Sam Pizzigati at Inequality.org argues that we ought to put a 30 percent minimum tax rate for the wealthy in place -- but also urges us "not" to "stop there," since our wealthiest Americans used to pay much higher rates. You know those teabaggers who are always going around saying I just wish this could be the country I grew up in? Remind them that they grew up in an America that taxed millionaire income at 91% and didn't hand out corporate welfare like it was candy -- and that's how we grew the greatest middle class in history.
Dean Baker at TruthOut reminds us that "debt and entitlements" was one of the topics at last night's third and thankfully final Presidential debate, and that this terminology herds people into agreeing to cut Social Security and Medicare when they otherwise wouldn't. Why not shore up Social Security and Medicare by taxing the rich a lot harder? The rich don't want you to ask that question, hence their talk of "entitlements," as if you haven't paid into Social Security and Medicare all your life, or as if you don't deserve it. And also, why not "debt and military spending," or "debt and pharmaceutical patents"?
Trump advisor compares the Department of Labor's new "fiduciary standard" -- which mandates that a pension fund's financial advisors must put their clients' interests ahead of their own -- is "about like the Dred Scott decision." Lest you think he was merely saying that the DOL's standard is dumb like the Dred Scott decision was dumb, he went out of his way to say the DOL's standard was discriminatory like the Dred Scott decision was discriminatory -- discriminatory against bad financial advisors, I guess. And they say liberals are frail and weak?
Wisconsin Gov./Satan Incarnate Scott Walker solicited $750,000 in campaign contributions from a now-deceased businessman who used to manufacture lead-based paint -- right before lawmakers put a four-word change into a budget bill nullifying lawsuits against the businessman's corporation and other lead-paint makers. And Mr. Walker's winged monkeys, naturally, wonder why this is a big deal, since lead paint has been illegal since 1978. As thinking people know, however, the fact that no one has made lead paint for nearly 40 years doesn't mean all the lead paint is gone, nor does it mean lead paint manufacturers never harmed anyone before it was outlawed (and it certainly doesn't mean they didn't know what they were doing, since they knew by the 1920s that lead was toxic). The only good news? Federal and state courts declared the legislative rider nullifying the lawsuits to be unconstitutional. I do not presume that these courts also ruled it to be evil, but I will.
VoteVets puts out ad scorching Pat Toomey for serving on the board of a now-unaccredited for-profit school, and "try(ing) to turn our military benefits into his financial gain." In a close race like the one Mr. Toomey's in, an ad like this could be the difference -- a lot of good Pennsylvanians know someone who served our country and then got caught in the downward spiral of the for-profit college debt trap. (As an aside, Mr. Toomey's ad claiming that he's "independent" and would stand up to the bad ideas of "any" President should get a fairly easy response listing all the bad ideas Mr. Toomey didn't stand up to when he was in the House and George W. Bush was President. But I fear Katie McGinty's focus-grouped her way out of that one.)
Finally, a North Dakota District Judge dismisses rioting charges against Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman -- but "No Thanks to Corporate Media," notes Jim Naureckas at FAIR. A few "liberal" media journalists did cover it, but they're names you'll recognize -- Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Daily News, Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times, and, of course, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone -- and we didn't hear very much about it from our papers of record in New York and Washington. As an aside, I'd love to have seen the look on Judge Grinsteiner's face when he dismissed the charge.