they want it that way!), then Robert Reich explains why it's a bad idea in a two-minute video. Meanwhile, Talking Points Memo explains why a benefit cut based on "chained CPI" would cut benefits even more than it seems, by discussing the CPI-E inflation-measuring tool, which weighs health care costs more heavily than other tools.
One good thing coming out of coverage of the bogus double-tweet that sent markets reeling the other day: the speed of computerized trading has come under fire. What hasn't come under fire, unfortunately, is that our sick, immoral, and decadent culture still treats instant-traders as regular businessfolk, instead of what they are: speculators. There is, believe it or not, more to investing than making-the-most-money-right-now -- like investing in good corporations, or using your power as a shareholder to make corporations better.
Ho hum, New York Mayor says our "interpretation" of the Constitution, and our laws, will have to change in order to keep us safe. If that's true, then the American experiment in democracy is over -- and it's not over.
The American Legislative Exchange Council's Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force Director ("task force"?) bemoans how "somber" Earth Day has become. Think maybe the "somberness" has something to do with corporations being bigger and able to pollute more than ever before? Or corporations pushing climate-change denialism, just as ALEC has done? Or right-wingers screaming JOB KILLURZ!!!! at every attempt to keep our air and water clean? Or EPA regulators being called "job terrorists" on cable news shows?
Economic Policy Institute study suggests we don't actually have a "shortage" of science-technology-engineering-math graduates, but a shortage of jobs for those graduates. Corporations are absurdly powerful, care only about profits, and cut jobs so they can increase profits, so it's easy to see why they'd want us to think we just don't have enough science/math-related folks to fill jobs. And n.b. that corporations used to say they needed H1-B visas because they couldn't find enough Americans to do the job, but now they say they need them so they can "hire the best and brightest." (Really, they just want to pay workers less, and people who come from nations where the U.S. dollar has more buying power will work for less. I don't blame them, but I do blame the CEOs who've gamed the system this way.)
Finally (cue cheers from convention crowd!), British ex-drug czar said the 2008 financial services Armageddon was caused by too many bankers doing coke. Doesn't greed explain enough?