The American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC) whines its collective ass off at a December 3 workshop called "Playing the Shame Game: A Campaign that Threatens Corporate Free Speech." Even worse than the notion that there's something wrong with shaming people who deserve it is the notion that shareholder resolutions "threaten" "free speech." I'm going to say this one more time: money isn't speech. And the First Amendment protects you from your government; it does not protect you from criticism or activism, and people who think it does may be better off living in a country with fewer freedoms.
The New York Times finds several Republican Attorneys General colluding with large energy corporations to challenge federal environmental regulations. The Times does a good job plumbing the depth of that collusion, particularly as it relates to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who takes mountains of money from oil and coal corporations who write memos from him and still has the cojones to say "the founders recognized that power concentrated in a few is a bad thing," as if "the few," in modern America, couldn't possibly be corporate CEOs.
We don't talk about this enough, but the Pentagon informs us that in 2012, suicide surpassed war as the major cause of death among American troops -- accounting for about three in every 10 deaths in 2012 and 2013. Travel accidents are way down the list; cancer is right behind war, and sadly that's no surprise, either. The Pentagon won't say so, but while the "war on terror" has made individual Bush and Obama Administration cronies quite rich, it has demoralized some of our soldiers so much that they take their own lives.
On the occasion of Mary Landrieu's defeat in the Louisiana Senate runoff, the estimable Michael Tomasky advises Democrats to cut bait and forget about ever winning in the Deep South again. That's a damn tempting argument, but in the final analysis, I don't want Democrats to wash their hands of an entire region so much as I want them to be populists and turn Southerners' multitudinous resentments against the corporatists who have actually earned those resentments. The Jim Webb Presidential campaign may tell us how effective a plan that will be.
Finally, Dave Johnson notes the absolute dearth of "liberal" media coverage about the Trans-Pacific Trade "Partnership" talks. Why doesn't the "liberal" media write more stories about it? Because then they'd have to say what's in it, and then no one would like it, and then those same "liberal" media outlets would fear becoming poor as a punishment for offending Our Glorious Elites. Better poor than completely useless to your community and your civilization, that's what I say. Guess which category contains most "liberal" media types.