The Roundup for April 9, 2012
I had thought I would be traveling this week to Pittsburgh to report from one of the first in a series of spring shareholder activism events, this one against Bank of New York Mellon. However, they changed the dates of the meeting and I can no longer attend. But expect some coverage of that event tomorrow. Shareholder activism will be a big story in the next few months.
Other housekeeping news: my panel on foreclosure fraud for June’s Netroots Nation conference has been accepted. More on that in the coming days.
• Kent Conrad stated the obvious, that there would be no budget before the election, meaning that continuing resolutions would be the only way to avoid a government shutdown after September 30.
• I kind of can’t believe that Eric Cantor would be this stupid. If there’s one word to define Cantor, it’s “careerist.” So why would someone who wants to lead the House GOP caucus donate to an anti-incumbent PAC? All the people he wants to lead are incumbents!
• This story on the progressive youth grassroots revolution is a little too optimistic for my taste. It does speak to the cultural v. economic liberalism divide, however, as most of the organizing in the piece is of the cultural variety.
• Paul Krugman could just come out and say that David Brooks is a gullible moron. That’s the barely-concealed subtext behind his op-ed today.
• Remember, for most of the policymakers in Europe, the “eurozone debt crisis” is really a eurozone banking crisis. They care far more about the impact for banks than they do for ordinary citizens.
• The surveillance state, as viewed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
• Hopefully the primary fight in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall will not be so contentious. At least the first ad of the campaign, from former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, keeps it positive, at least with respect to her Democratic rivals.
• Speaking of Wisconsin, Scott Walker didn’t only sign that pay equity repeal bill late last week, but a host of other anti-woman measures.
• Marcy Wheeler has more on those two DHS Inspector General reports about the Secure Communities program.
• The new prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case has decided not to convene a grand jury. This doesn’t mean she won’t ultimately seek to prosecute George Zimmerman in the killing. Meanwhile, the case has revealed the depressing common thread of the shooting of unarmed African-Americans.
• Nouri al-Maliki was always going to be a strongman no matter when US troops left the scene. The logical conclusion of these retrospectives on Iraq is that the US can never leave anywhere ever.
• California’s Courage Campaign is trying to get a set of foreclosure protections passed into law in the Golden State by going after legislators in both parties who are holding it up.
• Remember the unemployed worker whose wife appeared at an Obama town hall? The President said he would help the man find a job. That’s the thing about promises, you have to prepare for backlash when they don’t work out.
• Omar Suleiman plans to run for President in Egypt as the Nixonian law and order candidate.
• I think it’s a bit of a reach to blame credit card swipe fees for some of the run-up in gas prices. But it’s true that credit card swipe fees were untouched and now cost merchants far more to process than debit cards. And they do pass that cost on to customers.
• RIP Bernard Rapoport, a progressive giant in Texas.
• What’s with Tim Tebow leading Easter services, now? What exactly gives him the credentials to do this? Believing? Incidentally, he parroted the “America is a Christian nation” nonsense in this speech.
• America neither gained nor lost immigrants last year, with many migrating back to Mexico.
• I hope other communities join LA with a feed-in tariff program.
• Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram. In other news, Facebook just paid me $529 million for this news item.