Department of Labor finds oil and gas corporations frequently cheat their workers out of wages and benefits. You'll recognize their main tactic -- "misclassification" of full-time workers as contractors -- from reading about Newt Gingrich's favorite corporation, FedEx, doing the same thing. The good news? The Department of Labor has, over the last few years, gotten a budget hike and has hired 300 more inspectors as a result. I wish there were more, as I'm sure more working families in the oil and gas industries are suffering than we now know.
Daily Kos claims that "Citizens United is Killing Republicans" because rich Republican donors have "quit their parties and put their money into vanity projects like Americans for Prosperity." Both the DSCC and Democratic Senate campaigns have outraised their Republican counterparts, but Americans for Prosperity isn't the only "vanity project" out there, and in any case we shouldn't celebrate Democrats collecting more money than Republicans. We should be celebrating one party collecting more votes than the other through its good works on behalf of the American people.
Sorrento (LA) police chief gets two years probation for lying to an FBI officer -- about the FBI's investigation into his own sexual assault of a drunken woman. Apparently he kept her, handcuffed and belt-tied, under his desk for several hours and had her perform oral sex on him at least twice, and the tale actually gets more bizarre from there. But since he's also apparently helping the FBI with another investigation, he didn't get jail time. I understand that people in power have more to bargain with, but I do wonder what right-wing "law and order" types have to say about all of this.
Dean Baker explains how the "Mysteries of Inequality are Only Mysterious to Elites." Of course I suspect Our Glorious Elites only want us to think they're "mysterious" to them, incompetence being easier to explain than malice. But when folks talk of the rising stock market as a "leading indicator" of economic growth, I guess they want us to think it's our fault if our incomes never follow that "lead."
The Tennessee state government, already saddled with one of the most regressive state tax systems in America, has been contemplating making it even worse, with a constitutional amendment banning an income tax and legislation repealing the state's taxes on dividends and capital gains. I guess Messrs. Laffer, Norquist, et al were caught a bit unawares by the spectacular failure of Kansas's "experiment" with stupid right-wing economics, and want to demonstrate that they can get some good excuses ready when they make the same thing happen in Tennessee.
Finally, The Nation marks the impending resignation of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder by noting how much he's fallen down on prosecuting banksters. Record multi-billion dollar settlements don't erase the fact that the folks who crashed our economy in 2008 are still walking free and still making money, and these facts aren't due to the free market working its will, but to Justice failing to enforce the laws already on the books. None of this is a surprise, of course, when you remember that Mr. Holder worked for banksters before taking the AG job.