President Obama tells the FCC to pre-empt state laws prohibiting community broadband. Which act will make the right squeal AMURIKAN CAESAR!!!! more than NSA data-vacuuming, invasions without Congressional approval, or warrantless wiretapping have ever done, and thus make me more sympathetic to Mr. Obama's initiative than I otherwise might be. Even if federal law does give the FCC the authority to pre-empt state laws that are, I think, plainly harmful to the community, I'd rather we fought pitched battles at the state and local levels. I don't accept that corporate PR hacks are simply better at fighting than we are, because I read their arguments.
Nathan Schneider at Vice notes that the notion of a "basic income" -- a guaranteed income for all citizens, whether they're working or not -- has captured the imagination of Libertarians as well as leftists. Trouble is, Libertarians would pay for a basic income not by taxing the rich, but by diverting money from Big Gummint programs into the basic income, but giving someone a pile of money to maybe buy health insurance, for example, doesn't replace Medicaid -- for one thing, you're in a pool with some leverage in Medicaid. In short, "(t)here's still no substitute for organizing more power in more communities."
Harold Meyerson explains why Republicans are so quick to push pro-bankster bills. Long story short: sucking up to Wall Street early increases the possibility voters will forget in approximately 20 months' time. Still, given that Wall Street is approximately the least popular sector of the economy, they'd be committing political suicide in a sane and moral society. At least we get to read the phrase "unless the mega-rich are compelled to give back what they’ve taken from their countrymen" in a major newspaper.ProPublica describes a "zombie cookie," a piece of tracking software that you can't erase from your smartphone or tablet after it's put there. It gets better: like a teenage boy who doesn't understand the meaning of "no," Turn doesn't consider the act of erasing all the cookies on your smartphone or tablet an indication that you really want the cookie gone. Instead, you have to install another cookie to properly erase the first cookie -- and the new cookie doesn't stop tracking you. Got that? And yes, the NSA can look at your info, too.
Two ALEC-affiliated hotel trade associations have filed suit to stop Los Angeles's coming minimum wage for hotel workers. Other big corporate front groups have taken similar actions against rising municipal wage floors all over the country, but their efforts show a dearth of imagination -- they say these wages benefit unions when the workers don't have to join unions to get the wages, and they repeat the word "extreme" over and over again, in a land where no one considers $15.37/hour an "extreme" wage. Most folks would think executive wages are extreme, though. In short, this is typical right-wing projection.
Finally, a somewhat famous investor and bitcoin supporter who renounced his American citizenship because he didn't like paying taxes is having trouble getting a visa to re-enter his former country. Naturally he calls the government officials who won't let him back in "tyrants," but I bet he calls pretty much everyone who disagrees with him a tyrant. Anyway, if government officials are right to fear that Mr. Ver has no intention of going back to St. Kitts once he's done doing whatever he's going to do in America, I presume folks on the right will soon be enraged at the thought of Mr. Ver staying in this country illegally, taking work from good American citizens. Nah, just kidding.