The year is about halfway over. Just over four months from now, we’ll know who the next President of the U.S. will be. We’ll also know how large the Democratic majority of the House and Senate will be. Of course, we’ll also have to see how bad the economy is performing and how much of an effect climate change continues to exhibit, among other issues.
In almost every Supreme Court decision decided this term, state regulation lost out against business claims of federal preemption of state powers.
This puts to bed another commonly stated conservative ideological pillar: states’ rights are important. Not according to the conservatives on the Supreme Court which were put there by a conservative President and a conservative Congress, elected by voters who for whatever reason thought they should put conservatives in office. Too many voters for too many elections have been misled by Republican candidates’ sweet sounding talking points. When the reality hits home that their ballot choices don’t mesh with their policy desires, the Republican party will be even further weakened.
An earlier decision is revisited:
If the Court was eager to override state laws for the benefit of corporate interests, it bent over backwards in deference to state law when the issue was Indiana’s photo ID law gutting the rights of our nation’s poorest voters [...].
Pro-corporatocracy and anti-person. Two views that unfortunately go hand in hand with these revisionists.
A mixed term on criminal justice issues is also present. I encourage taking a look at this dispatch. It’s written in an easy to read summary format with plenty of links to additional resources if you’re looking for them.
U.S. auto makers are suffering from a confluence of issues: the ridiculous price of gas, betting the farm on gas guzzlers, and an American public that is used to switching its buying habits on a dime. Instead of SUVs and trucks, consumers are anything but by not purchasing crappy car alternatives. I guess the decades and millions of dollars spent on lobbying Congress to maintain low CAFE standards isn’t working out quite how the executives thought they would. Meanwhile, workers have suffered by losing jobs by the thousands as executives ran laughing to the bank with the money they saved on wages.
About a month ago, I wrote about the costs of doing something meaningful about climate change in “Climate Change Costs Discussion“. The point to that was showing that if 1.1% of GDP were invested to address the changing climate, economies wouldn’t even come close to collapsing. In fact, that money would likely be returned many times over in new jobs and expanding economies.
So that’s one side of the coin. Now, there’s also numbers to talk about for the other side of the coin: the potential costs of inaction. The U.K.’s Stern Review found that:
…if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least five percent of global [gross domestic product (GDP)] each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to twenty percent of GDP or more.
This is part of the crisis that deniers and delayers are saddling the globes’ current and future occupants with: out of control costs that will devastate economies. Actually, the American consumer has faced slightly similar cost increases in the past 10 years with rising health care, energy and food costs. Combine those with stagnant wages during the same time frame and Americans are in a tight place. Can you imagine if 5-20% of your income were required to be spent elsewhere? What choices would you have to make?
What choices will we all have to make if we don’t act now? Acting now is possible. The key is helping our elected policy makers recognize that fact. The inaction costs link above demonstrates that California understand the scope of the problem. When will the rest of the country?
If you didn’t pay taxes on your property for four years, and received notices about that fact during those four years, do you think you would still be in your house? Absolutely not! Well, regular guy John McCain and his heiress wife face just that situation – and they still own the property. Despite having a $100 million fortune and owning seven properties, they haven’t paid taxes on their La Jolla, CA property ($8,486.42!!!) and that property hasn’t been sold by the County. And McCain has the audacity to call Obama an elitist?!