Glenn Greenwald reminds us that torture victims get even less time on "liberal" media outlets than torture opponents. Which, he says, helps explain recent polling finding a majority of Americans approve of torture: "Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime." And he also reminds us of the ways putting torture victims on TV could backfire. Still, stories of innocent folks tortured and (literally) left by the side of the road -- then blocked from suing our government because of "security" -- would be very effective, if the "liberal" media told them.
And here's yet another noxious result of the recent "bipartisan" omnibus spending "deal" -- it cuts the EPA's budget for the fifth year in a row. This despite polls finding that a huge (and actually bipartisan) majority of Americans think keeping our air clean is more important than relieving corporations of regulatory "burdens" and that the EPA should be doing more to enforce clean air and clean water laws. Funny, the answers you get from the American people when you ask how they feel about clean air and clean water.
Surprise, surprise, you know those Scandinavian nations? The ones with Big Gummint safety nets and high taxes on the rich? They actually do better at creating jobs than America does. America's U-6 unemployment rate, as you may know, is still above 11%. And if you recall that an unemployment check totalling $350 weekly doesn't put you in Shangri-La, you already know that unemployment insurance isn't much of an "incentive" against work. But good safety nets include programs that help people keep jobs in the first place -- programs like child and elder care, paid sick leave, high minimum wages, and public transportation.
Kevin Drum reports that the banksters plan an "aggressive push" toward loosening the financial service regulations that presumably keep them from crashing our economy again. On one hand, pretty much everyone in America hates more bailouts for banksters, which phrase would accurately describe what would happen if we loosened derivative regulations further and "overhauled" the Consumer Financial Product Bureau. On the other hand, most folks don't really understand how derivatives work, almost like that's the idea, and it's hard to focus your anger on things you don't really get. Still, we can do something about that, and one would hope that President Obama, too, will protect his legacy with the veto pen.
Bloomberg scribe Robert Schmidt seems to be taunting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over her opposition to the then-possible appointment of Lawrence Summers as Fed Chair, by noting that Mr. Summers has made $28 million since withdrawing his name from consideration. I call it "taunting" because I can't otherwise explain why someone would join those two facts in an article -- I mean, nobody roots for Larry Summers, and the whole point of opposing Mr. Summers was preventing him from doing the immense amount of damage he'd do as Fed Chair. Sounds like we won, regardless of what Mr. Schmidt seems to think.
Finally, Daily Kos diarist lipris describes how the anti-fracking movement won in New York state. Long story short: people who'd never been activists joined their ranks, they got municipalities to ban fracking (and won the approval of the state's highest court), and they hounded Gov. Cuomo wherever he went -- all of which moved public opinion in their direction and "boxed in" the Governor. These are the victories that get us through all the defeats.