Greg Sargent at the Washington Post debunks a Wall Street Journal claim that Sen. Sanders's programs will cost $18 trillion. You know the first thing I'm going to say: it's a scare number! And how is it a scare number? Well, the WSJ, like everyone else, doesn't say right off that it's $18 trillion over ten years, and gets that figure by including the supposed $15 trillion cost of a single-payer health care program, without noting (as Mr. Sargent does) that we currently spend $42 trillion a decade on health care now, and would spend rather closer to $15 trillion if we implemented the Sanders plan.
Speaking of Bernie Sanders, D.D. Guttenplan at The Nation describes how Mr. Sanders's address at Liberty University went. Long story short: not bad, considering. Mr. Sanders deserves our praise for going to Liberty and not trying to pander to them; I thought the Liberty crowd would be more responsive on economic issues, but I didn't expect them to respond on racism. As pleased as I am to see less vestigial racism in far-right evangelicals here, I still find it frustrating that they still think banksters are just people who work hard, when banksters just redistribute the income of people who work hard upward to themselves.
Dean Baker finds a New Yorker writer calling new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's populist-left economic proposals "childlike." We could just as easily call Republicans' devotion to tax-cuts-for-the-rich "childlike"! The difference? We could also point to the failure of Tha Bush Mobb tax cuts and the Brownback "experiment" in Kansas, as well as the rise in federal revenues following the return of the 39.6% tax bracket in 2013. But all right-wingers have is the name-calling.
Nathaniel Rich, writing in The Atlantic, pulls the curtain on the virtual unknowns who write almost every song in this week's Billboard Top 40 countdown. If you want to persuade people that today's popular music is all crap (you know, the way every older generation, mine included, likes to do), you could do worse than point to the big hit songwriting now being so concentrated in so few hands. Of course, there's so much music out there now, and so many different ways to consume it, that you can also expend far less effort ignoring the Top 40 than you used to.
Finally, Scott Walker can't name a single time he's stood up to a "conservative special interest" on CNN. He instead talks about how many small donors he has, but if you're running for President, you should answer the question put to you, and then extrapolate. You know what else? "Unintimidated" is the worst word to describe him, because it's easy to act like your opponents don't "intimidate" you when you've got all that Koch brothers support at your back. In fact, given that Mr. Walker's devotion to corporate welfare programs hasn't exactly made him rich, you have to wonder if he has been intimidated -- by corporations.