Joe Pinsker at The Atlantic describes the "sliding scale" fines many European nations assess for minor infractions like speeding -- fines that depend on the income of the lawbreaker, meaning a speeding ticket for a wealthy man could run as high as $50,000. I'm actually finding myself averse to the idea that a police officer could look up your income as easily as all that -- though I certainly recognize that fines and fees disproportionately hurt the poor in America, and would prefer good, progressive taxation, at all levels of government, as a revenue-raising tool to those fines and fees. I have no compunction about applying such a "sliding scale" system to corporate malfeasance, however -- corporations aren't people, after all, and we'd never have to hear again about we shouldn't fine corporations for bad behavior because small businesses can't pay the fines.
Senators from both political parties are having an awful lot of fun bashing Wells Fargo for its lawbreaking, but Matthew Yglesias at Vox reminds us that Republican lawmakers have been trying to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency that helped discover the lawbreaking in the first place. I find Mr. Yglesias's thinking a bit foggy at times, but he hits it right on the head here: "Banking committee Republicans want to grandstand when banks get caught, while voting to make it much less likely that banks actually do get caught." Their number includes Sen. Shelby (R-AL), who excoriated Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf when he appeared before Mr. Shelby's committee but who also constantly whines about our government being a "nanny state." Well, if banksters act like big babies, maybe they need a nanny.
Normal Solomon catches AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pushing for the Dakota Access Pipeline to proceed, saying "it is fundamentally unfair to hold union members’ livelihoods and their families’ financial security hostage to endless delay." I've been saying it's fundamentally unfair for corporate CEOs to hold jobs hostage to whatever they want, but here Mr. Trumka does their work for them. I mean, I'm always saying we have to build stuff to create jobs, but our options for "building stuff to create jobs" isn't limited to building fossil fuel pipelines -- we could build wind and solar farms, for example -- and it's a bit sad to see Mr. Trumka holding to old notions as surely as fossil fuel CEOs do.
Thanks to America's few remaining journalists, we have learned that Indiana Governor (and Donald Trump running mate) Mike Pence once argued, in the right-wing Indiana Policy Review, that employers shouldn't hire gays. Why? Because they "are not, as a group, able-bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle." You knew that was rubbish, of course, as soon as you read "(t)hey are known," which is how they all put it when they're advancing something plainly ridiculous. And no use claiming "it was so long ago" -- just last year, Gov. Pence was the biggest supporter of Indiana's "religious liberty" law, until the Big Stick of Bad PR hit him.
Finally, Donald Trump discourses at length to a North Carolina rally audience about how much he loves "OPM," or Other People's Money. Which is pretty spectacular timing, given allegations that his charitable foundation literally used Other People's Money to pay off lawsuits. You and I would be ashamed to use Other People's Money in this manner, but big, bold, Donald Trump ain't got no time for shame. You think Naughty by Nature will let a Clinton ad riff off "OPP"?