Dean Baker catches Bloomberg analyzing a proposed Wall Street tax by talking only to Wall Street banksters. Naturally, Wall Street banksters take "mom and pop" hostage, as if Mom and Pop are the ones indulging in the high-speed trading that does nothing for our economy except redistribute wealth upward. But it is stunning, that nominally intelligent people (I don't think it's an act of charity to assume reporters are nominally intelligent people) seem so blind to other people's self-interest. Can it be because they're paid to be blind to it?
Ho hum, Union of Concerned Scientists report due out tomorrow will tell us that "missile defense" programs the Pentagon has been laboring on all these years don't protect us from a damn thing. And, naturally, you'll discover that Barack Obama has been throwing good money after bad on "missile defense" just as much as George W. Bush did, without garnering any of the hero-worship the right bestowed on Mr. Bush back in the day. I wonder why "missile defense," despite its obvious problems and its rigged tests that still fail, still persists as a serious project. Cough corruption cough!
OpenSecretsBlog informs us that the Trump campaign will have serious trouble raising money from Wall Street this year, because Mr. Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has the power to select firm (or firms) to run Indiana state or local pension funds, and the SEC has, since 2010, forbidden campaign contributions from any firm that could be selected to run those funds! Hey, it's called the "pay to play" rule for a reason. I expect Donald Trump will decry the "pay to play" rule as Big Gummint Run Amok, and would, as President, appoint some stooge to the SEC to kill it -- until, of course, he needs it to defeat his 2020 challenger.
Government investigators say that HUD Secretary Julian Castro violated the Hatch Act by praising Hillary Clinton to Yahoo! News -- in his own office, with the HUD seal in the background. The Hatch Act forbids public employees from conducting partisan political business at public offices, and while not many folks know what the Hatch Act does, this could still dash Mr. Castro's Vice Presidential hopes -- if there's anything Hillary Clinton hates, it's an amateur crook. I'll be mildly interested to hear Donald Trump's howls of anger, since I expect he'll be violating the Hatch Act every hour of every day as President (and probably telling us it's different when he does it, too).
Finally, buried in this mountain of pre-Republican convention coverage from Politico is the spectacle of George W. Bush openly fretting that he will be "the last Republican President." All together now: we can only hope! Now Mr. Bush shouldn't worry so much about that, because Republicans will always have bajillions of dollars in corporate campaign contributions and thus will always have a shot -- but he should have a little more shame. Donald Trump isn't the reason to worry that Republicans will never win the Presidency again -- George W. Bush's eight-year reign of incompetence and arrogance is that reason, even if today's Republicans pretend he never existed. Republicans sure don't deserve any more Presidents after George W. Bush.