For decades now, it’s been fashionable to demonize government. After all, that’s what billions of dollars invested in right-wing think tanks and media outlets will buy you. There also are genuine abuses by bureaucrats. But lax government oversight can be a scandal, too, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
The release of the new movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby has renewed interest in the troubled life and early death of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. There’s also the question of how much he was paid for his materwork and the issue of his controversial burial, as Michael Winship recalls.
It’s become trendy in some circles – mostly on the Right since the election of the first African-American president but also a bit on the Left – to talk breezily of armed revolution. But bloodshed is wrongheaded and reckless when political space remains for democratic change, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
As the gun carnage continues across the United States, the Right won’t stop peddling its bogus historical claims about the Second Amendment and rallying its gullible supporters to fight even modest safety laws. But victims of gun violence are finally fighting back, write Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
Special interests with lots of money continue to be heard in Congress; the average citizen not so much. Thus, corporate tax breaks are protected while programs to help people and build the country are cut, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.
Besides battering down the walls of racial segregation, Martin Luther King Jr. demanded that America address its economic barriers to fairness and justice, a challenge that may have earned him even more contempt from the power structure, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.
The Republican Party that emerged from Vietnam and Watergate was determined to obliterate the lessons learned, and the Democrats veered between timidity and complicity as those lessons were unlearned. Now, the key lessons are more reminiscence than real, as Michael Winship laments.
Jack Lew, the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, follows in the footsteps of other Wall Street insiders to hold that position. His Cayman accounts and “golden parachutes” also may make it hard for him to put himself in the shoes of average Americans, as Michael Winship notes.
Federal conflict-of-interest laws restrict what former government officials can do if they leave to take jobs as lobbyists, but there remains much flexibility both in Washington and state capitals for the revolving door to keep spinning, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.
Many Americans are still shocked that Wall Street bankers who ruined the economy escaped any serious punishment from government regulators. But one problem is that many of those regulators, including the new choice to head the SEC, have been rotating through the golden revolving door, say Bill Moyers and Michael Winship.