Iowa agricultural newspaper fires editorial cartoonist of 21 years after his last cartoon points out that three big ag CEOs made more money last year than over 2,000 small farmers combined. Some have cried First Amendment on this, but it's not a First Amendment issue -- the First Amendment protects Rick Friday from our government, not from his employer. But it would certainly be appropriate for a few thousand letter-writers to descend upon Farm News and shame them for their cowardice in the face of big ag CEO criticism. Why are big ag CEOs so sensitive to criticism? Because they know, in their heart of hears, that they're not real farmers.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) introduces bill imposing an exit tax upon corporations that become "foreign" corporations via inversion. After all, folks who renounce their citizenship have to pay the taxes they've been deferring, so why not corporations, too? As Rep. Doggett suggests, if corporations want to enjoy the rights of personhood, they ought to fulfill the obligations of personhood, too -- I mean, rights come with responsibilities, don't they, Zombie Russell Kirk? All that would be weapons-grade PR, in a sane and healthy society. Still, rebuilding a sane and healthy society is our task, so when I get action alerts about the Corporate EXIT Fairness Act, so will you.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes new forced-arbitration rules for banks, which would only permit banks to put forced arbitration agreements in customer contracts if they don't also ban class-action suits. That's progress, though I'd prefer an outright ban on forced arbitration, and of course even though the CFPB did appear to listen to bankster "concerns," they're still on the attack -- one of their more devoted servants, Rep. Duffy of Wisconsin, has sent a letter to the CFPB demanding to know if the Bureau talked to any trial lawyers, no doubt so they can brandish "trial lawyers" as scare words. After all, people use scare words when they can't win arguments.
Liliana Segura, writing at The Intercept, takes us back in time to the passing of the "other" Bill Clinton crime bill, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which has given us, among so many other things, the "habeus corpus reform" that limits the number of appeals death-sentenced prisoners can file. If you believe in putting someone to death for a crime, you'd think you'd want to get it exactly right, but in that stuffy mid-'90s air, only the rageheads got heard, and President Clinton, in true President Clinton fashion, sought to get ahead of Republican rage by stealing their thunder, never mind whom it might hurt. The "liberal" media calls that "bipartisanship," but I call that weakness.
Now Donald Trump finds himself "open" to a minimum wage hike, though he's said in the very recent past that he's against it, and has even said that workers make too much money. And that's not just from my memory of recent events -- the article at the above link actually recounts all of that! And the headline begins with "In Reversal"! Maybe, just maybe, all that wall-to-wall coverage of every filth-drenched uttering emanating from Donald Trump's mouth hole will do some good now that he's the presumptive nominee -- certainly it's all easy to dig up, and if there's one thing the "liberal" media likes, it's easy. Sadly, though, a lot of folks who secretly never found his utterings all that disgusting will hear "I'm very different from most Republicans" and figure that's permission enough to vote for him. Of course, George W. Bush wasn't "like most Republicans," either -- until he won.
Finally, Sister Simone Campbell, writing at the Philadelphia Inquirer, describes how the "Pope Francis effect" could transform Catholic voting habits in 2016. "(A)ttempts to control the 'Catholic vote' through issues of personal sexuality -- often nothing more than a crass political calculation -- will no longer work as well, if at all," she writes, and though I think the "chattering class" has always oversimplified the Catholic vote anyway I sure hope she's right. After all, answering and fulfilling the Pope's call for a politics that works for all of us requires courage, and courage isn't a one-day act but an every day act.