Senate Judiciary Committee tables consideration of a Senate version of the Email Privacy Act after other Senators try to weigh it down with loopholes for law enforcement. Just like we told them not to do earlier this week! And, naturally, the bill got scuttled for BS reasons -- Sen. Cornyn wanted to attach an amendment expanding warrantless use of National Security Letters, because any old amendment to any old thing is OK these days, and a few government agencies protested that they'd be hamstrung since they don't have the authority to issue warrants in the first place, though these agencies do have the authority to issue subpoenas, which -- guess what! -- they hardly ever use. Don't worry, though; we'll be back.
USA Today investigation finds hundreds of folks who allege that Donald Trump never paid them for work performed. I suppose it's remotely possible that, as Mr. Trump says, these hundreds of contractors and mechanics and service providers just did a bad job -- we don't learn how many similar folks he has paid on time (though we don't have to take his daughter's word on that, either), nor do we know how much other moguls stiff their contractors. But some of the details -- wage theft settlements, going nuclear in lawsuits, failing to pay his own lawyers, criticizing contractors and then trying to hire them again -- are hard to ignore. And even Hillary Clinton should be able to boil all of this down into a devastating laugh line -- and if she manages to work "small businesses" into her routine, I'll be quite impressed.
MergerWatch issues report finding that states perform very little oversight over hospital mergers. I'm sure there are times when mergers do actually serve the public, but I'm also sure it's not true nearly as often as big hospital chains assimilate small local hospitals. When you find that services like neonatal intensive care get downsized pretty much because they're expensive, you won't be happy. And -- surprise, surprise! -- when religious hospital chains become the only game in town, you can't get some services at all, because they put the "conscience" of some executive over the conscience of patients.
Sam Pizzigati, writing in U.S. News and World Report, says we should stop waiting for shareholders to restrain executive pay and act on our own. I wasn't "waiting" for that per se -- I've always held that shareholder power is but one tool with which we might restrain runaway CEO pay -- but I, too, have been disappointed in shareholder power over the years. It'd be hard to underestimate citizens' disgust at runaway CEO pay, once they learn how bad it is -- recall that the Harvard Business Review reported last year that Americans think the CEO-to-worker ratio should be around 7:1, and think it's around 30:1 -- when it's actually well over 300:1.
Finally, Matt Taibbi also thinks the Democrats will "learn all the wrong lessons" from the Sanders campaign. Why? Because Democrats, like the rest of Washington, live in "a kind of incestuous myopia" where they only talk to each other, and (importantly) they, like the rest of Washington, abhor the people. When phones start ringing, we learn, staffers tune in to Fox News to figure out why. Clearly they need to be hearing more from us and less from rageheads. We'll keep working on that.