Good news, everyone: thanks in part to your activism, the FCC has imposed a number of stringent caps on the phone rates prisoners pay. Gone are the monopolistic practices that charge prisoners as much as $14 per minute; in their place are rate caps lower than 22 cents per minute, plus additional caps on the "ancillary" fees phone corporations impose to squeeze prisoners for even more money. Stunning thing about the FCC's vote is that it was 3-2 -- meaning two out of five FCC commissioners might reasonably be accused of having hearts of stone.
In a peripherally related note, we have a highly interesting finding at the end of this article about automatic voter registration: Republican support for automatic voter registration dropped from 53 percent in March to 38 percent in June, after Mrs. Clinton spoke out in favor of it -- and that support went down to 28 percent once respondents were explicitly told that Mrs. Clinton supported it. If Republicans are trying to convince us they're not mindless drones with the same kind of emotional investment in politics that they have in their favorite sports teams, they're not doing a very good job of it by "changing their mind" about policies once they find out Some Hated Democrat supports it.
Eric Foner, writing in The Nation, says Bernie Sanders should talk about "democratic socialism" by invoking the history of American fighters for progress, instead of talking about how European societies work. I think Mr. Foner is 100 percent right (especially when he talks about Southern slaveowners as the out-of-control wealthy), and I'm not sure Mr. Sanders has given this matter enough thought. He might miss this opportunity, and that would be a shame. I'd be happy to be wrong, of course.
Dave Johnson asks, "(w)hat would you say if you learned that the same corporations funding...corporate-conservative anti-government 'deficit' propaganda actually owed the government more than $600 billion (billion with a 'b'), and another $90 billion each year?" I'd say, why do I never see this information in campaign ads? I mean, no one actually favors corruption.
Finally, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (E) actually says, out loud, that expanding public campaign financing would be like "giving your wife your checkbook." Then, like all bad comedians, he says the joke again, because it's always your fault you didn't laugh! Perhaps those of us who share checkbooks with our wives just aren't able to relate. Seriously, though, it's awfully mean to project all your faults onto other people the way he does.