Overnight Express: News and Views Roundup

Not quite together with Heller (R-NV): “Heller, through his statements and votes in Congress, has consistently supported limiting or eliminating the ability to conduct government business in any language other than English. Heller has sponsored legislation to limit election ballots to English-only, to mandate that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid only be filled out in English and to make English the official national language. Heller also supported a bill to end birthright citizenship.”  [LVSun]   There appears to be just one little problem with Senator Heller’s “outreach” to voters in the Latino/Hispanic community — his proposals don’t exactly match his record.

However, his “no new taxes” allegiance to Grover Norquist et. al. is pleasing to the ears of members of the business community who’ve not yet figured out that in order to support the Republican economic policies to which Governor Romney and Senator Heller adhere, you have to believe that giving the big tax cuts to the top 0.5% of income earners in the U.S. will magically trickle down to local economies.  Small business owners who rightly see themselves as “job creators” seem to have conflated their interests (increasing demand) with the “job cremators” in the ethereal upper reaches of the Wall Street casino who are essentially Financialists for whom actual job creation isn’t a priority.

Not quite a birther?  Republican hopeful Willard M. Romney will be in Las Vegas, NV for a fund raiser ($2500 per) at the Trump International Tower, with The Birther Donald Himself. [RGJ]  It seems Mr. Romney isn’t concerned by The Donald’s foray into the realms of irrationality. “The standard the Romney campaign seems to be advancing here is that it’s OK for the candidate to appear on the same stage as a loon, as long as that loon doesn’t say the thing that makes him loony in the candidate’s presence. And if he does, the candidate can merely disavow it later.” [Salon]  The disappointed birthers may now be busying themselves questioning the President’s college transcripts. [LAT]

Listen Up, and get connected: “None of that matters. Not one whit. The only thing that is going to matter is whether or not Republican astroturf organizations like TruetheVote, Republican governors like John Kasich, Rick Scott and Scott Walker, and Republican True Believers will team up to suppress the vote in enough states to guarantee a stolen election.”  [More at Crooks & Liars] Think this really isn’t happening: Try this egregious example from Ohio.  Governor Rick Scott (FL) has a plan to purge individuals from that state’s rolls. [Think Progress] There’s a lovely example of a inexplicably purged voter in that state as well.

We Didn’t Start the Fire: And why the GOP can’t extinguish its War on Women.   Good litany and explanation here.

Another Romney Theme Another Chart Debunking It:  The GOP is hauling out the old chestnut about Democrats “hollowing out the military” with decreased defense spending.   This canard has worked for them before, but won’t now if this little chart gets enough attention.  Note that the Iraq/Afghanistan warfare spending is shown in red, and that the other chart elements do not decrease.

Financialism can be the cruelest form of capitalism:  Watch what’s happening with American Airlines.   “The parent company of American, AMR Corp., is seeking to cut labor costs by tossing employee contracts where no agreement has been reached. Closing arguments in U.S. bankruptcy court wrapped up Friday; a judge said he expects to rule by June 22.” [MiamiHerald] American has been told to cut labor costs by 20%, meaning a loss of some 13,000 jobs [HuffPo] From last January: “Airline giant AMR, the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle. AMR, which filed for bankruptcy in November, last week announced plans to retain the advice of Bain & Co., the consulting firm where Romney worked before co-founding private equity firm Bain Capital in 1985.”  [ITTimes] Oh, and did we mention that the pension fund, once an industry gold standard, has come to grief, “the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. slapped liens on $91 million in AMR property after the company paid only $6.5 million of a required $100 million contribution to the plans.”  [HuffPo]

Financialism is often painful — for the financialists:  “JPMorgan dips into cookie jar to offset London Whale losses.” Gains from the sales could provide about 16 cents a share of earnings, about one-fifth of the bank’s second-quarter profit, analysts said. But rather than creating new value for investors, the transactions merely shift gains in securities from one part of the company’s financial statements to another.” [Reuters]  (emphasis added)  As one SEC consultant remarks — dumb move #1 playing with derivatives the company didn’t fully understand, dumb move #2 selling off high value securities they can’t replace….  Do these people really want us to believe they need “de-regulation?”

And, then there’s Citigroup “the biggest U.S. bank to have regulators reject its capital plan this year, dismantled a board committee created during the credit crisis to police the disposal of toxic and unwanted assets. ” [Bloomberg]   This, while it still has queasy mortgages, and loans to Spain and Greece on its books?   Even some big funds are getting bitten, Dewey &LeBoeuf has filed for bankruptcy… with more strain on the Pension Guarantee System.

Recommended Reading:  “How black WWII vets helped lead the Civil Rights Movement,”  The Grio;  unfortunately there’s this article in the same source — “KKK invites North Carolina town to a Whites Only cross burning.”   A semi-sweet ending to the story of a slave cemetery in Georgia in the AJC.

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Filed under 2012 election, financial regulation, Heller, Romney, Veterans, Vote Suppression, Voting, Women's Issues, Womens' Rights

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