Reform. For Freedom.

We have officially gotten to the point where corporations control us.

They control how much money we are allowed to make. They control our finances on the national, international, and personal level — badly. They control our health care in a system that is doomed to collapse under the weight of its own expense real soon now. Worst of all, they play by whatever rules they like while squeezing ordinary people to desperation. Now they have a green light to even more openly control our government.

And unless this worthless Congress remembers that the one thing corporations can’t do — yet, anyway — is vote, things are going to get worse rather than better. We desperately need real financial reform now, the kind that restores rules that worked through most of the 20th century and not the kind so riddled with loopholes as to be a gift to the financial services industry. We need insurance reform that puts more of our health care dollars to work providing health care and curtailing the abuse of patients who foolishly want the care they think they (or their bosses) are paying for, not a “reform” that forces everyone to participate in a broken system through mandatory coverage.

I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free,” the song goes. Free to do what? Free to get involved in staged protests of issues we don’t understand? Free to loudly proclaim “facts” with no basis in reality? Free to watch propaganda dressed up as news? Free to owe everything to the companies that hire us, care for us, and mis-manage our money with no hope of anything else?

If you don’t mind, I’d prefer a different flavor of freedom.

In Closing: Roman Army Knife; “Um, because it was the right thing to do and we didn’t want any lawyers saying we did wrong later? Was the 5th Amendment repealed while I wasn’t looking?”; nice to see that we are going to count job losses more honestly, but it’s a shame that Mr. Obama will be blamed for “losing” these jobs when he merely counted Bush Administration losses correctly; I couldn’t have said it better either; at least child abuse is down!; where genetic testing and “pro-life” collide; trees are loving global warming (much more so than the polar bears); and Americans are drinking more, but we’re not paying for the Good Stuff. So, uh, maybe the price of Scotch will return to rational levels? No? I thought not.

Thankfully, Murder Will Not Be Tolerated

Today, the terrorist who killed Dr. George Tiller was convicted of murder and assault. It took the jury 37 minutes to come to a verdict. The soonest he could possibly see parole is in 25 years — and given his age, it’s entirely possible he won’t be alive then. Thankfully, the judge did not allow this trial to become a circus, did not allow abortion to become a central issue, and did not allow the defense to argue voluntary manslaughter, because Dr. Tiller never posed any sort of threat whatsoever — not even an imaginary threat — to the defendant. It’s hard to argue that the someone you admit you’ve been stalking for 10 years posed a danger to you.

I will not glorify the terrorist by naming him. Let him die forgotten.

Now if we can only do something about the thousands of other people so mentally ill that they think murder for God is acceptable.

In Closing: we had positive GDP growth last quarter, but you’d never know it to look at reality (more evidence that the way it is currently measured is flawed); David Sirota on Disaster Porn; must read item on jobs and economic justice; now Ezra Klein says Rahm Emanuel makes him very pessimistic about health care reform! Gee, really Ezra? Rahm made me pessimistic a good solid year ago. Sometimes wonks can be insightful, but sometimes they can be nearsighted.