Uh oh: an EPA inspector general says the agency could have intervened in the Flint water emergency seven months before they did. I'd hate the think the EPA delayed action out of a belief that the state of Michigan should be given time to fix the problem in their own way -- or even out of a belief that Michigan broke it, so they should fix it. Sometimes, our federal government has to jump in and take control -- you know, like when kids have lead in their drinking water.
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism describes how Hillary Clinton might gut Social Security. Long story short: Mrs. Clinton's plan would force employee contributions into "mandatory retirement accounts," run largely by hedge fund managers and other banksters, with workers getting little or no say over how their funds are "managed." Spoiler alert: they'd be "managed" into bankster coffers. Donald Trump could do worse than rant and rave about such a plan in the time left to him. And we would do worse if we didn't fight such a plan as hard as we fought Mr. Bush's privatization plan.
I tend to avoid articles with titles like "October 2016: The Month Political Journalism Died," and not merely out of a sense that entropy increases, but this article is a pretty damning indictment of our "liberal" media's Presidential debate coverage. That they prefer the "fatuous" over the substantive you already knew, but you may not know that it was not always thus: the late October 1980 Carter/Reagan debate, relatively substantive and conducted largely by print journalists, was the highest-rated Presidential debate ever, until the three most recent "pie fights."
A ProPublica analysis finds that some two-thirds of New York City landlords who have received tax breaks under a city rent stabilization program haven't even formally applied for the program and haven't registered specific apartments for stabilized rent -- meaning they can collect tax breaks while raising rent at will, which is kind of the opposite of how the program's supposed to work. So when right-wingers refuse to hire more workers to process the landlords' applications, we can accuse them of being objectively pro-fraud, right? (As an aside, I'd be a schmuck to think this results from mere "bureaucratic incompetence" -- what did we learn from George W. Bush, if not that incompetence always happens for a reason?)
Now here's a surprise: former Fox News punditoid Gretchen Carlson will testify before Congress against forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts. Seems Fox News tried to force her sexual harassment claim against Roger Ailes into arbitration, where she'd have had much less of a chance of success. Right-wingers will call her traitor, no doubt, but good liberals shouldn't demean her efforts against forced arbitration (or sexual harassment, for that matter) out of a sense that she only cares because they happened to her. We don't learn everything through thought experiment, after all; we learn a lot because things happen to us, and that's how it should be.
Finally, a Western Pennsylvania city council Vice President circulates a fake meme on Facebook suggesting that only Democrats will be able to vote online on Election Day, when in fact no one in America can vote online as of yet. Naturally he takes none of the blame for what happened afterward, saying it was "clearly a joke." You know what would have made it "clearly a joke"? If it was clearly funny, which it clearly wasn't.