Saving Milk?


Something tells me money is backing this effort:

Americans are drinking less milk—and Congress wants to change that.

Republican Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania and Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut introduced a bill on Tuesday that they describe as a way to “preserve milk’s integral role in school meals.”

Milk consumption in the U.S. has declined in recent years. Whole milk has been particularly hard hit while low-fat varieties of milk have fared considerably better, according to data from the Department of Agriculture.

Those statistics have troubled the dairy industry and its supporters on Capitol Hill.

Now, I’ve heard many (conservative) Americans throw hizzy-fits over efforts to introduce healthier foods in school lunches across the country. It was propaganda, communism, or something. I never knew Stalin was a stickler for well-balanced diets.

Milk has been losing favor with Americans due to its many health negatives. I’ve noted before how my milk consumption has dropped considerably during the last decade primarily because of digestive health reasons.

Yes, milk has some benefits, but for me, the negatives outweigh the positives.

That’s not stopping the dairy industry from pushing Congress to force milk down the throats of students across this great land!  According to the National Journal article, the bill would require milk be offered with each meal at school. Congress will consider the bill when it votes to reauthorize school nutrition programs later this Fall.

Whatever you do, don’t you dare call this “Dairy Propaganda!”

[email protected]

Let’s Make A Deal?


As our nation’s infrastructure keeps receding back into the 19th Century, significant federal legislation hasn’t been introduced to bring the infrastructure into the 21st Century.

However, as Barry Ritholtz notes, President Obama has voiced one proposal that should open some eyes:

There is something unusual in that last bullet point, one that might make it possible to make headway. The clever twist is that President Barack Obama has taken boosting infrastructure spending — a favorite policy of Democrats — and tied it to a favorite policy of Republicans — reforming corporate taxes. Thus, this opening bid has generated some interest from both sides of the aisle.

More than $2 trillion of overseas corporate profits are stashed away in overseas accounts. Audit Analytics notes that these “indefinitely reinvested foreign earnings” have more than doubled since 2008 (see also this, this and this).

In response to this cash hoard, the president wants a one-time 14 percent tax on these accounts, with the revenue earmarked for infrastructure projects, and to allow the funds to be repatriated to the U.S.

I’m not enthusiastic about letting multinational corporations repatriate their profits at a low tax rate. Corporations shouldn’t be rewarded for hiding their wealth in overseas tax havens while counting on their customers to pick-up the rest of the tab.

That being said, the President’s horsetrading scheme may have to be strongly considered by Democrats. Obama’s a corporatist Democrat, and must pay-back those who helped him get into office some seven years ago. Obama’s also a pragmatist, who fully understands the U.S. must massively upgrade its infrastructure in order to compete with an ever-changing world. Plus, it will create jobs. A major infrastructure improvement project on-scale with the World War II rebuilding efforts will help millions of Americans–and businesses–in both the short and long term.

If that means having to acquiesce and give Republicans (and some Democrats) what they want regarding corporate tax “reform,” Democrats may not have a choice.

It’s an idea worth considering, but the Devil’s in the details, as Ritholtz concludes:

Corporate tax reform can also be a positive, so long as the lobbyists don’t pry too many giveaways from their friends and future revolving-door contestants in Congress.

[email protected]

Exposing FIFA

Dave Zirin kind of nailed FIFA during last year’s World Cup:

Finally, the world is seeing FIFA for what it is: a stateless conglomerate that takes bribes while acting as a battering ram for world leaders who want to use the majesty of the World Cup to push through their development agendas at great human cost.

People don’t have to be displaced and workers don’t need to die for soccer. The World Cup can be staged in countries with existing stadiums and infrastructure. Moreover, the secret bidding process for host countries must end so that soccer isn’t abused for economic and political ends.

It’s a wonderful and upsetting read.

Remember, though, these guys definitely aren’t “thugs.”

[email protected]

Tweet Of The Day


Sorry, my soccer friends, but I couldn’t resist posted this tweet considering the FIFA scandal:

Here’s the gist of the scandal as reported by CNN:

Soccer’s powerful, polarizing governing body found itself on the defensive on two fronts Wednesday, one a Swiss investigation into World Cup bidding and the other a sweeping, stinging U.S. indictment homing in on what America’s top justice official called “corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted.”

Swiss authorities raided FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich on Wednesday, the same day they announced an investigation into the last two awarded World Cup bids — to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 — both of which had come under fire.

But the day’s more definitive and, right now, damning action came out of the United States.

That’s where the Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a 47-count indictment in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that detailed charges against 14 people for racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. They include FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return providing “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.

These FIFA guys make the NCAA’s shenanigans seem like child’s play.

[email protected]


“First Day” Playlist For May 24, 2015

Bob Dylan

Here is the playlist from last Sunday’s First Day show on WSGW 790AM and 100.5FM.

Dust My Broom,” Elmore James (1951)

  • We commemorated the 52nd anniversary of blues legend Elmore James’ passing

Help Yourself,”  Amy Winehouse–Frank–2003

I Shall Be Released,”  Bob Dylan–Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II, or The Essential Bob Dylan–(1967)

  • Bob Dylan’s 71st Birthday

Beatles Minute:

Get Back,” The Beatles–Let It Be–(1970)

Pat’s Indie Song of the Week:

Upper Peninsula,”  Sufjan Stevens–Michigan–(2003)

Michael Percha’s Song Of The Week:

Travis’s Song: Heroes Like You,” John Hancock–Sinners, Saints, and Satellites–(2008)

Have a great week!

[email protected]

[email protected]

A Step Closer To Legalized Pot In Michigan?


It seems like 2016 is going to be a big election year in Michigan. Yes, it’s a presidential election year, but Michiganders might have the power to legalize marijuana:

Organizers of a marijuana legalization drive in Michigan are poised to clear a procedural step.

The Michigan Cannabis Coalition is expected to receive word Tuesday from state election officials on whether the form of its petition is OK.

The initiated legislation would require 252,000 valid voter signatures before going to the Republican-led Legislature. If lawmakers rejected the bill or took no action, it would receive a statewide vote in November 2016.

I don’t expect the state legislature to pass the legislation, of course, because that would make sense. It would hurt the economic boon for the prison industry. That’s good! It would help the economy by keeping people out of jail, and raising some tax revenue. That’s doubly good!

Revolutionary thinking, I know.

[email protected]