A ProPublica/WBEZ Chicago report describes how the meteoric rise of video gambling in Illinois has been little more than a "botched money grab," as underregulated gambling corporations make off with the money while leaving towns and counties even more destitute. Why, it's almost like that was the whole idea! The video gambling troubles began in 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, when "something had to be done" to raise money. And the gambling bill, with the Orwellian title of the Illinois Jobs Now! (exclamation point in original), was a truly modern bipartisan mess, created by Democrats too afraid to raise taxes on big donors and Republicans who had clearly abdicated conservatism (and who now say they should have studied the matter more, which is just dandy now that the barn door's open).
Well, how about that -- poll finds almost 60% of Americans support a 70% tax on income above $10 million. How "radical" can an idea be if a decisive majority of Americans support it? "Not radical at all" is the correct answer. Americans generally support higher taxes on the rich, but it's good to see such support when someone puts a number to it. Yet I do wonder if Rep. Ocasio-Cortez means to forestall a drive to set the top tax rate even higher -- say, at 91%, and on millionaire income -- which would, in turn, suggest that the Democratic establishment's hand-wringing over her is, that's right, drama. I'd be happy to be wrong about all of that.
You think the government shutdown's bad now? Well, three Bloomberg writers remind us that it could get a whole lot worse -- not just no food stamps and no housing assistance, but no court hearings, no flights, no buses. Why, even Wall Street might shut down! And then, if our President is really lucky, we'll have a terrorist attack to rally the country around him, I'm sure they've mooted this possibility at the White House -- I mean, they've lost all the arguments, so how can they hope to keep winning elections without sowing chaos? Remember: if terrorists attack, immediately blame our President for holding up government funding over his precious wall for however many months it's been by then.
Here's some more good news: federal District Court Judge halts our Administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire, saying our Commerce Secretary broke "a veritable smorgasbord" of rules and laws in adding the question. Per the judge, he also "cherry-picked facts to support his views, ignored or twisted contrary evidence and hid deliberations from Census Bureau experts." All that sure doesn't bode well for the FCC's net neutrality repeal of 2017, particularly since the judge found that our Administration's census question did, in fact, violate the Administrative Procedures Act.
Finally, I don't go looking around for Iconic Photos of Our Age, but the sight of our President inviting the national college football champion Clemson Tigers to eat mountains of junk food is actually a pretty good one. Junk food is really the perfect metaphor for everything this Administration offers -- it might taste good in the moment, but it'll ultimately leave you fat and malnourished at the same time. And there ain't nothing else on the menu.