American politics is still in such a state that five articles a week are insufficient to cover everything that deserves coverage. Therefore, today will be another of the catch up variety.
What Should Concern Us
Propublica did a piece on how little some of the ultra wealthy Americans were paying in federal income taxes. I won’t go into the particulars or methodology here. Its release was almost immediately greeted by an outcry (from both ends of the political ideology spectrum) over who and how the IRS data was leaked. While that is a concern it is very much a secondary concern! When the ultra wealthy are paying a tax rate dramatically lower than working and middle class Americans are, that is the primary scandal we need to be concerned about.
Count me among those who are perplexed and more than just a bit concerned about what is going on at the Justice Department. Under Bill Barr (and he wasn’t alone!) it became much more of the Injustice Department. There is no doubt that Attorney General Merrick Garland inherited a mess but many of the recent actions of his department have left me scratching my head.
At this point I am left with only three logical and often conflicting conclusions to consider. Either there are things at play that are not publically known yet, Garland is a round peg in a square hole or the political pacification route of not riling up the Trumpublicans is at play. If it’s the third I think that is a mistake; complicity after the fact, even with good intentions, is still just complicity. Time will tell and I’m watching.
This Blog’s Relative Success
Former president Trump started a blog. It lasted 29 days. The last time I checked (which was a long time ago) tellthetruthonthem.com was in the top 2% in global web site traffic. That sounds better than it really is. Our daily traffic was measured in the tens of thousands; the top sites in the billions.
In any event we have outlasted him by miles. Maybe there is something to trading in the truth? I guess Stephen Miller had it wrong when he said Trump’s site would revolutionize communication.
And Then There Were Three
Over the last few days, the undecided Director’s seat race on ExxonMobil’s Board reached a final result and the dissidents gained a third seat. While that may well not sway any actions, I know from personal experience that it helps to have a backup or two when you express a contrary view in a Board meeting. The longest journey begins with a single step.
Do You Think We Are All As Stupid As You?
Federal Judge Roger T. Benitez overturned California’s assault weapons ban calling it a failed experiment. In his ruling he compared an AR-15 to a Swiss Army Knife. I think there are a lot of people who would be willing to go into a locked room in a no laws zone armed with a loaded AR-15 and the judge with a Swiss Army Knife. Who would you bet on coming out alive?
As the saga of 1/6 continues it increasingly appears that the rank-and-file Capital Police were largely abandoned by their senior leadership and the federal government. More concerning is that the trend seems to be continuing. It is yet to be definitively proven but I can’t help but suspect that part of the reason is that people in powerful places were complicit in the attack and want to conceal their involvement.
Let me pose one question to those unpatriotic cowards: What if the Capital Police had given you the same treatment on 1/6 that you gave and continue to give them? Would you even be alive today?
The Vote Is Under Attack
Fighting voter suppression (and in the process saving democracy) is somewhat similar to fighting terrorism – you have to win every time and the bad guys only need an occasional win. At the state level Republicans are putting forth voter suppression laws in all but a few states. In many they have already been passed and are certain to be passed in several more. Some will fail in the courts but one or more may slip through without action at the federal level. The prospects of HR 1 and HR 4 look dimmer with each passing day.
I could write volumes on this and am certain this will not be my final word on the topic. Let me conclude this snippet by saying this is extremely serious!
Word coming out of Washington is somewhat optimistic about the chances of a policing reform act being passed. I’m skeptical to say the least. Street policing is not the aspect of law enforcement I want to discuss today.
All the talk is about street policing and street crimes. What about white collar crime? The majority of Americans will not be the victims of “violent crime”. Most of us have been and will be victims of white collar crime. Most police forces either do not have personnel trained in combating white collar crime and if they do that is a small, under resourced division. A criminal armed with a gun will eventually go to prison; one armed with a pen seldom does.
That’s enough for today and it’s still far from everything.
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