The President's Weekly Address:
... The transcript is here.
** Joe Stiglitz in a Washington Post op-ed: "Inequality is greater here than in any other advanced country. The data remind us how a combination of monetary, fiscal and regulatory policies have contributed to these outcomes. Market forces play a role, but they are at play in other countries, too. Politics has much to do with the difference in outcomes.... The Fed has consistently failed to understand the links between inequality and macroeconomic performance." ...
... Henry Blodgett of the Business Insider: "In case you needed more confirmation that the priorities of US companies and the US economy are screwed up (specifically, they're engineered to create a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs) ... Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time " With charts to prove it.
In a Washington Post op-ed, legal scholar Jonathan Turley argues that Congress should expand the number of members of the Supreme Court. "The nine-member court is a product not of some profound debate or study, but pure happenstance." Having the whims of one unelected old fogy repeatedly decide national law is a stupid system. CW: I'll have Boehner & McConnell get on that right now.
The Anti-Union Supremes. New York Times Editors: "The Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Knox v. Service Employees International Union is one of the most brazen of the Roberts court.... Under the court's rules, only the questions set out in the appeal are to be considered by the court." But the 5 conservatives decided they would add a constraint on unions that wasn't part of the suit. CW: I think this is similar to what they did in Citizens United, altho there they asked the litigants to come back & make new arguments; here they just dispensed with the lawyers' cases & legislated from the bench, unbid. ...
... Or as a Yahoo! News contributor, Andrew Riggio, writes, "Supreme Court rules in favor of freeloading." ...
... NEW. AND Markos Molitsas is asking us to do something about it: in retaliation, he has put up a petition on Daily Kos "asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to introduce legislation requiring corporations to get opt-in permission from shareholders in order to be allowed to use company resources for political purposes." CW: I signed. ...
... Here's a related post by Kos.
... Lisa Lambert & James Kelleher of Reuters: "As America's biggest state and local government employees' union gathered [in Los Angeles] this week, it faced obstacles like never before.... Lee Saunders, who became the union's first African American president on Friday, said ... the mission for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was to save nothing less than organized labor itself."
Ethan Bronner of the New York Times: "David Blankenhorn, a national figure in the movement against same-sex marriage, has recanted his opposition.... Mr. Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, wrote an influential book that argued against same-sex marriage in 2007 ... and served as an expert witness against the constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8, which limited marriage to heterosexuals. On Friday, he said in an opinion article for The New York Times, published online, and in an interview on NPR that his concerns about same-sex marriage remained, but that 'the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over.'"
Richard Gizbert of Al Jazeera on why Julian Assange's application for asylum in Equador is no surprise.
Michael Luo & Julie Creswell of the New York Times: While Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital, "Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain's funds.... In at least three of the seven bankruptcies..., companies appear to have been made more vulnerable by debt taken on to return money to Bain and its investors...." CW: so where does "savvy businessman" morph into "ruthless predator"?
Dream Small. Dream Tiny. Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post: "Mitt Romney ... did reiterate his support for ... a narrow version of the DREAM Act that would provide a path to legalization for immigrants who serve in the military." Romney's immigration policy would offer legal status to "just 1.5 percent of the 2.1 million illegal immigrants who would qualify for legal status under DREAM overall...." CW: so basically, the Romney plan is to "let Mexicans do the jobs Americans won't do" -- like fighting & dying for the rest of us slackers. Semper Filipe. ...
... Major Garrett of the National Journal: "Hill Democrats and Republicans alike believe that [President] Obama outfoxed and outmaneuvered [Sen. Marco] Rubio [R-Fla.], who for three months advertised his intention to draft a GOP version of the Dream Act (which Obama's executive-policy gambit has now temporarily addressed).... Mitt Romney had been waiting expectantly for the never-to-emerge Rubio bill. Now both are left stranded -- much to the White House's delight -- on the sidelines of immigration and Latino politics, while the president soaks up attention."
Here's a surprise. The Wall Street Journal published this op-ed by Prof. Jeffrey Liebman, an Obama advisor, explaining why the jobs bill President Obama proposed 9 months ago -- and which the Congress refused to pass -- "would have strengthened our economy now & for years to come.... What would Gov. Romney do to create jobs now? In a word, nothing. In fact, the proposals he has put forward would slow the recovery, reversing the gains we have made since the recession ended." Thanks to contributor Trish R. for the link.
Washington Post Editorial Board: "On Friday, Mitt Romney -- along with an entourage of his most important donors and fundraisers -- arrived at the tony Utah ski resort of Deer Valley.... Unknown ... are the identities of the 'bundlers' present at this weekend fete, the fundraisers largely responsible for Mr. Romney's unexpected outraising of President Obama in May.... The Romney campaign's refusal to identify those who bring in a quarter-million dollars or more differentiates it not only from the Obama campaign but also from those of the past two Republican contenders for the White House.... Selling access has become nearly universal in political campaigns. Seeking to do so in secret sets Mr. Romney apart."
"Romney's Bid to Become Liar-in-Chief." Michael Cohen of the Guardian: "The United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.... Those of us in the pundit class are really not supposed to accuse politicians of lying -- they mislead, they embellish, they mischaracterize, etc. Indeed, there is natural tendency for nominally objective reporters, in particular, to stay away from loaded terms such as lying. Which is precisely why Romney's repeated lies are so effective. In fact, lying is really the only appropriate word to use here, because, well, Romney lies a lot." ...
... Steve Benen chronicles a staggering 30 lies Romney told this week alone.
Robert Costa of the National Review: "I'm reliably informed that Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin ... has submitted paperwork to the Romney campaign. Sources confirm that he is being vetted for the vice-presidential nomination." Via Greg Sargent.
Right Wing World
Fergitt Mitt. Dana Milbank: Grover Norquist is the head of the Republican party.
AP: Mandatory minimum sentences mean Jerry Sandusky will likely die in prison. Sentencing will likely be in about three weeks.
Washington Post: "Gov. Robert F. McDonnell told members of the University of Virginia's governing board Friday that if they do not resolve the leadership crisis at the historic school next week, he will remove all of them. McDonnell (R), who had repeatedly resisted involving himself in the escalating troubles at the state's flagship university, sent a stern three-page letter to the Board of Visitors late Friday, nearly two weeks after the ouster of President Teresa Sullivan."
New York Times: "Turkey announced Friday that Syrian forces had shot down a Turkish warplane with two crew members over the Mediterranean, a potentially ominous turn for the worse in relations already frayed because of Turkey's support for Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad." Al Jazeera story here.
Al Jazeera: "Tens of thousands of Egyptians have returned to Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand the rollback of what they see as politically biased court decisions and military power grabs designed to throttle last year's revolution and steal the presidential election. The mass protest and sit-in, initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday night, has since then grown and remained determined as ever on Saturday. The anti-military rally comes ahead of anxiously awaited results of a runoff vote between the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi against Ahmed Shafik, the final prime minister to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak."
Washington Post: "In a searing letter sent to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Review Board on Friday, Lance Armstrong made it clear he intends to fight the agency's allegation that he participated in a vast doping conspiracy while winning his seven Tour de France titles."