MORNING MESSAGE: Chief Justice Roberts’ Choice
The New Republic’s Jeffrey Rosen: …I’ve been giving him the benefit of the doubt for the past six years. But Roberts has already presided over a Court that has struck down campaign finance reform and affirmative action by bitterly divided 5-4 votes. If the Court follows these decisions with a 5-4 opinion striking down health care reform, it’s hard to imagine how anyone, including Roberts himself, could conclude that his aspiration of promoting consensus have been anything other than a failure … John Roberts’s choice in the health care case has nothing to do with judicial independence and everything to do with what kind of judicial conservatism he wants to embrace: that of activist libertarians such as Randy Barnett and Janice Rogers Brown or that of traditional conservatives, such as Lawrence Silberman and Jeffrey Sutton, who have rejected Barnett’s arguments and voted to uphold the health care law.” Click here to join Jeffrey Rosen at the June 18-20 Take Back the American Dream conference.
Walker On Defensive In Final Recall Debate
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett “stayed on the offensive” in the final debate with WI Gov. Scott Walker. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “The sharpest exchange came when Barrett focused on the John Doe probe of Walker aides, and the governor called on Barrett to release police reports after a Journal Sentinel investigation found hundreds of serious crimes misclassified as lesser offenses. ‘I have a police department that arrests felons,’ Barrett said. ‘He has a practice of hiring them.’”
NYT sizes up what’s at stake: “The outcome of the election on Tuesday will not just decide the state’s leanings on matters of budget, taxes and policy, as well as the ultimate trajectory of Mr. Walker’s fast-rising political prospects. It will also send a message about a larger fight over labor across the country, and about whether voters are likely to reject those who cut collective bargaining rights …”
What’s Behind The Austerity Agenda
NYT’s Paul Krugman finds the ulterior motive behind Britain’s austerity agenda: “…they almost always retreat to assertions along the lines of: ‘But it’s essential that we shrink the size of the state.’ Now, these assertions often go along with claims that the economic crisis itself demonstrates the need to shrink government. But that’s manifestly not true. Look at the countries in Europe that have weathered the storm best, and near the top of the list you’ll find big-government nations like Sweden and Austria … the austerity drive in Britain isn’t really about debt and deficits at all; it’s about using deficit panic as an excuse to dismantle social programs.”
European central banker calls for more centralization. W. Post: “European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned in Brussels on Thursday that he considered the euro zone’s current structure ‘unsustainable,’ and said the region’s governments must surrender far more budget and regulatory power to a central authority if the currency union is to be saved …”
JPMorgan Chase Meets Dodd-Frank
Dodd-Frank Wall St. reform law aiding investigation into JPMorgan Chase. WSJ: “Investigators in the enforcement division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are issuing subpoenas requesting emails and other internal J.P. Morgan documents … If investigators find that employees made deceptive statements to superiors, that could constitute fraud…”
Citigroup accused of fresh round of mortgage fraud by whistleblower reports ThinkProgress.
Solyndra Shot Misfires
Romney attack on Solyndra falls flat. HuffPost: “For one, Romney used to be a proponent of government funding of clean energy technologies … As governor of Massachusetts, Romney handed out loans to firms in emerging technology fields, some of which ended up (like Solyndra) going bankrupt … the [Solyndra] process was facilitated, in part, by a cadre of industry lobbyists of different ideological stripes. One of those lobbyists is a semi-prominent supporter of Mitt Romney.”
WH pledges veto of House bill slashing energy programs reports Politico.
Clean energy economy means up to 60M net new jobs globally in next two decades, UN concludes. The Guardian: “However, realising the full potential of green jobs depends on countries taking action to develop the green economy and bringing in policies that will foster investment…”
Speaker Boehner predicts student loan rate will double next month. NYT: “…Congressional Republicans sent a letter to the White House offering some suggestions on how to pay for an extended lower loan rate. The letter was sent a few hours after Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio told fellow Republicans that he believed that the rate on subsidized undergraduate loans — currently set at 3.4 percent – would probably revert to 6.8 percent … One [idea] would increase current employee contributions to the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employee Retirement System by four-tenths of 1 percent. Another would limit the period during which students can receive in-school interest subsidies for subsidized Stafford loans…”
Justice Dept., federal judge block Republican-led purge of voter rolls. Miami Herald: “Florida’s effort appears to violate both the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects minorities, and the 1993 National Voter Registration Act – which governs voter purges – T. Christian Herren Jr., the Justice Department’s lead civil rights lawyer, wrote in a detailed two-page letter sent late Thursday night. State officials said they were reviewing the letter. But they indicated they might fight DOJ … It also followed a federal court ruling Thursday that struck down a Republican voter-registration law that a judge found too onerous.”