August 7, 2013


Booze Is Still Big Business for States. On Tuesday morning, the conservative group FreedomWorks put forward a call to action: “Are We Ready to Battle for Private Booze?” For FreedomWorks, state control over liquor sales is just another example of government overreach: “It turns out that when you get government out of a business it didn’t necessarily belong in originally, people don’t perish en masse.” The thing is, though, privatizing liquor in the 17 states that have a booze monopoly isn’t so easy. That’s in part because, as FreedomWorks notes, liquor is big, big business for some states. Just look at Pennsylvania.  National Journal

Obama To Endorse Privatizing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. President Obama flew to Phoenix, scene of some of the worst wreckage in the housing collapse, to talk about how the government can lengthen and strengthen the housing recovery on Friday. He will endorse gradual privatizing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NPR

Pension Reform Could Disrupt Investment Funds. Detroit’s financial woes, exacerbated by underfunded pension liabilities, have brought renewed scrutiny to public pension plans. Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, and others have suggested overhauling these plans to shift more responsibility to the private sector….Proponents argue that privatization could reduce the risk of municipal bankruptcy and federal bailouts. One downside is the possible increase in fees associated with external management of retirement savings; it creates another way for Wall Street to extract wealth from Main Street.  New York Times

Moral Monday demonstrations are spreading around the country. Next up: Chicago! Now, the model of these protests is spreading around the country to target the erosion of civil rights, liberties, and the takeover of unelected secretive Big Money politics. The next waive is in Chicago, where a group of “Chicago Moral Monday Coalition, an alliance of Chicago clergy, lay people, unions and community organizations” is targeting the historic hotel where the notorious ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is to hold their meeting in the first week of August….These includes bills on “Stand Your Ground”, privatizing schools, health insurance, voting rights, tax structures, gun legislation, environment, and more. Religion News

MI: Detroit bankruptcy: Will city’s storied art collection be sold? The potential sale of its public art collection, which includes masterworks by Rodin, Degas, Van Gogh, and Cézanne, is generating the most controversy. Emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr announced Monday that he is hiring Christie’s Appraisals Inc., the famed New York City auction house, to appraise a portion of the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts on the behalf of creditors who are requesting the assessment, which then might be used in a sale or leasing situation to help pay back the debt.  Christian Science Monitor