Robert Reich instructs us as to "Why a Tax on Wall Street Trades is an Even Better Idea Than You Know." You probably know why it's a good idea (would raise a lot of revenue, reduce banksters' political power, restrict useless high-speed trading, et cetera) but you may not know that Wall Street's objections are also utter horsedoodle -- financial transaction taxes have not sent corporations away to other lands, or else England's financial sector would be a lot smaller than it is, and this tax (the Robin Hood tax? the Wall Street sales tax? Take your pick) also wouldn't "hurt small businesses" unless they're engaging in high-speed trading, which, news flash! They're not. Always the big corporations hide behind the small businesses when they're being told to do the right thing!
Adam Johnson at FAIR catches the central hypocrisy of the "liberal" media's sudden discovery that corporate money compromises a lot of think tanks: that the "liberal" media has been quoting these think tanks for years. And, in the New York Times's case, at least, it's much worse: the Times has been letting the Center for Strategic and International Studies write op-eds arguing for, you know, more war-making, more government spying, and generally more paranoia and hysteria, which I doubt will end now that the Times has reported extensively on CSIS's big corporate donors. Key insight: "the think tank industry...is often based on laundering influence through ostensibly neutral-sounding 'institutes' or 'centers'." "Laundering" is about the perfect way to describe it.
Chris Morran at The Consumerist tells you "What You Need to Know About New Rules Allowing Debt Collection Robocalls from Feds." The FCC's new rules (mandated by, you guessed it, a rider in the 2015 must-pass appropriations bill) allow our government to call us, on wireless lines, if we owe our government money. Thing is, with so many student loans federally-funded or backed, that could be a lot of people. And the rules allow your government to call you before you're even late, apparently because a student loan lobby told them it'd be good for you. At least you can tell them not to call you (though it you owe more than one debt -- if you owe to the IRS, for example -- you'll have to tell them once for every debt you owe).
Surprise, surprise, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes automatic voter registration bill, citing booga-booga about "non-citizens" being automatically registered to vote. Of course, he was for it before he was against it -- or, possibly, before he realized the bill would kick in before his 2018 re-election effort. And dig the state House Rep who thinks citizens will work harder to educate themselves about candidates if they have to work harder to register to vote! But I bet he still wants to make everything easier for his corporate donors, without any similar concern about how hard they're working.
William Rivers Pitt reminds us what's missing from most mainstream accounts of the ongoing dissolution (if that's what it is!) of the Republican Party: the role of George W. Bush in that dissolution. Disappearing the man who made Trumpism possible is how the Republican "establishment" gets to pretend it's somehow fundamentally different from Mr. Trump. But it's also how the Democratic nominee -- who, you no doubt recall, refused to disavow her vote for the Iraq war almost five years after she cast it the wrong way -- evades her own complicity in the various messes we're in now.