Ron Paul thinks an ebola travel ban is "politically motivated" and serves no "medical purposes," adding that the flu kills thousands of folks every year and no one puts a travel ban on that. Naturally his more politically adept/spiritually corrupt son, Sen. Rand Paul, disagrees, suggesting a travel ban might prevent you from getting ebola ebola at a cocktail party. But the headline gives you the impression they were going at each other, when they spoke on two different networks. And they've disagreed in public before, perhaps most significantly about the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque," and Paul the Better said then that Paul the Lesser was "his own man," which is inaccurate -- Rand Paul is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's man and the coal corporations' man, at the very least.
You know how Republicans always say they want lower taxes because of the "burden" on small businesses? Well, Small Business Majority CEO John Arensmeyer writes about how big corporate "inversions" actually hurt small businesses. "This practice leaves consumers and small businesses holding the bag when it comes to bolstering the nation’s tax base, and gives big companies an unfair advantage over small business owners who must pay full freight because corporations can then use the savings to undercut them on costs," he says. It's about time someone outside of the traditional American good-government organizations put it like that.
Hackers get into business phone systems and run up absurdly high phone bills by repeatedly calling premium-rate phone numbers like 1-900 numbers -- kicking back a piece to the 1-900 numbers, of course. And sometimes the hacked businesses have to pay, because no law compels telecoms to make their customers whole in case of fraud (as credit card corporations have to do), and naturally that burden is greater for small businesses, as larger corporations can weather the hit better. You'd think at least one of those Republicans who love small businesses could maybe fix this with legislation, but I guess they're too busy trying to kill Medicare.
Ho hum, the Brownback "experiment" in Kansas has also resulted in the more mundane kind of political corruption, as the corporation awarded Kansas's now-privatized child support service -- that is, the service that ensures that deadbeat parents pay what they owe to their kids -- not only donated to the Brownback campaign but retained a lobbyist to ensure that it could meet with the Governor. And then, after awarding the contract to YoungWilliams, Gov. Brownback hired a YoungWilliams employee to run the state's child support service enforcement arm! Because that ensures objectivity! As we speak, polls show Kansas Republicans coming back to Mr. Brownback; perhaps this development will clarify their thinking.
Finally, Mary Hansen at Yes! magazine suggests a way to both overcome climate change and wean communities off fossil-fuel corporations at the same time. We learn that the Navajo in Arizona managed to kick Peabody Coal off their land in 2005, after Peabody had essentially depleted the region's aquifer over the decades to provide power for Phoenix and Tucson -- but now the Navajo face higher levels of joblessness, since Peabody had employed 300 of their number, and the coal corporation has left their land unusable for farming. Hence the Black Mesa Water Coalition plans to start a Navajo-owned solar power co-op on that land. I wish them the best, and not just because our survival may depend on projects like these.