Another Senate Charade – Matt Taibbi

(RollingStone) – This note comes courtesy of my friend David Sirota out in Colorado. This is a classic example of how the Senate works. If the public understood better how rigged this game is, and how few issues are actually left to an honest vote in the legislature, I’m pretty sure the pitchfork factor would be twice even what it is now.

The short version of this story: Bernie Sanders had put forth a proposal in the Senate to put a 15 percent cap on credit-card interest. Who isn’t in favor of this kind of legislation? The only difference between credit card companies and loan sharks at this point is that you can choose to not patronize a loan shark. As an adult professional in this country one has to have a credit card – it’s impossible to rent a car, buy a hotel room, shop online or do countless other things without one.

But all the credit card companies use the same insane formulae based on FICO scores to charge exorbitant interest rates for anyone who slips up – and they don’t exactly make it easy to not slip up. (I’m doing research on this subject so anyone who has a particularly egregious story about being ripped off by credit card companies, please write in). Almost everyone has horror stories about consumer credit and my guess is that if put to a national referendum, something like the Sanders 15% cap would pass pretty easily. Continue reading

Op/Ed: Who’s Still Promoting Outsourcing? (The Answer May Surprise You)

More to Promote Outsourcing Than Nearly Anyone Else In America

by: David Sirota

Remember back in in 2004 when the Bush administration issued a report trumpeting the benefits of job outsourcing? And remember how Democrats correctly went apeshit? Well, let me pose a question: What’s worse – issuing a report applauding job losses, or putting one of the biggest outsourcing advocates in America in a top government job?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a hypothetical – it’s very real. Continue reading