Abby Scher at Dissent describes the efforts of Reading, PA to re-emerge from poverty and desolation as a "solidarity city." Among their plans: embrace localism constructively, use tax breaks to grow small businesses instead of using them to lure large corporations who leave in a few years, and encourage the growth of worker co-ops, public banking, energy efficiency, and urban agriculture. Reading has a crapload of poverty, but their infrastructure is pretty good; I wish them success in their efforts.
Bill Moyers interviews MIT economist Simon Johnson about the seemingly inexplicable attacks from the right against financial services reform. If Mr. Johnson is correct, and President Obama has signaled he'll defend the Affordable Care Act to the death but allow "open season" on Dodd-Frank, it is a shame, because Dodd-Frank is the better bill -- or would be, if the relevant federal agencies would do their jobs and enforce its mandates. Mr. Johnson performs a tremendous public service by reminding us that small banks actually grow the economy by loaning to businesses, while big banks, "with their fundamentally anti-social behavior," play casino games with our economy.
Now we know what taxes Gov. Brownback of Kansas is willing to raise to get his state out of tax-cut hell: taxes on cigarettes and booze. He still wants to move to a "zero income tax" situation, because "(s)tates with no income tax consistently grow faster than" I'm sorry I couldn't type the rest of that without spewing water all over my laptop. And I'm no fan of cigarette and liquor taxes -- some call them sin taxes, but I think taxing addicts isn't particularly compassionate.
Some right-wingers have been spreading the notion that Governors should call out the National Guard to stop gay marriages. One of them asks, not particularly rhetorically, whether "76 percent of the people voting can be wiped out by a single federal court decision?" Well, yes, occasionally -- because, by freaking definition, we don't subject rights to a vote! And we have three branches of government precisely so that any one branch can correct the excesses and abuses of any of the other two! If "76 percent of the people" voted to bring back slavery, a judge could remind everyone of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution! And if 76 percent of the electorate voted to, say, pay all World Net Daily readers no more than $6/hour at their jobs, you can bet any amount of money they'd all be squealing like pigs for a judge to step in.
Finally, Markos Moulitsas (the "Kos" in Daily Kos) levels a slew of entirely appropriate and trenchant criticisms against one New York Times columnist who stands at the ready to defend 30-year-old rich kids who shoot their parents dead when they cut off their allowance. No duh the rich are people too, but my guess is Mr. Leiber thinks he's smarter than everyone else because he tries to have empathy for rich spoiled brats, rather than for the Trayvon Martins of the world, which I suppose he regards as a plebeian taste.