Obama Administration abandons plan to allow third party to collect and store Americans' metadata, saying it's unworkable. The Administration still hasn't abandoned plans to allow the big telecoms to collect and store that data. You know what a better idea would be? Only allow our government to collect and store data when they get a damn warrant from a judge.
The incomparable David Dayen says at least one of Mr. Obama's proposals from his SOTU address might prevent another big financial meltdown: forcing banks to pay a small tax on their borrowing. I guess the right will call this anti-small business or something, which of course it's not -- banksters rarely lend to small businesses anymore anyway, and make most of their money (or crash and burn!) turning our economy into a casino where only they win.
Former Reagan Administration counselor to the Secretary of Commerce argues that the latest "free" trade deals won't create jobs, raise American living standards, or cement alliances that can be used against burgeoning Chinese economic power. Why? Because previous "free" trade agreements haven't delivered on these promises either. Note well paragraphs four through six, as Mr. Prestowitz absolutely eviscerates the "free"-trade-makes-you-richer argument.
"Talk of Wealth Gap Prods G.O.P. to Refocus," the New York Times announces. Refocus their propaganda, more like -- Jeb Bush created a SuperPAC! Mitch McConnell held a retreat with fellow Republicans! Well, Mitt Romney did back a minimum wage increase, as he's done before, and that's something. But the rest of it is theatre until Scott Walker becomes President of a Republican House and Senate, at which point they will pass a big tax-cut-for-the-rich and start a war to keep everyone quiet, just like they always do.
Finally, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) says hospitals seizing working folks' wages might be breaking the law, and tells one Missouri hospital to stop. Mr. Grassley actually wrote the part of the Affordable Care Act that mandates that hospitals at least try to determine whether their patients can pay before suing them, so he knows of what he speaks. But wait, what's that? A Republican Senator up for re-election in 2016 who's not only on a good-government kick, but wrote part of Obamacare? Iowa teabaggers, unite against this monster! Maybe you can send an actual arsonist to the Senate in his place!