Trevor Timm, writing at The Guardian, explains "Why the Panama Papers Should Be a U.S. Election Issue." Long story short: even if no Americans are named therein, the Panama Papers highlight how "American" it's become to use offshore tax havens. Of course, corporate tax avoidance isn't exactly popular -- even the Treasury's rather meek corporate inversion rules have induced Pfizer to abandon its plan to merge with Allergan and become "foreign" -- but it is by and large legal, thanks to politicians who never listen to the people.
Hot on the heels of Rep. Grothman's rather frank admission that Voter ID helps Republicans out in Wisconsin, a former Republican staffer testifies that Republicans in Wisconsin's state legislature were "literally talking and plotting to deny someone, a fellow citizen, their constitutional right" to vote, particularly in "certain neighborhoods in Milwaukee and on our college campuses." The words "voter suppression" may never have passed their lips, because Scott Walker's New Republican Reich may be many things but they're not stupid. Still, we always knew it, and it's nice to have insider testimony.
Peter Maass, writing at The Intercept, reminds us that, whatever Donald Trump's ridiculous pronouncements about expanding libel laws, President Obama is the one who's used the Espionage Act of 1917 to "prosecute more leakers and whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined." Which should also remind you that the guy who blew the whistle on CIA torture (John Kiriakou) is in jail while the torturers themselves aren't (because we're "looking forward"!) and that the Obama Administration's hatred of whistleblowers is so total that even FDA workers suffered blowback after trying to call attention to malfunctioning medical devices.
Dean Baker finds complaints about the "lack of specifics" in Bernie Sanders's answers to the New York Daily News to be "silly." I mention this mainly because he reminds us that the same "liberal" media so anxious to castigate Sen. Sanders acts like Paul Ryan is TEH WONKIEST WONK EVAH!!!!, even though (or perhaps because!) he has "has repeatedly proposed eliminating most of the federal government." Then again, if Bernie Sanders knew the precise statute that would permit him to prosecute banksters for mortgage fraud, the "liberal" media would probably just call him a nerd.
Finally, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott must regret stopping off at a Starbucks in Gainesville on Tuesday, after a local woman gave him what-for over (among other things) his refusal to expand Medicaid, saying "(y)ou should be ashamed to show your face around here." You'll recall that he said he supported expanding Medicaid while running for re-election in 2014, then flip-flopped once he was elected, because he won and you didn't. As for his "I created a million jobs" spiel: ah, no, the people of Florida created a million jobs, through their demand for goods and services -- and might have created more, except for Mr. Scott's perpetual hard-on for tax-cuts-for-the-rich getting in the way.