Over Easy: Friday Free for All
The latest report, The Retirement Gamble, focuses on the scams in the retirement industry, the retail brokers and asset managers who sell products to 401 (k)s and other tax exempt plans. Anyone who knows this arena will find that the report covers familiar terrain. But the appalling fact remains that ordinary Americans who don’t have the time or interest to be full time investors but want to take prudent steps to prepare for retirement are systematically fleeced by the industry. And due to the time limits and complexity of the terrain, the program can hit only on some important issues.
In The Nation, Jeremy Scahill explains that liberal support allowed Obama to expand Bush’s interrogation program.
A conservative think tank in Pennsylvania is going after public sector unions — just like in Wisconsin. Quelle surprise!
Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.
Author Stephen King and his wife, author Tabitha King, have made a five-figure donation to a Maine gun control group. King, a gun owner, has an essay in the Bangor Daily News explaining his views on gun control.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, I wrote an essay called “Guns,” and published it as a Kindle Single — an e-book, in other words — because I wanted to be a part of the discussion before the whole subject slipped from the consciousness (and consciences) of the American people. It has a way of doing that, you know; the National Rifle Association counts on it.
What I asked for in that piece — what I almost begged for — was that we Americans find some middle ground on the subject of heavy-duty firearms.
King donated his share of the proceeds from the Kindle Single to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
In Mother Jones, Kevin Drum writes that the real problem with Obamacare is that unlike other big laws, this one’s flaws may not be corrected because of rabid Republican opposition to the law.
But what normally happens is that it gets tweaked over time. Sometimes this is done via agency rules, other times via minor amendments in Congress. It’s routine. But Obamacare has become such a political bomb that it’s not clear that Congress will be willing to fix the minor problems that crop up over time. There’s simply too big a contingent of Republicans who are eager to see Obamacare fail and are actively delighted whenever a problem crops up. This has the potential to be a problem that no other big law has ever had to face.
Finally, Salon has an interesting review of the changing facts in the Boston investigation. A commenter at Charlie Pierce’s Esquire blog, whom I won’t credit by name because I can’t ask his permission, sums it up pretty well.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Tsarnaev brothers didn’t have any kind of plan for what to do after they put those backpacks down and walked away. They clearly weren’t interested in sticking around and martyring themselves. No urgency to get out of town. No plan or place to lay low. No logistics in place to carry out further attacks. Everything they did after placing those backpacks on the ground and walking away would qualify for a terrorist blooper reel if it weren’t for the very real bloody trail they left in their wake.
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