Last week on Sunday, Susie Madrak talked with Jay Ackroyd.
Well, Obama finally mentioned something everyone expected him to deal with early in his first term: "Obama presses to end corporate trick for evading taxes: (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to end the practice." In the olden days, of course, there was no incentive for companies to do this stuff since we deliberately imposed tariffs to make it more expensive to be a foreign company than to be an American company. We did that because we believed in a thing called "protectionism"; that is, protecting American workers - and the American economy - from unfair competition, either from subsidized foreign companies or from countries that allowed workers to be abused or even used as slave labor in order to undercut fair prices in the US. On Virtually Speaking, Dave Johnson spoke with Frank Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness about how these little tricks work.
Corruption: With Albany rocked by a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo set up a high-powered commission last summer to root out corruption in state politics. It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars' worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party. The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010. Word that the subpoena had been served quickly reached Mr. Cuomo's most senior aide, Lawrence S. Schwartz. He called one of the commission's three co-chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick, the district attorney in Syracuse. And that was the end of that. "Zephyr Teachout to Andrew Cuomo: Resign Now"
"'We don't want politicians who've gotta be cajoled': Keith Ellison unloads to Salon" - interviewed by David Dayen.
"Chris Dodd Warns Of Coalition Between Populist Democrats And Republicans: WASHINGTON -- The rise of anti-corporate conservatives is a significant threat to the American banking establishment, according to former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who warned a gathering of Beltway centrists on Tuesday about a potentially formidable coalition between hard-line banking critics in both parties. [...] 'There's a new right emerging in the country which is as hostile, in my view, to financial services, as many on the left have been over the years,' Dodd told an audience at a Bipartisan Policy Center event Tuesday. Dodd appeared to be worried that if these "hostile" folks got together they might make Dodd-Frank into a bill that does what everyone hoped it would do in the first place, or something. Why should bipartisan efforts to reign-in the banksters be a problem for the Bipartisan Policy Center? Well. "In D.C. political circles, however, 'bipartisanship' is often used as a shorthand way to describe policies and reforms that are friendly to corporations, favored by corporate elites, or both. This is sometimes referred to as being 'moderate,' 'centrist' or 'bipartisan' because traditionally such policies have been able to find support among both Republicans and Democrats."
Glen Ford, "U.S. Funds 'Terror Studies' to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements: The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about...people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don't themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, 'supporters of political violence.' And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S. military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can't lord it over the rest of us."
Dean Baker, "More Confusion on Sovaldi and Government Granted Monopolies at the Washington Post" - WaPo says this drug for Hepatitis C costs less in Egypt ($900) than in the US ($84,000) because "Sovaldi is cheaper in countries where the government sets drug prices." But, as Baker points out, "This is almost the opposite of reality. The price is very high in the United States because the government gives Gilead Sciences (the drug's patent holder) a complete monopoly on the drug's sale. The price is low in Egypt because there is no patent monopoly and manufacturers are free to sell generic versions of the drug. That means the price in Egypt is closer to a free market price. The price in the U.S. is a price that is high because the government will arrest competitors."
"How VA Reform Fell Apart In Less Than 4 Days" - Republicans complain about costs, but if they really meant it, they'd complain about bringing private commercial interests into the system to siphon off money. Privatizing any part of the VA is obviously going to cost more. So don't. Just fully fund the VA and fix it.
Ian Welsh on "The Barbarism of ISIL, the Taliban and Wahhabism and collapse of hegemonic ideology" - No pull-quote, it's one to read through.
A fitting tribute (Thanks, CMike!)
Mark Evanier's favorite Rockford moments
Buster Keaton .gifs - and, if you can read the shouty text below, you can find out who saved Buster Keaton's life.
Taral wrote a spooky little fannish story honoring a classic horror theme.
Doctor Who Pre-Movie Theater Introduction